Since the first time you cried out, I yearned to see you smile. We came home and I learned to take care of you myself. And then slowly, you started to smile. And gurgle. And laugh. And slowly I started knowing what makes you happy.
Every mother goes through these sentiments. And no matter how much advice is dished out by parenting websites, magazines and the old ladies in the family, every baby is unique, and so is the bond between mother and baby. Only a mother can build this unique bond, and come to know the quirks that make her baby happy.
A happy baby starts with a full belly and dry clothes. Well, this is the obvious stuff. And then there is the less obvious stuff!
One pink blanky
One mangled doll
A noisy rattle on top of your head
And my musty old shawl
Babies can develop attachments to something so easily. So there may be a room full of toys, but only one teddy bear becomes indispensable. So much that it has to be packed into the stroller every time you go out of the house.
The teddy snuggles next to the baby in the basinet and the crib, and cries out when the teddy isn’t around. The same goes for the rattle with the jarring sound. And the pink blanket! The pink blanket has to be pried away and put into the Quick Wash cycle as baby sleeps, because you will cry if you don’t see it.
Goldilocks and three bears or Little Red Riding Hood
Dhruv Tara or the pranks of Baby Krishna
Story Time is our favorite time of the day
The stories will change as you grow up
But Story time is here to stay
Babies get attached to routine or ritual. And following rituals makes them happy. So they know when it is time to eat. And when sleep time beckons, they know that a story is coming. Whether you are reading from a big book with pictures, or just weaving your own new story every day, it is something baby really looks forward to. The tone of your voice, the various emotions you infuse into what you read, all of them make the baby happy and relaxed enough to enter the world of dreams.
Sooji Halwa loaded with nuts
Sweet and tart mango lassi
Carrot and sweet potato puree
Grape and orange juice from sippy cups
Food is something we all need to survive. And we all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to food. Well, so do babies. Babies have their own favorites too. That is why they will gulp down that sweet juice but spit out oatmeal. They will long for stewed rice but cry over vegetables. Just as adults smile when they get to eat their favorite foods, babies can only be happy when you feed them what they like. Since what they can eat is limited, making a note of what they like and making sure it is a part of their diet can prevent tantrums and keep both the mom and baby happy.
Safety, security, a calm and happy environment and lots of love are necessary for a happy baby. These are above and beyond their physical needs but still a must to develop an even and happy disposition.