Uncle Goose Baby Decorative Block Set pictured above, a sweet baby gift for just $12.
My good friend just told me she was pregnant last week, and she is already 6 months along! With the uncertainty of COVID times, I think she was nervous to share earlier on. Now that the news is out, I have been anxious to throw her an amazing baby shower that leaves her feeling excited and special, despite the limiting pandemic circumstances. So, I decided to host a Virtual Baby Shower using Zoom for her and all of her friends. I am sharing my tips for hosting a virtual baby shower in hopes it might help someone else wondering how they can make their expecting friend or family member also feel the love (without actually touching each other).
Picking out baby shower games is difficult. I had to really think about which ones would be fun to do virtually, foster conversation, and encourage all of the guests to have fun and participate. I wanted to make sure they would also be easy for the host (me!) to facilitate, so I wasn’t scrambling to keep the call moving, but get to enjoy the conversation.
1. Give yourself plenty of time. Now, I know you’re thinking a virtual shower should be as easy as just hopping on the computer, but with a little extra time and effort into planning, you will create a more special memory for your mother-to-be and guests. Many of my tips will suggest shipping/mailing and you’ll want ample time for delivery. I’d say pick a date at least 30 days out.
2. Choose a fun visual theme. Go a bit further than just colors, and opt for an overarching theme that can provide fun and unexpected details. Not sure what to pick? I like asking the mother-to-be if they have a nursery theme in mind, and then you can complement the shower to match their future baby’s room. Share this theme with your guests, and encourage them to run with it as well. At a minimum, you can use the theme to find a fun Zoom background image for your participants to use during the video call! This is a super easy step that makes for smiles all around. (Just make sure to e-mail along instructions on how to set the photo background beforehand to avoid technical issues.) Scroll to the end for a few of my favorite gender neutral themes!
3. Send snail mail invitations. You know the feeling you get when you check the mail and there’s one pretty envelope you weren’t expecting, hiding between bills and junk? It’s the best! And it is happening less frequently these days. A real physical invitation sets the tone for the virtual baby shower to be something special and different from the ordinary Zoom call.
4. Send guests party favors in advance. Once you have collected RSVPs, this is where you can really have some fun. Just ask your guests to provide their physical address with RSVP. Items that your guests can wear during the virtual shower make the event even more entertaining. Jungle theme? Send over some animal ears! Elegant floral theme? Flower crowns would make a beautiful touch. There are many inexpensive faux flower crowns to choose from online, but bonus points for hiring a local florist to execute using real florals.
5. Encourage your friend to create a registry. This is a no-brainer for traditional baby showers, but I think many moms-to-be are not sure what etiquette should be during COVID times. Be a strong supporter and encourage them to create a registry so that their family and friends can help support their baby needs if they have the means to do so. Hazel Baby & Kids has their own registry page for the most special of gifts, and we highly recommend Babylist to combine items from multiple different retailers, including Hazel!
6. Set up an email account for the baby. This is something I did for my own baby when she was in utero, and I still think it is one of the coolest things I did. Every so often I write an email to my daughter to memorialize how much I love her at that moment. By doing this step for the baby shower, you can ask each invitee to write a special note to the baby to be - share funny memories of their parents pre-baby, or hopes and dreams they have for the baby’s life. I also like including a little bit about current events of the world, so that they have a personalized time capsule. Give the password to baby’s Mom at the shower, who can later read the sweet sentiments from friends and family… and one day share with their child.
7. Play Baby Bingo - Here’s a simple printable PDF from a great shop on Etsy. This game is great for a BIG guest list! You’ll want to send a bingo card and a dab marker or stickers to guests in advance. Then, all you have to do is play the energetic announcer role. To make things exciting and engage the participants, offer a digital gift card to the winner! Since everyone is ordering take-out, I like a $20 GrubHub or Seamless gift card as a prize. It’s also simple to email over post-shower.
8. Take name suggestions - Have each guest write down a baby name they’d suggest and hold it up to the camera when it’s their turn. This is easy because it just requires the guest bring a blank sheet of paper and marker. Vote up or down the name with other guests using thumbs up or thumbs down on camera. This can be silly like “Pizzababy” because the mother-to-be craved pizza, or serious if the parents truly are looking for suggestions! Just make sure to ask your mother-to-be if they have a name picked out already. Like the idea of a competition? Give the namer with the most thumbs up a digital gift card prize.
9. Play “Who will…” Another fun and easy game that requires little to no materials. Before the event, write down a list of 10-15 parenting scenarios. Have guests guess which caregiver will do X,Y, Z through out baby’s life. For example:
Who is going to change the most poop diapers?
Who is going to teach the baby how to ride a bike?
Who is going to give the birds and the bees talk?
10. Play Best & Worst - have guests write down a sentence or two of their best parenting advice, and also an example of the worst parenting advice to share on the call. For this one, I’d recommend having the guests come prepared with their advice in advance. While they share, you can type down each guest’s thoughts into a spreadsheet or word document and share with the mother-to-be afterward for a fun personal parenting handbook!
Gender Neutral Baby Shower Themes
Here are some ideas that I think work well for virtual baby showers. Whatever theme you choose, you’ll want to make sure it has the opportunity for (1) a great Zoom call image background and (2) wearable party favors.
- Botanical - succulents, palms, or vintage botanical art.