Baby Story: Episode 1: Learning and still learning….

I know I have been missing from the blogging scene since October 2010. With a baby on the way I was not too keen on writing and once our little one came I was too busy with him to check on anything else. Just now I realized that it’s been more than a year since I started this blog and I forgot about writing that in November 2010, this blog had crossed more than a 100,000 visitors and that is in less than a year :)

A big thank you to all our visitors for your constant support, encouraging words and emails. I have made many friends through blogging and different blogs with different themes have given me a new way of looking at things that already exist.

I thought returning to blogging or other activities would be easy after birth as I had my parents from India here with me. Suddenly my father got sick and was in need of surgery that they had to fly back soon – which left N and I with our 2 week old baby to adjust and be back on track.

Looking back I cannot even remember how time flew. There have been days when we were up from 5 am to mid night trying to soothe R’s cries,bathe him, feed him, do our laundry, cooking, shopping for groceries, cleaning the house, getting back on track with the job and also catching up on our sleep. It was sometimes so funny that we would realize at around 8 pm that none of us had the time to even take a shower or eat as we had so many chores :). But the best of all is that we were able to bond with the baby as it was just the three of us.

Ofcourse with R, I realized I had skills I never knew! Like keeping the TV on a mute yet be able to understand the words of the speakers, tiptoeing across a room successfully while carrying a load of stuff and N and I whispering to each other across the room and still getting it right :). And yes,we had competitions- who was the master multitasker? Was it me who can make coffee, clear out the dish washer, prepare food and nibble on toast all at once or N who would clean the house, fold the laundry, chase people on the phone to fix things while keeping an eye on the lil one?

Though I did not like it(for once) I had to start cooking when R was two weeks old as I could not eat the take out food offered by many restaurants. All those recipes for postpartum will be updated in this blog soon.

Now getting back to Junior- since it was just the three of us, however funny it might sound, we took a few steps to initiate the learning process with some activities. I was asking people how they felt whey they were pregnant or how they took care of the newborn and the response was the same “Oh I forgot”, it was xyz years ago etc., So I decided to write down what all we are doing for R. It could help a new mom or it could be a wonderful gift for R when he grows up to realize that his every action,every step has been recorded. Most of these suggestions are from N’s aunt UR, an educator for the past two decades and been used in schools all over the country. Shall we begin then?

– Talk talk talk:
Nope, you are not going to get a response other than goo’s or oo’s but talking really helps. Every little action by the baby is a milestone so talk as much as you can. Pretty soon the baby will talk back by opening and closing his mouth, trying to make words or sounds and squealing with laughter. It is worth a million. Try it out :) Can’t find anything to talk to the baby? No need to ponder over CNN or sign up for mobile updates for that. I simply tell him what I am doing. For ex., see I am cutting spinach, it is full of folic acid or see I am folding a shirt, it is red in color etc etc., If you are a stay at home mom, this is much better than watching TV as you can talk all you want, but you don’t have to listen to someone else’s boring script. You will also feel that you have someone to talk to.

Hang it!!:

This picture of a mobile is from amazon as I have already placed my photo clib mobile to the wall. The photo clip mobile is a form of hanging art which you can attach to a fishing rope(it is invisible and handy) and hang it from anywhere. I attached some pictures which babies can recognize faster, like images and shapes(black and white or red circles, concentric circles and squares, lines or images of zebras). As babies grow older you can add more photos or printed pictures. Just use your imagination and offer something new to the baby, but keep it slow. Let them understand and connect with the picture, do not change it once a day! I even post photos of N and I taken from our vacations, photos of family members etc etc., Some days I just post colorful ribbons, bow-ties or stars.

Paste it!!:

The same idea as a mobile but you can paste the same pictures to the wall too. When the baby turns the head or sees from side to side these colorful pictures get their attention. So far R’s favorite is the zebra. Place him next to the zebra and he is so happy trying to touch the Zebras and giggling while he tries that. Here I printed out pictures with strong colors and backgrounds. Dashing red or black background was what I wanted and I got that in the birds ,under sea images and the cute school of fish.

-Location, Location, Location:
It’s not only a must for real estate but also for babies. If you find your new born crying and nothing else is wrong(no wet diapers, fully fed, burped, not so warm or so cold), try moving the baby to a new place. Wouldn’t you be bored if you had to look at the same ceiling or wall or window for heaven knows how long? Give the baby something new to look at and he’ll be happy for the next 10 minutes or so. Just turn the mat or bed they are in, if they are facing towards you,slightly turn them around.

– Would you do it for yourself:
An excellent point, suggested by N’s aunt. As adults we don’t eat, work, sleep, wash, change and clean ourselves in the same place – so why would we do this for the baby? Try establishing a place for everything. A corner of the room with a comfy chair for feeding, a table with all necessary stuff for changing and cleaning, a crib just to sleep. That way the baby knows(trust me, they know) where he is and what is about to follow. If you establish a routine of bath, story and bed- they know it when you take them to these set places. As they grow older, it will also help them to organize their stuff in a similar way. Sometimes you will find that one of these places is their favorite and they calm down when they are there. R likes our huge bathroom mirror with lights and no matter how loud he is crying, he will stop if he sees that bunch of lights.

Gosh, this post is getting longer than I thought. Just a few more if you have read this far 😉

Do not try all at once or force them all on the precious little baby. Add them one by one into their world to make it more fun. The most important thing is that you and the baby have to bond and enjoy what you both do. These times won’t come back again. Relax and take one thing at a time. R is already two and a half months old and I feel like we just brought him home yesterday.

And finally a few words for the new moms or moms to be- I guess I can start giving advice now,love that part!

– Do not, I repeat do not over work yourself to exhaustion. Rest when the baby rests.
-Make life simple by cooking(if you are cooking) couple of meals at one go. Eat a batch and freeze a batch.
-Plan ahead. Buy pre chopped veggies or chop them and store them in containers. Spend 2 hours a week doing the prep work so you can cook in a jiffy and rest for the remaining 24×7 days!
– It’s your home. And it is your friends and family who are going to visit. Let it be as it is and spend more time with the baby or get rest than running around and cleaning the house. People will understand if you serve dinner on paper plates.
-If someone offers help, grab it rather than stepping back and refusing.

And for new dad’s…Hmmmm….you thought I’d let you go??

This is not from me but from a friend, but this advice makes a lot of sense. Just give your wife an hour for herself while you take care of the baby everyday. Let her do whatever she wants, even if that means staring at the wall or doing nothing. But make sure that she does not spend that hour cooking or cleaning. Just an hour like that will make a lot of difference.

I guess that is all for now. I just wanted to share these little things and will continue writing about R as I share more recipes in the coming posts. In the mean time, If you have a new born or a toddler and you are also doing some activities with your lil one, why not share it here? I would love to update this post with your ideas too.

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11 Comments to “Baby Story: Episode 1: Learning and still learning….”

  1. Rohini says:

    WOW Gal!!! That was one awesome post and I’d love to read that again n again..My little one also responds a lot when we talk to him, so I babble and babble and babble non stop 😀 I am sure moms are the best multi-taskers!!! Hugs to you and your LO :)

  2. Pari says:

    Dear Ruchika,
    Hearty congrats dear. A well thought and written post, surely useful for new moms.

    FOODELICIOUS

  3. Priya says:

    Wow wat a beautiful post, seems u r enjoying a lot..Surely gonna be useful for many of us..

  4. panchpakwan says:

    Very useful and infomative post..congrats dear.

  5. Wow, I have been missing you. Thought of emailing you. Do email me with details. I would love to have you back soon with lots of posts. How is the little princess doing. Nice long post and informative too for new mothers. Take care and lots of luv :)

  6. Cham says:

    Already he is 2 1/2 months old? Gosh days are flying. I thought u will be enjoying ur parents stay! Hope ur dad is doing great now!
    This post will help many new moms. Take care Sow :)

  7. notyet100 says:

    brough back memories,..glad to cee u bck

  8. My Scrawls says:

    Hi Ruchika,

    I came searching for some recipe and landed in this page! Wonderful tips! True, establishing routine does wonders.

    I have a 17 month old son and I blog about my LO at http://www.scribbalicious.com Do visit my blog smtime :)

    Anu Ganesh

  9. Linda says:

    Hi Ruchika, passing by from a comment you left on Out Of The Garden last year, wanting to see how you’re doing — looks like you’re doing great! What a wonderful post from/for a new mom.

    Congratulations and sending good wishes to you all :)

  10. shaihla says:

    hi,ruchika…
    I hv a ten month old son,and i think this post is really very useful for new moms…
    Actualy i came searching for some recipe..and landed in this post,
    i would luv to read ur next post….So keep writing…take care…

  11. Swathi says:

    Hi Ruchika,

    That’s an awesome story.You know what i felt like oh the story is complete already.I want to read more and more.I love the way you write the story.Please keep updating this post.Would love to hear from you.

    My daughter is 6 months old now.We have been going through this phase now.

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