It might not be clear as to how the baby shower started, but there are traditions which welcome babies and celebrate pregnant women from Asia, Africa, to Europe and the Americas, that it's very sure that it's something that has been done since time immemorial by people of all races in most cultures worldwide. The differences are only in the superstitions which surround birth and pregnancy as well as the time the celebrations take place.
While there are bits of evidence found by historians that hint at baby showers being celebrated i1n Egypt and Rome hundreds of years ago, the first documented baby showers happened during the 1950's, possibly due to the traumas experienced during World War II. It was a time that people started to look inward and celebrate hearth and home, hence a focus on gatherings which celebrated new life.
However, it's not unusual that the community would help provide for its newest member. When you think about how difficult life was before the Industrial Revolution, it was important for the smaller communities to band together to survive. That's why each town was sufficient unto itself, just because it took weeks or even months for communication to travel from one part of the country to the other.
However, looking at the first instances of the baby showers, these were rather formal affairs at which only women were welcome. They were rather stuffy at first and characterized by silly games but lots of fun, laughter, and gifts for the mother-to-be.
There have been a lot of changes over the past sixty years, though. The baby showers aren't so formal anymore, neither are they bastions of feminism. Celebration are now more modern, with the male friends and family members just as welcome to the celebration.
Neither are they rather expensive gatherings. People from every level of society celebrate new life with baby showers in every budget and form of gaiety. It is no longer limited to only the upper crust of society.
The change in society is no more evident than with celebrations like these. While traces of these ancient traditions can still be seen and some still followed, there are now so many changes that the original celebrations are hardly visible. Technology has wrought many changes, not only with our lifestyles but even in the way we celebrate.
The advances in medicine now allow for the baby shower to be held quite a few months in advance and in gender-specific themes. So, it's not unheard-of for specific gifts to be purchased for the expected baby rather than waiting for after the birth or giving something unisex instead.
The basic theme of the gathering however, is still the same and
doubtless will never change. People still come together to show
support and be generous to the new parents. With the “showering”
of gifts that the baby needs to survive, it's quite sure that the
baby shower is evolving in ways that we cannot imagine as of now
yet is here to stay.