Why Is It Called Baby Shower

why is it called baby shower

Why is it Called Baby Shower?

The term “baby shower” is ubiquitous in modern society, especially in English-speaking countries, and yet it can be difficult to understand why it is called by that name. This is especially true for first-time parents, who may wonder what “baby shower” means and what it entails. Ultimately, the term does have an interesting and unique origin, and here we’ll have a look at why it is called “baby shower” and what that tradition means for expecting parents.

The Origin of Baby Showers

To understand why it is called “baby shower”, we need to first look at the history of the baby shower tradition. Baby showers as we know them today first originated in the United States in the late 19th century, and have since spread to various countries around the world. This tradition was actually based on ancient customs in various cultures that dates back centuries, which involve offering gifts or financial assistance to families in order to celebrate an impending birth.

The Origin of the Term “Baby Shower”

The term “baby shower”, however, was not used until after World War II. The term was first used in print in a 1949 edition of Vogue magazine, which mentions it in a caption about a baby shower celebration. The term was believed to be derived from a now-obsolete term for “dousing”, which is when a party guest douses the expectant mother with either gifts or money. This term was used in reference to a celebration of a upcoming birth, much like modern baby showers.

What is a Baby Shower?

Today, baby showers are typically more subtle than their 19th century counterparts, involving family and friends coming together to celebrate the upcoming birth with the expectant family. These events often involve the guests bringing gifts for the baby that may include clothing, linens, toys, or other items that the child will need once it is born.

In addition to this, modern baby showers also involve games, food, and activities specifically designed to honor the expectant mother, a tradition that is much more common than the ancient dousing ceremony. These events are usually hosted by the expectant mother’s close friends or family members, and they are a great way to show appreciation and support for a family that is about to experience a major life change.


Ultimately, the term “baby shower” was derived from the obsolete term for “dousing”, which was the ancient tradition of dousing the expectant mother with gifts and money. As time moved on, however, this term has evolved to refer to the modern baby shower, which is a celebration of an impending birth that typically involves giving gifts to the family.

All in all, the term “baby shower” is a relic from ancient times, and today it is used to refer to the modern baby shower, which is a time of celebration and coming together for an expectant family. With all this in mind, it is clearer as to why it is called “baby shower”. So the next time you attend a baby shower, it’s worth taking a moment to remember the history behind the tradition, and why it is called “baby shower”.