The Baby Shower
As we are always making blankets and shawls for new born babies we are increasingly receiving requests for gifts for ‘The Baby Shower’. When we started making blankets 12 years ago the baby shower was almost unheard of and we assumed the craze had come from the USA. After researching this new celebration we have discovered that the baby shower happens all over the world, different cultures and religions all having a slightly different slant on the idea.
The term ‘shower’ simply means to shower the expectant mum with gifts, usually nappies, bottles, clothes, blankets and a cake ( often made from nappies) these can be seen at many of the baby shower web sites. Traditionally, baby showers were given for the family’s first child and only women were invited. The original idea was for women to share knowledge and lessons on the art of becoming a mother.
According to etiquette the party is usually organised by a friend rather than the family member since it was considered rude for families to beg for gifts on behalf of a family member however this custom varies according to culture and religion. There is no set rules to where or when showers should be held, the number of guests and the entertainment as this is usually determined by the host.
Baby showers across the world vary enormously, in China and Armenia the shower is held after the birth but in Canada, Brazil, Iran and India they are held before the baby arrives. In China the shower is held to celebrate the survival of the baby one month after the birth as in ancient times infant mortality was so high, how times have changed!!
Don’t forget the men! Some baby showers are directed at the men, usually involving beer, watching sport or playing video games. As you can imagine these parties are often held at the pub, a friend’s house or soon-to-be grandfather’s house.
A term I have learnt today is ‘Sprinkles’, these are small gifts for subsequent children, especially a child who is of a different gender than the previous offspring.
It seems to me a new baby is a good reason for a celebration. However it is celebrated, with friends, family, gifts, cakes, inside, outside, it’s one of lifes nicest reasons for a party!!!