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Posts Tagged ‘Newborn’

Ari at her Baby Naming Ceremony

This past Sunday I attended a Baby Naming for a very special little girl named Ari.  I have only attended a few Baby Namings and Bris parties/ceremonies in my life and they are always fun and joyous!  It is always amazes me the joy a newborn baby brings to anyone’s home.  The birth of a child is one of the most life-changing and amazing events in our lives.  A baby touches everyone in a family, from parents and siblings to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.  Everyone wants to be involved in some way or another, whether it is a mom flying in from out of town or friends sending new baby baskets of gifts.

Embarrassingly, after all of these ceremonies I have attended, I don’t know the history behind the tradition of a Jewish Baby Naming or Bris and I decided to do a bit of research. Our world is one big melting pot and I love learning about all religions and the meanings of various ceremonies (I think this is the Berkeley hippie child in me where I grew up!).

In Jewish traditions and all religions alike, naming children is serious business. We often go to great lengths to find the “perfect” name—just the right mix of meaning, tradition and beauty. It might be the name of a loved one, or someone we highly respect, or a word that brings back a beautiful personal memory.

While there are no hard rules to picking names in the Jewish tradition, there are some customs that Jews generally follow. For example, it is customary for Ashkenazi Jews (descendents of Eastern Europe, Germany, Poland , Russia ) to name their babies after a deceased relative. However, for Sephardic Jews (of Spanish and Portuguese descent), it is acceptable and an honor to name a child after a living relative (of course one would ask permission first). Either way, it is not necessary to use the exact name, a first initial will do.  In this case, Ari was named after her great grandmother, Ann, and they both have the same first initial.

Ari and Bari doing some push-ups!

Here is a picture of both Ari, and one with Ari and her cousin Bari.  Bari had her baby naming a week ago too – they are cousins, Mazel Tov!

In addition to a child’s English name, Jewish babies are also given a Hebrew name. Certain ceremonies—including Bris, Baby Naming, Bar/Bat Mitzvah and ketubah-signing – require a Hebrew name. The Hebrew name can be a close translation from the baby’s actual name. It could also just share the first letter. However, some parents may choose a Hebrew name that sounds beautiful, has a beautiful translation, or reminds them of something meaningful in their own lives.

Over the past 30 years or so in America, when welcoming a baby girl, it has become customary for Jewish parents to hold a special ceremony for their newborn daughters. While boys are given their Hebrew names at their Bris, girls receive their Hebrew names at a baby naming ceremony, or “brit bat,” which is typically held during the course of a regular service when the Torah scroll is open. It includes a special blessing giving thanks for a healthy delivery and for the health of the mother. There are no strict rules for these ceremonies. The brit bat is scheduled at the convenience of the parents, whether it’s eight days or six months after the birth.

It is customary to serve refreshments or a meal following the ceremony, beginning with the ha-motzi, a prayer over the bread.

Here are some terms to know for a Baby Naming that I wish I knew before!

  1. brit bat (the covenant of a daughter)
  2. simchat bat (celebration of a daughter)
  3. hakhnasat bat l’brit (the entering of a daughter into the covenant)

For boys, this tradition is called a “Bris”. That means eight days after the birth, a bris, or circumcision ceremony, will take place. Friends and family are usually present at a bris because it is a time to celebrate.

I have learned from Jewish moms that a bris can be both joyous and stressful.  I have been told that it is great to bring home a healthy boy and be surrounded by your friends and family, but as a mom, it can be difficult to see your baby being circumcised.  However, knowing that generations of baby boys have survived this moment, can be comforting.

Following the ceremony, which only takes a few minutes, food is served—most typically bagels and lox, baked goods such as rugelach, black and white cookies, babka and more. The bris is usually held at someone’s home or in the synagogue and usually begins with the ha-motzi (prayer over the bread, which is called challah).

The bris is perhaps the most observed tradition in the Jewish religion. While some think circumcision is a matter of hygiene, it is actually a biblical commandment.  The circumcision is performed by a mohel, an observant Jew who is formally trained as a ritual circumciser as well as in the laws and traditions of Judaism.

MAZEL TOV TO ARI AND BARI!

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Photo by: LuMar Jr / AFF-USA source: www.people.com

Photo by: LuMar Jr / AFF-USA source: http://www.people.com

Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are the proud parents of a new baby boy!  Sparrow James Midnight Madden arrived in the very early hours of September 9, 2009 and weighed 7lbs 14oz.  Nicole, Joel, Harlow and Sparrow are all doing well.  “Thank you for all of your good wishes,” the couple wrote on Richie’s web site.  The newborn joins older sister Harlow Winter Kate Madden, born in January 2008.

“We’re very, very blessed,” Madden, 30, told PEOPLE on Aug. 6 of the approaching event. “We’ve already had one healthy kid, and that’s all you can ask for as a parent — healthy kids.”

Richie, 27, has been enjoying a new low-key lifestyle at home since the birth of Harlow, but keeps active with various business projects, including a maternity line for A Pea in the Pod and her House of Harlow 1960 jewelry line.  Joel Madden is the front man for the band Good Charlotte.

Congratulations from le•top to Nicole and Joel on their new baby!

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Maybe the mom of this precious little newborn shouldn't have been the one taking the photo!

Maybe the mom of this precious little newborn shouldn't have been the one taking the photo!

A new mom sent this photo as a Daily Darling (yes, we really are almost out!) and captioned it: “Spencer (age 3) assures the nervous, new mommy of this sweet, little baby (read: defenseless from germs), that his feet may be dirty but his hands are certainly clean.

Too funny to be a Daily Darling, so I had to write about it! I’m sure this article about babies and germs isn’t all that reassuring, but I thought I’d link it again in case it helps. And thanks to Spencer for reminding me about going barefoot and getting my feet dirty! 😉

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3weekpauloMy newborn, Paulo, is now three weeks old. Sadly, he no longer fits in his newborn-sized clothes. He has now moved on to 0-3 months, and will be wearing size 1 diapers very soon. Although he is still tiny, he has grown so fast. And right before my eyes!

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No, I did NOT say that!

No, I did NOT say that!

The Joy of Breastfeeding

I have been breastfeeding my newborn for the last two weeks, and one time I was teasing my 4-year old daughter that maybe one day Daddy and I can go see a movie while she stayed home and babysat her little brother. She said,

I don’t think milk will come out of my nickels.”

– Miranda, age 4

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

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bigsiscryLast weekend we drove down to Los Angeles (from the Bay Area) for my cousin’s baby shower. The drive there was a piece of cake. It took us about 8 hours with only 2 stops. Amazing, considering we had a newborn. Meanwhile, my 4-year old was her usual self asking us what number to count to before we get to LA, and repeatedly asking, “Are we there yet?” (Click here to read about our memorable trip to San Diego.)

The drive home was a completely different story. It took us almost 12 hours with so many stops that I vowed never to drive a long trip like that ever again! For some reason, my 3-week old was hungry EVERY HOUR. “Didn’t I just feed you?” And other times he would howl and cry, and we couldn’t figure out why. He wasn’t hungry. He wasn’t wet. He wasn’t hurt or sick. He just wanted to be on Daddy’s lap or in Mommy’s embrace. I guess I’d rather have that, too. But after so many stops for no reason other than to take him out of his car seat, we’d had enough. Our so-called “solution” was to let him scream in agony — while we listened in agony! Then, miraculously, Big Sis saved the day. Miranda sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and Paulo stopped crying! The first time it happened, we thought it was just luck. But it happened a couple more times, and it worked every time. One time she even sang a different song (some song from “High School Musical”), but it didn’t work. So we asked her to stick to his usual request because that’s what Paulo liked. She gladly complied.

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Miranda holding her baby brother, Paulo

Miranda holding her baby brother, Paulo

Jamee sent this photo to me a little while back, and it really warmed my heart. Apparently, Miranda specifically chose and packed the le•top Strawberry Fields dress she’s wearing in her “hospital” suitcase (just like mom’s). She really wanted her first meeting with her new sibling to be special. They seem to be giving each other such deep, meaningful looks! Being the youngest (of only two kids), I’m not sure if birth order really has as much bearing as it might in larger families. I say this because I always acted like the first-born in many ways. And as for the relationship I had with my older brother, it was alternately very close for periods of time, and very…well…NOT close for other periods! Maybe my trying to usurp his first-born status had something to do with it? We were/are so different, and yet as adults, I notice how incredibly alike we can be in very subtle, and big ways, too.

Paulo in his I'm-going-home! clothes, le•top baby train

Paulo in his I'm-going-home clothes, le•top baby, baby train (a gift from "Auntie" Chris!)

Through thick and thin, I have to say that I love my brother as I love no one else. He’s my one and only sibling, and I finally understand what my father meant when he used to admonish me for thinking friends were more “important.” Looking at Miranda holding her brand new baby brother, Paulo, I wish for them a wonderful bond that only siblings can have…and for the sake of their parents, I hope they develop that relationship with very minimal fighting! 😉

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