Category Archives: School

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.

Backpack Safety: Helping Your Kids Manage Heavy Backpacks

kids backpackIf you notice school going kids nowadays, you’ll see that they carry heavy backpacks on the shoulders.

Some of the kids literally struggle to walk with the heavy backpack and it can be a source of injuries to the child’s back, spine or neck.

Kids usually stuff their bags with all their books, notebooks and stationery items, making the bag very heavy.

Research all over the world has shown that many children carry backpacks, the weight of which is almost 10-15% of the body weight of the kid.

This is actually an alarming weight that is being carried by your child. Here are some of the problems that are caused by heavy backpacks, with solutions to the same:

• Many children take the backpacks on a single shoulder as that makes them look smart. However, this can cause grave injuries as the whole weight comes to a single side of the body.

There are high chances of shoulder and neck straining or there can be injuries to the lower back and spine while trying to adjust the load on single shoulder.

Parents should suggest their children carry the backpack on both shoulders to distribute the load evenly.

• Backpacks which have narrow and tight straps should be shunned completely. When the bag becomes too heavy, the narrow strap tends to dig into the skin of the shoulder obstructing blood flow and also puts pressure on the nerves.

It might lead to various kinds of neurological problems in the arm and shoulder area. Buy backpacks that have wide and soft straps so that the straps can take the pressure and shoulders remain relieved.

• Most the ordinary backpacks lack back support causing immense pain in the back area. While purchasing backpacks ensure that there is firm back support, such as padded protection to the back. That way your kid’s back remains protected from sharp objects that are inside the bag.

• Children tend to stuff all their belongings in a single compartment of the bag. The weight shifts to a single point and becomes too heavy.

It is highly recommended for parents to purchase back packs that have many compartments and ask the child to arrange things in different partitions. This will distribute the load of the bag uniformly.

• You can often see that children fall backwards if they cannot manage their backpack. This happens because the whole weight is towards the back side and losing balance will let the kid fall towards the back.

A waist belt in the backpack can be of help. It will help in distributing the weight effectively over the rest of the body.

For quality backpacks, you can choose from a large selection on Firstcry.com.

Checklist For School: Here’s What You Absolutely Need

draft_lens4358582module30935172photo_1242328486girl_backpackParents, the schools have begun, and so has your routine of getting back to school as well.

While for some of you, school days are a practice now, if your child has already attended school in previous session(s), for some, it’s the first-time of taking baby to school.

With so much to take care of, there are bound to be moments when you may forget something, or realise at the last moment that something is missing. To avoid any such issues and to make sure that things are sorted in advance, here’s a quick checklist of what you should stock up on for your kids’ school time:

1. Stationery: Pencils, erasers and sharpeners are always best bought in bigger packs. Your child will need these each day and most of them will be lost a number of times. It makes sense to keep a stack of these at home.

2. Colours: Again, getting a stack of these always makes sense as your kids will probably break/lose most of these a lot. Buy crayons, sketch pens, water colours, paint brushes, art paper and activity sets as required by your child’s school routine. Continue reading →

Learning To Cope With First Time School

67423ccff339016e828404e6d67c90f0Yes parents, school has begun, and for most parents, as happens each year, this is one of the scariest and most tough times to handle – especially if your child is a first-timer at school.

You may have done all your research and discussed this with all your friends who have school-going kiddies, but unless you experience it yourself, with your kid, there’s not much that you can do about it.

While starting school marks one of the biggest phases in your toddler’s life, it’s also a big phase for you as a parent. And trying to prepare for school a few days or weeks before the final day is a good idea to let your baby get ready for the new routine and life.

1. Be prepared: For the tears that is. As your kid leaves home for the first time and says bye to mamma, it is definitely going to be emotional and filled with tears. Of course not all kids may be crying, and there are some who will actually run off to school with a big smile and wave, but being prepared to see your toddler break into tears is a good way to prepare yourself too – for many times, its not just the little ones who become emotional, but the parents too, especially the mums! Continue reading →

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.

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.

Top 10 Tips For Quick, Healthy N Tasty Baby Meals

As much as you try and sweat it out, chances are that most of the time our efforts in the kitchen go wasted once they reach the baby high-chair or the meal-table. With a baby at a home or a young kid around, as a mother you always have to be on the lookout of how to sneak in nutrition in your little one’s meal. We share a few suggestions, ideas and recipe tips that may come in handy. Tell us if it helped you 🙂

1. Vegetables are good for your little one, but try explaining this to your baby! Why not toss up a delicious vegetable rice meal, complete with the health of rice and the combined nutrition of various colourful vegetables – health in every spoonful.

2. Many babies start with idli, its easy to eat and less messy. Make it a little more healthy and delicious by putting in veggies like grated carrots, peas or grated cheese. Also, try putting a bit of dal in the idli paste and rustle up a healthy and yummy dish.

3. Tried giving baked/steamed veggies to your little one yet? Take a whole capsicum, fill it with boiled mashed potato (add some flavours in it as per baby’s taste) and bake or steam it. Delicious, quick to make and healthy. Replace with different vegetables and give your baby varied tastes.

4. Macaroni is a quick and tasty dish that most babies and kids love. Top it up with chicken pieces, eggs, cheese and veggies – whatever your baby’s preference.

5. Yoghurt is an extremely healthy food item that should ideally be a part of the daily meal. Include pieces of strawberry, mango, kiwi or other healthy fruits to make it more delicious and healthy.

6. Butter-garlic chicken/fish, simply tossed and cooked on the pan is a quick and healthy dish to give your little one. For a vegetarian meal, go for mushrooms, peas, corn, tomatoes and other healthy vegetables.

7. Roll up that chapati in a delicious paneer/chicken wrap, top up with finely chopped tomatoes, carrots and cucumber for a healthy filling meal.

8. Use that bread to make a healthy and delicious snack-time option by topping it with cheese slices and a mix of boiled mash potatoes and other veggies. Butter-toast on a pan or microwave for a delicious healthy and quick fill.

9. All kids love cookies and biscuits, so why not make a few biscuit-sandwiches? Layer with cheese slice, peanut butter, jam, boiled egg slices for a quick yummy snack.

10.Instead of the plain roti, make it a pizza roti. Keep it longer on a heated tava to make it crispy. Add cheese, chicken pieces, paneer, mushroom, tomatoes, corn or other toppings that your kid may like. Cut up into small easy-to-eat pieces for a fun healthy wholesome meal.

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!

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.

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