When friends or family announce they have a little one on the way, it may spur your party-planning mind on toward baby shower heaven. Before you dig into any projects, remember to scheme with simplicity in mind. Give your friend a shower that will send her off blissfully into motherhood. The planning timeline below should help you keep track of all the tasks and projects you will need to complete, and when you will need to complete them by:
After accepting the job – five months before
Once you know that you have been deemed host, ask the mom-to-be whether she wants to have the shower before her baby arrives or after. Let the mother know that a shower can be a great way to introduce the newborn to extended family, but that having the shower before the birth can offer the mother-to-be a chance to enjoy her friends and relatives one more time on her own. Another bonus is that having a party pre-birth will set up mom-to-be with any necessary baby supplies. At this time, you will also want to figure out a definitive guest list. If the lineup is extremely long, your planning may require more prepping, which can push your date back some.
Eight to ten weeks out
You should now have a definitive date and location set for the party. At this time it is wise to pick a theme for the baby shower. Choose one that will suit both your budget and leave you enough time to execute it, while also giving a nod to the mother-to-be's style. It is OK to surprise the guest of honor with the theme, but she may appreciate a little bonding and do-it-yourself time with you and any other co-host and help prepare for the party. Once you know the theme, pick out and order your baby shower invitations.
Six weeks until the shower
Check the spelling, map and details on the invitations and send them on their way. Be sure to include your phone number on the cards so the guests can conveniently call in their RSVP.
Get together with your party helpers and start to design your party decorations. If you are planning on purchasing most products, it is best to begin shopping now. If your party will feature DIY projects, start making them within the next week or so. At about this time, also think of menu ideas, and make a list of ingredients you will need to feed the guests.
In the last month
Just before party time you want to follow up on any unknown RSVPs, as well as finish all decor or food errands you still have to run. Set up the decorations around your event space if it is at home, and make any of your goodie bags to night before or the morning of the celebration.
Don't forget to make sure the mom-to-be is included in any planning or decorating if she wants to be.