The baby shower is now a common event in the lives of expectant mothers, but here in the UK that has not always been the case. Although baby showers are a centuries old tradition, they fell out of favour, before being revived in the post-war baby boom era in America. Nowadays, mums-to-be around the world look forward to this special occasion.
The main purpose of the baby shower has traditionally been to provide the new parents with useful kit they might need for bringing up a baby, such as clothes, blankets, and toys for the nursery. In some cultures, it was traditional for the mother-in-law to give a sterling silver spoon, often engraved with the child’s name.
The event is usually held about four to six weeks before the baby’s due date, although some new mums prefer to wait until a few weeks after the birth, so that they can introduce the new arrival to friends and family. Traditionally, baby showers have been strictly women-only occasions, although nowadays it is more common for menfolk to attend if they wish.
The venue is typically the mum-to-be’s home, although sometimes she might prefer to attend a spa or restaurant. The main arrangements are usually made by close family or friends, rather than the expectant mother, who no doubt will already have enough to think about.
If the baby is a second or third child, the parents are already likely to have many of the practical items they need for the baby. For this reason, gifts are now often little items of luxury or fun for the mum or baby. For a more memorable and personal choice, some people like to give handcrafted items with a special meaning.
For example, handmade Welsh love spoons are carved with a range of symbols, to represent a unique meaning. A stork is the traditional motif to offer congratulations for a baby on the way, or a new born.