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From “Trick or Treat” through to “Sweet 16” parties, proms and many more special occasions, the UK hasn't been slow to pick up on some of the best US celebrations. A traditional American event that's proving a big hit on this side of the pond is the Baby Shower; a chance for friends, family, colleagues and well-wishes to “shower” parents-to-be with gifts, support and advice in preparation for the impending new arrival. We've dug a little deeper into the history and customs associated with a Baby Shower, so read on to discover what type of gift to give if you're invited to a Shower, or how to organise one for someone you care about.
Although traditional celebrations, customs and rites surrounding pregnancy and birth are a part of many cultures, the Baby Shower as we recognise it is a fairly modern celebration. Until the 1930s, the main event relating to a baby's birth both here and in the States was a Christening Ceremony - primarily a religious occasion. It is thought that from the 1930s onwards, factors such as decreasing infant and maternal mortality and the increased availability of relatively cheap presents (due mainly to mass production methods), resulted in the rising popularity of the Baby Shower (sometimes called the Stork Shower in bygone days).
Prior to the past decade or two, Baby Showers were normally held in the afternoon and hosted by friends or relations – as the main purpose of the Shower was to receive gifts, it was seen as rude for the mum-to-be to do the hosting! Generally light refreshments and tea were served. Guests had the opportunity to chat, play games and offer gifts suitable for both the impending new arrival and the mother-to-be. Traditionally, these presents included practical baby care items (including nappies (diapers), baby clothing, baby bedding and small toys) as well as toiletries and similar luxuries for the mother-to-be. Until recently Baby Showers were women only affairs, deemed unsuitable for men!
If you are organising a Baby Shower today, or have been invited to one, the rules are now a little different! Modern Baby Showers can be hosted by friends, family or the mother (and/or) father-to be. Both men and women are welcome. Food is easy to prepare – typically sandwiches, cakes, scones, a cold buffet, hot and cold drinks and perhaps champagne. Although Baby Shower games can still be played, today's Baby Showers are often more of a chance to chat about the impending birth, share stories of labour and post-birth experiences and give parents-to-be information on the tips and tricks used to survive the first few weeks or months of new parenthood!
If you've been sent a Baby Shower invite, it may have come with a list of appropriate gifts; if not, then something from our great selection of Baby Shower presents here at Snuggle Feet should work really well. Why not pick out a high-quality toy for the new arrival, or some premium bath or body products that are just the thing for mum-to-be pampering? For a larger present, one of our gift baskets, filled with products of your choosing, could be just the thing. In addition to our boy / girl hampers, we also offer a great selection of gender-neutral options which can be ideal presents for parents-to-be who haven't yet revealed their baby's gender. Baby Showers are enormous fun and a great chance for friends, family and well wishers to celebrate with parents-to-be before they get on with the job of child-raising! For high-grade Baby Shower gifts that are always appreciated, something from the Snuggle Feet collection is the perfect solution.