It is crazy to go back to work after maternity leaves. Like, the last time your coworkers saw you, you had a happy baby bump,but now, you’re all flat out, dark circles and all. We feel you fellow mommas, we know what it is leave your baby and fight off the guilt that is steadily creeping up your throat. One major worrying factor for all new moms returning to work is – How Do I Store my Breast Milk? After all, your little cherub needs it and it is the best gift you can give your child.
Now, the women who want/need to work, take a minute to bless science, because science has given you this wondrous, wow worthy thing called the breast pump. These little gifts from technology lets mothers pump their milk out and store it for their baby’s care takers to feed the little one whenever necessary.
One such new mom Veena is returning to work and she came running to us to ask us how she should store her breast milk and our unfailing SOS moms have come to our rescue.
Anisha Rodrigues Pinto hurried in to help Veena, “Well if you are starting work you can always start combining breast and bottle milk ( i.e. more times breast milks and fewer times bottle milk( supplement). But as you mentioned you want to know about breast milk, which is the best to give your baby. Here is what I know. Well, expressing of breast milk can be done in three ways: 1) hand, 2) using a hand pump (available on firstcry.com), 3) using an electrical pump (available on firstcry.com). If you get heavy milk supply it will be quite easy for you to express by hand specially in the morning. However if you find it difficult ask help from doctor or experienced people to teach you or show you in either of the above 3 ways mentioned. At times expressing by hand can also take a long time in this case the pumps are helpful. You must express your milk in sterilised bottles (available on firstcry.com), which can then be capped and stored in the fridge. Don’t keep it longer than 24 hours. See that it’s frozen as soon as possible. Melt frozen milk and use at once. Never refreeze. You can also keep it in fridge for 5 to 6 hours (in case u get a break and can rush home and get back to work).”
Sonal Maner shared her experience of returning to work when her daughter was just three months old, “Use an electric breast pump to extract milk and store in special sterilised bags in d freezer. Use Medela breast pump and bags, they are the best. You can store milk in the freezer for up to 3 moths after extracting, remove from freezer 45 mins before feed time and keep the bag/bottle in hot water so it can warm up. Do not open d bag/bottle until the baby is ready to be fed. I joined work wen my daughter was just 3 months and used to feed her extracted breast milk until she was 1.5 yrs.” Medela Breast Pumps on FirstCry.com are available here.”
Neha Gaurav puts in her useful tips, “You can use manual breast pump instead of electric one. After extracting milk you can keep it at room temp (27 degrees) for 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator (towards the corner of tray) for 24 hrs in sterilised bottles only. After taking out the milk from refrigerator , keep the bottle in a pan of warm water for few minutes so that it comes to room temp. But make sure u do not bring the milk in direct contact of heat (gas flame)”.
Noopur Agarwal also reminded us to instruct the care taker, “With an automatic breast pump you can extract all the milk in morning before going to office, then store the milk in sterilised baby bottles and refrigerate them. Tell the person who will be feeding the baby to take out the bottle half an hour before feeding the baby”.
Radhika Varun Soni also reiterated the best method to store breast milk, “You can use breast pump of your choice n refrigerate the milk in sterilized bottle and warm the bottle in hot water just minutes before he is to be fed.”
A lot of advice comes in the way of new moms, but the best ones are from peers who have been mothers themselves. Being a working mom can bring whole host of challenges, but it is also a really satisfying role to play.
We would also like to extend our thanks to the moms who came to Veena’s rescue:
Sonal Maner, Noopur Agarwal, Radhika Varun Soni and Neha Gaurav.
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.
If your baby is teething, you may notice red gums, swollen gums, flushed cheeks, serious drooling, gum rubbing, gum itching, sleepless nights, irritable, unsettled, high temperature, diarrhea and not wanting to feed at all.
To ease your child’s teething pain, consider following the tips mentioned below.
In the same way that ice works on a sprained wrist to reduce pain, numb the area and decrease swelling, cold compresses soothes sore gums. Place a teether in the refrigerator and let your child suck or bite on it. Do not store the teether in the freezer as the frozen teether might get very hard and would damage the baby gums.
Consider selecting solid silicone-based teethers over liquid-filling teethers that might leak and cannot be sterilized. Alternatively, you may offer them a clean, wet washcloth that has been chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes. The child will love munching on it as the cloth massages the gums and numbs the soreness.
If your baby is eating solid foods, give him or her some frozen fruit in a mesh bag or a teething biscuit, oven-hardened bread, breadsticks or cold carrot stick to chomp on.
Rub the baby’s gums with a clean finger until the abrasion makes a whiny noise. This pressure will help soothe the gums. In addition, you could gently rub a cold spoon on the gums to soothe them.
Many parents choose topical medications like a numbing gel or cream to rub on the gums. These medications are available at most drugstores and contain anesthetic and antiseptic properties that help ease the pain.
Ensure your teething gel or cream does not contain benzocaine as it may not be safe for your little one. If you are still breastfeeding, do not give your baby any teething gel before a feed, as they can numb the baby’s tongue and make it difficult to suck properly.
Many parents swear by homeopathic remedies that they give to their children to soothe their baby’s gums and stimulate healing. Do this under the advice of a registered practitioner only.
If nothing else works, you may have to consider giving your baby painkillers that are prescribed by the doctor. Over the counter medication like acetaminophen are easily available at most drug stores, but must only be given at the right dosage and on recommendation by the child’s doctor.
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The house can be a very dangerous place for infants if it is not childproofed properly. Here are a few safety tips which parents should implement to childproof their home for infants and young children.
• Try to change your baby’s nappy on a changing mat on the floor as they may roll off the bed if not supervised.
• Unless the baby is safely in its crib, don’t leave it unattended at any time of the day, even for a second.
• Prevent choking by ensuring nothing goes into their mouth except their own fingers, milk bottle or any safe and chewable teether or toy.
• One of the most common accidents for newborns is falling off high places. Avoid this accident by keeping one hand on your baby at all times or having pillows and cushions around it on the bed or installing a bed guard.
One To Three Year Olds:
• Always keep low furniture away from the windows. Install window locks or safety catches that prevent babies from climbing out.
• Cover all electrical outlets with safety covers and plugs so your little toddler cannot poke its fingers into the plug points and get a shock.
• Attach corner covers on sharp corners of furniture to prevent injuries.
• Don’t ever allow your baby to use a baby walker alone, as they are very dangerous and can cause serious accidents.
• Cover all the gaps between the balcony railings with boards or safety nets.
• Attach safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, so that the baby is not able to climb stairs without supervision.
Three To Five Year Olds
• Remove all small items that can easily get stuck in the child’s throat.
• Keep them out of the kitchen, away from kettles, pans and hot oven doors.
• Attach a safety lock on drawers so your child does not get its hand trapped or stuck in them.
• The backyard should be kept safe by having a soft surface underneath.
• Fence the backyard and keep power tools and garden equipment out of their reach.
• Keep all medicines safely locked away in a cabinet. Never leave them lying around the house.
Child safety continues to be one of the most important issues for parents even before the baby comes home from hospital. Most people think of their homes to be safe for their children, but unfortunately this is not true.
There are many objects and areas that adults can handle but might prove dangerous for kids. As a parent, you need to begin inspecting the house and taking measures for your child’s safety.
Swati Shukla Mishra wrote to us and asked us a question concerning her baby boy. She wants to know how many times a massage is required for her 10 month old baby, whose legs are still not straight. We asked our community of mothers about this and incorporated their responses into the advice below.
The first thing to remember is that all babies are born with bow legs, and it’s not unusual for bow legs to be present even at two years of age. If, however, the condition persists till three years, you should take the child to a paediatrician to rule out any developmental abnormalities.
In case of rickets, the child would be suffering from a deficiency of vitamin D and calcium, so adequate sun exposure is important, preferable in the morning, in addition to any supplementation that your paediatrician suggests. However, in a child as young as 10 months, this condition is likely to be a part of normal growth and development.
There is no need to massage the child’s, but there is no harm either. If you want to massage your child, you can do it once or twice a day before the baby’s bath. Use olive oil and be gentle with your touch and pressure.
Thanks to these parents for their feedback:
Shokhi Agarwal, Sneha Rungta, Vidita Tayal, Sonal Chaurasia, Anita Seemar Mahi, Sommya Singh, Jyoti Rathi Toshniwal, Radha Mishra, Lavanya Reddy, Harman Sehgal, Vidita Tayal, Manisha Vij, Aman Tiwari, Srivimal Srivimal, Tarun Kesarwani, Ratnasree Saha Chakraborti, Vani Amarnath, Puneet Gurpreet Sethi, Preeti Jain, Gurbaksh Singh, Archana Srivastav, Shweta Rustgi Gupta, Sorbhi Mehra, Christina Harijan, Navita Sadani, Shilpa Vishal Ranjan, Annu Pattnaik, Malini Sircar, Poonam Gupta Yadav, Priyadarshini baidya, Bhavini Master, Pallavimahesh Halawai, Bhaskar Jayaram, Bhavini Master.
An important task when you have a baby in the house is to make it safer for your child. When it comes to baby proofing your home, all you need to do is employ these simple child safety starters and you are on your way to creating a safer environment for your little one.
Pay a visit to the nearest superstore with a baby-proofing aisle and you are sure to find many products that are available to ensure safety for your baby. All you need to do is to include these simple child safety products and implement simple safety measures in your house.
Make sure that the kitchen cupboard, drawers and fridge have locks. Put sharp utensils and cutlery away to where they are not easily accessible by babies.
Don’t let your baby touch the oven door and make sure you do not push any hot drinks and knives to the back of your workup surfaces. If possible, keep your dustbin in a cupboard with a child resistant catch and store plastic bags out of your child’s reach.
Create Safe Havens
Make sure that your baby’s bedroom is well protected with electrical outlet covers, drawer latches, and furniture brackets and definitely with stairway gates. Your baby can then play safely in these spaces without you having to be around always.
Likewise, you may want to mark out certain rooms, like the formal living and dining rooms as baby free zones, so you can still enjoy some adult décor.
Always turn your home water heater down to 120 degrees to prevent the risk of burns on your baby’s soft skin. Never ever leave a child unsupervised in the bathtub with any kind of liquid.
Install toilet seat locks to prevent drowning and place all the medications and cleaning liquids out of your child’s reach. Keep the bathroom door closed when not in use to prevent your child from crawling inside.
If you have a pool, surround it with a fence that has a child resistant gate. Lock away all the garden equipment and pesticides in a secure shed area and check that there are no gaps in your fence or else you may find your little one finding their way out.
In addition, always ensure that low-level windows or doors have safety grills. The carpets shouldn’t be loose and make sure you tie up all blinds and curtain cords, keeping them well out of your baby’s reach. Install smoke detectors and fix latches and fly screens on the windows so they cannot be fully opened.
Even though child proofing is a never-ending task, how much or how little you do is completely up to you. But more than anything, it is constant supervision by one or more members of the family that is the finest safety measure of all.
Image source: monigirl
It went away but left her eye swollen and now her left eye is infected and the green mucus is coming out throughout the day. She is concerned for her daughter’s wellbeing and has asked for some advice.
We asked our community of moms for advice and these are the suggestions they came back with.
Don’t waste time in taking the child to a good doctor. Do this as soon as possible. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to help clear the infection. If one eye is infected, the other one is bound to get infected.
You can also clean your child’s eyes with cotton dipped in clean water. Or you can use warm water to clean the child’s eyes.
Thanks to the moms below who made the time and effort to give their valuable advice:
Jyoti Dixit, Ishita Bishnoi, Arti S. Peter, Rekha Vaz, Garima Grover, Vanela Kohli, Nivedita Bose Chakraborty, Alekhya Suresh, Siya Borkar, Amrita Singh, Bhavana Shukla, Annavarapu Ahuja, Aditi Sharma, Sangeeta Apoorv, Sharmila Chakravarty, Christina Harijan, Janki Shah, Monika Guleria Mukheja, Sewanti Ghosh
Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Mom Sutiksha Devliyal is worried about her 15 month old son who does not have any teeth yet. As per her doctor’s advice she has been giving her little one Calcium since he was 7 months old. She asked us to help her out with this and as we posed the question to our parents on the SOS Mom forum.
Before we move on to the suggestion by parents, at FirstCry, we would like to remind parents once again that every baby has a different age of achieving the many milestones that will come along the way. In this case, different babies get teeth at different months, and while most babies are born toothless, there are some who are even born with teeth! So when it comes to babies, nothing is certain and there shouldn’t be comparisons made too soon. Continue reading →