Pregnancy is a beautiful stage in the life of parents-to-be that can bring a lot of joy and happiness. Still, it can also create nervousness and be overwhelming, especially when planning a baby shower at home, since it requires a lot of time and preparation in advance, not to mention the expense that this represents in an already tight budget. 

This guide offers you a variety of helpful tips that can be a solution to taking the stress out of your baby shower planning experience. Read on to learn more party organization tips, the most common stressors parents face when throwing a baby shower at home, and practical advice on tackling them.

Table of Contents

Baby shower planning guide

Top baby shower planning stressors and tips for beating them

  1. Stressor: Budget
  2. Stressor: Not having enough help
  3. Stressor: Guestlist
  4. Stressor: Time
  5. Stressor: Cleaning after the event

Extra stress relieving tips to pamper mom


Baby shower planning guide

There are many things to consider when you’re planning to host a home baby shower. Here are some key party organization tips and ideas you’ll want to remember to ensure that your shower is a success.

Setting up a budget

Before you set a date or send invitations, come up with a budget for your baby shower and stick to it, so you don’t overspend.

  • Make a list of the things you’ll need, like food, drinks, decorations, etc. Then, come up with an approximate cost for each item and the total amount to be spent. Adjust to your possibilities and try not to exceed the estimated cost you already have.
  • Keep your guest list limited to help you save money on food and drinks.
  • If you feel like you are going to need to exceed your budget limit, ask your closest friends and relatives to bring a side dish, snack, or drink to reduce your food costs and help keep your event budgeting in line.

Picking a date & time

  • Most expectant parents typically host their baby shower between the 28th and 30th week of pregnancy, but you can also choose to have it earlier in the pregnancy. Decide how far along you want to be before you select a date.
  • If you want to have a gender reveal, plan to include it during your shower to save the extra cost and hassle of planning and hosting an additional event for this purpose.  
  • You can also host an after-birth baby shower if you prefer. This allows your guests to focus more on the baby when it’s already here rather than before it arrives.

Decide indoors or outdoors

  • If the weather is nice, hosting the baby shower party in your backyard will give you more room for guests and require fewer decorations. Hiring a landscaper to get your backyard in shape right before the event date is a great idea that will help reduce the stress of taking care of mowing the lawn and removing any unwanted weeds by yourself.
  • Hosting the party inside will allow a smaller number of guests, which translates into smaller costs and makes it a much cozier experience.

Make a guest list and send invitations

  • Plan your guest list early and save the money and hassle of printed invitations. Instead, design invitations yourself; look for online baby shower invitation templates from websites like Evite and Zazzle. These sites offer a variety of adorable templates to choose from, and they can be sent entirely virtually.
  • Send your invitations online, and include a link asking your guests to RSVP online by a specific date. Getting your RSVPs online is much easier than calling each guest individually.
  • Keep your invitations gender-neutral if you’re doing a gender reveal along with the baby shower to avoid spoiling the surprise.
  • Don’t forget to let your guests know if they’re allowed to bring a “plus one” or if they can bring children with them to the shower.
  • If you have a baby registry, remember to include that information in the invitations.

Choose a theme

  • Come up with a theme that is easy to decorate for. Choose easy and popular themes like baby animals, bees, clouds and rainbows, flowers, teddy bears, unicorns, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” or bohemian designs. Pinterest is an excellent resource to help you find easy and creative themes for your baby shower. 
  • Look for pre-made decorations you can buy at the Dollar Store or Amazon that you can just unpack and hang easily.

Pick games and activities 

  • Choose to do low-stress activities during the party that doesn’t require a lot of extra work on your part or the part of your host, like fun printable items you can find online, games that everyone can play without requiring too many extra props or too much preparation. Think games like printable Mad Libs or a baby-themed word scramble are both great choices.
  • Fill several bowls with some clean water along with three to five pacifiers and give one to each guest. Have everyone “bob for pacifiers” and see who can get the most within the shortest amount of time. Afterward, you can sterilize the pacifiers and keep them for your baby.

Choose hassle-free food options

  • Catering: If your budget allows, catering eliminates the need for you to plan a menu and cook the food yourself. There are many different options and price points available, and in some cases, hiring a caterer for your baby shower doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.
  • Potluck: Ask every guest you invite to bring a dish to the shower. This makes it fun and interesting because you’ll get to try several different dishes. It’s also great for showers on a budget since your guests will help share food costs. Use cute, printed paper plates for your potluck to add a charming touch to the meal and to help with easy cleanup afterward. 
  • Self-service buffet: Set up a buffet-style party with different dishes lined up on a long table that includes finger foods and self-serve drinks. Serve the food in large bowls or on a few serving platters to make it look nice and professional without a lot of legwork. Decorate your table with some items that go along with the theme of your shower to take the experience to the next level. 
  • Dessert station: Create a custom dessert station with homemade cookies, cakes, and candy, so your guests can grab desserts and candy whenever they want to. 


Top baby shower planning stressors and tips for beating them

1. Stressor: budget

  • Make sure you set your budget ahead of time and stick to it in order to avoid overspending on things you won’t need or use. 
  • Design invites yourself, and send them digitally through email, text messages, or social media instead of printed ones. This option is better for the environment too.
  • Plan your shower during a time that doesn’t coincide with mealtimes. You won’t need to make as much food when you don’t plan the shower during breakfast, lunch, or dinner hours. Offer finger foods and snacks instead of a full meal. 
  • If you have a dessert station, buy candy in bulk from wholesale stores, where you can find more affordable prices.
  • Instead of expensive party favors, send your guests home with something inexpensive and yummy, like homemade cookies.
  • Use printable baby shower activities and games that you can find and download online. This will save you lots of time preparing games that are usually finished within minutes. Remember, you can also ask some friends who recently had a baby shower to borrow their games. 

2. Stressor: not having enough help

  • Ask a family member or a close friend you trust to be your second-in-command/right hand. So you can leave some of the decisions to that person and not be overwhelmed with too much.
  • Ask one or two of your close friends or relatives to make some DIY decorations, like picking flowers from your garden and using them as centerpieces or creating DIY custom banners and signs. 
  • Borrow items like plates and bowls from friends. Even if you use store-bought cookies and punch, proper bowls and plates will make everything look fancier and more attractive. You can also borrow a nice glass drink dispenser and fill it with lemonade or mocktails. Not only does this look nice, but your guests can easily help themselves to refills. 
  • Delegate tasks like inflating balloons and taking pictures to family and friends.
  • Ask a friend who has already had babies for advice on the items most needed when having a baby, including those items you can’t buy in a store. They can help create the registry list for you, or you can also download below the ultimate baby registry list we made for you, to make sure you are not forgetting anything, and that you have all that you need to equip your baby nursery and be ready to receive your newborn!

3. Stressor: guestlist

  • Make sure you’re clear in the invitations that the shower is for adults only to avoid the added stress of making food for kids and coming up with separate activities to keep little ones entertained.
  • If you have friends and family who live far away, have them attend the shower virtually, to reduce your food and drinks costs.

4. Stressor: time

  • Finalize your guest list about six weeks before the event date.
  • Ask your guests to RSVP four weeks in advance, so you have plenty of time to plan.
  • Create a timeline or schedule for your shower that includes games and icebreakers, serving food, and opening gifts.
  • Decide what type of food you want at least five weeks in advance so you can book a caterer, let your friends and relatives know if you need them to bring a dish, or come up with a menu in time.

5. Stressor: cleaning after the event

  • Designate 3 or 4 of your closest friends or family members to help with the cleaning after the event is over.
  • If your budget allows, hire a cleaning company that comes to your home and leaves the place neat and clean without you having to stress about this.

Extra stress relieving tips to pamper mom

  • Gift mama with a relaxing spa day that includes a prenatal massage, foot soak, and mani-pedi to help her get rid of any accumulated stress she may hold from all the event planning.
  • Since most presents in the baby shower are for the baby, send mama a gift especially for her, like a set that includes bath salts, organic body oil, moisturizing lotion, baby-safe nip cream, and a skincare body oil that prevents and improves the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Mom-to-be will be super grateful to receive these presents!

Welcoming a new baby into the world is probably one of the most exciting experiences you’ll have. Use these helpful, practical tips to host an awesome baby shower at home that’s easy, stress-free, and a whole lot of fun. Remember to incorporate some of the practical money-saving tips to help you stay within your budget, and don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family members for help. Get creative and come up with fun decorations, activities, and food so that your guests have an amazing time. With the right planning and by sticking to your budget, you’ll have a wonderful shower that you’ll remember and cherish forever.