22 Interesting Baby Traditions Around the World

Let me just say right away, this post has nothing to do with marketing. And certainly nothing to do with ERP software. But gosh darn, I spent a lot of time on this so I wanted to share it.

I was asked to come up with a baby shower game that showed different baby traditions around the world. Based on extensive internet research these are the “facts” I found. I can’t actually prove that any of them true, but they certainly do start some fun conversations.

Baby Traditions Around the World

Sweden: Babies take naps outside in the cold air to build their immune system.

Poland: It is considered unhealthy for a baby to have bare feet.

Netherlands: To celebrate birth, which is usually done at home, guests are served “biscuits with mice”. Which are cookies with licorice flavored bits, either blue/white for boys or pink/white for girls.

Finland: A 75 year old tradition is that a baby’s first bed is a cardboard box, that the mother received full of essential baby gifts.

Germany: The government office has a list of official baby names parents must choose from. If they choose a name not in the book they must be able to justify why it should be allowed.

Japan: After the birth the mother and baby go to her parent’s house and the mom stays in bed for 21 days. Friends who visit the new baby are served “red rice with red beans”

Brazil: New moms give “souvenir” gifts to visitors who come to the hospital to see the baby (similar to party favor gifts at a baby shower).

Turkey: A special drink given to a new mom in hospital has cinnamon, sugar and red food coloring.

Pakistan: On the 7th day after birth the baby’s head is shaved. The hair is weighed and an equal amount of silver or gold is given to a charity.

Nigeria: The grandmother gives the baby it’s first bath (or aunt or close friend if grandmother is not able). This gesture shows the new mom she is not alone in caring for the baby.

USA: A specific white blanket with pink and blue stripes, called a KuddleUp, has been used for 60 years in almost every hospital in the country. (Which is why all newborn hospital photos look the same)

Lithuania: It is popular for babies to compete in a “fastest crawler” competition on June 1st.

Trinidad: Guests are not allowed to visit the baby after 6pm since it is said “evening dew” can make the baby sick.

South Korea: After they leave the hospital it is common for new moms (and babies) to spend several weeks at a special postpartum care center with nurse, nutritionist, chef, exercise, massage and skin care team.

Guyana: A celebration 9 days after birth includes giving gold bangles to both girl and boy babies, and the mother takes her first post-delivery bath.

Canada: Government sends a nurse to visit new mom a few times during first few weeks to help with breastfeeding, answer questions and weigh the baby. Moms get 15 weeks of maternity leave and 35 weeks of paid leave to be divided between mom and dad.

Ecuador: When she goes into labor, tradition says the father should give his wife a shirt that is still damp with his sweat from a long day’s work, to give her strength in childbirth.

Bali: It is believed that a baby must not touch the ground for the first three months of life.

Manchu area of China: It is never acceptable to kiss a baby’s face (even for the parents).

Guatemala: It is thought that an ice bath will keep a child fit, help them sleep better and cure rashes.

Bulgaria: Employed moms get 45 days of fully paid leave before the baby arrives, then receive 2 full years of paid leave after birth. They have option for a third year of leave, unpaid. Their jobs must wait for them for 3 years.

China: Babies don’t wear diapers, they wear “split pants”. Pants with a slit/opening that exposes the baby bottom. Kids are free to “go” anywhere, anytime just by squatting. Parents use a specific whistle noise to prompt them to “go” at a specific time. And even when they are adults hearing a whistle can make some run to the bathroom.

(Note: To turn this into a baby shower game I asked guests to match the correct country with the tradition.)

What did I learn from this? If I ever have a baby I hope I am in Bulgaria where I get tons of time off work or in South Korea at a spa. And definitely not in Ecuador with my husband’s stinky shirt.

What baby traditions do you know?

By Anya Ciecierski, Collaboration Works Marketing


Follow me on Twitter: @AnyaCWMktg