Timing is everything and as the host of a baby shower, it may seem like you never have enough of it. Between selecting a date for your baby shower, picking out a venue, and ordering the cake, it’s safe to say you have your hands full.
Planning a successful baby shower requires staying organized and budgeting the right amount of time to celebrate the mom-to-be. You’ll want guests to have enough time to enjoy themselves without being rushed. However, you also don’t want anyone to feel like the celebration is too long.
So, what is the right amount of time? How long should a baby shower last? There are a few things you should take into consideration in order to create a fun-filled baby shower for all guests– especially the expectant mom.
- How Long are Baby Showers?
- Baby Shower Games and Activities Timeline
- How Long Does Gift Opening Last at a Baby Shower
- Other Things to Consider When Throwing A Baby Shower
Baby showers last on average 2-3 hours, depending on what’s planned for the celebration. Plan for enough time to enjoy all of the baby shower games and activities you have planned for the day. Factor in things like the opening of gifts, snacking on hors d’oeuvres and cake, and catching up with friends and family. Two to three hours will give guests enough time to get to know each other better and have fun with the mother-to-be. You should also keep in mind that the expectant mother will likely be tired after two hours of fun and celebration.
First, it’s important to budget enough time for all of the guests to arrive, especially if you know of an aunt with a habit of running late. Once guests are present and have signed the baby shower guest book, you can start your agenda. To figure out what activities to plan, make a list of your favorite games and activities. Do they fall within the goal timeline of the baby shower? If it’s too long, cut back on your activity list so you can give your favorite games your full attention. Too short of a list? Ask the mother-to-be what she wants planned for her baby shower.
It’s a good idea to give yourself a lot of extra free time in the schedule so your guests don’t feel pressured. Figuring out how long each activity should take will also help you get an estimate on how long your baby shower will last. Here are some recommended baby shower activities and their timelines:
1. Baby Photo Match Up (20 minutes):
Print out a baby photo and current photo of each guest. Split the group into two or three teams (depending on the group size) and give them the baby and current photos of another group. Make sure these photos are scrambled. Give guests five minutes to match up all the photos. After five minutes, Go through each group and correct/confirm the matches. Teams with the most matched photos win! Give guests time after to see all the baby photos of their friends and family.
2. Crafted Baby Gifts (1 hour +):
This is a great way to have fun and make something together that the mother-to-be can use. Buy plain colored or white bibs, onesies, or quilt squares and baby-safe decorating tools. Let guests make their own designs on the supplies, either honoring the mother or just adding their own personality. You can also let guests use their electronic devices to create photo gifts, such as customized fleece blankets.
3. Create Your Own Crostini Bar (45 minutes):
This is a fun, easy way to feed your guests. Buy a wide array of crostini bread, spreads, and toppings. Allow guests time to create their favorite foods as well as eat their creations and chat with other guests. You can also pair it with a virgin mimosa, sangria, or cocktail station.
The time is takes to finish gift opening at a baby shower can drastically change the how long a baby shower lasts. Some mothers and guests prefer not having a gift opening at all, as they find them too long or even a little awkward. And if you have a large guestlist, you might want to consider cutting this part of the baby shower all together.
If you choose to do a traditional gift opening, make sure that you have a set plan to keep things moving. Consider doing the baby gift opening while serving food and drinks or sticking to a set time per gift. Keep in mind that the recommended time for baby shower gift opening is an hour or less.
There’s a lot to do when planning a baby shower. That why we’ve included a few helpful tips when creating your baby shower schedule:
- Establish a set end time. This will help keep you and guests on track so you have plenty of time to hand out those baby shower party favors and say your goodbyes.
- Include the start time and end time on the baby shower invitations. That way your guests know ahead of time and can plan on 2-3 hours of fun.
- If it’s not the mother’s first baby or if she doesn’t want a big party, consider throwing a baby sprinkle. These toned-down celebrations are more relaxed, and so is their timeline.
- Remember to enjoy all of the little details you spent so much time putting together and spend some time with mom-to-be on the day of her celebration.
For more planning tips and tricks, you can reference our helpful guides and assure you’re following proper etiquette:
- If you’re unsure of who to invite to a baby shower, use our article and tips while creating the guest list to be sure you don’t miss any of mom-to-be’s VIP’s.
- Make sure your invitations get to where they need to go and your guests know what time to arrive. Check out our guides for baby shower invitation wording and etiquette for when to send baby shower invitations.
- If you’re looking for more inspiration, take a quick peek at our articles that feature baby shower themes and favors to assist with the overall theme of your shower.
- Still lost on what to include in your baby shower? Check out our guide on what to do at a baby shower.