two pregnant women at a partytwo pregnant women at a party

When To Have a Baby Shower: Tips for Planning

By Babe

A baby shower can be such a fun and exciting time when all your closest friends and family focus their attention on celebrating you and the stunning mama you’re about to become. But, with so many people who mean the world to you in the same place at the same time, things can go from exhilarating and heartwarming to stressful and overwhelming pretty fast.

Plus, with changing times and more technology, there are so many different platforms to celebrate a new baby these days. It’s hard to know what feels appropriate, or even socially acceptable, in the preggo millennial era sometimes. 

So what’s trending with baby showers these days, when should you have yours, and what is the latest etiquette in the cool-mom-to-be code of conduct e-book? HATCH has you covered. Read on to learn the best up-to-date tips, tricks, and trends when it comes to a successful baby shower. 

How Long Before Baby Arrives?

When is the best time in the pregnancy to have your baby shower? The answer is totally up to you, your unique pregnancy needs, and your vision for the style and vibe. 

OK: We know that’s a vague answer, so try asking yourself these questions to plan ahead. Do I want plenty of time before the due date? How important are photos? Do I expect any pregnancy complications? What if I want to wait until my baby can attend (is that even a thing people do)? 

Early Showers

If you are a super organized, plan-months-ahead-to-feel-even-remotely-ready type of person, then you may want to have your baby shower pretty early on in your pregnancy. This is a totally acceptable option. 

There is no rule about when you need to have the shower. In fact, many parents-to-be like to host one early on in the pregnancy so that they have enough time to clean up and write thank-you notes before baby arrives. That way, you can fully focus on your own needs and won’t have to worry about any party details by the time baby’s arrival date gets close. 

An early baby shower is a particularly great option if you are a mother-to-be for multiples (congratulations!). Bed rest is more common for expectant mothers with this type of pregnancy, so having the baby shower well ahead of time will ensure you have plenty of time should there be complications in the pregnancy journey.  

Think About the Bump

Something to keep in mind if you choose to have an early baby shower is how much you want your baby bump to show in photos. Are you someone who wants a perfect pic that captures you at just the right time with a glowing bump?

A Post-Partum Baby Shower

Maybe you’re someone who wants baby to be in the photos as the most important party guest. This is totally fine too!

Some people want to wait until their new baby arrives to have a celebration, and you may want your little one to be in all the photos with your closest family and friends. 

Or Host Around the Second or Third Trimester

That being said, sometime between four to six weeks before baby’s due date (the end of your second or midway between your third trimester) is a very common choice for your expectant mother extravaganza. You’ll be well along in your pregnancy but not so far along that your little one accidentally attends as a last-minute guest (nobody has time for a no-rsvp guest anyways!) 

What About Baby #2 (or 3, or 6…)?

We know what you’re thinking … is it socially acceptable to have another baby shower? Will people think I just want more gifts? 

While many people host second or third baby showers, they usually have a “baby sprinkle” rather than a shower. A “sprinkle” is more of a show-your-moral-support-for-mom-and-dad kind of thing. People bring meals, self-care essentials, or other gifts to help not-so-new parents stay afloat when the newest baby arrives.  

What Type of Shower Do I Want?

There are many other factors besides the baby’s due date that can influence when to have a baby shower, including what type of party you want to have. 

We’ve put together some of our favorite shower group ideas to suit your ideal celebration type:

  • Traditional baby shower: focuses on mom-to-be, with a family member or close friend as the host
  • Co-ed (gender-inclusive) baby shower: celebrates both parents and has a gender-inclusive guest list 
  • Baby sprinkle: a much lower-key celebration (usually after a second or third baby) either for the new mom only or for both parents
  • Virtual baby shower: an online baby shower that occurs over a live video platform. These baby showers are often held for long-distance friends or family members.

Who Should Plan a Baby Shower?

Usually, tradition has it that a close friend or an extended family member does all the planning. However, these days, the immediate family will host baby showers too. It’s not even uncommon anymore for your family or friends to join forces (think your aunt and grandma co-hosting the most epic celebration of the year, for example). 

What About Proper Baby Shower Etiquette?

Now that we’ve got the timing down, let’s talk about what’s socially acceptable and what everyone else is doing when it comes to your perfect party for new baby. 

Who Should Be on the Guest List?

Other than the guest of honor (you), your close family members and close friends should all be number one on your list.

While in the past, baby showers were traditionally for female loved ones, co-ed baby showers are more popular than ever. So whoever the expectant parents feel like might enjoy ooo’ing and ahhh’ing at a precious diaper cake display or enjoying some light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres, send them an invite!

After that, don’t forget to invite anyone else who you know would be excited to celebrate your parent-to-be status. Just make sure you account for travel time for any out-of-town guests.

Do I Need a Gift Registry?

No, a gift registry is not a necessity, although many guests may find it helpful to know your personal preferences. Going through a baby registry guide is a great way to make sure that you don’t receive duplicate baby shower gifts that you’ll just have to return later. 

There are a couple, ahem, “rules” if you do go down the gift registry route. For one thing, never mandate that guests have to purchase their gift off of your registry list. They should always have the freedom to choose, especially if they want to be off-the-cuff and creative with their own idea! 

Also, if you have party FAQs like the venue address or personal phone numbers of the host, keep this registry info off the general world wide web if it’s sensitive. 

Do I Need Games or a Theme?

No, games or a theme are also not necessities, although there are a ton of fun baby shower games and baby shower themes out there. 

While a baby shower doesn’t need a theme to be the talk of the year, a theme can help make planning easier, no matter what your vibe is. A brunch, a formal wine-and-cheese event, or an afternoon tea are all very different yet equally fun ideas. Games also make for easy entertainment and an even easier party itinerary. 

What Else Should I Consider?

Let’s not forget that fit! This is your time to shine and show all your closest friends and family how much you glow as a soon-to-be mom. Finding the perfect outfit that makes your big bump moment feel like absolute glamor can be daunting, but that’s why we’ve put together a collection of baby shower styles for every kind of celebration. 

Here at Hatch, we’re all about being prepared (and making sure you live your best style dreams while you’re at it!). Check out our Ana Maternity Dress for a versatile grow-with-you style that perfectly balances comfort with sexy to create a flattering fit that screams romantic. We’ve got you covered, mama bear!