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Silver baby gifts are a tradition that goes back several hundreds of years, but in the United States, it is one that can be traced right back to colonial times. From the very start, silversmiths made their way to American shores, bringing the traditions of silver baby rattles, spoons, and cups along with them.
This type of gift continues to be quite a popular one. That said, as much as it provides gorgeous keepsakes and beautiful heirlooms that can be passed down from one generation to the next, many people forget that these items can also be used as functional items, as well. In fact, back when these gifts were first being given, their main purpose was to provide the baby with a practical item.
Silver baby rattles, for example, replaced the previous version of the toy that had been out of clay. Those were quite easily broken, which was quite an unpleasant experience. When silver became a fashionable material, it didn’t take long for this highly versatile metal to be used to make rattles that were safe for the baby to put in his or her mouth, and that would break, even if they were bashed around and dropped – as all baby items are.
Silver spoons remain one of the most commonly given gifts by godparents to babies at their christenings and baptisms. This tradition can be traced back hundreds of years, as well, to the wealthy of Europe. While this is a very pretty gift to give, today, its aesthetic appeal was only part of the draw in the middle ages through the 1800s. At that time, babies that were fed with silver spoons were typically healthier than those that were not. We now know that this is because silver naturally kills many forms of bacteria. At that time, it was simply noted over time that silver spoons seemed to keep many illnesses away. For that reason, they were given both because they were pretty, but also to ensure the health of the child.
Over the years, the technology used to fashion silver baby gifts has come quite a long way. This has made it possible for beautiful plated objects to be fashioned, such as the traditional spoons, rattles, and cups, but within affordable price ranges. Through this development, these gifts have continued to be popular, only they have spread throughout the population instead of being reserved for only the wealthiest families. While these gifts have been gained, their practical and functional side has been greatly lost over time. When giving your own gift, don’t forget that it could also be one that the baby can actually use.
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