Help Your Child Embrace & Love Reading

Why you should read to your newborn

reading habit

Research has proven and shown that it is never too early to read a book to/with your bundle of joy. Some may say but the baby barely understands anything; that is the main reason why you should start reading to your little one, so that he grasps on vocabulary & intonation etc. Once you notice your baby enjoy the reading process, you will be tempted to make it a daily ritual. And you must.

I started reading out to Sultan as early as few weeks old. It has been almost a year and half and he is very attached to his books. He often brings his favorite book and hands it over to me to read for him.

Develop love of reading in your baby

baby loves reading

As said earlier, babies might not understand everything, if not anything, of what you read to him, but it is an initial step to help him start picking up different speech tones, rhythms, pitch in your voice and even easy new words. Another research shows that the more a baby is introduced to repeated/frequently used words, the easier it becomes for him to start reading on his own.

Children who grew up watching their parents and elder siblings read often, become more accustomed to reading on their own. They will appreciate books and enjoy reading in the long-term. In my personal experience, I know no one in my immediate family who does not read a book at least once a week. I am proud to have developed this habit in Sultan. He loves his books more than his toys. Such family routine will enhance your baby’s attitude and promote love of reading during schooling and often continue into adulthood.

Precious reading moments for parents to bond with baby

Mother reading with baby son

It is well known that babies and toddlers love their parents’ voices. What other best way to interact and teach your little one from early on, but to read to him his favorite book and the narrator being his parent. Babies first learn things from their parents, why not utilize this opportunity and bond with your baby while helping him learn and appreciate reading.

Stimulate your baby’s brain

stimulate your baby's brain

Many of us as adults often run short of vocabulary, due to lack of reading habits. Habits such as frequently reading & listening to the radio etc help our brain capture new vocabulary. Similarly, children who were read to frequently as newborns will have a richer vocabulary & do well in academic studies compared to the other kids their age. Another reason to make reading to your newborn a ritual is that by the age of starting to speak your baby will have fine language skills and confidence. In fact, if you are good at telling made up baby stories, then by no means should you refrain from doing so. No matter what you read to him, any kind of reading is still better than no reading at all. You could as well hold simple dialogues with your baby; all that matters is that he is exposed to more words on daily basis.

Improve your baby’s perception

baby books

All mamas out there whose babies have grown up and now differentiate between shapes, colors and patterns know that it was a transitional period for their babies when they were newborn up to 4 or 5 months old, when all they could do is try focusing eyes on basic patterns on a book’s or magazine’s pages. Therefore, starting early on with picturized books for babies is the most suitable form of reading to your baby. There are tons of such books designed especially for babies to touch, see and learn various shapes, textures and colors. In my personal experience with Sultan, he is fond of any colorful book or magazine. Although he has a designated corner of baby library, he loves reading newspapers and magazines too on his own (baby language).

 

 

 

 

Importance Of Oral Hygiene

 

The importance of your baby’s early and regular oral hygiene

How to choose a baby toothpaste and when to introduce it?

Considering the amount of toothpaste brands out there on the market, baby doesn’t actually need a special brand. The most important thing to remember and do is introduce baby safe fluoride toothpaste as soon as you notice that first tooth erupt. Another important thing to remember is the baby’s tooth (teeth) only need a streak of toothpaste, since most babies tend to swallow the toothpaste instead of spitting it.

It is highly recommended to expose baby’s teeth (just as for adults) to fluoride as soon as a tooth is starting to emerge; because baby’s teeth absorb fluoride instantly, it is important to make sure the amount of toothpaste is safe for swallowing.

That’s why it is sufficient enough to cover baby’s teeth with a light film of fluoride. So make sure you are playing it safe, because excess of fluoride can be toxic to baby!

Do not get lost while choosing a baby themed toothpaste, as the brand does not matter. What matters the most is that it should contain fluoride. Another thing to remember is that babies under age 1 only require a smear of toothpaste, while elder kids may just do well with a pea size (roughly the size of a grain of rice) of toothpaste applied to their teeth.

Should I use a baby toothbrush and what kind?

As it was suggested by Sultan’s paediatric nurse during his initial dental follow up (at his 6 months appointment) even before he had any teeth, it is best to use a damp washcloth to clean baby’s gums (without any fluoride toothpaste). She had demonstrated how to clean Sultan’s gums step by step; all you need is a washcloth and lukewarm water. Just dampen a washcloth to wipe his gums down at least twice a day. This is a crucial routine to help your baby get accustomed to having toothbrush in his/her mouth.

Once the baby has got a hang of having his teeth brushed, you may move to using a baby tooth brush. Since tooth brushing routine must be in place by the time baby starts teething, during this stage baby likes harder objects to bite on to sooth the gums. When choosing a baby toothbrush, consider to pick one that has soft bristles so it is gentle on your baby’s gums.

Should I show my baby to a paediatric dentist and when?

It may sound weird to recommend your baby to have his first paediatric dentist appointment at as early as 6 months, since there is no much to check up on, however, it is important for your baby to visit a paediatric dentist and keep up with every appointment. Your baby’s paediatric dentist will be able to asses any possible risk factors regarding the oral hygiene. The dentist may educate and state if the parents are doing the right thing to keep the baby’s oral hygiene healthy, such as, when and how much of fluoride toothpaste to be introduced. Also, the dentist will advise whether your baby should be given a bottle of milk during night time, since it is considered as the biggest risk factor for your baby’s first teeth.

Sultan’s paediatric dentist had advised us to gradually stop giving him a bottle of milk at night time, since, formula milk contains sugar, which if given to baby during night time will cause harmful bacteria to develop in his mouth.

Another most common mistake many parents do, is allowing their kids to indulge in excessive drinking of juice. Nevermind the kid’s desire for sugary drinks and foods, it is very important to have the teeth brushed thoroughly afterwards. The logical reason for having to brush your kid’s teeth after such sugary drinks is that juices are very acidic and may cause damage to the kid’s teeth.

All of the above and more questions may be answered by your kid’s paediatric dentist. That’s why it is recommended to have your baby visit the dentist from early on to create a routine experience and get your baby comfortable with the dentist.

Your baby’s diet vs oral health

We are what we eat, they say. Of course food and drinks are the main way a baby’s mouth acquires bacteria. Many toddlers may have a tooth decay due to excessive amounts of sugary foods and drinks they consume.

Apart from a good oral hygiene, depending on diet type, kids grow up to develop a food preference, which will likely remain the same when they grow up.

 

Please feel free to comment and share your personal experience about your kid’s oral hygiene.

My Motherhood

3 Milestones I Have Overcome As A New-Mom

Almost 2 years ago, during my entire pregnancy I was all absorbed in so called “internet knowledge“, which consisted all about what to expect during and post pregnancy as first time mom. Whether I had to know all of that information beforehand or not, in a way it prepared me to deal with anxiety and geared me up for what was going to happen to me “the first time” in my life. By then I had been exposed to sufficient enough mommy-to-be tips from my family and friends. Of course all that helped me, theoretically. However, the real “first time mommy” instincts kicked in on their own soon as I delivered Sultan.

1. Milestone: Unscheduled (UNEXPECTED)  C-Section

As painful as it is recalling those countless hours of continuous labor pain and unforeseen circumstances, through which we (me and my baby) had to suffer together; I believe there is absolute beauty in overcoming those hardships.

I was always regular on my monthly pregnancy check ups, prescribed medications and ultrasounds etc. There was absolutely no sign of complication as such, and I was more than confident that my baby would come out all healthy and naturally when he is ready. Unfortunately, not everything takes place as planned and despite of being advocate of “all natural”;  I was almost forced into accepting to go through an emergency C-section during my failed labor and contractions.

My baby was well delivered within an hour of anaesthetics dosage given to me. As you may have read in my previous posts, Sultan was born weighing whopping 3.9kg (MashaAllah), which could well be the reason for unscheduled C-section.

All is well that ends well.

It was a great challenge taking care of a newborn, managing to endure the incision pain (not an enthusiast of pain killers), breastfeeding for straight first 5 months, continuously pumping milk for storing for later and of course not forgetting the all needed attention that any husband requires.

Ultimately it was all worth it; especially now that my baby is showing great milestones progress on monthly, if not, daily basis.

2. Milestone: Breastfeeding

The urge to have my baby latch on to have some milk about 30 minutes post his birth was undoubtedly an instinct that I never envisioned doing during my pregnancy; although I had read a lot about lactation tips. I had completely ignored the fact that I just came out of operation room. All that did not matter a bit.

I remember requesting the nurse to bring me my baby for feeding, when she gently smiled and replied, “Your baby isn’t hungry yet. You need to rest”. This sounded to me somehow pushy; (relax we know better than you what and when your baby needs!). Frankly speaking I did not have much power to resist her, but I kept insisting and raised my tone this time, “I feel he is hungry, so please bring him now!”. Obviously, she would not be in the position to argue with me any further.

Shortly I had my son in my weak arms and he immediately latched on and sipped of some fresh colostrum (first milk). This was one of the check points I promised myself not to miss on, as I had read lots of great things about allowing baby to drink the first milk, rich in vitamins and nutrition.

 

3. Milestone: Weaning

I was all equipped with baby feeding bottles, milk storage containers and breast pump prior to giving birth. I was not sure whether I will require some or all of these products, but I decided to stock up for emergency situations.

Luckily, all of the bottles, containers etc, came in handy when I felt the need to pump and store for when my husband would take my son for short walk on his own (without me); or for visiting his grandparents for over night stay. Thankfully, there was always oversupply of milk and I never faced shortage whatsoever.

However, as time went by, I started to feel locked up at home, mainly due to the reason that I had quit my permanent job after getting married and was all soaked up in diapers, milk and homemaking commitments. My partial post partum depression started fading away when Sultan began showing interest in powdered formula milk while he was away from me for couple of hours.

The weaning process began naturally on its own; but mainly with the aid of Sultan it was made easy on both of us (if not all of us in the family). He never refused or fussed being offered formula milk and he was fast accustomed to bottle feeding. It was in a way heartbreaking to realize that I did not complete 2 years of breastfeeding him as recommended worldwide, however, I was somehow relieved of the guilt when doctors did not interfere nor discouraged me from weaning process. Honestly speaking, toward the 6th month my milk supply was lower than ever before, mainly because I started pumping more infrequently and gradually milk supply went down.

It makes me proud to be a mama who managed to (at least) stick to breastfeeding for continuous 5 months, which I know for a fact is not a necessary aspect for many women who for some or the other reasons cannot breastfeed at all. It is a personal choice every individual mother makes, no one is to be judged at all.

 

Thank you for reading my most heartfelt confession on my experiences as a first time mommy. Please feel free to share your personal motherhood experience, knowledge and/or advice.

Baby Talk Milestones

Sultan’s First Words

 

But we as mothers keep asking ourselves, when will I hear my baby’s first words? It is said that essential milestones for a baby learning to talk usually happen in the first three years of life, when a baby’s brain is rapidly developing. During that time, our babies’ speech development depends on our “baby talk” skills as well as our babies’.

When Will I Hear My Baby’s First Words?

The first “baby talk” is said to be nonverbal and happens after his/her birth. The baby may frown, cry, and jiggle to express a range of emotions and physical needs, from fear and hunger to frustration and sensory overload. Some parents learn to listen and interpret their baby’s different cries.

It is believed that each individual baby will say those magical first words at his/her own pace. As my son Sultan is about to turn 15 months this January, we are all patient and accept his speech delay, since we have 7 languages spoken in the family, hence, it may be hard for him to pick one specific language to start speaking. Meantime he is very active and already pronounces simple words like “baa-baa” and “maa-maa”.  However, it is recommended to pay close attention to baby’s milestones in speech development, and if you have any serious concerns, then talk to your pediatrician or family doctor about your concerns.

Sultan’s Talk Milestones:

  • Baby talk at 3 months. At 3 months, our baby listened to our voice, watched our face as we talked, and turned toward other voices, sounds, and music that could be heard around the home. It is said that many babies prefer a woman’s voice over a man’s. Many also prefer voices and music they heard while they were still in the womb. Sultan was not different. He still loves when I recite him “Ayat Ul Kursi”. By the end of three months, Sultan began “cooing”, it was a happy, gentle, repetitive and sing-song vocalization.
  • Baby talk at 6 months. Usually at 6 months, the baby begins babbling with different sounds. For example, my baby started with “baa-baa” or “maa-maa” a little earlier than 6 months. So each baby develops individually. By the end of the sixth or seventh month, my baby Sultan started responding to his own name, recognized some of our native languages that we speak at home, and till date he uses his tone of voice to tell us he’s happy or upset.
  • Baby talk at 9 months. By the 9th month, Sultan could already understand a few basic words like “no” and “bye-bye baby”, he even waves his hand “bye” when he leaves home for a walk or when guests are about to leave our house.
  • Baby talk at 12 months. They say most babies say a few simple words like “mama” and “dadda” by the end of 12 months, and now they know what they’re saying. Nowadays Sultan responds to, or at least understands, if not obeys, our short, one-step requests such as, “Please pass me the remote or toy”. He often obeys our requests, however, if he was scolded for misbehaving few minutes prior to our request, he will pretend like he does not see the remote or the object we requested him to bring:)
  • Baby talk at 18 months. We are quite eager to see what will be Sultan’s first phrases by this age, however, it is believed that babies at this age say up to 10 simple words and can point to people, objects, and body parts you name for them. I have already began teaching him where is his nose, hands, fingers, toes etc., and he is very well able to understand when we point at different objects, be it his toys or food etc. Sultan tries to repeat words or sounds he hears we say, like the last word in a sentence. Looking forward to his first few phrases by the time he is 18 months old.

Sultan’s 2014 – 2015 Milestones In Photos ♥

Sultan’s milestones in photos from year 2014 – 2015

Sultan’s 10th day of his life (02.11.2014). He could already hold his head/neck high up on his own by this age:)

IMG_20141208_123903_hdr

Sultan’s 47 days old (1.5 months old) in this photo (08.12.2014). His first play mat. He would keep staring at it for few minutes and then start kicking it with his hands.

His first boppy pillow (19.12.2014). He is 57 days old in this photo (2 months old).

 

Making cute faces ♥ & gradually learning to sit up straight on his own . He is 66 days old (A little more than 2 months old) in this photo (28.12.2014).

Sultan almost sitting up straight on his own at 87 days old ( almost 3 months old). Photo taken on 18.01.2015.

Naughty Sultan is 111 days old ( 3.5 months old). Photo taken on 11.02.2015.

Leaning against sofa and strengthening sitting skills at 119 days old (4 months old)  Thanks to his mama who trained and made him practice sitting up straight on his own on daily basis 🙂 Photo dated 19.02.2015.

 

Yes! He is my little Titan! In this photo he is completely able to raise his head on his own and hold it 🙂 He is 122 days old (4 months old). Photo taken on 22.02.2015.

 

 

At age 142 days old ( almost 5 months old). Standing up with support. Photo taken on 14.03.2015.

Sultan holding his ball on his own at age 160 days old ( 5.3 months old). Photo dated 01.04.2015.

Sultan proudly showing off his cute belly at 217 days old ( 7 months old). Photo taken on 28.05.2015.

Sultan’s first experience at the pool 🙂 He is 230 days old (7.5 months old) in this photo (10.06.2015).

Walking on his own at the park with little support at 263 days old (8.5 months old). Photo dated (11.07.2015).

Standing on his own and watching the traffic jam outside the balcony at 288 days old ( 9.5 months old). Photo taken on (07.08.2015).

 

Climbing up on his walker at age 325 days old ( 10.8 months old). Photo dated (13.09.2015).

 

Cuddling & playing with his first friend/play mate at age 330 days old ( 11 months old). Photo taken on (18.09.2015).

Walking & running around the corridor all on his own at age 333 (11 months old). Photo dated (21.09.2015).

Grandma takes him along with her grocery shopping while Sultan sits in the trolley. He is aged 373 days old (1 year old). Photo taken on  (31.10.2015).

 

 

Sultan has started walking on his own!

Hi Friends,

Time has come to share our exciting news on our baby’s recent and crucial milestone, walking (MashaAllah)!

It has been a month or so (around 9.5 months old) since he has started cruising with the help of a push toy that comes with several play tools attached to it. Aside from the push toy, he has been able to stand on his own by clutching the furniture, table/chairs and of course holding on to us.

DSC01005Just as so 🙂PicsArt_1432819434467

Less than a week’s time further on he had taken his first tentative steps all on his own. He would not allow us to help him. (Although some babies walk before their birthdays, many don’t start for a few months; so do not fret, all babies develop at their own pace).

He became more confident as we encouraged him to get into standing position and make his steps towards us. We kept training him daily and eventually he gained enough self-confidence to let go of furniture edges and our help.

So far, ever since he has started walking, we have not child-proofed our home, since luckily I am a stay at home mother and I am always around him to ensure that he has no access to dangerous household items, medications and chemicals etc. However, it is highly recommended to ensure child-proofing the rooms / areas where baby can easily access.

It takes lots of efforts having to run behind the baby, and ours is already able to run (MashaAllah). Keeping this in mind, I have already segregated the kitchen drawers that are at his height level and replaced the usual kitchen utensils with loads of baby safe items and toys of his interest. So when I am in the kitchen, cooking or preparing meals, he sits/stands beside me and plays with his toys, pulling them one by one out of the drawers and scattering them all around. This way he is safe and has fun while mama is busy in the kitchen, and I am at peace knowing he will not injure himself. However, I still keep a close eagle eye on him throughout.

His favorite spot is the kitchen nowadays

We knew he will start walking early as he never liked sitting down in his stroller whenever we took him out in malls. Since then we have encouraged him to stand up and make few steps. In the last couple of weeks I have been letting him walk around in the shops bare feet (of course I would wipe his feet clean with Dettol wet wipes). Now that he is walking fast enough I have introduced him to his most comfortable pair of shoes and he is still able to walk properly wearing them.

 

Sultan’s 1st two teeth!

Another Baby Milestone!

Over the past few months my baby has been teething and going through mild pain and discomfort. All due to his 2 teeth erupting in the lower gum.

He broke into tears at my attempt to check out his baby teeth lol

A close up of his first 2 teethSultans 1st teeth

We have had his first dental check up 2 months ago and it was suggested by the nurse that we clean his gums and tongue every morning. I have been trying to wipe clean his gums and tongue with gauze cloth, however, he does not allow me to insert my finger and we end up just slightly wiping the gums with water. Although the nurse gave a green light to start using baby suitable tooth paste, I am afraid to have him the paste in his mouth as he swallows everything that goes right to his mouth.

Despite of all the frightening stories I read and heard about when babies start teething, by far Sultan has been a strong boy (MashaAllah) and manages to endure the pain. A few times we had encountered him having slightly high fever and baby Adol was the only savior.

We are anxiously looking forward to having all his teeth pop out so that he may start eating chunks of food without choking (InshaAllah).

I have known mothers whose babies had suffered a lot during the teething period and it is so frustrating to imagine their pain.

If your baby has or is going through this crucial milestone I would love to hear about your methods of cure and comforting/soothing your baby.

My Baby Is Soon Turning 1 Year Old!

sultan

Hi Readers,

In a short period of time, a little more than a month, my first baby is turning 1 year old. The very thought of his birthday celebration is exciting me. Since it is my first time to plan the celebration for my baby, I am quite confused when it comes to the venue and all preparations for the party!

First things first, we are based in UAE, Dubai, and I have already managed to review several venues for the celebration. However, I have not concluded my decision as I need to discuss the venue with my family members, particularly my husband.

I am looking forward to your suggestions/recommendations for the venues and/or packages available for the month of October 2015.

Please feel free to suggest your valuable ideas.

Let’s see how it goes and I will share the news on the progress of my research for a venue.