Online baby showers are becoming a trend. With recent happenings in the world, moms are giving them a try. My good friend is having her 6th baby. Since every baby is a special gift, of course we thought it was cause for a celebration! I decided to use WebBabyShower and here is my review of the service and my experience.
Although I was excited about the opportunity to plan a baby shower to celebrate this coming bundle, this shower had the potential to be problematic. In addition to social distancing being in full effect during the time of the shower, we live several states away from one another. We both have a handful of kids so a getaway was not realistic.
I previously planned an online baby shower for my sister and had great success so I loved being able to do it again.
This time, I collaborated with WebBabyShower, a service dedicated to creating a fun and easy online experience for your baby shower.
Please note: this is a sponsored review of my experience with WebBabyShower. All opinions expressed are my own honest thoughts and critiques.
Also please be aware that links in this post may be affiliate links, which mean I may earn a small commission if you purchase through my link at no additional cost to you.
If you are interested in giving WebBabyShower a try, read through to the end of the article for my discount code for 10% off!
An Online What?
You may be wondering, “What is an online baby shower? How does it work? Is a virtual baby shower awkward? Does any one come?” There can be so many questions surrounding the idea of having a party online.
Despite this generation doing so much online (and even more with shutdowns and shelter in place directives at the time of this post), a lot of people are still not that familiar with having an online baby shower.
An online or virtual baby shower is similar to a traditional baby shower in that the sole purpose is to shower the mom with love and gifts in celebration of the new life.
The beautiful thing about putting together an online shower is that you can enjoy the community and fun of a traditional shower but from the comfort of your home.
Just like a regular baby shower you can include the following during an online shower:
- Gift opening
- Guestbook signing
- Even food and decorations!
A Quick Word
If you are more into video, here is everything in a nutshell 😉
How I Structured the Shower
Here is what I did to plan an online baby shower from start to finish and what you can do to have a great shower, despite distance!
Invites and RSVPs
Invitations are the first point of contact for guests concerning baby showers. It sets the tone for the shower as well as provides key information regarding the who, what, where and when.
I went with electronic invitations to keep things simple. Getting everyone’s physical address seemed like a hassle and getting everyone’s email address wouldn’t be a walk in the park either. So I decided to use a Facebook Event to send the invites out. For smaller showers I would totally send out an actual invitation as they make a lovely keepsake for the mom.
One thing I learned from the previous online baby shower I threw was to invite someone who is very close to the mom-to-be and have them invite close friends and family. This is key if you are throwing the shower as a surprise or if you don’t want to burden the mom-to-be with too much.
However, when using Facebook, I found a few drawbacks.
- Facebook is becoming more and more crowded and it is getting harder to make sure everyone is seeing event invites.
- You cannot invite or tag people in your post that you are not friends with.
- People tend to overcommit themselves on Facebook.
Similar to hosting a ColorStreet party, to increase my engagement I posted frequently in the event space and tagged people as best I could to keep things active.
Because I had previously used the event option for invites, that was my default this time too. However, WebBabyShower does have a built-in invitation generator. I played around with it and found it very easy to use. I loved being able to continue the theme I chose for the shower along into the invitations.
I think in the future I will go through the trouble of gathering email addresses. Not only does keeping everything to one platform help keep things simple, it makes for a seamless experience when planning out your shower. Bouncing between platforms was a bit of a pain.
>>> Love paper and plan to send out physical invitations? Check out my post: 50+ Cute Virtual Baby Shower Invitations
One possible improvement would have been an intergration between WebBabyShower and Facebook, where from inside the WebBabyShower platform, I could click a link and be taken to Facebook to create an event to begin inviting people.
As a web designer, I think about these things when it comes to the user experience. This is a side point since I think it is best to move away from Facebook completely when doing a virtual baby shower.
It is worth mentioning that you can turn on social sharing icons that will show up at the bottom of each page. This will enable visitors to share the page to Facebook easily on their timeline.
Games and Prizes
For the games, I decided to switch it up a little. Instead of leaving it open, I decided to make the game play a part of the live meeting. I was able to deactivate the games and turn them on when I was ready for them to be revealed.
Having the games pre-selected was a huge time saver. For some reason, researching possible games for showers I am planning takes forever!
It was really nice to have games narrowed down for me. All I did was test out the games and see which ones I thought went with the theme of the baby shower and turned them on.
When I did the shower on Facebook, I basically had to create my own games. It was a true challenge!
WebBabyShower‘s games were quizzes. Here are the ones I chose:
- Baby Animals
- Nursery Rhymes
- Famous Mothers
Of course, the best part of shower games are the prizes, but deciding on prizes for an online baby shower is where things can get dicey again.
If you are not intentional about what you decide on as the prizes (if you even want to have prizes), you can find yourself spending extra money on not only the prize but shipping.
I wanted to eliminate the need to ship for two reasons:
- Save the money
- Save the hassle of having to get addresses (remember my stance from above)
I’m on a budget whether I plan to spend $200 or $2,000! I’m counting the cost on every decision I make.
To me, adding in the cost of shipping is pretty much like taking money that can be used on another gift and throwing it away. Before I pay for shipping I would much rather double the amount of prizes or the value of the prizes.
So what did I give away?
I gave away three gift cards for $10 each to Chipotle, Target and Starbucks. I tried to pick places I know people enjoy, but there is always the chance that the card could be won by someone who doesn’t frequent that particular place. Much like the prizes you win at a regular shower, there is always that chance the gift will get forgotten.
Companies had to meet one very important criteria to be selected as a gift card option: they had to offer eGift cards. This means that they allow you to email a code to the recipient rather than physically mailing a card to a home address.
In addition to game prizes, I decided to do a door prize as well. For that I used a $10 gift card to Target. I decided to add this in because the shower was growing to a size that I felt needed a little extra bump. To choose the winner, I pulled a random number and matched it to the list of attendees on the platform we used to go live.
Ah gift opening, the pinnacle of every shower. This part right here is what a shower is for, right?! Showering the guest of honor with love and gifts to help them in the start of a new journey.
Here in the States, we like to see our gift opened by the recipient.
So how do you do that online?
So that’s exactly what we did. Even if you do a shower over the span of time you can set a time and date where you will have the mother gather all the gifts she received in the mail and get on camera to open them.
This will at least attract those who sent gifts and those who want to hop on to say hello making it a nice time to connect. I’ve found that while going live is a bit more effort, it is very much worth it to have the chance to see everyone.
WebBabyShower has a page called Skype Planner that you can enable. On this page you select where you will be hosting the live portion of the shower and add details concerning the platform to this page. You can also edit the page to call it something else, I changed the title to Video Chat.
Wondering how it went?
It was a great time! I sent the mom a cake for her and her family to enjoy, because a party is not complete without a cake! We played games, laughed, watched mom open gifts and laughed some more!
Oh and we got to see the baby bump! Also a very important part of every baby shower!
Although the pages had been live since I shared the baby shower website, I also took a few moments throughout the shower to remind guests to sign the guestbook and also place their baby predictions.
The Birthday Bets, was another one of the features of the platform I thought was pretty cool. With this guests could place their predictions on the baby’s birthday, birth weight/length, time of birth, gender, and name. I thought it was a fun way to capture these predictions and display them all in one place.
My friend also mentioned that she loved getting the gifts in the mail and opening for the first time live! The guests seemed to enjoy themselves and everyone got to chat with one another and the guest of honor!
My Rating of the WebBabyShower Platform
Overall, I really enjoyed using the platform. I was able to do all that I would expect to do for a baby shower on the dedicated website space. For me having a couple of showers under my belt, I was really glad I could customize the platform to the needs/ wants of the shower I was throwing.
If this is the first baby shower you are planning, I can see how you could love this platform as well. Everything you need to know about planning a baby shower is literally laid out for you! They really take all the guesswork out and allow you to focus on the details you want to.
I would give the platform 4.5 out of 5 ✰s. This is compared to the 3 stars I would give the baby shower experience I had on Facebook previously.
I loved many things about this platform but the following were my top favorites.
Games were pre-selected which was a huge time saver. It took HOURS to find games that could be translated to an online shower when planning through FB. I am not kidding! WebBabyShower had a built in tool that was not only pre-loaded with relevant games, it also was programmed to calculate winners based on time and accuracy!
I literally had to look at the number one slot to see the winner. And it also displayed the stats on the page for all to see. No more deer in headlight reactions when multiple winners claim to be the first to win and manual checks. It is truly worth its price right there!
2. Dedicated shower space
Not everyone is a fan of Facebook. I personally have been moving away from the platform myself. While planning a baby shower on Facebook is free, it comes with all the mess and business and it can swallow up your shower in that people may not even see updates from your event.
The website space provided by WebBabyShower is yours to customize how you see fit. You can set the theme for the shower and flesh that out on every page and even with the invitations if you use their invitation tool.
3. Printable keepsake
When I planned the Facebook shower, I kept thinking it would be great to save all the comments and games into a printable file for my sis to be able to revisit. While the event space was saved for a bit, there is nothing like having everything wrapped up in a cute lil package and printed out. I searched forever to see if there was an easy way to do this with Facebook, and with no luck, I eventually gave up.
I was so happy to see that with WebBabyShower I can easily create a printable keepsake of the online shower experience. I plan to print out the keepsake and send it to my friend to have to remember the celebration and see all the kind wishes everyone left in the guestbook.
Would be nice…
I do wish that guests could have had the ability to add in photos with their comments on the guestbook page, but that’s just adding extra bells and whistles. It’s kinda like those photo guest books you sometimes see at weddings or showers, cute but not totally necessary.
I also would have liked the platform to be a bit more integrated with Facebook (as mentioned above) and a video conferencing tool. I found myself bouncing between Facebook and the shower website quite a bit. It wasn’t that big of a deal but it would have been nice to be able to get to Facebook from inside the shower platform.
Having an in house video conferencing tool would have been nice to keep all the guests in one platform. We did have quite a bit of technical difficulties using Skype’s Meet Now service. It was a little disheartening the first half of the shower, but everyone gave grace and we got through it!
If I could do it all again, I would pay the $15 for the premium package for Zoom. (The free version would have cut off at 40 minutes and I had scheduled 1.5 hours, which we did use.) While I did use Google Hangouts for the last shower that I planned, I have heard from many people that recently Hangouts was dropping calls and having some issues.
A tool inside of WebBabyShower may have resolveds some of the issues we had with doing a live video chat.
Conclusion + Discount Code
It is evident to me that WebBabyShower really thought through the baby shower experience and how they may be able to recreate that online. While nothing beats being face to face and in the same room as your loved ones for a celebration, having a virtual baby shower that provides fun and showers momma is a great alternative.
A few more thoughts…
Although I structured my friend’s baby shower to run a couple of weeks before and lead up to a one time event, the WebBabyShower platform keeps the shower up and available for 6 months. With the premium plan that extends to the baby’s first birthday.
This means, you can actually use their platform as a mini blog or personal feed to share updates such as picture and video. You have the ability to set a password and keep this space private and limited to those you want to see the updates. Also, with the site staying accessible for a period of time afterwards, guests that couldn’t attend “live” can leave their congratulatory messages, etc. and still be a part of the gathering.
I asked my friend how she liked the experience, and this is what she had to say:
It was a lot of fun. It really made me feel special!
WebBabyShower has been featured in The Bump, Cafe Mom, The Today Show, Baby Center and What to Expect and is the oldest and most trusted online baby shower platform around. If you are considering an online baby shower, give WebBabyShower a try! Use my link and get 10% off at checkout for 10% off the price of the plan you choose.
Have you ever planned or been a part of an online baby shower? How did it go?