How To Throw A Baby Shower For A Same-Sex Couple

Baby showers are traditionally a time for family and friends to come together to celebrate and prepare for the anticipated birth of a baby.

While this may sound like a positive experience, gender norms and heteronormativity are often, if not explicitly, implicitly involved in the ritualistic celebration of impending birth, which can make it a really negative experience for those who don't identify with such ideals, per Guts Magazine.

For example, WebBabyShower mentions that baby showers have been historically women-only events, predicated on the assumption of a straight relationship and emphasizing maternity, child-rearing, and gender roles. What could men possibly have to do with babies?

A women-only guest list is no longer a hard-and-fast rule applied to modern showers. Still, such underlying ideology can leave gender non-conforming, queer, or simply nontraditional couples feeling uncertain about attending or even having their own baby shower, as mentioned by Zero Tolerance.

If you're preparing to throw a baby shower for a same-sex couple in your life, then you may be similarly grappling with how to balance the traditionalism of baby showers with the needs and wants of the soon-to-be parents. Luckily, we've gathered some helpful tips for how to throw a baby shower for a same-sex couple.

Take special circumstances into consideration

While traditional baby showers are typically thrown for a hetero-couple that includes a pregnant woman, the situation for the same-sex couple you're planning for will likely be more unique. Because of this, Baby Shower Easy notes the importance of considering the circumstances of the specific couple in your life when organizing their shower.

It's possible that the same-sex couple has a third person in their life, such as a surrogate carrying the child, who they would welcome at the shower. Simple Surrogacy explains that some couples might want to invite the family of their surrogate to the event or take the opportunity to give them gifts, as well.

Some couples choose to use a known sperm donor to become pregnant, per Co-Parent Match. Depending on the agreement between the couple and donor, the man might be acknowledged as the child's father or serve as a third co-parent, in which case the couple might want him to be present at the shower.

It's important to clarify the wants of the prospective parents here, as some might not want to include or discuss the third party involved in their pregnancy at all. Establishing boundaries is a good idea, and will help you give the couple the baby shower they desire.

Adapt known baby shower elements to fit your event

After considering the couple's circumstances, you can consider and discuss what baby shower elements should be incorporated into or adapted for your particular event. This step also requires communication with the same-sex couple in your life, as you'll want to make sure the shower fulfills their needs as soon-to-be parents.

In an article from Zero Tolerance, the author describes the modified celebration that was thrown for their pregnancy, where they skipped the present obligation and focused on celebrating with food, friends, and games. Some couples may still welcome gift-giving, but prefer gender-neutral decorations and gifts.

Adapting traditional baby shower games or creating new ones might be necessary for a same-sex celebration, as some of the known games include pregnancy-related bits, per Damsel in Dior. Perusing lists of coed baby shower games, such as this one from The Bump, is a great way to get the ideas flowing.

You might also want to adapt traditional baby shower décor to suit your couple, but remember that it doesn't need to be pride-oriented. Baby Shower Easy warns against going overboard with rainbow decorations, as the celebration is still focused on the expected child and not necessarily the parents' relationship.

Whatever direction you go with décor and games, make sure you're focusing on what the parents want and need, as there's no need to get swept away in tradition.