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What should you know about cold?

  • Most children get seven to eight attacks of cold every year. Colds are caused by microscopic organisms called viruses and bacteria.
    Cold causing viruses do not normally exist in the air. They live in the tiny droplets of moisture that comes out with coughs and sneezes. These droplets land on surfaces where they can be picked up by someone else's hands and carried to the mouth nose or eyes.
    If your child has a cold it's because of physical contact with a virus, not because of playing in water or any of the other common misconception about where colds come from. There really isn't a "cold seasons" although kids seem to get colds more frequently during humid climate. This may be due to the association with large number of other children and their viruses during the school season.
    The way to avoid getting a cold is to keep hands clean and keep off from children having cold. Obviously you cannot keep your child spotless and isolated from other children who may have cold viruses, so you should expect a certain number of colds per year, in spite of your good care. It is completely natural.
    When you take small kids out, remember that the baby is susceptible to infection and increased exposure to people and especially children, increases the likelihood of infection in the kid

  • What should you do when your child gets a cold?

  • Make sure your child takes plenty of fluids as water or juices, the reason being as the cold progresses the secretion in the lung and nose get thicker and harder to get out.
    Water thins out these secretions and makes it easier to get rid of them.
    While blowing the nose do it gently through both the nostrils so you don't push it to the ears and sinuses.
    Let your child rest. There really isn't any need to keep your child indoors or warmer or drier than you normally would.
    Most children would have some rise in temperature during cold. Paracetamol can be given to bring the fever down. When fever comes under control with paracetamol child should be active. If not, see a doctor. Any change in behavior or vomiting should also be reported.
    There is no need to force your child to eat. Fish, poultry, meat, fruits and dal are good source of protein and are generally easy to digest. But if your child isn't hungry don't push it.
    Take your child to doctor if the following symptoms develop-high fever, sore throat,constant cough, ear pain and/or breathing difficulty.

Why do babies cry?

Most parents become anxious the moment the child starts crying. Every crying they think has medical reasons, and most of them want immediate relief.
Babies require timely attention and constant contact with their mothers. They try to convey their feelings through the only language they know that is crying. It is not always a call for food. Straining while passing urine or stool is common and can be ignored

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If my baby is suffering from fever is it ideal to give him/her bath?

  • First show your baby to Doctor and start medication as per the prescription. Avoiding bathing during fever is a myth. You can try sponging or bathing down with lukewarm (not cold) water.

What to do in case of diarrhea? When to see a doctor?

  • If it is mild wait and watch with regular food and plenty of water to drink. ORS can be given if stools are too frequent and too watery. If diarrhea lasts for more than 2 days, child is looks very sick and urine output is less/more, see a doctor immediately.

When should I introduce brushing to my baby?

  • As soon as your baby's first teeth have come in, get her/his first toothbrush whose bristles should be considerable soft and start brushing with plain water. Once your child turns 2, you can introduce pea-size toothpaste, but try to encourage spitting completely, as they tend to swallow due to sweetness in paste. Brushing twice a day is highly recommended to avoid early tooth decay.

Bath of the new born

  • Any baby who is term and weighs more than 2.5 kg could be given bath 6 hours after birth. Bathing makes the baby calmer and quieter than washing with cloth or sponge. The tactile stimulation that occurs during bathing provides a pleasurable experience for the baby and promotes the bonding between the baby and the parent or the care giver.

How to give bath?

  • Bathing should be given in warm room.
    Baby can be put on mother/care giver stretched legs to give bath, always keep the head at higher level
    Temperature of the bath water should not exceed 37°C
    If tub bath is given, the depth of the water should be 5 cm, up to the hip of the baby. Don't put water directly on the face of the baby, wipe the face with wet cloth.
    Head can be washed in such a way that water flows down form back.
    Bath duration should not exceed 5 min.
    Routine bathing of newborn does not cause any harm.
    Use liquid cleansers with acidic or neutral Ph.
    Water and wet cloth should be used to clean the diaper area.
    In case diapers are used, barrier cream containing Zn oxide and petrolatum based preparation could be used before putting diaper.
    Umbilicus should be kept dry and clean after bath.
    Mineral oil can be applied to cradle cap and remove after 3 hours.
    Baby hair wash is to be given after the cord falls with a frequency of twice a week.
    Application of emollient will help reduce the dryness, and maintain the barrier function.
    Don't put finger in the mouth of the kid to remove phlegm, it is not required.
    Please avoid Sambrani or any smoke which is not good for kid.

Key points about breast feeding

  • Mother's milk should be fed to baby immediately after birth
    On 10thday of life, babies' weight must be nearly same as birth weight. If it is less than that, baby may not be getting enough milk. It is a matter of concern, so meet the doctor and discuss
    "Breast feeding is not a choice it is a responsibility"
    Breast feeding is helpful in preventing various illnesses like diarrhea, malnutrition, anemia, pneumonia and dental caries. In long term, breast fed babies have less chances of developing allergies obesity and have more IQ
    Breast feeding should be started with in one hour of birth. Milk in initial three days is very beneficial and also works as immunization as it is high in immunoglobulin content
    No pre lacteal/para lacteal feeds, no water for initial 6 months. No bottle/no pacifier is advisable

  • Breast milk is the best food for babies. For 6 months exclusively breast feed then till 2 years with complementary food

  • Composition of the breast milk is tailored for human babies
    Breast milk production (prolactin reflex) and breast milk let down (oxytocin reflex) require effective and frequent sucking
    Breastfeeding technique and skills should be taught to mother, correct positioning ensures good latching
    Feed the baby when itdemands for mother's milk
    Nipple and breast problems should be prevented and managed timely
    Low milk transfer may be real or perceived: ascertain and manage
    All mothers must know manual expression, they can use breast pumps. They can express and store it in fridge

Feeding technique

  • The newborn when held close to mother's chest, head being in higher level, it latches on to nipple. Good skin to skin contact between mother and the kid increases the milk secretion, Kid has to draw in most part of areola to ease the sucking. It can empty the breast in 5 min and sucks for some more time for the sucking pleasure. In 10 min one can shift the baby to other breast. Kids need both fore and hind milk. Child should not be kept too warm while feeding. All crying are not due to hunger. Follow demand feeding initially for 2 months and then get into schedule feed. Daily weight gain of 30 g a day initially in a kid indicates good milk supply. Quantity of milk secretion is ascertained by the quantity of urine output which will be around 7-8 times a day. Digestants are not required for the kid. Do exclusive breastfeed for 6 months.

Babies do's and donts

  • Breast engorgement in newborn: Don’t squeeze it

  • Bleeding per vagina: It will stop in a couple of days

  • Constipation: Common to pass stools once in 3-5 days

  • Frequent passage of stools: Stools of babies who are breast fed are sticky golden yellow, can be up to 7 to 8 times a day?

  • Indigestion and vomiting: Proper positioning and burping after feeding would solve the issue.As long as the weight gain is satisfactory, not to worry about the vomiting.

  • Crying for a brief time while passing urine: Is common and passes of as the child grows

  • Jaundice in newborn: Mild jaundice is normal and often not serious. If it is intense and extends upto lower part of the body consult the doctor.

  • Watering from eye: Massaging at the eye corner close to the nose, opens the nasolacrimal duct in a months’ time

 Golden rules for complimentary feeding

  • Unto 6 months continue to give exclusive breast milk. You might want to add solids but none are required. If your child seems not to be "satisfied" you can manage by giving more formula. Early introduction of solid leads to excess solute load may lead to early blood pressure and excess fat in foods may cause premature hardening of arteries.
    After 6 months, start with well-cooked and mashed (a) rice, dal, Dalia, ragi, or kichdi with little sugar and ghee (b) fruits and vegetables (carrot or sweet potato) pureed, after a week or so.
    Get the order right, always start with carbohydrate first and then proteins. For vegetarians it is pulses and legumes for proteins and for nonvegetarian one can introduce chicken, fish and meat. Fats are the last food to be introduced to babies.
    Don't mix flavors. Start your baby on single rather than mixed food. Mixing flavors at this stage can blur a child's sense of taste. Home prepared food is the best.
    Encourage self-feeding – the aim is to get your baby to feed himself as soon as he can pick up and hold food. If a child choose his own pieces of food he is more likely to eat it than if you hand it to the baby.
    Increase their water intake. When babies start on solids they need more water. Avoid any other drinks apart from milk, water, fresh fruit juice and curds
    Kids know when they had enough, if you are using a spoon, after eating well your baby turns his face away or looks down, then stop feeding. It is a sign that he has had enough.
    Eat with them. Put your baby in a high chair as soon as he can sit up unaided and have him eat with you. eating with the family will encourage your child to try a wider range of food items
    Salt- never add too much to the food you give to your baby, because their kidneys cannot cope with it.
    Sugar – sugary foods and drinks are not recommended for babies under 1 year as they can encourage a sweet tooth and lead to decay
    Iron supplementation is required for all kids from 6 month onwards.
    After 6 months make the child skip mid night feed and train the child to sleep through night. Some kids might do on their own around three months itself.

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