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Home > A Quick History of the Baby Shower

A Quick History of the Baby Shower

It's one of the things that bind the people of the world together. Welcoming a child into a new family or community is practiced the world over, throughout cultures, and practiced for thousands of years. The giving of coming together, extending one's best wishes and giving baby shower gifts to celebrate a new baby's arrival dates back many thousands of years. In fact, some historians believe evidence of baby welcoming ceremonies date back over two thousand years, to the Roman and Egyptian empires. In those times, women of a village or family would gather to give homemade gifts that the new mother could use to care for their baby, including blankets, knitted clothes, and extra cloth diapers. In giving such simple and direct baby shower gifts, they were able to help the mother better prepare for the baby's arrival and the weeks and months that followed.

    The baby shower as we know it began in the years following World War II. As record numbers of young people began starting new families and buying homes, the baby shower became a way to celebrate each new child's arrival. Similar to a birthday party, the baby shower became a way to celebrate a unique occasion among the new mother's family and friends. Baby shower favors, baby shower games, and baby shower cakes all became traditional necessities for the baby shower event.

    The typical guest list expanded as well, from a small circle of close family and friends to a wide selection of women (and later men) from the new mother's life. Nowadays, the baby shower might come in two different events. New mothers or their friends may decide to have one baby shower for intimate friends and family, and another, separate baby shower for coworkers or acquaintances. The advantages of this are obvious, and not just for the double amount of baby shower gifts the new mother might receive. Holding the separate baby showers enables the mother to devote equal social time to the different areas of her life, allowing everyone the chance to participate in the baby shower celebration.

    The traditions of the baby shower itself have also changed. While the baby shower has always been an opportunity to shower the mother with gifts, the format of the party has expanded over the years. Now, guests may enjoy any number of baby shower games and activities, along with a sumptuous meal and plenty of time for reminiscing and extending their best wishes.

   

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