Gender roles are changing globally, and if you’re planning or hosting a baby shower, you might wonder if men go to baby showers.
In general, baby showers are still women-only events, but as time changes, more couples want to have coed baby showers where male family members and friends attend and celebrate. You might wonder if fathers attend baby showers, and who can I put on the guestlist for this baby shower.
I know the confusion; I hosted my sister’s baby shower recently, and we had a coed shower with females and males. It was a different experience because my baby shower was eleven years ago and was female-only. Times are changing, and it’s good to know what is culturally accepted and what isn’t.
Here’s what you need to know about men going to baby showers; get it right the first time.
Are Baby Showers Only for Ladies?
Traditionally, baby showers are for the mother and the mother-to-be’s friends and family to gather and eat delicious food while showering the mother with gifts. Baby showers are hosted by a female relative or a close female friend, and until recent years, were only open to women.
Depending on where you live or your family, this conservative tradition may still say that men at baby showers are a no-no.
More families and couples desire to have a baby shower for men and women in recent years, so it’s up to the parents to decide who they want to come to their baby shower.
Who Usually Attends Baby Showers?
Who attends a baby shower depends on who throws the shower. In the past, mothers received one shower, and a female family member threw it.
For example, I had one baby shower for my first child, and my mother threw me the shower, inviting close female friends and family members.
However, traditions are changing, and women are more likely to have multiple showers. Your church friends might have a small shower after church services, or your work friends might have a lunch shower during a workday. Your friends might have a sprinkle, so each of these involves different people attending your shower.
If you have a traditional female-only baby shower, people who would attend the shower include:
- Female Cousins
- Female Neighbors
- Friends – Female Only
- Female Family Friends
Everyone listed is a female; men don’t attend these baby showers.
A work shower, church shower, or friend shower is going to be different. The guest lists will be smaller; you only invite people at your workplace or attend your church, but it’s generally coed and whoever wants to celebrate the baby.
It’s also more acceptable nowadays to have more than one shower. Many females have a larger baby shower with their first child, but they have smaller, intimate showers for following kids.
I threw my best friend a baby sprinkle for her second child. We went out to eat and reserved a space at the restaurant, and her close female friends and family attended. The invite list was only 15 people.
Do Husbands or Dads Go to Baby Showers?
Tradition says that a baby shower is traditionally a day for the mother, but it’s not uncommon for moms to share this time with their partners. For decades, the dad or husband arrived right at the end of the shower with flowers and thanked the guest as they left.
However, things are changing, and many new parents want the father to attend the entire shower. When that happens, it’s more likely that other men will attend, including his friends and family members.
Why Would Men Want to Go to Baby Showers
When I talked to a few of my male friends and family members, they posed a good question – why should men go to baby showers? For decades, it’s worked as a female-only event, and after plenty of horror stories and hearing complaints from women, many have no desire to go.
There are a few good reasons why you should invite men, especially husbands and dads, to your baby shower.
Dads Should Be Involved From The Start
Women want dads to be more involved with their children from the start, but we stop them from attending the first party to celebrate their child. Having the father and other men come to the shower shows them that raising kids is for dads as well, and it starts before the birth of your baby.
More Love and Fun
Baby showers are to support and share in the love and joy with the expecting parents. Men can celebrate and have fun; your baby comes into an atmosphere full of love from everyone who knows you and your family.
Why Are Guys Not Allowed at Baby Showers?
So, the question begs to be asked – why did tradition say that men have to sit out of baby showers?
To answer that, we have to go back in history a bit. For centuries, having babies and giving birth was for women only. Husbands stayed out of the delivery room, brought in after the baby and wife were ready for viewing. Childbirth was for women; men never saw this side of real life.
Until recent, child-rearing and parenting was the primary job of females. Husbands made money for the families, and wives took care of the children and the home.
Discussion of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and all the reality behind raising kids was discussed without men around. It was considered bad taste or inappropriate to discuss these topics with men, so pulling out a gift with a breast pump or nipple ointment would be awkward for the male.
However, while men might fit some of the details around childbirth too much, men now are involved heavily in delivery and raising children. As long as the male wants to attend, there is no reason for them not to come.
What is a Coed Baby Shower?
Nowadays, fathers are more involved in the rearing of children and family responsibilities. Hence, as dads take on a more active role, my family wants to have a coed baby shower where men attend the showers along with females.
Coed baby showers are more common now. This is when you invite close male family members along with guy friends. If the father wants to attend the baby shower, there is a good chance several of his friends and male family members would be happy to participate with their wives or girlfriends.
When friends throw a shower, it’s more likely to be coed. Many couples have couple friends, and it makes sense to include everyone rather than say only the females can attend. Friends tend to be close in age and similar-minded so that it won’t be a big deal.
If you have a baby shower thrown by work friends, there is a good chance it will be coed. It doesn’t make sense to tell the male coworkers that they can’t have delicious cake and celebrate the baby just because they’re male. Making them look at the food seems cruel; plus, if you’re close to any of the guys at your workplace, it makes sense to invite them!
What Do Guys Do During a Baby Shower?
So, if guys attend a baby shower, what are they going to do? Men at a baby shower do the same things that everyone else does – play baby shower games, eat food, watch the mom open presents, and celebrate with the new parents.
Expect women to give the upcoming mom advice about childbirth or funny stories about raising kids. The games typically involve parenting, and the food is usually delicious. If anything, the men enjoy the food the most.
Since coed showers are a newer trend, if you host this type of shower, it’s essential to make sure the activities are for both genders. Many baby shower ideas are for women only, but you need to switch it up and have things that everyone can enjoy regardless of gender.
Years ago, if men wanted to attend a baby shower, they would be looked at strangely. Fathers arrived at the end with a bouquet of flowers and kisses for the mother-to-be. Nowadays, coed baby showers are typical, so men go to baby showers more than before. If you want to have males and females at your baby shower, go ahead! It’s perfectly acceptable.
Hey, this is Linda. My biggest accomplishment in life is being a mother of four children. Their current ages range from almost ten years old down to 20 months old.
I’m passionate about writing parenting articles because I understand so well all of the problems and trials you face as a parent. From breastfeeding woes to budgeting problems and behavior problems, along with everything in between, chances are I’ve faced it over the last ten years. Read more about Linda here.