Praise be to Allaah.
The Sunnah is to sacrifice the ‘aqeeqah for the new born child. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“With the boy there should be ‘aqeeqah, so shed blood on his behalf and remove the harm (i.e., circumcision).” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 5049; al-Tirmidhi, no. 1434 – he said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth).
It is permissible to eat from this ‘aqeeqah, and also to feed relatives, friends and the poor. It is permissible to cook it and then give it to others, or to give it to them raw. It was reported that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said concerning the meat of the ‘aqeeqah: “It should be cut into pieces, then eaten and given to others.” (Narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in al-Musannaf, 5)
It was narrated that Ibn Seereen and al-Hasan al-Basri said: “Among them the ‘aqeeqah was dealt with like a sacrifice; some would be eaten and some given to others.” (Ibn Abi Shaybah, 5).
Ibn Hazm said: “Some of the ‘aqeeqah should be eaten, and some given as gifts and in charity.” (al-Muhallaa by Ibn Hazm, 6)
It is mustahabb to cook all of the ‘aqeeqah, even the share that is to be given in charity, because it was narrated that some of the Salaf, such as Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him), regarded that as mustahabb. ‘Ataa’ ibn Abi Rabaah used to say concerning the ‘aqeeqah: “It should be cut into pieces, cooked with water and salt, and given as gifts to one's neighbours.” (Narrated by al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan, no. 19827).