Move over baby boomers, here come the baby Zoomers
Baby on the way but friends and family spread across the globe? Need help to throw yourself an online baby shower but don’t know where to start? Take a deep breath, rub your belly and read on.
From party themes to tech support, and games to gifts, follow this step-by-step guide to give your traditional baby shower a virtual twist.
Baby Step 1: Create a guest list
Make a list of friends and family you would like to celebrate this milestone with. This is your baby shower gang and it should include family (both yours and your hubby’s), grannies, close friends, and even distant relatives. Make sure you have everyone’s email address, or phone number so you can send them the invite, a clickable link of the party, along with the Meeting ID and password.
Baby Step 2: Choose your “venue” or digital platform
Based on the duration of your shower and the number of people you have decided to invite, you can choose a free or low-cost venue for your online baby shower. The most popular platforms are Zoom, Google Meet, Skype and Facebook. Zoom is the most popular as it displays upto 49 thumbnails on a screen, so you can host a “bigger party” here. The only drawback is that Zoom allows only 40 minute sessions for free, so you may need to create additional meetings, once time runs out. Google meet displays upto 16 thumbnails on a screen, and has a 60 minute session time limit. Skype and Facebook only work for more intimate gatherings as you can view only 4-5 thumbnails on your screen. If you don’t mind shelling out a small sum of money, you can subscribe to a monthly paid account on Zoom for $15 or Google Meet for $6 and have no time restrictions. If you want to splurge, you can opt for a complete package from WebBabyShower, which comes with games, themes, video streaming links, for $80.
Pro-Tip: Don’t forget to record the session so that you can watch it later. Makes a wonderful memory keepsake.
Baby Step 3: Delegate tech support
Decide a time that is convenient for all, as many attendees might be in different time zones. Also, delegate tech support to someone who is tech savvy, patient and comfortable with digital platforms. Since many friends or family members may need help to install the app, log in, and enter the password, it will help to have a tech savvy person to help others navigate their way into the party.
Baby Step 4: Theme, Decor and Invites
- Choosing a theme: A theme helps people prepare for the party and adds a central element to the party for games, decor and a dress code. Themes can range from celebrity moms to a certain color scheme, or a favorite vacation destination. If you don’t want a theme, that’s perfectly fine too.
- Designing the invite: If you have zero design skills, you can visit canva.com and create a free baby shower invitation or get a friend to design it for you. The ones on Canva are completely customizable, very simple to create and free.
- Virtual decor: Host your shower in a virtual park or beach, with a special background to fit the theme of your virtual baby shower.
Let’s break the Ice Ice Baby
Are you responsible for preventing conversation lulls and awkward silences? The answer is yes. Since the party will have a mix of people like office colleagues, family members, college friends and mommy group friends, an icebreaker will help people get comfortable. The easiest way to get everyone involved is to create icebreakers and play games. It fosters a sense of competition, lubricates conversations and gets every person’s ‘skin in the game’.
Icebreaker 1: Yummy Mummy
Make everyone prepare a little by giving them some tasks to do beforehand. You can include these details in the invite that you send out via email or text. Ask each person to dress up as a celebrity mom of their choice. And just like a fancy dress competition, this too will have prizes! People are free to use props, weird hairstyles, make up or even imitate the ‘celebrity mom’. For example, it’s easy to pretend to be Serena Williams by sporting a tennis bandana or a tennis sports outfit. Or by contouring their lips, and making them extra large, someone can even pull off looking like Angelina Jolie! Leave it up to your guests to surprise you. The fun begins when you try to guess who’s who.
Icebreaker 2: BYOB - Bring Your Own Baby Photo
Ask each person to dig up a baby photo of themselves and send it to you ahead of time, via email or text. Collect all the pictures and make an easy collage with everyone’s photo so that a fun game of match the following can be played. This also works as a quick ice breaker, makes everyone feel included, especially if you have guests who haven’t met before.
Tech Tip: To create collages you can download free apps like Collage Maker, Layout from Instagram or Photo Collage Maker
Games people play!
Here are five Baby Shower games your guests will actually want to play. You may need to get creative with prizes. A simple solution can be to buy prizes that can be redeemed online like vouchers or gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks or Netflix.
Game 1: Shazam a “Baby” Song
Get everyone into the ‘groove’ with a musical quiz. Create a playlist of songs with the word “baby” in the lyrics. Mix up and play songs from different genres with classics like Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice, punk rock anthems like Offspring’s Pretty Fly for a White Guy, and more current hits like Justin Biebers’s Baby. Play 30 seconds of each song, and have players try to guess the artist and the title by typing their answers in the chat window. The player that’s the biggest music buff, will take home a prize.
Game 2: Quizzical
In this game, you must prepare 10 questions related to your experience as a mom-to-be. The questions should be generic but focussed on your reactions. Everyone else will need to write down their answers, along with the mom-to-be. The person who has guessed correctly and whose answers match closest to the mom-to-be, wins a prize. Here are 10 questions to get you started:
- What was mom-to-be’s first word she said when she found out she was pregnant?
- Does mom-to-be want a boy or girl?
- Which month is the mom-to-be currently in?
- What will be the due date?
- What is the name of the doctor caring for her?
- What is mom-to-be’s current weight?
- What is mom-to-be’s current craving?
- Where was the mom-to-be when she heard the news?
- What would mom-to-be want her child to be when he or she grows up?
- Who will be changing diapers more, mom or dad?
Game 3: Guess your beer..er..baby belly!
Perhaps the only time in life that it's socially acceptable to go up to a woman, rub her belly and comment on the expanding size of her waistline. So let’s have some fun with it? Pose and show off your belly, while your guests try and guess your growing belly’s size in inches. Whoever’s guess comes closest to your current measurement, wins!
Game 4: Match ‘Em Up
Play a simple match the column game between animals and their offspring or even better, celebrities and their famous kiddos! You will need speed and precision to win this one.
- Ape Baby
- Bee Larva
- Butterfly Caterpillar
- Cheetah Cub
- Deer Fawn
- Goat Kid
- Goose Gosling
- Horse Foal
- Kangaroo Joey
- Peacock Peachick
- Sheep Lamb
- Turtle Hatchling
Game 4: Celeb Match ‘Em Up
- Reese Witherspoon and Ava Phillippe
- David Beckham and Brooklyn
- Angelina Jolie and Shiloh
- Katie Holmes and Suri
- Steve Tyler and Liv
- Kris and Kendall Jenner
- Meghan Markle and Archie
- Micheal Jackson and Blanket
- Eminem and Hailie
- Will Smith and Jaden
- Kylie Jenner and Stormi
- Steve Irwin and Bindi
- Gwyneth Paltrow and Apple
Game 5: Baby Shower Skribbl
One of the most popular games played on Zoom and Google Meet today, Skribbl is a virtual version of the classic Pictionary. Most people are familiar with the classic game of Pictionary, and this game can be played in teams. One person on each team takes turns drawing a picture while the rest of the team guesses what they are trying to draw. The great news is that Skribbl allows you to customize words, in a private room, so you can make your game more on theme. Choose funny baby shower words like Dirty Diaper, Crib, Cravings, Breastfeeding, Contractions, Peek A Boo. This game’s a real piece of art!
It’s a wrap!
Once the games are over, it’s time to wrap up the virtual baby shower. While a traditional baby shower usually ends with unwrapping gifts, eating and drinking, this time you can use this as an opportunity to ask each friend to give you a small tip or say something positive to you and your baby-to-be. This can be followed by a small thank you speech by the guest of honour i.e. you. Once you sign off, take a bow and congratulate yourself - you just hosted an online baby shower and created a memory of a lifetime!