Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Category: Books & Learning (page 2 of 2)

Review: Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal – Write

When a fellow mommy in our Mom Blogger Chatter group told us about the Matrika’s Creative Woman’s Journal review contest I was intrigued. What a lovely way to market a product? But that was not all there was to it. The journals themselves were breathtakingly beautiful. I was truly spoiled for choice to select one, but finally settled on the Write series. The deep red colour with the golden polka dots and the feather plume on the cover page felt like the right choice for me and my new avatar as a blogger. Continue reading

Baby Books – Introducing Art to babies

Once you’re a mom … something happens to your brain. The nesting syndrome transforms into the hoarding syndrome and you end up with baby clothes, baby blankets, cloth diapers, toys, baby carriers and baby BOOKS!

BabyT has close to 100 baby books by now. Two shelf fulls and two big Amazon box fulls. We mostly read just 10 of those baby books very regularly, but we still continue to buy. We are #raisingareader after all and here is how we do it.

Baby books have been a great source of bonding for both babyT and us. Whenever he is feeling bored or wants to vie for our attention he runs to fetch a book from his playroom, insists to sit on my lap and says “Booka Booka” prodding me to keep my phone aside and read to him. As for me, if babyT is edgy and cranky and overstimulated, I know reading a baby book is what gets him to calm down and soothe himself again. Win for both parties. <3 Continue reading

W is for “Who Says Woof?”

When I started the #AtoZBloggingChallenge I knew what the letter W would stand for.. our favourite book by our favourite children’s author John Butler of course.

W is for Who Says Woof

I buy most of babyT’s books preloved and my favourite store is Eat Play Read.  I first chanced upon the book Who Says Woof? during an online book stocking here in September last year. I grabbed it because the cover page looked cute.

When the book arrived and I began reading it to babyT, he had just turned 9 months then, I was amazed how quickly he was picking up the sounds of the animals in them. His favourite was “Who says Baa?” He kept repeating Baa Baa Baa all day long. Once when we were out on the road, he saw a cow on the road (this is India. 🙂 and said Mooo I had hit the home-run, the book was teaching him something.  He also loved looking at the pictures. And as with most babies I was made to read that book to him twenty five times in a day… 

What I loved about this book?

  • Has beautiful illustration by John Butler. He is an illustrator and author of children’s books, most of which are about animals and their little families.
  • I like the fact that he keeps the design theme constant in all of his books. So the bears look the same in all the books. Its like a collection of related books. Very collectible.
  • The words are few in this particular book. (There are other books for older children with longer sentences too.)
  • It helps to build a guessing game with your baby… Who says Woof? Turn the page. A dog says Woof. & Who says Miaow? Turn the page. A cat says Miaow.

    Who says Miaow.

  • It taught babyT all that he knows about animals and the sounds that they make. His favourite animal is now the Miaow Cat.

    We knew all these by 10 months. 🙂 <3

We then fell in love so much with the book and John Butler’s illustrations that we went on a mission to find more of his books. Some were bought from Eat Play Read and some from Amazon.

The new additions

Our current favourite among these is Can you growl like a bear? 

After all the cute little domestic and gentle animals from Who says Woof? this book talks about the ones that live in the jungles – bear, chimp, elephant, wolf and some more. BabyT loves imitating the noises that these animals and birds make in the book. “Can you roar like a leopard..?” 

How gorgeous are the illustrations again? This particular page reminds me of a warm sunny day in summer spent wandering aimlessly in a park in London. <3

I don’t know how but this book somehow succeeds to make me yawn by the time we get to the last page. All the animals are going about their business, making the respective noises that they do and soon day turns to night, the wolf howls at the moon (babyT and I love to throw up our head and go Howwwwllll), the panda mommy and her little baby panda snuggle up for the night and soon…

This could work very well as a bedtime story.

This reminds me today is #TellaStoryDay and is celebrated in the USA and UK. I love how apt today’s title is to the event. On #TellaStoryDay people are encouraged to tell a story, not just read books, but share a personal story with your loved ones or on social media. And that is just what I am doing, telling you about my love affair with these baby books and how much they are loved and enjoyed in our home. 🙂


H is for Hungry Caterpillar: our favourite book

I have been waiting for the letter H.

H is for (the) Hungry Caterpillar – our favourite book by Eric Carle. This is a very popular book and most babies begin their book love journey from this one. We have had our copy since #babyT was a month old. And have been reading to him since then.

Everywhere we go, the book goes with us

Not just in our home, but the Hungry Caterpillar is a very popular book across the world and it is even used as a reading book in preschoolers in the some countries. I came across this when I browsed google to see if any blog posts existed on this topic. 😛
So why am I writing a whole blog post about a  children’s book, which has been much loved and sadly, hated by some quarters? Because this book is so versatile.. it has grown with us. Like any good book, its relevance only comes forth with time and experience/ stage of life. Right from the time #babyT was a month old to today at 15 months, we have found something new to marvel upon and learn.  Continue reading

B is for Books: How we are #raisingareader

A small background –  Ok, so I just learnt today about the A to Z blogging challenge and it sounds like a great opportunity to get me into the groove with my blog. So obviously I have missed the theme reveal and the letter A (I shall nonetheless blog about A is for) but with this challenge I want to talk about all things baby, mommy and babyT and our life. This month is jam packed with lots of plans, events, family time, celebrations and some more plans and I think it will surely be an ideal time to be blogging about it. So here we go!

B is for Books

One of the first things I added to my shopping cart for all the baby shopping I did before I had babyT was books. 🙂 I was reading aloud to him when he was in my tummy – I used to read a book about a little bunny, panchatantra tales and of course What to Expect when you’re Expecting. 🙂  And not only me, I made sure daddy-to-be and my parents (babies grandparents) also took turns to read my growing tummy.

I knew I wanted to surround our little one with books.   Continue reading

Flash-a-by baby: why we love flash cards?

BabyT’s favourite flash-cards

Once you’ve had your baby and you’ve conquered the basic needs level on the baby Maslow hierarchy (there is no such thing, but my MBA in HR keeps showing up at times) your over-anxious mind asks “what next? What more can I do to make my life a little more complicated but a little more fun and stimulating for baby?” That’s when I discovered that babies love looking at bright, colourful images… and a random browse on Amazon brought me to the section for flash-cards. I remember having read on some discussion threads in the mommy groups I am part of, that flash-cards were effective to teach kids about all sorts of “stuff.” However, the rigour of it and the need to “teach” had driven me off… but still the products I saw tempted me to hit Add to Cart.

So around when babyT was 6+ months old, and we had started solid foods, I decided it would be a good idea to start telling him the name of the vegetable or fruit he was biting into, basically give things a name. And so arrived our first set of flash cards. I started off with showing him the flash cards at mealtimes – so initially we did images like carrot, beans, banana, mango (he started solids in the month of the Alphonso mango, yayy!); and I spoke the word out aloud a couple of times. I did not always use the word as was written on the card. I used the word that we normally use around the house – so some words were in English, some in Marathi (daddy tongue) and some in konkani (mommy tongue). I’ll come to this shortly – multi-lingual homes.

After showing him selective cards I soon graduated to doing the entire set of cards once a day and we did this almost daily. I soon found that babyT was trying to say sounds like carrot (kaat) and Kellein (keyy for banana). I also referred to this set of cards as the ‘bhaji (vegetables) cards’ and we were so surprised when once we were waiting our turn outside a restaurant in South Bombay (always South Bombay, never South Mumbai, or whatever would happen to SoBo.) babyT squealed and shouted at the top of his baby voice – “Bhajiii” We were stunned, it took us a few seconds to decipher what he just said in babytalk, but we looked around and saw that he was looking at a vegetable vendor selling his wares near the restaurant. So all those days and weeks of flash carding were actually helping in some way. We were quick to add other sets of flash cards to our collection – animals, birds (we have now lost this set somewhere between our mess and the ones we make at grandparents houses), things in my home, body parts etc. I don’t want to sound like a over-excited new mom who thinks the sun, moon and stars revolve around her baby, but babyT had a fairly wide vocabulary around the time he was 10 months. I don’t know if this will translate into him speaking early or having an ability to speak 3 distinct languages that we do speak at home, but even our paed did admit that his vocabularly was definitely above average for his age. 🙂 And I do believe flash carding helped.

How I used Flash cards:(Note – this may not be the way flash cards are meant to be used as per the instructions on the box. But I did not want to “teach” anything to a baby that small. Our objective was to find something engaging and enriching.) 

  1. Show the image to babyT and say out the name clearly once or twice. Do this one-by-one for all the cards. Then show the entire set of cards in a flash – while saying out the name just once. Experts say this should be repeated a few times in a day and then everyday. However I did not follow this. I used them whenever we had some time to spare from our other activities or when babyT himself dragged out the cards and brought them to me to read to him.
  2. You can say the name of the object in any language you wish. Ideally use the same word for it that you use at home. For example, in our multi-lingual home we use words which are Marathi, Konkani and English. But we usually stick to only one word per object. Crows are  Kailloh (Konkani), Apple is in English and Brinjals are vaangi (Marathi)
  3. Wherever possible add the actual object along with the card – especially in cases of fruits and vegetables, parts of body.
  4. As the child grows do try and add some descriptions to go with the images – we started to roar like tigers/ lions, say baa or moo for sheep and cows and blinked our eyes and twitched our noses doing body parts. Its quite cute really, every time babyT sees an image or video of a tiger he growls. 🙂
  5. We also talked of songs and stories where that object featured. Nani teri morni (a popular hindi song for babies which talks of peacocks) was referred to or a line sung from when we showed the birds flash cards. 🙂
  6. We made it a point to walk around the supermarket fruits and veggies section, pointing out all the familiar objects from our set of cards.

There are schools of thought which say very young babies shouldn’t be read to or shown flash cards to teach words or reading. However, books and reading have been the major source of comfort, fun and happiness with babyT. He loves books, he loves being read to and he loves receiving books more than toys. We also don’t follow the general guidelines on age wise books (obviously he isn’t reading nuclear physics yet) but we have been reading all sorts of books – touch and feel, hard bound, board books, paperbacks, soft books. Everything that we think we will enjoy and make some sense of. (Wherever we felt books are a little too advanced, we have stored them away for a future date.) So too with flash cards. They have worked really well for us and have benefited babyT immensely. I do hope you think of introducing them to your child. And if you haven’t already begun reading or books, its never too late to do so. 🙂 Happy reading! Happy flash carding!

We used flash cards from AppleTree available on

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