Tick Tock Time Ticks









Tick Tock

Time Ticks

Tick Tock

The day draws nigh


The time a mother’s mind is not on her baby


She is back at it again

Tick Tock

Her endless love embraces even the coldest of hearts


Her smile warms the room


Her heart breaks at the pain of her beloved

Tick Tock

She needs time to herself

To rejuvenate, recharge, reset

Tick Tock

It’s time to love her

For she loves endlessly

She gives her all

Loves her best

Tick Tock

Mama’s Break is finally here



Mama's Break (1)


We are moving…all up

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I have come with the greatest news ever… our official blog is finally live!!!

Yeap, we are live baby


We are moving to the new site easier navigation, better looking, better interactivity, same awesome audience… follow our new blog for amazing updates on motherhood, parenting and life…

If you haven’t signed up for the event this is your time to do that. We are limited with space and we can only take so many mums…

MamasBreak-V2 AMP 2 (1)


Home Safety and Care


Accidents at home can happen without warning, one moment you are all safe, the next you are bursting the Emergency Room doors and screaming at everyone on sight because your Little One needs urgent assistance. It becomes a matter of life and death in a heart beat. Yesterday as I was talking about the topic on NTV AM Live, I don’t think I had wrapped my head around how huge the topic is.

I remember one day I came home and my help had a scar on her forehead, I wondered what might have happened, she probably had slip and fallen on her way home, hit a post or something. On inquiring, it was the pressure cooker in my house. I remembered I had left her with the instruction that after the lentils boil and the pressure cooker hisses out once, she was to switch off the gas. After she switched off, she though she should open the cooker and everything exploded, luckily for her, she had dipped the pressure cooker in hot water and so the explosion was not huge. Had my baby been in the kitchen with her, he would have gotten a burn for sure.

She told me a few days ago about a househelp in the neighbourhood who open the pressure when cooking and she burnt half the face down to her shoulder and chest area.

Burns can happen anytime in the house, boiling water can pour, the baby can pull the handle of a sufuria on the cooker, the oven door when baking, these are some of the few instances that we never think about much but are total hazards in the house. When cooking, try as much as possible to keep baby away from the kitchen, if you want them to learn, do the preparation with them but when fire is involved its time for them to leave the kitchen.

The toilet when you start potty training is another hazard. Who would have thought, my son for example wants to use the big toilet, which I encourage because we are not able to carry the potty everywhere we go. However, because of his size, he can easily fall inside the big toilet. We have to teach him that when using the big toilet he needs help. When they are crawling, remember to lock the toiled because the toilet brush will be used as a teether when you are not looking.

If you have a book shelf or a stand, watch out because they will climb by stepping on a stool or a chair.

Remove all tables from the center of the house and let there be space for them to play and run around without the risk of hitting themselves on the sharp edges.

I advocate for no baby walkers as the baby should learn how to walk naturally, but if you must use one, make sure that baby is being watched all the time because the walker gives them access to corners they would otherwise not reach and they can pull things from higher surfaces and turn into an accident.

The baby cot should be as virgin as possible a blanket at most, cot bumpers look pretty but they baby can pull on the strings, especially when they are very small, they can move around and block their airways by being too close to the bumper that limits their air supply and can cause suffocation, save the beautification for later if you must. Dress the baby warm not the bed.

When washing the baby, do not leave them unattended, a few seconds to go pick the towel can turn into an accident.

If your baby seems to be allergic, get rid of carpets in the house of have them cleaned regularly

Baby proof as much as you can but remember the best baby proofing is teaching your baby, remind them not to touch the oven, the sockets not to climb etc.


NB. Have an emergency list pinned somewhere in the house, in time of panic your househelp might even forget how she has saved you on her phone. Have a Taxi number just incase you are far from home, have a doctor’s number. But most importantly, have your househelp receive basic first aid training as they spend most of their days with the baby. Amara Initiative holds regular First Aid classes.

For a continuation of this and more conversations, lets meet on May 9th for Mama’s Break Event.





Mugi- strong, funny, active, intelligent

So I have finally gathered courage to write about Asthma, it is close to home because a couple of weeks ago, my son was diagnosed with Asthma. A few facts will help build up our story, from my reading online, children who have allergies are more susceptible to Asthma, especially Eczema, which my son was diagnosed with at 4 weeks old. He is allergic to eggs, which often flare up the eczema and dust is not his friend either. I have tried to look through our family history for allergies but the worst I have come with is inflamed sinuses, which both my mum and I have, allergic to dust and strong smells.

My son never had a runny nose or cough when he was an infant; we had our first flu at 13 months old.


at the hospital during one of the nebulization sessions

So we went to see the doctor because my son had this cough and runny nose for 4 weeks, it started off with fever and a viral infection that caused rushes on his legs, which dried up black and then finally peeled off. The cough and runny nose however, persisted for a couple more weeks, though he was on medication, the nose finally dried but the cough was relentless. After a month, we went to the hospital, he was apparently wheezing and he was put on nebulizer a name he has come to recite to anyone who listens to his stories. ‘Doctor give me nebulizer.’

At this point the doctor said that it was most likely an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, she however mentioned that most babies who have eczema and URTI are most likely to have asthma later in life. The nebulizer cleared the wheezing and we were given 2 inhalers to use and we were scheduled for a review after 2 weeks. The cough was still persistent, 2 weeks later, his nose runny every so often though nothing to worry about. The cough is worse at night and early morning, during the day you can hardly tell the boy had a cough.

After 3 weeks, we went for another nebulization session. ‘Mama, I don’t want nebulizer’ was the statement he repeated till we left the hospital. The doctor also told us that Mugi has Asthma. From the kind of medication he was taking and how his body was responding, URTI was least likely the problem. I needed a pep talk after that.

After another month on the inhalers (which was 1 week after the 2nd nebulization) we decided to see a chest specialist, second opinion never hurt anyone. We visited him about 4 weeks ago and he changed one of the inhalers and gave a syrup ventolin to ease the coughing. It worked. He also confirmed that Mugi has Asthma.


Mugi enjoying the water

Now my son loves swimming and I was afraid we would have to cut that out, but he said, his lifestyle should not change, he should be as active as possible as he already is. The body will learn to fight what you throw at it, his immunity will be stronger, the doctor assured us

Is there anything we could have done to prevent it? Nope not at all, it is in their genes, they are born with it. I never smoked, neither did the dad, he was not born pre-mature (42 weeks =)- preemies are more susceptible to allergies , he was not born underweight 3.845Kgs.


  • Asthma is on the rise in the last decades but it is starting to level out, there is no concrete reason for this yet.
  • Asthma can only be managed; there is no known cure at the moment.
  • To manage it, reduce/limit exposure to allergens and triggers like dust, cold air, smoke, cigarette smoke, mold, exposure to air pollution, if you have a pet consider giving it up for a while as it might be a trigger.
  • The severity and frequency may change as the babies grow.




Baby Shower Games

If you go online to search for games to play at baby showers, 90% are nothing we here in Kenya (Africa) can try, so I will put a list that is very Kenyan and that is fun, granted some can be found online, but this ones make sense to us.

If you are going to play competitive games, have a reward for the wining team, this way they will look forward to the ‘games’, chocolates, etc.

A good way to involve the men is to make them leaders of the group (men like to lead).

  1. Shopping list

Have everyone mention a list of baby items the MTB will need in the first year, write them down. If anyone repeats an item, they are out and will be skipped for the subsequent rounds.

  1. Finish the lyrics

Think of all the nursery rhymes, write them down leaving blanks so that the groups think through and fill in the blanks.

Mary had a little lamb whose ___________________ was white as snow

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a _________________ of water


  1. Baby words Scramble

Have a list of some baby items names scrambled and have the groups unscramble them

Aybb iol          Baby Oil

eosobte           bootees


  1. Animal gestation period 

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  1. Baby items charades

In the groups, have a list of baby items that the groups try and guess as one of he members tries to demonstrate without using words. You can make it more interesting by having them demonstrate a phrase instead of a word.

e.g       Pushing baby in a stroller

Breastfeeding in traffic

 6.Advice book

Give guests a card and ask them to write one parenting advice that really helped them when they were new parents. Put all the cards together and the new parents can always go through the little notes.

  1. Decorate a onesie

Buy a couple of white onesies and coloured pens, the guest can draw, write or decorate the onesie for the new baby.


  1. The wish list

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 9. Baby Shower Trivia Game


                 10. Read daddy’s mind

Give the guest a list of words and have then fill in how daddy would finish that sentence.


dads games


2 years: welcome the age of independence


Our son is 2 years, oh well and 2 months but who counts months after 2 years apart from the doctor? So my son is 2 when he turns three we will no longer say 2 so lets milk that 2 for all it’s worth. If your child is anything close to my son, you know that tantrums do not start at 2 years as many would want to call them, terrible twos, starts some time around 13 months.

The latest development we have is this lil man wanting to do everything for himself, which is always followed by the statement xxx by selof. During shower time it’s remove clothes by selof, brush teeth by selof, go potty by selof, wash hands by selof, switch on light by selof.

I am sure at this point you are going awwww that is so cute, yes it is very cute I must agree, seeing him grow and able to do things for himself, I smile because I know the amount of work that has gone in. From sleepless nights because he did not know how to go back to sleep on his own, to switching off the lights so he can sleep. From no teeth at all to a mouth full of teeth, enough to brush, by himself, from 8 diapers a day to one diaper for 3 days, really we deserve a medal.

But thus ends the awwww, because for the last 3 days he wants to brush his own teeth but doesn’t get to the last teeth well, so where we used to take about 2 minutes brushing teeth, we take 10, me trying to convince him that I should help. Not just the teeth, he will want to do hard things for himself like unbuckle the seat belt, that thing is so hard, I have a hard time opening it myself. He wants to walk without you holding his hand, he wants to oil his hair, he can’t even reach the top of his head, you all remember the test that kids had to take to go to class 1, where you use your hand to hold the opposite ear, yeap, he doesn’t get half way and he wants to oil in hair.

Well, there are advantages to this by self-story, he can wear shoes correctly by selof, when he pours water he will go for the rug and wipe it by selof, he can feed selof, he can go potty selof and when he is done he has the cutest call, ‘Mama Mugi kuja’ ‘what is it?’ ‘Mugi finish potty’.

No this is not a post to discourage you from letting your child learn, it’s to show you how much they can do for themselves, they have the will and where you find your child is refusing to reach for a goal you know he can attain, encourage them, encourage them to put on their own shows, encourage them to feed themselves, encourage them to put away their toys.

So for mums heading towards 2 years, encourage your child to be independent because they can do so much if we only let them learn, just that you will have to work harder to convince them that they need your help at times.

Have your(Selof) a nice day

Happy parenting


Baby Shower: DOs and Don’ts

BAby showers


  1. Don’t do surprises

Seriously, a surprise sounds like a good idea until the day of the shower, because there is always trouble trying to get the mum to be to the venue, even if the shower is at her house.

Most baby showers will start at 4pm because all morning you have been trying to get the heavily pregnant mama to a house so that you can shout surprise, it is s wonder that those screams have never sent one I know into labour immediately.

Especially during the last month of pregnancy, most mothers have their time planned out and need to take their rest, plan with her, she already got a surprise for her bridal shower, no need to start a baby shower at 6 pm instead of 2 because she had to pass by Biashara street and pick up clothes and decided she was hungry and this was 4:30 going 5 pm.

Starting a baby shower late can be too tiring for the new mother and what was supposed to be a lovely experience turns into an I-Am-So-Tired-Can-I-Go-Home-Now experience.

  1. Do not meet at the new mum’s house

This often sounds like a good idea because you feel like she will not be out of her comfort zone, good as it is, not unless the planner lives with her, it might not be such a good idea. Whether we like it or not, she will end up trying to sort things out because it is her house, you will have to keep asking for things which most times it’s easier for her to get than give directions.

  1. Do invite dads

I would not want to belabour this point, but by now you know I am a big advocate for dads being a part of the shower. When planning, keep in mind that there will be dads, so the games will be different; the food will be different etc. Accommodate the man so that he will be a reminder to the MTB (Mum To Be) to the things learnt and shared. Make sure that you talk to other dads as well so that you do not end up with the DTB as the only dad present.

  1. Do not skip the décor

I am not talking about over the top wedding kind of décor, if you can get that no problem, however, there are simple décor ideas that can transform the room from a sitting room to a baby shower party. Balloons, flowers, baby clothes hang around the room, baby products used as décor, baby bottles, baby shoes, diapers etc. This can be inexpensive since you can use what the MTB has already bought, (another reason it shouldn’t be a surprise)

  1. Choose your food wisely

We love a good meal and most people will plan on a late lunch if they know they are going for a shower, try having a full meal instead of snack (because dads will be coming too). If this will cost too much especially if you are suing a caterer, ask the guest to chip in on the budget. Did you know that sometimes snacks cost more than food?

  1. Don’t let the games drag on

This often happens when the planner doesn’t have a plan, and all you thought about were arrival, surprise, food, and gifts. A shower has many more segments that will make it interesting. Have the parents to be share their fears, hope dreams, have an advice segment, have a bless the baby segment etc. this makes the shower enjoyable and less redundant, out of tradition.

The games should not embarrass the guest or the host.

  1. Do get individual gifts

Not unless specified by the MTB, have the guest get individual gifts instead of one huge gift. There is joy in opening little packages and seeing pretty baby things instead of one huge gift that might be seldom used. Little gifts give personality to the shower. To make sure that the gifts are not repeated, have the MTB write a list of what she needs, tick off what she has and have the guests pick out what they would like to bring, this helps those without babies have an idea of what to buy because left to most people, diapers are the only gift, though we all know you can never have enough diapers, a different gift is as good.

Remember you can get a gift for the mum and dad as well.

  1. Plan the party she wants not what you want

The other day I was talking to a friend and she was wondering if she should go for a baby shower she had been invited or not, because the planners had decided to throw and over the top baby shower whereas everyone who knows the MTB knows that she is frugal and would rather a house shower than an expensive one. The guests were being asked to give a couple of thousands of shillings towards the party, and bring a pack of diapers and a gift of their choice. (A pack of diapers is close to a thousand). Dear planner, if you want an over the top party, please be willing to pay for it, or work with a reasonable budget.

  1. Do plan in advance

Do not give a 1 week 2 week notice to a shower, for the last 9 months, you have known your friend is getting a baby, plan early, send your invites early so that the guests can plan and diarise. Since it costs money, people need to plan in advance; a baby shower is not an emergency, plan ahead.

Do not forget to thank the guest- MTB, they did not have to come, but they did so thank them individually.



Baby Shower: The planning


Baby showers can be boring at times. Opps, I just said that, but really they can be, unlike bridal showers, which can always be spiced up with talks on sex, baby showers are a lil bit hard to spice up. Especially for a first time mums, she will come in all too scared because of all the horror stories she has heard since she first announced she was pregnant. If you are the first one among your friends to get a baby, all the other future mums sit and go into the details of how you should push as though all there is to motherhood is pushing, really.

Motherhood starts when you get pregnant, for 9 months we prepare ourselves for labour, which will last for 2-30 hours depending on how the heavens smile at you, or a CS, then after that the real work begins. The Swahili saying ‘Kuzaa sio kazi, kazi ni kulea,’ is nothing but pure truth. Yet like marriage where many prepare for the wedding, forgetting that the marriage is where real life begins, many plan for the birth and forget about life after birth.

Here are a few pointers to having a successful baby shower.

  1. Select a Date

Since you already know your friend is getting a baby and you have the EDD, plan way in advance. Get a perfect date towards the end of the pregnancy and remember the baby may come a few weeks before or after, so do not plan way too close to the date. This give people time to plan their days and include the shower in their calendar. Communicate often and remind the guest of the date every so often, get the numbers this will help know and plan for a venue.

  1. Determine the budget

Depending on the number of people who are planning on coming, determine how much it will cost to put up a whole shower. Décor, food, cake and venue charges (depending on where the shower is held) are some of the expenses that will be incurred. If the planner if footing the bill, this will give a chance for guest to get a bigger gift but it leave the ‘host’ with the financial responsibility. If you are having people send in contributions, communicate the amount at this point.

  1. Come up with an agenda

Without a plan, the guest will end up chatting and the soon to be mother will leave having not gained useful info. Plan the event, guest arrive at this time, drinks are served, food is served, games and fun, QnA session, which include the advice as well, gift opening and finally hangout. Planning like this ensures there is order especially if the group of people attending the shower are friends, it becomes easier to control them.

  1. Look for a ‘Senga’

Just because you have a baby doesn’t make you passionate about motherhood, look for someone who is passionate about it and have them sit in at the shower. Let them be referenced often, let them teach the soon to be new mum how to cope with motherhood. Technology, times and generations are changing, be sure that the mother get relevant information. The reason why she should be involved in the planning since she can suggest the parents she has seen and admired and would like to have a chance to talk with.

  1. Get a core group

A core group is a couple of people who will help you plan he shower and help you run the day and make sure that it is a success. This can be 2 or 3 other friends of the soon to be mum who will run around and have everything set and ready for the day. Do not attempt to do it by yourself, it seems like little work especially if you plan early but it can be overwhelming in the end

  1. Consider having dads

Conventionally, a baby shower is for the mother, where ladies come together and send her off to have a happy motherhood. However, what this does is that it leaves the mother with too much information and the dad with little to none. Having fathers present helps them feel like they are a part of the child and the process, though they may not think the same. It helps the father know what or how to help the mother when they are the two of them days after the bundle of joy arrives. It can be annoying when a new mum is trying to figure out what to do and a dad asking her what should be done. Help them learn together. Here is more details on dad’s baby shower

  1. Gift

You are planning a baby shower, a gift is appropriate, and however, people do not often know what to give at a baby shower. Ask the mother what she hasn’t bought, make a list and send it to the guest so that you do not have double gift or buy what the mother has already bought. Remember one can get the new baby a gift or the mother; she needs the TLC after birth.


Part 2 coming up soon


Potty Training: My journey


My son turned 2 years in December and according to lots of pages online, 2 years is a good time to start potty training. I however, dreaded the process and I was willing to wait till he goes to play school so that the teacher would have the ‘trouble’ of potty training. Earlier in November, I had bought a potty in readiness and he had been using it as a toy more than a potty, I did not have the heart to leave him without a diaper and the few times I removed the diaper and told him to susu in the potty, he ended up carrying the potty or using it as a stand to elevate himself so he could play with water in the sink. So I gave up the idea.

A couple of days before his birthday, we went to visit a friend who has a potty trained baby and when my son saw him use the toilet, he asked for potty, I must say I was really intrigued because in all my efforts to try get him to sit on it he had never cared. I removed his diaper; he sat on the potty and actually went. Very impressed I was I must say.

So with all the information gathered from the internet, I went home that day with a new resolve, I shall potty train my son all by myself and not wait for the playgroup teacher to do it. The following day I started the long, anticipated journey, he woke up in the morning and I removed his diaper-one.

First thing after waking up, I took him to the potty and told him “Mugi susu potty,” since there was actually something to pee, he went and everyone in the house was up dancing and praising him for going in the potty, then the reward was him being allowed to wash his hands by himself for 2 minutes (he loves water). After 20 minutes, I took him to the potty and told him the same phrase again “susu potty” and he went, the praise was no less than the first one. The whole day we tried to remember to take him after every 20 minutes.

Next day, the routine continued but then we pushed the intervals to 30 minutes, sometimes we would ask him to susu, he would sit on the potty, and say “imekataa”- It won’t come. And so we would wait another 30 minutes and repeat. We moved the time to 1 hour and we also noticed that if he felt like going before the 1-hour was over, he would tell you, ‘susu potty’. Since we knew what time he poops, we would put a diaper and he goes in the diaper, however after 2 days, he could not stand pooping in the diaper so we moved poop to the potty.

Granted we had a couple of accidents, where he would say susu but then he was too pressed and started going on himself before we go to the potty.

Key to potty training is consistency, now he goes when he needs to and he will announce before he does, because he wants you to open the taps for his 2 minute washing of hands. During the day nap, we take him potty just before he sleep and remove the diaper immediately after waking up; he has not gone in the diaper in his sleep. For the past 1 week, he has slept through the night without going though we use a diaper just in case.

To be honest, I did not do anything to help him stop peeing at night, we have gone on with our routine as usual, he drinks his water whenever even a couple of minuets before sleeping, he has refused his night milk though so we do yoghurt when he is up to it, maybe that has helped but I cannot say it with certainty.

To achieve long hours of no needing to use the potty, when you realise baby has understood that when they need to pee they should use the potty, don’t take them hourly but let them ask to use the potty. Sometimes they will go for 1 hour 30 minutes, 2 hours but they will as to go when they feel like. If you realise they are playing and pacing, ask them to go potty so that they know that they should not hold back peeing for long.

So after 2 weeks, my son was fully potty trained, though we use a diaper when traveling.


  • Get a potty and let baby get used to seeing it around the house
  • Take your baby to a friend who has a potty-trained child and let them learn that they can also use the potty.
  • Encourage them to use the potty
  • Reward them for using it
  • Be consistent
  • Keep increasing the time intervals until they get a good routine
  • When going for no. 2 (poop), put some water in the potty, this might intrigue them enough to poop and they will look forward to when the potty will have water.
  • Some parents use treats like cookies after using the potty as soon as the baby has learnt how to use the potty, stop using the treats.
  • If you are a working mum you can start the process on Saturday morning so that the nanny can learn from you.

Happy Potty Training



Knock Knee- my son’s story


My son is somewhat knocked knee, seriously, I noticed it about a month ago and I was terrified. I asked my husband to check and he told me that legs do look like that, I was not convinced, he said that because of his height, it looks like knock knee but it is really not. Funny how I never bothered to check it out online till yesterday.

Knock-knee is apparently very normal and common to babies below 7 years and it gets very noticeable when they turn 2 years.

According to my research, children start out as bow legged, because of how they had folded themselves in the womb, as they grow older 12-18 months and learn how to walk, the legs straighten and then from 2-6 years they are knock kneed and straighten again by 7 years.

Knock-knees are most commonly a normal stage of growth in young children. They typically become apparent when a child is 2 to 3 years old, and they often get worse around age 4. Chances are your child’s legs will significantly straighten, without any treatment, by age 7 or 8.

Children who are overweight are more prone to knock-knees, because their bones and joints have trouble supporting their weight.

Knock knee is fairly common in healthy children under six or seven years old. It occurs because a child’s weight falls to the outside of their knee joint, which is a normal part of their growth and development.

In most cases, knock knee corrects itself without the need for treatment. A child’s body undergoes many changes as they grow – this includes their legs, which gradually change shape and become straighter.

If knock knee does not correct itself and the distance between your child’s ankles is greater than 10cm (around four inches), or if their knees are not symmetrical (even), your child may have an underlying health condition or growth problem.

In most cases of knock knee the cause is unknown, although childhood conditions that can be responsible include:

  • rickets– a rare condition that affects a child’s bone development and is usually caused by a vitamin D deficiency (sunlight is a source of vitamin D and is also found in oily fish, eggs and fortified spreads and breakfast cereals)
  • nutritional conditions – such as scurvy(a vitamin C deficiency), which can adversely affect the development of bones and joints (although this is rare)
  • rare genetic conditions – examples include Cohen syndrome, which causes a number of problems, such as moderate to severe learning difficulties, progressive visual problems and unusually bendy joints

How to tell if your baby is knock kneed

  • To measure the distance between your child’s ankles, lie them on their back and straighten out their lower limbs. Place their knees together and measure the distance between the insides of their ankles.
  • If your child is between two and four years old and has a gap between their ankles of 10cm (around four inches) or less, it will usually correct itself as your child grows. If the gap is greater than 10cm, you should take them to see their GP. A gap of more than 10cm in older children should also be investigated to see if there is an underlying problem.

Some hope

“Out of all the thousands of kids we see for this condition, maybe one in 1,000 won’t straighten naturally. Just about 99 percent of the time, a 3- or 4-year-old with physiologic genu valgum is going to be just fine.”

Samantha Spencer, MD, orthopedic surgeon, Children?s Hospital Boston

NB. Though it is not considered an emergency, you should mention it to your doctor at your next visit.

additional facts