Breastfeeding&Lactation

Breastfeeding is feeding a child human breast milk. Lactation is the secretion of milk from the mammary glands

Ask anything about breastfeeding&lactation

Foods to avoid during breastfeeding

You remained on a healthy diet and avoided many foods for nearly 9 months thinking about the safety of your baby. Now when the baby is finally here, your protective instincts will get more strengthened. Therefore, it is normal to wonder if there are foods to avoid while breastfeeding as particles from the food you eat make their way through the breast milk to your newborn system. Given below are some of the foods that nursing or breastfeeding mothers should completely avoid and why: Seafood: In present times, mercury levels are high in different water bodies which get translated to high levels of mercury in seafood. High levels of mercury are present in shark and king mackerel, unlike other seafood which have lower levels of mercury. Hence doctors advice nursing mothers to completely avoid seafood. Processed food while breastfeeding: Processed foods are quick and easy to prepare especially when you have a baby. But these foods contain preservatives and additives that are toxic for the baby. Additives can also make the baby colic and cause some allergies. Your baby can also turn fussy. Spicy food and flatulence causing food: Spicy food and flatulence causing foods can cause a shift in your baby’s reaction. Though this research is in its rudimentary stage, it would help keep a diary of your diet and your baby’s behavioural change. Sugar and artificial sweeteners: On the whole, it is safe to consume sugar and artificial sweeteners, but in moderation. You can use it occasionally in your food. There are several internal barriers that prevent the baby from consuming excess sugar. The sugar first passes through your blood vessels, plus your baby should want to consume it. As of now there is no conclusive theory to prove that artificial sweeteners are bad for the baby, but it’s best to consume it occasionally. Caffeine and breastfeeding: Avoid consuming caffeine as it can make your baby agitated and prevent your baby from sleeping. You can consume two – three cups of coffee a day, but consult your doctor on the same. Alcohol consumption while breastfeeding: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and post pregnancy is a complete, NO. Even the smallest amount of alcohol can hamper your child’s growth. If you want to consume a glass of alcohol, stop breastfeeding till the alcohol is completely washed from your system. Meat and non- vegetarian products: Meat that has fat absorbs toxins, plus it makes you gain unhealthy weight. It is recommended to consume lean meat for healthy living.   Content source Featured image source

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10 foods to increase lactation

Lactating women often face issues when they are unable to meet their baby's milk demand. Here are 10 foods that can help to increase lactation in breastfeeding moms- Water OK, so water is not technically a food, but it is the most essential aspect of ensuring you will have an adequate milk supply. According to studies, 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. You do not need to drink gallons a day, but you do need to be adequately hydrated. 8 glasses (64 ounces) of fluid a day is an absolute must. In the early stages of your breastfeeding journey its a necessity to have a bottle of water next to where you are going to nurse. You might not be thirsty when you sit down, but it is not uncommon to be overwhelmed by thirst after a few minutes. Oatmeal Oatmeal is fantastic for building and maintaining your milk supply. Whether you enjoy a hearty bowl of hot oats in the morning or you sprinkle granola on your yogurt, make sure you are eating some oats. You already know that oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol and can aid blood pressure regulation, but increasing your supply is another awesome benefit of chowing down on oats. Cookies Not just any cookie, but special lactation cookies. This recipe has been making the rounds for decades, and we are sharing it with you.  Garlic You don’t need to go overboard, but adding garlic to your foods not only adds another layer of deliciousness, it also boosts your milk supply. Garlic has been used by nursing mothers for centuries to help boost their milk. A modern bonus for moms who don’t like garlic: garlic pills are commercially available and are said to have no aftertaste. Carrots Get your Bugs Bunny on, mama! Carrots are full of beta-carotene, which just happens to be in extra demand when you’re lactating. Carrots are a healthy source of carbohydrates and will boost your potassium, too. Snacking on carrots is also a great way to help you lose some of that stubborn baby weight. Peel and slice a bag of carrots at a time and store them in your fridge for easy snacking. Fennel Whether you sauté it, stew it, or toss it raw into a salad, fennel is an herb that is widely believed to be an excellent galactagogue. If you particularly dislike anise or black licorice, this herb is not for you. For those with an adventurous palate, fennel is full of healthy phytoestrogens. Bonus for those with queasy stomachs—fennel is also known to be fantastic for aiding digestion and settling an upset belly. Nuts Sometimes being a new mom can make you feel a little nuts. Take a breather, grab a handful of nuts, and enjoy a snack that will help your supply. Cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts are the most popular choices for giving your milk a boost—they’re also high in good fats and antioxidants. Read labels and go for raw nuts when possible. Many commercially available nuts are heavily oiled and salted—opt for low sodium, or salt-free versions when possible. Green Papaya Yes, we’re talking about eating unripe papaya… In Asia, green papaya is a traditional galactagogue. If you have a favorite Thai restaurant, order Som Tam, which is a green papaya salad. If you’re not a fan of Thai food, try steaming or stir-frying on high heat until tender. Green papaya is also available in tablet form. Sesame Seeds Sesame seed bagels are delicious, and we’ve all had a burger on a sesame seed bun, but you need to get more than just a dash of seeds to help boost your milk. Tahini is a delicious buttery paste made of sesame seeds that you can add into recipes and sauces for a Middle Eastern flair. For those with a sweet tooth, halvah is a delicious sesame seed snack—just don’t eat too much of it because it’s also loaded with sugar. Sesame seeds are not only tasty but high in calcium to boot. Ginger Do you still have ginger ale, candied ginger, and ginger pops left over from your days of morning sickness? They won’t be going to waste after all--ginger is another widely used milk-boosting food. Many Asian and Indian recipes call for ginger, so expand your menu and try cooking some international cuisine. If you’re tired and have no time, enjoy a few ginger snaps instead. Featured Image Source

Breastfeeding benefits after 6 months

Now that you have made it to six months breastfeeding you might be wondering if there are any breastfeeding benefits after 6 months? Well the answer is yes, all the same benefits that your baby already gets from breastfeeding continue past six months and beyond. While it is recommended to introduce solid foods somewhere around the half yearly mark there is no reason to stop breastfeeding. At this point breastfeeding is probably very easy for you. During this time you can really enjoy the breastfeeding relationship that you have established with your baby. There are a lot of strange rumors floating around out there about reasons to stop breastfeeding past a certain age. In truth, there is no reason to stop at six months or even a year. I know when I had my first baby I kept hearing switch to cow’s milk at one year old. Now I am not really sure why I heard this at all. I suppose if you are formula feeding cow’s milk is cheaper and it makes sense to switch. If you are breastfeeding there really is no reason. My daughter hated cow’s milk and I was worried about it but her pediatrician assured me it was not needed. So, we kept on nursing until she decided to wean. I realize now that breast milk was much more nutritious so I am happy with the way it turned out.

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Healthy diet plan for breastfeeding mothers

Most Important Tips for Successful Breastfeeding 1. Have Lots of Porridges Why? Because they are easy to digest. According to Indian traditional method, nursing women are given kheers/soups more than usual food, though your dietician will tell you, eat whatever you want. You have to eat a lot and digest it too. These special porridges prepared for Indian women by their moms has many galactogouges like Cumin, fenugreek seeds, poppy seeds, Ghee, almonds etc. You will not get bored of eating. 2. Stay Away from Spicy and Oily Foods Though they say whatever you eat has no direct impact on baby, it is not true. Your baby will show you how your eating affects him/her. The spicy and oily food upsets baby’s stomach, and provides no significant amount of nutrients. 3. Eat Short Meals Frequently If you eat heavy 2-3 meals, your digestive system will suffer. so take small meals with increased frequency. 4. Early Morning and Late Night Kheer Take one bowl of kheer at night just before sleeping and also one more just after getting up. The Date Kheer/Almond Kheer/Aliv Kheer are best for nursing mothers. List of Foods Must to Have: Secret of Successful Breastfeeding Below are the foods you should include in your diet. For details on Healthy Foods for Breastfeeding these 1. Fenugreek Seeds Indians are lucky to get fresh fenugreek Leaves and Seeds, in rest of the world nursing mom take fenugreek supplements. The sprouted seeds are blessing for you during 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Add fenugreek sprouts to your regular subzi everyday. Or just try stir fry of it with onion and garlic. They do not taste bitter due to sprouting. 2. Garlic Use Garlic in all your curries and soups 3. Cumin Seeds, Poppy Seeds and Fennel Seed They are Galactogogues 4. Bottle Gourds Gourds help to boost milk production. 5. Dill Leaves Healthy for you and baby 6. Almonds Soak them in water overnight and have them in morning, make your baby more intelligent. 7. Coconut Water Full of nutrient and keeps you hydrated 8. Milk and Desi Ghee Desi Ghee for DHA and Milk for Calcium. You must have these to avoid any knee and back pain in future. 9. Edible gum/ Dink (Gondh) They make yours and baby’s bones stronger 10. Water After whatever you eat, water is must to digest and to make milk from it. 11. Whole Grains Sprouted Sprouted grains are much more healthier than usual dry grains. Try Wheat/Ragi/Bajra/Jowar. Make flour of sprouted and dried grains. Use it for making porridges. Moringa Leaves They are super healthy. Try Shatawari Kalp after first 3-4 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Let your body make milk from the healthy regular food before you try any supplements.  

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Breastfeeding a Toddler / Pinterest

What to get when you are Expecting

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10 tips for going back to work after baby

1. Start Early The last thing you want is uncertainty about who will be watching your baby, so start figuring that out early. Before the baby is born is not too soon, especially if you want to use a specific daycare--they might have a waiting list! 2. Choose Care Carefully The transition back to work will be so much easier if you are confident in your choice of who’s taking care of your baby. If it’s a daycare, ask if you can stop by and visit with your baby before you go back, so you can both get comfortable with space and people. 3. Do Some Dry Runs In the weeks before you return to work, it’s helpful to practice your routine of getting up, getting you and baby ready, and getting out of the house by a certain time. You can use one of those dry runs to make a trip to your daycare, for a visitor to drop off the diapers and other necessities they might have asked you to provide. 4. Start Back Slowly If possible, work just part-time for the first week or two. That transition time will help you and your baby adjust to being apart, and also let you sort out any kinks in your schedule and systems. 5. Ask for Updates The hardest part about going back is sure to be leaving your baby. Ask your daycare to send you texts and pictures of your sweet pea throughout the day. And if you need to call every day to check-in, that’s your right as a mommy 6. Ask a Lactation Consultant If you plan to keep nursing after you go back, a lactation consultant can help with any questions you have about maintaining supply, pumping at work and storing expressed milk. 7. Have the Pumping Talk Before you return to work, make sure you speak to your boss about your plans for pumping, and how he or she can support you need to feed your baby. Your Human Resources department might also be helpful in finding you a private space to pump. Your belly has finally arrived. Your pants dig uncomfortably into your waist and you feel like you’re falling out of your shirts. You’re going to feel so much better once you get some stretchy-waist pants and a shirt that fits your new body. 8. Plan Ahead Nighttime is your new prep-time. Plan on choosing your clothes, packing your lunch and baby bag, and getting everything organized for the next day before you go to sleep. It will make your mornings so much smoother (and you might even have time for breakfast!). 9. Get Baby To Take a Bottle If you've been exclusively breastfeeding, start giving your little one a bottle of expressed milk on occasion, to make sure he’ll take it. If he won’t, step away and have a dad or someone else try. Keep offering it regularly until your baby agrees to drink from it. 10. Skip the Guilt Whether you are choosing to go back, or you have to, absolve yourself now of any mommy guilt. Returning to work doesn’t make you a bad parent, so don’t think for a moment that you are. Content Source    

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Transitioning back to work after the baby: Tips for working moms

Top Seven Tips for Moms Returning to Work (outside the home): 1) If at all possible, return to work on a Thursday (if you work full time) so that you have a short work week initially. Then you have the weekend to review how to make necessary adjustments for the following week. And you enter the new week knowing you can do this! It is empowering to get through the first week, even if it is a short one. 2) If pumping, find out ahead of time where you can have privacy. Is there a lactation room at your work? Or an office with a lock on it? You don’t want someone barging in on you while in a vulnerable position. If you try pumping, and you find you just don’t have the energy to continue, perhaps partial supplementation with a formula for your baby will be just fine. Then you can breast-feed when you are with your baby at night and on weekends.  3) Bring snacks and water. It is so important to stay hydrated and keep blood sugar even. It’s easy to forget to eat or drink water when multi-tasking. Remember that proper nutrition, including continuing with prenatal vitamins (if breastfeeding and doctor recommends), is essential to good mood health. Bring high-protein snacks (like almonds and string cheese) to graze on throughout the day and before/after lunch. What is good for your body is good for your mental state. 4) Allow yourself to cry. You will miss your baby. A lot. Initially, it will be very tough. Bring Kleenex. Give yourself the time and space to let the tears flow in the company of supportive people who understand your transition. Then distract yourself with tasks at hand to ground yourself back in the present. Reward yourself with some nice adult conversation and a cup of delicious coffee or herbal tea. Savor being able to enjoy a chat with your colleagues uninterrupted by baby’s needs. 5) It may be helpful to bring a transitional object that reminds you of your connection with your baby, like a picture of the baby, or a little bootie with his/her scent. Some women laugh that they have a “baby shrine” of baby photos at their desks so that they feel connected to their little one while away. Leave a photo of you with the baby and an item with your scent on it (a robe or article of clothing). You stay connected through your senses that way throughout the day. 6) Align yourself with other working moms. They are invaluable as support when you are having a tough day balancing it all. These mammas are doing what you are doing and more than likely have some emotional support and tricks up the sleeve that has helped them weather the storm of transitioning back to work.  Don’t reinvent the wheel. Go to the seasoned mammas for support and guidance. 7) If at all possible, work for a family-friendly company. All moms/families deserve to have the flexibility they need to make work/family life balance possible. Sadly, not all employers embrace this philosophy. Some employers also have generous family leave policies. Check Working Mother magazine for the top employers who are “family-friendly.” I especially love companies that have on-site daycare. Content Source    

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Slow weight gain in breastfed babies

Most breastfed babies will get enough breast milk and gain weight in a consistent and expected pattern as long as they latch on well and breastfeed often. But, what if you think your child isn't getting what he needs to grow and thrive? If you're breastfeeding and your newborn is gaining weight slowly or inconsistently then he may not be getting enough breast milk. So, here's what to look for and what to do if you think your child isn't gaining weight well. Breastfeeding and Slow Weight Gain Breastfed newborns can lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight during the first week. Then, by the time a child is two weeks old, he should regain the weight that was lost. After that, for the next three months or so, breastfed babies gain about 28 gram per day. Of course, every newborn is different, and some children just normally grow more slowly than others. So, as long as your baby is breastfeeding well and his health care exams are on target, a slower weight gain may not be an issue. When Slow Weight Gain Is a Problem Weight gain is the best sign that a child is getting enough breast milk. When a baby is gaining weight slower than expected, it could mean that she's not getting enough. So, if your newborn is not back to her birth weight in two weeks, or she's not gaining weight consistently after that, it may be that there's a breastfeeding issue that's preventing your child from getting enough breast milk. The Reasons Your Baby May Not Be Gaining Weight as Expected Your newborn is not latching on well: A good latch allows your child to remove the breast milk from your breast without getting tired out and frustrated. If your baby is not latching on correctly, or latching on to just your nipple, she won't be able to remove the breast milk very well. Your baby isn't breastfeeding often enough: Breastfeed your newborn at least every two to three hours through the day and night for the first six to eight weeks. If he wants to breastfeed more often, put him back to the breast. Your child is not breastfeeding long enough at each feeding: Newborns should breastfeed for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side. As your child gets older, she won't need to breastfeed as long to get the breast milk she needs, but during the first few weeks, try to keep her awake and actively sucking for as long as you can. Your little one is in pain: If your baby is not comfortable because of a birth injury or an infection such as thrush in her mouth, she may not breastfeed well, and therefore she may be gaining weight slowly. You have a low breast milk supply: A low milk supply can prevent your child from getting enough breast milk, but it could also be the result of your baby not breastfeeding well. It's a bit of a vicious cycle. The good news is that a typical low milk supply can often be recovered pretty easily.   Content source Featured image source

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Baby feeding and sleeping schedule: Breastfeeding 4 to 6-month-old

A newborn’s sleep schedules take time to set and therefore it is very tough to get into a consistent routine before 4 months of age. Bedtimes can also be quite inconsistent and erratic in the first 3 months. Now that your baby is 4 months old, this is the perfect time to get your baby into a routine as they naturally settle into a 4-5 nap schedule. Here is your 4 month old breastfeeding schedule: 8am – Wake Up & Nurse 9:30am – Nap 11am – Nurse 12:00pm – Nap 2pm – Nurse 3pm – Nap 5pm – Nurse 6pm – Nap 8pm – Nurse / Bottle (We do a pumped bottle from 8pm onward) 8:30pm – 9pm Bed *Sometimes there is a middle of the night feed around 5am. It is common for baby to still get up 1-2x per night after the first 5-8 hour stretch at this age. Note: If your baby wakes up earlier, adjust the times above accordingly. For example, if your baby wakes up at 7am, then bedtime should be around 7:30-8pm. How many naps for a 4 month old? As you can see your 4 month old is napping 4 times a day now. This schedule has naturally emerged from following a 1.5-2 hour wake time in between naps and trying to do an “Eat, Activity, Sleep” schedule. The crucial point here is that you want to feed your baby AFTER they are awake. This way they are not associating nursing with going to sleep and will likely sleep better at night. This isn’t always possible to do this based on your baby’s nap schedule. Some days the schedule may get thrown off and you may have to nurse right before your baby goes to sleep. And that’s OK! Just try to implement it as often as you can. Naps at this age are typically 45 mins to an hour. Babies at this age haven’t yet learned to connect their sleep cycles so it’s common to have a nap that is just one sleep cycle. 4 month old babies usually nap 4-5 times a day. The key is that you’re wanting your baby to get 15-16 total hours of sleep a day (including naps & night time). How often to nurse a 4 month old? As far as nursing during the day is concerned, you may follow approximately 3 hours intervals in between nursing schedules. You may also nurse on demand and therefore if your baby gets hungry before 3 hours you may feed her. But, it will be ideal also to keep the 3 hours interval in mind. 4 Month Old Breastfeeding Schedule You don’t need to stick to a schedule to the T. Every day will be different and you can adapt and change it as you need to. The key elements of a schedule for a 4 month old is knowing that they will likely need at least 4 naps in the day. Carve out the approximate times for when those naps will be (morning, noon, early afternoon, late afternoon) and plan your day around that.   Content source Featured image source          

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6 home remedies of gas relief for babies

  Gas in the stomach can be the air swallowed through the mouth, or it can be the gas naturally produced by bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract. A baby can develop a gassy tummy due to any of the following reasons : Drinking formula too fast: Babies who breastfeed feed at a controlled pace, but formula-fed infants tend to gulp down a lot more when the bottle is held vertically into the mouth. This leads to ingestion of surplus air that gets trapped within the stomach and causes bloating. Poor latch to the nipple: Babies who do not latch properly to the breast or bottle nipple tend to leave a considerable gap between their mouth and the nipple. This gap can permeate the surrounding air, which the baby swallows along with the milk. Formula mixing and type: Some babies may develop gas after consuming a particular kind of formula. If you mix formula by shaking it in a bottle, then it can infuse a lot of gas in the liquid, that eventually ends up in the baby’s stomach. Not burping the baby between feeds: You should burp your baby between feeds since they cannot do it themselves. Leaving the baby without burping leads to accumulation of gas inside the belly. Too much crying: If the baby had been crying a lot, then they could inhale a lot of air that accumulates within the stomach and causes gassiness. Mother’s diet: What you eat is what you pass to your baby through breast milk. Certain food items may contain compounds that can get into breast milk and cause gas in babies. Eating various solid foods: Older infants and toddlers eat a wide variety of food. Bacteria within the gut can produce excess gas when digesting specific food items. What Are The Symptoms Of A Gassy Baby?   A baby with gas in the tummy displays the following symptoms : Fussiness and irritability: It is probably the first sign you notice, especially after feeding the baby. Your baby will inexplicably become fussy and irritable while otherwise being alright. Bloating: A baby’s bloated belly may indicate trapped gas. The belly will also be firm to touch. Pulling legs towards tummy: The baby will try to relieve any discomfort caused by bloating by pulling the legs upwards. Rubbing belly: Infants may also rub their belly while older infants and toddlers may hold or point towards the tummy to express discomfort. Gurgling noises from the stomach: If the surroundings are quiet, then you may even hear gurgling sounds from the baby’s belly. It could be a result of gas moving inside the gastrointestinal tract. It is most likely to occur sometime after a feed. Crying while squirming: If the gas causes severe bloating, then a baby may cry and squirm due to the discomfort. Sometimes, gassiness and bloating can cause extreme discomfort, warranting medical attention. Home Remedies For Gas In Babies A few natural remedies can work effectively as preventive measures for gas among infants. Parents must try the following steps at home when the baby displays symptoms of gas: Burp: Timely burping after a feed prevents accumulation of gas in the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. After every feed, hold the baby in your arms such that their head rests on your shoulder. Gently tap and rub the baby’s back between the shoulders till you hear a burp. Make sure to place a cloth on your shoulder since babies normally tend to regurgitate small amounts of liquid from their stomach. Basic baby exercises: One of the best exercises for gas in babies is bicycle kicks. Lay your baby on the back on a soft surface. Move their legs up and down on a regular basis. The exercise will help your baby relieve the gas and feel better.   Give tummy time: Experts suggest that regular tummy time improves upper body strength among infants. Adequate abdominal muscle strength allows the gut to relieve itself from gas. The pressure on the belly during tummy time also helps in the removal of gas. Tummy massage: Gentle clockwise massage around the navel stimulates the movement of food and gas through the gastrointestinal tract. You can consult a paediatrician or a certified paediatric massage therapist to learn specific massage techniques to relieve gas in babies. Firm nipple latch is important: Check if your baby is latching right to prevent them from gulping air while they feed. The baby is holding on right when their mouth covers the entire nipple.  A good latch also causes suckling sounds, which let you know that the baby is feeding properly. Babies with some orthodontic problems tend to have a tough time with nipple latching. Get your baby checked by the doctor if you feel they could have a problem. You can also try different bottle nipples. A small or big bottle nipple could cause a baby to suction air. Do not let the baby lie down with a bottle placed vertically in their mouth. Instead, control the flow of the milk by using techniques like paced bottle feeding. Switch formulas: If you suspect the current formula is causing gas, then try another. Sometimes the baby may have gas if they have lactose intolerance. If the symptoms of gas persist for long, you should consult a doctor. Can Solid Food Cause Gas In Babies? Yes. Some foods can make the gastrointestinal tract of a baby more susceptible to the production of gas: VEGETABLES FRUITS CEREAL AND GRAINS MILK PRODUCTS Cabbage Pears Cereal Cheese Cauliflower Apples Whole wheat Yogurt Broccoli Peaches Bran   Onions       Beans – nearly all types       The baby can eat most of the above foods, except milk products, on attaining the age of six months . Do keep in mind that solids are essential for the baby to meet their recommended dietary allowance (RDA). So instead of avoiding them totally, decrease the portion size and serve them during multiple feeds in a day. In case of foods such as wheat, you can consult a doctor if there is too much gas since it could be an indicator of allergy. While food eaten by the baby is a plausible cause for gas, what the mother eats may also lead to gassiness in breastfed infants.   Can The Mother’s Diet Cause Gas In ABreastfeeding Baby? Yes. Usually, gassy vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and beans can affect the baby. Some babies may develop gas when the mother eats spicy foods. The effect of the foods eaten may vary from mother to mother, so watch out for what you eat and how it affects your baby to determine the ideal diet when you breastfeed. Pediatric experts state that unless your baby develops gassiness within six hours of you eating a specific food, there is no need to stop eating it (11). Remember, some gas in babies is normal. You pass the nutrients you get through fruit and vegetables to your baby. Therefore, avoid eating a food item if your baby has too much trouble, but pause consumption albeit temporarily. Content source  Featured image source

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Seven-weeks old baby: Health, growth, care and more

At 7 weeks old, your little one is going through a lot of growth and development. Every day might seem to bring new surprises, but here’s what you can expect as a parent of a 7-week-old baby. Your Growing Baby You can expect your 7-week-old baby to continue their plotted development on the growth chart specific to their personal development. At this time, they will: Continue to gain about 1.5 to 2 pounds a month Grow about 10 inches (25 centimeters) between the time of birth and 12 months Have a head circumference that grows at about 2 centimeters a month Despite the fact that your baby is always growing and developing, babies will not always grow at a constant, regular rate. They may instead be more apt to have periods of rapid growth followed by slower growth. So, if it seems like they are moving out of those newborn onesies and into 3-month-old outfits seemingly overnight, it's normal. Developmental Milestones Although every baby is different, your 7-week-old baby should be making the following physical and developmental milestones appropriate for this age. Body Holds objects in their hand. Unlike the reflexive clutching skills that your baby has displayed so far, your little one now has more strength to be able to hold items on their own. Begins to bat at objects. Your baby might not quite be able to grab items out of their reach just yet, but you may notice them start to bat at objects, especially overhead toys, like play mats or swings and bouncer seats with mobiles. Brain After a big growth spurt in week 6, it might feel like your 7-week-old baby is settling down a bit. You may notice more frequent periods of calmness and alertness as they study the world around them. It's not random—they really are learning more each and every moment. Thanks to all of that new brain growth, take note of some of these new skills. Tracking objects or people. Feel like you’re constantly being watched? You are! Your little one is learning to keep eyes on you at all times as they gain the ability to follow objects with their eyes as they move. Test this new skill by holding an object in front of your baby’s eyes, then moving it slowly from side to side or just walk across the room. Your baby will best be able to track items or people moving horizontally; tracking vertical or diagonal movements will come in the next several months. Smiling. Your baby’s first smiles may have occurred last week or will develop this week. As the days go on, your baby will flash more and more smiles your way as they figure out that their smiles lead to mom smiles. Babies love to make you smile and even at this young age, they are figuring out how to get what they want by being adorable.  When to Be Concerned All babies develop at different rates and babies who were born prematurely or who have special needs may have different developmental milestones to meet according to their own timetables. For full-term babies who have no other medical conditions, you will want to talk to your pediatrician at 7 weeks old if your baby: Is not able to hold his or her head up Cannot track horizontal movements Appears to be developing a flat spot on either the back of the head or either side Cannot turn his or her head Baby Care Basics This week is a good time to make tummy time a consistent part of your daily routine if you haven’t done it already. Tummy time is important at this age, especially because your baby has gained the neck muscles necessary to hold up their head, but those muscles may be underutilized if your baby is spending a lot of time on their back. If a baby spends too much time on their back without changing position, they may be at risk for developing positional plagiocephaly, or a flat head. Increasing tummy time can help, but in some cases, it may require a specially fitted helmet for your baby. Without sufficient tummy time, babies may also have delays in other development milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, and crawling, because the muscles they need are not strong enough. Get started on tummy time with these tips: Work your way up. Start with shorter periods of time, from a few minutes, and work your way up to 10- to 20-minute periods of tummy twice a day. If you haven’t done a lot of tummy time yet, your baby may not like it very much at first. That’s okay—they just need more practice. Remember tummy time doesn’t have to be on the floor. Holding your baby to your chest counts for tummy time, too, because it will still get those muscles working. Use a play mat. Many activity mats and play mats have playful, colorful patterns that your little one can look at and study to make tummy time more fun. Use a pillow. Breastfeeding pillows are especially helpful for tummy time—just be sure you never leave your baby unsupervised around a pillow or on the floor. Get involved! If your little one is resisting tummy time, join in on the fun by getting down on the floor with them. Feeding & Nutrition Your baby may still be experiencing a significant amount of gas at this age. It could be completely normal and your baby will outgrow it, or it could be caused by breast milk or infant formula. If your baby is formula-fed, try experimenting with different types of formula. Your baby’s digestive system may have changed since the newborn days, so it may be worth re-visiting other brands or types of formula that you tried in the past without success. A formula that didn’t work for your baby at 2 weeks may just work at 7 weeks. If your baby is breastfed, think about what you are consuming that may be causing gassiness in your infant. Some common culprits of foods that can lead to your baby getting gas through breast milk include cow's milk and dairy products, vegetables (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, and peppers), cucumbers, garlic, and chocolate.   Sleep This week also marks a significant sleep milestone for many infants. According to a study in Archives of Disease in Childhood, the peak age for infant fussiness and crying at night is between 5 and 6 weeks. And although your infant probably won't sleep through the night (defined as sleeping longer periods of time, not necessarily a full eight-hour stretch like an adult) until around 13 weeks, you may be moving past the peak age of evening fussiness. Hopefully, that means calmer evenings and an easier time putting your baby to sleep at this age. But be careful to not let the newfound ease make you lax on bedtime routines; it’s still important to be consistent with bedtime and sleep cues so that your baby can learn how to go to sleep on their own. Of course, keep in mind that all babies are different, so your infant might have a longer experience of being fussy, too. content source

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