Day 274, Week 40

Mom at Week 40

As your due date approaches you will feel anticipation along with fear of the unknown and un experienced. Soon labor will start and your baby will be a tangible part of this universe and your life. Here are 3 areas you need to monitor when you go into labour

They are Frequency, Duration and Leaking. Let’s take you through what these actually mean.

Frequency

Frequency means how far apart your contractions are. This is timed from the start of one contraction to the start of the next contraction. The closer the frequency of your contractions, the closer you are to delivering your baby.

Duration

Duration means the actual length of the contraction. This is measured as the time taken from the start of one contraction to the end of the same contraction. The longer the duration of your contraction, the closer you are to labour. You could request your husband or close family of friends to time these for you so you know the progress in labour.

Leaking

Leaking refers to the amniotic fluid. This is your baby’s sterile environment and if you are leaking then it means that they baby is also susceptible to infections. Contact your doctor immediately if you’re leaking and inform them so that you can get to the hospital and the doctor can probably induce labor and deliver the baby.

Once you are on your way out to the hospital, pick your hospital bag and do not forget to pack in all the reports as the doctor may need to refer to the same.

If you still don’t go into labour at week 40, you wil be induced into it somewhere at week 41 or 42 provided its safe to wait till then and the baby heart rate, movements ets are all well.

Your baby’s growth

Your baby is all grown now and ready to enter the birth canal anytime now and enter your lives. He/she can’t wait to meet his parents and say hello to the beautiful people in the world that await his arrival.

Day 276, Your Newborn Week 1-8

Your new bundle of joy has made its way from your uterus into the world and you can now hold your baby in your arms, cuddle it and be amazed at the fact that your baby is finally here.

In the first 24 hours your baby will sleep a lot. Will be difficult to rouse and even if the baby awakens and you feed the baby the baby will fall asleep in a few minutes. This phase is also called a recovery phase. The baby has made the transition from the womb to the outside world and is over whelmed by all he sees. This tires and exhausts him and hence the baby goes thru a recovery phase. Most new parents will be pleasantly surprised to find their new born sleeping so well.

Day two the baby will be more wakeful. He has completed recovery sleep and now is getting accustomed to his new world. He feels over whelmed and anxious hence can tend to cry much more. The only thing that seems to comfort him is being in his mother’s arms because he can hear her voice and her heart beat.

Slowly the baby settles into a routine. In the first two weeks you can expect that your new born will cry for about 2 hours every day. This is intermittent and spread over the whole day.

Between two to six weeks crying peaks and your baby may cry for almost six hours every day. This is fairly normal. This is also the time that colic peaks and most babies will cry more during the evening hours or in the second half of the day.

The first couple of weeks stools will also be erratic and your baby may pass a stool after every feed or after urinating, but this settles down by the time the baby is a month old and will eventually pass stools 3-4 times a day only.

At birth the stool has a blackish colour and this is called meconium. As the baby starts taking the colostrum the stools become greenish by day two and three and as the milk transitions the stools will become a mustard yellow. New born babies who are exclusively breast fed will have loose runny stools with a granular consistency. The baby may pass multiple stools a day or may not pass stools for multiple days. If the baby is exclusively breast fed then this is normal. Additionally you must ensure that the baby is feeding well, and seems comfortable and relaxed.

For the first 8 weeks your baby will probably feed every 2-3 hours and this cycle will continue in the night as well. The new born stomach is very small and needs to eat frequently. Also the baby would be used to being more awake at night and would sleep during the day as this is the cycle that the baby followed in the womb. It will take a while to change this around and for the baby to adapt to life outside the womb.

Day 277, When to call a Pediatrician?

As new parents, we have innumerable panic attacks especially since we are inexperienced. Having a pediatrician who is able to help keep you calm and answer your queries is a blessing. Whenever you have the urge to make that panic phone call do take a moment, pause and understand if your concern requires immediate attention or can wait for a visit to the clinic. Most doctor’s would prefer to answer routine questions like which soaps to use, pros and cons of vaccinations, travel concerns etc at the clinic. We should not disturb them with routine questions over the phone. Instead maintain a diary and note down all your questions as they come up. When you go for your next visit, carry the diary with you and have all your doubts cleared.

With a new baby, there will be some moments when you feel you need immediate attention. Discuss this in advance with your doctor and ask for a contact number in case of emergency. It is best that this is not a hospital emergency room number but a line where you can reach someone competent to answer a few immediate questions.

Here are some situations when you must call the Doctor :

1. Bleeding that does not stop with direct pressure over the wound.

2. Poisining.

3. Seizures.

4. Head injury with loss of consciousness and vomiting.

5. Fever above 100.4° F.

6. Vomiting and diarrhea that last for more than a few hours.

7. Cuts that need stitches.

8. Blood in the urine.

9. No fluid intake for 12 hours.

10. Any other symptom that is making the child appear uncomfortable and out of the ordinary and does not appear to diminish.

Before you make that all important phone call, keep the following information ready :

· Be sure to have a pen and paper ready to note down instructions.

· Take and record your child’s temperature before making the phone call.

· Make a mention of your child’s medical history.

· Make a mention of any medications or supplements that the child is currently taking.

· Keep your immunization card handy.

Children do fall ill frequently and then bounce back. We just need to take care of them and help to make the phase less stressful for them as well as ourselves.

 

Day 278, Development of your little one

Development of your little one

As parents the well being and overall growth and development of our child is the most important factor in our lives. We discuss what’s right and wrong in the experiences they face with their the doctors, surf the internet for guidance on various topics, refer books,  and discuss various child related topics with peers, family and friends. We want to make sure we understand what they are going through and want to always give them the best.

Here is a brief to help you understand your little one’s developmental milestones. What is important to note that the milestones happen in order.  At times a child may skip one and move on to the next one which is just fine. The age mentioned is as per the Expected due date of your child and not the birth day.

0-3 months

In this phase between birth to 3 months of age the child learns to do a lot of things. He will begin lifting his head while on his stomach. Since the baby is exposed to so many new faces, his/her focus would be on new individuals around.  Your baby will also begin smiling at people in this phase. In this phase, brightly colored objects will attract the child. You will also notice that your baby makes some babbling sounds with this mouth. They are not words, but just sounds

3-6 months

In this phase between 3 -6 months of age, the child is aware of how words and tones sound and will respond to happy,  sad and familiar voices.  He/she will begin playing with own hands and feet, Bring objects close to the mouth. He/she will really like grasping things around so they will reach out towards objects with both hands.

6-9 months

In this phase you will notice your child crawling around. She/he will be amused at reflections in the mirror.  This is also the time when they enjoy games like Peek-a-boo. During this time you will also notice the child starting to get comfortable in a seated position without much assistance.

9-12 months

In this phase you will notice that your baby is able to pull itself to standing position with the help of furniture around or with the help of its parents and while doing so the baby will be able to take small steps as well. At this point in time they begin to understand conversations and start imitating you when you talk. They also really enjoy dropping and throwing objects around.

12-15 months

In this phase your baby will begin to walk without support.  He/she would be able to say 4-5 words.  They would make sounds with voice modulation which starts to sound like a conversation.

They would start playing with blocks and start stacking them up. They would begin to walk without support. Its some great moments to cherish

Day 280, Tricks to Calm to Crying Baby

10 Tricks to Calm a Crying Baby

Every new parent faces this dilemma: how to get my baby to stop crying? While it seems impossible, it is not really as difficult and frustrating as you think.

The golden rule to remember: crying is your baby’s only means of communicating. He cannot speak like you or me or even attend to his own needs independently. If he is hungry he cannot ask for food or serve himself. So he cries or if he is cold he cannot ask for a blanket or cover himself.

New parents must understand that even the world’s best pediatrician has faced the question “Why is my baby crying?” and hence it is not parental inability which is causing these bouts of tears.

Why Do Babies Cry?

Babies cry when they are hungry, experiencing discomfort of some sort, pain or illness, boredom or just to hear their own voice. As you start handling your baby you will understand that the pitch and intensity of the cries vary with different needs. By recognising your baby’s needs and individual way of expressing himself, the job of managing his crying becomes much easier.

What to Do When Babies Cry?

The  first step  is  to  distinguish  between  the  medical and  non-medical causes  for crying.

Significant medical problems that cause crying are usually accompanied by other symptoms.

But occasionally crying may be the first sign of trouble.

Check if her diaper needs to be changed, adjust the room temperature, check if any article of clothing is bothering the baby and make an attempt at feeding her. If she does not calm down, do not hesitate to contact your baby’s pediatrician and have the baby checked.

There is no magic formula to stop a baby from crying and there is no such thing as an easy baby. If you meet a parent who claims that her baby is an angel and does not cry at all, rest assured that this is not the case.

However, there are some tricks which have proven themselves time and again in calming an agitated baby and a smart parent will ensure that it is a part of their arsenal.

Following are top ten calming baby tricks for non-medical crying bouts.

Trick 1: Rooting Reflex

This is a newborn reflex in which a baby turns her face towards the side on which her cheek is stroked. The baby perceives that food is being offered and calms down, but be prepared to feed her.

Trick 2: Warm Wipes

Most babies cry while their nappies are being changed. Moisten cotton in warm water before cleaning your baby’s bottom. The baby will prefer it to the damp, cold cotton swab.

Trick 3: A Good Burp

While feeding, the baby also takes in air. A stomach filled with air is very uncomfortable. This is especially true when baby is agitated soon after a feeding session. Give the baby a good burp. Burping a baby means simply holding the baby upright and well supported for 3 to 4 minutes. Hearing a burp sound is not important. What you do with your hands is also not relevant. Whether you pat the baby, stroke downwards or upwards or simply do nothing is your choice.

Trick 4: Change of Surroundings

Infants do not like to be handled or surrounded by unfamiliar faces. This invariably results in a crying spree because the baby feels insecure. The trick is to immediately move to a quieter surrounding. Even if you are at a party, moving to the corridor will help.

Trick 5: Tired Baby

Never over tire a baby. Keeping the baby awake in the hope that he will sleep through the night can back fire miserably. The baby will be over tired and will not be able to fall asleep and be excessively cranky.

Trick 6: Cuddling

Your baby craves your love and attention the maximum. Leave all chores and hug and cuddle your baby. Try to make eye contact and talk to the baby. This will help to calm the baby.

Trick 7: The Washing Machine

The washing machine has always been a time tested favorite ride for infants. If you have a front loading model place the baby on the top and run a wash cycle. The vibration calms the baby and you get the clothes washed. But remember NEVER leave the baby unattended.

Trick 8: Picture Books

How can infants have books? I have heard this question from many new moms. But babies love to look at big colorful pictures and it is great way to spend quality time with your infant as you browse through the pictures and talk to your baby. It will also inculcate a reading habit from a very young age.

Trick 9: Massage

Handed down through generations in our country is the tradition of baby massage. Everyone relaxes during a massage and so does baby. All new parents should practice baby massage so that they learn the strokes that the baby enjoys and they can use them when the baby is agitated and irritable. It works wonders in calming the baby and can be used many times during the day.

Trick 10: Blowing

And last but not the least, is blowing. Blowing gently on your baby’s face, especially around the forehead will cause your baby to blink and look at you in surprise. This can aid in calming her.

Always remember never shake a crying baby because this can cause irreparable damage and even death.

Day 267, Week 39

Mom at Week 39

Since you are very close to giving birth, its good to know what you feel when the process starts. Your body is starting to prepare for labor. The cervix starts to soften in preparation for birth and the number and intensity of Braxton hicks contractions increases. The level of amniotic fluid reduces.

Closer to the birth the contractions are very intense. This is when most moms will feel a loss of control and will probably ask for some pain relief. But there is no point in taking any pain medications at this time as birth is just about to happen.

Once the body is completely ready the mom will feel a strong urge to push and bear down. This can also be compared to passing a hard motion. The sensation is unmistakable and mom will be fully aware of the fact that the baby is now ready to come. As the baby’s head crowns she will feel a burning sensation in her perineum as it stretches to accomadate the head of the baby.

As the baby comes thru the contractions pause and mom will feel intense relief and a huge sense of achievement. She is very excited and over whelmed. She is keen to meet her baby and get breast feeding started and at the same time wants to shout from the top of the world that she is a mom.

Your baby’s growth

As you approach the last few weeks of your pregnancy, the baby starts taking the position for birth automatically. What is this position? Gravity helps by pulling the baby’s head which is the heavy part towards the pelvis. Also the baby naturally finds it comfortable to find space for his head in the pelvic cavity.The pressure on the cervix increases as the baby’s head descents downward thus making the cervix shorter and thinner

Day 269, Baby’s first Bathing Session

The thought of your bathing your baby can be both exciting and a little confusing cause you are not sure if your doing the right things while bathing her. Ideally a baby bath begins once the umbilical stump has fallen. Till then the baby should be given a sponge bath.

To give the baby a sponge bath – keep all items ready before you undress the baby. soft sponge cloths, soap, shampoo, warm water, dry towel and fresh clothes.

Always clean the baby from cleanest to dirty which means face first and diaper area last.

Take a wet wash cloth and gently wipe the baby’s face. Clean the eyes, ears and nose with gentle strokes. For the rest of the body you can use a little liquid soap and then wipe with a wet cloth. Remember to clean well between all the folds and also the webs of the fingers and the toes.

Pat the baby dry and put on a fresh set of clothes and a diaper.

When giving a tub bath, check the temperature on your elbow. It should be tepid. Again ensure that you keep all items ready as you do not want to leave the baby alone in the bathroom even for a second.

Pour water in small quantity on the baby.

Always bathe the body first and shampoo the hair last. A baby will loose a lot of heat from the top of his head and hence will start feeling cold. Also a baby tends to feel over whelmed when water is flowing down his face and they will cry. The bath then becomes very uncomfortable for both the mother and the child.

Choose how you would like to bathe the baby. Traditionally in India we bathe babies on the legs. However you may not be very comfortable with this method and may prefer a bath chair. Pick a plastic or a mesh one as a sponge chair is very difficult to dry.

Once the bath is done wrap the baby is a towel and pat dry and dress the baby in a fresh set of clothes and a diaper / nappy.

Baby bath is a fun time and should not be stressful.

Babies do not get dirty and it’s ok if they do not take a bath everyday. You can also just sponge on certain days. At times its also ok to give the baby a couple of baths each day. It all depends on your comfort.