Category Archives: Lifestyle

WHEN TODDLERS HIT

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little patience can change your child's behaviour.

A little patience can change your child’s behaviour.

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

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

The Best Ways to Pump and Store Breast Milk

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Expressing and Storing Breast Milk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breastpumps Come In Handy For New Moms Going Back to Work

Breastpumps Come In Handy For New Moms Going Back to Work

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

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

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

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

Finding The Right Books To Read With Your Child

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

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

Choosing books for toddlers

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

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

Books for pre-school goers

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

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

Books for school-going kids

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

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

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

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Toddler Refuses To Sleep At Night: SOS Moms Reply

sleeping toddlerPooja Rai wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 15 months old son. She says that her son does not sleep the whole night. She has tried everything but there is no change in this habit. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.

We asked our community of mothers for their suggestions and have incorporated their answers below.

Setting a bedtime routine may be the best way to get your child to go to bed without a fuss. Ensure that your child is active and playful all day and don’t let him sleep for too long in the daytime, so that he is tired and ready for bed at night.

Remove any distractions like television and bright lights from his environment just before you start his bedtime routine.

You can set a bedtime routine that includes a soothing massage and warm bath at night. A good dinner and a glass of lukewarm milk should help to get him sleepy. Sing lullabies or play soothing music just before bedtime to let him know that it is time to wind down. You can also read him a story once he gets into bed. Then switch off the lights and tell him that he needs to sleep now.

Ensure that everyone else in the house knows his bedtime routine and cooperates with you in maintaining it. Once he gets to know what is expected of him, he will be able to keep to this routine more effectively.

We thank the mothers below for their useful suggestions:

Revathi Phani Krishna, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Swati Shukla Mishra, Manali Langer, Surabhi Verma, Ramya Venkat, Shilpi Gupta, Shubha Murthy, Garima Grover, Pooja Rai, Mithu Ganguly, Sapna Chauhan, Dolly Omkar Jha, Joyce D’cunha De Souza, Keeya Chaudhuri, Sudeshna Patnaik, Akanksha Singh, Komal Vijayan, Deep Brinderjeet Saini, Shweta Dua, Akshaya Sampathkumar, Priya Candida, Sridevi Roshan, Dipali Phopse, Shiwangi Bist Joshi, Shiwangi Bist Joshi.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Moving Home: Help Your Child Cope With The Change

kid in a boxOne of the most important skills you can help your child develop is the ability to deal with change.

There are changes every day in a child’s life, such as adjusting to new teachers and friends, birth of a sibling, change of home or a divorce in the family.

On the other hand, few children have the excitement of moving to a new home and having a new neighborhood to explore.

When you are moving to a new home, there are lots of things you can do to help your child develop the skills to handle the change just by understanding their needs and offering encouragement.

Preparing Your Child

Prepare your child about the changes that are going to take place. Talk about what will happen and what the change will mean for them. For example, while moving to a new home, talk about how much fun it will be and what they should expect.

Involving Your Child

It is important to make this new change as smooth and easy as possible for your child. Get your child involved in whatever decisions you take about the change. For example, let your child choose colors for their new bedroom and let them arrange their things when you move in.

Be creative and encourage your child to decorate the room with pleasing and fun things. Generally, children have no control over the major changes in their lives, but by involving them in such decisions, you help them feel more in control.

Gradually Facing Fears

To a young child, the world is filled with things that are difficult to understand. They generally rely on familiar things to make sense of everything else. After a move they may become fearful and clingy and regress into certain childhood behaviours.

Let them carry around objects which they are attached to. Allow them to stick to daily rituals like regular mealtimes, reading stories before bed and watching TV programs. This will help calm your child and help them adjust to the change.

You must, however, be prepared as many kids don’t adapt quickly and there might be tears and tantrums when forced to accept a new environment. All children adjust to changes at different rate, so you need to be patient, and help them build valuable life skills along the way.

Finally, always remember, your child will be positive only if you are confident about an upcoming change. Do share your stories of helping your child adjust to major life changes, in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Teaching Your Child To Get Organized

school kidWhen your child is grown up enough to start cleaning their own room and begin attending school, it’s time for them to learn some organizational skills which would help them in succeeding at school and in their career later in life.

It is true that a few kids are naturally organized; but for many organization is a skill which requires learning over time. Most importantly you will be the perfect person to teach your child these skills. Here are some tips to help your child get more organized.

Use Checklists

Help your child inculcate the habit of keeping a to-do list. With the help of checklists, they can post assignments, reminders and make a list of materials that need to be brought to class. Your child can also keep a small notebook which would be dedicated to listing homework assignments and other important tasks.

Planning For Each Task

Encourage your child to get organized by thinking ahead and planning their homework around other extracurricular activities. Time planning tools such as lists can help children keep schedules and help prevent them over estimate what they can get done. A weekly planner or diary will definitely help older students to get organized.

Finishing Up

Finishing up means getting the work done, checking the work and putting on finishing touches. For example, remembering to put a homework paper in the right folder and putting the folder inside the backpack, so it is well-organized for the next day.

Reserve Space

Try to reserve a shelf or a cabinet for your child by the front door for all the items they need to take to school every day. Label them with color stickers so that the wallet, bus passes and glasses can easily be found. Also you could hang a hook underneath them for their backpack and sports bag.

Time Management Skills

Teach your child time management skills. Your child should know how to complete a particular task within a specific time frame, which would help them to learn how to develop organized methods for completing those tasks.

Remind them when their tasks need to be completed or when their appointments must be met. For example, tell them that they must finish cleaning their room within 15 minutes or until dinner gets ready.

Lastly, reward and support children when they complete organizations tasks properly. Your child might find organizing a challenge, so help them develop their routine and give them a treat for a job well done.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Baby Fashion – What’s Trending This Season?

baby fashionHave you ever been curious about what “sugar and spice and everything nice” actually means when it is about kid’s clothing?

Well, today’s babies are no less demanding. Actually, it is the parents who want to give the best to their little ones and once it becomes a trend, it is sure to be followed.

There are unique options available today when it comes to baby clothing and accessories. Fashion is just not restricted to the adult world.

Come this season, and we are looking at some unique fashion for baby clothing.

1. All organic!

All babies this season want to get organic. We are not talking about the 50% organic products that comes in plastic hangers and packaging but a cent percent GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) type organic! This is both a trend and a message that is getting popular in the baby fashion world!

2. Non-solid solid

Try to think of Starry Night by Van Gogh or Matisse for that instance. The theme is that the sky looks just plain blue from a distance but as you get closer, multiple colors reveal themselves.

This is working out well with baby clothing and the fun stripes are making their mark on some of the most celebrated babies in this world. These clothing look as if they simple and subtle pinks and blues but as you get closer, they are actually miniature bumblebee print and tiny stripes.

3. Sophisticated classics

Another fashion trend speaking loud in the baby fashion world are the soft blues and pinks mixed amazingly with cool grays. These really look cool as teenagers would say!

4. Ruffle touch

Again, being subtle is the standard here, but it should be something like under the dress built of the coveral,l and probably the undergarment, but not too much near the face. When it comes to ruffles, less is always more and babies can comfortably sport such a trend!

5. Real clothes

The era of mini dad or mini mom clothing has come to an end and newborns are no more dressed by shrinking down pieces meant for a toddler. We are taking about real baby clothes – designed and meant just for them. Modern babies grow up faster than you realize and we just hope that this trend lasts long.

Baby fashion trends have always been an interesting thing to follow and in all cases, they look cute! So what attire are you putting your little fashionista in this season?

Babies And Technology – How They Work Together

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

10 Steps To Eco-Conscious Parenting

eco friendly buttonFrom the moment babies are born they start creating carbon footprints. Starting from disposable diapers, car seats, baby wipes swings, strollers, exersaucers and all other sorts of equipment which eventually end up in the landfills.

And this pace of consumption keeps increasing, from buying tricycles and wagons to computers along with video games.

So it’s the responsibility of parents to take care of minimizing consumption and making sure you’re following the principles of eco-conscious parenting that include reduction of waste as the tips below recommend.

• Minimize damage from diapers

There have been lots of debates with regards to the use of disposable diapers versus cloth diapers. Definitely, each of them has their own benefits and for the large part, disposable diapers go into landfills.

In case you are not confident with the use of, cloth diapers disposables could be the best option. But it would help to reduce your baby’s carbon footprint if you used cloth diapers at home and disposables while travelling. You could also start potty training your child as early as possible to reduce the use of diapers altogether.

• Reduce laundry load

Although it’s common for kids to get their clothes dirty all the time, as a parent, you could limit the number of times you change their clothes to once or twice a day. That way you will minimize the amount of washing and save water and detergent.

• Reuse and recycle

The old tradition of hand-me-downs has its wisdom and also its benefits to the environment. Your new baby could use the clothes, toys and other stuff that their elder siblings have used. In India this is usually the practice as many clothes are unisex and can be work by either girls or boys.

If you don’t have any more kids to pass down the things your child has discarded, it would be a good idea to donate them to a charity that benefits deprived kids.

• Kids clothing swap

You could invite your friends who have kids of the same ages to swap clothes so that they do not have to purchase outfits that are worn for parties or other special occasions.

• Introduce your kids to nature

Introduce your kids to the wonders of nature by taking them on eco-friendly camping trips, wildlife safaris, hikes and treks. Share your love of the outdoors with them and show them how you can spend time in the wilderness without creating waste and consuming too many resources.

Be a good role model by reducing waste and lowering your own consumption of precious natural resources. Use energy-efficient vehicles, avoid using plastic bags, adopt solar power for heating water at home, and let your kids see you switching off lights and fans when they are not in use.

Practicing eco-friendly parenting means you are doing your bit to ensure that your child’s world is cleaner, greener and safer for them to grow up in. Do you have any more suggestions for eco-friendly parenting? Let us know in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Quick Makeup And Care Tips For The Monsoon Mamma

makeup-in-the-rainMoms, it’s monsoon time, and as you’re busy managing so many aspects in life – home, family, kids, work and all – here are a few quick tips that will help you keep that happy face a bit glammed up with ease….After all, looking a bit extra good doesn’t need a reason, does it? 🙂

1. The first thing to keep in mind is to go light and easy on the makeup. You don’t want to layer your skin with products, especially the face. While monsoon is generally cool, it’s also equally humid, and chances of makeup meltdown are immense. Keep it light and easy.

2. Waterproof it. Choose your products wisely. Go for products that are waterproof, especially eyeliner, kaajal and mascara.

3. Smokey eyes are a cool hit each monsoon. Use shades of black, brown, grey, purples, bronzes and chocolates to heat up the monsoon evenings. Continue reading →

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

 

Understanding Baby’s Hunger Needs

bfeedingMany new mums tend to get confused with the amount of varying information they get from family, friends, books and online. While a friend may say you need to feed your baby only when baby is hungry, the book may say you need to feed baby every few hours. While a relative says feeding for so and so time at a stretch is important, another may talk about signs that your baby shows.

All the above holds true in case of a new mum, as different babies have different needs and it takes a while to understand what really works for your little one. But one thing that holds true in case of new babies is that frequently feeding baby is good, and also advisable. Babies are still trying to develop their digestive system, and their tummies are tiny, so while they need feeds at small intervals, its also true that they need smaller quantities and not too much feed at one go.

A few signs that can help you notice baby’s hunger are:

  • Crying
  • Sucking fingers
  • Sucking lips
  • Sucking clothes
  • Not falling asleep even though you’ve been trying
  • Starts puckering lips imitating feed time

For newborns, its advisable that you feed baby every two hours. Once baby gets a little older, and if you are planning to start top feed, keep a regular schedule for feeding, and apart from that, keep your eyes out on baby’s cues for hunger.

Sometimes, you may worry that even though you are feeding baby properly, a lot of it is coming out in spitting. If that’s the case, try giving lesser quantity of feed, and make sure you burp baby properly after every feed, whether breast feed or bottle feed.

All babies are different, and it’s important that you try and understand what’s best for your’s. Give your baby some time to adjust to this ‘new’ life. While you’re there to care and love and do what’s best for your baby, everything will fall into place.

Sleep Or Exhaustion – What’s Your Baby Feeling?

jgkffkjFor most moms, the signs of baby feeling sleepy are quite clear:

  • Yawning
  • Scratching ears and head
  • Staring quietly at one spot
  • Less active
  • Irritated

But sometimes, signs that look like indications of sleep are actually indications of over-exhaustion, like:

  • Cranky
  • Constant crying
  • Rubbing eyes vigorously
  • Falling off to sleep while doing something else

If your baby shows any of the signs from the second list, chances are, its way past baby’s sleep time, and baby is now over-exhausted. You may have tried putting baby to sleep earlier, but baby was quite active and didn’t want to sleep, so you allowed a little more play time. Yes, we all do that.

This is actually a good way of making sure that baby is taken to bed when the first signs of sleep start to settle in, rather than waiting too long and letting baby get uncomfortable and cranky in the process. If you see baby yawning and being a little less active than baby usually is, its time to start the bedtime routine.

indexHere is what you should ideally be doing sometime before bed time and during as well:

  • Prepare a warm bath and give baby a bath
  • Give a light massage with some soothing baby oils
  • Put baby in comfortable sleep clothes – do not cover baby with too many quilts and blankets, instead get baby in sleep onesies.
  • Give baby some milk, bottle or mother’s feed
  • Dim the lights
  • Make sure the voices in the house are low
  • Keep the bed comfortable
  • Check that the room temperature is comfortable – not too warm and not too cold
  • If baby wants, give a comfort toy to hug and sleep
  • Sing a soft lullaby, read a story, play some light music

Your baby may not immediately fall off to sleep, though many babies do, but keep this routine regular and very soon your baby will start having a bed-time routine.

Top 5 Baby Signals: Mommy Knows Best

As a young mother, especially as a new mother, you have a lot on your hands. With a newborn in the house, often there are times when you have to bring on your special motherly instincts to help you understand what’s best for your baby. As a mother, you know what’s best for your baby, but sometimes, knowing before hand what those little signs and gestures mean, can prepare you to take care of baby more efficiently, and without you getting stressed and confused. So here are the top 5 signs that babies will definitely display, so make sure

sleep2

 

1. Rubbing eyes and ears/scratching head, face: These are the first signs of tiredness. As soon as you see baby doing any of this, its a good time to start preparing for baby’s bed time. Don’t wait for baby to get over-tired, as this will lead to crankiness and many tears.

 

crying-baby

 

2. Crying: Thisis baby’s most common way of showing that there is something wrong. And what could it be? It could be any of these – hunger, sleep, dirty diaper, wetting, soiling, fear, tiredness, pain, discomfort, attention-seeking, wanting something and not getting. Tend to baby and see what the reason is.

 

baby-laughing

3. Cooing, gurgling, short laughs: These are signals that begin baby’s journey towards communication. This is baby’s first step towards telling you what baby feels, what is making baby happy, what is making baby excited, what seems interesting to baby. Enjoy the phase! Encourage your baby, talk about your daily activities, talk about things around baby, talk about your feelings, and see your baby trying to talk just like you!

 

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4. Sucking fingers, putting things in mouth, chewing/biting on toys and things: Your baby is probably teething. This is a painful and uncomfortable experience for most babies, and baby will be cranky and crying. Ease baby’s discomfort by lightly massaging the gums. Give babies things to chew, like teethers and vegetable sticks. You can also give cooled carrot sticks for baby to bite/chew on.

 

baby-in-diaper

 

5. Touching diaper/poopy area: Baby may have soiled the diaper, baby may have wet itself. Also, this could be an indication that baby can already feel the need to go to the washroom. Check on baby’s diaper and clothes to see any signs of wetness or soiling. Also, this may be a good time to start your baby’s potty-training, if you’ve not already begun the process.

 

From Mummy To Yummy Mummy: Coz Mommy Knows Best

Yummy MummyYes, you read it right! As mothers, we really know and understand that no one can really be happy unless mommy is happy and relaxed!

Enjoying motherhood has been your prerogative. Even though you may feel stressed and burned-out at times, you, the mothers, have begun taking this experience to a completely different level altogether. And in this generation of mothers, the change is really visible. It’s true that in previous generations too, the mothers have always been caring and attentive, managing home and kids perfectly. Our mothers have truly devoted all their time to us, making us what we are today. But for this generation of mums, the change seems to be a lot different.

pregnancy-adviceBeing a mother in our generation is actually a lot of fun. Knowing that there’s a little one inside you does not deter the young mum-to-be from being stylish and ‘happening.’ She goes out with as much enthusiasm and is as style-conscious as she was before the stork visited. Whether its shopping for the kitchen or buying those fashionable clothes and makeup, she likes to do it all.

Today, mums are taking their little ones everywhere. And no, the birth of a new one does not tie them down or place them under house arrest. As soon as the initial resting period is over, these mums are seen everywhere – at work, at malls, at events, parties, everywhere. And most places, the little one is not left behind, but instead, can be seen enjoying mum’s company, while mum manages to make many heads turn.

Woman applying rougeGone are the days when mums would be all dull and drab. The young mums of today are fashion-conscious, stylish, glamorous and aware of the latest trends and don’t shy away from out new things. Not only do they do all their ‘mommy’ duties, young mothers today understand that to feel good you need to look good. And only when you look and feel happy, can you make others around you happy. So whether its exercise, makeup, yoga, fitness or clothes, these young mums today know it all!

Young mums today are much more hands-on, ensuring they are as much friend to their little one, as they are a mother.

Be it helping with the homework, playing those computer games or making the projects, going shopping, watching a movie happy-mother-and-childtogether or taking a dance class together, mothers and children today are bonding like never before!

And not to mention, they are managing the house and work as wonderfully as ever. Supermums?

So what happened all of a sudden? A big factor, that often goes unappreciated, is the fact that the young father of today has changed a lot, not just as a father, but also as a husband. He understands the importance of being your friend, he understands the importance of sharing responsibilities and encouraging and appreciating you. He does understand you, doesn’t he? And the fact that you have an understanding partner can go a long way in giving you the confidence you see in yourself.

happySo, as much as we celebrate motherhood, let’s give out a shout to all the wonderful dads out there too! Go on, give him a hug! Thanks dads!!

Managing Baby’s Feeds When Breastfeed Seems Inadequate

This week, Mum Sana Shahid had a problem that many new mums have faced and worried about. This young mum is having problems breastfeeding her baby, and even after nursing for an hour, her son remains hungry and cries a lot. ”I am eating healthy food, lots of milk, fruits, vegetables, almonds and nuts, but my milk is still watery!”

As always, we asked all you mums about some ‘real’, practical solutions, and our wonderful SOS Mommy Brigade came out with some very helpful tips. Read on:

1. Its important to be sure that enough milk is coming, else you’ll continue nursing but baby won’t get food enough. If breastfeed continues to remain inadequate, its a good idea to consult the doctor and give supplement feed of formula milk after every breast feed, just to fill up baby’s tummy. The mums also suggested Lactogen as a good way to fill up baby’s tummy after feeds.

2. Check with your and baby’s doctor about medicines that will help you produce more milk. Having milk with Pro Plus helps producing milk (as suggested by mums). Have lots of pulses and chapatis, as these are a healthy way to produce more milk. Try and eat every 2 hours and make sure your tummy is always full.

3. Eat and drink a lot. And while nursing, let baby suck on for as long as baby wants. Even though this may be difficult for you, your baby may get as much milk as possible. Having liquids, soups and dry fruits will help.

4. Some mums mentioned that they were prescribed Lactonic granules with milk twice a day and it helped them. We suggest you consult your doctor and check on the same before trying.

5. A high-protein and high-fluid diet will help. Make sure you eat at small intervals to have an abundant supply.

6. Drink a glass of masoor dal daily. Also, if required, give your baby gripe water. If you’re a non-vegetarian, have a portion of chicken/fish daily.

7. Sometimes, babies are not able to suck properly, thus losing out on precious milk. You can try using a breast pump that will allow you to pump out the entire milk and you can then feed your baby through a feeding bottle.

8. Try having roasted chana, drink milk at least 4 times a day, and add jaggery (gur) instead of sugar. You can also prepare shira with wheat flour with ghee and have the same.

9. Roasted garlic will not only help in producing milk but will also prevent baby from getting colicky. Also try and have warm water before every feed.

10.Don’t try dieting at this stage, as this will surely harm milk flow. Eat and drink plenty while you are still feeding baby.

11.Spend more time with baby, touch therapy can work wonders. Also, check with the pediatrician if baby is crying out of hunger or if there’s something else bothering baby.

12.Adding fenugreek (methi) is great to produce milk. Try swallowing a few teaspoons like a pill or soak it overnight and eat and drink the water.

13.Add a little amount of cumin seeds (jeera) to your diet to increase milk.

14.Not all cries are hunger cries, so try and understand if your baby is crying out of – tiredness, over stimulation, sleep, colic.

15.Make sure that baby is not falling off to sleep while feeding. While most babies do tend to fall asleep while still sucking, it ends up making them hungry, as they fall asleep before their tummies are full. Try talking to your baby while feeding, singing, emoting and other ways to keep baby awake through the feed.

15.Relax and get everything else out of your head when you’re feeding the baby. Be in the room with your baby, play some nice music, and make this a special one-on-one time with your baby.

16.Before feeding, try and massage your breast, you can also soak a towel in hot water and keep it on your breast. This will help loosen any knots in the milk glands and help in better flow. Help baby latch on properly to the nipple. Drink plenty of water before and after nursing baby.

17.Try using feeding nipples thatyou can attach to your nipples. These help make sucking easier for baby.

All the tips have been suggested by our amazing mommies, but as every mom and baby may have different needs, we suggest you consult your doctor before trying out any supplements or medicines, as what works for one may not work for the other.

We definitely have to give lots of special thanks to these lovely mommies: Saumya Khare, Anjali Sharma, Priyanka Herdhan, Cathy M Rathinam, Aaliya SQ, Shreya Chakravarty Bhattacharya, Neha Agarwal, Priyanka Jha, Arshiya Khan, Sreevalli Nallamala, Maya Silavat, Inie Minie, Harleen Walia, Nithya Chillam, Shweta Hitesh Joshi, Maya Khan, Munmun Jain Goel, Shobha Singh, Yashi Gaurav Deora, Rashika Mediratta, Lunalisa Potsangbam A Saxena, Neelam Das, Sree Devi, Mrunal Pranjale, Susmita Nanda Dash, Cynthia Haller

 

Getting Baby From Breast To Bottle

Mum Neha Jain Rawal, mother to a 1.3 year old son, told us on our FB page that she is going through one of the most common problems that is associated with early motherhood – getting your baby off the breast! If you thought that getting your baby to latch on was a problem, wait till your baby reaches the stage when it’s good to get off the breast. Like they say, for anything you want your baby to learn, the key is always the time – starting early and giving baby the hints before you actually take proper action.

As your paediatrician may have already suggested, the ideal time to get baby off the breast is right after the first birthday cake has arrived. But yes, if that’s what you’re planning, then a few hints of what’s coming need to be shared with baby a few months earlier. If your baby has already crossed the first birthday, like Mum Neha’s son has, and is still only attached to mum’s feed, worry not. There’s still time.

As a baby grows, so does the realisation about where mum’s milk is coming from, and also the realisation that it’s always close by.

1. Mums, remember that it will always be a painful experience and a long one to get your baby off the breast and onto the bottle. So before you begin, make sure you’ve discussed about the anxieties and other points with your partner, and also your family, who may be able to assist you, especially your partner, whose help you will definitely need in the process. Also, make sure you are emotionally ready and prepared that now is the time that the single bond your baby and you had that was the most precious to you till now is going to change, for the better. Breastfeeding helps mums and babies bond like nothing can, but there are many other ways that you will be bonding with your little one.

2. Before you begin, remember, baby will cry, cry and cry more. And this will probably break your heart. It sure will. But you will have to live with a few days of letting baby cry, and not give in. Don’t let yourself feel guilty for this, or don’t think that because you are denying baby of your milk, you are being a bad mother. This is all for your baby and your own health and benefit, so just have a few days of patience and it will soon become baby’s normal routine.

3. Be emotionally prepared and mentally strong. Do not cry if baby cries for a feed and you are unable to give that. Make sure you know that what you are doing is for baby’s and your own benefit.

4. Nothing can happen suddenly. So don’t think that you will suddenly cut down on all the feeds and help baby. Begin by reducing the number of times you feed, substituting one breastfeed time a day to bottle, and increasing the frequency slowly.

5. Introduce the bottle/sippy cup as a play thing, as a fun thing. Give baby time to get familiarised with it.

6. Don’t bring in change at times when baby is super tired, sleepy or hungry. This will only make baby more troubled and cranky. Do not introduce the bottle at such times, as baby will start associating this with unhappy times. Try and hand the bottle about half an hour before nap time, when baby is a little tired, but not cranky. Also, try and hand the bottle a little before baby gets too hungry. This will give baby time to slowly figure out the bottle, look at it, play with it, and probably use it once baby is hungry.

7. Try and slip in the bottle nipple while you are breastfeeding. Baby will refuse the first few times, many times, but please keep trying.

8. Your baby may suddenly not want to go to a bottle. Try and get a small sippy cup instead.

9. Giving milk in a bottle as a starter may be a big change and shock for baby, as baby is only used to having milk from mum. Instead, try and give water in a fun sippy cup and see how baby reacts.

10. Since you will be trying to detach from baby’s milk needs, this is the best and most crucial time that your partner, or if that is not a possibility, then the closest person who will be baby’s carer, to step in. Let baby and the carer have more time together, and get more comfortable with each other. This will help baby accept feed from the hands of the carer.

11. Do not give baby the bottle/sippy cup yourself. No matter how tempted you are, this is not the time for you to be handing an alternative to baby. Leave this to your partner or to the carer.

12. When someone is assisting with feeding baby, avoid being in the same room. Seeing mommy at feeding time will make baby realise that breast milk is close at hand.

13. Start with giving some light milk in the bottle/sippy cup. Try and dilute the milk with water, as otherwise it may get difficult for baby to digest. There is no need to add any sugar or any other flavour in the beginning. See if your baby will go for natural plain milk. If your baby is not happy with the taste, ask the doctor for any suggestions about what to add for flavours.

14. Put honey along the bottle nipple or on the sippy cup teat to make it appealing to baby.

15. If you absolutely have to hold baby while bottle-feeding, make sure baby’s back is to you, while you make baby sit on your lap. Otherwise, you can try and get baby on a high-chair, and try and divert attention by opening a fun music book, a flip-the-flap book, playing with a toy, or if nothing helps, switching on the television and putting on something that baby will love. Trying out the bottle while taking baby for a stroll outside may also be a good idea.

16. Sometimes, babies will sleep off in the night with the nipple still in the mouth, as this is a comfort option for them. If this is the case, try and keep a favourite sippy-cup near baby’s pillow, so that baby can grab it in the middle of the night and get back to sleep.

17. At night, try and let baby sleep in a cot next to the bed. At feeding time, let your partner hand the bottle. If you are co-sleeping (sleeping together with baby in the same bed), let your partner lie down next to baby. This will prevent baby from directly going for the breast.

18. If your being in the same room is creating a problem for getting baby to the bottle, maybe you should try and sleep in a different room for a few weeks, till baby gets used to the idea of a bottle at night.

19. Many times, we end up breastfeeding a baby in the middle of the night for the sheer comfort and ease of it. Understand that this will create a negative impact on all your efforts at weaning.

Mums, when it comes to weaning baby, no amount of tips and suggestions can help, unless YOU are ready for it. Weaning a baby is, in most cases, a very emotional and trying experience, one that will drain you out completely, that may make you feel that you are not doing the best for baby, one that may make you feel guilty. But please remember, that as a mother, as long as you have nursed your baby, it’s good enough, that you have done a great job as a parent, and that what you are doing now is keeping in mind the benefit, health and comfort of your baby.

Good luck mums!

 

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.

10 Quick Tips To Glam Up For The Festivals

Mums,

It’s THE FESTIVAL season…Navratri, Durga Puja, Diwali, and top it with this being the shaadi season of all times..there’s so much looking extra-good to be done these days, isn’t it? And with a little one to look after, there’s not much time to head out for those beauty sessions or relaxing spa appointments. Since we couldn’t help you on that front, we came up with the next best thing – sharing with you the top 10 quick and easy-to-do at home tricks to make ‘looking extra good’ that much more easier for you…Do remember to share your ‘special’ tips as well 🙂

Hair:

1. Make some green tea by soaking 02 green tea bags in hot boiled water. Let the tea bags remain in the water till its naturally cool. Pour the water on your hair, let it remain for some time, then rinse off with warm water – makes hair soft and shiny.

2. Apply some olive oil on dry hair to bring back shine for dull hair.

3. To get rid of dandruff, mix some white vinegar with water and use as a shampoo. Massage properly, leave on for a few minutes, then rinse off with warm water.

4. Control frizzy unmanageable hair by applying a little olive oil or coconut oil to help smoothen it out.

5. Oily hair and no time for shampoo? Take a little talcum powder on your hands and apply with fingers on the roots for dry, grease-free hair in minutes.

Skin / Face:

6. For any ungainly pimple or rash that comes up at the last minute, don’t burst it. Instead, apply a little lime juice on the spot.

7. No time for a facial? Rub the inside of a papaya skin or a fresh banana peel on your face and see the glow.

8. Apply a little Vaseline on your eyelids, cheekbones and eyelashes for a healthy shape and shine.

9. Take a little lemon juice and sugar granules. Mix together and rub over your face. Not only is this good for lightening the skin and removing any tan on regular use, it also avoids pimples and gives your face a glow.

10.If you want those perfect rosy tint on your lips in the morning but don’t want to look like you applied lipstick, put on some bright red lipstick on your lips before you go to bed. Clean up in the morning for a rosy tint, without applying any lip colour!

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP OF ALL: Lots of healthy food and plenty of water, and mums, you’re definitely on the right track to looking, feeling and being beautiful and fit!

Bonding With Your Baby

As a mother, one of the first moments of bonding with your baby happens when you hear that first cry, when you hold your baby in your arms for the very first time and look into that tiny face. But much as you may think this is the beginning of your bonding with baby, the beginning happens way before your baby arrives.

One of the very first moments when you begin planning for your baby is the time when your bonding begins. As you walk into the stores and see all those little clothes and toys and cribs and cradlesyou already start creating a picture in your mind, and that love and tenderness for your baby has already begun to seep in.

Once you get the news of your pregnancy,there is not much else that occupies your mind. From doctor visits where you hear baby’s first heartbeat and see that tiny form taking shape to reading pregnancy books and going to lamaze classes, your bonding with baby is already formed. Studies have revealed that, for a baby inside the womb, no sound is as comforting as the mother’s heartbeat and the mother’s voice, and whatever a mother hears during her stages of pregnancy, will directly have an impact on the unborn baby inside. Listening to calming sounds will comfort and soothe your baby, and reading books on pregnancy, parenting and other related topics will not only benefit you as a parent, helping you understand baby’s growth and development and helping you handle parenthood better, it will also help inculcate a reading habit in your to-be-born.

Many parents love creating a baby nursery before baby’s arrival, while some prefer doing it after knowing for real whether its a boy or a girl. Either way, there is always the option of doing up a nursery, whether completely or partially, in certain neutral colours, so that you have more time with baby after the birth. While creating a nursery is one of the most fun phases of early parenting, it’s also one that helps you bond with your baby. Getting a baby bed,decorating the walls, hanging up the lights and the mobile cot, cosying up the room with toys, stuffed toys andcushions and making a perfect nest for your baby is something that will help you bond with your baby before as well as after birth.

After your baby is born, one of the first moments of bonding one-on-one with your baby will be when you begin feeding. As you nurse your little one, the skin-on-skin contact and the closeness to your heart is something that will tie you and baby for life! Nursing will also be one of your sacred and personal times with your baby, so make sure you make full use of it. Speak to your baby, tell your baby about how you feel, about how much you love baby, sing a lullaby, tell a story, just say anything, because listening to your voice will still be one of the most soothing things for your newborn.

As each day goes by, there will be countless moments for a mother to bond with her baby. From bath time to massage time to feeding time to play time to sleep time, every moment is filled with a personal touch, a personal connect.

As long as you and baby are near each other, every time is bonding time. So have fun mommies, and celebrate this wonderful experience of parenthood, and make it memorable with this precious memories you create with your little one!

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