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Baby Routines From Around The World

Having a newborn, or when you’re expecting, is a very exciting time. It often seems like endless planning, decorating, and visiting healthcare professionals. As you’d expect, all of these things vary from country to country and some have some very different traditions and practices compared to the US.

We’ve put together a short list of some of our favorite facts, gift giving practices, traditions and celebrations from around the world, all celebrating pregnancy and birth.

Finland – The Baby Box

In Finland, expectant mothers are sent a cardboard box by the Government. The box contains some baby essentials such as diapers, clothing and a small mattress and some bedding, which fits the bottom of the box.

This practice has been going on for over 75 years and the majority of Fins start their lives sleeping in a cardboard box.

Nigeria – Omugwo

The Nigerian custom of Omugwo is a sign of solidarity to the mother that she is not alone in raising the child. The child’s grandmother, or another close relative, gives the baby their first bath.

On the 7th day after birth (9th day if the child is a boy), both mother and child are blessed with; water (to have no enemies), palm oil (to have a smooth life) and bitter kola (to have a long life).

South Korea – Seaweed Soup

Typically South Korean mothers will eat seaweed soup for the majority of their meals, up to 3 weeks after they have given birth. It is believed that this helps the body recover, and helps the mother produce better breast milk.

It’s also common for mothers (and their babies) to go to a special postpartum care center for a few weeks, where the mother receives massages, yoga classes and general help in looking after their baby.

Bali – Divine Babies

Bali traditions dictate that a babies feet aren’t allowed to touch the ground until the 210th day of their life, as the Balinese believe that a baby is divine being sent from heaven.

The 210th day marks 6 months since birth, and is generally considered to be the child’s birthday.

Italy – Naming

In Italy, naming your child is an extremely important tradition. Often the first born will be named after the paternal grandfather or grandmother, and future children take their names from their mother’s side of the family.

The most popular baby names in Italy are Francesco, Alessandro, Andrea and Lorenzo for boys, and Sofia, Giulia, Aurora and Emma for girls.

Portugal – Hairy Babies

It’s considered bad luck for expectant mothers to be close to cats or dogs while they are pregnant. It is believed that being close to these animals will cause the baby to be ‘extra hairy’.

It’s also common in Portugal for no pain medication to be administered during labor, this is because of their beliefs and they try not to scream or let others know that they’re in pain.

 

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