Saturday, April 28, 2007


After the carrot juice success, I stretched it a bit too far today. Sticking to known waters sometimes does good. I force fed beetroot juice today. Poor thing, he vomited the entire thing and his formula 2 hours later and lay in a pool of water. He got so tired, probably because of dehydration. This beet root thing was not a good idea at all and a total disaster. I hate myself for doing this. When I told The Seniol (Lil General's dad) about this episode, he said, "the only human being who likes beet root is you." Firstly, force feeding is never a good idea with Lil General. He is a non-fussy kid who finishes his bottle when there are no distractions and if he is really hungry.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

First alien food : Carrot juice

Lil General got introduced to his first alien food today. He is over 4 months now and Doc advised me to give him juices - apple, carrot and tomato, dal water and coconut water now that it is summer.

I decided to start with carrot, - boiled, mixered and filtered with a tinge of sugar. When I got the bottle to his mouth, he was all eager to take it as he does in every feed. The first sip didn't strike him, then he had a perplexed look on his face, wrinkled all the muscles he has and made a dirty face and pushed the bottle away with his leg. To my surprise, he looked at the bottle and gazed deeply perhaps wondering why the color had changed from white to orange. I tried again and within 2-3 trials he was more than happy to finish the bottle.

40 ml is a good quantity to start with and one can go up to 100 ml. Half a carrot s ideal for a baby. The other way to prepare carrot juice is to boil the carrot, grind it in mixer and filter it in a sterilized strainer and feed the baby. Be careful so that there are no lumps else the baby will find it difficult to swallow.

Alternate carrot juice with tomato, apple juice etc else the baby will find it too boring.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cooing sounds

What a relief and the silence is so soothing now. For over 2 hours, Lil General has been screaming at the top of his voice. Nothing stopped him - Holding him , rocking him. It seemed like he just loved to hear his voice over ad over again. High pitched shrill sounds followed by a smile on his face every time I called out to him to stop it is all he has been to ..the boy hasn't slept even for 5 mins this afternoon. He goes cooooo cooooooooooo aaakhun ooooooooooooo and then that sense of satisfaction shows on his face. The boy is finally sleeping and I'm at peace...

Lil General (aka Pranav) completes four months today. His latest antic is to toss and turn and sway his head from one side to another while feeding. He lifts his body ad tries to go away from my lap. Feeding him has become so difficult so I see to it that there is no one else in the room especially mom. Seeing his granny he gets all excited that he forgets all about the feed and pushes his hand and feet while rolling his eyes as mom moves signalling he is happy to have her around and pulls himself forcibly away from me.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Diarrhoea and dehydration

Lil General woke up in the middle of the night and coughed a bit. I woke up startled around midnight to find my bed wet with formula like substance..just then I saw LG throwing up a lot more in his sleep...felt so sad for the little one ..the feeling was like never before...guess this is what motherhood is all about, when your heart goes out for your little one every time he gets sick, you don't really care what time of the day or night is, how much or how little sleep you've got, you are stark awake and alert to care for that little one. To see such a small baby who can't talk or express what he is going through up like that. Just that evening he had 2-3 times dysentery and I put him to sleep after feeding Nusobee forcibly and giving a sachet of Darolac to arrest his loose motion. Guess shouldn't have force fed Nusobee..the boy hates it.

He wasn't his normal self this morning ,so I rushed him to the local Paed and he declared LG was dehydrated and prescribed Oralyte - the whole bottle to finished within 2 days.

Update: He looks fine now and a lot more settled.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

My baby gets cranky after vaccination

Lil General got his third vaccination the day before and he has been cranky ever since. With little sleep, he has been crying intermittently. Reminds me of the colic days. Crocin has helped in controlling his fever but hasn't given him enough sleep or rest. I've been massaging his legs with hot water and that seemed to have help him temporarily.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Smart tips on how to buy baby clothes

One of the pleasurable experiences of parenthood is to shop for your baby - be it clothing, shoes, bags or even nappies :) If you are heavily pregnant as in the third trimester, then you can temporarily forget the discomforts of your pregnancy by indulging in a shopping spree for our to-be-born child. I know in many cultures, it is believed ominous to shop for a not yet born baby.

I have to confess that it never occurred to me to shop for Pranav. I was so engrossed in my day-to-day throwing up, dash-to-the-loo routines that shopping was the last thing on mind. In hindsight, I think it would have diverted my attention and made me feel better. Pranav's grandparents drew immense pleasure in shopping for their first grandchild for about 6 months before he was born - from diapers to socks to food warmer to baby blankets to name-a-thing-and-it-was-there.

Here are a few tips you might want to keep in mind while shopping for clothes. A lot of new dresses went waste and some of them he wore just once, so here's what I learnt from my experience!

  1. Fabric: First and foremost - Keep your geographical location and climatic condition in mind. If your baby is expected to arrive in May in India, then there is no point buying a dozen socks and sweaters and woolen dresses. Buy cotton dresses.

  2. Size : Babies grow at an alarming rate in the first 6 months. What fits them this week will not fit them next week. Do not be carried away by the sizes displayed on the dresses. Please do not buy dresses which have "for newborn" tag in them. Just buy in 2-3 sets of 0-3 months size. You will find that your baby outgrows them within 2-3 weeks. For a newborn,buy dresses that are meant for 3 month old baby.

  3. Style : This is the most important part in the shopping process where we get carried away. A lot of dresses are styled nicely but are extremely uncomfortable to be put on a newborn. Remember that your baby is just out and you need to handle them carefully. You will need to change your baby's clothes several times a day in the first few weeks. So buy buttoned up shirts or those that can be slipped from the bottom and tied on the shoulders. Please avoid t-shirt styled shirts. Lifting the baby every time and squeezing the shirt through the little one's head causes them discomfort.

    All these dresses come in cute styles and colors but comfort of the baby comes first. You can buy those dresses of your satisfaction but don't put them on your kid just because you like it. I got a cute red one that had a small teddy soft toy fitted on the front and Pranav looked very cute it. But the look on his face said it all and I never put it on him again. Your baby is not into fashion yet!

  4. Minimal clothing : It is a common misconception that kids feel cold all the time since they are just out of a closed confinement. Fact is they don't feel any more cold than us. Infact they are happy with as much less clothing as possible. Covers are generally kicked by babies. So when the mercury is tough 37 deg C don't stuff them with blankets.
    Check if a baby is feeling hot or cold by feeling their neck or tummy. So do not invest in socks/mittens/woolen caps if you are expecting a baby in summer

  5. Colors : This is a individualistic taste and choice. Just be careful that the color you choose do;t make them feel hot/cold like avoid black in summers and opt darker colors for winter.

  6. Decorative Items - a big NO NO. About 5 sets of dresses that were gifted to me went waste because they had embroidered patterns on the chest of the dress. If you look on the inside of the dress, they have heavy stitching and a cloth patch work. Though the design look cute, they will cause irritation to the baby's body. So its best to stick to printed designs.

  7. Neckline : An outfit that is adorable can also be cumbersome to put on. One common problem in baby dresses is the small neckline. So check if neckline snaps to comfortably slip in the head of the baby. I may of the dresses I bought I had to cut open one of the shoulders to fit in a Velcro so that the dress can slip in through the head easily.

  8. Shoes : Don't give into the temptations of consumerism. Shoes that small will look enticing. But your baby doesn't need it until he is old enough to walk outdoors o the pavement on his own. Inside the house, it is best for him to walk barefoot.

  9. Daytime/nighttime. Indoor/Outdoor clothes. Always take stock of how many clothes you have under each of these categories. Even during summers, you can put on something little warmer. For instance, if you put on a sleeveless buttoned up shirt the you can choose to have sleeved shirts for the night that would keep them warm. Similarly light clothes that the kid can easily move about ad play in for indoors and a little heavy and expensive ones for outdoors.

Ora (ura) marundhu is a native medicine given to babies that are 8 weeks old or older on days their hair is washed.


  1. Jadi Kai

  2. Massi Kai

  3. Vasambu

  4. Chitharithai

  5. Sukku

  6. Ora kal (stone)

Method of preparation :
  1. Wash the ora kal with hot water.

  2. Take each of the above metioned ingredients and strike once/twice in the ora kal until you get the essence out of them.

  3. Take the paste ad mix it with 5 ml of expressed mother's milk.

  4. Add a pinch of sugar to this mixture and feed the baby with a spoon

How frequently can you give this:
Every time the kid is given a hair wash, this can be given, however only after the baby has completed 2 months - typically not more 2 times a week.

What are the advanatges of giving this medicine?
The baby sleeps like a baby :) It protects the baby against any cough, cold etc.

One of the significant features of Pranav when he was born was his hair. He had a healthy growth of thick, black hair. 3 months later he started losing strand by strand. Now it is falling at such an alarming rate every day that he has gone practically bald on the sides. What is interesting is that I'm losing at the same rate now. It is not a cause of worry. All babies lose their hair after birth and it starts growing again as this article on Hair Loss states.

I've published a lot of back-dated new posts that were in the draft stage and I intend to complete the backlog soon. Here's a list of what's new.

Top ten reasons why your newborn cries..
Abdominal cramps
4 weeks : My vision is beyond 12 inches now
Punyajanam / namakaranam - naming the baby
Post delivery, when will I get discharged from the hospital?
Getting ready for the D-day : A checklist of what to pack in your hospital bag
Diet during the first trimester

I would like to hear from you on what you don't like about this blog. And if you found any information useful at all. Write to me at

In the anxiety of getting back home with the baby, one tends to miss a lot of things that is required from the hospital administration to claim insurance and such. I recommend you making a list of all this much before your due date of delivery. If you are working and planning to claim insurance from your organization/insurance, it will be a good idea to talk to your HR or the insurance company about the policies and procedures before you go on maternity leave. If you are planning on using your husband's insurance policy, then you might have to remind him to do the same and firstly check if you are enrolled in his insurance coverage. A lot of previously working couples tend to miss this as each one had her own insurance. It will be lot of running around to get the paperwork done after you get discharged from the hospital for insurance, so finish it off before leaving.

Here are some questions that you might want to get clarified :

  1. How to initiate direct billing to the insurance company?

  2. Does the hospital where you plan to have your delivery support that insurance?

  3. Is there a limit for direct billing?

  4. What number to call before getting hospitalized?

  5. Do you have a copy of your insurance policy handy? Are your family members aware of it? If not, please educate them in case your husband is not around while you get admitted.

  6. If direct billing is not supported, then what documents will have to be furnished for claim afterward?

  7. Is there a time limit within which bills will have to be submitted to the insurance company post delivery? Does your organisation or insurance be informed immediately after the birth of the child?

  8. Do you require the registration umber of the gynaecologist/paediatrician for claiming?

  9. Do you need prescriptions for all medicines given at the hospital or will a blanket bill suffice?

A checklist of what you will need from the hospital before getting discharged:

  1. Discharge summary - very important

  2. Child's immunization schedule and what vaccines have been given at birth

  3. Medical bills and prescriptions. Educate your family members to preserve bills/presciptions in a file

  4. A letter from the doctor stating patient was admitted and discharged on such and such dates.

  5. Registering the birth of your child - check if the hospital does it?

  6. Hospitalization bill - room rent, operation costs etc etc

No, please don't. A lot of people would recommend you to use cow's milk as an alternative to breastfeeding for your infant but please refrain if you can. A good alternative to cow's milk is infant formula that is readily available. What brand and stage of formula will suit your baby has to be determined by the Doctor. Generally, stage 1 formula is given upto the age of 6 months after which stage 2 begins ad continues until 8 months followed by stage 3.

I had tried cow's milk once when Pranav had just completed 2 months and my breats were sore from his biting and colicky nature. It had gotten to a point where I couldn't feed him anymore and couldn't visit the Doctor until a few hours. Left with no alternative we tried cow's milk. This resulted in mild diarrhoea by that evening. It is natural as that was the first time he was exposed to any external food but it is best if you can avoid. Even the formula prescribed by doctors is generally lactose free.

You might hear a lot of success stories from parents in Chennai and other cities who have been feeding their newborns packted milk such as aavin, nandini or chitale mixed with an equal proportion of water. The choice is yours!

A mother must take utmost care on what she eats during the breastfeeding period. Some foods can cause adverse reaction in infants. So its better to be safe than sorry and ignorance will definitely not be bliss here. Most Indian pregnancies are done at their' parents and moms are generally around during the first three months so it should not be a problem. The digestive system in new born babies is still developing which is why you need to exercise caution. Here is the list of foods that I was advised to avoid totally for the first three months. Since the baby is growing, so would his digestive system, hence even if you are nursing it would be ok to include some of the following foods that you might have avoided in the first 3 months.

  1. Brinjal / Eggplant

  2. Excessive Tomato and excessive coconut

  3. Cauliflower, Potato - anything that causes gas - slowly introduce it into the diet by the third month

  4. Wheat in the form of chapatis, pooris - causes delayed digestion

  5. Rawa - difficult to digest

  6. Jackfruit,Mango and certain varieties of Banana are known to cause fits

  7. Fried stuff and any outside food.

  8. Pooris and deep fried snacks

  9. Limited caffeine and no chocolates

  10. Citrus

  11. Nothing spicy which means no green and red chilly. Only pepper.

My rule of thumb was to avoid foods that would delay my digestion or upset my system. I have still not started eating out at restaurants. I'm very sensitive to food that is not prepared hygienically but that might not be the case with you and your system might be immune to it. So its totally a case to case basis after 3 moths. Restricting food too much will only delay the process of you getting accustomed to everything.

People have divided opinion on what specific foods increase breast milk production. A lot of people I have spoke to say no particular food increases breast milk supply however eating well - a nutrition rich diet will ensure a good supply and good health for the nursing mom. After over 3 moths of breastfeeding, here is my experience on what has had a impact from a nutrition standpoint:

  1. 3 glasses of boiled rice porridge every morning. And every evening for the first 10 days after delivery. After that 3 glasses every evening. You can fry boiled rice, ground it and then boil it in a pressure cooker. This boiled- boiled rice can then be consumed mixed either in milk/sugar or with rasam/salt. The taste varies from person to person. If you are a sweet tooth person you can choose the former else the latter.

  2. A lot of people will tell you to drink lots of fluids. Fluids has no direct impact on milk production. Drinking fluids in the form of juices/water/milk will give you the lost calories and the additional energy required to feed your baby through the day. It is a physical drain to feed your baby and you need to ensure you have the physical strength to go through this. On an average I had 5 glasses of milk every day for the past 3 months.
    1 cup with a tinge of coffee at 7:30 a.m.
    1 cup with 2 teaspoons full of Galact at 10:30 a.m.
    1 cup at 4:30 a.m. with a tinge of tea
    1 cup with 2 teaspoons full of Galact at 6:30 p.m.
    2 cups of plain milk at 10:30 p.m.
    In summer, I have also been having 5 glasses of butter milk and at least 6 glasses of water.

  3. It is widely believed in South India that Garlic increases breast milk production. I have not come across any literature that supports this theory. It has helped me so I would suggest this as well. Be careful in your Garlic consumption though. Restrict yourself to 4 cloves of boiled garlic everyday. Increasing its quantity can lead to body heat followed by tummy ache. This can be upsetting to your baby too.

  4. Jeera : Some people believe that jeera in milk or in your vegetables is good. All my vegetables were prepared with adequate jeera/pepper instead of chillies.

Diet can help you only so much. My experience has shown that a healthy, happy and stress-free mother has a good and continuous supply. Days when you are down, stressed, depressed or sad you just don't feel up to it and it would seem as though there is nothing to feed the baby. So eating well, staying happy, proper latching of the baby and continuous feeding is the key to a successful breastfeeding routine. Its all easier said than done and will take sometime to perfect it.