My Baby Is Afraid Of Strangers: SOS Moms Reply

baby cryingRashmi Kabibar Padhan wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 2 years old son. She says that her son behaves nicely at home and gets along with everyone but once she takes him outside he behaves exactly the opposite.

If anyone tries to take him on the lap he starts crying. She is worried for her son and has asked us for some advice. We asked our community of mothers for their advice and have incorporated their input below.

Firstly, it’s important to know that it is perfectly normal for most babies to show a fear of strangers or of unfamiliar people around the age of 7 to 9 months. Most babies also go through a phase of separation anxiety, when they are afraid of being apart from their parents.

Experts believe this is because babies are better able to remember and recognise familiar faces and places around this age. This is nothing to worry about, other than it can be embarrassing when introducing your baby to new people and family members.

This phase will pass by the time your child is older, but being present when introducing your child to new people may help them adjust better to new situations. Encourage your family members to come over more often so they become familiar to the baby.

Greet new people in a warm and friendly voice, so your child learns not to be afraid of them. Let them approach your child slowly and gently. Also do not encourage others to touch or pick up your baby as this may provoke fearful reactions.

 

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Thanks to the parents below for their contributions.

Jyothi Dorai, Lavanya Reddy, Madhulika Verma, Anwesha Sukul, Pushpa Panwar, Narendra Bansal

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Buy Your Child’s First Bicycle

341054aWondering how to choose your child’s first bicycle? Read on for all the information that you require to choose the right bike for your little rider.

After you are sure that your little one is ready to ride their own bicycle, consider investing in one. Controlling and balancing the bike will take some practice but it’s a learned skill and most kids pick it up quickly.

With so many different options available in the market, the local bike shop is the perfect place to choose your child’s first bicycle. However you can also make your final purchase online once you have explored the options below.

An expert sales representatives will be able to help you select the right bicycle size and type for your child’s needs. He or she will also ensure all brakes and gears are set up properly.

Size and Weight Matters:

The size of the bicycle is the most important consideration to take care of when buying your child’s first bicycle. This is especially important if the child is still learning to ride or not very confident.

A confident rider should be able to touch the ground with their feet and maneuver the handlebars while seated on the bike seat.

The best way to check if the size of the bicycle is right, is to make your child sit on it and check if the child’s legs can reach the ground without straining or stretching.

The child should be able to reach out for the brakes while seated. It is also a good idea to consider bikes that are fitted with front and back brakes. Moreover, the child should be able to hold the handlebars without lifting their bottom from the seat.

Finally, ensure that child can place one foot on the ground while both hands are placed on the handlebar. If the position is comfortable, then the bicycle size is correct.

If the bike feels heavy to you, imagine how heavy it would be for the child to handle. Most first time bikers find it difficult to support the bike’s weight before they set off. Lighter bicycles might be more expensive, but they are probably well worth it.

Your child might also have their own preference in terms of choosing between a Barbie Super Girls Bicycle or an Avon Joysun Bicycle.

Training Wheels: If your child is not comfortable riding a two-wheeler, you may consider investing in a pair of training wheels to help them get started on.

How to Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem

confident childSelf-esteem is how people feel about themselves. A healthy self-esteem is like a child’s shield against the many challenges of the world.

Kids who are aware of their strengths and weakness are more positive, feel confident, find it easier to handle pressures, and are more optimistic.

On the other hand, children with low self-esteem find it challenging and are relatively more anxious and frustrated than others.

A child’s self-esteem affects their day-to-day activities and affects their relationships with others.

A positive self-esteem helps the child to believe in their own values, make right decisions under pressure, confidently interact with others, handle stress and challenges and make healthier choices.

Read on for some tips to help foster your child’s self-esteem.

Love and Acceptance: Love your child to the utmost and spend lots of quality time. A child benefits the most when you are able to accept him regardless of their strengths, weaknesses and abilities. Give him or her plenty of kisses, hugs, cuddles, pats and affection.

Focus on the Child: By listening to them and playing with them. Show interest in things, games and activities that they enjoy and let them guide play. This makes them feel important and valuable.

Consistency: Decide and enforce clear rules that must be followed by the child at each stage of life. Tell him what you expect and what punishment would be given if the rules were not followed. This helps them to feel safe and secure and grow more confident in making own decisions.

Support Change: Encourage the child to try something new, like make a new friend or try a new food. There is always possibility of risk, but the chances for success are also equally same if not high. Try letting them explore and experiment to build their self-esteem by finding the right balance between the need to protect him or her with the want to embark upon new tasks.

Problem-Solve: Offer various chances to solve problems so that the child understands he or she has control over his or her own life. Help the child correct the mistakes and talk about how it can be done differently the next time.

Offer Empathy and Encouragement: If your child feels frustrated because he cannot do things like his peers, empathize and then emphasize on of his or her other strengths. This will help them learn their own personal strengths and weaknesses. Young ones also require ample amounts of encouragement from their parents and loved ones to feel good about themselves.

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Prepare Your First Child for a New Baby

new siblingThe birth of a new infant can bring many changes to a family.

Parents end up spending a huge sum of money on preparations and once the baby arrives, a great deal of attention is spent on meeting the new baby’s basic needs.

Unfortunately, all this can become really taxing for the first child. It is very important to communicate with the elder sibling and let them known their importance.

Parents can prepare their first child for an addition to the family by appropriately discussing it. It is important to be patient and to also answer all their curious queries.

For example, a 4-year-old child may point at your belly and ask you what is there in side or is this where babies come from? Such questions may be difficult to answer, but you can try explaining it at your child’s level of comprehension.

In order to prepare your first child for their new sibling, read on for some tips that maybe helpful:

Have your child experience the child kicking and have them touch and hold the baby if they want to, but don’t force them, only let them do it if they like and want to.

Go through the child’s own baby photos with and tell them how excited you were when they were born. This will be fun for them and help them understand and learn what a newborn looks like.

Make your child understand that they will have a new member joining the family who would be sharing everything with them, including the parents time. It is important to make them feel equally important and loved.

Handle all disruptive behavior firmly and fairly. It is usual for siblings to behave crankily as they feel displaced by the younger sibling. This is primarily because the parents tend to spend more time with the newborn to satisfy his or her needs.

Most children feel uneasy when they see mothers focusing on the birth of a new family member. All that you really can do at this time is provide lots of love and support so that they regain their confidence.

Tell the child, that they will now be an elder brother or sister and must set an example for the younger one. This will make the child feel more confident about their position.

Finally, at this crucial point of your life, do not make big changes like changing your job or shifting to a new house, as these will pose additional pressure on your already-stressed child. Try maintaining the same routine that you had been for the last few months.

So what was your experience introducing your first child to a new baby? Do share in the comments below.

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My Baby Refuses to Eat Solid Food: SOS Moms Reply

feeding babySakshi Mannat wrote to us and told us about her concern she has for her 7-month-old baby. She says that her baby doesn’t take semi solids and she cries badly if we try to introduce her to new foods.

And neither she takes bottle or baby formula milk, she only accepts mother feed. She is concerned for her baby’s health and asked us for some advice.

We asked our ever-helpful community of Moms to provide Sakshi advice for her son and have included their responses below.

Not all kids take to a change of food easily. As long as your child is growing and healthy, and eating her normal foods, you can continue giving her what she likes.

But if you want to try something new, you could start with something like ragi. Also try giving her dal ka pani or dalia, sweet or salted according to her taste. You could also try mashed bananas, which most kids love.

You could try to nurse or bottle-feed before giving the baby one or two teaspoons of pureed solid food or cereal mixed with formula or breast milk. Start with a small amount of food using a soft-tipped plastic spoon to avoid injuring your child’s gums.

Try introducing her to new foods while you and others in the family are eating it. Babies love to imitate their parents and older siblings and are more likely to accept food that you are eating.

Try distracting your baby with music or cartoons, while introducing her to new foods. The trick is not to give up. Just keep trying new things every few days or so and you will find something that works for your baby.

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We thank the moms below for their invaluable input.

Shilpi Dhama, Munmun Jain Goel, Sumi Hmin, Sovana Dalai Patnaik, Deepa Shailesh Narti, Rakhi Golui Sarkar, Puja Gupta, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Manpreet Kaur Bajwa, Sakeena Ali, Shreya Chakravarty Bhattacharya, Rekha Sonthalia Kedia, Sudeshna Patnaik, Rubal Gupta, Sharmila Chakravarty, Janki Shah, Rituparna Mitra, Taniya Lohani, Tarannum Miski.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Kids Food Recipes – Playtime Rush

mango smoothieThis summer, you might be worried about your kid’s hydration. Be it summer or winter, kids will not compromise with their playtime.

So, moms have to be extra careful to see that their kids have the right kinds of foods and drinks to have adequate energy and fluids in the body.

Usually it is difficult to make kids eat fruits. However, if shakes and juices are made from the same, they enjoy to the fullest.

Here are some easy and interesting recipes of juices and shakes that you can serve to the kids before their playtime rush hour.

1. Watermelon Lemonade

Enjoy the coolness of watermelon and the tangy taste of lemon in this drink.

Ingredients

  • Watermelon cut into cubes
  • 5 tbsps lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 tbps honey
  • 3 cups ice cold water
  • Salt as per taste
  • (Optional items – crushed mint leaves, ½ tsp roasted cumin powder and ½ tsp chaat masala)

Procedure

Take watermelon cubes and blend in a blender and strain. Keep aside. In the ice cold water add honey, lemon juice and salt and stir well. To this lemonade, add the blended watermelon juice.

You can also add roasted cumin powder, chaat masala and crushed mint leaves to the juice. The juice is poured in a tall glass and served with ice cubes.

2. Mango Pineapple Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ripe mango pieces
  • 1/2 cup pineapple cubes
  • Honey
  • A few mint leaves
  • 1/4 – ½ cup cold water
  • Little salt and ice cubes

Procedure

Blend all the above mentioned ingredients together in a blender. If the juice comes out as a thick one, add some more water to it. Pour the juice into some nice tall juice glasses.

Add some mango pieces and ice cubes and serve immediately. Enjoy this juicy and fruity mango pineapple juice.

3. Banana Milkshake

Ingredients

  • Banana chopped in pieces
  • 1 and ½ cups of chilled milk
  • Few drops vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp honey

Procedure

The chopped banana pieces are put in a blender and half cup of chilled milk is added to the same to make a smooth paste. To this, one cup of chilled milk is added along with the vanilla essence and honey.

All the ingredients are blended together to form a frothy shake. The mixture is poured in a tall glass and served chilled with ice cubes. This milkshake is a great favorite with almost all kids.

With these juices, the kids get the right doses of fruits as well.

 

Image courtesy of vanillaechoes / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Kids Food Recipes – Dinner

aloo parathaWhat to cook for dinner is a question that perturbs most mothers. Children eat something or the other throughout the day, but they often become extremely fussy at night. So feeding them dinner becomes really difficult.

Here are some recipes that are yummy and can make dinner time interesting for kids. Moms will be happy that the kids get required nutrition from these great foods.

1. Aloo Cheese Paratha

This cheesy paratha with potato stuffing will be filling as well as nutritious for your kid.

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour
  • 1 medium size Potato
  • 2 tbsp grated cheese
  • Turmeric powder
  • Red chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp Roasted cumin powder
  • Water for kneading
  • Oil and salt to taste

Procedure

To the whole wheat flour, add some salt and water make a soft dough. The stuffing needs to be made after this. Boil potatoes a little after peeling so that they can be mashed easily.

To the mashed potatoes, add grated cheese, salt, cumin powder, chili powder and a pinch of turmeric (optional). Mix them together and form small balls so that they can be used for stuffing.

Take small portions from the dough and press with hands at the sides so that the center becomes deep. Place the stuffing there and cover from all sides so that nothing is visible.

Roll the ball with the stuffing into a round shape. Heat a pan with little oil and cook the parathas from both sides. Serve hot with pickles or chutneys.

2. Stir Fried Noodles With Eggs And Vegetables

This dish provides nutrition with the eggs and vegetables and is tasty at the same time.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet egg noodles, boiled then drained in cold water and tossed up in 2 tsp oil
  • 2 cups various kinds of vegetables (capsicum, beans, carrots, cabbage)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped spring onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 and ½ tsp soya sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper as needed.

Procedure

Heat the sesame oil till it is fuming, and to that add spring onions and stir-fry on high flame for about a minute. Add the rest of the vegetables and toss for almost 4-5 minutes. Break eggs and add to the pan and then cook for some time.

Once the eggs are scrambled and cooked, add soya sauce, salt and pepper. Stir and then add the tossed noodles. Add vinegar and the vegetables and tossed noodles and cook on high heat for few minutes. The noodles are served hot garnished with chopped spring onion greens.

Try these recipes for weekend dinners and make your kids super happy.

Image credit: byheaven / 123RF Stock Photo

My Baby Puts Everything In His Mouth: SOS Moms Reply

baby mouthKaur Gagan wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 6 month old baby. She says that although her baby is healthy and active, she faces a problem with her child who constantly puts everything in his mouth including his toes. She is concerned for her baby’s health and hygiene and has asked us for some advice.

We asked our community of mothers for their point of view and have incorporated their feedback below.

It is perfectly normal for a baby to put everything in their mouth at this age. Unless it is something that he can choke on or swallow, it is safe to provide him with options such as safe toys and teethers, such as Silicone Soothers to chew on.

Hygiene is not that much of an issue at this stage, as kids of this age are building their immune systems and there are studies that show that kids who are exposed to dirt and germs have healthier immune responses.

Research shows that early childhood exposure to germs and certain infections helps the immune system develop and prevent asthma. According to MayoClinic.com, children growing up in rural areas, around animals and in larger families seem to develop asthma less often than do other children.

The habit of putting fingers or objects in the mouth is a normal part of development and there is no indication that it affects your child’s fingers. However, do supervise your child and see that he is not putting any unsafe object in his mouth. It is a good time to child-proof the house and keep anything harmful out of reach.
We are grateful to all these parents for their valuable advice:

Kirti Jethava, Nazee Akbar, Lakshman Ladi, Sarika Singh, Taniya Lohani, Taniya Lohani, Alekhya Suresh, Manju Janarthanan, Pallabi Goswami Sarma, Ratna Biswas, Lavanya Reddy, Sabina Yasmin, CA Ketki Dagha, Laura Visirin Jain, Sumitra Datta, Dharmendra M, Anshita Tiwari, Kokila Rohith, Narendra Bansal, Nidiya Menachery, Anita Arun

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Kids Food Recipes: Breakfast

upma with wheatSince breakfast is the first meal of the day for you and your kids, it is important that it be healthy.

Kids are sometimes fussy with their food. It is a good idea to cook something that looks appealing to them and has a high nutrition factor as well.

Here are some excellent kids’ breakfast recipes for moms who are worried about what to serve their kids at breakfast.

1. Upma With Broken Wheat

Try making upma with broken wheat instead of semolina. Wheat is a great cereal rich in fiber, calcium and protein and helps in maintaining good health.

Ingredients

  • Broken Wheat (1/4 cup)
  • Carrot cubes
  • Capsicum
  • Green peas (1/4th cup each)
  • 1 chopped onion and green chili
  • A little oil
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing and salt to taste

Procedure

Broken wheat has to be cleaned and washed thoroughly and then blanched in two cups of hot water for about 4-5 minutes. It is drained and put aside. In a pressure cooker oil is heated and green chilies and onion are added and sautéd till onion becomes soft and translucent.

The vegetables and broken wheat are added and cooked for few minutes. Salt is added as per taste. Almost 1.5 cups of water is added and the thing is allowed to pressure cook till 1 whistle. Serve the wholesome dish hot by garnishing with fresh coriander leaves.

2. Corn Parathas

Corn parathas are filled with the valuable nutrients of corn and spinach (which most children normally loathe!). Cheese makes the parathas yummier.

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour (1/2 cup)
  • Sweet corn kernels coarsely crushed and finely chopped spinach (1/4 cup each)
  • Chopped green chilies (1/4 tsp)
  • Grated mozzarella cheese (about 5 tsp)
  • 2 tsp oil and salt to taste

Procedure

All the ingredients except cheese and oil are put in a bowl and kneaded together with water so that soft dough is formed. For 5 minutes, keep the dough aside. Take some oil and knead the dough again. It is great if the dough can be kept under some wet muslin cloth.

Small portions from the dough are taken and thin rotis are made from the same. These are placed on some flat surface and grated mozzarella cheese is spread over the same generously. Another roti is placed to cover the surface.

In a non-stick pan oil is heated and the parathas are cooked from both sides till they are golden brown. These can be served hot with various kinds of chutney or fresh raita.

These recipes are simple and tasty and give your kid some real nutrition in the morning, when they need it most.

Image credit: manubahuguna / 123RF Stock Photo

Teething Pains: Tips To Make Teething Less Troublesome

baby teethingYour baby might be one of the lucky ones that gets its teeth without any teething pain or soreness, but in most cases teething can be very painful and annoying for a child.

If your baby is teething, you may notice red gums, swollen gums, flushed cheeks, serious drooling, gum rubbing, gum itching, sleepless nights, irritable, unsettled, high temperature, diarrhea and not wanting to feed at all.

To ease your child’s teething pain, consider following the tips mentioned below.

Cold Things:

In the same way that ice works on a sprained wrist to reduce pain, numb the area and decrease swelling, cold compresses soothes sore gums. Place a teether in the refrigerator and let your child suck or bite on it. Do not store the teether in the freezer as the frozen teether might get very hard and would damage the baby gums.

Consider selecting solid silicone-based teethers over liquid-filling teethers that might leak and cannot be sterilized. Alternatively, you may offer them a clean, wet washcloth that has been chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes. The child will love munching on it as the cloth massages the gums and numbs the soreness.

Foods:

If your baby is eating solid foods, give him or her some frozen fruit in a mesh bag or a teething biscuit, oven-hardened bread, breadsticks or cold carrot stick to chomp on.

Pressure:

Rub the baby’s gums with a clean finger until the abrasion makes a whiny noise. This pressure will help soothe the gums. In addition, you could gently rub a cold spoon on the gums to soothe them.

Medication:

Many parents choose topical medications like a numbing gel or cream to rub on the gums. These medications are available at most drugstores and contain anesthetic and antiseptic properties that help ease the pain.

Ensure your teething gel or cream does not contain benzocaine as it may not be safe for your little one. If you are still breastfeeding, do not give your baby any teething gel before a feed, as they can numb the baby’s tongue and make it difficult to suck properly.

Homeopathic Remedies:

Many parents swear by homeopathic remedies that they give to their children to soothe their baby’s gums and stimulate healing. Do this under the advice of a registered practitioner only.

Painkillers:

If nothing else works, you may have to consider giving your baby painkillers that are prescribed by the doctor. Over the counter medication like acetaminophen are easily available at most drug stores, but must only be given at the right dosage and on recommendation by the child’s doctor.

 

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Travelling Abroad With Kids: What To Keep In Mind

travel abroad with kidsTravelling abroad with children can become a nightmare for some. Preparations must be made well in advance to avoid the occurrence of any problems during the trip.

If you are a parent who is planning a trip with kids abroad and are feeling uneasy about it, read on. This article lists some useful tips that would help make the trip easier.

1. Select the Right Season:

Primarily for a comfortable journey, choose a season that is not overly hot or cold. A moderate season would keep children comfortable and less cranky.

2. Managing Jet Lag:

The importance of good sleep at a schedule must not be ignored. As kids do not understand time zones and jet lag, it may be difficult for them to adjust to the new timings. Consider having a rest day on your itinerary after you get to the destination for the child to be adjusted with the jet lag.

You need to get your children to adjust to the new timing by trying to get their bodies adjusted to the new routine as soon as possible. Getting your child to sleep for some extra hours will definitely help them reset their internal clocks.

2. Avoid Long Flights:

Try to avoid long flights as it might make the kids behave in an unruly manner. Stopovers can be a relief for kids who hate sitting still for hours. If you can’t avoid long flights, make sure the kids get to walk around every few hours and let them take advantage of the airline treats and entertainment.

3. Medicines:

Whether you are away for a few days or for a month, always keep a first aid kit handy with you, especially if your child is already on medication. You never know when your child might need medical attention.

4. Food:

Pack all the food items that your child enjoys. Before booking your accommodation, make sure to make special arrangements for you kid’s meals, as this will keep them happy, satisfied and less cranky.

5. Stroller:

If you have a small child, do carry a pram or stroller with you during your holiday, as it would be easier for your child to rest whenever they want to, allowing you to explore more of the city while your little one naps.

6. Accommodation:

It might be difficult to find accommodation with children if you have not done so in advance. So do not forget to make bookings for your trip before leaving for the trip.

7. Health Check-Up:

Visit your doctor at least a month before you leave for the trip. Take your children’s vaccination records and check with the doctor whether they need to visit him again before the trip.

8. Luggage:

Pack light but smart. Carry only that which you really need during the trip. With kids, one needs to carry all manner of sundry items. We also tend to buy more stuff when travelling with kids. Keep space for stuff you purchase on your return journey home.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Son Has a Dry Cough That Won’t Go Away: SOS Moms Reply

child cryingAditi Sharma wrote to us about a concern she has for her son. She says that her 2 year old son is coughing during the night. She says that all of a sudden he starts coughing nonstop and cries and vomits. His cough is a dry cough and sometimes his nose is runny.

She has been giving him expectorants and cough syrups as suggested by her pediatrician but it’s all in vain. She has also mentioned that the medicines are not helping. She is concerned for her baby’s health and has asked for some advice.

We approached our parent’s community for advice and have included their responses below.

There are many reasons why the medicines are not helping, but the most important fact is that the pediatrician needs to re-examine your child and try another approach. Sometimes the medicines take a few days to take effect, so be patient and continue the treatment that your doctor has prescribed.

You might want to try a home Nebulizer, but only on the doctor’s recommendation. This is a medical issue and it must be treated by a registered medical practitioner. You could try homeopathy for preventive care but it takes time to work, so allopathy is better in emergencies.

However, if you wish to try home remedies, along with the prescription medication, to soothe your child’s cough, you can try giving a spoon of honey with 2 or 3 pinches of turmeric powder mixed in it. The honey will soothe your child’s throat, while turmeric is renowned for its antiseptic properties.

You can mix one portion of ginger juice to 3 portions of honey and give one teaspoon after dinner. This will reduce dry cough. You can also boil 15 to 20 tulsi (Basil) leaves in a jar or water, filter it and feed the baby a little warm water whenever he asks for it.

Zinda Tilismath is an age old Unani herbal medicine, which is used for treating many common ailments like cold, coughs. Add 1 to 2 drops in half a cup of warm milk and feed it to your baby. Pankaj Kasthuri is an Ayurvedic medicine that you can try.

Take 2 Malabar nut leaves in a full cup of water and boil them until the water reduces to half. Then give this water to your child. Tie ajwain leaves in a cloth, warm it on a pan and then apply this on the chest.

Heat some mustard oil and add garlic and methi seeds. Filter and store in a jar. Apply some of this warm oil on your child’s feet after sleep. It keeps the baby warm and cures runny noses. You can also rub Vicks for children on his feet before sleep and cover the feet with socks. It helps a lot.

The cough could also be due to pollution or a dust allergy. Keep your child away from agarbattis, mosquito repellents, deodorant and perfume sprays, and avoid areas where construction and painting are being done.

Make sure your child is getting plenty of fresh air. Vacuum the house regularly and dry his bed clothes, mattress and comforter in the sun every day.

 

We wish to thank all these helpful parents:

Azaad Chaturvedi, Krithika Vijay, Jyotsana Verma, Neha Jalan Agarwal, Akipeed Lawar Magin, Akipeed Lawar Magin, Rose Hu Quadros, Esha Gosain, Lavanya Reddy, Aqueela Syeda, Namrata Thakur, Amitava Pathak, Mainka Vig, Inderpreet Kaur, Neha Dutta, Nandini Rathore, Krithika Vijay, Joyeeta Dasgupta, Janki Shah, Esha Gosain, Poonam Chauhan, Lavanya Reddy, Maseera Husain Ahmed, Shruti Goyal, Niloufer Sharma Mahajan, Bhawna Rai, Sujata Kalandi, Papiya Dawn, Papiya Dawn, Poonam Tejwani, Sonal Singh, Preety Anup Dimri, Amruta Shetty, Kiran Singh, Kirti Jethava, Jheyabharathi Soundararajan, Anitha Thomas, Amruta Shetty, Aditi Sharma, Payal Jain, Sonal Singh, Neha Kharkar, Davneet Kaur, Sheenam Mehra Gupta, Paras Bagchi, Shweta Rustgi Gupta, Ravneet Shahi, Deep Brinderjeet Saini, Deepti Dani.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vacationing With Kids – How To Enjoy More And Worry Less

vacation with kidsGetting a chance to travel with your children can turn out to be one of the most memorable experiences for both you and the child.

Though you may miss your European backpacking days or Caribbean cruising days, vacationing with kids can be different but fun.

With all the additional gear to pack and extra safety factors to consider, there may be times when you wished you’d just stayed home.

There may be times when you might have to deal with kids getting on your nerves with their cranky behavior and tantrums.

Read on for a short guide with some tips to help you reduce the stress and keep the fun alive on the vacation for everyone.

1. Allow Them to Pack By Themselves: Let the children do their own packing. Give them a little direction by giving them a packing list with instructions. By letting them do so, they would feel more involved and would look forward to the vacation.

2. Do Things that Kids Enjoy: While you may not enjoy a hotel with water slides and other rides, chances are your kids would. As such, hotels would keep the engaged and happy with something enjoyable to do. Surely, your little one would not enjoy being tagged around at museums. Do what they like and what they enjoy. Try making the vacation educational (to some extent), yet fun.

3. Maintain a Routine: Children love routine and tend to get cranky when it is interrupted. Try to organize your travel at times that will not disrupt their sleep or other usual routines. Also, consider vacationing somewhere close to hime. A child really does not care whether it is a beach in Goa or Pattaya. For them it is just a beach.

4. Dining Out: With young kids, you might want to consider saying a no to formal restaurants. However, if you do plan to indulge, ensure your child has a fun time so that they are content and less likely to be cranky in a formal setting.

5. Illness and Emergencies: Always carry a first aid kit and basic medication that your little one might possibly need in times of emergencies. You never know if essential medicines are available where you are going.

6. Keep them Entertained: If you plan to do a road trip or take a long flight, consider carrying some toys or gadgets the kids would enjoy playing with. A Sony PSP or card games like Uno, that they can play on the flight, might be ideal.

7. Expect the Unexpected: To cater to unexpected illness or mood swings, always consider putting in a free day into your itinerary, just in case you miss out on some sightseeing or shopping. Try to go with the flow and treat it like an adventure to be conquered.

8. Slow Down the Pace: Do not pressure your child to do too many things in too little time. Consider visiting few sights to make them more enjoyable and less stressed. Also, take a few breaks every now and then.

9. Alone Time: If you would like some alone time with your spouse, you might want to consider arranging for some babysitting facilities with the hotel. This will allow you to spend some quality time with your partner, while your children are kept busy elsewhere and taken proper care of.

Now that you have these tips for your vacation, do share where you are planning to go this summer. Bon voyage.

 

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Celebrity Parents – Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan

Shahrukh and Gauri KhanMarried for nearly three decades, Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan share a rock solid relationship and have been in the news for their amazing parenting style.

The couple has three kids – a 15 year old boy, Aryan, a 13 year old girl Suhana and a one year old boy, AbRam, born through a surrogate.

Their marriage was incidentally inspired by his film, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ of the 1990’s. Shah Rukh himself believes that he is a better father than an actor. This celeb couple balances each other out when it comes to parenting. In the words of Gauri, she is Shahrukh’s alter ego.

The couple isn’t stringent about what their kids are going to become. However, it is said that Aryan likes to play football while his sister, Suhana, is into writing. He wants the best education for both and this is also the reason that he sent Aryan to the United Kingdom.

Both believe that education should be the primary focus of every parent and they intend to offer their kids the best. Shahrukh says that he doesn’t have many friends and it is the kids that are his closest allies – his best friends.

Both parents try to share all their moments with the kids. This father of three learnt to do this from his own father who used to call him ‘Yaara’, meaning friends and they shared a good rapport. He wants to continue this tradition, as he believes that there couldn’t be a better way of being brought up and being a closely bonded family.

While the couple wants to spend the maximum time with their kids, they are also sometimes disappointed in not being able to do enough. The kids too understand and are grown up enough to know the right thing to do.

Shahrukh and Gauri feel that both their kids are well mannered, courteous and sorted. Shahrukh is however more protective of Suhana, but also believes that she has grown mature enough to handle all situations. The star couple wants the children to grow up independent and make their own decisions.

While there is still time to say whether they would be able to continue the Khan legacy of becoming actors, Aryan is certainly on the right track. He is tall, handsome and, just like his dad, is popular among peers. Many look up to the way these kids are being brought up and the family has often been in the news for the best of reasons.

Image source: emirates247

How To Buy: Toys That Develop Speech

My First Mobile Play And Learn ToyIt’s not uncommon for some kids to develop speech a little late than average. However, as a concerned parent, there is a lot that you can do to move them along the path of learning. Here are some toys that can encourage your little one to start babbling their first words.

Toy Phones

Which little one doesn’t love imitating it’s parents talking on their cellphones. Get your child a little toy phone and they will begin to imitate you talking too. The Littles My First Mobile is a great option for tiny hands.

Pretend Play

Toys that encourage pretend play can encourage the child to act out different roles, either by itself or with parents or other kids. This not only enhances social interaction but also the development of interactions that encourage speaking. A Sweetheart playhouse can provide hours of exciting pretend play options for your kids and their friends.

Baby Dolls

Baby Dolls are the best way to give kids a company of their own size and stature. There are so many ways that a kid can interact with a lie size baby doll – feed it, bathe it, dress it, etc. They may even start interacting and imitating parents as they become the care taker of the doll!

Singalong Toys

Singing with your baby is one of the most enjoyable ways to teach them language. So if you want your baby to learn new words in a fun way, this Disney Pre-School Sing Along CD may be just the thing for you.

It is also believed that the best of toys aren’t toys at all! Run along with your kid, sing with them, speak and cuddle and engage their curiosity. Speak to them in full sentences and soon they will start responding back.

How To Buy: Toys That Develop Hand Eye Coordination

angry birds punching bagWhether it is the head start you are looking to give your kid or working on developmental delays, toys focusing on hand eye coordination and other motor skills can introduce a combined share or fun and learning.

Toys for developing hand eye coordination have been used from time immemorial. The best we remember are the tinker toys. However, today, we have lot many alternatives, including puzzles, video games and interactive jigsaws.

It is curiosity and the urge to be appreciated that makes kids piece together puzzles. They can be used in a fun way to help their motor skills too.

Tinker Toys

Construction toys, such as the ones made by Lego, have always been favorite educational gifts from parents. Even today, they are available in several forms.

Construction sets can contain spools, bricks, flags, end caps and everything else that can help the child come up with a single building or a whole empire with guards! Just make sure you buy toys appropriate for your child’s age to minimize the danger of choking on tiny blocks.

Pull Along Toys

Pull-along toys allow for building great hand eye coordination and have been a traditional pick for developing motor skills. A little pull along doggie could be your child’s very first companion, while little girls might prefer a Musical Princess Cozy Coupe.

Video Games

If your child is old enough to operate the mouse, video games like the Toy Story 3 and Super Mario can be amazing tools to help their motor skills. They foster great hand eye coordination and the graphics ensure that they remain interested and try hard to make it to the last level.

Mobile Apps

Gaming has become more portable than ever. There are several game apps designed for kids of different ages that seek to improve their hand eye coordination. These are perhaps the easiest options and help to keep kids engaged beneficially.

Other than these there are several crib toys that can be operated on the floor, like this adorable Angry Birds punching bag. If your baby is just leaning to stand up, these toys will help them get their balance and eventually walk straight to these interesting and curious toys. The only thing you need to do is encourage learning and exploring. It is curiosity that makes a kid grow us well.

Hand eye coordination is essential for a child to be self dependent faster. You would definitely want them to learn to manage their potty functions, reach out to things, eat by themselves and other things. Research well and give a more educational edge to toys than just fun and excitement.

How To Buy: Toys That Develop Creativity

pianoAlmost all toys develop a child’s creativity and imagination. When they play, their imagination and creativity skills are put to use to explore the features of the toy or gadget.

Open-ended toys tend to provide more creative play opportunities as they provide ample scope for experimentation. Other toys like pretend role-play also encourage children to use their imagination and think creatively.

Learn more about the toys that you might want to invest in to develop your child’s creativity.

Open-End Toys

Open-end toys like stacking cups, building blocks, paint supplies or playdoh are excellent toys and activities to develop your little one’s creativity.

It is amazing how the creativity grows from year after year with stacking cups and blocks. While in the first year, your child’s block tower might not have any meaning, in the coming years, it may be a farm on one day or a school on another.

Kids use their imagination and create typical set-ups with their stacking toys. In addition to creativity, at a younger age, children learn how to stack or sort them (as per size, dimensions or color), teaching them necessary motor skills.

Art And Craft Activities

Art and craft activities allow the child to develop a range of skills, as there is so much more room for imagination. Simply supply your child with age-appropriate material and see what they make out of it.

For infants, consider making homemade edible playdoh or allow them to finger paint with colorful yoghurt. Older kids can create their masterpieces with playdoh and finger painting kits available in the market.

Pretend Role-play

Role-play activities or pretend toys like plastic foods or vehicles or figurines will allow your child to make up stories and creative settings to include their pretend toys.

For example, with the help of a kitchen set and some pretend food, the child can have his or her own restaurant or picnic. Alternatively, your little one who loves her dolls can hold a tea party for her doll friends, ensuring a lot of creative touch in the play.

Musical Toys

Musical toys include musical instruments like drums, pianos, guitars and many more. These wonderful toys come with easy instructions and give ample guidance to foster your child’s creativity.

To conclude, no matter what toys you choose, it is important to foster the child’s creative development by being an active participant in their playtime activities by helping them develop new settings and scenarios with their toys.

 

Is Using Diapers 24×7 Harmful To My Baby: SOS Moms Reply

baby disposable diapersSana Khowaja wrote to us about a concern she has for her 4 month old baby boy. She says that she uses diapers 24×7 and would like to know if this is harmful to her baby. She is concerned for her baby’s health and has asked for some advice.

We asked our community of moms what they thought about this issue and have compiled their replies below.

When your child is very young, a lot of parents like using disposable diapers because of the convenience. This can not only be expensive for you but is also harmful to the environment.

There are also harmful chemicals present in diapers and some of these can be absorbed through your child’s delicate skin and can also cause rashes and allergies, so make sure you are using a good quality brand of disposable diaper.

Changing over to cloth diapers might be a better way to make a healthier choice for both, your baby and the environment. Organic cloth diapers are expensive, but they come with microfiber inserts and fit all sizes.

Brands like Bum Genius and Bum Chum are cloth diapers but they keep the baby’s bottom dry. They are highly absorbent, eco-friendly and cost-effective. You can get these diapers from Firstcry.

Using disposables 24×7 can also make it more difficult to potty train your child. It might be a good idea to use diapers only at night, when you want to get an uninterrupted sleep, or when going out, or if it is rainy or too cold, or if an older child is unwell and may wet the bed.

You can also use a Quick Dry bed protector along with the cloth diaper. During the day you could lay the baby on this mat without a diaper, because the mat soaks wetness and keeps the baby dry. It will also give your baby’s skin some breathing time. At night, apply coconut oil or Himalaya rash cream to avoid rashes.

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Thanks to all these parents for their great advice:

Anshu Duggal, Sakeena Ali, Vijayalakshmi Shanmugam, Jayita Sen Singha, Sangeeta Apoorv, Shuchita Gupta, Papiya Dawn, Fathima Sabana Fuad, Mary Niangliankim Zo, Parita Shah, Jaya Singhal Goyal, Vani Amarnath, Neha Kshitij Sagar, Nirmi Bisht, Amanpreet Bawa, Suman Singh, Sarika Singh, Amanpreet Bawa, Sarla Amit Kumar, Siya Borkar, Kaitki Nandan, Bindu Satish Nair, Padmavathi Meduri, Spanish Harlem, Ashwini Athani, Ashu Khatter, Anurita Ghosh Vagal, Pallabi Goswami Sarma Shachi Nilesh Atharv, Priyanka Darda, Siddhi Sharma, Christina Harijan, Vijaya Reddy, Sunita V. Patil, Sudeshna Patnaik, Pallabi Goswami Sarma, Sangeeta Apoorv, Neha Kshitij Sagar, Srila Panda, Shwetha Phaneendra, Rachna Kaul, Neha Kumra, Nainaysh Ibrath, Renauld Susanna, Ruchi Ravi Purwar, Priya Candida, Anupriya Bagga, Nassia Jasmine, JJ Sonia Kathet, Deepa Kanhere Takalkar, Aman Tiwari, Swapnila Sameer More, Rakesh Pahari, Swati Agarwalla, Jasmeet Kaur

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Buy: Toys That Develop Curiosity

126747aBeing able to respond and interact with the five basic senses is an important part of a child’s development. As they grow up by observing their surrounding, they are better able to distinguish between good from bad smells, sights, sounds and other sensations.

It is curiosity that helps them interact and understand everything they come across. More importantly, they get to understand themselves better. Curiosity is learning and when buying gifts and toys for your kids, keep this in mind.

• Games and toys are the best way to encourage a kid take an interest in play and understand their surroundings. While kids are more inquisitive about their own belongings – toys, books and other objects – this is also the best way to foster curiosity. Bring home toys that move, make sound, spray water and interact. They will love it and try to understand and imitate.

• Exploring the natural surroundings is a good way to encourage curiosity. Gift your kids toys that have to be used outdoors such as tricycles, trains, remote controlled helicopters and similar things that will make them get out there.

Building blocks and the urge to create things also helps the development of curiosity. Toys should encourage your little one’s mind to ask questions and understand how things happen. Picture books might be a good option in this category.

New experiences and experiments are at the heart of every kid’s imagination. These are the growing years when they should be allowed to quench their sense of curiosity to the fullest. This is when they ask questions and get to know more about the world.

It is advisable for parents to spend sufficient time with kids such that they have a trustworthy companion they can ask questions and get reliable answers from. Provide them with toys of different colors, different shapes and interesting textures. You might also start introducing them to different smells, flavors and touch sensations.

Toys that stimulate curiosity can include anything like books, building blocks, word search games, sports kits, plane maps, globes, finger painting sets, playdoh, painting supplies. All science inventions start from solving the simple mysteries of real life. It makes children better receptors and improves their mental and physical growth.

You should never do anything to suppress the curiosity of a child. It the garden seems like a dangerous place, accompany them, but never tell them not to go there. Watch them grow knowledgeable and it will change their world and yours too!

My Child spills a lot of milk after each time he feeds: SOS Moms Reply

sos mom

Jyoti Awasthi wrote to us and told us about a problem concerning her 3 months old son. Her son spills a lot of milk each time after she feeds him; she is concerned for her baby’s health and has asked us for an advice.

We put this across our community of mothers and incorporated their responses into the advice below.

It is a natural phenomenon that babies adopt when they take more feed than required, so the excess milk comes out as spills in form of curd. Make sure that you burp him after every feed by carrying the baby on the shoulder in the standing position and gently pat his back.

It is very important for your child to burp after each feed so don’t rest him down immediately after feeding at least for the first 15 minutes. Spilling of milk could be as a result of gas and indigestion, in this case you can rub heeng (soaked with water) on his stomach, this will help reduce gas.

Gas problem can be reduced with spoonful of mixture of ajwain and saunf (fennel seeds) in boiled water and see the difference. And also do not fold your son’s legs immediately after feeding; it creates pressure on the stomach.

There is no need to worry. If still in doubt consult your doctor.

Thanks to all these helpful parents:

Shalu R VaradkarDivya Prasanth , Aman Tiwari, Swati Shukla Mishra, Kiersten Lopez, Christina Harijan, Grishma Ravi, Neha Goyal, Janki Shah, Radhika Dhanrajani, Divya Prasanth, Monika Guleria Mukheja, Arpita Avinash, Vandana Srivastawa, Bharti Mudgal, Sneha Santosh, Vidhya Ramesh, Jheyabharathi Soundararajan, Monika Guleria Mukheja, Sangeeta Apoorv, Sonal Singhania, Deepti Taneja Lahori ,Bhavini Master, Rekha karthik, Hina Ruhi.

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