The tradition of giving expectant parents gifts has been around for centuries, although the actual origin of the Baby Shower (Gifts) is unknown. In ancient cultures, the Egyptians and the Romans, gave small treasures to newborn babies or they presented creative handmade gifts to the parents. During the late 1800’s Victorian woman began having teas for young mothers, but this was not until the baby was born, because pregnant women very rarely appeared in public.
Today’s notion of throwing a baby shower and giving baby gifts didn’t really become popular until around the post World War II baby boom. An ideal time to hold a baby shower is between the 7th and 9th month of pregnancy, when the mother-to-be has a large belly. This can make it more fun to look back on the photos at a time when the mother was visibly pregnant.
Anyone except the expectant can throw a baby shower, but according to traditional formal etiquette, family members are not supposed to, as this could be seen as the family asking for gifts. Today, most people are a little more relaxed when it comes to who can host the shower.
Traditionally, a baby shower was only thrown for the mother and her closest friends but now with father’s playing a more equal role in parenthood it is common for the event to be thrown for the expectant couple.
Baby showers only used to be held for the first born child but these days, sprinkles, as they are sometimes called, can be thrown for the second and third babies. These subsequent events can provide a good way for parents to replenish supplies. Showers can also be held for those who wish to adopt or even for surrogate pregnancies.
A baby shower serves several purposes and these haven’t changed much over the years. The event provides a wonderful opportunity for friends and relatives to share in the joy and excitement of bringing a new life into this world. For many new parents this can also be a scary time when the support and advice from those who have been there and done that can be invaluable. Raising a child is also very expensive and can put strain on the household budget so any financial assistance or practical gifts can be helpful. Creative gifts (handmade baby gifts / more personalised baby gifts) will have a more sentimental element to them and can add sombre element to any shower.