Some people like to dress their daughters all in pink and their boys all in blue. But what if, as a parent, you visualise a different style for your child, irrespective of their gender? In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about gender stereotypes. Far fetched as it seems, sometimes even clothing can push children into them! This is why it’s heartening to see new, gender-neutral clothing companies getting into your children’s closets.
So, if you are interested in learning about such clothing, today we are presenting you the top five clothing brands that fight gender stereotypes in a colorful and also stylish way!
1. Sewing Circus
This fantastic clothing brand was established in the United Kingdom and was founded by Francesca Aiken, mom to a little girl called Scarlett. This clothing brand began at the kitchen table where Francesca decided to sew a few dresses with science-related pictures on them. This was after she noticed that her daughter couldn’t find girl-clothing with themes like space, dinosaurs or trains. This mom then decided to change everything and make such clothing with her own hands! Sewing Circus soon became pretty popular, and today these handmade and original clothes are being sold all over Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia and even New Zealand.
2. Climbing Trees
Climbing Trees is another super fun and adorable clothing brand for both boys and girls. Still very fresh (it started its business in the summer of 2015), this clothing brand is making various t-shirts with funny and gender-free images all kids will love. The company was, again, founded by a mom Cheryl Rickman. She was inspired by her daughter who loved dinosaurs and football, but couldn’t find clothing that could express her hobbies. What’s more, the social mission doesn’t stop there either. A part of their profit goes to a non-profit organization which plants trees.
3. The Children’s Place
Although this clothing company is not exactly gender neutral, it deserves a mention. Here, you can find pink flowery dresses for your girls, and baby blue jumpsuits for your boys. However, the Children’s Place also has a section called Unisex in the Baby department where you can find a pretty wide selection of gender neutral clothing for your little ones! This clothing brand can suit all parents – those who care about gender stereotypes as well as those who don’t. Moreover, the price ranges here are wide too, making the clothing affordable for all. The good news is that these Children’s Place coupons can also come in quite handy!
4. Quirkie Kids
This company started their business in March 2014. They have been selling pink shirts with various artwork, but relax – these shirts are made both for girls and boys! The owner is of the opinion that pink is just as usual and standard a color as green, yellow or blue, and there are tons of boys who love this color!This is how a company with blindness for gender-related colors was born. Today, on their website, you can buy many colorful and patterned shirts for all kids – no matter their sex.
The Svaha clothing brand was established by Jaya Halepete Iyer of Virginia, whose 3-year-old daughter wanted to be an astronaut when she grew up. Her love for space, and the lack of clothing that could show it, inspired her mom. Hence, a company with tons of beautiful clothing themed on science-related topics was founded. You can now shop for shirts with design motifs like sports, dinosaurs, space (of course) and even construction equipment. So if your little one loves any of these, you know where to head!
Do you shop for gender-neutral clothing for your children? What are your kids’ favourite designs and colours?
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A woman’s journey of motherhood begins the moment she finds out she is pregnant! From then, till she delivers her baby, there are several stages that a woman has to cross-over. Each stage presents before her the scope to become an awesome mom. Some women take this rather too seriously and end up getting stressed out.
And then there are other mothers and expecting moms who say goodbye to stress and adopt smart ways of becoming amazing at their role. Here are some of the smart tips that you too must follow!
1. Give your baby priority – A great mom is the one who makes her child her universe! The little one’s early days are the time for tender love and care that only a mother can give to her child. And a part of it is by getting the right baby products right from diapers to baby clothing. One of the smart ways of doing this is online shopping. Moms and expecting moms can take the benefit of coupons that are available online today and choose from the various branded baby products available.
2. Apt nutrition for your child and yourself – This is a big one! Food is both important for both the mother and her child. Therefore, both during pregnancy and post-pregnancy, eating the right foods with high nutritional value is crucial. You should consult a gynaecologist and a paediatrician to get the best food-chart for yourself and your little one respectively. Also, make sure you consume natural foods like smoothies, shakes, herbs, milk, almonds and other nuts to stay healthy both pre and post child delivery.
3. Keep the surrounding clean and healthy – As a super mom, the least you can do is provide your child with a neat and clean ambience so that the well-being of your little one is ensured. Therefore, make sure that your house gets cleaned at regular intervals. That aside, adopt cleanliness practices like using a sanitizer that has minimal chemicals to keep your hand clean. Ensure that house dusting is done daily and meticulously so that there are no impurities that can enter the child body. The little ones are vulnerable during this stage and you need to be extra careful.
4. Think good and positive thoughts – Research shows that a child’s first traits always come from the mother. Hence, it is of great importance to maintain a positive and a healthy outlook towards life! Give your child the best thoughts by reading positive things and participating in only constructive discussions. It is best during this time to stay away from stress and fear-based thoughts that usually get generated from news and other drama-oriented televised shows.
5. Plan ahead of time – It is always better to plan a bit ahead of time when you’re expecting or are a new mother. Put your imagination into action and arrange the little one’s space in the house with utmost sincerity. So, get all enthused about decorating the room, getting the correct decorative items for your baby, and also choose the perfect colour for the room. Your child, tiny though she is, will experience the joy of knowing that a special space had been created for her even before her birth.
Motherhood is a rewarding albeit challenging journey. However, these simple ways are great starting points to help you out. One thumb rule that you must remember is this – you’re a super mom and are doing a great job already!
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When your kids become old enough (and responsible enough) for an allowance, a parent is faced with two choices – should the allowance be handed over unconditionally or should the kids perform some chores in return.
Akriti came to us with this query. Should she pay her children to help our with chores at home? Will this help them learn the value of money?
Our star contributer Noopur Agarwal advises, “While it’s important to teach children the value of money, it is not right to pay them for doing small things. If you will start paying them for every chore, they will loose their innocence and will become money minded like us grownups!”
This is a line of thought that is generally agreed upon by most parents – and even some financial experts! Finance gurus say that if the kids learn that by working they get paid, on the flip side they will also learn that they can refuse to work on the grounds that they don’t want money! What’s more if they save their “earnings”, they may even realise that they have enough of their allowance to last them for a few days – and hence flat out refuse to do chores!
On the whole there are three major reasons why you should never pay your kids for their chores:
1. It sends the wrong message!
If kids are being paid to complete chores, they will no longer feel the need to do any chores “for free”. What’s more, they will learn to demand payment for any small favour or request. It takes away from the sense of achievement and moral obligation of caring for the home and doing what’s best for the whole family.
2. It could lead to a sense of entitlement!
When a child is paid for her work, she no longer thinks of his family as a cohesive unit – she will start thinking of herself first! Your goal is to foster an environment of family teamwork and not “every man for himself”.
3. They will ask for a raise!
Don’t you start resenting your boss when he doesn’t give you a raise despite how much work he sees you putting in day in and day out? Well now, is that a situation you want happening with your kids? Just imagine: “Mommy, I did more dishes this week than last week – so I deserve more money!” Now isn’t that a situation you want to avoid?
We hope our Mommy advice has helped Akriti find a solution. There are many other ways to present your kids with an allowance, and payment in return for services is not always the right decision!
We thank the SOS mom who came to Anamika’s rescue: Noopur Agarwal.
“Give that back!” “Hey! Stop touching me!” “I’m gonna complain to Mom!” “MOM, he took my stuff!” “DAD, he won’t stay on his side of the car!”
Sound familiar? Isn’t it awful when your young boys, instead of being best friends, can never seem to stop fighting?
Anamika came to us with this exact problem. Her two sons, aged 8 and 11 years old can are always bickering and sometimes their fights even escalate to the point where it gets physical! Anamika is quite perplexed about why her beloved boys are fighting so much, and worries about what she can do to fix the situation!
Noopur Agarwal advises, “Yeah it’s a big problem for every mom. Siblings are born to fight over silly things! But if it’s getting too much to handle then I think if you try to sit them both together and try to talk about the issues between them, then they can sort out their differences to some bit. You can tell them to talk out their issues in a mature way.”
Apoorva Gokhale says, “Sometimes pre-teen boys have a difficult time handling frustration – that’s why they start shouting and fighting so easily! You know what they say – prevention is better than cure! So teach your boys how to walk away from fights before they even begin! For example you can teach them to take deep breaths and count to ten, before talking about anything that makes them angry!”
Anshu Anjali gives some very sage advice – to simply stay out of their fights! She says, “It may be tricky at first to stay out of your kids’ fights, but over time, you’ll love the freedom you get when you take a backseat. Make sure you let your kids know in advance that you’ll be staying out of their fights. Tell them, ‘You guys are old enough now to work out your own disagreements. From now on, I won’t be getting involved. I know you’ll be able to figure out solutions together.’ And pretty soon, they’ll have learnt to sort out their own issues!”
We hope our Mommy advice has helped Anamika find a solution. We hope she and her sons find a way to peacefully and happily solve their problems – without any more fights!
We thank all the SOS moms who came to Anamika’s rescue:
Anshu Anjali, Apoorva Gokhale, Noopur Agarwal.
“Mommy, my tooth is loose!”
Every Mom with a 5-6 year old expects to hear this statement! But what happens when your little one’s teeth are still rock steady? When all of your daughters friends have begun losing milk teeth, and your angel’s teeth are still in place – should you be worried?
Mom Anita came to us worried about her daughter’s dental health. Her precocious 6 year old’s milk teeth show no signs of making way for permanent teeth! When all of her friends are proudly showing off gaps in their smiles, she is the odd one out! Anita is worried that her daughter isn’t developing the way she should and asked the FirstCry Mommies for their help!
Priyanka Pareek says that it is completely normal for a child to retain her milk teeth at 6 years of age! The general rule is that the younger your child is when her teeth come in, the earlier they will fall out! Some children lose their first tooth as early as 4 years of age or even as late as 7 years.
Noopur Agarwal agrees. She says, “Don’t worry at all my daughter is about to be 7 and her first teeth just fell out a few days ago!” There is probably nothing wrong – as some kids even reach the age of 8 years before losing a tooth!
Kaveri Arora Wadhwa advices that Anita should definitely consult both the pediatrician and the dentist – since the issue has her so worried! Get an X-ray done at the dentist’s to make sure there are no underlying problems!
Robe Samarth Gaonkar says, “You have to worry if her teeth are damaged in any way. Tooth decay is more important than worrying about something like baby teeth not falling out, which is not so important in the long run.”
Dooradarsini Sonita meanwhile recommends a healthy dose of calcium to ensure better tooth health!
We thank all the SOS moms who came to Anita’s rescue:
Priyanka Pareek, Noopur Agarwal, Kaveri Arora Wadhwa, Robe Samarth Gaonkar, Dooradarsini Sonita.
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.”
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.
Constipation is a very common concern among the moms of toddlers. Some of the common causes of constipation in toddlers are toilet anxiety, dehydration and diet. Swati’s two and half your old child has the problem and she came to SOS moms for their advice on the same. Let’s take a look at what our SOS moms have to say to Swati.
Moms Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra all agree that Swati’s little one should be given ripe bananas and papaya in different forms to ease his problem. Both banana and papaya are rich in fibre and can help with constipation. These two fruits can also be given in the form of milk shakes, juice and any other form to make them seem less boring to your active bub.
Also moms like Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, agree that spinach and greens will help Swati’s child to a great extent.
Moms Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru suggest Swati to feed that the child should be fed black raisins soaked in water every morning. Chetana Suvarana Ganatara suggests that a porridge made of oats and prunes (packed with fibre) will help. Shanti Gupta says dried figs soaked in water overnight will also work wonders.
Preeti Khanna and Manasi Joshi suggest that the little one should be given milk with two drops of ghee in it. Milk may cause constipation but milk with ghee has a reverse impact. Sweta Bharadwaj, Sonia Sonu pipe in with their suggestion of feeding the tot with curd regularly.
Diana Samuel says, “Try 1/2 tsp honey in 1/2 tsp warm water on empty stomach in the morning. It worked for my child when she had severe constipation. Note: water must be warm not too hot nor cold. Give him lots of warm water throughout the day. Hope it might help.” Harsha Rajiv suggests, “ Water intake should be increased. Fruit juice, fresh fruits in puree form is also effective. Fibrous food like palak and other greens in soup can be given. Also Palak kichdi, carrot soup, carrot milkshake etc work. Do include greens in your baby’s diet at least once a week.
Other SOS moms also agree that Swati’s little one should be given warm water throughout the day in equal intervals. Also the child should be made to sit on his potty seat everyday even if he doesn’t pass stool to build a habit. Constipation can be easily resolved with a few key changes in diet and momma’s care of course!
We thank all the SOS moms who rushed in to aid Swati with her problem:
Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi, Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra, Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru, Harsha Rajiv, Diana Samuel, Pratibha Gautam, Swati Agarwal, Shama Mittal, Nausheen Sharieff, Amrita Singh, Sarika Singh, Dia Bijlani, Namrata Mandowara, Chetna Ganatara, Bindiya Yadav, Sakshi Batra, Simpy Jalan and Reema Verma.
It is crazy to go back to work after maternity leaves. Like, the last time your coworkers saw you, you had a happy baby bump,but now, you’re all flat out, dark circles and all. We feel you fellow mommas, we know what it is leave your baby and fight off the guilt that is steadily creeping up your throat. One major worrying factor for all new moms returning to work is – How Do I Store my Breast Milk? After all, your little cherub needs it and it is the best gift you can give your child.
Now, the women who want/need to work, take a minute to bless science, because science has given you this wondrous, wow worthy thing called the breast pump. These little gifts from technology lets mothers pump their milk out and store it for their baby’s care takers to feed the little one whenever necessary.
One such new mom Veena is returning to work and she came running to us to ask us how she should store her breast milk and our unfailing SOS moms have come to our rescue.
Anisha Rodrigues Pinto hurried in to help Veena, “Well if you are starting work you can always start combining breast and bottle milk ( i.e. more times breast milks and fewer times bottle milk( supplement). But as you mentioned you want to know about breast milk, which is the best to give your baby. Here is what I know. Well, expressing of breast milk can be done in three ways: 1) hand, 2) using a hand pump (available on firstcry.com), 3) using an electrical pump (available on firstcry.com). If you get heavy milk supply it will be quite easy for you to express by hand specially in the morning. However if you find it difficult ask help from doctor or experienced people to teach you or show you in either of the above 3 ways mentioned. At times expressing by hand can also take a long time in this case the pumps are helpful. You must express your milk in sterilised bottle (available on firstcry.com), which can then be capped and stored in the fridge. Don’t keep it longer than 24 hours. See that it’s frozen as soon as possible. Melt frozen milk and use at once. Never refreeze. You can also keep it in fridge for 5 to 6 hours (in case u get a break and can rush home and get back to work).”
Sonal Maner shared her experience of returning to work when her daughter was just three months old, “Use an electric breast pump to extract milk and store in special sterilised bags in d freezer. Use Medela breast pump and bags, they are the best. You can store milk in the freezer for up to 3 moths after extracting, remove from freezer 45 mins before feed time and keep the bag/bottle in hot water so it can warm up. Do not open d bag/bottle until the baby is ready to be fed. I joined work wen my daughter was just 3 months and used to feed her extracted breast milk until she was 1.5 yrs.” Medela Breast Pumps on FirstCry.com are available here.”
Neha Gaurav puts in her useful tips, “You can use manual breast pump instead of electric one. After extracting milk you can keep it at room temp (27 degrees) for 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator (towards the corner of tray) for 24 hrs in sterilised bottles only. After taking out the milk from refrigerator , keep the bottle in a pan of warm water for few minutes so that it comes to room temp. But make sure u do not bring the milk in direct contact of heat (gas flame)”.
Noopur Agarwal also reminded us to instruct the care taker, “With an automatic breast pump you can extract all the milk in morning before going to office, then store the milk in sterilised baby bottles and refrigerate them. Tell the person who will be feeding the baby to take out the bottle half an hour before feeding the baby”.
Radhika Varun Soni also reiterated the best method to store breast milk, “You can use breast pump of your choice n refrigerate the milk in sterilized bottle and warm the bottle in hot water just minutes before he is to be fed.”
A lot of advice comes in the way of new moms, but the best ones are from peers who have been mothers themselves. Being a working mom can bring whole host of challenges, but it is also a really satisfying role to play.
We would also like to extend our thanks to the moms who came to Veena’s rescue:
Sonal Maner, Noopur Agarwal, Radhika Varun Soni and Neha Gaurav.
For about the first two or three months, a newborn’s eyes tend to drift, wander and appear squint. This squint in newborn happens when the baby is tired or is trying to focus on something very close. However, by four months, babies develop a more-mature eye-hand coordination and depth perception. Thus, the off-kilter gaze, that’s the cause of botheration for many new-parents, is put an end to.
Doctors are of the opinion that newborn squint of eye is a perfectly normal and common newborn characteristic. Most of the times than not, eyes of a newborn are not crossed, but appear to be crossed. This evasive condition happens because some babies are born with extra folds of skin along the inner corners of their eyes, which gives them the cross-eyed appearance.
Besides, there is a phenomenon known as ‘pseudoesotropia’, in which the baby looks cross-eyed because of the optical illusion caused by their flat nasal bridge. Have a look at your nose and compare it with that of your baby – you’ll find yours to be bigger and more defined. You may ask, why is the nasal bridge of a baby flat? To make breastfeeding easier!
As always, we have SOS Moms helping you out with their share of experience.
At the outset, we have Parul Sharma Khatri, who says, “All kids are born that way. Usually, baby eye squint gets resolved within 2 months completely when the eye muscles develop.”
Next, we have Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto, proposing her take, “Hi, at first even I thought the same for my baby. Then, later I read many books and I came to know that it passes off with time. To be out of tension, just get her eyes checked at your next visit to the doctor. Well, you have to be worried only if even by 3 or 4 months your baby does not move her eyes at a moving object kept in front of her face. For a newborn, please relax no need to worry, it will pass off with time.”
Third, Chetana Suvarna Ganatra suggests, “It is very common in newborns to squint. I noticed that at times when my baby kept staring at something particular, her eyes would squint. I simply used to gently shut her eyes for a minute to shift attention. Hope this helps! However, I would also recommend you see a paediatric if it happens regularly.”
Rajnideep Sandhu has a unique way of dealing with squint of eye in newborn. She says, “It happens. You just have to keep one thing in mind that don’t let your baby see straight. Let the baby see more sideways and blink again and again or change the direction for another view. Good luck!”
So to say, don’t worry too much about your newborn’s squint eyes. Remember, most of the time this condition will straighten out by maximum six months of age without treatment. Here’s to your baby’s beautiful baby blues!
Lastly, we extend our thanks to the below mentioned SOS Moms as well for helping Mahek overcome her distress.
Shweta Srivastava, Vinu Gowtham Rao, Shipra Chaubey, Reema Monga Verma, Shilpi Saha, Paulami Shome Roy, Surbhi Sharma, Neetu Vishal Sharda, Robe Samarth Gaonkar, S Hashim Ali Khan, Rajni Kashvi Jaiswal, Asma Kapoor, Pooja Mishra, Grace Dcruz, Shraddha Upadhyay Desai, Naga Deepthi Vedagiri, Vidya Patel, Kamal Mahi, Madhusmita Mishra, Kiran Bobade Chatur, Ramya Shree, Vibha Sharrma, Vividha Aggarwal, Wenencia Savio Fernandes, Ritu Bhargava Sud
Roshini, a worried mom of a 17-month old toddler, says, “My daughter was a thumbsucker since the beginning -literally. Tucked away in my memories book is an ultrasound image of her’s sucking her thumb to glory in the womb. Now, a year and a half later, she’s still not ready to let it go.”
The answer to Roshini’s and other numerous moms’ problem is rather straightforward. Thumb sucking is a very common reflex that kids engage in when they face a stressful situation. They do this to calm down, fall asleep or just to feel good. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. Also, most of the times, sucking thumb is considered harmless in terms of a child’s growth and speech development.
Paediatricians from all over are of the consensus that as the kid crosses the two year age mark, they start developing other coping skills beyond thumb or finger sucking. They also purport that as long as the child stops the thumb sucking habit by the time he develops his permanent teeth, there would be minimal or no impact on his mouth and jaw.”
One of our SOS Moms, Vandana Anand, mom of 2 kids, says, “Help your kid in resolving his thumb sucking problem and leave it to his will. Don’t force! Give enough love and your baby will leave sucking his thumb”.
Another SOS Mom, Rajnideep Sandhu, doubles up with Vandana Anand and says, “The main thing is when children don’t get the proper attention, they develop such habits. So, just check if your child wants to say something to you, it’s usually a big deal for them!”
We also have Meghna Kattimani who puts forth a different perspective to the problem.
She says, “Identify the triggers – If your kid sucks his thumb in response to stress, identify that triggering factor and provide comfort in other ways — such as a hug or reassuring words. You might also try giving your kid a pillow or stuffed animal to squeeze.”
Lastly, Urvashi Patole proposes, “Maybe you can put a little garlic or any bitter tasting edible on your kid’s thumb. Very soon he will stop sucking his thumb. However, adopt this method only when your kid has become a preschooler (3-5 yrs), but still continues to have this problem.”
So you see Roshini, forcing is not the solution! In most cases, the kid automatically gives up the habit as he grows. There’s no urgency to kick the habit this early, i.e. Before the child turns three.
‘Temporary Stuttering’ is very common in kids between the ages 2 to 5. It normally affects two in every 20 kids. For many kids, it is just a part of learning the use of new words while putting them together to form sentences. It is usually seen that this stuttering and stammering phase outgrows with time and rarely persists into adulthood.
Let’s first understand the reason behind why kids stammer and stutter. Experts believe that a variety of factors are responsible for this speech disorder to happen, genetics being the major causative aspect. It is seen that 60% of kids who stammer are bound to have either of the parents or a close family member who stammered in their childhood.
Besides genetics, some neurological factors are also responsible for the stuttering and stammering in kids. Research says that kids who stammer process language differently; as in there seems to be a problem with the way language is transmitted through their brains. However, they are not able to pinpoint why this occurs.
This time around too, our SOS Moms come to your rescue –
First, we have Anubhuti Seth Mehn, who says, “If your daughter is old enough to go to a play school, do that. Kids tend to pick up things with other kids at a faster pace. Or every evening make it a point to take her to a park where she can find other kids to play with. She’ll build her diction there.”
Another SOS Mom, Priyanka Tamhane says, “It’s always better to take a speech therapist’s expert advise. The doctor will actually guide you if it’s a worrisome thing and will accordingly advise what needs to be done.”
Mum, Shabnam Desai, proposes, “If it is the righttime then you should admit her in a play school. It helps to develop the language of a child. Secondly, there are cases where kids stammer due to stress and anxiety. It may be due to some reasons she cannot express what she wants to say. So please try to comfort her and talk to her, things will be better. Do not make her conscious about her stammering, that will make the matter worst. If she is older, then you should consult a speech therapist.”
Anisha Rodrigues E Pinto suggests, “First don’t make her feel uncomfortable or aware of her speech as wrong. Second, it’s better to take advice from a speech therapist. Third, keep talking to her and don’t focus on correcting. Fourth, let her socialise more often.”
Lastly, we have Bizns Bizns, who says, “Please try homeopathy, works without side effects.”
Also, there seems to be a connection between the kid stuttering and stammering and hefeeling tired, pressured, excited or upset. It also happens because their vocabulary is limited, i.e. They think faster than they can talk. So, don’t point out her stuttering and stammering, and don’t interrupt, it can worsen the condition, because it’ll hamper the kid’s self-confidence. And that’s the last thing we want to happen!
By the age of two, children become independent enough to be walking on their own. As they develop this skill, is also when they regress and suddenly become clingy. They just want to be carried everywhere and throw tantrums when denied. It is at this point that the kid is torn between his independent impulses and the very compelling desire to be attached to the parent.
This is a difficult phase for the parents as well, because every sentence that the kid speaks begins with ‘mom’ or ‘dad’. Every waking moment of theirs is spent carrying the clingy toddler until their biceps burn. To make things worse, in some cases, the other parent is not even allowed to help.
Research suggests that periodic clinginess is normal, and it’s a sign that you and your child have a healthy relationship. However, the kid’s waffling between the two extremes of independence and dependence is very taxing for both, the kid, and the parents. They are befuddled if they should give the kid a pat on the back and tell him to man up, or if they should simply accept the whole scenario as it is.
Again, we bring to you our SOS Moms whose suggestions are based on experience–
At the outset, we have Shabnam Desai, who suggests, “If you are a working mother, maybe the baby is missing you too much. Try to spend more time with your little one. Maybe the baby is afraid about something. Look around for signs if something is going wrong when certain people are coming near the baby, and not only people also check out the toys. Some kids are not comfortable with certain toys, especially soft toys because of the fur. Try to comfort the baby and please keep your cool or matters can get worse. Check whether the baby is teething or any other ailments and consult the doctor”.
Next, Rajni Kashvi Jaiswal adds, “Because maybe now herecognises you as his parents, he has become clingy suddenly.”
Mums, Jyot Kaur, Neha Singh, Shruti Singhal Garg and Sneha Agrawal collectively assert that teething may be the reason the kid has suddenly turned clingy. They suggest the use of ‘Calcarea Phosphorica’ as a solution for teething problem in toddlers. However, this needs to be done only after consulting a paediatric doctor.
Lastly, Chetana Suvarna Ganatra blames the kid’s clingy behaviour to separation anxiety he may be going through.
A tip from our end; try to make walking fun for him and don’t scold the kid. Remember, the kid has shorter legs, so he/she will take more time to cross the same distance. Also, keep the outings on foot brief and have a stroller ready as a backup plan.
Parents of late-talking children are always in a state of dilemma on whether they should ‘wait and see’ if the kid picks up speed in language development on his own, or if they should meet a speech therapist right away. Many of these parents are told not to worry as each kid develops at his/her own pace. Nonetheless, their gut instinct is always to seek help as they strive to do the best for their child.
The ‘wait and see’ approach for late talkers is borne out of a stereotyped observation about typical language development in children. While it is passable that children do develop at their own pace, there are certain age milestones that should be reached by a specific age. It is also true that there are many late talking toddlers who catch up on their own, a few do not.
In this write-up, when we speak about language delay, we aren’t talking about language disorders or physical and developmental delays like Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism or those with childhood apraxia. These conditions require special kind of therapeutics and doctoring. We only speak about those children who seem to lag behind a little in their spoken (or “expressive”) language.
Let’s quickly go through what our SOS Moms have to say about late talkers –
Mum, Anima Bhardwaj, says, “Just one answer! Don’t compare your kid to others for anything. Each child is different and develops differently. Just make sure that he is medically fit. If everything is okay, just relax. Some kids are late talkers… late walkers… late eaters… and so on”.
We have Somita Suri, who suggests, “Depends on what you mean by ‘doesn’t talk very well’. Most kids develop at their own pace just like when they take their first steps. However, do look out for other signs in your child with respect to social behaviour, because it could be linked to autism.”
Next, Julie Ekka Tanti proposes her viewpoint by saying, “Just like my kid who is four years old now, but doesn’t show any signs of eating on her own. I have to force her for each meal! She doesn’t chew and is used to swallowing. I’m pretty much worried, as kids of her age are fond of chocolates and so many edibles, but my child says no to all.”
Shilpi Saha shows a different dimension of the problem by saying, “It depends on how much you all talk at home. If yours is a silent type of house, then give your kid some more time. Moreover, if your kid has completed other milestones and is okay in other behaviours, then don’t worry, give a bit more time. My Lil’ brother also had the same problem because our house was a silent kind of house”.
Last, we have mums, Tanvi Nigam, Pooja Rathod and Noopur Agarwal, who collectively reinstate that parents should not worry about late talking in children. They jointly agree that things will take time and that parents should just have patience.
We conclude by saying that every child is unique in his/her own way and that parents should never compare their child with another child. Keep training your kid the requisite language skills and cherish that kiddish ‘blabber’. Once it’s gone, you’ll miss it badly!
Many a times, it is seen that even though the kid is toilet-trained in the day-time, he faces difficulty holding pee in for a long period at night-time, when he sleeps. Such toilet-training accidents happen due to various reasons, while heredity being a major contributor.
If the parents have had a history of bedwetting that continued until their ages of five or six, it is highly likely that the kid will inherit the same tendency. Other possible reasons include, not being developmentally ready to sense a full bladder or having a tendency to sleep so deeply, that responding to the bladder’s signals and mastering night-time toilet control becomes elusive.
It is seen that bedwetting is more common in boys (about six to seven out of ten kids who wet their beds are male). Also, it is observed that by the age of five or six, 90 percent of the kids stop the bed-wetting habit on their own. Nonetheless, nobody knows for sure why the rest 10 percent continue to have a problem.
As always, we have our SOS Moms guiding you with a few bed wetting solutions
Shobha Suresh, a proud mum of two kids, says, “Stop scolding your toddler because they bed wet. They are just kids who don’t know a thing. If we can’t be patient with kids at our age, we can’t teach them to have patience later.”
While Somita Suri suggests, “Bear with him. Telling off a toddler is pointless as this is something out of his control and could cause anxiety problems.”
Next, we have Meenakshi Srikantan, who says, “I think it depends on your child’s age. If he is above two and a half, you can slowly reduce the liquid intake before sleep and also make him use the toilet before getting into bed. If you use an AC in your room or live in a cold place, then it is going to cause bed-wetting, despite doing everything until they learn to wake you up to use the toilet.”
Meenakshi further suggests, “If you are really worried, I suggest you talk to your paediatrician regarding urinary incontinence. But maybe wait until he is a bit older, perhaps and like mentioned here, try training him to use the toilet at night at some interval.”
Shantala Murugendra proposes her viewpoint by saying, “Few kids do it till the age of 10. So, better reduce liquid and cold intake at least 2 hours before sleep, but make sure they drink enough water at day time. And being a parent, it’s our duty to keep an alarm and make them go to the toilet at night. Slowly their minds get trained to get up and go to the toilet at midnight.”
Lastly, moms Georgina Jha, Pratibha Tyagi and Robe Samarth Gaonkar collectively recommend the use of a diaper for the kid and a rubber sheet to protect the mattress at night.
Make sure your child is ready for getting toilet-trained. Frustration on your part isn’t the key here! Your child has to be motivated to stop the bedwetting habit. If he’s not bothered, stick with disposable diapers until he’s ready. He’ll let you know when it’s time.
Food jag – a common eating behaviour where the kid only wants to eat one food item for every meal. More often than not, it’s the toddlers and preschoolers who tend go on food jags and only like foods that are of a certain colour or texture. This behaviour is usually impulsive. At times, it can be so sudden that the kid would decide to hate even the foods they loved till one day prior.
Fries suddenly become their favourite ‘vegetable’. Anything green is met with clenched teeth and a loathful face. Whining stops only when a dessert appears and chocolate comes to be considered as a separate food group. While this behaviour is normal, parents should deal with it patiently.
Research suggests that it takes at least 10 – 15 tries before a picky kid eats, or at least gets to like a new food. Also, the lost affinity for any food often returns after a gap of around a fortnight. Our point: Don’t be pushy, but persistent in helping your child love new foods. Although it is a frustrating phase in your kid’s development, understand that it’ll get better with time.
Our SOS Moms share their opinions on dealing with picky eaters
We have Rajnideep Sandhu, who suggests, “Try to take your meals with your baby. Because I have seen that children always want to taste from others plates, though they make a mess, but it’s OK with us.. Isn’t it? ”
Prabha Peri, mum of a 2-year-old, says, “Try to fill his plate with different food items neatly garnished and in colourful or attractive cups or plates.. Once he tries to taste a single item and if he feels it tasty, he will definitely start eating it.. I tried the same with my 2-year-old.”
One of our SOS Moms, Pratibha Gautam, came up with a fantastic idea of mixing the kid’s favourite food with the other food you want him to eat. This will disguise the new food in a way that your kid will down it chop-chop.
Last, we have Anima Bhardwaj, who says, “If he has started picking up food on his own and could eat it, try giving him finger food. Whatever you want him to try, make it in the shape of small balls or small sticks that he could pick up easily. Let him make a mess… Kids enjoy it! Just put the food in front of him and leave him alone with it. Don’t sit in front of him or force him to eat… Let him take his time.”
If you’re very concerned about what your picky toddler eats, maintain a diary of all the food and drink items he has over a week. Make sure he has something from each of the four main food groups, i.e. starch/carbohydrates, proteins, dairy and fruits and veggies. If you know that he has eaten food from all these food groups, you shouldn’t be worrying about his nutrition.
Sometimes, it’s alright to allow the picky eater to choose foods that appeal to them. When averaged over several meals, you’ll realise that they choose well. Trust those little bodies and discern that the child’s world and his gastronomic horizons will expand as he grows and starts attending preschool.
In families with more than one child, sibling rivalry is commonplace. At the outset, you just see two kids fighting, however on looking beneath the surface of things, you’ll realize the riposte feeling that is at the core of sibling rivalry in children.
Expression of retaliatory behaviour by the submissive one to counteract the sense of constantly being the victim of the dominant other, is what breeds sibling fights. This repugnant behaviour, clubbed with the feeling that he is loved less by his parents intensifies his pathos.
Nonetheless, for parents it is one of the biggest parenting struggles to sort. But it is upon them to turn the conflict scenarios into training opportunities. Parents should repeatedly teach their children to honour and speak well of one another.
When asked if parents should intervene in resolving sibling rivalry, one of our SOS Moms, Robe Samarth Gaonkar suggested, “Of course you should intervene and never let the time pass by without them consoling each other. It’s just normal fights in the beginning, but if you don’t correct them on time, then it will be worse once they are older.”
We agree with Robe on this and feel that parents should help their kids sort the fights by making them understand the art of managing their emotions. Otherwise, the mutual ill feelings will get carried over into their adult lives and become even more crippling to deal with later on.
3 Suggestions for Parents when Managing Sibling Rivalry
- When you intervene, you should hold both the kids equally responsible for the fight. It shouldn’t matter as to who started it or whose fault it is. After all, it always takes two to tango; a fight is never a one-sided affair, so stop refereeing.
- Use the ‘step in to step out’ method. Help your kids to identify their feelings at the moment of a fight (step in) and then leave them and let them work out a solution between themselves (step out). This is because, there will be times when kids would resolve the conflict in their own way and only need us to set up the navigation just a bit.
- Appreciate both the kids in their individual domains. Never pitch them up against one another. If one is good in sports and the other is a bookworm, recognize and appreciate their individuality.
Follow these few simple strategies, as you work with your kids to manage sibling rivalry and pioneer a peace treaty in your home today.
Isn’t diapering as much a part of parenting as feeding?
Rather, it may even seem like an ever-lasting task to most of the new parents. You get down to change one and the next and next and it goes on… Changing your child’s diaper is no less than managing to win a battle. Isn’t?
Do you also find yourself in sheer haste while changing your toddler’s diaper? If your answer is nothing but YES, then relax, before it turns into a major tug-of-war between you and your baby.
Don’t be worried! It is common with all the babies. It is because your little bundle of joy hates the concept of getting undressed. The moment he is taken to the changing table he starts wailing, which is the only way he knows to respond when he feels uncomfortable on being exposed.
Let us have a quick look at some of the tips to win a diaper changing battle with your toddler:
- Payal Raghuvanshi-Mukund says, “Give any toy or any item to your child to play with while changing his diaper. It could be a comb, powder box or a steel vessel too that keeps him entertained for those 2-3 mins of diaper changing activity”.
- Nirali Amin Shah suggests, “Take your toddler to the washroom after regular intervals. This will reduce diaper usage and your toddler will soon learn the correct way to attend to nature’s call”
- Show your child the advertisements in which the babies are shown happily getting their diapers changed. Children tend to imitate what other kids do and might learn a lesson from this.
- If your toddler hates to get his diaper changed on the table, take him to the washroom and let him stand while you clean him. Using pant style diapers will make it even easier for you to change while your toddler is standing.
- If your child cries inconsolably during his diaper change, do check if he has developed a diaper rash which is making him irritable.
- Put on some music or sing a rhyme that your toddler loves while changing his diaper. This will divert his attention and make diapering easy for you.
So, you see, there are many ways which can help make diaper changing easy and fun for you and your child too.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Payal Raghuvanshi-Mukund, Neha Trikha Agarwal, Nirali Amin Shah, Arpita Dey, Neha Singla Johri, Manali Langer, Felicita Dsouza, Iffat Alia, Akhila Garimella, Oksana Mishra, Neetu Kundra Tripathi, Hajra Attari, Linu Sanjib Boro, Azima Anjum, Jas Saini, Tabassum Patel, Nisha Verma, Shabnam Desai, Rutu Ayachi, Sasmita Patel, Amreen Siraj, Prerna Sharma, Theeswari Bala, Mita Savaliya, Nidhi Chandnani, Priyanka Saurabh Khanna and Padmaja Giri
You certainly remember that moment when you first saw your 2-year-old climb up on a couch, at the corner of your living area, all by her own. Her slender little hands held the couch as firmly as possible, pulling her weight up onto something chest-high, carefully propping her foot in the notch between the base and the top cushion of the couch. And, there she stood, up on the couch without your support.
So, while you are busy archiving ‘every firsts’ of your child, she barely takes anytime to work out her moves and learn new skills, master the old ones and set out to explore new things around.
Sounds exciting, exhilarating and feels proud too; isn’t it?
But, it will not take many days for this exhilaration to disappear in the growing apprehension.
Your toddler’s never-ending curiosity will soon make her a lively, bubbly, enthusiastic, and needless to mention, a fearless kiddie. She will be high on energy and will have a penchant for enjoying risk taking. Don’t be shocked if you find her climbing the highest slides, trying to touch the animals in a National park, feeding biscuits to a street dog, chasing cats and other animals fearlessly.
You can attribute this fearless behaviour to the great physical energy your child possesses. Usually, parents of such children have a great difficulty in keeping them safe. These children, generally, do not wait for their parents’ assurance or support before trying out anything new.
The big concern that then arises is – how to keep a fearless child safe?
Is it a good idea to instil fear in your child just to keep him safe?
Let us discuss a few ways in which you can make your child cautious without killing her enthusiasm to explore the world around.
- Teach by giving examples: Play with your child, pretend to fall down and show him that it hurts. Tell him that he needs to be cautious while playing in order to avoid such pain.
- Teach your child that anything except food should not be kept in mouth.
- Allow your child to try new things but make sure you are around to prevent any mishap. Do not be worried if he stumbles or falls. Let your child learn from her own experiences.
- Make your child aware of the potential hazards that may make him vulnerable to serious injuries.
Having a fearless child does not always mean that you have to be anxious. It is a good quality to possess, indeed. A child who is fearless grows up to be an extrovert and becomes more responsible. Moreover, toddlers do not have the understanding of right and wrong. Therefore, it is your responsibility to teach your child what is good or bad for him, and make him aware that a few things can be dangerous and should be steered clear of.
We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:
Shabnam Desai, Sangel Brit and Arti Vedpathak