Car Seat and safety – Necessity or Fad?

This is a Sponsored Post.

In India, Car seat Safety is not mandatory for children. But not only are car seats safer but much more comfortable than carrying the baby in arms -both for the parent and the child. Afterall as adults, we too wear a safety belt!

car seat safety

Many parents I met didn’t feel the need to pick an infant seat and by the time their kids are toddlers they are so used to sitting on their own that a car seat is too alien a concept.

Being in nuclear setup we knew we wanted to move out more often even after the baby. We did not want to miss on our social life or going on road trips. So buying a car seat was imperative.

Types of Car seats to choose from

  1. Infant car seat  – typically carries children up to 35 or 40 pounds and is rear-facing only.
  2. Convertible seat converts from rear-facing to forward-facing. It carries children from birth to between 40 and 80 pounds and 40 and 57 inches tall.
  3. 3-in-1 or all-in-one car seat can change from rear-facing to forward-facing, then into a booster seat for children up to 120 pounds. (Note: Some 3-in-1 car seats are not for babies since they’re forward-facing only.)

What helped me make a decision?

  • It’s cheaper to buy a convertible car seat instead of starting with an infant car seat and then transitioning to a convertible.
  • Also, experts say young babies are safer in an infant car seat. Many parents say their newborn seems overwhelmed in a convertible seat.
  • Nonetheless, if you go for a convertible, make sure it has padding or a newborn insert that helps your baby fit comfortably.

I preferred the Infant Car seat

We bought a Graco infant car seat when Kenisha was just 2 months old because

  1. This model can be used as a rocker and carrycot.
  2. It gives the baby her independent space when outdoors which is comfortable and cosy.
  3. And the best part is it is easy to safely place the car seat as a cot next to you or on the table or chair in a restaurant.

 

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Safe & Environment Friendly baby wipes by MamaEarth

Baby wipes are every parent’s best friend

Primarily designed to keep the baby’s bottoms clean and smooth, baby wipes are now used for every basic cleaning need. Be it baby pukes, wiping a mushy face, cleaning dirty hands. Forget that as an adult I use it all the time to remove my make up or for quick freshen up.

I have never moved out of my house without a pack! Even now when my daughter is 2.5 years old I always carry baby wipes in my handbag for emergency cleanups.

The Ugly truth about Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are no doubt super convenient but did you know that most baby wipes sold in the market are made from polyester, which not only pollutes seas and clogs drains if flushed down the loo, but takes hundreds of years to decompose on landfill. When I look back to our baby days I can easily say we were using up to 200-500 wipes a month (most packs had 72 wipes and we used 3-6 packs easily!). If only you can do the maths and think about how polyester baby wipes affects our environment!

Not to forget we use our baby wipes to clean the little hands and faces.  With that much contact with my baby’s bottom (and hands, arms, and face!), I wanted to ensure that what I am using is soft, sensitive, and durable. So when I looked around for best natural, safe and non-toxic baby wipes, I found none! Standard baby wipes contain some nasty chemicals you might want to avoid on yourself, let alone on your baby. Things like parabens (a chemical preservative), fragrances (which can irritate baby’s sensitive skin), and a variety of other potentially nasty chemicals that you probably don’t want to rub all over your child. But I honestly didn’t find anything suitable so I  carried on with the next best option.

How about a Toxin-Free Organic Bamboo Baby Wipe that is environment-friendly too?

But no more! One of my favourite baby products brand MamaEarth has launched their new Organic Bamboo based wipes! I wonder why no brand thought about this! We are in love with these fresh, organic, toxin-free environment-friendly baby wipes already!

Read on to know why you absolutely must get your hands on these wipes!

  • At about Rs.3.45 each these wipes are very new to the baby wipes market and are by far the best available as per my experience.
  • India’s first polyester free unbleached 100% organic bamboo based wipes, certified by Made Safe Organization. Bamboo fibre is more breathable than cotton fibre.
  • They smell great, they are durable and soft, they are large enough for several passes over a dirty bum, and the company making them (Mamaearth) takes “sensitive” very seriously.
  • A gentle blend of Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Almond Oil and Lavender Oil gently cleanses and soothes baby’s skin. Perfect for cleaning messy hands, face and body.
  • These are chemical-free, hypoallergenic, and are really great at reducing the risk of diaper rash. Perfect for sensitive skin, these leave a nice moist residue without any oily film left on the hands or bum.
  • The texture of the wipe is soft and flexible, with a little bit of stretch so they don’t tear very easily. Thes absorb really well in fact.
  • I loved the resealable packaging, which made it easy to keep the wipes fresh and moist without too much hassle. Usually, when you pull out a wipe, the next wipe comes out of the package a bit too much before letting the first one come loose; which means a decent portion of that next wipe will dry out after a few hours. But when we tested, Mamaearth packaging was 100% waste free. This also makes it Travel-Friendly.
  • Topping our list is an earth-friendly biodegradable alternative to traditional polyester based wet wipes. Can’t get better than this!

For such an amazing product I honestly don’t mind paying Rs.249 for a pack of 72 wipes!

When we make the right choices we also give back to mother nature. Kudos to brands like MamaEarth for being extremely thoughtful about the products they launch!

For more exciting updates and contest you can stay connected with me through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Introducing alphabets the Montessori way with Skola Sandpaper letters

In Montessori education, alphabet letters are introduced by phonetic sounds rather than letter names. We can also teach by whole language or rato but in the long run, it may not be successful. I will be talking about sandpaper letters as an approach to introduce letters of the alphabets.

If you are new to phonics and would like to understand how, why and when to begin you must read this useful article by The Dreamer Mum HERE 

Why is teaching sounds of the letter (Phonetics) a better method to introduce alphabets?

When children know the sounds of the letter instead of the name of the letters they can read words more fluently and easily. Phonetics will also eventually help them to write independently. It’s basically a way to build the language foundation and thereon moving to pre-writing skills.

There are few tips to note while introducing phonics sound and preparing for pre-writing skills

  1. Firstly if you plan to begin phonics you will have to prepare and learn the phonics sounds yourself. Take few minutes a day to practice it. It is advisable to take coaching from a trained professional so you are well equipped to do for your child.
  2. Do I teach alphabets in an order? – Fun fact is you can introduce alphabets in any order. Ideally, its introduced in an order that allows the child to make many words with the letters he or she has learned. Most kids love to learn the first letter of their own name.
  3. Uppercase/lowercase – It is suggested to start with lowercase letters as eventually we also use lowercase for writing.
  4. Whats the best age to introduce phonics – what we call a Montessori sensitive period in a child just like a milestone is 2.5-4 years when they show a keenness to learn letters and their sound. Nonetheless, if you are observant you may know when your child is willing to learn/absorb this new knowledge.
  5. Cursive vs. Print? You can begin with either but most Montessori schools use cursive in all their teaching material. Here are some benefits of teaching cursive first
  • It’s to be noted that cursive is a more natural way of writing.
  • Words written in cursive are clearly separated from each other. Run-on words are not as common in cursive.
  • The child who can read cursive can also read the manuscript, but the reverse is not true.
  • Cursive is also a better exercise for strengthening fine motor skills. The connecting letters help the child to produce smooth, rather than choppy, strokes with the pencil.

But print is widely used and also much easier to identify them. There is no right or wrong choice, just a preference for your child and you.

You can begin with reading books at 0+ as a part of language development and pre-writing. Also, introduce shape puzzles is an excellent way to teach them shapes and dimensions.

Since my daughter is in a Montessori School, I try and follow their curriculum as much as possible. The Montessori principle suggests to work on alphabet sounds and slowly progress to introducing alphabet symbols. Kenisha it turning 2.5 and I can see her strong interest to learn alphabets and sounds. I was very excited to receive the Skola Sandpaper letters at this perfect time for our lessons in coming months.

What are Skola Sandpaper letters?

Simply put, they are like flash cards generally made from thick cardstock or thin wood with a letter embossed on them using sandpaper. The embossed letter allows the child to quite literally feel the letter as they run their fingers over the card. These help to gain a muscular memory of the shape of the letters as a prelude to writing.

How are these useful?

These are excellent as in early years a child’s sense of touch is very sharp and the enjoy feeling textures and objects. Tracing leads to building muscle memory of the shapes of the letters which is a much more effective way to learn when compared to rote, or by merely seeing or saying.

The quality of the Skola sandpaper letters in the cursive set is excellent. It is made up of thick cardboard that comes in a perfect wooden base. this base can later be used for tracing with salt or sand. We also received a small pack of wax crayons. The instruction sheet is very well written and can guide parents to start with their Skola journey. Priced at Rs.945 it will make a perfect investment as an educational toy.

sandpaper letters

We loved our Skola Toys and Highly Recommend them

Each toy on the Skola website has a detailed description to help parents understand its role in your child’s development. For example, they have shared the Montessori phonetics sound video for this Sandpaper Letters Toy HERE

In case you missed, do check out my last post about STEM learning and Pre STEM toys by Skola. They have an amazing range of toys for your child’s learning journey. High-quality wooden toys that make learning fun and early education a breeze for parents. that’s a Skola promise

Visit their website to check out their complete range – www.skola.toys

 

Made Easy School, Gurgaon – Perfect choice for Gurgaon Parents | Review

November can be a very busy month if you are a parent to a kid ready to go to a school. Though the new academic year is 6-7 months away, the admissions to the best schools are already in progress. Though Gurgaon is a mecca of new age schools, we have yet another emerging school to be noted.

Made Easy School has recently opened at Bandhwari, near sector 58 & 59 Gurugram.

made easy school

They organised a fantastic event called Giggle Wiggles that invited parents and kids to visit the school, take a tour around the campus and interact with the staff if need be. The event was well planned with several activities to keep the kids engaged and entertained for the day.

Since we reached early we could enjoy few of their activities like art and craft, train ride, magic show, storytelling, adventure zone with fun physical activities and play area. There were more activities planned for the day too like – Fireless cooking, puppet show and theatre workshop. But with a toddler, this was all we could manage.

I had the lovely opportunity to interact with the School Principal Mrs. Neetu Charan. She shared her vision, school’s educational approach, extra curriculum activities and some very interesting facts. I had a live video with her on Instagram and if you follow me you just may have seen it.

About Made Easy School

Run by the Made Easy Group, the new Made Easy School strongly believes in innovative education with a progressive K-12 school foundation. Their rounded approach to holistic learning is very impressive.

I was highly impressed with the 25 acres spread sprawling campus away from the city’s hustle bustle and pollution of the city. Naturally lit and super spacious. The air around the school was actually much cleaner and breathable. How perfect is it for children! Eventually, they will spend half of their day or even more at the school.

Infrastructure

Made Easy School emphasizes on interactive learning and the opportunity to make the educational process fun! The smart classrooms with smart boards are a commitment to integrate cutting-edge technology supported by skilled teachers.

The learning labs are dedicated to foster excellence and motivate students towards better performance. The classrooms rooms aesthetically designed, well furnished and integrated with smart boards. With a student-teacher ratio of 20:1, parents can stay assured of the individual attention towards each child.

Beyond Academics

The huge open amphitheatre, perfect for kids into performing arts, drama and other art forms.  It also enables aesthetic sensibility. Moreover, by learning about Performing Arts, they begin to respect and accept cultural differences.

Made Easy School also boasts about their biggest indoor playground in the National Capital Region and indoor sports complex for year-round sports activities.

What we really loved

Made Easy school is completely environment-friendly and has its own STP plan which recycles water for reuse. The plant can also harvest rainwater. Also present is a solar power plant for the entire campus. The school is developing its own organic farm to grow in-house fruits, vegetables and grains. Children will enjoy meals cooked with the ingrown produce.

The School is currently open for admission for 2018 and has exciting scholarships to offer as well. For more details visit their website.

For more exciting updates and contest you can stay connected with through Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Organic and Natural Baby Skincare by Gaia Natural Baby – Review

Natural and organic skin care products for babies are the new buzz words and there has never been so much demand for such products. As an Indian mom, most of us are aware of the benefits of such products as we have followed traditional home care methods like besan ubtan, milk baths, turmeric, coconut oils etc. But the processes can be long and time-consuming. Hence opting for a ready to use

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I have worked hard to move to a healthy lifestyle and moving to organic is a priority now. I support organic, natural, cruelty-free and eco-friendly products. Like all expecting and new moms, I am very conscious about the ingredients in the products we consume internally or externally.

When it comes to skincare, I have to be very careful as sensitive skin runs in my family. Beleive me or not I don’t use many cosmetics either and stick to a simple natural cleansing method for my skin. So it was but natural to follow suit for baby K.

Why Natural and Organic Skincare?

Organic skincare constitutes of ingredients that work with the sophisticated natural systems of your skin. Our skin just requires the right nutrients to care for and mend itself. Just like our body absorbs nutrients from the food we intake, our skin absorbs nutrients from things we apply to it. These nutrients then travel through our body via our bloodstream.

So along with eating healthy, choose chemical free skin products to keep a nourished happy skin. Afterall our skin is the largest organ of our body!

My search for organic natural baby skincare product has led me to try Gaia Natural Baby products. I am highly impressed with their vision. And post usage I really fell in love with the brand. Afterall it was a mom behind the brand!

gaia natural baby

About GAIA Natural Baby 

Created in 2002 when Michelle couldn’t find products suitable to care for her baby’s skin after he developed eczema at just 8 weeks of age.

As parents of a child with sensitive skin, She understands the delicate nature of baby’s skin and the company created a beautiful range of products full of skin softening natural and organic oils that will be of benefit to any baby’s skin rather than causing dryness.

And because a baby’s skin is so sensitive and can be easily irritated, Gaia included calming organic extracts to soothe any irritation or dryness they may encounter.

NPAT Review

We tried all 3 products for the last one month and continue to do so.

1. GAIA Natural Baby Bath & Body Wash

We love this is soap and sulphates free gel that gently cleanses and moisturizes the skin without causing dryness and irritation. Just a little quantity on the palm along with some water can be rubbed directly on the skin. It’s suitable for kids 1+ and ideal for skin affected by eczema too. The organic sweet orange essential oil, which is a natural and gentle antibacterial cleanse and has a mild yet amazing fragrance

2. GAIA Natural Baby Shampoo

I have struggled to find a shampoo to work with baby K’s thin and dry hair. I tried it on myself and yes its tear free! Just a tiny amount is enough to lather the scalp. It leaves hair shiny and gently moisturizes the scalp. It’s very mild yet super effective in cleaning the hair and scalp, making it perfect for daily use. Tops with being organic and the mild sweet orange smell is fabulous

3. GAIA Natural Baby Moisturizer

With nourishing natural and organic oils like organic chamomile & organic avocado its perfect for K’s sensitive skin. It also contains Shea butter well known as a skin super food which is naturally rich in Vitamin E, A &F. The lotion is very very dense but easy to spread on your baby’s skin without leaving any greasy residue. I love that it is free from harsh and harmful chemicals, mineral oil, sorbolene and paraffin and hence is easily absorbed and 100% safe to use on your baby’s

What we absolutely loved about the products

  1. Organic ingredients which deliver their promise of soft supple skin
  2. A small quantity goes a long way!
  3. Economically priced at Rs.850 for a 250 ml bottles. these will last well.
  4. Easy availability both online and offline
  5. Not only are these products safe but they smell divine due to organic natural fragrance

Packaging

These came in sturdy thick plastic bottles. The bottles are transparent and I can see how much of the product is left. Though the packaging is great I felt the lids were a bit weak and could come off if not handled gently. Hence I avoid giving it to my little naughty girl. Else we are absolutely in love with the product

Where to Buy?

All the three products are priced at Rs 850 for a 250 ml bottle and are easily available at GAIA Skin Naturals website. They are also available at all leading online stores like Amazon, Flipkart, Hopscotch, BabyChakra andPaytm. People living in Mumbai can find these products at many famous retail outlets like Kamdhenu ( Nepean Sea Road), Kidzone (Powai), Pink Bunny (Malad W), Green Bell (Juhu) etc.

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but the views and opinions expressed here are my own. I have personally used these products on my kids for over a period of a month. The review holds my honest opinions and personal experience of using the same.