Celebrating the Newest Addition to the Family with a Baby Welcoming Ceremony

A baby welcoming ceremony is a perfect choice for parents that don't want a ceremony based on organized religion or one that will truly express all they want and need to say about their new bundle of joy. Many people feel that spirituality is a way of living with the world at large and doesn't need to be anchored in any one organized religion so they choose the baby welcoming ceremony to welcome the newborn to the family and to the community.

The baby welcoming ceremony is more personalized in the sense that it can take place wherever the parents want and can incorporate personal or unique ceremonies in the celebration.

While many baby welcoming ceremony rituals are held at home for practical reasons, there are other venues that may prove to be as suitable. These could be in a hotel or public hall, in the home of a relative like a grandparent (especially if the grandparents live in an ancestral house), in a garden, out in nature like on the beach or near the woods, or in any place that has happy memories for the whole family.

One thing to remember if the ceremony is to be held outdoors is to either have an alternate location to celebrate or provide cover in case of rain or other unexpected weather. Look at the proximity of lavatories as well.

While there is no set baby welcoming ceremony, there are a few standard elements that can be used as a blueprint. The baby welcoming ceremony usually starts with a welcome of the guests, then proceeds to a reading of a meaningful poem or exhortation, then goes on to announce the child's name and its meaning to the parents and family. After that, the guests are invited to say a few words of their hopes for the baby and closes with the parents stating their vows towards the child.

Some families have a tradition of planting a tree for every child born to the family at their ancestral home. You could adapt this practice by planting a tree or favorite perennial for your child in your own garden. Each guest could also offer a flower to the child when they offer their words of welcome or blessings. Another ritual involves each guest lighting a candle for the child to symbolize their wishes and prayers.

A very visual ritual is to pour colored sand into a decorative glass bottle that features the name of the family. Assign a color to each member of the immediate family and ask each to pour in a bit of sand to symbolize the blending of the family. Include the older siblings, if there are any, by asking them to read a special poem or present a favorite or new toy to the baby.

Despite all the elements, this ceremony is very short, not more than fifteen or twenty minutes at the most. Remember to leave time for the guests to have a few minutes with the baby!

The food should be as uncomplicated as the ceremony. Simply cutting up a cake and serving juice or wine would be enough. If a more filling meal is desired, a deli platter or a selection of cheese and bread with a hearty soup is filling, nutritious, and delicious.

Keep the baby favors simple as well. One wonderful favor is to give each guest a thank you card that has flower seeds embedded in it. When the whole card is planted in the garden, the flowers that come up after a few weeks would be a wonderful reminder of such a unique and personal day.