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Tips and Tricks for Holding a Baby Shower: How to Plan a Baby Shower That Everyone Loves on a Budget

Updated on March 12, 2014

Have fun planning a baby shower that everyone will remember

Fun baby-related baby shower food is a fun little addition to baby shower planning that can really set your event apart from all the others
Fun baby-related baby shower food is a fun little addition to baby shower planning that can really set your event apart from all the others | Source

Events of all types are stressful to plan, and learning how to plan a baby shower on short notice can be especially difficult. Here are some tips to streamline the process, giving you the tools for memorable and, as much as possible, stress-free baby shower planning. This hub breaks it down into the essential elements of a baby shower, then you can add your own creative twist in your own unique event.

Everything Baby Shower Book: Throw a memorable event for mother-to-be (Everything: Parenting and Family)
Everything Baby Shower Book: Throw a memorable event for mother-to-be (Everything: Parenting and Family)

Want a handy guide that you can take with you during your baby shower planning from start to finish? This book will show you how to plan a baby shower without all the uncertainty and stress of striking out into the unknown.


Why plan a baby shower?

Do you know a friend or close relative who is about to have a baby? If you do, then you might be planning a baby shower soon. If not, it's still useful to know how to plan a baby shower. Moms-to-be can get all the new items for their baby while having a wonderful time with friends and family. It's also a great way to help single mothers, low-income families, or others who are struggling financially with the impending new addition. Hosting a baby shower doesn’t have to be a hassle. If you can keep the event under budget and as worry-free as possible, you can create memories the new mom will cherish forever.

Step one, get some great invitations

Frankly, invitations are one of the biggest money wasters in the baby shower plan. Sure, some people create some really awesome keepsake invitations, but most are your basic read-and-toss invitations that waste paper. Basically, if you don't plan on doing keepsake invitations, then go either as cheap or as paperless as possible.

You want your invitations to look nice, but it's literally money in the trash most of the time. Consider printing the invitations yourself with personalized touches that may make the invitation more welcome or lasting. Send e-invites to save on paper, envelopes and postage (your environment will thank you). Set up an event notification for the shower on a social networking site, or even create a simple blog specifically around planning the event with other friends, family members and trusted guests. When you all contribute to planning, it's a lot more likely that people will show up and have gifts that truly benefit the new parent(s).

When planning a surprise baby shower for a friend, seek out a family member or other close individual who can help you invite guests, but also keep a secret. Family members can be very helpful in providing you with guest contact information and helping to create the guest list.

Don't forget the guest book. Here are some creative ways to remember your baby shower guests.

Proper presentation of your baby shower food, gifts and other elements can create a more festive atmosphere, so knowing how to plan a baby shower can really help make a memorable experience
Proper presentation of your baby shower food, gifts and other elements can create a more festive atmosphere, so knowing how to plan a baby shower can really help make a memorable experience | Source

Find a baby shower location that won't break the bank

The location for the baby shower can often be one of your biggest expenses, but it doesn’t have to be. You want as much of the available money as possible to help the new baby, so go cheap if possible. Contact your local religious institution to see if you can have the shower there. You could also ask friends or family with large houses to host the party. Locations such as a YMCA or community hall may allow you to hold the event there for little or no money. In nice weather, public parks may also be an option -- just make sure the new parents don't have hay fever.

Baby shower food that rocks

Food is a super-important part of your baby shower plan. People expect creativity and a baby theme, so this is where you can go all-out and have fun. Instead of spending money on decorations, many baby shower planners opt to spend resources on decorative food instead. It looks great, people can take pictures, and then it's eaten and nothing goes to waste.

You can serve appetizers or choose to do the shower potluck-style. In some cases, you can even have your guests help prepare the food as part of the baby shower activities. Pick finger food to reduce or eliminate the need for silverware.

Diaper cakes are a favorite in any baby shower plan, providing both practical supplies and a fun baby-related decoration
Diaper cakes are a favorite in any baby shower plan, providing both practical supplies and a fun baby-related decoration | Source

Creative decorations for the baby shower

So food can be part of the decorations, but so can baby supplies and guest favors. You may still end up buying some streamers, banners, tablecloths or other decorations that don't have secondary uses. Try to limit these expenditures as much as possible. Instead, consider decorative diaper cakes or teddy bear motorcycles (made with diaper wheels). Garlands made of small baby toys, pacifiers, socks and onesies create an unmistakeable baby theme, but then the items can be taken home and used for the new little one.

The diaper cake on the right is an example of a hugely popular baby shower decoration that is also extremely practical. Find out whether the parents-to-be want to use disposable or cloth diapers, and plan the cake accordingly. While newborn diapers are likely to be used first, consider adding in size 1 diapers as well since most babies grow out of the smaller size very quickly. Roll up clothes, burp cloths and light blankets to create the ribboned look, and top with a rattle or soft toy.

Want to do a DIY diaper cake? Make it a little easier

Simplicity Wilton 1004-3140 Diaper Cake Kit
Simplicity Wilton 1004-3140 Diaper Cake Kit

Just follow the instructions and add in any extra supplies you like, and you have an effortless DIY diaper cake with this adorable baby shower kit.


Surprisingly fun baby shower games

Don’t be overly stressed by the prospect of planning baby shower games. There are tons of ideas online, and this is where having two-way communication with guests can be a huge advantage since they probably have ideas too. If you are really at a loss for baby shower ideas, you can contact a friend or family member who has recently planned a baby shower. Pool ideas with such a person to shortcut the process.

Don't forget the gift registries

Gift registries are an integral part of any good baby shower. It just wouldn’t be a shower without the gifts, and you really don't want everyone giving the same things. You especially don't want the new parent(s) to end up with a ton of unneeded stuff, and be left lacking essentials. Set up registries that are easily accessible, and be sure to clearly communicate this information to your guests. Prior to the event, you should consult the mom-to-be to ensure you are aware of all the gift registry lists, and encourage the new parents to set one up if they haven't already.

We'd love to know the elements of baby shower planning you love the most

What is your favorite part of attending a baby shower?

See results

When it comes down to it, baby showers are all about being fun and useful at the same time. Don't get stressed about it, and remember that the most important part is helping provide for the new baby. All the other stuff is secondary, and it doesn't have to be perfect. Take a deep breath, relax, and plan as much as possible far in advance. Take notes, and keep those for future reference in case someone else gets pregnant soon. I'd love to hear your thoughts and/or baby shower success stories, so please don't hesitate to leave a comment below to let me know how it went.


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    • wychic profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebecca Mikulin 

      7 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming

      Thanks :D. I know that, without a list, I tend to go completely brain-dead for just about any event. If it can be thought through and planned out ahead of time, it's amazing what kind of results might turn up ;)

    • twilanelson profile image

      Twila Nelson 

      7 years ago from Carmichael, California

      Thank you for walking us through the baby shower process. Sometimes it helps to see it written down, helps to keep us organized and lessen stress.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Great ideas! You are so clever to recommend electronic invitations. They save money and are eco-friendly. Congrats to the new parents!


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