Baby Shower Ideas, Checklist, and Free Printables

I am nearly 37 weeks along in this pregnancy and am definitely ready to stop being soooo uncomfortable. But since this little boy hasn’t made his appearance yet, that means I have time to give some quick tips and info on planning a baby shower as well as some free printables that you can use for yours!

Let’s start with the ultimate baby shower checklist!

  • Choose a host (if one hasn’t volunteered already)
  • Set a budget
  • Set a date, time, and location
  • Create guest list
  • Create baby registry (or don’t)
  • Send out invitations
    • Consider creating event on Facebook
  • Plan the menu
  • Decide on a theme or color scheme—pick decorations
  • Choose games
  • Determine party favors and prize ideas

Now here are some FAQs about baby showers along with my oh-so professional answers to them that will help expound on some of the checklist items.

When should I have my baby shower?

Baby showers are typically held later on in pregnancy. I would recommend having it between 32-36 weeks of pregnancy. This ensures that you are far enough along in your pregnancy to be in the “safe zone” and that you have your shower before your baby arrives. I had mine right in the middle at 34 weeks. This was the perfect time for me, because I have only gotten more uncomfortable since then and probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it much if we waited any longer.

Who should host my baby shower?

Baby showers are most frequently hosted by a close family member (mom, sister, aunt) or friend. If you are nearing your third trimester and someone hasn’t volunteered, you may want to start thinking about who you would like to ask. It should be someone that you have a good enough relationship with that it wouldn’t be awkward to ask. My mom hosted my baby shower.

When should I send out invitations?

Generally speaking, invitations should be sent out 4-6 weeks in advance to give guests enough time to make travel arrangements (if needed) or just make sure they have that day marked on their calendars.

I did this a little bit differently. My mom and I created a Facebook event 2 months in advance to give people time to make travel arrangements, sent out real invitations to non-locals 4 weeks prior, and then sent invitations to locals 2 weeks before the shower. This way everyone had a heads up via Facebook, and then the paper invitations acted as more of a reminder.

We also ended up saving on invites because we already had a good idea of who could and couldn’t make it (based on those who RSVP’d on Facebook)—though we sent invites to some we knew couldn’t come anyway (like close family members and friends).

How much should I and/or my host spend on the baby shower?

Make sure you discuss who is covering the costs—from invites to food to decorations—with your host ahead of time. Again, your host should be someone you are comfortable discussing this with.

We budgeted $200 in total for everything, and spent just over that. We kept things pretty simple for my shower with finger foods (veggie tray, fruit tray, mini quiches, cheese and crackers, and some desserts), cute decorations from our local Walmart, some nice party favors and prizes, and printables that I made myself (yay for free stuff!).

You can really make your shower as simple or elaborate as you want (unless your host is taking the reigns on the whole thing).

Should I use a baby registry, and where should I register?

I found creating a registry to be very helpful because I had already gotten a lot of hand-me-downs from other moms and knew exactly what we still needed (or wanted) for our baby boy. Having a registry prevented getting duplicates of items or things that we just didn’t need.

I have heard of some moms creating a registry and then people not using it, but we didn’t have that problem. I think the most important thing is to make sure that people know you have a registry. I did this by adding the link to our registry in the Facebook event noted earlier, and then by slipping a printout of where we were registered into each invitation. There were very few people who didn’t use our registry, and those that didn’t gave things like clothing, diapers, or handmade items, which you can never have too many of when you have a baby!

As for where to register, I chose Target. It is where my husband and I registered for our wedding a few years ago, so I was familiar with setting one up and was overall pleased with my experience with them. You can choose to register on Amazon or other websites though—I just found Target to be easier for returns (in case of duplicates) than a store completely based online, plus they have a neat feature where your guests can mark something as purchased on the registry even if they don’t buy it from Target (sometimes things are just cheaper elsewhere).

Now that I have overloaded you with information, we are on to the fun stuff! Below I have inserted pictures of my baby shower, including some of the printables that I created for games, party favors, and prizes that you can download the files for. If you want to create your own, visit That is where I created all of mine. It is a great FREE website that lets you do basic designs like the ones you see below!

I got a lot of my ideas for these homemade games and prizes from Pinterest—they weren’t all quite the right colors or look though, which is why I ended up creating my own.


Shh, Don’t Say Baby!


I am sure many of you have played this game before—it lasts throughout the duration of the baby shower. Everyone grabs a clothespin on their way in, and if they catch anyone saying “baby” they snatch their pin. The person with the most pins at the end of the shower wins. I made this adorable 8×10 printable and popped it into a frame.

Printable: Shh, Don’t Say Baby!

How big is the baby belly?


This game is simple and fun! I made a cute printable and my mom and I put one inside each miniature Ziploc bag with a long piece of yarn. Each person grabs a bag on the way in and cuts the yarn to how big they think your baby belly is! Whoever is closest wins. I didn’t include a file for these printables because it has my name on them. Try going to Canva though to create your own!

Baby Jeopardy


Oh man. Putting this game together took a loooong time, but it turned out great! My mom and I spent a couple hours cutting out all the letters, writing down the questions and answers (I knew the questions but not the answers so that I could still play the game at my shower), and gluing it all together. It took a poster board, glittery scrapbook paper, stencils, markers, glue, tape, scissors, and baby-related trivia questions. As for the game play, you split everyone up into two teams and they take turns picking the category and point amount. If the team gets it wrong, it passes to the other team and they have a chance to get the points.

Baby Items A-Z


This 3-minute game was quick and really funny! You have the mom-to-be fill out the card before the shower to use as the answer key, and then the guests have 3 minutes to fill out as many as they can with what they think the mom-to-be wrote down. Some of the answers people wrote down were just hilarious. I didn’t create the printable for this one, but it was free at this website:

Party Favors and Prizes

Popcorn Party Favors


For the party favors my mom and I threw together some goodie bags with popcorn, a few miniature chocolates, a “ready to POP!” printable that I made, and then tied with a “mommy to be” ribbon (from Walmart, of course).

Printable: Popcorn Favors Printables

My Shower to Yours Prizes


Shower gels with loofa sponges with a printable that I made saying “From my shower to yours!”. These made great prizes!

Printable: Body Wash Printables

Kisses Prizes


I don’t have any special printables or anything for these prizes, but they worked out great as a cheaper and easy prize for the Jeopardy winners (we needed something smaller for these prizes since it was a team-win). They are just goodie bags filled with Hershey’s kisses and tied with ribbons!

And here are a few more ideas for decorations and food!

Baby Clothes Line


Another Pinterest-inspired idea, this decoration was so cute and easy to put together. All you need for it is twine, clothespins, some little onesies, and something cute to put at the ends of the twine.

A Touch of You


We had this little 5×7 canvas of my maternity pictures sitting on the counter by the clothespin and baby belly games as people walked in. It really gave the shower a nice touch! I created this one on Shutterfly, which unfortunately was not free—but it makes a nice keepsake!

Elephant Brownies


I originally saw elephant-shaped rice krispy treats with blue M&Ms on Pinterest—but we decided to use the elephant cookie-cutter on brownies with peanut butter chips instead (because who wants to cut through rice krispy treats?). Everyone loved these!

Thanks for reading and I hope you beautiful mamas got your questions answered and some ideas brewing for your own showers!

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