Mar 31, 2014

No Baby Showers

What I'm wondering about is the custom of not buying anything for a baby until it is born.  It seems to be regarded as inviting an ayin hara.  As someone put it, anything under the category of "counting your chickens before they hatch" is considered ayin hara-ish. 

This puzzles me because it would seem to be act of faith, that one has bitachon that all will go well, to buy things for a baby before it is born.  There is even a story (or several) about two women who asked for and received a bracha for a child and, as an act of faith in the fulfillment of the bracha, one of them bought a carriage.  She had a baby.  The lesson apparently, is that by purchasing the carriage, she was tangibly expressing her confidence in the bracha.

So why was that a good thing for her to do, while the general custom is not to do that? I understand that in one case, it's about confidence in a bracha, while in all other usual situations, a bracha is not involved.  Why doesn't the same reasoning apply?


  1. There is no problem in buying things to put away, having grandparents stock up on things, or registering for gifts. The problem is in publicly displaying the gifts or in setting up the nursery. My grandmother (may she rest in peace) had to bring baby clothes and diapers with her to the hospital and these obviously had to be sewn and prepared in advance. They were made and hidden away but not displayed.

  2. I think because of bracha being in hidden things?

    1. There is a bracha in hidden things. A person can buy things that they might need to give as gifts but if they happen to have a baby, well they will come in just as handy.