I still recall the hot summer day when, at 8 years old, I mentioned to my grandmother as I crouched down among the green bean plants that I wondered if my mom would find out the gender of my soon-to-be baby brother or sister.
“Well how would she do that?” Grandma chuckled, standing next to me in the hot dirt of her large country garden. “There’s only one way to find out if it’s a boy or girl, and that’s to have the baby!” Amused, presumably at what she thought was the naïve mind of a young girl, she continued pulling weeds.
“But Grandma, they have this new thing called an ultrasound, and it can take pictures inside a mommy’s tummy to find out if it’s a boy or girl.” I might just as well have told her that fairies flitted from buttercups and snapdragons on gossamer wings and spelled out the word “boy” or “girl” with glittery wands to announce the gender of expected babies to moms curious enough to venture into the Enchanted Forest. Incredulous, she told me that there was no such thing as machines that could look through skin and organs to prophesize a baby’s gender. “But they’re like x-ray machines, Grandma.” She just chuckled, shook her head a bit and told me to concentrate on getting all the beans, even the ones hidden by vines and leaves.
As with everything, times change and technology advances, and even though once upon a time people had to wait until the little one’s arrival to paint the nursery pink or blue, now discovering the gender of babies is a common and everyday occurrence. Roughly two-thirds of couples expecting a baby opt to find out if they’re having a boy or a girl. And what do they do when they find out this exciting news? Many are starting to celebrate with friends and family and answer the big question by hosting a gender reveal party.
Gender reveal parties have become extremely popular. Inviting family and friends to a social gathering to unveil whether a baby girl or boy is on the way is a fun way to celebrate another milestone on the journey toward baby’s arrival. It’s becoming more common to combine a gender reveal with a baby shower. Some are even choosing to find out with their guests, opting to have the ultrasound technician seal a note bearing the baby’s gender in an envelope and giving it to the florist to fill a large decorated box with pink or blue balloons, to be opened at the party. Having a photographer on hand to capture everyone’s reaction when the box is opened and the balloons float up is a wonderful way to memorialize the excitement of the discovery.
Some of the fun and creative ideas expectant parents are using for gender reveal parties include:
- Filling a black balloon with pink or blue confetti. At the reveal moment, mom-to-be pops the balloon with a pin and a pink or blue confetti showers down upon guests.
- Having cupcakes baked with blue or pink filling. Everyone takes a bite for a tasty revelation!
- Create a piñata filled with candies in the color of baby’s gender and have your guests start swinging away!
- Remove the labels from cans of blue or pink silly string. Gather the guests and on the count of three, let the silly string fight begin!
- Does baby have an older brother or sister? Have a t-shirt created that says, “I’m having a Baby Sister.” When the time is right, have Big Brother take off his a sweatshirt or unzip a hoodie to reveal the big news.
There are a number of different ways to reveal the gender of the baby to guests. Some take advantage of holiday get-togethers for easy gender reveal parties. A July 4th celebration can be capped off with handing out either blue or red sparklers to the children. Once lit, guests will know if baby boy or baby girl is on the way. A Halloween reveal party might include opening up a hallowed out pumpkin to find it filled with blue or pink M&Ms.
The internet and Pinterest have no shortage of ideas for decorations and themes for gender reveal parties. Some favorites include:
- Ducks – “Waddle It Be?”
- Owls – “Whooo Wants to Know?”
- Bees – “What’s It Gonna Bee?”
- “Li’l Lady or L’il Man” – use oh-so-popular mustaches and bows to decorate
- “Blue or Pink, What Do You Think?” – allow guests to cast their votes before the reveal
- “Team Blue or Team Pink?” – sports lovers will appreciate the use of pink and blue jerseys and footballs
Sharing the big news of whether you’re having a baby boy or girl is a fun way to include loved ones in on the excitement. Whether you’re popping balloons or indulging in secret filling cake, just remember – ultrasounds are about 95% accurate. So while the odds are strongly in your favor that the ultrasound is correct, for about 5% of expecting parents, baby might just have a surprise of his or her own!