Wednesday, March 28, 2007

To Granny and Lil General with love

Granny and Lil General are quite a team. They enjoy each other's company a lot. If granny is around, LG doesn't really need me other than when he used to be hungry. Now on a partial formula diet, it makes it all the more easy as granny can make him formula when he is hungry and that eliminates me from the scene totally.

His day starts with cooing affectionate sounds to granny and they bond amazingly well. He literally talks to her with those sounds and all she does to encourage him is just look at him.

Granny calls him "thambudu" and he responded really well by turning his head 180 deg to look at her. She repeated and he did the same. He still doesn't respond to Pranav though.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Shopping for Pranav

Today's Hindu newspaper carried an advertisement about a Book Fair going on pretty close to our place. This is the same one that was held last November. I remembered seeing a lot of kid's books then but didn't know what to and what not to purchase then. So I decided to give it a try today ad I'm happy I did.

I have ever bought so many books at one go for myself before. The pleasure of buying for Pranav is something I cannot describe. He is still too young to read ABC, rhymes and such. So I got a lot of big picture books with bright colours that seem to draw his attention of late. I have to confess I never attended kindergarten so I hardly know any rhymes other tha Twinkle twinkle little star. To educate myself of the common rhymes like baba black sheep and Jack ad Jill I got a rhymes book too. Shouldn't be that Pranav grows up to teach me rhymes, right :) So that was time and money well spent and the satisfaction I've got from no other shopping spree.

The little boy wants to grow in a day. he learnt how to turn just the day before morning. He was already doing it 5 to 6 times in a row by evening. Yesterday morning he perfected the art of turning over on his left followed by straightening himself and again turning over. This resulted in he rolling over from one corner of the bed to the other in just about the time it took me to walk down the passage from drawing room to the bed room. He doesn't go to sleep if he is not lying on his front. He looks at me sideways, winks, then smiles at me. Pranav is still not able to hold his Head for more than 30 seconds. As a result he hit his nose hard to the ground now and wailed in pain. Its fun watching the kid grow now but I am also anxious at times.

Worried if it is ok to sleep on his front for long I read this article that came i today (perfect timing) and as advised I put him on his back and build a fort of pillows around him. But he got mad at me...Lo! as I write this he has turned himself again...I've lost count of the number of times I keep putting him on his back.

Pranav's daily schedule for feeding looks like this:

9:30 a.m. - 120 ml for formula
anytime in between until 2:30 p.m. - mother's feed if he is hungry or thirsty
2:30 p.m. - 120 ml of formula
anytime in between until 7:00 p.m. - mother's feed if he is hungry or thirsty
7:00 p.m. - 120 ml of formula
10:00 p.m. - bedtime - mother's feed - expressed milk just to be sure he gets enough
12:00 - 60 ml or 90 ml of formula
between midnight ad 9:30 a.m. - mothers feed every 2 hours or whenever he wakes up.

The midnight formula feed I started only after he was 3 months old. Prior to that his last formula feed was at 10:00 p.m. and I would put o a diaper ad he would sleep undisturbed not waking up even for a feed until 4:00 a.m. I didn't realise that kids older than 10 weeks need not be fed every once in a while in the nights and that their day and last feed at 10:30 p.m. will see them through the night, until I read Dr. Spocks. This was a big relief. I see to it that he gets 900 ml - 1 litre of feed in a day. Formula feed currently doesn't exceed 420 ml.

Combining breastfeed and bottle

When I first introduced formula for Pranav, Doc had recommended 60 ml for every feed. This came as a shock to me as I felt he was getting way less from me for every feed. However, now I feel I must have been wrong as expressing one's milk and measuring it can never be a sure cut way of saying how much the baby was getting as there is a continuous flow. Anyways, when I introduced formula when he was 8 weeks old, I was feeding him 60 ml every feed and giving him 2 feeds of formula every day for the next 2 weeks. That made it 120 ml. The rest of his diet comprised of my milk.

Around 3rd March when I casually read what was written on the sides of Nan-1 (formula) ti, I was in for a shock. For babies between the age of 2 -3 months, they could be fed 120 ml for every feed and between the age of 3- 6 months , 120-180 ml for every feed 5 times a day. I was feeding Way less than what he needed. So that kid of confirmed why he would jump for more after he finished his bottle every time. I wasn't increasing the quantity earlier when he asked for more for fear of indigestion. Then I read this article How much formula milk does my baby need?and followed up with Dr.Spocks and was convinced that it was safe to feed 120 ml. So I increased it from 60 ml to 120 mlf or every feed and he seemed satisfied. This would last him 3 hours until he was 12 weeks old. Now it lasts him only 2 hours.

Vivek reached here on the 16th morning. Pranav was all excited to see a new face - a welcoming change from seeing his straight faced mommy and grinning granny. Granny due to her ill health had bee out of action the past fortnight so he was very happy to see his enthusiastic new buddy - his dad. Vivek kept him entertained through the morning playing helicopter and singing "Khosla ka Ghosla" songs and talking Punjabi to him. I all this distraction, he forgot all about "turning". At about 10:40 p.m. in the night, I was mixing his formula and asked Vivek to keep an eye on him as has a tendency to push himself to the edge of the bed. Within minutes, Vivek was calling mom and me. "the boy has does it in one quick move", he said. There he was lying on his tummy face upside down, unable to lift his head. This was his first successful attempt after the night of 20th Jan which in hindsight I think was accidental.

For the ext 5 days he tried in vain to repeat it. He did it multiple times yesterday and is now able to lift his head. It is so ingrained in him that even when he is half sleep he turns involuntarily, looks around and gives a sheepish smile. Unable to get back on his back, he starts crying. The whole thing is funny but it is a first milestone sorts for him.

Pranav also responds to his granny talking to him very well. Goes on repeating aakhun aakhun for everything she says. He doesn't mutter even the slightest sound when I am around :( but I am so fond of him saying aakhun that I keep calling mom to talk to him.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My baby's diet : 3rd month

Apart from breastfeeding, I started Lil General on formula this month. I started with Nusobee first and then switched over to NaN - stage 1 within a week.

First week when I started, I was giving him 60 ml of formula 3 times a day.
From the second week onwards, I increased it to 90 ml 2 times and 60 ml once a day.
I observed that he had more apetite than what I was feeding him, so I gradually increased it to 120 ml 3 times a day from the third week onwards.
Once at 9:30 a.m., then at 5:00 p.m. followed by 9:00 p.m.

Lil General is colic , so he feeds any number of times in between the formula feed.

LG is nearly 3 months old now and so called "settled". His feeding and sleep routines are a lot established now than what it was during the past 2 months. Which naturally means the trip to the pediatrician has gone down drastically - from once in 4 days to once a month now. On all our earlier trips to the Doc, the only comforting factor was his increasing weight that said he was normal and crying was because he was a colic baby. Our concern if he was getting enough milk would be set to rest as soon as the Doc would weigh him and he would have sometimes gained more than his due. Here is brief weight chart :

18/12/06 At birth - 3.2 Kgs

3/1/07 - 3.2

12/1/07 - 3.6

18/1/07 - 3.8

22/1/07 - 3.96

31/1/07 - 4.28

8/2/07 - 4.54

12/2/07 - 4.76

16/2/07 - 4.9

23/02/07 - 5.46

As you can see, Pranav was weighed frequently. Curiosity got the better of me and in every trip I would guess how much he would have gained. From experience I'm telling you its not such a good thing to weigh your baby so frequently. I read that the ideal interval to weigh your baby is once a month. If your baby is happy, getting enough and active, then there is no reason to weigh.

According to Dr. Spocks, an average baby weighs 3.2 Kg at birth, gains 900 gm a month (225 gms a week)for the first three months. By six months, the average weight gain is down to 425 g a month. In the last quarter of the year, the average weight gain is down to 285 g a year.

Pranav slept last night undisturbed, without waking up for a feed the first time in 3 months. Until I read Dr. Spocks I didn't realise he doesn't need a feed as he is a older baby now. I kept waking him up and feeding him as when he was newborn. I put him on a diaper and didn't disturb him through the night and he slept like a baby :) and so did I.

Following is the widely followed Immunization schedule for infants in India. If you cannot make it on the exact date, I'm told it can also be given 3-4 days prior to the actual date.

    At Birth
  1. BCG/ o Polio

  2. HB Vaccine - I

    45 Days
  1. DPT/OPV - I

  2. HB Vaccine - II

  3. HIB Vaccine - I

    75 days
  1. DPT/OPV - II

  2. HIB Vaccine - II

    105 days
  1. DPT/OPV - III

  2. HIB Vaccine - III

    6 months
  1. HB Vaccine III / Polio

    9 months
  1. Measles / Polio

    15 months
  1. MMR

    1.5 years
  1. 1 Booster DPT / Polio

    4 years
  1. II Booster DT / Polio

There are vaccines available these days that do not cause fever which I believe is slightly expensive and is not available everywhere. Usually, the day you give vaccine, kids tend to be a little cranky and sometimes get fever that lasts up to 2/3 days or no fever at all. As a precaution, Doctors advise to give 10 drops of crocin 2 times on the day the vaccine is given.

When Pranav was about 5 weeks old, he would start crying in late evenings usually at about 6:30 p.m. and this would go on until 11:30 p.m. or sometimes even later. Nothing worked to stop his crying - comforting him on shoulders/lap, rocking/swaying, singing to him, feeding. He would stop crying only for the duration of feeding and start all over again. The crying was usually accompanied by beating of his hands, legs and sucking on his hand even if he has fed for a hour just then. This went on for about a week when I was tired of feeding him continuously for hours on end. That's when Vivek found that such babies are colic.

After describing the patter of his crying to Pranav's Doc, Doc said he was a colic baby and prescribed him Coliccaid syrup to be given before feeding him every evening. In truth, nothing works for a colic baby. It just helps for sometime but starts all over again. With Pranav it stayed for about 4 weeks and then gradually came down. You could probably try giving water boiled with fennel seeds or apply vasaambu over his tummy if it is colic pain. It is no guarantee that it will work though.

There is one thing I have learned. The crying in no way affects the baby though the sound can be quite frustrating and you might feel absolutely helpless about not being able to soothe your baby. Weight gain is normal and the feeding will be adequate. He has been a healthy baby despite all that crying.

I caved into the pressure from everyone at home that my baby was not getting enough milk. He would cry within an hour after every feed which made everyone think milk wasn't sufficient. Doctor insisted and reassured me for over a month that he was getting sufficient looking at his above-average weight gain. "Crying is normal for a baby. He might be crying for reasons other than huger. So comfort him.", he would say. But we persisted for him to recommend a supplement and he did when I couldn't continue feeding after soreness. My advice is you are the best judge to decide whether your baby is getting enough or not. I always felt my baby was getting adequate supply and regret getting into the habit of feeding him formula 2 times a day.

Once you switch to formula your baby would feel satisfied for hours and wouldn't feed so often from you. This is because formula takes longer to digest than breast milk. It might be a relief for you initially but that would also cut down your milk production. So my suggestion is even if he breastfeeds often, please do so. Do not think you don't have sufficient milk and that's why he is feeding often. It just means he is healthy and growing ad is digesting your milk soon enough. The only two factors that should count are if he is wetting more than 7 times a day and if he is gaining weight. In my case he was wetting around 20 times a day when breastfed and gaining about 350 gms a week.

In this whole process there is only one thing that you need in abundance and that is PATIENCE. There is nothing that is as good as breastfed milk for your baby.

This is a great article on Low Milk Supply. Wish I had read this earlier.

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Is your baby getting enough milk?