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.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
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.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
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!
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Smriti Thukraj, Lavanya Reddy, Preeti Ashutosh, Mahek Achantani, Rajnit Kaur, Anu John, Shikha Rohit Chawla, Nidhi Jain, Ridhima Mukerji
One of the common reasons that make most of the new mothers to discontinue breastfeeding is sore or cracked nipples. This is a common phenomenon among breastfeeding women. Though, breastfeeding is not meant to be painful, cracked nipples may hurt new mothers badly.
There are several causes that can result into cracked nipples, such as:
- Inappropriate positioning of the baby during feeding
- Improper latch of the baby onto the breast
- Improper rinsing of the breast leaving soap residue on the nipples
- Usage of cream, lotion or perfume that contain skin irritants
- Improper usage of breast pump
- Dry air of air conditioner
Feeding your baby with cracked nipples can be intolerably painful. Here are some healing tips, suggested by our SOS Moms, to cure sore and cracked nipples:
- Breast milk, in itself, is the best antiseptic and moisturiser for sore and cracked nipples. Apply a few drops of your extracted breastmilk on your nipples daily for a few days. It works wonders. More importantly, nothing can be safer than that for the baby, in case he intakes it.
- Apply some coconut oil or badam rogan oil and massage your nipple area gently. It takes two days to heal.
- Apply pure lukewarm ghee and homemade butter, these are some good natural remedies for treating cracked nipples. Again, these products are harmless even if swallowed by a baby.
- Give your breast olive oil massage before going for bath. It is an effective natural therapy.
- Apply some fresh milk cream or malai around your nipples after feeding and leave them open till next feed. It helps curing the cracked nipples fast.
There are some ointments and other methods, tried by our SOS Moms, which can also help in dealing with this problem:
- Nipcare ointment: It is the most tried, tested and trusted cream by most of the our SOS Moms. They suggest that it is harmless even if swallowed by the baby. However, it is always good to follow correct method of using it. Breastfeeding mothers must always wash/clean their nipples (to remove the ointment) properly before feeding their baby.
- Few medicated creams and ointments that help cure the nipple cracks and cuts are: Madela Purelan cream, Proctosedyl Ointment, Medela Tender Care Ointment, Lansinoh lanolin cream, Silodram cream, Betadine, Lanolin ointment and Boroline cream.
- Silicon nipples: These nipples are easily available in the market and fit on your nipples perfectly. These nipples help your baby latch onto your breast properly and also eliminate the pain while your baby suck milk.
Having said that, it is also important to understand the reasons that develop cracked nipples and try to work on them. Prevention is always better than cure, hence, ensure that you nurse your baby in a correct position and your baby is properly latched onto your breast.
Asmita Somvanshi, Manpreet Kaur Bajwa, Vidya Abhijit Raut , Madhu Singh, Anuradha Iyer, Salvi Chaitu, Smriti Thukral and many more.
Usually, babies start cutting their first tooth around 6 months of age. However, it is not a sign of worry if your baby continues to give you the same gummy smile until he is an year old. It is considered perfectly normal for teething to start any time between 3-12 months of age.
Teething is one of the developmental milestones and can be different for different babies.
Some common symptoms that mark the beginning of teething are:
- Fussier behaviour than usual
- Soreness and swelling in gums
- Biting fingers and toys to help relieve pain in gums
- Drooling and sucking
- Rashes on chin, face or chest
- Decreased appetite with mild temperature
- Wakefulness and irritability
At times, late teething can turn out to be good! Most babies, who start teething late, experience less teething problems as compared to those who start sprouting their teeth at an early age.
So, you can consider it good if your baby is showing signs of delayed teething. You are likely to find him less affected by the process.
Hema Raju, Smriti Thukral, Paridhi Tapan Upadhyay, Poonam Ganesh, Athiya Naveen, Clarissa D’mello, Suma Nadig, Satpal Tomar, Sasmita Patel, Radhika Singh, Sweta Misra, Sabbineni Sravanthi, Poonam Swami, Kirit Kadu, Dr. Priyadarshani Biswal, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Vrushali Nanavare, Saumya Singh, Sarita Kshtriyaa Wahab, Priyanka Pradhan, Neha Trikha Agarwal, Kritika Reure, Manjeeta Sinha Kishore, Thebabiestime
A baby’s first tooth makes its appearance somewhere between 5-8 months. So, soon after you have successfully gotten your little angel to sleep through nights, creeps in the nightmare of baby teething. Your short-lived peaceful slumber, which has just begun, starts to depart from you again.
Constantly trying to soothe your cranky baby, dealing with his increased poops and wakefulness, bouncing him around to help settle his irritability and frantically looking out for solutions to sail through this phase, makes teething an ordeal for you and your baby.
Here are a fews suggestions, from our SOS MOMs, that can help you comfort your baby during this phase:
Keep a soft gel teether in the freezer and give it to your baby whenver he needs. It helps in soothing swollen gums and eases the irritation. Ensure you sterilize the teether each time before you keep it in the freezer, says Neerja Malhotra.
Dip a soft cotton cloth in ice water and put it in between the upper and lower gums of your baby for instant relief. Give him cold water to drink if he has started drinking water. Zytee Gel, a medicine, works wonders to soothe teething gums, suggests a dentist mommy Dr. Priyadarshani Biswal.
Frequent motions during teething can lead to dehydration in your baby. Make sure you feed him with enough water throughout the day. Additionally, Zinconia is a zinc syrup that helps in controlling motions and can be given to babies, says Vyona Lobo Ribeiro.
Another good method that reduces the problem is – massage your baby’s gums with honey whenever you feel he has sore gums, this will help reduce the pain and his crakiness too, suggests Noopur Choubey Bajpai.
Keep your baby’s hands and surroundings clean so that he does not put any dirt or germs in mouth while playing around. This will prevent his loose motions from getting worse, says Anjum Ara.
Last but not the least, one solution that worked wonders with most parents is – giving your baby a Homeopathic medicine CALCAERRA PHOS. It is safe for babies and can be given 2 tablets twice a day, says Moms Shilpa Khandelwal, Alhouri Richa Srivastava, Nidhi Kaul Malhotra, Vidita Tayal and Neha G Jindal.
Neerja Malhotra, Dr. Priyadarshani Biswal, Vyona Lobo Ribeiro, Noopur Choubey Bajpai, Anjum Ara, Shilpa Khandelwal, Alhouri Richa Srivastava, Nidhi Kaul Malhotra, Vidita Tayal and Neha G Jindal
Weight gain in kids is maximum when they are in their infancy. However, some babies may have a lower weight gain rate as compared to others. This can be attributed to a number of factors such as, premature birth of the baby, genes related expected variations, or undernutrition, which may arise due to many reasons.
For parents, it is a matter of serious concern to realize that their baby is underweight. It is imperative to identify the reason behind their baby’s slow weight-gain rate and look for a treatment in order to avoid any future complications.
Having said that, there are babies who are very active or have high metabolism and thus, do not gain considerable weight regardless of how well they are fed. In such cases, it is perfectly fine to keep your worries at bay and let your child grow as per his body needs.
Here are a few suggestions, from our SOS MOMs, to help parents with 6 month old underweight babies:
Prefer home made food to feed your baby. Steer clear of cerelac as it can encourage a sweet tooth. Cerelac should be used only while traveling or when we don’t have time to cook something, suggests moms Bethany Naidu and Negha G Jindal
Try adding one new food item at a time and let your baby adapt to it before introducing a new one. Continue with only one thing at a time for atleast a week. Baby’s taste buds are in developing stage and she will be needing a lot of tasting before she develops a liking or disliking for anything. Too many items, changing repeatedly will leave u furstrated and her taste buds confused. One food item, 2-3 times a day is good to start with, says Anima Bhardwaj.
Teething can be one of the reasons which inhibits your baby’s weight gain rate. So be patient and check your baby’s weight when this phase is over, says Mann’s Princy.
Make sure that your baby feels hungry after regular intervals of time. If the baby stays cheerful, happy and is achieving milestones at an appropriate age, and is not cranky all the time then there is nothing to worry about, explaines mom Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh
Some of the food items that are easy on stomach and are prefered for a 6 month old baby are:
- Home-made malt or finger millet (Ragi) porridge
- Boilded and mashed apple
- Banana or Sapodilla (chikoo) puree
- Suji ki kheer
- Cooked lentils water
- Potato puree(boiled n blended)
- Pear puree
- A little ghee in baby food
- Try to keep wheat to a minimum till she is 9 months old.
One should always remember that all babies develop at different pace. Parents’ prime focus should be on the general health and activeness of their baby than anything else. It is advised not stay too stressed out in front of your babies, they might pick up on your worries and become fussy.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:
Neha G Jindal, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Sowbhagya Nagraj, Smita goswami Chakraborty, Nivedita Bose Chakraborty, Mann’s Princy, Lavanya Reddy, Sayyami Bhat, Vidita Tayal, Paridhi Tapan Upadhyay, Reshma K Lakhmani, Vani Amarnath, Amina Bhardwaj, Bethany Naidu and Vyona Lobo Ribeiro
It is ecstatic for parents to hold their bundle of joy in their arms and see him cheerful and content in his new world. Parenthood brings in a series of anxieties and assumptions along with the happiness. Most of the time, you are found to be struggling to catch up with the behavioral changes that your baby shows during the first few years of his life.
During his early weeks, you feel content to see your baby going back and forth flexibly between breast and bottle, without much trouble. This continues till he hits 8 months and reaches a threshold whereby he starts understanding and making his own decisions.
Beware! It is no surprise that his first decision comes out to be a strong refusal to bottles, despite the fact that he has been taking one daily.
This can be frustating and believe it or not, there is no easy solution to it. But you can definitely convince your baby to return to bottle-feeding if you stick to a routine and keep your patience level high while dealing with your little one.
Here are some ideas to put your worries to rest:
- Try using a pacifier that has a nipple similar in shape to that of the bottle. This will make your baby return to his bottle-feeding habit.
- “Do not give up easily. Continue using the same bottle because your baby is not refusing that particular nipple, he might just be willing to prefer your breast over it”, says Nisha Singh Bhalwal
- “Try feeding him with a glass or spoon or sipper, while diverting his attention towards other things or telling a story, etc. Futhermore, take this opportunity to start feeding him with glass, this will also save you from indulging into coaxing him to drop that bottle-feeding habit, in future”, suggests moms – Rehanuma Shaik, Nilofer Memon, Munmum Jain Goel, Kalvakotha Vasanthi, Shikha Khanduja Kaul and Grishma Ravi.
- “Ensure that you clean the bottle thoroughly and that he has not developed any fungal infection due to unclean nipple or bottle. An infection or stink from an unclean bottle can also be a reason behind your baby refusing to bottle-feed”, says moms – Tabassum Rehmani and Jas Saini.
Refusing bottle-feeding is common at this stage and you should be prepared for such a reaction from your baby. Like the other phases parents and babies go through, this too shall pass.
We wish Mom, Kanika, a good luck and hope that she sails happily through the joys of parenthood. We thank our rocking SOS Moms who poured in their thoughts.
Rehanuma Shaik, Neha Jhunjhunwala, Nisha Singh Bhalwal, Harpreet Kaur Osahan, Nilofer Memon, Tabassum Rahmani, Madhuri Gupta, Madhu Jayakumar, Munmun Jain Goel, Kalvakotha Vasanti, Jas Saini, Christina Shreemal, Shikha Khanduja Kaul, Grishma Ravi
One of our SOS MOMs, Roshni Vaid, writes to us about her 5 year old daughter who has been consistently crying over everything. Right from waking up, to eating breakfast and to even changing clothes!
She says she tried everything to keep her happy but nothing worked.
Now mommies, there is nothing novel about the kids and the crying, is it? Crying is probably the most favourite mode of communication for the little children of all stages, right from infants to preschoolers. Most often than not, toddlers and preschoolers cry with reason, but they just aren’t aware of it. As parents, it’s vital to get to the root of the problem with some questioning, probing and even bribing.
Reasons your preschooler might be unhappy and crying –
- She is craving for attention or sympathy. Crying is the first weapon they’ll use to gain some attention.
- She is frustrated and unhappy about something that happened in the school or at home.
- She is feeling insecure or experiencing separation anxiety, when she leaves the home for school or when you leave for work.
- There is a good chance your kid actually might be suffering physically. Check for the signs that indicate her ill health. Check if she has any injuries.
- Is she hungry, tired, or suffering from body aches?
- Indigestion and constipation are also the reasons enough to make your child unsettled.
- Sleep deprivation is one of the most frustrating reasons to start the kids on crying mode. Preschoolers need about 10 hours of sleep. If a child hasn’t been sleeping well during the night for any reason and also does not take afternoon naps, she will end up being cranky all the time, until she recovers from the sleep deprivation.
- Emotional stress brought on by the relationships in school and home. Sometimes it can be overwhelming for the children to deal and be in company of different people with different natures.
How you can help
- No matter what, don’t cave in and give the child what she wants after crying spells. A kid might be whining for some unreasonable demand, and you giving in after her tear outburst will just encourage her to use this tool more often.
- Check for the signs of unwell being and treat accordingly. Take her to the doctor if needed.
- Make sure your child is not hungry and not suffering from stomach ailments.
- Make sure she gets enough sleep every day.
- Try to distract and engage her in some interesting activities or by taking her out in a park.
- Talk to her like you’d talk to a grown up, by acknowledging and not dismissing her feelings. Kids don’t know how to name their feelings, so they cry in frustration of not being able to communicate.
- Talk to their school teachers or day-care providers to find out if something that happened in the school has upset her.
- Talk to your child about strangers and people touching them in inappropriate ways. Sexual abuse is one of the most concerning reasons to make children upset, causing them to keep their feelings bottled up. Though use your best judgement and patience before you put your child through such a scrutiny.
- If the child is suffering from the separation anxiety, deal sympathetically with it and give her some time to get over it.
- Give hers stars or rewards for a happy and good behaviour. Positive encouragement works wonders.
One of our SOS Moms Aarti Vedpathak suggested a very interesting way to encourage a child to behave. Make up a little kid named the same as your kid and tell stories about how she behaves, how she helps, and how she doesn’t whine over small things. It might just do the trick.
We wish you good luck and hope that you sail happily through the joys of parenthood. We thank our rocking SOS Moms who poured in their thoughts.
Spanish Harlem, Aarti Vedpathak, Amrita Yadav Vaidya, Aruna Gautam, Akhila Karthik, Maharaj Ambu, Meenakshi Singh
Dear worried mum, while we understand your frustration of your little bundle of joy being stuck in a reverse transmission of scooting backwards, let us assure you that there is nothing to worry about it. Neither is there anything to be concerned about if she is not teething yet.
Crawling is quite optional for some babies. Experts believe that crawling does offer some physical and cognitive developmental benefits. But it is a common fact that quite a number of babies skip this stage entirely and directly start standing up. As long as your baby is healthy and has reached her developmental milestones until sitting up, on time, she will be perfectly fine. She probably has a mind to directly get on her feet and start cruising and then walking in no time.
If you wish to see her crawling, you may encourage it in certain ways –
- Tummy time – Give her plenty of tummy time and place attractive toys around her, so that she may try to crawl forward to grab them.
- Free play – Limit her time in the bed, car seat, stroller etc. Let her play on the floor and explore her playground.
- Sit on the floor, a bit out of her reach and call her towards you. She might try to get on her all fours in order to reach you.
- Place a moving toy near her and encourage her to follow it.
Seek doctor’s advice if –
- She does not try to move in any manner at all, by the time she is 1 year old
- She doesn’t want to or can’t stand on her feet when you hold her by her torso
- Her lower body seems too lethargic or limp when you try to make her stand on your lap
Wait and watch if she tries to get moving in any way. Most commonly there is nothing to be concerned about if a baby doesn’t crawl at 9 months.
It is also very common and normal for the babies to not start teething until they are 1 year or even older. Normal window for the first tooth of your baby showing up is between 3-12 months of age, but a large statistics shows that many babies are quite late bloomers in this area. It has nothing to do with low calcium in your baby, which is commonly believed, so there is nothing you can do to hurry the teething. It’s just the way her body has decided to develop and sooner or a little later your baby will have her own set of pearly whites. Think about this, have you ever seen an adult without having developed any teeth at all? There you go!
We thank our SOS moms who offered their valuable suggestions and shared their own experiences with their babies. Most of them experienced that every child develops in a different way and at a different speed. It’s best not to compare and let them have their space to flourish.
Nelopher Hasan, Noopur Choubey Bajpai, Sabbineni Sravanthi, Caroline Fernandes, Surabhi Nayak, Christina Shreemal, Juhi Bhattacharjee, Avantika Gidh, Neelam Pawar, Richa Arora, Shilpi Sahu, Jyotsana Verma, Rajnideep Sandhu, Ramya Harish, Jas Saini, Kaynat Parveen, Anjali Vartak , Sudeshna Patnaik, Nayana Bhangale, Ritika Kakar, Radhika Dhanrajani, Rewa Dhar , Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Ashley Antony, Lavanya Reddy, Sunetra Basu, Shikha Somwanshi, Rathi Madan, Garima Grover, Priya Jain, Monika Vashist, Mainka Vig.
The ultimate feeling of sheer exuberance, is what parents experience when their darling toddler speaks these words out for the very first time.
Everything that he does for the first time is the biggest reason for a smile on everyone’s face around him. It is no less than a celebration time for parents. Besides, these first activities are also considered as milestones that indicate the developmental pace of an infant.
All toddlers pave different milestones at different ages, depending upon their individual capabilities. Learning to talk is one of these milestones. Most toddlers are reluctant talkers. This delay in speech doesn’t always spell trouble, hence, should not be seen as a matter of anxiety. Parents must comprehend, that language development process is vast and comes with several roadblocks along the way. Hence, they are required to be patient if their baby does not speak much.
Having said that, if your toddler does not use 3-4 words simple sentences, does not ask simple questions or is unable to call out the names of at least a few objects by 25-26 months, then you must consult a paediatrician for proper advice.
In such situations, perhaps the personal experiences of other parents can also come in handy. Let’s have a look at what our community parents have to say:
Interact, to nail the language lessons. Sarah Singh says, “expose your child to lots of verbal communication. This can be done by talking more to your baby. Even if he doesn’t reply back he will pick up and understand lots of words. To check if he is able to understand your conversation, ask him to do simple things like ‘give me that ball’ and so on”.
Try to read him more and more stories with lots of colourful pictures. The more he listens the more his urge to speak will grow. Don’t give him anything that he points at, instantly. Encourage him to say the name of the object. Also, allow him to play with other children of his age ,who can talk. Kids learn faster from other kids, suggests Asmita Basu Sarkar.
Vidushi Kamal, who has faced a similar issue with her daughter some time back, shares her personal piece of experience that kids who are more active physically tend to focus less on speaking. Hence, there is no need to worry if your child starts speaking late.
Suhasini Vinay has experienced that a baby girl tends to take up speaking sooner than a baby boy. She says, she has witnessed this in her own family and it’s a common phenomenon.
Rakhi Golui Sarkar suggests, that sending your child to a play school may also help as they tend to imitate other kids. This will in turn encourage and teach them to speak sooner.
“Another reason that can contribute to the delay in language development in toddlers is, use of multiple languages at home by the family members. The baby might get confused about what to speak and what not. Therefore, you should try to speak one common language till he is old enough to grasp the other”, says Antonette Presentina
“Speak clearly while talking to your baby. This helps them understand words faster. Avoid using baby talks and prefer clear words”, says Shabnam Desai.
And most importantly, do not ever show any kind of frustration if your child doesn’t speak much.
We thank all the parents out there for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:
Sarah Singh, Asmita Basu Sarkar, Ragini Kadam-Salunkhe, Vidushi kamal, Rajnideep Sandhu, Debolina Choudhary, Suhasini Vinay Chikkaharuvaiah, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Anushree Saurin Jhaveri, Rakhi Golui Sarkar, Jas Saini, Antonette Presentina, Shabnam Desai and Jassu Sodhi
Many mothers face this problem when their babies start to teethe. Your baby’s gums are sensitive, irritated and even in pain when they start to grow their first set of teeth. They often find relief when they can bite or chew on something. There is nothing much you can do to help them except massage their gums with a teething gel and allow your baby to bite on something clean and soft like a teething toy or even your finger.
We received a lot of replies on our Facebook page from our rocking SOS moms to help mommy Pooja in her situation.
- Gently unlatch the baby- Insert your finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth between her gums and get her to unlatch from the breast immediately when she bites. Your bay will realise that she will have to stop feeding if she bites.
- Warn gently and firmly – Unlatch your baby and give her a little strict talk by using a firm voice. Try not to react by shouting or crying in pain so as not to scare your little one away from feeding. Just a gentle warning followed by a hug and restarting the feeding should suffice.
- Use Nipple Shield – You can buy a nipple shield or guard to use over your nipple. The baby will not have direct contact with your skin, even if she bites.
- Feed only when baby is hungry – Feed your baby only when she shows the signs of hunger. Some babies find breastfeeding as a means of being close to their mom and often end up chewing on the nipple, if they are not really hunger. Unlatch the baby as soon as she is finished feeding. Also, stop feeding if you notice your baby falling asleep. You might get bitten if she falls asleep and tries to close her mouth shut.
- Change positions – Try changing positions, or try to shift the baby to the other breast or try feeding in a different place. Sit in a quite, peaceful place where your baby won’t be distracted easily. She may bite unintentionally if she is distracted with the sounds and things around her that are stimulating.
- Pull closer – If you notice that your baby finds it amusing to bite you and biting has become her habit, time the feeding time and pull your baby closer to your breast to make her stop feeding as soon as her time is up. Her nose being too close to your breast will make it difficult to breathe for her and she will have to open her mouth as a reflex.
- Top up with formula – While most mothers and doctors advise to continue breast feeding even if it hurts, sometimes it may not be possible for the mother. Breastfeeding is a personal choice and there are a number of reasons to supplement with formula feeding. If you decide to give your baby the formula milk, don’t feel guilty over it. Ultimately, you will do what is best for you and your little one.
- Pump and feed – If you can’t tolerate the biting anymore but still want to keep giving your baby your breast milk, you can always do so by expressing it with breast pump and feeding through a bottle.
- Make sure you are producing enough milk to satiate your baby’s hunger. She may be biting in an attempt to get more milk, if you are not producing enough for her.
What if your baby refuses formula milk?
- Some babies are not that fond of formula and refuse it straight away at the first offering. But keep trying different brands, different formula feeding timings with your doctor’s advice.
- In the beginning, you can mix some part formula milk with your expressed breast milk and feed it to your baby. As your baby gets used to the taste, she may start liking it. Gradually increase the portion of formula milk into the breast milk.
- Apply some formula milk around your nipple when you breastfeed your baby, to introduce her to the taste of the formula.
- Don’t force your baby to drink formula as she may not yet be ready to let go of the comfort of breastfeeding. Wait for few more days and try to introduce the formula again.
- Don’t formula-feed when she is too hungry. Give her the breast milk when she is crying of hunger and offer the formula milk in between the breast feeds. She is most likely to refuse the formula when she is sleepy or feeling low.
We thank all our SOS moms who replied with very helpful and interesting solutions to this problem that many mothers face.
Prakriti Metikurke, Kiran Aradhya, Lalitha Acharya, Priyanka Tmahane, Sujan Patel, Adhunika Prakash, Jas Saini, Shahwar Ali Khan, T M Manzoor Manz, Shalini Agarwal, Rathi Madan, Smita Goswami- Chakraborty, Akshara Bachkheti, Cristyl Murray, Dr. Ritika Gupta, Rachna Somani, Sapna Sunny, Nidhi Jain, Priya Prabu, Dhanya Ranjit, Monika Vasisht, Enakshi Moon Goswami, Asmita Basu Sarkar, Pratibha Tyagi, Radhika Singh, Nisha Singh Bhalwal, Nelopher Hasan and many others.
We have all experienced the crushing sight of our little one’s sobbing face and temper tantrum, while dropping them off to a pre-school or a day-care. You’ d be really lucky if you have a child that turns his back to you and doesn’t even look back to you to say good-bye, as soon as he enters the school premises. Starting school should be an exciting experience to the parents and children both, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with a lot of parents.
The most common reason behind this is the separation anxiety, that most children experience during some or the other phase of their toddler-hood. Especially if you have always stayed home with your child or you have always carried him everywhere you go or he has always been surrounded with family and relatives and never been left in the care of professionals.
It is very natural for him to feel that he is suddenly being abandoned, albeit for a few hours of a day. This insecurity might turn your happy-go-lucky child into a cranky, irritated one.
Our SOS moms suggest some ideas to help you to make the schooling experience enjoyable for you and your toddler.
- Explore it further! Is your child crying to school just because of separation anxiety, or because of meeting new friends or due to the behaviour of school authorities and teachers or even bullying from other kids at school? If possible, try to be with your child as soon as the class is over and talk to her. Make her feel secure.
- Ask the child about what makes her uneasy about the school. Before checking with the school authorities, do speak once to your child
- Sometimes, it’s better to wait for a few more days or weeks until your kid shows the readiness to be without you and go to school.
- Find out from school authorities if you can participate in her class for a day or two to get the feel of how the teachers deal with the kids. You’ll also get a good idea about how other kids behave.
- Check if your child is uncomfortable with any staff or teacher or the routine of the school. It can be quite demanding on the child to suddenly start following a set routine of learning, playing, eating and even napping.
- The child may even start loving his school after a few days of crying. Just give him some adjustment period.
- Offer him a treat for a few days if he goes to school happily. Positive encouragement often achieves what rules and force can’t.
- Make sure that your child gets enough sleep and has a healthy diet, when at home. Sleep deprived and mal-nourished kids don’t make for happy students.
- Also, make sure that the reason for his crying is not some health ailment.
- Let him take a day or two off from the school, if possible. We all get bored of the monotonous routine. A break is always refreshing.
We thank our SOS moms for the tips and experiences they shared with us.
Deepa Jha, Shaily Bhatia, Sushma Malik,Sheetal Modi Bajaj, Gita Keswani, Ragini Rai, Misha Amar Bhattal, Kalvakota Vasanthi, Shriya Sharma, Keerthana R Rao.
Losing baby teeth is something that most kids take as a matter of sheer happiness. They love showing their fallen tooth or discussing it with their friends. It gives them the feeling of growing up, as losing a baby tooth is the ultimate sign of becoming a big kid.
Baby teeth fall as their roots dissolve thereby making a way for permanent teeth. Most children start losing their milk teeth at the age of 5 or 6. But it is completely fine if a child does not start losing his teeth at this age. It can also happen when a child is as old as 8 years old.
Let us see what other parents have to say about it:
Kashish Dua, a dentist by profession says, it is not something to be worried about if your child has turned 6 years old and has not started losing milk teeth. The age at which children lose teeth may vary from child to child and may happen slightly late in case of some children.
Sowmya Anand says, that her daughter started to lose her milk teeth when she was 8 and is losing them.
Richa Vyas says, that the upper and the lower front teeth generally start erupting at the age of 6-7 years. So you might want to wait if your child has jusr turned 6.
The last factor but definitely not the least – sometimes milk teeth arrive late so they drop off late, so it is okay to wait, suggests Parminder kaur
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:
Richa Vyas, Parminder Kaur, Kashish Dua and Sowmya Anand
One of the biggest problems that a mommy faces with her young kid is making him eat a sufficient amount of food every day. It’s a considerable challenge for her to deal with her fussy eater and the problem doesn’t end with mealtimes at home. The story still continues for those mothers who send their kid to a day care. Their kid will not only be a fussy eater but may also choose to eat only at the day care and not at home. Strange but true!
Dealing with this problem is even more challenging. A few tips listed below can prove helpful to these mommies:
- Such a phenomenon occurs potentially because in a day care a child is surrounded by other kids and all of them eat in a group. A group activity encourages them to finish their meals without any fuss. So one of the best ways to tackle the problem can be – ask all the members in the family to have dinner together with the kid. This will give him the same feeling as that of a day care meal time, says Deepshikha Roy.
- “Let the baby eat on his own. He will relish it and meal time will become fun. It will be messy for sure but you can always clean it up”, says Nidhi Jain.
- “Play some rhymes on television or laptop, or, put on his favorite cartoon program during his meal time”, says Sandhya Prasad.
- “Go creative and present the meal in an interesting way. For instance, make chocolate monster paratha or their favourite home-made paratha pizza or fruity pancakes”, suggests Nandini Rathore.
- “Let your kid ask for the meal on his own. Also, ensure that there is at least a gap of 4-5 hours between the two meals. If the kids is hungry, he will definitely eat a good amount of food”, says Payal Chhajer.
- “Ask your kid to give you a bite and then you give him the next. He will enjoy this at least for some time”, says Anamika Chauhan.
- Encourage your kid to have a competition, of finishing the food first, with you.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time and giving their valuable responses:
Neha Singhai, Deepshikha Roy, Nidhi Jain, Payal Chhajer, Sandhya Prasad, Radha Naveen, Anamika Chauhan, Nandini Rathore
Are you also tired of repeating the same dialogue every day?
If yes, then this post is definitely for you.
Parents are often found nudging their kids to complete their homework. On the contrary, kids hate to have the word ‘Homework’ in their To-Do list. In such a situation, making homework fun is no piece of cake for parents while for their kids, ‘homework’ and ‘fun’ can never go hand in hand.
However, with a few tricks and a proper approach you can make homework enjoyable, at least to a certain extent, for your child. For instance:
Make homework interesting:
- “Draw an apple/smiley tree and put it up somewhere in the room, tell your kid that every time he does the homework he can color one apple. If he doesn’t like coloring, then you can color the apple for him.
Buy a strip of stickers of his favorite character like Tom n Jerry or Chotta Bheem, etc. When the tree gets full of apples give him one sticker to stick on his bed or cupboard”, says Jacqueline Pereire who practiced it for a few days and has stopped now. She is now happy to see her daughter completing her homework every day without any fuss.
- Make it an inclusive activity by sitting down with your child and pretending you’re writing/doing your ‘homework’ while he does his. Sit together in your garden or balcony with some juices or candies as if on a picnic, suggests Sheena Talwar.
- Get him a new colorful study table or color pencils to write with, to increase his interest.
- Make a hand puppet and allow your child to wear it only while doing the homework, create a story around it and encourage your child to do his homework with the puppet.
Develop a habit:
Make a habit of sitting with your child everyday with his school books and get him involved in them. Make him follow a routine. Consistency in routine eventually helps a child understand the importance of finishing a task on time and enables him to stay stress-free.
Building a habit cannot be accomplished overnight, hence, parents must be patient in helping their child acquire the habit, of doing homework, gradually.
Understand the reason:
It can be a plain lack of interest, or, there can even be possibilities of something bothering your child. Try to find out why exactly he refuses to write and then figure out a constructive approach to solve the issue, says Shridevi Kamath Bhat.
Practice Positive Reinforcement or Appreciation:
Appreciate your beginner for his work, handwriting or even for a single line that he writes. It plays a key role in encouraging kids to finish their homework with interest. Sarah Singh says, “having kids sit for their homework through forceful parenting will only make it a disliked chore for them”. Other parents, Yachna Jain, Shaily Bhatia and Sadhad Hassan, share the same view.
Madhumita Kar Gupta,Jacqueline Pereire, Shridevi Kamath Bhat, Minakshi SaiKaulogist, Nisha Unadkat Kotecha, Ashwini Bagare, Sheena Talwar, Deepty Mundhra, Shaily Bhatia, Yachna Jain, Sarah Singh, Poonam Ganesh, Priya Suresh, Firdos Mogal, Snehal Vinayak,
A special mention to Sadhad Hassan, a father.
Mahima Verma expressed her concern about her little one year old angel who initially started enjoying juice in her sipper but now refuses to drink water and wants juice instead, all the time. She wants to know if juice is good for her at this age.
We put forward this issue for our SOS mom community to weigh in and are glad to have received a list of tips and advice to help mommy Mahima overcome her problem.
FirstCry says: Toddlers tend to over-consume fruit juices simply because they are sweet in taste. While juices are known to be beneficial for health, they can also be harmful if over-consumed. According to the AAP(American Academy of Pediatrics), the quantity of juice that an infant, 6 to 12 months, can consume is 120ml to 170ml. Toddlers and Preschoolers aged 1 to 6 years also, shouldn’t consume more than 170 ml per day.
Moreover, juices should be offered to kids in a cup and not a bottle. Prolonged exposure of teeth to the sugar in juices may lead to tooth decay or a cavity, says mom Sindhu Anand and Nimisha Sinha.
Avantika Gidh writes that too much fruit juice may also lead to diarrhoea, so mums need to be careful with the quantity.
A few tips to increase your baby’s water intake over juice are:
- Dilute the juice with water and gradually increase the water ratio to the juice ratio.
- Add Glucon D or ORS to water to give it a flavour. You can also boil the water with some cumin seeds (jeera), it changes the color and flavor of water and enhances the quality of voice.
If none of the above works, then you’ve got to make water drinking a fun activity for your toddler ;). Encourage her to have a competition of finishing water first with you. Or, simply buy her a special new cup, give her company in drinking water and say “Cheers!” before starting, says mom Poonam Ganesh.
Sarah Singh, Annanya Jha, Poonam Ganesh, Yogita Chand, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Sona Rohilla, Mahira Patel, Avantika Gidh, Janki Shah, Sudha Thavamaniraja, Kam La, Smriti Sharma, Sindu Anand, Sultana Parween, Lipsy Pattnayak, Shruti Gulati Rathore, Sudeshna Patnaik, Akanksha Malhotra Maggo, Madhumita Kar Gupta, Nimisha Sinha, Vidita Tayal
Aspecial mention to Subir Ranjan Das, a father.
Sabita Padubidri wrote to us about a problem she has with her 2 month old son, she says that he does not sleep well either in the morning or in the night because of which she’s having sleepless nights and days.
Also, her child has a habit of sucking his thumb. He does not take formula milk as she doesn’t produce enough milk.
We put this issue across our community of moms to weigh in on the same and have incorporated their responses here:
Breast Feeding is the best for your baby and Fenugreek (methi) ranks high among the ‘must haves’ for nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of diosgenin in the spice which increases milk production in lactating mothers. You can either have its seeds or leaves in your daily diet. You should also increase the intake of Cumin (jeera), pulses, almond, dry fruits, garlic, milk and milk products to enhance milk generation. Moreover, eating raw papaya curry & drinking rice water, which is prepared in traditional way (i.e cooking rice in additional amount of water), can also serve as a solution.
Bani Pavithra SriRam suggets that you can also consume lactation boosting pills/powder like ‘Lactare’, an ayurvedic medicine, to boost lactation.
A few alternate methods to feed your baby milk are:
Soak a small clean and soft cotton ball in milk and squeez 3-5 drops into his mouth slowly at a time and repeate this for 60 to 80ml of milk. As you said he doesn’t like bottles, this will help fill his stomach temporarily.
Try Playtex VentAire bottles for nursing your baby, these have many advantages like less amount of air gulped in by baby, angular design helps in proper placement during feeding, etc.
Thumb-sucking is normal in babies and most kids stop on their own at age 3 to 6 years. Neverthless, inadequate milk intake by a baby may also be a cause of thumb-sucking. So, you can expect it to decrease gradually once your baby starts getting sufficient milk.
One of the reasons for baby’s sleepless nights and days can be his empty stomach. In such a case, the above mentioned alternative feeding methods can prove conducive.
Also, you can give a nice warm coconut oil massage to your baby and follow it with warm water bath before putting him to sleep. Re-creating some soothing sensations, movements and snug environment of the womb will help him doze off faster.
Aditya Agarwal, Sandhya Pillai, Poonam Ganesh, Banu Pavithra SriRam, Revathi Phani Krishna, Kam La, Uma Sudharshan, Nainthara Singh, Soumya Harish, Garima S Mamgain, CA Chandana, Pooja Rathore, Lakshmi Karthick, Shilpa Malhotra Sarin
Sowmya Raghav wrote to us about a concern in regards to spending time with her son. She is not able to give enough time to her 3 year old son due to her work commitments, especially in the evenings. She feels guilty about the same and wanted to know how to engage her child with activities that do not need her presence.
We asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Sowmya’s problem and have included their advice below:
It is important to devote a fixed time for your child, irrespective of your work schedule. Half an hour in the morning and after 9pm in the evening is an ideal time to spend with your child. Make sure that you are away from your phone, as it would allow you to completely utilise the time with your young one.
You can also take your child along with you to the temple, local market or a friend’s place so that you can spend more and more time with him.Another option is to hire a maid who would take care of the cooking and other household chores. This provides you with the extra time along with your child and also respite from house work.
We are grateful to the parents below for their input.
Aashi Jiwani Mehta, Nisha Yatin Patel, Nazneen Kazi, Pavithra Reddy, Perminder Kaur, Chital Pancha, Deepa Shailesh Narti, Sunitha Raj.
Amruta Kale wrote to us regarding a concern she had for her 2-year old daughter. She is worried about her daughter grabbing it and crying loudly if not given it to her and asked us to advice her on the same.
We asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Amruta’s problem and have included their advice below.
A lot of parents these days are facing this issue with their young ones. It is quite normal. Children like to imitate their parents. Try to lessen the usage of gadgets in front of them. If you keep it hidden, they will forget about it.
Being more interactive with your child helps too. Children like it when their parents indulge with them while playing. They prefer to play with their parents more than anything else. Also it’s better to show her some colorful and attractive cartoon books which will grab her attention and slowly her interest will also change.
Alternatively, you can load rhymes, stories, and educational games for your little one and only give iPad to her for a limited time and then distract her with something else like taking her out to play or reciting rhymes to her.
Try to communicate with her in a subtle way that using too much of iPad or any other gadget can be harmful and that she should not be using it very frequently.
Also, try not to update anything on it for a few days like no new apps, no new pictures etc and she might just get bored of watching the same thing again and again and will stop asking for it eventually.
We are grateful to the parents below for their input.
Jyothi Potturi, Lavanya Reddy, Rajnideep Sandhu, Paridhi Tapan Upadhyay, Vani Amarnath, Anucrati Benjamin, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Vani Amarnath, Jas Saini, Payal Jain, Shama Desai,Pallavi Peter,Vinod Komiri, Deepa Shailesh Narti, Ranjini Ramesh, VenkataBuvana Pulusu, Aditi Taparia Maheshwari.