Child Chal­lenges

Woman's Era - - Short Story - – Dr Am­rinder Ba­jaj, MD.

MY BABY IS FOUR MONTHS OLD. I WOULD LIKE TO WEAN HER on nat­u­ral foods and not the ar­ti­fi­cial prod­ucts avail­able in the mar­ket. Please tell me what should I give her and how I should go about it.

Wean­ing is the process by which a baby gets used to eat­ing fam­ily food and re­lies less on breast milk. Wean­ing should be­gin be­tween 4 and 5 months of age. Start with juices and soups and later add ce­re­als like rice. Start with one food at a time. Give small quan­ti­ties at first and grad­u­ally in­crease the amount over a pe­riod of time. Re­spect the baby’s tastes for, like us, they too have in­di­vid­ual pref­er­ences. Use foods rich in en­ergy and nu­tri­ents and avoid un­hy­gienic foods.

The com­monly used wean­ing foods are: juices or strained dal ka pani, khichri – thin and well cooked, suji ki kheer – semolina boiled in milk and sugar, por­ridge, ba­nana mashed into a paste, boiled and mashed pota­toes with salt to taste.

OUR REL­A­TIVE IS DUE TO DE­LIVER IN TWO MONTHS AND WE are go­ing to adopt her baby. Prepa­ra­tions are go­ing on in full swing and our hearts are filled with ex­cite­ment and ap­pre­hen­sion. Per force I will have to give the baby top feeds avail­able in the mar­ket. Please tell me the right way of ster­il­is­ing the bot­tle, pre­par­ing the feeds, the right amount etc so that I am well versed with the pro­ce­dure be­fore the baby ar­rives.

Nowa­days it is rec­om­mended that you feed the baby with a spoon but in case you want to use the bot­tle see to it that it is ster­ilised prop­erly. This is done by com­pletely sub­merg­ing 3-4 bot­tles in wa­ter in a large con­tainer and al­low­ing the wa­ter to boil for 10 min­utes. Then add the teats and boil for an­other 5 min­utes; al­low the wa­ter to cool. Wash your hands be­fore tak­ing out the bot­tle from the con­tainer and use the bot­tles one by one. Be­fore im­mers­ing the bot­tles in boil­ing wa­ter wash them thor­oughly with warm, soapy wa­ter. Use a bot­tle brush to re­move all traces of milk. Turn the teats in­side out to clean them and squirt wa­ter through to en­sure that the hole re­mains patent. Rinse with clean run­ning wa­ter.

Wash your hands thor­oughly. Boil some wa­ter and al­low it to cool. Take a ster­ilised bot­tle and pour the cooled wa­ter up to the de­sired level. Mea­sure the right amount of pow­dered milk in the scoop pro­vided in the milk tin. Level off the pow­der us­ing a clean dry knife. Do not pack the pow­der in. Add the pow­der to the wa­ter in the bot­tle, screw on the cap with the teat and shake well till the pow­der has dis­solved. Once pre­pared the bot­tle feed should be used within 45 min­utes. Do not prop the bot­tle on a pil­low and leave the baby unat­tended while feed­ing with a bot­tle as mishaps can oc­cur. Never force the bot­tle into your baby’s mouth if he or she is sleep­ing. The amount of milk a child needs varies from baby to baby but an ap­prox­i­ma­tion is given be­low: Birth to 1 month 6-8 feeds of 50-75 ml, 1-2 months 6-7 feeds of 75-100 ml, 2-4 months 5-6 feeds of 100-125 ml, 4-6 months 4-6 feeds of 150-175 ml and 6-12 months 3-4 feeds of 175- 225 ml. I HAVE A SIX-MONTH-OLD SON. HE IS GROW­ING WELL ON BREAST milk and oc­ca­sional food items like khichri, kheer and por­ridge. What else should I add to his diet for over­all healthy de­vel­op­ment?

Pro­teins are re­quired for body build­ing, car­bo­hy­drates and fats for en­ergy while vi­ta­mins and min­er­als for over­all de­vel­op­ment. A bal­anced diet in­cludes bread/ ce­re­als /rice, vegeta­bles, fruits, milk/ cheese, meat/ poul­try/ dal. So grad­u­ally in­tro­duce these into his diet as well. A meal should con­tain 4 parts of sta­ple plus one part of vegeta­bles and one part of peas/beans. Non­veg­e­tar­i­ans can re­place the peas and beans by one part of food from an­i­mals. A lit­tle oil or fat can be added. These foods should be given 2-3 times a day when ba­bies are 6-9 months old and 3-5 times a day when they are 9- 12 months old. Con­tinue breast feed­ing as long as pos­si­ble.

The food should be strained be­fore feed­ing a child be­tween 4 and 6 months, mashed if fed to a baby be­tween 6 and 8 months and chopped if given to a child above 9 months. A child of one year can have nor­mal fam­ily food in small por­tions 4-5 times a day. A child of 2 years should eat half the amount an adult eats. Af­ter 2 years of age the in­take of fats, oils and sweets should be re­duced to a min­i­mum. T HOUGH MY CHILD IS AN ACHIEVER AND DOES WELL MOST OF

the times, there are oc­ca­sions when he fails. He takes such set­backs badly and my heart goes out to him but I do not know how to re­as­sure him and teach him to take fail­ures in his stride. Please help me.

It is im­pos­si­ble for a per­son to suc­ceed all the time. You are right; you must not al­low him to set such un­re­al­is­tic goals for him­self. First and fore­most show him by act and word that you al­ways love him ir­re­spec­tive of the fact whether he suc­ceeds or not in a par­tic­u­lar ven­ture. Hug him, pat him and tell him is all right with you. Se­condly tell him sto­ries of great men like Thomas Edi­son who had to try 1000 time be­fore he suc­ceeded in mak­ing the elec­tric bulb and yet he did not think that he had failed a 1000 times but had learnt that there are a 1000 dif­fer­ent ways of not mak­ing a light bulb. Or the story of the king who lost 7 bat­tles and while hid­ing in a cave learnt from a spi­der weav­ing his web that one must try again and again to suc­ceed. The im­por­tant thing is to per­se­vere and en­deav­our. Let him know that what­ever the re­sults it is all right with you as long as he is do­ing his best.

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