Godh Bharai- How to Throw a Virtual Indian Baby Shower
To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and undoubtedly inhabited. (Buchanan A. & Klingsporn D.)
The recent outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to the cancellation and postponement of many events, from weddings to birthday parties to graduation ceremonies, and baby showers are no exception. While everyone is staying home, practicing social distancing, and avoiding gatherings, the idea of having a traditional in-person baby shower is pretty much off the table right now for parents-to-be.
However, just because you can't socially gather in person doesn't mean your baby shower can't happen at all. You can still celebrate the joyous event without risking anyone's health: enter the Virtual Baby Shower.
In This Article
- What is Baby Shower or Godh Bharai Rasam?
- When is Godh Bharai or Baby Shower usually done?
- What is a Virtual Baby Shower?
- Why Should You Have a Virtual Baby Shower?
- Who Should Host a Virtual Baby Shower?
- How to Throw a Perfect online Baby Shower?
- What are Other Creative Ways to Celebrate Baby Shower during Coronavirus/COVID-19?
What is Godh Bharai or Indian Baby Shower?
Godh Bharai is baby shower in hindi. It's a celebration of motherhood and the expected birth of a child. In India, during the ceremony, close family members and friends get together and pray for the health of an expectant mother and her unborn baby. The mother-to-be receives blessings and godh bharai gifts.
Today's Godh Bharai is a beautiful mix of traditional rituals and fun activities such as singing, dancing, and exciting games.
When is Godh Bharai or Baby Shower Done?
Typically it's done a month before the baby's due date and after seven months of pregnancy, when the third trimester starts. Therefore it's done between 7th to 8th month of pregnancy.
What is a Virtual Baby Shower?
A virtual or online baby shower is simply a baby shower hosted online rather than in person via a live stream. It generally uses the same concept as a traditional baby shower and consists of games, gift opening, and fun conversations between family and friends.
Since a virtual baby shower happens over the internet, it's an excellent option for those whose family and friends live far away but still want to celebrate the arrival of new life.
Pregnancy is a life-changing experience. Baby showers make moms-to-be feel loved and appreciated.
While virtual baby showers may not be the first choice of many parents, it's undoubtedly the best option to organize and enjoy the celebration of new life, without requiring anyone to leave the house during the Coronavirus crisis.
Why Have A Virtual Baby Shower?
With a virtual or online baby shower, guests from across different geographical locations can share in the joy and celebration of the new momma and her baby. Expecting or new parents might opt for a virtual baby shower due to:
- Bed rest during pregnancy
- A high-risk pregnancy
- The poor health of the mother or guest
- Social distancing concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic
Using online platforms, you can host a successful baby shower from the comfort of your home. During coronavirus, it can prevent you and expectant mom from coming in contact with harmful diseases. And at the same time, everyone can celebrate this great moment, even those who are abroad.
Who Should Host a Virtual Baby Shower?
Traditionally, parents or parents-in-law of the expectant mom hosts the godh bharai ceremony. But nowadays, anyone, including a family member or a close friend or even expecting parents can throw a baby shower.
If you are having a virtual Godh Bharai, make sure the host is tech-savvy and experienced enough to handle any technical glitches.
How to throw a Perfect online Baby Shower
Ready to get the party started? Here are step-by-step instructions on planning a perfect virtual baby shower:
#1. Make your Guest List: The first and foremost thing to consider is how big or small your baby shower will be. Generally, Godh Bharai is an intimate ceremony, and only family and close friends are invited. Also, large virtual parties tend to be a bit hectic. To keep things simple, try to keep the list as small as possible.
#2. Pick a Date and Time for Your Virtual Baby Shower: Just like with a traditional baby shower, you need to have an explicit schedule for your virtual ceremony. Select a time and date that works for everyone. For example, it's better to organize your party on the weekend (Saturday or Sunday) as all of your guests will be free to attend and will have plenty of time to enjoy. A couple of things to consider:
- If your guests belong to multiple time zones, pick a date and time that works for everyone.
- Set a time limit: Respect others' time. Depending on how many guests you're going to invite one to two hours should be sufficient.
- Select a date that gives gifts adequate time to arrive.
#3. Choose the Right Video Conferencing Program: When deciding which virtual platform to use, it's recommended you opt for the one that you're already well-familiar with so you know what to expect. For example, while some apps and platforms impose a limit on the number of guests, others have a limit on how long you can host the virtual event. Check out the different options below to figure out which one might be perfect for you:
- Google Meet: Up to 100 guests for 1 hour or upgrade to paid packages.
- Zoom: Up to 100 guests for up to 40 minutes unless you have a paid subscription.
- Skype: Up to 50 guests for up to 4 hours. Free!
- FaceTime: 32 guests maximum (iOS only)
- Google Duo: 12 guests maximum. Free!
- Facebook Messenger: Up to 50 guests, though only six are visible at a time. Free!
- WhatsApp: Up to 8 guests. Free!
- Houseparty: Up to 8 guests. Free!
For your virtual baby shower, your selected website or live streaming app is secure, easy-to-use, and accessible to everyone.
If you're looking for an online service with all the features, check out WebBabyShower - an all-in-one place for all your virtual baby showers needs. The fee is around $80!
#4. Create a Virtual Baby Shower Timeline: For virtual parties, it's good to have a rough plan or schedule in your mind for how you want your virtual baby shower to go. Although you certainly don't strictly follow your timeline, it may prove helpful in keeping the event running smoothly. For example, if you have 2 hours, your virtual shower timeline should go like this:
- 10:00 AM - Start live stream
- 10:00-10:10 AM - Welcome guests and prep for the party.
- 10:10-10:25 AM - Guest introductions.
- 10:25-11:15 AM - Let's play the games!
- 11:15-11:30 AM - Have Mom open baby shower gifts, if you've chosen to do so. If not, you can skip and devote these 15 minutes to playing games.
- 11:30-11:45 AM – Thank you to guests.
- 11:45 AM - 12:00 PM - Virtual goodbyes!
Altogether, you must have a clear idea of precisely what would happen when.
#5. Pick a Virtual Baby Shower Decorations Theme: While decorations are optional, they might help you feel festive by making your virtual baby shower look more party than a monotonous corporate conference.
Hence, put up a few decorations, like balloons, streamers, and confetti in the background of the area where you'll be hosting your virtual baby shower. If you're using Zoom, you can use their virtual backgrounds.
#6. Set Up Your Virtual Baby Shower Registry: If you haven't already set up your online baby registry, it's the perfect time to create one to make it easier for your guests to pick out the right gifts for the mom and baby.
#7. Consider Entertainment Options: Just because you're throwing your baby shower online doesn't mean you can't have live entertainment!
Invite a performer to join virtually. You can hire a singer or musician, a caricaturist to sketch guests, a meditation or yoga teacher to offer some mindfulness practices, or an astrologer or a Tarot card reader to do a handful of guests' readings.
#8. Create and Send Out Virtual Baby Shower Invitations: Since your baby shower is virtual, it would make the most sense to send electronic invitations (e-vites) to your guests. You can send virtual baby shower invitations through email, but it is even better to carry them through WhatsApp.
Send out virtual invitations at least a week in advance. That way, guests can ensure their schedules are free ahead of time. If you're too busy, you can appoint someone to send out virtual invitations on your behalf.
There are lots of great options available to help you create personalized virtual baby shower invitations:
Whatever platform you're using, make sure to include all the essential details in your virtual baby shower invitation:
- Date and time of the event
- Name of the video conferencing platform
- A link (or username and password) to join the event, if any
- Baby shower games and activities that you intend to play
- Links to your baby registry with a ship-to address
- You can even mention the event timeline
#9. Hit Record for An Instant Keepsake: Depending on which video conferencing platform you're using, make sure to turn the recording on so that you can memorialize the event and playback after the baby shower is over. After the party, you can even pause and capture the best moments to send guests. Fortunately, most video platforms, including Zoom and Hangouts, can record.
#10. Play Virtual Baby Shower Games and Activities: Games are the soul of a baby shower!
Playing games in person is more fun, but most of the traditional baby shower games are suitable for virtual parties also. All you need a little preparation and creativity. Here are some quirky, tried-and-true virtual baby shower games and activities you can play with your online guests:
- Guess the Number: Fill a bottle or jar with small candies, sweets, or jelly beans, and ask guests to guess how many are inside. Whoever guesses the closest wins!
- The Price is Right: Hold a bunch of everyday baby items, such as baby bibs, blankets, and baby head pillows, and ask guests to guess the total price for all products. The one who comes closest wins!
- Name That Tune: Play a few chords of popular songs and let guests guess which song it is. Whoever guesses the right wins!
- Who's That Baby? Before the shower, ask guests to email baby photos of themselves. Then, put them together in a slideshow and let the guests try to guess who is who. Whoever guesses the right wins!
- The Celebrity Baby Name Game: Ask your guests to match the names of celebrity babies with their moms. Whoever matches the right wins!
- How Well Do You Know Mom? (Mommy Trivia): Quiz guests on how well they know the mom-to-be. The person with the correct answers wins.
#11. Open Gifts as You Usually Would: Gift-opening could be an integral part of your virtual baby shower:
- If guests sent gifts ahead: Unwrap the present just as you would in person. You open while your guests shout ooh's and wows as you unbox.
- If guests already bought gifts: Keep the gift reveal a part of the virtual baby shower. Ask each guest to take a turn opening the gift they brought to the party and say a few words about it.
#12. Let Guests Take the Stage: While it's not difficult to organize a virtual baby shower, being pregnant during the Coronavirus outbreak is stressful. So, ask each guest to share experience and give the advice to motivate the mama-to-be. While everyone will not be talking much over the video conferencing, make sure that each guest has an opportunity to interact with the soon-to-be or new parent.
#13. Virtual Baby Shower Guestbook: Get creative with a virtual baby shower guest book that you can print when the shower is over. Send your virtual guestbook off to guests and ask them to fill in their advice for the new mom before or during the baby shower.
#14. Thank Your Guests: Don't forget to thank your guests for attending the event through a thoughtful note. It's up to you whether you say during the live stream or send a thank you email once the baby shower gets over. Either way, make sure you let your guests know you are grateful for their participation in your virtual baby shower.
Go Beyond with Alternatives
Apart from the virtual baby shower, you can also try these exciting alternatives:
- A Drive-by Baby Shower
- A Virtual Sip-and-see
- A Virtual Gender Reveals (After the Baby Arrives)
While pregnancy is a long slog in regular times, it can be downright deflating and lonely during the coronavirus crisis. Instead of canceling your baby shower, it's far better to embrace and have fun with a virtual baby shower. Try it out and celebrate your new addition to the family, even if your family and friends are far away.