You Know You’re A Nursing Mom When…

This has been a post in the making because there’s nothing like having a small boobsucker attached to you all the time.

There are so many moments of nursing that are routed in insanity and hilarity. I captured some below but I would love to hear from you on your “you know you’re a nursing mom when…” stories.

Also, don’t feel bad if you didn’t nurse baby. I nursed my firstborn for a week before it was too difficult to get him to latch. No number of lactation consultant visits helped. Instead I exclusively pumped for 10.5 months. I have post coming up just for you pumpers!

You Know You’re A Nursing Mom When…

You go to the bathroom with a baby attached to your boob.

You are in the kitchen for the 5 seconds you have time to escape baby, only to realize your boobs are hanging out.

Your baby decides nursing in a “normal” position is no longer fun and starts experimenting in different yoga positions. Currently popular: baby in downward dog while you lay on your side.

You are sleeping and don’t even know someone is attached to you. Beware, the boobsucker strikes!

Baby kicks the daylights out of you while nursing. Because you need to eat and exercise at the same time apparently.

You whip out a boob in public as soon as baby is hungry. Or tired. Or cranky. Or whatever is causing her to scream.

Your boobs become floppy when nursing ends. Really, you wonder if the boobs will ever inflate again.

Your baby can instantly sense you’re in the house because they smell the milk and want it from the source!

You pull the car over, hop in the backseat and nurse to sooth baby.

You miss it when it’s all over because you know it’s a special time.

Top 10 (unisex!) Eid Gifts For Toddlers That Won’t Break the Bank

Eid, marking the end of the Ramadan, is coming up in a couple weeks and I thought I’d share some favorite Eid gifts to give to children.

My friend, Sidra, at Jasmine and Marigold, compiled this lovely list of gifts. She has an adorable collection of Indian desi onesies and tee for babies and toddlers. She also sells dulhan tribe swag (super awesome if you want the bride tribe, desi style!)

I’ll let her take it from here. Thanks Sidra for sharing!

As a mother to a two-and-a-half year old, I have started shopping for my daughter’s Eid gifts – I’ll get her two or three nice presents to keep the excitement of Eid alive that morning. I also have many nieces and newphews under the age of five to shop for as well. So I came up with a list of toys that won’t break the bank, and won’t overwhelm the parents with “too many toys” syndrome.

Everything here is under $30 and as low as $3! For the close cousins, I’m going to give actual gifts for the kids, but I’ll admit that for distant friends I’m giving money and will use any selection of pretty Eidy envelopes available on the internet to gift them, while including placing a few $5 bills, balloons, and allergy safe candies in our J+M pillow boxes.

Here are my favorite Eid gifts for babies and toddlers:

Alif baa taa – Arabic alphabet learning book – Who doesn’t love books for gifts? A great way to learn your Arabic alphabet, and to get them a head start on reading Arabic letters. Not your moulana’s Arabic book, that’s for sure.

IKEA stacking cups – at $2.97, you cannot go wrong with this set! It’ll keep little ones busy for hours…. OK, minutes…several minutes at least!

Wooden puzzles, like an animal Melissa and Doug set on Amazon or a triple puzzle kit. Wooden puzzle work great from 18 months-4 years, you just have to get more complex puzzles as they get older.

Fisher Price Basketball hoop – a great toy to establish hand-eye coordination, and with summer coming up, we anticipate spending loads of time outdoors.

Magformers – an amazing way to introduce STEM to young children — this is at the top of our wish list

Arabic feeding set by Lila & Tiny – a kids gotta eat, and this beautiful set helps teach Arabic in a modern style (you can purchase this from With a Spin in the USA, helping to avoid hefty UK shipping fees).

Kids Doctor kit – making learning fun! With so many doctors in the family, what’s with inspiring one more?

Hena Khan books – I love her books. The illustrations are beautiful. A couple books you can introduce now because well, they’re about Ramadan and Muslim holidays, Night of the Moon, It’s Ramadan, Curious George, the others are shapes (Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets) and colors (Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns). Who knew a shapes book could be gorgeous?!

Bubble machine – what child doesn’t love bubbles? And what parent enjoys blowing them all afternoon long? An automatic bubble machine will keep the outdoor fun going long after mommy and daddy sit down for a cup of tea.

Eid Mu-baaa-rak onesie – For the youngest ones, this onesie (shameless plug) is a favorite.

What do you have planned for Eid gifts?

Desi Baby Books & Toys to Get in Touch with Your Indian Culture

I have been meaning to write this post forever. Just forever. Every time I’m on Instagram (which, face it, is all the time), I see Indian Desi inspired books, art, and projects for Indian babies and children.

Growing up, there were hardly any books for me to read and feel more connected to my culture. What was around were tiny newspaper print black and white books that just lacked quality and creativity.

I’m so glad those days are gone. Even though we don’t have a huge selection of books for South Asian children, we have a *growing* collection.

Here’s my list of go-to baby and toddler along with activities and a couple toys from small business Indians and Pakistanis. This is THE list if you’re looking for a gift or to enrich your child’s life.

The books can be bought direct from the website, Etsy, or Amazon. Some links below are affiliate and I may make a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase through it. Purchasing through these links also keep me going and pays the coffee and diaper bills! Thank you. <3 Desi Babies – Get your baby started off with Indian culture. From the adorable counting book, 10 Noisy Rickshaws, to My First Hindu Gods, these are perfect board board to introduce your little ones.

For toddlers, grab some stickers, the Indian coloring book, or the Eid coloring book. I can’t wait for my toddler to draw to his heart’s content!

Gnaana – Alphabet baby blocks in languages that’s not just Hindi! Tamil is sadly no longer available, but you can still buy blocks in Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi. They haven’t been posting much on social media in the past months, so I’m not sure if they are in full production still, but I own both the Hindi and Gujarati block sets through their Indigogo campaign a couple years ago. Even used them in my maternity photo shoot!

Bharat Babies – Based in Massachusetts, Bharat Babies is a South Asian publisher. Creating books for toddlers and children, these are the books that make you feel like you belong. We all know what’s it like to have a different name. We know what it’s like to be the only Indian in your class. These stories will help Indian children know that they belong, they have company. Check out Always Anjali, Sarla in the Sky, Ganesh and the Little Mouse, and Indian Alphabet.

Toka Box – A monthly subscription box inspired by South Asia. Toka Junior focuses on children ages 3-5, while Toka Explorer is for kids 5-8. Each month comes with a book and activity.

Jai Jai Hooray – Not books, but lovely learning toys from Rupa Parekh. The stacking Hindu Goddess tower stands tall and powerful for any Indian toddler to feel empowered. She also stunning flash cards on Hindi gods and goddesses, perfect for those little hands to learn.

The Playful Indian – Need to send a funny card to an Indian friend? Or you love pins and hilarious coasters? You need The Playful Indian from Dina Mistry. The coloring book and greeting cards for mom, dad, siblings are most suited for older children.

Nidhi Chanani – Her Everyday Love website and shop are by far the CUTEST illustrations ever. Oh my gosh so cute. If I had all the wall space in the world, I’d probably buy everything of hers (and my son would go nuts for the elephant drawings!).

Her stories are beautiful, the artwork is inspiration, and she’s one of the few desi artists who have cards for same sex parents.

Studio Yali – For the older children who love to paint or for the kid inside you, Studio Yali has beautiful prints and peg dolls inspired by goddesses and dancers. Older children will love the coloring books and DIY peg dolls.

Hena Khan – If you don’t know Hena, you’re missing out on some of the most intricate illustrations. Her books about Muslim life jump out of their pages and into your hearts. When I bought her Muslim inspired color book, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, I had no idea how big she was, I was just fueling my desi obsession. She has a new book on shapes, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, as well as books on Ramadan and holidays, Night of the Moon, It’s Ramadan, Curious George. All are available online at Amazon and even in retailers.

Meenal Patel Studio – Illustrator and author Meenal does prints (and has a fab instagram) and the adorable book Neela Goes to San Francisco. As a Bay Area girl, I highly recommend this book.

Sanjay Patel – Pixar illustrator and film creator, Sanjay has several books just for the Indian soul. Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth, the Ramayana, The Big Poster Book of Hindu Deities: 12 Removable Prints, and The Little Book of Hindu Deities are bright, pop colored books for both younger and older children. From learning about Hindu gods and goddesses to reading an abbreviated version of a classic, Patel’s drawings are modern and beautiful. I framed some of the removable prints from the Big Poster Book of Indian Deities. They are adorable! You can purchase all the books on Amazon (links above).

Do you make a South Asian inspired toy or have a book for desi children? Drop me an email at chotipreeti @ gmail . com!

How to Read to a Baby

It’s the time when I post a question from a mom and crowd source answers.

Question:
I want to read to my baby. She is 6 months and when I try to read to her, she snatches the book and puts it in her mouth. She does this every time!

Her tiny hands have an iron grip, recovering the book is nearly impossible. How do you read to baby without them stealing the book?

Answer:

The short answer is that at the six months age, they will eat anything. Like zombies. Just chew and hold tight onto they find. The 6-9 months is tactile learning where they have control over their hands and mouth; nothing is more fun than understanding what an object tastes like.

There are a couple ways to combat this. Let little baby eat a book of her/his own choosing while you read another book. Or give her a chew toy while you read a book.

Either way, baby is going to do what baby knows how to do best: chew and eat things!

Keep persisting and reading to baby, you’re helping to develop thousands of neurons and get her brain going. Eventually baby will listen to you and you will be able to read 1-2 pages to eventually a whole book.

High five for reading! If you want inspiration on favorite baby books, check out my list.

On this Royal Wedding Day, We Feel You Princess Diana

On this day when Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle, I feel a sense of loss. The loss of beloved Princess and mom, Diana.

I am no avid fan or follower of the British royal family, but the day we lost Princess Diana, I will never forget. That morning my mom told me she randomly dreamed of Princess Di. She was in distress and something terrible happened.

When we opened the newspaper, we saw the news. The people’s princess was killed in a car crash in Paris, with Dodi. Her friend. Her lover? Her consort? What was she doing in Paris? Was this a high speed chase? A cover up? So many theories flooded the news and our minds, but no matter how we reacted, our princess was gone.

Princess Di reminded me of my mom. Smart and beautiful, caring, loving, but also struggling. Motherhood brought out the complex emotions in Diana; it does to every one of us. In her later years, Diana had the courage to share her problems, marital issues, bulimia, depression. In one quick moment, she was not just the Princess of Wales, she was a struggling mom trying to find her way.

She was one of us.

I always feel a little pain and sorrow when I think of her. Today, as a mother myself, I know she would be proud, and sad, to see her tiny baby all grown up, leaving the nest to begin his own life.

But we know Diana will never leave Prince Harry’s heart, just as she will never leave our hearts.

Diana, Princess of Wales, we love you. We miss you. We thank you for paving the way to openness of motherhood.

Existential Thought 107 – Why Have Toys When You Can…

I am a bit of a toy freak. Looking online to find beautiful and interesting toys that our children will love, but also serve a purpose. Because as much we all love those battery operated toys that push our buttons, I want toys that help our children grow.

Obviously then I spend a lot of time looking at etsy (ooooooooo etsy) and secondhand.

My seven month old is now getting interested into toys that are more function rather than chewy edibles, I figured I could introduce a few stacking toys and more books (on rotation).

Well, she didn’t care.

Like at.all.

Instead she spends time everyday beating up the blinds on jumping up and down on me grunting like a crazy puppy.

Goes to show that you really don’t need toys, just your house to entertain the kids.

Existential Thought 106 – Champagne

They say it’s the bottle that makes the occasion.

If you’re hiding a vintage bottle of champagne, pull it out! Celebrate. Wait until the kiddos go to bed, grab one of your glasses (yes, do keep at least of proper champagne flutes), something tasty, and enjoy!

There is never the perfect night or occasion when you have children. But there are perfect moments. Like the day your kids slept in their own bed the whole night. Or you pulled off a company wide presentation with nerves of steel. Or you pitched to an investor and the dick’ish VCs didn’t faze you.

Bon vivant!

Mom2Summit 10th Anniversary: Hashtags to Use

This post is ugly as butt, but here’s what I have on the hashtags being used by brands and the conference. If I’m missing anything, please DM over on Instagram at @bindisandbottles.

Kia Motors: Instagram – @kiamotorsusa #kiamom

Mom2Summit: Instagram – @mom2summit #mom2summit

Today’s Parents: Instagram – @todaysparents #parentingteam

@langhampasadena #langhampasadena #lovinglangham

Dove: @dove #realbeauty

Carters: #momtomom and @Carters on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
OshKosh: #oshkoshkids on Facebook and Twitter @OshKoshBgosh and on Instagram @oshkoshkids
 

@tap.bio

@bestbuy

Twitter @Munchkin_Inc, on Instagram @MunchkinInc and at #MunchkinxMom2Summit

Aura Frames on Twitter @aura_frames, on Instagram @auraframes, and at #giveaura

Marathon Kids at @marathonkids on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and use hashtag #mom2marathonkids

Connect on Twitter and Instagram @LARABAR, and at #LARABAR. 

Loacker: Twitter @loackerusa and at  #powermomweek #loackerlove #powermom