Alternative Ideas for Baby Showers During COVID-19

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Verywell / Bailey Mariner 

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Expecting a baby during the COVID-19 pandemic comes with a new set of stressors. You may be feeling more isolated and wishing you had more in-person connections with your besties as you go through so many changes.

You may feel concerned about contracting COVID-19 during pregnancy and how COVID-19 safety guidelines might change your labor and delivery plans. You might also be feeling disappointed about how some of the traditional events of pregnancy, such as a baby shower, might look given the social distancing guidelines.

If you are feeling sadness over the loss of a more traditional baby shower, you are not alone.

Although baby showers are not essential to your health, they can serve as an important emotional rite-of-passage as you become a mother for the first time, or expand your family.

Baby showers are a time for you to receive support from your friends and family, get wisdom from parents who have been there before—and most importantly, be showered with love and gifts!

While baby showers aren’t going to look quite like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, that doesn’t mean that some of their most essential elements can’t be replicated in the following alternative ideas.

The Risks of Baby Showers During COVID-19

First, it's important to understand the very real risks involved with hosting a baby shower during the pandemic. Rules and regulations regarding small and larger gatherings vary from region to region and from state to state. Therefore, the amount of current community transmission in your area may determine how safe certain types of gatherings are.

However, as the CDC explains, there are serious risks involved in gathering people together from different family units, especially when safety measures such as wearing masks and social distancing aren’t followed and especially when larger crowds are gathered together.

As the CDC describes it, the lowest risk way to connect with others in a group is via virtual or online options. After that, the CDC explains that small group activities that take place outdoors or indoors with proper ventilation are the safest option.

Any time you gather with larger groups—especially inside, and without masks or social distancing—your risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 increases.

So holding a baby shower with others—and especially without proper safety precautions—could potentially put both you and you guests at risk. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a baby shower! What it means is that your baby shower will likely look different than you expected it to.

Should You Still Have a Baby Shower?

You might think at first that the COVID-19 pandemic means that a baby shower is out for you during this pregnancy. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Sure, you can go the virtual baby shower route, but that’s not the only option.

In most instances, there is a way to do a baby shower with as much fanfare and fun as baby showers are meant to be. It’s just a matter of thinking outside the box, doing a little extra preparation, and making sure that all invited loved ones are on board with the plan.

Socializing in limited ways and with proper precautions can be safe, even during a pandemic. But keep in mind this may vary depending on the community transmission in your particular area, what state and local laws are being enforced about gatherings, and your own comfort level.

Alternative Baby Shower Ideas

In a certain way, there is something exciting about having to reinvent the way baby showers happen during this time. Coming up with new, creative ideas can be fun and thrilling. Who needs those boring old baby shower traditions anyway?

Whether you are hosting a shower, or helping to plan one for yourself, here are some simple ideas to get you started:

Do a Drive-By Baby Shower

Early on in the pandemic, people were doing drive-by birthday parties and graduations. Drive-by baby showers can be fun too!

Set up a comfortable space for yourself outside your home (you're pregnant—you deserve a cushy seat!). If possible, decorate your area or have a friend or loved one do this for you. Then, simply pick a time for your guest to drive by.

They can stop and chat with you as they pass (with face coverings if you get too close), or simply honk and wave as they go. Doing a drive-by shower is a short and sweet way to honor your pregnancy and upcoming birth.

Do an Outside “Sprinkle” Shower

COVID-19 safety is all about limiting the number of people who gather together at once. The idea of a “sprinkle shower” helps solve this issue. What you do is set yourself up to meet and greet your guests—outside if the weather allows; or inside, if ventilation is good and masks are worn.

Then you have each guest come and say hello and exchange a gift with you one by one. Hugs are not advised. You can have a table for your guests to place their gifts to limit contact. Again, make sure that mask and distancing rules are followed, and make sure guests have no COVID symptoms before they arrive.

Do a Virtual Baby Shower

Just because it’s online doesn’t mean you can do a baby shower with all the familiar trappings. You can send out paper or online invites, register for gifts online, and even play a few traditional baby shower games during a virtual shower.

Maybe the best part is that you can connect with people all over the country or the world that wouldn’t likely be able to make it to an in-person shower. If you are hosting a baby shower for someone, you can send them decorations, or come to their home to decorate for them (with COVID-19 safety measures followed).

Do a Virtual Gift Opening Party

Opening gifts is one of the biggest highlights of a baby shower. But that can easily be replicated online. Have guests send gifts to the expectant parents’ home, and then schedule a virtual gift opening party when all of the gifts are expected to arrive. There are still many opportunities to “oooo” and “ahhh” at the those itty-bitty booties and onesies.

Do a Virtual Baby Shower Game Night

There are so many online platforms that allow you to make custom games and trivia games for party guests, and many can be adapted to a baby shower. Websites like Kahoot require all guests to have smartphones to participate, but that’s about it.

You can gather on Zoom while you play, smartphone in hand. Other options for customizable games include Google Form quizzes and

Do a Combo of Virtual and In-Person

Maybe you really want to gather with a few loved ones, but are concerned about having too large a crowd. You can do a combination of virtual and in-person.

Have a few friends or family members over (with proper safety precautions), but have the rest of the party meet up virtually.

Do an Outside Baby Shower

If you have enough space to socially distance your guests, you can consider having an outside baby shower, as outside areas are considered safer in terms of COVID-19 transmission risk. Make sure proper distancing is maintained while guests eat.

If you do an outside shower, consider using traffic cones to delineate distance, or setting up chairs for people to sit on to maintain distance. If you serve food, make sure that utensils and cups are disposable and aren’t shared, and consider prepackaged food or pre-plated food so that guests do not need to gather to serve themselves.

Do a Virtual Baking or Crafting Party

If you want to bake or do a craft with your guests, you can still accomplish that virtually. Either send supplies or send a supply list beforehand. Yes, this may take some planning, but it can be really fun to be doing a fun, hands-on activity together.

Do a 'Meet the Baby' Party

You can also opt for a “meet the baby” gathering rather than a baby shower. If you are newly pregnant, you may want to wait a few more months to see if doctors and scientists learn more about the safety of gatherings during the pandemic, or you may want to wait until better COVID-19 treatments are out there to minimize risk should you contract the virus.

Of course, whenever you do a “meet the baby” type gathering, you’ll want to make sure all safety guidelines are followed strictly, and consider virtual options if you have any doubts.

A Word from Verywell

Of course, if none of these ideas sound appealing to you, or if you just can’t wrap your mind around a baby shower given the stresses of the pandemic, that’s OK too. You can skip a baby shower altogether.

That doesn’t mean that your pregnancy can’t be special or memorable. Some of us more introverted types might appreciate a virtual or in-person meeting with just our closest friends and family rather than a full-fledged baby shower, anyway.

Baby showers during COVID-19 may look different than they used to, and even if you are able to adapt your baby shower to the times, you may still feel disappointed about what you are missing. This feeling is normal and understandable.

But you will likely find that even though baby showers need to be reimagined right now, they can still provide the support and love that you need and deserve on our journey toward motherhood.

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Article Sources
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  • Considerations for Events and Gatherings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Updated July 7, 2020.

  • Personal and Social Activities. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Updated September 11, 2020.