A baby shower has a lot of connotations associated with it and it primarily referred to a party which is thrown by expectant of new parents. Expectant parent receive gifts for their newborn or expected baby during this party from friends and family. In some cultures, like the United States, a baby shower mostly celebrated before the baby has arrived, whereas in some other cultures (mostly in Australia and some parts of Europe), the shower is not celebrated as long as the baby is born. Traditionally, a shower is supposed to help the new parents in collecting baby gifts (clothes, for example) for their ‘to-be’ born baby. Most guests prefer to present the babies with baby gift baskets, which are a conglomeration of several useful items.
There has been a long history of baby showers and a lot of traditions are associated with them, which vary according to social trends. Traditionally, only women were meant to attend the baby showers, and the mother-to-be was the cynosure of attention. Now, with families getting smaller, men have also started attending the showers. There is a reversal of trend in America, where in, there are showers being arranged only for the father-to-be, and it is a men-only party. According to Jewish traditions, a gift is not supposed to be accepted before the baby is born.
Mostly an American-Latino tradition, baby showers are making headways in other places as well. In Europe, particularly the UK and France, baby showers are a relatively new phenomenon. In Hindu traditions (India, Sri Lanka, Fiji and Pakistan), rituals similar to baby showers have been existent for centuries. Traditional Hindu rituals also involve an all-women gathering in the seventh month of the mother's pregnancy, wherein gifts are given for the baby and the mother alike.
Baby showers are fun activities and stretch far beyond the notions of baby shower gifts and other baby gifts. Baby shower can sound a bit childish, but this whole process can be fun with so many activities associated with it. New etiquettes, themes and concepts are being added to baby showers every single day. If we compare between now and 3 decades back, a lot has changed in terms of events and celebrations. For example, it was a crime to touch the mother-to-be's tummy back then, but now, events like guessing the mother's tummy's girth and tying a string or a toilet paper around it, have become almost-standard baby shower events. ‘Tummy-rubbing’ is also not taboo anymore, as it was a few years back.
There are other activities that have become a standard agenda for any baby shower party. Guessing the gender of the child-to-come is one of these, and tops the list. Suggesting names, exchanging gifts and opening these gifts in front of the guests are some other events that take place during a baby shower. The opening of the gifts is one of the most crucial and special parts associated with a baby shower. This is one of those few traditions which have not changed over the years, and is probably the most joyous of them all. Finally, serving the cake, or beverages or anything for that matter, which signifies the parents’ thankfulness towards the guests, family members and friends, is the last event that takes place.
This author lives in Flemington, NJ with her husband and 5 month old daughter and is an expert contributing author for a luxury unique baby gifts boutique offering variety of baby shower favors , baby gift baskets, handprint footprint kits and more. This author and Babygiftstation is also dedicated to providing valuable and informative articles on childcare, baby safety tips, pregnancy health, parenting, potty training and more.