Baby Shower Questions Answered (2024)

What is a Baby Shower?

When you announce that you are expecting a baby, your friends and family will want to give you gifts to help you celebrate and prepare for your little one. A Baby Shower is a party that is designed to celebrate this moment in your life and encourage your community to shower you with gifts for your baby. They typically last anywhere from 2-5 hours but the average is around 2-3.

Here’s how the event typically goes…

  1. Guests arrive and put their gifts in a designated gift area

  2. Guests grab drinks and food and then mingle - they also complete any casual activities provided like adding their address to a card for thank you notes, writing down wishes/advice for the new parents, grabbing clothespins for the “don’t say baby” game, guess the birth date, etc.

  3. Once most people are done eating you can either start opening presents or complete any formal group games that are planned. I’ve seen this done in different orders… games then presents, presents then games, or sometimes game present game. All are fine. And some people opt to not have any formal games at all. Often times the games will come with prizes for the winners. These prizes can be as simple as a gift card, a house plant, etc.

    Tip: Designate 2 helpers

    • Make sure someone is writing down what you received from whom while you are opening your gifts. This will help you when writing thank you notes after the party.

    • Have another person organize presents by open vs. not opened, moving the open gifts out of the way. This is also a great person to grab any trash like wrapping paper. You will likely be very pregnant during this time so bending over to grab gifts or moving around to pick up trash will not be ideal.

  4. After games and presents, people generally start to leave. This is a good time to have any partners come to help load your car with the gifts or help transport the present to your home.

Why do I need a baby shower?

Purchasing products for your first baby can cost anywhere from $1,500 to over $15,000 depending on your lifestyle, needs, and the hand-me-downs you recieve. Therefore any little bit extra counts. If you just make a baby registry and send it out asking for gifts you run the risk of people feeling offended or people just forgetting to purchase something. A Baby Shower creates an event that reminds people to purchase a gift and locks in a date to get those to you.

Why do I need a baby registry?

Regardless of if you can easily afford all the items you need for your baby, your friends and family are going to want to give you gifts. A registry helps them know what you need and guides them to get you things that will be useful. If you don’t have a registry you will likely end up with a lot of stuff you don’t need which can either add clutter or give you the task of having to return, sell, or donate those items - which is the last thing you need when you have a newborn at home.

See the article on how to build the perfect baby registry and how to get people to buy from your baby registry for tips.

If you need help building your baby registry, we can do it for you with our Baby Planning Services or you can DIY your registry by using the Baby Gear Library to determine what you need.

When is the right time to have a baby shower?

Most people throw their showers early in the third trimester. Generally anywhere between 6-8 months. However, I recommend to my clients to have it in the 6-7 month range, late in the second trimester. The later you have a shower the more exhausting it will be. I’ve been to a lot of showers where the mom-to-be is absolutely drained by the end, and then they often still have the task of carting all the items home and unpacking their car. Having a shower towards the end of the second trimester at around 6-7 months gives you enough time to create your registry but you are still showing a generous bump for pictures and likely have more energy to handle the event.

If you are expecting through non-traditional ways like adoption or surrogacy, I’d still recommend having a shower at least 2-3 months before your baby arrives. This gives you enough time to get your nursery and home set up and purchase any last-minute items left on the registry.

Who should host your baby shower?

Typically, as soon as you announce you are expecting, someone close to you will be thrilled to throw you a shower and extend an offer. More often than not, this is a close friend, a sister or sister-in-law, an aunt, etc. But it can be anyone close to you. You may be offered a shower by more than one person and that’s great too, you can ask those people to team up together to plan the shower or you can have more than one shower.

What if no one offers to throw me a baby shower?

This can be tricky. If you have announced that you are having a baby and no one has offered to throw you a shower by 15-20 weeks, here are some things you can do:

  1. Subtly mention to your mom, sister, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and best friends that no one has offered to throw you a shower. Sometimes people are happy to throw one for you, but they just assume that someone else has already offered. This will give them an opening to offer on their own. It’s generally better if someone volunteers on their own.

  2. If that doesn’t work, you can pick someone who you know loves throwing parties and ask them directly if they will throw one for you. If someone hasn’t volunteered, it’s great to offer to help plan and suggest ways to reduce the cost, like sending online invitations instead of physical ones.

When does my registry need to be ready?

I advise my clients to target having the registry mostly completed 6-8 weeks before your baby shower. This is when invitations typically go out so you want your registry to be ready as soon as people start buying gifts.

If you are running out of time and need some help fast - you can use our Baby Gear Library to quickly make decisions or have us build your registry for you with our Baby Planning Services!

How do I get people to buy from my baby registry?

I have a whole article just on this very topic, you can find it here: 12 tips to get people to buy from your baby registry.

Is it ok to have multiple baby showers?

Yes! Sometimes different groups of friends will want to throw you a shower. This is especially true if you live in a different city from your hometown. If you work, oftentimes your work will also throw a small shower.

Tip: Coworkers are a great group to encourage buying a group gift, where everyone pitches in a small amount for a bigger gift. It could be a great way to get one of the bigger items from your registry - if your partner works as well, be sure to mention this to them.

How much does it cost to throw a baby shower?

Baby showers can be a wide range of costs. If the event is hosted in someone’s home, invitations are sent online, and hosted at a time of day when a full meal isn’t expected (like around 2 pm), then you can dramatically reduce the cost of a shower to $100-$300 to cover just the cost of snacks and drinks, print outs for games, and minimal decorations. If you hire an event planner, host the event at a restaurant or event location, host during a time when a full meal is expected, and want extravagant decorations, you can easily spend thousands of dollars on the event.

Does my baby shower have to have a theme?

Having an idea of what kind of decor you would like will be helpful to the host but no, you don’t have to have a theme. Often times just some simple flowers make wonderful decorations for an event like this. However, if the host is willing and able to afford the cost of decorations and wants to do a theme, then by all means go for it!

Is a baby shower just for women?

That’s up to you and your host! More and more these days we are seeing couples showers with all genders. However, keep in mind that a couple’s baby shower will make the guest list bigger and potentially make the event more expensive. We also find that men aren’t typically as interested in sitting and watching people open gifts, so you could consider waiting to open gifts at home if you choose to have a couples baby shower.

Can I have a virtual baby shower?

Absolutely! When the pandemic first hit, virtual baby showers were in high demand. But you still may want one if perhaps you are having a difficult pregnancy or you live in a different city than a lot of your friends and family.

Can I have a baby shower if this is my second or third baby?

Yes! If this is your second child or if there has been some time since you had your first or second child, you can have what we adoringly like to call a “sprinkle.” You likely have most of what you need but you may need some additional items like refreshed sheets, clothing, diapers and wipes. Or you may have learned the first time around of some items you wish you bought for your first.

Baby gear is changing all the time! Reach out to us if you need some baby gear consulting. We can help you take an inventory of what you have, what’s new on the market, and help you craft an updated registry. We can even manage the whole registry process for you from end-to-end.

Baby Shower Etiquette

Bonus! Here are some quick tips to help make sure you are being the best version of you at a Baby Shower.

Baby Shower Etiquette for Guests

  • RSVP to the invitation as soon as you know you can make it. Having an accurate headcount is important to the host to plan for food, drinks, and activities.

  • Show up on time. 5-10 minutes late may be acceptable and it will depend on the culture of the group but we generally recommend showing up on time for these events.

  • Don’t make the day about yourself. This day is meant to celebrate the parents-to-be. This is NOT the time to announce an engagement or pregnancy of your own.

  • Make the day all about the parents-to-be. If you are able (and not chasing after kids of your own), help any pregnant parents to a comfortable chair, offer to scribe who gave which gift, help clean up, or if you stick around till the end you can help take gifts to the car.

  • Buy a gift from the baby registry. This is so important! These parents have likely spent a lot of time making sure this registry is perfect just for them. If you run out of time to buy a gift online, then ask the parents-to-be what kind of diapers and wipes they are using and buy some size 1 or 2 diapers real quick or grab a gift card from target or buy buy baby.

  • Participate and don’t roll your eyes at the games. I know they can seem really corny sometimes but the host and the parents have spent a lot of time and effort trying to make this event enjoyable for you. So please keep your opinions to yourself if you don’t like an activity and try to enjoy yourself.

Baby Shower Etiquette for Hosts

Everything above and…

  • Ask the parents to be what they want the day to be, colors, themes, decor, etc.

  • Use a collaborative tool like Google Sheets or docs to gather mailing or email addresses from the expecting parents

  • Make sure invitations are sent out 6-8 weeks in advance.

  • Don’t force the parents to have the shower too late in their pregnancy. The third trimester can be exhausting and we want the parents to have enough time to get everything unpacked and their home ready before their baby arrives.

  • It’s okay to set boundaries on the number of guests or overall cost or to suggest food, drink, or decor options that may save money.

  • Make sure the gift opening doesn’t start too late in the event. If the person you are celebrating is pregnant, an event like this can be exhausting. The present opening can be particularly draining. So be sure that part starts promptly so we don’t wear mama out.

  • Don’t have too many silly games. These can be corny and time-consuming. Pick 1-3 activities or games and check with the parents if they like the idea.

  • Spread the work - invite others to help you host so that you aren’t alone with the setup, cleanup, and cost.

Baby Shower Etiquette for Parents-to-Be

  • Show gratitude even if you get gifts you don’t like, are the wrong color/version, or aren’t on the registry.

  • Always write thank-you notes. Try to do this before your baby arrives because you likely won’t have the time or mental capacity to write them with a newborn at home.

    • Tip: have a station with envelopes and pens at the Baby Shower for people to write down their address - this will save time when writing thank you cards.

  • Speak up if you need to sit down or rest, events like this can be exhausting when pregnant.

  • It’s okay to ask someone to help write down who gave you gifts or help move gifts around.

  • Make sure you get all the mailing or email addresses of the invitees to your hosts at least 2-4 weeks before invitations need to go out. So about 10-12 weeks before the date of the shower.

  • Don’t add too many people to the guest list unless you know your hosts can afford it. The more heads, the more expensive the event becomes.

I hope this article helps you to better understand and plan for a baby shower. If you’ve found this helpful, please pin this article to Pinterest or use the buttons below to share with your network.

Are there any questions you have that haven’t been answered yet? Comment below so we can add them!

As always, reach out to us if you need support building your baby registry or any other baby planning services or check out our Baby Gear Library to help you build your own!

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Baby Shower Questions Answered (2024)


What questions to ask at a baby shower for prizes? ›

"Who…?" prizes

Ask questions such as, "Who has the most children?", "Who has a birthday closest to the mom-to-be's due date?" or something else related to family and kids. Guests who think they may be the one will speak up.

What if no one offers to throw you a baby shower? ›

If you're worried that no one will offer to throw a baby shower for you, talk to a close friend or a relative and, if you're comfortable doing so, ask her to take the reins.

Who gives the first baby shower? ›

According to tradition, baby showers are typically hosted by a friend or distant relative (like a cousin or an aunt) instead of an immediate family member.

What is a typical agenda for a baby shower? ›

What Happens at a Baby Shower?
10:00Greeting guests, serving snacks or hors d'oeuvres, playing casual games like guessing the date of birth or gender
10:30Welcome and interactive games
11:30Lunch or desserts
2 more rows
Aug 20, 2023

What happens first at a baby shower? ›

A baby shower usually lasts 2-3 hours. Budget about 30-45 minutes at the beginning for guests to arrive, nibble on some food, and mingle with one another before the games / entertainment begin. Spend the next 30-45 minutes playing games. And the rest of the time having cake and opening gifts.

How many games to play at a baby shower? ›

How Many Baby Shower Games You Should Have? A typical baby shower lasts about 3 hours, so you can expect to play about 5 games at most. You will want to have enough games to keep everyone occupied but not so many that you are rushing people through each game.

How many prizes should you have for a baby shower? ›

The number and type of games you plan to play at your baby shower will affect the prizes you need. Ensure there's at least one prize per game, and it's a nice idea to have some extra prizes for unexpected tiebreakers or just-in-case situations. The prizes don't all need to be the same, so feel free to mix it up!

Are you supposed to give party favors at a baby shower? ›

If you're wondering whether or not you should provide party favors to your guests, honestly, it's really up to you. Party favors are a nice gesture to thank guests for coming, but they can quickly get expensive.

Who pays for baby shower stuff? ›

Who Traditionally Pays for a Baby Shower? The hostess traditionally pays for the baby shower and its associated costs. However, the hostess can divide up the responsibility and costs by asking a few close family members or friends to co-host.

Should a mother throw her daughter a baby shower? ›

HELEN'S ANSWER: It is awkward for a mother to host a baby shower for her daughter because gifts are involved. If you are an immediate family member having the party, it is like you are watching to see who gives what gift. It is much better for a close friend to have the party.

Who not to invite to your baby shower? ›

The modern baby shower has no strict rules: You can invite whoever the family wants to be included. Just be sure to clearly state whether or not you're accommodating +1's.

Does mother-in-law host a baby shower? ›

Who Hosts a Baby Shower? Most baby showers should be hosted by a sister, mother, mother-in-law, or close friend. Baby showers were traditionally thrown by family members who weren't close with the parents-to-be, to avoid the assumption that close family members wanted to collect gifts for themselves.

Is it better to have a baby shower on Saturday or Sunday? ›

Best Time of Week for a Baby Shower

Weekends are often ideal because less people have work scheduled and are able to attend. Saturdays and Sundays are also the time-honored choice, so more traditional mothers will likely prefer this option.

What is a sprinkle baby shower? ›

A baby sprinkle is a casual and smaller-scale version of a baby shower. It is typically held for parents who are expecting their second, third, or subsequent child. The term "sprinkle" is a play on words, as it suggests a lighter celebration compared to the more elaborate and traditional baby showers.

What is the first color a baby sees? ›

Young babies are indeed capable of seeing colors, but their brains may not perceive them as clearly or vividly as older children and adults do. The first primary color your baby can see is red, and this happens a few weeks into life.

What are 80% of babies born with? ›

Over 80 percent of babies have some kind of birthmark. Some last for life, while others fade away. Most birthmarks fall into one of two categories: vascular or pigmented. Vascular birthmarks are caused by extra blood vessels close to the surface of the skin.

What would daddy do in a baby shower game? ›

With a variety of scenarios and multiple choice answers, guests will have to guess what Daddy would do in each situation. Whether it's diaper duty or bedtime battles, this game will keep everyone entertained. Don't miss out on the laughter and memories this game will create.

What's in the diaper bag game? ›

Here are some ideas; baby bottle, bottle brush, diaper wipes, diaper, pacifier, toy, ointment, nursing pads, bib, etc. Pass the diaper bag around and give each guest a minute or two to FEEL the objects, WITHOUT LOOKING! At the end of the minute they can write down all the items they can remember.


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