Baby Shower Checklist: Your Ultimate How-To Guide

Baby showers are and should be a joyous occasion to celebrate the future birth of a new child. It is one of the most exciting times in the new mom’s life and for the dad. Grandparents are also looking forward to the birth of a new or perhaps their first grandchild. But this is a day for the women to celebrate, give gifts and have fun. Dads and granddads sometimes attend, but in most cases, the men get together for a game of golf or some other activity to celebrate.

A well-organized baby shower can be fun and generate many baby gifts for the new mom, which will be much appreciated. Playing games, taking pictures, and lots of food and beverages are consumed. However, there are some things to avoid at a baby shower and many items that should be considered, including timing and who attends. We will cover some of these ideas and concepts in the following post.

What Is a Baby Shower Checklist?

Most people like to organize and plan the baby shower to ensure it is a success and everyone enjoys themselves. Using a checklist helps keep track of all of the items that must be completed and when they need to be completed. The baby shower checklist should also identify the actions each person is responsible for. For example, the mother-to-be needs to complete her registry, which lists all of the items they need at a local store, so guests can choose those items they wish to give as gifts. The host has another list since they prepare the party, arrange for food, party favors, send invitations, and much more.

What is a Baby Shower Checklist Template?

A baby shower checklist template can be downloaded and personalized to the type of baby shower you plan. For example, one that is being held in someone’s home requires many different activities to be completed vs. one that is being hosted at a venue.

A venue will provide the staff and the food and provide various services to the gathering. While you need to decide what will be served, the venue will ensure that all the food and party services are provided.

The baby shower checklist template is very useful to ensure that the host and the mother to be, do not forget details needed to be addressed as the day of the shower approaches. Unless you arrange baby showers regularly, which most of us do not, the template helps to avoid missing important details that could mar the happy day.

Baby Shower Checklist Templates & Examples

    When Is the Best Time to Have the Baby Shower?

    The timing of a baby shower is very personal for many women. Many prefer to wait until they begin to show a baby bump and have passed the 2nd trimester. Waiting until several weeks before the expected birth of the baby also risks missing the shower if the birth is unexpectedly early. Also, some women find they are more tired towards the end of their pregnancy, while others find they have more energy as the birth date draws near.

    For many, it depends on what works for your family and the person hosting the event. One of the key requirements is that pregnant moms need to have completed their registry indicating the things they need for their baby. A registry provides great ideas for those buying gifts at various prices and usually avoids duplicates.

    Leaving the shower late in the pregnancy could mean that thankyou notes, washing clothes, unpacking gifts, and setting up the nursery must be completed after the baby arrives. A combination of sleepless nights and exhaustion can make this a challenge for many new moms.

    Timing a shower around other holidays also adds complications, especially if some people must travel. Venues might be difficult to find, and the date must work for the key people you want to attend. Grandparents, sisters, and close friends must coordinate their holiday plans around your shower date. During the pandemic, many people opted for virtual baby showers, which made arrangements much easier to organize.

    Do I Have to Follow the Exact Timeline?

    The short answer is “no”. The host of the baby shower should work closely with the new mom to sort out the best timeline for the shower. Take into account the needs of the host, the health of the baby and the mom, and the logistics, especially if many people need to travel around holidays.

    Many people prefer the beginning of the 3rd trimester; however, there is no firm rule as to when to hold the baby shower. One strong suggestion is to complete your registry well before the shower to provide your guests with adequate time to purchase baby shower gifts and bring them to the shower.

    Casual gatherings take less time to plan, while less casual and formal gatherings take more time, and planning must start well in advance of the date of the shower. If you wish the shower to be held at the beginning of the last trimester and you need a venue to host the shower, start early. Decide how many guests there will be and select a venue well in advance that can accommodate your shower.

    Baby Shower Checklist (for Parents)

    There are baby shower checklist items for the new parents. Planning helps make your baby shower day a success.

    Beginning of 3rd Trimester

    • Decide in conjunction with the host if you will have the baby shower before or after the baby arrives and how close to the actual expected date.
    • Register your baby registry and provide the guests with the online address. Your friends and family will appreciate the list. They can start thinking about what they would like to purchase and avoids duplicates.
    • Develop your guest list – with or without kids, husbands, and wives or women only. Always consider the capacity of the venue, especially if the shower will be held in someone’s home.

    The Baby Shower

    • Relax and enjoy the day; after all, you’re the guest of honor!
    • Sit back and enjoy the celebration; your host should have all of the activities under control
    • If you are the control type, you may want to spend some time with the host to review her plans for the day to avoid uncomfortable surprises
    • Most baby showers are held away from the new mom’s home. You will need to arrange for your gifts to be brought to your home.

    After the Baby Shower

    Once the baby shower is over, there may not be much time to prepare for the baby’s arrival.

    • Sending thank you cards is always good etiquette and appreciated by your guests, and they should be sent within two weeks of the shower.
    • Unpack your gifts and arrange them in the nursery
    • Wash all clothes to avoid irritation of your baby’s skin
    • Make your final preparations for the big day.

    Baby Shower Checklist (for the Host)

    The host of the baby shower has many more items to look after in preparation for the baby shower. Depending on the number of people attending, a venue may be required instead of holding the shower at your home.

    At Least Two Months Before the Shower

    • Often, a close friend, hosts the party; however, family members and co-workers can also host the baby shower. Sometimes a group will get together; however, it is important for one person to take the lead.
    • Determine a budget to cover food, decorations, and a venue if it is not held at someone’s home. Some showers can be handled as a potluck, where everyone brings a dish. It is also a good idea to keep track of your costs to avoid going over budget.

    Six Weeks from the Baby Shower

    • Finalize the date of the shower. Work closely with the new mom, her parents, and guests to pick a time when key guests can make a date. Decide if the shower will be held on a weekend, during the week at lunch (work-related), or in the evening. Select a time of day.
    • Decide on a theme only if you feel that your budget can afford it. Start planning early if you need to purchase theme-related items. Venue arrangements, games, and party favors should be considered as well.
    • Finalize the location to match your theme. An afternoon elegant party may require a more intimate space compared to a casual outdoor gathering. If it is to be outdoors, always arrange a backup plan in case of inclement weather.
    • Place an order for the invitations only once you have all of the information together, e.g., date, time, and location. Provide a contact person, the baby registry details, RSVP deadline, and directions to the venue. Include an address for gifts to be delivered, especially for virtual showers.
    • Many people use email to send invitations. Set up a template with all of the details and provide your email address as a return address. Email is faster and environmentally friendly.

    A Month Before the Shower

    • Send out the invitations four weeks before the shower. Guests have sufficient time to plan for travel, take time off work and avoid conflicts on their calendars.
    • Finalize plans for the food and beverages. Will everything be catered, or is a potluck the theme for the day? Potlucks can be coordinated with each person bringing a baby shower-themed item that is pregnancy-friendly. Consider any guests that have food allergies.

    Two Weeks Before the Shower

    • Finalize your headcount and follow up on guests that have not responded. Not everyone is as organized as the host of the baby shower.
    • Confirm any reservations for venues, food, beverages, party favors, etc. don’t forget to check with the person hosting the shower if the shower is being held at someone’s home.
    • Make sure you have everything you need for the shower – decorations, party favors, games, and any special arrangements you have put together for the baby shower.

    Day of the Baby Shower

    • Prep as much food as possible the day before the shower
    • Arrange for cold drinks to be ready in the fridge, coolers, or on ice, etc.
    • Decorate the party space
    • Arrange for balloons or decorations at the entrance of the party space
    • Assign one person to keep track of gifts and write down who they are from as they are opened
    • Don’t forget to take photos. If you do not have a photographer, assign one or two people to take pictures.
    • Have a great time and avoid heavy conversations that become a drag on the celebration.

    Not-To-Do List: Things You Should NOT Do at a Baby Shower

    Many things should be considered when organizing and attending a baby shower. There are also things you should not do at a baby shower and also while organizing the baby shower. They can offend the mom-to-be, make it uncomfortable for the guests and ruin what should be a fun day for everyone. Our not-to-do list includes:

    • Don’t forget to review the menu with the new mom, covering likes and dislikes, food allergies, and food preferences of pregnant ladies.
    • Don’t let the new mom do any of the work in the shower. They should relax and be able to enjoy the party.
    • Don’t play embarrassing games such as measuring the belly game. Not every new mom will enjoy this, and they may feel quite awkward about it.
    • It is a good idea to pre-approve games you plan to play with the new mom to ensure they are comfortable with the games planned for the shower.
    • Don’t forget to have someone take pictures and share the pictures at the end of the day. These are great memories that will be viewed many times.
    • Along with games, don’t place small plastic items in the ice cubes. They may seem cute but not so much once the ice cubes have melted and they are all floating on the top of the punch bowl.
    • Don’t forget to request RSVP to obtain an accurate headcount. It helps to know how many will attend and how much food and beverages to provide.
    • It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to show up. It is rude, and the least you can do is call or send a note explaining why you cannot make it. Sometimes life gets in the way.
    • Don’t forget to include a gift receipt. It is easier to return duplicates or exchange them for different sizes. The stores will be happy to provide you with a gift receipt.
    • · Do not forget to give clothing in various sizes. All babies are not the same size, and they grow out of things quickly
    • Don’t forget to give clothing that matches the season and the expected time the child will be able to wear the clothes.
    • If alcohol is being served, don’t get drunk and spoil the new mom’s special day, especially if you are an unruly drunk
    • Don’t provide gifts that the new mom has indicated she does not want. Stick to the registry list.
    • Avoid horror stories about labor, the birthing process, the first few nights, and other difficult times mothers and fathers have had to deal with. Keep it positive
    • Don’t be a negative complainer. Nothing worse than a complainer putting a damper on a party.


    The following are a few of the frequently asked questions hosts and moms to be, have about organizing a baby shower.

    Who pays for the baby shower?

    In many situations, the host will pay for the baby shower. However, there are many variations in who pays for the baby shower. The host provides her home for the shower and pays for the decorations and food; however, often, aunts and good friends may choose to help cover the costs.
    A group of friends or family getting together to hold a baby shower for someone may decide to divide the cost between them, and each brings some of the food. If you decide to have the event catered, everyone might be asked to chip in a few dollars to help cover the cost of the shower.

    How do you plan a baby shower on a low budget?

    Sometimes money is an issue for the host and the guests, and holding a shower on a low budget is a goal for the host and the guests. Baby showers can be held on a low budget and still make the mom-to-be very happy and provide a fun-filled day. After all, the most important thing is to be together with friends and have a good time.
    There are numerous ways to manage the total cost of the baby shower. The following are a few ideas for baby shower hosts and organizers to consider:
    · Hold the baby shower at someone’s home
    · Manage the guest list to keep costs low
    · Use digital invitations – email and various free apps
    · Pick a date when all of the key people will be in town and available
    · Provide your drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic
    · Ask someone to make a simple cake, sandwiches, and appetizers
    · Print games at home found online

    How much should I spend on a baby shower?

    The amount people spend on gifts for baby showers tends to vary a great deal depending on their relationship with the mom-to-be. For example, parents tend to give larger gifts than sisters, aunts, close friends, friends, and co-workers.
    · Co-workers and friends tend to spend approximately $20 to $40
    · Sisters and aunts tend to spend more, ranging from $40 to $100
    · Parents, close aunts, and even sisters tend to spend more. The sky is the limit, depending on what they can afford.
    Parents always want to spend more on their grandchildren; however, they may choose to keep their shower gifts reasonable to avoid overwhelming the baby shower. Their extra gifts can also be given at another time to help their children and grandchildren.

    Key Points

    A baby shower is a celebration for the mom-to-be and their new baby. It should be fun for everyone and positive. No need to scare the new mom with horror stories about birthing or raising children. It is a time to create positive feelings and celebrations.

    Many showers are held at someone’s home or in a conference room if the shower is being held at work. The host may be one person, or the host can be a group of family members or friends. Costs can be managed if expenses are an issue by holding the shower at home and taking advantage of online services. Costs can often be shared among the attendees.

    Large baby showers may require a separate venue. Outside venues require more advanced planning and organization to ensure the venue is available and large enough to accommodate everyone comfortably.

    It is always a good idea to review baby shower plans with the new mom to ensure they are comfortable with the games, the venue, the food, and who is being invited. A host wants this special day to be the best day for everyone and especially the new mom.