Question: Hi , My name is Lubna and reside in Bangalore,India.I have a 11month old son.He was born in March last year.I really hope you can help and guide me. Although it was unplanned pregnancy , we were very excited. However, I concentrated more on pregnancy and was not very well informed about parenting. Once Aahil was born, it was quite a rough ride. I wasnt able to nurse aahil for the first 2-3 months. And everyone was concentrating on that. By the time my breasts started milking the quantity wasnt sufficient and I was struggling to make him latch. He was constantly falling ill with bad stomach mostly because of change of formula brand and weather. He hardly slept and cried a lot. We were showing different doctors and everyone had a different opinion which became all the more confusing. We struggling feeding him formula with the traditional indian steel cup and spoon, which created a lot of colic in Aahils stomach. I was constantly asking the doctors for solution and which bottle will be better , the plastic or the glass ones but they discouraged use of bottles and we couldnt decide based on all negative reviews. Few months later by the time Aahil was 6-7 months I shifted to Bangalore and was staying alone with my Husband. We started only rice cereal and apple as solids as suggested by the doctor. Aahil was still very cranky . He was crying through the day and hardly slept. Putting him to bed included hours of crying . After which he slept for hardly 45 mins during the day. He used sleep at 5 am and get up by 8am post 8 in the evening,i.e.,he would be awake the entire night. There was no specific way of putting him to sleep.Anything that made him sleep I would try. Little rocking on my lap, walking around, Rocking on the swing. Finally i started looking for a sleep trainer in India. She was from Mumbai and helped online. He cried a lot during the initial days , but I kept up with the prescribed procedure, but didnt find much progress after putting so much effort and shelling out so much money. So I discontinued. My in laws were of the opinion that Aahil would settle after he grows a little older. He is now 11 months old and I am still struggling with basic things: 1. He doesn't have a proper routine 2. He is sleepy and hungry at the same time, so he cant do any one thing, due to which he becomes very cranky. 3. He struggles to poop. I tried gripe water , but after reading a pretty strong article as to how dangerous it is we discontinued it. 4. I struggle as to what to give in his diet. Online there are many indian receipes that I can find. I tried many but he is a fussy eater. I understand its normal as he is small and also teething. But due the state of being half sleepy , hungry and struggling to poop it becomes even harder. 5. He nurses to sleep. No matter if he drinks formula or eats, he nurses to sleep. I tried to slowly stop one session but he cries non stop till I nurse. Also, he doesnt sleep when he is sleepy. He yawns etc, but plays around for another 2-3 hrs even after getting on bed. He cries and finally sleeps after lot of resistance I cant differentiate when he is overtired and sleepy because of this. 6. He doesnt have a sound sleep. And sleeps only if I am next to him. At nights when he gets up for 3-4 feeds , he doesnt sleep until he holds my hand or hugs me. 7.He doesnt eat on his own also. I am still lagging with initial sleep training..and cant work on new habits like eating on own or potty training. I really I am looking forward for your help. Also I don't have much knowledge on raising kids. Can you please suggest some good parenting books from newborn to teenager-adults, activity and brain development books for raising children. I want a guide to understand what shall be introduced at which age etc. Eagerly waiting to hear from you Thanks and Warm Regards
Answer: Hi, Before answering I read your answer thrice so that I don't miss on anything. Let me assure you dear everything you said is felt by each and every new mother, we are always struggling between what is good for our baby, what best we can do etc etc. We always look for a manuscript to handle our baby, but sadly there isn't any available. The best way to handle your baby is to follow his lead. Your baby will help you more than any guide, now that's been said let's discuss your query point by point. 1) His daily routine- this is actually important as a routine helps in inculcate good habits and mannerisms in baby. Before making him follow a routine first maintain a log of his daily activities from the moment he wakes up to the time he sleeps at night. Write down every single thing he does, at what time, for how long etc etc. Soon you ll find a pattern in that. Once the pattern is discovered it will be quite easier to change it accordingly to yourself. You can start fixing time for basic things like his breakfast, bath, playtime, lunch etc. Follow this for minimum of a month because that's how long it takes to build a habit. 2) Hunger- Don't wait uo for him to demand food or milk. Give him something to eat at every 2-3 hours. Don't repeat the food. Try to give as many options as you can give.Dont be disheartened or frustrated if he doesn't finishes his meal. Fix a place for his meals. It could be a high chair/booster chair anything which is feasible. While he is eating his food never distract him with TV or phone or any other gadgets or games. Let him play with food, Don't be in a haste to finish his meal , let him take his time. Meal times are supposed to be messy. Never ever force your baby to eat. Again maintaining a log will be helpful as you ll be aware of his likes and dislikes. 3) Constipation is quite common during first year. Make him drink after at every hour. Include banana in his diet, when it comes to constipation banana is a boon. Don't give any medicine or supplements to treat constipation it will mess up his digestive system. Follow BRATS diet to treat motion related issues. Its Banana, RICE, Apple sauce and Toast. 4)Practice this method- list down all the ingredients that he has tasted and is available with you under categories such as cereals, vegetables, fruits, dairy, complex carbs, fats, proteins etc. Once the list is prepared just pull out 2 3 ingredients to make dinner. Just make simple recipes like idli, dosa pancakes khichadi soup etc , be playful with the ingredients. Keep changing the form of the ingredients as well. Like at times you can add veggies to his rice or can simply give in roasted form .some other day try soup etc. You never know in which form he might like. As for teething it a natural process more than baby parents get worked up. Keep your baby engaged teething wouldn't bother him. Kiss and hugs work like charm in this phase.