Host a Baby Pool Along With Your Baby Shower
No, the Baby Pool Shower Game is not an actual swimming pool!
A baby pool is a game where each participant guesses the birthday, gender, length, and weight of the little one on the way. Whoever's guess is closest wins the game.
Hosting a baby pool is a great way for your friends, family and co-workers to share in the joy of your pregnancy and a new life. Loved ones near and far can all get into the action!
The Guessing Period: You usually want to start your baby pool several weeks before the baby shower. This way, you'll have plenty of time to collect guesses from your friends, family and co-workers who may not be attending the baby shower.
The baby shower would be the main event for everyone to get their guesses into the pool, and the guessing period should end at the conclusion. If that timing doesn't exactly work for you, you'd generally want the guessing period to end at least one month before the due date to keep things as fair as possible.
What to Guess: Since simply guessing on one measurement would result in a lot of ties, each participant should guess on three or four of the following baby measurements:
- Gender: Since many know the baby's gender before birth, it may be hard to keep it a secret.
- Birthdate: This is probably the most exciting thing to guess, as everyone has their own theories about whether the baby will be early or late.
- Length: Whole inches are usually enough. If you're expecting a lot of participants, you can use partial inches (quarter, half, etc.).
- Weight: In pounds and ounces. You probably won't be able to get a measurement more precise than an ounce.
- Time of day: By hour and 15-minute increments. You could get more precise, such as down to the minute. Anything less than that is not very practical!
Calculating the winner: After the baby is born and the measurements are known, you can determine who the lucky winner is. Take the difference between the baby's actual measurements and each guess and assign a score weight for each scoring category. The following is a sample scoring system:
- 5 points per day off – past or before. There is no "going over."
- 5 points per ounce off. There is no "going over."
- 10 points per inch off. There is no "going over."
- 400 points if the gender. You better get this 50/50 chance right! And check to see if the expecting parents already know the gender!
For example, suppose a baby boy's birthdate is June 24, with a weight of 7 lbs., 7 oz. and a length of 21 in. Someone guessing male, June 26, 8 lbs. and 19 in. would score (400 X 0) + (2 days X 5) + (9 oz X 5) + (2 in. X 10) = 65.
The participant with the lowest score wins! Anyone guessing the gender wrong is pretty much out of the running! It can be cumbersome to calculate the score by hand, so it would be best to use a baby pool hosting site to help you out with this. More on this later!
Collecting Guesses: There is no better way to collect guesses than at the baby shower. People don't check emails, forget, etc. Remember to have a sheet at the baby shower for people to write down their guesses!
Great for fathers-to-be: Running a baby pool is certainly a very male thing to do. Have the father-to-be organize and run it – it's a great way for him to be involved while mother-to-be is getting all the attention.
The Stakes ... and Etiquette
Etiquette: When I ran the baby pool for my son, everyone had a great time and got into it. But I did receive an email from a cousin's friend who wrote: "Don't you have anything better to do than to gamble on the birth of your son?" At first, I was confused.
- First, my son's baby pool did not require a monetary stake. Of course, anyone who did not put money into the pool was not eligible to win any money either!
- Second, I was not even participating in the pool myself. I was only organizing it so everyone else could have fun.
I concluded that this guy needed to LIGHTEN UP. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure how he got invited in the first place!
There is nothing wrong with hosting a baby pool. It's just a game, and it's all for fun! Your loved ones are excited for you and want to participate in the pregnancy. Baby pools are a way to keep them involved!
There are rules to be followed, of course. The mom and dad must not participate in the pool, as they have the inside scoop. The baby pool deadline must be enforced, as those guessing later would have an unfair advantage. The mom and dad-to-be must also not give unfair data to anyone in the pool (for example, the estimated weight during routine sonograms would certainly provide an unfair advantage). It's just a game, but a game is most fun when it's fair!
The Stakes: The stakes on the baby pool are really what you feel comfortable with. Nothing adds excitement like a friendly wager. You could set a contribution per guess for each participant, with the pot going to the winner. $5 or $10 is common. Some pools have a percentage or all of the pot going to the parents as part of a "baby shower contribution." Others just have all the money going to the winner.
One of my friends organized a baby pool which did not involve money, but rather the winner received a free prize from him. No one was required to contribute money for my son's baby pool. The best scoring guess from those that contributed money took the prize.
Remember, it's all about having fun, so do whatever you feel comfortable with.
Hosting the Pool
Now that you know how it all works, how do you pull it off?
- Doing it the old paper-and-pen way is certainly an option, though collecting the guesses and calculating the scores would be time-consuming.
- You could also set up an Excel spreadsheet, which would make the calculations a lot easier. It wouldn't help much with collecting guesses though.
The easiest thing to do would be to signup for a Baby Pool Hosting website or platform. There are many of them out there and you can find one that is free. You could find a website that manages the pool, send invitations, collect guesses, calculate the scores and winners and send email notifications.
Below is a list of some of the baby pool hosting websites.
Baby Pool Hosting Websites
BebePool.com is free and also collects more guessable measurements, like hair color, eye color and collects suggested names. The games are not private, so anyone can guess on your pool.
Cost: $19.95 for Unlimited
Includes features like blogs, polls, pictures, etc. Pricing is based on the number of participants.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Cheryl on May 14, 2012:
https://www.untilithappens.com/ is a great site. The site allows for personal themes, online journal, image upload and allow others to suggest names. The baby pools are customizable so you can choose exactly what you want people to guess on. I used it and love it!
Christina on April 02, 2012:
Just used this baby pool site for my baby shower: http://untilithappens.com . It's free.
delo on November 24, 2010:
Are children allowed to play the game under 10?
event planning on July 23, 2010:
I will use this idea for my next event. Thank you
Kenny on July 08, 2010:
That sounds like a great idea. Too bad I'm never invited to baby showers! I guess I'd eat all the finger food.
OnlineBabyPools.com on May 10, 2010:
Online Baby Pools is a great site. Check it out.