5 Reasons Why Having a Foreign Baby in China is AMAZING

Seven lovely months ago, our little baby Sasha entered into the world in pretty dramatic fashion.

Since then, she has been filling our lives with nappy changes, lullabies, giggles, and more than a few sleepless nights. In other words, a normal baby.

But what makes her different is that she is a foreign baby living in China.

And this is where things get interesting.

1. Celebrity status

How would you react if one day you came home and found a wicker basket full of puppies at your doorstep?

Your reaction will give you some idea of how the Chinese act when they see my baby munchkin’ in the street: they go freakin’. ga.ga..

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Being a white foreigner, living outside the major Chinese cities, already means I have a degree of celebrity status. (White privilege is alive and well in Asia, folks. Unfair and ridiculous? Yes).

But since having a baby laowai, this ‘fame’ has cranked up about a hundred notches.

Now, whenever I leave the house the ‘Sasharatzi’ are there and I become a momma bodyguard, fielding a circus of smiles, questions, camera phones, and selfies.

But I have to admit, it’s a real boost to the ego to have full grown women (and men) literally gasp and shriek when they see my offspring.

“Tai ke ai !” (Too cute!)

“Hen piao liang!” (Very beautiful!)

Aw, shucks.

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People stop to look at people stopping to look…

Others will run up to her smiling, playfully clicking their tongues, pulling out their phones and snapping photo after photo.

While grandmas will literally pinch her cheeks.


2. Babysitters everywhere

Any parent knows that going out for a nice meal at a restaurant with an infant is a total nightmare.

My advice to them? Move to China.

Whenever I eat out, Sasha usually attracts all the restaurant staff who offer to hold her while I eat.

Free babysitters? Uh, yes.

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Bao, bao, bao! Let me hold her while you eat.

 

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Sasha lapping up the attention. Mummy lapping up her food.

 

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The owner at our favourite Japanese restaurant in Zhuhai.

At our local supermarket, everyone knows Sasha’s name or “Sha Sha” as they pronounce it. 

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They sing and clap at her as I stand in line and then help me to pack my shopping trolley (I assure you, this is amazing).

But it’s not only grandmas who love her.

We recently visited the hot springs for my birthday and parked Sasha by the side in her pram as we went for a dip (because I’m a great parent like that).

In no time at all, staff and clients alike were crowding around, taking photos through their plastic water protected phones for over 15 minutes.

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A group of young guys, staff and passers-by whip out their camera phones to snap Sasha.
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The little superstar posing in her pram.
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They see me rollin’: Sasha turning heads wherever we go.


3. Christmas everyday

What you might not know about Chinese people is that they are generous gift-givers.

I’ve received lovely gifts from Chinese friends and coworkers almost everytime we meet.

What I didn’t know is that Chinese people – complete strangers I meet in public – would be so willing to give gifts to a baby they don’t know.

Over the last few months, we’ve collected a booty of dolls, blankets, toys and even a gorgeous handmade beanie.

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Sasha was cold so they gave me a blanket. Then returned with little doll presents.

 

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A sweet grandma who hand-knitted this decided Sasha must have it.

 

 


4. Need a hand?

China is not known for shining particularly brightly in the politeness department.

I have a few infuriating instances when people have stolen taxis from me, pushed in line, ripped me off, yelled at me for being a dumb-dumb laowai.

But having a foreign baby here is a game-changer.

And thus, the red carpet is rolled out for baby and me.

People hold doors for me, help me with my shopping, even once getting a taxi FOR me.

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Our favourite dumpling lady Li Li coming over to fan Sasha.
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Coming home from Macau back to the baby-obsessed Mainland.

5. My Chinese has drastically improved

I often feel like I have the same conversation about a hundred times a day.

“Oh, what a cute baby! How old is she? Where are you from? Can I hold her? Where was she born? Why is her grandma not taking care of her?

The great thing is that I can practice listening to the same questions and prepare a response, expanding on it each time.

People love talking babies, as I do. So I’ve really learnt to speak more Chinese with minimal effort.

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I met this lovely lady at Pacific Coffee who came over to my table to talk to us.

Here are just a few of the photos she took of us…

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Etc…


Though, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows

While it pretty much rocks to have a foreign baby in China, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t some drawbacks.

Occasionally, the interest is too intense and a fun conversation with one person can quickly become a photo circus with a group of people.

I feel like there is also a big lack of social and physical boundaries. People won’t mind to tell you that you’re ‘momming’ wrong. No socks? She will get sick! They also prod and pinch Sasha’s chubby face and legs without hesitation.

I think, most importantly, I’ve got to watch out not to get an inflated ego and avoid raising a spoilt expat brat.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on Bai Jiu for breakfast and commented:
    A really great article, well worth a read. Which although my son is half half I can relate to as we get the same, that being said we don’t go out as much yet, Ethans only 9 weeks old and we are still getting used to it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Who Moved My Dumpling says:

      Thanks for the repost! And congratulations on your baby boy! For when you start to take Ethan out more, I had a pram with a cover for those days when we wanted a bit more privacy 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your welcome, I really like your blog, I’ve got to start putting more effort in with mine to make it look as good! 🙂 Thats a great idea, thanks.

        Like

  2. Mark says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. It’s nice that you’re having fun, and Sasha seems genuinely happy in the photos, but I think the drawbacks would outweigh the positives for me. The idea of random strangers podding and poking me all the time, as well as who-knows-what these people are doing with all my photos – all taken without my permission – would make me uncomfortable.

    Some of my friends have decided not to post any photos of their children online and store them privately, they will then give the individuals the option to post of not when they are old enough to decide for themselves, which strikes me as a very respectful way to go about it.

    That said, I’ve been here long enough to know that there’s nothing I can do to change the way things are here, other than covering myself up with a hat, dark glasses and a face mask, and that’s not really any way to live either…

    You have some beautiful photos and clearly some really lovely memories already and I hope that never stops for you guys. Thanks again for taking the time to write your blog and keep them coming!

    Like

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