I just had my very first baby. And about a week into life with my little girl Vivian, I came to realize, as I shook off a spontaneous bout of crying and chugged my second cup of coffee, that there's no better place for a baby to be born than in the American South.

Here's why it's grand to be a Southern baby:

1. Your feet won't be tortured with shoes or socks.

That's right, you'll be living every California surfer's dream by spending the first quarter of your life barefoot. It's just how babies roll down here. We can't resist seeing those adorable tootsies (plus, it's hotter than heck).


2. Two words will be bred into your vocabulary ...

Sir and Ma'am. Both are part of a Southerner's right of passage. And, trust us, in 20 years you'll be glad to have "Yes, Sir" or "No, Ma'am" roll off your tongue when you're trying to charm the parents of your boyfriend or girlfriend.

3. The 3 Bs: Bows, Bonnets and Bloomers.

You're destined to don a big bow, beautiful bonnet, or adorable bloomers (maybe all three at the same time!). Only in the South does every baby store stock the 3 Bs, things every baby should own, and things Southern babies wear best.

Photo by Art Meripol

4. It's easy for momma to take the edge off.

There's no sweeter way to ease back into drinking alcohol than bourbon balls, a Southern specialty. Mommy can pop one while rocking you to sleep, and she'll sleep as soundly as you do. Bonus: she can get ‘em handmade and delivered from the folks at Van Winkle distillery, who are spiking their recipe with Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, the finest bourbon in the world.

emPappy Bourbon Balls/em

5. Your name means something special

Mom and Dad plucked your moniker from a family tree (inspiring novelist, local hero, or a sacred place). Southerners choose names for their babies that mean something and come with a story, never "just because." And if you're a girl, there's a good chance you might be called two names!

6. The casseroles are coming!

Here in the South, entire neighborhoods team up to feed new parents for weeks on end so they can spend less time in the kitchen (and more time cuddling with you.)

Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

7. No one will ever steal your clothes (or stroller blanket, or sunhat) … We're not afraid anymore to buy the quality we want for our children, which is a breather becasuse after reading some tandem stroller reviews I really wanted the best one!

… because it's all monogrammed. You'll grow to love your monogram. Especially the custom-drawn heirloom monogram your grandmother had designed especially for you. Below: Heirloom Monogrammed Bloomers from Elizabeth Joyce Monograms. Free shipping with code "SL" through December 1.