Bringing Up Babies, Toddlers and Children in Mexico

Everything for parents with young children living in Mexico: information on health matters, child benefits and childcare...

Mexico is a child-friendly country and children are welcome in most places. Mexican people will often pay a lot of attention to babies and children and it is not uncommon for strangers to touch and pat a baby.

Activities aimed specifically at children can be found in most big cities, and there are many child-friendly activities and entertainment options available for families.

Health

For information on having a baby, see the Angloinfo page on Pregnancy and Birth.

Mexico has both public and private hospitals. While public hospitals are much more affordable, better care is often found at private facilities.

Costs at public hospitals are covered by the Mexican Institute of Social Security (Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social - IMSS). All residents are eligible for coverage and both employers and employees have to pay into the fund. There are numerous private hospitals with a very high standard of care for which private health insurance is needed. It is common to have both social security (IMSS) and private health insurance coverage, which covers international hospitals with English-speaking staff.

There is a large choice of public and private institutions available in Mexico. The majority of both the public and private hospitals have specialized pediatric units.

Parents may wish to choose a pediatrician (a doctor who specializes in child development), for their child's care. A doctor can be selected based on recommendations, location, or inclusion in the family's health plan.

Babies and children in Mexico receive a Cartilla Nacional de Salud. This free health book is issued at birth to record all medical details, growth and weight charts, vaccinations and anything relating to health up to the age of ten. It can be used in both private and public health centers and every doctor’s visit should be recorded in this book.

Vaccinations

Newborn babies in Mexico are vaccinated against hepatitis B and tuberculosis. Thereafter, it is recommended that children in their first year have monthly check-ups.

The Mexican government provides a vaccination calendar in the health book detailing the recommended age and dosage information for all vaccinations.