Traditionally, baby showers are held with a handful of close family and friends gathered in one location to celebrate and shower the expecting parents with love, well-wishes, and gifts. But what if you have family and friends scattered all over the country or even the world? And what if, at the time of your shower, social distancing is recommended for everyone’s health and safety?
Long distance baby showers are rising in popularity. The good news is that technology allows us to have these showers that are just as special as traditional baby showers where we can connect and interact with friends and family. After all, celebrating a new life is a big event!
One of the most popular types of long distance baby showers is a virtual baby shower. A virtual baby shower, just like traditional baby showers, are meant to shower the mom (and dad!) with love and gifts to help celebrate their little bundle of joy.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is A Virtual Baby Shower?
- 2 How Do You Host A Virtual Baby Shower?
- 3 Virtual Baby Shower Invitations
- 4 Virtual Baby Shower Games
- 5 Virtual Baby Shower Checklist
- 6 Are Virtual Baby Showers Tacky?
- 7 Other Socially Distanced Baby Shower Ideas
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What Is A Virtual Baby Shower?
A virtual baby shower is an shower over the internet where guests can interact with each other and the mom-to-be. The two main possibilities are live video chats or non-live online groups. Both types give you the option to interact and communicate with everyone. You can be as traditional or nontraditional as you want – it’s easy to incorporate games and gift opening into both of these types of showers.
While there are a lot of similarities between virtual and in-person showers, there are few things that will be different. Virtual showers tend to be more casual since you probably won’t even be leaving your house. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing is completely dependent on your preferences. I, personally, would love to wear my pajamas or sweats all day instead of having to get dressed up!
The other major differences are the types of games that are played and the fact that everyone won’t be able to share refreshments. Fun tip: if you really feel like you’re missing out on the refreshments, send everyone a dessert or drink recipe to make the day of the shower and enjoy it together.
Even with those differences, virtual baby showers are a great alternative when an in-person shower isn’t possible.
How Do You Host A Virtual Baby Shower?
There are a few options for hosting virtual baby showers. And a bonus to having a virtual shower is that it’s less expensive to host than a traditional in-person shower!
Live Virtual Showers
Live video chat services let you see everyone’s face on camera while you’re talking. This is a great option for smaller baby showers since only one person can talk at a time.
A major difference between in-person showers and online video call showers is that guests can’t get together is smaller groups to chat with the people they know well. So, it’s important to make sure no one feels left out if you choose to do a live online video chat.
If you have a large group of people you want to invite, it’s okay to have multiple online showers! Make it so that you can interact with all of your guests. I suggest limiting each call to about 15 people (or groups – multiple people can call in from the same computer if they are at the same location).
Video Chat Services
|Skype||With Skype, you can create a link and invite up to 100 people for free. Calls can last up to 24 hours. Anyone can do this – you don’t even need to create a Skype account. Guests will just click the link you provide for the shower.|
|Google Meet||To use Google Meet, you and your guests will need google accounts. You can create a free video meeting for up to 100 people with calls lasting up to 60 minutes. To schedule the video meeting, you will create an event on your google calendar and add the names or emails of the people you want to invite. This will send them a notification of the event and they’ll be able to join at the scheduled time.|
|Zoom||Zoom offers a free version, but if you have more than 3 people you are limited to a 40-minute call.|
For $15/month, you can host up to 100 people with calls lasting up to 30 hours. Realistically, you would probably spend much more than $15 on a venue for a baby shower, so this is a decent option. Just remember to cancel your subscription before it renews if you don’t plan on using it again. The host will need a Zoom account, but your guests won’t have to sign up – they just click the link you provide for the shower.
I recommend doing a test run with the expecting parents using the free versions of whatever services you are considering. This way you’ll be able to get a feel for how the application works and if it will meet your baby shower expectations.
If you choose to do a live video chat, make sure your invitation includes all the details on how and when guests can join the event.
Activities for live video chat showers
Introductions – if your guests don’t already know each other, have them introduce themselves and say how they know the mom-to-be. This can serve as sort of an ice-breaker since video calls can occasionally be a little awkward given that only one person can talk at a time and all attention is focused on the person talking.
Games – You can play games during a live video chat shower, although they might be set up a little differently. Some game options are listed later in the post.
Gift opening – if gifts were mailed to the mom-to-be’s house, she can open them like she would at a traditional baby shower and guests can watch through the video.
Another fun thing to include is decorations. Traditional baby showers are usually themed, so if you don’t want to miss out on this aspect, grab some decorations and hang them up in the background of mom-to-be’s video. Your guests will be able to see it on their cameras.
Some of my favorite baby shower backdrop decorations are these!
Non-Live Virtual Showers
If you’re like me, being the center of attention is your least favorite thing. I was an anxious mess at my bridal shower with all those people just watching me open presents! The thought of being on a live video doing the same thing for my baby shower when the attention is even more focused on me is definitely not my idea of fun. I envy the people who can smoothly handle any social situation! Luckily, there are still ways to celebrate without undivided attention on the mom-to-be!
While non-live virtual showers stray even farther from your traditional baby shower, (you won’t be interacting face-to-face) it’s still a great option to celebrate the parents-to-be while sharing the experience with family and friends. You can still play games, interact with everyone, and share videos and photos. These types of showers can last a few days while you post various games, pictures, and videos via a platform like Facebook Groups. This option also gives your guests some flexibility on when they can participate in the shower. Guests can sign in to the group any time during the timeframe of the shower and take part in whatever activities have been posted.
The host can create a group on Facebook and invite the mom’s friends and family to join. Decide on the length of time you want the shower to last and if you are sending or emailing out invitations, include those dates and details!
Activities for non-live virtual showers
Games – Post a thread or two each day with virtual baby shower games that your guests can participate in when they pop in to the group. At the end of each day, announce the winner (and the answers!).
Fill-in-the-blank and question posts – The host can post various questions to the group to let the guests interact and offer words of wisdom. The guests will be able to comment on the posts with their advice.
Use questions like “what is your biggest piece of advice for the new parents?” and ask them to post a message to the future baby.
Or post fill-in-the-blank cards and the guests can finish the sentence in the comments:
Have guests comments their guesses on baby predictions:
Presents – the mom and dad can post pictures or videos of their gifts as they receive them in the mail. This lets those who enjoy the traditional present opening aspect of showers to still be able to see the fun gifts that are received.
Videos and photos – the host or soon-to-be mom can post updates with baby bump pictures, ultrasound pictures, or give a tour of the nursery.
If setting up and hosting a virtual baby shower seems overwhelming, you can sign up with WebBabyShower. This company is an online baby shower service that guides you through the process of planning a virtual baby shower. They let you pick a design for your site, choose email invitations, and have pre-setup games to choose from, a place to upload photos and videos, and a guestbook. You can also incorporate a live video chat through a video chat service of your choice.
Virtual Baby Shower Invitations
What do you include on your invitations? Whether you are sending the invitation via email or hard copy, make sure to include these things:
- Details on the date and time of the event – make sure guests know it’s a virtual or online event
- How to access the event – provide a way for guests to get the meeting or group link
- Where the mom-to-be is registered
- Where to send gifts
- Contact information in case guests have questions or if you want RSVPs
If you’re looking for invitation inspiration, Etsy has some really cute ones to choose from!
Virtual Baby Shower Games
Games can be played on livestream baby showers or on non-live baby showers. If you plan on giving away prizes, gift cards are a great option because you can email them to the winner. Something like $5 Amazon or Starbucks gift cards are perfect.
For live showers games, the host can ask the questions or hold up the items involved in the game on the video or share her computer screen with a picture of the questions or items so guests can see it on their own screens. Guests can write down their answers and grade their own games as the host or mom-to-be goes through the answers.
For non-live showers, post a picture of the items or questions and have people comment their guesses. At the end of the day, the host or mom-to-be can give out the answers.
Price is Right
Buy 5-10 baby items like diapers, baby wipes, burp cloths, or baby bibs and have the guests guess the total cost. Whoever is closest without going over wins. You can send the baby items as a gift to the soon-to-be parents.
Who Knows Mom Best?
Ask guests questions about mom-to-be. Whoever gets the most questions right wins.
Use questions like:
- What was her biggest craving?
- What was her biggest food aversion?
- What color is the nursery?
- What is her favorite thing about being pregnant?
- When is the due date?
- How many kids does she want?
- What did Dad do when Mom told him she was pregnant?
Gather a list of multiple choice questions about babies and have your guests write down their answers. At the end of the questions, they can tally up how many they got right. Whoever gets the most answers right wins.
Use questions like:
- What percentage of babies are born on their due dates?
- What is the record number of children one woman has had?
- How many bones is a baby born with?
- About how many diapers does a baby go through in one year?
- How much bigger does the uterus get during pregnancy?
- What is the first sense babies develop?
- When does a baby get its fingerprint?
- Which body part are babies born without?
- How many babies are born in the world every second?
How Big Is Mommy’s Belly?
Have guests guess the circumference of mom’s baby bump. Whoever is closest without going over wins.
For non-live showers, post a picture of mom-to-be and have guests comment their answers.
How Old was Mommy Or Daddy?
Show or post pictures of the mom and dad at various ages and have guests guess their age. Whoever gets the most right wins.
Virtual Baby Shower Checklist
To summarize, here’s a checklist to help you prepare your virtual baby shower:
Are Virtual Baby Showers Tacky?
No! There can be negative feelings towards virtual showers because some people see them as tacky and gift-grabby. But the reality is that there are many good reasons to choose a virtual shower over an in-person shower. Family and friends might be far away, the mom-to-be might be on bedrest, or there could be guidelines recommending social distancing for everyone’s health and safety.
The tacky feeling usually comes from people thinking the mom-to-be just wants to get gifts. So, keep the focus on celebrating the new baby together and not on the presents.
Technology makes it so easy to have these long-distance celebrations, so why not take advantage of it? Having a baby is definitely something to be celebrated!
Other Socially Distanced Baby Shower Ideas
If a virtual baby shower isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options to celebrate the mom-to-be.
Baby Shower By Mail
I’m sure you’ve heard of card showers for people’s birthdays or anniversaries. A baby shower by mail is a similar concept. If your guests are scattered around the country, throwing a baby shower by mail is a great option. Guests can shower the parents-to-be by mailing their cards and gifts.
Drive-By Baby Shower
Just like the drive-by birthday parties you’ve probably seen or heard going by a neighbor’s house with honking and birthday wishes, the same thing can be done for a baby shower. The mom- or parents-to-be can watch from the driveway while guests drive by with well-wishes and gift drop-offs. If you’re really feeling festive encourage guests to make decorations for their cars before they drive-by.
Outdoor Baby Shower
If the weather is good, you can plan a socially distanced outdoor baby shower. This is probably as traditional as you can get with a baby shower while still social distancing. The outdoor option allows you to see guests in person, play games, have food, and essentially have a “normal” baby shower with a little bit of extra space between your guests!
Virtual “Meet the Baby”
You can opt to skip the baby shower all together and have a “meet the baby” event instead. In place of games and present openings on a video call, the mom- or parents-to-be can show off their new little bundle of joy to the guests on video. This gives your family and friends the option to “meet” your baby even when they can’t see him or her in person.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas and inspiration to start planning a baby shower!
While a virtual baby shower might not have been your original plan, you can still make it special for the mom-to-be. Bringing family and friends together online to celebrate the upcoming arrival is something she’ll cherish. Happy shower planning!
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