Why this blog?

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Honestly I have never been into writing.. yes doing some freelance writing on and off in your late teens is another thing. But I had never been intrigued by the mere idea of putting ones thoughts into words let alone starting a blog! :’)  I was always the shy one (still am) but as they say there is always a turning point in your life where you wonder okay this is it, I have to do it. Not for the sake of doing it but you actually start feeling passionate about it. Ever happened with you?

My turning point in life was the birth of my baby. It wasn’t infact just the baby’s birth but a mother in me was born too. The feeling is indescribable. I was hit by a whirlwind of emotions and I wanted to preserve those moments forever. I want my lo to understand how I wasn’t annoyed by his night long or rather perpetual crying, how I was never tired of having him clamped tightly in order to nurse him, how my fatty slabs never bothered me or my under eye bags, caused by all those sleepless nights never made me conscious I was just very thankful for what Allah has blessed me with.

By saying this I do not mean to prove myself a super woman who never gets worn out (trust me in the coming posts you would know exactly) nor do I want all the lovely moms to think that they are being ungrateful.  We are all in the same boat!

Coming back to my passion for blogging, my baby has inspired me majorly, and i am sure that this space will serve as a great platform for all the women out there specially young moms like myself.

Thanks for dropping by,

Much love!

 

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#OralHygieneForToddlers

Oral hygiene has a lot to do with your well being, your health in general. With the coming of April, which is also apparently the oral health month, I decided to write about it as I see it widely being ignored even today!!

You may have heard or read that it is very important to pay attention to your child’s oral hygiene but do you really implement it? I have many good reasons for you to do so.. now!

Childhood is the perfect time to lay the foundation for good oral hygiene habits for life, so as soon as your baby erupts his first tooth you must start cleaning/wiping his gums. To do that this little brush like tool works amazingly well for babies for as young as 6 months.

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make sure you buy this in soft silicone bristles as they are gentle on baby’s soft gums. they can also help soothe their gums during early teething and works best when refrigerated (read: sterilizing is very important) i ordered mine from Daraz.pk

I know quite a few moms who totally tend to ignore their baby’s dental hygiene thinking, “oh the baby teeth fall out anyway” but that’s exactly where they are wrong! it’s the baby teeth that set the stage for adult teeth to grow in properly later. Brushing your little ones teeth also facilitates healthy digestion. I am sure you are very well aware of how your dental health can affect your baby’s digestive health. As mouth is where your physical and chemical digestion begin. Also because the billions of bacteria you’re allowing to grow (in the form of food/candies/chocolates/juices)  can end up in your babies gut. And then you stress over how every so often your baby gets BLOATED!! And trust me as I say this, brushing teeth can really reduce bloating besides obviously giving your toddler a pearl white smile.

What I currently use for my toddler, which by the way i have been using ever since he was 18 months old is this cute little brush by JORDAN.

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This toothbrush not only have super soft bristles, but also has a soft biting ring for the babies gums. And this circular handle makes it all the more easy for us moms to handle when the child is throwing tantrums. (which is most of the times :P)

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Make sure the toothpaste you use, if any, is fluoride free, you don’t need fluoridated toothpaste until the age of 3. However according to the new research, the dentists do not recommend fluoride free toothpaste even for toddlers but me being me, HAHA go with my instinct which is why i use this fluoride free toothpaste by pigeon in orange flavour because my Lo loves the taste of it and does not approve of any other flavour/brand. also, you need not put more than a pea size.

Tips for making it fun for the babies:   

For me what worked was the “brush your teeth” poem by the mother goose club play house. (yes he WAS addicted to their poems but now he seems to be addicted to a million more things :p ) it really fascinated him to see children brushing their teeth. Also when I would brush mine I made sure to do it in front of him. This way he understood that it’s a norm and not something that only he is forced to do. For making it a bit more exciting i use a fun minion toothpaste dispenser which he absolutely loves watching when the toothpaste is squeezed out.

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you can order yours here

 

PS: don’t forget to replace your tots toothbrush every 2 months. Happy brushing !!!

OWL’S NEST CAFE #REVIEW

A long awaited review..

So @owlsnestplaycafe is a one of its kind, as there is no cafe especially designed for toddlers and kids here in Karachi. A very well thought out place where mothers can hang out together while the kids can have an equally amazing time.

What makes this place stand out is the water play area which is basically a long water play table attracting people of all ages.

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It is ideal for children as they go splashing and playing with the water boats, fountains, funnels and many different water creatures. The cherry on top is the cute little vibrant coloured apron that the café provides so the kids don’t get too wet (well honestly they get wet regardless) but seeing them have various sized aprons is what impressed me the most. They cater to a child as young as one year old.

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Adjacent to the water table are various other things like the sensory boards, chalk boards, magnet boards, a little gym area for kids to introduce and encourage them to being fit.IMG_72891

Next there is the soft play area which is upstairs. Its a nice and cosy room very safe for babies to hang around on those puzzle play mats. The room has a plethora of things like slides, a hanging swing, tunnels and stuff toys. You can literally spend a great amount of time with your toddler exploring different areas.

There is also a tree house kind of a space carpeted in faux grass where your child can play with some lego and trains and cars.IMG_728011

Another advantage is the well equipped changing area for babies. And a very comfy chair for breastfeeding mothers.

What I feel like a little drawback is their MENU!!  The beverages seem quite nice. But the main course is something they need to work on as its not very extensive. Despite having  fewer options, the taste of their food didn’t quite impress us. I say ‘us’ because I went with a bunch of mothers all of whom agreed on the fact that the food doesn’t live up to expectations. The kids menu is also very limited.

Another concern is the broken toys and toys with no batteries. I feel they need to hire people specifically for the maintenance/damage prevention of the toys games etc. I went when it was still their first week and witnessed some damaged toys. Considering its growing popularity,  I am afraid they wouldn’t be able to maintain the standards of the play area unless they hire trained care takers to watch over the children.

Their prices at the moment are pretty decent. However there is a cover charge of Rs 450 for the play area. And if you take your helper/attendant with you, there is a Rs 350 cover charge for them as well. But that at least allow the mothers to interact and have fun with their friends while the children are being supervised.

Overall though, I think it’s a great concept. If you are anything like me, wanting to relax with a cup of coffee while your child gets indulged in some cool activities, then this place is a MUST GO! visit site.

 

Let me know how you think of this new place? feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

NOTE: I was NOT financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

 

#TheFirstFever

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You suddenly notice your baby’s body radiating heat? You may feel its fever and you measure with a thermometer… Does it measure somewhere around 99.9 degrees!?? Well don’t freak out yet! a fever in babies is said to be a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher and these symptoms could be a sign of a heat stroke which is often confused with fever. In case of a heat stroke you have to be responsible enough to provide your baby with a suitable environment; change them into something light and loose and keep them hydrated. However, if you find your baby crying more than usual or sleeping more than usual or just refusing to be fed take a second reading.

If it hasn’t happened to you yet? It probably will soon and no matter how experienced you are, fever in babies can really stress you!

The reason for why I am writing about the first fever is because not very long ago, my then 8 month old was hit by a sudden 103 degree temperature in the middle of the night. Talk about worst nightmare!! Like all vigilant moms I was extremely distressed and all I did in that difficult situation was cry (i think i cry quite a lot) !! Now when I look back in the day I realise I went through so much of unnecessary mental and emotional strain and just made things worse for the people around me.

And just so YOU don’t panic, I have amalgamated a list of my personal DOS AND DONT’S when tackling fever in babies.

DON’T: LOSE YOUR NERVE!! The most important thing is to stay sane.

DO: head to your paediatrician right away if the baby is 3months or younger.

DON’T:  use any totkas/ home remedies on your newborns. No medication unless otherwise instructed.

DO:  give him a fever reducer (paracetamol) if the baby is older. And keep a track of his temperature.

DON’T:  overdose on medication which is signalled if the baby appears too drowsy and lethargic.

DO: give the baby (4 months or older) sponge bath at regular intervals. Or you can just soak strips of a cotton cloth in lukewarm water and place it on babies head, forehead , palms and feet. (note that this method is not the ultimate cure for fever its rather used to bring down the body temperature on the outside)

DON’T : cut down on feeding during fever. Some people may go by the “feed the cold, starve a fever” tactic without realising the adverse effect it can have. In fact feed more than usual if you are breastfeeding.

DO: complete your paracetamol course of at least 3 days to combat the infection caused by a bacteria. However it is advised to see your paediatrician if the fever is not controlled your child may need to start an antibiotic course. Or he may be tested for any signs of a virus.

SURPRISING FACT:

I happened to read this article on a a famous website that said :

When you’re rocking your hot baby in your arms and the anxiety starts to creep in, try to remember that fever is actually a sign that her immune system is working properly. Of course, it’s important to call the doctor, but the vast majority of babies with fevers recover just fine.

So its best to let the fever run its course, it’s the body’s way of fighting an infection. But again this is my personal opinion and a mother should always go with her instinct. Whether a high fever or not, if the baby doesn’t behave like his usual self or if YOU feel something is not right, head straight to your doctor!

Hope this post brings down your anxiety and I would really encourage if anyone wants to add on a point to the DOS AND DONT’S list or share a similar experience.

Much love!

 

#WORLDMENTALHEALTHDAY

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION PART TWO:

On account of the world mental health week, I would like to speak up and try to put an end to the negative stigma attached with the mental health that sadly prevails thus far. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and its high time we proactively discuss and support each other. Its completely understandable if you want a day off from work to tackle your mental health (just as you would to treat your physical health) to have the peace of mind and to be able to function as a norm.

More than 300 million people world wide suffer from depression and 260 million suffer from anxiety. Its about time we help each other spread awareness!

As a new mom and having suffered from postpartum depression myself, I know exactly what It feels like to have no control over your mind or your emotions. Its the time when you want people to understand you, to lend a hand and dig you out of that state.

And Today, as promised in my earlier post, I am going to share my story.

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For me the early days of motherhood were not all smiles and joys; not that I was being ungrateful but it just felt like I was living a temporary life.. more so, it felt like i was living in a fog, that was gradually dissipating my soul ,my world bit by bit. I was unable to focus. I would look at my newborn and cry. I would cry 24/7 without even realising. My family could not help it. The more they would try to help the more my mind would sink into isolation. I was deserted and longed for my old life. And in the midst of being consumed in my own darkness, all I was doing for my baby was just feeding him. Everything else was being taken care of by my mom! I would go see my OBGYN every week to make sure I was physically okay (because I thought there is perhaps something seriously wrong with my body that needs to be diagnosed and treated before I succumb to it) l literally thought I am going to die and not see my child grow! My OBGYN tried to affirm in every way but I was in no control over my mind. She suggested me to visit a therapist and seek professional help.

Having done all the tests, scans and x-rays (to ensure everything was okay) all my reports turned out fine, I still felt distressed and that’s when it clicked me. And believe you me, its hard to admit that you have a problem. So I was very apprehensive in the beginning but then i made my mind and knew what I needed to do i finally decided to take some anti depressants and I paved the way to spirituality. I let ALLAH into my heart and mind and all my fears seem to disintegrate. I felt like I was being pulled out of the darkness and it was slowly putting my mind together. I could finally feel the love for my baby that I had been missing. Everything just fell into place…

I feel lucky to have come out of that awful state without any consultation and in a matter of a couple months while for many other moms that state can last far more longer. I would just like to assure women that everyone will have a different journey. And you may need to see your therapist and take your antidepressants. Ppd can be triggered by a number of factors, in my case it could be my physical recovery which was longer than usual. As i had a vacuum assisted delivery with a fairly large second degree tear,I lost a lot of blood ,(my haemoglobin dropped down to 4)  Was numb for a good 8 hours and couldn’t feel my body but I am thankful for the epidural.There were even more complications like I was prone to infections down there, well… still am :/ , suffice it to say, giving birth took a huge physical toll on my body!

A piece of advice for new moms:

Just want you to know that the situation is temporary, even if it doesn’t feel that way. You will love being a mother and all the crying shall eventually stop. Surround yourself with people who are willing to listen to you even when you make no sense. I would stress over joining mom groups as they understand exactly what you are going through.( I regret not being active on social media groups back in the day when I needed them the most) And know that you are not alone.There is always a way out and this too shall pass…

Much love ❤

 

#PERFUMEBYCHICCO (PRODUCT REVIEW)

Never did i think that i would use a cologne for my child but guess what? i do use one now (not that hes ever smelt bad but just to put my insatiable curiosity of trying everything to rest) so which one did i choose? NO its not the dolce and gabbana eau de baby :’) i wonder if that is even safe to use on a baby..

The one that i am going to speak about is this sweet perfumed water by chicco. It is from their baby moments range and is everything you would possibly need to freshen up your baby’s mood. Although almost all babies have their natural odour which is amazing but this perfume has just the right kind of fragrance that would make you want to cuddle your baby ❤ and because i only go for organic stuff for my child, this one is definitely a must try.

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Its free from alcohol, dyes and parabens and is hypoallergenic (minimises any chance of skin allergies)

And the best part; its easy on the pocket and lasts all day!! this is my second bottle we use it after bath everyday and my DS seems to love it 🙂 you can order yours now from here

NOTE: I was NOT financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

#CAKESMASH

my little angel just turned one!!

I couldn’t be more happier and proud of the fact that i was chosen to raise this little human. I CANNOT begin to describe how blessed i am to have him in my life! This past year flew by real quick, it feels like yesterday i was organising his arrival shower and now its his first birthday already.. my first year with him has been the most joyous time of my life (of,corse apart from being the hardest :p) but just seeing him grow, develop and learn new things each day and witness all his milestones is amazing!

I was planning on doing something exciting for my tods big day but because my husband and i don’t want any of our family member to miss out so we decided to hold off his birthday celebration until our entire family reunites. Hence, in order to make his actual birthday memorable for us we came up with this idea of a cake smash shoot and literally executed it in A DAY!!

 

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he is clearly laughing at the idea of a cake smash :p

the entire thing was done by my sister and myself in the nick of time, from concept to venue to photography!

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With pictures you can manifest emotions that words alone cannot. I am quite passionate about making memories and that’s something i have learned from my parents who loves treasuring the moments and literally own a gazillion pictures from our childhood and these pictures help me to hang on to those memories. Same way i would want my bubs to know that we celebrated each and every step along the way with him and he’d surely look back at it with a huge smile 🙂

So mommies how did you celebrate your baby’s first? would love to hear in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Postpartum depression!

21558525_1432771303425183_1080070363504995876_npart one:

You must have heard of the term ‘baby blues’? I am sure you certainly have and thanks to our electronic media and especially google for keeping us apprised with anything and everything. But baby blues is not to be confounded with what we know as postpartum depression as there is a significant difference between the two.

It is a phenomenon which you cant ignore once you’ve passed your life’s biggest and possibly the most feared exam i.e bringing a human into this world. A lot of women and I say ‘A LOT’ because the estimates vary, go through ppd at least two weeks after they bring home the little bundle of joy! As most of you moms out there may be well aware of the symptoms of the baby blues which include:

  • anxiety
  • immense sadness
  • major mood swings
  • restlessness
  • impatience
  • insomnia
  • crying on every situation

You however are said to be suffering from ppd if all these symptoms are multiplied, if they become more intense, uncontrollable and if they persist. Where hormones play a major role in making you feel the way you do, some external factors may also alter your sanity like, physical exhaustion due to traumatic birth, sleep deprivation, stitches or perineum pain. Also, in severe cases it may evoke

  • disorientation
  • delusions
  • thoughts of harming yourself or the baby
  • feeling empty

This is a serious illness that needs to be addressed and dealt with proper guidance.You need to consult a psychologist/therapist and start with your medication if need be, because you for sure don’t need the illness to linger on and disrupt whats supposed to be the best time in your life. You are sure to be bombarded with opinions from people and you ought to try what works for you. Furthermore, while I was battling I came across this list of strategies that miraculously helped reduce my ppd. Do give it a read if you feel helpless and lonely.

 

7 ways to cope with postpartum depression

P.s: being a mom, having dealt with terrible ppd myself (part 2 coming soon) and walking through the valley of darkness, I assure you that you will get through this and it wont be long before you come out of it and find solace!!

 

 

 

#MOMSTACLES

The moment I was discharged from the hospital, I hadn’t the smallest idea of what my life is going to be when I step out of the door. A perplexed face thinking ; how very ignorant, careless and immature I was until the night before (Having to go to my mom for almost everything) and here I become a 23 year old mom on the spur of the moment. WAIT! ‘I don’t know beans about babies are they literally going to just let me walk off with him.. just like that’?? maybe I should get a license or perhaps a step by step manual on how to raise a baby ALL ON YOUR OWN’ 😛

Well hello dear friend,

That’s all of us, exactly what we all think after our first baby. But trust me with that first ever snuggle, you realise you have never felt so empowered in your life and against all odds, you prove to be the best possible care taker of your baby. 🙂

My 10 months of being a mother and observant interactions with other moms made me realise that most of them flounder about raising kids, and there is a lot of struggle that prevails consequently taking the true essence out of the experience, and hence reducing it to a job when it’s only the beginning of a beautiful journey. You just need to work it out rationally! However, you are sure to experience some major Momstacles, some of which I have listed and learned the hard way.

#GUILTY MAMA

Life as a mom is hysterical and often filled with the mommy guilt which comes as part and parcel.

 

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You’re always overthinking and being over protective. And you are under constant pressure of having to prove (to everyone around) that you’re engaging with the baby 24/7, and that you are NURSING him right. Ignore any criticism about your mom skills because people would just like to comment on how you are spoiling him by picking him too much to how you are ignoring him if you’re not always picking him up! Yes that could be intimidating, and trying to be perfect will only make you crazy!!

In order to enjoy the perks of motherhood, you first need to take sometime out for yourself. You definitely need your long warm baths or those stress relief trips to the spas. And Don’t fret, The baby shall gradually adapt to whatever schedule YOU set if you’re lucky enough, and if not there are plethora of ways to try and do so. Remember a guilty mama who is stuck in perplexity is not doing anyone any good. In order for your baby to be happy, alert and socially engaged at all times, YOU need to work on your time management skills so as to make the both of you content. A young mom today is capable of achieving everything in life amidst the hectic lifestyle. Don’t just shut yourself down. And most importantly, its completely OKAY to ask for a helper/nanny when need be..

#SLEEPLESS NIGHTS

‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ is a mere joke because not everyone can fall asleep on a dime! (at least i cant) there is no denying that you will completely have to forget what sleeping through the night feels like.

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Bfing or bottle feeding, in either case you spend a good one hour feeding/involuntarily dozing off, every 3 to 4 hours if you satisfy the baby. read: newborn babies. and if you don’t, then you may struggle to even catch a catnap. So Maybe you can make up for the sleep in the day? Or afternoon? LOL Just kidding! You cant!!! Because be ready to jump up even at the faintest sound. But you get through this too and trust me its easier done than said. (just don’t stress over your dark circles going fifty shades darker :P) also its easier to combat sleeplessness if you have a caring partner, you just might get a couple of hours of sleep as a bonus every now and then while he plays the daddy. Even if you are breastfeeding, expressing milk works as a lifesaver when you have someone agreeing to do the night shift for you.

#OH MY WEIGHT

Weight is perhaps the biggest concern of all new moms. Where you are totally enthralled by the arrival of the angel, you equally hate your self when you look in the mirror. Those unattractive extra fat slabs on the arm or thighs, those wider hips ,loose tummy, the double chin all this can distress you to an extent where you lose your self confidence resulting in you cutting off from the world and becoming anti social.

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In severe cases (like mine) you may even start hating your partner. Above all, looking at those Hollywood moms losing all the weight and flaunting their skinny bodies may daunt you even more. But remember; it took you 9 long months to get the baby out of you! And it sure as hell is going to take a little while to get you back in shape. well some girls are lucky enough to lose all the baby fat in less than six months. (Which was in my case) for majority of them it might take a year to say the least. But you are not alone! Your foremost priority is the baby and its health. Lactating mother or otherwise, you must not go on a hunger strike. Its only going to reflect on your baby. healthy eating and taking calcium and vitamin supplements is a must for at least 3 months. To get all the energy back which your body lost during childbirth. After which its advised to maybe squeeze in a little bit of workout in your routine. But again not too hardcore. You may also get your massages done as soon as your stitches heal.The massages definitely does wonders. And for those of you who successfully breastfeed,trust me you’re going to lose all the extra pounds in a matter of a few months. Just be patient!

#FEEDING

‘will I be able to breastfeed?”

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The biggest fear and question of a new mom. Making the choice to breastfeed is a great one considering the many health benefits for both you and the baby. it can be very daunting with constant pressure from the entire world!! For some, feeding comes naturally. While those who struggle with the latch might need some time to get used to it or maybe get a lactation consultant? Naah.. don’t stress too much just you tube how to lactate and make your life less complex.What comes next is the real deal. To establish regular feedings and meeting your babies demands in the early days. While your babies tummy is only the size of cherry, it may need feeding every hour differing from baby to baby

and depending upon your milk supply. it can be overexerting, but looking at the brighter side, the regular feedings is melting down your fatty slabs, its also healing those tears down there which probably a lot of people don’t tend to notice. Also, never doubt your supply. The milk is said to ‘come in’ after three days of regular feedings.

Having said that,there are mothers who fail to lactate for various reasons, and there are women who just don’t wish to,let me tell you its ABSOLUTELY normal my friend .Breastfeeding is a personal choice and its your right to choose what is right for you and the baby. Just don’t fret. You may speak with the paediatrician for the formula options/dosage.

There clearly are many momstacles that a new mom has to go through, the list can just go on. You may have faced something entirely different. I would love to hear from you.Because who else can understand it better than us moms

#beingamomisnojoke