While there may be some advantages of being pregnant during a pandemic - no uninvited touching of your bump for one - mums to be are missing out on many of the happy experiences of pregnancy and maternity leave. If you're pregnant at the moment, you may have abandoned any plans for a traditional baby shower but why not keep that date, and take your baby shower online?
While going out is not an option, your friends will be delighted to spend a fun night in to celebrate with you from the comfort of their own homes. It is now easier than ever to connect online and virtual Baby Showers have been growing in popularity even before the current social distancing advice came into effect.
If you're wondering where to start in arranging a virtual baby shower for yourself or a friend, we've done some of the hard work for you. Here are our top tips for a successful online baby shower.
When and where
Decide the date, time and which program you will use to facilitate your baby shower. Popular choices are Zoom, Google Hangouts or Skype. If you're looking for something with games built in Houseparty is an easy to use app with video calling and games built in. For easy of use, Facetime is another option that most people will be familiar with but it does require all your guests to be using an Apple device. It's best to choose a site that most people are familiar with and to test it out ahead of time to make sure that even the least tech-savvy of your guests can get online.
Invite your guests
Ask someone to send out electronic invitations or it's fine to send them yourself. Visits to the post office are out at the moment, so send out your invitations by email or use an online site such as Paperless Post for something more like a traditional invitation. Remember to include details of the app you will be using, link or meeting code and anything you need your guests to have ready ahead of time. You could also include a dress code - you could give your guests an excuse to glam up while staying in or choose a pyjama party!
Food and drink
You might decide not to include food and drink in your virtual baby shower, it's not essential. Alternatively, ask all your guests to have their own favourite drink available to toast you and your baby and why not their own snacks too! If you're organising for a friend, you could choose to organise a take away or cake delivery for the mum to be from a local business, if available.
Again, for ease you may decide not to include gifts in your virtual baby shower. Friends and relatives could save their gift for when your baby arrives or post it to you at a later date. If your friends and relatives would still like to buy a gift, they could send a gift voucher by email, order a gift online to be delivered to your door or buy something from your online gift registry. We offer a complementary online gift registry service for clients who have a newborn or baby photography session booked with us, which lets guests contribute towards image collections and art work. Or for a more general gift list create one free with Kinderlist.com and add gifts from any website.
Games & Activities
In the current situation you and your guests will most likely want plenty of time to chat and catch up. After that there are some fun games which work just as well online as at a traditional baby shower. Some of our favourite ideas include:
Baby Shower Bingo - email a bingo card to all the guests in advance and they can either print it or view it on a phone or tablet. Designate someone as the bingo caller and let the fun begin. There are some sweet printable bingo cards here.
Guess the Baby Song - whistle or hum a song with 'baby' in the title. How many can you guess? There is a playlist on Spotify
The Price is Right (baby version) - Ask a guest who has a baby or young child to show a selection of baby relate items and ask your guests to guess the total price. You can say it out loud or each guest can write their guess on a piece of paper to hold up. Then, reveal the actual cost of the items and declare the winner. Lots of fun, especially when you have a wide age range taking part!
The app Houseparty offers video calling and online games all in one. Favourites include quick draw which can have everyone in stitches!
Guess the Jellybeans - or any other kind of sweet in the jar. Award a virtual prize for the closest guess.
Baby Name Decade Quiz - ask you guests to come up with the top 10 baby names from the 80s, 90s and 00s. You could even throw in an older decade for fun - top 10 baby names from the 1930s? Maybe one for Granny! One point for each name their guess in the top 10! Find the answers here .
I hope we've inspired you to plan an online baby shower in these times of social distancing rather than missing out. We'd love to know how you get on!