5 Traditional parenting styles and baby care tips that mums today are unlearning


by Vaishali Sudan Sharma updated on September 14, 2015

Presenting to you 5 age-old parenting styles, practices and care tips on how to raise a baby that are being shunned by modern moms and young parents today!

I read somewhere that “Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do.” So, when Brat H was just about a month old, my maternal grandmother asked me to apply kajal around his eyes. That thought was revolting. Luckily, she didn’t emphasize too much! Just so you know, she is a well-travelled and a well-informed mother of 3 and a grandmother to 5. When I explained that these days some products may contain chemicals (allergic substances) and children-doctors advice us not to do things mothers did in the olden days, she quickly understood.

But, unfortunately, the case isn’t alike everywhere. There are friends, who have to bear the brunt. Early this month, we visited a relative. The daughter-in-law delivered her first baby. A  gorgeous boy, all of 20 days and guess what? He was wearing a frock. A pink colored girl’s outfit! In this hot weather, he also wore socks and pink booties. He was wrapped around a thick cloth. The baby was extremely uncomfortable. Oh! No, the new mother was sitting there, gloomy. She was obviously caught by postpartum blues. Guess, all she needed was some together time with her husband and the newly arrived member of her family. Instead, her mother-in-law took the entire charge of deciding everything for the little one, from what he wore to how he slept and how often should he be fed..:(

And all this makes so much sense now that I am raising my own baby. I am not averse to getting free tips from experienced mothers/parents. Infact it’s actually good to hear them out and evaluate at your own ease/end. If the rationale behind practically trying out certain remedies justifies the very thought/reason behind them, then good, it will come handy, else ignore.

So, to all the moms of today’s day and age.. Cheer up! I do understand the entire trauma that you may be going through.. I want you to know that we are together in this. You are definitely not alone! Here are 5 traditional parenting styles and baby care tips that need to be unlearnt right away.baby care 01

Bangalore-based Anamika Agnihotri, mother of a 2-year-old boy, founder of The Bespectacled Mother, “my mom’s and my mother-in-law’s over emphasis on having milk for the child. They opine that if a child drinks milk he/she will be healthy. My son does not like milk or anything prepared using milk. He eats well and keeps healthy inspite of no milk in his diet.”

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Vani Khurana, a new mother, PR consultant with an MNC, “Starting cow’s milk for top feed babies. Older generation is not in favor of giving formula. The myth is that cow’s milk se sehat banti hai (Cow’s milk helps in the overall growth and development of your baby)!”

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Through this post, I would like to reach out to as many parents as possible. I want them all to know that your baby’s safety is extremely important. Don’t please let others decide for your baby! There are many similar (some more popular while others really obnoxious) parenting practices which have not been discussed here. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

Watch out for this space for the part II and III of the series!

Disclaimer: You are advised to consult your pediatrician before planning to practice or ignore any of the above-mentioned tips/remedies for your newborn baby. Through this post, the author only requests you to avoid blindly following the instructions of any relative/friend/colleague with little to no knowledge on this subject/matter, whatsoever.

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12 thoughts on “5 Traditional parenting styles and baby care tips that mums today are unlearning

  1. This is an insightful post which is surely going to touch the hearts of new mothers and the mothers in general. Yes, it touched mine. About the kajal, thankfully your nani understood. On the other side, I would like to mention majority of the Mother-in-laws are sticky people. Tell them the doctor has not approved a such and such thing (which they may be highly propagating) and they will be quick to pass the judgement “hamare zamane ki to baat hi kuch aur thi. Aajkal ki bahuon ko mauka chahiye buzurgon ki baatein taalne ka aur doctor ka naam le lete hain”. Statements like these add to the trauma of the post-partum depression.

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  2. Baby who grown in traditional way is more healthier than those who grown with modern environment. We are spending more money to new baby but again we need to rush to doctor after following his advises for new baby

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    • Hi Praveen, I in a way agree with you however, unfortunately, today, the water we drink and the air we breath is not as fresh as is was in the olden days. Certain age-old practices are now been discarded (they are backed by solid research and experience).

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  3. i do not agree with you parveen… infant mortality rate was high in older time ..yes we have medical ffacility today but ofcourrse we have not seen our parents born and ggrand parent remem only happy phase and forget abt troubles,,

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    • Well said. I totally support your views here. Today’s research and medical services have really helped us eliminate problems like polio. I heard so many elders talking about 6-8 children in the family and one of the reason was, infant mortality rate. We should give full credit to education system and superior services that people no long have to fear. Time has changed and so as environment around us. Better be safe than sorry.

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      • Thanks so much! Yes, we need to say goodbye to odd old practices. Not saying that today’s kids dont fall sick. They do get unwell from time-to-time.. But atleast due to greater awareness, we are able to get timely and routine check-ups done! All thanks to the research and services available to us.

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  4. Hi everybody I am a mother of a 19 month old now, residing overseas just thought of venting out my emotions here as I was really touched by reading the above articles.During my delivery my mother-in-law insisted upon coming to our place ( overseas) to «take care of me and my baby,» but I believe she was perhaps modernised ‘coz she would always insist upon giving my daughter formula when she was only a month old and would say that my daughter was not gaining weight ‘coz my breast milk wasn’t very good . I used to get upset and teary and would ring my mother to find out if that could be the case as to why my daughter was so tiny and she would console me.I still was so much upset that I used to ask the doctor when we went for our normal checkups as to why my daughter was not growing the doctor would always tell me that she was gaining weight by showing me the growth charts.I was so much happy to breastfeed my child but unfortunately had to start formula when my daughter turned 3 months under constant pressure. I just hate recalling that phase of my life which I should have enjoyed the most.

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  5. I can relate to the kajal thing. MIL strongly suggested we do that for baby #1 but we said Dr. said it wasn’t good, and she backed off. MIL had said eyelashes and eyebrows would only grow in with kajal. Ridiculous! Both my kids have perfectly normal features without any chemicals. It’s called DNA!!

    Another thing that annoys me is being told that babies need to have their heads shaved. We never did that either. Facilities wouldn’t be that hygienic and there could be cuts/injuries too. :/

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