So you’re tasked with planning a baby shower for your sister or BFF. Now what do you do? Never fear! PAPYRUS is here to give you a baby shower timeline and clear up all your questions.

Throwing a Baby Shower

Who should throw the shower these days? The task can fall to a friend, relative, coworker, or in-law. The important thing is to show the mother-to-be a little love.

When to Plan a Baby Shower

What month should you throw a baby shower? And how far in advance? Well … ask the mama-to-be. She’ll help you come up with a time and a date for her party. In general, hold a baby shower around the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy. At that point, the mother is well into her pregnancy, but not so far into it that she’s super uncomfortable (yet!). Time of year/month will depend on the due date. In general, shoot for a mid-morning or early afternoon baby shower, but, really, anything goes.

Make Your Guest List and Choose a Venue

Hosting at your home? Renting out a room in a restaurant? Or book a church hall? Work within your budget to host a baby shower. Once you determine location, build a guest list from there, accommodating the number of invitees with the space and your finances.

Send Out Invitations

The rule of thumb is to send out invitations six weeks ahead of the shower. That allows guests to plan well in advance and to RSVP so you have a headcount for food and drinks.

Plan the Actual Party

Get all your details in a row two to three weeks before the party—the earlier the better. If you’re going with a theme, start purchasing party supplies in advance to fit that theme or color scheme. Create an agenda for the party, including any shower games, time to open presents, and plenty of time to mingle.

Planning a baby shower without knowing the gender? No problem. Stick to a neutral theme (travel, ducks, woodlands) or gender-neutral colors, like green or yellows. If you’re considering party favors, get those ahead of time to be sure they’re in for the shower.

How to Plan a Baby Shower Menu

Whether you’re planning a sit-down brunch or something less formal, you can offer delicious fare for the baby shower. Think light, healthy foods to celebrate the new mama. (Keep in mind that pregnant women are told to stay away from cold deli meats and unpasteurized cheeses.) Ideas for your baby shower menu:

  • Build-your-own yogurt parfaits
  • Dips
  • Cheeses
  • Kabobs
  • Crostinis
  • Sausage balls
  • Cold pasta salads
  • Quiches and tarts
  • A selection of fruits
  • A punch or mocktail
  • Cake or cupcakes (or both)

Pick the Right Gift

Our best advice when choosing a baby shower gift: Go for either practical or sentimental. Either is a winner.

Our picks for sentimental gifts:

Our picks for practical gifts:

  • Rock'n Play (trust us on this!)
  • Swaddle or muslin blankets
  • Diapers (in all sizes) and wipes
  • Bottles (ask the mom which brand she’d prefer) and nipples in varying sizes
  • Gift cards
  • Baby shower thank you cards (that way the mom-to-be can easily express her gratitude to everyone who came to the shower!)