Category Archives: Bonding With Your Kid

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.

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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.

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

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

How to Develop Your Child’s Self-Esteem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Baby Talk: How It Helps Your Baby Learn Language

mom and babyFrom a very young age babies are actually learning language. Before they learn to speak, they are already communicating in different non-verbal ways like smiling or cooing.

Over time, parents also tend to decode all the communication and understand their needs. New research states that baby talk, or high-pitched, extended vowels from parents, help babies learn language quicker and pick up words faster.

What is Baby Talk?

Baby talk or ‘parentese’ is not about using language or words to attempt to sound like a baby. Rather, the language used to communicate with babies is the same that is used when chatting with an adult. However, the way it is spoken is more simple, repetitive and exaggerated.

Research states that baby talk or cooing helps babies develop several capabilities, such as the ability to differentiate different speech sounds, notice the line between words and a flow of speech, and learn the skills of getting acquainted with discrete phrases.

How to Support your Baby’s Language Development?

Studies have found that kids whose parents talked in parentese, i.e. talked to them at a higher pitch and with elongated vowels had learned nearly three times more words by the age of two. (Source)

This comparison was made against kids whose parents used more adult-directed language. So using baby talk can actually help improve your child’s vocabulary, which is probably why parents do it instinctively.

Keep in mind these guidelines to help support your baby’s language development. Foremost, respond to all your baby’s cries. In the first couple of months and for some even a year, communication is mainly through crying. By responding to their cries, babies are assured that they would be listened to and that their needs would be met.

Secondly, try and initiate conversations with your little one. Emphasis on responding to their coo’s before you coo back. This conversation practice helps them understand that they would be responded to when they try to communicate.

Try to talk to your baby naturally and at all instances. It is a fact that babies understand many things before they actually speak. By regularly talking to your baby and listening to them, they will eventually comprehend and speak your language.

It may feel awkward the first few times you do this, however, it is sure to make an impact. Talk to your baby about daily happenings and about things that you are going to do with them. For example: “Mommy is going to feed you some stewed apple. Do you like it?”

Emphasize singing and storytelling as finger plays and movements and teach them words with physical prompts attached to them. For example the baby can ask to listen to the clapping song by clapping their hands, even before he or she actually learn how to say it.

Story books and other books with attractive pictures are a hit with most babies. Repetitive reading will encourage more steps for interacting with the little ones. To summarize, the most important thing to help babies learn language is to enjoy language and communicate with baby talk at all instances with them.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Babies And Technology – How They Work Together

child talking on mobileWhether we like it or not, modern babies have to grow with technology. With both parents off to work and a busy schedule to maintain when they are home, it is technology that can help our children grow and mature into independent and educated beings.

As they grow, smart gadgets help us mind their routine, help them engage with the world around them, and when they are old enough, can be used to inspire the basics of learning and education.

Technology can be used such that it makes parents’ lives easier, without taking it over. A good example is power folding strollers that come with LCD dashboards featuring cartoons and graphics, to keep your baby engaged and lull them to sleep.

Baby monitors that help parents supervise their baby’s activities, when they have to go out of the room, are also useful to parents. Technology can actually help your baby’s curiosity grow in a good way, but parents need to understand the limits of using it to keep their kids occupied.

Some parents feel that the less babies are exposed to technology, the better. If the baby tries to borrow your phone to play while you are busy, it’s all good. But if this becomes a habit and the baby stays glued to a screen – whether it’s a television, tablet, computer or mobile device – it can become a problem.

Humans build their personality and learn how to relate to others early in their life, and when it’s time to play with your friends or talk to your parents, is doesn’t do any good to have your earphones plugged in. Family time is important and technological gadgets can hamper the formation of good relationships.

The best thing that parents can do is to be a good role model for your kids and learn to disconnect when you need to be present with your family. If you’re telling your child to pay attention to people and play with friends, but stay glued to your Blackberry all day, you’re not setting the right example for them. After all, kids do as we do, not as we say.

The key to not letting technology intrude into our lives is mindfulness and the parent’s ability to embrace it. Also, set limits on how much time your child is allowed to spend in front of a screen, whether they are watching television, playing games or browsing the internet.

How did your child react to technology and gadgets? What was your baby’s experience with technology? Do share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Attachment Parenting – What Is It? How Does It Help?

father cuddling daughterAttachment Parenting refers to a style of upbringing that would eventually bring out the best in the baby. It is something that comes to parents instinctively and more importantly comes naturally to parents.

Attachment Parenting can take several forms and really depends upon the bond between parents and the baby. Parents learn to realize the baby’s demands from behavioral cues.

Whenever a cue is responded to, the baby becomes more adapted to the behavior. Over time, babies become better cue givers and parents, better cue readers.

Key components

Attachment parenting is more “child centered” than “parent centered”. Parents in this case need to read cues and be responsive to the demands of the baby. This will basically involve:

• Co-sleeping: This could either be in the same room (safety precautions in place) or in the same bed. The bedtime is regulated as per the baby’s demands and not the parent’s schedules.

• On-demand feeding: The baby is allowed to set his own feeding schedule (bottle fed / breast fed). This is also accompanied by self-weaning.

• Cry responsiveness: Parents need to get the cue early on and reach to a child’s distress before it gets uncontrollable. Not letting the child “cry it out” will foster a permanent behavioral response.

• Touching and holding: Regardless of the child being cradled or cuddled, AP suggests keeping the child physically near. This may even involve wearing a backpack arrangement.

How does it help?

A secure attachment with parents ensures the baby’s trust and they are better able to communicate their feelings. A loving empathetic relationship can be the core of a confident childhood. This is your child’s foundation to interacting in the social community later in life.

According to a recent study, babies who get constant cuddling tend to sleep better, manage stress more easily and exhibit better autonomic functions, such as heart rate. Oxytocin – the feel-good, bonding hormone – increases in both mothers and babies during cuddle sessions, and it is likely to rise similarly in breast milk too, giving babies an additional boost every time they nurse. (Source)

Attachment Parenting helps in:

  • Enhancing the sense of well-being
  • Building self-confidence
  • Balanced emotions
  • Fulfilling intimate relationships
  • Better rebound from loss and disappointment later in life
  • Support-seeking and sharing personality

Parenting is not just about an emotional bond but a disciplined behavioral model that is set with some values. With so much being said about the different types of parenting and the roles that each parent play in a baby’s upbringing, parents are often confused about the best path to take.

However, attachment parenting is something that comes naturally and cannot be forced. The nurturing connection forms a secure relationship that continues for a lifetime. The proponents of attachment parenting believe it is the best way to raise independent, empathetic and secure children.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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