What Are Traditional English Baby Gifts?
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Within every culture there are gift-giving traditions centred around every occasion, and the birth of a baby is no exception. English culture and American culture are not all that different when it comes to giving baby gifts.
Traditional English baby gifts are typically symbolic and personalised, or they may centre around childhood storybook characters.
Silver Feeding Set
According to the online guide Gifts, a silver feeding set is one of the gifts traditionally given to babies in England. The tradition dates back as far as the Tudor royal court in 16th-century England, and it is likely the phrase "Born with a silver spoon in her mouth" comes from this time as well. A feeding set includes a silver cup, spoon and fork. They are typically personalised with the child's name and birth date. Ceramic feeding sets are also popular, and include a mug and utensils or a egg-cup and spoon. Like the silver set, these sets are often personalised, but instead of being engraved they are hand-painted.
Jewellery is often given to baby girls in England. The jewellery is sized for an infant and typically made of silver or gold. Common selections would include lockets, bracelets and necklaces. Traditionally, these gifts were given to symbolise the wish for the child to have a prosperous future.
Rattles are traditionally given to infants in England. Sometimes the rattles are symbolic, made of silver and engraved. Other times they are more useful, soft, plush and made in the likeness of English storybook characters like Paddington Bear or Peter Rabbit.
Keepsake boxes are often given to infants as a christening gift in England. Boxes made of silver are given to save the baby's first lost tooth or a lock of hair. Piggy banks and money boxes are also common gifts within this category.
Albums or Frames
Giving baby gifts in England originally centred around the naming ceremony, and baptism. Birth or baptism certificate holders or frames are a common gift for English babies. Frames and photo albums are another common gift for English babies in this category, along with a name banner.
- Gifts: Collectible Feeding Sets for Baby
- "The Organic Baby & Toddler Cookbook: From First Foods To Family Meals"; Daphne Lambert, Tanyia Maxted-Frost; 2000
- Mimi Haddon/Lifesize/Getty Images