11 beautiful poems for baby-naming ceremonies

Discover the perfect reading to welcome a new baby into the world in our list of the best poems for naming ceremonies.

03/01/2020
10 minutes to read
Black and white photo of baby head being cradled in someone's hands

When a new baby comes into our lives, it's a time to celebrate and welcome the little one to the world. If you're looking for the perfect meaningful words for a naming ceremony reading, look no further. We've curated some of the most moving and beautiful poems suitable for naming ceremonies.

Discover our edit of the best poetry books.

‘For my niece' by Kae Tempest

I hold you in my arms,

your age is told in months.

There's things I hope you'll learn.

Things I'm sure I learned once.

But there's nothing I can teach you.

You'll find all that you need.

No flower bends its head to offer

teaching to a seed.

The seed will grow and blossom

once the flower's ground to dust.

But even so, if nothing else,

one thing I'll entrust:

Doing what you please

is not the same

as doing what you must

From Hold Your Own by Kae Tempest


‘Sweet and Low' by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Sweet and low, sweet and low,

Wind of the western sea,

Low, low, breathe and blow,

Wind of the western sea!

Over the rolling waters go,

Come from the dying moon, and blow,

Blow him again to me;

While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.

Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,

Father will come to thee soon;

Rest, rest, on mother's breast,

Father will come to thee soon;

Father will come to his babe in the nest,

Silver sails all out of the west,

Under the silver moon:

Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

From Poems for New Parents


‘A Baby's Feet' by Algernon Charles Swinburne

A baby's feet, like sea shells pink,

Might tempt, should heaven see meet

An angel's lips to kiss, we think,

A baby's feet.

Like rose-hued sea flowers toward the heat

They stretch and spread and wink

Their ten soft buds that part and meet.

No flower bells that expand and shrink

Gleam half so heavenly sweet,

As shine on life's untrodden brink

A baby's feet.


Cradle-Song by Sarojini Naidu

From groves of spice, 

O’er fields of rice, 

Athwart the lotus-stream,

I bring for you, 

Aglint with dew 

A little lovely dream. 


Sweet, shut your eyes, 

The wild fire-flies 

Dance through the fairy neem

From the poppy-bole

For you I stole 

A little lovely dream. 


Dear eyes, good-night, 

In golden light 

The stars around you gleam; 

On you I press 

With soft caress 

A little lovely dream.

From Poems for New Parents


‘Infant Joy' by William Blake

‘I have no name:

‘I am but two days old.'

What shall I call thee?

‘I happy am

Joy is my name.'

Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!

Sweet joy but two days old,

Sweet joy I call thee:

Thou dost smile,

I sing the while,

Sweet joy befall thee!

From Poems for New Parents


‘Human Affection' by Stevie Smith

Mother, I love you so.

Said the child, I love you more than I know.

She laid her head on her mother's arm,

And the love between them kept them warm.

From A Poem for Every Day of the Year


I Know A Baby, Such A Baby by Christina Rossetti 

I know a baby, such a baby,—

 Round blue eyes and cheeks of pink,

Such an elbow furrowed with dimples,

 Such a wrist where creases sink.


“Cuddle and love me, cuddle and love me,”

 Crows the mouth of coral pink:

Oh the bald head, and oh the sweet lips,

 And oh the sleepy eyes that wink!

From Poems for New Parents


‘I'd Love to be a Fairy's Child' by Robert Graves

Children born of fairy stock

Never need for shirt or frock,

Never want for food or fire,

Always get their heart's desire:

Jingle pockets full of gold,

Marry when they're seven years old,

Every fairy child may keep

Two strong ponies and ten sheep;

All have houses, each his own,

Built of brick or granite stone;

They live on cherries, they run wild -

I'd love to be a Fairy's child.

From A Poem for Every Day of the Year


On children from The Prophet' by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.

From A Poem for Every Day of the Year


Baby Mine by Frederick Locker-Lampson

Baby mine, with the grave, grave face, 

Where did you get that royal calm, 

Too staid for joy, too still for grace? 

I bend as I kiss your pink, soft palm. 

Are you the first of a nobler race, 

Baby mine? 


You come from the region of long ago, 

And gazing awhile where the seraphs dwell 

Has given your face a glory and glow. 

Of that brighter land have you aught to tell? 

I seem to have known it; I more would know 

Baby mine. 


Your calm, blue eyes have a far-off reach. 

Look at me now with those wondrous eyes 

Why are we doomed to the gift of speech 

While you are silent and sweet and wise? 

You have much to learn; you have more to teach, 

Baby mine. 

From Poems for New Parents


‘Love you more' by James Carter

Do I love you

to the moon and back?

No I love you

more than that

I love you to the desert sands

the mountains, stars

the planets and

I love you to the deepest sea

and deeper still

through history

Before beyond I love you then

I love you now

I'll love you when

The sun's gone out

the moon's gone home

and all the stars are fully grown

When I no longer say these words

I'll give them to the wind, the birds

so that they will still be heard

I love you

From A Poem for Every Night of the Year

Poems for New Parents

by Becky Brown

Book cover for Poems for New Parents

Part of the Macmillan Collector’s Library, Poems for New Parents is a beautiful gift anthology of classic poetry that celebrates the arrival of new life and the joy and hope which it brings. Full of traditional lullabies and soothing rhymes, this is the perfect present for new or expecting parents.

A Poem for Every Day of the Year

by Allie Esiri

Book cover for A Poem for Every Day of the Year

This collection, full of 366 poems, is bursting at the seams with poetry to share on every day of the year. From perfect seasonal poems to verses for important dates and key events, this beautiful gift book is one you’ll dip into time and time again.

A Poem for Every Night of the Year

by Allie Esiri

Book cover for A Poem for Every Night of the Year

A beautiful collection, with a poem to share for every night of the year, this is a must-have for poetry lovers. From familiar favourites to contemporary voices, this collection is perfect for reading aloud and sharing with family and friends.