What a crazy world these little ones are arriving into right now! And how quickly we have all adapted to it. My sister Hannah’s baby is due in April so we just threw her a surprise Zoom baby shower. Something we never in a million years would have thought of doing, and yet it was awesome. Her friends the country and world over were able to join in and be part of her celebrations. In fact our organisation team of our other sister Sophie and Hannah’s childhood friend Sarah, was spread between Lancaster, South End and San Francisco!
How to Make a Zoom Baby Shower?
At first we were totally stumped on how to go about making this zoom baby shower work. We’d experienced lectures and meetings on Zoom, but a social? How could we make this fun? What were the key ingredients of a party that we needed?
We whittled it down to: Guests, Games, Gifts, Food and Party Decorations.
For her guests we thought about who the key people in Hannah’s life have been and started making a list. We were conscious not to let the list get too big, or we thought the party might not be manageable. Facebook was a very helpful tool to contact most of the list. Then Hannah’s partner David got us in touch with the rest. We made a private Facebook page which we dripped all the necessary info onto for guests, and we used WhatsAp for those that weren’t there.
Next we did a little bit of research and thought about classic baby shower games that might work in this zoom baby shower format. Over a couple of Facetimes we came up with a list of guessing games. Sophie volunteered to write a quiz and researched all kinds of random and hilarious baby facts. We decided to start off the party with baby pictures of all the guests. With Hannah having to work out who was who. Then we gathered sayings and anecdotes about both Hannah and her partner when they were little. The idea being that the guests would vote for who they thought said what. Then we would measure Hannah’s bump/waist and everyone would guess.
For Gifts we poached a wonderful idea from the Guardian and made a friendship quilt. We did a little covert digging to find out what Hannah planned for her baby’s bedroom colour scheme. Then we shared this with her guests and invited them to make a patchwork square to be added to it. Something representational of their relationship with Hannah. Most of her guests had never sewn before, but they got on with it and posted over to us. The results were wonderful, and everyone commented on how lovely it was to do this, and focus on their friend while they were making it.
We also decided to make Hannah a ‘Yummy Mummy Eco Pamper Hamper’, gifts that focussed on her and would be useful in hospital and her first few weeks with the baby. We gave guests the option of sending over a £10 contribution toward the gifts we were ordering, or sending their own gift to my house. Then I made sure everything was wrapped and looking lovely.
For Food, our cousin had the brilliant idea to order afternoon tea. These were made by the Chocolate Room in Dalton-in-Furness and the feedback was that they were amazing! We also picked up a bottle of alcohol free Fizz and a couple of beers for her partner.
On the day of the party, we arranged for her partner David to take her off for a walk a couple of hours before the party. He left a key with a neighbour. Then while they were out, I popped by and put up a balloon arch and arranged all the gifts and afternoon tea and drinks. We asked David to bring her back thirty minutes or so before the party. That way she had time to soak in the surprise and get changed and pop a bit of makeup on.
Other than her taking a long phone call that delayed the walk and decorating a little, the plan went without a hitch. It was lovely! Hannah cried when she saw the house all decorated ready for her. And was so happy to see all her friends.
The party format rolled out with the guessing games, followed by gift unwrapping and then the quiz. Of course Hannah was to be the winner. So we had hidden a winner rosette in the bottom of the hamper. To finish we had set up break out rooms so guests could chat in smaller groups. But as it was, guests naturally drifted away until just a small group was left and they chatted together into the night. Her zoom baby shower was a marvellous success and left Hannah feeling very loved!