Pregnancy

Virtual Baby Shower Ideas

If you’re pregnant, the coronavirus outbreak likely has you questioning your baby shower. Now that the pandemic has required everyone to practice “social distancing,” and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests canceling events of more than 10 people, you may be scrambling to figure out what you should do instead.

But that doesn’t mean your baby shower can’t happen at all: Many moms-to-be are now planning virtual baby showers in lieu of in-person gatherings. Yes, that basically means everyone meets up over their computers or smartphones. While it may be logistically different, the intent is the same: to celebrate you and babe. Virtual belly rubs it is!

Although more pregnant women will be hosting online baby showers due to the coronavirus outbreak, the concept isn’t new. Many moms-to-be already have virtual baby showers in order to connect with family and friends around the country or world who can’t make it to their scheduled event.

Take Teresa Cox, 34, a stay-at-home mom to a 4-year-old boy and blogger at Simplymadefun.com. Cox held a virtual baby shower a few years ago because she had a high-risk pregnancy and couldn’t travel to the West Coast to be with her husband’s family. “My mother-in-law was the one who came up with the idea of a virtual shower so that everyone could feel like they were a part of the celebration,” she says.

“The key advantage to a virtual event is that no one has to travel, a bigger group can be invited and it’s much less expensive compared to [an in-person] event,” says Kurt Perschke, owner of WebBabyShower.com, a virtual baby shower service that offers invitations, a customizable website and built-in games. (WebBabyShower is offering What to Expect readers 10 percent off their services.)

Virtual Baby Showers – How To

How do virtual baby showers work?

Well, virtual baby showers won’t center around food, though attendees are certainly welcome to make up a plate and eat at their leisure. What will happen is that everyone will log in at the appointed time to celebrate you and baby from afar. Here, a step-by-step guide to planning your perfect virtual baby shower.

Choose a virtual baby shower “venue”

First, decide on a site that everyone can connect into for a live video chat, such as SkypeGoogle Hangouts or Zoom, says Perschke. Some loved ones may not be tech-savvy, so it’s smart to test the service ahead of time to work out any potential problems. Stick with something that you find easy to use, and one you’re fairly confident that, say, your elderly grandma will be able to work. “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel here,” he says.

We recommend using Zoom for your virtual shower video chat, since the platform offers fun options to customize your background. Just keep in mind that Zoom calls are capped at 40 minutes unless you have a paid subscription. Don’t fret, though: If you prefer to stick with the free option, you’ll still have plenty of time to fit a virtual baby shower video chat in that timeframe. Learn more by checking out our guide to using Zoom and download fun virtual backgrounds for your online baby shower. 

Create your virtual baby shower timeline

Although you certainly don’t have to stick to a strict timeline, you may find it helpful to have a general schedule to keep the event running smoothly. Here are two alternate virtual shower timelines to consider, depending on how much time you have:

If you have 40 minutes:

11–11:05 a.m. Catch up with those who “arrive” to the chat early and let everyone figure out how to navigate the video call and prep for the party.

11:05–11:25 a.m. Let the games begin! (See the bottom of the page for game and prize ideas.)

11:25-11:35: Open gifts, if you’re choosing to do so. (If you’d prefer not to open gifts during your virtual shower, you can skip this step and devote another 10 minutes to games.)

11:35–11:40 a.m. Virtual goodbyes!

If you have 90 minutes:

1111:10 a.m. Catch up with those who “arrive” to the chat early and let everyone figure out how to navigate the video call and prep for the party.

11:10 a.m.12 p.m. Let the games begin! (See the bottom of the page for game and prize ideas.)

1212:20 p.m. Open gifts, if you’re choosing to do so. (If you’d prefer not to open gifts during your virtual shower, you can skip this step and devote another 20 minutes to games.)

12:2012:30 p.m. Virtual goodbyes!

Send out virtual baby shower invitations

Next, it’s time to appoint someone to send out invitations. That can be you!

“Over half of our customers are moms themselves,” says Perschke. There’s a different set of etiquette at play with virtual baby showers, and it’s totally acceptable to take ownership over your experience and throw one yourself. To keep with the virtual theme, consider sending e-vites, such as from Paperless Post or Minted.

Set up your baby registry

If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to create your baby registry (you may also want to include a link to it on your invitation). Many moms-to-be already prefer online baby registries. If you don’t have one yet, browse the best online baby registries and review our baby registry checklist to make sure you have everything you’ll need once baby arrives.

Virtual baby shower decoration ideas

Decorating for a virtual shower is obviously optional, but it might help you feel festive to put up a few decorations in the area where you’ll be hosting the live video chat. For Cox, her mother-in-law (who was the host) sent her a box a week before the party filled with everything she needed to set up, like wall decorations, cute napkins and the supplies she’d need for games and prizes. This alleviated her need to do any prep.

We also love how creative moms-to-be have gotten with Zoom’s virtual backgrounds. Our team designed a variety of options to fit the theme of your virtual baby shower. You can see a few below, and feel free to download them for your party. (Don’t forget to include the link to download so other guests can feature the background, too!). Even more Zoom backgrounds can be found in our guide.

Virtual baby shower games and activities

  • Guess the Number. The host holds up a jar filled with sweets (M&Ms, jelly beans, Hershey’s Kisses) and asks guests to guess how many are inside.
  • The Price Is Right. The host holds up various baby items (such as a onesie, bottle or toy) and guests guess how much they cost. (Cox played this one at her virtual shower, and noted that it “got everyone talking and laughing because of how different prices are now compared to when some of them had kids.”)
  • Name That Baby Song. The host plays different nursery rhymes or popular baby songs and guests try to guess the name as quickly as they can.
  • Who’s That Baby? Before the call starts, ask guests to email photos of themselves as babies to the host. The host shares them with the group and everyone tries to guess who is who.
  • How Well Do You Know Mom? Use the downloadable template below to quiz guests on how well they know the mom-to-be.
  • The Celebrity Baby Name Game. Use the downloadable template below to match celebrity baby names with the celebrity mom.

For prizes, nothing is easier than e-gift cards: Send winners a gift card for their next food delivery via DoorDash or cure-all skincare from Sephora and — we all know an Amazon credit can help buy just about anything.

 

Virtual baby shower guestbook

You also have an opportunity to get creative with a virtual “guestbook” for your shower. We made a template on Google Slides that you can copy (more information on how to do that below), customize and send to your guests to fill out. All you have to do is open this link, click “File,” “Make a copy,” “Entire presentation.” You can then edit the information and send it off to guests and ask them to fill in their advice for the mom-to-be before or during the shower. 

Here’s what the guest book will look like:

Should you open gifts at your virtual baby shower?

As for presents, you can choose what you’d like to do. There are a few options: Your relatives and friends can open up the gifts they “brought” to the party and show them to you onscreen, then mail them later) or they can send gifts ahead of time for you to open on the chat.

“Some moms want to open presents over live video, but others don’t want to focus on that. A virtual shower is much more flexible than a traditional one,” says Perschke.

Virtual baby shower thank you notes

Don’t forget to say thank you! Moms-to-be should thank their friends and relatives for attending with a thoughtful note. To help make the process easier, we created templates to say “Thank you!” You can download them below.

Above all, see the fun in the new experience. 

Having to cancel your baby shower is understandably frustrating. But the need for a Plan B may actually be a great opportunity: “My advice is to embrace everything that’s possible with a virtual shower. It’s different, but it can be an amazing experience,” says Perschke. 

Visit whattoexpect.com/news for the latest updates on COVID-19 as it relates to pregnancy and babies

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