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Baby showers have been around for centuries, and for good reason—they’re a lovely way to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a little one, and to help you prepare for parenthood.

Whether you’re throwing a shower for yourself or a loved one, here are some steps to help get you started.

 Determine Your Budget
Baby Shower 1Some people pay for the shower themselves, while others ask guests to help. When you determine how much money you have to spend, you can begin to map out a plan for the event: from how many people to invite, to how much to spend on party supplies, including food and drink.
 

Find a Location

Baby Shower 2Your location helps determine how many people you can invite (how many can fit in the space?) and whether it’s a casual or more formal affair.
 

 Decide on a Theme

Baby Shower 3Your theme can be as simple as “It’s a boy!” or more specific, such as a circus theme or a travel theme. Once you decide on a theme, you can start working on your invitations, gathering decorations, selecting food and beverages and planning activities that fit that theme.
 

Decide Whom to Invite

Baby Shower 4To help your guests choose baby shower gifts, register at a few retailers who stock or specialize in baby gear. Make sure you register for essential items as well as higher-priced items, so that your guests can purchase items individually or purchase a larger item as a group.
 

Baby Shower 5

Baby Shower 5Ask key invitees (like grandparents) about their upcoming conflicts before setting a date. If you’re hosting for a loved one, ask them for a list of guests to invite.
 

Baby Shower 6

Baby Shower 6You can mail traditional paper invitations, send an online invite or get creative! Pacifiers or rattles can serve as a cute substitute; attach a tag with all of the details. If mom and dad have registered for gifts, make sure you include the registry information in the invitation.
 

 Baby Shower 7

Baby Shower 7Purchase decorations and paper-serving products (if the event is more casual). If you’re cooking yourself, plan a menu, and closer to the date buy the food and drinks you need. Make what you can ahead of time; freeze or refrigerate it until the day of.
 

 Baby Shower 8

Baby Shower 8The most important thing is that Mom, Dad (if he’s invited) and guests have fun. If something unexpected happens (you forgot the cake!), laugh it off. Motherhood is not about being perfect—it’s about love, and baby showers are about sharing this love with family and friends.

We’ve put together a few more great resources to help with everything from planning and hosting a memorable shower, to picking the perfect present (hint: the best gifts have sentimental value and an element of practicality).

Logo Baby Center

Get ideas for a baby shower theme, inspiration for group games and crafts, and throw the parents-to-be a personalized, memorable, fun-filled celebration.

Logo Baby Center

Find out the best things moms received at their own showers, and give your guest of honor a gift she absolutely loves.
Logo Baby Center

Baby showers don’t have to be ladies-only affairs! By tweaking a few traditions, you can throw a shower that everyone enjoys.

Our Promise to Babies

Make your own origami storks filled with promises to your baby

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