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 bottle (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.
Most newborn babies enjoy when they are given bath. But as they grow up, you will suddenly realize that they have started to develop an aversion to the use of water for bathing. They start looking at it as the most dreadful thing in the world. Moreover, they cry to such an extent that will make you feel that you are one of the worst mommies who is making her poor little toddler go through this trauma of bathing everyday.
But the reality is, the poor mommy is trying out all possible ideas to make her toddler love his bath time. She is asking her fellow mommy friends, digging internet frantically to look for solutions, and probably, also acting like a cartoon to keep her little angel entertained till she is done with bathing her toddler.
What is that making the baby cry inconsolably during bathtime? Why has the baby started to hate his bath time suddenly?
Let us take a sneek peek into what our SOS MOMs are doing to deal with this situation:
Shama Desai says, “Take your toddler in the bathroom with his clothes on. Play with him by splashing water on him and allow him do the same with you. There is no harm getting slightly wet with him for that moment. Play for sometime, then explain him that his clothes are wet and need to be removed. Take soap or shower gel apply on your own hands first, then ecourage him to do the same on his body. You can then wash away the soap by putting water over him, gently. Try this method for some days, it works!”
Nisha Maurya Dhawan explains how you can go about ensuring an enjoyable bathtime for your baby by following a few simple steps. They are:
- Make sure your baby is not hungry or sleepy when you take him for bath.
- Use water with optimal temperature.
- Use bath toys to deviate his attention and keep him occupied.
- Blow bubbles while giving him bath.
- Make him apply soap on your face before you do the same with him.
- Put water/soap on his face at the finishing end of the bath, as babies do not like water/soap entering their eyes/nose/mouth/ears. So, he will not cry during the entire bathtime but only at the end and then you can quickly end it.
- Cover him with a towel as soon as the bath is over and keep him tight against your body for sometime. Show him mirror and make happy faces.
Jaspreet Kaur Gandhi says, “Give your baby a gentle massage as you pour water on his body”. This worked with her little angel.
Mommies, Shalini and Sania suggest, “Make your baby’s bath time a fun. Allow him to play with water for sometime before you start giving him bath. Let him splash water and get all wet by himself.
Aishwarya Sandeep says, “Bathe your baby when he is in a good mood. Give him a oil massage everyday before bath. This will give him an inkling that he is being prepared for bath. Talk to him or play with him or sing while massaging. This will make his mood cheerful”.
Jasmeet Kaur suggests, “Avoid pouring water directly over toddler’s head. Wipe his face with wet hands and use your hand-cups to pour water over his little head.”
Sharma A Chavvi shares a tip that worked for her son. She says, “ Arrange some toys like small duck ,frog, colorful fishes, and a small bucket (having cartoon characters printed on it) for him in the bath area. Let him play with these for a while and sing a rhyme or a song for him. Allow him to stand in the bucket for few mins after bath.”
Aastha Amit Kapoor says, “Put your child’s bath tub in his play area. Let your child play with the bath tub and get comfortable sitting in it. Then bring him inside the bathroom for bath.”
It is very common and absolutely normal for babies to develop fear of bath as the grow up into a toddler. This is normal and they overcome it eventually.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Mala Sharma, Gurpreet Kaur, Nishat Inamdar, Afroz Rehman, Shama Saquib Gilani, Afshan Sadique, Angie Alicea, Manpreet Kaur Bajwa, Prabh K Matharoo, Reshma K Lakhmani, Robe Samarth Gaonkar, Crystal Chennupalli, Prerna Sharma, Bandana Bose, Silja Jay Nair, Poonam Singhal, Jasmeet Kaur, Swati Jaiswal , Chitra Adhikari, Kavita Thakur, Sapna Sunny, Richa Nangia, Sudeshna Patnaik, Jyoti Kukreja, Prabha Karthik, Priyanka Saurabh Khanna, Preeyanka Arora Pachnanda, Meeta Bhatia Arora, Aishwarya Sandeep, Sania Azeem, Shalini Soni, Priya Kulkarni, Swagata Mitra, Sunitha Raj, Kusuma Madwaraj, Tithi Parmar, Jaspreet Kaur Gandhi, Nisha Maurya Dhawan, Tesia Poulose, Shama Desai, Farha Khan, Navneet Yadav, Sasmita Patel, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Noopur Choubey Bajpai, Keerthichandra Bhoorla, Aastha Amit Kapoor, Manjari Nagavalli, Vasanta Iyer, Sharma A Chhavi, Hema Panjabi, Sakshi Batra, Vaishali Bansal Bhati and Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto
Mahima Verma expressed her concern about her little one year old angel who initially started enjoying juice in her sipper but now refuses to drink water and wants juice instead, all the time. She wants to know if juice is good for her at this age.
We put forward this issue for our SOS mom community to weigh in and are glad to have received a list of tips and advice to help mommy Mahima overcome her problem.
FirstCry says: Toddlers tend to over-consume fruit juices simply because they are sweet in taste. While juices are known to be beneficial for health, they can also be harmful if over-consumed. According to the AAP(American Academy of Pediatrics), the quantity of juice that an infant, 6 to 12 months, can consume is 120ml to 170ml. Toddlers and Preschoolers aged 1 to 6 years also, shouldn’t consume more than 170 ml per day.
Moreover, juices should be offered to kids in a cup and not a bottle. Prolonged exposure of teeth to the sugar in juices may lead to tooth decay or a cavity, says mom Sindhu Anand and Nimisha Sinha.
Avantika Gidh writes that too much fruit juice may also lead to diarrhoea, so mums need to be careful with the quantity.
A few tips to increase your baby’s water intake over juice are:
- Dilute the juice with water and gradually increase the water ratio to the juice ratio.
- Add Glucon D or ORS to water to give it a flavour. You can also boil the water with some cumin seeds (jeera), it changes the color and flavor of water and enhances the quality of voice.
If none of the above works, then you’ve got to make water drinking a fun activity for your toddler ;). Encourage her to have a competition of finishing water first with you. Or, simply buy her a special new cup, give her company in drinking water and say “Cheers!” before starting, says mom Poonam Ganesh.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Sarah Singh, Annanya Jha, Poonam Ganesh, Yogita Chand, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Sona Rohilla, Mahira Patel, Avantika Gidh, Janki Shah, Sudha Thavamaniraja, Kam La, Smriti Sharma, Sindu Anand, Sultana Parween, Lipsy Pattnayak, Shruti Gulati Rathore, Sudeshna Patnaik, Akanksha Malhotra Maggo, Madhumita Kar Gupta, Nimisha Sinha, Vidita Tayal
Aspecial mention to Subir Ranjan Das, a father.
Seeing her you wouldn’t believe she is a mum. Slim, sweet and full of life, 33-year-old Vidhi Panjwani is working in the highly busy and stressful position of a full-time mom, being around 24*7 for her 6-year-old son Mahaksh.
But bringing in her darling little one to this world wasn’t easy. “There were spottings and I was on bed rest for 4 months. Those 4 months were some of the toughest months of my life. Forget getting up and walking, I was not even allowed to sit up for the first 4 months! And the only companions I had the whole day was the ceiling or the TV, of which I had soon tired. But what that period of bed-rest also did was to show me the immense care and love my husband has for me. Throughout those difficult months my husband was always by my side. So much so that even when I had hunger pangs in the middle of the night, he would go to the kitchen with my mother-in-law and help make aaloo paranthas for me. Tell me, what more could I have asked for?”
Every mother has a special relationship with her little one and Vidhi is no different. Though each day is as precious as the previous, the one thing she will always remember each day of her life is the feeling she had on seeing her baby for the first time.
“I am a very sleep-happy person, I can sleep anywhere and anytime. But surprisingly, after my son was born, I felt as if all the sleep has gone from my eyes forever. I was so excited and so happy that the only feeling I had was being too full of energy and wanting to be with my son all the time. My husband and all my relatives too were surprised at the sudden change in me, but somehow, as if by miracle, all the exhaustion and the tiredness of the delivery had gone, and instead, all that was there was the beautiful face of my son and my love flowing for him. I wanted to hold him in my arms and be like that forever. It is the most amazing experience of my life, something that I can’t describe in words.”
“I was always very career-oriented and wanted to give my profession my best” says Shweta, who is on a busy schedule in her work in the marketing field. “I wanted to do well in life on my own” she says with a proud smile. “But nothing could come even close to the joy that I experienced once my son was born” she adds with a smile.
“Since I am working, I have to leave the house by 09:00 each morning and only come home after 07:00 in the evening. So the whole day my son is with the nanny and also his dadi (paternal grandmother). But the moment I reach home you should see his expression. Its a million-dollar expression” she says with a touch of emotion. “He gets so excited to see me that he wants to laugh, to cry, to play, all at the same time. I feel really touched when I see that my little bachcha understands his mother is working, so he wants to do everything with his mamma whenever she is home.”
Shweta wants to spend every possible time with her little one, but there are many other things that also need her attention. Thankfully, with the support of an understanding partner and a supportive family, she is at least assured of the fact that while she is at work, there is someone who is making sure her little boy is looked after. And when she is back home, all her time is exclusively for her little one.
Meet Jyosna Kanal Tandaan, a self-confessed party animal, a lady who knows how to entertain friends, at the same time playing loving wife and caring mommy to her super-charged sons.
A high-flier and a party animal, not the traits you would really associate with a mommy. “Becoming a mother has changed everything. My lifestyle, my behaviour, my attitude towards life, all have undergone a drastic change. Earlier I would head out to party at every given opportunity. My friends were my world. I was bursting with too much energy, always hyper, a little immature and irresponsible at times. Being a mother has changed all that, and only for the better. Now my life revolves around my sons, all else is secondary. Whatever I do, I first think how my sons will react to it. All my decisions and choices are now governed by what suits my sons best. I have become much more mature and calm as a person and can handle situations in a much more level-headed way than before.”
Jyosna gave up her lucrative career and decided to be a stay-at-home mom. And the one image that will always remain in her heart is the image of her little one when she was just three months into her pregnancy. “The doctor had advised me a sonography. Till that time I was very unsure of how things would be, my full maternal instincts had not developed yet. The entire process was still very overwhelming for me.” But when she saw the image of her little one, nestled inside her, growing slowly each day, with each passing moment, it was too much for this emotional girl. “I knew right then that I was looking at my world” she says, emotions clouding her words.
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….
Having an indisciplined child can be a real problem, one that poses the threat of embarassment for you, while making your child the subject of ridicule and potential rejection by other kids and parents. There may be instances where your child may be conveniently left out of play dates and birthdays, when you see a decrease in the number of friends coming home to play with your child, while instances of your baby being invited to friends’ house goes down visibly. You may reach the stage of almost giving up, of talking sternly to your child, and sometimes, even resorting to means of punishment and hitting. But once you sit down and actually think about it – who is to blame for this situation? Is it really your child, or is it you, the parent, who failed to inculcate the basics of discipline and manners in the little one?
Ensuring your little one turns out into a well-disciplined and well-grounded toddler and child, and later a good human being, is completely the responsibility of the guardian. Disciplining a child is a really simple task, and the basics can begin very early, much before your baby will learn to speak. A child will always emulate an adult, so it is really important that before you set yourself to discipline your child, you implement the same in your own behaviour and routine.
You may ask your little one to follow a certain pattern, to behave a certain way, but if you become an example of the opposite, the same will reflect in your little one’s attitude. As parents, we have the paramount responsibility of being the idol the child will look upto, the person whose behaviour and mannerisms the child will emulate, so our language, our behaviour and all our dealings in everyday life should be such that can provide the ideal example to our baby.
In India, where the concept of joint families is still alive in some households, it is especially difficult to discipline a child, since the safety zone to escape punishment is always close at hand. It is imperative that all adults of the household are tuned to the ways of bringing up a child – if each one has a different perspective and a different method of discipline and behaviour, a child will invariably end up being confused, thus losing out on important learning methods. In such a scenario, it is important that all adults discuss the matter, but make sure the child is not present while such matters are being talked about. In a nuclear family, both the parents need to have a ‘pre-decided’ agreement on how to discipline baby and what is allowed and what is crossing the limit.
Moulding your child into the person you want her/him to be is completely in your hands, so make sure you create the right ambience and the right mix of discipline and love to help your child grow up into a good human being. And remember to keep those hugs and kisses in plentiful – you want to discipline your child, yes, but one message that you always want to give out to your child is, that no matter what, mamma and papa will always love you.
Mommies, if you have recently been to see the movie Barfi, as most of us did, or if you’ve read about it or have seen any of its trailers, you probably already know that the main actors are a little special, with special needs and a very special and beautiful life….
As a mother myself, what I definitely loved about the movie is that though the characters are deaf-dumb and autistic, none of it is used to generate pity, and instead, we are shown what a beautiful and ‘special’ life they have, blessed to be able to enjoy life at its fullest.
When my daughter watched the movie with us, she obviously had a lot of questions, her first one being why can’t the person speak or hear, or why does this person have such problems (as a 5-year-old, she felt that the difficulties faced by autistic people were especially hard because no one seems to try and understand what they say or feel!).
I was very sure that I wanted her to know the realities, yet make sure that she wouldn’t end up pitying or feeling sorry for those with special needs. I told her that even if they can’t speak or hear, or have difficulties expressing themselves freely to others, they do have a special language of their own, one that comes from the heart, one that is filled with love, governed by love, and one that can only be understood by people who are loving and caring themselves.
I know its quite hard to explain the entire concept to a kid, that too keeping in mind that your child will form an impression of special-needs people based on what you tell them and how you tell them. But you know what, children are really smart and understanding, and when you tell them something in the right way, they do understand and listen!
Don’t avoid such topics with your little one, because sooner or later, they will get to know, and it’s always best that you are the one who tells them the realities of life, and explain to them the responsibilities of growing into a wonderful human being.
- Don’t shy away from showing your babies movies that have special-needs people
- Don’t show movies that show special needs people in a bad light
- Talk to your kids about people with special needs
- Encourage them to mix with and make friends with special needs people
- Let your child feel that special-needs people are normal too, just different in behaviour, like most people are different
- Don’t pity a special-needs person in front of your child, and remember to be polite and understanding in your behaviour towards them, as your child will pick up your behaviour
- To make your child believe, you need to first believe yourself that people with special needs aren’t an illness, but just a different way of living
Many new mums tend to get confused with the amount of varying information they get from family, friends, books and online. While a friend may say you need to feed your baby only when baby is hungry, the book may say you need to feed baby every few hours. While a relative says feeding for so and so time at a stretch is important, another may talk about signs that your baby shows.
All the above holds true in case of a new mum, as different babies have different needs and it takes a while to understand what really works for your little one. But one thing that holds true in case of new babies is that frequently feeding baby is good, and also advisable. Babies are still trying to develop their digestive system, and their tummies are tiny, so while they need feeds at small intervals, its also true that they need smaller quantities and not too much feed at one go.
A few signs that can help you notice baby’s hunger are:
- Sucking fingers
- Sucking lips
- Sucking clothes
- Not falling asleep even though you’ve been trying
- Starts puckering lips imitating feed time
For newborns, its advisable that you feed baby every two hours. Once baby gets a little older, and if you are planning to start top feed, keep a regular schedule for feeding, and apart from that, keep your eyes out on baby’s cues for hunger.
Sometimes, you may worry that even though you are feeding baby properly, a lot of it is coming out in spitting. If that’s the case, try giving lesser quantity of feed, and make sure you burp baby properly after every feed, whether breast feed or bottle feed.
All babies are different, and it’s important that you try and understand what’s best for your’s. Give your baby some time to adjust to this ‘new’ life. While you’re there to care and love and do what’s best for your baby, everything will fall into place.
- 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.
Enjoying motherhood has been your prerogative. Even though you may feel stressed and burned-out at times, you, the mothers, have begun taking this experience to a completely different level altogether. And in this generation of mothers, the change is really visible. It’s true that in previous generations too, the mothers have always been caring and attentive, managing home and kids perfectly. Our mothers have truly devoted all their time to us, making us what we are today. But for this generation of mums, the change seems to be a lot different.
Being a mother in our generation is actually a lot of fun. Knowing that there’s a little one inside you does not deter the young mum-to-be from being stylish and ‘happening.’ She goes out with as much enthusiasm and is as style-conscious as she was before the stork visited. Whether its shopping for the kitchen or buying those fashionable clothes and makeup, she likes to do it all.
Today, mums are taking their little ones everywhere. And no, the birth of a new one does not tie them down or place them under house arrest. As soon as the initial resting period is over, these mums are seen everywhere – at work, at malls, at events, parties, everywhere. And most places, the little one is not left behind, but instead, can be seen enjoying mum’s company, while mum manages to make many heads turn.
Gone are the days when mums would be all dull and drab. The young mums of today are fashion-conscious, stylish, glamorous and aware of the latest trends and don’t shy away from out new things. Not only do they do all their ‘mommy’ duties, young mothers today understand that to feel good you need to look good. And only when you look and feel happy, can you make others around you happy. So whether its exercise, makeup, yoga, fitness or clothes, these young mums today know it all!
Young mums today are much more hands-on, ensuring they are as much friend to their little one, as they are a mother.
Be it helping with the homework, playing those computer games or making the projects, going shopping, watching a movie together or taking a dance class together, mothers and children today are bonding like never before!
And not to mention, they are managing the house and work as wonderfully as ever. Supermums?
So what happened all of a sudden? A big factor, that often goes unappreciated, is the fact that the young father of today has changed a lot, not just as a father, but also as a husband. He understands the importance of being your friend, he understands the importance of sharing responsibilities and encouraging and appreciating you. He does understand you, doesn’t he? And the fact that you have an understanding partner can go a long way in giving you the confidence you see in yourself.
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!