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Reality Check : How much is too much?

We were running two weeks behind schedule on my son’s vaccination and checkup. He’s been a little under the weather( they recommend that you avoid vaccination when the baby is unwell – always a good idea to tell your paediatrician about it).

 

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But my visit this week got me to think beyond the regular baby health and vaccination discussions I usually have with my paediatrician.

 

During our meeting, she said – At home –  ‘NO MOBILE PHONES and NO TELEVISION’ for the little one. Absolute restrictions!

 

I understood the restriction on mobile phones given that they emit radio frequency energy (radio waves) that cause harm to babies, but, what was the restriction on television for?  Apparently, too much television leads to delayed speech she said!

 

I left her clinic with a healthy vaccinated baby, but her words continued to echo in me. With digital transformation around the globe, use of technology – both for parents and for kids – is a contentious issue and I have spent the last couple of days researching,talking to people and trying to understand what’s correct and what’s appropriate. You don’t want to restrict anything completely, but…

 

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

 

I am not a mom that prescribes to having the child sit in front of the Intelligent Idiot box all day long, but neither do I make it completely out of bounds. One hour in the day to catch up on some sing-a-long Rhyme show or a program that interests your child on television will not harm any one.

 

I often come across super possessive parents, which is totally alright! Even I was at one point in time. But slowly with each passing day, my learning says that one should not be so possessive or over-controlling. Did you know according to research, kids who have been over protected have psychological imbalances, further in their life. They lack in general happiness and well being of life.

 

Mom’s around me often say- ” I don’t know how I’ll ever get back to work? Will I be able to leave my baby?”,yes, it’s an obvious apprehension and happens to moms all over the world. In fact you are constantly worried – ‘My baby missed his meal today”, ” I don’t let him on the floor alone,least he falls and hurts himself”, “Put the bolster properly so that she doesn’t roll over, and the list is endless – These are genuine apprehensions, all moms have them – But the key is how to over come these, because you can’t constantly be worried, you can’t constantly be paranoid and you can’t constantly control everything you child does.

I remember the first time my son fell from the bed, I was scared, howling, and rushed to the doctor. The incident made me more cautious and I would do as much as I could to protect him. But, he fell again,and then again, and slowly my fears and tears began to disappear. I stopped obsessing about everything. Like they say – unless he falls, how will he learn to walk!

 

There is no right or wrong way to parent your children – its about being flexible and going with the flow. Parenthood is an every day learning and you continue to learn and grow with everyday experiences.
We need to strike a balance in everything. Its about keeping your kid happy and also at the same time making sure what he/she does is safe.

 

Some tips to easy parenting –

 

    • Rules & safety– We often set certain rules which are nice, but at the same time we also need to be a little flexible with them. Obviously there should not be any compromise on safety hazards like electric sockets, wires etc.

 

    • Baby proof your house – Baby proofing is so important as your kid starts being mobile, they want to explore all those corners of your house where you don’t want them to reach, you get a lot of baby proofing products online, eg: cover the sharp corners of the table, tape the electric sockets, lower the height of your bed if you can, lower the height of your kids crib as they grow tall. Remove all the glass or sharp objects from the house, All this is important so  your baby can move around,and develop motor skills at the earliest.

 

    • For working moms – every working mom will have apprehensions to leave their baby all day with a nanny. If you have family to take care of the baby then you are fine, but most of us don’t. You can look to invest on a CCTV camera system . I have one in all our rooms. This helps me keep a check on my baby whenever i need. and you can be at ease being far.

 

    • Messy Games – After my sons’s first birthday cake smash, i realised how they love to be left loose, and how they love no restrictions, everyone does, isn’t it?, its important to have messy games sometimes, with sand and water , perhaps flour on the floor kitchen :) And involve yourself in those activities. Plan some fun games during that so they learn something out of it.

 

    • Play along with the curiosities of your child – My son is always very fascinated with what I eat & drink. Every morning when i am having my tea he sits next to me and all he wants to do is hold my cup,now i have 2 choices, either I refrain him of touching it, and then deal with the crying games or let him touch & explore & have a happy kid there. I chose the later, so I started with letting him touch the mug, it so obviously hot (but not very) ,he felt the hot sensation & immediately removed his hand. That worked perfect, I do the same when I am having something cold. and that in fact , helped him learn different sensations. And same thing I do with my food,I keep feeding him tiny bites from my meals, even though its spicy,I am obviously careful i don’t give him green chillies or something.  so he is happy & I end up eating peacefully. His first course of morning breakfast is with mommy always :)

 

    • Say NO & very good– Having said all the above, there are still a lot of things that a baby does which they are not suppose to. Start saying NO, from a very early age. when your baby does something forbidden. And applaud and encourage saying very good, clapping , you a such a good boy/girl when they do something good :) I started this at 6 months –  This helps them understand whats right & wrong.

 

We are here, to connect & support and to learn more from each other.

 

Would love to know your thoughts & experiences.

 

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By Sakshi Vaidya
A working mom, who is trying to help shape the new age of parenting in India.  Making motherhood beautified & simplified, through contemporary approach.  Fashion designer by profession, health enthusiast & an avid traveller “
@uptownmommy (SAKSHI VAIDYA)
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