Unique Baby Traditions from Around the World
Even though giving birth is a universal thing, the postnatal care of the mother and baby care changes from one part of the world to another. This week we present to you, unique baby traditions from 24 countries around the world:
- Albania – Garlic is sometimes placed under the baby’s crib to protect the baby from the ‘evil eye’.
- Armenia – In a ceremony named Agra Hadig, the baby is placed on the floor surrounded by symbolic items and the one she or he chooses symbolizes his or her future. For example, choosing a tape measure means that the baby could possibly become an architect or an engineer.
- Bali – Balinese babies cannot touch the ground until they are 3 months old. After the period of three months a formal ceremony takes place where the baby first touches the ground.
- Brazil: In Brazil, it is a tradition for new mothers to give gifts to all those who come to the hospital to visit her after childbirth.
- China, Singapore and Vietnam – A ‘full moon’ party is thrown on the 30th day after the child is born, during which gifts are given to the mother and baby (It is considered unlucky to give gifts to the mother before birth). The baby’s parents also give gifts to their friends and family, most commonly red eggs which symbolize prosperity and happiness. This celebration is conducted after one month as this is the time new mothers get off bed rest and also because the infant mortality rate used to be high in this part of the world that the baby were only welcomed when they lived through their first month.
- Denmark, Sweden and Norway – Parents in these regions often let their babies nap outside, on the sidewalk or the balcony, as there is a common belief that cold and fresh air helps babies sleep and eat better.
- Egypt – The baby’s existence is acknowledged on the seventh day after the birth in a ceremony known as Sebou. During this ceremony, visitors get jewelry or amulets which are pinned to either the baby’s clothes or bed to ward off bad luck and disease.
- Finland – The government of Finland gives a baby box to every baby born. This box includes diapers, clothing and bedding and the box is made into a crib. It insinuates the thought that every baby is born equal.
- Germany – Mothers in Germany are given a diary or a children’s examination books which contain all health information about the baby and doctors’ appointments, among other baby-related information, for the purpose of documenting the baby’s growth.
- Great Britain – In an event called ‘wetting the baby’s head’, the new dad and his friends go out (probably to a pub) soon after the baby is born to celebrate the new baby.
- Guatemala – Putting a baby into freezing water would probably go against any parent’s instincts but in this country, babies are given ice baths to encourage good sleep.
- India – In India, newborn’s hair is shaven off completely in a ceremony called Mundan, which signifies freedom from the past and that shaving of hair stimulates proper growth of the brain and nerves. It is also believed that this makes their hair grow back faster and thicker.
- Ireland – A bit of the parents’ wedding cake is saved for the first child’s christening. During the christening, a few crumbs of the cake are sprinkled over the child’s forehead.
- Israel: The Jewish dominated community have an event 8 days after the child is born called Brit Milah where baby boys are named and circumcised.
- Italy – The family of the new born hang a colored bow on the door of their house announcing the gender of the baby when it’s born.
- Japan – conserving the Umbilical cord. The hospital saves the umbilical cord which is then presented to the new mothers in wooden boxes upon their departure from the hospital. These cords are considered to have a strong link to the well-being of the babies.
- Malaysia – After giving birth, new mothers go through Pantang – a confinement period lasting about 45 days for the new mother to preserve the health and femininity of the women. She also receives hot stone massages and full body exfoliation to chase away the postpartum changes.
- Mauritania – Women spit on the face of the babies while men spit in the ear – a way of giving their blessings.
- Nigeria – In traditional ritual named Omugwo, the baby’s first bath is given by the grandmother, or an aunt or close friend if the grandmother isn’t around, sending a message that the mother is not alone in childrearing.
- Pakistan – In a ritual called Aqeeqah, the baby’s hair is shaven off and gold or silver (or paper currency equivalent to that) equal to the weight of the baby’s hair is given to the charity.
Picture Sources: shakarbakery.com, mommyish.com, mangosalute.com, bbci.co.uk, oddee.com, ovuline.com