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Baby Shower Planning Timeline

A baby shower is a time for celebration. To make sure the baby shower you host is one that guests talk about for a long time, in a positive way, do yourself a favor and follow this baby shower planning timeline.

If you're planning to have a baby shower for the mother-to-be before her scheduled delivery, it's best to select a shower date that's at least 6 to 8 weeks before the baby is scheduled to arrive. That allows time for the unexpected, such as when the baby wants to come into this world sooner than the doctor planned.

Here is the suggested timeline:

6 to 8 Weeks Prior to Baby Shower Event

  • With or without the expectant mother begin working on the guest list and decide a date and time for the shower, whether there will be a theme, and where the shower will be held
  • Reserve the shower location and corresponding details, if necessary
  • Order/purchase baby shower invitations
  • Put together food and beverage list
  • Mother-to-be should set up baby gift registry (optional) and forward details to host

4 to 6 Weeks Prior to Baby Shower Day

  • Finalize guest list, address and mail invitations
  • Coordinate shower games including prizes
  • Shop for shower favors
  • Shop for decorations and coordinating paper goods (streamers, centerpieces, signage, flags, etc.)
  • Finalize/coordinate the menu details

3 Weeks Prior to Baby Shower Day

  • Confirm reservation for shower if being held somewhere other than home
  • If holding shower at home, begin gathering ample tables, chairs, serving utensils, platters and bowls to accommodate all guests and food

1 Week Prior to Baby Shower Day

  • Outline baby shower schedule of activities – games, food, gift opening, and entertainment
  • Contact guests who did not RSVP so you can finalize guest count
  • If shower will be held at home, start cleaning
  • Order cake
  • Order flowers/floral arrangements (optional)
  • Begin shopping for food ingredients
  • Prepare foods that can be frozen
  • Coordinate transportation to and from location for mother-to-be (remember she'll leave with much more than she arrived with!)

2 Days Prior to Baby Shower Party

  • Rearrange furniture to accommodate guests' table and chairs
  • Decorate
  • Reconfirm cake order
  • Reconfirm shower location details (if applicable)
  • Identify and decorate a gift table
  • Begin prep work for food

1 Day Before

  • Finish preparing food
  • Finish cleaning house
  • Select a comfortable chair for mother-to-be and position it prominently
  • Get cameras ready
  • Order balloons to mark the party location
  • Put out garbage receptacles/bags for wrappings and other trash

Day of Baby Shower Party

  • If shower is being held somewhere other than home, arrive before shower begins to decorate and to check on food, drinks, cake, and other details.


  • Arrange food and beverages on designated tables
  • Pick up flowers/floral arrangements
  • Pick up balloon bouquets
  • Pick up cake
  • Greet guests upon arrival
  • Stick to the schedule of activities
  • Try to relax and have fun too!