Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Category: Baby Love (page 2 of 4)

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

P is for Pregnancy Cravings

Well, I had no Pregnancy Cravings. No! Not one. I had no morning sickness, no queasiness, no nausea, no hyper-acidity and no CRAVINGS. Food cravings that is. And that my dear readers is NOT the end of this blog post. There is more to it.. It needs a special blog post. Oh yes it does. And I really wonder what happened to me then and how it changed almost overnight, when I was pregnant. 🙂

Continue reading

L is for Love, Actually

I have watched Love, Actually exactly 35.5 times. Yes .5 is significant too… will get to that later.

All those who know me, even remotely, know that I am an Anglophile. I lived a tiny part of my life in the UK and that was quite sufficient to make me fall in love with the culture, habits, tradition, people, food (yes I love Brit food) Christmas time and everything else English. And Love, Actually is the true epitome of everything British for me. Made by the Karan Johar of Britain (Richard Curtis) and  starring the SRK of British cinema Hugh Grant (my childhood love), it is the perfect capsule of my love for England.

So Love, Actually released in 2003, but it wasn’t until much later that I actually had to chance to view it.. maybe around 2005 and since then I have watched it over and over again. Yes I am that annoying person who repeats all the dialogues over the actual score of the film. And then when I got married I introduced my husband to it, who watched it reluctantly at first, calling it a chick flick, but soon loved it and together we watched it at least 4 to 5 times in a year. We even had an annual Christmas ritual – Love, Actually with expensive red wine, roast chicken lunch and a party with friends in the evening.

So imagine our excitement when we were told we were having a baby and he was due around Christmas time. (babyT of course eventually arrived much earlier.) It was Love, Actually after all.

🙂

But… a big BUT. For all our obsession with Love, Actually try as much as we did, we could not watch it even once during the entire duration of my pregnancy. We made one feeble attempt, but I could only manage watching it half way through (the .5 viewer score I mentioned earlier.) before I was extremely exhausted and fell asleep on the couch. So all through the 9 months of pregnancy we did not watch our favorite movie. I watched every other show on this planet – Modern Family, GOT, LOTR series, HP series, Downton Abbey. It wasn’t like I did not have the time or inclination. But somehow Love, Actually just never happened.  So when the time came for us to go to hospital to have our baby the next morning, I was actually a bit sad for having missed out on this important item from my list of things to do when babyT was inside me.

But the husband had a surprise up his sleeve and he had somehow saved a copy of the movie onto his mobile phone. Sometimes, I tell you, this man sweeps me off my feet. <3

So late at night before babyT came into our lives, we shared a small hospital bed, phone in hand and one ear of the earphone between the two of us, held each other and watched our favorite movie Love, Actually. My pregnancy was now perfect and I could have my baby in peace. He arrived the next morning, first thing and from there on began our own personal journey of Love, Actually.

Is there a special movie in your lives? I would love to have some reccos.

#MommyT’s Tips: How to make baby hair cuts more fun & less scary?

Baby’s first hair cut – its a big step and even more so in the Indian cultural landscape where most communities have some religious or ritual significance attached to it.  Almost every new parent dreads that first hair cut session for their little babies, yet come armed to the event with mobile phone cameras on full enthu mode. And what do the babies do – cry, bawl, howl and generally get all traumatized with their first experience . So too with us!

Look at that luscious mane – BabyT at 1 year

BabyT has had 2 hair cuts now. He was born with lots of lovely hair, and we waited it out to trim those luscious curls that our little rock-star had. If we had had our way we would probably have let them grow out much longer but the hot Indian weather meant he had a tough time with his lush mane and was constantly sweaty and irritated. So we decided to chop it off. The first hair cut babyT got was in MommyT and Daddah’s favourite salon chain near home. Its a pretty well established salon and we have always been very satisfied with our experiences but we realized that baby hair cuts were not their expertise.  BabyT was not too happy and we were equally disappointed with the hair cut. So the second time around, we did manage to hunt for and take an appointment at a salon meant for kids.  We loved the experience and the hair cut. Yet babyT cried his eyes out. We have now realized that there were some things we did right and some we could do better and so here’s my list: Continue reading

Snuggly Wuggly Blankies: We love our #SoulSlings Snuggly

Raise your hands if you received a baby blanket as a gift from all the friends and family who came visiting. And now keep your hands raised if your little one outgrew that blanket in a few months or if it was either too hot or too cold or too ‘synthetic feeling’ for you to use. Yep my hands are raised too! #BabyT’s first year for me has been pretty much about the Eternal Search for the Perfect Blanket. Sounds like a movie title, no? Well it certainly has had all the makings of a good drama – surprise, shock, love and disappointment and some exhilaration. 🙂

Once #BabyT outgrew his muslin swaddles/ blankets, around 8 months onwards, I felt the need for a new baby blanket – one that would be perfect for day naps (no AC, warm Octobers in Mumbai) and keep him warm all night (AC on all night, baby hates anything on his body) And all of us moms and caregivers know that baby blankets go so much beyond just “blankets”. They also become play mats, nursing covers, sun shades in the car (Mumbai has a no shaded car window ruleK) and so many other avatars.

Precious Naptime

At a time like this Soul Snuggly walked into our lives. I had been eyeing the gorgeous prints and colours on the Soul website but was really unsure of how their jacquard fabric would fare in the perennially hot Mumbai weather and also mainly because I never could decide on which of the pretty designs to select and hit ‘Add to cart’ on. Soul sent me one for trial and review and I am so glad the universe conspired and brought me what I was looking for.

What’s a Soul Snuggly?

Soul Snuggly blankets are made from the same fabric that is used to make Soul’s wraps and other baby carriers. More details about the Soul Snuggly:

  • Sized at 45” * 48” – perfect for smaller babies and toddlers alike.
  • They are 100% cotton and therefore contain only all natural fibres.
  • The dyes used are baby-safe dyes
  • They are dense jacquard weave patterns which makes them delightful to look at and are strong and sturdy, yet become softer with each wash.
  • Easy to care for
  • So much choice: the Snuggly is available in 10 jacquard patterns, 6 Ikat weaves and 4 linen varieties. And more keep getting added to the stock regularly. 🙂

We chose the Maze Blues Soul Snuggly. And #babyT and our Snuggly have been inseparable since. This is a #nofilter pic.

The gorgeousness that is the Maze Blues Snuggly

After using them for over 2 months, count a sort of wintry January/ February and an already hot March, we have grown to love our Soul Snuggly. What we love about it is:

  • Just right for Mumbai winters – warm without being too sweaty, is breathable.
  • Perfect for nights when we leave the AC on all night.
  • Summer friendly – it got as high as 35* in early March and we found our Snuggly was perfectly breathable and did not discomfort #babyT
  • BabyT is a blanket “Kicker-off’er” – nothing stays on his body and he’s been that way since his newborn days. No caps, no socks, no heavy blankets, no fleece blankets for sure. But, the Soul Snuggly stays. That is a certificate in itself.
  • Gives two looks in one – Our Maze blues is prominently blue on one side and black on the other.
  • Very versatile – park mat, nursing cover, car window blinds on sunny car rides, cuddly time with books.

    ParkLife with Soul Snuggly

  • Great on #babyT’s sensitive skin. Fleece blankets which are so commonly used for babies, were a nightmare for us. It gave babyT rashes and dried his skin up a lot. We hunted far and wide for 100% cotton, but many of those blankets did not live up to the natural claim. Soul Snuggly however has been the best experience in terms of its promise of being all natural and safe.
  • Value for money: Soul Snuggly blankets are priced at Rs. 750 for the Jacquards and Rs. 950 for the newly launched Ikat and Linen baby blankets. Complete value for money considering you can use them from the newborn stage to toddlerhood (2-3 years) and even more.

What we love even more are the newly launched Summer Snugglies – they are blankets in the Ikat and Linen range of fabrics that Soul has. I got mine free during the offer they had on purchase of the Onbuhimo carrier. And they have become our go to blankets for day naps. They are also great for post bath wraps when #babyT steps out (or sprints out) of the bathroom. They dry so fast that I can reuse them as his blanket in the time he dresses up, feeds and slips into slumber land post his bath routine.

Soul Snuggly – Ikat Eclipse

Although I’ve had my Ikat Snuggly only for a week and so not had many opportunities to use it, but this range could easily be used for a stroller cover, crib sheet, swaddle. They would also make great gifts for baby showers and newborns.

If there is one recommendation I could make about the Soul Snuggly is that if it could be slightly bigger. I have a roller baby and at times he tends to roll out of the blanket. I could always get the Soul Shawls which are the same beautiful fabric and designs in a 80” * 40” size, but that would be an adult size (read: Me) and I don’t intend to share. J

Have you used the Soul Snuggly blanket for your wee ones? Tell me what did you love about it and what has been your favourite design?

From one Mama to another – my review for #MamaEarth baby products

A lot changed in my life after I became pregnant. I used to be the person who would love to experiment with every new range of cosmetic product that hit the shelves. But once I saw those two faint blue lines, I stopped and read the labels, checked for the safety of my growing foetus and researched like a mad woman on sustainable, eco-friendly, natural sources of everything. But reality was a dampener – nothing was pure, innocent or natural. I was beyond shocked when I learnt that a very popular brand of baby cosmetics, since time immemorial, was rife with rash horror stories and even had legal battles in international courts for causing severe harm to human life. This was almost an eye-opener for me that we needed to pay more attention to what goes inside and on our bodies.

So when babyT did arrive I made sure he was surrounded by only products which were natural, homemade, healthy and safe. I will admit though that finding the right kind of baby products for bath, skin and hair was a bit challenging. There were a dime-a-dozen products and each with varying reviews… five good ingredients and one totally worth avoiding. It was so confusing, especially in his new-born days to choose the most effective yet safe product for him. BabyT was also born with baby acne and has dry skin with bouts of atopic dermatitis which makes it even more difficult for me to just pick a product off the shelf. That’s where MamaEarth won for me, a brand by a parent, for a parent to use on their precious little bambinos.

I received this hamper of #MamaEarth products to use on babyT. #MamaEarth is a nascent company by new parents Ghazal and Varun Alagh who wanted to use and therefore created products SAFE for babies. Their products are “certified by Made Safe, a US-based non-profit organisation that provides a comprehensive human health-focused certification for non-toxic products. All the products are clinically tested to be hypoallergenic and carries no toxins, dyes, artificial fragrances or anything which is even close to the word ‘unsafe’,” says 32-year-old Varun, Founder and CEO of #MamaEarth. Varun, an engineering graduate from Delhi College of Engineering (DCE) and an XLRI alumnus, has over 10 years of experience in FMCG segment.

With the re-assurance that these products are Paraben Free and also free from Phthalates, PEG, DEA, Fragrances, Dyes, Formaldehyde and other ingredient I was pretty excited to open up my hamper and use them. I received their Soothing Massage Oil, Natural Insect Repellent, Moisturizing Daily Lotion and Gentle Cleansing Shampoo.

My MamaEarth hamper

First Impressions

I loved the packaging – the bottles came in a box and are white bottles with green lids, the font is blue and green in colour. Very soothing and reminds me of nature & mama earth. 🙂  These bottles came to me in a cute little zip pouch (pictured here) which I will continue to use to store and ferry around baby cosmetics when I travel. What I also loved about the bottles is that each bottle has a different animal image on it, trust me mamas, it is working like a charm to keep babyT in one place while I massage/ bathe/ dress him. He is very content to look at the lovely animals and keeps blabbering to them, making my job easier. Whew!

So this is now our new found bath routine – Massage – Bath – Lotion. Again babyT loves taking these animals along with him to bath-time. So I thought let me structure this review in the form of animals. 🙂

Tigers say Roaarrr – #MamaEarth’s Soothing Massage Oil

This was the first product by #MamaEarth that I opened and used on babyT. It is also babyT’s favourite because it has a tiger on the bottle and T keeps roaring at his little stripy friend.

I fell in love instantly with the calming scent of lavender and chamomile. Lavender is known for its relaxing properties and sure enough when I rubbed it on, both babyT and I were so soothed by its fragrance. #MamaEarth’s Soothing Massage oil contains sesame oil, virgin coconut oil (which is so great for anyone’s skin), olive oil, sweet almond oil and jojoba, lavender & chamomile oil. Yes, you read that right no other ingredients or preservatives or chemicals. 100% natural.

I have used the oil both before and after a bath (on separate occasions) and liked how it spread on easily, without being too greasy or oily after application. I especially loved that it got so easily absorbed into the skin, when using it after babyT’s bath. This is how #MamaEarth also recommends the oil to be used. BabyT’s skin felt really soft and smooth after its use.

Pandas love bamboo! – #MamaEarth’s Moisturizing Daily Lotion

Another great product by #MamaEarth! As I mentioned earlier, babyT has extremely dry skin and it has become a habit with us to constantly moisturize him. The slight dip in temperatures over the New Year and the week after that in Mumbai, has also threatened to dry out his skin even more.

#MamaEarth’s moisturizing lotion has ingredients such as Shea butter, cocoa butter, vitamin E; among others which are renowned for their moisturizing properties. A pleasantly lingering fragrance of chamomile has made me reach out to this lotion again and again for keeping babyT’s skin soft, supple and smooth. Forget winter dryness, with this lotion we are shining through. If there’s one product by #MamaEarth I would recommend to those who want to try one out for starters, it would be this one.

Haathi mera Saathi! – #MamaEarth’s Gentle Cleansing Shampoo

The main things I look for in a shampoo are gentle and tear free. BabyT has a lush mane and I have had bad experiences of using certain shampoos on him, which have left him in tears (despite being baby shampoo) and his hair not so soft. So the fact that #MamaEarth’s shampoo did both – kept him happy during his head bath and put a spring in his lovely curls, made me very happy. The scent of this shampoo is quite similar to the massage oil, which is lavender and was supremely soothing. It put babyT right to sleep after his hair wash.

It lathers up well and one wash was sufficient to even take the hair oil out.  Together the massage oil, shampoo and body lotion have become a set part of our bathing routine. I am now tempted to order their body wash and have a complete #MamaEarth bathing experience here. 🙂

The Snake says hissssss… #MamaEarth’s Natural Insert Repellant

And last but not the least, a very important product, one which is every mother’s concern for her baby… mosquito repellent. Liquidator machines have proven to be harmful, forget effective. There are enough jokes about people finding mosquitoes roosting nicely on the machines, even when on. Finding a safe and efficient mosquite repellent is a common query on most mom networking groups I am part of. With growing concerns of drug resistant strains of malaria, dengue etc this is one area which is of prime importance for babies and kids.

#MamaEarth’s mosquito repellent comes in a spray bottle which can be used on baby skin or on clothes, bed etc. It is 100% natural and most importantly DEET FREE which is what you need to be looking for in a safe repellent. It is a mix of various oils which work together to drive mosquitoes away. I find the smell very unique to some of the other natural repellent’s I’ve used for babyT. It has a lovely undertone of cedar and peppermint, apart from the goodness of citronella and eucalyptus which are known for being anti-insect friendly. The smell is not overpowering unlike a new roll-on stick which a big company launched (ugh, that smell stayed for days) and does not give me a headache (I have a heightened sensitivity to smell.) So it was reassuring to know that we have a product finally which will help us in caring for babyT.

#MamaEarth’s product hamper has delighted us and we are happy with the results so far. Apart from the products mentioned here, they also have body wash, diaper rash cream and sunscreen (getting good sunscreen for babies is so difficult, and I am glad for this.) You can buy all of these on Amazon.in

Their website also shows a category listing for mamas and mamas to be, so I am hopeful that I can partake of the goodness of these natural and safe, certified toxin free products very soon.

Visit their website: www.#MamaEarth.in

Twitter: @#MamaEarthindia
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#MamaEarthindia/

Disclaimer: All the products listed in this blog have been sent to us by #MamaEarth for review purposes. I have not paid for them myself.

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