By Eliza Stuart /

The expectation of a new life is exciting and brings so much joy. Gender-reveal parties are gaining in popularity and add a fun element to a baby shower. Check out these ideas for successfully combining the two.

The Guests

Of course, for a gender reveal, the father is going to want to present, so invite both male and female friends and family. Don’t try to make the list too large, ten or twelve people who get along well make for a great party.

The Gifts

Because no one will no ahead of time what the baby will be, request that guests bring gender neutral baby gifts. There are more colors than blue and pink – white clothing works well for either. Avoid ruffles or firetrucks and select woodland, bumblebee or nature themed items instead.

The Food

Since you are feeding men as well as women, skip the finger sandwiches and petite fours and opt for crostini, grilled kebabs or artisan breads and salads. Serve a few fun non-alcoholic drinks in self-serve dispensers. Forego the fancy cupcakes and go with a larger cake.

The Decorations

Again avoiding pink or blue, a woodland theme is always a hit. An underwater theme with octopus and a coral reef could also be fun. Stay away from stereotypically male or female themes such as ballerinas or baseball.

The Fun

Choose the popular raw egg to the forehead or break a pinata filled with colored chalk powder for the gender reveal, or look online for more great ideas. Choosing games may actually be trickier. Although it is a shower, select games that include the men, who typically don’t enjoy party games. Most will participate in good humor if it isn’t too “girly.” Try giving each of the men a full-size baby bottle filled with juice and offer a great prize to the one who can empty his first.

Most of all relax and have a good time. Don’t get too uptight about the particulars, just make sure the expectant couple is pampered a bit and everything else will fall into place.