However, for some women, becoming a mother brings with it emotional turmoil leading to post partum depression. One of the reasons for this is the hormonal imbalance that takes place in the body post child-birth.
Post-partum depression can begin in a woman after 1 to 2 weeks of child birth and can linger for a few months. She might be suddenly very happy and become tearful right the next moment.
She might feel extremely sad and lonely and lose her appetite. Sometimes the depression can continue for long and it becomes important to seek proper medical attention if things go out of hand.
Apart from seeking help from a medical professional, new moms can try these tips to help deal with post-partum depression, to some extent:
• Cry when you feel like it
Hormone levels remain at an all time high during pregnancy. After the child birth, all the hormones fall back to their normal levels. Experts believe that hormone secretion takes place through tears. So if you cry, it is a natural way of getting rid of those hormones, and also of the stress of being a new mom. In fact, you could feel much better after crying.
• Re-evaluate your balance
When you become a mother for the first time, there will only be one thing on your mind and that is your baby. However, there are many things that need attention along with your baby. Try and carry out a re-evaluation of the time required for everything, so that it will not stress you and let you handle your life while retaining your balance.
• Sleep as much as possible
When you become a new mum, you will sorely miss those peaceful sleeping hours at night. You will have to wake up to feed the baby, to see if it is dry and so on. But getting adequate sleep is also very important. If there is no one else to take care of the baby when you are asleep, catch up on your own sleep when the baby sleeps.
• Eat healthy and get some exercise
Regular exercise works to boost the levels of good hormones in the body and helps you fight depression. With increasing levels of endorphin due to exercising, your depression will reduce. Also eat a balanced and healthy diet to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need.
Following these tips, along with proper medical counseling, will definitely help combat the phase of postpartum blues that so many new moms go through.
Image courtesy of hyena reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Over time, parents also tend to decode all the communication and understand their needs. New research states that baby talk, or high-pitched, extended vowels from parents, help babies learn language quicker and pick up words faster.
What is Baby Talk?
Baby talk or ‘parentese’ is not about using language or words to attempt to sound like a baby. Rather, the language used to communicate with babies is the same that is used when chatting with an adult. However, the way it is spoken is more simple, repetitive and exaggerated.
Research states that baby talk or cooing helps babies develop several capabilities, such as the ability to differentiate different speech sounds, notice the line between words and a flow of speech, and learn the skills of getting acquainted with discrete phrases.
How to Support your Baby’s Language Development?
Studies have found that kids whose parents talked in parentese, i.e. talked to them at a higher pitch and with elongated vowels had learned nearly three times more words by the age of two. (Source)
This comparison was made against kids whose parents used more adult-directed language. So using baby talk can actually help improve your child’s vocabulary, which is probably why parents do it instinctively.
Keep in mind these guidelines to help support your baby’s language development. Foremost, respond to all your baby’s cries. In the first couple of months and for some even a year, communication is mainly through crying. By responding to their cries, babies are assured that they would be listened to and that their needs would be met.
Secondly, try and initiate conversations with your little one. Emphasis on responding to their coo’s before you coo back. This conversation practice helps them understand that they would be responded to when they try to communicate.
Try to talk to your baby naturally and at all instances. It is a fact that babies understand many things before they actually speak. By regularly talking to your baby and listening to them, they will eventually comprehend and speak your language.
It may feel awkward the first few times you do this, however, it is sure to make an impact. Talk to your baby about daily happenings and about things that you are going to do with them. For example: “Mommy is going to feed you some stewed apple. Do you like it?”
Emphasize singing and storytelling as finger plays and movements and teach them words with physical prompts attached to them. For example the baby can ask to listen to the clapping song by clapping their hands, even before he or she actually learn how to say it.
Story books and other books with attractive pictures are a hit with most babies. Repetitive reading will encourage more steps for interacting with the little ones. To summarize, the most important thing to help babies learn language is to enjoy language and communicate with baby talk at all instances with them.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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.
It’s the greatest joy for a mother to see her baby sleep peacefully. That tiny head resting on the pillow, those puckered-up lips, those feathery eyelashes lying over resting eyes – its just too much a sight to not want to pick up that little bundle right up in your arms then. But again, you would want these precious moments to extend, to let baby get as much sleep and rest as possible.
All babies have a special way of signalling when they need to sleep. This may not mean they necessarily want to, but of course these are signs that all mums pick up, and know instinctively that it’s time to say ‘good night.’
We wanted to know from all you mums what’s your baby’s special sign for sleep time, and you all had beautiful stories to tell.
Mums Parul Umesh and Kripa Ganesh say that one of the first indications that baby is sleepy is when their babies start rubbing their eyes and nose. Mum Priyanka Karmakar Roy’s baby also starts rubbing the eyes, but sleep makes the little one irritable, and tantrums and tears follow.
Mum Srijana Rai is a lucky mum, as her baby crawls up to her and wants a big hug in mommy’s arms!
And mum Roohie Khanam’s princess is a grown-up lady, who can tell mommy herself that she is feeling sleepy, while her son will simply put his head on mommy’s shoulder to show its time for bed.
Mum Bagya Lakshmi’s daughter starts turning her face left and right, rubbing her eyes and crying, while mum Priya Jain’s 09 month old baby starts rubbing his eyes and head. Mum Sandhya Nair’s little one blinks a couple of times, rubbing his eyes and nose, and comes to hug mommy.
Another lucky mommy, mum Akruti Desai’s 20-month old son brings his blanket to momma and starts humming lullabies. Wow, listening to lullabies at baby’s bedtime must sure be fun!
Mum Heena Shah-Dhedhi is also lucky, as bedtime means her 12 month old princess comes and snuggles into mommy’s lap.
Mum Himani Bansal absolutely loves baby’s bedtime, as her baby starts rubbing his ears and eyes and then hugs her tight.
Mum Smrati Tiwari Saini’s little hero rubs his ears and becomes restless, asking to be only with momma, and droopy eyelids, yawning and rubbing the eyes is what mum Nassia Jasmine’s baby does.
Mum Tanya Bhateja’s 11 month old starts rubbing his eyes and puts his thumb in the mouth, a sure shot indicator that its bed time and time for baby to get into mommy’s lap.
Mum Priyanka Adhikary Chakaraborty has a partner in baby’s sleeptime – baby’s father! While the little one starts rubbing his eyes and nose and gets a little cranky, a lullaby from papa is an absolute must, something that will finally soothe baby to sleep.
Mum Tania,Goel, mum Usha Govind and mum Manobina Nanda Ganguly all have babies who start rubbing their eyes and ears at nap time.
Mum Vaishali Vaidya says her 15 month old baby suddenly starts demanding different things at bedtime…quite a princess!
Mum Asha Victoria’s toddler starts craving for the pacifier and makes mommy rub on baby’s nose! Wow…that’s a different one!
Mums Hina Tayal Adv , Meera Saru Magar and Meenakshi Chandail Parihar’s babies start yawning, crying and rubbing their eyes and nose, while mum Anamika Mishra’s baby comes over to her and sleeps on mommy pillow – mommy’s tummy! Same as mom Amarjeet Kaur, whose 11 month old baby lies down on mommy’s chest for nap time.
Mommy to twins, mum Mansi Saxena says that one of her twin daughters goes and finds a soft toy or blanket and lies down on it, while the other suddenly becomes more active, while still rubbing her eyes in between.
Mom Prerna Mahajan’s baby rubs his eyes and ears and gets cranky, and mommy’s cuddling and rocking is what he needs to fall asleep.
Mom Meenal Bansal’s little baby starts singing his own lullaby and falls off to sleep. We have a feeling that many moms are jealous, is that right?
Mum Sony Bhoopathi’s 18 month old baby brings her pillow to mamma, pulls mamma to the bed and then lies down in mamma’s lap. And mommy says she absolutely loves it!
Mum Namrata Samel Dixit’s baby is glued to momma when sleepy, while scratching her ears and pulling her hair.
Mum Dhivya Madhan Kumar’s baby scratches his face and starts looking in one direction, and mum Savita Zanwar’s baby pulls her hair and cries, then comes to mamma for a hug.
Mum Mrunal Pranjale’s baby rubs his eyes and sits in one place while mum Gareema Burman Sehrawat’s baby starts asking for a breast feed and finally falls asleep.
Mum Jasmeet Sidhu’s baby starts staring at something and soon gets drowsy, while mum Yamini Mishra’s son scratches his ears and starts making faces.
Mum Shama Desai’s baby asks mommy to come to the bedroom with the milk bottle while mom Veena Giri’s baby rubs her eyes and looks at mommy when she is sleepy.
See….we told you mommy knows best! How to interpret and read all those small and big and cute and simple signs that mean so much – that it’s time for the little one to now sleep peacefully, knowing mommy is around.
While putting baby in a diaper means giving your little one a dry and comfortable time, chances are, many times the same diaper can turn into a potential health hazard for baby, holding the wetness and dirt for too long and increasing chances of infection. Knowing a few simple things about how diapers work and keeping a few things in mind and keeping your eyes open to your baby’s signs may help diapering easier and more effective for both baby and you.
1. Even though diaper brands claim they can hold on to wetness for long, its always advisable to change a diaper as soon as it is soiled. This will not only avoid any diaper rash, it will also keep baby more comfortable. And if the diapers contain waste other than urine, its a definite must that it needs to be changed ASAP. You can choose to go for diapers that come with a colour change every time baby soils it, or has a fullness indicator that indicates how long the diaper can hold on to the waste and when it should surely be change (of course you can change it earlier too.)
2. Letting baby wear a diaper in the night is a great way to prevent any wetness and let baby sleep in peace. It’s also a great way to keep baby away from any wetness-related illness. But make sure you do check on baby in between, or better still, only put on baby’s diaper when YOU are going to sleep.
3. Sometimes, diapers may leak, resulting in baby sleeping in wetness through the night, even as you may feel that baby is dry and having a nice peaceful sleep. As parents, its advisable to check on your baby once in a while at night, just to make sure that everything is perfect!
4. Some diapers have difficult velcro patches at the side that touch baby’s sensitive skin and cause skin friction, cuts and rashes. If you’re not sure which diaper suits baby best, you can buy a first pack that’s smaller in quantity and see how it works on baby. If baby seems completely comfortable, go ahead with the same. Else do change the brand.
5. If your baby is using a regular cloth nappy at night for baby, you can still put in a soaking strip that can be put inside the cloth nappy and that soaks in the wetness.
6. For babies who are running around the whole day, its always a great idea to use the pant-styled diapers that are easy to put on and easy to take off, while letting baby do all the running around.
7. Let baby use the washroom closest to sleeping time. It’s always best to prevent the diaper from soaking too much in the night.
8. All said and done, using too much diaper on baby’s skin is not really a great thing to do, no matter how soft the material and how trusted the brand. Do try and get your baby washroom-trained as soon as you can. Give your baby time to get used to the idea. Do not force or scold, or embarrass baby if its taking time. Be there for baby and let your baby know that even though it may take time, it will happen soon.
Mommies, you do know best, and you’re the one who’ll know best all about your baby’s diapering needs……
Mum Hema Canchi Jauhari wrote: ‘I am facing a problem with my 3-year old. He does not like eating any solids. He drinks milk only in the night. Can you help me with some ideas to make him eat?’
Mum Sonal Pandey wrote: ‘My baby is 09 months old. Initially he took daal ka pani or mashed fruits, but these days he is not eating, not even taking water. He is only taking breast milk. I am really worried, could you suggest something please?’
Dad Dev Shukla wrote: ‘Please suggest me how to deal with my 10month old baby. She does not eat anything, she only picks up food to make a mess of it. I really don’t know what to do!’
Mum Farah Fairy wrote: ‘My baby is 10 months old. Since the last 4 months I am trying to give her formula milk but she always rejects it. She never sucks the nipple. I have tried giving her fresh milk but she rejects that too. I give her milk when she feels hungry, but she still won’t take the bottle. Please help.’ This was another problem faced in the SOS Mom forum and you may find this article helpful.
We shared these parent problems in our SOS Mom forum and here’s what most of the parents had to say from real experiences:
- Divert their mind through games, stories and immediately put the spoon of food inside the mouth. Don’t give big bites as baby may tend to choke if not interested in eating.
- Try some variations in food. If they are not interested in solids, go for healthy liquid options like soups, dal, or even variations in solids like idli mixed with paalak (spinach) puree, aaloo parantha, mixed vegetable parantha, paneer parantha, and other variations that include some ingredient that your baby likes to eat. Giving ghee and sugar paranthas is also a healthy way to get babies to eat and provide instant energy.
- Take some spinach, tomato, daal, rice and capsicum. Boil everything in a pressure cooker. Grind and add little salt. Give as a soup and you can even use this water to add to other dishes.
- Dip a badaam in a cup of water and keep overnight. Drain the water in the morning and crush the badaam to make a paste. Add a teaspoon of honey to the paste and give baby.
- Babies’ taste buds keep changing and developing. If they are not showing interest in a particular food, dont give up. Give it again next week and keep trying.
- Sometimes, changing the environment can be fun. Pack baby’s meal in a tiffin box and take baby out to the garden. You can try and make baby eat while playing and taking a walk.
- Mixed soups like carrot-potato-apple or bottlegourd-potato-onion are delicious and healthy. Try some variations too.
- Try giving meals in attractive cups and bowls with favourite characters. Play-act with food, make a spoon a play aeroplane with foodie passengers on them that baby will eat!
- Sometimes, its okay to take the help of favourite television shows and let baby eat while being distracted. However, make sure you’re not making this a practice as it may create problems later.
- Do not force feed baby. Yes, mommy knows best, but sometimes, babies do know when they are not able to take anymore.
- Its a great idea to have a common meal-time. Watching others eat, especially other kids, is a great way for making baby eat up too.
- Let others in the family make baby eat too. Sometimes, its good to bring a change in face. So let papa, grandparents, aunts, uncles take to the baby bowl too.
- Do not bribe to eat food.
- Talk to your kids while you make them eat. If they are younger, talk about things that interest them. If they are school-going, talk about what they did at school and other activities that interest them. Talk about daily routine and things that baby sees – like birds, animals, people etc.
- Letting baby eat from your own plate is a great way of encouraging your little one to eat and feel like a grown up.
- Start giving baby bites from the family pot. Avoid too much spice, but start on same meals as the family, after baby has crossed a certain age and doctor has advised it’s okay to start eating with others.
Parents who sent their valuable suggestions:
Komal Goenka, Neha Kulkarni-Chavan, Preeti Vyas Parashar, Alka Tayal, Shruthi Aasoori, Divya Sundaram, Ridhi Ashish Abrol, Jayashree Vijay Kumar, Dhanashree Ranade, Nisha SharmaDurbakula Lakshmi Sakuntala, Namrata Samel Dixit, N Mukesh Vyas, Minal Chatterjee, Rachita Yogesh, Poorva Ranjan
It’s that lovely time of the year again when the sun isn’t harsh, the coffee cup feels amazing in your hand, and the little bundle in your arms feels more like a cuddly toy with all those extra layers and wrappings of clothing and warmers! As a new mum, or as a first-time mum, you probably are struggling to get those tiny arms and hands inside a warm piece of clothing, or as a seasoned mum, you may be aware by now that no matter how hard you try, your toddler or young child will continue showing a mind of their own and run away from the woolens.
As much as you are worried, winter dressing is actually pretty easy and fun. And especially with winter being the time of Santa, there’s always so much fun and colour you can add to your baby’s winter dressing.
Sweaters: Get your baby some colourful, bright and comfortable sweaters. Take a pick from buttoned cardigans to pull-over sweaters, depending on how comfortable baby is.
Sweatshirts and Jackets: Not only do these look cute, but the hooded ones will provide extra comfort by covering baby’s head too.
Socks and tights: A warm pair of socks and tights (with or without socks) will keep baby comfortable in the day and cosy at night.
Mittens and Booties:Some cute mittens and booties will keep those tiny hands and feet safe from any chill inside and outside the home.
Caps: Top up the look with some cute caps to cover baby’s head from the winter chill.
Sleep time: Choose a warm sleepsuit for the night that baby can wear as a regular night suit, but one that will also keep baby warm and snug. No pressure of making your baby wear clothes many times over.
And if you want to really bring on the fun of Christmas in baby’s dressing, go for lots of reds, whites and greens to make a merry winter!
This week 02 mums had a similar problem: mum Mallika wrote in from Qatar to ask SOS Moms about a problem she is facing with her 09-month-old baby girl. ‘My 09 month old baby girl is suffering constipation problems. I give her extra milk, home-made rice powder boiled with water and added to milk. I this 2-3 times per day, and also semolina (sooji) and khichri once a day. The doctor here has told me not to give her sugar, salt, cow’s milk and milk products before she turns a year old. Every time she has to pass stool she cries a lot as it is really painful for her. I cry with her, Im depressed, but I can’t help my little girl. Please please help my baby.’ Mum Shazma Zaheer Gillani has a 03 year old daughter who faces the same problem too!
We’ll admit we did get quite emotional seeing the pain this baby, and of course, her mum, go through each day. And it was overwhelming the way our amazing SOS Mommies came out with their advice, their help, ideas and suggestions. We’re jotting down the suggestions below:
- Giving mashed banana twice a day will help
- Daal ka paani (water from boiling daal, lentil) and lukewarm water to drink
- Mashed papaya
- Fresh orange juice, naariyal pani (water from a green coconut), mashed vegetables, green vegetable soup, rice
- Soak 4-5 dried grapes in hot water, mash and give the juice to baby. Can be given early in the morning once baby wakes up
- Avoid tinned milk
- Mashed apple
- If baby rear area is hurt and red, apply some mustard oil lightly to help heal
- Little sugar in lukewarm water
- Try and add bit of ghee in meals.
- Lots of water throughout the day
- Prunes (dried plum) juice or prunes soaked in warm water is a natural laxative and also packed with nutrients
- Mashed banana and papaya, puree of carrot, beetroot, potato, tomato
- Boil water with ajwain, ginger and lemon in small quantity. Cool and give to baby
- Grate jaifal and chiwda in warm water and give 2-3 drops to baby.
- Take a little heeng and mix with 2-3 drops of water. Apply this on baby’s tummy.
- Palak paneer vegetable with mild salt may help
- Check with your doctors about medicines that will prevent any anal fissures in baby
- Gripe water
- Dip the stalk of betel leaf (paan) in castor oil and insert in baby’s poop hole (*this should be done at the parents’ choice, FirstCry does not recommend anything)
- Dabur janamghutti
- Give the juice of a raw apple
- Lukewarm water with honey
- Pinch of hing boiled in spoonful water
- Dried figs are rich in fiber and help in constipation. Soak a fig overnight (if baby cant chew) in 2-3 spoons of water, grind and give to baby.
- Take a paan and add about 01 cup of water. Add a pinch of ajwain, black cardamom seeds and some sugar. Boil till it remains half and let cool. Give the water to baby
- Boil powdered saunf (fennel seeds) in a cup of water for a few minutes and feed baby 3-4 spoons twice or thrice a day.
- Mix a tablespoon of honey in milk
- Ground elaichi (cardamom)
With special thanks to mommies and 02 special daddies: 🙂
Lovina Kuckreja, Minu Sharma, Tanushree Mithal, Sadhna Singh, Kripa Ganesh, Sharmili Navab, Harpreet Kaur, Rimpy Agarwal, Rehana Shameem, Shradha Menon, Amitoj Bhatia, Shilpa Kannan, Jigna Shah, Deepty Mundhra, Kritika Jain, Patil Archana, Amrita Vyas Purohit, Saranya Gangadaran, Yashi Gaurav Deora, Megha Malviya, Padmavathi Meduri, Aarti Duggal Kapoor, Mubeen Afshan, Jyoti Huria, Deepti Dani, Vineet Arora, Shruthi Pothnis, Shruti Nigam, Jaspinder Sehmi, Karamjit Kaur, Veena Giri, Sheetal Dutta, Neeru Koul, Sachin Sood, Meenakshi Lakshmi Narayanan, Anushree Nadkarni, Kiruthica Aravind, Hema Canchi Jauhari, Deepika Kushwaha, Namrata Samel Dixit, Sujata Kirtane Sapre
This week, Mum Sana Shahid had a problem that many new mums have faced and worried about. This young mum is having problems breastfeeding her baby, and even after nursing for an hour, her son remains hungry and cries a lot. ”I am eating healthy food, lots of milk, fruits, vegetables, almonds and nuts, but my milk is still watery!”
As always, we asked all you mums about some ‘real’, practical solutions, and our wonderful SOS Mommy Brigade came out with some very helpful tips. Read on:
1. Its important to be sure that enough milk is coming, else you’ll continue nursing but baby won’t get food enough. If breastfeed continues to remain inadequate, its a good idea to consult the doctor and give supplement feed of formula milk after every breast feed, just to fill up baby’s tummy. The mums also suggested Lactogen as a good way to fill up baby’s tummy after feeds.
2. Check with your and baby’s doctor about medicines that will help you produce more milk. Having milk with Pro Plus helps producing milk (as suggested by mums). Have lots of pulses and chapatis, as these are a healthy way to produce more milk. Try and eat every 2 hours and make sure your tummy is always full.
3. Eat and drink a lot. And while nursing, let baby suck on for as long as baby wants. Even though this may be difficult for you, your baby may get as much milk as possible. Having liquids, soups and dry fruits will help.
4. Some mums mentioned that they were prescribed Lactonic granules with milk twice a day and it helped them. We suggest you consult your doctor and check on the same before trying.
6. Drink a glass of masoor dal daily. Also, if required, give your baby gripe water. If you’re a non-vegetarian, have a portion of chicken/fish daily.
7. Sometimes, babies are not able to suck properly, thus losing out on precious milk. You can try using a breast pump that will allow you to pump out the entire milk and you can then feed your baby through a feeding bottle.
8. Try having roasted chana, drink milk at least 4 times a day, and add jaggery (gur) instead of sugar. You can also prepare shira with wheat flour with ghee and have the same.
9. Roasted garlic will not only help in producing milk but will also prevent baby from getting colicky. Also try and have warm water before every feed.
10.Don’t try dieting at this stage, as this will surely harm milk flow. Eat and drink plenty while you are still feeding baby.
11.Spend more time with baby, touch therapy can work wonders. Also, check with the pediatrician if baby is crying out of hunger or if there’s something else bothering baby.
12.Adding fenugreek (methi) is great to produce milk. Try swallowing a few teaspoons like a pill or soak it overnight and eat and drink the water.
13.Add a little amount of cumin seeds (jeera) to your diet to increase milk.
14.Not all cries are hunger cries, so try and understand if your baby is crying out of – tiredness, over stimulation, sleep, colic.
15.Make sure that baby is not falling off to sleep while feeding. While most babies do tend to fall asleep while still sucking, it ends up making them hungry, as they fall asleep before their tummies are full. Try talking to your baby while feeding, singing, emoting and other ways to keep baby awake through the feed.
16.Before feeding, try and massage your breast, you can also soak a towel in hot water and keep it on your breast. This will help loosen any knots in the milk glands and help in better flow. Help baby latch on properly to the nipple. Drink plenty of water before and after nursing baby.
17.Try using feeding nipples thatyou can attach to your nipples. These help make sucking easier for baby.
All the tips have been suggested by our amazing mommies, but as every mom and baby may have different needs, we suggest you consult your doctor before trying out any supplements or medicines, as what works for one may not work for the other.
We definitely have to give lots of special thanks to these lovely mommies: Saumya Khare, Anjali Sharma, Priyanka Herdhan, Cathy M Rathinam, Aaliya SQ, Shreya Chakravarty Bhattacharya, Neha Agarwal, Priyanka Jha, Arshiya Khan, Sreevalli Nallamala, Maya Silavat, Inie Minie, Harleen Walia, Nithya Chillam, Shweta Hitesh Joshi, Maya Khan, Munmun Jain Goel, Shobha Singh, Yashi Gaurav Deora, Rashika Mediratta, Lunalisa Potsangbam A Saxena, Neelam Das, Sree Devi, Mrunal Pranjale, Susmita Nanda Dash, Cynthia Haller
This week, Manasi Joshi, mother of a 7 month old baby boy, asked us about what meal she can start giving her baby at this age along with her own feed.
She has already started with Cerelac and Khichdi. She also wants to know a routine which she should follow for her baby.
And, as we truly believe that ‘Mommy knows best’, various moms on our Facebook page have given their valued suggestions to help Manasi.
Here are some solid foods, that they recommend you should start with:
- Boiled and mashed fruits with yogurt
- Vegetable khichdi
- Ragi malt
- Mashed fruits
- Vegetable soup
- Mashed and boiled vegetables like potato, carrot, beans, peas, cauliflower with a little salt
- Moong dal
- Banana shake or any other fruit shake
- Coconut water
- Sabudana khichdi, suji kheer, upma, oats kheer, jau dalia or wheat dalia
- Ground leaves of palak and soya saag with little bit of honey
- Read Annabel Karmel’s book – Super Foods for Babies and Children
Some of our special mommies have also shared their routine:
Saumya Khare –
- 1 meal of Cerelac & khichadi/dal-chawal
- 2 meals of fruits
- 3 times milk
Sharmili Navab –
7 a.m.: Wake up and nurse for about 20 minutes.
7:30 a.m.: Play on the floor or outside with her toys.
8 a.m.: Breakfast, usually rice cereal or oatmeal and fruit (baby food).
8:30 a.m.: More play time.
Between 9 and 9:30 a.m.: Nurse for about 15 minutes, then nap.
11 a.m.: Wake up and play.
Noon: Lunch (baby food — a fruit and a vegetable).
12:30 p.m.: Play.
1:30 p.m.: Nurse for about 20 minutes, then nap.
3:30 p.m.: Wake up and play.
4 p.m.: Nurse for about 20 minutes.
5 p.m.: Dinner (baby food).
5:30 p.m.: Play, go for a walk.
6:30 p.m.: Bath.
7 p.m.: Nurse for about 20 minutes, then bed.
1:30 a.m.: She usually wakes up for a 20-minute nursing session.
Cynthia Haller –
- 3 solid meals a day along with the usual formula feed
- The amount of solids in the beginning was very small, not more that 4-5 tea spoons
- As she turned 5 months old and she was ready for solids, I started introducing my baby to a new food every week, never more than one, until she was 9 months old.
Debleena Choudhury Sarkar’s –
- My baby boy takes his last morning feed (mother’s feed) between 7.30 -8.30am.
- He wakes up at around 9am and plays for a while.
- Around 10am she gives him 1 spoon full Cerelac feed. Then nap.
- Then, oil massage and shower between 11am & 12.
- Around 12.30pm, boiled & mashed apple. My kid loves it. Sometimes little banana. Then nap.
- Next, around 2.30-3pm again, mother’s feed and then nap.
- Around 4.30-5pm, second oil massage followed her 2nd feed of 1 spoon full Cerelac feed.
- Rest of the evening & night he is on mother’s feed.
- Use honey and figs instead of sugar
Pooja Dhawan Verma –
11:00-my feed for 15 min. then, a nap
12:15-get up and take bottle feed
1:30-some solid like khichdi, daliya, custard or besan seera
3:30-bottle feed and nap
5:30 noon -biscuits mashed in milk or a fruit
9:30-my feed and nap
10:00-moong dal or vegetable soup
11:00pm -bottle feed
12:00pm-my feed and sleep
Rajitha Bhupalam –
- Morning- ragi malt or sometimes Cerelac
- Afternoon- homemade cooked grains powder and dry fruits powder, which is very healthy
- Evening- kichidi
- Night- boiled mashed fruits and vegetables
- in between -nurse her whenever she needs, after 1 yr you can give her extra milk, banana, chapathi, egg, bread and whatever food you eat try to give the baby also
Kirti Sharma Handa –
1. Breastfeed your baby only at night
2. Wake up early morning usually 6 or 7am and breastfeed him
3. Give Cerelac at 10 am and then at 12 give a bottle of milk
4. 1 or 2 pm you can give khichdi with curd
5. Give fruits at least once a day
Note – Many moms recommend not giving too much Cerelac to your baby. Try giving them homemade food at most times.
We thank all the mommies for the suggestions to Manasi and many other moms who are facing the same situation – Namrata Samel Dixit, Thazni Kabir, Surbhi Shukla, Nehali Khoche, Pooja Sachdeva, Renuka Patel, Supriya Tawde, Joie Bose Chatterjee, Deepa Shree, Shweta Manjul Jaiswal, Nisha Sharma, Veena Giri , Vaishnavi Seshadri, Shama Desai, Pooja Dhawan Verma, Surbhi Shukla, Sutiksha Devliyal, Aditi Goel, Deepty Mundhra, Namita Jain, Pallavi Kocharekar Dabgotra, Sharmili Navab, Prabhjot Kaur, Kumkum Pandey, Dew Sengupta, Shweta Pandharipande Maurya, Neha Wadhawan Mehta, Shikha Barnabas, Anitha Santosh, Shilpi Anand, Shilpa Vishal Ranjan
A special thanks to Hitesh Thakur, father to a 3 year old.
Mum Neha Jain Rawal, mother to a 1.3 year old son, told us on our FB page that she is going through one of the most common problems that is associated with early motherhood – getting your baby off the breast! If you thought that getting your baby to latch on was a problem, wait till your baby reaches the stage when it’s good to get off the breast. Like they say, for anything you want your baby to learn, the key is always the time – starting early and giving baby the hints before you actually take proper action.
As your paediatrician may have already suggested, the ideal time to get baby off the breast is right after the first birthday cake has arrived. But yes, if that’s what you’re planning, then a few hints of what’s coming need to be shared with baby a few months earlier. If your baby has already crossed the first birthday, like Mum Neha’s son has, and is still only attached to mum’s feed, worry not. There’s still time.
As a baby grows, so does the realisation about where mum’s milk is coming from, and also the realisation that it’s always close by.
1. Mums, remember that it will always be a painful experience and a long one to get your baby off the breast and onto the bottle. So before you begin, make sure you’ve discussed about the anxieties and other points with your partner, and also your family, who may be able to assist you, especially your partner, whose help you will definitely need in the process. Also, make sure you are emotionally ready and prepared that now is the time that the single bond your baby and you had that was the most precious to you till now is going to change, for the better. Breastfeeding helps mums and babies bond like nothing can, but there are many other ways that you will be bonding with your little one.
2. Before you begin, remember, baby will cry, cry and cry more. And this will probably break your heart. It sure will. But you will have to live with a few days of letting baby cry, and not give in. Don’t let yourself feel guilty for this, or don’t think that because you are denying baby of your milk, you are being a bad mother. This is all for your baby and your own health and benefit, so just have a few days of patience and it will soon become baby’s normal routine.
3. Be emotionally prepared and mentally strong. Do not cry if baby cries for a feed and you are unable to give that. Make sure you know that what you are doing is for baby’s and your own benefit.
4. Nothing can happen suddenly. So don’t think that you will suddenly cut down on all the feeds and help baby. Begin by reducing the number of times you feed, substituting one breastfeed time a day to bottle, and increasing the frequency slowly.
5. Introduce the bottle/sippy cup as a play thing, as a fun thing. Give baby time to get familiarised with it.
6. Don’t bring in change at times when baby is super tired, sleepy or hungry. This will only make baby more troubled and cranky. Do not introduce the bottle at such times, as baby will start associating this with unhappy times. Try and hand the bottle about half an hour before nap time, when baby is a little tired, but not cranky. Also, try and hand the bottle a little before baby gets too hungry. This will give baby time to slowly figure out the bottle, look at it, play with it, and probably use it once baby is hungry.
7. Try and slip in the bottle nipple while you are breastfeeding. Baby will refuse the first few times, many times, but please keep trying.
8. Your baby may suddenly not want to go to a bottle. Try and get a small sippy cup instead.
9. Giving milk in a bottle as a starter may be a big change and shock for baby, as baby is only used to having milk from mum. Instead, try and give water in a fun sippy cup and see how baby reacts.
10. Since you will be trying to detach from baby’s milk needs, this is the best and most crucial time that your partner, or if that is not a possibility, then the closest person who will be baby’s carer, to step in. Let baby and the carer have more time together, and get more comfortable with each other. This will help baby accept feed from the hands of the carer.
11. Do not give baby the bottle/sippy cup yourself. No matter how tempted you are, this is not the time for you to be handing an alternative to baby. Leave this to your partner or to the carer.
12. When someone is assisting with feeding baby, avoid being in the same room. Seeing mommy at feeding time will make baby realise that breast milk is close at hand.
13. Start with giving some light milk in the bottle/sippy cup. Try and dilute the milk with water, as otherwise it may get difficult for baby to digest. There is no need to add any sugar or any other flavour in the beginning. See if your baby will go for natural plain milk. If your baby is not happy with the taste, ask the doctor for any suggestions about what to add for flavours.
14. Put honey along the bottle nipple or on the sippy cup teat to make it appealing to baby.
15. If you absolutely have to hold baby while bottle-feeding, make sure baby’s back is to you, while you make baby sit on your lap. Otherwise, you can try and get baby on a high-chair, and try and divert attention by opening a fun music book, a flip-the-flap book, playing with a toy, or if nothing helps, switching on the television and putting on something that baby will love. Trying out the bottle while taking baby for a stroll outside may also be a good idea.
16. Sometimes, babies will sleep off in the night with the nipple still in the mouth, as this is a comfort option for them. If this is the case, try and keep a favourite sippy-cup near baby’s pillow, so that baby can grab it in the middle of the night and get back to sleep.
17. At night, try and let baby sleep in a cot next to the bed. At feeding time, let your partner hand the bottle. If you are co-sleeping (sleeping together with baby in the same bed), let your partner lie down next to baby. This will prevent baby from directly going for the breast.
18. If your being in the same room is creating a problem for getting baby to the bottle, maybe you should try and sleep in a different room for a few weeks, till baby gets used to the idea of a bottle at night.
19. Many times, we end up breastfeeding a baby in the middle of the night for the sheer comfort and ease of it. Understand that this will create a negative impact on all your efforts at weaning.
Mums, when it comes to weaning baby, no amount of tips and suggestions can help, unless YOU are ready for it. Weaning a baby is, in most cases, a very emotional and trying experience, one that will drain you out completely, that may make you feel that you are not doing the best for baby, one that may make you feel guilty. But please remember, that as a mother, as long as you have nursed your baby, it’s good enough, that you have done a great job as a parent, and that what you are doing now is keeping in mind the benefit, health and comfort of your baby.
Good luck mums!
She has breastfed her son so far and now, she says, “I have to join back work in 10 days and I am trying to get him used to the bottle but he’s just not accepting it. I am very worried. Please help!”
She would like to know how she can solve this issue before she starts work. We also have other moms who need help on the same issue – mom Priya Jain, mom Aditi Walia Budhiraja and mom Vankadara Swetha
As always, all you lovely moms on our page have given your valuable suggestions and once again, we say ‘Mommy knows best’!
Read on for their experienced suggestions:
Mom Winnie Ng and mom Anwesha Bhattacharya say avoid being around when someone is feeding your child and ask your caretaker to divert the baby’s attention towards something else more interesting like music or rattles.
Mom Emon Talukdar thinks that putting the bottle nip inside the babies mouth while breastfeeding can help.
Mom Meenakshi Chandail Parihar and mom Deepti Sahni gave their babies a bottle whenever they were very hungry or sleepy.
Mom Sowmya Nixon and mom Rizwan Wani say that you should consult a doctor which is always the best to do.
Mom Sunaina Kanojia thinks that putting some honey on the bottle nipple can help
Mom Maya Silavat says to feed them with the bottle only. Slowly, when they feel very hungry, they will get used to the bottle.
Mom Swapna Enoch, mom Neha Gupta and mom Geeta Ahir say that you can store your milk & feed it with a spoon
Mom Shama Desai says that you should try to nurse the baby first and the second feed should be with the bottle. You should see that the nipple of the bottle is soft because if it is hard it will be difficult for the baby to drink. That may be one reason it does not want the bottle. Also start with your breast milk as feeds. Slowly and gradually this will work, only you have to be patient
Lastly, Mom Kavitha Jayaraman Ashim says that it’s a time taking process and you should always keep calm during such times!
Let’s hope that mom Vinny Vig and all other moms with similar problems can find their solution here.
Mums, as much as you are trying to make your little one get familiar with meal times and trying out new food, there’s one thing that can definitely help make the process a little more cleaner and less messier – BIBS! Here’s a few that will make meal times fun and less messy!
Soft and simple to keep meal times clean
A simple cute bib for your cutie!
Comfortable set of wash cloths to gently clean baby’s face
Cute way to keep you tension free and let your baby enjoy food.
A fun way to keep the food off your little one’s clothes. Dishwasher proof and easy to clean and re-use.
Easy-to-tie and adjust. Use and throw.
Catches spills, easy to tie and clean.
Yes, we know it’s quite a difficult task to get your baby to like these. But as parents, aren’t you always trying. Threats, reasoning, love, anger, orders – you try every single method to try and make sure that your child gets the adequate amount of vegetable and fruits in the daily diet. But mums, if your baby isn’t interested while eating these, or if your baby is eating vegetables only out of fear, chances are, it won’t really benefit your baby as much as it otherwise can.
There are a few ways that as parents you can try out with your kid at home, depending on whether your child is a baby, a toddler, a young child or a teenager. Try and use the methods that will best suit your baby and you:
One golden rule to remember is never to give up. Try introducing new flavours, even though your baby might constantly refuse. You never know when they will start developing a taste for it.
Plan out meals with your child. Sit and talk about what your baby would like to eat, and then try and see how creatively you can include vegetables in them.
Make fruits and vegetables a regular part of all your meals. If they are not part of the main meal, try and add them in as many dishes as you can – grated, chopped, diced, mashed, baked, steamed.
Make interesting smoothies, shakes and juices fresh at home.
Make breakfast healthier by adding fresh fruits to cornflakes, or using fruits or chopped vegetables in sandwiches, porridges, toasts, poha, idlis, dosas, paranthas.
Shop together with your kid for fruits and vegetables.
Place a plate of vegetables and fruits on the table and play an eat-the game. ‘Eat the vegetable that is great for eyes and a favourite of rabbits.’ Or, ‘Eat the vegetable that was Popeye’s favourite.’
Let your child participate in cooking. Ask them to help with vegetables (bursting the capsicum, cutting the spinach with a big baby scissor and so on). Get them to clean them up for you before they break or cut them.
Have a colour day at the meal table. For an orange-colour day, go for pumpkins and oranges, for a green day go for spinach, beans, lady fingers, cucumbers, grapes, sweet lime, guava, grapes and so on.
So what is a common phrase that almost all mothers all over the world are so used to hearing but wish they never had to hear? From a little tot to a hyper-active toddler, almost all of them will sometime or the other begin saying that very sentence that we so dread hearing – ‘I don’t want to eat!’
In the tiny tot stage they will show their displeasure by moving away from food, spitting it out, making faces, refusing to open their mouth no matter how much you cajole them. Well if you are thinking this is going to change miraculously once they reach the toddler age, you are in for a surprise, for no matter how grown up they will become, the problems related to eating will only escalate as the years pass. The only consolation is that, at this stage, you can at least fool them and still make them eat what you want them to, using devious means and some scheming. Who said being a parent was simple?
Ensuring that your child gets all the nutrition for proper growth and development is YOUR JOB and not the child’s. A baby is a baby, and that is how babies will behave, but as parents, we can certainly try and do some damage control.
There are many ways to sneak in nutrition in all that your baby has. Learn how:
1. If you’re making khichdi, make sure to put in lots of greens and vegetables.
2. Try and put crushed almonds in your baby’s food whenever you can, even in a dal or khichdi!
3. While making daal, soak in a spoon of daliya too. Also, many days, instead of cooking just one kind of daal, you can mix in different kinds of daal to make a mixed-daal. Not only will your baby get a new taste each day, it will be extra nutritious and you can add in some vegetables to up the health quotient.
4. If your child is fond of soups, use lots of vegetables/chicken and make a delicious soup at home, none of those off-the-shelf instant soups.
5. Make custard and include an assortment of fruits to mix with the custard.
6. Boil peas and corn together and sprinkle a little salt and lemon/butter and black pepper, and a healthy, filling and tasty evening snack is ready.
7. Dry-roast a little bhel (rice puffs) and mix it with corn-flakes, dried curry leaves, a little roasted cumin, salt, a dash of turmeric, some nuts and cut almonds and keep all this – a ready-to-munch snack filled with nutrition.
8. If your family has eggs, while making dosa and idli, you can mix some eggs in the same batter.
9. If your baby loves cheese and butter, which are a good source of energy and nutrition at this stage if given in the right amount, there’s nothing like making your child munch on cheese slices in between meals. Also try and include some form of fat, like ghee (clarified butter) or butter in your child’s meals.
10.Make yummy green soups for your little one using lots of green leafy vegetables cooked in delicious flavours.
12.Milk with chavanpraash/honey is something you can try giving your child. And during the rainy seasons or winters, you can make a warm glass of ginger milk and add a dash of turmeric, which is always good to prevent/cure ailments related to the throat.
13.If your child likes curd, just add a few slices of fruits or mix in some grated veggies and hand it over.
14.For those families that are non-vegetarian, adding fish, chicken, eggs are sure to add lots of protein to the daily meal. Not only can these be mixed into other dishes, they can be prepared as single dishes too. For those who do not prefer non-veg, substitute the same with paneer or soya.
I was about two months away from my delivery when I got my Nikon D30 and I went on and on, how this would mean that we would have terrific pictures with the baby. In my head, I was convinced that a SLR would make my baby more photogenic! Yeah, right! And I promised that by the time the baby arrived I would have brushed up my photography skills. At least I met some of it. I indulged in some experimental clicks and then the camera was liberally used during one of my baby showers where my brother turned photographer.
The SLR met my son when he was two days old and from then till now, they’ve fallen in love with each other. It is my theory that photographing children makes a parent more patient and observant. On the other hand, it makes a star out of the kid. I started photographing my son when he was barely a week old. Those wrinkled eyelids barely opened at the click of the shutter. He didn’t understand what all the fuss was about a pose. He didn’t care that his mother was trying to store forever the early days of his life in a picture. He didn’t know he had to learn to emote, respond and communicate with the lens to make himself the perfect subject. But he learnt!
And as a parent-turned-excited-photographer, here are a few things that I have learnt along the way:
a) The New Baby: A new born is hardly responsive. So don’t expect your day old baby to turn and say cheese! Instead, wait for those fully awake and alert moments of the day. New babies need a lot of light, and it’s a good practice to expose them to natural surroundings. Needless to say, as much as Vitamin C is beneficial to them, it is as good for photography. Babies at this early stage have slow movements. However, they twitch, curl and like with photography elsewhere, talking to the subject always helps. Speak to your baby and look for signs of connection. Most of the pictures will have your baby lying down; feel free to let him/her have a feel of your face…at this time they love the feel of your skin and trust me, so will you! At the same time, the cheek to cheek pictures come out beautiful. Tiny feet and curled fingers make for great pictures too.
b) The Infant: A baby moves into infancy after the 3rd month. Chances are that your baby by now has learnt to hold his head up straight. Once the baby learns to hold his head up, he’d like to see more of the world. Try resting the baby’s back on your lap, and let him see the world around. The gleam in his eye as something catches his eye, or a toy that he’s just learnt to hold in his tiny fingers, or a sound that he has learnt to respond to, make for great reaction shots. Encourage him to interact with new toys. Around the same time, they will learn to turn over…make sure you don’t miss out this landmark. Play games with them; they’ll soon learn to smile, make noises and yes even laugh out loud. While you playact and make your babies smile, these games make for great pictures! I enjoyed photographing my son during massage and bath times.
c) The Toddler: This is the most fun stage and in fact by now chances are that your baby would have learnt to interact with the camera. I started showing my son his pictures from when he was around 4 months old. As he grew to recognise himself, he waited for our photography sessions. He’s learnt to pout, flash his dimples, pose, turn and hold a moment till I click. By the time he learnt to crawl he’d quickly scamper towards me to see how the picture turned out! He enjoys the camera and he knows it’s there for a reason.
You don’t need a super quick and high-end camera for your baby. I used my phone camera to the hilt and since it’s the most handy at most times, I’ve learnt to get some great shots! I shoot a lot with my son when is with his father. They are the best play buddies I have seen. To watch a 30 year old play with his year old son and quite become his age, is something beyond this world. They make faces, throw pillows at each other, play hide and seek, pretend to eat each other’s noses and catch imaginary lizards with aplomb! Much of this makes for great photography.
I have learnt to observe my child’s moods. There are those times in the day when he is watchful and quiet. These moments make for great mood shots. He is often busy playing with his toys and he’d not bother about the lens looking at him. Then there are those times when he is at his naughtiest, trying a new prank or trick with his father – the baap-beta pictures are my favourite. I’ve also taken a lot many pictures of my son with other family members – both sets of grandparents, his uncles and aunts, etc. Each of them is really special.
By our guest mommy blogger – Rituparna Ghosh