Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Questions about baby care in India

As we plan out our return to India in the coming months, here are just a few of the questions floating my mind which no one seems to be able to answer. Feel free to go through them and share your knowledge via your comments and replies to this post:

  1. The most important and absolutely unanswered question amongst all - what is the equivalent of baby formula in India? Is there such a thing in India? I have heard people say Cereal or Farex but aren't those cereals that you actually mix in milk? I am looking for the equivalent of Enfamil or Similac or Good Start...that actually IS milk for the baby.
  2. Is there a structured way to review/research pediatricians in a particular city in India? I know most likely the answer is no...but still wondering if there is a remote chance.
  3. Do the pediatricians and experts there also recommend weaning the babies to a sippy cup after 1 year of age? And do we even get sippy cups in India?
  4. I suspect most Indian moms make baby food at home but are there good brands that actually sell pre-packaged baby food according to the stages in India?
  5. At what age do they suggest introducing cow's milk to babies in India? Here in the US, it is after 1 year of age. But I suspect they do it much sooner in India. And if so, what brand or kind of milk does one buy for babies? Here most parents go for an organic whole fat version.
  6. What about introducing solids to little ones? Here they have a certain pattern that is recommended - rice cereal followed by vegetable and fruit purees. And they tell us to avoid wheat cereal, eggs and dairy until much later. Also they tell us to introduce one thing at a time and watch baby's reaction for 2-3 days. What about in India?
  7. What brand of diapers are the most popular and most economical to buy for babies there?
Like I said earlier...this is just a sample of the innumerable questions that go on in my mind. There probably is no end to this but I'd really appreciate if you have answers to any of these to begin with and can leave it in your feedback to this post.

13 comments:

mufs said...

dear divya..

i think some of ur fears can be laid to rest..
for eg there ARE sippy cups available here..and loooooads of them..u have mothercare ,babyshop and lots of other baby shops where u get them.
specifically in places like bangalore and bombay..u r sure to get them.lots of brands have come to india..where in india re u relocating.i stay in bangalore andi relocated from Dubai,so i find so many of the brands available in Dubai to be here..bossini,springfield,United Colors of Benetton,etc(in clothes)
about what the docs suggest here,am not too sure.i passed that phase by the time i came here..but i think they too recommend to wait til 6 months,to give them solids.
baby formula..again places like Big Bazar,etc have them too.
how old is ur baby?am sorry i didnt see other posts b4 posting this.
anwys
take care.
if u have relatives where u r relocatin, u can ask them ..am sure they will be able to find out for u

mufs

mufs said...

oh and brand of diapers..there is pampers,huggies,wipro,etc
thre are sme sheap ones from china i think..

i personally like huggies..but thank god i am past that stage of makin my kids wear diapers..i tried to get rid of the habit quickly ..for envt reasons..:-)

readymde foods also there are plenty..nestle has quite a few of them..u get pureed stuff in bottles as well.i think in BIg Bazar i saw Gerber.
but personally i think its better to give children homemade stuff.
u never know wht goes in them bottles and powders!

hope it helped u little!

Divya said...

Thanks a tonne mufs! Your feedback was reallly helpful and it did put me a little at ease. To answer your question, we will be returning to Bangalore too. My baby will be almost a year when we move. Thanks for visiting my blog and helping me get some peace of mind. Now the next big challenge I face is finding a job I like. Do you work there?

mufs said...

hey divya..thanks for commenting on our little blog..

no i dont work..and thank god for that..cos with 2 little brats ,i dont think i would have the patience to manage house as well as work.
and i really cant depend on my hubby to take care of house and i dont want to rely too much on maids either..anyways thats me..
but hopefully in future i do plan to go into teaching little kids(hve done Montessori course).

what is ur qualification?
ur kid is almost one,i thik u shouldnt be too worried about things..
there are quite a few good docs here,like chitra has mentioned in her blog..dr arvind shenoi is good.
where in blore are u plannin to shift,if i may ask?
try to get an apt close to where u stay..tat will help ,a the traffic can be pretty bad,,my hubby has his office right opposite our apt.so he just needs to cross the road.i think that is ideal.cos earlier we used to stay quite far off..and it usd to just add on to the tensions he had in office..LOL
anywys,i think after a yr and half u can start her on cow's milk..i started for both my kids by the time they were 1 and had no probs.i used to make their ragi porridge in milk.
to drink from the glass with bournvita,etc i started off from 1 yr 3 months..and they were jst fine.i didnt give them much formula mil k(cpt in the initial one week of their life whn my milk wasnt enuff),then they were breastfed till 1.3 months(older one)1 yr 9months(younger one)with cows milk now and thn.
btw there is some truth in the age old practices..so dont discard them altogether..and some of the research done ..they will always come out with some new thing which would refute the prev one.this is esp in the case of potty trainin.i waited for my son to give signs like they suggest in books for me to start his potty training and he was well over 2 and by then it was tooooooo diffclt to train him.it took almost a yr and half for him to be fully trained. whereas for the younger one i started whn he was a few weeks old itself and it was a breeze to train him..of course havin an older one helped too!but in the case of potty training i think the way we do it in india is the best!
gosh its a real long reply!!
take care!

New Mommy said...

Thanks again for the detailed response mufs. I must say talking to you has made me feel much better :-) I hope we can meet up once I am there. Let's exchange email ids and talk more instead of leaving long responses in public blogs. What say? I can tell you over email where we will be moving etc.

gayathrishenoy said...

Hi Divya,

We just relocated from the SF bay area to Bangalore. i have an 18 month old.
I have tried to answer some of your questions.


what is the equivalent of baby formula in India? Is there such a thing in India? I have heard people say Cereal or Farex but aren't those cereals that you actually mix in milk? I am looking for the equivalent of Enfamil or Similac or Good Start...that actually IS milk for the baby.

>>> we came to india for a vacation when my daughter was 9 months old. When I ran out of Similac, i gave her Lactogen. it suited her well.

Is there a structured way to review/research pediatricians in a particular city in India? I know most likely the answer is no...but still wondering if there is a remote chance.
>>>>The best way I would recommend is by networking. i found by daughter current ped by using recommendations from friends

Do the pediatricians and experts there also recommend weaning the babies to a sippy cup after 1 year of age? And do we even get sippy cups in India?
>>>>>>You def get sippy cups in India..you even get the same brands that you get in the US. of course they are a bit expensive..so what we did is, we brought along a few sippy cups with us. Right now my munchkin is 18 months old..we have enough cups to last us for the next year..maybe hopefully after that she will drink out of a regular cup!

I suspect most Indian moms make baby food at home but are there good brands that actually sell pre-packaged baby food according to the stages in India?
>>>I know you do get the gerber bottles here too.

At what age do they suggest introducing cow's milk to babies in India? Here in the US, it is after 1 year of age. But I suspect they do it much sooner in India. And if so, what brand or kind of milk does one buy for babies? Here most parents go for an organic whole fat version.
>>>>My daughter is on whole milk and I give her the nestle brand that comes in the tetra packs.

What about introducing solids to little ones? Here they have a certain pattern that is recommended - rice cereal followed by vegetable and fruit purees. And they tell us to avoid wheat cereal, eggs and dairy until much later. Also they tell us to introduce one thing at a time and watch baby's reaction for 2-3 days. What about in India?
>>>> I dont know what the recommendations are..but Im guessing they cant be very different.

What brand of diapers are the most popular and most economical to buy for babies there?
>>You get Indian made pampers and huggies and also wipro. but i have to say this..diapers are super expensive in india! We bought some yesterday and they work ut to almost 10 rs per diap (25 cents per diaper)!!

Good luck with your decision..let me now if you have more questions.

Gayathri

Divs said...

Hey gayathri - thanks a tonne for your detailed response. We are moving from the Bay Area too but unfortunately I do not have any contacts in Bangalore hence was looking for all these answers to prepare upfront. So which pediatrician do you go to?

gayathrishenoy said...

hey u do have a contact now..me!!

we go to this ped called naveen kini..been to him twice..once on my vacation last year when my daughter was 9 months and once last week...so far i like him

mufs said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Divs said...

Thanks a bunch Gayathri and Mufs! I am so lucky to find such nice folks through this blog. I will certainly keep in touch with you even after we get back.

Mufs - I am deleting your msg and sending you an email separately. Gayathri, do you mind sharing your email id as well so that we can keep in touch that way?

gayathrishenoy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Divs said...

Thanks Gayathri. I sent you an email so you should have my id too now. I am deleting your last post.

Mufs - can you pls resend your email id to me again? I seem to have lost it :-(

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