Pasni Puja for Chhori

There are many milestones once you have a child and Pasni is one of those big milestones in Nepalese culture. It was one I and AS, were really looking forward to once we had Chhori.

I read somewhere that you just need to have kids and they will grow up so fast and that seemed to be very true in our case already. Time has flown by and Chhori is already over 5 months and ready for her Pasni ceremony.

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The Pasni ceremony is also known as the rice feeding ceremony or Weaning Ceremony. I tis also called Annaprashan in Sanskrit which literally means grain initiation. It is the first time the baby is fed solid food. In Newari it is called Macha Junko.

AS parents sent us the sait, the auspicious day and time, for the pasni after consulting with an astrologer in Nepal. Once we knew the date, both of us were busy preparing for it for the next few weeks until the ceremony. As we are in Australia, everything needed to be arranged by AS and me and it kept us busy. If we were in Nepal, there would have been other family members who could have lent a hand.

I am just glad that we could buy everything we needed for the ceremony easily in Sydney. We also book the same priest who performed Chhori’s Nwaran.

Finally the big day arrived. I woke up early that morning and got ready in my red dupatta sari. The last time I had worn the dupatta sari was during our wedding so I was feeling special already. In the meantime AS got Chhori ready in her new clothes and we waited for the priest. My mum also made sagun. apungo and halwa for the puja.

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At 8am, the priest arrived and stared drawing mandap for the puja. He began the puja with AS sitting at the mandap and after a while asked me to join as well. Then Chhori joined us later, sitting on my lap and the puja continued.

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The first step was to worship Lord Ganesh and the sukunda and all the gods. He chanted mantras and blessed Chhori’s puja outfit and ornaments. The outfit was made of red silk (Taas) embroidered with golden threads and there were gold ornaments like a chain, earrings, bangles (with gold dragon on the ends) and silver anklets (kalli) to keep the bad omens at bay. Some of the ornaments were from my parents and some from AS parents.

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We then changed Chhori into her new outfit and put the kalli and bracelets on her and the ceremony continued.

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Next it was time to give Chhori the tray which had a book (symbolising learning), jewels (wealth), a pen (wisdom), clay (property), food items (a love for food) as well as a mobile phone (after instruction from priest) symbolising a computer genius :) to Chhori.

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It is believed that the first thing the baby touches determines her future path and career. In our case, Chhori first grabbed the book and then the mobile phone so we are hoping she will like computers like her parents.

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After that, it was time for the big moment, Chhori’s first solid food. Normally in Newari culture, we have Thya Bu (a big plate with rice, eggs, yogurt, wine, fruits, roti, meat, fish, vegetables and much more) as the first meal but as we were here, it was near impossible to follow that tradition so we used Kheer (rice pudding) instead.

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My mum made a special kheer for Chhori with lots of milk boiled longer to make it softer. Everyone fed small portions to Chhori using a sliver bowl and a gold coin. She seemed to like the sweetness and kept asking for more; enjoying her first solid food.

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Then the priest blessed the baby and the puja was over but there was still more to come.

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The next step was to take the baby to a nearby temple, which for us was round a thirty minutes’ drive. We all hopped into the car and went to the temple in time for the aarti ceremony.

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After the aarti, the priest blessed the baby and then, my brother who is the mama (maternal uncle in Nepali) took the baby and went around the temple following tradition.pasni (18)

Chhori was so happy to be out seeing all the lights in the temple.

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Once we returned home, it was time for Sagun. My mum had prepared all the necessary items and I am so grateful that she was here with us. I can’t imagine what we would have done without her.

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First my parents put tika on the foreheads of AS, me and Chhori. Then they gave us clothes, fruits, rotis and other gifts.

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It was followed by Sagun to us and everyone present. This concluded the morning ceremony for the pasni.

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For rest of the day, we had our close friends and family coming over to bless Chhori and to celebrate the day. By the time everyone left that day, it was almost midnight.

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It was great day for us to see our daughter growing up and starting to eat sold food. My parents were really pleased to witness their granddaughter’s big day.

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In the next post I will write about the party we had for Chhori’s pasni celebration.

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Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori, my best friend

I am a social being, an extrovert who always wants to be in the company of others. For me nothing is worse than staying home doing nothing. I never understand how people can stay home for weeks without meeting anyone. I guess each to their own but for me contact with another human being is really important.

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When my parents were here, I never had to think about being alone or lonely. They were always around to help, look after Chhori and make me smile. I really miss not living with family because after more than a decade I again felt the love of living with family. I had almost forgotten how it felt to have your loved ones around who love you unconditionally.

Then the D day arrived and my parents left for Nepal. It was going to be just me and Chhori for five days a week while AS was at work. I know I am very lucky to have so much time off work to look after Chhori because in Australia, we can take up to two years unpaid maternity leave. If you are very lucky, your work will pay you for a few months and the government will also pay 18 weeks minimum pay during the maternity leave. Most women choose to take a year off as financially going without income for more is too hard. One year is a good time as the baby is then old enough to go to childcare without too many problems.

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Anyway so it has been only me and Chhori for almost a month now. I have to admit I was very scared initially. I wasn’t sure how I was going to take care of her. How would she react to being with me alone when she has been so used to my mum being here? What will I do if something goes wrong? I had millions of questions in my mind but after a month I have to admit I feel more confident taking care of Chhori and we are a great duo now :).

I have slowly got into a routine with her so we have meal times, play times, sleep times and rest times. She loves to go out so I try to do different activities with her and she loves it. We visit friends and family and she loves all the attention that she gets.

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A few days a week, we stay home and we love it. Only me and her. Slowly she has become my best friend and I don’t feel lonely or alone when staying home with her.

We talk, we sing, we dance (okay I dance for her and she loves to watch :) ), we have baths and we watch TV together. She loves when I play with her and talk to her. She loves when I take her photos and these days she has started smiling a lot.

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I know they say  “A daughter is a mother’s best friend.” I am so close to my mum and I always wished to have the same beautiful bond with Chhori. It is amazing that the beautiful bond has already started and I am so happy for both of us.

I now understand her different types of cry and act quickly to keep her happy. We talk baby talk even though the words have no meaning. I know it sounds silly but anyone who has kids know how cute these talks are :). Also it is a big part of their development.

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Now I no longer feel the need to meet someone every day as I feel Chhori is always here for me and she keeps me happy, my life feels complete by her presence.

I am no longer scared to be alone with her as she is my best friend and we are lucky to spend so much time together. We love each other and know how to make each other laugh. She has so many tricks up her sleeves to keep me amused that no days feel the same and I look forward to each new day.

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These days, she tries to grab whatever she can get hold of and put it in her mouth. So I giver her my cheeks and she kisses them. That definitely melts my heart every time. I guess I could write about our beautiful bond forever but I need to stop here for this post.

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I am sure, every child has a beautiful bond with their parents and being a first time mum I’m discovering that slowly. Please share the  early memories of your child and you which brings a smile to your lips even now. I hope to read heaps of heart warming events from all of you.

Take care everyone and have a great weekend.
M form nepaliaustralian
XOXO

Product review : 4Baby Bath & Change table

Like probably every new parents, we google and research a lot before we buy any products for our baby. As there are millions of products out there, it is easy to get confused and online reviews are so helpful at such times. I can’t imagine what people did before the internet. If not for these reviews, I am sure we would be lost when deciding to buy a product and the reviews are especially helpful with baby products.

I think the manufactures of baby products are very clever and they know how to play with the emotions of mums and dads. If not for generous parents sparing time to write reviews about different products online, I am sure we would have bought some not too good quality products which we would have regretted.

I think it is only fair for me to contribute to this great community which has helped me so much so I am going to review all the baby products I am using for Chhori so it will be helpful for others.

Growing up in Nepal, we didn’t have lots of baby stuffs those days. My mum never used change table, high chairs, bassinets, walkers for both her kids and I don’t know anyone in Nepal who had one while I was there. I guess it was considered luxury items only rich people could afford.

But it is a different story here. Everyone around me suggested lots of baby items to buy when I was pregnant and one of the items that kept coming up was a change table. A changing table is a stand-alone piece of furniture, usually kept in your baby’s room. The top is a table that’s just the right size for a changing mat. Below are shelves or drawers which can be used for storing nappies, baby wipes and other changing accessories.

Initially I was not too sure if I really needed one. Like my parents, I believed I could go without it as it is bulky and I didn’t know where I would keep it. In my mind, I was thinking, every single baby product seems necessary if you think about it but there are many we can go without. Most of my friends around me had gone without it even here in Australia so I was thinking to do the same.

While I was talking to my friends and colleagues, one of them suggested to buy Bath & Change table instead of just a Change table to get more use out of it. That was the first time I considered even slightly about getting it as it seemed like a great idea to use it as a baby bath too. I had heard mothers complaining about their knees and back due to bending to change and bathe the baby so I thought might be a good idea to get a Bath & Change table save mine.

We stared researching about it and there were so many different brands around. Both of us were still not sure as we were just thinking about it at that stage.

Then Chhori decided to come a bit early than expected. If you haven’t read about her arrival, please do read this post. As you know by now that I had a c-section so it was hard for me to bend down. It was impossible for me to change her on the floor so the day I came home from hospital, AS decided to go and buy a Bath & Change table for me.

He bought a white 4Baby Bath & Change table. It has wheels as well so it’s easy to move it from the nursery to the bathroom. The wheels are lockable and the baby bath has a plug and drain. It also has handy storage shelves, easy clean change pad and a storage mesh bag.

I have to say, it is one of the most useful baby products we have bought. It’s quicker to change the baby where everything is already organised and it’s much easier than on the floor or sofa and we are also saving our back.

On top of that Chhori loves it. I am not sure if it is the height or something else, but she know now that if we put her on there, we will clean her up so she stops crying once on the table if she has a dirty nappy.

A bad thing I have found with this unit is that the change pad stains even though we clean it regularly. It cleans well but it is not as white as it was when it was new. Another is that it doesn’t have a belt to strap the baby in when changing. Chhori is starting to roll over now and a belt would have been good on the change pad.

We have had it for 6 months now and there have been no problems and hope it will last for another year or so until Chhori is toilet trained.

Hope this review helps anyone who is looking to get 4Baby Bath & Change table or a similar product.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Thank you solid food

Anyone with kids knows that sleep is a luxury for  the first year of being a new mum. I am sure only a few are lucky enough to be able to say that their baby sleeps through the night from the very first week.

I am not any different either. Before Chhori came into my world I loved my sleep and tried to sleep 8 hours every night. I was always fresh and rested when I woke up every morning. But for the past 6 months, 8 hours of sleep seem like a distant dream. Like every new mum, I am juggling my new baby, home and everything else with little sleep. The sad thing is that I have so many things to do when Chhori sleeps that I cannot even catch up on my lost sleeps when she naps.

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For the first month, I had to wake up every two hours to feed Chhori. She didn’t know the difference between night and day so I had to follow her routine. Also she was exclusively breastfed so my husband couldn’t help me either even when he wanted to. Slowly she started to get better but until she was only breastfeeding, she used to wake up at least twice or more during the night.

I still remember the first time she slept through for more than 3 hours at night and I was super happy to get even that brief a rest.

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As I mentioned on my previous posts, I have started Chhori on solid food. I started slowly with purée and she now eats more solid. I will share more recipe on the foods I am making at home for her soon.

These days she has solid food 3-4 times a day. And I tell you she loves it too. I feel so good when she opens her mouth when I bring the spoon close to her. I am giving her a mix of home made and store bought purees. She is a good girl as she also eats pumpkins, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips and broccoli puree too. Of course her favorite ones are mango and banana pure and sweet custards.

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The best benefit the solid food has bought apart from helping Chhori with required nutrition is that it is helping her sleep longer.

Chhori used to take 20 – 30 minutes nap 4 – 5 times a day and at night still woke up 3 – 4 times to feed. The longest she went without feeding was 4 hours and that on good nights. But since she started eating solids, she sleeps for 6 hours straight and I need to feed her only 1 – 2 times during the night. Also during the day, she has longer naps which sometimes has lasted up to 2 hours.

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The first night she slept for 6 hours, I woke up just to check if she was OK. I was so glad that she slept for 6 hours straight for the whole week this week. And I know, things will get better from here on so big thanks to solid food.

To all the new mums out there, things do get better as they grow older in terms of sleeping. So hang in there and do what you are doing. There is no rule and no right and wrong. Just do what you think is right and eventually you will get there. Never forget happy mum is happy baby and a happy baby makes a happy mum too.

Now my next goal will be getting Chhori to sleep through the night which should hopefully happen in the next couple of months. I will definitely keep you posted with the progress.

All the parents who have been through all these situations please do share your tips and tricks to make a new mum’s life easier. I am sure I am missing some amazing tricks. Hope to hear from you all.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian
XOXO

Is a bassinet necessary?

When you are pregnant for the first time, there are millions of questions in your mind. It was the same for us as well.

One of the questions we had was whether we really needed a bassinet or if we should just buy a cot. In Nepal, a cot or bassinet is a luxury and we as kids used to co-sleep with our mums.

But I strongly believe in not co-sleeping for so many reasons. I don’t trust myself not to roll over on to Chhori while I am deep in sleep.

When we went for our antenatal class, the midwife also discussed about the benefits of having a bassinet if cost is not a problem.

Lucky for us one of our friends gave us a bassinet as a baby shower gift. Normally a bassinet is used for maximum of 6 months. We started with Chhori sleeping in our room in the bassinet and then we plan to transition her into her cot later.

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As most of the initial months of Chhori’s life were cold winter months, we really thought that the bassinet was great. It was cosy and warm for her. The bassinet we have has wheels so it was very easy for us to take her any where in the house during the day as well.

At night, I was able to feed her when she started to stir, rather than a full on cry as she was next to me in her bassinet. It was so much easier to settle her straight away.

So in my opinion, a bassinet is good to have but not necessary. When using a cot, just make sure that the baby is at the bottom of the cot and that the cot is completely empty.

What are you thoughts? Please do share.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Rhyme times

Now that my parents have left, I am left with Chhori all day five days a week. I didn’t know how hard would be to entertain a baby every day. So I have decided to take her out and about more often.

I can’t believe how happy she becomes when we go out. She just looks around and her eyes light up. It is a great pleasure to see her so happy. Also when we are out, she doesn’t seem to need to eat or change nappy as often.

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Anyway our local council does rhyme times for kids every Monday and I have started to take Chhori there and I am so glad I did. She loves it and I now wish I had gone earlier.

The rhyme times is for 30 minutes. During that time, we sing and act out the rhymes, and share great books for babies. During sessions the parents, grandparents and carers sit with their child and the library staff guides us through a selection of songs and rhymes. It’s noisy, fun and a wonderful chance to learn some new songs. We sing each song a few times so that we can all learn the words.

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The rhymes and songs are great and Chhori seems to enjoy them a lot. After the rhymes, they take all the toys out and kids can have fun. Chhori is so excited to see all the new toys. She loves all the attention she gets from other kids too.

Please share some tips and tricks to entertain a baby. Chhori seems to lose interest in anything after a few minutes.

Take care everyone and will share more motherhood stories soon.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Homemade purée

Chhori had her pasni just before my parents left; it was a fun event and I will post about it soon.

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She was just over 5 months old when we did her pasni. In Australia, the midwives advise exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and that was what I was aiming to do. But after pasni, every time we ate anything, Chhori would look at us with puppy eyes, with the innocent look as if saying “I want some of it too.” So we decided that we would start solid slowly.

First we went out and bought a few varieties of organic purée. I discovered that she loves the taste of apple, banana and mango.

These days as I am staying home looking after her, I decided it would be a good idea to give her some homemade purée. It was so easy to make one so here is how I did it.

  • Skin 3 apples and cut them into cubes.
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  • Add half cup of water and apple cubes into a pressure cooker. If you don’t have pressure cooker, use a saucepan.
  • Cook until 3 whistles or if using a saucepan check with a fork and if it goes in easily then the apples are done. Let it cool down.
  • Use a blender or food processor to blend it. If you find the consistency too thick, add a little cooled boiled water.
  • I bought bpa free freezer and microwave safe containers to store them.
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  • The purée is good for 3 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezers. Mine finished in a week as she loved it.
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Please share other food ideas for a baby. It will be a great help. Thanks in advance.

Take care everyone till my next post.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO