Why Do Men Go To Baby Showers When They Are Not Wanted?

do men go to baby showers

Baby showers are a great way to celebrate the arrival of your new bundle of joy. But why are they called baby showers and are men invited? Well, baby showers started as a girls-only party, with men banned from attending! So, baby showers became an opportunity for women who had recently given birth or adopted children to celebrate together with other women. 

Do men go to baby showers? Most men are unaware of baby showers because these are discreet events held for expectant mothers. Most of whom do not want their male partners or family to attend. 

It may seem strange when we think about it, but it makes sense, once you understand why fathers attend baby showers even if they are not wanted.

1. Women are pressured to have a co-ed baby shower.

A co-ed baby shower simply includes men and ladies on the guest list. The host may also organize multiple showers. For example, a mom-to-be might want to schedule a friend’s baby shower, one co-ed for family, and one co-ed for coworkers.

Baby showers are frequently devoted to the female relatives, friends, and closest colleagues of the expectant mother. Ask the mother-to-be whom she wants to be on the guest list and whom she doesn’t. The soon-to-be mother should have her preference in the type of baby shower with which she is most comfortable.

2. Men might be unsure if women want them in this social setting.

Now that men are more active in child rearing, a soon-to-be father can attend the baby shower. It’s an excellent time for expecting parents to share the joy of the upcoming arrival with those closest to them. A modern baby shower can, and often does, involve men and is not considered taboo or unusual.

3. Men attending baby showers is against tradition.

Birth and postnatal care used to be a female-dominated field in the American colonial era. Birth parties included a midwife, close female relatives, and friends gathered at the soon-to-be mother’s home as she began labor and assisted her throughout the delivery process.

Considered inappropriate in the past to discuss childbirth and postnatal care in front of men, it was only ladies who were involved. Historically, women may have publicly shared personal information about delivery to strengthen community ties, but they deemed it inappropriate to discuss these intimate childbirth details in front of the dad-to-be.

When Did Co-Ed Baby Showers Begin?

Women created baby showers during the United States 1950s baby boom to celebrate the arrival of the upcoming baby. Ladies still throw these showers to gift needed items to the mother-to-be. They took the ceremony name from the phrase “showering the mother with love and gifts.” 

As parenting became a shared responsibility, co-ed baby showers became the new trend, and both expecting parents were involved in the pregnancy process and the baby shower. As more couples opt for the co-ed shower, it allows everyone to participate. Mom and dad-to-be can get together with their close friends before the new baby arrives. 

Today, men go to baby showers, especially if the father is there. Typically, a mother who hosts a Jack & Jill or co-ed baby shower invites her and her husband‘s male friends and relatives.

Why Are Guys Not Allowed At Baby Showers?

Traditionally, baby showers were reserved exclusively for the mother-to-be and women close to her. Although men weren’t forbidden from attending, discussing childbirth and postnatal care in front of them was once considered inappropriate. Childcare was seen as a woman’s responsibility and excluded the men from the conversation. Most people were okay with this, as they always considered anything concerning children a woman’s business.

What Do Men Do At A Baby Shower?

What Do Men Do At A Baby Shower

They bring gifts, food, and maybe some flowers! They also spend time together with other men who are there to celebrate the parents-to-be. Some even help with the games and activities. There is much talk about integrating father-to-be into the baby shower and more men even celebrate with their male friends and family. Fathers are getting involved by throwing their own “dad-chelor” party or “diaper party”. 

If the parents-to-be opt to split up parties by gender, it might be helpful to think of a male-only celebration. Maintaining a female-only ritual is crucial for some women in preserving a private place to talk about pregnancies. Family or friends of the parents-to-be often organize the baby shower and typically have a traditional mindset when inviting people to the baby shower.

Parents-to-be may like a non-traditional, co-ed, or partnered shower, which is an excellent option for same-sex and heterosexual parents. 

Who Normally Attends A Baby Shower?

The guests at a baby shower are people close to the parents-to-be, usually family, friends, and co-workers. Also, a close friend or relative of the parents-to-be is usually the organizer to compile and send out the guest list. It is common for parents-to-be and baby shower planners to wonder if they should include men.

Traditionally, baby showers were exclusively for women. More recently, men do attend baby showers and celebrate with their partners. The number of fathers participating in baby showers has recently increased as men become more accepting of hands-on parenting. It is natural for the expectant father-to-be interested in celebrating his baby’s arrival. Also, more men are now attending these events as friends or family members.

Whether you’d like to ask men and women to your baby shower is entirely your decision. You may also choose to celebrate it with just women. 

What Is A Sprinkle Shower?

It’s assumed that with your first child you are young, just starting out, and don’t have the needed baby items. This is a baby shower. However, baby showers celebrating a family’s second baby are known as sprinkle showers. 

A baby sprinkle is ideal for celebrating your family’s upcoming addition to the growing family, without the pressure and hassle of a traditional baby shower. A baby sprinkle is a casual, low-key party where experienced parents may be ‘sprinkled’ with support and small presents, rather than a more formal party where they are presented with large gift items.

Baby sprinkle showers are becoming more popular. Although, a baby sprinkle is a fresh concept, more experienced parents are participating.

Baby showers are typically more structured than a sprinkle. Here are some key differences.

A baby shower is often more formal but has a variety of baby shower games, like stroller races, name a tune, or pregnant twister, and attracts a larger crowd. New parents-to-be need a lot of items for their traditional shower, so a baby registry is often included.

A baby sprinkle is a casual shower that surrounds experienced parents with love and warmth. Parents at a sprinkle shower already have most of the essential items, so a registry is not necessary to replenish the needed items, such as baby bottles, diapers, wipes, and clothes. 

Planning on Organizing a Baby Shower or Sprinkle for Someone?

If you’re throwing a baby shower for someone, there are a few things you should know.

The guest list should be between 25-50 people to accommodate all who attend. Rule of thumb, send the invitations approximately 3 months in advance. Be sure to include the date, location, and email address for the shower. This will allow invited guests to R.S.V.P. to the correct email. 

The gift registry is optional. Many parents don’t register for gifts. The host may wish to compile a registry for the parents-to-be as part of the party planning. This can make gift-giving simple for guests. 

You might also consider hosting at someone else’s house if the shower will take place in the same neighborhood as yours—you can avoid any awkwardness of having other people show up unexpectedly.

And finally, don’t make it too expensive! You don’t want to spend more than is necessary for anything related to the party itself, food, drinks, and activities. But you do want to keep the thank you gift budget reasonable. Your guests will appreciate that you remembered a memento of the occasion. 

Final Thoughts

Baby showers are a fantastic opportunity to spend an enjoyable afternoon with family and friends, and to help parents-to-be to prepare for their new baby. It’s a no-brainer and anybody can make the party a success. This celebration is essential to help first-time parents-to-be to get through this difficult and new phase in their lives. Baby sprinkles can also help support experienced parents-to-be by attending the party to sprinkle them with the appropriate gifts.

It is important not to overthink, and to enjoy this special celebration. With a shower or sprinkle, traditional or co-ed, it’s up to the parents-to-be how they want to celebrate their new arrival. 

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

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