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PARENTING

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I am mom2 and this is a place for me to discuss my life as the parent to two angelic (and sometimes not so angelic) kids. I hope that you enjoy it.

Parenting… is an adventure that I am lucky to be part of. It’s extremely rewarding and full of surprises. To see your little one slowly grow up to be tiny human, is something indescribable. But, it also has it’s not so great and extremely frustrating moments.

When I was expecting baby1, I thought I knew all about what parenting would entail. After all, I had all the experience that I could need with toddler2, right? Wrong. So wrong.

What I learned is that parenting is different each time. Even during the stage where they are just squirmy little things. The differences in their personalities are apparent even at an early stage. Handling a toddler and newborn can be challenging sometimes (like dealing with an infant and the terrible twos both at the same time), but it does have its good moments. My day is usually filled with a lot of screaming, a million cups of coffee, chores, laughter and trying to think of different ways to keep my toddler engaged while dealing with the little one’s demands. It’s tricky. Hopefully, through this blog and people that I meet here, I will figure out the perfect formula eventually.

This blog is mostly going to be filled with activities to keep boredom away, baby stories, and other tidbits of parenting that I have discovered, which you will hopefully appreciate. Through this blog, I hope to share as well as discover and improve my parenting skills. This is a place where I can complain about my parenting woes (not often, I hope) and not be judged immediately.

PRESCHOOL PREP

If your little one is starting preschool soon, then you’re in the same boat as I am. It’s a big roller-coaster of emotions, isn’t it? While on the one hand, you are excited for your child to make new friends, enjoy the experience of preschool and of course, reach such a major milestone in his or her life, you may be a little apprehensive about letting them go out into the world all alone. Don’t worry; it’s a pretty normal reaction that all parents feel. Your child, likely, is going through a number of emotions themselves! One minute they are excited about their new school, and to finally be a big boy or a big girl, the next, they’re sticking to you everywhere you go because they don’t want to leave you behind. At least, that’s what my kid is doing.

First-time jitters are common for every kid (and their parents!), but it doesn’t have to be so stressful, make it fun instead! Here are a few things that you can do to make sure your child is ready and excited for the big day

  1. Visit their new preschool: Letting your child get used to their new environment while you are with them will go a long way in putting your child at ease when you are not with them. Ask the school authorities if and when you can visit with your child for a tour. Play with them in the playground and let them roam around with you as much as possible and for as long as possible. These visits will help your child become more confident and comfortable n his or her new surroundings.
  2. Explore the idea of preschool through games:Play pretend to let your child get used to the idea of preschool. Act out saying goodbye to mommy and daddy, greeting the teacher and answer all their questions patiently. In this way, your child will be more confident in performing these tasks when the big day arrives.
  3. Learn what you can about preschool, together:Another excellent way to explore the idea of preschool is to learn more about them. There are several informative books that are available at most public libraries that talk about preparing yourself to go to preschool and other helpful resources. Make the most of these resources and share them with your child.

Practice self-help games: When they are at preschool they will have to do certain things or activities by themselves. Make sure that they are prepared for them by practicing them at home. You can make this fun by making games out of them, like who can tie their shoes the fastest, or who can unzip their coat and hang them first. In this way, you can be assured that they will be able to handle themselves in class and won’t need a lot of help. Children often shy away from asking for help in new environments, so if they are already equipped with the knowledge of how to do what, they won’t be uncomfortable and be more confident.

NATURALLY MANAGING STRESS

Stress is something that everyone deals with, and more often than not it becomes quite hard to cope with the stress. Not all stress is negative and sometimes stress might motivate to complete a task or get the work done, but it undeniably also has a lot of adverse effects on the quality of life. It is quite hard to overcome stress overnight, it is best to just accept that and try to look for more holistic options that will eventually and gradually help manage stress. In this post, we’ll be talking about ways to naturally manage stress instead of using medications. These natural ways of managing stress will ensure a healthier way of living and of course, will have other benefits for a healthier mind and body.

Exercise

Exercise helps in getting your blood moving, which helps in toxin elimination. Our body often has toxin build-up, which affects the circulation in our body and digestion. Therefore, exercise would help in releasing these toxins from your body and at the same time, it would also help in strengthening muscles and moving the joints. Exercise will also minimise weight gain from stress.

Meditate

Meditation helps relax the body and increases focus. Meditation has often helped reduce stress and the best part about it is that it does not involve any medication and it also provides time for you to focus on yourself and have time to yourself to clear out thoughts and have a peace of mind. There are various types of meditation to try which you could do for a few minutes before you start your day.

Stretching

Stretching helps ease tension out of the body and it might prove to be beneficial to combine stretching with meditation. Stretching is known to relax tight muscles and help move joints. Stretching along with meditation might be a great option as it targets both the body and the mind at the same time, therefore it will help manage stress and help you to relax even better.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are one of the easiest ways to kick start your stress-free lifestyle. Herbal teas are easily available and they are also quite cheap. Because of their accessibility, they are a great option to at least start with. You can have herbal teas throughout the day, for instance, you could start your day with a cup of herbal tea or even have a cup before bedtime. There are various different types and blends to select from, you might want to try out various types of or different blends of herbs to find one or a few that you like and which work for you the best.

Eating Well

Eating well and providing your body with enough nutrition is an absolute essential when dealing with stress. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and magnesium are essential and helpful in helping the body cope with stress. Vitamin c is known to boost the immune system, Calcium, Vitamin D and potassium are extremely vital for bone health and muscle function. And magnesium is helpful in muscle relaxation and nerve function. In addition to eating food that is rich in vitamins, you might also consider taking good-quality vitamin supplements. Do remember to eat fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains as much is possible.

POST-PARTUM BODY SURPRISES

When you’re expecting your first baby, you have no idea what you’re in for. It is an unchartered territory and you couldn’t be more scared. So, to prepare for it, you dive deep into the depths of the internet and read up on every health blog, mom blogs, parenting blogs and what not.

Or at least that’s what I did. I read innumerable blog posts about pregnancy, what was normal, what wasn’t, how to help morning sickness, how to eat better, what to buy in order to prepare for the baby and what not. Naively, I really did not read much about what to do after the baby was here.

I mean, sure I read up on how to deal with colic, spit-up diaper rashes and all the common stuff. But I just ignored everything that was related to a mum’s body after post-partum. Hence, I wasn’t adequately prepared for it. I mean, my body should just bounce back to its good old self, right?

Wrong, so wrong.

  1. Post-partum Belly: Look, obviously, it’s not expected that your belly will go back to its smooth and flawless self, right after delivery. That’s absurd. But what I did not expect is to look as if I was still eight months pregnant. My belly button was beyond disfigured looking. The belly was sagging and even after seven to eight weeks, it still looked bloated. Lovely.
  2. Nausea: This was honestly the worst part. If you thought your “morning” sickness was over, you are so wrong. At first, I thought it was because of some horrible bug. But, one Google session later, I was enlightened with the knowledge that it was due to hormonal reasons related to milk let down.
  3. Forceful milk eruptions: I know that breasts produce milk. Who is not aware of that? But the fact that they could squirt milk completely unprompted?! No idea. Nada. I was so surprised the first time it happened. If you don’t have your breast pads on or forget about them, be prepared. You will wake up to completely soaked sheets. It’s crazy.
  4. Crazy amounts of blood: If you think, like I did, that you won’t have any bleeding because you had a C-section, you would be wrong. The first three weeks were horrendous. I felt like I went through a thousand pads a day and that still wasn’t enough. I do not know how the doctor’s expected me to air my C-section scar, or how they expect mommies too keep perineal stitches dry, honestly. I was massively annoying as well as inconvenient.
  5. Hair loss: This is the one which bummed me out the most. I am told that a lot of mothers don’t experience this (well, lucky you, if you’re one of them) but I was losing hair like crazy. It is normal though as, the full luscious volume of hair you were sporting during pregnancy, well that was because of some hormonal changes which temporarily stopped hair fall. Now that you have your wailing baby with you, you can enjoy the perks of your body crazily trying to make up for it. You can never have nice things.

DEALING WITH COLIC

Colic is not fun for the baby or the parents. Seeing your baby wail without being able to do much of anything is not a fun parent experience. You want to do everything that you can to take away the pain, but sometimes it seems next to impossible.

Although the following remedies may not work for you, as each baby is different, I think this is a good place to start. I have curated a list of remedies that have successfully helped me, and even some of my close ones to deal effectively with colic in babies. Here are a few ways to comfort and ease a baby with colic:

  1. Adjust your baby’s milk: No matter if you are breastfeeding or formula feeding, adjusting your baby’s milk can help bring about a huge change. Consult your paediatrician about which milk option is the best if you are formula feeding. If you are breastfeeding it is important to take a step back and analyse your own diet. Try removing caffeine, onions, spicy foods or any other such items which can be irritating to the stomach. Adding something like chamomile to your diet can be beneficial to you as well as your baby. Thus, it is quite important for you to take care of your own diet and not to slack off too much (though it can be tempting when you’re sleep deprived).
  2. Use anti-colic bottles: Anti-colic bottles help minimise the amount of air that the baby takes in during each feeding, as air ingestion leads to the tummy being upset. These bottles are designed to help prevent spit-up, gas and fussiness. For babies with acid reflux, there are even special formulas that can be paired up with these bottles to help minimise their discomfort. Give these a try if you are at a loss of what to do when your baby keeps on crying nonstop.
  3. Swaddling: Babies are comforted when they are swaddled. Soft blankets can be used for swaddling or you can use ones with Velcro that are specifically made for swaddling babies. They are easy to use on the go and babies won’t be able to get out of it easily. You will have a cute baby burrito and a wailing free home in no time!
  4. Changing the diaper more frequently: Some babies cannot handle being wet even for a few seconds and start wailing immediately. Changing their diaper more frequently brings about quite a bit of improvement. However, diapers can be quite expensive. You can opt for cloth ones as they can be used and re-used many times and will save quite a bit of your money.
  5. Try baby wearing: This remedy also comes with the added bonus of keeping your hands free to use! Babies love to be held close to your chest, it’s warm and comforting to them. Baby wraps keep them snug and tight around your chest and keep your hands free. Now, you can complete most of your housework while cuddling with your soothed and content baby.

 

Activities to do this Summer with your Kids!

When you have a toddler, summer days can be very long. Toddlers love running, dumping, pouring and generally creating havoc. The only way to keep them still and in one place is to engage them in fun and creative activities. Coming up with new and inventive ideas ever day of Summer is not an easy task (even more so than the cleaning up afterwards!). But fear not, curated here, are five activities that are fun and easy (and require very little work, phew!) to keep your toddler happy and entertained this summer:

  1. MAKE PRINTS FROM BUBBLE WRAP –This is a fun activity which only requires some paint (something that will stick to the plastic bubble wrap) and a paper! Just roll some colour onto the bubble wrap and press a piece of paper on top of it. The result will be splotches of vibrant and beautiful colour. A masterpiece waiting to be stuck on the fridge! Create rainbow, sunset sunrise patterns or just random splotches!
  2. PAINT WITH ROLLING PINS– This is another fun (and easy!) activity that you can enjoy with your kids. Simply wrap the bubble wrap around the pin, and with the help of some paint and paper, you can create works of art! The paint as well as the rolling motion will definitely keep your toddlers entertained.
  3. POOL NOODLE RACE TRACK__Kids will love this activity. For this activity take a pool noodle and cut it in half (vertically). Then pin the two halve of the noodle together with as many toothpicks as you want (don’t forget to use pliers to pull the toothpicks flush against the sides of the noodle so the car can move easily) and prop it up on a chair or a table and voila! You have your very own racetrack! This activity will not only keep kids engaged while playing with their cars but they will also enjoy decorating their own side of the racetrack.
  4. MAKE ICE-CREAM __ You scream, I scream…you know how the saying goes. Well, this fun idea will definitely have your kids screaming with joy. A fun way to beat the heat of the summer and keep your kids interested, ice-cream recipes are so easy to come by and most of them don’t even require an ice cream maker! The mess that your kitchen will be in is so worth the yummy results.
  5. BUILD A SECRET FORT __ The best thing about having a toddler is that no one judges you for activities like these. When you’re tired from all the running around and noises, you can wind down with this perfect and versatile idea! Build a fort in your living room and enjoy snacking on delicious fruits (or candies, yay!) and watching your favourite Disney films (you know you love them secretly). Or hang over sheets in your back yard over low-lying branches or strategically place tables and chairs and enjoy a fun picnic and enjoy the beautiful summer day!

So go ahead and enjoy this summer without the fear of “What do we do?!” with these activities!

TEETH BRUSHING NIGHTMARE

Come morning, many moms are faced with the challenge of brushing the teeth of a toddler. In theory, it may sound like a piece of cake but the reality, however, is very different. Many moms start their day with a lot yelling, fighting and tantrums all for the sake of oral hygiene.

Toddlers are not miniature adults. Dealing with children is not difficult; rather, it is different from the way we would interact with an adult. The way they think and view the world is quite different from the way we do. Hence, in order to get through to them, we need to re-frame our minds and change our approach.

It is necessary to communicate with toddlers in their own ‘language’. Toddlers tend to experience the world around them through their five primary senses, namely, smell, taste, sight, touch and sound. Hence, abstract concepts are more difficult for them to fully comprehend. When explaining why they need to brush their teeth, instead of talking about preventing tooth decay or oral hygiene, try to use immediate sensations.

For example, you may refer to brushing their teeth as tooth washing, saying that once they brush their teeth, their mouth will taste better and it will feel clean.

Instead of repeating the same argument over and over again every single day, you can make teeth brushing sessions more fun. One trick that you can employ which really helps a lot of new moms is to buy different coloured brushes for everyday of the week. The toddlers will love the bright colours and enjoy the fact that they have a new coloured brush every day instead of just a single one like everyone else.

A lot of parents often use the trick of nursery rhymes to ensure that their kids are brushing their teeth for a stipulated amount of time. All you have to do is download a nursery rhyme that your toddler prefers and instruct them to brush for as long as the song continues. Once they get into a habit of it, they will naturally follow this routine and you won’t have to watch over them like a hawk. You can even use a different nursery rhyme for each day of the week to make it more enjoyable for your toddler. Or choose a different one for the morning session and the night session (if you manage to find that many!).

Using toothpaste especially recommended for children also makes it quite fun. They generally have a sweeter taste than the minty ones that adults use and have fun drawings on their packaging. An additional way to make your toddler more interested in brushing is to let them choose the toothpaste they want. They will then look forward to using it the next morning. A simple trick, but quite useful!

Choosing the correct brush is also quite important. If they have tender gums using medium bristles might be too painful for them and hence, might add to the problem. Make sure you’re using the right kind of brush depending on your toddler’s gum, and you’re good to go!

Hopefully, these tips will prevent future morning battles for some moms out there!

TRANSITIONING YOUR TODDLER FROM CRIB TO BED

The first thing to consider before you begin transitioning your toddler from his/her crib to a bed is whether your child is ready to take this step. Of course, as a parent only you will know whether he or she is ready, but a few things to consider may be:

Whether it is actually needed: Does your child really need to be moved to a bed right now, or can it wait for later? There may be safety issues, like your child trying to climb out of the crib which is a good indicator that your child is ready for this transition.

Another aspect that you should pay attention to is whether they have had any big changes in their lives recently, like moving to a new house or joining a new play group. While it may not seem like much, dealing with a lot of changes at once may upset your child and cause undue stress. In such cases, it is better to wait a little while.

If you think that your child is ready for the next step, then here are a few tips to make this transition easier:

  1. Make it fun: Get them excited for their new bed! Talk to your child beforehand. Make your talks positive and try to exude as much happy and positive feelings as you can. This will result in your child seeing this change as a positiveone; he or she will absorb some of the happy feelings and see it as an accomplishment. You can even ask them to choose their own sheets or even their own bed (from options that you pick out). In this way, you can be assured that they will be eagerly awaiting to use their new bed will all the things they love.
  2. Safety first: As mention earlier, one of the reasons that you may want to move your child from the crib to the bed might be that he or she has started attempting to climb out of the crib. This can be dangerous as the crib walls are fairly high. Sleeping in a bed means they can get in and out of bed safely. However, since your toddler is quite used to the walls of the crib, he or she may be at the risk of rolling out of bed in his or her sleep. Ensure that the bed you buy has some kind of protection against rolling out of bed. In fact, you can also check for any outlets or cavities that are the perfect for trapping little fingers and make sure they are covered. In your child’s room, you can make certain changes like securing the furniture’s to the wall (in order to prevent them from tripping if your toddler decides that it is a fun place to climb).

Make them feel safe:Apart from physical safety, it is quite important for them to feel comfortable in their new room. One trick is to introduce them to their brand new bed when it’s their nap-time during the day. This can work wonders to put them at ease, rather than leaving them in a new environment when it’s dark.

TIPS FOR A SUMMER PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is time during which your body undergoes a lot of changes. These changes have many outward symptoms, most of which are quite uncomfortable. Your hormone levels are going haywire as well; coping with these changes can be quite stressful. But, the added heat and discomfort of summer can really take a toll on your physical as well as mental health. Hence, it’s important for you to take a break every once in a while.

Summer heat is excruciating for each one of us, but a summer pregnancy can be extra taxing on you. Here are a few simple tips that you can employ to have a relatively more comfortable summer pregnancy:

Stay Hydrated: Of course, this seems pretty obvious. But, it is so easy to forget to drink enough water throughout the day. One glass of water in the morning won’t keep you sufficiently hydrated! Now that you are pregnant, your body needs more water than usual; make sure to provide your body with sufficient water. It’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you.

Loose fitting clothing: Wearing body hugging clothes during the summer is a complete disaster even if you aren’t pregnant. It’s hot and makes you extremely sweaty. It adds another layer of discomfort which you definitely do not need. Loose fitting clothes that are breezy and light are super comfortable and summer friendly. In fact, loose fitting maternity clothes are extremely easy to find, so you won’t run into any problems there!

Cold compressors or Ice Packs: It is a good idea to keep ice packs or cold compressors in the fridge so you can use it whenever you please. Even plastic baggies filled with ice cubes work well for this. These are especially good, as you can use them in a more localized manner (like the back of your neck which, for me at least, gets really hot throughout the day) which is quite helpful. They are also pretty easy to procure.

Lukewarm Showers:Cold showers might be a little too much for your body right now, but lukewarm showers (or baths, if you can handle it) work wonders too cool you down as well as relax you. It’s good for the skin as well, as hot water generally dulls your skin over time; you will be relaxed and have extra glowing skin (wow!).

Avoid the sun during peak hours: Of course, most of us should already be employing this tip in general. If you must go out during these peak hours (usually noon/afternoon time), make sure you are heavily guarded against the sun. Wear floppy hats, sunglasses, and a lot of sunscreen to protect yourself, Even if you feel it’s silly, a little too much protection doesn’t hurt!

Cold Beverages: As you know our body needs plenty of liquid during the summer. Water is the best (and easiest) way to supplement our bodies, but there are other fun ways to drink it as well! This is a good time to experiment with other cool beverages that you’ve had your eyes on. They’re fun to make, look fancy and are, of course, delicious!

STAGES OF PREGNANCY

Pregnancy is different for every woman. During pregnancy, your body changes to protect you and your baby. These changes can be observed via different symptoms. Some of the symptoms of pregnancy last for several weeks or even months, and other discomforts are only temporary and don’t have the same effects on every woman.

A normal pregnancy last for almost 40 weeks, starting from the first day of the last menstrual period, which is also typically around two weeks before conception occurs. The duration of pregnancy is divided into stages and these stages of pregnancy are described in three month periods, known as trimesters. Each trimester lasts for about 12-13 weeks. During each of the trimesters, several changes take place in the body as well as in the development of the foetus.

During the first trimester (week 1 – week 12) the body undergoes several changes. Most importantly, hormonal changes that affect all the organ systems in your body. Extreme tiredness, morning sickness, tender or swollen breasts, mood swings, cravings, headache, need to urinate more often, heartburn are some of the symptoms of the first trimester. These symptoms or discomforts will gradually go away as your pregnancy progresses, or you might not feel any discomforts at all.

By second trimester (week 12 – week 28) some of the earlier symptoms lessen or disappear. Most women notice that the second trimester is easier than the first. In the second trimester symptoms such as nausea and fatigue will start to wither away but you will begin to notice other symptoms, since your baby starts to grow, the abdomen will expand. Your body changes to in a way to let the baby grow, during this trimester, therefore you are likely to have symptoms like body ache which includes back, abdomen, high pain and also groin pain. You will also notice the skin around your nipple grow darker and also patches of skin usually over the cheeks , forehead, nose, or upper lip grow darker. Stretch marks also begin to appear during this time. Numbing of hands and itching of hands, abdomen, palms and soles of feet are also common. You will also see a line running down from your belly button. And you will also feel your baby beginning to move before the trimester is over.

Lastly, there is the third trimester which includes the final few weeks until your due date. The third trimester starts from week 29 and last till the 40th week. During this trimester, some of the symptoms you had in your second trimester is likely to persisted even in this trimester. You can already feel your baby move and possibly kick in this trimester. Some of the new body changes that you are likely to experience are shortness of breath, swelling of ankle, fingers and face, tender breast(which may also leak a watery yellowish pre-milk called colostrum), heartburn, haemorrhoids, your belly button may stick out, you can experience trouble sleeping, you can feel the baby dropping or moving in your lower abdomen and lastly contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labour.