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.