It is best to give your baby nothing but breastmilk until she is six months old. The Ministry of Health, India, recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months to give your baby a healthy start in life.
They also suggest continuing to breastfeed even as you introduce solids in your baby’s diet. In fact, if you’re enjoying breastfeeding, then you and your baby can continue for as long as you both want to. You can breastfeed your little one until she is at least one or two years old. It is important that you don’t stop before both of you are ready.
Once you start working, you will need to pump milk as often as used to nurse your baby. This would be every two to three hours. If you are at work for eight-hours in a day, this means pumping at mid-morning, at lunch, and at mid-afternoon.
If you pump both breasts at the same time, allow a 15 to 20-minute gap, and a 30-minute gap if you pump each breast separately. Breast milk pumped at work should be refrigerated and carried home using an ice pack to ensure its freshness. Pumped breastmilk can stay fresh at room temperature for 3-4 hours.
You can also pump milk in advance and freeze milk in small amounts that thaw more quickly. Thaw the milk by storing it overnight in the refrigerator. Any milk left in the refrigerator after 24 hours will have to be discarded. Do not use a microwave to thaw breast milk.
Use plain water to clean the nipple area. Avoid using soaps and other washes to clean the area. The nipple skin is sensitive and might get irritated from the chemicals in cleansers. While travelling, you could use nursing wipes free from mineral oil, which contain the goodness of 100% edible grade Coconut Oil.
After breastfeeding, rub a small amount of breastmilk into your nipples. If you use breast pads, change them when wet and do not use pads with plastic on the back. Also, wear clothes that are loose and allows easy air circulation.
The postnatal massage is a fullbody massage that is given to a mom every day for 40 days after delivery. There are masseuses who specialize in postnatal and newborn massages.
They either come home once a day to give you a massage, or move in with you for the first 40 days to help with baby care chores along with giving daily massages. They usually start the massage with your feet and move upwards until they finish off with a head massage.
Using a toning massage oil enriched with Sesame Oil, Country Mallow, Winter Cherry, and Aloe Vera can be especially beneficial to new mothers. The postnatal massage is a wonderful traditional practice to help soothe new mothers.
It can be very relaxing amid the chaos of bringing a newborn home. But, do arrange for some help because taking an entire hour for yourself with a newborn in the house might be difficult. If your baby’s grandmother or other trusted family member can watch your baby while you get a massage, you might find it one of the nicest practices of the postnatal confinement period.
A post pregnancy massage increases blood circulation and helps relieve muscle tension. A massage helps you relax by reducing stress and alleviating pain. The other additional health benefits include hormone regulation, reduced swelling, better sleep and improved breastfeeding.
Use a massage oil that has herbal ingredients, which helps moderate mood, stimulates the senses and leaves you rejuvenated and relaxed. Using an oil containing ingredients like Sesame Oil, Country Mallow, Winter Cherry and Aloe Vera strengthens and firms the skin.
Try not to have too many caffeinated drinks when you’re breastfeeding. This can be tough, especially when you’re exhausted from breastfeeding around the clock. It is recommended you keep your caffeine intake to below 200 mg a day. Since it is hard to estimate how much caffeine is in a cappuccino or latte, it may be safer to stick with decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea when you’re out and about.
Keep in mind that there is caffeine in cola, energy drinks, and chocolate too. If your baby seems very unsettled, restless, or finds it difficult to sleep, try cutting back on caffeine, or not having any at all. This may help your baby settle down, since the food you consume directly affects your baby.
You can improve breast milk production by eating food such as oats, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, unripe papaya, spinach, garlic, black sesame seeds, carrots, apricots, barley, or brown rice. Breast milk production increases when you nurse frequently and efficiently.
The more the baby drinks the more milk will be produced. You can also massage your breast to open blocked ducts and loosen any hardened areas or lumps.
When you are breastfeeding, the body needs a good amount of water for production of breast milk, and hence you have to drink enough water to keep your body hydrated at all times.
Drinking enough water can also reduce cravings by keep you full and increasing your metabolism. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day and go up to 15 glasses if needed.
Post pregnancy healthy weight loss is possible if you follow an appropriate diet and exercise regularly. Make sure you have your meals on time, and don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. If you skip meals, you won’t lose weight but will experience low energy levels.
Stretch marks usually become considerably less noticeable about 6 to 12 months after childbirth.
The pigmentation fades, and it generally becomes lighter than the surrounding skin (the color will vary depending on your skin tone), but the texture of the stretched skin will remain the same.
The pain from your scar may make things a bit more challenging in the early days, but if you keep trying different positions, you should be able to find a comfortable one. It will help to have someone else, such as a family member or a nurse, with you when you’re feeding. This way you can get into a comfortable position first and then have your baby handed to you.
You may find that lying on your side is easier than sitting up. If you do sit up to feed, tuck your baby’s legs under your arm and use your other hand to guide his head towards your nipple. Make sure you move your baby to your breast, not your breast to your baby, or you’ll end up with shoulder and back ache. Use plenty of pillows on your lap to lift your baby up to the right level and to cushion the stitched area from the weight of the baby. It may help to sit on a chair with a straight back, and make sure your lower back is well supported.
Yes, it is safe to get a massage after a C-section if you take certain precautions. Like all massages, a post-pregnancy massage has many benefits, irrespective of how you gave birth to your baby. It soothes aches, relaxes tense muscles, and rejuvenates you both physically and emotionally. But, it is important to choose a masseuse who has experience in giving post-pregnancy massages. If you have just had a C-section, there are certain points to keep in mind.
Your body has just been through a major surgery. You may be in pain, especially in the area around your cut. Most doctors will ask you to wait a couple of weeks before getting a massage. This is because any complication that might crop up, like infections and fevers, usually occur in the first two weeks after birth. It is also better to allow the Caesarean cut to heal completely before getting a massage.
The first step to tightening stomach skin after a C-section is to eat healthy. Eat a healthy diet full of fresh produce, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins. Avoid sugary drinks, high-fat foods and empty calories. Start with a series of simple abdominal exercises to strengthen stretched abdominal muscles. Begin by doing simple breathing exercises and pelvic tilts.
Once your abdominal muscles regain strength, perform crunches, including a bicycle crunch. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on most days of the week. Cardiovascular exercise burns body fat and calories, while strengthening muscles and building stamina.
It’s very unlikely that babies are lactose intolerant. Babies make the enzyme lactase, so that they can digest breastmilk. Lactose intolerance is much more common in older children and adults.
Babies who are born prematurely may not be able to produce adequate amounts of lactase for some time. A baby’s lactase level normally increases during the end of the last trimester of pregnancy. But, most premature babies can drink breastmilk and formula milk.
In the first few days of life, almost all healthy babies develop a yellowish tinge to their skin. If your baby also does, don’t panic. Your doctor will monitor your baby in the first few days, especially if your baby’s stomach or legs look yellow.
If your baby is born full-term, he will surely look like a healthy baby within a week. It may take a little longer for his skin to take on a rosy glow if he is born prematurely.
Usually, the umbilical stumps fall off between 5 and 15 days after birth. The average is about 7 days, if it is kept dry. The stump will change color from yellowish-green to brown or black, and fall off on its own.
A small wound will be left on your baby’s tummy, which will heal and become the belly button. Be sure to let the stump come away naturally. Don’t pull or put anything into the stump.
Reflux, also known as posseting or spitting up, happens when the milk swallowed by your baby comes back up into his food pipe (esophagus). The full medical term for this is gastro-esophageal reflux (GOR). Your baby’s stomach contains acid that helps him to break down the milk. This mixture of milk and acid can come up and make your baby uncomfortable.
If you have ever had acidity or heartburn, you’ll know the burning feeling that acid reflux can cause. Reflux is messy and can be frustrating, but it’s normal for babies and is not a sign of illness. Reflux is a temporary problem that usually gets better as your baby’s digestive system develops.
Your baby may sprout his first teeth with no problems, but it could be a long, painful process. If your baby’s teeth are on their way, you will notice the following signs of teething:
If your baby is dehydrated, it means he’s losing too much fluid or not taking in enough. Babies are sensitive to fluid loss because they’re small. Dehydration can be a serious problem if it’s not rectified quickly. Any of these signs may indicate that your baby is dehydrated:
It means that there is an infestation of worms in your baby’s intestine. Your baby could have caught it from someone else, while walking around barefoot on infected soil, playing in contaminated water, or eating unclean food.
Worm infections are extremely common and spread very easily. However, it is difficult to know how prevalent these infections are, because they don’t have symptoms and often aren’t reported. If the presence of worms is detected in baby, the entire family should get treated for it.
A newborn can have as many as eight to ten bowel movements a day. However, as long as he is having at least one, he’s probably all right. One day without a bowel movement is usually not a cause for concern. If your baby is feeding well and wetting his diaper five or six times a day, then he’s most likely getting enough to eat.
If he starts becoming uncomfortable or has a persistently swollen abdomen, then he may need some help with passing a bowel movement. Speak to your pediatrician about helping baby pass a bowel movement.
The Ministry of Health, India, recommends starting solid food for your baby at the age of six months. Until then, babies should be exclusively breastfed.
If your baby starts solid food after six months, there is a less likely chance of developing a food allergy or intolerance. By this age, your baby may also show signs that he is ready to have something else besides breastmilk.
No. Experts advise against giving honey (shahad or madhu) to a baby until she is a year old. Traditionally, honey is believed to provide relief from teething pain or a cough.
However, honey might contain a spore or spores of the bacterium, called “clostridium botulinum”. This can cause a rare but serious form of food poisoning known as botulism.
Every baby is different, and it’s difficult to say exactly how much milk your baby will need. Just like us, babies too have different appetites. Most health organizations and medical experts recommend feeding your baby as soon as he starts to show signs that he is hungry. This is known as “baby-led feeding” or “demand feeding”.
Allowing your baby to control when and for how long he feeds helps in regulating your milk supply as per his needs. This makes it easier to establish a breastfeeding routine. If your baby’s hunger cues are slight or nonexistent, you can feed your baby at least every three to four hours or within four hours, sometimes every two hours, even if that means waking your baby from a deep sleep or nap. This is called “feeding on schedule” and especially recommended for term babies, sick babies, or babies with low birth weight.
Babies can take as much as an hour to finish a feed or as little as five minutes, provided they are well latched on and sucking. If your baby has fallen asleep before finishing her feed, gently nudge her, tickle her feet, or blow on her face, so that she finishes feeding and then dozes off. The length of a feed depends on how long it takes for milk to go from your breast to your baby.
For some mothers and babies, this process happens quickly. For others, it’s on the slow side. However, the amount of milk baby gets in both cases is almost the same. As long as your baby is growing well, you can let her set the pace. She’ll develop good appetite control if you allow her to feed at her own pace. This will tell her she’s full when she has taken the calories she needs to grow.
You can use a vegetable or plantbased baby oil to massage your baby. Some oils appear to be more easily absorbed by the skin than others. Using a baby massage oil enriched with Olive Oil and Winter Cherry is clinically proven to be mild enough to use on babies.
Enriched with Vitamin E, Olive Oil nourishes, softens, and protects baby’s skin. It has antimicrobial properties, which ensures that baby’s skin is healthy and radiant.
The duration changes as your baby grows. Some babies love massages right from the start, so you can take your time for a full-body massage. This can take anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes. If your baby doesn’t like massages, keep them short.
Once your baby starts crawling or walking, she might not want to lie still for that long. Then, a five to ten-minute massage will do.
Studies show that a massage, particularly when done with oil, can help a premature baby gain weight. Massage stimulates a key nerve, called the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the important parts of the body, including the stomach. Stimulating this nerve can help improve digestion and bowel movements.
In India, it is traditionally believed that massages strengthen a baby’s bones. Although there is not much evidence to support this popular belief, one study suggests that massaging regularly can help in the formation of healthy bones, especially in premature babies.
Traditionally, babies are massaged just before their bath. This is usually done in the morning. You can finish the massage session with a nice, warm bath.
A massage and bath just before bedtime will help your baby wind down after the stimulation of the day and become calm, ready for sleep. When you have finished, put on her nappy and cuddle or breastfeed her. She’ll probably doze off!
Babies don’t get dirty until they start crawling. So, you don’t really need to give your baby a bath every day. Experts say that bathing babies two to three times a week is enough to keep them clean. However, many mothers and elders in the family prefer to bathe and massage their babies every day.
It is important to remember that newborn babies can lose heat very quickly. Hence, your baby’s bath should be quick and thorough, no more than five to ten minutes. Keeping bath times brief will also help in protecting your baby’s delicate skin from drying out.
Ideally, the temperature should be between 36 and 40 degrees. It shouldn’t be too hot or cold. Make sure the bath water is comfortably warm but not hot before putting your baby in. Whether you use a geyser or an immersion rod to heat baby’s bath water, it is a good idea to check the temperature of the water.
Do a “touch test” by dipping your elbow or the inside of your wrist in the bath water. Put cold water in the bath first, then hot. This will reduce the risk of scalding your baby. Never put your baby into a bath when the water is still running since the water temperature can change quickly.
Use baby wash or a very mild soap (that doesn’t lather up) to clean your baby for the first 12 months. Baby soaps that are enriched with ingredients such as Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Milk, Honey, Neem, and Aloe Vera are gentler and less likely to irritate the skin.
Babies don’t need the deep lathering effects of a regular soap. Until your baby is about a year old, use products designed for babies or a very mild soap only on the parts of his body that really need it. Once he starts eating solid food, you may have a few more areas to clean.
Choose a time of day when you’re not expecting any interruptions and can devote time to your baby. Get familiar with your baby’s feeding and sleeping pattern. Find a time when she is well rested and fed. If all her other needs are met, your baby is more likely to enjoy her bath. Your newborn’s bathing time can also depend on the weather.
You can bathe her at the warmest time of the day in winter, which is early afternoon. You can also make a bath part of your baby’s bedtime routine. A warm bath can be very soothing for your baby and will get her ready to sleep at night. During winters, bathing at night also has the advantage of your baby staying warm as you wrap her up for the night.
Choosing the right shampoo for your baby can be tricky. Remember to only use a mild and gentle baby shampoo for your baby’s hair, and not a regular shampoo. Look for a shampoo with a soap-free formulation.
Using a herb-based shampoo will help nourish and condition your baby’s locks. Always remember to read the label on the shampoo bottle for the list of ingredients before buying.
Diapers are safe if they are used as per the guidelines, such as size, frequency of change, and stretching capacity. If your baby uses a diaper all night long which needs to be changed every 4 hours, then it is definitely not hygienic.
Keep a diaper rash cream enriched with Aloe Vera, Zinc Oxide, and Almond Oil handy, which is advised to prevent rashes or skin irritation along with changing baby’s diapers regularly and ensuring cleanliness.
It depends on your baby’s preference and comfort. Below are five ways to help you decide if your baby can use pant-style diapers.
You should change your baby’s nappies regularly. Your baby’s urine, combined with the bacteria in his stools, if left on your baby’s delicate skin for too long, can make it sore and lead to a nappy rash.
Try to change your baby’s nappy before or after every feed, or whenever he’s had a bowel movement. Though changing your baby’s nappy at night may disrupt his sleep, try making it a routine by changing it when he wakes up for a feed.
Many mothers wonder whether to use cloth or disposable nappies. Although disposable nappies are favorable, cloth nappies are believed to be less hot for the baby, especially during the summer and the monsoons.
Many mothers settle for a combination of both, using disposable nappies at night or while going out, and cloth nappies when at home during the day. However, disposable diapers are more hygienic and convenient to use than cloth nappies.
Keep your baby clean and dry by changing his diaper frequently. Give your baby some diaper-free time to allow the air to keep him dry. Lay him on a clean towel while he takes a nap. Clean your baby’s bottom. You can do this by using water or wipes free from fragrance and alcohol. You can also use a small amount of mild liquid baby cleanser. Then, rinse his bottom with water and gently pat his skin dry.
Apply a layer of a diaper rash cream containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly before putting on a clean diaper. The cream acts as a protective layer between your baby’s skin and any urine or feces.
A baby’s skin is very delicate with dry skin being a common problem. In winter, the cold and dry weather can rob your baby’s skin of its natural moisture. In summer, dry heat, exposure to the sun and air conditioning can also easily dry the skin. Here are a few tips to treat dry skin in babies:
Excessive sweat and heat can easily cause skin irritation and infection. Baby’s skin is soft and sensitive. It needs to be kept cool and protected through out the day. To avoid rashes and ifections, make sure baby is wearing comfortable clothes. Use a gentle pricky heat baby powder every day after bathing your baby.
A prickly heat powder packed with the goodness of herbs like Neem and Khus Grass will keep baby’s cool and free from infections. Remember to apply the powder every time you change your baby’s nappy and before bedtime.
During the first year of your baby’s life, he’s extremely vulnerable to illnesses. If bottles aren’t sterilized, bacteria, viruses, and parasites can make your baby ill. There are chances of your baby developing mild thrush to a more serious illness such as a bout of vomiting and diarrhea.
It might not be possible to create a totally germ-free environment for your baby. But, by sterilizing your baby’s feeding equipment, you can help to keep him healthy.
Most branded children’s products that are free from chemicals are often labelled as being so. For example, you may have seen labels indicating ‘BPA free’. Nevertheless, manufacturers are not obliged to mention on the packaging the chemicals that are present in their products.
As a parent, the only way to be sure is to buy products from recognized brands recommended by doctors. Also, be sure to read the outer pack and label carefully.
SLS is rarely used in baby products. Baby products often use a closely related but milder detergent instead, called sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Since the names of these two chemicals are very similar, it’s easy to confuse them.
Most baby products don’t contain SLS, so it should be easy to protect your baby. However, due to consumer concerns, an increasing number of products are specifically advertised as being SLS-free.
Unless your baby has allergies or very sensitive skin, it shouldn’t be a problem for her, no matter how young she is. If you decide to try regular detergent, choose a liquid as it tends to rinse out more thoroughly, especially if you have “hard” water. Powders have a tendency to leave flakes on fabric, which can irritate your baby’s skin.
If you are worried about whether your baby’s skin is too sensitive for regular detergent, do a test by laundering one or two articles of baby’s clothing along with the rest of your family’s clothes. If your baby’s skin seems fine when she wears those items, go ahead and toss in all her clothes.
If your baby’s skin seems irritated (especially if it’s marked by red spots) or she seems uncomfortable or itchy, she might be allergic to the detergent. It is advisable to try a detergent that’s free of fragrances and dyes.
If you still notice a reaction, try double rinsing the clothing or use a baby detergent until your child is at least a year old. Allergies to fragrances in laundry cleaners are rare, but they do occur occasionally.
When your baby feeds, little bubbles of air can get trapped in her stomach. These bubbles can make her uncomfortable and fussy. By burping your baby, you help her free up some room in her tummy, so she can feed for longer.
Burping can also help your baby if she often brings up a little of her milk after feeds (posseting), is colicky, and has reflux.
Your baby is dependent on you. You provide her with the food, comfort, and warmth that she needs. When she cries, it’s her way of communicating one or all of those needs to ensure a response from you. Hunger, a soiled nappy, feeling too hot or cold, wanting to be held, having colic, and feeling unwell are some reasons why your baby may cry.
Sometimes, it might be hard to work out what your baby is trying to tell you. But, soon you will learn to recognize what your baby needs. As your baby grows, she’ll learn other ways of communicating. She’ll get better at making contact, noises, and smiling, all of which will reduce the need to cry for attention.
After ruling out any health concerns and making sure that she’s fed, warm, and comfortable, if your baby is still crying, try not to worry too much. She won’t do herself lasting harm, and it’s perfectly normal for healthy babies to cry persistently.
However, it will most likely cause you, your husband, and other family members a great deal of stress and worry. If your baby is unhappy and resists every effort to calm her down, you may feel rejected and frustrated. But you are not the reason for her to cry, so don’t blame yourself.
The easiest way to keep your baby’s nails short is to just peel the ends off with your fingers. His fingernails are so soft that the excess will come away easily. You can also keep your baby’s nails short by filing them with a nail file, or an emery board. Filing is the safest way to trim nails in the early weeks before the nails harden. An emery board can neaten off any jagged edges after cutting. Another option is to use baby nail scissors that have specially rounded ends, or baby nail clippers.
Be careful to press the finger pad away from the nail before cutting it to avoid pinching or cutting his skin. Also, keep a firm hold on his hand as you clip or cut. When you’re shortening your baby’s fingernails, trim around the curve of his finger. Trim his toenails straight across without cutting them too short. Never cut down the side of his toenail, as this can cause ingrown nails. Don’t probe into the sides of his nails as this can cause an infection.
It is normal for your baby’s eyes to wander or cross now and then during the first month or so. But by the time she’s two to three months old, she would have learned to focus both eyes and will be able to track a moving object. If your baby’s eyes appear crossed for short periods of time when she is focusing on something very close to her face, then it is fine.
It is crucial to get your baby screened for vision problems regularly, starting at birth and continuing at every checkup. In most cases, if detected early, these eye problems can be treated successfully.
It is very common for a newborn’s head to have an odd shape. Babies’ skull bones are soft and easily molded to help them squeeze through the birth canal during a vaginal delivery. This process is called molding. You can help your baby’s head return to a more rounded shape by altering his position while he’s asleep, feeding, and playing.
Changing your baby’s position is called counter-positioning or repositioning. It encourages the flattened areas of your baby’s head to reshape naturally. For your baby’s safety, always put him on his back to sleep. Despite popular belief, there is no evidence to suggest that applying pressure on your baby’s head during a massage will make it round. This may, in effect, do more harm than good if too much pressure is applied.
Your baby’s memory will develop in stages. It is a gradual process, and there’s no specific age at which it will happen. From the third trimester, your baby will start recognizing your voice and other sounds that she hears regularly.
Your baby will know and be reassured by your smell from birth. Your newborn will be able to tell your face from a stranger’s when she’s just four days old. She’ll also recognize her father soon, if he has been closely involved throughout your pregnancy. Between 6 and 12 months, your baby’s memory skills will develop even more. Your baby may not remember details, but she might make emotional connections with people and places.
Some infants need more sleeping closeness in the early months, and others later on as they go through the normal stage of nighttime separation anxiety. But, besides getting a good night’s sleep, you should also help your child develop a healthy sleep attitude. For this reason, sharing a sleep environment, when done safely, can be a beneficial experience for both mother and child.
This practice, often called “room-sharing” or “co-sleeping”, is defined as a mother and her baby sleeping close enough so that the mother can easily comfort and nurse him, though not in the same bed. For optimal safety, it is recommended to use a co-sleeper, a bassinet that attaches securely to the side of the and the baby to sleep near one another, yet on separate sleeping surfaces.
The traditional jhoola is basically a cloth hammock created from cotton fabric, sarees, rope or cane attached to a spring and strung up on ceiling beams or the bars of a staircase. Some are set up on plastic, wooden, or metal frames. Experts recommend that it is safest for your baby to sleep on his back, on a firm surface. It is best to put your baby in a separate cot or baby bed with railings, in the same room as you for the first six months.
However, many parents often choose to use a traditional baby hammock (jhoola) or rocking cradle (palna) instead of a cot. These have been used for generations, and even though their design doesn’t strictly conform to safe sleep guidelines, they are popular with parents. Most Indian experts and doctors consider them safe, provided you take the necessary precautions and don’t leave your baby unsupervised when he’s sleeping in the hammock.