First the American craze for baby showers swept the nation, and now it's the turn of gender reveal parties. If you're not au fait with what one involves, let us fill you in. The expectant mum reveals the sex of her baby – with the help of a cake or balloons – creating a great photo opportunity and an exciting moment to share with family and friends.
"Revealing the gender of your baby to your friends and family is an exciting time and gender reveal parties are becoming almost as popular as baby showers," Gerry Connolly, founder of helloparty.com, said. "In fact, it doesn’t hurt to combine the two!"
And the expert party planner suggests getting older siblings involved if you can. "If you already have children, you should definitely try to involve them in the gender reveal," he said. "It’s an exciting time for them too; becoming a big brother or sister is a big deal. Just make sure they don’t blab to guests before the big reveal!"
Of course, whether you can reveal your baby's sex depends on whether you find out in the first place. You can ask your sonographer to let you know whether it's a boy or girl at your 20-week scan – although some hospitals have a blanket rule that they don't tell parents the sex. Also the sonographer might not be able to tell the sex depending on your baby's positioning – so bear this in mind!
If you do find out your baby's sex then pulling off a successful reveal takes some planning. Some mums decide to have a get together just for the gender reveal, while others include it as part of their baby shower. Whatever you decide, we've got a couple of ways to make it fun…
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Gender reveal cake
The most popular way to do a gender reveal is with cake. The idea is simple: at your event you cut open an iced cake to reveal either pink or blue sponge inside.
When Jacqueline Jossa and Dan Osborne found out the sex of their baby, the cake was the centrepiece of their gender reveal party.
Jacqueline's cake was lilac on the outside and surrounded by both pink and blue cupcakes to build the anticipation. "Twinkle twinkle little star how we wonder what you are? #pink or #blue," she commented on Instagram.
But it wasn't until a few months later that her boyfriend Dan Osborne shared a picture of the inside of the cake. "Can't keep it a secret anymore," he tweeted, showing off the pink sponge. From the looks on their faces it seems like the cake reveal was a pretty special moment!
There are two ways to do a gender reveal cake: find out the gender beforehand yourself and keep it a secret, or let your sonographer know that you'd like a surprise and ask them to write the sex of your baby on a piece of paper and put it in a sealed envelope. Then, take the envelope to the baker and ask them to make a pink or blue sponge depending on what it says inside the envelope. Make sure that they fully ice the cake so you can't peek what colour the sponge is inside!
Of course, the sonographer isn't always able to predict the sex. But if this is the case, you could make a pink and blue marbled cake – letting your guests know that they'll have to wait a bit longer to find out.
If you do find out the gender beforehand then you have the option of baking the cake yourself.
The balloon reveal
If cake isn't your thing then take inspiration from TOWIE's Billi Mucklow and try a balloon reveal instead. Billi released blue balloons from a mystery box at her baby shower for the perfect photo opportunity.
Here's what you'll need to recreate the balloon gender reveal:
- Large cardboard box
- Blue and pink paper
- Blue and pink ribbon
- Blue or pink balloons
Here's how to do it
- Fill your blue or pink balloons with helium, pack them in the large cardboard box and secure with masking tape.
- Wrap the box with decorative paper – attach to the bottom and sides but make sure the paper on top is left loose with an opening for the balloons to escape through.
- Decorate the box with pink and blue paper. You can even get creative and add heart and baby designs like Billi.
- Tie the ribbon around the box – with the bow on top.
- Before the reveal remove the masking tape so you can just pull the ribbon and the helium-filled balloons will come pouring out.
Real mum's experience
When Vicki Parkes from Staffordshire was pregnant with her 4-month-old daughter Amelia, she held a gender reveal party to let both sets of grandparents know the sex at the same time. "We knew both our parents were desperate to find out and we didn't want to tell one before the other," she said. "We'd seen people having the coloured cakes in America but we wanted to do something different."
After researching ideas online, Vicki held her party for just close family. "We had so much fun guessing and doing old wives tales such as holding a ring over my bump," she said. But it was the balloons that were the centrepiece.
"When the balloons were released everyone went crazy screaming," she said. "It was very emotional, we'd definitely do it again for baby number two. I think it'd be even more fun having our daughter involved in the organising and guessing!"
So would you do a big gender reveal? Or would you rather not find out? Let us know in the comments below.
Photos: Twitter / Dan Osborne and Instagram / Billi Mucklow
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