How to Throw a Virtual Baby Shower
As social distancing takes on more of a critical role in our daily lives during the coronavirus outbreak, many expecting mothers are having to get creative when it comes to planning for that highly anticipated baby shower.
But how do you throw a shower when you cannot be within 2 metres of another person?
Fortunately, fêting a mum-to-be does not require in-person interaction—there is plenty of celebrating that can be done behind a computer or smartphone screen with a virtual baby shower! Though there is a real need for them now, long-distance or virtual baby showers have been around for a while. Typically, they are planned for friends and family who live in other regions or countries. Military families who move around a lot often use them to bring their far-flung friends together. With a little bit of planning, you can easily adapt your baby shower plans into a virtual party without missing a beat.
Here is your step-by-step guide to throwing the perfect virtual baby shower.
Select a date and time for your virtual baby shower.
Just like with an in-person meet-up, the first step to planning a virtual baby shower is to pick a date and time for your party. A couple of things to consider:
If you are inviting guests in multiple time zones, try to pick something that works for most people, if not everyone.
Put a time limit on the party. Even though it might feel like you have all the time in the world, you still want to be respectful of other people’s time. One to two hours should be all the time you need, depending on how many guests you have.
Pick a date that gives gifts enough time to arrive (factor in delivery delays).
Send virtual baby shower invitations.
Next, send an invitation. You can personalize a digital invitation with an online invitation service, like Evite or Paperless Post (this might be a nice touch for a mum-to-be who is feeling blue about not having a 'real' baby shower). Or you could simply set up a group event on Facebook where all of your friends and family can easily see details and interact with each other. Regardless of which invitation route you go, make sure to include instructions for which platform you will use for your virtual party such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts. Speaking of which…
Set up a platform for your virtual baby shower.
After you have chosen where to host your online party, make sure to give it a test run. If you have never used Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts before, then it is a great idea to enlist a couple of friends to test-drive a virtual hangout. Try having a happy hour together and use the time to smooth out any technical issues so that you will be prepared to be the shower hostess with the mostest.
Create a virtual baby shower registry.
We have all become accustomed to shopping from our sofa, and this is really no different. Head over to a site like Babylist or your favourite online store where you can easily set up a baby registry. Your virtual baby shower guests can then choose the perfect gift and have it delivered directly to you. With any luck, you will have all of the gifts before the party starts.
However, the host might want to encourage guests to send their gifts by a certain date to accommodate coronavirus-related shipping delays. You may also want to ask that guests spring for gift-wrapping on the gear they are shipping so that the mama-to-be has something fun to open. (Need a gift idea that you can send virtually? The Gift of Sleep—A Happiest Baby Gift card can be used to buy SNOO Smart Sleeper—the baby bassinet that helps babies get precious Zzzs every night ...and their parents, too!)
Pick a virtual baby shower theme.
You cannot go all-out with a baby shower theme and baby shower décor during a virtual hangout, but you can still add some fun touches. If you are hosting, put up balloons or streamers in the background. Or use a festive Zoom backdrop. Another idea? Have your guests get dolled up, all wear the same colour, or put on a fun accessory (like heart-shaped sunnies).
Plan a gift reveal.
Half the fun of a baby shower is seeing all the sweet gifts, so why not enjoy a little show? There are a couple of ways to make gift-opening an integral part of your virtual shower:
If guests sent gifts ahead: You can pretty much go forward with the unwrapping process just as you would in person. Mama opens, while everyone else ooh’s and aaah’s at the cute gifts she unboxes.
If guests already bought gifts: Since many moms are having to scramble and shift from a traditional baby shower to a virtual one, they may be trying to figure out exactly what to do about gifts. One fun solution is to have a gift reveal be a part of the party. Each guest can take turns opening the gift that she bought and saying a few words about why she chose it.
Figure out food.
Eating and drinking during a group screen chat might be distracting for some folks. For others, it could be no big deal. Depending on what you decide, on the invite you could ask folks to refrain from munching until the end or specify that guests are encouraged to eat.
If everyone is okay with eating on camera, food and drink could be a unifying aspect of the shower. In your invite, share a recipe for a baby shower mocktail that guests can make and sip together during the shower. Or, time your baby shower to a certain meal—for example, you could all enjoy a long-distance baby shower brunch or midday tea party together.
Play virtual baby shower games.
What is a baby shower without games? Although playing games is more fun in person, there are still some classic baby shower games that can be adapted to play from afar. A few that work well (and check out more fun baby shower game ideas here):
Name that tune: Play a few chords of baby-themed songs, and let guests guess what they just heard.
Baby alphabet game: Go around and take turns trying to name a baby-related word for each letter of the alphabet—try not to break the chain!
Baby gear ‘Price Is Right’: Take turns guessing how much different types of baby gear costs.
Send baby shower favors.
Want to go above-and-beyond as a host? Mail some party favours to your guests as a token of your appreciation for their virtual attendance. It could be a traditional baby shower favour that you send in the mail, or you could send £5 gift cards that guests can use on digital gifts or takeout food. Or, instead of sending favours after the shower, pick out something that guests can use during the shower, like matching coffee cups.
Give Mama a virtual pep-talk.
While it is not difficult to go virtual with your baby shower, being pregnant during the coronavirus crisis is incredibly stressful. So, consider asking each guest to send an encouraging hand-written letter—or even just a nice email—to the mama-to-be in order to help lift her spirits and make her feel extra special during this challenging time. It is a gesture that will help her really feel the presence of friends and family, even if they are miles away.
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.