How to Throw a Baby Shower While Social Distancing
How to Throw a Baby Shower While Social Distancing
July 10, 2020

How to Throw a Baby Shower While Social Distancing

How to Throw a Baby Shower While Social Distancing.
Photo by @tiyeger
How to Throw a Baby Shower While Social Distancing

As areas throughout the country start to open back up after having stay-at-home orders for the past few months, lots of people are excited to see their friends and family in person again (thanks for everything, virtual gatherings, but nothing beats an in-person party). But lots of people are also a little wary, which is totally understandable given we’re not out of the woods yet with Covid-19.

If your city, county or state is beginning to ease Covid-related restrictions and allowing people to gather, you might be thinking about having a more traditional baby shower with your friends and family all in one place together. Maybe you’re feeling the strong desire to share your pregnancy journey, adoption adventure or new baby with your loved ones, but maybe you’re also a little unsure of how to go about it safely.

In the era of Covid-19, it’s not really possible to have a baby shower in the traditional sense. A lot of things need to be adapted, including the number of guests, amount of space and how food is served, and it may end up feeling a little awkward. But in the end, you get to see your guests face to face and feel a little closer to how you had planned things before the pandemic.

Using the CDC’s guidelines for events and gatherings as a starting point, here are things to consider when planning your socially distant baby shower. Keep in mind: Also check Covid-19 regulations in your city and state, as those rules are specific to your local area’s health and safety needs and will be more strongly enforced.

Guests

As nice as it would be to have everyone on your potential guest list in attendance, the CDC recommends that you limit/reduce the number of guests to help reduce the risk of community transmissions of Covid-19. If you have a large family or circle of friends, you’ll need to reduce it to just immediate family or just your closest friends.

But before you send out your invitations, the CDC also recommends only having guests from the same community. So if you have invitees who live in another city or state, the safest option is to have them attend virtually. Try a FaceTime/Skype/Zoom call from your phone mid-party to help them join in the fun.

Once you’ve narrowed down your invitees to about a dozen people or a half-dozen households, be sure to include on the invitations that guests are required to wear masks. Hot tip: If you only suggest your guests wear masks, then they may not keep them on for the entire party, which increases the risk of transmission. Have a box of extra masks available when guests arrive just in case someone forgot theirs.

Location and Setup

Even though your number of guests will be smaller than a typical baby shower, you’ll still need plenty of space for everyone to spread out. Social distancing guidelines say household groups should be at least six feet apart, so take that into account when figuring out your shower’s location.

While guests need to be distanced, it’s okay for members of the same household to be close together, so you can group your guests’ seating by household. Ask guests to bring their own seats (like lawn chairs) if possible.

Stick to the outdoors as much as possible so it’s easier for people to keep that six-foot distance. A large backyard (either yours or a guest’s) is the best option to limit non-guests coming into your party space, but public parks are also a great option, especially if you can section off a large area that prevents other people from walking through. Just remember to have plenty of shade, either from trees or sunshade tents.

If you’ll be using someone’s backyard, have guests arrive through a side gate or back gate rather than through the house, and limit guests’ time inside the house to using the bathroom.

If outside isn’t an option for your shower—like if you live in a city with limited park options or really hot weather—you may be able to reserve a large indoor space like a community center or church, but availability will depend on local Covid-related business and building restrictions. It still needs to be large enough for guests to stay six feet apart, and you’ll need to thoroughly sanitize the space before and after.

As guests arrive, offer extra masks if they don’t have their own, and have them drop their gifts at a designated gift table where gifts can be wiped down with sanitizing wipes before they’re opened.

Food and Drinks

You’ll want to limit the amount of communal items so you and your guests aren’t all repeatedly touching the same things—hand sanitizer, a water faucet/sink and soap should be the only communal items. So family-style or buffet food and drinks? Skip ’em. Instead, go for individually packaged meals. Think school field trip sack lunches: a sandwich, bag of chips, cookie and drink for each guest. You can even give guests the opportunity to choose their own items from a set list ahead of time on the invitation. Just make sure to follow food safety protocol, whether you’re making the food yourself (wear a mask, face shield, hair net and gloves!) or you go for catering.

There’s also always the option to not serve food. If your baby shower goes from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., you’ll be fine with just having some drinks available and maybe one or two small snacks. Drinks should be in individual containers like cans or bottles (no giant pitchers of lemonade, sorry), and snacks or small desserts can be prepped in small baggies or decorated boxes for guests to take.

Games

Games are often one of the best parts of a baby shower, and just because guests have to stay socially distant doesn’t mean you can’t include some fun activities.

Lots of the traditional baby shower games like baby gift bingo and these printable games work perfectly for social distancing, and even some of the games we love for virtual baby showers can be adapted for in-person showers. As long as guests can participate from their six-feet-apart designated areas and don’t have to come in physical contact with each other, you can play it.

Got kids coming to your shower? Hula hoops are a big hit with most kids over the age of five, and they naturally keep kids physically apart (or they risk throwing off their hula!).

Recap: Advice for Throwing a Socially Distant Baby Shower

  • Get familiar with your city and state regulations, plus the CDC’s guidelines
  • Reduce number of guests to about a dozen people or six households
  • Make masks mandatory (put that on the invitations)
  • Have extra masks on hand for guests who forget theirs
  • Keep the party outside as much as possible
  • If you can’t be outside, make sure the indoor space is large enough for social distancing and thoroughly sanitize the space before and after your shower
  • If using someone’s backyard, have guests arrive through a side gate or back gate rather than through the house, and limit guests’ time inside the house to using the bathroom.
  • If possible have guests bring their own lawn chairs
  • Space guests’ seats six feet apart, grouping households together
  • Serve individually packaged meals, and prep food using gloves, mask, hair net and face shield, if possible
  • Include games that allow for social distancing
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