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First Nick

14 Dec

I think I was petrified. And then I took a deep breath and calmed myself down. I was about to just pick up the phone and call the husband, and demand we go to the doctor ASAP, but some sense came over me and I decided that let me just see how Tee takes it. She stopped crying in a min but I could see there was a small nick and there was a drop of blood. I swiftly cleaned in with a wet cotton ball and then put some baby cream on it. She was not too happy with me touching it, but then somehow put it for her.

So now that we have started with the hurt count, I do not know how it would be panning out.

How did she fall?

Tee has been trying to stand, in fact she has been standing with the support of her rocker pushed against the wall now. This time the rocker was adjacent to the chair, and she tried to move from the rocker to the chair, by carefully moving her one hand to the chair. Till then all was good. But, when she moved her other hand to the chair, she slipped and fell down scrapping her forehead against the chair and hence the nick. I was close by, but was just allowing her to do what she wants. I just wanted to be close by to see what she does and to catch her of she happens to trip. At least that was the plan. It did not work out, which is a completely different story altogether.

Was I doing something wrong? I thought the best way for her to learn was to do things herself and discover. She learnt how to stand with the help of her rocker all by herself. So, I thought this was really the best way to learn. But, maybe I need to re-think this strategy after yesterday.


Sleep Training

3 Dec

Mom & ChildSleep is something which I have seen with experience gains a great deal of importance once you have a child. The initial few months go by in a blur with getting up at odd hours and being awake at the most insane hours to feed your wee one. Then things start to get better and the lil one starts to sleep better, but then one asks when is that you start sleep training, or lets say putting a routine into place. And I think that routine is very important as this is what the baby associates with time to sleep. This time setting is also a part of sleep training. I have been reading a fair bit about sleep training, and this is because I think somewhere I did something wrong. And the wrong thing that I did was to breastfeed my kid through the night, as I thought she would be able to get the requisite sleep only this way. If I did not feed, she would fidget, cry and end up with both if us not sleeping. This might have been the easy way out for me, but I did think that I would be able to change it in the coming times. This is where I was more wrong. Once a pattern is set, undoing the damage is worse and more time consuming.

So, Routine..

The first step top trying to get a baby to bed is setting this routine. Routine is nothing but a set pattern which you follow with your baby prior to sleep time. A pattern which helps the baby understand that it is time to sleep. They do not read clocks, so we are just helping them read their body signs. A routine can consist of a bath, oil rub, diaper change, change to sleep wear, lullabies or songs which the baby already associates with sleep will only help all the more.

Night 1

The chances are that your baby will get up many times through the night, as there is a change in the way things are being done. I, for one, was trying to get my daughter to start sleeping in the crib, and also ensure that she has a timed feeding pattern. For me, co – sleeping was just not working out as it was getting very tiresome for me by morning in spite of having a full night’s sleep. I felt the sleep was not a true sleep if I did not sleep in the position I wanted and more over relaxed.

Night 2

On the whole the night was not very different from Night 1, but I felt that she was more prepared to be put into the crib once she is asleep. And quite a few times she did go back to sleep on just patting her while in the crib itself.

The feeds on both nights were just one around 2-3 AM and then again at 6-7 AM. I think this is a very adjustable thing for me, as during the day also, her feed times are usually 5-6 hours apart. And I also believe that she does not drink to her full when she is being breast fed.

Night 3

There was a marked improvement which I could see. Night feed was at 10 PM and she slept off at 10: 45 PM, but woke up around midnight, and quickly went off to sleep on just being patted. After this, she woke up at 3 AM for her feed, and then on sleeping next she woke up at 7 : 30 AM, again for her feed. So, overall, the process seems to be working. And the morning naps have also started to be an hour long, and not small short naps anymore.

I think she knows that she is being put in the crib, and not does not mind it anymore. That is a good change which has been brought about. I will write again about a more concrete update in another month’s time.

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Too quick to wean

2 Nov

As we proceed with the weaning process, now the spitting and splatter has certainly reduced to very marked levels. I previously was of the opinion that having an apron on oneself was the best option. But, now, my daughter has made me change that statement.

I have now started to also give her another meal which is not milk. I have introduced Ragi ( Finger Millet ) as the next option. I have found some powdered form of Ragi, which I mix with a 1:1 mixture of milk and luke warm water. Following this, I continuously stir it over a slow fire, and it immediately starts to thicken like porridge. I let this mixture cool and add some sugar to sweeten it. Once cooled I spoon this to Tee and she seems to like this a lot. This is a very smooth mixture, in fact much more smooth that cerelac, so I think she find this easier to swallow.

This month, I started her on Cerelac- Rice. I did try the wheat- apple mix last month, and she was not too fussy about it, and had it like she would her plain wheat cerelac. Apart from this, I also am trying to keep small very well mashed rice in her mouth for her to just get a flavor of real food. Fruits is something which I have not started to give her, and I think I should be doing that soon. I need to read up on what is the best starting fruits, light and also what is the best way to introduce it to her. I am aiming for something like apple stew, or banana very well done, and puree. I have heard there is also something available in the market which is a banana and milk mixture which can be mixed with a little milk/water and given as a feed. I have to go and find this product if possible.

Tee has completed six months now, and I have been wondering whether I am becoming too demanding on her intake of food. Do I make her have more solids than she wants to? I am not too sure. I did in between I think, and then that affected her system, and she was constipated too. So, now I have started to make sure that the Cerelac or the Ragi whichever I give her is not of a thick consistency, and I try to ensure that it is easy to pour into the bottle which I use. The poor girl had a bad bout of constipation, all because I just thought my girl was too grown up than she actually is.

Spit and Splatter

21 Sep

Been a while and now my daughter is all of 4 months. She has started to recognize people and knows who is carrying her about, and would certainly prefer someone who she knows, as compared to unknown faces. I guess that is certainly a part of growing up.

Another development has been that I have started to feed her small quantities of semi-solid food, mainly Cerelac. I have started with the stage one, flavored with just plain wheat. And, how is she taking it? I think she was happy with being just breast-fed, but now with the change in food, it is a true battlefield trying to take her to eat that 2oz of cerelac which I make. This too I do not make very thick as I feel she might not be able to swallow it easily, though at times I think its better to make it thicker and hence reduce the amount to be ingested. It is certainly not easy to see your child cry with tears streaming down in refusal to have the food being given. But, what is the other alternative? I see only one option, which is to change the flavor, as it is possible that wheat is not her favorite!

My mother was suggesting that I try a little ragi soaked overnight in water and mashed to a puree form, instead of the wheat flavored Cerelac, as maybe it is just not palatable to her. I have not tried this as yet… but with the passing days I think she has understood that one meal is Cerelac and she is quite happy to gulp it down. I use this weaning bottle which is really good. Its squeezable, the flow of the semi solid substance inside is very slow, so it does not spill very easily. It is also possible to allow Tee to touch and explore the food by hand as the spoon is not full at all times, and also the bottle allows for less spillage when she accidentally jerks her arms around.

Now the next step will be introduce her to Rice also as a cereal option. I do not want to start on fruits unless she is a full 5 months, which will be in not more than 2 weeks!

Time sure does fly!

Feeding : Breast Feed Vs Formula Feed

26 Aug

One of the recent topics of discussion is whether to bottle feed or not. A part of it has been made simple by my daughter, who just refuses to take the bottle to her mouth. And if you do succeed in putting the bottle into her mouth, then too, she just refuses to suck and draw any milk. Mind you, it is not that she does not know how to draw the milk, she had been feeding on formula since the 2nd week. I stopped it in between since I was having a surplus, and I did not see any need to feed formula, as there was no scarcity.

So she had gone from formula + breast milk, to a solely breast-fed baby, and now she just refuses to take the formula. I have tried it at the time when she is the most hungry, and even then she has had just about 1/2 – 1 ounce. Previously, she used to have almost 3 ounces at one feed time! So, this has brought me to the conclusion that either she is not fine with the nipple now, or she is completely refusing to take formula feed.

Is it really that important to give formula feed? I have relatives who say that if you are not giving any formula feed, the baby tends to not develop a taste for it, and then will face a lot of problems later on when you need to introduce semi-solids. I understand this logic. But, on the other hand, I have also heard that when you start semi – solids, then the baby slowly develops the taste for formula feed, and then they do start to have the formula feed also. Now, I do not know which of these is true, so at the end all I say is that every baby is different.

My girl seems to know when its her mom and when its her bottle. She might be screaming with her eyes closed, but once the bottle nipple touches her lips, she will start to howl as if she has been so wronged! Seeing this howling baby of mine, I am forced to rethink whether it is really required to get her to accept the formula feed. How did our parents raise us? If they were able to feed, they would, and if not then other options were sought out. But, here the option is sought out, not because of a need, but because of a convenience. This I feel is wrong, and not the right attitude to take up while raising a child.

If the mother is a working woman, and needs to join back, then this might be a sought option, and today, expressed milk is said to be the better option even in that case. This is the reason, I do not understand, why should I, a person sitting at home for my daughter, force my kid to take formula feed, when I am able to feed her.

I do understand that a child will always need to be fed on breast milk on demand, as there is really no methodology to know the quantity of milk your child has had. As they grow, they will still continue to feed every 2 – 3 hours and the period of feed might only increase. In the past 4 months, that is what I have noticed with my daughter. Previously she used to sleep off just 5 mins into the feed, and she would sleep off for a good hour or so. But, now, she feeds for around 10 – 15 mins with short breaks, and then is satisfied for the next 2 hours. So, as I see it, if I need her to play and sleep in between her feeds, I would need to substitute with solid foods, or introduce formula feed. And between the two, I think I would prefer to start solid food. One portion a day, should have her tummy fuller.

If anyone has suggestions on how I should be going about this, it would be wonderful to hear them…

The new mom

27 Jul

If you ask me, kids need an immense amount of patience and that requirement does not change with time. At the start, you have yourself having no clue what is it that they want, is it some sleep, food or are they in some pain.

Is it too cold, is the dress irritating them, there are infinite options which seem to present themselves in front of you and all you are to do is partake in the guessing game. It can be quite draining at times, especially without some moral support. Nights lacking of sleep, and keeping oneself sane through the long nights is not a very easy task. There might be some nights when they just look like days to the young one.. and the days are always days for us. To get accustomed to all these crazy ideas one needs an anchor, and an anchor in the form of someone who knows how to handle kids is a great help.

There are many aspects which are new to every mom and things which do not make any sense how much ever the amount of reading you have done. It prepares you surely, but it does not still take away the confusion and surprise which is still bound to be. Some kids seem to want to feed so often, whereas some love to sleep and wake up only when they can no longer stand the hunger. In either case, as a mother, one would be hassled. This is one of the reasons its nice to have support for however long you can. I must also add at this point that having the support can get you really used to having someone to look up to, and when the time comes to step up and take care of your kid, you might just be slightly lost. But lost you will be for just a while, and then you start

Another very trying task with new-born babies, is bathing them. They are tiny, wriggly and to top it without a stable neck. All these put together makes giving them a bath with one hand always a difficult task. One of the best methods I have come across for this is to cradle them in your arm with their head resting on the bend of your elbow and in this position, have them in a sitting – lying position within a tub or a flat surface. This ensures that you are at peace with the fact that they are safe and will not slip, and also, one of your hands is free to reach out for bathing necessities.

A much more simpler solution is using a baby tub, which comes with a detachable net which is suspended over the tub on which the baby can be laid down. This gives the mother more confidence and also ensures the baby is most comfortable. There are tubs which has a drain which can be opened and closed as per wish. The net can be removed and the tub can be further used even when the kid is older by seating the kid in the tub. One of the reasons which I like this tub is the drain which allows the kid not to be seated in the dirty water during the bath while lying on the net or when the kid is big enough to sit and have a bath.

Another option which I was considering is the mould onto which you may place the baby and then bathe. But, even in this set up, I saw that there could be some water which collects at the dips in the mould. I was very certain i do not want my baby to be lying in dirty water, so hence went with the net option.

Here is a picture of the tub with the fitted net, which I use.

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