The Only Baby Shower Checklist You Will Need!
The Most Comprehensive Baby Shower Checklist
Planning a baby shower may seem easy but there is a lot to forget. If you don’t have a baby shower checklist, you can easily forget important things.
This checklist is comprehensive. It has everything you will need to think about for your baby shower. If there are things that don’t apply to you, or you cannot be bothered with – simply check them. The goal is to make things as simple as possible for yourself.
Our baby shower checklists suggest that you give yourself 2 months/ 8 weeks. This does not suggest that you cannot throw a fabulous baby shower in less time. Two months/ eight weeks is just an optimal time in which to plan your baby shower. It gives you enough time to plan everything out, and no need to stress.
As you will notice, the Tulamama Baby Shower Checklist is a two pager. If you prefer having only one document, print it as a double-pager. It has everything you need to think about.
Click here for your Printable Baby Shower Checklist PDF.
Your baby shower checklist is important because it will help to guide you, but also check out this post about “how to plan a baby shower.”
Baby Shower Planning – Before You Start
As the host, there are a few things you need to check on with mom-to-be. This has to happen before you can even start your baby shower planning checklist.
- Will you be hosting by yourself, or would mom-to-be like someone else to be involved as well? Best friends or relatives may feel offended if they’re not invited to help, so check with mom-to-be. Also, there is a lot of work involved with baby shower planning. Therefore, you will want all the help you can get.
- Does mom-to-be want the baby shower before baby’s birth, or after? Do not make any assumptions. Some women have strong preferences so it’s best to check with her.
- Does mom-to-be want a girls-only shower or a coed baby shower? Also, consider that some people have more than one baby shower. This isn’t out of the ordinary because it may be awkward to have everyone at the same baby shower. For example, some moms may have one shower for their families only, and other for their close friends.
- Does mom-to-be know the baby’s gender? Does everyone know? Does she want to keep it a secret until after the birth, or will this also be a gender-reveal party?
- Are you planning to get an elaborate, intricately decorated baby shower cake? In our checklist, we suggest that you order your baby shower cake 1 month prior to the baby shower. This is normally enough time for bakeries. (Store-bought cakes can be purchased days ahead of the baby shower.) However, some professional bakeries are booked weeks in advance. Be aware of this and just give them a call to check how far in advance you need to place your order.
Baby Shower Checklist: 2 Months Before the Party
Create a Guest List and get their addresses
Mom-to-be may not be able to give you the guest list and everyone’s addresses immediately, but try to get a guest count. You will need this before you can start your baby shower planning because the guest count will determine where the baby shower will be held. You’ll also need this information before you order supplies or figure out the budget.
Very importantly – decide if children will also be invited as additional arrangements will be necessary to accommodate them.
Decide where the baby shower will be held.
If it will be at a venue, you will need to book it well in advance. Do not take reservations for granted. With some places, 8 weeks ahead of time may be sufficient. With others, it may not be. The venue you choose and their availability will depend on the date you decide on.
Once you’ve decided on the location, secure it by making the reservation/ paying the deposit.
Decide on a fixed date and time for your baby shower
People tend to be busy, so find out the availability of the most important people involved.
Baby showers are often planned for approximately 6 weeks before the delivery date, but this is not a fixed timeline. Some moms have their baby showers after their babies are born. It’s a great time for everyone to ooh and ah over the baby. (If you plan to do this – try not to plan it too close to baby’s birth date to allow new mom time to recover. It’s also never a great idea to expose brand new babies to strangers, too soon. This may expose them to germs, etc.)
Before deciding on your date, consider that some of your guests may need to travel.
Baby showers can be planned for any time that is convenient for the mom-to-be. Breakfast, brunch, lunch or even nighttime hours can be suitable. Baby showers usually last around 2-4 hours but this will be entirely dependent on the host/ mom-to-be and the family. If people have traveled far to attend the baby shower, they may expect a longer baby shower. Also, baby showers are often like ‘family reunions’ and therefore, it could go on for hours.
Some people also plan a lot of baby shower games and if you do that, you should expect a lengthy baby shower.
Decide whether you will need rentals
If you are having the baby shower at a venue, you may not need to rent tables and chairs, but these may be necessary if you’re planning to have the shower in your home.
Also, consider other things that may need to be rented.
Decide on a baby shower theme
There are hundreds of themes for baby showers. The theme you and mom-to-be decide on is important because it will dictate what kinds of food you will prepare/cater, your decorations, your favors, your invitations and thank-you cards, etc. Therefore, consider this carefully.
Consider the weather
If your baby shower is going to be in the heart of winter, and you live in the northeast, an outdoor baby shower will likely not be an option for you. But, do consider the weather carefully and be prepared to make alternate preparations in case the weather doesn’t turn out the way you hoped it would.
Consider the Invitations and Thanks-You Cards
If you are planning to order customized baby invitations, you will have to do that now to allow enough time for them to get to you, for you to send them to guests, and for them to rsvp. Even if you do not plan to order customized invitations, you will still need to start thinking about getting your invitations out promptly. Here is a comprehensive list of baby shower invitation wording ideas.
Are you Catering or Prepping yourself?
If you are catering, you will need to contact the caterer to check their availability and to book them. If you are prepping the foods, you will need to decide on a menu. If you will need people to help you with the food, you will need to let them know well in advance.
Decide if you will get a professional photographer
Professional photography is not a service we can all afford but if this is what you want, you will need to make arrangements well in advance to ensure you book the person you want.
Create a Budget
Create a budget based on the decisions you make above. Do not underestimate the costs of a baby shower.
Big costs will be incurred if you are hiring a venue and catering. But, even if you are planning a baby shower at home, it can still get costly thanks to food, drinks, baby shower favors, baby shower game prizes, decorations, invitations and thank you cards. If you are inviting children as well, you will need to arrange child-friendly entertainment for them.
Decide on Baby Shower Games
Many baby shower games are easy to plan for because they can be printed days before the baby shower. But even so, it is important to have a look at baby shower games and decide which games you would like to play because some games take time to prepare. Here is a comprehensive list of baby shower games.
If mom-to-be has already created a registry, find out where. If not, create one for her. Yes, it is daunting (to say the least) but baby registries like Amazon, lets you copy other people’s registry – so you could set it up in minutes. She can then go in and change things as she likes. Knowing her registry details is important because you will want to put her baby registry information on the invitations.
The Amazon Baby Registry is really popular, and for good reason, too. Why? Everyone and their aunt have a credit card registered on Amazon, and shopping there is as easy as pie. And – for those of us who leave everything to the last minute – you can get most everything within 2 days. The best thing though is that Amazon has a huge collection of baby items, competitively priced. If that’s not enough of a perk – they offer a 15% completion discount for Amazon Prime Members, and almost anything can be returned, no questions asked. That means, if mom-to-be is not happy with something for any reason, she can return it.
Baby Shower Checklist: 6 Weeks Before the Party
Send Baby Shower Invitations
If you are going with custom invitations, they should have arrived by now. If you are printing your own free baby shower invitations, send them out now but be sure to include an RSVP of no later than 2 weeks before the baby shower.
In your invitations, be sure to include the date, time, location, directions and RSVP date. Also let them know how to contact you for their rsvp. For much more details, check out this post about Baby Shower Invitation Etiquette.
Also carefully consider the plan you made for your baby shower games. Some games require preparation. For example, if you are having a raffle, you may want to let them know about this. There are several games like “guess the baby picture game“, where you will need to let them know what you are planning.
Send out your invitations to allow everyone enough time to respond and rsvp.
If you just cannot manage this, send out a save-the-date email. That way, people will at least know the invitation is coming. You’re also locking down the date so that people can already schedule your baby shower.
List everything you will need
Based on the menu you have decided on, and your theme, start making a list of all you will need. Be thorough. You don’t want to forget anything important. You will want to ensure there’s enough silverware, glasses, plates, chairs, drinks, food, etc for everyone. If there is anything you need to rent, do so now.
Baby Shower Checklist: 1 Month Before the Party
Buy the decorations you will need for your themed baby shower
Not everything can be ordered from Amazon’s 2-day shipping. Keep this in mind and order with enough time to spare.
Decide on Baby Shower Prizes
Shower prizes vary from budget to budget. Here’s a post that can offer you several baby shower prize ideas.
Decide on Baby Shower Favors
Baby shower favors can be easy if you are planning to simply buy them. If that is the case, place the orders. If not, leave enough time to order supplies to make the favors.
Preparations for the Diaper Cake
A diaper cake is not edible. Rather, it is a decoration made out of useful baby items – mostly diapers, offered to the mom-to-be. A diaper cake is not compulsory. Decide if your shower will have one and if so, will you make it or order it? Here are several great diaper cake ideas to give you inspiration.
Verify Catering & Reservations if applicable
If you decided on catering and having your shower at a venue, now is a good time to verify those reservations. A simple “I’m calling to confirm” would be sufficient. Mistakes and misunderstandings occur and by verifying, you eliminate the risk of disappointment.
Order Baby Shower Cake
An edible baby shower cake is not compulsory but it’s a delicious tradition. These cakes can be adorable because they are made with special baby related decorations. Often, they’ll have welcome messages for the baby. If you are planning to get a baby shower cake from a local store like Costco, Walmart, Kroger, etc – you’re probably safe to order the cake closer to the day of the baby shower. However, if you are planning to get a professional, elaborately decorated baby shower cake, you must place your order as soon as possible.
Arrange entertainment if applicable
For most baby showers, the baby shower games are the entertaining part. It is fun and often hilarious. But if you are having a truly fancy baby shower, you may take things a step further with additional entertainment for your guests.
If your baby shower will be open to children, you will need to consider a way to entertain them. This could be quite simple. Putting out crayons and paper may be enough to keep them occupied for 20 minutes, so you may want to be a bit more creative. Or, you can simply hire a reliable babysitter.
Make a list of EVERYTHING you will be using
This step is often overlooked but it is
important VITAL. You cannot rely on your memory because there will simply be too much to remember. Therefore, it’s a great idea to make a list of all you plan. For example, if you will have a diaper cake, a baby shower cake, shower prizes, baby shower favors, table confetti, baby shower banners, candles, picture frames, centerpieces, baby shower punch, baby shower candy, decorated cupcakes, gift basket, a raffle, baby shower games… write it all down. Then, the week before the baby shower, check it and make sure everything gets checked off.
Baby Shower Checklist: 2 Weeks Before the Party
Follow up on invitations.
Contact those who did not rsvp. You will need an accurate tally as you prepare from here. Knowing exactly who is coming will help you prepare the food, favors, the prizes, seating arrangements (if any), and printing out enough baby shower games for everyone.
Prepare Baby Shower Favors
Many people love homemade baby shower favors because they’re informal and personal. They’re also inexpensive. Whether you choose to make your favors or buy them, now is the time to do so.
Prepare Baby Shower Prizes
This is a simple but tedious process, especially if you have many prizes that you have to prepare. Take the time to do so now because a lot more will be moving onto your to-do list as you get closer to the date.
Prepare any baby shower decorations you planned to make
When following a baby shower theme, there are several little things you may need to do, to pull off a well-designed theme party. For example, if you are planning a nautical baby shower, many decorations can be purchased but there may be a few things you will have to do by hand.
Open your decorations
You don’t want to get to the day before the baby shower and realize there is no helium in the helium tank, or the balloons are damaged, or something important is missing. Do yourself a big favor and do a quick check.
Prep for Baby Shower Games
If your baby shower games will include mostly free online printouts, you are probably safe to print those days before the shower. Despite the ease of this task, do not leave too much until the last minute. Printers break, ink runs out – anything can happen.
Also, many baby shower games need preparation. If you’re playing “my water broke”, you cannot prepare this an hour before the baby shower.
Prepare Gift for mom-to-be
If you are giving mom-to-be a gift, now is a good time to get it and wrap it.
Plan the room (in your head)
It’s a great idea to have food in one area, drinks in another, gifts it yet another. That way, everyone is not crowded in one area.
If the baby shower will be in your or mom-to-be’s home, figure out where everything will go.
Baby Shower Checklist: 1 Week Before the Party
Buy last minute supplies
Perhaps you ran out of supplies for the baby shower favors, or perhaps after checking the decorations, you realized there wouldn’t be enough balloons after all. Now is the time to get what you need. Also, consider the food. If you are hosting from your home, do you have enough serving platters and utensils? If you are serving warm food – how will you keep it warm? Do you have a food warmer or maybe someone’s you could borrow?
Make arrangements to preserve memories
You will need to make these arrangements if you do not have a professional photographer.
Ask someone, or two people, to take photos. A video camera would also be a good idea. Remind whoever is tasked with this, to make sure that their cameras are fully charged.
You may be surprised, but disposable cameras are still available and widely used as I’m writing this – 2018. Get a few and leave them around the room for guests to take candid pictures.
Wash and Prep the things you will need
Wash the glasses, plates, serving trays, silverware and everything else you plan to use. Make sure nothing is broken or cracked.
If your baby shower is following a theme, you may already have napkins and other eating essentials. But if not, be sure you have it. If you will need tablecloths and table runners, get that out and ready.
Send reminders to everyone who you are relying on
Everyone is busy and people can be forgetful. As such, it is always a good idea to call the caterer, venue, and photographer – if you are using these services. If you are not, be sure to contact the people are are relying on. If someone is prepping a few dishes, or bringing serving trays, or taking photos… send them a friendly reminder.
Get things off your plate
Figure out the things that you can only do on the day of the party or up to two days before. If there are things you can do now, do so. This will ease your stress levels tremendously closer to the time. This could include preparing and freezing meals – if you were planning to serve freezer meals.
On a personal note – I have attended even small baby showers where the host felt overwhelmed. Whether you’re hosting a big or small shower, do yourself a favor and get as much done before the time because things are bound to creep onto your already big list of things to do.
If the baby shower will be held at your house, start cleaning up. You will have a lot to do later so starting the clean-up will help. This need not be extensive – wiping the baseboards and dusting, cleaning the toilets, etc would be extremely helpful.
Be sure the bathroom has soaps, lotions, a good air freshener, sufficient tissue paper, and extra feminine hygiene items for anyone that might need them.
Where will everything go?
As guests arrive, where will they put their coats, purses, etc? Will there be a spot for gifts? In the area where the gifts will go – is there a chair for mom-to-be? This post offers valuable advice on how to plan a baby shower, with specific reference to gift giving and opening.
As you think about this, definitely also consider the baby shower games you are planning because you will need to accommodate them. For example, if you are playing “don’t say baby”, you will want a basket of clothespins and a notification on a table at the front door, so that they can immediately see it as they come in.
Also, if you are having a baby shower guest book or fingerprint canvas, you will also want this at the front door, so that people can sign in as they arrive.
The actual preparations of “where everything goes” can happen a day before or the morning of the baby shower, but you will need to consider this a week before the shower – in case you need time to make additional preparations.
Check the weather forecast
If you were planning an outdoor baby shower, bad weather could be consequential. Check the forecast and prepare accordingly.
Check your list
You have been preparing for 7 weeks and you may think you are ready. However, it’s a great idea to take stock of everything at this point. For example, you may have prepared the baby shower favors/ baby shower game prizes, etc. However, make sure they are wrapped and ready to be given to the guests.
If you were planning to get flowers, order them now.
Baby Shower Checklist: 2 Days Before the Party
Buy the Food
This task will depend on what you have on your menu. If you need freshly baked breads for example, you will obviously need to get those the day of the shower. However, as you may have noticed, this baby shower checklist is all about getting stuff done promptly and getting it off your to-do list. Reason – there is always too much to do and it’s better to be prepared.
Prepare Thank-You cards and Baby Shower Gifts, station
Consider where the gifts will go. If you plan on setting up a table for it, do so now.
Depending on whether the mom-to-be made special requests, guests will bring traditional gifts/ books/ diapers. Naturally, mom-to-be will need to send a thank-you card. To make life easier for her, you can prepare those at the shower. This can be done in two ways:
The easiest is to have a stack of thank you card envelopes on a table at the gift area. Make a sign that asks guests to write their names and addresses on the envelope. This is optional, but you could ask that they write the name of the gift they brought, on the inside of the envelope. That will be very helpful for mom because she can then simply write out the thank you cards, and pop it into pre-addressed envelopes.
Another option is to ask someone to write down the guest’s name and what they brought. This is somewhat tedious and gifts can go unlisted by the well-meaning list taker, who will need to take breaks.
Baby Shower Checklist: 1 Day Before the Party
If the baby shower is at your home, now is the time to do a thorough clean up. If you are low on time, here is a great post about how you can clean your house in an hour.
Send friendly reminders to those you are relying on
Another reminder, 1 day before the party, is important.
Send friendly reminders to those you are relying on
Another reminder, 1 day before the party, is important.
If people are expected to bring food or take photos or help set things up, remind them to arrive early. If you are taking photos, make sure your camera is charged.
Chill Cold Beverages
The last thing you want is warm beverages on a warm day. Save yourself the trouble and get your beverages into the refrigerator early enough for them to chill. If you are playing “my water broke,” you will certainly want to freeze those tiny babies the day before.
Baby Shower Checklist: THE DAY OF THE BABY SHOWER
Pick up stuff
Pick up food trays, cakes or any other food you couldn’t buy before
If you ordered flowers and balloons, pick those up as well.
If you are renting props or tables or borrowing anything – pick it up now.
If you are having a baby shower in the summer, be sure to pick up ice.
It’s time to put everything together. Put up your props, centerpieces, favors, tables, tablecloths table confetti, baby shower banners… everything.
Make the venue conspicuous
If this baby shower is at your house, be sure to put up balloons or a yard sign to clearly indicate the venue to new visitors. People will find this especially helpful if they’ve never been to your house before. It also makes things more festive.
Prepare and display food
If there are foods that need to be thawed out, take them out in time to thoroughly thaw.
Display everything as you had planned. As mentioned above, it is a good idea to separate the drinks from the food so that everyone is not crowded in one area. Make sure you have serving spoons for everything.
Also ensure you have more than enough glasses/ napkins, plate, silverware.
Friendly note – put out a trashcan with a lid. This helps to keep your house tidy despite the visitors. Having a lid on the trashcan is also a good idea because then no-one will be grossed out.
Having beverages as guests arrive, is always a good idea. It makes them feel welcome and it’s a good start to the baby shower.
Call the mom-to-be and make sure she is happy and on her way. Having someone pick her up, is a great idea.
Check on everything. Is the temperature in the room okay? Is the lighting good enough for good photography?
Put on some mood music. You’re done. Enjoy the party because you’ve done an amazing job!
You may also find my post on 7 Easy Tips on How To Plan a Baby Shower, helpful. These two posts complement one another.
I hope you have found this Baby Shower Checklist to be very helpful. I look forward to your tips and comments below.