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Never let babies sit in car's front seat

In most parts of the western world, it is an offense to drive a car with a kid below 5 years of age who is not strapped to his own car seat. However in India or most of the developing world, kids standing between the front passenger seat and dashboard is very common. I have even seen the cases where parents proudly let their little kids handle the steering in a moving car in their lap. Its not a laughing matter. A child in the front seat can cause a serious accident or get seriously injured in case of an accident or even hard braking.

There is a reason for having such strict laws abroad. Children are curious by nature and they are bound to meddle with all the controls and buttons they find on the dashboard. And once they are bored with the dashboard, they will invariably turn their attention to the gear stick or the steering. In-fact the first time my car was hit from behind was due to a child playing with the gear stick in the rear car.

No matter how much you scold or ask a child to behave, such things are bound to happen and thus it is always advisable to make children sit in the back seat with an adult. If you do not have the luxury of having an adult with you all the time with a child, please invest in a car seat till the time your child is grown up enough to wear seat belt. Car seat can also be put in the front.

Even if the child is behaving at her best and silently standing in front, a hard braking may be all that throws the child onto the dashboard (or windshield) leading to an injury.

It has to be inculcated as a non-negotiable habit. The child should not feel that crying or requesting would help her get her way to front. It is a hard thing to do but please don't compromise with safety of your child even at her own protests.

It has been over 16 months since Tweety was born, and never has she sat in the front seat. Always an adult member of family sits with her in the back seat. In order to keep her engaged we have kept in the seat back pocket a few of here light and sound toys. She still gestures sometimes to come in front, but refusing to ensure her safety is more important.

Please ensure you follow this advice as nothing is more important than your child's safety.

Useful Apps for Nursery Rhymes


Nothing captures a baby's attention like a shining screen of a mobile phone. Generally our first instinct is to take the phone away from the baby, however with current number of applications being created specifically for kids in all prominent ecosystems (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) mobiles (or tabs) can act as a tool to engage your baby.

Rhymes are one thing every child is able to relate to easily. There are mainly three types of apps for rhymes:
  • Apps with only audio
  • Apps which have videos streamed from Internet
  • Third and rare type is where we have videos as a part of the app which can be run in offline mode too. 
I have used Android and Windows Phone devices thus jotting down the FREE apps I have used and found helpful.

Desi Ghee - The Best Diaper Rash Cream

Diaper rash is a worry of every parent with a baby. A diaper rash affects the skin which comes in contact with the diaper and may lead to intense pain to the child. One way to cure a diaper rash is to apply a layer of a cream of ointment which acts as a separator between baby's skin and wet diaper. However a cream is made of chemicals after all and may affect adversely if used too much.

We are using Desi Ghee (an Indian form of Clarified Butter) in place of any cream and results have been wonderful. We never had a problem of a rash in last 1 year. It is highly cost effective as well, with one ounce lasting you over a week.

Just keep some Ghee in a small microwaveable box, heat it and use it to spread over diaper area during every change. It does not smell bad and does a great job of preventing rashes. Even if you don't have a microwave, you can keep it in a small metal bowl and heat over stove. During summers it would remain in liquid form.

It not only prevents a rash but Desi Ghee is a great cure for an existing rash as well. Try using this and you don't need to worry about any side effects as it is after all a natural product made from only milk fat, used like butter in Indian food

If you are reading this in some western country and don't know what Desi Ghee is, just head to the nearest Indian grocery store and you will find it.

A Little Push for your Baby's First Steps



When Tweety stood up on her own 3 months back, we felt that she would start walking any day now. But whenever it came to moving forward, she would invariably sit down and crawl. We tried holding her hands and making her walk but she never took the step herself. Although she had started moving while holding on to the side of the bed but that was lateral movement.

Few weeks back going around a toy shop (actually a toy library... more on that later) we found an interesting type of walker we were not aware of. It's a push walker, where a child holds on to a handle in standing position and can pushes it to get a hang of walking forward.

Tweety took to it immediately and was happily moving around the house. Then after a week of it's usage she took her first shaky steps :)

I feel a push walker certainly helps a baby realize the possibility of being able to walk straight ahead and thus giving her a feel of walking before she takes her first independent steps.

However, as soon as your baby starts to walk, the walker will lose relevance so it may be a better choice to get it on rent, if possible. If you would like to try a home grown solution for it then, let your baby hold on to a plastic chair and pull from the other end. Slowly baby will herself start pushing the chair.

ELC Push Walker
The walker comes in varieties as cheap as Rs. 400 to as high as Rs. 4000/- for brands like Chicco, ELC. Please remember the walker should have a way to increase friction in the wheels so that baby does not fall by a fast moving walker.

The branded walkers also have lots of bells and whistles attached to keep the baby engaged, however go for a walker where these attachments can be removed, so that baby does not get distracted.

We got the ELC walker on rent and it had a removable ring with lots of buttons, sounds and lights which kept tweety well engaged.


So if your baby is on the verge of walking, then a push walker (or a plastic chair solution ;) ) may just be the push your baby is waiting for.

Need help with giving your Baby Oral Medicine?

Even a small sickness can turn your baby into Miss. Cranky Pants and then making her take even her favorite food may become a tough task and if its a medicine that needs to be given then the problem is even bigger. 

Most of the (i think all of them) medicines for babies are in liquid form. Now a few like Crocin come with a dropper so that makes it easy to dispense, however when the need arises to administer ones that do not come with a dropper. It becomes very difficult as babies simply refuse to open their mouth and even if they do its very difficult to give the correct dose with the measuring cap that generally comes with such medicines.

Here comes the baby medicine dispensers to rescue. These are simple droppers, sometimes in shape of large funny syringes (with plastic top ofcourse). These can be used multiple times to administer medicines. You can give accurate dose as these droppers have clear volume markings and as you have the control you would only need a few millisecond window to put the medicine in baby's mouth. Although if the volume of medicine is more than a couple of ml, please do it slowly and give baby time to swallow. For larger doses a syringe type dispenser would be more suitable as it gives you better control over the quantity to dispense in one go.


But please make sure you dispense the medicine towards the side of mouth between gums and cheeks and not straight towards the throat as you may squirt the medicine directly into wind pipe.

Also please ensure proper cleaning of the dropper before and after each use. To clean you  may repeatedly fill the dropper with clean warm water, shake and then squirt out the water with force to clean any medicine residues.

How to Soothe a Teething Baby

Tweety is teething now with little bunny rabbit tooth already visible. This also means that she is ready to chew anything and everything in sight. 

Teething can be a difficult time for babies as it generally leads to fever, diarrhea and overall crankiness. Thus it may need some additional care from parent like Gum Massage and Cold teethers to soothe baby. Please be careful with the liquid or gel filled teethers, as if your baby has sharp teeth, she can rupture it and may swallow the liquid.

Here is a short video that talks about soothing a teething baby:



 

Search for Lord of the Strollers

Our existing pram for tweety was proving to be too big to be taken along while traveling. Also tweety can sit up now and thus we needed a lightweight stroller which could be as compact as possible when folded.

Umbrella Fold Stroller - papakehtehain.com
Umbrella Fold
Umbrella Fold Stroller
Searched around on the internet a bit and found that the one compact form of stroller is the umbrella fold strollers. These are one's which can fold from central line running across their length and thus the name umbrella fold.

Baby product websites have quite a few strollers but mostly they do not show a picture of the folded stroller or the kind of fold it has. Thus a common sign to tell if a stroller is umbrella fold is if the top handles are not joined.

The search started online with babyoye, firstcry and flipkart all pitching in with a few options. The budget was not to go over 4000/- and the options within that range were from brands like Mee Mee, Fab n Funky and Little Wanderers.

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