Probably the oldest after-birth tradition of the Hindu religion, tonsuring, commonly known as mundan, has been associated with countless mythical beliefs right from the beginning. Some parents believe that tonsuring helps to prevent the child from an evil eye. Others also believe that it helps to get rid of the birth fluids and relaxes the baby during their teething phase. But the most popular belief is that mundan encourages the growth of healthier hair. While none of these has any scientific evidence, whether or not your baby should be tonsured is your choice.
Tonsuring is beneficial for curing hair diseases like Piedra and Pediculosis. So, if you do choose to hold a baby mundan ceremony, here are some impressive tips that will guide you on your first time.
A baby mundan is usually performed in the first year. Your baby's head is still in its developmental stage during this time. It is soft and susceptible to cuts and wounds. To avoid making the activity painful for your baby or causing them any discomfort, ensure that you hire someone who is experienced in their work. Also, ensure that your barber uses sterilised instruments for performing the mundan, for most of the blood infections are transferred via unsterile blades.
As a parent, baby mundan ceremony may be exciting for you as you are surrounded by your loved ones who have come to support your baby on this unique occasion. So, you may decide to dress your little one in fancy outfits, but these may not necessarily be comfortable. Babies tend to get anxious during special occasions and family get-togethers as they do not feel comfortable around too many new faces. And uncomfortable clothing may simply add to their irritation. Therefore, whatever you plan to dress up your baby in, make sure that it will allow them to move and breathe easily.
After the ceremony, arrange for a bath for your infant. Ensure that the water is neither too cold nor too hot, as it may cause them sudden discomfort. Wash off all the stray hair and wipe their head clean. Then, gently rub some coconut oil on your baby's head. In many parts of India, sandalwood paste is used post-mundan as it is a natural antiseptic. However, coconut oil largely remains a good way of ending the ceremony with because it is anti-inflammatory and works great on cuts (if any), and is also suitable for babies.
The baby mundan is going to be an overwhelming experience for your child so expect a lot of crying, irritability, and restlessness, even if your baby is not usually like that. The best thing to do is feeding them generously and allowing them to rest to their heart's content. Too many forced interactions with the relatives may also add to their agitation causing them to be cranky, so refrain from doing that.
Tonsuring causes your baby's head to be extra sensitive, at least for the first few days, as they are not used to the baldness. Avoid using any shampoo and keep your infant's head well-moisturised after the bath. Lastly, consult your doctor in case of any scalp discomforts post the baby mundan.