Deciding To Not Listen To The Village
It takes a village to raise a child. It is a belief still followed a little too strongly in India. Even before the little one is born, a mother’s mother, mother-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, aunts will have numerous suggestions about various home remedies to take care the baby.
My situation was no different, from the moment we shared the happy news with the family, I was instructed on what to eat, what to avoid, how to sit, how to sleep etc. Overwhelmed,I firmly decided that when my baby comes, the only person I am going to listen to is the pediatricians. After all, things have changed since my “mothers” had their children and I don’t want to follow any DIY remedies!
So there I was all set to welcome my little bundle of joy, armed with knowledge I gathered from the internet. I was all geared up and thought I could handle anything. The D-day finally arrived and soon I was holding my little angel.
There were a few hiccups in the beginning w.r.t. feeding and I realized that I had to supplement with infant formula from the start. I was a little disappointed but tried not to dwell on that.
My Pride Takes a Fall into Home Remedies
I am sure all moms here know that baby’s poop and gastric troubles one of our strange obsessions. My daughter faced multiple issues on that front. She would get terrible gas, so much so that she would huddle up and claw at her face in pain.
It hurt my heart to see her that way and I felt helpless. My Mother in law told me to give her a tea brewed with Dill seeds, Fennel seeds & Jaggery (for taste). I scoffed at the idea stating that the doctor has strictly told me not to give the baby anything apart from milk till she is at least 4 months old. She kept on insisting and I kept on ignoring her.
Then, at one of the visits to our doctor, we were given colic aid drops. I was happy to have some “official medication” to aid us. When I read the ingredients of the medication, lo and behold! What was it composed of?
Fennel seed oil and Dill seed oil!
So I decided to swallow my pride and make the tea. If we are giving the same stuff might as well go all natural right? Because of the Jaggery, my daughter lapped it up in no time and it worked like a charm! I could see a visible difference in my daughter in 2 days. I didn’t have to hold her up for too long to get her to burp and she no longer used her face as a scratching post.
The Second Lesson
My second challenge came with her bowel movement. Since she was on formula since day 1, it took her body some time to get used to the heavy food. This resulted in constipation. She would go for days without passing stools and when she would, it was a chore for her.
And what do you know, my grandmother had a remedy ready for this too !
She told me about an Ayurvedic wonder called “Bal Ghutti”. Ghutti is a paste made by rubbing some herbs such as Dry Dates, Almonds, Liqourice, Dry Ginger, Winter Cherry etc. on a stone slab. This paste can be made with either water or milk and is given to the baby to swallow. The quantity is very small to start with and is increased every month.
This wondrous thing can be given to babies for various basic ailments like constipation, indigestion, cough, fever, allergies. The ingredients differ for each problem of course. My grandmother brought a packet of all these herbs for me, along with handbook to understand how to administer the Ghutti for each issue. And of course as you can guess, my baby has had a very happy stomach since then knock on wood.
The incidences above not only humbled me, they also taught me the value of experience. Yes, it’s been a long time since my “mothers” have looked after kids, but they have grown up in joint families and have had a huge repertoire of wisdom passed onto them from their own elders. Besides their own experiences. They may not always know the logic or the science behind how something works, but they do know what is to be done!
That being said, it doesn’t mean that I will stop following the modern medicine, but now I don’t dismiss DIY suggestions either. Yes, they are going to overwhelm me with suggestions which still gets annoying. But I am also aware that they have nothing but love and concern for my baby in their hearts.
So yes, I will still ask my Doc’s opinion. I will still scour the Internet. But I will also ensure that when it comes to making a decision, the voice of my village is also heard! What are some home remedies that worked for you?