Showering a mom-to-be with gifts is a tradition that dates back to ancient times. In modern culture, the baby shower is a staple for a first-time-mom. Though recently, some millennials have started throwing diaper parties for dads. As with all things related to gifting and soliciting gifts, this begs the question: Is a diaper party tacky? Should I have a diaper party, and if so, what is the accepted etiquette?

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Is a Diaper Party Tacky

What is a diaper party?

A diaper party is a new social gathering gaining popularity among young parents. The goal of a diaper party is to stockpile diapers by requesting each attendee contribute a case of diapers. Diaper parties are typically for men only.

I’ll make no bones about where I stand on this issue. A diaper party is tacky.

First, stockpiling diapers before your little one is born is not beneficial, and you can read all about that here.

Second, soliciting gifts from and friends is never a good look. Society is shifting such that more people are becoming increasingly centered around themselves and meeting their own needs. This shift has become so pervasive and widely accepted that people behaving in this way don’t see themselves as acting selfishly because it has become the norm in some circles.

Having a diaper party or having a raffle-style donation at a baby shower is like asking people to buy you more gifts.

Many people love to give gifts, but that quickly vanishes when the person receiving the gifts seems greedy, ungrateful, or expectant. Giving gifts is an act of love, not an act of obligation. If someone wants to gift diapers, they will. And if they don’t, it is in poor taste to conjure up a situation in which they are expected or outright asked to gift diapers.

The very worst thing you could do is throw a diaper party for yourself (or your dad-to-be).

This feels icky just writing about. It would be like throwing your own birthday party or baby shower. It is just tacky. There’s no way around it.

If someone offers to throw the dad-to-be a diaper party, there is a lot to consider.

Can you politely decline and explain your reasons for not wanting a diaper party? (Try “That is such a generous offer! We are actually going to hold off on stockpiling diapers until we can see which ones our baby tolerates the best.” Or, “That is so thoughtful! We are so overwhelmed by the generosity of our friends and family who have already showered us with gifts for our baby, and we cannot possibly accept anything more!” Or, “The most important thing to us is having loving family and friends to support our baby! Instead of a diaper party, let’s have a gathering once the baby is born, so everyone can spend time together and get to know our new little bundle!”)

If there is no way to politely decline the offer of someone else throwing your dad-to-be a diaper party, you must consider the guest list. Just as with a baby shower, you should invite only close family and friends with whom you normally exchange gifts (birthday gifts, holiday gifts, etc.). And of course, be sure to follow all of the standard party etiquette below.

If you have a diaper party thrown in your honor

  • keep the guest list small
  • make it clear on the invite that diaper donations are much appreciated but not expected
  • convey your sincere thanks at the party to each guest who attends
  • send hand-written thank you notes to each guest who attended regardless of whether or not they gifted diapers

What can be done instead of a diaper party?

  • Encourage the new dad to have a celebration with his friends that would have attended the diaper party. They can trade advice or funny stories about being a dad.
  • Have a small party after the baby is born so family and friends can meet them. If people are organically moved to give a gift, they will give one.
  • Use the opportunity to promote the idea of time over money. Start expressing to friends and family early that you value them spending time with your little one over giving them material gifts.
  • If the new dad feels excluded, throw out the the idea of a female-only baby shower and have a unisex baby shower instead.

I hope this helps you navigate the difficult social waters surrounding gifting!

Mom on!

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9 thoughts on “IS A DIAPER PARTY TACKY?

  1. I’d like to respond to this post with a different point of view. In my husband’s hometown, this is not a ‘new, self-centered millennial trend’. It is thrown by a friend of the dad and is basically the equivalent of a baby shower. It allows the dad to get some love from friends and family when usually the mother-to-be gets all of it. I’m not sure how it can be considered tacky when a baby shower isn’t. Everyone knows the purpose of the baby shower is to help the new parents prepare and ease the upfront financial costs of a first child. Gifts are expected, hence the popularity of registries. Usually the host buys beer and all guests show up with a package of diapers. I could see how it could be considered self-serving when it’s not a family or neighborhood tradition or if a couple throws it for themselves, but I think this article is too critical of something that is a fun, beloved tradition for some people.

    1. Thank you for this thoughtful response! Perhaps I was too quick to judge. I was not aware of the tradition. Thank you for informing me!

  2. I agree with AKMOM. This is not tacky if you go about it the correct way. Diaper parties are fun and helpful. If a person does not want to participate and support their friend, they need not attend. No need for your negativity.

    1. Hi Paula! Thanks for your thoughts. I have my comments set up to be approved before they post (this is because I get hundreds of spam comments that I filter out before approving legitimate comments). This is the reason you didn’t see your first comment posted right away. I appreciate your input even though our opinions differ. 🙂

  3. Above all, the golden rule for second showers and sprinkles is to gauge the mother-to-be’s take. Any woman who expresses that she’s not comfortable with yet another party in her honor, says Post, “would not be a good candidate for a sprinkle.”

  4. Thank you! It seems like people are asking for more and more and expecting friends and family to provide it all. I was invited to a baby shower for my husband’s niece. The gift wish list was high end gifts: strollers, car seats, breast pump, etc. and then asked to add a pack of diapers for a drawing to win a “gift basket”.
    I happen to know that the mother of the mother to-be has already bought many of the larger gifts, so I wonder if the expensive gifts on the wish list will be returned for $$.
    One having a registry with gifts and providing the information for the registry is acceptable in my opinion and appropriate, but I do not attend a shower with the expectation to “win” anything or leave with a gift myself.
    I guess I was just raised in a different time with different values.

    1. Yes, your comment about feeling like people are asking for more and more hits it right on the head for me, too. That’s a good way to describe it. Thanks for reading!

  5. I do not feel that a diaper bash is relevant unless a baby shower honoring the mother properly is done as well. First and foremost, a MOTHER carrying a child for nine months deserves a REAL, ELEGANT baby shower. If she gets this and the father also additionally gets a diaper bash then its OK but it should never be that there is a diaper bash honoring a dad but no traditional, beautiful baby shower for mother. Also, I feel that a diaper bash is tacky. The average mother even on government assistance can afford diapers. A diaper bash is a disrespect and shows in my opinion, that you care very little about the expectant mother.

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