We’re in the thick of fulfilling orders for baby shower gifts right now — it got me wondering how baby showers came to be. Through a little research, it seems celebrations of mom- and baby-to-be have been building steam for millennia.
Baby Shower Gifts: How Did They Originate?
In ancient times, people honored moms with a meal on the tenth day following the birth of their baby. But they gave gifts to a ‘Birth Goddess,’ rather than to the mother. It was during the Renaissance period that new moms began to be honored with gifts such as food, clothing and paintings.
Food played a more prominent role during the colonial times when birthing parties were held in the home of the expectant mother. Guests would feast on ‘Groaning Cakes’ (the scent of it baking allegedly eased labor pains) and ‘Groaning Ale’ as a show of sympathy for what the mother-to-be was enduring.
Fast forward to the Victorian era: During this time new moms were honored during a tea after the baby was born (a welcome change, I’m sure, to hosting family and friends while in labor). By the early 1900’s the baby shower as we know it began to take shape. New moms received handmade gifts and grandparents would typically offer gifts of silver.
Timeless Gift Ideas for a Baby Shower
Today, the baby shower can be as simple as a few friends over for tea, or it can be an elaborate affair for the mom-to-be’s closest 400 friends. Food is rarely in short supply, but clever, unique gift ideas are harder to come by. Many shower-goers fear their gift might be outgrown before a baby even gets to wear it.
I find most people want to give a gift that will be cherished, without being untouchable (ahem, sitting on a shelf or behind glass doors). There is still an allure to silver, but it’s not as desirable a baby gift as it once was. At Kleynimals we honor the tradition with stainless steel jangles, rattles, keys and baby silverware.
And babies love metal items — they are shiny, they make noise when banged together or on a table and they are cool to the touch (a real treat for teething babies with sore gums).
Stainless steel Kleynimals give all the benefits of silver, including the timeless feel, without the impracticality, like endless polishing. Because you can personalize many of our Kleynimals with engraving, they make a treasured gift that will last a lifetime. And they are versatile: They make a great baby shower gift for boys or girls.
The Best Gifts for Baby Showers Come With a Stamp of Safety
I learned early on in this venture that not all stainless steel is created equal. Most stainless steel is made overseas (usually in Asia). Since babies and toddlers touch and mouth their Kleynimals all day long, I wanted to be sure I sourced safe steel from the USA.
Safety is important not only to me, but to the gift giver and to the parents-to-be receiving them. You’ll know you’re getting an authentic Kleynimal because we stamp them with our fun characters: Eli the Elephant, Gus the Giraffe, Leo the Lion, Pippi the Polar Bear, Scout the Snowshoe Hare, and Otto the Snowy Owl.
For your next shower, feel confident that, with Kleynimals, you’re bringing a safe, heirloom-quality gift.
You might also consider bringing a Groaning Cake for a good laugh. I found this recipe online, and I’m dying to try it (with or without the ale)!