It’s normally a joyous moment when a child is born. The birth has huge significance. Not only for the baby but also for the family. New life has entered the world. Hopefully, the new arrival is healthy. It’s surely worth celebrating.
Officially, you have to register the birth; this may be done at the hospital or at the Register Office within 42 days. That’s the formal bit. It’s just signing a bit of paper. Not very exciting.
So what about celebrating?
What not to do!
In many cases, a major celebration straight after the birth is not appropriate. The mother (and, of course, the baby) might be unwell; sleep might easily be a major issue, and the parents are undergoing full-time lessons on how to look after their child. The last thing anybody needs is the stress of organising a shindig (although a drink with a few close friends or relatives might be desirable).
What to do, if you’re religious
For practising Jews, for example, there may be circumcision for a boy, which normally takes place about 8 days after birth. That can be an excuse for some sort of party.
Devout Christians will arrange a baptism or similar ceremony with their local church. They may follow that with a party.
What you might do, if you’re not
If you’re not into religion big-time, you may look for another option. Did you know that a civil celebrant can compile and conduct a bespoke naming (or blessing) ceremony? This needn’t be over-long. It can include some religious readings – or else, purely spiritual – and can involve parents and also people of your choosing. The readings can be chosen by you, if you want. There might be something ceremonial too, like rose petal strewing, which can make the event stand out even more.
There are ways (such as using a Unity Candle) that the family at large can be involved, so no one needs to feel left out.
You can hold the ceremony in your house, in the garden, in a hotel, or wherever you choose. You can also hold it whenever you want – there is no prescriptive time-frame.
There really is a lot of choice, and that’s the point. You don’t have to put up with either full religious or else nothing at all; the celebrant-led ceremony is a really viable alternative.
Ask your local celebrant for more information!