Last spring I planned a long distance baby shower for my brother and sister-in-law who were expecting their first child. I wasn’t really sure how to plan this long distance party, but I made it up as I went along and it actually went really well!
When I searched Pinterest and Google for help with planning my long distance baby shower, I came up with very few resources. I know there are so many other people living far away from family and friends that are probably searching for the same information I was. So today I’m sharing all of the details for how I planned and set up a long distance baby shower.
I hope that reading about how I carried out a long distance baby shower gives you some ideas for how you can make the parents-to-be in your life feel special, no matter how far away they may be.
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Feel free to copy my whole long distance baby shower or just take the ideas that work best for you. I’d love to hear what you’re planning in the comments at the end of this post.
Why have a Long Distance Baby Shower
So there are few situations when you may want to plan a long distance baby shower. The most common and obvious reason is that the couple expecting a baby doesn’t live near family.
Another reason (that I never would have imagined before the last couple weeks) is medical safety. At the time I’m writing this the world is in total disarray, trying to figure out how to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Many states in the US have recently implemented shelter-in-place orders and gatherings of more than 10 people have been prohibited.
But, even with this worldwide pandemic, people are still bringing babies into this world and we still want to celebrate them! If you’re reading this in the midst of all the medical chaos of COVID-19 I really hope you are able to find a way to celebrate those couples expecting a child during this scary time! They will truly appreciate your thoughtfulness and love.
In our case, my brother and sister-in-law now live a few states away from where they grew up. It wasn’t practical for them to travel for a baby shower – how would they get those presents back home on an airplane? And everyone back home really, really wanted to celebrate them!!
So after a bit of brainstorming I decided to ask them how they felt about a long distance baby shower. Once I knew they were on board I got to planning how the heck this thing would work.
How a Long Distance Baby Shower Works
The general idea I had for the baby shower was to get all of the “guests” to mail gifts and cards during the same week so that the couple would receive everything at about the same time. I decided to set a specific week to mail gifts and cards rather than a specific day because it seemed much more reasonable for everyone’s schedule.
To make it feel more personal for my brother and sister-in-law I also sent all of the guests a few prompt cards that they could fill out and mail to the couple the same week as they sent a gift. These cards were similar to baby shower games that you might play at a traditional baby shower.
We talked about doing a video of my brother and sister-in-law opening gifts, but ultimately decided against it. That might be a great option for your couple though! You can set up a live video in a private Facebook group or other video chat programs.
Plan Your Long Distance Baby Shower
The very first thing you should do before you do any planning is to make sure the couple is comfortable with the idea of a long distance baby shower. Discuss the necessary details with the couple like when presents will mailed – make sure they will be home that week to receive them!
Here is a suggested timeline for planning your long distance baby shower. Customize it to what works best for you and leave out anything that feels unnecessary. Honestly the only thing you need to do is send the invitations. The guests can take it from there.
- 3 weeks before Baby Shower Week: Send invitations, information cards and prompt cards to guests
- 3 weeks before Baby Shower Week: Send a copy of the invitation and information card to the couple to make sure they know what to expect
- 1 week before Baby Shower Week: Send any party supplies to the couple
- 1 week before Baby Shower Week: Send reminder to guests of when to mail cards/order gifts
- Baby Shower Week: Schedule delivery of a shower cake or cookies to the couple
- After the Baby Shower Week: Follow up with the couple to see how everything went! Ask if there is anything you can help with and give them a big congratulations.
*Baby Shower Week refers to the week that the guests have been instructed to mail gifts and cards to the couple.
What to send guests
I sent the shower guests an envelope with the following:
- Information Card (an explanation of how the shower works)
- Prompt Cards (games) to be mailed to the couple
- Stamped and addressed envelope to mail cards to couple
Invitation and Information Card
On the invitation I included a cute little poem that talked about how we are all excited for the baby to arrive and want to spoil the couple with love from afar.
On the information card I put an explanation of how the shower works, when to send gifts and cards, registry information and the couple’s address. I also included my name and phone number for guests to call or text me with any questions.
Since this wasn’t an in-person party I didn’t include any kind of RSVP request.
My idea behind the Prompt Cards was to make the shower feel more personal for the couple. Instead of just getting a bunch of gifts in the mail I was trying to find a way to make them feel special and give them a little keepsake from the shower even though it wasn’t a traditional one.
I also wanted to give guests a way to connect with the couple beyond just sending a gift. I wasn’t sure if people would follow through and send the cards, but they did! It was fun for guests and for the couple.
The prompt cards I created were sent inside the envelope with invitation. I also included an addressed and stamped envelope for guests to mail the cards to the couple. I wanted to make it really easy for guests to send the cards back so there would be no excuse to skip it!
The prompt cards I included were:
- Wishes for Baby
- Words of Wisdom
- Guess the Birthday
- Name Suggestions
- Mad Lib
What to send the parents
I recommend sending the parents a copy of the invitation and information card at the same time you mail them out to guests. This way you can keep the parents informed about what’s happening with the shower and they have a visual reminder of the dates. I didn’t send them copies of the prompt cards because I wanted that part to be a surprise.
Baby Shower in a Box
If you would like to send the couple any special party supplies or extra goodies to celebrate the shower I recommend sending it a few days before the gifts are scheduled to be mailed. Here are some ideas for what to include:
- Thank you cards
- Addresses and phone numbers of all ‘guests’
- A gift log to record who each gift is from
- A nice set of pens
- Party hats
- Mom and Dad coffee cups
- Photo props for selfies
- A handwritten card
Baby Shower Week
When baby shower week rolls around there really isn’t much left for you to do besides mail the prompt cards you filled out and your gift to the couple. Then you cross your fingers that the other guests remember to mail their stuff during the same week. (Which they will, because they are just as excited as you are for the new baby!)
The parents-to-be should start receiving gifts and letters in the mail that same week and the following week.
If you’re looking for something extra to send the parents for when they start receiving mail and gifts, you can arrange for delivery of special baby shower cookies or a cake. You could also schedule a flower delivery for that same time.
Like I mentioned before, we didn’t do a live video opening of gifts, but if that’s something your party would be interested in you could easily set it up in a private Facebook group or other group video.
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Long Distance Baby Shower
Just because your loved ones live far away doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to celebrate them! Big life moments, like welcoming a baby into the world, should most definitely be celebrated and with a little planning you can still make the parents-to-be feel special regardless of the distance.
I hope these tips help you in planning your long distance baby shower! If I missed any details or you just have some questions please leave them in the comments below!