It is written in the “ The Islamic Structure of family” by Professor Hossein Ansarian that The Noble Kulayny, author of the book Usul al-Kafi has narrated the following tradition:
Feed your baby first with the water from the Euphrates River and then the dirt from Imam Husayn's grave: if not possible use rain water. [Vasa'il, v.21, p.407]
Adhan and Iqamah (The general call to prayer and the specific one):
It is said the first part of the body of the baby which works is the ear. The Quran has placed especial emphasis on the ear. From the very first moments of birth the ear hears and the brain receives and records what the ears hear. Sounds affect the child's mind. The house should be void of forbidden and polluted sounds or else the child will become mentally and psychologically polluted. Saying the Adhan and Iqamah in the child's right and left ears at the first moments after birth was a tradition of the Prophet (Pbuh) and the Immaculate Imams. The child should hear the call to God's unity, Prophethood, leadership, and prayer so that he/she starts life with these concepts and ends it with the same concepts. He/she will be born a Muslim and will die as a Muslim. Do not say that he/she is only one-day old, does not understand, does not see, cannot receive any information. The baby has all these fresh and powerful powers. I heard from Professor Tabatabaee (may God bless him):
A twenty-three year old American girl got a brain disease. They operated on her brain, and then after waking up she sang a religious song in French. The parents were really surprised. The doctor asked why they were surprised. They said our daughter does not know any French, does not have any French books, and nor does she have any French friends. Then the girl's mother solved the problem by saying that when the girl was only there months old, some French refugees of World War 2 came to the US. There was a Christian nurse who had rented a house next to their house: She used to come to our house, hug the baby and sing her a lullaby to pacify her. It was obvious that her lullaby was religious. Those words were recorded in her brain then, and were retrieved 23 years later when she became conscious after surgery. Therefore, saying the call to prayer in the early moments of life, and saying things to the ears of the dead person just after death are not useless. The ear is the first part that works and is the last one that stops to function.
The author of the book, Makarim-al-Akhlagh has narrated the Immaculate Imams saying there are these traditional acts for the time of childbirth. The first of these is naming the child, then shaving the head, giving charity equal in weight to the cut hair, sacrificing an animal, rubbing saffron on the head of the baby, circumcising the boys, and feeding sacrificial meat to the neighbors. [Vasa'il, v.21, pp.411-413]
Imam Sadiq has highly recommended to sacrifice an animal, so much so that he has nearly considered it obligatory [Ibid].
Imam Musa, the son of Jafar was asked about circumcision, he replied:
Circumcising boys on the seventh day after birth is a tradition [Vasa'il, v.21, p.439]
Breast feeding for two years is prescribed in the Holy Quran:
The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years. [Holy Quran: Baqara: 2:233]
In travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command) [Holy Quran: Luqman: 31:14]
In fact, God has provided for the sustenance of the baby’s milk in the mother's breast. A mother does not have the right to deprive the baby of his/her God-given milk and give powdered or animal milk for some personal, imaginary or physical reasons. The best way to start the breasts to produce milk is through sucking them. No drug can do a better job. Once the baby starts to suck the mother’s breast, her milk secretions become regular, and she starts to feel healthier too. Breast milk contains 1.6 percent of albuminoidals, 0.4 percent fat, 3.8 percent sugar and some salt and vitamins. This combination is only found in the mother's milk, and nowhere else. By God's will, only the mother's breast has the potential to produce such food for a newborn guest. The formula for animal milk is slightly different. Animals like cows which grow faster have more albuminoidals. While the breast feeding progresses, the combination above changes slowly. The sugar and fat reduce, while the albuminoidals increase. The sucking action of the baby not only helps him/her feed and get full, it also causes an increase in the secretions of the glands in the breasts. In the first fifteen days after birth, the child must be breastfed seven times per day. This starts from nearly 6 AM and continues to 12 PM once every three hours. Then we must reduce this frequency of breastfeeding six times per day, and let the child go to sleep at 9 PM. This way the mother can get a chance to rest, as does the baby's digestive system, which should be prepared for the next day. The mother should try to let the baby get full at each breast-feeding session. This requires some patience. The baby must be then put to sleep on his/her right side. Then the mother can go and get busy doing her own household chores. A child that sleeps well after each breast feeding session is perfectly healthy, and one must be glad to have such a baby. [Mother's Guide, p.30]
Even though the Prophet (Pbuh) was very busy, he paid special attention to the feeding of the children. He would come to Fatimah Zahra's house, put his finger on Husayn's mouth and by observing his sucking tested his appetite. If he was really hungry, he would be breastfed. If not, he would not be fed just for crying, since feeding the baby too often would cause illness and slow down the children digestive system. This would make him/her grow up to be weak. The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
There is no milk for babies better than mother's milk. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, p.323]
This was said centuries ago by the Noble Prophet of Islam. It is a fact that has been recently discovered by great scientists. In the West where families leave their children to be raised in day care centers and be fed powdered milk, the researches have stated that there is no better food or milk for the baby than the mother's milk. In rare instances where the mother lacks sufficient milk, it has been stressed in traditions to be very careful when choosing someone to breastfeed the baby instead. This is so because the milk is very effective on both the spirit and the body of the child. Based on traditions, one should avoid choosing a dumb, psychotic, evil-doing, weak-eyed person, Jew, Christian, Magi, or an alcoholic person to breastfeed your baby. This is because their condition will be transferred to the baby through the milk. [Bihar al-Anwar, v.103, Chapter on Breast-feeding; Vasa'il, v.15, Chapter on Breast -feeding].
The main point about breast feeding is the reward which is surprising. Um Salmeh asked the Prophet:
Men get all the good rewards but what about poor women?
The reward of pregnancy is the same as fasting and night worship, and fighting in the way of God with one's wealth and life. Delivery has such an extensive divine reward which no one can realize. And for breast-feeding, each suck of the baby has the reward of freeing one of the slaves from the generation of Ismael. When the mother stops, a noble angle shall hit her on the side and tell her, start over since you are forgiven [Vasa'il, Al-i-Bayt, v.21, p.451]
It is important for mothers to note the following point that Imam Sadiq told a woman named Um Ishaq:
Breastfeed your baby with both breasts, since one is like a source of food while the other is like a source of drinking.
Some people consider naming an unimportant issue, and put any name on their child. However, naming is very important, and it affects the child's mentality and future. For this reason, there is one detailed chapter dedicated to naming in the books on traditions. The seventh Imam said:
The first kind act of a man towards his child is choosing a good name. Each of you must choose a good name for your child.
The Prophet (Pbuh) said:
Choose good names for yourselves, since you will be called by the same names in the Hereafter. [Ibid]
A narrator said that he went to see Imam Sadiq when he was sitting by Imam Musa's cradle. I sat and waited for him to stop caring for the child. He called me and I greeted him. He answered and then yelled at me, saying that I should immediately go and change the name I had chosen for my baby the previous day. I had named my newborn daughter Homeyra, but God dislikes this name, so I went and changed it. [Vasa'il, v.21, p.389]
Imam Sadiq has narrated his ancestors as saying:
In fact, the Prophet (Pbuh) used to change the bad names of towns and people. [Vasa'il, v.21, pp.390-391]
Imam Baqir said:
The most loudable name is the one which conveys the meaning of being a servant of God. And the best names for your children are the names of the Prophets. [Ibid]
Imam Musa, the son of Jafar, said:
Poverty shall not enter a home in which a girl is named Fatimah, or a boy is named Muhammad, Ahmad, Ali, Hassan, Husayn, Jafar, Talib or Abdullah. [Vasa'il, v.21, p.396]
To please the Prophet (Pbuh) and the Imams, you should change the names of your children if they are different from the names of the Prophet, the Imams or their mothers; lest your children file a complaint against you in the Hereafter for the bad names, symbolizing the wicked heroes of sin and corruption, which you named them with.
source : the islamic structure of family