Should dads be invited to baby showers?

When it comes to traditional baby showers, it’s usually women only. I’ve seen many a father-to-be drop off his expectant wife, and later return to help her load all the baby gifts into the car. But, should dads be invited to baby showers?

Megan Borgert-Spaniol of the believes that excluding men from baby showers sends a message that their role as a father is less deserving of recognition.

I happen to agree with Borgert-Spaniol. When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child, having a co-ed shower was a no brainer. I feel that if we made this baby together, why not have a co-ed shower together? We both agreed that we wanted to be equally involved in raising our children, and this was a great way to start.

Writer Jessica Grose claims that including dads in the welcoming baby festivities doesn’t dictate whether or not he’ll be able to step up to the plate as a father. “The real cultural change that would encourage dads to be equal partners in parenting is not including them in some lame baby shower. It’s paternity leave,” she writes.

Grose sites a 2013 study from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which states that fathers who take two or more weeks of leave are more likely to be involved with child care than fathers who take less than two weeks of leave.

Unfortunately, not every father has the luxury of staying home for more than two weeks to be with a newborn. My husband only got one week of paternity leave for each of our children. However, he did take an extra two weeks of vacation to spend time with our daughter after my maternity leave. When we had our son, he wasn’t able to take off as much time because he was in the process of starting a new job. It doesn’t mean that he’s less involved in raising our kids. He’s just as hands on as I am.

The bottom line is that there’s nothing wrong with fathers being involved in baby showers. In fact, more couples should make it one big party and invite both men and women. Heck, invite kids too. The more, the merrier.

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4 thoughts on “Should dads be invited to baby showers?”

  1. Given that the baby showers of today are little more than crass gift grabs who cares about the guest list? And before anyone gets defensive the invite shown has the man carrying a ton of gifts and there are photos of the present opening which obviously indicates gifts were encouraged/expected and an “event” at the party.

    I did not have a shower (baby or bridal) as they’re just one big etiquette faux pas and an invention of the department stores. Now I’m fine with a women only party where other more experienced women come to enjoy food and stories and to pass on advice or suggestions to the expectant mother. A “party” where no gifts are expected and the mother to be isn’t registered anywhere, but is more like an intimate meal with friends and family. But if the real purpose of this party is to outfit your nursery then go ahead and invite men and even children. Why keep them out if all you’re after is stuff?

  2. Honestly, I’m a woman & I don’t like attending babyshowers. They usually are a long, non-fun event. There are always the extra assorted friends or family that you don’t know. The extremely, painfully long gift opening where every item must be opened, displayed, & then passed around the group to oooh & awww over. All conversations are to circle around the expectant mother & her child. The food is usually limited to cake & minimal snacks.

  3. Our shower was co-ed and we had a great time! My husband had just as many friends there as I did. We didn’t really do shower games… just food and drinks. My husband brews beer, so he brought special beers for those who wanted to try them.

    We DID let people try to guess our son’s name – we gave them scrabble tiles of all the letters. It’s a Scottish ancestral name, so the guesses were really hilarious as people tried to come up with working combos. That was something easy people could do while still chatting, or they could easily choose not to do!

    And I think it’s a fallacy that men don’t enjoy gift opening. My husband’s friends got us cute and funny gifts, and they all had fun assembling the gear.

  4. My husband was there for our baby shower. My dad and my niece’s boyfriend were also there. I still think it is not much fun for guys but I think it is good for them to be there. I liked him there because I hate being the center of attention.

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