Two Healthy Snacks For Toddlers That Can Be Made in Advance and Stored

Often we eat junk and serve junk to our kids because we don’t have the time to prepare something fresh everyday. In fact, that’s the reason most of us gain weight too, because we keep loading ourselves with junk all the time.

Here are two simple recipe which you can prepare in advance and store:

1. Mango-Coconut-Basil Lollies

Step 1: Grind a mango or use mango pulp- whichever is available.

Step 2: Take a cup of coconut water and grind it with the mango. I also add the meat portion (also known as malai) to it.

Step 3: Soak basil seeds in some water for a couple of minutes and allow it to swell. You can add some rose water and honey to it if you like.

Step 4: In a popsicle mould, pour the basil seeds until 1/5th of the mould is filled. Then add a few cranberries or pomegranate seeds (optional)

Step 5: Layer it with the thick mango coconut juice and freeze for at least 7-8 hours.

You can have anytime once set.

2. Makhana Bhel

Step 1. Melt 1.5 tsp ghee in a pan.

Step 2. Add some mustard seeds, curry leaves and slit green chillies (based on how spicy you or your toddler prefer)

Step 3. Then add a fistful of fox nuts (makhana) and roast them until they’re crispy.

Step 4. Once done, add a bowl puffed rice (kurmura) to it.

Step 5: Add salt and turmeric and mix well until it’s evenly coloured. Store in an airtight container.

(You can tweak the quantities of ingredients based on the amount of bhel you’re intending to prepare)

Hope this article was helpful!

More more ideas, you can check my previous post. (I’ve shared 12 easy and quick recipes for infants and toddlers)

P.S This article is my participation post in the #SummerFoodBlogTrain organised by Anisha, Deepali and Danisha.

Make sure read their articles on the same by clicking here:

1. Deepali’s post

2. Anisha’s post

Thanks for tagging and inviting me to share my entry, Gunjan.

If you’d like to read her post, tap here.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Happy parenting.

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

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)

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.

Meaningful Return Gift Ideas Starting from ₹100/-

With my little one’s first birthday just around the corner, I thought I’ll write a series of posts on ‘First Birthday Preparations’ based on my personal experience. I’ll be writing on how to plan in such a way that everything is simple, easy and meaningful. So keep an eye on my blog page!

In fact, I’ve already started the series with this first post- i.e. Meaningful Return gifts!

Kids love gifts. In fact, I still love receiving them :p But let’s face it, hunting for good return gifts can be a painstaking task especially when you’re planning your child’s birthday too.

The fact that most parents settle for water bottles, lunch boxes etc., proves their exhaustion. Hence I’ve complied a list of meaningful gifts for you so that your daunting task becomes easier!

I’m sharing 10 return gift ideas which are so appropriate and useful that the kids will thank you for your choice! 🙂

1. Piggy Bank

Giving a piggy bank will not just help them learn the value of money but also encourage them to save some and buy things of their choice.

Price: You’ll find them in a variety of designs and shapes starting from ₹150/- or even lesser.

Here’s the amazon link of one such piggy bank for your reference.

2. Learning Toys

Toys play a cardinal role in both physical and mental development of children. So why not give them good wooden learning toys and send them back home not just with a huge smile but an opportunity to learn something new?

Fisher Price, Skola, Brainsmith etc. have some great options in this segment.

Price: ₹325/- onwards

3. Play doh

Play doh and clay helps in making their motor skills stronger and their eye-hand coordination better. It’s loved by both young and older kids and hence is a great option if you have a mix of kids of all age groups.

Price: Staring from ₹125/-

Here’s the link of one such kit for your reference.

4. Chalkboard

Using chalkboard not only saves paper and money but also helps a lot in building their fine motor skills. Though they look old school but these days you get a variety of them in different shapes and even personalisations.

Price: ₹100/- or even less

Here’s a link of one such store which makes chalkboards for return gifts and otherwise too.

5. Indoor Plant

Teach kids to grow a plant early on not only gets them fascinated but also makes them love and value the food they eat and plants they see.

Here’s a link for one such indoor plant service in India.

6. Colouring Book

Art captures the imagination of kids and sparks their creativity. You can get simple colouring books with organic colours for little kids and mandala books for older ones.

Price: Starting from ₹149/-

Here’s the link of one such book for your reference.

7. Height Chart Wall Decal

Or any decal, actually.

I’m a sucker for cute things and wall decals are my favorite! They easily spice up any corner of the room and make it lively.

Price: 169/- onwards

Here’s the link of one such cute height chart wall decal for you!

8. Slime Kit

Playing with slime is very beneficial in building their sensory skills! Not only kids love it but adults find it stress relieving too!

Price: ₹130/- onwards

Here’s the link of one such slime set for your reference.

9. Book

There’s no gift like a book. Need I say more? You can give any classical bedtime book to younger kids and engaging activity books to older ones.

Price: ₹100/- and above

10. Skipping Rope/ Frisbee/ Cricket Bat/ Badminton Kit

Basically anything that encourages them to step out and play. Kids these days are glued to gadgets and there’s nothing better than gifting them the joy of outdoor play!

I hope you found this article helpful.

Share with your friends so that they can benefit from it too.

Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Happy Parenting!

Love,

Elina

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!

Love,

Elina

P.S. This is a sponsored post.

Image Courtesy: Skola’s Official Website

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.

Love,

Elina

(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 🙈

Interviewing a First Time Baby-Wearer + Review of Soul’s Basic Cotton Full Buckle

Today, I have something different for you. A friend of mine recently purchased a basic cotton full buckle after getting inspired from many on Instagram. I was so happy that I decided to interview her and share her experience with you all.

Note: She bought Full Buckle (standard) Carrier in the colour Lacre from Soul Slings, India.

1. What was your reaction when you first opened the box?

When I first saw the colour of this carrier (Lacre), it made me fall in love with it instantly. It’s sophisticated maroon and has a dash of shine on it which makes it look so rich. It absolutely gives the carrier a royal classy touch and can be carried to the parties/weddings or events too!

I was truly impressed with it’s material too. As seen and heard, Soul is surely a hit when it comes to quality. I had not expected this high quality carrier before I experienced soul carriers. And the same goes with this cotton carrier.

Also, it came with a very nice instruction brochure that helps you wear your baby step wise with the do’s and dont’s mentioned, serves as a help to the ones trying baby wearing for the first time 🙂

2. How did you find it when you first tried Baby-wearing?

More than anything else, what I think has to be an important trait in a carrier is how comfortable and wearable it is. Very crucial to each one of us and this has to go with both- the baby and the mother. Only then baby wearing gets easier and is a joy! I must say, whenever I try this carrier, my baby goes off to sleep 🙂 It is equally comfortable for me too. It distributes the baby’s weight throughout my upper body, hence I’m able to use it for a longer time period too.

3. What’s your take on the quality of the fabric/s used?

As the material of the carrier is 100% woven cotton, it is surely comfortable to the baby. Especially in a place where I stay (Mumbai has a hot humid weather almost most part of the year!!). Hence the material that is used is apt and helps the baby to stay relaxed in the carrier, and feel comfy throughout the baby wearing journey.

4. What feature are you excited about?

Lacre Full Buckle supports both “front carry” and “back carry” features. Which means you and your child have an option of using the carrier either ways. I can’t wait to try back carry when she’s a little older 🙂

5. Why did you choose Soul?

For me, my child’s safety is pivotal. When I read about how safe Soul carriers are, it instantly took my heart. This feature shows how much they care for babies! I read that their waist buckles has to go through the safety loop (elastic), that ensures your baby’s safety on a higher level, which is pretty awesome.

6. What’s one advise you’d like to give for first time babywearers?

I feel one should not carry the baby for hours together in the first initial weeks. Your body needs to get habituated too 🙂

What’s your final verdict?

If you are new to baby wearing and would love to start with a basic standard carrier, comfortable and cozy enough to help both you and your baby experience baby wearing, then surely give this a try!

Additional information of this carrier (Taken from Soul’s website)

*Material : 100% woven cotton

*Weight Recommendation : 7 to 18 kgs.

*Adjustments:2-way shoulder adjustment + PFA + sliding back/chest straps

*Price : 3,750 RS.

*Colour : Maroon (range of colours available too).

P.S. Images are taken from Soul’s Official Website

Interviewer: Elina Wadia

Interviewee: Mumtaz Surani (www.instagram.com/tinysoul.za)

All You Need To Know About Diaper Bags!- Tips to Choose the Right One

Diaper bags- no matter how much you try to run away from them- are an indispensable part of your first few years of becoming a parent. You just can’t step out of your home with a stylish tiny sling filled with bare essentials anymore! There are a gazillion things that a tiny baby needs and we need bigger and spacious bags for that.

Gone are the days when those ugly, plasticky and bulky diaper bags with cartoon prints all over were the only choice available for mothers. Why carry something like that when we now have better options in the market?!

Finding a perfect bag can be a task for an already- tired-and-zoned-out-new-mom. Hence, based on my experience, I thought to share the types of diaper bags available and how you can choose the right one for yourself. 

1) Washable tote/Day bags:

A cloth tote diaper bag and day bags are great options for the first 6 months when you don’t have to carry baby food/water sipper along and all you need are a couple of diapers, wash cloths and a few outfits. It’s also a great alternative for a quick outing with your baby which will last for a couple of hours. It’s one of the most spacious bags because it usually doesn’t have stiffness and segregations to take up space and look bulky. This is also the reason why you can stuff a lot of things in it! 

Image: Soul Day Bag in Topaz

Pros:

  • They’re spacious 
  • Apt for BabyWearing moms
  • Washable 

Cons:

  • They don’t have many pockets
  • Cloth bags may not be water proof

Great for:

  • Short trips to the mall or markets
  • First 6 months or when you don’t have to carry food or liquids that might spill

In my opinion, unless it’s rainy season, totes and day bags make a perfect choice for small shopping trips to the market or even for a casual picnic. They look pretty and are easy to carry too.


2) Backpacks
Backpacks look the trendiest of all the options. They’re classy, spacious and available in gazillion patterns to match your taste and style. The best thing about these bags is that they keep your hands free to do whatever you want.

Pros:

  • Stylish and spacious
  • Keeps your hands free
  • Equal distribution of weight on both the shoulders

Cons:

  • Not a great option for BabyWearing moms 

Great for:

  • A days outing or even for a a small vacation
  • For moms who don’t babywear


3. Messenger bags or Sling bags
You don’t necessarily need a bag that looks like a diaper bag, isn’t it?

In my opinion, messenger bags and slings are a good option for moms who prefer carrying their baby arms and don’t use stroller or carriers or anything. The advantage of these bags is that you can remove the items from the bag without placing the bag down and furiously hunting for things. 

Pros:

  • Small and slim
  • Looking for items and removing them is relatively easier 
  • Great for short trips and evening walks 
  • Good option for BabyWearing moms 

Cons:

  • Very small, can’t be used to carry items for long trips 
  • May not be washable 

Great for:

  • Short trips or evening strolls 


4) Stroller diaper bags

As the name suggests a stroller diaper bag attaches directly to the baby’s stroller, rather than sit below the stroller in the storage compartment. These diaper bags hang from your strollers handles, allowing you to quickly and easily get your baby’s stuff.


Pros:

  • Easy to quickly find things when on the go
  • Gives your shoulders a break from the weight carrying 

Cons:

  • Usage is limited to times when carrying a stroller

Great for:

  • People who go on a walk or to the market with a stroller regularly.


5) Standard bags

What are these bags, you might be wondering. Well, standard bags are the usual multi-pocketed diaper bags which are huge and can pretty much fit all the essentials you need. Though you’ll find a myriad of options online, there’re a two brands I’d highly recommend- they’re Bohomia and Skip Hop. They make classy looking, good quality and sturdy bags. You’ll find these two on amazon India and other online portals too. 


Image: Bohomia Diaper Bag

Pros:

  • Segregations and pockets to fit in all essentials 
  • Look great and are sturdy too

Cons:

  • Too huge and bulky
  • May not the be the best option for small trips

Great option for:

  • Long trips and vacation 
  • Times when you’re carrying too many things 


6) Designer diaper bags 

Who said diaper bags are always boring?Previously, becoming a mother meant that you would have to give up your Gucci or Louis Vuitton handbag. This is no longer a problem since these brands have also started designing diaper bags. So now you can carry all that your baby needs without losing your fashion statement!

Image: Gucci Diaper Bag 
Hope this was helpful. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Love,

Elina 

BabyWearing Basics: Carrier Fabrics

Narrowed down on category of the carrier-you want to purchase i.e. Buckle-less or Buckled? Check

Chose the type of carrier you want to go ahead with? Check 

But just when you’re about to place your order, you’ll notice that there are a tons of options in each category, each priced differently!

Is it just the colour or the print/weave which is different or are they functionally disparate too?

If you’re stuck, I’ve got the answers to all the queries that you may have! 🙂

Firstly, in all the categories, the basic structure and the function of all the carriers remain the same, regardless of the price! They’re priced differently due to the fabrics used.

If you’re unable to decide the kind of fabric you should go ahead with, then here’s what you can do. Decide your carrier on basis of:

  • Climate of Your City

If you’re put up in a hot and humid city, choose a carrier which is thinner and moisture absorbent. If I had to explain in short- choose linen, handwoven cotton, Ikat cotton or just woven cotton (Placed in the decreasing order of thinness- based on what I observed). But if you’re put up in a colder region, I’d suggest choosing jacquard which is thicker.

Now, this is only for those who want an elaborate explanation-

If you’re inquisitive to know the extent of  thinness or thickness of the one you’ve chosen, search for the same fabric in wraps category (applicable on handwoven, linen and jacquards only) and look for the term- GSM which means Grams per Square Meter. It’s basically a parameter to gauge the thickness of fabrics, especially wraps.

You can use this as a reference to understand what I’m talking about: 

Image courtesy: www.sheenslings.com

Less than 180 gsm = really thin

180 – 220 gsm = thin

220 – 260 gsm = medium

260 – 300 gsm = thick

greater than 300 gsm = really thick

This will help you understand how thick thr fabric of your carrier is and will prevent you from buying something that you might regret later.

  • Budget

BabyWearing can be an investment for many. If you check the website of these carriers, you’ll notice that there’s a myriad of options available at various prices.

Now the question is- What are the different types of fabrics used and why is there a massive price difference between them?

The prices of these carriers are set based on the quality of fabrics used and the extent of effort that goes in manufacturing these fabrics. 

For instance, linen and handwoven cotton are expensive because they’re not easy to produce. However, machine woven cotton is easy to manufacture, hence it’s relatively inexpensive.

Like I mentioned earlier, regardless of the cost, their functionality remains the same.

Here’s an elaborate explanation of the types of fabrics you’ll usually find:

1. Linen


Linen is one of the most toughest to produce and hence it’s one of the most expensive fabrics available in the fabric world.. This is the reason why linen carriers are generally priced way higher than other carriers. Moreover, it is known to have anti bacterial properties and can absorb moisture, which makes them one of the best options for Indian summers, or generally speaking, Indian weather.

The only downside is that it’s only produced in solid colours. So, if you’re looking for a prints or designs, this may not be your pick.

2. Handwoven Cotton

Handwoven cottons, like linens, are difficult to produce. They’re weaved manually by artisans and take a lot of time and effort to manufacture, hence are slightly expensive. However, they’re available in stunning weaves and give a very classy look when used. Since they’re weaved by hand, they’re great flexibility and mouldability. If you check the list of full buckles made with handwoven cotton, you’ll notice that there are two options- one in the mid-range and one, high-range. This difference in the price is because of the amount of fabric used in the carrier- which is in BabyWearing terminology called- Full conversion and semi conversion.


Understanding Full Conversion and Semi Convesion Carriers
:

Now, the thing with handwovens made from wraps, and hence are categorised in two types. The Full conversion one has only handwoven cotton used- in the body, waist strap, shoulder straps etc. But, semi conversion carriers have handwoven used only in the visible part of the body while the waist strap, shoulder strap and the main body which is towards the inner side is made of machine woven cotton. 


Semi conversion carrier are a great option for those who want the rich look of the handwoven weaves but don’t want to burn a hole in their pocket.

3. Jacquard 

Jacquard fabric requires a different loom which helps in manufacturing complex patterns and weaves. This is why, you’ll see a variety of designs and colour combinations in the jacquard category. It’s usually the thickest of all fabrics and this property helps in making carriers more firm and strong. 

4. Ikat cotton
Ikat is basically a dyeing technique where the yarns are tied or bundled in the design  intended and then dyed so that a beautiful pattern is obtained. This process is also time consuming as the fabric may have to go through several rounds of dyeing to reach the desired level of colour fastens and pattern. Which is why, Ikat cotton is sightly more expensive than the basic cotton variant.


5. Cotton/ Machine woven cotton or Printed Cotton 

Woven cotton or machine woven cotton is the easiest to produce and hence is the most inexpensive variant. It’s not very thick nor very thin, making it a great option of Indian weather. It is firm yet mouldable and is comfortable to use too. In short, it’s a great budget friendly variant for begginers.

I hope this article helps you make the right choice! Hope you enjoyed this series 

Thank you for all your love!

Happy BabyWearing to you!

Love, 

Elina