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Hosting a perfect virtual baby shower is good preparation. Photo: Meraki Lane

When it comes to virtual baby showers, we possibly picture a group of a dozen adults, including our close relatives and friends all, gathered in the same place at the same time. But what will happen if your friends and family live far from your area? Or what if, due to the coronavirus outbreak, your baby shower had to be cancelled? Don't worry, Knowinsiders would like to introduce to you all things you should notice about this term "Virtual baby shower".

What is the term "Virtual Baby Shower"?

The concept of virtual or online baby showers is generally the same concept as conventional baby showers. It can happen before the baby arrives or after that. However, there exist some things which are going to have to be a little bit different. According to the Baby list, mostly, we want to acknowledge that a virtual shower isn’t going to totally replace a real one. You can’t have many of the same games, refreshments or general feeling of in-person mingling, and it’s also a lot more casual—we honestly can’t blame your guests for wearing yoga pants to your virtual shower. (Though some guests may appreciate the chance to dress up!)

The Needed Techs for Virtual Baby Showers

Easily to understand, a virtual baby shower requires a virtual place to gather people. Thankfully, in the era of new advanced technology, there is plenty of suggested choices for websites or apps to get your gang all together on-screen. Here are some of them

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WebBabyShower. Photo: Pluginu

WebBabyShower: The name of the website has transferred what the web want to bring users. This website exists just for virtual baby showers. For under $80 (cheaper than the average in-person shower), WebBabyShower offers an all-in-one place for all your baby shower needs, including a customizable site and unlimited invitations (keep in mind that too many guests can get chaotic on video chat, so we recommend keeping it to a manageable number), a virtual guestbook that you can print when the shower is over, games, quizzes and scoreboard, a private photo and video album and links to your Babylist registry.

Zoom: Probably the simplest and easiest of the video service options, Zoom is free for everyone to use, allows up to 100 connected devices (500 for an extra charge) and doesn’t require you to download an app, though there is an app option. All you need is an internet connection and a web browser (you can use a computer, tablet or smartphone).

Facetime: Facetime is the free video service for Apple devices, including iPhones, tablets and computers, and it allows up to 32 connected devices (still plenty for a baby shower). You can connect via cellular data if you have a data plan, or via WiFi without using any of your data. Multiple people can join a call at once using their Apple ID, and they have to be invited by the host.

Facebook Messenger Rooms: Facebook’s new group messenger service works great for large groups (though if you have a smaller party, regular Facebook Messenger video calls still exist). Anyone can use Messenger Rooms, even without a Facebook account, so you won’t have to create an account just for grandma to join in the fun. And there’s no time limit, so you can keep the party going!

Things you should know about National Donor Day!
Photo: Mat ma

Google Hangouts: This service only works if you have a Google/Gmail account, which is free and fairly easy to sign up for. Each of these video call options has a chat function, too, so you can share photos, send links or express yourself in emojis. Most chat functions are accessible directly within the video screen, the exception being FaceTime, which will launch iMessage.

Who Hosts a Virtual Baby Shower?

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Photo: Happinest Baby

It’s totally okay for expecting parents to host their own shower. Or another situation can happen if you want to have a close friend or family member help you host, especially if you live with them. But even if your chosen co-host lives far away, it’s still totally possible to coordinate via text, email or social media since the party is entirely virtual anyway.

Pick up an Online Meeting Platform suitable for you

Just like with a direct shower, the place makes a big difference, so choose yours with care. Social platforms mentioned above are all popular free options that are not too difficult, even for the least tech-savvy guests. No matter what platform you use, it’s a good idea to do a trial run with a couple of close friends or family members using any bells/whistles you plan to use during the shower so that you’ll be completely comfortable with it when the big day comes. The Slumperpod suggests that you should be sure the hosts and guest-of-honour have strong internet connections (being connected directly to your internet via a cable vs. wireless is optimum). Close any unnecessary applications or windows on your computer/laptop prior to launching the party.

Don’t forget to make your decorations and food

Things you should know about National Donor Day!
Photo: Babydam

It’s true, a virtual shower likely has a different feel regarding decorations but there are fun things that can be done to make the event festive. If you are the host, consider sending the mom or dad-to-be decorations (streamers, balloons, and banner) for the room that she’ll be sitting in during the shower. Etsy has tons of great ideas depending on the room and your budget. If budget allows, a nice touch can be delivering lunch or a few sweet and savoury bakery items from a nearby, well-rated cafe.

Plan Games to break the boring atmosphere

Many traditional baby shower games are off the table now. However, there are still lots of fun games you can play during your virtual shower. If you’re a tech-savvy host, you can use your Zoom platform to create “break out rooms” to separate the group into teams for friendly competition. Some favourite virtual games include:

The Price Is Right: Hold up a series of four to five baby items (bottle, bodysuit, box of diapers, can of formula, etc.) to the camera and have everyone write down their guess of the total price for all items added together. Then, have all the guests show their guesses to the camera. The closest guess to the actual total cost of the items wins! Online Pictionary-like games like this one are an absolute blast, whether you’re an artist or not. Create your avatar and a private room, send out invites (copy and paste the link into whatever chat platform you’re using or send it via text) and get drawing!

jack box Games: JackBox offers dozens of fun multiplayer games that are playable from your computer, gaming system or phone. And you don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy them, either. Though each game has a limit on how many people can play at one time, guests can also join in as audience members to watch others play and even vote on things.

Share a list of activities

After getting feedback from the honoree and the plans are made, hosts should share a “schedule” with all attendees (including the guest of honour) ahead of time (a few days before the shower, you can include this information in the reminder).

Sharing the plan helps everyone to know what to expect and also helps to manage the time. Try to keep the schedule at an hour or less, if possible. Here’s a sample we’ve created using feedback from our customers and fan base:

Welcome from the hosts (2 minutes)

Share parenting advice (5 minutes)

Play games (15 minutes)

Open gifts (10 minutes)

Virtual nursery tour (10 minutes)

Wrap-up / good-byes (5 minutes)

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