Celebrating Milestones While Social Distancing
Families are getting creative with their celebrations during these socially distant times. Graduating seniors lost out on prom, end-of-the year ceremonies, and other important events when the stay-at-home orders were first rolled out. Mothers who were expecting missed out on baby showers and gender reveals. However, many families found a way to replace the experience through alternative activities.
What are other ways that expecting moms can celebrate the usual milestones? Here are some socially distant suggestions that might spark ideas for those planning baby showers and gender reveals during these times.
The Virtual Baby Shower: Although there are different video services available, many people have found Zoom to be the easiest tool to use for larger online gatherings.
The host of the shower creates a meeting in Zoom and sends out the invitation with a link to connect on the chosen date and time. The invitation could also include instructions on how to drop off or send a baby shower gift as well.
If it is a small baby shower with guests who are mostly in town, the host can even drop off a “baby shower celebration bag” for each guest beforehand which can include a packaged cupcake that won’t spoil (like the Little Debbie Birthday Cupcake), an individually packaged savory snack like Chex Mix, a can of fancy sparkling water, and a cute napkin and drinking straw. If you plan to play games, consider including a fun notepad and pen.
The host can also send the mother-to-be some easy decorations that she can use to spruce up her space for the video call. A nice bouquet of flowers, some balloons, and even a pretty placemat or tablecloth can help her set up the area and make it feel special for the occasion.
Baby showers online can follow similar a format of mingling and munching, games, and presents. When guests join the Zoom party, they can then open their guest bags and bring out the refreshments! Then let the games begin.
One baby shower game that guests can play online is Baby Shower Price Is Right. The host prepares a series of baby items like a baby bottle, swaddle, wipes, etc. and holds them up one by one. Guests write down what their guess is for the total price of all the items shown. The closest guess to the actual answer wins.
Another game is to ask guests to write down answers to a list of questions like what the couple is planning for the nursery, who they hope the baby will take after, how many kids the couple would like, etc. Guests get a point for each question they get right and the person with the most points wins. Winners can be sent Amazon or Starbucks gift cards over email.
The Car Parade Baby Shower: Another alternative way to celebrate a baby shower is to have a car parade. Invite guests to decorate their car with streamers, signs, balloons, and window writing in celebration of the new baby. Set up a day and time range (perhaps a 30-minute window) for cars to drive by the expecting parents’ house to honk their horn, shout out their congratulations, and drop off any gifts. (If you are looking for creative and practical shower gifts, visit the Motherhood Center botutique for some great ideas!)
Seat the parents outside at a decorated table with balloons and banners so that they can enjoy waving to friends as they file by. The host can help bring any gifts from the cars to the table and hand out cupcakes or treat bags to those parading by.
The host can also act as a photographer to take photos of each decorated car to commemorate the occasion for the baby album.
The Socially Distanced Baby Shower: Depending on the situation where you reside, consider hosting a smaller than typical baby shower by inviting a few close friends and family for a backyard or lawn gathering. Be extra careful for older family members and the expecting mom. Remind guests who have been exposed to COVID to stay home. Guests can also wear a mask to be safe.
Although not glamorous, consider serving individually packaged snacks instead of a meal. Things like pre-packaged carrots and dip, individual packets of snacks and sweets as well as individual servings of drinks might keep the party simpler and safer. Chairs can be placed several feet apart for guests to sit on as they play baby shower games outdoors or watch the mother-to-be open presents. If you really want to stick to the theme, send guests home with small scented bottles of hand sanitizer or a cute fabric mask as a shower favor!
Virtual Gender Reveals
Much like the virtual baby shower, a virtual gender reveal party might work best on a platform like Zoom. The couple can play a few simple games before diving into the reveal itself. If there is a large number of guests, the chat function comes in handy to elicit guesses for things like the baby name, due date, and what the mother-to-be craved during pregnancy.
If you want guests to participate in the actual reveal as well, consider mailing them something fun like a color changing straw. In addition to watching the parents reveal the baby’s gender on Zoom using whatever method they have planned (popping a confetti-filled balloon, cutting a cake, etc.), guests at home can have a glass of cold water ready for their part of the reveal as well. When it’s time, tell guests to put their straw into the glass and sip. The straw will change to either pink or blue!
Other products found on party websites such as wrapped lollipops and small confetti poppers can also allow guests to participate in the virtual gender reveal.
Just because we are unable to celebrate the same way that we did before does not mean we should give up commemorating the milestones that are important to us. With a little creativity, we can still mark the occasions during these socially distant times!