Disclaimer: I am not medically qualified. This post is purely based on my experience with my son. These methods may or may not work with your child.
A healthy child is every parent’s dream and all our efforts are directed towards that. I have a 16 month old son, who by God’s grace is one of the healthiest kids in the block! Now when I say healthy, I don't mean that he is all chubby, eats really well and weighs much more than he is supposed to. On the contrary, he is quite lean, is an extremely fussy eater and weighs just exactly what he’s supposed to. By healthy, I mean that he has hardly ever fallen sick from birth till now (touchwood!). Apart from this being God’s immense grace, I believe that this is also because of few things that my husband and I believe in and strongly follow since his birth. I am sharing those couple of things that helped us raise a healthy child:
- Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding all the way! Out of the 4 tips, just follow this one tip and you are set. Moms and Moms-to-be out there, if you are able to breastfeed, don’t you ever give up on it easily. I strongly believe that breastmilk is the root of my child’s health and immunity. It truly is liquid gold and a miraculous creation of God. It even has the power to cure small illnesses of the baby. I personally, never give my child any medicine for common cold. I just breastfeed a little more than usual and it usually goes away in like 2 days.Now the decision to continue breastfeeding has not been an easy one. There have been days, when I have cried in the middle of the night just because he would be continuously waking up to feed and I will think of weaning starting the next day. But hanging in there, is the best decision that I have ever made. Recently, we went on a 3 week trip abroad and the weather in the countries we visited was pretty cold. My kiddo used to breastfeed like crazy during the trip, which was quite tiring and drained me out completely on some days. But it was totally worth it because my son did not even catch a slight cold! And because he was healthy, we too could enjoy our trip peacefully. So breastfeeding is totally worth all the effort. Working moms out there, if you have good milk supply, invest in a breast pump and pump milk. Please do not immediately switch to formula just for convenience sake.
- Let kids experience everything! Usually first time moms are extremely OCD about every single thing related to the kid. My advice would be ‘Take a chill pill!’ Its good for you as well as your baby!. I have let my child play in the sun as well as in the rain. I think the first time we let him play in the rain was immediately after he turned 1 and we all totally enjoyed it!! They say that even if the child does fall sick by playing in the rain, you should continue exposing him to it which will help build immunity. With respect to food, my mom always used to make a big deal about us eating cold stuff saying we would fall sick. But I believe kids should be exposed to heat, cold and everything from a young age. I have fed my baby cold juices even when he had just started taking solids and not once till now has he had a throat infection or anything of that sort.
- Take babies out as much as possible! This is a very essential aspect in building immunity in a child. We should never be scared to take our babies out. You will be amazed at how well they adjust because inherently all babies love a change of scene and especially love being out in the nature. Right from 3 months, we have travelled with our son within our state. The first 4-5 day trip that we took was when he was around 5 months. Initially, it was a bit of a challenge but slowly he started adjusting and loving it too. Also, try and take the child for family functions and family get-togethers as well. It can be quite daunting as a new mom because so many people would want to hold the baby which can make the child fussy. But it really helps your child socialise right from a very young age.
- A little bit of dirt is not going to harm anyone!I often see that parents are really paranoid about their child being clean and also the need to be in extremely clean surroundings all the time. Again I am telling you ‘Take a chill pill!’ A little bit of dirt is not going to harm your child in any way. In fact, there are studies which show that children should be allowed to play in mud and dirt as there is good bacteria in it which is really beneficial for the child. I let my child roll around in mud in our courtyard. I also let him eat food that he dropped on the floor. I never carry sanitiser in my diaper bag. In fact, its better not to use sanitiser on children because God knows what chemicals are in there!!
All said and done, these are just things that worked for me and my family. You are the best judge of what is best for your child and your family. So go ahead and do what you deem best for your child!
Happy Parenting everyone!!