Over the years, we have found ourselves in a culture that encourages big announcements and revealing surprises for the entire social media world who’s just sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear of our personal endeavors. That instant gratification factor seems to provide us with so much pleasure. And, since we can share our exciting news with 100s of people at the click of a button, a simple statement just doesn’t seem to provide as much entertainment as a funny video or colorful photo. This notion has inspired such inventive approaches when broadcasting our news whether it’s to tap into a creative gene that has been begging to come out or to keep up with the Joneses. Either way, social media has provided a platform for us expecting mothers to share our exciting news in so many imaginative ways. And though the “big news” isn’t about entertaining others but more about the blessing that is to come, many still seek the thrill and excitement that is “to announce” or “to reveal,” and there is no shame in that.
Now, Pinterest may have an unlimited number of boards for this very topic, but I wanted to share some of my personal favorite and unique announcements – all tried and true by moi.
I’d be lying if I said thinking of how to share the exciting news with family and friends was almost just as exciting as finding out – for me at least. This will most likely be one of the biggest secrets kept for most of us and when the time finally comes, we are just dying to share and most likely bursting with excitement to do so. Here are some of my favorite announcements we’ve done – both lavish as well as intimate:
1. Thank you, Aunt Becky and Uncle Jessie from Full House
Ever since I was a little girl, I LOVED the Full House episode when Becky reveals to Jess that she’s pregnant. She cooks him a themed dinner – all “baby” items. I did this for my husband when we were expecting our first. I made “baby”back ribs, “baby” carrots, pigs in a blanket, “baby” peas – and don’t forget the centerpiece of flowers sprinkled with “baby’s” breath. I was never really one to cook an elaborate dinner (pre-kids, that is), so he knew something was up. Once I alluded to the theme, he caught on and out came the proof of the test. This was such a cute and intimate announcement but could easily be tailored for a larger family dinner to share with extended guests.
2. Been There, Done That!
What better way than to let the siblings get involved?! This works pretty perfectly if you’re announcing number 4 (This works with fur siblings too if you’re announcing your first or 2nd 😊). The signs say it all and the kids were happy to help! This idea is a fun social media post or even cut snail-mail cards.
3. Adding a Munchkin using “Munchkins”
Why not use sweets for announcing sweet moments?! When I wanted to share the news to my husband and kids I was pregnant with baby number 5, I wanted it to be unique in that this was a big surprise for all of us (Thank you, pandemic). Big boxes of donuts typically grace our kitchen table several times a month, so I took my chance with the large box of donut holes or “munchkins”. I broke the news in a message on the inside of the box in bright colors so that my husband would HAVE to see it when grabbing for his share. Breakfast was a bit sweeter that morning.
4. Caught on Camera!
When my husband and I got pregnant with our second, it was very quickly after our first. No one, including us, was expecting us to be pregnant again. We knew there would be some shocked faces, so we wanted to catch them on camera. Finding an excuse to take a family photo, we set our camera up on a tripod and had a timer to snap the photo – this could easily be done now with iPhones and Apple watches. Moments before the camera would click to snap the photo, I announced I was pregnant. I highly recommend doing this with a live filter on the iPhone or a shutter speed turned on the camera as not everyone reacts at the exact same moment. Some family members took a little longer to process than others. This definitely makes for a great laugh later and an awesome memory!
5. Bun in the Oven (literally)
When we were pregnant with our third, we thought of making a fun game out of the announcement with our family. It was actually Christmas time for us so the entire family was already gathered and bringing “a gift” wasn’t as obvious of news to anyone. Placing an actual bun in my grandmother’s oven, we announced to everyone that our gift to Grandma was in the kitchen and she would need to find it. Naturally, everyone was curious so the gathering moved into the kitchen as we proceeded to play the “hot and cold” game with her. She quizzically looked at the oven and then looked at us and curiously opened it, only to shut it closed really quickly and laugh. This was so fun and can be a personal, more intimate moment or a big shared one.
6. What’s One More?!
Though our number 4 was definitely planned between my husband and me, we knew it would still be a crazy shocker to everyone else. We decided to have some casual fun with this announcement knowing we would post pictures on Facebook for all to see. Life was pretty chaotic with 3, so we simply incorporated what everyone else was already thinking. Capturing the crazy was easy, fun, and summed up life pretty perfectly. We let the siblings basically act themselves and let our faces express the sentiments in one photo. In the other, we decided to let our big foam puzzle numbers do the explaining for us. This way created special memories and fun announcements.
Not sure if this is an unpopular opinion or not, but I just HAD to always find out our baby’s gender. It just made good sense for practical planning to me. Also, planning a gender reveal was always fun too (at least for me!). We did the traditional balloon release for our first but took a few unconventional routes for others. Here were some of my favorite and unique reveals whether for small, private affairs, or large, public announcements:
1. Getting Siblings (and their bellies) Involved
Pregnant with my second, we wanted big brother to be involved. At 14 months old, my son’s favorite pastime was showing everyone his belly. You say the word, the shirt always came up as he beamed with pride (sidenote: toddler’s showing off bellies also make for great pregnancy announcements – we did this for my second pregnancy). We took advantage of the cuteness and had the two grandmothers paint the word “boy” in blue or “girl” in pink. When they walked him out to the party, my mother asked, “What does Mommy have in her BELLY?!” (don’t forget the signal word – this is key in getting the toddler to show off his belly). Per usual, up came the shirt, on went the prideful smile, and out came the bursts of joy and excitement from the party – though, I’m pretty sure my son thought we were all just THAT excited to see his belly for the 100th time.
2. Revealing on the Route
Is there anything more New Orleans than hosting your gender reveal on the parade route?! We did this for my 3rd (first girl). So many people were hoping or wondering if after having two boys, our family would finally have a little girl. Timed perfectly with Mardi Gras, we decided to let the beads do the broadcasting for us at a Mardi Gras parade. My husband was riding, so he purchased several bundles of pink beads. Many of them had blank plastic medallions on them so we printed out “It’s a Girl!” stickers to place on them. When my husband’s float crept up, he threw the pink beads in the air to everyone around us. It was definitely a Mardi Gras to remember and the beads made great keepsakes.
3. Who has the Gender Cupcake?! (fun for large groups)
Pregnant as a cheerleading coach, I wanted to do something fun for my squad of high school girls as they were just as excited to find out my baby’s gender. I purchased stuffed cupcakes and simply dyed the stuffed icing blue. However, to add a fun little twist, I didn’t dye the icing for all of the cupcakes, just one. When I was handing all 30 cupcakes out, I explained that everyone would take a bite together and that there would be just one revealing cupcake. Whoever got the revealing cupcake could shout out the gender. This could be a fun idea for revealing the gender to a class or with plenty of siblings or cousins. It was fun and the anticipation of who would get THE cupcake was a fun, added bonus of excitement.
4. Breaking News Over Brunch
Sometimes the large gender reveal party isn’t for you and an intimate, more personal setting is more your style. We did this for my 4th baby. Wanting it to still be memorable and fun, we went to Mother’s Day brunch with both sets of grandparents, and let the waiter and his staff work their magic. We handed the envelope and contents in a bag to the waiter, and they came out presenting either a baseball hat or pompoms in a dome-covered dish. The gender was revealed to the entire table making that Mother’s Day one of the best for all of us!
5. Posting via Pumpkins
This one was one of my favorite reveals! When finding out the gender anytime in the Fall, pumpkins are great to use to reveal your own little pumpkin. We carved out a giant question mark on the pumpkin to use as décor for the party and later as the reveal. We also ordered pink and blue smoke bombs off of Amazon. Placing the smoke bomb inside the pumpkin just as you would a candle in a jack-o-lantern, we lit it and let the smoke signal reveal our little pumpkin’s gender. (Pumpkin reveal perk: this idea also provided plenty of cute photo ops with pumpkins and my belly).
Have you announced or revealed in a unique way? Drop a comment to share!
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My third pregnancy was such a surprise being nearly 14 years after our second child and several years after what was thought was the last of the grandchildren that I felt I had to do something special to let the family know I was going to have a baby. To break the news to the now 16 year old big brother and the 13 year old soon to be middle child I created a Rebus and we played a knock off of the old Concentration game for them to figure out the clues to solve the puzzle. It was so much fun that we then created another Rebus with even more puzzles for the two older siblings to now play Concentration as a Thanksgiving gathering game for them to reveal to their cousins that they were going to be a big brother and sister. It was a great time and a big surprise to the entire family to introduce cousin #17!