How long does a virtual baby shower last? Well, that’s your call entirely, but here’s some great info and inspo to help you make that decision.
- A virtual baby shower of greetings and gifts could run 45 – 60 minutes.
- A virtual baby shower of greetings, gifts, and games could run 90 – 120 minutes (1½ – 2 hours).
- Some virtual baby showers run between 2 – 4 hours. As long as your guests are engaged, you’re doing great.
- The more guests, gifts, and games you plan for, the longer your virtual baby shower will be.
Real-World Virtual Baby Shower Length Examples
Looking for some real-world examples and inspo?
40 MINUTES | This couple packed greetings, games, and gifts into a 40-minute virtual baby shower.
2 HOURS | This mom-to-be held a 2-hour virtual baby shower. “In total, our shower was two hours long. And I think it was [because] people were extremely generous and we just had a lot of gifts.
“But a lot of people said it didn’t feel like two hours, which I’m grateful for. I did try to speed through but not to the point where it was rude. So just keep that in mind as well on the timing….
“And I told the audience in advance that if you can’t stay tuned for the whole thing, no worries, we’re not offended, just come and go as you can and do what you need to do,” she shared.
|Mom/Parents-to-Be||Virtual Baby Shower Length|
|Take It From Ray Ray||0:40 (40 minutes)|
|TheFortitudeFix||0:60 (60 minutes)|
|BeatingTheBudget||2:00 (2 hours)|
|Megan Acuna||4:00 (4 hours)|
10 Timing Tips For a Virtual Baby Shower
- Time ‘doesn’t really matter’ as long as everyone’s having fun.
- Write an agenda and keep it in view of your computer monitor. Your ‘job’ is to get through it while enjoying the moment; your host’s job (one of them) is to keep an eye on the clock.
- 30 minutes is too short to really honor mom and make the whole thing memorable.
- 60 minutes is a good length, even if right now you don’t feel you’ll be able to keep everyone engaged.
- Don’t force the flow, if your guests are engaged, you’re doing great.
- For 30 guests and under, the average baby shower game should take about 5 minutes.
- For 35-75 guests, the average baby shower game should take about 7 ½ minutes (2 games in 15 minutes).
- Four (4) games is perfect, but having 6 planned is a good idea in case your guests finish them faster than you expected or are having a blast.
- Each gift opened typically takes 1.5-2 minutes (along with its thank-yous and shout-outs).
- Have your significant other or host help you manage time and your progress through your agenda.
How To Save Time at a Virtual Baby Shower
Just because a baby shower is held virtually rather than in-person is no reason to rush it. In terms of time, the only thing you really need to avoid is dead space, awkward silence, and boring your guests. With that in mind, the best ways to control or save time at a virtual baby shower are to:
- Post an agenda somewhere near your computer screen and smoothly work your way through it.
- Open the gift boxes (but not the gifts) in advance and re-bag them in open-top gift bags. If you don’t want to spoil your own surprise, ask your host to do this.
- Plan for 3 or 4 baby shower games, but have 6 games ready to go just in case.
- Play it by ear and have the host keep an eye on the clock.
- Get the chat thread active early on (in Zoom and other platforms), so that guests know they can participate even without becoming the center of attention if they don’t want to be. Short notes and shout-outs will fill the chat thread, and screen time gets naturally reserved for significant exchanges.
How NOT to Save Time at a Virtual Baby Shower
You do want to keep a virtual baby shower alive and exciting for guests and you do want to keep it somewhere within the estimated time frame you may have announced on your invites. But there are some things you definitely don’t want to do to “speed up” or “save time at” a virtual baby shower:
- Don’t open some gifts but not others.
- Don’t share thank-yous and shout-outs for some gift-givers but not others.
- Don’t omit the games. If you must, play just 3 games.
- Don’t focus on the time; your hosts can help with that.
Are Virtual Baby Showers Shorter or Longer Than IRL Baby Showers?
Live or IRL baby showers typically run longer than virtual baby showers because at a live event guests tend to mingle and chill with one another before and in-between the day’s host-directed baby shower activities. Guests have allocated the afternoon or most of it to the baby shower, and have travelled to be there. Conversation with any or all guests is also instant and thus is typically more inviting.
This is all likely something many of your guests are accustomed to post-pandemic, but is simply worth noting for your planning. You’ll want to allow yourself just a bit of extra time to accommodate for this, particularly across a larger group.
Lastly, if a virtual baby shower will be the first (or first-in-a-long-while) meeting of so many friends and family members, you could allow for “foyer talk” among the guests over Zoom as everyone gets arrived and settled in.
- In-Person Baby Shower timing factors: Longer
- Guests mingle with one another before and during games/activities.
- Conversation and announcements are instantly received/understood.
- Conversations can take place in small groups between and among attendees.
- Guests have travelled whatever distance to be in the company of you and friends.
- Virtual Baby Shower timing factors: Shorter
- Guests are typically alone (or with their own family) at their own homes.
- Guests are watching a screen or a monitor for the duration of the shower.
- Conversation and announcements are delayed/less fluid in relay over video conferencing.
- (While we may watch movies or shows at home with family for hours on end, the difference at a virtual baby shower is that all guests will be able to see each other, and thus are likely to feel awkward or disrespectful if they were to turn off their video.)
Your Guests Have a Lot to Do With the Length of Your VBS
Virtual baby showers have become uber popular as a great way to connect and share your joy with friends and family whether they live right next to you or around the world. They’re also a great way to reduce the cost of having a baby in 2021. But unlike “traditional” in-person baby showers that take up an afternoon, a virtual baby shower typically lasts somewhere between 60-120 minutes.
If your guests are a vibrant and closely connected bunch, a 2-hour virtual baby shower will breeze by in no time.
But if they’re not so closely connected, or you don’t feel all that great at keeping an audience engaged, 60 minutes is long enough to get everything done without too much dead space.
Simply having your husband, host, or significant other join you on the camera end will help you keep the shower alive and engaging. Mom-to-be shouldn’t really be doing the hosting unless of course, she wants to, so it’s not odd at all to have a few “stagehands” on your team.
How To Prepare In Advance And Plan Your Virtual Baby Shower
If you take the time to write out a simple agenda for your virtual baby shower, you’ll find that 60 to 90 minutes is usually plenty of time. You’ll need to choose a host if you don’t plan on hosting the event yourself, and they should be a part of each stage of the planning.
Before we dive into all the details, by this point you should have checked off the following on your list:
- Pick a Date & Time for Your Virtual Baby Shower
- Make a List of People You Want to Invite
- Choose a Virtual Baby Shower Website
Choosing a website or platform is one of the first steps you’ll want to take. Zoom and a private Facebook event make the best way to host a free virtual baby shower, and WebBabyShower is the best paid option. If your virtual shower will run longer than 40 minutes (and it kinda should be based on the above), you’ll need to shell out about $15 for unlimited Zoom time. (Opt for the monthly plan and be sure to cancel it afterward; everyone does it so don’t feel bad. And congrats on the baby BTW.)
Choose whether you’ll send e-vites, invites, or none at all (in a private Facebook event, your first post would act as the invite) Before nixing the idea of conventional invites, consider who your guests are (are they tech-savvy?) and whether or not a printed invite would add to the occasion and be a keepsake for your baby book.
If you’re inviting in-laws or grandparents, then asking them to respond via social media might not be the best option. You could always send out a few invitations by mail to the people you know that would appreciate it and then do the rest online.
Whatever way you choose to do your invitations, just make sure that you include all the details needed about your special day For example, if you want to have a theme, you should tell people about that in your invitation. Themes can be a lot of fun, especially when people are essentially watching the event on a computer screen or mobile device. (P.S. It’s also no longer considered rude to include a link to your baby registry right on your e-vite or invite.)
The space you’re sitting in should be cheerful and filled with excitement. You don’t need to go overboard since it is virtual, but adding some of the following could make your virtual baby shower a more cohesive and happening scene:
- Fill the room with balloons. If you already know the gender of your expected bundle of joy, then you could do it according to a specific color. You could also make it a game and have both colors and then eliminate some throughout the party, revealing just one color at the end.
- Mom-to-be could/should dress according to the theme. If you decided on something fun, she should wear something that matches it, such as a princess tiara if it’s going to be a girl. If you are aiming for something more elegant, invite her to dress up and also inform the guests that they have the option of wearing something nice too.
- Add a backdrop, curtain, banners, or bubble balloons to the space behind the expectant mother. You can include some personalized props as well, like a mug with a cute saying on it, or elements that add to your theme. Try to keep the focus on making the event feel special to both the expectant mom and the guests.
- You can choose to send your guests a little something fun before the big day. Just be sure it can fit in an envelope (even a bubble envelope) to keep shipping fees within your baby budget.