Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Smart mom's perspective: Say no to child abuse


With the rising number of crime stories reported in news channels and newspaper, every parent feels insecure and fear for their child's safety.

More than anything else in the world what keeps them worrying is about how to keep check on safety. We hear lot many news about child sexual abuse, child trafficking and all. Here I am not trying to scare you but I just pouring my heart out as 'being a mom' of a 15 months old girl.


My intentions are genuine, I wish to spread the word of child safety among all parents. One of the major reason behind the rising numbers of these heinous crime is the lack of communication. As our child have just stepped i to the world of vocabulary, we all refrain talking about these unpleasant stuff. And moreover, child feels that it's not 'OK' to talk about sex or private parts with anyone. Later, the frequency of such acts get repetitive and unreported which results to disastrous future for our little ones.

Besides just worrying over this issue again and again, what else can we do as a parent to ensure our kids safety. I was browsing through some websites and I found this website based in UK.

While reading it further, I found that it mentioned new term for me called 'Talk Pants'. This website actually made me realize that talking about sexual abuse with your child is not scary at all.

In fact, you don't even have to mention the word 'Sexual Abuse'. All you need to do is to have as simple conversation with your kid in every 2-3 days.

 I found the tips and rules mentioned in the article very information and helpful.  I know this site is not Indian but the topics discussed and tip and tricks shared are very much relevant and applicable in Indian perspective too. Though my daughter is very young, but by conditioning her with these pointers I can very much ensure her safety.


This website also has PDF download for topic like how to talk about keeping safe?, 'Why underwear rule is important?', 'Talking tips for the underwear rule', 'The underwear rule guide for children, parents and care takers'. I thought of sharing this valuable information with all my smart moms. Let us spread the word and share this amazing child safety tool with all parents. Here is the website 'Keep your child safe with Underwear rule'.


So, start 'talking pants' and keep your child safe from abuse

With love,
Nidhi
XOXO


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Sunday, 22 September 2013

Happy Daughters Day to Erishka


You stepped into our lives 
with tiny toes and starry eyes,


With you we live happiness of life
Making each moment precious as twice.

while we also learn to giggle and laugh 
at funny looking silly toy

Can I ever forget the moment when I saw you first?
Reddish pinky baby 
covered with white frail.
With closed eyes and pouring rain

 Hold on! Can I ever forget the moment
that is priceless and keeps me still insane ;-)

I don't know why
I don't know how
but some tears couldn't stop
 rolling from my eyes
I gather myself,
with bright gleaming smile,

I hold you high.
With pride in my eyes 
And no way that I will ever cry
Blessed to be mom of such a lovely laughter.
I heave a sigh!!!

Happy Daughters Day!


Happy Daughters Day!

God bless you,
Love
mumma & Deddaa
XOXO


[A quick message (poem) written for my sweet heart 'Erishka' on Daughters Day. For me every day is a daughters day, I make her feel special everyday, just like her as she makes me feel eh most specials than any one in the world. Worries simply fly, when I see her smile. This poem is written in prompt pulse with no intentions to rhyme or humm, so just excuse me for all incorrect verses, notes, rhythm or whatever.]


Saturday, 21 September 2013

My weekend art ...

Like most of you would know that I had broken my leg during pregnancy.
I had hurt my self while walking on a street, as unexpected of leveling of Bangalore footpath.

I must say, it was like real Bollywood scene, though painful but I still laugh like how my single fall had gathered so much of crowd. It was great to see help from local Bangalore citizens. There were some boys form gym or sports club they asked me to just lift my leg and not to move, they also recommended me to get cold compression.

 But the pain was unbearable, I kept on urging Akshaye (urging) to take to to nearest hospital, but he though it's just a normal twist. More to add on there comes a local lady lady to rescue me (Atleast she thought so), she massage my toes and ankle and it made the situation worst.

Luckily, a cafe nearby offered us help and made me sit in their couch with one more chair to support my foot upright. They also offered water which kept me hydrated.



Meanwhile Akshaye had called my mom and she got the rick back to home. It was really difficult for Akshaye to actually lift me and climb steps on 1st floor. But finally we managed to reach home with no harm to baby :-).  My mom quickly applied a warm paste of tumeric and was sure that it would be fine.

But I was still urging them to take me to Doc, so Akshaye called my Gyno, she recommended few tablets which could be taken during pregnancy and also a orthopedic at the nearest Hopital. If this was not enough, the very next early morning Akshaye had to go to Dubai for his office project.

But I was still urging them to take me to Doc, so Akshaye called my Gyno, she recommended few tablets which could be taken during pregnancy and also a orthopedic at the nearest Hopital.








If this was not enough to add trouble in my prengnancy, the very next early morning Akshaye had to go to Dubai for his office project.

So my was a 'SOS Angel' from being driver  to cook and doing all other errands for me. I still remember she had to drag the chair with me sitting on the chair towards washroom and bathroom. Phew! quite a task.

We did visit orthopedic later but he intended only 'RICE' formulae and the same medicines what my Gyno had prescribed. Now what is RICE formulae i.e Rest, Ice Compress and Elevate, as simple as that. But not for me as I hate taking bedrest. So to chanelise my frustration of sitting at home I created lot many crafts and creatives (Inspired by pinterest).

By pinning so many pins on my Pinterest board it took me back to hobbies. My bedroom looked like a craft room. These are images of colourful gift boxes is one of the creatives during my bed rest of more than 2 months. This particular gift box was then later gifted to my mom-in-law and she loved it too.


Be creative and make parenting an interesting phase.

With love,

Nidhi

XOXO



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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Healthy, yet tasty food for older infants and early toddlers

So here is the third and the last part of my food series for older infants and early toddlers. In previous part I did share my recipes on soups, juices and milkshakes.

And now it’s time for main course for our little one. These recipes are again tried and tasted. It’s healthy, yet delicious.

Once your kids have started with soups and milkshakes, after sometime they’ll get bored of it and you need to introduce real food to them.

No more khichdi and dalya, now they need something tasty too. At age of 8-10 months they tend to develop their taste buds to, so now they will easily turn off their face from the boil mashed food. Some infants would have also started teething so chewing these tasty bites would help them to get some relief too.

So here are my quick and easy recipes for our little ones;

Dals/Pulses
By this time you can introduce all kinds or dals or pulses to them. Do not add any soda or so.Just make sure that you pressure cook properly and teh pulses are soaked for atleast for 8 hrs. this will help to avoid any gassy trouble in your lil ones tummy.

You may use variety recipes of dals and pulses like baked beans, hummus (chicpea), sukhi moong dal, black dal, dal palak  and so. You can serve these with steamed rice or thinly rolled rotis. You can also soak rotis in dal and serve it to them with chopped coriander and lemon to taste. Make sure the preparations would same as yours own meal, but the only difference would be that you would not add any red chillie powder or green chilies, you may add some pepper if you want, make generous use of ginger and hing (asafoetida). This will again help to prevent any gassy trouble.

Pasta
You may make delicious Dal Dhokli or just make wheat pasta with tomato puree. It taste awesome. Dal Dhokli (my all-time favourite) was a big hit for Erishka when she was 8 months old. Dal dhokli is a gujarati dish prepared with tuavar dal, spices, guavar(flat beans), drumsticks and soft dumplings of wheat roti. Be it Pasta or dhokli both has high amount of carbs which is essential for the body development.

Hotch-potch
When you are almost dead tired to think something for your baby’s dinner, just make sumptuous khichadi with more than two pulses. By adding vegetables like beans, carrot, corn will add more taste and nutrients to your child's meal. You can also make Dalia khichadi with moong dal and vegetables like peas and corn. Dalia will give rich source of energy whereas vegetables will add more nutrients to it.

Pizza
Oh My God! Plese don’t raise those eyebrows, I very well know that good mothers are not suppose to feed junk to their kids. But here is the twist, replace the maida/plain flour base with Bhakhri (Thick, crispy roti made of wheat granules+salt to taste + ghee). Have your base ready, then top it with thick gravy of tomato and garnish it with cheese and boiled peas and corn. Trust me they will love it. Make sure you make very small pizza base as they cannot have more than a  size of tea cup.

Rice are nice
Other than steam rice, you can serve them variety of rice like;
White pulav (made of rice,ghee and colorful vegetable:peas,corrot, beans)
yellow rice (Simple and easy, just recook rice with mustard seeds, salt and oil)
carrot rice (Just add grated carrot, while preparing zeera rice)

Boil Pav Bhaji
This was a big hit with erishka. The process is same as usual but just don’t add red chillies, green chilies, garlic or onion. And do not crush or mash them completely. pressure cook all vegetables, stir fry in butter add turmeric, salt, pepper and pinch of garam masala (grinded in house). before serving just add few drops of lemon, chopped corriander and chopped tomatoes.
This will be a real delicious treat for your little one.

Tasty ball
Just grate cheese, paneer and boil potato. add some salt, pepper, ginger, corraindr leaves, lemon drops. Mix all ingredients well and then make small balls. Now shallow fry it in pan with clarified butter/ghee.

Patties
Begin the recipe same as tasty balls. But you need to add few more boiled vegetables like carrot, peas, corn to it and press it round shape. Serve it with whipped curd.

Rotis and paranthas
You can make variety of paratha for your little one. Like palak paratha, Alu paratha, lauki paratha. You can also make gul poli/puran poli with tuvar dal. You can also make thin chilla for your little one.

Minty balls
This recipe was again out of necessity. Once we had planned to paani puri at home. Me and my hubby were busy having it. But my little one who was not so happy with her upma, was just gapping at me. Then i thought why not i make some minty mini balls for her. So I took boiled potatoes, boiled black channa and added few crushed mint leaves, roasted zeera powder, salt. Mixed everything, made it smooth enough to roll them into balls. Trust me she really enjoyed these paani-puri balls or call it minty balls.

Subji
You give them any subji but provided that it’s well cooked and soft in texture. Add some tomato pure, hing, ginger in their portions as they won’t have any other spices like adult meals. For Erishka I use to usually prepare subji’s like alu-lauki, peas-cauliflower, moong dal lauki, alu matar, palak paneer, sweet potato, alu bhaji, corn palak, beetroot and pumpkin.

Quick snacks
For quick snacks you can feed you little one with yummy poha, upma, yellow sevai, dosa, steam idli, khichu.

Desserts
You can prepare delecious desserts for your little one like sheera/halwa from sooji/Semolina, atta (Wheat/raagi flour) and sweet sevai. Also remember to use granulated brown sugar or jaggery intstead of white regualr sugar. This will prevent any tooth decay in future and also brown sugra/jaggery are rich in iron. You can also serve fresh whipped creame with fruits and powdered dryfruits.

All my recipes are for early toddlers (12 to 15 months) and older infants (7 to 11 months). Please read these guidelines while preparing baby meal specially for infants 7-11 months.

Please note: Not to introduce more than one item in a day and keep 2 days gap before including new ingredient in their diet. These recipes are tried by be and also tasted by my little one. You can customise to suit your child as every child is different and so does their requirement. You can replace the above mentioned ingredients with your child's favourite ones. Please do read the guidelines mentioned in my previous articles before trying these recipes.

Some of my friends have requested me to write about quick tiffin meals for toddler, specially for picky eaters. I am afraid to share that I cannot write any tiffin article right now. But once Erishka turns two and joins the playgroup I'll share my experiences on packing her school lunch-box. I hope this article would help moms who are looking for healthy and tasty recipes for their older infant or early toddlers.

Keep cooking and happy parenting!

With love,

Nidhi
XOXO


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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

10 Best things motherhood taught me....

It has been believed that when women gives birth to a child, she is blessed with second life. Yes, a life in which she will inculcate new habits and learnings.

Being a mom is a never ending learning process. Motherhood teaches you lot many valuable things and am sure every mom cherish this learning process. Sometimes I feel that I'm learning something new or doing new  things every single day.


Here are 10 best things I’ve learned so far as ‘Being mom’.


  1. Be Time Wise
    Yes motherhood teaches you the best ‘time optimisation’ than any other business schools. It teaches you how to utilize the smallest squeezed time for the best task like household chore, folding baby clothes, preparing babyfood, having meal, doing laundry, taking a nap, surfing, cooking, preparing for prior meals and what not. Everything is prioritized according to the level of requirement by the moment and for the kid and mom herself.
  2. Make best of ‘Me time’

    Yes, it’s the most important thing to keep yourself sane during early days of motherhood. For me i was so  much obsessed with my kid, that sometimes I use to forget myself. During first three months of post pregnancy my mom was there to take care of lot many things. So i did enjoy having long hot showers (that to uninterrupted), having meal leisurely. But once i came back to my home in Bangalore, it was getting really very difficult. At timeI had also taken Erishka in a carry cot to my bathroom for my showers and most of the times I did have lunch while simultaneously feeding her too.

    Pampering myself with ‘some me-time’ was only during weekends when my dear hubby used to take care of her for 2 hrs and i use to visit parlours for pedicure and facials. it was not that used to turn out as beauty queen but felt very much relaxed. I enjoyed being pampered with no worries for Erishka and of course I use almost fall asleep during pedicure massage. That 2 hours meant a lot to me. Also during weekends I use to visit few of my friends whereas my hubby used to take care of her.

    Not only weekend but also once he is back from work i do get some of my ‘valuable me time. In that particular time i browse, blog, call my friends or even watch my favourite Tv show. I have been also blessed with few good friends who use to drop by and take care of my girl, meanwhile I use to finish my personal work.


  3. Eat right and sleep tight
    Yes, I did learn that I need to eat right just when i discovered that I am conceiving. I did quit coffee, tea, soda and other junk food. I also stated having healthy food, milk and fruits. But i also use to have craving for ice-creams during my pregnancy days. So, then i opted for organic ice-cream made from fresh seasonal fruits and fresh creame. Post delivery, Iwas more careful as was told by mom that whatever i eat will affect my little one. So I use eat lot of iron -rich food, drink lot of liquids (milk, soups, juices). Every woman, for me i alwasy preffered having meals at regular intervals with more of liquids. Skipping meal?! was never in my dictionary. And of course i needed to sleep uninterrupted for at least some hours like 4-5hrs. Thanks to my dearest hubby who have always been there to feed Erishka formulae milk in night. I use to keep it all ready in bed-side table (measured formulae pwd in air tight container + sterlise bottle filled wit boiled and cooled water). All he had to do is to just add measured formulae to her bottle, shake it and feed her. this was the one advantage of having dual feed options like breastfed+top-up milk. Thank you Akshaye ‘you are the best dad’.
  4. Enjoy the present
    Yes, time spent with your little one is priceless, enjoy every moment of it. Don’t crib, don’t complain, it’s just a phase and you are the best mom. Never belittle yourself by over thinking about what type of mom you are? or are you doing right thing for your baby. All moms are best. whether you breast feed or feed on formula, whether you are Smart Mom At Home or working mom, whether you use cloth diapers or disposables, irrespective to all theses factors, all moms are best.

    Every mom tries to give their best from their part of knowledge and understanding, so never belittle yourself or question yourself. Just enjoy the present moment with your baby and do what you think is best for your baby, as it’s always said ‘Mom knows the best’.
    So don't bother when people who don't respect you or your parenting decisions. Don't waste time trying to make everybody else happy - it has never happen and won't even happen in near future.

    Don't waste your time fighting with your spouse for petty things because you're both doing trying your best but also tired and hungry too. Everyday make sure that you both take some time and look at your child’s need and development. You can play with your little one, hug her, snuggle her kiss her because they’ll grow really fast and likewise you will cherish these tiny moments of love.
  5. Keep two hours aside

    Be it doctors visit for vaccination or an evening dinner, always keep two hours aside. Even though your diaper bag is always ready and you too are dressed I time. Still there are chances that you might get late for your doc’s appointment or to a dinner party. Coz anytime your little one will poop or throw up so you do need spare time. It always happens whenever you have to go out along with your baby, it’s not a joke. It turns out to be whole event, trust me. Two hours before your checking out time, make sure that her car seat is intact, diaper bag has reached the car, umbrella and other toys. So that you don’t waste your time before locking your house. Make sure you start preparing babyfood four hrs ahead of your scheduled time so that you get enough space to fill, pack and go. Don’t ever think that everything is ready so we will reach on time. Anything under the sun can come your way as an obstacle. For example: your baby just starts crying and refuses to sit in carseat, she get uncontrollable, this can waste around 25-40 mins. Once they turn one things get easy peasy as they can eat lot many other things than just baby food and they just love going out.
  6. Spare some ‘We-time’

    Yes it’s very important to make yourself as well as your spouse to feel special. Never forget to celebrated important dates like marriage anniversary, valentines day, new year eve and your other important dates. Don’t ever feel that now you have become a mo , so can;t go out or what is there to celebrate am growing old for these fancy things. In fact now you have more than one reason to celebrate your togetherness with an addition of a family member. You both along with your little one can definitely enjoy your special days too.
  7. No rule book for mom

    There is no rule book or a manual for a mom to refer (How I wish!?). All we first time moms can do is ‘Trial and error’, it works. Also with the addition of inputs, advices from friends and relatives is a great help too. Tips and tricks exchange during mother-toddler classes or with your friends who has a child as old or older to yours, have proven to be great help for me. Still at times you will end up doings things which are not told to you, somedays have to do whatever works not just stick to books.
  8. PatienceI was very impatient and indecisive before being mom.
    Motherhood have taught me how to be patient, not to impose things and never be judgmental and after being mom am more decisive than earlier.

    During my pregnancy  I had broken my leg and was advised to have bed-rest for more than 6 weeks and it was really frustrating. It was like bed-rest was never-ending phase for me. But slowly developed patience in myself and channelize my time towards creativity.

    You won’t believe I had also created few cute gift boxes which i used later during ‘Birth announcement party’ as favour boxes.

    Also I created a diaper-cake and other goodies all for myself ;-) and lot of my expecting friends asked me make for them too.

    So what learned is that patience in me driven me to channelise my energy in right manner, thanks to motherhood. motherhood is an infinite reserve of patience.

    Of course, you will be tested and there will be times when you think you are right at that edge of your sanity. But then looking at the smile and little naughty things of your baby will make you realise that you are ‘proud to be mother.
  9. Transformation of likes and interest
    After stepping into motherhood, ones likes and interest are easily replaced with kiddie stuffs. For example you spent most of the time singing rhymes and songs, most of the time you end up eating babyfood (as forcibly fed by your little one), you start drinking kid’s friendly shakes, you start you day with a cartoon channel and not the news channel. These were the few transformations.

  10. Am I speaking like my ‘Mother’
    You’ll be often giggle to yourself when you find yourself speaking the same words to your child just like your mom. You will feel as if your mother’s words (Ditto words with same punctuation and exclamations) are coming from your mouth. 


Keep learning and happy parenting!

With love,

Nidhi
XOXO


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Rhymes and personalised songs for ‘Erishka'

Since she was 3 months or so, I began actively singing for Erishka. This was again out of necessity, as it used to divert her from non-stop crying. Till she was 3 months, most of her things were taken care by my mom like bathing, massaging, cleaning her poops and so on. But once I went back to my house in Bangalore, I had to do everything all on my own including all above and add on activities like household chores, laundry, cooking, and so on. I use to sings lots and lots of rhymes to her and also used to talk a lot, as she was also feeling bit alone in the house. By singing songs to her from the another room or kitchen (for few mins) used to give her sense of security like ‘mom is around’ and am safe.

Generally she is not cranky during nights but sometimes she used to not sleep at all and wanted me to feed her all night with no signs of sleeping. So then I created a song and used sing it to her in a very pathetic voice but she use to fall asleep. (though now she hates to listen to it as it reminds her of sleeping). Along with the carols like When upon a billows you are tempest tossed, This little guiding light and ‘God’s Love its so wonderful (These carols were her favourite). These self-created rhymes have eased up my parenting days when she was infant.



Here is the song which I created for her;
Erishkaaaaaaaa
My Darling
Erishkaaaaaaaa
My Sweetheart


I love youuuuu

You love meeeee
We all love you ..
So do youuuu


Your eyes are…

like twinkling stars


Your smile is….

like fresh breeze


I love youuuuu

You love meeeee
We all love you ..
So do youuuu
Erishkaaaaaaaa
My Darling
Erishkaaaaaaaa
My Sweetheart


During her bath time I use to sing for her the very famous guajrati poem (Chakki Ben Chaki ben). On listening this song she use smile and flap her hands and feet.

I made it such a routine that the moment i use to start singing this, she use to understand that it’s bath time for her.



Here is the bathtime song I created for her
Your tiny tiny toes
and rosy posy lips,
cuddly cuddly hand and
bummpy bummpy hips,


Now rubbing forward

and scrubbing the back


And here we go

splish-splash-splish
with the waterfall from neck


Rub-dub-rub-dub gently

on your softy cheeks
wiping your eyes clean
and nosyyy to squeeze…


Now rubbing forward

and scrubbing the back
Rub-a-dub-a-rub up
and rub-a-dub down


Wipinng clean dry

and back to sack

I used to begin her massaging with ‘Chaki ben chaki ben’ and then begin bathing with above bath song and end it with hindu chants like ‘Har har gange, Har har Mahadev’ for three times.

During her nappy change to keep her distracted with following snippet;

Nappy nappy nappy,
washy washy,
Chanely changey,
Clip-clap-clean!

Her all day favourite song was ‘One little daisy crown’. Which was created by me with help of her picture book ‘Does Princess count?’. The picture and number in the book inspired me to create this song.

This picture book was all about the Princess who learned counting with her dog while they were on hiking. Pictures of cute girl wearing a Tiara made of daisy flowers and she was followed by her dog while she went for hiking. On their way they met different birds and animals.

And so it helped princess to learn counting. It was then considered my SOS tool, the moment I begin singing this she used to come running to me with insist me to read book to her.

Here is the SOS song;



One little daisy crown

for Erishka’s head



Two strong hiking shoes 

for Erishka to wear


Three colourful butterfly 

for Erishka to play,



Four Golden deers

with beautiful eyes



Five green frog

goes hop-n-cop-shop



Six grey skunks

with shining smile



Seven silver squirrels

run here and there and where


Eight chirping birds

singing on a tree



Nine busy honey bees

for Erishka’s Honey



Ten bunnies with pointed teeth

Jumping boing boing to Erishka



A ten and nine and eight and seven and six and five and four and three and two and ONE ... All ten friends for Erishka to Play..


Besides above mentioned my self created songs for her, I used to also sing her following nursery rhymes throughout the day with a very loud and very unpleasant voice but she use to enjoy and laugh…

Mary had a little lamb (This is her favourite always sung by her dad)
Pussy cat, Pussy cat
Ding Dong Bell

Chakki ben Chakki ben
Tametoo re Tametoo (It’s her favourite, though do not know the right lyrics, somehow i mix-match and sing it to her, and she grinns)
Ek Biladi Jaadi
Aavre Varsaad, Dhebaryo Varsaad

Since her last visit to my mom’s place she has learnt new rhymes like Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o and wheel on the bus with  the help of my nephew too.

I still remember how all of sudden when meethi used to cry in midnight and Rishabh use to sing ‘Old MacDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o’ with his closed eyes and drowsy fame… Ahh now that's what I call the beginning of sister-brother bonding. Her learning of ‘Wheel on the bus’ rhymes got better in the Rhyme classes held by slough library.

I also miss my childhood times when my mom used to put the nusery rhymes cassette by Preeti Saagar, she has sung so well with all animated noise and all. I do try to find some in youtube and other playlist but I wish I could buy any her old rhymes in CD format.

I hope this article could be help to those moms who find it difficult when infants go out of control, and this help them to distract in critical situations.


Happy rhyming, happy singing!

With love,

Nidhi
XOXO


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Friday, 13 September 2013

My weekend art ...

This crown is worn by me at home but ruled by 'Erishka' - a 15 months old little monster.

Have a great weekend!

with love,
Nidhi
XOXO

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Bathtime is ‘bubbletime’

Who says that blowing bubbles is an exclusive outdoor activity for summer time? Now you can enjoy blowing bubble in winter days too. 

Yes, this activity is again created out of necessity. I use to often blow bubbles for my daughter Erishka when I used to take her to park.

I noticed that she really enjoys this activity , I was worried about the soap solution though it was written kids friendly solution. I was worried if at all it is harmful for my baby's skin or eyes? 

Then I thought why not I make bubble solution by  myself. I thought of using  used baby shower gel instead other harmful soap solution. This made it easy for her to observe bubbles for long, as her eyes didn't burn, if at all any bubble went into her eyes.

So, all set to play with bubble is bath-time. Now below are the steps for how to make bubble solution. All measurements are in trial and error, one do less or more according to the thickness of solution they want. it also depends on climate, as high humidity helps for good bubble making and it works best if keep the solution as it is for 2 days. After couple of trail and error, we got the right solution for bubble activity. Then I thought why not I introduce this bubble activity to her bath-time routine, so that she enjoys her bathing more. To make Erishka’s bath time more a fun activity, I started blowing bubbles to her during her bath-time. She loves gazing at bubbles and once they get settle around her she used to prick it. She rubs her soapy hands all over her body and makes it easy for me to make her bath.


[Please note: During this entire bath-time bubble activity, I keep her seated in bath tub or bath mat. Please do not allow kids to stand on the floor while blowing bubbles as floor might get slippery and they might fall. Let you blow the bubbles towards your baby, and let bubbles come near to them, sit on them and they prick, feel, touch. Play safe with this activity.]


What you need to make bubble solution?

1 stirrer
3 tbs of any baby shampoo (no tears)
2 cups of hot water
1 cup cold water
1 straw
1tbs of glycerine (optional, only for kids above 3yrs, it;s good for skin but can burn eyes)

How to make bubble solution?

Take one washed, cleaned and air dried bottle with air tight cap. Put 1 cup of hot water in the bottle and then add 3 tbs of baby shampoo. Then stir it slowly with stirrer. Wait for 1 min, let it settle and then add remaining  hot water followed by 1 cup cold water.

Close the bottle and put it upside down for 3 mins. Bring back to normal position and if you do not have bubble want you may use plastic straw ( we used t use this during childhood days).Ta-daa it’s ready to used, but it works best when kept for 1-2 day.

Blowing bubbles is very much popular as  a ‘summertime outdoor activity’ but now even during winter days she can have fun with bubbles in hot water tub too. Bubble activity helps our little ones to learn lots skills like motor development, eye coordination and sense of touch-effect.

Have a happy bathtime with bubble friends. 
Just blow, touch and prick to play!

With love,
Nidhi
XOXO

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Happy & healthy Bathtime: How to clean bath toys???

When your little has a squeaky and colourful bath toys to play, their bathtime becomes more fun activity than just a daily routine. But here too, we need to assure the hygiene taken care for bath toys.When ignored on regular basis, your bright colourful bath toys will turn black, and needless to say that such toys are bad for their health.

If not take timely care for bath toys, then your child is more prone to suffer from genial infection, skin rashes, cough, fever and so on.

Being such a neglected area by most of the care takers, one must take personal interest in cleaning and sterilizing the bath toys. I learned this from my elder sister.

Though she was a working mom and always with tight schedule, she used to make sure to sterilize all my nephews toys (that includes bath toys too.by herself) perfectly by herself.

To make your child's bathtime happy and healthy fun time, here are few steps to clean bath toys with no trace of dirt on it:

  • For all rubber toys, who makes your child laugh when they squeak. They tend to build up dark in outer surface as well as some dirt inside the toys to. So to clean it inside out, first of all just squeeze out any water sitting inside toy.
  • Now, take  small tub filled with hot steaming water (make sure kid's aren't around) 
  • Add few drops of baby shampoo and pinch of detergent.
  • Make the cleaning solution even by mixing it rigorously.
  • Now just soak all toys (rubber toys, squeaky toys, also toys with intricate crease, shapes) in the tub solution. Suck all squeaky toys without fail.
  • Let it stay for around 20-30 mins, meanwhile you may proceed with your other laundry work.
  • Then rinse each toy with any unused toothbrush with strong bristles.
  • Now pull each toy out, and squeeze all soapy solution out and place it on another tub/bucket of clear hot water. Soak further for around 10 mins.
  • Again repeat the step 8. Add pat-rub dry all toys with clean washcloth
  • Put all toys in a basket and allow it to air dry.
Enjoy splish-splash-splish with clean bathtoys!
With love, 
Nidhi

Monday, 9 September 2013

Dental care calling for infants and early toddlers

As you all would have known by now, my posts on this page are exclusively inspired by chit-chats with my friends who all are sailing in the same boat. But this post is for my special friend, with whom I can associate the most. With whom I have discussed tooth fairy and pimples. We have exchanged our views and opinions on all most every topic under the sun. Be it mango's latest fashion handbag or latest link-ups in town or how to change baby's diapers on the go. This time my viber was ringing for dental care. She was very keen on knowing about how did I started brushing teeth for ‘Erishka’. She further informed that she has already bought the finger brush for her little one, but still confused on how to start and what is the right age to got little one start brushing. So here are few of my experience which I want to share with her.

How do I take care of my baby's teeth?

When she asked me this question, my mind immediately rushed to the conversation which I had 7 months back with my mother. Just like typical mother, she was was constantly asking me certain questions on regular basis like whether I clean ‘Erishka’s tongue regularly or not? Did i teach her how to gargle? Hope you aren’t making her asleep while breast feeding her or with the bottle in her mouth? And the list was endless.

Just like any daughter, once for all I sternly asked her, whats wrong with you? Why are you asking me such irrelevant questions. Does it make sense, Erishka has not even sprouted one tooth yet and you are annoying me with such stupid question. Just like any daughter, once for all I sternly asked her, whats wrong with you? Why are you asking me such irrelevant questions.

Once she replied to my rapid questions I was stunned that it was so stupid of me to question her back. And I re-affirmed that 'Mothers are always right'.



When she asked me about tongue cleaning routine, she meant ….

When she was checking on me taking care of tongue cleaning routine for Erishka, she was highly concerned about my daughter's oral care. Yes, even i was surprised to hear that from her. She further said that I should clean her tongue (with wash cloth, dipped in warm water) once in a day (Spl during  bath time) so that the oral hygiene is maintain and it will prevent future dental issues for her.

This reminded me off the conversation I had with my Prediction, where it strictly asked me not to feed her for pacifying, and do not make a habit make her sleep while feeding or with the bottle within.

He further said good oral care starts from the very beginning of your child's life. Even before her first tooth is sprouted. And long stayed food material (breastmilk/formula) inside your child’s mouth can affect their future appearance and health of their teeth. Since baby teeth usually emerge around 5-6 months of age, they do not require to do brushing teeth but good oral hygiene has to be maintained.

When my mom asked me, “Hope you aren’t making her asleep while breast feeding her or with the bottle in her mouth?”

She actually wanted to warn about the bottle decay. "She said bottle decay is caused by continuous contact, over time, to liquids containing sugars (i.e. milk, formula, and fruit juices). When your baby sleeps, her gums/teeth gets coated with these sugary liquids and which leads to cavities”. She further stated, “For this reason, you shouldn't let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk in her mouth. 

And If you are breast-feeding her in night times, avoid letting the baby nurse continuously. And after each feeding, wipe her teeth/gums with a clean, damp washcloth.”  So after so much of gyan session by my mother I decided not to overlook her oral/dental care although there are no visible teeth in her mouth. 



So how did I got started with dental care for Erishka

From 3 months to 4 months

During bath time I followed the routine of cleaning , wiping her tongue with washcloth (dipped in warm drinking water).

 From 5 months to 7 months

Continued the bathtime routine. Also she started teething by then, so i bought tiny cute finger brush for her. Which was double sided too, one side had bristle alike silicone grass, the other had embossed small balls. I used to rub her emerged tooth with the bristles alike side and rub-massaged her sore gums with the other side. she used to feel much relaxed. I also bought a pacifier to soothe her teething but she refused and used to just blow it away from her mouth.

From the 8 months onwards

As I could see 4 white pearls by then, i bought soft and sturdy Pigeon brush. Which very much looked like our tooth brush, but with semi soft pointers of rubber silicone. She was very receptive to this, as she love putting it in her mouth every now and then. I used to sterilise it just like any other feeding utensils.

 Just like any other infant she also had teething troubles like she was bit cranky, irritable, fussy, her gums were hard and pointed. She also suffered from infections rashes and diarrhoea.

We made regular visits to her doctor during those days as she used to get fever very often. By rubbing the gum with a clean finger, a small cool spoon or a cool wet cloth can soothe her weaning. We also bought few teethers so that she can chew it for pain relief.

 We also asked pediatrician about any medicine for pain-relief, but he did not prescribed any. Though my mom, kept on saying that there are some gels and powder available for easy teething. We stuck to the diet and pain-relief strategies given by her pediatrician.

From 13 months onwards
I introduces pink tooth brush to her, for which she was very excited. she does it with me as she love imitating me. My mom had also taught her how to do gargle but some now she happens to forget it. My mom used keep a bottle of boiled and cooled water during bath time. And she use to insist my doll to do as alike what my mom was doing. while imitating my mom she had learned to do gargle but due to my negligence for this gargle activity, she happens to forget. I really need to keep this in my bathtime check-list.

 Diet for dental care


There are certain foods which are more likely to cause tooth decay. Of course they are one which are loved by our little ones; sticky and sugary.

 A child’s diet plays very important role in oral hygiene and dental care. Please do not overdo sugary food items like peanut butter, candies, jelly, packed juice, pasta, bread, biscuits as these all can contribute to tooth decay.



 Even slowly sucked candies, slowly consumed juice in nursing bottle and fruit chewables also contribute to tooth decay. Bottle and breast-fed babies, babies left with bottle or nursed for prolonged hours especially in night are more prone to dental problems in future.

 You may do some changes in cooking method like preparing dessert for your little ones, you may substitute it with granulated brown sugar or jaggery and also avoid sticky food in her meal. And also ensure that starchy and sugary food are served during meal times only so that regular gargle with drinking warm water is done timely.

I hope this article would help all those mommies who are struggling to introduce dental care routine for their babies.

Healthy eating, happy brushing and keep smiling!
With love,
NidhiXOXO

Special: Soups, sips and licks for older infant and early toddler

Heylos to all, am very much sure that all you mommies would have definitely tried the suggested recipes of soups and sips for your little. I hope they would have like it. In the response to the older post on soups (Part I - Soups, sips and licks for older infant and toddler), one of the reader (my cousin) said that she is eagerly waiting for creamy vegetable soup.

I was more than glad to hear that during her last visit to our place, her daughter (15 months old) loved the creamy vegetable thick soup which I had prepared for Erishka and Avya. In fact I was suprise to hear that she few more bites of bread while sipping the soup. And so she was eagerly waiting for the recipe and requested me to do ASAP. It has been also tried by bhairvi (my cousin) and her little one ‘Avya’. So here we have 'Creamy green soup' recipe on Avya’s demand.

What all you need;
3-5 stalks of Asparagus
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1 cup Broccoli
1 stalk of green onion (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
few drops of lemon1 pinch of cumin seeds
1tsp clarified butter/ghee



How to prepare?


Heat ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds, let it titter. Then add chopped garlic, green onion. cover it with lid for 1-2 mins. Then add chopped asparagus (wash and peel and chop in 1 inch, for easy crushing), chopped broccoli (florets upright, for easy crushing). Add salt, pepper and add some water. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes (till broccoli is tender). Take off from pan and drain water (keep aside this water). Now put it in mixing jar, and blend it. You’ll get thick creamy mixture of broccoli and asparagus. 

And then put it back to the pan, switch  on the flame. And add the drained water kept aside.  Add few drops of lemon and garnish it with chopped coriander. 

Taa-da!! Here we have Avya’s creamy green vegetable soup. You may serve it with slightly toasted bread/breadsticks or broken steam rice.

This super soup is rich in fiber, high in calcium and has goodness of vitamin C. This soup can be enjoyed by mommies too. It's healthy, tasty and without any unwanted calories attached.

[Please note this recipe includes garlic and onion also. Replace it with ginger or hing (asafoetida) for early toddlers who have not tried onion or garlic before.]


While browsing I have also come across the amazingly efficient tool for kids meal planner from Nestle's official website (Start healthy, stay healthy)

For all those mommies who always find it difficult to decide on what to cook for their little ones. This tool has list of food items for all the age groups (infant, toddlers, grown ups) customized regionally to suit all natives of India (South Indian, bengali, north Indian, gujarati, maharastra food cuisine).

You can mix match the menu and also edit the item individually. 
Here is the link: Kids Meal Planner

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Part II - Soups, sips and licks for older infant and toddler

In my previous post ‘Part I - Soups, sips and licks for older infant and toddler’, I’ve shared few recipes of healthy soups for an older infant and early toddler. These recipes are tried by me and tasted by my little princess 'Erishka'.  I hope you guys would have liked it and tried it too. Let me know about your experience of trying these new recipes with your baby.
Now here is the my latest post regarding Sips for (6-10months) and early toddler (11-15months) , which includes fresh juices, creamy milkshakes and smoothies. You can definitely keep the soups in one of the meal menu for a day.

But before we begin here are few pointers to keep in mind while preparing baby's sips(Juices, milkshakes and smoothies)

Below are the list of juices I use to give to Erishka when she was older infant.


Sips: Fruit and vegetable juices

Fruit and vegetable juices are very important to keep baby hydrated in summer time. My little one is a summer baby. So it was very important for me to keep her hydrated with required nutrients and vitamins.



  1. Watermelon- Perfect summer drink 1 Large cup of seeded watermelon cubes Pinch of crushed mint leaves (optional)
    Pinch of pepper (optional)

    Add all the above ingredients, crush it with blender and add water according to the desired consistency.   This juice is perfect as a ‘
    Summer Drink’ for your little ones.
  2. Apple
    ½ Apple of medium size
    pinch of Cinnamon powder (optional)
    Crush the all the ingredients and you are done. Make sure it’s consumed within 30mins as it starts getting discolored if kept for long. Even if you referigerate, it will turn brownish. when i had low HB count , my gyno told me that any ingredient which turns black while exposed to air is very rich in Iron, and so Iron rust are for.
  3. Sweetlime Simplest of all. Just crush the diced peices  of 1large  Sweet lime and one cup of water. Then sieve it and serve it. please ensure that it is consumed as quickly as possible, s the taste starts getting bitter if kept unconsumed for long. And it will turn off your child to try any juices in future.
  4. Power punch½ Apple medium size
    2 chunks of Beet root
    1tbs Honey (optional)
    Pinch of pepper(optional)

    Stew the above fruits and let it cool. And then crush it with blender and add honey and cooled water. Add a pinch of pepper before serving it. I call it power punch as both the ingredients used are highly rich in Iron, you may call it anything funky to suit your style.


  5. Tender coconut WaterThe most easiest drink to make. Yes it is, if your child like it’s taste, then nothing like that. For variation you may add pinch of grated ginger, it tastes good.


Slurp! Milkshakes and smoothie Milkshakes and smoothies are best for the early toddlers ( 10-14months). It’s a perfect combination for fussy toddler and picky eaters. As it includes fruits and a goodness of milk, which helps are little monsters to consume vitamins and required fats to gain more energy to play around. I like to use whatever fresh fruits are in season like strawberry, mangos, papayas, kiwi fruit, banana - all make a great smoothie. Experiment with anything tangy you have in your kitchen.

  1. Banana blast Simple, quick and easy. Banana are the most easily available ingredient in every kitchen.
    One large banana cubes+honey (Optional) +single creame milk, then blend it in mixer, taa-daa. Banana blast is ready, you may top it up with some dry-fruits powder.
  2. Berreis’ best Blend some berries(any would do), 1 cup creame( I used Amul fresh creame) and Milk for consistency. Your berries best is ready!
  3. Brainy Milkshake No rocket science in this recipe. I just gave fancy name to the our very old India ‘Badam Milk’. Almonds are highly rich calcium, iron, zinc to name few and which is very important for brain development. Yes it’s perfect for growing years.

    You would need 1 cup of Milk+1thread of saffron+2 crushed overnight soaked badam (Almonds)+powdered elaichi chiroli. Heat milk in a pan. Bring it to boil, then add all ingredients and simmer it for 20-25 mins. Top it with a scoop of creame and serve hot or cold, depending on your child’s health and preferences.

    To make it more easy you may also use ready made Badam milk mix(Contains powdered almonds, herbs and all above ingredients). While travelling i used to use this as it’s convenient and easy to prepare.

    I’ve used both Everest Badam Milk mix and MTR. Both are equally good. Just add 1tbs of the powder to the boiling milk and your
    ‘Brainy Milkshake’ is ready.

  4. Seasonal Fruit milkshake
    Be it mango/chikoo/avacado, all  seasonal fruit milkshakes are quick, easy and simple to make. Just add 1 cup of chopped seasonal fruits. Crush it in blender. Add some cold milk + 1tbs Amul Fresh cream and blend it again. Thick fruit milkshake is ready. For early toddlers you may add some cubes of self fruit in the same. It will make them more eager to drink as they love looking for surprises.
  5. Apple Milkshake This recipe was out of necessity. I didn’t like when apple juice use to turn brownish. So I discovered this recipe.
    1 large apple (cubes)
    ½ cup water
    1 cup Milk
    Crush the apple in mixer, add water, milk and then blend it again. Now, Top it up with 1tbs cream of Amul fresh and serve.

  6. Kheer milkshake This was again out of necessity. I've been travelling a lot, especially after the arrival of my little princess. To make sure she has nutritive food through trips.
    Just prepare kheer in advance of travel time and put it in fridge for around 2 hrs. After it is cooled enough. Simply blend it in blender , with coarse texture. no need to add anything then. Store it in steel hot-cold flask and put it back it freezer. Now only take it out of fridge just before locking the doors. This kheer milkshake in hot-cold flask can stay fresh up to 4-6 hrs. Very convenient for frequent traveller with older infant or toddler.
  7. Fruity Lassi

    Lassi is India’s good old healthy beverage. By adding few chunks of favourie fruits can a delicious serving for your older infant and early toddler. Lassi is made up of yogurt/curd, which is rich in calcium. And when you blend it with fruits it add the richness of Vitamins A and C, phosphorus, folic acid, iron, antioxidants and fibre.

    Blend 1/2 cup chopped fruit of your choice +1 cup yogurt/curd. Add some water if you want a thin consistency. Now, it’s ready to serve.


    Please note my upcoming post '
    Part III - Soups, sips and licks for older infant and toddler will be focused on Licks  (finger food, snacks, bites).

    Be happy, be healthy!
    -XOXO
    Nidhi
    Smart Mom At Home



    Read also
    Part II: Raising 'readers'
    Part I: Rasing 'readers'