Ask the Expert



Dr. Ranjan Kumar Pejavar is a renowned paediatrician. After graduating with an MBBS from St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, India, he became a member of the Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, United Kingdom.

Dr. Ranjan has vast experience in the field of child health, having worked in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Middle East and Germany. He is the author of 60 scientific papers, which have been published in national and international journals. He has also participated in 20 research projects across the world.

Dr. Ranjan is currently the Honorary Professor of Neonatology at Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, and is a Senior Consultant at Meenakshi Hospitals, Bengaluru.



Is it safe to use a breast pump?

Breast pump is used to collect breast milk in a bottle to feed infants. Use of breast pump is safe. There are a variety of models available in the market, and the best choice is the one that is comfortable for you.

How important is non- veg for a toddler?

If you are a non-vegetarian, start with eggs in your baby’s meal which is an excellent source of protein. After a year, introduce baby to fish and chicken, a source of vitamin B12, iron and fish that is extremely good for the brain. It is advisable to avoid fat and take extra precaution with bone pieces especially for younger children.

What are the alternative sources of proteins for vegetarians?

Soya protein and green leafy vegetables are good alternative sources of protein. You may also give children health food supplements like Horlicks, Bournvita and HiOwna Kidz. Please be advised that this can NOT be a meal replacement.

Is it necessary for my child to take additional vaccination apart from those prescribed in government hospital?

The Indian Association of Paediatrics (IAP) prescribes a schedule of additional vaccines that a child needs based on a discussion with parents. Please consult your paediatrician about this.

How do I prevent my baby from falling sick due to seasonal changes?

Seasonal changes and immunity comes from the milk you give your baby. Protect baby by taking good care of yourself. Your sneeze and sniffles, could easily pass to your baby while breastfeeding.

If seasonal changes and nippy weather is affecting you, chances are that it’s time to protect baby too. Here are some things you can do to keep your baby healthy and well while weathers crossover:

  • Dress your baby according to weather. If it’s too cold weather, layering is key and for warm weather, choose loose and cotton fabrics
  • Exposing baby to cold temperature soon after warm bath might cause cold. Don’t expose baby to hot and cold room temperatures too quickly.
  • If your parents or any others are handling your baby, make sure they sanitize or wash hands before carrying your baby since flu virus gets transmitted and effect babies.
  • Flu virus spread easily and effect babies in crowded places, avoid taking your baby to crowded area.
  • If your baby goes to day care, it may be safer for the baby to be at home if he is ill and has a cold and cough to avoid spreading infection.
  • Do get your baby vaccinated for influenza annually.
How can I ensure that my baby is eating well?

Sometimes, feeding the baby may seem like a very tough task! The best way to ensure that he/she is eating well is to feed him/her when he/she is awake and happy. Keep a tab on his/her meal times and try to stick to the same routine each day. Also, refrain from feeding him/her too much food, too frequently.

Doctors recommend that you breastfeed baby until the age of six months. Breast milk contains all the important nutrients for baby's growth and development. Breastfed infants also have stronger immunity, which helps them fight infections.

After seeking your doctor's advice, you may start feeding semi-liquid rice, cereals, barley or oatmeal between the ages of four to six months. At this point, a lot of mothers are advised to start supplementing the baby's diet with formula feeds. However, if baby is losing weight, this is a cause for concern. In such cases, it is important to consult your paediatrician.

For more information, read Feeding Baby.

What is the best remedy for babies suffering from colic pains?

Colic pains are extremely common in babies. Colic usually manifests as an acute pain with intense stomach cramping. The pain, which is a result of excess gas accumulating in the stomach, usually subsides once baby's digestive system strengthens. However, until then, you need to ensure you feed and burp him/her regularly, help him/her dispel gas by laying him/her on your stomach and knees, and help him/her remain calm.

For more information, read What is Colic.

What can I do to prepare for traveling/holidaying with my baby?

After the birth of baby, it is very important to bond as a family. Holidaying as a family or paying an overnight visit to relatives or friends will help you do just that. However, traveling with a baby can seem like a daunting task at first. So, here are a few guidelines:

  • Pack all baby essentials like diapers, baby products and medicine.
  • Refrain from traveling by air in the first few months as it can be a very uncomfortable experience for baby.
  • Only plan long vacations with baby after he has completed six months. By this time, he/she would have had most of his vaccinations and will be better protected against infections.
  • Try and maintain baby's daily feeding schedule so that he/she does not get hungry.
  • Pay a visit to your doctor and ask him to give you the go-ahead before you plan your first trip. Keep the doctor's number handy for a consultation if anything goes wrong.

We recommend: Himalaya's Babycare Travel Kit is the perfect solution for families traveling with babies. All our herbal products are available in smaller packs in an easy-to-carry pouch!

What do you recommend for eradicating heat rashes on baby's skin?

During the summer months, it is extremely important to keep baby cool. So, dress baby in breathable layers to allow proper ventilation. As cotton clothes are sweat absorbent, it is preferable to dress him/her in these types of fabrics. If you must take baby out in the sun, you should try to lessen sun exposure as much as possible. Contrary to what you may think, heat rashes also occur during winter months! Bundling up baby too warmly can make him/her sweat and irritate the skin, which can result in a bout of heat rash. Dress him/her in cotton clothes first, followed by other 'warm' fabrics like wool.

We recommend: Himalaya's Baby Cream protects against skin irritation and can be applied on rashes, as well. It contains Olive Oil, which is enriched with Vitamin E, Country Mallow, an antioxidant, and Licorice to protect and soothe baby's skin.

What are some of the skill-building games and activities that I can play with my baby?

Up to the age of one year, baby will enjoy hanging, pull or push-button toys. But remember that babies lose interest in objects very quickly, so do not spend too much on toys. A simple multi-colored ball might just be enough!

For skill-building at a later stage, you can introduce picture books and innovative toys. Wooden blocks, clay and sand have different textures, so you can slowly introduce children to these materials. However, you must monitor playtime at all times as foreign objects may become choking hazards.

For more information, read Amusement and Activities.

How can I ensure that my baby sleeps through the night?

Rest and sleep are extremely important for baby's growth and development. It is also important for you, as a parent, to get a good night's sleep! Often, babies sleep through the day and keep the household awake all night. In such cases, you must change baby's sleep cycle and keep him awake during the daytime.

Here are some night-time routines that might help baby sleep more at night:

  • Feed baby one or two hours before bedtime.
  • Play with baby and spend some time with him/her just before bedtime.
  • Play some music.
  • Sing a lullaby.
  • Give him/her a bath before bedtime.
How can I take care of my baby when he has a fever?

Taking care of a baby when he/she is unwell is very distressing for a parent. However, it is important to keep calm and assess the situation before taking action. If baby has the flu or diarrhea, ensure that he/she is able to breathe well, rehydrate him/her at regular intervals and keep him/her warm. Take his/her temperature and monitor his/her condition. Only administer the medication that has been prescribed by the doctor.

In some situations, however, call emergency services right away in the following situations:

  • If baby has a very high temperature (more than 100.4 degrees Farenheit)
  • If he/she has uncontrollable diarrhea
  • If he/she refuses to eat anything

It's important to remember that babies will get ill from time to time, so you must speak to a doctor who can advise you on some medications that you should keep handy.

For more information, read Baby's Health.

What is the best way to bathe babies?

In warmer climates, it is important to bathe baby or give him/her sponge baths on a regular basis. First and foremost, you need to keep everything you are likely to need at hand as you cannot leave baby alone during bath-time. Fill the baby bath basin with lukewarm water and place baby in the bath. Holding him/her firmly, apply herbal baby products that are mild and gentle. Post bathing, towel dry baby thoroughly, apply moisturizer liberally and put on clean and comfortable clothes.

We recommend: Himalaya's Gentle Baby Bath is a unique, natural formulation infused with the goodness of Chickpea, Fenugreek and Green Gram, which cleanses baby's skin, gently.

We recommend: Enriched with the oils of Olive and Almond, Himalaya's Moisturizing Baby Soap is completely safe to use on baby's delicate skin. It cleanses and conditions baby's skin.

We recommend: Himalaya's Baby Shampoo contains Chickpea, a natural source of proteins, which nourish hair; Hibiscus contains natural oils that act as conditioning agents and soften hair; and Khus Grass, with its antibacterial and antifungal properties, cools baby's scalp.

For more information, read Bathing Baby.

What is the remedy for diaper rash?

Diaper rash is a very common skin infection that causes baby's skin to become sore, tender and itchy. Moist, warm and the enclosed environment of diapers are responsible for bacterial growth and rashes. Today, newer 'breathable' diapers have been designed to provide a 'cotton-like' feel for babies.

The best treatment for diaper rash is to keep baby’s skin as clean as possible. Most diaper rashes last only a few days and can be treated at home. However, you should:

  • Change diapers frequently. If diaper rash develops, diapers should be changed at least every two hours during the day and once at night.
  • Clean the soiled area with warm, clean water and pat dry. Avoid wipes and soaps.
  • Use barrier creams over the area before replacing the diaper. Barrier creams protect the skin from coming into contact with urine or stool.
  • Use talcum powder to protect the skin against moisture.
  • Use a mild, diaper rash cream to treat the condition.

We recommend: Himalaya's Diaper Rash Cream promotes effective healing, soothes red and irritated skin and forms a protective layer on baby's skin. Natural Zinc keeps baby's skin cool and dry as well as helping rashes heal; the Vitamin A in Almond Oil fights infections and helps bone development; Aloe Vera soothes and moisturizes baby's skin; and Five-Leaved Chaste Tree treats sores and skin infections.

We recommend: Himalaya's Gentle Baby Wipes soothe baby's bottom when changing diapers. Our wipes contain the natural goodness of Aloe Vera and Indian Lotus.

For more information, read Diapering: The Basics.

Is the use of talc in Himalaya Baby Powder safe for babies?

Our product, Baby Powder has Talc as one of its ingredients. However, we assure you that Himalaya conducts controlled clinical trials in children before the products are launched in the market. Himalaya Baby Care products were launched only after it passed extensive dermal toxicity and safety trials in infants and children, and the products were proved to be absolutely safe on babies’ skin.

Does Himalaya Baby Oil contain liquid paraffin or mineral oil?

Himalaya Baby Oil does not contain liquid paraffin or mineral oil; it is a blend of vegetable oils.