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Baby Shower Checklist

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The secret to planning a successful baby shower is to plan, plan, plan ahead. A baby shower checklist can help you do just that. What should go on your list? Consider the following:

Location: The first item on your checklist should be location. You can host a baby shower almost anywhere you want — a restaurant, tea parlor, park, beach, sports venue, or, of course, your home. (For more on this, see “Planning a Home Baby Shower,” “Planning a Restaurant Baby Shower,” and “Planning a Destination Baby Shower.”)

Refreshments: No baby shower checklist is complete without something to eat and drink. Food can run the gamut from snacks and dessert to a full buffet or five-course sit-down dinner. As for beverages, consider coffee, tea, punch, and soda. (For more on this, see “Baby Shower Refreshments 101” and “Baby Shower Drinks.”)

Tableware: Don’t forget to put plates, cups, glasses, utensils, serving pieces (e.g., punch bowl, serving trays, pitchers), tablecloth, napkins, etc., on your list. It’s up to you if you want to use real dishes or paper and plastic.

Rentals: Depending on the size of your baby shower and where you hold it, you may need to rent (or borrow) such items as tables, folding chairs, serving pieces, a coffeemaker, etc.

Decorations:Your checklist should include a few decorations. Think about flowers, balloons, candles, and decorations for walls, tables, and yard. (For more on this, see “Picking a Baby Shower Theme” and “8 Ways to Create a Beautiful Baby Shower Buffet.”)

Invitations: There are many ways to let guests know about a shower.Consider preprinted cards, handmade invites, custom-printed invitations, and e-invites. (For more on this, see “Baby Shower Invitations.”)

Games and Activities: Games and activities are a baby shower staple. Once you decide on the entertainment, be sure to include all the supplies you’ll need on your checklist — and don’t forget the prizes!

Party Favors: While not required, party favors are a nice touch to say “thank you for coming” to all your baby shower guests. (For more on this, see “Baby Shower Favors.”)

Music: Consider what baby shower music you should play or get creative with a custom baby shower playlist.Whether you hook up your iPod to some speakers or hire a string quartet, background music helps set the mood.

Cameras: The mother-to-be will appreciate having photos and videos of her baby shower, so make sure that cameras (digital or film cameras, or phones with cameras) are on your list. Designate a baby shower photographer and videographer to take pictures and shoot video. You might also scatter disposable cameras around the room so guests can snap photos throughout the shower.

Incidentals:Your checklist should include garbage bags or recycling bins (for all the baby shower gift-wrap); paper towels (for quick clean-ups); and toilet paper, hand towels, and nice soap for the guest bathroom.

Gift: Don’t forget your baby present for the mother-to-be!

Little Extras: Consider adding a corsage to your checklist to make the mom-to-be feel extra special. Another nice touch: Having a memory book on hand for guests to write in. Ask them to fill it with the best baby advice they ever received, the most important thing they know about babies, or whatever best wishes are in their heart.

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