Why to shave a baby's head in the odd months and years - Superstition Series
By Madhurie Singh, March 27, 2012
As I was walking out I saw a very small baby whose head was uncovered but looked recently shaved!
How can the parents’ of a baby who is probably 2-3 month only have his head shaven? The Mundan ceremoney has become a burden which parents want to get on and be done with asap.
This is a very stupid ritual which people are blindly following including very educated people that I know of.
There is this silly belief that one must get the baby’s head shaved off the hair on the odd months or odd years of his/her age!
And to follow this they just want to get it done as soon as possible as if there a time bomb attached the to the hair. My sons who are 8.10 and 7 yrs still have not got their heads shaven and I find no big deal about it. Initially lot of close relatives asked but after I explained to them my reasons they had nothing more to say. Some hear, agree and yet say but you should!
Anyways to clear the silly superstition from many young parents’ mind I thought I must write as to why it was told that one must get the baby’s head shaven on the odd years!
It is scientific and nothing to do with God though it has a religious sentiment attached as that makes easy for common people to be forced to follow something which needed logical explanation in the past.
When a baby is born, in order to help the baby to move out through the narrow passage, the skull bones are not joined. They are in several parts and are called fontanelle.
The skull is not hard as yours or mine when they are born. The skull actually shifts and adjusts as per the movement of the baby during the delivery process.
This picture shows the image of a baby just born with the skull pointed outwards due to pressure and the next picture shows how the baby ‘s skull takes the perfect shape after 24 hours!
The above picture shows how many pieces the baby’s skull is made of and hence NOT JOINT when they are born. The gaps between any two piece takes time to be filled by the calcium and all other nutrition needed. As the average babies take around 1 year for this gap to be filled, ideally the head is shaven after 1 year to mark the occasion.
Also earlier people did not have many outing and needed such social functions to meet and enjoy. Now you must have felt that sometime some babies even after one year do not have the head gap completely filled up. There remains a tiny gap when pressed in the center.
Such children’s calcium deposit and nutrition may not have been enough and hence the child’s head is not fully filled. Since one year was not enough, their growth being slower, they will need two more years to get this gap filled. This was a general observation.
And by common sense they prevented parents’ to shave the head of their baby if after one year the gap was still there. So going by the same logic, when the baby’s skull does not fill by 3rd years, they have to wait for 2 more years based on the slow rate of gap getting filled.
So why the shaving should be prevented?
Simple, the main reason to prevent shaving of the head was to prevent any injury to the brain, skull, skin or infection which may damage the baby life long as the skull is soft and can be cut or injured in the process of shaving head.
Secondly the celebration was the mark that the baby’s skull is fully joint. So no joint no celebration.
Now people only remember the shaving of the head must be done in the odd years but have forgotten to ask their elders why odd years only?
Also people have changed the years into months! It is now as per their convenience to finish the ritual earlier than what it was supposed to be. So now parents want to do the mundan as early as 1, 3 or 5 month remembering the odd figure passed on to them by their equally ignorant elders!
So use your head my dear parents. Touch the head of the baby and check for the gap. No gap then go and shave your baby’s hair, else kindly hang on till whatever number of months and it need not be odd months.
In our country if you want the masses to follow something just scare them of the wrath of the God/ Goddess and in the name of religion make them do anything!
Hmm I think government should spread that if you pay tax, Goddess Laxmi does stays in your home for a long time and if you do not file return, she may never return into your tijori!