28 October 2018

How to manage bottle feeding the baby during long travel | My 10 tips to fly with a baby stress free


travel-with-a-baby

We were super excited to show my baby girl to her grand-parents in India after she was born .Unfortunately, neither my parents nor my hubby's parents could make it to the delivery etc because of their old age and poor health and the looong travel and stay was not worth that risk .

So,we travelled to India when my girl was 6 months old .Though my baby's doctor advised to feed her solid food right from her 4 month itself ,I fed her lightly only as according to our Hindu custom in my hometown in Kerala,baby's first solid food should be fed at 6 month infront of God in a temple among priests,grand parents and other relatives in a pious way.We call this custom,"Kunjinde Chorunnu." and we performed this ceremony in the famous temple of lord Krishna in Kerala,Guruvayur .(Pictures are not allowed inside the temple .So,we couldn't even capture the ceremony in camera but just in our memory forever)

PICTURE CREDIT - HARIVARA.COM

It was winter here in US when we left and the flight was about 30 hrs approx. I decided to use infant formula for the journey and the stay in India as I didn't want to struggle on the go and wanted to make sure my baby was well-fed and relaxed through out.

After lots of research ,weighing all the pros and cons of different infant formulas available in the market ,we chose and used Gerber good start gentle formula and Enfamil Enspire formula as the components in them are very close to the breast milk as specifically mentioned in them and my baby was also very happy with both the formula milks.

PICTURE CREDIT :Harivara.com

Long flight with a small baby was not going to be a child's play . My excitement became jiggly .Loads of questions and concerns build up in my mind and heart like how many bottles I must take ,How do I store my formula powder safe ,how do I wash my baby bottles etc etc etc....This was so scary,challenging and overwhelming . This was gonna be nothing less than an adventure!

So,I knew I need an action plan .I must be prepared .So,I started doing my research how to travel with a baby for long distance .Thank God my dearest Google is always there at a fingerclick with oodles of informations always .But time was a constraint .I got lots of informations scattered here and there but not upto my satisfaction .I didn't see a particular blog or article with all the information I needed.I collected whatever information was available in the internet and then I customized my plan ,found all the stuffs I believed would make my long distance travel with the little one comfortable and stressfree for all of us .

So,I am going to share how I victoriously managed bottle feeding my baby during the long international travel .These are the blessed stuffs I purchased that helped me for the same :



1.Infant Formula -

I bought a formula dispenser (Shown below) and filled it with enough formula for 8 feedings approx. .Rest, I took the formula can as well for back up.

























       

  





2.Formula Dispenser 


best-formula-dispenser

I bought two of this formula dispenser can/bottle with 4 compartments to store enough formula powder for the trip and it was so convenient and very helpful.It could easily fit in the diaper bag without taking much space .Since the formula is premeasured in every compartment,it was easy to make milk aptly .


3.Baby milk bottles 


Best-baby-bottle-glass











Because of BPA and other similar chemical concerns in plastic bottles, even though they claim to be BPA free,I used only glass bottles with silicon nipples that resembles breast and are anti-colic/anti-gas as well .I had about 8 small baby milk bottles for the journey.

By the way,there are also pre-sterilized single-use baby milk bottles in the shops,though they are bit pricey.
bottle-liners

We can also use disposable milk bottle liners as shown above ,that can be inserted into the milk bottle and can store milk for feeding .In that way ,we can skip washing the bottle provided the milk doesn't leak into the bottle .But then the nipples and lids have to be washed.In that case spare lids and nipples would be required.I bought these bottle liners but didn't buy spare lids and nipples .SO,it was not that helpful to me.

     

4.Baby milk bottle cleaners


baby-bottle-cleaners 
























During air travel ,the water in the toilet or airport are not that safe to clean those milk bottles properly and it is very necessary to sterilize the bottles after use or they may harbor any bacteria growth from any formula leftover .For that I bought these - Fizzwizz cleaning tablets and wipes made up of natural things that cleans and sterilizes bottles,pacifiers,toys etc  on the go and also special microwavable bags that cleans and sterilizes the bottle as well . They saved my insanity !:D

     

5.Baby bottle travel warmer 


baby-bottle-warmer
 This bottle heater/warmer is a portable one which doesn't need any electricity .It easily fits into the diaper bag and can be used as needed especially during flight when you wanna warm milk for the baby if your baby prefers warm milk . Otherwise the baby can be practiced a week or two ahead to accept the milk that's not that warm so that it will be easy while travelling .

      

6.Thermo Flask

For warming any milk or for preparing infant formula we need hot water .We can store water in these thermos flasks which holds hot water for 8-10 hrs .

Before boarding ,the security officers may screen any baby food or liquid .Sometimes they may allow that much water just because it is for the baby otherwise I usually borrow some hot water from any shop in the airport .Most of the restaurant especially starbucks will be happy to give if we mention that it is for the baby . We can use this water to make warm infant formula milk or for warming the ready -to-feed one or any pumped breastmilk.The air hostess in the flight may or may not have hot water and can also warm the milk in the microwave but it may warm it unevenly and can cause mouth burns to the baby.I carried two thin and small thermos flask with me.

      

7.Large zip lock bags

Have a few large size ziplock bags handy .After feeding milk to the baby,we can put the used bottle for cleaning later into these bags and keep it safe from spilling in to the bag .Also,after cleaning since it will be still wet,we can use these zip lock bags to store and keep them away from dripping or spoiling the bag .We can also use to store any used bibs or burp cloth or any spoiled baby cloth.

    

8.Diaper bag with lots of compartments

Large diaper bag with lots of useful compartments to store everything needed handy .I had two ..Phew....One just to store my heavy glass feeding bottles exclusively with thermos flasks .It was so heavy ..Oh my !!

     

9.Dish soap (liquid) and Bottle cleaning brush

Whenever possible, especially in layovers,I would clean bottles in every nook and corner with the brush as well to make sure no milk residue is left anywhere and dish soap as a backup if needed.
10.I also got lots of bibs,burp cloths,pacifiers,extra cloths,washcloths,diapers,diaper changing pad ,boogie wipes (for stuffy nose just incase ),infant Tylenol for any cold,Baby vicks ,baby lotion,baby powder ,cotton towels (Large and small) ,small blankets ,baby carrier,stroller etc....
Depending upon the duration of our journey ,considering the airport waiting times ,any layover's duration,any delays or what if we miss the flight etc ,we must plan accordingly atleast a month or two ahead .I made a checklist for the same as I ordered many things from the Amazon and some orders take time to arrive and if we use Amazon prime program we can get them within two days ,almost everything at a good price,saves our time in shopping in the town otherwise .

Even though I was well-prepared,nevertheless, with the baby many things can go unpredictably wrong.I took a sigh of relief only when I reached my country ,my home.So,I was still little worried but then we also have to remain stress free ,otherwise it will be contagious to baby as stress in mother = stress in baby.So,I was also trying to regulate all my chakras and meditating from inside silently :D

We had long flight delays but because of my preparation ,everything regarding baby went smooth and she was well-fed and well-rested and all set to meet her folks in INDIA,her motherland....:)

I hope this blogpost will be helpful to any new mother in the same situation and will guide her in her preparation to travel with a baby stress free and aptly.




22 September 2018

Does baby need Vitamin D ?

vitamin-D-FOR-BABIES

Vitamin D is one of the quintessential vitamin not only for adults but also for babies as well .Babies need Vitamin D for a healthy growth and overall well being.

As per the well known researcher Michael F. Holick, Professor of medicine, Physiology, and Biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine , Vitamin D deficiency can not only cause rickets (a disease that can lead to bone deformity and fractures), it can also keep a child from reaching her genetically programmed height and peak bone mass  ~ Babycenter.com

What are the health benefits of Vitamin D for babies and adults ?


HEALTH-benefits-of-vitamin-D

Did you know that,though breast milk is consider the elixir,all-in-one nutrition for baby ,it typically doesn't have enough Vitamin D necessary for an infant's overall development and so a baby may require supplements prescribed by the doctor.On the other hand ,most of the infant formula milks are already fortified with enough Vitamin D ,that any further supplement (medicines) are unnecessary . 

How to get Vitamin D ?

  1. Sunlight -Vitamin D is also called "the sunshine" vitamin as Vitamin D is naturally created by skin when directly exposed to sun .However,the harmful effects of Ultra violet radiation can also cause skin cancer ,making it tricky .Moreover,in babies because of the clothing and sunscreen sunlight effects are minimal and hardly helps in creating Vitamin D .
  2. Foods - Most of the formula milks are fortified with enough Vitamin D  for the baby.Mothers who took enough Vitamin D during pregnancy ,may forward it to the baby after birth  via breast milk but they may or may not meet baby's need and may require additional supplements .As a baby gets older and on solid food ,including  food items rich with Vitamin D will be helpful.
  3. Vitamin Supplements - For adults ,many Vitamin D tablets are available in the medical store or as advised and prescribed by the doctor.Babies with Vitamin D deficiency are prescribed Vitamin D in liquid form ,easy to swallow ,using a dropper .As per FDA,the baby should be given the exact amount as prescribed by the doctor using the dropper that came with the medicine and it should not exceed the dose in any way ,which may otherwise be harmful to the baby .

How much Vitamin D the baby / child needs ?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics ,all infants,older kids,teens should  take Vitamin D supplements of 400 IU each day unless otherwise advised/prescribed by the doctor.


What are the best sources of food that contain Vitamin D ?


Sources-of-vitamin-D

I remember, when I was struggling hard with breast feeding my baby properly after she was born and when I visited India with my baby,after lots of trials and guilt trips,I finally decided (with doctor's suggestion and assurance) relied upon the infant formula milk completely to feed my baby .

In US and in India,I was interrogated , belittled ,judged by many "women" (people I know well) for that as if I was committing a sin and I was lectured that there is nothing like breast milk ,it has everyyyything and I knew a few women who completely breast fed their babies ,(those babies) were always sick and by God's grace ,my baby was doing well (touchwood!)…

I do agree there is nothing good like the natural breast milk for the baby but it also has its own cons -Breast milk doesn't have enough vitamin D,iron etc  but infant formula has ...so,all those breastfeeding moms cut some slack ,sometimes even mother's love will be enough to make a baby thrive happily and healthily and mothers who give infant formula to their baby,"If you can't breastfeed your baby and you have switched to infant formulas ,don't worry,be happy,you are doing your best for your child ,rest leave to God,he will take care of rest with blessings "...😊

Anyways,I always wanted to write in my blog all about Vitamin D as Vitamin D is one of the unavoidable vitamin for adults as well and Vitamin D deficiency is quite common among adults nowadays and it causes lots of health issues if not restored sooner .So,when it comes to baby,we want to give them the best jumpstart to a good health and Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamin a baby must have .Now,I am relieved as I finally have the complete list of the Vitamin D food items for referral.

So,this is for my little sunshine ,so that she may shine bright always (AMEN!)








DISCLAIMER:This article/blogpost is for informational purpose only and are not intended to offer any personal medical advice. 

REFERENCES:
  1. Vitamin D in child's diet
  2. Does my baby need a Vitamin D supplement ?
  3. Babies may get too much vitamin D from dropper
  4. Breast fed babies still need extra vitamin D
  5. Vitamin D for infants
  6. Sources of vitamin D













30 August 2018

Is fish a good food for babies?

FISH-FOR-BABY-FOOD



"Omega-3's are the head-to-toe nutrient because they're good for nearly every organ of a child's body, from the brain to the skin. Most parents, however, are unsure about feeding their babies fish, which is the richest source of DHA, the healthiest type of omega-3 fatty acid for infants." ~ Dr.William Sears, M.D. via Parenting.com

Fish is a super nutritious food for baby and adults.However,they are also prone to mercury contamination etc ,making them scary, skeptical and risky to consume wholeheartedly especially when it comes to feeding a baby .

RISK - What exactly is mercury contamination in fish ?

The industrial garbage,agricultural wastes,storm water run off etc release mercury products or similar deadly contaminants into the water bodies like river,streams,sea etc which is then consumed by the marine animals and then they get contaminated especially with Methyl Mercury .Methyl Mercury is toxic for fetuses and especially for young children leading to developmental problems .

BENEFITS - What are the benefits of consuming a fish ?

  • Fish is low in saturated fat and a good source of high protein,vitamins ,minerals ,Omega 3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) ) and some fish may also provide Vitamin D, making it an excellent food for brain,heart and overall health .
  • Omega 3 (DHA) aids in neurological and visual developments in infants making them brighter,smarter and happier .
  • Improves the immune system of the baby.
  • Keeps skin allergies at bay - Omega 3's decreases the inflammation in all parts of the body ,prevents any skin allergy flare ups and ease asthma symptoms as well .
According to an article published in mercola.com ,"Omega-3 deficiency is likely the sixth biggest killer of Americans, and may be a significant underlying factor of up to 96,000 premature deaths each year."

How to avoid the risk and achieve the benefits, the fish has to offer ?

There are plant based Omega 3s but they can never replace the effectiveness of animal based Omega 3s .So, according to recent studies and medical experts advise ,Fish is an ideal food that cannot be avoided .Trick is to go for fish that falls into the category of low mercury level .

What are those fish that are low or high in mercury level ?

Here is an apt pictorial representation straight from FDA AS IT IS in their website for a credible referral .(The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services responsible for protecting and promoting public health.



Picture Credit : FDA




When can we start feeding the baby fish ?


Dr.William Sears mentioned in the article in Parenting.com ,that baby can start on fish except the shellfish right from 6 months of age . 

And as mentioned in the Babycenter.com,fish is one of the top allergenic food and if a baby has chronic eczema or a food allergy or allergy runs in the family,discuss with your baby's doctor first.As with any new food ,offer fish for 3-5 days to rule out any allergy symptoms  like facial swelling,skin rash,wheezing,vomiting,diarrhea,abdominal cramping etc .



How much fish baby should eat ?


Baby (less than 6 years of age) should eat 2-6 Oz of fish per week .

Other points to remember while offering fish to baby are :

  • Fresh fish is the best.
  • Fish should be cooked well to destroy bacteria and viruses that thrive in raw or undercooked fish.
  • To prevent choking,fish should be boneless,skinless,minced and pureed.
  • Smaller fish have few contaminants.
  • Cut off the fatty parts of the fish which collects contaminants like PCBs .However,mercury cannot be removed like this as it is stored in  the muscle tissue of the fish.
    Picture Credit :Washington State Depatment of health


Old studies Vs New studies of serving fish to baby


According to the old studies fish were advised by medical experts to be given to babies after 1 year of age to prevent any allergy.

According to the new research,fish can be introduced as soon as 4-6 months whenever baby is introduced to solid food ,it ensures any future fish allergy and also makes baby more open to different kinds of foods with ease.

I gave my baby right from 7 months and by God's grace and her grace of course,she accepted it wholeheartedly without any fuss so far (Touchwood!!) and the fish I trust and love to give her is Salmon as it is not only the best source of Omega3s but also provides Vitamin D.I was skeptical as I personally don't like the taste of the salmon but my baby is kind and cooperative so far(Touchwood again!) 😀

I was also very confused with the varieties of fish with low level mercury level that can be given to baby aptly and now I finally have the list here to refer properly.:)

So,yes there is something fishy about them (fish) but then personally,I believe hardly anything in today's era is not adulterated or contaminated .It's a tricky world out there ,we have to use our brain and heart to make the smart choice about everything ..and when it comes to baby,we have to be extra cautious because what an adult body can handle (foods etc) ,a baby's immature or developing digestive system or body may not and even be harmful .

However, inspite of the dark sides ,we have to look at the bright side and make the right decisions as much as possible that would ensure baby is still getting all the essential nutrition properly to the best of our ability . 

So,say yes to fish (with big heart and low mercury !) 😊

Cheers to a brainy healthy baby !! AMEN!








DISCLAIMER:This article/blogpost is for informational purpose only and are not intended to offer any personal medical advice. Please seek and follow the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions/concerns you may have regarding a medical condition .



REFERENCES: