You Can Still Have a Baby Shower Even When You're Apart — Here's How

Unsplash | Ashton Mullins

Just because you can't be together in person doesn't mean you can't shower a new parent-to-be with baby gifts, well wishes, and festive games. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the discouragement of large gatherings, virtual baby showers are more popular than ever, but they've actually been around for some time to accommodate those who are spread out around the world and can't get together in one place to celebrate.

Virtual baby showers provide the perfect solution when guests are unable to gather in person and they can be just as much fun as the real thing. In fact, virtual baby showers can be even easier to plan than an in-person shower. You just need a little bit of technological savvy, a few friends and family, and these five tips to plan the ultimate virtual baby shower.

How Do You Set Up a Virtual Baby Shower?
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How Do You Set Up a Virtual Baby Shower?

If you've ever participated in a virtual work meeting or online happy hour, you are probably already familiar with popular video chat programs like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts. These are perfect for hosting online baby showers, too.

Which one you choose will depend on how many guests you plan to invite (Google Hangouts only allows 10 participants on free video calls) and how long you plan to party (Zoom's free account cuts meetings off after 40 minutes). If some of your guests are unfamiliar with these platforms, it might be best to schedule a test run (use it as an excuse for a virtual happy hour!) or have everyone jump on the call 15 to 20 minutes before the guest of honor to ensure everything is in working order.

You can also use WebBabyShower, which gives those planning the party online tools to create a virtual baby shower website, such as an invite manager, games with a live scoreboard, a guest book, and a registry page. Or, you have the option of leaving the decision making and planning process to the professionals. Lalo will plan the entire virtual shower for you, from invitations to decorations, and even set up the video call.

How Do You Send Invitations For a Virtual Baby Shower?
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How Do You Send Invitations For a Virtual Baby Shower?

Just as with hosting platforms, there are various methods for inviting guests to a virtual baby shower, too.

A Facebook event allows you to share all of the necessary information and have guests RSVP on a platform most of your guests are probably already using. You can easily upload a link to the new parent's baby registry and any games you want to play during the shower.

Paperless Post, Minted, and Evite all offer tons of beautiful online invitations (bonus: you can help save a tree or two) and allow you to easily track RSVPs. After the shower, you can use these to send thank-you cards, as well.

How Do You Arrange Gifts For a Virtual Baby Shower?
Getty | Kseniya Ovchinnikova

How Do You Arrange Gifts For a Virtual Baby Shower?

There are a few fun ways to take the typical baby shower gift-opening experience and adapt it to a virtual setting. If the guest of honor has already set up a registry, you have the option to share the link with your guests and have them purchase and send gifts to their home prior to the shower. Then, during the virtual party, the expectant parent can open the gifts live.

If you are on a short timeline or don't want to clutter up the new parent's home, guests can pool together to purchase a gift card to the store where the registry is set up and have it delivered electronically. That way, the guest of honor can use the gift card to choose the items they need most.

It's probably best to gauge the parent-to-be's preference ahead of time on this one. Even if guests love to "ooh" and "ahh" over tiny baby clothes, if they are on the shy side, they might not want to open all of the gifts on video.

What Games Can You Play at a Virtual Baby Shower?
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What Games Can You Play at a Virtual Baby Shower?

Whether you fall on the "games" or "no games" side of baby showers, there actually are a few way to still incorporate this traditional activity into your virtual party.

Lalo has a series of bingo boards that can be downloaded and randomly distributed to guests before the party. Guests can cross off items as gifts are being opened, and whoever gets a bingo first is the winner.

You can also play an online version of "Baby Price is Right." Just gather 10 or so baby items (bottles, pacifiers, etc.) and have guests guess the price during the party. Whoever gets the most correct answers wins. There are plenty of free printable answer sheets online (Pampers has one, along with many other baby shower games) if you want to make it easy for guests to keep track of their answers. After the party, you can ship or drop off the items to the expectant parent.

What Can You Do to Make the New Parent Feel Special at a Virtual Baby Shower?
Getty | SrdjanPav

What Can You Do to Make the New Parent Feel Special at a Virtual Baby Shower?

Even though you won't be together to decorate or make mimosas with tiny babies in them, there are still things you can do to make the day extra special for the new parent.

You can use a service like Postmates or Grubhub to have a cake, meal, or (nonalcoholic) drinks sent to their house, or, if their number-one pregnancy craving has been ice cream, Jeni's Ice Cream will ship four of their decadent pints anywhere in the U.S.

Most cities also have a service that will set up personalized yard signs or decorations if you want to surprise the guest of honor on the day of the shower.

In the absence of a traditional guest book where friends and family often write well wishes for the new parent, you can instead have guests send you their notes and create a virtual guest book using Google Slides or a printed book through Shutterfly or a similar photo book-printing service.