Saturday, June 20, 2009

My husband is a sailor. He sails for 4 months and is on shore for about three. Since he was here last my daughter grew very attached to her dad. Recently he left to join ship.
I had read that its best to say a proper good bye to babies while leaving rather than sneaking away lest they become anxious. I didn't worry too much about it since Istill haven't started working and intend to be full time with my daughter for atleast another year. When we went to drop her father at the airport, it worried us should she cry seeing him leave. Not only would it be emotionally very difficult but its very difficult to soothe her when she cries and she has one of those high pitched ones! So we were glad in a way that she slept through most of the car ride and didn't wake up until after we got home leaving her father at the airport.
For two days she seemed to look for him and then would get distracted with me or my in laws. I assumed she was alright otherwise. Then I noticed she was increasingly unruly two days after he left. She was taking shorter naps and consequently didn't get enough sleep making her tired and cranky and generally unruly. Initially, I suspected teething or some other illness. Also, when she woke up from her nap or sleep she would cry very loudly and in desperation. Otherwise she used to cry only loud enough to attract someones attention. She preferred everyone in the house near her. If one person was missing she would go in search of that person. That's when it struck me.
She was revisted by her separation anxiety!
Separation anxiety affects most babies at some time or the other particularly in the latter half of the first year. I thought my baby was through it.
Once i had diagnosed what the problem was i could deal with it. I gave her extra cuddles and spent lot of time with her particularly when ever she seemed to want me. I tried to stay within her eyesight as much as possible and also ensured others in the house were nearby. For two days I didn't indulge in any sleep training and just let her be. I breastfed her a lot especially in the night whenever she woke up. I generally kept her close to me. She was fine and back to normal in a day.
If your child is waking up often or is sleeping poorly, it may be due to separation anxiety.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Roger Federer...The greatest?

When I used to refer to Federer as the greatest tennis player ever, they didn’t agree. After all, he had never won at Roland Garros. The fact that he made it to the finals three years in a row in the past wasn't good enough. AND YET LAST EVENING THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HE DID. He won his first French open and the relief and happiness on doing it was evident. His emotional side coming to fore proving his human status when there was a time people speculated if he wasn’t an android programmed to win!
Of course the Federer of today is no match for the Federer two years back when he played flawless tennis with his shots teasingly on the line time and again. He knew no weaknesses. And the more he won the more confident he became. He is not modest and yet when he said “I played incredibly”, it never sounded arrogant or like boasting. It was just plain truth that he backed with his performance again and again. Now he has equaled Pete Sampras's record of 14 Grand Slam titles. But that achievement took a back seat in lieu of his winning the much desired French Crown. And he is 27years old. Surely there will be few more titles on the way before he lays his tennis shoes to rest.
Federer's best is probably over. All good things must come to an end. But, to me he is the greatest with or without the Prized Clay title.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Recipes for babies
If your baby is not taking veggies, here is a recipe that you can try at home
Chop carrots potatoes or beans fine or you can grate these (its faster!). Fry them in a little butter (or olive oil). Add a little milk and cook it till soft. Cool it and serve. You can add it to rice if your baby prefers that. Alternatively you can also add some cheese and cook it.Its easy and fast. And your cheese eating baby will also down some veggies. And its tasty enough to be eaten by adults in case of left overs!

Let me know if you liked it.
My daughter is one year old.
How soon has this year passed? And how much has she changed. She can stand up and is on the verge of walking. Very soon she will be all but independent. With "parents" looking to hinder all the "fun activities". Making them go to school. Not letting them play in the rain etc etc... The hardest thing is her not wanting me all the time. And worse, she prefers to go to others over me and needs me only when she is hungry or sleepy. That’s hard when there was a time not too long ago when I was the centre and entire universe and she needed me completely and at all times. I think a part of me will die when I stop breast feeding. I hold on to that now for a little cherished one - to - one time with my baby. This is foolish sentiment knowing it’s for good. It makes her a stronger personality exposed to different people and experiences and it gives me more time to catch up on all things I had put on the back burner since her birth. But a part of me cries for the times already receding into the archives of the past. I guess its time to rediscover my life now. I must learn to let go of her tiny hand slowly. The same hand that I first saw move in a hazy black and white image during the fifth month ultrasound scan. Sigh!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Don’t let them influence you to let your baby cry out

I wrote an article previously about not letting people influence you against breastfeeding. Another out dated and worthless piece of advice is to let your baby cry out.
Being a new mother you may have heard these at some time or the other...“When your baby is waking up in the middle of the night interrupting your sleep and if you have reasons to believe she isn’t hungry, just let her cry out to sleep. (A two month old baby is smart enough to manipulate you?!) or "Don’t carry her around too much or she will get used to it. Put her down and if she protests just ignore her. She will figure out soon enough that no one is picking her up and will shut up.”
And listening to these words, many mothers bite their tongue and in tears ignore their helpless baby’s whimpers. And unfortunately when you have decided to do it there can be only two outcomes. The baby cries louder, gets angrier and grows up into a difficult child and a difficult adult. Else the baby sleeps alright and grows thinking the world is an indifferent place that will not listen to her or him. She doesn’t understand you are letting her learn to sleep on her own. She feels abandonment. He becomes apathetic and withdrawn. I don’t think any mother if she wasn’t misguided would have the heart to let her child cry out. Its just too heart breaking to see your little helpless and vulnerable bundle cry pitifully either in hunger or just to feel the warmth of her mother's touch. The cruelest thing you can do to your baby is to let him cry out. And if you do get inured to let your baby cry, you become insensitive to her needs. Thrust out into this world completely helpless she is entirely dependent on others to keep her well fed, warm and safe. Imagine sleeping under a warm blanket and suddenly pulled out of it and thrust naked in the cold, receive no comfort and be ignored. Is there anything crueler? Whenever you feel that your baby is manipulating you, think about it from her point of view. She needs something. She is hungry or in discomfort or just craves for your warmth and touch. Researchers have been advising the importance of attachment parenting not only to ensure a happy baby but also a happy child and a confident adult.
Attachment parenting in simple words means, breast feeding your baby, carrying your baby around if she wants it and never let him cry out.
Indulge your baby for a year and then slowly start disciplining with gentle ways of correction. Focus on good behaviour rather than the undesirable. Research shows that a baby brought up with attachment parenting out grows the dependence on her mother much faster than a baby that isn’t and what is more, these babies are easier to discipline as well.
I can vouch for that thru’ my personal experiences. My baby is a classic "high need" baby. She cried a lot as an infant and wanted to feed continuously and preferred sleeping in your arms and would cry and wake up when put down. She wouldn’t go to anyone else. Listening to popular advice I did everything to ensure she slept on her own but luckily I never listened to the advice to let her cry out. I attended to her and indulged her needs. I couldn’t bring myself to let her cry out. Today she still sleeps poorly but getting her to sleep is an easier affair. And what is more, she is no longer overly attached to me and is happy to spend time with her father and grand parents. So much that she needs me only when she is hungry or sleepy. And yes when she hasn’t seen me in a while, she comes running or should I say “crawling”to me with such a happy face that it makes my days worthwhile. I only wish I had carried her more as an infant. Perhaps today her sleeping would have been better too. With all the facilities today like baby carriers you can have the baby close to you and still be free to perform your chores.
One of the trickiest things to teach your child is to sleep on her own. Many adults find it difficult. And its called insomnia! While some baby do master the skill early on and are generally good sleepers through out, other babies are wired differently and find sleeping a terrifying thing. These babies have to be parented to sleep. But no matter how long it takes, eventually every baby learns to sleep on her own.
. And if your baby is a difficult sleeper and you are on the verge of letting your baby cry out, then buy "The no cry sleeping solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. I found it extremely useful and things have been indeed better since I started referring the book. Dr. William Sears has written a series of books on attachment parenting and against the crying out method. Prominently, The Baby Book and The Discipline Book. It will be highly beneficial to refer to them as well.
Letting your baby cry out is cruel and inhuman. What ever you do, don’t indulge in it. Follow your heart.