The number of non-religious baby naming ceremonies taking place in Scotland has more than trebled in a decade.

A total of 226 naming ceremonies were carried out by celebrants from the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) in 2014 - compared to just 61 in 2005 and 105 in 2014.

The trend is said to be linked to rising numbers of couples choosing humanist marriages as well as an increasingly secular society.

Last month the HSS predicted the number of humanist weddings - which became legal 10 years ago in Scotland - will overtake Kirk marriage ceremonies for the first time this year.

But new parents are still far more likely to opt for church christenings.

The Catholic Church carried out 8,039 baptisms in 2013, according to its latest figures, while the Church of Scotland carried out 4,045 in 2014.

However these baptisms still only represent about a fifth of around 56,000 births registered in Scotland annually, indicating many parents either choose not to opt for any kind of ceremony or hold a more informal occasion, or the children are born into non-Christian religions.

Claire Digance, who has been a celebrant with the HSS for two years, said she carried out an average of around one or two naming ceremonies every month.

"They are on the increase across the board," she said. "Celebrants seem to be doing more of them than they have ever done before.

"I think it is linked to the increasing number of humanist weddings - there are more weddings, then people have babies and come back to us for a naming as well, which is lovely."

Digance said naming ceremonies - which usually have a £200 fee and have no legal status - could be highly personalised and held anywhere the parents chose.

She added: "You can have as many guide parents [the humanist equivalent of a godparent] as you want. The maximum I have had is eight, which included guide parents who would be useful at different stages in the baby's life - from a nursery nurse all the way through to a driving instructor."

Digance said the ceremonies provided a meaningful non-religious alternative to a christening.

"It is mainly ceremonial, but it is a good precursor for a party and a celebration of a wee baby," she said. "And I have never had a crying baby yet."

Gordon MacRae, chief executive of the HSS, said the baby naming ceremonies provided a way for non-religious new parents to bring their family and friends together, without having to join a church they did not believe in.

He added: "Humanist Society Scotland campaigns for equality and human rights for all citizens, based on the principle that we should all be equal before the law.

"It's great to see more families coming forward to celebrate the arrival of a new family member in a way that reflects their own beliefs and values."

'It strikes me as being a bit hypocritical to have a christening and then literally never take the child to church'

Sara McCann and her husband Craig, from Glasgow, held a baby naming ceremony for their son, who is now three months old, at which Claire Digance was the celebrant.

The couple - she's a roller-skate coach, and he's a systems analyst - opted for a humanist wedding three years ago and wanted to have a celebration of William's birth, but without having a religious ceremony.

McCann, 32, said: "Craig and I were both raised as Christians, but don't attend church - so we felt it was hypocritical to go to church and get married if you have not been in the past 20 years.

"I have no objections to church and have been to many christenings, but it strikes me as being a bit hypocritical to have a christening and then literally never take the child to church.

"It was just a really nice day where everyone came together to see William and to officially welcome him into their lives and into the family."

McCann said the personal aspects of the ceremony were extremely important, which included readings from family members and their own choice of vows.

"William is also an IVF baby and I was very keen that was mentioned," she said. "It was a long time coming to get him to be here, so we wanted to have a day of celebrating him being here and the journey we took to get him here."

McCann said she had anticipated some negative reaction from older family members over the lack of a religious element, but everyone had enjoyed the ceremony, which took place at Kibble Palace in Glasgow's Botanic Gardens last month.

"Naming ceremonies are more common now than ever - although there was a bit of confusion," she said. "People were very generous and gave him gifts, but we didn't get any of the silver gifts you would normally associate with christenings.

"There is a bit of bewilderment as to what it means and how it is different, but every single person enjoyed it.

"It was just a really nice day where everyone came together to see William and officially welcome him into their lives."