How To Host A Baby Shower

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So your bestie’s having a bub and you’re hosting her baby shower. (How great are you!?!) Follow our timeline to ensure it’s on point!

Stepping in to host a baby sprinkle is a gorgeous thing to do when one of your favourites is celebrating their very own little miracle. But throwing a party for someone else involves extra consideration.

Planning is the key to keeping calm and carrying on. We’ve created a cheat-sheet in date order, detailing the steps to baby shower success!

alice-in-wonderland-baby-shower-from-sarahaigdesigns-com
Alice In Wonderland baby shower from sarahaigdesigns.com.

3 months from delivery: set the date

Baby showers are usually held within the last two months of pregnancy. But sometimes folks like to wait til their little one graces the world with his/her presence.

Find out if your space-prawn’s parents are thinking pre- or post-birth… Then consult her immediate family and BFFs to ensure the most important peeps are present. We suggest using Doodle for easy scheduling.

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DIY mobile baby shower decorations from marthastewart.com.

12 weeks out: decide who is hosting + where + also how much

Did you know that neither the grandma- nor aunt(s)-to-bes are supposed to host? Apparently, this looks too much like soliciting for gifts. There you go!

Decide whether you’re hosting chez toi or whether hiring out a space will reduce stress levels without breaking the bank.

Speaking of banks, set your budget. Are you going to foot the bill? Or are you taking a collection from the mum-to-be’s closest friends?

what-will-it-bee-baby-shower-from-catchmyparty-com
What will it bee? baby shower from catchmyparty.com.

10 weeks out: define your theme

Establishing a theme early on allows you to tie together all the elements of your baby shower, even if your theme is just the palette you plan to use.

Here are some ideas for inspiration…

Baby shower colour themes

Keep it simple with a two-tone theme. Black and blush, ebony and ivory, or rosé and gold create a luxe look. Once that little bub breaks free, chic becomes much less of an option, so celebrate it now…

Use all the colours of the rainbow for playful flair. (Think how many hundreds-and-thousands you could use! Fairybread, freckles, confetti cookies, did we say fairybread… 😉 )

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Space Invaders themed baby shower from popsugar.com.

Pick a retro palette with muted mustards and lime greens, perfect for a fifties’ style shower or a Space Invaders theme (appropriate, right?).

Or trace Tiffany blue through your decorations and finger food (blue cupcakes!). Or opt for a Breakfast At Tiffany’s theme.

vintage-style-shower-from-lovelyfestevents-com
Mid-century style baby shower from lovelyfestevents.com.

Mint greens and sunny yellows create a fresh gender-neutral look. If you’re more of a traditionalist (or the mum-to-be is), be led by the baby’s gender.

gender-reveal-party-from-100layercakelet-com
Gender reveal baby shower from 100layercakelet.com.

Gender-reveal parties are super-cute. We adore what this couple’s creative reveal. They popped a balloon filled with pink, black and gold confetti and streamers to let their guests know they were expecting a girl!

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar menu suggestions from clubs-kids.scholastic.co.uk.

Children’s book-inspired themes

Why not host a baby shower inspired by your favourite children’s book? There are so many great ones to choose from: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Owl & The Pussycat, Winnie the Pooh, Where The Wild Things Are, Peter Rabbit or Alice In Wonderland to name a few.

Or Snugglepot and Cuddlepie for twins! Ask your guests to bring a book as a gift to start the little one’s library.

Steal elements of the story to define your menu and palette. Search your old Golden Book collection for inspiration.

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Ready To Pop theme from popsugar.com.

Ready To Pop

This is so adorable it demands a mention. This theme features all things that go pop, from balloons to popcorn, piccolos of champagne, popsicles, and lollipops.

circus-baby-shower-from-shoplittlemissmuffin-com
Circus baby shower from shoplittlemissmuffin.com.

Need more inspo?

Take your cue from the season or the venue (how bout a vintage garden party?) or the mum-to-be’s profession (firewoman, teacher, artist) or her fave hobbies.

She’s a foodie? How bout a bun-in-the-oven theme… She’s English? Consider a baby shower in true Brit style. A circus theme makes for a very cute affair for animal lovers with a menagerie of miniature animals traced through your decorations…

bun-in-the-oven-party-invite-from party-favours-from-diytomake-com
Carry your theme through, from your invitations to your party favours. Images L to R from babble.com and diytomake.com.

9 weeks out: create your guest list

Some baby showers are girl-only affairs, whilst other couples like to host alllll their shared friends. Check with your mum-to-be and create your guest list.

It’s good to get in early with this as collecting addresses (email or otherwise) can take time.


Tissue paper pom-poms from marthastewart.com.

8 weeks out: set your time

By the time the baby shower rocks around, your mum-to-be is going to be getting pretty tired! Tea-party baby showers work well – opt for a morning or afternoon (or high) tea brimming with sweet and savoury treats.

Brunch showers are also great, or dessert showers – and they can be any time of day. Chocolate cake for breakfast!

Not one for tradition? How bout a barbecue shower? Casual and relaxed. Great if you’re hosting a cast of thousands.

from-hellobee-com from-babble-com
Balloons with confetti and flowers make simple yet effective decorations. Images L to R from hellobee.com and babble.com.

7 weeks out: lock down some minions + consider your menu

Assemble some spare hands to help out on the day (meeting and greeting, oven duty, serving, taking pics, running the games) and discuss your menu options. Spread out the responsibilities to ensure the event runs smoothly.

Refer to your theme for menu inspiration. Remember that not all food types are advisable for pregnant ladies. (Easy to forget if you’ve not had a little one yourself.) See here to read the government guide on foods to avoid.

Keep your workload on the day down by choosing prep-ahead canapés and food that can be served at room temperature, like veggie tarts, mini quiches, homemade pizzas, scones, bite-size sandwiches, and biscuits.

Not much of a one for catering, nor keen to outsource? Opt for a bring-a-plate event. (This info needs to go on your invitation, obv.)

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Baby shower invitations with their very own bunting from shesowsseeds.com.

6 weeks out: send out your invitations

Now that you’ve got your theme sorted, you can go ahead and invite the world. E-vites are eco-friendly and easy – plus, they’re great when you’re low on time. There are some amazing online templates that can be customised to suit your needs. See here and here for a few samples.

Love that textured DIY look? Create your own tangible invites to send by snail mail. The gorgeous ones pictured above come with cute bunting to boot and they’re simple to make, if a little fiddly. See how here.

Make sure you cover all the details. Have you included the venue address, date, time, gift options, and RSVP contact details/date, plus anything guests need to bring… (Say, their favourite photo of the mum-to-be in her wilder pre-baby days.)

from-100layercakelet
Image from 100layercakelet.

5 weeks out: start your DIY decorations + plan your games

The magnitude of this baby shower is up to you. It can be grand if you’re made of time or minimalist if you’re not keen on fuss.

Paper lanterns, pretty bunting, and banners work well. Martha Stewart has some simple modern mobiles, cake skirts, and tissue paper pom-poms. Balloons are an easy win. Add helium for brownie points.

Give yourself plenty of time for these. Although they may not look time-consuming, they can be tedious to do in bulk.

Game on

Offering up suggestions for the newborn’s name, snippets of parenting advice, guessing the sex and delivery date all work well, and are easy to organise. Follow up after the due date to let everyone know who won!

Also, we love the idea of a nappy raffle. Folks buy tickets to be in the running to win a jar of jellybeans and the proceeds go towards nappies for the little person. Did you know they can use 70 nappies a week, even when they’re fresh from the cabbage patch! Amazing…

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Pastel baby shower from catchmyparty.com.

4 weeks out: finalise your menu + order the cake

Ordering a cake can take the pressure off. Especially if you’re providing for a larger group or your theme is a little more involved.

Most places need about 4 weeks’ notice to provide a cake.

free-printables-from-prettymyparty-com cute-as-a-button-invitations-from-bstudioweddinginvitations-wordpress-com
Find super-cute free printables online. Images L to R from prettymyparty.com and bstudioweddinginvitations.wordpress.com.

2 weeks out: prep the thank you cards

Secure some themed thank you cards for your mum-to-be. AND address the envelopes so she just has to scribble inside them.

Now that’s what we call taking care of business.

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Succulent favours from evite.com.

1 week out: prep your party favours

And lastly, consider gifting something simple to say thanks to your guests for coming. Scented soap, old-school boiled sweets in a jar, homemade biscuits and candles add a nice touch!

Have you hosted a baby shower? What are your tips? We’d love to hear.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.