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Baby shower checklist so you can stay organized

Before the baby shower:

Meet with the guest of honor–MOM! Be prepared to ask her questions that will help you make her party memorable. With the mom-to-be’s input, you can:

* Choose a date for the shower and time of day. Give yourself at least four weeks to plan, so that everything will run smoothly. Generally showers are held 1 to 2 months before mom is due.
* Decide whether you will be having an “all ladies” or “couples” party. Also, decide if it will be “open house” style, where guests pop in to give well wishes between a designated time frame.
* Make a guest list. Think about inviting family, people from the neighborhood, co-workers, church friends, etc.
* Ask her if she has a favorite food, if you are planning to feed a meal to the guests. Or ask what her favorite dessert is.
* Ask if the baby’s gender is known, and if they have chosen a name.
* Encourage her to sign up at a gift registry.
* Find out what theme mom is using in the nursery, since this could give you the perfect theme to decorate with for the party.
* For the invitations, make sure you have mom’s (or both parent’s) name spelled correctly.

Baby shower checklist so you can stay organized

Four Weeks to go:

You’ve chosen a date. Now let’s make this happen!

* Choose a location. Some places you could consider having the shower are: your home or backyard, a church, a park pavilion, a restaurant, a spa, the town hall or Senior Citizen’s center, or a classroom at a University. If you need to make reservations, be sure to tell them all that you will be doing. Depending on the location, there may be regulations you need to follow, so ask when you call. For example, lighting candles may not be alright for fire code reasons.
* Order the invitations. It is not necessary to match the theme of the shower , but it is cute and easy to do. I offer a selection of free printable invitations you are welcome to use.

* Recruit a co-host, or designate different parts of the shower to others who are close to the mother. This is helpful for many reasons, including splitting up the cost of the shower.
* Are you going to make the meal or refreshments yourself, or hire a caterer? Make phone calls if necessary. It is common for hosts to serve only the baby shower cake and some yummy punch to the guests. Finger foods or small buffets are also common, however, full meals are rarely served. Do not serve alcoholic drinks at the party, out of respect for the guest of honor.
* Start purchasing miscellaneous items you want to use, such as decorations, favors, candles, music, prizes and tableware.

Three Weeks to go:

* Hopefully the invitations have arrived. Include an insert with a map or driving directions to the shower location, and mail them off as soon as they do.
* Time to think about the cake. It covers a lot of bases in one, as it is a cute centerpiece, can match the theme, and be your choice of refreshment. I have a gallery of baby shower cake pictures you can browse through. Now is a good time to call a bakery if you are going to have a cake made for you. A cake is not necessary, however, if you do not want to bake and decorate one, or afford one.
* Have your co-host help you think of the games you want to play at the shower. A baby shower typically will last anywhere from an hour to two hours. How are you going to structure the time? How are you going to break the ice, so that guests feel comfortable?
* Continue purchasing the supplies you will need at your leisure. Spreading it out will give you time to make changes if necessary.
* Prepare your gift to mom . Wrap it up and tuck it away, so you’re not worrying about it last minute.

One Week to go:

* Finalize the guest list. Call the guests that did not RSVP and ask if they are planning to attend. It is easier for you if you know how many people are going to come.
* If you are hosting the event somewhere other than your home, you may want to call again to confirm your reservation.
* Bake and freeze the cake, if you’re decorating one yourself. This has a couple of benefits, you can cut it into whatever shape you’d like, plus it means you’re not squeezing too much activity into the day before the shower.

One Day left:

* Charge your camera batteries.
* Make sure you have enough ice in the freezer.
* Decorate your cake or cupcakes, then cover and put in a “no touch” zone.
* Call the mom-to-be and see how she is doing. Ask if she would like a ride, and designate a friend to pick her up. Also, call and designate a friend (or ask your co-host) to keep a list of who gives what gift to mom at the shower. This will help her to write thank you notes .
* Arrange the house to accommodate your guests. Set up chairs and tables. Put up as many decorations as possible (I say that, because I have two small children.)
* Make name tags or place cards for the guests.
* Prepare any foods that can be made in advance.

Shower Day!

* Get ready first thing, but wear an old shirt or an apron, just in case, while you finish preparing food items and punch.
* Finish decorating details, and place trash cans in convenient spots, for tableware to be thrown away.
* Pick up at least one helium balloon, with which to mark your mailbox or other landmark where guests will know they have found the right place.
* Also, pick up the cake if it was made for you.
* Greet your guests as they come to the door.

Smile, relax and have fun!