Who should host the baby shower?
Anyone that would like to can host a baby shower for the new baby, although it is generally not the mother or father throwing it for themselves. Multiple showers are great, but please stress to anyone that is invited to more than one shower that their presence is welcome but a second gift is NOT expected. Sometimes different groups of people in your life want to celebrate with you, and if they aren't all close to each other, only one shower just won't do.
When should a shower take place?
The best time frame to throw a celebration like this is 1-2 months before the actual due date. You don't want to wait too long because sometimes those little ones are anxious to come out before they are expected to!! Another option is to have a "Welcome Baby" shower a few weeks after the child has been born. This is a wonderful way to introduce your friends and family to the baby all at once.
Do you only throw a shower for the firstborn?
OF COURSE NOT!! Every child is special, so it's perfectly acceptable (and should be encouraged) to celebrate each one.
If the siblings are close in age, the parents probably still have most of the older child's baby stuff. If they really need nothing at all, let guests know to not bring gifts, or ask for donations for a charity to be donated in the baby's or family's name. Or, how about a diaper shower? Those are something that don't get handed down. (Unless you are into cloth diapers. I applaud that, but I wasn't quite that ambitious myself.) You get to celebrate the new arrival with the people you care about, plus get to skip a lot of those late night diaper runs to the 24-hour store.
What is expected of the host?
Mom (and maybe Dad) are to be treated as guests at this shower. Do your best to make them just sit back and enjoy it. You will be in charge of invitations (make sure to have the parents approve the list), planning the decorations, food, & activities, keeping track of who gives which gift for thank you note purposes, and cleaning up afterwards. Make sure you greet each guest as they arrive and have a timeline planned out beforehand to keep the party flowing smoothly.
If these things are not your strong suit, there are event planners out there (like, say, ME!!) that LOVE doing these type of events and have plenty of experience to make everything seem simple.
Basic baby shower info covered. I hope it was helpful. Someday soon I will try to squeeze in a blog full of the fun stuff like games, decor, food...