how to host an online baby shower

 I organized a baby shower for my sister-in-law and her husband who live 2 time zones away from us and rest of the family. I am a firm believer that every child needs to be celebrated.  So when they told me they do not have a baby shower locally, I asked if I could set up an online shower for them

What's an online shower?
It's a get-together online using video format. I researched and the best platform was google hangouts. That's the one we used. There is a max of 10 email addresses in the conversation so for those who live close to one another, i suggested using one desktop/iphone/ipad. We opened our house to family and friends and signed in as one.

Weeks before: Do  the usual stuff you will do when planning regular showers
1. ask the mom-to-be for guests lists and email addresses
2. set up time convenient for them and for most guests.
3. email the guests - I used evite format and regular email
4. I also set up a closed FB group just for the guests. I wanted to keep it a secret until the day of the shower. I made a post for guests to give parenting advice to the parents-to-be and also baby must-have items. The guests then write their comments/suggestions on the thread.
5. Do not forget to include the baby registry link for the guests on your email/evite. I suggest doing it via Amazon. They have a wide selection and they even put together a list of the guests and the gifts (so i did not have to write everything while the parents-to-be were opening their presents)

The week of the shower: I sent the google hangout invite to those who could "make it".

The day of: I asked those coming over to our house to come an hour before the event. So that we could eat, get settled in etc. We had to choose a time that was convenient since we had one guest at the west coast. We did not want to have the shower at 9a EST and 6am PST.

You can have games for online baby showers.
1. I asked the mommy-to-be to send me a profile of her belly. I posted this on the FB page and asked the members to guess her abdominal girth (how big her belly is). the day of the shower, she measured her belly while watching her on google hangouts.
2. I asked the moms of the soon-to-be parents to send me 5 photos when they were babies/toddlers. It's guess the age of mom-to-be or dad-to-be.I posted these again on the FB page and opened the poll for the guests. I let the ones who could not "make it" on the online shower participate as well.
3. For those without FB accounts, I entered their guesses the day of the shower using my screenname and then tagged their names. Even if your guests do not have FB they can still participate, right?

Prizes for the winners:
everything can be done online now, even gifts for your guests. I got them egiftcards from starbucks (or whichever place you'd like, Amazon, Target whichever)

The second half of the online shower was watching the parents open their presents. Just like in regular showers. That is why it is important to ask the guests to send their presents way in advance so the packages arrive before the online shower.

Then as a treat for the parents-to-be and as hostess I sent them ice cream cake of their choice to be picked up. I was looking for a local pastry shop or bakery that will deliver them treats but was not successful. So my next plan was to give them cheesecake vs ice cream. They chose ice cream cake. So I ordered that online and then they just had to pick up their treat after the online shower! it was perfect and they were pretty thrilled.

This is the first time I have hosted an online shower... or even participated in one. It's not your run-of-the-mill regular shower but it can be done!

Thank you for reading! I can be found on:
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