Last Updated: Apr 17, 2017
During the mom-to-be’s pregnancy journey, baby showers are one of the most memorable events she’ll take part in! Between being showered with gifts for baby-to-be and indulging in sweet baby shower games, a baby shower is a special occasion that allows the mom-to-be to catch up with her supportive loved ones and reflect before she enters motherhood. Baby shower planning might seem confusing at first since there are certain tips to follow and baby shower etiquette guidelines to keep in mind. You may have questions such as, who should host a baby shower or who pays for a baby shower? However, once you learn the do’s and don’ts on how to throw a successful baby shower, your expectations as a hostess will be easier than you think.
If you’re in need of a specific baby shower etiquette FAQ, skip to a specific section below to find your answer directly:
- When Should the Baby Shower Be Held?
- Where Should the Baby Shower Be Held?
- Who Do You Invite to a Baby Shower?
- Can the Dad to Be and Men Attend the Baby Shower?
- Should You Choose a Baby Shower Theme?
- What Information Goes on the Baby Shower Invitation?
- Who Should Guests RSVP to?
- When to Send Baby Shower Invitations?
- What Do You Do at a Baby Shower?
- When Should the Guest of Honor Send Thank You Notes?
When Should the Baby Shower Be Held?
Baby showers can be held anytime between the sixth or eighth month of the mom-to-be’s pregnancy. If you’re counting by weeks, 28-32 weeks is an ideal time to host a baby shower. Before setting an official date, you should talk with the mom-to-be and make sure the prospective date works for her since she’ll likely have scheduled doctor’s appointments on her calendar. She’ll also be able to let you know the gender of the baby which can influence many of your baby shower specifics. You can also go the extra mile and check the date with grandparents and other close family members who are important in the mom’s life.
Where Should the Baby Shower Be Held?
Baby showers can be held at a variety of places, but are usually held at the home of the mom-to-be or the hostess. However, you can also hold the baby shower at another family member’s home if that’s more preferable. If you plan on inviting more than 35 guests, you should consider renting out a local venue or private room at a restaurant to accommodate all of your attendees.
Who Do You Invite to a Baby Shower?
Close friends and family members should be invited to the baby shower. You should always consult with the mom-to-be on the guestlist though, just in case she has any co-workers or friends she wants to add to the list. The mom-to-be also may have a few people she doesn’t want to attend so it’s a good idea to run the final guest list by her before sending out invitations. If you have a few distant but extremely important relatives who are unable to attend, you can consider Skyping them during the mom-to-be thank you speech.
Can the Dad to Be and Men Attend the Baby Shower?
While traditional baby showers consist of women only, co-ed baby showers are becoming more and more common. However, if you’re looking to throw a traditional baby shower and still have the dad-to-be attend, this is completely acceptable and appropriate as most dad-to-be’s will want to thank guests before they leave.
Should You Choose a Baby Shower Theme?
Yes, you should choose a baby shower theme to help make your planning process easier. Baby showers require a lot of work and organization. Choosing a baby shower theme can help you make decisions faster, since your theme will unify your baby shower decoration ideas, cake ideas, and baby shower invitation designs. Plus, baby shower themes feel festive and the mom-to-be will be overjoyed by your attention to detail and the thought of it all. You can explore a variety of boy baby shower themes and girl baby shower themes, or you can opt for a gender neutral theme like a safari-themed baby shower.
What Information Goes on the Baby Shower Invitation?
Before sending out baby shower invitations, double-check to make sure you have all the necessary information listed on the invite. The following items will help guests save the baby shower date, dress accordingly, and RSVP on time:
- Name of Mom-To-Be and host(s)
- Phone number of main host
- RSVP (provide information on how to RSVP)
- Registry information for baby shower
- Theme of the baby shower (if applicable)
- Dress code (formal or casual)
- Specify if the guests need to bring anything
- Specify if the baby shower is adults only
Who Should Guests RSVP to?
Guests should RSVP with the hostess of the baby shower, not the mom-to-be. The mom-to-be won’t be managing invites most likely so if you list a return address on the invite, be sure to list the return address of the hostess, in addition to providing a corresponding contact number.
When to Send Baby Shower Invitations?
Baby shower invitations should be sent out four to six weeks before the baby shower occurs, according to standard baby shower etiquette. You’ll want to send baby shower invites out early to account for loved ones or friends who may be traveling from out of town to attend the baby shower. Find more tips to complete your timeline using our guide on when to send baby shower invitations.
What Do You Do at a Baby Shower?
The purpose of a baby shower is for family and friends to shower the parents-to-be with gifts and needs for the baby. Baby showers help the parents-to-be get a head start on items such as diapers, baby clothes, and more. However, there is plenty more to do at a baby shower before the gift giving segment. In addition to setting up hors d’oeuvres and drinks, the hostess can set aside time for guests to play fun baby shower games that are interactive and keep your guests entertained. Additionally, you can set up advice cards or a message wall where guests can write down words of wisdom for the mom-to-be. It is also standard for the mom-to-be, dad-to-be, hostess, and grandparents to give brief speeches and share their sentiments towards the end of the baby shower. Lastly, don’t forget to send guests off with cute baby shower favors as baby shower etiquette.
When Should the Guest of Honor Send Thank You Notes?
The honoree should send thank you notes to her baby shower attendees two to three weeks after the baby shower. Sending out thank you cards for gifts you received is a highly recommended gesture after a baby shower has occurred and is proper baby shower etiquette. If your little one arrives early though, take your time with sending out baby shower thank you cards until you’re settled in with baby. If you’re unable to send out thank you cards prior to your birth, you can also include a thank you message about your gifts when sending out your custom birth announcements. Be sure to designate someone to write down who gave which gifts, during the gift opening segment at the baby shower, so the mom-to-be can easily follow along with what to write in a baby shower thank you card later.
If you’re hosting a baby shower, make sure you ask close family members and friends of the honoree to pitch in financially and lend some help the day of the baby shower. Although you’re responsible for planning the baby shower and making sure it goes well, you’ll need a bit of help to honor the mom-to-be. Remember to also have some fun yourself at the baby shower and share a smile with the blooming honoree.