There are so many benefits of raising your child in India. You will get help from your mother, sister, in-laws and from everyone with whom you will meet during pregnancy and after the birth of the child. These days husbands have also started helping their wives after childbirth.
Along with the benefit of great help, Indians have to listen to the unwanted advice from people around them. Unofficially, everyone is a doctor in India and everyone tells you how to raise your children. The Indian culture and rituals have a big influence on the way we raise our kids and sometimes we tend to forget the logical way of parenting.
We Indians are following practices those are not healthy for our children
We call ourselves modern but we are still following some of the orthodox & traditional practices that do more harm than any good to our child’s health. It looks like that we are making a fool of ourselves.
Here are some of the old customs which we should stop following from today itself.
#1. Giving honey to child before 1 year of age
I admit it. We gave honey to our son on the day of his birth as part of our Indian tradition “janam gudti”. The tradition is that someone from the family will offer sweet to the child on his birth. It is believed that the child will become like the person who is offering him the sweet.
We listened to our family and gave honey to our child. However, children below one year are vulnerable to a disease called botulism that is caused by honey.
We were lucky that our son did not get impacted. We learned later about the harmful effects of honey on the children below one year of age. After that, we strictly avoided giving honey in any form to our child till his first birthday.
(Additional Tip: You should never heat up honey directly on the flame, it may have toxic impact on the body)
#2. Not giving breast milk for few days after birth
The first milk of mother is very healthy for the child and it helps in building immunity for the feeble newborn.
Fortunately, there was no such culture in my family but most of the families in my town have a tradition of keeping away the child from breast milk for the first few days. They have some rituals to perform with the mother before starting breastfeed to the baby.
I don’t understand why people follow illogical rituals that can negatively impact the health of their child.
#3. Cow’s milk – thinking it’s light & sacred
There was a time in India when cow’s milk was given to children along with breast milk. But today’s cows are fed with chemicals and often given medicines to boost milk production. There is no point of introducing cow’s milk to your new born child. If you really care about your child’s health then keep him away from cow’s milk, at least for 6 months till he starts with his solid intake of food.
In case, the mother cannot breastfeed for any reason, then start giving formula powder rather than cow’s milk. Ask from the community of mothers about their experience with baby milk formula powder.
Recently there was a discussion on formula powder in babygogo app. Moms were discussing which formula powder should be given to a 2-month-old baby. (Clicking on below image will take you inside the android app where the discussion happened)
#4. Starting solids too early
and feeling proud that my baby is so strong that he started eating solids.
Ideally you should wait till your child starts sitting without any support. Most of the babies are ready to grab their first solid food by the sixth month, however, age is not the right criteria. Look at the physical development of your child and then take a decision regarding introducing solid food.
In case of any doubt, ask a question in babygogo app. Doctors & mothers will come to help you within few minutes.
It is easy. Just take 30 seconds to download the app and 10 seconds to ask the question.
#5. Giving too much sweet, salt & spices
We think that our baby is more Indian than us and he is born to eat spices & sweets.
Please understand that children don’t need any external sugar or salt in their food until their age is one year. We, as a parent make our children addicted to sugar and spices at very early age which is not good for their health & eating habits.
By default, children love bland food. If you are not convinced, then ask from other mothers.
#6. Over applying baby powder
I have seen many mothers in India who keep applying powder to their babies after every hour, especially in summers.
Yes, powder is soft and helps baby from rashes & sweat. But too much of powder can harm your baby’s skin.
No matter which brand you are using, all powders contain small amount of chemicals which are not good for children. There are rumors that some of the talcum powders are linked with cancer causing chemicals.
Let baby’s body breathe a little bit. In fact, small amount of sweat is good for babies.
#7. Giving a hard massage to baby ( and too often)
Dadi’s and Nani’s favorite time pass is giving a massage to baby. I am shocked to see the intensity of massage that these old ladies give to infants. Of course they want to see their grandchidren healthy and strong but a hard massage is not recommended for children.
You must do a soft massage with baby oil or natural oils like mustard & coconut. A massage on every alternate day is fine for your baby. You can do more frequently but with soft hands.
Few days back mothers were discussing which is best cream/oil for baby massage.
#8. Try to remove body hair using besan and atta (gram and wheat flours)
Most of the babies have hair all over their body at the time of birth. The hair will go away automatically with age but we Indians don’t want to see unwanted hair on forehead, ears and back of our new born child.
We love to scrub our children with balls of flours to remove the hair and make the skin glow.
Relax!! The extra hair are not doing any harm to your child. They have very sensitive skin and you may harm your child by doing so if they get any infection or allergy with your atta therapy.
Between You & Me
Parenting is a continuous learning process. I also learned with time. My friends and internet helped me a lot in my learning process. If you learned something important for child care today then help 10 other parents by sharing this article in your whatsapp groups, facebook wall or by email.
If you are a parent of a child below 3 years of age, then download babygogo app on your android phone.
Ask a question from the large community (10,000+) of parents & doctors.
You can thank me later 🙂