5 Nutritious foods for babies

There are a lot of baby-friendly foods out there, but after years of analysis, here are a few recommended foods that stand out from the pack.

Bananas: Banana is a good source of carbohydrate and it is considered the grab-and-go fruit. This fruit also contains high levels of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, iron and calcium. Bananas can be made into a puree/smoothie, which makes it easy for digestion.
Recommended age: Four to six months

Sweet potato: Okay, so there is nothing called “Super baby food”- but sweet potatoes are something that comes very close. They are the most nutritious food for babies since they have high levels of beta-carotene which when ingested the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A protects the baby from infection, also important for good vision and healthy skin. Potatoes can easily be mashed into a texture that is easy for babies.
Recommended age: Six months and older

Lentils: Lentils like beans and other legumes are a good source of lean protein and fibres. Proteins known as body building food, a regular source of protein will help the baby grow strong and healthy. Beans boiled and mashed with vegetables like carrots and beets will make it easy for digestion.
Recommended age: six months and older

Yogurt: Creamy yogurt is rich in vitamin D, calcium and iron, necessary for the healthy growth of bones and teeth. It is recommended to opt for plain yogurt without any added flavours or sugar. Yogurt also has probiotics, a type of good bacteria that helps in digestion and also improves the immune system.
Recommended age: Nine months and older

Iron-fortified cereal: Babies are born with a natural supply of iron, but these levels get depleted by the time they reach six months old. Rice cereal that has a high source of iron, oatmeal and barley are also good options. High iron levels will keep the baby strong and healthy.
Recommended age: Six months and older

Bottom line:
Babies constantly require a high source of fats, proteins and vitamins, but remember that the food must also be easily digestible and edible.

Tips to keep your baby comfortable in the summer heat

Summer might have meant carefree days laying out by the pool when you’re all by yourselves. But as a parent, you should be more concerned about your baby’s comfort in the summer rather than your own. Overdress a baby and he/she could develop heat rash. Expose his/her fragile body to hot conditions and your baby might become vulnerable to painful sunburn. So it is essential for every parent especially new ones to take utmost care of their babies. Here are a few tips telling you how to keep your baby comfortable in the summer heat.

Keep your baby hydrated

Even if you don’t see the sweat dripping from your baby’s forehead, he/she can be losing precious fluids due to the hot weather. Flushed face, skin that is warm to touch, rapid breathing, and restlessness are warning signs of dehydration that you should watch for in your baby. Make sure that your baby drinks more water than usual in the summer and is well hydrated at all times.

Be cautious with sunscreen

Try to keep your baby out of direct sunlight. But for times when that is impractical, make sure he/she is wearing sunscreen. Apply minimal amount of sunscreen to your baby’s exposed skin, including face. If your baby is older than 6 months, use sunscreen often or whenever he/she gets sweaty. Go for sunscreen that is designed for babies, with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.

Pick right clothes

While staying indoors, dress your baby in loose-fitting, lightweight garments, preferably the ones that are made from cotton. For outdoors, dress your baby in light-coloured long pants, long-sleeved shirt, and hat to shield his/her face. Don’t leave him/her exposed, since harmful rays can affect your baby’s skin.

Plan your outdoors wisely and seek out shade

Plan your outdoor activities before or after the sun crosses the peak hour. When you go to beach or park, look for protected spot, such as a tree or an umbrella. Choose sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of ultraviolet radiation to protect your baby’s eyes and to reduce glare.

Use a summer-friendly baby carrier

The combination of your body heat and carrier’s confining space can make your baby hot and uncomfortable within a matter of minutes. Choose baby carrier that is made from lightweight nylon rather than heavy fabric. If your child’s face starts to look flushed, remove him/her from the carrier. Also, wipe your baby with wet cloth occasionally to keep him/her cool.

Focus on bedding

During summer, use cotton sheets for your baby’s bedding. Avoid using synthetic material or waterproof mattresses as those things hold the heat in, causing discomfort to your baby. Hang wet towels over chairs or windows in the bedroom of your baby. The evaporating water might keep the air cool, reducing the temperature of the room.

Importance of moisturizing in children with Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a skin problem that causes dry, itchy, scaly and red skin in children. It usually starts during infancy or early childhood. In infants and toddlers, atopic dermatitis generally starts on face or on elbows and knees i.e. places that are easy to scratch and rub as they crawl. In older children, atopic dermatitis appears in the skin folds of elbows, hands and/or knees. Rashes or redness behind a child’s ear, on their feet or scalp, may also be a sign of atopic dermatitis.

There is no specific treatment to control atopic dermatitis. Keeping the moisture intact in your child’s skin is one of the most important things that can help in controlling atopic dermatitis.

Children with atopic dermatitis have a damaged skin barrier (outermost layer of skin), which makes their skin more sensitive to irritants, allergens, bacteria and other invaders. Damaged skin barrier also makes it harder for the skin to retain water, leading to chronic dry, itchy skin, which can cause atopic dermatitis to flare or get worse. Moisturizer helps to keep skin hydrated and protects skin barrier, thus preventing dryness and keeping out irritants and allergens.

Using a moisturizer in children with atopic dermatitis can:
– Help skin to heal
– Reduce itching by relieving dry skin
– Decrease the need for atopic dermatitis medicine
– Prevent atopic dermatitis from getting worse

The “Soak and Seal” method:

The “Soak and Seal” method of treating atopic dermatitis is recommended to treat dry skin and to reduce flare.

Instructions to Soak and Seal:

– Put the child in a bathtub using lukewarm water for five to 10 minutes
– Use a gentle cleanser (no soaps) and avoid scrubbing affected skin
– After bathing, pat the skin lightly with a towel leaving it slightly damp
– Apply the prescription topical medication to affected areas of skin as directed
– Soften moisturizer by rubbing it between hands
– Apply a thick layer of moisturizer all over the skin within three minutes of bathing or showering to “lock in” moisture and protect skin barrier
– Wait a few minutes to let the moisturizer absorb into skin before dressing or applying wet wraps.

Don’t limit moisturizing to just bath time. Apply it throughout the day whenever child skin starts to itch or feels dry. Also remember, when looking for a moisturizer, it should be fragrance-free, dye-free and greasy or more oily (ointments and creams instead of lotions).

Tips to take care of your child’s sensitive skin

Everyone wants to keep their new baby clean, especially we spend a lot of time and money on our baby’s skin care products to keep it healthy and soft. But chemicals in baby shampoos, soaps and lotions never stop to worry us.

Though we hope that products designed for babies are risk-free, that’s not necessarily the case. Many baby care products contain additives that can be potential irritants. Some babies can develop skin irritation, like eczema, due to the exposure to ingredients in these products.

Children have thin and delicate skin than adults, thus making it more sensitive to irritation. Here are a few tips to help parents care for their child’s sensitive skin:

– Many products contain dyes and perfumes that irritate your child’s sensitive skin. So before buying a baby care product, make sure it is free from dyes and perfumes, and are specially designed for sensitive skin.

– Protect your baby’s skin from the exposure of sun. It can irritate your baby’s delicate skin. Cover your baby with protective clothing.

– Limit your baby’s exposure to other household irritants. Avoid using aerosol products, vacuum weekly, keep your pets out of bedroom, and choose mainly cotton or cotton blend clothing for your baby. Before your child wears new clothing, wash all of it new clothing with sensitive-skin-friendly laundry detergent that is free of dyes and perfumes.

– Keep your baby’s skin well moisturized. Choose a moisturizer that is made for babies and is dermatologist tested. Proper moisturizing help in protecting your baby’s sensitive skin from irritation.

– Consult a doctor if your baby’s skin is very irritated and itchy, or if they have frequent rashes. Some babies have skin conditions such as eczema that require special treatment.

Dry Skin in Babies : Causes, Symptoms And ways To Prevent

There are noticeable changes when a baby has a dry skin:
– White scales that peel at the edge of the skin.
– Roughness and scaly like texture on the skin.
– Flakiness when the skin is rubbed
– Obvious dry red patches

How To Prevent Dry Skin In Babies?

Prevention of dry skin is easy, and all you need to do is follow simple steps.

Limit bath time: Spending too much time for a bath, especially in hot water, can wash away natural skin oils, leading the skin to dryness. If the baby loves playing in the tub, then let him in the tub with minimal water and top the tub with water just before bath.

Avoid harsh soaps: Avoid soaps as they contain alcohol and artificial fragrance, drying the baby skin quickly. Instead, choose syndets over soaps that are specially designed for the baby skin. They have a skin-friendly pH, gently cleansing without harming the protective layer of the baby skin.

Use moisturizing lotions after bathing: Moisturize the baby’s entire body immediately after the bath. The nourishing agents in the moisturizer form a thin layer on the skin. Using moisturizers is the safest remedy for baby’s dry skin.

Select clothes made of natural fabrics: Natural fabrics such as cotton are gentle on the skin. If the baby has dry skin, then it is important to make him/her wear cotton clothes.

Use baby laundry detergent: Laundry care does protect your baby’s skin. You must wash them in baby laundry detergents. Look for a detergent that is only for the laundries of a baby.

Keep the baby hydrated in summer: Hot weather also causes low humidity. In such conditions, give the baby lots of fluids such as water and breast milk.