Category Archives: Nursery

How To Help Your Child Enjoy Preschool?

child preschoolPreschool offers many benefits. One being that it’s a great place for kids to interact with other children of a similar age group and learn how to share, take turns and follow rules.

However, going to preschool comes with its fair share of emotional ups and downs for both the child and the parents.

To ensure you and your child benefit from a good relationship with other kids, it is important for parents to take an active role in their children’s nursery life.

Read on to find out more about the developmental milestones of preschool years, as well as suggestions for how you could help your kids learn to enjoy their preschool years.

Easing Your Child’s Fears

Spend time with your child and talk about preschool much before it starts. Right before the first day of their school; introduce them to activities that would take place in their classroom.

For instance, a child familiar with scribbling on paper with crayons at home will find it comforting to find the same crayons and paper in their preschool classroom.

Interaction

On the very first day of preschool, spend some quality time understanding what your child did on the first day. This interaction is very important for you and will tell you about the child’s experience, activities, opportunities and games that can be planned for your child as they begin to settle in, grow and discover.

Also don’t be too anxious about leaving your child alone, if they start crying when you leave them. The most effective way of parting is to smile and explain to them that you will be back soon.

Support

If your child is reluctant to go to preschool, make sure that there is a staff member who is ready to help with the transfer from your care to the classroom when they arrive there.

Some kids might just get along really well with their classmates, while other kids might need a private cuddle or maybe a story from their teacher before joining the group.

Many children take time to adjust to their preschool days, but eventually they do settle down to the routine and form a good bond with their teachers and peers.

Moreover, it is very important for them to prosper in this area, as when he or she gets older; they will be expected to go through even more social interaction at other academic institutions.

 Image courtesy of Jeanne Claire Maarbes / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Telling Your Little One About Special-Needs Children

mom-talking-to-toddlerMommies, if you have recently been to see the movie Barfi, as most of us did, or if you’ve read about it or have seen any of its trailers, you probably already know that the main actors are a little special, with special needs and a very special and beautiful life….

As a mother myself, what I definitely loved about the movie is that though the characters are deaf-dumb and autistic, none of it is used to generate pity, and instead, we are shown what a beautiful and ‘special’ life they have, blessed to be able to enjoy life at its fullest.

When my daughter watched the movie with us, she obviously had a lot of questions, her first one being why can’t the person speak or hear, or why does this person have such problems (as a 5-year-old, she felt that the difficulties faced by autistic people were especially hard because no one seems to try and understand what they say or feel!).

I was very sure that I wanted her to know the realities, yet make sure that she wouldn’t end up pitying or feeling sorry for those with special needs. I told her that even if they can’t speak or hear, or have difficulties expressing themselves freely to others, they do have a special language of their own, one that comes from the heart, one that is filled with love, governed by love, and one that can only be understood by people who are loving and caring themselves.

I know its quite hard to explain the entire concept to a kid, that too keeping in mind that your child will form an impression of special-needs people based on what you tell them and how you tell them. But you know what, children are really smart and understanding, and when you tell them something in the right way, they do understand and listen!

Don’t avoid such topics with your little one, because sooner or later, they will get to know, and it’s always best that you are the one who tells them the realities of life, and explain to them the responsibilities of growing into a wonderful human being.

A few simple yet effective ways in which you can help your kids understand about special-needs people is by:mother_child_talking_rex

  • Don’t shy away from showing your babies movies that have special-needs people
  • Don’t show movies that show special needs people in a bad light
  • Talk to your kids about people with special needs
  • Encourage them to mix with and make friends with special needs people
  • Let your child feel that special-needs people are normal too, just different in behaviour, like most people are different
  • Don’t pity a special-needs person in front of your child, and remember to be polite and understanding in your behaviour towards them, as your child will pick up your behaviour
  • To make your child believe, you need to first believe yourself that people with special needs aren’t an illness, but just a different way of living

 

Feeding routine for your little one

This week, Manasi Joshi, mother of a 7 month old baby boy, asked us about what meal she can start giving her baby at this age along with her own feed.

She has already started with Cerelac and Khichdi. She also wants to know a routine which she should follow for her baby.

And, as we truly believe that ‘Mommy knows best’, various moms on our Facebook page have given their valued suggestions to help Manasi.

Here are some solid foods, that they recommend you should start with:

  • Boiled and mashed fruits with yogurt
  • Vegetable khichdi
  • Ragi malt
  • Mashed fruits
  • Vegetable soup
  • Mashed and boiled vegetables like potato, carrot, beans, peas, cauliflower with a little salt
  • Moong dal
  • Banana shake or any other fruit shake
  • Coconut water
  • Sabudana khichdi, suji kheer, upma, oats kheer, jau dalia or wheat dalia
  • Ground leaves of palak and soya saag with little bit of honey
  • Read Annabel Karmel’s book – Super Foods for Babies and Children

Some of our special mommies have also shared their routine:

Saumya Khare –

  • 1 meal of Cerelac & khichadi/dal-chawal
  • 2 meals of fruits
  • 3 times milk

Sharmili Navab –
7 a.m.: Wake up and nurse for about 20 minutes.
7:30 a.m.: Play on the floor or outside with her toys.
8 a.m.: Breakfast, usually rice cereal or oatmeal and fruit (baby food).
8:30 a.m.: More play time.
Between 9 and 9:30 a.m.: Nurse for about 15 minutes, then nap.
11 a.m.: Wake up and play.
Noon: Lunch (baby food — a fruit and a vegetable).
12:30 p.m.: Play.
1:30 p.m.: Nurse for about 20 minutes, then nap.
3:30 p.m.: Wake up and play.
4 p.m.: Nurse for about 20 minutes.
5 p.m.: Dinner (baby food).
5:30 p.m.: Play, go for a walk.
6:30 p.m.: Bath.
7 p.m.: Nurse for about 20 minutes, then bed.
1:30 a.m.: She usually wakes up for a 20-minute nursing session.

Cynthia Haller –

  • 3 solid meals a day along with the usual formula feed
  • The amount of solids in the beginning was very small, not more that 4-5 tea spoons
  • As she turned 5 months old and she was ready for solids, I started introducing my baby to a new food every week, never more than one, until she was 9 months old.

Debleena Choudhury Sarkar’s –

  • My baby boy takes his last morning feed (mother’s feed) between 7.30 -8.30am.
  • He wakes up at around 9am and plays for a while.
  • Around 10am she gives him 1 spoon full Cerelac feed. Then nap.
  • Then, oil massage and shower between 11am & 12.
  • Around 12.30pm, boiled & mashed apple. My kid loves it. Sometimes little banana. Then nap.
  • Next, around 2.30-3pm again, mother’s feed and then nap.
  • Around 4.30-5pm, second oil massage followed her 2nd feed of 1 spoon full Cerelac feed.
  • Rest of the evening & night he is on mother’s feed.
  • Use honey and figs instead of sugar

Pooja Dhawan Verma –

9.00am-bottle feed
9:30-play time
10:15-take bath
11:00-my feed for 15 min. then, a nap
12:15-get up and take bottle feed
1:30-some solid like khichdi, daliya, custard or besan seera
2:30-my feed
3:30-bottle feed and nap
5:30 noon -biscuits mashed in milk or a fruit
7:30-bottle feed
9:30-my feed and nap
10:00-moong dal or vegetable soup
11:00pm -bottle feed
12:00pm-my feed and sleep

Rajitha Bhupalam –

  • Morning- ragi malt or sometimes Cerelac
  • Afternoon- homemade cooked grains powder and dry fruits powder, which is very healthy
  • Evening- kichidi
  • Night- boiled mashed fruits and vegetables
  • in between -nurse her whenever she needs, after 1 yr you can give her extra milk, banana, chapathi, egg, bread and whatever food you eat try to give the baby also

Kirti Sharma Handa  –

1. Breastfeed your baby only at night

2. Wake up early morning usually 6 or 7am and breastfeed him

3. Give Cerelac at 10 am and then at 12 give a bottle of milk

4. 1 or 2 pm you can give khichdi with curd

5. Give fruits at least once a day

Note – Many moms recommend not giving too much Cerelac to your baby. Try giving them homemade food at most times.

We thank all the mommies for the suggestions to Manasi and many other moms who are facing the same situation – Namrata Samel Dixit, Thazni Kabir, Surbhi Shukla, Nehali Khoche, Pooja Sachdeva, Renuka Patel, Supriya Tawde, Joie Bose Chatterjee, Deepa Shree, Shweta Manjul Jaiswal, Nisha Sharma, Veena Giri , Vaishnavi Seshadri, Shama Desai, Pooja Dhawan Verma, Surbhi Shukla,  Sutiksha Devliyal, Aditi Goel, Deepty Mundhra, Namita Jain, Pallavi Kocharekar Dabgotra, Sharmili Navab, Prabhjot Kaur,  Kumkum Pandey,  Dew Sengupta, Shweta Pandharipande Maurya, Neha Wadhawan Mehta, Shikha Barnabas, Anitha Santosh, Shilpi Anand, Shilpa Vishal Ranjan

A special thanks to Hitesh Thakur, father to a 3 year old.

Bibs and More For A Clean Meal Time

Mums, as much as you are trying to make your little one get familiar with meal times and trying out new food, there’s one thing that can definitely help make the process a little more cleaner and less messier – BIBS! Here’s a few that will make meal times fun and less messy!

 

Soft and simple to keep meal times clean

 

 

 

A simple cute bib for your cutie!

 

 

 

 

 

Comfortable set of wash cloths to gently clean baby’s face

 

 

 

 

Cute way to keep you tension free and let your baby enjoy food.

 

 

 

A fun way to keep the food off your little one’s clothes. Dishwasher proof and easy to clean and re-use.

 

 

 

 

Easy-to-tie and adjust. Use and throw.

 

 

 

Catches spills, easy to tie and clean.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Finger Foods For Kids

Whether you’re going on a road trip with baby, a small journey, throwing a party for the little ones, or simply want to give your kid something healthy to eat in between meals, finger foods are always quite a hit with parents, as they are non-messy, easy to eat and can also be used to include added nutrition to your kid’s diet.

We prepared a list of the top 10 finger foods that will not only make munching time less complicated, but will also try and pack in some nutrition, while being yummy:

  1. Baked potatoes: these are really easy to make. You can choose to put them in the oven for a few minutes and add some butter, black pepper and salt to it. tasty and healthy.
  2. Cheese slices: no extra effort, just get them out of the refrigerator and hand to your child on a plate. Delicious and healthy all at once.
  3. Rajma salad: if you’re cooking rajma (kidney beans) at home, just take out a portion of salted boiled rajma and add some chopped onions, lime juice and black pepper to it. this will not only taste delicious, it will also give your child some much needed energy.
  4. Grated carrots: Hand over a bowl of grated carrots to your little one as they play and munch.
  5. Open Sandwich: Just place some grated/chopped veggies on a piece of bread, add a slice of cheese and some ketchup and sprinkle a bit of salt. Toast one side slightly on the pan with butter. To make it easier, cut into smaller bite-sized pieces.
  6. Frozen green peas: Get them off the freezer, thaw and put in warm water. Drain, add salt and black pepper, and a dash of butter. Healthy tasty and quick.
  7. Biscuits with toppings: Unleash your creativity and turn those cookies and biscuits into healthy tastier bites. You can choose from a variety of healthy toppings.
  8. Spinach and Corn Sandwich: These are quick and easy to make, and almost all homes with a kid have a pack of corn in the fridge. So make good use of it and add a power-packed sandwich bite for your little one.
  9. Roti Rolls: Easy to make and to make it less messy, cut them up in smaller bite size portions.
  10. Fruit Salad: Toss up a salad with various fruits and add a dash of chaat masala and lime juice.

Helping Your Child Love Fruits and Vegetables

Yes, we know it’s quite a difficult task to get your baby to like these. But as parents, aren’t you always trying. Threats, reasoning, love, anger, orders – you try every single method to try and make sure that your child gets the adequate amount of vegetable and fruits in the daily diet. But mums, if your baby isn’t interested while eating these, or if your baby is eating vegetables only out of fear, chances are, it won’t really benefit your baby as much as it otherwise can.

There are a few ways that as parents you can try out with your kid at home, depending on whether your child is a baby, a toddler, a young child or a teenager. Try and use the methods that will best suit your baby and you:

One golden rule to remember is never to give up. Try introducing new flavours, even though your baby might constantly refuse. You never know when they will start developing a taste for it.

Plan out meals with your child. Sit and talk about what your baby would like to eat, and then try and see how creatively you can include vegetables in them.

Make fruits and vegetables a regular part of all your meals. If they are not part of the main meal, try and add them in as many dishes as you can – grated, chopped, diced, mashed, baked, steamed.

Place bowls of fruits around the house and always keep a plate of fresh salad on the dining table.

Make interesting smoothies, shakes and juices fresh at home.

Make breakfast healthier by adding fresh fruits to cornflakes, or using fruits or chopped vegetables in sandwiches, porridges, toasts, poha, idlis, dosas, paranthas.

Make fruits and vegetables a part of snacks. Mix and match them with interesting flavours.

Shop together with your kid for fruits and vegetables.

Place a plate of vegetables and fruits on the table and play an eat-the game. ‘Eat the vegetable that is great for eyes and a favourite of rabbits.’ Or, ‘Eat the vegetable that was Popeye’s favourite.’

Let your child participate in cooking. Ask them to help with vegetables (bursting the capsicum, cutting the spinach with a big baby scissor and so on). Get them to clean them up for you before they break or cut them.

Have a colour day at the meal table. For an orange-colour day, go for pumpkins and oranges, for a green day go for spinach, beans, lady fingers, cucumbers, grapes, sweet lime, guava, grapes and so on.

Sneaking In Nutrition In Everyday Ways

So what is a common phrase that almost all mothers all over the world are so used to hearing but wish they never had to hear? From a little tot to a hyper-active toddler, almost all of them will sometime or the other begin saying that very sentence that we so dread hearing – ‘I don’t want to eat!’

In the tiny tot stage they will show their displeasure by moving away from food, spitting it out, making faces, refusing to open their mouth no matter how much you cajole them. Well if you are thinking this is going to change miraculously once they reach the toddler age, you are in for a surprise, for no matter how grown up they will become, the problems related to eating will only escalate as the years pass. The only consolation is that, at this stage, you can at least fool them and still make them eat what you want them to, using devious means and some scheming. Who said being a parent was simple?

Ensuring that your child gets all the nutrition for proper growth and development is YOUR JOB and not the child’s. A baby is a baby, and that is how babies will behave, but as parents, we can certainly try and do some damage control.

There are many ways to sneak in nutrition in all that your baby has. Learn how:

1. If you’re making khichdi, make sure to put in lots of greens and vegetables.

2. Try and put crushed almonds in your baby’s food whenever you can, even in a dal or khichdi!

3. While making daal, soak in a spoon of daliya too. Also, many days, instead of cooking just one kind of daal, you can mix in different kinds of daal to make a mixed-daal. Not only will your baby get a new taste each day, it will be extra nutritious and you can add in some vegetables to up the health quotient.

4. If your child is fond of soups, use lots of vegetables/chicken and make a delicious soup at home, none of those off-the-shelf instant soups.

5. Make custard and include an assortment of fruits to mix with the custard.

6. Boil peas and corn together and sprinkle a little salt and lemon/butter and black pepper, and a healthy, filling and tasty evening snack is ready.

7. Dry-roast a little bhel (rice puffs) and mix it with corn-flakes, dried curry leaves, a little roasted cumin, salt, a dash of turmeric, some nuts and cut almonds and keep all this – a ready-to-munch snack filled with nutrition.

8. If your family has eggs, while making dosa and idli, you can mix some eggs in the same batter.

9. If your baby loves cheese and butter, which are a good source of energy and nutrition at this stage if given in the right amount, there’s nothing like making your child munch on cheese slices in between meals. Also try and include some form of fat, like ghee (clarified butter) or butter in your child’s meals.

10.Make yummy green soups for your little one using lots of green leafy vegetables cooked in delicious flavours.

11.Which child doesn’t love pasta and noodles? Turn these into delicious and healthy treats by adding lots of vegetables, corn and anything else you would like to give.

12.Milk with chavanpraash/honey is something you can try giving your child. And during the rainy seasons or winters, you can make a warm glass of ginger milk and add a dash of turmeric, which is always good to prevent/cure ailments related to the throat.

13.If your child likes curd, just add a few slices of fruits or mix in some grated veggies and hand it over.

14.For those families that are non-vegetarian, adding fish, chicken, eggs are sure to add lots of protein to the daily meal. Not only can these be mixed into other dishes, they can be prepared as single dishes too. For those who do not prefer non-veg, substitute the same with paneer or soya.

Vegetarian Foods To Help Your Baby Gain Weight and Recuperate

This week we had a very important query from one of our FirstCry mums. Mum Kriti Sharma, mother of 08-month-old baby boy Vihaan, wrote in saying, ‘Vihaan has just recovered from an illness. He has lost a little weight and become weak. Please suggest some age-appropriate vegetarian food that would help him recuperate and gain weight.’

As we do each time a mum comes to us with a query, we put the question to all of you mums out there, and you wonderful mommies came back with a number of recipes and ideas to help the little one. Isn’t it right when we believe that Mommy Knows Best? Read on to know the various recipes, some and tried-and-tested ideas and some new innovative ones!

According to mum Aarti Vedpathak, nachani with crushed almonds should help the baby, while mum Uzma Kazi says that daliya with almond should be great. Also, a balance of vegetable soups and semi-solid food from 06th month on should be good for baby’s health. Mum Sara Khan seconds that, while mum Simonelle Hessing agrees, adding that in addition, dal and rice with a little bit of ghee should work well.

Mum Priya Jain feels that a baby should be given lots of fresh fruits or shakes, which babies and kids usually love. Also, vegetable soups with some amount of beetroot helps in providing strength while crushed or grated almonds are good for baby’s brain development and growth.

Mum Monika Mahendru says suji ki kheer will make the baby gain weight, and mum Parveen Julka Verma says suji ki kheer with grated soaked almonds and banana is very good for baby’s growth.Mum Shrish Rathore swears by mashed banana and milk, while mums Sudarsana Venugopal and Shabnam Desai recommend ragi/nachni khichdi, sooji kheer, upma, daliya and mashed potatoes with butter.

Quick Recipe 1: Take 01 banana, mash it with spoon, add malaai and crushed sugar. Baby will love it.

Mum Goldy Gera says lentils and spinach in the form of soups or khichdi is ideal for baby’s growth and is also frequently recommended by pediatricians.

Remember: While most mums helped mum Kirti with innovative and healthy recipes, mum Garima Gulati Bhutani says that, while she used to worry about her son’s weight, she also realised that it is more important to feed them the right ingredients than only trying to make them eat all the time, as it will help the baby grow properly. Mum Charanya Madan says don’t just concentrate on making baby put on weight, make sure that baby is active and happy, that is always an indication of good health. Weight is just a number after all!

Quick Recipe 2: Fry some wheat on tava without oil and when it starts giving a nice fragrance, ground it in a mixer. In a pan, add some ghee, some ground elaichi (cardamom), the ground wheat and a little sugar. Stir. Add some water and quick for about 20 minutes. Shared by mum Naina Lalwani

Mum Nishi Rampuria says that giving baby a tomato soup mixed with yellow moong dal, apple and a little salt and sugar should definiltey help.

Mum Meenakshi Tandon says grind apple in a grinder and give baby everyday. Also, soak 02 almonds in the night and make a fine paste in the morning by rubbing the almond on a rough surface and add some jaiphal (nutmeg) and chuara (dry dates) – good for baby’s mind and body. In the afternoon, make a khichdi of yellow moong dal and daliya and add a little ghee, turmeric and salt. Also, give some mashed banana with butter, to make the immune system strong. Important: Don’t give too much of everything at the same time, make sure you give a little bit of everything to baby, preferably after gaps of about 2 hours.

Think: Though many mums have advised using nuts in baby’s diet, mum Swati Verma Mathur says that it’s important to be cautious while giving babies nuts, and that one should avoid feeding nuts to baby before the first birthday. We would advise mums to have a word with baby’s pediatrician first, in order to avoid any allergies or discomfort.

Quick Recipes by mum Maya Silavat:

Morning: Prepare normal khichdi with a little bit of ghee and give your baby along with a little milk without sugar.

Afternoon: Softly cooked rice with potato gravy mixed with ghee and give baby with curd – curd makes baby’s body temperature normal.

Evening: Give daliya cooked with 5-6 kishmish (raisin)

Night: Daliya

In addition to the home recipes, we asked mums about what, according to them, is a healthy vegetarian option to help babies gain weight and strength.

SPECIAL RECIPE AND TIP BY MUM PALLAVI PARAB-NAIK:

I have been giving this recipe to my son since he was 08 months old till he was almost 2. My son is now 03 and I am now giving him a different version of the same. This is a vegetarian recipe and easy for babies to digest. Recipe: Take half a bowl of uncooked rice, 02 teaspoons each of pulses (moong, tur, chana, masoor, wheat) and add 02 tablespoons of groundnuts. Mix the above ingredients, wash them properly and dry in the sun. Dry roast them in a pan until they become light and crispy (make sure it doesn’t turn dark brown, only light brown). Let it cool and grind in a mixer to make a fine powder. This mixture stays good for almost a week to 10 days (can be refrigerated). For a single feeding, take 01 tablespoon of the mixture and about half a bowl (small) of boiled water and let it cook for 05 minutes. Once it comes to boil, it will turn into a white/cream coloured paste. Add salt to taste and half a teaspoon of ghee. You may add water, depending on the consistency and your baby’s preference. Pediatrician suggestion –  Add half a teaspoon of dry fruit powder (mix of cashew, almond, pista, apricot) at least 2-3 times a week. This recipe will help the child recuperate and gain back weight.

The Results:

Highest number of votes – Fruits and shakes

Second highest number of votes – vegetable soup

Third highest number of votes – ragi, nachni or suji khichdi

Least votes – crushed almonds

8 Quick Ways To Ease Your Little One Into The Nursery

Mumsies, while you’re trying to get back into your relationship as a couple, one of the first steps to start the balancing of roles of mother and partner is to help your little one sleep in the baby room, or nursery.

1. Begin by doing up the room in bright and cheerful colours, something that will instantly appeal to the little one and add a fun element to the room. Use stickers, wall decals and wallpaper to do it up in style.

2. All babies love soft toys, so why not do something creative in the nursery with soft toys? Deck up the shelves, or place them around the floor for baby to want to play with. 

3. A colourful and soft play mat will be a sure hit – babies can crawl, sit and play on it, even doze off to sleep! So get one now!

4. Bright and cheery curtains in baby’s favourite characters will prove quite a hit.

5. Why not get a display shelf that allows you to showcase baby’s favourite items?

6. Brighten up the room with some fun lights.

7. Make it your baby’s very own personal space by putting up a picture/activity board, showing off baby’s pictures and creative side.

8. A comfortable cot, complete with favourite characters on the bedspread and the pillow to accompany baby to sleep.

Top 10 Board Games To Play With Your Little One

Love playing with your little one but want to get the entire family involved? We give you a list of the top 10 board games that the entire family can play, with some cheating when your little one is involved if the game is not entirely age-ready for your kid. Get one home and enjoy!

  1. UNO: This is one of the most popular games that families love to play. Not a typical card game, this one will let your little one grasp the concept of colour and numbers, till the time they actually learn to play. Ideal for 2 and above.
  2. Life: A fun kid/family game that tells your child about the importance of decision-making in life. Questions likes, will you study, will you go to college, what will happen if you do or don’t will take players through different modes in the game. A fun way to show your kids the way of life. Ideal for 4 and above.
  3. Puzzle Games: There are many board puzzles that will let your child develop vocabulary, memory skills and creative thinking. Ideal for 2 and above.
  4. Tell-A-Story Game: Get a story-jigsaw game that will let your child build a story, step-by-step. Ideal for age 3 and above.
  5. Scrabble: Your little one won’t learn all spellings at one go, but this is a fun way to introduce spellings to your little one and help them learn as they grow. Ideal age 4 and above.
  6. Find The Difference: This is a fun board game that will sharpen your child’s observing skills and let them spot the difference between two similar pictures. Ideal age 3 and above.
  7. Baby Animals: This fun board game will teach your baby the names of animals and their babies. Ideal age 3 and above.
  8. Memory Game: A stack of thick cards that come with picture pairs. Playing will sharpen your child’s memory and observation powers. Ideal age 3 and above.
  9. Monopoly: Your child won’t immediately learn the tricks and tips of this one, but an early introduction to Monopoly will give your little one a lesson in the importance of money and decisions. Get one in a kid edition. Ideal for 4 and above.
  10. Family Game Stack: Get one of those family game packs that come with the classic games like Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Candy Land and some more.

Choosing The Age-Appropriate Toy For Your Little One

A good toy should excite and encourage your child at every age. Whether it’s a rattle or a complex board game, if it can’t challenge a growing mind, it’s really no use. FirstCry recommends choosing toys according to the age of your little one. We’ve come up with a list that will help you make an informed choice.

0-6 months: For the first two months, your baby will hardly need any toy. Once they enter the third month, give them toys that will help them see bright colours, hear some music/sound, suck, grasp, shake.

Ideal toys for this age-group are: rattles, wind chimes, mobiles, sound books, teethers, small balls with bells inside, rolling toys.

6-12 months: As your babies begin to crawl and explore the world around, give them toys that will help them explore, observe and use hand and leg movements. Let your child play with toys that let them put things in and out, make them understand concepts like up down, big small, let them stack and build.

Ideal toys for this age group are:

  • Blocks – big blocks, colour blocks, shape blocks, soft blocks
  • Pull Along toys – vehicles, wooden toys, rolling toys,
  • Musical Toys  – Drums, rattles, chimes
  • Books – Picture books, Musical books, Bathing time books, large books

1-2 years: Your baby will now crawl, walk and run! So it’s only natural that their toys too need to keep up with this little bundle of energy. Your baby is also ready to co-ordinate well now, so it is advisable to buy toys that will help them with proper co-ordination.

Ideal toys for this age group are :

2-3 years: You will need toys that will enhance their creativity. Since they can identify words, animals or characters now, but things that will interest them

Ideal toys

Remember, toys are never a replacement for the quality time you spend with your little one, so make sure you do a lot of that!

Monsoon Dressing

Though we all look forward to the cool monsoon months after the scorching heat, more often than not, the season brings its share of  infections that end up making our little ones sick. Since the monsoon brings a sudden change in temperature, it’s crucial that your baby is dressed properly to adjust to the cold as well as the humidity that the rains bring.

What to Make Your Little One Wear:

Loose cotton clothes

If it’s hot and humid, choose only loose cotton clothes for baby to wear during the day. This will give baby’s skin enough room to breathe. Tight dresses will make your baby uncomfortable and make movement restricted Make sure that your little one is properly covered at all times. At night if the weather gets cold, go for night-suits that are roomy yet full-length. Use a cardigan or sweater if temperatures drop further. Make your baby wear  cotton socks. If it gets wet, change immediately. Do not let baby wear anything that is wet or damp as this will lead to fungal infections. If the temperatures are cold and your baby is comfortable in woollens, make sure you check regularly to see that your baby is not sweating, as some babies tend to sweat inside woollens. Keep extra underclothes for your baby to wear during the rains. If your baby is in cloth diapers, chances of wetting the dress are more. Always keep some extra cloth-diapers and dresses  ready.

Using totally dried clothes

Monsoon means longer time to dry your washed dresses.  Make sure that baby does not wear partially dried clothes, as this will lead to fungal infections. Ensure that baby’s inner wear are made out of cotton. Do not use plastic underclothes as this  will irritate baby’s soft skin and cause rashes. While storing clothes inside the cupboards, take them out every one or two days or whenever the weather is a little sunny and dry them properly. This will help avoid clothes getting damp and moldy.

When you step out

If you’re going out with baby, use  a cotton cardigan and well-fitting shoes. Rubber and vinyl rain shoes and flip flops work best during these months. You can also get skid proof shoes that reduce the chances of slipping and falling. Go for shoes that are covered properly. Make sure that your baby wears socks or shoes at home. If your little one catches a cold or gets a fever, wrap properly in a quilt or blanket, but make sure baby is comfortable and not sweating profusely. Try and dress your baby in cottons if your baby is less than a year old, as, newborns and very small babies are susceptible to illnesses and rashes and cotton dresses are the best choice for them during monsoons.

Using the right rainwear

Use a rain coat or an umbrella while stepping out in the rain, and once used, make sure it’s dried properly. Carry a few extra dresses and undergarments to change in case the  clothes get wet.

Foot Care for Toddlers

Now that your baby is capable of cruising or walking, make him wear a pair of sandals or shoes with non-skid soles. Do not make them wear booties as it might cause them to slip. For stepping out, choose a pair of shoes with vinyl-coated canvas exterior. This will keep them stay warm and dry all the time. For toddlers who are over 24 months, sandals are good choices for home. Rubber shoes, rubber sandals  and gumboots  are the best for monsoon. These can well protect your child’s little feet and are available in a wide range of colours.

Apart from that, floaters and slip-ons are ideal to wear at home or for a casual outing. You get cute pair of slip-ons for girls  and funky slip-ons for boys . Do not let them wear slippers or shoes without a good grip. Offer only the ones with a sturdy sole that can let your little one walk steadily and stably on a wet road. Older kids can wear a pair of flip flops at home.

Common Home Remedies Every Mom Should Know

With family units becoming smaller, we don’t have the luxury of grandmas living with us and who can provide us with common home remedies for almost any ailment. Every time our children so much as catch a cold, we run to the nearest health clinic seeking medical help. This could be avoidable if moms knew some common home remedies. The following home remedies are time tested and have worked to everybody’s satisfaction!

Home remedies for common cold: Children are very susceptible and they catch the cold virus at the drop of a hat. And with the monsoon in full swing and the weather change, it is common for kids to catch a cold and cough. We’ve compiled a list of “Granny’s Remedies” for all you moms!

Common Cold

Here are a few home remedies to deal with common cold:

  1. Grate a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger in two glasses of water and bring it to boil. Cool it and add a teaspoon of honey and a few drops of lemon juice. Strain the mixture and drink it warm. This is known to reduce all the discomfiture associated with cold.
  2. For nose blocks add a few fresh leaves of eucalyptus in water and bring it boil. Inhaling the steam from this boiled water can unblock the nose.
  3. Cold is almost always accompanied by body aches, a mild fever and loss of appetite. But the body needs fluids. Taking in as much as fluids as possible and resting well under a warm blanket helps a lot to get rid of the cold.

Home remedy for cough and sore throat: The best possible home remedy for sore throat is to gargle. Heat water to make it bearably hot and add common salt to it and let it dissolve well. Gargling twice or even thrice a day with this helps alleviate the suffering.

Kids love getting wet in the rain! If the hair has not been dried properly, it can lead to dandruff in the rainy season. Here are some simple effective ways to battle that dandruff.

Home remedies for getting rid of dandruff:

  1. Take a cup of curd and add a teaspoon of pepper into it. Mix well and apply it the scalp thoroughly. Let it remain for an hour before washing it off. Continue this treatment every fourth day to permanently getting rid of dandruff.
  2. Yet another remedy is to add the juice of 1 full lime to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil. Mix well and apply this mixture to the scalp. Wash it off with any shampoo after an hour.

Home remedy for diaper rash: Diaper rashes are very common in infants. The best home remedy for this is to bathe the baby in warm water with 2 table spoons of baking soda added to it. In fact place the baby in the tub filled with this water for 10 minutes or so before toweling him. It works like magic.

Home remedies for diarrhea:

  1. The first and the most obvious solution would be to replace the fluids lost. Make sure that the fluid intake in times such as this is more than the usual. Do not wait till the children begin to show signs of dehydration.
  2. Bananas are good to get rid of diarrhea. Take ripe bananas and mash them well if you need to provide this remedy for an infant or a toddler.
  3. Roast cumin seeds and powder them. Mix it in curd well. Consuming this helps get rid of diarrhea.

Home remedies to get rid of ear wax:  Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in to the ear using an eye dropper. The hydrogen peroxide acts on the hardened wax and softens it. You can do this twice a day for two days, after which gently remove the softened ear wax with a soft cloth or cotton bud.

Home remedies for constipation:

  1. Eating fiber rich fruits like apples, oranges, guavas, grapes, papaya and figs help getting rid of constipation by clearing the bowel movements.
  2. Drinking a lot of water helps soften the stools and get rid of constipation.
  3. Eating vegetables with a lot of fiber content like cabbage, cauliflower, and greens like spinach help cure constipation.

Home remedies for fever: Fever with body temperatures rising to 102 degrees is not uncommon in children. Getting a fever only shows that the body is fighting some infection. Children are more prone to get fever more often than adults because their immune system is still weak. While it is a good thing to go get the help of a medical professional when the fever does not abate, here are a few tips to get rid of it using some home remedies.

  1. Cold compress: Provide relief by sponging with a cold compress. Use lukewarm water or normal water (not cold or refrigerated).
  2. Do not cover the children with thick blankets or bed sheets or cover their legs and head. Dress the children in lose clothes.
  3. Crush or grind a few pods of garlic in a blender and apply the garlic paste to the sole of the feet. This helps reduce the fever.

Always get professional help when the ailment is severe and home remedies don’t work.

Tips to stop a child from crying

Most parents have faced this issue at some point of time. A crying child. Most crying children create a lot of anxiety for the parents because they have no idea why the child is crying. For a new born baby, crying is a way to indicate many things: a soiled diaper, hunger, sleepiness, fatigue, a tummy ache, the list is endless. When a toddler cries without a reason, it can amount to frustration at times. At a recent party, my twin boys were introduced to a toddler younger to them by a year. As the”tiresome three” twins, they are always in their element and with each other for company, they have loads of fun. The younger boy was intimidated by their presence simply because he was not a part of their games and also because he never had seen kids older than him. The two hours that we spent, we had to put up with the constant crying of the little boy. Nothing made him stop and his mother was visibly at the end of her patience.

When your child cries continuously what do you do?  We asked and lots of moms wrote in to us. Here are some interesting tips that we got from moms who wrote in to us to soothe a crying child.

Leah Lanojan SodhiMy son would stop crying whenever I say “If you want a mommy hug, you must stop crying”. He usually stopS and I give him a tight hug… that works for me and my son.
– Leah Lanojan Sodhi

Take a recording(audio) of the child’s crying for sometime and play it b4 the child, make sure the child hears it. It’ll definitely stops crying, its scientifically proved.
Profile picture-Altab Baseimayum

The child needs attention, if he is crying. Dote on him or divert his attention….Look if there’s sumthng which needs immediate attention.
-Reeti Mandan

Profile pictureDiverting attention definitely works!depending on what is liked by your baby.cars,stories,block building.
-Aparna Singh Shekhawat 

I just play his favourite songs and dance… he automatically stops crying n joins me…. 🙂

– Manali Salvi Patil

Appasamy PradeepGive them a glass of water and it works! Attend to them as soon as they cry. This will reassure them that you are there for them and comfort them. Crying is a form of getting things done, so when are child is crying… Its a mere sign that they want to do things in their way. Let them be free to do what they want as long as it doesn’t matter much. Otherwise, gradually try and convince them to do what you want them to do and why it is important for them ( like narrate a story like why school is important and make believe)
– Appasamy Pradeep

You should ignore your child completely at that time and the moment she stops crying give her a hug, never give in to any of their demands. When you show your attention to your crying child, she will just go on and on.You need to be strong enough to ignore the crying.
– Farzeen Ahmed Sayed

Profile picture

Swaddling, carrying him in my arms, gently rocking, taking a stroll definitely works for my baby.
– Jayashankari Pradeep

Profile pictureWhat I normally do is sing a bhajan/soothing song aur gayatri mantra for my son…I read the magical effects of Gayatri mantra during my preg days and have been singing it to him daily since then 🙂

– Garima Gulati Bhutani

Well I have twin daughters who will soon turn one.
Profile pictureWhen they used to cry I used to try the following
1. Maybe put something sweet on their tongue like sugar powder a little bit or buiscuits
2. I used to go in front of the god in the pooja room and and make sure the baby sees god
3. Show them different color lights
4. Open your closet and show various color clothes
5. I used to give a small bell with a very soothing sound in her hand.

Again the factor depends on why the child has been crying
Hope this helps.
-Kiran Doshi

Fun Nursery Ideas For Your Little One’s Room

From the time that you introduce your little one to their own room, it will become ‘their’ space, a place they will occupy most of the time while they’re home, a room that will contain all their essentials and knick-knacks. Decorating the nursery is one of the most fun parts of becoming a new parent, and is something that should ideally be done before the baby arrives, while you’re still comfortable moving around, and especially if you’re planning on getting the room re-painted (which in all probability you will).

Ensure that you buy furniture which can be used now, as well as come handy when baby is older. See that the furniture is of medium height, neither too high nor too low, so that your baby can use them as the years pass by. In the initial few months, you too would be spending a considerable time in the nursery, so it needs to be comfortable for you both, and safe and hygienic for your baby.

Before you begin decorating the nursery, you may need to repaint or use wallpaper. Choose colours that are bright, yet not too loud, like greens, blues, pinks, yellows, oranges, lavender. Doing up the room in neutral colours (other than the clichéd blues and pinks) will help in case of more than one child. You may decorate the walls by using stencil art, stickers,  colorful picture frames, child-friendly clocks, patterns, alphabet patterns and much more. Keep space to change and re-do things as little one grows, like making hand-print patterns, framed kid art and the like. You can also use single-sheet story pages and get them framed; not only will these brighten up the room, your baby can later read from the same. Use baby’s pictures, make a family picture tree and mix-and-match the picture frames to create a dramatic wall.

One of the first things you would need when baby comes home is a crib or a baby bed. Go for one that converts into a cot later. For the first few days or weeks, you may want to keep baby near your bed, so get a crib that can attach to your bed, one with a three-way-rail system. Most infant cribs come with pillows and comforters, but if your new-born is sleeping in the crib, make sure to place ALL pillows, throws and comforters outside the crib, as these can cause infant suffocation. Your baby will be comfortable in proper warm sleeping pyjamas, so no added blankets required. Choose the right pillows and bed sets.

If your baby is a little older and can now sleep on a full-size bed, go for a pull-out kid cot or pull-out couch that can accommodate guests later. A bunk-bed is another great option as this will save space and provide adequate sleeping space for multiple kids, kiddie sleep-overs as well as for grown-ups.

As a new mum, you’ll be spending a lot of time in baby’s nursery, so make sure it’s comfortable for you too. If you’re going to feed baby in the nursery, get a comfortable rocking chair to sit in while you feed, and if you want to give those tired feet some rest, get a foot stool. These can later be shifted to your bedroom once baby overgrows feeding. Add cushions and rugs to make it cosy and easy to feed.

Many parents change a baby on the bed, but this is an extremely unhygienic practice. Get a bureau and attach removable rails on top, so that once your baby is out of diapers, you can remove the rails and use it as a storage option instead.

With a baby in the house, you can never have enough storage, so go for smart storage ideas like beds with storage, boxes designed to look like bunk-bed ladders/steps, window seats that can double up as storage. You can also keep a collection of baskets and bins to hold things like toys, board games, diapers, towels, baby bath accessories, art and craft supplies and other small items. If you don’t want to spend on much furniture right now, place low-height plastic storage trays under baby’s crib or bed to hold essentials. Cloth storage racks place alongside the crib or baby bed are a great way to hold essentials.

A nursery is a great place to introduce your baby to reading, so make sure you keep some space for books. Bookshelves, book racks, or a comfortable window-seat converted to a reading area, complete with rugs, cushions, pillows and a handy book basket will help your child’s interest in reading.

While baby will make the transition to a separate room, it’s extremely important to make sure that the lighting in the nursery is adequate – not too bright, yet not very dim. A good idea is to get lights that can be controlled with a regulator, to brighten up when you want to read out stories to little one, and dimmed when baby is sleeping. You can get multiple lamps and shades to make the room interesting and cosy. Sensor-lights are another option that comes handy when your toddler sleeps alone.

An easy-to-wash colourful rug is a good idea to brighten up the room and make a cosy place for baby to play on the floor.

Remember, the nursery should be a reflection of what your baby likes and how it connects to a little one, not just what you like. Though we love doing up a kids’ room, in the end, it’s just that, so it’s okay to go a little overboard, while making sure it’s comfortable, safe, hygienic, stimulating and interesting enough to make baby want to spend time.

Easy ways to Potty Train your child

Raising a kid is not an easy job! You have to go through so many phases once your baby is born. From the time the baby learns to sit by itself, you see him or her crossing major milestones like learning to crawl, and then walk. Potty training is one such achievement you wish for, once they are in their toddler phase. Most kids are ready to be potty trained by the time they are two. By this age they can control the bowel movement and can signal to you if they want to go to the bathroom.

There are some cues that you need to keep a look out for when you are ready to potty train your child:

  • Is your child following basic instructions that you give him/her?
  • Is he comfortable sitting in the potty?
  • Is he ready to understand the concept of pulling down his pants when he has the urge to go to the bathroom?

If you have answered yes to any or all of these, then your kid is ready to be potty trained!

But then there is that niggling question…HOW?

Here are some tips that we have compiled from moms and you can try something that can work for you.

Amanpreet Bawa

“Potty training is achieved best when the child is about two years old. It could take almost two weeks of persuasion of getting your child to achieve the basics of potty training!  Make him sit on a baby potty as soon as the child wakes up from sleep..  This surely helps.” – Amanpreet Bawa 

 

Um Mahir“I did not try much with my second son because he would watch his elder brother going to the bathroom. He was excited about it as it seemed like an adult action to him. But the real issue was that he was not ready to give up on the diapers or indicate his willingness to go to the bathroom.  After a while it was just his own decision when he started using d bathroom. The night potty training is a hard task!  You need to accept that kids are not willing to be trained till they are ready on their own.” – Um Mahir

 

Profile picture“Instead of baby pot, buy a WC kids’ seat. Whenever the toddler signals to do or has already done potty, do make him sit on the seat for few minutes. Gradually, your child will understand what they are supposed to do.”  –Pragati Jain Bansal 

 

“I’m a mom to twin boys who wanted everything different. At point of time we had three potties and two potty seats at home because the boys fancied it. We did everything to get them go to the loo. But they did not want to listen. Finally when one of them started going to the bathroom, the other one followed suit. We realised that no amount of threatening or cajoling would work. When they were ready, everything just fell in place.” – Pratibha Pal

 

I started taking my daughter to the washroom at regular intervals when she was around 7 months. We never used to put her in a diaper at home, and would always take her to the washroom, trying to maintain a routine as well. I also tried to make it fun for her to see the potty seat, made it into a kind of hide-and-seek game, and she would herself want to come and sit on the same. Once she sat down, I tried that she could relieve herself. Slowly, the routine got built and she was potty trained before she turned two. – Debolina Raja Gupta

Coping with an angry kid

Anger is the barrier that kids use to separate themselves from their parents and the outside world when they are emotionally hurt and upset. As a parent, you must look to putting down the first instinct of slapping our kid when you are confronted by a temper tantrum and instead look at the problem calmly. It would be wise if you could put down your own angry feelings and push them out of the window while dealing with an angry child. Many people advocate many ways of controlling an angry child and while some prefer you holding your baby while he/she calms down; some prefer just ignoring the tantrum and letting the child calm down before you sit down and talk to him/her. Here is what you can consider:

Stay calm and composed

Remember, you are supposed to be the more mature among the two. So, it obviously will not help if you go around screaming at double the pitch your child uses just to show him who’s the boss. You must not relent or lose your cool under any circumstance. Your child is probably bewildered and frightened and will use anger and shrieks to demonstrate this loss of self control. But, you need to be patient and respect his emotions. It is okay for your child to indulge in temper tantrums in order to assert himself but, it is highly detestable if you, being an adult indulge in the same over-the-top method while dealing with your child. Communication and understanding are the key factors here and please keep this in mind that violence will make the problem worse than it already is and hence, no hitting and spanking the child at any cost!

Let him calm down

Tempers do not last long especially in toddlers. They are majorly in full flow for perhaps, a minute or two before they start wobbling and clinging back to you. Make all efforts to calm down your angry kid and keep stroking him/her and hold them close to you. Very soon, the shrieks will turn into sobs and they find it astonishing that you still love and care for them inspite of the tantrum. After he calms down, maybe you can go for a quiet walk in the park or have some heart to heart conversation where you firmly tell your child that you will not budge no matter how hard he tries and that temper tantrums are a waste of time. When he realises that all his crying and howling is in vain, he will probably back out from putting up more tantrums.

Prevent tantrums as much as possible

Look for repititive signs in your child’s temper patterns. It is likely that your child is the most crankyTemper Tantrums when he did not have a good night’s sleep or ate his meals late or worse didn’t eat at all. You must avoid erratic changes in the child’s pattern so that your toddler is the most comfortable emotionally and mentally. Some kids get turned on when they visit the toy store or the shopping mall and they want to buy the whole store if you could. Expect the most horrible of tantrums there. As a punishment, you could go there a few times all by yourself to the toy store and let him know that he wasn’t taken because you were apprehensive about him creating a scene at the shop.

Lighten up the atmosphere with a funny comment
When your child is angry and refuses to talk to you, you could make him laugh by just going over and tickling him all over. Oh, kids love physical contact and you’ll hear the same peals of laughter and within seconds your toddler will be normal again. Also, you could talk to your spouse in a funny way with a lot of jokes that he is aware of and expect him to laugh over it. One mother I knew was dealing with her son who was in one of his ‘moods’ and exasperated she told him, “You are such a little moppet!” When she expected another round of screaming, her son suddenly rolled out laughing and she realised that he hadn’t heard the word before. Kids have this habit of forgetting anger and sadness over laughing and use this to your best advantage when you think your child has lost it.

Potty Training at Nights

Now that you have made your kid diaper free most of the day, it’s time to make them diaper free through the night. Yes, I know this is one of the most trying phases in a parent’s life. I follow a couple of thumb rules to make my kids trained through the night. I have my moments of frustration, but it’s a part and parcel of the potty training regime. What I suggest is that be armed with loads of patience, you will need it and well, here are some tips that you can follow to encourage a diaper free night for your kid.

1. Limit Liquids

When I posted on FB on tips to train my twins, the most common tip I got was to limit the intake of fluids.  My kids are used to having a glass of milk before they sleep. I try and give them the milk at least an hour before they sleep, so that they do not have a full bladder just before they go to sleep. Most of my friends suggested that I limit the fluid intake at least 3 hours before they sleep.

 

Tip: Just ensure that your kids are hydrated with adequate water intake through the day.

 2. Wake up at regular intervals

Yes, it can be quite irksome for a few, especially after a hectic day, one would do anything to have a comfortable night’s sleep, but in the potty training phase, you will need to compromise a bit here. Set an alarm for regular intervals. A 2 hour alarm to start off with is a decent interval. You can stretch it from 2 hours to longer durations once your kid is getting used to the training.

Tip: If you make your child sleep in another room, you can place their potty chair in the bedroom so that they can relieve themselves. You can use nightlights just in case your kid may be afraid of visiting the bathroom alone at nights.

Diaper Changing Pads/Mats - Baby Bed Protector Cum Mattress3. Use mattress Protectors

Invest in a good quality mattress protector to avoid any kind of accidents that can happen at night. Spread the mattress protector on top of the bed and pace a soft bedsheet on it for a comfortable sleep.

Tip: Ditch that diaper. No matter how much you are tempted to use that one diaper if you are going out, avoid it.

4. Use Positive Encouragement

Be positive in your approach to potty training. It will require ample amount of patience from your side. Celebrate the successes. Do not get angry or punish the child if there are any slip ups or accidents. They are bound to happen.  Give positive words of encouragement when the child has a dry day to make them feel good about it.

Tip: Have a calendar that you use for marking the dry days. Set goals, and if your kid meets the goals give them a treat.

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