Why I Turned To Home Remedies for My Newborn

Why I Turned To Home Remedies for My Newborn

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.

[bctt tweet=”I realized home remedies have their own place #parenting #india” username=”contactrwc”]

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.

Raising World Children Home Remedies

My Support System, My Village

Lesson Learnt

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? 

Raising World Children - Reluctantly Turning To Home Remedies For Newborn #newborns #homeremedies #oldwivestales #modermedicine

Raising World Children Shuchita

Shuchita Kumar is a new mom. She is trying to learn the ropes of motherhood with the help of knowledge passed on by the elders combined with modern thinking. Currently, residing in Bangalore, India. She spent her early childhood years in the heart of India that is Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. She then lived in Goa (heaven!) and Pune. A software engineer by profession, she loves dancing, bird watching and just spending time with her husband visiting various jungles. She also enjoys pampering her friends and families with delicious food and pastries!

India vs USA

Parenting a Newborn In USA Vs India

Parenting is all about facing  adapting to challenges. I experienced the magical moment of motherhood in India at my age of 24. Aside from the excitement and happiness, I felt the fear of responsibility. I had already decided to give my little baby girl the best.

In the initial days, I tricked myself believing that overcoming the sleepless nights will be the only challenge I have to face and everything else would be easier as the days pass. But each day I had surprises that made me realize I was totally wrong. However, I had my family’s support which made my mommy journey bit easy. Everyone advised me to relax and told that I have enormous time to get skilled in parenting.

When the time came for my husband to return back to Chicago, we all thought that it would be easier to travel together with a 4 month old. So, I decided to travel back to Chicago with my husband. It was our own tiny self-sufficient universe.

Me and my husband both invested ourselves deeply in the minutiae of everyday life.  Adapting to the new lifestyle introduced me another level of complexity. I saw it as a balancing act.

Coping Without Family in USA

Now, my only concern was my baby. I didn’t have the time or energy to stress over with the household management like I did in India where there were other family members helping out. Mothering my kid without my family’s guidance was intimidating. I quickly became too wrapped up with the demands of caring for a tiny person and myself.

Acclimating with Chicago Weather

Being a South Indian, having to face the fickle weather in Chicago was pleasure at times. But the excitement didn’t last for long. I realized I hate winter season. I was frustrated with spending the unending winter days by binge watching series on Netflix. Now having a baby made me crazy. I worried about how my daughter would grin and bear with the Chicago weather.

The horror stories of frostbite, flu virus, cold feet haunted me. But fortunately, the weather forecast is fairly accurate. Mostly we stayed at home. We made sure not to expose her too much to the winter as she was still 5 months old. We spent our winter mostly in hibernation mode. I wished we could take her out more often.

Thankfully over time, the warm summer sunshine came as a welcome relief. The timing was perfect for indulging in activities like playing in the park, strawberry picking etc., Thankfully, now my daughter is 26 months old and she has accustomed to USA weather.

Beginning Solids Differently

I never had to worry about my daughter’s diet since she was breastfed. But breastfeeding alone isn’t sufficient for a 6-month-old and I was supposed to introduce the solid foods as per doctor’s recommendation. In India food prepared with rice is considered to be the best option for an infant in the initial days. Preparing the boiled rice and mashing it enough for a kid to easily chew and swallow is a recommended method for introducing solid.

I have seen kids here feeding themselves as early as possible in the high chair with table usually with Cheerios or other cereal, small pieces of boiled veg or fresh fruit and packed fruit or vegetables. But I had no confusion on which diet to follow for her.

Fortunately, Indian grocery stores were the saviors which made my decision easy. But, at the same time, I don’t want to give the food cultural shock to my kid by making her dependent with the Indian cuisine. However, she has to cope with the American menu when she enters her preschool. So we add Cheerios and other American food items occasionally to our menu.

Leaving Cloth Diapers Behind

When we stayed in India my kid used to wear cloth nappies traditionally called “langots”. We used diapers only for travel or doctor visits. It was more of a cultural decision. So, no questions asked. But, staying in the house covered with carpet I have no choice but to make her wear the diapers.

I felt very bad and worried for her. I hated to see my kid in a diaper. Sometimes I sounded like a grandma who would be whining all the time. The fear of diaper rash made me crazy. Even though I was so strict with a schedule of diaper change(every two to three hours), she would suffer from diaper rash sometimes. Thankfully, diaper rash creams helped me and preventive creams are truly a reliever. However, my daughter was comfortable with wearing diapers.

When the winter approached I really understood the advantage of disposable diapers. Without diapers, my daughter would have slept in a pool of her own pee and being tired, I would have snored away. This, of course, would have let her catch a cold. Now I’m thankful for disposable diapers.

Potty Training Later

Comparatively, potty training the kids in cloth nappies are easy than training kids in diapers. Probably because the wetness helps kids learn sooner. If my kid was raised in India I would have started the potty training at her age of 1. That’s not the case here.

 At her 15th month, I gradually started the potty training and of course, we had some setbacks in the initial days. She became diaper free at home at her 20th month and we used diapers only for travel. At her 24th month, she amazed us by getting rid of the diapers completely. We are now one diaper free family and I am proud of her.

The only way to getting around these change was expecting the unexpected. Even though it was hard to me, knowing ahead of time and understanding the cultural differences made me survived in the name of compromises.

Now as a 26-month-old my kid is coping with both traditional(Indian) and modern(American) lifestyle we impose on her. I am very proud of my daughter and I owe my whole life to her. I hope she will grow with better values and the ability to understand and work with people from different backgrounds.

Most importantly, a better human being!

Cultural Challenges of Parenting a New Born in India Vs USA www.raisingworldchilden.com Parenting | Indian Parenting | American Parenting | New Born

 Author: Suja DineshSindhuja Kumar is a proud mom and a lifestyle blogger living in Connecticut, USA and origin from Tamilnadu, India. She is happily married and nothing excites her more than being a mom. She blogs to keep herself sane, more or less writing about positive parenting adventures, DIY Craft tutorials & scrumptious recipes that empowers every mom and woman to stay inspired and living an elegant life in a creative way. Check her work @ PassionateMoms.