Checklist: How to Host the Perfect Baby Shower - Baby Chick

Checklist: How to Host the Perfect Baby Shower

A baby shower checklist that outlines everything you need to think of and prepare to host a smooth and fabulous baby shower!

Updated January 9, 2024

by Nina Spears

The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert

Planning a baby shower can be a lot of work. Trust me. Time sneaks up on you, and suddenly, you realize you only have a few weeks left to get everything reserved, ordered, and organized for the big event. Yikes! I recently had my baby shower, and let me tell you, having to make sure everything was prepped and ready to go was—well—a lot. Luckily, I consider myself a pretty organized person, and I am blessed to have some great friends who helped me with the planning and the day of, so I could enjoy my shower.

Today I’m sharing my baby shower checklist that helped me stay on schedule and have a flawless shower. If you’re planning a baby shower for a friend or family member, this checklist will help you with your planning efforts. It will guide you to a smooth, fabulous, and worry-free event. 🙂

Seven Weeks in Advance

  • Determine who the host(s) will be.
  • Set a date and time.
  • Set a budget.
  • Choose a location for the shower.
    • Decide whose home the party will be held in, or reserve a restaurant or party room.
  • Prepare a guest list (consult with the mother-to-be), complete with full names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers (if possible).
    • Determine how many people can fit in the room or home.
  • Decide if the event will be catered (and if so, which company/restaurant) or if you or someone else will be helping make the food and determine who will be making what.
  • Ask the mother-to-be if she has a particular theme or color scheme in mind for the event.

Six Weeks in Advance

Five Weeks in Advance

  • Mail the invitations.
  • Plan the menu.
    • If catering: keep the budget in mind.
    • If cooking: assign who will be making what.
    • Check if any guests have food allergies—make sure there are options available for them.
    • Order the cake.
  • Check tables, tableware, and chairs to ensure you have enough of each. If there isn’t enough, look up your local rental options.
  • Decide what kind of decorations and/or flowers you’ll have.
  • Make a list of any props or party favors you may need.
  • Think about the baby shower games you want to play and the prizes for the winners.
  • Assign a photographer or hire a professional photographer.
  • Order any entertainment (if you want a band, etc.) or additional surprises.

Three Weeks in Advance

  • Write out place cards, if desired.
  • Order balloons and flowers if they are planned decorations.
    • Are you going to have a flower crown, corsage, or something special for the mother-to-be to wear for the shower?
    • Order table centerpieces.
  • Order the props, prizes, or party favors that you’ll need.
  • Wrap all favors and gifts.
  • Have a plan for how the mother-to-be is getting to the shower. Is someone picking her up? Is she driving herself?

Two Weeks in Advance

  • Re-confirm your reservation if you are hosting the shower at a restaurant or party space.
  • If the party is at your home, decide which serving dishes, utensils, table linens, and napkins you’ll use.
    • Clean or iron table linens if necessary.
    • Re-confirm rental supplies (if needed).
  • If catering: Re-confirm your order with the caterer.
  • If cooking your food: Prepare a shopping list for the food and beverages you need.
  • Re-confirm the entertainment or create a baby shower playlist for a fun and inviting atmosphere.

One Week in Advance

  • Phone anyone who has not called to RSVP and have a final headcount.
  • Prepare dishes that you can freeze ahead of time for the event.
  • Re-confirm with guests who’ve been asked to bring food or special items.
  • Put together or re-confirm party favors.

2 Days in Advance

  • Shop for perishables, ice, and other remaining supplies.
  • Prepare food that can be made in advance.
  • If the event is at your home:
    • Put decorations into place
    • Set the table(s) and have
  • Have a comfortable chair picked out, with a pillow or seat cushion, for the mom-to-be to use at the shower.

1 Day in Advance

  • Finish preparing food.
  • If you’re not cooking, pick up the cake and prepared foods, or check in with the caterer.
  • Pick up flowers, or make sure they get delivered.
  • If hosting in your home: Vacuum and clean the guest bathroom.
  • Set up extra chairs for guests.
  • Set up a designated space for holding baby gifts.

The Morning of the Shower

  • Pick up balloons if you’re using them as decor. If you pick them up earlier, they could deflate.
  • Have all hosts congregate at the party site an hour or two ahead of time to help set up.
  • Chill some refreshments to be ready at party time.
  • Set out food, except items that need to stay warm or cold.

Party Time!

  • Introduce the guests to each other.
  • Mingle.
  • Eat.
  • Take pictures.
  • Play baby shower games.
  • Open gifts.
    • Designate someone to record who gave which gift.
    • Designate someone to help give gifts for the mother-to-be to open. Bending down is now more difficult for her.
    • Designate someone to collect all wrapping paper for trash.
    • Designate someone to repackage all the gifts for the expecting mom to take home.
  • Make sure that she is eating, is comfortable, and is happy. 🙂

After the Party

  • Collect all the gifts and place them in the mother-to-be’s car or ride.
  • Give flower arrangements to the mother-to-be to take home or have the other hosts make additional arrangements.
  • Make sure that all guests are leaving with their party favors and coats.
  • Clean up plates and cups once guests are finished.
  • Gather all rented linens, tables, or chairs together if needed to be picked up or dropped off.

There’s my checklist to help you have the perfect baby shower. I hope it’s a blast!

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Nina Spears The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert
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Nina is The Baby Chick® & Editor-in-Chief of Baby Chick®. She received her baby planning certification in early 2011 and began attending births that same year. Since then, Nina has… Read more

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