Don’t let necessary social distancing dampen the joy of celebrating the arrival of your baby by throwing a virtual baby shower. It’s like a traditional baby shower, but with a few new twists. Instead of an in-person gathering, make the most of this unprecedented pandemic by throwing a “Plan B” where guests attend a live streaming party using their computer or smartphone. Enjoy all the games, laughter, love, and support in a celebration that’s as close as you can get to an actual shower. Embrace the fun and the excitement of this new venture as you await your little one’s arrival. We have some great tips and advice to help you host a fantastic, memorable virtual baby shower.
Benefits of a Virtual Baby Shower
There’s something so special about being around those you love, sharing the excitement and anticipation of your baby’s birth. But there’s no reason to cancel your shower, and there are benefits to a virtual baby shower. You can count on saving money while enjoying the absence of pre-party and post-party stress.
One of the most important benefits of throwing a virtual baby shower is that you’re keeping everyone safe, and that peace of mind is priceless. You don’t have to wear masks at home or worry about you or your loved ones contracting COVID-19.
You will probably save lots of money by hosting a virtual shower, a definite plus for those on a tight pre-baby budget. You’re not spending money on a catered buffet, drinks, party favors, table cloths, extra chairs, and rental and cleaning costs of a real venue like a clubhouse. Instead, you’ll have more money left to spend on all those baby-arrival necessities.
Setting up a virtual baby shower is far less stressful. For a traditional, in-person shower, you may rent a hall and have to transport food, gifts, and much more to that location, hang decorations, set out the food buffet and utensils, and hold the shower. Then, after the fun’s over, you take down decorations, gather up the trash, clean like mad, and then haul gifts, leftover food, serving trays, and more back home. Phew! With a virtual baby shower, you just set up a little space in front of the webcam or phone and have fun! There are no last-minute panic errands to buy forgotten food ingredients, cups, an extra folding table, or tablecloths. You won’t have to transport gifts home because you’ll already be home.
For your virtual baby shower, you simply choose…a virtual venue. Everyone attends the event from the comfort of their own space, logging onto an online meeting platform at the same time. Treasured guests will be able to see and hear one another’s words of love, advice, and laughter.
Some moms have already used this as an option at showers for friends and relatives far away who cannot travel to the location, so it’s a proven winning option to actually being there.
There are easy ways to host your virtual baby shower as long as your guests have a smartphone or a computer with a webcam and internet service. Several online platforms for hosting, including Zoom, Skype, Face-time, Facebook Messenger, and Google Hangouts, offer easy to navigate systems. You’ll want something that’s fairly easy to understand for those guests who aren’t tech-savvy.
Perhaps the best virtual venue for baby showers is Zoom. This platform offers lots of options, including adding up to 100 guests, and those guests can even customize their background. If you’re using the free version, keep in mind that Zoom calls are restricted to 40 minutes. If you have a paid subscription, you can hold longer “meetings,” or you could close that meeting and begin the second free “shower” meeting right after.
The shower host chooses an ID and password to set up a virtual room. The host then sends that information with the link to those you’re inviting to your shower. Guests don’t have to download any apps or set up a Zoom account.
Jot down a schedule with times allotted for each activity, such as introductions, games, toasts, and presents-opening. Have someone keep track and gently make sure you stay on the timeline.
With a virtual baby shower, you can record the meeting so you and your friends and family can watch it and hold onto it as a precious video keepsake.
It’s a good idea to reach out to your guests before the shower to make sure they know how to connect on that day to cut down on glitches. You don’t want to be troubleshooting technical issues during your shower. Have a practice meeting with guests before the big day to iron out the potential “where’s that button I’m supposed click?” or “Why can’t anyone hear me?” frustrations.
Theme and Decoration Ideas
Just like an in-person baby shower, you can pick a theme and decorate your space for it. Have your guests decorate and dress for the theme, too. Or, you could have a “yoga pants” shower. Have fun with it. You can mail out decorations or party favors to your guests to dress up their own background, or pick matching Zoom backgrounds available for showers or virtual gender reveal parties, such as “It’s a Boy!” or “It’s a Girl!”
Although you don’t have to put up any decorations, some expectant moms and families love the opportunity. You can drape a cloth behind your on-camera seating area and decorate away, decorate your backyard and join the live stream from outside or set up the games, prizes and other party favors on a table within view of the camera.
Who Brought the Appetizers?
You can even “bring” food to the shower, virtually. Send out recipes for a drink or menu that aligns with your shower theme – maybe a cocktail (or mocktail for those who don’t drink alcohol), or an easy-to-prepare appetizer or dessert that guests can make at home and enjoy together “onscreen” during the live stream.
Let the Games Begin!
Just because you’re in different homes, different cities, perhaps even on different continents, you can still facilitate fun baby shower games and activities. With a bit of creativity, you can embrace traditional games like “Who’s that Baby?” For this tried-and-true game, ask guests ahead of time to submit a baby picture from their past. The host then shares the photos, via messaging, email or Zoom, and people guess which baby turned into which grownup.
You can also host other virtual games, like quizzes about the mom-to-be, or “Guess the Number” with the host showing party guests a jar filled with objects (candy, safety pins, clothespins, whatever you choose) and guests offering their best guess to the number.
One fun in-person and also online shower game is based on “The Price is Right” TV game show. The host holds up baby items, and guests write down and show everyone how much they think each baby item costs. There are lots of online sites with downloadable baby shower games you can play virtually.
You may also consider an online game called Slido. It’s compatible with meeting platforms like Zoom and Skype and lets your host or guests type questions and take polls. You can set up baby-themed games or guests can create fun questions to ask the hosts.
What’s a momma to do for shower game gifts since people aren’t sitting right there? Everyone loves e-gift cards. Keep a tally of who won what game, and send gift cards for things like Amazon, beauty and skincare stores or food delivery services. How easy and stress-less is that?
Advice for the New Mom
Ask guests to give the mom-to-be sage parenting advice or just a heartfelt message. Some people may not feel comfortable sharing with everyone, so give them the option to do so privately. You can even ask specific questions, sending the prompts a week or so before the shower. Because you’re recording the shower, you can revisit these sweet sentiments during those rough, sleep-deprived first few months when you need a supportive boost.
Virtual Invitations and Thank-You Notes
You can send invites to your virtual baby shower via traditional snail mail or through electronic mail evites, also a great going-green option. Regardless of which method you choose, when you’re notifying your guests of the shower’s date and time, be sure to include very clear directions about how to connect to the party virtually.
When you send invites, you may consider sharing the link to a video of yourself accessing the link, talking your guests through the process and showing them step by step how to join the live stream shower “meeting.” You can also share links to YouTube or other online tutorials for your chosen virtual platform. This will be very helpful for those guests who are not as comfortable using online formats.
Don’t forget to send thank-you notes after your shower. You can send the charming, traditional way, through a personal video message or email a thank-you one to two weeks after your shower.
Set up your Baby Registry
Don’t forget to set up an online baby registry. You can include a link to the registry when you send out invitations. This is a safer alternative to shopping in stores during the pandemic, and guests can have the gifts shipped directly to your house. Baby registries are the perfect way to make sure you have what you need for the baby’s arrival even help you future-proof a nursery for your baby, and helps make gift-choosing easier for your friends and family. It also cuts down on duplicate gifts.
It’s up to you whether you want to open gifts during the baby shower. Guests can send gifts ahead of time so you can open during the virtual party. Or, if you prefer, you could ask your guests to open the gifts they “brought” and show everyone on the screen during the shower. They can then mail those gifts to you later (or you can do a door pickup if they’re local). Or, you can choose to not open gifts at that time. It’s up to you.
Using some creativity and technology, having your baby shower is not only do-able, but a fun and memorable way for your friends and family to show their love and support for the parents-to-be before the baby arrives, and even after he or she is born.