Fathers-to-be get their own baby showers male style
At baby showers, friends shower moms-to-be with gifts to prepare them for motherhood with a fun, social time.
But what about the fathers• They are about to become parents, too. Why should moms get all the attention?
Many American men are joining in on the fun by throwing "diaper parties" -- the male equivalent of a baby shower.
At a diaper party, buddies get together with the soon-to-be dad. Rather than heading to the baby registry for gift ideas, they simply arrive with a box of diapers, helping to stock up supplies before the big day.
Instead of playing baby-shower bingo, activities include male-oriented pastimes -- bottles of beer, watching sports and videogame challenges. It's casual and low key.
"The key thing is get involved early, and I think this is a great idea," says Bob Brinker. He is a parent educator with Greensburg-based ParentWISE, a program of Family Services of Western Pennsylvania. "Everybody asks how mom's doing, but nobody asks how dad's doing."
The more and earlier a father can get involved with the pregnancy and parenting experience, the better, Brinker says. Men may be uncomfortable with the idea of diapers, but they need to learn.
"It isn't about comfort; it's just about getting used to it, and you do that by getting involved," Brinker says.
New parents easily spending $70 per month on diapers, says Alan Lasky -- one of the operators of the babyshower101.com website -- so a diaper party helps the new parents in a very practical way.
"Especially with the economy, it's one of the best gifts you can give with how expensive diapers are ... because you go through so many of them," Lasky says. His website -- owned by I-Volution, Inc. in the Los Angeles area -- gets about 500,000 hits a month, with a lot of feedback about these kinds of male showers.
People often have the diaper parties at someone's home, sometimes with a cookout. Men sometimes have the parties at a bar or restaurant. Sometimes, the men get together to play poker, and they ante up with boxes of diapers, he says.
Diaper parties fit well with modern dads, who do more diaper-changing than their predecessors, Lasky says.
"The father wants to be more involved and not kind of left out until the end of the party," he says. "That's why the new parties are springing up. It's a nice way for the ... guys to get together and have a bonding experience."
It's all part of the increasing role of dads in the parenting process, Lasky says.
Adam Cannon -- owner of the Happy Baby Co., a Robinson store that sells cloth diapers and other environmentally friendly baby products -- says it's a generational thing. His own father probably never changed diapers or got involved with buying them, but Cannon -- a father of four children younger than 7 -- gets very involved with parental responsibilities. He says customers are often surprised the store is his. When they come in, they expect to find his wife.
"People are bucking a lot of traditions," says Cannon, lives with his wife, Lillian, and their kids in Sewickley. "A lot of my customers are very involved parents every step of the way. I don't get a lot of people who come in with that stereotype ... 'My husband won't touch that.' "
Cannon, 32, says he has seen many co-ed baby showers. Some mothers-to-be will have one traditional, females-only shower -- and then another party with men and women, often complete with beer.
A note to buddies attending a diaper party: When faced with the huge stash and variety of disposable diapers in a store, note that they are designated by size.
You can't go wrong with diapers designed for newborns. And if you pick up a larger size, remember: Babies will grow into them.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers rookie says Sam, his former roommate, has changed
- Minister quick to share time, talents, love
- Fire victim’s ex-boyfriend jumps from Tarentum Bridge
- Letters won’t be used as evidence in North Union man’s homicide trial
- Rossi: Buying trust is a must for Pirates
- Steelers aim to create more turnovers this year with speedier defense
- West Mifflin Legion falls into elimination bracket
- Ex-cop from Irwin gets jail for drug sales while posing as officer
- Turbine sites near properties in Fayette County threatened
- Latrobe woman charged in deadly standoff claims coercion
- EPA talks on pollution limits trigger protests, arrests Downtown