June 28

Speech Therapy – Activities for Early Speech

Speech Therapy

Months back, I shared my experience of meeting moms who are worried over their kids’ delayed milestone achievements. I firmly believe in the fact that every child is different, however, if a child doesn’t start speaking at 2 years of age, it might be a reason to worry. In that scenario, you might want to opt for Speech Therapy for your child.

 Speech therapy helps with using the voice properly and using the muscles to make the right sounds. It helps people understand language and express themselves.

https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/ear-nose-throat/treatment-and-detection-methods/speech-therapy/

I am not a speech therapy expert, yet would like to share some basic fun activities, which I tried with Kreesha. Kreesha started speaking only after 2nd birthday. She used to say words earlier like Ma, Pa, dada, dadi, ice, rice, dudu, juice, and a few more. So, I playfully involved her in these activities and she started speaking phrases and now she is 2.5 years old and is able to speak long sentences with 10-12 words also.

Activities till 2 years:

  • Kreesha started her eye contact with us at an early age of 3 months. So, I started talking to her. She would respond with her eyes and expressions. For example, if she was happy, she would move her legs and if she is sad then she would simply ignore the situation.
  • Sharing small details of her daily routine with her like, “now its time to take bath, we are going to sit in bathtub and enjoy the bath”. Verbally explaining your child about their daily routine helps them build vocabulary but develop good habbit also.
  • Talk about things baby see in their room, house. Explain what is it and why is it in the house.
  • Talk about family and family members.
  • Talk about body parts and help them point their body parts.
  • Read them stories, rhymes sing them fun songs.
  • Show them colours and various objects, wait for them to respond.

Activities after 2 years:

  • Speak clearly to your child. Make them aware of the importance of clear speech.
  • Do not speak in their language, even if you do, do repeat the correct pronunciation or word also.
  • Repeat what they say, so that they are assured you understand what they want to say.
  • Show them pictures of various objects found in house, classroom, playground and get them talking about it.
  • Play yes or no game. Ask your kids simple questions like, “Do crow fly? Are you hungry?” Let kids respond to your question in a yes or no. Play vice versa – get your child ask questions to you.
  • Have a conversation where a child has to make choice like, “Do you want juice or milk?” or “Do you want to go out or play in the house?”
  • Talk about various body parts and what it does
  • Place some toys in a box and ask your child to pick one-by-one and tell what is it

Exercises to Try:

Paper Blowing is one of the Exercises to boost your kids’ Oral Motor Skills

  • Blow a balloon – Blowing a balloon helps the child develop facial muscles, which enable the child to speak easily.
  • Paper Blowing – A fun activity that will enhance your kid’s oral motor skills and concentration.

PS: I will soon be sharing a video on my youtube channel with other fun activities to help your kids develop their oral motor skills and enhance their speech.

Love,

Wonder Mom

June 23

W-sitting in Kids

W-Sitting

‘W’- Sitting:

The moment your child sits on the floor with bent knees, feet outside their hips and bottoms touching the floor. While sitting in this position the legs of the child are similar to the formation of alphabet ‘W’ and thus is termed as W-sitting.  

Why kids prefer W-sitting?

Kids often playfully sit in W position, however, for some sitting this position is a way out to make up for their hips and trunk muscular weaknesses. This position provides the kid with extra stability and firmness to play around with toys while sitting upright. You do not have to worry for your kid, is s/he frequently changes sitting position, yet if you notice your child sitting in W-position for a longer period, try and correct their position.

There are also chances of kid having an anatomical difference in their hip joints making their thigh bones twisting inwardly. This condition needs medical supervision and is known as femoral anteversion.*

Why ‘W’- sitting is bad?

  • While sitting in w-position, kids tend to use less of core muscles. This might result in the weak shoulder and wrist movement affecting their fine motor development.
  • The w-position restricts the body movement and prevents the side-side weight shifting
  • Since there is reduced torso movement, the kid might develop limited coordination between their left and right body sides. The minimal coordination may also affect child’s bilateral coordination (using both body sides simultaneously)
  • The W-sitting positing lay huge stress on the hips and knees joints resulting in the postural problems and frequent lower back pains among kids

How to rectify W-sitting

W-Sitting Alternative Positions
W-Sitting Alternative Positions

Noticing your child sitting in ‘W’- position, you might want to encourage them to sit in other forms.

  • Small chair – Offer your child with a comfortable low height chair to sit on. This will help them move their torso and strengthen their bottoms
  • Cross legged – This position is also referred to as ‘Criss-Cross Applesauce’ and is common sitting position while Pranayam. This helps them straighten their backs and keeps lower body muscles comfortable
  • Legs in front – Toddlers do prefer sitting this way. This sitting position helps the child relax their leg muscles while correcting their ‘W’ position
  • Legs sideways – In this position the kid’s legs would be on one side of the body while sitting in knee bent and sitting on their bottoms
  • Kneel down – While kneeling down might sound similar to W – position, however, in this on the kid sits on the hips and both legs are intact with feet underneath hips.
  • Encourage a movement based floor activity to let your child change her/his sitting position frequently.
  • For further advice and supervision reach out to your pediatrician or contact occupational therapist

Love,

Wonder Mom

  • *https://www.cdchk.org/parent-tips/truth-about-w-sitting/
June 21

E-Education is the new trend

E-Education

Everything has changed a lot since Covid-19 has affected the whole world. Education has also witnessed a lot of changes with the onset of Pandemic. E-Education has become the new trend for education of all ages. Being a mom of a toddler, I sometimes worry about vision related issues. E-Education has increased the screen time for kids with a significant reduction in their concentration. 

This new trend of E-Education has its own pros and cons for kids and families at large. Speaking of personal experience, I have witnessed various changes in my daughter Kreesha after her schooling started, oopsy doopsy! E-Schooling started. 

Positive changes:

  • Ability to understand and comprehend various Accents
  • Competitive feeling of doing best 
  • Operating Basic Laptop 

Increased curiosity to learn new things (though she has been very inquisitive since early age, but now she does not spare even a single moment of learning)

Negative changes:

  • Increased aggression
  • Increased screen time

I do not promote online learning for young kids, however, I do believe that they need a push and guidance to keep their learning at par. For the same, I started Kreesha’s e-learning and trust me, it has helped me a lot. I teach her at home with all basics and skills, however with teachers and peers around she does her best and is motivated to learn. 

I hear from my friends that their kids spend 4-6 hours sitting idle in front of cartoons. Then, I believe if you can divert your child’s 2 hours from cartoons to learning then, it is not bad at all isn’t it?

For me that was the reason to start Kreesha’s pre-schooling online. Coz, how much you say kids will find their way to watch their shows and skip learning. She sometimes asks me if this is what school is? And I try to convince her no, it is not. I don’t know when the normal schooling will be back with no restrictions and masking for kids, but I do wish it comes soon. Because nothing matches the classroom learning. 

Love,

Wonder Mom

May 19

Struggling with Covid-19

Struggling with Covid-19

Though staying away from writing and sharing my experiences has been very difficult for me. However, I just could not do anything about it, as my entire family was struggling with Covid-19. These two and a half months have been very stressful and tiring. The only thing that was comforting was the fact that my little princess, Kreesha, is safe and healthy. It was indeed the toughest time my family has witnessed. 

There are many families around suffering and struggling daily with this deadly virus. Some have even lost the battle of life against the virus. I would like to share our experience as a family struggling with Covid-19, what all we have learnt and what have we cherished in these times. 

Lessons learned: 

  • Nurture the nature
  • Spend quality time with family
  • Teach kids about the nature and its value
  • Stay connected with near and dear ones
  • Stay positive
  • Eat Right

Cherishing moments:

  • Spent good quality time with my toddler
  • Working together as a team
  • Strengthening our bond
  • Understanding the value of each other

These are the basic things I have learnt during my struggle with Covid-19. I am not here to guide or teach anyone during this hard time, but just to share my own experience as a struggler and recoveree of the disease. Share your experiences with me and I would share them with my readers. I would love to know and learn more about same.

At the end, I would summarize that if you are think positive and eat healthy, the recovery becomes smooth. Also, once you recover, take care of your diet and healthy lifestyle in the new life gifted by GOD almighty!

February 16

Travelling with your young ones

Travelling with your younger ones

So, we were on a trip last week to Shogi, Himachal Pradesh with our chota packet. I always thought travelling with your young ones can be very tedious, but trust me it was not that difficult. Our first trip was to Rishikesh with Kreesha when she was 1 year old. She totally enjoyed the road trip and does not bother at all during long journeys. I follow certain rules set by me and my husband so that there is less chaos. I don’t say that these are best, but they have proven to be helpful to me. 

Rules I follow:

  1. Packing Checklist – Helps a lot while travelling with your younger ones. A checklist for all essentials eases out a lot for mothers. Baby’s packing checklist should include everything as small as gloves to as big as coats. Nothing is small when it comes to kids. Starting from basics like undergarments, dresses, boots, medicines, toys, feeders, etc. include all items that your kid needs daily. Don’t just make a packing list for the kid but make one for yourself and general items as well. It will help you remain calm and sorted. 
  2. Extra dresses – Keep extra dresses for your kid, even if your kid is grown up. As you never know with kids, they might dirty their clothes much before you realize. Extra dress / set for your kid might increase the luggage a bit but would keep you relaxed on the trip. 
  3. Go to food items – Always some go to food items for kids like their favorite cookies, some homemade cake, dry fruits, fresh fruits. These quick snack things bring in relief to the hunger pranks of the child. Kreesha loves Amla candy and raisins, so I make sure I always pack them for long trips. 
  4. Tetra packs are best – I used to carry milk in the thermos / kettle. However, I have realized that with change in temperature the milk gets easily spoiled. Now, I always prefer carrying tetra packs of small size with me, as they don’t need a boil before consumption. 
  5. No to bulky toys – Kids might request you to carry bulky toys on the trip. You should try and pack some handy and small toys for the trip. 
  6. Pack enough water – 4-5 liters of water for a 3 member family on a long journey is sufficient to go with. Give your child a handy water bottle to keep her / him hydrated throughout the trip. 

Love,

Wonder Mom

February 3

How important are developmental milestones ?

Developmental milestones

I hate it when little are compared to each other, especially for their developmental milestone achievements. Speaking out of my personal experience, Kreesha started walking at the age of nine months. However she just started speaking at the age of 25 months. I was time and again told by everyone around that you need to consult the doctor, get her speech therapy and what not. But, I was sure not to visit the doctor for her speech milestone. 

I somewhere had this feeling that she started walking early so maybe she would take her sweet time to speak up. Also her paediatrician told me not to worry about her delay in speech as kids do take time these days to speak up. Moreover, the fact being every child is different and achieves their respective milestones at their own pace. 

With Kreesha, the best thing has been her quick grasping power and amazing memory. She started recognizing alphabets (Hindi & English), colours, body parts,objects, animals, fruits at the age of 15 months. Her responsiveness and expressions are the best thing. She started expressing and responding to almost everything at a mere age of 6 months. She used her gestures, hand movements and facial expressions to convey her thoughts. 

So, if your child has not achieved the developmental milestone, they are supposed to; Worry not. It is absolutely fine mommy. Your child is special in own way. Every child achieves their milestones at their own pace. However, you can assist them in achieving their milestones. I would soon be sharing some activities for speech and walking milestones. These activities are the ones, I have been doing with Kreesha to initiate her development.

PS: I am not an expert, but a mother who has been sharing her own experiences and views.

Love,

Wonder Mom

January 27

Motherhood is a journey

Motherhood is a journey

Few days ago, I heard someone saying, “She is a perfect mother.” I asked myself, if there is anything like a Perfect Mother. Then I realised that motherhood is a journey, it is an experience. Like every child, every mother is also different and special. There can be no comparison between two mothers, actually there should be no comparison at all. 

It is very true that only a mother knows what is good for her child. As a mother, I do get to hear various suggestions by elders and friends. I do listen to all and consider also if required. However, I prefer listening to what my heart and mind says is good for my child. 

I feel as the child grows, the mother also grows and develops new skills. A mother’s love and compassion can never be compensated or compared to anyone. A mother can be a home-maker or a working professional. She may have a helping hand with her, or maybe doing everything on her own. She may have hired a nanny for her child, or looks after her child herself. The fact remains, that a mother is the only one who knows about her child the best. 

We as a society might sometimes judge a mother, but we hardly know the hardships she is going through to raise her child. I happen to do the same for a mother, then, I withdrew my words and apologised also. For a mother, her child is the world. So, next time if you see someone pointing out to any mother or you yourself happens to do the same; apologise. Motherhood is a journey of a mother and child and we as outsiders rarely know the hurdles they both overcome in this journey. So stop judging and start being empathetic. 

Love,

Wonder Mom

December 22

Outdoor Activities for Kids

Outdoor activities for kids

The pandemic has affected everyone badly. The worst effect it has on the outdoor activities for kids. The kids have had the worst hit in this pandemic. The kids have been in closed doors for almost 9 months now and this has affected their growth. The effect on development has been both mentally, physically and emotionally. 

As a mother of a 2 year old child, I would definitely suggest to go out and have some sporty time with your child. I also do understand that Corona has restricted the outdoor activities for all of us. However, going out for a while in the park to play or just for a walk with your child is good. Do take necessary precautions like wear a mask, take sanitizer with you, don’t let your kid touch anything in the park and maintain social distance. If you don’t feel comfortable in the park, take your child on the terrace or your balcony for some sunshine. 

Activities Kreesha and I enjoy while out in the park:
  • Bat & Ball:  The simplest form of cricket for young kids  is not just fun but also a good physical activity. It stimulates the quick responsiveness among kids and enhances their physical capabilities. 
  • Catch & Throw: Simple catch & throw of a ball helps children to strengthen their hands grips and improves concentration. 
  • Running: Since Kreesha loves to run, we often do short runs when in park to move our legs a little extra. 
  • Admiring surroundings: Kreesha loves birds and nature. During our park visits she loves to watch squirrels and birds around and play with them. She even feeds them. This is also good for kids as it makes them humble and modest. 

I am not saying, you should take your child in the park only. But do take your child outdoors once in a while to make them more connected to nature and themselves. The importance of outdoor activities for kids cannot be explained in this one article. Next week I will be back with the detailed article on the critical developments a child undergoes when outdoors. 

Love,

Wonder Mom

December 15

Take Care of babies during winter

Take care of babies in winters

Winter is the most loved season of all. We all love the cool breeze and non sweaty weather. However, the season also brings in the difficult situation for kids. It becomes crucial to take care of babies during winter. Babies tend to get affected by the cold winds and the chillness in the weather. So here I am sharing a few things I took care of during the first winters of Kreesha. 

The need of care during winters

Newbies need much more care and continuous supervision before they are able enough to take care on their own. However, the winter season demands extra care as the dropping temperatures stimulate various infectious bacteria and viruses which may affect their skin, body and overall health. The immune system witnesses a drop as the body has to continuously function to keep vital organs working well. This continuous functioning burns out most of the body energy leaving it hard for the immune system to function well. 

Various problems babies suffer from during winters

Winters bring in the season of cold, cough and flu. The cold breeze and dropping temperature enhances the spread of virus affecting almost anyone in a matter of time. As parents, we all make sure to take care of babies during winter. The common winter diseases are:

  • Bronchiolitis
  • Influenza
  • Croup
  • Rhinovirus
  • Breathing Problems

Symptoms to look for

Cough and cold are very common during winter and you might not need any medical assistance for the same. Home remedies are good for basic cold and cough (Speaking of personal experience). But if you notice any of these below mentioned symptoms, consult your pediatrician immediately.

  • Severe coughing with vomiting
  • Trouble breathing – child may take small breaths or gasp
  • Makes wheezing sound while sleeping or after coughing
  • Feels fatigue
  • May encounter chest pain
  • Runny nose, fever, cough along with headache

How to take care of babies during winter

I understand that every parent has their own pattern of parenting and caring for their kids. I am just sharing my personal experience, what all helped me when Kreesha was young. 

Humidifier is the need of hour

The winter season brings with it dryness in air as well. Using a humidifier in homes helps to maintain the room’s moisture level and helps in easy breathing. Also, if you are using room heaters, a humidifier helps to maintain the babies’ skin moisture level. Since, we were using heaters so we used to put a wet towel in the room to maintain the moisture level. (I did not want to put money in any electrical device)

Body moisturizer is must even for babies

Babies’ skin is very delicate and sensitive which can further be dried up with the harshness of the winter season. Using a baby cream or a lotion rich in shea butter and milk cream is good for babies’ skin. I used to moisturize Kreesha’s skin with Almond oil / Desi Ghee + Camphor. The desi ghee and camphor mix also helps keep the baby warm. 

Avoid Soap / Shampoo regularly

Using soap or shampoo on the kid will only make the skin dry and drier. Regular bathing is good, however applying soap daily will harm the skin, so try applying (Milk Cream + Gram flour (besan) once in a week. This will not only moisturise your baby’s skin but also smooths it out. 

Regular Massage helps

Regular body massage helps stimulate blood flow in the body and triggers immunity of the baby. Various baby massage oils are available in the market, however, during winters I personally preferred massaging Kreesha with Heated up Desi Ghee. Just a gentle reminder, keep the room warm while massaging your child. 

Do not over cover your child

Covering your kid with caps, jackets, gloves and socks might restrict their body movements. Instead keep the clothes minimal with cotton or muslin to avoid body rubs. Try putting on warm inners with a cotton t-shirt and pyjamas / leggings. Cotton socks and gloves are a good option to cover your child with. While sleeping try avoiding heavy blankets rather use a soft light blanket with warm night dress. Putting on socks and gloves while sleeping might risk the brain health of the child. Keep the room temperature optimal to sleep comfortably. 

Love,

Wonder Mom

December 8

Stages of Child Development

Stages of Child Development

Being a new parent, I studied a lot before my delivery about the various stages of child development milestones kids achieve during their early years. I also made sure to pay due attention to my child and help her achieve the milestone smoothly. Trust me, it is not easy. Sometimes, it used to haunt me when Kreesha did not meet the desired milestone. But gradually, I felt it’s ok as every child has different capabilities and is different in their own way. 

What are Milestones?

The both behavioural and physical stages of child development age 0 – 3 years as they grow. The below mentioned stages of child development have been validated by American Academy of Paediatrics. 

Newborn – 3 Months
  • Enjoys tummy time and pushes arms, lift and holds head upwards
  • Opens and closes fists and moves hands to mouth
  • Hands and legs movement to express excitement
  • Lying on back attempts to hold the toy / object placed above their chest, tracks toy sidewards movement with eyes with head positioned centrally
  • Calms down upon rocking, friendly touch and soft sounds
  • Enjoys various body movements
  • Responds to sound or voices with smiles
  • Stares faces and makes eye contact
  • Expresses various needs (hunger / tiredness) with variant cries
  • Coos and smiles
4 months – 6 months old
  • Able to sit with hand support
  • Rolls back to tummy and tummy to back
  • Able to stand with support
  • Reaches out to toys while lying on tummy
  • Lying on back holds feet with hands, uses hands to transfer toys
  • Starts using both hands to explore objects
  • Stays happy when not hungry or sleepy
  • Is used to with environmental sounds by now
  • Carefully listens and respond to words
  • Makes consonant sounds while babbling e.g. ba, da, ta
  • Tries and express various feelings and emotions
  • Love sound making toys
7 – 9 months old
  • Able to sit without support and reach out to toys without falling
  • Swiftly changes position from tummy to sitting or back and vice versa
  • Begins to crawl
  • Starts elbow pushing and head movement while enjoying tummy time
  • Head movement to track objects while sitting with more body control
  • Uses thumbs and finger to pick objects
  • Tries to imitate other during play
  • Starts enjoying bounce and rocking movements
  • Enjoys a variety of movements – bouncing up and down, rocking back and forth
  • Explores an object with both hands and mouth
  • Starts turning pages of a board book
  • Learns the amount of forces needed to pick certain objects
  • Examines the surroundings and toys with context to shape, size, texture, feel and comfort level
  • Is an environmental scanner and enjoys while in different positions
  • Makes use of more sounds and babbling while communicating
  • Identifies familiar objects and people when named
  • Recognizes sound of their name
  • Likes to participate in two way communication
  • Follows and understands regular commands with gestures
  • Responds to familiar words
  • Uses simple gestures to communicate e.g. No, yes, 
10 – 12 months old
  • Pulls out furniture to move along
  • Able to stand alone and make independent steps
  • Able to maintain balance while in sitting position and throwing objects
  • Claps hands
  • Able to put objects in a container with wide opening
  • Uses thumbs and Index finger to pick things up
  • Enjoys music
  • Calls out mama or dada
  • Understands the command “Come here”
  • Uses long gibberish sentences in social communication
  • Knows and says few word
  • Pays attention to your vision and pointing
  • Responds to “no”
  • Uses hand gestures to communicate
  • Might be ready to start self feeding with utensils
  • Enjoys a greater variety of smells and tastes
13-18 Month Milestones
  • Able to walk independently
  • Can pick up toys while squatting
  • Able to stack two objects in hands
  • Helps with getting dressed/undressed
  • Has a regular sleep schedule
  • Might be able to use 5-10 words
  • Able to combines sounds and gestures
  • Tries to imitates simple words and actions
  • Is able to consistently follow simple directions
  • Builds interest in pictures
  • Is able to identify 1-2 body parts when named
  • Able to understand around 50 words
  • Easily responds to questions
  • Sometimes repeats words heard during conversations
  • Able to points at familiar objects and people in pictures
  • Understands prepositions like “in” and “on”
  • Is able to respond to yes/no questions with head shake/nod
  • Can hold and drinks from a cup
19 – 24 months old
  • Being able to use at least 50 words
  • Tries consistently to imitates new words
  • Is able to name familiar objects and pictures
  • Able to understands simple pronouns 
  • Should be able to identify 3-5 body parts 
  • Able to understand new words quickly

By 24 months:

  • Begins to use 2 word phrases
  • Uses simple pronouns (me, you, my)
  • Understands action words
  • Uses gestures and words during pretend play
  • Follows 2-step related directions e.g. “Pick up your coat and bring it to me”
  • Enjoys listening to stories

Love,

Wonder Mom