There are 3 things that are complete essentials for a new-born. This is what I have learnt from every elder. From a while I have been thinking of noting down all that I learnt during the initial stages of parenthood. I am now taking baby steps towards this.
The 3 Essentials for New-Borns
A good quality and quantity of feed, sleep and bath are a must for healthy growth of all new-borns. Each of them feeds the other. If any of these gets affected, the link is broken and the little bundle of joy gets agitated. As a parent or a well wisher you need to identify which of these can be rectified quickly and focus on that.
Let me talk about what I have learnt about in each of these cases.
The new-born babies like to feed and the growth of the baby depends of the quality of feed. Mother’s milk is the best for babies. Period. No more discussion on this.
So why is mother’s milk the best for babies? The bond between a mother and child is mystical. When the child needs milk the mother’s breasts are full and she feels the urge to feed the child. This is almost so simultaneous that at the same time, the child starts to cry for the feed!! I have heard that whatever a child needs is fully available in the mother’s milk. For this reason, high importance is given to the diet and also the emotional well-being of a new mother and no compromise is allowed.
Diet for the mother
The diet for the new mother needs to be healthy with a lot of good fat content in it. What is included is both heat producing foods and foods that activate and aid lactation. Everything is done to keep vatam away from the new mother.
So what are the foods that are given to the new mother and what are the foods that are avoided?
Food that are encouraged – Ghee, Snake gourd (All gourds in warmer regions), garlic, curry leaves, drumstick leaves, all green leaves except Amaranthus(Which is said to cool the body) Heat producing vegetables. Spices and foods that aid in digestion are encouraged.
All other foods are discouraged for a new-born’s mother. It might seem that the diet of a new mother is highly restricted, but this has it’s huge advantages in the well being of both the mother and the child. The mother consuming large quantities of vegetables and heat producing fruits, helps in the production of thick milk for the child.
Consuming pulses/heavy protein is a strict no as this would cause gas in the babies and vaatam in the mother. No mother would like to deal with a colicky baby, Just by making some changes in the mother’s diet there can be a huge improvement in the colic condition of the baby.
The quality of the food that the mother eats and her happy mind is very very critical for the child. If the mother eats well and takes good rest, the child also feeds on time and sleeps well. Who does not want to see a happy sleeping baby?
Emotional Well-being of the mother – Why?
A happy mind is very very important for the well-being of the child. I am quoting a medical incident to highlight the importance of the mother’s healthy mind when she feeds the child. My husband learns homeopathy and he was quoting a case of a patient which he heard. There was a child who had severe oozing eczema. The parents tried all types of treatment and came to this homeopath. All the medication that was given did not seem to be work. That was very very strange as there should have been improvement based on all the analysis that was done. At some point the mother happened to tell that she was consumed by jealousy when she was nursing the child. The good homeopath that he was, saw that the child could not bear to contain the feeling of jealousy as it was feeding from the mother and this resulted in it coming out as oozing eczema. One dose of medication for addressing the mother’s mental state at that point of time resulted in huge improvement in the child and was finally cured of the disease.
So to summarize, a healthy diet and healthy mind of the mother is the best of the things that a mother can give her child.
A nice long sound sleep helps the new-born baby in being happy and also in it’s growth and achieving all the milestones on time.
Ensuring everything is in place for the new-born baby to sleep well without disturbance is very critical. The traditional Indian Jola is the best for the baby to sleep in, as it gives the new-born baby the feeling of being in the womb. If the new-born baby is nicely covered and the external environment is suitable purified with sambrani etc, and the new-born baby is tired enough and just sleeps well until it is hungry enough for the next feed 🙂 It is said that the new-borns babies grow when they sleep.
Which parent would not like to see a nice sleeping baby?
This is also the time when we see family members walk of tip-toes and speaking in whispers so as to not wake the sleeping baby 🙂 Visitors are good, but it would help if you can plan their visits and the new mother and the baby are not strained.
The bath routine of the new-born baby is very critical. The new-born baby baths are very very exhaustive and critical part of the baby’s routine in India.
The new-born baby is given a nice warm oil/ghee massage. Heads and noses and ears and all facial features are shaped during this time. So mothers need to make sure that someone who is very experienced gives bath to the baby 🙂
Once this is done, the new-born baby is given a steaming hot bath for a good amount of time. There are times when the new-born baby feels so relaxed during the bath, that it tends to doze off during the bath 🙂 The process of giving bath to the new-born baby is very exhaustive and calls for a different post altogether. A decent baby bath would easily take about an hour’s time. There are also certain bathing techniques which help in relieving the baby’s colic condition.
How does bath help a new born?
The new-borns sleep continuously in a single position which would give them body aches. So a nice massage and warm water bath will give them good relief from the pain of sleeping in a single position. It is something similar to an adult experiencing an urge to doze off after a massage.
The after bath routine includes exposing the baby to sambrani fumes which will help in eliminating any chills a child may catch on to. (The same sambrani fumes are provided to the mother as well.) Once this is done the baby is given a feed and put to bed in the jola. After a traditional bath and full feed, the baby would sleep straight for 5-6 hours.
Depending on the external temperature, the new-born baby is given a bath in the evenings as well – without the heavy massage. This also soothes them for the sleep at night!!
As you can easily see, healthy feed and a nice hot bath helps in giving the necessary sleep that the baby needs,
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