Open House Baby Shower: How To Host the Perfect Celebration

A baby shower gives people a chance to offer gifts and well wishes for you and your new baby. They are a traditional way to celebrate an upcoming birth, but some showers are getting a more modern twist.

What is an open-house baby shower? An open-house baby shower is a drop-in baby shower where guests can come and go as they please. It’s the rules of a real estate open house applied to baby showers, and open-house baby showers can offer more flexibility for guests and less stress for the mom-to-be.

There are benefits and disadvantages to this approach, but it can be an ideal option for certain families.

Open House Baby Shower

An open-house baby shower should feel like a low-pressure way to mingle with friends and give them the chance to congratulate you.

How an Open House Baby Shower Works

Open-house baby showers offer a more casual feel to the gathering. Your guests can drop by between certain hours, visit, and then go about their day.

They can leave a gift and grab a snack in a low-pressure setting where they don’t have to sit and stay for hours. 

Open House Baby Shower Pros and Cons

Like anything you plan, there will be pros and cons.


One major benefit of having an open-house baby shower is that more guests will likely be able to attend. Not having to give up a number of set hours in the middle of the day means more people can drop by and leave when they need to go.

Open-house baby showers can also be less pressure for mom and the shower planners. They tend to have a more casual vibe, and mom won’t have to be the center of attention for hours if that causes her stress. 


Some guests could feel like the come-and-go aspect makes the shower less personal or gives them less time with the mom-to-be.

For a mom who wants a sit-down meal or enjoys the games that come along with regular baby showers, an open-house shower may not be the right choice.

Planning an Open House Baby Shower

Several cute decorations for a baby shower presented on a wooden table.

Planning an open-house baby shower may be slightly easier on the hosts if done correctly. Below, you’ll find all the aspects you’ll need to consider and plan for.

Hosting Location

The mom-to-be can decide if she would be more comfortable having the shower at her house or at a different location.

The comforts of home are alluring for some, but other moms may not want to have to prep their house for guests.

Number of Guests

How many guests are invited needs to be decided by the guest of honor. If the pregnancy has been difficult and the mom is very tired, she may not want a bunch of people coming in and out for hours at a time. 

Other women might want to invite more people than they would to a sit-down shower since everyone can come and go and there won’t be a large number of people present all at once. 

How Long Should an Open House Baby Shower Last?

A standard baby shower tends to last anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours. You may want to extend an open-house baby shower a bit longer so all the guests have time to visit with the mom-to-be before leaving. Three to four hours is the standard.

Open House Baby Shower Invite

The great thing about open-house baby shower invitations is they can be as formal or informal as you choose. Just make sure to include some essential details.

You should send baby shower invitations out about four weeks in advance to ensure your guests get the date on their calendars.

Make sure to include that you are throwing an open house shower so guests will know they can come and go.

If you don’t want too many people to show up at one time, you can even invite groups of people at certain times by placing their time window on the invitation.

For example, all work friends can drop in between 3 and 4, and college friends can show up between 4 and 5.

Use paper invites or e-vites, or simply send an email to let your guests know they are invited.

Drop-in Baby Shower Invitations Wording

Make sure to include the words “drop-in,” “open house,” or “come and go” on your invitation so your guests know they don’t have to stay the entire time. Let them know whether snacks will be included.


You can go big on open-house shower decorations or keep it simple. You don’t have to decorate an entire table for a sit-down meal, but you can still have balloons, a gift table, and an area for snacks.

Open House Baby Shower Food

Open-house baby shower food should be simple. Instead of an entire meal or even a huge cake, stick with finger foods, cake pops, and small snacks that can be eaten while your guests mingle. 

Open House Baby Shower Activities

Having an open-house shower doesn’t mean you can’t have cool activities. As long as you plan activities that guests can do before they leave and that don’t involve group involvement, you can plan great activities.

Use ink stamps to let your guests create unique burp cloths or onesies for your little one. Have guests write a story in a book about the mom-to-be, her pregnancy, or some other story for the baby to read when they get older.

Open House Baby Shower Games

You do not have to include games in an open-house shower. For some moms and guests, that’s a big draw. Not everyone enjoys the game portion of the party event.


Cleanup for an open-house baby shower should be fairly simple. Have guests place paper plates and cups in the trash on the way out, and the rest of the cleanup should be easy.

You can decide in advance who will be responsible for the final cleanup — just as long as it isn’t the expecting mom!

Open House Baby Shower Ideas

  • Base your baby shower theme on your favorite childhood book.
  • Have a rainbow baby shower with everything in bright colors.
  • Have a picture party. Place disposable cameras at the entrance and have guests take pictures. You can also have backdrops for guests to pose.

Related Questions: 

How Long Do You Stay at a Drop-in Baby Shower?

How long you stay at a drop-in baby shower is up to you. You want to have time to say hello to the mom-to-be and possibly have a snack.

However, you don’t have to stay as long as you would at a conventional shower. That makes attending a drop-in shower easier for most people attending. 

Do Men Go to Baby Showers?

Men can absolutely go to baby showers, whether they are open-house style or not. Some men are more comfortable with the open-house style because they can mingle easier with everyone. 

Closing Thoughts

For a more casual baby shower that is just as fun, throw an open-house shower. With the guide presented above, you have everything you need to plan and prepare.