From sleeping routines to maternity leave, these mamas share their local traditions.
Spoiler alert: There is no right way to parent your kids—and that's even more evident when you see all the different traditions and customs from parents around the world. At the end of the day, mama will always know what's best for her family.
We asked #TeamMotherly to share their parenting customs from where they live and found that there is always more than one way to do things.
From sleeping routines and feeding to maternity leave and hospital costs, every country has its own way of welcoming babies into the world. Here's what they had to say.
"In Sweden, we get 480 days parental leave split between the parents. You can travel on the bus for free with a stroller, kids are outside no matter the weather, fathers are just as involved as mothers in the upbringing, public breastfeeding is normal even in non-child focused restaurants, co-sleeping is considered as normal, putting your kid to daycare does not cost a fortune, parents have the right to work max 75% of their normal work-time until child turns 8-years-old, kids start eating fish from a very early age (6 months onwards)."—Judit T. Kalo, Sweden
"In India, babies and toddlers co-sleep with parents, unlike many other countries, where kids are given separate rooms to sleep from the very beginning. Indians believe co-sleeping induces attachment, greater affection and patience and is needed for the initial bonding between parents n the new born."—Lili Rizvi, India
"In Finland, our parental leave is nine months, after that you can get child home care allowance if a child under 3-years-old is looked after at home. I'm a stay-at-home mom with two kids and I'm so thankful for being able to spend their first years with them, seeing every little thing they learn."—Sinna Katila, Finland
"In Pakistan the new mom goes to her parents home with the new baby spending the first 40 days. As she's new to motherhood, her mother and family members help the new mom with the baby. Also a lot of protein intake is encouraged and food rich in protein is cooked for the mother's fast healing."—Sarah Zohair Shahid, Pakistan
"In Canada, maternity leave is 12 months, which can be split between both parents if wanted. I feel like that time made such a difference for me to establish great sleeping patterns with my child and really bond well. A tax benefit is also paid monthly which some put in savings for a future college fund for the child, it varies and is calculated based on income."—Melissa Leu Hughes, Canada
"Many people in Denmark don't mind leaving the stroller with their sleeping child in it outside a shop or cafe/restaurant or when napping at home in the yard or court yard of their apartment building as long as they can see it and have a monitor in it."—Sarah Broe, Denmark
"Russian babies nap outside, even in winter (properly bundled of course). Extra dose of fresh frosty air. Water (as a drink) is introduced at the age of 3-months-old as opposed to 6-months-old in the USA."—Sasha Durkee, Russia
"In the Netherlands, lots of moms and dads transport their children in special cargo bikes ('bakfietsen'). Nowadays they're even equipped with car seat adaptors so even very young babies can enjoy the bike rides. We have special bike lanes throughout the entire country, and cycling is a very common means of transport here. 🙂I'm sure that to foreigners we look like a bunch of lunatics, but it's a cultural thing."—Anne Jongedijk, Netherlands
"In Uzbekistan, newborn babies aren't allowed to be taken outdoors for 40 days after they are born. People try not to visit them in these 40 days and even if they do, they should come to visit during the day before it is dark outside."—Shohista Yodgorova, Uzbekistan
"In Vietnam, new babies are advised not to be taken outside until 3-months-old. New moms are advised to avoid sunlight and wind, even taking showers. When the baby is one month old, there will be an important anniversary where the parents make prayer to their ancestors, the 13 fairies taking care of the baby with the hope that the baby will be blessed and healthy."—Xuan Ngueyn, Vietnam
"In Mexico, newly born girls' ears are pierced by the doctor receiving the baby the moment they are born. Only at the parents request, of course."—Elda Erika, Mexico
"I'm from Argentina and the differences between sleep routines comparing to the USA are amazing! In Argentina, kids are around you until about 10 p.m. and nap time is voluntary. It was the biggest difference I noticed between both countries once I had kids."—Amalita GB, Argentina
"In Kerala, India we give our kids a speckle of a freshly ground paste of copper, gold, shell, sandalwood, nutmeg and few other herbs for the first three years. It is supposed to build immunity, concentration and digestive ability."—Aparna Vinod, India
"In Uganda, grandparents will help you bathe the baby for the first few months as they welcome you into motherhood."—Anne Gift, Uganda
"In Malaysia, most Chinese mamas will have a confinement lady to help out in the postnatal period immediately after birth (usually for a month or two). There are some old-fashioned rules, like no washing hair for a month and no cold food and drinks are allowed for the mommies."—Christina Chin, Malaysia
"In the UK, brining my child into the world cost me not one penny, thanks to the NHS. I was lucky enough to have no complications and had a room to myself and my husband and two staff on hand when I needed them (early labour they were with someone else who needed them more!). I am incredibly lucky and grateful for the experience I had."—Michelle Zin, United Kindgom
"In Japan, a baby name is to be decided within two weeks from birth, and once it is decided we place a piece of paper with the babies name written usually under a little shinto shrine at home."—Maiko Takahata Suzuki, Japan