Gender reveal parties seem to be all the rage these days, and if you are expecting, first of all, congratulations! I know everyone is aware of the traditional baby shower, but what exactly is a gender reveal party? It is a party in which the sex of the baby is revealed through an exciting surprise event that indicates whether the baby is either a boy or a girl.
Some people choose to combine their gender reveal parties with their baby showers, and some do them separately. In general, it seems like parents tend not to ask for baby gifts at the gender reveal and wait until later on in the pregnancy for the shower to receive them. However you want to celebrate your baby is completely up to you.
Finding out the Gender Early
Traditionally, couples find out the sex of the baby (if they want to know) at the 20 week anatomy scan. Now, there are several other ways to find out the sex. If you choose to do the non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), which is a blood test, those test results will usually include the sex of the baby. You can also use a direct-to-consumer test like SneakPeek to find out the sex, which is what we did.
Collecting the sample for SneakPeek is a very involved process. You have to sanitize your surfaces, wash your hands for three minutes, and prick your finger with a lancet to collect several drops of blood into a tube. The instructions are easy to follow, though, and you get to choose who you want to send the results to. The results were ready within about three business days, and we did not pay extra for rush shipping. We paid $79 for the kit, which is pretty reasonable. The results are 99.1% accurate, and you can take the test as early as 8 weeks! Overall, we really enjoyed our experience with it.
Planning the Gender Reveal
To plan the reveal, we looked up several gender reveals on YouTube to get some ideas. I have boiled it down to five of the best gender reveal party ideas, and listed them below to help you plan your own!
We originally planned to do this because we had our gender reveal party on the Fourth of July. This is a really spectacular way to announce especially if you’re celebrating with a large group of family and friends. The only downside to this is that you need a lot of space to do this safely outside. We wanted to have some really nice pictures and video taken of the reveal, and it would be nearly impossible to capture our expressions at night as we found out. A good workaround would be to have the party during the day and get all of the pictures you want, and top off the night with the fireworks announcement.
2. Cake Reveal
This one is fun, especially for those who don’t like exploding cannons or fireworks. There are several ways to approach this. We had a chocolate cake that was filled with the the appropriately colored M&Ms in the center. You could also have the icing in between the cake layers made in the appropriate color, or have the cake itself in the color of pink or blue. The reveal cake also doubles as a dessert for your reveal party. My mother-in-law’s friend opened the results and placed the order for the cake, so it was a surprise to the whole family when we cut into it.
3. Classic Smoke Bomb
This one is so much fun and makes for beautiful and memorable photos. You can buy the kind that you hold in your hand, but I have also seen them used in motorcycle and car exhausts for those really adventurous folks. We used a smoke bomb with confetti in it as part of our virtual gender reveal as well. It was exciting and made for really great slow-motion capture video. We made the rookie mistake of shooting it off inside of our house. We did not realize that it was full of colored powder. So we had powder in our carpet, on the stairs, on the ceiling and on all of the furniture, as well as tons of confetti on the floor! It was a lot messier than we had imagined and we wished that we did it outside.
4. Surprise Balloons
This is a very sweet way to announce, and it seems to work great if you have multiples. That person you trust orders the balloons in the appropriate colors and has them placed in a cardboard box. The parents open the box and the balloons float out revealing whether the baby is a boy or a girl! This may be one of the least complicated ways to do the reveal. If you are unable to find a smoke bomb supplier or a cake maker who can accomplish the task, this could be a great option.
5. Gender Reveal Candle
This is one of the newer ways to do a gender reveal. I think this method is best for smaller gatherings or a private reveal with just you and your partner. Homesick Candles offers a gender reveal candle. The person you trust with the results can order the candle for you in “boy” or “girl”. The magic happens when you light the candle. I’m not positive this is how it works, but it seems like the heat from the wax from the lit candle changes the color of the label from black to either blue or pink. The scent of the candle is the same regardless of the gender.
Our Virtual Gender Reveal
We planned on going down to Florida to visit family and to have our gender reveal party. However, with sharp increases in Coronavirus cases lately, we decided to play it safe. We did the gender reveal virtually from our couch in Chicago. Although everyone was disappointed that we couldn’t come, my mother-in-law who was hosting, sent us a package of goodies. We received the decorations, balloons and a smoke bomb/confetti cannon with the correct color.
I spent all morning on the Fourth of July decorating our coffee table to be the main display centerpiece. We bought a sheet cake from the grocery store that was pink and blue and inflated our pink and blue balloons. Mark set up a video camera and a GoPro to capture the confetti blast in slow motion.
We used Google Meet to host our virtual meeting. We were going to use Zoom, but none of us had user subscriptions. Without one, calls are limited to 40 minutes with three or more people present. Google Meet was great (and it’s completely free)! We really felt like we were there celebrating with everyone. Additionally, we even got to say hi to family that we haven’t seen in a long time.
We had such a great time, and yes, we found out… we’re having a boy! We are so over the moon and working on picking a name. If you are a boy mom or an experienced mom, please give us tips! We need all the advice we can get. For a deeper look into the beginning of my pregnancy journey, check out my First Trimester Update!