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A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies


A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies

summer in Manhattan, a Danish couple left their child outside in a
stroller while they went into a restaurant and had lunch. In
Denmark you can do things like this. In fact, it's de rigueur. But
not in America --- the family ended up paying a high sum to the
NYPD in order to get out of further trauma with the law. Everywhere
around the world, the idea of bringing up baby changes, depending
on each culture's needs, beliefs, and traditions. A WORLD OF BABIES
by Judy DeLoache and Alma Gottlieb introduces us, through
fictionalized accounts, to seven different societies and their
personal ABC's for childcare.
Turkey, Muslims believe that only women should attend a birth,
never men, and the first person to find out that you are in labor
should be your mother-in-law. An Ifaluk child from tribes in
Micronesia are born to be shared --- each community engages in the
care of the newborn. Balinese women wear special charms while
pregnant in order to keep away unholy gods and evil spirits,
although they strive to continue in their regular daily lives as
much as possible. Babies in the Outback are painted with various
colored oils to promote good, healthy growth. There are millions of
fascinating facts in this book. However, each society has one thing
in common: babies are precious, and the process of conception,
creation, and birth is a sacred and wondrous one.
is a charming book, written with great care to explain each
culture's different takes on birthing and raising children without
sounding condescending or judgmental toward things that we
Westerners might find strange. It's good to know that, regardless
of the spheres in which we place various cultures in the world,
whether Third World or our world, creating children out of love and
introducing them into a safe society is considered a normal and
purposeful endeavor in every country.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on January 24, 2011

A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies
by Judy DeLoache and Alma Gottlieb

  • Publication Date: May 18, 2000
  • Genres: Fiction, Parenting
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN-10: 0521664756
  • ISBN-13: 9780521664752