Living through a pandemic has certainly been the greatest exercise in learning how to turn lemons into lemonade. And for a new mom with a baby on the way, it’s not exactly the vision of gleeful anticipation and happy celebration she likely had in mind. Though you may not be able to gather to celebrate and shower the mama-to-be like you would have in the past, with a bit of creativity, you can throw a fantastic virtual baby shower that may turn out even better.
As her friend or relative, it’s up to you to go above and beyond to make this day special. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of what to consider in order to throw the perfect virtual baby shower she’ll always remember.
Nail the Virtual Baby Shower Basics
Before you start diving deep into the world of virtual event planning, there are a few housekeeping items you’ll want to check off your list first.
Talk to the Mama-to-Be: Before you make a plan, make sure you understand the new mama’s wishes and see if she has any ideas of her own. Chances are, she’ll be more than happy to let you run with it!
Determine a Date and Time: Ideally the baby shower will be about a month or so out from the expectant mother’s due date. This will ensure the event will go off without a hitch in case the baby unexpectedly makes his arrival into the world a bit early. If there are any guests who definitely need to be in attendance, such as the grandmas, make sure you run the date by them to make sure they don’t have a conflict. Make sure guests also have enough time choose a gift and get it shipped to the mama-to-be before the shower.
Narrow Down the Guest List: For an in-person baby shower, the event space is a consideration when determining how many people to invite. Though virtually this isn’t a concern (though be sure to check participant limits for your platform), that doesn’t mean the mama-to-be should invite everyone she knows. A smaller, more intimate gathering for a virtual baby shower is ideal as it will allow everyone to socialize a bit more without anyone feeling like they’re just a number is a sea of boxes on the screen.
Divide and Conquer: As with a typical shower, if there are multiple women hosting the shower, be sure to divy up the tasks to make it as easy and seamless to plan as possible.
- Determine Your Video Platform: Though Zoom is usually the first platform that comes to mind, it’s not your only option. Consider checking out Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts to determine which video service will best meet the needs of your event.
*Note: If you’re considering making the baby shower a surprise, you’ll want to be positive that this is something she would enjoy. Not everyone enjoys surprises, but for others, this would make it extra special. We recommend talking to her significant other to find out if they think a surprise baby shower is the way to go.
Once you have these in place, let the fun part begin!
7 Ideas to Throw the Perfect Virtual Baby Shower
1.) Consider Sending Out Printed Invitations
It may sound silly to send out printed invitations to a virtual event, but this is one easy way to go a bit above and beyond to make the baby shower seem more authentic. Everyone loves getting snail mail - especially when it involves celebrating a loved one.
Not only does this allow guests of the event to feel extra special as they finally have something on their calendar to look forward to, but it also gives you, the host, the option of including inserts in with the invitation that you’ll use at the party.
Some inclusions might be:
- A photo of the mom or parents-to-be
- Instructions for the platform you’ll be using to host the event
- An agenda for the celebration
- A printable for games you’ll play at the party
2.) Arrange a Decoration Delivery
To make the occasion as festive as possible, we recommend delivering decorations to the mama-to-be before the event. You don’t need to go overboard (you don’t want to make more work for the one who is growing a baby), but we know she’ll appreciate a few decorations such as balloons and a banner to make the event feel as authentic as possible. (You can also get her significant other involved to set them up beforehand to surprise her!)
As for you as the host, consider using a background for you Zoom call (if that’s the platform you’ll be using). Though Zoom does have it’s own options for backgrounds, your options here are pretty limitless. The Bash has some great options to download and Paperless Post can even create a custom background for you by contacting their design team. Here they provide instructions on how to add a Zoom background as well as instructions for how to get the perfectly unique background.
3.) Have Guests Send Gifts Ahead of Time
Registries have never been so easy. And if anyone ever wasn’t comfortable shopping online, they sure are now after what our world has been through.
Make sure that the new mama has her registry set up with her address so that guests are able to easily send gifts straight from her registry. We recommend giving guests a deadline to order gifts so that they will arrive in plenty of time before the day of the baby shower.
This way, they’ll all be ready to open during the baby shower. We promise there will be just as many oohs and awwws at all the sweet gifts as there would be at an in-person baby shower.
*Remember that there are some really unique gifts out there that may not be an option at a big box store. Even though it’s important that she gets those items, too, consider a few surprise gifts that you know she’ll love - perhaps something everyone can pitch in on.
A few of our favorites right now include:
4.) Play Fun Games
What better way to get your guests involved virtually than to have some fun games planned. The nice thing about sending printables by mail is that guests won’t be expected to print them on their own (which always seems like more of a challenge than it should be).
Here are a few of our favorite games that will be sure to bring laughs and smiles all around (fun enough to forget you’re not even in person together hopefully!):
- Baby Gift Bingo - This is a great way to keep everyone engaged as the mama-to-be opens her gifts!
- Parents-to-Be Trivia - It’s always fun to get to know the couple a bit more than you already do. Test your knowledge about the people you think you know so well! (Be sure to have them fill out a questionnaire ahead of time!)
- Baby Shower Pictionary - My family couldn’t get enough of virtual Pictionary during Covid, so no doubt it will be a hit at the baby shower, too!
Need more ideas? Check out these options from Baby List!
5.) Have a Signature Drink
If you are set on having food during the virtual baby shower, you can certainly do that. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a challenge to get everyone on the same page with appetizers or treats and it’s not always the best look to be eating on camera. Which is why we think it’s a much better idea to go with a signature drink. (Though a special delivery of sweet cookies to the mama-to-be could be a kind gesture!)
If you’re choosing a drink that has alcohol in it, just be sure it can easily be made into a mocktail version as well. Be sure to share the recipe with all your guests so they can make it on their own. It could even be as simple as everyone bringing a glass of champagne or sparkling cider topped with a garnish - as seen here.
To simplify, just have everyone bring their favorite drink to the virtual baby shower - and be sure to have a toast to the parents-to-be!
6.) Read Advice to the Mama-to-Be Out Loud
A way to make the virtual baby shower extra special, is to have each of one write advice ahead of time and read it out loud.
We love how this includes each guest and allows them to have special moment with the expecting mama they care about so much.
Be sure to collect this advice in some way; if you include fancy notecards in the invitation you send out, you can have guests send them back after the shower so that you can include them in a keepsake for the new parents. We promise they will cherish this gift forever!
7.) Record the Event
Though having a virtual baby shower may not have been the mama’s first choice, an online event is easily recorded - which means she’ll be able to have the experience on record forever. Video calls on Zoom, Google Meet, etc. can be recorded - just be sure to give it a practice go ahead of time so you’re not fumbling or miss a step.
A virtual baby shower is practically a necessity in the time of social distancing, but we hope the trend continues in the future for families and friends that may live apart. With the ideas we’ve shared and your added personal tough, we know the mama-to-be will be forever grateful for your thoughtfulness.