No Doubt, Television is one of the best babysitters as it keeps the toddler happily absorbed for hours when parents wish to have some me-time, get started with cooking or sneak in any other household chores.
So, knowingly or unknowingly, it is none other than parents who are encouraging and entrenching TV habits in kids. Gradually, this becomes such an integral part of their lives that it seems just impossible to pull them away from the TV.
But, isn’t risking your toddler’s brain development too big a price to pay for keeping him busy?
If you feel the answer is Yes, then why not try out some good alternatives to TV to keep our sweet little toddlers busy:
- Involve your child in whatever you do: Narrate to your toddler the activity that you are doing. Try to keep him occupied by offering him to do the easiest part of that chore. For example: if you are kneading the dough, give your child a small portion of the same and allow him to play with it.
- Prepare a toy basket for your toddler: Always keep a toy basket handy that contains your child’s favourite stuff. For example: some soft-toys, puzzles, cartoon books, etc.
- Play some educational CDs: Purchase a few interactive audio-visual CDs that teach kids numbers and alphabets in a playful manner. Also, play CDs that contain story narration, it helps your child develop listening skills.
- Go creative: Sit with your child and spend time doing some simple craft activities. This will not only enhance his gross and fine motor skills but will also improve his imagination.
- Reduce your own TV time: Kids tend to follow what their parents do. So, make sure that you don’t stay glued to your TV screens for long. This will convey a wrong message to your child that it is acceptable to watch TV for hours.
Lastly, do not wait till this hazardous habit occupies a permanent space in your child’s daily routine. Help him grow up more creative by limiting his TV time and encouraging good habits.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Dilbir Kaur, Sushma Mayekar, Gagan Sandhu, Mala Ray, Jas Saini, Rakhee Bhargava, Rachna Khandelwal, Asfia Hashmi and Ramya Venugopal
Don’t you all agree that it is just impossible to get around a few things with babies, no matter what we try? One of those things is – baby’s hysteric crying. This is because, crying is the only way they express their hunger, irritation, pain, a desire for sleep, fear and so on.
But, how are we parents supposed to comprehend what our baby is trying to tell? Moreover, it becomes even more difficult when this crying turns into a daily night-routine for our baby. It may leave mommies absolutely exhausted handling a crying baby at night, which is their only time for some rest after a long tiring day.
So, if you are also one of the mommies trying to figure out a way to soothe your crying baby at night, let us have a look at the suggestions from some of our SOS Moms:
“Your baby may be suffering from colic i.e. gas in stomach. One of the home remedies that offers quick relief is – prepare a paste of 2 pinch Asafoetidia mixed with a spoonful of warm water and apply on the baby’s stomach around the naval”, suggests Renuka Chandoke.
“Gastric problem is very common in newborns, which makes them uncomfortable at night. Consult a paediatrician and give him gripe water or Colicad drops once before bedtime. These will relieve his stomach and he will be able to sleep peacefully”, say moms – Manpreet Kaur Bajwa and Vinu Gowtham Rao.
“To avoid gas problems, burp your baby after every feed”, suggests Priyamvada S. Agnihotri.
“Colic pain usually hits all newborns and lasts for a few months. In order to curtail it make your baby sleep on your stomach or on his stomach. This technique is known as Kangaroo Mother Care and works wonders in most of the illnesses”, says Rakhi Bhargava.
“If you are breastfeeding your child, avoid eating food that are likely to cause gastric problems”, suggests Sheetal Kohli.
“Babies may also cry due to itching. So, ensure that you clean your baby’s nappy area nicely and apply powder every day before putting him to sleep”, says Tryphena David Jagtap.
“Give your baby a gentle massage and bedtime bath with Luke warm water, this prepares him for a good night sleep”, says Rachana Deep.
Lastly, do not worry or panic if your baby is cranky before going to bed every night. This is very common and happens with most of the babies. Newborn babies take time to adjust in the outside environment and such problems usually subside in a few months.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Shabnam Desai, Renuka Chandoke, Manpreet Kaur Bajwa, Vinu Gowtham Rao, Priyamvada S. Agnihotri, Rakhi Bhargava, Sheetal Kohli, Tryphena David Jagtap, Rachana Deep and others.
As soon as you realize your maternity leave is coming to an end, you tend to find yourself bound by guilt and obligation. Guilt, of leaving your young baby in someone else’s care, or, even of being eager to return to your previous lifestyle.
A mere thought of being a working mom, can trigger a host of mixed and conflicting emotions. Regardless of how long and hard you have thought before deciding to resume your work-life or how sure you are that it’s the right decision, you need to be well-prepared for back-to-work jitters, post delivery.
Though a few bumps along this way are inevitable, here are a few tips to keep your guilt in check and make this navigation less stressful:
Before going back to work:
- Start with working-from-home or take up a part time job before you actually get back to work. This prepares you and your child slowly for the upcoming transition.
- Start your hunt for a childcare or a nanny that best suits your child’s needs. Begin this new routine for your child before you are back at work full time.
After joining work:
- Have an emergency support system ready in-case your child falls sick or the nanny is on leave or the childcare is closed for a day or two. This keeps the last minute hassle for alternative arrangements at bay.
- Plan your daily routine so that you are able to manage your work well. Waking up early after staying up all night with a crying baby, finishing all household chores and then racing off to your job may seem to be a challenging task. But with proper time management you can stay organized and find time for yourself too.
- Do not hesitate in seeking support. Take help of your spouse and other family members to sail smoothly through this transitional phase.
- Try to take good amount of rest to stay fit and healthy. Do not over-exert yourself and fit at least a little me-time in your daily schedule.
- Call up your child’s nanny or the day-care everyday once or twice to ensure your baby is fine. This will also make you feel connected to your baby.
Lastly, remember that whatever you are doing is for your child’s better future. Moreover, it has been observed that kids of working parents learn to grow up independently and more confident. However, one thing that you always need to ensure is – do not forget to spend quality time with your child and give him as much love as possible.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Sushma Mayekar, Padmaja Giri, Priyanka Singh Desai, Mala Ray and Harsha Rajiv.
Isn’t diapering as much a part of parenting as feeding?
Rather, it may even seem like an ever-lasting task to most of the new parents. You get down to change one and the next and next and it goes on… Changing your child’s diaper is no less than managing to win a battle. Isn’t?
Do you also find yourself in sheer haste while changing your toddler’s diaper? If your answer is nothing but YES, then relax, before it turns into a major tug-of-war between you and your baby.
Don’t be worried! It is common with all the babies. It is because your little bundle of joy hates the concept of getting undressed. The moment he is taken to the changing table he starts wailing, which is the only way he knows to respond when he feels uncomfortable on being exposed.
Let us have a quick look at some of the tips to win a diaper changing battle with your toddler:
- Payal Raghuvanshi-Mukund says, “Give any toy or any item to your child to play with while changing his diaper. It could be a comb, powder box or a steel vessel too that keeps him entertained for those 2-3 mins of diaper changing activity”.
- Nirali Amin Shah suggests, “Take your toddler to the washroom after regular intervals. This will reduce diaper usage and your toddler will soon learn the correct way to attend to nature’s call”
- Show your child the advertisements in which the babies are shown happily getting their diapers changed. Children tend to imitate what other kids do and might learn a lesson from this.
- If your toddler hates to get his diaper changed on the table, take him to the washroom and let him stand while you clean him. Using pant style diapers will make it even easier for you to change while your toddler is standing.
- If your child cries inconsolably during his diaper change, do check if he has developed a diaper rash which is making him irritable.
- Put on some music or sing a rhyme that your toddler loves while changing his diaper. This will divert his attention and make diapering easy for you.
So, you see, there are many ways which can help make diaper changing easy and fun for you and your child too.
Payal Raghuvanshi-Mukund, Neha Trikha Agarwal, Nirali Amin Shah, Arpita Dey, Neha Singla Johri, Manali Langer, Felicita Dsouza, Iffat Alia, Akhila Garimella, Oksana Mishra, Neetu Kundra Tripathi, Hajra Attari, Linu Sanjib Boro, Azima Anjum, Jas Saini, Tabassum Patel, Nisha Verma, Shabnam Desai, Rutu Ayachi, Sasmita Patel, Amreen Siraj, Prerna Sharma, Theeswari Bala, Mita Savaliya, Nidhi Chandnani, Priyanka Saurabh Khanna and Padmaja Giri
No wonder air-travel can be stressful with a baby or toddler!
We know, many moms dread flying with their newborn. Having an extra set of arms, to help handle the baby, is something they always wish for before boarding a flight. Though air-trip with an infant is strenuous, advance preparation and following a few simple tips can maintain your sanity.
So, put your stress at bay and follow a few simple tips from our SOS MOMs:
- Unlike previous trips, look for flights that fit your baby’s schedule best than those that offer cheaper rates. Preferably, choose to fly at night which is your baby’s nap time.
- Pack your bag smartly and keep everything at easy access to avoid last minute haste.
- Do not forget to pack extra clothes and health care items like medicine, etc.
- Pack a bag with your baby’s favourite toys to keep him occupied during the flight. Buy a few new toys too.
- Adjust your child’s sleep schedule 2-3 days before departure in order to avoid any jet-lag.
- Check your baby’s diaper, just before boarding the flight, in case it needs to be replaced.
- Encourage your infant to nurse or suck on his milk bottle during take-off and landing, this helps avoid ear clogging which may make him irritable.
- Avoid exceeding your carry-on allowance. Do not carry too many bags inside the flight. Also, try using a back-pack so that you have your hands free to tend to your baby.
- Dress in layers, if possible. You may want to change in case your baby spits up on your dress. This goes for your baby too, and will help you control his environment in case it’s too hot (in the rear seats) or too cold.
- Air conditioning inside the plane may cause babies to get dehydrated, so always encourage your baby to drink often.
These are a few tips that will help you make your trip less dreadful and more manageable with your baby.
Nancy Gupta, Alisha Gupta, Shabnam Desai, Chital Panchal, Ritu Kasera, Nidhi Pankaj Dang, Charu Sahil Sharma, Pooja Chandrekar, Smaatika Jain, Mala Sharma, Mohanapriya Balu, Vijyashri Sreekanth, Misha Amar Bhattal, Ramsha Naved Khan, Ann Joe Mampilly and Nisha Verma
And then begins the inconsolable wailing…
You rush to check if your toddler is fine. But, you are left appalled after what you see.
Your pint-sized vampire has embedded his teeth in his playmate’s arm.
This is even worse than a full-blown tantrum in a supermarket. Isn’t it? You wish you could just sink into the ground before having to confront the parents of the victim child.
All you are left obsessed with is how to handle the situation and stop your child from repeating this embarrassing behaviour again.
Relax and take comfort! Because, this nasty habit in toddlers is not uncommon. Their new growing teeth often find their way into troublesome situations. They tend to resort to such activities with little or no regard for the consequences.
The good news is, there are many ways in which parents can reduce, and finally, get rid of it.
Be vigilant: Always keep an eye on your child and try to understand the triggers that make him bite. Understand the signs that he exhibits before biting. One of the very common reasons why toddlers bite is because they are teething. Provide your toddler with appropriate toys to chew on, during this stage.
Explain your toddler: Teach them that this is a wrong habit and they must not repeat it again. Explain to them that it causes pain.
Help them to express themselves: Toddlers, at this stage, usually have undeveloped language skills, and hence, they find it difficult to express what they feel. This may make them feel frustrated and resort to biting. Therefore, teach them the better ways of expressing love, care, aggression, etc. for others. Moreover, they may even do such things to gain your attention. In such a case, show your complete love and sympathy with the victim, and convey a clear message that this is an acceptable way of gaining attention.
Encourage and praise good behaviour: Tell your child that a good behaviour is always appreciated. Encourage him to be good to others and praise him whenever he behaves well and exhibits empathy.
Let us also look into our SOS Moms’ suggestion:
Sujatha Saikumar says, “Do not be aggressive towards your toddler. Young kids cannot understand negatives, so avoid raising your voice. Use simple yet firm words to make your child understand that it is a wrong behaviour.”
Sangel Brit says, “Don’t lose your temper in front of your child. They tend to imitate you. So be a role model for your child and teach him to be more patient while playing with other kids. Also, give him examples of the good behaviour of his favourite cartoon character.
Shabnam Desai suggests, “Whenever your child shows such an aggressive behaviour, remove him from the situation, take him to park, make him walk on or balance on benches. This will help him concentrate and cool him down. Sometimes kids do wrong things because they see other children do it. They cannot distinguish between right and wrong. So, make sure you correct him and help him understand the difference between good and bad behaviour.
Last but not the least, do not ignore if this habit persists. This may be the beginning of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Consult your pediatrician if required and help your child overcome it as early as possible.
Shabnam Desai, Sujatha Saikumar, Sangel Brit S, Dr. Sukhjeet Jagjit Makkar, Swati Jaiswal and Ketki Gupte Ambegaonkar
In typical Indian societies, every pregnant women or a new mom is made to endure unsolicited counsel from almost everyone around her. Yes, from total strangers too! While, it is easy to disregard some of these unsolicited advices, some may erode a woman’s confidence at a vulnerable time.
People say breastfeeding the baby is best! Or any article on breastfeeding, strongly recommends breast milk for a baby. All this may fill a mother with immense guilt if she is unable to breastfeed her newborn baby. No matter how carefully the words are chosen, no matter how positive the intention behind the advice is, a new mom is likely to feel offended if she has issues breastfeeding her child.
Just like a newborn baby, a new mom too is a very sensitive creature. Especially, when it is something related to her baby.
But, as mommies, we need to steer clear of this guilt. We need to understand that it is imperative to focus on what we can do rather than dwelling on what we cannot. Guilt is a negative emotion and it should be nipped in the bud. There are many other important things that a mother can render her baby with. Fill him with affection, give him sweet hugs, spend as much time as possible with him, give him the best care and the list is endless.
So all the mommies out there, if you are formula feeding your baby you need to come out of that guilt and be extra happy! Let us see what message our SOS moms have for you:
Shabnam Desai says, “You don’t have to feel guilty. Everyone knows it is difficult for some mother to breastfeed their babies. You must always stay relaxed while feeding your baby. Forget all the things around you and concentrate only on feeding. Before you start, always massage and keep hot water soaked napkins on your breasts. This eases the process and reduces the pain. Also, ensure that the baby is latched properly to the breast. Moreover, you can always carry your baby in your arms close to your breast while feeding her the formula milk to give her the same feeling”.
Reet Relhan says, “You can pump the breastmilk and feed it to your baby with a bottle.”
Nisha Lohani shares her experience and says, “Don’t worry, I was also not able to breastfeed my baby and went through the same emotional guilt but now my kid will soon turn 5 and I don’t see any issue in his development. In fact, from formula milk kids get all the required nutrients which may lack in breast milk as it depends on a mother’s diet”.
Shraddha Kotwal says, “Breastfeeding your baby as long as it is required for the baby, is the most ideal situation, but don’t forget that you too are a human being. It is okay if you feel like switching to formula if you feel the process is painful. Breastfeeding is not the ONLY thing that you do for your little one, it’s just one of the many things”.
Lastly, the ultimate thing that you need to ensure is that your baby is happy and healthy. Remember, all that your baby needs is your time, immense love, undivided attention, care and support. So, even if breastfeeding seems impossible, do all the other things that you can and make your baby feel special.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:
Shabnam Desai, Reet Relhan, Nisha Lohani, Riya Bhanji, Iffat Alia, Shraddha Kotwal and Anusha Patil.
Child separation anxiety is a terrible feeling that can hit any child at any phase of his growing period. Most kids become acclimated to the day-care very easily and enjoy spending their day with other kids. On the other hand, there are many children who find it extremely depressing to stay away from their parents, even after following months of day-care routine.
The act of juggling between career and children has never been so easy. Today, while mommies wish to be there for their little kiddos all the time they also wish to ensure that they are able to provide for their kids as well.
No matter how good caregiver or day-care a mother chooses for her toddler, if he/she exhibits reluctance to come to terms with it, she is sure to develop guilt that makes her question her own parenting style. So, in order to make this a fun place for kids, parents must try to understand what their child needs and how well a day-care can look after him/her in their absence.
Are you one of those parents who face problems while leaving your child at day care?
If your answer is Yes, do not miss to have a quick look at our SOS MOMs’ tips and views regarding the issue. They might prove helpful to comfort your child.
- Reet Relhan says, “Try to find out how they treat and handle your kid at day care. Chances are there is something/ someone she doesn’t like or is uncomfortable with. Do not let it go unnoticed”.
- Mala Ray says, “Most of the kids cry when they go to school or day-care in the beginning. But in most of the cases it does not take more than a week or a month’s time for them to get used to it. So, if your child cries even after 1-2 months, you must consider changing her day-care.”
- “Enrolling your child in a day-care too early is a major reason why he/she might find it difficult to stay away from parents. Regardless of how good the day-care is, it cannot give your baby the affection and care that you, as a parent, can. Moreover, early day-care routine may also develop emotional insecurity in a child. So, consider the option of a day-care for your child only when he is at least 2 years of age”, suggests moms Pooja Chawla and Priyanka Verma.
- “Communicate with your child as much as possible and try to understand her views about the day-care. Ask her what she likes and dislikes abouther day-care and assure her that you are there to resolve her problems. Many kids complain that they are uncomfortable with other kid’s behaviour. In such a case, talk to the day-care authorities and ensure your child is comfortable spending his day there”, says Chitra Vijayan.
- “If your child cries too much, try to take a week off and spend a day in day care with her. Then begin with sending her for shorter periods. Ask the day care people to introduce some games which she could participate in, to keep her engaged”, says Athira Somashekar.
- Give your child some of his favourite toys and make her caregivers aware of the games she likes to play. Ask them to involve your child in activities that she is interested in.
- Do not forget to call up the day-care authorities after a few minutes of leaving your child there to check if she is still crying. It feels content when caregiver tells that the child cried only for 5-10mins and is playing happily now.
Lastly, do make a BIG deal, when you return to pick up your child. Remember, kids need your love and attention. Give them as much of your time and care as possible. If leaving your child at day-care seems to hamper her positive emotional growth, do not hesitate to take an off from your work and spend some quality time with her.
Reet Relhan, Mala Ray, Pooja Chawla, Priyanka Verma, Chitra Vijayan and many more…
The waiter hands over a menu and you start to stare at it with utter delight.
You choose your favourites and place an order.
You now sit relaxed! A few minutes pass peacefully. Your child is calm and enjoying. And suddenly the next moment, there is an uncontrollable whimpering; whining and finally, you are persistently asked to leave for home.
The scene changes completely! Everyone is looking at you and your face is burning with embarrassment. You somehow manage to finish you dinner in haste and leave before all this forces you to have your own meltdown.
Aren’t these episodes common with almost all the toddlers?
You would not dare to deny if you are or have been a mother to a finicky toddler (unless you are one of those rare-to-find lucky mommies) ;)
No matter how sweet and adorable Kids are, they sure can create big scenes!
Tantrums and meltdowns are facts of toddler life. So take heart – such behaviour is not a reflection of your parenting skills. It does not mean you are raising a tyrant, rather, it simply means that your toddler knows no other way than throwing tantrums in response to his frustration.
Let us try out these simple tricks to defuse our kiddo’s tantrums:
“Give them some small tasks, like – name the animal you can see around you or what all colors you can see in the hall, ask them to put a few things into the bag, etc. Remember, you need to be creative each time, because kids soon get hold of previous ideas”, says Nidhi Vijay.
Involve your child
“Our little toddlers are great attention seekers. For them, they are the centre of the universe. So give them your attention by involving them in everything you do. Chances are they may not understand anything but you can still talk to them about whatever you are doing”, Suggests Prabha Peri.
Walk Away or Ignore
Noopur Choubey Bajpai says, “Most of the time, toddlers resort to tantrums because they think they will get what they want if they behave badly. If you do not pay heed to them and just walk away, they may give up and listen to what you have to say.”
Keep your cool
“Last but not least, understand that your kid is still very young and needs you the most. Whenever there are guests at home, they may feel you are giving more importance to guests as compared to them. So ensure that you give your undivided attention to them even when there are people around. Once they are grown up enough to understand things and with your gentle guidance they will stop throwing tantrums, automatically. Remember, do not shout, yell or spank your children. This will only leave a negative impact on them. However, do not always give into all their unreasonable demands just to comfort them, it may worsen the situation”, says Shabnam Desai.
Just be patient and give them time. They will soon turn into sensible and responsible individuals.
Shabnam Desai, Noopur Choubey Bajpai, Prabha Peri, Keithellakpam Memchoubi, Nidhi Vijay
Special mentions to the father: Yogesh Divekar
If your answer is Yes, then you must read this post!
Kissing a baby on lips can be dangerous. How would you feel if you kissed a baby on lips only to find out a few days later that you were sick? Then the baby too falls sick, gets hospitalized or even dies because you passed on your sickness to him. Yes, it happens! Also, kissing on the mouth is a great way to give your children cavities.
Almost all parents face this situation, where they find themselves speechless or unable to understand how to stop visitors from kissing their little ones. Aren’t there other ways to express love for a baby?
Our SOS Moms have some useful suggestion for parents who face this often. Let us take a look at them:
Inderpreet Kaur says, “Learn to say ‘NO’, because only you know what is best for your child”.
Yashdeep Bhatt suggests, “Keep a sanitizer bottle at your home and give it to every single visitor to use it before they hold your baby in hand. This will make them more conscious. You can also apply some sanitizer on your hands before touching your baby in front of them. While applying, don’t forget to talk about the infections and how sensitive babies are to bacteria and viruses. It may look like some over-protective drama. But this will make them conscious and may help avoid the situation to some extent”.
Claudia Vandana too has a wonderful idea to steer clear of such a situation. She says, “Tell people that the baby is throwing up. Tell a lie that you just kissed your baby and she threw up immediately on you. People would not dare to take a chance of kissing the baby”.
Lastly, the trick that works for most of the mommies is – “ Simply tell your visitors that doctor has advised not to kiss or touch the baby on face owing to some allergy that he/she is prone to”.
This has worked wonders for most of the parents! Give it a try!
Kritika Kapoor Bhatia, Inderpreet Kaur, Rathi Madan, Shuvra Das Mandal, Shivani Garg, Prabha Victor, Esha Jain Gupta, Shabnam Desai, Shailaja Krishna, Yashdeep Bhatt, Shilpa Khandelwal, Shilpi Saha, Chandana Jakkani , Sapana Wagh, Tina R Kawadia, Manju Janarthanan, Prabha Peri, Joyadrita Ragavendran, Felicita Dsouza, Prabh K Matharoo, Divya Aneja Alawadhi, Pratibha Sharma, Pronami Chakraborty , Robe Samarth Gaonkar and Karishma Jain.
Just like there is no best style of parenting, there is no fixed ‘type’ of kids. Every child is a unique individual and requires different upbringing from other kids. The parenting style that may be best for one child may not work for the other. It is only parents who can understand their child better than anyone else. Sometimes, it appears to be nerve wracking for parents to deal with toddler tantrums which are completely new and more challenging each passing day.
One of the biggest tantrums that toddlers throw is during the meal time. Poor moms can be seen doing all possible things to coax their toddler into eating healthy food. Some can be seen running behind their kids with food plate in hand, some trying to cook up interesting stories each time their toddler sits for a meal, some acting even better than a joker to keep the child distracted in order to feed him enough and some simply pulling their hair in absolute irritation.
Something similar to this is the case with one of our SOS mommies. Her 18-month-old toddler prefers to play with the food rather than eating it. In this process, he does consume a little but the most of it goes into waste. How is she supposed to handle this?
Let us have a look at what our SOS Moms have to suggest.
Shabnam Desai says, “Do not worry, mommy! It is good that your 18-month-old is making attempts to eat food on his own. At this stage, it is necessary that you help your child eat because his hand and mouth coordination still needs to develop completely. Therefore, you must sit with your child and teach him, or show him how to eat properly. Also, do not forget to lay a plastic sheet before making your child eat so that it is easy to clean the mess quickly”.
Riya Bhanji says, “Feed your child often so that the required amount of food goes into his stomach. Rest, let him learn and enjoy at the same time”.
Daddy Anil Mishra suggests, “Play some of your child’s favourite song or rhymes to keep him engaged and then feed him”.
Shruthi Naveen says, “Play with your child and feed him while he is busy playing. It takes a long time but you must be patient while dealing with your fussy eater”.
Mehak Vazrani shares her experience with us and says, “I put a bite in my daughter’s mouth and ask everyone around to clap, this motivates her to eat”.
Shabnam Desai, Ritu Dhingra, Riya Bhanji, Sudheer Kulkarni, Shalu Rana, Shruthi Naveen, Rathi Madan, Mehak Vazirani, Kalpana Perumal and Shraddha Sheth.
Special mentions to daddies – Anil Mishra and Dr. Anand Singh
You certainly remember that moment when you first saw your 2-year-old climb up on a couch, at the corner of your living area, all by her own. Her slender little hands held the couch as firmly as possible, pulling her weight up onto something chest-high, carefully propping her foot in the notch between the base and the top cushion of the couch. And, there she stood, up on the couch without your support.
So, while you are busy archiving ‘every firsts’ of your child, she barely takes anytime to work out her moves and learn new skills, master the old ones and set out to explore new things around.
Sounds exciting, exhilarating and feels proud too; isn’t it?
But, it will not take many days for this exhilaration to disappear in the growing apprehension.
Your toddler’s never-ending curiosity will soon make her a lively, bubbly, enthusiastic, and needless to mention, a fearless kiddie. She will be high on energy and will have a penchant for enjoying risk taking. Don’t be shocked if you find her climbing the highest slides, trying to touch the animals in a National park, feeding biscuits to a street dog, chasing cats and other animals fearlessly.
You can attribute this fearless behaviour to the great physical energy your child possesses. Usually, parents of such children have a great difficulty in keeping them safe. These children, generally, do not wait for their parents’ assurance or support before trying out anything new.
The big concern that then arises is – how to keep a fearless child safe?
Is it a good idea to instil fear in your child just to keep him safe?
Let us discuss a few ways in which you can make your child cautious without killing her enthusiasm to explore the world around.
- Teach by giving examples: Play with your child, pretend to fall down and show him that it hurts. Tell him that he needs to be cautious while playing in order to avoid such pain.
- Teach your child that anything except food should not be kept in mouth.
- Allow your child to try new things but make sure you are around to prevent any mishap. Do not be worried if he stumbles or falls. Let your child learn from her own experiences.
- Make your child aware of the potential hazards that may make him vulnerable to serious injuries.
Having a fearless child does not always mean that you have to be anxious. It is a good quality to possess, indeed. A child who is fearless grows up to be an extrovert and becomes more responsible. Moreover, toddlers do not have the understanding of right and wrong. Therefore, it is your responsibility to teach your child what is good or bad for him, and make him aware that a few things can be dangerous and should be steered clear of.
Shabnam Desai, Sangel Brit and Arti Vedpathak
Owning a tablet or an ipad has become a trend, and most importantly, a status symbol in the past few years. These gadgets are not only attracting adults or teenagers, but little toddlers too. For many parents, it comes as a challenge to keep their toddlers away from these electronic devices.
Colorful pictures, attractive videos, interesting games and a wide range of other such features have made it an irrestible entertainment toy for kids. Moreover, nowadays, these devices come with several apps that are specifically designed for and used by 2-3 years olds.
With such rapid growth in the use and popularity of tablets and smartphones, how easy it is for parents to keep their toddlers or young kids away from them? Isn’t it too much tenchnology at an early age?
Here are a few ways to keep your child away from tablet and smart phones:
- Limit alone time: Ensure that your child is not alone when you do your household chores. Make him sit in the same area where you are working and give him some toys to play with. Keep talking to your child as you finish your daily household work.
- Password protection: While the technology brings in attractive features in tablets and smart phones to lure your litte one, it also enables you to keep it password protected. So use the feature and keep it locked.
- Fill their time: Encourage your child to indulge in indoor and outdoor games. Play role-plays with them. Create new opportunities to keep them engaged – like inviting their friends for play-dates at home, involving them in hand-painting, using waste material at home (like toilet paper roll, newpapers, etc.) to make some creative stuff, etc.
- Set a good example: If you are always glued to the screens of your tablets and smart phones, expect your child too to learn and exhibit the same behavior. You cannot teach your child to stay away from these devices unless you set a example for them to learn from. So, minimize your mobile usage or use it when your child is not around.
It has been seen that most parents slip such electronic devices into their kids’ hands to have some downtime without the child tugging to them, or many a times, to get through a meal in a restaurant without having to face a toddler meltdown. Remember, it is easier to give in to these temper tantrums now but it can get difficult to manage your toddler without a cell phone or a tablet, going forward.
Neha Trikha Agarwal, Aman Tiwari, Remya Houratious, Sangel Brit S and Namrata Sinha
It’s a very well known fact that babies are cute, charming and adorable. No wonder they catch people’s attention, very easily. However, does that mean any stranger can reach out, touch, hold or take a baby from her parents?
The answer is definitely No! There has to be some sort of etiquettes about respecting a baby’s space.
While some mothers may not find it disagreeable and may take pleasure in watching their little angel being touched and adored; others may feel hysterically uncomfortable when a stranger tries to reach out to their little ones.
Here is what a mother can do when a stranger tries to reach out and touch her baby:
- Speak up: For strangers it may not be a big deal to touch a baby’s hand or feet. But it is you who has to decide what feels right to you and what not. So be firm yet polite and give an excuse to the strangers with a smile that you are concerned about germs, and hence, would prefer them to just look at the baby and not touch her.
- Move to a different place: When you notice a stranger eyeing your baby or get a hunch that he/she may try to reach out to her, simply walk away with your baby in the other direction.
- Hang a sign board: If you are carrying your baby in a stroller, hang a sign board that may read – “Hi, please wash your hands before you touch me”.
Having stated some basic measures, let us also have a look into what our SOS MOMs have to suggest:
- If a stranger tries to take your baby from you, tell him that “the baby is giving signs of peeing and may dirty your clothes, so its better not to take her”, says Yashdeep Bhatt.
- Shimani Raj says, a baby is just like your diamond necklace that you would never want anybody to touch. Therefore, it is imperative that parents do not get carried away and feel proud when strangers feel attracted towards their baby.
- Do not hesitate to say “NO” or express your discomfort to a stranger”, says Prerna Sharma.
Every family has its own way of parenting, and thus, every parent has the right to decide on what is and isn’t suitable for his/her baby. Chances are not everyone will agree with you, but do not think twice while asseting your wishes in order to ensure that your baby is safe and others respect her boundaries.
Rathi Madan, Shimani Raj, Prerna Sharma, Khushbu Saluja, Shama Desai, Aastha, Neha Sharmaa, Jas Saini, Anamika Udainiya, Yuvedha Suresh, Sajeena Husen, Noopur Choubey Bajpai and Vijaya Mathur Saxena.
A special mention to fathers – Yashdeep Bhatt, Dr. Anand Singh, Brijmohan Jagrawal, Sachin Gupta and Amit Kapoor.
All of us would agree that there cannot be anything more frustating than dealing with a fussy toddler. It comes as an alarm when a 2-year-old refuses to eat soild foods and prefers only milk the entire day.
Moreover, if you are one of those parents who think that they can win the food fight with a young toddler and force him to eat solid food, you are WRONG!
The only thing that the fight leaves you with is a Big Question Mark “?”, asking – “How do I get my child to eat solid food?”
The answer is – RELAX! Steer clear of any power struggle over food!
Yes, you need to keep your cool and understand that nagging and fretting will not coax your toddler into eating solid food. It will only make the problem worse. However, this does not mean you solemnly renounce your duties of feeding your toddler with proper nutrition. The issue demands the shift in approach you adopt to feed your toddler.
So, while you decide to agree with us and wait this transient phase out, let me put forth some useful tips from our SOS MOMs to help you sail through this smoothly:
- “Toddlers develop a perception that drinking milk is the easiest way to satisfy their hunger. They prefer a bottle of milk over eating solid food. Therefore, it is essential to cut down the milk intake of your child. This will make him feel hungry and eat whatever you offer”, says Richa Nangia.
- “Allow your toddler to be independent and have some control. Offer finger foods than spoon feeding your child everytime. Letting your toddler eat on his own makes him more interested in food offered and gives a sense of satisfaction. This may be messy but it is worth giving a try”, says Priya Vashishtha.
- At this age, toddlers love to mimic their elders. So, make your child eat at the dinning table with all the family members than feeding him alone. Set a good example of finishing your food so that your toddler follows the same.
- “Make your toddler’s food look interesting by giving it different shapes. For example, you can make heart shape parathas, animal face dosa, and so on. Buy him new plate and spoon with attractive cartoon shapes”, says Shabnam Desai
- Neha Trikha Agrawal says, “pay attention to your toddler’s hunger pattern and offer food only when he feels hungry”.
- “Put on some cartoon videos, ryhmes or songs while feeding your baby. This distracts your toddler’s mind from food and he ends up finish whatever is given to him”, suggests mommies –Asha Jins, Neha Joshi and Pooja Anil Gupta.
- Shivangi Gupta says, “try to mix the solid food with yogurt/ milk and then feed your toddler. Slowly increase the quantity of solid food and reduce that of yogurt/ milk. This will give your toddler a similar taste that he is used to, and he will not reject the food”.
Being a picky eater or refusing to eat solids is a normal part of toddler development. The more the parents focus on food the more likely the toddler is to refuse to eat. Therefore, it is always best to adopt a casual approach and believe in the fact that this phase is transient. Your toddler is sure to outgrow this, eventually.
Richa Nangia, Priya Vashishtha, Kanishka Tingal Bhatt, Shabnam Desai, Neha Trikha Agarwal, Pooja Anil Gupta, Neha Joshi, Aastha Amit Kapoor, Akhila Garimella, Priya Suresh, Asha Jins, Sakshi Batra, Jas Saini, Noopur Choubey Bajpai, Paridhi Tapan Upadhyay, Sangel Brit S, Silva Sarkar, Shivangi Gupta, Garima Grover, Aman Tiwari, Ramya Comanduri and Shamsheer Khan
Most newborn babies enjoy when they are given bath. But as they grow up, you will suddenly realize that they have started to develop an aversion to the use of water for bathing. They start looking at it as the most dreadful thing in the world. Moreover, they cry to such an extent that will make you feel that you are one of the worst mommies who is making her poor little toddler go through this trauma of bathing everyday.
But the reality is, the poor mommy is trying out all possible ideas to make her toddler love his bath time. She is asking her fellow mommy friends, digging internet frantically to look for solutions, and probably, also acting like a cartoon to keep her little angel entertained till she is done with bathing her toddler.
What is that making the baby cry inconsolably during bathtime? Why has the baby started to hate his bath time suddenly?
Let us take a sneek peek into what our SOS MOMs are doing to deal with this situation:
Shama Desai says, “Take your toddler in the bathroom with his clothes on. Play with him by splashing water on him and allow him do the same with you. There is no harm getting slightly wet with him for that moment. Play for sometime, then explain him that his clothes are wet and need to be removed. Take soap or shower gel apply on your own hands first, then ecourage him to do the same on his body. You can then wash away the soap by putting water over him, gently. Try this method for some days, it works!”
Nisha Maurya Dhawan explains how you can go about ensuring an enjoyable bathtime for your baby by following a few simple steps. They are:
- Make sure your baby is not hungry or sleepy when you take him for bath.
- Use water with optimal temperature.
- Use bath toys to deviate his attention and keep him occupied.
- Blow bubbles while giving him bath.
- Make him apply soap on your face before you do the same with him.
- Put water/soap on his face at the finishing end of the bath, as babies do not like water/soap entering their eyes/nose/mouth/ears. So, he will not cry during the entire bathtime but only at the end and then you can quickly end it.
- Cover him with a towel as soon as the bath is over and keep him tight against your body for sometime. Show him mirror and make happy faces.
Jaspreet Kaur Gandhi says, “Give your baby a gentle massage as you pour water on his body”. This worked with her little angel.
Mommies, Shalini and Sania suggest, “Make your baby’s bath time a fun. Allow him to play with water for sometime before you start giving him bath. Let him splash water and get all wet by himself.
Aishwarya Sandeep says, “Bathe your baby when he is in a good mood. Give him a oil massage everyday before bath. This will give him an inkling that he is being prepared for bath. Talk to him or play with him or sing while massaging. This will make his mood cheerful”.
Jasmeet Kaur suggests, “Avoid pouring water directly over toddler’s head. Wipe his face with wet hands and use your hand-cups to pour water over his little head.”
Sharma A Chavvi shares a tip that worked for her son. She says, “ Arrange some toys like small duck ,frog, colorful fishes, and a small bucket (having cartoon characters printed on it) for him in the bath area. Let him play with these for a while and sing a rhyme or a song for him. Allow him to stand in the bucket for few mins after bath.”
Aastha Amit Kapoor says, “Put your child’s bath tub in his play area. Let your child play with the bath tub and get comfortable sitting in it. Then bring him inside the bathroom for bath.”
It is very common and absolutely normal for babies to develop fear of bath as the grow up into a toddler. This is normal and they overcome it eventually.
Mala Sharma, Gurpreet Kaur, Nishat Inamdar, Afroz Rehman, Shama Saquib Gilani, Afshan Sadique, Angie Alicea, Manpreet Kaur Bajwa, Prabh K Matharoo, Reshma K Lakhmani, Robe Samarth Gaonkar, Crystal Chennupalli, Prerna Sharma, Bandana Bose, Silja Jay Nair, Poonam Singhal, Jasmeet Kaur, Swati Jaiswal , Chitra Adhikari, Kavita Thakur, Sapna Sunny, Richa Nangia, Sudeshna Patnaik, Jyoti Kukreja, Prabha Karthik, Priyanka Saurabh Khanna, Preeyanka Arora Pachnanda, Meeta Bhatia Arora, Aishwarya Sandeep, Sania Azeem, Shalini Soni, Priya Kulkarni, Swagata Mitra, Sunitha Raj, Kusuma Madwaraj, Tithi Parmar, Jaspreet Kaur Gandhi, Nisha Maurya Dhawan, Tesia Poulose, Shama Desai, Farha Khan, Navneet Yadav, Sasmita Patel, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Noopur Choubey Bajpai, Keerthichandra Bhoorla, Aastha Amit Kapoor, Manjari Nagavalli, Vasanta Iyer, Sharma A Chhavi, Hema Panjabi, Sakshi Batra, Vaishali Bansal Bhati and Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto
You may be of the view that newborn babies do not understand things around them really well, during their first few months. But, don’t they seem to know how to get most of your attention and love, even in those initial days?
Ohh! We know only you understand it better than anyone else, new mommy!
Your charming little angel is fed well and has had a long nap time too. She is fresh and brimming with energy to have some cheerful play time… So, there you lay her in her craddle and sit back for some Me-time!
Suddenly, a loud whinning noise hits your ears and… you find your relaxation time disappear even before it actually started.
“You gotta hold me, Mumma!”… is what your sweetheart wants to convey.
And, you end up being sleep deprived mommy who is worn out holding the baby all the time. No wonder you find yourself at your wits end, trying to pacify the whinning baby.
Unfortunately, there is no way around this problem. Some babies simply need to be held all the time to make them feel good and secure. Even the idea of ‘letting them cry it out’, does not seem to reduce this instinctive need they posses.
Therefore, it is always best to look for ways to retain your sanity rather than trying to change the habits of the little ones, overnight. Let us have a sneak peek into how some of the mommies have dealt with this situation and what suggestions they have to offer:
- “Swaddling the baby nicely is helpful. Since, the babies are used to being snuggled tight in the womb, swaddling gives them the feeling of a womb which makes them feel safe and secured”, says Richa.
- “Babies sleep the most during the first 3 months. So try establishing a sleep schedule”, advices Noopur Choubey Bajpai. The trick worked for her!
- Vandana Anand shares her experience with us and says, “I used to put a pillow over my lap and then keep the baby on that pillow… Gradually, the baby started associating the touch of the pillow with my presence.
Whenever the baby fell asleep on my lap… I placed the pillow on bed with the baby on it and arranged some more pillows on the sides for protection. This allowed me some free time while the baby still enjoyed her mother’s touch. This idea of conditioning baby’s mind worked for both of my babies.”
- Shivangi Gupta feels that baby handling methods vary from baby to baby. She suggests, “try keeping soft-toys around the baby, while she is awake and active. This distracts the baby and keeps her engaged.”
- “Bring home a baby rocker. Your baby might love being in it and you can keep it where you are working”, suggets Astha Amit Kapoor.
- Moms, Priyamvada and Sapna says, “ while swaddling is the best way, you can also try sleeping bags for babies. Playing soothing music is another way that helps keep your baby engaged and stimulates her audio and visual senses”.
- “If you find your baby crying inconsolably, you must check if she is suffering from colic. Consult a pediatrician and give her the prescribed medicines”, suggests moms Priyanka, Saipreethi and Silky.
Lastly, you must always remember that a newborn baby is too small and it will take her some time to get adjusted in the completely new environment. For a baby, a mother’s touch and presence is assuring. So, spend quality time with your baby, sit next to her, play with her, talk to her and let her enjoy the comfort of your presence. Ask help from family members if you are tired but do not miss to enjoy the phase because it will pass even before you realise. Your baby will outgrow this habit on her own, eventually.
Richa Nangia, Silja Jay Nair, Richa Nangia, Neha Chhabria , Noopur Choubey Bajpai, Vandana Anand, Shivangi Gupta, Aastha Amit Kapoor, Jyoti Singh, Silky Gulati, Sapna Negi, Prarthita Malviya, Priyamvada S. Agnihotri, Shweta Attarwala, Jayita Sen Singha, Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto, Richa Amicable, Kavita Thakur, Ruksana Shaik, Krutika Joshi, Saipreethi Sudhan, Navneet Kaur, Nandita Oberoi Sharma, Latika Sakhuja Srivastava, Nicky Shah Kapadia, Fathima Abi, Upasana Panda, Bhavana Saxena, Priyanka Gupta, Divya Krishnan and Mita Savaliya.
Come December and the festive mood sets in! With the arrival of this winter holiday season, people start preparing for the much-awaited Christmas celebration with great enthusiasm. Cakes, chocolates, cookies, wine, gifts and decoration become the common topic of discussion in most of the families.
Amidst all the excitement, children are secretly busy ensuring that they are at their best behaviour so that the red man on the sledge, who comes all the way from God’s land, does not miss to drop a present for them. They make socks for the Christmas night and hang them on the Christmas tree. By doing this, they feel they are reminding Santa that they are the deserving ones for his love and gifts too.
With the festive gusto at its zenith, it is really tough for parents to make their kids, who are now grown up enough, mindful of the fact that Santa isn’t real. They are in search of an explanation that speaks the truth, and at the same time, does not destroy the magic of the season. But what if kids are reluctant to understand and accept the reality? How do parents explain the truth of Santa to their children?
Some mommies, from SOS MOMs, have wonderful suggestions for parents who want their kids to enjoy the magic of the season, yet know the reality.
Vandana Anand says, “Make your child a Santa and let her distribute some gifts to poor children. She will understand the concept and will not be upset. She will experience the joy hidden in the act of sharing, kindness and other good emotions. Also, take her to a mall on Christmas and carry a packed gift for her. Let the Santa of the mall give her that gift. She will be happy, but she will also understand everything without you having to tell her.”
Rashi Pareek says, “You should let your child continue with the Santa myth. She would eventually grow out of it herself. It’s a boon for parents too, as it enables them to know the mindsets and desires of their little ones. Instead of indulging yourself in revealing Santa’s reality, you can plan a surprise gift for your child. Make her write a letter to Santa, talking about all her desires and worries in it. Help her with her worries and talk to her about her desires. This will make her believe that there is someone who can help her in solving her problems. This will also enable you to comprehend how and what your child thinks about the world around her.”
It is always good to enlighten children about the true essence and reality of Santa. Nothing more than a positive approach is required to introduce your child to this fact. So while you celebrate Christmas this year, help your child develop a matured outlook on Santa and enjoy the festival with greater zeal.
Vandana Anand, Rashi Pareek and Misha Amar Bhattal
Learning is a process that starts right from the time a child utters his first syllable. It would not be wrong to tag it as a life-long affair that goes on even after he successfully reaches the end of his academic life.
Unfortunately, nowadays, ‘learning’ is seen as a ‘free-size’ or ‘one-size-for-all’ process, that is not tailored to fit an individual’s abilities. This is true especially when we talk about our conventional school systems which put forth a rigid style of learning for children. Moreover, every child is different and so are his abilities. Not every child has the same grasping power, not every child can perform exceptionally as his peers, not every child shows similar interests; while some may enjoy reading books, others may be fascinated by number games or puzzles.
Does that mean one child is smarter than the other?
However, you may have come across children who develop skills and achieve various milestones at a comparatively slower pace. Parents to such kids often believe that their child is a ‘slow learner’. Telling this to kids is even worse. Parents carrying such notion may, knowingly or unknowingly, leave a demeaning or degrading impact on their children.
Such children are not slow; they just need some extra help and support from their parents to be successful. They need to be taught that an extra effort, than others, will definitely help them be at par with others, or potentially, do better than them. And all this, with extra care and love.
Parents, usually, tend to punish their child for not learning or grasping well. But, being strict or reinforcements like punishing or scolding the child never helps to tackle the problem. It is only parents’ constant support that can make a difference.
There are many parents who very well understand and work with their kids to make learning easier for them. Let us also have a look at the tips these parents have to offer:
Rajnideep Sandhu, who is a mommy, says – “that such kids are good observant. Being polite with them, understanding and identifying their interest area, and avoiding over-burdening them with studies can help tackle the situation well. They should be encouraged to give their best in studies, but at the same time, parents must also understand that there can be one and only one student who can come first in their child’s class.”
Hema Panjabi says, “Punishing never helps! Parents should try to make ‘learning’ a fun activity. Also, there can be various other reasons which can hamper your child’s learning ability, parents must try to identify them. These reasons can be: uncomfortable sitting, room lighting, difficult method of teaching, incomplete sleep or food intake, too much pressure to learn, etc. Also, every child has his own speed to learn. By generating curiosity and enthusiasm about subject, learning can surely be made easy and fast.
Prerna Sharma, says – “Identify what your child learns faster, like dancing, singing, etc. Based on this you can modify your teaching method.”
To sum it up, it is only parents who can understand their child’s requirements best and can work towards making their lives easier and happy.
Rajnideep Sandhu, Hema Panjabi, Prerna Sharma, Mukti Ranjan
One of the most exhilarating moments associated with baby’s development is his walking milestone. You miss no opportunity to capture all the special moments when he takes his first step forward without any aid. You want to be always by his side because you dread those falls that might bruise his tender knees. Yet, you make all possible efforts to make your child more and more confident as he learns to amble in his own peculiar gait.
In early childhood, most toddlers take to ‘toe walking’ when they begin to explore the world around them on their own. While, some prefer to toe-walk on and off just for fun, others may get habitual to it. Usually, tip-toeing isn’t something to be worried about until the child is two. More than half of the toddlers, who are toe walkers, grow out of this habit on their own, gradually.
However, if your toddler shows consistent signs of toe walking, you must consider consulting a paediatrician. Prolonged toe-walking may be a signal of some serious health issues, which require proper medical attention.
A few signs for which you must consult your doctor are:
- Frequent walking on toes
- Lack of coordination and stiff muscles
- Stumbling and awkward walking style
- Improper development of fine motor skills
- Loss of pre-developed motor skills
With all the above mentioned information, let us also have a look at what our SOS MOMs have to say on this issue:
“This is absolutely normal for a 2-year-old. We, in our childhood, have also had such funny habits which did not affect us adversely in any way. All kids are different and so are their habits. It might take your toddler some time to grow out of it but there is nothing to be anxious about,” says Smriti Thukraj
Lavanya Reddy suggests, “Put on socks and shoes on your baby’s feet for a few days. This may help as it is hard to walk on toes with shoes on”.
Moms, Preeti Ashutosh and Mahek Achantani, are experiencing the same issue with their toddlers and suggest, “Most of the time kids do it for fun, and hence, we should allow them to enjoy their childhood in their own way”.
So, all you need to ensure is your bundle of joy is not hurting himself with this new-found tip-toe style and is walking safely.
Enjoy this phase with your child, click pictures, and make as many videos as you can, because someday this phase will simply vanish overnight!
Smriti Thukraj, Lavanya Reddy, Preeti Ashutosh, Mahek Achantani, Rajnit Kaur, Anu John, Shikha Rohit Chawla, Nidhi Jain, Ridhima Mukerji