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Planning and hosting a baby shower takes a good deal of preparation. From themes and décor to sending invites and deciding on refreshments, there’s a lot to remember. A baby shower timeline is a useful tool to help you feel less overwhelmed as you’re planning the event.

Baby Shower Timeline

It’s common to throw a baby shower one to two months before the due date. This gives parents-to-be time to sort through the shower gifts, put together bigger items like a bassinet or swing, wash baby clothes or toys, and send out thank-you notes. Of course, the timing of the shower isn’t set in stone—you need to do what works best for you. Here are general guidelines for when to make key decisions regarding the baby shower.

Three to four months before baby’s due date, you and your partner should:

  • Work with the parents-to-be to determine the date for the party
  • Create a baby registry so family and friends can get ideas for gifts
  • Create a guest list—men welcome or gals only

Two Months Before

Decide who will host it and set the budget. If you’re going to hire a caterer or an event planner, costs can quickly escalate, so determine ahead of time what you can afford.

Six Weeks Before

At this stage, the baby shower planning checklist includes details that make planning a baby shower a lot of fun!

  • Set the date: The schedules of the parents-to-be and guests need to be taken into consideration when setting a date, especially if anyone is traveling for the occasion. Decide on a weekday or weekend and the time of day.
  • Choose the location: Location is one of the most important aspects of planning. Do you want an elegant afternoon tea in an intimate indoor space or a large, casual gathering in someone’s backyard? Of course, the number of people you invite plays a role in determining the appropriate space.
  • Pick a theme: One idea for a theme is to incorporate favorite things of the honored guest, such as a hobby, favorite childhood movie, or book. You can select a traditional theme with pastel colors and baby graphics or something more elegant and trendy. The theme will guide what kind of decorations to buy later on. If you’ve already had a gender reveal event, you can choose to use colors traditional to a boy or a girl.
  • Order invitations: You don’t need to send invitations six weeks out unless you’re ordering custom invitations. Just allow enough time to send them out and count RSVPs.

One Month Before

  • Send invitations: Sending invitations one month prior should suffice, even if you’re sending invitations via snail-mail. This gives guests adequate time to mark the event on their calendars and take time off from work or plan travel if needed.
  • Refreshments: Plan the menu ahead of time, whether it’s being catered or you’ve decided to ask people to bring potluck. Include pregnancy-friendly foods and ask guests about food allergies.

One to Two Weeks Before

  • Finalize the number of guests and also check on those who haven’t responded
  • Confirm reservations if you booked a venue, catering, or any other services
  • Buy decorations, party favors, and decide on games to play

Day of the Shower

  • Prepare snacks and food that isn’t being catered
  • Set up and decorate the space
  • Designate a person to write down presents
  • Ask somebody to take photos of this special day

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