There is nothing as precious or as important as the arrival of a new baby, and the little one’s arrival should be celebrated accordingly—no matter what. Thankfully, technology makes it easy to shower a new mama with all the love she deserves via a virtual baby shower, whether social distancing is a factor or mama’s nearest and dearest are simply miles away. If you’re hosting for a family member, friend or even looking for ways to celebrate your own little one in utero, read on for how to get the preggo party going—virtually.
photo: Andreina Vincentelli via Unsplash
1. Keep It Simple—or Don’t!
When planning a virtual baby shower, the first thing to keep in mind is that, like a traditional, in-person shower, a virtual event can be as simple or as detailed as the mama-to-be wants it to be. There is no right or wrong way to host a baby shower, so let go of the pressure or any pre-conceived notions of how it “ought” to go and just have fun!
2. Make a List of Attendees
If you’re in search of a silver lining of having a virtual baby shower (there are lots!), here is one to get you started: unlimited invites. Having to pare down an invite list due to venue size or budget restraints can be one of the hardest parts of this type of event, but with a virtual party, you can open the doors for as many people as you want to pour on the love to the soon-coming bundle of joy.
3. Pick a Platform
There are a few different ways to go about throwing a virtual baby shower. Some reliable go-tos are Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Evite. There is a bit of a learning curve to learning how to use these video-conferencing sites, so familiarize yourself with the platform of your choice and try out a few test runs with friends before the big day. That way you can help guide attendees, especially those who aren’t that tech-savvy. (Important note: On Zoom, you’ll have to pay for a “Pro” account or restart your meeting every 40 minutes. Google Hangouts and Skype don’t have set time limits on meetings.)
4. Invite Right
Choose a party time when most people are likely to be available to attend. Create an online invite using a service like Minted, Paperless Post or Evite (which now offers direct video-chatting capabilities) with the shower’s date, time and name of the host. Be sure to note clearly that this baby shower is a virtual event, and include any necessary meeting log-in information. It can be helpful to set the party time 10 minutes earlier than the time you share with the mom-to-be so everyone is ready and waiting to celebrate when the special guest logs in. Of course, traditional registry information should also be included if gifts are desired by the mama-to-be. (Including an “order by” deadline can be helpful to encourage gifts to arrive on time.)
photo: BRUNA BRUNA via Pixabay
5. Encourage Guests to Decorate
It can be easy to overlook the decorations in a virtual baby shower, but having a few decor items—-balloons, banners, streamers—will turn a hangout into a special event. Ask all invitees to jazz up their backgrounds with some basic party decor or baby-shower-themed items. To give guests extra motivation, frame the request in the invite as a contest, with a virtual gift card to be sent to the winner.
6. Get Ready for Game Time
In a traditional party setting, the small talk and side conversations can easily fill an hour or two, but a video call doesn’t allow for the same easy flowing conversation that would happen at an in-person shower. So you’ll want to plan games that encourage interaction among invitees. Some fun ideas: charades (only baby-themed words allowed, of course!) or a scavenger hunt show-and-tell. In this game, you give everyone a minute to dash around their house and find items that could be used, for example, to entertain/soothe/clothe/etc. an infant, and then have each person explain what they chose. Laughs guaranteed.
7. Plan for Gifts
If the new mom created a registry and information was sent out via invites, opening gifts that arrived before the virtual baby shower is a fun activity to round out the event and give the gift-givers a chance to see mom-to-be’s reaction to their gifts. If the baby shower is more of a “sprinkle,” and opening gifts isn’t part of the plan, there is a way to still shower the expecting mom with love in a tangible way: Compile a basket with always-appreciated baby items (like wipes and pacis) and self-care products, such as a new water bottle or gift cards for coffee or takeout. Drop off the basket before the event with instructions not to open it until shower-time.