While anyone in the expectant mom’s life can plan and host a baby shower, including friends, relatives, and even spouses, there are some party-planning basics that should be followed. Follow these 7 steps to host a baby shower for the mom-to-be in your life.

Step 1: Choose a Date and Time

Planning a Baby Shower

The first step in hosting a baby shower is to decide on a date and time for the event. Chat with the mom-to-be about when would be the best time for her to attend. If you are in touch with her close friends or family, you can speak with them ahead of time as well, in order to find a date that will work for the most people.

Helpful Tip: Most women choose to hold their baby showers when they are around 7 months pregnant. The expectant mother is not so far along that she’s overly uncomfortable yet, and it still leaves time for the parents-to-be to take stock of their gifts and make any additional purchases before baby arrives.

Step 2: Determine a Guest List and Budget

Once you’ve chosen the date and time, the next step is to determine a guest list and a budget for the baby shower. Ask the guest of honor who she would like to celebrate with her, making sure to get mailing addresses or email addresses for each person. Then, determine how much you’d like to spend on the venue, food, decor, and anything else for the shower.

Helpful Tip: If budget is a concern, it’s perfectly OK to host the baby shower at the mom-to-be’s home. This way you save on venue costs, and she doesn’t have to lug all her gifts home.

Step 3: Secure a Venue

Once you know what time of year and how many people will be attending the shower, it’s time to search for a venue that fits your budget. There are many great options when it comes to hosting a baby shower, including:

  • The expectant mother’s home
  • A hotel
  • Local restaurant
  • Community center
  • A local park

Keep in Mind: Parks might require a permit to host a party, so check with your city’s by-law office, and always have a backup plan in case of bad weather.

Step 4: Send the Invitations

Once you’ve nailed down the who, where, and when, it’s time to send out the invitations for the baby shower. Allow guest about 6-8 weeks notice of the shower so that guests have ample time to RSVP and pick up a gift.

Helpful Tip: In today’s modern world, email invitations are completely acceptable for casual baby showers. However, if you’re hosting a more formal affair, a paper invitation is still the standard.

Step 5: Plan a Menu and Decor

Baby Shower Favors

Work with the guest of honor to plan some food ideas that take into account her pregnancy cravings, as well as any special dietary requirements of her guests. About three weeks out from the date of the shower, purchase any non-perishable decorations and food stuffs in order to cut down on stress closer to the big day. There are many popular baby shower themes – discuss with the mom-to-be which she’d like to go with.

Helpful Tip: Wait until the day before the shower to purchase any perishable decorations or foods, so they’re at their freshest.

Step 6: Plan An Itinerary

Every good baby shower includes food and drink, a game or two, and gift opening. Plan about 15 minutes at the start of the shower for guests to arrive, offering them a drink as they enter. When everyone has arrived, the games can begin. Some popular picks include onesie decorating, scrapbooking, and baby Bingo.

Helpful Tip: Serving food while gifts are being opened gives guests something to do while the guest of honor is engaged, and allows time for guests to mingle.

Step 7: Pick Up Favors

A favor is a simple yet thoughtful way to thank guests for coming and celebrating the mom-to-be and her baby. It doesn’t have to be anything over-the-top or extravagant, some candles, bubble baths, or baby bottles filled with candie are always a hit.

Now that you’ve planned every aspect of the baby shower, all that’s left to do is set everything up on the day.

You might feel overwhelmed if you’re suddenly asked to host a baby shower for a friend or loved one, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. These 7 simple steps will help ensure that the celebration of the mom-to-be and her new little bundle of joy is a roaring success.