Celebrating a Baby Naming Ceremony

A baby-naming ceremony is just a way for parents to celebrate the birth of their child outside church rites. This is usually when the parents don't belong to a church or feel a church ceremony would be hypocritical if they don't attend any religious ceremonies.

Preferably, the baby naming ceremony takes place a few weeks after the child is born. Since this is purely a secular celebration, there are no set rules or tradition regarding this, so feel free to make up your own or adapt what you like. Although some parents choose to wait until the umbilical cord has fallen off so the baby is not longer symbolically connected to his mother but a person in his own right. There are also some interfaith ministers and non-denominational celebrants that can help you celebrate or create a ceremony based on what the family wants.

The baby naming ceremony can take place wherever the parents desire, although most opt to hold it at home to make the baby more comfortable. This is also more convenient for a majority of parents. The time is also planned at the baby's convenience, usually between naps! Since the ceremonies usually don't take longer than twenty minutes, this is easy to do.

The parents are in charge of this celebration, so they are the main speakers at this ceremony. The main part revolves around a story or speech about why they chose that certain name for the baby and relating any family history or special memories attached to it. They can also express their feelings about the baby, either in the speech or in reading a special poem that reflects how they feel.

Godparents or spiritual guardians may be chosen here, but in the secular sense; they pledge to offer emotional support and guidance to the child. They may also give a short speech or read a poem or prayer for the child. A nice tradition to incorporate at this point is to have candles for everyone that will be speaking to represent the guiding lights they will be for the child.

Grandparents are definitely welcome to say something here, too. They would also be part of the candle lighting ceremony and may also bless the child if they so wish. What some families do is plant a tree or a plant with special significance for every child that is born to the immediate family. That tradition can be incorporated at this time, especially when the baby naming ceremony is held in the family home. This symbolizes the strength and grounding the child will get from his family roots.

Older children in the family can be part of the ceremonies, too. Having them read a short poem about childhood or hand down a special toy to the new baby can make all the fuss more special for them.

A light meal or snacks are normally served afterward. Finger food, sandwiches, sometimes a hotdog or taco bar are popular choices. A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are served, too.

A wonderful favor to remember the baby naming ceremony by is to give a scented candle in pink or blue with the baby's name printed on the ribbon that is tied around the candle. Ask the guests to think about the baby every time they light up the candle.