What Time Should a Baby Shower Start? Tips for the Perfect Celebration

Planning a baby shower can be both exciting and a bit overwhelming. One of the first questions that comes up is, “What time should the baby shower start?” The timing can set the tone for the entire event, affecting everything from the menu to the activities.

In my experience, choosing the right time for a baby shower depends on several factors, including the preferences of the mom-to-be and the availability of guests. Whether you’re aiming for a morning brunch, an afternoon tea, or an evening gathering, the key is to pick a time that ensures everyone has a great experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Guest Availability and Mom-to-be’s Preferences: Select start times that accommodate guest schedules and the energy levels of the mom-to-be, with late mornings or early afternoons often being ideal.
  • Meal Considerations: Align the start time with meal expectations—morning for brunch, noon for lunch, and late afternoon or evening for dinner.
  • Cultural and Regional Influences: Consider local customs, traditions, and climates when setting the time, ensuring greater relevance and participation.
  • Weekday vs. Weekend: Weekend afternoons generally yield higher attendance, while weekday events may suit guests with flexible schedules but might limit overall attendance.
  • Invitations and RSVPs: Send invitations 4-6 weeks in advance, and follow up with unresponsive guests a week before the event to ensure proper planning.
  • Event Duration: Plan for a baby shower to last 2-3 hours to balance activities like mingling, eating, and games, keeping the event engaging without overstaying.

Understanding Baby Shower Timing

Factors Influencing the Start Time

Determining the start time for a baby shower involves analyzing several elements impacting the overall flow. Guest availability directly affects the event’s success, especially if most attendees work weekdays. Weekend mornings tend to attract more guests compared to weekday evenings.

Mom-to-be’s energy levels are another crucial factor. Many expectant mothers prefer late mornings or early afternoons when they feel most energetic. This timing allows them to enjoy the event without feeling fatigued.

Meal considerations also guide the timing. A brunch setting requires a start time around 10:00 AM, while a lunch-oriented shower might begin at noon or early afternoon. Guests expect a more extensive menu later in the day, necessitating appropriate planning.

Cultural and Regional Considerations

Cultural and regional customs significantly influence baby shower timing. In the U.S., afternoon events often become the norm, typically starting between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. However, in some regions, evening showers catered with substantial meals may start around 6:00 PM.

Religious or ethnic traditions might also dictate the timing. For example, some cultures prefer weekend gatherings to align with extended family availability. Understanding these customs ensures respect and maximizes participation.

Weather considerations can also play a role. In hotter climates, morning showers provide comfort, while cooler regions might opt for afternoons. Seasonal factors, such as holiday weekends, can also affect scheduling preferences.

Planning the Perfect Time

Morning vs. Afternoon vs. Evening Showers

Choosing between morning, afternoon, and evening baby showers depends on the preferences and schedules of the guests and the mom-to-be. Morning showers, typically between 10 AM and noon, offer a relaxed atmosphere with lighter foods such as pastries and fruit. This option suits early risers and those with afternoon commitments.

Afternoon showers, held between 1 PM and 4 PM, are the most popular choice. These events allow for a broader food selection including lunch and snacks. Guests also have the flexibility of attending other activities later in the day.

Evening showers, typically starting around 5 PM, cater to guests who have daytime obligations. These gatherings can feature heartier meals and a more festive atmosphere. However, consider the mom-to-be’s energy levels, as she might feel tired in the evening.

Weekday vs. Weekend: What’s Best?

Deciding between a weekday or weekend baby shower hinges on the availability of guests and the mom-to-be. Weekday showers, often in the late afternoon or evening, may be convenient for guests with flexible schedules or those who live nearby. This option, though, can limit attendance for those with regular work hours.

Weekend showers, preferably on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, typically see higher attendance. Most guests have free time on weekends, making it easier for them to participate. This option also allows for leisurely planning and more time for the event.

Considering these factors ensures a well-attended and enjoyable baby shower.

Additional Tips for a Successful Baby Shower

Invitations and RSVPs

Send invitations 4-6 weeks in advance to give guests enough notice. Include essential details such as date, time, location, and RSVP instructions. Use digital invitations for easier tracking and quicker responses. Follow up with guests who haven’t responded a week before the event.

Optimal Duration for a Baby Shower

Plan for a baby shower to last 2-3 hours. This allows time for mingling, eating, and playing games without overextending guests or the mom-to-be. Schedule breaks between activities to keep the event relaxed and enjoyable.


Choosing the right start time for a baby shower is crucial for making the event enjoyable for everyone. By considering factors like guest availability, the mom-to-be’s energy levels, and cultural customs, you can create a memorable experience. Whether you opt for a morning, afternoon, or evening shower, each time slot offers unique benefits in terms of food and atmosphere. Don’t forget to send invitations 4-6 weeks in advance and consider digital invites for easier tracking. Aim for a 2-3 hour duration with breaks to keep the event relaxed.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to have a baby shower?

The best time for a baby shower is typically in the late second trimester to early third trimester, around 28 to 32 weeks of pregnancy. This timing ensures that the mom-to-be is still comfortable, and there is ample time to prepare for the arrival of the baby.

Should I choose a morning, afternoon, or evening baby shower?

Choosing the time of day depends on the preferences and schedules of your guests and the mom-to-be’s energy levels. Mornings are ideal for a light brunch atmosphere, afternoons offer a relaxed vibe, and evenings can be more formal with dinner options.

Is it better to host a baby shower on a weekday or a weekend?

Weekends are generally better for baby showers because more guests are likely to be available. However, if most guests have flexible schedules, a weekday shower can work. Consider the mom-to-be’s comfort and the convenience of the majority of your guests when deciding.

How far in advance should I send out baby shower invitations?

It’s best to send out baby shower invitations 4-6 weeks in advance. This gives guests ample time to RSVP and make arrangements to attend. Digital invites can make tracking responses easier.

How long should a baby shower last?

A baby shower typically lasts 2-3 hours, which includes time for mingling, games, gift opening, and refreshments. Remember to include breaks between activities to ensure that everyone, especially the mom-to-be, has a relaxing and enjoyable time.

What are some tips for planning a successful baby shower?

To plan a successful baby shower, send invitations 4-6 weeks in advance, consider digital invites for easier tracking, and aim for a 2-3 hour duration. Provide breaks between activities and choose a time of day that best suits the mom-to-be’s energy levels and guests’ schedules.

Should I consider cultural customs when planning a baby shower?

Yes, it’s important to consider cultural customs when planning a baby shower. Some cultures have specific traditions for celebrations, and being mindful of these can make the event more inclusive and meaningful for the mom-to-be and her family.