Your Ultimate Baby Shower Planning Checklist

Looking for some help with planning this milestone event? Here, all the to-dos to keep in mind.
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Published November 1, 2023
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As you get closer to baby’s arrival, you’re probably starting to think more and more about celebrating this milestone with a baby shower. It’s a time for friends, family and loved ones to gather to honor the expectant parents and their growing family. Moreover, it’s a party marked by good food, silly games, useful presents and so much more. Needless to say, while incredibly fun, a baby shower is still an event that will need a fair amount of planning and prep work. Wondering where to start? Check out our comprehensive baby shower checklist that details everything you need to know whether you’re the planner and guest of honor or hosting on a friend’s behalf.

Baby Shower Checklist: Where to Start

According to Renee Patrone Rhinehart, party planner and founder of Party Host Helpers, the first step in planning a baby shower is figuring out a date and time. “Most baby showers are held when the expectant mom is about 7 months pregnant, but you can also have it before or after the baby arrives, depending on your preference and tradition,” she says. From there, the next important details to hash out are a budget, the guest list and venue, adds Kristen Gosselin, MEM, CMP, founder and creative director of KG Events & Design. “These are the most important items to knock out first when planning a baby shower.”

However, as you plan, know there isn’t one perfect way to plan a baby shower—it really depends on what works best for you and your family. For example, when it comes to picking a venue, Rhinehart says some may consider booking at local hotel or restaurant “for a more formal and hassle-free option,” while others may prefer a to host the event in a local park, someone’s backyard or your living room “for a cozy and intimate feel.”

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It’s also important to note that some planning elements will depend on who is hosting. Are you planning your own baby shower—or are you planning on someone else’s behalf? Does the mom-to-be want to be surprised, or do you prefer to know all the details ahead of time?

Your Ultimate Baby Shower Planning Checklist

“Planning a baby shower can be more extensive than you may anticipate,” Gosselin notes. “After securing your guest count and venue, we recommend structuring your tasks into a well-organized checklist or timeline to ensure a seamless execution.” She lists some core baby shower planning checklist components, like hiring vendors, sending invitations, making a registry, selecting a menu, picking decor and finalizing any activities. Rhinehart also says that it’s important to consider how much you want to do yourself and how much you want to outsource while staying on budget.

To help you with all your planning needs, we’ve compiled a comprehensive baby shower checklist below.

Confirm event logistics


Games and activities



What to shop for

A week or two before the shower

A day or two before the shower

During the shower

After the shower

Whether you’ve planned the party or not, if you’re the guest of honor be sure to enjoy the process and relish in the fun. Socialize, play games, open presents, eat food, take pictures and soak in the celebration.

“Your baby shower can be a wonderful opportunity to show off your creativity, personal touch and to just have fun,” Gosselin says. “While there can be customary flows to baby showers, there are no hard and fast rules to how these events need to go.” Enjoy the process with a thorough baby shower planning checklist, have fun at your shower and once it’s over, start nesting and preparing for baby’s arrival.


Kristen Gosselin, MEM, CMP, is an award-winning event planner and designer with over a decade of experience. She’s also the founder and creative director of KG Events & Design, based in Martha’s Vineyard, and has hosted events for the Obamas, Spike Lee, Seth Meyers and many more. Gosselin earned her master’s degree in meeting and event management (MEM) from the San Diego State University’s Payne School of Management.

Renee Patrone Rhinehart is a party planner with over 15 years of experience. She is also the founder of Events by Renee, an event planning company launched in 2007, and Party Host Helpers, launched in 2013. While Party Host Helpers started as a small business in Philadelphia, it now operates in over 30 cities across the nation, including New York City, West Palm Beach and Los Angeles. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Eastern University.

Learn how we ensure the accuracy of our content through our editorial and medical review process.

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