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When is the Best Time to Plan a Baby Shower?

Baby showers are great fun to plan and even better to attend! They’re meant to celebrate pure joy and assist in setting up new parents for success as they embark on an unfamiliar stage of life. It’s a chance to get loved ones together to “shower” the parents-to-be with thoughtful and practical gifts that will welcome a brand-new person into the world. By design, the guest list includes family members and close friends; there are fewer “have to” invitations than with any other kind of party. Egos and personalities usually fall by the wayside and expectations of perfection simply don’t have a place to rest. With all things considered — when to plan a baby shower? Following are some planning tips to make sure your baby shower is a success.

1. Determine a date and time for the baby shower

First and foremost, if the mother-to-be is the one you are showering, keep her health and comfort at the top of your list! The second trimester is a fun time to be pregnant: if nothing else, she usually has an appetite and level of energy that may be lacking in the beginning and end of a pregnancy. Once the third trimester hits, she’s going to be tired and uncomfortable most of the time, with increasing frequency, until the baby is born.

With that in mind, six to eight weeks prior to the baby’s birth is ideal for when to plan a baby shower. And make sure you’re planning to throw the party far enough from the baby’s due date to allow the parents time to unpack and put away the gifts! Those dozens of onesies and hundreds of tiny socks don’t fold themselves. Even better: after the baby shower, extend an offer to help, whether with a screwdriver or by saving them a trip and making returns of gifts that weren’t quite right.

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2. Choose a venue for the event

The venue should be practical and have enough space for all the guests. Regardless of when you choose to plan a baby shower, Peerspace offers a multitude of cozy, funky, interesting spaces of varying sizes and decor. After all, it’s the largest online marketplace for event venues. From a scenic rooftop garden in NYC to a bright and retro Los Angeles loft, there are nearly endless options to suit your tastes and theme. You can also call the Peerspace Concierge to get advice and tips on how to make your baby shower a flawless success. The service can also arrange for catering, chair and table rentals, A/V equipment, and more.

3. Consider guests’ travel arrangements

The most considerate (and, really, the only acceptable) thing to do is work around the parent-to-be and their travel preferences. If they’re in Arizona and their family is in North Carolina, it’s up to the honoree to decide when they’d like to travel. Also, find out whether the family anticipates traveling closer to the expected due date. Then, think about who is on the guest list — family, friends, or coworkers — and where they are geographically located.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to work through the most reasonable way to accommodate their needs. In many cases it’s perfectly appropriate to have a friend-only (or coworker-only) baby shower, allowing the family to have a private celebration of their own, if they choose. In the end, identifying those VIPs when planning a baby shower will set up your party — and your guest list — for success.

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4. Create a rough schedule detailing day-of activities

While planning silly games, a themed menu (mini candy bars and sparking blue drinks, anyone?), and brightly colored decorations, keep in mind guests are only going to be entertained by opening gifts and diaper-changing games for so long. When all is said and done, two and three hours is more than long enough for a baby shower. Some sort of game is absolutely required at the event.

Hopefully you’ve selected a venue that encourages a lighthearted sense of humor; guests will arrive during a reasonable time of day and, having not had to travel an unreasonable distance, they’ll be excited to join the fun! Choose the style of game that the future parents are most likely to find entertaining. Be mindful of comments about controversial subjects (e.g. politics, religion, etc.) and jokes to avoid offending anyone.

5. Send out the invitations to guests

Include the gift registry on the invitation, and send them far enough in advance of the baby shower to allow potential guests a chance to have gifts shipped. It’s nice to think that they will be able to find everything on the registry at their local store, but we all know that’s not always the case. Also, for guests who choose to stray from the registry (which we strongly recommend they do not do), at least the registry will give them an opportunity to gain some sort of idea of color and style preferences. We can’t have someone gift a monkey-themed quilt for an under-the-sea-themed nursery, can we?

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