How to Plan a Baby Shower

Throwing a Baby Shower can be really fun. It’s a great way to celebrate the new mom or new parents as they go through a new journey and welcome a new baby into their lives.

Traditionally, the mother has no involvement in planning a baby shower, it is usually a best friend or close relative who plans it for her as a surprise. But these days, most moms-to-be want to be involved in the planning in some aspect. And these days a lot of baby showers are co-ed as well.

Rather than having someone throw me a shower, I was in charge of planning both of my showers myself with a lot of help from my family.

Baby Shower-02

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On this post I’ll cover the major topics:

  • How to throw a Baby Shower
  • Who plans a Baby Shower?
  • Can I throw a Baby Shower for myself?
  • Where should I host my Baby Shower?
  • What you need to plan a Baby Shower
  • Who should attend a Baby Shower
  • Baby Shower Ideas
  • Baby Shower Games
  • Baby Shower Food
  • Baby Shower Prizes and Gift Bags
  • Baby Shower Decor and Themes
  • Baby Shower Guest Book
  • Thanking your Baby Shower Guests
There’s also a freebie in this post, so make sure you don’t miss out on that!

Step 1: Decide what kind of Baby Shower you want to have

Do you want to have a quaint shower with some of your best gal friends? Maybe have a spa day, a tea party, a night on the town, or just a nice meal together.

Or do you want something big that involves the whole family? You could have something at home, at a restaurant, at a party venue, or a park.

Anything can be done and be a huge hit. 

It’s up to you to determine who your guests are and approximately how many people to have for this fantastic party you’re about to throw!

Step 2: Narrow down your Guest List

Once you’ve decided the kind of shower you want to have, you can narrow down who exactly you want to be there.

If you’re planning something just between close friends you’ll probably have somewhere between 5-20 people.

If you’re planning something for the whole family you might have anywhere around 20-100 people. You might even feel like you’re planning a wedding!

Step 3: Decide on Venue

If you’re planning to do something at home, you won’t have much to worry about. You can decorate your living areas or deck out your backyard and have a really nice setting.

If you’re planning on going somewhere, like having a spa day or going out to a restaurant, you mostly just need to make sure you have reservations in place for your party.

If you’re planning on renting a venue, you need to do so in advance and will likely need to put down a deposit. You can rent out a clubhouse within your neighborhood or a ballroom or outdoor pavilion in your City for a pretty decent deal. You could also scope out local businesses that specialize in parties and events in their own venues. I know there are a few in my area that do tea parties for Baby Showers so that’s a pretty cool option.

How to Plan a Baby Shower

Step 4: Decide on Theme for Decorations and Food

A lot of time your theme and your food go hand in hand. Depending on your venue, you may have to plan this yourself.

A lot of people like to make their food table match their theme, like color coding with the theme or the sex of the baby or having nuts at a woodlands themed party. Or just having decor around the food, like children’s books or story pages for a books theme party.

A lot of popular themes from my day, and still today, are:

  • Woodlands
  • Hot Air Balloons
  • Books
  • Clouds
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • etc.

You’ll also need a cake! You could hire a local bakery or bake it yourself. Either way, the cake will likely be the centerpiece of your food table and a lot of photos of your awesome party.

For decorations, I always prefer to save a little buy shopping online. Amazon usually has some pretty good stuff.

Some people also like to set up a table for a Guest Book, a lot like at Weddings, where people can leave a little note or sign their name.

Personally, I have some experience with computer graphics so I made my own poster for each of my kids’ baby showers where people could put their fingerprints and complete an image. For my son, I did a balloon, and for my daughter, I did a tree. I framed these and have them each hanging in their bedrooms.

If you need help making one, email me.

You can see some of the other ideas I had for my two baby showers in the slideshow at the bottom of the post.

Step 5: Entertainment and Games

Entertainment and food are probably your two most important party planning items for any party.

The most basic form of entertainment is having a good setting for mingling, if you provide a place for people to sit and be able to eat as they please they will do the rest. This also includes some background music, appropriate to the kind of party of course.

Depending on the type of party you are planning, you may want to prepare some Baby Shower Games. There are so many kinds of games out there that you should make a list of what you think you want to do and then narrow down.

Personally, I narrowed down to a couple of games where my guests could do on paper on their own as well as a few where I had to direct with winners and prizes.

Some of the games and entertainment we had between both showers:

  • PAPER GAMES- Sheet of paper for each guest with crossword, word scramble, and maze.
  • GUESS WHO’S THE BABY- Guests bring their own baby photos and place on a poster or wall before guessing who is who.
  • GUESS THE BABY FOOD- Guests have to guess between different baby food flavors of plates with a dollop of each.
  • POOPIE DIAPER- Guests have to guess the chocolate bar smeared on each diaper.
  • WAS IT MOM OR DAD TRIVIA- Guests have to guess between mom and dad with quotes or short childhood stories from each. 
  • DIAPER TOSS RACE- One person holds a bucket while their teammates toss diapers at a distance, the team with the most diapers in their bucket wins.
  • DIAPER DERBY- In teams, guests have to place as many diapers as possible on to one teammate within a short time frame.
  • TIE YOUR SHOES MOMMY- With a very full balloon as a baby bump, guests try to bend over and tie their shoes.
  • PHOTO BOOTH AREA with props and green screen with silly backgrounds
  • DANCE- We hosted a mini Zumba session
Some other great ideas:

Another thing you could do for entertainment is to provide different zones of activities. You can have a Photo Booth area, where you either hire a company or build it yourself with dress up stuff. A Gaming Area where you have either Baby Shower Games where people can do on their own or in groups, or something unrelated like Giant Jenga, where you could even convert into something baby related.

Step 6: Game prizes & Gift Bag

Games are always fun but they’re even more exciting when there’s a prize to be won.

Personally, I was very basic with my gifts. I set up little goodie bags and mini baby bottles full of candy bars and little treats for the prizes and for the gift bags. But I’ve seen people go all out on Pinterest.

Some great options for Prizes and Gifts include:

  • Gift Card
  • Candy
  • Nail Polish
  • Candles
  • Personlized Items (hand sanitizer, water bottles, candles, candy wrappers…)
  • Spa Kit
  • Anything Bath & Shower Related
  • Anything related to your Theme
  • Alcohol, Coffee, or Tea
  • Baking Kit
  • Plants

Step 7: Gift Lists & Thank You Cards

Majority of baby showers have a time set up for the mom or the parents to open their new baby gifts. Some people really enjoy watching their gifts being opened, while others get bored of attending a party where the person is opening gifts for hours upon hours. So make sure to keep this moment brief or have your guests entertained with other activities if you choose to do this.

When you do open your gifts, have a method of organization to keep track of who gifted what so that you can thank them later. Also, make sure to store all gift receipts! You may get a duplicate gift sometime between the day of your shower to even after your baby is born. And on the extremely, and I really mean like 2% (I’m guessing), chance that the sex of your child was incorrect, you might want to make some exchanges! 

After any party, one should always thank their guests for coming, whether it is during the gift opening or as the guests leave. But a personal hand-written thank you card is always ideal, even if you don’t get to it until after the baby is born. 

That’s why I’ve created a few of my own that you can download for free. I made three different designs for you to choose from, that you can print from home, cut, fold, and write to your guests. I recommend using a cardstock paper like this one.

Free Thank You Cards Download

Here’s some pictures from both of my baby showers.


How did you celebrate your baby shower(s)?

What were your favorite games?

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Great ideas! Love all the tips. Planning a shower can get overwhelming… this helps!


Wow, this is a really detailed list! Love it. Thanks for the great baby shower planning tips!

Lynn Armstrong

I’ve been loving the idea of having mixed gender baby showers! It’s so inclusive sometimes more fun! My friend had a baby bottle drinking contest with all the guys that came.


This is a great post for those looking to throw a baby shower for their friends or family members. It’s a great place to start! And Amazon and party city have everything you’d ever need!

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