Gentle-weaning my toddler


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 “Gentle-weaning my toddler”

How to read to your infant

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 “How to read to your infant”

This entry was posted in Books.

Toilet learning- the Montessori way

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”.

1. Readiness

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 “Toilet learning- the Montessori way”

Motherhood and the Jekyll-Hyde paradigm

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.

Birthing changes you

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 “Motherhood and the Jekyll-Hyde paradigm”

LEARN THROUGH PLAY

 

“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.

How my child goes about learning to add 2 numbers, for instance.… Click to read the rest “LEARN THROUGH PLAY”

Das Din – A baby book with a difference

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.
Click to read the rest “Das Din – A baby book with a difference”

Thats not my Amma.

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.

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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 “Thats not my Amma.”

Poop: Lessons in biology, zoology and social grace

Baby V can have deep conversations on outer space, types of fossils and countries of the world, but her favourite topic that brings out her passion is poop! There, I said it! I’ve no idea where this fascination started but she loves talking about fart noises, bums and poop. In fact, when she goes and asks random people in the park if they want to do it, I send a silent thankyou to God that her Tamil word for poop isn’t easily understandable.

Poop: That gross but glorious thing that toddlers can learn from and about.

I was warned by a few people that her fascination with poop is not socially acceptable and I would need to discipline her. But hey, why should I discipline a 2 year old for being wonderfully curious about something, no? I figured that she was just getting aware of her own bodily functions and considering we don’t talk about the toilet as much as say, animals or food or books, she was just satisfying her curiosity.… Click to read the rest “Poop: Lessons in biology, zoology and social grace”

Opos cooking- involving toddlers in the kitchen

Toddler cooking

Growing up, the first meal I cooked was when I was about 12 years old. As I started adulting, I’ve realised cooking is a major life-skill. I promised myself that I wouldn’t ever say no if V wanted to help out in the kitchen as a child.
I could never cook when she was asleep, and I remember the early days when I would wear her in my sling and continue my chores. At about 9 months she gravitated towards the kitchen on her own. I think the shiny, steel vessels or different vegetables drew her.

At about 9 months she wanted “work” and set about sorting the onions from the garlic. By one year she was comfortably peeling the skin off onions and mashing potatoes, gleefully.
With Opos cooking, cooking together has just become very natural.

Why cooking?

There are many wonderful things a toddler learns while cooking.… Click to read the rest “Opos cooking- involving toddlers in the kitchen”

Numbers and counting

We never formally introduced numbers to her and she never showed any interest in them until a little before 2 years of age. What we did do was introduce her to a lot of pre-math skills.

Pre-math skills

Some skills are essential to be mastered before a child comprehends the concept of counting. For example, sorting (based on color, shape, size, etc), understanding big and small, more and less, patterns matching, etc. Although she was exposed to these since about a year, she started showing an active interest in these only after about 15 months.

Counting and number sense

At some point of time, when she started sorting onions in the kitchen, I found her automatically counting them. She was in charge of picking out the vegetables we would cut and she loved counting them. When we would walk down stairs, she would diligently count them up and down and marvel at how they were the same, always.… Click to read the rest “Numbers and counting”