When Is the Best Time to Have a Baby Shower?

Group of Women Enjoying a Baby Shower

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Most mothers will have at least one baby shower celebrating their first pregnancy and many mothers will have them for their subsequent pregnancies. One of the most common questions is about the best time to have a baby shower.

Typical Timing

In years past it was common to have a baby shower at the very end of the third trimester. This worked well because most people lived near their families and travel, timing, and other considerations didn't need to be taken into account.

As families more and more lived farther apart, it became more common to have a baby shower earlier in the third trimester. This is when the vast majority of baby showers occur now. Having more than one baby shower for pregnancy also is a factor in some of the parties being held earlier.

Don't Schedule It Too Early or Too Late

A baby shower should not be held before the 20-week mark in pregnancy. Showers held too late, after 38 weeks, run the risk of the baby joining you for the baby shower. Use these two marks as your best guide.

Different Timing

A family may have a variety of reasons for holding a baby shower earlier or later in the pregnancy. Some of these reasons might be:

  • Expecting twins or other multiples: When a mother is expecting twins or other multiples, you might hold a baby shower very late in the multiples, you might hold a baby shower very late in the second trimester or earlier in the third trimester. Since twins tend to come a bit earlier this can prevent mom from missing her baby shower because the babies have been born. The mother may have to go on bed rest later in the pregnancy. This also gives her a bit of time to prepare, going through what she needs to get her nursery ready for the multiples.
  • Religious or cultural beliefs: Some cultures and religions have taboos against having a baby shower before the birth of a baby. This may also simply be a family tradition. The baby shower may be held after birth and be called a naming or other welcoming ceremony. The benefit is that the baby can usually attend the party. Other folks simply chose to host one postpartum. This type of party is called a Sip and See, which is held once the baby has been born.
  • Geographic location: If the family is scattered geographically, you might have the baby shower at a time and location that can allow the most family members to attend. This will also allow the baby shower to be held at a time when the pregnant mother is most able to travel comfortably. It could be at a family reunion that was already scheduled or that you have every year.
  • Seasonal, holiday, or other gatherings: Sometimes if the family is far-flung, having a baby shower around a holiday or another family gathering where most people will already be together is appropriate. It can take some planning to do both together and make each celebration special.

If it works for you, don't worry about what the standards are. It may be different than the norm, but it's your party and you can schedule it when you want. Now, you just need to worry about the rules of baby shower etiquette.