When is the best time to have a baby shower?

Group of Women Enjoying a Baby Shower
Photo © Photodisc/Getty Images

Question: When is the best time to have a baby shower?

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


In years past it was very common to have a baby shower at the very end of the third trimester.

This worked well because most people lived near their families. This meant travel, timing, and other things weren’t something that needed to really be taken into account.

As people have moved further away from family, it became much more common to have a baby shower earlier in the third trimester for a variety of reasons. This is when the vast majority of baby showers occur in modern times. I would also say that having multiple baby showers also plays into shifting the dates for baby showers forward.

Occasionally each family will have a variety of reasons to hold a baby shower earlier in the pregnancy. Some of these reasons to have a baby shower at a different time might be:

  • Twins or Other Multiple Pregnancy

    When a mother is expecting twins or other multiples it may be common to 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. It also is less likely that she will be on bed rest. This also gives this multiples mom a bit of time to prepare. It allows her to go through her items and get the nursery ready, calculating what she still needed. 
  • 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. They may not even call this a baby shower, they may refer to it as a naming, or other welcoming ceremony. In these cases a baby shower may be held after the baby’s birth. The benefit here is that the baby can usually attend the party!
  • Geographic Location

    If the family is scattered geographically, it might be that you decide to 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. This may be held at a time of year when many of the family are already planning to gather. An example might be at a planned family reunion.
  • Seasons or Other Gatherings

    Sometimes if the family is far-flung, having a baby shower around a holiday or other family gathering where most people will already be together is appropriate. This can be hard to pull off holidays and a baby shower related gathering, but with some planning, it can be quite nice.

Even when there are extenuating circumstances as to the timing of a baby shower, it is generally considered that a baby shower should not be held until after 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. So use these two marks as your best guide for absolutes when it comes to scheduling a baby shower.

All in all, it's really up to the family. If it works for you - I would not worry about what the standards are for others.

It may be different than the norm, but it's your party and you can schedule it when you want to schedule it! You may have some naysayers, but eventually even the most vocal opponents come around to celebrate a new baby!

See also: Rules of Baby Shower Etiquette

Continue Reading