4 Exciting Things Of Our Journey To Being Parents

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The Test:

June 2014 – A quick trip to the washroom, and within minutes there had been 2 beautiful solid lines on my home testing kit that said my husband and I were pregnant! Our celebration had consisted of excited talks at a supersonic high pitch, giggles that resembled the banter of school girls, and our crazy pet dog who jumped about excitedly on our bed.

To make the arrival of our little bub more comfortable, my husband and I decided to get things organized in our house and lives that very day! Lists were made, parenting styles discussed and the house rearranged to accommodate our baby’s arrival. All at 6 weeks pregnancy. Enthusiastic much? That was us.

Going shopping:

 Not wanting to waste a minute, we had head to the closest shopping centre with our ‘list’ in tow. We not only planned on doing a reconnaissance of baby items, but we intended on buying stuff as well. Unfortunately, no matter which maternity / baby store we went to, there was a clear cut division between things for ‘girl’ babies or ‘boy’ babies. Majority of them had a section for ‘newborns’, however we found them all to lean towards a certain sex, either blatantly obvious in their display, or subtly color coded and accordingly accessorized to imply the gender it’s meant for.

The lack and scarcity of ‘neutral’ (clothes, baby books etc) disappointed us, but we didn’t let it dampen our childish stupor. Onwards we continued with our mission towards the next stop – the toy shops. And guess what? You either have to turn left for boy toys and right for girls’ (‘cuz girls are always ‘right’ haha). I wondered how everything in today’s age and time became so gender oriented. Who decided that girls can’t play with remote controlled cars and boys sit with doll houses? Who said that girls shall be in everything pink and boys have to do all things blue? Suddenly we faced a big dilemma. Do we fall into this trap even before our baby is born? Is it responsible parenting on our part to mould him/her into a certain stereotype?

 2Baby Shower:

Our woes didn’t end there. Eventually, planning a baby shower was just as difficult for my sister. We were ‘those’ kind of parents-to-be who didn’t know the sex of their child till the day he made his grand appearance. However, everyone wanted to know if we were going to have a girl or a boy, mostly so they could procure gifts accordingly. And I don’t blame them, the market trends don’t make life any easier. But for parents like me who want to ensure that their child is exposed to all the colors of the rainbow and is open to all kinds toys and play, it becomes very difficult to search and choose gender neutral products. I want my child to decide what he/she likes, without being pressurized into conforming to the society’s prejudices; is that wrong?

IMG_1645The Arrival: 

 In due course, we were blessed with a healthy baby boy. But I guess there was a certain gamble involved for all our family and friends when they bought presents for the shower. He now owned everything in either shades of blue or hues of pink. There may have been a few things in yellow or green dotted about, may have.

So here are some fun facts* for you:

1. Most babies are color blind when there are born and can only see shades of grey for atleast a few weeks.

2. In June 1918, an article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl”. Ha!!

So for now, I make peace in dressing up my son in blue AND pink, till the day HE decides what his favorite color shall be :)

*source:

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/babies-born-color-blind-7978.html

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-pink-1370097/?no-ist

Babywearing in India — Getting Started

What’s the first thing you hear when you give birth? Your baby’s first cry…. Aah, the sweetest sound that you’ll ever hear!

What’s the only thing you hear over the next few days, weeks… baby’s ‘constant’ crying, uh-huh, correction, the sweetest sound is now a ‘wailing’! No, it is not because your baby is clingy, and it most definitely is not because ‘your milk is not enough’!!

Your baby rightfully is crying for you, for you to hold him, comfort him, keep him safe like you have all these past 9 months. While it’s an aww moment the first few times, it really does tend to break your arms after some time. It did for the first 2.5 months for me.

And then I discovered Baby-wearing (no it is not a fashion term!). I was trolling Facebook when I followed a friend into a Baby-wearing page and thought of giving it a shot. We haven’t looked back since and LO is now 15 months old.

What is Baby-wearing? 

According to Wikipedia, it is the practice of wearing or carrying your baby in a sling or in another form of carrier. In short, it is keeping your baby close helping him transition to a life outside the womb.

Why should I wear my baby?

Contrary to popular belief that the womb was the quiet environment that a baby has been used to, a womb is probably the noisiest place, what with the constant motion in the amniotic fluid, moms beating heart, stomach churning, etc., which is why when baby-wearing, the baby quietens soon as you start walking. The motion helps calm him.

Research shows that keeping your baby close is crucial to his health and development. Such infants produce more immunoglobin protecting them against respiratory infections. The constant touch also improves intellectual and motor development immediately. The benefits are many! The image below drives home the essence of keeping your baby close.

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How should I wear my baby?

There are various ways to wear your baby. While Google can easily assist in finding brands, it is not essential to spend a bomb on a carrier. A sari or even a dupatta can double up as a carrier.

There are a few safety rules that one has to be absolutely thorough about, irrespective of the carrier that you choose.

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Image Courtesy: schoolofbabywearing

Carrier Categories:

Ergonomic carriers are the way to go. Sounds scientific? Well, it is. A carrier is designed not just to carry your baby, it does also help in baby’s development- physical included. The way your baby’s hip is positioned in the carrier will help or harm the hip development. Perfecting the M position is as important a part of baby-wearing as is TICKS.

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Okay, now that the research is out of the way, we can greedily discuss the various types of carriers and what they do and how:

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When should I baby-wear?

What started off as a necessity for me almost a year back, is now something I am passionate about. Especially since I’ve seen up close how it transformed my clingy, cranky, always ‘hungry’ infant into a confident, independent, creative, intelligent and social toddler.

I highly recommend wearing your baby soon as you hear, read or see about it. And do not be surprised if you bump into me giving someone a download of it in a mall… I really do feel strongly about it. Whether am in the kitchen, traveling (plane, train, anything), even window shopping and the most when the baby has been under the weather, baby-wearing has come to the rescue time and again.

Until what age can I wear my baby?

It does not stop when the baby starts walking. Most carriers allow for a 15-18 kg weight limit and will also allow you to carry a child of up-to 4 years of age.

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Why do I recommend baby-wearing?

Baby-wearing has opened up a whole new world for me. Keeps my baby close AND keeps me hands free. It has helped us in soooo many ways including traveling without any hassles.

I do hope you are able to enjoy and explore baby-wearing as much as we have been. The pic below is of the first time ever that I wore my baby. You can see how peaceful we both look.

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Reason I chose to be stay at home MOM

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There he was sleeping peacefully my little Angel…I just Love love my little baby :) Isn’t he the most precious gift I can ever ask for in my life?!! Isn’t his smile makes everything possible in the World ?!! Isn’t he the best ??!! isn’t he my reason to love my self and love everyone around him ???!!
 My thoughts started flowing endlessly . There was no full stop, comma or even exclamation mark !! As if I couldn’t swallow anything..Only thing was questions and questions in my mind and heart??????
I was on maternity leave and was going to start work in two months time. Those two months now seemed to be such a short period to me on that long night.. I just couldn’t sleep and kept thinking and fighting with my own load of questions, which had no answer from my side.
Till that time I was so much prepared that I was going to start working and look after my boy too. Now it seemed like some impossible task. Then I got what I like to call as answer of my never ending questions.
YES.. I would love to be STAY AT HOME MOM :) or home maker or house wife whichever name we like to call it and happily look after my little bundle of joy. And here are the reasons I chose to be stay at home Mom.

1. To be able to breastfeed:

I exclusively breastfed my boy for the first six months and started baby led weaning after six months. I wanted to continue feeding him on demand. Of course I could have pumped it and someone could have fed him while would work but I did not want to miss the special time we both spent with each other. It’s so priceless and precious.

2. To never miss a milestone:

I never want to  miss any of his milestone, it’s something I never knew I will be so keen of. But the joy to see my son achieving all his milestones, is just unbelievable. I had always visioned him to start walking and come to me with a big smile on his face! I’m still waiting for that day to come. Keeping my fingers crossed!

3.  For those cute baby things:

Is it only me who just loves baby fragrance? I have always loved how my boy smells! His hair smells, his tiny face, little hands, everything smells just so awesome. I didn’t want to miss those morning cuddles and those lovely hugs from him.

4.  To live the moment:

To live the moment, this is something he has taught me. He is so full of energy, and always ready to learn new things even if he fails so at it, in the beginning. His love for me is so pure and unconditional. Children teach us so much about life. How could I just miss those beautiful years of our lives?

5.  To be there for my child: babythemommyblog

Above all, my child always wanted me, his mom to nourish him. To be with him, spend time with him doing silly yet fun things. He wanted to sleep with him, snuggle him, feed him. His life revolves around me and my life around him.
 So I wanted to make these first few years, the most precious ones of our life. I knew these initial years are going to work towards building up strong foundation for his future. Every one in the world needs someone who loves them unconditional – he is sleeping peacefully next to me. He who heard my heart beating when he was in my womb. He who loves me. He who chose me to be his mum.
I chose to stay with him. To be his MOM!

4 Tips To Keep You Kids Hydrated In Summer

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Summer is one of the favourite seasons for almost every kid. With a lot of outdoor activity happening around this time of year, mostly under the scorching sun. And the temperature can be anywhere between 35 degrees to 41 degree Celsius.

So it’s very important to see that our kids stay hydrated. As proportionately, children have more body fluids than adults and also they can get dehydrated faster than adults.

And these lost fluids need to be replaced immediately in order to stay healthy. And sometimes keeping young children hydrated can be very challenging from parents.

Here are some suggestions that may help you in keeping your little one healthy and hydrated this summer.

1.  Drink mostly water:  

Yes water is the best fluid for you and your kids. Let them have their sippers and bottle close enough for them to grab it on their own, as and when they want to. Remember when a child asks for water, you should know that dehydration has already begun.

And if they does not want water, diluted fruit juice also is fine but not good for teeth so it’s goes best with meals.

2.  Serve milk and yogurt for breakfast:

 Milk and yogurt are not just rich in calcium but they are also two best ways to provide your kids the fluids that they need. If you prefer to not serve cow’s milk, homemade almond milk is great alternative.

Yogurt with honey makes a wonderful snack for kids for hot summer mornings.

3.  Keep fruits handy:

Whole fruits are not just loaded with mineral, fiber and vitamins. They also have plenty of water in them. Fruits like oranges, grapes, watermelons, as well as vegetables like cucumbers and tomatoes are excellent sources of water.

So, if your kids are interested in having a snack, how about serving them slices of tomatoes or a bowl of grapes.

4.  Make Popsicle:

Although fruit juices mainly contain loads of sugar and carbs, eating fruit in its natural state is beneficial to ensure your kid stays hydrated. But who doesn’t like popsicles?? Use juices with minimal sugar. Remember not to use sugar-free, those are not very good for health.

Making popsicles be as simple as just pouring some juice into a plastic popsicles molds and popping them into the freezer. You can also freeze yogurt, diced fruits with some lime juice poured over. If you don’t have popsicle molds, use ice-tray. Just get a little creative there! ;)

Have a safe and healthy summers!

haajra

Dairy and Sugar Free Annaprashan

The Annaprashana also known as annaprashana vidhi,annaprasan or Anna-prasanam, is a Hindu rite of passage that marks an infant’s first intake of food other than milk. The term annaprashan literally means “food feeding” or “eating of food”. The ceremony is usually arranged in consultation with a priest, who arranges an auspicious date on which to conduct the ceremony.

Yes! You read it right I went all dairy free and sugar free for my sons Annaprashan.

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Finally, the day arrived when I was to introduce solids to my 6 month old son. After joining a group on Facebook for Baby-led weaning I read a lot of the posts which always mentioned no milk, sugar, salt and honey for infants and I always thought that the first food that I will make for my child are definitely not going to have any of these things, not even in small quantity.

So, I called up the vaadyar (priest) of Tamil temple for an auspicious date, time and things for us to bring. He asked us to make payasam (Kheer) for the little one and bring it to temple. As, I already had in my mind that I won’t be using regular milk and sugar for the food that we going to prepare.  I made the kheer using dates and coconut milk yes and that’s how I went dairy and sugar free.

Below is the recipe for the Dairy free and sugar free Kheer

Ingredients:

  • Dates – 15-20 (pitted)
  • Rice – Pre-cooked ½ cup
  • Coconut milk – 3 cups
  • Cardamom powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Almond – ¼ cup
  • Cinnamon powder – 2 tablespoon
  • Ghee – 2 teaspoon
  • Cashew nuts for garnishing

Method

  1. Soak almonds and dates overnight in water.
  2. Cook rice as usual with little extra water so that it’s softer.
  3. Grind almonds and dates with little water into a fine paste. You can use the water in which dates were soaked.
  4. Shallow fry cashew nuts until golden brown and set aside.
  5. In the same pan add almonds and dates paste and bring it boil stirring continuously.
  6. Then add pre-cooked rice to it. Let it boil for 2-3 mins and then add coconut milk to it.
  7. Add cardamom powder to it and boil for another 10 mins.
  8. Garnish with cashew nuts and serve chilled. Please serve at room temperature to baby.
  9. Sprinkle cinnamon powder just before serving.

Dates & Coconut kheer

This kheer can also be given to toddlers who are lactose intolerant. Also, people who are allergic to nuts should avoid almonds and cashew nuts. While making this kheer for elders you can add full fat cream and a 2 teaspoon condensed milk to enhance the flavours.

Come back soon to know how I make coconut milk. :)

Cloth Diaper Favourites TAG 2014

chlLast year I started following a lot of new cloth diapering vlogs on YouTube, and I have been meaning to post this ever since. But I think I just missed publishing it.

Anyhow it’s never too late. And so here it is for you my Cloth Diaper Favourites Tag for the year 2014.

 Favourite style (aio, pocket, ai2, fitted, prefold, hybrid etc):

Definitely pockets, for the easy of use. I get to chose any type/number of inserts to boost the absorbency. It may not be everybody’s favourite but then stuffing and unstuffing pocket diapers is still my favourite part of our laundry routine ;)

 Favourite brands:

At this moment, I love BumGenius and Alva Baby.

 Favourite colours:

Blue and grey

 Favourite prints:

Definitely Chevrons! I have a Rainbow Chevron from Alva and absolutely adore it.

 Favourite closure (snaps, aplix, pins, snappis):

I have always loved snaps, never bothered to try anything else. So snaps are my favourite until I try anything else.

 Favourite type (one-size or sized):

One-size, because the same diaper can be used with more than one child. And I already have two in cloth. 

 Favourite diaper in your stash:

Bumgenius 4.0 

 Favourite laundry detergent:

I haven’t used many cloth diaper safe detergents but then Krya (Indian brand) is my current favourite.

  Favourite diaper cream:

Not a single cloth diaper  safe cream is available in India (not any that I’ve come across), so I will have to skip this question. :) 

 Favourite cloth wipes:

Homemade pure cotton/jersey wipes that are super soft on the baby’s bum and easy to wash.

 Favourite fabric (for cloth diapers):

Definitely flannel.

 Favourite fabric (for cloth wipes):

Cotton is my top favourite.

 Favourite wipe solution:

A solution I made at home with water, baby body wash and baby oil.

 Favourite storage items (pail, pail liner, wet bags):

Pail. I have a huge regular one!

 Favourite place to purchase:

I have been purchasing cloth diapers from a lot of places lately, but in India, I would most certainly rate Amazon for their seasonal deals and prompt delivery.

 Favourite thing about cloth diapers:

My most favourite thing about cloth diapers is the fact that they can be used with more than just one child! And if you are planning to have more babies in future, you can just save these up and cloth diaper your next , right from the hospital.

haajra

Sebamed Baby Bubble Bath Review

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After we moved here to Doha, one thing our little girls loved to look forward to, was their bath time. Back in India they were so young that I would bathe them in their Mee Mee Bath Tub, one after the other, of course.

And they are grown up a little, when they absolutely loved spending a good chunk of time splashing water at each other. But then after a couple of months, the excitement started fading. The Big Thing starting prioritizing other things over bath-time. And started getting cranky every time I took her for a one. That’s when DH suggested we spice things up a little.

And on our very next visit to the grocery store, we picked up this bottle of Sebamed baby bubble bath. We can back home, fed the girls and went straight into bathroom to try out our new bubble bath.

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 What the Sebamed Baby Bubble Bath claims:

  • 100% soap and alkaline free
  • It’s pH value is 5.5 to balance the moisture of the baby’s skin.
  • It’s hypoallergenic.
  • No tears formula
  • It can be used from the day #1.
  • cleanses without dry out baby’s skin.
  • Herbal extracts from medical plants to soothe and protect the baby’s delicate skin.
  • Dermatological and clinically tested

Price:   200ml for QR 18

Shelf life:  36 months.

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Texture:  Very clear liquid. It’s not too runny not too thick. The consistency is somewhere between that of an oil’s and water’s, if that makes sense.

My experience with Sebamed Baby Bubble Bath:

Our girls love bubbles. And they were super excited about this. Initially I poured just a few drops as stated, into our bath tub that had a couple inches of water. And very soon I realized that ‘drops’ were not going to help. It needed good number of squirts to form enough bubbles for girls to enjoy. They love splashing water at each other and they often feel a little irritated when the water gets into their eyes (they do this with pretty much everything). But they are kids they can get over-dramatic at times. And this is one reason why I doubt if it’s really a no tear formula.

The Little Thing sometimes tries to put the frothy water into her mouth to taste it ( of course when I’m looking away). And she doesn’t really seem to mind the taste of it either. We have been using this for over two and a half weeks now and the bottle is almost empty. We are definitely getting another one soon.

Pros of Sebamed Baby Bubble Bath:

  • The packaging is very appealing.
  • It’s very reassuring to know that the product is safe and mild for the most delicate skin.
  • It’s dye-free and paraben free.
  • Fragrance free since it’s a medicated product.
  • The bottle is very easy to pop open and use.

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Cons of Sebamed Baby Bubble Bath:

  • Generally more product is required than is stated on the leaflet. So it does not last for long.
  • A little expensive for the quantity you get. But definitely not in terms of the quality.

Will I re-purchase Sebamed Baby Bubble Bath?

Yes of course! I will keep getting this one until I find a product that’s more skin-friendly and safe for the babies than the Sebamed baby bubble bath.

Rating: 4/5

I haven’t included the action shots of our girls, because they were too shy to be photographed with no clothes on!

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**The Mommy Blog was not compensated to do this review. The review is purely based on my experience and is not a proven one. All opinions and images are my own.