Is your baby irritable and crying? Writhing or arching his back? Uncomfortable? Not sleeping? Are you starting to obsess over diets and allergies and wondering if your baby has indigestion? In Ayurveda, we consider digestion the root of all health, but digestion holds a more broad and subtle meaning. Obviously, we need to digest all the food we eat, but we also need to digest everything that touches our skin, everything we see and hear and the emotions we experience. Basically, anything that we experience with any of our five senses needs to be digested by our bodies, minds and hearts.
Your baby is very unlikely to have an allergy and food sensitivites are far less common than mothers are led to believe. If you are breastfeeding and your digestion is good, your babies digestion is likely to be good too. If you have bloating, lack of appetite or gas then maybe you need to cut down on really obviously unhealthy foods like chocolate, coffee and chips. If you want to know more about Ayurvedic diet suggestions for new mums click here and for more detail still see my teachers post on reflux here. If you baby truly has an allergy the crying will be accompanied by excessive vomiting, rash or persistent congestion, for more about allergies click here.
Another common myth is that babies get bored. Newborn babies are exceptionally sensitive to new experiences and are far more likely to be overstimulated by excessive play, cuddles with too many new people, lack of sleep or even something as simple as being too hot or too cold. All of our thoughts need to be processed, which happens naturally when we sleep, or better still when we meditate, breath or find the time and space to just be. Allow your baby plenty of down time, to just contemplate the world, to absorb all her new experiences and just stare into space.
Maybe your baby is crying because of undigested emotions. A difficult birth for a baby or being seperated from his mother may cause of stress in a newborn and your baby may be crying because of emotional trauma. Sometimes small things like a fright or picking up on a mothers emotions can stress a tiny baby too. If you have met all of your babies physical needs (ie clean, dry fed etc) and your baby still won't settle then it is ok to hold your baby and allow them a safe space to express their emotions. You don't always have to stop your baby from crying, you can hold them through their suffering and reassure them of your unconditional love. In the pauses between crying you can say to your baby "I love you when you feel happy and I love you when you feel sad" or whatever else your heart moves you to say. You may even find yourself having a cry with your baby too!