A woman’s journey of motherhood begins the moment she finds out she is pregnant! From then, till she delivers her baby, there are several stages that a woman has to cross-over. Each stage presents before her the scope to become an awesome mom. Some women take this rather too seriously and end up getting stressed out.
And then there are other mothers and expecting moms who say goodbye to stress and adopt smart ways of becoming amazing at their role. Here are some of the smart tips that you too must follow!
1. Give your baby priority – A great mom is the one who makes her child her universe! The little one’s early days are the time for tender love and care that only a mother can give to her child. And a part of it is by getting the right baby products right from diapers to baby clothing. One of the smart ways of doing this is online shopping. Moms and expecting moms can take the benefit of coupons that are available online today and choose from the various branded baby products available.
2. Apt nutrition for your child and yourself – This is a big one! Food is both important for both the mother and her child. Therefore, both during pregnancy and post-pregnancy, eating the right foods with high nutritional value is crucial. You should consult a gynaecologist and a paediatrician to get the best food-chart for yourself and your little one respectively. Also, make sure you consume natural foods like smoothies, shakes, herbs, milk, almonds and other nuts to stay healthy both pre and post child delivery.
3. Keep the surrounding clean and healthy – As a super mom, the least you can do is provide your child with a neat and clean ambience so that the well-being of your little one is ensured. Therefore, make sure that your house gets cleaned at regular intervals. That aside, adopt cleanliness practices like using a sanitizer that has minimal chemicals to keep your hand clean. Ensure that house dusting is done daily and meticulously so that there are no impurities that can enter the child body. The little ones are vulnerable during this stage and you need to be extra careful.
4. Think good and positive thoughts – Research shows that a child’s first traits always come from the mother. Hence, it is of great importance to maintain a positive and a healthy outlook towards life! Give your child the best thoughts by reading positive things and participating in only constructive discussions. It is best during this time to stay away from stress and fear-based thoughts that usually get generated from news and other drama-oriented televised shows.
5. Plan ahead of time – It is always better to plan a bit ahead of time when you’re expecting or are a new mother. Put your imagination into action and arrange the little one’s space in the house with utmost sincerity. So, get all enthused about decorating the room, getting the correct decorative items for your baby, and also choose the perfect colour for the room. Your child, tiny though she is, will experience the joy of knowing that a special space had been created for her even before her birth.
Motherhood is a rewarding albeit challenging journey. However, these simple ways are great starting points to help you out. One thumb rule that you must remember is this – you’re a super mom and are doing a great job already!
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However, for some women, becoming a mother brings with it emotional turmoil leading to post partum depression. One of the reasons for this is the hormonal imbalance that takes place in the body post child-birth.
Post-partum depression can begin in a woman after 1 to 2 weeks of child birth and can linger for a few months. She might be suddenly very happy and become tearful right the next moment.
She might feel extremely sad and lonely and lose her appetite. Sometimes the depression can continue for long and it becomes important to seek proper medical attention if things go out of hand.
Apart from seeking help from a medical professional, new moms can try these tips to help deal with post-partum depression, to some extent:
• Cry when you feel like it
Hormone levels remain at an all time high during pregnancy. After the child birth, all the hormones fall back to their normal levels. Experts believe that hormone secretion takes place through tears. So if you cry, it is a natural way of getting rid of those hormones, and also of the stress of being a new mom. In fact, you could feel much better after crying.
• Re-evaluate your balance
When you become a mother for the first time, there will only be one thing on your mind and that is your baby. However, there are many things that need attention along with your baby. Try and carry out a re-evaluation of the time required for everything, so that it will not stress you and let you handle your life while retaining your balance.
• Sleep as much as possible
When you become a new mum, you will sorely miss those peaceful sleeping hours at night. You will have to wake up to feed the baby, to see if it is dry and so on. But getting adequate sleep is also very important. If there is no one else to take care of the baby when you are asleep, catch up on your own sleep when the baby sleeps.
• Eat healthy and get some exercise
Regular exercise works to boost the levels of good hormones in the body and helps you fight depression. With increasing levels of endorphin due to exercising, your depression will reduce. Also eat a balanced and healthy diet to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need.
Following these tips, along with proper medical counseling, will definitely help combat the phase of postpartum blues that so many new moms go through.
Image courtesy of hyena reality / 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
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.
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!
Mums, the biggest urge to shop for the soon-to-arrive bundle is strongest during the final months… You may have been a controlled-shopper till now, but as the day approaches nearer and you know that your mobility is somewhat going to be restricted for the first few days or weeks, you want to stock up on everything for the little one.
It is an awesome experience to shop for your infant, but sometimes, we end up with goods that will have no use for the first few months, and will be a total waste of money and space back home.
To make it a little easier for you, we made a list of the essentials you would actually need once the baby has arrived:
1. Baby lotion, baby powder, baby cream, baby shampoo, nappy rash cream. You may also go for a top-to-toe baby wash that can be used on the head as well as the body. Check what suits your baby’s skin and your pocket.
2. You will need to stock up on loads of cloth nappies. During the first few days you will have to discard the nappy each time after it gets soiled.
3. Dettol. You need to disinfect all of baby’s clothes with the antiseptic.
4. Baby thermometer. The latest in the market is a strip that needs to be placed on baby’s forehead for as little as 15 seconds to see the temperature. You may also go for the traditional ones or the new ones that come with a beep once the temperature is recorded.
6. Baby bed linen. You usually get a full set that comprises of a sheet, a night suit, a cap, small pillow and a spread. Also, buy a baby comforter or blanket as per the weather.
7. Antiseptic cream for baby.
8. Baby booties and mittens.
9. Baby nail-cutters. You will be surprised to see how soon the nail growth takes place in babies. You trim baby’s nails and they will be back to their sharp and grown stage within 3-4 days!
11. Baby carrier.
12. Dim lights. With a new-born in the room you would require to have some light on even when it’s goodnight time.
13. Baby scrap-book. Get this if you want to keep a track of your little one from the time of birth.
14. Sanitizer. You would need a big bottle of sanitizer right after baby’s birth as relatives and well-wishers begin to pour in and you would want them to first clean their hands.
15. Baby cot. You may not make baby sleep in the cot during the night, in most Indian households, babies always sleep together in the same bed with their parents. But during the day, when you are busy in other work or when you need your own rest, it is a good idea to keep baby in the baby cot during sleep time. This will also help baby sleep better.
16. Baby wipes. These will be your saviour for at least the next 3-4 years.
17. Baby Sweaters and jackets
18. Last and one of the most important on the list – A BABY NAME !!!
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!
This week, Namrata, mum to a 09-month-old baby girl, wrote in to us with a problem that you can easily connect with – already having a pet at home when baby arrives.She said – ‘Since the time I shifted with my in-laws, my daughter kept getting cold and congestion. Initially we thought its here resistance problem, but soon realised it can be an allergy to pet hair. We did a small experiment by staying at my mum’s place for a month. Not only did my baby’s congestion vanish within a week, she also became quite active. I have to go back to my in-laws’ place now, and I can’t ask them to give away the pet. Please help me as to what I can do!’
For those who have a pet at home, its easy to say that the pet almost always becomes a part of the family, a family member itself. So what happens when a little one arrives and things change? How do you make sure that your baby’s health is not affected by the pet’s presence? Most pet owners who have a baby at home will agree that pets, especially dogs, are immensely fond of small babies and love to be around them, and as much as some people are fine with it and in fact love this whole bonding thing, most are not comfortable with the pet sniffing around the little one.
So how do you really manage? Here are a few most common and practical answers that have been shared by other mums who have faced a similar situation themselves. Have a look:
#1 Try and keep the pet away from the child. If the little one is a newborn, make sure the pet does not enter the baby’s room.
#2 If your baby is a toddler now and of a playing stage, try and get your baby in the habit of wearing a mask covering the nose and mouth while playing with the pet. Babies and children love playing with pets and vice versa, so let them bond, but be careful. Also, keep playtime regulated. Once playtime is over, make sure the pet is kept in a different part of the house. Let your pet loose when baby sleeps, but make sure the pet does not crawl up in the bed.
#3 For the initial few months, keep your pet away from the baby. Let your pet see the baby from a distance and get familiar with. Once baby crosses the first few months and is more strong and immune to surroundings, you can slowly let baby and pet be together for some time.
#4 Maintain hygiene in the house. Regularly brush off all furniture for traces of pet hair, sweep the floors and use a disinfectant to mop the floors. Make sure everyone washes their hands after touching the pet and before touching baby.
#5 If a family member of friend is willing, try and send your pet to them for a few months. But make sure you visit your pet at frequent intervals. Once your baby’s immunity is stronger, you can bring the pet back home.
#6 To be sure, try and get baby checked for dust allergies. Sometimes, what is initially seen as pet-hair allergy, may actually be dust-allergy.
#7 You may contact a local pet-care place and let your pet be at a pet-day-care, bringing the pet back home at night. If your baby is suffering from allergies, do this for some months and then see if you can slowly manage a routine where both baby and pet can be at home at all times.
#8 Giving up a pet should be the last resort, as a pet not only teaches a child basic character traits of unconditional love and bonding, but also helps children grow into more affectionate, emotional, responsible and caring adults.
#9 Make sure that your pet is well-cared for and clean. Get your pet regularly treated, cut the hair and always look for ticks and lice. Bathe your pet often and dry out properly. Keep your pet vaccinated and make sure you follow proper eating habits for your pet and also teach your pet to relieve outside the house.
#10 Proper dusting, vaccuming, cleaning, will ensure your house is clean of germs. If your pet loves getting up on your couch/sofa, keep it covered with old sheets and when you sit on them, remove the sheets. Keep the house, especially, baby’s room and pet’s room, clean at all times.
It’s true that there can be no more loving companion for your baby than a pet. Not only does a pet love your baby for life, it also teaches your little one the most important lessons of love, compassion and companionship. Of course, if nothing works, then you don’t have a choice. But make sure you try every other option first.
All the best!
* Our special mommy contributors: Neelam Bhandari, Renuka Suradeep Nath, Neha Sharma, Harini Santhosh, Shraddha Majalkar, Richa Vivek Gupta, Jyoti Sharma, Nina Nair, Minu Sharma, Saumya Tandon, Bijit Baruah, Bantu Nagalakshmi
Mums, its a beautiful feeling when you hold your little one in your arms, isn’t it? The world becomes a beautiful place, the smile on your face extends the whole day long, and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that you would want to get in the way of you and baby, as you look at your little angel in your arms. Wow! That’s some feeling!
What researchers have said time and again, you already know as a parent – that there’s no better feeling than you and baby than having your little one right next to your heart! As an expectant mother, you’ve cherished baby’s first heartbeat at your regular check-up, and while you were simply blown away, it’s a known fact that for your baby who was still being cherished inside the womb, your heartbeat was the most comforting and familiar sound!
One of the best ways for mother and baby to bond is bare, skin-to-skin contact. Another most popular way for babies to feel their mother’s heartbeat is when you hold your little one near you, whether while feeding, while putting to sleep, or during any other activity.
Here are a few times in the day when you can be sure of holding your baby close to you, and of course, if you have the time, you can extend these moments and give baby that much more comfort and warmth:
- while feeding
- whileputting baby to sleep
- while patting baby for burping
- while playing with baby
- while going with baby for a walk
- while lying down with baby
- while traveling and holding baby close
- Helps mothers fight post-natal depression
- Helps mothers form a stronger bond with little one
- Regulates baby’s body temperature
- Helps in baby’s breathing, heart beat and sugar levels to be stable right after birth
- Helps baby recover from birth process, especially in cases of a natural delivery
- Calms baby and provides security, comfort and familiarisation
- Regulates mother’s hormonal responses and leads to reduced bleeding after birth
- Helps baby to breastfeed naturally
- Helps baby sleep better
- Reduces baby’s crying bouts
- Helps in developing baby’s senses
- Build stronger immunity
- Helps in baby’s psychological and emotional growth
Mums, a baby close to mommy is the happiest baby! It’s definitely true when they say that no one knows her baby as a mommy does. So mums, trust your heart and your instinct, and do what’s best for your baby…after all, as we’ve been saying all along, Mommies Know Best!!!!!
Mum Shwetha Gundurao had a mommy problem that most mums out there are familiar with – her 15-month-old daughter just doesn’t sleep through the night. After trying everything else, this sleep-deprived mommy wrote in to us, hoping that we would finally be able to help her out.
She wrote: ‘My daughter has always had a problem sleeping at night. Inspite of giving her solids, liquids and a relaxing massage before sleeping, she doesn’t seem to sleep more than an hour or two. She’s also underweight because she’s fussy about eating.’
Each time a tired or out-of-ideas mom writes in to us for help, we know who to turn to – YOU. Coz YOU, lovely mums, have given us those valuable and practical advice and ideas and tips that are not only helping countless other mums out there, but are also making parenting that much more easier, more fun! We bring to you the most suggested ideas and ways, tried out by real mums, that have helped baby sleep through the night. Let us know if this helped your baby, or tell us any other ideas that you may have.
#1 The first thing that almost all mums swear by, is making your little one play play and play more through the day. The more the physical activity through the day, the more the chances of baby sleeping through the night.
#2 Much like #1, but don’t make baby play the entire day, as too much exertion will make your little one cranky and over-tired, thus making sleeping at night even more difficult. Let baby have a nap time of 1-2 hours in the day, preferably early afternoon, so that there is enough gap before night sleep time.
#3 It’s not only important to make your little one indulge in physical play, but much like grown-ups, its equally important to get your baby involved in mental activities, especially after the first birthday.
#5 Since your baby is a fussy eater, chances are, she may not have a complete dinner, and this may make her hungry during nights. Try and give her meals in smaller portions through the evening.
#6 A warm glass of milk, preferably without sugar, works well in most cases, as it makes baby ready for a nice cosy sleep.
#7 If your baby is still on your feed, try and give her a feed before bed-time. Sometimes, even if its not needed to satisfy hunger, it will be your baby’s comfort feed before she dozes off to sleep.
#8 Avoid giving any kind of sugary or sweet stuff to baby, especially near bed-time, as sugar will make baby more energetic and hyper, taking away all chances of sleep.
#9 Follow a schedule. Half an hour before its really time for baby’s sleep, dim the TV volume and try and keep the lights dim. Get baby in a sleeping dress and bring to the bed. Keep the pillow and the sheets ready. If baby has a sleeping toy, make sure you place the toy on the pillow and tell your little one that its now bedtime and even the toy needs to sleep.
#11 Read to your little one in a soft voice.
#13 Even if baby wakes up in the middle of the night and wants to play, don’t get up. Pretend you are asleep. She may cry for some time initially, but once you practice this for about 2-3 weeks, chances are, she will fall into a routine! If baby is sleeping in a baby cot and wants to play, tell and keep telling her that its time to sleep and show her that you are near her and are sleeping. Try not getting angry. The more angry or upset you become, the more upset your baby will be, and this will reduce chances of sleep. If baby is with you on the bed, even if she is getting up to play, show her and tell her that it’s bed time and try not to get involved in play. If possible, make her lie down and play with a toy, even as the lights are dimmed. She may soon doze off to sleep on her own (if you are lucky!)
#14 Try and find out if your baby is teething. Sometimes, it makes baby extremely irritable and uncomfortable and will wake them up. Massage the gums lightly in the day and before bed time.
#15 Keep the room temperature comfortable and make sure baby is dressed properly, not too warm clothes and not too light either. The room shouldn’t be too warm, cool or humid. Try and get fresh air in the room if possible.
#16 Make sure there is some dim light in the room, and not complete darkness. If baby wakes up in the night and sees you beside her, chances are, once you have passed the first 2-3 weeks routine of pretend-sleep, she may get up in the night, but not wake you up and fall back to sleep herself!
#17 Don’t make her sleep too early in the night, as then she may wake up earlier. Try and get her in bed at a time that will be good for her to follow later, and will ensure she wakes up at a normal time in the morning. See what works for you and your little one.
Do remember: Some babies are generally more active in the night and find it difficult to sleep at a stretch, even though they may sleep perfectly well in the day. If this is a common recurrence, do not worry. Try and help your baby as much as you can, using the above ideas. All babies have a different pattern, and most babies will get into a routine by the time they reach their 3rd birthday, if not earlier.
Thanks to all mums and dads who helped out with their advice. A special mention for: Sonali S Vinnakota, Komal Goyal, Vanitha Kurup, Joan Kwek Lee, Swapna Sharath, Manvi Kumar Gupta, Natasha Dias, Chetna Saini.
Mommies, ready for a fun week ahead with your little one? Come on, as much as your little darling makes you tear out your hair, accept the truth that your baby also makes you go back to those fun playful days of your own childhood, isn’t it? There is absolutely so much you can do with your little one, playing and doing things together and bonding!
You do spend a lot of time with your little one, but other than diapers and feeds and schoolwork, are you really spending that fun time together? Why not book a full hour of one-on-one fun with your little one? If your baby is too young to speak, pick her up in your arms and talk to her with lots and lots of smiles. Hear the giggles and gurgles, make some of your own and be a baby with baby!
Massage time is essential time for baby’s growth and development, and massage time can be an important connect time too. Remove all the noise from the room and make it your and baby’s special time; as the little one enjoys your caring fingers shaping and strengthening those little baby arms and legs, sing a rhyme or play a lullaby or share a story. You’ll be amazed at how soon your little one learns these stories and rhymes!
Time for a bath? Of course there are a lot of bath toys that your baby loves, but what about baby’s best friend jumping in to play with water as well! YOU Mamma! Splash spray and squirt…have fun, play with water with your baby as you clean up your little one, and have some cuddly moments as baby comes wrapped in a towel right in your arms!
Bath over its time for a sleep? As the baby mobile or the rhyme-toy plays a lullaby, sing to your baby, look into those little bright eyes and bring in the sleep fairy…your baby will love the bed-time ritual, we promise!
Create..take a few old paper sheets and use all kinds of colours you can. Baby crayons are quite a fun way to colour up the day! And sometimes, it’s okay to let your little one get a little dirty, of course under constant adult supervision.
As young parents, there are many questions that will come up million times as you begin the new phase of life with your little one. Sometimes, you may have family and friends around who can help with practical and real advice, but most of the times, you’re pretty much on your own.
While it’s true that parenting doesn’t come from a book, it’s also true that these days, you can read about and understand almost everything related to babies and parenting. We decided to tell you about a few books that we feel might help you and your partner as a parent:
1. What To Expect Before You’re Expecting: If you are still a couple who is looking forward to begin a family, it’s a good idea to read this one together. From the author of the world’s bible in pregnancy and childcare, this books helps you plan a healthy pregnancy for a healthy baby, with advice on how to conceive, practical tips and reassuring advice – a must-have guide for all parents-to-be.
2. What To Expect BabySitter and Nanny Handbook:If you are trying to make time as a couple while having a little one at home, chances are, you may be taking the help of a babysitter or a carer. The book provides information for anyone who is looking after a baby/child, from birth till 6 years of age. With information from why babies cry, how to talk to a baby and how and what to do for baby in an emergency, this is one book that every baby home should have.
3. 101 Most Important Things You Need To Know Before You Have A Baby:Ready to embark on this exciting journey? Then read this book together with your partner to read about topics like time management, patience, faith, memories, laughter, hope and gives you simple tips and tricks that help you create a balance in life.
4. 365 Days of Baby Love:Wonderful ways to help parents and babies enrich each others’ lives – playing, growing and exploring with babies from birth till 2 years of age.
6. Smile Baby Smile:A cute book that gives you useful thoughts and ideas to stop baby crying and bring back those smiles, for your little one and you!
7. Trouble-Free Travel With Children:Packed with over 700 helpful hints for parents on the go.From fussy newborns to demanding toddlers, this book gives ideas to make your family trip a fun and memorable one!
8. Siblings Without Rivalry:Not a new parent but concerned about how the new baby will affect your older one! This book offers practical and sensitive advice on how to make your siblings grow together with love, making you smile each day.
9. Games Babies Play From Birth To Twelve Months:Tells you about games and structured activities designed to stimulate the intellectual development and motor skills of infants.
10. Juggling Twins:Practical advice and a healthy dose of humour – this book has exactly what parents need to help them survive and thrive with multiples.
Mumsies, while you’re trying to get back into your relationship as a couple, one of the first steps to start the balancing of roles of mother and partner is to help your little one sleep in the baby room, or nursery.
1. Begin by doing up the room in bright and cheerful colours, something that will instantly appeal to the little one and add a fun element to the room. Use stickers, wall decals and wallpaper to do it up in style.
2. All babies love soft toys, so why not do something creative in the nursery with soft toys? Deck up the shelves, or place them around the floor for baby to want to play with.
3. A colourful and soft play mat will be a sure hit – babies can crawl, sit and play on it, even doze off to sleep! So get one now!
4. Bright and cheery curtains in baby’s favourite characters will prove quite a hit.
5. Why not get a display shelf that allows you to showcase baby’s favourite items?
6. Brighten up the room with some fun lights.
As a mother, you have the world’s toughest, and best job – crazy at each step, yet the most satisfying feeling ever! While becoming a mother takes you to an altogether new phase of life, for many women, holding on to the identity of being a woman, an individual, is important too. And whether you have chosen to be a stay-at-home full-time mom, whether you are working from home, or going out of home to work, when it comes to your little one, only YOU know what’s best!
Of course there are the occasional moments when we are filled with guilt – on leaving baby behind, on not being able to give as much time to baby as mums who have chosen to be full-time moms do, on not being there to see every little thing that baby does, or using up the hours at home working, rather than playing with little one. And yes, its perfectly normal to sometimes go through these guilt pangs. But MUMS, did you know that there are many more reasons for you to feel proud, rather than feel guilty? Of course there are many many reasons, but here, we share with you the top 10 reasons why you should feel proud on being a working mummy!
1. Multitasker: Managing the home, the baby, kitchen, hubby, family, pets, school projects, vaccination routine, shopping, sleep time, breakfast, PTMs, activity classes, office presentation, client call, house help – do we need say more?????!!!!!!
2. Efficiently manages time: With so much to manage and only those many hours in the day, of course you have no other choice but to manage your time as best as you can! Whether it is getting up earlier than you would prefer and finishing up the chores, or giving up that leisure time to finish that office presentation, when it comes to managing time efficiently, you are quite a juggler!
3. Makes the most of the time spent with baby: While everyone tells you there’s nothing like spending quality time rather than quantity time, who would know this better than you? For all those hours spent on the laptop or in office, you are more than ready to compensate by making sure the hours you spend with baby are the most precious. Play, rhymes, giggles, hugs and all those amazing moments that only a mommy and baby can share – you give it all to your little one.
4. Happy mom makes a happy family: It’s the truth moms – if mommy isn’t happy, no one’s happy! So get rid of the guilt and understand that if what you are doing makes you happy, it will only translate to more happiness for your baby and the family. So go on and smile!
5. Understands the details of the meeting as much as understands baby’s sign language: Youknow what’s important in that office meeting, and you know best what your baby is trying to say with all those signs. With a complete understanding of both the corporate world as well as the mommy world, you’re surely on top in both respects!
6. Building the country’s economy and being financially independent: Not only are you playing a role in the country’s economy, you also get yourself in a position where you are financially independent and have the freedom to save and plan for the future. You can choose to help your partner in managing the family finances, while having the luxury of spending on yourself without feeling guilty or taking away from the family savings.
7. Asset to family and asset to company: There can be no bigger confidence-booster than the fact that you are both an asset to your company as well as to your family.
8. Teaching your child the importance of routine: With so much to manage and plan, you wouldn’t be able to function properly without a set routine, isn’t it? And if you are following one everyday, chances are, your little one will soon understand and appreciate the same too.
9. Your children find another identity for you beside being their mum: Of course you are a mum, and most likely, playing mommy is what you enjoy doing the most. But as your little one sees you play more roles than that of a mum, they will soon understand that as much as mommy will forever be mommy and best friend for them, she has another very special identity too.
10.Helping your child learn the meaning and importance of independence: Just like your baby will pick up habits like following a routine and becoming disciplined, similarly, you are teaching your little one the importance of being independent.
Mums, you may be busy with your work, but if those few hours you spend with your little one are happy and fun, there is no reason for you to feel guilty, especially after the reasons we gave you above. Love yourself for what you do, appreciate and be proud of yourself, and yes, you’ll always be your little one’s best friend too!
Whether you’re a mum who is a full-time mommy, or a mum who also works outside the house, waking up and running through the day, there is not much time a mom really gets for herself, and if you do manage a few minutes, you would rather sit down and take a few easy breaths, isn’t it? While none of us likes that baby-flab, there is hardly time to get into a hard-core exercise routine. We know! So we compiled 10 points that help you squeeze in a little exercise time in your daily routine and get back to that pre-pregnancy shape.
1. Walk Walk Walk: Yes, you heard us. It’s still the best way to kick away those extras we so don’t like. While many people prefer hitting the gym or working out on the treadmill, there is nothing as effective as a daily walk routine. 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 30-45 minutes, you take a pick. If you live close by your work place, walk down to the office at least one way, if not more. Leave the car/transportation and walk down to your local market. Put baby in a stroller and go for an evening walk. If possible, go for a post-dinner or early-morning walk.
2. Taking The Stairs: Yes, all those yummy mummies on television have been advertising it, and it actually does work. At office, at home, at a mall, take the stairs instead of the lift. In case you don’t live on a higher floor, spend 10-15 minutes a day using just one or two levels of staircase as a stepper. You will soon see how much it helps on the workout front!
3. Exercise As You Clean Up: Don’t look around for help to clean up that clutter your baby created. Instead, use it as an exercising device! Stand straight, bend down on your knees and go down on your haunches. Pick up that one item from the floor, keep it, then bend haunch and repeat. Do this as many times as you can without stressing yourself too much. Do not bend at the back. Only bend at the knees.
4. Baby-Lifts: Want to play with your little one and make it an exercise too? This one is for those whose babies are still in that ‘picking-up-in-arms’ age. Sit or lie-down at a comfortable and safe place, put your baby on your legs, a little below the knees, and make your knees go up-down-up-down. Tense those calf muscles and repeat as long as its comfortable and doesn’t hurt you.
5. TV-time crunches: If you love those TV serials, chances are you spend at least 30 minutes in front of the television. That is more than enough time you need. Use it to do some sitting crunches. Put your arms at the back of your head, fold in your legs and go back and forward, trying to touch your head to your knees. Remember to stop the moment you feel uncomfortable.
6. Stretches: You can do this anywhere, whether at home or during office hours as you sit in front of the computer. Stand up (or if you can’t, just sit) and stretch your arms as much as you can. Use a water bottle in both arms to add some weight and make it more effective. Stretch your legs. Stretch your waist. Stand on your toes and stretch those calves.
7. Play outdoors together: If you spend time at home with your baby and take them to the park, why not indulge in a little running around yourself? If you have to go to office and there is no time in the week, make this a weekend fun routine. Other fun sports activities you can do with your child are playing badminton, basketball, frisbee or simple touch and run!
8. Dance: And this is not just an exercise, it’s an instant mood-lifter. If you don’t get the time to enroll in a dance class, have some fun moments at home by dancing with your little one, hopping and jumping around, or dancing on your own, if its only for 15-20 minutes a day. You don’t really need an excuse to dance, but when the incentive is a toned and fit body, who wouldn’t want to?
9. Breathe-in Breathe-out routines: This is simple, can be done, and yet is quite effective. Select the type of breathing exercise that will work best for you depending on what you want from your exercise routine. Once decided, you can do this at home, at work, while shopping at the mall, practically anywhere really!
10.Eat and Sleep on time: Yes mums, we simply HAD to include this, didn’t we. Because YOU just don’t listen. As much as you try reducing that weight by skipping meals or breakfast (worst!), this is only going to make you gain, rather than lose. So please please eat, keeping a check on what you eat, so that it’s healthy and nutritious, and don’t stay hungry – trust us, it won’t help. And please, as much as it’s quite difficult, try to get as much close to the 08-hour sleep time as possible.
A Working MUM, wife, a woman who knows what she wants and best friend to her little one! Yes, YOU are that and much more! As you get busy with the daily routine of baby, home, school, office, kitchen, husband, and, if sometimes you can manage it, then time for yourself too….the level of multi-tasking that you do is just outstanding!
Getting back to work after a baby is always a complex experience. Involves lots of planning, patience, checks, confidence and tears (and not always baby’s).
Here’s how most of the Super-Mums like you are doing it:
GRANDPARENTS: “I chose to leave my daughter with her grandparents, as I found the concept of a joint family to be extremely safe and loving. This also gives my in-laws and baby time to bond well and have lots of fun.”
NANNY: “After the proper checks and searches, I hired a professionally-trained nanny who could look after my baby while I was away. That way, I made sure my baby was getting the right learning skills, love and care, even while I was not around her.”
DAY CARE: “I put my baby in a day care center near my office. Now I drop in to see her everyday at lunch hour. We spend time together and I make sure we have our food together as well. It’s perfect, as I can take her home on my way back.”
CO-ORDINATING WITH MY HUSBAND: “My husband and I usually work out our office schedules in such a way, that while one drops the baby with grandparents or at the day-care, the other partner brings home the baby at the end of the day.”
FLEXIBILITY IN OFFICE: “I have worked out a shift system with my office, where I make sure that I choose my shift in such a way, that my husband or my in-laws are always in the house while I’m at work.”
WORKING FROM HOME: “Till the time that my baby isn’t a little older, I have decided to work from home. Once she gets a little more independent and manageable, I will get back to work full-time.”
Yes, we are talking to YOU! Still busy with that school homework while running off to stir the food on the gas and taking that call from the boss? Uh! Really mums, whatever happened to the new-but-very-important mantra of ‘getting some time to yourself’?
We know you are the do-all and can-do-all of the house, that YOU ARE the Super-Human Mum, but sometimes, it’s really fine to be a human mum, one who needs rest and loving and leisure and looking after as much as the other lovely members of your family.
Monday is already over, and we didn’t want to break you away from your routine the very first day. But now, here’s a little helping list to be followed from today (Tuesday) till Friday. The first thing you will need to follow this list is to ask your hubby dear to help you. Yes, its really okay to ask him to help – for all you know he may enjoy it, else you always can still make him do it, we know 😉 And yes, do try and trust him around the house a bit, let him do it his way. At least let’s try it out for this week and see? Fine? Well, then here goes:
TUESDAY: PLAY TIME: Since it’s the first day of the week today, let’s begin with something manageable, something that daddy would any way love to do. Let your husband take on the activity of taking your child out for playtime (or even doing some fun activity at home), while you sit and watch TV, read a mag, sip on some juice, or simply do nothing.
WEDNESDAY: HELPING IN THE KITCHEN: Now this one we leave for you and hubby to decide, whether you want help at breakfast or dinner. Your partner could help you in the kitchen in a lot of ways – chopping, cooking, mixing, kneading, setting the table, help serve the food. There is so much to be done at meal times that many times we don’t realise how many little steps go into completing a meal experience. So ask for help and let your hubby handle some of it. For all you know, he may end up surprising you with a special recipe!
THURSDAY:PREPARING THE HOME GROCERY LIST: This is quite a complicated task and as most mums know, there’s a lot of checking and re-checking involved, and even then there’s chance of missing out something important. Since the week is more than halfway through, you may be running out of supplies, so ask hubby to prepare a list of all the shopping items needed (kitchen, grocery, stationery, school, office and anything else you may need.) Let him do it, and resist the urge to go and check around the house for what you need 🙂
FRIDAY: MAKING LITTLE ONE FINISH DINNER AND SLEEP: Wow! If your hubby can successfully do this then Mum, YOU are really lucky! (of course we mentioned this is just a trial for this week, but there’s scope to cheat, so you can actually ask for this favour many times in the near future). The reason to try this on a Friday is to keep space for some extra time that dad might need at this (if your child is of school-going age then this is a good day to give over sleep duty to dad). Feeding, burping, cleaning up, patting, putting to sleep – takes quite an effort doesn’t it? Relax..he can do it 🙂
Okay, so that was the beginning of trying and giving yourself some ‘me’ time. Try out these few simple ideas, let us know about more ideas by commenting on our FaceBook page and for a change, sit back and relax!
And mums, while you take that much-needed ‘me’ time off from home and work, make sure you let daddy know how much help and support he’s been 🙂
Mumsies…..Monday morning is here and you’re all hassled and harassed already! Seems like the weekend was just about to arrive and then suddenly, went away in a wink! Yes, we know the feeling….Home, kitchen, baby, husband, pet, office, assignments, projects, shopping and come on, do we still have space on our checklist??
So much to look after and we know it’s hard to get that time for yourself. But mums, no one can be happy unless you are! While you may feel like spending the entire week in your pyjamas and putting your hair up in a bun, playing around with some colours on your face and doing that little make-up trick is just what the experts prescribe to uplift your mood and keep that smile on!
As you get set to face yet another fast-paced and action-packed week, here are a few products that will help that beautiful face in the mirror feel like a diva – something you truly are!
Tinted Moisturiser: We all have ‘patchy’ and ‘uneven’ days, and no one (except a chosen few) is blessed with the complexion of a movie-star (even they need help ladies!). So if you’re in a rush and want to skip the foundation route, go for a tinted moisturiser that will help even out the skin tone. If you don’t have one and are not sure if you want to buy one at this point, make your own at home. Add some amount of liquid foundation to your own moisturiser and see the difference!
Foundation: If you do have time and wouldn’t mind putting it on every day, a foundation is a good way to cover up any patches or spots on the skin and give your skin that healthy glow through the day. Choose in liquid, cream or powder base.
Blush: What better way to beat the Monday morning blues than putting some colour on your cheeks? Go for pinks, plums, peaches, corals, oranges or bronze, depending on your mood and type of work day.
Kajal: Brighten up those worked-up eyes with a dash of kohl. Go for black, green, blue, purple or brown…
Lip Colours: A dash of colour on your lips and a smile to go with it…what better way to begin the week?
(*log on to http://www.goodlife.com to browse through products, offers and specials)
Planning that big trip with your little one? Well, having a baby in the car will be quite a lot of fun, we can assure you that, but as with a little one, there will be many instances when your baby may be uncomfortable, bored, or plain cranky, and these are the times you need to be prepared for, to make the trip fun and memorable. Here are the top ten toys you can easily carry along while traveling by road/air with your little one. Read on:
- The first thing to keep in mind is to carry toys that you know baby already loves and spends a lot of time with, especially those with which baby has an emotional attachment
- Carry a comfort toy. If your baby has a toy which is a sleep toy, ex. a sleep-time teddy, make sure you carry that along
- Get some new toys to surprise baby and make them excited
- If traveling by car, carry lots of buckle-up toys, ones that you can attach to baby’s car seat, or at the hold-rail of the car door
- A doodle-draw pad is something that most babies and even toddlers love. Get one that is small and portable, and can easily fit in the baby bag. This is an ideal toy for road/air travel
- Rattles for your little baby.
- Carry a few board books / voice books/musical books that your little one as well as toddler can read along easily.
- Travel jigsaw puzzles are ideal for babies of all ages. Get one that is appropriate for your little one. For younger babies, get ones with fewer pieces and ones that are easy to grasp. For toddlers and a little older babies, get ones that come in different fun and educational modes.
- Sticker activity books are great for a little older babies
- Carry along a small battery-operated toy, like a toy phone, educational laptop, or some fun toy that lights up and has features like sound, rhymes, voice alphabets and all. This is an ideal toy to carry in the car, but may not be suitable if traveling by air, as you will need to remove the batteries before boarding.
From the time that you introduce your little one to their own room, it will become ‘their’ space, a place they will occupy most of the time while they’re home, a room that will contain all their essentials and knick-knacks. Decorating the nursery is one of the most fun parts of becoming a new parent, and is something that should ideally be done before the baby arrives, while you’re still comfortable moving around, and especially if you’re planning on getting the room re-painted (which in all probability you will).
Ensure that you buy furniture which can be used now, as well as come handy when baby is older. See that the furniture is of medium height, neither too high nor too low, so that your baby can use them as the years pass by. In the initial few months, you too would be spending a considerable time in the nursery, so it needs to be comfortable for you both, and safe and hygienic for your baby.
Before you begin decorating the nursery, you may need to re–paint or use wallpaper. Choose colours that are bright, yet not too loud, like greens, blues, pinks, yellows, oranges, lavender. Doing up the room in neutral colours (other than the clichéd blues and pinks) will help in case of more than one child. You may decorate the walls by using stencil art, stickers, colorful picture frames, child-friendly clocks, patterns, alphabet patterns and much more. Keep space to change and re-do things as little one grows, like making hand-print patterns, framed kid art and the like. You can also use single-sheet story pages and get them framed; not only will these brighten up the room, your baby can later read from the same. Use baby’s pictures, make a family picture tree and mix-and-match the picture frames to create a dramatic wall.
One of the first things you would need when baby comes home is a crib or a baby bed. Go for one that converts into a cot later. For the first few days or weeks, you may want to keep baby near your bed, so get a crib that can attach to your bed, one with a three-way-rail system. Most infant cribs come with pillows and comforters, but if your new-born is sleeping in the crib, make sure to place ALL pillows, throws and comforters outside the crib, as these can cause infant suffocation. Your baby will be comfortable in proper warm sleeping pyjamas, so no added blankets required. Choose the right pillows and bed sets.
If your baby is a little older and can now sleep on a full-size bed, go for a pull-out kid cot or pull-out couch that can accommodate guests later. A bunk-bed is another great option as this will save space and provide adequate sleeping space for multiple kids, kiddie sleep-overs as well as for grown-ups.
As a new mum, you’ll be spending a lot of time in baby’s nursery, so make sure it’s comfortable for you too. If you’re going to feed baby in the nursery, get a comfortable rocking chair to sit in while you feed, and if you want to give those tired feet some rest, get a foot stool. These can later be shifted to your bedroom once baby overgrows feeding. Add cushions and rugs to make it cosy and easy to feed.
Many parents change a baby on the bed, but this is an extremely unhygienic practice. Get a bureau and attach removable rails on top, so that once your baby is out of diapers, you can remove the rails and use it as a storage option instead.
With a baby in the house, you can never have enough storage, so go for smart storage ideas like beds with storage, boxes designed to look like bunk-bed ladders/steps, window seats that can double up as storage. You can also keep a collection of baskets and bins to hold things like toys, board games, diapers, towels, baby bath accessories, art and craft supplies and other small items. If you don’t want to spend on much furniture right now, place low-height plastic storage trays under baby’s crib or bed to hold essentials. Cloth storage racks place alongside the crib or baby bed are a great way to hold essentials.
A nursery is a great place to introduce your baby to reading, so make sure you keep some space for books. Bookshelves, book racks, or a comfortable window-seat converted to a reading area, complete with rugs, cushions, pillows and a handy book basket will help your child’s interest in reading.
While baby will make the transition to a separate room, it’s extremely important to make sure that the lighting in the nursery is adequate – not too bright, yet not very dim. A good idea is to get lights that can be controlled with a regulator, to brighten up when you want to read out stories to little one, and dimmed when baby is sleeping. You can get multiple lamps and shades to make the room interesting and cosy. Sensor-lights are another option that comes handy when your toddler sleeps alone.
An easy-to-wash colourful rug is a good idea to brighten up the room and make a cosy place for baby to play on the floor.
Remember, the nursery should be a reflection of what your baby likes and how it connects to a little one, not just what you like. Though we love doing up a kids’ room, in the end, it’s just that, so it’s okay to go a little overboard, while making sure it’s comfortable, safe, hygienic, stimulating and interesting enough to make baby want to spend time.