Having a baby ranks up there with life’s Big moments, and of course you want to have friends and family around to celebrate. But, what if you can’t? During this age of stay-at-home orders and quarantine, baby showers are being canceled or postponed for the sake of the health of all involved. My cousin was in the same boat recently- many of us had planned on traveling to the west coast to celebrate. Instead, I asked what she thought of a virtual baby shower. She kindly let me plan the shower without her knowing exactly what it would entail, and I think it truly brought everyone together and showed her the love and support we have. Here is how I pulled it together!
Your mom-to-be might have had her heart set on a Teddy Bear-themed baby shower but doesn’t know how to make it work now. If you are the one throwing the bash, you can STILL incorporate the theme she had her heart set upon for a virtual baby shower. The invitations can introduce the theme- keep reading for two sites that are set up for Virtual Events.
I always have a theme and a color scheme for every party that I throw, and a virtual event is no different. Discuss with the guest of honor and incorporate the theme and 1-2 colors into every aspect of the party. Besides the invite, you also have the decorations, the presentation, and the guest book!
If you can plan the party for approximately the same date and time as the original, go for it! A virtual baby shower doesn’t take nearly as long to plan and execute, so you can pull it together with tight turnaround. Although physical invites are lovely, virtual parties call for virtual invitations. The reason- attendees will need a link to click on to “attend” the party. Writing a 50 character Zoom link on paper stationery is ridiculous.
There are a few major online invitation companies that have made throwing a virtual bash even easier. Paperless Post has a section of “Virtual Parties” on their website. This means they incorporated the spot for that Zoom link into the actual invite so friends and family aren’t confused.
Try to send invitations at least a week in advance. The customary four-week out invitation rule does NOT apply when shifting gears to a virtual event.
Make sure to specify the time zone, especially if you have multiple guests from different areas of the country. Highlight this by spelling it out in the body of the virtual baby shower invitation- if you don’t, I can almost guarantee someone will hop on an hour later and wonder what happened. Even the brightest people I know get that deer in the headlights look on their faces when it comes to time zone changes!
Time: 1pm Pacific, 2pm Mountain, 3pm Central, 4pm Eastern
Paperless Post also has the spot to include your parents-to-be baby registry. It is NOT gauche to include this. Honestly, everyone knows that there is a registry. Don’t make people hunt for it because you don’t want to appear too forward. Just put it in there. The traditional rules go out the window right now. AND…since it is a virtual party if someone doesn’t show up with a gift NO ONE will know.
Evite also has a Virtual Event section and even has its own Evite Video Chat feature embedded in the invitation. There is no download required, the video chat simply opens up at the designated time under the “Video Chat” tab. They suggest this option for parties of 12 or fewer. There is also the option to enter a different video chat link from Zoom, Skype, etc…
Yes, you can decorate even though it is a virtual baby shower! My cousin was way far ahead on this- she and her husband are moving to Hawaii so they decorated their Zoom room with cute Hawaii-themed party props. If you are hosting, send the parents-to-be a box of decor for them to hang behind them that matches the theme or color scheme. Easy items are Tissue Paper Tassel Garland, Circle Dot Garland, or even a Baby Backdrop.
You can also order a Baby Shower Kit complete with a banner, backdrop, and balloons for under $25 like this one:
If your guests are tech-savvy, you can encourage them to use a custom Zoom backdrop during the party! (If this seems like it would be at all confusing for any attendees, don’t bother, though- you will be troubleshooting the backdrops instead of running the party).
Give everyone about 5 minutes to get situated, figure out their volume, and greet each other. Introduce yourself, MUTE EVERYONE ELSE except the parents-to-be, and then introduce them. Let them say a little something.
After this, you can introduce how the games will work. Ask everyone to get a piece of paper and a pen/pencil. They will be writing down answers and keep score for themselves. Let them know that you will mute everyone BUT will unmute them between games and after the games are finished. Point out the chat feature as well so people don’t feel shut out. A lot of the attendees enjoyed sending messages as opposed to speaking in front of everyone. The chat feature also works well too if someone has a logistical question. This way, you can handle it on the side with them while still running the games.
Each game takes 10-20 minutes depending upon how fast your roll and how many questions you have. I had an intro, played two games, asked the grandparents-to-be if they wanted to say anything, played the final game and opened up the floor for everyone to talk. Our party lasted for about an hour.
Major tip– hit record if you are using Zoom. It is such a lovely gift to give the family- a recording of their baby shower! I published their recording to a private YouTube link so they could easily access it.
What would a baby shower be without games? I searched for hours in order to find virtual baby shower games that were a. appropriate, b. fun, c. not cheesy and d. easy. You want them easy to explain, easy to play, and easy to play.
HOW to play the games is the real trick. I put together a Keynote (PowerPoint) presentation of all the games, one question per slide. Through Zoom, you can Screen Share a particular application. I shared my Keynote application and treated the games as a work presentation almost. People can still see each other during the screen share.
ALSO- major tip– make sure to put everyone on mute except for the parents-to-be (and the grandparents-to-be if you prefer) during the games. It gets LOUD when people are all chatting at once, and someone inevitably has a television on in the background. You can unmute everyone between games.
Here are the three virtual baby shower games that I came up with:
How Well Do You Know The Parents-to-Be
Come up with 15 questions about the parents and roll through these. Have participants write down their answers. After you ask all of the questions, have the parents-to-be give their actual answers. For example:
What is mom’s pregnancy craving?
Who is going to spoil the baby more?
I highly recommend giving these questions to the couple prior to the shower so they can have their answers down.
The Price is Right
If you haven’t had a baby in a while (or never had one!) you probably won’t be able to guess what many common items cost. Compile a list of a dozen or so common baby items and have guests guess how much that would cost. To make it more fun, I included some designer items like a Gucci bib ($370) and an Armani pacifier ($80). At the end, give them the total of what everything should cost, then whoever was closest to that amount wins.
Click on the link for access to the full game!
Never Have I Ever
Ok, this doesn’t sound like a baby shower game but it sure is fun. I explained that although children are a blessing, they can make your life incredibly difficult at times. I asked everyone to take a look at the list of items and give themselves a point if they have never done that particular activity. The winner has the most points, and the loser was the most difficult for their parents! It was hilarious to see everyone’s scores, especially those in our family.
The best part about this is people don’t have to reveal what activities they have or haven’t done, it is just an overall score. You don’t want to embarrass anyone or call them out- emotions can run high so try to host games that aren’t controversial.
There is definitely a controversy on whether to open gifts at a virtual baby shower or not. From my experience, it seems older generations expect gifts to be opened and younger generations don’t. My cousin (who is diplomatic and kind) did not open gifts during the shower but instead FaceTimed my mom to open her gift in front of her after. I can’t tell you how much that touched my mom (especially because she hand-made the gifts for my cousin).
You choose- feel out your audience and see what works best. You can open gifts at the end and let everyone know that the shower is officially over but if anyone wishes to watch you open gifts they can stay. Or you can call up individuals and have a one-on-one moment with them and open up gifts that they sent to you. Or none of the above. Truly, the traditional etiquette has gone out the window!
A virtual guest book is a wonderful way to have everyone give a little advice or well wishes to the new family. I found this idea on What To Expect– they created an easy to edit Baby Shower Guest Book template for guests to share their advice for mom. Don’t re-invent the wheel- use their template! If you can, send out the link in the event reminder, share the link during the shower, then send the link in a follow up thank you email to make sure each guest fills it out. Make sure to change the permissions to allow all users to edit NOT just view. After, you can publish the book via a site like Shutterfly and send to the parents-to-be.
In the end, you can lead a toast to the parents-to-be and ask if anyone would like to say a few words. Some people do NOT like speaking in front of others, and some have no problem chatting away.
Cheers to hosting a virtual baby shower filled with love, laughter, and a celebration of life!
Disclosure- This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you purchase through my site. Thanks!