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Virtual Baby Shower Ideas: How to Host a Party While Social Distancing

A baby shower is a fun way to prepare for birth and parenthood while sharing an exciting and life-changing time with friends and family. Since face-to-face gatherings are strictly limited, people are getting creative with ideas for virtual baby showers. 

Originally, baby showers were initiated and arranged by a close friend, not a parent or family member, but traditions vary among cultures. Who arranges your baby shower is ultimately a personal choice.

Virtual baby showers aren’t an entirely new concept — people have been using video chat apps or even just phone calls to be “present” at an event for years. After all, it’s not unusual to have friends or family members who would love to attend but are too far away or simply can’t be there.  

Recently, lockdown and social distancing have driven the popularity of — and the need for — fully virtual baby showers. 

Everyone has their own ideas for their baby shower, but ultimately the reason to have a virtual baby shower is the same as it is for a real-life baby shower: celebrating a pregnancy and a new member of the family. Having close friends and family come together at an exciting, transformative moment shows support, love, and solidarity. 

Getting presents isn’t usually the main reason for having a baby shower, but everyone loves showering a new parent and growing family with gifts, and it can be incredibly helpful to have that kind of practical support too. 

It’s a good idea to plan a baby shower for a time when the baby is unlikely to have shown up already, but when the due date is close enough that it’s all starting to feel real. Around 4 to 6 weeks before the due date is usually when people throw baby showers.  

The first step for planning any kind of virtual event is to try to get an idea of a time that works for everyone — perhaps a weekend, an afternoon, or early evening. If people are attending from different time zones, that might take a little extra navigation.

You might be organizing a baby shower for yourself, so you’ll have a good idea of who you want to invite. If you’re organizing for a friend, ask them who to invite! A baby shower is not a surprise party, so it’s more than OK to check. 

Online parties can be a little tricky to navigate, and you might want to limit numbers so that it’s easier to play party games. But if there are lots of people who’d love to come, Zoom and other similar online meeting platforms have breakout rooms so that people can move between larger and smaller groups. 

If it’s your baby shower, put up traditional party decorations or set a fun background for the video call. If you’re planning the shower for someone else, sending the guest of honor a box of decorations and treats a few days before the baby shower is a great idea. If it’s possible — geographically and financially — sending every guest their own box of treats would be lovely – maybe include some snacks, paper hats, and party poppers!

Of course, when everyone’s online in their own homes, one of the great benefits of a lockdown party is that no one even has to tidy up … and remember the dress code for all online meetings: a smart top and pajama bottoms!

Choosing a platform that everyone can access is the most important thing: one that’s free and works on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Zoom and Hangouts are popular and easy-to-use, and some social media platforms have their own group call options too. Some have fun backgrounds and filters! 

There are some limitations to an online baby shower, and accessibility is one: navigating the internet and communicating through a screen isn’t easy or possible for everyone. A virtual baby shower will never be a perfect replacement for a real-life gathering, but the aim is the same: to celebrate the birth of a new baby. 

Once you’ve chosen a platform, you’ll be able to pick a time and get a link and password to send to all the guests. You can incorporate this into a fun invite: a virtual collage of prenatal scans, pictures of the expectant parents as babies, cute ideas for nurseries and activities, and more. You could even ask all the guests for old pics of themselves as babies to work into the invite! You can create a social media group or event page to share the details or send individual invites.

It’s good to be clear in your virtual baby shower invitation wording — people might not know what to expect. Giving people plenty of advance notice will help them make time and arrange gifts. 

There are online registries for baby shower gifts to ensure that the family gets what they need and no duplicates! A link to the registry can be included in the invite. Some people might prefer to send their own gifts and get creative with baby shower gifts. A gift card is also totally acceptable.

You might have time to send out some baby-themed snacks in advance to guests, and this is lovely if you can do it, but it’s by no means expected or essential. People are in their own homes, and the cost of mailing loads of cupcakes can be pretty high. Food is often an important part of an in-person baby shower, but much less so online. 

However, if you’re throwing a shower for someone else, it might be nice to send them a cake.

With a little imagination, virtual baby shower games can be a fun part of the party! Here are a few ideas for baby shower games that can be easily adapted for virtual baby showers, such as:

  • Baby-adult match-up: Ask people to send you photos via email or message, and send the collection to every guest. 
  • Guessing the price: Get some everyday baby-related objects, and get guests to guess the price – you might all be surprised!
  • Sing nursery rhymes: Have a baby-themed karaoke party!

Ultimately, the point of any baby shower is to celebrate the birth of a new baby and show some love and support. There’s no right or wrong way, as long as everyone has a good time. 

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