How to Host a Baby Shower. When celebrating an event as joyous as a baby's imminent arrival, you can be as silly - or as traditional or creative - as you want to be.
Give yourself plenty of time to plan. Showers usually take place in the seventh or eighth month of pregnancy.
Decide whether the shower is for women only. Traditionally, you throw a baby shower for the mother-to-be, with only female friends and relatives as guests. But today, showers that include men - with both expectant parents as guests of honor - have become increasingly popular.
Determine the time of day and location - making sure above all that it's convenient for the guest(s) of honor - and approximately how many guests you'd like to invite.
Decide whether to make the shower a surprise. Keep your honorees' personalities in mind - remember that not everyone likes surprises.
Think about possible shower themes, such as teddy bears, bottles or balloons. Or pick a gift theme like 'Around the House,' assigning each guest to bring a baby gift for use in a different room - the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom and so forth. (It's OK to ask for more than one gift per room.)
Create a guest list. If the shower is not a surprise, consult the guests of honor about whom they'd like to invite; if it is a surprise, consult a close friend or relative to make sure you don't leave anyone out.
Send out invitations at least three weeks in advance. Include directions, surprise-party instructions if applicable, and the theme, if you've chosen one. If possible, mention the color scheme and theme of the baby's room as well.
Find out if the parents-to-be are registered for gifts at a particular store. Have this information ready in case any of the guests ask.
Make a table centerpiece composed of flowers, a basket and candles, bouquets of baby socks or a baby doll - or buy a centerpiece at a party store. Coordinate the centerpiece and decorations with your theme, if you've chosen one.
Decide if you want guests to play any games. If so, buy small gifts for the winners - some possible prizes could be plants, blank books, candles and bookmarks.
Make food, buy takeout or hire a caterer. Don't forget supplies - cups, plates, napkins and utensils.
At the shower, keep track of presents as the guests of honor open them - this will help them when they're writing thank-you notes.
Consider coordinating the gifts if you know the guests well, so Mom and Dad don't end up with 13 diaper bags. Or several guests can go in together on a big gift such as a crib, stroller or gift certificate.