The 40 Days
So, since we just had a baby we are learning all about culturally what (some) people locally do both as the Baby and the Mom for the first 40 days after the Baby is born. There’s even more traditions that I’ve read about but not completely sure if it is still practiced heavily in Kazakhstan or not. Now, I share all this as a learning experience for you all (mostly) in the Western part of the world since it is so different than what we are used to. Let me emphasize that- these things are not wrong, they are from my perspective, and that is exactly what it is- different! So basically it has to do with staying at home with the Baby and not taking pictures or putting your Baby “out there” on social media or in texts even. (It’s considered bad luck) And if they stay at home, less prone to get sick from others. Also, despite the heat, many people bundle their babies to the Nine! No cold air so they won’t get sick. For the Mom, your family comes and helps do all the housework and cooks you a special diet (lots of meat, broths, soup, only cooked veggies and no sweets, raw veggies or fruit and I don’t think much carbs either or drinks other than water and tea) If you come near or around to congratulate the new Baby, you actually don’t really hold the Baby or touch them. It’s more about the parents and wishing them congrats. Also, when you see the baby for the first time, you give the parents cash! For the babies they do salt baths to “toughen” their skin. Most of the time, you don’t trim their nails, toe nails or cut their hair until the 40 days is up. At that time, you have a “40 day party” that you put on as the parents and invite people and feed them a feast (of course LOTS of food, always lots of food in Kazakhstan!) and they bring gifts and cash (kind of like our Baby Showers but for after the Baby comes). This is the time you cut their hair and nails/toe nails as well. Now for us, some of the common things our local friends ask about is “Is your Baby cold?” (We don’t wrap her up all the time), “What diet are you (Charity) eating?” and “Wow, you are bringing her out before 40 days?” (We brought her out at just under 2 weeks for the first time) But then again, as Americans we do things differently so everyone here is learning how we do it too! The fun part is that we all get to enjoy each other’s culture, traditions and personal preferences while sharing in the joy of our new baby!