Category Archives: Infant / Baby

An Awesome Mom’s Easy Manual

A woman’s journey of motherhood begins the moment she finds out she is pregnant! From then, till she delivers her baby, there are several stages that a woman has to cross-over. Each stage presents before her the scope to become an awesome mom. Some women take this rather too seriously and end up getting stressed out.

And then there are other mothers and expecting moms who say goodbye to stress and adopt smart ways of becoming amazing at their role. Here are some of the smart tips that you too must follow!

Here are some of the smart tips that you too must follow!

Smart tips that are easy to follow

1. Give your baby priority – A great mom is the one who makes her child her universe! The little one’s early days are the time for tender love and care that only a mother can give to her child. And a part of it is by getting the right baby products right from diapers to baby clothing. One of the smart ways of doing this is online shopping. Moms and expecting moms can take the benefit of coupons that are available online today and choose from the various branded baby products available.

2. Apt nutrition for your child and yourself – This is a big one! Food is both important for both the mother and her child. Therefore, both during pregnancy and post-pregnancy, eating the right foods with high nutritional value is crucial. You should consult a gynaecologist and a paediatrician to get the best food-chart for yourself and your little one respectively. Also, make sure you consume natural foods like smoothies, shakes, herbs, milk, almonds and other nuts to stay healthy both pre and post child delivery.

3. Keep the surrounding clean and healthy – As a super mom, the least you can do is provide your child with a neat and clean ambience so that the well-being of your little one is ensured. Therefore, make sure that your house gets cleaned at regular intervals. That aside, adopt cleanliness practices like using a sanitizer that has minimal chemicals to keep your hand clean. Ensure that house dusting is done daily and meticulously so that there are no impurities that can enter the child body. The little ones are vulnerable during this stage and you need to be extra careful.

4. Think good and positive thoughts – Research shows that a child’s first traits always come from the mother. Hence, it is of great importance to maintain a positive and a healthy outlook towards life! Give your child the best thoughts by reading positive things and participating in only constructive discussions. It is best during this time to stay away from stress and fear-based thoughts that usually get generated from news and other drama-oriented televised shows.

5. Plan ahead of time – It is always better to plan a bit ahead of time when you’re expecting or are a new mother. Put your imagination into action and arrange the little one’s space in the house with utmost sincerity. So, get all enthused about decorating the room, getting the correct decorative items for your baby, and also choose the perfect colour for the room. Your child, tiny though she is, will experience the joy of knowing that a special space had been created for her even before her birth.

Motherhood is a rewarding albeit challenging journey. However, these simple ways are great starting points to help you out. One thumb rule that you must remember is this – you’re a super mom and are doing a great job already!

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What is Colic and How does it Affect my Baby?

Smriti, a new mom, came to us with a worry that plagues new moms everywhere – colic! It’s a harrowing experience for any new parent when their baby starts crying – and keeps crying on and on for hours! But don’t worry too much Smriti – colic isn’t a disease, and it won’t cause any long term harm to your little angel!

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What is Colic and how long will it last?
Colic is when a baby suffers from uncontrollable crying for hours at a stretch, for at least a few days of the week in their first 5 months. Symptoms of colic show up when your newborn is about 2-3 weeks old, and 80% of babies suffering from colic get over it by the time they turn 4 months old.

What are the causes of Colic?

The cause and reason behind Colic is one mystery science has yet to solve. Around 40% of babies are at risk for developing colic in their first two weeks, and while there a lots of theories to explain the same, there could easily be more than one cause!

From an intolerance of cow milk or baby formula, to an imbalance of bacteria in the intestines, some doctors even believe that colic crying is merely stress relief for sensitive babies. They theorise that sensitive babies get overloaded with the sights and sounds of the day and begin to cry.

While some believe that gas can cause colic, it is usually the other way around. Excessive crying due to colic can cause your baby to take extra big gulps of air, which will cause a build up of gas in his/her body – in turn leading to even more uncontrollable crying! Yikes!

But don’t worry, our SOS Moms are here to help!

Ramya Ramasway says, “Babies develop colic pain when they are not burped after their feeds or if they had long feed intervals. They swallow some amounts of air while sucking and when it gets accumulated this leads to colic pain. One can identify a colic baby easily. If he/she stops crying when we lay them with their stomach to the ground or on our shoulders such that their abdomen is pressed then its colic pain. It lasts few hours until the trapped air is passed away naturally or given some colic acid drops. This common problem till the 4th month, after which the babies learn to roll themselves over and in this process gas will be released naturally.”

Rucha Kaundal says, “Babies on formula milk are more colic in comparison to mother’s feed. Use gripe water regularly, either during or immediately after a feed. You can give your baby gripe water up to 6 times day to relieve gas.”

We hope our Mommy advice has helped Smriti soothe her fears. Colic is a tough time for every mother and baby, but remember, like all tough times it will pass!

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We thank all the SOS moms who came to Smriti’s rescue:

Ramya Ramasway, Rucha Kaundal.

TOO MUCH LIFTING SPOILING YOUR BABY?

Does Too Much Lifting Spoil the Baby?

Does Too Much Lifting Spoil the Baby?

How our heart breaks every single time the baby cries. New parents worry excessively and fuss over their crying baby a lot, but this is all only natural when you are suddenly handed someone so tiny and helpless!

A newborn does not cry to manipulate a parent, crying is merely the little one’s way to communicate discomfort or pain to the parent by crying. It is every mother’s first instinct to pick her crying child, to comfort her baby and make her feel loved and taken care of. Lifting the baby and holding him is an act many mothers consider a gift. While lifting is a mother’s response to her baby’s wails, some people also believe it can spoil the baby.

However, no amount of attention by the mother could possible spoil a newborn. It is a slightly different case with older babies (six months and above) who cry to be sat up or to get to a colourful object. Remember, your baby was jiggled, held tight and swayed while in the uterus; no amount of cuddling or holding can equate the warmth and security of a mother’s womb.

New mom Mayuree’s hubby isn’t too supportive of her lifting their baby every time the little one cries. He feels that Mayuree is spoiling the baby with too much attention. Mayuree came to us looking for a solution, let’s take a look at what our SOS moms have to say to her regarding this.

Shweta Bhardwaj was the first to come to Mayuree’s rescue, she says, “Not at all. He is habituated to having you around him as he was with you for 9 months and feels secure around you. With time he’ll learn to handle things on his own. But right now the body warmth of the mother is necessary for his growth. He doesn’t have words to express his needs.

Namrata Lad Sharma agrees, “I think your baby needs to be attended to as much as you can. Because having the baby know that you’re always going to be there for him/her, builds the baby’s confidence in your love for him so he doesn’t grow to feel neglected and not cared for. Especially if you’re dealing with something like colic. He needs to be soothed, and crying is his way of telling you what’s up since he can’t use words yet. And I do the same thing width my little one.

Dias Annisia reiterates, “The baby gets a habit of being carried around. But, so what? I used to waste no time in picking up my baby whenever she needed me, day or night! It’s so beautiful and loving to hold a baby in your arms. My baby/my daughter is 9yrs old today and she hasn’t developed any negative habits developed because of the carrying. Please do pick up your baby in your arms!

Swati Shukla and and Krishnaveni Sharath also echo their thoughts on how it is good for the baby to be touched and held.

Finally, Arpita Routry adds a quirky reply, “ Husbands can never understand a mom’s heart!” It is indeed true sometimes Arpita.

A Mom Can Never Spoil Her Baby by Lifting!

A Mom Can Never Spoil Her Baby by Lifting!

We recommend keeping the baby swaddled and playing soothing music to comfort the newborn. In fact newborns who are held and comforted grow up to be more loving individuals who trust their parents and families.

We thanks all the SOS moms who came in Mayuree’s aid:

Arpita Routry, Swati Shukla Mishra, Krishnaveni Sharath, Dias Annisia, NAmrtha Lad Sharma and Shweta Bhardwaj.

Change in Baby’s Complexion

My baby was fair during the first few days...

My baby was fair during the first few days…

When a baby is born, the new mom, dad and the close circle of relatives’ worlds shrink down to the baby’s movements, his goos and gaws, his appearance and inevitably the colour of his skin. Babies grow every second and rapid changes keep occurring in their bodies at cellular levels. Hence the change in the colour of the baby’s skin.

However, the baby’s skin colour is predetermined by his genes at the time of his birth and there is pretty much nothing a parent can do to change their baby’s skin colour. There are, however, temporary factors like health and environmental factors that can cause a change in the baby’s skin colour.

The baby’s complexion also depends on how many weeks old the baby is during birth. A premature baby will have a thinner skin rendering him a reddish complexion (read blood), some babies turn bluish when crying, some are born with hair that may or may not eventually fall off.  A newborn’s skin colour may also change because he wasn’t born with sufficient pigments and may subsequently grow darker with increasing exposure to sun light.

New mom Kalyani came to us with a query about how her little one’s skin grew darker after a few days of birth and our SOS moms have their suggestions (and opinions) on the same.

Prerna Sharma and Shwetha Bhardwaj reccommend a coconut oil massage before the baby’s bath time. Nirupama Joseph recommends the same but with olive oil.

Chetana Suvarna Ganatra says, “We do not have the concept of slapping sunscreen on newborns which is such a shame. Considering the country’s geographical positioning, the climate is usually sunny and very warm. The tender skin of the baby needs to be protected with sunscreens all the time, even when indoors. Hope it helps.”

Anjana Saravanan and Nirupine Shetty all recommend besan (gram flour) during the baby’s bath time. Deea D Kshatriya adds a twist, “Mix besan with milk or malai, make a smooth paste and gently massage your baby before giving bath. It helps.” Jyoti Kapil Chawla suggests mixing milk to the bathing water as besan could get stuck to the baby’s skin if not washed off properly.

Namrata Lad Sharma has a whole new take on the subject, “Babies keep changing their colour due to more of RBC in their blood. Also due to exposure to the environment and decrease in birth weight as water goes off from the body. Complexion totally depends on the genes, there’s nothing you can do to change the complexion before or after birth. You can apply coconut oil for massage, it will smoothen the skin, do not worry about the complexion and enjoy the motherhood!”

Noopur Agarwal also adds, “ Babies often tend to change skin colour after birth and again go back to original colour after few months so there is nothing to worry about, but if you can still massage her with malai daily before bath, it could bring about a little change.”

With all the solid advice we hope Kalyani has found her solution. But, we also cannot but agree with moms like Brittany Zachariah who think doesn’t matter what colour your child’s skin is.

Simple home remedies can keep your baby's skin healthy.

Simple home remedies can keep your baby’s skin healthy.

We thank all the SOS moms who came to Kalyani’s rescue:

Brittany Zachariah, Noopur Aggarwal, Namrata Lad Sharma, Anjana Saravanan, Nirupine Shetty, Chetana Suvarna, Prerna Sharama and Shwetha Bharadwaj.

When Baby Cries At Night

Babies cry at night for several reasons, usually easily cured

Babies cry at night for several reasons, usually easily cured

It’s night time and your baby has had a long day. He has played with his teddy bear, laughed with his Daddy and made a mess on the floor with all that he could lay his hands on. After so much activity, sleep time should be smooth sailing, right? Well, Moms know better! The problem of babies crying into the night is not a new one but definitely very distressing for moms.

When Rakhi was upset about her baby crying for hours every night, our SOS Moms not only helped allay her fears but also gave splendid solutions to her problem.

Mom Neha Gaurav perfectly identifies the possible reasons your baby could be crying at night (and yes, there are several!): “Generally during initial months some babies cries due to colic pain, reason of which is still not known. However there could be various other reasons also which makes them uncomfortable like hunger, overclothing, temperature difference of environment.” If the problem is colic pain, Neha suggests that drops like colicaid and neopeptine can work. Else, tried and tested solutions like rocking your baby, cuddling, or a good body massage before sleep time can do wonders.

While sleep time crying is normal in babies, there may sometimes be a need for medical advice. Shipra Vishwanath says that if nothing seems to be working, you may try either gripe water or 3-5 drops of “badishep arka”. She recommends administering this solution upto 3-4 times every day.

Did you know that the wrong clothing could also be a reason behind your baby’s crying? Chetana Suvarna Ganatra suggests moms to keep a check on whether their baby is getting over or under dressed. She corrects the common but erroneous perception that babies have to be in a warm condition, even if the current climate is already too warm. The little ones need to be dressed comfortably or else they are sure to get moody.

Sometimes, the trick behind a peaceful sleep-time for baby is very simple: let your baby sleep on their stomach! Mom Sandhya Lal has this interesting idea: “Sing a song that will soothe little one down. Or try and talk to the baby when she/he is sleeping on your stomach. Has always worked with both my babies.” After all, Mom’s comforting words can never fail!

A happy sleep time for baby is not all that difficult after all!

A happy sleep time for baby is not all that difficult after all!

So the next time you are worried about your baby crying, remember that she is still trying to come to terms with the BIG world. From over-stimulus to hunger to random moods, there are plenty of usually harmless reasons behind the crying. Just use the handy solutions given by our SOS Moms and remember, there’s nothing that Mommy cannot put right!

A big thank you to all the wonderful mommies who helped Rakhi out:

Shipra Vishwanath, Sandhya Lal, Chetana Suvarna Ganatra, Neha Gaurav

WHEN TODDLERS HIT

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

It comes as a shock to many parents when they first learn that their toddler has been hitting others. Most times, toddlers start displaying aggressive behaviour when they are exposed to a new environment (read: playschools). This is a common problem and parents need not stress over it.

Your toddler is still struggling with his linguistic skills and cannot properly communicate what he wishes to. This is also the stage when your little one is learning to be independent and begins making decisions of his own. All of this combines with the impulse to try and control the others make children of this age get physical. A little hitting and biting is completely normal for a toddler, but parents should not ignore this behaviour. Parents should let their toddler know that aggressive behaviour is unacceptable through different ways.

Apoorva came to us with the same problem, recently her 2.7 year old tot has developed the habit of hitting his peers at his school and she is looking out for help. Our SOS Moms gave their two cents to Apoorva on this issue.

Deepti Pathak advices Apoorva to simply stay calm, “Wait for another six months. Your problem is very common”, whereas Rekha Meena observes, “I just can’t understand why today kids develop the habit of hitting others. I’m a mother of 2 kids and both of them are very disciplined. When they misbehave initially, stop them immediately so they come to know what is wrong and right. Mother is the first teacher.”

Harsha Rajiv on the other hand has a logic we parents often overlook, “Usually when a kid gets hurt, elders in the house to console the kid say ‘Wait I’ll hit this thing that hurt you’ and thinking the kid will stop crying. This is really bad. Do divert the attention of kid saying something else, I tell my kid to stop crying so the magical fairy can come. I think problem is if the kid doesn’t like something he hits, even if it is a person. You have to convey a message to the kid with the support of teacher saying that hitting hurts. You have to keep trying to make him understand, don’t give up.”

Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan says, “It may be a reflection of what your kid sees around him. Home environment, wordy duels between parents, cartoons exhibiting hitting behaviours or may be he is hit by either of the parents or elders at home when he troubles you. We have to start talking to the kid who exhibits such rude behaviour. Even if you shout at him or punish him, it is not going to help. Don’t hit him back, instead take time to spend more time with him. Whenever he is cranky give him something to eat. Again don’t feed him with foods loaded with sugar. Give him homemade food. Take him to a park, play area and indulge in physical playing. This will calm him down. Especially swinging him in a swing for 20 minutes minimum daily would definitely calm his aggression.”

A little patience can change your child's behaviour.

A little patience can change your child’s behaviour.

Toddlers can be a handful to their parents. With all the energy and enthusiasm toddlers possess, it can be difficult to deal with them. But no parent should take their kid’s aggressive behaviour lightly, parents should explain to their children the consequences of hitting immediately. Sending quality time and a few measures can solve this problem once and for all.

We thank all the moms who came to Apoorva’s rescue:
Bhuvaneshwari Narayanan, Harsha Rajiv, Deepti Pathak, Rekha Meena, Robe Samarth Gaonkar and Rajnideep Sandhu.

The Best Ways to Pump and Store Breast Milk

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Expressing and Storing Breast Milk

It is crazy to go back to work after maternity leaves. Like, the last time your coworkers saw you, you had a happy baby bump,but now, you’re all flat out, dark circles and all. We feel you fellow mommas, we know what it is leave your baby and fight off the guilt that is steadily creeping up your throat. One major worrying factor for all new moms returning to work is – How Do I Store my Breast Milk? After all, your little cherub needs it and it is the best gift you can give your child.

Now, the women who want/need to work, take a minute to bless science, because science has given you this wondrous, wow worthy thing called the breast pump. These little gifts from technology lets mothers pump their milk out and store it for their baby’s care takers to feed the little one whenever necessary.

One such new mom Veena is returning to work and she came running to us to ask us how she should store her breast milk and our unfailing SOS moms have come to our rescue.

Anisha Rodrigues Pinto hurried in to help Veena, “Well if you are starting work you can always start combining breast and bottle milk ( i.e. more times breast milks and fewer times bottle milk( supplement). But as you mentioned you want to know about breast milk, which is the best to give your baby. Here is what I know. Well, expressing of breast milk can be done in three ways: 1) hand, 2) using a hand pump (available on firstcry.com), 3) using an electrical pump (available on firstcry.com). If you get heavy milk supply it will be quite easy for you to express by hand specially in the morning. However if you find it difficult ask help from doctor or experienced people to teach you or show you in either of the above 3 ways mentioned. At times expressing by hand can also take a long time in this case the pumps are helpful. You must express your milk in sterilised bottle (available on firstcry.com), which can then be capped and stored in the fridge. Don’t keep it longer than 24 hours. See that it’s frozen as soon as possible. Melt frozen milk and use at once. Never refreeze. You can also keep it in fridge for 5 to 6 hours (in case u get a break and can rush home and get back to work).”

Sonal Maner shared her experience of returning to work when her daughter was just three months old, “Use an electric breast pump to extract milk and store in special sterilised bags in d freezer. Use Medela breast pump and bags, they are the best. You can store milk in the freezer for up to 3 moths after extracting, remove from freezer 45 mins before feed time and keep the bag/bottle in hot water so it can warm up. Do not open d bag/bottle until the baby is ready to be fed. I joined work wen my daughter was just 3 months and used to feed her extracted breast milk until she was 1.5 yrs.” Medela Breast Pumps on FirstCry.com are available here.”

Neha Gaurav puts in her useful tips, “You can use manual breast pump instead of electric one. After extracting milk you can keep it at room temp (27 degrees) for 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator (towards the corner of tray) for 24 hrs in sterilised bottles only. After taking out the milk from refrigerator , keep the bottle in a pan of warm water for few minutes so that it comes to room temp. But make sure u do not bring the milk in direct contact of heat (gas flame)”.

Noopur Agarwal also reminded us to instruct the care taker, “With an automatic breast pump you can extract all the milk in morning before going to office, then store the milk in sterilised baby bottles and refrigerate them. Tell the person who will be feeding the baby to take out the bottle half an hour before feeding the baby”.

Breastpumps Come In Handy For New Moms Going Back to Work

Breastpumps Come In Handy For New Moms Going Back to Work

Radhika Varun Soni also reiterated the best method to store breast milk, “You can use breast pump of your choice n refrigerate the milk in sterilized bottle and warm the bottle in hot water just minutes before he is to be fed.”

A lot of advice comes in the way of new moms, but the best ones are from peers who have been mothers themselves. Being a working mom can bring whole host of challenges, but it is also a really satisfying role to play.

We would also like to extend our thanks to the moms who came to Veena’s rescue:

Sonal Maner, Noopur Agarwal, Radhika Varun Soni and Neha Gaurav.

Is too much juice bad for a toddler: SOS Moms Reply

Unttled-1Mahima 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.

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:

 

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.

Finding The Right Books To Read With Your Child

child and mom readingReading is an extremely healthy habit that all of us should develop. Good habits have to be inculcated in a child right from his childhood so that it remains with him all throughout his lifetime. If you develop reading habits from a very young age, your child will retain the same later in life.

It is even recommended that would-be-mothers create the habit of reading good things as it impacts the child growing inside. Even while your kid is very small, try reading different things to him. You will notice that he will develop the habit of listening to things while you read out aloud to him.

Choosing books for toddlers

It is quite natural that toddlers will not be interested in books, which have only black texts in them. Rather they will find books interesting that has lots of colors, pictures and attractive items with minimal text in them.

There are interesting toddler books explaining simple actions like saying hello or bye and child learn fast when they see something and do the same. There are bedtime stories books as well which parents can read to their child and make him fall asleep. Interesting graphics and pictures in these books make them a favorite with the kid.

Books for pre-school goers

This age is a delicate one when the child is around 3 to 4 years old. At this stage children love story books as they can read some simple lines. Fairy tales are also very popular with kids. It is quite interesting to see that, on hearing different kinds of stories from the books, children create a new world of their own using their own imagination.

Reading fairy tales helps build your child’s imagination and creativity. Along with fictional books, various kinds of non-fictional books also attract kids through which they learn new things while enjoying reading. At this age, kids are also fascinated by ebooks available online. It may be worthwhile to invest in a few that they can read on your tablet or iPad.

Books for school-going kids

Along with interesting story books, kids are also interested in books that have fascinating facts about the world, books on general knowledge, poems and classic stories. Some kids are extremely fond of historical books and they create imagery in their mind about the past. The Amar Chitra Katha collection and Tinkle books are a fantastic addition to any child’s library.

It may be worthwhile investing in an online encyclopedia on CD, that often comes along with interactive features. Along with enhancing knowledge, reading books also improves the vocabulary of the child considerably.

There are only benefits to introducing your child to the world of books and as the saying goes, “Children are made readers in the laps of their parents.” So take your child in your lap today and introduce them to a world of knowledge and fantasy.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My 7 month Old Has Diarrhea And Won’t Eat: SOS Moms Reply

child cryingKanika Modi wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 7 month old son. She says that her son has lost his appetite and weight since a week. Also, he has loose motions, 10-15 times a day due to which the private area has turned red and the baby has become cranky and irritated. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.

We asked our community of helpful moms for their suggestions and included their comments below.

If a child is ill, the first thing to do is take him to the doctor immediately to rule out any serious illnesses. Once your doctor has started treatment, you can use home remedies to make the child more comfortable.

Feed the child light foods – like dal pani, rice water, coconut water, apple or banana mash, a few spoons of pomegranate juice – that are easy to digest and will not cause discomfort. Give him ORS (boiled water with a pinch of salt and sugar) and lots of fluids to ensure that he does not get dehydrated because of the loose motions.

Apply a diaper rash cream, like Siloderm, Protectoderm or Mothercare rash cream, on the baby’s private parts to prevent the rash from getting worse. Avoid diapers. Apply coconut oil every so often for some relief from the rash. Wash the baby’s bottom with water instead of using tissues which can aggravate the rash.

If your child has started teething, it could cause some of these symptoms. For the baby’s tummy upsets while teething, you can start a homeopathic medicine called BC21, after taking your baby to a registered homeopathic physician. You can also start homeopathic calcium tablets, called Calcarea Phosphorica.

Rub mugli ghutti on the baby’s teeth regularly twice a day. Give your baby safe toys and teethers to chew on to relieve the pain of teething. You might also want to ask your pediatrician if your baby needs the rota virus vaccination.

We are grateful to all the parents below for their advice and feedback.

Rekha Subramanian, Dolly Singla Bansal,Yamini Arora, Avani Tippani, Ritu Dhingra, Bharti Mudgal, Bharath Kumar, Aishwarya Bharath Kumar, Kuheli Khan, Chandra Negi, DrRitika Gupta, Christine Tan, Poonam Ganesh, Vaishali Chitara, Revathi Phani Krishna, Jizza Sudharsan, Sarika Singh, Ragini Rai, Ratanjeet Kaur, Akanksha Sood Verma, Yamini Arora Kanika Malhotra , Bhaskar, Sabah Riaz, Harman Sehgal, Pallavi Dubey, ViroNica Virender Nisha, Rachana Nanavati, Aarpita Arora, Urvashi Rajan Puri, Anukaul Anand, Anukaul Anand, Janki Shah, Sapna Chauhan, Doc Shruti Bhargava, Smita Goswami Chakraborty, Sabbineni Sravanthi, Anvita Pant, Meenakshi Kimti Sharma, Devpriya Ekka, Jas Saini, Jas Saini, Neha Mehta, Shikha Khanduja Kaul, Astha Aggarwal, Priya Kulkarni, Anu Sabarish, Deepika Agrawal Gupta, Ruchi Sinha Shetty, Ramya Sriram, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Manali Langer, Sharmila Chakravarty, Urvashi Rajan Puri, Vani Amarnath, Shobha Ojha, Sangeeta Chauhan Salve, Dolly Omkar Jha, Hetal Rana, Deepti Gautam Talwar.

Playing With Your Kids – Games For Toddlers

toddler gamesChildren between the ages of 1-3 years are called toddlers. It is quite obvious that during this phase, the child becomes super active. It is also the age of growing, developing various kinds of communication skills and learning new things.

The activity levels of kids are very high at this time as they learn and explore their environment. Since the child can move freely at this age, it is very important to supervise them closely so that they do not get hurt or injured while playing.

Here are some excellent games for toddlers that you can enjoy with them:

• Colored blocks

This game can be enjoyed by the toddler and the parents. Arrange colored blocks of different sizes and shapes. See that the blocks are soft so that they don’t hurt the kid. Try and arrange the blocks in different ways, by making a tall structure or by creating a shape.

You can also make the child learn about colours, letters or numbers with this game. Your child will enjoy making tall towers with the blocks and demolishing them so that the process can be repeated.

• Peek a Boo

For this game, it is important that you clear the place properly so that the child has no chances of tripping over things and getting hurt. Hide yourself under the blanket and as your child to find you. Occasionally take out your head or your hand to attract the toddler’s attention.

See the delight on the little one’s face and their thrilled laughter when they spot you. Try the game with the little one under the towel or blanket. Act as if you cannot find them and then lift up the cover and act surprised to hear their sweet laughter filling the whole room.

• Playing ball

Balls are probably the most favorite toy with any kid, particularly boys. Take the kid to an open space and try playing with the ball by kicking the same.

Let the ball go to the child and see him kick the ball back again. When he is able to make contact with the ball, see the happiness on his face. He can probably play for hours with the ball.

• Catch me if you can

This is one of the most favorite games with toddlers and they can play the same for hours. It is preferable to take the child out in some open area for the game.

Run after the kid in slow motion as if you are trying to catch him. The child will run fast so that you cannot ‘catch’ him. See the fun on his face when you are not able to catch him. Make sure you do this in a safe area where there is no risk of injury to the child.

We hope these games will help you have hours of fun and laughter with your little toddler. Do share the games you play with them in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Jomphong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Toy Safety: How To Choose Safe Toys For Your Kids

baby with toyKids and toys seem to be inseparable from one another. If you enter a kid’s room, you will find all kinds of toys here and there. It is sheer joy to note the happiness on your kid’s face when you bring a new toy for them.

However, it is also important to note that if the right kinds of toys are not chosen, they might cause injuries to the child. In some unfortunate events, toys have also caused death in children.

Here are some safety rules that you must follow while purchasing toys for your little one:

  • Purchase toys that are made of natural and non-toxic materials. This is highly applicable for kids who are 1 year old or younger. At this age, children have the tendency of touching everything and then putting it directly in their mouth.
  • Buy toys according to age recommendations. This will help you in buying the toy that will be suitable for your kid’s age and his skill level.
  • For very young kids, choose to buy toys that are large in size. This is so that, in case they put the toy in their mouth, there are no chances of getting choked by the same. Good toy shops have testers that help test if the toy is safe for the child.
  • Do not give small kids things like coins, marbles, small balls and other small objects as these can be swallowed easily and can cause immediate choking. These might get stuck in the windpipe leading to difficulty in breathing and might cause death if right action is not taken at proper time.
  • Before handing over the toy to the child, check the same minutely for sharp edges or small loose parts. The child might get hurt from the sharp edges. Also if parts of toys like eyes, buttons, wheels etc are loose tighten them first. See that there are no loose ends on the toy.
  • If toys are battery operated ones, see that the case of the battery is closed tightly with screws. Do not give battery operated toys to small children. Children have a tendency of opening the case and taking out the battery. Sometimes there might be leakage from the battery and opening the case might cause serious problems.
  • It is also recommended that you avoid toys that have cords and strings attached to them as they might cause strangling.

So, next time before buying a toy for your little one, keep these simple things in mind for their safety and help your child enjoy their time playing with their toys.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Cope With Post-Partum Depression

mom and baby2Motherhood brings with it joy and immense happiness. Holding the little bundle in your arms can make you feel that you have the whole world in your arms.

However, for some women, becoming a mother brings with it emotional turmoil leading to post partum depression. One of the reasons for this is the hormonal imbalance that takes place in the body post child-birth.

Post-partum depression can begin in a woman after 1 to 2 weeks of child birth and can linger for a few months. She might be suddenly very happy and become tearful right the next moment.

She might feel extremely sad and lonely and lose her appetite. Sometimes the depression can continue for long and it becomes important to seek proper medical attention if things go out of hand.

Apart from seeking help from a medical professional, new moms can try these tips to help deal with post-partum depression, to some extent:

• Cry when you feel like it

Hormone levels remain at an all time high during pregnancy. After the child birth, all the hormones fall back to their normal levels. Experts believe that hormone secretion takes place through tears. So if you cry, it is a natural way of getting rid of those hormones, and also of the stress of being a new mom. In fact, you could feel much better after crying.

• Re-evaluate your balance

When you become a mother for the first time, there will only be one thing on your mind and that is your baby. However, there are many things that need attention along with your baby. Try and carry out a re-evaluation of the time required for everything, so that it will not stress you and let you handle your life while retaining your balance.

• Sleep as much as possible

When you become a new mum, you will sorely miss those peaceful sleeping hours at night. You will have to wake up to feed the baby, to see if it is dry and so on. But getting adequate sleep is also very important. If there is no one else to take care of the baby when you are asleep, catch up on your own sleep when the baby sleeps.

• Eat healthy and get some exercise

Regular exercise works to boost the levels of good hormones in the body and helps you fight depression. With increasing levels of endorphin due to exercising, your depression will reduce. Also eat a balanced and healthy diet to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need.

Following these tips, along with proper medical counseling, will definitely help combat the phase of postpartum blues that so many new moms go through.

Image courtesy of hyena reality / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Baby Is Afraid Of Strangers: SOS Moms Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Thanks to the parents below for their contributions.

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

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Buy Your Child’s First Bicycle

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

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

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

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

Size and Weight Matters:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teething Pains: Tips To Make Teething Less Troublesome

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

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

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

Cold Things:

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

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

Foods:

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

Pressure:

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

Medication:

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

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

Homeopathic Remedies:

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

Painkillers:

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

 

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Travelling Abroad With Kids: What To Keep In Mind

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

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

1. Select the Right Season:

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

2. Managing Jet Lag:

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

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

2. Avoid Long Flights:

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

3. Medicines:

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

4. Food:

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

5. Stroller:

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

6. Accommodation:

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

7. Health Check-Up:

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

8. Luggage:

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

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Buy: Toys That Develop Creativity

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

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

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

Open-End Toys

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

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

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

Art And Craft Activities

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

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

Pretend Role-play

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

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

Musical Toys

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thanks to all these parents for their great advice:

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

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Buy: Toys That Develop Curiosity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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