Your coworker just announced she’s expecting. Now people are starting to talk about throwing an office baby shower, but all you can think is, how?
What are the protocols? What’s appropriate for a work baby shower? Who should host? How do we do this? And even more stressful, in the age of COVID-19 and working from home, is a baby shower even possible?
The answer, at least to that last one, is yes! And to all the other questions running through your mind about the logistics of an office shower, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide with lots of fun baby shower ideas to help you through it.
When to Throw the Party
First, before you, pick a date for the party, ask the parent-to-be if they actually want a shower. This may seem silly, but it’s important to not assume anything! They may not feel comfortable with an office shower, or they may be totally booked up. Get their permission before anything.
Once you’ve gotten the green light, a basic rule of thumb for throwing baby showers is to throw them 1 or 2 months before the baby is due to avoid cutting it too close and so mom can still enjoy herself beforehand. In a workplace setting, it’s best to throw the baby shower about one week before the mom-to-be goes on maternity leave. But always check with the parents! They probably have a preference about when they’d like the party.
When throwing an office baby shower, you want to be mindful about disrupting the workday as little as possible. It’s pretty typical for office showers to be thrown over the lunch hour, but you could also have the party right after the end of day or even on a weekend. Just remember to be respectful of everyone’s time and needs.
How to Manage Hosting an Office Shower
Hosting a baby shower may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! First thing’s first: If your company has a party committee, let them do it! But if not, a close friend or colleague of the parent-to-be should take control. If you’re the one hosting, don’t be afraid to delegate! Put someone in charge of the invitations, someone in charge of securing the space, someone else in charge of the refreshments, etc.
If you plan to throw the party on company property, make sure to clear it with your supervisor, HR department, or anyone else who could be affected first. But if you’re throwing a Zoom baby shower, you don’t need to worry about that! As long as everyone has a computer and internet connection, you’re good to go!
Talk to your supervisor about a potential budget for the party. Is there any money for light snacks and refreshments? If not, consider asking your party guests to kick in some money for food or make it a potluck. Don’t forget: keep it simple. This shouldn’t be a lavish, expensive affair.
Where to Host
For an in-person office baby shower, try using a large conference room or other communal space in the office, like a breakroom. For a party off of company property, consider reserving a few tables together at a nearby restaurant!
If you’re hosting a Zoom baby shower, you can easily just have a normal Zoom meeting and go from there. But another option is a platform called WebBabyShower. This innovative service is a website that exists just for virtual baby showers. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your baby shower needs, including a customizable site, unlimited digital invitations, a virtual guestbook, games, quizzes and scoreboards, a private photo and video album, and links to your baby shower registry! All of this comes bundled together for under $80, which is cheaper than the average in-person shower.
The guest list for an office baby shower can be tricky, but you should always start with the guest of honor and their particular likes and dislikes. You can ask the mom-to-be if she wants a big party or a small party or use what you already know about her to decide. For example, if she’s a shier type of person, it’s best to keep the guest list small and intimate.
If your company is massive, you may only want to invite people on your team, or in your department. This way you’re not buying cupcakes for hundreds of people.
Should you invite men to the party? Of course! Welcome to the modern age, where everyone can come to baby showers, especially office showers. Also, you should definitely invite mom-to-be’s spouse.
Now it’s time to write up the invitations…but you’re not sure what to say! Don’t worry, most people don’t know right off the bat. Luckily, there are tons of premade, printable and emailable invitations online to get your creative juices flowing. Below, we have examples for both in-person and virtual baby shower invitation wording.
In-Person Baby Shower
- You’re invited to an office baby shower in honor of (Name)!
- Let’s celebrate (Name) before she takes off on maternity leave!
- Heard the news? There’s a new kid on the block! Join us for an office baby shower!
Virtual Baby Shower
- Please join us for a virtual baby shower honoring (Name)!
- Tiny Human Virtual Shindig: Let’s safely “get together” to celebrate the parents to be!
- Since we can’t get together in person that day, let’s celebrate in a different way! Join us for a virtual baby shower honoring (Name).
In a small workplace, you can also supplement the email invites by hanging a flyer in the breakroom. Although this obviously isn’t a good idea if not everyone is invited.
Don’t know where to start in the baby gift for coworker-department? Check the mom-to-be’s baby registry first. Most new moms make them! Based on the items on the registry and how many people are attending the party, you may want to decide whether everyone brings a smaller gift or if you all want to go in together on a larger gift. (Pro tip: if the group decides to do one big present from everyone, don’t bring your own individual gift to stand out. Bad form!) If there’s no registry and you’re still unsure, consider a gift card to a department store or to Amazon, so they can get everything they want! Also don’t forget that gifts for mom and dad are nice too.
If you’re hosting a Zoom baby shower, consider how you want to handle giving the mom-to-be her gifts. You can have everyone send her their gifts ahead of time for her to open on camera, although this option can probably get a little awkward. You may want to consider sending the gifts to the honoree and telling her to open her gifts whenever she wants. It’s all about her anyway!
Remember when we said to keep it simple earlier? As far as decorations go…keep doing that! Pastel color schemes are great for baby showers, and some streamers and balloons are really all you need to make a space feel festive. If food is served, get some plastic tablecloths, plates, and cups that match your other decorations.
If your party is on Zoom, you don’t need to worry about decorations, although we some cute recommendations for themed Zoom backgrounds here!
Plan your food around the time and day and venue of your baby shower. If it’s during the lunch hour, consider: are you supplementing everyone’s lunch or totally providing it? If it’s right after work, are you serving finger foods and appetizers? You could also plan to have a dessert only shower! As far as drinks go, it’s kind of discourteous to serve alcohol at a shower since honoree can’t have any. Try serving some fun mocktailsinstead!
Work baby showers don’t typically include games, but it’s fine to include an activity or two! If you’re trying to squeeze your party over the lunch hour, you’ll definitely want to keep them short and simple. Below are a few game ideas for you to try out!
- Stick to It!: If you’re looking for cheap baby shower ideas, look no further! Place a sticker on the bottom of one of the disposable cups or plates you’re using for the party. Whoever ends up with that cup/plate wins a prize!
- Who’s that Baby: Hang up baby photos of celebrities and have guests try to guess who they are. Alternatively, you could ask all of you party guests to send in a baby picture of themselves beforehand and guess from those at the party.
- Don’t Say “Baby”: One of the more popular baby shower games out there, this game challenges guests to not say the word “baby” for the entire shower! If someone catches you using that word, you lose! Guests can keep track of who has said “baby” on a sheet of paper and whoever is the last guest to not say “baby” wins! This game also works great for virtual showers!
- Virtual Pictionary: Looking for a more creative (and hilarious) game? Skribbl is a free online platform that challenges guests to guess each other’s’ drawings, based on random prompts, under a time limit. Don’t worry if you’re not artistic, the crazier (worse) the drawing, the funnier!
- Printable Games: There are TONS of other games out there perfect for baby showers and easy to print and distribute or email to your guests for a virtual shower. Check out a great collection of printable shower games here.
Now that we’ve shown you the ins and outs of an office baby shower, we hope you feel more prepared to celebrate the mom-to-be and have a great time with your coworkers.
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