For many expecting mothers, planning a baby shower is one of the most exciting parts of being pregnant. It’s the last big hurrah before the impending due date—an opportunity for the mama-to-be to gather all of her loved ones under the same roof to celebrate her little one and stock up on much-needed baby items.
But due to ongoing social distancing because of coronavirus, many mothers-to-be are now choosing to throw virtual baby showers this year. While the idea of a virtual baby shower may initially be a disappointment, we promise that it can be just as special as an in-person event! Read on for a simple guide on how to throw a virtual baby shower that everyone will love.
Create an Intimate Guest List
The first step to planning any baby shower, virtual or otherwise, is to consult with the guest of honor and create a guest list. We recommend keeping the guest list small (no more than 15 people) for several reasons. First, you don’t want to have your guests talking over each other, which is more likely to happen when you have a large number of people on a single video call.
Another reason you should keep the guest list small is that it will make choosing a hosting platform easier. Many video calling apps limit the number of people you can have on a call, so you’ll have more options for platforms if you keep the guest list to a minimum.
If the mom-to-be has a large family or tons of friends (or both), you may want to suggest breaking up the guest list into different groups and throwing a baby shower for each group. For instance, you could have a party for the expecting mother’s friends and one for her family. Or, you could have a virtual baby shower for her side of the family and one for her partner’s side of the family.
Pick a Virtual ‘Venue’
Once you’ve created the official guest list(s), it’s time to choose an online “venue” to host the virtual baby shower. These days, there is no shortage of free or low-cost platforms to help you host an epic party.
Here are some popular options to consider:
- Zoom: Zoom is one of the most popular video calling apps for virtual baby showers, and for good reason. Not only can it hold a large number of people (100+), it has a free plan that is simple to use, especially if you’re already familiar with Zoom. One downside is that it only allows up to 40 minutes, which means you’ll need to keep the festivities short and sweet.
- Facebook Live: Many of the guests are likely on Facebook, which makes hosting a baby shower on the social media platform relatively simple. You can also post direct links to the mom-to-be’s baby registry in the post within the event you created to make buying for the baby easy. If you’ve never used Facebook Live before, we recommend familiarizing yourself with it before the shower.
- Skype: Skype is an excellent video chat platform for baby showers because many people are already familiar with it. The biggest downside is that it only allows 10 people and may not have the best video quality.
- Google Meet: Previously known as Google Hangouts, Google Meet is a popular video chat service that is available to anyone with a Google account. The platform can support over 100 participants and allows you to record the call so the mom-to-be can look back on the virtual baby shower with fond memories.
- WebBabyShower: WebBabyShower is an online service that is dedicated exclusively to hosting virtual baby showers. You can create invitations, share photos, play games and personalize the shower design to give the shower the right ambiance.
There is no single-best platform for hosting a baby shower. It all depends on the number of guests, how long you want the party to go on for and which platform will be easiest for the guests to navigate. No matter which platform you choose, remember to test it out well in advance of the virtual baby shower!
Choose a Reasonable Date and Time
One silver lining to quarantining is that most people are pretty available these days. That being said, you still need to be careful about choosing a reasonable time and date for the virtual baby shower. Keep in mind that you may have guests in different time zones, so try to choose a time that works for everyone.
If possible, try to give the guests at least a few weeks’ notice of the event. This will give them plenty of time to shop for burp cloths, baby bottles, receiving blankets and other must-have baby items on the mom-to-be’s registry.Browse our Selection of Receiving Blankets
Send Out Invitations
Even though the baby shower is virtual, you’re still requesting them to attend an event at a specific time. Sending out a formal invitation will make the virtual baby shower feel more “real” and make guests more excited to attend.
You can send either a tangible or a digital invitation—whichever one you prefer. While e-invitations are super easy and environmentally friendly, a physical invitation can be added to a baby scrapbook later.
Remember to include the following information on your virtual baby shower invitation:
- The date and time (make sure to include the specific time zone!)
- The link to join your meetup
- The address to send baby shower gifts
- A baby shower itinerary (this is optional, but it helps give people an idea of what to expect)
Plan Some Virtual Baby Shower Games
Decide early on what baby shower games you want to play. Even if you’re not a big fan of baby shower games, we recommend at least having a few ice breaker games to make the baby shower feel more festive and fun (and less like a conference call).
Need some virtual baby shower game ideas? Here are a few baby shower games you can use to kick off your online get-together:
- Baby Bets: Take bets on things like the weight of the baby, eye color or if he/she will be born with hair. BabyHunch and BabyBety are both great options for creating an online baby pool.
- How Old?: Choose a few old photos of the mom-to-be at different points in her life. Then, have people guess how old she was in each photo.
- Guess How Big the Bump Is: In this game, the guests try to guess the circumference of the expecting mother’s belly. She’ll then measure her belly and whoever had the most accurate guess wins. Note: Some moms-to-be aren’t comfortable with this game, while others think it’s fun.
- Diaper Raffle: Not a fan of traditional baby shower games? Ask guests to send a pack of diapers to the expecting mother’s place to get entered in a gift card raffle. The winner can be announced at the shower.
- Three Facts: Looking for a good ice breaker game? Ask guests to send in three facts about themselves to share with the group. This is a great way to kick off the baby shower and maybe get a few laughs.
- Trivia Games: Make a fun trivia game using the Kahoot app. You can add questions such as how the parents met, what is baby’s nursery theme, when the due date is, etc.
- Scavenger Hunt: Find something that you could feed a baby with, change a baby’s diaper with, etc. Give guests a time limit (~3 minutes or so) to search and see what funny items people grab at the last minute.
- Baby Word Unscramble: Choose a baby-related word or phrase and see how quickly guests can unscramble the puzzle first.
Don’t Forget to Decorate!
While decorating for a virtual baby shower is entirely optional, it can go a long way in making the mom-to-be feel a little more festive. If you can’t physically be in her home to decorate the spot where she’ll be video chatting, consider enlisting the help of her partner or a close relative. You could send over some cute wall decorations and have her partner or a relative set them up in advance of the shower.
If that’s not possible, you can also get creative with your virtual background. Minted offers an array of trendy backgrounds for baby showers that you can use to highlight the guest of honor!
Capture the Special Moment
Don’t forget to take photos and a video of the virtual baby shower! Depending on which video calling app you’re using, you may be able to record the festivities. But if not, you can at least take screen grabs to capture all the special moments.
Be sure to put someone in charge of this so that the mom-to-be can enjoy her shower without worrying about taking photos. After the baby shower, she can pick the best photos and send them to her guests after the shower, along with a thank you note.
Have a Plan for Opening Gifts
When it comes to opening baby shower gifts, you have a few options. One idea is to have friends and family reveal the gifts they bought by holding them up to the screen (they can mail them to the mom-to-be later). Or, you could have them send gifts ahead of time for the mom-to-be to open during the baby shower.
Be sure to ask the guest of honor how she would like to approach this one. Since opening gifts can be time-consuming, some expecting mothers prefer to skip it in lieu of socializing and fun games. Others want a more traditional experience that involves opening presents while the guests watch.
Skip the Food—But Do Come up with a Mocktail
As many of us know by now, eating food on a video conference call is a huge no-no. Although you could probably get away with guests eating cake and other soft foods that aren’t too noisy, there’s really no easy way to send individual slices of cake to all of your guests.
A better solution? Email the guests a mocktail recipe ahead of time and have everyone fix themselves a drink before the virtual baby shower. Another fun idea is to send them cute party favors with a mini champagne bottle and have everyone toast the mommy-to-be!
Go the Extra Mile
Throwing a virtual baby shower can initially be a disappointment for expecting mothers. After all, nothing can truly replace being in the same room as your loved ones.
Why not go the extra mile for the guest of honor to make her feel extra special? Keep it simple and sweet by sending her a beautiful floral arrangement on the day of her shower.
If you really want to go above and beyond, arrange a drive-by celebration as a fun “bonus” to her party. Round up friends and family and have them drive past her home at a certain time with heartwarming messages and posters. This is such a lovely reminder that her and her baby are surrounded by love, even if from a distance!
Balancing Joy and Safety
Every baby deserves to be celebrated, even during a global pandemic. (Scratch that, especially during a global pandemic.) Right now, we could all use a little more joy in our lives. What better way to raise everyone’s spirits than by throwing a party to celebrate mom and baby? With these virtual baby shower tips, you can easily pull off a winning virtual party that everyone is sure to love.