History of the Baby Shower
Although the exact history of baby showers is unknown, what we do know is that they are all special and the ideal way to celebrate new life. Historians have not been able to pinpoint the exact beginning of this custom but evidence has been discovered that leads us to believe that some type of baby shower took place in many ancient cultures to include the Roman and Egyptian eras.
During this time, newborn babies and the parents were presented with various types of handmade gifts. Even though we find “baby showers” occurring centuries ago, the baby shower that we know today was not popular until the end of World War II. Modern day baby showers are a wonderful time for family and friends to gather in celebration of new life.
In addition, baby showers are the ideal opportunity for the parents to be given much-needed support. After all, they have just been through an emotional and physical adventure and need to know friends and family are rallying around them. Then, there is the exciting part of the shower in which the new baby is shown off and gifts are received.
For many couples, money is tight so the baby shower is perfect for receiving baby-clothing, things for the nursery, and items such as diapers, bottles, bibs, and so on. When the popularity of baby showers increased after the war, they were traditionally given just for the mother and her newborn but not until after the baby was born.
The guests would include both sets of mothers and other close female family members and friends. However, with time this tradition changed to include the expectant father, his father, the expectant mother’s father, along with other male family members and friends. As mentioned, baby showers were originally, planned for after the birth of the baby but that too has changed.
You will now find that many showers take place prior to the baby being born for two reasons. First, because of modern technology, many couples are now choosing to know the gender of the baby before he or she is born. Therefore, the gender can be announced and gifts purchased accordingly, which eliminates any guesswork. Second, many of the baby clothes and other items commonly bought are unisex, working beautifully for both male and female so the gender does not matter.