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Everything You Need on Your Baby Shower Checklist

Baby showers are very special occasions, and it’s important for whoever is planning the party to get it right. After all, the mother-to-be and her baby are depending on it! If you’re part of the team that’s planning the party, give yourself plenty of time to go through this baby shower checklist. Start the planning process at least a few months in advance so you won’t have to throw it together at the last minute.

If your timing is right, you’ll be able to find the perfect venue, decor, and food to suit the mother-to-be’s taste while still leaving a few surprises! Take a look at our step-by-step checklist, and get ready to host a stress-free baby shower for your sister, daughter, or best friend.

1. Decide who is hosting the shower and who’s invited

It’s customary for the expectant mother to take a backseat role in planning her baby shower. It’s usually her sister, mother, or best friend’s job to plan it instead. Still, it’s a good idea to check in with the mother-to-be to find out her basic preferences, including who should be invited.

Start by deciding who will be in charge of putting the event together. If there’s more than one person taking on the role, plan a time to meet with the mother-to-be and find a date that works for everyone. Assemble a guest list and get a sense of what size venue is appropriate.

2. Choose a date and venue

Once you have the guest list and everyone’s schedule, you can look for a location to host the baby shower. Avoid hosting it at the mother-to-be’s house to save her the hassle and stress of preparing for it, and avoid bars since baby showers don’t typically involve alcohol.

While hosting the event at your own home is an option, we recommend choosing a Peerspace venue to make the setup process as easy as possible. Many locations already have the perfect furniture and decor for a baby shower, such as this whimsical sanctuary in San Francisco with colorful lighting and cozy cushions for groups of around 15.

Work with your local host to come up with a theme for the occasion, or call up the Peerspace Concierge service for personalized help with other items on your baby shower checklist.

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3. Find a caterer and create a menu

While having a catered meal is optional, it can save you some stress to know that the food and drink will be taken care of by a professional. Find out if the mom-to-be has any food preferences or allergies, then put together a simple menu that’s suitable for your venue.

Baby showers aren’t typically formal occasions, so opt for light brunch or snacks, depending on the time of day. Choose items that allow guests to relax and socialize rather than sit around the dinner table. Consider a variety of hors d’oeuvres and, of course, don’t forget a cake!

4. Send out invitations and the baby shower registry

Give your guests at least a month’s notice of your event. This way, they’ll have plenty of time to RSVP, and you can get an accurate head count for the occasion. While you may be tempted to rely on email or Facebook invites, don’t miss out on your chance to send paper invitations. Not only are formal invitations less likely to be overlooked, but they’ll remind your guests that this is a special occasion and the mother-to-be would sincerely value their attendance.

Include a link to the baby shower registry, too. It’s easy for the mother-to-be to create a registry online these days, so make sure that she does this well in advance of the event. She can include any gender-specific guidelines if she wants to reveal the gender of the baby.

5. Plan party games and prizes

The most memorable part of any baby shower: the fun and creative games you get to play. Whether you buy or rent board games from your local game shop, or print your own with this set of printable games from Shutterfly, come up with a few activities to keep your guests involved and enjoying themselves.

Since not everyone who is invited may know each other, start with some icebreaker games to get everyone comfortable. Then move on to guessing games and more competitive activities. Give out prizes that your guests can take home with them. And, of course, make time for the mother-to-be to open her presents and keep track of who gave which gift.

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6. Hire a photographer

Not every expectant mother wants a photographer at her baby shower, but hiring a professional will allow your guests to put their own cameras away and be more engaged in the party. It saves you the trouble of having to designate someone to take pictures or video at the event.

If the mother-to-be doesn’t want a photographer at the party, however, consider hiring a photographer to take maternity pictures on another occasion instead.

7. Decorate the venue

The last item on your baby shower checklist will be preparing the venue on the day of the event. Plan ahead by purchasing matching tablecloths and table settings, or arranging for your caterer or Peerspace host to provide them. Consider buying or renting balloons, flowers, and any other decor you may need to fit the theme of your party.

Don’t forget to have plenty of comfortable seating options. If the mother-to-be is tired, she’ll likely prefer comfy cushions over a seat at the kitchen table. If the baby shower is outdoors, be sure to have some shady spots and a covered seating area in case of inclement weather.

Additional considerations

Once you’ve worked through your baby shower checklist, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that all of your big decisions are taken care of. Now, you can relax and enjoy the party, as well as keep an eye on the mother-to-be to make sure she’s having fun and enjoying herself, too.

Be mindful of the energy of the party and time just in case the guest of honor is getting tired. Have a plan for someone to stay behind and clean up, and somebody else to pack up the gifts and help the mother-to-be bring them home.

With a little care and attention, you can throw the perfect baby shower that will make the guest of honor feel loved and appreciated at this special time in her life.

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