main image of printable baby shower checklist: baby shower venue

Free Printable Baby Shower Checklist: 22 Easy Steps for a Great Party

Share With Your Friends

What should you not forget for a baby shower?

Planning a baby shower for a close friend or family member can be quite fun. You are celebrating a new life with people you love!

But it can also be a daunting task if you’re not typically a party planner.

That’s ok! I have the ultimate free printable baby shower checklist you can use to get you well on your way to planning the perfect party for the guest of honor.

It includes all the important details to plan a successful baby shower.

And if you’re looking for more help, sign up for the free printable baby shower checklist and get a discount on our baby shower planner. It removes all the stress of party planning.

“This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.”

“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”

What should you add to your baby shower checklist?

two sets of hands holding a pair of baby shoes
Photo by Alex Tim

3 – 4 Months Before

Discuss month and day of party with new parents

Unless you are planning a surprise shower, it is perfectly acceptable to discuss the plans with the parents-to-be. They may have other obligations and it’s best to find out the month and day they prefer. And if you are planning a surprise shower, you can let dad in on the surprise to get his help (if he can keep your secret).

What week is most common for baby shower?

Baby showers are usually held four to six weeks prior to the baby’s due date. This allows enough time that mom shouldn’t go into labor before the shower. And she’s still able to get around comfortably.

You’ll also want to consider the weather forecast when planning a baby shower. You can have a wonderful outdoor baby shower in the spring. Just be sure to have a backup plan in place in case of rain.

Have parents create their baby registry

If they haven’t done it already, now is the time for the parents to set up their baby registry. You will need to add the registry information to the baby shower invitations. And it should be mostly finalized by the time the invitations are sent.

Have parents create a guest list

A typical guest list for a baby shower includes women the mom is close to: female friends, family, and coworkers. Make sure you get the contact details for each guest: mailing address and also phone numbers, in case you need to contact someone about an RSVP.

Some families opt to hold two separate showers: one for mom’s side and one for dad’s. If you’re only having one shower, the women on dad’s side would be included as well.

Another option is a coed baby shower, which includes men and women that are important to both mom and dad. Planning a coed baby shower may take a little bit more work, especially when coming up with games and ways to keep the guys busy while gifts are opened. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done and it should be just as much fun.

How many guests is too many for a baby shower?

There are usually 20 – 50 guests at a typical baby shower. However, this depends on how large the families of each of the parents are, whether you will invite children and whether you are planning a coed baby shower.

diaper cake, drinks and cupcakes at a baby shower
Photo by Kampus Production

2 Months Before

Decide who will host and what duties to share

If you’re reading this, you may already know that you will be the one hosting this fabulous baby shower event. Or you’re already on the committee.

Whether it’s just you or you have a team, the two-month mark is the time to decide who’s in charge and what each person will be doing. Give tasks based on what people are good at, so not only will they enjoy what they are doing, it is also sure to get done on time.

If you really have no idea what to do or where to start, you could always hire an event planner to take over all of the party preparations or even just run the shower on the day of, so everyone can enjoy themselves.

Who should not host a baby shower?

The only people who should not be hosting a baby shower are the parents-to-be. It is seen as tacky and rude to host your own baby shower, as you are asking for gifts for yourself. When someone else does it, it’s perfectly acceptable.

It doesn’t mean that the new parents shouldn’t be included on the plans, unless you are having a surprise shower. Find out what kind of party and theme they would like, so they can enjoy it as much as everyone else.

Set a budget

Unless you have unlimited funds, you’re going to want to run some numbers on what you can realistically spend on this shower.

You’ll have to consider the location, the number of guests, food and drinks, decorations and supplies, games and prizes, and any professional services you may use.

The time of day, the location and the number of guests are going to be your main factors when making these considerations.

For example, a tea party themed shower, held in your backyard, with 10 or so guests is going to cost much less than an afternoon meal at a restaurant for 40 people.

This is why it is good to talk to mom early about what she’s expecting.

Who pays for a baby shower traditionally?

The host of the shower typically pays for the entire event. This is why it’s great to get several people to help out. Maybe if someone can’t contribute financially; they can help by handling the decorations, running the games on the day of, or taking pictures.

What is a realistic budget for a baby shower?

Figure on spending $20 – $30 a person, when planning your baby shower. Of course, inviting fewer people, choosing a cheaper location, or even making the food yourself could save you money.

baby shower favors
Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr.

6 Weeks Before

Choose a date

Before choosing a date, check with mom and dad and anyone close to the parents: grandmothers, siblings, or friends. If they are important to the expecting couple, you should try to choose a date that will include them.

It’s also a good idea to have a few ideas for a date before selecting your location, in case it’s not available on your specific day.

What time of day is best for a baby shower?

Hosting a shower after lunch may cut down on costs for food by serving light snacks and cake or even an afternoon tea. However, you could also hold your shower in the morning and host a brunch.

This is something you should also discuss with the mom-to-be. As her pregnancy progresses, she may be more tired in the afternoon, or she may still be experiencing morning sickness. It’s best to get her input to what suits her needs.

Book a location

Booking a location goes hand in hand with choosing a date. You can’t finalize your date without having the location, unless you are planning on holding the shower at the host’s home or the mom-to-be’s home.

Related: Best Baby Shower Venue for the Perfect Party

Select a theme

One of the most fun things about planning a shower is selecting a baby shower theme.

Your theme of the baby shower is going to determine the style of the invitations, the decorations, the favors, and maybe even your food.

You can choose a great theme based on any number of things: the gender of the baby, the theme of the nursery, a favorite color or something specific to mom and dad. The theme also determines whether the baby shower will be more chic or whimsical.

This is another decision to include the expectant mother on for her special day. If she truly doesn’t care about the theme and you’re not sure what to do, it’s a good idea to ask some of her close friends what she would most enjoy.

Order invitations

By now, you have the location, the date, the time, the theme and (hopefully) the information for the baby registries, so it’s time to order the baby shower invitations. To save money, you could also choose to make them yourself.

Some people may opt to email invitations or use social media to save money. However, for this occasion, it is better to send physical invitations. If there are older people who are not tech savvy, they will appreciate the paper invite.

And it’s a better way to track the RSVPs. Of course, you can choose to add social media or a number to receive a text message as an RSVP. Include an RSVP date of a week or two before the shower date.

Is it rude to put registry on baby shower invitation?

While proper etiquette may deem it inappropriate to put registry information on a baby shower invitation, the entire purpose of holding a baby shower is to shower the new parents with gifts for the new baby. Better to include it than have to field calls about what the couple would like.

table of cupcakes and food at a baby shower
Photo by fu zhichao

1 Month Before

Send invitations

You should send the invitations out a month or so before the shower to give the guest enough time to make plans and purchase a gift.

printable baby shower checklist: baby shower favors

Buy decorations, favors, prizes and game supplies

Since you’ve planned the theme, you can now purchase the baby shower decorations, favors, prizes and game supplies. If you’re planning an afternoon tea, you want to plan games accordingly. No sniffing chocolate “poopy” diapers.

How many games do you play at a baby shower?

If you allow 5 minutes per game, 3 – 5 baby shower games will fill about a half an hour or a little more of shower time, so you’ll still have plenty of time to eat, open gifts and mingle. You can also add a fun game as the mom opens her gifts, a door prize, or even a prize for each table.

How many prizes do you give at a baby shower?

You should have at least 2 – 3 gifts for each game, in case there is more than one winner. And any additional prizes you would like to give out.

You could choose to wrap the prizes and have guests randomly choose when the win. Make a table of unopened prizes where guests can choose what they actually want.

Or you could set up a Chinese auction, where you set up baskets of prizes and winners get tickets to take a chance on a basket. If you choose this option, you should give out additional tickets to everyone who shows, so everyone at least has a chance at a prize.

Is it okay to not have favors at a baby shower?

While it is a nice gesture to offer your guests a favor, baby shower favors can be one of the more expensive items in your budget. Finding something inexpensive that people will actually use can be tricky, but if you buy items in bulk, you can save a lot of money. Even a simple thank you card for each guest would be a nice gesture.

Plan food and drinks

If you’re having the baby shower at a restaurant or somewhere similar, they will offer you items from their menu to choose from. If you’re not having the baby shower at a restaurant, then you need to come up with your own baby shower menu. You’ll have to either hire a caterer or prepare the baby shower food yourself. You’ll also want to consider any known food allergies of mom or guests.

How many dishes should you have at a baby shower?

If you host your baby shower after lunch, you’ll only need to provide light snacks. But if you’re having a bigger meal, you’ll want 4 – 5 dishes for guests to choose from.

Order cake and cookies

Find a nearby bakery or a good friend who bakes and order all your sweet treats.

Should there be a cake at a baby shower?

Everyone loves cake! And it’s a great way to incorporate your theme into the shower. If you don’t want to splurge on a baby shower cake, you could always do cake pops and cookies. Although you can always do cake pops and cookies, along with cake.

baby shower venue
Photo by Antony Trivet

1 – 2 Weeks Before

Finalize headcount and confirm RSVPs

Depending on the date you included in the invitations, start to get a final guest count about a week before, and make phone calls to those who haven’t yet responded.

Confirm reservations (venue, food, rentals)

As you’re completing the headcount, make calls to the venue, your caterer or bakery, and rental companies and give them any final numbers they may need. And make sure everything is set up correctly.

Plan layout and seating

For a baby shower held anywhere but in a someone’s home, you should plan the layout of the venue. You can also choose to set up a seating chart, if you like. If you don’t do an entire seating chart, reserve a table for the mom and dad and grandparents.

Wrap prizes

If you choose to wrap the prizes, go ahead and do that or put together gift baskets. And don’t forget to wrap the gift you got for the guest of honor.

pregnant couple at their baby shower
Photo by Paola Vasquez

Day of the Shower

Prep snacks, food or drinks

Since you’ve ordered all that delicious food, get to the venue early so you can prepare the food, drinks and desserts so they are displayed beautifully.

Set up and decorate party space

It’s time to put the finishing touches on the party space with the themed decorations.

Track gifts and have someone take pictures

As the guest of honor opens her gifts, have someone write down the guest’s name and the gift, making it easier for mom to write her thank you notes later.

You’ll also want to have someone available to take pictures during the event, so mom can remember everything that happened and everyone who came.

How do you make a gift opening fun at a baby shower?

One way to make opening gifts fun is to play gift bingo. You print out blank bingo cards and guests enter what gifts the mom will receive. The first person to get bingo wins, and you can have as many additional winners as you like.

Another way to make opening gifts fun is to set a timer for every 10 minutes or so, and whoever’s gift is being open when the timer goes off, gets a prize. (Or a ticket for the Chinese auction.)

Clean up party space

When the party is over, it’s your job as the host to clean up. The guest of honor should not be included in the clean-up process.

thank you card with pen
Photo by George Dolgikh

1 – 2 Weeks After

Help parents with thank you notes

Writing thank you notes can be quite overwhelming, especially if the baby comes before they are finished.

To help the new mom with this task, you could address the envelopes and stamp them while momma writes and then offer to mail them for her. You could even have the guests write out their own information at the shower and use the envelopes to as way to give out a door prize.


There you have it: everything included on our printable baby shower checklist to help you with the baby shower planning process. The free printable baby shower checklist can walk you through everything you need to do months in advance through the day of the shower.

And if you need more help, remember to grab the discount for the baby shower planner below.

I hope you have a perfect baby shower, and the guest of honor has a wonderful time! Let us know how it went in the comments.

Related Articles for Printable Baby Shower Checklist:

printable baby shower checklist: pregnant woman

Free Printable Baby Shower Checklist: 22 Easy Steps for a Great Party

printable baby shower checklist: planning checklists


printable baby shower checklist: baby shower cart with decorations

Table of Contents

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *