Oh, Baby Cakes!

by admin on May 17, 2012

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2145411/Would-YOU-want-learn-unborn-babys-sex-slicing-cake.html#comments

Dear Ms Jeanne,

Is it just me? I cringe at this. People say it’s for the celebration, but it’s just another party for something people do every day, and looks ridiculously attention-seeking and tacky to me. I also was slightly stunned by the commentator who asked her best friend to the scan, where she was told the gender, kept it from the couple then baked a blue cake they cut 3 days later – whaaaaaaaaaat? Your *friend* knew before you and your husband? Your husband was ok with this?

I don’t believe this is a common practice in the States, but it does remind me why I politely declined to have a baby shower (note another commentator having one for her third baby).

Seriously, is it just me? I know not everyone is the same, but it seems so massively in your face, brash, look at MEEEEEEEEE, and depriving the couple of the chance to share a really magical, private moment. Plus I can’t imagine anyone would care that much about the gender of my baby beyond the two of us anyway!

I also think of your grandchild, who was unexpectedly the other gender! Oops!

 

Interestingly I’ve been watching baby announcements to family on Youtube prior to the OP submitting this.

I think this may just be you (and a few thousand others).  Cutting into a prepared cake to find out the baby’s sex has become another cute way to celebrate a major milestone in a family.    When I’ve seen it, it’s been for family and a few close friends to witness.    These same people have a vested interest in knowing the baby’s sex so the information gets shared one way or another so some choose to do the baby cake reveal.   Other ways have been with appropriately colored helium balloons in a box that is opened.   Friends and family find out the sex of the newest family members and then party it up in celebration.   As long as this does not become yet another gift grab event, I don’t see the harm in whooping it up with family and close friends.  Many of the videos on Youtube are so endearing how the entire family goes wild about the news of a new girl or boy to the extended family.

As for sharing private, magical moments, I think that is really at the discretion of the couple.   In a sense they own the information about the sex of their baby and if they choose to share it in a very public way so that they and everyone else is surprised at the same time then this is their choice.   Some people are private, others would want to share with their families the good news.

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

LovleAnjel May 17, 2012 at 8:24 am

What is personal and private to you and I, others want to shout to the world. They’re not being deprived – they’re having fun! I don’t think it’s tacky to have a party like this – it’s kinda cute. The couple has family over for a luncheon or dinner, cuts the cake, serves coffee, everyone chats. Sounds nice.

Not all parties are gift-grabs. Some are just celebrations. We need to keep that in mind.

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Huh May 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

When I first read this, I thought it was a way of the parents sharing the sex of the baby with the family, but then it seems like this is the way they find out too. Which thought was a bit odd, but whatever.

Mostly I kept looking at the picture in the article thinking, “God, that cake looks delicious.”

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Pastry Goddess May 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

My bakery does quite a few of these types of cakes for reveal parties. From what I understand, it is usually just a few people who are attending. I’ve never made anything larger than an 8 in cake or over a dozen filled cupcakes for one of these.

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jess May 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

Sorry, but as long as it is not for gift grabbing I LOVE it! if it is just close family (even if it is posh who cares, if you want to spend the money on the celebration then go ahead you earned it) it is something to remember and just seems plain cute to me.

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BH May 17, 2012 at 8:35 am

I first heard of this from my Aunt. My cousin who had her first child just last month had the baby cake party but it was just for immediate family (the parents-to-be, the grandparents, and the aunts & uncles to be) I thought it was adorable. Just a few weeks ago a friend who is currently pregnant posted her video, I thought it was so sweet. It may be just the OP in this case, I find it endearing, it’s not a gift party, just sharing with all of those you love a special moment.
Unfortunately when we do get pregnant my husband has told me he does not want to know the gender of the baby, but I do, and it’s my body so I will find out anyway, and keep it a secret :) But that’s just us! Oh, and we are from “The States” for the record, Pennsylvania to be more specific.

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JC May 17, 2012 at 8:44 am

I think it’s cute, as long as the couple knows about the cake in advance. If a friend came to the ultrasound, found out the gender even though the couple wanted to remain in the dark (although I can’t imagine how that scenario would come about), and went and did something like this as a “friendly” surprise, it would be hideously tacky and attention-grubbing on the friend’s part.

No, actually what irked me about that story was this little quote from a sociology professor: “‘We’re losing our stiff upper lip and becoming like the Americans with their cheesy, weird celebrations’”. I wasn’t aware my fellow Americans and I had the market cornered on “cheesy, weird celebrations”.

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Bint May 17, 2012 at 8:45 am

I will admit I’m the OP – potential culture divide here. I’m not from the States – I grew up where you never threw a party for an unborn baby, and never, ever gave one presents. None of my friends would ever even contemplate having a baby shower, let alone something like this, and our families would be pretty aghast.

See Lord Reith’s comment for a standard British view on this article.

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Nissa May 17, 2012 at 8:45 am

This is actually becoming a common thing to do in my small town. I’m guessing it’s because everyone knows everyone, so the idea gets passed around quickly. I’ve known two couples in the last couple of months who have done this and have heard of more people that are doing it. It doesn’t seem to involve gifts at ALL….although I shudder to think how quickly some couples may jump on that idea! As long as it is just a time of celebration with whoever they choose to invite, it seems to be just a cute way to celebrate. I don’t know if I’d personally choose to reveal that news that way, but I don’t see the harm.

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girl_with_all_the_yarn May 17, 2012 at 8:47 am

I don’t get offended easily anymore (one of the hazards of my career), but I was more offended by the comment the professor made in the article than by the concept of a gender reveal party.

‘We’re losing our stiff upper lip and becoming like the Americans with their cheesy, weird celebrations, eroding the boundary between what’s private and what’s public,’

Excuse me for saying so, but that isn’t all Americans. That’s a relatively small number of Americans, and they’re likely either reality tv stars or obsessed with them. I get bored by big, stupid, pointless parties that aren’t excuses to dance, socialize, and eat pizza. In fact most of my friends and all of my sorority sisters dislike ridiculous parties like this. We see them as a product of reality shows and things that celebrities do for attention, not as something that needs to be done by the average individual.

This sort of “us and them” elitism is ruder and more unkind than anything anyone can claim we do here.

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LonelyHound May 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

I actually like this better than the traditional baby shower. I have known people who have done baby showers in classy ways- inviting only people within easy driving distance unless said person was a very good friend or family member. However, I have also known people for whom the shower is a big gift grab- I got an invitation from the mother of my massage therapist (who I saw once a month) for my therapists baby shower (we were told not to make all our gifts pink). I felt obligated to send a gift and never went to that therapist again. This and other people I have known who have “done it wrong” have soured me to baby showers, which seem a lot like gift grabs to me.

If I had known about gender reveal parties I would have had one with my first since I was looking for a way to celebrate his impending birth without grabbing for gifts. I found out from a friend of mine who had a gender reveal party how she decided it to work. She got a balloon company to put balloons representing the color of the baby’s gender in a box. She and her husband sent out invites to immediate family and friends, like us, who would want to be there. They hosted a big BBQ. After dinner, before the dessert, they had her son open the box. Out came blue balloons!! I thought this was a fantastic way to celebrate the new addition. The mother to be already has an 8 year old son, but it is the first child for her husband (he is an only child on his side so first grandbaby). They wanted to celebrate the new arrival but did not want a shower. By inviting people for a gender reveal BBQ (guest were just asked to come eat BBQ) they had the celebration they wanted without grabbing for gifts.

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Rebecca May 17, 2012 at 8:53 am

What I found offensive about this article was not the nature of the parties. You’re going to reveal the sex to close friends and family anyway, why not make it fun? The only way it would be tacky is if they invited every single person they’d ever met and heavily hinted that gifts would be welcome. However, that’s the case for any type of party.

The bit that actually offends me is the attitude of the article’s author. I’m not even from the US and all the snooty comments about how brash and tacky Americans and their traditions are really got my dander up… especially since I’ve never even heard of a party like this happening until I read this article from the UK.

Believe me, there are definitely times when I’ve thought the whole of North America is going to ehell in a handbasket. I also know that the concept of the British thinking of America as vulgar is as old as the colonies themselves. But this holier-than-thou, insulting article is completely uncalled for.

I feel especially bad for the parents in this article, who are painted as crude cultural deviants, and the cake-makers and party planners who are presented as money-grubbing opportunists. I’m sure not all of these party package providers agree with this type of party, but I’d be willing to bet that many of them think Christmas is too commercial too… yet they probably still plan Christmas parties, because that’s what their clients want, and that’s the nature of business!

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Sarah Jane May 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

I’m with admin. I think it’s cute, and doesn’t have to be grandiose or tacky, especially when the party is intimate.

I definitely like this idea better than simply passing around ultrasound pictures showcasing Baby’s private parts, which makes some people uncomfortable.

These folks aren’t gift-grabbing, and it really is about the baby, not just Mom’s pregnancy. And if the scans are misleading, and it is later discovered that the technician made a mistake, so what? This happens all the time, party or no party. Makes for a great story, right, Admin?

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Lily May 17, 2012 at 9:10 am

I personally didn’t do it, but I know someone who did have a baby reveal cake. She and her husband knew beforehand what the sex was and invited immediate family to share in the reveal cake to let them find out. (I only found out she did this via facebook pictures. So it wasn’t a “oh I had a party and you weren’t invited.”) It wasn’t some gift grab. It was just a fun way to spread the good news. Gimme pigs will always find a way to take something wholesome and turn it into an excuse to be a gimme pig. Doesn’t make the event inherently bad.

Though personally, we just made a bunch of phone calls and, in the case of nearby family, house visits with some of the ultrasound pictures.

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Patty-O May 17, 2012 at 9:21 am

My friend had this done for a family party. Her mom ordered a couple dozen of *pink* cupcakes and when the family was together for dinner (no shower) they all opened their cupcakes together! She loved it!! And her (and daddy’s) families loved it, too. I thought it was cute.

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Tru May 17, 2012 at 9:22 am

I, personally, love the idea. As the Admin said, as long as it’s not another gift grab, I really don’t see the problem. This idea came too late for my friends and I. Maybe (many years in the future) we can talk our kids into doing it to announce their babies. :)

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PhDeath May 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

Timely, as always! I just saw a video posted by a Facebook friend showing this very thing.

Like so many, many elements of life, I think this is all in how it’s played. In the case of the video mentioned above, it was frankly adorable: soon-to-be-big-sister was bouncing in the background as mom-to-be held a cupcake and said something along the lines of, “Everyone’s been wondering, but no one more than Big Sis to Be. So, we’re going to let her eat this cupcake and we’ll all find out.”

BS2B takes a bite, looks down, announces in the most joyous voice in the world, “I’m having a SISTER!!!” and does a little kid happy spin dance.

No big production, no gimmees, and plenty of time for anyone who clicked on the video and didn’t want to know to cease operations (there was a SPOILER ALERT text under the video posting, too). It actually sort of made my day. :)

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Hemi May 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

The following 2 paragraphs *really* irritate me:
“Featuring shrieking guests, colour-coded decorations and even invitees turning up in ‘team colours’ displaying which sex they’re rooting for, the events seem decidely un-British. But their popularity may show how much our attitude to privacy and public displays of emotion is changing.

‘We’re losing our stiff upper lip and becoming like the Americans with their cheesy, weird celebrations, eroding the boundary between what’s private and what’s public,’ explains Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent.”

Why insult Americans? There are plenty of other countries that have what some Americans may think is a “cheesy, weird celebration”.

If people want to share the moment with others, go for it. *I* would not have a gender reveal party but I did not want a baby shower, either. It could be a great bonding moment with family and friends and then there are others who will use it to put the spotlight on them. I think it was discussed yesterday how some people need drama and this could be pretty dramatic.

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BG May 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

I had a friend whose son and DIL told her this way. They live out of state and so they told her to go pick-up a cake at the bakery and when she got it home she sliced into the Pink cake to find out they were having a girl. It was a cute way to tell her from long distance.

Of course my friend sort of ruined their surprise on how they told her they were expecting. They had a puzzle made of the ultrasound, and they sent her the puzzle for Christmas. The thing is, my friend didn’t put it together, she just left it in the box, so I think they ended up having to tell her since she didn’t put the puzzle together.

But to do that at a party of your friends and family…..I find it a little creepy. To me it strikes of “It’s all about me…me…me. Everyone look at me.”

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German Shepherd May 17, 2012 at 9:51 am

I agree with the Admin. It’s the couple’s choice if they want to share the moment with family and friends As long as the party isn’t a gimme affair, there’s no faux paux in celebrating the baby’s gender.

I personally like the cake idea and it makes for an exciting party.

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AMC May 17, 2012 at 9:53 am

My cousin did something like this except no cake was involved; they had the U/S tech write the gender on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. They are sports fans, so they hosted a party a few days later to watch a basketball championship game, and during half-time, they opened the envelope in front of everyone. It was a very sweet and happy moment, and everyone enjoyed it. My husband and I, on the otherhand, chose a more private reveal when we had our daughter. We did the same thing of having her gender written down and sealed, but then we opened it later when we were alone. I did however take some pink frosted cupcakes to work the next day. I agree with Admin; it’s really up to the couple how they want to make the reveal.

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elizabeth May 17, 2012 at 9:59 am

I think these sound cute and a lot of fun. LIke the admin said, its just a way to share together with family and friends the exciting news of whether the baby is a boy or a girl. Presumably, the people you are inviting are the same ones you’d be calling up to tell the news of if the babies a boy or a girl, so why not do it all together?
I’ve heard also of couples who found out the gender themselves at the doctors appointment and then used a gender reveal party to share the news with their family and friends. So if a couple wants it to be an intimate moment, it can be.
Really, when it comes to babies, people are so different and we must let parents choose for themselves what they are comfortable sharing or not sharing with others. Some are much more private and want many things to be intimate moments, whereas other people arenaturally more outgoing and open to sharing things and therefore couldn’t imagine NOT including their family or friends in important moments. It comes down to their preference though.

If you as a guest are invited to one of these and feel uncomfortable, then simply dont go. Don’t get mad at the couple though for wanting to share a joyous moment with friends and family.

As far as the cost, while it seems from the article that people could spend a lot of money on these, it could also be done very simply and cheaply. You could easily have a grocery store do a simple cake and provide other snacks yourself.

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acr May 17, 2012 at 10:01 am

I honestly don’t see how a reasonable person could object to this! If you don’t want one for yourself, that’s fine.

I actually think it’s nicer and more “mannerly” than a baby shower – the one I went to was certainly more fun than a baby shower. It’s also not a gift grab. The one I went to was fun, and I actually felt honored by the couple when they invited me to share this special moment. At baby showers, I usually feel like just another source of a gift.

It’s more inclusive, too – the men enjoyed it just as much as the women.

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Emmy May 17, 2012 at 10:02 am

I think it’s a rather cute way to annouce/find out the sex. Sure, if you’re going to invite everyone you’ve ever known in the history of forever over, then it becomes “ME! ME! Look at what I’m doing!”, but just have close friends and family over sounds lovely. I know I’ll go anywhere if I’m told there will cake.

I have a friend who opted to have the u/s tech write down the gender on a card, seal in an envelope and the couple had the grandma-to-be open it and annouce it on mother’s day as one of her “presents”. So really, her mom and the u/s tech knew before anyone.

I did hear of one person doing this who wanted to turn into a whole “bring gifts party”, as far as I know someone managed to talk her out of this saying it should really just be friends/family coming over for some dinner and cake. I also know someone who did it and didn’t bother to tell those coming to the dinner party the cake would be revealing the gender, so it was big happy surprise for everyone.

I have one friend who is expecting her first, she wants to find out the gender, her husband wants to be surprised, so as a compromise they’re going to do this…but with cupcakes or something (I’m not totally clear on the plan). They’ll do it at their co-ed baby shower that her sister is already starting to plan (she’s only 10 weeks….her sister is just very excitied to be aunt), her sister will be the only one to know until the day of the party so she can arrange the cupcakes. Mom gets to find out the gender before baby is born, Dad gets it as a surprise, everyone else gets cake. Win-win-win.

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Chelle May 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

We kind of did it this way – it was fun and not “all about MEEE….”
My husband and I found out the gender ourselves at our ultrasound. We invited both sets of grandparents over for dinner a few nights later and served cake for desert. (I made it myself – no fancy bakery cake – but it was yummy.) The frosting was white and I’d written “it’s a…. in pink and blue. Our parents didn’t know we’d had the scan or knew the gender until I brought out the cake.
It was fun for them to slice into it to see the pink cake. It was a special experience for our close family.

I don’t think it has to be over-the-top commercial project. You’re gonna tell your family somehow. Might as well make it cute and fun.

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Enna May 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

@ OP – I agree with Admin on this one 100%, I do think you are being a bit harsh. For you it maybe a private moment but for someone else they may want to share the infomration with their closest firends and family. If I was invited to something like this I would feel quite honoured. I also disagree with those negative comments on the Mail website – after all there are birthday cakes, wedding cakes, aniversary cakes, party cakes etc. etc.

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Jay May 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

I really don’t see the big deal. I wouldn’t do it, but I don’t see that there’s any etiquette issue involved. I don’t see how it’s any brasher than some phonecalls to your family with the same information, except with a party attached. And if there are gifts involved, then that’s really just a baby shower with a weird cake.

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Ashley May 17, 2012 at 10:30 am

That’s actually how my fiance and I plan on doing it whenever we wind up having kids. I don’t think it’s attention seeking. No matter how we go about revealing whether it’s a boy or a girl, I’ve got at least 50 relatives who need to find out as well, and I’d rather get them all in one go, rather than have 50 phone calls at all hours of the day.

As for private moments between the couple, well, that’s up to the couple now isn’t it?

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StephM May 17, 2012 at 10:52 am

I’m digging the US Americans Suck tone there at the beginning of the article. Clearly it’s our fault that some British couples are just as tacky as some US American couples. (Like Sarah Bailey in the article, who nagged her husband into allowing this.)

Anyway, I like the idea for revealing the gender to friends and family, but not to the parents. I agree that they should celebrate any way they want to, but this just sounds silly. What if deep down you were really hoping for the opposite gender? I can’t imagine trying to conceal my disappointment in front of a bunch of people if that were the case. I think the cake could be a cute feature for a baby shower.

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ferretrick May 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

I don’t see anything wrong with it from an etiquette standpoint. My concern is the more public you make the reveal the more you risk a tactless/nasty response from someone there who has a strong preference for one sex over the other.

I still cringe when I remember a party where a woman with beautiful girls, about 2 and an infant, told me her husband walked out of the room at their first ultrasound when the doctor said they were having a girl. Amazingly, she just laughed and told him it was his fault. Years later, telling me the story, she was laughing about it and seemed to think she was the tactless one, for making a joke when he was upset. I excused myself from the conversation and avoided both her and her husband for the rest of the party.

Point being, multiply the possiblity of something like that times the number of guests you choose to invite. I’d prefer to just keep it private, myself.

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Mary May 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

I don’t see a problem with it if it is what the couple wants and it is not a gift grabbing event. Personally, hubby and I are into the surprise factor and went the old fashioned way and didn’t find out until the births of our daughters! We even asked the doctor and nurse to make sure that if the ultrasound did indicate the gender, to make sure that it wasn’t written on my chart so no one could accidently slip up and tell us the gender!

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Calli Arcale May 17, 2012 at 11:36 am

My brother and sister-in-law did this at their baby shower (first child — cake was pink, and baby was a girl). They didn’t feel their jerk friend was withholding information from them; in fact, it was their idea. It’s just a fun thing to do to celebrate something momentous. I’m not really clear why someone would consider it an etiquette breach.

And “it’s just another party for something people do every day”? Seriously? I had two kids, and am done now. I found their genders out on ultrasound, so this is something that happened exactly twice in my life; we didn’t do the cake thing, because we’re way too nerdy not to have watched intently during the ultrasound. ;-) By contrast, I’ve had 36 birthdays, and there has been cake at every one of them.

“Plus I can’t imagine anyone would care that much about the gender of my baby beyond the two of us anyway!”

You have no idea, then, how inquisitive and intrusive people (even complete strangers) can get around pregnant women. You are fortunate.

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GroceryGirl May 17, 2012 at 11:37 am

If you don’t like it, don’t buy a cake like that, it’s that simple. What gives you the right to judge other people for how they choose to celebrate?

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Cherry May 17, 2012 at 11:46 am

I can understand that it’s divisive but personally I think this is quite cute; it’s a way of sharing your joy and excitement with your friends.

The only thing that would bother me is if one gender was considered “preferred” or superior.

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Dear! May 17, 2012 at 11:48 am

I agree with the admin here. It’s cute and harmless. (Some people could make the White House look tacky. I’m not talking about those characters.)

As long as it’s not a gift grab, have fun! Adding this to my list of random list of entertaining ideas.

I could see this being great for someone who goes back and forth on wanting to know the gender of their baby or is too nervous to look on their own. (I’ve known lot of ladies like this.)

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MoniCAN May 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I think the most cringe inducing part of that story (and the comments) was the whole “blame the Americans” for everything. I’ve heard of this baby reveal thing, but I’ve never seen it. It’s not *that* much of a trend in the United States. Actually, the first time I ever heard of it was in a British newspaper.

I also don’t think it’s that bad if it’s a small group of people you’d tell right away anyway. The future grandmother, aunts and maybe a best friend are the only people mentioned attending the parties in the article.
Actually, the gender reveal might be a good way to replace the baby shower. Many people just like the idea of a baby shower because they get to show how excited they are about the baby to be able socialize with other people who will be a part of the child’s life. With a gender reveal there are no gifts expected and the cost won’t be any more than catering a regular small shower (can’t count the cost of the ultrasound/scan because you need to get that regardless if you’re pregnant) .

When a coworker in my office told us she was pregnant, there was all kinds of excitement (the lady in question was the first to have a baby while working for this small office of mostly older persons). We asked her if she was going to tell us the sex when she found out. She told us sure, but she wanted to make it fun, so she would wear something pink if was a girl and something blue if it was a boy. The day after her ultrasound, sure enough, she came to work wearing some pink accessories. It just made it a little fun as she didn’t actually have to tell us with words.

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Tracy May 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Closest I’ve heard to this is having everyone invited to the shower know the sex of the baby so they can buy appropriate gifts. The couple then finds out at the shower. It’s not an extra shower, so I don’t think that that method is bad. But the cake thing just kind of weirds me out.

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Cat May 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I’d make a half pink/half blue cake and leave them guessing. Maybe bake one of those plastic babies they put in King Cakes in the “correct” half of the cake and let that person announce it.
What is it? It’s a baby. You were expecting a Cocker Spaniel?

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AMC May 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm

@StephM- I would think if you have that strong of a preference for one gender over the other, then this type of party is not for you. Better to find out in private. GroceryGirl is correct. This type of party isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t make it tacky or an etiquette faux pas.

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Gracie C. May 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I think it’s sweet (literally and figuratively, lol). And the parents aren’t being deprived since they are the ones making the decision to share the joy, so I have no problem with it in that regard. It’s certainly more fun than reading it on Facebook.

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lilbearzmom May 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I also have absolutely no problem with this kind of thing- I think it’s a fun way to find out what you’re having if you choose to know ahead of time. As for the people who are there, I think it’s fairly casual- the only people there are the ones who really care. I have seen the videos and in most of them, it’s very few people in attendance, sometimes JUST the immediate family. There are no gifts involved, and I think most of the time, it’s like the couple says, “hey, we’re having a party and during the party we’re going to find out the sex of our baby, so come have some fun with us!” CUTE and not at all rude or piggy. I had my son almost 8 years ago, and if this was trending at the time, I would have done it, maybe with some friends, maybe just my husband and me.

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allyoops May 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I see no problems with this **except** I am only uncomfortable with the fact that we seem to be celebrating a baby’s gender, rather than just celebrating a baby.

But I see most of it as light hearted funness, I think we should all be for more of that!

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Margo May 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I find it slightly odd, but not tacky.

In relation to the sneering comments, the article is in the Daily Mail – the DM is a right wing tabloid. It’s default position is to make fun of or be rude about anyone who is different, whether the difference is race, sexuality, nationality, appearance or anything else. Please don’t judge us by anything you see in the Mail!

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Angela May 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm

OP, it’s common in the states to have a shower before the baby is born (although usually “just before”) so that the parents will have most of what they need, and know what they still need to buy, when the baby actually comes. It’s about helping the new couple out as much as celebration. That’s why showers for subsequent babies are much less common (although they are sometimes given if the subsequent babies are a different gender, because God forbid you wrap a boy in a pink blanket, or if there’s a significant time lapse between babies because the parents might not have the baby stuff still).
This seems fine to me. It’s a matter of what the couple wants.

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Calliope May 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I’m not offended by the quote about Americans having “cheesy, weird celebrations.” We do have cheesy, weird celebrations. Cheesy, weird celebrations can be a great deal of fun. That’s probably why we like them so much.

I do think these parties are both cheesy and weird, and the idea of having one never crossed my mind while I was pregnant, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them. Similarly, I think office dress-up days like “crazy hat day” or “disco day” are cheesy and weird. Sing-a-long screenings of musicals in movie theaters are cheesy and weird. Flash mobs are cheesy and weird. But the thousands–even millions–of people who enjoy these things aren’t stupid or wrong to enjoy them; they’re just trying to have fun. Weirdly. And…cheesily. No skin off my nose.

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b-rock May 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I work with a girl who did this, and although it’s not for me personally, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. Regarding the private moment for the couple, well, if they choose not to see it that way then who cares? They did not receive gifts, they just had a little party with good food and a cake baked for them by the MTB’s sister. Again, not the way I chose to do it, but nothing offensive about it. As others have said, the offensive part of this article was the high-and-mighty British attitude about the whole thing.

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Paige May 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm

I personally think this is a really cute way to celebrate finding out the sex of your baby. If its such an intimate moment for you then don’t do it. I totally would though :)

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A May 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm

I think it’s sort of cute. I wouldn’t want to find out this way myself; I’d want to learn this with my husband at the doctor’s office before anyone else. However, if someone was throwing me a shower and we decided to tell everyone by baking a color-coded cake that seems like a fun idea.

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Missy May 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

To each his own. It’s not the sort of thing I’d do because I’m more low-key, but who cares if someone else does it?

I should say that Americans don’t “have” tacky and cheesy celebrations. We import them: Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s day, and Christmas trees and Easter eggs for that matter. I’ll own it and we’re always looking for more. I love it and don’t really care if what the rest of the world thinks. I’m still going to keep trying to get those pinata sugar cookies to work out. ;)

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kingsrings May 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm

There isn’t anything wrong with it etiquette-wise at all. However, I think it’s a bit showy and too much on top of everything else that goes on with the baby – baby showers, etc. Does there really need to be one more thing to add to all this?? However, to each his own, they’re not doing anything wrong at all with having these parties. I do think that attendance should be small and only limited to only family, and maybe close friends if they’re that interested in learning the gender. And please, don’t announce it by presenting the ultra-sound photo to all, do it the cake/cupcake being a certain color way. Don’t show off your private parts to others ; )
My only concern is, what if it’s not the preferred gender? For instance, they want a boy this time, and they’re having yet another girl. Can everyone hide their disappointment well? If they can’t, then there shouldn’t be this party.

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Jenn50 May 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Count me in, as someone who sees no problem with this sort of celebration. My only reservation has nothing to do with the party, but the fact that the subject of the article bullied the baby’s daddy into finding out the sex when he didn’t want to know. Well, that and the horribly snotty anti-American tone of the article, which I find obnoxious, even though I’m not American either. “Oh no….those crass, vulgar Americans are such a bad influence on our people…” Reminds me of THAT MOM who always insists that her little darling would NEVER do anything naughty, but if he did, it was because some OTHER children put him up to it. I have little patience for people who sit on their high horse about their sparkling manners, all while rudely painting an entire culture with a vulgar brush because they are a popular target.

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