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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praise vs encouragement- montessori parenting dilemma

Ever since my first module with educational psychology, I find reading up on experiments on conditioning and reinforcement, fascinating. And naturally, my spirit is a positive cheerleader. I love dishing out praise easily. So believe me, this post and the contents that I’ve been trying to follow is not too easy.

At about 2 years of age, V started excellent focus in her work. And I realized, I wasn’t needed to say , ‘Wow!’ Because, her eyes would light up when she finished the task, before the Wow! That is when I learnt that the sensitive periods and work provide enough intrinsic motivation without need for my empty words.

Why I try to avoid “Good jobs!”

  • Words of praise become great extrinsic motivators. This is great for people who need an external push. But with children who are already internally motivated, this is not necessary at all.
  • The joy and accomplishment a child feels on completion of a task is taken away when praise is given precedence.
Click to read the rest

Experiences that are rich- pillars of montessori parenting

Maria Montessori stresses the importance of a rich environment that provides the necessary sensorial experiences to a child.
What is a rich experience? Something that provides sensory stimuli, introduces something new or helps practice and helps form neuronal connections with older knowledge.

Why rich experiences?

Everything children see, hear, feel, touch, or even smell impacts their brain and thus influences the way they view and interact with their world—including their family, neighbors, strangers, friends, classmates, and even themselves.

Daniel J. Siegel

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is one of my many favourites. While he observed that infants actually seek environmental stimulation that promotes their intellectual development, he thought that their initial representations of objects, space, time, causality, and self are constructed only gradually during the first 2 years. He concluded that the world of young infants is an egocentric fusion of the internal and external worlds and that the development of an accurate representation of physical reality depends on the gradual coordination of schemes of looking, listening, and touching.… Click to read the rest

Freedom within limits- Montessori parenting pillars

Remember the days your house is filled with clutter or you visit an overbearing relative, or the time your parents restricted you from doing something? How did you feel then?
The point I’m trying to make is, one cannot flourish, work with purpose or think effectively in an environment we don’t feel completely comfortable of free in. Now that we have established that the child flourishes in a rich environment that she explores and learns from, herself, we realise that the child, a lot like adults needs freedom. Guided freedom or freedom within a framework of limits.Freedom and discipline are two sides of the same coin, and scientific freedom invariably leads to discipline.

“To let the child do as he likes, when he has not yet developed any powers of control, is to betray the idea of freedom.”

Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

We do a great disservice to the developing child if we do’t provide her, some clear boundaries within which she can explore freedom.… Click to read the rest