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Monday, April 09, 2012

Motherhood Mondays: Would you throw a gender reveal party?

Celine and Jin, above, told their midwife to write their baby's gender on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. Then their photographer friend Gabe came over to capture the moment that they discovered they were having...a girl! How adorable is that?!

Alex just wrote a New York Times article about the increasing popularity gender reveal parties, where expectant couples invite friends and family over to witness the moment of finding out the baby's gender. You could cut a cake to reveal either pink or blue cake inside, or you could open a wrapped present and pull out either pink or blue baby pajamas. Or here's another idea: Brooke's friend took her family to a baseball game and bought either blue or pink cotton candy!

P.S. The day we discovered Toby's gender, and his teeny sonogram.

(Photos by Gabe for Celine)

157 comments:

.Tinacious Me. said...

this is such a cute idea! though personally I would not make such a big deal out of it. either is wonderful!
xo, Tina
TINACIOUS.ME ~ TINACIOUS.ME

Laura said...

I probably wouldn't throw a party, but I love the idea of cutting a cake to find out if it's a boy/girl! At the same time, my mom is an ultrasound tech so I would also love it for her to just tell me. It'd be special.

allmussedup said...

I think having a reveal party and a "holy shit we're preggers!" party all in one would be very appropriate. Can't wait.

JEREMYandCHELSEA said...

I love the idea and totally plan on doing something like this, at least for my first child. Why not find out the exciting news at the same time as everyone you love!

Kelsie Lynn said...

I don't know how I feel about having a large party, but I like the idea of sharing an intimate moment over the reveal in a setting other than a doctors office.

Nuha said...

I don't think I'd do this for my first child - I'd love to be able to "see" the gender as soon as the ultrasound shows it. But possibly for future kids? It's definitely a cute idea :-)

http://nuhasofiyan.blogspot.com

Lemanie said...

I definitely want to do one! Nothing big and huge just small w/ close family & friends. I saw on Cake Boss that they did a gender reveal cake and it was the coolest thing ever. The cake icing was yellow and when the cut into the cake the actual cake was blue or pink. LOVE IT!!

Lemanie's Randomness Blog

Sara said...

I read that article and didn't realize it was Alex, funny.
Frankly I find the idea a bit self absorbed somehow, I can't really describe it, but it just seems like too much to have a big party around it.

SheMobs said...

It seems like such a fun idea, although, there is a lot of sensitivity lately around people who have trouble getting pregnant. So I wouldn't want to parade my happiness around for fear or making someone uncomfortable. But in theory, such a cute idea!

shemobs.blogspot.com

Shannon said...

I kind of hate the whole gender reveal idea. I know when I become a parent I'll be super excited to find out if I'm having a boy or a girl (and the photo idea is cute), but as a feminist, I find the blue vs. pink idea problematic. In general, I don't like how babies toys, clothes, etc. have become so gendered, i.e. so pink vs. blue. So I wouldn't celebrate by having a pink or blue cake, for example, because I think we should be trying to disrupt that paradigm.

nicole said...

I've been to a gender reveal / baby shower! My friend Heather and her husband asked the ultrasound-tech to write the gender on a piece of paper. That night, they had a really romantic dinner - just the two of them - and read the piece of paper in private. They kept this information to themselves... until the baby shower. At the shower, there were cupcakes - half of them had pink icing, the other half had blue icing. When it was time to make the announcement, everyone grabbed the color that THEY thought it would be. (For the record, I grabbed pink.) Heather grabbed one of each.... and .... she took a bite out of the BLUE one! It was a BOY! It was VERY emotional for everyone. I welled up with tears! ;)

Lisa Griffin said...

i love that they captured this on film! i don't think i would like to have friend's around, but i also really want it to be a surprise!
in dramatic fashion

Audrie said...

I'm too impatient to wait for a party so I think I'd find out and reveal to my friends and family at the party. I love the pink or blue inside the cake idea :)

Annie said...

I think the gender reveal works if it's limited to a few very close friends/family members, but otherwise I think the idea of a party can be showy. I don't need to have a bunch of people around to celebrate finding out a little more about my future child.

TheQueerBird said...

I agree with Shannon! I think that having a child is exciting (duh) and I absolutely love the emotion in these pictures and others I've seen like them... but I hate the pink/blue thing, and the idea that we should all REALLY CARE about the gender of the kid, or decide that the kid's gender means they'll be into pink or blue or any of the other things that go along with that.

That said, these pictures are adorable.

Anonymous said...

We had complications with our pregnancy that were discovered at the 20 wk ultrasound. I always thought these were THE WORST idea ever. I can't imagine having to either cancel the party or dealing with telling my friends and family. I just wanted a few days to take in what we were facing before letting my friends and family know.

Alexa said...

i'm planning to wait until the delivery room. when i imagine the big reveal, it's my husband that tells me :)

ChasingHallie said...

I love these parties and the fun and creative ways people come up with to do the reveal. We had a reveal party for our little girl, just close friends and family and it was really fun. We unwrapped either pink baby converse or blue baby converse. They were pink!

Anonymous said...

who cares. i find the idea of a gender reveal party really self-absorbed. something private, maybe, but a party with guests? a photo shoot?

Simone said...

I think these photos are really lovely but I absolutely hate the idea of a gender reveal party, I can't think of anything worse!!

I have two children and didn't know what they were until they were born...I had an amnio with the second baby so could have found out but really didn't want to. I dreamt of the midwife/doctor saying "it's a boy/girl" as they were born and both those moments were everything I hoped they would be and more.

ana {bluebirdkisses} said...

we thought about doing this but we were so excited about knowing that we called everyone as soon as we left the doctors office....we suck at suprises. Who knows, maybe next time though :D

Nicole Jeannette said...

Yes! I would! Why miss out on an opportunity to celebrate something that is so exciting? For me it would be a fun excuse to hang out with my friends and family while we celebrate this new addition to our family!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would totally doit. I think I would want to know with my husband first and then the idea of throwing a big party is fantastic!

Susan said...

People, I beg you. As sweet as the ideas are & as darling as these folks are...stop throwing parties for everything. I'm sorry, I'm just tired of this narcissistic nonsense.

Signed,

Crab

Betsy said...

I just found out today what we are having and we went with...text messages! I just assume that people we love are happy for us and they all have lots going on in their lives besides absorption about the gender of our baby. Last baby, we just put it on Facebook.

Of course, we called the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a few close friends with the news.

17 beats. said...

my husband and i are very private people, so this would have been out of the question for us ... but i can see some people i know being into this idea. especially people with a large circle of excited friends.

i'd like to add that GENDER is the wrong word to use in this situation ... GENDER is socially constructed, and incredibly individual. SEX is a biological trait.

Ashley said...

We chose not to find out and loved the ultimate gender reveal-my doctor shouting "It's a girl!"

Erin said...

Gender shmender, I'd still be trying to wrap my head around the fact that there's a tiny human growing inside of me. Plus, as long as its healthy, who cares if its a boy or a girl? But I do love the idea of cutting into a cake and having it be blue or pink. I saw one once where they filled a giant balloon with blue or pink confetti and then popped it during the party. Pretty neat!

Sarah said...

I probably wouldn't have a party just for gender revealing, but making it a part of a normal baby shower might be fun. 7 years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter, we asked the ultrasound tech to write down the gender and put the note in an envelope for us to open at dinner later that evening. It was just my husband and me there, but that moment of the big reveal was still super fun. :)

Fleur said...

Nope, I couldn't see having a party.

I certainly hope this doesn't become the norm for expectant parents.

Boo said...

I agree with Susan (aka crab!) There are SO many ridiculous parties for things... It's cute in theory but I'm one of these super paranoid people and would be worried about any complications during the rest of the pregnancy...
I especially worry for these people that put ultrasounds of their baby up on Facebook at like the 8th week of pregnancy!!?? I've unfortunately known too many women who've experienced miscarriages... sorry to be a downer! -Boo

Anonymous said...

It's a cute idea but no way I'd do it. I find it a little bit self absorbed somehow. Aren't there enough baby shower type parties? And haven't you written about this before Jo? ;)

Anonymous said...

I think this idea is silly. No one really cares that much (or, at least, should care that much) what another couple's baby is. It's the same self-indulgence as when an expecting couple says they have a name picked out, but they're not telling anyone what it is. I am always excited for my expecting friends, but I really don't care what their childrens' sex or name is - and I definitely don't want to go to a party about it!

ALV said...

this is honestly one of the most self-absorbed things I can think of doing. what happened to people just asking: boy or girl? Now it has to be a party? I hope this does not become the norm and that we are not expected to go to "gender reveal" parties in addition to baby showers, baptisms etc etc. I just have no idea why on earth this would be a cause for a party.

Naomi Jacob said...

That's a great idea! I know lots of couples who had the gender sealed in an envelope but didn't open it (or at least said they didn't!). But this is such a sweet way to share the excitement with loved ones!

http://thejadoreblog.blogspot.com/

Lauren C.T. said...

I kind of find the gender party a bit tacky. It just seems like a silly excuse to try and get more attention (and presents?) than you already are for being pregnant to begin with. I like the photo idea, though - that's cute. My husband and I think we will go the old fashioned route when the time comes and let ourselves be surprised. There are definitely advantages to knowing beforehand, but it won't make a difference in the excitement or love we feel.

Tee said...

Cute idea, but it seems very self-indulgent. Maybe it's just me, but I'm a lot less excited about other people's kids (and know they feel the same about mine).

simply blythe said...

we made confetti eggs with emptied egg shells we gathered.
we sent or gave confetti eggs to friends and family.
we included instructions to crack the egg over a loved ones head to reveal the colored confetti (blue) and hunt for the name, which we'd folded inside each egg shell.

Anonymous said...

Ooh,, it would be fun to make cupcakes and then have everyone pick one up and then bit in at the same time! I would want to know first myself though. (Qnd my husband.) But I like sharing the joy like this!

Sage Crown Parker said...

Adorable photos!!!!

Anonymous said...

It is possible that the ultrasound technicians can be wrong about the sex of your baby! We were told we were having a girl and but had a boy. (Healthy and awesome and wonderful!!) Nevertheless, it was traumatic because everyone had been expecting a girl, imagining life with a little girl, and then suddenly we had to change our mindset. Combined with over 48 hours of labour and c-section, hormones, no sleep for 4 days, the entire experience was really difficult. In retrospect, just knowing the baby is healthy is enough.

Anonymous said...

There are lots of creative gender reveal ideas out there and I like them in theory for their creativity... but I'm a very private, laid back person. I can't imagine sharing such an intimate moment with anyone other than just my husband and I (no voyeurism afforded our family and friends... sorry!). Im 16 weeks pregnant with our first and we're only just about to tell our parents and siblings next week, because we've so loved keeping our happy little secret together! And at any rate, our big gender reveal will be in the delivery room... we're not planning on finding out the gender beforehand :)

Jenni said...

I think it's a cute idea. Nothing excessive--I don't think the gender reveal needs to be a party on its own or anything, but it would be sweet to open the envelope at a casual dinner with family or close friends. I love that kind of anticipation and surprise!

Anonymous said...

There are lots of creative gender reveal ideas out there and I like them in theory for their creativity... but I'm a very private, laid back person. I can't imagine sharing such an intimate moment with anyone other than just my husband and I (no voyeurism afforded our family and friends... sorry!). Im 16 weeks pregnant with our first and we're only just about to tell our parents and siblings next week, because we've so loved keeping our happy little secret together! And at any rate, our big gender reveal will be in the delivery room... we're not planning on finding out the gender beforehand :)

Anonymous said...

There are lots of creative gender reveal ideas out there and I like them in theory for their creativity... but I'm a very private, laid back person. I can't imagine sharing such an intimate moment with anyone other than just my husband and I (no voyeurism afforded our family and friends... sorry!). Im 16 weeks pregnant with our first and we're only just about to tell our parents and siblings next week, because we've so loved keeping our happy little secret together! And at any rate, our big gender reveal will be in the delivery room... we're not planning on finding out the gender beforehand :)

Margaret H. said...

Not for me. My husband and I found out both times in the delivery room and I wouldn't want it any other way. It was fantastic!

Koru Kate {Koru Wedding} said...

I LOVE this trend! When I get pregnant, I would love a gender reveal party with pink or blue balloons floating up from a box we open. It will be a small party though with just our parents, our siblings & our niece.

Sarah @ See Sarah Bake said...

How adorable are they?! And I love that it was a cute private moment between them (well, and the photographer....)

Anonymous said...

i think this is a totally self indulgent trend. perhaps if the party was limited to immediate family it would be a fun way to announce it to the grandparents or your other children...but...for parents to throw a party for themselves so they can be captured finding out the gender of their baby just seems like a tacky attention grab. besides...who other than the parents really cares?

daisy said...

a party to reveal the gender seems a bit over-the-top (do friends and family REALLY care all that much? an earnest, not a rhetorical question :)

BUT, then again, i support any excuse to party when you're expecting (or not!) maybe as part of a gender neutral shower or a regular old dinner party would be a very fun touch.

Haydee Rodriguez said...

why not? everything is a good reason for a party!

rellimarie said...

we waited to find out with our son, so it could be a fun surprise for everyone. and it really was a surprise because so many people, including us, thought it was going to be a girl! i'm SO glad we did it that way, and up until recently, i've thought that we'll do the same if we have another. but now i'm starting to think it would be fun (and convenient) to find out for our next...i LOVE the cotton candy idea!

sian said...

we only found out our baby's gender when i scooped him up out of the birth pool and felt a small set of balls a-dangling. amazing! our second is due in june and we've kept it a birthday surprise again (although our son thinks it's a girl...or a reindeer). X

Trina said...

Very sweet--I love the progressive photos. Reminds me of that proposal story about the guy proposing to his girlfriend at an art gallery among the hundreds of Polaroids.

courtney said...

Nah. I think it's a bit too showy. I try to remember that my pregnancies (and my boys) are much more interesting to me than they are to others.

Amanda said...

A friend of mine is a magician and he just performed the gender reveal at a party this weekend. He shuffled through a pile of pink and blue letters and suddenly produced a banner with the chosen name of the baby GIRL to the parents and all their friends. In the planning, he had to be very careful not to put the parents or guests on the spot in such a way that might reveal that they initially had a preference.

The whole thing seemed adorable and I LOVE the idea of using such an unusual method for a gender reveal. Glad you posted about them!

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Hell to the no. I feel like having a baby is precious enough as it is, there shouldn't be so much extra fanfare around it. Maybe if it was just for my spouse and myself, plus a handful of our closest family members and friends (ie - people who might have a vested interest in the sex of our baby), but I feel like parties like this are just a way for expectant parents to make an even bigger deal out of something that's sacred/special in it's own right. Sometimes I think parents are just looking for an excuse to bring more attention to themselves, or to "one-up" each other. Celebrating a new life is one thing, but "obligating" people to make a spectacle of a decision that they had no say in is something completely different. I suppose, then, it's all a matter of scale.

Sarah Carlson said...

It sounds like a fun idea, but it's one of the few surprises in life. I don't think I even want to know until I have my baby! All the anticipation! There are very few times that as adults, we get a good surprise.

onesilentwinter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sara B. said...

We found out the sex of our second baby recently and my husband was recording when the technician told us. My 3 year old son was 100% convinced that he was having a sister so when she said "it's a boy", he yelled out, "WHAT THE HECK!?". We couldn't stop laughing!

I think that no matter how you find out and choose to share with your friends and family, it's a wonderfully exciting moment.

:} said...

My husband and I had our own little party. We had the technician write down the sex of the baby in card. We took the sealed card to my favorite neighborhood boutique. I picked out a boy an girl outfit. I gave them both to the salesgirls, with the instruction to open the card, pick out the corresponding outfit, and wrap it all up nice and pretty. Just before a delicious homemade dinner, my husband and I opened the package to find a beautiful outfit perfect for our baby boy. :)

onesilentwinter said...

these photographs are so fun and congrats to the happy couple.

i wonder if i would want this moment to be photographed, sure seeing these pictures later in life would bring a smile to my face but i wonder Joanne what is happening to us why do we have this need to capture intimate moments so publically and shared them with others.

are we no longer comfortable with being alone in a moment or does it feel more like a moment if others witness it.

i wonder.

Jennifer said...

This sounds like my worst nightmare. Like others above have said, I am way too private for anything like that. I probably won't even have a baby shower - it will just be a small intimate dinner with our parents. As far as the gender, I do like the idea of having the tech write it down in a envelope and then opening it over dinner with my husband. That, I could do!

diana banana said...

i wouldn't want to find out in front of so many people, even if they were close friends and family. what if i subconsciously wanted one and in the rush of emotions was really upset about finding out the opposite?

i was convinced we were having boys, but in the ultrasound room the dr said it was girls and it took me a few minutes of contemplation to accept it. i think i would have broken down if it were in a party situation and everyone was watching me.

Ash said...

i kind of DON'T want to know the gender.. i am terrible at being surprised, so i feel like this is the one time in my life where i actually can have control over being surprised..

but i think this idea is too cute.. (as long as it's not another party i have to buy a present for..)

Mandy said...

I feel like a grinch saying it, but those parties seem a bit too self-absorbed. You're already going to probably have a baby shower, and then probably have some sort of formal or informal celebration after the baby is born. A baby is certainly worth celebrating, but there's a point where it becomes more about the parents and less about the child...

Wow. I feel like a Monday morning grump!

Lucy McCracken said...

This is such a sweet idea! My sister in law is pregnant and I will have to forward this post to her. I think she would really love it. I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!

http://findyoursparkle.blogspot.com/

Mia.stizzo@gmail.com said...

first off, i wouldn't really want to. i have a huge family and good group of friends who were all very excited and supportive during my pregnancy, but in general i was pretty uncomfortable with all the attention that came with being pregnant. i had a hard enough time shifting conversations away from my uterus as it was, and wouldn't want to invite myself to be even more in the spotlight by throwing a party for my fetus.

second of all, there would be no way i could have kept the gender a secret from myself for that long. no way in hell. if they would have given me a piece of paper with the sex written on it, i would have revealed it to myself in 10 seconds...i was WAY too anxious to find out what i was having!

www.wishdownawell.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

This seems like a very American thing to do. Down in Australia it's pretty rare to even have baby showers, so a gender reveal party is even nuttier.

I know many people who have had problems with their unborn babies after revealing they're pregnant to everyone which is very sad and that has led me to decide I wouldn't even want to know the sex until it's born. Also, they have been known to get it wrong!

And if gender doesn't matter, then why does it need a party one way or the other?

nancykate said...

ok. i'm kind of relieved that i'm not the only one who thinks these elaborate reveals i've been seeing in the blog world is a little self-indulgent. i don't hate the idea, but i liked it being a more private thing that my husband and I could get excited about and talk about. After my 20 week ultrasound, we went to Qdoba (couldn't get enough of those burritos!) and talked about what our life would be like with a little boy. To each their own, I guess.

Flora A. said...

we just had our gender reveal party, and we could not have loved it more! (my sister insisted it was crazy and weird!) my husband wanted to do something a little more exciting so instead of cake, we did confetti canons! and it was beyond exciting! check out the video and pictures here: http://www.flora-plus.com/2012/02/we-are-having-baby-girl.html
we were both secretly hoping for a girl! so you can clearly see our emotional response! :) Gender reveal parties are awesome!!!

Lillie Malone said...

We plan on throwing a small one for family and very close friends, because we have a 7 year old and she is over the moon to have a sibling finally {fertility issues} and we're the last ones in our group to have a child, so it will be fun for us to get everybody together. So, we're having a sibling reveal party. :)

Lashley said...

I think the "success" of these parties depends on, number one, the stage of life you're in, and two, how big of a party it is. Our friends had a few friends over on a snowy night in Denver with out-of-state family skyping in, but none of us in attendance had kids or were even thinking about it, so it was really novel and exciting for us. Our friends would be the first to venture into parenthood and no one had to worry about child care or chasing around a little one! As far as the size of the party, if it's just a few close friends and family members, it seems intimate and sweet. A big to-do seems over the top to me. It goes without saying that the couple's personality plays a big part in whether or not they want people to witness their special moment.

As far as the pink vs. blue, I don't think having a baker put pink icing inside a cake means that your daughter will necessarily like pink and play with barbies. I'm as attuned to the gender dichotomy as the next person, but these parties are just taking advantage of cliches to give a visual cue for the surprise. No one is prescribing a set of interests or direction for life for these babies.

On that note, based on the definitions of "gender" and "sex," shouldn't these be "sex reveal" parties?

Anonymous said...

Revealing that you're pregnant parties, gender (or sex) revealing parties, baby showers, push presents, over the top children's birthday parties, etc., etc., etc. No wonder why the rest of the world sees Americans as self-absorbed, indulgent & wasteful.

Sarah said...

Nope, not for me. They seem rather self-absorbed and showy. And, really is it such a big deal to anyone other than the parents? What's next a "two lines on the stick" party and photo shoot? Its all just a bit much, IMO.
For the record, I do have children and finding out their sex was exciting. But, surely it was not all that exciting to anyone else but me and my spouse.

Megan said...

Here's my gender reveal video:)!!! http://vimeo.com/21051498

Sarah said...

And, I agree with the commenter above too. I, for one, never heard of a "push present" until recently. 1. The name is horrid. And 2. really? you need a congratulations you gave birth present? Its just all too much. Celebrate your family, your precious little baby, without all the hoopla and STUFF! It all just makes me cringe!

homesliceblog.com said...

I think the idea of a creative reveal is sweet, but don't like the idea of a party. I think some things should be left for the expectant couple to share privately. I felt really emotional when I found out I was going to have a son. Not disappointed, but really surprised. I would not have wanted anyone but my husband with me in that first flush of emotion. But I feel shy at my own birthday parties, so clearly this trend is for someone who likes the spotlight more than I do.

homesliceblog.com said...

I think the idea of a creative reveal is sweet, but don't like the idea of a party. I think some things should be left for the expectant couple to share privately. I felt really emotional when I found out I was going to have a son. Not disappointed, but really surprised. I would not have wanted anyone but my husband with me in that first flush of emotion. But I feel shy at my own birthday parties, so clearly this trend is for someone who likes the spotlight more than I do.

Alison Pearldiver said...

I think this idea of waiting to have your surprise photographed, removes the sense of living in the moment. All to often lately I feel that people care more about the picture, or the blog post, or the twitter "twit" and less about being present, in the moment and accepting that you will have to remember something instead of filing it away some place in your brain, in a folder where you might one day access that memory or emotion. Don't get me wrong I am happy for the couple, it is just this post touched on something a little deeper for me.

Notes from Holly St. said...

what a sweet idea! These pictures made me a little teary eyed. They look so happy! I'll never forget the day we found out we were having a girl. I felt like I was floating in the clouds for days!

Tragic Sandwich said...

I could see doing it as part of a shower, as long as you were okay with the fact that the clothing gifts would still be gender-neutral. And it would only work for the first shower.

But it's a little precious for my tastes, and I can't see having a separate party just for that. How many baby-centered parties are my friends going to want to come to? When I was pregnant I was glad that they were happy for me, but I didn't expect them to be super excited about everything the way we were. After all, it wasn't their baby!

Anonymous said...

When I get pregnant I really really really hope for a girl because I have a very special name picked out for her!

J+H @ Beyond The Stoop said...

i LOVE the idea... though i would reveal the gender at the baby shower, that way i would get gender-neutral baby stuff ... so we can have lots of hand-me-downs for the baby #2 (and #3, and #4, and... and... :P)

--r said...

i wouldn't, just because i'm not much of a spotlight person (didn't have a baby shower either).
the first time, i really wanted a boy (because i particularly loved hanging out with my nephews), this time i was sort of hoping for another boy (mostly out of convenience—we've got a house full of boy "stuff"). BUT we're having a girl (I think my husband was secretly rooting for a girl, though he also would've been happy with either).

C. said...

I think it's interesting to assume that people are just as excited as you are about finding out the gender. :) It's a cute idea, but I'm a fairly private person and always prefer for moments like that to be between my husband and I. We found out the gender of our first during the 20wk ultrasound and it was lovely to spend a few moments together just imagining what our new daughter was going to be like. We did the 'reveal' via a few phone calls, but that was it.

Angela said...

I'd love to attend a party like this (and have the surprise cake!) but I'm not sure I'd do it myself.

What about you Joanna, are you considering having another baby now that Toby is getting so big? Would you and Alex have a party like this?

Also, for a future Motherhood Monday, I'd love to hear how other parents make the decision about when to have another baby! Our little one is 21 months and I think he would be a fantastic older brother but he is so amazing right now that I just want to enjoy him as much as possible!

Cynthia said...

We had one when I was pregnant with my first child- not even knowing it was a big thing. No cake cutting- we just opened the envelope in front of our parents and siblings. It wasn't an elaborate thing but it was special. I didn't find it self indulgent because we kept it small. And to hear the reaction once we opened the envelope made us feel even more certain that this was a great idea.

When I found out I was pregnant again we decided to wait til Birth day but then I found out I was pregnant with twins and thought... why not, let's do it again.
If you saw the videos of our parents and siblings then you would see how excited they were for us. It was magical. Plus, I don't see my family that often so we celebrate anything worth celebrating.

However, I can't see these things becoming the norm, or at least I hope expectant parents don't feel like they have to have a party like this.

Anonymous said...

I gotta agree with other commenters that "gender" is being used incorrectly here.
But - I would NOT have the patience to wait! I hate surprises!

Lesley said...

We hosted a gender reveal party last year when I was pregnant with Anna. I was worried it would appear self absorbed or showy, and I gave it a lot of debate before hand. Eventually we decided to invite a small group of friends over for "dessert" that way no one would feel obligated to bring a gift. Once everyone arrived we served Blue Moon beer, a pink champagne, and a cake. It was REALLY fun...more fun than we thought it would be.

Stephanie said...

We just had one last week! We kept it to us, our parents, & my husband's grandmother. It's our first baby and the first grand baby (and great-grand baby) on both sides so it was fun for all in attendance. We had a relaxing evening with a home cooked meal and then cupcakes with pink frosting inside for dessert.

I'm not sure how our friends would have reacted - I'm guessing a mixture of cute vs. "this is self-absorbed". The small family party worked for us, and why not celebrate life's little moments?

og said...

Please don't make this a trend! It's enough to have a baby shower. Maybe something for family but please let your friends off the hook. It's pretty self-absorbed...

Jill GG (good life for less) said...

A friend of mine had a little gender reveal party just this past weekend that I attended. At first my husband and I were like "!?!?!" when we got the invitation. But turns out it was a really fun night and a great way to fete the new parents. The look on their face was priceless when the "reveal" came and I would definitely attend another similar event. It was so sweet!

og said...

I just commented and thought more about it. Please don't throw a party. let your family members off the hook, too. Just call and share the joyful news.

Prescott Perez-Fox said...

Call me old-fashioned, but this seems ridiculous to me. I'd want to know the sex as soon as the baby is clear and draws breath. Usually, that's within seconds. Depending on the viewing angle, I might even see the sex before the mother does!

Regarding parents who want one sex over the over, I can only give my own perspective. As a man, I want a son. I can love a daughter equally, but I want at least one son. I'd probably be willing to give it two tries. Can't see myself as one of those fathers with three or more daughters. Sorry if that makes me a horrible person/alpha male.

Lizzi said...

This reminds me of a question I've had burning in my mind for awhile now.. what do you do if you find out your baby is a hermaphrodite? My inclination is to just be honest and tell everyone, but my husband totally disagrees. I think this is a really interesting topic! Lots of babies are born unisex... how do you deal with that when it comes to telling people your babies gender (especially family and close friends) when they are an infant if you are waiting for them to decide their gender for themselves? I wouldn't mind my family knowing, but my husband feels differently. Does anyone have any opinions or ideas?

Audrey - This Little Street said...

Love this - makes me wish I had done something fun too when we found out the gender....oh well, maybe I'll convince hubby to have a third kid ;)

Taylor said...

I think the idea of a gender reveal party is extremely messed up. First of all, gender is a person's sense of being a man, a woman, or something else entirely. It is distinct from sex, which is male, female, or sometimes intersexed. People often think that sex and gender are the same thing, or are interchangeable, but they're not. What you're talking about here is a sex reveal party.

What bothers me about the idea of having one of these parties is that it sets up a whole bunch of expectations for the child, before s/he is even born, and reinforces the idea that everyone conforms to very rigid gender roles. There's a certain set of ideas that is reflected here: if it's a boy, the nursery should be blue, the kid will like trucks and dinosaurs, etc. If it's a girl, make everything pink and get her some dolls. The truth is, that kind of thinking is very limiting and doesn't work for a lot of people. Ultimately, you have no idea what your child is going to grow up to like or be- why set up restrictive expectations for them when you don't have to? I think it's a much better idea to take the emphasis off announcing the sex of babies, and instead let them choose for themselves who and what they want to be.

Eloquent English said...

I'm totally all for the gender reveal party! I think it would be so much fun to do that gathered around your family and best of friends!!! I'm def going to do it (one day)! xoxo A-

Shannon said...

What fun! I would love to do this.

http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com

Emily with an M said...

We did this out of necessity because our 4 year old wasn't allowed in the ultrasound room (during swine flu mania of 2009). We took our little envelope out to dinner where we met my mom and sister who were watching our daughter. We practiced with her how to recognize "GIRL" and "BOY" beforehand so that she could read the note to us. What a fun way to find out!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of the cake, but if I did one (far, far in the future), I'd keep it to family and close friends. It's about celebrating and your excitement for your new baby, not about gender stereotypes. I think it's silly to get caught up in the PCness of the party when everyone involved has good intentions.

Yana said...

Oh I would love to throw a gender reveal party! But waiting till the baby is born would be unbelievably exciting as well. Capturing it on video is really fun too!

hipslipsandpacifier.blogspot.com

.aubrey c. said...

I wish I wouldve done something, but I already told everyone I knew it would be a boy! Oh well hopefully more to come!

http://gandacummings.blogspot.com

.aubrey c. said...

I wish I wouldve done something, but I already told everyone I knew it would be a boy! Oh well hopefully more to come!

http://gandacummings.blogspot.com

sip-n-wear said...

What a cute idea!! I dont know if i could wait for the party to find out!

Jacquelineand.... said...

It's a really cute idea BUT... I recall my niece's excitement when they found out they were having a girl; painting the nursery pink, buying everything in pink.

Weren't they surprised when they gave birth to a son!

Hena said...

Joanna - It was such a surprise to log in this morning and find this post! My husband and I are expecting (I read your blog SO regularly!) our first baby in November 2012. We're a few weeks away from finding out the gender, and were looking up gender reveal party ideas just this weekend! Our favourite is the cake with the colour inside for the reveal!

http://henaawan.blogspot.ca/

Lisa said...

It seems over-the-top and pretty self-absorbed to me as well, especially if you are inviting people outside of the grandparents and actually presuming that they spend that much time wondering what gender your baby will be. I've been pregnant for 14 weeks and I'm already tired of the "pregnancy industry" telling me what I just have to do.

Also, at the risk of nitpicking, the blue-vs-pink thing kind of bugs me. Our baby will be wearing a lot of hand-me-downs, and I'm really not too worried about putting blue shoes on a little girl, or (gads!) something girly on a little boy. :)

emilyjosephine.com said...

This is a great idea! I would totally do it.

chelswat said...

This was the best decision I could have made. We just did a gender reveal party and no lie, it was one of the best nights of my life. Finding out what you are having and celebrating with friends and family at that moment is just priceless! We had to wait 3 days after we had the sonogram, but totally worth it I promise you won't regret it!

Here's our little story...
http://watanadventure.blogspot.com/2012/03/beautiful-baby.html

The Cyclist's Wife said...

This is kind of neat! I've never heard about a gender reveal party before but I like the idea. We are still trying to decide will we or won't we...

Anonymous said...

This is completely narcissistic - my GOD!

Anonymous said...

I'm among the people who think this is ridiculous. Ridiculous!

Amy P said...

No, no party. I really wanted a boy with my first, and we found out at the ultrasound that it was a girl. I was shocked for the first few hours - not because it was so awful to have a girl, but because I was so certain I was having a boy and had been imagining that all along. In the big picture it's no big deal and I just had to wrap my head around it - but I'd hate to have to experience that feeling among a whole whack of family & friends who expect you to be excited-yay-party-whoohoo!

I liked one what poster said - she had the salesgirl wrap up one of two outfits she had chosen based on the envelope the tech had given her, and she and her husband opened it that night at dinner to discover the sex. Private but still extra special.

Benedicte said...

Oh my God ! I am shocked, it's beyond ridiculous ! (May be an European reaction?).

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I am looking forward to the day when privacy and intimacy come back into fashion. I would not do this for myself nor would I be interested in going to one of these parties.

Elle Amerie said...

I don't even like having birthday parties and am kind of appalled when people throw birthday parties for themselves....

I like Leslie's things where she had some friends just come over for dessert, that is very sweet.

Unknown said...

I definitely think it's cute for the couple and maybe some family members...but overall it seems really self-absorbed. I don't think most people find it as important as the parents and its really just a way to make others pay more attention to you and your life.

Anonymous said...

Birthday reveal party = look at me ... look at me(cartwheel).

Anonymous said...

Gender reveal party = looks at me ... look at me(cartwheel).

Ashton said...

I think gender reveal parties can be a great way to include close friends and families in the pregnancy without having then too involved. I remember when my mum was pregnant with my littlest sister and she brought out a bottle full of pink jelly beans at a family dinner. Everyone was confused at first, then they got it. It wasn't so much a party as much as a fun way to break the news when everyone was together, but I can see others wanting to make a slightly bigger to do about it :)

Kate said...

Oh my goodness, that is such an adorable idea! I love that!

Kate {Something Fabulous}
http://thesomethingfabulous.blogspot.com

caterose said...

My husband and I revealed the gender of our baby - on our wedding day. While planning our wedding, I discovered I was pregnant! It was a huge surprise which made us shuffle our wedding plans a bit. I was a little sad at first that i could not wear the dress of my dreamsI, but grew to love my bump. I became excited how our baby would be with us, in utero, on our special day. I went with the flow and decided to have a special cake made for our cake cutting ceremony - a beautiful stacked non-gender specific purple color on the outside with the surprise bright pink color on the inside to reveal our future baby girl. Our guests went crazy after we cut the cake as it was a much anticipated moment! It was so special that our daughter was part of our ceremony, and I would not have had it any other way :)

Laleanne said...

When I first found out I was pregnant it was actually my husband that told me about a gender reveal party since his co-worker was planning one as well. I loved the idea and since we're expecting our first, we were super excited to give it a whirl.

I loved coming up with decor and fun ways to incorporate our guests into the reveal. We did a fun photobooth style voting system where people used mustaches or lips to place their vote.

Check out the photos of our party here:
http://stanberypatch.blogspot.com/2012/03/gender-reveal.html

Emily said...

I loved reading all of these comments! I think many of the previous posts hit the nail on the head...these parties make me gag! I have one friend who found out the sex of the baby, then her and her husband kept it a secret for 9 months. They LOVED having people constantly ask, speculate and guess. They seemed obsessed with the attention. Now pregnant with her second, she just had a cake party. I think it is interesting that many of the comments were by people that had these parties and loved them (big surprise!)...of course it was thrilling and exciting - for YOU.

Anonymous said...

This seems so unnecesarry to me. Like Shannon said above, the gender doesn't matter. I don't need to know before i give birth, because the sex of my child should nit (and will not) determine the acivities my child will like (dolls vs trucks, for example). I've always found the trend of dressing boys in blue and girls in pink is just silly and cam be detrimental. The most important thing is that my child is a PERSON. Take a look at that swedish school that does things entirely irrespective of gender... It's fascinating!

Sarah said...

As a parent I have become so much more emotional that I don't know if I could survive a gender reveal without turning into a blubbering idiot, regardless of the sex of the baby!

Sarah said...

Also, this is my sociological standpoint but I think it should be referred to as the sex of the baby and not the gender. Gender is becoming a quickly outdated description as it reflects more the roles of the particular sex rather than the sexual characteristics. Does this make sense?

Anonymous said...

This is crazy. I know Celine and Gabe feom high school!!! And I used to be good friends with her brother!! Go Unionville

CONGRATS CELINE

Anonymous said...

My husband and I read Alex's article on Sunday and my husband thought it was a fun idea. I, on the other hand, thought it was silly. My idea of fun is finding out the gender once it's born.

Anonymous said...

I just had to comment on this one! I just gave birth a few months ago and didn't find out the sex at all (until the very end)! My husband and I just believed (even before we were pregnant) that finding out the sex of your child is one of the last few genuine surprises left on this earth. So much in our lives is predictable.
Our friends who have found out during the 20week ultrasound say it is just as exciting to find out then. But I don't think anything compares to finding out in the midst of the crazy energy after being in labor for 24+ hours.
And to those who say that they need time to get the nursery/layette ready...well a little boy's penis won't fall off if he wears something pink or vice versa.
I'm all for the mystery, beauty, and sanctity of birth in every aspect.

Anonymous said...

I think this is such a fun idea! I've been trying to think up ideas to celebrate our next pregnancy instead of a baby shower.

Wenna said...

I wouldn't. I think it's too much. I'm an obsessed parent but I don't want to bother my (single) friends with this cutesy event. It's the kind of party Charlotte would throw that the other girls from SATC would probably find annoying.

tasmia said...

i dont like this idea.A healthy baby is the most important issue than anything.In few countries to reveal gender is illegal coz if parents/family found its girl they straight go for abortion.How inhuman!!

Fiona said...

Gender reveal party, I’ve heard it all now. Ugh, so self absorbed and narcissistic. This modern day fetishisation of parenthood has gone too far for me.

Seriously, who cares, in the nicest possible way of course, if someone is having a boy or a girl. The parents, that’s who. And as for hiring a photographer to document the moment of the reveal. There are no words!

Anonymous said...

I know many transgender people and this sounds just stupid. You can't be sure of the child's gender identity before the child knows it and I don't know why you should celebrate the fact that the child has female/male genitalia. What is the baby has traits of both sexes? And the colors schemes sound depressing. I wouldn't like to strengthen any stereotypes of what little girls or boys should be like.

Mikki and Greg said...

@anonymous. I have a question, so if you have an issue with stereotyping, what do you name your child? Or will it be like the old SNL sketch with Pat, where you never really know if Pat is supposed to be a guy or gal. So are you just going to wait to name the kid till they "decide" what they are going to be?

Karen said...

My brilliant friend Amber just threw one for her/her husband's family. Amber and her husband knew the sex, but wanted a neat way to tell everyone. So they bought lottery tickets and made their own versions... only the scratch-off portion revealed if it was a boy or girl. They made them so well that the family had no idea they were anything other than regular lottery tickets. So it was an extra big surprise to scratch off and reveal "IT'S A GIRL!"

Cassie said...

I'd prefer a lottery ticket

Mimoza said...

great idea!

Anonymous said...

Whatever next :) How self absorbing society has become.

Anonymous said...

I think this trend is getting out of hand. Balloons flying out of boxes, cakes, parties. Just seems like a privileged class kind of thing to do. Like a Kindergarden graduation party or something. Does anyone except the parents really care what the sex of your baby is four seconds after they find out? If you have it as a part of a baby shower or something, that's one thing. But a special party just to find out the sex? I agree with those who say it's self indulgent. By the way, I have three kids. We didn't make a big deal out of what they were, just told those who asked.

Dee said...

I absolutely hate this idea. Yeah, let's have a party to encourage restrictive gender roles! Would never ever do it, would never, ever attend one.

Fleur said...

I'd also be concerned that some expectant parents would feel as if they HAD to do the gender reveal party, when they perhaps did not wish to. While this might be an evolving trend, I can see mother in laws of the future saying...Jane and Mary did it this way, when will you be having your party?

I also find it a little precious. Not to be mean, but let's face it...gender reveal party for the first baby...cute(perhaps), gender reveal(or a baby shower) for your third baby...not quite as cute.

KimG said...

My husband and I had a lunch for just our parents. It was a nice way to celebrate a healthy baby on the way and we surprised them when they bit into the cupcakes... pink in the inside for our little girl!

Anonymous said...

Technically it would be considered a "sex reveal party" (Sorry, I know that completely makes me the anal feminist...)

A Merry Mishap said...

Such a beautiful idea!

Jennifer said...

It's over the top. Obviously it works for some people, but I would never do it. And as others have said, seems self-absorbed. When we had our 4th child, we did cut a cake with our other children to discover pink or blue inside. The kids thought that was fun.

Anonymous said...

I agree - quite self-absorbed.... do people really care all THAT much if I'm having a boy or girl?? not likely......

KatelynMade said...

This is a cute idea! I love this creativity. We didn't have the wherewithall to throw a party, plus we didn't even want to surprise ourselves. We want to SEE it for ourselves, and we did. But we thought maybe there'd be a more fun way to tell our family/friends. Since most of them are remote, we decided to do a video.

Here it is if you're curious:
http://katelynmade.blogspot.com/2012/03/gender-reveal-its.html

I call us "20 minute productions."

Roni said...

Me and my husband just had one this weekend, we did the cake thing and had the ultrasound tech write down to gender & seal it in an envelope and took it to the bakery. It was so much fun to find out the same time with our family and friends! It's our first and we struggled a bit to get this little girl here so we wanted to celebrate!

Mara @ Super Savings said...

I'm really surprised by so many negative reactions to this idea. I personally think it's a really fun way to celebrate your baby - whether it's a boy or girl doesn't matter, it just captures the excitement that comes along with one of the fun moments of pregnancy.
We're expecting our 6th and after the 1st we didn't have any more showers....I felt the excitement over each baby was kind of missing. This way we have an "excuse" to throw a party and celebrate this wonderful new little life that's on it's way to our family.
No pressure, no gifts, no self-indulgence....just a fun way to acknowledge and share the joy of our new gift from God. We also couldn't have all 5 of our kids in the ultrasound room with us, so this way we all get to find out together with some close friends and family. I think it's a great idea. =)

~ Mara

Viagra Online said...

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I just had to comment on this one! I just gave birth a few months ago and didn't find out the sex at all (until the very end)! My husband and I just believed (even before we were pregnant) that finding out the sex of your child is one of the last few genuine surprises left on this earth. So much in our lives is predictable.

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Emily said...

Wow, what a bunch of naysayers! Life is short and we should celebrate it. Whether it's getting a job, celebrating a birthday or finding out the sex of a baby, I say go for it!

worldtravels76 said...

I did a gender reveal party earlier this month and it was really fun! The ONLY way I would let my mom throw this kind of party, though, was if my husband and I found out without a crowd around. So... we actually knew a MONTH before the party. There was NO way in HELL I was going to find out the sex of the baby in front of everyone. I didn't want to look ungrateful for the chance to be pregnant and a mommy because I was disappointed by the gender. It turned out to be a boy and I was in shock. I always imagined myself to be a "girl" mom, but I have had time to process it, read your blog about this topic, and am really happy about it now! But, if I found out in front of everyone, I probably would have cried thus making me look completely ungrateful for the year struggle of trying to get pregnant.

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