Nappy Braais On the Rise

Fathers-to-be embrace the fun and importance of mate-rnity parties

Traditionally, baby showers have focused on celebrating expectant mothers, but a new trend is emerging where new dads are getting involved in the merriment. Nappy braais, dadchelors, or mate-eternity parties, thrown by mates and family members for soon-to-be fathers, are giving men a chance to receive support and celebrate their impending fatherhood.

According to Ronald Govender Dis-Chem Baby City’s FMCG Executive, this new trend is increasing in popularity and most importantly recognising that expectant fathers also deserve support during this transformative period in their lives.

The involvement of fathers in parenting has long been a topic of discussion in South Africa. Organisations including UNICEF, the National Department of Social Development and Sonke Gender Justice have continuously stressed the importance of the equal involvement of men in caregiving and support programmes focusing on equitable, nonviolent parenting practices.

“This new trend is therefore encouraging by including dads in the celebration, nappy braais contribute to a more inclusive approach to parenting from early on in the parenting journey, and the importance of man banding together to provide support and celebrate fatherhood,” adds Govender. He outlines some key pointers that make these parties valuable.

Bonding and support:

Beyond the braai merriment, soon-to-be fathers connect with their male friends and receive support as they navigate the journey towards fatherhood. The relaxed and casual atmosphere allows dads to share their hopes, fears, and questions about becoming a parent, creating a strong support network.

Practical advice and tips

Experienced fathers among the group of friends offer practical advice and share their personal experiences. From diaper-changing tricks including how to handle messes, prevent leaks and ensure the baby’s comfort during the process to soothing techniques and balancing work and family life.

Celebrating the transition:

Becoming a father is a significant life transition, friends can decide whether to organise a casual gathering or theme the party and include games to make it even more fun. Some of the games can include 30-Second trivia for new dads, Diaper Derby or a nursery rhyme quiz. Family and friends often bring gifts for the baby including essentials and baby registries for nappy braais are also becoming more common. Nappies are a standard entry gift for invitees with organisers asking everyone attending to bring a pack of nappies which is a very useful and practical gift. To make their lives easier, it is also common for guys to club together to buy one more expensive gift like a cot or pram.

Relieving Stress and encouraging self-care:

Preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming, and celebrating offers an opportunity for expectant fathers to relax and unwind before their little one arrives. Friends can plan activities that help the dad-to-be de-stress, such as outdoor adventures, sports activities, or simply spending quality time together. Encouraging self-care and relaxation helps new dads enter fatherhood with a refreshed and positive mindset.

Fostering camaraderie:

Mate-eternity parties strengthen the bond among friends, creating lasting memories and a sense of camaraderie. The shared experience of supporting a friend through this important life transition brings friends closer together and forms a solid foundation for continued friendship, guidance, encouragement, and support in the years to come.

In recognizing the evolving roles of fathers, the growing acceptance of nappy braais is a popular and meaningful way to celebrate expectant dads. These mate-eternity parties provide a supportive environment, practical advice, and opportunities for friendship and bonding. By including to-be fathers in the celebration, their important role in parenting is acknowledged and it fosters a more inclusive and supportive community.

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