Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Category: Baby Love (page 1 of 4)

A year with baby

BabyT is fast approaching two. I have seriously no idea how the time flew and now it is almost time for us to get him prepared for big people stuff like not peeing in diapers and going to a place outside of home i.e school. However the prompt for today’s blog post on the first year of baby for the 9 Days of Womanhood writing challenge took me back to those days where he had just arrived in our lives and we were still learning the basic roles of nurturing a baby. I thank Harneet Khurana for setting the stage for me. I loved her blog Sublime Messages on the prompt for today. And don’t forget to visit  PrettyMumma Says to see  Surbhi Mahobia’s perspective on her first year with baby.

 

 

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The first year was all about learning for us… of course parenting is always a learning process and an evolution. I think I still teach my parents a thing or two. (wink) But in the first year, we were totally clueless about every tiny thing. Right from how to feed the baby to change his diaper to burping him to cooking for him to reading to him or playing with him. Every new developmental spurt that came along for babyT seemed to challenge us too to learn new skills to appease his newly acquired abilities.

Being a stay at home parent, I got to experience babyT’s growing up minutely and gradually. I witnessed him take his first crawl, standing up and cruising and walking. I heard his first cry, his gurgle and his word (Daddah, of course.) He went from being a wrinkly, baby acne covered baby to a chubby-cheeked lil ball of fluff. I saw his first grasp, his first spoon to mouth and first sip from a straw. I may have forgotten to take many of these pics or they have been blurred, but they have been etched into my mind’s eye forever.

I think I also spent quite a lot of time from babyT’s first year Brexting.

Brexting (noun/informal) for texting or browsing the internet, while breastfeeding.

Nursing sessions would run so long sometimes that I would need to do something other than just breastfeed. That definitely did not mean I loved my boy any less or that I neglected him. However I did spend a lot of time on the internet reading up about all things baby – cloth diapering, babywearing, breastfeeding and baby led weaning (I must remember to do a post on this soon.) And it honestly made me feel more confident of my role as a mother especially when I returned to my marital home from my mom’s and had no one else around at home to help me with taking care of babyT. So whoever shamed brexting moms, go take a walk.

The first year has also been challenging. I had shelved many of my dreams, aspirations and passions. Back then I felt life as I knew it, was over. I had had visions of the future of me an old woman who had long forgotten herself and how life was plain simple boring. Oh, but those days of shelving plans and dreams were short-lived. Because once we crossed the one-year mark, life changed and how? That has been an interesting journey too and I shall come back to share it some day soon.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa

We went tripling on holiday

Johnson’s ‘Best for Baby’ event: Rekindling the scent of childhood

Today everywhere I look around on social media, the message I get is Johnson’s Best for Baby. But when the team at BabyChakra got in touch asking if I would like to attend a blogger and influencer event co-sponsored by Johnson’s Baby, my first thought was No. I had not used any JB products on #babyT, several people had told me to avoid them and I used to go around telling other new parents not to do so too. When family around me was told that they would need to chip in and mind babyT while I attended the event and that it was a JB event, many eyebrows were raised, “Oh but you don’t use Johnson’s baby products on babyT! How is this relevant for you!?” Did it make sense for me to attend this then? Is Johnson’s truly Best for baby? I had to find out.

I decided to go to the event, in order to understand why Johnson’s was so keen to meet us moms and what they had to say. Half expecting that they would be launching a new product I also wanted us to experience it first. And somewhere deep down I wondered if I could ask them why they weren’t doing something about the bad reputation they seemed to have in the baby products category.

So on a Monday morning, I wore a dress and headed to the Johnson’s Best for Baby influencer and blogger meet at Hyatt Recency in Mumbai.

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Baby Chakra with Johnson’s Baby #BestforBaby – a full house

The morning started with meeting the team of Baby Chakra – India’s leading mother and baby website. The team had put in every effort to ensure that all the moms who were attending were comfortable and happy. A children’s play area was available so that children could accompany their moms at the event. I am sure the children went back thanking Johnson’s Best for Baby.

Games Moms Play

The team from Johnson’s Baby took over the stage and I was most impressed with Deepali. Her passion for the brand and prime focus on #BestforBaby really shone through.

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Our team of mommy bloggers and influencers PC – Shubhreet of RaisingKarma.in

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X is for Xylophone

My life is a last minute affair. The entire #AtoZBloggingChallenge has been a last minute affair. I try and look for a word over days and hours and finally around 10 pm a flash of brilliance goes off in my brain (well according to me anyway.) and I have a word which I love and feel so excited to write about. Today’s word is such…

After poring over geeky lists of words beginning with X and getting some scary ideas for blog posts (Xeniatrophobia – the hatred for foreign Doctors. Innocent Dr (Mrs.) Singh from my childhood in the UK was going to get a mention.) I had almost relented my fate and went to clear up babyT’s play room for the night, when my eyes fell upon this Xylophone. (Fanfare went off in my head, really, you had to be me to know it.) 

Every house that has a new baby has a Xylophone or two. And of course babies are meant to hit, whack, throw and poke the crap out of it.. they of course cannot play it, unless they are the late Mr. Brahms incarnate. Does your Xylophone really get the due that it is born to do? Well, some of us do… one of my favourite Mommy Bloggers BeingMammaBear has made it her mission to play her lovely daughter MissS meaningful songs on the Xylophone and I make it a point to listen to all her Instagram stories of her playing the Xylo. So i hunt those headphones, plug them in and listen to her soulfully tippytapping nursery rhymes on the Xylophone.

I could play only one song on the Xylophone, up until now that is. But nonetheless here is the one song that I ever learnt to play when I was a wee lass and one that I have kept close to my heart till now.  Its “Are you Sleeping, Brother John?” or “Freres Jacques, Dormez vous?”

So I am a total tone deaf person. My husband is a guitar player (not his day job) but I have imbibed zero music sense. I am however great at memorizing numbers .. I know phone numbers of my friends from school and all the car number plates in the apartment complex I lived in when I was 12. Sounds like some Beautiful Mind kind of shizz doesn’t it? No, it just means I am an introvert who was happier doing numbers than running amok with friends. So what I did was write down numbers on the Xylophone keys from 1 onwards and then did some research online (google baba ki jai ho) and some quick trial and error to figure these songs out.

Number the keys 1 to 8 and then try these

Are you Sleeping

Are you Sleeping, Are you Sleeping?
1 2 3 1, 1 2 3 1
Brother John, Brother John 
3 4 5, 3 4 5
Morning Bells are ringing, Morning bells are ringing 
5 6 5 4 3 1, 5 6 5 4 3 1
Ding Ding Dong, Ding Ding Dong, Ding Ding Dong
5 1 1 , 5 1 1, 5 1 1

Twinkle Twinkle Litte Star

Twinkle Twinkle Litte Star
1 1 5 5 6 6 5
How I wonder what you are?
4 4 3 3 2 2 1
Up above the world so high
5 5 4 4 3 3 2
Like a diamond in the sky
5 5 4 4 3 3 2
Twinkle Twinkle Litte Star
1 1 5 5 6 6 5
How I wonder what you are?
4 4 3 3 2 2 1

Row Row Row your boat

Row row row your boat
1 1 1 2 3
Gently Down the stream
3 2 3 4 5
Merrily merrily merrily merrily Life is but a dream
8 8 8 5 5 5 3 3 3 1 1 1 5 4 3 2 1

So easy no? Try a few songs and tell me how it went?

If you do read and understand music you can use this key. But I am sure you already knew that. 🙂

(Source: http://www.letsplaykidsmusic.com/fun-music-theory-do-re-mi/ )

 

V is for Vacations with Babies

V for Vacations.

If you are anything like me, then you would have stressed and fussed and lost sleep over your first vacation with baby in tow. We went on our first vacation with #BabyT when he was 9 months old, and the whole idea was to celebrate my birthday in a fun & relaxed way. How wrong was I?

For an entire week before our first vacation, I was suffering from stress migraines, babyT was being his fussiest best and I had also fallen prey to the pre-vacation anthem “I have nothing to wear”, “nothing fits” and “Oh my God, I need some spa & parlour treatments, like now!” It was a nightmare.

But… my baby surprised me and taught me a very valuable lesson. That I need to let go and learn to “chill mom” Yes my 9 month old taught me how to enjoy a vacation. I came back with a list of why it actually makes total sense to travel with a baby. Here is why I completely urge you to pack your bags and leave right now with baby on board.

  1. Babies enjoy holidays – we were so skeptical and anxious about whether babyT will sleep in a new bed and if he will be comfortable in a new room. However the moment we entered our hotel room, he got so excited to see the nicely made bed and the crisp sheets that he leaned towards the bed and insisted we put him on it. He then spent the next 10 minutes rolling around on the bed and we breathed a sigh of relief. He loved the big french windows, the spic and span bathroom and the ride up the elevator to the room. It was so cute to see him marvel at all the sights and sounds at the hotel we stayed at.
  2. Younger babies are fuss free – if they are still breastfeeding then it is an epic win. If they are on formula it is still a win, you can mix it up on the go. But most importantly you don’t have to order special food and then struggle to feed them. Even if they are on solid foods, fruits are available anywhere in the world, require no cooking  and so can be offered to baby any time and any place. We went to Goa on our first holiday (obviously had to go to Goa) and even dared to give him fish fry and he loved it. He ate all types of fish. We also learnt here that our baby is a restaurant lover, who got super excited whenever we went to a new restaurant and wanted to try everything that was on our plates. We gave him fish fry, rice and daal freely. We did not carry any baby food from home with us.
  3. Babies have no to-do and to-see list while on holiday –  This is the best part, that they have no agendas and you don’t have to revolve your holiday around their plans. You will anyway visit restaurants, beaches or go shopping and babies love being a part of all these environments.
    While they are young, they are still too tiny to enjoy stuff like noisy theme parks or even understand places like zoos or aquariums, so we saved all this for future holidays and just did what we wanted to in Goa.
  4. You can still carry them around – Tiny babies who have not yet sprouted legs, can be carried around in baby carriers. They won’t always agree to being carried once they are walking and exploring.

    This was one of our favourite moments from vacation – we were walking back from the Candolim beach and entered a cafe to grab a cold drink. Daddy grabbed the guitar at the cafe while babyT caught up with his evening nap in his Anmol baby carrier.

    But babywearing is a blessing and I cannot imagine my life at home or outside with a carrier or two in tow. I never leave home without my baby carrier now. I don’t think I know how to carry a baby in my empty arms. 🙂

Having said that, as a parent one cannot help but be all fussy and worried about baby’s comfort while traveling on vacations. But with some careful planning vacations with babies can turn out to be quite enjoyable for you and the little tykes. 🙂

Where to go with babies?

  • Staycations – you don’t really need to go far and wide in order to catch a break. A staycation at a nice hotel in your city can hit the spot quite well
  • Visit family and friends in other cities, towns or even countries – there is nothing like the comfort of a close friend or relative’s house in a new place. You have access to all facilities like a well stocked up kitchen, laundry and the support of other people to mind baby while you take a breather.
  • Hotels  with their own restaurants, pools and entertainment facilities– these are the best because you don’t really have to leave the hotel premises to eat or spend some time at the gym or getting a spa service done.

As for the actual travel, packing and vacation itself, good planning is definitely needed to ensure the holiday is stress-free and enjoyable for all of you. To help with this I enlisted the help of a fellow mommy, Charu Sharma, who first traveled with her baby when he was just 1.5 months old, internationally mind you and then bitten by the travel bug,  she kept travelling with her little one and seems to have perfected the art of vacationing with baby.

Charu & her son on holiday

Here’s what she has to say to help with flight journeys, (the parts in brackets have been added by me to add on to what Charu has to say.)

  • While booking tickets, keep in mind your baby’s nap and sleep (and maybe even poop times). If possible avoid travelling in those hours.
  • If you have to take early morning flight, always dress up the baby in comfortable and warm clothes at night before going to bed teamed with a bulletproof night time diaper. (yes we are cloth diapering moms, and yes cloth diapers do last the entire night and some more) so that you can just carry them away while they are asleep and change them when they are awake.
  • Carry a spare sweatshirt for unpredictable AC temperature. (Its easy to take off layers of clothes if it gets warm, but difficult to find warm clothes if it is too cold. )
  • Always carry along a few favorite snacks. Try and keep a few options with you. When babies are being fussy, something edible usually does the trick. She adds that roasted makhanas were a saviour on a 2hours flight as her son kept munching on these throughout.
  • (I loved this one!) Charu says she hides her son’s favorite toy 2-3 days before their scheduled travel date, and this item appears magically inflight when his tantrums are about to begin. She also is planning to get one of those magnetic doodle boards for the next travel and confides in me that the grand reveal will happen mid air. (this woman is genius I tell you.)
  • Pack a small and well planned and well memorized diaper bag. Toddlers don’t give you time to hunt down anything in your bag. Charu uses small wet bags (What is a wet bag you ask? Check my blog post here) to store stuff. It is a bonus knowing exactly what needs to go with you to the baby room if they need a diaper change mid air.
  • Most importantly reach the airport well before those last 45 minutes. Inquire about the baby care room, if you need one. Charu recommends to always feed as well as change the diaper just before boarding. If the airline you have chosen to fly with does not allow you to do web check in with infants, it is best to go early and pick a seat according to your preference.
  • Gate check in the stroller at the aircraft’s gate and if required ask for assistance for storing the hand baggage in storage bin at the aircraft gate itself. Walking down those narrow pathways with a baby and a hand baggage can be little difficult. Airline staff are generally very helpful and one just needs to ask.
  • Priority check in and boarding: If the airlines is not offering, ask for it, specially if you are traveling alone. A calm mommy = a calm baby.
  • If nothing works and your baby is howling and crying despite all your efforts to calm him down, you need to keep calm and not worry too much about those dirty looks (even the sympathetic ones in that particular moment is not looked forward to). Babies cry. Its natural and it happens and everyone goes through it. You don’t have to be guilty about it.
  • most of the airlines don’t allow you to keep a really big diaper bag with you during take-off and landing. So having small wetbags with essential items does help. You can just take out that particular wetbag which you feel you might need and keep it with you during take off and landing, instead of the whole diaper bag.
    Charu is on Instagram as: https://www.instagram.com/charutiwaris/

I feel armed with so many more ideas thanks to all the tips given by Charu here. In fact I am yearning for a vacation now and this time I am looking forward to it. Have you traveled with babies? What was the one thing that you will recommend to someone looking to vacation with a baby?

Note: Did you know I Cloth Diapered while I was on vacation. That was a big win for me and inspirational for many other cloth diapering moms I know. Read the full post here.

U is for Unsafe babycare practices

Once you’ve had a baby you will be amazed at the amount of free advice you will get. People you have never met in your life and who you never even knew existed in your family tree will invite themselves for delivering a session on how you modern mothers know nothing and how they raised perfectly well and healthy babies with all the massaging, pulling, oiling and feeding. They may be well meaning, but not all the baby care norms which have been practiced over the years are entirely  safe or good for baby.

Here is a list of some unsafe practices which we were personally told about and which we heard from our other new parent friends. We also discussed these with our pediatrician to understand the science behind it and if we would be doing the right thing to follow any of them.  Continue reading

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