Talking life onward
Blessed with baby - Part II
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
New mother checks app in her cellphone whether it is time to feed with last done noted. I tell her growing baby needs feeding more frequently as and when her body demands and need not necessarily be every two hours or so. It depends if baby emptied her bowel or even before sleeping little feed needed to satisfy and comfort of mother's lap. When she gives me back, baby opens her eyes a little to see who the person carrying her. Behaviours like this and her alertness getting disturbed even from little sound makes me believe that Mother Nature has gifted her sharp intelligence being a good girl all the while otherwise. The app is useful to keep the record of baby growing with each event right from feeding with quantity and/or time taken to pooping with colour and consistency.
Another app her father uses helps make baby sleep. It is all music pleasing to the ears but not as effective as mother's lullaby and the best which she picked up from her mother very recently only. Phupu loves to sing "Chanda hai tu, Mera suraj hai tu..." another lovely number by Lata (Aradhana 1969 S. D. Burman, Anand Bakshi) whenever she is with the baby. Simply humming is often found doing magic when baby really needs a sleep. Otherwise, talk to baby when awake and enjoy how she responds if in mood.
There are many useful baby products available online to make parents happy more than baby herself. Besides an attachment with some colourful toys, light and music to keep busy while in the crib, outside she can be put in a sleeper with vibration that lull baby to sleep. Even a little gym is there to strike the piano rid to play different musical notes each time baby hits it while moving her legs cycling.It also has a mirror hung above an arch with some toys swinging. Mirror is believed to help baby improve recognitive quality by reflection while back home traditionally showing a mirror is supposed to delay her talking ability rather turn dumb. Mother herself fond of reading, her baby too has a good collection of little and miniature books held with book-ends on the table to start the library. Besides 'First 100 Words' and 'Baby Touch and Feel : Animals', popular titles like 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar', 'Snow White' and 'Sleeping Beauty' are also included. Reading aloud a book to baby from very early age helps in many ways. As per kidshealth.org "benefits of Reading aloud - a. teaches a baby about communication. b. introduces concepts such as numbers, letters, colors, and shapes in a fun way. c. builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills. d. gives babies information about the world around them."
As a baby-seat in the car is mandatory and the law is - "Children under age 4 must be properly secured in a child restraint system in the rear seat, if possible. They must then ride in a booster seat until they turn 8, weigh more than 80 lbs., or are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense." The rule is - "All children whose weight or height exceeds the forward-facing limit for their car seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are 8 through 12 years of age." Seat is rear facing helps see someone beside till the age of four and thereafter front facing so that mother can see on the mirror while driving the car herself. She can drive a car two weeks after the delivery. Here the company she works for allowed maternity leave of six weeks and another two weeks more for facilitated delivery while paternity leave was just two weeks only. Both the parents take class on parenting and also learn how to give a bath to the baby and change a diaper.
My online search led me to the article "These 10 countries have the best parental leave policies in the world" mentioning "America does plenty of things well, but paid parental leave isn't one of them. Out of the world's 196 countries, the US is one of only four that has no federally mandated policy to give new parents paid time off. That burden is placed on individual states and employers. But some countries really prioritize the well-being of new parents — both straight and same-sex — granting them more than a year of leave at full pay. If you're thinking of starting a family, here are the ideal places to call home...." Finland, Denmark, Sweden and most of the European countries made the list. Further, fortune.com said "India’s New Maternity Leave Policy Puts the U.S. / rest of the world to Absolute Shame. - India's new 26 weeks of paid maternity leave surpasses France's 16-week leave and easily bests the 14 weeks available in Germany and Japan. If India was an OECD country it would rank sixth, alongside Israel and Poland, for longest paid leave. Only the U.K., Greece, Ireland, the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic offer new mothers more paid time off." United Kingdom (52), Greece (43), Ireland (42), Slovak Republic (34) and Czech Republic (28) comes before India, Israel and Poland with 26 weeks and next is Hungary (24) while the USA (0) last.
Life returns to normal with mother back-to-work earliest making colleagues happy asking when she was bringing baby to meet them. Baby is given to baby care whole day if parents can not afford some other arrangement home like caring grand parents or otherwise. Along with the car-seat a stroller helps a lot to take baby easily while moving around for shopping or other errands besides evening walk. When we had brought a perambulator/pram from New Delhi for our baby now a proud mother, it was something new to flaunt in the community. Seeing the one now used, in which the car-seat also fits in, that seems to be mere a prototype yet quite functional enough to lull baby to sleep inside at night. Here some people take baby for a drive to make her sleep even at night. No need as we find our baby improved a lot in recent days. What more one could wish but pray the baby a smooth flow with passage of every moment of life to bring the best out for all of us so blessed!
Disclaimer: This is author’s personal account of memories updated to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life. Some names (*asterisk for those no more), quotes, places and events mentioned are just to connect with and no malice whatsoever intended. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His latest "The Newars World~Wide Connecting the Dots : Sikkim" is available at Rachna Books.