Not able to host a typical baby shower for mom-to-be? Learn to throw a successful virtual baby shower when you can’t get together in person!
Baby showers have always been a beautiful celebration of a new chapter in life for the expecting mom and baby. It’s a tradition that goes beyond just showering mom with baby gifts, but also one of sending well-wishes, making memories and simply enjoying time with friends and family before life gets a little busier.
Why You Should Consider a Virtual Baby Shower
But we all know in today’s social distancing climate, that is just not an option for the majority of pregnant women…who are quarantined in their homes.
That’s why considering a virtual baby shower is a MUST…especially if this is mom’s FIRST baby.
While quarantine might be the biggest reason for mom-to-be to go with a virtual or contactless shower, that isn’t the ONLY reason.
She may also be on full bed rest and unable to handle a large gathering. Or she may have friends and family out of state or just too far to travel.
So having an alternative for a traditional baby shower is never a bad idea!
But how exactly do you throw a baby shower virtually, to make it actually feel like you are together celebrating?
Well here’s how a little creativity goes a long way.
How to Host a Virtual Baby Shower Party
Choose your digital platform
Like any online party, the first step is to choose where you want to host it. For a gathering of more than 8-10 people, you are most likely looking at something like Zoom or Google Hangouts. That’s because these platforms are more robust and can accommodate larger groups.
Of course with any venue, there may be some costs involved. For example, Zoom is a popular choice for many online events, but the free account only goes to 40 minutes. On the other hand, Google Hangouts can go much longer and is free.
For a virtual baby shower, I’d estimate between 45 minutes to an hour to give you plenty of wiggle room, especially if people run into issues or join later. And while it’s tempting to invite tons of people, the best virtual parties are intimate — try to keep the guest list to under 15.
Once you find the best platform that works for the party size, make sure to send all the details to friends and families in a formal evite for your virtual party! Just be super clear on exactly what they need to do to join and enjoy the party (link to click, password to use, what to bring, what to expect and where mom is registered).
Ask Guests to Send Shower Wishes
One way to make your virtual shower special is to have guests send shower wishes to the mom-to-be. They can do this one of two ways.
First, you may have them sign a virtual message board before the party in their RSVP. This is usually the easiest method and you can seamlessly incorporate the message into your virtual message board via the evite
Another idea for your virtual baby shower is during the party, have guests write a few well wishes or words of encouragement on a paper and then you can take turns having them share it on screen. Guests can also opt to just verbally share.
Designate an Emcee
One really important, yet often overlooked tip to make your online shower successful is to designate a host or emcee for the party.
This will help ensure everything runs smoothly and without major issues.
I can’t tell you the number of virtual calls or events I’ve joined where sound and playback were a HUGE issue. With someone taking charge from the start and emceeing, you can make things a bit more manageable and decide when to mute or call out names to interact.
A good idea would be to start the party with a few hellos and basic guidelines so everyone knows what exactly to expect. And when making an announcement or moving on to the next part of the shower, I’d highly suggest muting attendees.
Keep Guests Comfortable
To keep any virtual party feeling like an in-person party, you will need to get a little creative. But it’s not too hard.
Just include a few special touches and elements to make it happen.
- Tell guests to prepare a snack or dessert and drink to toast.
- Remind them they will be on camera, so they can prepare in advance and dress the part if they want to.
- Engage them, by asking everyone a question or giving them some camera time — it doesn’t have to be much, but this will at least help them feel like they are participating and not just watching others interact.
- For an extra special touch, include a short 3-5 minute video (I’ll emphasize short here because not everyone can stare at a screen for hours). It could be a highlight reel with pictures of the mom-to-be preparing for baby.
Include Virtual Baby Shower Games
And what fun would a baby shower be without some actual baby shower games, albeit virtually?!
Think this isn’t possible? Think again! In this day and age, anything is possible.
- Play the Price is Right – Hold up various baby items and have guests guess the price on a paper. Go around and see who comes closest to the actual price.
- Play Which Baby is She – Hold up baby pictures and have guests guess which baby the mom-to-be was.
- True or False – Have mom-to-be read a series of baby-related questions and guests must keep track of their answers. At the end, mom reveals answers and guest with the highest score wins!
If needed, you can include a direct link to the game so guests can print out at home in time!
Once the games are finished, don’t forget to break out the baby shower cake and let mom make some wishes. (This would be the time for guests to enjoy their own homemade desserts and congratulate mom-to-be!)
All these things may seem to be very minuscule but still an important sentimental note for the mom who feels she was grieving a chance to celebrate this very special occasion in life.
What about baby shower gifts?
Oh we could never forget about baby shower gifts, in baby shower party??
Even if it’s a virtual shower, gifts for that new baby are one of the main reasons for even having a baby shower. So how do you go about getting gifts if you won’t actually see your guests?
Two words: baby registry!
Just as an in-person shower, you need to have the expectant mom set up her wish list in an online baby registry. When the list is ready, send it to your guests via the baby shower invite / evite. Most guests will be more than happy to shower mom-to-be with special and much-needed gifts.
NOTE: Because Amazon and many other stores are prioritizing essential products over other items, you may have to choose gifts carefully. Of course, you can choose whatever mom and baby want, but be sure to focus on the absolute essential items. Things like carseat, stroller, diapers, bottles, bibs, grooming, safety, and bassinet should top the list. If you want to leave off the non-essential just skip the toys and extra gear baby won’t need for the next few months.
Along with physical gifts, mom-to-be might strongly consider registering for online courses or products that she can easily access at any time. This can include breastfeeding baby care and postpartum recovery courses.
Remember to keep this list of virtual baby shower ideas handy, especially this year as it will be much-needed saving grace for the pregnant mom.
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported hundreds of thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a blogger and maternal health advocate at MommysBundle.com.