Monday, December 14, 2009


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A baby ritual which is scary to the parents as well as the kid is removal of baby's hair for the first time.. puttu ventrukalu teeyinchadam or first tonsure of the baby.

Usually, in AP, in my community it is menamama (mother's brother) who is the important person. He has to seat the child in the lap and get the kid tonsured. If not possible or if there is no uncle, then anyone can hold the baby tight and get that done. We get it done at Venkateswara Swamy temple or Nagendra Swamy temple or any temple if in Hindu children and in odd months. Usually this concept is not there, like it is not a must to get the tonsure done but for baby boys and is usually done in odd months ranging from as early as 7, 9, or 11.. and if not possible within a year then go for odd years.

Usually, in some communities there is no concept of tonsuring for girl child like in my community but since the hair with which the baby is born is scattered and very delicate, it is good that you tonsure it once for more even growth and that is the reason I personally went ahead with it.

It is advisable to wait until the fontanel is hard, say around 9 to 1 1 months of age. Some people actually have the sentiment of giving the baby hair as an offering to God but dont want the kid look different at the first birthday so most of them tend to wait up to 3 yrs. or so. I personally wanted to get over with it because with the kiddo being active, I was not really sure she would sit quiet or allow the barber to touch her head and also somewhere at the back of my mind maybe the first birthday hair concept was there too, but max was her growing consciousness towards not letting people touch her face /hair, so 9th month it was.

Picking Date and Time
In the odd month, consult with a pujari/pandit or pick up an auspicious date from the calender and see to it that there is no durmuhurtam or raahukaalam and get it done at a pre-designated place. (I personally preferred a place where this ritual is done very often, so that the barber's expertise could not be questioned).

Things needed
*Coconut and pooja items.
*A new blade.
*A new dress.
*A couple of clean and soft towel to pat the baby dry.. more also would help.
*Ample of napkins, clothes, to wipe the face, mouth, and all.
*An ointment just in case there are nicks.
*A comfort toy, blanket, soothing object for the kid to hold on to.
*Change of clothing for the person holding the kiddo as the hair would inevitably fall on the person.

Bathe the baby at home, put on regular clothes/new dress If done at a temple, the barber expects the dress on the baby when the tonsure is done. So, make it 2 dresses, if you know it before hand.

**Wet the hair and take to the barber.
**Ensure that you pay the barber properly even after you take the ticket. It is not a bribe, it is out of happiness on not letting any scratches on the baby that we give it.
**Take your own half-blade/blade because of nick and blood concerns.
**Do not overcrowd the kid or cry in front of the baby or show signs of panic.
**It would help if you let the baby get used to the barber, you know that social, hi, hello, sweet baby stuff.
**Hold the baby very tight. If as parents you cannot see the baby crying give her to some elder relative, but dont wince or take your hands back even if the baby cries lot. HOLDING THE BABY IS THE KEY. They will fight out the barber, the person holding, and cry in frustration but believe me it is a matter of 5 minutes and holding their head and hands is very crucial.
**Clean up the hair from the head, wipe the face clean, ensure the hair does not go into the mouth when the cry and lick up the face.
**Give a proper head bath to the baby.
**Apply sandal (pure sandal wood paste taken out on saana if possible) or Banjara Sandal powder would be better than normal pooja sandal. It kind of soothes the skin.
**Put on the new dress.
**Feed the baby.

and we are done.

After a while
Apply some coconut oil on the head once the sandal wood falls off to soothe the scraping pain on the head.. if the kid feels happy we can keep applying the sandal paste.

It is simple procedure.

If for some reason it is not possible for the kid's hair to given in God's presence as an offering in the first year because of living abroad or whatever, we can do this and go ahead with haircut of the baby.

Take clean white cotton cloth, like a white male handkerchief and dip it in turmeric (pasupu) and apply kumkum at the edges. Put one rupee in it, give the baby head bath, take a new unused scissors and cut the hair thrice at three different places and let it fall in the kerchief. Tie it up and save it near God's pooja place. It is called mudupu. When you have time then go ahead with the above procedure and offer the tied-up first locks of hair to the Lord and get the tonsuring done.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Children are more prone to intestinal infections than adults. Typical symptoms include diarrhoea, restless nights, foul breath, constant craving for food and sometimes itching around the area of the rectum.

Try these remedies for your child:

- Take 1 tbsp of raw papaya juice and add 1 tbsp of honey to it, in an empty stomach.
- Grated carrot in an empty stomach works wonders.
- Garlic and garlic oil are beneficial.
- A cold decoction ( 30-60 ml) of the bark of pomegranate stem and root can be given.
- One tablespoon daily of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts apple juice is effective.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Diarrhea is something which drains out all the energy from an individual and more so in an infant. If the kid is passing stool say about 10 times a day in normal regular consistency and color also it is not an issue if it is his/her routine but if suddenly out of the blue there is an increase in frequency, pain with stool, watery/liquidy stool, say around 20 or so at a stretch then it is the cause of concern and the kid needs to be taken to the doctor immediately. I have never had the problem with diarrhea until very recently. When the kiddo started with the problem, my initial reaction was ohh okay she is teething, the gums are hard and that is why.. but then when the frequency increased to alarming proportions to the point where just water was being forced out, I was panicky.

The first thing the hospital staff told me to do was
It is common to have diarrhea while teething dont rush to the hospital until and unless absolutely must.
**Stop giving milk, fruits, juice.
**make the kid drink ORS packs available specially for kids or give a pinch of salt and a palmful of sugar in a glass of boiled and cooled water over a period of time.
**To feed the kid rice, boiled vegetables, etc.
**To give saggubiyyam jaava (sago) prepared in water and sugar.
**To give annam ganji (water while cooking rice), pappu teta (water after boiling daal)
**To give diluted buttermilk in pinch of salt and sugar as mentioned above.
** To basically keep hydrating the kid before I take her to the hospital or before the diarrhea subsides.
**To start with Pedialyte. (my kid was totally adamant about drinking it, so I had to mix formula with that and feed her. :(.)

One very essential thing to keep in mind is hygiene and cleaning up the baby thoroughly and wiping clean and dry immediately. If we are using diapers, we need to keep changing them very often and also apply coconut oil or some cream to avoid rashes. It is very common to have rashes during that period as the skin becomes sensitive. Keep the area dry and the kid comfortable.

If in spite of all these precautions, the problem does not get subsided, only then did the doctor go ahead with medical intervention by prescribing some medicine. It is not advisable to go for medicine just like that for kids and we need to exercise caution before subjecting them to medicines.

The doctor further advised me to go easy on Farex supplement that I was feeding her and asked me to go for Easum which is easily digestible for the tummy.
BRAT diet

B- Banana
R - Rice
A - Apple Sauce
T - Toast Bread

Home Remedies
***Nutmeg paste helps with diarrhea
***raw banana ..
just steam cooked raw banana with a pinch of salt is a very good stool binder
***one or two tea spoons of onion juice[ grated and pressed] works like magic....and avoid giving it to very sall babies...but on older kids and adults it works like magic.
***eat at least half cup of pomegranate seeds along with the white tails...if using for kids give them juice....if the child accepts give plain juice or else add a tsp of sugar. It not only controls motions but also regains taste(which is usually lost during dysentery).

Saggubiyyam jaava
Take sago and soak them for a while, then pour a tumbler full of water and boil them until the sago is totally mashed and in fact dissolves in the mix, add some sugar, cool it and keep giving it when the kid is hungry.

There will also be lack of appetite or maybe a lot of hunger whatever varying from kid to kid, if the kid is insisting on milk only and not eating/drinking any of the above, then instead of the regular milk/formula go for lactose-free stuff. Also, if breast-feeding, the mother should avoid dairy products.

In India, my doc prescribed NuSobee Casein instead of the routine formula.

Also of note,
the problem with diarrhea is that it just not end immediately after it is cured, we need to bring back the kid to normal feeding routine and give back the essential nutrients to the tiny body again before they are absolutely fine and this does not mean that you overfeed them, moderate, clean, and timed nutrition intake is what is needed.

Some kids might not be able to take in normal milk even after they are done with the diarrhea because their body might not be producing enough stuff to absorb the lactose in the milk, so if the kid feels bloated, is gassy, and is fussy after starting back the normal milk, talk to your doctor and if possible stick on to lactose-free milk/formula for a little while after getting back to normal as their little tummies would still be lactose-intolerant.

Also, go a little easy on diary products immediately after the diarrhea bout.

The kid also might not be able to tolerate what she used to tolerate earlier like the same amount of feeds, so start back the normal feedings gradually and do not expect them to eat as they used to earlier to the diarrhea episode and go easy of strong and spicy foods if they are already introduced in the diet.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How Much Is Too Much

I had this problem and maybe a lot of moms have it still too... as to how much should the baby be fed and is the baby getting enough... no matter how much reassurance the doctor, the near and dear would give, a mom would still be worried as to the intake of the baby. If the baby is breast-fed then becomes more concerning 'cos we would not really know the intake. The simple answer is DONT WORRY, THE BABY WILL LET YOU KNOW

***If the baby is sleeping well, being non fussy, getting enough rest, she is feeding fine.
***If the baby is hungry and not getting enough, she will surely let you know bringing the roof down, so do not worry.
***If the baby is sleeping midway through feeding, keep trying after some time when she wakes up.
***If the baby is gaining adequate weight, then there is absolutely no issue at all... (I do not have a digital scale to weigh the baby, so I use mine. Like I take my weight first and then take the weight again with the baby, deduct the previous one and get the rough weight of the kiddo).. we do not know the exact to the point value but it would surely give an idea if is fluctuating too much.

The rough feeding guidelines in the sheet my doc gave me are (alternatively, you will find the nutrition guidelines on the formula pack that you are using for the baby).
0 to 1 week 2 oz --- 7 to 8 times a day.
1 to 2 weeks 3 oz --- 6 to 7 times a day.
3 to 4 weeks 4 oz --- 6 to 7 times a day.
1 to 2 months 5 oz --- 5 to 6 times a day.
2 to 4 months 6 oz --- 5 to 6 times a day.
******* (around 4th month most of us start the baby on solid feeds which means that there is less of drinking milk and some times they might even stop milk completely for a day or two), so we need to ensure that the baby is receiving adequate nutrition in any which way. If the baby is not receiving milk in the day, try feeding her at night or compensate it with mixing the milk in the foods/cereal she is eating, maybe we can give milkshakes/mix fruit pulp with milk, any way to get some milk in :).).
4 to 6 months 7 oz --- 4 to 5 times a day.
7 to 12 months 8 oz -- 4 times.

This should be more than enough and this counting would be easier if the baby is bottle-fed or fed expressed breast milk. However, if the baby is taking more, there is absolutely no issue about it. It depends on the baby's capacity, her metabolism, her body needs and all that. The feed times also might vary.. Initially I was asked to feed the baby every 2 hours or so about an ounce or so as much as she could drink but since the kid was too sleepy, she would drink more at a lengthy interval, which was also fine as per the doctor.

If the baby is not latching and for some reason, we are feeding expressed milk, it should be fine. The color and consistency wary from time to time from watery to white depending on the let down. The initial flow would be watery and then get thicker with the time and as the baby sucks or as we keep expressing. So, even if it is watery and looks pale yellow or watery, there is absolutely no need to worry.

Also, if the baby is drinking more, there is no need to worry about sugar levels, fat levels or anything.. it is just fine. Just imagine if the baby were breastfeeding we would not know how much is being fed, it could be more than we can imagine or want to give. It would depend on the milk letdown and the sucking speed and style of the baby, so there is no way to strictly say okay this is it, we need to stop it here or there is no way to say okay my baby is not taking enough.

Similarly, if the baby is drinking less also, it is not issue of concern as long as she is adequately hydrated, having sufficient wet/dry diapers, and gaining weight.

My baby was mostly bottle-fed, expressed milk fed, and some times she used to latch and basically a half and half breast milk and formula kid, so the only way I could know as to whether she was feeding well was through the number of wet and dry diapers. If the baby is peeing well and pees more than 10 times in a day, then there is no problem. Usually, exclusively breast-fed babies do not have a problem with constipation and it is quite normal to poo with each feed which, I am told by my doctor, is absolutely normal and healthy.

However, the bottle-fed babies are more prone to constipation and pebble-like stool or green colored stool because the formula could be iron-fortified and all that.

When bottle feeding, we need to make sure that each scoop filled is roughly the same amount that is specified for the scoop level.. like for example, I use Farex Infant 2 Formula which says 4.5 g per scoop which needs to be diluted with 1 oz or 30 mL of water. So, if I am preparing the formula, the scoop just needs to be filled and leveled with a knife lightly and should not be stuffed. Over-stuffing the scoop also can be one of the reasons to constipation as the baby is not getting enough of water for the feed.

Net-net, the thing is that there is no specific guide rule that the baby should be fed this much or that much, the baby's body and she herself will give us ample of cues to know that. Ensure that the baby's nutritional needs are met and the only way, we can know it as of now in the newborn stage is the number of diapers and the weight gain.

Dont think too much and enjoy the bonding time!!!

Potty Training

I guess one of the trickiest things in parenting is potty training and may the most toughest too.. since the kids do not have bladder control nor can they let us know when they feel uncomfortable, it is up to us to keep that in mind and take care of them.

There is this question/debate as to when to start the kid on training and I would say the Indian way is the best, as soon as the baby is standing on her feet or able to balance herself on feet when we prop her up.. In my case, 7 months. The baby is sitting up on her own and can stand a little when I give her my hand support. So, I decided to put her to training gradually with tips from my friends. Thank you Jaya, my buddy from office who helps me a great deal in everything I am unsure of... This would work out well for babies in India, am not aware as to how you can put it to practice abroad.

The procedure I am practicing as of now is

***As and when she wakes up, make sure to pick her up and make her stand in the bathroom and then she pees.. :).. sounds simple, but we might need to take some time to sit patiently until she does that, but once she gets in to the habit, it is really easy. So, after each nap and sleep, repeat the same. Maybe some prompting like making sounds like iiissss would be given as a cue and taking that cue, they would just pee.

***Similarly, by around 6 to 7 months, we would be aware of the time pattern of poop and make them sit on the trainer. Like say early morning after waking up is the time or say after each feed or twice a day or after a large meal (whatever it be, depending on the kid), then prop her up in the trainer and keep talking to her or playing with her on the trainer. It might take some time but eventually they would find it comfortable and it becomes a routine. Seems to be painstaking at the outset but if we start early, we would be like saving ourselves a lot of headache later on. But make sure that the kid is sitting up, balancing herself completely on her own before we head to this potty training.

***Also, if we closely observe the kid's face during poop times, there would be some change like maybe staring into space, making faces with irritation, making sounds (mukkadam) or maybe just fidgeting uncomfortably.. some cue or the other would be given if you just observe the kid closely, we can be aware of the facial feelings/moans etc and then set about bringing out the trainer initially.

Accidents do happen like they might have a sudden urge and all but by and large, regulating and establishing a routine earlier on saves us a lot of training tension later on.

The types of trainers are showing in the picture above.. one is sitting upright like in a chair and the other is sitting on the piggy back, we can choose whatever is comfortable for the baby.

I personally prefer the chair-like one as it has an engaging game rod to keep her from getting up as well as good support to sit when we are waiting for it to happen :). Also, the detachable bowl with a lid is very easy to clean up rather than the piggy back style which needs complete cleaning. Since it takes a lot of time initially to get used to, keeping them sitting in piggy back style wouldnt just work :(( as the kid just wants to get up, roll over, or play games out of boredom.

The chair-like trainer costs about 200 to 250 rs/-, is made of plastic which is easy on the baby's bottom as well as easy to wash and clean, is strong to carry up to 15 kgs (say around 2-year-olds can also use it).

Tip: Just pour a little water in the bottom vessel so that is easier to clean and flush..

Good luck and happy training!!!!

by the way, the problem with my method currently is... the kid pees whenever propped up with hands under her shoulders without any motivation ;), hope this is just the starting trouble.

Edited to Add:

Courtesy: Lavanya.

The model above is easy to clean and more specifically useful for boys as it has a cup - Pee deflector.

In this process of potty training however the baby needs to undergo a 2-step transition, like learn it once in the trainer and then in the actual commode/Indian Style whatever. Especially if the training is started after the baby is walking around or sitting up on her/his own, it would be a great idea to use this one.

However, if it is early training session like mine, the trainer is the best, considering the kid is just about learning to sit or stand. An adult commode certainly is not a good idea 'cos a moment of distraction/lapse could mean a fall from height on a hard floor.

PS:- However, the downside to early training is that as the kid grows and starts walking around and learning stuff, he might just forget it.. so make sure that you do not take a break from these habits.. like using the potty regularly no matter what even if the kid is sick.. just do not give him/her a one off chance, if he/she gets used to doing it anywhere, it is really tough to get it back on track.

Reflux vs Spit-up vs Vomiting

Mild reflux (bringing back milk up after ingesting/drinking the milk), I am told by my physician, is very common in newborns and infants. If the baby is spitting up just a little at the time of burping it is absolutely fine, she is just bringing up the excess milk that has not reached her digestive track and that is perfectly alright and in fact that is the reason you burp your kid, to remove the excess gas/air bubbles ingested during the feeding either by breast or by bottle. It usually sets itself right by the time the baby is 3 to 6 months of age and would slowly fall in place. He also told me that spitting up about 10% of what is ingested on an average is not an issue of concern at all. Sreya used to throw up through her nose and mouth at times while feeding and as a new mom throwing up through nose was the most terrible thing to witness, not knowing what to do, what would happen and seeing helplessly as the baby is near-choking, in tears, and crying. But if you are alone at that time, crying with the baby wont work and we need to be more practical, so just get a grip on yourself and burp the kid definitely each and every time after a feed, even if it is taking a lot of time, trying various methods, get the kid burped. It would help if we burp the kid in between the feed and burp after completing as well if the baby is good at feeding.

Throwing up a little, might also mean that the baby is being overfed and during the burping the baby is bringing up the excess feed, so not an issue of concern.

If the baby is bottle-fed, make sure the bottle is sterilized and the bottle as well as the nipple are clean and sterile, ensure the feeds are prepared hygienically, warm water, clean hands, clean scoop, clean bottle and nipple along with a clean burp cloth. If possible, do not reuse the same burp cloth for the next feed.

Also, keep the baby' s head elevated all the time while sleeping.. this is very essential and my doc always insisted on elevation all the time to keep away from reflux and touchwood, it might have worked 'cos luckily as an infant Sreya never had serious reflux issues.

In spite of all this, if the kid is throwing up violently, mind you not spitting up but throwing up, like a projectile vomit, say up to about a foot or more, then it is of concern and can be called reflux and let the doctor know and get the kid on medication if need be.

If the kid is bottle-fed, maybe changing the formula would work if we notice excessive throwing up than normal, but do this after consulting the physician.

If breast-fed, then the mother avoiding the dairy products during feeding period might be of great help, check it out before trying anything else.

So, in short the symptoms can be varying from moderate to severe degree of
  • spitting up
  • throwing up violently in a projectile manner up to about a distance of about a feet or more.
  • coughing up during feeds
  • poor feeding habits
  • blood in the stools
  • mucousy vomit
  • irritability and fussiness throughout the feeding and even after wards...
If the above symptoms are noticed after every feed, then it is a concern, rest is all normal.. so please do not worry first-time moms and spare yourself the tension..

Happy feeding!!!

A tip by Padma
try tummy time for 5 mins after each feeding apart from burping, it helps. But be sure you are there to monitor when the baby is on tummy. 5 weeks ee kada chala chinnadi.. so oka vela moham meda padina... roll over to her back

Washing Baby Car Seat

Normal cleaning agent mixed with water in a bucket. Take a cloth and dip in the water solution and rub it on the car seat or soak a sponge in the water and clean the surface. dry in the sun.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Toy Ideas

The train, top, rattles, and the nested toys..

I used to love my childhood toys, the lakka pidatalu I used to call them, the cooking set, the touch of color. Those were the toys from Etikoppaka. A wonderful place. I once heard about an organization which collects unused or used and stored-away toys for children in orphanages, slums, etc. and felt okay, why do we need to do that.. why dont we gather books, clothes, or money and get them educated. How wrong was I ? When I see the glow in my daughter's eyes when she sees or plays with a toy, when I see the school kids come play with my daughter wholeheartedly with her toys and feel really really grateful for that, I realize why. That is CHILDHOOD, the joy, the unadulterated happiness that comes with small pleasures, toys, that is... I have decided that I would go ahead and give away all the kid's toys once she grows up keeping just a couple of them for keepsake.

Toy selection is a huge task, but the traditional wooden toys made out of non-toxic tree dyes, and vegetable dyes are the ones that I prefer for the kiddo apart from the whole range of educational toys from Fisher-Price or Funskool.

On one hand, it would be like encouraging the handicrafts of India and on the other, it is good for her to chew on or play with which she does most of the times and yeah they are washable too..

I got her first rattle from Kalanjali, a bit too expensive is what I felt later on when I got the same from the local exhibition the other day for another kid... the rattle that cost me 150 at Kalanjali, cost me just 25 in the exhibition. Was there any difference, minimal if any. So, I would say, do visit those handicraft exhibitions and help the craftsman rather than feed the already rich mall owners.

Also, I personally prefer wooden/cloth toys rather than the plastic ones.. green parenting :).. but you can ask me what is green about cutting down the trees and making them into toys... point!! BUT I would rather have my kid lick/suck/bite on non-toxic dye toys than the plastic ones, which can cause lead poisoning or something like that.

The nested Indian dolls... the set of 6 nested in each other, love this one..

I remember playing with mud, sand, pebbles when I was a kid storing them in each doll :). However, for the LO I take out the last 3 and give the remaining set, 'cos I am a little scared she might choke on them. It is very much affordable too 150/- I would say is a steal for the amount of work put in for this one... and yes, the train cost me 180/-, the long rattle 25/-, and the round rattle was from Kalaanjali that cost me 150/-... and guess what the tiny toy in the first pic is, it is a top :) at 10/-. How lucky LO is, I remember the days when I used to make a top or get one made by my granny used black clay and a broom stick stem (cheepuru pulla).. but yeah, the joy of a hand-made top is altogether different :).

PS: Originally posted in my personal blog, I paste it here 'cos it might be a reference material :).

Stuff given in US hospitals...

Ikkada US lo most of the hospitals lo below things free gaa istharu. But you need to ask them before leaving hospital after delivery.

Receiving blankets
Nipple shield
Overnight-extra heavy pads and panties (ask for extra)
Douche( sitz bath over the bowel)
Spray bottle
baby nose bulb
diaper bag
extra diapers and wipes for baby
Baby Thermometer
dress for baby
baby heal cream after blood drawn
manual breast pump

0.5% Hyrdocortisone cream or lanolin nipple cream
Applying the above cream from around 1-month before delivery supposedly lessens nipple soreness after delivery...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baby-Mom Bag To Carry On an Outing

The Contents of my diaper bag when going out..

Diapers: Carry at least one for an hour or more depending on the time you are going to stay out. Personally suggest carry more than needed in case of emergencies.

Nappy Changing Pad:
This is very useful to avoid slipups during diaper change and also on unclean surfaces.

Very helpful to clean up the baby when changing the diapers.. not just the baby wipes, if you can keep disinfectant wipes for yourself, in a small travel pack, it would be great.

Burp clothes/bibs/clean cotton clothes -- To wipe the baby's face and mouth when feeding.

A change of dress for the baby.. In fact, a couple or more dresses would be best.

If in winter, keep a sweater, muffler/cap, socks, mittens hand in case you might stay back a little late in the evening.

If the baby is bottle feeding, then carry enough bottles and formula/milk sufficient for the feeds.. Also, a flask full of warm water just about right temperature to use for mixing the formula.
-- Clean the bottles immediately after the feed, if possible with warm/hot water so that you can re-use in case you stay longer than expected.

If the baby is on solids -- small containers to carry the food, the bowl, spoon, glass, or sipper.

Water bottle -- boiled and cooled drinking water or mineral water/nursery water whatever you use for the baby.

Pacifier if the baby uses one.

The baby's pediatrician's number, medical record book ( if in India), a phone book with all the numbers handy or a mobile with the numbers stored.

Do not forget to carry at least a couple of toys, a comfort object like a blanket or whatever.. and also keep something to keep the kid occupied like a book to read, a soother to chew on.. :).

A small blanket/throw/rug --
for the times when you want to put the child on ground to play.

A change of dress for you. -- In case the baby spits on you or vomits.

Also, keep a few plastic covers/an extra bag to carry the soiled/used clothes.

Mosquito Protection For Infants

For Indian kids especially kids growing up in villages, mosquitoes are a part and parcel of life. Especially in the times of harvesting and all, all the mosquitoes in the farms and fields land up in our houses come evening, actually the menace would be there whole day around.. so we just need to close all the doors and windows or at least the mesh doors/windows to curb their entry into the house. I personally use sambarni poga in the house in the evening. In spite of taking a lot of care, some clever ones manage to settle inside, so for those these days we have mosquito bats, I use All-Out liquid, take out all the lights in the house, put on all the fans, put saambrani poga and after 5 minutes open all the doors, switch on the lights outside in the varendah and in the yard... believe me, all the mosquitoes will vanish within 15 minutes.. then close the doors and enjoy a mosquito free night.

Phew.. there are certain creams like odomos and all available in the Indian market but my doctor and I personally am against it cos the tends to put hands legs and whatever they can into their mouths, so there is a lot bigger problem than mosquitoes.. the toxic ointment ingestion :(. The best advise is put them in full sleeves, long pants, socks, monkey caps if it is winter and put them in mosquito nets... doma teralu in telugu...

I personally avoid Jet coils as well because I kind of choke on the fumes from the coil, so don't want the kid to be exposed either..

However, for kids from US who have never been exposed to a mosquitoes ever, first visit to India during this mosquito season might be a problem... so here go suggestions from a few moms..

The mosquito repellent 's name is "NATRAPEL". It can be found in TOYSRUS or BABIESRUS. In all the other stores it can be found only in summer.

Any other insect repellent can also be used like "OFF" and "CUTTER". But dont spray it on the baby's or the kid's body directly, instead spray it on the baby's clothes and so it everytime you change the clothes.

Milk - Calcium Requirement in Kids


Toddlers should have 500 milligrams of calcium a day. This requirement is easily met if your child gets the recommended two servings of dairy foods every day. An important part of a toddler’s diet, milk provides calcium and vitamin D to help build strong bones. Children under age 2 should have whole milk to help provide the dietary fats they need for normal growth and brain development. After age 2, most kids can switch to low-fat or non-fat milk, although you should discuss this decision with your child’s doctor.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thumb Sucking

Is thumb sucking common in infants...

Seems to be so. Even Sreya tried it initially.. in fact started out with the whole fist, then each finger and finally the thumb but thankfully nothing more than a couple of days or more than a week.. My brother had this thumb sucking and I still remember my mom being fed up with trying to get him to stop doing that just burnt his finger with a burnt spoon :((((... vaata pettesindi. Did he stop?? Yes, he did but in sleep, with the blanket covered from top to toe, he still used to put the thumb in the mouth until he was more than 12 years old or so. So, I had kind of panicked when Sreya started doing so.

People used to say thumb sucking would lead to bad teeth, elevated teeth (ettu pallu), etc., but his teeth are just fine and poor me had to get braces because there were lots of gaps in the teeth. :). He He, there I digress again.

So, a recent discussion in the forum and the discussion with my doctor lead to the following findings.

Infants, really really young say 2 or 3 months old or so start thumb sucking and that is perfectly fine. Usually, they let go off it when they are rolling over, crawling and walking. It is a cause of concern only if they are continuing it after say about 10 months or so.

My doctor told me that it might be a sign of insecurity or because of too many changes all of a sudden and all that, but my kid had started at an age when she could possible know nothing about her surroundings other than her milk bottle or me. So, the question of insecurity is ruled out and what I did was pull it out immediately and engage her alternatively and thank fully it did work. But the doctor asked me not overdo the pulling out stuff as that might lead to an adamant streak in them.. just try to take it out and if you notice that they are doing it just to be sure their point wins, give it up and try something else.

So, moms dont worry if they start this young, just dont get worked up, but discourage doing that as much as possible. It might just be one of their new games of the week or the fortnight and they will just give it up as they had started. If they still do suck after numerous attempts, don't panic until they are walking or crawling.. I guess maybe once they do that they would automatically give it up in search of new explorations. Check out if it is hunger that is making them do it, see to it that they are adequately fed. If he/she is doing it to seek comfort and missing you from your sudden disappearances or so. Or just doing it to explore his/her body. if none of these, just maybe boredom is what is prompting them to do that right now ;) and they would gradually stop it out of their own volition.

Keep a watch but don't get way too panicked!!

Indian Store-Bought Diaper Review

We need to buy only a small pack of each brand to check out the fit, fabric, and elastic of that particular brand to the infant.

The diapers are available depending on the weight of the baby, so check it out and buy what is needed. Usually the weight and frame of the body are both proportionate so they would usually fit. We need to ensure that they are not too tight or not too loose. Tight is not good for skin, loose means leaks which defies the purpose of diapers in the first place.

After snapping the diaper on, put a finger near the leg folds and feel if the baby is uncomfortable and if it is snugly fit.

Each brand also has types of diapers again.. like Huggies Care, Huggies Dry, Huggies Ultra, etc.. depending on the number of wettings each diaper would support, like 4 wettings, 6 wettings, 8 wettings, with rough calculation of around 40 mL for each wetting. The price also varies with the wetting-support capacity.

I personally prefer 4 wetting and frequent changing of diapers because with each wetting a gel would form and the weight of it increases, the diaper bulges with each wetting, and it is not good that the kid remains in it for so long.. rather than going for costly long-lasting diaper, i would go for cheaper less wetting diapers and change frequently.

The brands I have tried so far are Huggies, Pampers, and Wipro Baby Soft both Indian made and from Dubai.

Huggies and Pampers is a good fit for my baby who is of tiny frame.. she is a long and lean baby.

Wipro baby soft is a real cloth-feel diaper of the three above but I am not satisfied with the fit, so that leaves me with pampers and Huggies.. I am not comfortable with pampers elastic lining which kind of presses on the baby's skin, so I am making do with Huggies. With growing sizes, I vary my diaper choices too.. So, check out and see what is good for your baby's skin and comfort and of course yours too.

Good luck!!

Nappies to Chaddies to Diapers

As a newborn, in the initial days of life, kids tend to pass stools which are dark and tarry and sticky frequently, possibly with every feed or even more and struggle to pass the stool or pass the urine as the canals are not yet strong enough, so straining with toilet and stool is not a problem if it is not really high in magnitude.

In fact, the number of wet and dry diapers is also an indication as to whether the baby is feeding alright and enough and hydrated enough. So, I personally used to keep a log of stool and toilet frequency along with feeds and spit-ups/vomitings if any. Since I was taking care of the baby kind of all alone right from the birth, keeping a tab of it all would make me understand the routine and establish a pattern as to feeding and all and any minor change in it would ring up alarm bells and I used to ensure everything was alright. Back then people around me in the village used to make fun of me, call me military general and the effort of a log a futile one but honestly to each his own. I personally found it useful. I knew exactly how many times my baby would pass stool along with its color and consistency, how many times she would pee with its color and quantity, how many times and what quantities she was fed, what amount did she spit up. Believe me, it helped me a great deal and gradually I won confidence that OHKAY I can manage the baby well... anyways, I digress.. back to the point of the post.

Prior to the birth I had collected a lot of old used very soft cotton sarees from elders in the family, my late grandfather's panchelu came in really handy, and got some langotis stitched by my aunty with soft cloth, some store-bought cloth langotis, Velcro langotis, washed them really well, dried in hot sun, neatly folded and kept for future use.

Initially, I used to throw away the cloth langotis after each use for a couple of days, then from 4th day of life onwards, I used to get them washed and recycle them. The hospital staff were strictly against the use of store-bought diapers in the newborn asking us not to use in the hospital and if need be and personal choice be, use at home. The explanation given to me was that they do not want the newborn skin exposed to diaper material and all that which was fine with me.

So, LO has never used diapers in the first 2 months of life. Even the doctor visit was with cloth nappies and a holding sheet in lots of clothes.

She used to wake up after peeing and move a little or utter a moan and go back to sleep, I would get up and clean her up and change the cloth.

From 3rd month, I used to use diapers for doctor visits and on nights when she was fussy during the day and I felt that she needed complete break-less sleep like the days of vaccination, etc.

It was easy up to that point, because the kid hardly used to move from her place but as time passes and the kid rolls over the area of movement is high and a lot more things in periphery would get wet, her blankets, my blanket, bed sheet, pillows, my clothes, her clothes and what not, even the toys on the bedside, so then came the time and an urgent need to use diapers at night.

After 3 months of life, I bought a couple of dozens of underwear/cotton knickers for her and used instead of langotis at a price of around 100 to 110 rs/- per dozen. I would suggest 2 dozens or more because you need more than a dozen in a day and there are days when the previous days chaddies are not yet dry :(.

After she has completed 6 months of life, now I use diapers at night, put her in one after her late-night feed and take it out after she wakes up in the morning.

This in one tiny way, would be my contribution to green parenting... but of course it is possible only because of the place and the help system that I happen to get here in the village.

As a newborn kid tends to pee and poop round-the-clock but once there is a routine set in the initial couple of months or so, or at the max by 3 to 4 months, the poop sessions during the night will be stopped, so then we can move from nappies to diapers for whole night. Diapers are made to absorb wetness, so no issues with water/pee but poop is definitely uncomfortable.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Diaper Days

The type of cloth diapers that I prefer, the ones with Velcro rather than the one with tie-on threads.. the first variety is complete cloth.. and the second is the type with polythene lining where we insert a cloth sheet in the loop and keep changing just the sheet..

It has been my conscious decision to use cloth diapers rather than the store-bought ones which are easy to manage but costly for the purse. Seriously, what made me go for the diapers, the price, the green parenting, what??? I must say both but to be honest, initially it was 50-50 but as time passed it came on to 75-25. For me, it was/is/will be like money going down the drain.. err.. piss and poop.

If we stay abroad where it is very cold, no place to dry the diapers, no place to store the stinking ones before cleaning, or no help to do the cleaning stuff and all, there is NO CHOICE. We have to go with the diapers but here, the place where I live, the village has ample of help in that aspect. The washerwoman, yeah we still have the concept in our village and her family has been doing it for us from generations and this is the last generation into the washing occupation, does all the washing, drying, and folding stuff which relieves me of a huge load. How can even begin to thank her and would remain deeply indebted for all that she does. Yes, I pay her but no I cant actually pay her enough for all that she does.

Up to the age of 6 months, I must say I have used just about 6 diapers that too for the doctor visit and nothing else.. it is always the cloth diapers, home-stitched langotis, store-bought langotis, and now chaddis or the knickers.

First 3 to 4 months was a cakewalk with help, frequency was more but the smell wasnt there but as and when she was introduced to solids, the stink factor came in.

I just have separate buckets for each type of cloth.. the toilet clothes, the potty clothes, the bibs and cloths to clean her mouth and body, the chaddis and finally the dresses she had to change during the day. I throw them all in their designated locations. Early in the morning, I soak them all in their own buckets with detergent and around 9 to 10 a.m., the lady washes them dries them under hot sun and in the evening she comes, folds them and arranges them in the racks separately. THANK YOU MA'M.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Vaccination and Fever

When the vaccine is administered, either due to the process of immunization or due to the pain of the needle prick, the kid might develop mild to moderate degree of fever which is very natural. There is a popular myth that one should get fever in order for the vaccine to be effective. No, it is absolutely fine even if the kid does not have fever and it is also absolutely fine if the kid has low-grade fever. Just ensure that you monitor the baby for fever or any signs of pain all the time. A fever below 100 is normal. However if is consistently above 100 not dropping even with wet-cloth wipes, then better consult the doctor.

Administer Calpol/Tylenol (check about the latest recall before you administer) drops immediately after the vaccine.. yes, they are the fever drops but also used for pain control. If the child still suffers from fever despite of giving Calpol drops 3 times a day, wet-cloth wipes, etc. then it is a case of concern.

One of the main reasons to ensure fever control with or without vaccination is that some kids tend to develop high temperatures and in extremely rare cases it might give way to febrile seizures.. so fever control in a kid is absolutely must. It is easy to control, but once it goes out of hand, then starts aggressive medical intervention. So, better be safe than sorry.

Also, once the vaccine is administered ensure that you keep holding the needle-pricked area for a while and then rub it mildly thereafter. Also, keep checking if there is swelling or redness in that area and if the swelling continues, do hot-water compresses.. if the redness and swelling persists beyond a couple of days and the kid is in very severe pain, just call the doctor or take the kid. However, simple and constant care and monitoring will not let things go far, so be alert and cautious the day of vaccine administration and keep a watchful eye.

It is advised not to give the kid anything including water or milk for 30 minutes to an hour after the vaccine, so better ensure that the kid is well-fed, non fussy by the time of the appointment. Do not overdo with giving fever drops/syrup until it is an absolute must. If it is just a low-grade fever of say 99, see if it still persists after a nap or some time and only then go for the medicine.

Usually for the first vaccine the kid might just cry a little while at the time of the prick but just forget it later on, it is only at the later stages when they realize pain that they tend to cry for a longer time. My personal experience says that first time the parents cry more than the kid and from the next on both of them get used to it :).

Good luck and yeah, the moms/dads out there do not cry, easy to say.. i did cry and the doctor still jokes that I had flooded his office on Sreya's first vaccination :). dont wince, dont cry, just take care of the baby. :).


Polio -- this is the one word which kind of changed the dimension of my life. Born a healthy child and supposedly infected by it after being administered the drops at the age of 6 months, the trauma I had to go through to get my kid immunized with it is unspeakable and cannot be expressed.

Though, the final report is that my leg problem is not polio, it is the muscle wastage because of some nerve damage due to incorrect needle prick rather than anything.. the term still scares the hell out of me... limping for life, termed handicapped by many, looked down upon unnecessarily, it is the one word that kind of describes my existence, survival or whatever.

So, when it was time for Sreya to be put through this ordeal, one can only imagine as to what all the thought process went into it... so, the doctor seeing me scared the hell out of my wits gave me whole lot of reassurance and helped me out in a lot of ways treating and preparing me mentally before treating Sreya for which I would be eternally thankful to him. He assured me that it was not VAPP (vaccine-associated poliomyelitis paralysis) that I have and however, he suggested me an option for my fear, IPV, God-send for the paranoid me.

Eradicating that very deadly polio is very very important for our future generations and in almost all the developing countries OPV (oral polio vaccine) is widely distributed and administered free of cost and it is ensured that the message is reached far and wide and every single kid benefits from this. However, IPV (inactivated polio vaccine) is something like a dead-virus vaccine in layman terms which eliminates even the remotest possibility of VAPP... How???

How does a vaccine work.. in layman terminology is an effective method of containing infectious diseases.. the bug (bacteria/virus) either killed or inactivated in the form of vaccine is introduced into the body and the body cells fight against it and develop an immunity towards that particular agent (as far as I can gather). So, in very remote cases, there is a possibility that the induced bug acts up and the vaccine becomes the source of infection, very very very minimal, but still there is a possibility. IPV is thus an inactivated form of the vaccine which contains all the three serum types of the vaccine which eliminates even that remotest possibility.

Then, how come it is not available to all the people.. because of the incremental cost of producing the vaccine. OPV is easy to administer, even a layman can do that, just giving the drops and like they say something is better than nothing and since polio is almost eradicated, it is just a post-eradication measure, the mass polio vaccination, that is. It is also believed my some people that once complete eradication of the disease is declared OPV may be the only mode of acquiring the disease (an assumption at this point). So, IPV at any rate is better than OPV.

However, there is something called secondary immunization following exposure to the same or closely related say, we exposed the kid to polio vaccine and then we need follow that exposure with secondary immunization just to be sure. So, my pediatrician says it is always a good idea to take the kid to OPV camps when they are announced just to ensure the secondary immunization.

I did extensive reading on this, brain-picked my pediatrician and finally went ahead with IPV.. a simple choice for many parents but a crucial one just for me because of my problem.

So, done with IPV for the kid, I would just follow it through with OPV at the designated time at a designated place.

Good luck with vaccines guys!!!

For more reading on the same..

check the link.

Vaccination Schedule -- India.

At Birth
BCG -- This vaccine site should bulge or come up as a mark within a month of its administration, the typical teeka maccha for Indian kids. We need to inform the doctor if the site does not show any change after a month or so.
OPV0 -- oral polio vaccine
Hepatitis B1

(got it done 3rd day of life)

6 Weeks
Hepatitis B2

(Got the combo vaccine Pentaxim which was supposedly the fever-less vaccine with IPV HIB, TT and all put together for 5 diseases -- It was purely personal choice, please follow your doctor's advise).. so it was just 2 needle pricks for her, instead of 4 or 3 on both the thighs.


10 Weeks

(Got the combo vaccine Pentaxim which was supposedly the fever-less vaccine with IPV HIB, TT and all put together for 5 diseases -- It was purely personal choice, please follow your doctor's advise).. so it was just 1 needle prick for her, instead of 3 on both the thighs..

14 Weeks

Hepatitis B3
(Got the combo vaccine Pentaxim which was supposedly the fever-less vaccine with IPV HIB, TT and all put together for 5 diseases -- It was purely personal choice, please follow your doctor's advise).. so it was just 2 needle pricks for her, instead of 4 or 3 on both the thighs.

9 Months

1 Year
Chicken Pox
Hepatitis A first dose (optional).

15-18 Months
DPT wB1/DPT aB1 (booster dose)
HIB B1 (booster dose)
MMR -- Measels/mumps/rubella
Hepatitis A 2nd dose (optional)

2 years
Typhoid 1st dose

5 years
Typhoid 2nd dose

10 Years
TT 3rd Booster

15 Years

TT 4th Booster

Also, there are some optional vaccines
ROTARIX between 2 to 6 months... 2 doses (liquid drops). Got this done.
Varicella vaccine -- less than 15 months of age
Hepatitis A
Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine -- greater than 6 months of age.
Prevenar -- consult doctor for dosages

Different doctors have different approaches and treatment, so consult and discuss with your pediatrician and get his/her opinion before going ahead with any choice. Some conservative physicians do not prefer the combination vaccines and some do not inform all the parents because of the price factor as they are slightly on the expensive side for the fear of an allegation of minting money and let us know only if we can afford it.

Combination or single, all of them have the same effect.. claiming fever-less and painless and all is secondary, the fact is that the child gets immunized properly.

First Aid Box and Emergency Meds -- India

Back in India, we get medicines in the medical hall as and when we want to just by showing the prescription or even over-the-counter.. no specific restrictions.

The number of drops to be given and the brand name given varies from doctor to doctor. The number of drops to be administered is critical and varies from kid to kid based on the kid's weight, so just make sure you get yourself updated with the doctor as to how much of what drug should be administered.


So, I would list out the contents of Sreya's medicine kit..
  1. Cotton.
  2. Vicks VapoRub (when the kid is a little older say 3 months or so)
  3. Vaseline (in case of constipation/touch the tip of an earbud with vaseline and insert in the bottom when the baby is struggling to pass the stool). DO NOT OVERDO THIS.
  4. Fever/pain drops.
  5. Saline nasal drops for cold.
  6. Drops for Cough -- if the cough persists, we need to see the doctor immediately to be treated with antibiotics, so better be very cautious not to expose them to cough and cold.
  7. Drops for Vomiting -- slight spitting is normal, spit while burping is normal.. if they vomit more than 10% of what is fed to them continuously, then we need to inform the doctor.
  8. Drops for diarrhea -- it is normal to pass stool after each feed especially when breast-feeding and so do not worry about the number of times unless it is really really watery and way too many times.
  9. Oral rehydration salts in case of excess vomiting/diarrhea.
  10. Drops for Tummy ache/colic -- if the baby folds her legs, stiffens the body in pain, or winces in pain when the tummy is touched it is stomach pain.
  11. Drops for earache.
  12. Drops for eyes -- when the eyes are tearing and crusting, clean the eyes with cotton balls dipped in clean drinking water very gently and mildly.
  13. Syrup for constipation/tight stool -- It is normal for kids not to poop for more than a day, so no worries if it doesnt happen every single day and the baby has no crankiness or hard tummy.. in fact, my doc says it is okay up to 3 days to go without stool and only then it is a problem. So, if it goes beyond that or if the baby is really straining hard and unable to bring out the stool, then go for these drops.
  14. Fudic cream -- When Sreya had some skin tear at the ear because of her ear rings, the doctor suggested this. She asked to avoid powder like Nebasulf because it tends to form a layer and tighten on the skin and tough to get it out and that creams are a better option for infant.. external application only.
  15. Earbuds -- only for external clearing of the ear.. never inside the canal.
I also have Zinda Tilismat which is a Unani medicine to apply on her chest and back and the nose if she has cold which works wonders.. I personally take it internally as well but for Sreya, strictly topical application.

Some doctors also give vitamin drops..
My doc gave me Zincovit and Sunzyme, the digestive enzyme drops.
Iron drops can be done away with because the kids can have severe constipation issues with them unless absolutely necessary and doctor says it is a must.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Huggies baby wipes from Costco.

Preferably nonscented ones for the newborns and mild scented for the infants.
Good to clean and wipe after each potty/toilet session.

I personally prefer the flushable wipes, but they are on the costlier side.

We can also use cotton balls dipped in warm water.

For people in India, better not wash the butt immediately after birth.. a soft cloth soaked in water or baby wipes.. I used pampers which felt like God-sent items initially.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sunni Pindi Preparation

I used to use Shubra Herbal bath powder for Sreya until the time she was 6 months old, but now I have switched to the home-made herbal powder, the smell of which is really really divine and very very good to the skin too... yes, I did the patch test on myself and then her and then only started it.. if you happen to be in India and have time and energy to go for it then why not.. not just for the babies but also for the mothers who need that little bit of pampering which they are badly deprived after the baby... even if it is a 2-minute bath ritual.. believe me you will feel fresh.

So, my friend Dolly told me about it and sent the necessary ingredients..

Bath herbs -- Purchased at a herbal/ayurvedic store.. we need to buy ingredients for 1 kilo powder and they will pack them all about 30 to 40 varieties and it costs 100 rs/-.
Pesarapappu - green gram - 1/2 kilo
Barley - 1/2 kilo
Oatmeal powder - 1 cooker measure-cup full.
Dried and Powdered rose petals, preferably red -- 1 cupful.
Mudda Karpooram -- camphor -- 25 gms for infants -- 50 to 100 grams for adults. (strong initially but gradually the smell becomes very mild).
Pasupu -- turmeric powder (preferably from pasupu kommu) or banjara's turmeric powder (not for small babies only for moms if they intend to use).

dry the herbal ingredients under hot sun and just coarsely powder them in a mortar and pestle.. rotlo danchukondi.. then grind them to a fine powder in the mixer.

Sun dry the barley and green gram thoroughly and make them into fine powder.

Mix the oatmeal powder, the ground barley and green gram powder, herbal powder, rose powder (homemade out of red non-hybrid variety petals sun dried and powdered), and crush the camphor and add it up to the rest of them.

The final part seems so simple but the grinding a bit tedious.. In India you can get them powdered at a mill though and I must say it is one of the reasons I looooooooooooove India!!!

Simple Sunni Pindi
Green gram (pesara pappu)
Barley grains
Oatmeal Powder,
Amla Powder,
Rose Powder (same as above)
Bavanchaalu and Kacchooralu (for that heavenly smell)
Turmeric (pasupu) if it is for elders (avoid for kids)

Fine grind barley and green gram half and half say 1/2 kg each and a 100 grams each of the rest, if for elders you can also add orange peel powder (homemade) etc. which would be good.. if you body does not get dark by using neem, you can as well add a little neem powder (but in my case and a lot of my friends, they tend to get darker, so we do avoid)... and mix them all up..

Stores To Get herbs shown in the picAny vanamoolikala shop... to be specific, the place my friend gets them..
1. The lane behind ESI Darga on the road.
2. In the lane where there is Anjaneya Swamy Temple next to Green Bawarchi Hotel in Banjara Hills/Jubilee Hills area... sorry about being so vague but I havent been to that place, so cant be more precise!!

Also, these days due to the high demand the guy has cut down on the amount of stuff he used to give... sigh!!!! :(((((.


Bathing Routine

It is important that the baby's cord fall off before we get into actual bathing sessions. Just use a wash cloth and some luke warm water with mild baby soap in the water. If the baby is in India, you can bathe the kid with water but no rubbing and all, just mild soap application and dirt cleaning if any, no rigorous rubbing near the navel at all.

Procedure to bathe a kid in the first few days of life
Do not give massage to the body, just apply mild soap, clean the body and give bath once a day in tropical climate like in India or maybe alternate day or so in colder places like US. The other days just give mild soap-water sponge bath and apply moisturizer or cream suggested. It is best that the kid's body is free of anything in the first few days.

Applying oil to the baby's head
Yes, we can apply coconut oil, baby hair oil, or castor oil on baby's head mildly. If giving head bath daily, it would be good to apply a little more oil before head bath.

If in tropical climate like India, people give head bath regularly to the kids every day in the morning up to a year.

Twice daily bath
Again, if in tropical climate like India, we can start it from 11th day if it is mid summer or from 21st day in normal days. No head bath in the evenings at all.

After bath
Pat dry the skin with a soft towel, apply cream when the skin is still moist. If applying powder or corn starch apply and dress in loose fitting clothes.


One main aspect of baby care is bath. Back in India, it is a daily affair but might vary on the type of climate, the baby skin and all and need to take a doctor's opinion for the same.

For me, Sreya was a summer baby born in April in Krishna district in AP, so bathing her is a daily affair infact daily twice affair from day 11th day onwards.

So starting from the beginning, the first day of her life she was just wiped off with clean soft old used cotton sarees and rubbed with coconut oil by the midwife after the delivery, no water used is what they told me. So, technically her bathing session began the 2nd day of her life with the nurses giving her a mild soap and hot water rinse rather than a bath. The moment we set our feet at home, I had a lady in the village assigned specifically for her bathing sessions which I must say is a boon.

oka peeta meeda koorchuni kaalu rendo peeta meeda jaapukuni babyni padukobettukuni snanam cheyistaaru.

We used hot water, paala meeda meegada or perugu meeda meegada for the pre-bath massaging and then Subhra herbal bath powder slight massage and then washing with Johnson Baby soap, and Johnson Head to Toe/No tears Shampoo for head bath every morning. Believe me with all the massaging and stuff (I am told we did very mild massaging and the babies in the villages really get wild ones :)), the baby gets so tired and sleeps peacefully for minimum 2 hrs after the bath, so I used to feed her after her bath and let her sleep. The bath also includes exercise for the baby pulling her legs, hands, stroking her head (supposedly to keep it round after the delivery trauma) which I felt was good.

After 11th day, we started the evening bath too but not as rigorous as the morning session.. just plain soap and water wash minus the head bath.

Doctors specifically recommend no rigorous nalugu, maalish, or massage whatever for newborns as their skin is delicate.
Just mild strokes for longer time would do and even we can do away with sunni-pindi/bath powder if the baby has a rash or becomes really red at bath time. Touchwood, Sreya enjoyed her bathing sessions, so we continued with everything in mild doses.

The actual massaging and stuff started once she entered her 3rd month and her skin was not as fragile with doctor's consent, mild exercising sessions became a little rigorous and I started massaging her with baby oil. Again, doctors advised no use of any type of oil massaging in the first and preferably second months of life. I used Johnson oil to start with and now shifted to Himani Ayurvedic oil after she turned 6 months old. An exercise routine in the morning with the oil and then a little play break and bath afterwards works wonders for them. Personal experience says that she gets one-on-one time with me, her exercise, and good sleep after all tiresome activity :).

This is an Indian, AP baby routine wrt to climate and body preference.. waiting for more inputs with regards to babies in US.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Traveling With Infants

A useful link


Another useful link

1. Dont trust anyone for taking care of the baby.. Take a summer stroller so that you can take ur baby inside the rest room... that is safer than handing over the baby to someone..

2. Take tylenol, Banana boat (which will be very handy in this summer - sunscreen lotion for the baby)...

3. As u cannot take liquids, take formula box small open without opening it... once the checking is done get some normal water, mix it, give it then and there and throw the rest.. they are real strict about this liquid stuff...

4. If your baby has started taking GERBER food, do have some 6-7 bottles for the journey and probably 10-20 bottles for india.. incase initially they find difficult to adjust with our food there.. this is gonna b of real use to you.

5. I am not sure how comfortable your kid will b in diapers there.. these days u get pampers and huggies brand there.. but still it wld b better if you can carry around 60 -100 diapers for the local travel there .. u might not be sure whether he will b ok with the local diapers there and how much he will b comfortable with the underware stuff there...

6. Dont carry moisturizer with the diaper bag.. they will throw that too.. keep all those stuff in checkin bag.. just a small bottle of tylenol for the travel shld b enuf.. if your baby is cranky, just give tylenol and he might sleep thruout the journey.. dnt forget to close his ears thru takeoff and landing.. he might get ear pain too....

7. You can get some fancy dress for your baby, get some caseroles if u dont have.. coz later with your baby around, u might not b able to cook hot things and eat... whichever indian vessel comfy in your place, bring that.. but not too heavy stuff...

Response 2

1. Just carry diapers for the flight....crry a lot..coz babies usually need to b changed every 3 hrs during tht they feel comfortable n dont start crying..
U get these diapers in india..pampers n huggies..most of the sizes..
u also get somethign called nappy pads..they r like nappies which u can stick to hte underwear. this is more comfortable as its more airy n suited for indian humid n hot climate.
2. No, we do not get formula in india...U hav to take ur Enfamil arnd 4-5 cans of them..coz the ones u get in india(lactogen or nan) arnt of the same composition as enfamil or any other formula available here.
Reg. food jars, they r available there..but very expensice, arnd 80-90rs for a single jar.
so tak them from here..but u can mash veggies or dal there..n giv them fresh to babies. Cereals r fine..the ones u get in india r really good..u get lotf variaties there..lik dal, spinach, fruits n veggies (in cerelac)
3. in the plane, u will b given a front seat..where there will b a bassinet attached to the front wall..(a small bed lik thing) for the baby to sleep in.
But most babies lie there only to baby dont sit there wen he was i had to keep him in my lap.:((
But to avail this facility u hav to inform the agent while booking( they charge u arnd 10% for infants) n also let them know while checking in( tell them u need a front seat too, better chk in early..coz i went late .n had a problem)..or else all the bassinets will b booked n u might b left with none..
4. there is a changing place in the lavatory...dont worry..just tak tak a diaper n a bxo of wetty wipes to the loo with u..dont carry the entire there is very little plac ein the loo..
5. things u need to tak
a. a box of wetty ones, the on-the-go ones, tht weigh less
b. a box of tissues
c. 2 bottles
d. arnd 6 gerber food jars (they r allowed)
e. do not carry any liquid..not even water or formula..not allowed..instead carry the on-the-go enfamil packets..u will need to tak as many packets as ur baby drinks for 2 days. u can get hot water in any of the cofee shops in the sirports or in the flight itself..
f. hav atleat 3-4 change of clothign for baby
g. atleast 2-3 change of tops for they r bound to get dirty with constantly carrying the baby
h. tak the stroller with u...they will b useful in the transit n all places except in the flight...they r really useful..beleive me...
i. take few toys for him..

i guess thts it..
Response 3
1. Do we need to carry diapers from here or we get in India also (Similar or better)
---> I had carried diapers from here. But I had to buy a few in India towards the end of my trip. You will get diapers there. The quality is not as good as of those we buy here. They are a bit expensive too.

2.Do we need to carry formula ,food Jars or we get in India also (Similar or better)
---> Its a good idea to carry formula from here. Even though you can change to whole milk after the kid turns 1, its important that during this transition the kid gets the food which he is really used to. I had carried formula for the whole trip. After my kid turned 1 in India, I started him off on cow milk in addition to formula. I alternated between cow milk and formula. And when I came back, I alternated between formula and whole milk, gradually changing completely to whole milk.

3. Where will d baby sit/sleep in the plane?do we have to always put her inthe lap?
---> I had gone by air India and they had given me a bassinet for my kid. Even though preference will be given to a baby around 6 months of age, the airlines do give older kids a bassinet if there are extra.

4. How do we change diapers in th plane?I never saw a changing station?
---> One bathroom (located at the rear of the plane in my case) is a little bigger compared to the others and does have a changing station. Its will not be comfortable, but thats the best option available.
5. What other factors I need to consider while travelling?
---> Most important would be to ask your baby's doctor if you kid needs to get any shots specially for this trip. Also while landing and take off, give you baby something to suck on (juice, water, milk), the sucking action will help to get rid of / lower the air pressure in the kids ear.

6. What stuff do u suggest is a must while travelling wid d baby?
---> His favorite toys (special blanket or stuffed animal), favorite snack, medicines (should be handy).

Response 4
What other factors I need to consider while travelling?

1) Make sure you travel light - you dont want to regret in the middle of your journey that your backpack is too heavy.
2) Do not overload baby stuff - you do have fall back options available for diapers & formula in India, just in case what you carried is not sufficient.
3) Let your pediatrician know about your travel plans & discuss vaccination (depends on how long you are in India)

What stuff do u suggest is a must while travelling wid d baby?

1) Baby medication such as infant tylenol, motrin, diaper rash cream etc
2) Change of clothes for you and your baby
3) Some surprise toys which your baby has not played with earlier
4) Disposable feeding bottles or drop-ins
5) A foldable changing pad
6) Carry an umbrella stroller and not the regular one
7) Most of all, make sure you know whats where when you pack the bag so you can easily find it esp while your infant goes bonkers in the middle of the flight

Response 5

1. Do we need to carry diapers from here or we get in India also (Similar or better)
You do get pampers, huggies and other diapers there. If u buy Indian brand pampers, it is not nice at all. you have to look for the ones with arabic writings on it in bigger shops, they are just like the one in US. it amounts to the same price as here. may be Rs.100 more than what we spend here.
2.Do we need to carry formula ,food Jars or we get in India also (Similar or better)
It is better to carry food jars. but ofcourse you get those too over there and also u might be trying fresh veggies and fruits boiled and mashed at home. since she will be 10 months, u can even feed her nicely ground solid food.
3. Where will d baby sit/sleep in the plane?do we have to always put her inthe lap?
Make sure u ask for bassinet when u check in. it is better to go a little earlier than usual so that u can claim the bassinet before anybody else does. Preference will be given to younger children or first come basis. while take off and landing u will be asked to hold the baby in your hands. a special belt will be provided which u attach in yours and they will show u how.
4. How do we change diapers in th plane?I never saw a changing station?
there are specially marked restroom with baby changing station signs. there are atleast one on each class. so don't worry. it will also be clearly marked inside the restroom with a picture.u just pull out the tray and put it back when u are done.

5/ 6. What other factors/things I need to consider while travelling?
U could have readymade similac bottles for ur ease. some bottle foods, incase ur flight gets delayed anywhere, use ziplocs to carry medicine, bibs, extra pair of dress, baby powder and lotion.I have a check list that i use during travel. if u need it let me know, i can send it to u. A brand new toy that ur child has never seen and a most familiar toy will get past during cranky times. take a lollipop or a bottle to give the baby to suck to
ease the ear pain during take off and landing.
Courtesy: IHM

Another response
You have to specify that you are traveling with an infant. Generally, the ticket price would be 10-25% of the adult ticket. And they would allow upto 23lb check in luggage, a diaper bag + stroller to carry on. Please mention the age of your kid and request for bassinet. They would provide it depending on the first come first serve basis and only upto certain weight/age limit.

If you are travelling alone with the kid, make sure to carry easy hand luggage, like a back pack. Also, the most important to pack is the hand luggage first. Cross check atleast 10 times, to verify if everything was with u in hand luggage. Also, carry some quick bites during the plane for u, as u guys have to be energetic enough!!

Regarding the packed luggage, it depends on each of you. I preferred the diapers we get here than the ones in india. Also, my son didn't eat rice and dal during that time, so had to rely on gerbers a lot.... I missed the humidifier a lot....wipes, bibs etc have many alternatives over there...still, its ur preference....

Also, girls better to travel during the non busy days. It will be nice to have a vacant seat beside!! Make sure you get the seats with more leg room. Book in advance.

I was carrying him on my lap all through the journey. Feeding him over the lap was little tough for me. I had to change two planes(from austin to detroit, to amsterdam, to hyd) with four hour break.. I let him play on the carpeted floor and he was very happy to crawl :) I did the diaper change, fed him, wiped his body, changed his clothes during this break. So, he slept most part of the flight journey.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Working Moms and Breast Feeding

I would be getting back to work and my 12 week old daughter would be at home with my mother in law. I plan to feed her expressed milk.

Would anyone pl give me tips on

1) How often to express while at work? I work from 8 to 5. Would 3 times be sufficient?
2) How much would I have to express (I dont exactly know how much she drinks.. probably arnd 450 - 500 ml (day + night altogether) )
3) What shd I do during the weekends.. feed her the expressed milk from friday and follow my expressing schedule or feed her directly and use the expressed milk for Monday?

(I would use a double breast electric pump)

Most of my qns might sound silly .. but then I have many such qns..

Anything else that I need to know or any other tips?

Response 1
I found this WIC link which gives points on the same-
Also it would be nice if you ask your Pediatrician to answer other questions related to this,they give really helpful points.Normally they would say to breastfeed directly on weekends and pump in between at least 2 ce to increase the supply.

Response 2
I went through the same situatiom as you. I used to express milk 3 times during the workday, aprroximately 4-6oz. each time. Try to get a little ahead of your child's intake. That way you don't have to express during the weekends.
Good luck! It's hard work, but doable. I went back to work full time 6 weeks after childbirth and my daughter took only breastmilk till she was 5 months.

These were her questions at the outset and she herself helps out others after a while.. that was really sweet of her..

Its been 2 1/2 months since I started working and as per the above tips, I've been able to manage feeding my 5 month old baby only expressed milk at her daycare. Just wanted to add this message to the thread to encourage any new moms who want to consider this option. It is DEFINITELY doable.

I just started feeding the baby solids from yesterday as per her doc's reco. Im still going to keep feeding her more breast milk and less solids for this month (till she's 6 mos old).. and then gradually increase her solid intake.

I just blindly followed the advice (pump thrice a day 10am, 1pm and 4:15pm) and the same amt (between 4-6 oz each session) and Im able to meet my daughters demands (she drinks around 11-13oz while in her daycare) Thanks so much!
New moms .. if you have the facility/time to try expressing at work, please give it a try.

i was so confused on expressing milk issue, just wondering whome to ask....n i came across this........
my daughter is 4 month now, n its been one month since is started wrkng again.......i opted for both formula milk and expressed milk for my was not suggested by my doc instead of tht i opted for this.........i searchd for info on diff sites n did as suggested thr.......d doc said that ths sites r all based on US n UK so they give information according to their environment which is different from foreign contries the temp is so low tht storing milk thr is managable but its tooooooo hot in india so expressing n storing milk in india is not a gud idea, as it easily n very fast get ths true?
still i ve many queries regarding this can anyone help me out
i m able to express milk (it just 5 oz.) b4 gong to office, my MIL feed her twice of tht, half just thn and half after abt 1-2 hr latter. thn c is on formula feed for rest of the day
shld i express more, or is it ok d way it is?
wht is the correct way of storing the milk?
for how long we can keep exp milk outside on room temp (this hot delhi weather +40 degree)

please respond

Im still continuing to feed my (now 9 months old) baby only expressed milk. The weather these days goes upto 30 deg celcius. Any amt of expressed milk, dont leave it outside the fridge at all. Even at work, after expressing I store the milk in a fridge in an ice pack. My commute is 1 hr one way. The ice pack keeps the milk cool. As soon as I reach home, I refrigerate it again. If you have a bottle warmer, u can warm the milk just before feeding the baby. Otherwise u can heat water and keep the bottle in hot water (never on the stove or microwave) for a few mins to bring it back to room temp. Some people also prefer holding the bottle under hot running water (Just that a lot of water is wasted this way)

I can understand that its very hot there compared to here, so Im not sure how feasible it is to express at work and bring the milk back home.

But as long as u are at home, try to nurse the baby urself. The beneifts of breast feeding outweigh feeding the baby expressed milk. So if possible, dont express at home. Nurse instead.

For the qn of if you shd express more, do it as per your baby's needs and feasibility. If your baby does not nurse during the night, you would have a lot of milk as soon as you wake up. So at that time, you can nurse the baby and express the remaining for later use. Again ef expressing at work is not feasible, when you return from work, you would again have a lot of milk, so try nursing again and express the remaining for the next day.

Storing Expressed Breast Milk
an u suggest me as wht containers to use for storing milk like glass made, plastic made, steel or do v get anythng in the mrkt............i generally use feeding bottle only........

I use medela pump in style. It comes with 4 collection/storage containers. At work, I leave the milk in the same containers. Since I send in that milk for the next day, in the evening I transfer the milk to her bottles and refrigerate.
If the milk is going to stay longer than a day or 2, I transfer them to storage bags (I used medela again) and keep the packets in the freezer. To thaw, I move them back to the fridge 24 hours before use.

I havent used frozen milk beyond 3 weeks of freezing.

Courtesy: Yamini From Indian Parenting!!

need urgent info...

koncham urgent ga info kavali. breast milk yela store chesthunaru? meeru use chese bottle/bags ye type yo koncham chepara. nenu hospital lo vunapudu naku something like this itcharu.
1) aa bottles lo milk collect chesi, freezer bag lo petti Refrigerator freezer compartment lo peduthana..naa question, aa freezer bag lo bottles tho patu ice pack kuda petala
The freezer bags look something like this....

Aa bags ni oka permanent marker use chesi date chesi and time kooda mark chesi..freezer lo venakaala ki pettali..When you are carrying the bags outside which are not thawed have to put ice packs in the insulated bags. But if the bag is thawed and you are going to use the milk with in the next 4 hrs, (outside or 24 hrs in the refrigerato) you dont need to put the icepacks in the insulated bag.

2) also, nenu theliyaka oka mistake chesanu ,nenu few days back save chesi milk, container lo full ga nimpesanu..can I open that container and transfer some milk to a new container? ante, container lo 3/4th ye nimpandi, to allow expansion ani vundi...what should I do?

No problem at ...malli maarchakandi...just leave it...once frozen daanni bayata ki teesi thaw chesi malli re-freeze cheyakandi......

3) and labels yekada konali? the ones we use to stick on the bottles?

Bottles lo freeze cheyadam kastam..try using the milk storage bags as shown in the above link...its easier to mark them..using a marker....

to thaw the milk

1. keep the frozen(from the freezer) milk in refrigerator overnight
2. and then bring the milk to room temperature by keeping it a bowl of warm water

which can be used to feed the baby but how about re-storing the milk and for how long???

You can take just the amount needed in one bottle and keep it stored in the fridge but do not store the baby sucked bottle again for a feed later the thawed milk in the fridge again and use it maximum up to 24 hours. The thawed milk can be used only up to 24 hrs and should not be re-freezed. If the breast milk is spoiled by any chance, you can easily figure it out with consistency and smell.

For more details on pumping, storage, freezing, thawing and all check the link below...
Again back for the solution for feeding baby.I have 14 days old baby i am losing hopes of directly bf him due to latching problem..he is having milk when i keep nipple shield but i dont want to use shield right now i am pumping milk daily and giving him...i was thinking to do the same in long term till i get milk. but i heard from my friend that completely depending on pumping without directly bf will decrease the milk production gradually..but i am pumping for very 2/3 hrs so i dont think that it will be down..pls let me know roju pumping cheste milk decrease avutunda

14 days baby paapam kodiga time ivvu. Also nipple shield long term use ki emm problem vundadu anukuntha..Couple of my friends used it and they were very comfortable as well as their babies.

Pumping long term....I dunnooo endhuku ela andaru antaru ani..even my doc told me that kaani naaku reverse ayindhi. Pumping vella I got over supply(my lactattion consultant warned that pumping would lead to over supply) and was pumping upto 40 ounces of milk a day. So dont the end of the day ur baby should drink milk and you should be happy :) so neeku edi conveinient tho adi chey...

Response 2

i am not sure about it... i have heard from mothers who started pumping from around 2-3 months that their milk production gradually reduced... maa office lo oka colleague is doing same from when baby is about 2 months old.. but she says it didn't reduce at all...

I think it depends on the person. Naaku pump chesinappudu milk production increase ayyindi.

neenu two days back pumping start chesanu....right side milk bagane pump chesthunanu kani left side asallu ravatam ledhu...naku milk raledhu ani alla ne vadilesanu....with in two days baga lumps form ayyayi.....mari bf start chesanu... adhi yento oka side pumping work avuthundhi oka side work avatam lumps form kakuda pumping yella cheyali gals?...or pump sariga pani cheyadam ledha? do i have to change my pump?....neenu medela advanced free style vaduthunanu.......

Initially..oka breast kante vunko breast lo ekkuva milk vuntaadi..But never ever stop pumping or feeding from one breast just coz milk ravatam ledhu ani...Manamu feed cheyanu cheyanu flow increase avtaadi...Monna my friend too complained of the same thing...oka breast kanthey vunko breastlo double or triple the quantity vastundhi ani...I too had the prob initially but in time...pump cheyaka cheyaka it got balanced.

Lumps form ayinappud the best and easiest way is to water bath ivvatam...I use to dab a nice hot towel and pump till the pump melts

Pumping Time
If u know..dsiregard it...u shd pump on each side..compulsary 20 mins. First 5 mins oka let down vastaadi..taravta kasepu aaginaaka oka 10 to 15 mins taravta vunko let down 20 mins compulsary cheyali lekha pothey flow taggutaadi antaru...

Milk Dries Up Fast With Pumping???
Yeah...anthey antaru but main culprit enti anthey pump chesthey twaraga badakam vachestadi...abbbaaa..enni roojulu ee sutti ani..and manam kuda long itnervals lo pump cheyatam start chestamu so automatic ga reduce aypotadi supply but breastfeed chesthey our body will continue to produce milk based on baby's demand. Andhukey breastfeeding is THE best if the baby is a good latcher! Less time sonsuming and more fulfilling kaani andhariki aa luck vundadu kada....Nenu breast feed chesedam ani ennoooo kalalu kana but I had to revert to pumping..hmmmm...

Naaku milk supply pumping start chesaka vipareethamga increase as long as the baby drinks breast worries!!!