Monday, 19 September 2016

How to choose the right toy for your kid

We, Indians mostly choose to buy any merchandise based on its cost. Those who tend to save money will go for cheaper version, those who tend to show off will buy costly just to exaggerate the price. This same concept applies to choosing toys for your kids. We tend to neglect even basic facts which are to be considered while buying the right toy for your kid. It is observed that the quality of toys is below par when it comes to making toys for Indian market, however if you consider in terms of cost, even buying costly toys will not guarantee that you have chosen the right quality of toy for your kid.

Every toy package contains some instructions written on it. Some toys are designed for a certain age limit. If the toy states that it is not meant for child under 3 years, you should not buy for your infant as it may have high sound or it might be too flashy for a one year old. So choose the toy based on your child's age. If your baby puts every single toy in his mouth, then you need to check if, it can cause choking hazards. If the label of toy says so, try avoiding those toys.

The most important part is choosing the right kind of plastic. Try to avoid toys which contain phthalates. Also check if teethers are BPA- free or non-PVC. When buying toys like cars or other stuff to play, choose a sturdy plastic so that it doesnt easily break and pose a hazard for your baby. The normal swings which come in market are not that sturdy to balance a baby and it doesnt even have much safety measures like seat belt. Try to avoid such swings and go for the ones which has a proper seat belt and the latch firmly holds your child in position.

Here's a quick list to follow while buying a toy:
1)Check the age group for which the toy is designed
2)Check if the child can play independently or parental guidance is advised
3)While buying any toy make sure it will not cause any safety hazard to your kid
4)Choose the right kind of plastic that is used in the toy
5)Avoid small toys as they can cause choking hazards

Besides all this toys, my son likes to play with empty boxes. The joy he gets by banging spoon and bowls is way more than playing with any costly toy. After all, there are some things which money cant buy.

Happy Parenting !!!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Traveling tips with kids

Gone are the days when I used to go on unplanned trips. I was an impulsive backpacker, traveling with bare minimum essentials. Weekend trips to home started immediately after office hours on Friday evenings. Now everything is different. Traveling with a kid requires lot of planning and patience. It also depends on how your kid reacts to traveling, if he likes it he will be lot easy to manage, if not you may have a hard time to engage him.

Our first trip with my son was to Mahabaleshwar in a car. He was 9 months old. I had piled up all flours, cereals, whole grains and on the day of journey I had prepared 3-4 meals and put them in small tiffin boxes. I had stocked up on his diapers, clothes and also few medicines for emergency. On the second day, we used to stop at roadside stalls and requested them to use their kitchen and cook small amounts of food for my son, feed him and then move on. I must say that roadside vendors are so supportive when it comes for kids. Nobody charged me for using their stove, everyone offered me milk and other required spices which you usually don't carry. I was really touched by their gestures. Even the hotel in which we were staying let us use the kitchen. I made sure that my son's feeding and sleeping routine was not affected by any means.

However, I had to skip few sightseeings as they collided with my son's sleeping time. At one spot, he felt cold even after all layering of woolen clothes so I stayed back in car and kept him warm. As a traveler, I dont think I have explored anything much as I was more a mom than a traveler. But I truly feel that kids should be exposed to traveling as they are open to new cultures, new people. One may say that they are small and they wont understand anything, but let them accompany you.

Traveling tips for parents:

1)Make sure your child is fit and can cope up with traveling.
2)Stock up with as many food items as possible.
3)Carry small utensils and spoon if you are traveling for a considerable time and you may need take a halt on road and cook for you kid.
4)Cough/cold medicines can be handy when you dont have any medical around
5)If your travel involves lot of walking, carry baby carriers, carry cot, strollers.
6)Your diaper bag must contain
       a)Feeding bottle/food
       b)some toys to engage your kid
       c)diapers and wipes
       d)set of clothes
       e)water bottle
       f)bedsheet/fleece blanket
       h)emergency medicine

Before starting for the trip, google some doctors or hospitals from the place you are visiting. If you are going on a bike road trip or any adventure trip try to avoid going with your kid. Ultimately, it depends of how your kids cooperate while traveling. I have read that some parents have even traveled the world with their 10 week old baby, but it all depends on how the baby adjusts.

Happy traveling!!!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Slow Down Mommy

When I was applying for maternity leave, I was so looking forward for the break. The last long vacation which I had was during college days and afterwards it used to be hardly a week off. I made a list of books I wanted to read, my hobbies which I wanted to pursue and other list of to-dos which I was not able to do due to lack of time. Now I feel that I was so naive that I completely mistook a maternity leave as a vacation. With the arrival of baby everything changed. First three months he kept crying, I was stuck in a never ending cycle of feeding, soothing, rocking my baby. Forget about reading novels and pursuing hobbies, I felt like I have achieved a great feat if I am able to complete my daily chores along with my baby.

After re-joining work everything was becoming more and more difficult. My house looked like a complete mess. Leaving for office itself felt like a job as you have to get ready and make your kid ready. Already it was a tightly packed schedule and now add one more member to that schedule. By the time I made it to office, I used to be completely drained. After coming from office you have to catch up all the lost time with your baby, check on dinner, plan for next day's tiffin and various other tasks. You end up lost in all other works that you actually don't have time for yourself. The stylish, well dressed diva is lost in this process and you start seeing visible changes, I was not like this before. Add to this, is the guilt of not giving enough time to your child and you feel completely heart broken.

Where am I getting wrong?I can see all super moms in the advertisements, commercials. All of them well dressed, their houses clean and they are so perfect in all their roles be it as an employee, as a mother, as a daughter in law. You feel like introspecting yourself, and try to imitate that super mom from the commercials. You start comparing all aspects of your life with hers and try to master every single role of your life. Eventually, it takes a toll on you and you give up and then you wonder whats wrong with me, is it that difficult? Can't I have it all, a clean house, well behaved kids and excellent performance at job?

The answer is No. You can't have it all. The super moms in the commercial are in a hypothetical situations where no real mom has ever been. You don't have to be part of a race where you are trying to prove everyone that you are the best at your role. Yes, you are going to make mistakes as a mom. You are going to clean your house for the nth time till your toddler again makes it a mess just before any guests arrive. No need to plead guilty, its ok if your house is not in good shape just tell people the interiors are designed by your child. Its ok if you cannot make ten different dishes a day and end up making dal - roti even for your guests. Its ok if your toddler paints your wall with his doodles. Its ok if you dont stay back late at office and you dont get the best performance rating. Give you best and let the rest of it work out. Dont push yourself harder on anything. Slow down.....take your own time. You are not a part of any race. You are a wonderful woman and you are honestly doing your job well.