Customs of Hinduism

Hindu Customs on Child Birth

Several Hindu samskars or scripture based rites are associated with birth of a child. These samskars include:

Garbhadana (conception) : or fervent prayer for a child in order to fulfill the parental obligation to continue the human race.

Punsavana (fetus protection) : Performed during the third or fourth month of pregnancy and prior to consciousness of fetus, to invoke divine qualities in the child.

Simantonnayana (satisfying the craving of the pregnant mother) : similar to baby shower, performed during the seventh month of pregnency, prayers offered for to God for healthy physical and mental growth of a child

Jatakarma (child birth) : welcomes the child into the family; mantras are recited for a healthy and long life. Samskar is performed to create a pleasant atmosphere for both the newly born child and mother.

Namakarna (Naming the child) : "Naming" according to scriptural procedures Nishkarmana (taking the child outdoors for the first time)  performed four months after birth.

Annaprasana (giving the child first solid food): Performed in the seventh or eight month after birth. There are detail instruction regarding what food to give etc., in scriptures (Grihyasutra)

The naming of a child is one of the most fundamental Hindu "samskars" or scripture based rites.

The name is selected such that its meaning can inspire the child to follow the path of righteousness. The name given to newborn babies are generally suggestive of divine qualities of the vedic deities.

A common practice among Hindus is to name their children after the names of sages, saints, holy persons, deities, and the names of the incarnation of God. It is believed that by repeatedly calling such names one is reminded of the Lord