Category Archives: Parenting Tips n Tricks

Waking the Sleepyheads Up in Time for School!

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What does your morning routine look like? Do your kids jump out of bed, finish up their bath, eat their breakfast and go catch the school bus on time? Or do you have to spend most of the morning shouting at them to wake up and dragging their sleepy, grumpy selves through the morning routine, only to miss the school bus? How many times have you had to take a rickshaw or cab to drop your kids to school, simply because they could not wake up on time?

Sarayu came to us with this issue. Her kids are slow and sleepy in the mornings and can barely raise their arms to brush their teeth! This led to an atmosphere of nagging and complaining, as Sarayu tried to nudge her kids into moving faster, and her kids felt antagonised by the same!

SOS Mom Noopur Agarwal says, “Earlier I too faced the same problem with my elder daughter. She was always feeling sleepy in the morning and it was a difficult task to wake her up. Then I started making her sleep early, no matter if we went out or were travelling. I would make her sleep by 10 or 10:30 pm to make sure she gets enough rest. In the morning I would keep alarm a few minutes earlier and don’t wake her up instantly. I’d then give her a good morning peck and while I prepared for her bath I would keep talking to her about the day. She would then listen to my voice and wake right up!”

Noopur gives some great advice indeed. And here are some quick tips to help your kids wake up on time:

1. Handover the morning wake-up responsibilities to your child. Sit down with your child and have a discussion about getting up in the morning. Tell them it is now up to them to make sure they wake up and get ready in time to catch the school bus. Leave it up to them to change their habits or else they will have to face the consequences of missing the bus and going to school late!

2. Make bedtime a priority with no compromises. Institute an earlier bedtime for your kids and ensure you and your kids follow it religiously. They may rebel against the earlier bedtime at first, but once again handover the responsibility to them. Tell them that if they learn how to wake up on time and get ready, you will allow them to have a later bedtime again.

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We thank all the SOS mom who came to Ketaki’s rescue: Noopur Agarwal.

What to do when your kids’ imaginary friends turn violent?

Your little angel has a new best friend – her imaginary friend! They are inseparable and play all their games together. But suddenly her fun buddy has started acting bad! Melvin came to us with this issue!

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His 4 year old daughter Avni has imaginary friend called Neha. While they usually get along well and play in peace, sometimes Avni starts crying because she claims Neha has slapped her! Melvin is understandably upset and came to our SOS Moms for help!

Many a times you hear of kids claiming that their “imaginary friend did it” when they break something or play a prank. This is because children sometimes use their “friends” to try out naughty behaviour and see what it’s like to be bad or reckless while avoiding the consequences.

However, if your kids’ imaginary friends suddenly take on a violent persona, and seem to harm your kids rather than household objects, it could be a sign of something going wrong in your child’s eyes.

For example, if Avni is crying because her imaginary friend has hit her, it could be her way of telling you that a friend at preschool has hit her. This is not a rule, of course! We advice that you speak to her calmly and clearly and ask why “Neha” is suddenly being mean to her. It is also important that Avni meet a pediatrician or a psychiatrist to help diagnose the root of the problem.

Here’s what our SOS Moms had to say:

Noopur Agarwal, “This seems to be a serious problem, please consult a child psychiatric ASAP! Imaginary friends should not get violent with their real life buddies!”

Nithya Prasad, “I had a friend with similar problem in childhood. But he is fine now. Definitely consult a psychologist. But don’t be very apprehensive. Stay calm when you speak to Avni about it as she will be able to sense your fear. Take care!”

Neetu Vishal Sharda, “I think u should consult a reputed psychiatrist. Don’t get me wrong but I think this is not common. And don’t waste your time thinking about it – do it as soon as possible. It is always better to be safe than sorry!”

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We hope our Mommy advice has helped Melvin out! We thank all the SOS moms who came to Melvin’s rescue:

Noopur Agarwal, Nithya Prasad, Neetu Vishal Sharda.

My Son’s Head Banging Has Become a Nightmare!

Sos-22You’ve tucked your child into bed, after a long day juggling work, family and the infinite pressures of parenthood. You kiss your son goodnight, turn off the light and head off to snuggle into the comfort of your own bed. And suddenly, you hear it. The steady “thump, thump, thump” coming from your son’s room!

What would you do if your son or daughter started banging their head repeatedly? A worried mom came to us with this very query. Her son bangs his head on the floor, on surfaces, on walls and she’s quite at her wits end! Scolding him or banning him from doing so has never worked, and she asks if anyone has a solution for her!

Mariyam Sufi J A says, “Even my baby does this..actually loves doing this! He bangs his head to the walls, chairs, sofa, bed, mattress…to just anything! It’s quite a common occurance in children and you should not worry about it. He will grow out of it soon!”

Almost 20% of babies go through the head banging phase, banging their heads on surfaces on purpose. When your precious baby suddenly bangs his head on the wall, it will surely look scary and disturbing! But it’s usually nothing to worry about as in most cases, babies under 3 years cannot even generate enough force to injure themselves.

Head banging is just a normal part of a baby or toddler’s behavior. Sometimes when babies feel angry and frustrated, they don’t know how to deal with these emotions and use head banging to relieve stress. Some doctors even group head banging into the same category as thumb-sucking – a self soothing technique to calm themselves down.

However, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how often your child bangs his head and how intensely he does it, and report this to your doctor. Most pediatricians advise parents not to interfere when your child’s banging his head. Kids don’t intentionally hurt themselves and should stop if it becomes painful. Most children under 3 can’t generate enough force to seriously injure themselves anyway.

While head-banging can be a symptom of developmental issues, it’s usually only a problem if it continues beyond age 4 and occurs along with other troubling behaviors, such as repetitive motions (like hand-flapping and rocking), developmental delays, and a lack of social interaction with parents and peers. If your child is otherwise healthy and happy, there’s probably no reason to be concerned.

We hope our Mommy advice has helped this Worried Mom out. We hope her son grows out of his habit soon!

 

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Thank you Mariyam Sufi J A, for coming to the worried mom’s rescue!

What is Colic and How does it Affect my Baby?

Smriti, a new mom, came to us with a worry that plagues new moms everywhere – colic! It’s a harrowing experience for any new parent when their baby starts crying – and keeps crying on and on for hours! But don’t worry too much Smriti – colic isn’t a disease, and it won’t cause any long term harm to your little angel!

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What is Colic and how long will it last?
Colic is when a baby suffers from uncontrollable crying for hours at a stretch, for at least a few days of the week in their first 5 months. Symptoms of colic show up when your newborn is about 2-3 weeks old, and 80% of babies suffering from colic get over it by the time they turn 4 months old.

What are the causes of Colic?

The cause and reason behind Colic is one mystery science has yet to solve. Around 40% of babies are at risk for developing colic in their first two weeks, and while there a lots of theories to explain the same, there could easily be more than one cause!

From an intolerance of cow milk or baby formula, to an imbalance of bacteria in the intestines, some doctors even believe that colic crying is merely stress relief for sensitive babies. They theorise that sensitive babies get overloaded with the sights and sounds of the day and begin to cry.

While some believe that gas can cause colic, it is usually the other way around. Excessive crying due to colic can cause your baby to take extra big gulps of air, which will cause a build up of gas in his/her body – in turn leading to even more uncontrollable crying! Yikes!

But don’t worry, our SOS Moms are here to help!

Ramya Ramasway says, “Babies develop colic pain when they are not burped after their feeds or if they had long feed intervals. They swallow some amounts of air while sucking and when it gets accumulated this leads to colic pain. One can identify a colic baby easily. If he/she stops crying when we lay them with their stomach to the ground or on our shoulders such that their abdomen is pressed then its colic pain. It lasts few hours until the trapped air is passed away naturally or given some colic acid drops. This common problem till the 4th month, after which the babies learn to roll themselves over and in this process gas will be released naturally.”

Rucha Kaundal says, “Babies on formula milk are more colic in comparison to mother’s feed. Use gripe water regularly, either during or immediately after a feed. You can give your baby gripe water up to 6 times day to relieve gas.”

We hope our Mommy advice has helped Smriti soothe her fears. Colic is a tough time for every mother and baby, but remember, like all tough times it will pass!

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We thank all the SOS moms who came to Smriti’s rescue:

Ramya Ramasway, Rucha Kaundal.

Why you should never pay your child for chores!

When your kids become old enough (and responsible enough) for an allowance, a parent is faced with two choices – should the allowance be handed over unconditionally or should the kids perform some chores in return.

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Akriti came to us with this query. Should she pay her children to help our with chores at home? Will this help them learn the value of money?

Our star contributer Noopur Agarwal advises, “While it’s important to teach children the value of money, it is not right to pay them for doing small things. If you will start paying them for every chore, they will loose their innocence and will become money minded like us grownups!”

This is a line of thought that is generally agreed upon by most parents – and even some financial experts! Finance gurus say that if the kids learn that by working they get paid, on the flip side they will also learn that they can refuse to work on the grounds that they don’t want money! What’s more if they save their “earnings”, they may even realise that they have enough of their allowance to last them for a few days – and hence flat out refuse to do chores!

On the whole there are three major reasons why you should never pay your kids for their chores:

1. It sends the wrong message!
If kids are being paid to complete chores, they will no longer feel the need to do any chores “for free”. What’s more, they will learn to demand payment for any small favour or request. It takes away from the sense of achievement and moral obligation of caring for the home and doing what’s best for the whole family.

2. It could lead to a sense of entitlement!
When a child is paid for her work, she no longer thinks of his family as a cohesive unit – she will start thinking of herself first! Your goal is to foster an environment of family teamwork and not “every man for himself”.

3. They will ask for a raise!
Don’t you start resenting your boss when he doesn’t give you a raise despite how much work he sees you putting in day in and day out? Well now, is that a situation you want happening with your kids? Just imagine: “Mommy, I did more dishes this week than last week – so I deserve more money!” Now isn’t that a situation you want to avoid?

We hope our Mommy advice has helped Akriti find a solution. There are many other ways to present your kids with an allowance, and payment in return for services is not always the right decision!

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We thank the SOS mom who came to Anamika’s rescue: Noopur Agarwal.

TOO MUCH LIFTING SPOILING YOUR BABY?

Does Too Much Lifting Spoil the Baby?

Does Too Much Lifting Spoil the Baby?

How our heart breaks every single time the baby cries. New parents worry excessively and fuss over their crying baby a lot, but this is all only natural when you are suddenly handed someone so tiny and helpless!

A newborn does not cry to manipulate a parent, crying is merely the little one’s way to communicate discomfort or pain to the parent by crying. It is every mother’s first instinct to pick her crying child, to comfort her baby and make her feel loved and taken care of. Lifting the baby and holding him is an act many mothers consider a gift. While lifting is a mother’s response to her baby’s wails, some people also believe it can spoil the baby.

However, no amount of attention by the mother could possible spoil a newborn. It is a slightly different case with older babies (six months and above) who cry to be sat up or to get to a colourful object. Remember, your baby was jiggled, held tight and swayed while in the uterus; no amount of cuddling or holding can equate the warmth and security of a mother’s womb.

New mom Mayuree’s hubby isn’t too supportive of her lifting their baby every time the little one cries. He feels that Mayuree is spoiling the baby with too much attention. Mayuree came to us looking for a solution, let’s take a look at what our SOS moms have to say to her regarding this.

Shweta Bhardwaj was the first to come to Mayuree’s rescue, she says, “Not at all. He is habituated to having you around him as he was with you for 9 months and feels secure around you. With time he’ll learn to handle things on his own. But right now the body warmth of the mother is necessary for his growth. He doesn’t have words to express his needs.

Namrata Lad Sharma agrees, “I think your baby needs to be attended to as much as you can. Because having the baby know that you’re always going to be there for him/her, builds the baby’s confidence in your love for him so he doesn’t grow to feel neglected and not cared for. Especially if you’re dealing with something like colic. He needs to be soothed, and crying is his way of telling you what’s up since he can’t use words yet. And I do the same thing width my little one.

Dias Annisia reiterates, “The baby gets a habit of being carried around. But, so what? I used to waste no time in picking up my baby whenever she needed me, day or night! It’s so beautiful and loving to hold a baby in your arms. My baby/my daughter is 9yrs old today and she hasn’t developed any negative habits developed because of the carrying. Please do pick up your baby in your arms!

Swati Shukla and and Krishnaveni Sharath also echo their thoughts on how it is good for the baby to be touched and held.

Finally, Arpita Routry adds a quirky reply, “ Husbands can never understand a mom’s heart!” It is indeed true sometimes Arpita.

A Mom Can Never Spoil Her Baby by Lifting!

A Mom Can Never Spoil Her Baby by Lifting!

We recommend keeping the baby swaddled and playing soothing music to comfort the newborn. In fact newborns who are held and comforted grow up to be more loving individuals who trust their parents and families.

We thanks all the SOS moms who came in Mayuree’s aid:

Arpita Routry, Swati Shukla Mishra, Krishnaveni Sharath, Dias Annisia, NAmrtha Lad Sharma and Shweta Bhardwaj.

When Teenage Daughters Become Rebellious

Dealing with Little Rebels!

Dealing with Little Rebels!

Back-talk, eye-rolling, disrespectful huffs and puffs – if you are Mommy to a teenager, then these are probably very familiar experiences for you! It seems like almost over night, the preteen that thought you were Super Mom turns into a stranger who hates doing what their told and never seem to listen to you at all!

Disrespect can be very frustrating – and it leaves all moms wondering if they were ever THAT bad when they were kids! If you ask your mom, you probably were! There are many reasons why girls can become rebellious in their teens. Hormonal changes can play havoc on their emotions, they might suddenly feel the need to establish their independent identity – one that their mom can’t dictate, they could be imitating badly behaved peers, or they may simply be seeking attention!

Mom Ketaki came to us with a query about how her loving daughter has turned into a rebellious teen who answers every question with a resounding “NO!” Ketaki has started losing her patience and shouting at her daughter, which in turn makes her feel guilty and wish things were okay between her and her princess again!

Shweta Bhardwaj is of the opinion that her daughter is going through a phase when her body and emotions are affected by hormonal changes. She says, “Your daughter must be in a confused state and considers herself as grown up. You should treat her like an adult but with softness in your tone. Be friendly and motivate her to share her feelings with you.”

Pratibha Gautam thinks that Ketaki should give her daughter the freedom she desires – if only for a few days! She says, “Ask why she is behaving this way. Talk to her like a friend, and respect and support her even when she acts out. Give her some freedom for a few days – this way she will know you trust her and stop behaving badly after a few days.”

Pushpita Baruah says, “Support her even if she is wrong but when you get a moment alone with your daughter, talk to her in a friendly way to make her understand where she is going wrong. This is the age when children never listen if you tell them to do something in front of others. They feel as though you are commanding them and they resist your requests. Have some quality time with your daughter, and connect with her again!”

Dias Anissia has, perhaps, the best idea of all! Love her more and more, no matter how badly she behaves! She says, “Hug her more often! Start the morning with a soft hug and call her by a sweet nickname that she loved as a child! Ask for her help. Say that you want to finish some work, but you don’t know how and ask her to help you out. Take her advice and that evening, when she returns home from school, tell her the idea she gave you worked – with hugs and kisses as toppings! When she feels you are a good listener, she will be very comfortable talking to you!”

Give your angry teen love and kisses!

Give your angry teen love and kisses!

We hope our Mommy advice has helped Ketaki find a solution. We hope she and her daughter find a way to peacefully and happily get through the terrifying teenage years!

We thank all the SOS moms who came to Ketaki’s rescue:

Shweta Bhardwaj, Pratibha Gautam, Puspita Baruah, Dias Anissia.

WHEN TODDLERS HIT

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

Toddlers could display aggressive behaviour for a number of reasons

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little patience can change your child's behaviour.

A little patience can change your child’s behaviour.

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

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

CONSTIPATION IN TODDLERS

Dealing With Constipation In Toddlers

Dealing With Constipation In Toddlers

Constipation is a very common concern among the moms of toddlers. Some of the common causes of constipation in toddlers are toilet anxiety, dehydration and diet. Swati’s two and half your old child has the problem and she came to SOS moms for their advice on the same. Let’s take a look at what our SOS moms have to say to Swati.

Moms Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra all agree that Swati’s little one should be given ripe bananas and papaya in different forms to ease his problem. Both banana and papaya are rich in fibre and can help with constipation. These two fruits can also be given in the form of milk shakes, juice and any other form to make them seem less boring to your active bub.

Also moms like Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, agree that spinach and greens will help Swati’s child to a great extent.
Moms Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru suggest Swati to feed that the child should be fed black raisins soaked in water every morning. Chetana Suvarana Ganatara suggests that a porridge made of oats and prunes (packed with fibre) will help. Shanti Gupta says dried figs soaked in water overnight will also work wonders.

Preeti Khanna and Manasi Joshi suggest that the little one should be given milk with two drops of ghee in it. Milk may cause constipation but milk with ghee has a reverse impact. Sweta Bharadwaj, Sonia Sonu pipe in with their suggestion of feeding the tot with curd regularly.

Diana Samuel says, “Try 1/2 tsp honey in 1/2 tsp warm water on empty stomach in the morning. It worked for my child when she had severe constipation. Note: water must be warm not too hot nor cold. Give him lots of warm water throughout the day. Hope it might help.” Harsha Rajiv suggests, “ Water intake should be increased. Fruit juice, fresh fruits in puree form is also effective. Fibrous food like palak and other greens in soup can be given. Also Palak kichdi, carrot soup, carrot milkshake etc work. Do include greens  in your baby’s diet at least once a week.

Other SOS moms also agree that Swati’s little one should be given warm water throughout the day in equal intervals. Also the child should be made to sit on his potty seat everyday even if he doesn’t pass stool to build a habit. Constipation can be easily resolved with a few key changes in diet and momma’s care of course!

We thank all the SOS moms who rushed in to aid Swati with her problem:

A Healthy Diet Rich in Fibre Keeps Constipation at Bay

A Healthy Diet Rich in Fibre Keeps Constipation at Bay

Tanushree Ganguli, Jyoti Kapil, Mridula Shirwali, Noopur Agarwal, Sowjanaya Kumar, Tanuja Karunakar, Anita Rankar, Shaveta Rahajan, Ritu Mishra Tripathi, Sahrvani Aneel, Leena Parikh, Ameena Sayeed, Deepshikha Das, Sakshi Batra, Tanushree Ganguli and Sayonee Mishra, Sneha Satam, Sathya Ramu, Srividya Mushunuru, Harsha Rajiv, Diana Samuel, Pratibha Gautam, Swati Agarwal, Shama Mittal, Nausheen Sharieff, Amrita Singh, Sarika Singh, Dia Bijlani, Namrata Mandowara, Chetna Ganatara, Bindiya Yadav, Sakshi Batra, Simpy Jalan and Reema Verma.

The Best Ways to Pump and Store Breast Milk

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Expressing and Storing Breast Milk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breastpumps Come In Handy For New Moms Going Back to Work

Breastpumps Come In Handy For New Moms Going Back to Work

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

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

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

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

How Do I Stop my Toddler from Sucking Thumb

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

Roshini, a worried mom of a 17-month old toddler, says, “My daughter was a thumbsucker since the beginning -literally. Tucked away in my memories book is an ultrasound image of her’s sucking her thumb to glory in the womb. Now, a year and a half later, she’s still not ready to let it go.”

The answer to Roshini’s and other numerous moms’ problem is rather straightforward. Thumb sucking is a very common reflex that kids engage in when they face a stressful situation. They do this to calm down, fall asleep or just to feel good. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. Also, most of the times, sucking thumb is considered harmless in terms of a child’s growth and speech development.

Paediatricians from all over are of the consensus that as the kid crosses the two year age mark, they start developing other coping skills beyond thumb or finger sucking. They also purport that as long as the child stops the thumb sucking habit by the time he develops his permanent teeth, there would be minimal or no impact on his mouth and jaw.”

One of our SOS Moms, Vandana Anand, mom of 2 kids, says, “Help your kid in resolving his thumb sucking problem and leave it to his will. Don’t force! Give enough love and your baby will leave sucking his thumb”.

Another SOS Mom, Rajnideep Sandhu, doubles up with Vandana Anand and says, “The main thing is when children don’t get the proper attention, they develop such habits. So, just check if your child wants to say something to you, it’s usually a big deal for them!”

We also have Meghna Kattimani who puts forth a different perspective to the problem.

Coping with Thumb Sucking in Children

Coping with thumb sucking in children

She says, “Identify the triggers – If your kid sucks his thumb in response to stress, identify that triggering factor and provide comfort in other ways — such as a hug or reassuring words. You might also try giving your kid a pillow or stuffed animal to squeeze.”

Lastly, Urvashi Patole proposes, “Maybe you can put a little garlic or any bitter tasting edible on your kid’s thumb. Very soon he will stop sucking his thumb. However, adopt this method only when your kid has become a preschooler (3-5 yrs), but still continues to have this problem.”

So you see Roshini, forcing is not the solution! In most cases, the kid automatically gives up the habit as he grows. There’s no urgency to kick the habit this early, i.e. Before the child turns three.

What to do when your Kid is a Late Talker

Dealing with Late Talking Children

Dealing with Late Talking Children

Parents of late-talking children are always in a state of dilemma on whether they should ‘wait and see’ if the kid picks up speed in language development on his own, or if they should meet a speech therapist right away. Many of these parents are told not to worry as each kid develops at his/her own pace. Nonetheless, their gut instinct is always to seek help as they strive to do the best for their child.

The ‘wait and see’ approach for late talkers is borne out of a stereotyped observation about typical language development in children. While it is passable that children do develop at their own pace, there are certain age milestones that should be reached by a specific age.  It is also true that there are many late talking toddlers who catch up on their own, a few do not.

In this write-up, when we speak about language delay, we aren’t talking about language disorders or physical and developmental delays like Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism or those with childhood apraxia. These conditions require special kind of therapeutics and doctoring. We only speak about those children who seem to lag behind a little in their spoken (or “expressive”) language.

Let’s quickly go through what our SOS Moms have to say about late talkers –

Mum, Anima Bhardwaj, says, “Just one answer! Don’t compare your kid to others for anything. Each child is different and develops differently. Just make sure that he is medically fit. If everything is okay, just relax. Some kids are late talkers… late walkers… late eaters… and so on”.

We have Somita Suri, who suggests, “Depends on what you mean by ‘doesn’t talk very well’. Most kids develop at their own pace just like when they take their first steps. However, do look out for other signs in your child with respect to social behaviour, because it could be linked to autism.”

Next, Julie Ekka Tanti proposes her viewpoint by saying, “Just like my kid who is four years old now, but doesn’t show any signs of eating on her own. I have to force her for each meal! She doesn’t chew and is used to swallowing. I’m pretty much worried, as kids of her age are fond of chocolates and so many edibles, but my child says no to all.”

Overcoming Late Talking in Children

Overcoming Late Talking in Children

Shilpi Saha shows a different dimension of the problem by saying, “It depends on how much you all talk at home. If yours is a silent type of house, then give your kid some more time. Moreover, if your kid has completed other milestones and is okay in other behaviours, then don’t worry, give a bit more time. My Lil’ brother also had the same problem because our house was a silent kind of house”.

Last, we have mums, Tanvi Nigam, Pooja Rathod and Noopur Agarwal, who collectively reinstate that parents should not worry about late talking in children. They jointly agree that things will take time and that parents should just have patience.

We conclude by saying that every child is unique in his/her own way and that parents should never compare their child with another child. Keep training your kid the requisite language skills and cherish that kiddish ‘blabber’. Once it’s gone, you’ll miss it badly!

Is too much juice bad for a toddler: SOS Moms Reply

Unttled-1Mahima Verma expressed her concern about her little one year old angel who initially started enjoying juice in her sipper but now refuses to drink water and wants juice instead, all the time. She wants to know if juice is good for her at this age.

We put forward this issue for our SOS mom community to weigh in and are glad to have received a list of tips and advice to help mommy Mahima overcome her problem.

FirstCry says: Toddlers tend to over-consume fruit juices simply because they are sweet in taste. While juices are known to be beneficial for health, they can also be harmful if over-consumed.  According to the AAP(American Academy of Pediatrics), the quantity of juice that an infant, 6 to 12 months, can consume is  120ml to 170ml. Toddlers and Preschoolers aged 1 to 6 years also, shouldn’t consume more than 170 ml per day.

Moreover, juices should be offered to kids in a cup and not a bottle. Prolonged exposure of teeth to the sugar in juices may lead to tooth decay or a cavity, says mom Sindhu Anand and Nimisha Sinha.

Avantika Gidh writes that too much fruit juice may also lead to diarrhoea, so mums need to be careful with the quantity.

A few tips to increase your baby’s water intake over juice are:

  • Dilute the juice with water and gradually increase the water ratio to the juice ratio.
  • Add Glucon D or ORS to water to give it a flavour. You can also boil the water with some cumin seeds (jeera), it changes the color and flavor of water and enhances the quality of voice.

If none of the above works, then you’ve got to make water drinking a fun activity for your toddler ;). Encourage her to have a competition of finishing water first with you. Or, simply buy her a special new cup, give her company in drinking water and say “Cheers!” before starting, says mom Poonam Ganesh.

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:

 

Sarah Singh, Annanya Jha, Poonam Ganesh, Yogita Chand, Sakshi Abbey Bhatnagar, Sona Rohilla, Mahira Patel, Avantika Gidh, Janki Shah, Sudha Thavamaniraja, Kam La, Smriti Sharma, Sindu Anand, Sultana Parween, Lipsy Pattnayak, Shruti Gulati Rathore, Sudeshna Patnaik, Akanksha Malhotra Maggo, Madhumita Kar Gupta, Nimisha Sinha, Vidita Tayal

Aspecial mention to Subir Ranjan Das, a father.

Right amount of milk for the baby solves most of your problems: SOS Moms Reply

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Sabita Padubidri wrote to us about a problem she has with her 2 month old son, she says that he does not sleep well either in the morning or in the night because of which she’s having sleepless nights and days.

Also, her child has a habit of sucking his thumb. He does not take formula milk as she doesn’t produce enough milk.

We put this issue across our community of moms to weigh in on the same and have incorporated their responses here:

Breast Feeding is the best for your baby and Fenugreek (methi) ranks high among the ‘must haves’ for nursing mothers. This is due to the presence of diosgenin in the spice which increases milk production in lactating mothers. You can either have its seeds or leaves in your daily diet. You should also increase the intake of Cumin (jeera), pulses, almond, dry fruits, garlic, milk and milk products to enhance milk generation. Moreover, eating raw papaya curry & drinking rice water, which is prepared in traditional way (i.e cooking rice in additional amount of water), can also serve as a solution.
Bani Pavithra SriRam suggets that you can also consume lactation boosting pills/powder like ‘Lactare’, an ayurvedic medicine, to boost lactation.

A few alternate methods to feed your baby milk are:
Soak a small clean and soft cotton ball in milk and squeez 3-5 drops into his mouth slowly at a time and repeate this for 60 to 80ml of milk. As you said he doesn’t like bottles, this will help fill his stomach temporarily.

Try Playtex VentAire bottles for nursing your baby, these have many advantages like less amount of air gulped in by baby, angular design helps in proper placement during feeding, etc.

Thumb-sucking is normal in babies and most kids stop on their own at age 3 to 6 years. Neverthless, inadequate milk intake by a baby may also be a cause of thumb-sucking. So, you can expect it to decrease gradually once your baby starts getting sufficient milk.

One of the reasons for baby’s sleepless nights and days can be his empty stomach. In such a case, the above mentioned alternative feeding methods can prove conducive.

Also, you can give a nice warm coconut oil massage to your baby and follow it with warm water bath before putting him to sleep. Re-creating some soothing sensations, movements and snug environment of the womb will help him doze off faster.

We thank all the Mommies of our community for sparing their precious time to give their valuable responses:

Aditya Agarwal, Sandhya Pillai, Poonam Ganesh, Banu Pavithra SriRam, Revathi Phani Krishna, Kam La, Uma Sudharshan, Nainthara Singh, Soumya Harish, Garima S Mamgain, CA Chandana, Pooja Rathore, Lakshmi Karthick, Shilpa Malhotra Sarin

Struggling to spend quality time with your child: SOS moms reply

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Sowmya Raghav wrote to us about a concern in regards to spending time with her son.  She is not able to give enough time to her 3 year old son due to her work commitments, especially in the evenings. She feels guilty about the same and wanted to know how to engage her child with activities that do not need her presence.

We asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Sowmya’s problem and have included their advice below:

It is important to devote a fixed time for your child, irrespective of your work schedule.  Half an hour in the morning and after 9pm in the evening is an ideal time to spend with your child. Make sure that you are away from your phone, as it would allow you to completely utilise the time with your young one.

You can also take your child along with you to the temple, local market or a friend’s place so that you can spend more and more time with him.Another option is to hire a maid who would take care of the cooking and other household chores. This provides you with the extra time along with your child and also respite from house work.

We are grateful to the parents below for their input.

Aashi Jiwani Mehta, Nisha Yatin Patel, Nazneen Kazi, Pavithra Reddy, Perminder Kaur, Chital Pancha, Deepa Shailesh Narti, Sunitha Raj.

 

Does use of an iPad for a 2 year old child makes sense: SOS Moms Reply

Amruta Kale wrote to us regarding a concern she had for her 2-year old daughter. She is worried about her daughter grabbing it and crying loudly if not given it to her and asked us to advice her on the same.

ImageWe asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Amruta’s problem and have included their advice below.

A lot of parents these days are facing this issue with their young ones. It is quite normal. Children like to imitate their parents. Try to lessen the usage of gadgets in front of them. If you keep it hidden, they will forget about it.

Being more interactive with your child helps too. Children like it when their parents indulge with them while playing. They prefer to play with their parents more than anything else. Also it’s better to show her some colorful and attractive cartoon books which will grab her attention and slowly her interest will also change.

Alternatively, you can load rhymes, stories, and educational games for your little one and only give iPad to her for a limited time and then distract her with something else like taking her out to play or reciting rhymes to her.

Try to communicate with her in a subtle way that using too much of iPad or any other gadget can be harmful and that she should not be using it very frequently.

Also, try not to update anything on it for a few days like no new apps, no new pictures etc and she might just get bored of watching the same thing again and again and will stop asking for it eventually.

We are grateful to the parents below for their input.

Jyothi Potturi, Lavanya Reddy, Rajnideep Sandhu, Paridhi Tapan Upadhyay, Vani Amarnath, Anucrati Benjamin, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Vani Amarnath, Jas Saini, Payal Jain, Shama Desai,Pallavi Peter,Vinod Komiri, Deepa Shailesh Narti, Ranjini Ramesh, VenkataBuvana Pulusu, Aditi Taparia Maheshwari.

My Child Refuses To Go To Playschool: SOS Moms Reply

three little girls and female teacher in kindergartenSeema Shetty wrote to us about a concern she has for her child, her son refuses to go to play school and throws tantrums when he is in the playschool. She is worried and asked us to advice her on the same.

We asked our community of moms for their suggestions to help solve Seema’s problem and have included their advice below.

It is quite normal for some children to resist a new environment like playschool. Many of them suffer from separation anxiety when taken away from their parents. Usually this fear goes away in a few weeks, but you can help your child adjust to new environment by introducing him to it gradually.

Spend some time along with him in the playschool so that he realises it is not something to be afraid of. Allow him to become familiar with his new surroundings and the new people in his life before you leave. Once he starts to have interact with his new classmates and have fun with them, he will not mind your absence as much.

Ask the teacher to entice him with play, toys and fun activities so he knows that it is a fun place to be. Soon he will begin to look forward to his time in school and with his friends.

We are grateful to the parents below for their input.

Pooja Sandhu Choudhuri, Aditi Jagtap Deshmukh, Cristyl Murray, Insiya Makda, Insiya Makda

 

My Child Won’t Let Me Brush His Teeth: SOS Moms Reply

child toothbrushSwati Iyer wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 1 year old son who refuses to let her clean his teeth. She is worried that her child will start getting cavities and wants advice on how to teach him to follow good dental hygiene.

We asked our community of mothers to weigh in on this issue and have included their responses below.

At this age a child may have only a few teeth and may not be ready for brushing his teeth. It takes about three years for the complete set of teeth to come in. However, you can introduce the concept of dental hygiene with gentle rubbing on his teeth using a clean finger and a soft cotton cloth.

You may think that because these baby teeth are destined to fall out anyway, they don’t matter. But that’s not true because they act as guides for our permanent teeth which may not come in properly if the baby teeth are lost due to cavities and decay.

Dental hygiene is an important concept to teach our kids because a large number of children have cavities by the time they are in kindergarten. This is primarily due to diets that include too many sweets and poor dental hygiene.

Some kids may be defiant about not allowing you to clean their teeth. You can get a soft Baby Training Toothbrush that is fun for your baby to use. Also allow your baby to see you and your spouse brushing your teeth so that they want to imitate you.

You can read your child some children’s books that discuss the importance of keeping one’s teeth clean. Show them some funny videos, like the one about the adventures of Dr. Rabbit and the Tooth Defenders from Colgate. You can also devise some fun activities or games to play while brushing so your kids learn to associate it with fun. Never mind if it gets a little messy at times.

Each child will have their own time table of when they will learn to use a brush or allow you to clean their teeth. Be patient with your child and be consistent in teaching them to keep their teeth clean. Don’t use toothpaste until your child is old enough to rinse and spit it out.

Our thanks go out to the parents below for their advice and suggestions.

Janki Shah, Lipsa Das, InderpreetKaur, AditiJagtapDeshmukh, ShilpaKhandelwal, Rosalin Mishra, ViditaTayal

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

My Toddler Refuses To Sleep At Night: SOS Moms Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

We thank the mothers below for their useful suggestions:

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

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Daughter Has Head Lice: SOS Moms Reply

head-liceDebolina Choudhury wrote to us and told us about a concern she has for her 2.5 years old daughter. She says that her daughter has got lice in her hair from playschool and applying Mediker has been of no help. She is concerned and has asked us for some advice.

We asked our community of moms for their suggestions and have incorporated it in the article below.

You can use Perlice cream – it is a very effective and popular lice remedy. Just read the manual and follow the instructions. It works wonders and you can say goodbye to lice.

Licil oil is another effective remedy available at most chemists. Just apply it, cover her hair with a scarf for an hour or so and wash with Mediker. For a more natural way to get rid of lice, try buttermilk and salt mixed in water. Gently rub her scalp with it and rinse thoroughly. Repeat after 7 to 8 days.

You can apply camphor in coconut oil. Leave it on for half an hour and use a fine comb to comb out the lice from the hair. Camphor stuns the lice and they lose their grip and can be combed out easily for up to half an hour. Follow it up with Mediker shampoo.

Neem oil is also a tried and tested home remedy for lice. Or you can make a neem paste and apply it in her hair for 10 to20 minutes. Grind tender neem leaves with a little sour curd. Apply on the scalp thoroughly and leave for few minutes. Rinse well with shampoo. Repeat this once a week for 4 washes.

You can also boil a few methi seeds in coconut oil on a low flame, store it and apply it on a regular basis as a preventative. It is also very good for hair growth. You can try a solution called Kesavardhini, found in the supermarket, in the oil that you use to apply daily.

There is a product called Jungle Formula, that helps elimination of lice as well as eggs. There is also a lotion called Scarab that does the same. You can try that also.

For a more drastic way to get rid of the lice altogether, you can just shave your daughter’s head.

Thanks to all the moms below for their wonderful suggestions.

Noorain Yayha, Lopamudra Nayak, Aradhana Mohapatra, Chandra Negi, Pooja Agrawal, Shruti Khanna Soin, Tejpreet Oberoi, Deepti Rahul Singh, Shreya Jiya Vijay, Hima Neeli, Inie Minie, Nishma Aggarwal, Sharmila Chakravarty, Sukoon Jethani Chopra, Toolika Bhatt Singhal, Priyanka Akash Khandelwal, Manisha Rahul Sonawane, Mohita Mathur, Shabana Shaikh, Kavita Mehta, Misha Bhattal, Subharthi Chakraborty, Geet Paryani, Elizabeth Chakma, Jeydevi Venkataraman, Swapna Sahoo.

Image source: naturalbugeliminator.wordpress.com

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