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.
Rashmi Kabibar Padhan wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 2 years old son. She says that her son behaves nicely at home and gets along with everyone but once she takes him outside he behaves exactly the opposite.
If anyone tries to take him on the lap he starts crying. She is worried for her son and has asked us for some advice. We asked our community of mothers for their advice and have incorporated their input below.
Firstly, it’s important to know that it is perfectly normal for most babies to show a fear of strangers or of unfamiliar people around the age of 7 to 9 months. Most babies also go through a phase of separation anxiety, when they are afraid of being apart from their parents.
Experts believe this is because babies are better able to remember and recognise familiar faces and places around this age. This is nothing to worry about, other than it can be embarrassing when introducing your baby to new people and family members.
This phase will pass by the time your child is older, but being present when introducing your child to new people may help them adjust better to new situations. Encourage your family members to come over more often so they become familiar to the baby.
Greet new people in a warm and friendly voice, so your child learns not to be afraid of them. Let them approach your child slowly and gently. Also do not encourage others to touch or pick up your baby as this may provoke fearful reactions.
Thanks to the parents below for their contributions.
Jyothi Dorai, Lavanya Reddy, Madhulika Verma, Anwesha Sukul, Pushpa Panwar, Narendra Bansal
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Kids who are aware of their strengths and weakness are more positive, feel confident, find it easier to handle pressures, and are more optimistic.
On the other hand, children with low self-esteem find it challenging and are relatively more anxious and frustrated than others.
A child’s self-esteem affects their day-to-day activities and affects their relationships with others.
A positive self-esteem helps the child to believe in their own values, make right decisions under pressure, confidently interact with others, handle stress and challenges and make healthier choices.
Read on for some tips to help foster your child’s self-esteem.
Love and Acceptance: Love your child to the utmost and spend lots of quality time. A child benefits the most when you are able to accept him regardless of their strengths, weaknesses and abilities. Give him or her plenty of kisses, hugs, cuddles, pats and affection.
Focus on the Child: By listening to them and playing with them. Show interest in things, games and activities that they enjoy and let them guide play. This makes them feel important and valuable.
Consistency: Decide and enforce clear rules that must be followed by the child at each stage of life. Tell him what you expect and what punishment would be given if the rules were not followed. This helps them to feel safe and secure and grow more confident in making own decisions.
Support Change: Encourage the child to try something new, like make a new friend or try a new food. There is always possibility of risk, but the chances for success are also equally same if not high. Try letting them explore and experiment to build their self-esteem by finding the right balance between the need to protect him or her with the want to embark upon new tasks.
Problem-Solve: Offer various chances to solve problems so that the child understands he or she has control over his or her own life. Help the child correct the mistakes and talk about how it can be done differently the next time.
Offer Empathy and Encouragement: If your child feels frustrated because he cannot do things like his peers, empathize and then emphasize on of his or her other strengths. This will help them learn their own personal strengths and weaknesses. Young ones also require ample amounts of encouragement from their parents and loved ones to feel good about themselves.
Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Parents end up spending a huge sum of money on preparations and once the baby arrives, a great deal of attention is spent on meeting the new baby’s basic needs.
Unfortunately, all this can become really taxing for the first child. It is very important to communicate with the elder sibling and let them known their importance.
Parents can prepare their first child for an addition to the family by appropriately discussing it. It is important to be patient and to also answer all their curious queries.
For example, a 4-year-old child may point at your belly and ask you what is there in side or is this where babies come from? Such questions may be difficult to answer, but you can try explaining it at your child’s level of comprehension.
In order to prepare your first child for their new sibling, read on for some tips that maybe helpful:
Have your child experience the child kicking and have them touch and hold the baby if they want to, but don’t force them, only let them do it if they like and want to.
Go through the child’s own baby photos with and tell them how excited you were when they were born. This will be fun for them and help them understand and learn what a newborn looks like.
Make your child understand that they will have a new member joining the family who would be sharing everything with them, including the parents time. It is important to make them feel equally important and loved.
Handle all disruptive behavior firmly and fairly. It is usual for siblings to behave crankily as they feel displaced by the younger sibling. This is primarily because the parents tend to spend more time with the newborn to satisfy his or her needs.
Most children feel uneasy when they see mothers focusing on the birth of a new family member. All that you really can do at this time is provide lots of love and support so that they regain their confidence.
Tell the child, that they will now be an elder brother or sister and must set an example for the younger one. This will make the child feel more confident about their position.
Finally, at this crucial point of your life, do not make big changes like changing your job or shifting to a new house, as these will pose additional pressure on your already-stressed child. Try maintaining the same routine that you had been for the last few months.
So what was your experience introducing your first child to a new baby? Do share in the comments below.
Image courtesy of hin255 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
However, in addition to the rewards associated with it there are many challenges and hurdles that need to be overcome.
While you, as parents, are likely to approach remarriage and a new blended family with great joy and expectation, your kids may not be nearly as excited.
They probably feel uncertain about the upcoming changes and how that will affect relationships with their natural parents and also worry about living with new step-siblings whom they don’t even know.
To give yourself the best chance of success, here is how to make things easier as you adapt to your new role.
The most important role of a step-parent is to start slow. You are not aware of how things are going to work out for you in the future. Secondly, you could also create a suffocating environment by trying to be the dream step-parent, but actually coming across as fake to the child.
Ensure you take your time to adjust and give enough time to your step-children too. Over time, you will be able to develop a strong relationship with them. Of course, you must be prepared for the probability that it will not be the same as with their birth parents.
Limit Your Expectations
You might invest in a lot of time, energy and affection in your new partner’s kids, the rewards of which are not returned to you immediately. The key is not to expect things to happen quickly.
Introducing gradual changes in day-to-day living can help ease the new family chaos and make the transition for children much easier. Think of it as making small investments that may one day give you a greater reward.
Don’t ‘Buy’ Your Step-Children
“I’ll buy you whatever you want, even if you don’t like me.” Don’t take this attitude with your step-children. The more you act like this, the more you will increase the risks of ruining your relationship with them. Be yourself, and if you want to give them something, offer it as a gift or a surprise. But don’t go over the top!
The more time you spend with your step-children, the easier it will be to get to know and appreciate each other. No matter what the circumstances are, there are chances that there will be some bumps along the way.
Keep reminding yourself that every step-parent’s experience is going to be different. For some it’s stressful, and for other’s it is an easy transition to develop. What is important is that you have an open mind and patience with your step-children.
So have you been a step-parent? What was the experience like for you and how did you develop your relationship with your new kids?
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
The idea of preschool can be daunting for many parents and brings jitters for both children and parents. However, it is important to understand the importance and benefits gained during this stage of academic life.
Preschool is a time when your child will have lots of fun with children their own age and also learn many activities that would be helpful throughout his or her life.
Many parents wonder how they would leave their little ones with strangers in the form of preschool teachers. Thus, it is a good idea to put an effort to get to know your child’s preschool teacher at the start of the year.
Keeping in Touch Regularly
Ensure you make most of your first meeting to create a plan for staying in regular contact with your child’s preschool teacher throughout the year. Ask them for their home phone number or email address, in case of emergencies. Do assure the teacher that this information would be kept confidential private by you.
Teachers get really overwhelmed by parent volunteers. Hence, be specific in what areas interest you and come with suggestions and ideas for how you could be useful in the classroom. By helping out at school parties and performances, you will be able to see both the teacher and children in a more casual setting.
Always imagine that your child’s preschool teacher is the busiest human on earth. Just stopping by the classroom, before or after your child goes to lunch is a reasonable time; but remember this is also the teachers lunch time. So ensure you only meet them at appropriate times or with prior appointments.
Don’t forget to say thank you and pass along compliments and suggestions to your child’s preschool teacher. Everyone appreciates a kind word. Thank her or him every time when they show special sensitivity towards your child and when they pay extra attention to them.
If you have a very serious concern about your child or the class, consult the teacher. Arrange a brainstorming meeting where you both could try to solve issues.
If you are still unhappy, let them know that you want to discuss the matter with their supervisor. But don’t forget to include the teacher in these discussions too, because it will show that you are being respectful of her relationship with your child.
It is very important to structure a good relationship with your child’s preschool teacher for both you and your child for many practical reasons.
Ensure that you approach the teacher with an open mind and with direct questions always. By doing so, you are sure to become an integral part of your child’s preschool experience.
Whether 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
Meet Jyosna Kanal Tandaan, a self-confessed party animal, a lady who knows how to entertain friends, at the same time playing loving wife and caring mommy to her super-charged sons.
A high-flier and a party animal, not the traits you would really associate with a mommy. “Becoming a mother has changed everything. My lifestyle, my behaviour, my attitude towards life, all have undergone a drastic change. Earlier I would head out to party at every given opportunity. My friends were my world. I was bursting with too much energy, always hyper, a little immature and irresponsible at times. Being a mother has changed all that, and only for the better. Now my life revolves around my sons, all else is secondary. Whatever I do, I first think how my sons will react to it. All my decisions and choices are now governed by what suits my sons best. I have become much more mature and calm as a person and can handle situations in a much more level-headed way than before.”
Jyosna gave up her lucrative career and decided to be a stay-at-home mom. And the one image that will always remain in her heart is the image of her little one when she was just three months into her pregnancy. “The doctor had advised me a sonography. Till that time I was very unsure of how things would be, my full maternal instincts had not developed yet. The entire process was still very overwhelming for me.” But when she saw the image of her little one, nestled inside her, growing slowly each day, with each passing moment, it was too much for this emotional girl. “I knew right then that I was looking at my world” she says, emotions clouding her words.
Having an indisciplined child can be a real problem, one that poses the threat of embarassment for you, while making your child the subject of ridicule and potential rejection by other kids and parents. There may be instances where your child may be conveniently left out of play dates and birthdays, when you see a decrease in the number of friends coming home to play with your child, while instances of your baby being invited to friends’ house goes down visibly. You may reach the stage of almost giving up, of talking sternly to your child, and sometimes, even resorting to means of punishment and hitting. But once you sit down and actually think about it – who is to blame for this situation? Is it really your child, or is it you, the parent, who failed to inculcate the basics of discipline and manners in the little one?
Ensuring your little one turns out into a well-disciplined and well-grounded toddler and child, and later a good human being, is completely the responsibility of the guardian. Disciplining a child is a really simple task, and the basics can begin very early, much before your baby will learn to speak. A child will always emulate an adult, so it is really important that before you set yourself to discipline your child, you implement the same in your own behaviour and routine.
You may ask your little one to follow a certain pattern, to behave a certain way, but if you become an example of the opposite, the same will reflect in your little one’s attitude. As parents, we have the paramount responsibility of being the idol the child will look upto, the person whose behaviour and mannerisms the child will emulate, so our language, our behaviour and all our dealings in everyday life should be such that can provide the ideal example to our baby.
In India, where the concept of joint families is still alive in some households, it is especially difficult to discipline a child, since the safety zone to escape punishment is always close at hand. It is imperative that all adults of the household are tuned to the ways of bringing up a child – if each one has a different perspective and a different method of discipline and behaviour, a child will invariably end up being confused, thus losing out on important learning methods. In such a scenario, it is important that all adults discuss the matter, but make sure the child is not present while such matters are being talked about. In a nuclear family, both the parents need to have a ‘pre-decided’ agreement on how to discipline baby and what is allowed and what is crossing the limit.
Moulding your child into the person you want her/him to be is completely in your hands, so make sure you create the right ambience and the right mix of discipline and love to help your child grow up into a good human being. And remember to keep those hugs and kisses in plentiful – you want to discipline your child, yes, but one message that you always want to give out to your child is, that no matter what, mamma and papa will always love you.
Mommies, 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.
- 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
Many 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:
- 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.
- Scratching ears and head
- Staring quietly at one spot
- Less active
But sometimes, signs that look like indications of sleep are actually indications of over-exhaustion, like:
- 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.
- 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.
We read this incredible piece of ‘miracle’ news in the papers and just had to share it with all you lovely parents out there…..We’re calling it a miracle – though of course its a feat of some form of science – just because the love of the mum and the bond she shared here with her new born is so incredible.
Katie Ogg gave birth to twins in a hospital in Sydney. They were delivered at 27 weeks, weighing just two pounds each. While doctors okayed her baby girl Emily, the little baby boy Jamie was not breathing, as per the doctors. The medical staff battled hard to save the little boy but after 20 minutes of desperate attempts, they declared him ‘dead’.
As per the mum:
“The doctor asked me if we had chosen a name for the baby. I said Jamie. They turned around with my son already wrapped up and said ‘we’ve lost Jamie, he didn’t make it, sorry.'”
As the doctors handed her son’s lifeless body to her, she only wanted to hold her son close to her.
“It was the worst feeling I have ever felt. I unwrapped Jamie from his blanket. He was very limp.”
Katie wanted to hold her son next to her skin. “I took my gown off and arranged him on my chest with his head over my arm and just held him” she recalled.
As the baby was not moving, the grieving parents began talking to their ‘lost’ son. “We told him what his name was and that he has a sister. We told him the things we wanted to do with him throughout his life.”
The parents didn’t realise but they had been talking to their son for two hours when Jamie suddenly began showing signs of life.
“I felt him move as if he was startled, then he started gasping for air more and more regularly.” At first the doctors had claimed the signs of gasping for air was just a reflex action of the body and that the baby was dead. But soon the gasping began to grow more frequent.
“I took some breast milk on my finger, he took it and started regular breathing normally. A short time later he opened his eyes. It was a miracle.”
“Then he held out his hand and grabbed my finger. He opened his eyes and moved his head from side to side. The doctor kept shaking his head and saying I don’t believe it”.”
It is now being thought that the warmth of Ogg’s body acted like an incubator to keep the baby warm and stimulated. It adds weight to the theory of ‘kangaroo care’ named after the way marsupials care for their young in their pouch.
The father later said: “Luckily I have got a very strong, very smart wife. She instinctively did what she did. If she hadn’t done that Jamie probably wouldn’t be here.”
See….we always knew that the best place in the world for a baby is mommy’s arms!
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Being 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.
Gone 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 together 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.
It’s the greatest joy for a mother to see her baby sleep peacefully. That tiny head resting on the pillow, those puckered-up lips, those feathery eyelashes lying over resting eyes – its just too much a sight to not want to pick up that little bundle right up in your arms then. But again, you would want these precious moments to extend, to let baby get as much sleep and rest as possible.
All babies have a special way of signalling when they need to sleep. This may not mean they necessarily want to, but of course these are signs that all mums pick up, and know instinctively that it’s time to say ‘good night.’
We wanted to know from all you mums what’s your baby’s special sign for sleep time, and you all had beautiful stories to tell.
Mums Parul Umesh and Kripa Ganesh say that one of the first indications that baby is sleepy is when their babies start rubbing their eyes and nose. Mum Priyanka Karmakar Roy’s baby also starts rubbing the eyes, but sleep makes the little one irritable, and tantrums and tears follow.
Mum Srijana Rai is a lucky mum, as her baby crawls up to her and wants a big hug in mommy’s arms!
And mum Roohie Khanam’s princess is a grown-up lady, who can tell mommy herself that she is feeling sleepy, while her son will simply put his head on mommy’s shoulder to show its time for bed.
Mum Bagya Lakshmi’s daughter starts turning her face left and right, rubbing her eyes and crying, while mum Priya Jain’s 09 month old baby starts rubbing his eyes and head. Mum Sandhya Nair’s little one blinks a couple of times, rubbing his eyes and nose, and comes to hug mommy.
Another lucky mommy, mum Akruti Desai’s 20-month old son brings his blanket to momma and starts humming lullabies. Wow, listening to lullabies at baby’s bedtime must sure be fun!
Mum Heena Shah-Dhedhi is also lucky, as bedtime means her 12 month old princess comes and snuggles into mommy’s lap.
Mum Himani Bansal absolutely loves baby’s bedtime, as her baby starts rubbing his ears and eyes and then hugs her tight.
Mum Smrati Tiwari Saini’s little hero rubs his ears and becomes restless, asking to be only with momma, and droopy eyelids, yawning and rubbing the eyes is what mum Nassia Jasmine’s baby does.
Mum Tanya Bhateja’s 11 month old starts rubbing his eyes and puts his thumb in the mouth, a sure shot indicator that its bed time and time for baby to get into mommy’s lap.
Mum Priyanka Adhikary Chakaraborty has a partner in baby’s sleeptime – baby’s father! While the little one starts rubbing his eyes and nose and gets a little cranky, a lullaby from papa is an absolute must, something that will finally soothe baby to sleep.
Mum Tania,Goel, mum Usha Govind and mum Manobina Nanda Ganguly all have babies who start rubbing their eyes and ears at nap time.
Mum Vaishali Vaidya says her 15 month old baby suddenly starts demanding different things at bedtime…quite a princess!
Mum Asha Victoria’s toddler starts craving for the pacifier and makes mommy rub on baby’s nose! Wow…that’s a different one!
Mums Hina Tayal Adv , Meera Saru Magar and Meenakshi Chandail Parihar’s babies start yawning, crying and rubbing their eyes and nose, while mum Anamika Mishra’s baby comes over to her and sleeps on mommy pillow – mommy’s tummy! Same as mom Amarjeet Kaur, whose 11 month old baby lies down on mommy’s chest for nap time.
Mommy to twins, mum Mansi Saxena says that one of her twin daughters goes and finds a soft toy or blanket and lies down on it, while the other suddenly becomes more active, while still rubbing her eyes in between.
Mom Prerna Mahajan’s baby rubs his eyes and ears and gets cranky, and mommy’s cuddling and rocking is what he needs to fall asleep.
Mom Meenal Bansal’s little baby starts singing his own lullaby and falls off to sleep. We have a feeling that many moms are jealous, is that right?
Mum Sony Bhoopathi’s 18 month old baby brings her pillow to mamma, pulls mamma to the bed and then lies down in mamma’s lap. And mommy says she absolutely loves it!
Mum Namrata Samel Dixit’s baby is glued to momma when sleepy, while scratching her ears and pulling her hair.
Mum Dhivya Madhan Kumar’s baby scratches his face and starts looking in one direction, and mum Savita Zanwar’s baby pulls her hair and cries, then comes to mamma for a hug.
Mum Mrunal Pranjale’s baby rubs his eyes and sits in one place while mum Gareema Burman Sehrawat’s baby starts asking for a breast feed and finally falls asleep.
Mum Jasmeet Sidhu’s baby starts staring at something and soon gets drowsy, while mum Yamini Mishra’s son scratches his ears and starts making faces.
Mum Shama Desai’s baby asks mommy to come to the bedroom with the milk bottle while mom Veena Giri’s baby rubs her eyes and looks at mommy when she is sleepy.
See….we told you mommy knows best! How to interpret and read all those small and big and cute and simple signs that mean so much – that it’s time for the little one to now sleep peacefully, knowing mommy is around.
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.
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.
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
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!
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 cradles, you 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!