Meals are sacred times- to nourish our bodies as well as have a social interaction with people around us by eating together. We already know why force feeding ought to be avoided. But how does one encourage independent eating in young children? This is especially difficult in the Indian millenial setup. Here is what helped us, and what I recommend parents too.
Although this is about independent eating in children, the role of the adult is most important. Yes, there will be messes. Yes, the child may eat 3 bowls today and just 2 spoons tomorrow. It’s okay. What helped me was, reminding myself that my job was to offer, show, be patient and trust that V’s understanding of her body. My happiness is not linked to the size of V’s belly.
2. Dedicated eating area
Always have a dedicated area for mealtimes. It could be a weaning table or a dining table or a corner of the living room floor.… Click to read the rest
The easiest way to start montessori practices at home, is to start with structured activities. Although, not the earliest. Montessori, like I keep reiterating is a lifestyle, and you can read more about incorporating it, here. But what makes an activity, montessori? How does one sieve through the million ideas available on Pinterest and choose activities for the child? I hope to answer that in this post, and the ones that follow. For now, here is a checklist that would help you set up an activity for the child.
1. Child- directed
First off, montessori activities are child- directed. The child is free to choose the activity, work on it at their own pace for as long and as many times as they would like.
Activities that involve doing actively, do a lot more for the child than passive activities. This also follows the principle of concrete to abstract.… Click to read the rest
Did you know that in mystic thought forty symbolizes the ascent from one level to a higher one and spiritual awakening? When we mourn we mourn for forty days. When a baby is born it takes forty days for him to get ready to start life on earth. And when we are in love we need to wait for forty days to be sure of our feelings
Eli Shafak, The Fort Rules of Love
I have always wanted to write about our breastfeeding journey, but it has been too personal a bond, that writing about it seemed like sacrilege. However, after 40 days, today I feel differently.
At the outset, let me clarify that this post isn’t intended to belittle any parent’s personal choice about weaning-when and how. That is a personal choice every parent makes. It isn’t intended to make anyone feel superior or horrible about how long or short a time one breastfed for.… Click to read the rest
So you already know why it is important to read to your baby. But the quintessential question arrives- how do you go about it? Fortunately for you, I made a list.
1. Go by your child, not the clock
This is a universal rule applicable for almost every situation, no? So there are going to be days (sometimes stretching for weeks), when your baby would be interested in the book for 30 seconds, and sometimes it may stretch to half an hour. Either ways, follow your baby’s lead.
2. The surrounding
Have a dedicated reading corner. It helps if you have a routine, probably before sleep-time. But then again, follow your child’s lead.
Ensure that there are no other distractions or loud noises to over stimulate your baby.
Although we had a reading corner and started out reading in the morning and before sleep, owing to the house filled with my books, we sometimes picked them up at any point of time too, including, during travel.… Click to read the rest
Phew! Just when you think you have diapers and a poop routine figured out, people start asking if your child is toilet trained yet! The woes of a parent never end eh?!
Why toilet learning? Why not toilet training?
Toileting is more than just a milestone. It is an everyday skill that is about independence and self esteem.
Toilet learning, is more child-led, more about a child learning to use the toilet and less about an adult telling the child “you’ve gotta pee now, the way i want, when i say so”.
Obviously one cant expect a 2 year old to write 4 languages. Similarly, the sensitive period for starting toilet learning happens somewhere around 12-months, give or take.
At months baby V finally started showing signs of readiness. By this, I mean, she started being aware of when she wanted to pee and when she was peeing (this started with a keen interest in pee).… Click to read the rest
There is this saying in Tamil, that a delivery is equivalent to rebirth for a woman. Someone told me it is because, a woman goes through excruciating circumstances and puts her life at risk during birthing. I now realize, that it is because, motherhood changes you into a different person.
When Pooja told me that she was attempting the herculean task of bringing together 41 moms from around the world to share how motherhood had changed them, of course I jumped at the opportunity, because I can write about this with my eyes closed, right? How wrong I was. This post is a result of many nights of soul searching and digging deep.
So apart from the very obvious ways in which motherhood has changed me – jeans size, changed priorities, lack of time, exhaustion and the works, I’ve realized that I have become a bundle of paradoxes. Read on.… Click to read the rest
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.” – Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Indeed, the doing matters more than the outcome! How often, have you wanted that promotion so bad, and worked hard towards it, to realize that the toil you put in and experience you gained helped you bag that promotion? How often have we visualized the perfect marriage; but aren’t the everyday moments we choose to compromise, forgive and understand what lead us to that 50th anniversary celebration?
Similarly, when children set out to learn a certain “something”, the journey to learn that is critical.
As conscious parents who want to introduce quality regional language books to our littles, we are always on the lookout for good baby literature.
Ditto me! I was hunting for good Tamil and Hindi books to introduce to baby V. There are quite a few publishers who do this ( we will be covering all in a series) but most of them were for slightly older toddlers.
That is when I chanced upon T4Tales, or rather Tiny Tots Tiny Tales.
Retold by Pridhee Kapoor Gupta and illustrated by Alicia D’souza, this book is a must have for your child’s library.
Read on to find out more about the book and author.
Listing down what we loved about this book
Extremely catchy illustrations, including the bright cover page.
Interactive. – So this doesn’t just have lift the flaps! From opening doors, to pouring 5 spoons of medicine to measuring the temperature, this one has a wide range of activities.
So I sat and thought (and thought and thought) about what my first post should be about. I wanted it to be an introductory post for those who do not know me. About what kind of Amma I am, and why amma in the first place. But I am horrible at introductions.
And finally, as always, inspiration struck while reading to Baby V (2 of my favourite creative outlets. And inlets)
Here is Baby V introducing me in Usborne books style. This is also a list of the most surprising and unexpected ways in which motherhood changed me. I was prepared for the sleepless nights and physical changes. What I wasn’t prepared for was the way I reacted to these changes.
Much as I would hesitate to admit, I still cant resist beautiful and colorful clothes. I still love shopping for clothes (although Ive gone up by a size or two) .… Click to read the rest
I have a working weekend and long week ahead of me. In stressful times, I try, to remember the quote below by Robert Breault.
“In the happiest of our childhood memories, our parents were happy too.”
There is research that connects happy childhoods to happiness in adulthood, as well as health benefits. But while we plan the perfect days, playdates, environment and activities, for our children, I hope we remember that children are perceptive and pick up on our emotions easily.
There was this survey report I once read about people describing their favourite happy childhood memories that shaped them. Surprisingly, most of the answers were about simple, relaxing, moments of connection. A day spent playing in the beach, laughing at a funny movie, baking together on Sundays, cuddling in cold mornings, etc.
I asked V what her favourite memories from home so far are, and she said, 1. Reading together 2.… Click to read the rest
I’ll be honest, I had a bedtime reading routine in place with V, and when V2 came along, I struggled to find a balance. I was too exhausted and preoccupied physically, emotionally and mentally, to just pick up a book and read.
But we did establish a solid bedtime reading routine with the girls early on, and that remains my favourite sanity saver.
Here’s a list of easy tips that helped while transitioning to reading to 2.
1. In the early days it’s about easing the transition for the elder child. I remember nights when V2 would be more interested in feeding and I would nurse while reading to V. It was a reminder for V that she was still loved just the same, and reading together was important to me.
2. We usually first read V2’s book and then V’s. It’s an opportunity for them to wait for their turn, plus a chance to hear two books.… Click to read the rest
Once your baby starts pulling themselves up, either people around or data mining on social media will throw walker suggestions in your radar. What is the deal on walkers? Are they montessori? Are they recommended? And most importantly, are they necessary?
Walkers, and other commercially available movement aids hinder development in the same way. They make a child mobile so quickly that he sometimes just gives up on his own attempts when outside the walker. They also give the child misinformation about where his “space” or body ends, and how legs really work, confusing messages that have to be relearned later.
Susan Mayclin Stephenson, The Joyful Child: Montessori, Global Wisdom for birth to three
That quote really sums up the case against commercially available walkers. For one, the baby depends on the adult to be put in and out, which straight away removes independence and need to walk.… Click to read the rest