Dental Hygiene -How to make your toddler brush

So the last time I wrote about dental hygiene(Dental Hygiene for babies- When to start and how!!) was when I was dealing with a baby and this time I am dealing with a toddler.

A simple thing like brushing  teeth can be a reason for great misery atleast for parents.I have seen a whole episode of meltdown because I asked someone to brush his teeth.

When we started with the real brush it was all fun, my baby was 13 months and had a fixed routine of getting up and sitting on his high chair while I combed his hair and brushed his teeth.Before that I use to wash his teeth and gums with washcloth.It went on well for few days then he started snatching the brush from my hand.Attimes he would try to brush on his own which was fine with me and most of the time throw it away.It went on for quite sometime and then I realised I need to break the monotony.

I tried different fun ways to teach him how to brush and today he waits for his brushing time.

Let them watch 

So the first mistake I realised  was making him brush sitting or for that matter not in the proper place.I started taking him to the washroom while me and my husband brushed our teeth.Initially he use to stand there and ask for brush and cry for our brush if we handed him over his own.So we bought a brush for him our size off course.After few days he wanted his brush.

ToothPaste in not important Brushing is 

All of us make this mistake I did as well,I would stress on using toothpaste and hence he got a feeling of something being forced into his mouth.I stopped giving him toothpaste for sometime to make him comfortable with brush and introduced the paste again when he was comfortable with toothbrush.

Make Brushing fun

This may sound silly but me and my husband use to sing and dance while brushing.That made him feel he is missing out on something and to join us he would take his brush and shake his bum.

Brush Brush Brush your teeth, every morning every night is his favourite.

Role Play

Make everything brush their teeth in the house, my sons makes his doll brush his teeth every morning now.We have a brush for the doll similar to what he has.

Give them Options/Freedom

This is very important let them choose keep few brushes and let them choose.Most of the time they end up making their favourite.Sometimes when even after making so much effort and even after making it as a habit my son doesn’t feel like brushing I let him be.Forcing will make him hate it which I don’t want to.

Make the area accessible

Let them brush their teeth where everyone in the family does.We bought a stool for him to stand and he comfortably reaches the wash basin for brushing and yes some fun with the running water is a daily activity.

Show them how to 

Instead of taking their hand and making them brush, show them how to.Children are curious and they try to imitate.Take advantage and show them how you do it.

Switch Brushing Buddies 

This was so far the most effective in making him brush.I stay with my son the whole day so brushing was taken over by his father and this is something they look upto now.They both sing and brush together.Once he gets bored I will takeover again.Hopefully he would not get bored ever.

Just like any other thing with babies brushing requires lot of patience from the parents end.When we make it a routine it becomes boring add some spice to it and let them enjoy and you will see the difference.

Wishing you guys happy Gums and teeth and Dental Hygiene is important always remember that.

Watch this video and see how my little one loves brushing now

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Raising A Reader- Books on Farm Animals

So the last week was all about farm animals in our Montessori Shelf trays Farm Animal Themed Montessori Activities and also the books we picked were all about farm animals to make our experience better and easier.

We unknowingly have a decent collection of books on farm and farm animals.I never realised till the time I searched the book basket for more books.

Along with all the activities we did last week we read a lot about farm animals too and tried to atleast touch all books we have and made few favourites.

Starting with the favourites

Usborne Farmyard Series Noisy Animals 


This is a big board book and attracts the attention instantly with bigger illustrations.The illustration is colourful and attractive.This is a great book for learning the sounds animals make.

This book been one of our favourite as Nirvaan loves pointing out at the animals and makes the sound while pointing them.The last page has all the animals and he loves matching the figurines by keeping the figurines over the picture of the respective animal.

This book is musical but since we borrowed it from the library it doesn’t have the musical part anymore.

Old MacDonald had a farm (Igloo Books )


This one is a musical book and has the rhyme and various animal sound. Nirvaan loves pressing the button to hear the sound animals make and enjoys a lot.He finds it funny though.

Helps in learning about the farm animals and the sound they make.

Farm Animal-Touch and Feel (Sterling Publication India)


This one probably is the first book we got about farm animals and is still one of our favourite.The very fact of it being a touch and feel book has made it top the list.This one is a real inexpensive book by an Indian publishing house.The book has a small write up about the animals in few words in every page along with the touch and feel animal on the other page.A medium sized easy to hold book with bright images.

When I go to the farm (Parragon Books)


More than a farm book it has been our bedtime book.A nice book for the little ones to point out the animals while reading and finding the pig which is hiding in every page is something Nirvaan looks up for.Overall a simple book which tells about the basic characteristic of the farm animals like pigs like to play in the mud in their pen etc.

Who am I ? Series book (Duck & Cow)(Manoj Publications India)


I got three of these books from a roadside hawker just for Rs70 each.The very first page catches the attention and if you ask Nirvaan for his Duck book or the Moo Moo book he would simply bring these to read.

This book tells the basic information about the animal mentioned like ducks like to swim, cow gives us milk etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raising A Reader-My Story

Honestly I never planned or thought of raising a reader, but the first board book I bought filled me with so much of happiness that all I wanted was to hoard books for my little one.Those cute little books with such bright colour and texture where a delight to flip.And hence started our journey towards the world of books.

While growing up I saw my elder sister glued to books.She would even read while having dinner at times and when asked would say she is about to reach the climax and can leave the food but not the book.Her love for books was never ending and so was her collection starting from famous fives to mills and boons to classics.I never bought a single book honestly it was all her collection.

I remember my father reading stories every night before we use to sleep from the famous Chandamama or Panchatantra.It was those bedtime stories which compelled me to read and love reading initially.When my father would not read to us, me and my brother would take turns to read stories and we always asked for more when my father read those to us.And would doze off to sleep even before the story finished.

I grew up in the era when subscriptions meant magazine for mothers and comics for us.I grew up reading Cha Cha Chaudhary ,Pinky,Archies,Tin Tin before I graduated to Nancy Drew and famous five.Mills and Boons came much later for me.

It was during my holidays after my Xth board when I read a book by an Indian author and fell in love with the style of writing and realised how much I feel connected.Reading became my hobby and my imagination took me to places I have never been.Throughout my college and MBA I used my library card for course books right before examination rest part of the year it was all about exploring different genre.

As I mentioned earlier I never planned to raise a reader I just bought books at different stages and eventually fell for raising a reader.As a parent all I want is the best for my baby and the habit of reading is the best I can do for him.I want him to see the world in a wider sense, when we read it opens so many perspective and widens our thinking process more than intelligent reading makes us smart.

I am waiting for my son to grow up so that we both can go to the oxford book store at Barakhambha road, New Delhi where I have so many fond memories of reading dates with my besties, we loved smelling those books and loved flipping thorough sipping the coffee we could afford occasionally from our pocket money and paying in turns for each other on every visit.We sat there and made our bucket list of books and saved money to buy those.

So as I take you forward with our journey of #raisingareader I wanted to share the story behind my love for books.Watch this space for more on Raising a reader.

Posting a video of my tiny reader in action…

 

Toddler Meltdowns and a Mother’s confession

Its a confession post,yes I want to confess I have been a completely non Montessori when it comes to handling my sons tantrums and melt downs.I have shouted on him told him will throw him out if he doesn’t stop his drama, have man handled him.It can’t get any crazier at 18 months, he has been behaving so strong headed that it becomes so difficult to handle him.

While flying from Oman to Kolkata we had a connecting flight at chennai so it was a long travel and needless to mention exhausting; we were ready for a tired baby to carry but toddlers are the most unpredictable species on this earth.He was full of energy and refused to sleep and this resulted in a highly cranky baby  at landing.Just as we landed and were boarding the bus he had a desire to climb the stairs of the flight again and again and yes we had a bad melt down and I cursed the airport authority for not having an aero bridge but then the reason would have been something else for a cranky fit.No amount of cajoling and counselling stopped him from crying his heart out and all we could do was trying our skills to calm him down in turn till the time he was tired and slept in the cab.This was a whole half an hour before he slept.

That half an hour I had been angry felt like crying myself,leaving him alone for a while but no options were possible as we were not at home. It added to my frustration and the second melt down at home made me furious but since he was surrounded by my in laws I had to control some how.

After two days we travelled to Delhi to my Mom’s place where I had a final showdown  he refused to go to anyone and was cranky for no good reason.The reasons were pretty obvious, his father left for oman so he was missing him, he is used to just two of us so new people with his father not being around was completely unacceptable for him, but my mind refused to acknowledge these reasons  and I shouted, shouted for the very first time on him so badly that even thinking about that episode now makes me feel guilty.I told him I would throw him out and cried my heart out and told him now I can’t handle him.

How could I? He has been travelling and was tired, he is not use to so many new faces and he was meeting new every time, he is teething and that makes it worst for him.The faces he is showing arrogance to are new to him and it might hurt me seeing him not accepting my mom but for him they are just new people he doesn’t remember a bit of what my mom did for him or what  my sister did for him.My expectation of him accepting my dear ones is so unreal.

So this episode of my shouting and break down made me learn one thing. Losing my temper did good to no one. My mother and sister were upset with me for behaving so bad and losing it on the poor baby.My baby hugged me thinking I am upset and was clingy all the time.I have never felt so bad in my entire life.

This has made realise few things

  • Understand what my baby is going through.
  • Not to pass the burden of my expectations on to his shoulders
  • Keep my anger and frustration to myself and never pass it on to the baby.I know it is difficult but somehow its really important.
  • A meltdown needs a calm parent , a frustrated parent only adds to the misery.
  • Everyone goes through it I am not alone may be the only one at that point of time .
  • People will give me looks and suggestions but my baby is none of any one’s business.
  • Relax and remember that he is my same baby who gets fits of laughter for no reason ,so a meltdown here and there is ok.

I didn’t write this post to tell the tips to handle the meltdowns but honestly just wanted to share an experience with mommies so that somewhere some mommy would relax reading it and thinking she is not the only one and feel less guilty maybe.

 

I Won’t Unschool My Son, I Will Raise A Regular School Boy Like This

Before I discuss why I want to unschool myself and open my story for debate/discussion, I wish to take you all to the time when I was in school.

I was a very mediocre student with very less aspirations, I wanted to take up a field that involved lesser study. Without being attentive in class I scored pretty well. Way higher than my counter parts, who were actually very intelligent. I used to look down upon them. I used to think, “What low level of intelligence these people have, they answer in class so well, they can carry an intelligent conversation but still can’t score more than I do. What is the use of all that intelligent conversations and knowing more than what was needed.”

My friends were the rebels, not me. I did what the system wanted me to do, mug right before the exam, puke it out on the paper and feel fresh again for a new session with no uneasy feeling of the past, just like a clean slate.

Read the full article here

I Won’t Unschool My Son, I Will Raise A Regular School Boy Like This

Act of Kindness- A lesson learnt for life

I usually don’t write about off incidents or about my life in general but there are few incidents which makes you wonder how you are as a person and being brought up in a different country different culture makes you different from others.So it has been a while in Oman and I am loving this country especially its people.Its the people who make the country beautiful right? I won’t lie if I say I came with a pre conceived notion about this country, yes my feminist soul still doesn’t agrees to few things I hear and see but when I see a country where people smile at each other without even knowing each other.When my stern unfriendly look also doesn’t dissuade them to pass a smile to me, I wonder why do I walk with that expression that smiling seems like a heavy task to me why it doesn’t come  naturally to me.It has something to do with my Delhi upbringing  where smiling and being polite is taken as weakness or you end up being bullied or snubbed upon,but can’t blame any city or person either the fault is in me.

Coming back to the small  incident which has left a deep impact on me and shown me the path  how I want my son’s upbringing to be.

It was January and we headed to the much talked Muscat festival at Naseem Garden to see what it was all about. The festival provided a glimpse of Omani culture other than few fun stuff like rides and shows.It was going to be Little N’s first Fun ride day as well.Oh yes he is 16 months old and was 15 months when he took his first fun ride, as me and my husband both decided on staying away from malls fun zone till the time we can make him understand and can use that as a fun trip rather than a guilt trip because of tantrums or meltdowns.

There were few rides that we thought were safe enough for N to enjoy, he enjoyed his fun ride pretty daringly and we were surprised to see him enjoy without crying or fear.He waved towards us  and the smile was constant on his face. Well it did take us on a guilt trip to deprive him this fun every other day like kids of his age.but moderation is the key and we are going to stick to it.It was the last ride and N was too excited  and was already struggling to sit on the train which had few big bumpers to be crossed.The trains railings were low and the seat belt was also loose.N was sitting with his smile but we were worried as he might just stand during the ride and fall.There was this gentlemen whose two kids were sitting in the front seat of the four sitter coach of the train. Without a single request and without even the knowledge of N’s age he immediately asked his older son  to sit with N as he seems young and might fall.The kid seemed to be around four years old ,he without any resistance or argument came and sat with N and held his hand to the railing and asked him to hold tight with an assuring smile.The younger one didn’t complain either he waved to N.The best part is the man did not even expect a thank you from us as he was busy telling the man operating the train to be watch full as a baby  is there pointing towards N.When I went and said Sukhran (Thank you in arabic) he smiled and nodded his head.

Honestly first it would never cross my mind to see if other’s kids are harnessed properly and even if they aren’t I would warn the parents rather than making an effort to convince my child and even if I do what that person did I would expect the parents to be grateful and say thanks.I am not saying that expecting a thank you is bad but somehow that incidence gave me a feeling the doing without expectation of thank you is much better.That person has passed on the sense of responsibility to his children without much of an effort just by doing these simple acts of kindness .

Being a parent does change you in many ways I would have never thought about such incidents so deeply and would have never appreciated the act of kindness so much as I do.I really want to thank that person as he taught me how to teach my son the act of kindness.

Stay at Home Versus Working Mother

Its been a while I have been wondering how life changes after the baby arrives.From being a competitive career women I have become a mother who wakes up thinking what to feed the baby and what to put in his montessori trays.I have worn both the shoes of a working mother and a stay at home mother and know both the sides.I would not lie if I say I used to look down upon stay at home mothers before becoming a mother and tagged them lazy for many things may be.That is something you feel when you are not in the same boat and you think how you could have done things better.And the feeling is mutual for a stay at home mother who thinks how a working mother gets her things done by care takers and just have to spend few hours with the child.

I have been on both the sides as I mentioned and both the sides are equally difficult.A child behaves completely different in both the cases.And needless to mention the challenges remain slightly different yet equally difficult.

Life as working mother

While I went to office and my child was taken care ,No matter how much I consoled myself the feeling of leaving him and spending the time meant for him at office always haunted me.I thought I will get over it eventually but something or the other would happen which would make me feel the same over and over again.For instance when I  almost adjusted and he was adjusted with staying with my mother while I was away ,My mother had to go back home for some work and he took time adjusting with my sister, when he adjusted with my sister he caught viral.Instances were many but I kept myself strong. At that time he started with solids and never gave the respective care taker hard time.He would eat what was offered in a good portion.My home coming in the evening used to be a grand affair with him waiting for me.It was so surprising for me that even at 8 months he exactly knew my timing and would grow impatient if I was late.But once I was home he would refuse to go to anyone except me.And till the time he slept it was like we were one.When I look back now I wonder how I managed it was so difficult managing both office and a baby.I had no time for myself or for anyone for that matter.

Life as stay at home mother

For the record I have never stayed at home ever and staying with a baby was the last thing I could have imagined.But destiny has its own plot.So here I am staying with my baby at home with a brain which constantly works for him and a heart which endlessly melts for him.Is my life easier? My answer is pretty simple if you are asked to leave a job for say I was/ am(I am currently on a sabattical)  a banker, its like I left my job as a banker to become a Teacher, Artist,pshycologist,interpreter,Sweeper,cook,maid,care taker, doctor and the list is endless.Its not easy to be a SAHM,it involves a lot of stress, your child’s behaviour completely changes when you stay at home.Suddenly my child has become a picky eater and the frequency of breast-feeding has increased many folds.Although I get time for myself but it is only when he sleeps.

Talking about the guilt factor I have let it go I don’t bother if people think my baby is lagging behind even when his mother is giving him so much of time.This is the main reason for SAHM’s to stress and feel guilty.I give a damn to what people think.I am staying at home for him not to prove how smart he is to people or how me staying at home is doing good to him.

A Mother is a Mother

Stay at home or working really doesn’t make much of a difference a mother is a mother no matter what she decides to be.It is always for the best of the child if she sacrifices her career or her time while she works.

P.s- If you have been wondering what my husband was doing all the while, he was away for an assignment and was fighting another battle within for not being present while I juggled.He has been a constant support without whom I might have lost my sanity.

 

HOW TO COPE WITH POST- PARTUM STRESS

While enjoying and relaxing during my pregnancy it never crossed my mind that the arrival of baby will bring in so much of stress.I was under the impression that the moment my bundle of joy arrives my life will be eventful and filled with joy.It did become eventful and full of joy but with lot of stress.The stress which would have almost taken me over if I would have not taken care of the Baby Blues I was experiencing after the baby’s arrival.

There were few things I did to cope with the stress that helped me get over the depression I was experiencing

Take out Time for yourself

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Yes you have to! Just take out time How ? when the baby sleeps or when he/she is being taken care by someone else.I use to take out time while he would be sleeping or when my husband or mother would take him.I would just go to another room or may be to the wash room watch something on the net or read something to divert my mind .Watching videos on Youtube helped me a lot.

Sleep while the baby sleep

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One of the major reason of stress after delivery is not getting enough sleep or rest.The best way to catch up with sleep is to sleep when the baby sleeps.Initially I avoided sleeping in the day time as I used to get irritated if my sleep was disturbed.Eventually I realised that it is going to be like this and I adjusted with the routine of my baby.Catching up with my sleep made me more cheerful and I used to be less cranky in the night.You read it right.

Take help from others

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Asking for help will not make us an unsuccessful mother or neither will it burden others.I usually shy away from asking help as I think it might just bother them.But believe me people around you are there to help, their state of mind is much better than yours as they aren’t dealing with a new born.The thing that might be stressful for you might be fun for them.For example taking care of the baby for few hours.

Believe in yourself

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When we can bring such a beautiful thing to this earth then we certainly can take care of it.Being a mother for the first time, I wanted assurance in every thing that I did for the baby.Never realising that stressing over small things were doing more harm then help.I decided to have faith in my motherly instinct with little bit of advice from others.This way I learned how not to stress over petty things.

Talk it out

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It helped me get out of the stress up to a large extent.Anything that was bothering me I would just talk about it.Sometimes crying helped too,I would just let the thing bothering me inside come out by crying in front of my loved ones.Although now those have become funny anecdotes and will be told to my son once he grows up.

Post partum is the phase when females are prone to depression.The best way to prevent it is my recognising the early signs.It is important to take care of yourself and be happy even if the stress is not letting you to.I hope my tips will help the new mothers out there get away from the stress and enjoy motherhood to the fullest.

5 Ways to bond with the newborn

While I was pregnant I often wondered if I would be able to bond with the baby.This happens with all of us I guess especially with people like me.I was never really the kid loving types; in fact my husband used to be the charmer and kids are fond of him.I have always kept safe distance from kids.Things changed after I became a mother.

All the ways listed below are tried and tested.It will not only make your bond stronger with the baby but also help you understand your baby better.

Skin-to-Skin Contact 

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If you are unable to do this while at the hospital try this the first thing at home.It is important for both the parents to have skin to skin contact with the baby to form a life time bond.The warmth of your skin will calm the baby and the touch of the baby’s skin is just heavenly.

Eye-to-Eye Contact 

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The new born are short-sighted make sure you stay close while you talk to them and make an eye to eye contact with the new-born.

Breastfeed

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Breastfeeding is so far the best way to bond with the new born.It is best to breastfeed with skin to skin contact as much as possible.If you are unable to breastfeed and are feeding your baby formula then ensure that you feed the baby keeping him as close as possible to your breasts.

Co-sleep

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I know this is something which is to be avoided till baby’s first birthday, but try to buy a cot with adjustments.this will ensure that your baby sleeps by your side and also is at a safer distance to avoid SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome).

Baby Wearing

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Honestly this is something which will come naturally as babies are very demanding and they need you almost all the time.Baby wearing not only enables you to do the chores at home and otherwise ;but also forms a strong bond between the baby and the wearer.

Take rest 

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It is very important to be in a good mood to bond with the baby.And if you are tired then chances of you getting irritated increases.This makes all the above mentioned ideas difficult to implement.A strong bond between baby and mother requires a happy mother.

Lastly a new-born can be very demanding and it may seem like a daunting task to keep up with the demand but remember  every successful love story has thorns before you enjoy the bed of roses.

Image credits-baby wearing

How to take care of New Born’s Umbilical Stump

The umbilical cord is the passage through which the baby receives all the nutrition in the womb.The cord is connected to placenta of the mother.After delivery it is cut off through a painless process ,which leaves a stump on the baby’s navel.This stump falls off on it’s own somewhere between 7-21 days after birth.

But the umbilical stump needs a lot of care, so that it doesn’t lead to infection.Here are few tips to take care of the stump and prevent infection

  • Sponge Bath –avoid giving your baby tub bath, as exposing the stump area to water for long may lead to infections, hence it is advisable to give only sponge bath till the stump falls off and gets dry.
  • Avoid Onesies and rompers-The stump area should not be covered, as it may lead to rubbing .Dress your baby with loose clothes and avoid clothes that cover the whole body like onesies.
  • Don’t touch the stump and also advice the same to people paying a visit to the baby.
  • Use Diapers which are designed for newborns or else cut diaper if it touches the stump area.
  • Clean the area near the stump using a damp cotton.Make sure you pat the area dry after cleaning.
  • After the stump falls off it takes sometime for the navel to get dry completely. Follow the above mentioned precautions till it is completely dry.
  • Contact your doctor in case you see pus around the stump or baby cries while cleaning the surrounding area of stump.

Once the stump falls off and the area is completely  dry your baby can enjoy the tub bath and wear the cute onesies .

Hope these precautions will help you take care of the new-born, but it is always advisable to take your doctors suggestion and tips for care of Umbilical cord stump.