Whether it's a matter of timing, or whether the shower is for a child that's being adopted, or perhaps the shower is for a mother's second or third child, the only thing that's really different about a baby shower that's planned after the baby's arrival is the timeline.

Rather than planning this special occasion 6 to 8 weeks before the baby's expected delivery date, showers that are held afterwards are typically planned 4 to 6 weeks after the new child's arrival. This allows time for the family to settle in and develop a routine.

To make planning easier, use this baby shower planning timeline as your guide.

5 to 6 Weeks Before Shower

  • Host and/or new mother decide a date and time for the shower, whether there will be a theme, where the shower will be held, who will be invited, and whether guests should bring gifts
  • Reserve the shower location, if necessary
  • Order/purchase baby shower invitations
  • Put together food and beverage list

4 to 5 Weeks Before Shower

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

3 Weeks Before Shower

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

1 Week Before Shower

  • Outline baby shower schedule of activities – games, food, 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 new mother (remember she might be leaving with more than she arrived with!)/li>

2 Days Before Shower

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

1 Day Before Shower

  • Finish preparing food
  • Finish cleaning house
  • Select a comfortable chair for guests of honor and position prominently
  • Get cameras ready
  • Order balloons to mark the party location
  • Put out garbage receptacles/bags for wrappings and other trash/li>

Day of Baby Shower

  • 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. Otherwise,
  • 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!/li>