For about the first two or three months, a newborn’s eyes tend to drift, wander and appear squint. This squint in newborn happens when the baby is tired or is trying to focus on something very close. However, by four months, babies develop a more-mature eye-hand coordination and depth perception. Thus, the off-kilter gaze, that’s the cause of botheration for many new-parents, is put an end to.
Doctors are of the opinion that newborn squint of eye is a perfectly normal and common newborn characteristic. Most of the times than not, eyes of a newborn are not crossed, but appear to be crossed. This evasive condition happens because some babies are born with extra folds of skin along the inner corners of their eyes, which gives them the cross-eyed appearance.
Besides, there is a phenomenon known as ‘pseudoesotropia’, in which the baby looks cross-eyed because of the optical illusion caused by their flat nasal bridge. Have a look at your nose and compare it with that of your baby – you’ll find yours to be bigger and more defined. You may ask, why is the nasal bridge of a baby flat? To make breastfeeding easier!
As always, we have SOS Moms helping you out with their share of experience.
At the outset, we have Parul Sharma Khatri, who says, “All kids are born that way. Usually, baby eye squint gets resolved within 2 months completely when the eye muscles develop.”
Next, we have Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto, proposing her take, “Hi, at first even I thought the same for my baby. Then, later I read many books and I came to know that it passes off with time. To be out of tension, just get her eyes checked at your next visit to the doctor. Well, you have to be worried only if even by 3 or 4 months your baby does not move her eyes at a moving object kept in front of her face. For a newborn, please relax no need to worry, it will pass off with time.”
Third, Chetana Suvarna Ganatra suggests, “It is very common in newborns to squint. I noticed that at times when my baby kept staring at something particular, her eyes would squint. I simply used to gently shut her eyes for a minute to shift attention. Hope this helps! However, I would also recommend you see a paediatric if it happens regularly.”
Rajnideep Sandhu has a unique way of dealing with squint of eye in newborn. She says, “It happens. You just have to keep one thing in mind that don’t let your baby see straight. Let the baby see more sideways and blink again and again or change the direction for another view. Good luck!”
So to say, don’t worry too much about your newborn’s squint eyes. Remember, most of the time this condition will straighten out by maximum six months of age without treatment. Here’s to your baby’s beautiful baby blues!
Lastly, we extend our thanks to the below mentioned SOS Moms as well for helping Mahek overcome her distress.
Shweta Srivastava, Vinu Gowtham Rao, Shipra Chaubey, Reema Monga Verma, Shilpi Saha, Paulami Shome Roy, Surbhi Sharma, Neetu Vishal Sharda, Robe Samarth Gaonkar, S Hashim Ali Khan, Rajni Kashvi Jaiswal, Asma Kapoor, Pooja Mishra, Grace Dcruz, Shraddha Upadhyay Desai, Naga Deepthi Vedagiri, Vidya Patel, Kamal Mahi, Madhusmita Mishra, Kiran Bobade Chatur, Ramya Shree, Vibha Sharrma, Vividha Aggarwal, Wenencia Savio Fernandes, Ritu Bhargava Sud
Sabita Padubidri wrote to us about a problem she has with her 2 month old son, she says that he does not sleep well either in the morning or in the night because of which she’s having sleepless nights and days.
Also, her child has a habit of sucking his thumb. He does not take formula milk as she doesn’t produce enough milk.
We put this issue across our community of moms to weigh in on the same and have incorporated their responses here:
Breast Feeding is the best for your baby and Fenugreek (methi) ranks high among the ‘must haves’ for nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of diosgenin in the spice which increases milk production in lactating mothers. You can either have its seeds or leaves in your daily diet. You should also increase the intake of Cumin (jeera), pulses, almond, dry fruits, garlic, milk and milk products to enhance milk generation. Moreover, eating raw papaya curry & drinking rice water, which is prepared in traditional way (i.e cooking rice in additional amount of water), can also serve as a solution.
Bani Pavithra SriRam suggets that you can also consume lactation boosting pills/powder like ‘Lactare’, an ayurvedic medicine, to boost lactation.
A few alternate methods to feed your baby milk are:
Soak a small clean and soft cotton ball in milk and squeez 3-5 drops into his mouth slowly at a time and repeate this for 60 to 80ml of milk. As you said he doesn’t like bottles, this will help fill his stomach temporarily.
Try Playtex VentAire bottles for nursing your baby, these have many advantages like less amount of air gulped in by baby, angular design helps in proper placement during feeding, etc.
Thumb-sucking is normal in babies and most kids stop on their own at age 3 to 6 years. Neverthless, inadequate milk intake by a baby may also be a cause of thumb-sucking. So, you can expect it to decrease gradually once your baby starts getting sufficient milk.
One of the reasons for baby’s sleepless nights and days can be his empty stomach. In such a case, the above mentioned alternative feeding methods can prove conducive.
Also, you can give a nice warm coconut oil massage to your baby and follow it with warm water bath before putting him to sleep. Re-creating some soothing sensations, movements and snug environment of the womb will help him doze off faster.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Aditya Agarwal, Sandhya Pillai, Poonam Ganesh, Banu Pavithra SriRam, Revathi Phani Krishna, Kam La, Uma Sudharshan, Nainthara Singh, Soumya Harish, Garima S Mamgain, CA Chandana, Pooja Rathore, Lakshmi Karthick, Shilpa Malhotra Sarin
Kanika Modi wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 7 month old son. She says that her son has lost his appetite and weight since a week. Also, he has loose motions, 10-15 times a day due to which the private area has turned red and the baby has become cranky and irritated. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.
We asked our community of helpful moms for their suggestions and included their comments below.
If a child is ill, the first thing to do is take him to the doctor immediately to rule out any serious illnesses. Once your doctor has started treatment, you can use home remedies to make the child more comfortable.
Feed the child light foods – like dal pani, rice water, coconut water, apple or banana mash, a few spoons of pomegranate juice – that are easy to digest and will not cause discomfort. Give him ORS (boiled water with a pinch of salt and sugar) and lots of fluids to ensure that he does not get dehydrated because of the loose motions.
Apply a diaper rash cream, like Siloderm, Protectoderm or Mothercare rash cream, on the baby’s private parts to prevent the rash from getting worse. Avoid diapers. Apply coconut oil every so often for some relief from the rash. Wash the baby’s bottom with water instead of using tissues which can aggravate the rash.
If your child has started teething, it could cause some of these symptoms. For the baby’s tummy upsets while teething, you can start a homeopathic medicine called BC21, after taking your baby to a registered homeopathic physician. You can also start homeopathic calcium tablets, called Calcarea Phosphorica.
Rub mugli ghutti on the baby’s teeth regularly twice a day. Give your baby safe toys and teethers to chew on to relieve the pain of teething. You might also want to ask your pediatrician if your baby needs the rota virus vaccination.
We are grateful to all the parents below for their advice and feedback.
Rekha Subramanian, Dolly Singla Bansal,Yamini Arora, Avani Tippani, Ritu Dhingra, Bharti Mudgal, Bharath Kumar, Aishwarya Bharath Kumar, Kuheli Khan, Chandra Negi, DrRitika Gupta, Christine Tan, Poonam Ganesh, Vaishali Chitara, Revathi Phani Krishna, Jizza Sudharsan, Sarika Singh, Ragini Rai, Ratanjeet Kaur, Akanksha Sood Verma, Yamini Arora Kanika Malhotra , Bhaskar, Sabah Riaz, Harman Sehgal, Pallavi Dubey, ViroNica Virender Nisha, Rachana Nanavati, Aarpita Arora, Urvashi Rajan Puri, Anukaul Anand, Anukaul Anand, Janki Shah, Sapna Chauhan, Doc Shruti Bhargava, Smita Goswami Chakraborty, Sabbineni Sravanthi, Anvita Pant, Meenakshi Kimti Sharma, Devpriya Ekka, Jas Saini, Jas Saini, Neha Mehta, Shikha Khanduja Kaul, Astha Aggarwal, Priya Kulkarni, Anu Sabarish, Deepika Agrawal Gupta, Ruchi Sinha Shetty, Ramya Sriram, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Manali Langer, Sharmila Chakravarty, Urvashi Rajan Puri, Vani Amarnath, Shobha Ojha, Sangeeta Chauhan Salve, Dolly Omkar Jha, Hetal Rana, Deepti Gautam Talwar.
We asked our ever-helpful community of mothers for advice and this is what they suggested.
Every child’s growth is different. Some kids take a year and some may take 3 years to speak clearly. As long as he understands what you say and responds, it’s not a problem. Enjoy this period of speaking gibberish. Some kids take their own time.
Wait till he is 3 years old and consult a doctor before starting speech training. Parents should speak clearly with babies to help them learn how to form small words. You can give him some playcards with pictures and alphabets and ask him to repeat them after you.
Thanks to all these helpful moms:
Lavanya Reddy, Sonal Chaurasia, Vidushi Kamal, Smriti Thukral, Roop S Dhamrait, Vidushi Kamal, Deepa Jha, Deepti Dora Rao, Sonam Nigam, Priya Varun Tayur, Preety Anup Dimri, Sumrrita Saroch, Vetcha Janaki, Roma Agarwal, Shweta Hedau Bhanarkar, Manisha Vij, Shweta Koul, Deep Brinderjeet Saini.
Image courtesy of Ohmmy3d / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Swati was worried and wanted guidance. Our community of moms came to her rescue with some excellent and reassuring advice.
Here are some of the tips they shared:
Don’t panic. It is not a problem. Some kids are born with naturally curved legs and most babies have bow legs till 3 years of age. Even diapers can make a child’s legs look bow-shaped. Orthopedic doctors usually tell you to ‘do nothing’ as the bones of some kids are not properly joined at the hip leading to the curvature.
Also you cannot judge from the shape of the child’s legs at 10 months of age, as this condition heals automatically as kids start growing and walking, and the leg muscles develop and strengthen. Don’t take any drastic measures that can result in permanent damage. Just allow your child to grow up normally.
By the age of two, the child is usually walking and running normally. But if s/he is not sitting and standing or walking with the help of support, it’s best to check with the pediatrician.
Some doctors believe that the condition arises due to calcium deficiency in the baby. If this is suspected, you can give the child calcium supplements on the advice of the doctor. The best option is natural calcium and food high in protein.
It is a good practice to massage the child’s legs two or three times a day, especially before a bath, and to use Dabur Lal Oil, which is a very old and effective remedy for such a condition. Alternatively, you can use ghee, or a mixture of olive and mustard oil, for massage.
Use warm oil applied with upward strokes while holding both legs together and to continue this with gentle strokes sideways wherever there is a slight bulge. It’s best to hire an old lady who is very experienced in massage. If using oil for the massage, wash it off with soap in half an hour.
Massage also eases any pain and tiredness that the baby might be experiencing. Set a schedule for the massage and do it regularly. You can also tie the baby’s legs together with a cotton dupatta from the thighs downward for a couple of hours before the baby sleeps. Also stop using a walker as it might cause problems with the baby’s legs.
With special thanks to these parents :
Arti S. Peter, Sonia Manaktala, Smita Rokade, Rashmi Kabibar Padhan, Vandhna Siddharth Manek, Venugopalacharyulu Kada, Kanupriya Agarwal, Swati Shukla Mishra, Greeshma Rahul, Rakhi Golui Sarkar, Aseeja Satheesh, Suresh Panthlori, Tamishra Mandal, Anshu Anshul Soni, Fakhera Juzer Hussain, Lavanya Reddy, Neha Monish Sharma, Preeti Vyas Parashar, Simran Beri, Manjusha Jejurikar Vaze, Roohi Saleem, Pari Mohit Rai, Sagarika Dhar, Rajni Dhandharia, Maninder Kaur, Preitz M Kory Patil, Ruqaiyya Khan, Tithi Parmar, Neha Mehrotra, Shonali Rawal.
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net