In some countries, a baby shower is a way to celebrate the pending or recent birth of a child by presenting gifts to the parents at a party. The term shower” is often assumed to mean that the expectant mother is “showered” with gifts.
Traditionally, baby showers were given only for the family’s first child, and only women were invited. The original intent was for women to share wisdom and lessons on the art of becoming a mother.Over time, it has become common to hold them for subsequent or adopted children.
According to etiquette the party centres on gift-giving, the baby shower is typically arranged and hosted by a close friend rather than a member of the family, since it is considered rude for families to beg for gifts on behalf of their members. However, this custom varies by culture or region and in some it is expected and customary for a close female family member to host the baby shower, often the grandmother.
There is no set rule for when or where showers are to be held. The number of guests and style of entertainment are determined by the host. Most hosts invite only women to baby showers, although there is no firm rule requiring this. If the shower is held after the baby’s birth, then the baby is usually brought, too.
Guests will bring small or large gifts for the expectant mother. Typical gifts related to babies include nappies, baby bottles, clothes, and toys. These days though it is always nice if you can think of something unusual for the baby that either no=one else had thought of or is new to the market and a real must have baby product.
Some hosts arrange baby-themed activities, such as games to taste baby foods or to guess the baby’s birth date or gender.
Baby shower are known all over the world but have different names.
In Brazil, a party called “chÃ¡ de bebÃª” (baby tea) is offered after birth and is often a “women-only” event.
In Chinese tradition, a baby shower, called manyue (æ»¡æœˆ) is held one month after the baby is born. Due to the lack of advanced medical technology in ancient times, the high infant mortality rate prompted families and friends to celebrate if a baby survived more than one month after birth.
In Costa Rica, a baby shower party is called tÃ© de canastilla (“basket tea”).
In Hindu tradition, they are called by different names depending on the community the family belongs to. In northern India it is known as godbharaai, in western India, especially Maharashtra, this celebration is known as dohaaljewan, and in West Bengal and Orissa it is called saadh. In Southern India, in Tamil Nadu/Andhra Pradesh it is called seemantam or Valaikaapu (The expecting mother wears bangles), and in Karnataka it is called shreemanta and is held when the woman is in her 5th or 7th or 9th months of pregnancy. These three types of celebrations are very similar to each other and are “women-only” events. There is music played, and the expecting mother is decked in traditional attire with lots of flowers and garlands made of jasmine or mogra. A swing is decorated with flowers of her choice, which she uses to sit and swing. At times there are symbolic cut-outs of Moons and Stars that are put up. There are blessings showered on her by the elderly ladies from the household and community. There are gifts given to the expecting mother. It is a very affectionate and fun-filled event for most of the expecting mothers since they are on the threshold of motherhood and entering a new life. In Kerala, it is known as Pulikudi, and is practiced predominantly in the Nair community, though it’s popularity has spread to other Hindu sects as well over the years. On an auspicious day, after being massaged with homemade ayurvedic oil, the woman has a customary bath with the help of the elderly women in the family. After this, the family deity is worshipped, invoking all the paradevatas (family deities) and a concoction of herbal medicines prepared in the traditional way, is given to the woman. The woman is dressed in new clothes and jewellery used for such occasions. A big difference in the western concept of baby shower and Hindu tradition is that the Hindu ceremony is a religious ceremony to pray for the well-being of the baby. In most conservative families gifts are bought for the mother-to-be but not the baby. The baby is showered with gifts only after birth.
In South Africa, a baby shower is called a stork party, and takes place typically when the mother is about 6 months pregnant. Stork parties are usually not attended by men, and South African men do not have an equivalent party of their own. The stork party is accompanied by silliness such as dressing up, and babycare related gifts are given to the mother. A stork party is often organised as a surprise without the mother’s knowledge.
In the United Kingdom, we have tended to view baby showers as a very American custom as traditionally we always referred to it as wetting the baby’s head, and is a more common substitute to a baby shower,. Wetting the baby’s head is traditionally when the father celebrates the birth by having a few drinks with a group of friends. Over the last few years we have started to adopt the baby shower idea and it is now very common.
So if you are going to a baby shower and you want to give an unusual but brilliant baby gift there is of course one easy answer and that is a Snugglebundl baby-lifting blanket.