A baby shower is one of the most special milestones for a couple to enjoy as they approach becoming parents together. While baby showers have historically been all-girl affairs in honor of the new mom, surrounded by her closest females, coed baby showers have grown in popularity over the years.
Planning a coed baby shower? Read on for tips and to learn what you need to plan a fun coed shower for everyone to enjoy!
Stuck at home? Heres how to make it a virtual baby shower!
What is a Coed Baby Shower?
A coed baby shower is a relatively modern way to help a new mom and dad prepare for their new arrival. Coed showers honor both the mom and the dad, and invitees are typically couples among the parents’ friends and family.
Is it OK to Have One?
Traditional baby shower etiquette surrounds a celebration of the mom-to-be held and attended by female friends and family. However, times-are a changing, and it’s becoming more popular to include dad and extend the invitation to couples as well as male friends and family members. Mom and dad are embarking on this journey together, and a coed baby shower lets them enjoy this fun and joyful time.
Truth be told, though, you might find that guests from previous generations may raise an eyebrow or be unsure of what to expect from a coed shower. Giving them an idea of what to expect (the event’s details, what games they might get to enjoy, etc.) will help them be more comfortable with what might be something new to them, and they’ll be sure to have a great time when the day arrives.
Ultimately, it comes down to what the expecting parents want.
Tips for Deciding On If You Should Have a Jack and Jill
A coed or Jack and Jill baby shower can be a fun way for the expecting couple to share in their excitement with all of their friends, but is breaking from a traditional shower the right choice for you? Here are some tips for deciding if a Jack and Jill shower is the way you want to go.
- How Does Dad Feel? No matter how happy the expecting dad is about their new arrival, or how involved he plans to be when the baby arrives, baby showers might not be their “thing.” Talk with dad about what he might be comfortable with and if he wants to be a part of the event. While some dads are thrilled at the idea of gathering those closes to them and being a part of the celebration, some would rather let their partner be showered with attention at a shower.
- Consider the Invite List: Think about who you would want to invite to a traditional female-dominated shower – does this list have a lot of better-halves of couples close to Mom and Dad? Or, are there many men in your lives who you think would genuinely enjoy the opportunity to join in showering the expecting parents? If your answers are yes, a coed shower with male and female friends and family in attendance might be a great idea!
- How Important is Tradition?: While modern twists on traditional milestones are a great way to incorporate your own ideals and interests, there are still many moms-to-be who understandably look forward to basking in the feminine love and wisdom a traditional shower can offer. If the mom-to-be is someone who might really enjoy the “girl time” aspect of a traditional shower, perhaps a coed shower isn’t a good plan.
How to Plan a Coed Baby Shower?
Check out our post on Baby Shower Etiquette for more information
Planning a couple baby shower is a lot like planning a traditional baby shower. Follow these steps to create a fun coed day to celebrate the new mom and dad!
Step 1: Theme
One fun benefit of throwing a coed baby shower vs. a traditional shower is that the list of potential themes for you to consider gets all the more creative! Picking a theme for a coed shower is a sweet opportunity to show Mom and Dad’s personalities. You can tailor the theme to suit their interests: paying tribute to hobbies they might hope to share with their little one, focusing on a theme they might already have for their baby’s nursery, or even reflecting things they enjoy doing together.
Here are some ideas to get you started!
What’s more fun when warm weather hits than playing backyard games? A Backyard Games themed party like this one from Uncommon Designs is sure to be a blast! Invite Mom and Dad’s friends and family to share in an afternoon of classic yard games like cornhole and ring toss, and newer favorites like giant Jenga or yard dice. Play into the theme with traditional backyard decorations like checkered table clothes and BBQ fare.
Dick and Jane Theme
The Fun with Dick and Jane book series is classic, and so is this coed shower theme idea! A Dick and Jane themed shower lends plenty of opportunities for visual nods to the series, with many adorable illustrations of the storied pair available for use in invitations, banners, table signs, and other décor. Simple and old-fashioned games and activities will be perfectly appropriate for this shower, offering many options for everyone to get involved and have a great time celebrating.
Are Mom and Dad lovers of the outdoors? A camping themed coed baby shower is a perfect way to honor something they enjoy doing together, and something they’ll share as a family! With endless ways to tie in woodsy décor, and tons of ideas for snacks and favorite bonfire treats, a camping theme is a fun and rather easy one to explore and customize for the expecting couple. Check out Dwelling in Happiness to see how they approached the camping theme.
Step 2: Invitations
Once you’ve chosen your theme, your next step to be spread the word and reach out to the couple’s invitation list. For a coed shower, the invitation is important because it announces that the shower will be welcoming both male and female guests and can include any details particular to that element of the gathering.
How to Word
Wording on a coed shower invitation is crucial to relaying that the party is for both men and women. Make sure to mention both parents’ names prominently on the invitation. Using language such as “shower both mom and dad,” “celebrate the soon-to-be parents,” and “join us for a couples shower” to make very clear that the shower is in celebration of both mom and dad.
How to Address
Address the shower coed baby shower invitations in such a way that emphasizes they’re intended for both members of a couple. The level of formality with which you present the invitees’ names is dependent on the style of the shower being thrown. For a more traditional shower, wording for a married couple invited to the shower would be:
Mr. and Mrs. Husband’s First Name + Last Name
While a more modern approach would be:
Husband’s First Name + Wife’s First Name + Last Name
Regardless of how traditional or not the shower might be, basic invitation wording etiquette tips are always a nice way to honor a special occasion. Consider using the following tips for wording your invites:
- Always use a dark colored ink, like black or blue, to ensure the lettering will be legible.
- If someone has a professional title, use it (i.e. Dr. or Doctor).
- Spell out full addresses (Street, Suite, Avenue, etc.)
- If the shower will welcome couples and their children, include their names or write “Last Name + Family” to communicate that they’re all invited.
- Guest Suggestions: Invitations are the right place to include any special instructions you might have for guests at the shower. Depending on what games and activities you choose, you might ask for attendees to bring specific types of gifts or goodies for the parents-to-be. Invitations are where you should mention things like guys bringing beer and women bringing diapers so that everyone knows what is expected and hoped for.
Step 3: Party Games + Activities
One of the most fun aspects of throwing a coed shower is the chance to invite the guys to take part in baby shower games! There is something very endearing about watching grown men participate in baby-related games, and it’s a fun way to get everyone involved.
Try incorporating some of these games into the coed shower you’re planning:
Baby Food Tasting Game
Guess Who: Mommy or Daddy?
Pin the Sperm on the Egg
My Water Broke!
For games that will see a winner, make sure the prize is something a man or woman could enjoy! Here are some ideas that are guaranteed to be “winners!”
- Gift cards to places everyone can enjoy, like coffee shops, restaurants, and even stores, are sure to be loved by anyone who wins them.
- A six pack with a variety of specialty craft beers.
- A basket of king-sized candy bars or treats.
- Mini tool kits and manicure sets
Step 4: Party Favors
Party favors are a thoughtful way to thank your coed shower guests for joining you to celebrate the expecting couple. Party favors can play into the theme you’ve chosen for the shower or can stand on their own as a sweet sentiment to share with everyone who has attended. Some simple party favors can be:
- A succulent with each guest’s name on a tag
- Small soaps with gender-neutral scents
- Cozies customized for the shower
- Mini pies or cakes
- Small jars with specialty salts or seasonings
- Glass soda bottles customized for the shower
Step 5: Food + Drinks
One way that coed showers differ from traditional showers is that the food should be a bit heavier. While light appetizers and desserts are the standard for most baby showers, a coed shower should have hearty food offerings for the male and female crowd. With ample appetizers, a filling meal, and a mix of drinks everyone will enjoy, you can ensure your shower guests leave with full hearts and full bellies!
While the theme you choose will dictate some of the food and beverage offerings you provide to your guests, these are good rules of thumb to consider in your planning:
- Appetizers: Fruits and vegetables with accompanying dips are a nice way to provide a healthy option to those who might be seeking one at the shower. Appetizers that don’t call for silverware (like skewers and single bite foods) are ideal for people to enjoy while they mingle and enjoy the shower.
- Meal: Meat-based entrees are typically crowd pleases for coed showers. Think of BBQ, hearty casseroles, burgers, or enchiladas.
- Drinks: Plan to have a mix of sodas and/or juices, along with party favorites like craft beer, wine, champagne, or mimosas that men and women alike will be happy to have.
Step 6: Opening Gifts
Opening gifts tends to eb the part of the baby shower that guests look forward to the most. They’ve likely purchased or made something for the expecting couple that they were excited to get them, and many people enjoy the chance to watch the couple open the gift and see their joy. These steps will help make the gift opening portion of the shower easy and enjoyable:
- Writing Down Gifts: When you reach the gift-opening portion of a coed baby shower, make sure to have a friend or family member (most often the host) keep track of each gift and who gifted it. Writing this down will help the expecting parents to complete their post-shower thank-you notes and express their gratitude for their guests’ gifts and contributions.
- Collect the Trash: It might sound silly but gathering and putting away wrapping paper and any extra materials is helpful to do as you go. Have a designed person help to gather trash after each gift is opened, which helps you to avoid having a mounting pile of wrapping paper and Mom and Dad’s feet, but also ensures that any photos taken aren’t tainted by a pile of garbage in the foreground!
- Take Photos: Make sure to take photos of the parents with various gifts they’ve received. Baby shower photos are a sweet part of many baby albums and are fun for couples to look back on long after their baby has arrived. Photos of the expecting couple with their gifts can also be a nice addition to a thank you-note to the gifter.
While planning a coed baby shower is similar to preparing to throw a traditional shower, there are several considerations to take when planning for a crowd mixed with men and women. We hope this article has provided helpful tips to make putting together a coed shower simple and fun!
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