The short answer? Absolutely.
outdoor baby shower with family
Credit: martinedoucet / Getty Images

While the baby showers hosted for your mother and grandmothers were most likely women-only affairs—where aunts, friends, and cousins sipped tea or Champagne while watching the guest of honor open tiny onesies and hand-knitted blankets—modern showers put a co-ed spin on tradition. "Single-sex baby showers are a relic of the past," says Liz Curtis, founder of Table and Teaspoon. "Creating a family is a massive undertaking and you understandably will need the support of your friends and family. Inviting the people who will be part of your child's life once they are born is the perfect way to kick-off their relationship."

New babies are welcomed into a variety of different family arrangements—some have same-sex parents, some have nonbinary parents, some are adopted or carried by a surrogate—and every growing family should be able to celebrate with their full lineup of nearest and dearest. "You want the people who have supported you by your side in your wedding party: The same goes for your baby shower," says Curtis. "You are both celebrating the start of or an addition to your family and introducing your soon-to-be baby to the people in your life. If your brother-in-law, uncle, or grandfather will be a fixture in your child's life, then they should be there to partake in the festivities."

If co-ed baby showers aren't the norm in your circle, Curtis recommends addressing invitations by family instead of to individuals. "This provides a sense of inclusivity without emphasis on the different sexes," she says. (If you aren't including children, then address your invitation to the adults by name.) And if you expect the men in your group to hesitate before accepting—envisioning an antiquated afternoon of L&D stories and tiny sandwiches—combine your shower with a gender reveal or alter the format: set it up as a cocktail party, reserve the tasting room at your favorite farm-to-table restaurant, or host a backyard barbecue with lawn games and prizes.

"Let's be honest: Many baby shower traditions are not particularly fun to partake in," says Curtis. "Games and activities that are available, but not required, are a wonderful way to make everyone feel included without feeling forced." A not-too-juvenile aesthetic also works well at a co-ed shower, she says: "Rather than baby blue, pale pink, or yellow, think outside the box for your theme. A jungle or forest vibe provides ample options for décor without being gender-specific. 'Fox & Forest' is a darling way to incorporate lush greens and jewel tones into your celebration."


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