remained awestruck to just watch her sleep and feed. As the days progressed, I eagerly wanted to give her a soft peck on her cheeks but then suddenly I realized, I can’t!
We had just started her ‘Traditional Massage’ from an old-age ‘Daayi’ as everybody insisted that massage is must for the baby. In just 2 days little eruptions had come up on her face and also across her tiny shoulders and chest and trust me, I was completely distressed to watch my angel like this. We ignored it to only realize that it had grown further and without any further delay we met her pediatrician and he wrote only one line in his prescription-“No to Maalish”. After a month I shifted to Nainital (hill station) to stay with my parents and due to extreme cold weather we reduced her baths frequency to a week. And she was mostly wrapped in layers of woolen clothes with head covered with a hand-knitted cap. We simply did little bit of ‘Maalish’ every night on our own and ensured that her head gets little soaked with oil. We thought she will remain safe but again this time there was thick flaky skin that had emerged all over her head and behind ears and neck. A new doctor this time shocked us not with the fact to stop her massage but even suggested that it can be ‘measles”, but how can it be?? I remember how I hid my tears watching my beautiful baby in such a situation. And yes that was not a symptom of measles but occurrence of cradle cap.
Today my baby is 11 month old and by God’s grace there is no sign of cradle cap or redness or any soreness on her skin. I took baby massage as “me-time” with the baby and had fun time spending some rolling moments with her. I did few basic hand movements across her body followed by a gentle bubble bath. What I learnt out of all this is that babies are the most sensitive and what they need apart from love is ‘proper care’. There is nothing called right or wrong in the ‘Maalish’ but we should never ignore certain things:
1. Baby oil should be mild and gentle. Today you can’t just boil garlic in mustard or til oil and apply it on your baby’s skin. Due to the pollution and mixed environment of the urban cities coupled with the lifestyle we have, these oils will only harm your baby’s skin.
2. Not just oil, but often you can use a good moisturizing lotion too for a gentle massage. And trust me, she will like it.
3. Don’t leave oil overnight on your baby’s skin. Give her a massage followed by a warm and nice bath. You will be amazed to see how well your baby sleeps that night.
4. Baby should take at least 4 baths in a week even if it is extremely cold. Cut short her bath time and use lukewarm water to maintain body temperature. A nice bath does wonders for a healthy and fresh skin. And remember to change your baby’s clothes daily!
5. For babies lesser than 1 year age, never use woolen stuff directly on their skin. Invest in some authentic cotton inner and leggings and her clothes shouldn’t be too tight for the skin.
6. Carefully choose baby’s soap and shampoo. Just because your sister used a particular brand for her child doesn’t imply you to follow the same. Every baby’s needs are different.
7. Don’t get hyper if you notice any pimple popping up on baby’s skin. Sometimes you can’t avoid it due to heat, weather change or pollution. Just keep on doing things right way and in few days your baby’s skin will be just fine