Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Antibiotics and decreased immunity

Facts about antibiotics you may not know

Antibiotics do not work on viral infections. They only work against bacterial infections.
Antibiotics destroy natural immunity
Your child may develop infections that are antibiotic resistant.

One sneeze from your child's nose is enough to set you off. What if  this is malaria? what if this is dengue? Our creative brain is in full swing. We end up waiting in a doctors clinic, among other parents with sick kids to make matters worse. I'm not here to undermine the efficiency of doctors or modern medicine. Allopathy is certainly helpful in life saving situations and That is why doctors are revered.But sadly, some doctors prescribe too many antibiotics for kids for all kinds of illness .

The reason probably is the vagueness in diagnosis based on symptoms. We trust the doctor and if his treatment fails, he's the person in trouble. This is why some of the doctors choose the safest route. Prescribe Antibiotics  for everything.

Not to mention the bottles of paracetamol that comes in all colours and flavours.

My first son had a tiny bump on his head when he was just 7 days old. We were worried first time parents and rushed to a supposedly busy top notch Pediatrician.He prescribe an antibiotic drops for my 7 day old baby. Our instincts told us to check with another doctor and wait before jumping on the medicine.We did not want to damange our little son's immunity soon after he was born.It turned out that the bump was a small bulge in his head formed due to natural birthing and it was gone a few days later.

Before jumping to conclusions take some time to evaluate your child sickness and its cause.If it appears like a common cold or a simple stomach upset, home remedies will do.
I have hardly given my sons any paracetamols ,painkillers ( yes it's written post vaccination on your prescription.Please read labels before buying.Ibuprofen is a common pain killer) and antibiotics.

I will share a simple recipie of a home remedy for common cold.This works best if you start giving the medicines soon after you see signs of cold in you child rather than letting it aggravate and giving medicines.
Thanks to my friend Raji who shared this medicine with me.

1. Karpuravalli or omavalli leafs 2 Nos. Click here if you do not know what it is.
2.Tulsi leaves 4 to 5 nos.
3.Ajwain or Oman 1/2 tsp
4.Dry ginger/ sukku 1/2 tsp
5.Jeera  1/2 tsp
6.turmeric powder 1/2 tsp.
7.black pepper 1/2 tsp.
8.palm sugar

boil all the above ingredients in 250ml water and reduce it to half the volume.

Give this to your child twice a day and you can see improvement. My child usually responds well to this within a day and by 2 days he's fine.

You can give this medicine to your kid once a week to prevent cold attacks and to Improve immunity. Its a harmless county medicine and can be used safely.

Will update my post on medicine for stomach ailments.Need to check the recipe from mil 😬

Monday, 21 November 2016

To moms of little boys

You are not only raising your son. You are raising someone else's husband and someone else's dad.
These words caught my attention while I was flipping through some posters.
These are one of the moments where we might have overlooked a glaring fact and realise it suddenly at some other time.
While raising gender neutral kids at home may not be easy especially if you are from a male dominated or conservative society, it's still possible to instill some basic values of gender equality in your son.
It's very true that the little efforts that you put in your son's habit and character is going to make him happy and someone is going to be really thankful for raising your son that way!

Here are few of my suggestions.

Teach your son to fold his sheets on waking up
Making bed before and after sleep is one of those annoying yet can't go without it job.
A clean bedroom posses great powers to alter you mood.
Teach your little son to fold his sheets and keep pillows in order once he wakes up.

Teach your son to sweep and mop the floor
Gone are the days where men find it a threat to their dignity if they hold a broom in hand.
This generation has progressed to an extent where cleaning your own home has nothing to do with gender.
Keep a separate broom and a mop that's convenient for your kid to use.He will be happy and excited to help around.

Teach your son to cook his own food.
Wheather cooking food is a passion or not, cooking skills are a necessity to every human being.
Encourage your son to do little chores like peeling carrots ,kneading dough.
You might come up with age appropriate jobs in kitchen for your son.You can teach your teenage son to cook a staple meal.

Teach your son to carry the baggages in travel.
A true gentleman cares for the women in his family.You can even encourage your toddle to help you with luggages.Older kids can be asked to move baggages to and from the car or in transit.
This gives them a sense of responsibility and they will be proud to do it for you.

Teach you son to hold the door for you and other people in the family
Ever time you go to a supermarket or even at home, let your son hold the door for you and even for strangers when necessary.

Teach your son to keep his wardrobe organised.
Women complain in most households that it's just impossible for men to keep their wardrobe organised.
Teach your son to pick his clothes patiently and keep his wardrobe intact.

These are a few examples.
You can teach your son all the household chores that you do.
Expect Initial reluctance. But by not nagging them all the time and by using an affirming tone, it's best to make your kids do chores at home.In due course, these chores which where initially done with contempt, will become a part of their lifestyle.

Most importantly, teach your sons to respect women , to honour their dignity and to protect them whenever necessary.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

How to cultivate reading habit in kids

Reading books is one of the best hobbies for anyone.The reasons may be obvious.
It improves imagination skills, improves language, vocabulary.
Kids who read don't turn to television and gadgets much.
Also reading habit promotes reasoning and thinking skills.
Let's first look at the common mistakes we do in the process of making kids read.

Never force kids to read books
Some kids are just not so impressed with books or they may have attached some stigma with reading. Whatever the reason is, forcing only makes them repel away books, otherwise they might explore.

Never choose books that you want them to read and impose it on them.
So you may want your kid to be a General knowledge expert and you decide to subscribe to a monthly GK mag.This only leaves a feeling of being forced and may them hate the subject forever!

If you have a toddler who refuses to touch books, let them go and try introducing books to them in a different manner and different time.

Here are the dos

Start a reading habit for yourself.
You may wonder at this if you never have the habit of reading, but it certainly pays.Action speak louder than words.If the kids see you enjoying your book they might try to imitate.As for improving your reading habit, you may not choose bulky novels and confusing titles. Just begin reading a magazine of your choice.

For babies as young as a month old, they are fascinated buy different sounds.Read out loud to them by making funny voices.They will begin associating book with fun.

Older babies love the touch and feel of books and letting them touch and turn pages looking at pictures are fine

Toddlers are challenging in every aspect and making them sit with books is even more challenging. You may want to buy simple,light weight books that are easy to hold. Begin by telling them stories in an animated way. Remember, your effort in making  the story interesting plays a huge part.Kids will truly love it if you make silly faces and funny noises while telling them a story from the book.

For toddlers and older children, take them to a library or a book store where they get to choose books they love. Guide them to choose books and avoid imposing on them ' a really nice book'

Keep renting or buying books periodically.Kids love new things everyday and giving them new books once they are done with the old one, cultivates the interest to read. It kills the boredom of using the same book again.

If you have budget constraints in buying books, you may rent them or even exchange books from family and friends who have kids of the same age group.They may even love the idea.

Finally, if your kid refuses to read, don't advise them on benefits of reading or try to force them into reading.This might create long time impact on them regarding books and the reading habit.
What did you do to make your kids read. Please share in the comments section!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Thinking about weaning baby?

If your baby is lesser than six months old, dear mom, go ahead and breast feed.No hurry to wean him right now.

Weaning your baby for the first time can be confusing.All this time your baby was on breastmilk.That means no sterilization,no storage ,no preparations and no fear of contamination!! Its just easy!

From my own experience with my two children, babies who are exclusively breastfed for first 6 months ( no water too.Breast milk is watery in the beginning, then gets thicker) hardly get any stomach disorders like indigestion and loose stools.The baby's digestive system is mature by about 6 months of age and added to that, you must have supplied your bub all the antibodies in form of Brest milk.

So do not fear and go ahead with solids.

The general rules for any food is as below. 

1. Start with simple starchy foods that are easy to digest.
2. Give one type of food for a couple of days to check if it suits your child.For instance if you have given dal and potato on the same day and your child has gastric issues, then you won't be able to make out which one caused the issue.
3.Avoid cow's milk until the baby is one year old.Cow's milk has fat and protein suitable for calves and not human babies! Mother's milk is best for your baby.
4.Avoid packaged food even if it says no preservatives and additives. One common sense fact is that no food can exist in store shelf for so long without processing
5.Do not use mixie to puree foods as it will destroy the taste,texture and nutritive value of food .Use a Blancher instead.Or even your fingers.

 I have fed my kids all kinds of raw indian fruits except very fiberous and sour fruits.Prefer sweet and fleshy fruits.They can be given raw.
Bananas are excellent source of potassium and carbohydrate for your baby.Choose sweet varieties.

All vegetables as soup.
Mashed sweet potato , potato ( be very careful with sweet potatoes and potatoes.As they might contain a greenish tinge on their skin.Will create severe stomach ailments when consumed.Yes, I did that mistake of accidentally feeding it to my kid.)
Mashed carrots,sweet pumpkin, blended greens.

All lentis without skin until the baby is a year old.Example, giving green gram or urad dhal with skin might cause loose stools in some babies that might last for even two weeks.
Try to add some tomatoes, hing  or garlic,turmeric powder while you Cook lentils for easy digestion.Avoid Rajma as this is very hard on stomach for babies

Kanji's or porridges
Multigrain kanji is prepared by roasting and grinding creals,nuts,spices .It is ready available in store. I buy organic multi grain porridge mix.

You can feed you child just plain ragi porridge too.It is one of the trusted and well know health food for babies.ragi can be finely ground with skin and must be cooked well for at least ten minutes.Ragi does take time to cook.

Feed you baby with jeera water everyday.This improves digestion and keeps baby healthy.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Why you should tell stories to your kids everyday

Remember the stories which your mum and grandmother told you?

The stories that were full of magic and surprises, the stories which were full of awe and inspiration, the stories that provoked your thoughts and stories that pulled you into a world of imagination.
Do we tell stories to our kids?
If your answer is yes, then thumbs up to you.
If not,then why don't you begin today?

Here's why?

You can kindle creativity and curiosity in you kids

Television presents everything in an 'as is' form. There's no room for imagination.When your child sees a flower on television, he sees its colour and form as it is captured.
But when you tell a story you describe a flower like this 'The rose flower that the princess adored on her locks was a beautiful red rose.It has tiny petals in the middle and a bud in its centre,The outer petals had bloomed and were much bigger.
The rose flower was soft and smelled great.It has a green stem and nice big green leaves.The princess liked it a lot'

Imagine, this could take you the kid to a visual tour. He imagines how the rose looks like.The image of the rose he creates is a product of her brain's capacity to imagine and create things rather than presenting a ready-made picture of the rose.

You can cut screen time

Whenever you child is bored and asks the regular question 'What next?', instead of switching on the TV for them, try telling them a story.
This way you can both benefit from a wonderful bonding time together.
Eventually, there's a greater chance you kid loses interest in Tv/gadgets and would like to listen to stories instead.

You can give value education to you kids

Remember moral stories from Pancha-tantra,Jataka tales and Vikram aur Bethaal or any other regional stories you might have listened to as kids?
They are all infused with basic morals that are building blocks of our children's character.
Giving value education through moral stories is the best way to get your child's attention to good values in life.

Spiritual time for Kids

If you are a person who is religiously inclined, then you may wish to tell  them stories from  scriptures  that could cultivate spiritual thoughts on your kids

You can have a special time together

If you are a working parent and are on a constant guilt that you are not spending enough time with your kid, then this is a fun and easy way to bond with you  child.A beautiful story at bedtime can make up for the entire day you have missed with your child

It can benefit you too

It's hard to sanctify a child's growing curiosity and you make have to come up with new stories or even cook up you own story.This will positively benefit your mood and may help you become more creative and relaxed.

Let's begin storytelling today!

How to tie a Jhoola for your baby

The Indian cradle/Jhoola/thooli in Tamil is one of the ancient ways to put the baby to sleep.Indian mothers and grandmas swear by it and are still widely used as the only means of a cradle for the baby.

What is a Jhoola cradle?
It's a piece of cloth tied in a particular fashion and hung mostly from the ceiling to put the baby to rest or to sleep.
What equipment do I need for the Jhoola?

  • A hook in the ceiling
  • A nice piece of cotton cloth of about 5 to 6 foot in length 
  • A Spring
  • A nylon rope
  • A rod made of wood or steel with a hole on either ends that allows the rope to pass through

In the above list, 1 and 2 are absolutely necessary and 3,4,5 are optional but useful There are two methods of making the Jhoola with all 5 things and another method with just a cloth and the hook. 
Method one:
Fix the spring onto the ceiling hook
Put the rope onto the bottom end of the hook
Thread the rod through one end of the rope and do the same with the other end of the rod and make a knot below the rod so that the rod does not move.
Gather one end of the cloth and tie it to one loose end of the rope
Gather the other  end of the cloth and tie it to the other end of the rope.
Meanwhile, adjust the length of rope and cloth so that the whole setup is not too high.
If your baby tends to get down from the Jhoola, then tying it lower so that it's not far from the floor is the safest option.
Your Jhoola for the baby is ready.

 Method two:
This is a simpler method which just needs a long piece of cloth like a saree and no other special  equipment.
This can be very useful in case you are travelling or in someone else's  home.
Gather one end of the cloth and insert the same through the ceiling hook.
This can be done standing on a tall stool or with the help of a stick.
Pull down the cloth and gather the other end.
Tie them both together.
Pull up the knot so that you make a nice cradle for your baby.
Things to remember
The Jhoola tends to drop further lower with the weight of the baby.Adjust the length keeping this in mind.

Make sure the Jhoola is closer to the floor.This is in case your baby is old enough to get down from it.

Why do we need a Jhoola while there are cribs, cots, and bassinets and why not Co-sleeping  with the baby? Read more on Jhoola

What's so special about the Indian Cradle

Why is Jhoola the best for your baby?

Cribs, cots, bassinets  and what more.There are plenty of options available to put the baby to sleep. But why do we need the less glamorous Jhoola? Read on.

What are the advantages of Jhoola for the baby?

  • A Jhoola needs no big investment.
  • A Jhoola is hung from the ceiling, that means no pests or insects can touch the baby.The baby is safe and away from the floor.
  • A Jhoola is the cleanest bed for your baby to sleep since it's a cloth and can be washed very frequently.
  • A Jhoola is very suitable for hot and arid temperatures since it allows a free flow of air on all sides including the bottom.
  • A Jhoola can be rocked, which is loved by a baby and calms him instantly.
  • Reduced risk of SIDS since baby's bed has air flow on all sides. It's not dangerous, even if your baby has a habit of sleeping face down.
  • Even a novice can rock a baby to sleep.That will be of great help to the mum.

Do I need to buy one?

No. All you need to make a Jhoola is a hook on the ceiling of your room.
It's not necessary that the hook must be fixed while the house is built.
If you don't have one, you can always get it fixed wherever you want.

Can I Use a mosquito net with the Jhoola?

Yes, you can tie a mosquito net that specially available to fix in Jhoolas.

Now, are you all set to give a peaceful sleep to your baby?