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Ways to Get Your Toddler’s Attention and Keep It


You might have experienced this- you are reading aloud a book to your 15-month- old kid and halfway through she wanders away across the room towards the bookshelf. Well! This is a perfectly normal behaviour for her. Psychologists explain that toddlers are innately distractible. They cannot stick on with one thing as long as an older child or adults can. After a couple of minutes, they venture in search of other things. Besides, another reason for your toddler to not comply with your instructions is that she is taking the first step towards becoming her own person. She is walking her way to independence and may tend to do exactly the opposite of what you might have suggested to her.

Read on to find simple ways to get attention of your toddler and have them be seated for a couple minutes to play with a toy or draw etc.

  • First and foremost, is your time. If you want results, it require good quality time. Take time out from your social networking and other stuff and focus on your child’s future. Father’s too have equal responsibility to take out time.
  • Get down to their level to talk to them. Squat down or pick them up, make an eye contact to get their attention to what you have to say.
  • Put in confident good humor in your language. Use silly voices, make up tunes to sentences or sing your instructions to them. For example, if you want to tell them, ‘It’s time to take a bath’, just sing it to them. This will intrigue them to listen to you. Always remember, yelling instructions may get the work done, but no one enjoys the process of doing it.
  • Never impose your choice of play or activity on them. Let them choose what they want for themselves. This makes them pay more attention to things they do while enjoying the task.
  • Television or videos are a complete ‘No No’ in the first two years of a child’s life. In fact, TV, rattles and other noise-making toys overwhelm a child’s attention rather than encouraging the child to actively flex his/her muscles to focus. On the contrary, give them toys that are more open-ended so that they can curiously engage in them with more than one special sense.

Children enjoy games. Engage with them in fun-filled games so that they learn to pay attention. Here are few games you can play with your children:

  • Make hand puppets or finger puppets and use them to give simple instructions (like clap your hands, spin around, etc) to your child. It paves the path for the budding independence of the child as it is a friendly puppet that is instructing them.
  • Go on a treasure hunt with them. This way they learn to follow two- to three-step instructions as well.
  • Mimic voices. Draw the child’s attention to the distantly heard voices and then both of you can mimic it one by one.
  • Use flashlight to focus on different objects in a dark room and let them name them.
  • Last but not the least, model good behavior. Listen to them respectfully and they will learn to be good listeners.

A long attention span is vital for creative, athletic and academic achievement. Attentive listeners make the best friends, spouses and parents. The basic skills of focusing and concentrating learnt in the first few years of life go a long way to help them deal with difficult problems of life and pursue their dreams.

Picking the Perfect Nanny for Your Child


Finding a good nanny is very hard in real life, here are some key points that you should keep in mind when getting started with your nanny search.

Make a list

Start off by putting together a list of the qualities that are important to you. For example, do you want your nanny to be well versed in your mother tongue, full time/part time or a good cook? This will help you weed out the not-so-suitable from the suitable candidates.

Do your research

Spread the word among your friends and family that you are looking for a nanny. Hiring a candidate who is referred through a known source is always better. Contact nanny agencies only after thoroughly checking up on them and asking for references on social media sites.


Make a list of all the questions you want to ask your nanny. For instance, what would you do if my child is unable to sleep? or what would you do if my child refuses to eat his lunch? This person is going to be spending a lot of time with your child, so if you’re unhappy with their appearance, mannerisms or anything else, move on.


Allow the nanny to interact with your child. Observe without interfering, so that you can assess whether the nanny and the child are able to bond and whether the nanny’s skills are up to the mark. Remember, your nanny will be responsible for playing a big role in shaping your child’s behavior, education, and cultural development.

Do not compromise, but rather, take your time looking for the right person. Be patient, that one perfect nanny is definitely out there!

15 Things you should never say to “Working MOMS”

15 Things you should never say to “Working moms”



Motherhood as we know is very demanding. And if you are working mom things can only get more challenging. You might already be feeling guilty for not being able to spend adequate time with kids, worrying about meeting with clients and work pressure, issues with inlaws. And on top of that if someone makes a sarcastic remark, it can get on your nerves. Best is to ignore such harsh comments, because you know deep down  that what you are doing is right for you and your children’s future. No one is in an ideal situation and many a times you have to make tough decisions. (15 things you should never say to “stay at home moms”)


So here is a list of 15 things that you should avoid saying to women who work outside home , and what working moms have to say in response to such statements.

  1.  You must be missing all those special moments. Yes, I might be missing on some of the moments.  But special moments can be created in day to day life.  I try to spend quality time with their kids. Once I am off from office, my priority is very clear. 
  2. You must be feeling guilty as you are not able spent time with kids.  Now do not start that debate all over again. I have given it a long thought and after discussion with my family, I have taken this tough and important decision.
  3. Your husband was earning fine then why you have to work. Why should I discuss my financial condition with you? There are lots of factors that decide the future. I have to look at the increasing expenditure with kids going to school, medical expenses etc.
  4. You want to run away from your responsibility of taking care of kids and home.Every mother wants to spend as much time as possible with their kids. My responsibilities increase as I have to work at office as well as take care of my kids.
  5. You do not love your kids, as much as moms who decide to stay at home.  It is really heart-breaking to listen to such statements. How can you quantify my love for my children? Every mother loves her children equally. My love for my kids does not decrease if I start working.
  6. Your priority is your professional growth rather than your kids. I am a human being. I have my professional ambitions as well, so what is wrong in it? Why is it that only the mother is expected to compromise on her career, why cannot fathers cut down on their jobs and spend time with kids? And working for professional growth does not mean that kids are not my priority. I have to juggle many lives and my kids will always be my first priority.               working_moms_roundup_v145_est_3_elisa_strauss
  7. You hate household work. I take care of all the things as far as possible, right from making breakfast, to getting kids ready for school, going to office etc.
  8. You want an easy way out and have fun at office. It increases my burden; and work comes with lots of pressure. It’s never easy for working women.    
  9. Do you really have to work?  Not everyone works by choice; sometimes we are in situations that make working outside the home unavoidable.
  10. I would not want anyone else to raise my kids.  Neither do I. But circumstances are very different in every family. And sometimes we have to make tough choices.
  11. You look so tired. Of course I am tired. And thanks for noticing the dark circles below my eyes (I am already aware of them). Unless you are here to help me with dinner or kids you better not comment on my physical appearance.
  12. I can’t trust a babysitter or crèche. It is not by choice but by compulsion that I have to do it. And I make sure I do my best to find a reliable source of care for my children.
  13. I hated when my Mom was never home after school like everyone else’s Mom. I make sure my kids understand the need. I make sure that we more than make up for it during weekends.
  14. We sacrificed a lot of luxuries in our life so that I can stay home to my babies. Every home has different financial situation. I am not doing job so that I can buy a sports car or luxury villa. Most of it goes in EMI, school fee, household stuff.
  15. You are lucky to get a break whole day from your kids. I am not at office to take a break. My workload increases as I join office. I have different sets of demands and challenges. I have to juggle lot of things in order to get everything going smoothly.



Honestly speaking neither situation is easy. Both sets of moms face challenges day in and day out and insensitive comments from others can only make things worse. Everyone faces different circumstances and different phases in life. We should respect every mother’s decision.



So I would like to conclude by saying that

Whether she is a stay-at home or working mother, a mother is a mother, and those special moments with their children are what carry them through the hard times and make everything they do worthwhile”.




Dr Rahul Varma

Why salt (high sodium) is bad for your Health?

low salt 2

High salt intake leads to kidney trouble in most people. As amount of sodium increases, body needs more water to dilute it, hence leading to excess water retention. Which in turn leads to increase work load for Heart and exerts more pressure on blood  vessels leading to high blood pressure. Prolong period of similar lifestyle with excess salt leads to increase incidence of heart disease and  kidney diseases.

low salt (mayaclinic.in)


Incidence of various illnesses increases. These are

  • Blood Pressure
  • Stroke
  • Coronary Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer of stomach
  • Kidney stones and kidney diseases
  • Water retention and increase in weight
  • Obesity
  • Vascular dermatitis
  • Indirectly by increasing BP, it can increase the incidence of  Diabetes, Meniere’s Disease,  Asthma

low salt 3

So best is to avoid Junk food (any food which we have to remove wrapper or open a packet, chances are that it will be bad for your health). Instead if we are using naturally occurring food like salads, fresh fruits , vegetables etc , it will be much better.

Discuss with your Dietician or consult your doctor for proper diet chart as per age.


Dr Rahul Varma

” Healthy People, Healthy World ”

Injury prevention and Safety in children

Injury Prevention in Children

Every day around 1000 children die worldwide. Most of these deaths can be prevented by taking simple injury prevention measures. Huge number of children becomes seriously injured for life. In developing countries like ours where we lose so many children to infectious diseases; it adds to the mortality burden of country. More than 90% of these injuries are unintentional.


Common Causes:

RTA ( road traffic accidents), fall from height, burns, poisoning, drowning are the main causes of death in children due to injuries.


Road traffic accidents (RTA)

It is the leading cause worldwide. various methods which can help in preventing these deaths are Proper use of seat belts and child restrainer devices , wearing helmets, driving and walking in designated lanes, driving within speed limits and to avoid drunken driving.


Fall from beds are very common and most baby survive with only bruises and scratches. But still more than 100 children die daily due to fall from height. Many of these deaths can be avoided by using well fitted window panels, child proofing doors and windows and play areas.


Burn injuries from hot water or flames are commonly seen in young children. Preventive measures which can help are smoke alarms, temperature regulators, using fire crackers under supervision of adults.


Another common cause of death in young children is poisoning. Daily numerous calls are received by poison cell. Accidental poisoning can be prevented by child proofing cabinets, keeping toilet cleaner out of reach of children, keeping kerosene oil safely and all the medicines away from children.


Drowning is another cause of death in coastal areas. But many small children can drown head down in buckets or bathtub.So to prevent these deaths, we need to store water only in closed container and keep tub empty.


Children living in poor economical conditions are more likely to be living in unsafe environment. They might be living close to road with high traffic, poor and unstable construction, illegal electricity connection etc.




Child deaths have decreased significantly over last decade (in western countries) due to following measures:

  • Enforcing laws for child safety like having child proof cabinet for storage of medicines and floor cleaners etc.
  • Structural modification in public places like proper railing for child safety in stairs, well fitted windows, fencing around pools, life guards etc.
  • Public awareness campaigns
  • Better emergency care
  • Proper storage of flammable objects
  • Parental guidance
  • Better disaster management


In India major issue is with enforcing laws rather than making them. Authorities should be more vigilant and we should also know our social responsibility.

Right to safety

All children have the right to a safe environment and deserve protection from injury. With proper awareness, environmental modifications and good emergency care, it can be achieved.



Dr Rahul Varma


When is the right time to start Toilet training in children?


Training the children for toilet is a big issue for parents. It is perceived as a big developmental milestone. But the real problem starts when we start comparing our kids with others. Every child has different pace of developing milestones. And few accidents regarding Susu (Urine) and potty (Stool) once in a while should be dealt with patiently. Compassionate and encouraging attitude towards toddlers will help us better, than showing frustration and anger.

What is the age when our baby will be ready?

  • First action which suggests that your baby is ready to train is when baby start to tell you while doing susu or soon after that before you take notice. And when baby is praised for telling the same, they will soon be telling you before doing.
  • Most babies should be ready by 2 years but some may take time until they turn 3.
  • Girls are ready earlier than boys of similar age
  • Control over susu comes before potty
  • Other features which indicates that your baby is ready for toilet training are
    • Telling you that his nappy is wet
    • Pulling at wet or dirty nappies
    • Baby does not want to wear nappies any longer
    • Shows interest in others using toilet


Patience is the Key to success in this case too. Most problems arise when we start too early or we want our baby to be trained before certain major event in our life. eg arrival of 3nd baby, family marriage, long planned vacation, before going to play school. If we try to put pressure on child it will only worsen the case and increase your frustration levels.

How to train your baby

  • Teach your child meaning of words needed to define urine, stool, dry, wet , it’s coming. Choose words you are comfortable with eg susu, potty, wet (geela), dry (suukha), etc. Clear words and constantly same words to be used by everyone at home will make it easier for baby.
  • Need to have thing with you which are needed like toilet seat (different types are there, choose which ever you are comfortable with), footstool near the seat so that baby can climb up, proper lighting in the area, something to hold on while sitting on toilet seat so that baby will feel safe and relaxed.
  • Keep the area safe. Keep toilet cleaner, household cleaner and other toiletries out of range of children.
  • Talk to your child, if you are comfortable you can let your baby go along with you and tell them all the steps you are doing like cleaning flushing etc.
  • Learn the signal which baby gives before, keep your toilet ready (because your baby won’t be able to hold on for long), loose cloths which can be easily removed.


Few important things you need to know:

  • Never start toilet training when something new is happening and child is trying to adapt. eg change of home, grandparents leaving home, arrival of 2nd baby, you are very stressed out etc
  • Give your child time to get familiar with stuff in toilet (so that they are not scared). Eg let him touch the toilet seat, feel it.
  • Encourage an appreciate child’s behavior and things when they tell in time. Hug them or cuddle them and say something like “You are good baby”. And always support them if they do in their pants.
  • Never embarrass or punish your Child. It will only worsen the situation.
  • Remember it is very difficult skill to learn for child and it will take time. The more you support your child easier it will be for them.
  • Hygiene: Girls should be taught to wipe front towards back to avoid chances of getting the potty into vagina and Boys should be taught to shake penis after susu to get rid of any drops.
  • Teach your child to wash hand every time and also assist them in early stages of cleaning.


“Toilet training works best when there is no pressure for either the parent or the child”.


  • If you are stressed out or getting angry seeing that your baby is not learning, it is best to leave it for few days and do not pressurize your child. Punishment will never help.
  • Some baby will hide at some weird place and do susu or potty. Like behind the sofa, or curtain or cupboard. You need to be patient and support them and no Punishment.
  • Most babies will make a mess after doing potty; they may soil their hands and spread it. Do not punish them but also do not pretend to be happy about it. Child should know that it is not good in non threatening way.
  • Constipation can make things worse as doing potty becomes painful and child try to avoid passing stool and is afraid to sit on potty seat. Give warm bath, it may relax the muscles.
  • If a child who has been dry, start to wet again then look for causes of stress or visit a doctor to rule out urinary infection. Features suggestive of urinary infection include:
    • Increased frequency, pain during susu
    • Blood in susu

Consult a doctor if even after age of 4 years child is wetting pants to rule out Urinary infection, bladder abnormalities like Vesico ureteral reflux and behavioral issues like BED-WETTING.


To Summaries

  • Toilet training is not easy and child needs your support during this difficult phase to learn this new skill.
  • Go slowly at your child’s pace,not as per your need or wish.
  • Praise child at every step and encourage him/her.
  • Do not get dishearten by few accidents (susu & potty) after child had been dry.
  • Punishment has no place in toilet training.



Dr Rahul Varma

Smartphones and Tablets are not meant for babies; they interfere with optimum brain development. Read on to know more

mayaclinic-smarthphone -baby

Smartphones and tablets are not meant for babies (< 2 years)

In today’s environment we all can see small babies and toddlers playing with phones. Whether you are at mall, driving in car, waiting somewhere , smartphones have become like babysitter for many parents. Parents feel excited to see their small babies handling touch screen phones so efficiently. Touch screen smartphones with their great picture quality, colorful images and good sounds appeals to babies. But are they really good for optimum brain development for young kids?


Till now there is NO research done to know the connection between infant learning and smartphones. For older children with use of interactive elements it may help in learning concepts such as sequencing and cause and effect relations. But for small babies who are still in very young age of brain development, it’s long term effect is not known.



All the doctors are of the opinion to reduce screen time for small babies. Screen time includes time spent on TV, videos, laptops, phones etc. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has made a clear stance that “NO screen time for kids less than 2 years”. Main reason being association of Language learning delays, poor reading skills and short term memory are seen more often in children with more screen time.


Children learn better from real life experiences rather than screen time. It is more so if activities involve moving and doing. Various surveys and studies show that on an average 12-month-old baby is exposed to up to 2 hours of screen time a day.

Young age (< 2 years) is very critical for learning of new concepts. Most of the learning involve 3 dimensional Sensory- motor experiences which cannot be replicated on a 2 dimensional screen. Active play involves better hand – eye coordination , fine motor skill development.

Example:  Compare a ball in real life and a ball on Screen.

Infants are still developing concept of 3 dimensional vision. For a small baby  watching on screen a BALL is just a flat, shaded circle. In real life if we roll a ball across floor it proceeds in a single motions and gradually slows and stops finally. But on Screen same action cannot be done; it will be broken up. Small babies may stare at bright colors and motions on screen but their brain is not capable of making sense or meaning out of these amazing pictures. By  the age 2 years brain has developed enough and baby can understand things better. Due to all this confusion it is better to avoid screen time in small babies.

After a certain age technology and screen time can be used judicially for better interactive teaching. Older children can do lot more and screen time can help them in understanding concept better along with reading from textbook. But not for very small babies.

Another excuse which most parents give is that there baby will never eat food if we take phones out of there life. Just to remind them that before invention of smart phone kids used to eat well.  And Honestly speaking we have started spending more time on social networking like facebook and whats app which have lead to more exposure in children. Because it’s we who cannot live without phone rather then kids.


Dr Rahul varma



Fever, chills, headache during rainy Season? It could be Leptospirosis!


 Fever, chills, headache during rainy Season? It could be Leptospirosis!


Leptospirosis is most common zoonotic (Spreading from animals) disease worldwide. It is still widely overlooked and under reported.

Without treatment, Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.

It spreads via urine of infected animals which can get into water and soil and survive there for weeks.


Animal which commonly causes this disease are cattles, rodents, dogs, horses, pigs etc. Animals might be asymptomatic and continue to excrete the bacteria into environment.


It Spread to Human via

  • contact with urine (or other body fluids except saliva) from infected animals
  •  Ingestion of contaminated food or water
  • Direct contact over cut or wound (eg splash of infected water over eyes, nose or broken skin & mucus membrane)



Leptospirosis has a wide range of symptoms which could be similar to other illness as well. But common ones are:


  • High fever, with or without chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches, body ache
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
  • Red eyes
  • Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea
  • Rash

Incubation period ranges from2 days to 4 weeks. Can occur in 2 phases: 1st with acute febrile illness followed by more severe involving multi organ dysfunction “Weil’s Disease”


Who is at Risk?

  • Occupational hazard eg farmers, mine workers, sewer workers, slaughterhouse workers, veterinarians and animal caretakers
  • Recreational hazard eg swimming in contaminated water , camping outdoor sports. More common in tropical and temperate climate
  • Incidence of Leptospirosis infection among urban children appears to be increasing.


How to diagnose?

It is completely curable if diagnosed early and treatment started on time.

Consult your doctor immediately. Doctor will order few tests which may include dark field microscopy, Culture, leptospirosis Serolgy (IgG& IgM) and PCR.

How to manage?

Avoid self medication

Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin, which should be given early in the course of the disease. It should be taken only after consulting doctor, in appropriate doses and for proper duration.

Intravenous antibiotics may be required for persons with more severe symptoms.


How we can prevent it?

  • Clean Water (boiled, RO )
  • Protective gears: while swimming
  • Protective clothing or footwear
  • Cover your would properly and avoid contact with contaminated water, taking shower in monsoon rain, going to river banks
  • Take care of pets. Consult vet doc
  • Clean your home regularly of rats and other animals

For further reading click on the link below


Feel free to discuss with your doctor or call us at MAYA CLINIC. we will be happy to respond back.


Dr Rahul Varma


Picky eater or fussy eater

fussy 2 fussy

Feeding your little angels can be a big headache and a daily struggle for most of the parents. But with proper approach and patience, it can be done.

Ten salient things which can help you get over it are

  1. Do not force child to eat. You should respect your child’s appetite. If baby is not hungry do not push for it. Do not bribe your child. Give small portion of feeds and gradually increase the serving size.
  2. Make a routine and try to stick to it. It helps as child knows that its meal time now and baby is mentally prepared and less anxious.
  3. It takes time for child to accept new food. Gradually introduce new food, one by one. Books say baby might take 20 times before he or she starts liking that particular food. Introduce one food at a time.
  4. Make meal time more fun. Cut fruits and vegetable in different shapes and sizes. Even shape of roti can be made like his/her favorite animal. Or can put sauce in various shapes.
  5. Take your child for grocery shopping with you and ask him to pick and choose what fruit or vegetable he wants to eat in his meals. It will help as child will be very happy to be part of decision making. (obviously holds true only for slightly elder kids)
  6. Lead by example. Eat variety of healthy foods yourself, child will follow you soon.
  7. Minimize distractions. (There should be no room for TV or other electronic gadgets in dinning space).
  8. Do not offer outside food as a reward (A visit to local McDonald outlet should not be a reward or party for something good your child has achieved). By doing this child start thinking that junk food is very good as it is offered as reward.
  9. Always watch your child when he/she is eating. It is safe that way (to prevent choking in small kids) and children feel happy to share time with parents.
  10.  In case you think that growth and development of your child is not appropriate for his/her age or you have any doubt (or any queries regarding food allergies), its best to consult your child doctor.


“Healthy Kids, Happy family”


Dr Rahul Varma