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They say a mother knows the best. Mothers have a strong intuition as to what is good and bad for their children. Many mothers when conceive; decide every new step of their little ones. They just don’t want to fall short in their efforts. Right from the choice of doctor, clothing, toiletries, toys, etc., every detail is looked after. Many even educate themselves with parenting tips with rigorous reading and attending pre-natal classes.
There were many things which I personally took care of: Massaging baby, boiling water for top feed, sterilizing bottles, washing & ironing clothes, cleaning toys and weaning.
I remember my doctor telling me that, ‘’a mother can do wonders to her child. It’s you who has to look after the kid. Even when it comes to massaging & bathing your baby. Why depend on aya bais or malishwalis? Do it yourself!’’
This really touched my heart. Till then I was just aware that malishwalis are kept for massaging & bathing the baby and the mother, since they have the knowledge & experience. They indeed have, no denying over it, but no touch is better than a mothers touch.
I had a C-section, and even I had appointed a malishwali for myself and my daughter, but just for a month. When I went to my mother’s place to stay, henceforth from then, I did it myself. Even my mother-in-law and husband used to help me, and he still does.
They say baby gains weight with massage. I don’t know how authentic it is? When I started massaging her exactly after a month she was born, we saw a profound difference in her growth, she used to never cry while massaging. More than that it was the special bond we started sharing.
Yes, massaging is very apt for mother-infant bonding similarly to breast feeding. A mother exactly knows how much force has to be applied and shall do it with clean hands. A gentle rubbing of body with mild oil is sufficient. Talking to the baby, singing with her, brings both of them more close.
Many new moms face back issues or can’t bend much due to stitches. For them it would be good to massage baby on the bed, with legs straight and lay down the baby with head starting from the feet. Or you can even cross your legs and massage. Do the way you are comfortable. Many people don’t bath their babies everyday, especially when climate is cold. One can also do sponging by laying baby on the bed, or buy a small tub (you get a seater too) and comfortably bathe baby on a higher platform. So you don’t have to bend and strain your back.
Be rest assured that the baby is in safe hands. Even bathing done by mother will make sure that the baby is taking bath with right temperature of water & right amount of soap/liquid.
Some mothers face a little difficulty in breast-feeding their infants, I was one of them. So, we had to start top-feed for our baby to fill her. I faced this problem for a month, so till that time had to feed her in bottle. I took utmost care to clean the bottle with liquid cleaning agent (easily available online or baby stores) and sterilize bottles after every feed. Change the bottle every 2 months & nipples every 15 days on an average. One can use the traditional method (which I used) or there are many sterilizer options available.
I had no guilt of feeding my baby top-milk, and since she was used to it we gave her only 2-3 times in a day to satisfy her strong hunger pangs. I even consulted a lactation expert for guiding me so as to reduce the bottle intake and help my baby latch on properly to get adequate breast milk. I did what was best and required at that moment for my baby. My patience was worth it and she was breast-fed by me for a year.
We washed her clothes separately and with mild liquid detergent (easily available online or baby stores). I made sure to iron her clothes after washing. Infact initially all new clothes were washed before making baby wear them, they say new clothes can cause skin reactions in infants. Soak the clothes half hour before washing in warm water.
Once she started playing with toys I made sure that I cleaned her toys regularly in warm water so as to avoid any infections. I wash them regularly even now.
There is nothing like cooking for your baby and specially the contentment after feeding her. I followed the Food chart given by my pediatrician. Feeding right type of food, in right quantity according to their age is very important. Many are of the opinion that “bache ko sab thoda thoda khilao”, so that the kid gets taste of it. But if done early, can cause bowel troubles. So it is advisable to be patient and feed as per age.
Inspite of having a supportive husband and family members I preferred being a hands on mother, loved doing everything for my baby and lived that moment.