In past years, men weren’t basically as invested in raising their kids as they are today. Nowadays, fathers try to participate in all events that involve their little ones: from birthday parties to graduation ceremonies.
But the real question is, are men invited to a baby shower, or is it a mom-only tradition?
Traditionally speaking, men are certainly not invited to a baby shower, and they don’t really want to attend this event. However, recently, some couples have selected a more general approach in which both men and women come to celebrate a baby shower. In some scenarios, fathers even host a baby shower just for men as a wipes and diaper party.
In past years, the attitude towards child care and pregnancy has shifted significantly. So, it’s normal for dads to attend their little ones’ baby shower. However, you should keep in mind that the happiness of the mom-to-be is important. So, if she doesn’t want males at her baby shower, you should not force her.
In the end, the decision is completely up to the parents about which gender they want at their party. If you cannot decide, there is always an option to host a co-ed baby shower.
Keep on reading to learn possible traditions and etiquettes of today’s baby showers!
Baby Shower History
Let’s start with a little history about baby showers.
If you want to stick with history, then a baby shower is certainly a no-no event for men. The God-parents of a child oversaw the earliest arrangements of gift-giving and baby showers. In the Middle Ages, God-parents used to deliver gifts to their God-children on the day of their baptism.
Afterward, individuals would give a birth tray, known as Desco da parto, to the mom-to-be that contains well-wishes and intricate pictures. This approach was to represent the fruitful birth of their child. Since maternal and infant mortality was not uncommon in those times, successful motherhood and childbirth were celebrated extravagantly.
The modern etiquettes and traditions of the baby shower came after WWII in around the 1950s or 1960s. In those baby showers, women would gather and offer household goods and commodities to a mother. The main idea behind this approach was to offer parents some financial relief during the baby care procedure.
In traditional baby showers, only women were invited, including family, friends, and some selected coworkers. Baby showers provided women some time to talk about childhood, pregnancy, and motherhood, topics that were impossible to discuss around men.
However, nowadays, men are more mature and want to spend more quality time with their children. They want to savor all the little moments to create a better bond with their little ones, including moments before and after the birth of their children.
Baby Shower Traditions and Etiquettes Today
Present-day baby showers are more intimate and casual compared to traditional ones. The question about who gets invited to a baby shower completely depends upon expectant parents. You can either hold a formal party at an expensive venue or celebrate your baby shower at your home with your close friends and family members.
Generally speaking, if the couple is hosting a co-ed baby shower, the expected guest will be both men and females who will bring gifts that will help you raise your kid. In most parties, both genders will probably feature a similar attitude and will be close in age. On the other hand, if a family member is throwing baby showers, the male attendance will surely skew towards the earlier generation.
Of course, just like a traditional baby shower, both male and female guests will bring gifts, including diapers, wipes, and other baby products. While most parents prefer women-only baby showers, mixed-gender and co-ed baby showers are surely becoming more and more popular.
Keep in mind that a mom’s happiness is all that matters. So, if your partner does not want men at her baby shower, you can simply host your own version of baby showers. These kinds of baby showers are known as a “Diaper Party” or “Bachelor Party.”
Co-ed Baby Shower Etiquette
Before hosting or attending a co-ed baby shower, it’s important you know some baby shower etiquette, such as the following.
Whether it is a women-only baby shower or a co-ed one, gifts are a must-have. Usually, both mother and child end up with a large haul of gifts after a baby shower. You can give several products at a baby shower, including diapers, breast pumps, toys, baby clothes, and some luxury products, depending on your relationship.
If you are invited to a mixed-gender baby shower, don’t forget to get a gift for the father. It doesn’t mean you have to buy something specifically for dad; there are several items available in the market that you can give to a dad-to-be, such s edible treats, kitchen gadgets, baby carriers, and diaper bags.
Keep in mind that you are in a baby shower. So, no more talk about work or sports. While women may share some stories about their childbirth and pregnancy experience, men won’t be keen on debating postpartum and prenatal care.
There is a chance that the dad-to-be is as nervous as his partner and wants some coaching on how to help the mom-to-be. Therefore, it’s best to invite some veteran fathers to your co-ed party that can give you some useful advice while ladies talk about their pregnancy and stuff.
Delicious and fresh food is a must-have at any party, including baby showers. If you are hosting a traditional female-only baby shower, you can get blue or pink baby-themed treats and dainty finger foods. However, you should have some more substantial foods for your co-ed gathering.
It’s always best to host a cookout-style co-ed baby shower and make the father in charge of grilling. With this approach, he will be able to play a more important role at the baby shower.
Ideas and Traditions for Co-ed Baby Showers
It’s always helpful to have some ideas for your baby showers. If it’s your first co-ed baby shower, the following tips will surely help you out a lot.
Have Co-ed Planners and Hosts
To host a mixed-gender baby shower, it’s always best to have both male and female hosts. This approach will offer two diverse perspectives to help you balance out both feminine and masculine aspects of your baby shower.
To make things more balanced, it would be best if the best friend of the father and best friend of the mother join forces. It will create a party that both genders will enjoy equally. Many parents recommend hosting your baby shower on your own because it will offer both happiness and satisfaction.
Heartier, More Filling Food
Yes, traditional baby shower foods include finger sandwiches and pastel cookies. However, if you are throwing a co-ed shower, you should incorporate more filling, heavier food into the menu. The most successful menu options for a mixed-gender baby shower are buffet-style full lunches and backyard barbeques.
If your partner is comfortable, you can even add some alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers to the menu so that the father can celebrate with his friends while the mother enjoys some mocktails and pregnancy stories.
Several traditional entertainment ideas are available out there, such as examining the mother’s belly with a string and blindfolded baby products tasting. However, these games are surely not for male attendants.
Therefore, you should modify some couple games such as pacifier beer pong and a simple trivia about parents. In some baby showers, guys and girls even compete with each other at different games, including bottle chugging contests, stroller races, and many more.
Gender Neutral Shower Favors
It’s worth taking into note that a baby shower is not all about getting gifts. It’s also a concrete approach to show your gratitude and thank guests for attending.
If you are hosting a traditional baby shower, you can surely end your baby shower by offering feminine party favors and beauty products. However, this approach is certainly not for co-ed parties. For mixed-gender baby showers, you should offer chocolate and other treats that everybody can enjoy.
Another great idea for co-ed shower favors is offering your guests sparkling juice bottles, mini champagne, or personalized honey jars.
We hope you have understood that baby showers are no longer limited to females. Nowadays, dad-to-be wants to participate in all events that involve their children. Therefore, most couples are now hosting mixed-gender showers that are appropriate for both males and females.
Keep in mind that both traditional and co-ed baby showers have different etiquettes and traditions. So, if you are hosting a gender-neutral baby shower, you should follow all of its etiquettes, including gifts etiquette, food etiquette, and conversation etiquette.
Furthermore, if the mom-to-be is not feeling comfortable hosting a mixed-gender baby shower, you should not force her. Instead, you can throw your own version of a baby shower that will only include guys and a lot of fun!