The Maalish - to do or not to do
There's a lot of debate over traditional baby maalish- is it benficial? who should do it?
It's quite confusing for many new moms, with the bombardment of advice they get!
In the absence of my MIL, and my mom having a lot on her plate, we thought we would atleast try looking for a maalishwali Bai when I was nearing my first delivery date. I'm glad we hired help. One at moms, and another one when we moved to in-laws.
Both were highly experienced, came with good recommendations and were open to a discussion.
At moms, Apart from baby maalish, shower n bundling up, I too got full body massage, shower followed by the traditional tummy tying. (Couldn't do anything for myself when I had second baby as none/limited help at home for first child).
- if you can/ want to do baby massage your self, go ahead.
But personally I feel the first few months r difficult for mom as well who needs all the rest she can get.
- when hiring, make sure you see the Bai, interview her and ask her what all she would be doing for baby and you. (The one at my in-laws place wouldn't wash baby clothes).
Now based on things I've seen and heard about happening with other babies, I've put together the following list-
- do not leave the baby alone with the Bai until you are confident of what she's capable of doing or not doing.
explain to her the absolute non- no things:
-No turning baby upside down.
-No squeezing breasts if there is slight breast nodule prominence- this can have very horrible greivious consequences.
-No pulling male babies penile foreskin. Once they are a couple of months old, small amount of coconut oil can be applied to the tip with gentle movements.
-No putting water/oil/blowing into ears or nose or any other body cavity.
-Give her the oils, creams powders that you want- (bais suggestions were spot on). We also used besan-turmeric-malai.
my kids didn't react to anything.
- no powder on the face.
-No pressing middle of the head(fontanelles)
-Make sure you tell her to give a gentle massage.
-Avoid kajal in eyes.
- babies may cry initially but eventually they will enjoy the whole process. However if there is incessant crying then something is wrong, and you might consider stopping the whole routine. Listen to your heart.
I was truly blessed to have got good maalishwali bais, especially one at in-laws house, who helped me so much beyond the massage. She was a mother figure, would suggest home remedies for coughs colds n fevers, comfort baby n put him to sleep when I would have to rush to pick my daughter at the busstop and so on.
Finally listen to your mom instincts and decide what is right and wrong for your baby.
We continued for a year for elder one and 7 months for younger one- both started to cry to signal that they didn't want more- not even if I did it!
Important Tip- make sure baby is well fed( half an hour prior) and well rested when you start maalish. Otherwise there will be too much crying.
Babies get very sleepy n hungry after shower- so be prepared with boob or bottle!!! #xraymom #twomuchfun
Pic- remembered the good old days!!