How to plan a baby shower to celebrate with loved ones while still staying COVID-safe
Written by Mia Weber
Needless to say, it’s been a year like none other, especially when it comes to celebrations, gathering, and social occasions. Thankfully, with vaccines becoming more widely available and new information about protecting oneself from COVID-19 coming out all the time, a return to something like “normalcy” may be on the horizon. For now though, what to do if you’re hoping for a safe and healthy baby shower this spring or summer? The best sources for health information should always be the CDC and your preferred healthcare provider, but we’ve gathered some handy tips on how to stay healthy and ensure that your friends and family also feel safe attending your celebration.
Be Clear About Your Health Boundaries & Understand Your Friends’ Needs
It’s still an incredibly unprecedented time, and even with vaccine distribution rapidly on the upswing, it’s important to understand where you stand when it comes to masks at social gatherings, indoor vs. outdoor, and how large the gathering will be. If a friend or relative has offered to throw a shower for you, have a candid talk with your partner and with whomever is involved in shower planning. Maybe your whole family and entire circle of friends are vaccinated--you still need to assess your own comfort level when it comes to a gathering. And vice versa--be prepared for some friends to still not be ready to gather. If you have loved ones who can’t attend your shower in person, set up a way for them to check in at the event digitally--maybe you set up an iPad on Zoom during the present opening time or during any special moments. You can even create a festive custom Zoom background for any virtual attendees to use in order to feel included.
When in Doubt, Head Outdoors
If possible, keep your celebration outdoors for now. If you’re lucky enough to have a deck, terrace, or backyard (we’re jealous, BTW!) that’s a wonderful option, but if you don’t have access to personal outdoor space, look up your nearest park, urban green space, or easily accessible wilderness area and gather friends to celebrate your baby-to-be. Plan to forgo opening presents at the shower if you need to hold it somewhere other than you home--you can still play shower games like guessing the arrival date, and can partake in an activity like writing well wishes for the baby in a scrapbook. If you’re worried about the weather, see if a portable tent or canopy is feasible option, bring extra blankets, and have a rain date on the books if need be.
Better Safe Than Sorry
As frustrating as it has been to forgo socializing in person this past year, it’s of course better to be safe than sorry. Masks (especially while indoors), social distancing, rapid testing, and vaccine status knowledge are all on your side if you’re hoping for an in-person shower. If you have friends or family members hoping to attend from out of town, request that they get a rapid COVID test (free at many pharmacies and urgent care facilities) before attending if they haven’t been fully vaccinated. Maybe you order custom matching masks to hand out to guests to ensure that everyone has one and is expected to wear it while indoors or when in close contact with anyone outside their pod. And at the end of the day, limit your number of guests, and ensure that everyone planning to attend is someone you are comfortable being very honest with about your expectations around following the rules.
And finally, once again, please refer to the CDC and your individual state’s Department of Health for the latest updates on best practices for staying safe from COVID-19, vaccine eligibility, testing availability, and news on virus variants.