History of Baby Gifts

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For parents-to-be who also have an interest in the past they may find it interesting to learn some about baby shower history, in particular the history of baby shower gifts. We did not always bring over baby bottles and diapers for the parents-to-be however it was popular to give the parents gifts that they would need to help care for the new baby. In reality friends did not really give a lot of things to expectant parents. It was standard to wait until after the baby was born, sometimes quite a while after the baby was born before sending over gifts and other items to help out. This practice developed due to the high mortality rate of infants in earlier eras.

Grandparents have always had a unique place in the practice of giving gifts at baby showers. In some places it was and is still traditional for the grandmother to make up a baby blanket or small quilt for the baby. It also used to be practice for the grandmother to give a gift of silver to the baby. This was held for the baby by the parents and helped to provide a small amount of inheritance for the child. This just might be where it came from.

It is also a practice in some families for the gifts received at a baby shower to be stored at the grandparents home until the baby comes along or the parents have a chance to make room for them in their own place. As the times changed so did some of the older practices. Now we have baby showers before the baby is born, which is a good sign showing how much success we have with childbirth these days. Also silver may not be given, but many grandparents and certainly other members of the existing family can set up savings accounts and funds for future college expenses.

Over time, however, old traditions have relaxed, allowing for "couple showers" to which men are invited, and celebrations in the workplace that co-workers can attend. It is no longer necessary to wait until the baby is born, unless the mother-to-be prefers to wait until after she has given birth before receiving baby gifts.

History of Baby Showers

Although the custom of helping expectant parents plan for a new baby has been a tradition for centuries, the origin of the modern baby shower is unknown. There is evidence that ancient cultures, such as the Egyptians and the Romans, often bestowed small gifts upon newborn children, or presented the parents with a hand-made gift after the child was born.

However, baby showers as we know them today were not common until after World War II - possibly one of the first manifestations of the baby boom.

Baby showers have always served several purposes. They allow friends and family to share the joy and excitement of welcoming a new life into the world, and they provide emotional support to new parents. It is not uncommon for an expectant mother or father to be nervous about their new role as a parent.

A friendly word of advice from a friend or family member can be extremely helpful, and the presence of everyone who attends the shower is a supportive gesture that many appreciate.

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Contact: Brent Connolly - New Zealand Gifts Mall - 6/260 Muritai Road - Eastbourne - Wellington - NZ - ph +64 4 5627144

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