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If you think that only Indian parents are the ones who do things that defy logic in the name of parenting – put kajal on the baby’s forehead to ward off evil eye, shave newborn's hair, pierce newborn's ears, then these parenting rituals practised across the world might just surprise you.
Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes: In Finland, every mother receives a box from the government filled with baby essentials – clothes, teethers, mittens and socks. Eventually, the newborn baby sleeps in the cardboard box when the essentials are taken out. Apparently, this helped the country reduce its infant mortality rates.
Mothers in Kenya avoid eye contact with babies: This may sound weird because these mothers carry their babies everywhere on their back, but never look into their eyes or indulge in baby cooing. In fact, this is why they grow up to be less attention-seeking adults.
Balinese babies are carried in the arms of elders for 105 days after birth: As a tradition their feet are not suppose to touch the ground for three months because it is thought to be impure for them.
Mayan infants are given cold water baths: Even if the baby wails, they are not spared. Mayan mothers believe that giving the baby a cold water bath will help the little one sleep better and regulate body temperature.
Spanish kids stay up late: It’s a different story if you are having a hard time trying to get your baby to sleep. In Spain, early to bed is an alien concept. They believe that children need to stay awake till late in the night with other members to participate in family life.
In China potty training starts at infancy: It is not for nothing that Chinese mothers are called tiger moms. Instead of worrying about sleep, feeding and other demands of the newborn, they start toilet training right after the baby is home from the hospital.
French kids eat everything: There is something about French parents. They don’t entertain tantrums, and that’s the reason their kids grow up eating everything that’s laid on the table.
Japanese kids are left on their own: In Japan parents don’t interfere when kids get into a fight as they believe their children will sort out things on their own, even if they get physical. They also allow young children to roam around on their own, and go places without the parent tagging around.
Polynesian parents don’t play with their kids: They do a lot for their children. They co-sleep, breastfeed on demand and attend to their needs dotingly. But when it's play time they hand over their babies to other children and refuse to play with them teaching lessons in self-dependency.
West Africa foster parenting is a norm: In Benin, children seldom grow up with their biological parents. Adoption and foster parenting are a norm.