When to Have a Baby Shower

Expecting a baby is an exciting time filled with anticipation and joy. One of the most beloved traditions during pregnancy is the baby shower, a celebration where friends and family gather to “shower” the expecting parents with love, support, and gifts. But when is the best time to have a baby shower? In this article, we’ll explore the typical timing, factors to consider, and answer some frequently asked questions about hosting a baby shower.

Typical Timing for Baby Showers

Baby showers are typically held during the second or third trimester of pregnancy, with the most common time being around 28-32 weeks or 4-6 weeks before the baby’s due date. This timing allows the expecting mother to have a noticeable baby bump for photos and ensures that the shower isn’t too close to the due date in case the baby arrives early.

Second or Third Trimester

Most baby showers take place during the second or third trimester when the pregnancy is well-established, and the risk of complications is lower. This timing also gives the expecting parents enough time to create a registry and plan for the arrival of their little one.

28-32 Weeks

Hosting a baby shower around 28-32 weeks of pregnancy is popular because it strikes a balance between the expecting mother feeling comfortable and energetic enough to enjoy the celebration and being far enough along to minimize the chances of premature labor.

4-6 Weeks Before Due Date

Some people prefer to have the baby shower closer to the due date, around 4-6 weeks before the baby’s arrival. This timing creates a sense of excitement and anticipation as the big day approaches and allows the expecting parents to receive gifts closer to when they’ll need them.

Factors Affecting Baby Shower Timing

While the typical timing for baby showers is during the second or third trimester, several factors can influence when a shower is held, such as pregnancy complications, cultural or religious traditions, personal preferences, and venue or guest availability.

Pregnancy Complications

If the expecting mother experiences pregnancy complications or is placed on bed rest, the baby shower may need to be postponed or held earlier to ensure her health and well-being.

Cultural or Religious Traditions

Some cultural or religious traditions may dictate when a baby shower should be held. For example, in some Jewish communities, baby showers are held after the baby’s birth to avoid superstition.

Personal Preferences

The expecting parents may have personal preferences for when they’d like to have their baby shower based on factors such as work schedules, travel plans, or the desire to have a specific theme or outdoor venue.

Venue and Guest Availability

The availability of the desired venue or the ability for key guests to attend can also impact the timing of the baby shower.

Early Baby Showers In some cases, baby showers may be held earlier than the typical 28-32 week timeframe due to specific circumstances, such as military deployment or health concerns.

Reasons for Early Showers

  • Military Deployment: If the expecting father or a close family member is in the military and will be deployed during the later stages of pregnancy, an early baby shower allows them to celebrate before leaving.
  • Health Concerns: If the expecting mother has a high-risk pregnancy or there are concerns about preterm labor, an earlier baby shower ensures that the celebration takes place before any potential complications arise.

Considerations for Early Showers

When planning an early baby shower, it’s essential to consider that the expecting mother may not be showing as much, and the gender of the baby may not be known yet, which can affect gift-giving and decorations.

Late Baby Showers

Sometimes, baby showers are held after the baby’s birth, particularly in cases of premature birth or adoption.

Reasons for Late Showers

  • Premature Birth: If the baby arrives prematurely, the shower may be postponed until the baby is home from the hospital and the parents have had time to adjust.
  • Adoption: In cases of adoption, a baby shower may be held after the baby’s arrival to celebrate the newest family member.

Benefits of Late Showers

Late baby showers allow the guests to meet the new baby and can be combined with a “sip and see” or a welcome home party. Gifts can also be more personalized since the baby’s gender and size are known.

Virtual Baby Showers

With advancements in technology and the need for social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual baby showers have gained popularity.

Advantages of Virtual Showers

Virtual baby showers allow friends and family from various locations to celebrate together, eliminate the need for travel, and can be more cost-effective than traditional in-person showers.

Tips for Hosting a Virtual Shower When hosting a virtual baby shower, consider using a reliable video conferencing platform, planning interactive games and activities, and providing clear instructions to guests on how to participate.

Who Typically Throws a Baby Shower?

Baby showers are usually hosted by close friends, family members, co-workers, or church and community groups.

Close Friends or Family Members Often, the expecting mother’s best friend, sister, or mother-in-law will take the lead in planning and hosting the baby shower.

Co-Workers In some cases, co-workers may organize an office baby shower to celebrate their colleague’s upcoming arrival.

Church or Community Groups Church or community groups may host a baby shower for expecting parents who are active members of their organization.

When to Start Planning a Baby Shower

It’s best to start planning a baby shower 4-6 months before the baby’s due date to allow enough time to choose a venue, send invitations, and coordinate decorations, food, and activities.

Factors to Consider When Planning

When planning a baby shower, there are several factors to consider:

Guest List

Create a guest list that includes close friends, family members, and other important people in the expecting parents’ lives.


Determine a budget for the shower and allocate funds for the venue, decorations, food, and favors.

Theme and Decorations

Choose a theme that reflects the expecting parents’ style and preferences, and select decorations that complement the theme.

Games and Activities

Plan fun and engaging games and activities that guests will enjoy and that celebrate the upcoming arrival of the baby.

Food and Refreshments

Decide on a menu that suits the time of day and the preferences of the expecting parents, and consider any dietary restrictions guests may have.


Deciding when to have a baby shower depends on various factors, including the expecting mother’s health, personal preferences, and cultural traditions. Typically, baby showers are held during the second or third trimester, around 28-32 weeks or 4-6 weeks before the due date. However, early or late showers may be necessary due to specific circumstances. With proper planning and consideration, a baby shower can be a wonderful celebration of the upcoming arrival of a new little one.


Is it okay to have a baby shower after the baby is born?

Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a baby shower after the baby’s arrival, especially in cases of premature birth or adoption.

Who should host a baby shower?

Baby showers are typically hosted by close friends, family members, co-workers, or church and community groups.

How long does a baby shower usually last?

Baby showers usually last 2-3 hours, depending on the number of guests and planned activities.

Is it appropriate to have a baby shower for a second or third child?

Yes, it’s okay to have a baby shower for subsequent children, often called a “baby sprinkle.” These celebrations are usually smaller in scale and focus more on celebrating the new baby than on gift-giving.

Can you have more than one baby shower?

Yes, some expecting parents choose to have multiple baby showers to accommodate different groups of friends and family or to celebrate with co-workers separately from their personal shower.

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