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Baby Shower Q&A:
Long Distance Showers



I am looking for some suggestions on how to throw a baby shower when the mom-to-be lives in another state and will not be able to attend the local event.  Should you do that and how do you go about it?

Yes, definitely throw a shower for her since people who know the mom to be will be interested in celebrating the new life that will be starting.  For more information on how to go about having a long distance shower, read our article The Long Distance Shower


Q: Invitations for Baby Shower Guests Too Far Away to Attend?

See our suggestions for handling the question of how to send baby shower invitations to distant family and friends.


Any suggestions for "having" a baby shower for someone (military transfer from WA to NC, husband now in Iraq) who has moved away before the baby is born (due Oct)?  Something via mail and try to have presents all arrive on the same day?  Possibly flowers delivered?  All family and friends are in WA and no one is going to be able to travel before baby arrives?  She has not been there long enough to make many friends and $ wise could really benefit from some kind or organized gift giving or "shower"??? Suggestions???  Thanks, K

It is wonderful that you are thinking about your loved one at this important time in her life.  It is always difficult going through a pregnancy with the best support systems so I can only imagine how she is feeling especially when her husband is serving his country in Iraq.

To answer your question, you can definitely have a long distance shower and there can be a number of ways to approach this.  When it comes to gift giving, you could ask guests to order via catalogue and have the items delivered to the expectant mom near the day of the shower.  Many stores will gift wrap items before delivery so you could give her explicit instructions not to peak at the presents before the shower.  Other alternatives are cash gifts or gift cards that can either be collected at the shower or directly mailed to her.

For the shower itself, there are a lot of options available thanks to technology.  You can video tape the shower with each guest recording a special message or you can do a web cast where she can watch the shower live.  It is very easy to hook up a computer to a television (although don’t ask me exactly how to do that) and she can watch all of you from the comforts of her couch and interact by chatting live.  If you are just taping with a video camera, arrange a phone call so everyone can give her their well wishes over the phone.

Lastly, sending her some flowers on the big day is an excellent idea and I would strongly suggest it.  All the best and I hope your shower goes well no matter how she decides.


My pregnant sister lives out of state but she will be coming out to visit us before baby arrives.  I am planning a surprise baby shower for her but I am not sure what to do about the gifts since she won’t be able to take much back with her.  What should I suggest for the gifts?

Gifts can always be a big concern at showers and having the mother to be living out of town just adds a new element to the problem.  If you can, I would ask everyone to bring a gift card for the mom to be - one that can be used at a retail store or online.  If people would like to purchase gifts instead of cards, ask them to bring a picture of the gift they are purchasing and to have the present delivered to the expectant mother’s home or at an outlet close in the town where the expectant mother lives.  It might not be the ideal for everyone but it will be the ideal for the expectant mother.


Should I book accommodations for out of town guests that are flying in for the baby shower?

I wouldn’t book accommodations, but I would suggest placing the numbers for a hotel in the invitations that you send to out of town guests.  Give them a few choices and make sure that the hotels are nice ones in good neighbourhoods.  After that, it is up to your guests to book the accommodations if they want them.


My best friend is having her FIRST baby and we all live in different states (family, friends and relatives).  I know that family, friends and relatives would love to send her a baby gift.  She really needs the basics.  Is it ok to send out initiations to let family, friends and relatives know that she  is having a boy and where she is registered?  If so, how would I kindly give them a date to send their gift so she can have it before the baby arrives? How should I word the whole invitation? -Paula

Your questions are very good and quite common since more and more people are moving farther and farther away from their family. Basically, in your case, you are left with the option of hosting a long distance shower and there are a number of ways to do this. 

The first thing that I would recommend is to read our article titled The Long Distance Shower. There are a lot of ideas there on how to handle a shower when everyone lives far away.

The next thing that I would recommend is to make your invitation into a baby shower/pregnancy announcement.  Word the card to discuss how excited everyone is and how you are having a small luncheon or dinner for your pregnant friend.  Explain your idea of providing her with gifts at this shower and offer to be the delivery person for friends and family that live out of town or state.  Give your address and let them know that if they would like to send a gift or a card, to send it to your address.  You can then give the gifts to the mom-to-be at your special outing or, if you are having a small shower, at the shower. 

A great way to encourage gifts is to set up an account on a photo-sharing site.  Send the login information with the invitation/announcement and offer to post pictures of the shower so that out of town guests can see the mom-to-be opening the gifts at the very least.  If you receive a lot of gift cards, plan a shopping day and take pictures to upload as well.  People will really enjoy seeing the enjoyment the mom to be will receive from their gifts.  Not only will they be able to see pictures of a pregnant family member or friend but you can always keep the account open to share photos of baby when he or she arrives.

The only other recommendation that I would make is to list where she is registered but be prepared to receive more gift cards than actual presents since the cost of shipping is much lower when you send a gift card.


My daughter lives out of state - across the country for that matter! We would like to send invitations for a long-distance baby shower asking for gift cards, cash, whatever to help the couple on their way but don't know how to word it.  The mother-to-be is registered on and Babies R Us.  May we include that information on the invitation? This is their first child-baby boy and they deserve  to have a shower, but we don't want to sound greedy!  Thanks for your help! -Karin

Congratulations on becoming a grandmother (either for the first time or again).  Long distance showers are becoming very common and it is not unusual to send invitations or requests for gifts if people can't attend. 

What I would recommend doing is to send an announcement about the baby and when he is expected to arrive.  At that point, you should include some information on what you will be doing for a shower.  This could be something like,

"Everyone, both near and far, are invited to a baby shower for my daughter, which will be held on (date).  We know that not everyone can attend but if you would like to send a card or a gift, please send them to (your address so you can take them to the shower)."

It is perfectly fine to list where your daughter is registered and to recommend gift cards for one of those places, but don't request cash as that can often be a sore spot for people.  Make sure that however you word it, it doesn't sound like a present grab.  Leave it up to them, stress that she would love to hear a few words from them more than the gift.  Most people will want to send a gift along with a card but leaving it open will keep people from feeling pressured.

The only other recommendation that I would recommend is to read our 8 Step Guide, which touches on long distance showers and to also read our article specifically on long distance showers.


Is it appropriate to send shower invitations to people who live far away and you know will be unable to attend, or should you just send announcements once the baby is born? -Rebecca

Thank you for contacting with your question.  It is perfectly appropriate to send a shower invitation to people who won't be able to attend.  This is simply a courtesy to say that they are important enough to be invited and that they have been remembered. 

Even if they are unable to make it, they may decide to send a gift instead or at the very least a card.  One thing that you may do for out of town "guests" is set up a photo sharing account and include it in the invite. Word it similar to this, "If you are unable to attend, feel free to browse the pictures of the party at (photo share account)."  Make sure you provide a login and password if those are necessary.


We want to have a wrapping shower for my daughter that is out of state, so when I go out to see her, she will be able to unwrap them. My problem is I don't know how to word the invitation. Any suggestions?

That is a wonderful idea and I think it would be a big hit.  For wording your invitation, I would put something like, "Wrapped in love, showered with happiness, a new little bundle will be joining us soon.  We ask you to celebrate with us but saving the wrapping of gifts until you arrive at our door."


My son and wife are expecting their first child.  They live 700 miles from family and friends.  Due to budget constraints, family members are unable to travel.  Therefore no baby shower has been planned. Is it within reason to send a pregnancy announcement stating where the happy couple have registered so gifts may be sent? Please advise.

Congratulations on the upcoming arrival of a grandchild.  It is very common for families to live long distances apart and for that reason, more and more people are faced with challenges such as the one you are faced with.

There are a number of ways that you can celebrate the upcoming new baby and we talk about them in our article The Long Distance Baby Shower.  This will give you a lot of ideas on how to have a successful shower for your son and his wife without them being there.

In regards to your question, it is appropriate to send out a pregnancy announcement but don't make the request for presents the focus.  Simply state how excited you are about the pregnancy and then put in finer print at the bottom, similar to a post script, that they are registered at (the store).

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