Trying to figure out what to buy in the way of a newborn baby or baby shower gifts can be tricky, even more so if you’re unsure of the gender of the impending arrival. Of course modern baby showers, in the way of a celebration prior to the birth are a relatively recent addition to proceedings. However gifts being bestowed upon the arrival of a newborn baby are common throughout the world, often associated with particular traditions and beliefs.

Silver has long been a traditional gift of choice going back to the middle ages in Britain where friends and family would give a silver coin or spoon as an investment or ‘nest egg’ so that the youngster would have the best possible startsilverspoon in life. Silver continued to be given at the birth of a child and the Victorians often extended this to trinkets including silver rattles, napkin rings and egg cups.

In Russia silver spoons are also given to newborn babies, in a bid to bestow future wealth and good luck. As a precious metal with antibacterial properties the spoons are useful as the infant begins teething.

redenvelopeFor those familiar with HSBC tele ads, or just a bit of common knowledge you’ll already know that in China red envelopes filled with money are given during holidays, new year and special occasions. In China newborn babies can also expect to receive their own red envelope, often with the words ‘luck’ or ‘fortune’ written upon them and given to bring prosperity and happiness for the future.

In Ecuador fathers knit their child’s first chullo, a colourfulchullo Andean style hat with ear flaps and chin strap made from Alpaca wool. The chullo is a traditional gift of the Andean Plateau in South America, covering Peru, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia as well as Ecuador.

In Kyrgystan, which happens to be near Uzbekistan and Tajikistan for those who are unsure, a dried wolf’s paw is traditionally placed under a baby’s pillow to ward off evil wolfspawspirits and to protect them from bad dreams they may get from finding a dried wolf’s paw underneath their pillow. This novel token is part of a ceremony where women offer blessings and good luck spells over the baby’s cradle, in a bid to make it go to sleep.

In India where body decorationanklets is a tradition it’s typical for baby girls to be given silver anklets. Other common gifts include figurines to display in the child’s nursery, however it is important to be certain of the family’s religious affiliations to ensure you choose the right one.