There’s a big debate among expectant parents these days. Should you have a baby shower or a gender reveal party – or both?

There’s no right answer. Today, however, we’re explaining what expectant parents typically do when deciding between a baby shower versus a gender reveal party.

What’s the Difference?

Here’s the difference between a baby shower and a gender reveal party:

A baby shower is an event where friends and family (traditionally, female friends and family) shower the baby with gifts

A gender reveal party is an event where you reveal the biological sex of your baby to family and friends

A baby shower is a traditional event that’s taken place for decades. A gender reveal party, however, is a relatively new phenomenon.

Most Parents Have One Party

Based on all polls we’ve found online, most parents have a single party for their baby. That single party takes the form of one of these options:

  • Just a baby shower
  • A baby shower and gender reveal party rolled into one

These are the two most popular options in 2017. However, the third most popular option is to have a separate gender reveal party and baby shower.

What Does the Internet Say?

In a recent poll on, here’s how people voted when asked the question of hosting a gender reveal party versus a baby shower:

  • Baby Shower Only: 40%
  • Combined Baby Shower & Gender Reveal Party: 33%
  • Separate Gender Reveal Party and Baby Shower: 25%
  • Gender Reveal Only: 2%

As you can see, people really don’t want to give up on the tradition of baby showers. Very few people don’t have a baby shower.

Now, with all that in mind, let’s take a look at how people typically choose between gender reveal parties and baby showers.

Typically, Gender Reveal Parties Are for Closer Friends and Relatives

One prevailing theme across gender reveal parties is that they’re for close friends and relatives. Some people only invite the baby’s grandparents and one or two best friends.

Let’s be honest: most people are happy to hear about your baby’s gender through a Facebook post. Parents and best friends, however, will want to be the very first people to know your baby’s gender.

Why am I telling you this? Because in most cases, the people you invite to a baby shower are different from the people you invite to a gender reveal party.

More of your friends will expect to be invited to a baby shower, while not everyone expects to receive an invite to a gender reveal party.

The Expectant Parents Aren’t Always in Charge of Planning the Baby Shower

Another important thing to remember when debating baby showers versus gender reveal parties is that the baby shower isn’t always hosted, planned, or paid for by the expectant parents.

Sometimes, a best friend plans the baby shower, for example. They might already have plans underway for the baby shower. They could have sent out the invites, picked a date, or at least have a couple ideas kicking around.

Meanwhile, gender reveal parties are almost always planned by the expectant parents. If you’re planning a combination party (a gender reveal party and baby shower rolled into one), then make sure you clear it with your friends first.

There’s Nothing Wrong With a Combination Party

Combination parties work perfectly for a number of situations.

Let’s say the baby’s grandparents (your parents) live out of town. Instead of coming to visit twice in a short period of time, they can come to one single party.

Alternatively, let’s say your friends are busy, working professionals, or if you’ve moved away from your hometown. You can hold a combination gender reveal party and baby shower at the same time – say, during a weekend you’re back in town, for example.

Combination parties are also for people who feel self-conscious about forcing people to come to parties dedicated entirely to themselves. Let’s be honest: some of your friends won’t want to spend a Saturday afternoon smelling melted chocolates inside baby diapers, or playing other gender reveal party games.

At the very least, combination parties let you pool your resources and focus on having one big, unforgettable event.

You Don’t Typically Give Gifts at a Gender Reveal Party

There’s one important thing to remember about gender reveal parties versus baby showers: typically, you don’t give gifts at a gender reveal party. Yes, some groups of friends give gifts, and some people think it’s acceptable – but in general, most people don’t expect gifts at a gender reveal party.

Baby showers, on the other hand, are all about gifts. You’re showering the baby with gifts. That’s the point of the party.

People Will Give Gender-Neutral Gifts If They Don’t Know the Gender

Here’s another important thing to remember about planning a baby shower versus a gender reveal party: if you throw a combination party, then people will be forced to give gender-neutral gifts.

After all, if you’re revealing the baby’s gender at the baby shower, then guests won’t be able to purchase gender-specific gifts ahead of time.

For that reason, many people continue to throw separate baby showers and gender reveal parties.

It’s Your Decision

Gender reveal parties are a fun way to announce your baby’s biological sex to close family and friends. Baby showers are expected by virtually everyone. Today, most people continue to have a separate baby shower and gender reveal party – but some people are combining the two into one event. Remember: it’s your baby and it should be your decision.

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