Our lives have changed so much since COVID-19, and so many of our plans have been canceled. Yet, one thing that cannot be canceled is birth. You may have experienced the dilemma of what to do with the baby shower you have helped plan. The expecting parent, and the baby, deserve to be celebrated! But how do you have a virtual Baby Shower (or Blessing Way?) during social distancing?
Here are some great tips on how you can still celebrate a baby shower here is a hint – pass this article onto the host of your baby shower.
First off, why Zoom? I love the feature it has that allows for screen share, and it is user friendly, which is a massive pro for participants who are not tech-savvy. In order to have a group meeting over 40 minutes, the host of the Zoom call (not necessarily the host of the party) needs to have an account that is upgraded to the Pro Account. Within Zoom, the account holder can make anyone a co-host, allowing them to screen share for games, etc. If no one has a Pro Account, it is only $14.99 per month, and you can cancel after the party.
Invites: when you create a meeting on Zoom, it gives you an invite to the meeting that you can easily copy over to an e-vite, an email list, a group text message, or whatever way you decide to invite your guests. If you use something like an e-vite, they can RSVP easily and will send a reminder closer to the date of the event. I also recommend sending out a reminder (email or text) to those who RSVP’d with the easy URL link to the Zoom meeting the day before the event.
Make her feel special with a unique background: Zoom has a feature that allows you to change the background. You can quickly get a picture off the internet or create your own. Just send it to the expecting parent with instructions to save it on the device they are using for the Baby Shower. When they sign into the party, they need to click the video camera icon and select video options and select a virtual background and then upload the picture. In order for the background work the best, use either a solid color background or, if you have one, a green screen.
Sharing Parenting Advice: a great way to let the new parent feel supported is to have an open share of either parenting advice or characteristics they see in the new parent that will help them be a fantastic parent. Have someone write them down, or press record during the party, so they can refer back to the advice when they want.
Creating Birth Affirmations: you can help develop a sense of community for the laboring person by having the participants each design a birth affirmation for the new parent to have with them during their labor. A few options could be having each participant gather a piece of paper and coloring items, and everyone works on them at the same time. After the party, each person either mails their creation to the new parent or takes a picture and emails it over. Or you could start a Google Slide document, and each person can design a slide during the gathering (this would be best for the more tech-savvy crowd). Hint: Google birth affirmations and send a group message with some ideas for those who may not have heard of the powerful tool to help one focus during birth.
Baby Shower games are either loved or loathed, and if you decide to include them in the shower you are hosting, you still have a few options with a Virtual Baby Shower.
Don’t say “Baby” game: this classic can still be done over Zoom – just make sure you layout the easy rules at the beginning of the party. Don’t say “Baby” or you will have a point taken away. The person who calls out the offender gets the point. By having some way to track the points, even as simple as a spreadsheet, can help encourage participation. You can screen share the scoreboard throughout the party to show where people stand with their scores.
Baby themed Pictionary: each participant can open whatever app they have that allows them to draw – for example, PowerPoint works well – and screen share when it’s their turn to draw!
The host needs to send the word they are drawing by a private message (within Zoom, it is possible). First-person to guess the word gets the point! It can be added to the points for the other games or stand-alone. Ideas for words to draw: diaper, bottle, bib, pacifier, rattle, rubber ducky, crib, onesies, ABC blocks, high chair, baby bath, crying, baby blanket, stretch marks, ultra-sound, belly, kicking, umbilical cord, labor, nursing pads, breast-feeding, maternity bras, car seat.
Price is Right: before the party, search different everyday baby items and their prices (Amazon is great for this). During the party, screen share a picture of the item and have everyone guess the cost.
Closest to the actual price gets the point! If you want to keep true to the real game, they cannot go over the actual price.
Guess the baby: have each participant send in a baby picture of themselves before the party. The host can screen share them, and everyone guesses who the baby is.
Gifts: make sure that you have the guests send their gifts directly to the new parent, ideally before the party. You can choose to have them open their gifts during the party or have them open them at another time.
Once the party is over, you can even send digital thank you cards to the participants! An easy way to continue the virtual theme!