Hosting a Baby Shower When You Don’t Know the Gender

Time was, parents didn’t know their child-to-be’s gender until the doctor held up the new baby and announced, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!”

Today, with the advent of ultrasounds and amniocentisis, it’s rare that Mom and Dad don’t know the gender. Many parents feel they can connect better and earlier to the baby when they know whether they’re having a bouncing baby boy or a sweet baby girl.

Yet interestingly, there remains that small faction that truly wants to be surprised on “birth day.” We’re all for it — what can be more special than that moment when you truly meet your new baby?

However, this suprise factor can mean a bit more forethought when buying gifts for Baby. If you don’t know the gender of the baby-to-be, how do you host a baby shower and select gifts? It’s easier than you may think. Here are some easy ideas for a baby shower that’s appropriate for either a little boy or a little girl.

Gender-Neutral Colors

A sweet pea - perfect for baby-to-be.

The colors yellow and green are both appropriate for either sex, so choose decor based on these colors. Yellow and green streamers, a cute green tablecloth and yellow party invitations will give your shower a color theme that’s just right.

White is another obvious, easy color choice and perfect for any baby shower. Also, don’t discount lavender — it’s no longer a “girly” color and gives a soft baby feel without assigning a girl or boy feel.

Unisex Baby Clothes

If you’re giving clothing as a gift, try these options:

  • white onesies, short and long-sleeved
  • white, yellow or green pants
  • simple pullover sweaters
  • plain white, soft socks
  • clothing with unisex decor – animals, circus clowns, ducks
  • yellow or green sleep sacks
  • white hand mittens (so that baby can’t accidentally scratch his or her face)

For the Nursery

If the parents have already picked out a theme for the nursery, follow those cues. (For a surprise shower, try to get this information from a family member or close friend.) Otherwise, choose on of these:

  • unisex-colored receiving blankets
  • unisex-colored decorative hanging pillows
  • an animal themed picture for the wall
  • a nightlight
  • stuffed animals (never keep these in baby’s crib)
  • a neutral-color throw blanket for a rocking chair

For the Bath

Babies love bathtime! Here are some great non-gender ideas.

  • soft terry washcloths
  • a green, purple, yellow or blue baby bathtub, or one in a unisex decoration (such as farm animals)
  • baby soap
  • “tearless” baby shampoo
  • talc-free baby powder
  • rubber duckies, plastic play rings

For the Parents

Be sure to think of Mom and Dad too! Here are some great items that don’t need a color or gender theme:

  • baby bottles, if the parents will be bottle-feeding
  • nipple pads, if Mom will be nursing
  • diapers – a diaper cake is a great way to present this gift
  • a gift certificate for Mom and Dad to see a movie, get a massage or have a relaxing pedicure
  • a collection of diaper coupons
  • a collection of infant formula coupons, or a case of formula (find out which kind the parents will be choosing for the baby)
  • baby care books

See? Easy! You really don’t need pink or green to make a baby shower great — nor do you need airplanes and construction trucks or flowers and ruffles. Enjoy the shower — and then enjoy the surprise when the parents announce the baby’s gender on the big day.