Baby Steps

Baby Steps When a baby learns to walk, it’s a big step towards being independent. Walking is a major developmental milestone for a baby and almost all mothers remember when their babies took their first steps. It’s interesting to note that most kids make those early steps on tiptoe.

Parents are often anxious about when their baby will actually start walking, the time is different for different kids, mostly between 12-16 months.

From six months onwards, a baby gains muscle strength, synchronization and coordination of limbs to start sitting, rolling and crawling, leading to walking upright eventually. A baby can stand with support at about eight months and most babies take their independent first steps between nine and 12 months.

A baby’s leg muscles continue to develop while he masters sitting, crawling, rolling over and climbing stairs using hands. Each step adds to their building confidence and balance and by the time they are 14 or 15 months old, they can walk well.

They would need lot of encouragement and praise for being able to take their first big steps. You may also let your baby walk in front of you while you hold her hands, and give her practice to experiment with balance.

In India, some parents get walkers for babies as early as they are six-eight months old. Most of these parents tend to think babies are safe in walkers and that it provides good exercise for limbs and actually help them learn to walk. . Walkers may not be advisable for overweight kids. When in doubt, consult your doctor.

Some Tips:

  • While trying to walk by themselves they may lose balance and fall repeatedly, don’t panic.
  • Don’t force your baby to start walking by holding her hands if she is not ready. Some kids don’t walk till the age of 16 months or more.
  • From 12 months onwards, you can give your child push and pull toys to help him gain balance and confidence while they indulge in this play activity.
  • If your baby has started taking his first wobbly steps, it’s time to child proof your home. Keep important things, cosmetics, sharp objects, and risky furniture out of their reach when they start walking and make sure they don’t harm themselves when they take steps inside bathrooms, store room, etc.
  • Babies like to have fun at the stair case walking up and down, install railings for safety.
  • Open shoes/sandals are best bet for growing kids for their feet to take form and body weight.
  • You can also buy shoes which have light and sound for kids who have just begin to walk to make walking an interesting activity for them.

Republished with permission from MothersDelight.com, No. 1 destination for Indian Mothers with information, articles, blogs and a vibrant community on Pregnancy and Parenting.

Consumer Insight

By Jayaram Rajaram

Most MBA-types (I’m one of these useless ones too! : -)) banter on about the importance of consumer insight in business. This term is highly overrated according to me, and several useless market research and consulting firms make hell of a lot of money by putting your customers and consumers into boxes. They use jargon like perceptions and preferences, perceptual maps and all sorts of nonsense to hide behind terminology that the common man can’t understand. Questionnaires seldom give you any insight and are a whole load of crap according to me (Pardon my language).

Now let’s cut to the chase so I can tell you what I understand consumer insight is all about. Recently we launched disposable diapers (Brildiapers) for babies. A lot of people saw the pack and asked me what I meant by the words ‘Consumer Insights –India’ on the pack. People were expecting me to say some big 4 consulting firm did this massive research etc. My answer was simple- consumer insights were MY insights as a customer who bought practically every single diaper brand in the market for my son (They were shocked!). I say it openly, NOT a single diaper in India was good enough for my son! So I had to import one that was reasonably good from the US (Still nowhere near the quality that we went on to acheive with Brildiapers Prime)! How do I say they were not good? I tried them ON!! I placed them one at a time as a lining for my underwear and wore each one on for a few minutes. The second test I did was to place each diaper over my mouth and nose and tried to breathe (Not with the same diaper that I tried on of course before you ask me! : -) ). Was I crazy?? NO…I was NOT doing this to launch diapers at that point, my baby couldn’t tell me that his diapers were not comfortable, so I decided to help him out (Simple isn’t it?). It’s called empathy and I would urge every parent to do this with products they use on their baby! Did this crazy exercise give me consumer insights? Did it tell me of a gap in the market for the discerning SEC A parent? You bet!

After my wife and I went through 15-20 different brands and sadly had to import one brand of diapers from the US, I asked myself why no company was manufacturing diapers for the discerning Indian parent who wants superior comfort for their baby? At one point it irritated me because, most of the brands were doing their best to keep prices low (Which is important for the bottom of the pyramid mass market in India) and were unable to use the more expensive materials they were using abroad. What did this mean? A huge compromise on comfort for ALL Indian babies! Even if a parent could afford more expensive diapers, the really good ultra-thin breathable ones were not available in the market!

Now that I had REAL first-hand CONSUMER INSIGHT as a parent, I went ahead and got my team to research in-depth and launch Brildiapers Prime- an ultra-thin, highly breathable, 6-layer, super-absorbent, rash-proof diaper made using world-class raw materials from Germany and USA, for unmatched baby comfort. Now my son is almost 2 and yes, he wears Brildiapers Prime Large!

In conclusion, I would urge my fellow MBAs, entrepreneurs and leaders to get out and become a consumer themselves rather than spend company money on useless market research. Get intuitive to identify unrealized needs and create markets if you will. Move from head to heart. Be obsessive about your brand; solve problems for your customers every single day.

Click here to read more about why brildiapers are special, thanks to first-hand consumer insights and real love that has gone into creating them, in the news!

About the Author:

Jayaram Rajaram is the Managing Partner of Bril and the Managing Director & Chief Dreamer of ELSA. Jayaram writes from his heart and about personal experiences. He writes about varied topics ranging from parenting to leadership and entrepreneurship. Now that you have read one of his intimate experiences with baby diapers, the least you can do is go to http://www.brilindia.com/bril_diapers_prime.php buy a pack, wear them yourself and report back to Jayaram with the results, or use them for your baby if you are a parent! LOL


 

Who are the people in your (changing) neighbourhood?

Who are the people in your (changing) neighbourhood?The Unit of Study for this month in my daughter’s Kindergarten class is ‘Community Helpers’. And I had the bright idea of showing her the delightful Sesame Street 2-minute “Who are the people in your neighbourhood” videos on the different professions – she would enjoy the catchy tune and colourful costumes and I could laugh at the droll puns and sing along.

So the first video plays and Netra stares intensely at the man in a tall cap holding a box of vegetables, cheese and other fresh food items.

Netra (wrinkling her nose): “Who’s that?”

Me: “The grocer.” And then I go on to explain how a grocer has a small grocery store and sells food items.

Netra (waving away my explanations): “I’ve never seen a grocer shop. We only go to Cold Storage.”

Me: “Maybe here, but you have seen small grocery shops in Mumbai.”

Netra: “No – I went to Reliance Fresh. It’s a big shop.”

Me: “Ok let’s move on to the next video”.

Netra: “Who is that?” She points at a man in a blue uniform with a satchel in his hands.

Me: “The postman who delivers our letters. Don’t you know that?!”

Netra: “I know who the postman is but I thought they were extinct!”

Me: “Whaaat?! – they are people Netra, not dinosaurs! Why would they be extinct? If you want to write a letter to Brinda paati, then you need to write her address on the envelope, stick a stamp and ….”

Netra: “But amma, why can’t I just send her an email? And I skype with her everyday, so why should I….?”

Me (anticipating and stalling a string of questions): “Ok…. But next month you have to write a letter to Santa Claus and then you will have to go to the post office….”

Netra: “But you were telling daddy that everyone is on Facebook except him, so you can send a message to Santa Claus on Facebook, no amma?”

I clutch my head in despair and try to identify safer videos – we breeze through doctor, nurse, teacher, librarian. Then we come to a man with a saw and a hammer.

Netra: “Handy Manny!”

Me (sighing in relief): “Handy Manny is a handyman, but yes, this is close – a carpenter. A carpenter doesn’t just repair things but also builds furniture for you, like tables, beds….”

Netra: “I thought we go to Ikea to buy furniture and then build it ourselves!”

Me (losing patience): “Ok, you tell me what video you want to watch!”

Netra: “Why is there no investment banker in the neighbourhood?”

Re-published with permission from the blog of ParentEdge, a bi-monthly parenting magazine that aims to expose parents to global trends in learning and partner with them in the intellectual enrichment of their children.

Training the Fussy Eater

Training the Fussy EaterToddlers can be fussy eaters who refuses to try a new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods. It may be necessary to offer a food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try.

Try to make foods fun. Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler. Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer.

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like. Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same.

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician.

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat. Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself. You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!

Can you imagine your toddler riding a bicycle?

All this while Indian parents have been used to buying their 1-year old a tri-cycle. First they (the parent) will push the tricycle and then the toddler will try and start pedalling. The tricycle teaches the baby to learn to pedal and steer, but poses a pretty serious risk of tipping over when the toddler goes too fast, turns or tries to get off. This causes injury, pain and definitely doesn’t prepare the child for the bicycle.

Later, at around four years of age parents buy their child a bicycle with trainer wheels. What do the trainer wheels do? If you actually think of it, they actually impede the process of learning balance. The child becomes used to the fact that he / she has four wheels, and focusses on pedalling and steering. After a while, the parent says, ‘ok, let’s remove one wheel’ and that’s when falls and bruises start! Some children get so scared of falling that they fail to learn an easy and basic gross motor skill of balance.

Brilrider, India’s first balance bike has turned this concept of learning balance on its head. Come Brilrider, the good-old tricycle may be passé, as parents can start their children off on this cool bicycle as soon as their baby can walk stably!

Yes, that’s normally as early as 13-18 months or sometimes even earlier. Brilrider’s exceptional design, with low centre of gravity allows the seat to go as low as 11” from the floor and has no pedals. This, minimal and simplistic design helps toddlers place their feet firmly on the ground and start walking with their new balance bike.

As the child progresses, he becomes more confident and starts walking faster with the Brilrider. Children love the Brilrider as it is extremely light (Much lighter than tricycles and 48% lighter than other bicycles in the category) and easy to handle.

Since there is no handle-bar limiter, the probability of injury due to the handle bar getting wedged against the chest or stomach is virtually zero. As the toddler gets more and more confident, they start running and then slowly lifting their feet off the ground and balancing.

This means children as young as 3 years can actually start balancing without the need for tricycles or trainer wheels. The best part about Brilrider is that falls are greatly minimized as children can put their feet firmly on the ground at the slightest feeling of doubt or lack of confidence.

If you start an older kid (probably 3-4 years of age) on Brilrider, you will see that some of them may start balancing in a matter of weeks or even days.

The Brilrider also has moulded footrests as part of the body so children can rest their feet up and zip away once they get confident! Learning to ride a bicycle will never be the same again thanks to the Brilrider, and it’s great for kids from 1-5 years of age.

The following is our first video sent by happy parents of Rohan- a 4.5 year-old child. Rohan had never balanced a 2-wheeler before, but learnt to balance in just over 3 days with his new Brilrider. Watch him having a blast with his Brilrider in this video.

To buy the Brilrider please visit www.brilindia.com

How To Help your Child Kick the Thumb Sucking Habit

How To Help your Child Kick the Thumb Sucking HabitThumb sucking is a concern many parents have. Toddlers suck their thumbs because it’s comforting and calming. It’s probably something they did before they were born and revert back to it when they are nervous, agitated, scared or ill. . They may also use it to lull themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night.

Parents shouldn’t concern themselves unless it continues after the age their permanent teeth begin to appear, around six years old. Experts say that it’s the intensity of the thumb sucking and the tongue’s thrust that deforms teeth and makes braces necessary later. Children who rest their thumb passively in their mouth are less likely to have difficulty than children who suck aggressively. If you’re concerned, closely monitor your child and analyze his technique. If they appears to be sucking vigorously, you may want to begin curbing their habit earlier.

Punishing or nagging your child to stop won’t help because it’s usually an automatic response. Attempting to curb it by putting an elastic bandage on his thumb or another method will seem like unjust punishment, especially since they indulge in the habit for comfort and security.

Try to wait it out. Children usually give up thumb-sucking when they’ve found other ways to calm and comfort themselves. my ip . Consider offering them other alternatives to comfort themselves such as a soft blanket or toy.

The key is to notice when and where they are likely to suck their thumbs and offer an alternative. If it happens while they are tired, try giving more naps. If they suck their thumb frequently while watching television, try to distract them with a toy that will keep their hands occupied.

Older children may need gentle reminders to curtail thumb sucking while in public, and praise should be given freely when the child finds and uses an acceptable alternative. Your child’s pediatric dentist can offer other suggestions for helping your child kick the thumb sucking habit.

Productive and Positive Potty Training

Your child’s showing all the signs of being ready to potty train. That’s great! But now, where do you start?

Explain to your toddler that going potty is a normal process of life and everyone does it, even animals. Talk with them about the toilet, a special place where they can potty just like the big kids. Tell him how the potty works and let him try flushing himself. Explain that they will be wearing underwear and not diapers. Find some educational and entertaining videos of their favorite characters learning to go potty. Be sure to involve other family members in the process and emphasize the importance of consistency during this process.

Make a special trip to the store and purchase new underwear with your toddler. Let them have a voice in what you get. The underwear will have much more significance if your toddler helped choose them.

Overalls, pants with lots of buttons, snaps or zips, tight or restrictive clothing and oversized shirts will all be an obstacle to your child during this process. Put these kinds of clothes away for the time being.

Decide whether or not you’re going to use pull-ups, training pants or regular underwear and try to stick with this decision so your child has consistency and isn’t confused. Think about whether or not you want to use rewards or not. Figure out a strategy on how to handle potty issues when you’re away from home.

If your child is in child care, ask your provider for their advice and make sure there aren’t any hard and fast rules the center or caregiver has in place that may be an issue. Let them know that you’re going to start and enlist their help with the process.

Praise your child for each successful trip to the potty, and comfort them when accidents happen and try to remain patient and calm when they do. Avoid using candy or other treats as reinforcement. Let them know that it will take a while to get the hang of using the potty, and encourage and praise each attempt they make. With consistency, encouragement and praise, they’ll soon be completely trained.

Tactics for Tackling a Toddler’s Temper Tantrum

Tactics for Tackling a Toddler’s Temper Tantrum - BrilEven the best behaved toddler has an occasional temper tantrum. A tantrum can range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. They’re equally common in boys and girls and usually occur from age 1 to age 3. Some children may experience regular tantrums, whereas for other children, tantrums may be rare. Some kids are more prone to throwing a temper tantrum than others.

Toddlers are trying to master the world and when they aren’t able to accomplish a task, they often use one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration – a tantrum. There are several basic causes of tantrums that are familiar to parents everywhere: The child is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. In addition, tantrums are often the result of children’s frustration with the world. Frustration is an unavoidable part of kids’ lives as they learn how people, objects, and their own bodies work.

Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.

Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach, which will make struggles less likely to develop over them. Distract your child. Take advantage of your little one’s short attention span by offering a replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. And choose your battles: consider the request carefully when your child wants something. Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. . Accommodate when possible to avoid an outburst.

Make sure your child isn’t acting up simply because he or she isn’t getting enough attention. To a child, negative attention (a parent’s response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Try to establish a habit of catching your child being good (“time in”), which means rewarding your little one with attention and praise for positive behavior. This will teach them that acting appropriately makes mommy and daddy happy and proud, and they’ll be anxious to do it again and again.

Photo credits: freedigitalphotos