It’s winters….that time of the year when our little ones are again so prone to those bouts of cough and cold and as parents you are running around with that dreaded thermometer in hand, calling up the doc, fixing an appointment, and trying desperately to make the poor little ones drink the medicines….
Sometimes, winters approach so suddenly that we dont really get the chance to keep our woolens in the sun. Of course we all are quite restrained on time these days. What with office and home and many more added responsibilities, it is not always possible to take out time and remember to do each and every chore. If you did not really get the chance to sun-out your woolens before use this winter, try and send it to a good dry-cleaner. Sometimes, children develop allergies, especially rashes and cough and cold from these same woolens that have been in storage for most of the past year.
This winter, let honey be your child’s best friend (not for infants though, and if your baby has had any prior allergies or reaction to honey, make sure you check with the doctor first). A little honey in milk, instead of sugar, will help your child stay away from the regular cough and cold. Also, why not add just the tiniest pinch of ground turmeric in your baby’s milk? Or even jaggery? Not only are these rich sources of nutrition for your little one, they will also help your baby fight the virus.
Green leafy vegetables are back with the season..so let your child enjoy these…of course make sure that you clean them properly before feeding your child. Clean and boil these greens in salt water and then mash it (if your child is too small) or cut into fine pieces and mix in the flour you use for your daily roti and parantha. Use the boiled water of the leaves to make dals or curries. The best part about these leaves are that, if you dont have the time to do this each day, just boil them and keep them in the fridge…once boiled, they can be easily stored for a week to ten days.
Also, make ample use of the lovely vegetables in the market, carrot, beetroot and so many other nourishing foods. Make vegetable soups/stews at home, make vegetable porridge, make custard with fruits….so many natural things for our little ones just waiting for us to bring back home.
Of course it is not always possible to keep cough and cold at bay. But lets try and go a little more natural this season….
- Scratching ears and head
- Staring quietly at one spot
- Less active
But sometimes, signs that look like indications of sleep are actually indications of over-exhaustion, like:
- Constant crying
- Rubbing eyes vigorously
- Falling off to sleep while doing something else
If your baby shows any of the signs from the second list, chances are, its way past baby’s sleep time, and baby is now over-exhausted. You may have tried putting baby to sleep earlier, but baby was quite active and didn’t want to sleep, so you allowed a little more play time. Yes, we all do that.
This is actually a good way of making sure that baby is taken to bed when the first signs of sleep start to settle in, rather than waiting too long and letting baby get uncomfortable and cranky in the process. If you see baby yawning and being a little less active than baby usually is, its time to start the bedtime routine.
- Prepare a warm bath and give baby a bath
- Give a light massage with some soothing baby oils
- Put baby in comfortable sleep clothes – do not cover baby with too many quilts and blankets, instead get baby in sleep onesies.
- Give baby some milk, bottle or mother’s feed
- Dim the lights
- Make sure the voices in the house are low
- Keep the bed comfortable
- Check that the room temperature is comfortable – not too warm and not too cold
- If baby wants, give a comfort toy to hug and sleep
- Sing a soft lullaby, read a story, play some light music
Your baby may not immediately fall off to sleep, though many babies do, but keep this routine regular and very soon your baby will start having a bed-time routine.
We read this incredible piece of ‘miracle’ news in the papers and just had to share it with all you lovely parents out there…..We’re calling it a miracle – though of course its a feat of some form of science – just because the love of the mum and the bond she shared here with her new born is so incredible.
Katie Ogg gave birth to twins in a hospital in Sydney. They were delivered at 27 weeks, weighing just two pounds each. While doctors okayed her baby girl Emily, the little baby boy Jamie was not breathing, as per the doctors. The medical staff battled hard to save the little boy but after 20 minutes of desperate attempts, they declared him ‘dead’.
As per the mum:
“The doctor asked me if we had chosen a name for the baby. I said Jamie. They turned around with my son already wrapped up and said ‘we’ve lost Jamie, he didn’t make it, sorry.’”
As the doctors handed her son’s lifeless body to her, she only wanted to hold her son close to her.
“It was the worst feeling I have ever felt. I unwrapped Jamie from his blanket. He was very limp.”
Katie wanted to hold her son next to her skin. “I took my gown off and arranged him on my chest with his head over my arm and just held him” she recalled.
As the baby was not moving, the grieving parents began talking to their ‘lost’ son. “We told him what his name was and that he has a sister. We told him the things we wanted to do with him throughout his life.”
The parents didn’t realise but they had been talking to their son for two hours when Jamie suddenly began showing signs of life.
“I felt him move as if he was startled, then he started gasping for air more and more regularly.” At first the doctors had claimed the signs of gasping for air was just a reflex action of the body and that the baby was dead. But soon the gasping began to grow more frequent.
“I took some breast milk on my finger, he took it and started regular breathing normally. A short time later he opened his eyes. It was a miracle.”
“Then he held out his hand and grabbed my finger. He opened his eyes and moved his head from side to side. The doctor kept shaking his head and saying I don’t believe it”.”
It is now being thought that the warmth of Ogg’s body acted like an incubator to keep the baby warm and stimulated. It adds weight to the theory of ‘kangaroo care’ named after the way marsupials care for their young in their pouch.
The father later said: “Luckily I have got a very strong, very smart wife. She instinctively did what she did. If she hadn’t done that Jamie probably wouldn’t be here.”
See….we always knew that the best place in the world for a baby is mommy’s arms!
As a young mother, especially as a new mother, you have a lot on your hands. With a newborn in the house, often there are times when you have to bring on your special motherly instincts to help you understand what’s best for your baby. As a mother, you know what’s best for your baby, but sometimes, knowing before hand what those little signs and gestures mean, can prepare you to take care of baby more efficiently, and without you getting stressed and confused. So here are the top 5 signs that babies will definitely display, so make sure
1. Rubbing eyes and ears/scratching head, face: These are the first signs of tiredness. As soon as you see baby doing any of this, its a good time to start preparing for baby’s bed time. Don’t wait for baby to get over-tired, as this will lead to crankiness and many tears.
2. Crying: Thisis baby’s most common way of showing that there is something wrong. And what could it be? It could be any of these – hunger, sleep, dirty diaper, wetting, soiling, fear, tiredness, pain, discomfort, attention-seeking, wanting something and not getting. Tend to baby and see what the reason is.
3. Cooing, gurgling, short laughs: These are signals that begin baby’s journey towards communication. This is baby’s first step towards telling you what baby feels, what is making baby happy, what is making baby excited, what seems interesting to baby. Enjoy the phase! Encourage your baby, talk about your daily activities, talk about things around baby, talk about your feelings, and see your baby trying to talk just like you!
4. Sucking fingers, putting things in mouth, chewing/biting on toys and things: Your baby is probably teething. This is a painful and uncomfortable experience for most babies, and baby will be cranky and crying. Ease baby’s discomfort by lightly massaging the gums. Give babies things to chew, like teethers and vegetable sticks. You can also give cooled carrot sticks for baby to bite/chew on.
5. Touching diaper/poopy area: Baby may have soiled the diaper, baby may have wet itself. Also, this could be an indication that baby can already feel the need to go to the washroom. Check on baby’s diaper and clothes to see any signs of wetness or soiling. Also, this may be a good time to start your baby’s potty-training, if you’ve not already begun the process.
This week, mum Sonal Chaurasia, mother of a 13-month old baby boy asked us to help her with her baby’s sleep problems. Her little one wakes up every night in the middle of his sleep and cries for about 20 minutes without opening his eyes. We asked our SOS Moms to help, and as always, there were a list of practical tips and advice that, we are sure, will help mum Sonal and any other mum who may be facing a similar situation.
- When baby wakes up, give a little water or milk in a sippy.
- It could be that baby is doing this out of habit – don’t give anything in the night, and very soon, baby may stop waking up in the middle.
- Babies do experience colic in the night and evening. You can use a small spoon of mustard oil mixed with heeng, make it a little warm and then apply on baby’s tummy. Put a drop around the navel and massage slightly. This may soothe baby. Do this even when baby wakes up in the night.
- Give baby a warm bath before bed time. Or you can also wipe baby with a warm damp towel before changing and getting in sleep clothes. Feed baby ever two hour, but in little quantities during sleep.
- Try giving a pacifier or soother. Also, feed baby by lying down on your side while baby is asleep, as this can soothe baby.
- Baby may cry due to some discomfort.
- Check the room temperature, it shouldn’t be too warm or too cold.
- Understand if baby is suffering from colic.
- Make sure baby is tired enough during the day, but not over exerted.
- For dinner time, give something light and easy to digest, like khichdi and a glass/bottle of warm milk.
- Boil some saunf and give the water to baby.
- Try giving cow milk if you are giving top feed.
- Sometimes, this may just become a habit. Babies tend to get into a deep sleep routine at night around the age of 3, if not earlier.
- Hug your baby when they wake up in the middle of sleep and sing a soothing lullaby.
- Try giving gripe water or colic medicine as suggested by baby’s doctor.
- Try following a timetable for baby in the day and make sure nap time in the day is a little less and not close to bedtime at night.
- Make sure you burp baby after feeding at bedtime.
- Keep your baby in your arms, or hug your baby when you are putting them to sleep. This may give a sense of security.
- Add some saunf when you boil baby’s milk and strain it out while giving to baby.
- Check the diaper in the night.
- Be calm with your baby as a habit. Sometimes, the events of the day play in a baby’s mind and may make them disturbed. Do not shout or yell at your baby, and definitely do not hit.
- Make sure your baby does not get any mosquito or insect bites during sleep time.
- If baby has a regular time of getting up in the middle of the night, try waking up baby at least 15-20 minutes before that time. Talk to baby softly, make sure baby knows you are around, sing a lullaby and soothe them back to sleep.
Special thanks to mums and dads:
Sumiti Malhotra Dargan, Vaibhavi Kadiya, Smrati Tiwari Saini, Riya Mamta Chhajer, Nidhi Pandey, Poojankit Bhati, Jigna Shah, Mithlesh Dwivedi, Mariya Bhagat, Rupali Kohli, Namrata Samel Dixit, Aamrin Khan, Shweta Mishra Jha, Amita Bartaria, Rashmi Agrawal, Nidhi Jain, Rachna Shah, Karishma Jagad, Sonal Gulia.
* please remember that all views shared are by other mums and dads and FirstCry is not endorsing any of the advice, tips and ideas. It is completely upto the parents to decide what they think is best for baby.