Virtual Baby Shower: How to celebrate you and your baby during Covid-19 We all know there's no true replacement for a big cuddle and being together with friends and family. You don't have to go without a baby celebration though - throw a Virtual Baby Shower and stay safe and connected during the lockdown. When you found out you were having a baby in 2020, your mind probably raced through the many different scenarios of what your pregnancy and maternity leave would look like. Nobody could have ever imagined how times would change, and how scary it would suddenly feel to be pregnant. But what if you can still have a baby shower? Though there's no true replacement for having everyone you love together in one room, a virtual baby shower provides a way of connecting with others and still celebrating you and your baby. Technology has played a huge role in maintaining some semblance of normality recently and it can help here too. We've put together a few little hints, tips and ideas to help you organise a virtual baby shower. WHAT EXACTLY IS A VIRTUAL BABY SHOWER? The concept of a virtual baby shower is much the same as a traditional one – friends and family coming together to celebrate the impending arrival of your baby. You can chat, laugh and have fun together, even playing games and opening presents. The main difference is that it takes place online. That means you can have friends and family from all over the world attend and all stay safe. WHERE DO YOU "HOLD" ONE? There are many online platforms you can use, the best one for you depends on the number of people you're inviting and how long you'll be celebrating. Here are a few popular options:Zoom – Everybody seems to have been "zooming" recently, Lessons, meetings and chats are transferring from the real world to Zoom! There are different packages available so it's worth asking if one of your guests has a paid membership so you aren’t limited on time, otherwise, the free packages allow you 40 minutes. Keep your eyes open for the offers floating around that offer an additional 40 minutes free in the same session though! Zoom allows up to 100 attendees which should cover all your guests. You can download it on any device and, with a bit of technological wizardry, you can even pop it up on your TV to have everyone ‘there’ in the room with you. Zoom Rooms are password protected and the organiser can set up a time, username and password to share with the guests for extra security.FaceTime – In a world where a lot of households have an Apple device, FaceTime is a great option for video-chats. It's free, there are no time limits and you can connect with up to 31 friends and family at a time. That said though, not everyone has an Apple device and those who have an iPhone may find it hard to see as the screen is teeny-tiny.Skype – Familiar to many, Skype is a good go-to for video calling. It's free, you don’t necessarily need to download it (if you're using a browser on the computer) and you can have up to 50 attendees at a time.Google Hangouts – If you have a Gmail account, Google Hangouts a viable option. It allows up to 10 participants in a video call, so good for smaller gatherings, plus it's free and easy to use. Try and pick a platform that will suit the majority of people and their tech abilities. To iron out any potential tech problems, having a couple of practice sessions before is a good idea too - plus, it is a nice way to stay in touch! HOW DO I INVITE PEOPLE? There's still the traditional method of invitations, of course. If you're able to create card invitations and pop them in the post during your daily exercise, that's a nice touch. However, it might be easier for you to keep it all online. If all (or the majority) of your guests are on Facebook, it's easy to create a private event and add your attendees. There's the option of ringing or texting around also. If you'd like to send something a little more special online, there are websites which offer cute, virtual invitations that can be emailed out. If you're looking for free options, websites like Evite, Punch Bowl (paid website but offers a 7-day trial) and Greetings Island are all a good place to start. If you have an eye for design yourself though, try Canva. It's easy to use, there are helpful templates and it's simple to save and send. You can design your invitation in minutes, that's personalised and exactly as you want it. WHAT ABOUT DECORATIONS? Have some fun decorating your video space to make a lovely background. Depending on time and budget, you could also organise little packs of the same decorations to be sent out to guests! AND PARTY GAMES? They're still possible too and here are some ideas: The Price Is Right – You and your guests can take it in turns to hold up four or five baby-related items for the other guests to guess the price. The closest guess wins! Baby Shower Bingo – This game needs to be prepped prior to the shower, but you can email out bingo cards ahead of time so everyone has them ready to play. Pictionary – Split into teams and work through designated drawers per team. The organiser can either send out words to draw ahead of the shower or you can use an online generator like www.randomwordgenerator.com/pictionary.php Heads Up – Everyone can download the Heads Up app then one at a time you can work your way around the group and everyone can guess the player’s word. Charades – An age-old traditional party game with a 21st-century twist! Split into two teams and use an online generator (like this one – www.getcharadesideas.com) to chose your word to act out. Set the timer and guess away. OPENING GIFTS Lockdown or not, people will still want to spoil you and your baby! People who'd like to send a present can easily do so using a shop that offers delivery before the day. There's plenty to choose from - Amazon, Boots, H&M, George at Asda etc - they all offer baby clothes, accessories and other lovely gifts. Amazon Wish Lists are particularly handy, it's a great way to give people ideas and is simple to set up. Once you've created your list, guests can choose the gift from the list they'd like to give and it'll be delivered straight to your door. If they're Amazon Smile users, Kicks Count will receive a donation from their purchase too! Of course, local attendees could pop a gift on your doorstep during their daily walk instead, for that personal touch. Depending on what you're comfortable with, you can choose whether or not you'd like to open your gifts on camera, some people do it before or afterwards. If you don't need or want gifts, you could ask people to donate to a charity of your choice instead. If you do, we'd love for it to be Kicks Count, and you can set up a fundraising page securely and easily right here on our website! While it's common to feel nervous about an event that's all about you, some mums prefer the virtual version and find it less overwhelming. Others crave seeing people in person and aren't sure about the virtual world. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to arrange what fits in your comfort zone and, most importantly, have fun!