It’s Baby Shower Season! Gone are the days of spending hours and days planning the details that make baby showers adorable and unforgettable. I’m here to share my experience with preparing countless baby showers that are special and unique without spending a lot of time and money. Get ready to wow your party guests as I show you How to Plan a Baby Shower in 7 Simple Steps!
There was a time when I was completely paralyzed at the thought of planning a baby shower. The idea of crafting made me panic, the thought of favors, decorating and preparing menu items totally sent me into overwhelm mode. With an amazing party planning mentor in my life and some opportunities to practice alongside her, I am now a party planning pro! I’m excited to share with you what I’ve learned through my years of party planning and how to not get wrapped up in the overwhelm of it all with my 7 Simple Steps for Planning a Baby Shower:
Step #1 – Get Organized
Your best chance at planning and successfully executing a baby shower begins with getting an organized plan in place. I’ve found it most important to utilize planning tools like spreadsheets and checklists. I created a baby shower planning checklist that walks you through items to be completed each week leading up to your baby shower. It’s also imperative that you make a budget plan and stick to it. I’ve created a baby shower budget planner to help you along the way! You can find my FREE Planning Printables Here.
Step #2 – Assemble Your Team
I’ve found it best to plan with a group of women that you can lean on. Seek out those family members and friends of the mom-to-be that would like to help in the planning. Be sure to delegate duties that are best suited for each individual. Lean on a friend that enjoys baking to help with the dessert, or a family member that has a talent for crafting to help with decor and favors. The key is to gather a team of women that are able and willing to help so that all the party planning isn’t on you.
Step #3 – Guest List, Invitations and Theme
This seems like a lot to decide on at once but these 3 items go together. You can’t send out invitations until you know the theme and guest list and vice-versa. Get together with mom-to-be to plan her guest list. Even if you are really close to her and you think you know who she’d want at her baby shower, it’s best not to chance it and accidentally leave out a co-worker or childhood friend.
Once you square away the guest list, it’s time to think about the theme. This is the fun part for sure, but you want to also get input from the guest of honor. This is why…I once had a friend who planned a yellow, bumblebee themed baby shower for a co-worker, not realizing that she absolutely despised the color yellow. Needless to say, you don’t want to make that mistake. So, kindly ask the mom-to-be if there are any themes, colors or designs she doesn’t like. You’d be surprised at what she might say.
Now that the theme and guest list is decided, it’s time to focus on the invitation. Regardless of your budget, you have a lot of options. For smaller baby showers with a smaller budget, I’ve used online invitations that are sent digitally to email inboxes for free. I’ve also hand-made invitations with craft supplies. My favorite invitation of all time was found at my local Goodwill store. It’s amazing what people will get rid of. I found an entire set of adorable, un-used baby shower invitations. So be on the lookout at your local second hand store or yard sales.
Step #4 – Plan the Menu
Your baby shower menu will depend on the time of day that the shower takes place. If the shower is before noon you might plan a brunch theme, perhaps a waffle bar. Anytime in the afternoon would be perfect for a sandwich themed menu with croissants and a variety of salads. You might also include a yogurt parfait or fruit filled waffle bowl. My all time favorite afternoon baby shower menu is a tea party theme. I absolutely love the petite sandwiches and scones. If your baby shower is later in the afternoon you might plan a menu with hearty flavors like a tostada bar or BBQ sandwiches.
If you are still unsure about your menu then you could seek out ideas from the guest of honor. You might ask her what her preference is or even just a couple of her “favorites.” Then you could build your menu around mom-to-be and call the table spread, “Suzy’s Favorites.”
Step #5 – Determine the Venue
Where the baby shower is hosted will largely depend on your budget. If you have a large budget and you can afford to pay for a venue, some of my favorites are renting out a clubhouse, reception hall or a restaurant banquet room.
If you are working with a frugal budget you could plan to either host at your own home or the home of a family member or friend who is willing to open their home for the party. I hosted a gorgeous baby shower for my sister-in-law at my home. I picked the largest open space in our home for our party space and removed all the large furniture pieces and placed them in our garage for temporary storage. This allowed me to really have a large, open space that was perfect for the baby shower. I then gathered chairs and rectangular folding tables from family and friends. You might also rent these pieces if you aren’t able to borrow enough tables and chairs for your party guests. I once rented chairs fairly cheap from a party rental supply shop.
Step #6 – Decorations and Favors
Whether or not you have crafting experience or “know how,” you can create beautiful decorative pieces and unique party favors to make your baby shower shine! I like to do my shopping at 4 of my favorite places…the dollar store, “big box” stores, thrift stores and garage sales. You would be surprised at what you find at thrift stores and garage sales. Not only have I found ready to use baby shower invitations, but I’ve also scored party themed plasticware and plate sets. I regularly find scrap booking and crafting supplies at garage sales which I’ve used for crafting adorable favors and decorative pieces.
When shopping at “big box” stores or craft supply stores, be sure to use their 40%-50% off coupons. I have used them for decorative pieces that I fell in love with and just couldn’t make from scratch. My absolute favorite place to shop for baby shower decorations is the dollar store. Not only do they have baby shower themed banners that are ready to go but they also have practical elements used to create adorable favors for your guests! For more ideas on how I make my dollar store baby shower decor stand out and look incredible, check out the baby shower tab on my blog. You’ll be surprised at what I can do with streamers, balloons and plastic tablecloths! Grab my FREE Dollar Store Baby Shower Shopping List Printable here to help you plan your shopping trip.
Step #7 – Games and Activities
This final step is one that is very important and sometimes not given enough careful attention. I’ve attended a few baby showers where it was obvious that the games were literally just printed offline 5 minutes before the party started. It’s always the same purse game or mom-to-be tummy size game. I suggest choosing games that are fresh and new. I like to go with games that aren’t typical and make the guests laugh. Keep in mind the importance of the games and activities and how it helps guide and lead the baby shower. The person in charge of games will also be the person to get everybody’s attention when it’s time to transition to the next activity and also keep the energy of the party up beat.
Some of my favorite baby shower games and activities:
- Advice Jar/Praise Cards for mom-to-be. For moms who already have children, you can put a spin on it and instead of an advice jar, you can have guests write praise cards and say, “What makes (name) a great mom?” This way she can be reminded as to all the ways that she’s already a wonderful mother and how lucky her next bundle of joy is to have her. I like to read the advice cards or praise cards while she is opening her gifts. It’s a great way to keep the energy of the party upbeat and the guests engaged.
- “Safety Pin Rice Bowl Hunt.” Not only is this game frugal and easy, but it might be the most understated baby shower game I’ve played. It seems like it wouldn’t be so difficult but it is! It’s fun to watch each participant be thrown off by hard it is to tell the difference between a piece of rice and a safety pin while blind-folded! The winner is the gal who collects the most safety pins in 60 seconds.
- Baby Play-doh Scultping. Each participant is given 5 minutes to carefully sculpt a baby out of one container of play-doh. The winner is chosen by the guest of honor. This game is hilarious! One time we had a baby that resembled an airplane and I’ve also witnessed one talented baby shower guest sculpt a baby wrapped in a crocheted blanket! You will be surprised at the wide-range of play-doh babies you will see with this game.
- Baby Bottle Bottoms Up is the funniest baby shower game! You simply fill up baby bottles with apple juice. Each player is given a bottle and at the same time all participants start sucking down the apple juice as quickly as possible. The first person to finish their bottle is the winner. What’s so funny about this game is it quickly becomes clear how hard it is to suck out of a baby bottle. You realize that baby’s have some really strong cheeks for all that sucking power! I have taken the best photos of my baby shower guests playing this game. Get your camera ready!
My best tips for choosing game prizes:
- Dollar store shopping. You can put together some really practical gift bags/baskets with similar themes for your game prizes. I’ve put together a prize bag of scents with candles and potpourri. I’ve also created a prize bag full of journaling supplies with a pretty journal, bookmark and writing tools.
- Re-gift. There’s no shame in re-gifting. We all have items around our house that go un-used and are still in original packaging. Baby Shower prize gifts are the perfect opportunity to put those unwanted gifts to great use!
- Flowers and Potted Plants. Not only are flowers and potted plants great centerpieces on your baby shower tables, but you can also use them as prizes for the games! Game winners get to choose which centerpiece they’d like to take home at the end of the party. This option is also good on your baby shower budget as your centerpieces serve a dual purpose!
Baby showers are the most joyful and fun occasions for moms. It’s a very special time for preparing and celebrating baby. I hope that you’re excited ready to get out there and planning an amazing baby shower for the mom-to-be in your life! Remember to have fun and keep it simple with these 7 steps for planning a baby shower.
If you’d like more hands on application then try my “5 Days to Making Your Baby Shower Plan” eCourse. It’s complete with daily actionable tasks to help you plan your baby shower in 5 days! If you have any questions please send me a message. I’d love to chat baby shower planning with you. Have fun!