History of Baby Showers & Pagan Origin

Ashley Davis

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This post is part of our educational series on the history of common baby gear and baby events including baby showers which have been around since Ancient Egypt.

Baby Shower occasions have been celebrated since ancient Egyptian and Roman times, where guests gave newborns and new parents handmade gifts.

While the activities involved in baby showers have evolved with time, the primary reason for the celebrations remains true; to celebrate the new mom for carrying a pregnancy successfully and welcoming the new baby into society.

This five-minute article explains the definition of baby showers, what happens at baby showers (traditional baby showers and modern baby showers, the Biblical factor of baby showers, a detailed history of baby showers, and the importance of baby showers.

Get all the interesting facts about baby showers by reading all through!!!

What is a baby shower 

A baby shower is a party held in honor of a first-time expectant mother and the arrival of the newborn by friends and close relatives that are mainly female. For the second and subsequent babies, the “baby shower” is called a baby sprinkle shower.

Typically, baby showers are held four to six weeks before the baby’s due date to ensure that the pregnancy is well along and early enough to avoid untimely arrivals.

Usually, a close friend, one of the grandmothers-to-be, a sister, or a close family member throws the baby shower.

A baby shower guest list should include close family members and close friends to the mom-to-be to ensure all those present are genuinely happy for the expectant mother.

While baby shower themes are unnecessary, it adds to the fun to have one.  Besides, they inform guests on the gifts to buy. Usually, the gender of the baby or the likes of the mother-to-be dictate the theme. Popular baby shower themes include;

  • Mustache-themed baby shower
  • Nautical-themed baby shower
  • Dinosaur-themed baby shower
  • Harry Potter-themed baby shower, and 
  • Girl Power-Themed Baby Shower.

Baby showers involve various activities, which include;

  • A baby shower guest book, where attendees write their special messages to the mother-to-be, her child, and the father.
  • Games, including the baby shower diaper raffle. A baby shower diaper raffle is a raffle ticket that a guest receives to enter a draw to win a special prize after bringing a pack of  diapers.
  • Presenting gifts, where baby shower guests give the mom-to-be gifts they believe will be helpful to her when the baby comes.

It is advisable, however, for a mom-to-be to prepare a baby shower gift registry. A baby shower gift registry is a list of items that an expectant mother wishes to receive from her baby shower guests. Also, a baby shower gift registry is an organizing tool that helps a mom-to-be track what baby items she needs to purchase after what she receives during the baby shower.

What happens at Baby Showers (has it evolved over time?)

Traditional baby showers and modern baby showers are similar in that they celebrate a successful pregnancy and the birth of a child. Traditional and modern baby showers are also similar in that guests brought gifts to the expectant mom and involved playing games to cheer up the mom-to-be.

 However, baby shower activities have evolved over time.

  • Traditional baby showers were celebrated for a family’s first born only. 
  • A family member or a close friend with the mom-to-be planned the baby shower
  • Only women attended the customary baby showers.
  • Baby showers took place after the birth of a child
  • Baby showers happened during lunch time

Today, baby showers have evolved the following ways;

  •  Usually, baby baby showers happen before the birth of a child, especially four to six weeks before the baby’s due date. 
  • Men can also attend the baby showers. 
  • Also, a mom-to-be can plan her baby shower
  • Baby showers are celebrated for all births, known as a “sprinkle baby showers” for second and subsequent births.
  • Baby showers happen any time of the day, including evenings where guests can enjoy mocktails.
  • It may involve a gender-reveal session.
  • It may be a themed party.

Photo Credit; Amazing Tz

The most outstanding feature of modern baby showers is that men are holding baby showers. Yes, they are!  It is an emerging trend where friends of the father-to-be throw him a baby shower.  A man’s baby shower is called the man shower, or the dadchelor, or baby stag

Similar to the baby shower, dadchelor guests bring diapers as gifts in exchange for beers. Popular games for dad-chelors include “Huggies and Chuggies”, “Poker and Pampers”, and a “beer-in-a-bay-bottle drinking race.”

Is Baby Shower Biblical?

Baby showers are biblical as they’ve been associated with the versus from the Bible:

  • Phillipians 4: 6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 
  • Psalms 127:3 also reads. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

Therefore, Christians can celebrate baby showers. Christians can plan baby showers that reflect their religion through;

  • Including bible verses on the invitation cards
  • Decorating the baby shower venue with candles tied with little scripture tags.
  • Guests can gift the mom-to-ve with a baby’s first bible
  • Play christian songs and include prayers
  • Burn incense, and much more fun christian stuff.

Pagan Origin of Baby Showers

Baby showers are not of Pagan origin. Baby Showers have an origin in Ancient Rome and Greece where a woman was welcomed back to society with a party and gifts after isolation during pregnancy. In ancient Egypt, a woman was purified after pregnancy and giving birth and the baby has been welcomed into society.

Baby showers are important because:

  • Baby showers are essential because they provide the expectant family with a chance to ask family members and close friends to help in the upbringing of a child. For example, a baby shower gives expecting parents essential baby products such as diapers, baby bottles, clothes, toys, and blankets.
  • Also, baby showers are important because they present a forum for the expecting mother to receive all the baby advice they need. Interestingly, a pregnant mother values advice from other moms more than after she gives birth. Usually, it is annoying to keep hearing what you are doing right or wrong in the upbringing of your baby.
  • Baby showers are significant because they provide a good chance for guests to give the expectant mother different affirmations during birth. Birth affirmations are short phrases that a woman repeats during birth to ease the difficult period. For example, “my body was built for this” and “I can do this.”
  • Finally, baby showers present a chance to celebrate the expectant mother, and the expectant father. Often, a pregnancy takes an emotional and physical toll on the mother, which is a good enough reason to celebrate the triumphant ending of the pregnancy.

The Indian Baby shower, known as Godh Bharai, for example, is conducted to bring happiness to the mom-to-be by making her feel special and loved. The Indian baby shower entails giving the expectant mother a special outfit for the day, swinging her gently in a seat adorned with floral decoration, and expelling any evil spirit from the mum to be through a ceremony called the Ovalni.

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