It’s VABruari!

It’s VABruari!

VAB is a Swedish term which means Vård Av Barn (taking care of sick child). To VAB is when a working parent stays home from work in order to take care of a sick child. Fortunately, parents in Sweden are allowed to take time off to be home with their child if she falls sick, and during this time off, the Swedish social security system pays the parent a major chunk of their lost pay for every day that they spend home “VAB:ing”.

But what is VABruari?

In Sweden, February is a month when the flu viruses (and other similar infections) wake up from their not-so-long sleep to infect every single school going child, their parents and, if the parents are not careful enough, their colleagues at work as well. This flu take at least a week to pass over and maybe another week or so to come back for another round. Thus, most of february is spent under the shadow of VAB and so, as a joke, the month is also called VABruari.

I didn’t really know this term at all the first few years of our life in Sweden, but the moment our daughter was born, we were familiarized with it. And when she started going to her pre-school (Förskola in Swedish), we really started to feel the full impact of it.

In our case, the events have been pretty straightforward and without any deviation since the beginning. Nitara goes to her pre-school. Nitara sneezes. Parents get worried, Papa more so than Mamma. Nitara slowly develops cold , a running nose and fever, and stays home from förskola. 48 hours in, Papa also catches flu which further deteriorates into Man-Flu and he crashes into bed. Papa and Nitara are both home for a few days taking care of each other while Mamma goes to work. One week later, Nitara is finally fit to go to förskola again. Papa is still recovering slowly from flu and swears that this time the strain was much stronger than before. Papa goes back to work, the cough and blocked nose improving vastly better each day. Papa is finally free from the flu and decides its time to have an ice-cream tonight. Meanwhile, in the other room the parents hear Nitara sneeze. Parents get worried. Papa more so.

More on VAB coming soon.

What is your experience of VABruari? Do let us know by commenting on this post.

Nitara Turns 2 !

Nitara Turns 2 !

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. It feels like it was only yesterday that Nitara came into our lives, and she is 2 years old already.

Time really does fly and children grow up fast but that happens at the level of weeks, months and years. At the same time, hours of a day slow down considerably. It is a tedious routine to bring up a child. Day after day, night after night, it can be a constant struggle to get things right. Wake up, change her diapers, give her milk, then breakfast, lunch and dinner. Take her out for walks whenever she desires, whatever the weather might be. Keep an eye on the child all the time and make sure she is not doing anything dangerous. Right now she is sitting under the glass coffee table, the very next she has climbed onto the changing table and looks ready to jump. One moment she is scribbling with colors in her book, the next she is headed for decorating the walls. Forget about watching TV because she will want to see her cartoons instead. Spend hours making her eat her meal, hoping she doesn’t land a blow on her plate sending everything flying around. And when it’s finally time for you to eat, she wants a bite too. Or try putting her off to sleep because you’re really tired and she would turn around in the bed for hours narrating where her head, shoulders, knees and toes are.

Between her first birthday and the second, she has obviously learnt to do so much more. On her first birthday, Nitara was attemping to walk but now, she is already running around, kicking football all around our house, jumping and stomping her feet just like in Peppa Pig.

And yes, Peppa Pig is the newest member in our lives. So is her little brother George, Suzy Sheep, Miss Babbit (Rabbit), Danny Dog and Mr. Bull (If you have no idea what I am saying, watch Peppa Pig cartoons). And thanks to this cartoon, Nitara knows the sounds various animals make. Just ask her

Sometimes I wonder how much does a child really understand at a certain age and the answer always surprises me: They barely understand anything, but a bit more than we realize. She goes to a Swedish language day care whereas we speak Hindi at home. But she hasn’t started to talk in either yet. But just the other day, the door bell rang and she turned towards it and spoke in English: “What’s that noise?”

So yes, kids don’t really learn things the way we expect them to, but in their little brains the wheels keep turning and they keep learning stuff and show us their talents when we least expect them to. Such as when she first saw a gift wrapped in fancy paper and without any instigation, tore into it shouting:

“APPY BUDAY! APPY BUDAY! APPY BUDAY!”

Having Fun With Your Baby

Having Fun With Your Baby

I know parenting can be really tough. You wreck your social life, stay up during the long nights when your baby would rather play or cry than sleep, and not get the time to do anything for your own entertainment such as watching tv or enjoy a good meal or, as it turns out for me, reading books as well as writing this blog. Your friends who don’t have kids stop meeting you that often, while you happen to forget about those friends who are still single. You make sacrifices in your work life, like my wife has, and look at people’s updates on social media and feel sad that the rest of the world is having so much fun.

But one fact we new parents tend to overlook is that if we look carefully in our own homes, there is something that are a greater source of fun and joy than what’s playing on the tv or in those trips you used to take. Our babies, these little people wandering about cluelessly, are searching for something. They are discovering this world as well as themselves. Everything is new to them, even their own feelings and the fact that they can feel something. What is also new to them is having fun.

In the first few months of their lives, a toy hanging over their heads swinging here-n-there can be fun. The sight of different colors can be fun. Then a display of lights can be fun. As they grow up, they smile at weird faces. Put a net over them and they get excited and laugh. Make funny faces and sounds and they will think it the funniest thing in the world and will be consumed with laughter. Seriously, have you ever tried peekaboo? My daughter used to laugh so hard it could be heard two rooms away.

As the children become bigger and bigger, they discover more and more ways of having fun. My favourite is when I try to hide in a corner in our room, sometimes behind her cot or by the side of our bed, and my 1 y.o. daughter comes looking for me. When she finds me, the feeling of having discovered me makes her laugh so hard, I am astonished every single time. And guess what her laughing leads me to do? Laugh back harder. I also learn to react by screaming with fear as soon as she discovers me, in order to her increase her sense of achievement thus making her laugh even more. I get up and run away from her, slowly and very comically, so that she understands (I hope) that I am scared of being caught by her. This little drama happens every day in our home and it ends with her being so exhausted with laughter that she basically drops down on the floor and lies flat.

At other times, we play some nursery rhymes which she really enjoys, such as “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.” The day we realized she has started to understand the actions on that rhyme, we started to sing it along for her and make a big show out of ‘Clap your hands’, ‘Stomp your feet’, ‘Shout hurray’, ‘Say hello’, ‘Turn around’ and it would absolutely fascinate her. She is amazed by our singing and dancing with her, tries to copy something, gets it right and then doesn’t stop doing it. She has been turning around in circles until she loses her balance and falls on the floor, only to get up again and continue. She loves being flown around the home like an airplane in daddy’s arms and the sense of flight gives her so much joy. Throw in some soap bubbles and she is on the peak of happiness.

When I do all this, I realize that I am teaching fun to someone who otherwise did not know what fun was? In other words, when my child laughs she is genuinely discovering what fun is like and she wouldn’t know this if I weren’t showing it to her. And doing all these mad things with your child basically allows you to become one yourself. You go back to your own childhood, pluck the things that made you laugh and present them now to them. And in all this, you live your childhood once again and learn to have fun in the simplest things in life.

So, when you can have so much fun, become a child again and be free to do all the mad little things that bring you and your child joy, can you really say that fun has disappeared from your life just because you cannot do what other adults are doing? I know I don’t feel sad about not being able to go have a beer with friends or with my wife as well. Because I do enjoy so much more with my daughter when I make her laugh, or pick her up and comfort her when he is crying. When I crawl like a little doggy and make funny gestures and chase her around the home, she laughs until eyes fill up with tears.

So, it is really really important to have fun and raise a happy child in a happy environment. They really are bundles of joy.

How has your experience been? What kind of funny things do you do with your kids? Do let me know by commenting below.

On Letting Them Go

When you bring up your child from the moment they are born and then you see them grow slowly over the months and years, you might tend of forget that at some point they will have to learn to be on their own without the parents watching out for them. And knowing when and how to let go can be a painful task for a parent who loves their child deeply.

I had this realization a few days back when we took our 14 m.o. daughter, who had recently been trying to hurry her walking (her version of running) while mantaining her balance, to a play area where there were lots of older kids running around, jumping, sliding, climbing, crawling under tunnels, etc. In the beginning, I had Nitara in my lap and kept searching for a quieter corner where I could let her walk and play. She went on a small slide a few times but then she also wanted to run around the big tree-house in the center.

I gave her my hand to hold and kept walking with her and everytime there was danger of another child bumping into her or if she felt like losing her balance, I would quickly pick her up and put her down somewhere safe. This went on for a while and my wife also joined us. It was soon clear that our daughter was discovering something new and just wanted to run around exploring the world on her own, but we were concerned about her safety because she was our tiny little girl and really small compared to the other children running around screaming and playing.

And then, we decided to let her go on her own and not make way for her. We would wait and see what happens. The moment we released her, she took off. First she ran in one direction and then switched and ran in another. She stop, start, change directions on her own and the whole time we watched with anxiety and waited for someone to bump into her and throw her down. It was a bit difficult to see our daughter be on her own in the midst of so many “threats” around her and not help her at all. But is was also a discovery for us because we realized that she was going to be ok without us. The kids running around that really scared us were actually trying not to bump into others, while Nitara was trying to assess the things around her as well. She felt free, we could see, without us directing her every move, she was free to see the world the way she wanted to, even if it meant making mistakes and falling and getting hurt. I learnt that it wasn’t important for me to prevent her from getting hurt, but to be there quickly if she did so that she felt we were there was for.

And so, for the first time, I felt I let my little angel go and be in this world on her own without me, even if it was only for a couple of minutes and that too in a very safe play area. I feel a lot of things when I think back of that moment. The realization that I am so protective of my darling daughter, the knowledge that she would probably be fine on her own and the sadness that one day I really would stop being there in her life at all. Happily, at least today was not that day.

Breastfeeding or Formula? What to consider.

Breastfeeding or Formula? What to consider.

For a newborn, it is indeed best to breastfeed as far as possible. Breast milk has all the nutrition that a baby needs, and it also has all the antibodies that protect the baby because she doesn’t have a well established immune system in the beginning. There is, however, a dilemma many parents face, where in certain situations it might be prudent to introduce a bit of formula milk into the baby’s diet.

Let me address this dilemma a little bit. Before our baby was born, I hadn’t even considered buying formula milk as part of our shopping list. I had read and understood the importance of breast milk and was pretty confident that formula milk would only be something that we introduce after a few months. However, the day we brought our baby home from the hospital, I found myself arranging for some formula milk at the last minute. And it was because I realized during our stay at the hospital that there could be many situations, even that early, where breastmilk might not suffice for the baby. Because there is a difference between theory and practice.

When a baby is born, it is so exhausted that it barely has any strength for the first 24 hours and even our mid-wife told us that it is common for babies to not feed for that time period. And babies tend to lose a little under 10% of their birth weight due to this. However, when this period is over, it is time for the baby to start feeding and regain the lost weight within the next 2-3 days. But, not all babies are experts at sucking milk properly that early. Sometimes, they try for a few minutes but get tired quickly and fall asleep and need to be waken up frequently to feed. On top of that, the flow of milk from the mother’s breast may not be as good as desired, which might further contribute to tiring the baby out without a proper meal. And, even when it appears as if the baby has been well fed, she might still be hungry. And what if the baby continues to be hungry mealtime after mealtime without the parents realizing it? In those early days, we did face all these situations and we were advised by the mid-wives to give our baby a top-up feed at the end of each breastfeeding session to ensure that the baby really was full. And in case the baby was not getting breastmilk supply, to feed her a small amount from a tiny plastic cup (and not from a milk bottle) so that her attachment to the breast was also not lost, and she continued to get the feed that she needed.

Keeping this factor in mind, I learned that it was not a bad idea to keep some amount of formula milk at home to be used when needed. I – sorry, We – realized that introducing formula milk as a part of feeds for the newborn really did not mean that she would be deprived of breast milk. It was supposed to be used as a supplement to breast milk.

And it is not just about the supply of breast milk that is the only factor. You also need to consider the health and suffering of the mother. New babies need feeding every couple of hours even for weeks after they are born. Add to that the fact that even the most well fed baby has problems with sleeping properly at times. It is not obvious to us men how distressing the whole phase becomes for a mother who is herself in need of being taken care of in order to recover from the trauma of the delivery. I have seen my wife feel miserable at times trying to feed our perfectly healthy baby while exhausted by the irregular sleeping schedules. She cried about how much pain she felt in her back most of the times and how every moment of feeding the baby made her back even worse.

Like I said, it is almost impossible to understand completely what a new mother goes through unless you have been one and, at times, I have made the same mistake and insisted for my wife to try and breastfeed against giving formula milk. And this is where, we need to have an open mind and consider the practicalities of the situation. The baby needs breast milk, but don’t forget, it first needs milk so that it is not hungry and even the mother needs to be relieved of her stress regularly.

Until now, I hadn’t mentioned that pumping breast milk and then using it for top-up feeds as well as complete meals when the mother was resting is a great option, and this reduces the need for formula milk. Before our baby had completed her first week, I had already been compelled by the situations described above to buy a motorized electric breast pump. And, to be honest, it turned out to be a fantastic investment as we did use it a lot. However, one needs to understand that even a breast pump can be of little use if the milk supply from the breast is too slow, or the mother is very tired. Moreover, the electric pumps can be quite expensive and not everyone may be able to afford them, and the more affordable manual pumps take too much effort to pump. And if you run out of pumped milk at odd hours, it may not be feasible to set up and start pumping again while your baby is crying bloody murder and the mother is already exhausted. Having some formula milk handy can really be a life saver.

So, for new parents, the first few weeks are almost certainly a tough time and they are also a time to overcome challenges. While the importance of breast milk cannot be overstated, it is also important to remember that timely feeding of the baby is also very important as is ensuring that the mother is not subjected to undue stress in some situations.

How has your experience been? Do you think there is more to this debate than what I have written? Do share with me by posting in the comments below.

Weaning: How we stopped breastfeeding

Have you heard stories about the nightmare weaning a baby off breastfeeding can be? Have you  been reading everywhere how important it is to start weaning as early in time as possible in order to prevent it from becoming too difficult later? Yes, we did too and it used to scare the hell out of us. But, it turned out to be far easier than we imagined.

From the time our daughter turned 6 months old, we had started to talk about one day having to wean her off breastfeeding. We knew it was going to be tough because, even though we had slowly started to increase formula in her routine during the day, at night she would only fall asleep while breasfeeding. This was a major point of concern for us because putting her to sleep was already a very painful task, and breastfeeding for so long had been wreaking my wife’s back in the process. Of course, 6 months may sound like too late for most working parents around the world, but here in Sweden we have the law of Parental Leave, which allows the parent to be off for as long as they want (with some pay, but more on that later) without it becoming a threat to their jobs. So, we had decided for my wife to be off for at least 1 year and therefore we had more time to take care of our daughter and wean her.

So, when is the best time to start weaning? I think the answer to this is when you and your baby seem comfortable. One good checkpoint would be when the baby has started eating solid food, so that she doesn’t need so much breastmilk at night to feel full.

One of the most  important lessons of parenting I learned during the first year with our daughter was to focus on the most urgent problem(s) first and worry about the others later. This meant prioritization of problems and not their procrastination. For instance, it became clear to us very early that for our daughter to be able to sleep well at nights was more important than weaning her off at that stage, so we prioritized accordingly. Over the months until her 1st birthday, our daughter’s reliance on breastfeeding only seemed to be strong at night times and we did not have a plan of when and how to break this habit for her. To be honest, we also did not feel strong enough to be able to take up this challenge and wreck our sleep for a few nights. But what we did do more easily was cut off breastfeeding from her routine for the entire day except night times so that when it was finally time to stop completely, it would be less of a hassle.

Two weeks after her first birthday, she and her mom travelled back from Delhi to Stockholm and when she reached, she was visibly very tired and irritated due to the journey. She had breastfed on the plane, in the taxi on the way home as well as shortly again after entering our home because she felt scared to be in a different place after two months of being in Delhi.

When we saw that she was tired and scared to be in a new place, and was clearly not ready to sleep, we turned down the lights in our bedroom, except a small night lamp, got into bed with our daughter in between and cuddled her a bit, patted her head and spoke to her lightly so as to make her feel secure with both her parents right there by her side. Soon, she fell asleep.

That night, the idea came to my mind to try this out the next night as well and since it was a weekend, we did have the possibility to put in some time. So, the next night, we followed a routine of:

  1. Letting our daughter lie in bed for some time and become comfortable, even if it meant showing her some cartoons on the phone,
  2. Turning down the lights in our bedroom
  3. Offering her the milk bottle when she looked comfortable
  4. Playing lullabies (audio only) on my phone
  5. Lying next to her ready for sleep ourselves
  6. Patting her head while she drank her milk and even when she is done

This process of making things cozy for our daughter sometime before trying to put her to sleep made her more comfortable and within minutes of finishing her milk, she turned slightly towards her mom, patted her face lightly and fell asleep.

The first night this worked, we could barely conceal our excitement. But this could easily have been a fluke so we kept repeating this routine night after night and it worked every time. Of course, there were nights when this did not work. Children, after all are also thinking beings and there is a lot going on inside those tiny heads. But the disruptions were rare. Overall, we were astonished that we had managed to cut off breastfeeding from her routine completely and our daughter accepted it without screaming and howling even once.

While this seems all too easy, it really was a culmination of many factors including reducing her breastfeeding gradually over the months to only night-times, as well as the fact that the first time she fell asleep without breastfeeding was when she was utterly tired and scared.

Today, it has been a month and a half since the night we stopped her breastfeeding and she has never had to go back. Though her sleeping routine has recently had a major setback and we are again worried about how to put her off to sleep without wrecking our own sleeps, but that is another story for another day.

Shopping for the baby arrival

Shopping for the baby arrival

More than a year ago, I wrote a post on what our shopping list for the upcoming baby looked like, and it didn’t look good. I kept reading and researching about baby stuff that new parents might need and the list just kept expanding. Somewhere in the process, quite confused with over-research, I asked my wife’s mid-wife for tips and she had a very simple answer:

“All that the baby needs is you.”

A year, later I have realized how true that really was. As the baby came into the world, we started to figure things out as and when we needed them. In any case, it never harmed anyone to be prepared but it is also important to know that there is a lot of marketing that pushes new parents towards buying stuff that they really would never need. For instance, do you really need one of those expensive baby monitors? Does a bottle sterilizer make any sense or should one use a pan instead? Before deciding to buy something, always ask yourself ‘why’ and ‘when’ you would be using it and then buy it only if you see a very clear need for it. But how to do you know for sure that you will need it as opposed to you being convinced by marketing? Just wait till the time the real need actually arises and then buy, like I did before buying our Baby Carrier.

So, from my experience as a recent new parent, here is a list of almost everything you will need for your baby in the first few months, along with the ‘why’ and ‘when’:

  1. Feeding Bottles
    For a new-born, remember that the priority should be to only breastfeed as far as possible. But you should still be prepared with at least a couple of bottles, in case you face difficulty with breastfeeding and need to give some formula or if you need to store breast milk for later use as well.
  2. Cot
    It depends on you personally if you plan to have your baby sleep separately in a cot or in the same bed as the parents. For us, even though our baby sleeps with us on most nights, it is good to have a secure place where we could leave her for some time and not worry about her rolling over and falling off the bed. Having her own cot also means that the baby can sleep undisturbed and one does not have to worry about being too careful getting on or off the bed.
  3. Changing table (with changing pad)
    Again, it is not a necessity and you can easily manage on the bed as well. But we did find it to be excellent use because it meant we did not have to bend in order to change our baby’s diaper, which was very good news for our backs and we were also able to store a lot of our baby stuff under our changing table, so it was easy to reach diapers, creams and other baby stuff while changing diapers. By the way, for our baby, we stopped changing her diapers on the changing table when she was around 9 months old because she became too big for it and kept wanting to get up and roll over so it now became impossible to use it any more, but we still use the space to store her stuff.
  4. Onesies
    This is a no-brainer. You will definitely need lots of these since they are easy to put on and don’t have to be taken off for diaper changes. I would recommend at least 6-8 along with a few pyjamas, caps, gloves and socks. In the early months, diaper leakages and vomiting undigested milk are more frequent and it is handy to have a few changes always at hand, considering that you might not be able to wash the baby clothes every day. Babies can also feel colder than we do and it is necessary to keep them warm and that is why you will need some gloves and caps. But remember not to pack the baby too warm that they start feeling hot.
  5. Diaper bag
    As well as keeping things handy and organized at home, diaper bags are a must if you want to take your baby out. And, of course you will. Buy one diaper bag and stick with it for s long as possible. Make sure the bag you buy has enough space to manage all the stuff you need and has a few compartments to organize stuff as well. Read about the contents of our diaper bag here.
  6. Moisturizing and Diaper Rash creams
    Baby skin can get dry and rough if the weather is cold or if not taken care of. If you think it is needed, remember to apply moisturizing creams (the ones for babies, not adults) on their body as well as face. Which cream you use depends on where you live and what is available, but for us our mid-wife recommended Decubal. Diaper changing creams are a must because they help cure diaper rashes, which are inevitable if the baby wears diapers for long. We used Bepanthen and Inotyol.
  7. Nasal spray
    We had bought salt water sprays, such as Näsfrida, which are specially developed for use with babies. These have been helpful on two occasions, when the baby developed congestion in her nose due to cold and when her mucus hardened in her nose and could not be dislodged easily. I would say carrying a Nasal Spray is a must. Check your local pharmacy or baby stores to know what is available.
  8. Mobiles
    We bought a mobile hanging from IKEA that we hung via a mobile arm that was attached to our baby’s cot. It turned out to be a very interesting distraction for our baby. Our mobile had bees hanging from it which always caught our baby’s attention. Whenever our baby cried, we only had to turn the mobile a little and she would get engrossed in the bees flying around. It was a great thing to have.
  9. Baby carrier
    A baby carrier is an expensive product, but it also has a good use case. We bought an Ergobaby 360, but we did not buy it in advance (read about our experience here). It was when my wife was having a hard time carrying our 2 month old baby all day long even at home and her back was hurting her, we decided that it was better for us to have a baby carrier. Now, we just strap our baby to our chest and can do other stuff at home, such as cleaning up, cooking, or even take her out for a stroll and she observes the world pass her by. We have made excellent use of our baby carrier, but I can advise waiting untill you really feel the need for it.
  10. Formula
    To breastfeed or to use formula milk is the big debate. But even if you intend to only breastfeed, remember that at certain times, formula milk comes in very handy. We have had very stressful initial few days and weeks where we weren’t sure if our baby was getting sufficient milk or if she was still hungry. We used to give her top feed with formula just to be sure she was not hungry. Also, when the mom is not feeling well, it is good to have some spare formula milk. We use Baby Semp here in Sweden, so check what is available where you live.
  11. Diapers
    It is next to impossible to avoid using diapers. Either one can dedicate their lives to washing and changing nappies as well as underlying bed sheets, etc. every time the baby pees or poops, or one can take the easy route of using diapers. We have been using diapers since day one, and even on days when we decided to use a nappy instead, we had a tough time keeping up. I would advise that you keep at least 15-20 diapers (which means a pack each) of size 0 and size 1 handy before the birth just to be sure which size will suit your baby in the beginning, and then stock up for at least a week’s worth of supply at a time. Small babies can use up as much as 6-8 diapers a day. You can also read here about which diapers we have utilized.
  12. Stroller
    If you re going to take your bay out of home in the first few years (of course you will), you will most definitely need a stroller. We got a Bugaboo Buffalo for our baby but not everyone needs such an expensive stroller. Think a little bit about how often you are going to use the stroller and in what conditions. Do you think the stroller you need should be able to accommodate a lot of stuff, such as when you are out shopping? Or is it more important for you that the stroller is light and folds compactly and fits in your car? Do you want to be able to fit a car seat to the stroller at times? In that case, do you get adapters to fix your car seat to that stroller? Do you need bigger wheels such as if it snows where you live or if the terrain might be a little rough, or will smaller wheels suit you since you are only going to use it when you are in easy terrains, such as in a mall? Think about these things and then decide.
  13. Car Seat
    Do you have a car? If yes, then you obviously need a car seat for your baby. If you don’t have a car, you probably don’t. But think about how you are going to bring your baby home from the hospital, and how you are going to take her to the doctor for the follow-ups and in emergency cases? Do you easily get taxis which come with infant car seats? Are you going to be travelling with your baby in a manner that might require a car seat? We bought a car seat despite not having a car, and over the last one year I have realized that we used it only in the initial few days and only when we had to take our baby somewhere in a taxi and going by public transport at odd hours with the stroller was not an option. But after she was 4 months old, we have never had to use the car seat, but the reason is that we have excellent and stroller friendly public transport in Stockholm and one can get to anywhere in the city with the stroller. But is your situation different?
  14. Bottle Sterilizer
    We almost fell into the trap of buying an electric bottle sterilizer which would have cost us a good amount of money. And though there are some good sterilizers available, I was lucky to have spoken to a friend who told me that they just wash the bottles and then sterilize them in a pan of boiling water in their kitchen. And my friend’s wife is a nurse, so that gave me the confidence that we did not need anything special. Now that I reflect on this decision, I realize that if I had bought the sterilizer, that would have meant one more thing that needed to be taken care of, such as cleaning if it became dirty, maintenance in case it malfunctioned, whereas a pan needs to maintenance at all.
  15. Baby Gym
    We bought a fancy one from Fischer Price which had a mirror, music and lights as soe of the features and we started to put our baby in it from when she was 6 weeks old. She took some time to get used to it, but we did notice that she tried to observe the hangings quite a lot and the music also occupied her attention. After a few weeks, our baby had started to enjoy and interact with the gym a lot and we could leave her in it for 15-20 minutes at a time and be free to do other stuff. So, I would say you will most certainly need a baby gym, but which one completely depends on you. The point is to give the baby things to observe and touch so she learns.
I hope this list is good enough and covers all basics and essentials. Have I missed discussing anything important? Could anything be added to this list? Please comment below to let me know or if you want more explanation about something. If you like my post, do press the like button and let me know and Follow my blog to receive notifications of new posts.
Nitara Turns One Today

Nitara Turns One Today

Exactly a year has passed since our dear daughter Nitara came into our lives. Don’t know how fast the year has gone by. From seeing her blink her eyes trying to adjust to the new world, to her speed crawling and walking around the home and climbing up the two stories of stairs to get to the terrace many times a day, our baby girl has come a long way. She has grown up so fast and so much, the last one year seems like it all happened in a dream. And yet, it has all been real.

We have seen times of amazement and times of nerve wrecking stress, but what we haven’t missed even a single day with our daughter is the immense amount of love and happiness that she has brought to our lives.

Here’s to Nitara kicking off a new year in her life and to many many more phases of development and growing up.

Happy Birthday Nitara!

This Moment Last Year

This Moment Last Year

At exactly this moment last year we were on our way to the hospital for the delivery.  In the taxi were seated Nupur with her mom and my mom at the back seat and me at the front. Nupur was scared, the moms focussed towards making her feel easy, and I was telling myself that I need to think straight during whatever came next. In some more time, we were going to move into Nupur’s delivery room at Södersjukhuset, Stockholm.

The countdown had begun to what was going to be an excruciatingly long day filled with nervousness, fear and happiness, and the back of the mind realization that lives were going to change forever. And a new life was about to be born. Someone truly wonderful was about to arrive.

And She Walks

Just as I boarded the bus to the airport in order to catch the flight to India to be with my daughter for her first birthday, I checked my phone to find a video from my wife from earlier in the day. It was a video of my little girl chasing her granddad and walking twenty tiny steps without support. A big milestone has been achieved.

Before they left me behind in Stockholm and went to India a month ago, my wife estimated that our daughter was about to walk soon, but I told her that she would start walking when I joined them in a month’s time. We were also watching keenly to see if she would start walking by her first birthday (13th January) or not. I have to say I’ve been dreading missing her first steps and they happened just before I was about to travel. But to find out that she has started walking today, it doesn’t feel like I am missing anything since I will see her tomorrow anyway. My mom just told me that even I had starting walking right on my first birthday. So, it feels more like a return gift from her to me in advance for her birthday in 3 days. What more could I ask her for before I start my trip?

Time to buy some Nike soon?