Top 5 Misconceptions About Normal Delivery- Myths versus Facts

Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase of a woman’s life. All through the nine months, a woman experiences multiple changes happening within her body. As much as she enjoys those kicks in her growing belly, she also stays apprehensive about her labour and delivery.

There is a growing concern about normal delivery these days. It is considered as an act of ‘bravery’ which not all women can achieve. Most doctors increasingly suggest a cesarean over normal delivery assuming that the women today would not want to go through the labour pain. Many women too personally opt for a planned cesarean thinking that it’s an ‘easy way out’.

Let me tell you, no delivery is easy or tough! Each has its own pros and cons. Birthing is the most natural process and delivering through the natural way should always be the preferred choice.

The cesarean rate for first-time mothers with a single foetus, in the normal head-down position who have crossed 37 weeks should be less than 25%” says Dr. Swati Sinha, consultant obstetrician-gynecologist at Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research.

One of the reasons for the rise in cesarean deliveries in the country is the number of myths that surround a normal delivery. There are tonnes of old wives’ tales and misconceptions built around the natural birthing process. Let me present to you some common myths versus facts-

# Myth 1- A Vaginal Birth is unbearably painful, C-section is less painful

Fact– The experience of labour pain is certainly intense, but it’s not intolerable. Labour is  not a singular event. It occurs in stages and the  intensity of the pain increases gradually. With the right support team and proper medical guidance, it can be made a fulfilling birth experience. While the pain in normal delivery is experienced during the process, in cesarean its the aftermath in the form of stitches. C-section is a major abdominal surgery that comes with a long list of risks including bleeding, infections in the stitches, reaction to anesthesia, etc. Its healing and recovery process takes a longer time. A normal delivery is relatively a ‘less risky’ approach.

#Myth 2- Normal Delivery is not safe for babies

Fact–  Normal Delivery is healthier for the baby. The child when passing through the birth canal receives certain bacteria that play a great role in building his immune system. During the process of delivery, he expells amniotic fluid from his lungs that helps him to breathe air better once out in the world thereby causing fewer respiratory problems in the initial days.

#Myth 3Use of Forceps & Vacuums can be dangerous

Facts– Not all normal deliveries require the use of forceps or vacuum. These are needed only in rare situations. Under the expertise of a skilled doctor, these methods are safe for both the mom and the baby.

#Myth 4A Cesarean is a must if the labour pain doesn’t start naturally

Fact– Many a times labour pain doesn’t start naturally even on reaching the due date. In such cases the labour is medically induced. Inductions usually lead to a successful normal delivery and a cesarean alternative is not required in most cases.

#Myth 5Women who are overweight or older in age or short in height, cannot have a normal delivery

Fact– A woman’s body is designed to give birth. Those who are short in height usually have a small baby who can easily pass through the pelvis. All healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancy stand a chance for a normal delivery. With proper labor exercise, knowledge of breathing techniques, etc, normal delivery is achievable.

Hear the birth experience of Suveksha Lama, who, in spite of being a 37 years old overweight lady, could manage to have a successful normal delivery with the support of her family and doctors.

[The video has been taken from Sitaram Bhartia’s blog/youtube channel]

‘Birth is a normal physiological event in a woman’s life and requires minimal intervention’. All hospitals should follow this philosophy. One of the hospitals that does believe in this is- Sitaram Bhartia. This 70-bed, multi-specialty hospital in New Delhi has accomplished an 88% normal delivery rate for the low-risk-first-birth women. Their maternity program is designed to empower women and their families into making the healthiest and safest choices for pregnancy and delivery. This has helped them to achieve one of the lowest cesarean rates (12% for first-birth low-risk mothers) among Delhi’s private hospitals.

If you are expecting and have believed in such myths related to normal delivery, I hope this post has empowered you enough to be confident about the natural birthing process.

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Also read : 6 Tips For Baby Skin Care During Winter Season

 

6 Tips For Baby Skin Care During Winter Season

Seasonal changes can be harsh on the tender skin of the baby. And winter is especially one season that becomes really tough for the baby to tolerate. Read on to follow some useful Baby Skin Care Tips that can help you to keep your child’s skin soft and nourished during winters.

Both A & A have an ultra sensitive skin. I always have to be extra careful about the soaps and lotions that I choose for them or even the fabric of their garments. Even the slightest exposure to a skin irritant leads to an eruption on their face or body. The onset of winter brings along additional problems of rough cheeks, chapped lips, redness and rashes, etc. We had spent our last winters in the freezing cold of Delhi and I eventually had to change all the bath and body products that I use for my kids and switch to the ones that have high moisturizing capacity.

Although Mumbai’s winter isn’t too harsh and intolerable but we still face the problem of rough skin due to dryness in the air. Kids’ skin being far more delicate and sensitive than us adults, is all the more prone to such irritation and dryness. Their skin may look perfect from the outside but is actually 3 times thinner and loses moisture 2 times faster. It is therefore important to follow a proper skin care routine for the babies, especially throughout the first years of their life.

Here I am listing down some of the Baby Skin Care Tips that worked for us. Follow these basic tips to keep your child’s skin soft and protected in the harsh winter climate.
1. Use Warm Water, Not Hot

Bath your baby with lukewarm water and try to keep the bath time short and sweet. Ensure that the water temperature is warm and not hot. Extended exposure to hot water can strip off the moisture from your baby’s skin. After bathing gently pat with a soft towel and avoid rubbing.

Special Tip: For new born or young babies who do not sweat much, you can give them a bath once in two days. 

2. Keep the Skin Moisturized

Mositurizing your baby’s skin is important all through the year. But winter calls for extra hydration as the cold air, windy weather and use of heaters work against the skin’s natural moisture. After every bath, apply a moisturizing lotion on your baby’s skin. Using it immediately after bath ensures that the moisture is locked in and the skin is well protected. I use Johnson’s baby lotion which is clinically proven to be mild and gentle. It is hypoallergenic ,paraben-free and helps to slow down the moisture loss. I find it #BestForBaby as it keeps the child’s skin hydrated for long.  

Baby Skin Care

Special Tip: Apply the moisturizer twice a day. Once after bath and once in night and don’t forget to moisturize the face and cheeks of the child.

3. Choose The Right Clothing

As important it is to choose the right skin care products for the kids, it’s equally important to choose the right garments. Do note that woolen clothes shouldn’t be worn directly on the skin. Always use a cotton undershirt below.

Special Tip: We sometimes make the baby wear the same woolen clothes for a few days which could be a cause of various allergies and infections. Ensure that you use fresh, clean and disinfected woolens everyday.

4. Be Wise While Layering Up

We tend to dress up our kids in layers during winters. But how do we know how many layers are enough? Usually babies need one extra layer of clothing than us adults. Excessive layers can lead to sweating which can then clog the pores of the skin and result in redness and rashes. Keep checking the body temperature of the child by sticking you hands inside the kid’s clothing. If you find it too hot, simply take one layer off.

Special Tip:  One thing I do to keep my babies warm is to put multiple layers of thin clothes instead of woolens. 

5. Maintain Diaper Hygiene

The skin on the baby’s bottom is most vulnerable to rashes and itching due to excessive heat and sweating. Rashes can occur if the baby stays in the wet or dirty diaper for long. Everytime you change the diaper, clean the area with a wet cloth or wipe before putting on a new diaper. I especially use Johnson’s Baby SkinCare Wipes that are made with ultra fine fabric and are mild on the tender skin of the baby. These wipes are alcohol-free, soap-free and ideal for diaper change. They not just help to remove all the dirt and impurities but also have a moisturizing effect on the skin, that helps prevent nappy rash.

Baby Skin Care

Special Tip: Even if the baby is dressed in multiple layers, keep checking her diaper frequently and change whenever needed. Also ensure that the diapers aren’t too tight. 

6. Keep Your Child Hydrated

For babies above 6 months of age, make them drink luke warm water at regular intervals. This helps the child and his skin to remain hydrated.

Special Tip: For the chapped lips of the baby, apply ghee or coconut oil. That work wonders. 

Now that the cold weather is rolling in across the country, I hope these Baby Skin Care Tips would help you to maintain the cherub lips and chubby cheeks of  your child. Happy Winters!  


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Also Read: 7 Tips For A Fun And Safe Road Trip With Kids 

7 Tips For A Fun And Safe Road Trip With Kids

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One of the major changes that motherhood brings along is that all our impulsive travel plans change to a more scheduled and organized one. Isn’t it?

I remember our first road trip with kids involved great amount of planning and preparation on our part. From their safety to entertainment- we had to think about all the aspects. We had a huge checklist to follow and even though we were fully done with our packing a day in advance, we were still immensely nervous before hitting the road. We finally did manage to have a fun and successful road trip and that became our motivation to plan a second one soon.

Today I will be sharing with you some tips that worked for us. In case you are planning for a road trip with kids, you can refer to these to have a safe and hassle-free travel.

7 Tips For A Fun And Safe Road Trip With Kids

1Plan It Well

Proper planning is the key. Prepping for the trip in advance can help in more ways than one. You get sufficient time to arrange for all that you need for the travel. Try and schedule the time of the travel as per your child’s nap time. We chose to leave early in the morning hours when the kids were sleepy and the traffic on the road was bare minimum. That ways we could get some peaceful and uninterrupted drive time.

2. Invest In A Car Seat
Road trip with kids
Pic Credit- cars.com

Long road trips without a car seat is just not a wise idea. Car seats ensure both comfort and safety of the child. Before embarking on your journey make sure that the car seat is properly installed as per the instruction manual. Not all cars are car-seat friendly and so it’s important to get a car seat check done. You can refer to cars.com to understand the installation system based on your car model. Their certified expert technicians can help you understand the car’s Latch System and its ability to accommodate different types of car seats.

3. Safety Awareness

For a smooth sailing, ensure your car is in proper working order. Check the condition of the tyres, belts, battery, etc. If the car servicing is due, make sure to get it done before your trip. Carry all the emergency equipments like jumper cable, tools to change the tyre, flash lights etc. Also ensure that the child safety locks on the door are well activated.

4. Stop Regularly

Riding in the car for hours on end can be tiring and boring- both for you and the kids. Make sure you take timely breaks. Study the route of your destination carefully and know about the recommended pit stops. We specifically asked recommendations from friends of all the restaurants and locations that were child friendly.

5. Arrange For Kid’s Entertainment

You surely don’t want to mess up your drive with a cranky child. So keep him happy by engaging him in his favourite activity. Be it books or toys or games- keep everything handy. We downloaded some audio rhymes and stories that helped us to keep our kids entertained.

6. Snacks On Board

Pack plenty of drinks and snacks with you. Again keep them according to your child’s taste and liking. We carried homemade finger food, dry fruits, bananas, etc that were easy munching option. For younger kids you can keep powdered cereals that can be easily fed by mixing in some water. Also keep some disposable paper plates, spoons, bowls, tissues etc. Ensure that your child’s sippy cups/bottles are spillproof.

7. Pack Strategically

Categorize all the necessary items that you need during the travel and keep them handy in separate small bags. You can make one bag for snacks and drinks, one for extra pair of clothes, covering sheets, bibs, hat, first aid kit, essential medicines, etc. If you use diaper for your child then you can make a separate bag that just includes extra diapers, wipes, toiletries, disposable bags, etc.

Road trip with kids may sound a bit daunting but is actually great fun. A little pre-trip planning can go a long way in making your journey easy and memorable. The thumb rule for any travel is to ensure the comfort of the child. A comfortable and happy child would surely mean a peaceful and successful road trip.

Featured Image Credit- pixabay.com 


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Also read: 6 Essentials That Helped Me Sail Through The First Year With Twins

 

Joyful Learning Journey Through Fun And Play : Skola Toys

“As you set out for Ithaka hope your road is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery… Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you’re destined for. But don’t hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you’re old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way”
  • Excerpts from C. P. Cavafy’s poem – Ithaka

The extract from the poem written keeping Odysseus in mind could be a true reflection of life. As we envision our life goals, there is a lot we tend to learn in our quest to realize those goals. More than the destination, it is our learning journey that helps us to grow.

For kids, it’s no different. It’s not just the learning but the way the child learns that makes all the difference. His learning journey, of course, is more crucial than the final destination.

Think about the different ways a young child would learn about simple concepts of math, say addition. How do you think he would get to the fact that 1+2=3?

  1. Does he hear it once and then remember?
  2. Does he see it somewhere and practice the same by writing?
  3. Do we help him in knowing and cramming the answers?
  4. Does he begin with the concept of counting first, master that concept at his pace, and then move on to learning addition and subtraction, make a few mistakes and learn from the same?

Each route mentioned here can lead to a different type of learner. Of course the last route would lead to the one who is wiser, confident and curious. Because his journey would be more enriching and fulfilling. At each step he is sure to gain something.

Young children find happiness in doing an activity and not just completing it. It’s not just the answers  but the way they reach to the answers that excites them.

True learning occurs when children participate voluntarily in meaningful activities. All they need is the right tools that can engage them in the right way. Once that’s is done, their entire process of learning gets filled with enjoyment. Nothing brings more confidence in children than looking for the problems and arriving at its solution on their own.

Talking about journey, there is no single journey we undertake at a given point. We all have multiple journeys running at the same time, teaching us something unique and different. Similarly, children aren’t on one specific journey alone. There could be a point when a child is learning multiple things at the same time, say-

  • Learning to read CVC words
  • Getting familiarized with counting and numbers
  • Starting to use both hands for holding objects
  • Becoming aware of relation between the cause and effect

Every kid is unique in the manner they begin and move through these journeys. Learning is not a one time occurrence. It is something continuous and so learning even one single concept involves the child to go through multiple steps. Skola toys are designed keeping this logic in consideration. Every Skola journey, in a very organized manner, takes children through a series of experiences which are creatively challenging and which allow them to explore, discover and learn something new at every step. Each stage is expedited by playing with certain toys that allow children to challenge their abilities in a remarkable manner.

An example of a learning journey is:

Learning journey

Visit www.skola.toys to understand children’s learning journeys and view toys that facilitate incremental learning through fun and play.

Enable our future generations to play, explore and discover through “Learning Journeys designed as Play

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay.com


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Also read: The Wonders Of Learning Toys: Choosing The Right Toy For Your Child


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Fade Away Sleep Sounds : Putting Baby to Sleep Is No More A Struggle

Perhaps, one of the hardest things for parents of new born kids is to put their baby to sleep. What if I tell you there is something that can make your life easy and help you in this regard? Read on….

As a new parent, our natural instinct is to follow all the traditional, tried and tested methods of parenting. We usually think twice before trying something new. Sometimes a relatively new approach can really make a lot of difference.

When my twins- Aarav and Aarohi were born, amongst the many challenges that I faced, the biggest one was putting them to sleep. Like all other babies, they would feel insecure and want to be in my arms all the time. They would get disturbed with the slightest of noise like a knock on the door or ringing of the bell. And sometimes if one of them would wake up crying, the other one too would have his eyes wide open. In those days, I was always shunting between the two babies, patting one to sleep, putting him down, taking the other, rocking and singing for her only to find the first one awake. And the cycle would go on all night.

I followed all the traditional techniques to put my babies to sleep like patting, rocking, swaddling, singing, etc and never really thought of something new. If only I knew then that there is one more method which is easier and equally successful- using the white noise sounds.

Does it happen that your otherwise crying baby suddenly gets calm listening to a particular sound like that of a washing machine or a hair dryer? Does it happen that your baby sleeps instantly in a noisy environment that’s full of hustle and bustle? Ever wonder why? That’s because they are naturally used to such a noisy environment.

The Logic Behind White Noise

White noise refers to the specific sounds that replicates the sounds of nature. These are the sounds from our everyday environment that help babies fall asleep.

Don’t we usually make a loud ‘shushing’ sound to calm a crying baby? That shushing sound is nothing else but a kind of a white noise that we make our self.

I know putting a baby to sleep with a loud noise may sound counter-intuitive,. But there is science behind this.  It is believed that the womb is a deafeningly loud space. When in womb, babies get accustomed to the loud noise and form an emotional connection with the same. A completely quiet environment outside the womb  can have an opposite effect on them especially when it comes to sleep. That’s when sounds of white noise, may help babies to feel calm and comforted.

The white noise sounds help reducing stress in the babies enabling them to fall asleep easily. The world outside the womb is quite stimulating for them which they are not usually able to handle. White noise, in a way, creates a safe space for babies by blocking out that stimulation.

Fade Away Sleep Sounds

Fade Away Sleep Sounds are white noise sounds that uses high quality recordings produced by nature along with ones generated from common household appliances. These sleep sounds include Baby Sleep Sounds meant for putting young babies to sleep, and Non-Baby Sleep Sounds which are meant for relaxation purposes for both kids and adults.

Fade Away Sleep Sounds include:

Fade Away Sleep Sounds

 

Baby Sleep Sounds – Sounds like that of a ‘bath tub’ or ‘car ride’

Nature Sleep Sounds – Sounds of a ‘rushing river’ or ‘ ocean roar’

Life Sounds – Sounds of an ‘electric fan’ or a ‘train on track’

Musical Sounds – Sounds like ‘seaside serenity’ or ‘rainy day relaxation’

These sounds can be purchased individually as well as in a package. Check the various packages and offers that are available on their site here.

 

Key Features:

Fade Away Sleep Sounds has some interesting features that make them unique from other white noise sounds.

1, All Fade Away Sleep Sounds are about 60 minutes long with the final 10 minutes being a slow, gradual fade to silence.

2. .They include a range of sounds- from that of a vacuum cleaner to the ocean roar to sweet rain drops. So parents can actually choose from a variety of tracks and see what works for their baby.

3. Since the length of the track is fairly long, it doesn’t require one track to run on loop.

4. As a parent, while I would want to resort to these sounds that would help to put my baby to sleep, I would also worry about my baby getting dependent upon it. Fade Away Sleep Sounds addresses this concern of parents. All the tracks are designed in such a way that they not just help the babies to sleep easily but also wean them off it at the same time. The subtle fade away to silence at the end of the tracks helps in that regard.

5. The Non-Baby Sounds are as much soothing for adults as they are for kids.

6. Some of the musical tracks are not just meant for the purpose of sleep, but are also ideal for meditation, yoga, massage and relaxation for adults.

Factors to Keep In Mind While Using Fade Away Sleep Sounds

  1. White noise sounds should be loud enough to mask the unwanted sound. However the maximum recommended volume is 50 db and it shouldn’t be louder than that.
  2. The device in use should be kept at a distance from the baby (at least 6 inches)
  3. Don’t use white noise all day long. Use it only when your are putting your baby to bed.

I listened to a few Fade Away Sleep Sound tracks recently and found some of them as very soothing and calming. Well, what’s better than such sound tracks that not just calm a baby but also help an over-stressed parent?

I would recommend trying out Fade Away Sleep Sounds to all new parents. Play a few tracks and see which one works for your baby. I am sure this will put a rest to your struggle.

Want to know more about Fade Away Sleep Sounds ? Check this video.

 

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Featured Image Courtesy: pixabay.com

Also read The Hardest Part Of Motherhood


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The Wonders Of Learning Toys: Choosing The Right Toy For Your Child

Did you know the toys, which are a child’s best-friend, are not mere playthings? They are the major tools that can help your child acquire new skills.

Early years are the building years of the child’s life. They are marked by a stage of exploration that involves learning by doing. Whether it is playing with basic objects lying at home or with specific learning toys available in the store, play features very highly in every child’s vocabulary. Hence it’s relevant to involve kids in activities that not just entertain them but also help in their overall development.

As a new parent, one of the biggest struggles I faced in those early days was to devise different ways through which I could keep my children engaged. And I think most new moms would resonate with this struggle. Kids have a short concentration span and so it requires a lot of creative thinking on part of the parents to involve them in such activities that grab their attention for long and also help in their development process.

Something that saved my sanity and helped me majorly in this regard are the learning toys. Learning toys are a great source of fun and education. They are also a convenient option that is readily available. Investing in learning toys doesn’t go waste as they mostly have positive outcomes.

Benefits Of Learning Toys

The benefits children derive from learning toys are innumerable. Apart from grasping their attention for long they help in-

  • Cultivating their cognitive and physical skills.
  • Improving memory retention, hand-eye coordination and motor skills
  • Developing their social skills. Concept of sharing, taking turns, leadership, etc can be instilled through toys.
  • Strengthening the emotional self of the child by instilling in him confidence and curiosity.
  • Improving family bonding time.

Learning Toys

Choosing The Right Learning Toy

Since toys hold a great value in the formative years of a child’s life, choosing the ‘right toy’ is all the more relevant. And believe me, this is nothing less than a struggle again. Market today offers a plethora of options for toys. Initially when I used to go to a toy store, I would get overwhelmed seeing the variety that’s available at each counter. As much I would get tempted to buy everything, I would also get confused thinking which is the right choice for my kids. Zeroing down on one particular product would always involve a great amount of research.

Gradually I could understand a few factors that I can consider while shopping for good learning toys. Here are some of them-

1. Age of children–  Choosing the age appropriate toys is the most important step. Most good toy manufacturing companies always mention the recommended age on the box. This helps in selection process because it takes into account the utility, value, and skill level attained at that particular age.

2. Their interest and likings– Each child has individual interests and preferences. Toys that are in line with childrens’ liking and abilities hold their attention for long and also lead to more positive outcomes.

3. Educational Value– Each age marks a different set of milestone and skill development for the child. Engaging in toys that’s specific to a particular skill, only facilitates in attaining of those skills. I always try to choose a toy that could help my children take the next step in their development.

4. Safety and Durability – Everytime I pick up a toy, I carefully examine it. The ones that have sharp edges, extra accessories like buttons, beads, etc that can be easily swallowed are usually out of my list. I mostly prefer wooden toys that don’t involve non-toxic plastic material. The ones I feel would not last long or do not serve an extended use are again out of my consideration.

5. Level of complexity– A toy that is too complex for the child’s developmental level would not serve its purpose. The child would end up getting frustrated and stop engaging. The playability of the toy determines its appropriateness. My kids love those toys which they can easily master as it boosts their self esteem.

Selecting the right toy becomes easy when the above mentioned basis are kept in mind. Companies like Skola and a few more do consider these factors while designing toys for young kids. Making the task of the parents easy, they offer a range of toys that are developmentally appropriate and serve great educational value.

My twins are currently twenty months old and at a stage when they are acquiring different cognitive and fine motor skills. I offer them toys that make them learn new concepts like shape fitters, animal puzzles, alphabet sorters. They also enjoy playing with bat-ball, building blocks, wooden board games, nesting cups, etc that help develop their hand-eye coordination. With the help of these toys, I see them learning something new each day.

Toys play a vital role in the overall development of the child. Apart from being a source of fun and entertainment, they are tools that can enhance their learning and shape their growing up process. Hope this article helps you in choosing the right learning toy for your child.

 

Featured Image Courtesy: pixabay.com

 


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Featuring Sulbha Bathwal: A Mother Who Believes In Raising Her Twins The Montessori Way

Montessori is a method of education which allows learning through self-directed activity and collaborative play. It is based on the notion that a child is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of learning through supportive and organized learning environment.

I came across a mother who believes in the tenets of Montessori education and incorporates them in her everyday life. She believes in raising her kids the Montessori way and so does a lot of activities that promote self-learning. Meet Sulbha Bathwal, a mother of twin boys and a homemaker. She resides in Pune with her husband and kids. She believes that parenting is an art based on 3C’s- Clarity, Connection and Consistency that if mastered can lead to a happy family.

I got a chance to interview Sulbha and know in detail about her style of parenting and how she uses the Montessori approach in the most effective way. Here is what she says-

How do you think Montessori activities can help the parents of twins?

By committing to certain Montessori methods, parents of twins and multiples can avoid doubling (or tripling) their work. I believe raising multiple children the Montessori way not only helps children to get engaged in activities but also make parents’ lives easier in the process. For example: if we change the traditional way of putting babies to bed to the Montessori perspective, we can give babies large safe places to sleep and play. That way they occupy themselves rather than crying out for attention. In the process, we also gain some freedom and independence.

How do you think we can set up a Montessori environment at home? What are the basic rules to follow?

When it comes to setting any furniture in kid’s room, one basic rule should be followed which is that it should be similar to the child’s height. At my place, I prefer having everything in the kid’s room as per their height and so you will find low lying cupboards, shelves and floor setting.

Montessori

I believe the following could be helpful while setting up a Montessori environment in the house:

1) Kid area – which should include change pad, small chair for dressing, shelf with diapers, comb, brush and laundry bag.

2) Montessori floor bed and change area on floor for an infant

3) Accessible diapering area where cupboard has doors that close.

All these should be easily accessible by the child to explore and learn.

 

What kind of tasks or activities do you plan for your twins?

I try to involve my kids in everyday activities and usually give them a task based on their interest.

While giving them a task I ensure I do not help them until something is outside their level of capability. For example: sometimes, I give them a task to carry something from one room to another. At times, the thing is too heavy for them to lift and carry and they get stuck in the middle of the task, I do not immediately go and help them. Rather I wait and observe. Before helping, I make sure they if really need help, because I believe children can surprise us. My aim is to help them just enough, never more.

I firmly believe that kids have immense ability and if given the right environment they are sure to experience success. As parents, we must ensure that we create such an environment where they learn by doing things themselves.

As a mother of twins, I find it difficult to give individual attention to each child. How does Montessori method help parents in doing that?

Parents of multiples often feel concerned that they aren’t giving their children enough individual attention. The demands of modern life barely leave enough time for family activities. But exclusive attention is vital to multiples as they develop their individual identities. Often when twins are out in public together, they attract a lot of public attention. Going out on their own gives them a chance to practice their public manners and conversation skills without the shadow of their status as a multiple. In my family, this strategy works wonders on days when our twin boys are at each other’s throats and arguing over everything.

We all want our kids to feel valued and appreciated. But when we have more than one child, it’s natural to devote more time to the one with learning and attention issues. We may assume that our other child knows how much we love him/her. Not getting regular attention from us can affect his self- esteem and personal development.

Children have their own interests and needs. Montessori activities help you to spend time with your children. You become aware of your child’s passions and talents. Your child, in turn, feels understood. When you know your child’s interests and potential strengths, you can plan more activities that support them.

What are your biggest challenges as a mother of twins?

Parenting twins is physically exhausting but as phase passes, it is possible to mitigate some of the early difficulties. For me, the emotional aspect of parenting twins is much more challenging. My husband and I have tried our best to treat our twins equally, and when that was impossible or inappropriate, to at least treat them fairly. However, this is not how the society, people, world looks at things. The world likes to rank and compare things, which can be hurtful and demoralizing for two people who are, in many respects, quite similar.

In many situations where twins play games, and one of the boys win while other loses, it is very difficult to congratulate one and console other at the same time. Despite our best intention as parents, someone is going to get short-changed. Overcoming this has been my biggest challenge as mother of twins.

How do you define your parenting? What is your mantra of parenting twins?

Today there is a glut of information available about parenting. It can be hard to know which way to turn. As a mother, I always think of parenting as an art and not as a challenge because I believe if we consider something as an art we enjoy doing it and take due interest as well but the moment it becomes a challenge we rush in to just finish it in order to get a tick mark.

For me, effective parenting comes down to these three steps.

1. Clarity – While going on a trip we always try to get some knowledge about the location we are heading to, similarly with parenting it is even more important to have a plan–a clear vision, of who you want your child to be and what is essential to you. Keeping your long-term goal in mind, and prioritizing your values, allows you to be clear about your day-to- day decisions.

2. Connection – Once you are clear on your priorities and values, it is time to form a close, warm connection with your child. You need to build connection by listening to your child with interest and empathy and by engaging him in problem solving.

3. Consistency – Even as adults, we like to know what is going on and what is expected of us. It’s quite similar for the child as well. When a child is certain about what will make you happy and what will upset you, she comes to trust your reaction. So being consistent with children in terms of her actions and behaviour is important.

 

Sulbha’s views, approach and style of parenting using the Montessori methods is very inspiring. She keeps doing a lot of exciting DIY activities to keep her twins engaged. If you want to gain some ideas and learn more about her experience of parenting twins, you can refer to her Facebook page or Instagram.

 

 I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words #6. Todays post is based on Day 6’s prompt- ‘Feature a guest – a guest post / an interview’. You can also read my post on Day 5’s prompt-  A Letter to God: Thank You For Everything You Have Given Me In Life

#writetribe #writebravely #festivalofwords #writingchallenge

 

BabyChakra Parenting App: The Best Resource I have Used

BabyChakra : A Resourceful Parenting App

Motherhood makes a woman joyful, content and strong. It also makes her doubtful, nervous and puzzled. Especially for a new mom, the entire experience of motherhood can be overwhelming. Hence she needs a resource which is reliable and helps to make her parenting journey easy.

As a new mom, I was struggling with my dwindling emotions. One moment I would feel like a woman with immense superpowers to have given birth to new souls. The other moment, I would feel like a failure for not being able to soothe a crying baby. In those initial days, I was filled with multiple doubts and fears. And more so, because I had twins to look after.

For every doubt I had, I used to resort to Google. However, Google is a storehouse of vast information – both good and bad. Instead of providing me with right solutions, it usually added to my queries by showing some more problems. And frankly, I never had the patience and strength to filter information. I was sincerely looking for a resource that would not just clear my doubts but also guide me in the most positive way. That’s when I came across this highly resourceful app called BabyChakra.

After using it for a few weeks, I realized that BabyChakra is one of the most trusted parenting apps that brings all the help and support a new parent would need. It connects a mother to various experts, child care services and other fellow mothers who could share their experiences.

I use this app to find answers to every single doubt I have as a mother. Some helpful moms are always there to answer my query. I remember once, when my kids were 3 months old, my daughter suddenly started howling at 3 am in the night and I did not know what to do. I had posted this on the feed section of the app and to my surprise I received immediate replies with mothers giving me all the advice, solutions and tips to calm her. This app came to my rescue even in the wee hours.

The app connects moms to various health-care services and experts, that too all free of cost. I have sought opinions of gynaecologists, paediatricians and nutritionists through this app and found some reliable and practical solutions to my queries. There is a special review section on the app that enables mothers to share their experiences on any baby or mom related service. Every time me and my husband plan to visit a new restaurant I check its review on the app to know how child-friendly it is. For every new product that I plan to buy for my baby, I judge its worth by reading the reviews on the app. This certainly helps me to make an informed choice.

BabyChakra

There is a huge collection of some useful and informative articles on BabyChakra. Be it breastfeeding or nutrition or DIY ideas – you name it and it has it all. I always resort to these articles when I need some information on any topic related to mom health and baby. Especially on the days when I suffer from the typical ‘parenting blues’, I look up to its collection of some funny and light memes that simply uplifts my mood.

BabyChakra also curates some great products for moms and kids that can be purchased on their site as well as app. I wasn’t aware of some of the organic product brands but recently I happened to buy some wooden toys and healthy cookies from their site and realized how awesome they are. My kids loved them.

The community experience that BabyChakra provides is wonderful. Since all its members belong to the same tribe, they can find a connect with each other. It has a special Momstar programme through which we get to know like-minded moms. The best part is I can easily discuss my parenting mistakes with this community without having any fear of being judged. In fact, I am always assured with most positive suggestions and feedback. Through this platform, I have made some wonderful friends  who are always there to help.

This is my second post for the 6th The Write Tribe Festival Of Words. Today’s prompt required me to write on one of the best resources I have ever used and I could not think of anything else but BabyChakra. It has not just been my constant companion in my parenting journey but also proved to be a one-stop solution to all my parenting needs. 

Apart from this app, there is another helpful resource that I have used which is the book, Everything You Need To Know To Have Healthy Twin Pregnancy by Gila Leiter. This book helped me to cope with my complicated pregnancy. Read my detailed review of the book here.

 

 

#writetribe #writebravely #festivalofwords #writingchallenge

 

Ways To Soothe Anger: Anger Management For Moms

I always thought I am a patient person, until I became a mother. I then realized that one of the most difficult emotions to deal as a parent, is ‘anger’.

Imagine how would I react in situations like these-

1. I clean the toys, roll the clothes back in the cupboard, tidy the room that seems like a ‘war-zone’ and leave to take a bath. I return and all I see is the same mess created again, this time worse than before.

2. I prepare a healthy snack after spending hours in the kitchen. With great enthusiasm I give it to my kids to munch and all they do is take a bite and chuck away the rest, mostly spilling it all on the floor.

3. Feeling frustrated, I react and scold my kids for their mischief. But what do I see? They’re are all the more amused,  giggling and chuckling at my antics, as if I am one unique clown ready to entertain them.  

Sounds familiar? Situations like these and many more are an inevitable part of a mother’s life. And as much as the situations are unavoidable, reacting to them with fury is natural too. But does that always work? 

Anger does more harm than good, especially in the case of kids. We as parents cannot suppress this emotion but we can surely avoid expressing it. More so because our kids are watching us. Their every emotion and behavior is based on our reaction. They simply learn by the examples we set for them.

So, next time if you face a similar situation and cannot stop being angry, try doing this-

1. Walk out of the situation

Whenever you are infuriated, simply walk out of the room and let the kids do what they want. Giving some time-out to oneself really helps in controlling the situation. I, usually, go in another room to distract myself and return only when I feel a little more settled and calm.

2. Distract the kids

When kids are in no mood to listen and continue to do the task that’s infuriating, try distracting them. Divert their mind to another interesting task which demands them to leave the situation. So the trick is if you cannot walk out to another room, let the kids go.

3. Cry, Sing, Eat Chocolate

Sounds weird? But this works! When I can’t express my anger, I cry! With a few tears, my frustration also rolls down the cheeks. If that doesn’t make me feel better, I try to sing aloud. Yes, as loud as I can. And when even that fails, I grab my favorite chocolate and munch it with full force. And trust me, with each bite I feel better. So the idea is to do what makes you feel better. Be it a cup of coffee or a warm bath- find what works to helps you relieve the stress.

4. Ask for help

Do not hesitate in asking for help when you need it. Better yet, ask before you need it. If that requires your husband or someone else to manage the kids while you try to be at peace with yourself, then so be it.

5. Meditate

anger

This is one technique that relaxes the mind and helps combat the negative emotions. Sit back, pause, close your eyes and mediate. Even a 5 minutes of meditation can soothe your mind and help to create a peaceful mood.

6. Practice Mindfulness

Make a conscious effort to practice staying calm. Everytime you find yourself in such a situation, think and reflect whether you are reacting or responding. Reaction could be impulsive and extreme, response is always well-thought out, calm and non-threatening. A little mindfulness in this regard helps to deal with any situation in a more positive way.

I have tried many ways to deal with anger and these six have worked the best so far. And while I feel happy that I could successfully devise some strategies to soothe my anger, the fact that all this is triggered by mere one-year olds doesn’t fail to surprise me.  

What’s your trick to soothe anger? Do share with us what works for you.

 

You may also like to read Dealing With A Clingy Baby: My Learnings And Experiences

This post is a link up with Amrita andDeepa for #MondayMommyMomments
(Follow on Twitter @DeepaGandhi1 and @misra_amrita )

Proud Blogger for

Healthwealthbridge

 

 

My Parenting Mantra: Keeping The Promises Of Parenting

Howdy, Welcome to the blog train- My Parenting Mantra. Find on board some awesome bloggers who will drive this train for a month and share their enriching and unique parenting experience.

Thanks to Neha who blogs at SharingOurExperiences for introducing me.

Meet the fellow blogger moms who are a part of this blog train here.

Parenting poses a unique challenge to every parent. While there is no one golden rule that all parents follow, there is however one particular mantra that’s unique to each parent. This mantra that they follow is based on their lifestyle, values, and individual choices. In our case, this mantra is based upon the very fact that we have twins.

I always felt that parenting doesn’t need any rules,  until I became a parent myself. I then realized that these rules are not rules so to say, but some promises that each parent makes to oneself in order to give their best.

We felt the need of making such promises to ourselves when we heard the two tiny heartbeats for the very first time. The happiness that ushered in, was immediately marked by anxiety, nervousness and confusion. We knew we would love our kids unconditionally, but our mind was still clouded by some major doubts- how would we manage two kids together? Would we be able to do justice to both? What if we become partial to one? What if we unknowingly neglect one? What if we fall into the trap of comparison? How would we deal with the world who would always compare our twins?  

Hence, to be are prepared to deal with all sorts of situations and make our parenting journey easy, we devised our parenting mantra that included the following-

1. Creating a good value system

It’s very important to create an environment that helps kids to imbibe good values naturally. Both me and my husband believe in making our kids know the ‘why’ of things that helps them to value and respect what they have. We always ensure that we create such a system at home that enables them to learn gratitude and encourage them to be humble.

2. Follow what we preach

Kids learn by examples and who could set better examples for them other than the parents! As a family, we believe in modeling the desired behavior. We speak/behave in the way we want our kids to reciprocate and so far this has been working really well for us.

3. Encourage independent thinking

We want our kids to think independently, express themselves well and assert their choices. Since they are twins, the chance for them to be influenced by each others opinion would be high. And so we plan to raise them in such a way that each is capable of taking his/her own decisions. Though young, we still try to ask them about their individual choices, likes and dislikes and ensure that they get what they choose for themselves.

4. Avoid comparison

A n A

When there are two kids of same age in a house, the urge to compare is but natural. Each child is unique and so it’s all the more important for us to be conscious of this fact and resist this urge. We realized this fact pretty early and it has only helped to maintain our sanity as a parent of twins.

5. Nourish individuality

My kids have completely opposite personality traits. One is shy and clingy, the other is an  independent little explorer. Hence their needs, choices and interests are also very different from each other. So while everyone around tries to find some similarities between them, considering they are twins, we try to understand and respect their individual differences. We even spend some quality time with each child alone just to have that one-on-one connection.

6. Nurture the sibling bond

Parenting Mantra

Both A n A( Aarav and Aarohi) have a wonderful tuning. They have a unique connection that surprises us in many ways. Their giggles and endless cryptophasia (their private language) simply makes our day. And so we do our bit to nurture this connection in whatever way we can to help it remain special.

7. Let kids be kids

They fight, they play, they create mess and do everything that irritates us. But at the end, we as parents try to be mindful about the fact that they are kids and will act their age. We try to be conscious while placing our expectations on them and allow them to learn their way.

 

My husband and me keep reminding each other of these promises and in all situations we try to follow them. This not just helps us to enjoy as a family but also makes our parenting journey less complicated.

 

Enjoyed reading My Parenting Mantra? See what our next blogger mom Priyadarshani who blogs at Rattlebabblebattle says about her Parenting Mantra. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment here and share your opinions. We are all ears. 

 

Also read: Do Not Sacrifice For Your Kids: Simply Live and Let Live