"When a baby is born, the first thing people tend to ask about is the child’s gender. It’s not necessarily some socially constructed norm where we have to ask because we think gender is the most important thing about a baby - it is simply because there is nothing else to ask. Children aged over 3 or 4 have interests. They like farm animals, reading books, climbing trees or listening to music. But babies? Well, for all of their adorable aspects, they can’t yet voice their own interests - and even if they could, their interests probably wouldn’t expand past a plastic teether, which begs the question – what on Earth do you buy for a Christening gift?

 

Christenings were originally for the purpose of cleansing a new child of sin and welcoming them into their religion, so it would have been appropriate to buy a gift that has some kind of religious aspect to it, like a child’s first bible, a prayer book or a Christening candle. However, as society becomes increasingly secular, less people are having their babies Christened, instead choosing to have a non-religious naming ceremony to celebrate their child’s arrival.

 

When purchasing gifts for these occasions, it is so easy to buy something meaningless or press a ten pound note into a card, fearful of giving the impression of a discourteous guest, but also lacking in ideas for what to buy a brand new baby. Naming ceremonies are to welcome a child to the world, to introduce them to the people who are going to be there throughout their life. We love personalising our gifts – words never go out of fashion, and buying a gift that is so personal, that can offer words of comfort or joy, words of wisdom to help them through the turbulent ascent into adulthood, words whose meaning will change and grow with the child, will mean more than any number of chewable zoo animals."