I picked announce the gender only, I say that because I have known many people who then have to contend with “well meaning” family and friends thinking they can help you change your mind on the name. If you know for sure that their opinions will not bother you then go ahead and announce both.
I would stick to just announcing gender. If you announce the name, you’re almost certain to get other suggestions, unhelpful opinions and statements (“Oh, I knew a ______ in highschool! She/he played violin!”), and supposedly “helpful criticism” (“What about [name_f]Olivia[/name_f]? It’s so much nicer than _______!”). Once they meet the baby, they’re much more likely to have positive feelings about the name and less judgements.
I wouldn’t announce either personally because I don’t want to find out the gender, but I picked announce the gender only because if you are already finding out it’s not like your family & friends can influence you to the opposite gender - you can’t change that! But I wouldn’t announce the name, people can be horrible… or even just well-meaning but an off-hand comment or simple reaction could really hurt you.
I’m not one swayed by opinions, I should have prefaced with this, and I think the main backlash would be how unusual it is. Nobody would really know anyone with the name. I’m also in a position in life and my personality type isn’t really one where people would feel real open to telling me their honest thoughts unless I implored. Unless it’s a very socially awkward person.
I’ve done a small testing group sworn to secrecy and the feedback has been positive thus far. A speech pathologist, an author, a personal trainer, and a hair stylist. So a good range.
Personally I wouldn’t do either (I don’t understand the need to hyper-genderize every single item a baby owns before they’re even born; I’d rather just have more neutral items) but if you are announcing the gender, I’d keep the name a secret for a few reasons. Firstly, you’ll definitely hear negative comments about the name, no matter how nice it is. That can make you question your decision unnecessarily. Secondly, I think it’s more fun- when friends or family members announce their baby’s name and gender ahead of time, I feel like it takes away from the fun of the baby’s birth. You already know most of the important information, so when the baby is born the only real things left to know are the birth weight and exact time they were born- not really the fun info. Waiting for the name, I think, is a lot more fun, but that’s just me.
I’m going to be the dissenter here and say announce both if you feel comfortable in doing so. Unless you’re afraid someone else who is expecting might steal the name, then I don’t think you should keep it hidden if you’re 100% confident in your choice. I don’t agree that if you announce the name now that suddenly you’ll sap all the excitement out of the baby’s birth. Babies are a big, exciting change for families no matter what. If you’re excited to announce the name now, I say go for it.
I actually had a heart to heart with those expecting closest to me. Yeah on my side of the family this is the first baby. I’m positive of the name if it’s a girl, but up in the air if it’s a boy. So maybe I only announce if it’s a girl. Haha
I think I would value my close family’s honest opinions and thoughts but I’d also be able to live with them not (immediately) loving my name choice, it wouldn’t upset me, I’m very stubborn when it comes to these things.
However, I’m talking about close family and friends, in your case, it would depend on who attends that shower and whose input might upset you and what that may do for your friendship.
I personally would only keep it a secret because secrets can be fun to keep - everybody’s full of suspense until you finally announce the name after giving birth; not because I don’t want any opinions or am afraid of people stealing my choice, if I’m not confident enough in it and it not being “unique” anymore would likely keep me from choosing it, it probably isn’t the right name, anyway.