How do I ask the person hosting my baby shower to make the party gender-neutral? #Parties#baby showers#gender#gender-neutral#trying to conceive January 9 2013 | Offbeat Editors offbeatbride Photo by Tirzah Photography. My fiance and I aren't having a baby yet, but we're trying to conceive and have already decided that we don't want to find out the sex of the child until delivery. I have a lot of family and friends who will likely want host a baby shower for me, but I'm not sure how to convey the idea of gender-neutrality to them. I hope to have a shower that doesn't include gender-based games (boys vs. girls, blue and pink, soccer star or ballerina, etc;), but I'm pretty sure all of my family and friends will think this is a crazy notion. I'm committed to providing a peaceful, neutral environment for my future child grow into an individual, free from gender-based indoctrination, and for said family and friends to know that it is important to me. How do I propose the idea of a gender-neutral baby shower to the host with a stressed importance to not play any games or make any references that impose ideological gender roles? — Kate A few perspectives from our readers: I feel for you, and have had a lot of awkward moments biting my tongue at egregious sexism from perfectly nice people at various baby showers. Is there anyone whom you could ask to organise the party who you know will understand what you want? I agree with Carrie's comment that you can't really control a party someone else is hosting, and will to some extent be obligated to be nice about the party they are throwing for you. If your mom or best friend doesn't understand how you feel about gender, it's almost certain, no matter how well you explain your perspective, and even if they're trying, the party won't be what you had in mind. As far as I can see, you have a few options: throw the party yourself. Possibly with defined roles for mom, sister, or whoever else feels strongly about getting involved. This way, you have control over what happens, so it's a good plan if it won't cause too much social drama to be your own host. get a sympathetic friend to throw the party, and let them let you do some decision-making about the content. My best friend and I both took this approach re. organising each others' hen (bachelorette) weekends, and it worked well – and we were both comfortable hearing the other veto bride outfits, drinking games, and whatever else was a Do Not Want for the bride. This way you can have a shower but define the parameters somewhat. No games at all might be a good rule for excluding the stuff that bothers you. don't have a shower at all. This might not be an option, but it's what my wife and I ultimately decided. There are lots of aspects of baby showers we're not comfortable with, including those you mention. So we told everyone thanks, but we're really personally superstitious about partying before we've had a safe birth, so no thanks. If you make the official reason personal to you, it sounds less like you're passing judgment. Whatever you decide, good luck with setting boundaries over this stuff! We're wrestling with this too. Sometimes it seems like family and friends are, in the most well-meaning ways, cramming your unborn child into a confining gender role before they've even finished growing their major organs. Then again, it's difficult to dictate a party someone else is hosting. You can let everyone know well in advance that you're not finding out the sex, because they will ask. You could also casually mention to the host or someone involved with planning some gender neutral games that you approve of. Also, bear in mind that anyone who knows you well enough to throw you a baby shower is probably going to continue buying things for your child after the shower and after the birth, so you should have a conversation with them about how you hope to avoid gender stereotyping before the idea of a shower is even brought up. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Use this phone wallpaper hack to make sure your phone comes back if it gets lost NEXT Hutches make great rat houses Show/Hide comments [ 0 ] You're already at a good starting point. If you don't find out the gender it's really hard for the host to feel OK with a ton of "It's a boy" crap (or vice versa). One of my friends recently did just this. She didn't know the gender of the baby until it was born. Her super traditional mother still felt like her shower needed a "theme" so they went with how they are decorating the nursery. She decked her nursery out in elephants. So for the shower everything was grey and yellow with elephants. It was super cute! I feel like you can direct the theme a lot better if you yourself do not know the gender of the baby. I know now ultrasound technology is such that it's pretty definitive on gender if you want to find out. But you can always use my case, my mother was told I was going to be a boy so they had all this "It's a boy" stuff and my nursery was decked out in trains. Lo and behold I popped out sans penis! 2 agree Reply However I will say the moment you state gender neutral to some families, their minds jump to the extreme cases such as the family that hid their kids sex for years and went public about it. My fiancé put it quite eloquently when I brought it up. "Every toy is an option. Not all girls play with dolls and not every boy plays with trucks. Pink used to be a color of masculinity and blue was one of the colors for women. How the roles reversed is interesting, but you define gender roles in how you act and what you show your child. Not in what meaningless shit you buy them." And this, ladies and gentlemen and all shades in between, comes from the man who can walk in 5 inch stilettos better than I ever can. 1 agrees Reply OT, but I want to see video of your man walking in 5" stilettos because I can't even imagine doing that personally. That is all. 🙂 13 agree Reply This is so true. Growing up, I had dolls, cars, legos, and I remember at age 2 I had a really cool tool bench that I liked to play with outside while my father tinkered with the cars so I could be "just like daddy". That being said, since you are choosing not to find out the gender of your baby, can you just ask the host make the theme your favorite color or animal? Or a traditional baby shower theme idea that is fairly gender neutral is blocks (you know those old-fashioned wooden alphabet blocks) or teddy bears of ABC's. 4 agree Reply This happened to my mom too 🙂 1 agrees Reply Straight up tell them, "Hey, we don't know the gender of our baby, so let's come up with some fun, gender-neutral stuff to do!" Or, if you have a theme, like elephants, or vintage, let that be known, and people will usually comply. Ask, as well, for gift receipts so you can take items back "to plan for larger sizes" (even if you are just really taking a pink onesie back to get a yellow one). However, expect one or two gender-specific items. It's a grandparent's great joy to buy a girl a tutu, or a boy a truck, so let them indulge a little bit, especially if they have been waiting as long as you have been. You can always balance this with something else, like combat boots for the girl, and a dollhouse for the boy, if it bothers you. 2 agree Reply You can't really dictate a party someone else is hosting. You can let everyone know well in advance that you're not finding out the sex, because they will ask. You could also casually mention to the host or someone involved with planning some gender neutral games that you approve of. Also, bear in mind that anyone who knows you well enough to throw you a baby shower is probably going to continue buying things for your child after the shower and after the birth, so you should have a conversation with them about how you hope to avoid gender stereotyping before the idea of a shower is even brought up. 34 agree Reply I would definitely point out that because you are intentionally not finding out the sex of your baby, you'd much prefer to receive gifts that you will be able to use regardless of whether the baby is a boy or a girl. And maybe ask if the games can avoid speculating too since you really just do not want to know. I do agree with @Carrie that you can't completely dictate to someone else who is throwing you a party. One other thing is going to be how you react to any gendered gifts. There's a handy flow chart on this post that I've seen elsewhere that I think is worth keeping in mind. The only reason toys and baby items are "gendered" is because someone says so. So let your baby wear pink and blue and every other colour, let them have princesses and astronauts and dinosaurs. If you react that way to any gifts you receive, it sets the stage for the future once people do know the sex of your baby. 12 agree Reply Agreed! Let your kid take the lead. My daughter has been raised very neutrally in terms of gender expectations, but by 15 months she already wanted to play with my clothes and preferred dolls to trucks. But so what? We provided her with a range of choices and she expressed her preferences. While it's important to be open to your child falling anywhere on the gender spectrum, it's also important to honor who they are at any given stage of their development. 2 agree Reply I've only recently realized how my parents were FANTASTIC at letting my sister and I take the lead even while our toys and our mannerisms were quite opposite standard gender stereotypes. I preferred blocks and cars and building stuff with wood and nails yet was quiet, bookish, danced, and loved playing Laura Ingalls Wilder. My little sister loved Barbies, dress up, and EVERYTHING sparkly but did sports and was more of a rambunctious tomboy. 4 agree Reply Love that fantastic flow chart! I will definitely keep that one in mind when reacting to "gendered" baby gifts. 1 agrees Reply You can also make a statement through the items you register for. Register for a spectrum of colors and types of toys. I didn't find out the gender (neither is my sister, who is currently pregnant) and it was wonderful. People act like it's awful, but really, it's because they don't know how to shop for a baby without knowing pink or blue. I found it helped me focus on who the baby was more than the material goods people thought I needed to acquire. My showers, and my sister's showers, have not been gender-focused and no one gave us grief over it. Good luck! 1 agrees Reply I feel for you, and have had a lot of awkward moments biting my tongue at egregious sexism from perfectly nice people at various baby showers. Is there anyone whom you could ask to organise the party who you know will understand what you want? I agree with Carrie's comment that you can't really control a party someone else is hosting, and will to some extent be obligated to be nice about the party they are throwing for you. If your mom or best friend doesn't understand how you feel about gender, it's almost certain, no matter how well you explain your perspective, and even if they're trying, the party won't be what you had in mind. As far as I can see, you have a few options: a) throw the party yourself. Possibly with defined roles for mom, sister, or whoever else feels strongly about getting involved. This way, you have control over what happens, so it's a good plan if it won't cause too much social drama to be your own host. b) get a sympathetic friend to throw the party, and let them let you do some decision-making about the content. My best friend and I both took this approach re. organising each others' hen (bachelorette) weekends, and it worked well – and we were both comfortable hearing the other veto bride outfits, drinking games, and whatever else was a Do Not Want for the bride. This way you can have a shower but define the parameters somewhat. No games at all might be a good rule for excluding the stuff that bothers you. c) don't have a shower at all. This might not be an option, but it's what my wife and I ultimately decided. There are lots of aspects of baby showers we're not comfortable with, including those you mention. So we told everyone thanks, but we're really personally superstitious about partying before we've had a safe birth, so no thanks. If you make the official reason personal to you, it sounds less like you're passing judgment. Whatever you decide, good luck with setting boundaries over this stuff! We're wrestling with this too. Sometimes it seems like family and friends are, in the most well-meaning ways, cramming your unborn child into a confining gender role before they've even finished growing their major organs. 3 agree Reply Unfortunately, whether you find out the gender or not, you'll have to deal with comments that make you cringe, a baby shower that isn't what you really wanted, and gifts you have to return. People can be quite rude with their "advice" (judgments), and baby showers always reflect the host more than the guest of honor, in my opinion. And as much as people love the cheeky onesies, they are most certainly not my taste. I returned about half my gifts from my shower, due in part to the fact that everyone thinks twins will automatically be dressed alike and gives you two of everything. My girls will not be dressed alike. We're firm in our belief that treating them like individuals from day one is essential. Sadly, this is not something that I am tactful enough to explain to most people. 4 agree Reply Redirection is best. Give them a specific theme or colors and let them go wild. Otherwise everyone finds themselves standing in the sharply defined pink and blue aisles of Target, feeling incredibly frustrated and annoyed at not knowing which sex to buy for. I received a lot of badgering and hostile comments about not finding out the sex, and I honestly don't think it's because people really give a crap, I swear it's just the PINK + BLUE Baby Industrial Complex that sends people into a tizzy! If our stores were stocked with orange, yellow and purple we wouldn't even be having these problems. But guess what? Retailers figured out in the 1990s that when you narrowly define the 2 sexes, you automatically increase your sales by 50% for every additional baby born into a family. It's the elimination of hand me downs. Marketing genius. 1 agrees Reply I totally agree with this. I had good luck telling people that we had an "animal" theme, so even when we got something gendered, it was at least covered with cute animals, which I interpret to be genderless. Give parameters to the potential host, and not only will it make planning easier for them, but they can share that desire with guests through their invitation, party theme, etc… I was thrown a really sweet pirate-themed baby shower that had nothing to do with either gender, and all the games we played were either neutrally baby-centric (how big will he/she be, what will her/his fav. animal be, pirate or ninja?, etc…) or focused on me (when labor will start, how big will my tummy get, collecting recipes for my first post-baby cocktail, etc…). To take things to another level, though, you could also bring up the difference between sex (physiology) and gender (identity), but that could be opening a can of worms that might not be received as you want it to be. 2 agree Reply I didn't find out the gender of my baby ahead of time. I did my own baby shower and invited everyone young and old, male and female. We requested "safari themed stuff" or stuff in green or yellow. When we ended up having a girl all the pink crap we got clashed with everything else but I was too tired to see straight so I didn't care. Today her room is still a mish mash of colors but she doesn't mind a bit. As far as entertaining guests we didn't do games, but we did food and drinks (some alcoholic drinks for everyone except me, of course) and just sort of "hung out". It wasn't very traditional but we had fun. 3 agree Reply Sigh. My dream was a co-ed baby shower. My friend had one that was just a hip cocktail party. Amazing food, mingling in a cool loft, and plenty of drinking. I'm impressed you were brave enough to throw your own shower! Although maybe you weren't up against a total of THIRTEEN females (the total of mine and my husband's mothers and sisters) who throw traditional baby showers ALL the time. I just don't understand why I should have to bare all the attention and comments when my husband and I are BOTH procreating. 2 agree Reply I ended up with two – one cool co-ed one with booze and burgers, and another one with a rocking chair covered in ribbon and a pink cake covered in frosting. I had fun at both, but was less the center of attention and more comfortable one at the co-ed shower. 1 agrees Reply First of all, I agree that you really can't be too constricting about a party that someone else is throwing for you. This is something they're doing out of kindness and love, so give them the benefit of the doubt. As for gendering of your future child, keep in mind that no one is doing this out of malice or, usually, even out of blatant sexism. It's ingrained in our society – while it's important to counteract it, it's also important not to make people feel bad about giving you something that's pink or blue. Again, try to be courteous and kind, even when you decline to participate in gender stereotyping. Finally, no matter how hard you try to raise a gender neutral child, you cannot control all of their influences. The best thing you can do is concentrate on how you contextualize the world for your child, not whether someone gives a girl an Easy Bake Oven. It's not about the party, or the stuff – it's about your relationship with your kid. 1 agrees Reply My uber conservative Mormon in-laws threw my shower for me. We already knew we were having a boy and all of our family already knew we planned to have a very gender neutral standpoint on raising our son. They just used his nursery (lime-green/nature/animals) as inspiration for the shower theme (green/yellow/owls). It was a total non-issue and if anyone was put off I never heard about it. (The only drama was that I didn't want them to serve cucumber sandwiches, let the pregnant lady pick the food) 1 agrees Reply I love all the theme ideas that are being thrown about! My friend recently had an Alice and Wonderland Theme party, not because she was having a girl, but because SHE loved the book. So there are ways of picking fun themes that aren't necessarily gender specific. Another party I went to recently was a book theme shower. So, instead of a card, everyone bought a children's book and wrote a note inside. I also think that if you're going to have a real hard time with gender specific clothing/colors, then make sure to do a registry and find as many awesome gender free things for people to pick from. I often end up in Babies R Us or some other store and wander aimlessly not knowing what to buy someone, but if I have a direction or I've seen a few things they want that gets my creative juices going and I'm able to pick out much more relevant things! 1 agrees Reply PHOTOOOOOSSSS? Just saying. An Alice in Wonderland themed baby shower is BEGGING to be seen! 🙂 7 agree Reply Would I just email them to you? Or upload them to flikr? Reply This. Our sisters threw us a zombie-themed baby shower. Not because we were having a zombie baby. But because we love zombies. It.was.awesome. 1 agrees Reply I wanna see pics!!! Reply Pics please! Because I told a friend "I would love to have an apocalypse/zombie nursery" if I ever had a kid and she could not believe that I was not joking. Reply We weren't going to find out, but then we did because it really eased a huge amount of anxiety I was having (I think it was a worth-while trade). I still wanted that little piece of information to be mine to hold on to because I guess I'm a little selfish that way. Either way, I was (and am) going to have a book-themed baby shower because I love reading. I'm letting my family go from there. Another thing I never have been a fan of would be those shower games – so there won't be more than a few to do while people are eating and chatting away – and they will be book-based. 1 agrees Reply This will not be a problem. There are still plenty of people that don't find out the baby's sex before birth. When I've gone to those showers they are always gender neutral. After the baby is born and everyone knows it's a boy or a girl – that's when all the baseball and princess stuff comes in. But I wouldn't worry about the shower if it's happening before the birth. 6 agree Reply It will help a whole lot that you aren't finding out the gender. People will ask "but how are we supposed to plan XYZ without knowing the gender??" And then you hand them your ideas/color schemes/ game preferences. I said, "Well we LOVE earthy tones, that's what we'll be using to choose clothes and equipment, and we don't really love baby shower games anyway so maybe just a mad libs as an ice breaker or something. Either way it's no big deal." Cause it really won't be. It feels like a big deal now but when you get there unless they get things blatantly, purposely wrong, you'll notice where they put the effort forth and that'll most likely cover the places they fell short when you reminisce about it later. 1 agrees Reply One more thing! If there's an issue of feeling like you don't have control over a party hosted by someone else you can offer to have the shower at your own house. I did this, not because I wanted contol, but because I was hugely pregnant and it was more comfortable for me to be at home, also I got to show off our newly finished nursery to out of town guests and my coworkers. Another plus is that if you get a lot of really big gifts your wont have to struggle shuttling them back to your house. Initially everyone thought this was a little weird but once I explained all the pro's it was a no-brainer. 1 agrees Reply I have hosted MANY showers for my friends and loved ones. I always start by ASKING what they want. "Hey, do you want games? Do you even like pink?" Why would I want to host a party in which the guest of honor is disappointed? Likewise, I've had many moms tell me what they want. This causes ZERO PROBLEMS. It makes the hosts life easier. 1 agrees Reply Yeah, I had two people throw showers for me and both of them *wanted* input, if only to make their own lives easier. I don't think it would be weird at all to make a few easy-to-implement suggestions, like "no games, please" or "no pink and blue." 1 agrees Reply This. I feel like if I'm hosting an event for someone else, my job is to make *them* feel happy and comfortable and help *them* have a great time, not to force my idea of a good time on them. 1 agrees Reply If you're not going to find out then you have a leg up, because you genuinely won't know. I did find out I was having a girl but talked with my aunts about wanting a book themed party and created a pinterest page of ideas I liked to steer the direction of invitations and decorations. I've never been a pink lover and the girls toy aisles at Target frighten me, but I recognized I couldn't stop people from buying pink. My solution was to create 2 registries (Amazon and Target) for suggestions for guests. I kind of hate the idea of telling people what to get you but this way I was able to show guests what I liked and our nursery theme (sun moon & stars in Yellow, blue and white)while noticeably using very few pink items. Fundamentally though, not knowing and thus not telling is the best thing you can do. 2 agree Reply Not finding out the sex will do most of the work for you. We did the same thing. I think we could've told people that we were having the baby while dancing naked in the woods and they would've taken that better than telling them we wouldn't find out the sex. Go fig. Some people will rebel. There's nothing you can do about that. Some people will buy you one pink outfit and one blue. Others will wait until you have the baby to get you a gift. But people are just as committed to your nursery theme as they want to be to gender-themed colors. So they will ask you what your theme and colors are so just be open about your nusery theme and that will also cut down on the pink and blue. Reply Since you won't be finding out the gender I'd hazard a guess to say that most people would therefore NOT purchase items that could be seen as specific to either Girl or Boy. As for the host, surely this would be a person who you were close enough to, to be able to sit down and have this conversation and it not be an issue? If it were me hosting a party, I'd want at least some direction or input from the person the party was for, to ensure that they were going to enjoy themselves and have a good time. It would suck to go to all the effort of organising etc. to have them really hate what you'd done! Reply Maybe this is off-topic but a common thread seems to be, "if we can't buy gender-specific stuff, what will we buy you?" Are there some people who don't do registries?? I mean, of course you'll still get gifts off the registry, and that's fine. But we used our amazon registry to research products, and I added to it and subtracted as we figured out what our needs really were. Oh, and HELLO COMPLETION DISCOUNT!! Reply So many people don't do registries! I understand their reasons, but god it drives me crazy. For people I know well, I want to take the time to get or make them something heartfelt. But, say, my husband's cousin's daughter? Fuck, I don't know, just tell me what to buy and I'll bring it to the shower, okay? 🙂 4 agree Reply I've not done a registry as such, but the host of the baby shower has a list of things that we have not yet been gifted or bought so that if people want to know what we want, they can find out. Interestingly, its all the really cheap, small stuff we still need to get, which makes life easier if people dont buy it 🙂 Reply My host was luckily my mom for one shower and mother-in-law so I was comfortable just telling them I wanted the shower gender neutral. I believe that when they asked if I had any ideas for shower themes I just said, "Forest animals or books, and I want everything gender neutral." I had to be VERY specific and give examples about what I wanted, but after we had a good conversation I didn't micro-manage anything and both showers turned out so well. I really felt like they heard me. We did get some super stereotypical gendered clothes as gifts (Mama's tough guy! Bears and baseballs!)but we just returned or exchanged things we didn't like. We had 3 or 4 things we couldn't return or exchange and I re-gifted those to people I knew would like the style. 1 agrees Reply Forest animals and books, this sounds so adorable! 1 agrees Reply Yeah, I'm with the earlier posters that not finding out the sex of your baby will probably make it a gender-neutral party by default! So I don't really think you have to say anything. Maybe have a few fun themes in mind in case whoever is throwing it asks for some suggestions (since there won't be the "obvious" boy or girl theme to go with), but other than that you can probably just let it happen. 🙂 Reply Fortunately, I think that not finding out the gender is really trending right now. I doubt many people will find it strange. My sisters and I didn't have any problem throwing our sister a gender-neutral baby shower. We chose the theme "Whooo will it be?" and decorated with owls. We made a bronze glitter tree and owl ornaments with either bow ties or hair bows. Everyone guessed the gender by hanging ornaments on the tree. I think a lot of people have fun with out-of-the-box showers. Reply Redirection is your best bet NOW, before the kid is born. When I hosted my co-worker's shower, I asked her "what's your nursery theme?" rather than "what are you having?" I would have done the same things for the shower and gifts even if she was having a girl instead of the boy they did have. If you say "blue and owls" then people will be able to buy you blue stuff and owls. I think the gender-neutral conversation will get much harder after the kid is out and home, and genitals are there for anyone who offers to change a diaper. It's a great idea to start with the shower, and it will probably come up organically. "Why aren't you finding out the sex? How can you prepare if you don't know the sex?" "Well, we want to be surprised! Plus, raising a kid is pretty much the same no matter what the sex is." When they give you a puzzled look or assure you that BOYS ARE SO MUCH DIFFERENT THAN GIRLS, then you can have a conversation about your beliefs. But maybe that simple sentence is enough for most people to be like "Yeah, you're kind of right. I can still buy you a dump truck even if you have a girl." Reply my only "successfully gender neutral" baby shower was the one where my friends brought alcohol… coincidence? haha good luck! :] 1 agrees Reply There's at least a couple very different things going on here: 1) How do you ask someone to host a party for you that fits your preferences? and 2) How do you talk with your friends and family about supporting your ideology and parenting decisions? Personally my answer to #1 is you don't. Ideally they care enough about what you think to ASK you what you would enjoy, and if/when that happens then giving them ideas about what you WOULD like (animal-themed? multi-gender guests rather than single gender? games you think would be fun) probably would work better than giving them ideas about what you WOULDN'T like. But #2 is the bigger question. The baby shower is the first of many times other people will put gendered expectations on you child(ren), and your first opportunity to decide how you're going to deal with it when they do. I'd suggest having honest conversations with your family and friends but NOT tying it to the baby shower. Instead of "I'd like the baby shower you're hosting to be non-gendered," start the conversation with "I'm hoping to not push my children towards any particular gender roles but instead follow their lead. It's important to me to have your support as a parent, and I'd love to talk with you about my ideas." And have a backup plan for what you want to do when people push gender on the baby anyway, with or without good intentions. Do you want to turn it into a chance for discussion? Do you want to go along with it in public and donate the hot pink tutu in private? Is it ok for great-grandma to make gendered comments but not for your 25 year old friend? Whatever you decide, you and your partner should come up with a plan you agree on and are willing to back each other up on. It sucks if your partner accepts the "Tough Guy" shirt from Great-Aunt Doris and you end up being the mean parent who didn't let little Taylor wear it to Easter dinner. Reply Personally, I would love to see someone try to host a gender-specific shower if the parents don't know the sex of your baby. 🙂 But I wanted to add: I've found that it's becoming very difficult to easily find true gender neutral baby stuff, especially if you shop the big chain stores like your shower guests might. Anyhow, my point is that if someone ends up getting you a gift that screams "boy!" or "girl!", be easy on them – it's getting pretty tough to shop for straight up "baby!" stuff and they have gotten swept away by the cuteness of the gift and weren't thinking. Reply When you don't find out the sex, everything just ends up gender neutral. Trust me, I've done it twice now. People may ask you "What kind of baby shower am I supposed to throw if you don't find out the sex?" and you can say "A gender neutral one." People tend to get upset when you don't find out the sex, for some reason. Others accuse you of not being able to prepare, or not planning sufficiently for your baby. I mean, not everyone, but a lot of people. It really upsets them. I don't know why. Maybe because it prevents them from buying you frilly dresses or little tuxedos, I don't know. But be prepared for a bit of resistance. I guess I understand a little because gender neutral stuff can be hard to find, but it stops you from over spending when you're pregnant, that's for sure. Once people accept it, though, they get creative. It's really quite fun. And of course it makes the birth a little more exciting. My first baby shower was a pajama party, my second baby shower was rubber ducky themed. I'd like a rainbow themed one, I think. But anyway, the point is that if you never know the sex, everything just kind of naturally becomes gender neutral. No one wants to do anything pink, because what happens if they do and, god forbid, you have a boy? Or if they do something blue and, god forbid, you have a girl? Why, that could ruin the baby's entire life, don't you know? Lol. 1 agrees Reply The funny thing is, back in Ye Goode Olde Days When Men Were Men And Women Were Women And No One Cared About This PC Feminist Crap, there was no way to tell what sex a baby was before it was born. IIRC, all babies wore white, gender-neutral garments that could be passed down to each subsequent sibling. 3 agree Reply Some wonderful ideas here! I also want to comment in the most (sorry-I-haven't-had-coffee-yet-way-possible) to a few of the comments…. The question states it correctly. You're not finding out the =sex= of the baby. Not the gender. Gender isn't determined by what's between your legs, but by what's between your ears. 😉 I was reading some pretty funny responses in a prior thread to "oh do you know what you're having?" Which varied from "a human, I hope" to "a virgin piña colada and a veggie taco – you?". As well as "well how will you buy things for the baby (if you don't know the sex)?", and responding "with my VISA – unless you'd rather I use yours? That would help bunches!" 7 agree Reply I feel like this should be a VERY simple request. Up until pretty recently all baby showers were gender nuetral. I'm sure older relatives must be used to that. Finding out the gender is still a pretty new thing really. 1 agrees Reply I have no idea how you /tactfully/ manage to do that but I want to do the same thing. Partly because I think pink and blue things are mostly tacky and old-fashioned. And partly because I would love to be able to hand-me-down to my other future children. Reply Go for a neutral theme in the invites this will set the tone – such as jungle animals, rubber ducks! On the invites add a cute quote about 'we don't know what it is'. Go for green and yellow. Lots of games such as pin the dummy and what choc bar in the nappy which don't bring up gender. Mine was gender neutral. 🙂 Reply I think the best idea I've ever seen was a friend of mine who did a rainbow themed party. It was a lot of work for the host, but what she did was give every person/couple that was invited a different color on the invite. The invite said something like "Jane and John want to make their child's life as colorful as possible! You have been given the color RED! Please try to bring gifts that are any shade of RED. If you have already bought or made a gift, do not feel like you must replace it, but we would like to see as many colors as possible at the party" They had an awesome showing, everyone bringing things that were in their color. They had a girl, and she's got the most colorul collection of toys and clothes I've ever seen. 3 agree Reply I love this idea! I think it would be a great theme for a slightly older kid's birthday party too, say a toddler…especially since the kid's sex will be generally known by then – AND gender-ID pressure can get a little intense around then. Is there anything cuter than a toddler in lots of clashing color? Reply Even before we found out we were having a boy I knew I wanted to do a Dr.Seuss / Oh the Places You'll Go shower. So that's what we planned. It's coming up next month and I can't wait! I am a pushy bitch and made sure my mom & best friend knew I wanted it to be pretty neutral and no stupid games. No where on the invite does it say "it's a boy!" Etc so I'm hoping people pay attention to the registry. I dislike stuff that is very boyish or girlish so this just made the most sense to me. Reply We didn't find out the sex of our baby and I made it very clear to my family that our nursery was going to be a (yes, clique) jungle theme. When my mother sent out the invitations she bought jungle theme invites and even put a note inside saying that we were having a jungle theme. Of course I still got a few pink receiving blankets and tons of blue blankets. We got pretty much everything but clothes. The few outfits we did get were either white, brown, or other pretty gender neutral outfits. Once our son was born though we had tons of relatives bringing us "boys" clothes. We let him were the "boy" clothes people gave us because we mainly got 0-3m and it gave us a little more time to put laundry off. Now that he is begining to outgrow those and we are buying him more clothes ourselves we are able to buy clothes we like more. Reply cliche… typing, really thinking is difficult with my son chewing on my hand. Reply I have hosted 3 gender-neutral baby showers with absolutely no problem (it hadn't occurred to me for there to be a problem with it, honestly!). I have always been a fan of throwing the shower for the parent(s)-to-be(versus to the gender/sex of the baby) and in their style/taste. The first I did was a shower with a country chic theme: Buttons & Bows – it wasn't at all cutesy. It was mostly purple in coloring bc the M2B loves purple. Lots of brown paper, chalkboards, fresh flowers, etc. The second was for her sister who is more contemporary in her style and lifestyle – her theme was Baby Is As Cute As Can Bee – black/white/yellow and bumblebee themed but lots of modern pattern and color. The 3rd was for my crunchiest friend and was really oriented to her lifestyle of being as earth-friendly as possible. Invites were on recycled paper, used aluminum cans/sticks/twine as center pieces. The napkins were new cloth diapers secured with ribbon and a silhouette of a butterfly cut from plantable paper. She asked us to request that clothing gifts be second hand and we made her diaper cake from G diapers. Latex balloons are totally biodegradable so we had those throughout as well. It is totally doable to do an awesome gender-neutral shower that doesn't rain green and yellow! Reply I lucked out. I saw this shower( http://offbeatfamilies.com/2011/03/boho-baby-shower ) and fell in love. I immediately pointed my two best girlfriends at it and just told them: this is what i want. and they're making it happen. It can't hurt to just ask. Or at least give suggestions. Even if you aren't the one hosting the party, it's still a party for you and your desires should be taken into account. Reply This is a tough one because strictly speaking you're a guest at somebody else's party. Granted you're the guest of honor and I'm sure the host is looking to please you, but you're still a guest and it's going to be difficult to oversee every aspect of the party without, you know, getting in your host's shorts. The best you can do is explain your position and hope that his or her interpretation of "gender neutral" matches yours. So here's my suggestion: why not host your own shower? If you're worried about seeming greedy, make it clear it's a "no-gift" shower. ( Don't worry – in my experience close family and friends will still find ways to give you gifts.) Or you could call it a "0th Birthday Party". People throw parties for their children, right? Be the first on your block to include your unborn children! Reply I understand wanting the theme of the shower to be neutral, but I guess I'm confused to why a blue onesie or a pink hat wouldn't be considered"gender neutral". Isn't the whole goal to let your child choose what they like? I mean, I get that "Daddy's tough guy" across a t-shirt sends a message, but a onesie is a onesie. My ten year old son wears pink shirts, and blue ones too. I don't consider them girl or boy clothes- they are just the clothes he likes. By refusing "girl" toys or "boy" clothes, aren't you feeding into the problem? 1 agrees Reply If you don't know the sex and tell them you plan to wait until the baby's born to find out, they won't know the gender either and will be forced to do a gender neutral shower or none at all. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Subscribe me to your mailing list No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.