Teething! Why Are You Such a Pain!

When it came to teething, I had no idea what to expect because my son seemed to have all the symptoms as early as three months. The advice came pouring in with different remedies and interesting debates. I was quite sure that the drooling, finger chewing and runny nose were all good indicators that the pearly whites would pop out soon. The wait lasted six months and the sight of those first two cute teeth was both a relief and surprise as my son showed very little discomfort. But that was just the start and everytime my son settled into a routine, the vicious teething cycle would begin, turning some of our best and beautiful moments into the worst.  Teething left me feeling helpless especially when I could do nothing but guess, hold and comfort my baby during those many sleepless, cranky nights. Teething toys provided momentary relief and once the effect wore off, it was back to rocking, soothing and a desperate wish that those darn teeth would magically appear quickly.
So how can you r…

The Hardest Job Kids Face Today is Learning Good Manners Without Seeing Any

A couple weeks back I learnt an important parenting lesson. I was trying to get my son to put on his clothes and I was at my wits end because he would not listen. I tried sweet talk, promised a surprise, I even tried unsuccessfully to count till three but nothing worked. It seemed like a game to him and I could not control the anger in my voice at that moment - so I yelled a threat at him. Yes, I used the most horrible way to deal with my son at that moment. In the loudest voice possible I used the “you will listen to me now” statement. I think both of us were surprised at the extent to which the situation went and in return, I got exactly what I had given. My son yelled back in protest “NO”! Kids have their ways of expressing themselves and as I look back to that day, it was certainly my biggest parenting fail but what struck me was that habits, well, both good and bad are something we actually pass on to our kids even when we think they aren’t looking. While we all want to be the b…

How I Helped My Child Build Skills for Preschool

Bedtime for my 2 (and half) year old is incomplete without reading a book or story. Every night I watch him excited, as he runs to his book shelf and picks out a book. Sometimes, it's the same book, which has been read two to three times. Other times, he'll quietly read and observe a picture book. Last month he surprised me by saying he wanted to read the book himself and proceeded to narrate his own version, clearly and animatedly. Hearing him read gave me a sense of happiness, an affirmation of how quickly his skills are steadily advancing and developing.   As we begin the countdown to one of his biggest milestones (i.e.) starting school, I realize that it involves more than just talking about all the fun things he will learn to do and the people he will meet. It means helping him retain and build up the skills he has already learnt. In addition to new faces, a different environment and the absence of 'mummy', my son will learn to perfect his social, emotional, cogn…

Early Brain Development! It's Now or Never!

I watch my son squeal in excitement as he fits the final piece of his blocks and claps at the masterpiece in front of him! Every day brings something new and while I'm quick to capture it on my phone, my mind reminds me that this should not just remain a memory in the future. This is something I have to focus on developing and nurturing as my child rapidly grows - the earlier the better! As parents we undeniably want to give our kids the very best of everything. We're constantly looking for things to suit their development and help them reach important milestones. Toys are carefully selected keeping in mind the many ways they can develop the fine hand and eye skills. Activities have to be interesting enough to enhance critical thinking. We also look for many ways to tackle fussy eaters, often turning into creative chefs scouring the Internet for fun recipes. For some of us we'll do anything to see our child happily gulp down that glass of milk and even hope they'll ask …

How Anxiety Made Me a Dinosaur Mom

Picture this: you've finally put your child to bed and you're just about to enjoy some 'me' time when you hear a cry. You figure it will take five minutes to get back to where you stopped. But the five minutes lasts the entire night as you realise something isn't right. Teething, night terrors, an illness or just the universe conspiring against you, your child clings to you and needs you more than ever. If you spent last night waking up a million times to soothe your toddler, you might not be in the happiest mood right now. There are days like these when you feel so sleep deprived and anxious that even the tiniest thing can make you a dinosaur. And it's not just sleep. Before I had my baby, I liked the fact that I could salvage any situation without sounding like an angry, cranky dinosaur. But everything changed the day I brought home my little bundle of love and together with that came a never ending supply of anxiety often aggravated by the stress …

How Life Changed After I Became a Mom

Life before baby for me was: shopping for hours, choosing things that I wanted (and had to have), taking my own sweet time while I shopped for groceries. I had the luxury of sleeping late on the weekend, waking up hungry and then ordering the unhealthiest food possible. There were days when the husband and I made plans (at 10 pm) to watch some "super cool" movie in a theater and then there were those days when we fought for the remote control (romance or action movie! It was a big deal). It was extremely important to know all the latest songs on the radio, with lyrics and dance moves. If we needed a break, we just had to jump in the car and explore some exciting place. Life was all this and more. More space in bed, more time to shower, more time to eat, more time to sleep, more time to do everything and anything! I'm sure as a parent, you get it!  No matter what advice I received, however much I planned, nothing quite prepared me for life after baby. The night I brought…

Baby Sleep! 4 Solutions to Common Bedtime Problems

Every night, the bedtime routine for my child begins really well but somewhere after many stories, some unreasonable requests and a lot of wriggling later, it spirals into insanity. I have to fight monsters who appear only when it's time to close the eyes. I have to oblige to several requests for water until I know I'm being tricked and then have to put on a stern face. There are times when I have to lay still and lifeless for hours, like a mummy, hoping my son will fall asleep only to creep out later to find him wide awake. Then there are nights when he will cry and get clingy simply because he wants no one else but ME to hold on to, to pull my face, pinch my eyelids, basically feel my presence as he falls asleep.
Sleeptime is one of the biggest mysteries that can never be easily solved. After several unpleasant experiences, I've come to understand a few common toddler sleep problems that can cause a lot of anxiety. If like me, you sometimes struggle with your child's …