Alternative baby shower ideas are more necessary than ever these days thanks to COVID and the need for social distancing. While baby showers in some form are thought to date back to ancient Egyptian and Greek civilizations, it wasn’t until the Renaissance that moms were pampered with expensive gifts, food, clothes, and even paintings. In Victorian times, although pregnancy wasn’t discussed openly, tea parties were hosted for expectant moms. By the early 1900s, baby shower celebrations were quite festive and guests brought more practical gifts such as baby clothing, diapers, and bathing essentials.
The modern-day baby shower we know and love today originated during World War II, with a close family member or female friend hosting the baby shower, and the mom-to-be opening gifts surrounded by her guests. While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed this ritual, baby shower alternatives, including virtual events, are still a great way to celebrate an impending birth.
1. Outdoors with Staggered Guests
Find a spacious outdoor space and invite two to three guests during each staggered session. If you’re taking every precaution during COVID-19, make sure you write on the invitation that masks are required. If you want to go the extra mile, supply pastel-colored masks for guests as a party favor! Set up seating in advance with chairs at least six feet apart. Put out a hand sanitizer station with a cute baby-themed sign telling everyone to use it before helping themselves to single-serve refreshments.
2. Porch Party
If you’re looking for at-home baby shower ideas, why not host the gathering on a porch? Pamper guests by hiring a food or ice cream truck to park outside. Of course, this idea hinges on having a porch, good weather, and plenty of space for everyone to be six feet apart.
A beautiful tradition inspired by old Navajo ceremonies celebrating a woman’s rite of passage into motherhood, this event takes place just before the due date. Traditionally female-only gatherings, guests offer emotional support, share their own birth stories, prayer, and gifts with the mom-to-be.
4. Sip and See
Unlike baby showers scheduled before your bundle of joy arrives, this is a gathering of close friends and family after delivery. Think of it as a welcome party for your closest friends and family to celebrate the birth. Of course, if social distancing is still an issue after you give birth, you can postpone this until it is safe to do so or create a schedule for visits.
Virtual Baby Shower Ideas
5. Drive-By Diaper Parade
This idea derives from birthday celebrations held in different communities across the U.S. during the pandemic. Invite people to create signs, decorate their cars, drive slowly by the expectant mom’s house, and either honk or play music. You can do this in a parade of cars or schedule 15-minute windows for each car to drive up, get out briefly to enjoy a masked and socially-distant visit, and drop off a gift. If weather is an issue, guests can place their gift on the porch and leave—celebrating the mom-to-be with zero contact!
6. Video Baby Shower
Plan and schedule a virtual shower via a video chat app such as Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype, with a host serving as the emcee of sorts. Make sure the invitation has clear and simple directions for accessing the virtual event. Plan the activity schedule ahead of time so the event doesn’t become a free-for-all. Ideas include online quizzes, celebrity-baby name games, or a virtual gender reveal. Take it one step farther by asking guests to send gifts ahead of time, then watch the mom-to-be open them virtually.
7. Send a Group Gift
Gather up friends and family and come up with a group gift idea. This could include gift cards for takeout at her favorite eateries, house cleaning when she isn’t home, or an online gift card to purchase baby essentials.
8. Charitable Gifts
Tell your friends that in lieu of an in-person baby shower, you’d like them to donate your baby gifts to a local nonprofit women’s shelter or pregnancy center. Or another truly impactful gesture is to ask friends to help fund projects that provide clean birth kits to women in underdeveloped areas of the world.
Regardless of the type of baby shower you decide upon, knowing your baby’s sex ahead of time goes a long way to planning and guests buying perfect presents. Thanks to Peekaboo, the most accurate early baby gender reveal test available, you can find out the gender as early as seven weeks into your pregnancy. Peekaboo is the only early-gender test endorsed by the American Pregnancy Association. That will give you many months to plan the baby shower of your dreams!