Planning Your Virtual Baby Shower

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Did you have to cancel your baby shower because of the stay at home orders in place because of the coronavirus? Are you feeling bummed and like you won’t get to celebrate in isolation? I’m so sorry that this is happening right now. It’s a weird time to be pregnant and anticipate this big life change. While it’s not the same as being a room with loved ones, you can still celebrate your pregnancy and baby-to-be. In this blog post, we’ll discuss ideas for planning a virtual baby shower, in the hope that feeling the support of your community in this tough time will help.

Upsides of a virtual shower

It’s true that celebrating with friends and family in person is lovely. And a virtual shower can also be lovely. For one thing, you can have it whenever you want. It’s traditional to have an in-person shower when the pregnant person is in their third trimester, but not too close to the end of pregnancy. With a virtual shower, no one has to travel, which avoids expense, and it also means that the timing is much more flexible. And say your mom and your mother-in-law don’t get along? It’s less of a production, so if you’re up for it, you can easily have more than one shower to avoid social awkwardness. Finally, you don’t have to get dressed up. While it might feel good to put on a beautiful outfit (and you’re certainly welcome to do that), if you’d rather wear your favorite maternity lounge wear, you absolutely can.

The best technology for virtual baby showers

There is so much technology available for virtual video calls these days. If you want to meet at the same time as your loved ones, something like Zoom, Skype, or Facebook video chat would be a good bet. These platforms allow you to have a group video call with many participants. You could design an online invitation with a platform like Evite or Facebook to let everyone know when to meet and let them know a little bit about what to expect.

If you want an asynchronous meeting, you could ask people to video record themselves using the camera on their phone or computer and email it to you, or create a group video chat on an app like Marco Polo. With Marco Polo, everyone can see what everyone else is saying but attendees could watch at their convenience. This option might make sense if you have friends and family in lots of different time zones.

What to do at a virtual shower

Once you have all your guests gathered virtually, what will you all do together? You have a lot of options, and the good news is that many things that work at an in person shower will also work at a virtual one. Here are some ideas:

  • Tell stories. Experienced parents love to tell new parents what to expect. If you want advice, you might ask people to think of a piece of advice to share at the shower. If you’d rather hear a funny story or about what not to do, ask guests to tell you that instead. Everyone can take turns and feel included in the celebration.
  • Encourage people to prepare or buy a special treat so that you can all eat at the same time during your virtual party. It won’t be the same as having someone else prepare wonderful food to share, but you’ll still get to have something yummy.
  • Open presents. If you’ve made a baby registry, you can share it with your guests. If guests were planning to give presents in person, they’d probably be glad to buy them and have them shipped to you. Then, you can open them while people watch. Everyone still gets to “ooohhh” and “ahhhhh” over how cute those little onesies are from afar.
  • Give and receive good wishes. Ask each guest to prepare a blessing, bring an inspirational quote, or just think in advance about the good wishes they want to share with the mom-to-be. Then each person can share his or her contribution. Make sure everyone has tissues handy in case things get emotional.
  • Play games. Baby-related trivia, guess the baby-related song after hearing just 10 seconds of it, and baby-related Pictionary could all translate to a virtual shower pretty easily.
  • Check out this blog post from The Pulse for even more great ideas.
Abby Olena
Dr. Abby Olena has a PhD in Biological Sciences from Vanderbilt University. She lives with her husband and children in North Carolina, where she writes about science and parenting, produces a conversational podcast, and teaches prenatal yoga.

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