Baby advice in New Zealand

IMG_1198When we had the stopover in Fiji on our way to New Zealand, a grandfatherly security guard started going crazy over Ryder, speaking in high pitched tones. A security lady took Ryder out of my arms without asking my permission and talked to him as I prepared to go through the metal detector. It made me think Fiji would be a really fun place to take a baby.

New Zealand  is like most western countries. Most people aren’t going crazy over Ryder, although lots of people say he’s “gorgeous.” I don’t blame people for not going crazy. I’m still not a huge baby person—I’m really only over the top about my own baby—but I love it when other people are with him, anyway.

Jacob’s noticed a trend: one in which the countries that have lots of liberal, outdoorsy, conservationist and politically correct people (that’s New Zealand) also are very judgmental and outspoken about babies. We’ve gotten dirty looks, been told “that’s stupid!” and told often what we should be doing, baby this baby that, blah blah blah. In Mexico they had one thing they were anal about, and that’s turning your baby into a papoose so they’re not cold. After that, they’re ready to love on your baby.

In New Zealand I suppose they pride themselves on knowing the latest on baby care. I don’t know why so many people feel like experts actually. I just know that Jacob and I are very mindful about our choices, and while we appreciate suggestions and advice, we also don’t like being scolded by strangers.

But then I have to say this can be a benefit of traveling, ultimately. Jacob and I get to choose exactly how we want to raise Ryder. The pressures from family, friends, and home culture are very low because we can just do our own thing. We can pick and choose what we like and don’t like from the people we see; then we never hear from them again and that suits us just fine. 

The mommy wars are certainly unfortunate. Motherhood could be a universally loving sisterhood, a supportive community. Maybe one day, when I’m 60 and my kids are grown, I’ll go up to young mothers and tell them what I think they should be doing. But I would rather be someone who would go up and tell them they are doing a great job. And then cuddle the baby unabashedly, like the Fijian security guard.

Have you experienced a country where it was fun to take a baby? Where was it and why?

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 372 awesome articles for us.

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