Baby Shower Planning Checklist

Doesn’t it seem like lately everyone is pregnant and we seem to be planning and going to Baby Showers every weekend! Baby Showers are a great way to shower mom with love and affection, and help her get everything ready before baby arrives. Of course all moms want their shower to be perfect, and that puts a lot of pressure on the relatives and friends involved behind the scenes. The role of hostess has evolved and can include anyone in the mom-to-be’s life. In this article we outline some tips and include all the baby shower planning checklists to help you ensure that everything runs smoothly.

We outline our suggested timeline leading up to the shower; this can be used as a guideline for planning of your shower.

Baby Shower Planning Checklist
Everything you need to plan the perfect Baby Shower

Baby Shower Planning Checklist and Timeline:

7 weeks in advance:

  • Consult the guest of honour and find a convenient time and date, try to plan it so that all the special people can be there – like close friends and family. For a surprise shower plan a girls lunch or an alternate event to ensure that mom is free to attend the shower. Traditionally, baby showers are held when the mom is about 7 months pregnant. This also gives the expectant parents time to still purchase any gifts that they still need and exchange any duplicate items with everything packed and ready before baby arrives. Plan to invite the guests to come before the mom to ensure that everyone is ready when the guest of honour arrives. Another tip is to send out save the dates so that all the important guests are aware and keep the time open for the shower.
  • Create a guest list of all that mom-to-be would like invited. Try and get email addresses or contact info, some friends will also be able to provide this info if the party is secret.
  • Determine the budget for the shower, this will depend on how many guests will be invited and which party venue, the time of the party, menu and party favours you can afford. If you have R5000 and 10 guests then you can splurge but R5000 with 100 guests will mean that you may have to cut back on some grand ideas.
  • Choose a location that will be convenient, ideas include a friend or relative’s home or a restaurant. Consider the time of year, for example an outside garden can be suitable in warmer times of the year but you may need a backup plan in case of rain. Make a booking for the restaurant if required.
  • Decide on a theme. Keep mom-to-be in mind in terms of her tastes and a theme that she would like! A new trend is to have a baby shower for both mom and dad. Other ideas for dad include a nappy braai/ nappy party where the boys meet to celebrate over a few drinks, braai and maybe a game of pool. Each of dad’s guests brings a pack of nappies as a gift, which is where the name comes from. Experts also advise to choose a theme related to the baby nursery so that some of the decorations can be used in the nursery later on as a reminder of the special day.


6 weeks in advance:

  • Prepare invitations; will you be emailing, printing them out or sending over Facebook or a phone messenger service like Whatsapp? Another idea is to create an event on Facebook, but if this is a surprise make sure that you change the settings so that mom doesn’t see! Ensure that you give the guests plenty time to reserve the date and decide in advance if you will be allowing kids so that other parents have time to reserve a baby sitter. Include all relevant info like the date and time, location, RSVP info and any other special info for example dressing to the theme.
  • Is there a gift registry? Some baby specialist stores like Baby City have a wonderful registry system that mom can make use of.
  • Plan the menu. Will each guest bring a plate of snacks, or will a restaurant cater the food? Will the food be themed? Also check if none of the guests have any food allergies. A fun idea can also be to include any of the cravings that the expectant mom has had, like for a comfort food craving serve mini sliders, nachos, chicken wings, etc. For a sweet craving, create more of a high tea or tea party feel with cupcakes and mini desserts. Try to choose food that can be made in advance to avoid any last minute rushing around so that you can focus on the guest of honour. Plan refreshments for the party.


5 weeks in advance:

  • Investigate options for tableware, tables and chairs to ensure that you have enough.
  • Decide on the decorations and any other table décor.
  • Think about any party games that you would like to play, and decide if you will be giving out prizes or party favours. Decide if the party will be more organised or more casual, an agenda can help plan the time so that you know how long you have for each activity. Read out post on Baby Shower Games for some ideas.


3 weeks in advance:

  • Buy or make the desired decorations (non-floral), including table décor, props or prizes for the games and party favours if you have chosen these options.
  • Designate someone to pick up the guest of honour and bring her to the party.


2 weeks in advance:

  • If in a restaurant, confirm the reservation.
  • Check tableware and serving dishes, clean table linens if necessary.


1 week in advance:

  • Call guests who have not sent an RSVP.
  • Buy all ingredients or prepared dishes that can be made ahead of time.
  • Reconfirm with guests who are bringing dishes.
  • Check tableware and serving dishes, clean table linens if necessary.


1 day in advance:

  • Finish preparing the food or buy food.
  • Set up table and decorations.
  • Set up a table for gifts and designate a person who will be in charge of writing down which guest brought which gift to help mom remember. Use this checklist to remember who gifted what.
  • Another person can help mom repackage the gifts to take home. Have a rubbish bin ready for any of the discarded gift-wrap.
  • A good idea can be to set out a special chair for mom to sit in that is very comfortable, this can be a nice touch if mom is very close to her due date.


On the day:

  • Ensure that plans are on track to get the guest of honour to the party.
  • Set out all food and refreshments.
  • Introduce guests to one another.
  • Take photos of the special day.
  • Lay out the rules if you are planning baby shower games.
  • Make this a truly memorable experience for the guest of honour and have fun!


Another wonderful idea is to setup a gift registry for the new mom.

Some baby specialist stores like Baby City have a wonderful registry system that mom can make use of or you can go the Plumfund route and do an online baby registry.

Plumfund allows friends and family to raise money and collect funds for the new bundle. You can setup a baby shower fund for the new parents and ask their family and friends to contribute so that you can afford the bigger ticket items like a Travel System. It is so easy to use, have a look at their website for details.

Here are some other checklists that you can use to help you plan. Remember to have fun and enjoy the shower, with a bit of planning this doesn’t have to be a stressful experience!


Real Simple Planning Checklist:

Moms who think Planning Checklist:

Guest Check List:

Baby Shower Menu Checklist:

Baby Shower Food Checklist, we suggest including a column stating who will be doing what:

Baby Shower Supply Checklist:

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