Monday 19 July 2010 by Erika

Photo of a baby meeting his grandparents

When I had my first baby, I couldn’t wait to show him off to everyone. But I underestimated just how many friends and family I had until they suddenly all wanted to visit at once.

Nowadays, the internet and mobile phones make spreading the news of a birth easier than ever. Before you know it, your friends and family have heard about the newborn and of course, everyone wants to take a look. But the first few days of motherhood are overwhelming enough without opening the floodgates to waves of keen visitors!

To introduce a new baby to friends and family, there’s a long standing Christian tradition in the UK for parents to have their children baptised. Friends and family are invited to a church ceremony, usually followed by a gathering to celebrate. But if you’re not religious, why not have a party anyway; what better excuse do you need? I wanted to wait until I had regained some of my energy so I could throw a party myself, to celebrate the birth of my first child and more importantly, to show off how gorgeous he was.

I started discussing party ideas with a good friend of mine, who had spent a long stretch of time living in China. She got to telling me about how the Chinese traditionally celebrate the birth of their babies, and I started to wonder if I could convince my friends and family to take on the tradition here at home...

In China, new parents traditionally receive red envelopes containing money

In China, they don’t celebrate the birth of babies until they are at least a month old. This practice is rooted in history, from a time when babies regularly didn’t survive past their first month (thankfully a rarity now). During this month, the mother is encouraged to rest and recoup her energy, which sounds like a great idea to me. At the end of this time the family throw a big party, where many friends and family will finally meet the baby for the first time. It’s also customary for guests to wish the parents and baby good luck by bringing red envelopes containing money.

I like the sound of the now that I could use a few red envelopes myself! But I suspect we’d all soon end up broke, when I consider that 3 of my friends are pregnant right now. I also like the idea of letting new mum and baby settle down and get to know each other before friends and family are eventually introduced.

I say that now, but when I had my baby, I would’ve needed an armed guard to keep my friends and family away. And in hindsight, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Did you or are you planning to celebrate your new baby in a unique way? We’d love to hear about it!

Photo credits : Meeting the grandparents – Izzard on Flickr, Chinese red envelopes – Cliffnotes on Flickr

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Tags: birth |  celebration | 
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