How to Host a Virtual Baby Shower

By Anya

Have you ever missed the baby shower of a loved one or treasured friend because you live too far away to attend? Did you feel like you were missing out on all the fun? Did you feel guilty for not being able to personally present your gift? Did you miss the “oohs” and “ahs” of the new mom-to-be as she opened her gifts?

If so, you might be interested to learn more about a new trend that is gaining momentum – a virtual baby shower. A virtual baby shower is an excellent way to make sure all of the mommy-to-be’s friends and relatives get an opportunity to show their love and excitement over the new arrival.

So how does one go about setting up a virtual shower? There is no right way, but here are some tips that should help you get the event off the ground.

Tip # 1: Identify Mom-to-Be’s Friends (MTB). If you don’t already know everyone who should be invited, you might need to clue MTB in on your little plan. Send out the invites. Just because the shower will be hosted online doesn’t mean that you have to stick with an E-vite. You can if you want to, or you can add a nice touch with a pretty invitation delivered via snail mail.

Ack. Wait what about the date and time? Hopefully, you will have a few others helping to set up the shower. If you can agree on a date and time among yourselves, and the MTB is available, don’t fret about the date and time. The beauty of a virtual shower is the flexibility. Even if all the invitees can’t stay for the entire shower, most should be able to check in for a portion – even if they have to do it from their smart phone!

Don’t worry about including all the details now. Many will misplace their invitations. You are better off following with an email as you get closer to the event date.

Tip #2: Harness technology. There are many ways to host your shower online – internet chatrooms and social networking websites are both good options. Perhaps the choice that offers the most flexibility and potential for creativity is good ‘ol Blogger.com. Why Blogger? We will explain more about this further down. If you do decide to go with Blogger.com, you should make sure all your guests understand how Blogger works and pester them to create an account before shower day arrives.

Want to connect even more with your party guests? Consider using Skype or FreeConferenceCall.com in addition to the hosted shower site.

Tip #3: Visit the MTB’s gift registry site(s). Hopefully, she will be registered at sites that offer convenient online shopping and delivery. You might consider going in together with one or more of the other attendees to purchase one of the bigger or more expensive items on the registry. This won’t prevent you from sending a smaller gift of our own.

Remember: the downside of virtual showers is you can’t hit Target or Babies R Us the night before the shower. Plan ahead. Order your gift at least two weeks before you want it to arrive to ensure you don’t have to pay expedited shipping costs.

Wait. Where do we send the gift? Again, it depends. If your MTB knows about the shower, you might consider the easiest option – directly mailing the gifts to her home with a firm admonition to not unwrap until shower day. If you want to ensure maximum surprise, you might enlist the help of MTB’s husband or a trusted neighbor to accept the gifts at an alternate address and transport the gifts to the house on shower day.

Tip #4: Send an email out to all invitees 24 hours in advance with all the details. Even if you have already given them their passwords and codes, etc. it pays to do it again so you don’t receive frantic calls as you are trying to start the shower.

Tip #5: You don’t have to forego the games. Sure, some shower games just won’t work in a virtual environment, but some are actually easier. You can create polls ahead of time on your hosting site that allow guests to weigh in with guesses on baby’s birth date and time, height and weight and any other topic up for debate…With Blogger you can also add pictures of your gifts and some music to really get the party started!

Tip #6: Have fun! What’s better than some “girl time” with those you wish you lived closer to? And from the comfort of your own home, no less!

I speak from recent experience. A few weeks ago, several of the IW contributors threw a virtual baby shower for our own dearly-loved Samantha. Everyone had an awesome time and we are hoping to be able to host another one in the near future!

How about you? Have you ever attended a virtual shower? Would you consider hosting one in the future?

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Comments

  1. Jennie@IW says

    I can confirm that a virtual shower is totally fun! Not quite like “being there”, but still a great way to get together and celebrate an impending birth.

    Don’t forget the snacks, too! It’s nice to send the MTB a few goodies to enjoy while she’s opening presents, and the guests can always provide their own.

  2. Ann@IW says

    I only regret I did not buy or make myself a cupcake to eat while Sam enjoyed hers!  My favorite part:  hearing everyone’s voice on the conference call. 
    I liked seeing the pics of gifts, too.
    One added bonus- the blogger account is still there, like an online scrapbook of the shower.  It’s something that can be shared with other family and friends, and if blogger is around long enough, with the baby, a few years down the road.

  3. Lily@IW says

    It was so fun.  Ann, my favorite part was also the conference call.  It was a little confusing w/all the voices so we had to identify ourselves before we spoke.  So fun to hear Sam open her presents. After she opened a gift, Pam would post the pic for all to see and “ooh and aah” over.   (who doesn’t “ooh and aah” over the sweet little baby things).    I wish we could do it all again and it was a little sad to hang up the phone and know it was over.

  4. KiKi33777 says

    I’ve used online registries like MyRegistry.com . . . but never have I heard of an online baby shower!  Wow, what’s next . . . online weddings??  I actually don’t think I would mind attending a virtual baby shower.  Never really been a fan of sitting there and pretending to look surprised while all of the gifts are being opened :)

  5. Ann@IW says

    KiKi33777 when my cousin’s daughter was married in Las Vegas we were sent a link to watch it online.  It was neat!  It wasn’t as great as being there in person, but it was a great way to invite extended family who could not make the trip, and it’s all recorded.

  6. craftymomof3 says

    I love, love, love this idea! So cool. I wish I would have thought of it when I lived in RI and my family lived in IL! :)

  7. Samantha@IW says

    It was wonderful! I got surprises all week. Cupcakes one day, flowers the next- they shipped the packages to my husband’s place of business and he carted them home, much to my surprise, the night before the shower. The blog was a perfect way to include games and allow every one to see photos of the presents. I felt very loved and I’m ridiculously lucky to have such wonderful friends, scattered all over the place. It was so much fun- and definitely a shower I will never forget.

  8. Pam@IW says

    I really had as great of time planning this with everyone as participating in it. So much fun. My favorite part was probably commenting and chatting on the blog while Samantha opened her presents.

    One of the posts on the blog was picking the correct due date. I chose August  7th so we will have to see how close I came.

    We had a great time. Although like someone said above, it is not the same as being in person, it was still pretty much a good time and the mom-to-be received some cool gifts for the new little one.

  9. says

    i am planning to host a virtual baby shower for my best friend in Germany! all this info has been really helpful! now gotta figure out time and date, considering the difference in time! wish me luck!!! ;)

  10. Julie Hobbs says

    I am in the process of throwing an online baby shower for the first time for a friend that moved away. I found a lot of your information helpful! Thanks so much! I think this is going to be fun!

  11. Pam@IW says

    Julie,
    The virtual shower was so much fun. We are a group of women that are spread out all over the United States but this one day it really felt like we were in the same room celebrating. I do agree with Ann that everyone needs to have some goodies at their home that they can eat also while playing games and opening presents.

  12. says

    I held a baby shower for my daughter a year ago (she had twins!). It was so fun and all the guests loved it. I was laid off from the corporate world and really wanted to find a way to host virtual baby shower events. My dream have come true and I am the proud owner of Baby Sprinkles – a virtual baby shower. I have a Baby Sprinkles web site that includes invitations, thank you card, guest check in, games, prizes, chat, registry and picture. You can create all your own baby shower pages etc or I can work with you and setup and run the shower. Take a look at my web site and see what you thing. There is a contact page is you chose to send comments. http://www.spbabyshower.com

    Warmest wishes,

    Elizabeth

  13. jessica says

    I am planning an online baby shower & Im wondering what online webconferencing site works best. I would like to have a multiconference of up to 20 people. Does anyone know which website will work best? Thanks

  14. Lily@IW says

    Jessica, good luck with your shower. Ours was so much fun. The conference call was setup through, FreeConferenceCall.com. It says it will accommodate 96 people.
    Skyping is so common now, you might want to check into that as well.

  15. says

    I am a little late to the coversation, but….. I recently hosted a virtual shower for my best friend and it was a HUGE success! Everyone had such a great time. We had guests from all over the US and some from other countries. Shopping at her Target online registry was super easy and the games and activities were a big hit. All of the shower excitement and the joy I got from the planning process led me to open Across The Miles Baby Showers. It is my virtual baby shower event planning business that creates fun and enjoyable virtual showers for mommy-to-be’s while keeping all of the guests involved and having a great time! Check out my website to see more details!!

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