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Setting a Baby Shower Date: Before or After the Baby Is Born?

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When setting a baby shower date, the first thing you’ll want to decide is: before or after the baby is born. Most baby showers are held prior to the baby’s birth — usually four to eight weeks before the due date. But it’s perfectly acceptable to pick a date that’s a month or two after the baby is born. In fact, modern baby showers evolved from 19th-century tea parties held by genteel ladies to celebrate the birth of a child. At that time, pregnant women were not supposed to be seen in public, so baby showers were held after the baby was born. And in some cultures it’s always been traditional to celebrate after, rather than before, the birth of a new baby. (For more on this, see “3 Reasons to Host a Baby Shower Before the Baby Is Born” and “5 Reasons to Host a Baby Shower After the Baby Is Born.”)

Since the months before and after the birth of a baby can be hectic, be sure to discuss the date with the mom-to-be early in her pregnancy. In addition to the pre- or post-baby question, you’ll want to talk about time of day and day of the week. Saturday and Sunday are the most popular, especially in the afternoon. But weekdays work well for an office baby shower and may be ideal for, say, a neighborhood coffee party.

As you zero in on setting a date for the baby shower, don’t forget to check the calendar for holidays, vacation seasons, and special events that might conflict with your desired date. The last thing you want is for everyone to be away on spring break or watching the Academy Awards on TV when the big day arrives.

Finally, keep in mind that babies come when they will, so be prepared to reschedule the baby shower if needed.

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