While 2020 may be over, the necessity of gathering virtually for some big events is not… and long after social distancing is over, a virtual baby shower can still be a great option for mamas-to-be and mamas with growing families who live far from loved ones and want them included in this special time!
I have been to several virtual baby showers over the past year and wanted to offer some of the best ideas I’ve gathered from them as tips for throwing your own virtual baby shower (or helping your host throw one for you!).
- Decide how much interaction you want with your virtual guests and choose your platform accordingly. I’ve been to virtual baby showers on Zoom, Google Meets, and YouTube. They all had pros and cons but what made some showers more pleasant was when the hosts or parents chose platforms to reflect how they wanted to interact with guests. The YouTube shower meant only the parents-to-be were on camera and other guests could just interact via chat. This kept the party from getting sidetracked and let everyone feel comfortable staying in their PJs for the festivities. The Google Meets shower was rather structured and included commenting for games as well as video components for interacting. The Zoom virtual baby shower had pre-planned visual cues so everyone could see reactions and participate without anyone talking over each other or figuring out if they were unmuted. Choosing your platform wisely and then play to its strengths.
- Pick a few meaningful ways for your long distance guests to feel connected. One of the showers I went to dropped off or shipped favors ahead of time. Another included in the invite the planned menu the in-person guests would be eating that morning and invited virtual guests to share in a similar meal or drink they made themselves. Competition can also make your guests feel connected. Try planning a game where you write a meme around funny baby pictures or, if you have a close knit group, guessing which guest’s baby picture is being shown on screen would be fun. Another idea is trivia about classic baby books! One virtual baby shower I was invited to was a family event and included emailed coloring pages for guests to print. The kids and adults alike all enjoyed coloring during all the gift opening and posted their pages after for all the guests to see. Speaking of all the gift opening…
- Break up the gift opening! This is truly my number one tip for a virtual baby shower. They feel different than in-person showers and if you are doing a long string of present opening people start to feel fatigued and check out.
- Be extra clear with your communication. Is there a schedule for when you will open gifts or have activities and then free chatting after? Are guests encouraged to come and go as they like? Do you need to explain to some older guests how the platform works? (Having your host volunteer to do a technology test run is super helpful with this!) Be clear in your invitation and pre-shower communication so your virtual baby shower is as stress free as possible.
- Be flexible and remember your why! Something may go wrong. Many things will feel different than a completely in-person shower. Remember that your guests love and support you, so try to enjoy your time! Your shower will be most meaningful by connecting with people who love you. All the rest is a bonus.
Have you been to a virtual baby shower? What was most memorable for you?