Ten books you should read to your one-year-old

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“You can find magic wherever you look, all you need is a book in your hand”

Reading is the best thing for a child’s brain it makes them creative, inquisitive, enhances their vocabulary, improves concentration, enhances the attention span and most of all takes their imagination to another level. Reading a book for my little has been my favorite activity, I really look forward to it every day and so does she. Although I introduced reading at a very early age, that is around four months, you can begin at any age. It may take more efforts, especially if the child is used to watching TV or videos because that looks far more interesting due to motion and stories being told in actions. While books require a lot of more attention as the brain starts imagining what you read, this is such a beautiful experience in my opinion. Reading can take us to another place, another time without ever moving. The key is keep trying, take out some time every day to read to them, initially they may show very little interest but slowly and gradually the excitement builds in. Here are couple of things to keep in mind before starting the journey:

  • Make it fun with actions and voice modulation, it has to be a little dramatic to get them interested
  • Involve them in the reading , ask them to point at things
  • Choose a time when they are not very tired, I usually pick up a time when she is done with her running, jumping etc. and needs a downtime to relax. Sometimes we start our day with books J
  • Books should be easily accessible to them
  • Be ready to read a book over and over again, they have their favorites
  • A one year old’s attention span is not much so choose books which are short, preferably board books with 9-10 pages, clean and bright illustrations, not text heavy, books about animals are always liked by kids this age

10 best books for a one-year-old

  1. Good night moon by Margaret Wise Brown: A superb bed time book, with very little text , repetetion and beautiful illustrations, don’t forget to spot the little mouse on each page it was one of the favorite activity for my little one and kept her interest till the end.
  2. Ten little fingers and ten little toes by Mem Fox: Clean white background pages with beautiful illustrations of babies and rhyming text ,introduces the little ones to different cultures.
  3. Good night gorilla by Peggy Rathmann: My favorite bed time story book, impactful illustrations, minimal text and lots of animals.
  4. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell: Lifting the flaps keeps the little ones engaged and animals are an additional treat.
  5. Put me in the zoo by Robert Lopshire: Beautiful introduction to colors, very simple story line makes it an easy read
  6. Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill: Another lift a flap book with simple illustrations and which kid doesn’t love a dog?
  7. Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? by Eric Carle: Beautiful big illustration of animals one on each page, repetitive without being boring, it’s like singing a song
  8. The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle: An interesting book as the story appeals the little ones, they love putting their fingers in the tiny holes, bright illustrations. My favorite book to gift every new born J
  9. Where the Baby’s belly button? by Karen Katz: A beautiful lift a flap book, introduces them to body parts in a very interesting way.
  10. Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle: The blue truck and a number of animals on board, an interesting read aloud book with a number of sounds and rhyming words.

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Thank you Anurag Singh (http://www.anuragwrites.co.in). Please check out the post shared on their blog. I would like to introduce Parul Malhotra (https://thetrendingdiary.com), do visit her page and read the post.

This post has been written as part of the #blognbookswithus Blog train hosted by Kapila from every little thing: Happiness(https://www.everylittlethinghappiness.com) and Kavita from Momtastic world(https://www.momtasticworld.com). We are posting about books on our blogs. So hop on and enjoy reading these wonderful posts.

 

Do babies need toys???

image1 (1)Definitely one of the most debated topics on a number of parenting forums, honestly I always thought toys are made only for kids so why not, after all it’s so much fun. I have done my share of research on whether kid needs toys or no? Everyone has a different opinion, some truly believe that toys will make kids materialistic, reduce their attention span, limit their creativity etc. On the other hand there are some who advocate toys for better brain stimulation at an early age. What I have learnt is there is no right or wrong as it completely depends on your parenting style.  As far as making you kid materialistic by giving them toys that applies to the branded clothes and imported baby washes and creams as well.  Basically babies do not need anything, what they need is lots of love and cuddles from mommy and daddy dear, I mean  they only express the need to be cuddled really, everything else is a prop which can be used by parents to keep them engaged, entertained . Do we need to entertain/engage them is another  question all together. But toys have helped me in constructively spending time with my little one; I had no idea how to engage her otherwise.  As a new mom, I had no idea what to talk to her about; toys helped me starting the conversations 🙂 we bond while playing with toys as we bond by doing various other things together like going out for a stroll, reading a book, sharing a snack and so on. Also babies love exploring new things, why can’t toys be one of them? Especially now when we have such well researched toys available in the market which have much more focus on making the babies much more creative. Of course you need to be very careful while choosing the right toy that is appropriate for your bubs age. Like a stacking toy for as soon as the baby starts sitting, a shape sorter for one year old etc. I will share a list of age appropriate toys in my next blog 🙂

My toddler’s love for books

I have always loved reading books fiction, non fiction, autobiographies, travelogues anything and everything. I wanted to share the joy of reading books with my little one as well :). I started showing her cloth /rag books from very early on, i guess she was four months old. Initially it was just another toy for her which had colors, shapes and patterns but she simply loved looking at them. Then I introduced some touch and feel cloth books which are good for baby’s sensory development . She loved the crinkly sounds 🙂 made by books like the snuggle book and the Lamaze book. These were instrumental in building the foundation for the love of books. As she grew, the type of books changed. I started reading to her everyday, still do 🙂  of course it becomes a little challenging when they are mobile, she wouldn’t stay in once place but i would read to her everyday and slowly, steadily she started developing interest in books. She is 16 months old now and would not stop looking at books, she will choose and bring the books to me or her dad and would want us to read everyday, several times in a day. I love to watch  the way she picks up a book herself, looking at the front cover first and turning to have a look at the back as if she understands it all (Who knows, may be they do :)). She has her favorites, some of them she never ever liked, some books had to wait for the love and attention from the little one. I will be sharing details of the books in another post.IMG_8364

Arghhh! My baby doesn’t play with toys!!!

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My little one doesn’t play with toys, as in those toys which I buy for her from these super swanky toy stores!!!  Oh wait may be everything is a toy for a 9 month old :). It happens very rarely that the store brought toy is able to hold her attention for more than 10 minutes. She has just started showing interest in “playing” and most of the things she loves playing with are not even toys (Except a couple which i will share in another post). Some of the most loved objects which attract my little one’s attention are:

1. Cap of her milk bottle: Oh how much she loves this one. I can’t understand what attracts her to this,it’s a plain-jane bottle cap after all !!! Doesn’t even have a beautiful color, makes no sound yet its loved 🙂

2. Empty plastic bottles : She just loves these!! so many colors, shapes and labels and easy availability. She loves banging them on the floor, with other objects, on the car window 😛

3. Baby wipes packet: Mostly because of the crinkly sound that the packet makes and bright colors.

4. Sugar free pellet box: Yeah !!! sounds weird but she just loves playing with this one. Compact and light weight, she can hold this in her hand easily and the pellets make a sound, wonder why doesn’t she like any of her rattles so much.

5. Cell Phones and Remote controls: Oh who doesn’t love these,wonder why though !!!! My cell phone is white and the remote control is a boring black. I think she is attracted to them because we use them so often and banging is so much fun!!!

I am sure the list will grow as she starts exploring the home and the world outside!!!!

Cheesy Broccoli Mash for 8 month old!!!

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Broccoli!!! Oh how much I love this vegetable!!! Have been waiting for the little one to turn 8 months so that i can offer her this super food :). Of course its not easy to think of a recipe which the baby likes instantly, I figured it will be easier to combine it with one of her favorite food “cottage cheese”. Here is a very simple recipe which was loved by my daughter.

Ingredients:

A couple of fresh broccoli florets

Garlic

Onion

Olive Oil

Home made cottage cheese

Method:

Steam the broccoli to cook it completely

Grate cottage cheese

Brush the olive oil in a heated pan

Saute onions and garlic in the olive oil

Add broccoli and let it absorb the flavor of onions and garlic

Add the grated cottage cheese

Let it cook for 5 minutes

Grind it in a blender ( This will be pasty and not like a Puree)

You can make it runny by adding some vegetable stock while cooking it

Momma’s battle with baby sleep troubles !!!!

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I am among those who calculate how much sleep I can get before going to bed. This number freaked me out every night during the first month after my daughter was born. Of course with time I realized this habit needs to go away for me to feel a little sane. Three of my friends delivered around the same time as me and this used to most frequent discussion other than feeding issues. Each one of us had a different issue as far as sleep is concerned, it took us some time to “accept” that is the new sleep pattern for us :). Though deep down I was hoping for a 5hrs continuous sleep someday. I kept reading that sleep gets better after three months, what happened was from better it got worse :(. My lovely daughter experienced the fourth month sleep regression a little early on and it went on for a good two months. What does that mean hmmmm waking up every 2 hrs, on bad nights every 45 minutes after sleeping for 3 hrs. After doing a lot of research,reading a lot of books and using a lot of props like white noise, calming baths, baby scheduler etc I realized she has her own mind and nothing sort of works for her. “Babies now a days are too assertive” this became my excuse and I gave up on working on this. She is now 7 months old still does not sleep through the night, although the frequency of night waking has reduced to one or two. We have our bad nights and right after experiencing those I decide its time to sleep train my baby, but then every method involves some amount of crying and I am not ready yet. I pick up and cuddle my little one on the first whimper at night, may be I am not allowing her to learn to sleep on her own but who can tell, all I know the moment I pick her up she is quiet this makes me believe this is what she really needed a cuddle , a kiss after all how long is she going to be dependent on me for this!!!!!! Having said that here are a couple of things which worked fo me or gave me some hope as far as sleep is concerned are:

Books:

1. Wonder weeks by Dr Frans, according to him sleep disturbances happen whenever your baby is going through a mental leap. Trust me there are lots of them in the first two years of a child’s life. Every time my little one was going through a mental leap, at least I knew when its going to get better 🙂

2. On becoming baby wise by Gary Ezzo, Robert Bucknam, this book emphasized on the importance of putting your baby on a schedule, may work for some but it did’nt work in my case. Although I tried to put my little one on a schedule but her feeding never followed a pattern hence the whole schedule kept falling apart.

Props:

1. Swing: We decided to buy a swing for our little one but space was a big constraint,keeping that in mind we decided to buy the Fisher-Price Space Saver Swing and Seat, Rainforest Friends. Best decision ever, the size was perfect has 5 swing levels, soft music and a vibrator to soothe the baby. Did it work???? Heck yeah!!!!!! well not always but a lot of times 🙂

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How is motherhood treating you??

Every new mom keeps getting this question so often “ How’s motherhood treating you?” My answer changes every day and is completely dependent on my lovely daughter’s  mood !!!! This explains how life changes it’s not about ” me” anymore and I love it !!!!! Of course I have moments when I feel completely lost and frustrated nonetheless even at the cost of sounding clichéd I would like to say  one smile on my baby’s face makes it all worth it!!!!