FINCA TATIN, Izabel, Guatemala- Petra screamed.
“It’s alright, babies are suppose to scream in the bath,” the Maya woman who was bathing Petra reassured Chaya.
Petra continued screaming. The Maya woman continued bathing.
“I usually mix together hot and cold water together when I bathe her,” Chaya passively suggested to the woman who was making quick work scrubbing down our screaming baby in the local fashion.
“Babies are suppose to be bathed in cold water, it will get rid of the heat rash,” the Maya woman spoke as she scrubbed. “I have five daughters and they always go right to sleep after they are bathed.”
Apparently, the Maya in this region of Guatemala bath their babies in cold water, in deaf opposition to their protests. Apparently, Maya babies scream just like Petra was doing as the busty woman in a hand woven blouse and skirt poured another bowel of un-heated water over her head.
Babies always scream in the bath.
Chaya stood back and held he motherly instincts to coddle her screaming child at bay — the Maya woman has five daughters, she must know what she is doing.
The bath was soon over, and Petra was placed into a clean towel and returned to her mother. She did not go right to sleep — she looked traumatized as she dug for Chaya’s breast — and we chuckled about the ordeal and determined that the ways of Maya bathing were probably not for our baby, who has already become pampered with warm baths.
Though a few hours later her heat rash did seemed to look better, Petra’s skin also felt a little more taunt and dry rather than soft and soggy.
The next day the bath was repeated. Petra screamed all over again.
But afterwards she went right to sleep. Later in the day the heat rash dissipated from her skin — Petra look alert, her skin was smooth and white again, the cold bath proved effective.
Maya Child Care – Bath Babies in Cold Water