Surprise! Baby number 5 is on their way and we were so excited to find out. Fast forward from Fall 2019 to March 2020. We were planning on having a baby shower for friends & family and a second one with my coworkers. That was until we got the news that the city would be shutting down. So what would we do now? I was so excited to share this time with my family and friends in person, that all changed. I never thought about having a virtual baby shower until some friends asked me how or when they could send gifts for the new baby. I had googled “virtual baby shower” because I hadn’t given up entirely. I saw that Virtual Baby Showers were a thing for families and friends who couldn’t attend because they lived out of town. I decided not to google logistics on exactly how to run a virtual baby shower because I didn’t want to be overwhelmed with trying to meet those expectations. So, I thought about it, talked with my sister, and we began planning a virtual baby shower.
What items did we need or use?
There were several items we used to make the virtual baby shower a success. I did everything from my mobile phone except for the actual event. Facebook and Instagram, Zoom and a laptop (or mobile phone), Amazon Baby Registry, Canva App, Target (Curbside Pickup) for Decorations, Games, Gifts (for winners), Host, Thank You Cards. Also, just to note, I am not sponsored by any of the companies/apps that were used. All of these were used either because I have been using them previously or I purchased them specifically for the virtual baby shower.
How we used the items?
For Facebook, there is an Event feature where you can enter all of the details of the event and invite your friends. I chose to go with a Private Event so that every time I posted an update, all of my friends or family who weren’t attending wouldn’t be bothered by the notifications. I also used Instagram for the friends who didn’t have Facebook. I did a poll in my stories to see who wanted to attend the baby shower. Those who confirmed were added to my “Close Friends” list so they could see updates about the shower and my other friends wouldn’t be spammed by the unnecessary feed.
During the shutdown, I have been using Zoom for meetings. I had never used Zoom previously or even heard of it. As I got more familiar with it, I decided to upgrade to the monthly fee just for the Baby Shower so I could have meeting times for longer than 40 minutes. My sister and I had a few meetings prior to the actual shower so that we could work out any kinks and which proved to be helpful in the success of the baby shower.
I have always been a fan of Amazon Prime. I have never used it more than I do now. I remember my best friend was registered with Amazon for her baby shower when I attended 2 years ago and it was so simple. So I decided to go with Amazon and set up a Baby Registry. It was really simple to use the guided checklist of items that help you add to the registry. They also have a feature called the “Diaper Discount” where you can earn 20% off diapers in the baby’s first year if you meet the purchase goal of $500. Your friends and family also have the option to have items delivered to their home so they can deliver them to you or have it delivered directly to you. Most of my friends and family had the items delivered to me, while only a few hand delivered their items. I would suggest that if you have the items delivered directly to you, have a space dedicated to store those items until the shower (if you’re waiting to open them live like I did).
I’m a visual person and like to have an invitation or an image as a reminder for an upcoming event. I used the Canva App to create a visual reminder fit for social media. I created a Facebook Event Cover image and an Instagram image/invitation using the free images and fonts that are available on the app. This is not necessary, but it was a fun touch to the whole experience and something I will always have to remember. In the attached picture, there is a framed picture that includes the graphic I created through the app. Though the example in the image itself is probably not the best example, hopefully you can somewhat get the idea.
Even though people would not physically be at my house, I still wanted to have some type of décor for the background of the virtual baby shower. I used the Target App along with their Drive Up pickup to get the decorations I wanted. If you have never used Target’s App, I would recommend it. I bought some simple indoor/outdoor lights, two candle holders, a blue and silver garland, and some balloons. Items I already had were an old gift bag and tissue paper I had saved, a teddy bear from one of my kids dressed in a baby outfit that was given to us from some friends, and a picture I created in a picture frame I had picked up from Dollar Tree a while back. Target was a life saver and also so close to my house so picking it up didn’t take much, plus it gave me a reason to get some fresh air, safely.
Finding Games for the virtual baby shower was a challenge at first but we made it work. We weren’t sure who had used Zoom often enough to use the chat feature, so we prepped everyone to use paper and a sharpie for some of the games. We had an icebreaker game (no prizes), the Raffle, and 2 games for guests during the shower. The first game was for my husband and I to guess “Him or Her” for each question my sister asked. We had a few questions where we were able to explain our answers. It was fun to see the reactions of our friends and family. The next game was called “Guess How Many” where we had a bin with baby bibs inside. Guests had to guess by writing on their sheet of paper and showing their answers on screen. We ended up needing to have a tiebreaker. Funny enough, my friend who has chickens (and other animals) in her backyard ended up being the tiebreaker by us guessing how many were there! That was both unexpected and fun! The last game was called “Price is Right” where guests had to guess the price of a baby item without going over just like The Price is Right. My sister shared her screen to show each item’s picture and then would reveal the price online. The first two rounds were practice rounds and the last one was for the winning prize.
Gifts were pretty simple. I did e-gift cards which seem to be perfect during quarantine. I had planned ahead and saved some extra money to be able to give decent gifts. I also chose gift cards to places I knew my friends and family loved to shop at and could do so online. I was able to gift a $50 Amazon card, $30 Target card, and a $20 Starbucks card to the three winners.
Since my sister had always wanted to throw a baby shower for me, but was too young when I had my other kids (her and I are 10 years apart), being the Host was something she was so excited about. So when I asked her to host and find some games, she was thrilled. I would definitely recommend having a host. She was able to host safely from her home and put up some décor as a background too. Everything was simple and ready to go.
After the virtual baby shower, I wanted to thank all of my family and friends who either attended the shower, sent gifts or both. When I purchased the décor from Target I also purchased a box of Thank You Cards to write and mail to them. To seal the envelopes I used a painting sponge dipped in water to protect my friends and family from worry and/or any germs from licking the envelopes.
Event from start to finish
Since my sister and I met on a couple of Zoom calls prior to the virtual baby shower, we were able to plan how we wanted it to flow. While it was awkward on some moments as you’re waiting for more people to join or because people don’t know each other, overall it was fun and exciting to share our special day with family and friends from near and far. To give you an idea of how it went, I have listed the outline we had used below. It is available as a free pdf download for your reference. Feel free to use it to plan your very own virtual baby shower.
While I wish we were able to have an in-person baby shower, I’m grateful that there are still ways in which we can make the most of this time and celebrate with our family and friends. If you’re having a virtual baby shower coming up soon, I just want to say congratulations and I wish you all the best! I would also love to hear about what worked for you. You can leave those comments below. Happy Virtual Baby Showering!