Birth bow: selection guide

Who I am
Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
Author and references

Contents

  • 1 Where the birth ribbon tradition is born 
  • 2 Birth bow: where to hang it 
  • 3 Choose the color of the birth bow 
  • 4 Birth bow: homemade, artisanal or packaged?
  • 5 When to buy or make the birth bow
  • 6 What to write in a birth ribbon 
  • 7 Birth bow: which shape to choose
  • 8 Birth bow for twins

An almost indispensable moment when a baby arrives is the display of the birth ribbon. A more or less rich object, handmade or purchased already beautiful and ready, which announces the wonderful news. To find what we really like, we are really spoiled for choice: classic colors or not? ancient tulle or soft felt? "Normal" or innovative form? If you are still pregnant, take some time to decide calmly. And then you might - why not? - even add it to your birth list. Let's take a little trip together in search of the perfect bow for you. 



Where the tradition of the birth bow is born 

Considering that the birth bow is seen in practically all Western countries (even if perhaps with different shapes and details), this tradition has very ancient origins. Furthermore, unlike what one might think, its roots go back to the Far East. 

If today it is used mostly for aesthetic reasons, in the past it was not at all like this. In fact, it is said that the bow had the function of protecting the newborn after he had come into the world. This was especially the case for males, who immediately had a more important role than females. The ribbon was blue, the color of the sky, a symbol of divine protection against the forces of evil. From blue we then moved on to blue for boys and pink for girls. 



The form also had its own particular meaning. The ribbon was the representation of a strong and difficult to dissolve union between the man and the woman who had given birth to their child. In Egypt, for example, the knot depicted the goddess Isis, who symbolized eternal life and divine love. 

Over the centuries, these interpretations have been lost and the bow is used "simply" to joyfully communicate the birth of the baby. 

Birth bow: where to hang it 

There are various solutions for the birth staple. Normally the typical place is the hospital or clinic, although in this period of restrictions for Covid it is advisable to inform yourself well if it is possible to take it or not. We do not believe that it will be forbidden to you, but it is always better to ask to avoid it being closed in your suitcase. If you have the room alone you can hang it on the door, if you share it with other mothers, place it above the bed. 

As for your home, there are several alternatives. On the gate or on the door you can put a bow that is a little simpler than the embroidered or handcrafted one you brought to the hospital. Given that it will be exposed to the elements, choose it simple, for example a classic ribbon bow for gift packages or look for an outdoor birth bow for the garden, not necessarily to hang on the door, like the one in the photo. 

Garden stork

Back from the hospital, the “important” bow can then become a piece of furniture for the puppy's room or decorate the cradle or bed. However, it will remain a beautiful memory to be jealously guarded.   


Choose the color of the birth bow 

This is a key point when you decide to buy your birth bow. The question to be answered is: do we go to the super classic or do we “dare” something different? Tradition speaks very clearly: pink birth bow for girls and blue birth bow for boys. They are the two shades that distinguish the two sexes in a clear way. Obviously there is a whole range of both pink (from antique to fuchsia) and blue (from pale blue to sugar paper) to choose from according to your very personal taste. 


Traditional blue birth bow

There are also many colors that we could define unisex: white, beige, yellow, green, orange, are some of these. Green light to the solid color or to many shades together. There are no rules: it really depends on what you like best.

Birth bow: homemade, artisanal or packaged?

We put you in front of another crossroads concerning the manufacture of the birth bow. Again there are more possibilities. If you have good manual skills and are passionate about embroidery you can very well try your hand. Especially if you are on maternity leave, preparing the staple is a nice pastime. There are many embroidery patterns for birth on the internet too, in particular cross-stitch, which is probably the most used technique for this kind of work. If DIY is not your thing, put your grandmothers or aunts to work: they will be delighted to help you create this special product. 


And if, on the other hand, you have relatives "denied" for their manual skills, but still want your birth bow to be a unique piece, contact embroiderers or people who love embroidery. Also in this case the web helps and not a little. Express all your des. If you are able, try to make a sketch of the bow you would like, so that the person who makes it is able to satisfy you fully. 

The handmade birth bow undoubtedly guarantees you the originality of the artifact, however it is perhaps a slightly more expensive purchase than the homemade bow and the pre-packaged one that you find both in stores and online. In fact, you must also calculate the manpower required to do this. “Ready-made” products are definitely the “easier” solution, both in terms of price and ease of finding.


When to buy or make the birth bow

The birth ribbon is certainly not one of the first purchases made for the unborn child. Among other things, it is often a gift given by someone who is very close to the future mother (sister, sister-in-law, aunt, godmother of the child, etc.). Therefore, she usually expects at least the end of the second trimester of pregnancy. However, keep in mind that it is often delivered at the very last second or at birth: if it has to contain the data of the newborn baby, you have to wait for it to come into the world. 

What to write in a birth ribbon 

Here is a very important aspect: what do we write (or do we write) in the birth ribbon of our little one? We give you some ideas: 

  • I arrived! 
  • I was born!
  • He arrived / was born… (child's name). 
  • Mom and Dad are happy to announce the arrival of ...
  • Welcome to…
  • He was born to a child
  • (Name of older brother or sister) announces the birth of the baby brother / sister
  • I'm finally here!
  • Here I am, mom and dad!
Hot air balloon for the birth of a baby girl

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, in addition to the pure and simple message with the name of the child, you can add many other information: the date, the time he was born, the weight and length, the city and everything that yours fantasy suggests. In this case, the jib must be completed "last minute". It means you will hang it up a little later, but it will be super complete. 

Birth bow: which shape to choose

Have you seen how many choices you have to make to find the right birth ribbon? Let's deal with the forms. The "normal" one is the real staple that remains in vogue despite the passing of time. Those who are fond of tradition will certainly opt for one of these. In reality, however, there are a lot of different types. Some hints: 

  • Hot air balloon.
  • Clouds.
  • Moon or sun.
  • Balloons.
  • Hearts.
  • Stork.
  • Puppets.
  • Animals.
  • Cockade.
  • Stars.
  • Aeroplanini.   
  • Toy cars.
A nice toy car shape

The size also changes depending on the shape. It is evident that in a larger bow you have the possibility to embroider much more details than in a smaller one. Also in this case it depends on your preferences: for example, there are those who want to write only the name of the child.

Birth bow for twins

And last but not least we couldn't help but think about twin births too. How to behave with the bow? A first option is to make two birth bows for twins, one for each baby, differentiating the colors if, for example, you are expecting a boy and a girl. There is also a single ribbon in which to write both names, one on the right and one on the left or one below and one above. Alternatively, you can orient yourself on the two-tone birth bows in pink and blue.

Two-tone bow for twins

There are still twin bows with either the stork carrying two babies or overlapping hearts. You can play safely with shapes and colors, giving space to your tastes and making your dreams come true. As you can see, there is no shortage of ideas. You just need to find the one you like best to scream the birth of your treasures to the whole world. Best wishes!

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