Babies symbolize hope, innocence, and new beginnings. Perhaps more so than ever before, these are sentiments that we all need in spades.
It's no secret that baby showers have looked a little different this year and last. However, the social distancing precautions put in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic are designed to keep everyone safe.
The good news? It's easy to respect these guidelines and reward that special mama-to-be in your life with all the well wishes, baby gear, and sweet memories she could possibly want.
Enter, the drive-by baby shower!
This unique spin on the traditional gathering is full of fun, excitement, and love. It might not look like what you're used to, but with a little planning, it can be a special highlight leading up to the big arrival. Today, we're sharing a few tips on how to pull off this fête with flair!
What Is a Drive-By Baby Shower?
As the name implies, a drive-by baby shower involves a parade of guests driving by your venue, showering the mom-to-be with love and gifts from afar. It's a creative way to stock her nursery with all the pint-sized clothes, accessories and diapers she needs, while still respecting the social distancing guidelines.
Although no one will be gathering indoors or mingling over snacks, you can still make the event extra special. Let's take a look at a few of the most important steps to remember as you plan to host this unforgettable day.
1. Clarify the Concept
Before diving into all the details, it helps to explain the concept of a drive-by baby shower to close friends or loved ones who may be unfamiliar with the idea. You don't have to personally call everyone on your guest list, but older family members in particular may need a briefing.
These past few months have ushered in a host of changes and new ideas, and all of the details can be a little unclear. It might seem as though there's something new to remember or a new rule to follow every day. Thankfully, these steps can be a lot more straightforward.
FaceTime or Zoom with close family members who will attend the shower or help you throw it, and let them know how the logistics will work. To help safeguard everyone's safety, it's best to keep the crowd small, require mask wearing, and remind everyone to respect social distancing.
Explaining these basic guidelines to your close family members will help ensure that no one is surprised or upset about the changes that will take place. Remind them that while the shower might not be exactly what they first thought, it will still be a special and sweet time full of love!
2. Choose a Venue
As the shower host, you're the one responsible for figuring out where the drive-by shower will be held. The best part about this newfangled idea is that you don't have to worry about dusting your baseboards or putting up your dirty dishes. In fact, you don't have to clean the interior of your house at all!
That's why it's usually easiest to simply host the shower in your front yard, or the front yard of a family member. Or, the mom-to-be might prefer to have the shower right outside her own front door.
In any case, keep in mind that the venue is only feasible if you can set everything up relatively close to the road. Expecting each guest to drive down a long driveway could interfere with time logistics. Attendees should be able to easily drive into the area, park for a second to say hello, and get back in their car smoothly, without spending too much time entering and exiting.
If a house party is out of the question, you can always ask your local community center or neighborhood clubhouse if you could use the exterior of their property for your event.
3. Be Specific on the Invites
When a recipient opens your invitation, there should be no confusion over what type of event it will be. The words "Drive-By Baby Shower" should be clear and prominent on the page. Be sure to include simple, easy-to-follow details and directions so everyone knows exactly what to expect.
Worried about what to say or which design to choose? Don't be.
As these events become more popular, stationary designers are catching onto the trend. Now, it's easy to find invitation templates designed specifically for drive-by events, including birthdays, wedding showers, and baby showers.
Check out our Printable Drive By Baby Shower Invitations to get started! This 5x7 editable invite is ready for you to add all the important details, including the parents' names, time, and location of your event. When you're all done, you can print the PDF or JPG file right from home!
4. Schedule Guests in Shifts
On the invite, include a designated time slot for the shower. One to two hours are usually enough time to accommodate everyone, but you can make it shorter or longer depending on the size of your guest list.
Want to make sure everyone doesn't drive up at once? To avoid a neighborhood traffic jam, require attendees to send in an RSVP. When they do, you can respond via email, phone, or text and let them know their specific 10-to-15-minute shift to arrive.
This way, everyone can have some one-on-one time with the guests without concern over others encroaching on their personal space. If your guest list is extra-long, it may be easier to double up on the shifts to avoid over-tiring the guest of honor!
5. Go All Out With Decor
This is one part of the shower that a pandemic can't touch! Feel free to get as festive as you want when decorating the driveway or front yard of your property. If you're setting up in front of a clubhouse or civic center, make sure to get permission from the venue owners first and follow all of their guidelines.
Need a few ideas to get started?
Blow up fancy balloons and tie them to the mailbox. Or, group multiple balloons together to create an eye-catching archway or geometrical display. You can also make or purchase oversized letters to create a sign with a simple message, such as "Mama" or "Congrats"!
On your invitations, encourage guests to decorate their vehicles with balloons or signs to give a visual shout-out as they pull into view. They can even wear a festive or funny costume, or dress up to the nines in formalwear! The key is to have fun with the theme and make the shower as special as it can be.
Want to really set the mood and get the party started? Create a special playlist to crank up throughout the shower, full of feel-good songs about parenthood, growing up, and celebrating new arrivals. Ask the new parents to send you a few of their favorite suggestions, and throw in a few of your own.
These are all sweet ways to let everyone who drives past know that there's something special going on! You might even get a few honks from well-wishing passersby.
6. Encourage and Allow Gifts
It's always helpful to add registry details to a baby shower invite, if applicable. This way, everyone knows exactly where to go to find the perfect present. If you're sending digital invitations, a link to the registry website is usually all that's needed.
Remember: People still want to shower this little one with gifts and adoration, even if they have to do it differently than expected.
While you can certainly designate someone to sanitize everything before it comes inside, it's best to allow them that opportunity. This is especially the case if you were previously planning an in-person shower, as many people may have already purchased their gifts beforehand.
7. Prepare Goodie Bags
In the spirit of giving, you can also prepare little goodie bags to give to guests before they drive away.
Unfortunately, those much-loved, traditional finger foods and homemade snack platters aren't exactly appropriate for a socially distanced party. Instead of a communal treat, you can individually wrap cookies or store-bought snacks and distribute them safely. Our "Thank You For Popping By" stickers are ideal on a small bag of popcorn!
Want to stick to the theme? Another cute idea is to hand out individual bottles of hand sanitizer as an on-trend takeaway!
Our Hand Sanitizer Labels are a cute touch and perfectly fit any one-ounce bottle. Each sheet includes 30 stickers, which can also pull double duty on favor boxes, gift bags, and candy jars. You can also adorn any extras with our "Thank You For Driving By" stickers, which add personality to any trinket or sweet you distribute.
8. Make Mama Comfy
All of your shower guests get to drive up in their plush car seats, with the A/C blasting or the heated seats activated, depending on the weather. The mom-to-be should be equally comfortable for the duration of the event!
While there won't be any sitting and mingling, you'll still need to position a few tables and chairs outside. The tables will hold the gifts she receives, as well as the goodie bags she gives out. Set up the chair in a strategic spot where the new mom can see everyone from a safe distance but isn't too hot or cold.
Keep cool drinks and refreshments on hand to keep her satiated. As fun as a baby shower can be, it can also be physically and mentally draining and those thoughtful touches will make a big difference.
9. Record the Event
Before the first car arrives, designate someone to film the procession and take pictures throughout the event, making sure to respect social distance boundaries at all times. This is a memory that the parents will want to cherish forever, even (especially) if it is a little out of the ordinary.
Years from now, this will serve as a type of time capsule that represents everything hard, beautiful, and life-changing that happened during this unique period. You'll be glad you captured it on film!
10. Plan a Zoom Later
Want to avoid the rush of opening gifts as each person arrives? You can always thank each person for the present, add it to the gift table, and invite everyone to join you online later for a virtual unwrapping!
This allows the parents-to-be plenty of time to savor and truly appreciate every item they receive, from packs of diapers to handmade quilts. If you're planning to do this, make sure to add the details to your invitation so everyone knows how to log on.
Once all the presents are opened and the thank-yous are exchanged, ask everyone to stay online for a while longer. This is a great time to play a few party games! From Pictionary to Baby Charades, there are plenty of virtual baby shower games to choose from. Utilize the chat feature on your video platform to designate groups and make the games more interactive.
A Unique Shower for a Special Moment
There's no denying that the past year has transformed much of what we hold dear. The events we loved to attend, the shops we enjoyed frequenting, and even the offices we commuted to all look different, now.
Yet, amid all of these major life changes, we can still find plenty of opportunity for joy and celebration.
A drive-by baby shower reminds us that even in the midst of significant, difficult change, we can look for and embrace the good. As you prepare to host this event for that special mama in your life, we'd love to help.
Feel free to browse our online store to find everything you need for the shower, including invites, gifts, and supplies. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team.