Keep track of Newborn Babies | Cycle chat for safe night naps
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Safe Nights and Naps - Keeping Track of the Newborn's Sleep Cycle Chart

December 24, 2020 |  read | Approved By Dr Rahul Verma |  Facebook Twitter Whatsapp

It’s a well-known fact that an average adult needs 6-8 hours of sound sleep and a newborn sleep cycle chart will show that a baby may require any time from 12 - 16 hours of sound sleep. Lack of sleep may lead to a very cranky, difficult to handle baby – a parent’s nightmare!

 

As new parents, there would be a lot of new things that you may experience during the process of caring for your infant. One of the things that you probably will realize is that sleep and feed are the two most basic essentials for the baby especially in the first year of their life. These are the first two things that are channeled into a routine in a baby’s system. This journey of adjusting your daily routine with the baby’s sleep and feed clock can be overwhelming initially. 

 

Commonly, the nights are the hardest to get through, especially when your day routine has been busy. Let’s discuss a few safety measures that you can take while putting your baby down to sleep.

 

A Safe, Sound Sleep

Sudden infant death syndrome, known as SIDS, is a very mysterious syndrome that occurs in babies less than 1-year-old. This syndrome is largely categorised as unexpected and has researchers going bonkers finding a proper solution for this problem. Although it's important to remember that SIDS is not common in India.

 

It does sound scary, but most health caregivers will give you a good amount of counselling sessions during and after your pregnancy. These sessions will explain to you about the different ways through which you can navigate your baby out of this syndrome. There are a lot of training sessions on the same. These are simple steps and precautions that you as a parent will have to look forward to. If you are still concerned that your child is in danger of SIDS, you should contact your doctors immediately. SIDS may not have an exact cause, but we do know the risk factors that exist.

 

Baby Sleeping Gears

Just like the infant’s 16 hours of sleep, the manner of sleeping is also very important. In fact, we would like to emphasize this point as it is one of the common risk factors of SIDS. Draw yourself a newborn sleep cycle chart to keep track of your baby’s sleep and map out everything you need to do before it hits your baby’s sleeping time again. Babies have to be handled with care even as they are laid down to sleep. Babies should sleep on their back. The prone position, which is the baby sleeping on its stomach is a very dangerous position. It could suffocate the baby during sleep.

 

You should buy the right crib for your baby. There are many kinds in the market today. You can consult with experienced parents or your doctors to get more details on the same. The size of the crib and the mattress should be determined accurately with respect to your child. Make sure the mattress is firm and fits the crib edge to edge. This keeps the baby from falling in between the crib railings and the mattress and injuring himself/herself.

 

Dress for the occasion. Yes, we could say that about an infant’s sleep. In this case, your baby should not be overdressed. Opt for light, soft cloths as nightwear for the baby- no strings and laces attached. Even the blanket should be warm, soft and the perfect size for the baby. You should discuss with your doctor before you pick out your swaddle blanket. They can help you find the right size and cloth texture best for newborn children, especially considering their skin and body size.  

 

Fix the temperature that would not be too cold and too hot for the baby. The weather in India varies from one end of the country to another. Therefore, the ideal temperature varies from one place to another.  In this context, parents try to understand the temperature according to the emotions displayed by the baby. Babies tend to sleep well under the right temperature. Until you achieve this mode, keep testing the numbers around. Rock your baby to those ancestral lullabies with lights dimmed down as much as possible. Low sounds, dark room and the right temperature give the baby a perfect sleep cue. Having a newborn sleep cycle chart with all the additional details can go a long way in giving yourself a reminder about all these.

 

For more Security 

Doctors’ advice parents to avoid co-sleeping with their infants until they are much older. Therefore, you can share the room with your baby by keeping the crib in the same room. In this way, it is easier for you to feed the baby during the late hours of the night. Make sure to use light, soft bed sheets which tightly cover the mattress. It is best to avoid pillows, stuffed toys and other items in the crib. Objects like these could block the baby’s airway passage.

 

Theories suggest that breastfeeding can affect safe sleep for your baby. It reduces the risk of SIDS for at least the first 6 months. While breastfeeding your child during the night make sure you choose safe and comfortable positions to breastfeed in case you might fall asleep during the process. Make sure your baby is latching properly and feeding on your milk.

 

Smoke and second hand smokers are very dangerous to babies. This is why parents opt out of co-bedding if either of the partners are smokers.

 

 

As new parents, the process of blending the sleeping and feeding routine with your child can be very overwhelming. In this situation, we would like to advise new parents to try and get a good rest during the day to sync with your baby. Follow the newborn sleep cycle chart and get yourself some rest when your baby does. Sleep like a baby, sleep safely. Goodnight.

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational and educational purposes only. The contents of this article are general in nature and do not constitute medical advice, neither is it intended to substitute any professional or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please always consult your healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, procedure or treatment, prescription or medication and/or before starting any nutrition, diet, exercise, fitness, medical or wellness programme.

References

 

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Baby Food Safety

A child's growth is directly impacted by food intake, hence it is important to ensure baby food safety. These tips on do's and don'ts will help you give the safe and right nutrition to your baby

Babies grow faster than we think; one day they are so tiny and wrapped up in a cozy blanket, and the next thing you see them starting to crawl and play with everything in the house. To match this rapid growth of babies, they need the right food and nutrition. Babies post six months tend to gain appetite; Your breast milk may not be enough. Their physical activities also increase as they grow along with their appetite. Feeding them semi-solid food would be a great idea. 

 

Most new mothers worry about baby food and its safety. Recent research has found that canned baby-food contains traces of heavy metal elements like lead and arsenic. One has to be careful while choosing baby-food. Apart from canned or ready-to-use baby food, several foods are not considered safe for the baby. One must be vigilant while choosing baby-food or preparing them. 

 

If you are a new parent and would want to switch your baby to solid or semi-solid food, here are a few ideas and tips on do’s and don’ts on baby-food.

 

Do’s 

1. Check labels

Every time you are at the supermarket to buy food for the little angel, make sure to read the labels carefully. Labels usually mention everything you need to know about the food, from ingredients to storing to any hazards. Next time you are out shopping for the munchkin, take a few mins to read through the labels and find out what is best for your baby. 

 

2. Home-made food

Relying only on canned and packed food like purees and cereals is not a healthy practice for you and the baby. When you make baby food at home, you have control over what goes into it and whatnot. This way, you can put your mind at ease and feed your baby with no worries. There are several ways to make home-made cereal or puree for the baby. You can even make malt powders of ragi, rice, and oats and keep them handy at home. This way, you can ensure a safe and happy meal for your little one.   

 

3.Cook thoroughly 

Make sure to cook the baby-food thoroughly before feeding it to the baby. Since you are just starting to feed them with semi-solids, it is necessary to ensure that there are no raw or hard-to-swallow parts in the food. Make sure to mash everything and feed them in small, bite-sized quantities. Since your baby is just starting with solids or semi-solids, make sure to keep the taste bland or slightly sweet and warm. Babies are used to breastmilk, and it would take some time for them to adjust to this new alternative with breast milk. Be patient and understand what taste your little one prefers. 

 

4. Feeding time!

Make feeding time a bonding time for you two. Talk and play with your baby when you feed them. But make sure that both of you concentrate on food. If you are feeding a toddler, make sure to sit them down while feeding. Feed in small quantities and sufficiently. Give them time to chew a little and swallow. Allow them to take their time and eat. After a few months, around 9 to 11 months, you can ask them to eat by themselves. Don’t worry about the mess or time. Let them enjoy and savor the food. 

 

Don’ts

1. Canned food 

As discussed above, do not entirely rely on canned and store-bought baby food. About 3 to 5 months into feeding them baby-foods, you can give them regular home-cooked food. But make sure to soften or mash them before feeding them. When you feed your baby, make sure to take in small quantities to avoid any food waste. Avoid refrigerating half-eaten baby-foods and feeding then straight from cans. The mouth-to-can procedure fosters an environment for bacteria to thrive. Take how much is required in a separate bowl or plate and feed your munchkin. 

 

2. Uncooked food and meat

Avoid any food that is uncooked or undercooked. Be it vegetable, fruits, eggs, or meats. Make sure to cook them thoroughly and feed your baby. Instead of feeding your baby raw vegetables like carrot or beets, cook and cut them into finger food sizes. Cut up meat in bite-sized quantities and feed your baby and make sure that the meat is cooked. By cooking the food, you kill germs present in the food. 

 

3. Food that are choking Hazard

Avoid feeding food that is high choking hazards for toddlers like grapes, chocolates, gummy bears, pop-corns, or dry cereal flakes. Keep food like these away from their reach and sight. Even the unexpected food like jellies and peanut-butter are choking hazards. Make sure to cut up fruits and vegetables into small pieces and cook fruits like apple and pear and feed them. This way, it is easier for them to swallow as well as digest the food.

 

4. Feeding only certain food

Avoid feeding your baby only certain foods that they like. Avoid making the same type of food each day. Change their food now and then. Just because they prefer a certain food or taste, does not mean you have to give them the same. It might lead to nutrition deficiency and picky eating. Make your baby’s food colorful and tasty

 

These are just a few Do’s and Don’ts of what to feed the little sweetheart. Take your parent’s help in making their food and feeding them. After a while, you would be able to figure out what to feed and what not to feed.

December 21, 2020 |  read

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Milestones Your Little One Reaches in the first 6 Months

Here is your go to guide to help you navigate the first six months of parenthood. Milestones and everything you need to know about your baby's growth from birth till 6 months.

The wait of nine long months is finally over! Your little one is in your arms and you can’t stop gushing over how cute they are. While you can’t get enough of your baby, it can be overwhelming too, especially when they are your first born. You might be wondering about a hundred different things about their growth and whether you are doing it right. Well, the following article should put your mind at peace.

 

Here is your go-to guide to help you navigate the first six months of parenthood.

 

Month 1

An average newborn weighs approximately 2.8 kilograms and measures about 50 cms but don’t worry if your baby loses some of the weight in the first few days after birth. Babies can lose about 7-10% of their birth weight in the first 10 days of their lives and should regain it within the first 2 weeks as your feeding becomes steady. Once your little one starts gaining weight, they gain approximately 20-30 grams a day for the first few months. Feeding your baby is usually ‘on demand’ initially, which means that your little one will need to be fed as and when they show signs of hunger. Some babies tend to feed more at night for the first few weeks and then fall into a routine of feeding at every 2-3 hours. 

 

Babies should always sleep on their backs for the first 6 months with no loose covers in order to prevent any risk of suffocation. Tummy time is something you can start around the 2nd week. Tummy time is only when the child is awake and comfortable and should not be practiced when the child is asleep. This will allow them to push themselves up which will develop their arm and shoulder strength. 

 

Your little sweetheart loves your voice and hence, it is important to speak to them, even if you don’t always get a response. It helps them calm down.

 

A few common problems you might face during the first month include colic, nasal congestion and jaundice (yellowing of the skin). These will be monitored by your Paediatrician in the newborn visits.

 

 

Month 2

As days progress, your baby becomes more interactive and responsive. In response to loud noises, you may notice them to remain silent and occasionally turn towards the direction of the loud noise. Most babies start smiling when they see you or their daddy or sibling. This is called a social smile

 

They generally start putting their fingers in their mouth and have a strong suck reflex. Although they still cannot hold objects, a bright colored object hanging above them might catch their eye and they may try to bat at it. Their hearing and eyesight steadily develops during this month.

 

Some babies are good at establishing a feeding routine and may sleep longer at night. Their heads become more steady and when placed on their bellies they are able to lift their heads and sometimes their shoulders.

 

It's time for their 6 week vaccination too!

 

Month 3

Three months already? Well now begins what most parents would refer to as the ‘enchanted period’ as this is the phase with a lot of smiling, sleeping well and being social. Their routine is generally established and they sometimes sleep through the night! 

 

Head control is good and they tend to hold up their head without much wobbling. Their back strength also increases, they have better hand-eye coordination and may get hold of a rattle that they may put straight into their mouths. At this age, they laugh and squeal and coo, follow you as you move away and respond to the funny faces you make. Hugging your baby helps in their cognitive development around this time. Their verbal repertoire extends to the occasional vowels and consonant sounds like ‘ah-goo’. You would be quite proud of your cute one’s control over movements and coordination.

 

At week 10th, be ready for another vaccination.

 

Month 4

It is the playtime month for your baby. Their life now is all about showing off their newfound athletic abilities such as trying to get up or rolling, trying to eat any object available with their tiny mouth and perfecting their already achieved milestones. There may be signs of teeth as well and your baby will show quicker reflexes. This is also when their vision improves significantly; they will want to imitate you and hence, it is important that you talk to them for encouragement.

 

It’s vaccination time again.

 

Month 5

Your little one will be able to sit up for longer periods of time and will still need some help being propped up with pillows. They may start sitting unsupported for a few seconds too. Their rolling over skills improve by leaps and bounds and you may notice that when your little one is on their belly they move their arms and legs as if ready to crawl. It's best to start baby proofing your house for the impending explorer! Their senses also improve, and they can spot and try to grab a toy out of reach or turn their heads towards the direction of a sound. Their motor skills improve to ‘army crawl’ which is mostly slithering, and you can guess that crawling is just over the horizon.

 

Month 6

It’s your baby’s half year birthday! The teething phase must have started and tooth eruption is due anytime after the 6th month. Their feeding and sleep pattern is well established. They manage to sit independently for longer periods and some babies may be able to get into the crawling position too.

 

You can introduce them to solid food like fruits, vegetables and whole grain cereals. They should weigh somewhere within 6-7 kg and the average height should be somewhere around 25-26 inches.

 

 

Now that you know what you can expect in these six months, you can plan ahead to avoid a surprise. However, it is important to note that every baby is different and thus, it is okay if your little one takes more time than the others or is getting there faster. Remember to keep your pediatrician in the loop and of course, spend as much time as possible with your bundle of joy!

December 21, 2020 |  read

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Milestones Your Baby Reaches in a Year : Month 7 to Month 12

Babies from 7-12 months of age are growing quickly. Here is how you can monitor their physical, cognitive, emotional, and language development at different stages.

6 Months have gone by, in the blink of an eye! Your little sunshine doesn’t just want to stay in the safety of your arms anymore. S/he is busy living an adventure, every second throughout the day.

 

Here are a few things you can expect in these months to come:

 

Month 7th:

Your baby is now, officially a crawler and trying to explore the entire house on all fours! It is a proud moment to see them being able to sit upright and grab for the toys or objects they want to. You will notice that he/she is able to bear more weight on the legs and can hold on to almost stand, with your support. A seven months old eyesight allows him/her to see across the room.

 

Among the developed cognitive skills, they respond better to their names and recognize familiar faces. They can sway you away with their cute babbles but keep in mind that every baby is different when it comes to communicating. Hence, it is important to let them grow at their own pace.

 

The average weight in this age is usually 18 pounds for boys and 16 pounds for girls with heights of 27 inches and 26 inches respectively.

 

Month 8th:

Does your ball of cuteness refuse to go into the arms of strangers? Don’t worry. S/he is in her/his anti-social phase now and will eventually socialize. They may be going through separation anxiety, which is them knowing who you are and refusing to be away from you. That’s affection and while you definitely can be busy at times, make sure something like a security blanket or a special toy is there to fill your absence.

 

They can now even scoot backwards and make specific sound tied to a particular emotion. You can introduce them to music at this age to calm them down. Keep reading to them which will eventually lead them to speak.

 

Typically, a baby is 17.5 pounds to 19 pounds and 27 to 27.8 inches at this age.

 

Month 9th:

By now, your little Mr/Ms. Intelligent understands object permanence which is the existence of something even when it is not visible. Their pincer grip, that is, holding an object between thumb and forefinger develops which means improved dexterity.

 

They can point towards something they want and that’s quite an adventure. You would be proud to see them being able to stand upright with support and starting to cruise which is walking with the help of furniture. But they are still mastering their balancing skills and need a lot of attention.

 

It is also the perfect time to tap into their creativity by providing them with musical toys and even art supplies as they make a constant use of their hands for everything.

 

The average weight is 18.1 pounds to 19.6 pounds and height is 27.6 inches to 28.3 inches for girls and boys respectively.

 

Month 10th:

By now, your little star is pretty busy doing things like putting an object in the container and taking it out, feeding themselves finger food, shaking their head etc. They can feel and understand the difference in objects, and this is when you make them learn different shapes and sizes. They know what they are doing and are always curious and playful. You would be proud of their newfound skills and burgeoning independence.

 

With growth, their appetite starts declining. It is time to start with a proper balanced meal which includes protein, carbs and healthy fats as well as fruits and veggies.

 

Your baby at this age can be between 18.7-20.2 pounds in weight and 28.1-28.9 inches in height.

 

Month 11th:

Already tearing up at the occasional ‘mama’ and ‘dada’? You would be prouder of tiny perfectionist’s better crawls and cruises or reaching out for objects. They even understand your instructions like not to touch something but will be more prone to mischief like not listening to you or shredding anything that they can. This is a good time to teach them the differences in right and wrong. On the brighter side, they sleep well now.

 

Typically, the average weight is 19.2 to 20.8 pounds and height is 28.7 to 29.3 inches for girls and boys respectively.

 

Month 12th:

A year already, phew! You have come a long way. You are officially the parent of a toddler now. Your little star can now stand without support and may even take a step or two. They will be exploring different objects by banging, dropping or throwing them, can comprehend your basic questions and even speak simple words such as hi, no etc. Their vision has improved to that of a normal adult and they can imitate gestures or reach out to something they want. With the first tooth, you will now have to take care of their dental hygiene. Your little baby may stumble a lot, but it is all a part of growing up.

 

The cutie, by now will have tripled his/her birthweight, and will be 28-32 inches tall.

 

 

All of the facts kept aside, it is important to remember that every baby is different and therefore, will grow at their own pace. There is nothing to worry about if your baby is doing something earlier than they were supposed to or hasn’t gotten there quite yet.

However, be sure to watch out for red flags and keep your pediatrician on the loop.

December 21, 2020 |  read

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Your Baby’s First Foods: What to Feed, What Not to Feed

As your baby reaches all those exciting milestones, questions like when, what and what not to feed your baby arise. This guide will help you chart your babies first foods.

Is your little one already six months old? Now, 6 months is the perfect time to start weaning your baby as the baby needs extra nutrients for growth and the body can also now cope with the external solids. The most exciting of all milestones your child reaches, is most definitely his or her transition to solids. With it, a dozen other questions follow, including when to feed, what to feed, and what not to feed.

Know that a baby’s first foods are no fancy recipes with seasonings! They are supposed to be single flavours for your baby – pureed, mashed, pulped, chopped – all at different stages of their growth. Let us try and chart out when should they be fed, and with what. Do remember to fill your pediatrician in, on your plans.

 

The ‘When’

In bringing the world of solid foods to your child, you as a parent are helping your child shape his or her relationship with food, and letting them establish an eating style that is a healthy one. Except, of course, the time of such introduction depends from infant to infant.  To find out if your baby is ready for baby food, look out to find if he or she displays the following signs –

  • Starting to support his or her neck up, and sit.
  • Grabbing food with hands, wanting to feel its texture and trying to put it in their mouth.
  • Picks up the spoon, sometimes only to imitate adults around.
  • No longer pushes food out of their mouth using the tongue.

 

Nutrition from milk, either breast milk or formula, after six months is not sufficient for the nutritional growth of your baby. And this is exactly when solid foods need to be added to your child’s diet.

 

The ‘What’ and ‘What Not’

At Months 4 - 6 :

At this starting point, try and keep things simple, and prepare single ingredient purees using the following :

 

Bananasbananas in a crate on rustic wood table - banana stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Bananas are rich in fibre and potassium, and are supposed to be a perfect food for your child. They are very gentle on the insides of the baby’s stomach. 

 

Carrotscarrot soup - carrot puree stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

A carrot puree, with its pleasant texture, provides a natural sweet taste to your child’s taste buds. A rich supply of Vitamin A can be provided to your baby even with its simple presentation.

 

Peasfresh green peas - peas stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Although the peas may seem tiny they are a huge source of nutrition, packed with vitamins, protein, calcium, and iron. Passing the puree through a fine mesh sieve will ensure the skin pieces are removed.

 

Sweet Potatoesbaked sweet potato - sweet potatoes stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Sweet Potatoes are loaded with health benefits. Its puree too makes a yummy and nutritious food for the baby.

 

At Months 6 - 8 :

It’s time to prepare your baby’s first foods like purees slightly thicker in consistency, and with more than one ingredient. Combine them one at a time – the ones you are sure your child is not allergic to. It is recommended to run a double check with your pediatrician on purees made out of :

 

Banana and Avocado

young woman making a healthy smoothie - banana and avocado stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesPotassium and Vitamin C rich, this combination also contains good fats and fibre. The banana adds sweetness to this preparation.

 

 

Three Veggies 

spoons and purees - potato puree stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesPotatoes, carrots, and peas make a great combination. Some like to     introduce their babies to non vegetarian food like fish, along with this mix of the three veggies

 

 

Beetroot and Blueberry

fresh beet and blueberry juice - beetroot and blueberry stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesThis nutritious blend is rich in fibre, and can make a delicious breakfast for your baby, when added to a cereal.

 

 

At Months 8 - 10 :

 

Papayas

papaya - papaya stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesA papaya with its enzymes helps in digestion, and so makes a good food to help relieve the baby of tummy troubles. However, it is best to wait until eight months before introducing the papaya.

 

Mangoes

tropical fruits: sliced mangos in a wooden plate on a table in rustic kitchen - mango stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesIt is about time that you let your baby taste some tang. Peal, deseed, and mash the mango to get a fine consistency.

 

Vegetables

organic produce pile on a brown table - vegetables stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesPotatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, onions – all of them can be cooked and mashed to make a nutritious food option for your baby.

 

Water and Juices

bottled citrus fruit juice with drinking straw along side with cut citrus fruits family stacked on white background. - natural juices stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesWhile your baby’s digestive system is still developing, make sure he/she gets enough water. Prepare natural juices, without sugar at home.

 

 

At Months 10 - 12 :

Now that your child is 11 months old already, he/she can eat various fruits, veggies, and meat. Along with breast milk or formula, an average 11 month old baby will require three meals a day along with a snack. You could give them :

 

Dairy

dairy products cheese yoghurt milk - dairy stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesDo not start off with cow milk just yet. Give your baby other dairy products like curd.

 

 

Grains and Pulses

variety of grains - grain and pulses stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesGive your child some variety, and switch between various pulses and grains.

 

 

Green Leaves

fresh organic homegrown herbs and leaf vegetables background - spinach stock pictures, royalty-free photos & imagesLeafy greens like fenugreek and spinach are beneficial particularly because of the iron they contain. You may go ahead and feed your baby with these now.

 

 

Stay patient with your baby, and keep your creativity running, because in no time they will grow up and begin to ask for burgers, pizzas, sodas, and other junk food of all sorts. While you still can, try and make sure that your baby’s first foods are healthy, and the experience is fun for all involved

December 21, 2020 |  read

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Baby’s Social and Emotional Development (0 to 12 months)

Here is a complete guide to your baby's social and emotional development. Keep a track of your baby's development by looking for milestones every month in their first year.

An infant’s development during the first few months is extraordinary. With rapid developments, both physically and mentally, the child starts becoming a social being. While this is an exciting period for the new parents, you may feel a bit apprehensive. Here are the answers to some questions that you may have. Keep a track of your child’s social and emotional development by looking for the subsequent milestones in their first year. 

 

0 - 2 Months

By the first two months, the child’s observation skills have developed and they try to look at their caretakers. This is also the period when they start to smile at the ones around them. To support the baby to remember and recognise you, the caretakers can hold the child close to their face and make eye contact. The child also turns towards familiar voices and sounds around him or her.

 

By the second month, babies start to develop a ‘social smile’ which is the way they start to engage with others. They start making small sounds with their gurgling and cooing and begin to draw people in by keeping eye contact, moving their arms, and smiling.  She or he also learns to soothe themselves, by the end of this period, by sucking on their thumb. Physical, skin-to-skin contact is important during this time and parents should engage in softly touching the child and establishing this. This warmth will also keep the child comforted and at ease. 

 

3 - 4 Months

There is more social and emotional connection that the child exhibits with the people around him or her. They start mouthing the vowel sounds and can be seen smiling frequently. They start to recognise familiar faces and objects, even from a distance, in their third month. Facial expressions now consistently reflect anger, joy, interest, fear, disgust, or surprise. They may even try to copy your facial expressions and movements to initiate communication. They are much more welcome to people playing with them and enjoy this. In fact, the child can get upset when this playtime gets over.

 

Parents can encourage their child’s social and emotional development by being an active member of this. You can try looking and pointing at things to increase the child’s interest and curiosity. You can also smile at your baby when you pick him or her up and talk in a soft-spoken voice to make them feel comfortable in such interactions.

 

5 - 6 Months

The child shows much developed social and emotional stages at this period. By the end of 6 months, they will be able to say consonant and vowel sounds. They enjoy playing with their caretakers and exhibit emotions like crying or whining when they are sad or angry or squealing when they are happy. They have learnt to identify and recognise faces by now and can differentiate between familiar ones and strangers. They also love to look at themselves in the mirror and identify themselves. They tend to respond when people call them by their name. Parents can look for toys which have mirrors attached to them, to help the child look at their movements and understand themselves better.

 

This is the period when parents should start initiating the child into the social environment physically as well. Play games with them that involve body movements like peek-a-boo. You can also help the child understand what is going on around them by talking to them about this in a soothing, sweet tone. 

 

7 - 9 Months

By the seventh month, the child has already grasped emotions and what they mean. They can recognise it from your voice if you are happy or angry with them and they start responding to your facial expressions as well. They are now able to put together strings of consonants together while babbling. They can understand the word “no” and grasp its meaning.

 

They start to cling on to the adults that they are familiar with and might show fear to interact with strangers as well. They do not like parting with toys that are their favourite. To help the child in their social and emotional development, you can let them lead you in your interactions with her, like playtime, and go with their actions.

 

10 - 12 months

Your baby is now much more of a social being. By the tenth month, they can shake their head to say “no” and wave their hand to say “bye”. Soon, they will start picking up words like “mama” or “dada” and even inflections like “uh-oh”. They start to understand instructions that are told to them like “Don’t sit” and may respond to these. By the eleventh month, your child will be seen copying your behaviours as well. This means that the parents should be conscious of the way they carry themselves and talk to each other during this period.

 

By the time they are 12 months old, they can produce simple words like “hi”. They can also recognise objects and even use them correctly. By the end of this period, your baby has grown into a toddler with basic social and emotional competence.

 

 

The first few months are a really important period in establishing their social and emotional connection with their parents and other loved ones around. Remember to keep these milestones in mind and support the child in his or her development. However, do keep in mind that these are average timeframes. In case your child doesn’t reach a milestone, remember to give him or her some time and take them to a pediatrician only upon a considerable delay. Above all, remember that every child is unique and so are their patterns of growth

December 21, 2020 |  read

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Before Solid Foods - Options and Alternatives to Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding may not always work for everyone. Supplemental nursing system, exclusive pumping, and formulas are some of the alternatives that one can consider before feeding their baby solid foods.

Oftimes, despite all the plans made, things might not turn out to be as planned, especially when it comes to bringing your little one up. Have your imagined breastfeeding moments morphed into a reality of exhaustive days and nights? Breastfeeding does not always work out for every new mom, and that is okay, because several other alternatives out there have got you covered! 

While some women make a conscious choice to not breastfeed, others simply cannot. Why is that, you ask? Well, there could be a number of reasons – troubles latching, a lack of supply, sore nipples, inverted nipples, or some other lactation or medical complications. If this sounds familiar to you, by all means, take a sigh of relief in the fact that you are not alone. There is absolutely nothing to be worried about! The alternatives posed are just as healthy. Breast feed may be the most natural form of nutrition, but remember that it is not the only option. Let us find out what can be done when you do not have the desire to, or cannot breastfeed. 

 

Supplemental Nursing System

Image result for sns feeding tube

SNS, short for Supplemental Nursing System, is like a fine feeding tube that is attached to a bottle or bag of milk or formula, which is placed next to the mother’s nipple while the baby is feeding. While the baby latches on and is sucking, she/he gets milk from the nipple, and at the same time from the bottle by means of the tube.

In case the baby needs additional nutrients, or you have a low supply, SNS is supposed to be a decent option. So it might not really be an “alternative” to breastfeeding, but still an additive to it. Mamas of adopted babies too can bond with their child as a birth mother would with a simple SNS. 

 

Exclusive Pumping

african american woman holding milk in breast pump - breast feeding bottle stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

It is a great option for moms who feel strongly about giving their babies their own milk, have strict schedules, or cannot make breastfeeding work. Mothers use breast pumps to get their babies the benefits of breastmilk without having to breastfeed. A baby’s time feeding on breast milk can be extended where even the mother’s energy is not drained out.

Even if your baby has troubles latching properly, exclusive pumping works just fine! Dads or other family members, who typically do not have the luxury to bond with the baby while feeding them, get a chance to do so while getting all the nutrients in the baby’s belly. 

 

A Nipple Shield

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A nipple shield is a very soft, thin piece of silicone or rubber which covers the nipple and areola. There is a small opening at the tip of the nipple area that allows milk to flow from the breast, to the baby through this shield. It protects sore nipples, and makes the process of breastfeeding comfortable.

It is often used to help newborns if they have a tough time latching on. The shield may be easier for the baby to latch on, than the breast. 

 

Formula

pumped breast milk - breast feeding bottle stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The most common of them all, Formula is essentially powdered mix that is added to boiled water. It is fed to the baby in a bottle. Rich in nutrients and ingredients, it keeps your baby healthy throughout infancy. Typically, mothers who breastfeed also give their baby a drop of Vitamin D, but Formula already contains it.

It is supposed to be much easier than breastfeeding. It also works in cases where babies have feeding issues. However, you might get a little overwhelmed with the formula options available. There is no such thing as the ‘best’ formula, because they vary from infant to infant. Before deciding on a formula for your baby, we strongly recommend that you consult your pediatrician and then go ahead. 

 

Cow Milk Formula

conceptual cow made from milk - cow milk stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

This type of comfort formula contains cow milk proteins that are partially hydrolysed. It is easy to digest and prevents problems like constipation and colic for some babies. It is not suitable for babies who may be allergic to cow milk.

 

Lactose-Free Formula

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Babies who are lactose intolerant are fed with this kind of formula. They cannot absorb the natural sugar that is present in milk and other dairy products. Although lactose intolerance is rare in babies, symptoms may include diarrhoea, bloating, and abdominal pain. 

 

Mother Donor Milk

premature baby girl in incubator - breast milk stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

There are now banks that help mommies who cannot produce milk. What they hold is donated breast milk. If a mom is low on milk supply, or with no milk supply at all, milk can be received from these banks to feed the baby.  

 

As an alternative to breastfeeding, moms that have breastmilk in abundance, pump and donate it to a breast milk bank for other moms. Sure, milk can be screened and pasteurized to ensure that the baby is getting the best. There is absolutely no stress over the mom for a lack of milk supply. 

Before you decide anything about what your baby should be fed with, do talk to your pediatrician for a better understanding of what your baby needs.

 

December 21, 2020 |  read

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7 Diaper Duty Hacks

Most of us are not the biggest fans of diaper duty - but someone has to do it! Here are a few tips to make diaper duty easier for you.

For all the new moms and dads out there, we can see your worried faces when you hear the term ‘diaper duty’. So we are here to give you a 101 guide to get you through this process. A newborn baby needs a lot of diaper changes in the beginning. Study shows that you will be changing diapers at least 2000 times in one year. Yes, that is a lot of poop and pee. Let’s tone down this challenge with a few diaper duty hacks.

 

1.The Diaper Station

A flat surface is the best option to lay the baby on his/her back. Make sure the surface is clean and has enough space to keep other things like tissues and extra clothing too.

 

Most often, a flat surface will not be available especially when you are travelling with your baby in a car or plane. In these cases, hop into our Product Wiz to compare and explore. You can shop for portable changing tables that help with this process. They are easy to use and comfortable to carry around (almost) wherever you go.

 

2.Gear Up

You might have come across a lot of new parents who run around with a big kit specifically for their newborn child. It does look like a lot of stuff, but to be honest, they are essentials that help parents to get things done when they are on the go.

 

What’s in the bag? Baby gear and extra baby gear. Experienced moms and dads have a very useful tip for all the new parents out there - be prepared for any kind of emergencies. Always carry an extra diaper and clothing for your baby. You can never be sure when you will need another one.

 

Before you dig into the business of changing your baby’s diapers, prep yourself with all the necessary things near you. One of the diaper duty hacks is to make sure you have them at your arm’s reach so that you don’t have to turn away from your baby.  Set up the station before you get down to business.

 

3.Pro-tips to Control the Surprise Element

“Keep a clean diaper below the soiled diaper for a faster switch,” says every person on diaper duty. You are bound to make mistakes the first few times. Accidents tend to happen, and you will have to do it all over again – but that’s okay too! 

 

Babies, especially baby boys, tend to splash pee as soon as you open the diaper. Some experiences say that you can control this situation if you wipe the baby’s tummy with a wet wipe before you open the diaper. This process will help to cool down his/her tummy.

 

Even if you do want to turn away from the baby for a second, remember to put a small cloth over the pee hole to avoid the splash of pee to spread all over the place.

 

4.Get Rid of Diaper Troubles

Babies get bigger over time. So they tend to outgrow their clothes and their diapers very quickly. It is very important to get the right size of diaper for your baby to avoid leakage and rashes on your baby. At an initial stage, it is advisable to stock-up diapers of all sizes. This way you won’t be left helpless when “that” size fits no more.

 

Look out for those frills on the edges of the diaper. The frills on the edges of the diaper are sometimes ignored when they strap their baby in. It is important to know that these frills help to avoid leakage.

 

5.Dressing Your Baby

Onesies are the easy fix for situations like this. Parents go for onesies that can be pulled up instead of down. This way it’s easier to take them off during the process of a diaper change. Sometimes they can also be rolled up to tuck your baby’s hands so that it doesn’t come in the way when you are changing the soiled diaper.

 

6.Treating Rashes

Parents use two types of diapers - cloth and disposable ones. Disposable ones are easier to use because they can be discarded once they are used. Cloth diapers are more affordable on the other hand. Whatever type of diaper you choose to use for your baby, it is important to check for rashes that might occur due to the diapers.

 

Some parents also give a few hours of naked time for their babies so that it can heal on its own. If this doesn’t work and your baby is irritated, consult your paediatrician who can suggest creams to heal the rash.

 

7.Create Distractions

Babies are very active all the time, so they can keep rolling around when you have to change their soiled diapers. This could get messy and hard for you to do the changing.

 

The best option for this is to keep them entertained. Make this process fun. Make funny faces and noises to keep them still. Talk to your baby! It might be silly, hilarious at first but babies are excited to see and hear noises that are new to them. You can use this opportunity to communicate with them with exaggerated expressions. Parents also give babies colourful toys and mobiles so that their hands don’t get in the way of dirty diapers.

 

 

We hope that these diaper duty hacks help you!

 

December 21, 2020 |  read

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First Aid for Babies

It's scary for any parent to see their baby get hurt. Which is why it is best to always be prepared. Keep a first aid kit ready for your baby. Here's what you need!

When children of any age flock together they are bound to leap, bounce and play around which may lead to a fall and then an outburst of tears. It is always good to know a few tips on first aid for babies in the back of your head.

 

Just as you are a parent today, you are also a chef, teacher, manager, or any other professional job holder. Life is a race to balance the two - family and career. In this race, there are sure to be a few bumps on the road (or on the head). And none of that proves that you are bad at your job being a parent or a professional. It is simply another learning opportunity.

 

Especially when it comes to newborn babies, every day is a learning, head-turner situation. Nobody is 100% perfect in the picture of childcare. We all need the right amount of support and care system to help us through the journey.

 

Children fall, react and cry for so many reasons beyond our imagination. Let's prepare for a few common things that we see around us. Prep a small kit for first aid for babies.

 

 

Baby emergencies

From the tiniest crawling insect on the floor to the big screen, everything is very intriguing for your baby. To be honest, they want to taste and smell everything. No kidding, we have seen children lick television screens and mirrors just like how they lick their mother's cheeks. Their element of exploration also goes into their mouths if we are not careful.

 

In case your baby has not swallowed sharp or large objects, you can hold and watch your baby's food processing manner. If she is choking, vomiting or drooling excessively you should probably take her to the hospital immediately. If you think your baby has swallowed something or is choking, slap it out. Lay the baby facing down on your thighs, while supporting the head, and give a few taps on the baby's back near the shoulder blade area. These objects are dangerous and can block her food and air passage. Avoid blindly sweeping the baby’s mouth as it may push objects further down and sometimes into the windpipe.

 

Babies also have a keen interest to put things in their ears and nose. If you see any kinds of discomfort portrayed by your child, contact your doctor or rush to your nearby hospital to seek help.

 

Sure enough, you would have heard the numerous "the baby locked me out" horror/comedy stories. These parents are now gymnasts- specialized in climbing windows, A/c vents and lock pickers. It is always best to baby proof your home and vehicles before the baby arrives. Consider replacing the locks of your bedrooms which can be accessed from both sides, are at a height of at least 4 feet, or have a spare with your neighbour or friend. 

 

Burns, Bites, and Bruises

We can't possibly watch our children like hawks. We do tend to turn around and pay attention to things like the kitchen or work. For some reasons, stories tell us that these are the exact moments when babies run off to jam their fingers within a door hinge.

 

There will be bees and all the other flying insects out there to bite your baby, especially in India. All kinds of animals are not as exciting on the screen as they are in real life. Animals and insect bites are seen very often on babies, therefore it’s better to speak to your pediatrician and keep the appropriate creams ready at home for precaution. At this age, babies have a tendency to touch everything around them – so it’s very important to be watchful and take the right safety measures. 

 

Before you panic in front of a crying baby, take a look at the wounds in cases of bites. Clean and press down on the wound with a cloth or gauze until the bleeding stops. Clean around the area to avoid any dirt, avoid applying home remedies like coffee, honey or toothpaste on the wound. After the bleeding stops, look out for any infection and report the same to the doctors. Always consult your pediatrician before applying anything to the wound. 

 

In the case of burns and jammed fingers, use a cold pack treatment, or keep the hand under flowing tap water for at least 3-5 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes until it reduces the pain. We urge you to consult a doctor for the right treatment.

 

Baby emergency – Help!

First-time parents have numerous emergency numbers varying from their neighbours, their parents, partners and even the police. No kidding, a wounded crying baby is our cue to panic. Especially when these little ones cannot explain their pain.

 

First aid for babies also means getting aid from someone in the case of emergency. So when to call your Doctor/Emergency Room/Hospital?

 

  • If you think your baby is choking and the item is not coming out- then definitely rush to the hospital
  • Vomiting due to a head injury
  • Deep cuts or burns
  • Change of colour in the skin or lips to grey, purple or blue

 

The truth is, we have to accept the fact that babies are bound to get injured and bruised all the time.  We know it breaks your heart to watch them cry or the crying shouldn't scare you away. Babies have strong systems within their body that can help them to develop and heal from wounds. It takes time and lots of patience. At the end of the day, know that the little one will be okay and know that you are an amazing parent. Always keep your pediatrician on speed dial and be prudent to make the call when you sense something is wrong.

 

December 22, 2020 |  read

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Beverage Feeding Guidelines for the Baby

Don't know which beverage to introduce to your baby at each stage? Don't worry, let us break it down for you: What to give your baby to drink and when.

Every day with your newborn is a heart-warming experience, but along the way, there will also be many firsts. Even with all the books you started reading since before you were pregnant and all the advice you have received from every other person out there, there might still be some things which are new for you. But we have got your back.  In this article, we will tell you about the baby beverages that can be introduced at various stages and the reasons behind it.

 

Only Breast Milk Till 6 Months

All of your baby’s nutritional needs are fulfilled by breastmilk up until the age of 6 months. Even if you are living in places with high temperature, do not feed your baby any water. If you feel he/she might be thirsty, you can breastfeed them instead as your milk is about 80% water, especially the milk that comes out first during every feed. Giving water to babies under 6 months might put them at risk for diarrhoea and other infections (if the water isn’t clean enough). If your little human’s tiny stomach is filled up with water, they might not drink enough breastmilk, which might lead to malnutrition.

 

If you can’t breastfeed due to medical reasons, then of course, baby beverages like instant formula and the water in it is enough for their hydration.
 

What About Water?

Water can slowly be introduced after the age of 6 months. Babies between the age of 6-12 months only need 2 – 4 ounces (59 to 118 ml) of water a day, along with breast milk. Water is very essential for your baby’s good health as they start growing up. According to research, they require more water than adults as they are growing up quickly and have higher metabolic rates. It is also necessary to regulate the baby’s body temperature and ensure good functioning of all the organs. Mommies, introduce your babies to sippy cups filled with water!

 

By the time your baby is one year old, their breastmilk intake relatively decreases. At this stage, you can let them drink approximately 8 ounces (237 ml) of water per day. As they grow older, you can also increase the amount of water. When they are two years old, you can give them 2 eight-ounce cups of water and 3 when they are aged three and so on up to the age of 8. Once you introduce a solid breakfast, lunch and dinner routine with your toddler, you can let them drink small amounts of water after every meal and even after snacking.

 

In a toddler’s world, everything is colourful and fun and just plain water may seem boring to them. What can you do if they refuse to drink it? As he/she gets adjusted to drinking water, you can make the experience more fun by pairing it with fresh fruits and herbs. These, while giving water extra taste, will also fulfil some of the baby’s nutritional needs without adding any extra sugar calories. As they grow up, you can also let them choose pairings they like the best.

 

Some of the best ingredients to infuse in water are pineapple, mint, tulasi, cucumber, watermelon, berries, orange or lemon. You can try a combination of these ingredients too. For example, mint and pineapple or watermelon and lemon.

 

When to Transition to Cow’s Milk?

If there is no history of cow’s milk allergy in your family, then experts say that you can start giving very small amounts of milk to your baby after they turn 11 months old, just to familiarize them with the taste. After they turn a year older, you can start giving them milk in limited quantities. You can give them a minimum of 8-10 ounces of whole milk every day (if you have weaned them off breastmilk) but the total intake should not be more than 24 ounces (approx. 700 ml). Kids under the age of 2 shouldn’t drink reduced fat milk and should only drink whole milk. Also ensure that you are not giving your kid flavoured milk, but just plain milk.

 

Milk contains calcium, phosphorus, protein, magnesium and many other nutrients which are essential for the baby’s development as well as good bone strength. Experts say that cow’s milk is the best choice for your baby when compared with other plant-based milks like almond milk. The nutritional values of plant based milks aren’t as rich as cow’s milk and might vary with each product.

 

All the Other Beverages

100% fruit juices can be given to your little one between the age of 1-6 years in small quantities, 120-180 ml, to be precise. You can also introduce them to coconut water by the age of 2 as it is healthier than other sweetened beverages. Avoid sweetened beverages like sodas, coffee and energy drinks up to age of 12 years as they might have adverse effects on the kid’s health. Smoothies can be introduced as soon as they can start sipping from a straw or sippy cup, which could be as early as 9 months.

 

 

A child’s nutrition is very important and hence, it is advised to have a conversation with your paediatrician before you introduce new baby beverages to him/her. As your little darling grows up, you can alter the beverages to their preferences keeping in mind these guidelines.

December 23, 2020 |  read

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Homeopathy - Going the Natural Way to Build Your Child’s Immunity

Build your child's immunity and health. Homeopathy can help you build your child's immunity with zero side effects.

Are you aware of the fact that about a one third of school kids in India miss classes owing to illnesses, and that parents across the globe miss about 126 days of work in order to aid their sick children? Are you one of such parents? Well, if yes, it is time you figure out and find reasons as to why you child falls sick. Let us find out how homeopathy can provide treatment for your child, and provide relief that lasts long, from any medical issue.

 

To reach out to a medical expert, and book an appointment with a homeopathic doctor, CLICK HERE to give your child the best medical care.

 

Some kids might fall ill more often than other kids. Something or the other keeps coming up for them. Did you ever wonder why? Well, answers probably lie in their immune systems. The immune system is a body’s defense against any kind of substances, or organisms and bacteria that can cause illnesses. While some children possess a strong immune system, further less prone to sickness, others have immune systems that are not as strong and fall ill more often. What homeopathy does is that it works at that level of immunity and lends an effective treatment for the child. With no side effects at all, why not let your child taste the sweetness of some homeopathy pills, and help them get better and healthier in a more holistic manner?

 

To find out more about natural, homeopathic treatments, CLICK HERE.

 

Weakened Immunity Symptoms

Here are 5 signs that clearly state that your child’s immune system is struggling to keep up:

 

  • Your child is sniffling and sneezing, and catches cold quite frequently. They also often have a sore throat.

  • Frequent ear, skin, and bronchial infections

  • Wounds take time to heal

  • Child is underweight

  • Displays deficiencies in nutrition with physical changes like in the hair or skin, brittle nails, getting bruised very easily, and exhibits a shorter attention span.

 

Bye Bye Antibiotics!

While Antibiotics may be able to prove quick relief, they lower the body’s susceptibility to infections in the long run. An overuse may cause drug resistance. They also exhibit side effects like nausea, rashes, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

 

What Does the Homeopathy Treatment Entail?

It is important to look into the roots of the problem of low immunity in children. Medication developed and prescribed for children should make an attempt to build their immunity, and not weaken it. With this view in mind, Homeopathy provides treatment without hampering the immune system and with zero side effects. It also helps to pull down the duration and frequency of problems occurring now and then. 

 

3 Homeopathic Remedies to Help Build a Child’s Immunity :

 

  • 10 drops of Echinacea Mother Tincture taken in half a cup of water, twice a day.

  • If treated with a lot of antibodies, Nux Vomica can help build immunity.

  • In case of  poor digestion, Silicea may be a good remedy. 

 

To book an appointment with Dr Batras, CLICK HERE.

 

Tips for Self Help

Breastfeeding the baby after delivery for at least a year - Breastfeeding can be supremely important to help build your child’s immune system. It is so full of antibodies that it prevents occurrence of allergies or other infections.

 

Allow the child to play outdoors

It was found in a survey that the current generation spends only about half the time playing outside, when compared to their parents’ generation. We have technology to blame for that - video games, mobiles, play stations, laptops, etc. It is important for the child to be exposed to an environment apart from that of their house alone. An exposure to dirt and other microbes that you cannot get away from will help to build their immunity and make it stronger. Take them out for a walk or let them play in a park or a garden for sometime in the day.

 

Maintain a healthy diet

Give them all the essential nutrients their body needs. A balanced diet, avoiding any kinds of preservatives and artificial color is the way to go!

 

Let them take sufficient sleep  

Sleep is an important factor when it comes to the healthy immune systems of children. If the child has had a disturbed sleep, he or she tends to be more prone to infections. Ensuring that a newborn gets a minimum of 18 hours, toddlers get 12 hours, and children in preschool get 10 hours of sleep is essential.

 

Encourage personal hygiene

Unclean hands have the potential to transmit about 80% of infections in India. These are fomites that get transferred from one object or space to another and cause infections. Let your child know the importance of washing hands. 

 

December 23, 2020 |  read

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Learning to Communicate with the Little One

Communicating is the first step to bonding with your baby. Here are a few steps that will help you communicate better with your baby.

Hello again! You must now be thrilled by the arrival of your baby and spending most of your time observing his/her antics and loving every minute of it. As parents, you and your partner might have developed an instant connection with the baby, no doubt. But you also might be wondering how to communicate well with your baby. Read ahead to learn some methods and tips to communicate better with your baby.

 

You can start from day one

You might have already started your communication with the baby when he/she was still in your womb. The baby already knows your voice. When they are brought to the outside world, researches have shown that they can already recognise your voice. They will also start recognising your face soon enough. So, you can start your communication since their arrival into the world. You can make silly faces or stick your tongue out to help them recognise you better. Daddies! You can get in there too. Goof it up a little and make your new baby get comfortable with you.

 

It is very important to respond

In the beginning your baby would be all about crying, because that is the only way they know how to put out their needs. But as days go by, they start babbling or making face gestures. Even if they are simply cooing or crying, it is very important to respond to these sounds as this is how they will learn what communication is. You can imitate the sounds they make, throw in a few words there and can also ask them a question and wait for them to give you an answer, however they can. Not receiving an appropriate response might lead them to act out for attention.

 

Non verbal communication matters too

A few months down the lane, you might notice that your baby now gestures with his/her hands, points to something or waves at you. You can respond to these by holding their hand back or acknowledging their action. It is also good to always make eye contact with your baby, especially when they are trying to tell you something. Do not look away or have a conversation with someone else while your little one wants to talk. Your baby would also be able to identify different moods on your face. Smile more often, as that will encourage them to let out a cute giggle too.

 

Engage their sense organs

You can teach your baby about what they are sensing from an early age. You can describe to them what they are hearing or smelling. For instance, if a bird is chirping nearby, tell them it is a bird’s call. You can also teach them about movement and tell them when they sit down or stand up. The tiny human requires a lot of warmth. It is important to let them feel your touch as it helps them bond with you better. Cuddle them if you feel they are anxious, give them gentle massages and stroke or tickle them lightly when you both are in the mood for some fun. All these things can be done by the daddies too as it will help you bond better with the baby.

 

Reading and singing is fun!

You might have already shopped for some colourful story books and rhyme collections. Make use of them. Make sure the books have a lot of illustrations, shapes and colours and do not miss to tell your child about each of these things. You can pick something from the book and show it to your child in reality. If there is a white coloured flower in the book, next time you come across a white rose, you can remind the little one and help him/her make better associations. Also, sing to your baby, may it be a cute lullaby or rhymes, your baby would love to hear them.

 

Parentese can be helpful

No no, this isn’t a new language or anything. Parentese or motherese is when you speak with your baby in a high-pitched voice and over enunciate some words. Most of you must be very familiar with this as it has been used as a way of communicating with babies since generations. Babies are more attentive to high pitch voices and the enunciation can help them differentiate between different words. You can practice this till your baby is about 6 months of age and then gradually reduce your pitch.

 

What about bilingualism?

Parents are often confused if babies get confused when spoken to in two languages. Well, according to researchers, no, your baby won’t. Bilingualism exists in most of the households and when properly distinguished, your baby can pick up both the languages. Just make sure that you are not mixing one language with the other. Research also says that kids who speak two languages exceed well academically in the future! Added advantage, right?!

 

 

It cannot be stressed enough that every baby is different from the next one. Do not panic if your baby isn’t responding like the neighbour’s kid. Never force your baby to communicate, it will come naturally to them, just be a little patient. Your little ones will grow up before you know it and maybe, one day, know more words and languages than you! Happy parenting!

 

December 23, 2020 |  read

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The Fourth Trimester - Advice and Tips for You

The fourth trimester can be overwhelming for both parents. Here's some advice and some tips on how to manage this period better.

Fourth trimester, (yes, you read that right!) is the duration between the birth of your child and the first 12 weeks. As much as it is magical to have your beautiful angel in your arms, it is also a time when both the parents go through countless emotional fluctuations, are overwhelmed and exhausted.

 

Here are a few tips and tricks you can keep in mind to get you through all of it:

 

Schedule your postpartum visit regularly 

Although the first visit is usually scheduled after the sixth week, women have already gone through the pain of vaginal birth or surgical incision after a cesarean in the first few weeks. There are other common complications like nipple blisters or difficulty in breastfeeding. Therefore, do not wait until the sixth week and make an appointment according to your convenience.

 

Create a postpartum plan

Being prepared helps you to avoid unwanted surprises. The birth of a child is one of the biggest milestones in the life of any parent, but it also is accompanied with substantial social, physiological and emotional challenges. Creating a plan will help you and your family to anticipate any hurdles along the way. Familiarize yourself with the mood disorders and set realistic expectations. It is okay to feel that you have no idea of what you are doing. Don’t let it get to you. Communicate with your partner and your family.

 

Stock up on supplies

While you are worried about your little darling, you should not forget to take care of your own needs. Hence, along with buying diapers for your little one, be sure to get adult diapers for yourself, witch hazel pads, numbing spray and sitz bath. Do not forget to stock up your favourite snacks and meals, food you crave which are also nourishing, transition clothes like sports bra and yoga pants, kimonos and cardigans etc.

 

Take time to heal

You have been through quite a journey and you are doing great. Taking care of a newborn is not easy but you need to take care of yourself too. Remind yourself to get enough sleep whenever you can and seek help from your partner with your baby. Make yourself a nice bubble bath or a nice warm shower, have calming tea, put on your favourite track or podcast, or take your favourite book out and relax. At times, journaling or just taking a walk around the neighborhood helps. Try to create a balance between your mind and body. Entertain yourself once in a while. You will get through it, slowly but steadily, one day at a time.

 

Consult a physical therapist

Along with your mind, your body needs to heal too. Your body has supported a human and now, it is time to be back to normal. It is easier said than done. Thus, it is recommended to hire a pelvic floor specialist especially for women who experience back pain, incontinence or instability.

 

Keep your visitors limited

It is common for people to come visit you after the birth of your child. But that can just add to your exhaustion. Moreover, passing around the baby interferes with their breastfeeding routine as your body does not get the cue to make milk. There are added chances of your little one catching the flu or you being uncomfortable altogether. You can come up with a secret word or sign with your partner which means that you would like the guests to leave now.

 

Breastfeeding Support

Sometimes, it may not be very easy to cope up with the baby blues, especially the challenges around breastfeeding. In case you are in pain, even after two-three days of breastfeeding and the baby doesn’t gain weight, speak with a lactation consultant.

 

Drop your stress

It is usual to be stressed during this time. Practice inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, drop your shoulder and straighten your spine. Repeat this process whenever you can, in order to regain your focus and have an upper hand on your emotions.

 

The fourth trimester is metamorphic for the dad, too. While a mother has inherent maternal instinct, a father is easily perplexed trying to figure out when to step in and how to do so. His relationship dynamics with the mother changes too and now, he has to be more patient to support both the baby and his partner.

 

  • First and foremost, as a dad, you need to be there for the mommy. Cheer her on, be patient with her, celebrate feeding milestones with her etc. You can offer to burp the baby, change or rock him/her after feeding. This will help to develop your bond with your little one.

  • If you are unsure about what you are doing, research. Read up the baby books with your partner and talk to her. Each pregnancy is unique and so is every baby. It would be easier to go through everything as a team rather than doing it alone.

  • Research suggests that prenatal mental health issues are common among fathers too, with 4-25% of new fathers being overwhelmed with sleep deprivation and mood disorders.  Remember that it is normal and you too, need to take care of yourself.

 

 

At the end of the day, remember that this will all be worth it when your little angel smiles at you and calls you ‘mama’ or ‘dada’ for the first time. Be there for each other and the journey will be enjoyable and so much easier.

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Problems Faced by Mothers When Weaning - Side Effects of Not Breastfeeding and their Solutions

Read more to understand the challenges faced by mothers, and the solutions to problems with weaning off breastfeeding.

Breast feeding is one of the most beautiful experiences of motherhood. It is a bond between you and your baby, and it is incomparable to any other thing. However, as months pass, you slowly have to introduce your baby to other foods, and this is when the concept of weaning comes in. Either initiated by you or your baby, weaning brings about certain physical and emotional changes in both of you. In this article, let us take a look at the side effects of not breastfeeding after your baby has grown and what you can do to reduce them.

 

 

Physical changes

  • Changes in your breast

When you stop breastfeeding, your breasts may look somewhat different. The size of your breasts also gradually change. They might no longer be engorged and full and will go back to their original size. There is no need to worry if your breasts appear flat or saggy. You can finally get rid of those nursing bras, right?

 

  • Milk production after weaning

It will be weeks or approx. a couple months before your milk ducts completely dry up. It is normal if you are still producing milk after weaning. It is advisable to not conduct any kind of stimulation to check for milk expression as it might increase the production. Use absorbent pads to manage the problems of leaky breasts. If milk production continues for 6 months after weaning, then you should consult your physician.

 

  • Mastitis and plugged ducts

One of the painful side effects of weaning is plugged ducts. The pain will be localised, and you will feel tenderness in the same region. You can unblock those ducts by applying heat pads, or by a good massage and expressing your milk. A condition called mastitis may occur if you don’t treat it properly. If you notice symptoms like redness or rashes on your breast, severe pain accompanied by fever, then it’s time to see a doctor. They might give you an antibiotic. Gradual weaning can reduce the risk of these conditions.

 

  • Weight gain

Gaining some weight is one of the possible side effects of not breastfeeding your baby after he or she has reached a particular age. Breastfeeding burns about 700 calories a day and when you stop, those calories will be stored in your body and hence the weight gain. But hey, don’t brood about it. You can prevent the gain as much as you can if you gradually start exercising and cut back on your diet in a healthy manner. Practice gentle exercises like walking first and then increase the intensity. As for the diet, you can eat more fresh and natural food instead of processed food to stay in good health.

 

 

Hormonal and Emotional effects

  • Dip in oxytocin and prolactin

The level of oxytocin and prolactin reduces in your body during weaning. The level of estrogen rises. These hormone fluctuations can have some ill effects on your mood and thereby affecting your mental health. You may experience some anxiety, stress or depression as the hormone levels drop. Due to the rise in estrogen, your period might also come back. These symptoms can be controlled if you adapt gradual weaning instead of sudden weaning as the former gives your body the time to adjust to the dropping hormone levels. You can also kiss, hug and cuddle more with your cutie pie as it produces more oxytocin.

 

  • Emotional turmoil

Weaning changes your relationship with your baby. You may feel like your baby doesn’t need you anymore. Do not let it make you sad as your tiny tot will always need you in their life one way or the other. On the other hand, there is also a chance that some mothers will feel a sense of freedom after weaning. If you are one of those, don’t feel guilty about it either. In addition, you may also feel a range of emotions like irritability or anger. It is normal for your emotions to be all over the place due to the hormone fluctuations. The best thing to do is talk about it with your partner or a trusted family member or friend. Now that you do not have to nurse your baby, get a sitter and go on a romantic date with your partner or do a fun activity with your friend to embrace this change joyously!

 

  • Depression and anxiety

One of the biggest side effects of not breastfeeding after some time is that you might feel like you have taken away something important from your baby. That combined with dipping prolactin levels might cause you to go through depression or anxiety. It is very important to remind yourself that what ended was just one part of the journey and there is a lot more to go during these times. If you experience symptoms of anxiety or depression it is advised that you should contact your physician and they would guide you towards the help you need. Keep your family and friends closer than ever and talk to them about everything you feel. You can also take their help and document your breastfeeding experience or throw a small party to celebrate your munchkin being exposed to solid foods! These tasks would keep your mind occupied and not allow negative emotions.

 

 

It is heartwarming to watch your baby grow up, isn’t it? You have been a part of one of the most marvellous experiences of nature, give yourselves a pat on the back! Cherish motherhood every step of the way and take care of yourselves.

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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The Do's and Don’ts: What to Eat While Breastfeeding

Look no further! This is the complete guide on what to eat and what not to eat while breastfeeding your baby.

Hello mommies! We hope everything is good with you and your lil’ cutie pie. Your food was your baby’s food while in the womb. Now he/she drinks your breast milk. So, you must be wondering about what to eat while breastfeeding. It is a little different from when you were pregnant, you can now eat a lot of stuff you didn't while pregnant, but you still need to be careful. Read ahead to know more.

 

What are some foods you must eat?

 

1. Fruits and veggies for the win!

These come first in every diet. The reason is simple. They are rich sources of minerals and vitamins. While fruits help you with your fibre and help you with issues like constipation, veggies have antioxidants. Consuming sufficient quantities of each will help make up the nutrients that are used in the making of the milk. Eat fruits like bananas, cantaloupes, oranges, grapefruits, mangoes and prunes. Tomatoes, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes and especially carrots (they have beta – carotene, which is good for lactation) can be some good vegetable choices.

 

2. You need more proteins

Your body will require extra 25 grams of proteins per day while breastfeeding your baby. Beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are great sources of protein for vegetarians. If you are a meat eater, you have a lot of options too. You can eat lean meats, eggs, seafood like oysters, salmon, trout and any fish that isn’t high in mercury. Omega-3 fatty acids which are very good for your little one’s brain development are found in seafood like salmon, sardines, etc.

 

3. Please consume dairy products

What to eat while breastfeeding can be easily remembered if we understand what our bodies need. Your body needs a lot of calcium while you’re nursing. If you don’t consume enough, your body will leach it from your bones. Make it a point to consume at least 3 cups of dairy, daily. Milk, yogurt, cheese, paneer are all good sources of dairy. Please make a habit of drinking milk every day. Dairy products are also sources of fortified Vitamin D, which is good for you and the baby.

 

4. Whole grains are healthy

It is very healthy to eat oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat bread while breastfeeding. These provide energy and secondary proteins which are essential for milk production. Stay away from the refined grains as they have little or no nutrition in them. You can also eat fortified cereals which do not contain added sugar. 

 

5. You may need supplements

Sometimes, despite a balanced diet, you might need doses of mineral or vitamin  supplements. Vegetarians or vegans might miss out on Vitamin B12 which are sourced from animal products. If you can’t/aren’t able to go out in the sunlight, you might be deficient in Vitamin D, whose presence in the milk will help your baby absorb calcium and phosphorus and strengthen those tiny bones. Have a chat with your doctor about your diet to find out if you need supplements.

 

6. Don’t forget to stay hydrated

Lactating mothers need a lot of liquid intake to avoid dehydration. Even if you’ve got all ticks in the what to eat while breastfeeding checklist, the diet is still incomplete without water. Always keep a water bottle with you to remind yourself to drink enough water. You can also drink fresh fruit juices but try to stay away from sugar as it might lead to unnecessary weight gain.

 

 

What are the foods you should stay away from/not eat?

 

1. Alcohol

While in pregnancy the alcohol consumed passes through the placenta to the baby, during breastfeeding the alcohol passed on to the baby is what is in the mother’s blood stream after drinking alcohol. You can now drink in little amounts, but if you are planning on doing so, then pump your milk beforehand or wait till the alcohol content is cleared from your body (wait 2 hours after drinking alcohol to breast feed).

 

2. Caffeine

Be careful about how many cups of coffee you drink. While the amount that passes to the baby is very little, it might still make the little one fussy or might interfere with their sleep cycle. Tiny amount of caffeine is enough to keep your tiny human awake. Still got to be careful with the coffee!

 

3. Fish with high mercury is a BIG no!

Do not consume swordfish, tilefish or king mackerel or any other seafood which is high in mercury. They are not very good for you or the baby. Always exercise caution, while eating seafood. Do not eat any meat that is raw or undercooked.

 

4. Foods that make the baby fussy

In general, you might want to avoid any food that makes the baby fussy. Of course, consumption of a varied diet will introduce him/her to new tastes, but some foods, like the spicy curries or vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts etc can make the baby feel gassy. Some babies might not be affected at all by any of these.

 

5. Any food that gives the baby allergies

The signs of an allergy can be a rash, diarrhoea or wheezing and irritability developed as soon as you finish nursing. There is no need to panic, contact your doctor and they will tell you what to do. However, notice what you ate before feeding which gave the baby an allergy and steer clear of them from the next meal. Some of the common allergens are dairy, wheat, and gassy vegetables.

 

 

There. Now you know what to eat while breastfeeding and what to avoid. All babies are different and there is nothing better than a mother’s instincts to tell you what is good or not good for your baby. Yet sometimes you need to follow a few tips and take some advice from your doctors for your and your baby’s well being. Maybe it is already time to nurse your baby. Happy Motherhood!

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Causes for Poor Weight Gain in Children

As parents, you will see growth/developments in your child within the first 5 years of their life. Children need enough care and nutrients to support these developments for a healthy growth.

Children attain two levels of growth- mental and physical growth. While mental growth helps to develop an emotional quotient in the child; physical growth helps to increase height and weight in the child. Each child’s development is different from the other. Therefore, it is important to keep a check on your child’s growth patterns so that it will help you to find solutions to any problematic growth and development.

 

Children will show a steady development in growth and weight in the first few years of their life. But there are still exceptional cases where the growth will be slightly different from other children. These are signs of what is known as a ‘Poor Weight Gain’ in children. 

 

Growth and development in the child are very important in the first 5 years of their life. During these years the child develops physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally.  

 

There are many ways to describe poor weight gain in children. Your doctor or a caregiver will be able to check into your child’s development and help you to eradicate the problem to bring in a healthy growth pattern.

 

Watching Child’s Growth

Poor weight gain in children affects their ability to take, keep, or use the calories in the body which will help them to be strong.

During the first year of the child’s birth, the brain also grows as much as the body. Hence, the lack of nutrients during this period will have a lasting effect on the child because it will affect brain activity.

 

At 4 months, the child is double the weight, triple when they turn one. A child with such a condition will not be able to reach these milestones. A ‘plump’ toddler may slowly reduce weight later which will then affect their height growth. 

 

Signs in an Undernourished Child

  • Show no interest in their surroundings
  • Distracted and avoids eye contact
  • Bad temper and fussy
  • Take more time to reach milestones like walking, talking or sitting up

 

Here is age-wise information that can help you identify the ideal weight and height for your child:

 

4-6 months

A child is expected to gain weight twice their birth weight at this age. There will be steady growth in height too.

 

1 year (12 months)  

Children of this age will gain weight thrice their birth weight when they turn one year old.

 

1-2 years old  

Kids have to gain 1.5 to 3 kg more weight than when they are at 12 months. Even their height will develop to increase by 3-5 inches.

 

2-9 years old  

While the growth of the child goes steady at this age, the child should develop another 2.5 kg body weight each year.

 

9-15 years old

A child should gain 4-5 kg per year during this time period. This is also a period where you will be able to see a sudden spurt in growth in the child.

 

 

Poor Weight and Its Causes

Feeding Patterns :

Worried parents tend to get the measurement of the formula wrong and because they are worried that their child may become very fat. This results in fewer calories in the child’s body. 

 

Children Do Not Eat :

Some issues like prematurity, development delays, or autism leads to problematic eating patterns. Children refuse to eat food or dislike certain types, textures of food.

 

Digestive System :

Diseases like cystic fibrosis, chronic liver, gastroesophageal reflux (GER), and celiac diseases can prevent your child from gaining weight.

 

GER irritates and causes pain in the child’s stomach that he or she will refuse to eat food. Diarrhea leads the nutrients, proteins, and calories from food to leave the body. Your child might be eating a lot, but diseases such as these do not allow food to remain in the system.

 

Intolerance to Food :

This is not the same as a food allergy. In cases like this, the child is sensitive to certain types of food. For example, if your child is intolerant to milk protein, it means that his or her body will not be able to absorb that particular protein from milk products like curd, milk or cheese.

 

On-going Illness :

Premature babies will not be able to consume enough calories to support their growth and development. Illness to the body systems like the heart, liver or endocrine system will require the child to eat more than usual and the child may sometimes fail to take in enough to keep up.

 

Infections :

Children with infections like UTI may face long or short term imbalance in growth due to the body’s rapid use of nutrients and decreased appetite.

 

Poor weight gain in children can be a combination of both medical and environmental problems. For example, a severe case of GER makes the child refuse food and stress on the eating pattern. This causes the child to be irritated and frustrated and the caregiver will not be able to feed him or her enough food.

 

Problems with Poor Weight Gain:

  • Lack of growth and development
  • Periodic infections
  • Late puberty
  • Bone diseases (Osteoporosis)
  • Severe cases of cardiac problems

 

When Do You Have to Meet Your Doctor?

It is usual for your child to have steady or slight variations in weight for a small period of time. But if you don’t see any changes for a period of 3 months in the first year of life, then you should visit your doctor. 

 

Homeopathy and Growth Problems in Children

Homeopathic treatment is a healthy method to take care of underweight children. They have a wide range of medicines that have no side-effects, increases immunity and decreases infection in children. Homeopathy uses natural methods to enhance food absorption and homeopaths give a calming medicine to children for treating psychological or behavioral issues, while also treating for poor weight gain.

 

Click here for more details on homeopathic treatment.

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Homeopathy for Children's Growth Issues

Some children take more time to develop and it’s natural for parents to be worried. This needs to be addressed at its root to deal holistically. Homeopathic treatment to help in child’s growth

Being a parent is as stressful as exciting. You are constantly anxious if you are doing enough as a parent and if your child is growing as well as he or she should be at that age. Rest assured. You're not the only one. It's only natural to feel worried if you notice that your child is not as developed as his or her companions. What is important is to identify the problem at the right stage and look for possible remedies. Homeopathic treatment to help in child’s growth problems is an effective method to overcome these. 

 

Book an appointment with a homeopathic doctor near you and discuss your child’s growth issues. While most traditional lines of treatment look at the problem through a symptomatic lens, homeopathy will address the root cause of the issue and offer medication accordingly. At Dr Batra’sTM, they have a team of medical experts who are trained in pediatric gastroenterology, nutrition, and psychology, with a success rate of 96.8% when it comes to treating children with growth issues.

 

 

Keeping Track of Your Child’s Growth

Parents are often unaware about what growth their child should have attained at a particular age. Here are some points to keep in mind to monitor your child's physical development.

 

By the time a baby attains four months, he or she would weigh about twice as much as their birth weight. If you have a girl, you would notice that she is half as tall as an average adult at 19 months. For a boy, however, this can be observed only at the end of 2 years. At this age, he or she should have a head size that is about 80% the size of an adult’s. As you celebrate your child’s first birthday, he or she would have gained considerable weight which would now be about three times of that at birth. If you notice a decline in the pace of growth during the toddler years of your child, this is no reason to panic. The chubby baby may now slim down as he or she attains a steady pace of growth.

 

Given this, remember that each child has his or her own growth rate. These are only estimated milestones found commonly and a little deviation to this side or that is only natural.

 

Why is My Child Not Growing Enough?

There could be multiple reasons why your child is not showing the growth he or she is expected to. It depends upon each child and the family situation they find themselves in. Some children may have certain diseases that affect their growth like conditions affecting the digestive system including gastroesophageal reflux (GER), chronic diarrhea, cystic fibrosis, chronic liver disease, and celiac disease. The child may also be suffering from disorders where his or her body is sensitive to certain kinds of food items. For instance, if a child has an intolerance to milk protein, then their bodies would not be able to absorb these from food items like yogurt and cheese, which could have an impact on their growth.

 

Lack of proper attention to the child’s nutrition is another possible reason why your child may not be growing as well as he or she should be. At times, when both the parents are busy with their own schedules and do not pay enough attention to the hunger cues or nutritional needs of the child, this could lead to child growth issues. Some families may not be able to afford the nutritional food requirements of the child, having similar effects on their growth.

 

Lifestyles are in constant flux and these changes have an effect on our children as well. More reliance on food from outside and less physical activities that a child indulges in become important factors that affect their growth. This makes it important for you to visit a doctor regularly with your child and get health check-ups to understand what your child’s issues might be. 

 

How Can Homeopathy Help My Child?

Homeopathic treatment to help in child’s growth problems has been gaining popularity over the years. Homeopathy gives your child a holistic treatment addressing the root issue of the growth problem. You can stay assured that there are no side effects to these. These medicines are completely safe for children of all age groups and come from natural sources. These are beneficial for them in the long run as they boost the immunity.

 

Roshan’s Story

Roshan was a 15-year old boy who found himself much smaller in terms of size compared to other children around him. While he was as smart and intelligent as others, this affected his self-esteem and confidence. Upon consultation with doctors, he was prescribed a Growth Hormone Treatment which his parents were afraid to pursue, fearing side effects. It is at this stage that they approached the experts at Dr Batra’sTM. He was given a personalised treatment which soon started reflecting on his development. 

 

 

This is how homeopathy can be a boon to those facing growth issues. Assess your child’s state of health and find out the way in which you can address these through a holistic approach. Homeopathic treatment addresses the individual emotional, physical, and mental states of a child before planning out a treatment. Homeopathic treatment to help in child’s growth problems will further boost the overall resistance of your child’s body in the process.

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Things You Need to Know about Autism

ASD or autism is a developmental neurological disability that impacts development of the brain. Avoiding eye contact, repeat phrases and words are some common signs. Here's what you need to know.

Oftentimes, something that is different may seem to be intimidating. However, educating oneself about it can render great help. Have you recently learned that your child might have or has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? Are you worrying and wondering about what comes next? As a parent, or a concerned person, you would want your child or your acquaintance to be happy and healthy. An autism diagnosis could get discomforting, to put it mildly. Know that Autism is not something that one grows out of, simply. There are several treatments that can help overcome developmental challenges. Learn about ASD, understand your child, and do not give up. You have got this! Let us find out what Autism is, and how it can be managed. 

 

What is Autism?

Autism is a developmental neurological disability that gets in the way of the development of the brain. It affects communication, behaviour, social interaction, and cognition. Since its characteristics and symptoms manifest in many different combinations, it is called a spectrum disorder. It affects children and young adults in many different ways. While some may face tricky challenges, and would require some assistance, others may be in a position to manage and handle their tasks with very little or no help, independently. Each condition under this disorder is now given an umbrella term, and called the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Anybody with ASD would typically demonstrate delay in language, repetitive behavioural patterns or interests. 

 

When and How Can Autism be Detected?

Some of the early signs may be observed during the child’s initial three years. They might vary from being mild to moderate to extreme, and change as and when the child grows. They vary from one child to the other. There is no medical test to diagnose ASD. Doctors understand a child’s development and behaviour to run a diagnosis. Autism awareness of the parents may help their ability to identify signs and symptoms in the early stage. Here are some of them :

 

Signs and Symptoms

Let us look at the communication, emotional, and social skills that children and young adults often might have issues with. Certain repetitive actions and behaviours can be observed in the daily activities. They have various different ways of reacting to things, paying attention, and learning.  Some of the signs and symptoms include (and are not limited to) : 

 

  • Like to be alone, and avoid eye contact

  • Do not look at objects when pointed towards them by someone else

  • Might find it difficult to understand the feelings of others, or convey their own

  • Show interest in people, but somehow unable to talk to, or play with them 

  • Prefer to not be hugged or held, unless they wish so; sensitive to touch

  • Seem to be unaware about people talking to them, instead responding to sounds other than that

  • Might exhibit sudden changes of mood

  • Repeat phrases and words

  • Find trouble in expressing requirements and needs in regular words

  • Replicate actions again and again

  • Might not be able to follow directions or instructions as prompted

  • Give in to a set routine, but find difficulty in adapting to something new when the routine changes

  • Might exhibit reactions that may be unusual pertaining to taste, sight, touch, smell, or sound

 

How Can Autism be Treated?

While there may not be a cure to autism, there are treatments involving therapies that can be considered to aid the condition and alleviate some symptoms. Some of the approaches to treatment include therapies like play therapy, behavioural therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. Meditation is also recommended as a relaxing technique. There are several other alternative treatments. However, results of a treatment depend totally on the severity of the condition, and may vary. While some might respond to them, others may not. An early intervention (or an intervention when aware) might help in the child’s or person’s development.

 

Some Tips to Help Overcome Challenges

There are several things one can do to help people or children with autism thrive. Here are a few tips on how to do so :

 

  • Start Treatment Right Away - Do not simply wait for a diagnosis, instead, start the treatment as early as possible. If you suspect something unusual, seek assistance. Do not keep a wait-and-see approach.  Early intervention might speed up the development, and reduce symptoms. 

 

  • Design a Schedule - It is important that you stay consistent with the child, plan a schedule, and stick to it. Learn what the therapists do, and try to redo them at home. Therapies can take place in more than one environment so that the child is able to transfer the same knowledge from one place to another physically. It helps to reinforce learning. Time for school, meals, therapy, play, etc should be fixed. However, if there is a change which is unavoidable, let your child know and be prepared in advance.

 

  • Create a Safe Space - Create a safe space for the child where he/she can find peace, feel sure, and relax. You can use color tapes, pictures to label areas for them. 

 

  • Acknowledge the Good - Let them know that they did a task correctly. Positive reinforcement can work well. Be appreciative of their appropriate actions, or when they learn something new. Reward and praise them for good behaviour.

 

  • Connect Nonverbally - Try to find out ways to connect with them non verbally. You can communicate in the way you look, by your body language, monitoring your tone. They will learn to communicate too. Find time to understand their tantrums too. Like any other child, they will also try to convey their emotions, feelings, or frustrations. Understand them.

 

  • Make Time for Play - Let them have a little bit of fun, for it can work like therapy, without it being educational or therapeutic. Time spent with you, unpressured, could benefit the child tremendously. Find out what makes them smile, laugh, and allow them to come out of their shell. Slowly you can infuse learning with play.

 

  • Find Help and Support - Know that while you are looking after a person with ASD, you are important too. Be emotionally strong. While it requires  a lot of energy and time, do not hesitate from seeking help. Find out about ADS support groups, turn to families dealing with the same challenges as you, for advice. You can reach out on our community platform as well, others in similar situations as well as our experts will be more than happy to answer your queries and help you out.

 

Just remember that you are not alone and you will receive all the help and support you need. It is always okay to seek a helping hand

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Pregnancy and Babies with Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome is an intellectual disability found in children. Here is everything you need to know about Down Syndrome - signs, symptoms and the next steps.

One of the most common intellectual disabilities found in children is Down Syndrome. This can be detected right at pregnancy and the causes for it can be heavily dependent on the parents. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the syndrome. While some screening tests show a positive test result, the mother may go on to give birth to an absolutely healthy child. Some others find out that their child has the syndrome much later, after the birth. Here is what you need to know about babies with Down Syndrome and how you can look out for the symptoms in your child.

                                                                              

What is Down Syndrome?

Every child is born from the genetic material of both the parents. This genetic material is found in the form of thread-like structures called chromosomes. An average human being has 46 chromosomes in 23 pairs, half of which comes from the mother and the other half from the father. However, in the case of an individual with Down Syndrome, the  chromosome  number  21  has  an  extra  copy  which  can  result  in  delayed  cognitive competence  and  slightly  different  physical  growth  hence  its  other  name,  trisomy  21. While the disabilities of a person with Down Syndrome may  last  lifelong  and  their  life  expectancy  may  be  shorter,  the  recent  cultural  and institutional  developments  provide  the  individual  with  a  healthy  and  fulfilling  life, nevertheless.

 

What Causes Down Syndrome?

Down  Syndrome  is  caused  when,  during  reproduction,  the  chromosomes  do  not  split properly, resulting in the partial copy of the chromosome number 21. Some parents are more likely to produce babies with Down Syndrome than others. The first factor is age. If the mother is over 35 years or the father is over 40, the chances of having a child with Down  Syndrome  is  more.  The  second  factor  is  of  familial  history.  If  there  are  other individuals  related  to  you  in  your  family  who  have  this  condition,  there  are  more chances that your child may have the same. Parents who carry genetic translocation also have a higher probability of having a child with Down Syndrome.

 

The important thing to remember is that these are only probabilities drawn from studies over a large population. For example, if you are a pregnant woman who is 38, it is not a given that your child will definitely have Down Syndrome. This is just to say that your chances of having a child with these traits are more than a mother of, say, 25.

 

How Can I Find Out if my Baby has Down Syndrome?

Yes, it is possible to find out if your child has Down Syndrome. Prenatal screening and postnatal diagnosis are the two options available.

 

During pregnancy, a prenatal screening test can be performed to look at the foetus. A screening test only categorizes women as at a high risk or low risk of having a child with Down  Syndrome.  A  common  available  screening  test  in  India  is  the  Combined  Test which  includes  a  blood  test  and  an  ultrasound  scan.  While the  former  looks  for abnormal  levels  of  proteins  and  hormones,  the  latter  looks  for  more  fluid  around  the baby’s  neck,  both  which  could  mean  a  baby  with  Down  Syndrome. However, remember that a positive result for a screening test is never an ultimate assurance that your child is affected.  Only 1  in  20-30  women  who  are  tested positive  for  this  end  up  having  a  child  with  a  Down  Syndrome. This test is only to separate women to take them to the diagnostic test.

 

A diagnostic test includes more specific testing methods like Amniocentesis to separate out fluid or other material from the mother to test for the syndrome. They look for the chromosome that causes the Down Syndrome and can give a more accurate result.

 

After the child is born, a quick check-up by a paediatrician can assure you if your child has a Down Syndrome or not. Fried’s Diagnostic Index is one such method that looks at 8 signs including the shape of the child’s face, ear, tongue, and toes, to come to a conclusion.

 

What are the symptoms of Down Syndrome?

At birth, babies with Down Syndrome usually have certain characteristic signs, including: flat facial features, small head and ears, short neck, bulging tongue, eyes that slant upward, atypically shaped ears and poor muscle tone.

 

People with Down syndrome usually have some degree of developmental disability, but it’s often mild to moderate. Mental and social development delays may mean that the child could have: impulsive behavior, poor judgment, short attention span, and slow learning capabilities

 

How Can I Treat My Child’s Down Syndrome?

Unfortunately, there is no cure yet found for Down Syndrome. However, there are many supportive  measures  to  help  your  child  cope  up  and  lead  a  fruitful  life.  Speech, occupational, and physical therapies may be offered to help the child cope better with life  and  develop  to  their  full  potential.

 

Having a baby with Down Syndrome may seem challenging but with proper professional medical support, things will be much easier over time. Remember that your child needs your constant support and needs you to protect him or her not just from severe concerns like heart disease but also the usual colds.

 

 

Remember that, any child – with or without a syndrome – has certain challenges to face in life. Your child may be facing a different set of challenges compared to other children but this does not make them any less beautiful. Over the years, babies with Down Syndrome have gone on to show that they can compete equally well with other children in various fields. As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome, it becomes your responsibility to give your child the best life you can and nurture their talents.

 

December 24, 2020 |  read

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Emotional and social changes in parents after childbirth

Parenthood is an incredible journey with it's ups and downs. Here are the emotional and social changes parents may go through after childbirth. Don't worry, you are not alone!

Holding your little one in your arms after waiting for months feels like a dream come true. All the parenting books you have read, and the plans you made can now be put into action. For some of you, it could be the greatest moment of your life to see the little darling smile at you or hold your fingers with their tiny hands. The sudden change in atmosphere and lifestyle can be overwhelming for you and the baby, and can bring some emotional and social changes in parents after childbirth. 

 

A week into being new parents you might realize the drastic changes that you may have to make with your lives and social groups. As a new mother, you would be going through extreme physical changes that may have an impact on your emotional and social health. As a new father, you may not understand the nuances involved in raising a baby or supporting your partner and you may doubt yourself. Worry not! It’s all tricks and treats of nature; you have absolutely nothing to worry about. In time, you will learn it and master it. 

 

If you are a new parent or a parent-to-be and worried about what it would be post-partum, there are a few emotional and social developments you or your partner might experience.

 

Emotional Developments

Childbirth might make you feel a bit lost at times. It is because of the changes happening around you and with you. It is normal to experience fear or become anxious at times; this only means that you have become more responsible. Here are a few emotional changes you might experience post-childbirth. 

 

Baby Blues

Once the baby is born, strong emotional changes in parents after childbirth are felt, especially by the mother. It would last for about two weeks, and you would be back to normal without any medication. It’s just your hormones tickling your brains a bit. About 80% of new mothers experience this, and it is normal. To cope with your emotions, you can always ask your partner for help in taking care of the baby. This could be an opportunity for the three of you to bond and understand each other better. You are just new to this; you would need a few days/weeks to get familiar. You can always rely on your little darling to cheer you up.

 

Anxiety

Being a little worried or anxious is normal, but too much can affect your bond with the little one. Again, it’s the sudden changes accompanied by hormones that are making you anxious or worry-some. Know that you are not alone in this, you can talk to your partner or close ones about this, or even seek professional help if you feel the need. It is okay for both of you to be anxious about a sudden change, but remember, it is for the best.

Know that you are excellent parents, and your munchkin loves you both to the moon and back. 

 

Mom brains!

Through the course of history, mothers have grown to be extremely sensitive to non-verbal cues and sounds. They react instinctively when the little one starts crying. As a new mom, it would be your superpower to understand the non-verbal cues of everyone around you. Another fact is, post-partum, your brain has the power to learn new information quickly and efficiently. It helps you understand your little one and his/her requirements.

 

Social Developments

Having a baby can alter your social life in ways you cannot even imagine. As a parent, you make it a point to prioritize your little one over any other social gatherings, parties, etc.. Though you may not be able to hang-out with your friends and family like before, you will find a middle ground.

 

You become wiser

Call it a boon, if you may. Childbirth can make you wiser. You learn to value other people’s feelings and emotions and understand the needs of people. You will learn and understand things that are better than everybody else in your social group. These are just your mom instincts trying to make you a better person. As a new father and being around your little sweetheart, you become more sensitive and understanding; you start understanding your baby’s non-verbal cues. Use this to strengthen your relationship with your partner and the baby. Sooner or later, you’ll have people relying on both of you for advice. Make the best use of this.

 

You make new friends

Another one of the changes in parents after childbirth is seen when their definition of hanging out with friends changes. You start making new friends with people you like and have something in common. You are most likely to befriend people with babies and tend to talk about your babies and other topics you never imagined you would talk about. It helps in widening your social circle, who knows you might find your new BFF here.

 

You get closer to your family 

With added responsibility, it is quite natural to rely on your close ones for help. At times like these, you’re more likely to rely on your parents for help; you finally realise what your parents went through. Family here means your close ones, who you trust, and always have your back. It is a great opportunity to bond with them and seek advice and help, you would be surprised to see the ideas they can come up with. Your bond with your parents grows, mainly because you are now in their shoes. You see the world differently from a mature and wise point of view. 

 

These are just a few of the many emotional and social changes in parents after childbirth that may be experienced. Know that everything is natural, and there is no need to worry. Parenthood is an exciting and tricky path; you would learn a new lesson each day. Do not worry yourself; you are going to be great parents, one step and a time!

 

February 09, 2021 |  read

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First 24 Hours of the Baby

Congratulations! Your baby is finally here! Let us unfold what the first 24 hours with your newborn baby will look like.

Birth of your child is an extremely joyous and emotional occasion. From the moment they are born, you’ll learn to bond with the little one and care for them. The first 24 hours of your baby are crucial and important, as doctors check for his/her health conditions, weight, the Apgar score and the ballad score. Taking care of a newborn is not easy - be it the mother or the father. Even though the medical procedures vary across hospitals, this timeline will give you a brief idea about how the first 24 hours of the baby will unfold.

 

First few seconds after birth

A couple of seconds after birth, you should hear your little one’s first cry. This is to ensure that there is no blockage in the respiratory tract. Following this, the nurses will clear the amniotic fluid and mucus from your baby’s mouth and nostrils to check if both the nostrils are fully functional.  Post this, your baby would start breathing on their own.

 

First 5 and 10 Minutes

5 Minutes

Typically, after your little starts to breathe on their own, the doctor cuts or lets your partner cut the umbilical cord. Post this, your doctor will evaluate the baby for the Apgar score. Apgar score is based on the baby’s heart rate, color, reflexes response, and breathing. This is determined at 1 minute and 5 minutes post-delivery. This test score ranges from a scale of 1 to 10, but anything above 7 is considered completely normal. If your baby’s apgar score is below 7, there is nothing to worry about. Babies with low apgar count will still grow up to be healthy and happy. 

 

First one hour with the little one

The first 24 hours of the baby begins with the baby being given antibiotic eye creams to avoid any infections and vitamin K shots in thighs to prevent any blood clot. Then the baby is wrapped, covered in sheets, and diapered. You can start breastfeeding if you are comfortable and up for it. This is an amazing time to start bonding for the three of you.

 

2-3 hours post-birth

Now that your baby is done with the initial round of testing, you and your little one could spend time in your hospital’s recovery room. You can also feed the baby if the little one is up and you are comfortable. Sometime now, the nurse examines your baby to make sure she’s adjusting to her life outside the womb. The nurse would also check the baby for pulse, abdomen, make sure her genitals are formed properly, and verify the baby has a full set of fingers and toes.

The nurse also records the ballad score, in which the baby’s head circumference, chest circumference, and length are measured to confirm her gestational age. If your baby is premature, she would be kept at the NICU.  Where they could monitor the heart rate, temperature, and respiratory rate could be monitored closely every 30 minutes.

 

Hours 4 to 22

In this period, you’ll experience many of your baby’s firsts like, first bath, diaper change after your baby’s first poo. You would also learn how to nurse your baby, hold and swaddle the baby. You’ll also learn how to care for umbilical-cord stumps. If you have opted for breastfeeding, you’d be feeding the munchkin every 2-3 hours in the first 24 hours of the baby. The baby might fall asleep halfway through nursing and be asleep for almost around 6 hours. The best way to rest is to get some sleep while the little one is asleep. Your nurse might ask you to keep feeding to avoid any pain in your breasts. Your baby will have a pediatrician’s visit to ensure the baby is doing alright and healthy.

During this time, you might have your friends and family visiting you and the little one. This is a joyous occasion for everybody. But make sure to ask them to wash their hands or use a sanitizer before holding the baby. Be sure to not wake the baby-up or cause any noise around the baby. 

 

23rd and 24th hour

During this period, your pediatrician will formally evaluate the baby. This could be your little one’s first physical examination, during this, the doctor will look for malformation, signs of infections, jaundice, monitor breathing and feeding. Your doctor would generally encourage you to feed as frequently as possible to check for the baby’s bowel movements. In addition to all the routine check-ups, your baby would be evaluated for various potential infections and disorders, including sickle cell anaemia. By this time, your baby would know that you’re the mother by your voice and heartbeat. Remember, the baby can hear your voice and recognize it from the womb.

If you have a vaginal delivery, you would be discharged from the hospital within 48 hours, if both of you are healthy and alright. If you have a c-section, you’d be staying in the hospital for about a week. Make sure to get essentials to the hospital beforehand to avoid unnecessary trips to home by your partner.

Post this, you would be getting doctors visiting you on rounds to monitor and make sure you and your little one is alright. Can you believe that your baby’s first day is officially over now? This day would be etched in your memory forever. The happiness of holding your baby for the first time surpasses everything you were worried about. You now have plenty of time to put all your plans into action.

 

February 09, 2021 |  read

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You and Your partner: Post Pregnancy

While parenthood is an incredible journey, your relationship with your partner matters too. Here's a post pregnancy guide for you and your partner.

Finally, the anticipated “everything is going to change” idea is turning into a reality. With the baby in your hands, your family is much bigger now. Now you are parents and you have a complete “family” to take care of. A family brings together everybody’s effort to grow and flourish.

We did speak to a few new moms and dads on how things change after marriage. One factor that stood out in our conversations is how couples try to rekindle their romance with the baby in the room.

 

The matter of spontaneity

“It happened all too fast” or “we just did it because it was fun” are repeated cliché dialogues from newlyweds. But this spontaneous attitude has to last for a lifetime. Couples have many favourites - eat-outs, picnic spots, movies and music. It was a wonderful couple-time.

With a new baby in one hand, the movie nights have vanished into thin air. You probably cannot remember the last time you put on that little pretty dress and high heels. Who says so? We do have couples telling us about their sleepless nights. Crying babies force parents out of their beds at odd hours and exhaust them. During the day, they can hardly get their tired body to make a cup of coffee.

Experts say that couples have unrealistic expectations once the baby arrives. True, if you did a lot of thinking until the baby arrives, then it is best to tone down a few things until it has actually happened. Once the baby is here schedule your day, week or month to do at least one activity out of the ordinary. Think out of the box and try something you have never done before together. Bring those heart-throbbing moments back into your relationship.

 

Baby Blues

When you are pregnant, you are counselled about many things related to the little one but most often you may forget to ask your doctors what happens to your body after the pregnancy. Caregivers can give you ideas that will help you heal your body.

The process of delivery and labour was not an easy job and it will truly change the way you are, both mentally and physically. Baby blues are real and they give you a very hard time. Research calls this feeling as postpartum depression or anxiety. It is a roller-coaster ride of emotions and feeling absolutely out of your body. Let’s not forget postpartum depression or anxiety is not only for moms but also for dads.

With a lot of changes happening around you and your body, it is no wonder that you are going through this rough patch. When your priorities change, you tend to forget to take care of yourself. Remember, these symptoms are temporary and can be helped with the right kind of discussion with your doctors.

 

Communication

 

Snapping at your partner too often?  With a baby on board conversations are limited to ‘did you check the crib’ or ‘can you hold the baby’. The pattern of conversations between you and your partner revolves around the baby.

Even these tiny conversations spark a war. There is an incredible amount of work to be done around the house. Even though you stick to your set of fixed responsibilities you will feel like the other has not done enough. Another disagreement begins with each other cancelling out the other’s parenting styles.

Instead of walking around nagging about the other, have a sit-down session with your partner. Things are not the same as before, so the two of you need to find another solution. If you think you cannot remember instances, write them down and communicate with your partner nicely. Give time to each other to find your way around this phase of life. There are a lot of books suggested by doctors that can help you communicate with your partner.

 

Sex

With the nagging as mentioned before and the constant change in the body, getting naked under the cover is probably the last thing you want to do.

There are a lot of things that could kill your mood during this period. A crying baby, sleepless nights, numerous diaper changes, breastfeeding etc. are a few mood killers to mention a few. Even after the doctor’s green signal that allows you to have sex, couples find it hard to reconnect with their partners.

Research suggests that you take it slow and bring it back to the basics. In order to get over this roadblock, couples are advised to schedule hot date nights to rekindle their romantic days. If you think you feel pretty in that dress and want to shave your legs to feel sexy, get out there and do it. Even after your pregnancy, the romance in your relationship should be a priority.

 

There are a lot of responsibilities shuffling at home and at work. When times are hard, step back and pause for a moment. Having an open communication system with your partner will strengthen the bond and provide positive energy for your baby to grow. Spend quality time with your partner to cherish these lovely family moments and enjoy the ride! 

 

February 12, 2021 |  read

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Understanding the First Trimester of Pregnancy Week by Week

This is a complete week by week milestone timeline of your baby in the first trimester of your pregnancy.

Have you received the wonderful news you were waiting for, already? If you are sure that you are going to welcome a new member to your family soon, you must be quite excited to know how they are growing. Let’s look at your pregnancy week by week to understand what’s happening.

Here is a list of everything that you need to know about the growth of your baby in the first trimester.

 

Week 1

Let us tell you a fact: you are technically not pregnant in the first week. Surprised? Here’s why: the doctors calculate your gestational period from the date of your last menstrual period (LMP). Therefore, the date of conception is after a week or two from the date of your last menstrual cycle which means you are not pregnant yet. The date is helpful to count ahead 40 weeks to estimate your due date.

 

Week 2

This is the week when you ovulate. In the second week, the ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube. Fertilization occurs if and when a sperm, among a million, penetrates into the fallopian tube through your cervix within 12 to 24 hours of ovulation.

After the egg is fertilized, it travels downs towards the fallopian tube while dissecting itself into multiple cells known as a blastocyst. Once the egg enters the uterus, it burrows itself into the uterine lining, known as implantation.

 

Week 3

The one cell entity formed after fertilization is called a zygote. In case of the formation of multiple entities or if the egg splits into two, you will have multiple zygotes and therefore, pregnancies.

If you are awarded the news of bearing twins, that can be either fraternal twins (when two separate eggs are fertilized by two different sperms) or identical twins (when one egg splits into two after fertilization)

Interestingly, your baby’s inherited genetic characteristics will also be determined by this stage. A zygote has 46 chromosomes; 23 from your partner and 23 from you. These chromosomes are the determinant factor of your little angel’s sex and physical traits.

 

Week 4

Normally, this is the time when your next period would be due and thus, you shall get the joyous news of being pregnant.

While you are celebrating the beautiful moment, your little one is already developing inside your safe womb. The embryo splits into two parts to form the placenta which delivers nutrients and oxygen to your baby while the other part continues to develop into a fetus. At this point,  s/he is the size of a poppy seed.

The development initiates by forming a neural tube which will turn into your baby’s brain, spinal cord and backbone. 

Monitoring your pregnancy week by week is a good way to know how to go about looking after yourself. At this stage, remember to exercise caution as your baby is the most vulnerable.

 

Week 5

Your little one is now the size of a sesame seed, growing quite fast. The tiny heart starts to beat, and the circulatory system is on its way to development from the middle layer of cells called the mesoderm. The top layer is called the ectoderm while the inner layer is called the endoderm.

 

Week 6

The neural tube starts closing from which the brain and spinal cord develops. The heartbeat is more regular, and the eyes, nose, mouth and ears are starting to form.

The embryo is curved with a tail. The developing arms and legs would be visible in the ultrasound as small swellings.

 

Week 7

This is when your baby’s tiny hands and feet start to develop. The brain is more complex now and nerve cells in the brain are growing at a faster pace. Dark depression demarcates the area where nostrils would develop, and the formation of the retina has already begun.

Your little one would resemble the size of a blueberry.

 

Week 8

By the eighth week, your baby has webbed fingers and toes and their hands and legs are longer. The respiratory system has started to form with their lungs developing. The other physical features such as eyes, ears, nose etc. are becoming more distinct.

 

Week 9

Your baby, by this time, will have the initiation of a few key organs like the reproductive organs, pancreas, gallbladder etc. The head is relatively larger and tucked towards the chest. They even have tiny taste buds in their mouth by now.

But the interesting part is, they weigh just about a fraction of an ounce and are the size of a grape!

 

Week 10

As you progress through pregnancy week by week, the little one inside you has been growing and maturing. Now, it is time to call your baby a fetus rather than an embryo. It is week 10 already and your little one is growing at quite a pace. The brain is developing with 250,000 neurons every minute while the fingers and toes begin to separate. The jawbones, nostrils and upper lip have started to develop.

The heart beats faster and you can notice small, jerky movements on ultrasound.

 

Week 11

This week, the face broadens, eyes are separated, and red blood cells begin to form in the baby’s liver. By the end of the week, the baby’s external genitalia start developing, the body gradually straightens, and fingernails start to form.

Want to know an interesting fact? Your little one can breathe underwater: they inhale and exhale amniotic fluid.

 

Week 12

You are almost at the end of your first trimester now. Your baby’s face is more developed, and so are the organs. They will also move their body parts, but it is too early for you to feel.

Now you know what has been happening in the first trimester of your pregnancy week by week. Stay tuned, your little sweetheart will grow and mature in the coming weeks.

 

Summary

  1. Fun Fact: You are not really pregnant in the first week of pregnancy. Conception occurs only at the second or third week.
  2. Your baby’s physical traits would be decided from the moment the zygote forms.
  3. At the fourth week, when you discover that you are pregnant, your little one is already the size of a poppy seed.
  4. The neural tube develops into the brain, spinal cord and backbone and the heart starts to beat by the fifth week.
  5. The rest of the weeks are when your baby’s organs develop gradually.
  6. By the twelfth week, your little angel is developed and now, it is the time to grow and mature inside the womb. 

 

March 01, 2021 |  read

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How to Bond with the Newborn Baby

Bonding with your newborn is beautiful and necessary. Here are tips and methods of how to bond with your newborn baby.

Remember the plans you had made with your baby when you were pregnant, it’s time to put them into action. If you have just had a baby, you probably would spend more time with the little one and get lost thinking how could someone so tiny take up all your attention. Here, we have a few tips to help you strengthen your bond with the newborn baby. 

 

The first 3 months of your new-born child could also be called the fourth trimester. There are still various physical and psychological adjustments happening to your baby. From the warm, dark atmosphere in the womb to the bright and colorful environment, the transition could take a few months. Babies are extremely dependent on their parents, especially on their mothers for warmth and comfort. Thanks to evolution, new mothers are by-default sensitive to non-verbal cues of their babies. 

 

Early bonding with the little munchkin plays a major role in how he/she looks at and perceives the world. Bonding with the little one might happen instantly or could take a bit longer than expected, it’s all-natural. One of the most important things to remember while bonding is to have fun. Let us see how. 

 

Breastfeeding 

Breastfeeding is one of the oldest and most natural ways to bond with the newborn baby. It helps develop a sense of comfort and trust in your baby. The skin to skin contact between the two of you helps stabilize temperature and stress in your baby. Say no to using any gadgets while feeding, and make sure to give your full attention to the little champ. You can talk to your baby in a soothing tone and look her in the eye, this will help them relax and trust you. Another great way to bond would be to sleep close to your baby. The skin contact helps keep them warm and comfortable. The little one loves mommy’s skin and touch. 

 

Talk to the baby 

This might seem a bit odd, but know that babies can recognize voices and sounds. You can talk to the baby about literally anything. Talk to them about how excited and happy you were to meet them, talk about your favorite books, movies, or even about people you know. Hold their little hand and speak in a soothing tone. The variations in your voice could be very entertaining to your tiny human. Make sure to have eye-contact with the baby when you talk to them. You could also give him/her a nickname. This would be like a little secret between you two. 

 

Sing and read stories

You could sing songs or the rhymes you learned from when you were a kid to your baby. Your baby will love different tunes and notes of the songs and rhymes. You could also curate a playlist of all your favorite songs and play them for both of you. After a few weeks, you might notice the little one recognizing the songs. 

Read the books you loved while growing up, or buy books for the baby and read, this is an amazing way to bond with the newborn baby. Your baby will love hearing your voice, and at times, you could see them imitating your expression or tone. Make this a habit, they will look forward to hearing from you each day. 

 

Mommy and me time!

Strap your baby on to you using a baby sling and start doing your usual chores. The baby will love this. You can cook, take a walk or sometimes even do mild cleaning with this. Play out your favorite tracks and dance to them while doing your chores, this makes it more fun. The baby will be close to your chest, that way you don’t have to worry about them waking up or crying. Take a long walk in the park or go shopping, the little one loves to travel and see different places. 

 

Fam Jam!

The relationship you share with your partner, and the entire family plays a huge role in bonding with your baby. If your little one has siblings or pets, let them play and get along. The best part is, even you could join them and relish the good old memories of your childhood. The communication between you and your partner, pets, or other kids teach your newborn a lot about the importance of family. To make family time more interesting, all of you can dress up and click pictures. Trust me, your heart will melt when you see your munchkin all dressed up!

 

Playtime!

Kids, despite their age, love to play. Even though new-borns cannot participate completely, they love watching you laugh and play. Get silly, make funny faces, and play with your little one. You can play peek-a-boo, tickle them gently, make funny faces, wiggle the eyebrows, and stick your tongue out. Be prepared to watch yourself fall in love with your little one all over again when she/he smiles. Let your other kids or pets join you, your baby munchkin is going to love this playtime. A few weeks into the playtime, you might hear your baby giggle and laugh. Record these moments and treasure them.

 

These are a few of many tips to bond with the newborn baby. Each and every baby is different, understanding the likes and dislikes are important. Once you know what he/she likes, you can bond with your baby in your own way and maybe even come up with different new ways. Spend as much time as you can with your kid and treasure all your favorite memories. Babies grow up fast, cherish these memories while you can. 


 

March 18, 2021 |  read

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Twin Pregnancy Development in First Trimester

Here is everything you need to know about twin fetal development in the first trimester!

Do you have that gut feeling of being pregnant with twins? They say a mother knows the best. Well, even before you get an ultrasound done, you can guess through a few signs and symptoms if you are heading for a double blessing. After all, you know what they say: the more, the merrier. Let us look at some things you need to know about possible twin pregnancy development in the first trimester.

Since it is not possible to be quite sure of having multiple pregnancies before the twelfth week, here are a few signs you can look out for:

 

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is experienced by a few, as early as in the fourth week of pregnancy due to the increase of pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hGH) which leads to the feeling of nausea. Unlike the name, it does not just happen in the morning and may occur at any time of the day.

Women with multiple pregnancies have found that they experience elevated levels of morning sickness which lasts longer into their pregnancy. This means experiencing morning sickness even after the 14th week of pregnancy indicates multiple pregnancies.

 

Fatigue

The elevated hormone levels along with other issues like sleep interruptions and frequent urination may not let you rest at your desired amount. However, more fatigue may not always indicate the possibility of a twin pregnancy.

 

High hCG in Blood

If you have taken a blood test recently which indicates a higher than usual amount of hCG in pregnancy, it is a clear indication of twin pregnancy. You may not be able to find it out in a home pregnancy test, but a blood sample would confirm the level. The presence of hCG gives a positive result in a pregnancy test. In case you are pregnant with twins, you may even get a positive result before your period is due.

Always consult your doctor as there may be other reasons for an increased hCG level in the blood which would not be related to twin pregnancy.

 

Second Heartbeat

At the eighth or tenth week, a second heartbeat would be obvious using a fetal doppler. Again, although an experienced physician could inform you about the good news, the method can be misleading as the mother’s heartbeat creates background noise which makes it more difficult to distinguish between the two. Your doctor would suggest an ultrasound at this point.

 

Baby Bump

When it comes to a pregnancy, a baby bump is not visible until much later but being pregnant with twins may mean that you have to start buying maternity clothes sooner than you expected.

 

Increased Weight Gain

Weight gain is important to keep track of and it depends on your BMI. However, a twin pregnancy development may mean that you would be gaining weight faster even on your first trimester.

It is important to check with your doctor as your weight gain could be attributed to various other factors such as an increase in the amount of calorie intake.

 

Ultrasound

An ultrasound is the best way to confirm if you would be expecting twins. But like every method, it has its loopholes. 

Although quite unlikely, there have been cases of hidden twins where the other fetus was shadowed and hence, not visible during an ultrasound.

Research shows that there have been numerous cases where an ultrasound before the eighth week depicted one distinct embryo while the second test surprised the mom-to-be with two fetuses.  

Now, how exactly are you blessed with twins? Let’s take you through the first few weeks of fetal development in case of twins.

 

Week 1-4:

There are two ways that twins are formed:

1.  Fraternal Twins: When two eggs are fertilized by two different sperms in the ovary, it leads to the formation of two zygotes. Two separate embryos are formed and therefore, it may result in different sex of the babies born.

2.  Identical Twins: When one egg is fertilized and the zygote splits into two, forming two different embryos, you will have identical twins who would be of the same sex as they have the same chromosomes.

The next stage is implantation which means that the zygote rapidly divides itself into a ball of cells called the blastocyst. When two amniotic sacs develop around each blastocyst, they are termed as embryos. The burrowing into the lining of the uterus in two weeks would be known as implantation.

Next, the placentas form for each baby to provide oxygen and nourishment. However, in a few rare cases, babies may share a placenta.

 

Week 5-8:

The due course of fetal development takes place from now on. There would be the development of the brain and spinal cord for each baby, followed by buds for limbs and formation of the heart. By the eighth week, most of the major organs will start to form, the nerve cells in their brains will branch out and connect.

 

Week 9-12:

By the last few weeks of the first trimester, fingers and nails would start to appear. There would be development for facial features of your little duo and your little one will even start to urinate.

Now that you know how you may have twins and what the twin pregnancy development during the first trimester are, you can go ahead and plan accordingly. Being pregnant with twins may be a bit more exhausting than pregnancy with one child but your blessings would be doubled as well! 

Congratulations on this beautiful journey, for more information and advice – reach out to the Baby Space community


 

April 06, 2021 |  read

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Daily Care Routine for Newborn

Parenthood is a beautiful journey and moments with your newborn are the ones you will cherish forever. Here are tips on daily care and routine for your newborn.

With a newborn baby in the house, all you will see them do is eat, cry, sleep, poop –repeat! No two babies are the same; their sleeping and eating patterns often change. Especially during the initial phase, some things might come very organically and naturally to you, others might not. Whatever the case may be, you and your baby will eventually and certainly fall into a daily routine of feeding, sleeping, and playing. Here is a quick guide for you to know a little bit about the daily care routine for newborn.

 

Feeding

Whatever it is that you choose - bottle feed or breastfeed, on an average, a baby will need about six to eight feeds in a day. Breast milk is believed to be easily digested, hence, you may even have to feed the baby close to twelve times. Babies may also cry for food quite frequently. It is known as ‘cluster feeding.’ 

To calculate time between your baby’s feeds, note the time when the previous feed began, and not when it ended. While you are providing your baby with the best of nutrition, feeding time gives a lot of room to cuddle. This can help you build a loving, strong bond with your baby.  (Karmel 2010)

 

Playing

As part of the daily care routine for newborn babies, making time for fun and play. It lends an important role in their development and growth. Some ways to do so is by inculcating these following ideas to interact with the newborn :

  • Laughing and talking while making eye contact
  • Singing rhymes, softy
  • Reading or narrating a story with facial animations
  • Making funny faces
  • Hiding your face behind the palm and going Peek-a-boo!, etc
  • Taking them for a walk (after consulting your pediatrician) 
  • Giving them soft and tiny toys or items to touch and feel
  • Gently massaging the baby
 

Sleeping

Most of the baby’s time is spent sleeping in between feeds. Every now and then when they wake up, they might just need your help to put them back to sleep. Chances are, they might be sleeping for about 16 out of 24 hours. Your baby might also wake up about two to three times in the middle of the night, as they have no sense of night or day yet. It is rather better to keep your sleeping pattern flexible in the first few months because the baby’s sleep routine might keep changing. 

 

Holding

While your teeny little baby might feel very delicate and fragile, you do not have to be afraid to handle and hold them. However, do remember that their neck muscles still have not yet developed, and so your hand’s support will be needed for their head. You could also provide that support with their head on your shoulder while carrying them.

 

Bathing

Between the splashing of water, bubbles, and giggles, what makes a great time to engage the baby, and their senses is bath time! It also helps nurture the bond you share as a parent. Choosing the right products for your baby’s bath is very important as they have sensitive and gentle skin. 

 

How to go about it?

  • Keep everything ready : towel, diaper, clothes, baby cream. The baby should not be left in the water unattended - even for a second. 
  • Fill the tub with warm water. Run a temperature test. 
  • Wet a cloth to wash the face; support with one hand and wash the baby with the other. The diaper area should be washed from front to back.
  • Gently rinse with water, not from under the faucet, but from the tub. You do not want unexpected temperature variations.
  • Dry the baby with a soft towel, leaving no moisture.
  • Apply mild baby cream.
 

Comforting

Believe it or not - most babies weep for almost 2 hours on an average in a day especially in the first three months. It is absolutely normal. It is important, however, to find out the cause of their discomfort. Is it hunger? Is it sleep? Is the diaper to be changed? Over time, your motherly instincts will naturally indicate exactly what is to be done. 

 

Changing Diapers

There may be a lot of diapers that have to change through the course of an entire day. It is suggested to purchase a lot of diapers before the baby gets home from the hospital , to make things easier. Nappy rashes might also occur as the baby’s skin is sensitive and fragile. Any signs of redness should mean a quick application of cream (as suggested by your pediatrician) on the diaper area. Rash powder might also be used to provide to your baby with absolute protection (always consult your pediatrician first). 

 

If there is anything you are feeling uncertain about, always consult your pediatrician and they will guide you through this journey. They can help you know more about the daily care routine for newborn children. Welcome to parenthood, it’s going to be a beautiful journey!


 

April 12, 2021 |  read

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Baby Skin: Problems and Solutions

Your baby needs a lot of attention in the first few months, both emotionally and physically. Baby skin problems are common phenomena in the first few months and hence, here is a complete guide for wha

As is known, the skin is the largest organ of the body. It prevents the loss of body fluid and minerals from the body by acting as a barrier. It regulates body heat as well and prevents the absorption of toxic substances.

Unlike popular belief, a baby’s skin is not always silky-smooth. In the first few years, they are prone to skin problems due to factors such as heat, cold, fungus, allergies, bacteria and drooling. Although most of these skin problems are short-lived and will go away pretty soon, a baby skin has problems and solutions which are noted below.

 

Infant Acne

Infant acne is not too uncommon and is visible at the second or third week, usually. It may last until the 4th or 6th month. The pimples are most likely caused by your hormones which are prevalent in your baby’s bloodstream. They stimulate the sluggish oil glands of your baby, thus, causing the acne. Don’t worry, these little bumps won’t leave any mark on your beautiful angel, as long as you leave them alone. Avoid picking, squeezing or scrubbing.

You may wash them with water twice or thrice, pat gently and let them dry. Do not use any cosmetics meant for an adult. If your child specialist has recommended anything, in particular, that could be used.

 

Cradle Cap

Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, cradle cap appears as crusty yellow scales. Deep red bumps and dandruff-like flakes on your little one’s head. The cause of this particular skin problem is an overzealous sebaceous gland. It produces an oil slick that traps old skin cells on your little one’s tiny head through stimulation from maternal hormones while your baby is still inside your womb.

Not all baby skin problems are harmful or need a solution. Cradle cap is not harmful, but you can do something about it if you would prefer not having it on your baby’s head. In a few rare cases, other areas of the body such as the neck, armpits and the groin are also affected.

Massage your baby’s scalp with petroleum jelly or mineral oil to loosen dead skin and wash the flakes and excess oil away with a mild shampoo.

 

Heat Rash

Heat rash or prickly heat or miliaria occurs in newborns. This is because their sweat glands have not developed fully yet and could be easily blocked. In climates which are hot and humid, such a condition is quite frequent.

Heat rash occurs in the form of small, red pin-pointed bumps, usually in the back and the buttocks. It may be accompanied by a high fever as well.

Since the cause includes excessive perspiration due to hot weather, avoid dressing your baby too warmly or in the thick swaddle. Your little one would need more warmth than an adult but keep in mind that dressing them in fabrics that wouldn’t allow sweat to evaporate normally is not a good idea.

 

Infant Eczema

This is a tricky one for it bothers your baby more than it would bother you. Also known as atopic dermatitis, the rashes are itchy and spread from the face to the rest of the body. It is visible in the form of small, fluid-filled pimples that can burst and ooze to make your little one very uncomfortable.

But don’t worry. Every problem has a cure. We wouldn’t let your beautiful angel have tears in their eyes. All you need is a gentle hypoallergenic moisturizer to be applied to the damp skin after a bath. Consult your paediatrician who will prescribe you the right cure to it.

 

Dry Skin

Just like a grown-up, even babies suffer from flaky and tight skin, especially during winter or in a dry climate. But again, it is as easily curable.

The trick is hydration. Make sure your little one gets plenty of fluid through breast milk or in their diet. If your baby has started drinking water, make sure that they drink plenty and urinate regularly. Baby skin problems and solutions do not just depend on external factors but a lot on their diet and habits, as well.

You may use a hypoallergenic lotion after bathing your sunshine, but make sure to use a mild soap or skip it altogether as it might irritate their skin. Your baby’s room ought to be kept humid.

Consult your paediatrician who would recommend you special soap and shampoo.

 

Mongolian Spots

Mongolian spots are grey-blue patches, usually common in babies of Indian, African, Asian or Mediterranean descent. It is caused by slight variations in skin pigmentation and disappears all by itself. Although they may look like a large bruise, they do not hurt at all and can range from a tiny mark to covering a part of the body.

The best solution here is to do nothing and wait for it to disappear just as it appeared.

 

While it is completely understandable that the tiniest of the spot on your little angel would worry you, baby skin problems are quite common in the first few months and the solutions could be just making sure that they are cared for and it does not bother your baby.


 

April 16, 2021 |  read

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Books for your baby - What to choose, How to plan

Want to know which book is best for your baby? Here are the recommended type of books for your baby at each developmental milestone.

Babies grow super fast in their initial years. Numerous physical, mental, emotional, and a majority of cognitive developments take place in their initial years of growth. To cope with these changes and growth, parents need to provide them with the necessary toys and books. In today’s world, baby’s books are not just limited to traditional paperback books, some books are made of cardboard, cloth, napkins, and many more. There are also e-versions of baby books. Depending on the baby’s age and rate of development, you could choose the right books for your baby.    

 

For a baby's wholesome cognitive development, it is essential to choose the right books for them. Just like a school syllabus, baby books are designed and developed while the baby’s age is kept in mind. 

 

Here are a few tips and suggestions for new mommies and daddies on how to choose baby books based on the type and content of the books. 

 

0 – 12 months

These are your baby’s initial days, from the time of birth to their first birthday, numerous developments take place in them. From the first time they roll over to their first step, each of these milestones are a result of their physical growth. 

Babies start to recognize colors at around 3rd or 4th month and start grabbing and gripping over at around 6th or 7th month. To improve cognitive ability, it is essential to get colorful books for your baby, with rich textures, and steady ones. It is advised to buy your little-one books that are made of cardboard. Try and keep your baby away from screens like laptops and phones as much as possible. An E-book for this age would be a strict NO. 

You could also get them books that are made of cloth napkins and books that sing when you open them. These singing books have songs or rhymes with soothing tones. This would help them relax and sleep better.

 

A few months down the lane, they also tend to start using this board book as their chew toy; make sure to keep the books clean and dust-free. The way you read the book also plays an important role. It is advised to sit or sleep alongside them and read the book. Feel free to use different voices and pitches while reading them from books, your little one would love it.

 

12 to 24 months

In this span of 12 months, your little ones start to talk, walk, and develop particular interests. Now, your littles can recognize and remember things. Even for kids this age, say no to e-versions of books for your baby. Try to keep them away from phones and tabs, their eyes are still developing, and harmful blue-rays from the screen could affect the little eyes. Now, you can switch to books that have glossy papers, pictures, and short stories. Make sure the baby’s books have tons of pictures and bold letters. This would help them to learn about images and recognize them. 

 

Towards the end of this period, you could bring them coloring books and baby-friendly crayons or colored pencils. This helps them remember colors and promotes hand-eye coordination. Make it a habit to read to your little one every night. This enables them to imagine or picturise the story. Incorporate loads of hand gestures, voice modulations to help them focus and concentrate. 

 

Get them acquainted with short story books or toddler’s comics. These comics have a little bit of text and more pictures that have different textures. 

 

24 months to 3 years

This is the best time to hook your little ones on storybooks. They begin to recognize letters by now and talk more fluently. Make it a point to read with them for an hour or so each day. You could read with them when you are feeding them or when you are putting them down for a nap. This is a great way to indulge a reading habit in them. You could now read to them from your phones or tablets, keep this screen time in moderation and encourage them to read more books. 

 

You could now get books for your baby that have alphabets, fruits, vegetables, and animals in them. By this age, they can remember and memorize names and colors. Make sure to read aloud so your little munchkin can hear the sounds and repeat them. Involve them in coloring activities, encourage them to draw. You could get them acquainted with chalk and blackboards and slowly move towards whiteboards and markers. 

 

This is the time to teach them to read and write alphabets, small words like “Yes, No, Go ”; encourage them to practice these alphabets. Let your little ones listen to audiobooks of rhymes and stories. You could also read them rhymes and jingles from their books with a lot of expressions and movements. 

 

These are just a few suggestions on how to get your little one acquainted with books and ensure an all-round cognitive development. As important as it is to read to them and read with them, you need to practice what you preach. You could just read a book, and that would inspire them to read more. Kids tend to imitate the older ones around them. It is also essential to have fun with the kids when you are reading along with them. This way, they would want to read more or play more with the books. If your baby does not like books as much, don’t force them. Every tiny-hooman is different and you should learn to embrace it with love and joy. 


 

April 28, 2021 |  read