Baby’s Luck


Baby’s Luck – A Few Superstitions You Just Might Want to Consider

By Chitraparna Sinha

In the Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions, edited by Opie and Tatem, they list a comprehensive series on superstitions related to newborns and how they supposedly bring good luck (or bad luck) for the baby. Some of the superstitions are too unbelievable and some, as you will see, are still practiced today. Evidence of the superstitions range from being centuries old to contemporary concepts.

  • Babies Should Always Be Carried Upward First –

I came up – stairs into the world;

for I was born in a cellar.

Congreve’s Love for Love II

The prevalent notion is that a baby must go upstairs first before he    goes downstairs otherwise the baby will never rise in the world. Often it happens so that the mother’s room is the highest in the house and therefore, the nurse has to set a chair, step on the chair with the child in her arms as she leaves the room.


Baby's Luck - do you care?

In more modern times, at least here in the United States, there is no nurse and the baby is normally not born at home. So when the baby arrives home to a two-story house or multi-level house, if you want to follow this superstition there is probably nothing to do, unless you want to take the baby down to the basement or a lower level of the house. In such cases it might be well advised to step up on a small footstool with the child before going downstairs.

  • Baby and His Travels –

A baby will have a terrible ‘stroke of bad luck’ if the baby and the mother sit in the front seat of the car when coming home for the first time. Instead, both should occupy the back seat and prevent all bad luck.

  • Baby Treats For All –

People who come to visit a newborn should never leave the house without their share of food and drinks. Birth of a child is an auspicious occasion across all cultures and therefore it calls for plenty of eating and drinking. The Yorkshire Customs, published in 1896 states “from the day of its birth to that of its baptism, pepper cake, cheese and wine are offered to all those who cross the threshold”. What happens if one does not? The child may not live anymore. Even today, celebrating a new birth is a tradition in all families but whether the reason is the same or not is debatable.

  • Baby Protection –

In several countries, babies are dressed in clothes of the opposite gender. The prime reason is to provide protection against devils and fairies. Until the child was 14 years of age, people in earlier times clothed boys in petticoats and girls in shirts. Another interesting reason for following this custom is that when the boy grows up, he will fascinate all girls and the girls would have young men buzzing around her till she is married. Call it good luck!

  • Baby’s First Dress –

A baby will have bad luck if the first time clothes are put on over is head and the water might wash away his luck forever. Is it possible to follow this? Very unlikely! Worse than that, depending on where you live and whether your neighbors or those who visit you know about it, you could be cited or even put in jail for such treatment since it could endanger the child’s health!

These customs or superstitions are followed in almost every country, city, state or district. These superstitions did not form in a day; some date back even to the pre – Christian era. The main thing to note here is that we all want the best for our babies and hence, we do all that we can to protect the little ones.

Next in line, a detailed write up on ‘beds’ and its superstitions – you will be surprised!

Copyright © 2010 – 2013


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