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when to have a baby shower

When to have a baby shower?: 4 Tips On Timing It Just Right

by Jennifer Lim
So you've volunteered to be "Baby Shower Hostess" for your relative or close friend.  Now the big question is "when to have a baby shower"?

I've been through the planning process myself as a "Co-Hostess" and was fortunate enough to enjoy a completely drama-free, co-creative experience from start to finish. You may have a date and time in mind for your Shower, but in case you have any doubts, here are some tips to help guide you on timing the Shower just right:

HINT #1: How far along in the Mother's pregnancy is the best time to throw a baby shower?

Every Mama is different, and the presence of any medical conditions may influence the most appropriate timing for her baby shower. But under normal pregnancy conditions, generally speaking, the sweet spot for most moms falls in the 30-31 weeks pregnancy mark, and here's why:
  • By that time, she's sporting a cute baby bump (read: big, but not too big) along with the momentum of second trimester energy. With physical aches and pains generally at a minimum, she'll still be comfortable enough to enjoy her shower.
  • Mama's still got a nice leeway of 10+weeks to return gifts and buy needed items as she organizes everything before her little one arrives.
  • This timing generally takes into account the possibility of an early pregnancy.

HINT #2: When to have a baby shower: Saturday or Sunday?

Baby Showers tend to be held over the weekend - and which day depends on what works best for Mama and her Hostess, but it's also good to keep the following in mind:
  • SATURDAY: Holding the baby shower on a Saturday may be preferable when guests have a considerable commute of at least 1 hour (one-way) - or even a plane flight - to the shower venue. This day also works well for guests who need Sunday as a "recovery day" before returning to work on Monday.
  • SUNDAY: Sunday may be preferable for guests who typically have family or other plans on Saturday.

HINT #3: Best time to start?

Again, the best timing is based on what works best for Mama and her Hostess, but keep the following points on when to have a baby shower in mind as well:
  • An 11am-11:30am start time: This time is best for guests who only have the weekends to catch up on errands. An early baby shower leaves the late afternoon open to complete those errands and prepare for the coming work week.
  • A 12:30pm-1pm start time: This time works best for guests who enjoy the luxury of sleeping in or who plan on attending the baby shower after Sunday church/temple/worship services. A later start time also gives the Hostess plenty of time to finish any last minute details for the shower.

HINT #4: How long should the Baby Shower last?

While the number of Guests may be a determining variable, the generally accepted duration for a shower is no longer than 3 hours. This duration tends to be the sweet spot for a shower to move along nicely without going on for too long. You can set the "official" time to end at the 3-hour (or less) mark, but still allow for guests to stay longer and mingle if they wish.
Once you've picked out a date and the Mother-to-Be has created her Baby Registry, send out the invitations. They should go out 4-6 weeks prior to the Baby Shower. This time buffer gives guests ample time to peruse the Registry and add any personal touches, if they wish.

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