How to Throw a Virtual Baby Shower and Still Make It Special
With the current coronavirus outbreak still plaguing the country, people are staying home, social distancing and avoiding gatherings—including baby showers. For expectant moms, showers are not only an important opportunity to stock up on key baby essentials, but they’re also a chance to celebrate the joy of a new baby with loved ones. Here’s the good news: If you think canceling the shower is your only option, think again: We’ve got plenty of ways to keep the party going, all from a safe distance (and without skimping on fun). Here are our top tips for throwing a virtual baby shower that will leave the mama-to-be feeling loved and celebrated.
Instead of having the shower in a physical space, like a restaurant, select one of the many virtual platforms that allow for group video chats. FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Zoom are all popular choices and easy enough to use so even your older relatives can figure out how to join. Once you’ve selected which platform fits your needs best, send an evite with the new details of the shower (including information on how to access the event).
In the evite, request that all gifts be shipped to the guest of honor’s house, in advance of the shower, if possible. Most baby registries already have that option in place, but if some guests were originally planning on delivering their gift in person, shipping serves as a practical plan B. This way, if she chooses, the mom-to-be can still open all her gifts in front of guests, and friends and family get to ooh and aah over itty-bitty baby items and see the excitement on her face.
That Pinterest page of baby shower décor inspo doesn’t have to go to waste. Plan to have balloons and flowers delivered to the mama-to-be on the day of the shower to make her space look just as magnificent as any event space. Many local florists and party stores are accepting orders and payment over the phone, but there are also online services such as Farmgirl Flowers, UrbanStems, and The Bouqs Company that can make this all happen from the safety of your home computer.
To help your guests still feel involved from afar, send out a pre-shower email with a few fun baby shower games you intend to play. You may not be able to pass around a diaper full of melted chocolate (yes, it’s a questionable but classic baby shower game), but there are still plenty of activities everyone can join in on from their own homes. Quizzes (think: Who Knows Mommy Best?), baby-themed anagrams, fill-in-the-blanks (like Do You Know Your Disney Baby Names?) and a chance to guess details about the baby ( BabyHunch and BabyBety are two fun online options) work especially well here. Email out whatever activity sheets people will need ahead of time, then have people jot down their answers during the shower and survey the group to see who got the most questions correct.
Looking for a way to up the ante on virtual baby shower games? Since you won’t be able to physically hand out small favors at the end of the shower, reward game winners with a small e-gift card, which you can buy and send all online. Amazon and Target are always good possibilities (and bonus: guests can use them for online instead of in-person orders).
To keep the virtual baby shower festive, come up with a themed mocktail (or cocktail!) recipe for guests to make at home and sip on during the shower. (Tip: Try to use common ingredients most people already have in the house.) At some point during the event, have everyone raise their glass and toast the mom-to-be.
Since the soon-to-be mama’s partner will likely be the only in-person baby shower guest, make sure to involve them in the festivities—and enlist their help in making her feel honored. It can be as simple as starting her day off with breakfast in bed or as elaborate as arranging an in-home spa morning (we doubt the mom-to-be would turn down a bath and foot massage) to make the day as pampering as possible.
This one might be slightly labor-intensive, but the emotional payoff will be well worth the effort. (Trust.) Prior to the virtual shower, ask all the attendees to record themselves (smartphones work just fine for this) giving their best piece of parenting advice to the future mom. It can be sincere, tongue-in-cheek or a combination of both. When you have all the clips, combine them into a short video for the mom-to-be to watch at some point during the shower. (We envision it as the final gift for maximum impact, but at any point in time works!) If unsolicited advice isn’t your vibe, this can be easily tweaked: Have guests record a message welcoming the baby-to-be, sharing their biggest parenting fail, or dishing on their must-have baby product. Not tech-savvy enough to edit your own video? Make this a live activity during the shower instead! (Tip: Have everyone mute their microphones and let one person speak at a time.)
Chances are, this mama-to-be is stressed to the max. (She’s only about to deliver a child during a global pandemic.) She’s also probably emotional, thinking about how the final weeks of pregnancy and first weeks of her child’s life will be much different than she envisioned (plus, you know, hormones). The virtual shower is a great distraction from these stressors, but take it a step further by mailing her a self-care package to make sure her mental health is looked after. You can easily DIY it (a face mask, mani-pedi kit, calming lotion, some bath salts, a candle and a mindless book—all ordered online and sanitized upon arrival, of course) or order one pre-assembled ( Knack has some great customizable options); either way, it’s certain to be much appreciated.
After a shower comes a rainbow—and that’s what you can dub this future get-together for the mom of honor. It can be a baby shower as it was originally intended (minus the gifts) or a simple get-together in someone’s backyard, but all that matters is gathering those who love this mom and her baby the most. While it may be months in the future, it will still give everyone something to look forward to: celebrating a new mom and loving on a sweet baby in safer, healthier times. Plus, more from The Bump: Your Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist