When Covid-19 forces you to cancel an in-person baby shower, the next best option is to plan a virtual one! While virtual showers have been around for awhile (think: couples living abroad from family and friends), the necessity of these is even more important when you want to show the new parents-to-be the same support and excitement you would normally deliver in person.
What is a Virtual Shower?
A virtual shower allows friends and family to be a part of a traditional event. Whether in conjunction with an in-person shower, or due to social distancing and the health of mama and baby (and dada), a virtual shower takes away physical barriers and allows anyone to be part of the celebration. You can still have many of the same aspects of a traditional shower with a virtual one! The biggest change is that you are using technology to experience the shower.
I used Zoom to host our shower. It was service I was already familiar with, and easy to use with our family members. There are other platforms out there:
Facebook Messenger – Up to 50 friends can chat at once, although only 6 people are ‘visible’ at a time
FaceTime – Up to 32 friends to chat at once, as long as they have Apple products
Google Hangouts – Up to 25 friends can chat at once, requires a Gmail account for each attendee
Skype – Up to 50 friends can chat at once, up to 4 hours
Zoom – Up to 100 friends can chat at once for free, for up to 40 minutes (longer with paid subscriptions)
Anyone can host a shower these days. In my case, I was hosting the family shower for my brother Calvin and his wife, Jillian. Expecting parents may opt to host their own shower, or enlist a friend or family member to co-host. Grandparents, coworkers, and friends have all helped plan baby showers in the past.
Whomever gets the lucky task of planning this celebration, make sure you check with the expectant parents to figure out details like a guest list and date, at least 2 months before the baby is due if possible. I thought I was solid with my shower date, and baby Rory ended up coming 5 weeks early! I would keep the timing to 1-2 hours.
Much like a traditional baby shower, the same party planning rules can apply to a virtual shower. Read below for some easy ideas you can use:
Invitations – I love working with a common theme throughout an event. Let your invite give guests a glimpse of what you are planning! I chose a jet setter theme, as my brother and his wife both love traveling, spanning the globe to destinations like Africa and Vietnam. (New adventures await!!)
Some great electronic invites to check out:
Decorations – You can still add some pizzazz to your party with decorations! I put together a ‘baby shower in a bag’ kit, and dropped it off with the parents a few weeks before the shower date. That way, I knew the items would be able to be safely quarantined. I created a custom banner made out of pages of an old atlas, and also included a tissue paper pom pom kit. The goal is to make a festive backdrop for where the camera will be set up.
Favors – Every party needs a great party favor! Bonus points if it’s something consumable. I rounded up a bunch of airline snacks and put them in these handmade bags, crafted from the same atlas pages I used to create the banner. The favor bags included chocolate Earth balls, these tiny tic tac containers, Biscoff cookies, Stropwafels, and peanuts of course! I found all of these items on Amazon.
Games – You can plan a lot of games virtually that you would in person. I chose three games that were kid friendly, and easy for shower guests to participate in.
- Who’s That Baby? – How well do Calvin and Jillian know their nephews and niece? I made a Power Point slide that had newborn baby pictures of all the little cousins. The kiddos enjoyed seeing themselves as babies. Mmm – those chubby baby cheeks! Everyone at the baby shower got to try to match up the correct photo with the correct kiddo. It was funny listening to my parents try to reason their guesses!
Who Weighed What – The next game involved guessing the birth weights of all the cousins. There’s quite a range to work with! You could have shower guests send you their stats and include them this way.
- What Are The Young Called? – Our third game involved a little more thinking. Participants had a few minutes to write the corresponding name for each of the adult and young animals. You can create a list of your own favorite animals, or compile a list of celebrities and have guests write in the children’s names.
- Baby Food Taste Test
It’s blindfold taste test time! Wonder why some babies spit out their food? It can’t always taste as yummy as strawberries and bananas! I had one parent feed the other blindfolded parent these different food items. They had to guess what food they were sampling. For the kicker, the last item was a packet of ketchup!
You can do gift opening a few ways with a virtual shower. You can tell guests to mail or drop off their gifts directly with the new parents, or you can have guests reveal their gifts during the shower. We did a combination of both; the little kids enjoyed showing off their gifts, and it was fun to watch Calvin and Jillian open up some gifts.
Celebrating life’s milestones doesn’t have to end if you have to socially distance or quarantine. By finding creative alternatives, you can still show your guests of honor how special they are! Inspired? How will you find a way to commemorate your next special event?