Mommies, if you have recently been to see the movie Barfi, as most of us did, or if you’ve read about it or have seen any of its trailers, you probably already know that the main actors are a little special, with special needs and a very special and beautiful life….
As a mother myself, what I definitely loved about the movie is that though the characters are deaf-dumb and autistic, none of it is used to generate pity, and instead, we are shown what a beautiful and ‘special’ life they have, blessed to be able to enjoy life at its fullest.
When my daughter watched the movie with us, she obviously had a lot of questions, her first one being why can’t the person speak or hear, or why does this person have such problems (as a 5-year-old, she felt that the difficulties faced by autistic people were especially hard because no one seems to try and understand what they say or feel!).
I was very sure that I wanted her to know the realities, yet make sure that she wouldn’t end up pitying or feeling sorry for those with special needs. I told her that even if they can’t speak or hear, or have difficulties expressing themselves freely to others, they do have a special language of their own, one that comes from the heart, one that is filled with love, governed by love, and one that can only be understood by people who are loving and caring themselves.
I know its quite hard to explain the entire concept to a kid, that too keeping in mind that your child will form an impression of special-needs people based on what you tell them and how you tell them. But you know what, children are really smart and understanding, and when you tell them something in the right way, they do understand and listen!
Don’t avoid such topics with your little one, because sooner or later, they will get to know, and it’s always best that you are the one who tells them the realities of life, and explain to them the responsibilities of growing into a wonderful human being.
- Don’t shy away from showing your babies movies that have special-needs people
- Don’t show movies that show special needs people in a bad light
- Talk to your kids about people with special needs
- Encourage them to mix with and make friends with special needs people
- Let your child feel that special-needs people are normal too, just different in behaviour, like most people are different
- Don’t pity a special-needs person in front of your child, and remember to be polite and understanding in your behaviour towards them, as your child will pick up your behaviour
- To make your child believe, you need to first believe yourself that people with special needs aren’t an illness, but just a different way of living
Many new mums tend to get confused with the amount of varying information they get from family, friends, books and online. While a friend may say you need to feed your baby only when baby is hungry, the book may say you need to feed baby every few hours. While a relative says feeding for so and so time at a stretch is important, another may talk about signs that your baby shows.
All the above holds true in case of a new mum, as different babies have different needs and it takes a while to understand what really works for your little one. But one thing that holds true in case of new babies is that frequently feeding baby is good, and also advisable. Babies are still trying to develop their digestive system, and their tummies are tiny, so while they need feeds at small intervals, its also true that they need smaller quantities and not too much feed at one go.
A few signs that can help you notice baby’s hunger are:
- Sucking fingers
- Sucking lips
- Sucking clothes
- Not falling asleep even though you’ve been trying
- Starts puckering lips imitating feed time
For newborns, its advisable that you feed baby every two hours. Once baby gets a little older, and if you are planning to start top feed, keep a regular schedule for feeding, and apart from that, keep your eyes out on baby’s cues for hunger.
Sometimes, you may worry that even though you are feeding baby properly, a lot of it is coming out in spitting. If that’s the case, try giving lesser quantity of feed, and make sure you burp baby properly after every feed, whether breast feed or bottle feed.
All babies are different, and it’s important that you try and understand what’s best for your’s. Give your baby some time to adjust to this ‘new’ life. While you’re there to care and love and do what’s best for your baby, everything will fall into place.
- Scratching ears and head
- Staring quietly at one spot
- Less active
But sometimes, signs that look like indications of sleep are actually indications of over-exhaustion, like:
- Constant crying
- Rubbing eyes vigorously
- Falling off to sleep while doing something else
If your baby shows any of the signs from the second list, chances are, its way past baby’s sleep time, and baby is now over-exhausted. You may have tried putting baby to sleep earlier, but baby was quite active and didn’t want to sleep, so you allowed a little more play time. Yes, we all do that.
This is actually a good way of making sure that baby is taken to bed when the first signs of sleep start to settle in, rather than waiting too long and letting baby get uncomfortable and cranky in the process. If you see baby yawning and being a little less active than baby usually is, its time to start the bedtime routine.
- Prepare a warm bath and give baby a bath
- Give a light massage with some soothing baby oils
- Put baby in comfortable sleep clothes – do not cover baby with too many quilts and blankets, instead get baby in sleep onesies.
- Give baby some milk, bottle or mother’s feed
- Dim the lights
- Make sure the voices in the house are low
- Keep the bed comfortable
- Check that the room temperature is comfortable – not too warm and not too cold
- If baby wants, give a comfort toy to hug and sleep
- Sing a soft lullaby, read a story, play some light music
Your baby may not immediately fall off to sleep, though many babies do, but keep this routine regular and very soon your baby will start having a bed-time routine.
As a young mother, especially as a new mother, you have a lot on your hands. With a newborn in the house, often there are times when you have to bring on your special motherly instincts to help you understand what’s best for your baby. As a mother, you know what’s best for your baby, but sometimes, knowing before hand what those little signs and gestures mean, can prepare you to take care of baby more efficiently, and without you getting stressed and confused. So here are the top 5 signs that babies will definitely display, so make sure
1. Rubbing eyes and ears/scratching head, face: These are the first signs of tiredness. As soon as you see baby doing any of this, its a good time to start preparing for baby’s bed time. Don’t wait for baby to get over-tired, as this will lead to crankiness and many tears.
2. Crying: Thisis baby’s most common way of showing that there is something wrong. And what could it be? It could be any of these – hunger, sleep, dirty diaper, wetting, soiling, fear, tiredness, pain, discomfort, attention-seeking, wanting something and not getting. Tend to baby and see what the reason is.
3. Cooing, gurgling, short laughs: These are signals that begin baby’s journey towards communication. This is baby’s first step towards telling you what baby feels, what is making baby happy, what is making baby excited, what seems interesting to baby. Enjoy the phase! Encourage your baby, talk about your daily activities, talk about things around baby, talk about your feelings, and see your baby trying to talk just like you!
4. Sucking fingers, putting things in mouth, chewing/biting on toys and things: Your baby is probably teething. This is a painful and uncomfortable experience for most babies, and baby will be cranky and crying. Ease baby’s discomfort by lightly massaging the gums. Give babies things to chew, like teethers and vegetable sticks. You can also give cooled carrot sticks for baby to bite/chew on.
5. Touching diaper/poopy area: Baby may have soiled the diaper, baby may have wet itself. Also, this could be an indication that baby can already feel the need to go to the washroom. Check on baby’s diaper and clothes to see any signs of wetness or soiling. Also, this may be a good time to start your baby’s potty-training, if you’ve not already begun the process.
Enjoying motherhood has been your prerogative. Even though you may feel stressed and burned-out at times, you, the mothers, have begun taking this experience to a completely different level altogether. And in this generation of mothers, the change is really visible. It’s true that in previous generations too, the mothers have always been caring and attentive, managing home and kids perfectly. Our mothers have truly devoted all their time to us, making us what we are today. But for this generation of mums, the change seems to be a lot different.
Being a mother in our generation is actually a lot of fun. Knowing that there’s a little one inside you does not deter the young mum-to-be from being stylish and ‘happening.’ She goes out with as much enthusiasm and is as style-conscious as she was before the stork visited. Whether its shopping for the kitchen or buying those fashionable clothes and makeup, she likes to do it all.
Today, mums are taking their little ones everywhere. And no, the birth of a new one does not tie them down or place them under house arrest. As soon as the initial resting period is over, these mums are seen everywhere – at work, at malls, at events, parties, everywhere. And most places, the little one is not left behind, but instead, can be seen enjoying mum’s company, while mum manages to make many heads turn.
Gone are the days when mums would be all dull and drab. The young mums of today are fashion-conscious, stylish, glamorous and aware of the latest trends and don’t shy away from out new things. Not only do they do all their ‘mommy’ duties, young mothers today understand that to feel good you need to look good. And only when you look and feel happy, can you make others around you happy. So whether its exercise, makeup, yoga, fitness or clothes, these young mums today know it all!
Young mums today are much more hands-on, ensuring they are as much friend to their little one, as they are a mother.
Be it helping with the homework, playing those computer games or making the projects, going shopping, watching a movie together or taking a dance class together, mothers and children today are bonding like never before!
And not to mention, they are managing the house and work as wonderfully as ever. Supermums?
So what happened all of a sudden? A big factor, that often goes unappreciated, is the fact that the young father of today has changed a lot, not just as a father, but also as a husband. He understands the importance of being your friend, he understands the importance of sharing responsibilities and encouraging and appreciating you. He does understand you, doesn’t he? And the fact that you have an understanding partner can go a long way in giving you the confidence you see in yourself.
This week, Mum Sana Shahid had a problem that many new mums have faced and worried about. This young mum is having problems breastfeeding her baby, and even after nursing for an hour, her son remains hungry and cries a lot. ”I am eating healthy food, lots of milk, fruits, vegetables, almonds and nuts, but my milk is still watery!”
As always, we asked all you mums about some ‘real’, practical solutions, and our wonderful SOS Mommy Brigade came out with some very helpful tips. Read on:
1. Its important to be sure that enough milk is coming, else you’ll continue nursing but baby won’t get food enough. If breastfeed continues to remain inadequate, its a good idea to consult the doctor and give supplement feed of formula milk after every breast feed, just to fill up baby’s tummy. The mums also suggested Lactogen as a good way to fill up baby’s tummy after feeds.
2. Check with your and baby’s doctor about medicines that will help you produce more milk. Having milk with Pro Plus helps producing milk (as suggested by mums). Have lots of pulses and chapatis, as these are a healthy way to produce more milk. Try and eat every 2 hours and make sure your tummy is always full.
3. Eat and drink a lot. And while nursing, let baby suck on for as long as baby wants. Even though this may be difficult for you, your baby may get as much milk as possible. Having liquids, soups and dry fruits will help.
4. Some mums mentioned that they were prescribed Lactonic granules with milk twice a day and it helped them. We suggest you consult your doctor and check on the same before trying.
6. Drink a glass of masoor dal daily. Also, if required, give your baby gripe water. If you’re a non-vegetarian, have a portion of chicken/fish daily.
7. Sometimes, babies are not able to suck properly, thus losing out on precious milk. You can try using a breast pump that will allow you to pump out the entire milk and you can then feed your baby through a feeding bottle.
8. Try having roasted chana, drink milk at least 4 times a day, and add jaggery (gur) instead of sugar. You can also prepare shira with wheat flour with ghee and have the same.
9. Roasted garlic will not only help in producing milk but will also prevent baby from getting colicky. Also try and have warm water before every feed.
10.Don’t try dieting at this stage, as this will surely harm milk flow. Eat and drink plenty while you are still feeding baby.
11.Spend more time with baby, touch therapy can work wonders. Also, check with the pediatrician if baby is crying out of hunger or if there’s something else bothering baby.
12.Adding fenugreek (methi) is great to produce milk. Try swallowing a few teaspoons like a pill or soak it overnight and eat and drink the water.
13.Add a little amount of cumin seeds (jeera) to your diet to increase milk.
14.Not all cries are hunger cries, so try and understand if your baby is crying out of – tiredness, over stimulation, sleep, colic.
15.Make sure that baby is not falling off to sleep while feeding. While most babies do tend to fall asleep while still sucking, it ends up making them hungry, as they fall asleep before their tummies are full. Try talking to your baby while feeding, singing, emoting and other ways to keep baby awake through the feed.
16.Before feeding, try and massage your breast, you can also soak a towel in hot water and keep it on your breast. This will help loosen any knots in the milk glands and help in better flow. Help baby latch on properly to the nipple. Drink plenty of water before and after nursing baby.
17.Try using feeding nipples thatyou can attach to your nipples. These help make sucking easier for baby.
All the tips have been suggested by our amazing mommies, but as every mom and baby may have different needs, we suggest you consult your doctor before trying out any supplements or medicines, as what works for one may not work for the other.
We definitely have to give lots of special thanks to these lovely mommies: Saumya Khare, Anjali Sharma, Priyanka Herdhan, Cathy M Rathinam, Aaliya SQ, Shreya Chakravarty Bhattacharya, Neha Agarwal, Priyanka Jha, Arshiya Khan, Sreevalli Nallamala, Maya Silavat, Inie Minie, Harleen Walia, Nithya Chillam, Shweta Hitesh Joshi, Maya Khan, Munmun Jain Goel, Shobha Singh, Yashi Gaurav Deora, Rashika Mediratta, Lunalisa Potsangbam A Saxena, Neelam Das, Sree Devi, Mrunal Pranjale, Susmita Nanda Dash, Cynthia Haller
Mum Neha Jain Rawal, mother to a 1.3 year old son, told us on our FB page that she is going through one of the most common problems that is associated with early motherhood – getting your baby off the breast! If you thought that getting your baby to latch on was a problem, wait till your baby reaches the stage when it’s good to get off the breast. Like they say, for anything you want your baby to learn, the key is always the time – starting early and giving baby the hints before you actually take proper action.
As your paediatrician may have already suggested, the ideal time to get baby off the breast is right after the first birthday cake has arrived. But yes, if that’s what you’re planning, then a few hints of what’s coming need to be shared with baby a few months earlier. If your baby has already crossed the first birthday, like Mum Neha’s son has, and is still only attached to mum’s feed, worry not. There’s still time.
As a baby grows, so does the realisation about where mum’s milk is coming from, and also the realisation that it’s always close by.
1. Mums, remember that it will always be a painful experience and a long one to get your baby off the breast and onto the bottle. So before you begin, make sure you’ve discussed about the anxieties and other points with your partner, and also your family, who may be able to assist you, especially your partner, whose help you will definitely need in the process. Also, make sure you are emotionally ready and prepared that now is the time that the single bond your baby and you had that was the most precious to you till now is going to change, for the better. Breastfeeding helps mums and babies bond like nothing can, but there are many other ways that you will be bonding with your little one.
2. Before you begin, remember, baby will cry, cry and cry more. And this will probably break your heart. It sure will. But you will have to live with a few days of letting baby cry, and not give in. Don’t let yourself feel guilty for this, or don’t think that because you are denying baby of your milk, you are being a bad mother. This is all for your baby and your own health and benefit, so just have a few days of patience and it will soon become baby’s normal routine.
3. Be emotionally prepared and mentally strong. Do not cry if baby cries for a feed and you are unable to give that. Make sure you know that what you are doing is for baby’s and your own benefit.
4. Nothing can happen suddenly. So don’t think that you will suddenly cut down on all the feeds and help baby. Begin by reducing the number of times you feed, substituting one breastfeed time a day to bottle, and increasing the frequency slowly.
5. Introduce the bottle/sippy cup as a play thing, as a fun thing. Give baby time to get familiarised with it.
6. Don’t bring in change at times when baby is super tired, sleepy or hungry. This will only make baby more troubled and cranky. Do not introduce the bottle at such times, as baby will start associating this with unhappy times. Try and hand the bottle about half an hour before nap time, when baby is a little tired, but not cranky. Also, try and hand the bottle a little before baby gets too hungry. This will give baby time to slowly figure out the bottle, look at it, play with it, and probably use it once baby is hungry.
7. Try and slip in the bottle nipple while you are breastfeeding. Baby will refuse the first few times, many times, but please keep trying.
8. Your baby may suddenly not want to go to a bottle. Try and get a small sippy cup instead.
9. Giving milk in a bottle as a starter may be a big change and shock for baby, as baby is only used to having milk from mum. Instead, try and give water in a fun sippy cup and see how baby reacts.
10. Since you will be trying to detach from baby’s milk needs, this is the best and most crucial time that your partner, or if that is not a possibility, then the closest person who will be baby’s carer, to step in. Let baby and the carer have more time together, and get more comfortable with each other. This will help baby accept feed from the hands of the carer.
11. Do not give baby the bottle/sippy cup yourself. No matter how tempted you are, this is not the time for you to be handing an alternative to baby. Leave this to your partner or to the carer.
12. When someone is assisting with feeding baby, avoid being in the same room. Seeing mommy at feeding time will make baby realise that breast milk is close at hand.
13. Start with giving some light milk in the bottle/sippy cup. Try and dilute the milk with water, as otherwise it may get difficult for baby to digest. There is no need to add any sugar or any other flavour in the beginning. See if your baby will go for natural plain milk. If your baby is not happy with the taste, ask the doctor for any suggestions about what to add for flavours.
14. Put honey along the bottle nipple or on the sippy cup teat to make it appealing to baby.
15. If you absolutely have to hold baby while bottle-feeding, make sure baby’s back is to you, while you make baby sit on your lap. Otherwise, you can try and get baby on a high-chair, and try and divert attention by opening a fun music book, a flip-the-flap book, playing with a toy, or if nothing helps, switching on the television and putting on something that baby will love. Trying out the bottle while taking baby for a stroll outside may also be a good idea.
16. Sometimes, babies will sleep off in the night with the nipple still in the mouth, as this is a comfort option for them. If this is the case, try and keep a favourite sippy-cup near baby’s pillow, so that baby can grab it in the middle of the night and get back to sleep.
17. At night, try and let baby sleep in a cot next to the bed. At feeding time, let your partner hand the bottle. If you are co-sleeping (sleeping together with baby in the same bed), let your partner lie down next to baby. This will prevent baby from directly going for the breast.
18. If your being in the same room is creating a problem for getting baby to the bottle, maybe you should try and sleep in a different room for a few weeks, till baby gets used to the idea of a bottle at night.
19. Many times, we end up breastfeeding a baby in the middle of the night for the sheer comfort and ease of it. Understand that this will create a negative impact on all your efforts at weaning.
Mums, when it comes to weaning baby, no amount of tips and suggestions can help, unless YOU are ready for it. Weaning a baby is, in most cases, a very emotional and trying experience, one that will drain you out completely, that may make you feel that you are not doing the best for baby, one that may make you feel guilty. But please remember, that as a mother, as long as you have nursed your baby, it’s good enough, that you have done a great job as a parent, and that what you are doing now is keeping in mind the benefit, health and comfort of your baby.
Good luck mums!
Yes, we know it’s quite a difficult task to get your baby to like these. But as parents, aren’t you always trying. Threats, reasoning, love, anger, orders – you try every single method to try and make sure that your child gets the adequate amount of vegetable and fruits in the daily diet. But mums, if your baby isn’t interested while eating these, or if your baby is eating vegetables only out of fear, chances are, it won’t really benefit your baby as much as it otherwise can.
There are a few ways that as parents you can try out with your kid at home, depending on whether your child is a baby, a toddler, a young child or a teenager. Try and use the methods that will best suit your baby and you:
One golden rule to remember is never to give up. Try introducing new flavours, even though your baby might constantly refuse. You never know when they will start developing a taste for it.
Plan out meals with your child. Sit and talk about what your baby would like to eat, and then try and see how creatively you can include vegetables in them.
Make fruits and vegetables a regular part of all your meals. If they are not part of the main meal, try and add them in as many dishes as you can – grated, chopped, diced, mashed, baked, steamed.
Make interesting smoothies, shakes and juices fresh at home.
Make breakfast healthier by adding fresh fruits to cornflakes, or using fruits or chopped vegetables in sandwiches, porridges, toasts, poha, idlis, dosas, paranthas.
Shop together with your kid for fruits and vegetables.
Place a plate of vegetables and fruits on the table and play an eat-the game. ‘Eat the vegetable that is great for eyes and a favourite of rabbits.’ Or, ‘Eat the vegetable that was Popeye’s favourite.’
Let your child participate in cooking. Ask them to help with vegetables (bursting the capsicum, cutting the spinach with a big baby scissor and so on). Get them to clean them up for you before they break or cut them.
Have a colour day at the meal table. For an orange-colour day, go for pumpkins and oranges, for a green day go for spinach, beans, lady fingers, cucumbers, grapes, sweet lime, guava, grapes and so on.
It’s THE FESTIVAL season…Navratri, Durga Puja, Diwali, and top it with this being the shaadi season of all times..there’s so much looking extra-good to be done these days, isn’t it? And with a little one to look after, there’s not much time to head out for those beauty sessions or relaxing spa appointments. Since we couldn’t help you on that front, we came up with the next best thing – sharing with you the top 10 quick and easy-to-do at home tricks to make ‘looking extra good’ that much more easier for you…Do remember to share your ‘special’ tips as well
1. Make some green tea by soaking 02 green tea bags in hot boiled water. Let the tea bags remain in the water till its naturally cool. Pour the water on your hair, let it remain for some time, then rinse off with warm water – makes hair soft and shiny.
3. To get rid of dandruff, mix some white vinegar with water and use as a shampoo. Massage properly, leave on for a few minutes, then rinse off with warm water.
4. Control frizzy unmanageable hair by applying a little olive oil or coconut oil to help smoothen it out.
5. Oily hair and no time for shampoo? Take a little talcum powder on your hands and apply with fingers on the roots for dry, grease-free hair in minutes.
6. For any ungainly pimple or rash that comes up at the last minute, don’t burst it. Instead, apply a little lime juice on the spot.
7. No time for a facial? Rub the inside of a papaya skin or a fresh banana peel on your face and see the glow.
8. Apply a little Vaseline on your eyelids, cheekbones and eyelashes for a healthy shape and shine.
9. Take a little lemon juice and sugar granules. Mix together and rub over your face. Not only is this good for lightening the skin and removing any tan on regular use, it also avoids pimples and gives your face a glow.
10.If you want those perfect rosy tint on your lips in the morning but don’t want to look like you applied lipstick, put on some bright red lipstick on your lips before you go to bed. Clean up in the morning for a rosy tint, without applying any lip colour!
THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP OF ALL: Lots of healthy food and plenty of water, and mums, you’re definitely on the right track to looking, feeling and being beautiful and fit!
As a mother, one of the first moments of bonding with your baby happens when you hear that first cry, when you hold your baby in your arms for the very first time and look into that tiny face. But much as you may think this is the beginning of your bonding with baby, the beginning happens way before your baby arrives.
One of the very first moments when you begin planning for your baby is the time when your bonding begins. As you walk into the stores and see all those little clothes and toys and cribs and cradles, you already start creating a picture in your mind, and that love and tenderness for your baby has already begun to seep in.
Once you get the news of your pregnancy,there is not much else that occupies your mind. From doctor visits where you hear baby’s first heartbeat and see that tiny form taking shape to reading pregnancy books and going to lamaze classes, your bonding with baby is already formed. Studies have revealed that, for a baby inside the womb, no sound is as comforting as the mother’s heartbeat and the mother’s voice, and whatever a mother hears during her stages of pregnancy, will directly have an impact on the unborn baby inside. Listening to calming sounds will comfort and soothe your baby, and reading books on pregnancy, parenting and other related topics will not only benefit you as a parent, helping you understand baby’s growth and development and helping you handle parenthood better, it will also help inculcate a reading habit in your to-be-born.
Many parents love creating a baby nursery before baby’s arrival, while some prefer doing it after knowing for real whether its a boy or a girl. Either way, there is always the option of doing up a nursery, whether completely or partially, in certain neutral colours, so that you have more time with baby after the birth. While creating a nursery is one of the most fun phases of early parenting, it’s also one that helps you bond with your baby. Getting a baby bed,decorating the walls, hanging up the lights and the mobile cot, cosying up the room with toys, stuffed toys andcushions and making a perfect nest for your baby is something that will help you bond with your baby before as well as after birth.
After your baby is born, one of the first moments of bonding one-on-one with your baby will be when you begin feeding. As you nurse your little one, the skin-on-skin contact and the closeness to your heart is something that will tie you and baby for life! Nursing will also be one of your sacred and personal times with your baby, so make sure you make full use of it. Speak to your baby, tell your baby about how you feel, about how much you love baby, sing a lullaby, tell a story, just say anything, because listening to your voice will still be one of the most soothing things for your newborn.
As each day goes by, there will be countless moments for a mother to bond with her baby. From bath time to massage time to feeding time to play time to sleep time, every moment is filled with a personal touch, a personal connect.
As long as you and baby are near each other, every time is bonding time. So have fun mommies, and celebrate this wonderful experience of parenthood, and make it memorable with this precious memories you create with your little one!
This week, Namrata, mum to a 09-month-old baby girl, wrote in to us with a problem that you can easily connect with – already having a pet at home when baby arrives.She said – ‘Since the time I shifted with my in-laws, my daughter kept getting cold and congestion. Initially we thought its here resistance problem, but soon realised it can be an allergy to pet hair. We did a small experiment by staying at my mum’s place for a month. Not only did my baby’s congestion vanish within a week, she also became quite active. I have to go back to my in-laws’ place now, and I can’t ask them to give away the pet. Please help me as to what I can do!’
For those who have a pet at home, its easy to say that the pet almost always becomes a part of the family, a family member itself. So what happens when a little one arrives and things change? How do you make sure that your baby’s health is not affected by the pet’s presence? Most pet owners who have a baby at home will agree that pets, especially dogs, are immensely fond of small babies and love to be around them, and as much as some people are fine with it and in fact love this whole bonding thing, most are not comfortable with the pet sniffing around the little one.
So how do you really manage? Here are a few most common and practical answers that have been shared by other mums who have faced a similar situation themselves. Have a look:
#1 Try and keep the pet away from the child. If the little one is a newborn, make sure the pet does not enter the baby’s room.
#2 If your baby is a toddler now and of a playing stage, try and get your baby in the habit of wearing a mask covering the nose and mouth while playing with the pet. Babies and children love playing with pets and vice versa, so let them bond, but be careful. Also, keep playtime regulated. Once playtime is over, make sure the pet is kept in a different part of the house. Let your pet loose when baby sleeps, but make sure the pet does not crawl up in the bed.
#3 For the initial few months, keep your pet away from the baby. Let your pet see the baby from a distance and get familiar with. Once baby crosses the first few months and is more strong and immune to surroundings, you can slowly let baby and pet be together for some time.
#4 Maintain hygiene in the house. Regularly brush off all furniture for traces of pet hair, sweep the floors and use a disinfectant to mop the floors. Make sure everyone washes their hands after touching the pet and before touching baby.
#5 If a family member of friend is willing, try and send your pet to them for a few months. But make sure you visit your pet at frequent intervals. Once your baby’s immunity is stronger, you can bring the pet back home.
#6 To be sure, try and get baby checked for dust allergies. Sometimes, what is initially seen as pet-hair allergy, may actually be dust-allergy.
#7 You may contact a local pet-care place and let your pet be at a pet-day-care, bringing the pet back home at night. If your baby is suffering from allergies, do this for some months and then see if you can slowly manage a routine where both baby and pet can be at home at all times.
#8 Giving up a pet should be the last resort, as a pet not only teaches a child basic character traits of unconditional love and bonding, but also helps children grow into more affectionate, emotional, responsible and caring adults.
#9 Make sure that your pet is well-cared for and clean. Get your pet regularly treated, cut the hair and always look for ticks and lice. Bathe your pet often and dry out properly. Keep your pet vaccinated and make sure you follow proper eating habits for your pet and also teach your pet to relieve outside the house.
#10 Proper dusting, vaccuming, cleaning, will ensure your house is clean of germs. If your pet loves getting up on your couch/sofa, keep it covered with old sheets and when you sit on them, remove the sheets. Keep the house, especially, baby’s room and pet’s room, clean at all times.
It’s true that there can be no more loving companion for your baby than a pet. Not only does a pet love your baby for life, it also teaches your little one the most important lessons of love, compassion and companionship. Of course, if nothing works, then you don’t have a choice. But make sure you try every other option first.
All the best!
* Our special mommy contributors: Neelam Bhandari, Renuka Suradeep Nath, Neha Sharma, Harini Santhosh, Shraddha Majalkar, Richa Vivek Gupta, Jyoti Sharma, Nina Nair, Minu Sharma, Saumya Tandon, Bijit Baruah, Bantu Nagalakshmi
Mums and Dads, it’s weekend again! So as you plan to head out to the mall with your little one or get ready for some free, relaxing time, here are 05 fun things your little one would love you to join in….
01. Dance dance dance – anywhere for that matter! You know how your little ones start pumping up those little fists and dancing along anywhere, as soon as they hear music? It’s sooo cute to watch and lifts up your mood instantly. So why not join in with your little one for a change? If you’re at home, put up some music that your little one enjoys, some rhymes even, and jump on! Jiggy, shimmy, jiggle and shake that body up, and laugh out loud with your baby, as you show the world what a perfect mamma-baby team you are!
02. Bubbles - Have some fun with bubbles this weekend. You don’t really need to create a full soapy bubble water for this…just get a glass of water and straw and make bubbles inside the cup! See who creates the most water bubbles and makes the loudest sounds!
03. Walk In the Rain: If your little one can walk independently, go out for a nice stroll in the drizzle. Get some fun umbrellas and raincoats and have a splashy time, make a few noises in the puddles and see your little darling squeal in delight!
04. On-Screen Games: Yes, your little one probably has already started playing on-screen games, if not in real, then at least holding on to a remote and trying. Get together in front of the screen, hand a remote to your kid, even a spare one will do if your baby cant really play but wants to still get the feel of it, while you can play along.
05. Cartoon time: What better way to end the weekend than going back to your childhood and getting some stress off, especially if it can make you have some special fun time with little ones. Round off your weekend with a few back-to-back baby movies and cartoons.
Mum Shwetha Gundurao had a mommy problem that most mums out there are familiar with – her 15-month-old daughter just doesn’t sleep through the night. After trying everything else, this sleep-deprived mommy wrote in to us, hoping that we would finally be able to help her out.
She wrote: ‘My daughter has always had a problem sleeping at night. Inspite of giving her solids, liquids and a relaxing massage before sleeping, she doesn’t seem to sleep more than an hour or two. She’s also underweight because she’s fussy about eating.’
Each time a tired or out-of-ideas mom writes in to us for help, we know who to turn to – YOU. Coz YOU, lovely mums, have given us those valuable and practical advice and ideas and tips that are not only helping countless other mums out there, but are also making parenting that much more easier, more fun! We bring to you the most suggested ideas and ways, tried out by real mums, that have helped baby sleep through the night. Let us know if this helped your baby, or tell us any other ideas that you may have.
#1 The first thing that almost all mums swear by, is making your little one play play and play more through the day. The more the physical activity through the day, the more the chances of baby sleeping through the night.
#2 Much like #1, but don’t make baby play the entire day, as too much exertion will make your little one cranky and over-tired, thus making sleeping at night even more difficult. Let baby have a nap time of 1-2 hours in the day, preferably early afternoon, so that there is enough gap before night sleep time.
#3 It’s not only important to make your little one indulge in physical play, but much like grown-ups, its equally important to get your baby involved in mental activities, especially after the first birthday.
#5 Since your baby is a fussy eater, chances are, she may not have a complete dinner, and this may make her hungry during nights. Try and give her meals in smaller portions through the evening.
#6 A warm glass of milk, preferably without sugar, works well in most cases, as it makes baby ready for a nice cosy sleep.
#7 If your baby is still on your feed, try and give her a feed before bed-time. Sometimes, even if its not needed to satisfy hunger, it will be your baby’s comfort feed before she dozes off to sleep.
#8 Avoid giving any kind of sugary or sweet stuff to baby, especially near bed-time, as sugar will make baby more energetic and hyper, taking away all chances of sleep.
#9 Follow a schedule. Half an hour before its really time for baby’s sleep, dim the TV volume and try and keep the lights dim. Get baby in a sleeping dress and bring to the bed. Keep the pillow and the sheets ready. If baby has a sleeping toy, make sure you place the toy on the pillow and tell your little one that its now bedtime and even the toy needs to sleep.
#11 Read to your little one in a soft voice.
#13 Even if baby wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to play, don’t get up. Pretend you are asleep. She may cry for some time initially, but once you practice this for about 2-3 weeks, chances are, she will fall into a routine! If baby is sleeping in a baby cot and wants to play, tell and keep telling her that its time to sleep and show her that you are near her and are sleeping. Try not getting angry. The more angry or upset you become, the more upset your baby will be, and this will reduce chances of sleep. If baby is with you on the bed, even if she is getting up to play, show her and tell her that it’s bed time and try not to get involved in play. If possible, make her lie down and play with a toy, even as the lights are dimmed. She may soon doze off to sleep on her own (if you are lucky!)
#14 Try and find out if your baby is teething. Sometimes, it makes baby extremely irritable and uncomfortable and will wake them up. Massage the gums lightly in the day and before bed time.
#15 Keep the room temperature comfortable and make sure baby is dressed properly, not too warm clothes and not too light either. The room shouldn’t be too warm, cool or humid. Try and get fresh air in the room if possible.
#16 Make sure there is some dim light in the room, and not complete darkness. If baby wakes up in the night and sees you beside her, chances are, once you have passed the first 2-3 weeks routine of pretend-sleep, she may get up in the night, but not wake you up and fall back to sleep herself!
#17 Don’t make her sleep too early in the night, as then she may wake up earlier. Try and get her in bed at a time that will be good for her to follow later, and will ensure she wakes up at a normal time in the morning. See what works for you and your little one.
Do remember: Some babies are generally more active in the night and find it difficult to sleep at a stretch, even though they may sleep perfectly well in the day. If this is a common recurrence, do not worry. Try and help your baby as much as you can, using the above ideas. All babies have a different pattern, and most babies will get into a routine by the time they reach their 3rd birthday, if not earlier.
Thanks to all mums and dads who helped out with their advice. A special mention for: Sonali S Vinnakota, Komal Goyal, Vanitha Kurup, Joan Kwek Lee, Swapna Sharath, Manvi Kumar Gupta, Natasha Dias, Chetna Saini.
Mommies, ready for a fun week ahead with your little one? Come on, as much as your little darling makes you tear out your hair, accept the truth that your baby also makes you go back to those fun playful days of your own childhood, isn’t it? There is absolutely so much you can do with your little one, playing and doing things together and bonding!
You do spend a lot of time with your little one, but other than diapers and feeds and schoolwork, are you really spending that fun time together? Why not book a full hour of one-on-one fun with your little one? If your baby is too young to speak, pick her up in your arms and talk to her with lots and lots of smiles. Hear the giggles and gurgles, make some of your own and be a baby with baby!
Massage time is essential time for baby’s growth and development, and massage time can be an important connect time too. Remove all the noise from the room and make it your and baby’s special time; as the little one enjoys your caring fingers shaping and strengthening those little baby arms and legs, sing a rhyme or play a lullaby or share a story. You’ll be amazed at how soon your little one learns these stories and rhymes!
Time for a bath? Of course there are a lot of bath toys that your baby loves, but what about baby’s best friend jumping in to play with water as well! YOU Mamma! Splash spray and squirt…have fun, play with water with your baby as you clean up your little one, and have some cuddly moments as baby comes wrapped in a towel right in your arms!
Bath over its time for a sleep? As the baby mobile or the rhyme-toy plays a lullaby, sing to your baby, look into those little bright eyes and bring in the sleep fairy…your baby will love the bed-time ritual, we promise!
Create..take a few old paper sheets and use all kinds of colours you can. Baby crayons are quite a fun way to colour up the day! And sometimes, it’s okay to let your little one get a little dirty, of course under constant adult supervision.
As young parents, there are many questions that will come up million times as you begin the new phase of life with your little one. Sometimes, you may have family and friends around who can help with practical and real advice, but most of the times, you’re pretty much on your own.
While it’s true that parenting doesn’t come from a book, it’s also true that these days, you can read about and understand almost everything related to babies and parenting. We decided to tell you about a few books that we feel might help you and your partner as a parent:
1. What To Expect Before You’re Expecting: If you are still a couple who is looking forward to begin a family, it’s a good idea to read this one together. From the author of the world’s bible in pregnancy and childcare, this books helps you plan a healthy pregnancy for a healthy baby, with advice on how to conceive, practical tips and reassuring advice – a must-have guide for all parents-to-be.
2. What To Expect BabySitter and Nanny Handbook:If you are trying to make time as a couple while having a little one at home, chances are, you may be taking the help of a babysitter or a carer. The book provides information for anyone who is looking after a baby/child, from birth till 6 years of age. With information from why babies cry, how to talk to a baby and how and what to do for baby in an emergency, this is one book that every baby home should have.
3. 101 Most Important Things You Need To Know Before You Have A Baby:Ready to embark on this exciting journey? Then read this book together with your partner to read about topics like time management, patience, faith, memories, laughter, hope and gives you simple tips and tricks that help you create a balance in life.
4. 365 Days of Baby Love:Wonderful ways to help parents and babies enrich each others’ lives – playing, growing and exploring with babies from birth till 2 years of age.
6. Smile Baby Smile:A cute book that gives you useful thoughts and ideas to stop baby crying and bring back those smiles, for your little one and you!
7. Trouble-Free Travel With Children:Packed with over 700 helpful hints for parents on the go.From fussy newborns to demanding toddlers, this book gives ideas to make your family trip a fun and memorable one!
8. Siblings Without Rivalry:Not a new parent but concerned about how the new baby will affect your older one! This book offers practical and sensitive advice on how to make your siblings grow together with love, making you smile each day.
9. Games Babies Play From Birth To Twelve Months:Tells you about games and structured activities designed to stimulate the intellectual development and motor skills of infants.
10. Juggling Twins:Practical advice and a healthy dose of humour – this book has exactly what parents need to help them survive and thrive with multiples.
It’s sunny again, and most of us are already getting into our shades and umbrellas. So mommies, while we take care to keep that complexion sun-safe and protected, here are a few must-use products to help your little one beat the sun…..
1. Sun-Screen: We’ve been told over and over again that using a good sunscreen regularly should be a habit, rather than a routine, and this habit should be applied in case of our little ones too. Get a baby-suitable sunscreen that will help keep out the harmful effects of the sun, while being soft and caring on baby’s skin.
2. After-Sun Lotion: These are recommended for newborn babies if they are exposed to the sun, or even for a little older babies who have extremely sensitive skin. The after-sun lotion/milk helps moisturise baby’s skin.
3. Bath Toys And Books: Summer times are fun times, as long as you get a splash in the water. Make the sunny days fun for your little one by filling up the tub/bucket with bath-toys and see your baby enjoy! Get a bath-book and read along while splashing with baby…
4. Swimming Costumes:Summer times are swimming times, and what better way to let your little one get into the pool than by wearing a colourful, cute and comfortable swimming costume.
5. Flip Flops: Colourful strappy flip flops are a must-have in the summers. Get some fun strappies for your little ones in bright and vibrant colours.
6. Caps and Hats:Let your little one make a style statement while protecting them from the sun.
7. Umbrellas: Your little one will love taking a walk in the outdoors with these cute, colourful and favourite character umbrellas.
8. Sunglasses: Protect those little eyes with some stylish, funky and trendy sunshades.
9. Water Bottle: Encourage your little one to be outdoors, but make sure they are properly hydrated by having adequate amounts of water.
10.Body Wash and Shampoo: Summer times will mean that your little one spends lots of time outdoors, so make sure you wash off the dirt and sweat at the end of the day with some soothing and refreshing body-washes, shampoos and soaps.
Mums, there’s not a doubt that YOU ARE a super-mum, but if hubby wasn’t around with all that love and support, even a super-mum could have gotten into trouble, isn’t it? We know that once we become parents, our kids are always our first priority, and take away most of our love, time and thoughts. So once we’re done with that, why not invest some time and effort towards that other relationship that is also real important?
Here are 10 things your hubby would love to hear:
- The only thing you’ve done better than being the best husband is being the best father
- Your love and support is what makes me a super mum
- Please give me a hug
- You’re looking wow!
- Thank you for helping out with so many things, how would I have managed otherwise
- I know the baby is my first priority, but if there was a scope for a tie, you and the little one are the #1 loves of my life
- I’m so proud to be married to you
- Come here, let me give you a hug and a massage today
- I love you – no matter how cliched this may sound, there’s nothing better than telling your hubby you love him.
- Done with the words? Now just hold his hand and look into his eyes…..he will know
Mumsies, while you’re trying to get back into your relationship as a couple, one of the first steps to start the balancing of roles of mother and partner is to help your little one sleep in the baby room, or nursery.
1. Begin by doing up the room in bright and cheerful colours, something that will instantly appeal to the little one and add a fun element to the room. Use stickers, wall decals and wallpaper to do it up in style.
2. All babies love soft toys, so why not do something creative in the nursery with soft toys? Deck up the shelves, or place them around the floor for baby to want to play with.
3. A colourful and soft play mat will be a sure hit – babies can crawl, sit and play on it, even doze off to sleep! So get one now!
4. Bright and cheery curtains in baby’s favourite characters will prove quite a hit.
5. Why not get a display shelf that allows you to showcase baby’s favourite items?
6. Brighten up the room with some fun lights.
You’ve got the most amazing little ‘live’ toy in the world right there in your arms!!! Wow….Congratulations..This is the time when the entire world becomes lost to you, when the world is a beautiful place all over again, when suddenly, the world is filled with fairies, angels, balloons, stars and all things magical..much like falling in love, isn’t it?
And as you decide to give all your love and affection to that little one in your arms, there is one more very very important person in your life who deserves some of that love and attention too, especially now that suddenly your main point of affection seems to have changed.
Yes, we are talking about HUBBY DEAR! While most of us are busy with the new role of ‘mommy’, nurturing your relationship with your partner is equally important.
It’s difficult, we know, but these 5 points that we talk about here are easy, simple and everyday kind of things that will still let you tell your partner that yes, even though your main point of love and affection is your baby, your partner is still the one you have eyes for….Know what we mean?
1. Say I Love You……in any way you can…..come on moms, it does not always have to be an elaborate and biiig deal telling your partner how much you love him, right? Just a simple smile, a look, a call in the day during work or a short text message on the mobile are simple ways to let your partner know that you still think about him.
2. Grab 10 Minutes A Day: That can be possible, right? 10 minutes out of 24 hours isn’t too much to ask. Agreed, you wake up million times at night, hubby goes to office early, you come back from office tired, who wants to sit and have some emotional talk when you would rather lie down and try to sleep, isn’t it? But those 10 minutes that you try and take out for your partner will be vital. Try and grab a cup of chai together, or let your baby play in the playzone of the mall on a weekend while you sit watching and holding hands or talking. Stand together at the balcony or sit at the window together….just like that….
3. Chat And Communicate: Found an interesting book you loved reading? Tell your partner about it. Saw a movie on television that you loved? Tell your partner and try and watch it together again. Did something exciting in the day with baby? Call your partner and tell him! Trust us, knowing that you still think of your partner first after anything fun and exciting will make him really happy.
4. Bedtime-Gupshup: Most babies in Indian families sleep with parents, and chances are, you really enjoy cuddling with baby in your arms and wouldn’t want to change it for anything…we understand….So once baby is asleep, if you and partner are still awake, why not sit up in bed, come over at the edge and chat in whispers and smiles? Baby will be sleeping, so you need to be quiet, but sometimes, talking like this, in hushed tones, even while you are grown ups and in your own home, can be quite fun! Try it
5.Post-Office Dates: If both you and hubby are working out of home, well, its a great way to re-start your ‘couple’ days! Yes, you are dying to go back home and pick up baby in your arms and smother those cotton cheeks with kisses, but once a week, or say, twice a month, it’s a good idea to head out to a movie or a quick dinner after work, just you and hubby. Why not?
Becoming a parent is one of the most special experiences ever, and one that will be cherished for life. Parenthood is an amazing journey, so make the most of it and enjoy it together with your partner.
As a mother, you have the world’s toughest, and best job – crazy at each step, yet the most satisfying feeling ever! While becoming a mother takes you to an altogether new phase of life, for many women, holding on to the identity of being a woman, an individual, is important too. And whether you have chosen to be a stay-at-home full-time mom, whether you are working from home, or going out of home to work, when it comes to your little one, only YOU know what’s best!
Of course there are the occasional moments when we are filled with guilt – on leaving baby behind, on not being able to give as much time to baby as mums who have chosen to be full-time moms do, on not being there to see every little thing that baby does, or using up the hours at home working, rather than playing with little one. And yes, its perfectly normal to sometimes go through these guilt pangs. But MUMS, did you know that there are many more reasons for you to feel proud, rather than feel guilty? Of course there are many many reasons, but here, we share with you the top 10 reasons why you should feel proud on being a working mummy!
1. Multitasker: Managing the home, the baby, kitchen, hubby, family, pets, school projects, vaccination routine, shopping, sleep time, breakfast, PTMs, activity classes, office presentation, client call, house help – do we need say more?????!!!!!!
2. Efficiently manages time: With so much to manage and only those many hours in the day, of course you have no other choice but to manage your time as best as you can! Whether it is getting up earlier than you would prefer and finishing up the chores, or giving up that leisure time to finish that office presentation, when it comes to managing time efficiently, you are quite a juggler!
3. Makes the most of the time spent with baby: While everyone tells you there’s nothing like spending quality time rather than quantity time, who would know this better than you? For all those hours spent on the laptop or in office, you are more than ready to compensate by making sure the hours you spend with baby are the most precious. Play, rhymes, giggles, hugs and all those amazing moments that only a mommy and baby can share – you give it all to your little one.
4. Happy mom makes a happy family: It’s the truth moms – if mommy isn’t happy, no one’s happy! So get rid of the guilt and understand that if what you are doing makes you happy, it will only translate to more happiness for your baby and the family. So go on and smile!
5. Understands the details of the meeting as much as understands baby’s sign language: Youknow what’s important in that office meeting, and you know best what your baby is trying to say with all those signs. With a complete understanding of both the corporate world as well as the mommy world, you’re surely on top in both respects!
6. Building the country’s economy and being financially independent: Not only are you playing a role in the country’s economy, you also get yourself in a position where you are financially independent and have the freedom to save and plan for the future. You can choose to help your partner in managing the family finances, while having the luxury of spending on yourself without feeling guilty or taking away from the family savings.
7. Asset to family and asset to company: There can be no bigger confidence-booster than the fact that you are both an asset to your company as well as to your family.
8. Teaching your child the importance of routine: With so much to manage and plan, you wouldn’t be able to function properly without a set routine, isn’t it? And if you are following one everyday, chances are, your little one will soon understand and appreciate the same too.
9. Your children find another identity for you beside being their mum: Of course you are a mum, and most likely, playing mommy is what you enjoy doing the most. But as your little one sees you play more roles than that of a mum, they will soon understand that as much as mommy will forever be mommy and best friend for them, she has another very special identity too.
10.Helping your child learn the meaning and importance of independence: Just like your baby will pick up habits like following a routine and becoming disciplined, similarly, you are teaching your little one the importance of being independent.
Mums, you may be busy with your work, but if those few hours you spend with your little one are happy and fun, there is no reason for you to feel guilty, especially after the reasons we gave you above. Love yourself for what you do, appreciate and be proud of yourself, and yes, you’ll always be your little one’s best friend too!