Typically I don't share lots of personal stories on my website, but we are in a time that is anything but typical.
With the coronavirus looming over everything we do right now from grocery trips to social events, everyone’s baby showers have been canceled. My heart hurts for those mamas who are struggling with things not going as expected during this special time in their lives. As a mom of 2 babies from scary, very high-risk pregnancies I completely understand how that loss of expectations can really hit you hard.
Right now I have quite a few good friends, neighbors and (of course as a newborn photographer) clients expecting their first babies. So now is the time to get creative! I have seen so many sweet and special ideas out there that represent the times we’re living in.
Last week my family stepped outside and watched a “baby shower parade” for our neighbor. My kids cheered and had a blast as we watched cars drive by decorated with balloons, streamers and posters of encouragement, blasting baby shark and Ooh Baby Baby. I may or may not have teared up. I’ve heard of other families doing showers by mail, and am planning an Usborne Books Baby Shower on Facebook for another friend to stock their baby’s library. If you would like to schedule your own online book baby shower click here to get started planning.
For our friends Kali, Keath and their soon to be bundle of joy, Luke who I had already been planning and prepped a whole in-person shower for we simply moved everything online. So… for anyone who would like to take that route I thought I’d share how we did it.
How To Throw A Virtual Babyshower
First of all, mama set up her online baby registry and we gathered email addresses for the invitees. Babylist is great for this, but we chose Target for the local order pick up.
I set up a virtual zoom baby shower "meeting" (they’re free for 40minutes, and not much for a monthly membership if that isn't long enough) and sent out an email with the meeting link and password. I also asked everyone to RSVP with their physical address so that I could mail them a "party kit".
In the email I also included a link to Kali’s registry with instructions to either order their gifts to be mailed to me by a deadline so they would arrive in time for the shower or schedule them for order pick up and add me as an alternate pick up person. Pro tip- have them put your phone number in for the pick-up notification.
You could also skip this step and have everyone mail them to mom’s address if the shower will be at her house. I liked that I had the chance to gift wrap them for her by having them sent to my house.
As the RSVPs came in I mailed out party kits that I put together for everyone.
They included printed game cards for our gummy bear guessing game and mad-libs, and a card with predictions and advice for the new family. There are lots of printable baby shower game options on Etsy. You could also send a shower gift or sweet memento for each invitee.
The key is to include a pre-addressed and stamped envelope for everyone to mail back their cards so I can put together a memory book for mama.
THE DAY OF THE VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER
I decorated the area we were planning to have in front of the camera for the baby shower; you could also mail the mommy to be a few decorations to put up if the two of you won’t be physically together.
On the screen we played a slideshow of her maternity photos from before lockdown until the meeting started and then it was party time.
We greeted everyone and thanked them for joining us online, opened it up for a brief Q&A time for everyone who wanted to know how things are going and then played our games. After that mom and dad opened up their gifts. Mom and dad wore gloves while opening gifts as an extra layer of protection against coronavirus. After thanking everyone again for helping make the day so special we reminded everyone to mail back their envelopes with the mementos for the memory book.
I’m so glad that we were able to celebrate the Ferguson family and help them get a bit more ready for their sweet baby boy’s arrival in a few weeks.
What other fun and creative ideas have you heard or seen for celebrating during social distancing?