After a rough monsoon and the scorching October heat, it’s time to usher in cooler climes. Say hello to winter! The season surely brings in a breath of fresh air, but expecting mothers need to be even more cautious in the colder months. M&B brings you expert advise on how to have a safe winter pregnancy
Monsoons usher in a welcome change from the scorching summer heat. But, along with the freshness, greenery and much needed breeze, the monsoons also bring with it disease and illness. However, there’s really no reason why you can’t make the most of the weather, even if you have young children around the house.
Dr Bhaskar Shenoy, consultant and chief, division of paediatric infectious diseases, Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru, says, “Due to wet and humid climate, various infections are common during the monsoons. The dampness, muck and stagnant pools of water are ideal breeding grounds for disease-causing microorganisms. While everyone is prone to diseases during the monsoons, children are most likely to fall sick due to their immature immune system. It is imperative for parents to take the necessary precautionary measures to ensure that children practice good hygiene and minimise their chances of falling ill.”
Some common ailments of the season
Catching a cold, having a sore throat and contracting water-borne diseases are quite frequent. “Dangerous waterborne diseases that children are susceptible to are gastroenteritis (diarrhoea), cholera, jaundice (hepatitis A and E), typhoid and dysentery. Disease-producing viruses, bacteria, protozoa and parasitic worms found in the faeces of infected persons could contaminate water and can cause mild to serious infections in children,” says Dr Bhaskar.
If you have a viral fever
A viral fever is prevalent during the monsoons. It is a contagious disease and often spreads from one child to another, especially in schools or daycare centres. This is because these viruses are transmitted through air and touch. Young children are more prone to viral fevers as their immune system is not strong. In an attempt to get rid of the foreign particles, the temperature of body is increased.
Dr Bhaskar says, “Constant sneezing, soar throat and fever are the common symptoms of this disease. Sometimes H1N1 or swine flu can occur as an epidemic if the above symptoms are manifested severely.” However, to identify between a viral fever and a regular fever, pay attention when the fever is recurrent and doesn’t go away with medicine, a child is shivering, is experiencing fatigue, and has a runny nose and chest congestion.
Dr Bhaskar explains, “The easiest way to avoid fever is by not getting wet in the rain. Simple medications like paracetamols are sufficient. Frequent gargles with warm water can relieve a soar throat. An effective vaccine is available for swine flu and the seasonal flu.”
Most doctors will recommend managing the symptoms rather than concentrating on the temperature. Use a wet sponge to bring down the fever. Provide plenty of warm fluids, like soup, that will help soothe the soar throat and cough. Also provide oral rehydration solutions (ORS) to combat dehydration. Rub some petroleum jelly on your baby’s nose to avoid dry skin caused by frequently rubbing the nose. If you are breastfeeding, do not stop as it provides the essential nutrients and will help your child fight the infections. Lastly, let your baby rest.
If you catch malaria
This particular disease is a mosquito-borne disease. The number of cases shoot up during and just after the monsoons. This is because humidity and stagnant water provide the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Your child is unlikely to get malaria in the first three months of her life. This is because of the immunity provided by you during your pregnancy. But as she grows older, she will lose the antibodies you provided her with and her risk of catching malaria will increase.
The signs usually start showing in about eight days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Dr Bhaskar advises, “Symptoms to look out for are severe fever with chills usually occurring within 72 hours of the bite, body ache and sweating.” Your child may also have loss of appetite and diarrhoea, often seen as green stool. Some children may also have low temperature (hypothermia) instead of a fever.
Dr Bhaskar advises, “Mosquito repellents and nets should be used to protect your child from being bitten by mosquitoes. Make sure that there is no stagnant water in and around your area.”
He further adds that there is an ABCD prevention of malaria:
■ Awareness of risk of malaria
■ Bite prevention
■ Chemoprophylaxis— antimalarial medication
■ Diagnosis and treatment
Only a blood test can confirm malaria parasites present in the system. Getting to the doctor quickly is the best way to keep you child safe. In addition, your doctor will give your child antimalarial drugs. Moreover, depending on the type of malaria and its severity, your doctor may prescribe a single drug or a combination of medicines.
If you think you have typhoid
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread through food or drink contaminated by the feces of an infected person. Dr Bhaskar explains, “It is caused by a bacteria called S Typhi which is transmitted through consuming contaminated water and food. Sometimes, the infection of the disease can remain in the gall bladder of the patient, even after she is cured.”
The symptoms usually develop within one to two weeks. They include a high fever lasting for more than three days, abdominal pain, headache and a general feeling of discomfort and uneasiness. The symptoms can be mild or severe and last for four weeks or longer.
Your child will receive the vaccination when she is between nine to 12 months old. The booster doses are given at two years of age and again between four and six years, respectively. Dr Bhaskar says, “This is a highly communicable disease so the patient is expected to be isolated from the rest of the family. The patient should have a high intake of fluids to prevent dehydration. Precautions should be taken even after the recovery.”
The test for diagnosing typhoid is the blood culture. There is another test called the typhoid which is quicker to perform. Your doctor will advise you on the right test to take for your child. Make sure your child completes the full course of antibiotics. Typhoid is most common in children aged between two to five years of age. In babies, the symptoms can be easily confused with other feverish illnesses. Breastfed babies are unlikely to be in contact with this disease as they build immunity from their mother’s milk. Also, they haven’t been introduced to solid foods.
Making wise decisions
Dr Bhaskar advises, “Vaccines boosts the immune system and protects your child from diseases that are rampant in this weather. Hib, Pneumococcal, Flu, Hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines can be gifts to your child for enhancing her armamentarium against disease-causing bugs.” Find below the list of age-wise vaccinations required for your child:
Age (zero to one)
● BCG, OPV, Hepatitis B (at birth)
● DPT, OPV, HIB, Hepatitis B, Rota Virus and Pneumococcal (six to 14 weeks)
● Flu vaccination to be given at six months. Also vaccination to be repeated every year.
● MMR, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Chicken pox (nine to 15 months)
Age (one to three)
● Chicken pox, MMR, Hepatitis A, DBT, HIB, Polio boaster and Pneumococcal boaster
Age (three to six)
● DBT boaster
● OPV boaster
● Typhoid boaster
● MMR Chicken pox boaster|MB
There’s a downpour of blessings and you can’t wait to welcome your bundle of joy into this world. But, before you do, you’re probably stumped with just how to ring in the celebrations. Don’t worry, we have you covered. Here are some trending shower ideas that fits a theme, and more importantly, won’t necessarily burn a hole in your pocket.
Time honored traditions
A traditional baby shower or godh bharai, as popularly called in India, is a ceremony that is celebrated to shower blessings to the mum-to-be. Along with the blessings, it is a joyous occasion where close relatives and friends come together to celebrate the new life that is about to be brought into this world. Godh bharai quite literally means ‘filling the lap’ of the expectant mother with abundance and joy, and is usually celebrated in the seventh month of pregnancy.
To make the function fun and exciting, you can indulge guests with some games to keep them entertained. For example, your guests could guess the girth of the mother’s belly with the help of a ribbon. The closest match can be announced as the winner. Another game could be to remember the baby items passed around in a tray. Simple games like passing the parcel and musical chairs can also add loads of fun to ceremony.
Karishman Gowani, owner of Millk, Mumbai, says, “The classic godh bharai has its own charm with traditional hand-crafted lamp shades and jhula (swing) for the mum-to-be.” You can decorate the jhula with cute baby products or just go with the classic floral decoration. Make sure the jhula has a proper backrest for the mother and this is where the traditional puja can also be done, where everyone could bless the mother and the baby. Another exciting way to do up the place is by placing childhood pictures of the expectant parents all over the walls. They will be overwhelmed. You could also use a mother’s favourite toys, books or clothes from her childhood to decorate the venue.
As a token of remembrance, providing your guests with a souvenir would be a nice gesture. You can get some dupattas and bangles for the women, as this is something everyone likes to wear. You could set up a photo booth where all the guests get an opportunity to be clicked with the mum-to-be. Towards the end of the ceremony, guests could collect the pictures along with a decorative frame. They can cherish this memory forever.
Get ready to set sail with your guests and have a contemporary, yet chic baby shower. The nautical theme seems to be everyone’s favourite and is a huge hit with every first-time mother. The reason is its classic red, navy blue and white colour scheme. Make a customised anchor-shaped invitation that will welcome everyone aboard.
GAMES: Afra Kochra, co-owner, Kiddiegram, says, “For the games, you can use the following ideas like, change a doll’s diaper blindfolded in the shortest time, memory game with baby items, decorating bibs and message in a bottle where you get the guests to put in some useful advice in the bottle for the mum-to-be.”
Food plays a major role in any celebration. Always decide the menu based on the theme chosen for a particular occasion. Afra further adds, “There are a lot of snacks that you can serve adhering to the theme. For example, potato boats, sea shell pasta, fish n chips, seaweed dip, submarine sandwiches and seamosas, are just some options.”
Some options for party favours could be: Afra says, “We gave out bottles of shower gel with the caption, ‘From our shower to yours.’ Other options include, anchor-shaped cookies, bath sea salts packed in glass bottles or scented soaps shaped as starfish or other underwater creatures.
A nautical baby shower theme offers personalised banners, table decorations in the same navy blue and red colours, as the invitation. You can have the signature anchor decoration all around the place. On the table you can place personalised placemats and candy centerpieces. Custom, colourful ceiling decorations will accentuate the place and highlight the theme.
Ritika Nangia, founder, Funcart.in, says, “For an afternoon and evening filled with elegance, laughter and understated glamour, Vintage is the perfect theme. A vintage-themed garden party is easy to plan and has an unparalleled charm, with minimal preparation.” Going vintage means an elegant affair with the perfect décor, food, favours and games, well within your budget.
Ritika suggests, “You can add a twist to the vintage games like baby shower bingo, a hula hoop contest or pin the diaper on the baby are some of the delightfully nostalgic games that will zing up your vintage garden party.”
Afra suggests, “Since it’s hi-tea, you would not be required to serve lunch or dinner but rather evening snacks. In this case cocktail, bite-sized dishes would be appropriate. For example cucumber sandwiches, scones, cheese platters or individual servings of assorted desserts like profiteroles, cookies or mini cupcakes. You could have a DIY tea or coffee station where the guests could prepare a hot beverage they’d like to sip on.”
“Some options are Vintage-themed lace punched gift tags, leather luggage tags, personalized calligraphy notes, handmade chocolates and exotic teas are some of the great ideas to pamper guests and help them remember your soiree for a long time to come,” says Nikita. Other return gift items according to Afra are, scented candles, pot pourri pouches and marmalade packed in mason jars.
Ritika explains, “With a few well-placed props and décor items, the party can be a great success without burning a hole in your pocket. Items like vintage tableware, teacups and linen can easily be procured at a low cost from a local thrift shop or online shopping portals.” Vintage doesn’t necessarily mean decking up the location with pastels. Ritika advises that colours like turquoise and red can also be great options. To lay out the food, you can display a shabby chic table, sidetable or even a dresser. She further adds, “A vintage telephone, a leather suitcase or a gramophone are some inexpensive ways to create the illusion of a vintage affair.”
Another theme that is popular among the masses is the Beach Baby shower theme. With this particular theme you can experiment a lot with the colours and décor. It will certainly enliven the joyous occasion. Karishma enthusiastically says, “Beach baby shower is my personal favourite. The combination of teal, gold and white colours make the place look vibrant and extravagant.”
Some game options Karishma suggests are, a beach bag filled with baby products for a sensory game, make a doll ready for a beach party in under a minute and fill in coconut water in milk bottles and find out who finishes first. These games will certainly turn the heat up at your gathering. The best part is that all your family and friends would be rather excited to participate in these games.
Karishma suggests, “Jelly fish and starfish shaped sandwiches, cocktail umbrellas pinned over cupcakes or fruit tarts, non-alcoholic jello shots, coconut water and watermelon popsicles to beat the heat are some of the ideas that you can look through.”
A wooden crate filled sunglasses, striped hand towels, mini treasure chest filled with chocolate gold coins, shell or jelly candles, garlands and floral tiaras can make for some interesting giveaway options. The budget for the party favours can be above `350.
This theme is ideal for both indoor as well as outdoors. You can add elements of dream catchers, fishing nets, shells, beach photo booth, props like sunglasses and hats. Karishma says, “Lifesized surf board titled ‘Baby On Board’ along with a vintage barrel and tree trunk labelled with the name of mum-to-be painted on it.” She further adds, “As you enter, a backdrop of a beach will be propped up for selfies to save memories forever. Tables will be lined with fish nets and shells as well as mason jars filled with summer flowers. Decorative includes colourful jellyfish, dream catchers and seaweed hanging from the ceiling.”
The festive season is usually filled with a whole lot of love, laughter and excitement. To get you in the festive mood, we think a bit of change is in order? And what better time than now, to redecorate? We bring you the latest trends in home décor, particularly when it comes to the comfort of your little one’s personal spaces. Read on to know more
When selecting furniture for your kids bedroom, it is essential to make sure you buy safe, sustainable and high-quality products. Choose furniture that will grow with your baby. Mumbaibased independent interior designer, Ayushi Kanodia, says, “Functionality as well as longevity when selecting the furniture should be a priority. Elements of imagination and fun should be a part of their room. Parents also constantly worry about the kids growing out of the furniture. Hence, having the right balance between fantasy and functionality is what is trending these days.”
Select furniture based on the theme of your kid’s bedroom. Founder and creative director, StudioCREO, Parushni Aggarwal, says, “Do you wish to keep the room playful or want to give it a dreamy outlook? For every theme, an array of furniture is available for children. And they are available in bold and contrasting colour choices. A bed bunk is an all-time kid’s favourite. Couple that with comfortable bedding and a monogrammed or striped headboard and you’re good to go.”
No parents would ever want to compromise on their child’s safety. Children often run around the house and are active throughout the day. They tend to spend quality time in their room, hence, it is important that the furniture is not sharp-edged. Ayushi says, “This is a first priority when designing a kid’s room. Having furniture edges rounded and smoothened should be the way to go. Besides that, consider using water-resistant wood and inflammable laminates.”
Invest wisely! As your children grow, their understanding and demands will increase. They will start making a call as to what they would like in their own room. So while they are young, make their room child-friendly as well as budget-friendly. Designer and director, Peek-a-boo Patterns, Garima Agarwal, says, “With the DIY trend taking up a big place in interiors, parents have become creative. This has enabled them to go easy on the pockets too. The overall expenditure has been variant as there is demand for both premium and basics. At the same time, the range has been wide enough so designers are carefully selecting some accessories that are fun but not expensive along with high-priced units, for example, wardrobes.”
Keep In Mind
● Furniture should be functional and ergonomically designed. For example, a study table should be at the right height.
● For storage pieces, practicality plays an important role. This would make the room clutter free.
● Parushni says, “Make sure your interior designer has met your kids and have spent considerable time with them to understand their needs. It’s foremost to integrate kid’s room with the interiors commensurate to their personality.”
● A fun piece of add-on furniture is a rocking chair personalised with your little one’s initials.
Furnishings have become the most important accessory while designing a child’s space. They are a great way to add a dose of texture and colour to a kids room. “This is because the theme can be created by using thematic furnishings like curtains and bedding. They are like icing on the cake—helps in giving a visual appeal to the room,” says Garima. According to one of the founders of My Baby Babbles, Mithila Chirawawala, “One of the biggest trends right now are play tents and play mats which encourage a creative hideaway— a place for your kids to call their own. Add this to a playroom or den and let your child’s imagination run wild.”
Talking about another trend that is here to stay is personalisation. Mithila further adds, “You can never go wrong with adding fun, personalised accents across a kid’s room. Spell out your kid’s name with attention-grabbing, alphabetshaped cushions in bright fabrics or coloured wooden letters. A name plaque at the entrance door, a pretty wall clock or a funshaped cork board will add charm and personality in your little ones space.” Experimenting with different materials like denims for blinds is also a big hit.
A kid’s room is susceptible to having paints, colours and pencil marks on different things, especially on furnishings. Hence, Ayushi advises purchasing furnishings that are machinewashable without fading out.
She further adds, “In terms of bedsheets, one can go for the anti-bacterial one which will safeguard your kid from rashes.” “Usage of organic fabrics and natural dyes are in vogue. These are safe for a child’s sensitive skin. Easy maintenance fabrics take frequent washes—that helps in maintaining your child’s hygiene,” says Garima.
Ayushi advises, “It wouldn’t be wise to spend a lot on furnishings in a kid’s room since we know that at some point there will be crayon or paint stains. Hence, opting for rough and tough materials that is machine-washable should be the way to go.” Have an array on display in your child’s room. From bedding and cushions to rugs and fancy clocks, you can get creative. Despite having one too many items, try not to splurge.
Keep In Mind
● A good window treatment is important to complete the look of the room. The colours of the curtains have to be co-ordinated mainly with the walls.
● It is important that all the paraphernalia of the interior is organised well.
● Parushni says, “Space organisation is a key aspect. Kids usually have a lot of stuff scattered around. Look out for spaces where you can make room for their essentials. They love when there’s space available for them to wander.”
● A toy shelf or bookshelf just above their bed can meet their discerning demands.
● Experiment with lights, incorporate rugs or carpets to enrich dull floors. Also, you can furnish with interesting tiles for a more colourful outlook..
Magnasoft, the brainchild of entrepreneurs Bobbie Kalra and Shyam Ramamurthy recently announced the launch of the third generation to their product Northstar, a comprehensive child safety platform in Mumbai. It is an integrated product that protects children while they commute to and from school. A web application and dashboard designed specifically for schools empowers the school authorities to efficiently manage their transport related information, monitor their fleet and children in real time, and take immediate action in case of any incidents. It is a programme which integrates GPS and non-GPS locationing, video surveillance, and RFID technologies to facilitate equipped transport management system in schools. The technology provides features like school bus and child monitoring, school bus video surveillance and student attendance management. It is said to be the only platform that offers training and driver merit in order to incentivise good driving. Northstar provides a clean and simple mobile experience for parents on iOS and android. With the Northstar parent app, parents can track their child’s journey in real time. The invention apparently has already been a choice for over 200 schools across India.