With traditional baby showers on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to find creative ways to celebrate baby’s arrival. A popular way to safely celebrate is to host a social distancing baby shower. What does that mean, and how can you go about planning one? First things first: Always follow the CDC and local government social distancing guidelines and recommendations for group gatherings. The shower may look a little different than usual, but on the bright side, you get to be even more creative with games, decorations and party entertainment. Plus, you’re still honoring baby and mom-to-be with friends and family—and that’s what matters most. Keep reading for our top tips on how to throw a festive, in-person baby shower during covid while keeping everyone safe.
A small guest list doesn’t mean this won’t be a fun baby shower. In fact, no one says you have to host a 50-person shower to make this moment special. Invite immediate family members and close friends of the parents-to-be to swing by and celebrate. When crafting the guest list, it’s best to extend invitations to local friends and family, limiting travel. Check CDC guidelines around size of gatherings to ensure you’re adhering to local regulations too. Worried about excluding people? Set aside a portion of the event to be done virtually, so anyone who’s unable to attend in-person can still join in on the festivities.
In the age of COVID, we use the term “venue” loosely. An outdoor location is best (weather permitting, of course). The baby shower venue can be something as simple as someone’s backyard or porch, or a local park or a restaurant with an outdoor space. A big benefit to hosting at home is the flexibility with dates, times, decor and vendor options. If you are going to host indoors, there should be enough space to keep tables and guests safely six-feet apart and offer plenty of ventilation.
Set the tone for the social distancing baby shower with a cute, casual invitation—an online invite allows you to update guests easily should details change as a result of local restrictions. Include information around how you plan to celebrate safely, such as having guests wear masks at all times and keeping a safe distance from one another. This will give guests peace of mind before they RSVP and they will be clear on the expectations and guidelines for the event. You’ll also want to include information for gifts (unwrapped or not—see below), baby registries, parking and any virtual streaming details.
As the shower date approaches, follow up with guests who have RSVP’d and include a reminder to stay home if not feeling well. We also recommend that you schedule arrival times for guests if possible to limit crowding in entrance ways.
Choose a theme for your social distancing baby shower. This can be anything from a color palette or aesthetic (think: boho chic) to traditional shower themes like rubber duckies or teddy bears. With a more relaxed venue like a backyard area or home, you can be more creative with the decor. Flowers, balloons, string banners, centerpieces and a diaper cake all help play up that celebratory vibe.
You can also incorporate safety messages into your decor. Cute signs with reminders to wash hands, use sanitizer, and wear masks when not eating or drinking will be helpful while still maintaining your shower aesthetic.
With safety top of mind, skip the shared shower treats and add only foods that can be served individually to the menu. Hire a caterer to prepare foods like tacos, sliders and other fan-favorite comfort foods that easily work as single-serve snacks. A food truck is also an easy and fun way to serve up refreshments. Or opt for a pre-boxed picnic approach.
Of course, you can’t forget about the cocktails (and mocktails)! Hire a bartender to handle everything from crafting an on-theme drink to the mixing and serving. Ask your food and drink vendors to wear masks throughout the shower, and request that they use disposable utensils and dishes. You can provide these options and have them match the shower’s theme colors.
Add even more excitement to a social distancing baby shower with party entertainment. Vendors like tarot card readers, psychics and henna artists are offering their services with safety precautions in place. Background music from an acoustic guitarist or harpist can add to the ambiance of the celebration too.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, masks and hand sanitizer have become the new normal. At a social distancing baby shower, incorporating these items into decor and party favors makes them seem like a more natural part of the celebration. Provide hand sanitizers decorated with custom labels at each table and masks that match the party theme ready for guests’ arrivals. Instagram-worthy photos and selfies will be captured and shared in no time.
It wouldn’t be a baby shower without them. Anything that can be printed and set up before guests arrive are best for a baby shower during COVID. Games like baby trivia, “what’s in your purse?” or any of these cute printables from Etsy are perfect for a social distancing baby shower.
Turn those baby shower gifts into a display! As guests arrive, designate a co-host to arrange the presents in a way that everyone can see them. This will save time unwrapping while maintaining safe social distancing. For any guests joining virtually, you can have them send their gifts ahead of time and have the mom-to-be do a quick walk-through of the goodies she’s received.
Whether you hire a photographer to take candid photos or opt to simply record the virtual streaming, capturing the essence of the celebration and these special moments is something the mom-to-be will cherish forever.
Designate someone to frequently clean surfaces with high touch points like door knobs, faucets, and counter or table tops. Mark social distanced spots 6 feet apart where guests may need to wait in line. Bathrooms should be stocked with plenty of soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer. You can take temperature checks upon arrival and remind guests to refrain from hugging, kissing or shaking hands.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
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