This weekend we hosted a baby shower for my BFF to celebrate the pending arrival of her first child. Although commonly mistaken as a solely American tradition, the ritual of throwing a ‘baby shower’ transcends history and culture. In Ancient China, due to the lack of advanced medical technology and the high infant mortality rate baby showers were held a month after the birth of a child, women would sit and talk about their experiences of birth and mothering. Many other countries are known to hold baby shower traditions, ranging from as far and wide as Brazil, Iran, Costa Rico to South Africa.
A baby shower offers friends and family an opportunity to ‘shower’ the mother or in this case, parents-to-be with gifts for their coming arrival. With only a short time to go until the due date, throwing a party also gave us the perfect chance to get together before our friends days and sleepless nights are filled with nursing, feeding and all manner of baby adventure! Here are a few snaps and ramblings from the day:
The Tradition: Traditionally in England baby celebrations would be reserved for ‘wetting the babies head’ where the father of the baby would go out and drink a pint of beer following the birth, for those of a religious persuasion there would of course be a Christening or Baptism party. I’m of the mindset that we should make our own traditions, we should choose how to celebrate in a way that is relevant to our lives and not be restricted by age old, unwritten rules or practices. We gathered a few close friends both boys and girls, sat around chatting, ate a buffet and had tea and cake.
The Party: I baked a classic Victoria Sponge cake from a Mary Berry recipe, it went perfectly with Earl Grey Tea. We ‘showered’ the parents-to-be with gifts. I was overwhelmed by how everyone came together with so much love and generosity. Gifts included clothes, >extremely cute< shoes, an incredible teddy bear changing mat, money, accessories and cuddly toys. We chose The Wharf, Castlefiend Manchester as our venue which was the perfect space, we had a large room all to ourselves and decorated the tables in baby blue cloths and doilies. It’s safe to say, we all had a fabulous day, creating our own traditions, in our own little way.
‘Free yourself from the rigid conduct of tradition and open yourself to the new forms of probability.’ -Hans Bender