When Should You Have A Baby Shower

September 3, 2023

Planning a baby shower is an exciting time for expectant parents, but one question that often arises is when should you have a baby shower. Finding the perfect timing for this celebratory event can be crucial in ensuring both the comfort of the mother-to-be and the attendance of loved ones. From considerations related to the stage of pregnancy to cultural and personal preferences, there are several factors to take into account when deciding the ideal timing for a baby shower.

When to Plan a Baby Shower

Planning a baby shower can be an exciting and joyous event, but one of the first questions that may come to mind is when is the best time to have it. Timing is an important factor to consider when planning a baby shower, as it can affect the overall experience for both the expectant mother and the guests. In this article, we will explore the different factors to consider when deciding on the timing of a baby shower, as well as the advantages and challenges of having a baby shower in each trimester of pregnancy.

Considering the Pregnancy Timeline

The first factor to consider when planning a baby shower is the pregnancy timeline. It is important to keep in mind that every pregnancy is unique, and the exact duration of each trimester may vary from woman to woman. However, as a general guideline, the first trimester typically lasts from weeks 1 to 12, the second trimester from weeks 13 to 27, and the third trimester from weeks 28 to 40.

Taking Cultural and Religious Factors into Account

In addition to the pregnancy timeline, cultural and religious factors may also play a role in determining the timing of a baby shower. Some cultures may have specific traditions or beliefs that dictate when it is appropriate to have a baby shower. It is important to respect and consider these factors when planning a baby shower, as they can add a meaningful and significant touch to the celebration.

Factors to Consider

Before delving into the timing of a baby shower in each trimester, let’s take a look at some important factors to consider when determining the ideal timing.

Physical Comfort of the Expectant Mother

As the host of the baby shower, it is crucial to prioritize the physical comfort of the expectant mother when choosing the timing of the event. The first trimester can often be accompanied by symptoms such as morning sickness, fatigue, and heightened sensitivity to smells. Therefore, it may be advisable to avoid planning the baby shower during this period to ensure the expectant mother is feeling their best. Similarly, the third trimester is characterized by increased physical discomfort, including aches, pains, and potential swelling. It may be best to plan the baby shower earlier in the third trimester to accommodate the expectant mother’s changing needs.

Ease of Travel for Guests

Another factor to consider is the ease of travel for the baby shower guests. If the expectant mother has friends and family who live far away, it may be preferable to plan the baby shower during a time when travel is more convenient, such as weekends or holiday periods. This would allow guests to attend without experiencing significant disruptions to their schedules or incurring excessive travel expenses.

Availability of Key Participants

The availability of key participants, such as close family and friends, is an important factor to consider when planning a baby shower. It is essential to check with these individuals regarding their availability before finalizing the date. This is particularly important if there are individuals who the expectant mother would like to have present at the baby shower but who may have scheduling conflicts due to work or other commitments.

Choosing the Ideal Timing

Now that we have explored the factors to consider when planning a baby shower, let’s dive into the specific timing options for each trimester of pregnancy.

First Trimester

The first trimester of pregnancy is a time of significant changes and adjustments for the expectant mother. While it can be tempting to plan the baby shower during this period to celebrate the beginning of pregnancy, there are some key considerations to keep in mind.

Benefits of Having a Baby Shower

One of the main benefits of having a baby shower during the first trimester is the opportunity to announce the pregnancy and share the joyous news with loved ones. Additionally, having the baby shower early in the pregnancy allows the expectant mother to receive essential items and support early on, helping her to feel prepared and cared for throughout the rest of her pregnancy.

Risks and Challenges

However, there are also risks and challenges associated with having a baby shower during the first trimester. The expectant mother may still be experiencing morning sickness and fatigue, which can make it challenging for her to fully enjoy the celebration. Furthermore, the first trimester is a critical period for the development of the baby, and the expectant mother may be more cautious about potential exposure to germs or viruses at a gathering.

Considerations for High-Risk Pregnancies

For expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies, it is important to consult with healthcare providers before planning a baby shower in the first trimester. High-risk pregnancies require extra precautions and monitoring, which may influence the timing and format of the baby shower.

Second Trimester

The second trimester of pregnancy is often referred to as the “honeymoon phase,” as many expectant mothers experience a decrease in symptoms and an increase in energy and overall well-being. This period can be an optimal time to plan a baby shower.

Advantages of Having a Baby Shower

One of the main advantages of having a baby shower during the second trimester is that the expectant mother is likely to be feeling more comfortable and energetic. This allows her to fully enjoy the celebration and engage with her guests. Additionally, planning the baby shower during this period allows for more flexibility in terms of venue options, as the expectant mother may be more open to hosting the event at an outside location or a larger venue.

Challenges and Cautions

While the second trimester is generally a more comfortable period for the expectant mother, it is essential to remain mindful of her specific needs and limitations. Each pregnancy is unique, and some expectant mothers may still experience symptoms or complications during the second trimester. It is important to communicate with the expectant mother and consider her preferences when planning a baby shower during this time.

Indications for an Early or Delayed Shower

In some cases, there may be indications for an early or delayed baby shower during the second trimester. For example, if the expectant mother is expecting multiples or has been advised to reduce physical activity, an early baby shower may be more appropriate. On the other hand, if the expectant mother prefers to have more time to prepare or if there are scheduling conflicts, a delayed baby shower within the second trimester may be considered.

Third Trimester

The third trimester of pregnancy is the final stretch before the arrival of the baby. It is a time of anticipation and excitement, but also increased physical discomfort and potential limitations.

Reasons to Have a Baby Shower

One of the main reasons to have a baby shower in the third trimester is to allow the expectant mother to receive any remaining items she may need before the baby’s arrival. This can be especially helpful for first-time mothers who may still be in the process of setting up their nursery or collecting essential baby items. Additionally, having a baby shower in the third trimester allows friends and family to shower the expectant mother with support, love, and encouragement as she nears the end of her pregnancy journey.

Precautions and Limitations

It is important to approach planning a baby shower in the third trimester with caution and consideration for the expectant mother’s well-being. As the pregnancy progresses, the expectant mother may experience increased physical discomfort, which can make it challenging to fully enjoy the celebration. Moreover, there may be certain limitations on activities or dietary restrictions that need to be taken into account during the third trimester.

Best Time Within the Trimester

When determining the best time to have a baby shower in the third trimester, it is advisable to aim for a date approximately six to eight weeks before the due date. This allows for any potential early arrivals and provides the expectant mother with ample time to prepare and organize the baby’s nursery. However, it is important to consult with the expectant mother and healthcare provider to ensure that the chosen date aligns with any specific needs or recommendations.

Weeks to Avoid for a Baby Shower

While the trimesters provide a general guideline for when to plan a baby shower, there are also specific weeks to avoid in order to minimize potential risks and ensure the comfort and well-being of the expectant mother.

Special Considerations for Premature Births

For expectant mothers who have been identified as having a higher risk of premature birth, it is important to avoid scheduling the baby shower too close to their estimated due date. Premature births can occur unexpectedly, and having a baby shower too close to the due date may lead to additional stress and potentially result in the expectant mother being unable to attend the celebration.

Avoiding Potential Stressors

It is recommended to avoid scheduling the baby shower during weeks where the expectant mother has medical appointments or other stressful events planned. The weeks leading up to the baby’s due date can be particularly hectic and demanding, and it is important to allow the expectant mother enough time and space to focus on her well-being and preparations.

Alternative Celebrations

In addition to traditional baby showers, there are also alternative celebrations that may be considered depending on the preferences and circumstances of the expectant mother.

Sip and See Party

A sip and see party is a popular alternative to a traditional baby shower, particularly for mothers who prefer to have a more relaxed and informal gathering. This type of celebration typically takes place after the baby is born, allowing friends and family to meet the newborn and “sip and see” them in person.

Sprinkle Shower

A sprinkle shower is a smaller-scale version of a traditional baby shower and is often hosted for mothers who already have children. Instead of focusing on essential baby items, this type of celebration may be centered around pampering the expectant mother or providing her with sentimental gifts and support.

Postpartum Celebration

A postpartum celebration is held after the baby is born and focuses on showering the new parents with support and assistance during the early days of parenthood. This type of celebration can be an excellent opportunity to offer practical help, such as meal deliveries or babysitting, to ease the transition into parenthood.


Choosing the right timing for a baby shower requires careful consideration of various factors, including the physical comfort of the expectant mother, ease of travel for guests, and the availability of key participants. Each trimester presents its own unique advantages and challenges, and it is important to weigh these factors when deciding on the ideal timing. Additionally, it is crucial to take into account cultural and religious factors and to be mindful of any specific needs or limitations of the expectant mother. By considering all of these factors, you can plan a baby shower that is memorable, enjoyable, and meaningful for everyone involved.

Sandra McNeil, PhD.
Sandra McNeil, PhD.

Sandra has over 13 years of experience as a child psychologist, both as a practitioner and researcher. She has a Bachelor's in child psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and then she did her master's in Psychology in Education (focused on Children & Families) at Columbia University, NY. She has been writing for health and child-related publications for over 5 years now.

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