Oh, the joys of being pregnant during a global pandemic: you can’t visit friends and family to show off your growing bump, all the fun baby items have to be bought online, and you can’t host the baby shower of your dreams.
Or can you?
Thanks to the powers of modern technology, a baby shower is one pregnancy experience you don’t have to give up!
1. Enlist the help of friends and family
Traditionally, a sister or friend will host your baby shower for you, but a virtual shower requires a little more coordination between mama and guests!
My mom and sister took charge of the planning once we decided on a date and time together, and were the ones who purchased a Zoom account so they could host. Which brings us to our next step…
2. Choose a Platform & Theme
There are so many options these days for hosting a virtual party! Zoom, Facebook, Google Hangouts, Skype, Microsoft Teams… the possibilities are endless. Each platform comes with pros and cons, which you’ll have to consider for your own unique situation. For example, not everyone uses a Gmail account, so if you have a number of friends and family without one, Google Hangouts probably won’t work for you.
As for us, neither my husband nor I have Facebook (or any social media for that matter), so that wasn’t an option even though it is a popular choice!
We decided to use Zoom, and my mom purchased a “Pro” subscription for a couple of months for the shower. This subscription allows up to 100 participants (and we had just about that many!) and a 24-hour limit for meetings.
The possibilities are literally endless when it comes to baby shower themes and all of them are just adorable. I had so many ideas saved on my Pinterest leading up to the event, and we eventually decided on a Harry Potter theme as lifelong HP fans.
3. Invite Guests
One of the perks about hosting a virtual shower is that you can invite as many people as you want without worrying about cost or space! You don’t have to purchase food or drinks, and you certainly don’t have to worry about 100 people fighting over the 1 bathroom in your apartment.
A couple of months before our shower, I put together a list of all our friends, family, and coworkers that we wanted in attendance, and forwarded their email addresses to my mom and sister. They then worked with an artist on Paperless Post who designed the CUTEST invites to match our theme!
If you don’t have a super-specific theme like ours, Paperless Post has hundreds of super cute invitations you can edit and send out yourself. You can also include a link to your registry, a link to the shower itself, and an RSVP option so it’s easy to keep track of guests.
4. Set-Up Your Space
You can decorate as much or as little as you want since the shower takes place online! If you don’t want to spend any money on decor, you can easily upload a virtual background through Zoom, or even just set up shop in your nursery to show it off (if it’s ready!).
Our nursery was absolutely not ready by the time of our shower, so I did splurge a little and bought some cute, simple decorations from a local seller on Etsy. Since our shower also doubled as a gender-reveal, I got this super cute “Witch or Wizard?” balloon to pop on camera, too!
cameras & screens
If the webcam on your computer is not great, you may want to invest in a slightly better external webcam like this one I got on Amazon. Even just a $40 upgrade made such a huge difference in the overall quality of our shower. I also liked the flexibility of clipping this camera wherever we needed it as long as it was close to the laptop!
Other options include purchasing an app that turns your smartphone into a webcam (such as DroidCam or iCam), or even using a DSLR camera paired with SparkoCam. All of these methods cost money, so keep that in mind when you’re deciding what camera to use.
I recommend hooking your computer up to your TV via HDMI cable so it’s easier to see your friends and family on the big screen. We also pulled out a tripod for my phone so I could record the gender reveal for people who couldn’t make it to our shower.
5. Run Your Shower
While you may not be hosting your own shower, hopefully your friends and family in charge keep you in the loop on the itinerary so you know what to expect! Have a rough idea of how long you want your shower to be so you know how many activities to include. I’ve seen some virtual showers online that lasted anywhere from 2-4 hours, but ours was just under an hour in length.
2:00pm – Start the Zoom call early to make sure everything is working properly for the hosts and looks good on camera.
3:00pm – Shower starts! Have the parents-to-be and hosts introduce everyone briefly so that everyone feels recognized and included.
3:20pm – “Guess the Gender” poll.
3:21pm – Trivia game! We used Kahoot to create a 10-question game that everyone could play from their smartphones.
3:35pm – “Guess Mama’s Tummy Size” poll.
3:40pm – Gender Reveal!!
3:45pm – Gift time and home tour! Instead of opening gifts on camera, we opened all gifts before the shower as they arrived and took photos of everything to place in a slideshow (this also helped us keep track of who gifted what, which was a lifesaver when it came time to send Thank Yous!). At the shower, we flipped through the slideshow to show off all the goodies, and then did a quick tour of our nursery and apartment to show how we had set up for baby.
4:00pm – Thank Yous and continuing to chat. We hung out on the line for another half hour to catch up with friends and family we hadn’t seen in a while, and that was a wrap!
6. Thank Your Guests
Even though the shower and invites were virtual, nothing beats a good old-fashioned “Thank You” card in the mail! I purchased some custom HP-themed Thank You cards from Etsy that arrived just a few days after the shower, so I was able to get them out in a timely fashion.
You can save tons of money on Thank Yous if you prefer by just sending out emails or giving all of your guests a call in the weeks after your shower. During this time of social isolation, I think it’s more important than ever to let your friends and family know just how much you appreciate them supporting you and showering your baby with gifts!!