The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Co-Ed Baby Shower
As our times change to have a more inclusive world, we are seeing this pattern ripple into the birth world, too! Sayonara to the days of separated baby showers where mom disappears for most of the day, most likely whisked away looking fit to see the queen, her partner is summoned at the end to help deliver the carloads of gifts back home. As women are taking control of the births, their partners are also becoming residually empowered to be more involved in the birth process.
More: 5 Alternatives to a Traditional Baby Shower
A traditional baby shower isn’t completely out yet, but it certainly is not everyone's style. For the expectant couples that prefer a modern approach to celebrating their baby, a co-ed baby shower may be the perfect fit.
Why You Should Have a C0-Ed Baby Shower
- There are a few reasons that a co-ed shower may be better for you and your partner's style. First, it takes the pressure off of mom. Coordinating baby showers is something we are well familiar with at Tranquility by HeHe Maternity Concierge Services and we often hear expectant moms say they do not want to open gifts in the front of the room while everyone watches. Many times, expectant moms don't love the idea of having all eyes on them while they are seven months pregnant and battling the back pain, heartburn, and some pretty unapologetic flatulence (thanks, baby). A co-ed shower shares in both parties that made this baby (to include all babies conceived in love or otherwise), birth this baby, and help shape this baby into a functioning human of society. That's a big task and they both deserve to be celebrated!
- Another great reason to have a joint shower is to allow rookie dads to connect with veteran dads. This is a great way for expecting dads to chat with seasoned dads who can give honest answers to brutally honest questions. We often hear male partners say that they have questions, but aren't sure who to ask. Finding a mentor dad friend is a wonderful option.
- Finally, village bonding. This is a great way to get all of the members of your village together. Allow your village to meet one another. Allow them to make connections. The more your village is a cohesive team (not strangers that hear of one another in one-off conversations), the easier your life will be! I promise.
If you decide to plan a co-ed baby shower, these are the steps you will need to take in the planning process:
Ask the Parent-to-Be
It’s so easy to get caught up in planning that we forget to consider the people the party is actually being thrown for. This is a great pace to start. You can ask about their expectations and themes that they prefer (and themes they dislike!). It's nice to get their input because you want this to be a memorable event for them too.
Pro Tip: Consider both perspectives by asking a male friend to help you. This step is not essential, but has proved to be super helpful. It can be a great way to keep the theme, decorations, games, and ambiance of the event as neutral as possible. Having both parties represented during planning will ensure a seamless party day.
Choose a Theme
The theme will appear throughout the shower so consider your guest list when thinking of themes. When choosing a theme, make sure you are able to incorporate it throughout the entire shower. For example, if your theme is 'Honey Bee Shower," you could have "Honey Punch" as a drink, have a station for "Advice for the Parents to Bee," and give tiny jars of honey as party favors! You’re theme will be the center point of everything so be sure to pick something that is fun, neutral, and easy to plan for. You want to consider decorations and food when thinking of a theme.
Pro Tip: Use inclusive language on the invites and when planning decorations/games for the shower. Since this is a party for couples and friends of both parties, you'll want to avoid gender-specific language. Be mindful to use labels and words that are friendly to female, male, and non-binary guests.
Create + Mail Invites
Staying with the theme, creating party invites is a crucial step. Invitations should include the date, time, and place of the event, and if there are any dress requirements or anything they need to know to be festive for the theme. Also, include any information about baby shower gifts. Finally, you'll want to include an RSVP so you can get an idea of how many people will be attending.
Managing the invitations also brings the responsibility of creating an invite list. Again, asking the couple who they'd like to be invited will be crucial to the energy of the party. When thinking about guests, you want to consider if this is a party meant for their friends, their family, or a mix.
Keeping with theme, food and drinks can be an incredibly easy way to get creative and have fun. It will also serve as great conversation starters for people who don’t know one another. Be sure to serve more than dainty sandwiches and skewers of tomatoes and cucumbers. This is a party to more than just women and people will expect to be fed. A few good options that are always crowd pleasers are pizza, wings, fruit trays, veggies trays, taco bars, and burgers. Incorporating a grilling experience is a great uplevel for any summer baby shower.
Ask parents to be if they have any games they’d like to play. If they do not, you can ask every guest (include this request in the invitation) to bring a baby picture of themselves for a game. As guests arrive they turn in their photos to the host (or in a basket) who will then hang them up. The parents-to-be must identify everyone by their baby picture! You can also play non-cliche baby shower games that everyone will have fun with like “The Beer Bottle Game” and “Lost Sock Hunt”. Other fun games ideas:
Gifts or No Gifts?
In lieu of gifts, the parents-to-be may choose to have the money used for other things like a diaper find (a fund to help purchase diapers for the first year) or to donate the money to a charity of choice. Parents may also ask guests to bring a book as a gift to help build baby’s library.
Shower guests can pitch in to purchase larger gifts like a glider or luxury services like a Maternity Concierge. If you choose to include gift giving, remember to ask the expecting couple what themes/colors/prints/designs they have picked out for their baby's room and belongings.You will need to provide your guests with the links to the registry as well as any gifts requests like bringing a book.
Pro Tip: “Giving gifts” doesn’t have to look like traditional gifts. Instead you can ask for everyone to brings books or diapers. Everyone could bring gift cards for restaurants nearby for when the family is newly postpartum. A few people could pitch in together to give the family a meal subscription box for or an Amazon Prime subscription for one year.
Choose Party Favors
Staying with the theme, this is a great way to create a fun way for your guests to take home a piece of the party. Sticking with the Honey Bee idea, you may decide to give tiny jars of honey or honey flavored snacks.
Call For Help
Ask for volunteers to help the day of the shower. People love to play a special role in a big event so ask them to help with clean up, packing gifts in the car after the shower, keeping the thank you book as gifts are opened, and pictures in each stage of the shower.
Pro Tip: It’s so special to get a picture of the parents-to be with every guest at the shower, in a group or individually. You can use the sign-in book as a way to make sure you get everyone and ask guests to let you know before they leave so you can make sure they get their picture and party favor.
Write Thank You's
As a Maternity Concierge, I like to take one final piece of work off of our clients hands by writing thank you notes on their behalf! Thank recipients for coming and share that you really enjoyed being able to provide the expectant parents a time to be celebrated. If gifts are given, get your hands on the gift book and throw in something special/sentimental about the gift! *Ask the parents before doing this. Sometimes it is a very special thing for parents to write thank you notes to their guests.
Pro tip: Have a station at the shower that has envelopes + pens, plus a cute sign that says "You've got mail! Write your address." This saves you a simple, yet time consuming step and gives you a double-check to make sure you get everyone!
Hosting a co-ed baby shower is no different than a traditional baby shower except that it’s more inclusive. It’s not any extra work and there are no extra steps. It’s very easy to make simple shifts in colors, themes, and language to make this baby shower a true gift of love from everyone special in your loved ones life.
For more co-ed baby shower themes, follow FamilyEducation on Pinterest:
Was this article helpful?
HeHe is an experienced Doula, Childbirth consultant and Infant Feeding Specialist. She is the founder of a Maternity Concierge, Doula and Birthing Service in Boston, MA.