Organizing a Baby Shower and the Gifts Received
Welcome to the ultimate guide on organizing and giving a baby shower! Get ready to dive into a world of excitement, laughter, and adorable gifts as we take you through the steps of hosting a memorable celebration for the impending arrival of a precious little bundle of joy.
If you’re planning a baby shower, or if you’re having one planned for you, you might’ve already figured out that a party this special involves a lot of tasks. From themes and food to gift tracking, there’s a lot to remember. So we’ve created this guide to keep things on track and help you plan the most memorable baby shower ever and hopefully eliminate some of the stress that comes with party planning and focus on having fun with it.
So, grab a cup of tea, put on your party-planning hat, and let’s embark on this delightful journey together!
When is the perfect time for a baby shower?
Let’s talk timing!
You can have a baby shower either before or after baby comes. If the shower is going to happen before baby, throwing it about one to two months before the little bundle of joy is expected to make their grand entrance. But hey, surprises happen, right? So, some moms-to-be prefer an earlier shower, just in case their little one decides to arrive fashionably early. b
If the celebration is going to take place after baby’s arrival, then you’ll want to give the family enough time to settle in with their new addition, get used to their routine and, if you’re doing gifts, figure out what they need. That means the shower could be anywhere from one to eight weeks after baby’s arrival—or later.
Determine the guest list and budget
Once the mother-to-be has provided the complete guest list (be sure she gives you emails or addresses, too), the planning really begins.
When deciding where to have the shower, consider the time of year, number of guests, and budget. Many showers are held in the host’s living room or back yard or even at a church or apartment complex activity room. If the budget is large enough, a hotel or restaurant could be chosen.
Send the Invitations
You should send out the invitations about six weeks before the shower if at all possible. This will give the invitees time to RSVP, shop for a gift, and find a babysitter if needed. For a casual shower, an email invitation is perfectly fine. But before sending out the invites, make sure that the location, date and time has been settled upon. If there are guests coming from out of town who would rather send their gift ahead of time, list the address where shower gifts can be shipped to.
Plan the food, decorations, and agenda for the event
Planning is essential for any successful event. If using a theme, you will need to find and purchase the decorations well in advance. If you are just using a pastel color scheme as the theme, you can easily find decorations in those colors. But if planning for a more specific theme, it may take more time to find the decorations to go with that theme. You can find lots of ideas and printables for activities for the guests here. The venue and budget will determine the menu for the guests. It could be something as simple as cake and drinks or as complicated as a complete meal.
Most showers include games, opening the gifts, eating and drinking, and visiting with the mom to be. Once all the guests have arrived, you can start an activity to keep them busy. The most important part of the event is watching the mom-to-be open the gifts. Food and drinks can be served at any time that is convenient and will fit in with the rest of the agenda.
Creating space for all those precious gifts
Before the shower takes place, it’s essential to plan for a designated room or area in the new parents’ home (or some other location) to store the gifts until they’re needed. Trust me, some of these presents can be quite bulky, like a crib, stroller, playpen, high chair, or car seat. Even if they come neatly packed, they’ll still take up some room. You’ll want to unpack and assemble the gifts you’ll need right away when the baby arrives.
Now, let’s talk about those adorable items you might not need immediately. To avoid cluttering your living space, it’s better to store them until they’re required, especially if storage space is limited.
Mastering the art of organization
Organizing your baby shower and its gifts is key to making your life easier after childbirth. Start by recruiting a close friend or family member to assist during the gift-opening frenzy. They can be your trusty record-keeper, jotting down each gift and who it came from as you unveil the surprises. Another helpful task for them is carefully repackaging the gifts for easy transport and storage once you’ve thanked the generous gift-givers.
After you’ve had some well-deserved rest, it’s time to expand your inventory list of gifts. Add another column to your list, differentiating between items you’ll need as soon as the baby arrives and those you’ll need when they’re a bit older. The goal here is to organize your baby gifts so that you know exactly when you’ll need and use each one.
Checklists make everything better
Ah, the beauty of checklists! They’re the ultimate tool for staying organized, and that includes managing your baby shower gifts. As mentioned earlier, start by dividing the presents into two groups. Group one should contain items you’ll need right after childbirth and during the first six months. Group two will include all the other fantastic gifts, such as toys for when your little one is a bit older.
If space isn’t an issue, take each item to its designated spot in the nursery. However, if space is tight, pack the items from the second group into clean bags and store them away until they’re needed.
Taking care of those must-have items
Now, let’s dive into taking care of the items you’ll need first:
- Carefully remove the tags from baby clothes while keeping the washing instructions intact.
- Follow the instructions and wash all the clothes, blankets, and towels using a gentle, hypoallergenic detergent.
- Once everything is completely dry, store them in the baby’s wardrobe, arranging them by size. Remember, the things your baby will grow into should be at the back.
- Even though they’ll likely be clean when gifted, wash hand-me-down items like plush toys and teddy bears.
- After cleaning, separate all clothing items by size and store them in clean, labeled totes. Babies grow quickly, so you’ll need to rotate totes approximately every two to three months.
- Make space in your kitchen cabinets or pantry for baby food, feeding utensils, and small appliances. Keep everything within easy reach.
- Ideally, have a shelf or toy box in the nursery for albums, books, plush toys, and other playtime treasures. If space is limited, airtight transparent plastic boxes will do the trick. Organize items by category and label the boxes with the age range the toys are intended for.
- Don’t forget to take a quick snapshot of each present as you unpack them! Sending a photo along with a heartfelt thank-you message via email is a thoughtful touch. If you really want to go the extra mile, a handwritten thank-you note is always appreciated. It might be considered “old-school,” but it adds a personal touch that people love.
With these tips in hand, you’re ready to have a memorable and organized baby shower. Celebrate this joyous occasion with love, laughter, and a touch of whimsy as you welcome your little one into the world!