10 Indian Superstitions For Children That We Need to Stop Believing In
7 mins read
Health & Safety for New Born, Baby, Toddlers
India is often considered the land of superstitions, and with good reason. We have beliefs around everything, right from pregnancy to childbirth to factors affecting a child’s health and growth. As these superstitions are carried forward by generations, we follow them out of trust for our elders, and at most times, without question. However, when it comes to our children, some of these myths and superstitions in Indian culture can be extremely harmful!
Respect for our culture is something we are taught ever since childhood. Indian culture offers some excellent advice and recommendations for the growth and development of children. In fact, the principles of Garbh Sanskaar and Ayurveda are even being adopted by the Western world. However, just as we embrace the good, we MUST sweep out the dangerous, especially when it comes to the health and safety of our delicate little ones.
*It is possible that some of these superstitions may be the convention in our households. However, understanding them and how they can be dangerous is not disrespect for traditional Indian culture. It is simply a safety requirement for our children!
Applying ‘Kaala Teeka’ To Repel The ‘Evil Eye’
Applying a ‘Kaala Teeka’ on the baby using Kajal, Kohl or Surma (homemade or otherwise) is a common practice followed in many Indian households. But in reality, it can become one of the most harmful Indian superstitions and beliefs if we are not careful! While this is done for better eyesight or to protect the baby from the ‘evil eye’, it can actually have the opposite effect.
As per doctors, kajal can lead to health problems including eye infections and injuries due to the application process. This can even affect the eyesight. Additionally, the lead content of these substances can trigger long term health problems like anaemia and convulsions. Protection from the ‘evil eye’ or not, the ‘Kaala Teeka’ can be a danger by itself!
Many babies face sleeping problems and keep waking up at night. But onions and knives under the bed of babies to drive away bad dreams is not only doubtful in its effect, it is also dangerous! The risk of leaving sharp objects like knives unsupervised near a baby is pretty self-explanatory.
Please remember, bad dreams are temporary, but injuries can be permanent.
Not Sweeping The House In The Evening As It Drives Away Laxmi
According to Indian tradition, Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth, visits houses in the evening, and sweeping at such a late hour can be disrespectful and drives away the Goddess. This belief originates from the fact that due to low visibility, sweeping late in the evening could mean accidentally sweeping away valuables as well. While this practice made sense in the olden times, we don’t have low visibility problems anymore, thanks to electricity.
However, not sweeping a dusty house in the evening, especially with the mess that tends to build up with little babies and kids around, could lead to unhygienic conditions that attract mosquitoes and other insects. This in turn, could result in a lot of problems - from rashes to mosquito borne diseases! Therefore, make sure you keep this belief behind in the olden times where it belongs.
Breastmilk In Ear To Treat Infections
Breastmilk is a source of complete nutrition for the baby, which is why doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding at least till the baby turns 6 months old. But while it does help build immunity and contains antibodies, it may not be great idea to use it to heal external infections!
There is little medical evidence that proves applying breastmilk can actually heal an ear infection. On the contrary, the sugar content of the breastmilk is likely to promote bacteria growth and make it worse! If an infection in your baby persists, please consult your doctor who will have the right medication available for it. ||
Not Trimming Nails At Night
This is perhaps one of the most common superstitions that some of us even follow as adults! While this can be avoided, yes, the reason behind this common superstition is similar to the one mentioned above - low visibility. Nail cutters weren’t as compact earlier as they are today, and you could hurt yourself while trimming nails late at night.
However, trimming nails at the right time for babies is imperative. Whenever you notice them to be too long - be it day or night - make sure to trim them immediately. Skipping this could mean that your baby can end up hurting himself with the sharpness of his nails!
Feeding Honey To Baby At Birth To Ensure He Has a ‘Sweet’ Nature
Another superstition in Indian culture is feeding newborns a little honey to ensure they have a sweet nature. Logic aside, while honey may seem a natural and wholesome food, it can cause infant botulism, a rare and potentially fatal disease! Doctors suggest that honey must not be given to babies before the age of 1, after which it doesn’t pose a health risk anymore. So while honey may be sweet to taste, it sure isn’t the case when it comes to your baby’s health!
Watch: Types of BIZARRE Indian Superstitions and the last one will Blow your Mind
Don't Leave The Fan On When The Baby Is Sleeping
Another superstitious belief that has made its way to India is that if you leave the fan on when your baby is sleeping, it can lead to their untimely death. The reason behind this belief is unknown, but following it for your child is definitely not advisable.
Even if babies can’t retain heat the same way as adults, they do get uncomfortable and affected by temperature changes. In summers, fans at a moderate speed are good to keep overheating at bay. A thumb rule to remember - keep your baby dressed in just one layer more than you!
A Garlic Garland Around The Neck Will Cure Cold
This is followed as a cold remedy in certain parts of India. Making a garlic garland and putting it around the baby’s neck will supposedly cure his cold. Well, garlic is a very effective remedy for cold and cough, but this remedy works when ingested! Garlic garlands on the other hand, might just irritate the sensitive skin and cause rashes - further aggravating the situation.
Feed Only “Dal Ka Pani” When Starting Your Baby On Solids
Every other grandmother will suggest ‘Dal Ka Pani’ as one of the first foods for your baby when he starts on solids. However, this is essentially water with little to no nutritional value. While it will fill up your little one quickly, he/she will lose out on essential nutrients that could have been gained if you had fed him alternatives like mashed dal.
Polio Drops May Lead To Impotency And Sterility
Finally, due to the actions of certain unknown elements in India, there is a belief that Polio drops cause impotency and sterility. While the origin of this belief is not entirely superstitious, the belief is definitely false and deserves to be ousted - which is why we included it here! All such claims have been proved to be false by experts. Believing in them and skipping the Polio vaccination for your baby naturally puts him at risk of Polio – a debilitating disease that affects individuals for life!
Have you also been advised to follow any of these superstitions for your child? Even if you don’t believe in them yourself, it can be daunting to stand up against following them, especially with parental anxieties and pressure from family members plaguing you. But moms, we’d advise that you make an informed decision and take a stand whenever needed – this is important for the health of your child!