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Whether you're a proud parent-to-be or a designated host, planning a baby shower is no small feat. The budget, the venue, the guest list, the theme - where do you begin? To make things more manageable, we created a checklist so you won't forget the essentials. Use it as a guide and organize a baby shower that's perfect for you.
Here are ten great checklist points to help you plan the perfect baby shower:
Determine the host and the budget.
Are you hosting the shower or sharing duties with a co-host? How much do you want to spend on the shower? Do you have any friends or family contributing?
Choose a date.
Target a month or two before the due date. Think of those who are traveling and important guests - mother, sisters, best friends, etc.
If traveling isn't feasible, consider incorporating an online shower to your celebration. Web Baby Shower lets you chat live, post videos, share photos, and even play games with friends and family who live far away.
Make a guest list.
As a mother-to-be, you select the attendees. You decide the number and whether it's traditional women only or contemporary, Jack and Jill.
Choose a venue.
A house is great for a small gathering and modest budget, as long as there's help to clean up. For a large crowd or budget, look for a restaurant, catering hall, or outdoors for a tea party in a garden.
Pick a theme.
Though there's no rule that says it's required, most showers do have a theme. Some are inspired by the nursery decor or a special interest of the mother-to-be. Others follow the latest trends, then are customized to fit the expectant mother's style.
For instance, stuffed animals are an enduring favorite. Cute and cuddly, go pastel for girls or safari for boys. Versatile too, use baby animals for an adorable Noah's Ark.
Let nature be your guide. Select bright colors, flowers, and bumble bees for spring. Pick nautical, beach, or barbecue for summer. Have a precious pumpkin party for fall.
Even the classics get a twist. Transform traditional pink into an elegant princess theme, complete with a tiny tiara. Change baby blue to royal blue for your sweet, little prince.
Send out invitations.
Mail or E-vite, remember to include the RSVP deadline. At the latest, one week before the shower. In addition, where the mother-to-be is registered (if she elected to do so).
Order the cake and plan the menu.
The food depends on the hour of your shower, and the type depends on your theme. For modest budgets consider a potluck and prepare make-ahead dishes to save time.
Tableware, decorations, favors, and games are the heart of your theme. You will need baby shower favors for the goody bags, plus, the personalized gifts for the games.
Be mindful of all attendees when selecting your games and giveaways. For a go-green theme, a personalized, eco-friendly tote bag is both gender-neutral and benefits friends without kids.
Collect the RSVPs.
Finalize the head count a week before the shower.
Prepare the thank you notes.
If you're a co-host, help the parents-to-be with this task. Address the envelopes shortly before the event.