Sneak Peek: How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm by Mei-Ling Hopgood

We’re thrilled to give you an early look at Mei-Ling Hopgood’s upcoming book, How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm and Other Adventures in Parenting Around the World, publishing next week. This grand tour of global parenting techniques proves once and for all that there’s more than one way to diaper a baby.

See below for the cute book trailer and to read an excerpt. Also: We’ve got 3 copies up for grabs! Want to win one? View the (brief) trailer and let us know which example you like best–you can leave your comment here or on our Facebook page.

Mei-Ling Hopgood, a first-time mom from suburban Michigan—now living in Buenos Aires—was shocked that Argentine parents allow their children to stay up until all hours of the night. Could there really be social and developmental advantages to this custom? Driven by a journalist’s curiosity and a new mother’s desperation for answers, Hopgood embarked on a journey to learn how other cultures approach the challenges all parents face: bedtimes, potty training, feeding, teaching, and more.

Observing parents around the globe and interviewing anthropologists, educators, and child-care experts, she discovered a world of new ideas. The Chinese excel at potty training, teaching their wee ones as young as six months old. Kenyans wear their babies in colorful cloth slings—not only is it part of their cultural heritage, but strollers seem outright silly on Nairobi’s chaotic sidewalks. And the French are experts at turning their babies into healthy, adventurous eaters. Hopgood tested her discoveries on her spirited toddler, Sofia, with some enlightening results.

This intimate and surprising look at the ways other cultures raise children offers parents the option of experimenting with tried and true methods from around the world and shows that there are myriad ways to be a good parent.

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29 Comments On This Post:

January 4, 2012
11:39 am
debbie says...

Love this – My daughter is expecting and this would be perfect!

January 4, 2012
11:39 am
Carl says...

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
I’m a big fan of letting kids work out their playground disputes on their own like in Japan. It’s good practice for something you’ll be doing your whole life.

January 4, 2012
11:41 am
Jennifer Gravley says...

I liked the example of the Japanese approach to playground squabbles.

January 4, 2012
11:50 am
Jo says...

I am all for letting kids settle their own disputes. Unless there is violence, it teaches them conflict resolution and forces them to use their words

January 4, 2012
11:52 am
jasbro says...

I love the “French” approach to feeding! Not only can it help develop good nutritional habits, but there’s no better training for kids to be receptive to new experiences.

January 4, 2012
11:52 am
Annie says...

I just grinned to see the little bare bottomed babies in potty training phase in China.

January 4, 2012
12:01 pm
JJT says...

Thank you for this giveaway. Sounds like a very educational and fun book.

January 4, 2012
12:26 pm
Leah Rhyne says...

Ohmigosh, I have a three year old who’s PICKY about her food, so my favorite story here is about the French and their mini-foodies. I’d love to read it. :)

January 4, 2012
12:43 pm
Pierre says...

Transporting the baby in a sling (Kenya) keeps the baby close to the body and creates a strong feeling of security.

January 4, 2012
12:53 pm
Jennifer Orozco says...

I love the idea of having kids do chores at an early age. Kinda wish I’d had my older ones do this…at 12 and 11, I can hardly get them to pick up their socks without a moan and groan.

January 4, 2012
12:57 pm
Janet Jensen says...

Sounds like a book any parent (or grandparent) would enjoy!

January 4, 2012
1:25 pm
Joyce Pardon says...

I love the Kenya example of carrying your baby everywhere. I’ve been collecting child rearing practices like this myself forever and hope this book fulfills its promise. The trailer is great. Can’t wait to add this to my child development/parenting collection of books.

January 4, 2012
2:47 pm
mary n connolly says...

i would be very interested in winning a copy of this. It looks to be a good read and i love the book trailer.

January 4, 2012
4:14 pm
Anna Mills says...

There can be no picking from me; they are all fascinating. I have to read this. Thanks for the introduction.

January 5, 2012
2:03 am
Ashley says...

I like the example of China the best but then again I lived there and have seen the positives and negatives to this approach (people having their babies go on most any tree and many a sidewalk). I’m interested in reading about the other examples though. Especially what the French do with food introduction. Hope I win!

January 5, 2012
10:24 am
Susan F says...

I most like the example of using carriers to get around with babies. I am looking forward to reading this!

January 5, 2012
1:04 pm
roc_phd says...

This sounds really fun. I love a good baby sling/wrap/pack, but I think the French approach to food might be the first chapter I’d read. Thanks for calling this to my attention!

January 5, 2012
8:49 pm
Tiana Trammell says...

I love the Kenyan example of the children carried in the colorful sling. I found it very reminiscent of the Kangaroo Care done in the NICU when I have birth to my twins prematurely. It’s quite endearing.

January 6, 2012
7:51 am
Linda McFarland says...

Wow look forword to reading the book……sounds really interesting to say the least………………..babyruthmac16@yahoo.com

January 7, 2012
3:47 am
Grace says...

My favorite is the fact that the French excel at turning their children into gourmands at an early age.

January 10, 2012
9:09 am
Rebecca says...

It’s an interesting approach but the name of this book is highly offensive to me. How about not using a derogatory term for the native peoples and calling them Inuits.

January 10, 2012
11:30 am
Amanda says...

Since my little guy is eating solids right now, I’m curious to know how other cultures introduce solid food.

January 12, 2012
6:23 pm
Tayvia says...

I love that children are taught at a young age to enjoy food in france. I think that is wonderful!

January 15, 2012
2:45 pm
Anne says...

I enjoyed this preview and thought that the trailer was well done and the China one was cute.

February 2, 2012
9:16 am
Jo says...

Ilove the split crotch pants in China – what a great way to deal with toilet training.
Have to agree about book title – Eskimo is a politically incorrect and offensive term for the Inuit. How was this title approved by the publisher?

February 2, 2012
9:38 am
Aviva says...

I have to agree. I think it looks like a very interesting book but the title is very offensive and will put me off buying it or recommending it. Very poor choice.

February 2, 2012
11:45 am
Kim Weber says...

As a postpartum doula who works with families from many cultures, I am always interested in how different cultures parent their children. There is no right and wrong, there is only what works for your family. This looks like an interesting read.

February 2, 2012
12:21 pm
Christy says...

I love the example of mothers in Kenya! It makes perfect sense to swaddle babies close instead of parading through the streets baby first in such a busy environment! Looks like a very interesting book!

February 2, 2012
5:04 pm
Sara says...

Yes, there are great parents everywhere!! I love all of the examples and the reminder that different approaches are can accomplish that same thing – a healthy child who is loved very much. Can’t wait to read the book.

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