Our Toys: The Only 10 Toys We Have (For 0-15 months)

I never really invested in toys much because I hate clutter. I only purchase those that have multiple functions, or can sharpen her skills, enhance her sensory experience or those which I know would be used for a long time.

Without wasting much of your time, let me quickly share our favorite toys from the last one year:

1.Rattles (Apt for newborns to 6 months): We didn’t really buy any. Received several as gifts and those sufficed for the first few months.

2. Ring Stacker (Apt for 6 months+): This stacker was once her favourite toy. She mastered stacking the rings when she was about 10.5 months old and after that, it never interested her much.


3. Mega Blocks (Apt for 12 months+): She is now learning to build and destroy the blocks and it’s a fun activity. A must buy for sure!

4. Shape Sorter Blocks (Apt for 10 months+): We received this amazing sorter on her first birthday as a gift and this one is by far, her favorite toy.

5. Quiet Books (Apt for 12+ months): I love these books for the fact that they are so compact and yet teach so many skills and lessons. Again, a must buy for overactive toddlers.

6. Water Wow! (Apt for 15 months+): It’s a mess free coloring book which is great for kids who like to paint and moms who hate to clean :P.

7. Finger paints (Apt for 14 months +): Or later than 14 months, depending how much your child tends to put her fingers in her mouth. But it’s an amazing activity and a great way to teach them colors.


8. Indoor Slide (Apt for 13 months +): A savior for moms of kids who love to jump around and don’t know how to exert and channelise their energy. This slide has been my favorite purchase of the year. Since we don’t have a proper play area in our society, we thought this was a great investment. And boy, was it.

9. LeapFrog AlphaPup (Apt for 12 months+): I saw a fellow blogger’s daughter love this toy and hence purchased, but my girl isn’t a big fan of it. However, she’s yet to learn to speak and I’m sure this toy will come in really handy when that happens.

10. Reusable Sticker Pad by Melissa and Doug (Apt for 18 months+): We are yet to use it in the correct way, since she’s a little young to understand how to stick. We have played/used it a couple of times and found it to be a great way to learn about animals.

And though it doesn’t qualify to be a toy, I’d highly recommend getting this open floor level book rack for your little raeder:

That’s all that we have, love and use on an everyday basis. I’m happy we haven’t purchased anything so far which has been just lying on the bottom of the toy box.

(We have a couple of toys that aren’t used much and hence didn’t make it to the list)

If you hate clutter and love minimalism, you must have probably found this article helpful. Please comment below and let me know if you did 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Love,

Elina

Fububox: A Book Subscription For Little Readers- Thoughts and Review

“The simplest way of making sure we raise literate children is to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, finding them books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books and letting them read them.”

– Neil Gaiman

I’ve grown up loving books. My dad was a writer and his articles used to be published in a renowned newspaper every week for almost a decade. This is one of the reasons why I still prefer spending on book over food any day. They say, children are made readers on the lap of their parents and I can’t agree more!

When I was expecting, I made sure to read a lot and I also researched on which books to buy for my little one. I purchased my daughter’s first set of books when she was a month and half old and I did make some good choices- except, I got all paperbacks. Little did I know that this little squish of mine will grow up too soon to tear the pages down. The first set was in pieces within 4-5 months. I learnt the hard way that it is board books that’s advisable for kids under 2. Similarly, it took me a while and a lot of trial and error to understand what author and category I should consider for my little reader.

I’m often asked by parents regarding which books to buy for their kids and honestly, answering that question in one sentence is difficult. There are a ton of factors based on which books can be purchased- like for example, age of the child, language preferences, topic of interest, budget and reading level.

I always wondered, why don’t we have Indian subscription service of books for babies like they have in several developed countries.

Well, I was wrong because there already existed one- FubuBox! 😊

One day, I was browsing through my Instagram feed and I bumped into one of their posts. I instantly got in touch with them and got one box customised for my girl. It reached my doorstep in a couple of days and we were pleasantly surprised.

Here’s what we received:

  • A board book titled ‘Here Comes the Dinosaur’
  • A slide and pull book titled ‘Busy Vet’ by Rod Campbell
  • And a paperback titled ’The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water’
  • A pack of play-doh

What I love about FubuBox?

  • They ask you to fill a form to know the age and also understand the interest of the child
  • The books are then chosen by an expert panel based on your answers
  • They select only those books which are written by well known authors across the globe
  • They pick books from various genres to add variety to your child’s reading experience
  • They not just send books, but also a surprise gift along with the package 🙂
  • They’re extremely approachable and genuinely helpful.

Services:

  • They currently cater to 0-6 year olds
  • They have three plans- 3 months, 6 months and 12 months
  • They also design one time birthday box and gift boxes
  • They make customized return boxes too

Click here to directly reach their website and here to check their Instagram page.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Regards,
Elina

P.S. This is a sponsored post. All the images used are mine and the opinions are genuine by all means

My Child is Lean And I’m Not Worried!

There’s a reason why a child is lean. But first, let me take you through my journey and share my experience.

—–

“Get her admitted immediately. I’m coming to the hospital in an hour to see her.” My Gynaeceologist told my husband and he, along with my mom quickly arranged for all the said medicines. I was quietly lying on a bed in one corner of the hospital room, wondering if I will ever deliver this baby.

It had just been four months since I got pregnant, but it looked like ages. Continuous vomits had drained me completely. I didn’t just have morning sickness, my misery continued all day and night. Especially night! I had to sleep near the bathroom because the urge to vomit woke me up every half an hour or so. My BP had dropped drastically, I was severely dehydrated and at times, I used to have black outs which once resulted in fainting too.

Basically, I was suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum- a rare condition few pregnant women suffer from. After being on just medicines and NBM, I finally got better and returned back home 3 days later. Needless to say, I had to quit my job and take good rest. Such was the beginning of my pregnancy.

Later, at around 6 months, I was detected with Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction, a condition wherein the baby doesn’t grow to an optimum level and has extremely low weight. Such babies are at a high risk of developing diseases since they’re very fragile.

Finally, at 37 weeks, after taking several protein injections, we delivered my little one via LSCS. Yes, we took opinions from several experts and doctors and realised that it was the safest option for our child.

When she was born, she weighed 2.3kgs and by the time we came back home, she was down to 2.1kgs. Textbooks may classify her as LBW i.e. Low Birth Weight or SGA i.e. Small for Gestational Age baby. But she was a perfectly healthy child. Unlike most LBW babies, she didn’t suffer from Jaundice and wasn’t even kept in the NICU for observation. I can’t thank the Almighty enough for this grace. (To see World Health organisation’s Growth Chart for babies 0-2y, click here)

You may ask, why am I sharing about my pregnancy ?

Because there are reasons why lean babies are lean. Not all pregnancies are easy. Also, not all babies who weigh more are healthy and not all lean babies, weak!

We live in a very strange society. It surprises me, how quick are people to judge both the child and the mother. In fact, it’s a shame that we look at newborns with judgmental eyes and even have the audacity to pass comments.

I’ve often seen people comment on the weight of the baby- both less and more, complexion of the baby, method of delivery- vaginal or LSCS, if the mother is breastfeeding or has opted to formula feed, if she’s working or has decided to stay at home- basically everything!

I too was one of the victims. I still am. Even today, people pass sarcastic comments on her weight (She’s 1 year old and weighs 7.5kgs). Since I’m a nutritionist myself, I get the worst ones. “Has your mom put you on a diet?” they tell her; and then there are comments on the quality of my milk too-“Your milk must be thin like you”, and of course, speculations on if I even feed her- “She is so weak, don’t you give her food?”etc.

My only question to them is- “which mom won’t feed her child?!”

These remarks often leave me speechless. I never respond to such comments, but I lose my cool when they say- she’s weak. She’s lean, not weak! Don’t you know the difference?! 😒

Anyway, now that you have patiently read my rant 🙈 and you also know the background, let’s move on to the main issue:

Is being underweight a matter of concern?

Let me ask you a question. Does your weight match the standards set by the health organisations? No, right? Similarly, it’s perfectly normal for the child to not match those standards too. As long as he is eating optimum nutritious food, achieving his developmental milestones on time, is playful and energetic, doesn’t fall sick, has a good immune system, he’s a healthy baby. Don’t let the numbers worry you. Don’t give him additional formula milk or bottles of vitamins and minerals just so that he gains weight. He doesn’t need that. He just needs healthy, nutritious meals and your love!

Why is my child underweight?

There can be several reasons. Some are:

  • Pregnancy complications- like it was in my case
  • Genetics- When my daughter’s paediatrician first came to see her in the hospital, I asked her- why is my girl underweight? She turned to my mom and asked her about my birth weight. I was 2.5kgs when born and my husband was a fairly lean baby too. I got my answer.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding: EBF children are often leaner as compared to formula fed children. And by lean, I just mean their weight is less. That being said, they are more active and fall ill less often because their immune system is very strong.
  • Hyperactivity: Lean babies are extremely active and thus they don’t easily gain weight too. It’s a vicious cycle.

 

When should I be worried?

  • If your child is inactive and isn’t playful
  • If he isn’t eating well or spits out all his food
  • If he’s falling ill often
  • If he has frequent bouts of diarrhoea
  • His pee/poop frequency has reduced.

What should I feed my child with?

You would be tempted to (and often advised to) give your child not-so-healthy fattening foods. But trust me, your child needs healthy, nutritious meals more than anything else. Add colour and variety to his plate. Give him combinations of food and try to add all possible food groups. You’ll find some interesting ideas here.

Also, there are a few good high carbohydrates, proteins and fat foods that can be a part of your child’s meals, like:

  • Avocados
  • Butter/ghee
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Peanut butter
  • Potatoes
  • Paneer etc.

Avoid adding a lot of sugar, ghee and butter to his meals. Childhood obesity is another pressing issue and we don’t want to jump from this puddle to that one in the future.

Does my child require multivitamins or formula feed?

Formula milk will only make him bulky, not healthier. So, if that’s your aim, go ahead. Your milk is absolutely perfect and he doesn’t need anything over and above it. Also, if he’s on breast-milk, he requires no additional supplement to gain weight.

What if my child has a poor appetite?

If your child isn’t eating well, that’s an added concern. I’ll try to jot down an article on how to deal with fussy eaters, but here’s one tip for now- add ARF to his food. By doing so, you increase the nutrients in his meal without adding bulk to it. Basically, he will derive more energy and nutrients from the same amount of food.

How to prepare ARF?

1. Soak grains and/or pulses of your choice for 12 hours.

2. Germinate it for another 12 hours.

3. Dry roast or sun dry it.

4. Grind it into a powder and store in an airtight container.

5. Add one to two teaspoons to his preparations.

I hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions. Comment down below and I’ll definitely try to answer them.

Have a great day and don’t worry, your child is healthy! 🙂

You’re doing a good job, mama ❤

Love,
Elina

5 Products That Will Help You Keep Your Home Clean and Make Your Life Easy!

Unlike always, this time my article doesn’t essentially revolve around children. Rather, it is a topic I never thought I’ll write on. But these 5 items- that I recently discovered and I have a feeling that they’re not so widely used in Indian homes- have come in really handy for me in the last few months.

Hence, I thought of sharing my experience with you all too so that you’ll can also make informed choices.

Also, none of these items are sponsored. In fact, these brands don’t even know that I exist 🙈 Not that it affects my opinion anyway but still thought of putting it out there.

So yes, coming back to my favorites of this month:

1. CIF Power and Shine Kitchen Cleaner

I may not be categorized under the section of people who have OCD, but I just can’t function if my kitchen table-top is cluttered and messy. I hate when the walls get sticky due to oil splatter and it’s even more irritating when they build over time and leave a residue on the wall. If you’re someone like me, then this thing is for you. At first, I was hesitant to try it since I wasn’t aware of its performance, but now, there’s not a single night I sleep without cleaning my kitchen with this liquid. It just not removes the oil from the walls efficiently but also cleans the sticky switchboards with just one swipe. (Note: You’ll have to use it religiously to see the desired results)

2. Ariel Matic Liquid Detergent

I won’t lie, I first tried this detergent in one of their campaigns but I instantly fell in love with this product. What I like about it is-

1. It doesn’t leave white spots on dark clothes, which most powder detergents do.

2. It smells amazing. Even after the clothes are folded and kept in the wardrobe, they continue to release the fragrance.

I got it on a massive discount online, and so purchased a few for the future too. Yes, that’s how much I like it.

3. Odonil gel room freshener

I have tried several room fresheners in the past but nothing works like this one. Actually, I never read reviews or even saw a TV ad for this specific variant, it was more of an an impulse buy during one of my mall visits and I’m very happy with my purchase. Especially because I’m using cloth diapers for my daughter and often the soiled ones remain the bathroom for a few hours (*facepalm*) until I get free to wash them. Which is why, my bathroom smells unpleasant. Since I have been using this freshener, that fouls smell has curbed to a great extent.

This particular fragrance- passion fruit, is my favourite. And oh yes,  you can turn the bottle to increase or decrease the intensity too.

 

4. Wonderchef Bullet Grinder

I know this is not like the other items FMCG items mentioned above, but I couldn’t resist from sharing this particular product that I love with you all. It’s such an incredible machine that I even gifted it to so many people.

It’s a major space saver and is also ultra convenient to use and store. I’ve been using for over 6 months and it’s working perfectly for us. It not just grinds efficiently but also makes quick juices and smoothies.

If you’re looking to buy one, I’d totally recommend this!

5.Comfort Pure – Baby Variant

Again, a random purchase I can’t thank myself enough for. This conditioner makes baby clothes ultra smooth and soft. I couldn’t believe my hands when I touched her clothes after the first wash! If you purchase good quality clothes for your little one, using this will ensure they remain soft like new always.

That’s all, folks!

Hope you enjoyed the article.

Thanks for stopping by and happy parenting.

Love,

Elina

P.S.  This article may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase anything using those links, a little percentage of it will be given to me. However, you won’t be charged additionally.

Disciplining Babies- When to Start, How to Teach, Simple Effective Tricks and more

Whenever as a young girl, I saw a kid behave inappropriately in public, I would subconsciously blame the parents for the morals they’ve instilled and the way they’ve disciplined their child (of course in my head :p), and I’m pretty sure most of you did too. (Please say yes! 🙈)

Now, after I’ve become a mother myself, I realise how wrong I was. Kids are kids, and beyond a point, things are not totally in our control. That being said, disciplining them is extremely crucial. Not only so that they obey you in important matters, but also so that they grow up to be well-behaved and well-spoken members of the society.

Contrary to the common belief of training them once they’ve reached a certain age, it’s now being found that the early you start, the more well-behaved the baby becomes.

The real question is: “How to discipline them without hindering their natural instinct of exploring?”

The primary rule that each parent needs to remember here is: “Use your ‘NO’s’ judiciously”. We often say ’no’ to things which actually don’t require to be stopped immediately. For instance, if your child puts a toy in a bucket of water, don’t say no. Let him throw and see how the water splashes or if he throws food from the plate on the floor, don’t scold him. He’s just curious to see how things fall. Say ‘NO’ only when it’s harmful to him or when he’s learning to do something that he shouldn’t.

Coming back to our topic, that is, age-appropriate disciplining. Here are a few things you can do to raise a well-behaved child:

0-6 months

Since babies have no comprehension at this age, nor do they understand our language much, the best thing to do here is prevent undesirable occurrences. Like, if you feel that he’s begun to put things in his mouth, keep hazardous objects away from his sight. Or, he has learnt to pull your hair and you don’t find it desirable, gently move his hand from your hair and quickly give him a toy instead.

Moreover, this is an age when most habits are formed, so if you don’t want your kid to be habituated to something you don’t intend to use/follow for a long duration, it’s better to get rid of those habits at this time. Some of those things can be- use of a cradle, pacifier or preference of sucking to sleep etc. Though sucking to sleep is a great way of ensuring that babies sleep while feeling secure, some mothers have to continue with their jobs or have other issues and don’t find it very practical to follow. If you’re one of those, I’d advise you to gradually reduce the use of those items/habits since this is the only age you can control it to a great extent.

6-12 months

 

At around this time, most babies learn to crawl and with the help of this newly learnt skill, the desire to touch things and explore increases. During this phase, their understanding of what’s good and what’s not, what’s is safe and what shouldn’t be touched is zilch. So, saying a plain ‘No’ doesn’t help much. That being said, their safety is important and it’s something which we parents can’t compromise on.

Here are a few things you can do:

1. Babyproof your apartment and keep potentially dangerous items out of your baby’s reach.

2. You don’t have to necessarily say no. Just make a peculiar sound that signifies danger. Use your words correctly. That sound/ word should not be said in a strict or unpleasant manner to scare the baby, and at the same time, it shouldn’t be encouraging too. We need the baby to learn to stop the action he’s performing. Saying a simple “ah ah” or “uh oh” while calling him towards you with your arms stretched works like magic.

3. Another trick that I liked was suggested by a friend and fellow blogger, Mumtaz. She practises “show to teach” method with her baby. For this, she asks her husband to pick something in the baby’s presence. She then says “no” to her husband and he keeps that thing down. This is how the baby learns that when “no” is said, the action has to stop or the held item has to be kept down. While, in my opinion, it’s a great trick, the only care one has to take is in the number of times you say ’no’. Like mentioned before, don’t say no unless you sense danger.

12-24 months

Once babies learn to walk, they become unstoppable. This is also the time when a major mental leap occurs, due to which, they become mini-bosses of their own world. At this age, they sense a great deal of independence and thus love to throw and destruct items or simply do things like the way they like and not how they are instructed to. You’ll also notice a huge difference in their eating behaviour. Even those kids who once ate their meals without a fuss, won’t open their mouth to eat food or spit out it out once fed.

 

How to disciple these young independent humans?

1. The above-mentioned tricks won’t work at this stage, because when you tell them not to do something or even scold them when they do something inappropriate, they get thrilled and will repeat that action even more.

2. What we can do is- work in accordance to their milestone. You’ll notice that babies above 12 months of age love to hit other babies or pull their noses. This is so, not because they want to hurt them or inflict pain, it’s only because they love to see the reaction. Similarly, most of the actions they perform are result-oriented or in simple words, are a result of their curiosity to know the other person responds. What worked for us was- not reacting! So when my girl learnt that she could pull my hair or hit me on my face, I didn’t say anything and simply ignored. She did that for a day or two and when she observed no reaction from me, she completely stopped doing it. This may not be the most correct way of disciplining the child, but it’s way better than saying no, which actually augmented her misbehaviour.

3. The art of distraction: This trick is something most moms swear by. All you have to do is when a child does something inappropriate or misbehaves, you quickly direct his attention towards something else. Since kids of this age have a short attention span, they usually forget what they were previously up to and get involved in the new activity.

4. Channelise their energy: Most of the unpleasant behaviour of kids is due to rush of energy they have and they don’t know how to exert themselves. It is found that kids who are involved in more constructive activities and play are better behaved than other kids.

Before I end, let me share an important message: These are some tricks only to prevent dangerous occurrences and for them to learn to follow important instructions.

You don’t have to always police your child.

Let him jump, let him throw;

Let him fall, that’s how he’ll grow!

Thanks for stopping by and reading! Please leave a comment if you liked what you read.

Love,

Elina

Style your hair in minutes with ‘Black Hairspray’

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are purely mine.

How often are we mothers stuck when it comes to quickly styling our hair before leaving for a party or an outing? I’m often in a fix and end up wearing a bun because my little one leaves me with no time to play and experiment with my hair. Even at my brothers wedding, I had to opt for a messy ponytail because my girl got cranky and didn’t let me style my hair.

In moments like these, ready wigs come to our rescue! The problem with most wigs available in the market is that they’re synthetic and hence don’t blend well with our hair. They’re not just too thick and difficult to style but also can’t be dukes of coloured to match our hair.

When I read about ‘Black Hairspray’ and their collection, I had my heart for several reasons:

1. It’s one of the largest e-commerce website for braids, wigs and all hair care products.

2. The brand is immensely passionate about all things hair and make a variety of things in top notch quality!

3. All their wigs are made of human hair which is why they’re easy to style, blend well and can also be coloured!

4. They’re available in a variety of textures and colours so that even those who have super straight hair or extremely curly hair find their perfect match.

Pros:

1. Made with 100% natural human hair

2. They’ve no hassle 30 days return policy and an extremely supportive customer care team

3. They offer same day delivery in several states of the continental US.

4. Easy and convenient to shop.

5. They have a section of clearance sale items. Those on a hunt for affordable pieces might find something at a steal price there.

Cons:

1. Indians might have to pay additional customs to get it shipped to our country.

To purchase outre wigs for yourself, click here- ‘Outre

Thank you for stopping by and reading!

Have a great day

Love,

Elina

#BlackHairspray #hairwigs #sponsoredad

First Birthday Decor- Ideas, Tips and DIYs

My little girls first birthday was dreamt of and conceptualized long before she was even born. Every time I attended a child’s birthday as a young girl, I visualized my child’s birthday. I never wanted it to be a fancy affair, I just wanted every little element of her party to be special, just like her.

When I shared a few pictures from her party on Instagram, I received several requests from fellow moms to share the details of our setup. So, here we go!

Firstly, I’d like to share a few tips that you can keep mind before deciding on the theme and colour palette for her party:

1. Pick a theme which is evergreen. Especially for their first birthdays because they have no liking or choice at that age. Sometimes, people choose cartoon characters or era-specific themes which may not live until the child grows up. If we choose cartoon characters of this generation, chances are he won’t feel connected to the photos when once he begins to understand things on growing up. I chose ‘twinkle twinkle little star’, because well, stars are sure to last until her adulthood 😅 Or at least we can hope so! Considering the pollution these days and its impacts these days, you really can’t tell. 🙈

2. Choose a white background with bright poppy or pastel colours which stand out. This will not just make the whole place lovely but also look great in the photos. We chose pastels and gold, because you can never go wrong with that combination 💗

3. If planning at home, choose your window curtains as your backdrop. It takes much less effort in decorating and if planned well, saves space too.

Here are the all the details (even the minutest ones 🙈) of our setup:

Backdrop:

1. I purchased white-gold jacquard curtains which were opaque enough to function as our backdrop. (It’s wiser this way because once the party is over, you won’t have to throw away your backdrop but can use the curtains for regular use too)

2. Since the length of our window was 5ft, I purchased 3 sets of broad ribbons in pastel and gold, each measuring 10ft and hung them at equal distances. For that, I simply cut them in the desired length and tied at knot at the bar that held the curtains. Easy peasy!

3. I also hung 2 glitter star-strings that I purchased from a local party shop and used them in the similar way too. You can DIY these strings too- I realised that later 🙈

4. Below our window, we have a few storage shelves. I purchased 6 helium balloons, in pink, blue and white from a local party shop and tied them on the knob of those shelves. Along with those balloons, I had 2 star shaped foil balloons (filled with helium too) which I’d purchased from AliExpress- I tied them on either sides along with the other balloons to complete the look.

5. We got custom-made bunting which read- “happy birthday (name)” in the same theme from Joy Factory (www.thejoyfactory.in) to embellish our beautiful backdrop.

Other walls:

I wanted little but special elements on each corner of my house and here’s what we did:

1. The wall on the left of the cake table had a frame which had her birth statistics and other details from that day.

2. The other wall on the left had a photo bunting with 12 photos- one from birth to 11 months each. We used a jute twine, 12 wooden clips, her snaps that we got made from The Snap Store (costed us just ₹40 or so including delivery!) and a number 1 foil balloon which was also purchased from a local party shop. Setting this wall was simple and without a doubt, it was the star of the show. And oh yes, I also purchased pink felt paper and cut out numbers to attach under each photo to match our theme 🌟

3. The wall above our food table had posters with motivational quotes for my girl. This was an impromptu addition but it definitely worked well with the whole concept.

4. Last and the final wall- which was also the one on the right of the cake table was the ‘wall of wishes’. I purchased some gift wrapping papers and made a few envelopes out of it. I then stuck them all on a wall so that the attendees could write letters for my daughter- something she’ll grow up and read and cherish all her life!

Cake table:

1. We got a ‘ Twinkle twinkle little star’ themed cake with Dutch chocolate filling for her. To make it even more stunning, we got a cake topper in a brilliant golden colour from ‘The Joy Factory Shop’

2. We also got a few cupcakes and placed them on a personalised wooden tray. We embellished them with cupcake toppers (again from Joy Factory) and boy! They looked lovely!

3. We also had the return favours for the kids attending and a few props for photographs placed on the table, so that the access is easier.

4. We got a monogram of her initials from the same party shop and placed it on the side of the cake.

5. The Joy Factory Shop designed a beautiful chalkboard with all her current statistics and progress updates in the required theme. We got it framed and placed it on the table! What a stunner it was 😍

4. To decorate the table, I stuck PVC paper on the table top and attached a white satin cloth on its edges to let it flow. On it, I stuck a foil tassel bunting that I purchased from AliExpress in the colour pink, white and gold.

That’s it! I was so happy with how it all came together and how beautiful the photos turned out!

I hope you found this article helpful!

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy parenting 😊

Love,

Elina

12 Baby Food Ideas For Busy Moms (6-12m)

Cooking for our little ones is one of the most satisfying activities, isn’t it? But here’s a confession, there have been days when I couldn’t provide her with nutritious meals due to my busy schedule and trust me, I used to feel extremely guilty about it. I’m pretty sure there’re many mothers who are going through the same.

There’s a famous quote by Bill Gates where he says, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

I’m that lazy person :p

Here are a few baby food recipes for moms of 6-12 month old babies out there! These recipes are very quick and easy, just make sure you you do your pre-preparation and planning right.

If you’re a new mom, I’d urge you to to read my article on introduction to solids (click here) to get your facts correct before you start. Also, to read my take on baby-led weaning, click here.

Before we start, here are some guidelines for you:

1. Make sure that your recipe has at least 2-3 food groups.

2. Avoid processed and packaged foods, no matter now fancy the packaging may be.

3. Your child doesn’t need sweetness or salt in his food. Try to avoid that too.

4. Dal water, rice water or basically anything just boiled in water is not a healthy option!

Let’s delve straight into the recipes now!

Age: 6-7 months (Puréed to soft mashed foods)

1. Ragi apple/mango porridge:

Boil apple and grind it into a paste. For mangoes, you can just peel and grind it.

Take some ghee and lightly roast ragi. Add this purée and gently stir it. Add some water to make a thick paste! And voila, it’s ready

2. Sweet potato and strawberry purée

Boil and grind sweet potato with fresh strawberries until a thick creamy paste is formed. My girl loved this!

3. Beet root, banana and berries smoothie

Take boiled and chopped beet root, add sliced bananas, a few berries of your choice and some homemade curd. Blend all of this together and serve.

4. Chickoo Sheera

This was my girl’s absolute favourite. Sauté some rava in ghee, add puréed Chickoo and water. And it’s ready! You can try this with mangoes too.

Age: 7-10 months (Semi-solids to solids)

By 7.5 months, my girl was eating pretty much all solids that we did. We had a smooth transition because she loved eating on her own and showed interest in what we ate.

1. Mashed Cutlets/kebabs

I remember, this was my go-to food for a long time because she used to love kebabs

Boil potatoes and chicken (or soya nuggets/pulse of your choice). You can add blanched spinach too. Mix it all and add some lemon, finely minced onion and cumin seeds. Mix it all and dip in egg (or rawa) and shallow fry. Mash if needed or give small bite size pieces to your baby.

2. Roti porridge

Take 1-2 chapatis and chop them into small pieces. Take some ghee in a vessel, sauté cumin seeds and finely chopped onions. Add some ginger garlic paste. Then add chapattis and turmeric powder to it. Once soft, add some fresh curd and voila! It’s done.

3. Vegetable Paneer khichadi

Take dal and rice in equal amounts and soak. First, take ghee in a pressure cooker. Sauté cumin seeds and add chopped onions and tomatoes. Chop a mix of veggies and paneer and add to it. Then add rice and dal and allow it to cook in until soft.

4. Oats Upma

Lightly roasted and grind instant oats. In a wok, add ghee/oil and your regular Upma ingredients like onion, tomatoes etc. Then add oats and sauté, until it’s slightly cooked. Once done, add water, cover with a lid and cook until ready.

Age: 10-12 months (Solids)

1. Instant Coconut Idlis

Mix rava and curd in equal amounts. Add desiccated coconut (easily available) or you can use fresh ground coconut too. You can also add finely grated carrots to add some colour to it. Add optimum water until the required consistency is obtained. Place in an Idli maker and steam until done.

2. Spinach Cheela

Blanch and grind spinach. Mix it with besan (chana flour). Add water, cumin seeds powder and turmeric to it. Spread like a dosa and keep flipping until both the sides are well cooked. Grate some cottage cheese (paneer) on it and give small bite size pieces to your baby. (Can be made with moong dal too).

3. Mango, papaya and dates smoothie

Chop and grind mango, papaya and dates with a little curd and water. You’ll get a smoothie which serves as great evening snack for babies.

4. Chickpea and egg yolk patties

Soak, boil and grind chickpea. In a grinder, mix it with a clove, cumin seeds, lemon and boiled egg yolk (optional). You’ll get a smooth textured thick paste after blending them together. Add chopped coriander leaves to it. Make small flat balls and shallow fry them until well cooked.

(P.S. use just egg yolk and not the white until your baby is a year old)

Hope you found these recipes useful! Please subscribe to be notified whenever I post an article! 🙂

Have a great day and happy parenting!

Love,

Elina

(P.S. Images are for representation purposes only)

Toy Minimalism- Tips and Tricks + Review of Rainbow Roofs from Skola Toys

I won’t call myself a minimalist, but I simply can’t stand clutter. It not only takes a lot of space of your home, but your mind too. And quite unlike the perception, minimalism doesn’t mean ‘plain white nothingness’, but it means getting rid of things which aren’t of much use and living with lesser but meaningful items.

Kids need real activities to play with, and not just a hundred squeaky toys or rattles in different shapes and colours. If you’re also tired of cleaning the whole toy shelf everyday, try maintaining minimalism by following these simple tips:

  1. Free yourself from getting emotionally attached to objects which are of no use. For example, get rid of toys that your child has outgrown. Don’t keep hoarding toys that he doesn’t play with any more, give it to someone in need instead. This way, you won’t only de-clutter but also help another child enjoy the same way like your kid once did. 
  2. Don’t purchase two similar toys, or even books for that matter. For instance, one board book of alphabets suffices, you don’t need to get three different types of it. Similarly for stacking toys- just invest in one of them. Most of them teach the exact same skill set.
  3. Don’t invest in a soft toy until your baby is at least 2 years old. I made a mistake of getting one while I was pregnant and believe me, I regret that purchase every day. Not only it’s fur entangles dirt, but the child is very small to understand how to play with soft toys and it usually ends up taking space in some nook of the house.
  4. Invest in toys that can be used for a long duration. Activity push walkers, for example, are useful only for a couple of months until kids learn to walk, hence not a good investment.
  5. Purchase toys that are versatile and multi-purposive. This will not only take less space at home but also unlock your child’s creativity to a great extent.

One such toy that I intend to talk  about today is ‘Rainbow Roofs’ from Skola Toys. When I first read about Skola Toys from a few experts, I hopped on their website to see their collection. Not only was I blown away by the brilliance yet simplicity of their toys, but what absolutely loved was the fact that each toy has been designed after plentiful research and thought.

My little girl who’s almost 13 months old now, usually doesn’t enjoy playing with one single toy for a long duration. It’s difficult to keep her engaged and the only way I am able to do that is by trying a different ways of playing with her existing toys.

When I spoke to the representative of Skola Toys, they recommended me to try out their rainbow roofs. It’s basically a triangular base on which colourful wooden roofs can be stacked. Although it’s meant for kids who are aged 1.5y+ my daughter still enjoys playing with it.

Packaging:

It came well packaged in a medium sized box, which instantly made me realise what a wonderful gift idea would it be for kids on their birthdays.

The box was made of cardboard and had drawings on it. The contents induced: one triangular base, 7 wooden roof stackers and one small box of 4 crayons for colouring the doodles on the box. Now that’s called thoughtful packaging!

Quality:

The make of these stackers is top notch and the colours used are bright and vivid- just how the kids love it. The edges aren’t sharp and the colours don’t peel off too, hence making them safe to use.

The only downside I noticed was that- the pieces are slightly heavy and young kids might find a little difficult to play with them, initially. Although I’m not completely sure about this. Perhaps, I feel so because my girl is younger than the recommended age and maybe that’s why she’s finding it a little difficult to lift.

Versatility:

When I first saw the box, I thought it’s a regular stacker with a different shape and style. But then I read the manual sheet and information on their website, I realised how creatively these can be used and how conveniently they transform into a variety of structures.

Here are some examples of how creative one can get with them:

Learning:

There are several skills/concepts that a child can learn through these stackers 

  •  Balance 
  • Hand eye coordination 
  • Memory
  • Colour recognition 
  • Dexterity
  • Fine motor skills

To know more about learning toys, click here

Why would I recommend this toy?:

  • Space saver- one toy can be used in so many ways 
  • Toxin free- made of natural wood
  • Bright and vivid colours
  • Builds skill set and enhances their learning capacity
  • Sturdy and long lasting.

All in all, it’s a brilliant product and I will definitely recommend it for kids who’re 1.5-2 years. If your child isn’t in this age bracket, don’t fret, you’ll find many more options for all age groups starting from 1year. Click here to reach their website.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Happy parenting,

Elina Wadia

P.S. This was a sponsored post but my opinions are completely unbiased and genuine

Bumberry Diapers- Comprehensive Product Review

I vividly remember, while packing my hospital bag, I was browsing through diaper options on FirstCry.com, when I stumbled upon Bumberry Diapers. Back then, unfortunately, I had absolutely no clue of the concept of advanced cloth diapering and was sure that I won’t be able to make heads or tails of it, so I decided to pick the conventional cloth nappies and a pack of disposables instead. Slowly and gradually, I learnt more and before I realized, I was exclusively cloth diapering my little one. Exactly 10 months later, I saw Bumberry make an appearance on a social media platforms too and realized it was the perfect time to try them out. So, after a month of extensive use, I’m here to share my personal experience with you all.

Bumberry sent me two diapers to review: One pocket diaper and one cover diaper along with a wet-free insert. Let’s dive into the review of all three.

Pocket Cloth Diaper with one 3 Layered Microfibre Insert

Bumberry pocket diaper comes in a package along with one insert which is apt for the diaper. It’s designed for 2.5 to 15 kg which means you can start using it right from birth and use until toddler-hood. The pack said it’s best for sleep time and quite honestly, I wasn’t convinced how a pocket diaper would perform at first, so I waited and tried using it during the day only. After one week, I mustered some courage and used it for night-time and boy! I was blown away by its performance. Even when I tried it on her for the first time, it stayed absolutely dry as if it was freshly dried in the sun- and that was after more than 13 long hours of being worn!!

It’s trim, perfectly sized and the snap buttons are placed appropriately to fit all sizes. The outer cover is soft and inner lining is great too. However, the microfibre insert doesn’t seem to be of the same quality like that of the cover diapers. Although, it doesn’t come in contact with the skin and absorbs pee really well, so I have nothing to complain about.

Price: Rs. 780/- for the set

Available on: Firstcry, Amazon, Hopscotch and their website

Cloth Diaper Cover with 1 Bamboo Insert

This cover diaper is a great day time option, especially in winters. Since it comes along with a bamboo insert- which is known for super absorption and its quick drying properties, it’s the best you can get for the season. I loved how soft the upper part of the insert is which makes it suitable for even kids with highly sensitive skin.

In my use, I noticed that it usually lasts for 5-6 hours easily after which it has to be changed.

Price: Rs. 760/- for the set

Available on: Firstcry, Amazon, Hopscotch and their website etc.

Wet Free Insert:

If you’re considering to buy a diaper for your small baby who’s extremely sensitive to the feeling of wetness and gets cranky easily, then this insert is for you! It has three layers of microfibre terry cloth with one layer of extra dry suede to serve the purpose. It’s designed to fit along with Bumberry cover diapers and miraculously keeps both the diaper and the baby’s skin absolutely dry. Of all the products, this one took me by surprise the most! I’d highly recommend trying this insert. Priced at Rs. 660/- for 3 inserts, I believe it’s a steal.

Available on: Official website of Bumberry, Firstcry, Amazon, Hopscotch etc.

I hope you found the review helpful!

Thank you for stopping by and reading.

Happy parenting!

Love, Elina

P.S. This was a sponsored post but my opinions remain unaffected by the association.