If you're expecting a baby and have made the exciting step of telling close friends and family members, you're probably keen to organize a baby shower (or ask a loved one to do so). Celebrating the upcoming arrival of a little one represents the perfect excuse to catch up with people you haven't spent time with in months or even years. Many people choose to host baby showers at home, inviting people round for lunch or sweet treats. But what if your friends live thousands of miles away? Perhaps you'd like to avoid the hassle that comes with cleaning up after a party? This is where the virtual baby shower comes in.
Traditionally, a close friend or sibling of the expecting person or couple will organize the shower. Increasingly, however, moms-to-be are choosing to take charge of the event, allowing them to tailor the event to their specific tastes. Ultimately, it's up to you and your loved ones to decide who will run the event — just make sure to do so early on in the pregnancy so you don't run out of time!
Don't assume that everyone will be able to make your baby shower just because you're holding it virtually. Although online parties are generally easier to fit into a busy schedule, your friends and family members may need to be notified several weeks in advance to avoid clashes with prior work or social commitments. Before setting a date, ask your nearest and dearest what days work best for them and try to find one that suits everyone.
There are plenty of digital communication platforms out there to help make your baby shower a success. Zoom is one of the most popular virtual event platforms, allowing up to 100 connected devices to log in to a single "room" at any one time. If you are using the free version of the platform, however, you will be automatically logged out of the room every 40 minutes. Other options include Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime, and Facebook Messenger Hangouts. It is a good idea to try out each of these platforms before settling on one that works for you. Get a few friends to help you test it out with more than the usual two people.
Party guests love a theme, particularly if it presents them with an opportunity to dress up onscreen! You could, for example, ask everyone to dress up and decorate their video background in your favorite color. If you're feeling brave, you could even opt for an arts and crafts theme, requesting that your guests only give homemade gifts!
This is the most important step in the organization process. Invitations should be sent out well in advance and can take digital or physical form — the former is often a great way to keep track of RSVPs and know who you need to reach out to a second time. If you're an artsy type, this job offers a great excuse to get creative with graphic or physical designs, so make the most of it! Just remember to include vital details: the date, time, theme, video software you will be using, and gifting arrangements.
Some moms-to-be are happy to simply chat with loved ones during their baby shower., while others prefer to play games that bring everyone together. If you fall into the latter camp, try looking online for quizzes or other multi-player gaming platforms. Alternatively, a virtual game of charades or Pictionary will have everyone giggling in no time.
You and your guests don't have to miss out on the experience of sharing a meal just because you're not in the same physical space. Send out a few recipe cards containing instructions for making tasty snacks, baked treats, cocktails, or mocktails before the party starts. You can even have a competition to see who has the best food presentation skills.
No baby shower would be complete without a showering of gifts. Fortunately, while virtual gifting sessions take a little more planning than their physical equivalents, they are by no means impossible. All guests need to do is unveil their gifts on camera in whatever inventive way they see fit. Then, they can ship them straight to the parents-to-be once the party is over! Just remember to explain this to guests in your invitations. If you're a time-management pro or no one lives too far away, you can also have friends send gifts before the event.
If you would like to remember every last detail of your baby shower, why not record it? There are plenty of available options for recording online meetings — just make sure to ask your guests if they are ok with being recorded. You should also offer to send the video to everyone once you've saved it and done any necessary editing!
The fact that your friends and family members have taken the time to attend your baby shower demonstrates how much they care for you and your incoming child. Thank them for their attendance with a digital or physical note of gratitude. As well as brightening their day, it might boost the chances of the ones who live nearby offering babysitting services when you need a night off!