When to Have a Baby Shower: A Comprehensive Canadian Guide

Planning a baby shower in Canada is an exciting part of the journey to parenthood. It's a time to celebrate the upcoming arrival of a new life and to gather support from friends and family but with everything that is going around are you wondering when to have a baby shower? This special event is a joyful celebration of the upcoming arrival of your little one, and choosing the right time is crucial for a memorable and stress-free experience. Let's explore this in detail, considering various factors to help you make the best decision.


Optimal Timing for having a Baby Shower

Pregnancy Stage: The most common time to host a baby shower in Canada is during the early to mid-third trimester, typically around 28 to 32 weeks. This period is chosen because the pregnancy is visibly advanced, yet the expectant mother is likely still comfortable enough to enjoy the festivities. The Government of Canada website offers a great guide into a healthy pregnancy.

Health Considerations: It's essential to consider the mother-to-be's health and energy levels. Some women may prefer an earlier shower, especially if they anticipate potential health complications or discomfort in later pregnancy stages. Here are valuable health tips during pregnancy from the American Pregnancy Association.

Anticipating Early Delivery: If there's a risk of early delivery, it might be wise to plan the shower earlier. This ensures that the celebration happens well before the baby's arrival. Read  more on counseling and management for anticipated extremely preterm birth

diaper bagScheduling Conflicts: Consider potential scheduling conflicts for key guests. Avoid major holidays or times when many people typically have prior commitments. Check out our Holiday Planning Guide for tips on scheduling events around holidays.

Preparation Time: Allow enough time after the shower for the parents-to-be to organize and set up their nursery with the gifts received. This is particularly important for first-time parents who might need more time to prepare. Here’s a practical guide every expectant parents needs on diaper bag essentials

Cultural Factors: In some cultures, it's customary to wait until after the baby's birth to hold a celebration. Respect these traditions by planning the shower according to the family's cultural beliefs and practices.

Factors to Consider on When to have a Baby Shower

Mother's Health and Comfort: The health and comfort of the expectant mother should be the top priority. Consider her energy levels and any advice from her healthcare provider.

Guests' Availability: Choose a date that works for key family members and friends. Avoid major holidays when people might have other plans.

Preparation Time: Allow enough time to plan and organize the event without rushing. This includes sending invitations, preparing the venue, and organizing games and activities.

Season and Weather: Consider the time of year and expected weather conditions. A spring or early summer shower can be ideal for an outdoor event.

Special Considerations for Baby Showers

diaper bagShowers for Subsequent Children: Modern etiquette now embraces the idea of celebrating every new arrival. For second or subsequent children, consider a 'baby sprinkle,' a smaller event focusing on essentials and celebrating the new life.

Virtual Celebrations: Virtual baby showers have become popular, especially when in-person gatherings aren't feasible. These events can be creative, incorporating virtual games and activities, and allowing friends and family from afar to participate. See this guide for virtual baby shower ideas.

Inclusivity in Guest List: Embrace the trend of co-ed baby showers, which include guests of all genders. This approach ensures that everyone important to the expectant parents can join in the celebration. Here are a few useful tips on planning a co-ed baby shower.

Timing for Adoptive Parents: For adoptive parents, consider hosting the shower after the child's arrival. This timing can be more practical and emotionally comfortable for the family. Here are more resources for throwing an adoption baby shower.

Consider the Parents' Preferences: Always center the preferences and needs of the expectant parents. Some may prefer a low-key gathering, while others might enjoy a larger, more traditional shower. Our article on Personalizing Baby Showers can help with this.

Surprise Showers: Be cautious with surprise baby showers. Ensure that a surprise event aligns with the parents-to-be's personalities and preferences. Check this guide out for surprise baby shower tips.

Planning-Hosting-EtiquettePlanning and Hosting Etiquette

Choosing the Host: Traditionally, a friend or distant relative hosts the baby shower. However, modern practices are flexible, and almost anyone close to the expectant parents can take up this role.

Invitation Timing: Send out invitations at least four to six weeks in advance. This gives guests enough time to RSVP and shop for gifts, ensuring a well-organized event. For invitation ideas, visit our Baby Shower Invitations section.

Gift Registry Etiquette: If using a gift registry, set it up well before sending out invitations. Include registry information in a way that is helpful but not obligatory, respecting guests' choices to select gifts independently. MyRegistry.com and Amazon registry are great places to start.

These baby diaper backpacks are popular baby shower gift items that most parents need. Remember to add this to our registry

Games and Activities: Tailor games and activities to the preferences of the expectant parents and the guest profile. Not every shower needs games, but they can be a fun way to engage guests. For game ideas, see baby shower games collection.

Food and Beverages: Plan the menu according to the time of day and the dietary preferences of the expectant mother and guests. Whether it's a brunch, a tea party, or a full meal, ensure that the offerings cater to various dietary needs. Allrecipes has great catering ideas.

Thank You Notes: Encourage the parents-to-be to send thank you notes post-shower. This is a courteous way to express gratitude for the gifts and support received. For thank you note etiquette, visit Hallmark's guide.

Effective Checklist for Planning a Baby Shower

  • Preparation Stage (2-3 Months Before)
  • Set a Date: Consult with the expectant parents to choose a suitable date.
  • Budget Planning: Determine a budget for the event. Budgeting Tips for Your Event
  • Guest List: Create a guest list in consultation with the parents-to-be.
  • Venue Selection: Decide whether the shower will be at a home, a rented venue, or virtual.
  • Theme and Decor: Choose a theme and plan decorations accordingly. Check out these popular Canadian baby shower themes and supplies.
  • Invitations: Design and send out invitations, including RSVP instructions.

Finalizing Details (1 Month Before)

  • Menu Planning: Plan the food and beverages, considering dietary restrictions.
  • Activity and Games: Organize games and activities for the event. Baby Shower Game Ideas
  • Gift Registry: If the parents-to-be have a gift registry, include information in the invitations.

Week of the Shower

  • Final Confirmations: Confirm RSVPs, venue, and catering arrangements.
  • Decoration and Setup: Arrange for the setup of decorations and seating.
  • Emergency Plan: Have a backup plan for unforeseen circumstances.


  • Thank You Notes: Remind the parents-to-be to send out thank you notes.
  • Photo Sharing: Share photos from the event with guests.


FAQ Section

Q: How far in advance should I plan a baby shower?

A: Ideally, start planning a baby shower 2-3 months in advance. This gives enough time for organizing and sending invitations.

Q: Who traditionally hosts a baby shower?

A: Traditionally, a close friend or distant relative hosts the baby shower. However, modern practices are more flexible, allowing anyone close to the expectant parents to host. Read More on Hosting Etiquette

Q: Can a baby shower be held after the baby is born?

A: Yes, some cultures and personal preferences favor holding a baby shower after the baby's birth. This is also practical for adoptive parents.

Q: Are there any themes that are considered inappropriate for a baby shower?

A: While most themes are acceptable, it's important to consider the preferences and cultural sensitivities of the parents-to-be. Avoid themes that might be offensive or overly controversial.

Q: What is the etiquette for gift registries for a baby shower?

A: It's common to have a gift registry for a baby shower. The registry details can be included in the invitation or shared upon request.

Q: How can I make a baby shower special for a second or third child?

A: For subsequent children, consider a 'baby sprinkle' or a celebration that focuses more on the joy of the new arrival than on gifts. Ideas for Baby Sprinkles



When to have a baby shower is a personal and considerate decision. It should reflect the expectant parents' wishes, cultural background, and practical life circumstances. Whether it's a traditional shower, a sprinkle for a subsequent child, or a virtual celebration, the primary goal is to honor the upcoming arrival of the new baby and support the parents-to-be.

Remember, the most crucial aspect of a baby shower is the love and joy it brings to the expectant parents. Thoughtful planning, considering these detailed guidelines, will ensure a memorable and heartwarming celebration.