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Back to school supplies checklist for your child

3 Min Read

Back to school supplies checklist for your child

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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Schools are opening soon and it’s already time to prep up for back-to-school. Your kids are excited while you are nervous. We feel you, it’s not that easy letting your kids out without you after a long tough time. Not just that, you are also super stressed out thinking about what to prepare and what not to, especially with safety concerns in mind. Just take a deep breath and relax, we are going to ease your stress or at least reduce it to some extent. So, we got the list ready for you to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the essentials, and yes with the safety concerns.

 

LIST OF SCHOOL ESSENTIALS FOR PRESCHOOL KIDS

STATIONERY
  1. Pencil- Your toddler will need a pencil or two. Just make sure the nibs aren’t too pointed or your child may poke herself.
  2. Colour pencils- Your toddler will most likely spend more time colouring. It’s always every kid’s favourite thing to do. Ensure to buy different colours as they are also learning the names of the colour too. 
  3. Crayons- Crayons could be a preferable choice for preschoolers but also depends on school to school.
  4. Eraser- Life’s mistakes can’t be erased with an eraser but your child can still erase the mistakes they make on their notebook. Yes, your child needs an eraser.
  5. Sharpener- Your toddler should use a sharpener under the supervision of a teacher. 
  6. Wide ruled notebook- One or two wide-ruled notebooks if your toddler is learning to write letters or numbers.
  7. Colouring book- Your toddler may also need a colouring book but it may also depend on the school curriculum. 

STORAGE
  1. Schoolbag- You can’t imagine your toddler going to school without a backpack as it has to carry all the other essential supplies. And it’s even more exciting for the kids if they get to carry a cute school bag. Check out for kid’s school bag online for toddlers. Check out bags that are colourful with fun characters, they are absolute favourites among kids. 
  2. Pencil box/pouch- A pencil box to keep all the writing and drawing essentials intact without being scattered. 

LUNCH SUPPLIES
  1. Lunch bag- A lunch bag is optional as most lunch boxes already have carry-handles.
  2. Insulated lunch box- Choose an insulated lunch box or kids food thermos as they keep the food hot for longer hours. Opt for the ones that are BPA free, non-toxic etc. 
  3. Insulated water bottle- Insulated water bottles or kids thermos is best for the kids as it will maintain the preferred temperature of the water or drinks. Always look for cute and colourful bottles to make your toddlers excited to keep themselves hydrated. Make sure the bottles have spouts or straws for the toddlers to sip easily. Ensure the bottles are spilt-free too.
  4. Hand wipes- Wipes to clean their hands and mouth area.

SAFETY ESSENTIALS
  1. Mask- Mask should be a compulsion but also should be warned to inform their teacher in case the child feels suffocated. The mask should be preferably cotton-made or be of breathable material.
  2. Hand sanitiser- Your toddler should be trained regarding sanitiser, how to use it, and that it’s only for external use and strictly not for consumption.

 

LIST OF SCHOOL ESSENTIALS FOR ELEMENTARY GRADE KIDS (1-4 GRD)

The list of supplies for the elementary grade would also be pretty much the same as preschoolers. Since they are higher in grade, there could be extras that are craft related. We have listed a few but it mostly depends on the curriculum of the school.

 

STATIONERY
  1. Notebooks
  2. Pencils
  3. Colour pencils
  4. Pencil sharpener
  5. Eraser
  6. Ruler
CRAFT SUPPLIES
  1. Glue sticks
  2. Chart papers
  3. Safety scissors
STORAGE
  1. Schoolbag
  2. Pencil box/pouch
LUNCH SUPPLIES
  1. Lunch bag
  2. Insulated lunch box-
  3. Insulated water bottle
  4. Hand wipes
SAFETY ESSENTIALS
  1. Mask
  2. Hand sanitiser

There you go, you have the list for school essentials/supplies, you can start your kids’ back-to-school shopping right away. Have a safe back-to-school!

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20 Perfect newborn baby gift ideas

New Born | 5 Min Read

20 Perfect newborn baby gift ideas

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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Are you looking for newborn baby gifts? You sure have some ideas in your mind but you want it to be memorable (not the baby of course) for the parents or at least useful for them. The first thing you may want to do is think about the newborn essentials and categorise them into short-term use (for immediate use) or long-term use ( can be used as the baby grows). 

Secondly, you should take certain considerations regarding the products you buy. Buy products that are easy to wash, non-toxic, BPA-free, paraben-free, gifts that are not hazardous- heating gadgets, loud sound, or vibration. Buy clothing and accessories that will not hurt or poke the baby, you definitely don’t want the parents to remember you for a scar on their baby. 

Here is the checklist for 20 perfect newborn baby gifting ideas: 

  1. BABY CLOTHING: Clothes always come to our mind easily when we think about buying gifts. The tiny one will also need some. We also tend to gift the baby a size bigger so that she doesn’t outgrow the clothes too soon or make her wear them when she grows bigger. If you are buying an age-appropriate one for a newborn, get onesies or sleep pyjamas as she’s probably going to sleep most of the time. You may add baby mittens, bibs, booties, or cute socks along with it. Else, you can buy clothes according to age-wise.

  2. Swaddle Blanket: Swaddle blanket can be a very useful gift for any newborn especially, in the initial weeks. As the baby is delicate, you don’t want to twist or turn around her limbs too much. Wrapping the baby with a swaddle not only makes it an easier option as clothing but also will be easier for the nappy change. It can be multi-functional, use it as a burp cloth or feeding cover.

  3. Crib Sheets: Parents can’t have enough of the crib sheets when their baby is still bed-wetting. Look for fun printed crib sheets for gifting which can add more fun to the nursery.

  4. Baby Lounger: Some parents may miss out on buying a lounger. You can buy them one and make the baby feel a little more pampered and comfortable when she is awake.

  5. Baby Sleeping Bag: A baby sleeping bag is also perfect as a newborn gift. A sleeping bag will help a baby sleep cosy & comfortably. It also prevents the baby from rolling and keeps her intact. Her feet will remain covered too unlike a blanket that is often kicked off due to wiggling.

  6. Feeding Pillow: A feeding pillow can be a good option as a present. It provides comfort and great support to both the mother and baby. It acts multi-functional as the baby grows and develops. It can be used for a baby’s tummy time and supports when she sits. Every parent won’t mind having extra feeding pillows even if they already got one.

  7. Feeding Bottle: The feeding bottle is a must for every parent whether the mother is breastfeeding or feeding with the bottle. Maybe you can gift them the best quality one or something unique like the silicone squeezy bottle.

  8. Baby Quilt/Blanket: Possibilities are that the parents may have already gotten a quilt but possibilities are also that they didn’t get a good quality or design quilt. That’s when you make an entry with a soft, organic-based, baby-skin friendly, and fun print quilt. It’s always good when you are mindful of small details, it’s a way of conveying that you care.

  9. Baby hair & skin-care products: Well a baby needs to be washed clean and she will need a good soap, shampoo, hair oil, body oil, and a moisturizer. You can buy baby skin products that come in a combo pack and are just perfect for newborn gifting. Just keep in mind that the products are mildest of the mild ones or organic ones.

  10. Baby Towel: No parent will deny having a cute soft towel. You can buy towels that are hooded so that the baby can be wrapped from head to toe. Always choose a super soft and absorbent towel made with organic cotton.

  11. Baby Grooming Set: A baby grooming set is not a bad idea for newborn gifting. The set mostly contains a nail clipper, nail scissors, nail file, hairbrush, a toothbrush that is soft on the baby’s gum.

  12. Diapers: You can never go wrong with gifting diapers as they are a priority among the newborn essentials. You can always buy in bulk and gift the parents. You can also get those cloth nappies that are reusable.

  13. Diaper Bag:  A diaper bag is a must for every parent. Make sure you gift them one that is spacious and has more sections to accommodate more baby essentials for outdoor visits.

  14. Customised soft Toy or decor: You can personalise a cuddly little teddy bear with the baby’s name on it. You can get customised photo frames, wall stickers, cushions, rugs, etc. and the nursery lively.

  15. A Techie Monitor: Parents are always concerned with their baby. It will be a good idea to gift them a monitor so that they can keep a watch on their baby.

  16. White noise music: You can contribute to making the baby and the parents have a good sleep with a white noise music machine. The music will soothe/calm the baby and help her fall asleep faster hence giving the parents time for their own sleep.

  17. Cot Mobiles/ Play Gym: Cot mobiles are another great gift for newborns as it helps stimulate the baby’s audio and visual senses. The colourful characters’ movements keep the baby engaging and are a visual treat.

  18. Baby Carrier: Buy a baby carrier that has good support for the baby’s neck. It should have good padding so as to make the baby feel more comfortable.

  19. Baby rocker: A baby rocker is a smart gifting idea. It can rock and entertain the baby while the parents do their household chores.

  20. Baby Stroller: This is just perfect for outdoor visits or taking a walk. It is exhausting to carry the baby for a longer period of time and so a baby stroller is a great idea for gifting. 

You can also check out baby gift sets or combos as they look more wholesome and can even cost you less with their combo offers.

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List of items you need to buy for your newborn

New Born | 8 Min Read

List of items you need to buy for your newborn

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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A new life-changing journey begins as you welcome your little one into this world. You are as much excited as you are scared/intimidated by your delicate baby. You want all the safety and every possible care for the tiny being while getting all the essentials ready. Listing all the essential items for your newborn can be a daunting task but no worries, we are going to make your life easier. Here’s all you need to know.

First, let’s prepare you with Nursery Essentials: The basic things you need to keep in mind while setting up the Nursery are a place to sleep, storage for baby’s clothes & other items, and a place to change diapers. The following items are listed. 

  • Crib- You may want a sturdier crib or even a convertible one that can last when the baby becomes a toddler. 
  • Crib Mattress- You will need a firm mattress that fits the crib. Avoid buying a fluffy mattress as it may smother and suffocate the baby. You can get a baby lounger that will make him comfortable and keeps your baby at a gentle angle that helps avoid colic.
  • Baby Bassinet- For a constraint and smaller house, a bassinet would be a better option for being smaller and more portable while the crib takes more space. Some of them come with a hood which you can pull over when the baby is sleeping.
  • Crib Sheets & Water-proof Liners/Mattress Protector- Look out for light-weight and breathable crib sheets preferably cotton which is skin-friendly. Water-proof liners or mattress protectors will be useful for avoiding bedwetting.
  • Baby Quilts & Blankets- You can buy cotton blankets for hot weather and a warmer material for winter. Some all-weather-friendly cotton quilted baby blankets are also available. It’s best to opt for an organic blanket
  • Dresser (with or without Changing Pad)- Dresser will be of great help for organising your baby’s clothes or even toys. They can come with changing pad where you don’t have to buy an extra changing table
  • Diaper Changing Table- Changing diapers can be easier when your baby is placed on a flat surface with adequate height. A diaper changing table or a dresser with a changing pad is all you need.
  • Rocking Chair or Glider- You will be spending more time feeding your baby, get a good glider or a rocker that will comfort you while feeding your baby. It will be helpful for you to take a good nap as well.
  • Baby Monitor- It will be easier for you to keep an eye on your baby with the help of a monitor and can avoid walking up to the crib every time. Ensure it is rechargeable and has a long-life battery.
  • White Noise Machine- Relaxing music always helps to soothe and make your baby fall asleep fast.
  • Night Light- In the middle of the night, you might have to check on your baby or feed her. The night light will help you see without turning on the bright lights that can disturb your baby’s sleep.
  • Humidifier- To avoid overly dry air, a humidifier is a must for your nursery. It will comfort your baby when she has a cough and cold or can even help avoid drying out her skin.

 

Clothing Essentials

No matter what clothing you buy make sure the material is baby skin-friendly, preferably organic or 100% cotton as other materials may irritate your baby’s skin. Look out for clothing that suits the seasons accordingly. 

  • Swaddle Blankets-For the initial weeks, swaddling your baby with a swaddle blanket or a special blanket would be more ideal for an easier process of changing. 
  • Sleepers & sleeping sacks- Sleepers and sleeping sacks will ensure your baby’s legs are covered during sleep.
  • Tops & Onesies- Make sure to buy both long sleeves and short sleeves. Tops can be useful for layering as undershirts in winter.
  • Socks or booties- Buy lots of socks and a few pairs of booties to keep her feet warm.
  • Mittens- Get some baby mittens to avoid your baby from scratching herself.
  • Woolen/Knitted cap or hat- Keep her head warm with a knitted cap or hat.
  • A sun hat- When you take her out on a sunny day, a sun hat will protect her from harsh sun rays.
  • Jacket & Sweater- Keep some jackets and sweaters ready for cold weather.
  • Mild Soap for laundry- Always wash your baby’s clothes with a mild soap that will keep the fabric soft. Harsh soap can make the clothes rough and its strong scent can irritate your baby.

 

Feeding Essentials

A newborn needs to be fed quite often and you might need some essentials that will give a good feeding experience. The essentials have been listed keeping in mind for both natural breastfeeding and bottle feeding.

  • Nursing Clothes- If you choose to breastfeed, you will need a loose-fitting top or tops with buttons, nursing bras, nursing pads for bras, and a nursing cover. You will need burp cloths to protect your clothes when your baby spits up.
  • Newborn Feeding Pillow- Using a feeding pillow will be comforting for both your baby and you while feeding. 
  • Breast Pump- Breast pumps are available in both manual and electric or battery-operated ones. It will help to extract milk whenever required.
  • Nipple Cream- It will soothe your tender or sore nipple caused due to breastfeeding. Make sure the ingredients used for making it are safe for the baby.
  • Feeding Bottle- You will need one or two feeding bottles even if you choose to breastfeed. There are varieties of feeding bottles available. Silicone-made bottles are more preferable, being durable, and easier to clean. You can buy squeezy silicone feeding bottles that almost mimic the natural way of breastfeeding. Also, buy feeding bottles with detachable nipples in case you need to change the sizes.  Bottle nipples for breastfed babies are also available separately.
  • Feeding Formula- Feeding formula or infant formula is a life saviour for those who choose to bottle feed. It is mainly available in powdered form and is formulated including protein, fats, and other necessary nutrients close to natural breast milk.
  • Thermos Flask- Thermos will be required to store hot water which will be used for mixing the infant formula. You can even use a baby steel water bottle for the same.
  • Bottle Cleaning Brush- It’s important to clean the feeding bottle thoroughly before every use. A cleaning brush will be handy for proper cleaning.

Diapering Essentials: 

Diapering needs to be handled most hygienically. The following might help you to manage it well.

  • Disposable & Reusable Diapers- You can either use disposable or cloth diapers or both. The latter would be more suitable for sensitive skin however you might have to change as soon as it gets soggy and do a lot of washing. There are also other reusable options, nappies with a biodegradable lining that can be removed and flushed down. Disposable diapers can be more convenient and handy during travel or outdoor visits.
  • Baby Wipes- Use baby wipes to clean your baby’s bottom, it will moisturise and remove the odour. Ensure to buy mild, skin-friendly wipes to avoid skin irritation.
  • Rash Cream- Diapers may cause rashes on your baby’s skin. A good and effective rash cream will soothe the skin
  • Changing Mat- Changing mats are useful for keeping the bed or changing-table clean. Some can be cleaned by wiping off and some come with a removable cover that is washable.
  • Dustbin and Garbage bags- Place a dustbin nearby the changing-table to put away all the dirty diapers and keep the room clean and hygienic.

 

Baby Bathing & Wellness Essentials:

 In the initial phase, your baby will just need to be wiped with a soaked cotton cloth before she starts using other baby skin products. She may just need three baths in a week. You may also need other grooming essentials for keeping your baby in the best of health.

  • Infant Bathing Tub- Buy a bathtub according to the size of your baby. There are also convertible ones that can be adjusted as the baby grows.
  • Hooded Baby Towels- Buy a softer towel for babies as their skin is very delicate. Hooded towels will help wrap your baby from head to toe.
  • Baby Body Wash & Shampoo- Always use a mild body wash & shampoo for babies to avoid skin irritation and eyes. 
  • Baby Cream- Apply baby cream to restore moisture after the bath.
  • Massage & Hair oil- Always use organic-based massage & hair oil for babies to avoid any sort of allergic reaction.
  • Baby brush- Buy a gentle soft brush to avoid scratches.
  • Baby Nail Clippers- Keep your baby’s nail short not only to keep it free from germs but also to avoid scratches. Special baby clippers or scissors with rounded shaped tips are available.
  • Digital Thermometer- It’s important to keep a thermometer to keep a check on your baby’s temperature.
  • Bulb Nasal Aspirator- When your baby gets a runny nose, it will help clear her nose and help her breathe easier.
  • Hand Sanitiser- It may not be possible to wash your hands every time while handling your baby, sanitiser can be a good option.

 

Baby Gear Essentials: 

You will need other baby gears which will be helpful when you leave your house or for outdoor visits

  • Baby Carrier- You will need to carry your baby sometimes especially during outdoor visits, a baby carrier will help you hold your baby, making you move around hands-free.
  • Baby Stroller- You can take your baby anywhere easily with the help of a stroller. Make sure it is a recliner one especially for the newborn’s head and back support. There are rain-proof hooded strollers too.
  • Infant Car Seat- If you are taking your baby in a car, get an infant seat for more safety.
  • Diaper Bag- Always keep a diaper bag ready whenever you go out. You can look for diaper bags that have compartments for keeping baby food and other essentials.
  • Play Mat- You can use a playmat for changing diapers or even make your baby lie down with baby loungers.

 

You can go a long way in making your baby comfortable, the list can go on and on. However, make a pick of the essentials that suit your requirements, nonetheless, your baby is always happy in your arms.

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How to choose the correct bottle & nipples for your baby

New Born | 3 Min Read

How to choose the correct bottles & nipples for  your baby

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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Breastfeeding is not just about providing food to your baby but is also a beautiful way of connecting with your newborn. However, breastfeeding is not possible for all mothers due to medical reasons or lifestyle. Bottle-feeding infant formula is an alternative to breastfeeding although health experts recommend the latter more. For those who choose infant formula feeding, we are going to guide you through choosing the correct bottle and nipples for your precious one.

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE SIZE OF THE NIPPLES FOR YOUR BABY

The nipple size for the baby depends on how old the baby is and his suckling style. To find the correct size of the nipples for your baby, you might have to experiment. The flow of the milk not only depends on the size of the nipple but also on the nipple-hole size hence it’s important to check the capacity/speed your baby is suckling. As the baby grows more, you might have to change the size of the baby feeding bottle and nipples. Some brands may already suggest the nipple sizes according to the baby’s age. If you don’t want to rely on the brands’ suggestion, let’s get into further details for getting the correct baby bottle nipples size for your baby.

 

WHAT NIPPLE SIZE SHOULD MY BABY USE?

As mentioned above, it’s important to consider the age of your baby to find the right size for your newborn baby bottle nipples. Bottle nipples for breastfed babies are mostly categorized into 3-sizes:

  1. Size-one nipples with a smaller hole are for babies from birth to 6months.
  2. Bigger-sized nipples ranging from 2-4 with a slightly larger hole are for older babies.
  3. Special nipples are also available for preemie babies.

In some cases, the generalized categorization can be subjective as some babies may have a better pace at suckling the milk even before 6months and may need to use sized-up nipples.

You may instinctively acknowledge or can observe your baby’s behaviour or signs while making the right choice for the correct nipple size. Here are some signs from your baby that should be under the supervision and pay attention to:

  1. A newborn or preemie may not tolerate a faster flow rate of milk and show signs of gulping, difficulty in swallowing, choking, milk dripping from the mouth, etc. For them, start with the initial level or special bottle nipples where the flow is very mild and slow.
  2. Cues to pick for sizing up the bottle nipples-your baby may find difficulty in suckling and act fussy. He may start suckling hard to get more quantities or may even fall asleep while feeding. That’s when you should start considering larger or higher-level bottle nipples.

WHY CHOOSE THE CORRECT NIPPLE SIZE FOR THE BABY’S FEEDING BOTTLE?

The whole purpose of considering the correct nipple size for the baby’s feeding bottle is to provide a good feeding experience for both the baby and the feeder. Choosing the correct size should be a priority to make sure your baby is properly and well-fed for healthy growth. As mentioned earlier, you would not want your baby to struggle in swallowing or get choked while suckling. These signs may even pose a threat to the health of your baby. 

You may also consider the shapes of the nipples. A standard nipple shape is dome-shaped and taller which is very close to the shape of the mothers. There are orthodontic ones that are shaped in a specific way to fit the baby’s mouth. Y-cut nipples are also available for thicker infant formula and cereal. You can also check out the best bottle nipples for breastfed babies at Rabitat.

 

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF BABY BOTTLES?

The types of baby bottles can be categorized material-wise, latex and silicone ones. Latex bottles are softer material but retain the odour of the milk and tend to wear out faster. Whereas silicone feeding bottles are firmer, easier to clean, and can last up to a year. The best you can buy is the silicone bottles that mimic the breast of a mother and are squeezable for the feel of natural feeding. Also, opt for baby bottles with non-leaking dual air vents to prevent colic in babies. Bottles with changeable nipples will be ideal for long-term investment as you can change the size of the nipple as the baby grows. Now that you have all the info, it’s time you get the best baby food feeder bottle.

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Maternity Leave in India: What all can you do?

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Maternity Leave in India: What all can you do?

 
 
saa Chhavi
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A woman grows up in the true sense when she realizes the new life growing inside of her. Bringing and nurturing new life transforms us into MOTHERs. 

Motherhood is all about giving, and it's always been. I keep looking at my mom and think "What is her life without me?" And if I ask her this, she'll say, "Nothing!" without a thought. Daughters don't understand, not until we ourselves become mothers. 

Sure, there's a lot that goes on in your mind when you realize that you're pregnant; one of the first things that come to a working woman's mind is 'maternity leave'. Isn't it? We know we can only sustain if given this super important break from work, from career, from life, basically, and venture into the new life of nourishing the new life.

Maternity leave is all about taking care of the newborn and the new you. But how can you make good use of it? When should you take it and for how long should you be on it? Also, if you don't work that entire time, and if you're lucky, still be paid for it, how do you keep up with your professional life? There's obviously a lot of things that need to be taken care of in addition to you and your baby. And for this, we have some wonderful tips on how you can make your maternity leave worthwhile. We will also tip you on how you can keep yourself updated with respect to your career so that when you actually join back, you're ready for it. 

Now, without further ado, let's begin!

How long is maternity leave in India?

Under the new law passed by the Lok Sabha in 2017, the maternity leave for first and second-time mothers is now 26-week long (6.5 months). For mothers with at least two children, the length is 12 weeks. 

For adopting mothers as well as those opting for surrogacy, the duration of maternity leave is 12 weeks, beginning from the day the child is handed over to them. 

What is the best time to start my maternity leave? 

You are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave, and when you start it is up to you. However, you can't take more than 8 weeks before your due date. 

The best time to start your maternity leave actually depends on your comfort. If you're okay working even until 2-3 weeks to your due date, it's your best (honestly don't risk it, the good news might come early!). It's always good to have plans and precautions, though. Better consult your gynaecologist to know when you should stop working and take complete rest.

Things you can do on Maternity Leave, in the right order

  • Plan and organize

When you begin your maternity leave, assumingly at least 4 weeks before you're due, you can start planning and organizing. 

You should sort things at the workplace and start handing them over to your colleagues. So, by the time your leave begins, you would have completely deboarded to stay off the stress. 

Moreover, it's time when you can work around baby proofing your house, stocking up essentials such as diapers, swaddles, cot, feeding bottles, and clothes for the baby. You also need to start preparing yourself for the big life change you're about to go through. It's not easy, you will have to learn to accept it. Now is the best time for that! So, think and have everything sorted. It will save a lot of time and energy. Trust the guts! 

  • Keep a baby journal or photo book

Moving ahead and believing that by this time, you've already given birth to your child. I think that the best thing you can do, apart from feeding and changing their nappies, is keeping a journal! Write things down. Monitor the changes in your body and thoughts and take pictures! The baby will grow so fast and you'll regret not taking the pics then. Please don't miss this one, it's precious and makes the initial postpartum days exciting, which are otherwise usually tiresome. 

  • Exercise

Forgive me if it breaks your heart, but you'll most likely still look pregnant even after you deliver. Apologies!

I understand you've just birthed a baby and the extra body weight and fat is justified, but you can start exercising whenever you feel like it. There's no perfect timing to it.  

  • Take care of YOU

Snuggling and cuddling is going to remain for the next few years of your life. But the one thing you must not forget doing is taking care of yourself! Remember, the child feeds off you, literally, and this also includes your energies. So, pamper yourself as much as you do your child and make sure that only the best and positive vibes touch your baby. Happy mommy = Happy Child, always! 

  • Meditate 

As there's a thing called postpartum depression, you might want to consider meditating even before you deliver. 

Mindfulness and meditation have plenty of benefits for pregnant women and the growing child backed by science. You won't only stay calm, but also understand how meditation changes your life. Besides, it has many long term benefits

  • Join a mommy group

You might be surrounded by your partner throughout, especially if they're on paternity leave, but still feel alone. Primarily because they don't understand. Pregnant and new mother's often feel the need to vent to women at the same stage of their lives to share their feelings and emotions. This is essentially because you feel connected, comforted, and surrounded. Additionally, it will also keep your social life active, which otherwise takes a hit around this time.

  • Go on a date with your spouse

Aah, yes! With all the baby and mommy things going, you could actually even just completely forget your husband/partner! LOL. Come on, don't laugh, it isn't funny. Plan a date with your partner and keep giving yourselves an "away-baby" time so you know that you have a life beyond them. 

This will keep your romance game on, and you'll never feel like you're missing your partner. This is another must! 

All these things are important as you'll be home 24*7, which is something you wouldn't have done in years. It's nobody's but your duty to keep things light as you begin your maternity leave, instead of taking everything on your head. 

Let it, keep it, rocking! 

How to prepare going back to work post maternity leave?

Damn! Did I have to join back? 

Err. Yep. Maybe. Completely up to you. Whether you want to extend your leave, join from home, or drop the idea of going back to work is your choice. However, if you do join, you'll see a lot of things changed at your workplace. Some people (the newbies) may or may not recognise you, you might feel that you aren't respected the same way just because you haven't been keeping up. 

Depending on the type of job you have, there's a thing or two you can do about it. 

First, on your leave, you can have regular Skype or Zoom calls with your colleagues, say once or twice a week so you know exactly what's happening in the office. It doesn't have to be about work but more of a social, keep-up thing. 

Second, if your company's HR allows you to, you can continue working flexible part-time from home to stay connected to your profession and work-life. 

EndNote

In addition to the pregnancy, it's the maternity leave that is exciting because it offers you to stay and bond with your baby. Moreover, it's an absolutely amazing time that you can spend at home with your family and most importantly, yourself. Your otherwise busy schedule would've never allowed you to live so freely. Take the time to love your new family, your partner, and yourself.

Take it, don't lose it. 

 

Happy Mommying!

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Breastfeeding Techniques for New Moms and those to be

New Born | 5 Min Read

Breastfeeding Techniques for New Moms and those to be

 

 
 
saa Chhavi

 

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We're happy about being new parents, exuberant about bringing a life to the world, and cheerful about constantly having a mini version of ourselves at home. We get so excited that some of us even over prepare ourselves - buy toys, clothes, milk bottles, baby and mother diapers, cot, and whatnot! The one thing that we forget, though, is the fact of having to feed the baby as soon as they sway out of the womb. Some of us do plan it, but most of us skip it like we skip our periods. We must remember that it is as natural as it is, and yet as technical as it could be.

Latching

Latching is not tricky per se, but it can be somewhat difficult in the first few times you nurse your newborn. 

All you need to do is grasp your breasts and place your thumb a little above the areola and the fingers below it, and move the nipple around your baby's mouth until they open and start to suck. Also, ensure that the areola is also inside the mouth, instead of only the nipple. 

Proper latching would be evident when you see your little one's long yet slow jaw, temple, or ear movements. You'll get used to doing it within just two-three times that you do it. 

Techniques for Comfortable Breastfeeding

If you really think it through, it just happens. The moment you push your baby out of your body (or it is taken out), you will be able to feel the yearning for them. The nurse will give you the baby to hold to your chest, and then a series of events will follow, eventually leading to your little one sucking milk out of you. 

It won't be so difficult with nurses and your family around you for help, however, when you go back home, on your own, with not many mom-experts to help you, that is when you'll know how much you needed this guide. 

Read on. 

The Cradle Hold

The first, classic picture that comes to our heads of breastfeeding is holding the baby in our arms while sitting comfortably with a straight back. The baby's tummy touches ours and the baby calmly feeds. This position or technique is the Cradle Hold Technique. For better comfort, if your baby feeds from the right breast, hold your baby primarily with the right forearm, supported by the left; likewise for the left.

Side-lying Technique

This technique is ideal and practical for night feeds or for women who can't sit for longer or have had a cesarean and/or stitches. You simply lie down on your side and the baby either lies on their back or side and feeds. 

The Crossover-cradle Hold Technique

If your baby has trouble latching on, this technique may be better for you than the normal cradle technique. Very much similar to cradle style but you switch your arms with respect to the breast, so there's a crossover between you and the baby. The baby feeding from the left lies carefully and cozily clung in your right forearm, easily latching on and supported by the left arm.

Laid-back Position for C-section Moms

Breastfeeding in other positions is often difficult for C-section moms as they involve the baby resting on the stomach. The laid-back position allows you to lie on your back and let the baby rest on your shoulder and feed, not exerting any pressure on the stitches. 

The Rugby Hold Technique

Sit comfortably in your bed and hold your baby tucked under your arm like a rugby ball - this arm will be the same side that the baby's nursing from. You can support the back of the baby with the forearm and hold them face-up with the lips reaching the nipples easily. Hold your breast with your opposite arm and allow the baby to take it in. 

This position can be used by moms with twins, one in each hand, have large breasts or flat nipples, or those who have had C-sections. 

Upright Breastfeeding Technique

This is another position or technique that has to do with sitting. Sit on a chair or a bench and allow the infant to sit or straddle on your thighs so they face up and feed.

This position is much better for babies suffering from reflux or ear infections, older babies who can support themselves, or very young infants with proper anchorage and support. It also works fine with babies with tongue-tie. 

Reclining Position Technique

This is a relatively comfortable position that allows you to lie in bed and nurse. You will need to cradle the baby and support them in your arms, while also aligning your back and hips in one straight line (so it doesn't give you a backache). Hold the baby close to your chest and let them feed. If it makes the process better, you can put some blankets or pillows below the baby to keep them high enough to feed without, again, getting some pain in the arms.

Additional Tips

Since most of your time will go nursing, you have to make some arrangements to make the process comfortable. This is very, very important because sitting/lying in the same position for hours can give you backaches or other problems, which must not happen. Therefore, we have some additional tips for you:

  • If you have to sit to breastfeed, please ensure that your chair has appropriate support and isn't very hard and strong. Try to get something cushiony, or get some cushions or blankets to make yourself comfortable and well-supported in your position.
  • Your own body posture should be well kept. If you hunch forward or backward or hold your shoulders high, you may get body aches. 
  • You need to take good care of your nipples. Although they are self-lubricating and don't require special cleaning, you still should make sure that the bras or clothes you wear are super clean and safe. 
  • To make it a point, please don't use any soap or lotion on your nipples.
  • Your fluid intake decides a lot on your body's milk production for the baby, so make sure you consume plenty of water. 

 

And that is it for now,

Happy Mommying!

 

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Benefits of Feeding pillow & how to use it?

New Born | 4 Min Read

What are the benefits of feeding pillow and how to use it ?

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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We all desire and look for comfort and ease while buying most of the products be it clothing, sofa, bed or pillow, etc. And when it comes to your little one, you want to provide all the comfort and safety. A Nursing Pillow is one such product that you can consider buying. 

IS THERE ANY NEED FOR FEEDING PILLOW?

You will find a lot of blogs saying that a baby-breastfeeding pillow is not essential and it’s just commercial hype. But only a mom can give us an honest answer to this. So I reached out to a few doting mothers and asked the same question. The answer is Yes and they replied without even slight hesitation. The reasons are mainly for ergonomic positioning or convenience while feeding and for the support to hold the weight of their babies otherwise it’s too exhausting on their arms. But again it can be a subjective experience as some babies may not like the Nursing Pillow or even the parents may prefer not to use one.

HOW TO USE A NURSING PILLOW

Most of the commercial Feeding Pillows come in U-shaped or crescent-shaped that wraps around the breastfeeding mother’s waist. Using a Nursing Pillow is no rocket science and can be used the way most comfortable for you. However, we are more than happy to assist you in case it’s the first time you are using one.

  1. Place the feeding pillow around the waist or on your lap after you are seated comfortably. Make sure you have good back support so that you don’t get a backache which may take a toll in the future.
  2. Hold your baby gently in the position where his tummy faces towards your body. Your arm holding the baby’s head should be resting on the pillow to help you support the baby’s weight.
  3. Position your baby in an inclined position with his head slightly tilted upward adjusting the feeding pillow accordingly. Improper positioning may lead to gastric reflux or difficulty in swallowing
  4. A nursing pillow is not just limited to feeding time but can be used as back or tummy support during pregnancy.
  5. It can be also used in different ways as the baby grows up, be it tummy-time or supporting when he sits.

BENEFITS OF USING A FEEDING PILLOW

  1. By now, you must have gotten some ideas on how you can benefit from using a nursing pillow. To make you more informed, let’s discuss a little more about the benefits.
  2. Helps you support your back and tummy during your pregnancy and makes it less painful.
  3. For your newborn to get a good latch maintaining the ideal height for the ergonomic position and avoid acid reflux.
  4. The breastfeeding pillow can be used by anyone especially when the baby is bottle-fed as the mommy can take some time off.
  5. Less pressure on your arm and muscle tension by supporting the baby’s weight. 
  6. Even in the case of a C-section, it helps to prevent less pressure on the stitches while feeding and helps in healing faster.
  7. Using a nursing pillow during tummy-time helps to strengthen your baby’s neck muscle and at the same time ease him. 
  8. Supports the baby while sitting preventing him from falling.

SIDE EFFECTS OF USING A NURSING PILLOW

There may not necessarily be side-effects of using a Nursing Pillow however there may be some if not used correctly or when failed to buy the right one. An ill-fitted Nursing pillow may add discomfort to the baby and also soreness to the mother’s arm. There could be interference with a good latch if the Feeding Pillow is not placed properly. There could be difficulties while breastfeeding when you don’t have the Nursing Pillow with you as both the baby and you are accustomed to using it. Also when you leave your baby with the feeding pillow unattended, it may press the baby’s face and can be in a bad, dangerous position.

TIPS FOR BUYING THE BEST FEEDING PILLOW

It can be difficult to choose the best feeding pillow if you are buying one for the first time. The wide market for the same product may confuse you as all brands claim to be the best. Your desired product may also not be readily available at the offline-stores. In this case, you may consider a few tips for buying the best feeding pillow online. 

  1. Choosing a good-fitted Nursing Pillow is the first step to consider. You can look for a U or crescent-shaped nursing pillow as it is more likely adjustable in fitting your torso well. Make sure it’s not too bulky or too flat for a good latch. 
  2. The fabric or material of the nursing pillow should be baby-friendly preferably cotton as it is less likely to give allergy or rashes to the baby.
  3. The Nursing Pillow should be washable as the baby often tends to spit and throw up. Also using a clean feeding pillow is a hygienic practice.
  4. You should also consider its versatility for multiple usages and should be a long-term investment so that your baby adapts to it as he grows up.
  5. Basics are boring so try some colourful and fun printed Nursing Pillows. 


You may check our Rabitat website as our product fits all the above criteria. We also believe our Nursing Pillows are perhaps the best Feeding Pillow available in India. Go get your favourite one and get set to Happy Parenting!

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Is Your Baby Teething? Here are the signs to look out for

New Born | 4 Min Read

Is Your Baby Teething? Here are the signs to look out for

 
 
Surbhi Surbhi Dhuper
1F

Teething is an important milestone for your baby. When you see those tiny little pearls shine through their smiles, you would want to capture it in your memories forever. However, it is also a time when your baby could go through discomfort. In this article, I have compiled a list of the signs and symptoms that your baby’s teeth are about to come.

When does teething start?

In most cases, teething starts between the age of six to twelve months. Every baby has her own developmental journey, and no one can say with certainty when your baby will reach the stage.

Some babies start teething earlier than six months, and a few get their first tooth after one year. Don't be surprised if your baby is born with a tooth or gets one in the first few days after birth. Yes, that's possible too!

Genetics plays a crucial role here. If other members in the family were late bloomers, it is a possibility for your baby too.

What are the symptoms of teething?

Some babies have an easy time when their first few teeth are about to come in. However, for some, it can be a terrible experience. If you are unaware of why your baby has been irritable and giving you sleepless nights, look for these symptoms. Perhaps, she is teething.

Drooling

Your baby will start drooling around the age of 3 to 4 months. In some babies, the saliva is so excessive that you may have to keep a bib on at all times.

Drooling occurs from the salivary glands that tend to become active. It happens as the baby's body starts preparing it for solid foods. Saliva, as we know, helps in the digestion of food. However, your baby's incoming teeth also tend to bring in the waterworks.

Teething tends to activate the muscle movements in the mouth. Due to this, the salivary glands tend to become overactive.

Chafed skin or rash

Several babies tend to develop redness, rashes, or chaffed skin around the mouth when they are teething. It happens because of the constant drool that won't stop. The moisture doesn't do them any good.

You either pat it dry with a soft cloth for some relief. Remember to not rub at the affected area, or the skin may get more irritated. Another option is to apply some thick cream like Vaseline or extra virgin coconut oil to avoid rashes.

Coughing

Coughing that may turn into gagging is a sign of teething. It happens due to the excessive drool in the baby's mouth. As long as the coughing is not incessant and not accompanied by fever, it should not be a reason to worry.

Crying

Babies have no other way to express their discomfort other than crying. The inflammation in their gums before the teeth come out can be tough to bear. The pain and the inability to express themselves can make them fussy and irritable. This kind of behavior is more common before the first tooth comes in. 

While some babies cross this stage easily, some will be irritable for a few weeks before teething. You can check with your doctor about giving medication to offer some relief from the pain.

Refusal to eat

With the gums already tender, your baby may not be up for eating. Although they will want something to chew on, they may not be too keen on breastfeeding or eating solid foods. The sucking action also tends to hurt their tender gums more. While this is normal, you can connect with the doctor if you are too bothered by it. 

Pulling ears, banging heads or rubbing cheeks

As the nerves in the face are interconnected, the pain may travel to their ears and head. These are some common symptoms associated with teething. If you notice these, try soothing your baby by giving something soft to chew on. You can offer teething rings or carrot slices to offer some immediate relief.

Fever

Before teething, your baby can run a low-grade fever. Generally, the temperature should be below 101 F. If it is more or if it lasts longer, you may want to connect with the doctor.

How can you comfort your baby during teething?

Teething is a tough period for some babies. It can become all the more difficult for you and the baby when you have to go through sleepless nights. However, it is the time when the baby will need you the most. Try to comfort her by massaging her gums gently with a clean finger.

Another option is to give her teething rings to chew on. Some rings can be kept in the fridge. The cool rings will provide some much-needed relief to their gums. However, remember to sterilize it daily to keep the germs at bay.

For how long does teething last?

In theory, this stage will last until the full set of 20 teeth come in. However, the discomfort is felt before the first tooth comes in or when the molars are about to come. The symptoms may come and go till then. As the baby will become experienced with it, she will learn how to handle it well.

 

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Here’s Every Reason Why you Must Breastfeed your Baby

New Born | 6 Min Read

Here’s Every Reason Why you Must Breastfeed your Baby

 
 
saa Chhavi
2f-1

Breastfeeding is a perfectly natural process but deciding whether you should go ahead with it is subjective. You may not want to breastfeed for any reason but you must not come to a conclusion considering one part of the spectrum. There are many, many incredible ways breastfeeding can help both you and your child.  

One of the most primary reasons that a mother should opt for breastfeeding is that it's 100% natural. Milk that's being produced inside your body, neither being processed by any kind of factory nor having any additives, and yet it is enough for all the nutrition your little pie needs. Besides, it is most readily digested by the baby's body (unless the child is intolerant to milk or lacks some digestive enzyme). Needless to say, it's priceless - literally. 

Analytically speaking, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed your baby for at least 6 months and continue with solid foods until the baby's at least 1 year of age or until you're both ready to move on without it. The WHO, likewise, vouch for breastfeeding until your younger one is at least 2 years old, starting with as early as an hour post the delivery. 

Breastfeeding Benefits both the Mother and the Child, here's how: 

Breastfeeding benefits for the baby

1. Breast milk serves as a complete meal for a baby by providing all the necessary nutrients.

Breast milk is so apt for your baby that its composition changes to fit the baby’s changing needs as they grow older. It is therefore that doctors recommend that only breast milk should suffice for your little one for the first six months of their life. 

The initial production of breast milk, thick and yellow, is called the colostrum and is incredibly high in nutrients and antibodies, providing the baby with instantly acquired immunity, which can be rarely provided by formula milk. So much so, it is ideal to be considered a must for infants. 

However, though, your milk may not be enough to provide your baby with enough vitamin D, depending on your vitamin intake. You may want to sunbathe your baby in the early morning hours to avoid harmful, direct sunlight. Only about 30 minutes of sun per week should be enough.

2. Breast milk provides antibodies and passive immunity.

As we discussed in the previous point, breast milk contains antibodies and therefore provides the baby momentary as well as long-lasting passive immunity. This immunity is especially important for the early months of your child as their body is still developing the immune system. 

Formula milk may contain all that you want but it still doesn’t have antibodies. 

Likely it’s therefore that children who weren’t breastfed are at higher risk of developing infections

 

3. Exclusive breastfeeding may mean low vulnerability to various diseases for the child.

Exclusive breastfeeding has its own set of benefits, which include reducing your newborn’s vulnerability to many infections, such as respiratory tract infections, middle ear infections, cold flu and infections, and gastrointestinal tract infections. Further, it can also save your child from diseases and issues such as intestinal tissue damage, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), allergies and allergy diseases like asthma and eczema, bowel syndromes, diabetes, and childhood leukemia

4. Breast milk may reduce the likelihood of unhealthy weight gain.

Breast milk may do this in more than just one way.

  1.   Breastfed babies are found to have higher numbers of beneficial gut bacteria, which usually also affect fat storage in the body.
  2.   Moreover, their bodies also tend to produce more leptin, which is a hormone involved in regulating appetite and fat storage.
  3.   Breast milk also allows babies to self-regulate their milk intake, unlike formula milk. So they only feed and eat until they satisfy their hunger, therefore developing healthy eating habits.

5.   Breastfeeding may promote healthy brain development in your child.

When you’re feeding your baby, everything from your physical proximity to your eye contact gets the child. This, along with the nutritional benefits of breast milk, may work in a manner so as to promote brain development. Some studies have shown that breastfed children indeed have higher intelligence scores than others. Additionally, they are also less likely to develop behavioral problems when they grow up.

Breastfeeding benefits for you, the MOM

1. Breastfeeding has been found to help lose post-partum weight in mothers.

Have you heard of this from your mom or grandmother? Well, how better could it get! Although post-partum weight loss varies by body type, some women seem to lose weight while breastfeeding.

2. Breastfeeding helps bring down the size of your uterus.

Harboring your growing baby for a long period of 9 months expands your uterus and you look big. But breastfeeding miraculously brings us a lot of hope by stimulating the production and release of oxytocin, which is a hormone that helps the uterus go back to its original size.

3. Breastfeeding reduces an expecting mother’s vulnerability to postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is a common form of depression that affects new mothers after one of the most remarkable moments of their lives. Imagine, being on top of the world one day and not wanting to hold your baby the next. Yep, it’s that bad and that crappy.

The good news, again, is that breastfeeding and postpartum mood and behavior seem to be related. Women who breastfeed appear less likely to have postpartum depression. However, the converse also seems to be true, the mothers who experience postpartum depression shortly after delivery are more prone to have breastfeeding troubles.

4. Breastfeeding may protect you against various diseases as well.

We have already discussed how breast milk may help your child to stay away from a number of diseases. Simultaneously, breastfeeding is also associated with a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers in breastfeeding mothers.

Plus, it may also reduce your risk for developing a hypertension, arthritis, cardiovascular disorders, cholesterol, and Type II diabetes.

10. Breastfeeding pauses menstruation.

Do you need a better reason than this? By god’s grace, breastfeeding helps you to space two pregnancies. It is very, very wise to have some time between you birth another baby and breastfeeding helps by preventing menstruation.

Lastly, why not!

You produce the milk, why not use it?

Maybe it is the least of your concerns, but breast milk is being produced by your body. There may not be anything more pure than this potion. You don’t need to worry about sterilizing milk bottles or buying formulas. It’s more convenient and given the number of benefits breast milk offers, it makes it worth it.

Conclusion

Breastfeeding undoubtedly has many benefits. However, it remains a mother’s choice whether she wants to do it or not. You must consider all the aspects and then do it instead of being at it under societal pressure. 

Happy Mommying!

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Pregnancy Foods to Avoid

4 Min Read

Pregnancy Foods to Avoid

Surbhi

Surbhi

Pregnancy Foods

Several women, who have been there, would agree that while getting pregnant is one thing, the  journey to meeting your baby is another. When the baby finally announces its arrival in your womb, your life is no longer only yours. And for that matter, your body too. 

Amidst all the body changes that you have to go through, you also develop new tastes. As you try to wrap your head around an inexplicable dislike towards your favourite foods, you will also have to avoid a few things. 

Without further ado, here is a roundup of all the food items that can cause harm to you or your baby, Of course, you can check with your health practitioner if you would still want to have them in limited quantities. Every pregnancy is different, and if you are lucky, your doctor may allow you a few cheat meals.

  • Caffeine

Are you one of those who find it tough to go about your day without your cuppa? Well, you will have to let it go while you are expecting, for better or for worse. Caffeine gets passed on to the baby through your placenta, and the baby does not have the right enzymes to digest it. Due to this accumulation, caffeine can lead to low birth weight, type 2 diabetes in the baby, and other growth and development issues. In some cases, it can also cause infant death.

Your doctor will be in a better position to guide you if you would still like to have it every once one in a while. 

  • Alcohol

With your pregnancy, must begin your abstinence period as far as alcohol is considered. While your doctor may allow you an occasional glass of wine, having anything during your first trimester is a big no-no. It can result in miscarriage or deformities in the facial features of your baby.

There are several other ways in which alcohol can impact your baby. Apart from low birth weight and stillbirth, it can cause permanent disabilities in your child. It includes physical, mental and behavioural problems, which are collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).

Don't worry if you have been enjoying your alcohol till now. It is never too late to stop.

  • Fruits like papaya and pineapple

The first thing that my mother-in-law told me when I announced my pregnancy to her was to stop eating papaya. Honestly, I didn't believe that fruit could cause harm to me or my baby. However, when my doctor gave me the same advice, I had to research a bit.

Papaya has earned this reputation due to latex, which can cause premature contractions and even miscarriage. It also contains enzymes like papain and pepsin, which can cause abnormalities in your baby.

Similarly, pineapple contains bromelain, which can induce labour. It is why you must avoid it throughout your pregnancy but can have it as you inch closer to your due date.

  • Street food

While there is nothing primarily wrong with street food, it is the hygiene aspect that you should be careful about. Some women crave for their favourite chaat items more during pregnancy. However, it is advisable to cook them at home to satisfy your cravings.

Street vendors may skip the hygiene norms and offer substandard items that may cause discomfort. Any instance of indigestion or diarrhoea may cause an electrolyte imbalance and lead to more complicated health problems. Moreover, spicy food may increase your heartburn which is a common complaint during those nine months.

  • Raw meat and eggs

If you are a fan of sushi or cold cut meats, we have some bad news for you. Uncooked meats and eggs are home to parasites and harmful bacteria such as salmonella. 

Apart from this, you will also have to be careful about eating fish. Although a rich source of proteins and essential nutrients, some varieties of fish have a high content of mercury. It is related to developmental issues in the brain or nervous system of the unborn baby. Tuna and king mackerel belong to this category and should be avoided at all costs. 

  • Fenugreek seeds

These power-packed seeds are a blessing for lactating mothers and are often given to them in the form of methi laddoos. Methi seeds have a high concentration of galactagogues that help in breastmilk production. However, it can cause contractions and should not be consumed up until the 37th week of the pregnancy. 

  • Unpasteurised milk and cheese

Milk and its products are one of the best superfoods that you can have in your pregnancy. However, you must boil the milk and avoid all unpasteurised milk products. It is because such food items may contain harmful microbes that may impact the growth of your baby.

  • Ajinomoto

Ajinomoto is the reason why you enjoy Chinese food from your local street vendor. It gives an inexplicable delicious flavour to your noodles, and it is this taste that keeps calling you back.

However, Ajinomoto can have health implications. Also known as monosodium glutamate, or MSG, it can have adverse effects during your pregnancy. When had in excessive amounts, it can damage the placental layer that protects your baby from the acidic food in your stomach. 

Even when you go to a restaurant to indulge in your favourite Chinese cuisine, it is advisable to check with the staff if they add MSG to their food. If they do, I recommend ordering something that does not have it.

In Summary

I have tried my best to share a comprehensive list of foods to avoid during your pregnancy. However, several households will have more items added to this list. For the safety of your child, it is best to check with your doctor and clear your doubts.

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Pregnancy Photoshoot - Capture Your Pregnancy in Pictures

4 Min Read

Pregnancy Photoshoot - Capture Your Pregnancy in Pictures

Surbhi

Pregnancy Photoshoot

Pregnancy photoshoot is a lovely way to capture the time when you and your baby are one. Well, almost literally! Whether you have a comfortable pregnancy or a tough one, you will always remember this time fondly several years down the lane. A pregnancy photoshoot could be your way to capture these moments forever.

There are multiple reasons why you should think of a pregnancy shoot. Firslty, your body is going through significant changes at this point, and the pregnancy photoshoot will be a sweet reminder of this time. Secondly, you can use these pictures to announce your pregnancy on social media, in the most beautiful way. Lastly, you can also add these pictures in your baby's photo album. 

Here is a roundup of some tips and ideas that can make your pregnancy photoshoot a worthwhile one. 

  • Use Photo Props

The ideal time for the pregnancy photo shoot is the seventh or the eighth month. However, some mothers may not be in a physical condition to go ahead with the shoot. At such times, you can use interesting props to share the news of your pregnancy with your friends and family. Photo props are also a good option if you are not comfortable sharing your bump with the world. We all have our beliefs, and an expecting mother should only do what she finds comfortable.

For the props, you can choose cute onesies, booties, or even your baby's ultrasound image. Other options are balloons, buntings or a chalkboard. You can also put your creative hat on and think of more quirky ideas for the shoot.

  • Include the family

Your family is perhaps on cloud nine with your pregnancy. While your husband is beaming with joy, your elder child must be eagerly awaiting the arrival of a sibling. Including them in your photoshoot will make it more fun and also allow you to capture your family's spirit.

If you have pets, do not forget them either. After all, they are integral members of your family and will play a crucial role in the life of your little one.

  • Capture your journey

An interesting way to journal those nine months is to take pictures of your bump in the same position every month. When the baby is born, you can take another one in the same pose, while holding your baby in your hands. There are several apps that you can use to create beautiful collages with these images. And the best part is that you can do it yourself.

Similarly, you can capture the size of your growing belly throughout your pregnancy. You can write the size of your tummy in inches on a chalkboard or hold an object that signifies the size of your sweet pea growing inside your womb.

  •  Paint your belly

If you are comfortable with the idea, you can work with a professional to paint your belly with something meaningful. The artist can try and put your imagination into colours with beautiful artwork. Or else, you can also have the elder child doodle on your tummy with everything he/she wishes for the younger sibling.

  • Flowing garments 

For this one, you will have to find the right flowy gown. It should be flattering to your body and also emphasise your belly. As you discuss this idea with your photographer, ask for an arrangement for the gentle wind to blow the dress for an aesthetic image.

  • Walking through a park

Pregnancy photoshoots amidst nature are a great idea. With a green landscape as your backdrop, your images will be nothing less than drop-dead gorgeous. You can take candid pictures as you walk with your husband and indulge in some real banter. 

  • Wear comfortable clothes

As you prep for your shoot day, make some arrangements in advance. In all probability, your photographer will organise the shoot in the magic hour. It is the time around the break of the dawn or just before sunset. Plan what you will wear as per the temperature to maintain your comfort. Think about at least two looks for you and your family to make the most of your shoot day. Pack all the props and accessories so that you don't forget them at the last moment.

  • Hire a professional photographer

When you are investing in a professional photoshoot, it makes sense to hire someone who knows the ropes. A photographer who is aware of the nuances will be able to deliver beautiful pictures that will serve as your fond memories for this lifetime. Manish and Andra are a photographer duo who are known for doing justice to their work. You can take a look at the Instagram page to know more.

Finally

When you are planning your photoshoot, do what seems the most comfortable for you. Discuss your ideas with your husband and the photographer to capture these moments in the most wonderful way.

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Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week Guide

7 Min Read

Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week Guide

Surbhi

Surbhi

Pregnancy

When you are pregnant for the first time, you have a hundred questions on your mind. Apart from your baby's wellbeing, the other thing that may concern you are the multiple changes your body will go through. For some women, the changes are more prominent and begin right after they conceive. Some expecting mothers are fortunate enough as their bodies change gradually.

The fact of the matter is that as the baby will grow, your body will change to meet the baby's needs. For instance, your uterus will expand to 500 times its size. It is nothing short of nature's wonder.

Here is a week-by-week guide of what's in store for you in this nine-month-long period. For your convenience, I have divided it into three trimesters.

Trimester 1:

It includes the period from week 1 of your pregnancy and lasts till the 13th week. 

Week 1 and 2:

These are the weeks that immediately follow the last date of your last menstrual cycle. At this time, there is no baby in sight, but a whole lot of hormones are preparing your uterus for the next fertilised egg. It is the time when the lining of your uterus starts thickening, and the amount of estrogen is on the rise.

Although you are not technically pregnant at this point, you may want to start taking your prenatal vitamins. It is also advisable to abstain from alcohol and smoking if you are trying for a baby.

Week 3 and 4:

Week 3 is when you ovulate, and the egg and sperm meet to form a single-cell fertilised egg. Also called a zygote, it starts dividing into multiple cells. These cells ultimately develop into the embryo and the placenta.

During week 4, this cluster of cells, implant into your uterus. These cells divide into two groups later - one that will grow into your baby and the one that will form the placenta. At this stage, your baby is like a poppy seed.

Week 5 and week 6:

Your baby has now grown into the size of an orange seed in week 5. Believe it or not, your baby also has a tail at this point. Don't worry as it will sort out with time. In this week, your baby's circulatory system will start developing. Week 5 is when you have missed your period, and your home pregnancy test will be positive. As the pregnancy hormones start kicking in, you can experience nausea, tender breasts or smell sensitivity.

In week 6, your baby is like a little sweet pea. The surging hormones will increase your bathroom visits. You may also feel exhausted as you go about your day. It is also the week when the morning nausea will start kicking in.

Week 7 and 8:

In week 7, your bub is developing its hands and legs. Although you may not have started showing yet, your blouses will start getting snug around your chest. To fight your constant fatigue, you may want to start eating frequent meals throughout your day.

Week 8 is when your baby has grown to the size of a raspberry. The uterus, which is the size of a fist now, will try to make more space in your abdomen. Indigestion and flatulence may be your main concerns at this point.

Week 9 and 10:

Your bub is about the size of an olive now and is beginning to look more human. You can also hear the sound of its heartbeat during your regular checkups. 

With week 10, you enter the 3rd month of your pregnancy. About the size of a prune, your baby is starting to grow its bones. It is also the time when that tiny bump may begin to show.

Week 11, 12 and 13:

With ears, mouth and lips, your baby is taking its shape in full form now. At this point, you may start feeling hungrier, and that's a good thing. It is advisable to eat healthy as per your nutrition charts.

In week 12, your baby is now the size of a lime. If you have been unable to hear the heartbeat before, now could be your lucky time. At 150-170 beats per minute, your baby is working hard.

Week 13 is the last month of your first trimester. After this week, it could be safe to announce your pregnancy to the world.

Week 14 and 15:

About the size of a clenched fist, your baby is now sailing around in your tummy. Also, your baby's first hairs will start sprouting this week. As this is the beginning of your second trimester, you could start feeling more active. The morning sickness will reduce, and so will your bathroom trips.

In week 15, your baby has grown to the size of a pear and has fully-developed ears. If you were unable to gain weight in the first trimester, you could start seeing the change now. 

Week 16 and 17:

At 3-4 ounces, your baby is giving you every reason to be proud of her. The facial muscles have started developing, and those ears have started working too.

In week 17, your baby is about the size of a palm and the body fat has also started accumulating. You may experience more than normal vaginal discharge around this time.

Trimester 2 is your journey from week 18 to 27.

Week 18 and 19:

Between 5 to 6 ounces, your baby is now growing more with every passing week. Moreover, now your baby has started hiccuping and yawning.

In week 19, a waxy substance starts forming over your baby's skin to protect it from the amniotic fluid. You may begin experiencing those painful cramps and spasms in your legs right about now.

Week 20 and 21:

Week 20 is the midpoint of your pregnancy, and you are halfway through. Yaayy! Now there are only 20 more weeks till you can finally meet your little bundle of joy.

By week 21, your baby is about the size of a large banana. If that is not enough, the baby has started developing taste buds. Around this time, you may start noticing new stretch marks on your body. 

Week 22 and 23:

At week 22, your baby is about a pound heavy. This week, your baby's muscles will strengthen, and so will the grip of her tiny little fingers. The hormones in your body have started loosening your bones, and you may notice a change in the size of your feet.

By week 23, you may start noticing skin tags and discolouration in other areas. Linea nigra, a dark line that runs from your belly to pubic area may also become more pronounced.

Week 24 and 25:

At week 24, you are in the 6th month of your pregnancy. Your bub weighs about a pound at this point. All the facial features have also taken their shape.

At about one foot long, your baby starts practising breathing in week 25. Bleeding gums and painful haemorrhoids are two common complaints about this time.

Week 26 and 27:

At week 26, you may see your outie belly button for the first time. Your baby starts seeing from this week. Also, starting this week, your baby's movements may become more prominent in the form of those lovely kicks.

By week 27, your baby has started recognising your voice. At this stage, your uterus is about the size of a basketball. Swelling of your hand and feet will be the new changes in your body.

Trimester 3

Week 28 and 29:

At week 28, you officially enter the third trimester of your baby, who weighs more than 2 pounds. More than anything, she is busy blinking and dreaming. From now on, your troubles like backache, insomnia and skin sensitivity will start troubling you.

In the 29th week, your baby's head is about the size of a cauliflower. The wrinkled skin is smoothing out due to the fat deposits. Your doctor may also ask you to start recording the baby kicks from now on.

Week 30 and 31:

As the baby is packing on more weight, your belly will start expanding as well. The brain of your baby is developing, and the lanugo will start disappearing now.

In Week 31, your baby will weigh around 3 pounds. The little bub will also start practising a whole lot of things like sucking thumb and making faces. Your uterus will now be so big that it will start pushing against the other organs.

Week 32 and 33:

In week 32, you enter the 8th month of your pregnancy. The baby will feel tight inside your tummy as it is almost 4 pounds now. From now on, your body will start preparing for the delivering and Braxton Hicks contractions may become more common.

By week 33, your baby can distinguish between day and night. Her immune system is growing stronger. Your body will start demanding more rest now.

Week 34 and 35:

By week 34, your baby's nail beds are fully grown. You may start notice blurry vision and dry and irritated eyes.

Due to your baby's head pushing against your bladder, you may start visiting your bathroom more now.

Week 36 and 37:

It is around this time when the growth of your baby will slow down. As you enter the last month of your pregnancy, your discomfort may only increase.

Week 38,39 and 40:

As you prepare for your baby's arrival, you will notice your baby dropping into your pelvis. It will relieve the pressure off your lungs, allowing you to breathe better. Your doctor may ask you to watch out for early signs of labour or prepare you for a c-section.

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Parenting resolutions for 2021

5 Min Read

Parenting resolutions for 2021

Surbhi

Parenting

Parenting, as all other parents would agree, is no cakewalk. It takes a lot of patience, and at times, we find ourselves hanging only by a thread. However, it is also an area where we all want to get better, for the sake of our children. 

As we bid adieu to a challenging year, I thought of making a list of parenting resolutions for 2021. These resolutions are aimed at fostering a better relationship between the parent and the child. At the same time, they will also make parenting easier and simpler for you. You can go through the list and choose the ones that seem more relatable to your situation.

  • Avoid saying no, don't and stop

I have observed several parents who say no when they don't agree with something. The toddler puts a toy into her mouth, and pat comes a loud "No." The child spits out food, and they scream "Don't". Did you know that, when you use these words without any filter, you hardwire your child's brain to think negatively?

Of course, it doesn't mean you let your children do what they want to do. All you need is to be empathetic and explain why your child should not be doing something. As you do this, you will notice a change in their behaviour. They will listen more and will also be more responsive to what you have to say.

  • Focus more on life skills

In all probability, your children's school is doing a brilliant job at imparting education. While they are learning their ABCs and counting, nobody is teaching them life skills. 

In today's dynamic environment, when nothing is constant, many young people crumble under pressure. When you teach life skills to your children, you ensure that they are independent and can manage all the curve balls that life throws at them.

Some examples of life skills are self-defence, first-aid, decision making, problem-solving, budgeting, household chores, cooking and interpersonal skills. You can choose the activities per your child's age to nudge them in the right direction. You will be surprised at how fast they learn.  It can also become your way to spend meaningful time with them.

  • Teach them to be environmentally conscious

This year has been an eye-opener for all of us. 2020 saw untamable forest fires, locust attacks, cyclone and floods. All of this has been attributed to climate change by the experts. 

Unless we start caring for our environment today, our children could have a very bleak future. It is crucial not only for us to reduce our wastage and be more environmentally responsible, but we also need to teach our children the same.

You can start with tiny steps such as asking them to reduce their power and water wastage, reducing plastic and sharing toys and books with their friends. You can also grow your own little vegetable garden patch with the help of those tiny hands.

  • Have meaningful conversations 

You could be spending hours with your children, but do you engage them in meaningful conversations? Several parents are constantly involved in their cellphones as they try to spend time with their children. Not only does it send a wrong message, but they also end up setting a wrong example.

Children are, by nature, curious. They have a lot to learn and take a genuine interest in what you have to say. Even if it is for half an hour a day, give them your undivided attention. Tell them what's going on in your life. Instead of demonstrating a rosy picture, tell them if you are going through any challenges. 

You will be surprised at how sensitive and sensible they can be. As you do this, you strengthen your bond with them. It will be one of those few things that both of you will fondly remember after a few years.

  • Get back to routine

Because of the ongoing COVID pandemic, children are not going to schools, and their routines have gone for a toss. There are no fixed times to study, play or for that matter, take a shower. 

The start of a new year may be your cue to get everything back on track. Having a routine is essential for the physical and mental wellbeing of your children. When they sleep and wake up at the same time every day, their bodies and internal systems also align accordingly. They will look forward to their playtime and will be more attentive to their lessons.

  • Cut back on screen time

Understandably, several parents had no choice but to increase the screen time of their children this year. However, the vaccine is almost here, and there are good chances that things will go back to normal soon. At least, that's the hope.

It may be hard to cut back on the screen time of your children in one go. You will have to follow a gradual process, and the new year may be the right time to start. You can try to engage your child in other activities such as storytelling, art and craft or even asking them to help out with housework. Be creative and try to think of activities in advance to engage your child.

  • Eat healthily

Eating healthy is not the same as reducing weight. It means to eat clean, in the right portions and giving the right nutrition to your body.

To enable your child to make the right food decisions, you need to start early. Explain the reasons why they should limit their junk intake and eat clean. Tell them how processed and packaged food can compromise their immunity and cause health problems. 

When you have such dialogues with them, you also form a positive association between them and food. As they become capable of making the right food choices, they will build a positive body image and stay away from fad diets.

Finally

Parenting is a journey. Nobody is perfect and everyone has a tough time. At such times, all you can do is to reflect and think of how you can make things easier for yourself and your children. With these resolutions, you can empower your children and make them see the world a little better.

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Bathing Babies: Everything You Must Know

New Born | 4 Min Read

Bathing Babies: Everything You Must Know

Surbhi

Surbhi

Bathing Babies

Babies don't come with manuals, but if they did, I am sure the biggest one would be about bathing them. It is one of those many areas that nobody prepares a new mother for. The delicate bodies of babies, along with the inexperience of first-time mothers, is a combination that can give a mild scare to most of us. 

During these times of coronavirus, most mothers are raising their babies without any help. In this situation, the idea of bathing babies can give sleepless nights to the already sleep-deprived mothers. 

I have rounded up everything you should know about the bathing your little ones and tried my best to answer the questions that tend to rattle the minds of new parents.

Do you need to bathe your baby daily?

Babies don't get dirty, and it is perfectly alright if you don't want to give a bath daily. Perhaps, it is too cold in your city right now, or you are too tired from looking after your baby continuously. However, the diaper area should be thoroughly washed during every change. If it is not cleaned well or left moist, the baby may develop rashes or infection.

A better alternative is to give a sponge bath to your baby. It is a lot easier and will allow you to get familiar with this process. 

Is it necessary to wash the baby's hair every day?

Most Indian homes follow the ritual of massaging the baby before the bath. Massages relax babies and relieve them of gas and constipation. Moreover, they also help ease any muscle tension and growing pains in the babies. 

Massaging the head is an important step in these massages. However, you don't have to wash the head daily whether you are giving a massage or not. Twice a week is perfectly fine. However, you may want to do it more if the baby has been throwing up after the feeds.

Get your supply ready

Before you bring your baby to the bathing area, make sure you have everything ready. For your easy reference, here is a list of the supply you will need.

  • Warm water - Make sure the water is warm and not hot. Babies' skin is sensitive, and hot or cold water can cause health problems. The best way to test is by dipping your elbow into the water. If the temperature is good for your elbow, it is so for your baby too.
  • Mild baby soap - You can use any good quality paediatrician-prescribed soap for your baby. Many mothers prefer baby wash as they are easier to use, and there is no accidental slipping.
  • Towel - Your baby should have separate towels, and it will help to invest in a good-quality, soft fabric one. Your baby's body takes time to adjust to changing temperatures. It is the reason why you should immediately wrap your baby in a hooded towel to avoid chills and cold. For some good quality towels, check out the range of hooded towels rabitat.
  • Washcloth - In the initial days, you can be better off by giving a sponge bath to your baby. For this, you can invest in a soft, good-quality washcloth to give sponge baths to your baby.

How to give a bath to the baby

The Indian style of bathing babies is to lay them on outstretched legs and crossed ankles. It comes with practice, and new parents may not be comfortable with it. Besides, it may become difficult for parents suffering from persistent backaches.

If you are not comfortable with it, you can bathe your baby in a sink or a bathtub. For both these scenarios, you will have to take care of a few aspects. 

Bathing your baby in a bathtub

  1. For safety reasons, never fill too much water in the tub. The level should not be more than three inches. If the baby has started sitting, you can raise the water level. Secondly, never leave your baby unattended in the tub. 
  2. Before undressing your baby, fill the tub with warm water. Also, check the water's temperature to have it right for your baby.
  3. Immediately place the baby in the water or else she can catch a cold.
  4. The head of the baby should be above the water level at all times. To ensure this, give her the right support with one hand. It is all the more necessary if the baby is still not holding her head on her own.
  5. Whether you are using a washcloth or plain water, wash the baby from top to bottom. During the process, keep splashing warm water on the baby to avoid cold.
  6. If you need to shampoo the baby's hair, ensure that the water flows backwards and not on the face.
  7. After you are done, gently lift your baby with both your hands and wrap the baby in the hooded towels rabitat. 
  8. Gently pat the baby dry with soft strokes. Also, ensure that you have dried all the folds as moisture may lead to rashes.

Giving a bath to your baby in the sink

It may come as a surprise to Indian parents but bathing the baby in the sink is a common practice in the West. In fact, it is the easiest in the first few weeks after the baby is born. 

If you plan to bathe your baby in the sink, the first step is to clean the sink thoroughly. You can use a mixture of baking soda and lemon to remove tough stains. A sponge sink-insert can be used to provide padding to the baby. You may also want to get a faucet cover to avoid any accidental bumping. 

Conclusion

Armed with these details and information, I am sure bathing your baby will become a whole lot easier. Of course, it's a learning curve and gets better as the baby grows bigger.

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25 Pregnancy Quotes that Sum it All Up!

4 Min Read

25 Pregnancy Quotes that Sum it All Up!

Chhavi
Writer for Rabitat

Instagram
25 Pregnancy Quotes

For most of us, pregnancy is a result of constant work and effort. One might think that it happens out of a normal biological process, but if looked at it from a different side, you have to get your body prepared before you can actually plan it. You have to make sure that you’re taking the right nutrition to make your body capable of holding and growing a life inside. You have to be sure of the timing, take care of the expenses, ensure that you will be super ready to enjoy sleepless nights by the time you deliver, and whatnot. More than what we know, bearing a child is not a child’s play. Your motherly instincts have to be born before the baby.

Moreover, the entire process of birthing a baby can be exhausting and overwhelming. I remember when I was in the ninth month of my pregnancy, I just couldn’t believe I was finally there. The first few months flew by playfully. I trying to set in the vibe and I was exuberant. My family could see the glow on my face. However, as the pregnancy progressed and my body put on weight, I started getting those jerks of realization and acknowledgment, “The baby will be here in no time!” What would I do? How would I manage? Am I going to be a good mother? Am I going to remain a good wife and a daughter? How much would it pain? A lot? I got swamped in my own thoughts. I just could not get over my feelings + the hormones! That’s a combination that can place you at the bottom or on cloud 9. Apparently, there’s no in-between.

What then helped me was the internet! Surfing my social media feeds definitely made me confused about my whole pregnancy and life after. This isn’t really out of nowhere. Still, reading other women’s experiences helped me a LOT. This is why I feel like I have to help every other pregnant woman. You must remember, to help with someone’s ordeal, you don’t really have to be physically present. Just make them aware of the guarding walls you’re surrounding them with, lest something happens.

Here’s a list of the 20 best pregnancy quotes that helped me in my pregnancy, and shall help you in yours.

  1. “My body has given me the greatest gift of my life.” - Hillary Duff
  2. “Pregnancy is a process that invites you to surrender to the unseen force behind all life.” – Judy Ford
  3. “Life is tough enough without having someone kick you from the inside.” – Rita Rudner
  4. “Pregnancy is the only time when you can do nothing at all and still be productive.” – Evan Esar
  5. “People always say that pregnant women have a glow. And I say it’s because you’re sweating to death.” – Jessica Simpson
  6. “Now my belly is as noble as my heart.” – Gabriela Mistral
  7. “Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be.” — Carrie Fisher
  8. “Babies are always more trouble than you thought—and more wonderful.” — Charles Osgood
  9. “Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.” — Lin Yutang
  10. “A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years, and in your heart until the day you die.” — Mary Mason
  11. “A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.”— Unknown
  12. “You do a lot of growing up when you’re pregnant.  It’s suddenly like, ‘Yikes. Here it is, folks. Playtime is over.’” — Connie Fioretto
  13. “Every four weeks I go up a bra size… it’s worth being pregnant just for the breasts.” — Natasha Hamilton
  14. “Get comfortable. Have to pee. Get really thirsty after you pee. Drink an entire cup of water. Get comfortable. Have to pee again. I give up!” — Unknown
  15. “Your pregnant elephant ankles will return to normal. Just hang in there.” — Adriel Booker
  16. “Life doesn’t get more real than having a newborn at home.” — Eric Church
  17. “Ah, babies! They’re more than just adorable little creatures on whom you can blame your farts.” — Tina Fey
  18. “Birth takes a woman’s deepest fears about herself and show her that she is stronger than them.” — Unknown
  19. “It is the most powerful creation to have life that is growing inside of you. There is no bigger gift.” – Beyonce
  20. “A strong intention, a relaxed body and an open mind are the main ingredients for an active birth.” – Janet Balaskas
  21. “Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear.” —Jane Weideman
  22. “Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain‚your life will never be the same.” — Catherine Jones
  23. “No matter how bad my day’s been, it takes one little kick to make everything feel alright.” — Author Unknown
  24. “In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.” — Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn
  25. “We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.” — Laura Stavoe Harm

Being a mother is a thing of pride. Whether you give birth yourself or raise a child you didn’t deliver, you must know that your motherhood is as bright as the sun. So bright that it may blind the ones that look at it to disregard it, because it’s only meant to provide the world with light and warmth.

We wish you a very successful pregnancy and a prosperous life afterwards.

Happy Mommying!

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The Best Parenting Quotes for the New-Generation Parents

4 Min Read

The Best Parenting Quotes for the New-Generation Parents

Surbhi

best-parenting

Parenting is a no mean task by any measure. It often gets tough, and when it does, there is very little you can do at the moment. The best option then is to sit back, shut it out with some music, and relax. It is a journey for every parent, where no two experiences are alike.

Here is a list of parenting quotes that capture the essence of parenting. A few of these parenting quotes also have an element of humour to lighten your mood. At times, looking at the fun side gives you the motivation to get going.

"Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you have got, say, 'Oh, my gosh,' and recognise that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It is not a question of choice.” ― Marisa de Los Santos

Becoming a parent means a lifetime of responsibility. Embracing it will make the journey easier. If you keep questioning your choice, it is only going to make matters worse.

"Having a child is like getting a tattoo... on your face. You better be committed." - Elizabeth Gilbert

Although you can choose to get your tattoo lasered out, there is no opting out of parenthood. It requires the highest level of commitment one can have. When you start doubting yourself, remember that there are no good or bad parents. Everyone is trying to be the best version of themselves and learning along the way.

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." - Franklin Adams

I genuinely feel that children make us better people. Although they test your patience, anxiety, and overall control over your emotions, they also make you stronger. And the best part is that they don't judge you and allow a safe space where you can let your guard down.

“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” –Bette Davis

If this is what has been bothering you, it may help to look at the bigger picture. Your children are too young to understand the logic behind your actions. It is a part of growing up, and your bond is way bigger than these occasional differences.

"Why don’t kids understand their nap is not for them, but for us?" - Alyson Hannigan

Babies hitting the sack is no less than music to our eyes. For most parents, it is the time when they can finally get down to clear their to-do lists. Whether you want to catch that new show on Netflix or finish your house chores, the nap times sure come to your rescue.

"On our 6 a.m. walk, my daughter asked where the moon goes each morning. I let her know it’s in heaven, visiting Daddy’s freedom." - Ryan Reynolds

This dishy daddy sure has a funny side to him. You may miss your carefree days, but you also get a free pass to visit Disneyland.

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock

For the times when you feel overwhelmed and bogged down, give yourself some credit. Every parent does the best they can. For every one or two things that go wrong, you are doing a hundred others that are right.

Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You’ll realise this as soon as they’re born, and they start using sleep deprivation to break you.” — Ray Romano

Sleep can become a touchy topic for new parents. The best way is to find your way around it. Sleep when the baby sleeps or take turns to care for the baby. Take as much help as you can, both from your parents and friends. 

"Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next." - Franklin P. Jones

Children are sharper than you can imagine. They are going to catch your lies. The best option is to accept when you get caught. Tell them how you are thankful to them for bringing it your notice and how you are going to correct it for the future. It teaches them that it is alright to err and that admitting your mistakes doesn't make you weak. 

"If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others." - Haim Binott

You may not know, but children look up to you. You are their first influence in life, and they perhaps idolise you. When you appreciate them, you not only validate their behaviour and choices but also give them confidence. You don't have to wait for big moments. Instead, it is the small ones that count.

"Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children. Now I have six children and no theories." - John Wilmot

Before you became parents, you may have observed others and decided how you would like to raise your children. However, parenting is rarely about plans and sticking to theories. Every child is different, and so are the circumstances. 

"There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one." - Sue Atkins

I couldn't find a better parenting quote, to sum up, parenthood. You will get a lot of advice, often unsolicited, along the way. You may want to be the perfect parent at the cost of losing yourself in the process. However, children want to see the real you. Do what you think comes naturally to you. That is the best thing you can do for your children.

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Baby Massage 101: The Why, When, and How?

5 Min Read

Baby Massage 101: The Why, When, and How?

Chhavi
Writer for Rabitat

Instagram
baby

Having a baby is one of the best feelings in the world. Isn’t it unparalleled? You feel so cuddly and squishy around babies... and when you have one of your own, you just can't get your hands off them. 

Amidst all the excitement and sleep deprivation, there's one thing we couldn’t let you miss - Baby Massage. 

Why Baby Massage is Important

How do you feel when you get a massage? Doesn’t it feel utterly relaxing and relieving! It effortlessly and efficiently lightens up my state and loosens up my muscles. Massages on babies work very similarly. It has many benefits to offer other than just uplifting their moods. 

Benefits the Health, Promoting Better Sleep

A massage can be rewarding. When you massage your baby, you open their windows to physiological and psychological benefits. 

The swift action of massaging boosts blood circulation and nerve stimulation. This, in turn, enhances the baby’s gastrointestinal (digestive) functions, nervous system, motor skills development, and reduces the discomfort caused by teething, acidity, or congestion. It can especially help colic babies as it grants major relief to the baby. 

Moreover, massaging can also promote muscle growth and immune response; no wonder massaged babies produce more melatonin, the sleep hormone

Essentially, a good massage for your baby could gain you a few extra hours of sleep!

Could Treat a Mother’s Postpartum Depression

If you choose to massage your baby yourself, it could act as a great bonding time. Not only do you learn how to handle your baby better, but it also develops in you a sense of confidence and enhances your mood and behavior, as it’s been seen in many depressed mothers who massaged their sweeties regularly.

Furthermore, fathers massaging their babies are also believed to manifest improved self-esteem and promote a healthy relationship. 

When to Start Massaging Your Baby

Although you may start lightly massaging your baby as soon as they’re born, it’s still advised to wait a few weeks, say six weeks, before doing it properly. So, when you finally begin, you may want to take care of your baby’s mood patterns as you might now be fairly-versed with it. Massage them when they’re calm and alert. If you try to massage them when they’re finicky, they might try to move away from you and stiffen their body, making it difficult to massage. This is when massaging is typically not advised.

Also, don’t massage immediately after feeding as it may cause them to throw up. Wait at least an hour before, giving them enough time to digest the milk.

Now, if you’re wondering how often should you massage, the answer is up to you. You may massage them every day, once a week, or every other day. You could massage your baby during the day, or just before bedtime. Just pay attention to your baby’s patterns and you shall know the perfect time for your baby’s massage.

How to Massage a Baby

Until your baby is a month old (even older if premature), you aren’t recommended to use any oil or lotion to massage your baby. This is to keep the baby’s skin protected and avoid moisture loss. However, you may use your fingers to tap and rub the skin very gently without using anything. 

After a month, when you start proper (firm) massaging, take quality, natural baby oil or lotion to perform it. Also, as infants tend to put their fingers and feet in their mouths, parents generally prefer organic edible oils so there’s no potential harm.

Steps for Baby Massage

Massaging is indeed beneficial, but only when it’s done the right way! It’s better if you set a pattern and follow it for the best results. Typically, a baby massage lasts from 10 to 30 minutes; you know it’s time to stop when your baby stops enjoying the session (that simple, eh!).

First, Set up the Ambience

Just as you like it! Dim the lights, tone down the noise, turn on soft music and set an optimum temperature (23-28°C). This will help the baby to relax and after some time, turn into an unspoken announcement of massage time. 

Undress the Baby

Remove any clothing, especially the diaper - babies hate even the best of the brands! With this begins the relief. 

Start with Gentle Strokes

  1. Don’t right away start ‘rubbing’ the skin. Stroke airily. This massage session is supposed to be relaxing, don’t scare away the baby, please!
  2. You could start by massaging the legs first. Take some oil and gently rub it over the skin (rub as in soft massage, not scrub). Post this, you can lift the legs and make them ‘exercise’. Rotate the legs, lift the hips, press the knees up the abdomen, and rotate the hips to the right to relieve gas. This mini-workout sesh can keep your baby fit (#HomeWorkout!).
  3. Now, move on to the arms of the baby and go about it a similar way. Move the arms, cross, lift, and stretch. 
  4. Be careful while massaging the tummy, though. Move your fingers in a clockwise direction around the navel; don’t be too hard. And if you’re not sure about this part of the body, you’d better wait and learn the process from a professional or your pediatrician. (This could help)
  5. To massage the chest, move your fingers from the center toward the shoulders and similarly stroke the back as well while placing your baby horizontally on the surface and not putting much pressure. 
  6. While moving on towards the face, trace a heart beginning from the forehead moving down the chin. Use the magic of your fingertips to gently and carefully massage different parts like eyebrows, ears, cheeks, and jaw. 
  7. For the head, massage with your fingertips and palms just like you would shampoo them. Gentle, yet massage-like. 

Final Notes

  • Remember that massage strokes should be gentle, yet not ticklish. 
  • Learn before you start to massage your child - there’s plenty that could go right but enough to go wrong too.
  • Don’t over apply the oil (you can bathe them with water).
  • Talk to them as you go and you can be the best of friends. 
  • Maintain a schedule and be super punctual to give them healthy habits.

Finally, Happy Massaging and Parenting!

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Baby Massage Oils: Some to Use, Which to Skip?

5 Min Read

Baby Massage Oils: Some to Use, Which to Skip?

Chhavi
Writer for Rabitat

Instagram
babymassage

Whenever anybody asks me about baby massage, the first thing that comes to my mind is oils. Why should that not be? You need oils to massage your little baby’s body so they can reap off all the goods they can.

Given the number of benefits offered by baby massages, such as nervous and digestive system improvement, better blood circulation and motor skills, and overall growth and development of the baby, you just can’t not do it. Keeping everything in mind, we present to you everything you need to know and answer some frequently asked questions on the subject:

  • Which baby massage oil is the best?
  • Can we make baby massage oil at home?
  • Which oil to use for dry skin baby?
  • Baby massage oil for a colicky baby?

...And more.

Do You Need Oil to Massage Your Baby?

Literally, massage is the action of gentle rubbing, stroking, and pressing of the skin. This means that you don’t really need oil to massage, however, substances like oil and ghee can act as lubricants and therefore reduce the friction, making the procedure smooth.

Further, oil applied while massaging can bring oil-specific advantages to babies, especially with dry skin or during winters.

Which Oil to Use for Baby Massage?

Well, it depends on several factors and therefore varies from one skin type to another. But if we talk generally, natural, edible oils - vegetable or mineral - are considered the best for baby massage; they don’t pose any harm if the baby sucks their fingers or puts their feet into their mouth. (You should also note here that it’s best not to use any oil on damaged or broken skin.)

Plant oils are thought to be more easily digested by the body and are therefore more preferred. So, if you go with vegetable oil, we would suggest more refined versions due to their thin texture and mild smells. Both these characters favor the infant’s comfort. Refined oils also have a longer shelf life, implying that you won’t have to worry about the microorganisms that could inhabit the container and ultimately your younger one’s body!

Mineral oils as well are known for their long shelf lives and are said to be safe for baby massage. They don’t go rancid even in hot summer. Plus, they don’t harm babies either.

If you have added these two categories to your list, let’s narrow down the funnel further.

Best Massage Oils for Dry, Sensitive Skin Babies

Taking care of normal skin isn’t a big deal. But when it comes to babies with dry skin, you can never be too sure!

Although we are suggesting these oils to you, we would still recommend you do a patch test before going all-in with any oil. Apply the oil to a little area and observe it for 24 hours. Ensure that there is no redness or rash.

Vegetable oils high in PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids)

As you already know, polyunsaturated fatty acids are good for health. One of such fatty acids is linoleic acid, which is extremely good for the skin in making a protective skin barrier. It’s also considered to be gentle for sensitive skin. Some vegetable oils rich in PUFA are:

  1. Pure sunflower seed oil
  2. Grapeseed oil
  3. Safflower seed oil

Please note that oils rich in monounsaturated fats may not be good for your little one. These oils are harsh and may not suit the skin of your baby well.

Unscented Mineral Baby Oil

Regular baby oils sold in the market are usually mineral oils. Don’t use scented versions as they may contain unnatural substances or preservatives to keep the oil smelling good. These perfumes may smell good to you but not to the baby, who may also get irritated as the oil remains on their skin for long.

Coconut Oil

As good as it is, coconut oil is the best friend of our mothers and their mothers. It is a part of Indian culture. We have some research that suggests that it may improve moisture retention in dry skin. Moreover, it is also believed to reduce scars, which may help you if your baby has any scar on their body.

Coconut oil can also help provide relief to a colicky baby - massage the tummy with a little oil and you’re good to go!

Shea Butter

It is also considered safe for all skin types. Just ensure that it doesn’t have any impurities or additional chemicals added.

Popular Baby Massage Oils You Could Rather Miss

These oils are generally not suggested for dry and sensitive skin. However, you may still do a patch test on your baby.

Olive Oil

Olive oil has a lot of benefits to offer, but when it is included in the diet. For massage, it hasn’t shown much promise.

Although olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, it was found to break the outermost layer of the skin when massaged on adults, clearly suggesting that it could do much worse for little babies. However, if you still want to try it once, please do a patch test before going into a full massage regime. Even then, don’t use pure olive oil, mix it with a carrier oil so you can reap this oil’s benefits without bearing any side-effects.

Ghee

While ghee is a popular Indian inclusion to almost anything and everything, it may be too thick for your baby’s sensitive skin. Besides, it’s rich in MUFA and is also relatively harder to rub off the skin, and hence stays for long. It may even close the pores present in the skin.

Mustard Oil

This is another popular massage oil that is followed like a tradition in our country. Mustard oil is also rich in MUFA, which makes it toxic to sensitive skin. It may as well break the outer layer of the skin of your baby.

Baby Massage Before or After Bath?

For dry skin, it’s better to massage after a bath as massage can help skin retain moisture.

For oily - normal skin, massage before the bath so some of the oil is washed off as well.

Can You Make Baby Massage Oil at Home?

You may make your own oil at home provided that you know what ingredients you’re putting in and in what quantities.

You could also mix different oils and use it as one. Many people temper a carrier oil, like coconut oil or mustard with ingredients like garlic, carom, or fenugreek seeds, to allow their individual benefits to be incorporated in the oil. While garlic has anti-inflammatory properties, fenugreek is a cooling agent, and carom seeds are thought to relieve colic babies.

Some Essential Takeaways

First, get into a habit of reading labels. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken care of labels of oil bottles, if you’re buying one to massage your baby, leave no page unturned.

Second, don’t take oil directly from the stock container while you’re performing your daily ritual - take out some in a bowl or dispenser. Not touching the oil repeatedly will ensure that you transfer no pathogen to the oil to grow.

Third, build healthy conversations with your child as you go forward. The baby may not speak as of yet, but they have some excellent stories to tell under the influence of a soothing massage. They carry so much on their shoulders after all!

Happy Massaging, Mommying, and Daddying.

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How to Get Kids to be More Physically Active and Healthy during this Pandemic?

4 Min Read

How to Get Kids to be More Physically Active and Healthy during this Pandemic?

Radhika Dadhich

COVID-19 had made it challenging for parents to balance work and children. People are having a hard time accepting the new normal. Earlier, experts had recommended the limited use of mobiles and gadgets for children. They encouraged parents to limit their kid’s screen time to 2-3 hours a day and get them to perform more physical activities. Gone are the days when socializing with peers and hanging out with other kids was normal.

Nowadays, these group activities are highly discouraged. Children have gotten a new excuse to stay glued to their smartphones all the time. Now that online education is conducted on digital platforms, children end up spending hours on mobiles. So, how do you keep your kids active during these tough times? What exercises should your kids practice to stay fit?

Easy Tips for Keeping Your Kids Active and Healthy

There is no denying that COVID-19 has brought many challenges when it comes to children’s education and overall well-being. In addition to physical activities, parents are supposed to serve healthy and nutritious meals to their kids. You need to pay attention to what they eat, how they spend their day, what physical activities they perform, who they hang out with, and how they complete their school assignments, and what hygienic practices they follow.

Children below 7 years need special care. Since their immunity system is not as strong as adults, they shouldn’t be allowed to go out (let alone socializing with their friends). In this post, we are going to walk you through some essential tips for keeping your kids healthy, happy, and active during the global pandemic. Let’s take a look:

Learn New Activities

Team sports are strictly discouraged at least until the situation gets under control. Since kids are at high risk of getting infected, the government has shut down all the schools and colleges. The virus spreads from the droplets we inhale. Besides that, it can infect hundreds of thousands of people through contaminated surfaces. Children do not follow precautions. You never know if your child is going to wash hands after participating in the group activities.

Just because you can’t let the little ones hang out with their peers, doesn’t mean they are not allowed to learn new sports and fun activities. Families can organize group games in their gardens, backyards, and patios. You could teach your kid some exciting and fun individual activities like swimming or skateboarding. Basketball, badminton, cricket, baseball, tennis, volleyball, and hockey are some of the best sports for your kid’s health. Families can play with their kids in the garden (if you have adequate outdoor space). Even simple activities like taking a stroll in your garden or the neighborhood will keep your children active and fit. Anything that keeps them from smartphones, TVs, and gadgets will do.

Maintain Personal Hygiene

Remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic that has affected the lives of millions of people across the globe. There is a good reason why experts, physicians, and the government is putting stress on personal hygiene. The only way to survive this pandemic and come out stronger is by practicing hygiene measures. We all know what personal hygiene includes.

Teach your kids the importance of washing hands for 30 seconds, wearing masks when stepping out of home, and keeping their hands from the face. Most importantly, make sure they maintain distance from people in public places. Kids need to be careful about the surfaces and products they touch, especially when you take them to a store, park, and other public places. Avoid group activities and social gatherings. You must invest in special hygiene accessories, such as kids’ masks, water bottles, kids hooded towel, a small sanitizer bottle, and more.

Play Indoor Games

In today’s digital age, it isn’t hard to find singing and dancing classes online. All you need is YouTube to find some exciting dance tutorials. You could also use fitness and exercise apps to teach your child basic physical exercises. There are many things you can teach your kids at home. Fortunately, you don’t need to hire a professional for that.

Whether they are interested in musical instruments or arts & crafts, video tutorials are available for nearly all types of indoor activities on YouTube. You can also play some indoor games, such as hide-and-seek, chess, pool game, and other indoor games with kids. The household chores also count as physical indoor activities. Simple chores like folding clothes, doing laundry and dishes, making the bed, cleaning and de-cluttering their rooms, and organizing their cupboards can keep your kids physically active. They will also learn about new household activities.

Prepare a Healthy and Balanced Diet Plan

The food you serve at meals matter as much as the physical exercises and activities. For starters, make sure your children drink plenty of water and eat healthy snacks. You could breastfeed the child or buy a fresh and high-quality kids sipper bottle for infants.

Serve nuts and fruits for snacks. Don’t store soft drinks, chips, oily food, and sweet snacks in your refrigerator. While it sounds quite tempting, these foods are not good for their health. The high amount of salt, sugar, and chemicals found in the packed foods can damage your child’s health. It also has a lasting effect on their teeth. Remove the junk packed foods from the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and replace them with fruits and healthy snacks. Make sure you serve the meals in clean and fresh dishes. Carry kids’ stainless steel bottle every time you take your kids out.

Bottle Line

Basic hygiene practices and healthy food is all it takes for your kids to stay safe. The outdoor and indoor games can keep them fit and healthy during these tough times. Use this time to teach new activities to your kids. You must suggest other parents and kids’ to follow the same practices.

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Safe co sleeping with newborn

3 Min Read

Safe co sleeping with newborn

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Author for Rabitat

Newborn Sleep

When your young child comes, they are so precious. You like them so much that you never ever want to leave their side. You desire them to copulate you since you wish to shield them and don’t intend to lose out on any kind of minute that you might potentially show them.

There are some threats to copulating your young babies though. The majority of encourage to copulate them just when they know just how to sleep sacks even more like an grownup. There is an simple remedy for those that want to sleep sacks with your children but intend to prevent any type of dangers.

Co-sleepers are fantastic for any kind of safe co sleeping with newborn and their moms and dads. A co-sleeper is a carrycot that attaches to the side of your bed and has an opening to the bed. Your youngster is now just an arms length far from you.

But there are other schools of thought that doubt the security elements of a child sleeping with it’s moms and dads; the infant runs a risk of being stifled or laid upon, and even hanging itself from the headboard. Children are exceptionally fragile and also if you are thinking about co-sleeping with your child there are some security ideas that you have to take into consideration.

Change your duvet with sheet and also blankets.

Infants do not require cushions till they are over a years of age.

See to it that your cushion is close suitable to the head board. If there is also a little space they can slip through it and also hang themselves.

Make use of a bed guard or make certain the bed is close to the wall to stop your child from rolling out of the bed.

A newborn must be put to sleep sacks on it’s back; when they are older and also can move by themselves they may prefer to sleep sacks on their side.

If you are overtired it is not risk-free to copulate your baby.

Attempt to get them to sleep sacks in a cot initially; they will certainly be less most likely to depend on you existing to reach rest.

NEVER EVER sleep with your infant if you have had an alcoholic drink, are weak, if you smoke or have actually taken medications, also prescription medication.

Co-sleeping is terrific for both parent as well as youngster, and also does create a special bond. Nonetheless it also can put a pressure on a collaboration if your baby gets into the marital bed. Likewise remember they can disturb your sleep sacks with constant motion as well as sound. If you are thinking about co-sleeping I would suggest that you check into the pro’s as well as disadvantage’s very carefully to uncover if it is the right option for you.

No matter what dimension your bed is you can find a swaddles that will certainly benefit you. For those of you who are like me and also love your economy size bed, or simply have a bed that rests a little bit greater, there are simple leg extensions that you can buy for your swaddles.

These also make late night feeding perfect for both the mother and also child. You do not need to leave your bed to feed, as well as your youngster will still be in the same warm and comfy environment.

Many ladies can stagnate in and out of bed very easily because of a cesarean section. Due to the fact that cesarean areas can make the first pair weeks a little more challenging on you and also your infant, these co-sleepers might really assist a lot.

Some have actually located that co-sleepers can be too large for their room and doesn’t fit specifically how they would such as. For those of you that are already going for area in your bedroom there is an simple option. Co-sleepers have actually also been made in a ‘mini’ dimension now.

If you locate that you wish to secure your infant from any injury but likewise wish to comfort of sleeping with them, you need to obtain a co sleeper. They are comfortable as well as risk-free for any kid.

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Newborn Sleep Cycle

New Born | 4 Min Read

Newborn Sleep Cycle

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Author for Rabitat

cycle

For new parents handling and understanding the needs of baby is often very difficult. They get stressed on little things, sometimes over protective and confused which make them tired and exhausted. Parents usually get worried and fatigued because of the untimely sleep pattern of their newborn.

Here we have a little guide on the sleep cycle of a newborn which will help parents learn more about their baby’s sleep schedule.

THE SLEEP PATTERN OF A NEWBORN

The baby in his early weeks sleep most of the day and night in his swaddle and only wakes up to get feeding. The sleep pattern is set of small naps usually of 3-4 hours. Babies generally sleep a total of 16-18 hours in every 24 hours which includes 8-9 hours of nap during day time and almost same hours of dozing at night. Newborns have small appetite so they need to get nourishment after every few hours whether its day or night and when the stomach is full they are again off to sleep. As the baby grows he requires less sleep which means more playtime, this time period is the most wonderful part of being a parent.

SIGNS OF SLEEP

The baby is too small to understand that it’s the time for bed or that he is tired and needs a nap. Instead when the little one is drained he becomes fussy, starts rubbing his eyes due to sleepiness, starts looking away or yawns. These are the signs that it is time to put the little one on his baby crib. It is important for parents to recognize the indication of sleep readiness and help the baby to fall asleep by providing the environment that is safe and comfortable. To make a baby sleep and to assure that he takes a good nap it is important to make the baby bedding comfortable and soft by baby bedding sheets and crib mattress.

HELP THE BABY TO HAVE A GOOD SLEEP

When the newborn is resting in his baby nest he often wakes up in the middle of his nap, it might be due to any harsh sound or disturbance or even sometimes because his own hand and feet movements, if the environment is sleep friendly, i.e. lights are dim and no harsh sounds, and a reassuring hand of a familiar person is there the baby will fall asleep within few minutes again by himself.

CAUTIONS TO TAKE WHILE SLEEPING

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the infants under the age of 1 year should sleep on their backs to lower the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). When the baby sleeps on their back it helps them to breathe properly by not letting to form the blockage of nose and mouth.

Parents usually complain that their baby sleeps more peacefully on their tummy. It might be true in some cases but it has a lot of risk. The babies will adjust to sleep on their back after few attempts if the caregiver starts placing them on their backs every time when they are off to sleep.

References

https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/newborn-sleep-patterns

https://www.ncemch.org/suid-sids/documents/SIDRC/BackToSleep.pdf

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=90&contentid

https://www.ounce.org/pdfs/better_sleep.pdf

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Everything you need to know about breastfeeding

New Born | 4 Min Read

Everything you need to know about breastfeeding

Effath Yasmin

Effath Yasmin
Leading International Board Certified lactation Consultant.

Web
breastfeeding

First Golden Hour

A newborn has an innate ability to survive and thrive if we allow the primal reflexes to kick-in as a sequence during the birth of the baby.  During a safe and supported birth within an empowering birth environment, the newborn often undergoes a quiet alert phase, which has been referred to as the first phase or simply the Breast Crawl.

When the newborn is placed skin to skin on the  mother's breasts chest shortly after birth, baby is able to move closer to the breasts and attach to the mother’s breast and initiate suckling. Studies show us that baby’s alertness gradually decreased within 150 minutes after birth, when baby usually becomes more drowsy & sleepy. This confirms the importance of first golden hour being critical to allow integration of many sensory, motor and neuro-endocrine inputs to facilitate a ‘Breast Crawl’ soon after birth. This helps mother and baby deeply bond in a natural, undisturbed way and maximise the opportunity for the baby to prime the milk receptors to stimulate and increase milk production for the mother for the natural term breastfeeding.

During the Breast Crawl Babies uses all senses to explore that world of bonding. The smell of the dark potion of the breasts is similar to the amniotic fluid which guides in the movement along with eyes to look at mothers' face, ears to hear her reassuring voice.

The first golden hour Breastfeeding is also a boost to mother ability to improved breast milk production and facilities in loss of blood.

First 6 Months

Breastfeeding is a normal natural way to provide growth and development both nutritionally and physically of babies. The official statement by multiple breastfeeding advocacy organization in the world recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of life to support optimal growth, development and health. Complementary food is recommended to be introduced, mostly around the middle of the first year to support baby optimal development.

During the early breastfeeding months, it is important to remember to nurse the baby before offering solids, because mother’s milk continues to have far more calories and nutrition than solids food. The first six months of weaning during the first year of the bay is to explore taste, texture and color of the solid food variety. This is building a relationship with food safely and enjoyably. This has a life long impact. that the small amounts of healthy solids that can be consumed.

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months will mean only breast milk without mixing it with water, no other solid of liquids, herbal preparations or other food except remedies and medications when required. Exclusively supports optimal gut flora and microbiome that behaves as the shield of immunity for the baby from risk of gastrointestinal infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, otitis media and urinary tract infection among other risks. For the mother breastfeeding exclusively reduces risk for developing postpartum depression, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Exclusive Breastfeeding is also a method of birth control called Lactational Amenorrhea Method of birth control, or LAM. This method has been reported to be 98-99.5% effective in preventing pregnancy as long as exclusivity is maintained with no mixed feeding methods.

First Tooth

Its that time that many mothers dread & decide to stop breastfeeding when they first notice a tooth erupting in their mouth. Usually this is because they might fear that  baby will nip the breast during a feeding session or because the mother fears she will be bitten. It's also the time when during the first phase of teething is experienced by many mothers as one of the most common causes of frequent night waking and frequent feeding for baby. Infact this might be the case fussy nursing behavior due to experience of discomfort in the gums. The only way baby can find comfort sometimes can be suckling at the mother’s breast. During these intermittent phases which run into second year baby’s behaviour at the breast can also resemble staying longer at the breast or even pulling off and crying and wanting to go back to the breast again. 

This can be extremely overwhelming for the mother and frustrating for the baby. To help baby and mother teething homeopathic pills have been known to be very useful. Also baby can be given a cold washcloth to chew on before feeds to help with gum discomfort. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy can be extremely helpful as well to help restore comfort and regulation for both mother and baby.

First Weaning

Weaning from the breast is usually a slow and gradual process starting during the time of complementary food introduced yet weaning is an interactive process between the mother and her baby. It might help to know baby can be completely be trusted to wean himself as his need for security and comfort slowly get fulfilled over the toddler years and is not a habit that needs to be broken. This is a milestone reached at their own internal pace and like walking, talking and other milestones are different for each child.

La Leche League International organisation that supports breastfeeding mothers all across the world recommend gentle weaning methods rather than methods that might harm the trust in the relationship that has been built with nurturing at the breasts. Need for sucking is real for babies which is separate from sucking for nutrition. Sometimes weaning too fast might hamper the milk supply for the mothers or also it might result in babies resort to thumb sucking, sucking on fingers, hair, blankets and pacifiers. 

According to Norma Jane Bumgarner in her book "Mothering your Nursing Toddler" says "..a baby is learning to trust and depend on other human beings, especially his mother and to suppose that nutrition is primary significance and that attachment is secondary will be a mistake." therefore helping baby to drop her first feed naturally will be gradual weaning process as needs are being met.

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Art, Colours and Children!

New Born | 4 Min Read

Art, Colours and Children!

Mahika Sharma

Mahika Sharma
Clinical Psychologist

Web
Art Camp

Have you noticed how children’s classrooms, reading books, hospital wings, even their clothes are so colourful. I don’t think the colour grey comes to mind when we think 'kids'.

This is because colours help in expression and communication. While we wait for the human brain to continue to develop intellectually over the course of infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, waiting for these kids to keep getting smarter, they need to take advantage of as much audio and visual aids as much as possible to help them process emotions, complexities of the social world and all the new information and knowledge they are bombarded with on daily basis.

The reason why Art Therapy has taken eminence over the years is precisely because of the advantages it presents. Thankfully, this is also something that can be pursued in the safety of our homes during these trying times with the lingering fear of Covid 19. When it comes to Art there is no right or wrong.

There is no why! Infact art helps in processing not only conscious emotions and thought processes but also helps in liberating those in our subconscious or unconscious.

Have you ever been surprised by something you were mindlessly doodling on a piece of paper and it turned into a specific shape? Just like that the process of drawing, giving shape to their thoughts, adding colours, helps children give a voice to what they are feeling, thinking, what they desire, what they don’t like or want without having to struggle with socially appropriate words and communication styles which they are yet to learn.

This is specially advantageous when struggling with managing difficult emotions in children during the lockdown when they already have restrictions of physical and social boundaries imposed on them. Everytime I have children visiting my therapy set up they always find a few games, colourful blocks and puzzles-but one “must” item which is an instant hit is the art file and a few blank sheets with crayons and sketch pens and sometimes even paints!

I am amazed at every time how they are able to express “how I feel” while drawing, it could be a simple circle indicating this is a person and a cross over that circle indicating I’m angry with them or I don’t want them around.

They even learn to vent out all that anger and progress to forgiveness and express away all the things that make them happy. You would be surprised to learn all the hidden love, anger, confusion, fears, joys in your 5 year olds' or 10 year old's mind when they get a chance to express it on a blank sheet of paper with a few colours.

Good news is that it requires no artistic skills or training. However it is important to keep in mind that while using art as a way to express and encourage kids to process their emotions, Art Therapy is a more formal therapeutic technique used by a trained professional in conjunction with other therapeutic techniques such as talk therapy to facilitate change, processing trauma or complex emotions, which helps to develop healthy communication skills and awareness of emotions and ways to regulate them.

So I strongly recommend taking advantage of this medium especially when it comes at no extra cost, easy to manage while staying indoors and helps the parent or the supervising adult remain sane while managing their child's behaviour and emotions.

Nutrients

Download colouring sheets

Enter Child's age

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Nutrients

Quick and easy breakfast ideas for kids

New Born | 11 Min Read

Quick And Easy Breakfast Ideas For Kids.

Ananta

Ananta Goyal

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Action packed mornings call for smart products that allow the day to flow without interruption.

I start my day before my kids wake up to prepare their hot breakfast. I pack this in the Rabitat insulated food jar that keeps it warm while I carry on with my day.

Once Aarav is ready for breakfast, he unpacks the Meal Mate which has a top section to keep a dry snack - I generally put some nuts, dry fruits or makhana and below the hot breakfast for the day.

To encourage independence - unpack, eat, pack on your own this is a top quality product.

Keeps the food hot (12 hrs) or cold (24 hrs)

Made with food grade 18/8 stainless steel

Comes in a child friend design

Food jar

Yummy Oats with the goodness of Khajur and Nuts

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats (instant oats)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 date deseeded
  • 8-10 assorted nuts
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 t jaggery powder

To Make

  • 1. Heat the milk and water in a saucepan.
  • 2. Add in the oats and stir. Cook over low heat
  • 3. Shred the date and mix with oats.
  • 4. Cover and cook over low flame for 7-8 minutes stirring once in a while.
  • 5. Cut the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • 6. In a mini pan, heat the ghee and toss in the nuts.
  • 7. Stir and cook for a couple minutes. Throw in the jaggery powder and mix.
  • 8. Mix in the nuts with the oats right before eating.

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Breakfast Recipes for Toddlers

New Born | 4 Min Read

Breakfast Recipes for Toddlers

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Author for Rabitat

breakfast-4

5 Fun Breakfast Recipes for Toddlers and their Health Benefits

A well fed child is a happy child. And we all know how important eating a balanced diet is. But... don’t dare and discuss it with your fussy eater. They’ll roll their eyes. One thing,
because they don’t like hearing anything that sounds lecture-y; second, they don’t care about food unless it’s fried, sweet, or snacky. Therefore, we’ve gathered some awesome ideas to make feeding your sweet, little kid easier.

Along with the recipes, we’ll also discuss briefly what nutritional requirements they fulfill.

DOWNLOAD: Nutrients Associated With Colours in Fruits and Vegetables

1. Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

These pancakes aren’t originally Indian and therefore attract toddlers even more. You just have to mention something fancy and they come running to eat. But as a parent or a guardian, your job is to make such foods not only delicious, but also absolutely healthy. And whole wheat banana pancakes sets an awesome example!

Recipe by: Cookie+Kate

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (not soda!)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup milk of choice (animal/vegan)
  • 2 large bananas - 1 mashed, 1 sliced for toppings
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sugar (as per your taste) or honey
Banana Pancakes

Toppings: maple syrup, honey, chocolate/strawberry sauce, sliced banana, butter, or anything your child enjoys.

What to do:

  • 1. Mix the dry and the wet ingredients in two separate bowls.
  • 2. Whisk all the ingredients to combine them so there are no lumps.
  • 3. Heat your pan until it’s hot enough to sizzle a water drop and grease it if required.
  • 4. Pour a little batter on the pan (you don’t need to manually spread it).
  • 5. Turn it over when you see bubbles on the surface. The perimeter will also turn matte from glossy. Cook the other side for a minute or until it’s golden-brown.
  • 6. Serve it immediately with toppings of choice.

REPEAT with the remaining batter.

Health benefits of Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes:

Whole wheat banana pancakes is a smart replacement for regular pancakes. The whole wheat substitute for all purpose flour makes the pancakes offer tonnes of health benefits and are also more filling because of being loaded with fibre. (All purpose flour is super refined and therefore very low in fibre.)

Whole wheat is loaded with dietary fibre, vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E and K, and minerals potassium, calcium, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and folate..

Bananas, on the other hand, are 75% water, rich in vitamin B6 and C and potassium, and offer many health benefits. They’re also a source of antioxidants catechin and dopamine.

Eggs are a great source of healthy fatty acids and are said to increase the levels of good cholesterol HDL in the body. They’re a rich source of vitamins A, B2, B5,B12, folate, phosphorus, and selenium.

“Eggs also contain decent amounts of vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium and zinc” - Healthline.
However if your child can’t eat eggs for any reason, check this eggless pancake recipe from EgglessCooking.

Grated Vegetables

2. Moong Dal Chilla with Grated Vegetables

Moong dal chilla is easy to make and also very healthy. The grated vegetable stuffing can make it all the more tasty and healthy, for example, carrot, pea and paneer stuffing goes great with chilla.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 3-4 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • Grated carrots
  • Chopped/grated paneer (feta cheese)
  • ½ cup peas
  • Chopped coriander
  • Chopped onion
  • Ginger paste
  • Black pepper powder to taste

1. Rinse and soak the moong dal in twice to thrice the amount of water for about 4 hours.

2. The dal will double in size. Discard the extra water; grind the dal to make a paste by adding 1 to two tablespoons of water.

3. Add salt, chili, turmeric, and cumin powder along with the ginger paste, chopped onion and coriander. Mix well.

4. Heat a pan and spread the mix circularly on it with the help of a large spoon.

5. Cook both sides and serve hot with the paneer-carrot mixture seasoned with some salt and black pepper inside the folded chilla.

This is both filling and delicious.

Health benefits of Moong Dal Chilla:

Moong dal is very beneficial for the heart and immune system. All the ingredients together make a nutrient-rich meal for everyone in the family. Like all daals, moong daal is also a great source of proteins, especially essential in a vegetarian/vegan diet. The addition of coriander and other vegetables further increases the nutritional benefits of the dish and vary with the vegetables used. Overall, absolutely healthilicious!

3. Dalia Kheer

Your little one may not be excited by the idea of eating dalia. The best way to feed them anything is by making it sweet!

Dry ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Dalia
  • 1 tsp sugar (you may replace refined sugar with jaggery or honey)
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 500 mL milk
  • Dry fruits (optional)

1. Take a pan and melt ghee in it.

2. Add the dalia and roast it well in the ghee.

3. Once roasted, take out the dalia in a separate bowl/plate.

4. Add milk in the pan.

5. You may keep stirring it so the milk doesn’t stick to the pan.

6. Add dalia to the milk and keep stirring.

7. The milk will start getting thick. At this point, you can add the sugar and dry fruits.

8. Let this cook until the dalia is well soft to eat.
Serve immediately or cold. This is delicious anyway!

Dalia Kheer

Health benefits of Dalia Kheer

Dalia is a form of wheat known as broken wheat. It is fibrous and therefore very easy to digest. It can also help treat constipation in children. Moreover, dalia contains minerals such as zinc, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, copper, sodium, potassium, iron, and manganese, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3, etc.

Oatmeal Chocochip Cookies

4. Oatmeal Chocochip Cookies

This is more of a reward snack option, but healthy. Plus, they’re home-baked so you control what goes in them.

Recipe by: Recipezazz

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Softened Butter
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
    (you can adjust the amount of sugar as per your taste)

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
  • 2 ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Chocolate chips or shavings
  • Dry fruits (optional, but super healthy)

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C/ 375 F

2. Whisk the butter and sugar to make a light, creamy mixture. Add vanilla, milk and eggs and beat well.

3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix.

4. Stir in oats and chocolate chips/shavings.

5. Place equal sized scoops/rolls on your baking tray (you can line it with a cookie sheet) and bake for 9-10 minutes or 12-13 minutes for chewy or crisp cookies, respectively.

6. The cookies need to be cooled for a minute on the tray and then on a wire rack before being served.

Health benefits of Oatmeal Chocochip Cookies:

Because of similar ingredients as of pancakes, these cookies have similar nutrient gains. The addition of oats likely provides the following vitamins B1, and B12, and minerals including manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, selenium, magnesium, and zinc thus providing tonnes of health benefits.

5. Pizza Bread

Well, if you think of it, it is a healthy and a very clever choice. You can stuff it with numerous veggies and you bet your child won’t be able to see them in the first look! It will taste like pizza but will be a healthier alternative hiding the veggies!

And if you’re vary of the pizza base, you can totally make it at home.

Ingredients: For Bread

  • 1 cup flour (you may use whole wheat or all purpose)
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pizza seasoning (oregano, garlic powder, chili flakes, thyme, basil, or anything you have)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil/butter

For Pizza stuffing

  • Finely chopped vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Seasoning
Pizza Bread

(Your tiny tod will be thrilled if you include pineapple too!)

1. Heat the water to make it lukewarm (not hot!), add sugar and yeast and stir till it’s dissolved.

2. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to activate the yeast.

3. Mix the chopped vegetables in a bow and add seasoning and cheese to it.

4. Mix the flour, salt and seasoning in a separate bowl. Add oil/butter and mix thoroughly.

5. Add the yeast-water and knead the dough until it stretches well without breaking (indicating gluten formation). This will take a good 10-20 minutes time. Beat the dough into a ball and apply a layer of oil on the surface. Keep it covered at a warm place for at least an hour (will take more if the weather is cold).

6. When the dough doubles in size, punch it to expel the air and again knead it for 4-5 minutes. Divide the whole in equal portions.

7. At this time, preheat your oven at 180 C. Roll the portions in chapati-thick long ovals/rectangles. Place chopped vegetables and cheese in one half and fold it so that the stuffing is inside (like stuffed garlic bread or MacPuff). OR - you can roll a big circle and put stuffing in one half and fold (and cut into sticks after baking). You don’t need to stick the ends, the baking will do that.

8. Place these on a tray and let them bake for 15 minutes or until they’ve risen and turned golden-brown.

9. Make sure that the bread is well cooked before serving it to your toddler.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup and let it do its magic.

Health benefits of Pizza Bread:

Vegetables are overall very healthy and have a lot of vitamins and minerals. Toddlers especially are very fussy when it comes to vegetables. All you need to do is impress them with colors. Also, anything that looks like outside food is a win-win. You can definitely use whole wheat for this instead of plain flour. This is just a fancy version of eating chapati and vegetables, isn’t it?

However, using refined plain flour (maida) is also not a bad option if your child or you don’t thrive on it!

Nutrients

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Nutrients Associated with Colours
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BabyToe-Note

The stories of fussy-eaters aren’t new. We would all have been there at some point of our childhood. We only need to be smart and find more creative ways to feed these naughties. The thumb rule (here) is hiding! Hide as many veggies or whatever your young one fusses about in something they love or make it sweet. Or - you can bare it all by making your dish look naturally colourful and attractive (try not to add artificial colours and flavours). They’ll come running and eat what you serve them!

Happy Parenting!

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Freedom from Mom-Guilt

New Born | 4 Min Read

Freedom from Mom-Guilt

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Author for Rabitat

freedom

If you are a mom, there is a 100% chance that you have experienced a case of mom guilt. According to Karen Kleiman, mom guilt is so common that it is often perceived as a natural part of mothering. Whether it is rooted in the time you are not spending with your child because of work or the educational activities you haven’t introduced them to or the extraordinarily healthy food you are not giving them, it is easy today to get caught up in the idea that you are not doing a great job at being a mom. For many moms, especially single-moms or new working moms, numerous factors can contribute to this phenomenon, including personal insecurities and external pressures from social media, friends, and family, just to name a few. Like all parenting issues, it is crucial to note that every mother’s experience is unique and that her guilt will take its own form. Here are a few helpful tips on how to overcome mom guilt.

1. Stay away from negative energy.

A lot of times, mom guilt originates from the people around us. It could be relative reminding you of your latest parenting failure or a friend criticizing your parenting technique. Spring cleaning your trusted circle and surrounding yourself with people who appreciate your values can help reduce unsolicited input and, in general, mom guilt.

2. Share your responsibilities.

Mothering is no easy task, especially for a new mom. Find someone to pitch in the chores in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed. You can ask your partner or find a network of other moms who are on their own if you a single mom yourself.

3. Listen to your intuition and children.

A mother’s intuition is a powerful gift that should never be ignored. More than anyone, you, as a mother, know what is best for your child. Therefore, listen to your instincts whenever you are conflicted about your child’s needs. In addition, children give the best feedback, so listen to them. Listening to your child can tell you to know which of your decisions are working and which ones are not.

4. Take care of yourself first.

You need to love yourself and look out for your needs first before you can adequately take care of your child. So, get a pedicure or watch a movie with the girls. Always give yourself a little air once in a while.

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A Baby Sleep Consultant’s Guide to helping your newborn sleep

New Born | 4 Min Read

A Baby Sleep Consultant’s Guide to helping your newborn sleep.

Ajita Gopal Seethepalli

Ajita Gopal Seethepalli
A Child Sleep and Child Food
Habits Consultant.

Web
sleep_baby

Quite evidently, having a baby is as daunting as joyous it is. As new parents, you do your best to keep your baby calm, content and happy. For newborns, this directly translates into lots of feeding and sleeping, and of course, lots of love and attention! 

However, having a newborn baby is synonymous with parents not getting enough sleep. Most parents begin looking for ways to make their babies sleep properly as it means that they sleep well too. To clarify, it isn’t a selfish approach, it is natural. You do require rest and sleep to take care of your little one. 

Also, there’s just so much advice present in both the online and the offline world, it’s hard to know which piece of information to believe. Should you listen to your distant relative aunts or the trendy blog run by a new mom? Save yourselves! In situations like this, it’s expert opinion that makes the most sense.

If you’re new to the realm and looking for a baby sleep consultant, the first thing you should know is that babies sleep a lot. Normally, newborn babies sleep approximately 16-19 hours a day. A baby’s body and brain need all this sleep for his/her growth and development. Not getting enough sleep at proper intervals can make your baby agitated, cranky and overall unhappy. 

Being a Child Sleep and Food Habits Consultant, I can help your little infant sleep well and resultantly grow well; here are my top 5 tips:

1. Recognize Your Baby’s Tired Signs

Babies often show subtle signs of tiredness but we may not always recognize them. Understanding your baby’s sleepy signs can be helpful in getting your baby to fall asleep with the least amount of fuss. Some easy to recognize signs would be yawning, rubbing eyes, crankiness or fussing behavior. Other signs to look out for could be: 

  • Sucking of thumb or fingers – this doesn’t always indicate hunger, it often indicates tiredness too
  • Looking away from your face 
  • Jerky arm and leg movements
  • Arching backwards like they want to get away from you
  • Staring off into space
  • Pulling their ears, hair or keep scratching their face

It is actually better to settle your baby in bed a little before you see these signs. If your baby shows such signs, say an hour after they wake up, perhaps you need to make it a practice to settle your baby down after 45 minutes or so of waking up.

2. Set Day-Night Pattern

While babies sleep a lot, it’s also important to note when and how often they sleep. Many parents find that their baby is up and playful in the night, and mellow and sleeping long stretches during the day. This day-night confusion is common in the early weeks. This phenomenon occurs because babies are not born with developed internal clocks or circadian rhythm, which helps them to distinguish between day and night. 

Generally, most babies pass this stage by 4 months of age. You can, however, speed this process up and help your baby fall into a pattern much sooner by:

  • Giving your baby sun time in the early morning hours  
  • Keeping activity levels higher during the day 
  • Making bedroom darker and calmer at night
  • Keeping the lights dim and activity level to a minimum during night feedings

3. Swaddle

Swaddling is a technique that’s been used for generations and is often a new-born baby’s best bed buddy. Swaddling properly helps a baby feel snug and calm like they did in their mother’s womb. It also prevents sleep disturbances caused when the baby startles due to Moro reflex, which they experience during the early months. It’s best to use a soft muslin cloth or a natural breathable fabric as a swaddle to keep the baby cozy and also prevent them from getting too warm. 

However, swaddling is a skill that needs to be learnt. When a swaddle is not wrapped accurately, it can leave your baby feeling uncomfortable. Many parents give up on swaddles soon after they come home because they feel that their baby doesn’t like it. Although, in reality, they might not have been swaddling the baby properly. Once you learn the right technique of swaddling, you’ll be amazed to see how easily it settles and calms your baby down.

4. Room Environment

Babies prefer cooler temperatures when they are sleeping. Typically, a room temperature of approximately 24 degrees works best for most babies. So, maintain a cool room. If required, turn on the air conditioner and/or a fan. Fans in the room often also act as white noise, cancelling out a lot of the sudden noises and sounds in the house  and setting a constant, ambient sound in the bedroom. 

Moreover, avoid overdressing your baby. Remember: your baby will most likely be swaddled, which means that it will be another layer over their clothes.  

It’s also a good idea to keep the room dark when it is sleep time and keep the baby in bright, well lit spaces when awake.

5. Wake, Eat, Play, Sleep — Repeat!

New born babies take longer to feed, and therefore, end up consuming very small portions. Also, just the act of feeding appears to tire a baby easily. This is one reason that it’s helpful to feed infants soon after they’ve woken up — they’re the most energetic and can thus feed fully and burp properly. They may even stay awake for some time and look around and then can be swaddled and put to sleep at the appropriate time.

Following these simple techniques can help your newborn baby and the entire family enjoy better sleep during the early months of this new life. It also sets the platform for healthy sleeping habits as they grow up. 

 Ajita Gopal Seethepalli

Ajita Seethepalli is a Child Sleep and Food Habits Consultant and the creator of KidsCenter.in. She uses behavioural coaching to help develop healthy habits in children.  Over the past 10 years, she has helped thousands of parents and children across the globe through concrete, customized, step-by-step solutions. 

For further information on Ajita and her services please see:

www.KidsCenter.in

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Sleep expert on helping baby sleep longer

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How to sleep train your baby?

New Born | 4 Min Read

How To Sleep Train Your Baby?

Rabitat

Author for Rabitat

train-your-baby

The arrival of a baby is inarguably the best event in our lives. They bring joy and happiness and add many new characteristics to our lives.

But there is a slight turn-around in the story at the onset of night: the baby won’t sleep! Come on, you at least need the night’s sleep to get over your daily exhaustion. But how?

Although it isn’t very simple, it's possible. Unlike us, newborns don’t have sleep patterns. But they can be made to. 

But first, you need to ensure that your baby is at the stage where they’re capable of sleeping through the night. As you may read in our newborn baby sleep schedules, babies under 2 months of age shouldn’t sleep for more than 4 hours at stretch. So they wake up in the middle of the night just like they do in between day naps. As the child grows, this duration also increases and they move closer to sleeping all night. Although they’re still prone to awakening at night due to separation anxiety, colic, certain irritants, wetness, hunger, an illness, or perhaps for no reason at all. And if your baby keeps waking up for no apparent reason, a solution can be worked out. 

Here are a few tips that can help you get your newborn to sleep through the night:

1. Create a Bedtime Routine

By the time your sweet pea is 2 months old, you will notice a lot of patterns. Which room or mattress they’re more comfortable in, what time they begin to feel sleepy at night, and their drowsy face. You will also know where your baby is comfortable sleeping away from or closer to you. The distance is especially to be taken care of so the child doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety at night. 

In our newborn sleep schedule for 0 to 6 weeks, we’ve mentioned that mothers should start creating a bedtime routine for their babies. For example, your bedtime routine could include turning off lights and swaddling, massaging and singing them their favourite lullaby every night. 

Over time, infants realize and start acknowledging nights as sleeping time. They will know that they’re not expected to be playful and get into a habit of sleeping. They’ll also start attempting to sleep without your assistance, which is a huge blessing in disguise. Once they learn how to soothe themselves, they’ll also begin to sleep longer at night. 

2. Follow Sleep Schedules

Following sleep schedules since the beginning may not ensure a full night’s sleep in the first 1-2 months, but it will definitely help your little bundle of joy to start sleeping more at night. Newborn sleep schedules help babies to get habituated to proper sleeping patterns. They might still wake up at night as their sleep spans are short, but it will get better with time. As they grow older, their night sleeping time will increase, as will yours. 

Check out our newborn baby sleep schedules according to your child’s age to get deeper insights. 

3. Wean Night Feedings

Imagine you’re given a sum of money as a reward every time you wake up in the middle of the night! (Where’s my reward?!)

Newborns have nothing to do with money, but milk… you know better! All they do is feed on milk, whether the mother’s or a formula. Everytime you feed to soothe them (it might seem to be the only option when the only reward for your body is hitting the bed), they get used to it. This is the last thing you would want. It will become a habit that is really hard to get over. Start weaning night feedings as soon as they’re 2-3 months old so they start to sleep longer at night. 

Another thing: you do not want to feed them to sleep even at bedtime. Although this doesn’t mean they’re going to sleep on an empty stomach. The thing is to not use feeding as a resort to making them fall asleep. 

Put them to bed before they’re fully sleepy, that is, when the first signs of drowsiness show up. This way, they’ll learn to soothe themselves and sleep without a reward. They’ll know that their mamma (or anybody else) is not going to wait till they sleep. You’ll have a feeling of achievement when your little monkey starts going to sleep without you rocking him/her!

4. The Let Them Cry-it-Out Method

The ‘cry it out’  or ‘extinction’ method is quite a popular advice that circulates between parents and families. But does it really work? There is some research that indeed suggests its functioning. But there are many experts and doctors who advise against it. 

This method may also be of no help in case your child has colic, which usually has no apparent reason. Letting them crying it out would be futile then. 

Also, when your baby is awakened by something best known to just them and starts crying inconsolably, it’s seriously very hard to let them just be. Leaving a baby crying on the top of their lungs is definitely one of the most difficult things to do. You may never gather the courage for this harsh parenthood. The best in that case is to not set any restrictions and step up to comfort them. 

Read: How Can I Help My Colicky Baby Sleep?

5. Use a White Noise Device

How do you imagine a mom’s womb to be? Dark and cozy… silent? 

Dark and cozy, yes; but silent, it is not. You don’t spend your pregnancy months in silence; you continue to do your daily chores, meet people, visit noisy places… So the baby gets adapted to all this background noise. They listen to both you and the world. And when they come out, we start sushing everybody up, “Shh… she’s sleeping.” “Shh! He’ll wake up!” 

When actually, your newborn will sleep better with some constant background ‘white’ noise. It can also act as a blocker for other household noises, like that of an older sibling. For example, a creaking window or a noisy fan. Many parents leave the TV, radio or phone on, playing constant music or sounds while their baby sleeps. If you aren’t comfortable with these, you can go for some fancy white noise machines that serve the same purpose. 

You can also find some interesting white noise, including simulations of mother’s heartbeat, falling rain, etc. on the internet. 

6. Not Giving Into Nighttime Tantrums 

Ahh... The important part. Your baby may wake you up in the middle of the night. They may be wanting their night feeding or simply to play with you. If you start feeding or playing with them, they’ll never know that nights aren’t for playing or feeding - or whatever it is that your child wants. They’ve just been born after all; they don’t understand between right and wrong and night and day. It is therefore important that you don’t give into their nighttime tantrums. Let them keep asking for it. They’ll eventually get over their habits.

However, some babies are stubborn; they will do their best to get what they want. But it’s with these babies that mothers need to be extra careful with. Try conditioning them to fall back asleep, not wake up. Comfort them but not by not giving them what they want. They’ll definitely get better with time.

 Also, when you find your little one getting fidgety at night, you might want to run and check on them. Babies, however, fall back asleep if left unattended. If there’s nothing that might need urgent attention, you should better not pay a heed. You can observe them from a distance and rest assured that they’ll go back to sleeping very soon. As time passes, you’ll know when and if you need to respond to your baby’s awakening. 

7. Comfy Clothes and Environment

Dim the lights and ensure that the room’s temperature is optimal: 18-22° C and static and there’s no possible allergen or irritant present. Please also ensure that there’s nothing that they’re directly in contact with or that there’s nothing that can tangle with them, fall on them or roll over to them. 

You may wrap them in a comfy swaddle made of a natural fabric so they can sleep cozily through the night without any irritation. Research has found that swaddling helps babies sleep longer and reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You do not want to miss that. Include swaddling in your newborn’s bedtime routine, it will help you big time!

BabyToe-Note

Each infant is new and unique. They all have similar basic requirements: sleep, milk, natural, non-toxic clothes, and a lot of love, care, and attention. You may be feeling deprived of sleep but on the greener side, it’s only a matter of a couple of weeks. Your tiny moonpie will grow bigger and naughtier sooner than you think and your dream of sleeping through the night will also come true. Don’t give up, keep sleep training your little one, it will reward you every possible way in the blink of an eye. 

Happy Mommying!

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How Can I Help My Colicky Baby Sleep?

New Born | 3 Min Read

How Can I Help My Colicky Baby Sleep?

Rabitat

Author for Rabitat

trainbaby

Does your newborn baby start crying incessantly to go on for hours? If you didn’t already know, they could be colicky. Colic is a major cause of concern for many new parents, especially the first timers. It makes it hard for the parents to put them on a defined sleep schedule. Yes! Newborn sleep schedule makes it incredibly easier for the parents to have one of their own too, download it here!

In addition to causing discomfort to the baby, colic tends to deeply affect the mother. Doesn’t it? You feel like you haven’t yet connected with them, or that you aren’t good enough. It happens... don’t worry. Don’t blame yourself; you’re definitely not the reason.

Colic typically bids a goodbye by the time the baby is 3-4 months old. But does that mean you and your newborn will keep losing sleep till then? Well, no. Colicky babies indeed have troubles sleeping, but they can be put to a smiley-rest.

Tips to Help Your Colicky Baby Sleep

1. First things first, calm yourself down. Your colicky baby may give you anxiety, which can hamper your ability to soothe your child.

2. Swaddle. Many parents have found swaddling helpful. Cozily wrap your sweetpea in a comfy swaddle while humming or singing to them. Swaddling gives the newborn a feeling of being inside their mother’s womb - what could be more comfortable! An important note here would be to ensure that the swaddles you use are super comfy, cozy, and made of natural fibres so it doesn’t irritate your newborn.

3. Motion can distract them from crying. You may take your baby in a stroller, or in your arms, and take them for a ride by foot or in a car whenever they get colicky.

4. A toy or an object that makes cool sounds can also calm your baby down, and eventually put them to sleep. Please don’t resort to using a phone though!

5. Often, colic could simply be due to gas. In such a case, you can give your little one a soothing massage to calm. Maybe, try to move their legs slowly toward their stomach to help them release the gas.

6. Typically, colic develops a pattern. As soon as you notice it, you can start your mission even before the crying starts. Pick ‘em up and snuggle and cuddle… it might totally reduce the struggle!

7. You could also try a warm water bottle to pacify your crying baby. Some infants like the feeling and relax by the mild touch of the bottle.

8. More often than not, babies love their parents singing lullabies to them! If you don’t consider yourself a good singer, you might want to get some lullabies online. Here’s a free lullaby that can help you put your baby to sleep.

Help baby sleep

FREE age based lullaby to help baby sleep

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If you’ve tried everything and you see no change in the fussiness of your newborn, it’s better to check with your pediatrician. Colic could as well be because of an underlying cause, which only the doctor can determine.

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Dr Ishi Khosla answers 19 FAQs on pre and post pregnancy nutrition.

Maternity | 9 min read

Dr Ishi Khosla answers 19 FAQs on pre and post pregnancy nutrition.

Dr Ishi Khosla

Dr Ishi Khosla
Clinical Nutritionist and Author

Web
drisha

Pregnancy brings along with itself a stream of emotions; emotions of joy, bliss, fulfillness, thrill, achievement, satisfaction and fear. Although fear isn’t the first emotion that many of us have, it develops and grows, as do all the other emotions. 

“Will I be a good mother?”
“Will my child be healthy?” 
“Am I eating well enough?” 
“Is my baby getting enough nutrition?” 
“When will my baby kick for the first time” 
“Will I be able to lose all the weight I’m putting on?”

And then begins the influx of miscellaneous information. We find our ears opening to tonnes of advice from our loved ones! Although not paying attention to it was the agenda earlier. 

We at Rabitat understand how important it is for your concerns to be addressed. We know how much you care for the well-being of your fetus and your own body. So, we got in touch with clinical nutritionist Dr. Ishi Khosla, who is also an entrepreneur, columnist, author, researcher, welfare worker, and the founder of a unique score-based nutrition monitor app -  theweightmonitor.com. We asked her some questions that are mostly left unanswered. Without any further ado, let’s get talking!

Top Pregnancy-Related FAQs and their Expert Answers

FAQS About Eating Right During Pregnancy

1. How much does one need to eat during pregnancy?

Should expecting mothers eat for two?

Contrary to popular belief, expecting mothers don’t need to eat for two.

Dr. Khosla explains that it is really not like that, what matters is what you’re eating. There isn’t a profound increase in the caloric requirements in the first three months, and therefore, the weight gain is also very minimal. The need for calories, however, goes up after the second trimester by up to 300 only, which isn’t too much. You certainly don’t need to overeat.

2. How much weight should I gain in pregnancy in kg? 

An average, healthy pregnancy carrying a single child should not increase more than 9-12 kilograms

For women carrying twins, 15-20 kilograms maximum. 

3. Is it safe to drink tea or coffee during pregnancy?

Absolutely not. Tea and particularly coffee are best avoided during pregnancy, while mild cups of tea are admissible if you can tolerate it. The consumption of caffeine is certainly not the best during pregnancy. 

4. What can I eat to boost my iron levels during pregnancy?

Expecting mothers are commonly given iron supplements. However, if the nutrient isn’t getting absorbed by the body, they are futile. Grains like wheat, corn, oats, barley, and soya are inflammatory and can cause malabsorption of iron during pregnancy. Dr. Khosla has observed many women, who go off these grains, increase their pregnancy hemoglobin levels. So you can start with replacing these foods with healthier alternatives. 

Foods that help in absorption of iron are 

  • Vitamin C
  • Amla
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Beetroot and carrot juice
  • Pomegranates

5. Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

Dr. Khosla says that the safety of seafood depends on where it is from. Particularly, it can be contaminated with toxins and heavy metals, which cause poisoning. Therefore, although seafood is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s better to restrict the consumption to twice a week, ensuring the quality of the source. 

6. What foods can ease morning sickness?

You can consume something alkaline, like a glass of coconut water, some soapnuts, or something crisp, which can be anything wafer-thin you like. Dr. Khosla suggests that making your body alkaline in the morning may help.

7. I’m lactose intolerant, how can I increase my calcium intake during pregnancy?

It is a myth that you need dairy to fulfill your calcium needs. Under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, you may add calcium and magnesium supplements to your diet or get them from vegan sources like

  • Green leafy vegetables 
  • Sesame seeds
  • Broccoli
  • Kale

8. How do I include proteins in my diet as a vegetarian?

We have a whole range of plant protein in India. Some plant sources rich in proteins are:

  • Daals
  • Beans
  • Legumes like chickpeas
  • Dairy
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Some grains like quinoa are also great sources. 

9. Is there a permissible limit for alcohol during pregnancy?

Absolutely not. There’s no permissible limit for alcohol during pregnancy

FAQs About Breastfeeding

An Expert Tip

It should be done traditionally. Increase your calories through good fats. 

We now have the issues of gut health like leaky gut, which weren’t common earlier. Dr. Khosla clarifies that while pregnancy in itself affects the gut, women in this generation have been exposed to modern wheat, which also affects the gut. The antibodies produced against modern wheat take effect post delivery, which may result in postpartum depression, mood swings, and autoimmune disorders like thyroids.

Therefore, Dr. Khosla advises pregnant women to take a traditional approach to eating during pregnancy, but consume millets instead of just wheat, like millet-based pandjiris and galactogogues (foods that promote lactation). 

All the gums, sesame seeds, nuts, and dry fruits roasted in desi ghee are excellent. However, if a breastfeeding mother feels that the child isn’t feeling full enough or is restless despite feeling full, is colicky or has constipation or acid reflux, then the diet has to be reviewed and food sensitivities need to be addressed.

11. Does a mother’s nutrition affect breastfeeding?

Yes. Anything that a mother eats or does affects breastfeeding.

12. Do galactagogue foods also help to beat postpartum depression and other issues?

Galactagogues are good for the gut, they may be supportive with the issues but may not be able to completely manage them. The cause has to be addressed.

13. Is a low-carb diet safe for a nursing mother?

A high-fat diet rich in good fats, including plenty of fruits and vegetables is certainly good for a nursing mother. Therefore, Dr. Khosla doesn’t advise going low-carb, rather going better-carb.

14. Are there any foods a breastfeeding mother needs to avoid?

All the foods that were avoided during the pregnancy are advised to be avoided during breastfeeding as well. Moreover, gassy foods must also be avoided. And if a child is getting colic or is bloated, the mother’s diet needs to be checked and changed. 

15. Is there anything that women need to add during breastfeeding otherwise often overlooked?

Adding probiotic supplements to your diet during breastfeeding could be beneficial.

16. What is the best and the healthiest way to lose the baby weight?

If you’re still breastfeeding, you need to be careful to not affect your lactation while you start working on losing weight. You can certainly cut back on extra calories, like extra sugars. These include carbohydrates coming from grains, cereals, or certain beverages that could be loaded with sugars. This should be accompanied with increasing the intake of healthy fats, which are important for lactation and make you feel full for longer. So, consume more nuts and seeds and other foods rich in good fats and eliminate unhealthy carbs from your diet to lose the baby weight. Also, of course, movement and exercise are important.

Each body is different and responds to different approaches. So if your body isn’t responding to these, you might require professional help.

17. When after delivery can a mother start her weight-loss regime?

There’s no specified waiting period post-delivery for a new mother to start her weight-loss journey. You can start whenever you feel like it.

18. Among the fad diets, such as keto, intermittent fasting, weight watchers, dash diet, etc, which is the safest and most effective for new mothers?

No one diet. A new mother’s diet should be designed according to her body needs. Therefore, none of these diets should be followed, particularly at this time. 

19. Do mothers lose weight while nursing?

Yes. Mothers naturally shed the baby weight while breastfeeding. However, if you’re eating wrong, you wouldn’t. 

On the endnote, we hope you’ve taken the notes and are ready to take your journey to a healthier high. 

Happy Mommying!

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Moms, How Well Are You Dating the Father of Your Child?

16 Min Read

Moms, How Well Are You Dating the Father of Your Child?

momsdating

In a new initiative by Rabitat ‘Meet the Mom,’ we invited super moms Neha, Radhika, and Shweta to discuss the joys and issues that come with motherhood.

Shweta is a full-time mother of a three-year-old, a photographer, and a Social Media Influencer for many moms and moms-to-be. Radhika is again a full-time mother of a three-year-old and an independent HR Consultant. Neha is also a full-time mom of a 10-year-old and Digital Marketing Head at Rabitat.

With Meet the Mom, we intend to share awesome tips, tricks and hacks with you all. We aren’t only focused on delivering the best baby products to you, we also believe that you should have the best time of your life being both a mother and a wife. Most importantly, we value your womanhood and the never-say-never spirit.

This episode is about how relationships change after the arrival of the child. How the husband becomes the father and the wife the mother. The couple gets promoted to this new position in life and gets so lost in it that they forget their own relationship.

As I write this, thank my multi-tasker self, I am also trying to get my three-year-old daughter to sit down and eat half-an-apple. She’s playing with her father and her father is now more of her father and less of my husband. I’m not saying this out of paranoia. Whenever we sit down at the dinner table, I admit my attention is wholly at feeding my child. And the same is on his end too. So it isn’t one-sided. This departing isn’t one-sided. We aren’t even departing, technically - we’re just learning to become parents together. But I’m afraid that we might forget that we’re spouses altogether.

But we aren’t alone in this: This little conversation between these moms proves just that!

On being asked about ‘dating the father of her child,’ Radhika, very precisely, describes, “I would say we’re two people who get along really well, great friends, sharing a baby, living under one roof!”

Which is true in every sense! Don’t we become just partners raising a child? Our whole world changes and revolves around the baby and nothing else, as Shweta also explains and feels that even at dinner - when the family gets together after having spent the entire day apart - the talks are still mainly concerning the child.

She says, “It’s either about the home or the child. I think it becomes very point-to-point and very categorical... very household centric. It becomes very monotonous.” She further says something that is actually the basis of it all, “I think that love, that essence, that passion - everything just fades out. And nobody, I think, puts a diligent effort to hold that back.”

We don’t disagree as we all know how we start taking things for granted. The man is just the husband, after all! Who cares? Now that the baby has popped out in the world, how does the husband matter? *Wink*

Jokes apart, the conversations start with the baby and end on the baby. We tend to value the happiness of the human who’s super new to both of us and, over time, we forget that there’s a life out of that mini-world of ours. That’s a part of the world - not the entire world. Apart from the child, most of the couples have nothing else to talk about, which Shweta feels, is very unhealthy. She says that the time and effort that we put into for a child’s development and happiness are the same measures that we should put in for our own relationships.

Our relationship transitions and we become parents together. Neha suggests that we should hold on to being a couple together, which we, unfortunately, don’t.

We mostly think that our romance just goes away with the arrival of the baby, but Radhika loves to disagree. She says, “Romance, I feel, it’s not like it goes away but it just takes a backseat.” Whether the romance goes away or takes a backseat, it’s our responsibility to fuel the fire and not let it quench.

Talking about the reinvention of love and romance, Shweta explains that while the reinvention is happening, it’s restricted to that only, it isn’t coming to us as partners. We fail to notice or recognize that reinvention because now the baby gets all our attention. She believes that the men take the crown of being a father way too seriously. Which could very well be true!

Neha, agreeing with Shweta, gives an example of how her husband continues to call her ‘Mummy’ in front of their 10-year-old daughter and she has to remind him that she isn’t his mother. We develop that habit of calling each other ‘Mummy/Papa’ in front of our young ones to get them into the habit also. But as the children grow older, our habits do too and we forget that they need to disappear.

The newly-father-turned-husbands should take a note here, as the ladies feel that you forget to woo the wife; you get into the suit of the father and forget that tonnes of other relationships exist!

One of the best tips we can take from this conversation is:

going back in time and revisiting all the memories you’ve lived together as a couple.

Shweta explains how important it is to relive those flashbacks from your life pre-baby - “And I just realized the moment I was back home, the moment I was even seeing him; I was blushing! Because all those memories were so fresh in my head!”

On being asked what deliberate efforts she makes, Radhika gives us one precious tip that, I believe, we all must follow:

“But one rule: when we do manage to have date nights leaving the child behind: The only rule on those nights is no conversation about the baby. None whatsoever! That’s the only rule.”

(You can try these simple date ideas without even leaving the home!)

Neha has another wonderful tip for us. She says,

“This friend of mine - she messaged me saying that I’m feeling really low and her husband had been traveling a lot. So what I did was, I texted her husband and I asked him to get her flowers that day. And, now, the other day she messaged me that her room’s never empty now like every time one set of flowers dry out, he gets her another one.”

She further explains how the beautiful gesture was returned back as a favor and that even she has flowers at her home now!

All husbands out there, you’re advised to get your wives a bouquet of flowers tonight and see how the love blossoms again.

Shweta further gives us insights into how she’s reworked her entire relationship just to not only keep it going but also growing. She says that it’s very important to have time that is just the couple’s. Whether it’s a movie date or a dinner - there have to be moments off the baby. To ensure that this works well, she blatantly goes to her mother and asks her to keep the child until she’s back. So from the men, we are walking back to our soul sisters, our girlfriends, and our mothers.

But husbands, this wasn’t it! The ladies didn’t have only complaints against you. They’re happy that you make deliberate efforts to take care of the baby, too. Gone are the days when handling the baby was just the mother’s job. It’s obviously something that makes us moms so independent today. We don’t need your permission, we only want your support to be successful as both moms and women.

The relationship changes, for sure, but the love and romance should reinvent, not go away or take the backseat.

I’m freaking out now! I think we should start taking these things very seriously and take cues from each other on how we can improve our relationships. I am starting today… no, right now!

Happy Mommying and Daddying! 

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9 Challenges We All Face As Working Moms

7 Min Read

9 Challenges We All Face As Working Moms

9challange

Be it a regular working day or a relaxing weekend, every day is a challenge for us as working moms. We’re continually jumping from one task to another and trying to focus on work while suffering from an ever-lasting ‘mommy guilt.’ Whether our partners, colleagues, or friends understand this or not, I’m sure that we and our moms are nothing short of supermoms or superwomen. Our life is indeed tough, but so are we, and the challenges that we face every day make us even stronger. We can’t push a truck with our bare hands, but we can cook while teaching our children and still be able to get ready for our dinner date.

Here are 9 challenges that all working moms conquer to be who they are: supermoms!

Working moms

1. We are always rushing. Always.

Whether it’s 4 a.m., 4 p.m., or midnight, we’re always on the dash. And the only time we aren’t rushing is when we’re sleeping.(While we’re still running in dreams.) The rush never ends. Is your child two-years-old? Woman, how will you reach the office on time when your younger one starts crying the moment they find out you’re leaving? That’s their (and our) separation anxiety and there’s nothing to worry about, but at the same time, it is also what makes us run wild all the time.

We are always rushing

2. No Time Is Ever Convenient.

I’m honestly always in the middle of a meeting when my phone rings, and I’m notified of my child’s mischief at her grandma's. She is all of 5 years of age but has the potential to make me go nuts. And this is precisely why no time is ever convenient for me. I have to get out of my office when ‘nature’ calls me - whether I’m in the middle of a meeting, or having lunch with a client discussing work, or chit-chatting with an office friend.

No Time Is Ever Convenient

3. The Struggle Is Real While Maintaining The Focus.

Well… yeah! Even when we aren’t rushing, our minds always are. Because we are super stressed about everything. We are always anxious. We don’t care about anything yet care about everything related to our child(ren). In the midst of planning things for our children, we absolutely can’t focus on our work. There’s a constant worry that keeps running down our nerves “Is my baby okay? All we want is to make sure that they’re in the best shape of their health, nothing more and nothing less. This is the stable state of mind we’re running towards. Always!

Struggle Is Real While Maintaining

4. ‘Mommy Guilt’ is really a thing.

I thought there’s no such thing as ‘mommy guilt,’ but the moment I started going to work leaving my 3-year-old behind, I knew it’s real. First things first, I couldn’t stand my baby crying as she saw me leave. I had seen more painful goodbyes, but it’s the worst, and I get to experience it every workday. And this ‘mommy guilt’ is just too big to ever leave me until I get back to my daughter and share a hearty laugh with her and feed her. That time of our reunion is the best; there’s nothing that can beat it. I never think I’m giving her enough time, which is probably true. I even have thoughts of quitting work altogether - of which I’m guilty of not being guilty! (And if you are indeed planning to take a career break, thismight help you.)

‘Mommy Guilt’ is really a thing

5. Being A Working Mom Throws Love Life Off The Track.

Be honest here. How many of us think about our partners? It’s an inevitable situation. I often forget thinking about my husband, who himself makes sure that things get done on time. Not only do I have the ‘mommy guilt,’ I also have a pang of persistent 'wife guilt.’ He’s always thinking about me, but I can never think enough about my child. We all know how much free time we can spare - none. So I have to ‘work’ extra at times to take out time for us. It is even more overwhelming for single mothers working hard to get things right and who are probably avoiding the dating scene to take care of their children. Evelyn Watts so wholly shares her challenges through her blog Breadwinningmama.com that I can’t get over them.

A Working Mom Throws Love Life

6. We Take Sick Leaves For Our Children More Than Ourselves.

Is there a provision at your office that allows you to take an off for your child? No, right? I utilize my sick leaves when my child gets sick, unpaid leaves when I have none left in my kitty. The money will come back, but my child’s health is at the top of my priority. What else am I earning for? Moreover, my two days’ leave extends when I eventually catch my child’s viruses or bacteria. Those days are even more challenging, but to be honest, they give me a break from my even more hectic life.

child’s health

7. Working Mom Means No Time For Hobbies.

It’s sort of an achievement if you can find time out for your child’s hobbies. The hush-and-rush lives that we live offer almost no time for ourselves. Most of us don’t sleep even for 5 hours and still don’t have enough time. We can’t ever sit and relax. “What’s your favorite hobby?” “Yeah! My son loves reading picture books.” But to be honest, I’ve been thinking of taking up a hobby class such as dancing or yoga - I love them both. And it is only considered healthy to. Working mother lists some hobbies that are considered healthy for working moms.

No Time For Hobbies

8. Plans Are Made To Be Shattered.

Either they’re never made, or they’re made to be broken. It’s a match made in heaven. Plans go off track, and we know that they will, but we don’t really care. Although we don’t make back-up plans, running a little late for work isn’t something to worry about anymore - it happens all the time. Canceling dinner dates with our spouses is also not a truly big deal either. I choose not to mention going out with friends; it’s a soft spot - I can cry. Still, to keep things a li’l organized, I use a daily planner. Check this blogpost that walks you through numerous ways of using daily planner apps or making one yourself.

Plans Are Made

9. We Are Always Anxious About Everything.

It isn’t only about our child. It’s about everything. Would I ever be able to achieve my career goals? Would I ever be able to spend quality time with my lovely man or woman? When am I going to get enough sleep? There’s a lot that’s going on in our life, and consequently, our head. But this isn’t a problem with just the working women: all moms have these thoughts. I know that I would still be here, at this point, even if I weren’t working. I am constantly worried about being looked down upon by my boss and colleagues. I take way more leaves than my fellows; even the number of days I’m working remotely exceeds my allowed limit. But I’m blessed with an understanding boss. It’s a luxury that not everybody enjoys, though. Anxiety has now become a part of my everyday life. Each moment I spend away from my daughter makes me anxious. And when any serious anxiety attack kicks in, I become obnoxious. That’s when I can’t stay away from my not-so-new-born anymore; I’m sure you can’t either. Each goodbye makes me anxious, just as each phone call from her does. I know the pain, so here are some ways you can reduce your parental anxiety.

Always Anxious

But We Are Proud Of Being Working Moms.

Our success as working moms overshines our struggles. We are proud of working for whatever reason and still being fully responsible moms. We take pride in whatever we do; we face challenges like a boss. However, it doesn’t mean that at-home moms don’t work. All of us are working moms. Each of us raises a human being that’s humane. We raise our children with the same love and manners. Each of us wishes the same for our children - good health, success, and prosperity. There’s nothing more we would want, but also nothing less. Motherhood is not a phase of life because it doesn’t end. Motherhood itself is life - it only ends with death. So we should celebrate it without thinking much. Also, we must not forget that it isn’t the last relationship we’re left to serve on earth!

Happy Mommy-ing!

References:

https://www.workingmother.com/blogs/energized-mom/12-truths-about-being-working-mom-survival-tips

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/working-moms-and-problems-they-face/

https://www.parents.com/parenting/work/life-balance/moms-balance-work-family/?slide=slide_2ea2abd1-dcd0-4c9d-ab5a-d9e5ef398a47#slide_2ea2abd1-dcd0-4c9d-ab5a-d9e5ef398a47

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The 4th Trimester: How Life Changes Postpartum

6 Min Read

The 4th Trimester: How Life Changes Postpartum

4thterm

While a lot had already been sorted out, one worry that was still haunting me was that if I would be able to manage it all after the arrival of my baby. I had read and heard so much about delivering the child and the life afterward, that I thought my head would explode with the information and thoughts about finally having it in my hands.

I was nervous, obviously, but I was super-excited, too. I had already dreamt about my postpartum life, which I love to call my 4th trimester. Everybody had told me how it would be a life-changing experience and they did mention the dark sides too, but I was like, “No! This baby is all I’ve ever wanted. I can definitely lose sleep for it and shizz.”

And after 3 days of my due date, I gave birth naturally - like I’d wanted to. (I was happy that I made out of it alive!)

...and oh, did my life change!

Drastically so.

Though there are a lot of things that happen postpartum, I lost sleep indeed, but here are a few other things that I hadn’t thought would be so downright devastating.

Devastating

Voila! I still looked pregnant.

Out of all the things I’d read or heard, I completely missed this one point in plain sight. I thought I would be free of the big belly after the delivery. But no magic here… I didn’t. This wasn’t the first thing I realised but also not the last. Okay, I admit: I didn’t look 9 months pregnant, but I looked at least 6 months pregnant. I had to work my ass off to get back into shape - which took longer than I’d predicted.

Still looked pregnant

I referred to this 12-week postpartum workout planand it really helped me to get started on my weight loss plans.

Pooping was literally a pain in the ass.

Well, We just expel an entire mini-human being out of our vay-jay and think that it’s the last time it would hurt (until you plan to go through it again) but no. Pooping is another pain that you go through after delivery. And even thinking about it can send shivers down your spine. Although a friend of mine did mention this to me, I think I just didn’t care about it then. I would just advise you to drink a lot of water and cry it out, maybe! Hope it helps. If your doctor prescribes, you can also take a stool softener to make it better.

Pooping

Contractions? What?

“No period means no cramps! I’m free as long as I feed!” I’d thought. So efficiently had I forgotten that postpartum contractions just begin to occur after your uterus has delivered the baby to go back to its original shape and size. Among many more, pain killers were my new best friends.

Contractions

‘No period’ didn’t really mean nature would be easy on me.

We all know that the lean period means no menstrual period, yet we bleed - fancy calling it Lochia. I had stocked up on maternity pads already and was expecting that it would be easy - at least a bit. But it was way worse than my usual period! The flow of course varies from woman to woman, and mine flew like it would never stop. I really recommend buying some huge, granny pads to spare yourself from the misery it causes.

Lean period

Postpartum depression, baby blues - are real and every new mother is prone.

Just over a week after my daughter was born, I couldn’t think of anything or anyone else besides her. Seeing her was heartwarming initially but I sort of started feeling strange (guiltlessly blame it on them hormones). The feeding, holding her in my hands, her crying, her sleepy-smiles, her looking at me, my worries encircling her, and everything that I could and couldn’t think of was overwhelming. I would cry. A lot! There seemed no end to the misery. But my partner stood by me and my daughter’s smiles made it a lot better for me. Yet, the baby blues would still kick in whenever they wanted to. Nevertheless, I managed to cope with my spouse’s and our family’s support.

Postpartum depression baby blues

Postpartum depression is a more severe kind of depression that often onsets with baby blues, which are rather common. I was lucky that my symptoms didn’t turn into depression, but I’ve seen it happen to my best friend. She used to cry all the time and had difficulty bonding with her own baby. She wouldn’t talk to me or her family, or even her husband. She was lost; she couldn’t and wouldn’t take care of the child. This is a form of depression that brings out the worst in a mother - who is considered a godly figure. This made her believe that she wasn’t a good mother, which even worsened her situation. The reason why I’m detailing this is that it drives everyone around the sufferer crazy, too. There’s nothing worse than seeing a mother suffer from this pain (or anyone for that matter). She sometimes had thoughts of harming her newborn and the other times, her thoughts were for herself.

Thankfully, she got over it with adequate support and treatment.

We save the best for last, don’t we? Here come the best things that I experienced in my 4th trimester:

Mini clothes, swaddles, cribs and sheets, squeezy bottles, baby clothes, loungers, toys, and everything else is just too cute to handle.

I had my baby blues, true, but all these baby products - also, the baby - were too cute to handle. They would look straight into my eyes and ask me to touch them, cuddle them, and use them on my daughter. Breastfeeding was a little challenging for me in the initial couple of days so I had to rely on super squeezy bottles and nipples to feed my sweetpie. (Maternity bras, disposable underwear, and hot and cold gel pads became my best friends later!) I loved to use them. I loved how they’re made with utmost care and purity. I would really, really suggest you go for only the best ones. Try to look for 100% organic, parabens-, phthalates- and BPA-free products for your babies that ensure the safety of your baby for which I trust Rabitat. Toxicity is a real-world thing and it must not touch your baby. Ever.

Baby products

I became humbled.

I always contemplated it but hadn’t actually experienced it until the delivery. Postpartum isn’t such a pretty sight as they show in movies. It takes you out of you. You’re literally torn, don’t want to look at yourself in the mirror, and don’t want to go anywhere at all. You’re suddenly hit by baby blues when you thought those would be the best days of your life. It was a test of sorts of love. My husband’s unconditional love was at its peak and I realized how real it is. My in-laws were all sports. I couldn’t have wanted or dreamt of more. It humbled me and gave me the strength and wisdom to raise my daughter into a humble human being, and she’s doing great at it.

Humbled

Even after and along with the pain, child-birth is the best experience I’ve ever had.

Nothing can beat that. No gain in life and no achievement whatsoever. I had my bad days, I repeat, but they were outshone by the good days I had (and still have). The good days were the best days and I couldn’t thank God less. Her smile is the best in the world. Even though I didn’t fully understand and comprehend her emotions back then, I knew that she’s special to me. I know that she’s what will keep her parents together and inseparable. But she isn’t just that. She is the reason I smile and the reason I can forget everything else in the world. The fear of pooping, the pain of contractions, the bleeding, the baby blues - all were new and temporary. My baby’s smile and presence were permanent and ready to grow old. And so is my happiness.

 Child Birth

I hope you enjoy your 4th trimester the best way you should. I wish you and your bunny a happy, healthy life that fills yours with positivity and care.

Happy Mommy-ing! 

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Toddler Nutritional Needs

7 Min Read

Toddler Nutritional Needs

fruit

We all know the importance of nutrition and a good, balanced diet, we often ignore it when it comes to us. But when our babies pop out in the world, nutrition, food, and diet suddenly become the most important words. Not to mention milk! Isn’t it what we trouble our mothers for even to this day?

So when my daughter was born, it was like a transformation of my whole world. It was like a new world had just been born and I wasn’t the same, nor was anybody else. All she did was cry or sleep. And I was ever-ready to feed her. Why? Because I inherently knew that even a little ignorance could lead to irreversible circumstances.

She is three now - and thankfully healthy. She has been trying to comply with my terms but isn’t very efficient at that. But that’s manageable.

Nutritional requirements are mostly the same for all of us. But it is believed that as they’re in their growing years, which also acts as a backup system for their adult life. Fulfilling a child’s nutritional requirements is anyway a top concern for all mothers, but sometimes, a lack of knowledge may result in unintended happenings.

Nutrition food and diet

Here’s a quick, brief guide to help you get away with all the concerns that don’t let you sleep at night:

Toddler Nutrition 101

Nutrients

Basically, our nutrients consist of macro- and micronutrients. Macronutrients are the nutrients that we require in larger amounts, while micronutrients are required in fewer amounts.

1. Macronutrients consist of:

  • Proteins: the best sources of proteins are lean meat, poultry, pulses, dairy, fish, soy products like tofu, seeds and nuts, beans and legumes. Proteins are super important as they make almost everything in our body, from our hair to bones to muscles. All enzymes that carry out extremely important biochemical reactions are essentially proteins. Proteins are more important than we think. ( Here’s an app that I use to calculate protein in my daughter’s diet.)
  • Carbohydrates: the best sources of carbs are wholewheat bread, rice, cereal, fresh fruits, vegetables, sweets and starchy foods, dairy, oats, quinoa, etc. Carbohydrates are sources of instant energy so make sure that you include these in not only meals but snacks too. (Desserts and fruit juices rich in sugar are also great sources but only meant for occasional treats.)
  • Fats: these are considered unhealthy but only the unhealthy saturated fatty acids are unhealthy; unsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids are very healthy and don’t make us fat. The best sources of healthy fatty acids are avocados, dark chocolate, fish, nuts, and oils such as olive, cheese, whole eggs, and chia seeds. Though fats are mostly energy-giving foods, healthy fatty acids also exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that keep your children safe from acute or chronic inflammation.

These are majorly body-building foods (proteins) and energy-giving foods (carbs and fats). They are extremely essential for a child’s growth years and should make a prominent portion of a toddler’s diet. Their primary function is to meet the body’s energy needs. In essence, a toddler requires foods containing macronutrients to be able to play, be full of energy, and grow in size.

2. Micronutrients consist of:

  • Minerals: they further consist of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium, chlorine, iodine, copper, and zinc. These are also required in different quantities but much lower than macronutrients. All these minerals have different sources, but overall, you must include: green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, milk and dairy products, lean meat and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts and seeds.

FYI: cow’s milk is low in iron, you’ll have to depend on enriched milks or other food sources for iron and limit the intake of it.

  • Vitamins: these are further divided into essential and non-essential vitamins. Essential vitamins can’t be produced in our body; they’re water-soluble and get flushed out of our body easily, and therefore, more of these need to be taken from food. Essential vitamins are - vitamins B complex and C; non-essential vitamins are - vitamins A, D, E and K.

They may have different sources but their requirements must be fulfilled. ( Here’s a comprehensive guide from NCBI that you can refer to for your child’s vitamin needs.)

Our body can make its own vitamin D under the skin in the presence of sunlight. So you and your child must get at least 5-15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure every day. Other sources of vitamins are mainly all the foods we’ve listed so far. This lists the functions and sources for all vitamins. Give them to your child as per their needs.

These aren’t required in larger quantities but are significantly important as they save us from various kinds of diseases. Minerals and vitamins are essential in body functions. Most of the functions performed by our body organs and biochemical reactions are impossible to occur in the absence of these. This is why a deficiency disease doesn’t lead to just one symptom, but a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms.

Various kinds of diseases

You might feel that this is all. But no, there are other things too that should be a part of your child’s everyday meals.

Fiber

Fiber is a very important substance that is present in the skins of fruits and vegetables, fresh fruits, wholegrain bread and cereals, wholewheat, pasta, oats, pulses, beans, bananas, peas, and nuts and seeds, and more.

Many moms know that fiber is important but don’t know why. Fiber plays a remarkable role in maintaining proper digestion in not only the kids, but us too. It supports bowel movements and can, therefore, help a child with hurting tummy that can’t poop. It is also very beneficial in diarrhea, which we mostly can’t save our children from.

More than this, fiber keeps your child feeling full for longer, keeping him from wanting evening junk snacks. This ensures that your child stays away from developing unhealthy eating habits, which can also be concerning for some mothers.

Moreover, there’s some evidence that fiber may help to prevent diabetes.

So, to get your child a daily dose of fiber, you can give them the foods rich in fiber.

You can cook delicious whole wheat pasta full of veggies, sweet oatmeal topped with berries and bananas, or pulses the way they like. You might also want to switch flour bread and pasta with wholegrain and whole wheat ones, respectively, to feed your pumpkins healthy evening snacks.

Cook delicious

Probiotics and Prebiotics

One thing that most mothers miss out on is gut health. You might not know how important it is to maintain your child’s overall health. The gut is essentially the center of our body; it is the core. You can’t keep the other parts healthy if you avoid the core.

Our gastrointestinal passage is lined with innumerable colonies of microorganisms - predominantly bacteria - that are utterly beneficial to our overall health (it’s referred to as gut microbiota or microbiome). Of all the other functions they perform, they boost our immunity and aid in digestion. They are also known to produce some essential vitamins.

But since our children keep falling ill and are prone to infections due to already weak immune systems, going to the doctor to get prescription medications is unavoidable. These medications, particularly antibiotics, invariably kill the good gut bacteria too, because they can’t differentiate between the good and the bad. This further weakens the child’s immune system, which makes them way more prone to infections than they otherwise were. But this doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t give your child antibiotics as they could be absolutely necessary.

Whatever the case, many moms depend on home remedies to treat their children, while others trust and refer only to the doctor - and there’s no right stance here.

I know this makes you worried about your child’s health. But don’t worry, mother nature doesn’t fail to impress us. We have some naturally existing or synthetic foods called probiotics that contain living good bacteria, and those that can help the existing gut bacteria to flourish - prebiotics.

The best example of a natural probiotic is yogurt. And surprisingly, many children love to eat it. I make it a point to include yogurt in my daughter’s lunch every day.

It isn’t advised to eat it at night, so avoid its consumption at night.

Some other natural probiotics are sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, some types of cheese, natto, miso, and buttermilk.

Some prebiotic foods are garlic, onions, bananas, leeks, asparagus, oats, and apples.

Prebiotic foods

Some other important tips:

  • Don’t force it on your child to eat, try to feed them when they’re hungry. Eating without a will is equivalent to eating nothing.
  • Help your child pick their favorites by giving them the freedom to choose from the options you choose for them. Also, give them the freedom to pick as much as they want.
  • Your child should feel hungry, but not all the time. If you find your child’s eating patterns abnormal, don’t hesitate to seek a doctor.
  • Milk is undeniably important but can’t be a substitute for your child’s meals. Don’t overgive it. Your child should drink no more than 2-3 cups a day as it can fill your child’s stomach and prevent them from eating other nutritious food.

Some Recipes to Your Rescue

Now, you must be wondering how you can make your kids eat all these healthy foods. So, I’ve curated a list of delicious, healthy and easy to cook dishes and snacks that you can make for your bundles of joy:

  1. Fruit & Nut Yogurt
  2. Popcorn (rich in fiber)
  3. Trail Mix (a mixture of nuts and dried fruits)
  4. Baked Vegetable Spring Rolls
  5. Veg/Non-Veg loaded Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust
  6. Blueberry/Banana Muffins
  7. Spinach Avocado Smoothie
  8. Lentil-Mushroom Burgers
  9. Energy Balls
  10. Banana Oat Cookies

I haven’t yet cooked all of these, but my daughter loves baked vegetable spring rolls; we sit together to enjoy them in our evening snacks. She, like all children, absolutely loves the healthy pizza that her mamma makes. Although the recipes aren’t mine, I would love to hear from you how they are so I know if my list requires an update.

Till then,

Happy Mommying and Daddying!

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Immunity - A Mother’s Biggest Concern

14 Min Read

Immunity - A Mother’s Biggest Concern

immunity-1

In a new initiative by Rabitat ‘Meet the Mom,’ we invited super moms Shweta, Radhika, and Neha to sit together and discuss the joys and issues that come with motherhood.

Shweta is a full-time mother of a three-year-old, a photographer, and a Social Media Influencer for countless moms and moms-to-be. Radhika is, again, a full-time mother of a three-year-old and an Independent HR Consultant. Neha is also a full-time mom of a 10-year-old and the Digital Marketing Head at Rabitat.

With Meet the Mom, we intend to share awesome tips, tricks and hacks with you all. We aren’t only focused on delivering the best baby products to you, we also believe that you should have the best time of your life being both the mother and the wife. Most importantly, we value your womanhood and the never-say-never spirit.

In this episode, the moms discuss the importance of immunity. The mothers also shared their tips, hacks, home remedies and things with us.

Immunity

No matter how old or young your child is, when they fall sick, your world falls off. I honestly can’t think about anything but taking my daughter to a safe place and ensuring that she never falls sick. But does a safe place even exist? I think not. The world is full of germs and I didn’t realize this until only three years ago!

So, obviously, you can’t make this world safe for your children, but you can give them some bodyguards. Immunity plays that exact role. It’s a feature that our bodies, fortunately, have to keep us safe from a variety of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other parasites like ringworms.

Building a child’s immunity is as important as giving them good clothes and good food. Since the immune systems of young human children aren’t well developed, they’re more vulnerable to infectious microorganisms than us adults. And at the same time, we can’t stop them from going to school or playgrounds, aka ‘breeding grounds for germs.’

Those TV ads freak me out even more. Damn those insects and rodents, I don’t have roaches and rats at my home but the mosquitoes and houseflies are way too smart. So, I have mosquito nets and repellents at home that I use with care - with care because repellants are chemicals and they should be used very cautiously, especially when kids are around.

So immunity is a big thing. The core of immunity is, of course, the immune system and our gut, which is home to several microorganisms that are good for us and help in digestion, immunity, and tonnes of other things. Our gut microbiome - as they call it - is much more important than we can imagine. Check this to know more.

And going by the stats, as Neha tells us, “An average 6-year-old falls ill 6-8 times in a year, and this is just cold, this doesn’t include diarrhea and other ear infections or whatever they’re picking up.

Though the numbers suggest that keeping them from falling ill isn’t normally avoidable, it isn’t impossible. Shweta, like all of us, spends most of her time researching how she can boost the immunity of her three-year-old son. She fairly believes that we can’t give them medication (like antibiotics) every time they fall sick because that can hamper the good bacteria that resides in their bodies and do tonnes of other things (read: side effects).

Then - the other factor that we just can’t act on is pollution - as Shweta points out, “I think we have our limitations because we can’t control the external factors.” And then, for the people living in Delhi, it’s even worse.

Putting her thoughts together, Shweta further reveals that her research has made her aware of the fact that “gut health is very important and actually holds the core of immunity.” So Shweta rightly advises, “You know, like the probiotics are something, which has to be there in the kids' meal.” So, therefore, you must include yogurt in your child’s daily diet - is a natural probiotic and hence great for health.

As the discussion proceeds, Neha reminds us of the magic potions that our grandmoms used to give us as kids - the ones we got in the winter and the summer, say to keep us from loos. These magic potions used to be brewed up in our own kitchens and we never had to visit the doctor. Whereas, nowadays, whenever anything happens to our children, the first thing that we do is dial the doctor.

One of the most common examples of these magic potions or ingredients is turmeric or haldi, which is excellent for a cold. Just add a pinch to milk and give it to your children or drink yourself. But, unfortunately, kids are the least excited to take such ‘magic potions’ - something that Neha dreads just like most of us. But don’t you worry, Shweta has a tip here - she suggests that you add a pinch or two of turmeric powder in water and give it to your child. I’m hopeful that it could help, maybe!

Shweta says, “I mean there are so many things but actually, you know, we don’t just think about these things.” Could we agree more? She also says that we prefer doctors over all these home remedies and hacks that our grannies taught us. And also, now there’s this universal doctor that you can meet without an appointment! Dr. G. It’s Google.

“Google! All the time!” remarks Neha and it’s cent percent relatable. Because we just don’t care. I’m sure even the doctors are scared of the possibly more powerful Dr. G because it holds the bogus potential of taking their jobs. Even before we can get to the doctor, we have already checked the whole list of symptoms related to our own or our child’s symptoms and the following diagnosis. Some of us are too confused because of the abundant, contradictory information available on the internet. Nevertheless, it’s been found that Google is not seen as a threat by General Practitionersand it could lead to a better understanding of the symptoms and the diagnosis.

Radhika believes and says, “But I think the more I speak to more of my friends, people are kind of going back to these old wive’s tales.” Which is - again - true. We all have our own potions or Kadhas recipes as an inheritance from our moms and grandmoms that come really handy whenever our child catches a cold or something. Neha reveals that even she gets it whenever it’s being made for her daughter to treat her cold- because, why not!

Also, it’s also very normal to give such a potion whenever you see the slightest of the symptoms because we don’t want our children to go through the agony - obviously. But Shweta and Radhika also discuss that many mothers hesitate from giving such things to their children - whatever be the reason - whether they’re skeptics or simply unaware. No comments on that because it is, after all, a personal choice individual to each mother and we know that the mother knows the best.

Further, the moms tell us their magic hacks to boost immunity or some other secret potions or ingredients that their mom or grandmom taught them about.

Some Health Hacks by the Mothers for the Mothers

Radhika, very confident in her secret hack, tells us that her magic ingredient is nutmeg or jaifal. “You have to shred it a little bit and just apply it on the nose and you sleep the night. And it works like a charm. No runny nose, no cough in the morning.” While I’ve never heard about it, I’m definitely going to try this one because I trust the moms I can relate with. You should too!

Shweta shares that she uses the spice as an ingredient in her meals whenever the weather’s changing, but this application is even surprising for her - as much as it is for us. So if you don’t yet include it, start doing it because not only does “it smell and taste good, it is also very effective during weather change.

Moving on to Shweta’s hack, she describes it as “very short, crisp, and very effective,” which it sure is - Tulsi (holy basil) water! She advises to give tulsi water to the children during weather change and it will work like a charm. Well, tulsi is definitely a magic plant. It is used in many home remedies, too. Have you ever triedtulsi tea, though? The aroma and the flavor are pretty relaxing.

Then comes the last but not the least hack that Neha has for you. She says, “My mom used to give it to us when we were kids… it’s honey and almonds. We would have a spoonful every time in the winter before going to school. And I swear I didn’t get cold as much as these kids get now.” We’re sure this simple hack is also yummy at the same time as it is effective! This hack, as Shweta inquires Neha, could also be the secret behind her glowing skin. And I’m sure we can try it too!

We hope that you’ve noted or saved these tips and use them whenever you find them useful. Remember that boosting your child’s immunity can act as a one-stop solution for all of their health-related problems.

Of all the celebrated luxuries of the world, health is a luxury that is still counted as basic. Remind yourself that it doesn’t come itself and, therefore, shouldn’t be taken for granted. Health requires a lot of work, too. But at the same time, you also don’t want to forget yourself while taking care of your child: because at the end of the day, the world becomes a whole circle where your child’s health follows yours and vice versa.

Happy Mommy-ing!

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Happy mother = happy child

9 Min Read

Happy mothers = Happy Child

happymother

In a new initiative by Rabitat ‘ Meet the Mom,’ we invited super moms Shweta, Radhika, and Neha to discuss the joys and issues that come with motherhood.

Shweta is a full-time mother of a three-year-old, a photographer, and a Social Media Influencer for many moms and moms-to-be. Radhika is again a full-time mother of a three-year-old and an independent HR Consultant. Neha is also a full-time mom of a 10-year-old and Digital Marketing Head at Rabitat.

With Meet the Mom, we intend to share awesome tips, tricks and hacks with you all. We aren’t only focused on delivering the best baby products to you, we also believe that you should have the best time of your life being both a mother and a wife. Most importantly, we value your womanhood and the never-say-never spirit.

A Happy Mother = Happy Child

In this episode, the three moms discussed the challenges we all encounter when it comes to keeping ourselves happy. Even though I know that happiness is something that comes from within, I still have to look out for reasons to be happy. Like it isn't easy to be where you are at the moment. The mind is always (always!) running from here to there and you just can't help but sit and try to catch up with the world.

So, as the conversation starts, Neha asks the two mothers about it. And I totally agree with Radhika when she says, "A happy mom for sure equals a happy baby. If you’re not happy, your child, no matter how young he is, is surely feeding off your energy, the vibe, you know, that’s in the house. So, like you said, it’s a huge challenge to keep yourself happy. Specially at the time when you just deliver."

The Baby Blues

Do you remember? Remember the time when you'd just delivered an entire human growing in your body? I mean, remember the baby blues? My days were amazingly annoying. I was on the top of the world at one point and on the opposite the other times. But one of my friends had it way worse - she suffered from postpartum depression and I can never ever ever describe the pain as I saw it. Damn. Those days are just weird in their own peculiar way and you can't understand what's going on. Whatever your homies say, I recommend you to get help whenever you feel the situation to be getting out of your hand. Please.

Information Overload

Coming back to the discussion, Neha brings up this one point - "There's so much advice floating around… And now, I mean, you’re running back to your doctor for every little thing! And you’re also getting a lot of information at home. 'Do this, don’t listen to the doctor, they don’t know anything.'" Okay so, can you relate as much as I can? I mean, this actually pierced through my heart because of how much I can relate with this. So we run back and forth the doctor, our mothers, sisters, and grandmothers give us innumerable mini packets of information that aren't easy to process, at least I wasn't able to process them. So there's an information overload and then there's the internet! I still think about that time and trust me, my head is about to explode! (I, in fact, still have those moments because my daughter is only three.)

If you're going to be a mom and you expect yourself to be enveloped with so much information, listen to what Shweta has to say, "The moment I delivered I told my mom, I said: You need to follow me now. Done with those times now where you say “I’ve also delivered” and all that, whatever my gynae says, whatever my pediac says, I’m gonna follow that because I’m a new mom. Let me experience it myself."

No no no, don't get us wrong. The only thing you can do in such a situation is to decide and rely on one source of information, whether it's your doctor or anybody else that's educated enough to guide you. When you have a lot of sources of information, chances are that the information will overlap and often be contradictory, which is likely to leave you muddled and in the middle of nowhere. And - of course - everybody is meaning well, they only want to make it easier for you, as Radhika tells us, but it's equally important to not get confused and lost. It's important that you don't second guess yourself because you actually don't know what you have to do with the baby.

If I tell you my story, my daughter was only 3 weeks old when she got this fever that scared the hell out of me. Everyone around me was telling me to calm down but I couldn't. I was freaking out. But I decided to go to the pediatrician and get help. The doctor not only helped me understand that there was nothing to worry about, but I also realized that there's a lot that we don't see. No offence to anybody, but my mom was fully with me in this, she's always advised me to go to the doctor because there is always something they know more than us. And they're definitely usually more experienced than any of us. But what happened was that I ended up second guessing myself because it was so hard on me. I realized that my baby is another human altogether. She isn't just a doll that I only have to feed and play with.

Lifestyle Changes Add to it

Then there's not just the hormones that are giving us the 'blues,' it's also a lot of other things. Many mothers have to take a break from their well-established careers, many have to drastically change their lifestyles, many even end up doing what they'd pledged to never do - I am one! I had decided to never be the stay-at-home kind of mom. I've always liked going out. I'm the one that doesn't enjoy sleeping on weekends, I'm the one that holidays… the one that's always on the go. This is something that changed after I delivered my daughter. And it wasn't even something I could control. It came inherently. I didn't have to force myself, I just did it. My daughter is three now and I can't go on holidays as much as I used to.

And I know I am not alone when I hear Shweta explain it too, "You know, you’re doubting yourself; you don’t wanna go out. Then there’s a baby, there’s so much happening in your life, career, again, a question mark… And then... I'm a new person; a completely new person, again, with a new person in my hands. So there's so much happening around you… if you’re not keeping yourself motivated, believing in yourself then you’re just gonna lose it completely. Your sanity is something... you have to have it intact - no matter what is happening around!" Shweta says so much and it actually communicates the feeling with me too well.

On this, Neha comments that the mother starts to feel invisible as soon as the baby comes and becomes the focus. This makes the mother's happiness to take the backseat and something unimportant. "Nobody thinks about it and it's not even something that's discussed!" - She explains.

Shweta further adds that after she left her career of 10 years post the arrival of her child, that is when she actually thought about getting back to her forgotten passion of photography, which she started working on again and became the successful Instagram influencer she is today. While she admits that her work isn't really considered as 'work,' but it helped her because she got something to hold on to, something to fill her days with. Then the conversation leads to them husbands! Ahh, unbeatable. Shweta points out that no matter how much her husband loves her, he couldn't understand her at that point in her life. And I am not very happy to admit that I have been through the same. I guess we all have.

Radhika believes and says, “But I think the more I speak to more of my friends, people are kind of going back to these old wive’s tales.” Which is - again - true. We all have our own potions or Kadhas recipes as an inheritance from our moms and grandmoms that come really handy whenever our child catches a cold or something. Neha reveals that even she gets it whenever it’s being made for her daughter to treat her cold- because, why not!

Girlfriends are a Blessing for New Mothers

Referring to the period of the blue days, Radhika tells us that she totally gives it to her sisters and girlfriends. She tells us that she always looked to them during her lean period as she "really thought that they were the people who could understand what she was going through."

"They can relate to it, even if they don't, you're not looking for advice. Sometimes you're just looking for someone to listen to you." Which I agree with. Hands down. You really need to vent, you want someone to listen to you and just that. No advice on what to do with the baby, the stitches, the stretch marks or the belly! So having that support system is very important and all of us must lend each other willing ears that don't give up on the never-ending stories of pain and happiness.

And then, you know, you have to look for happiness inside you to be happy on the outside too. But I feel that it's easier said than done. Finding inner happiness in the midst of the chaos is… impossible, unless you have something to divert your mind to.

If you ever find yourself in a situation like that, where you're super confused about how to forget the baby for some time - which is equally important for you as well as the baby's health - you have to take Neha's advice. She suggests getting into conversations that don't include the baby. And your friends are the only ones that can make it possible because your husband and family are still focused on the mewborn. "That's where the mother doesn't just feel like a milch cow, and she can be herself. She's more than a mother… she isn't just somebody's mummy." She adds.

Tips from the Mammas for the Mammas

Neha then asks the mums the one thing that they do for themselves - minus the husbands and girlfriends, something pure indulgence to find their peace and happiness.

Radhika says that she takes off to the hills to be by herself or with her friends. I love this tip!

Shweta has it even simpler and kind of inexpensive! She names it - a simple blow dry. She gets it and is home all happy and cheerful and enjoys some music at her home to extend the happy period. I love this tip too! I am not exactly sure how that works but it works wonders. I am sure it would work wonders for you all too.

Sharing her own thing, Neha agrees with Radhika and finds her happiness in the hills. She sends her daughter off for a short weekend when she packs her bags and goes travelling with her husband or friends.

And here's one rule from Neha that I personally feel everyone should follow - plan your trips such that one is with the child and one is without it. So you don't always feel guilty of being too much with or away from them. Even if you're guilty - cope with it because balance is critical.

So while you're planning to do things for your infant's happiness, it's actually more important to be happy yourself because the child feeds off your vibe. If you aren't happy, your child can't be happy. Give your child an elated, cheerful environment in which they can grow up to be healthy and positive. Remember, positivity brings prosperity and happiness brings health.

So pack your bags or go to the salon - or whatever makes you happy. Just let your hormones take you higher than lower.

Happy Mommy-ing! 

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Tips & Tricks to Break The Ice

2 Min Read

Tips & Tricks to Break The Ice

theice

Here are some tips for getting involved with your baby.

You might feel overwhelmed at first, but brand-new dads come fully equipped for fatherhood. Fathers are just as good as mothers at recognising and responding to the needs of their newborns. Here are some tips for getting involved with your baby.

Fatherhood

Try to help with everything

Nappy changing, bathing, burping, feeding -these are all great ways to bond with your baby. Parenting skills are partly a matter of practice – you get better and more confident the more hands-on experience you get.

Help with everything

Display your affection

When you show your baby affection and respond to your baby’s cues a natural hormone called oxytocin is released in your baby’s brain. This hormone makes your baby feel good. It also builds connections between nerve cells, stimulating brain development.

Show your baby affection

Keep at it daddy!

Resist the urge to hand your baby back to mommy when things get demanding. One-on-one time will build your confidence and skills.

Keep at it daddy

Lets spend some quality one on one time

Try and spend some alone time with your baby, this is a really important part of developing a strong and lasting bond. It’s also great for the new mum, who’ll get a much-needed break.

Spend some quality one on one time

Walk The Talk

While you’re caring for your baby, try talking to your little one about what you’re doing. For example, ‘Let’s get dressed now – on goes your top’. these small gestures help your newborn feel content and protected.Talk is like brain food for babies. It helps them build language and communication skills from the time they’re born. Babies don’t have to understand words to benefit from talking. Time spent with the baby in the early weeks and months should provide a positive foundation for the developing relationship as the child grows, making fatherhood more rewarding and enjoyable. P.S your efforts with the baby will help strengthen your bond with your partner.

Walk The Talk

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Winter Bundle

1 Min Read

Winter Bundle

winter-1

5 tips for winter babies

If your bundle of joy is due this winter, we’ve put together some top tips for making sure you’re prepared – including essential advice for keeping your baby warm, cosy, healthy and happy! Layers to love Winter dressing is all about layers, along with clothes hats, socks and booties are also essential, and remember to check your baby’s body temperature periodically. If they’re sweaty or red-faced you might need to strip off a layer and let them cool off a little.

Healthy and happy

Winter Care

Winter babies can be prone to the coughs and sniffles that circulate this time of year. Stock your toiletry kit with hand sanitiser and wash hands regularly to keep germs away. Have a good quality baby moisturiser and nappy barrier cream on hand to keep skin healthy in the dry winter air.

Winter Care

Keep Them Close

Babies love close contact, and a baby carrier is a great way to keep bub snuggly, warm and close to your body. Cuddle and snuggle!

Keep Them Close

Bath Rituals

Keep bathtime fun and cozy, and have some large hooded towels on hand so you can dry baby quickly and keep their head warm as soon as they’re out of the water.

Bath Rituals

Show yourself some love!

You might face some challenges while breastfeeding in cooler weather. Invest in some layered nursing tops with easy-access clothes so you’re cozy and comfortable too.

Show yourself some love!

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I am travelling

1 Min Read

I am travelling

fly

Carry plenty of snacks and fluids

Be sure to pack nonperishable foods. Keep baby hydrated because airplanes are drying. Don't forget to bring a sippy cup or bottle -- something to suck on to help relieve air pressure, especially during take-off and landing.

Carry plenty of snacks and fluids

Bring lots of extra clothing and diapers

If traveling by plane, dress your baby or toddler in layers that can be taken off if your child gets too hot, or layered back on if your child gets too cold. A cold baby is a crying baby. And remember, whether you are traveling by plane or by car, messes can happen, so always have an extra outfit and diapers close by and easily accessible.

Lots of extra clothing and diapers

Bring your child's favourite toys

Make sure you bring only soft toys - nothing that has sharp edges or that can hurt him if there is turbulence. Having his favourite toys with him will help him feel secure and comfortable, and keep him happily occupied.

Child's favourite toys

 

Pack fun times that have to do with the places you are visiting

Bring snacks that are special to your final destination. Tell him stories about the places you are going. Pack a portable DVD or load up your iPad with apps or games. Also, include games and storybooks about the countries or states you will be visiting. Thus, a family trip can become both a fun and memorable journey, as well as a teachable moment.

Places you are visiting

Consider scheduling trips around your child's sleep time

Your child can get into his jammies as soon as he gets onboard a plane or into a car, and, fingers crossed, go right to sleep.

Child's sleep time

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Baby Moon

2 Min Read

Baby Moon

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DISCOVER

If your bundle of joy is due this winter, we’ve put together some top tips for making sure you’re prepared – including essential advice for keeping your baby warm, cosy, healthy and happy!

PRE-ARRIVAL DEPARTURE Top destinations for a babymoon Planning a getaway to switch off and enjoy each other’s company before life shifts up a gear is a great idea. So get planning and whisk yourselves away to one these romantic destinations. Consult your gynecologist before you plan the trip, you should also ensure you take your medical notes, check that your travel insurance covers you for pregnancy-related issues and, if you are going abroad, research the nearest medical facilities and hospitals – you’re unlikely to need them, but for your own peace of mind it's good to know where they are and which are considered the best.

Babymoon Planning

Sunkissed

Looking to top up your Vitamin D levels before baby arrives? A beach holiday provides for the perfect opportunity to binge on delicious seafood and gorge on luscious tropical fruits. The beach will help calm you and your pregnancy hormones.

Looking to top up your Vitamin D

Queen of Hills

Ask any parent what they crave most, and they'll probably reply with some peace and quiet! So before you have your baby, why not head to a tranquil hill-station where you can tune into nature and switch off from your busy life? So pack your favourite book and leave for scenic views.

Queen of Hills

City Seekers

A babymoon is the time to tick off lots of things that, as the parents of a newborn, you soon won’t be able to do – and a big City has it all! From fancy restaurants to shopping malls this break can be the perfect time to shop for the baby together. Make sure you catch a blissfully romantic meal before you head back home.

City Seekers

Resort Restoration

Can’t take a long break or travel too far? For something closer to home, you can’t beat a few nights at an exotic resort near you. These Retreats have a lot to offer, wake up to lavish breakfast spreads and relax by the pool all day, enjoy the services and amenities that these properties offer.

Resort Restoration

Spa Sanctuary

Experts say that the stress hormone cortisol can cross the placenta so it’s a really good idea to avoid anxiety and stress – which, let’s face it, isn’t always easy in modern life! So heading to a spa, where you’re almost forced to switch off, can be just the ticket. Remember to avoid Jacuzzis and hot tubs, though, as elevated temperatures pose a risk when you’re pregnant. Whether you choose a country side hotel or a city spa, check out the available range of pregnancy treatments before you book.

Spa Sanctuary

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Back to school supplies checklist for your child

3 Min Read

Back to school supplies checklist for your child

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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Schools are opening soon and it’s already time to prep up for back-to-school. Your kids are excited while you are nervous. We feel you, it’s not that easy letting your kids out without you after a long tough time. Not just that, you are also super stressed out thinking about what to prepare and what not to, especially with safety concerns in mind. Just take a deep breath and relax, we are going to ease your stress or at least reduce it to some extent. So, we got the list ready for you to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the essentials, and yes with the safety concerns.

 

LIST OF SCHOOL ESSENTIALS FOR PRESCHOOL KIDS

STATIONERY
  1. Pencil- Your toddler will need a pencil or two. Just make sure the nibs aren’t too pointed or your child may poke herself.
  2. Colour pencils- Your toddler will most likely spend more time colouring. It’s always every kid’s favourite thing to do. Ensure to buy different colours as they are also learning the names of the colour too. 
  3. Crayons- Crayons could be a preferable choice for preschoolers but also depends on school to school.
  4. Eraser- Life’s mistakes can’t be erased with an eraser but your child can still erase the mistakes they make on their notebook. Yes, your child needs an eraser.
  5. Sharpener- Your toddler should use a sharpener under the supervision of a teacher. 
  6. Wide ruled notebook- One or two wide-ruled notebooks if your toddler is learning to write letters or numbers.
  7. Colouring book- Your toddler may also need a colouring book but it may also depend on the school curriculum. 

STORAGE
  1. Schoolbag- You can’t imagine your toddler going to school without a backpack as it has to carry all the other essential supplies. And it’s even more exciting for the kids if they get to carry a cute school bag. Check out for kid’s school bag online for toddlers. Check out bags that are colourful with fun characters, they are absolute favourites among kids. 
  2. Pencil box/pouch- A pencil box to keep all the writing and drawing essentials intact without being scattered. 

LUNCH SUPPLIES
  1. Lunch bag- A lunch bag is optional as most lunch boxes already have carry-handles.
  2. Insulated lunch box- Choose an insulated lunch box or kids food thermos as they keep the food hot for longer hours. Opt for the ones that are BPA free, non-toxic etc. 
  3. Insulated water bottle- Insulated water bottles or kids thermos is best for the kids as it will maintain the preferred temperature of the water or drinks. Always look for cute and colourful bottles to make your toddlers excited to keep themselves hydrated. Make sure the bottles have spouts or straws for the toddlers to sip easily. Ensure the bottles are spilt-free too.
  4. Hand wipes- Wipes to clean their hands and mouth area.

SAFETY ESSENTIALS
  1. Mask- Mask should be a compulsion but also should be warned to inform their teacher in case the child feels suffocated. The mask should be preferably cotton-made or be of breathable material.
  2. Hand sanitiser- Your toddler should be trained regarding sanitiser, how to use it, and that it’s only for external use and strictly not for consumption.

 

LIST OF SCHOOL ESSENTIALS FOR ELEMENTARY GRADE KIDS (1-4 GRD)

The list of supplies for the elementary grade would also be pretty much the same as preschoolers. Since they are higher in grade, there could be extras that are craft related. We have listed a few but it mostly depends on the curriculum of the school.

 

STATIONERY
  1. Notebooks
  2. Pencils
  3. Colour pencils
  4. Pencil sharpener
  5. Eraser
  6. Ruler
CRAFT SUPPLIES
  1. Glue sticks
  2. Chart papers
  3. Safety scissors
STORAGE
  1. Schoolbag
  2. Pencil box/pouch
LUNCH SUPPLIES
  1. Lunch bag
  2. Insulated lunch box-
  3. Insulated water bottle
  4. Hand wipes
SAFETY ESSENTIALS
  1. Mask
  2. Hand sanitiser

There you go, you have the list for school essentials/supplies, you can start your kids’ back-to-school shopping right away. Have a safe back-to-school!

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20 Perfect newborn baby gift ideas

New Born | 5 Min Read

20 Perfect newborn baby gift ideas

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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Are you looking for newborn baby gifts? You sure have some ideas in your mind but you want it to be memorable (not the baby of course) for the parents or at least useful for them. The first thing you may want to do is think about the newborn essentials and categorise them into short-term use (for immediate use) or long-term use ( can be used as the baby grows). 

Secondly, you should take certain considerations regarding the products you buy. Buy products that are easy to wash, non-toxic, BPA-free, paraben-free, gifts that are not hazardous- heating gadgets, loud sound, or vibration. Buy clothing and accessories that will not hurt or poke the baby, you definitely don’t want the parents to remember you for a scar on their baby. 

Here is the checklist for 20 perfect newborn baby gifting ideas: 

  1. BABY CLOTHING: Clothes always come to our mind easily when we think about buying gifts. The tiny one will also need some. We also tend to gift the baby a size bigger so that she doesn’t outgrow the clothes too soon or make her wear them when she grows bigger. If you are buying an age-appropriate one for a newborn, get onesies or sleep pyjamas as she’s probably going to sleep most of the time. You may add baby mittens, bibs, booties, or cute socks along with it. Else, you can buy clothes according to age-wise.

  2. Swaddle Blanket: Swaddle blanket can be a very useful gift for any newborn especially, in the initial weeks. As the baby is delicate, you don’t want to twist or turn around her limbs too much. Wrapping the baby with a swaddle not only makes it an easier option as clothing but also will be easier for the nappy change. It can be multi-functional, use it as a burp cloth or feeding cover.

  3. Crib Sheets: Parents can’t have enough of the crib sheets when their baby is still bed-wetting. Look for fun printed crib sheets for gifting which can add more fun to the nursery.

  4. Baby Lounger: Some parents may miss out on buying a lounger. You can buy them one and make the baby feel a little more pampered and comfortable when she is awake.

  5. Baby Sleeping Bag: A baby sleeping bag is also perfect as a newborn gift. A sleeping bag will help a baby sleep cosy & comfortably. It also prevents the baby from rolling and keeps her intact. Her feet will remain covered too unlike a blanket that is often kicked off due to wiggling.

  6. Feeding Pillow: A feeding pillow can be a good option as a present. It provides comfort and great support to both the mother and baby. It acts multi-functional as the baby grows and develops. It can be used for a baby’s tummy time and supports when she sits. Every parent won’t mind having extra feeding pillows even if they already got one.

  7. Feeding Bottle: The feeding bottle is a must for every parent whether the mother is breastfeeding or feeding with the bottle. Maybe you can gift them the best quality one or something unique like the silicone squeezy bottle.

  8. Baby Quilt/Blanket: Possibilities are that the parents may have already gotten a quilt but possibilities are also that they didn’t get a good quality or design quilt. That’s when you make an entry with a soft, organic-based, baby-skin friendly, and fun print quilt. It’s always good when you are mindful of small details, it’s a way of conveying that you care.

  9. Baby hair & skin-care products: Well a baby needs to be washed clean and she will need a good soap, shampoo, hair oil, body oil, and a moisturizer. You can buy baby skin products that come in a combo pack and are just perfect for newborn gifting. Just keep in mind that the products are mildest of the mild ones or organic ones.

  10. Baby Towel: No parent will deny having a cute soft towel. You can buy towels that are hooded so that the baby can be wrapped from head to toe. Always choose a super soft and absorbent towel made with organic cotton.

  11. Baby Grooming Set: A baby grooming set is not a bad idea for newborn gifting. The set mostly contains a nail clipper, nail scissors, nail file, hairbrush, a toothbrush that is soft on the baby’s gum.

  12. Diapers: You can never go wrong with gifting diapers as they are a priority among the newborn essentials. You can always buy in bulk and gift the parents. You can also get those cloth nappies that are reusable.

  13. Diaper Bag:  A diaper bag is a must for every parent. Make sure you gift them one that is spacious and has more sections to accommodate more baby essentials for outdoor visits.

  14. Customised soft Toy or decor: You can personalise a cuddly little teddy bear with the baby’s name on it. You can get customised photo frames, wall stickers, cushions, rugs, etc. and the nursery lively.

  15. A Techie Monitor: Parents are always concerned with their baby. It will be a good idea to gift them a monitor so that they can keep a watch on their baby.

  16. White noise music: You can contribute to making the baby and the parents have a good sleep with a white noise music machine. The music will soothe/calm the baby and help her fall asleep faster hence giving the parents time for their own sleep.

  17. Cot Mobiles/ Play Gym: Cot mobiles are another great gift for newborns as it helps stimulate the baby’s audio and visual senses. The colourful characters’ movements keep the baby engaging and are a visual treat.

  18. Baby Carrier: Buy a baby carrier that has good support for the baby’s neck. It should have good padding so as to make the baby feel more comfortable.

  19. Baby rocker: A baby rocker is a smart gifting idea. It can rock and entertain the baby while the parents do their household chores.

  20. Baby Stroller: This is just perfect for outdoor visits or taking a walk. It is exhausting to carry the baby for a longer period of time and so a baby stroller is a great idea for gifting. 

You can also check out baby gift sets or combos as they look more wholesome and can even cost you less with their combo offers.

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List of items you need to buy for your newborn

New Born | 8 Min Read

List of items you need to buy for your newborn

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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A new life-changing journey begins as you welcome your little one into this world. You are as much excited as you are scared/intimidated by your delicate baby. You want all the safety and every possible care for the tiny being while getting all the essentials ready. Listing all the essential items for your newborn can be a daunting task but no worries, we are going to make your life easier. Here’s all you need to know.

First, let’s prepare you with Nursery Essentials: The basic things you need to keep in mind while setting up the Nursery are a place to sleep, storage for baby’s clothes & other items, and a place to change diapers. The following items are listed. 

  • Crib- You may want a sturdier crib or even a convertible one that can last when the baby becomes a toddler. 
  • Crib Mattress- You will need a firm mattress that fits the crib. Avoid buying a fluffy mattress as it may smother and suffocate the baby. You can get a baby lounger that will make him comfortable and keeps your baby at a gentle angle that helps avoid colic.
  • Baby Bassinet- For a constraint and smaller house, a bassinet would be a better option for being smaller and more portable while the crib takes more space. Some of them come with a hood which you can pull over when the baby is sleeping.
  • Crib Sheets & Water-proof Liners/Mattress Protector- Look out for light-weight and breathable crib sheets preferably cotton which is skin-friendly. Water-proof liners or mattress protectors will be useful for avoiding bedwetting.
  • Baby Quilts & Blankets- You can buy cotton blankets for hot weather and a warmer material for winter. Some all-weather-friendly cotton quilted baby blankets are also available. It’s best to opt for an organic blanket
  • Dresser (with or without Changing Pad)- Dresser will be of great help for organising your baby’s clothes or even toys. They can come with changing pad where you don’t have to buy an extra changing table
  • Diaper Changing Table- Changing diapers can be easier when your baby is placed on a flat surface with adequate height. A diaper changing table or a dresser with a changing pad is all you need.
  • Rocking Chair or Glider- You will be spending more time feeding your baby, get a good glider or a rocker that will comfort you while feeding your baby. It will be helpful for you to take a good nap as well.
  • Baby Monitor- It will be easier for you to keep an eye on your baby with the help of a monitor and can avoid walking up to the crib every time. Ensure it is rechargeable and has a long-life battery.
  • White Noise Machine- Relaxing music always helps to soothe and make your baby fall asleep fast.
  • Night Light- In the middle of the night, you might have to check on your baby or feed her. The night light will help you see without turning on the bright lights that can disturb your baby’s sleep.
  • Humidifier- To avoid overly dry air, a humidifier is a must for your nursery. It will comfort your baby when she has a cough and cold or can even help avoid drying out her skin.

 

Clothing Essentials

No matter what clothing you buy make sure the material is baby skin-friendly, preferably organic or 100% cotton as other materials may irritate your baby’s skin. Look out for clothing that suits the seasons accordingly. 

  • Swaddle Blankets-For the initial weeks, swaddling your baby with a swaddle blanket or a special blanket would be more ideal for an easier process of changing. 
  • Sleepers & sleeping sacks- Sleepers and sleeping sacks will ensure your baby’s legs are covered during sleep.
  • Tops & Onesies- Make sure to buy both long sleeves and short sleeves. Tops can be useful for layering as undershirts in winter.
  • Socks or booties- Buy lots of socks and a few pairs of booties to keep her feet warm.
  • Mittens- Get some baby mittens to avoid your baby from scratching herself.
  • Woolen/Knitted cap or hat- Keep her head warm with a knitted cap or hat.
  • A sun hat- When you take her out on a sunny day, a sun hat will protect her from harsh sun rays.
  • Jacket & Sweater- Keep some jackets and sweaters ready for cold weather.
  • Mild Soap for laundry- Always wash your baby’s clothes with a mild soap that will keep the fabric soft. Harsh soap can make the clothes rough and its strong scent can irritate your baby.

 

Feeding Essentials

A newborn needs to be fed quite often and you might need some essentials that will give a good feeding experience. The essentials have been listed keeping in mind for both natural breastfeeding and bottle feeding.

  • Nursing Clothes- If you choose to breastfeed, you will need a loose-fitting top or tops with buttons, nursing bras, nursing pads for bras, and a nursing cover. You will need burp cloths to protect your clothes when your baby spits up.
  • Newborn Feeding Pillow- Using a feeding pillow will be comforting for both your baby and you while feeding. 
  • Breast Pump- Breast pumps are available in both manual and electric or battery-operated ones. It will help to extract milk whenever required.
  • Nipple Cream- It will soothe your tender or sore nipple caused due to breastfeeding. Make sure the ingredients used for making it are safe for the baby.
  • Feeding Bottle- You will need one or two feeding bottles even if you choose to breastfeed. There are varieties of feeding bottles available. Silicone-made bottles are more preferable, being durable, and easier to clean. You can buy squeezy silicone feeding bottles that almost mimic the natural way of breastfeeding. Also, buy feeding bottles with detachable nipples in case you need to change the sizes.  Bottle nipples for breastfed babies are also available separately.
  • Feeding Formula- Feeding formula or infant formula is a life saviour for those who choose to bottle feed. It is mainly available in powdered form and is formulated including protein, fats, and other necessary nutrients close to natural breast milk.
  • Thermos Flask- Thermos will be required to store hot water which will be used for mixing the infant formula. You can even use a baby steel water bottle for the same.
  • Bottle Cleaning Brush- It’s important to clean the feeding bottle thoroughly before every use. A cleaning brush will be handy for proper cleaning.

Diapering Essentials: 

Diapering needs to be handled most hygienically. The following might help you to manage it well.

  • Disposable & Reusable Diapers- You can either use disposable or cloth diapers or both. The latter would be more suitable for sensitive skin however you might have to change as soon as it gets soggy and do a lot of washing. There are also other reusable options, nappies with a biodegradable lining that can be removed and flushed down. Disposable diapers can be more convenient and handy during travel or outdoor visits.
  • Baby Wipes- Use baby wipes to clean your baby’s bottom, it will moisturise and remove the odour. Ensure to buy mild, skin-friendly wipes to avoid skin irritation.
  • Rash Cream- Diapers may cause rashes on your baby’s skin. A good and effective rash cream will soothe the skin
  • Changing Mat- Changing mats are useful for keeping the bed or changing-table clean. Some can be cleaned by wiping off and some come with a removable cover that is washable.
  • Dustbin and Garbage bags- Place a dustbin nearby the changing-table to put away all the dirty diapers and keep the room clean and hygienic.

 

Baby Bathing & Wellness Essentials:

 In the initial phase, your baby will just need to be wiped with a soaked cotton cloth before she starts using other baby skin products. She may just need three baths in a week. You may also need other grooming essentials for keeping your baby in the best of health.

  • Infant Bathing Tub- Buy a bathtub according to the size of your baby. There are also convertible ones that can be adjusted as the baby grows.
  • Hooded Baby Towels- Buy a softer towel for babies as their skin is very delicate. Hooded towels will help wrap your baby from head to toe.
  • Baby Body Wash & Shampoo- Always use a mild body wash & shampoo for babies to avoid skin irritation and eyes. 
  • Baby Cream- Apply baby cream to restore moisture after the bath.
  • Massage & Hair oil- Always use organic-based massage & hair oil for babies to avoid any sort of allergic reaction.
  • Baby brush- Buy a gentle soft brush to avoid scratches.
  • Baby Nail Clippers- Keep your baby’s nail short not only to keep it free from germs but also to avoid scratches. Special baby clippers or scissors with rounded shaped tips are available.
  • Digital Thermometer- It’s important to keep a thermometer to keep a check on your baby’s temperature.
  • Bulb Nasal Aspirator- When your baby gets a runny nose, it will help clear her nose and help her breathe easier.
  • Hand Sanitiser- It may not be possible to wash your hands every time while handling your baby, sanitiser can be a good option.

 

Baby Gear Essentials: 

You will need other baby gears which will be helpful when you leave your house or for outdoor visits

  • Baby Carrier- You will need to carry your baby sometimes especially during outdoor visits, a baby carrier will help you hold your baby, making you move around hands-free.
  • Baby Stroller- You can take your baby anywhere easily with the help of a stroller. Make sure it is a recliner one especially for the newborn’s head and back support. There are rain-proof hooded strollers too.
  • Infant Car Seat- If you are taking your baby in a car, get an infant seat for more safety.
  • Diaper Bag- Always keep a diaper bag ready whenever you go out. You can look for diaper bags that have compartments for keeping baby food and other essentials.
  • Play Mat- You can use a playmat for changing diapers or even make your baby lie down with baby loungers.

 

You can go a long way in making your baby comfortable, the list can go on and on. However, make a pick of the essentials that suit your requirements, nonetheless, your baby is always happy in your arms.

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How to choose the correct bottle & nipples for your baby

New Born | 3 Min Read

How to choose the correct bottles & nipples for  your baby

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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Breastfeeding is not just about providing food to your baby but is also a beautiful way of connecting with your newborn. However, breastfeeding is not possible for all mothers due to medical reasons or lifestyle. Bottle-feeding infant formula is an alternative to breastfeeding although health experts recommend the latter more. For those who choose infant formula feeding, we are going to guide you through choosing the correct bottle and nipples for your precious one.

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE SIZE OF THE NIPPLES FOR YOUR BABY

The nipple size for the baby depends on how old the baby is and his suckling style. To find the correct size of the nipples for your baby, you might have to experiment. The flow of the milk not only depends on the size of the nipple but also on the nipple-hole size hence it’s important to check the capacity/speed your baby is suckling. As the baby grows more, you might have to change the size of the baby feeding bottle and nipples. Some brands may already suggest the nipple sizes according to the baby’s age. If you don’t want to rely on the brands’ suggestion, let’s get into further details for getting the correct baby bottle nipples size for your baby.

 

WHAT NIPPLE SIZE SHOULD MY BABY USE?

As mentioned above, it’s important to consider the age of your baby to find the right size for your newborn baby bottle nipples. Bottle nipples for breastfed babies are mostly categorized into 3-sizes:

  1. Size-one nipples with a smaller hole are for babies from birth to 6months.
  2. Bigger-sized nipples ranging from 2-4 with a slightly larger hole are for older babies.
  3. Special nipples are also available for preemie babies.

In some cases, the generalized categorization can be subjective as some babies may have a better pace at suckling the milk even before 6months and may need to use sized-up nipples.

You may instinctively acknowledge or can observe your baby’s behaviour or signs while making the right choice for the correct nipple size. Here are some signs from your baby that should be under the supervision and pay attention to:

  1. A newborn or preemie may not tolerate a faster flow rate of milk and show signs of gulping, difficulty in swallowing, choking, milk dripping from the mouth, etc. For them, start with the initial level or special bottle nipples where the flow is very mild and slow.
  2. Cues to pick for sizing up the bottle nipples-your baby may find difficulty in suckling and act fussy. He may start suckling hard to get more quantities or may even fall asleep while feeding. That’s when you should start considering larger or higher-level bottle nipples.

WHY CHOOSE THE CORRECT NIPPLE SIZE FOR THE BABY’S FEEDING BOTTLE?

The whole purpose of considering the correct nipple size for the baby’s feeding bottle is to provide a good feeding experience for both the baby and the feeder. Choosing the correct size should be a priority to make sure your baby is properly and well-fed for healthy growth. As mentioned earlier, you would not want your baby to struggle in swallowing or get choked while suckling. These signs may even pose a threat to the health of your baby. 

You may also consider the shapes of the nipples. A standard nipple shape is dome-shaped and taller which is very close to the shape of the mothers. There are orthodontic ones that are shaped in a specific way to fit the baby’s mouth. Y-cut nipples are also available for thicker infant formula and cereal. You can also check out the best bottle nipples for breastfed babies at Rabitat.

 

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF BABY BOTTLES?

The types of baby bottles can be categorized material-wise, latex and silicone ones. Latex bottles are softer material but retain the odour of the milk and tend to wear out faster. Whereas silicone feeding bottles are firmer, easier to clean, and can last up to a year. The best you can buy is the silicone bottles that mimic the breast of a mother and are squeezable for the feel of natural feeding. Also, opt for baby bottles with non-leaking dual air vents to prevent colic in babies. Bottles with changeable nipples will be ideal for long-term investment as you can change the size of the nipple as the baby grows. Now that you have all the info, it’s time you get the best baby food feeder bottle.

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Maternity Leave in India: What all can you do?

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Maternity Leave in India: What all can you do?

 
 
saa Chhavi
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A woman grows up in the true sense when she realizes the new life growing inside of her. Bringing and nurturing new life transforms us into MOTHERs. 

Motherhood is all about giving, and it's always been. I keep looking at my mom and think "What is her life without me?" And if I ask her this, she'll say, "Nothing!" without a thought. Daughters don't understand, not until we ourselves become mothers. 

Sure, there's a lot that goes on in your mind when you realize that you're pregnant; one of the first things that come to a working woman's mind is 'maternity leave'. Isn't it? We know we can only sustain if given this super important break from work, from career, from life, basically, and venture into the new life of nourishing the new life.

Maternity leave is all about taking care of the newborn and the new you. But how can you make good use of it? When should you take it and for how long should you be on it? Also, if you don't work that entire time, and if you're lucky, still be paid for it, how do you keep up with your professional life? There's obviously a lot of things that need to be taken care of in addition to you and your baby. And for this, we have some wonderful tips on how you can make your maternity leave worthwhile. We will also tip you on how you can keep yourself updated with respect to your career so that when you actually join back, you're ready for it. 

Now, without further ado, let's begin!

How long is maternity leave in India?

Under the new law passed by the Lok Sabha in 2017, the maternity leave for first and second-time mothers is now 26-week long (6.5 months). For mothers with at least two children, the length is 12 weeks. 

For adopting mothers as well as those opting for surrogacy, the duration of maternity leave is 12 weeks, beginning from the day the child is handed over to them. 

What is the best time to start my maternity leave? 

You are entitled to 26 weeks of maternity leave, and when you start it is up to you. However, you can't take more than 8 weeks before your due date. 

The best time to start your maternity leave actually depends on your comfort. If you're okay working even until 2-3 weeks to your due date, it's your best (honestly don't risk it, the good news might come early!). It's always good to have plans and precautions, though. Better consult your gynaecologist to know when you should stop working and take complete rest.

Things you can do on Maternity Leave, in the right order

  • Plan and organize

When you begin your maternity leave, assumingly at least 4 weeks before you're due, you can start planning and organizing. 

You should sort things at the workplace and start handing them over to your colleagues. So, by the time your leave begins, you would have completely deboarded to stay off the stress. 

Moreover, it's time when you can work around baby proofing your house, stocking up essentials such as diapers, swaddles, cot, feeding bottles, and clothes for the baby. You also need to start preparing yourself for the big life change you're about to go through. It's not easy, you will have to learn to accept it. Now is the best time for that! So, think and have everything sorted. It will save a lot of time and energy. Trust the guts! 

  • Keep a baby journal or photo book

Moving ahead and believing that by this time, you've already given birth to your child. I think that the best thing you can do, apart from feeding and changing their nappies, is keeping a journal! Write things down. Monitor the changes in your body and thoughts and take pictures! The baby will grow so fast and you'll regret not taking the pics then. Please don't miss this one, it's precious and makes the initial postpartum days exciting, which are otherwise usually tiresome. 

  • Exercise

Forgive me if it breaks your heart, but you'll most likely still look pregnant even after you deliver. Apologies!

I understand you've just birthed a baby and the extra body weight and fat is justified, but you can start exercising whenever you feel like it. There's no perfect timing to it.  

  • Take care of YOU

Snuggling and cuddling is going to remain for the next few years of your life. But the one thing you must not forget doing is taking care of yourself! Remember, the child feeds off you, literally, and this also includes your energies. So, pamper yourself as much as you do your child and make sure that only the best and positive vibes touch your baby. Happy mommy = Happy Child, always! 

  • Meditate 

As there's a thing called postpartum depression, you might want to consider meditating even before you deliver. 

Mindfulness and meditation have plenty of benefits for pregnant women and the growing child backed by science. You won't only stay calm, but also understand how meditation changes your life. Besides, it has many long term benefits

  • Join a mommy group

You might be surrounded by your partner throughout, especially if they're on paternity leave, but still feel alone. Primarily because they don't understand. Pregnant and new mother's often feel the need to vent to women at the same stage of their lives to share their feelings and emotions. This is essentially because you feel connected, comforted, and surrounded. Additionally, it will also keep your social life active, which otherwise takes a hit around this time.

  • Go on a date with your spouse

Aah, yes! With all the baby and mommy things going, you could actually even just completely forget your husband/partner! LOL. Come on, don't laugh, it isn't funny. Plan a date with your partner and keep giving yourselves an "away-baby" time so you know that you have a life beyond them. 

This will keep your romance game on, and you'll never feel like you're missing your partner. This is another must! 

All these things are important as you'll be home 24*7, which is something you wouldn't have done in years. It's nobody's but your duty to keep things light as you begin your maternity leave, instead of taking everything on your head. 

Let it, keep it, rocking! 

How to prepare going back to work post maternity leave?

Damn! Did I have to join back? 

Err. Yep. Maybe. Completely up to you. Whether you want to extend your leave, join from home, or drop the idea of going back to work is your choice. However, if you do join, you'll see a lot of things changed at your workplace. Some people (the newbies) may or may not recognise you, you might feel that you aren't respected the same way just because you haven't been keeping up. 

Depending on the type of job you have, there's a thing or two you can do about it. 

First, on your leave, you can have regular Skype or Zoom calls with your colleagues, say once or twice a week so you know exactly what's happening in the office. It doesn't have to be about work but more of a social, keep-up thing. 

Second, if your company's HR allows you to, you can continue working flexible part-time from home to stay connected to your profession and work-life. 

EndNote

In addition to the pregnancy, it's the maternity leave that is exciting because it offers you to stay and bond with your baby. Moreover, it's an absolutely amazing time that you can spend at home with your family and most importantly, yourself. Your otherwise busy schedule would've never allowed you to live so freely. Take the time to love your new family, your partner, and yourself.

Take it, don't lose it. 

 

Happy Mommying!

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Breastfeeding Techniques for New Moms and those to be

New Born | 5 Min Read

Breastfeeding Techniques for New Moms and those to be

 

 
 
saa Chhavi

 

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We're happy about being new parents, exuberant about bringing a life to the world, and cheerful about constantly having a mini version of ourselves at home. We get so excited that some of us even over prepare ourselves - buy toys, clothes, milk bottles, baby and mother diapers, cot, and whatnot! The one thing that we forget, though, is the fact of having to feed the baby as soon as they sway out of the womb. Some of us do plan it, but most of us skip it like we skip our periods. We must remember that it is as natural as it is, and yet as technical as it could be.

Latching

Latching is not tricky per se, but it can be somewhat difficult in the first few times you nurse your newborn. 

All you need to do is grasp your breasts and place your thumb a little above the areola and the fingers below it, and move the nipple around your baby's mouth until they open and start to suck. Also, ensure that the areola is also inside the mouth, instead of only the nipple. 

Proper latching would be evident when you see your little one's long yet slow jaw, temple, or ear movements. You'll get used to doing it within just two-three times that you do it. 

Techniques for Comfortable Breastfeeding

If you really think it through, it just happens. The moment you push your baby out of your body (or it is taken out), you will be able to feel the yearning for them. The nurse will give you the baby to hold to your chest, and then a series of events will follow, eventually leading to your little one sucking milk out of you. 

It won't be so difficult with nurses and your family around you for help, however, when you go back home, on your own, with not many mom-experts to help you, that is when you'll know how much you needed this guide. 

Read on. 

The Cradle Hold

The first, classic picture that comes to our heads of breastfeeding is holding the baby in our arms while sitting comfortably with a straight back. The baby's tummy touches ours and the baby calmly feeds. This position or technique is the Cradle Hold Technique. For better comfort, if your baby feeds from the right breast, hold your baby primarily with the right forearm, supported by the left; likewise for the left.

Side-lying Technique

This technique is ideal and practical for night feeds or for women who can't sit for longer or have had a cesarean and/or stitches. You simply lie down on your side and the baby either lies on their back or side and feeds. 

The Crossover-cradle Hold Technique

If your baby has trouble latching on, this technique may be better for you than the normal cradle technique. Very much similar to cradle style but you switch your arms with respect to the breast, so there's a crossover between you and the baby. The baby feeding from the left lies carefully and cozily clung in your right forearm, easily latching on and supported by the left arm.

Laid-back Position for C-section Moms

Breastfeeding in other positions is often difficult for C-section moms as they involve the baby resting on the stomach. The laid-back position allows you to lie on your back and let the baby rest on your shoulder and feed, not exerting any pressure on the stitches. 

The Rugby Hold Technique

Sit comfortably in your bed and hold your baby tucked under your arm like a rugby ball - this arm will be the same side that the baby's nursing from. You can support the back of the baby with the forearm and hold them face-up with the lips reaching the nipples easily. Hold your breast with your opposite arm and allow the baby to take it in. 

This position can be used by moms with twins, one in each hand, have large breasts or flat nipples, or those who have had C-sections. 

Upright Breastfeeding Technique

This is another position or technique that has to do with sitting. Sit on a chair or a bench and allow the infant to sit or straddle on your thighs so they face up and feed.

This position is much better for babies suffering from reflux or ear infections, older babies who can support themselves, or very young infants with proper anchorage and support. It also works fine with babies with tongue-tie. 

Reclining Position Technique

This is a relatively comfortable position that allows you to lie in bed and nurse. You will need to cradle the baby and support them in your arms, while also aligning your back and hips in one straight line (so it doesn't give you a backache). Hold the baby close to your chest and let them feed. If it makes the process better, you can put some blankets or pillows below the baby to keep them high enough to feed without, again, getting some pain in the arms.

Additional Tips

Since most of your time will go nursing, you have to make some arrangements to make the process comfortable. This is very, very important because sitting/lying in the same position for hours can give you backaches or other problems, which must not happen. Therefore, we have some additional tips for you:

  • If you have to sit to breastfeed, please ensure that your chair has appropriate support and isn't very hard and strong. Try to get something cushiony, or get some cushions or blankets to make yourself comfortable and well-supported in your position.
  • Your own body posture should be well kept. If you hunch forward or backward or hold your shoulders high, you may get body aches. 
  • You need to take good care of your nipples. Although they are self-lubricating and don't require special cleaning, you still should make sure that the bras or clothes you wear are super clean and safe. 
  • To make it a point, please don't use any soap or lotion on your nipples.
  • Your fluid intake decides a lot on your body's milk production for the baby, so make sure you consume plenty of water. 

 

And that is it for now,

Happy Mommying!

 

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Benefits of Feeding pillow & how to use it?

New Born | 4 Min Read

What are the benefits of feeding pillow and how to use it ?

 

 
 
A icon Rinda Angom

 

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We all desire and look for comfort and ease while buying most of the products be it clothing, sofa, bed or pillow, etc. And when it comes to your little one, you want to provide all the comfort and safety. A Nursing Pillow is one such product that you can consider buying. 

IS THERE ANY NEED FOR FEEDING PILLOW?

You will find a lot of blogs saying that a baby-breastfeeding pillow is not essential and it’s just commercial hype. But only a mom can give us an honest answer to this. So I reached out to a few doting mothers and asked the same question. The answer is Yes and they replied without even slight hesitation. The reasons are mainly for ergonomic positioning or convenience while feeding and for the support to hold the weight of their babies otherwise it’s too exhausting on their arms. But again it can be a subjective experience as some babies may not like the Nursing Pillow or even the parents may prefer not to use one.

HOW TO USE A NURSING PILLOW

Most of the commercial Feeding Pillows come in U-shaped or crescent-shaped that wraps around the breastfeeding mother’s waist. Using a Nursing Pillow is no rocket science and can be used the way most comfortable for you. However, we are more than happy to assist you in case it’s the first time you are using one.

  1. Place the feeding pillow around the waist or on your lap after you are seated comfortably. Make sure you have good back support so that you don’t get a backache which may take a toll in the future.
  2. Hold your baby gently in the position where his tummy faces towards your body. Your arm holding the baby’s head should be resting on the pillow to help you support the baby’s weight.
  3. Position your baby in an inclined position with his head slightly tilted upward adjusting the feeding pillow accordingly. Improper positioning may lead to gastric reflux or difficulty in swallowing
  4. A nursing pillow is not just limited to feeding time but can be used as back or tummy support during pregnancy.
  5. It can be also used in different ways as the baby grows up, be it tummy-time or supporting when he sits.

BENEFITS OF USING A FEEDING PILLOW

  1. By now, you must have gotten some ideas on how you can benefit from using a nursing pillow. To make you more informed, let’s discuss a little more about the benefits.
  2. Helps you support your back and tummy during your pregnancy and makes it less painful.
  3. For your newborn to get a good latch maintaining the ideal height for the ergonomic position and avoid acid reflux.
  4. The breastfeeding pillow can be used by anyone especially when the baby is bottle-fed as the mommy can take some time off.
  5. Less pressure on your arm and muscle tension by supporting the baby’s weight. 
  6. Even in the case of a C-section, it helps to prevent less pressure on the stitches while feeding and helps in healing faster.
  7. Using a nursing pillow during tummy-time helps to strengthen your baby’s neck muscle and at the same time ease him. 
  8. Supports the baby while sitting preventing him from falling.

SIDE EFFECTS OF USING A NURSING PILLOW

There may not necessarily be side-effects of using a Nursing Pillow however there may be some if not used correctly or when failed to buy the right one. An ill-fitted Nursing pillow may add discomfort to the baby and also soreness to the mother’s arm. There could be interference with a good latch if the Feeding Pillow is not placed properly. There could be difficulties while breastfeeding when you don’t have the Nursing Pillow with you as both the baby and you are accustomed to using it. Also when you leave your baby with the feeding pillow unattended, it may press the baby’s face and can be in a bad, dangerous position.

TIPS FOR BUYING THE BEST FEEDING PILLOW

It can be difficult to choose the best feeding pillow if you are buying one for the first time. The wide market for the same product may confuse you as all brands claim to be the best. Your desired product may also not be readily available at the offline-stores. In this case, you may consider a few tips for buying the best feeding pillow online. 

  1. Choosing a good-fitted Nursing Pillow is the first step to consider. You can look for a U or crescent-shaped nursing pillow as it is more likely adjustable in fitting your torso well. Make sure it’s not too bulky or too flat for a good latch. 
  2. The fabric or material of the nursing pillow should be baby-friendly preferably cotton as it is less likely to give allergy or rashes to the baby.
  3. The Nursing Pillow should be washable as the baby often tends to spit and throw up. Also using a clean feeding pillow is a hygienic practice.
  4. You should also consider its versatility for multiple usages and should be a long-term investment so that your baby adapts to it as he grows up.
  5. Basics are boring so try some colourful and fun printed Nursing Pillows. 


You may check our Rabitat website as our product fits all the above criteria. We also believe our Nursing Pillows are perhaps the best Feeding Pillow available in India. Go get your favourite one and get set to Happy Parenting!

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Is Your Baby Teething? Here are the signs to look out for

New Born | 4 Min Read

Is Your Baby Teething? Here are the signs to look out for

 
 
Surbhi Surbhi Dhuper
1F

Teething is an important milestone for your baby. When you see those tiny little pearls shine through their smiles, you would want to capture it in your memories forever. However, it is also a time when your baby could go through discomfort. In this article, I have compiled a list of the signs and symptoms that your baby’s teeth are about to come.

When does teething start?

In most cases, teething starts between the age of six to twelve months. Every baby has her own developmental journey, and no one can say with certainty when your baby will reach the stage.

Some babies start teething earlier than six months, and a few get their first tooth after one year. Don't be surprised if your baby is born with a tooth or gets one in the first few days after birth. Yes, that's possible too!

Genetics plays a crucial role here. If other members in the family were late bloomers, it is a possibility for your baby too.

What are the symptoms of teething?

Some babies have an easy time when their first few teeth are about to come in. However, for some, it can be a terrible experience. If you are unaware of why your baby has been irritable and giving you sleepless nights, look for these symptoms. Perhaps, she is teething.

Drooling

Your baby will start drooling around the age of 3 to 4 months. In some babies, the saliva is so excessive that you may have to keep a bib on at all times.

Drooling occurs from the salivary glands that tend to become active. It happens as the baby's body starts preparing it for solid foods. Saliva, as we know, helps in the digestion of food. However, your baby's incoming teeth also tend to bring in the waterworks.

Teething tends to activate the muscle movements in the mouth. Due to this, the salivary glands tend to become overactive.

Chafed skin or rash

Several babies tend to develop redness, rashes, or chaffed skin around the mouth when they are teething. It happens because of the constant drool that won't stop. The moisture doesn't do them any good.

You either pat it dry with a soft cloth for some relief. Remember to not rub at the affected area, or the skin may get more irritated. Another option is to apply some thick cream like Vaseline or extra virgin coconut oil to avoid rashes.

Coughing

Coughing that may turn into gagging is a sign of teething. It happens due to the excessive drool in the baby's mouth. As long as the coughing is not incessant and not accompanied by fever, it should not be a reason to worry.

Crying

Babies have no other way to express their discomfort other than crying. The inflammation in their gums before the teeth come out can be tough to bear. The pain and the inability to express themselves can make them fussy and irritable. This kind of behavior is more common before the first tooth comes in. 

While some babies cross this stage easily, some will be irritable for a few weeks before teething. You can check with your doctor about giving medication to offer some relief from the pain.

Refusal to eat

With the gums already tender, your baby may not be up for eating. Although they will want something to chew on, they may not be too keen on breastfeeding or eating solid foods. The sucking action also tends to hurt their tender gums more. While this is normal, you can connect with the doctor if you are too bothered by it. 

Pulling ears, banging heads or rubbing cheeks

As the nerves in the face are interconnected, the pain may travel to their ears and head. These are some common symptoms associated with teething. If you notice these, try soothing your baby by giving something soft to chew on. You can offer teething rings or carrot slices to offer some immediate relief.

Fever

Before teething, your baby can run a low-grade fever. Generally, the temperature should be below 101 F. If it is more or if it lasts longer, you may want to connect with the doctor.

How can you comfort your baby during teething?

Teething is a tough period for some babies. It can become all the more difficult for you and the baby when you have to go through sleepless nights. However, it is the time when the baby will need you the most. Try to comfort her by massaging her gums gently with a clean finger.

Another option is to give her teething rings to chew on. Some rings can be kept in the fridge. The cool rings will provide some much-needed relief to their gums. However, remember to sterilize it daily to keep the germs at bay.

For how long does teething last?

In theory, this stage will last until the full set of 20 teeth come in. However, the discomfort is felt before the first tooth comes in or when the molars are about to come. The symptoms may come and go till then. As the baby will become experienced with it, she will learn how to handle it well.

 

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Here’s Every Reason Why you Must Breastfeed your Baby

New Born | 6 Min Read

Here’s Every Reason Why you Must Breastfeed your Baby

 
 
saa Chhavi
2f-1

Breastfeeding is a perfectly natural process but deciding whether you should go ahead with it is subjective. You may not want to breastfeed for any reason but you must not come to a conclusion considering one part of the spectrum. There are many, many incredible ways breastfeeding can help both you and your child.  

One of the most primary reasons that a mother should opt for breastfeeding is that it's 100% natural. Milk that's being produced inside your body, neither being processed by any kind of factory nor having any additives, and yet it is enough for all the nutrition your little pie needs. Besides, it is most readily digested by the baby's body (unless the child is intolerant to milk or lacks some digestive enzyme). Needless to say, it's priceless - literally. 

Analytically speaking, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed your baby for at least 6 months and continue with solid foods until the baby's at least 1 year of age or until you're both ready to move on without it. The WHO, likewise, vouch for breastfeeding until your younger one is at least 2 years old, starting with as early as an hour post the delivery. 

Breastfeeding Benefits both the Mother and the Child, here's how: 

Breastfeeding benefits for the baby

1. Breast milk serves as a complete meal for a baby by providing all the necessary nutrients.

Breast milk is so apt for your baby that its composition changes to fit the baby’s changing needs as they grow older. It is therefore that doctors recommend that only breast milk should suffice for your little one for the first six months of their life. 

The initial production of breast milk, thick and yellow, is called the colostrum and is incredibly high in nutrients and antibodies, providing the baby with instantly acquired immunity, which can be rarely provided by formula milk. So much so, it is ideal to be considered a must for infants. 

However, though, your milk may not be enough to provide your baby with enough vitamin D, depending on your vitamin intake. You may want to sunbathe your baby in the early morning hours to avoid harmful, direct sunlight. Only about 30 minutes of sun per week should be enough.

2. Breast milk provides antibodies and passive immunity.

As we discussed in the previous point, breast milk contains antibodies and therefore provides the baby momentary as well as long-lasting passive immunity. This immunity is especially important for the early months of your child as their body is still developing the immune system. 

Formula milk may contain all that you want but it still doesn’t have antibodies. 

Likely it’s therefore that children who weren’t breastfed are at higher risk of developing infections

 

3. Exclusive breastfeeding may mean low vulnerability to various diseases for the child.

Exclusive breastfeeding has its own set of benefits, which include reducing your newborn’s vulnerability to many infections, such as respiratory tract infections, middle ear infections, cold flu and infections, and gastrointestinal tract infections. Further, it can also save your child from diseases and issues such as intestinal tissue damage, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), allergies and allergy diseases like asthma and eczema, bowel syndromes, diabetes, and childhood leukemia

4. Breast milk may reduce the likelihood of unhealthy weight gain.

Breast milk may do this in more than just one way.

  1.   Breastfed babies are found to have higher numbers of beneficial gut bacteria, which usually also affect fat storage in the body.
  2.   Moreover, their bodies also tend to produce more leptin, which is a hormone involved in regulating appetite and fat storage.
  3.   Breast milk also allows babies to self-regulate their milk intake, unlike formula milk. So they only feed and eat until they satisfy their hunger, therefore developing healthy eating habits.

5.   Breastfeeding may promote healthy brain development in your child.

When you’re feeding your baby, everything from your physical proximity to your eye contact gets the child. This, along with the nutritional benefits of breast milk, may work in a manner so as to promote brain development. Some studies have shown that breastfed children indeed have higher intelligence scores than others. Additionally, they are also less likely to develop behavioral problems when they grow up.

Breastfeeding benefits for you, the MOM

1. Breastfeeding has been found to help lose post-partum weight in mothers.

Have you heard of this from your mom or grandmother? Well, how better could it get! Although post-partum weight loss varies by body type, some women seem to lose weight while breastfeeding.

2. Breastfeeding helps bring down the size of your uterus.

Harboring your growing baby for a long period of 9 months expands your uterus and you look big. But breastfeeding miraculously brings us a lot of hope by stimulating the production and release of oxytocin, which is a hormone that helps the uterus go back to its original size.

3. Breastfeeding reduces an expecting mother’s vulnerability to postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression is a common form of depression that affects new mothers after one of the most remarkable moments of their lives. Imagine, being on top of the world one day and not wanting to hold your baby the next. Yep, it’s that bad and that crappy.

The good news, again, is that breastfeeding and postpartum mood and behavior seem to be related. Women who breastfeed appear less likely to have postpartum depression. However, the converse also seems to be true, the mothers who experience postpartum depression shortly after delivery are more prone to have breastfeeding troubles.

4. Breastfeeding may protect you against various diseases as well.

We have already discussed how breast milk may help your child to stay away from a number of diseases. Simultaneously, breastfeeding is also associated with a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers in breastfeeding mothers.

Plus, it may also reduce your risk for developing a hypertension, arthritis, cardiovascular disorders, cholesterol, and Type II diabetes.

10. Breastfeeding pauses menstruation.

Do you need a better reason than this? By god’s grace, breastfeeding helps you to space two pregnancies. It is very, very wise to have some time between you birth another baby and breastfeeding helps by preventing menstruation.

Lastly, why not!

You produce the milk, why not use it?

Maybe it is the least of your concerns, but breast milk is being produced by your body. There may not be anything more pure than this potion. You don’t need to worry about sterilizing milk bottles or buying formulas. It’s more convenient and given the number of benefits breast milk offers, it makes it worth it.

Conclusion

Breastfeeding undoubtedly has many benefits. However, it remains a mother’s choice whether she wants to do it or not. You must consider all the aspects and then do it instead of being at it under societal pressure. 

Happy Mommying!

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Pregnancy Foods to Avoid

4 Min Read

Pregnancy Foods to Avoid

Surbhi

Surbhi

Pregnancy Foods

Several women, who have been there, would agree that while getting pregnant is one thing, the  journey to meeting your baby is another. When the baby finally announces its arrival in your womb, your life is no longer only yours. And for that matter, your body too. 

Amidst all the body changes that you have to go through, you also develop new tastes. As you try to wrap your head around an inexplicable dislike towards your favourite foods, you will also have to avoid a few things. 

Without further ado, here is a roundup of all the food items that can cause harm to you or your baby, Of course, you can check with your health practitioner if you would still want to have them in limited quantities. Every pregnancy is different, and if you are lucky, your doctor may allow you a few cheat meals.

  • Caffeine

Are you one of those who find it tough to go about your day without your cuppa? Well, you will have to let it go while you are expecting, for better or for worse. Caffeine gets passed on to the baby through your placenta, and the baby does not have the right enzymes to digest it. Due to this accumulation, caffeine can lead to low birth weight, type 2 diabetes in the baby, and other growth and development issues. In some cases, it can also cause infant death.

Your doctor will be in a better position to guide you if you would still like to have it every once one in a while. 

  • Alcohol

With your pregnancy, must begin your abstinence period as far as alcohol is considered. While your doctor may allow you an occasional glass of wine, having anything during your first trimester is a big no-no. It can result in miscarriage or deformities in the facial features of your baby.

There are several other ways in which alcohol can impact your baby. Apart from low birth weight and stillbirth, it can cause permanent disabilities in your child. It includes physical, mental and behavioural problems, which are collectively known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).

Don't worry if you have been enjoying your alcohol till now. It is never too late to stop.

  • Fruits like papaya and pineapple

The first thing that my mother-in-law told me when I announced my pregnancy to her was to stop eating papaya. Honestly, I didn't believe that fruit could cause harm to me or my baby. However, when my doctor gave me the same advice, I had to research a bit.

Papaya has earned this reputation due to latex, which can cause premature contractions and even miscarriage. It also contains enzymes like papain and pepsin, which can cause abnormalities in your baby.

Similarly, pineapple contains bromelain, which can induce labour. It is why you must avoid it throughout your pregnancy but can have it as you inch closer to your due date.

  • Street food

While there is nothing primarily wrong with street food, it is the hygiene aspect that you should be careful about. Some women crave for their favourite chaat items more during pregnancy. However, it is advisable to cook them at home to satisfy your cravings.

Street vendors may skip the hygiene norms and offer substandard items that may cause discomfort. Any instance of indigestion or diarrhoea may cause an electrolyte imbalance and lead to more complicated health problems. Moreover, spicy food may increase your heartburn which is a common complaint during those nine months.

  • Raw meat and eggs

If you are a fan of sushi or cold cut meats, we have some bad news for you. Uncooked meats and eggs are home to parasites and harmful bacteria such as salmonella. 

Apart from this, you will also have to be careful about eating fish. Although a rich source of proteins and essential nutrients, some varieties of fish have a high content of mercury. It is related to developmental issues in the brain or nervous system of the unborn baby. Tuna and king mackerel belong to this category and should be avoided at all costs. 

  • Fenugreek seeds

These power-packed seeds are a blessing for lactating mothers and are often given to them in the form of methi laddoos. Methi seeds have a high concentration of galactagogues that help in breastmilk production. However, it can cause contractions and should not be consumed up until the 37th week of the pregnancy. 

  • Unpasteurised milk and cheese

Milk and its products are one of the best superfoods that you can have in your pregnancy. However, you must boil the milk and avoid all unpasteurised milk products. It is because such food items may contain harmful microbes that may impact the growth of your baby.

  • Ajinomoto

Ajinomoto is the reason why you enjoy Chinese food from your local street vendor. It gives an inexplicable delicious flavour to your noodles, and it is this taste that keeps calling you back.

However, Ajinomoto can have health implications. Also known as monosodium glutamate, or MSG, it can have adverse effects during your pregnancy. When had in excessive amounts, it can damage the placental layer that protects your baby from the acidic food in your stomach. 

Even when you go to a restaurant to indulge in your favourite Chinese cuisine, it is advisable to check with the staff if they add MSG to their food. If they do, I recommend ordering something that does not have it.

In Summary

I have tried my best to share a comprehensive list of foods to avoid during your pregnancy. However, several households will have more items added to this list. For the safety of your child, it is best to check with your doctor and clear your doubts.

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Pregnancy Photoshoot - Capture Your Pregnancy in Pictures

4 Min Read

Pregnancy Photoshoot - Capture Your Pregnancy in Pictures

Surbhi

Pregnancy Photoshoot

Pregnancy photoshoot is a lovely way to capture the time when you and your baby are one. Well, almost literally! Whether you have a comfortable pregnancy or a tough one, you will always remember this time fondly several years down the lane. A pregnancy photoshoot could be your way to capture these moments forever.

There are multiple reasons why you should think of a pregnancy shoot. Firslty, your body is going through significant changes at this point, and the pregnancy photoshoot will be a sweet reminder of this time. Secondly, you can use these pictures to announce your pregnancy on social media, in the most beautiful way. Lastly, you can also add these pictures in your baby's photo album. 

Here is a roundup of some tips and ideas that can make your pregnancy photoshoot a worthwhile one. 

  • Use Photo Props

The ideal time for the pregnancy photo shoot is the seventh or the eighth month. However, some mothers may not be in a physical condition to go ahead with the shoot. At such times, you can use interesting props to share the news of your pregnancy with your friends and family. Photo props are also a good option if you are not comfortable sharing your bump with the world. We all have our beliefs, and an expecting mother should only do what she finds comfortable.

For the props, you can choose cute onesies, booties, or even your baby's ultrasound image. Other options are balloons, buntings or a chalkboard. You can also put your creative hat on and think of more quirky ideas for the shoot.

  • Include the family

Your family is perhaps on cloud nine with your pregnancy. While your husband is beaming with joy, your elder child must be eagerly awaiting the arrival of a sibling. Including them in your photoshoot will make it more fun and also allow you to capture your family's spirit.

If you have pets, do not forget them either. After all, they are integral members of your family and will play a crucial role in the life of your little one.

  • Capture your journey

An interesting way to journal those nine months is to take pictures of your bump in the same position every month. When the baby is born, you can take another one in the same pose, while holding your baby in your hands. There are several apps that you can use to create beautiful collages with these images. And the best part is that you can do it yourself.

Similarly, you can capture the size of your growing belly throughout your pregnancy. You can write the size of your tummy in inches on a chalkboard or hold an object that signifies the size of your sweet pea growing inside your womb.

  •  Paint your belly

If you are comfortable with the idea, you can work with a professional to paint your belly with something meaningful. The artist can try and put your imagination into colours with beautiful artwork. Or else, you can also have the elder child doodle on your tummy with everything he/she wishes for the younger sibling.

  • Flowing garments 

For this one, you will have to find the right flowy gown. It should be flattering to your body and also emphasise your belly. As you discuss this idea with your photographer, ask for an arrangement for the gentle wind to blow the dress for an aesthetic image.

  • Walking through a park

Pregnancy photoshoots amidst nature are a great idea. With a green landscape as your backdrop, your images will be nothing less than drop-dead gorgeous. You can take candid pictures as you walk with your husband and indulge in some real banter. 

  • Wear comfortable clothes

As you prep for your shoot day, make some arrangements in advance. In all probability, your photographer will organise the shoot in the magic hour. It is the time around the break of the dawn or just before sunset. Plan what you will wear as per the temperature to maintain your comfort. Think about at least two looks for you and your family to make the most of your shoot day. Pack all the props and accessories so that you don't forget them at the last moment.

  • Hire a professional photographer

When you are investing in a professional photoshoot, it makes sense to hire someone who knows the ropes. A photographer who is aware of the nuances will be able to deliver beautiful pictures that will serve as your fond memories for this lifetime. Manish and Andra are a photographer duo who are known for doing justice to their work. You can take a look at the Instagram page to know more.

Finally

When you are planning your photoshoot, do what seems the most comfortable for you. Discuss your ideas with your husband and the photographer to capture these moments in the most wonderful way.

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Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week Guide

7 Min Read

Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week Guide

Surbhi

Surbhi

Pregnancy

When you are pregnant for the first time, you have a hundred questions on your mind. Apart from your baby's wellbeing, the other thing that may concern you are the multiple changes your body will go through. For some women, the changes are more prominent and begin right after they conceive. Some expecting mothers are fortunate enough as their bodies change gradually.

The fact of the matter is that as the baby will grow, your body will change to meet the baby's needs. For instance, your uterus will expand to 500 times its size. It is nothing short of nature's wonder.

Here is a week-by-week guide of what's in store for you in this nine-month-long period. For your convenience, I have divided it into three trimesters.

Trimester 1:

It includes the period from week 1 of your pregnancy and lasts till the 13th week. 

Week 1 and 2:

These are the weeks that immediately follow the last date of your last menstrual cycle. At this time, there is no baby in sight, but a whole lot of hormones are preparing your uterus for the next fertilised egg. It is the time when the lining of your uterus starts thickening, and the amount of estrogen is on the rise.

Although you are not technically pregnant at this point, you may want to start taking your prenatal vitamins. It is also advisable to abstain from alcohol and smoking if you are trying for a baby.

Week 3 and 4:

Week 3 is when you ovulate, and the egg and sperm meet to form a single-cell fertilised egg. Also called a zygote, it starts dividing into multiple cells. These cells ultimately develop into the embryo and the placenta.

During week 4, this cluster of cells, implant into your uterus. These cells divide into two groups later - one that will grow into your baby and the one that will form the placenta. At this stage, your baby is like a poppy seed.

Week 5 and week 6:

Your baby has now grown into the size of an orange seed in week 5. Believe it or not, your baby also has a tail at this point. Don't worry as it will sort out with time. In this week, your baby's circulatory system will start developing. Week 5 is when you have missed your period, and your home pregnancy test will be positive. As the pregnancy hormones start kicking in, you can experience nausea, tender breasts or smell sensitivity.

In week 6, your baby is like a little sweet pea. The surging hormones will increase your bathroom visits. You may also feel exhausted as you go about your day. It is also the week when the morning nausea will start kicking in.

Week 7 and 8:

In week 7, your bub is developing its hands and legs. Although you may not have started showing yet, your blouses will start getting snug around your chest. To fight your constant fatigue, you may want to start eating frequent meals throughout your day.

Week 8 is when your baby has grown to the size of a raspberry. The uterus, which is the size of a fist now, will try to make more space in your abdomen. Indigestion and flatulence may be your main concerns at this point.

Week 9 and 10:

Your bub is about the size of an olive now and is beginning to look more human. You can also hear the sound of its heartbeat during your regular checkups. 

With week 10, you enter the 3rd month of your pregnancy. About the size of a prune, your baby is starting to grow its bones. It is also the time when that tiny bump may begin to show.

Week 11, 12 and 13:

With ears, mouth and lips, your baby is taking its shape in full form now. At this point, you may start feeling hungrier, and that's a good thing. It is advisable to eat healthy as per your nutrition charts.

In week 12, your baby is now the size of a lime. If you have been unable to hear the heartbeat before, now could be your lucky time. At 150-170 beats per minute, your baby is working hard.

Week 13 is the last month of your first trimester. After this week, it could be safe to announce your pregnancy to the world.

Week 14 and 15:

About the size of a clenched fist, your baby is now sailing around in your tummy. Also, your baby's first hairs will start sprouting this week. As this is the beginning of your second trimester, you could start feeling more active. The morning sickness will reduce, and so will your bathroom trips.

In week 15, your baby has grown to the size of a pear and has fully-developed ears. If you were unable to gain weight in the first trimester, you could start seeing the change now. 

Week 16 and 17:

At 3-4 ounces, your baby is giving you every reason to be proud of her. The facial muscles have started developing, and those ears have started working too.

In week 17, your baby is about the size of a palm and the body fat has also started accumulating. You may experience more than normal vaginal discharge around this time.

Trimester 2 is your journey from week 18 to 27.

Week 18 and 19:

Between 5 to 6 ounces, your baby is now growing more with every passing week. Moreover, now your baby has started hiccuping and yawning.

In week 19, a waxy substance starts forming over your baby's skin to protect it from the amniotic fluid. You may begin experiencing those painful cramps and spasms in your legs right about now.

Week 20 and 21:

Week 20 is the midpoint of your pregnancy, and you are halfway through. Yaayy! Now there are only 20 more weeks till you can finally meet your little bundle of joy.

By week 21, your baby is about the size of a large banana. If that is not enough, the baby has started developing taste buds. Around this time, you may start noticing new stretch marks on your body. 

Week 22 and 23:

At week 22, your baby is about a pound heavy. This week, your baby's muscles will strengthen, and so will the grip of her tiny little fingers. The hormones in your body have started loosening your bones, and you may notice a change in the size of your feet.

By week 23, you may start noticing skin tags and discolouration in other areas. Linea nigra, a dark line that runs from your belly to pubic area may also become more pronounced.

Week 24 and 25:

At week 24, you are in the 6th month of your pregnancy. Your bub weighs about a pound at this point. All the facial features have also taken their shape.

At about one foot long, your baby starts practising breathing in week 25. Bleeding gums and painful haemorrhoids are two common complaints about this time.

Week 26 and 27:

At week 26, you may see your outie belly button for the first time. Your baby starts seeing from this week. Also, starting this week, your baby's movements may become more prominent in the form of those lovely kicks.

By week 27, your baby has started recognising your voice. At this stage, your uterus is about the size of a basketball. Swelling of your hand and feet will be the new changes in your body.

Trimester 3

Week 28 and 29:

At week 28, you officially enter the third trimester of your baby, who weighs more than 2 pounds. More than anything, she is busy blinking and dreaming. From now on, your troubles like backache, insomnia and skin sensitivity will start troubling you.

In the 29th week, your baby's head is about the size of a cauliflower. The wrinkled skin is smoothing out due to the fat deposits. Your doctor may also ask you to start recording the baby kicks from now on.

Week 30 and 31:

As the baby is packing on more weight, your belly will start expanding as well. The brain of your baby is developing, and the lanugo will start disappearing now.

In Week 31, your baby will weigh around 3 pounds. The little bub will also start practising a whole lot of things like sucking thumb and making faces. Your uterus will now be so big that it will start pushing against the other organs.

Week 32 and 33:

In week 32, you enter the 8th month of your pregnancy. The baby will feel tight inside your tummy as it is almost 4 pounds now. From now on, your body will start preparing for the delivering and Braxton Hicks contractions may become more common.

By week 33, your baby can distinguish between day and night. Her immune system is growing stronger. Your body will start demanding more rest now.

Week 34 and 35:

By week 34, your baby's nail beds are fully grown. You may start notice blurry vision and dry and irritated eyes.

Due to your baby's head pushing against your bladder, you may start visiting your bathroom more now.

Week 36 and 37:

It is around this time when the growth of your baby will slow down. As you enter the last month of your pregnancy, your discomfort may only increase.

Week 38,39 and 40:

As you prepare for your baby's arrival, you will notice your baby dropping into your pelvis. It will relieve the pressure off your lungs, allowing you to breathe better. Your doctor may ask you to watch out for early signs of labour or prepare you for a c-section.

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Parenting resolutions for 2021

5 Min Read

Parenting resolutions for 2021

Surbhi

Parenting

Parenting, as all other parents would agree, is no cakewalk. It takes a lot of patience, and at times, we find ourselves hanging only by a thread. However, it is also an area where we all want to get better, for the sake of our children. 

As we bid adieu to a challenging year, I thought of making a list of parenting resolutions for 2021. These resolutions are aimed at fostering a better relationship between the parent and the child. At the same time, they will also make parenting easier and simpler for you. You can go through the list and choose the ones that seem more relatable to your situation.

  • Avoid saying no, don't and stop

I have observed several parents who say no when they don't agree with something. The toddler puts a toy into her mouth, and pat comes a loud "No." The child spits out food, and they scream "Don't". Did you know that, when you use these words without any filter, you hardwire your child's brain to think negatively?

Of course, it doesn't mean you let your children do what they want to do. All you need is to be empathetic and explain why your child should not be doing something. As you do this, you will notice a change in their behaviour. They will listen more and will also be more responsive to what you have to say.

  • Focus more on life skills

In all probability, your children's school is doing a brilliant job at imparting education. While they are learning their ABCs and counting, nobody is teaching them life skills. 

In today's dynamic environment, when nothing is constant, many young people crumble under pressure. When you teach life skills to your children, you ensure that they are independent and can manage all the curve balls that life throws at them.

Some examples of life skills are self-defence, first-aid, decision making, problem-solving, budgeting, household chores, cooking and interpersonal skills. You can choose the activities per your child's age to nudge them in the right direction. You will be surprised at how fast they learn.  It can also become your way to spend meaningful time with them.

  • Teach them to be environmentally conscious

This year has been an eye-opener for all of us. 2020 saw untamable forest fires, locust attacks, cyclone and floods. All of this has been attributed to climate change by the experts. 

Unless we start caring for our environment today, our children could have a very bleak future. It is crucial not only for us to reduce our wastage and be more environmentally responsible, but we also need to teach our children the same.

You can start with tiny steps such as asking them to reduce their power and water wastage, reducing plastic and sharing toys and books with their friends. You can also grow your own little vegetable garden patch with the help of those tiny hands.

  • Have meaningful conversations 

You could be spending hours with your children, but do you engage them in meaningful conversations? Several parents are constantly involved in their cellphones as they try to spend time with their children. Not only does it send a wrong message, but they also end up setting a wrong example.

Children are, by nature, curious. They have a lot to learn and take a genuine interest in what you have to say. Even if it is for half an hour a day, give them your undivided attention. Tell them what's going on in your life. Instead of demonstrating a rosy picture, tell them if you are going through any challenges. 

You will be surprised at how sensitive and sensible they can be. As you do this, you strengthen your bond with them. It will be one of those few things that both of you will fondly remember after a few years.

  • Get back to routine

Because of the ongoing COVID pandemic, children are not going to schools, and their routines have gone for a toss. There are no fixed times to study, play or for that matter, take a shower. 

The start of a new year may be your cue to get everything back on track. Having a routine is essential for the physical and mental wellbeing of your children. When they sleep and wake up at the same time every day, their bodies and internal systems also align accordingly. They will look forward to their playtime and will be more attentive to their lessons.

  • Cut back on screen time

Understandably, several parents had no choice but to increase the screen time of their children this year. However, the vaccine is almost here, and there are good chances that things will go back to normal soon. At least, that's the hope.

It may be hard to cut back on the screen time of your children in one go. You will have to follow a gradual process, and the new year may be the right time to start. You can try to engage your child in other activities such as storytelling, art and craft or even asking them to help out with housework. Be creative and try to think of activities in advance to engage your child.

  • Eat healthily

Eating healthy is not the same as reducing weight. It means to eat clean, in the right portions and giving the right nutrition to your body.

To enable your child to make the right food decisions, you need to start early. Explain the reasons why they should limit their junk intake and eat clean. Tell them how processed and packaged food can compromise their immunity and cause health problems. 

When you have such dialogues with them, you also form a positive association between them and food. As they become capable of making the right food choices, they will build a positive body image and stay away from fad diets.

Finally

Parenting is a journey. Nobody is perfect and everyone has a tough time. At such times, all you can do is to reflect and think of how you can make things easier for yourself and your children. With these resolutions, you can empower your children and make them see the world a little better.

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Bathing Babies: Everything You Must Know

New Born | 4 Min Read

Bathing Babies: Everything You Must Know

Surbhi

Surbhi

Bathing Babies

Babies don't come with manuals, but if they did, I am sure the biggest one would be about bathing them. It is one of those many areas that nobody prepares a new mother for. The delicate bodies of babies, along with the inexperience of first-time mothers, is a combination that can give a mild scare to most of us. 

During these times of coronavirus, most mothers are raising their babies without any help. In this situation, the idea of bathing babies can give sleepless nights to the already sleep-deprived mothers. 

I have rounded up everything you should know about the bathing your little ones and tried my best to answer the questions that tend to rattle the minds of new parents.

Do you need to bathe your baby daily?

Babies don't get dirty, and it is perfectly alright if you don't want to give a bath daily. Perhaps, it is too cold in your city right now, or you are too tired from looking after your baby continuously. However, the diaper area should be thoroughly washed during every change. If it is not cleaned well or left moist, the baby may develop rashes or infection.

A better alternative is to give a sponge bath to your baby. It is a lot easier and will allow you to get familiar with this process. 

Is it necessary to wash the baby's hair every day?

Most Indian homes follow the ritual of massaging the baby before the bath. Massages relax babies and relieve them of gas and constipation. Moreover, they also help ease any muscle tension and growing pains in the babies. 

Massaging the head is an important step in these massages. However, you don't have to wash the head daily whether you are giving a massage or not. Twice a week is perfectly fine. However, you may want to do it more if the baby has been throwing up after the feeds.

Get your supply ready

Before you bring your baby to the bathing area, make sure you have everything ready. For your easy reference, here is a list of the supply you will need.

  • Warm water - Make sure the water is warm and not hot. Babies' skin is sensitive, and hot or cold water can cause health problems. The best way to test is by dipping your elbow into the water. If the temperature is good for your elbow, it is so for your baby too.
  • Mild baby soap - You can use any good quality paediatrician-prescribed soap for your baby. Many mothers prefer baby wash as they are easier to use, and there is no accidental slipping.
  • Towel - Your baby should have separate towels, and it will help to invest in a good-quality, soft fabric one. Your baby's body takes time to adjust to changing temperatures. It is the reason why you should immediately wrap your baby in a hooded towel to avoid chills and cold. For some good quality towels, check out the range of hooded towels rabitat.
  • Washcloth - In the initial days, you can be better off by giving a sponge bath to your baby. For this, you can invest in a soft, good-quality washcloth to give sponge baths to your baby.

How to give a bath to the baby

The Indian style of bathing babies is to lay them on outstretched legs and crossed ankles. It comes with practice, and new parents may not be comfortable with it. Besides, it may become difficult for parents suffering from persistent backaches.

If you are not comfortable with it, you can bathe your baby in a sink or a bathtub. For both these scenarios, you will have to take care of a few aspects. 

Bathing your baby in a bathtub

  1. For safety reasons, never fill too much water in the tub. The level should not be more than three inches. If the baby has started sitting, you can raise the water level. Secondly, never leave your baby unattended in the tub. 
  2. Before undressing your baby, fill the tub with warm water. Also, check the water's temperature to have it right for your baby.
  3. Immediately place the baby in the water or else she can catch a cold.
  4. The head of the baby should be above the water level at all times. To ensure this, give her the right support with one hand. It is all the more necessary if the baby is still not holding her head on her own.
  5. Whether you are using a washcloth or plain water, wash the baby from top to bottom. During the process, keep splashing warm water on the baby to avoid cold.
  6. If you need to shampoo the baby's hair, ensure that the water flows backwards and not on the face.
  7. After you are done, gently lift your baby with both your hands and wrap the baby in the hooded towels rabitat. 
  8. Gently pat the baby dry with soft strokes. Also, ensure that you have dried all the folds as moisture may lead to rashes.

Giving a bath to your baby in the sink

It may come as a surprise to Indian parents but bathing the baby in the sink is a common practice in the West. In fact, it is the easiest in the first few weeks after the baby is born. 

If you plan to bathe your baby in the sink, the first step is to clean the sink thoroughly. You can use a mixture of baking soda and lemon to remove tough stains. A sponge sink-insert can be used to provide padding to the baby. You may also want to get a faucet cover to avoid any accidental bumping. 

Conclusion

Armed with these details and information, I am sure bathing your baby will become a whole lot easier. Of course, it's a learning curve and gets better as the baby grows bigger.

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25 Pregnancy Quotes that Sum it All Up!

4 Min Read

25 Pregnancy Quotes that Sum it All Up!

Chhavi
Writer for Rabitat

Instagram
25 Pregnancy Quotes

For most of us, pregnancy is a result of constant work and effort. One might think that it happens out of a normal biological process, but if looked at it from a different side, you have to get your body prepared before you can actually plan it. You have to make sure that you’re taking the right nutrition to make your body capable of holding and growing a life inside. You have to be sure of the timing, take care of the expenses, ensure that you will be super ready to enjoy sleepless nights by the time you deliver, and whatnot. More than what we know, bearing a child is not a child’s play. Your motherly instincts have to be born before the baby.

Moreover, the entire process of birthing a baby can be exhausting and overwhelming. I remember when I was in the ninth month of my pregnancy, I just couldn’t believe I was finally there. The first few months flew by playfully. I trying to set in the vibe and I was exuberant. My family could see the glow on my face. However, as the pregnancy progressed and my body put on weight, I started getting those jerks of realization and acknowledgment, “The baby will be here in no time!” What would I do? How would I manage? Am I going to be a good mother? Am I going to remain a good wife and a daughter? How much would it pain? A lot? I got swamped in my own thoughts. I just could not get over my feelings + the hormones! That’s a combination that can place you at the bottom or on cloud 9. Apparently, there’s no in-between.

What then helped me was the internet! Surfing my social media feeds definitely made me confused about my whole pregnancy and life after. This isn’t really out of nowhere. Still, reading other women’s experiences helped me a LOT. This is why I feel like I have to help every other pregnant woman. You must remember, to help with someone’s ordeal, you don’t really have to be physically present. Just make them aware of the guarding walls you’re surrounding them with, lest something happens.

Here’s a list of the 20 best pregnancy quotes that helped me in my pregnancy, and shall help you in yours.

  1. “My body has given me the greatest gift of my life.” - Hillary Duff
  2. “Pregnancy is a process that invites you to surrender to the unseen force behind all life.” – Judy Ford
  3. “Life is tough enough without having someone kick you from the inside.” – Rita Rudner
  4. “Pregnancy is the only time when you can do nothing at all and still be productive.” – Evan Esar
  5. “People always say that pregnant women have a glow. And I say it’s because you’re sweating to death.” – Jessica Simpson
  6. “Now my belly is as noble as my heart.” – Gabriela Mistral
  7. “Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be.” — Carrie Fisher
  8. “Babies are always more trouble than you thought—and more wonderful.” — Charles Osgood
  9. “Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.” — Lin Yutang
  10. “A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years, and in your heart until the day you die.” — Mary Mason
  11. “A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for.”— Unknown
  12. “You do a lot of growing up when you’re pregnant.  It’s suddenly like, ‘Yikes. Here it is, folks. Playtime is over.’” — Connie Fioretto
  13. “Every four weeks I go up a bra size… it’s worth being pregnant just for the breasts.” — Natasha Hamilton
  14. “Get comfortable. Have to pee. Get really thirsty after you pee. Drink an entire cup of water. Get comfortable. Have to pee again. I give up!” — Unknown
  15. “Your pregnant elephant ankles will return to normal. Just hang in there.” — Adriel Booker
  16. “Life doesn’t get more real than having a newborn at home.” — Eric Church
  17. “Ah, babies! They’re more than just adorable little creatures on whom you can blame your farts.” — Tina Fey
  18. “Birth takes a woman’s deepest fears about herself and show her that she is stronger than them.” — Unknown
  19. “It is the most powerful creation to have life that is growing inside of you. There is no bigger gift.” – Beyonce
  20. “A strong intention, a relaxed body and an open mind are the main ingredients for an active birth.” – Janet Balaskas
  21. “Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear.” —Jane Weideman
  22. “Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, one thing is certain‚your life will never be the same.” — Catherine Jones
  23. “No matter how bad my day’s been, it takes one little kick to make everything feel alright.” — Author Unknown
  24. “In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.” — Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn
  25. “We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It’s that women are strong.” — Laura Stavoe Harm

Being a mother is a thing of pride. Whether you give birth yourself or raise a child you didn’t deliver, you must know that your motherhood is as bright as the sun. So bright that it may blind the ones that look at it to disregard it, because it’s only meant to provide the world with light and warmth.

We wish you a very successful pregnancy and a prosperous life afterwards.

Happy Mommying!

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The Best Parenting Quotes for the New-Generation Parents

4 Min Read

The Best Parenting Quotes for the New-Generation Parents

Surbhi

best-parenting

Parenting is a no mean task by any measure. It often gets tough, and when it does, there is very little you can do at the moment. The best option then is to sit back, shut it out with some music, and relax. It is a journey for every parent, where no two experiences are alike.

Here is a list of parenting quotes that capture the essence of parenting. A few of these parenting quotes also have an element of humour to lighten your mood. At times, looking at the fun side gives you the motivation to get going.

"Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you have got, say, 'Oh, my gosh,' and recognise that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It is not a question of choice.” ― Marisa de Los Santos

Becoming a parent means a lifetime of responsibility. Embracing it will make the journey easier. If you keep questioning your choice, it is only going to make matters worse.

"Having a child is like getting a tattoo... on your face. You better be committed." - Elizabeth Gilbert

Although you can choose to get your tattoo lasered out, there is no opting out of parenthood. It requires the highest level of commitment one can have. When you start doubting yourself, remember that there are no good or bad parents. Everyone is trying to be the best version of themselves and learning along the way.

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." - Franklin Adams

I genuinely feel that children make us better people. Although they test your patience, anxiety, and overall control over your emotions, they also make you stronger. And the best part is that they don't judge you and allow a safe space where you can let your guard down.

“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” –Bette Davis

If this is what has been bothering you, it may help to look at the bigger picture. Your children are too young to understand the logic behind your actions. It is a part of growing up, and your bond is way bigger than these occasional differences.

"Why don’t kids understand their nap is not for them, but for us?" - Alyson Hannigan

Babies hitting the sack is no less than music to our eyes. For most parents, it is the time when they can finally get down to clear their to-do lists. Whether you want to catch that new show on Netflix or finish your house chores, the nap times sure come to your rescue.

"On our 6 a.m. walk, my daughter asked where the moon goes each morning. I let her know it’s in heaven, visiting Daddy’s freedom." - Ryan Reynolds

This dishy daddy sure has a funny side to him. You may miss your carefree days, but you also get a free pass to visit Disneyland.

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock

For the times when you feel overwhelmed and bogged down, give yourself some credit. Every parent does the best they can. For every one or two things that go wrong, you are doing a hundred others that are right.

Everyone should have kids. They are the greatest joy in the world. But they are also terrorists. You’ll realise this as soon as they’re born, and they start using sleep deprivation to break you.” — Ray Romano

Sleep can become a touchy topic for new parents. The best way is to find your way around it. Sleep when the baby sleeps or take turns to care for the baby. Take as much help as you can, both from your parents and friends. 

"Children are unpredictable. You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next." - Franklin P. Jones

Children are sharper than you can imagine. They are going to catch your lies. The best option is to accept when you get caught. Tell them how you are thankful to them for bringing it your notice and how you are going to correct it for the future. It teaches them that it is alright to err and that admitting your mistakes doesn't make you weak. 

"If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others." - Haim Binott

You may not know, but children look up to you. You are their first influence in life, and they perhaps idolise you. When you appreciate them, you not only validate their behaviour and choices but also give them confidence. You don't have to wait for big moments. Instead, it is the small ones that count.

"Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children. Now I have six children and no theories." - John Wilmot

Before you became parents, you may have observed others and decided how you would like to raise your children. However, parenting is rarely about plans and sticking to theories. Every child is different, and so are the circumstances. 

"There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one." - Sue Atkins

I couldn't find a better parenting quote, to sum up, parenthood. You will get a lot of advice, often unsolicited, along the way. You may want to be the perfect parent at the cost of losing yourself in the process. However, children want to see the real you. Do what you think comes naturally to you. That is the best thing you can do for your children.

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Baby Massage 101: The Why, When, and How?

5 Min Read

Baby Massage 101: The Why, When, and How?

Chhavi
Writer for Rabitat

Instagram
baby

Having a baby is one of the best feelings in the world. Isn’t it unparalleled? You feel so cuddly and squishy around babies... and when you have one of your own, you just can't get your hands off them. 

Amidst all the excitement and sleep deprivation, there's one thing we couldn’t let you miss - Baby Massage. 

Why Baby Massage is Important

How do you feel when you get a massage? Doesn’t it feel utterly relaxing and relieving! It effortlessly and efficiently lightens up my state and loosens up my muscles. Massages on babies work very similarly. It has many benefits to offer other than just uplifting their moods. 

Benefits the Health, Promoting Better Sleep

A massage can be rewarding. When you massage your baby, you open their windows to physiological and psychological benefits. 

The swift action of massaging boosts blood circulation and nerve stimulation. This, in turn, enhances the baby’s gastrointestinal (digestive) functions, nervous system, motor skills development, and reduces the discomfort caused by teething, acidity, or congestion. It can especially help colic babies as it grants major relief to the baby. 

Moreover, massaging can also promote muscle growth and immune response; no wonder massaged babies produce more melatonin, the sleep hormone

Essentially, a good massage for your baby could gain you a few extra hours of sleep!

Could Treat a Mother’s Postpartum Depression

If you choose to massage your baby yourself, it could act as a great bonding time. Not only do you learn how to handle your baby better, but it also develops in you a sense of confidence and enhances your mood and behavior, as it’s been seen in many depressed mothers who massaged their sweeties regularly.

Furthermore, fathers massaging their babies are also believed to manifest improved self-esteem and promote a healthy relationship. 

When to Start Massaging Your Baby

Although you may start lightly massaging your baby as soon as they’re born, it’s still advised to wait a few weeks, say six weeks, before doing it properly. So, when you finally begin, you may want to take care of your baby’s mood patterns as you might now be fairly-versed with it. Massage them when they’re calm and alert. If you try to massage them when they’re finicky, they might try to move away from you and stiffen their body, making it difficult to massage. This is when massaging is typically not advised.

Also, don’t massage immediately after feeding as it may cause them to throw up. Wait at least an hour before, giving them enough time to digest the milk.

Now, if you’re wondering how often should you massage, the answer is up to you. You may massage them every day, once a week, or every other day. You could massage your baby during the day, or just before bedtime. Just pay attention to your baby’s patterns and you shall know the perfect time for your baby’s massage.

How to Massage a Baby

Until your baby is a month old (even older if premature), you aren’t recommended to use any oil or lotion to massage your baby. This is to keep the baby’s skin protected and avoid moisture loss. However, you may use your fingers to tap and rub the skin very gently without using anything. 

After a month, when you start proper (firm) massaging, take quality, natural baby oil or lotion to perform it. Also, as infants tend to put their fingers and feet in their mouths, parents generally prefer organic edible oils so there’s no potential harm.

Steps for Baby Massage

Massaging is indeed beneficial, but only when it’s done the right way! It’s better if you set a pattern and follow it for the best results. Typically, a baby massage lasts from 10 to 30 minutes; you know it’s time to stop when your baby stops enjoying the session (that simple, eh!).

First, Set up the Ambience

Just as you like it! Dim the lights, tone down the noise, turn on soft music and set an optimum temperature (23-28°C). This will help the baby to relax and after some time, turn into an unspoken announcement of massage time. 

Undress the Baby

Remove any clothing, especially the diaper - babies hate even the best of the brands! With this begins the relief. 

Start with Gentle Strokes

  1. Don’t right away start ‘rubbing’ the skin. Stroke airily. This massage session is supposed to be relaxing, don’t scare away the baby, please!
  2. You could start by massaging the legs first. Take some oil and gently rub it over the skin (rub as in soft massage, not scrub). Post this, you can lift the legs and make them ‘exercise’. Rotate the legs, lift the hips, press the knees up the abdomen, and rotate the hips to the right to relieve gas. This mini-workout sesh can keep your baby fit (#HomeWorkout!).
  3. Now, move on to the arms of the baby and go about it a similar way. Move the arms, cross, lift, and stretch. 
  4. Be careful while massaging the tummy, though. Move your fingers in a clockwise direction around the navel; don’t be too hard. And if you’re not sure about this part of the body, you’d better wait and learn the process from a professional or your pediatrician. (This could help)
  5. To massage the chest, move your fingers from the center toward the shoulders and similarly stroke the back as well while placing your baby horizontally on the surface and not putting much pressure. 
  6. While moving on towards the face, trace a heart beginning from the forehead moving down the chin. Use the magic of your fingertips to gently and carefully massage different parts like eyebrows, ears, cheeks, and jaw. 
  7. For the head, massage with your fingertips and palms just like you would shampoo them. Gentle, yet massage-like. 

Final Notes

  • Remember that massage strokes should be gentle, yet not ticklish. 
  • Learn before you start to massage your child - there’s plenty that could go right but enough to go wrong too.
  • Don’t over apply the oil (you can bathe them with water).
  • Talk to them as you go and you can be the best of friends. 
  • Maintain a schedule and be super punctual to give them healthy habits.

Finally, Happy Massaging and Parenting!

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Baby Massage Oils: Some to Use, Which to Skip?

5 Min Read

Baby Massage Oils: Some to Use, Which to Skip?

Chhavi
Writer for Rabitat

Instagram
babymassage

Whenever anybody asks me about baby massage, the first thing that comes to my mind is oils. Why should that not be? You need oils to massage your little baby’s body so they can reap off all the goods they can.

Given the number of benefits offered by baby massages, such as nervous and digestive system improvement, better blood circulation and motor skills, and overall growth and development of the baby, you just can’t not do it. Keeping everything in mind, we present to you everything you need to know and answer some frequently asked questions on the subject:

  • Which baby massage oil is the best?
  • Can we make baby massage oil at home?
  • Which oil to use for dry skin baby?
  • Baby massage oil for a colicky baby?

...And more.

Do You Need Oil to Massage Your Baby?

Literally, massage is the action of gentle rubbing, stroking, and pressing of the skin. This means that you don’t really need oil to massage, however, substances like oil and ghee can act as lubricants and therefore reduce the friction, making the procedure smooth.

Further, oil applied while massaging can bring oil-specific advantages to babies, especially with dry skin or during winters.

Which Oil to Use for Baby Massage?

Well, it depends on several factors and therefore varies from one skin type to another. But if we talk generally, natural, edible oils - vegetable or mineral - are considered the best for baby massage; they don’t pose any harm if the baby sucks their fingers or puts their feet into their mouth. (You should also note here that it’s best not to use any oil on damaged or broken skin.)

Plant oils are thought to be more easily digested by the body and are therefore more preferred. So, if you go with vegetable oil, we would suggest more refined versions due to their thin texture and mild smells. Both these characters favor the infant’s comfort. Refined oils also have a longer shelf life, implying that you won’t have to worry about the microorganisms that could inhabit the container and ultimately your younger one’s body!

Mineral oils as well are known for their long shelf lives and are said to be safe for baby massage. They don’t go rancid even in hot summer. Plus, they don’t harm babies either.

If you have added these two categories to your list, let’s narrow down the funnel further.

Best Massage Oils for Dry, Sensitive Skin Babies

Taking care of normal skin isn’t a big deal. But when it comes to babies with dry skin, you can never be too sure!

Although we are suggesting these oils to you, we would still recommend you do a patch test before going all-in with any oil. Apply the oil to a little area and observe it for 24 hours. Ensure that there is no redness or rash.

Vegetable oils high in PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids)

As you already know, polyunsaturated fatty acids are good for health. One of such fatty acids is linoleic acid, which is extremely good for the skin in making a protective skin barrier. It’s also considered to be gentle for sensitive skin. Some vegetable oils rich in PUFA are:

  1. Pure sunflower seed oil
  2. Grapeseed oil
  3. Safflower seed oil

Please note that oils rich in monounsaturated fats may not be good for your little one. These oils are harsh and may not suit the skin of your baby well.

Unscented Mineral Baby Oil

Regular baby oils sold in the market are usually mineral oils. Don’t use scented versions as they may contain unnatural substances or preservatives to keep the oil smelling good. These perfumes may smell good to you but not to the baby, who may also get irritated as the oil remains on their skin for long.

Coconut Oil

As good as it is, coconut oil is the best friend of our mothers and their mothers. It is a part of Indian culture. We have some research that suggests that it may improve moisture retention in dry skin. Moreover, it is also believed to reduce scars, which may help you if your baby has any scar on their body.

Coconut oil can also help provide relief to a colicky baby - massage the tummy with a little oil and you’re good to go!

Shea Butter

It is also considered safe for all skin types. Just ensure that it doesn’t have any impurities or additional chemicals added.

Popular Baby Massage Oils You Could Rather Miss

These oils are generally not suggested for dry and sensitive skin. However, you may still do a patch test on your baby.

Olive Oil

Olive oil has a lot of benefits to offer, but when it is included in the diet. For massage, it hasn’t shown much promise.

Although olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, it was found to break the outermost layer of the skin when massaged on adults, clearly suggesting that it could do much worse for little babies. However, if you still want to try it once, please do a patch test before going into a full massage regime. Even then, don’t use pure olive oil, mix it with a carrier oil so you can reap this oil’s benefits without bearing any side-effects.

Ghee

While ghee is a popular Indian inclusion to almost anything and everything, it may be too thick for your baby’s sensitive skin. Besides, it’s rich in MUFA and is also relatively harder to rub off the skin, and hence stays for long. It may even close the pores present in the skin.

Mustard Oil

This is another popular massage oil that is followed like a tradition in our country. Mustard oil is also rich in MUFA, which makes it toxic to sensitive skin. It may as well break the outer layer of the skin of your baby.

Baby Massage Before or After Bath?

For dry skin, it’s better to massage after a bath as massage can help skin retain moisture.

For oily - normal skin, massage before the bath so some of the oil is washed off as well.

Can You Make Baby Massage Oil at Home?

You may make your own oil at home provided that you know what ingredients you’re putting in and in what quantities.

You could also mix different oils and use it as one. Many people temper a carrier oil, like coconut oil or mustard with ingredients like garlic, carom, or fenugreek seeds, to allow their individual benefits to be incorporated in the oil. While garlic has anti-inflammatory properties, fenugreek is a cooling agent, and carom seeds are thought to relieve colic babies.

Some Essential Takeaways

First, get into a habit of reading labels. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken care of labels of oil bottles, if you’re buying one to massage your baby, leave no page unturned.

Second, don’t take oil directly from the stock container while you’re performing your daily ritual - take out some in a bowl or dispenser. Not touching the oil repeatedly will ensure that you transfer no pathogen to the oil to grow.

Third, build healthy conversations with your child as you go forward. The baby may not speak as of yet, but they have some excellent stories to tell under the influence of a soothing massage. They carry so much on their shoulders after all!

Happy Massaging, Mommying, and Daddying.

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How to Get Kids to be More Physically Active and Healthy during this Pandemic?

4 Min Read

How to Get Kids to be More Physically Active and Healthy during this Pandemic?

Radhika Dadhich

COVID-19 had made it challenging for parents to balance work and children. People are having a hard time accepting the new normal. Earlier, experts had recommended the limited use of mobiles and gadgets for children. They encouraged parents to limit their kid’s screen time to 2-3 hours a day and get them to perform more physical activities. Gone are the days when socializing with peers and hanging out with other kids was normal.

Nowadays, these group activities are highly discouraged. Children have gotten a new excuse to stay glued to their smartphones all the time. Now that online education is conducted on digital platforms, children end up spending hours on mobiles. So, how do you keep your kids active during these tough times? What exercises should your kids practice to stay fit?

Easy Tips for Keeping Your Kids Active and Healthy

There is no denying that COVID-19 has brought many challenges when it comes to children’s education and overall well-being. In addition to physical activities, parents are supposed to serve healthy and nutritious meals to their kids. You need to pay attention to what they eat, how they spend their day, what physical activities they perform, who they hang out with, and how they complete their school assignments, and what hygienic practices they follow.

Children below 7 years need special care. Since their immunity system is not as strong as adults, they shouldn’t be allowed to go out (let alone socializing with their friends). In this post, we are going to walk you through some essential tips for keeping your kids healthy, happy, and active during the global pandemic. Let’s take a look:

Learn New Activities

Team sports are strictly discouraged at least until the situation gets under control. Since kids are at high risk of getting infected, the government has shut down all the schools and colleges. The virus spreads from the droplets we inhale. Besides that, it can infect hundreds of thousands of people through contaminated surfaces. Children do not follow precautions. You never know if your child is going to wash hands after participating in the group activities.

Just because you can’t let the little ones hang out with their peers, doesn’t mean they are not allowed to learn new sports and fun activities. Families can organize group games in their gardens, backyards, and patios. You could teach your kid some exciting and fun individual activities like swimming or skateboarding. Basketball, badminton, cricket, baseball, tennis, volleyball, and hockey are some of the best sports for your kid’s health. Families can play with their kids in the garden (if you have adequate outdoor space). Even simple activities like taking a stroll in your garden or the neighborhood will keep your children active and fit. Anything that keeps them from smartphones, TVs, and gadgets will do.

Maintain Personal Hygiene

Remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic that has affected the lives of millions of people across the globe. There is a good reason why experts, physicians, and the government is putting stress on personal hygiene. The only way to survive this pandemic and come out stronger is by practicing hygiene measures. We all know what personal hygiene includes.

Teach your kids the importance of washing hands for 30 seconds, wearing masks when stepping out of home, and keeping their hands from the face. Most importantly, make sure they maintain distance from people in public places. Kids need to be careful about the surfaces and products they touch, especially when you take them to a store, park, and other public places. Avoid group activities and social gatherings. You must invest in special hygiene accessories, such as kids’ masks, water bottles, kids hooded towel, a small sanitizer bottle, and more.

Play Indoor Games

In today’s digital age, it isn’t hard to find singing and dancing classes online. All you need is YouTube to find some exciting dance tutorials. You could also use fitness and exercise apps to teach your child basic physical exercises. There are many things you can teach your kids at home. Fortunately, you don’t need to hire a professional for that.

Whether they are interested in musical instruments or arts & crafts, video tutorials are available for nearly all types of indoor activities on YouTube. You can also play some indoor games, such as hide-and-seek, chess, pool game, and other indoor games with kids. The household chores also count as physical indoor activities. Simple chores like folding clothes, doing laundry and dishes, making the bed, cleaning and de-cluttering their rooms, and organizing their cupboards can keep your kids physically active. They will also learn about new household activities.

Prepare a Healthy and Balanced Diet Plan

The food you serve at meals matter as much as the physical exercises and activities. For starters, make sure your children drink plenty of water and eat healthy snacks. You could breastfeed the child or buy a fresh and high-quality kids sipper bottle for infants.

Serve nuts and fruits for snacks. Don’t store soft drinks, chips, oily food, and sweet snacks in your refrigerator. While it sounds quite tempting, these foods are not good for their health. The high amount of salt, sugar, and chemicals found in the packed foods can damage your child’s health. It also has a lasting effect on their teeth. Remove the junk packed foods from the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and replace them with fruits and healthy snacks. Make sure you serve the meals in clean and fresh dishes. Carry kids’ stainless steel bottle every time you take your kids out.

Bottle Line

Basic hygiene practices and healthy food is all it takes for your kids to stay safe. The outdoor and indoor games can keep them fit and healthy during these tough times. Use this time to teach new activities to your kids. You must suggest other parents and kids’ to follow the same practices.

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Safe co sleeping with newborn

3 Min Read

Safe co sleeping with newborn

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Author for Rabitat

Newborn Sleep

When your young child comes, they are so precious. You like them so much that you never ever want to leave their side. You desire them to copulate you since you wish to shield them and don’t intend to lose out on any kind of minute that you might potentially show them.

There are some threats to copulating your young babies though. The majority of encourage to copulate them just when they know just how to sleep sacks even more like an grownup. There is an simple remedy for those that want to sleep sacks with your children but intend to prevent any type of dangers.

Co-sleepers are fantastic for any kind of safe co sleeping with newborn and their moms and dads. A co-sleeper is a carrycot that attaches to the side of your bed and has an opening to the bed. Your youngster is now just an arms length far from you.

But there are other schools of thought that doubt the security elements of a child sleeping with it’s moms and dads; the infant runs a risk of being stifled or laid upon, and even hanging itself from the headboard. Children are exceptionally fragile and also if you are thinking about co-sleeping with your child there are some security ideas that you have to take into consideration.

Change your duvet with sheet and also blankets.

Infants do not require cushions till they are over a years of age.

See to it that your cushion is close suitable to the head board. If there is also a little space they can slip through it and also hang themselves.

Make use of a bed guard or make certain the bed is close to the wall to stop your child from rolling out of the bed.

A newborn must be put to sleep sacks on it’s back; when they are older and also can move by themselves they may prefer to sleep sacks on their side.

If you are overtired it is not risk-free to copulate your baby.

Attempt to get them to sleep sacks in a cot initially; they will certainly be less most likely to depend on you existing to reach rest.

NEVER EVER sleep with your infant if you have had an alcoholic drink, are weak, if you smoke or have actually taken medications, also prescription medication.

Co-sleeping is terrific for both parent as well as youngster, and also does create a special bond. Nonetheless it also can put a pressure on a collaboration if your baby gets into the marital bed. Likewise remember they can disturb your sleep sacks with constant motion as well as sound. If you are thinking about co-sleeping I would suggest that you check into the pro’s as well as disadvantage’s very carefully to uncover if it is the right option for you.

No matter what dimension your bed is you can find a swaddles that will certainly benefit you. For those of you who are like me and also love your economy size bed, or simply have a bed that rests a little bit greater, there are simple leg extensions that you can buy for your swaddles.

These also make late night feeding perfect for both the mother and also child. You do not need to leave your bed to feed, as well as your youngster will still be in the same warm and comfy environment.

Many ladies can stagnate in and out of bed very easily because of a cesarean section. Due to the fact that cesarean areas can make the first pair weeks a little more challenging on you and also your infant, these co-sleepers might really assist a lot.

Some have actually located that co-sleepers can be too large for their room and doesn’t fit specifically how they would such as. For those of you that are already going for area in your bedroom there is an simple option. Co-sleepers have actually also been made in a ‘mini’ dimension now.

If you locate that you wish to secure your infant from any injury but likewise wish to comfort of sleeping with them, you need to obtain a co sleeper. They are comfortable as well as risk-free for any kid.

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Newborn Sleep Cycle

New Born | 4 Min Read

Newborn Sleep Cycle

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Author for Rabitat

cycle

For new parents handling and understanding the needs of baby is often very difficult. They get stressed on little things, sometimes over protective and confused which make them tired and exhausted. Parents usually get worried and fatigued because of the untimely sleep pattern of their newborn.

Here we have a little guide on the sleep cycle of a newborn which will help parents learn more about their baby’s sleep schedule.

THE SLEEP PATTERN OF A NEWBORN

The baby in his early weeks sleep most of the day and night in his swaddle and only wakes up to get feeding. The sleep pattern is set of small naps usually of 3-4 hours. Babies generally sleep a total of 16-18 hours in every 24 hours which includes 8-9 hours of nap during day time and almost same hours of dozing at night. Newborns have small appetite so they need to get nourishment after every few hours whether its day or night and when the stomach is full they are again off to sleep. As the baby grows he requires less sleep which means more playtime, this time period is the most wonderful part of being a parent.

SIGNS OF SLEEP

The baby is too small to understand that it’s the time for bed or that he is tired and needs a nap. Instead when the little one is drained he becomes fussy, starts rubbing his eyes due to sleepiness, starts looking away or yawns. These are the signs that it is time to put the little one on his baby crib. It is important for parents to recognize the indication of sleep readiness and help the baby to fall asleep by providing the environment that is safe and comfortable. To make a baby sleep and to assure that he takes a good nap it is important to make the baby bedding comfortable and soft by baby bedding sheets and crib mattress.

HELP THE BABY TO HAVE A GOOD SLEEP

When the newborn is resting in his baby nest he often wakes up in the middle of his nap, it might be due to any harsh sound or disturbance or even sometimes because his own hand and feet movements, if the environment is sleep friendly, i.e. lights are dim and no harsh sounds, and a reassuring hand of a familiar person is there the baby will fall asleep within few minutes again by himself.

CAUTIONS TO TAKE WHILE SLEEPING

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the infants under the age of 1 year should sleep on their backs to lower the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). When the baby sleeps on their back it helps them to breathe properly by not letting to form the blockage of nose and mouth.

Parents usually complain that their baby sleeps more peacefully on their tummy. It might be true in some cases but it has a lot of risk. The babies will adjust to sleep on their back after few attempts if the caregiver starts placing them on their backs every time when they are off to sleep.

References

https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/newborn-sleep-patterns

https://www.ncemch.org/suid-sids/documents/SIDRC/BackToSleep.pdf

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=90&contentid

https://www.ounce.org/pdfs/better_sleep.pdf

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Everything you need to know about breastfeeding

New Born | 4 Min Read

Everything you need to know about breastfeeding

Effath Yasmin

Effath Yasmin
Leading International Board Certified lactation Consultant.

Web
breastfeeding

First Golden Hour

A newborn has an innate ability to survive and thrive if we allow the primal reflexes to kick-in as a sequence during the birth of the baby.  During a safe and supported birth within an empowering birth environment, the newborn often undergoes a quiet alert phase, which has been referred to as the first phase or simply the Breast Crawl.

When the newborn is placed skin to skin on the  mother's breasts chest shortly after birth, baby is able to move closer to the breasts and attach to the mother’s breast and initiate suckling. Studies show us that baby’s alertness gradually decreased within 150 minutes after birth, when baby usually becomes more drowsy & sleepy. This confirms the importance of first golden hour being critical to allow integration of many sensory, motor and neuro-endocrine inputs to facilitate a ‘Breast Crawl’ soon after birth. This helps mother and baby deeply bond in a natural, undisturbed way and maximise the opportunity for the baby to prime the milk receptors to stimulate and increase milk production for the mother for the natural term breastfeeding.

During the Breast Crawl Babies uses all senses to explore that world of bonding. The smell of the dark potion of the breasts is similar to the amniotic fluid which guides in the movement along with eyes to look at mothers' face, ears to hear her reassuring voice.

The first golden hour Breastfeeding is also a boost to mother ability to improved breast milk production and facilities in loss of blood.

First 6 Months

Breastfeeding is a normal natural way to provide growth and development both nutritionally and physically of babies. The official statement by multiple breastfeeding advocacy organization in the world recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of life to support optimal growth, development and health. Complementary food is recommended to be introduced, mostly around the middle of the first year to support baby optimal development.

During the early breastfeeding months, it is important to remember to nurse the baby before offering solids, because mother’s milk continues to have far more calories and nutrition than solids food. The first six months of weaning during the first year of the bay is to explore taste, texture and color of the solid food variety. This is building a relationship with food safely and enjoyably. This has a life long impact. that the small amounts of healthy solids that can be consumed.

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months will mean only breast milk without mixing it with water, no other solid of liquids, herbal preparations or other food except remedies and medications when required. Exclusively supports optimal gut flora and microbiome that behaves as the shield of immunity for the baby from risk of gastrointestinal infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, otitis media and urinary tract infection among other risks. For the mother breastfeeding exclusively reduces risk for developing postpartum depression, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Exclusive Breastfeeding is also a method of birth control called Lactational Amenorrhea Method of birth control, or LAM. This method has been reported to be 98-99.5% effective in preventing pregnancy as long as exclusivity is maintained with no mixed feeding methods.

First Tooth

Its that time that many mothers dread & decide to stop breastfeeding when they first notice a tooth erupting in their mouth. Usually this is because they might fear that  baby will nip the breast during a feeding session or because the mother fears she will be bitten. It's also the time when during the first phase of teething is experienced by many mothers as one of the most common causes of frequent night waking and frequent feeding for baby. Infact this might be the case fussy nursing behavior due to experience of discomfort in the gums. The only way baby can find comfort sometimes can be suckling at the mother’s breast. During these intermittent phases which run into second year baby’s behaviour at the breast can also resemble staying longer at the breast or even pulling off and crying and wanting to go back to the breast again. 

This can be extremely overwhelming for the mother and frustrating for the baby. To help baby and mother teething homeopathic pills have been known to be very useful. Also baby can be given a cold washcloth to chew on before feeds to help with gum discomfort. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy can be extremely helpful as well to help restore comfort and regulation for both mother and baby.

First Weaning

Weaning from the breast is usually a slow and gradual process starting during the time of complementary food introduced yet weaning is an interactive process between the mother and her baby. It might help to know baby can be completely be trusted to wean himself as his need for security and comfort slowly get fulfilled over the toddler years and is not a habit that needs to be broken. This is a milestone reached at their own internal pace and like walking, talking and other milestones are different for each child.

La Leche League International organisation that supports breastfeeding mothers all across the world recommend gentle weaning methods rather than methods that might harm the trust in the relationship that has been built with nurturing at the breasts. Need for sucking is real for babies which is separate from sucking for nutrition. Sometimes weaning too fast might hamper the milk supply for the mothers or also it might result in babies resort to thumb sucking, sucking on fingers, hair, blankets and pacifiers. 

According to Norma Jane Bumgarner in her book "Mothering your Nursing Toddler" says "..a baby is learning to trust and depend on other human beings, especially his mother and to suppose that nutrition is primary significance and that attachment is secondary will be a mistake." therefore helping baby to drop her first feed naturally will be gradual weaning process as needs are being met.

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Art, Colours and Children!

New Born | 4 Min Read

Art, Colours and Children!

Mahika Sharma

Mahika Sharma
Clinical Psychologist

Web
Art Camp

Have you noticed how children’s classrooms, reading books, hospital wings, even their clothes are so colourful. I don’t think the colour grey comes to mind when we think 'kids'.

This is because colours help in expression and communication. While we wait for the human brain to continue to develop intellectually over the course of infancy, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, waiting for these kids to keep getting smarter, they need to take advantage of as much audio and visual aids as much as possible to help them process emotions, complexities of the social world and all the new information and knowledge they are bombarded with on daily basis.

The reason why Art Therapy has taken eminence over the years is precisely because of the advantages it presents. Thankfully, this is also something that can be pursued in the safety of our homes during these trying times with the lingering fear of Covid 19. When it comes to Art there is no right or wrong.

There is no why! Infact art helps in processing not only conscious emotions and thought processes but also helps in liberating those in our subconscious or unconscious.

Have you ever been surprised by something you were mindlessly doodling on a piece of paper and it turned into a specific shape? Just like that the process of drawing, giving shape to their thoughts, adding colours, helps children give a voice to what they are feeling, thinking, what they desire, what they don’t like or want without having to struggle with socially appropriate words and communication styles which they are yet to learn.

This is specially advantageous when struggling with managing difficult emotions in children during the lockdown when they already have restrictions of physical and social boundaries imposed on them. Everytime I have children visiting my therapy set up they always find a few games, colourful blocks and puzzles-but one “must” item which is an instant hit is the art file and a few blank sheets with crayons and sketch pens and sometimes even paints!

I am amazed at every time how they are able to express “how I feel” while drawing, it could be a simple circle indicating this is a person and a cross over that circle indicating I’m angry with them or I don’t want them around.

They even learn to vent out all that anger and progress to forgiveness and express away all the things that make them happy. You would be surprised to learn all the hidden love, anger, confusion, fears, joys in your 5 year olds' or 10 year old's mind when they get a chance to express it on a blank sheet of paper with a few colours.

Good news is that it requires no artistic skills or training. However it is important to keep in mind that while using art as a way to express and encourage kids to process their emotions, Art Therapy is a more formal therapeutic technique used by a trained professional in conjunction with other therapeutic techniques such as talk therapy to facilitate change, processing trauma or complex emotions, which helps to develop healthy communication skills and awareness of emotions and ways to regulate them.

So I strongly recommend taking advantage of this medium especially when it comes at no extra cost, easy to manage while staying indoors and helps the parent or the supervising adult remain sane while managing their child's behaviour and emotions.

Nutrients

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Nutrients

Quick and easy breakfast ideas for kids

New Born | 11 Min Read

Quick And Easy Breakfast Ideas For Kids.

Ananta

Ananta Goyal

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Action packed mornings call for smart products that allow the day to flow without interruption.

I start my day before my kids wake up to prepare their hot breakfast. I pack this in the Rabitat insulated food jar that keeps it warm while I carry on with my day.

Once Aarav is ready for breakfast, he unpacks the Meal Mate which has a top section to keep a dry snack - I generally put some nuts, dry fruits or makhana and below the hot breakfast for the day.

To encourage independence - unpack, eat, pack on your own this is a top quality product.

Keeps the food hot (12 hrs) or cold (24 hrs)

Made with food grade 18/8 stainless steel

Comes in a child friend design

Food jar

Yummy Oats with the goodness of Khajur and Nuts

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats (instant oats)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 date deseeded
  • 8-10 assorted nuts
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 t jaggery powder

To Make

  • 1. Heat the milk and water in a saucepan.
  • 2. Add in the oats and stir. Cook over low heat
  • 3. Shred the date and mix with oats.
  • 4. Cover and cook over low flame for 7-8 minutes stirring once in a while.
  • 5. Cut the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • 6. In a mini pan, heat the ghee and toss in the nuts.
  • 7. Stir and cook for a couple minutes. Throw in the jaggery powder and mix.
  • 8. Mix in the nuts with the oats right before eating.

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Breakfast Recipes for Toddlers

New Born | 4 Min Read

Breakfast Recipes for Toddlers

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Author for Rabitat

breakfast-4

5 Fun Breakfast Recipes for Toddlers and their Health Benefits

A well fed child is a happy child. And we all know how important eating a balanced diet is. But... don’t dare and discuss it with your fussy eater. They’ll roll their eyes. One thing,
because they don’t like hearing anything that sounds lecture-y; second, they don’t care about food unless it’s fried, sweet, or snacky. Therefore, we’ve gathered some awesome ideas to make feeding your sweet, little kid easier.

Along with the recipes, we’ll also discuss briefly what nutritional requirements they fulfill.

DOWNLOAD: Nutrients Associated With Colours in Fruits and Vegetables

1. Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

These pancakes aren’t originally Indian and therefore attract toddlers even more. You just have to mention something fancy and they come running to eat. But as a parent or a guardian, your job is to make such foods not only delicious, but also absolutely healthy. And whole wheat banana pancakes sets an awesome example!

Recipe by: Cookie+Kate

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (not soda!)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup milk of choice (animal/vegan)
  • 2 large bananas - 1 mashed, 1 sliced for toppings
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sugar (as per your taste) or honey
Banana Pancakes

Toppings: maple syrup, honey, chocolate/strawberry sauce, sliced banana, butter, or anything your child enjoys.

What to do:

  • 1. Mix the dry and the wet ingredients in two separate bowls.
  • 2. Whisk all the ingredients to combine them so there are no lumps.
  • 3. Heat your pan until it’s hot enough to sizzle a water drop and grease it if required.
  • 4. Pour a little batter on the pan (you don’t need to manually spread it).
  • 5. Turn it over when you see bubbles on the surface. The perimeter will also turn matte from glossy. Cook the other side for a minute or until it’s golden-brown.
  • 6. Serve it immediately with toppings of choice.

REPEAT with the remaining batter.

Health benefits of Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes:

Whole wheat banana pancakes is a smart replacement for regular pancakes. The whole wheat substitute for all purpose flour makes the pancakes offer tonnes of health benefits and are also more filling because of being loaded with fibre. (All purpose flour is super refined and therefore very low in fibre.)

Whole wheat is loaded with dietary fibre, vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E and K, and minerals potassium, calcium, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and folate..

Bananas, on the other hand, are 75% water, rich in vitamin B6 and C and potassium, and offer many health benefits. They’re also a source of antioxidants catechin and dopamine.

Eggs are a great source of healthy fatty acids and are said to increase the levels of good cholesterol HDL in the body. They’re a rich source of vitamins A, B2, B5,B12, folate, phosphorus, and selenium.

“Eggs also contain decent amounts of vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium and zinc” - Healthline.
However if your child can’t eat eggs for any reason, check this eggless pancake recipe from EgglessCooking.

Grated Vegetables

2. Moong Dal Chilla with Grated Vegetables

Moong dal chilla is easy to make and also very healthy. The grated vegetable stuffing can make it all the more tasty and healthy, for example, carrot, pea and paneer stuffing goes great with chilla.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 3-4 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp roasted cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • Grated carrots
  • Chopped/grated paneer (feta cheese)
  • ½ cup peas
  • Chopped coriander
  • Chopped onion
  • Ginger paste
  • Black pepper powder to taste

1. Rinse and soak the moong dal in twice to thrice the amount of water for about 4 hours.

2. The dal will double in size. Discard the extra water; grind the dal to make a paste by adding 1 to two tablespoons of water.

3. Add salt, chili, turmeric, and cumin powder along with the ginger paste, chopped onion and coriander. Mix well.

4. Heat a pan and spread the mix circularly on it with the help of a large spoon.

5. Cook both sides and serve hot with the paneer-carrot mixture seasoned with some salt and black pepper inside the folded chilla.

This is both filling and delicious.

Health benefits of Moong Dal Chilla:

Moong dal is very beneficial for the heart and immune system. All the ingredients together make a nutrient-rich meal for everyone in the family. Like all daals, moong daal is also a great source of proteins, especially essential in a vegetarian/vegan diet. The addition of coriander and other vegetables further increases the nutritional benefits of the dish and vary with the vegetables used. Overall, absolutely healthilicious!

3. Dalia Kheer

Your little one may not be excited by the idea of eating dalia. The best way to feed them anything is by making it sweet!

Dry ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Dalia
  • 1 tsp sugar (you may replace refined sugar with jaggery or honey)
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 500 mL milk
  • Dry fruits (optional)

1. Take a pan and melt ghee in it.

2. Add the dalia and roast it well in the ghee.

3. Once roasted, take out the dalia in a separate bowl/plate.

4. Add milk in the pan.

5. You may keep stirring it so the milk doesn’t stick to the pan.

6. Add dalia to the milk and keep stirring.

7. The milk will start getting thick. At this point, you can add the sugar and dry fruits.

8. Let this cook until the dalia is well soft to eat.
Serve immediately or cold. This is delicious anyway!

Dalia Kheer

Health benefits of Dalia Kheer

Dalia is a form of wheat known as broken wheat. It is fibrous and therefore very easy to digest. It can also help treat constipation in children. Moreover, dalia contains minerals such as zinc, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, copper, sodium, potassium, iron, and manganese, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3, etc.

Oatmeal Chocochip Cookies

4. Oatmeal Chocochip Cookies

This is more of a reward snack option, but healthy. Plus, they’re home-baked so you control what goes in them.

Recipe by: Recipezazz

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Softened Butter
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
    (you can adjust the amount of sugar as per your taste)

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cup flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
  • 2 ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Chocolate chips or shavings
  • Dry fruits (optional, but super healthy)

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C/ 375 F

2. Whisk the butter and sugar to make a light, creamy mixture. Add vanilla, milk and eggs and beat well.

3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix.

4. Stir in oats and chocolate chips/shavings.

5. Place equal sized scoops/rolls on your baking tray (you can line it with a cookie sheet) and bake for 9-10 minutes or 12-13 minutes for chewy or crisp cookies, respectively.

6. The cookies need to be cooled for a minute on the tray and then on a wire rack before being served.

Health benefits of Oatmeal Chocochip Cookies:

Because of similar ingredients as of pancakes, these cookies have similar nutrient gains. The addition of oats likely provides the following vitamins B1, and B12, and minerals including manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, selenium, magnesium, and zinc thus providing tonnes of health benefits.

5. Pizza Bread

Well, if you think of it, it is a healthy and a very clever choice. You can stuff it with numerous veggies and you bet your child won’t be able to see them in the first look! It will taste like pizza but will be a healthier alternative hiding the veggies!

And if you’re vary of the pizza base, you can totally make it at home.

Ingredients: For Bread

  • 1 cup flour (you may use whole wheat or all purpose)
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pizza seasoning (oregano, garlic powder, chili flakes, thyme, basil, or anything you have)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil/butter

For Pizza stuffing

  • Finely chopped vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Seasoning
Pizza Bread

(Your tiny tod will be thrilled if you include pineapple too!)

1. Heat the water to make it lukewarm (not hot!), add sugar and yeast and stir till it’s dissolved.

2. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to activate the yeast.

3. Mix the chopped vegetables in a bow and add seasoning and cheese to it.

4. Mix the flour, salt and seasoning in a separate bowl. Add oil/butter and mix thoroughly.

5. Add the yeast-water and knead the dough until it stretches well without breaking (indicating gluten formation). This will take a good 10-20 minutes time. Beat the dough into a ball and apply a layer of oil on the surface. Keep it covered at a warm place for at least an hour (will take more if the weather is cold).

6. When the dough doubles in size, punch it to expel the air and again knead it for 4-5 minutes. Divide the whole in equal portions.

7. At this time, preheat your oven at 180 C. Roll the portions in chapati-thick long ovals/rectangles. Place chopped vegetables and cheese in one half and fold it so that the stuffing is inside (like stuffed garlic bread or MacPuff). OR - you can roll a big circle and put stuffing in one half and fold (and cut into sticks after baking). You don’t need to stick the ends, the baking will do that.

8. Place these on a tray and let them bake for 15 minutes or until they’ve risen and turned golden-brown.

9. Make sure that the bread is well cooked before serving it to your toddler.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup and let it do its magic.

Health benefits of Pizza Bread:

Vegetables are overall very healthy and have a lot of vitamins and minerals. Toddlers especially are very fussy when it comes to vegetables. All you need to do is impress them with colors. Also, anything that looks like outside food is a win-win. You can definitely use whole wheat for this instead of plain flour. This is just a fancy version of eating chapati and vegetables, isn’t it?

However, using refined plain flour (maida) is also not a bad option if your child or you don’t thrive on it!

Nutrients

Download Chart of
Nutrients Associated with Colours
in Fruits and Vegetables

From experts. No strings attached.

Enter Child's age

BabyToe-Note

The stories of fussy-eaters aren’t new. We would all have been there at some point of our childhood. We only need to be smart and find more creative ways to feed these naughties. The thumb rule (here) is hiding! Hide as many veggies or whatever your young one fusses about in something they love or make it sweet. Or - you can bare it all by making your dish look naturally colourful and attractive (try not to add artificial colours and flavours). They’ll come running and eat what you serve them!

Happy Parenting!

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Freedom from Mom-Guilt

New Born | 4 Min Read

Freedom from Mom-Guilt

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Author for Rabitat

freedom

If you are a mom, there is a 100% chance that you have experienced a case of mom guilt. According to Karen Kleiman, mom guilt is so common that it is often perceived as a natural part of mothering. Whether it is rooted in the time you are not spending with your child because of work or the educational activities you haven’t introduced them to or the extraordinarily healthy food you are not giving them, it is easy today to get caught up in the idea that you are not doing a great job at being a mom. For many moms, especially single-moms or new working moms, numerous factors can contribute to this phenomenon, including personal insecurities and external pressures from social media, friends, and family, just to name a few. Like all parenting issues, it is crucial to note that every mother’s experience is unique and that her guilt will take its own form. Here are a few helpful tips on how to overcome mom guilt.

1. Stay away from negative energy.

A lot of times, mom guilt originates from the people around us. It could be relative reminding you of your latest parenting failure or a friend criticizing your parenting technique. Spring cleaning your trusted circle and surrounding yourself with people who appreciate your values can help reduce unsolicited input and, in general, mom guilt.

2. Share your responsibilities.

Mothering is no easy task, especially for a new mom. Find someone to pitch in the chores in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed. You can ask your partner or find a network of other moms who are on their own if you a single mom yourself.

3. Listen to your intuition and children.

A mother’s intuition is a powerful gift that should never be ignored. More than anyone, you, as a mother, know what is best for your child. Therefore, listen to your instincts whenever you are conflicted about your child’s needs. In addition, children give the best feedback, so listen to them. Listening to your child can tell you to know which of your decisions are working and which ones are not.

4. Take care of yourself first.

You need to love yourself and look out for your needs first before you can adequately take care of your child. So, get a pedicure or watch a movie with the girls. Always give yourself a little air once in a while.

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A Baby Sleep Consultant’s Guide to helping your newborn sleep

New Born | 4 Min Read

A Baby Sleep Consultant’s Guide to helping your newborn sleep.

Ajita Gopal Seethepalli

Ajita Gopal Seethepalli
A Child Sleep and Child Food
Habits Consultant.

Web
sleep_baby

Quite evidently, having a baby is as daunting as joyous it is. As new parents, you do your best to keep your baby calm, content and happy. For newborns, this directly translates into lots of feeding and sleeping, and of course, lots of love and attention! 

However, having a newborn baby is synonymous with parents not getting enough sleep. Most parents begin looking for ways to make their babies sleep properly as it means that they sleep well too. To clarify, it isn’t a selfish approach, it is natural. You do require rest and sleep to take care of your little one. 

Also, there’s just so much advice present in both the online and the offline world, it’s hard to know which piece of information to believe. Should you listen to your distant relative aunts or the trendy blog run by a new mom? Save yourselves! In situations like this, it’s expert opinion that makes the most sense.

If you’re new to the realm and looking for a baby sleep consultant, the first thing you should know is that babies sleep a lot. Normally, newborn babies sleep approximately 16-19 hours a day. A baby’s body and brain need all this sleep for his/her growth and development. Not getting enough sleep at proper intervals can make your baby agitated, cranky and overall unhappy. 

Being a Child Sleep and Food Habits Consultant, I can help your little infant sleep well and resultantly grow well; here are my top 5 tips:

1. Recognize Your Baby’s Tired Signs

Babies often show subtle signs of tiredness but we may not always recognize them. Understanding your baby’s sleepy signs can be helpful in getting your baby to fall asleep with the least amount of fuss. Some easy to recognize signs would be yawning, rubbing eyes, crankiness or fussing behavior. Other signs to look out for could be: 

  • Sucking of thumb or fingers – this doesn’t always indicate hunger, it often indicates tiredness too
  • Looking away from your face 
  • Jerky arm and leg movements
  • Arching backwards like they want to get away from you
  • Staring off into space
  • Pulling their ears, hair or keep scratching their face

It is actually better to settle your baby in bed a little before you see these signs. If your baby shows such signs, say an hour after they wake up, perhaps you need to make it a practice to settle your baby down after 45 minutes or so of waking up.

2. Set Day-Night Pattern

While babies sleep a lot, it’s also important to note when and how often they sleep. Many parents find that their baby is up and playful in the night, and mellow and sleeping long stretches during the day. This day-night confusion is common in the early weeks. This phenomenon occurs because babies are not born with developed internal clocks or circadian rhythm, which helps them to distinguish between day and night. 

Generally, most babies pass this stage by 4 months of age. You can, however, speed this process up and help your baby fall into a pattern much sooner by:

  • Giving your baby sun time in the early morning hours  
  • Keeping activity levels higher during the day 
  • Making bedroom darker and calmer at night
  • Keeping the lights dim and activity level to a minimum during night feedings

3. Swaddle

Swaddling is a technique that’s been used for generations and is often a new-born baby’s best bed buddy. Swaddling properly helps a baby feel snug and calm like they did in their mother’s womb. It also prevents sleep disturbances caused when the baby startles due to Moro reflex, which they experience during the early months. It’s best to use a soft muslin cloth or a natural breathable fabric as a swaddle to keep the baby cozy and also prevent them from getting too warm. 

However, swaddling is a skill that needs to be learnt. When a swaddle is not wrapped accurately, it can leave your baby feeling uncomfortable. Many parents give up on swaddles soon after they come home because they feel that their baby doesn’t like it. Although, in reality, they might not have been swaddling the baby properly. Once you learn the right technique of swaddling, you’ll be amazed to see how easily it settles and calms your baby down.

4. Room Environment

Babies prefer cooler temperatures when they are sleeping. Typically, a room temperature of approximately 24 degrees works best for most babies. So, maintain a cool room. If required, turn on the air conditioner and/or a fan. Fans in the room often also act as white noise, cancelling out a lot of the sudden noises and sounds in the house  and setting a constant, ambient sound in the bedroom. 

Moreover, avoid overdressing your baby. Remember: your baby will most likely be swaddled, which means that it will be another layer over their clothes.  

It’s also a good idea to keep the room dark when it is sleep time and keep the baby in bright, well lit spaces when awake.

5. Wake, Eat, Play, Sleep — Repeat!

New born babies take longer to feed, and therefore, end up consuming very small portions. Also, just the act of feeding appears to tire a baby easily. This is one reason that it’s helpful to feed infants soon after they’ve woken up — they’re the most energetic and can thus feed fully and burp properly. They may even stay awake for some time and look around and then can be swaddled and put to sleep at the appropriate time.

Following these simple techniques can help your newborn baby and the entire family enjoy better sleep during the early months of this new life. It also sets the platform for healthy sleeping habits as they grow up. 

 Ajita Gopal Seethepalli

Ajita Seethepalli is a Child Sleep and Food Habits Consultant and the creator of KidsCenter.in. She uses behavioural coaching to help develop healthy habits in children.  Over the past 10 years, she has helped thousands of parents and children across the globe through concrete, customized, step-by-step solutions. 

For further information on Ajita and her services please see:

www.KidsCenter.in

Home Sounds

Sleep expert on helping baby sleep longer

From Rabitat sleep experts. No strings attached.

Enter your baby's Birthday or due date below

If you’ve tried everything and you see no change in the fussiness of your newborn, it’s better to check with your pediatrician. Colic could as well be because of an underlying cause, which only the doctor can determine.

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How to sleep train your baby?

New Born | 4 Min Read

How To Sleep Train Your Baby?

Rabitat

Author for Rabitat

train-your-baby

The arrival of a baby is inarguably the best event in our lives. They bring joy and happiness and add many new characteristics to our lives.

But there is a slight turn-around in the story at the onset of night: the baby won’t sleep! Come on, you at least need the night’s sleep to get over your daily exhaustion. But how?

Although it isn’t very simple, it's possible. Unlike us, newborns don’t have sleep patterns. But they can be made to. 

But first, you need to ensure that your baby is at the stage where they’re capable of sleeping through the night. As you may read in our newborn baby sleep schedules, babies under 2 months of age shouldn’t sleep for more than 4 hours at stretch. So they wake up in the middle of the night just like they do in between day naps. As the child grows, this duration also increases and they move closer to sleeping all night. Although they’re still prone to awakening at night due to separation anxiety, colic, certain irritants, wetness, hunger, an illness, or perhaps for no reason at all. And if your baby keeps waking up for no apparent reason, a solution can be worked out. 

Here are a few tips that can help you get your newborn to sleep through the night:

1. Create a Bedtime Routine

By the time your sweet pea is 2 months old, you will notice a lot of patterns. Which room or mattress they’re more comfortable in, what time they begin to feel sleepy at night, and their drowsy face. You will also know where your baby is comfortable sleeping away from or closer to you. The distance is especially to be taken care of so the child doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety at night. 

In our newborn sleep schedule for 0 to 6 weeks, we’ve mentioned that mothers should start creating a bedtime routine for their babies. For example, your bedtime routine could include turning off lights and swaddling, massaging and singing them their favourite lullaby every night. 

Over time, infants realize and start acknowledging nights as sleeping time. They will know that they’re not expected to be playful and get into a habit of sleeping. They’ll also start attempting to sleep without your assistance, which is a huge blessing in disguise. Once they learn how to soothe themselves, they’ll also begin to sleep longer at night. 

2. Follow Sleep Schedules

Following sleep schedules since the beginning may not ensure a full night’s sleep in the first 1-2 months, but it will definitely help your little bundle of joy to start sleeping more at night. Newborn sleep schedules help babies to get habituated to proper sleeping patterns. They might still wake up at night as their sleep spans are short, but it will get better with time. As they grow older, their night sleeping time will increase, as will yours. 

Check out our newborn baby sleep schedules according to your child’s age to get deeper insights. 

3. Wean Night Feedings

Imagine you’re given a sum of money as a reward every time you wake up in the middle of the night! (Where’s my reward?!)

Newborns have nothing to do with money, but milk… you know better! All they do is feed on milk, whether the mother’s or a formula. Everytime you feed to soothe them (it might seem to be the only option when the only reward for your body is hitting the bed), they get used to it. This is the last thing you would want. It will become a habit that is really hard to get over. Start weaning night feedings as soon as they’re 2-3 months old so they start to sleep longer at night. 

Another thing: you do not want to feed them to sleep even at bedtime. Although this doesn’t mean they’re going to sleep on an empty stomach. The thing is to not use feeding as a resort to making them fall asleep. 

Put them to bed before they’re fully sleepy, that is, when the first signs of drowsiness show up. This way, they’ll learn to soothe themselves and sleep without a reward. They’ll know that their mamma (or anybody else) is not going to wait till they sleep. You’ll have a feeling of achievement when your little monkey starts going to sleep without you rocking him/her!

4. The Let Them Cry-it-Out Method

The ‘cry it out’  or ‘extinction’ method is quite a popular advice that circulates between parents and families. But does it really work? There is some research that indeed suggests its functioning. But there are many experts and doctors who advise against it. 

This method may also be of no help in case your child has colic, which usually has no apparent reason. Letting them crying it out would be futile then. 

Also, when your baby is awakened by something best known to just them and starts crying inconsolably, it’s seriously very hard to let them just be. Leaving a baby crying on the top of their lungs is definitely one of the most difficult things to do. You may never gather the courage for this harsh parenthood. The best in that case is to not set any restrictions and step up to comfort them. 

Read: How Can I Help My Colicky Baby Sleep?

5. Use a White Noise Device

How do you imagine a mom’s womb to be? Dark and cozy… silent? 

Dark and cozy, yes; but silent, it is not. You don’t spend your pregnancy months in silence; you continue to do your daily chores, meet people, visit noisy places… So the baby gets adapted to all this background noise. They listen to both you and the world. And when they come out, we start sushing everybody up, “Shh… she’s sleeping.” “Shh! He’ll wake up!” 

When actually, your newborn will sleep better with some constant background ‘white’ noise. It can also act as a blocker for other household noises, like that of an older sibling. For example, a creaking window or a noisy fan. Many parents leave the TV, radio or phone on, playing constant music or sounds while their baby sleeps. If you aren’t comfortable with these, you can go for some fancy white noise machines that serve the same purpose. 

You can also find some interesting white noise, including simulations of mother’s heartbeat, falling rain, etc. on the internet. 

6. Not Giving Into Nighttime Tantrums 

Ahh... The important part. Your baby may wake you up in the middle of the night. They may be wanting their night feeding or simply to play with you. If you start feeding or playing with them, they’ll never know that nights aren’t for playing or feeding - or whatever it is that your child wants. They’ve just been born after all; they don’t understand between right and wrong and night and day. It is therefore important that you don’t give into their nighttime tantrums. Let them keep asking for it. They’ll eventually get over their habits.

However, some babies are stubborn; they will do their best to get what they want. But it’s with these babies that mothers need to be extra careful with. Try conditioning them to fall back asleep, not wake up. Comfort them but not by not giving them what they want. They’ll definitely get better with time.

 Also, when you find your little one getting fidgety at night, you might want to run and check on them. Babies, however, fall back asleep if left unattended. If there’s nothing that might need urgent attention, you should better not pay a heed. You can observe them from a distance and rest assured that they’ll go back to sleeping very soon. As time passes, you’ll know when and if you need to respond to your baby’s awakening. 

7. Comfy Clothes and Environment

Dim the lights and ensure that the room’s temperature is optimal: 18-22° C and static and there’s no possible allergen or irritant present. Please also ensure that there’s nothing that they’re directly in contact with or that there’s nothing that can tangle with them, fall on them or roll over to them. 

You may wrap them in a comfy swaddle made of a natural fabric so they can sleep cozily through the night without any irritation. Research has found that swaddling helps babies sleep longer and reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). You do not want to miss that. Include swaddling in your newborn’s bedtime routine, it will help you big time!

BabyToe-Note

Each infant is new and unique. They all have similar basic requirements: sleep, milk, natural, non-toxic clothes, and a lot of love, care, and attention. You may be feeling deprived of sleep but on the greener side, it’s only a matter of a couple of weeks. Your tiny moonpie will grow bigger and naughtier sooner than you think and your dream of sleeping through the night will also come true. Don’t give up, keep sleep training your little one, it will reward you every possible way in the blink of an eye. 

Happy Mommying!

Womb Sounds

Free White Noise/Soothing Womb Sounds

From Rabitat sleep experts. No strings attached.

Enter your baby's Birthday or due date below

If you’ve tried everything and you see no change in the fussiness of your newborn, it’s better to check with your pediatrician. Colic could as well be because of an underlying cause, which only the doctor can determine.

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How Can I Help My Colicky Baby Sleep?

New Born | 3 Min Read

How Can I Help My Colicky Baby Sleep?

Rabitat

Author for Rabitat

trainbaby

Does your newborn baby start crying incessantly to go on for hours? If you didn’t already know, they could be colicky. Colic is a major cause of concern for many new parents, especially the first timers. It makes it hard for the parents to put them on a defined sleep schedule. Yes! Newborn sleep schedule makes it incredibly easier for the parents to have one of their own too, download it here!

In addition to causing discomfort to the baby, colic tends to deeply affect the mother. Doesn’t it? You feel like you haven’t yet connected with them, or that you aren’t good enough. It happens... don’t worry. Don’t blame yourself; you’re definitely not the reason.

Colic typically bids a goodbye by the time the baby is 3-4 months old. But does that mean you and your newborn will keep losing sleep till then? Well, no. Colicky babies indeed have troubles sleeping, but they can be put to a smiley-rest.

Tips to Help Your Colicky Baby Sleep

1. First things first, calm yourself down. Your colicky baby may give you anxiety, which can hamper your ability to soothe your child.

2. Swaddle. Many parents have found swaddling helpful. Cozily wrap your sweetpea in a comfy swaddle while humming or singing to them. Swaddling gives the newborn a feeling of being inside their mother’s womb - what could be more comfortable! An important note here would be to ensure that the swaddles you use are super comfy, cozy, and made of natural fibres so it doesn’t irritate your newborn.

3. Motion can distract them from crying. You may take your baby in a stroller, or in your arms, and take them for a ride by foot or in a car whenever they get colicky.

4. A toy or an object that makes cool sounds can also calm your baby down, and eventually put them to sleep. Please don’t resort to using a phone though!

5. Often, colic could simply be due to gas. In such a case, you can give your little one a soothing massage to calm. Maybe, try to move their legs slowly toward their stomach to help them release the gas.

6. Typically, colic develops a pattern. As soon as you notice it, you can start your mission even before the crying starts. Pick ‘em up and snuggle and cuddle… it might totally reduce the struggle!

7. You could also try a warm water bottle to pacify your crying baby. Some infants like the feeling and relax by the mild touch of the bottle.

8. More often than not, babies love their parents singing lullabies to them! If you don’t consider yourself a good singer, you might want to get some lullabies online. Here’s a free lullaby that can help you put your baby to sleep.

Help baby sleep

FREE age based lullaby to help baby sleep

From Rabitat sleep experts. No strings attached.

Enter your baby's Birthday or due date below

If you’ve tried everything and you see no change in the fussiness of your newborn, it’s better to check with your pediatrician. Colic could as well be because of an underlying cause, which only the doctor can determine.

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Dr Ishi Khosla answers 19 FAQs on pre and post pregnancy nutrition.

Maternity | 9 min read

Dr Ishi Khosla answers 19 FAQs on pre and post pregnancy nutrition.

Dr Ishi Khosla

Dr Ishi Khosla
Clinical Nutritionist and Author

Web
drisha

Pregnancy brings along with itself a stream of emotions; emotions of joy, bliss, fulfillness, thrill, achievement, satisfaction and fear. Although fear isn’t the first emotion that many of us have, it develops and grows, as do all the other emotions. 

“Will I be a good mother?”
“Will my child be healthy?” 
“Am I eating well enough?” 
“Is my baby getting enough nutrition?” 
“When will my baby kick for the first time” 
“Will I be able to lose all the weight I’m putting on?”

And then begins the influx of miscellaneous information. We find our ears opening to tonnes of advice from our loved ones! Although not paying attention to it was the agenda earlier. 

We at Rabitat understand how important it is for your concerns to be addressed. We know how much you care for the well-being of your fetus and your own body. So, we got in touch with clinical nutritionist Dr. Ishi Khosla, who is also an entrepreneur, columnist, author, researcher, welfare worker, and the founder of a unique score-based nutrition monitor app -  theweightmonitor.com. We asked her some questions that are mostly left unanswered. Without any further ado, let’s get talking!

Top Pregnancy-Related FAQs and their Expert Answers

FAQS About Eating Right During Pregnancy

1. How much does one need to eat during pregnancy?

Should expecting mothers eat for two?

Contrary to popular belief, expecting mothers don’t need to eat for two.

Dr. Khosla explains that it is really not like that, what matters is what you’re eating. There isn’t a profound increase in the caloric requirements in the first three months, and therefore, the weight gain is also very minimal. The need for calories, however, goes up after the second trimester by up to 300 only, which isn’t too much. You certainly don’t need to overeat.

2. How much weight should I gain in pregnancy in kg? 

An average, healthy pregnancy carrying a single child should not increase more than 9-12 kilograms

For women carrying twins, 15-20 kilograms maximum. 

3. Is it safe to drink tea or coffee during pregnancy?

Absolutely not. Tea and particularly coffee are best avoided during pregnancy, while mild cups of tea are admissible if you can tolerate it. The consumption of caffeine is certainly not the best during pregnancy. 

4. What can I eat to boost my iron levels during pregnancy?

Expecting mothers are commonly given iron supplements. However, if the nutrient isn’t getting absorbed by the body, they are futile. Grains like wheat, corn, oats, barley, and soya are inflammatory and can cause malabsorption of iron during pregnancy. Dr. Khosla has observed many women, who go off these grains, increase their pregnancy hemoglobin levels. So you can start with replacing these foods with healthier alternatives. 

Foods that help in absorption of iron are 

  • Vitamin C
  • Amla
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Beetroot and carrot juice
  • Pomegranates

5. Is seafood safe during pregnancy?

Dr. Khosla says that the safety of seafood depends on where it is from. Particularly, it can be contaminated with toxins and heavy metals, which cause poisoning. Therefore, although seafood is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s better to restrict the consumption to twice a week, ensuring the quality of the source. 

6. What foods can ease morning sickness?

You can consume something alkaline, like a glass of coconut water, some soapnuts, or something crisp, which can be anything wafer-thin you like. Dr. Khosla suggests that making your body alkaline in the morning may help.

7. I’m lactose intolerant, how can I increase my calcium intake during pregnancy?

It is a myth that you need dairy to fulfill your calcium needs. Under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, you may add calcium and magnesium supplements to your diet or get them from vegan sources like

  • Green leafy vegetables 
  • Sesame seeds
  • Broccoli
  • Kale

8. How do I include proteins in my diet as a vegetarian?

We have a whole range of plant protein in India. Some plant sources rich in proteins are:

  • Daals
  • Beans
  • Legumes like chickpeas
  • Dairy
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Some grains like quinoa are also great sources. 

9. Is there a permissible limit for alcohol during pregnancy?

Absolutely not. There’s no permissible limit for alcohol during pregnancy

FAQs About Breastfeeding

An Expert Tip

It should be done traditionally. Increase your calories through good fats. 

We now have the issues of gut health like leaky gut, which weren’t common earlier. Dr. Khosla clarifies that while pregnancy in itself affects the gut, women in this generation have been exposed to modern wheat, which also affects the gut. The antibodies produced against modern wheat take effect post delivery, which may result in postpartum depression, mood swings, and autoimmune disorders like thyroids.

Therefore, Dr. Khosla advises pregnant women to take a traditional approach to eating during pregnancy, but consume millets instead of just wheat, like millet-based pandjiris and galactogogues (foods that promote lactation). 

All the gums, sesame seeds, nuts, and dry fruits roasted in desi ghee are excellent. However, if a breastfeeding mother feels that the child isn’t feeling full enough or is restless despite feeling full, is colicky or has constipation or acid reflux, then the diet has to be reviewed and food sensitivities need to be addressed.

11. Does a mother’s nutrition affect breastfeeding?

Yes. Anything that a mother eats or does affects breastfeeding.

12. Do galactagogue foods also help to beat postpartum depression and other issues?

Galactagogues are good for the gut, they may be supportive with the issues but may not be able to completely manage them. The cause has to be addressed.

13. Is a low-carb diet safe for a nursing mother?

A high-fat diet rich in good fats, including plenty of fruits and vegetables is certainly good for a nursing mother. Therefore, Dr. Khosla doesn’t advise going low-carb, rather going better-carb.

14. Are there any foods a breastfeeding mother needs to avoid?

All the foods that were avoided during the pregnancy are advised to be avoided during breastfeeding as well. Moreover, gassy foods must also be avoided. And if a child is getting colic or is bloated, the mother’s diet needs to be checked and changed. 

15. Is there anything that women need to add during breastfeeding otherwise often overlooked?

Adding probiotic supplements to your diet during breastfeeding could be beneficial.

16. What is the best and the healthiest way to lose the baby weight?

If you’re still breastfeeding, you need to be careful to not affect your lactation while you start working on losing weight. You can certainly cut back on extra calories, like extra sugars. These include carbohydrates coming from grains, cereals, or certain beverages that could be loaded with sugars. This should be accompanied with increasing the intake of healthy fats, which are important for lactation and make you feel full for longer. So, consume more nuts and seeds and other foods rich in good fats and eliminate unhealthy carbs from your diet to lose the baby weight. Also, of course, movement and exercise are important.

Each body is different and responds to different approaches. So if your body isn’t responding to these, you might require professional help.

17. When after delivery can a mother start her weight-loss regime?

There’s no specified waiting period post-delivery for a new mother to start her weight-loss journey. You can start whenever you feel like it.

18. Among the fad diets, such as keto, intermittent fasting, weight watchers, dash diet, etc, which is the safest and most effective for new mothers?

No one diet. A new mother’s diet should be designed according to her body needs. Therefore, none of these diets should be followed, particularly at this time. 

19. Do mothers lose weight while nursing?

Yes. Mothers naturally shed the baby weight while breastfeeding. However, if you’re eating wrong, you wouldn’t. 

On the endnote, we hope you’ve taken the notes and are ready to take your journey to a healthier high. 

Happy Mommying!

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Moms, How Well Are You Dating the Father of Your Child?

16 Min Read

Moms, How Well Are You Dating the Father of Your Child?

momsdating

In a new initiative by Rabitat ‘Meet the Mom,’ we invited super moms Neha, Radhika, and Shweta to discuss the joys and issues that come with motherhood.

Shweta is a full-time mother of a three-year-old, a photographer, and a Social Media Influencer for many moms and moms-to-be. Radhika is again a full-time mother of a three-year-old and an independent HR Consultant. Neha is also a full-time mom of a 10-year-old and Digital Marketing Head at Rabitat.

With Meet the Mom, we intend to share awesome tips, tricks and hacks with you all. We aren’t only focused on delivering the best baby products to you, we also believe that you should have the best time of your life being both a mother and a wife. Most importantly, we value your womanhood and the never-say-never spirit.

This episode is about how relationships change after the arrival of the child. How the husband becomes the father and the wife the mother. The couple gets promoted to this new position in life and gets so lost in it that they forget their own relationship.

As I write this, thank my multi-tasker self, I am also trying to get my three-year-old daughter to sit down and eat half-an-apple. She’s playing with her father and her father is now more of her father and less of my husband. I’m not saying this out of paranoia. Whenever we sit down at the dinner table, I admit my attention is wholly at feeding my child. And the same is on his end too. So it isn’t one-sided. This departing isn’t one-sided. We aren’t even departing, technically - we’re just learning to become parents together. But I’m afraid that we might forget that we’re spouses altogether.

But we aren’t alone in this: This little conversation between these moms proves just that!

On being asked about ‘dating the father of her child,’ Radhika, very precisely, describes, “I would say we’re two people who get along really well, great friends, sharing a baby, living under one roof!”

Which is true in every sense! Don’t we become just partners raising a child? Our whole world changes and revolves around the baby and nothing else, as Shweta also explains and feels that even at dinner - when the family gets together after having spent the entire day apart - the talks are still mainly concerning the child.

She says, “It’s either about the home or the child. I think it becomes very point-to-point and very categorical... very household centric. It becomes very monotonous.” She further says something that is actually the basis of it all, “I think that love, that essence, that passion - everything just fades out. And nobody, I think, puts a diligent effort to hold that back.”

We don’t disagree as we all know how we start taking things for granted. The man is just the husband, after all! Who cares? Now that the baby has popped out in the world, how does the husband matter? *Wink*

Jokes apart, the conversations start with the baby and end on the baby. We tend to value the happiness of the human who’s super new to both of us and, over time, we forget that there’s a life out of that mini-world of ours. That’s a part of the world - not the entire world. Apart from the child, most of the couples have nothing else to talk about, which Shweta feels, is very unhealthy. She says that the time and effort that we put into for a child’s development and happiness are the same measures that we should put in for our own relationships.

Our relationship transitions and we become parents together. Neha suggests that we should hold on to being a couple together, which we, unfortunately, don’t.

We mostly think that our romance just goes away with the arrival of the baby, but Radhika loves to disagree. She says, “Romance, I feel, it’s not like it goes away but it just takes a backseat.” Whether the romance goes away or takes a backseat, it’s our responsibility to fuel the fire and not let it quench.

Talking about the reinvention of love and romance, Shweta explains that while the reinvention is happening, it’s restricted to that only, it isn’t coming to us as partners. We fail to notice or recognize that reinvention because now the baby gets all our attention. She believes that the men take the crown of being a father way too seriously. Which could very well be true!

Neha, agreeing with Shweta, gives an example of how her husband continues to call her ‘Mummy’ in front of their 10-year-old daughter and she has to remind him that she isn’t his mother. We develop that habit of calling each other ‘Mummy/Papa’ in front of our young ones to get them into the habit also. But as the children grow older, our habits do too and we forget that they need to disappear.

The newly-father-turned-husbands should take a note here, as the ladies feel that you forget to woo the wife; you get into the suit of the father and forget that tonnes of other relationships exist!

One of the best tips we can take from this conversation is:

going back in time and revisiting all the memories you’ve lived together as a couple.

Shweta explains how important it is to relive those flashbacks from your life pre-baby - “And I just realized the moment I was back home, the moment I was even seeing him; I was blushing! Because all those memories were so fresh in my head!”

On being asked what deliberate efforts she makes, Radhika gives us one precious tip that, I believe, we all must follow:

“But one rule: when we do manage to have date nights leaving the child behind: The only rule on those nights is no conversation about the baby. None whatsoever! That’s the only rule.”

(You can try these simple date ideas without even leaving the home!)

Neha has another wonderful tip for us. She says,

“This friend of mine - she messaged me saying that I’m feeling really low and her husband had been traveling a lot. So what I did was, I texted her husband and I asked him to get her flowers that day. And, now, the other day she messaged me that her room’s never empty now like every time one set of flowers dry out, he gets her another one.”

She further explains how the beautiful gesture was returned back as a favor and that even she has flowers at her home now!

All husbands out there, you’re advised to get your wives a bouquet of flowers tonight and see how the love blossoms again.

Shweta further gives us insights into how she’s reworked her entire relationship just to not only keep it going but also growing. She says that it’s very important to have time that is just the couple’s. Whether it’s a movie date or a dinner - there have to be moments off the baby. To ensure that this works well, she blatantly goes to her mother and asks her to keep the child until she’s back. So from the men, we are walking back to our soul sisters, our girlfriends, and our mothers.

But husbands, this wasn’t it! The ladies didn’t have only complaints against you. They’re happy that you make deliberate efforts to take care of the baby, too. Gone are the days when handling the baby was just the mother’s job. It’s obviously something that makes us moms so independent today. We don’t need your permission, we only want your support to be successful as both moms and women.

The relationship changes, for sure, but the love and romance should reinvent, not go away or take the backseat.

I’m freaking out now! I think we should start taking these things very seriously and take cues from each other on how we can improve our relationships. I am starting today… no, right now!

Happy Mommying and Daddying! 

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9 Challenges We All Face As Working Moms

7 Min Read

9 Challenges We All Face As Working Moms

9challange

Be it a regular working day or a relaxing weekend, every day is a challenge for us as working moms. We’re continually jumping from one task to another and trying to focus on work while suffering from an ever-lasting ‘mommy guilt.’ Whether our partners, colleagues, or friends understand this or not, I’m sure that we and our moms are nothing short of supermoms or superwomen. Our life is indeed tough, but so are we, and the challenges that we face every day make us even stronger. We can’t push a truck with our bare hands, but we can cook while teaching our children and still be able to get ready for our dinner date.

Here are 9 challenges that all working moms conquer to be who they are: supermoms!

Working moms

1. We are always rushing. Always.

Whether it’s 4 a.m., 4 p.m., or midnight, we’re always on the dash. And the only time we aren’t rushing is when we’re sleeping.(While we’re still running in dreams.) The rush never ends. Is your child two-years-old? Woman, how will you reach the office on time when your younger one starts crying the moment they find out you’re leaving? That’s their (and our) separation anxiety and there’s nothing to worry about, but at the same time, it is also what makes us run wild all the time.

We are always rushing

2. No Time Is Ever Convenient.

I’m honestly always in the middle of a meeting when my phone rings, and I’m notified of my child’s mischief at her grandma's. She is all of 5 years of age but has the potential to make me go nuts. And this is precisely why no time is ever convenient for me. I have to get out of my office when ‘nature’ calls me - whether I’m in the middle of a meeting, or having lunch with a client discussing work, or chit-chatting with an office friend.

No Time Is Ever Convenient

3. The Struggle Is Real While Maintaining The Focus.

Well… yeah! Even when we aren’t rushing, our minds always are. Because we are super stressed about everything. We are always anxious. We don’t care about anything yet care about everything related to our child(ren). In the midst of planning things for our children, we absolutely can’t focus on our work. There’s a constant worry that keeps running down our nerves “Is my baby okay? All we want is to make sure that they’re in the best shape of their health, nothing more and nothing less. This is the stable state of mind we’re running towards. Always!

Struggle Is Real While Maintaining

4. ‘Mommy Guilt’ is really a thing.

I thought there’s no such thing as ‘mommy guilt,’ but the moment I started going to work leaving my 3-year-old behind, I knew it’s real. First things first, I couldn’t stand my baby crying as she saw me leave. I had seen more painful goodbyes, but it’s the worst, and I get to experience it every workday. And this ‘mommy guilt’ is just too big to ever leave me until I get back to my daughter and share a hearty laugh with her and feed her. That time of our reunion is the best; there’s nothing that can beat it. I never think I’m giving her enough time, which is probably true. I even have thoughts of quitting work altogether - of which I’m guilty of not being guilty! (And if you are indeed planning to take a career break, thismight help you.)

‘Mommy Guilt’ is really a thing

5. Being A Working Mom Throws Love Life Off The Track.

Be honest here. How many of us think about our partners? It’s an inevitable situation. I often forget thinking about my husband, who himself makes sure that things get done on time. Not only do I have the ‘mommy guilt,’ I also have a pang of persistent 'wife guilt.’ He’s always thinking about me, but I can never think enough about my child. We all know how much free time we can spare - none. So I have to ‘work’ extra at times to take out time for us. It is even more overwhelming for single mothers working hard to get things right and who are probably avoiding the dating scene to take care of their children. Evelyn Watts so wholly shares her challenges through her blog Breadwinningmama.com that I can’t get over them.

A Working Mom Throws Love Life

6. We Take Sick Leaves For Our Children More Than Ourselves.

Is there a provision at your office that allows you to take an off for your child? No, right? I utilize my sick leaves when my child gets sick, unpaid leaves when I have none left in my kitty. The money will come back, but my child’s health is at the top of my priority. What else am I earning for? Moreover, my two days’ leave extends when I eventually catch my child’s viruses or bacteria. Those days are even more challenging, but to be honest, they give me a break from my even more hectic life.

child’s health

7. Working Mom Means No Time For Hobbies.

It’s sort of an achievement if you can find time out for your child’s hobbies. The hush-and-rush lives that we live offer almost no time for ourselves. Most of us don’t sleep even for 5 hours and still don’t have enough time. We can’t ever sit and relax. “What’s your favorite hobby?” “Yeah! My son loves reading picture books.” But to be honest, I’ve been thinking of taking up a hobby class such as dancing or yoga - I love them both. And it is only considered healthy to. Working mother lists some hobbies that are considered healthy for working moms.

No Time For Hobbies

8. Plans Are Made To Be Shattered.

Either they’re never made, or they’re made to be broken. It’s a match made in heaven. Plans go off track, and we know that they will, but we don’t really care. Although we don’t make back-up plans, running a little late for work isn’t something to worry about anymore - it happens all the time. Canceling dinner dates with our spouses is also not a truly big deal either. I choose not to mention going out with friends; it’s a soft spot - I can cry. Still, to keep things a li’l organized, I use a daily planner. Check this blogpost that walks you through numerous ways of using daily planner apps or making one yourself.

Plans Are Made

9. We Are Always Anxious About Everything.

It isn’t only about our child. It’s about everything. Would I ever be able to achieve my career goals? Would I ever be able to spend quality time with my lovely man or woman? When am I going to get enough sleep? There’s a lot that’s going on in our life, and consequently, our head. But this isn’t a problem with just the working women: all moms have these thoughts. I know that I would still be here, at this point, even if I weren’t working. I am constantly worried about being looked down upon by my boss and colleagues. I take way more leaves than my fellows; even the number of days I’m working remotely exceeds my allowed limit. But I’m blessed with an understanding boss. It’s a luxury that not everybody enjoys, though. Anxiety has now become a part of my everyday life. Each moment I spend away from my daughter makes me anxious. And when any serious anxiety attack kicks in, I become obnoxious. That’s when I can’t stay away from my not-so-new-born anymore; I’m sure you can’t either. Each goodbye makes me anxious, just as each phone call from her does. I know the pain, so here are some ways you can reduce your parental anxiety.

Always Anxious

But We Are Proud Of Being Working Moms.

Our success as working moms overshines our struggles. We are proud of working for whatever reason and still being fully responsible moms. We take pride in whatever we do; we face challenges like a boss. However, it doesn’t mean that at-home moms don’t work. All of us are working moms. Each of us raises a human being that’s humane. We raise our children with the same love and manners. Each of us wishes the same for our children - good health, success, and prosperity. There’s nothing more we would want, but also nothing less. Motherhood is not a phase of life because it doesn’t end. Motherhood itself is life - it only ends with death. So we should celebrate it without thinking much. Also, we must not forget that it isn’t the last relationship we’re left to serve on earth!

Happy Mommy-ing!

References:

https://www.workingmother.com/blogs/energized-mom/12-truths-about-being-working-mom-survival-tips

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/working-moms-and-problems-they-face/

https://www.parents.com/parenting/work/life-balance/moms-balance-work-family/?slide=slide_2ea2abd1-dcd0-4c9d-ab5a-d9e5ef398a47#slide_2ea2abd1-dcd0-4c9d-ab5a-d9e5ef398a47

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The 4th Trimester: How Life Changes Postpartum

6 Min Read

The 4th Trimester: How Life Changes Postpartum

4thterm

While a lot had already been sorted out, one worry that was still haunting me was that if I would be able to manage it all after the arrival of my baby. I had read and heard so much about delivering the child and the life afterward, that I thought my head would explode with the information and thoughts about finally having it in my hands.

I was nervous, obviously, but I was super-excited, too. I had already dreamt about my postpartum life, which I love to call my 4th trimester. Everybody had told me how it would be a life-changing experience and they did mention the dark sides too, but I was like, “No! This baby is all I’ve ever wanted. I can definitely lose sleep for it and shizz.”

And after 3 days of my due date, I gave birth naturally - like I’d wanted to. (I was happy that I made out of it alive!)

...and oh, did my life change!

Drastically so.

Though there are a lot of things that happen postpartum, I lost sleep indeed, but here are a few other things that I hadn’t thought would be so downright devastating.

Devastating

Voila! I still looked pregnant.

Out of all the things I’d read or heard, I completely missed this one point in plain sight. I thought I would be free of the big belly after the delivery. But no magic here… I didn’t. This wasn’t the first thing I realised but also not the last. Okay, I admit: I didn’t look 9 months pregnant, but I looked at least 6 months pregnant. I had to work my ass off to get back into shape - which took longer than I’d predicted.

Still looked pregnant

I referred to this 12-week postpartum workout planand it really helped me to get started on my weight loss plans.

Pooping was literally a pain in the ass.

Well, We just expel an entire mini-human being out of our vay-jay and think that it’s the last time it would hurt (until you plan to go through it again) but no. Pooping is another pain that you go through after delivery. And even thinking about it can send shivers down your spine. Although a friend of mine did mention this to me, I think I just didn’t care about it then. I would just advise you to drink a lot of water and cry it out, maybe! Hope it helps. If your doctor prescribes, you can also take a stool softener to make it better.

Pooping

Contractions? What?

“No period means no cramps! I’m free as long as I feed!” I’d thought. So efficiently had I forgotten that postpartum contractions just begin to occur after your uterus has delivered the baby to go back to its original shape and size. Among many more, pain killers were my new best friends.

Contractions

‘No period’ didn’t really mean nature would be easy on me.

We all know that the lean period means no menstrual period, yet we bleed - fancy calling it Lochia. I had stocked up on maternity pads already and was expecting that it would be easy - at least a bit. But it was way worse than my usual period! The flow of course varies from woman to woman, and mine flew like it would never stop. I really recommend buying some huge, granny pads to spare yourself from the misery it causes.

Lean period

Postpartum depression, baby blues - are real and every new mother is prone.

Just over a week after my daughter was born, I couldn’t think of anything or anyone else besides her. Seeing her was heartwarming initially but I sort of started feeling strange (guiltlessly blame it on them hormones). The feeding, holding her in my hands, her crying, her sleepy-smiles, her looking at me, my worries encircling her, and everything that I could and couldn’t think of was overwhelming. I would cry. A lot! There seemed no end to the misery. But my partner stood by me and my daughter’s smiles made it a lot better for me. Yet, the baby blues would still kick in whenever they wanted to. Nevertheless, I managed to cope with my spouse’s and our family’s support.

Postpartum depression baby blues

Postpartum depression is a more severe kind of depression that often onsets with baby blues, which are rather common. I was lucky that my symptoms didn’t turn into depression, but I’ve seen it happen to my best friend. She used to cry all the time and had difficulty bonding with her own baby. She wouldn’t talk to me or her family, or even her husband. She was lost; she couldn’t and wouldn’t take care of the child. This is a form of depression that brings out the worst in a mother - who is considered a godly figure. This made her believe that she wasn’t a good mother, which even worsened her situation. The reason why I’m detailing this is that it drives everyone around the sufferer crazy, too. There’s nothing worse than seeing a mother suffer from this pain (or anyone for that matter). She sometimes had thoughts of harming her newborn and the other times, her thoughts were for herself.

Thankfully, she got over it with adequate support and treatment.

We save the best for last, don’t we? Here come the best things that I experienced in my 4th trimester:

Mini clothes, swaddles, cribs and sheets, squeezy bottles, baby clothes, loungers, toys, and everything else is just too cute to handle.

I had my baby blues, true, but all these baby products - also, the baby - were too cute to handle. They would look straight into my eyes and ask me to touch them, cuddle them, and use them on my daughter. Breastfeeding was a little challenging for me in the initial couple of days so I had to rely on super squeezy bottles and nipples to feed my sweetpie. (Maternity bras, disposable underwear, and hot and cold gel pads became my best friends later!) I loved to use them. I loved how they’re made with utmost care and purity. I would really, really suggest you go for only the best ones. Try to look for 100% organic, parabens-, phthalates- and BPA-free products for your babies that ensure the safety of your baby for which I trust Rabitat. Toxicity is a real-world thing and it must not touch your baby. Ever.

Baby products

I became humbled.

I always contemplated it but hadn’t actually experienced it until the delivery. Postpartum isn’t such a pretty sight as they show in movies. It takes you out of you. You’re literally torn, don’t want to look at yourself in the mirror, and don’t want to go anywhere at all. You’re suddenly hit by baby blues when you thought those would be the best days of your life. It was a test of sorts of love. My husband’s unconditional love was at its peak and I realized how real it is. My in-laws were all sports. I couldn’t have wanted or dreamt of more. It humbled me and gave me the strength and wisdom to raise my daughter into a humble human being, and she’s doing great at it.

Humbled

Even after and along with the pain, child-birth is the best experience I’ve ever had.

Nothing can beat that. No gain in life and no achievement whatsoever. I had my bad days, I repeat, but they were outshone by the good days I had (and still have). The good days were the best days and I couldn’t thank God less. Her smile is the best in the world. Even though I didn’t fully understand and comprehend her emotions back then, I knew that she’s special to me. I know that she’s what will keep her parents together and inseparable. But she isn’t just that. She is the reason I smile and the reason I can forget everything else in the world. The fear of pooping, the pain of contractions, the bleeding, the baby blues - all were new and temporary. My baby’s smile and presence were permanent and ready to grow old. And so is my happiness.

 Child Birth

I hope you enjoy your 4th trimester the best way you should. I wish you and your bunny a happy, healthy life that fills yours with positivity and care.

Happy Mommy-ing! 

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Toddler Nutritional Needs

7 Min Read

Toddler Nutritional Needs

fruit

We all know the importance of nutrition and a good, balanced diet, we often ignore it when it comes to us. But when our babies pop out in the world, nutrition, food, and diet suddenly become the most important words. Not to mention milk! Isn’t it what we trouble our mothers for even to this day?

So when my daughter was born, it was like a transformation of my whole world. It was like a new world had just been born and I wasn’t the same, nor was anybody else. All she did was cry or sleep. And I was ever-ready to feed her. Why? Because I inherently knew that even a little ignorance could lead to irreversible circumstances.

She is three now - and thankfully healthy. She has been trying to comply with my terms but isn’t very efficient at that. But that’s manageable.

Nutritional requirements are mostly the same for all of us. But it is believed that as they’re in their growing years, which also acts as a backup system for their adult life. Fulfilling a child’s nutritional requirements is anyway a top concern for all mothers, but sometimes, a lack of knowledge may result in unintended happenings.

Nutrition food and diet

Here’s a quick, brief guide to help you get away with all the concerns that don’t let you sleep at night:

Toddler Nutrition 101

Nutrients

Basically, our nutrients consist of macro- and micronutrients. Macronutrients are the nutrients that we require in larger amounts, while micronutrients are required in fewer amounts.

1. Macronutrients consist of:

  • Proteins: the best sources of proteins are lean meat, poultry, pulses, dairy, fish, soy products like tofu, seeds and nuts, beans and legumes. Proteins are super important as they make almost everything in our body, from our hair to bones to muscles. All enzymes that carry out extremely important biochemical reactions are essentially proteins. Proteins are more important than we think. ( Here’s an app that I use to calculate protein in my daughter’s diet.)
  • Carbohydrates: the best sources of carbs are wholewheat bread, rice, cereal, fresh fruits, vegetables, sweets and starchy foods, dairy, oats, quinoa, etc. Carbohydrates are sources of instant energy so make sure that you include these in not only meals but snacks too. (Desserts and fruit juices rich in sugar are also great sources but only meant for occasional treats.)
  • Fats: these are considered unhealthy but only the unhealthy saturated fatty acids are unhealthy; unsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids are very healthy and don’t make us fat. The best sources of healthy fatty acids are avocados, dark chocolate, fish, nuts, and oils such as olive, cheese, whole eggs, and chia seeds. Though fats are mostly energy-giving foods, healthy fatty acids also exhibit anti-inflammatory properties that keep your children safe from acute or chronic inflammation.

These are majorly body-building foods (proteins) and energy-giving foods (carbs and fats). They are extremely essential for a child’s growth years and should make a prominent portion of a toddler’s diet. Their primary function is to meet the body’s energy needs. In essence, a toddler requires foods containing macronutrients to be able to play, be full of energy, and grow in size.

2. Micronutrients consist of:

  • Minerals: they further consist of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, magnesium, chlorine, iodine, copper, and zinc. These are also required in different quantities but much lower than macronutrients. All these minerals have different sources, but overall, you must include: green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, milk and dairy products, lean meat and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts and seeds.

FYI: cow’s milk is low in iron, you’ll have to depend on enriched milks or other food sources for iron and limit the intake of it.

  • Vitamins: these are further divided into essential and non-essential vitamins. Essential vitamins can’t be produced in our body; they’re water-soluble and get flushed out of our body easily, and therefore, more of these need to be taken from food. Essential vitamins are - vitamins B complex and C; non-essential vitamins are - vitamins A, D, E and K.

They may have different sources but their requirements must be fulfilled. ( Here’s a comprehensive guide from NCBI that you can refer to for your child’s vitamin needs.)

Our body can make its own vitamin D under the skin in the presence of sunlight. So you and your child must get at least 5-15 minutes of direct sunlight exposure every day. Other sources of vitamins are mainly all the foods we’ve listed so far. This lists the functions and sources for all vitamins. Give them to your child as per their needs.

These aren’t required in larger quantities but are significantly important as they save us from various kinds of diseases. Minerals and vitamins are essential in body functions. Most of the functions performed by our body organs and biochemical reactions are impossible to occur in the absence of these. This is why a deficiency disease doesn’t lead to just one symptom, but a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms.

Various kinds of diseases

You might feel that this is all. But no, there are other things too that should be a part of your child’s everyday meals.

Fiber

Fiber is a very important substance that is present in the skins of fruits and vegetables, fresh fruits, wholegrain bread and cereals, wholewheat, pasta, oats, pulses, beans, bananas, peas, and nuts and seeds, and more.

Many moms know that fiber is important but don’t know why. Fiber plays a remarkable role in maintaining proper digestion in not only the kids, but us too. It supports bowel movements and can, therefore, help a child with hurting tummy that can’t poop. It is also very beneficial in diarrhea, which we mostly can’t save our children from.

More than this, fiber keeps your child feeling full for longer, keeping him from wanting evening junk snacks. This ensures that your child stays away from developing unhealthy eating habits, which can also be concerning for some mothers.

Moreover, there’s some evidence that fiber may help to prevent diabetes.

So, to get your child a daily dose of fiber, you can give them the foods rich in fiber.

You can cook delicious whole wheat pasta full of veggies, sweet oatmeal topped with berries and bananas, or pulses the way they like. You might also want to switch flour bread and pasta with wholegrain and whole wheat ones, respectively, to feed your pumpkins healthy evening snacks.

Cook delicious

Probiotics and Prebiotics

One thing that most mothers miss out on is gut health. You might not know how important it is to maintain your child’s overall health. The gut is essentially the center of our body; it is the core. You can’t keep the other parts healthy if you avoid the core.

Our gastrointestinal passage is lined with innumerable colonies of microorganisms - predominantly bacteria - that are utterly beneficial to our overall health (it’s referred to as gut microbiota or microbiome). Of all the other functions they perform, they boost our immunity and aid in digestion. They are also known to produce some essential vitamins.

But since our children keep falling ill and are prone to infections due to already weak immune systems, going to the doctor to get prescription medications is unavoidable. These medications, particularly antibiotics, invariably kill the good gut bacteria too, because they can’t differentiate between the good and the bad. This further weakens the child’s immune system, which makes them way more prone to infections than they otherwise were. But this doesn’t imply that you shouldn’t give your child antibiotics as they could be absolutely necessary.

Whatever the case, many moms depend on home remedies to treat their children, while others trust and refer only to the doctor - and there’s no right stance here.

I know this makes you worried about your child’s health. But don’t worry, mother nature doesn’t fail to impress us. We have some naturally existing or synthetic foods called probiotics that contain living good bacteria, and those that can help the existing gut bacteria to flourish - prebiotics.

The best example of a natural probiotic is yogurt. And surprisingly, many children love to eat it. I make it a point to include yogurt in my daughter’s lunch every day.

It isn’t advised to eat it at night, so avoid its consumption at night.

Some other natural probiotics are sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, some types of cheese, natto, miso, and buttermilk.

Some prebiotic foods are garlic, onions, bananas, leeks, asparagus, oats, and apples.

Prebiotic foods

Some other important tips:

  • Don’t force it on your child to eat, try to feed them when they’re hungry. Eating without a will is equivalent to eating nothing.
  • Help your child pick their favorites by giving them the freedom to choose from the options you choose for them. Also, give them the freedom to pick as much as they want.
  • Your child should feel hungry, but not all the time. If you find your child’s eating patterns abnormal, don’t hesitate to seek a doctor.
  • Milk is undeniably important but can’t be a substitute for your child’s meals. Don’t overgive it. Your child should drink no more than 2-3 cups a day as it can fill your child’s stomach and prevent them from eating other nutritious food.

Some Recipes to Your Rescue

Now, you must be wondering how you can make your kids eat all these healthy foods. So, I’ve curated a list of delicious, healthy and easy to cook dishes and snacks that you can make for your bundles of joy:

  1. Fruit & Nut Yogurt
  2. Popcorn (rich in fiber)
  3. Trail Mix (a mixture of nuts and dried fruits)
  4. Baked Vegetable Spring Rolls
  5. Veg/Non-Veg loaded Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust
  6. Blueberry/Banana Muffins
  7. Spinach Avocado Smoothie
  8. Lentil-Mushroom Burgers
  9. Energy Balls
  10. Banana Oat Cookies

I haven’t yet cooked all of these, but my daughter loves baked vegetable spring rolls; we sit together to enjoy them in our evening snacks. She, like all children, absolutely loves the healthy pizza that her mamma makes. Although the recipes aren’t mine, I would love to hear from you how they are so I know if my list requires an update.

Till then,

Happy Mommying and Daddying!

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Immunity - A Mother’s Biggest Concern

14 Min Read

Immunity - A Mother’s Biggest Concern

immunity-1

In a new initiative by Rabitat ‘Meet the Mom,’ we invited super moms Shweta, Radhika, and Neha to sit together and discuss the joys and issues that come with motherhood.

Shweta is a full-time mother of a three-year-old, a photographer, and a Social Media Influencer for countless moms and moms-to-be. Radhika is, again, a full-time mother of a three-year-old and an Independent HR Consultant. Neha is also a full-time mom of a 10-year-old and the Digital Marketing Head at Rabitat.

With Meet the Mom, we intend to share awesome tips, tricks and hacks with you all. We aren’t only focused on delivering the best baby products to you, we also believe that you should have the best time of your life being both the mother and the wife. Most importantly, we value your womanhood and the never-say-never spirit.

In this episode, the moms discuss the importance of immunity. The mothers also shared their tips, hacks, home remedies and things with us.

Immunity

No matter how old or young your child is, when they fall sick, your world falls off. I honestly can’t think about anything but taking my daughter to a safe place and ensuring that she never falls sick. But does a safe place even exist? I think not. The world is full of germs and I didn’t realize this until only three years ago!

So, obviously, you can’t make this world safe for your children, but you can give them some bodyguards. Immunity plays that exact role. It’s a feature that our bodies, fortunately, have to keep us safe from a variety of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other parasites like ringworms.

Building a child’s immunity is as important as giving them good clothes and good food. Since the immune systems of young human children aren’t well developed, they’re more vulnerable to infectious microorganisms than us adults. And at the same time, we can’t stop them from going to school or playgrounds, aka ‘breeding grounds for germs.’

Those TV ads freak me out even more. Damn those insects and rodents, I don’t have roaches and rats at my home but the mosquitoes and houseflies are way too smart. So, I have mosquito nets and repellents at home that I use with care - with care because repellants are chemicals and they should be used very cautiously, especially when kids are around.

So immunity is a big thing. The core of immunity is, of course, the immune system and our gut, which is home to several microorganisms that are good for us and help in digestion, immunity, and tonnes of other things. Our gut microbiome - as they call it - is much more important than we can imagine. Check this to know more.

And going by the stats, as Neha tells us, “An average 6-year-old falls ill 6-8 times in a year, and this is just cold, this doesn’t include diarrhea and other ear infections or whatever they’re picking up.

Though the numbers suggest that keeping them from falling ill isn’t normally avoidable, it isn’t impossible. Shweta, like all of us, spends most of her time researching how she can boost the immunity of her three-year-old son. She fairly believes that we can’t give them medication (like antibiotics) every time they fall sick because that can hamper the good bacteria that resides in their bodies and do tonnes of other things (read: side effects).

Then - the other factor that we just can’t act on is pollution - as Shweta points out, “I think we have our limitations because we can’t control the external factors.” And then, for the people living in Delhi, it’s even worse.

Putting her thoughts together, Shweta further reveals that her research has made her aware of the fact that “gut health is very important and actually holds the core of immunity.” So Shweta rightly advises, “You know, like the probiotics are something, which has to be there in the kids' meal.” So, therefore, you must include yogurt in your child’s daily diet - is a natural probiotic and hence great for health.

As the discussion proceeds, Neha reminds us of the magic potions that our grandmoms used to give us as kids - the ones we got in the winter and the summer, say to keep us from loos. These magic potions used to be brewed up in our own kitchens and we never had to visit the doctor. Whereas, nowadays, whenever anything happens to our children, the first thing that we do is dial the doctor.

One of the most common examples of these magic potions or ingredients is turmeric or haldi, which is excellent for a cold. Just add a pinch to milk and give it to your children or drink yourself. But, unfortunately, kids are the least excited to take such ‘magic potions’ - something that Neha dreads just like most of us. But don’t you worry, Shweta has a tip here - she suggests that you add a pinch or two of turmeric powder in water and give it to your child. I’m hopeful that it could help, maybe!

Shweta says, “I mean there are so many things but actually, you know, we don’t just think about these things.” Could we agree more? She also says that we prefer doctors over all these home remedies and hacks that our grannies taught us. And also, now there’s this universal doctor that you can meet without an appointment! Dr. G. It’s Google.

“Google! All the time!” remarks Neha and it’s cent percent relatable. Because we just don’t care. I’m sure even the doctors are scared of the possibly more powerful Dr. G because it holds the bogus potential of taking their jobs. Even before we can get to the doctor, we have already checked the whole list of symptoms related to our own or our child’s symptoms and the following diagnosis. Some of us are too confused because of the abundant, contradictory information available on the internet. Nevertheless, it’s been found that Google is not seen as a threat by General Practitionersand it could lead to a better understanding of the symptoms and the diagnosis.

Radhika believes and says, “But I think the more I speak to more of my friends, people are kind of going back to these old wive’s tales.” Which is - again - true. We all have our own potions or Kadhas recipes as an inheritance from our moms and grandmoms that come really handy whenever our child catches a cold or something. Neha reveals that even she gets it whenever it’s being made for her daughter to treat her cold- because, why not!

Also, it’s also very normal to give such a potion whenever you see the slightest of the symptoms because we don’t want our children to go through the agony - obviously. But Shweta and Radhika also discuss that many mothers hesitate from giving such things to their children - whatever be the reason - whether they’re skeptics or simply unaware. No comments on that because it is, after all, a personal choice individual to each mother and we know that the mother knows the best.

Further, the moms tell us their magic hacks to boost immunity or some other secret potions or ingredients that their mom or grandmom taught them about.

Some Health Hacks by the Mothers for the Mothers

Radhika, very confident in her secret hack, tells us that her magic ingredient is nutmeg or jaifal. “You have to shred it a little bit and just apply it on the nose and you sleep the night. And it works like a charm. No runny nose, no cough in the morning.” While I’ve never heard about it, I’m definitely going to try this one because I trust the moms I can relate with. You should too!

Shweta shares that she uses the spice as an ingredient in her meals whenever the weather’s changing, but this application is even surprising for her - as much as it is for us. So if you don’t yet include it, start doing it because not only does “it smell and taste good, it is also very effective during weather change.

Moving on to Shweta’s hack, she describes it as “very short, crisp, and very effective,” which it sure is - Tulsi (holy basil) water! She advises to give tulsi water to the children during weather change and it will work like a charm. Well, tulsi is definitely a magic plant. It is used in many home remedies, too. Have you ever triedtulsi tea, though? The aroma and the flavor are pretty relaxing.

Then comes the last but not the least hack that Neha has for you. She says, “My mom used to give it to us when we were kids… it’s honey and almonds. We would have a spoonful every time in the winter before going to school. And I swear I didn’t get cold as much as these kids get now.” We’re sure this simple hack is also yummy at the same time as it is effective! This hack, as Shweta inquires Neha, could also be the secret behind her glowing skin. And I’m sure we can try it too!

We hope that you’ve noted or saved these tips and use them whenever you find them useful. Remember that boosting your child’s immunity can act as a one-stop solution for all of their health-related problems.

Of all the celebrated luxuries of the world, health is a luxury that is still counted as basic. Remind yourself that it doesn’t come itself and, therefore, shouldn’t be taken for granted. Health requires a lot of work, too. But at the same time, you also don’t want to forget yourself while taking care of your child: because at the end of the day, the world becomes a whole circle where your child’s health follows yours and vice versa.

Happy Mommy-ing!

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Happy mother = happy child

9 Min Read

Happy mothers = Happy Child

happymother

In a new initiative by Rabitat ‘ Meet the Mom,’ we invited super moms Shweta, Radhika, and Neha to discuss the joys and issues that come with motherhood.

Shweta is a full-time mother of a three-year-old, a photographer, and a Social Media Influencer for many moms and moms-to-be. Radhika is again a full-time mother of a three-year-old and an independent HR Consultant. Neha is also a full-time mom of a 10-year-old and Digital Marketing Head at Rabitat.

With Meet the Mom, we intend to share awesome tips, tricks and hacks with you all. We aren’t only focused on delivering the best baby products to you, we also believe that you should have the best time of your life being both a mother and a wife. Most importantly, we value your womanhood and the never-say-never spirit.

A Happy Mother = Happy Child

In this episode, the three moms discussed the challenges we all encounter when it comes to keeping ourselves happy. Even though I know that happiness is something that comes from within, I still have to look out for reasons to be happy. Like it isn't easy to be where you are at the moment. The mind is always (always!) running from here to there and you just can't help but sit and try to catch up with the world.

So, as the conversation starts, Neha asks the two mothers about it. And I totally agree with Radhika when she says, "A happy mom for sure equals a happy baby. If you’re not happy, your child, no matter how young he is, is surely feeding off your energy, the vibe, you know, that’s in the house. So, like you said, it’s a huge challenge to keep yourself happy. Specially at the time when you just deliver."

The Baby Blues

Do you remember? Remember the time when you'd just delivered an entire human growing in your body? I mean, remember the baby blues? My days were amazingly annoying. I was on the top of the world at one point and on the opposite the other times. But one of my friends had it way worse - she suffered from postpartum depression and I can never ever ever describe the pain as I saw it. Damn. Those days are just weird in their own peculiar way and you can't understand what's going on. Whatever your homies say, I recommend you to get help whenever you feel the situation to be getting out of your hand. Please.

Information Overload

Coming back to the discussion, Neha brings up this one point - "There's so much advice floating around… And now, I mean, you’re running back to your doctor for every little thing! And you’re also getting a lot of information at home. 'Do this, don’t listen to the doctor, they don’t know anything.'" Okay so, can you relate as much as I can? I mean, this actually pierced through my heart because of how much I can relate with this. So we run back and forth the doctor, our mothers, sisters, and grandmothers give us innumerable mini packets of information that aren't easy to process, at least I wasn't able to process them. So there's an information overload and then there's the internet! I still think about that time and trust me, my head is about to explode! (I, in fact, still have those moments because my daughter is only three.)

If you're going to be a mom and you expect yourself to be enveloped with so much information, listen to what Shweta has to say, "The moment I delivered I told my mom, I said: You need to follow me now. Done with those times now where you say “I’ve also delivered” and all that, whatever my gynae says, whatever my pediac says, I’m gonna follow that because I’m a new mom. Let me experience it myself."

No no no, don't get us wrong. The only thing you can do in such a situation is to decide and rely on one source of information, whether it's your doctor or anybody else that's educated enough to guide you. When you have a lot of sources of information, chances are that the information will overlap and often be contradictory, which is likely to leave you muddled and in the middle of nowhere. And - of course - everybody is meaning well, they only want to make it easier for you, as Radhika tells us, but it's equally important to not get confused and lost. It's important that you don't second guess yourself because you actually don't know what you have to do with the baby.

If I tell you my story, my daughter was only 3 weeks old when she got this fever that scared the hell out of me. Everyone around me was telling me to calm down but I couldn't. I was freaking out. But I decided to go to the pediatrician and get help. The doctor not only helped me understand that there was nothing to worry about, but I also realized that there's a lot that we don't see. No offence to anybody, but my mom was fully with me in this, she's always advised me to go to the doctor because there is always something they know more than us. And they're definitely usually more experienced than any of us. But what happened was that I ended up second guessing myself because it was so hard on me. I realized that my baby is another human altogether. She isn't just a doll that I only have to feed and play with.

Lifestyle Changes Add to it

Then there's not just the hormones that are giving us the 'blues,' it's also a lot of other things. Many mothers have to take a break from their well-established careers, many have to drastically change their lifestyles, many even end up doing what they'd pledged to never do - I am one! I had decided to never be the stay-at-home kind of mom. I've always liked going out. I'm the one that doesn't enjoy sleeping on weekends, I'm the one that holidays… the one that's always on the go. This is something that changed after I delivered my daughter. And it wasn't even something I could control. It came inherently. I didn't have to force myself, I just did it. My daughter is three now and I can't go on holidays as much as I used to.

And I know I am not alone when I hear Shweta explain it too, "You know, you’re doubting yourself; you don’t wanna go out. Then there’s a baby, there’s so much happening in your life, career, again, a question mark… And then... I'm a new person; a completely new person, again, with a new person in my hands. So there's so much happening around you… if you’re not keeping yourself motivated, believing in yourself then you’re just gonna lose it completely. Your sanity is something... you have to have it intact - no matter what is happening around!" Shweta says so much and it actually communicates the feeling with me too well.

On this, Neha comments that the mother starts to feel invisible as soon as the baby comes and becomes the focus. This makes the mother's happiness to take the backseat and something unimportant. "Nobody thinks about it and it's not even something that's discussed!" - She explains.

Shweta further adds that after she left her career of 10 years post the arrival of her child, that is when she actually thought about getting back to her forgotten passion of photography, which she started working on again and became the successful Instagram influencer she is today. While she admits that her work isn't really considered as 'work,' but it helped her because she got something to hold on to, something to fill her days with. Then the conversation leads to them husbands! Ahh, unbeatable. Shweta points out that no matter how much her husband loves her, he couldn't understand her at that point in her life. And I am not very happy to admit that I have been through the same. I guess we all have.

Radhika believes and says, “But I think the more I speak to more of my friends, people are kind of going back to these old wive’s tales.” Which is - again - true. We all have our own potions or Kadhas recipes as an inheritance from our moms and grandmoms that come really handy whenever our child catches a cold or something. Neha reveals that even she gets it whenever it’s being made for her daughter to treat her cold- because, why not!

Girlfriends are a Blessing for New Mothers

Referring to the period of the blue days, Radhika tells us that she totally gives it to her sisters and girlfriends. She tells us that she always looked to them during her lean period as she "really thought that they were the people who could understand what she was going through."

"They can relate to it, even if they don't, you're not looking for advice. Sometimes you're just looking for someone to listen to you." Which I agree with. Hands down. You really need to vent, you want someone to listen to you and just that. No advice on what to do with the baby, the stitches, the stretch marks or the belly! So having that support system is very important and all of us must lend each other willing ears that don't give up on the never-ending stories of pain and happiness.

And then, you know, you have to look for happiness inside you to be happy on the outside too. But I feel that it's easier said than done. Finding inner happiness in the midst of the chaos is… impossible, unless you have something to divert your mind to.

If you ever find yourself in a situation like that, where you're super confused about how to forget the baby for some time - which is equally important for you as well as the baby's health - you have to take Neha's advice. She suggests getting into conversations that don't include the baby. And your friends are the only ones that can make it possible because your husband and family are still focused on the mewborn. "That's where the mother doesn't just feel like a milch cow, and she can be herself. She's more than a mother… she isn't just somebody's mummy." She adds.

Tips from the Mammas for the Mammas

Neha then asks the mums the one thing that they do for themselves - minus the husbands and girlfriends, something pure indulgence to find their peace and happiness.

Radhika says that she takes off to the hills to be by herself or with her friends. I love this tip!

Shweta has it even simpler and kind of inexpensive! She names it - a simple blow dry. She gets it and is home all happy and cheerful and enjoys some music at her home to extend the happy period. I love this tip too! I am not exactly sure how that works but it works wonders. I am sure it would work wonders for you all too.

Sharing her own thing, Neha agrees with Radhika and finds her happiness in the hills. She sends her daughter off for a short weekend when she packs her bags and goes travelling with her husband or friends.

And here's one rule from Neha that I personally feel everyone should follow - plan your trips such that one is with the child and one is without it. So you don't always feel guilty of being too much with or away from them. Even if you're guilty - cope with it because balance is critical.

So while you're planning to do things for your infant's happiness, it's actually more important to be happy yourself because the child feeds off your vibe. If you aren't happy, your child can't be happy. Give your child an elated, cheerful environment in which they can grow up to be healthy and positive. Remember, positivity brings prosperity and happiness brings health.

So pack your bags or go to the salon - or whatever makes you happy. Just let your hormones take you higher than lower.

Happy Mommy-ing! 

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Tips & Tricks to Break The Ice

2 Min Read

Tips & Tricks to Break The Ice

theice

Here are some tips for getting involved with your baby.

You might feel overwhelmed at first, but brand-new dads come fully equipped for fatherhood. Fathers are just as good as mothers at recognising and responding to the needs of their newborns. Here are some tips for getting involved with your baby.

Fatherhood

Try to help with everything

Nappy changing, bathing, burping, feeding -these are all great ways to bond with your baby. Parenting skills are partly a matter of practice – you get better and more confident the more hands-on experience you get.

Help with everything

Display your affection

When you show your baby affection and respond to your baby’s cues a natural hormone called oxytocin is released in your baby’s brain. This hormone makes your baby feel good. It also builds connections between nerve cells, stimulating brain development.

Show your baby affection

Keep at it daddy!

Resist the urge to hand your baby back to mommy when things get demanding. One-on-one time will build your confidence and skills.

Keep at it daddy

Lets spend some quality one on one time

Try and spend some alone time with your baby, this is a really important part of developing a strong and lasting bond. It’s also great for the new mum, who’ll get a much-needed break.

Spend some quality one on one time

Walk The Talk

While you’re caring for your baby, try talking to your little one about what you’re doing. For example, ‘Let’s get dressed now – on goes your top’. these small gestures help your newborn feel content and protected.Talk is like brain food for babies. It helps them build language and communication skills from the time they’re born. Babies don’t have to understand words to benefit from talking. Time spent with the baby in the early weeks and months should provide a positive foundation for the developing relationship as the child grows, making fatherhood more rewarding and enjoyable. P.S your efforts with the baby will help strengthen your bond with your partner.

Walk The Talk

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Winter Bundle

1 Min Read

Winter Bundle

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5 tips for winter babies

If your bundle of joy is due this winter, we’ve put together some top tips for making sure you’re prepared – including essential advice for keeping your baby warm, cosy, healthy and happy! Layers to love Winter dressing is all about layers, along with clothes hats, socks and booties are also essential, and remember to check your baby’s body temperature periodically. If they’re sweaty or red-faced you might need to strip off a layer and let them cool off a little.

Healthy and happy

Winter Care

Winter babies can be prone to the coughs and sniffles that circulate this time of year. Stock your toiletry kit with hand sanitiser and wash hands regularly to keep germs away. Have a good quality baby moisturiser and nappy barrier cream on hand to keep skin healthy in the dry winter air.

Winter Care

Keep Them Close

Babies love close contact, and a baby carrier is a great way to keep bub snuggly, warm and close to your body. Cuddle and snuggle!

Keep Them Close

Bath Rituals

Keep bathtime fun and cozy, and have some large hooded towels on hand so you can dry baby quickly and keep their head warm as soon as they’re out of the water.

Bath Rituals

Show yourself some love!

You might face some challenges while breastfeeding in cooler weather. Invest in some layered nursing tops with easy-access clothes so you’re cozy and comfortable too.

Show yourself some love!

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I am travelling

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I am travelling

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Carry plenty of snacks and fluids

Be sure to pack nonperishable foods. Keep baby hydrated because airplanes are drying. Don't forget to bring a sippy cup or bottle -- something to suck on to help relieve air pressure, especially during take-off and landing.

Carry plenty of snacks and fluids

Bring lots of extra clothing and diapers

If traveling by plane, dress your baby or toddler in layers that can be taken off if your child gets too hot, or layered back on if your child gets too cold. A cold baby is a crying baby. And remember, whether you are traveling by plane or by car, messes can happen, so always have an extra outfit and diapers close by and easily accessible.

Lots of extra clothing and diapers

Bring your child's favourite toys

Make sure you bring only soft toys - nothing that has sharp edges or that can hurt him if there is turbulence. Having his favourite toys with him will help him feel secure and comfortable, and keep him happily occupied.

Child's favourite toys

 

Pack fun times that have to do with the places you are visiting

Bring snacks that are special to your final destination. Tell him stories about the places you are going. Pack a portable DVD or load up your iPad with apps or games. Also, include games and storybooks about the countries or states you will be visiting. Thus, a family trip can become both a fun and memorable journey, as well as a teachable moment.

Places you are visiting

Consider scheduling trips around your child's sleep time

Your child can get into his jammies as soon as he gets onboard a plane or into a car, and, fingers crossed, go right to sleep.

Child's sleep time

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Baby Moon

2 Min Read

Baby Moon

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DISCOVER

If your bundle of joy is due this winter, we’ve put together some top tips for making sure you’re prepared – including essential advice for keeping your baby warm, cosy, healthy and happy!

PRE-ARRIVAL DEPARTURE Top destinations for a babymoon Planning a getaway to switch off and enjoy each other’s company before life shifts up a gear is a great idea. So get planning and whisk yourselves away to one these romantic destinations. Consult your gynecologist before you plan the trip, you should also ensure you take your medical notes, check that your travel insurance covers you for pregnancy-related issues and, if you are going abroad, research the nearest medical facilities and hospitals – you’re unlikely to need them, but for your own peace of mind it's good to know where they are and which are considered the best.

Babymoon Planning

Sunkissed

Looking to top up your Vitamin D levels before baby arrives? A beach holiday provides for the perfect opportunity to binge on delicious seafood and gorge on luscious tropical fruits. The beach will help calm you and your pregnancy hormones.

Looking to top up your Vitamin D

Queen of Hills

Ask any parent what they crave most, and they'll probably reply with some peace and quiet! So before you have your baby, why not head to a tranquil hill-station where you can tune into nature and switch off from your busy life? So pack your favourite book and leave for scenic views.

Queen of Hills

City Seekers

A babymoon is the time to tick off lots of things that, as the parents of a newborn, you soon won’t be able to do – and a big City has it all! From fancy restaurants to shopping malls this break can be the perfect time to shop for the baby together. Make sure you catch a blissfully romantic meal before you head back home.

City Seekers

Resort Restoration

Can’t take a long break or travel too far? For something closer to home, you can’t beat a few nights at an exotic resort near you. These Retreats have a lot to offer, wake up to lavish breakfast spreads and relax by the pool all day, enjoy the services and amenities that these properties offer.

Resort Restoration

Spa Sanctuary

Experts say that the stress hormone cortisol can cross the placenta so it’s a really good idea to avoid anxiety and stress – which, let’s face it, isn’t always easy in modern life! So heading to a spa, where you’re almost forced to switch off, can be just the ticket. Remember to avoid Jacuzzis and hot tubs, though, as elevated temperatures pose a risk when you’re pregnant. Whether you choose a country side hotel or a city spa, check out the available range of pregnancy treatments before you book.

Spa Sanctuary

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