Picnic, How To Bring Up Small Children

Lane Cove River Tourist Park, Sydney (Australia)

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Advice to Sahaja Yogis in Lane Cove Park, Sydney (Australia). 19 March 1983.

Shri Mataji: [unclear: sounds like sweets] like [unclear: sounds like fruits or soups], something [unclear].

Q: One month old –

Shri Mataji: Perhaps you should start. A little bit soup, it’s all right. Nothing wrong [unclear].

Warren Reeves (WR): Strained.

A: Strained, absolutely strained, that’s what. But, little soup [unclear] would be good for them.

WR: Some barley water, some barley soup and –

Shri Mataji: Barley water is very good. Barley water, or you can start with juices, if you like, and then go to soups and then to, I mean, they, the system must get used to it, that, you see. Gradually you must bring round children, you see. Not suddenly the heavy foods.

Q: Adrian is six months. He hasn’t had anything yet because we got the message that you said that it was six months that they should have food for the first time.

Shri Mataji: Who is this? [unclear]

Q: [Unclear]

WR: Clear, liquid.

Q: But, you know, that’s the way we –

Shri Mataji: No, no, no, no, no. Food means solid food. Solid food. You see, what, you can give them rice and dhal cooked together, make it very, because it will train up the system properly. First you start with juices. Then come to soup and then come to solid food, in the sense that it is semi-solid. You can cook rice and dhal together, make a kitcheree. She knows that, how to make it. Thin it out and give it to the child. That is only [unclear] but not this dhal. Moong dhal. Moong dhal, moong dahl and rice, you can cook together and start with that, after six months. Food means, when there are solid parts. But you said [unclear] solid parts?

Q: Yes

Shri Mataji: Important.

WR: And water.

Shri Mataji: And water, you should start immediately. After a month you should start water, boiled water, you must. But I saw yours are getting, isn’t it? Your child was having water all right? What is her age?

WR: Ten months.

Shri Mataji: Ah, ten months, achcha. But when you started?

WR: At what age?

Q: They always had water, right from the very beginning Mother.

Shri Mataji: [unclear: sounds like All right, they had] water. That’s good. They can have water. Now what else you wanted to know?

Q: The baby’s waking at night, Mother. What do we do to get them out of waking up at night-time?

Shri Mataji: You see, there are, because they’re wet, in the night. That’s why they get up, isn’t it? Or for no rhyme and reason.

Q: Yes, for no rhyme or reason.

Shri Mataji: All right. So what you have to do is to massage their body with oil and massage their head with oil and put a lot of oil in their heads, you see, and then put some powder and clean it up. Give them a massage in the night. They sleep very well. They won’t get up. In the night you should give them a massage in case they are restless in the night or something like that, before sleeping. You give them their last meal, say – about what time is it, their last? Eight o’clock, or six o’clock?

Q: It depends on their age. Gabriel and Luke have their dinner at about six o’clock. Adrian has, he goes to bed at about, last meal at about seven thirty, eight, eight o’clock.

Shri Mataji: All right. So, what you do, six o’clock, you give him one feed, all right? And nine o’clock, another one. You can feed him one more in the night, so they won’t be hungry, but in between you can give a massage on the body. Say, about seven o’clock you can do the massage. All right? So 7.30, then, he goes to bed. Nine o’clock in his sleep he must have, in his sleep, and then in the morning he’ll get up at about five, that’s all. Very simple. Five or six. But I think you people don’t massage the body so much as prescribed. You have to massage it twice in the beginning, twice: one in the night; one in the daytime. All right? Now what else?

WR: When do they stop breast-feeding, Mother?

Shri Mataji: Ten months. Gradually, they should take to bottle. Ten months they can stop, then twelve, you see. In India they used to stop after three years. Nobody is bothered, but it’s better to stop it by ten, eleven months or so.

WR: If they don’t get the mother’s milk, say, they have to cut it short –

Shri Mataji: Of course, of course. You should take to bottle. No harm in giving them bottle milk. Do it properly. But you see if you do not give them nipple in the mouth of the child, of the bottle, from the very beginning, or say about one or two months or three months at the most, they won’t take it easily. The best is to give once, one feed, at, say, three months. Start giving them one feed. When the child is sleeping you give one feed, when the child is used to the nipple. You have to understand the child has to get used to everything. Then they easily move. But otherwise is problems?

Q: Yes, yes, Mother. They were started at six months but then they just don’t want to eat the food that we’ve given them. Some of the other babies, that have been eating solid food for a while –

Shri Mataji: But the food is not tasty.

Q: It’s not tasty.

Shri Mataji: You must make it tasty, and you see, you must put proper salt. Salt must be properly put and a little taste must be made, little bit of butter, little bit. You see, you must make it tasty. Otherwise the food is not tasty. They don’t like it, on the tongue, just like us.

WR: Tell them, Mother, in Sydney, they must have salt in their food and they must have-

Shri Mataji: Oh, this is a very funny idea, not to have salt. Do you all suffer from high blood pressure?

WR: In Melbourne they refused to put any salt in food –

Shri Mataji: You see, without salt you cannot do your respiration. Ask any doctor. If there is no sodium chloride in your blood, you see, your respiration will go down. These things are essential for [unclear], but not too much of everything. Salt is needed for food. I mean, these are all funny ideas that are coming up, but the worst thing is that you are so naïve, just look like children. I mean, if anybody tells you, “Don’t take salt”, just the, they know you must be coming from lunatic asylum. But if you are suffering from high blood pressure, or if there’s a problem of diet or something, then you fix. Salt is very important for teeth, for everything. To feel relaxed, is the best way to reduce the blood pressure. What else is there?

WR: There’s also a belief that if you give children sweet foods, as a small baby and child, that it will grow up and have blood sugar problems. So they give very sour, sour lemons, sour fruits –

Shri Mataji: You see, I told you that, you see, that how blood sugar comes in because of diabetes, isn’t it, not because of sugar. It comes only because of diabetes. Diabetes comes because of thinking too much.

If you make your child educated all the time, you want him to think and do this very well in the school at the age of five years, if you want him to do “O” levels, then what is it? So you see, you want to make the child into a competition. What is left over by [unclear]. Take it easy. Let the child study, as well as grow normally.

WR: Is it wise for the baby to sleep in the same bed as the parents? And up to what age, Mother?

Shri Mataji: It’s very small to face. Not every time. It’s not proper, you know. I don’t approve all the time, but little bit while, and then the child must sleep in the, always be sleeping in his bed. Always, sleeping in his bed is the best, but in the same room, not in some other room. But then you should take the baby with you when you are nursing or anything. For a while, that’s all. But mostly the child should be in the bed. It’s not only the parents who should sleep in between the [unclear].

WR: Until what age should young children be kept in the same bedroom?

Shri Mataji: I mean, you are now my children sleeping, so what can I tell you? You see, you are different type of people. We don’t undress ourselves immediately. That’s the problem. I hope Sahaja Yogis are not sleeping like that. Please don’t sleep without clothes. The bhoots will enter with you. You must wear your clothes when you’re asleep. I’m telling you, don’t sleep without clothes. The bhoots, that’s the best way the bhoots enter you. What is the need? I don’t understand.

Q: Mother, some of the babies have been experiencing a lot of pain while they’re cutting their teeth, while their teeth are coming through.

Shri Mataji: There’s a very old medicine, called treatment powder, treatment powder. Write it down.

WR: Yes, I know that one.

Shri Mataji: Get some ivory ring. They’re very good for teeth. Ivory ring.

WR: Teething ring.

Shri Mataji: Ivory ring. You get them in India. You get your plastic ones. You get ivory ones. You get some of these. These are very good for children.

WR: Albert, you’d better get them. Ivory ring, ring. Teething ring.

Q: Mother, another question. What do You think about dummies for the baby?

Shri Mataji: Dummies?

Q: Yes. You know what dummies are? The little rubber thing shaped like a nipple, to an extent, and –

Shri Mataji: You see, they might develop their, their teeth are coming out if you have too much of that.

Q: Yes, if you give too much, but a little bit of, maybe to settle the baby down to sleep.

Shri Mataji: [unclear] all right. A little bit is all right, but try to put it away. It’s the best is to give Vishuddhi treatment and not have it. Otherwise the teeth will be very parallel and you will have a lot of problems settling them back. Little bit you can give that. They are called as dummies, are they?

Q: Dummies, they’re called, yes. Dummy nipples.

Shri Mataji: Oh, all right, no harm.

WR: They want to know about toilet training, Mother.

Shri Mataji: What is that? What is that?

WR: How to stop the baby from wetting the nappies, and using the pot, basically.

Shri Mataji: About at the age of only two months or three months, you must start [unclear: sounds like putting or touching] the bottom of the baby to a pot, you see. Keep a little pot like that and try to, say, make some sounds like that and all that. The child starts doing it and he gets used to the touch, you see, of the thing. Then he knows, that’s an impulse, you see, in him, that acts as a message and you can do, very simple.

Q: Very early, then?

Shri Mataji: Very early you must start it. Very early. You see, –

Q: We don’t do that.

Shri Mataji: I think because [unclear: sounds like you have these [unclear] or, you haven’t tried this yet]

WR: Freud, Mr Freud said we shouldn’t do it, Mother.

Shri Mataji: Why?

WR: It’ll give you a complex.

Shri Mataji: What? What is a complex? A complex? We all Indians do it. We don’t have any complexes, I think. The one who has given the real complex is Mr Freud himself. What complex is [unclear: sounds like kya hoa].

WR: All this nonsense about how you were toilet trained and if you, if you, it explains why you behave in a certain way when you’re grown up and according to how you sat on the potty and – really, it’s true, Mother.

Shri Mataji: You don’t even know what you see. What a thing you are bothered about.

Q: Another question, Mother.

Shri Mataji: That’s why you people are very addicted to bathrooms also. We are not. You see, we are there hardly for five, ten minutes, have a bath, get out of it, you see. Addiction comes from that kind of a thing. You’re very bathroom concerned. That’s why.

WR: All this graffiti business [unclear]. Graffiti, writing on the walls, all this stuff. It’s all coming from that.

Shri Mataji: You said, writing on the walls? You know, the best thing if you are constipated, take a newspaper, you see, and have it used. That’s how I feel some people have treated them. They say, “You get constipated”. I say, “Read a newspaper in the morning”. That’s the place you should read the newspaper, actually; nowhere else. That’s the [unclear: sounds like big] word. Nothing else, you know. I would do that when I don’t get any chance or anything. I would say that, better read the newspaper, in the bathroom. That’s the place, because such filth in there. No, no, no, no. I tell you he must be a sweeper in his last life. Must be something wrong with Mr Freud, I think. Must have been a sweeper.

WR: Twelve years ago in England, Mother, there was a man called Dr Alex Comfort who’s basically a descendant of Freudian psychology who said that you should have contraceptives available in the marketplace for children to buy as from the age of twelve. So that’s how far we’ve gone.

Shri Mataji: From what?

WR: Contraception, you see, you know the –

Shri Mataji: Oh, I see! You see, another joke. I thought it must be for constipation.

WR: Maybe that, too. That’s instead of the newspaper.

Shri Mataji: Boys don’t even understand these things.

WR: They do here, Mother, in the west.

Shri Mataji: In the west? Maybe here they are over grown. You don’t allow them to be natural, putting all these ideas into their heads. Twelve years old!

Q: Mother, I have some more questions. What should the mothers do about constipation in the baby, babies?

Shri Mataji: You see, they should not have constipation themselves.

Q: Well, they do when they’re on the formula mixtures.

Shri Mataji: [unclear] we have so many ways of removing in India. Like you take that adjwain [unclear] and all that, all the time when the [unclear] Lax or raisins, dried ones, raisins, like raisins, with fruits, with the orange juice. Orange juice is very good. And also milk, boiled milk in the night.

Q: Cow’s milk?

Shri Mataji: Mm, very good.

Q: That’s another thing, Mother. When they’re weaned from the mother’s breast, are they weaned onto cow’s milk?

Shri Mataji: To what?

Q: Cow’s milk.

WR: From breast to cow’s milk, or from breast to formula mixture?

Shri Mataji: I mean, really, cow’s milk, because these formula nowadays, I don’t know what –

WR: It makes black stools, it’s very –

Shri Mataji: If you get cow’s milk, better is to remove the cream, put the water in it, and boil it, remove the cream, and that’s the best for the children. But boil it together, not separately. Always boil the milk and the water together, never separately.

WR: So all these mothers on formula should transfer to cow’s milk?

Shri Mataji: Uh?

WR: All these mothers who are feeding their babies on formula, on this mixture, on this powdered stuff, should change to cow’s milk?

Shri Mataji: This, I mean, if the children can digest cow’s milk, that’s the right thing, if they can digest it. But you must know what is the amount of water you should put.

WR: Proportion.

Shri Mataji: Because it’s more natural to take to cow’s milk.

Q: [unclear]

WR: Well, you’re supposed to be feeding them off the breast.

Q: If you can’t feed them off the breast?

WR: If you can’t feed them off the breast that’s when you go to –

Shri Mataji: No, but what we do then, if it’s for some time, you can take formula because might be it is better according to their age group but, say, after ten months they can take to cow’s milk, all right. But little bit one thing you should start by the time they are about three months, before they are conscious. One time. One feed. Is she giving one feed at least to the baby, or not? No, not yet. No, no, not her. I’m saying – Barbara! Barbara, is she giving one feed to the baby?

Barbara: No, Mother. Only breast milk. Only breast.

Shri Mataji: You should start now, all right? Otherwise again he’ll be very angry with the bottle.

Q: He is, Mother. I’ve tried him on the bottle before. He doesn’t like it.

Shri Mataji: So, better start earlier always. One feed you must have earlier. Say, one month, you can start, because children here are very adamant style, you see.

Q: Yes, Mother.

Shri Mataji: What other things?

Q: Medication for children, Mother. A lot of Panadol’s given to the baby.

Shri Mataji: Panadol?

Q: Yes, Mother.

Shri Mataji: For what?

Q: For temperatures or irritabilities, teething, when the baby’s crying or upset.

Shri Mataji: I don’t think Panadol is a very good cure.

WR: It contains, it’s aspirin, isn’t it?. No, Paracetamol.

Shri Mataji: It can make the child very bad later on [unclear: sounds like without effects].

WR: Liver problems?

Shri Mataji: Oh, really? Not good. You see, for, say, a child is [unclear: sounds like irritable] or anything, you see, you should find out what is exactly the trouble. Is it due to the stomach [unclear: trouble or problem] or anything? Then according to that you should give. But there are natural things that you should give to the baby and not unnatural. Say, child has got a diarrhea. All right. A simple method is to boil this fennel seeds and milk together. Boil it. Keep it ready and give that with little sugar or candy sugar, and give that to the child twice, thrice. [unclear]. Simple things like that, I can give you so many medicines. Very simple. You should see why the child is sick. This Panadol is something like a sleeping pill only.

Q: Yes, it is.

Shri Mataji: That’s very bad..

Q: Another question, Mother. One of our –

WR: What about Gripe Water, Mother? Do you use that?

Shri Mataji: The baby is all right, but what about the mother? Mother has to take it [unclear: sounds like out now, or as well] for wind, what you can get here. You must be having some medicines for wind?

WR: Oh, just the usual ones, Mother.

Shri Mataji: [unclear]

WR: What do you use?

Q: Is it water, water or the Gripe Water has [unclear]?

WR: It’s fairly innocuous, isn’t it? But, do they boil the alcohol off it?

Shri Mataji: What is that?

WR: It originally has some small volume of alcohol.

Q: Yes, four percent.

Shri Mataji: What is it?

Q: Four percent alcohol.

Shri Mataji: In what?

Q: In Gripe Water.

Shri Mataji: No, we don’t use Gripe Water for the children at all. We give this adjwain water to the mother. There’s another way is to – adjwain is the only thing I know very [unclear] because – I’ll find out for you if there is something else you can use.

Q: Should the mothers have a diet avoiding wind-producing food?

Shri Mataji: Ah, of course! They should not eat rice at all. They should not eat rice. They should not eat anything that is grown under the earth. Potato, also, they should not. Anything like that. Rice, potatoes, all these things must be avoided.

Q: Yes, Mother.

Shri Mataji: You don’t know these.

WR: No, we’re very basic [unclear].

Shri Mataji: Rice is never given to a woman who has got babies, till about ten months. She must avoid eating rice.

Warren: So, any wind-producing food should be avoided in the mother.

Shri Mataji: Everything that comes from the Mother Earth, in the sense, from the bowels of the Mother Earth, and also milk. Milk gives wind, very much. Milk [unclear: sounds like gives it] but milk boiled in a iron pot, could be made out of steel but not the stainless one, the other one, doesn’t [unclear: use or it].

Q: Milk boiled in a steel pot, cast iron, cast iron, doesn’t give wind?

Shri Mataji: So you should boil that milk with the water, whatever it is, together in an iron pot.

Q: Yes, Mother.

Shri Mataji: So, milk should not be taken like that by mothers direct, at all. If she has to take milk, then take it with some sort of a porridge or something, at the most. She has to take milk, no doubt. But she should take it with the porridge, or the fresh [unclear: figs or foods or fruits] or something like that.

Q: Yes, Mother.

WR: What about nappies, Mother? Some of the nappies make their legs go out at forty-five degrees.

Shri Mataji: Oh, that’s horrible thing that you make the children wear [unclear]. Very handy, but it’s very bad. This girl has suffered so much. Even now she has problems, see? It’s plastic stuff. But we don’t use plastic stuff. We use cotton ones, nice cotton ones and we put little, what you call, absorbent cotton.

WR: I think we call them flannelette napkins here, Mother.

Shri Mataji: And then we remove the cotton. If the napkin is also wet, we remove the napkin. It can be washed. You see, we can have about twelve or, say, twenty-four, shaped like that. It’s very simple, how to make it. I’ll show you. This is the [unclear: shape or way], shape the napkin. So you, get a soft cloth, some sort of a [unclear: sounds like emollient] or something. In India you get such a lot of, very nice [unclear]. Now, what you do is to make it like that. All right? Now, [unclear] not a thing like this. It’s for a little baby. But you can have soft toweling [unclear].

Q: We get, we get soft toweling. The way, many of us do it that way.

Shri Mataji: All right! And then you must wash them. Hardly it takes any time for you to wash. And in a day you take about, in the beginning they are small and you need more number. Later on, you don’t need them but you don’t have all these problems of the plastics for the baby, and the child is allowed to breathe. His body grows well. Otherwise, they have, the backside is so pushed in, funny figures and you also have what you call the legs going like that.

WR: Your hip joints go –

Shri Mataji: Very bad. It’s very wrong and should be avoided.

Q: You mean the disposables, or do you mean?

Shri Mataji: The disposables are not good thing. Only if you are going out somewhere, see? This kind of a cloth is the best. This is a soft one. This is very good. Still, for a little newly born is still smaller. You see, we don’t want to seal it, not to seal it at all. It’s hard. You see, just take, open it out, just like that. We don’t seal it [unclear] like that. It’s too big. For a big child, is all right. All right? Now, that’s all. Even if you want you can put like this for a big boy. Here a little fold, but normally, for a little baby, small. So the child is allowed to –

H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi