The minimalist toy list 0-12 months old

Like all parents, I want the best for my child. When I visit marketplace or browse the toys section on Internet, it is choke-a-block full with plethora of toys and oh the categories: fine motor skills toys, educational toys, pretend play toys, soft toys etc. The list is endless. In short, there is no dearth of anything in the market if you want to buy anything. But is buying so many toys necessary? Can only these toys make a childh happy and their motor skills excellent? The answer is no.

I try to be mindful in my acts and minimalism is something I desire to attain. I am definitely not successful but I am trying my bit to not stuff my life and my daughter’s with unnecessary purchases. I am proud to declare that we do not own a single battery-operated toy. My Daughter is about to turn one and I realise this is the best time to detail about all the toys we have and loved it. Her all toys can assemble in a 15” by 15” by 10” container. Yes, that’s the size of her toy box.

In the next post, I would like to share her stack of books that she owns. Because when we talk about minimalism, it doesn’t cover books perse. Though, she doesn’t own a lot of books but I don’t think we would be following our minimalism in reading.

Without further ado, here is the list of all the toys that my daughter has with details on what we loved and what not.

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Most of her toys are in here.

Rattles The best playmate for any child till 6 months and beyond. We used to put one in her hand and for long minutes she used to entertain her looking at it and putting it in her mouth.

Teethers  They are also in the same category as rattles in their usage. A child started symptoms of teething even 2-3 months before the tooth makes its appearance. I bought a few from Funskool .

Stack a Ring one of the toys which is recommended by everyone and it actually catches child’s attraction. It would be foolish to expect the child start stacking rings at such young age. They are more interested in destroying the stacked rings than building one. Just now, my girl has started showing interest in stacking one over the another and it is still a long road. I loved them.

Funskool Stack a Ring

 

Infant Chain They are great for developing hand-eye coordination. My girl has mastered the art of unlocking the chain and it is a great toy to play with. I had bought the Fischer Price Infant chain from http://www.amazon.in .

Fischer Price infant to toddler Rocker We were gifted this rocker and it was a boon in those early motherhood days when we used to put her down in this rocker and gently rock it. Once she started turning sideways, it became a risky to put her in the rocker for long duration but it has served us long and now will be used as a toddler chair for her.

Xylophone from Hamleys I loved that this is not battery operated and my child has to actually play with the keys to play music. This is the only musical toy she had. She will hot few keys and hearthesoundit makes and then looks at me for applause. It is so funny to describe but this girl wants followers to appreciate her music.

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Wooden Train We bought a wooden train toy with an engine and three compartments from a hill station. I thought it was cute and good to have a wooden toy rather than a battery one. She still has not shown any keen interest towards it.

Pull-along toy I bought one pull along tortoise toy to interest her in walking. But now that she is walking,the toy doesn’t interest her much.

Ball Because who doesn’t love to play with ball.

Soft toys from Hamleys We bought a spotted giraffe soft toy for my baby girl once she turned 9 months old. She was gifted an Archie’s teddy bear also. She is more of an exploring kind with her new-found mobility but when she is sitting on her own, she plays with them.

Cardboard boxes My child is more interested in the boxes in which the toys arrive rather than the toys. I believe same is true with other babies of such age. I have few cardboard boxes lying around in the playroom for the same. In a cardboard box, I pasted few wooden items and a paper flap with satin finish to make a kind of sensory board. One of the game that my baby loved playing with is opening the lid. I made a flap open cut in one of the boxes and would hide her toy inside the box. I would then shake that box in front of her to let her know that something is inside it and then leave it there. She would rush to check the box for an opening, find and open the flap and pull out the said toy. Makes a good playtime fun.

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Empty vessels I have realised that my girl is happy playing with spoons and plates. So there is no need to buy stacking containers for kids, when they can do stacking with the Tupperware lunch boxes. These days, my girl is attracted to bottles and their caps. She is busy opening and closing the cap to their bottles.

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Soul Slings “Bliss” Full Buckled (Standard) SSC Review

We don’t own a stroller. My baby is about to tun one year old in a few weeks. I am a first time mom. When I was pregnant with my child, I noticed people carrying their babies in the stroller to malls etc and thought we would need that too once the baby arrives. But here we are, almost a year later and no stroller in view at our home.

I don’t have anything against strollers. As said in the previous paragraph, during my pregnancy days I looked forward to carry my baby in the stroller. But we did not jump the bandwagon and bought the stroller for ourselves there and then. Being somebody who thinks before purchasing something big and after reading a lot about how some ‘baby essentials’ are not essentials at all, I told my husband to let us take each day as it comes. The day we would realise, we need one, we’ll buy one.

So how did we survive without a stroller? By babywearing.

“Babywearing is the practice of wearing or carrying a baby in a sling or in another form of carrier. Babywearing has been practiced for centuries around the world. In the industrialized world, babywearing has gained popularity in recent decades. Part of the reason for this shift is due to the influence of advocates of attachment parenting. Babywearing is a form of baby transport which can be enjoyed for as long as mutually desired, often until toddlerhood and beyond.” – Wikipedia

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Mural of a baby-wearing mom in a village at Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh

I am not a person who follow fads or buy something because it’s a rage all around. I was a new first time mom. Parenting concepts like Attachment Parenting were alien to me. Before my baby girl was born, I didn’t even knew what babywearing was or that babywearing trend is going on all over the world. When my baby girl was born, we used to carry her in our arms on our time outside too get Vitamin D. I believe the safety and security a baby gets from being close to a parent can not be replicated anywhere. Soon, while surfing online for baby products, I came across the baby carriers which keeps baby close to parents and makes carrying baby easy on back. We bought one for us and have been a baby-wearing family ever since.

I was sent the Soul Slings “Bliss” Full Buckled (Standard) Soft Structured Carrier for review. However, the views expressed here are solely mine. We have been using it for quite some time and below is my honest opinion about them.

Soul Slings “Bliss” Full Buckled (Standard) Soft Structured Carrier review

Listed Price: INR 5,500/-

Things I loved about my Soul Slings “Bliss” Full Buckled (Standard) Soft Structured Carrier are:

Fabric which is 100% cotton with baby-safe dyes thus making it breathable. For a hot and humid country like ours, this is much needed. The cotton material ensures that both the baby and the wearer are comfortable and cool. We have been going to regular evening walks in this carrier and never felt tied up or sweaty because of the carrier.

Weight recommendation 7-18 kgs. These highly adjustable carriers fit users ranging from petite to ‘plus sizes’. Therefore, once I have my Soul Slings carrier, I know that I wont need another carrier because this weight range encompasses babies well through and beyond toddlerhood. My baby girl is currently 10 kgs and this carrier will be able to hold her up for more than a year for sure. The earlier baby carrier that I had used had a less weight range upto 10 kg which meant that after a few months, one has to buy another one for the new weight range. Thus, buying a SoulSlings SSC is like a one-time buy for your growing baby.

Ergonomic The earlier one that I had used was non-ergonomic one (out of ignorance). Only after using the Soul Slings Bliss Full buckled SSC, I realised what I was missing. These are sturdy soft structured carriers (SSC) that have been designed to carry your baby in an ergonomic and natural position. They distribute the weight of the baby evenly on your own body. With Soul slings carrier, I never had lower pack pain even after carrying baby for long hours.

Ease of use They are so easy to put on. One can do it by oneself. Buckles make them quick and hassle-free. There are two main lock buckles: one at the waist side and the other at the back. Adjust and lock the buckles, adjust the front straps as per your comfort and one is ready to carry the baby. So easy. The Soul Slings carrier come with an easy  pictorial manual on how to wear them as well.

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My first look of the Bliss Full Buckle (Standard) SSC

Nursing Friendly The carrier comes with an adjustable hood. This helps to cover the head of the baby to save her from sun and also make a cover while breastfeeding.

Front and back carry I mostly front carry my baby. But at times when you are in kitchen cooking something or walking on a hilly terrain, it is better to carry the baby in the back. Bliss Full Buckle (Standard) carrier can be carried both ways and it is so easy to switch it from front to back. We live in a nuclear setup. Since my baby girl and I are the ones who are in home most days, for any chore that I have to do alone or at times when baby decides to be cling, baby-wearing  has been the saviour.

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soulslings Bliss Full Buckled SSC

Full on style I love my ‘Bliss’ Full Buckle (Standard) carrier. It is a printed one unlike other carriers which are mostly black, grey and other dull colours. It has a beautiful print of green and white leaves which make it super stylish and apart from other carriers. Check the Bliss Full Buckle (Standard) Carrier here.

Travel-Friendly   On our recent vacation in the remote Kinnaur hills of Himachal Pradesh, baby-wearing her made our trips easy. We had to walk everywhere when we went out for sight-seeing and our “Bliss” SSC ensured that the baby was calm and secured in our arms. The terrain is hilly and definitely not stroller-friendly and babywearing ensured that she experienced and saw the same sights that we did and we had the experience together. So, if you are a stroller person, in such non-stroller friendly places, baby-wearing would be your saviour.

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Back wearing in Soulslings Bliss SSC. Somewhere in Himachal Pradesh

It has been an awesome experience babywearing with Bliss Soulslings Full Buckle (Standard) SSC.

Suggestions for Soul Slings      I love pockets. But there is no pouch or pocket in the carrier to carry mobile or cash. So, a pouch or pocket in the carrier would be a welcome step. Other than that, no complaints.

We are loving our Soul Slings “Bliss” Full Buckled (Standard) SSC. As I have already mentioned that we dont have any stroller, so our Bliss Full Buckle (Standard) SSC has been our go-to carrier. Be it our long visits to malls, grocery shopping, evening walks in the nearby park, we have been baby wearing our little girl and enjoying it too.

You can shop Soul Slings carrier from their site. Go check their site for amazing baby carriers and other baby accessories. They believe in the philosophy of #HappyTogether that helps to create independent, healthy, secure, loving and sensitive little people. Totally what a mom believes in. Babywearing is the only way I know. And with Soulslings “Bliss” Full Buckled (Standard) SSC, I am babywearing blissfully.

 

P.S: Soul Slings “Bliss” Full Buckled (Standard) Soft Structured Carrier was sent to me by Soul Slings for review. However, the views expressed here are solely mine.

 

 

 

 

Super-easy Baby food recipes

One of the baby milestones that a new mother looks forward to is introduction to solid foods. It is a huge milestone in the development of baby. A baby starts giving hints as to when he/she is ready to start solid foods. It generally happens between 4 to 6 months. A few of the visible pointers here are:

a) able to hold up her head.
b) starts taking interest in what you are eating and tries to reach out to it.

My baby girl started showing these signs at around 5 months. Traditionally, most Indian households have a food-eating ceremony for a baby where baby is officially introduced to solid foods. Ours was no different. We had her “Ann-Parashan” ceremony when she was almost 6 months old. That was the first time she tasted solid food for the first time. Till then all she did was drink her milk and eyed our food with curiosity.

Introducing solid food is an adventurous journey. You start planning how much to begin with, when to feed, what all nutrients to take care of and how to cater balance between milk feed and solid foods so that the child gets enough nutrients. As my baby is nearing her first birthday, I look back at our solid food journey with fondness. Some times, the things work and sometimes they did’nt, but all in all what an adventure ride it was. And I am equally thrilled at the prospect of introducing newer food recipes to make for her as she gets older and more active.

Here, I am sharing the recipes which are full of nutrients and are my go-to recipes. These recipes are easy and does not involve much cooking and hence perfect for a mom on the go. Rich in fibres, vitamins and minerals, they are great for babies.

  1. Mashed carrot and beetroot: When she started out with solid foods, it was winters. Winters in north India means loads of carrots, green leafy vegetables. Oh, the choices. Carrot was my go-to vegetable to make recipes for her. Initially I started giving her carrot puree. But later, to introduce different vegetables to her I gave her beetroot puree which she didn’t like much. That’s when I decided to make carrot-beetroot puree and it was a hit from Day-1. Both carrots and bettroot are good source of Vitamin A, iron and fibres and beetroot helps in boosting immunity.  Without further ado, here’s is the recipe:

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Ingredients: 1 carrot medium size cut in medium-sized chunks.

1/2 medium sized beetroot finely diced/ grated.

Pressure-cooker them together with 1 cup of water for 10 minutes or for 4-5 whistles.

Pro-tip: Beetroot takes much longer to soften than carrot. So try to cook it for a little longer than you normally do for carrots alone.

Take out the boiled veggies in a bowl and mash it with a master or spoon. One can blend it in a blender as well. I mashed it with a spoon and hence the texture is not puree-like but chunkier.

Tmi tip: if the input is red carrots and beetroot, the poop also shows shades of red. So don’t fret. Thank you in advance 😆.

2.  Oats banana pancakes : Ever since my baby turned 7 months, I started to feed her at least one fruit a day. Most of the days, it is the easily available and nutritious bananas. The first time I made oats banana pancakes was when I had a ripe banana and it was mealtime. It contains the goodness of oats with essential vitamins and minerals of bananas. Simple to make and act as a good finger food or babies.
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Recipe: 1 ripe banana

3 tablespoon oats.

Mash banana in a bowl and add oats and mix well. Put a frying pan on flame, add a little ghee and spread the batter on it. Cook both sides well. Since there is no binding agent like eggs, the pancakes might break while flipping it. Mine did when I tried themtfor the first time. The above picture is the proof. Since bananas are naturally sweet, I don’t add any jaggery powder in it.

My baby girl loves these. She is not a very fussy eater and sometimes I like to give my healthy diet during pregnancy some credit 😋. But she being not a fussy eater makes feeding her a bit easy. Do share your feedback and your go-ro recipes for your baby.

This blog post is a part of #Baby/ToddlerFood blog train hosted by Me(Anisha) from momzdiary ,Danisha from Lovethatyoucanbuy and Deepali from myteenytot.

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We 40 Mom Bloggers are here with some amazing Baby & Toddler Food Ideas just for you.

This is a month-long blog train. Stay tuned for some very healthy and yummy recipes everyday.

I would like to thank Amitoj, a wonderful blogger who writes at http://www.tryingtobeasupermom.wordpress.com for introducing me. Now I would like to introduce Sonam Jain, a food artist blogger and a mom of one year old toddler. Her platters are colourful whimsical and creative which ensures kids start enjoying their meal.You can check her work at http://themagicplatter.com/ and  superb food artist of http:\\magicplatter.com .

The mother in me

The mother in me feels ecstatic when the baby latches perfectly,
And then worries if the baby is getting enough milk.

The mother in me feels blessed to have an angel of a child,
And is then ashamed of the times when i felt irritated and frustated.

The mother in me waits for the baby to sleep so that she can finish the household chores,
and then finds herself longingly scrolling through the hundreds of baby’s pictures and videos on her phone and waiting for her baby to wake up.

The mother in me can’t wait to see her baby crossing another milestone,
And yet wants to cherish the present a little longer.

The mother in me is proud when the baby finishes a cup of carrot puree,
And then worries the next day when she sees red bits in baby’s poop next day. ( well, hello solid food adventures).

The mother in me wants to record baby’s every little update
and at the same time fears of missing out on any of the baby’s firsts.

The mother in me is in awe of my mother who sings lullabies to my baby every single time to make her sleep,
And then wonders if i can be as good as a mother as her.

The mother in me shared all my vulnerabilities and fears to my mother, to which she simply replied “it happens with every mother.”
The mother in me, i guess, is like every other mother.

Dedicated to all the mothers. Happy Mother’s Day.

Letter to my eight month old

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Dear Baby,

You are eight month old today. Yes!!Eight month old. I will not say what I usually say but really Time flies. How you were a chubby, wriggly, tiny and so delicate new born eight months back and look at you now- this beautiful, tall, laughing, trying to stand on her own little baby girl.

I have been writing letters to you in my head since the day you were born. While I am preserving memories in my heart but what I have realised is that memory is ephemeral. What  I remember today very clearly will soon be clogged with more data and with passing time. So I put pen to paper, or in this case, fingers to keyboard to write to you before it’s too late. What better day than today when it is your month anniversary.

This past month has been a revelation. This was a month of so many ‘firsts’. You are crossing your monthly milestones with aplomb. While I understand that every child has its own pace to grow, and I am not very much concerned to hit every milestone right on time, but it is a matter of contentment when I see you grow and learn new things at your own pace.

Crawling: You started crawling this month!! and mom’s life has changed..lol. While you have started showing symptoms of crawling from 6th month onwards and were commando crawling whenever you got opportunity, this was the month when you finally crawled. And I was there to witness it. I have recorded it as well. Pat on my back.  How happy and proud I was to see my little baby crawling and making grumpy noises at the same time as if you have placed all your energies to crawl and were motivating yourself with pep talk. Now this mamma is on her toes literally all the time. You have crawled on all fours and have toured the whole house nibbling on slippers along the way.

First Word: You said your first word. On 25th Feb. It was ‘Nana’. I was so elated. Then you graduated to ‘dada’, ‘data’, ‘tata’ etc. but no ‘papa’ or ‘mama’. so much for teaching you how to say ‘Mama’, huh.:) There was a time when you were on a roll and uttering all you had in your vocabulary non-stop. And then you stop. I am waiting for you to talk again. Waiting to hear you say ‘Mama’ .

Clapping: Just one random day, you started clapping your hands by yourself. Now sometimes when you wake up, you sit and clap your hands or just like that you clap your hands because you are happy. ala Pharrell Williams.

Standing with support: When I am lying down beside you, you stand leaning on me. I give you my hands and you hold them and tries to stand on your feet. Given any standing object lying next to you, you try to take its support and stand on your feet. The view from standing up must be great, as how you scan all around after standing. Now you, my little daredevil have learnt one more thing which is, you leave your hand from your support and try to balance on your own to stand independently. Ofcourse, you fall each time but you keep doing it. I am amazed at your perseverence and independent streak and wish that you keep it up.

Smile at strangers: You have been doing this since you were little. But now, before smiling you scan the face of the stranger with your bold stare for long and if you like it and they smile at you, you give them your brightest smile. Have I told you yet that you have the brightest, cutest and loveliest smile in the whole world. Your mouth opens up to a toothless grin and your eyes cringe with happiness that light up the room and my whole world.

Put everything in your mouth: Slippers, shoes, my toes, our toes, blanket, clothes labels, toys, books, your own fingers,bottles, my hair. Enough said.

There is one more thing that you have been doing lately. Sometimes, when you lie on me or trying to stand taking my support, you pause and lay your head sideways on my stomach, shoulder or whatever surface you have access to, for a second or two with your eyes open. It lasts at most for 5 seconds but it is so precious. I can’t describe it in words. I wish I can capture that moment. To me, it feels like I am your shade where you are resting and keeping your guard down. Remember my baby, your mamma is always there for you.

Now a secret. I have not told this to anybody. Not even to your father. These days I see a little dimple on your right cheek when you laugh. And I am secretly happy that you are going to have dimples on your cheek. I don’t know if people are born with dimples or they grow at a later stage, but whatever, you have a little dimple right now.

So dear baby, I promise to write more to you, about you. You have been the best thing happened to me. I am not the perfect mother, God knows that but to me, you are perfect. ‘And I thank you life for giving me this opportunity’.  I copied this heartwarming message from Rafael Nadal’s (you mama’s favourite) winning speech from Wimbledon’2017 but the message conveys my emotions best. Thank you Life for this opportunity to be your mother.

love you,

Your mamma

Photo credit: Picture copied from http://www.footfiles.com/health/childrens-foot-care/article/how-to-keep-your-babys-feet-warm-what-parents-should-know

A step forward

I used to blog at blogger many moons back but had not written anything for the past year or so. So Today when I decided to get active on my social media platforms especially blog, after umpteen attempts to break in, I realised that I don’t remember my password of blogger.  I initially thought to revive my password and the blog so that the river of my thoughts continues in a seamless manner but then I said to myself “you are on a new journey, to write about new experiences and memories of motherhood. This is a chance to start anew from a clean slate.” (Side note: actually reviving password seemed too much a hassle)

So here I am. Making my debut on WordPress.

Don’t Ask if blogger is better or WordPress. And of course, this place will be a haven to all my ramblings, memories, dreams and experiences as a new mother.