When to throw a baby shower

A pregnant woman in a chair holding up knit baby clothes.

Oh, baby! Whether you're organizing a baby shower on behalf of the parent(s)-to-be or throwing a celebration for you and your little one on the way, you know you're about to host THE party of the year. But when exactly should you throw this extra special event? Our guide is here to help answer all your questions about when to have a baby shower so you can get back to the fun parts, like choosing the baby shower invitations and planning baby shower activities and games!

When should you have a baby shower: choosing the right time for the expectant parent(s)

Planning a baby shower is an exciting milestone for both the parent(s)-to-be and their loved ones helping to plan this sweet party! It's a celebration of the impending arrival of their bundle of joy and an opportunity to gather with loved ones and receive support and blessings. 

When it comes to deciding when it’s the best time for a baby shower, remember—there's no one perfect answer that suits every situation! If you're hosting a baby shower for the expectant parent(s), consult with them beforehand to ensure that the time you choose makes the most sense for them and aligns with their wishes. There are a few factors to consider when deciding on the best timing for a baby shower or baby sprinkle.

Traditionally, baby showers are held during the third trimester of pregnancy, usually between the 32nd and 36th week (or 4–6 weeks before the due date). This shower timing allows the expectant parents to discover and share the sex of their baby (unless they're waiting until the birth to be surprised) to possibly guide shower decor and gift registry selections. It also allows for some time to make any necessary preparations for the arrival of the baby after the shower, such as organizing gifts and setting up the nursery.

However, keep in mind that every pregnancy and journey to parenthood is unique, and there may be specific circumstances to consider when choosing the date for the baby shower. For instance, if the expectant mother is experiencing a high-risk pregnancy or has a medical condition that requires closer monitoring, it may be more appropriate to have the baby shower earlier in the third trimester, around the 28th to 30th week. This way, the guest of honor can still enjoy the celebration without any added stress or discomfort that may arise later in the pregnancy.

Some parents simply prefer to have the baby shower earlier in the second trimester, around the 20th to 24th week. This timing allows for more flexibility in terms of planning and offers the host more time to organize everything. It also gives the expectant parents plenty of time to unpack their baby shower gifts and send out baby shower thank you cards without feeling overwhelmed and in a rush before the baby arrives. Having the baby shower earlier in the pregnancy can also help alleviate any concerns about potential complications or the need for bed rest later on.

Another good baby shower etiquette point to consider when deciding on the timing of the baby shower is the availability of close family and friends. It's essential to choose a date and time that works for the people who are the most important to the expectant parents. Reach out to these loved ones in advance to check their availability and ensure they can attend the baby shower. Baby showers are all about bringing loved ones together to celebrate the upcoming arrival of the baby and parent(s)-to-be, so make sure your VIP guest list can make it!

If you're planning an outdoor baby shower, choose a date during a season with favorable weather conditions, like spring or fall. You want everyone (especially anyone who is pregnant) to be comfortable, so if you decide to host during the summer or winter, consider hosting the shower indoors or providing ways for people to warm up/cool off as needed. Hosting a shower during certain seasons, such as summer and winter holidays, may also affect the availability of your guests, so keep this in mind while you're planning. 

Additionally, it's important to note that some cultures have their own unique baby shower timelines and traditions, and some celebrate the baby after it's arrived. Communication between the hosts and parent(s)-to-be (or their close friends and family if you're throwing a surprise shower) is essential when planning a beautiful and memorable baby shower.

Choosing which type of baby shower or baby celebration to have

While trying to decide when to have a baby shower, don’t forget to consider all of the different types of baby showers out there! Oftentimes, the type of shower that` best suits you and your family will help to determine when you celebrate it. 

Some of the most popular types of baby showers to plan:

Traditional baby shower: Generally hosted by a close family member or friend in honor of the mother-to-be.

Baby sprinkle: Parents expecting their second or third baby often choose this toned-down version of a full shower when they don’t need or want a huge celebration.

Couple’s shower: Similar to a traditional shower, except both parents are present and honored and co-ed guests are invited.

Adoption shower: This celebration honors the adoption of a child (and their proud parents) and can be held before or after the child arrives at their new home.

Rainbow Baby shower: This baby shower honors the parent(s)-to-be and their “Rainbow Baby,” a baby expected after the loss of a pregnancy. It’s not uncommon for expectant parents to celebrate this after their baby is born to alleviate the stress of attention.

Virtual baby shower: If you have family members or friends who can’t be with you in person to celebrate, consider throwing a virtual baby shower so no matter where they are, they can be a part of this special occasion.

Gender reveal: A celebration where the parent(s)-to-be reveal the baby’s sex to their family and friends (and often even to themselves!). This can be held in addition to a baby shower.

Sip and see: A casual party held after the baby is born in which the family and friends of the parents come over to “sip” some refreshments and “see” the new baby. This, too, can be held in addition to a baby shower.

Whichever type of celebration you choose, holding a baby shower on the weekend is generally the norm. The best time to throw a baby shower can vary, but most baby showers take place in the early afternoon and last from 2–4 hours, though brunch time baby showers are also a popular option! Of course, if you’re hosting a baby shower for a colleague at work, one held around lunchtime during the workweek is the way to go!

Baby shower invitations you’ll go goo-goo-ga-gah for 

Ready to throw a baby shower for yourself or a loved one? Evite has you covered with hundreds of beautiful digital baby shower invitations for every theme, including woodland animals, rainbows, celestial and florals, so you can find the perfect pairing for your party. You can add up to 3 registries on our invitations, enjoy free RSVP tracking, and even personalize your design by adding an envelope, liner, stamp, stickers and background. Some invitation designs to consider:

Soft Blue Ribbons Invitation

A baby shower with a blue color palette and accompanying invitation.

A delicate, classic blue ribbon border is modernized with a unique text layout to create a fresh-yet-elegant invitation.

Sweet Lullaby Invitation

A celestial-themed baby shower with a corresponding invitation.

A sweet bunny and fox are held aloft in the night sky by moon and star balloons. Subtle animation, glorious twilight hues and a simple line of text offer a polished, playful vibe.

String of Stars Invitation

An invitation with gold stars.

Shimmering, moving gold foil stars dance along a string for a minimalist celestial design perfect for the newest little star.

Orange Blossoms Invitation

A dessert table at a baby shower with an accompanying citrus-themed invitation.

A profusion of lush citrus and so-real-you-can-almost-smell-them orange blossoms decorate this summery shower invitation.

Delicate Florals in Green Invitation

A floral baby shower invitation and a picture of a field of flowers.

A very trendy ivory arch is surrounded by a spray of pretty wildflowers against a pale green background. It’s an Evite favorite!

Watercolor Forest Friends Invitation

A woodland baby shower invitation.

Woodland animals is one of the most popular baby shower themes, and this charming flora and fauna scene is just one of the many woodland designs we offer.

Check out all of our new baby shower invitations and baby sprinkle invitations.

Looking for more information about throwing a baby shower?

Our baby shower invites guide, baby shower thank you card wording guide and baby shower party guide are here to help!

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

No items found.

All of the products we feature are hand-selected by our editors! You see only what we love and what we think you'll love too. If you buy something through links on our site, Evite may earn a commission. Prices are subject to change.

No items found.
No items found.

View More Articles

View All