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Gender Reveal Parties: Sweet or Silly?

Oct 4, 2012

by Michelle Horton

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Michelle Horton is the founder of Early Mama — a site that encourages and inspires anyone who started a family on the “earlier” end of the parenting spectrum — and is a regular contributor to Babble.com and Disney Baby

Having a baby — especially your first baby — is one of the most celebratory times you’ll ever have. The post-positive-stick fervor, the baby shower, the abounding well wishes from strangers — and more recently, the hundreds of “likes” and comments cheering you on via social media.

Modern pregnancy isn’t exactly what it used to be — with monthly belly silhouettes on Pinterest, uploaded sonogram photos on Facebook, and late-night pregnancy indulgences documented on Instagram.

And that brings us to the newest, fastest-growing trend in modern pregnancy: Gender Reveal Parties.

Let’s back up. Once upon a time there were two options for expectant parents: either find out your baby’s gender from the all-knowing ultrasound tech, or don’t. But increasingly there’s another person factored into the equation: a local baker.

In the case of a Gender Reveal Party, the ultrasound tech hands the parents-to-be a sealed envelope containing the big news (no peeking!), which is then handed over to a baker. That baker, holding privileged information that no one else knows, will then make a cake filled with pink or blue frosting, which the expectant couple will cut open at a party of big or small proportions. (Or they just privately cut the cake open for millions of YouTube viewers and hundreds of Facebook friends to see.)

It’s not just baked goods, of course. Take a quick scan of Gender Reveal Parties on Pinterest and you’ll see boxes filled with pink or blue balloons let go into an open field. You’ll see gender-reveal brunches with creative twists on blue- or pink-filled foods. You’ll see Team Pink vs. Team Blue party games (which might involve some type of light-hearted gambling for the party guests), and specific Gender Reveal decoration ideas. It’s an entire genre here on Etsy, with thousands of handmade items ranging from party invitations to custom signs to scratch-off cards.

What used to be a private joy shared behind closed doors is now instantly available for compulsive voyeuristic consumption. And like most invented traditions of our generation — think the elaborate engagement, the “push present,” etc. — social media has fueled the Gender Reveal phenomenon, making it into a household concept.

Here’s the question, though: Is the Gender Reveal Party trend just another example of our narcissistic over-sharing; of our “Look at me! Look at me!” generation? Or is it a sweet, well-meaning idea that involves the people you love in this momentous moment? A moment that’s emotional and heartfelt, which friends and family are honored to share with you?

There seems to be a fierce divide on the topic, with plenty of eye rolls and under-the-breath “how often do we need to celebrate you” comments — especially with baby showers often planned separately, and mere weeks apart. But after experiencing my sister’s recent Gender Reveal get-together (a small gathering of immediate family members), and after viewing a few of my distant friends’ Gender Reveal Facebook albums, there is a vicarious thrill in seeing someone’s life change so drastically, so suddenly. There’s happiness and cheering and tears — even millions of miles away. Even with someone you barely even know, if at all.

And, of course, there’s cake.

What do you think? Is it a sweet new trend or a silly, contrived celebration?

For more of Michelle’s writing, check out these posts on Babble.com:

Shop Baby Showers on Etsy

12 Baby Gender Reveal Scratch-off Cards // Grey Stork
12 Baby Gender Reveal Scratch-off Cards // Grey Stork
$8.00 USD
Baby Reveal Banners, Football Theme Gender Reveal, Baby Shower Banners, Pink Or Blue Banner, Maternity Photo Prop
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Cupcake Toppers: Gender Reveal Little Man or Little Miss Baby Shower - Die Cut Pink Girl Bow & Blue Boy Ties
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Gender Reveal Party Balloon Box Vinyl Decal Decor
Gender Reveal Party Balloon Box Vinyl Decal Decor
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3 Featured Comments

  • goblinesquerie

    goblinesquerie from goblinesquerie said 5 years ago Featured

    It seems like we are forgetting how to experience private, personal moments. Like it only feels real if shared with a hundred other people, even if those people are on the internet. I think it would be beneficial for us all to reign in the urge to share everything publicly, as it's happening, and take some time to have a thoughtful private moment first.

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 5 years ago Featured

    My husband and I found out our baby's gender when we were at the imaging center. On the way home, he requested we stop at Target, where he bought his daughter her first teddy bear and blanket. I've never seen him so excited, eager and happy. I'm very glad the look on his face that day is something that belongs to just me.

  • alipainting

    Ali Akell from alipainting said 5 years ago Featured

    There is definitely no right or wrong answer here. Just as some people have a wedding and invite 200 people, others would like to get married at city hall. Both are going to be special because it is a special event. Just because a certain type of experience isn't right for you doesn't mean it is stupid or self indulgent for someone else.

124 comments

  • sbanghart

    Sheena Lewis from BeautifulAgainBridal said 5 years ago

    As part of a couple who is have a lot of trouble conceiving - I think that when we finally do get pregnant, we will make a big deal out of it... It's exciting and with all the drama and sadness in the media and on TV - what's another celebration of family and the future? Poo on the naysayers. Be happy for each other.

  • BambuEarth

    Amber from BambuEarth said 5 years ago

    Oh, i just think this is the sweetest thing that people get to take part in finding out something so fun and exciting with you. I would love to watch my friends or family react to such news! I think it's one of the more genuine celebrations. Not just hearing the announcement of the news... but actually being able to join in with the news! Fun! ♥

  • RaineySB

    Shannon H said 5 years ago

    Oh, and there's heaps of gender essentialism, as well as cake. And the kid isn't even born yet! But that is part and parcel of most any kind of baby shower, I suppose.

  • deirdrejohnson

    Deirdre Johnson from DDDesigns4 said 5 years ago

    I think it is so sweet! Pun intended :)

  • pollymakes

    Polly Tucknott from PollyTucknott said 5 years ago

    Not a fan - feel it would add to even more gender stereo-typing - in the past pink was a boy's colour (the colour of washed out blood) but now it's all for girls, surely baby things should be a little more gender colour neutral and let the children make up their own minds?

  • goblinesquerie

    goblinesquerie from goblinesquerie said 5 years ago Featured

    It seems like we are forgetting how to experience private, personal moments. Like it only feels real if shared with a hundred other people, even if those people are on the internet. I think it would be beneficial for us all to reign in the urge to share everything publicly, as it's happening, and take some time to have a thoughtful private moment first.

  • cberez

    CB DESIGN'S from CBDesignsPR said 5 years ago

    So Sweet!!!

  • BuddingRose85

    BuddingRose85 said 5 years ago

    It's another terrible by-product of our consumer driven culture. It's basically another way for parents to say "LOOK AT ME! MAKE ME FEEL SPECIAL!". Noooo thank you.

  • slathered

    Sharon Moores from slathered said 5 years ago Featured

    My husband and I found out our baby's gender when we were at the imaging center. On the way home, he requested we stop at Target, where he bought his daughter her first teddy bear and blanket. I've never seen him so excited, eager and happy. I'm very glad the look on his face that day is something that belongs to just me.

  • AntoinettesWhims

    Antoinette from AntoinettesWhims said 5 years ago

    A bit of both. It's sweet in the fact it is excitement over the new little one being formed and I'm all for that. Silly in the fact that there seems to be Need for yet another party, presumably with a gift expected as though the shower and birth gifts were not enough already. Really there's only so much a little baby needs.

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    Darlene Jones from RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 5 years ago

    I had no idea there were such parties going on! Sounds like fun!

  • MilkAndHoneyNaturals

    MilkAndHoneyNaturals from MilkAndHoneyNaturals said 5 years ago

    This is really interesting - I had my twin boys 2 years ago, and this is the first I've heard of a gender reveal party. I think it's just fun, not to be over thought - but it would definitely depend on how everything was done. I think with immediate close family and very close friends, it could be fun, silly and totally intimate. In my case, where I knew I was only going to have the one pregnancy, then done - I think making the super exciting moments last longer, adds to the already special time. I don't see anything wrong with having a lot of fun while you're pregnant, because every mom knows, it's SUPER TIRED time for months after, with no time to party. Enjoy while you can!!

  • u683853

    Joan Berg from SwingCoat said 5 years ago

    A family getting together to share a wonderfully fun bit of news, & ndinner, a prayer, etc. What is wrong with that??

  • auntjanecan

    Jane Priser from JanePriserArts said 5 years ago

    Why not???

  • Meshii

    Rane' from Meshii said 5 years ago

    My husband and I haven't had children yet, but this is definitely happening when I get pregnant. I'm even excited now! LOL I can't wait to tell him about the party we're going to have!!! :-)

  • kellydesigns

    Kelly Hendershot from kellydesigns said 5 years ago

    I revealed the gender of my babies by giving birth, but these ideas would have been lots of fun had I known what we were having ahead of time. I love all of the ways to celebrate!

  • LivingVintage

    LivingVintage from LivingVintage said 5 years ago

    Great, if you have the time! Honestly, no one care except family and friends. I think a shower covers it.

  • sakurabathandbody

    Michelle from SakuraBathAndBody said 5 years ago

    The article didn't mention those of us who chose NOT to find out the gender until the birth. I know I am in the minority, but there are some who still enjoy waiting for that special announcement! I think the idea of a party is great, though, if you decide to find out in advance. I'm also one who feels that every baby should have a shower. Not for the gifts but for the celebration of birth!

  • davita

    Davita from Davita said 5 years ago

    My sister had a lot of trouble conceiving so when she did they made a big deal over every part of their pregnancy. They had a gender reveal party and I think it was a great way to celebrate the end of their massive heartache.

  • ohginger

    Meaghan O'Malley from ohginger said 5 years ago

    I'd just like to point that these parties, whether silly or serious, are SEX reveal parties. Sex is biological. GENDER is a social construct. It's what tells girls they should like dolls and pink, and it's what tells boys they should like trucks and dirt, and it's what confuses a lot of people when it comes to GENDER roles in marriages and partnerships, the role of women in the workplace, etc. It is constantly evolving as societies grow and change, and it's completely different than SEX, which is (like I said), biological (gonads, sex hormones, chromosomes, etc). I wish that regardless of what people choose to do with regard to their baby announcements, they at least get the terminology right.

  • Leslie23

    L. Matheney from LemonSweetJewelry said 5 years ago

    We had one and it was so much fun!! It's just celebrating a really fun part of life!!

  • SimplyNostalgic

    Dana Morenstein from SimplyNostalgic said 5 years ago

    In my opinion, it all seems very self indulgent. To each their own but I mean, if it's a few close friends I guess but why make it a big thing out of it. People have been having babies for centuries, it's not that big of a deal.

  • kirstycrabb

    Kirsty Lucas from PaperLanternMoth said 5 years ago

    I like the idea of these parties; fun event for friends and family to share in the great news etc, but what happens when you have just celebrated the fact you are going to have a girl all girly stuff bought and you end up giving birth to a boy, nothing wrong in the slightest of boys wearing pink but I am sure there will be some colourful presents that are definitely meant for girls :) I am pregnant at the moment with my 3rd (and last) child, and like with my other my other pregnancies my husband and myself decided not to know and leave it as a surprise and we had a little boy and then a little girl. Who knows which we'll get this time? *-*

  • recycledwares

    Nerrissa W from RecycledWares said 5 years ago

    I love the idea of the balloons coming out of the box - what a fun way to disclose the gender.

  • woolnimals

    Abby Emerson from Woolnimals said 5 years ago

    People are free to do what they will - whatever makes you happy. My only strong feeling about any of this is I wish people wouldn't release balloons into the sky - it's harmful to birds and animals. Maybe find a quieter, less destructive way to share your joy with the world. Sorry to be snarky, I just don't think we should encourage this practice for any type of celebration.

  • ACakeToRemember

    Kara from ACakeToRemember said 5 years ago

    I did a wedding cake for a bride who was expecting (another modern trend) and one of the tiers was pink inside so they could find out at their reception. I thought that was probably the most exciting wedding cake cutting ever, because they had their families all there and it was part of a bigger celebration. I don't know that a party just for a gender reveal is necessary, but if you want to have one then why not?

  • bedouin

    Nicole from Crackerjackarma said 5 years ago

    I'm always excited to hear of a new baby coming into the world ~ as to how its announced I think fads are fads , things come and go but a healthy beautiful blessing of a baby is never going to go out of style. I wouldn't dis the trends too much ~ the items just may become a etsy posting in 20 years after they are considered vintage ~*~

  • CafePrimrose

    Amanda Gynther from CafePrimrose said 5 years ago

    I dunno... Baby shower and baby gender party.... I dunno seems like a bit of over kill to me.... I don't know that I would do this and if I did it would probably be just with family. In this day and age given the costs related to having a baby I think we would find out the gender so we know how to decorate and what to plan for since I can't imagine we could afford two of everything..... So finding out makes sense. And I think people should do what makes them happy. It just seems like over kill to me.

  • bettinastreehouse

    Beth Laky from bettinastreehouse said 5 years ago

    Earlier this spring I experienced my first Gender Reveal party for my brother and sister-in-law. They invited immediate family and a handful of their closest friends - it was an intimate gathering with no gifts - just cupcakes filled with the appropriate colored icing. And this being the first baby on either side of the family, we were super-excited! I didn't view it as a "look at me" moment at all, but rather a joyful celebration that we would be welcoming a niece or nephew, grandson or granddaughter into the world. Practically speaking, the party also eliminated the wondering of who to tell first when the news broke - we all knew at the same time. Fun!

  • thevicagirl

    VaLon Frandsen from thevicagirl said 5 years ago

    I realy like this idea. I still haven't decided if I want to learn before birth or not. However, I don't have to worry about that since there is no baby in sight. But this sounds like a fun idea.

  • JulieMeyer

    Julie Meyer from JulieMeyer said 5 years ago

    It's one of the only true surprises in life. I didn't know with all three of my kids and had to tell lots of people repeatedly, yes I don't know the gender.

  • volkerwandering

    Jess from volkerwandering said 5 years ago

    This sounds adorable! Thumbs up!

  • ginasart8

    Gina Hammond from McGillhandmade said 5 years ago

    Life is short -why not enjoy every moment you can. Trivial to some but genuine fun to many others. I think it is nice. My neices and nephews have provided so much joy. Love. gh

  • isewcute

    June from isewcute said 5 years ago

    I don't think you need a reason to throw a party, just throw a party & have fun! This sounds like a great idea to me! Either way, there is joy at the end & babies are blessings!

  • LBHcozycreation

    James and Devan Draper from LBHcozycreation said 5 years ago

    Gender revealing parties are so fun to attend. We just had are own gender revealing party revealing the gender of our baby boy who will be here any day now! The due date is Oct 26th and Devan is so ready for the date to get here. If you are pregnant and want to tell your friends and family the gender of the baby then you should definitely have a gender revealing party.

  • AprilMarieMai

    AprilMarieMai from AprilMarieMai said 5 years ago

    Etsy admins, Gender and sex are not the same thing. Please learn to use the terms appropriately. It can be offensive when you do not.

  • wildthingz

    Andrea from wildthingz said 5 years ago

    I think it's a great idea.

  • kelly0711

    kelly0711 from kelly0711 said 5 years ago

    After much deliberation and then a last minute decision, we found out at our 20 week ultrasound and didn't tell anyone (except my brother and sister-in-law who live across the ocean in Japan). I don't regret it at all. I feel like it made the whole experience even more special to have it be a little secret between just the two of us for so long. It was also nice to avoid the barrage of pink that would have been thrust upon my little girl. By the way, her favorite color now at 2 is blue! :)

  • antonpn

    antonpn said 5 years ago

    I think gender reveal parties are a great way to make sure you don't get tons of pink outfits and toys for a baby girl. If people have to buy gender neutral stuff then you don't have to worry about pink overload. Don't get me wrong - pink is fine in moderation, but too much can be yuck. Having a baby is a big deal. I don't think a baby shower is narcissistic. I love baby showers.

  • ScoutsHonors

    Amelia Cartwright Brown from ScoutsHonors said 5 years ago

    Kinda cute, kinda frivolous. I only know of one couple who did a low key one, but they were TTC for a long time. But if people have the money, time & desire, let them eat their cake...albeit Pink or Blue:) A couple I know expecting & getting married will revel the gender inside their cake:) Thats pretty cool & is killing two birds with one stone. Modern Americans do celebrate an awful lot of events, which mostly are consumer driven.

  • LesleyWilsonArt

    Lesley from LesleyWilsonArt said 5 years ago

    I think it sounds like a lot of fun, but I hate that it seems to play into gender stereo types. Pink for girls blue for boys and certain expectations for both.

  • SnappingDragon

    Awun from SnappingDragon said 5 years ago

    It's not for me personally. I've never really liked the stereotypes of blue is for boys and pink is for girls. While it's an exciting thing to find out I think it is a moment better shared between the expecting couple. Also I agree with the person that said that releasing balloons is bad for birds and animals. While it's a cute idea the realities of that are not so cute.

  • MerCurios

    MerCurios from MerCurios said 5 years ago

    My brother and sister-in-law recently had one - just last week in fact! This is their second child, and after finding out she was pregnant my sister-in-law knew that she wanted to know the sex & share that with the family. The day the results were ready - without peeking - they drove immediately to the bakery and handed over the envelope with the results. That night, the family got together and with the cut of the cake everyone found out together that they were having another boy. :)

  • ansluasi

    ansluasi from OnceUponABookshop said 5 years ago

    It was a big deal when we found out that we were expecting a girl...the first little girl to be born into my husband's immediate family in 40 years. We waited until Thanksgiving to tell his mom, and we did it by giving her a pink teddy bear as a gift. She loved it and it got the message across. I think that a big party just to celebrate the gender reveal is over the top. It's fun to announce it to the most interested parties with a small token surprise gift, but anything more is a bit much.

  • stmb

    Evan and Steph from MyrtleBrown said 5 years ago

    OH I don't know...I went to a gender revealing party a few years ago and it was pretty fun! I thought it was a great way to bring everyone together and celebrate a new baby not to mention EVERYONE got into it!! Personally, it wouldn't be my style to be in the spotlight. But I'll take anyone up on a chance to hang out and laugh. I can't think of a better reason to celebrate!

  • jenbar95

    Jennifer from JellyLou said 5 years ago

    How sweet and fun! Children are such a joy!

  • entrpnr

    Bill from EpicScreens said 5 years ago

    How creative! This is a great idea. Don't listen to any negativity with your idea. Cake is cake, any reason is a good reason for cake. And no, it's not narcissistic. It's a happy celebration and you want to be able to share with others.

  • LeahBry

    LeahBry said 5 years ago

    I find this kind of disturbing: not because of trends in celebrations (celebrate however you'd like), but because of the gender normativity present in the "reveal." As an expecting parent, you may be able to determine the biological *sex* of your child before they're born, but not their *gender.* You'll need to wait for that small person to grow into their own gender identity, and hopefully celebrate it with them at that time, and as they build it for themselves.

  • SweetHoneybunch

    Jenny from SweetHoneybunch said 5 years ago

    Totally agree with Sharin Moores. I will never forget our tears of joy and excitement when the ultrasound tech told us what we were having with both of our children (not that we cared either way, it just made it all so real) and our flustered excitement afterward. I think this is a fun way to tell older siblings what their new brother or sister is though together as a family.

  • Iammie

    iammie from iammie said 5 years ago

    I enjoyed this post!

  • ChildhoodWonder

    ChildhoodWonder from ChildhoodWonder said 5 years ago

    I didn't really know these existed either. ha! I guess I had better catch up with the times. I really do think that whether they are wonderful moments of sharing, or silly somethings, is really in how they are handled. They can be wonderfully private intimate moments shared with friends and family, or an event of a voyeuristic nature, as some have mentioned, and in which the word 'friend' appears to have lost significance. It really can go both ways. I think it is sort of cute, if tastefully done.

  • thenakedbird

    Brooke Griffin from GideonAndBrisby said 5 years ago

    It is totally sweet AND totally silly. I'm sure I'd be excited to slice into that cake and find such momentous news out, it's totally a fun, cute way to do it. That being said, I think having a huge blowout for it is quite unnecessary and yes, I'd say a little narcissistic if you are planning to have a baby shower TOO! Some close family friends of mine have a tradition of going out to dinner, just with immediate, close family and they all open the ultrasound results there together. If you want to do that with balloons or cake or scratch off cards, all the same, but to have a big to-do about it...that's a little much.

  • DolceCaramella

    Kristina from HappyRainyDay said 5 years ago

    For some, these parties are for the togetherness and celebration of life and family. For others, these things are gift grabs. I think its important when considering a party like this, as well as any party or shower for that matter, to be internally aware of what your intentions are. For both of my pregnancies, my family insisted on throwing me baby showers. I agreed to the first one, but I got way too much unnecessary stuff. For my second child, I insisted my mother in law change the name to baby "celebration" on the invites and add a note that said, "Your presence is all the presents we need!"

  • LadyDanio

    Sarah from LadyDanio said 5 years ago

    Personally, I cannot STAND pale pink or baby blue, so therefore I'd prefer not to tell anyone what the baby's gender will be until the actual birth and subsequent announcement. Bring on the hot pink and turquoise! Though I am also not one of those people that doesn't want to know the baby's gender at all. Whatever - we have ultrasounds, so use 'em. Really, I come from a very low-key family, so all of these excessive celebrations are just sort of over the top for me.

  • jessicaeebel

    Jessica Ebel said 5 years ago

    I've never heard of that before. It seems pretty stupid to me, but I'm not for themed partied with theatrics. I do like the idea of sending out a fun postcard to relatives who may not be close enough to talk to often but who would like to be in the know, but I'd feel like I was somehow fishing for gifts if I did that.

  • SmokedPaprika

    SmokedPaprika said 5 years ago

    Attention seeking.

  • seraphicdreams

    Sylvia N from myshinynotions said 5 years ago

    I have a close friend that did a gender reveal event about a year and a half ago. We had a dinner with close friends and family and at the end of dinner the parents' cut into a cupcake with the filling revealing he gender and then we all got cupcakes afterwards. It was a very joyous occasion which I was so happy to be a part of.

  • leeannasjewerybox

    Leeanna from LeeannasJewelryBox said 5 years ago

    Celebrating life is so important. I hope everyone remembers to participate in joyful events. I love the idea of a gender party. I think a silly trend right now is cell phone obsession. It's a phone.

  • Augenblickphoto

    Rebeccah Dean from Augenblickphoto said 5 years ago

    As an expat American who has lived in Germany for over ten years I find things like this very very weird and somehow also very American. I can't imagine anyone doing something like that here. The gender stuff also goes way over the top. In Berlin a lot of the toys and baby clothes is pretty much gender neutral whereas when I go back to the US it's either all pink tulle and glitter or things plastered with trucks and fire engines.

  • bigbluebed

    Alix Beech from Bigbluebed said 5 years ago

    I didn't find out the sex of my baby until she popped out. I like it that way. I didn't even want or have a baby shower. But in the UK they were not that popular then anyway. So I certainly wouldn't want a Gender Party. It is not me or my husband. But for anyone who likes that sort of thing, let them have the party and eat cake.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    Victoria Baker from LittleWrenPottery said 5 years ago

    I think a lot of people in the UK still like to keep the gender of their baby a mystery until it arrives. I sometimes think of these reveal parties as an extension of the baby shower and if you dig that sort of thing theres nothing wrong with it!

  • millalove

    millalove from millalove said 5 years ago

    I think it's a lovely gesture. It's completely up to the individual expecting parent(s) how they celebrate the journey of the life they are creating. Personal or public, let's just be happy that they are happy with their choice of how they find out or reveal the gender of their baby. Good luck to all of them :)

  • flamingfuchsia

    flamingfuchsia from flamingfuchsia said 5 years ago

    I agree with the first comment (featured). Although I am all for happiness and enjoyment of a special moment, to many things are being shared on the internet and the more people who continue to share every little thing the easier it is for another sick individual to steal their life. At the end of the day it is everyone's personal choice to share their moments with people but it is not something I would do myself.

  • minouette

    Ele from minouette said 5 years ago

    There was a couple here in Ontario who recently made news by choosing not to reveal the sex of their baby (not gender, see ohginger's comment above) even after the baby was born. I don't think that it's healthy that we put babies in pink and blue boxes and start socializing them in these strong gender roles now even before birth! Is the sex of the baby really that important? Isn't a baby a baby regardless? Don't they have basically the same needs regardless? Must all colours and toys be determined from there? Is that really a good way to raise children in an egalitarian society? Should I be so lucky as to ever have my own child I would like not to know his or her sex until birth. Then, I would not want their room, their clothing and their toys to be strongly skewed pink or blue.

  • sarahkdesigns

    Sarah from sarahkdesigns said 5 years ago

    I don't really see anything wrong with having a party... and the idea of colored cake does amuse me. Well, and, of course, I enjoy party cake, so, you know. Some people want to know, some people don't. But the party (whether it be about the gender of a baby, or some other occasion) is always less about the particulars, formal wear, or table settings, and more about the fact that it's a gathering of people, be it relatives, friends, or co-workers. Ultimately, unless aunt Rita has had one too many cocktails parties are about interacting and togetherness more than they are a statement about over-sharing or commercialism, even if they are thrown for purposes of over-sharing or commercialism.

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat from mazedasastoat said 5 years ago

    I worry about forcing tiny babies into stereotyped sex roles, I worry about forcing young couples into hosting expensive celebrations, I worry about the wisdom of celebrating a baby long before any birth actually happens & I worry about the over commercialisation of modern life in general. But then, there's cake... so if I was invited, I'd show up! :-)

  • ArtDecoDame

    Desiree from ArtDecoDame said 5 years ago

    Its not something I would did with my own kids but if friends or family threw something like this I'd attend because who doesn't like a celebration?

  • ArtDecoDame

    Desiree from ArtDecoDame said 5 years ago

    I would do not did I meant.Ugh,need more caffeine before typing.

  • JCTgoods

    James Tocchio from PickleshwinksCycles said 5 years ago

    Why are so many commenting readers appalled that someone might want a boy to look and act like a boy and a girl to look and act like a girl? Doesn't this seem like we're swinging the pendulum too far when we want androgynous babies? I'm all for people being themselves, but there's nothing wrong with a man chopping firewood and a woman baking cakes. They can both do the other things, of course, it's just strange that these "traditional" gender roles are looked at as so passe. I, personally, enjoy the simplicity and honesty of "manly" men and "girly" girls. I don't know. Maybe I'm crazy?

  • thebrokenheartsclub

    Madelyn Miles from thebrokenheartsclub said 5 years ago

    I think the decision to make the gender reveal a public party or a private moment is no different than the decision to find out the gender or wait and be surprised on the birthday. Each decision reflects the personal context of the couple, and neither is bad. I strongly disagree that having pink or blue parties reinforces gender stereotypes for the baby. That baby can have plenty of freedom to choose his or her identity during life regardless of a gender reveal party before he or she was even born. Let each couple choose what is most special for their situation.

  • KatStyleAccessories

    Kathy Damkroger from KatStyleAccessories said 5 years ago

    As with most events happening in the social media age, gender reveal parties are typical in that some one or some company has found another way to make money off of the consumer. Examples abound of must-haves for weddings: favors for every guest, lavish candy bars, photo booths, etc., and now for impending births: banners, reveal cakes, reveal balloons and on and on and on. Is it any wonder that couples feel they NEED to provide such lavish displays? For me...I'm not willing to provide an income to anyone or any company that makes me feel that I MUST do this or MUST do that to show off. But would I go to a celebration of this sort? Of course! I'm there to support the couple, not the vendor.

  • VintageWoods

    Sarah Woods from VintageWoods said 5 years ago

    I think it would be fun depending on who was invited. If I were throwing such a party I would only want my closest friends and family there. Sounds like a sweet idea though! I didn't even know peope were throwing these types of parties. Cute.

  • mlezcano

    Mary Lezcano from BellaBboutique said 5 years ago

    I think gender reveal parties can go either way, they can both be "look at me" and "heartfelt". I choose to live more privately and would probably opt not to have one but I think if the parents intentions are genuine and loving and they want to share that part of their lives openly, then go for it.

  • SPAULEY

    Susan Pauley from SPAULEY said 5 years ago

    Until recently, I had no idea people were doing this. I'm all for a party, especially if it involves family, food, fun....and party hats!

  • elizenazelie

    Elize Nazelie from ElizeNazelie said 5 years ago

    The gender of a child really doesn't effect anyone but the parents, so its really just another party for the parents. I just couldn't imagine someone asking their friends or family if they should have a gender reveal party and everyone really being interested in that. A baby shower is more than enough.

  • JimSumner

    Jimmy and Monique from polymeryay said 5 years ago

    Dinner with your immediate family and closest friends to announce the sex of your new baby after the parents have enjoyed the moment together seems fun. A planned photo shoot, 2 trips to the bakery, and possible party do not sound like fun to me. And while a skilled photographer may make your moment seem spontaneous and fun I don't think it would be. I am 27, I feel that my generation is especially consumed by self publishing everything we do and making everything into an event. So much so that we work and pay to enjoy it and never let anything sink in.

  • simyclaire

    simyclaire said 5 years ago

    Tacky. There are so many other events designed to celebrate the new life, it seems self-indulgent.

  • misslala

    Lauren Nail from SauceStudios said 5 years ago

    if it makes you happy and it feels right, you should do it! you DON'T have to plaster it all over facebook, instagram, etc. i feel so much embarassment for children whose parents put them all over the internet. that will never go away, and those kids have no say so in it. eventually that little kid is going to try to get a job...

  • HiLLjO

    HiLLjO from HiLLjO said 5 years ago

    The only thing that bothers me about "Gender" Reveal parties is the confusion people make between "gender" and "sex." SEX is male/female; gender is individual to a person. A person born as Sex:F may identify their gender as male, female, or neither. The same goes for people born Sex:M. This language difference may seem like semantics, but it is an important difference to take note of, lest we condition children to identify as something they may not feel comfortable with. Gender can wait; it should be more important to just be having a CHILD.

  • Ridgevales

    Lindsay from SweetThreesBoutique said 5 years ago

    A small gathering of your closest family and friends to share this beautiful and special moment sounds amazing! These are the people who will get just as excited as you, if not more, to hear this information. To catch the reaction is also priceless. What a sweet moment to cherish. I say yes, all the way! :)

  • ellabellamay

    Ursula Goetz from ellabellamay said 5 years ago

    So sweet and exciting! Yay for celebration of new life, no matter the form the celebration takes!

  • niczos

    niczos said 5 years ago

    When my husband and I had our first child, this was my husband's second child. To us, it didn't matter if it was a girl or boy, but we found out and celebrated with his first daughter by having a pink filled cupcake for her to celebrate the new baby sister she was about to have. The only person that cared about the gender was her, thats why we made it special for only her. Other than that, there was no need to have a party, since the baby shower was more than enough. The moment a couple finds out should be private and theirs to keep, just like when the baby was made :)

  • paigepitcher

    Paige Pitcher from TheBlackTurtle said 5 years ago

    I think a baby shower is enough. Giving out the gender of the baby was more a matter of logistics and planning. It's wonderful to be happy and feel like celebrating, but for me, it's something I wouldn't do. I'm done having babies now, so I leave the trends to the younger women. I know that if someone has had trouble conceiving will want to celebrate every single step and milestone in a pregnancy, and that's okay, too. Which ever way you choose to celebrate the new baby is totally up to the couple. I would certainly attend a party if I was invited to one, but don't expect a gift for EVERY party. :D

  • studiorandom

    Dana Seilhan from studiorandom said 5 years ago

    Are ultrasounds more accurate now? Sometimes they get it wrong. I'd be embarrassed if I made a big deal out of an ultrasound finding, only to discover the tech was wrong when Baby makes their appearance. Assuming it's a certain finding (and, especially with boys, sometimes it is), I wouldn't have a separate party for this. I'd incorporate the "gender reveal" cake into the baby shower. If I cared enough to make a big deal out of it, and I don't. I'd be grateful for a healthy baby, and the gender's not important.

  • meggiemay

    Meghan McGee from SouthernGypsyStudio said 5 years ago

    TBH i'm getting sick of people having to over celebrate things. We have enough "greeting card company" holidays as it is...

  • ScrapHappyLyrebird

    Tess from GildedNotes said 5 years ago

    On one hand I think it is sweet that parents are so excited and looking to share that excitement and sense of anticipation with friends. However, "gender" is a social construct, what you are talking about here is "sex". Gender is not a simple binary of boy / girl, and I think this reinforces our society's narrow-minded obsession with labeling and sticking people into categories. By putting so much importance on the sex of a child, there is an enormous pressure on that child to conform what is "normal".

  • glitterfrogdesigns

    Vicki Brunson from GlitterFrogDesigns said 5 years ago

    I think maybe some parents get too carried away with making every little thing public...but I also think maybe we, as a society, get a little too carried away with making a big deal out of what people make the choice to share. I say go for it, if it's what you want to do! I personally think it's cute and I have no problem with it. Also would like to throw in that I agree with whoever made the comment that there's nothing wrong with expecting little girls to act like girls and little boys to act like boys. In trying so hard to accept people who are different, we're making the ones who act in traditional ways the outcasts. And isn't that just as wrong?

  • CopperheadCreations

    Sarah from CopperheadCreations said 5 years ago

    To each his/her own, but I think it's silly. Why is everyone so caught up in the baby's gender? Why does it matter so much? I'd be more excited and interested in celebrating a healthy, happy baby, regardless of gender. Like I said, everyone gets to have his/her own opinion, but mine is that is just seems like a lot of money to spend on something kind of silly when you could put that money aside for other impending baby expenses.

  • CopperheadCreations

    Sarah from CopperheadCreations said 5 years ago

    I agree with Tess as well! I remember considering that perspective in psychology classes, and it makes a lot of sense to me.

  • BusyChickadees

    Emily Andrews from BusyChickadees said 5 years ago

    I love them! I think it is a fun way to get together with friends and celebrate that the couple is going to have a baby.

  • pickstitchvintage

    pickstitchvintage from pickstitchvintage said 5 years ago

    I waited until the baby popped out to find out what sort of baby it was, and I wouldn't have done it any other way.

  • LilDebbie

    Debs Silks from DebsSilkRose said 5 years ago

    Love the article and the creativity!

  • theartofhandmades

    theartofhandmades from theartofhandmades said 5 years ago

    I am wondering if a baker has ever made a mistake and filled the cake with the incorrect color of filling?

  • junghwa

    Amy Stewart from junghwa said 5 years ago

    I think it was fun when people would ask, "What are you having?!", and we got to tell them throughout the entire pregnancy. I think having a party and revealing it to everyone all at once takes a lot of the fun out of it. I wouldn't have one, because I would personally feel guilty for dragging my friends and family out to a function that they probably don't want to go to. But that's just me. If people want another excuse for another party, then they should be able to do that. I don't think they should be judged for wanting to do that.

  • BlueAsterCreations

    Kellie Tinsley from BlueAsterKnits said 5 years ago

    Very silly to me.

  • CoreandMantle

    Alayna from CoreandMantle said 5 years ago

    Gender IS a social construct. I've always thought it's sad how much people care about which sex their baby is going to be; you should be celebrating the fact that you are giving birth to a healthy HUMAN period. To the man above who said he appreciates the "honesty and simplicity" of men chopping firewood and women baking cakes, I think you may want to spend a little more time thinking about what you are actually saying here; perhaps having strict, defined, stereotypical roles for each gender makes things simple for you, being a white heterosexual male, but can you try to imagine how dishonest and suffocating those same ideas may be/have always been for others, particularly for women? Do you realize that you essentially just said 'womans place is in the kitchen.' It makes you sound like a stereotypical patriarch. The ignorant way you approach the subject makes me ill.

  • KaiceJoy

    Kirsti Joy from KaiceJoy said 5 years ago

    I am really old fashioned and didn't find out at all with my four kids (all under 10): only one of the few suprises left in life....I don't have a problem with a party-sure sounds fun, but I find it so interesting that so many can't wait to find out their baby's sex....I've had several friends who ended up with a pink nursery for their baby boy, and vice versa!!

  • FeltCurious

    Amanda Brown from FeltCurious said 5 years ago

    I think it's a sweet idea. I'm unsure what I'll do when I'm having my own children, I always thought I'd like to know but the closer we get to TTC the more I think I would like the surprise. Either way, it's a lovely idea to gather together families and share the moment :)

  • Darling54

    Christine from Jovindale said 5 years ago

    I don't think I could wait! I wanted to know right away. Actually intuitively I knew I was having a boy right from the first ultrasound. I saw his little picture and my first thought was "There's my BOY!" not "there's my baby". Maybe though, when and if we are able to have a second baby, I would consider this, but tie it into the shower. I wouldn't expect 2 parties!!

  • Kamiann

    Kami from Kamiann said 5 years ago

    I think people should be able to do what they want without others putting their two cents in. It's their life, not yours. It's an exciting time, if people want to celebrate it, then why not. Life is short, we may as well have a party.

  • strawberrymommycakes

    Erin Williams from strawberrymommycakes said 5 years ago

    Kami- you took the words right out of my mouth. A gender reveal party sounds really fun! That's why I designed the printables!! I think a person should be able to celebrate however they want to without being judged as being "narcissist"...I think that's ridiculous--not the party :)

  • bagladybooty

    bagladybooty from bagladybooty said 5 years ago

    I'm glad that I've never been a baby breeder. Is nothing private between parents anymore?

  • reflectionsjewelry

    Emily Delfin from reflectionsjewelry said 5 years ago

    My brother and his wife recently threw a gender-reveal party for immediate family members, and I found it to be a sweet and memorable evening. They weren't being narcissistic, but rather found joy in sharing their happiness with those they love.

  • HouseThatCrowBuilt

    Wendy from HouseThatCrowBuilt said 5 years ago

    To each their own I say. If they want to announce to the world what the gender of their baby is who am I or anyone else to say it is silly? Seems like something trivial to get hung up on. Live and let live.

  • alipainting

    Ali Akell from alipainting said 5 years ago Featured

    There is definitely no right or wrong answer here. Just as some people have a wedding and invite 200 people, others would like to get married at city hall. Both are going to be special because it is a special event. Just because a certain type of experience isn't right for you doesn't mean it is stupid or self indulgent for someone else.

  • KPlager

    Kate Plager from BombyxBotanica said 5 years ago

    It is just an excuse to have a party! Having a baby is fun, why not enjoy it? The day I found out I was having a girl, I bought a whole wardrobe of cute baby girl outfits. It was the happiest day of my life!!

  • Steampunkitis

    Susan Jane from Steampunkitis said 5 years ago

    I happen to be going to a gender reveal Partaaa today. And I'm gonna really enjoy ! Knowing Sasha there will be tons of yummy finger foods, and games galore. And I am finally going to be a Nannie or Gam, or Grannie, whatever, and I can't wait !

  • nerdycraftgirl

    nerdycraftgirl from nerdycraftgirl said 5 years ago

    As a female nerd, I am rather fascinated by the whole gender debate on Etsy - sociology, biology, art, stories, and fun all go into the equation. Here's my contribution: XX/XY hats (sorry, my XX hats are all sold out). https://www.etsy.com/listing/87730148/xy-chromosome-hat-sized-newborn-to-3 https://www.etsy.com/listing/94202004/baby-boy-pink-hat-dna-chromosome-xy-male

  • GardenofYve

    Danielle Yve from GardenofYve said 5 years ago

    well if there's cake involved, it can't be bad!

  • CityToLove

    Marchelle from CityToLove said 5 years ago

    I think it's kind of strange to have an entire party about it. It is obviously a big deal to the parents but it seems kind of silly to have an entire party about it. I do love the pictures of the parents' surprised faces though, how cute!

  • BourgeoisDesigns

    V Lynn from BourgeoisDesigns said 5 years ago

    Very creative, thanks for sharing.

  • Namaz

    Nazima Banka from nazimabanka said 5 years ago

    All I'm saying is each to their own....But, a wonderful and intriguing read:)

  • harkandhush

    Alie McNeil from harkandhush said 5 years ago

    I have mixed feelings about the concept of the parties, but the ideas are definitely cute. There was a great story on This American Life last weekend about a couple finding out the gender of their baby through a family tradition. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/475/send-a-message?act=1

  • PrayerNotes

    Prayer Notes by Cynthia from PrayerNotes said 5 years ago

    It's a sweet, beautiful blessing, no matter how you choose to celebrate! It's Life...a reason to celebrate alone, as a couple, or with a hundred friends.

  • charlenesbags

    Charlene Owens from charlenesembroidery said 5 years ago

    My nephew and his wife had a party to tell them the gender of their baby. I live in another state so could not attend. What a fun idea.

  • PartylandCreations

    Brittany from PartylandCreations said 5 years ago

    Sharing the joy! What a great experience!

  • SquirrelsSpot

    Ashley M. from SquirrelsSpot said 5 years ago

    I think I would be more likely to have a party or gathering to announce the fact that we are having a baby--but not necessarily to announce the baby's gender. When we do have a child, my husband and I will probably find out at the ultrasound, but not tell anyone else. For one thing, we are private people...for another, we really don't want to be flooded with gender-specific items. I don't think it's practical to have items that you can't pass down from one baby to the next. ...However, I don't think I would have a problem going to one of these parties. And, if my husband couldn't make it to the ultrasound, I like the idea of making colored cake just for him to tell him what our baby's sex will be.

  • mailerin

    mailerin said 5 years ago

    To each their own; but having had my own children, and finding out the sex on the day they were born, (I definitely wish I had found out for the last pregnancy) leads me to think that this party is a "look at me look at me" thing- so what happens next?, host a gender reveal party then a sex appropriate shower- it's all just consumerism. And also, unless you are my very close friend, or relative, or my child. I 'm not really that excited. I am far more excited for you that you are starting a family at all.

  • harperthomson

    Harper Thomson said 5 years ago

    well, considering that we run a website called babyfetti - www.mybabygenderreveal.com, we are understandably biased. LOL! Personally, I think that it is very sweet. But, when I was first introduced to the gender reveal, I thought it was a little narcissistic. Then, I participated. My co-worker lived 3,000 miles away, and she wanted to share that special announcement with us. In retrospect, I felt very special - being included. So, we officially say "sweet!"

  • missieuhl

    Missie Uhl said 4 years ago

    We just found out that we're pregnant with our first. We moved to Arizona a little over a year ago and have pretty much no family and friends here.. . Since we will be going back home to FL for vacation 2 weeks after the appointment where we'll find out the sex of the baby.. we decided we're going to wait to find out what it is by revealing it at a party surrounded by our family and friends. However, we won't be having a baby shower. We probably wouldn't have a gender reveal party if we were closer to friends and family, but this way they do get to be a part of the celebration.

  • LilyEliias

    Lily Elias said 4 years ago

    We are so increasingly alienated every day by electronic devices... that the information age has fostered a new tradition of inclusiveness with gender reveal parties is a step in the right direction, I think. If friends and family miles and miles away can celebrate with you, it's a good thing... considering the human race's general reluctancy to bridge the gaps among us with greener transportation practices. And I object to the idea that a push present is an "invented tradition of our generation." We just gave it a trendy name, as we did with Laughing Out Loud: We didn't invent Laughing, or even doing it Out Loud. LOL. I received a Juno Lucina pendant for my push present (i think it's jlucina.com) - it's shaped like the Roman goddess Juno, who was believed to watch over mother and child before and after childbirth. In ancient times men gifted their pregnant mates with tokens in honor of Juno Lucina, in the hopes the diety would protect his family. (Hardly a new tradition.)

  • LilyEliias

    Lily Elias said 4 years ago

    We are so increasingly alienated every day by electronic devices... that the information age has fostered a new tradition of inclusiveness with gender reveal parties is a step in the right direction, I think. If friends and family miles and miles away can celebrate with you, it's a good thing... considering the human race's general reluctancy to bridge the gaps among us with greener transportation practices. And I object to the idea that a push present is an "invented tradition of our generation." We just gave it a trendy name, as we did with Laughing Out Loud: We didn't invent Laughing, or even doing it Out Loud. LOL. I received a Juno Lucina pendant for my push present - it's shaped like the Roman goddess Juno, who was believed to watch over mother and child before and after childbirth. In ancient times men gifted their pregnant mates with tokens in honor of Juno Lucina, in the hopes the diety would protect his family.

  • Jularee

    Rita Riebel Mitchell from Jularee said 4 years ago

    Two years ago, I made a blue crystal bracelet with a teddy bear on it for a co-worker who was having a boy. Suddenly several other colleagues wanted bracelets for their friends or daughters, etc. I thought it was a cute idea for a mother-to-be to discretely hint to the gender of her baby or to give bracelets to the baby's grandmothers as a surprise. I didn't know until recently that I was making "gender reveal" bracelets! LOL!

  • saronbrown

    Saron from SassyCandleFavors said 4 years ago

    I say DO WHAT YOU WANT! Everyone doesnt't have to like your way of doing things! I say we please ourselves rather than trying to please others!

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