Ayurvedic rituals for your baby this winter
Motherhood changes your life forever. And along with the joy and celebrations, there are also apprehensions regarding the welfare of your baby. While there is always family and elders for guidance and support, the answers to these apprehensions can also be found in Ayurveda. The following is a list of Ayurvedic rituals that are beneficial for the mother and baby in more ways than one.
Being gentle is the key
While babies might not be able to express their emotions, they do experience fear and anxiety. Thus, it is very important to speak gently and softly with your baby to reassure it of the world around you. Jerking the baby from sleep and being loud near it can be startling and sows the seeds of apprehension and fear in your little one. Seemingly playful activities like tossing a baby in the air can also create fear in a baby’s mind so it is best avoided. The soothing effects of music are widely known, and this is especially good for your baby as well. Playing gentle music and traditional lullabies have a calming effect on the baby. Your reassuring words in a soothing and gentle tone develops confidence and happiness in your baby.
Keeping baby indoors and limiting access
As per Ayurveda, the baby should be kept in the room till they are of four months and apart from the mother, only a few people should be allowed to enter this room. Since the baby’s immunity is not developed, strangers or even family members can put the baby at risk. As per tradition, the baby is usually brought out for the first time on the first day of the fourth month. The baby is blessed by the elders of the family and then taken to the other parts of the house or back to its own room, as per the prevailing customs.
Udhwartana or upward oil massage
After the umbilical cord dries off naturally, it is time to start massaging your baby. It's best to massage your baby in a warm, quiet place, indoors or outdoors as per your preference. Sit comfortably and place the baby on his or her back on a blanket or towel in front of you. This helps you maintain eye contact with your baby so that the baby can feel reassured during the ritual. It is recommended to use an Ayurvedic oil to massage the baby. The baby needs to be massaged in an upward or reverse direction. This technique is known as Udhwartana in Panchakarma therapy.
Exposure to the sun and moon
Sunlight and moonlight have several health benefits which are highly beneficial for your baby during the initial months. This can be done for a few minutes during the day even when the baby is kept indoors for the first four months. Ideally this should be done in a room where no one disturbs the mommy and the baby. Moonlight also has its own benefits. It helps to develop the nervous system of the baby as well as balance the gynaecological cycle of the mommy.
Ayurveda is a vast treasure of knowledge and is beneficial for people of all ages especially mothers and babies. However, it is always advisable to consult a medical or an Ayurvedic practitioner in case there is a health concern regarding you and your baby.