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Dutch customs

It is usual to send printed birth announcements to all your friends and acquaintances. Visit the printer (drukker) a few weeks before the baby is expected. Choose your design and arrange as much as possible. Most printers will tackle foreign languages, but beware of misunderstandings (ie. English pounds/weight).

Fathers, brothers, sisters and any other members of the family who happen to be around will be congratulated formally by Dutch friends and some friends may wish to arrange a formal visit with mother and baby. With due regard to convenient timing, this is known as kraambezoek. The Dutch love to come and visit, the birth of a child is a real cause for celebration! Visitors are served 'beschuit met muisjes', which  are Dutch crispbakes topped with aniseed flavoured sugar balls, which are available at any supermarket in blue or pink. Or 'Lange Vingers' dipped in chocolate and coated with these aniseed flavoured balls:

 

The new father is not normally expected at work the day after the birth, in fact in most cases are given two days off. When he does return to work, he can join in the spirit of the occasion by providing bescuit met muisjes for all his colleagues! Older children in Dutch schools also provide sweets or something to celebrate the birth of their sibling - this practice is called trakteren.