My baby had been born pre-term. I could understand the concern of my family for his future health. But after some months, I really wanted to come out of this ‘cultural confinement’. I wanted to take my baby outdoors to introduce him to the beautiful world of nature. But the elders in the family and the neighbourhood filled up my mind with stories about the fragility of life. They wanted me to abide by the family customs. And for me, the new mother, this panic about what could go wrong was worse than the reality! I could mentally feel the clash between my motherly instincts and the societal restrictions; they rarely matched.
For a long time, I remained under the in-house shield. But I carefully observed the signs of development that my baby had started showing. One day, during one of my frequent visits to the paediatrician, I asked him:
“Can I take my baby outside?”
“Oh yes,” he replied, with conviction in his voice. “In fact, it's good for you and your baby alike to get some fresh air and enjoy a change of place for some time. Your baby seems ready for his interaction with the world outside. The nature in your neighbourhood will delight your baby’s developing senses and will accelerate his growth indirectly.”
I felt overjoyed! I had now received professional acknowledgement to my belief. As new mothers, it is not often that we find support while making independent decisions. There is always the pressure of doing the ‘right’ thing, or doing it like some other ‘perfect’ mother did it. But my thoughts were different. Just like Baby Dove, I also believed that there is no right or wrong way to be a mother – just the way that seems best to you. It feels great to receive the reassurance that we, as, moms, know what’s best for our baby. In this situation, I was convinced that babies should not be over sanitised else their immune system doesn't develop. Taking them outdoors, I felt, was a good way to encourage the development of healthy immunity. Plus, I also wanted to introduce my baby to the natural world early in life, to help him develop a life-long association with the outdoors. Now that there were scientific facts to support my instincts, my trust in my gut only became stronger.
That day at the paediatrician’s was a very happy moment for me. My mom-in-law, who had been standing next to me, looked perplexed at first. But she eventually agreed to the doctor’s advice, saying “Just keep in mind necessary care for yourself and the little one while stepping out.”
It was finally time to look forward to taking my baby outside the house. I thanked my stars that my child would now meet and greet with nature. He would sense for himself the power of nature – the strength that he had experienced himself in surviving his feeble birth condition without any compromise. Understandably, like every parent, I also prepared myself for the safety concerns when bringing my baby out from his comfort zone. I smiled to think that I was no more a woman packing her lipstick, phone and keys in the handbag, but had to arrange every necessary item in my baby’s stash. I reminded myself to not overdress or underdress my baby. It was best to dress him up in several thin layers that may be removed if required. Also, I kept my baby fully shaded in every weather condition so that his delicate skin wouldn’t burn and cause him inflammation. This let me create a balance between allowing natural light and fresh air to benefit him, while also keeping him protected.
Initially, to avoid exposing my baby to unwanted germs, I limited our outing timings to just a few minutes. I also made sure that anyone who wanted to hold or touch him was not sick and had clean hands. It’s a good idea to carry a mild and moisturising baby lotion like Baby Dove Rich Moisture Baby Lotion to serve as a protective layer of nourishment when it’s windy. The lotion soothes dry baby skin from first use and gently moisturisises it for 24 hours. .I also advise all mommies to carry an extra pair of clothes not only for your baby, but also yourself – trust me, this can prove very useful! When it comes to babies, there can be some really odd circumstances when you need to change.
My baby and I have always had a splendid time outdoors. I remember every single moment when my baby listened to the birds signing in the backyard, or when he smiled upon seeing the sunlight filtered through the trees. Our outdoor mission became the best time for intense communication. Today, I’m content that as a mother, I have followed my heart, instead of aiming at being a perfect follower of whatever was told to me.
I trusted my inner self even if that meant going against convention, and this has helped me raise a happy, healthy and nature-loving child.
Baby Dove believes that there is no right or wrong way to be a mom because there’s no such thing as a perfect mom – just real moms, doing it their way. Mothers instinctively know what’s best for their child and Baby Dove is here to reassure moms to trust their way.
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