Friday, August 25, 2017

Making your Pet Dog Baby-Friendly

Making your Pet Dog Baby-Friendly
If you own a pet dog, then it is important that you train it before the arrival of your new-born baby. In fact, animal behavior experts advise to start the training as soon as you confirm your pregnancy so that your pet is prepared well to welcome the new baby.
Image result for Making your Pet Dog Baby-FriendlyYour pet dog will need some amount of help to adapt himself to the presence of a new baby. The right training ensures that your pet is comfortable around the baby and also develops a bond with the new addition to the family. When you were a couple, your pet would have received ample attention; in fact, it would even have been your ‘fur-baby’ being pampered and lavished with attention and time. But with the arrival of the newborn baby, all the focus and attention will be on the baby which can cause problems with your pet.
Create a private spot:
If you already have a kennel and your pet is used to spending time inside it, then you will not have too much of a problem. But if you had given free rein to your dog inside your home, then the first thing is to find an area where you can create a private spot for your pet.
The fact is that dogs can tend to get over stimulated when there is a lot of commotion, crying and wailing at home which is bound to happen with a newborn baby around. So pick an area where your pet is least likely to be disturbed and also away from all the noise and commotion. You can locate this spot ahead of time and get your dog used to this place by arranging his bowl, water dish and his favorite bone so that he feels comfortable and at home here.
Desensitizing your pet:
Image result for Making your Pet Dog Baby-FriendlyYoung children are often curious about pets and tend to touch them in areas that they don’t favor too much like tail, paw pads, face, ears and underside. Desensitize your pet by touching him in these areas so that he gets used to this even when your toddler is doing the same. If your pet is resisting your touch in these areas, then get the help of another person who can feed him treats while you carry out this exercise. Perform this at least five to six times every day for 5 minute periods so that he gets used to this.
Get professional help:
If you don’t have the time or find it difficult to train your pet, then get the help of veterinarians or dog trainers who offer ‘baby readiness’ sessions. You will also have to attend certain sessions during which the trainer will advise you on how to handle your pet in front of your child and also things to be avoided when your baby and pet is together. There are also several guides available like ‘Tell your Dog You’re Pregnant’ by Lewis Kirkham, dog-training videos by Ian Dunbar and ‘ Childproofing your Dog’ by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson which can also be of great help.

Bedtime Routine – Is this Necessary for your Baby?

Bedtime Routine – Is this Necessary for your Baby?
Are you a parent who finds it difficult to get your little one to fall asleep at night? Now, this may be due to several different factors but most often, it is simply because your baby is either too excited or lack a disciplined bedtime routine.
Benefits of a bedtime routine:
Your baby will tend to be more relaxed if she knows or understands what’s going to come next. And when your baby is relaxed, she will find it much easier to settle down and fall asleep in no time at all. Make sure that you follow the same routine every day and stick to it as much as possible even when you are away from home. This will help your baby to adjust and sleep well even when she is in unfamiliar surroundings.
There is no specific age as to when you can start following a bedtime routine – the sooner the better. Even when your baby is just 6 to 8 weeks old, you can try and start following a pattern every day. This may be easier said than done but the key is to stick to the routine even though there may be lapses on many days. As the baby grows, she will come to understand and appreciate the predictability and routine, settling into bed much faster.
A bedtime ritual is not just beneficial for the baby but for the parents too. You can turn it into a special time of bonding with your child in an otherwise busy and stressful day.
How to establish a proper bedtime routine?
A good bedtime routine does not have to last for hours. This becomes tiring for both the parent as well as the baby. Instead keeping it short and simple makes it enjoyable for the child and not a mundane and boring ritual. When your baby is very young, like a few weeks old, then you may need to spend more time and start early enough so that the baby is relaxed well ahead of bedtime. But as your child gets older, then the time and sequence of events can be reduced.
For your newborn baby, the best routine would be a body wash, change of diapers and clothes, a good feed and then a song or a rock in the cradle. Remember, the ritual may start in the bathroom or living room but it definitely has to end in the bedroom. Do not get into the habit of putting your child to sleep on the sofa or on your lap while watching television. It is best that your child understands that the bedroom is a nice and warm place to settle and relax at night.
What kind of activities can be included in a good routine?
There are so many activities and ideas that you can incorporate into your special bedtime routine. The following are a few of the tried and tested ones by our members. You could also try out some of these or create your own and let us know if it worked.
Relax and calm down – The best way to make your toddler settle down at night faster is by helping him relax and expel out all the pent up energy from his system. So make sure that your child has a good hour or two of play either with his buddies or with you in the evening and then follow this up with something more calming and relaxing like a bath or reading a book. This will give him the idea that it is time to settle down and is a definite step towards bedtime.
A relaxing bath – This can indeed do wonders to relax and calm down your little one. A warm water bath is the best way to unwind your child and prepare him for bed. Moreover, bath times are also great bonding times for the child and parent. If you are a nursing mother, then get your partner to do this task; this will give him some special moments with his child and also give the mother a well-earned rest.
Image result for Bedtime Routine – Is this Necessary for your Baby?Some babies do not enjoy taking a bath and then, it is best not to do this. Maybe you could give the baby a good wipe or just change his diapers and clothes in preparation for bedtime. Remember, the key is to do things that are pleasurable for both the parent as well as the child.
Follow the same pattern – No matter what activities or things is part of the routine, make sure that is followed one after the other. Constant alteration to the ritual leaves the child confused and also makes him cranky and irritable.
Play a game – A small and quiet game is a good idea that can be incorporated into your child’s bedtime routine. Make sure that it is not too exciting or one that requires a lot of energy. You can either play it on the floor of your child’s room or in bed. Make sure it is fun and entertaining; it is a wonderful idea if both the parents can join in this routine and make it a family affair.
Have a good chat – Many parents wait for their babies to grow up to have a chat. Tuck your little one into bed and simply have a good talk with her about the day’s events. This not only helps your child relax but is a great way to bond with your little one.
‘After I have tucked my baby in, I lie down beside him and talk about what happened at office or ask him about his day. Though my child is too young to understand what I am literally speaking, he still gives me his smiles and nods as if he understands every word that I say. And this 5 minute conversation is the most precious time I share with my little one in a day,’ says Angel Rob of Virginia, USA.
Bedtime story – This is a very common and an all-time favorite with most children across the globe. Again, it is not necessary for your child to grow up for this. You can start reading to your toddler and soon he too will get into the habit of reading by the time he joins school. Apart from being a great bedtime activity, it also helps to improve the vocabulary of your little one.
It’s singing time – This is another tried and tested technique that most parents, especially mothers, include as part of the bedtime routine. There is no child who does not love to hear a lullaby especially when sung by his own parents. So if you think you have a good voice, then do sing a soothing and comforting song which will put your baby to sleep instantly.
Parents who are not good at singing can make full use of technology these days and play a CD or play your child’s favorite song on the iPod or iPhone. This is very relaxing and soon your baby will be in her sleep world.
Stick to timings – Make sure that you put your child to sleep at the same time every day. A few minutes on either side of the clock is fine but a drastic variation is only bound to make your child more excited and difficult to calm down. It is alright to allow him a little extra time on weekends or when friends or guests are around. But on a regular basis, it is best to stick to the same timings every day.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Benefits of Breastfeeding
A mother’s milk is precious for the health of her baby. This God-given, natural food has dramatic health benefits that cannot be found or replaced by other food on Earth. It has been proven time and again that breast milk contains the right combination of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that is required for the baby’s growth and development. It also contains antibodies from the mother which can help the little one combat most of the life-threatening infections and diseases.
Image result for Benefits of BreastfeedingIt is recommended by WHO, health experts and paediatricians that a baby must be exclusively breast-fed for the first six months of his life. In fact, breast feeding must start within one hour of birth and should be given to the child whenever he/she demands it, both day and night. After six months, paediatricians recommend breastfeeding in combination with other foods up to two years. But statistics and surveys have revealed that most mothers do not follow this which leads to health issues in the baby.
When a baby is born, his brain is just ready for function but not developed completely. There are trillions of neurons present in the nervous system which are not just connected and this process happens over a period of time and requires the presence of a particular kind of fat. Only if this fat covering is present, will the child’s brain develop in the right manner. This fat is present in the required quantities only in a mother’s milk.
Colostrum, the first milk produced by the mother right after child birth, contains secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) which forms a coating or layer over the newborn’s mucus membranes like nose, throat and intestines and thereby help in guarding against the invading germs.
According to scientists, phospholipids and long-chain fatty acids make up two-thirds of the brain weight. The important acids are arachidonic acid and DHA or docosahexaenoic acid. Breast milk contains 30 times more DHA than cow’s milk or any other substitute which makes it the most healthy option for your little one. It is important that infants get at least 20mg DHA per kg body weight every day.
The benefits of breastfeeding are plenty;
  • Image result for Benefits of BreastfeedingLesser incidence of ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illness, stomach infections, colds and allergies in breast fed children.
  • Decrease in the future risk of developing diabetes, obesity, childhood leukemia, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Drastically reduces the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
  • 8 points higher intelligence quotient (IQ)
  • Build the immune system
  • Leads to healthier eating patterns as the child grows
  • Increased levels of leptin in the body which aid in the regulation of fat digestion and metabolism

Breastfeeding has other advantages too especially for the mother;
  • Comes completely free; not a penny has to be spent
  • No prior preparation required; available at any time anywhere you go with the baby at the perfect temperature
  • Helps in reducing the excess kilos gained
  • Stress levels are considerably lower
  • Decreased risk for breast cancer, osteoporosis and uterine cancer
  • Reduces risk of postpartum depression
Breastfeeding also promotes better mother-child bonding; the act of suckling and the intimate time spent together lays the foundation for a loving and trusting relationship. It is the duty of every mother to ensure her child’s health and there is no better way than to breast feed her child. After all, this is an act of love.


Burping – The Right Way to Burp your Baby
A lot of time is usually spent by mothers in achieving the perfect burp! But the truth is that all babies do not require to be burped.

Need for Burping:
Babies tend to swallow some amount of air while drinking milk and this is higher in bottle fed infants when compared to breast fed babies. By burping, you help to bring up the air bubble which if accumulated in the stomach can cause discomfort and also prevents the baby from drinking more milk. When the baby burps, some amount of milk may also be thrown up which is perfectly normal.
Some babies will need to be burped half way through a feed while others are ready to wait till the complete feed is over. If you are breastfeeding, then burp your baby each time your switch breasts. In bottle fed infant, burping must be done after your little one has taken 2-3 ounces or 60-90 ml of milk.
Right Way to Burp your Baby:
  1. Burping your babyHold and place your baby against your shoulder and gently rub or pat his back till you hear the burp. It is most effective to pat on the left side of the back where the stomach is situated. This helps to bring up the air bubble faster.
  2. After three months, you can also place your baby upright on your lap to burp. It is not necessary to wake up your sleeping baby for burping. In such situations, put down your baby in the cot and then pick him up after a while. This change in position often helps to bring up the air bubble.
Burping can sometimes be messy, so place a towel or bib under the baby’s chin or on your shoulder in case a small amount of milk is bought up.
Burping your baby at night:
It is not necessary to burp your baby at night as much as you would during the daytime as babies tend to suck much slower and hence take in less air during this time. For the first two to three months, your baby will need to be burped at night too but this can be stopped once your child crosses the five month mark.
When can you stop burping your Baby?
Active burping need only be done during the initial three to four months after birth. By the end of the sixth month, your baby will learn to swallow less air and also gain better control over feeding. Most often, you can stop burping by the end of the fifth or sixth month when the baby is put on semi solids.

Breast Pump

Tips for Buying a Breast Pump
A breast pump is one of the most useful devices for a new mother whether she is planning to go back to work or simply want some rest from the continuous feeding. The biggest advantage of using a breast pump is that your baby can enjoy the health benefits of your breast milk even while you are not around.
Image result for Breast Pump buying guideBefore buying a breast pump, it is important that you gain as much information as possible regarding the various types available so that you can buy the right type for your needs. This is very important as only the right kind of pump can ensure free flow of the milk without getting blocked ducts or an infection.
If you are planning to use a breast pump, then it is best to begin this as early as possible as many babies will show reluctance to use a bottle if introduced much later. When your baby is around 3 to 4 weeks old, start pumping and bottle feeding so that your baby gets accustomed to this. Meanwhile, you can continue to breastfeed whenever possible.
What are the different types of breast pumps?
There are different models and styles of breast pumps but all these can be broadly classified into 2 main types;
  • Electric or battery operated
  • Manual (to be operated by hand)
Both types have its own advantages and it is entirely upto you to buy either one of the categories or both.
  1. Hospital Grade Electric Pump:

This type is best suited for mothers who find it difficult to nurse or have problems with milk supply. Especially recommended if you have a premature baby or for use in the NICU. This type of pump is also used by women who have some kind of medical condition that may affect the amount of milk they produce.

The hospital grade model is a heavy duty pump which comes with a double collection kit which means that both your breasts can be pumped at the same time which not just saves time but also helps to draw milk more effectively. This pump uses a rapid suck-and-release cycle mechanism which drains milk at the same rate that your baby will nurse.

  1. Expensive Electric Personal Pump:

This is the best choice for working mothers and for women who cannot nurse regularly as it is both efficient and convenient to use. Women who have a normal milk supply can make the best of this pump.

Features include double pumping kit, fully automatic, rapid cycling times and adjustable suction capability to prevent discomfort. These pumps are also marketed in attractive storage cases and also include accessories like bottles, nipple cream, labels and clips. Since the pump weighs only 5 pounds or less, it is apt for women who travel a lot with their babies. The other advantage is that these can be charged using your car’s cigarette lighter by getting a special adapter or a separate battery set.

  1. Medium-cost manual or electric pump:

This works best for moms who want to pump only once a day or for short-term separations but do not want to give formula milk while they are away.

Priced more affordably and weighs less than 2 pounds making it a good portable breast pump. The only problem is that these pumps may take slightly longer to drain milk and you may need to put in more effort when compared to the high end models.

  1. Medium-range electric/battery operated breast pump:

These are affordable and battery operated for convenient use. A downside is that only one breast can be pumped at a time and hence will take longer time for you to finish pumping. There are a few models which come with double collection kits but do not expect the performance or battery life like in the top end models.

  1. Inexpensive Manual Breast pump:

These, like the name suggests, are for mothers who cannot afford to buy the higher end models. A piston or lever is provided using which milk will have to be pumped out one breast at a time. Usually this one is used either by women who cannot afford the other models or for those who use the pump only sparingly. Some women use it because it is simple and feels more natural mimicking a baby’s suckling.

Note – Don’t purchase the old model manual pumps which resemble a bicycle horn; these can harbor bacteria giving you an infection.
Safety Tips:
  • It might be quite tempting to purchase a second hand breast pump or share one with friends but this is not recommended by experts. Breast milk can be a carrier of bacteria and viruses like cytomegalovirus, HIV etc. which can be passed from woman to the other through the use of the same pump.

Droplets of milk get accumulated inside the pump which may not get cleaned thoroughly; so even if you use a new collection kit, the pump may still not be safe for use and may give you the infection.

There are some pumps available like the hospital grade ones which are safe to be used by multiple women. This is because these pumps are designed in such a way that milk does not get into the pump and different collection kits are used for each person making it totally safe.

If you are planning on purchasing a second hand pump, then find out from the packaging or from the manufacturer if it is a single use or a multiple use design.

  • If you are having a double pump but if you are using it only for drawing milk from one side, then make sure that you seal the other side which you are not using. If you do not seal, it can cause a reduction in the pump’s suction power which can lead to a decrease in your milk supply.

  • Make sure that you purchase breast shields which fit you perfectly so that your nipples will not hurt.

  • Ensure that the pump is cleaned well after every use using a brush, soap and warm water. Most kits contain accessories for cleaning the pump also. Residual milk inside the pump allows room for the growth of microorganisms which can give you an infection.


What is Colic?
Image result for what is colic in babiesColic is a term that refers to uncontrollable crying for no apparent reason in a healthy baby. This is usually noticed in babies less than 5 months of age. A baby is said to be colicky if he cries for more than 3 hours continuously on more than three days a week for at least two to three weeks. Phew! What a situation to go through for any new mother. The good thing is that colic is not a disease and does not harm the baby in any way. It is just a tough phase for the baby and his parent to go through.
How will I understand if my baby has colic?
A baby is most likely to get colicky when he is around 2 to 3 weeks old. In premature babies, this may be seen 2 to 3 weeks after the original due date.
Normally your new born baby will cry when he is hungry, tired, wet or frightened. But if your baby has colic, then he will cry inconsolably for hours on end especially in the late afternoon or evening. You may also notice that your baby’s belly seem to be slightly enlarged than usual. He also tends to pull up his legs and pass gas at the same time he is crying.
When will my baby stop crying?
This will be the only thought on your mind if your baby is colicky. Don’t worry; there is light at the end of the tunnel though the tunnel seems to be really long.
Colic peaks and is at its highest in a baby around 6 weeks of age and can last till about 5 months. But it tends to decrease significantly around 3 to 4 months and by the time your baby crosses the 5 month mark, he would have put an end to this phase.
Yes, this can be a very long time and a trying one too for any new mother. But the best that you can do is to learn the different ways by which you can comfort your baby and also seek professional help when you need it. If you have a colicky baby, then this period can be extremely stressful for you and hence it is best to have some other person to help you out so that you can take care of your wellbeing too. The last thing a colicky baby needs is a stressed out mother. Ask a family member, relative or friend to help you out and take a good break every day; go out for a walk and get some fresh air or simply cry out your frustration. The key is to lower your stress levels.
Why are only some babies colicky?
Colic is in fact a great mystery of babyhood that no one has really been able to unravel. This is seen in around 20% of newborn babies and is seen in all kinds of babies, whether boys or girls, breastfed or formula-fed. Though there are several theories, none actually ascertain as to why some babies get colicky and some don’t.
One of the theories is that babies who are colicky may have a very sensitive or immature digestive system. This can lead to excess and painful gas production as the baby’s tummy does not have enough enzymes required to breakdown the milk protein completely. When the baby starts crying, he tends to swallow more air which only ends up in more screaming and crying. If the baby is having tummy trouble as a result of which he has colic, then the crying increases after feeding or just before he has his bowel movement.
Another theory is that babies who indulge in long bouts of crying do so as a physical release. This is noticed in babies who are very sensitive or in premature babies. Sometimes, it might be the sign of an immature nervous system. Mothers who smoke are seen to generally have colicky babies though there is no scientific fact or study proving this.
The other theory is that certain foodstuffs in the mother’s diet can irritate the baby if he is exclusively breast fed. This is a very controversial theory but the common foodstuff that is believed to be the culprits are dairy products, spicy food, nuts, caffeine, alcohol and vegetables like cabbage or cauliflower.
Do I need to consult a paediatrician?
It is a good idea to consult a doctor as he can examine the baby and rule out any other reason why the baby could be crying uncontrollably. Sometimes, intestinal infections can make small babies cry in a similar manner and may be mistaken for colic.
You must also consult a doctor immediately if there are any other symptoms like fever, bloody stools, diarrhea or vomiting.

Getting Pregnant while Using Contraceptives

The chances of conceiving or getting pregnant while using any kind of contraceptive method might be less but not nil. This is a reality that you must be prepared for while using any kind of birth control method.
Conceiving with an IUD:
Image result for Getting Pregnant while Using ContraceptivesIf you have an IUD (intrauterine device/coil) and still conceive, then the chances of a miscarriage are greatly increased. Apart from the high spontaneous abortion rate, there is also a risk of developing adverse gestational and neonatal complications. The chances of an ectopic pregnancy are also higher if you have an IUD. It is best to consult an obstetrician as soon as you become aware of your pregnancy. The IUD must be removed at the earliest date possible and is ideal to be done during the early days of pregnancy. Many obstetricians advise termination if you and your partner are not planning for a baby. But termination is definitely not necessary if you wish to have the child and are aware of the possible complications.
Your obstetrician may remove the IUD by pulling at the strings if it is visible or resort to removal by ultrasound guidance if this is safe at that particular point of pregnancy. Never try to remove the IUD yourself and consult a doctor at the earliest.
Sometimes, if it becomes too late to remove the IUD and you want the baby, the doctor may advise you to go ahead with the pregnancy. There are many women who have uneventful pregnancies and childbirth with an IUD in which case the device is delivered along with the placenta. However, if you are pregnant with the IUD inside, then it is advisable to be monitored regularly to ensure that the baby is fit and healthy.

Getting Pregnant while on the Pill:
Even if you have been taking the pill, there is a small chance that you can conceive. The chances are more on the days you forget to take the pill or suffer from a stomach upset and vomiting in which case the hormones do not get absorbed or if you are taking antibiotics. If you have conceived and without being aware of it continue to take the pill, then the chances of your baby being born with congenital abnormalities are slightly higher. But on the other hand, there are women who have been on the pill while pregnant but give birth to normal and healthy babies. The fact is that there is a slightly small but definitive risk. Many studies have reported a risk factor though clinical experience has been otherwise.
Most women do not realize that they are pregnant while on the Pill because the signs and symptoms of pregnancy like breast tenderness, nausea and irregular menstrual bleeding can also be side effects of being on the pill especially if you are taking the minipill (birth control pill with only progestin). If you conceive while on this pill, the chances of ending up with an ectopic pregnancy are higher.
If you think you are pregnant while on the Pill, then the best thing would be to stop using the pill and consult a doctor to confirm if you are pregnant or not. During this time, you can use natural birth control methods like condoms till you have ruled out or confirmed pregnancy.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Unlike popular belief, there are very few foodstuffs that you must totally avoid while you are pregnant. However during this time, you coul...