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A few weeks ago, I never would have considered hosting a virtual baby shower for any one. Baby showers were one of those events where you gathered together with your closest family and friends and celebrated the newest addition to your family. In person.
But making the entire baby shower virtual. That idea was off my radar.
And then came the coronavirus and we started to rethink the way we celebrate together. Just because we can’t have groups of people in the same room right now, doesn’t mean that life events aren’t happening everywhere.
So, I started to rethink this virtual baby shower concept. And it’s actually a pretty cool one. I wish I had thought of it when we had our first little. During that pregnancy, I ended up on bed rest for a few months before her arrival. Sadly, my family baby shower had to be canceled. Seeing everyone virtually, though, would have been a lot of fun.
Even though we are currently in a time of crisis, hosting a virtual baby shower could be a solution for lots of situations. Many of us have family and friends scattered around the globe. A virtual baby shower is a nice way to gather everyone together without the travel expenses.
Or if the mom-to-be ends up on bed rest, with complications or travel restrictions (been there, done that), this could be a great way to celebrate mom without her having to leave home.
For many, having a baby shower is an important tradition for welcoming a new baby in the world. The good news is that hosting a virtual baby shower is easy to do by following these simple steps.
Set up a Virtual Location
Once you decide to host a virtual baby shower, you need to figure out a platform to host your baby shower on. Kind of like finding a restaurant, but with more technology involved.
Luckily, these days, there are lots of options for hosting your baby shower.
You could stream the party using a free digital video service such as Skype, Zoom or Facebook Messenger.
We have been using Zoom recently for video work calls and class meetings. I love how everyone gets a video window and can be seen together at the same time. This format would make it easier to open gifts and play games as a group.
Another idea is to host your virtual baby shower via Facebook. Most of your guests will probably already have Facebook accounts. You can invite guests to the baby shower via a Facebook event page. Then, gather them on the day of the baby shower and communicate via the integrated video chat system via Facebook Messenger.
If you want to host an event that’s a bit more organized, consider using Web Baby Shower. This unique service sets up a virtual baby shower for you via a customized website. You choose colors, theme and fonts. Then, you can invite guests, play baby shower games and even give pregnancy updates as your big day gets closer. The pricing starts at $79 for six month access to your event website.
Decide Who Hosts
Traditionally, according to Emily Post, close friends, aunts, sisters-in-laws, cousins and co-workers host a baby shower for the mother-to-be. These days, though, many grandmothers-to-be host baby showers for their children. Or I have also seen the mother or parents-to-be host their own shower (even if it isn’t following every etiquette rule).
Before setting up your virtual baby shower, decide who the hosts will be. This person(s) will become the main contact for your event and handle all of the details.
When choosing a host, make sure the person is comfortable with technology. It will be hard to host a virtual baby shower hosted by someone who hates computers and is technology averse.
Send the Invitations
Once you figure out the platform you would like to host the virtual baby shower on, it’s time to choose the baby shower invitations. Any printable baby shower invitation design can be sent directly to guests via email, social media or other virtual invite platform.
You can also send virtual invitations using Evite or Paperless Post by uploading your own design. The benefit of using these platforms is that you monitor the RSVPs and contact guests directly.
If you are more of a traditionalist, send your baby shower invitations physically in the mail. Just because you’re hosting a virtual baby shower doesn’t mean that you can’t mail printed invitations.
Don’t Forget the Decorations
Even though you are hosting a virtual baby shower, it’s still fun to decorate. The difference is instead of decorating an entire space, you can focus on the area around the web camera.
First, decide where you plan on setting up the computer during your virtual baby shower. Try to pick a space with a wall behind you to give yourself some space for decorating.
Then, create a backdrop design similar to a dessert table backdrop. You can hang a baby shower banner. Decorate with paper lanterns (affiliate), tissue paper poms (affiliate) or paper rosettes (affiliate).
You can also hang letter balloons spelling “Oh, Baby”, “It’s a Boy” or “It’s a Girl”. Or create a baby clothesline with adorable baby clothes.
In addition to creating a fun backdrop, you can decorate your chair and table space. Even though it’s a virtual baby shower, you also still choose coordinated paper goods. A themed party cup for refreshments or paper plate for serving your party treats might be fun. Or get a “Mama to Be” mug and drink from that.
For your chair or seating, tie baby shower balloons arm of the chair. Wear a Mommy-to-Be button (affiliate). Put flowers in a vase and add on a baby worded cut out.
Most importantly, when decorating, make your space feel cozy and special. You want everyone invited to know that you’re celebrating your new arrival.
Celebrate with a Care Package
If you are hosting the virtual baby shower, consider sending the mom or parents-to-be a care package before the event. This could include some decorations, a gift card (maybe to a local bakery to pick up some party treats), paper goods to use at the party and baby shower games you plan to play.
You could also have a local bakery make a small cake and have it delivered. Or, if you are local, bake some treats for the party and drop them off before the event. This way the mom-to-be can enjoy in some refreshments during the baby shower.
Baby Shower Games for Everyone
Just because you are hosting a virtual baby shower doesn’t mean that you can’t play baby shower games. Although some baby shower games are better in person, there are many games that you can play through virtually.
A few tips about playing games virtually.
Choose games and activities that your guests will enjoy. If you have a bunch of college friends that don’t carry purses any more, the What’s in your Purse game probably wouldn’t be a lot of fun. Pick games that your guests will want to play. It will make your baby shower a lot more enjoyable.
Be sure that everyone can participate. This means that you will have to get them the game materials ahead of time. A few days (or even weeks if mailed) before your virtual baby shower, send guests the baby shower game cards and other materials they will need. They can print the games themselves or use pre-printed versions that you’ve mailed them.
Select good prizes. Everyone loves to win. But they want to win something fun. For a virtual baby shower, it might be easiest to use gift cards as the prize. Most gift cards can be delivered virtually. Choose a few places your guests love to go and send the winners a gift card after the baby shower is over.
Don’t go overboard. These baby shower games are just some suggestions. You don’t have to plan to play all of them. Choose two or three activities that will make your baby shower awesome. It will be a lot easier for the host to plan and your virtual baby shower won’t go too long.
Check out some of my favorite games and activities for a virtual baby shower.
Candy Guessing Games
To set up a candy guessing game, you need a jar with the mommy to be’s favorite candies. You don’t have to fill the jar with candy, though. You could also use small cookies, sprinkles or non-edible things like safety pins or even golf tees (for a golf baby shower).
Whatever you choose, count the items as you place them in the jar. Then, seal the jar.
During the shower, show the jar to the other guests virtually. Let them write down their guess and show it. Or have them email it to you. The person with the closest guess wins a prize.
What’s in your Purse
Invite guests to all grab their purses. Then, start emptying them – virtually, of course. It’s a lot of fun to see what items everyone carries around.
Certain items are worth a different number of points. Guests score the number of points that they earn on the game card. Person with the most points wins.
Price is Right
This game asks guests to guess the cost of different baby items. The important rule is that there’s no research allowed – aka checking amounts on a cell phone.
Display the items and have guests guess the price. After they have guessed all of the prices, guests add up the total. The person with the closest total wins a prize.
Baby Picture Game
In this fun game, guests guess the person in the baby photos. To organize, ask guests to send you a digital baby photo a few weeks before the shower. (You do not want to be responsible for returning a physical photo.)
Create a digital photo board or sheet featuring the different baby photos. Number each photo. Provide guests with a list of people participating. Have guests guess which baby photo is whose. The person with the most correct guesses wins.
How Big is Mommy’s Belly?
This is always a fun game to play that can easily be done virtually. Have guests write down how big they think Mommy’s Belly is. Then, measure Mommy’s belly with a tummy measuring tape (affiliate). The closest guess wins a prize.
Guess Who? Mommy or Daddy
Give guests a series of questions about the parents pregnancy experience. Some examples include: “Who is eating the most food?”, “Who will dress baby best?” and “Who will change the most diapers?”.
Guests vote whether Mommy-to-Be or Daddy-to-Be is the answer. They can fill out their responses on a pre-printed game card or hold up a Mommy or Daddy card to vote. The person with the most correct responses wins.
Babies love to make surprise entrances into the world. In this game, guests guess when they think that baby’s birthday will be.
Create a calendar with dates that are two weeks before the due date and two weeks after. Ask guests to guess the day you think baby will arrive. Write down the guests’ name on that calendar date.
After baby arrives, the guest with the guess closest to your actual due date wins.
Craft for Baby
It’s always fun to make something for baby. Invite guests to craft a gift for your new arrival. They could decorate a bodysuit, create an ABC book page, make a headband or decorate a bib.
Before the day of your virtual baby shower, send out craft supplies and instructions to guests. Or let guests know what they need to make the craft together. Then, craft together at the baby shower – virtually.
Baby Wish Cards
One of my favorite baby shower activities from one of my baby showers were the baby wish cards. Guests filled out their wishes for the new baby. I later placed them in a photo album and love to read them to this day. The cards bring back so many wonderful memories, especially from people who are no longer with us.
Create your own baby wish cards for your little one. Send guests a baby wish card and ask them to fill it out at the shower. Then, they can mail it back to you. Collect the cards and put them in an album or photo box for your little one later on.
The Real Fun – Opening Gifts
One of the favorite parts of a baby shower – for both parents-to-be and guests – is opening gifts. This is no different for a virtual baby shower.
You do have some options, though, with gift opening. Guests can send you their gifts ahead of the baby shower. Then, you can open them on camera for everyone to see.
Another option is that guests can open their gifts for you and send them later. This might be a good idea for procrastinators.
It’s probably best to do a mix and let guests decide which they prefer. Some guests will want you to open the present and others will forget to mail it.
When choosing where to have your baby shower registry, select a store that will ship the gifts for you. That way if guests purchase off of the registry, they can just have the gift shipped directly to you. This will make it easier on guests if they want to ship the gift ahead of time.
This might be a little harder to do virtually, but what’s a baby shower without cake. Although having a traditional sized cake might be too big for some parents-to-be, you could serve cupcakes or another small dessert instead.
Let guests know what dessert you will be serving virtually. Invite them to pick up cupcakes (or another bite sized dessert that they enjoy) before the virtual baby shower too. This way guests can share refreshments with the parents-to-be too.
Saying Thank You
Even though you are having a virtual baby shower, you still need to thank guests for coming and the gifts that they gave you. Write a handwritten thank you note or create a digital email version that you can send out.
Make sure if you promised to give game winners prizes that you send those along too.
Another nice touch is to send a little favor with your thank you note to thank guests for coming. Let love grow with a packet of seeds or flower confetti (affiliate). Or send some relaxation with bath salts. You could also remind them that a baby is brewing with a packet of tea.
However you choose to say thank you, guests are sure to appreciate your kind words and touch of generosity.
The Fun Doesn’t Have to End
Although baby showers are fun, meeting the baby is even more enjoyable. Once your little bundle of joy arrives, let everyone know. If you played the calendar due date game, follow up with guests about the baby’s actual birthday.
After the baby is born, be sure to send guests an update with photos. They will enjoy seeing the little bundle of joy that they celebrated.
If you are unable to get together with those you love before your little one arrives, a virtual baby shower might be a great idea. It’s amazing that technology can help bridge the distance gap in so many ways.
Before deciding to host this type of shower, though, make sure everyone has access to the technology necessary to participate. Some older relatives might not have fast speed Internet or know how to access video streaming (or even have a webcam). You wouldn’t want any one to feel left out.
Wishing you the best joy in celebrating your new arrival and getting ready for your big day. Congratulations!