Your circle of friends is aflutter with excitement whenever one of your girlfriends is expecting a baby.

If you’ve been charged with planning a shower, you’re probably filled with all sorts of questions about how to get started.

There are so many options and themes that are possible–and details that need to be addressed from food to games.

Here are seven baby shower host guidelines to consider when planning a baby shower (or any party for that matter).

7 baby shower host guidelines

1. who’s coming?

If it’s a surprise, consider asking the guest of honor’s mom or spouse for invitee suggestions. You’ll want it to be intimate, so stick to close friends and family. Put it this way, if someone you’re thinking of inviting doesn’t know the guest of honor is pregnant, she probably shouldn’t be invited.

2. when should it be held?

Baby showers are typically held four to six weeks before the due date. Just make sure your guest of honor is okay with having a shower before the big day— some people are superstitious and others have religious constraints.

3. is there a theme?

Girl or boy? Sports or animals? Deciding if your mother-to-be would appreciate a themed or non-themed shower is important. Some women marvel at the clever creativity of a themed shower while others recoil. But, knowing the gender of the baby can make for fun themed decorations and games.

4. are games welcomed?

Decide what, if any, games there will be at the shower. Read the crowd and assess if games will be well received. Nothing is worse than a game-gone-wrong at this special event. Certainly, some can be raunchier and more playful than others depending on the guest list.

5. mocktails for all?

Obviously the mom-to-be cannot drink alcohol, so decide early on if liquor will be served. If you decide to offer cocktails, we suggest creating a special mocktail for the mom-to-be so that she feels special and not singled out.

6. what is the budget?

Nothing is more disappointing than realizing you’ve spent all your money on half the things you need to throw the party. Do a little research and put ballpark numbers on food, rentals, party supplies and anything else you might need. Then, stick to it. You’ll be happy you didn’t overspend, since you’ll soon be excited to snap up teeny baby clothes for the new baby.

7. who pays?

If you’re throwing it, you’re dishing out the dough. Consider sharing the expenses with another close friend or family member. By splitting the cost, you might also be able to split the responsibility.

Cheryl Says

Baby showers are a rite of passage for a new mom. And with a little creativity, the party can be unforgettable for everyone involved!