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There’s enough craziness surrounding pregnancy when the world isn’t a tornado of shit. But right now, what do you know? It is a tornado of shit! Mid-pandemic expecting moms have been fighting an uphill battle. They spent the first months of the virus being considered high-risk for severe COVID-19 (although hooray, this has been disproven) as well as dealing with some states declaring that partners or doulas won’t be allowed to accompany birthing parents. Pregnant people are losing things left and right — things that once felt like a given in the Beforetimes. But of all the the things moms to be are giving up these days, their baby shower doesn’t have to be one of them.
Yes, you can still celebrate your favorite mom’s little one with friends and family — with a virtual baby shower. Virtual baby showers aren’t even a new thing, and they won’t stop once/if the world returns to normal; they’ve been held for years for parents-to-be who live long distances away from family and friends. They allow those nearest and dearest to the new parent’s heart (but not, you know, nearest to their house) to be present for celebrating the tiny person about to enter the world. Sure, virtual baby showers are a little different from regular ones, but the same basics apply: invitations, chic yet sweet decor, games, activities, gifts for the new mom and baby. Hell, even favors for the guests can still happen with some planning ahead of time.
There is so much uncertainty when you’re pregnant, which is now compounded by the uncertainty of the fate of the world during the coronavirus outbreak. Some moms are weighing whether the pros and cons of a last-minute home birth are safer than going to the hospital mid-pandemic (spoiler: They’re not). Others are simply trying to get through pregnancy without their tribe of friends and family, without the certainty of safety, and while wearing masks to ultrasound appointments. Ugh. Oh, and RIP late-night deli runs to satisfy those pregnancy cravings, too. Preggos need something to look forward to these days, dammit, so make that (virtual) baby shower that very thing.
We’ve got all the essentials for making it happen. From the invites to the games and gifts and more, here are some of the best ways to make the new mom in your life feel loved and lavished upon — even if only on Zoom.
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First thing’s first: Send out invitations. An e-vite is totally acceptable, but since the shower itself will be online, it might be nice to send out paper invitations. That, or you could just shoot out a quick group text with a baby bottle, wine bottle and present emoji. But we have to admit we love these invites, with their gorgeous watercolor leaf design printed on card stock.
On to the decorations. Some of the best parts of having a virtual baby shower? Not having to clean the house pre- or post-party, not having anyone touch your rapidly expanding stomach, and only having to decorate what your guests can see from the computer screen. And wearing stealth sweatpants. This kit is a one-stop shop that includes a gold foil “oh baby” balloon garland, 13 feet of faux ivy, 60 gold and white confetti balloons for a 6-foot arch, and various other faux greenery to tuck in here and there. You may get a few requests from guests to borrow the arch for their next Zoom happy hour.
What, a six-foot confetti balloon arch is a bit too much for you? This flower and tassel garland from Meri Meri is bright, bold, and and understated, and you can leave it up long after your guests hang up. Heck, move it into the baby’s nursery, and you’ve got yourself some A+ baby decor. This super cute garland comes with 50 beautiful assorted paper flower and leaf pennants, and the flowers’ gold foil interior is a detail that really makes the garland pop.
Letterboards are a great multi-purpose decor piece that you can have in the background with a sweet baby-related quote, or the baby’s name and due date, or something about how you’re so pregnant if anyone asks if you were due last week again you’re going to slap them. Just an example.
Besides, letterboards are on-trend and can be used post-baby shower for a birth announcement, monthly photos, first day of daycare, hell, all the way through high school graduation. This letterboard has a rustic frame with a gray felt background and comes with 188 letters and numbers to personalize each picture.
If minimalism is more your style, stick a simple bouquet of flowers and a framed sonogram picture on your desk — or wherever you’re baby shower-ing from, and call it a day. This “love at first sight” frame is sweet and understated, and sure to elicit many an “awww, she has your nose!” from well-meaning relatives who can inexplicably decipher facial features on the black-and-white potato in the frame.
With a virtual shower, it’s hard to feel like everyone is together, unless you have a commonality each of the guests can hold onto to make you feel like you’re at the same party instead of thousands of miles apart. Enter these stickers. You get 40 stickers for less than 10 dollars, which means you can toss a couple in each invitation for the guests to stick on their wine glasses, or their foreheads. Wherever. Just a suggestion.
Some traditions from the baby showers of yore need to be put to bed for good. Sashes that say “Mom to Be” are a thing of the past, and don’t even get me started on those crappy plastic tiaras. But you still need something festive to declare you the object of adoration for this shower, and this gorgeous floral crown headband is just the thing. Bright, colorful, the perfect crown for this beautiful preggo queen.
An easy, non-registry gift idea is to ask your guests to mail you their favorite children’s book and write an inscription on the inside, to build baby’s library. This book, Home by Carson Ellis, (acclaimed illustrator of the Wildwood series and artist for the indie band The Decemberists) is a gorgeous look at all the places that can be called home. It’s the perfect way to tell a new baby that home will always be in Mom’s arms.
Baby shower games are often either completely ridiculous, dull and painful, or… well, no, usually that’s it. Not with these cards; here’s your chance to have everyone make their guesses, leave a sweet note for the baby, and provide a keepsake for the parents. Voila: the perfect, pain-free baby shower game that doesn’t involve smelling melted chocolate bars in diapers or trying not to say the word “baby.” (Who comes up with this stuff?) These kraft paper cards come in a variety of games: baby predictions, baby shower bingo, guess who, and “who knows mommy?” They’re super easy to slip into an envelope with the invitation so everyone can play from home.
Planning activites during a virtual baby shower is a little tricky. So you can’t all cram around the table decorating baby onesies together, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make something together, while apart, especially if your shower guest list is on the small side. Send out little craft kits like this mini macrame one to guests before the shower, so instead of awkwardly making small talk via Zoom, you can all make something cool together that doubles as a party favor. This mini macrame kit comes with a wooden arrow, 13 feet of macrame cord, and detailed instructions on how to make an awesome woven creation.
Because what’s a baby shower without some photos to remember it by? Since taking a selfie in front of the computer screen is the closest thing to a group photo you’ll be able to get, sneak some shots with your iPhone of your wasted Aunt Sue trying to flirt with your friend Grant through Zoom, or your dad who doesn’t understand how technology works and all anyone can see of him is his ear.
You can print pics out in seconds with this Fuji Instax Printer, which lets you add fun frames and filters and print photos from your videos. Plus it has Bluetooth capability, to let you save and print your favorite memories from your iPhone. It makes making a baby shower scrapbook a cinch, and your guests will love to see the smiles and laughter you captured, despite being thousands of miles away from each other.
Okay, now for the gifts. Because the best part of baby showers is watching the mom-to-be go through her mountain of gifts, and watching her try to fake a smile at the terrible ones, right? Here are some amazing gifts for the new mom that will turn her wince into a grin upon opening.
The ultimate gift for the germaphobe mom (isn’t that all of us right now?) and especially needed in today’s current climate, this portable sanitizer, called the Üvi, uses the efficient and safe technology of UV light to eliminate germs from pacifiers, baby bottles, bottle nipples and sippy spouts, and it’s small enough to keep in your diaper bag. Never worry about what germs the baby is putting in their mouth again.
All babies gotta eat, and this bib is the best of the best. Made of silicone, it’s dishwasher safe (awesome), adjustable so it grows with baby (amazing), has a catch-all pouch to collect all that food that doesnt make it into Baby’s mouth, which means less cleanup and laundry for Mom (oh heck yes!).
Anything to make new-mom life easier is a neccessity, even if it’s hideous; fortunately, this bib comes in a rainbow of gorgeous modern colors. Functional and fashionable? Yes please.
New moms (hell, all moms) need a lot of coffee to get through the day. You could gift them a fancy French press or a pour-over cone thing that looks like it belongs on Devo’s head in the “Whip It” video — but let’s be real, if the coffee itself isn’t good, it doesn’t matter how you make it; it’s going to be subpar. And moms shouldn’t do subpar coffee.
So get her this three-month subscription of Drift Away Coffee. Each month, she’ll get 11 ounces of amazing whole-bean, single-origin, freshly roasted coffee from all over the world. The beans are roasted in Brooklyn and ship in eco-friendly compostable coffee bags, plus each bag contributes to sustainable livelihoods for coffee farmers via World Coffee Research. And it’s a damn fine cup of coffee. Need I say more?
Since summer is just around the corner and everyone has been cooped up inside for 85 years — I mean, a few months — once the sun is shining, it’s time to take breakfast, lunch, dinner and naptime all outdoors. Good news for moms about to pop: You don’t have to worry about taking your tiny tot outside with this baby tent. It keeps baby in the shade, has SPF 50+ and a mosquito net, easily folds and unfolds in seconds, and comes with a convienient carrying case.
Bonus: This tent can be used year-round as a fun play tent indoors during colder months, and as a sunshade for the beach or backyard in the warmer months. And instead of gifting a cute onesie the new babe will only fit into for 15 minutes, this tent can be used from babyhood to toddlerdom and beyond.
I know, I know, you can’t help yourself. A baby shower simply needs to involve some teeny weeny baby clothes. While you (thankfully) put those infant Chuck Taylors back on the shelf, just look at this cozy bunny hat. Those. Stinking. Ears. Made from knitted organic cotton, this adorable hat is super soft, and lightweight but warm, making it the ultimate headwear.
A gift for both mom and baby, this ultrasonic humidifier is also an air purifier, so it does double duty to protect everyone against getting sick. It has an impressive list of abilities, like an auto shut-off, soothing nightlight with changing colors, large tank capacity, three adjustable cool mist intensity levels, and even an essential oil diffuser. Seriously, if this thing made coffee, you’d never have to leave the nursery.
Lastly, all babies need something soft and cuddly, and this cute lamb lovey calms and comforts any baby with six different white noise tracks, 12 classic lullabies and a soft white glowing night light, making it the ultimate sleepytime companion. But the best part? It’s machine-washable! Just take out the one-piece module from the inside and pop that sucker in the washing machine.
Here’s how to throw a virtual baby shower during COVID-19.
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At SeeVay, we know that the safety and well-being of your baby is your top priority. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to make sure you’re always on top of your baby’s safety. We understand that being a new mom can be overwhelming, and there’s so much information out there that it can be hard to know where to start.