5 Forgotten Age-Old Ayurvedic Rituals for Newborn Babies

The birth of a baby is one of the most joyous occasions in families. In Indian tradition, several rituals and customs are performed to welcome the little one into this world. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of health and wellbeing, recommends continuing some age-old practices for the first few months of a baby’s life. These rituals nurture the baby’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Unfortunately, many of these beneficial customs have been forgotten over time. In this blog, we will discuss 5 Ayurvedic newborn rituals that deserve revival.

1. Abhyanga: Abhyanga is the traditional Ayurvedic oil massage given to newborn babies. It was done daily starting a few days after birth by the mother or trained elderly female relatives. Using specific Natural Newborn Baby Massage Oils, they would gently massage the entire body in linear movements.

The uplifting sensory input of massage optimizes the nervous system. The soothing, loving touch aids bonding, comfort, and motor development. Babies would be massaged twice daily before bathing for 10 to 20 minutes.

The oil’s lipid base lubricates, strengthening muscles and bones. Its aromatic phytochemicals clear micro-channels ensuring proper growth. After the massage, babies were bathed in warm water mixed with healing powders like besan. This full-body rejuvenation therapy boosts immunity against pathogens and environmental toxins. Its benefits include sound sleep, smooth digestion, and circulation, strengthened limbs, and sensory activation.

2. Early Morning Sun and Moon Exposure: Exposing newborns to early morning sunlight has been practiced for ages in India. Between 5 to 8 am, the rays of the rising sun are considered most beneficial. Our ancestors insisted that the baby be brought outside during this time every day.

For one hour, they exposed just the baby’s chest, abdomen area, and face to bright reddish-orange rays. This practice removes jaundice, provides vitamin D, and strengthens the upper body. It was also believed to stimulate organ development and emotional well-being.

Similarly, brief moonlight exposure calms babies, enabling sound sleep. A fussy infant was often cradled and walked under moonbeams by grandmothers to soothe them. Moonlight influences melatonin levels and biological cycles that regulate sleep.

3.  Playing Ancient Raga:  Did you know lullabies have an Ayurvedic origin? Singing or playing gentle, soothing music for infants is considered vital in Ayurveda. Our ancestors observed that newborns responded positively to musical tones that mirrored the gentle rhythms of a mother’s heartbeat heard in the womb. 

Thus, practitioners of Ayurvedic paediatrics developed musical compositions played on traditional instruments like the veena or flute, often based on ancient ragas such as Ahir Bhairav, Malkauns and Darbari Kanada. These ragas complement the baby’s natural ultradian cycles of activity and sleep with their meditative, tranquil notes. Music also aids digestion, eliminates discomfort, and stimulates healthy growth.

4. Giving Honey at Birth: Honey has innumerable health benefits and is like nectar for newborns. Traditionally, Indian women would give a tiny amount of honey to the newborn as their first taste in the world. Honey clears mucus, strengthens immunity, and aids digestion in babies. Its antiseptic properties also prevented infections in the infant. Its sweet taste was also believed to make babies optimistic, happy, and harmonious right from birth.

5. Keep the Baby Indoors Until the Fourth Month: Ayurveda advises against taking newborns out frequently or allowing contact with strangers for the first 4 months. Our wise ancestors knew babies have an undeveloped immune system till 4-6 months of age. They insisted relatives wash hands before handling the baby and not expose infants to infections outside.

The benefits of this traditional indoor care ritual were multifold. Infants remained protected from environmental toxins, noise, weather changes, and pathogens. Close family bonds developed while preventing postpartum depression or trauma. This forgotten ritual deserves honour in modern times too.

Keep the Baby Indoors Until the Fourth Month 



The ancient Ayurvedic approach to paediatric care had profound wisdom. Traditional newborn rituals addressed physical, mental, and emotional health unlike today’s primarily disease-focused model. Century-old customs like abhyanga, sunlight exposure, cooing lullabies, and indoor care gave babies a nurturing head start.

Sadly, most parents today dismiss these rituals as blind faith and overlook their significance for wholesome newborn care. Resurrecting these lost Ayurveda rituals can give babies the healthiest, happiest, and luckiest start to their lives! With some modifications and precautions, these rituals hold tremendous value even for modern parenting methodologies. After all, the incredible wisdom of Ayurveda is being validated by science now and should be leveraged for giving newborns the best shot at life!

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1. What is Shishu Abhyanga?

Ans. Abhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic oil massage given to newborn babies, usually performed by the mother or trained elderly female relatives. It involves using specific natural oils like coconut or sesame oil to gently massage the baby's entire body in linear movements.

2. Why is early morning sun exposure recommended for newborns?

Ans. Early morning sun exposure is beneficial for newborns as it provides essential vitamin D, helps in removing jaundice, strengthens the upper body, and stimulates organ development in babies.

3. What is the significance of playing soft music for infants in Ayurveda?

Ans. Playing soft music like traditional lullabies mimic the soothing tones of a mother's heartbeat, promoting relaxation, eliminating discomfort, aiding digestion, and stimulating healthy growth.

4. Why was honey traditionally given to newborns, and what are its benefits?

Ans. Honey was given to newborns because it helps clear mucus, strengthens immunity, aids digestion, and prevents infections in infants due to its antiseptic properties.

5. Why did our ancestors recommend keeping newborns indoors for the first four months?

Ans. Ayurveda advises keeping newborns indoors to protect infants from environmental toxins, noise, weather changes, and pathogens, as their immune systems are not fully developed during this period. 

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