Child Raising in India
The stage of pregnancy might have left you exhausted, but the bliss of your child holding your fingers for the first time will leave you replenished. Parents always dream of giving a cherished childhood to their little ones, a childhood that is filled with sweet and colorful memories. The experience of raising a child is mixed one. It is filled with sweet memories of your child calling you ‘mommy’ for the first time or walking the first steps and the “not so sweet” memories of waking up at 3AM in the morning to change diapers.
Families in India are usually extended, with grandparent, uncles and cousins all staying under the same roof. As such, even a baby’s slight hiccup may alarm everyone. People in India are very affectionate towards babies. Most of the places you go, like shopping malls or the park, they will usually inquire the name of your baby, give compliments and take pictures. After the first few times you will get used to it.
As your child grows up in India, you may want to keep a domestic helper (often called “Ayah”) to help you with the household chores. It is a norm here to have the helping hands of Ayahs and most of the houses and apartments have extra rooms to accommodate them. Most of the children are accompanied by the ayahs when they are outside playing as the playgrounds and the streets are not “Children-Friendly”.
Perhaps, the biggest difference between raising your child in India and in the west would be here in India mothers continue to breastfeed their children continuously up to 2 years. However, you can also find breast pumps in the chain pharmacies. You have to look around a bit to find quality ones.
The temperature in the summer is hot, humid and it gets uncomfortable for children. As such, it is best to make your child wear comfortable cotton tops and pants which are available in most Indian markets. They come in various designs, prints and cute colors.
Other Indian mothers are cooperative and are always happy to lend you a helpful hand. They can be good guides for all your childcare needs. But it is wise to keep emergency numbers of pediatricians handy and have a good orientation of good local clinics.