Announcements & Celebrations

It includes celebration of the special moments of your life which you want to make memorable for the rest of your life

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Best time to announce the good news to your family

As with most pregnancy-related decisions, different approaches work best for different people. So give it some thought, discuss it with your partner, and in the end, go with what you think will work best for both of you. For some, the idea of keeping the pregnancy a secret is simply unrealistic. There is an advantage of telling early: Your friends and family can share in that wonderful initial exhilaration. If you prefer to keep things private in the event of a loss, you'll want to keep your news under wraps until the risk of miscarriage  drops dramatically, which happens at the end of the first trimester, around 10 to 12 weeks.  Some expectant moms choose to wait until they're firmly in the second trimester before telling. Women with previous losses or those who are more at risk for complications may be more likely to choose this option. Waiting until the final trimester to let the cat out of the bag isn't a very common choice, but it's not unheard of. It's more doable if you're keeping the news from people you aren't seeing in person.

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Fun Godh Bharai Games

Tips To Make Your Godh Bharai Memorable

How To Throw A Low Budget Godh Bharai Function

Do's of Hosting A Godh Bharai Function

Don'ts of Hosting A Godh Bharai Function

Tips for Mom-To-Be on Godh Bharai

Things To Keep In Mind During Godh Bharai

Godh Bharai- Tips to plan your baby shower

Godh Bharai is a traditional ceremony that is organized in the 7th or 9th month of pregnancy to bless the unborn baby and the pregnant woman. In most Indian households, a godh bharai is attended by women only. Different rituals are followed in different parts of India. However, nowadays, many women are opting for a baby shower, which is a common practice in various Western countries. In a traditional baby shower, the mum-to-be is made to wear ethnic clothes and is taken to the temple to seek the blessings of the Almighty. After this, her lap is filled with various gifts and all the women of the house whisper blessings for the baby in her ears. This ceremony may also include some singing and dancing along with a traditional feast for the guests. In a Western-style, baby shower, a friend or a sister organize the baby shower for the mum-to-be. This baby shower mostly has a theme and various games or organized for the women who attend the baby shower. These include guessing the gender of the baby, guessing the size of the pregnant mum’s tummy, crossword puzzles and many more. Whichever way you wish to have your baby shower, here are some useful tips that will help make it memorable for you – Pick a suitable date – After a certain time, the mum-to-be can go into labor anytime so the baby shower should be planned well in advance. Create a guest list and invite – Make a list of all the relatives and friends you wish to invite for the baby shower and send them a cute little invite so they can save the date. Venue – Depending upon the size of the gathering, decide a venue – it can be at home, on the terrace or at a banquet and make the bookings accordingly. Choose a theme – There are various themes of a baby shower that you can choose from. So just surf the net and zero down on the theme that you like the most. Now you would need to get the décor done accordingly. Decide the games – Pick some interesting games for your baby shower and make the arrangements for the same. Plan the menu – You can have a mix of traditional and unconventional goodies that will be liked by all. Featured Image Source

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Godh bharai (Indian baby shower): A fun fest during pregnancy

Most expecting women have a baby shower. This can take place any time during the pregnancy, but it’s suggested to hold this event at a time close to the delivery. There are many things to be looked at before holding a shower, and today we will communicate those things to you in order to make your life simpler! The first thing is to set a date – It is important that the shower doesn’t happen at a time when the mother to be is uncomfortable and suffers from pain. Hence, a suitable date has to be looked into. Second, is to make the guest list and call people who are close to the couple. If you don’t want to spoil the fun for the mother to be, then one can always ask the father to be as to whom all should one call for the shower. Next, It is important to look into the kind of invite one sends. For baby showers, people would expect fun invites which would either be in the form of pink or blue. So make sure while sending out invites you to try and make them as fun as possible.  It is also good to decide the venue for the shower. Keep it at a place which will be comfortable for the mother to be. Avoid keeping it in the mother to be’s house, since they would have to clean up afterward. Next, also, keep good decorations that will light up the place and make everyone happy. Also, choose a good cake, there are many shapes and forms in which a cake for the baby shower can come, so try choosing a flavour that suits the taste of the parents to be. Apart from the cake, the food also has to be taken care of. Gifts are also an essential part of the baby shower, they can be given individually or even collectively. Try giving something for the baby, will make things easier for going to be parents. So, if you’re holding a baby shower for your friends then you now know what all should be looked into in order to make it fun, memorable and lively. Go ahead; make this day a memorable one for your mother to be a friend! Featured Image Source  

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What is Godh Bharai and 5 exciting Godh Bharai (Baby Shower) ideas

WHAT IS GODH BHARAI? Godh Bharai also known as the Baby shower is an auspicious occasion which is celebrated during the last trimester of pregnancy and is one of the most awaited occasions for the family members. The phrase “Godh Bharai” literally means filling the lap of an expecting mother with abundance. The rationale behind the celebration of a Baby shower is to bless and welcome the unborn baby and to wish the expecting mother with a lot of joy and abundance. WHEN IS GODH BHARAI CELEBRATED? This occasion is usually celebrated after the completion of your seventh month when the baby and you are considered to have entered into a safe zone. Some people prefer to have a puja after the baby is born rather than having Godh Bharai in between. However, Godh Bharai is getting increasingly popular and a lot of friends and families are opting to celebrate it to cherish these wonderful memories later. HOW TO CELEBRATE GODH BHARAI? The rituals for this special occasion vary from community to community, however, the logic remains the same which is to bless mom-to-be and shower her with gifts. The moms to be are anointed with oil and are made to wear a beautiful saree. In many communities, the men including the father are not a part of this event. But then times have changed and the dad to be is quite involved in planning. The event is usually planned by close family members or friends. FUN GODH BHARAI GAMES 1. RIBBON GAME Get a few rolls of ribbons or threads of different colours. Each participant is required to cut the length of the ribbon of the same length as would be the size of the mom-to-be’s tummy. The closest match is the winner. DIAPER CAKE: Make a cake with diapers and place it on the table as a decoration. 2. GUESSWORK Make a list of traits like: • Nose……………………………… (eg. Mom) • Ears………………………………..(eg. Dad) • Eyes……………………………….(eg. Mom) • Hair………………………………..(eg. Mom) • Face……………………………….(eg. Mom) • Complexion……………………....(eg. Dad) • Nature…………………………….(eg. Dad) • Intelligence…………………….....(eg. Mom) • etc Now the mom-to-be will write down her answers (which possible traits the child should inherit from the father and which possible traits the child should inherit from the mother). Let the guests guess each trait’s resemblance to mom or dad. The answers need to be matched by mom-to-be’s answers and the one with the most matches is the winner. 3. DRAW THE BABY This is going to be a fun game. You will need some sketch pens and square pieces of paper/card (big enough for a forehead). Ask the guests to take paper and sketch a pen each. Keeping the paper on their forehead such that they cannot see it, blindly draw an image of the baby. Most of the time the images come out shapeless, which adds to the humour. The mom-to-be has to decide the winner among the badly drawn images. Keep some wipes ready in case the guests get colour on their face. 4. CLAY BABIES Another easy-to-arrange game, you’ll just need to buy a few packs of clay (different colours if possible). Give a portion of clay to each of the guests and ask them to make a baby from it. This is a messy and fun game, a sure hit at the party. Again, the mom-to-be has to decide the winner. 5. PASSING THE PARCEL Play some music and let the cushion or a pillow be passed from one to another. Stop the music randomly; whoever is holding the pillow in the hand when the music stops is the loser. The loser is then made to either sing or dance or do some activity of choice.

The do's and don’ts of hosting a baby shower

Baby showers have come to represent more than just a day where you and your closest friends get together to have tea and cake to celebrate your impending arrival. Now they require meticulous planning, games, a theme and even little keepsakes for the guests; it’s starting to become more like a wedding.   If you are planning on hosting a shower either for yourself or a friend, keep it stress-free with the following dos and don’ts.   Do: 1. Invite the dad-to-be It is easy to forget about the dad-to-be when it comes to baby showers, but they might want to get in on the action as well.   2. Go for finger food rather than a sit-down lunch Cakes, sweets, buns, scones, and sandwiches are all easy to prepare foods that taste delicious. They also mean less clearing up and people can come and go as they please.   3. Have it close to the due date You don’t want to have the party too far away from the due date, nor do you want it the day of. Two weeks before is usually a nice time as it can offer the mum-to-be a distraction from the discomfort that comes with the third trimester.   4. Open the presents Nobody can resist cooing over teeny, tiny baby clothes so open the presents while the guests are there.   5. Keep it short and sweet Two hours is long enough to have a catch-up, open the gifts and eat some nice food. Any longer and the expectant mother might become too tired to be able to enjoy herself.   Don’t: 1. Don’t make it a surprise If you are hosting the party, try to avoid throwing a surprise one. The last thing the mum-to-be will want is to show up looking tired and feeling exhausted.   2. Don’t invite lots of people just for the sake of it Keep it small and intimate. There is no point inviting people just for the sake of it, it will be exhausting trying to entertain everyone and it will be hard for the mum-to-be to relax.   3. Don't give gift suggestions on the invitation It is not a wedding so don’t ask for certain gifts or give a registry. Most people will bring something anyway and a gift list might make them feel uncomfortable.   4. Don’t play embarrassing games Games are a good way to pass the time but bear in mind that this is not a hen party so try to keep the embarrassing games to a minimum.   5. Don’t serve alcohol Remember, this is a baby shower so try to avoid serving alcohol. The last thing the guest of honor will want is to have to deal with drunk and loud guests.  Content Source

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Tips for memorable annaprashan ceremony: baby’s first solid feeding ceremony

To celebrate this transition from liquid (breast milk or formula) to solids, some communities perform the annaprashan ceremony or the baby’s first solid feeding ceremony. Since annaprashan signifies a marked change in a child’s life, it calls to be celebrated amongst family and elders. What to serve during the Annaprashan Ceremony The annaprashan feast may include a variety of items, but the sweetened rice kheer is the star dish.  Apart from the kheer, fried vegetables, dals, curries, and flavoured rice are some of the food items served during an Annaprashan ceremony. Some communities also include meat and fish preparations on the menu. In the choroonal, sweet payasam, rice, curd, salt, jaggery, and banana are served for the baby on the banana leaf. If you are planning the ceremony at home and will be serving home-cooked food, here are some simple tips you could follow: Do not keep too many items on the menu. Stick to a few basics Keep a few non-spicy items on the menu if you are expecting a lot of children Soak the rice of the kheer/payasam and the dals for the lentil curries (if any) for a few hours before the ceremony so that they cook faster If you will be serving non-vegetarian items in the spread, inform your seller in advance so that you get a fresh stock Food safety precautions you shouldn’t ignore: Meet your baby’s pediatrician beforehand to ask which foods can be safely introduced. Rice is generally considered a safe first food. If you decide to give the kheer a miss, you may alternatively keep only plain, boiled rice or rice with dal as the offering. Ensure the food is prepared in hygienic conditions and the baby is fed with clean hands. Feed the baby, not more than two teaspoons of the offering to avoid an upset tummy. With so much to arrange and a little baby to take care of, what things should you consider before the Annaprashan ceremony? Here are some handy tips for a hassle-free event: Plan ahead of the event. Select your child’s outfit, call the priest and arrange for the puja articles much in advance. Arrange for adequate space and decorations in your house or at the banquet hall for the guests. Make sure your baby is well rested before the ceremony. Carry a stocked up diaper bag if the venue of the event is not home. Keep a few familiar toys handy to distract the baby if he gets overwhelmed by the crowd. Ensure the fabric of your baby’s outfit does not discomfort her. If you are planning to use any jewelry on your baby, make sure it doesn’t hurt her. Share your plans in detail with your spouse or a family member. In case you disappear to feed your baby or calm her down, someone can take over the show! Featured Image Source        

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How to throw a baby shower on a budget

Fortunately, most of the baby showers are not expected to look like the over-the-top celebrity events that dominate news headlines. But you’ll still need to handle food, decorations and party favors, as well as finding a location to hold the event. It is possible to plan a baby shower on a budget while still creating a beautiful and memorable event for the parents-to-be and their loved ones. Here are four tips for organising a budget baby shower that will certainly leave your guests impressed: 1. Make your own invitations: You can simply invite all the guests via email these days. You can create the invitation on the computer and email it out to your friends and family members mentioning the date and other crucial details.  2. Cook your own food: Getting catering can almost double or triple your costs. Yes it takes more work to make the food yourself, but you’ll save a huge amount and people will appreciate it more because you made it from scratch. Guests may also offer to bring something. Take them up on this offer if you don’t feel like you can handle it all yourself!  3. Create your own games: Don’t waste money purchasing special cards or papers for games. There are thousands of ideas for games which will not leave a hole in your pocket but are still fun! Here are a few low cost game ideas: Guess the weight of the mom and dad to be when they were born The person with the closest birthday to the due date wins a prize Guess the size of the belly using ribbon Guess that baby song/celebrity baby etc 4. Location: Instead of hosting the event at a restaurant or club, offer up your home (or ask a relative or another friend to do so). You can also consider holding the party in a public space like a neighborhood park — just make sure to check on whether the location requires a permit.  Content source Featured image source

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6 Tips to Celebrate Your Baby's First Birthday Party

The financial and emotional stress of hosting a baby’s first birthday party may take a toll on parents hoping to celebrate their child’s birthday and reminisce about the wonderful journey their baby has taken them on during the past year. From balancing guest lists to planning the menu to choosing a theme and finding the perfect outfit for your child to smear cake on, a child’s first birthday party leaves many parents to feel as though they’re planning a wedding reception. Having a few tools to prevent stress, reduce chaos and allow for you to have time to join in the celebration will be beneficial as you prepare to celebrate your baby’s first birthday. Armed with tips tested and tried by fellow parents and your heartfelt desire to joyfully revel in your child’s first birthday, you will ensure your baby, family and guests all enjoy a terrific day!   1. Set the precedence:- Many parents find themselves stumbling upon an unexpected tradition on their child’s first birthday. From photographing or videotaping your baby at the same time that he or she was born to serving birthday cake for breakfast, consider putting a memorable touch on the day. Allow yourself some time before your baby’s birthday to reflect on what special and personal touches you’d like to add to not only their first birthday but to traditions associated with their birthday that they will grow to cherish 2. Keep it simple:-  Before planning an elaborate party, consider the demeanor and personality of the guest of honor. Many parents find that cake and ice cream or a back-yard barbeque shared with family and close friends at home generates wonderfully warm memories and reduces the chance that your baby will be overwhelmed by a huge gathering. 3. Expect the unexpected:- From uninvited guests to your child wildly crying while being serenaded ‘Happy Birthday,’ expecting a glitch or surprise will eliminate a great deal of pressure to plan the perfect day. Relinquishing some of the control over small details - such as setting the table or arranging balloons - will allow you more time to enjoy the day and the ability to laugh at small flaws that only you notice. 4. Party-proof your house:- By the time your baby is a year old, it is understandable to feel confident that you’ve successfully baby-proofed your home. Just as child-proof cabinet locks and safety gates are vital safety measures to protect your child, making sure that your antique vase or new sofa is a birthday party proofed will prevent an embarrassing or upsetting accident. Take a minute to survey the area where you’ll be hosting the party. Removing fragile or sentimental objects will offer you and the young guests at the party peace of mind. 5. Accept help:- Greeting guests, serving food and making sure the camera batteries are fresh can be tough to juggle while you’re attempting to enjoy your baby’s big day. If someone offers to cut the cake, shoot the video or refill the coffee pot, accept their invitation to lend a helping hand. You’ll make your guests feel comfortable, and they will be contributing to your child’s special day and you’ll benefit from the kind assistance. 6. Savor the moment:- Before cleaning up after the celebration, take a moment to salvage a few mementos from the day. Saving a deflated balloon, an extra invitation and some leftover unused cutlery from the day creates the foundation for a birthday time capsule. Adding a few tokens from each party, your child will have a beautiful keepsake you’ve lovingly stored in a box, bin or can be decorated with pictures of them eating cake or celebrating each birthday. Content Source

5 Indian Rituals for Babies Whose REAL Purpose You’d Never Have Guessed!

India is a land of rituals and customs but most people do not know exactly why some of these rituals and ceremonies are performed. Let's find out the logic behind some important ceremonies- 1. Head Shaving A lot of us believe in shaving a baby’s head. This is also cited in many communities where the ‘Mundan ceremony’ takes place – a religious occasion when the baby’s head is shaved. In both Muslim and Hindu traditions, this happens in the first 3 years of birth but the reasons are very different: As per Muslims, a baby’s head must be shaved to display that the child is a servant of Allah. In fact, they sometimes weigh the hair and donate its equivalent in silver to the poor! As for Hindus, the Mundan ceremony is believed to rid the baby of past-life negativity and cleanse his body and soul. This is why it is common to scatter the shaved hair into the river Ganga, which is believed to be holy. Further, if the ritual is performed in the third year for a boy, it is said to mark his transition to being a man.  As you can see, this doesn’t have anything to do with hair growth. Head shaving has no effect on how thickly hair grows simple because hair grows from a follicle beneath the scalp. That said, your little one’s mundan will be an exciting time for you – but it may not be so exciting for him! In fact, it may even be scary. Doctors suggest that under no cost should you expose your baby’s scalp to any harsh or sharp material in the early months – so time the mundan ceremony wisely and observe these safety measures for mundan. 2. Ear Piercing Ear piercing is considered quite normal amongst Indian babies whereas, in the western world, this is not a norm. This ceremony is performed within the first to third year after birth and may be done along with the mundan ceremony mentioned above. The roots of this tradition are deep set in Indian history – no, this is not just cosmetic! Here’s the truth: Hindus pierce the baby’s ears as part of a ritual called Karnavedha. This is believed to ward off evil! But then, why is this custom more popular for baby girls only? Well, it is believed that ear piercing helps in maintaining regularity in the menstrual cycle, as well as help girls deal with problems such as hysteria! The earrings are believed to help maintain the flow of electric current in the human body. Some communities also believe that the ear is an important acupuncture point and thus, the piercing will aid good health and development in the child. 3. Community Welcome Most Indian people have a specific tradition they follow to introduce the baby to the larger community. For most of us, this involves our religious place as well, where we go to seek blessings for our newborn and then introduce our baby to other people. But the Sikhs have a custom that goes beyond just the ‘welcome’ and doubles up as a naming ceremony! Sikhs are known to be hearty people who love to party with gusto. It is no surprise, therefore, that they also celebrate with great fervor when a baby is born to the family. When Sikh women first find out they are pregnant, prayer is their very first action. The parents start by visiting the local Gurdwara/temple as soon as they can, typically within 40 days of birth. There, the priest opens the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book, and reads out a random verse. The parents then take the first letter of that page’s hymn and name their child with that letter. The baby’s name is then announced to the congregation. A sweet dish/prasad (usually Karah Parshad, made from flour, semolina, butter, and sugar) is made and distributed as a celebratory treat. This tradition is set out in the Sikh Rahit Maryada (code of conduct) and observed very strictly. 4. Sweet Dish Many new mothers continue to be advised to feed honey to their baby, for health reasons. It is among the first foods that a baby is asked to taste but the reason behind this has nothing to do with nutrition. Many Hindu and Muslim communities follow the ritual of making the baby taste something sweet. It is believed that the infant’s first taste should be sweet so that he can speak sweetly for the rest of his life. In Muslims, this is performed by rubbing a softened date with a bit of honey onto the baby’s upper palate. Hindus use honey as well, in a similar ritual known as Jatakarma. It is meant to guarantee a sweet future for your child. But there’s more: some communities also believe that honey has a positive effect on the baby’s gastrointestinal system by reducing colic and acting as a laxative! In fact, according to some Hindu cultural beliefs, honey is thought to clear out meconium (or the dark poop newborn babies have at first). So no, that honey is not intended to help the growth of your baby in any way. In fact, honey can contain spores of a bacterium that can affect their still immature digestive system and cause a fatal illness called botulism. This bacterium is harmless to adults and children over 1-year-old. 5. Naamakaranam In the Hindu way, every child born is named and this ceremony is called the naamakaranam. This function is not just a religious one but also has the social and the legal aspects to it. This is the first ceremony in a baby’s life and so it helps to forge a good bond between the baby and his or her family. It is usually conducted after the 12th day of birth but this differs as per region and custom. The 12th day is chosen because the first ten days after a baby’s birth is thought off to be a period of impurity and so in a sense, we can say that the ritual of naamakaranam is one to cleanse the baby and the mother as in some cultures both are given a good oil bath. The name for the newborn is chosen after consultations with the elders. The custom is to give a child a name that is significant for various reasons. The guests present to bless the child with good health, wealth and prosperity with a bright future so that he or she may follow the line of his or her great ancestors. This will also help the parents to understand the task of parenting that lies ahead of them. We can say that this ceremony is a reaffirmation of the importance and significance of human life. Content Source

Annaprashan (First Rice Eating Ceremony)

What is Annaprashan? Annaprashan is a popular custom amongst Hindus. Literally meaning ‘rice initiation’, it marks the transition a baby will undertake from consuming only liquid food to solid food. Annaprashan is performed across India; it is known as Mukhebaat in West Bengal, Choroonu in Kerala, and Bhaath Khulai in the Garhwal hills of Himachal Pradesh. After this ritual, the baby has weaned off breastmilk and will begin to consume only solid food. Why is the Annaprashan Ceremony Performed? The Annaprashan ceremony signifies the next step in the growth of a baby. Dating back to the Vedic ages, Annaprashan is known to be practiced in South Asia, Iran, as well as amongst the Parsi people. Depending on the culture or region the parents are from, it can happen anywhere between five and nine months of age. Traditionally, babies below four months or above one year do not undergo Annaprashan. The importance of Annaprashan is such that the event includes several guests, a large venue, and food catering. Priests are present to conduct the Annaprashan mantra at the auspicious time chosen for the occasion. Where is the First Rice-eating Ceremony Performed? Annaprashan was initially conducted at home. However, these days, people prefer to rent a venue like a banquet or a party hall for the ritual. Annaprashan can also be performed at a temple to obtain the blessings of the family deity. It lasts for one day but can be extended to two if the parents wish to have a more elaborate celebration with fun and games. Annaprashan Vidhi The Annaprashan ceremony procedure starts with the baby being seated on their maternal uncle’s lap, who is supposed to give them their first solid bite. After the baby eats the initial serving, other family members feed him more food and shower him with gifts. Finally, the Annaprashan Vidhi is performed. Items such as soil, gold jewelry, pens, books, and food are placed in front of the baby, who is required to choose one of them. Their choice is meant to symbolize their path in the future. • If they choose the gold jewelry, it means they will be wealthy. • If they choose the pen, it means they will be wise. • If they choose the book, it means they will be learned. • If they choose the soil, it means they will be lucky with the property. • If they choose the food, it means they will be empathetic and charitable. Kinds of Food Offered to Baby Aside from the first bite of rice, there is a large variety of food that is offered to the baby during the Annaprashan ceremony. Some of them are: • Fried rice or pulao • Meat dishes • Fish • Dal, sambar or rasam • Kheer or payasam Why is Kheer or Payasam Important in Annaprashan? Kheer or payasam is a sweet rice dish popular across India and is the first solid food fed to the baby. It is generally made by the mother or grandmother and served in a silver vessel. Food Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind As your baby is still very young, there are some precautions that must be taken when introducing them to solid food. • Kheer is not compulsory as you can feed your baby rice. • Hygienic food preparation is crucial as the baby could fall sick due to pathogens in the food. • Talk to the pediatrician to learn about foods safe for a baby to eat. Tips for Safe Annaprashan Ceremony The Annaprashan sanskar is a safe ceremony, but please ensure you follow the following tips, so the event is fun for everybody. • Feeding your baby with clean hands is very important as they can contract infections quite easily at this age. • Let your baby sleep well beforehand so they are not cranky during the ritual. • You should avoid inviting too many guests as it might be overwhelming for the baby. • Dress your baby in soft, comfortable clothing like cotton or linen. • Try to avoid decorative work or metallic threads as it might cause skin irritation. • Make them wear loose clothing so it won’t constrict their belly. • Keep a sweater or cardigan nearby if it gets too cold. • A towel or box of napkins can be kept nearby to help you clean up if any food is spilled. • A separate location for children can be provided to keep them occupied. • Keep your baby away from the ritual fire as the smoke could cause burning in their eyes and throat. • Ensure the venue is well-ventilated so the guests don’t have to inhale the smoke or endure the heat. • It is polite to offer snacks to all the invited guests in the form of sweets or dry fruits. • Don’t forget to document the celebration by taking lots of pictures or by filming the event. Annaprashan is an important event in your baby’s life. This is the first step of several of your baby will take in their life’s journey. It is a reminder that your baby is growing up. Content Source