Royal baby: What gift would you give?

The giving of gifts to celebrate the birth of a new baby is a tradition that spans the globe. To mark the arrival of the royal baby, we have gathered together some traditional and unusual presents from around the world.

Match the photo to the country in our baby gift game and find out where it is good luck to give a wolf paw, an eye amulet or a pair of red knitted shoes.

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This is just a small selection of traditional presents given to newborn babies around the world. Many may also be part of the traditions of other countries, cultures and religions.

Production: Dani Dutra, Charlotte Thornton, Marina Shchukina, Steven Atherton

Sources: BBC World Service Language Services, Australian Government, Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals, Andrea M. Heckman and The Africa Centre, London

  • Peru

    PeruMen usually knit their son’s first chullo, a colourful alpaca wool Andean-style hat with ear flaps and a tie under the chin. It is a traditional gift of the Andean Plateau in South America, covering not only Peru but also parts of Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador.

  • China

    ChinaA red envelope filled with money is traditionally given to babies in China and it is said to bring prosperity and happiness. The envelope can be plain red or have "Luck" or "Fortune" written on it, as well as good wishes for the baby.

  • Russia

    RussiaBabies in Russia are given a silver spoon, to bestow future wealth and good luck. The fact the spoon is made of precious metal as well as silver's antibacterial properties - useful when the child starts teething - also make it a practical present.

  • Brazil

    BrazilWhen knitted red baby shoes are given to newborns in Brazil, it is believed they will bring the baby good luck and protect him or her from "evil eyes". Some say they should be the first gift an expectant mother receives when she announces the pregnancy. Others claim the baby should leave the hospital wearing them.

  • India

    IndiaSilver anklets are given to baby girls in India, where body decoration is a tradition. Other common presents are figurines for display in a child's nursery or bedroom. However, it is important to be certain of the parents' and family's religious affiliations before choosing the right one.

  • Venezuela

    VenezuelaA "puno de azabache", or a hand in the shape of a fig, carved on jet, is often given to newborns in Venezuela. The hand - a closed fist, with the thumb between the middle and index finger - is believed to offer protection to the child. Ancient civilisations believed the black semi-precious stone carried magic properties.

  • Azerbaijan

    AzerbaijanIn Azerbaijan, the "gozmuncugu" - an eye-shaped amulet - is given to protect a newborn child from the "evil eye". Babies wear it in a visible place, such as on the wrist.

  • Burma

    BurmaIn Burma (Myanmar), a necklace made of a thread, blessed by a Buddhist monk or soothsayer, is thought to bring good health and protection to a newborn child. A suitable charm - such as a coin, bead or shell - is chosen by the monk after reading the baby's fortune.

  • Kyrgyzstan

    KyrgyztanIn Kyrgyzstan a dried wolf paw is placed under the baby’s pillow to ward off evil spirits and protect them from bad dreams. It forms part of a ceremony in which older women offer blessings and good luck spells over the baby's cradle or "beshik".

  • Australia

    AustraliaDreamtime children's storybooks tell tales of relationships between land, people and animals, passing on cultural values, knowledge and beliefs, can be given to babies in Australia. "The Dreaming" refers to the Aboriginal story of a period of time when ancestral spirits came to Earth and created life and geographic features. The Rainbow Serpent (pictured) represents the source of all life and is the protector of the land and its people.

  • Egypt

    EgyptA palm with a blue eye is traditionally given to newborns in Egypt and is pinned to their clothes, offering protection from the "evil eye". It is believed to have originated with the Pharaohs, who used turquoise gemstones for protection against evil. They stones were also thought bring faithfulness, happiness and good fortune.

  • Ghana

    GhanaIn Ghana families often give a coloured, beaded necklace as a gift to a baby. If they are more wealthy a gold pendant, or other gold jewellery, may be handed down from parents to their children.

Sources: BBC World Service Language Services, Australian Government, Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals, Andrea M. Heckman and The Africa Centre, London. Some gifts may be traditional in countries other than those named.

Production: Dani Dutra, Charlotte Thornton, Marina Shchukina, Steven Atherton

Have you or anyone in your family received an unusual baby gift? Share your touching and remarkable presents with us by sending a photo and an explanation about the gift to Please put baby gift in the subject line. We'll publish a selection of the most interesting stories.

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