When my mother rubbed mustard oil on me post bath and I hated it…!!

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When I was a little girl, I remember my mom rubbing mustard oil on my body post bath in the winter months. Come winter, and she would keep a bottle of mustard oil in all the bathrooms. Post bath, everyone applied mustard oil to keep the skin hydrated. I know virgin mustard oil is better than chemically loaded winter creams and lotions, but somehow that smell. That smell that lingered in the bathrooms. That smell that stayed on my body and attached itself to my clothes all day long. I just hated that smell. Even thinking and writing about it made me conjure up that strong bitter smell. I would ask my mother to change the oil. But she would say – “Nothing doing. My mother has used the same oil since I was a kid. See, how my skin glows even in the winters.”

It was hopeless arguing with her. So, without a word, I kept on using mustard oil winter after winter. However, I vowed never to bring that bitter smelling, dark golden liquid into my house when I got married. My nani used it, my mother used it, but I would never use it. This tradition had to stop with me.

When I got married and moved to Mumbai, I stayed true to my promise. We never got mustard oil in our house. Mumbai’s mild winters helped too. But, then what to use? We didn’t want mustard oil and a particular brand of coconut oil, which is famous for hair, I just could not come around to use it on my skin (it has a very strong coconut-y smell too). So, with no option left, we switched to numerous body lotions and creams. But, somewhere it always pinched me that I was not using oils, something that I had grown up using. I was against chemicals, but was still using them. So, when a certain Yoga guru came up with his range of products, without a thought, I switched to them, in particular coconut oil. I used it for my daughter too, along with other baby lotion. However, deep down I knew it was not a baby product. I know coconut oil is a coconut oil, but still I wanted something that I could apply it on my daughter’s skin without a moment’s worry.

And, so when I came across Baby First’s range of baby products that included baby oil that had the base of coconut milk, I knew I had found what I had been looking for. I got Baby First’s baby oil, and started using it on myself. It’s my policy to first use any baby product on myself as a test. I used it for a good 10-day period. The skin on my hands and legs are a bit dry compared to my face. But, I never felt itchy or developed a white dry patch on my skin since I have been using it. It’s ideal for mild winters that we experience it in Mumbai.

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What works for me:

  • It is a non-sticky oil, with a mild and pleasant smell of coconut. There is something pure about the smell. I love it.
  • This oil does not contain any mineral oil or paraffin.
  • It neither contains preservatives nor added colours.
  • It contains lauric acid that is found in mother’s breast milk and vitamin E.
  • It’s affordable at Rs. 99 per 100 ml.

When I was fully satisfied, then only I started using it on my 5-year old daughter. She has eczema, so I have to be particular about what product I use on her skin. Once she takes her bath, I rub some oil into her skin. Every weekend, I massage her too with this oil. Her skin looks hydrated and I have never seen dry skin or her scratching. Her eczema has not flared up even since I have started using it. So, I think this product is for keeps, and I will continue using it on my daughter.

So, if you are using mustard, sesame, coconut or olive oil to massage your baby, move over and try this product. It’s good – non sticky and non overpowering. You and your baby will love it!

Baby First has a range of products including baby bar soap, body lotion, body cream and baby powder. Try them out!

Post-Bath and 2 Other Times I Apply Body Lotion on My Baby’s Skin

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As soon as my daughter was born, we hired a confinement nanny who looked after me and my newborn for 40 days. Her job was to give me a massage and a bath (as if I was a newborn) and help me with breastfeeding.

As far as the baby was concerned, she massaged the baby with oil, bathed her, dressed her up and cleaned her. Those 40 days passed like a dream. However, even once the confinement nanny left, we continued with the baby’s massage by hiring a masseuse. This went on for 6 months till my daughter developed eczema. The doctor asked me to put a stop to her massage with oil. He, instead, recommended to just apply body lotion after her bath or whenever I sponged her.

As per my pediatrician, I needed a baby lotion that would not irritate my baby’s soft skin but would actually moisturise it and deal with the dryness. Recently, I got hold of Baby Dove’s Rich Moisture Lotion for my daughter. I have been using Dove soap for years now, and so it was only right that I use its products for my daughter too. It has really proved to be amazing. It provides superior moisturisation, and that too for 24 hours, compared to any other brand that I’ve used before! Also, if you are a fan of mild fragrances like me, you will love Baby Dove’s products too! I wish it had been available when my baby was smaller!

I am sharing the times in the day when I apply body lotion on my baby’s skin:

Post-bath routine: I give a bath to my daughter every morning. Though I was scared at first (I had never given my daughter a bath in the first 6 months), I got the hang of it. I bought a bathing chair that I saw in a baby product shop and found it super convenient. I love giving a bath to my daughter and see her playing with her bath toys.

My experience with the Baby Dove Rich Moisture Baby Bar has been especially wonderful. I found that it replenishes essential moisture and nutrients lost during cleansing. Plus, other attributes such as being dermatologist and pediatrician tested, hypoallergenic, pH neutral and easy on the eyes are additional benefits of all Baby Dove products.

Post-bath, as I make her lie down on a towel, I generously apply body lotion all over her body. I had to be super quick with this when my baby was younger, as my daughter loved rolling over!

Evening sponge time: Every evening, I took my daughter out in the nearby park or for a stroll in her pram/stroller. But before that, I sponged her with lukewarm water to which I added a few drops of Eau de toilette! I put her on a changing mat, and gently wipe her with a cloth. After wiping off the extra moisture, I again applied body lotion on her skin. She smelled so divine, it was hard not to bite her super soft skin. I continued sponging her in the evening till she turned 2.

Bedtime ritual: In some countries, they give their babies a bath before they sleep. Well, I never gave my baby a bath in the night, but yes,

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.

My Clean House Was Shockingly Also A Polluted House

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I am a stickler for cleanliness. Though I don’t have a Monica-esque (from the American sitcom FRIENDS) reaction to dirt and dust, I am still somewhere close by. My house gets dusted, swept and cleaned every day. I use disinfectants for cleaning the floor and liquid sprays to clean the furniture. Of course, the maid does the maximum cleaning, but I still keep a dust cloth in my hand and wipe the surfaces after she cleans them. And on days she doesn’t turn up, I get an opportunity to go about the house cleaning even the nooks and corners. I clean all the cupboards every 3 months and stuff them with naphthalene balls and desiccants. So just imagine my shock when I learnt that the air inside my home may be more polluted than outside. And contributing to it is my beloved cleaning products.

According to WHO, 4.3 million people a year die from the exposure to household air pollution. More than 50% of premature deaths due to pneumonia among children under 5 are caused by the particulate matter (soot) inhaled from household air pollution.

Agreed that most of us are fortunate to have gas pipelines in our homes, and so our families are not breathing smoke and soot from coal and wood stoves. But, what about the pollutants from cleaning and aerosol products, pet hair and dander and poor ventilation. We are not safe from that, are we? It’s a rhetorical question. No, we are not safe. Our families and children are not safe. They inhale this toxic air day in and day out. No wonder, many kids suffer from cold and cough or some sort of allergies all year round.

As educated, smart and responsible mothers, we need to take the matters in our hand. It’s not difficult to get rid of these toxic pollutants and purify our home.

Here are 6 simple ways to improve the air quality at home:

Clean your home regularly: Diwali cleaning is obligatory, but Diwali comes just once a year, while your home is piling up dirt every single moment. So, it needs frequent cleaning. Engage a maid or a cleaning agency or clean it yourself.

  • Remove the shoes before entering the home. Because it can bring in the dirt from outside and with it the numerous pollutants.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean the hard wooden or tile/marble surfaces. They are better at capturing micro particles.
  • Remove the dirt from ceiling fans, tube lights, behind and top of the cupboards and refrigerator and under the sofas/beds (that’s where maximum dirt gets trapped).
  • Use a vacuum cleaner weekly to clean your sofas, chairs and tapestry. Remember to change the filters regularly.
  • Remove carpeting if possible.
  • Wash/dry clean your curtains every 2-3 months.

Do not smoke at home: If you or a family member have a habit of smoking indoors, it needs to stop immediately. Tobacco releases a lot of chemicals into the air that can cause cancer.

Put those aerosols away: Minimize your use of aerosols (that means your deodorant sprays and perfumes), room fresheners, harsh household cleaners, candles and nail polish removers. They release VOCs that can cause headaches and nausea. If you love candles, try using beeswax candles instead of paraffin wax candles. Paraffin wax candles being a petroleum by product releases toxins, while beeswax is clean.

Use air purifying plants: Certain plants absorb air pollutants (benzene, VOCs, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide) making them ideal to be installed at home to improve the air quality. Get indoor plants like aloe vera, boston fern, rubber plants, goldon pothos, etc. and breathe cleaner air.

Increase ventilation: The circulation of air inside the house is very important. Hence, make it a point to open the windows every morning and let the sunlight and air come in. While you may hate the cold breeze in the winter or the hot winds in the summer, ventilation can control indoor humidity (that can lead to breeding mold that produces mold spores which when inhaled can be dangerous to humans) and airborne contaminants.

Use air purifiers: Installing an air purifier must be the easiest way to get rid of pesky indoor pollutants. Air purifiers can absorb harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, allergens, pollens, microbes, etc. They clean the air and make it cleaner and less toxic. There are many good brands in the market and installing one would be a wise choice, especially if you are expecting and don’t want your newborn to inhale unhealthy air, or your children are suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems.

When it comes to the health of our family and children, there can be no compromise. Installing an air purifier is not only easy, but is also safe and tested. Choose a trusted brand and see the air quality of your home improving. Even if you are like me who walks around with a dust cloth in her hand, cleaning is just not enough, you need a more powerful tool to beat the air pollution inside your home.

My 5-year old is eating right, thanks to this food app!

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I have been using this food app, called bon happetee, for more than 6 months now. Developed by my husband and his team, this mobile app is for food lovers to indulge in their love for food without compromising either on the taste or on their weight loss or fitness goals.

Bon happetee is my fitness partner helping me with my lifestyle goals of losing weight and staying fit. It is my nutritionist, menu setter and lifestyle supervisor all rolled into one. It is simple and interactive use, and unlike other weight loss apps, doesn’t judge me when I tend to overeat on certain days, but gently guides me back to my pace. It is really…ok, I must be getting on your nerves by now with bon happetee this and bon happetee that.

So let me tell you the real reason behind this post. I log my meals in bon happetee app on a daily basis and exclaim with delight whenever I hit the score of 8 and above. Yes, it has a meal scoring system and like any examination, if you consistently score high, you keep on losing weight or maintaining it. So, yes, one day just after my lunch, as I logged my meal, the app told me that I had scored a 8 consistently that week. And, so in my happiness, I broke into an impromptu jig. My 5-year old who was watching me with unfeigned amusement, asked me what I was so happy about. I told her I had scored high on my meals on papa’s bon happetee app.

She innocently asked me, “Mama, can bon happetee give a score on my meal too?”

“Why not?” I said.

So I started logging her lunch –

1/2 small ladle Aloo Gobhi Mutter subji (Cauliflower potato peas)

1 small bowl plain Curd/Yogurt

1/2 Chapati

The app threw a score of 6. Unhappy, she asked me why it gave her such a low score. I just knew the answer ‘why’, and deep down she knew too. No dal and 1/2 Chapati was no decent for an active 5-year old. But, my previous advice had all fallen on deaf ears. Still, I could resist commenting, “If you don’t eal dal and eat only half a chapati, of course, you will get a low meal score”.

The next second, she asked me if there was any dal left. I put a bowl of masoor dal and the other half of her chapati in front of her, which she excitedly finished. When I again logged her meal, it gave her a score of 9. Needless to say, she started dancing too.

Another time, my daughter’s friend had joined us for lunch. I had made Rajma-Chawal (Kidney beans- White Rice). After finishing their meal, my daughter asked me to log in her meal on bon happetee. I complied and she got a score of 9. This interested her friend and she pleaded with me too.

“Aunty, mine too!” I logged in her meal as well, and she too got 9. Both girls were super happy.

It was a Sunday afternoon and my husband was at home. He witnessed the incident, which gave him the idea of incorporating certain features in his app for kids too. Most kids are fussy eaters, but they get a motivation to eat right, they will certainly do it.

My daughter is certainly motivated to eat right just so that she can score high on bon happetee. If you have a fussy eater at home, bon happetee might help you too! Eat good, be happy. For both you and your kids!

Download the app, click here.

7 Foods That Really Helped My Baby Put On Weight and Get Healthier

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My daughter was born a tiny baby. She gained weight with time, weighing a whopping 9 kgs when she was 9 months old. However, she also began losing weight once she started crawling. Her reed thin body bothered me, especially because I had seen her chubby avatar…

I discussed this with my pediatrician. He reassured me that my child was fit and healthy, and many babies tend to lose weight when they start crawling. To encourage my little one to gain weight, I had to introduce the right foods in her diet. However, I also knew the alarming rate with which child obesity is increasing in India. Unhealthy and excessive weight gain can be harmful!

I have always been a big promoter of fresh, home cooked foods. I promised myself that I would give my daughter good foods to eat that would help her put on some kilos – but in a healthy manner.

I am sharing with you the 7 foods that helped my daughter put on weight and get healthier. If you too are concerned about your baby, I hope these super healthy, wholesome foods will come to your rescue.

#1: Paneer

I do not believe in giving my daughter cubes or slices of processed cheese. But freshly made home-made paneer is my go-to alternative and it really helps my little one put on healthy weight. Paneer is a rich source of animal protein and also has essential vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorus.

How to feed: I give my daughter 4-5 small cubes of paneer, slightly roasted in desi ghee. As per most experts, cheese can be introduced to your baby at about 7-8 months.

#2: Milk

Fortunately, my daughter always liked milk and drank it without a fuss. I never (till today) give her sweetened milk or any other milk powder, but just full fat milk from my neighbourhood dairy.

How to feed: My daughter has consumed 2 mugs of milk and a bowl of curd daily ever since she turned 1.

#3: Popcorn

This may seem a bit odd, but popcorn actually has a good amount of dietary fibre and protein which makes it ideal for a snack. Plus, as moms, we have to remember that foods can’t always be about fruits and vegetables; kids get bored after some time. So, I try to include interesting foods in my daughter’s diet to keep her happy about meal-times.

How to feed: I pop corn kernels at home in butter, salt and turmeric, and my daughter loves ghar ka popcorn! Whenever her little friends come home, I give them popcorn for snacks for healthy and guilt-free munching.

Note: It’s important to stay away from unhealthy, processed popcorn that has too much salt. Also, avoid this for babies younger than 3 as small pieces can be a choking hazard.

#4: Peanut Butter

Many kids do not like to munch on peanuts; the same holds true for my daughter. She cannot eat whole nuts…but she absolutely relishes home-made peanut butter. It is a great food for healthy weight gain in little ones.

How to feed: I generously spread peanut butter or strawberry jam (homemade with 1/3 the amount of sugar as available in the market and no preservative) on paratha or roti and give it to her in the morning for breakfast.

#5: Sukhdi

Read more at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/7-Foods-That-Really-Helped-My-Baby-Put-On-Weight-and-Get-Healthier/1296/2

When we lost all our daughter’s baby pictures and still created a beautiful photo album!!

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During my pregnancy, my husband had signed up for a photography course. No, particular reason. He just wanted to learn the fine nuances of photography. So, of course, when our daughter was born, she was his first muse. He clicked pictures of her all through the day. When she was sleeping (which she did a lot in the initial few months), yawning, awake, crying, etc…he photographed her in her various modes. I won’t be exaggerating if I say we must have had a couple of thousand photographs of her even before she had turned two. Another shocking truth is that though we had so many pictures of her, we never had a single printed picture. They were all in his 2 large spaced external hard discs. He is a big believer of technology, and said why they needed to print the pictures when they can store it on the hard discs and view them whenever we wanted.

Now, one day, one of his hard discs corrupted. Many of her photographs destroyed with it. He suddenly checked his second hard disc, and to our utter dismay, it was corrupt too. He sent both the discs to a technician asking him to recover any data he could. Sadly, everything was lost. Our honeymoon pictures, the various pictures of our holidays, first year of life, my pregnancy. But, the one that pinched us the most was the loss of our little daughter’s early childhood pictures. We were left with basically no or little memories of her. Technology can deceive us too, I learnt belatedly.

When I came across photojaanic and learnt that they have various options to store our child’s memories in print, I was impressed. I wanted a photo album of my daughter. You must be wondering where would I get the photos from. Well, I searched the Facebook where I had uploaded some of her early pictures, requested friends and family if they had any photos of my daughter and even dug in my phone for some pixelated pictures (any photo is better than none). And, somehow I managed to get a decent number of photographs to build into a lovely kids photobook. Now, she is at an age, where she really enjoys seeing her pictures, so thought it would be a good gift for her. And, more than her, it would be a memory for me, something to hold on to, something to go through in the future.

So I ordered my photobook through Photojaanic and uploaded the pictures. And within a few days, the photobook was delivered to me.

The quality of prints of the photos were superlative, just as I had imagined and believed they would be. I am thoroughly happy with the end product, my daughter’s first photo album.

See the delight on my daughter’s face as she goes through her pictures.

It is a nice way to personalize your memories. And, it’s very simple too.

  • Log onto Photojaanic’s website.
  • Choose from the many themes they offer.
  • Upload the pictures.
  • Customize your photobook by writing text in your preferred font or colour, change the size of the photos, etc. Be careful while adjusting your pictures to the size of the image box on the website.
  • Save the album. Pay the money. And, wait for your book of beautiful memories to be delivered at your doorstep.

Though I can’t get all those thousands of pictures, I am happy that I have a few pictures of her, and in my hand. All this cloud stuff is OK, but nothing beats the real stuff; when you have something precious in your hands. It’s like having a book in your hand vs. an electronic book. This is going to stay with me forever, even after my phone conks off, Facebook shuts shop or any hard disc tragedies.

These Doctor-approved Teething Foods Helped My Baby Maintain Her Weight!

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Your baby doesn’t have to stop eating or start losing weight just because she is teething. Here are some interesting doctor-suggested foods that will help your baby to eat right during the teething phase.

My daughter was very tiny when she was born. She weighed only 2.2 kgs. However, she put on weight faster than anyone could have imagined. At 4 months, she was weighing 6 kgs. Even her doctor was surprised and asked me what I was feeding her. Of course, she was on breast milk exclusively. Although friends and family admired my chubby baby, they also scared me saying that when my daughter started teething, she would lose her chubbiness. As soon as my daughter turned 6 months old (usually the time when babies start teething), I visited my daughter’s pediatrician for his advice.

The wise doctor placated me and told me very confidently, “Teething only causes teething. So do not worry!” Of course, he told me that she might have soreness and irritation in the gums and might start drooling more, but that was nothing to worry about. These are common symptoms of teething.

4 Foods I Fed My Baby During Teething

My daughter’s pediatrician suggested a few foods that I could feed to my daughter during teething. Luckily, I had already introduced solids in her diet. So introducing these foods to my daughter was easy.

1. Finger Foods: Cut Cucumber in long, thick slices and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Give these chilled Cucumber slices to your baby. Chilled foods can help soothe sore gums. I sometimes even gave her well-cooked, but not mushy, slices of Carrots for her to gnaw at.

2. Soups: I gave her a soup of 2-3 vegetables mid-morning. Every time I used a different vegetable like Carrots, Spinach, Pumpkin, Bottlegourd and Tomato.

3. Pureed Fruits: My husband and I love fruits, we can simply live off the fruits if need be. And, we wanted to develop the same love for fruits in our baby too. So, we tried to give her a variety of fruits every day. Of course, some fruits like banana were off-limits till she turned one, but she had plenty of other options to make up for. I grated Papaya, Mango, Soft Peach, Pear and stewed Apples before feeding her. I also gave her Watermelon slices sans seeds – she absolutely loved them!

Keep on reading at http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/These-Doctor-approved-Teething-Foods-Helped-My-Baby-Maintain-Her-Weight/1283/2