A Traveller's Diary

Subtitle

                     My Experiences & Reviews

 

 

Being a FTM - first time mom, to my lil angel, i would like to share my lil experiences and reviews of what i come across in day to day life.

Rest assured that its completely personal and i am not being paid for a positive or a negative reviews here.

Its completely intended to support and help  alike moms :)

Here it goes//

 Whenever i  wish to shop some necessities for lo,  i am obsessed with browsing various sites and get the best deal no matter how many days it take. and this took me 5 days to finally place an order.

i had to make a purchase of diapers, wipes, potty chair, clothing, toys etc.

As i have already researched, it might help you save time and money as well.

for toys, if you are not very brand conscious as i am, then snap deal, if branded toys like fischer price then firstcry.com

mee mee wipes,, ( using since her birth, safe, effective for cleaning  her hands as she tends to put in mouth, bottom after diaper changes and face also ) same deal everywhere but benefit of ordering at amazon.in is it delivers free of cost

clothing at yappa as first cry and babyoye.com were expensive comparatively, with a known fact that the baby will outgrow the size of clothes very soon, i don't prefer buying very expensive ones and also i need too much of stick as i need to change almost 4-5 times a day. Also checkout Lilliput physical store as they have reasonable range and have sale going on most of the times.

potty seat @ snapdeal

 diapers i generally buy @ amazon, but this time, amazon was selling at mrp, and generally first cry has offers and i got the steal. do subscribe to their mailing list to keep a track on offers.

redlily.com is very expensive for the same stuff available on any other website,  so avoid, also babyoye.com doesn't has much variety as compared to firstcry.com so stick to it. no hovering any more

i tried all local stores for baby vicks vapo, but none had so i had to order it online, and the best and cheapest at ebay.in.

for babies less than 1 year, where you don't have many options  for cough n cold , as far as home remedies are concerned, many ftm suggested and i experienced;  rubbing vick's on baby's tiny feet and then covering them up does help to an extent. 

 

BABY BATH

 For bath i initial used Johnson baby wash, but having read their poor reviews and how unsafe they are for babies as they no longer maintain quality , immediately switched to pigeon and it had been going on fine.

After i finished one bottle, i put my hands on chicco head to toe wash but unsatisfied with it, it dried my baby's skin too much and jumped back to pigeon.

 

DIAPERS

As far as diapers are concerned, the one and only choice of all mothers is pampers active baby. There are two types in pampers so make sure you buy the active baby one as it is imported and much better than Indian one though a little pricey. I came to this conclusion after having tried huggies, johnson nappy pads and Indian Pampers. 

 

PRAM v/s STROLLER

I did a huge research and no matter how much you do ultimately you end up buying something and for sure read rave reviews about the same, and then shut your eyes and ears because you have already purchased one.

this is what happened to me

i would say what i experienced after reading blogs, articles, talking to mothers, gazing at prams and strollers others carried , talking to people carrying their l ones in there and believe me, everyone has something good , something bad to say about, its just a personal choice. baby will learn to be comfortable wherever you pit her as its going to be a new experience for her altogether and its all being used to.

i actually wanted a stroller as i has seen and read that it folds and is so compact that it becomes as small as a golf stick but looking at the market, talking to  sales personnel and the huge market and variety it all blew me off my knowledge and brainwashed.

i will start with what i bought and what exactly to look in fo

i purchased a chicco pram after spending more than three hours in the market going through the options.

its good, comfortable and i have to say that now since i own it.:D

drawbacks of chicco pram-

heavy, occupies lot of car boot so much so that nothing else can be fitted in in spite of folding

what to look for-

buy strollers as the are more useful in the long run, compact, lightweight, can easily fit on seat or car boot along with other luggage, gives options of pram as well as stroller, it should lay flat for newborn, incline 45*, and finally 90*

should be roomy enough for baby to move her hands/ arms/ legs. make sure the seat is broad enough for babies bums to fit it and they should not be half in air., foot rest

the harness should be padded, their should be side support and front support for baby to hold, proper cushioning...

mother care is far too expensive, and one can easily omit that option as there is no need to spend like 50 thou bucks on a pram (provided you have surplus money or are blessed to be gifted one)

never buy one with car seat as baby will soon outgrow the car seat size and you would have to buy a separate one later

must have a overhead cover to protect from sun and rain

the brands include graco, chicco, mothercare, firstcry (if you are comfortable buying online without feeling the same, i wasn't), meemee, sunbaby etc. etc. 

i guess decide from chicco and graco as these are  most used, i saw most of the parents having these (can you believe i used to keep noting in my phone the lumber of graco versus other brands that parents carried and the one to get maximum ticks .... crazy!)

Recently, sold off my chicco pram almost free (MRP 9000/- and sold for 3000/-) only to pick up a mere meet lightweight stroller (rs 1000/-, used in good condition). Unfortunately, it's not very comfortable, the cushioning is not appropriate or i feel so and smoothness is also not as much.

Someone highly recommended me to buy BMW stroller, but i guess it costs a fortune, as much as their car.. (so if you think it's worth the brand and comfort, must go ahead). 

After shortlisting on 3 lightweight strollers - chicco echo, chicco lite and mac laren, purchased maclaren, though 18k pinched a lot, but it's one of my best buys till date, very light, compact, not considered baggage at airports, folding, can come in smallest of cars (understand alto), can be carried on shoulder. I have dragged this piece with us on holidays in forests, jungle, mountains, rocky roads and malls - surviving till date: an year long. Now at times we laugh and talk that we have pushed it too much, its wheels still smooth and shockers in place. 

 

 

DIAPER BAG - checklist for an outing/ movie/ mall

 The number of each item would depend on individual though i will mention the minimum pieces i used to carry as per the capacity of my lil black bag.

 

  • diaper  - 3
  • formula  (though smaller containers are available in market, i never tried them and carried the tin itself )

 

 

  • boiled water ( in a kettle to keep it warm during winters, and in a regular kitchen used bottle after thoroughly cleaning in summers)
  • napkin/ bibs - 3
  • wet wipes - a pack
  • a change of clothes (2 sets for baby, one for myself)
  • changing mat (small one , quick dry in case of diaper changing on the way)
  • rough paper/ carry bag (i used old newspaper to wrap dirty clothes/ diapers if required
  • hand sanitiser (one small bottle)
  • a toy (to keep baby engaged in case of crankiness )
  • a small bottle of oil to apply after diaper change. (i generally use parachute cobnut oil in summer and almond oil in winter,  also recommended by various websites and ped)
  • a cotton sheet to cover baby
  • sterilized bottles depending on babies requirement ( at least two in bottle covers (always buy cloth bottle covers as they are easy to use and wash, initially i purchased rexene ones and they smell awful after wash as water doesn't dry completely ion the inside.)
 Things to keep handy  - everyday use for your lo and also if going out station including the above list

 

 

  • liquid soap
  • towel (two just in case )
  • oil (in a small bottle, i generally use empty shampoo bottles)
  • bathing accessory  ( i have a tub and a mesh to bathe my baby at home, but its not practical to carry it outside. my sister gifted an inflatable tub small size {also available online, cheapest at ebay.in} which can be easily carried outstations also, and i realized its importance when i went to patiala and didn't get it from home and the difficulty both mother and daughter faced every morning as my baby was still very young to sit up by herself and would keep slipping)
  • nail cutter (small exclusively for babies - I skipped the branded ones and went for a regular small baby size nail cutter as one would need it every other day, at least i did because my lil ones nails grew fast and had to chip them short before she could scratch her face)
  •  a blanket (if its going to be cool/ cold)
  • socks/ mittens a pair each

 

 

 

 MEDICINE KIT

 

Medicine kit you must have handy and carry whenever outstation should include -

 

  • crocin drops (fever)
  • phenergan drops (if baby gets very cranky)
  • actidom drops (for vomiting )
  • colicaid (for gassy babies)
  • gripe water [ use asafetida powder mixed with ghee or lukewarm water incase you are out of stock here]
  • neopeptine drops/ vitazyme (digestive enzyme)
  • maxtra ( for cold)
  • taxim o (antibiotic)
  • calshine  P (calcium supplement)
  • vysernal Z drops  or Zincovit (multivitamin)
  • hemsci (iron supplement)
The above medicines are most general and sought after, please feel free to consult your ped for the same/dosage/other brands.

 

 

 Day to day use stuff which should be ready as soon as the baby arrives -

 

  • Electric kettle to boil water , more convenient than using gas stove and running to kitchen as i did during early days and was a big hassle
  • mee mee electric bottle sterilizer, found it as a saver because initially running to kitchen through the middle of night to boil bottles in half sleep mode was risky (using till date, 19 months)
  • bottles, buy 4 oz. 8 oz bottles only. I purchased 2 oz bottles at birth and babies outgrow them quite soon.
  • a clean vessel to store sterilized bottles , i don't think drying rack is of much use as in India there is too much of dust and we must keep sterilized bottles covered at all times. another thing an aunt suggested was, sterilize bottles and then close them, cap them and keep ready for use
  • bottle warmer - bought mee mee one, with car charger attachment, may be we get to use that in car sometime, very lightweight and compact. Never used till date: 19 months: Aug 2015

 

 

BOTTLES

There are many brands and various kinds of bottles available in the market.

if you are breast feeding, people recommend avent/ dr brown's wide neck ones as the nipple resembles that of mothers and prevents confusion to baby in case switching from mother to bottle and vise versa

For very gassy babies, dr brown i would  highly recommended. I purchased one through amazon.in. Expensive but good.  I didn't buy more as it has too many attachments and becomes tiring at times.

Again - glass bottles versus plastic ones. Preferably glass ones and you get special covers/ sleeve to protect it, if you can manage then must.

I preferred age old convenient, simple and easy plastic bottles BPA free. Many brands have them chicco/ pigeon/ mee mee/ bonnie/ camera etc.

I preferred mee mee/ pigeon bottles only.

Same goes for nipples also. Individual choice, use and try which one does your baby like pigeon has anti peristaltic one but somehow my baby never liked it.

Nipples comes in various sizes depending upon age of baby - small for slow flow

medium for medium flow at 4-5 month

y cut or large after 6 months - this is personal choice as my baby still likes slow flow.

you must discard the nipple after a couple of months when you see it collapsing while baby is sucking on it.

 

BURPING

I struggled a lot with my gassy newborn as far as burping was concerned. She has been exclusively on formula which made things all the more important.

Try them  out -

# Put the baby on shoulder, make sure her stomach is not pressed, and pat the back gently while you walk around

# Put the baby on shoulder, legs straight down (they tend to keep them folded; at least mine did) and raise their left arm above head.

# make them sit on your thigh, supported, and gently jump them.

 

COMPLEXION

Being a doctor myself, i know and understand that complexion is something that is genetically determined and nothing much can be done to alter it.

Now from a mother - no matter what science says, my heart still felt the need to do something to make sure my baby's skin was clean, clear, healthy apart from being fair which is secondary.

Initially, she was only sponged with warm napkin since she was born in extreme winter season and was very weak born prematurely

Later, we (my mum, and myself )started bathing her after oil massage with almond/parachute coconut and then washing it clean using pigeon liquid soap.

I did try chicco as well, but didn't suit my baby.

Now, that she has turned 6 months, i try to apply milk+besan on her body as a final wash after soap.

Not sure if anything good would happen, but yes, i am glad i am following the age old ritual that my mom followed with me. ")

Lo had been losing her complexion by the day in-spite of keeping her indoors, upon reading i started using gram flour+milk+pinch of turmeric (rarely, as it stains my clothes when i bathe her) and it is helping and i am sure its psychological because most of the answers that i read said that babies tend to  lose their complexion in between and then gain it back as they grow and moreover it is genetically determined and i know it well as i myself a doc :)  

REcently, someone suggested on using a powdered mixture masoor  dal  , turmeric  (amBi haldi if available: its a ayurvedic haldi), kalonji (i didn't put it as its use caused eye irritation to my lo), gram flour.  You may try it, no harm as all are natural kitchen ingredients.

Also, after switching to multiple brands of liquid wish, finally settled for teddy bar soap. Was reluctant initially  for the ease of liquid wash , gradually habituated.

 

  •  malai, besan and haldi. always prefer using ayurvedic kasturi haldi
  • red daal powder, haldi, kalonji powdered, besan
  • besan and milk raw 
  • ubtan made of masoor dal powder 500gm, Bambi haldi powder 250gm, chandan powder 150gm, yellow mustard seeds powdered 150gm, kalonji 250 gm250gm, besan 250gm. After regular massage, take 2-3 tsp of this butane, add milk cream or milk whatever you have, little bit of olive or almond oiled rub on body with light hand followed by water bath.

 

July 5, 2014:

DIAPER RASH

My baby is 6.5 months, and has been suffering from redness in both susu and potty area, what is commonly called diaper rash, and upon seeking advise and asking numerous experienced moms, i was told the following safe options:

 

  •  give diaper free time. For this i purchased a quick dry sheet, XL size, and spread it all over the bed. To keep it in place, i put saftey pins on each end. i now put my baby on this while she sleeps/ plays to avoid wetting the sheets and mattresses.
  • use a good quality diaper. I use pamper active.
  • apply coconut oil liberally after each change
  • must wash clean our hands before and after diaper change
  • i was previously using johnson baby powder to keep the area dry, but discontinued its use as i read that their licence was cancelled, and low quality of johnson products.
  • application oil sudo cream available online/ OTC
  • avoid using wipes, instead wash in water directly or use cotton balls dipped in water.
  • apply destin powder, its safe ZnO.
  • siloderm mixi ointment
  • if age appropriate give plenty of water to drink, coconut water
  • various rash creams, after washing the toilet area with water, air dry or pat dry and then apply. (sebamed diaper rash cream, himalaya, ezenappy from Dr Reddy's)
  • if you are breast feeding avoid spicy foods, chillies in your diet
  • Googled a post recently (24th Jan'15) saying that regular use of diaper rash creams cause skin darkening, and one should stick to more natural things like coconut oil.
  • mix lil mustard oil with water and rub on your hands till it becomes whitish.. then apply. us it during loose motions as well. it has helped a few mommies and lo. try at your risk.
  • ezinappy or ratifier cream
  • candid b cream/ powder 

 

 

 MASSAGE AND OILS

For my infant, after thorough research, use of coconut oil (parachute/ organic), olive (figaro) during summer.

 for winter's, use of badam/ almond oil (hamdard). 

For hair - castor oil.

avoid mustard oil as the grandma says it darkens the complexion.

avoid using oil on face. MAke sure to rinse it thoroughly during bath specially in summers.

For massage, on chest and stomach, go anticlockwise, and clockwise for back.

also horizontally up to down strokes for both back n front.

As far as head is concerned, must massage above the ear lobes and behind them.

for limbs, go as a milking way. Gently rotate the hands and feet in clockwise and anticlockwise direction a few times each.

Genitals must be cleaned and massaged from front to back and never vice versa.

make sure to massage the creases well specially the legs/ thigh etc. 


HOME REMEDY FOR TEETHING

I have suffered (actually my lo) a lot, means a lot. Every month 15 days would pass when she would go nil orally. I used to scream/ shout/ pity both of us and what not till the time i would realise ... Oooo.... a new tooth!

Over a period of time found out few remedies which can heal, if not cure, give some comfort to the teething gums and the baby.

These remedies are no sure shot, works for many and doesnt work for many more like us, still there is no harm in trying, what if it just suits you two!

 

  •  honey application on gums > 1 year age
  • mix suhaga ( available as solid piece, has to be powdered and used in a very tiny amount) mixed with honey, application on gums
  • homeo medicines like cal phos, bc 21. (available online as well, dr reckwerg, i googled since had no time going out and searching pharmacies)
  • teething gel ( ask your doc to prescribe one)
  • teethers (useful only once lo starts holding for self, though they were a waste in our case)

  •  THE HOME REMEDIES MENTIONED HERE ARE ALL TRIED AND TESTED ONES FROM VARIOUS EXPERIENCED MUMS AND GRAND MUMS. AFTERALL ITS ALL ABOUT A MUMS INSTINCT (with no scientific background most of the times, but very effective)

 

HOWEVER PLEASE READ THOROUGHLY, GOOGLE, CONSULT PEDIATRICIAN  

 

LIST OF MUST BUY THINGS/ USEFUL STUFF

 

  1.  munchkin wipe warmer for winters
  2. Honest company's organic bath products
  3. Aveeno calming lotion
  4. Babyganics sunscreen
  5. Humidifier for winters
  6. Dropcam for wifi access and philips video baby monitor
  7. buugy gear heart look, mommy hook
  8. babyganics high chair cleaner
  9. spoon bottle
  10. soft blocks
  11. sassy bath books
  12. lamaze activity spiral
  13. bjourn travel bed/ lotus travel crib
  14. uppababy G luxe umbrella stroller
  15. nebulizer. Give steam via this using normal saline bottle purchased from pharmacy.

 

 

 

 A bad experience with mybabycart.com. Ordered crochet booties and baby cups and they turned it down. Try out better options if you can!

Its a passion to dress up baby girls as dolls. Shop for their headbands at needybee.com, meemee, pinkblueindia, littlecuddlestore, daddysdazzlingdiva are some of the sutes you can check out!

 HIGH CHAIR vs BOOSTER

The amount of research, reading, blog following i had done for this small thingy is un believable. Talked to every lady in any and every baby shop for over a month with regard to high chair, if they were using  one, brand, its utility, model etc etc...

There are lot of mixed reviews on model/ brand in the market and same goes for its use for each parents and their loved naughty one.

Purchased chicco high chair, with all ajor functions which are must including reclining, 6 point harness, foot rest, adjustable and removable tray, height adjustment to name a few.

Yes, this model that i picked costed heavy on the pocket, had all the above mentioned features, could be removed at any time to make a booster as well.

Now comes the justification and explanation of each feature as per majority of parents and their concerns - reclining : if the child is young, its more convenient to recline a little for extra comfort.

footrest : how would you like if made to sit on table and chair with feet hanging in air?? This was the question put to me when asked the importance of footrest. Hope you got your answer.

Adjustable and removable tray : for the ease of cleaning, adjusting how close you want it to the body.

height adjustment : depending on your dining table or your own height while feeding baby.

booster : space saver, better for toddlers who want to be treated more like adults and not having any special baby thingy for themselves.

In my case, my lo always hated seat belt, so i used the tray to secure her well in the seat, which was again given away with time (2 months) as she did not want any restrictions, and as she turned toddler (walking) no longer wanted chair to sit, if at all forcibly would use a regular chair like all of us instead of a special chair.

MY TWO CENTS HERE: avoid buying until unless necessary

never expect that feeding habits would improve with use of high chair 

if at all you have to buy, go for either booster or a reasonable light weight high chair (preferably used, so that you don't mind the baby rejecting it) 

[this applies if you are a non finicky mom, not very adamant on rules and regulations, the table manners, want to let your lo loose] 

 

TOYS : TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY

Tricycle : must buy

Scooter : useless {better take used to avoid disappointment and waste money, avoid mee mee brand, toyzenia one is more apt for 3+ age group}

Colors, sketch pens/ crayons : lots.

Big white sheets to avoid house getting re painted : i bought mine from amazon.in

Easel board: yes, can stick white paper for coloring, or give chalk to scribble, mine is acutely iron deficient, so can't give chalk, she eats it off.

Electronic musical ancient type of car: no use, just a fad for a few weeks. too expensive first or second hand, remote yes lost with time, music gets damaged.

i finally bought at a bargain pre loved one, and it was used no ore than thrice. sitting out in sun since then. 

Toy mobile : yes, will save your iPhone too, invest in a good one, spend some bucks, it will be worthwhile.

Soft toys: boys or girls, depends on individual liking or attachment , buy just a couple of them , or better if you get gifted, if lo shows inclination towards them, then invest in more and good ones.

Real life looking doll/ baby: yes, a good one, as close to real as possible, musical/ talking, bought mine from hamleys, preferably for girls.

Doll stroller : yes, for toddlers, they would love to take their babies for a stroll as their mommies take them in their pram. Preferably for girls.

Play dough : of course! Choose to buy from market or make at home (google recipe) if you are particular about putting in mouth. Will develop their motor skills and creativity.

Shape sorter : may be yes, for a toddler 2+, haven't bought mine yet, though she would do it naturally ;)

Piano, drums, xylophone : yes, babies love music and musical instruments. No need to go for hifi one as its gonna break with time, its just a toy, new or pre loved, a reasonable one, picked mine from Mussorie at rs 300/-

Mirror : real one or a toy one, kids love to adore themselves.

Tent : preferably a folding one to reduce the mess of assembling the rods every time which comes with the intex ones. For toddlers.

Kitchen set : obviously girls, around 3 years of age, so that they are old enough to play and keep the small parts safe.

Bat and Ball: unisex, multiple different sized colored balls to play with, kick them, throw them.

Table and Chair/ Rocking chair/ musical chair: yes, at times they like to sit down too, talking about toddlers who are on the run most of the time, and their sized chair is more convenient than climbing up the bed overtime they want to rest/pause  for a few minutes. 

Plastic animal kingdom: haven't bought, saw in many homes where we attended play dates. Teach kids real life animals in zoo or choose the dummy ones if in a hurry to teach. 

Lots of real life kitchen cooking utensils : ALL TIME FAVORITE!

Active sand : available online too. Best buy, after being dumbstruck with those play doughs which dried up in a few hours and replacing them every other day or just making at home, which baby didn't play with.

Doctor set : good buy. they do a lot of role play and learn. My lo already knows most of the doc instruments and i see another doc in making after myself ;0 

Trolley bag: her very own personal bag, wherein a kid packs their clothes and drags it enacting as if going for a holiday.  My funda has always been : buy preloved in good condition or reasonable one so that rejection by child doesn't pinch unless otherwise - its gifted.

 

TOILET TRAINING

like every mom, specially a first timer , i too freaked out at the very word - toilet training. Im a usual or an un ususal a stressed mom, malibale and easily affected by people's words and comments, and when words like : still in diaper ; you havent started yet... etc came from friends and families... i pushed myself and my daughter... WRONG

Agree, people start as early as early as 6 months and generally complete this task by 1.5 years or max by 2. I'm a lazy bug.. when i asked for suggestions on how to practically go about it, nothing really effective came my way.. just that keep pushing her and trying.. it will happen.

so, i went my way , or better said, by my daughters way.

Yes, we did buy all sorts of toilet seats including the one which you place on the commode and other teddy printed toilet seat, only   to realise that pushing only makes things worse and delayed.

This is how we went... going successful if not 100% still happy mom and happy kid.

At 1 year, when i pushed her to sit, forced her to pee/poo on a special toilet seat, she developed a resistance and feared the seat.  Finally i just put it in the balcony where she plays, and used it as a chair to sit on myself and it was then when she started behaving possessive and said 'ye mera hai'. but never attempted a real pee poo act and only did role play with it - i was happy that at least she knows what it is used for.

Then we bought the one which gets attaced on commode. kids love to imitate adults/ parents and want the same as them rather than anything special and speciifc to them.

At 1.5 years i used to make her sit on it and no more than within seconds she was off from it, but atleast she came to know how it is used and why it is used.

At this very age, i put her off from diapers at least at home and in summers and allowed her to pee poo in bloomer (got many at reasonable rates) so that i could throw them away if very dirty.

The aim here was to make her feel  that dirty sticky feel when it's wet and soiled, agree , it increased my work of cleaning. Used one soaking cloth only for pee pee and after mopping used to put it in wash basin under water.

At nights i continued with dipaer to avoid disturbing my sleep of getting up and changing clothes.

Used matress protector on beds she used the most to avoid smelly mattresses as they cannot be changed or dry cleaned.

By the age of 2 years, i somehow got some clues of her expressions of pee poo and used to take her to toilet on that seat. 70% of the times 50% of stuff was already over and only 30% was done in flush - still felt like an achievement. Used to put alarm on phone as reminder for next hour or hour and a half as for the next loo visit.

After about a few more months , say 2.5 , she resisted wearing diapers at all, because i kept repeating words from begining - ' you are a big girl, big girls don't wear diapers.. look at mama, masi, nani, dadi'

Every Time she peed on floor/ clothes ' chee dirty, we should do it in toilet, be careful next time' no harsh words though.

Now the problem that i face is - even outside she doesn't want to wear diaper and most of the times i don't want to take her to public toilets , hygiene reasons and still figuring out how to cope with this..:)

Still im a happy lot, to have achieved this much.