How To Choose Toys To Make Your Kid Smarter?

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Benjamin Franklin

A child’s brains goes through a spellbinding period of development in the first three years. It produces a million neural connections every second, which means that the child observes and learns from each and every diminutive thing he comes across!

This learning doesn’t start when the child begins to talk or displays comprehension, but it begins right from Day 1!

Did you know? At birth, children have almost all the neurons they’ll ever have in their life. These neurons double in size by one year and reaches 80% of its adult volume by the time the child turns three!

Keeping in mind the pace at which their mental development takes place and the incredible amount of potential that they possess, it’s crucial for us to make each of their activities a learning experience for them.

According to researches, kids between the age of 1-3 prefer ‘functional play’ i.e. they like to play with the same toy again and again until they master the game and gain confidence to move on to the next toy. This phase is pivotal in encouraging ‘learning skills through play’.

Moreover, consider purchasing toys that grow with the baby. For example, as the baby grows and learns more concepts of one area, their toys should also get more advanced and challenging in that specific area. When practiced in this manner, their skills get sharpened and they master even complex concepts easily.

Skola, one of the most renowned toy brands, has a myriad of Montessori inspired toys for kids between 1-8 years of age. Most of their collection involves multi-sensory approach that has been proved effective in making kids better learners, problem solvers and analysts by improving their memory, fine motor and logical reasoning skills.

Types of incrementally challenging toys you can consider for your babies:

1. Toys that enhance their fine motor skills:

Stackers for young kids and toys involving complex hand manipulations and balancing for older kids– you’ll find a variety of toys that help not only in strengthening of smaller muscles but also improve their eye co-ordination and problem solving ability.

To buy an age-appropriate toy under this category, click here

2. Toys that teach about colours and shapes:

Toys like: Matching the other half of the given object/figure, understanding the intensity of colours, pairing similar objects based on their shapes etc. are some great options in this segment.

This learning will help them in identifying individual colours and geometric shapes and distinguishing them from one another. It’ll also help them understand that both of these are key attributes of all physical objects.

To buy an age-appropriate toy under this category, click here

3. Number games:

This is one of the key areas to work on because understanding of numbers early on sets a solid foundation for all the future arithmetic calculations.

Consider purchasing toys that help in visually associating numbers with physical objects, which thus makes the child understand that each number signifies a specific quantity.

To buy an age-appropriate toy under this category, click here

4. Word games:

Did you know? Babies begin to distinguish speech sounds by 10 months! The first stage of language development is preverbal communication- where they use gestures, cues and noises to get their message conveyed. Once they’re 1.5 years old, they begin to use specific words for specific things. In order to strengthen their vocabulary, frequently using complex words with phonograms helps a lot. Not just that, it sets a firm base for reading and writing and thus making the child confident in communication.

Games that include easy crosswords or word building activities are best for this age.

To buy an age-appropriate toy under this category, click here

5. Toys that focus on pattern formation:

Such toys help them identify similar objects, arrange them through logical reasoning and comprehend distinguished patterns. It expands their problem solving skills and makes them better analysts.

Toys like building blocks or puzzles are great choices for this learning.

To buy an age-appropriate toy under this category, click here

You don’t have to always sit with a book and a pen to teach, make learning fun by including it in all the activities that a child performs!

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Happy parenting!



P.S. This is a sponsored post.

Image Courtesy: Skola’s Official Website

My Mom Was Right!

There’s no denial to the fact that our mothers are always right. In fact, even if they aren’t sometimes, it’s always ideal to stick with the belief that they are 😀

For me and my brother, funnily enough, we had no choice. I don’t know if it was a creepy yet funny coincidence, mere childhood innocence or just our perspective of looking at things, but whenever my mom told us to do (or not do) something and we didn’t oblige, something strange happened. Not sometimes, but always! For instance, if we were watching TV after school and she wanted us to have lunch, and if we didn’t obey, there used to be a sudden power cut. Or when we played computer games and she wanted us to study, the computer used to stop working suddenly.

Now as I write this, I realise that she was probably very smart! Having a power cut or stopping the computer from working isn’t something a person can’t do 😂

Long story short, we grew up believing that mothers are always right and that we should obey them no matter what. And then, adolescence happened, which changed our mind altogether. Sadly, there were other people, books, modern scientific facts etc. which started to influence us and unlike how we felt in our childhood, our mom wasn’t the most perfect person on the planet anymore!

I then got married and found out about my pregnancy. She stood like a rock behind me and took care of me like no one else throughout. She was there beck and call for me and attended to my tiniest need!

In 9 months (which back then looked like a decade), I delivered my baby, and for her, a whole new project began- ‘Project Customary 40 Days’. Right from arranging a masseuse for me to making different varieties of food, she had everything covered.

Throughout the duration, I kept arguing with her, telling her that I don’t need massages and I don’t want special food, that I’m a normal human and want to be dealt with normally, but she insisted on doing these things because ‘they made her happy’.

After those 40 days were over and I came back home, I realised how right she has been!

Since I had a cesarean section, giving me light massages helped in early recovery and made me feel good from within. It also lowered my postpartum depression significantly, because who doesn’t find massages soothing to the nerves, afterall?


The food I was given- i.e. hot bajra rotla (thick chapatis made of Bajra flour) topped with a dollop of ghee along with some fresh vegetable sabji, was just the right food I was supposed to eat. Bajra being high in carbohydrates gives sufficient energy and keeps us full while ghee has enough fat which ensures that the pace of digestion is slowed down- together which keeps us satiated for a long duration. The problem with lactation is that we feel hungry very often and this was her master plan to keep overeating and junk intake off the table.

Sometimes I think, no matter how alluring western lifestyle may be, but our basics are always right! And so are our moms!


This post is a part of a blog train organised by me where I brought 20 Indian moms together to write on how their own mothers were right!

Also, make sure to check this interesting article written on the same topic by a fellow mom blogger, Nayantara (click here to reach her page)

<< t;<<< Thank you for stopping by and reading this article! Take care and happy mothering! Love, Elina

What Happened When I Kept My Phone Away While Nursing My Baby?

Long before I got pregnant, I made a list of things that I’d do when I breast-feed my baby— from talking to her and caressing her hair to reciting holy books and lullabies. And believe me, I did it all, for one complete month. And then, before I realised, I was aimlessly scrolling through my phone every time I nursed her. It slowly became a routine.

Every time she was hungry, I picked her up and began to nurse even without noticing her cues, looking at her face or seeing those pretty eyes.

As she grew, she learnt to play with my top, tried to pull my nose and put her fingers inside my mouth to touch my teeth, while I kept my self busy checking my notifications on Facebook and Instagram, watching random YouTube videos or simply checking deals on Shopping sites.

Honestly, deep down inside me, I hated myself and felt the guilt, but just like many other things we don’t like but still continue to do, this too became the same.

Soon I started to write parenting articles and the best time I could do that was when I nursed her. Albiet, my focus had changed and I was making more constructive use of this time, nonetheless, my actions remained the same.

Just like that, 2018 commenced. I was going through the resolutions made by people on the New Year’s Eve, and saw many people mention ‘Phone Detox’ as one of their goals. It was then it struck me, that I don’t need a complete detox, but there’s one thing that I really need to work on and that was- ‘Quality Nursing Time.’

I didn’t wait to jot it down in a planner or streamline my daily routine to work on it, but I chose to start immediately. That’s the thing about goals- you don’t always need to plan and wait for the right time, you just need to buckle up and start working on them as soon as possible.

After I made up my mind and it was time to nurse her, I held her in my arms and gave her a huge welcoming smile as I unbuttoned. She looked back at me with a twinkle in her eyes- the kind I’d never seen before. I realised how beautiful this little girl of mine was- so innocent and angelic. Throughout the nursing session I kept caressing her hair and read out lullabies and chants, just like I had planned to. I looked at her hands and noticed the cute dimples that she had below her fingers; I saw her face and noticed how it was full of enthusiasm; I saw her feet which constantly wiggled throughout. She continued to look at me and I noticed how the magic of breastmilk slowly worked and how beautifully she drifted off to sleep. Yes, that was my girl- the little squish that came out of me a couple of months ago, who was so delicate and tiny that she couldn’t even turn her head in the direction she wanted and here she is- all grown up and ready to walk independently. How quickly all these months flew by!

We often say kids grow up in the blink of an eye, but the truth is that we are so occupied in ourselves that we forget to notice them grow. Things like notifications, calls, shopping etc. can wait, we can do those when our little ones are asleep, but our children will never be this little again. They’ll never run to us to get a hug, they’ll never find joy in coming to us to get milk, they’ll never play peekaboo with our tshirts when they eat and they’ll probably never love us with the same pure feelings as they do today.

Someday in the future, we would scroll through their photos and miss these days! Why not cuddle and snuggle them as much we can before these lovely moments are gone?

Nursing our little ones is not just another mom-duty. It’s an unparalleled bond that we share which is like nothing else in the world. It’s like giving a part of yourself to your baby- the kind of nourishment and nurturing she will receive from no one ever! It’s therapeutic, not just for them but for us mothers too. Try to live in the moment- to feel the flow of liquid gold from your body to your baby’s and experience the magnificence. Try to make nursing sessions bonding times with your baby. Researchers have found that the strength of mothers emotional bond with the baby may trump all the other cautionary measures we take- like vaccinations, monthly check ups with the paediatrician etc., to help the baby thrive. A close attachment can prevent diseases, boost immunity and even enhance their IQ! Isn’t that amazing?

I’m still working on this and I urge you to try too! 🙂 I’m sure you’ll thank me for this.



(Just another mother who errs and learns)

P.S. Please excuse all the typos and errors. Wrote this while my little bundle of joy was sleeping. You know the time crunch we mothers have 🙈

Tummy-Time Alternatives for Babies Who Hate It

Tummy time is extremely crucial for young babies. In fact, researchers have found that babies who do not get adequate tummy time display delayed achievement of development milestones.

It helps in:

  • Strengthening babies arms, neck, back and trunk muscles.
  • Preventing flathead syndrome, which is basically development of flat spots due to constant lying on the back.
  • Visual development, since they explore the world from a different angle
  • Preventing torticollis, which is a condition where the neck muscles get rigid and don’t allow the head to move at all.
  • Setting the right position for crawling. Once they master tummy time, most kids learn to army crawl better.

But what if your baby hates it?

I vividly remember, my little one used to cry her lungs out as soon as I kept her on her tummy. And I’m sure, she’s not the only one. Many babies don’t like tummy time, and it’s justified. Imagine if we are kept in an uncomfortable position we and we are too helpless to even move ourselves or turn our head, how would we feel?

Image source:

Having that said, we also need to understand that there’s no escape from this important activity. Regardless of their liking, it has to be practised several times a day till their torso develops. 

If your baby is like mine and hates tummy time, here are 5 alternate ways, which if practiced, will help you get the desired results:

1. Shin Placement

Lie on your back and raise your legs such that your shin is parallel to the floor. Keep your baby on your shin and make sure his face is visible to you. Most babies cry during tummy time because not much is visible to them in that position which scares them. This method makes them feel safe because they can see you. 

2. Chest-to-Chest

Make your baby lie on your chest as you rest on your back. Raise and support his shoulder such that he can see your face. Talk to him and keep him entertained throughout. One reason of crying during tummy time is boredom. If they’re talked to, their anxiety and monotony reduces.

Image source:

3. Anti-gravity Breastfeeding 

This is the safest option of all. Since babies find comfort in breastfeeding, they’re less likely to cry in this position. Make your baby lay on your chest and let him feed while he while he gets his tummy-time. 

4. Lap Time

If your baby is uncomfortable on the floor, due to its hardness, then this position might help. Take him on your lap and lay him in stomach-down position. Keep some toys or books near you such that he can look at them from your lap. Keep caressing him as that’s a sign of reassurance and security for him.

Image source:

5. Babywearing to the Rescue 

This might probably come as a surprise but wearing your baby equates with tummy time. It keeps the baby in an upright position and the same set of muscles are involved in it, as they’re for tummy time. Although babywearing can’t replace it completely, but it can be used occasionally as an alternative. In fact, it has been observed that babies who were worn have stronger core muscles because they’re in upright position for longer durations, which makes their torso, neck and back stronger.


I hope you found this article helpful!

Does/did your baby also hate tummy time? How do/did you deal with it? We’d love to know! Comment below to share your experience with me and fellow readers 🙂

Thanks and have a great day!


P.S. If you’re looking to purchase a carrier from Soul, click here to reach their website.

Make vaccinations a breeze with these tips!

Today, I won’t be sharing tips like I usually do, rather I’ll take you along with me and share my day with you all!

20th November ‘17

Boo woke up early today. She generally sleeps until 9am, but today she was up at 7:45am. She saw us brushing and pulled my toothbrush to put it in her mouth. I handed her a small brush and quickly prepared her breakfast. These days, she doesn’t have her breakfast (which is the only time she’s fussy), but today I ensured she ate well. 

Tip 1: Feed the Baby well before vaccinations. There’s a possibility that she might get cranky or get fever and not eat anything later.

I then bathed her and got her dressed. It was her 9th month birthday so I tried to click her monthly picture too, but she was too sleepy to co-operate. She kept rolling on the bed and finally slept in one cozy corner. I moved her to her crib and then packed my diaper bag.

Tip 2: If the baby has slept well, her chances of getting irritated post vaccinations reduce significantly. 

I had taken my appointment way early in the morning and had planned my day well in advance, which is why I was relaxed and at peace. 

Tip 3: Make sure you’re well prepared. Avoid getting anxious or nervous. Children pick the anxiety from their parents very quickly.

Dress your baby well. Although it’s preferable to keep the thigh area exposed so that it doesn’t hurt them after being injected, but since it’s winter, I preferred dressing her in a top and leggings and also a pair of cozy shoes.

I wore her in my full buckle and we left for the hospital. Since she had slept well, she was quite observant and cheerful throughout the way. And because I was wearing her and she was close to me, she stayed very calm and happy.

Tip 4: Wear your baby on the vaccination day without fail. It’ll keep her calm and at rest before you reach the hospital.

On reaching the hospital, I straight went to the pharmacy to purchase the vaccines. 

Tip 5: Take the prescription of the vaccines during the previous visit so that you don’t have to spend time in first getting the prescription, then buying the vaccines and going to the doctor again. The lesser time you spend before the vaccination, the lesser exhausted will the baby be during the vaccination.

Stay calm while your child is injected. Talk to her and keep her occupied with toys, if that works. Once the vaccine is given, pick her up and sway her for sometime. Let her get skin-to-skin so that she’s comforted.

The best way to calm a crying baby is to breastfeed her. Most good hospitals/clinics have a room/space for nursing. Take the baby there and feed her immediately. She will calm down in no time!

Tip 6: Nurse the baby post vaccination

Image: Feeding room of the hospital we went to.

Although most babies are strong, but there are a few vaccinations that hurt the baby and make them upset, thus making it a nightmare for the parents. Babywearing makes vaccinations a smooth sail. It keeps the baby close to the mother and hence at comfort. The attached hood in FB also comes handy in protecting your little one from the sun and pollution.

Often, we want to treat the baby for being strong and brave, but don’t let the treat be junk food- because that’s how we unconsciously teach them that junk is good and healthy foods aren’t.

On our way back, we purchased a bunch of grapes on our way back home as a present for her 🙂

And then we reached home and she was back to her restless-hyperactive self 😉😅

I know this is no rocket science, but these are some tips that have helped us, and I hope they help fellow new moms out there 🙂

Featured Carrier: Soul Pride Full Buckle 

Thanks for reading! Have a great day ahead! 



Protect your Infant’s Feet with Soft Soles from Soul

The first thing I saw after I stepped out of the operation theatre was my daughters jiggling foot! There she laid, my little newborn, already kicking her feet in the air- it was that moment she took my breath away. I held her in my arms, hugged her tight, caressed her face, hands and feet and promised myself to protect her from every possible injury or illness- as much I can!

A newborn’s feet are made of soft and flexible cartilages. It takes months and even years for the bones to harden. Until the baby learns to walk, their feet remain soft and flat like they were at birth. In fact, it’s when a child enters teenage, that’s when the feet are completely developed like the adults.

It is crucial to take care of your baby’s feet for two reasons:

  1. Since they’re soft, they’re quite fragile and hence have to be protected from potential injuries.
  2. The external temperature has an impact on their health based on how well they’re covered. This is why you’ll hear old women tell you to cover your child’s feet and keep him warm when it’s cold outside.

When the temperature is mildly cold, a pair of socks might do the trick, but as the temperature drops, you might need something better to keep your baby’s feet warm- especially if it’s pouring cats and dogs and suddenly there’s a spike in the temperature. In situations like those, and all the other times- here’s what I’ve been using for the past two months- extensively- and loving it. Soul’s soft soles it is! 

They were my daughters first pair of shoes and I must confess, they made a perfect one. It was super easy for me to make her feet slip in them right from the beginning. Besides, the soft elastic ensured great grip while I traveled with her. 

Moreover, these baby shoes are perfect for indoor use since they have a special Sherpa insole that ensures soft cushioning to those tender feet. They are even great for outdoor use as long as the child plays on soft grass or sand. 

These trademark soles are made of soft and pliable faux suede that stretches easily and stays fastened for long durations. The bottom of these soles are also ultra smooth so that the tender feet of the baby don’t feel the roughness or coarseness of the ground while walked upon. Now that my little one wants to stand or walk all the time, I make her wear these soles all day. They can be easily cleaned and even washed!

And oh, did I mention, how gorgeous Sumac is? Look at those colours! I’m smitten! Are you too?

You can buy these soles for your little darling as well from

Have a great day!

Essential Baby Weaning Equipment- Things you need to buy before introducing solids #WeaningWithMomFunda

Weaning, also now known as complementary feeding, can be a daunting and time consuming process, and to make the journey smoother for you and for the baby, getting the right tool plays a key role.  I started weaning my daughter when she was 5.5 months old (It’s highly suggested to start at 6 months, but due to certain unavoidable circumstances, I had to commence early). So, before I started solids, I did a little research, made a list and zeroed on a few things for her which are super handy and are easy to use. Without wasting much time, let me quickly share the list with you too!

Also, before I share the items, it’s important for me to inform you about the route I chose for weaning- i.e. Combination Feeding. What I do is- I place some soft solids on her table and allow her to hold, explore and try eating on her own. Once she tries to pick it, puts in her mouth, eats a little and gets bored, I take it from her, puree/mash it and feed her, to fill the nutritional gap.

So, here we go:

1. Booster seat/ High chair

It aids in keeping the child focused while eating and limits his mobility, which helps in increasing his intake. I was looking for something that can be folded when not used and also be carried along while travelling, so I purchased this booster seat by Fisher Price. You can easily find it in local shops and on Amazon too.


Here’s the link:

2. Bibs:

Once the baby starts eating, it’s going to be messy. It’ll take a while for the baby to learn to eat in a disciplined way. To keep her clothes from getting soiled, bibs are a must have ! You can get the silicone ones with crumb catchers, plastic ones, regular cloth ones or denim ones, based on your choice and requirements. I purchased mine from Firstcry and loved the quality. They’re very quirky and easy to clean too.



Here’s the link:

3. Spout Cup:

Once the baby is introduced to solids, he will need water too. I chose not to give my daughter any bottle since it can be habit forming and also she was too young to have water straight from the cup. Spout cups make the transition from nipple to cup easy. She immediately accepted it and absolutely loves to drink (and play) with water. I purchased the one by Philips Avent and swear by it.


Here’s the link:

4. Travel friendly feeding bowl:

You will need a good quality feeding bowl and spoon, made of either BPA free silicon, plastic or wood. I choose this one since it is travel friendly, apt for her age and has a masher too. I love how versatile it is.


Here’s the link:

5. Feeder:

I actually got this as a gift and my daughter loves it. It acts as a teether while providing the baby with the juice of the fruit put in it. Also, many mothers are worried about the baby accidentally chewing a large price of the fruit which can result in choking.  This feeder prevents that and hence is a great way to give babies different fresh fruits. I have another one, brought from Australia, but this feeder is very similar to the one I have.


Here’s the link:

I hope you found this article helpful!

Please share your thoughts/suggestions too. Thanks for reading! 🙂

Exclusive Breastfeeding and Fasting in the Month of Ramadan

When asked if I’m fasting while still nursing my 4 month old, who is still exclusively on my milk, my reply often gets a jaw dropped expression. Yes, I do, and with absolutely no problem, Alhamdulillah 🙂

Many are worried about the supply being reduced, or milk composition being affected and so I thought to jot down a few points which I gathered after tons of research in this area. I’m a qualified nutritionist, and I don’t derive any conclusion without research from authentic sources, so you can trust me with my words 🙂


Firsty, according to the law of Shariah, pregnant and lactating women are EXEMPTED from fasting and can choose to do so if they’re able to keep their health good and if they’re comfortable with it. So there’s no hard and fast rule here, but I chose to fast because:

1. I’m never motivated to compensate for the missed fasts because there’s no company


2. I love fasting. Yes. Though it might sound very taxing or difficult, I feel fasting rejuvenates me in some way. I’m way more active and focused while I fast 🙂

For all those confused or worried, I’ve jotted down all the common questions and answered them individually. If you have any more queries, feel free to ask in the comment section and I’d be more than happy to help.

Q. Will fasting affect the quality and quantity of the milk?

This might surprise you, but no, milk production is not affected, unless the fast exceeds 24hrs, which never happens. I’ve even noticed forceful let down on a couple of occasions while fasting, so I’m sure about this part! Talking about the quality or nutrients, only a few micro nutrients like zinc, phosphorus and magnesium are slightly on the lower side, but the macronutrients remain unchanged.

Q. Will I not be dehydrated?

There’s a possibility of dehydration if your water intake is not maintained well. But if you try to compensate for the liquids during the non-fasting period i.e. From Iftaar to the following suhoor, it can be managed well and will not result in dehydration. However, if you notice any of the signals (mentioned below), it’s best to break your fast.

Q. How will I know I should break or skip my fast?

If you notice any of these symptoms or signals, I would strongly suggest you to not consider fasting since your body may not be prepared for it:

1. Weakness or dizziness

2. Yellow or dark coloured urine

3. Nausea

4. Splitting headache

Or if you notice any signs in the baby such as incessant crying due to hunger, constipation or green coloured poop, less playful or active than usual etc.

Note that the chances of this happening are very bleak since milk is produced from blood and storage we already have and it’s the sucking reflex that increases the production, but still, if you observe any of the above, I would strongly advice you to take a break for a day or two and see if fasting is the reason for the occurrence and then judge accordingly.

And guess what? You may also lose upto 1kg per week while breastfeeding and fasting without affecting the nutrient composition of the milk if you make sure to eat healthy. However, if notice weight loss more than 1kg/week, it would be best to discontinue fasting and you should probably see your doctor.

I have, so far, managed my fasts pretty well and never felt low or ill, hence I can say this with assurance that if you eat well and stay hydrated, you can fast and stay healthy too 🙂


Baby Milestones 101- Self Soothing

Why is your baby sucking her fingers? If that worries you, then give this a read.

Many new moms tend to think that sucking fingers is a sign of hunger or teething, but most of the times, it isn’t.


Babies develop this reflex at the age of 2-3 months , moreover, it is considered as a milestone. They learn to identify their hands and fingers, their skills build more and they are able to make their hands reach their mouth, which also delights them. So, next time, if your baby does so, don’t stop her or make her wear mittens. Let her feel her fingers and soothe herself.

The good news is- once she learns to soothe herself, you won’t need to wake up multiple times at night to pacify her, and by the time she is 4-5 months old, you’ll probably get to sleep all night without waking up. So let her develop this without being worried about her hunger or teething, it’s a phase- and a good one! So, smile 🙂