Dutch Quirk #87: Invest way too much in window decorations to announce a new baby

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #87: Invest way too much in window decorations to announce...

Ah, the sweet joy of a new life entering this great big world. But how do the Dutch celebrate this? They invest in HEAPS of baby decor for their windows and lawns, and you really can’t miss it.

Picture this: you’re an unknowing international strolling the Dutch streets, and the next thing you see is the bum of a big stuffed stork toy pinned to the window of a Dutch home (we’re not kidding). 😬

It’s certainly a sweet tradition for proud parents — why wouldn’t you want to broadcast to your entire neighbourhood that your family has welcomed a baby into the world?

But what do these birth announcements entail? 🤔

What is it?

When a baby is born in the Netherlands, Dutch families take to the shops to buy plenty of baby-themed decorations for their front windows and yard. These will laud the arrival of their little one.

The decorations often stay up for many months on end and usually include a huge yard sign showcasing the baby’s name, other knickknacks like streamers and pennants — and the quirkiest of them all — a stork. 

Translation: Subtle way to prepare people who come to a baby visit for an ugly baby. “Yes, the stork flew into the window with it.”

Why a stork, you might ask? Well, the legend of the long-necked and big-billed bird isn’t just a story parents tell their youngsters anymore. It has now become a very important part of this sweet Dutch tradition!

On the day a child is born, the Dutch like to say that a stork, a famous symbol of childbirth in the Netherlands, visited their home.

To represent this, it’s only natural that they place a stuffed version of the bird in their front window to show that it just flew in to make a baby delivery.

Why do they do it?

Of course, it’s a normal thing to want to share the big baby news with your loved ones.

We all know the Dutch aren’t the type to hide their pride in what they do best.

So, if announcing babies with all kinds of signs and props in their front windows and lawns is just another thing that they are ridiculously good at, then by all means! Why not go for it?

Why is it quirky? 

The Dutch aren’t the only ones who welcome a new arrival with some sort of tradition.

For example, the Germans like to plant trees in their gardens to announce the birth of a new life, and Italians have taken up the custom of dressing in red when a baby is born. Super schattig! (Super cute!)

READ MORE | 8 things to know about having a child in the Netherlands

However, Dutch parents seem to become more and more creative with baby announcements over the years. 

And internationals are left a little confused by these elaborate decorations.

Should you join in? 

There are tons of ways to announce the arrival of your little bundle of joy. But if you’re looking for an extra special one, why not spice up your next baby announcement and take a page from the Dutch? 

Head to the Action, the Xenos or even the Dirk. Stock up on the snazziest decorations those acties (discounts) can allow, and who knows!

Your neighbours might just thank you for livening up the street with a bunch of colourful baby decor and… storks?

What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Gaelle Salem
Gaelle Salem
Born and raised on the island of Sint Maarten, Gaelle moved to the Netherlands in 2018 to attend university. Still trying to survive the erratic Dutch wind and rain, she has taken up the hobby of buying a new umbrella every month. You can probably find her in the centre of The Hague appreciating the Dutch architecture with a coffee in one hand and a slice of appeltaart in the other.


  1. I LOVE IT! Especially the stork flying through the window – please tell me where I can get my hands on them. I know plenty of soon-to-be parents who would also jump at the chance to get one.


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