New role beckons: working mother

During our last visit to him, my son's paediatrician told me that I should introduce formula milk to my four-month-old now since the baby had to get used to top feed before my maternity leave ended. I bought a tin of the prescribed baby food, feeling somewhat relieved that my little one would have an option now in the absence of his regular feed when his mother would be away.

But the switch wasn't that easy. I just could not deny my son his right -- his mother's milk. The tin remained on the shelf for two weeks and would mock at me, telling me I was no longer indispensable for my son. As if to satisfy my ego, when I finally agreed to give him formula, my son simply rejected the top feed. Having resigned to the fact that time had come for my little one to learn to live without his mother for nine to 10 hours a day, I was worried now and looking for advice on how to make my son like the new taste. The tried-and-tested bowl-and-spoon method failed. I even tried to feed him through a dropper and made additional holes in the teats of feeding bottles for a better flow but remained unsuccessful. As the last resort, I let my maid do the needful, as I had realised my stubborn son would not accept the top feed while lying in his mother's lap. The trick worked. And though I felt bad sending my little one away from his comfort zone, the decision was right because it's his nanny who will have to eventually feed him when I am away.

With just a week left for my longest leave ever to end, I am trying to condition my son for the situation. Our trip to Kerala helped to a great extent on this front as he spent most of the time with his grandparents. His sleep pattern is already better now. He goes off to sleep after a good feed (formula) around 10.30 pm and gets up around 5 am once, only to go back to sleep after a nappy change and another feed. In Kerala, he would even sleep with his grandparents who would bring him to me at 5 am every morning.

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