Conjunctivitis or pink eye among toddlers: causes and precautions..

Whether it’s a viral fever, allergies or infections, they surely cause some discomfort and tiredness to our body. And if this sickness comes to your toddler, then it becomes even more challenging. As they wouldn’t be able to express the pain on their own, we have to take extra care to make it easier for them.

Last week, my little one got an eye infection (pink in colour covered on white part of his eye). We thought he must have touched his eye in some dirty hand or poked something and we waited for one week for any improvement. But it remained the same without changing its colour.

Then, we decided to consult a doctor about the issue and managed to take an appointment through video call as everyone knows about the current situation i.e. the lock-down going on and we have to stay at home to stay safe. He checked my toddler’s eye and asked some questions to know about the past history of his eye infection. After that he confirmed it as nothing but Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye (due to its colour). It is a harmless infection, but needs requisite treatment for quick results.

In this blog, I will with share you the guide for conjunctivitis and what precautions we can take to feel better from my personal experience. Let’s dig in for more insights:

What is Conjunctivitis?

It is an infection or inflammation of the outer membrane of the eyeball and the inner eyelid (mostly white part of the eyes).

Symptoms of Conjunctivitis

The main symptoms of Conjunctivitis are:

  • Redness in the eyes
  • Itchiness and watery eyes
  • Crusting around the eyes
  • Leads to some yellowish and light green discharge
  • Eye discomfort

If you see any of the symptoms discussed above and is not improving after a week if untreated, then make sure to visit your doctor.

Causes of Conjunctivitis

There are mainly 2 types of causes of this eye infection. They are:

  1. Contagious or infectious Conjunctivitis: Contagious conjunctivitis are caused mainly by viruses and bacteria responsible for all kinds of cold, viral fever and other infections. It is contagious and spreads easily when you come in contact with eye secretion of the person who is infected.
  2. Non- contagious and non- infectious Conjunctivitis: Non- infectious conjunctivitis has 2 different categories. They are discussed as below:

Allergic Conjunctivitis: This type of conjunctivitis may happen, when your toddler comes in contact with: Dust mites, grass, pollen, animal dander etc.

Irritant conjunctivitis: This type of Conjunctivitis may happen to your toddler, when he comes in contact with anything that discomforts the eyes such as heavy air pollution or due to chlorine found in a swimming pool or simply touching your eye after playing with sand. These kinds of infection are mainly caused at playgrounds or day care centres or in play schools.

Above two Conjunctivitis comes under non contagious categories but it can spread to other eyes of your kid by touching or rubbing the infected eye and then touching the other eye.

What doctors suggest (Treatment)

As per the medical practitioners, some go away on their own but others need to be treated. Mostly it will take 2-3 days to improve. For that we need to follow the below instructions:

  • Antibiotic eye drops: You have to put eye drops into your toddler’s both eyes. Though we all know how difficult it is to put eye drops in your little one’s eye, don’t worry, just put drops on closed eye and it will automatically slide down into his eyes, when he tries to open their eyes or even when they go to sleep.
  • Ointments: this is an easier option than putting eye drops in your kid’s eyes. You have to only apply it on the place where the eyelids meet in a thin layer. It will melt and enter into his eyes. You can apply this ointment, when your toddler is in his deep sleep.
  • Cold compress: cold compress will help the redness go away and also helps in reducing fluid retention around the eyes. It can be applied to closed eyes for 5-10 minutes, a few times in a day. Take a cotton ball and boil it in water for some time. After cooling down, apply it on your toddler’s eye. It will make him feel better.

Precautions should be taken against Conjunctivitis

We don’t have any control on diseases. We can’t totally ignore them, but we can make sure to take proper measures to avoid it as best as possible. These precautions will help your toddler to improve the conditions from the infection and stop spreading this infection to the other eye.

  • Hand wash: The first and foremost precaution can be taken against any infection is to wash your hands properly. Encourage your kids to clean hands after every activity that can lead to infections or allergies.
  • Take Rest: Proper rest is the key to shorten time for any infection staying on our body. Don’t send your child to child care or play schools for a short period of time. It will help to maintain a distance so that others can’t get contaminated. 
  • Clean around eyes: Clean the edges of the infected eye with cold water and cotton balls. It will make them feel better and itching will be less.
  • Don’t rub eyes: keep a close look on your toddler against rubbing their eyes. Rubbing can make things worse. Don’t let them rub roughly instead put some eye drops or give compress to make them feel good.
  • Don’t share personal things: Don’t share your kid’s tissues, towel, eye drops or pillow covers with anyone else. This might cause the transformation of infection to others and obviously, it’s not hygienic.
  • Take a doctor’s appointment: Call your doctor immediately if it is not improving even after 2-3 days prescribed medication. If you are experiencing severe symptoms like: swelling around the eyes, changes in eyesight, severe pain or sensitivity towards the light, take your doctor’s appointment. It may be something else other than only eye infections.

(This information is solely based on my personal experience, some research and my doctor’s prescription. Not subjected to any medical supervision. Always confirm with your doctor before taking any medications).

These infections may look harmless but never compromise your little one’s health at any cost. They are precious. After all, we want the best for our little munchkins.

If you like reading this blog, then give your valuable feedback and don’t forget to share.

Tricks of weaning breastfeeding…

Breastfeeding is the best ever feeling a mother could experience. It creates a strong bonding with her baby naturally. Breast feeding is the best diet a baby has been put on through which he/she got an ideal nutrition which is much needed in his/her initial days. It has a perfect composition of fat, proteins and vitamins.

As everything has its own limit, one day this has to end. Breastfeeding also comes to an end, when baby is all set to grow up as a separate individual and needed extra food other than breast milk to reach the level of nutrients their body demands.

Then the next question comes to all the mothers,” how to know it’s the particular time to stop breastfeeding”? Moreover, till 1 year we cannot stop breast feeding fully because it is quite difficult for babies to digest solid foods entirely by that time themselves. After 1 year, somehow it is ok to stop breast feeding (it totally depends upon a mother and baby’s demand of giving and accepting milk). However, my doctor suggested to continue breast feeding till 2 years, if there are no other emergencies. It is certainly not do any harm, rather brings out plenty of benefits.

My journey of breastfeeding was beautiful and I must say, I will cherish it forever. I started to stop it towards the end of 2nd year and my little one responded tremendously and left it in his exact 2 years. The process to stop the breastfeeding was very much a small roller coaster ride for me, sometimes painful, sometimes anxious and may be sometimes a little happy to make this happen. I was happy, that he is growing up but at the same time sad and depress thinking,” will this affect our bonding? Will I be that only special person in his life?” No more waking up in the nights to feed but same time getting restless thinking about let my baby go off breastfeeding.

But this is the eternal truth that, “you are breast feeding or not, you will be the most special person ever in your baby’s life. No one can deny it. Such a relationship shared between mother and her baby.

Now that we know about the moment to stop breast feeding your baby, lets focus on some of the tricks of weaning breastfeeding which may make easier for women to tackle this situation smoothly.

Methods of weaning breast feeding

  1. Child led weaning: Child led weaning is the method of letting child decide on its own if he/she wants to go for breast milk or not. Sometimes the child may not take much interest in breast milk due to some reason (e.g. when the child gets a taste of different flavour of solid foods, or it may not get sufficient milk). If this happens to you, then you can consider yourself luckiest one because you don’t have to go through much difficulties which a woman goes through at the time of weaning. You don’t have to do anything rather than following your baby’s mood and hint of refusing breast milk. If he does not want then don’t offer. He will get acquainted in some days.
  2. Mother led weaning: In this method, mostly mother decides to stop breast feeding. There are so many causes, where a mother is bound to put an end to it, it may be a normal or an emergency one. For example: Resume to work, at the time of serious illness, if the milk supply is low, societal pressure or simply now her baby is ready to survive without breastfeeding. In child led method, there is no need of doing anything but in mother led weaning method, there are different types according to the need of mother and baby.

Based on your situation, you may consider the weaning of breastfeeding as follows: 

Sudden or Abrupt weaning: This is chosen by most of the women who are suffering from certain health risk, prolonged illness or on high dose medication, has to be separated for long time or pressurized by their society. It is not easy as it sounded. Following tricks can be used:

  • Apply prescribed medicines on nipples.
  • Apply some natural ingredients like aloe vera juice, bitter gourd juice, neem leaves paste etc.
  • Use a breast pump to remove and reduce milk supply.

It will help your child to get adjusted to this situation in 1 week or so. But it will make him more irritable and crankier. It is also important to note that, this will create many breast related complications like breast engorgement, blocked duct, mastitis or breast abscess.

Gradual weaning: This one is my recommendation and the perhaps the safest way to wean from breastfeeding as it will give enough time to get adjusted to new situation for both mother and baby. Personally, I choose to be gentle and gradual before entering a new situation. Weaning breastfeeding was my biggest headache when I was in that particular stage. As we can’t continue breastfeeding life long, we have to stop it once. Whenever I tried asking any friend or relatives of mine, who are in that stage or crossed it, answer always comes for sudden weaning, which was very much frustrating and irritating for your child. That put me in a fix and I used to question myself,” was it the only way, can’t it be smooth?”

After consulting my doctor, I decided to go with gradual weaning. No doubt, it took some extra effort and little much time than the other tricks, but it was so satisfying with surprising benefits. I will definitely suggest every mother going through this situation, to go with gradual weaning method. You may try the following tricks:

  • Shorten or postpone breast feeding one at a time.
  • Distract your baby by doing their favourite activities.
  • Give them something interesting to eat, of course healthy. You can try substitute milk also.
  • Change in routine helps child to forget about breastfeeding. I did it by taking him out for one extra hour.

This process also helps in reducing breast complications compared to sudden weaning method. It’s true as I didn’t experience any breast problem either. And the result is the most positive and does not affect on the intimate bonding between you and your little one.

Motherhood is patience. As mother Teresa rightly said,” without patience we will learn less in life, we will see less, we will feel less, we will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually means less.” It will take time, but not forever. Cheers to motherhood!!!!

If you like this blog, do share with your loved ones…

Importance of Exclusive Breastfeeding your new-born for early 6 months after birth…

There is no greater blessing than a new baby and once you get this precious gift from the God, it becomes your sincere duty to make them grow stronger. Any new mother must have got this first and foremost advise from the doctor about breastfeeding to their baby. Breastfeeding is the natural process of giving (i.e. mother’s milk) the world’s healthiest food to your new-born baby. It begins within the first hour of a baby’s life as breast milk is more than enough to support ideal growth in an infant for the first 6 months after the birth.

However, new moms may get several questions in their head regarding breastfeeding- is it a right choice or a wrong one? If I am a working woman, how will my baby survive when I was away? Is only breast feeding will give full nourishment to my child? Whether breastfeeding will ruin my figure and much more…? But, to all these confusions, the only answer is, “breastfeeding is not a choice, it’s a responsibility.” It is what nature intended and obviously, it’s the most organic way to nourish the baby.

In my case, my doctor suggested me to exclusively breastfeed my baby for his first six months as it has the antibodies that can help a baby resist several infections. Even drinking water is not allowed for an infant during the early 6 months. Then, whenever my baby starts crying (even for other causes), suggestions and advice pour in to give formula milk as breastfeeding sometimes, does not fill stomach fully. Again, at that time I choose not to listen any one’s advice and go according to my doctor’s suggestion and stick to my decision. Believe me, I got my own benefits and will suggest every new mother to breast feed their babies which will also create a wonderful bonding with their little ones.

Benefits of exclusive breast feeding

In this blog, I am going to share my journey of breastfeeding and some research and scientific based benefits, not only for babies but for new mothers also.

For babies:

  • Breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition: Breastfeeding does provide everything that your baby needs in his initial six month. It has a perfect mix of proteins, fat and vitamins. It has a best composition that changes according your baby’s requirements. This can be continued for a full 1 year along with solid foods after 6 months.
  • Breastfeeding encourages a healthy weight: Breastfed babies have more Leptin in their body which is a key hormone for regulating appetite that helps in maintaining a healthy weight. It also self-regulates their milk intake, which helps them develop healthy eating patterns.
  • Breastfeeding contains important antibodiesSecretory IgA is the main antibody found in breast milk. It is considered as the main immunoglobulin present in breast milk. This hormone is helpful for binding microorganisms and keep them away from the body’s tissue. This antibody favours the establishment of good bacteria in a baby’s gut.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the chances of disease risk: Exclusive breastfeeding has many benefits and reduces several diseases occurs to an infant. Diseases mostly like allergies, diabetes, celiac disease, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) can be avoided by giving breast milk as the main supplement. The effects of breastfeeding seem to last through out childhood and even further.
  • Breast feeding makes your baby less hyper: Research also shows that breastfeeding can make your baby less hyper by age 3 compared to other kids (though it can’t guarantee to make your child smarter in long run).

For mothers:

  • Breast feeding may help you losing weight: Yes, breastfeeding helps you to lose weight and return to your original figure more quickly because breast feeding uses up calories. Research shows that breast feeding mothers tend to burn an average 500 calories daily.
  • Breast feeding helps in contracting uterus: Breastfeeding helps your uterus contract back into its pre pregnancy shape as the hormone called Oxytocin released into your blood stream at the time of breastfeeding which is caused mainly by stimulation of nipple.
  • Breastfeeding may help in reducing disease risk: A lot of studies shows that longer a woman breastfeeds, the lower her risk of heart disease later in life. It also helps in reducing the chance of having breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding sheds a lot of tissue after lactation during which it may get rid of damaged cells which cause cancer. It is also seen that women who breast feed for 1-2 years have a 15% lower risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and high blood fats.
  • Breastfeeding may help in preventing menstruation: Continued breast feeding helps in pausing menstruation and ovulation. Some women even considered it as a birth control but it may not be completely effective method of contraception.

Above are the scientific based benefits which surely have an effect on every new born baby and mother.

Other benefits:

  • It helps in reducing depression: Mothers who prefer breastfeeding are less likely develop depression. They have Oxytocin hormones which encourages relaxation and care for her baby.
  • A wonderful bonding with your child: Breastfeeding is the unique way of bonding with your child which is the organic method of the nature. It gives you a reason to sit down and relax a little bit while bonding with your tiny one.
  • A life saviour during crankiness: if your baby is cranky than usual, hurt himself or have fever, then breastfeeding gives you the option of soothing your baby quite tactfully. Personally, I find the best way to calm my baby is holding him in my arms and make him look into my eyes while feeding.
  • It saves time and money: Finally, breastfeeding may be considered as economical way to give the best food to your new-born and it is extremely time saving (you don’t have to measure, mix it, sterilise, etc.). It is ready to drink and is always at the right temperature.

Some women are unable to breast feed some real challenges. It is totally normal and feeding formula is completely fine. But if you are worried about your figure, then according to doctors,” Age and unhealthy diets and habits will create figure related problems than breast feeding does” (Again, it depends upon one’s own choice).

Breast feeding is not easy…. but it is always worth it. Lastly, I must repeat the great saying:

“The breastfeeding is not about my right to breastfeed; it is about my child’s right to eat.”

If you like reading this blog, do share your valuable feedback.

Viral fever among toddlers…A regular but a serious business…

Human body is a beautiful machine and it also needs time to time service as well. Our body also demands good atmosphere, proper care, time to time check-up, etc. As it does not get the spare parts conveniently, you have to look after each and every part of your body. Moreover, when it comes to your little tiny ones, the concern gets more intense as they can’t express their problems.  Since, they also have a weaker immunity than the adults, you tend to go extra mile to keep them safe from unnecessary health issue. Have you ever imagined, what could be the condition of parents (specifically mothers) at those challenging situations? All the mothers here can certainly understand better…. Right???

In this blog, I will share my experience and important things about viral fever or infection among toddlers that troubled my little boy back to back in a single month (the obvious reason for my late posts).

Viral fever is a profusion of viral infections generally characterized by a spike in normal body temperature. It spreads out from one person to another by direct contact with the infected person’s bodily fluids (coughing, vomiting, sneezing etc. that sprinkle body fluids). Once infected, it would take about 16 to 48 hours to convert it into a full-blown infection.

According to our paediatrician, viral fever is very common in toddlers as it can easily spread around school, childcare or kindergarten. It is also very common for children to have up to 12 viruses in one year in first few years and you will feel like they are sick all the time.

My son kept on falling sick from the starting of this year and got other infections shortly after recovering from the previous one. Overall, in these 2 months my little one has got 4 times viral fevers and doctor says that it will gradually reduce as they develop a stronger immune system. He also told us that viral infections resolve on their own and majorly happens due to a sudden change in climatic conditions.

Symptoms of viral fever

  • High fever: The first and the most important symptoms of viral infection is High fever and this fever can occur at regular intervals. It comes along with chills and does not get cured immediately with medicines (it goes on for at least 48 hours). If the fever continues even after 48 hours, then contact your doctor immediately (it might be other bacteria or health issues).
  • Poor appetite: Child does not take any interest in food and generally have vomiting sensations.
  • Cold sores: Due to high fever, some cold sores might appear on your child’s face (my son gets cold sores under his right eye, on the right upper lip and behind right ear).
  • Cold, cough and throat congestion: You can see the symptoms like dry cough, running nose and physical weakness.

Precaution to avoid viral fever

As the doctor says, it’s a process of building the child’s immune system so it can’t be avoided fully but surely someone can take precautions to avoid the severity of the situation regarding your child’s health.

  1. Drink fluids: Give your child plenty of fluids because they lose so much liquids from their body during fever and can cause dehydration and diarrhoea if not taken proper care. Don’t give only water, you can also give juices, broths and soups.
  2. Proper rest: Make sure your child gets proper rest. In viral infection antibiotic does not help but plenty of rests in home required to improve in health condition.
  3. Sponge bath: A lukewarm water sponge bath will not make any harm to your child if he has a raising temperature. But if he has fever below 103 degree and is active then you don’t need anything to let down fever as viral fever trying its best to fight against infections.
  4. Washing hand: Make sure your toddler washes their hands before touching their face with dirty hands. If cleaning hand every time is not possible then carry hand sanitizer and sanitize your kid’s hand properly.
  5. Use thermometer: Always keep thermometer in home and check your child’s temperature at regular intervals. This will help you to keep a track of fever and medicine to be given.
  6. Cover mouth while sneezing or coughing: Teach your child to cover the mouth and nose with tissue or just use their sleeves. It helps in avoiding direct contact with other people. If your child has blocked nose, then you can use nasal saline drop that will give instant relief to your child.
  7. Medicines: Doctors usually recommended paracetamol. Try to give the entire course even after your child feel better. Don’t give Aspirin as it can cause Reye’s syndrome (swelling of liver and brain). You can give proper immunization i.e. flu vaccination every year as per your Doctor’s prescription. Note: Before taking any medication, contact your doctor and follow their instructions.
  8. Precautions in day care and playschools: Ask about the hygiene followed by school like staffs cleaning hands, cleaning rooms and toys, sanitize the toys regularly etc. make sure your child not sharing water bottles, cups or cutlery with other children. It can’t fully avoid viral infections but to some extent it will help decreasing the chance.

This blog is based on my experience and my personal discussions while visiting my kid’s doctor. We can’t avoid illness entirely from our life as illness teaches us the importance of our health. It’s just a phase that will pass but with precautions it does not take us to the serious trouble.

One more important thing. As we are facing the serious challenge from Covid-19 now, let’s not take any risk with our precious little ones even if it is a normal infection. If you like this blog, do share with your friends and loved ones.

Celebrating Holi 2020 with your toddler with the caution of Corona Virus…

Life is like a rainbow that have many colours. Some colours are bright and some are dull but every colour is required to complete a painting and the best colour of your life is that which suits the most on you.

Holi is the festival of colours and the symbol of celebration of the colours that are present in our lives with a touch of happiness and mythology that always teach about victory prevails good over evil. Holi is around the corner and I am pretty sure the preparation of celebration has already begun. But is it the first ever Holi celebration of your toddler? If yes, then it’s going to be very exciting as your toddler will be able to know about a colourful world they live in where all the festivals are celebrated with great pomp and show.

With the anxiety to explore the world, toddlers also invite risk that can be dangerous if not guided properly. So, make sure you have monitored that extra preparation for your naughty and mischievous tiny tots, who has brought the vibrant colour in your life after their entry into your world.

But it looks like this year Holi is heading towards a lousy celebration of colour due to the deadly Novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) that is spreading out fast like fire in different countries and it has started knocking India’s door as well. Recently, we have got news about positive results in different parts of India.

Though we can’t stop it from spreading but we certainly can take the precautions to keep ourselves safe. Proper knowledge about Coronavirus and how to avoid it can help to some extent to get out from its clutches. You can visit to your nearest hospitals or can contact your family doctor to have a conversation and a brief idea about this virus.

Most of the countries that are affected by COVID-19 now dismissed the international flight along with India. All the events, fairs and large gathering are being cancelled to have a control on this virus. My brother who is in Madrid, Spain informed me about their Holi celebration event also got cancelled and most likely their offices are also closing down leaving them to work from home (at least for some period).

Amidst of these, we Indians, who are hoping towards a grand get together for Holi celebration are also in a fix. We still wonder whether to travel to our hometown, or enjoy the party at our own society. As recommended by government, this year social gathering is not possible but it does not restrict us to have our own family celebration. Only we have to mindful for certain precaution to save ourselves from this threat of the virus.

Precautions to be taken during this year Holi to avoid COVID-19

  • Avoid using toxic colours: The fear of Corona virus is taking down the energy in the people to celebrate Holi in India. Everywhere there are advertisements that are going viral to avoid using Chinese colours (not yet proved). Even if COVID-19 spreads from person to person, it is advisable to avoid these colours for skin safety measures.
  • Avoid Holi gatherings: As all the social gathering are getting cancelled due to the circumstances, it is better to avoid gathering for some time towards the well-being of your family and particularly for little ones. You never know who are infected in that whole gathering.
  • Avoid shaking hand: we Indian, are famous for our unity and brotherhood and we spread happiness by shaking hands and hugging each other. This year avoid shaking hand and follow the traditional Namaste style to greet each other.
  • Don’t share cutlery, bottles, cups etc.: if you are celebrating Holi within your family, make sure not to share cutlery, bottles or cups with anyone. Be more careful towards your little one’s personal hygiene.
  • Maintain distance while talking: 2 m distance is enough to avoid the sprinkle of bodily fluid of an infected person. Maintaining distance will help you to lower the risk of catching virus. Avoid meeting international guests if it is not that necessary.
  • Washing hand frequently: increase the number of washing hand for at least 20 seconds with every touching of doubtful things that can have a chance for carrying germs and always carry a sanitizer. It is very important especially when you have a toddler with you.

So, mommies, after all to keep our little one safe is our priority and we will leave no stone unturned to keep them safe. Don’t lose heart and enjoy your mini Holi party. To celebrate a Holi, we don’t really need a big party but sometimes all you need is a little splash of colour (organic ones that also can be handmade).

How storytelling helps you to develop your kid’s young mind?

As per Albert Einstein “if you want your child to be intelligent, read them fairy tales and if you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales”. Storytelling is perhaps the most powerful way to put your ideas and organises your experience while you communicate to others.

Storytelling is perhaps the oldest form of education. In case of toddlers, it is definitely a strong tool which will help your child learn vocabulary, understand various expressions or sounds and give a shape to their imagination or dreams. It also helps to develop early literacy skills and make them comfortable to different languages for communication.

In my case, I love to tell stories and my son loves to listen stories. Be it in the bedtime or during a long journey in the back of the car, my son never let me stop my mouth. It has certainly become another beautiful way to strengthen our relationship. Even, there are moments in a day that he doesn’t want to play or does not feel good or becomes cranky, then we together just sit in our favourite place and lost in our story world (mostly his favourite construction vehicles story) and then Bang!!!! He returns in a happy mood with double energy.

I must say that story telling is my biggest life saver from my toddler’s tantrums and I almost started story telling when my son was hardly 5-6 months. (I know that time he does not understand anything but it helps me to stick to his daily routine). You can start story telling or reading books to your baby as early as you like– the earlier the better.

Benefits of story telling in my toddler’s life

There are many advantages of storytelling because it promotes brain development and shape their imaginations. Everyone must be having their own experience and I am quite sure you have your own advantage. Here I will share my experience, out of which I have got immensely benefited (as everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach and wisdom to share……Right????)

  1. Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas and thoughts: As a mother, we always try to put good thoughts to our child’s mind, so that it will help them develop a positive mindset and tackle problems in their life. But it is not possible always to teach a child in an adult language. But then, storytelling s a good option to present your thoughts before your child in their language. You don’t have to read books always. You can try telling stories from your culture that will help instilling morals in children (if my kid does any thing wrong or thing which I think he should not do, then I try telling stories including his favourite characters and it always work for me).
  2. Story telling helps a child understand a change or new events and environments: A child’s life is a blank diary. As they get older, the pages get filled up. During this initial phase, they will face many new and strange situation or frightening event and we parents have to tackle that situation tactfully. I choose storytelling to prepare my little boy in advance for any new events and it worked for me. (I told him about the event repeatedly through stories before 3-4 days and he at least try to give that situation a chance with patience).
  3. Storytelling create sparks in your child’s brain, helps his communication and social skills: Storytelling always brings your child’s attention to the subject matter. It certainly leaves a big impact on developing your child’s imagination and stimulate his/ her curiosity. According to some research,” Stories develops Emotional Intelligence in child.” As we all know a person having a strong Intelligence quotient and no Emotional quotient is considered as animal and not human.
  4. Storytelling is a tantrum reliever: For me, stories are my best friend if I have to divert my son’s mind in different situation especially at the time of tantrums. Mostly, I use stories as a tool. Sometimes it does not work but most of the time if proves to be the sweetest way for him to overlook tantrums and move to a better mindset.
  5. Storytelling helps in learning the value of books and stories: if your child is interested in listening stories from an early age, then you must have noticed how they take care of their books (any type of books) and how carefully they turned the pages of their book. Overall, stories teach your child the importance of books in their life.

How to start story telling

If you have not started and want to start storytelling to your child, I have few tips how to start storytelling. I followed the same during my initial days of storytelling to my son (and the fun part is, now everyday it becomes a ritual and my boy demands a good story rather than mobile).

  • Make a routine: Any time is a good time for stories. At least try storytelling one each day (mine usually reaches 5-6 short stories in a day).
  • Turn off the TV: Restrict your child’s screen time to limited while telling or sharing stories. It will help him to give better concentration.
  • Involve your child in your story: Children love to be a part of their favourite character’s world. You can also encourage your child by showing the pictures or toys in the story.
  • Try different sounds: After all You need to be little funny while doing the storytelling. Try some funny noises and sounds. So that it will create interest among children for listening stories.
  • Enjoy yourself: This is an important one. You can’t make your child enjoy listening if you do not enjoy the story by yourself. So, start with a positive mind and may be think a little what kind of storytelling you want to do for your kiddo.
  • Choosing books: Choose the story books for your child wisely and age appropriately. Let your toddler choose their book at the story time.
  • Reading position: Hold your child in that way where he/she can see your face as well as the book. Then he also starts enjoying the same.

If we remember our childhood days, we certainly agree how we enjoyed the stories and how eagerly we were waiting for those storyteller (sometime our parents and most of the time our grandparents). The stories were going beyond the fun elements and did teach us many life lessons. So, we need to be little fair to our children and just need to pass the same legacy. You can convey some good manners, teach how to be empathetic (putting yourself in other’s shoes) and so many things through the storytelling. So happy storytelling !!!

This is my personal experience and I am sure you have your own. If you have any do share your valuable feedback.

Why I choose homemade virgin coconut oil for my baby…

A baby is as pure as an angel and as fresh as a blooming flower. They are so delicate that you are always worried and careful for smallest things. As we all know, baby’s skin is super sensitive and it can easily react to any skin care products which has chemicals and inflammatory elements. So, they deserve a chemical free, highly processed and fragrance-free baby product which can have a velvet feeling on their skin. Every mom wants loves to see their baby grows up with super soft and rashes free skin, so they always looking for suggestions from almost everyone.

Even before my son’s birth, my mom was ready with homemade oil along with some important baby related things which are usually required during the time of delivery. Honestly, I was not very comfortable or did not have much idea of all these requirements. After the birth of my son, doctor suggested to apply some moisturizer or oil to his skin as his skin was very dry. When my husband was rushing to buy some baby lotion from the pharmacy shop, my mom called up and told that not to buy anything from outside and she has got the best thing, i.e. homemade coconut oil.

Then, I asked my mom,” why coconut oil?” my mom answered, “She has used the same on us and it is no ordinary coconut oil, it is homemade pure virgin coconut oil”. Further, to satisfy my ego, I tried to do some surfing and found that homemade pure virgin coconut oil has the power to replace pretty much baby care products as it has properties like ant- oxidant, anti-fungal, anti- inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It can easily get absorbed on the skin. I decided to give it a try and use it for massaging my baby.

And then to my surprise this oil worked like a magic. Believe me, it not only moisturises and nourishes my baby’s skin but also spell its effects on other areas of skin related issues which mostly occurs on every baby’s soft skin.

Benefits of homemade virgin coconut oil

There must be so many benefits of using virgin coconut oil, but I will share my experience on those things for which I have seen the results:

  1. Diaper rash: Diaper rash is a common problem faced by a lot of kids because the use of diaper has increased and even whole day babies are seen wearing diapers. When I talked about myself, I didn’t face the problem of diaper rash ever and thanks to virgin coconut oil which I used for massaging my baby from the day one to till now. Virgin coconut oil actually helps in nourishing the skin and treats the irritating skin as well. It is reliable as it has the anti-inflammable properties which will not worsen the rash.
  2. Cradle cap: cradle cap is described as dry and flaky scalp that resembles dandruff. It is not that severe and can appear in young infants mostly up to 1 to 3 months. Cradle cap is self-treatable but you can use some mild baby shampoo to clean it but before that applying some virgin oil in the scalp help to remove easily that patchy and dry crust.
  3. Dry or chapped lips: Recently, my little boy got cold sores around his lips due to changed condition and fever and he is quite uncomfortable with that. So, my mom suggested the age-old remedy of using virgin coconut oil which contains the main ingredient as Lauric acid which heals as well as don’t affect the baby. That’s how I came to know about another magical benefit of virgin coconut oil which can easily available in home.
  4. Insects bites and bumps: It is found that coconut oil is great for insect bites because it has anti-inflammatory agent thus helping with inflammation caused from insect bites, bumps etc. it also has anti-microbial agent which helps to prevent spreading of infection caused from bite. Mostly, I apply it on mosquito bite and it really helps in reducing the redness of bump and gives relief from itching.
  5. Smooth and shiny hair: As I have already mentioned, virgin coconut oil has a main ingredient i.e. lauric acid that has a high affinity for hair proteins. Due to its low molecular weight it can penetrate easily inside the hair shaft, thus giving the hair a gorgeous and shiny look.
  6. Eczema: It means a dry and itchy skin and it is very common among babies. According to some research, it is shown that application of virgin coconut oil can help in reducing Eczema as it has hydrating agent that provides relief. You can use before or after bath for effecting result according to your child’s need (I prefer to apply it before bath time of my baby and it remains all day long on my baby’s skin keeping it moisturized).
  7. Body lotion: Virgin coconut oil has anti-microbial characteristics; it is suitable for your baby’s skin care. Just take some coconut oil and apply on the areas you want to moisturize. It is better that any commercial baby body lotion products.

This oil also can be applied for treating lice, baby acne, baby’s thrush, teething pain and many more. (I explained only those points which I have experienced with my baby. It is always advisable that before applying oil for any skin related issue, first consult your paediatrics.

Preparation of virgin coconut oil at home

There are three different methods of preparing virgin coconut oil at home:

  • Wet will method
  • Cold process method
  • Boiling the coconut

Here, I will share the boiling method (that’s what I use and have not tried the other two).

Steps of preparing virgin coconut oil

Step 1: Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan.

Step 2: Take a fresh and fully developed brown coconut, scoop out its meat and grate it into a bowl.

Step 3: Now blend the coconut with hot water and puree the coconut water into a smooth mixture (don’t fill the blender more than halfway with hot water otherwise the lid will fly off).

Step 4: Strain the coconut liquid using a cheese cloth placed on a bowl and squeeze as much liquid as possible.

Step 5: Boil the coconut liquid in a sauce pan in medium high. Stir it constantly while cooking until the water has evaporated and cream has separated from oil. By that time the colour should be turned brown (be patient as it could take over an hour).

Step 6: Take a cloth, strain out all the oil by squeezing it in a bowl and your virgin coconut oil is now ready to use (it can be stored for many months).

As you hear from the doctors that beautiful skin for a baby requires commitment, not a miracle. Personally, I have such a great experience with the homemade coconut oil that I am still using the same for my 3 year old kid.

I hope this article may help all the mothers who are in a need of some homemade and pure baby skin care products.

Note: This article solely based on my experience and research. Not to be considered as a medical research.