If only babies came with user manuals3 kids

We all look forward to parenting but then are so overwhelmed by what parenting involves.

It seemed so simple when “Mom” was in charge.

There seems like there is so much to know, whether it’s newborn care, dealing with toddlers, handling school crisis’.

We hope this shared collection will help you

Scroll down to read all the Blog Posts, or Click Here to see a nice (with pictures  🙂 ) list of all the posts

Don’t Get Overwhelmed! Click Here to see our list of JUST 3 toys that you’ll need for each of your baby’s milestones


Charting Ovulation

The Ins and Outs of Charting Ovulation: Predicting Your Cycle

Charting is a very popular way for women to track their monthly cycle as well as potentially predict when ovulation occurs. This practice is especially useful for women who are trying to conceive, and particularly for women who have had trouble becoming pregnant in the past, this method is great for obtaining numerical data that a medical professional can use for potential diagnosis.


So what exactly is charting? Charting is the practice of keeping track of your daily basal body temperature, which tends to fluctuate throughout the month. Typically, women will experience a distinctive change in their basal temperature near ovulation. Over the course of several months, a pattern might help couples decide when their most fertile days usually occur.


What is the best way to chart? Women should take their temperature with a basal thermometer every day at the same time. Typically, the most efficient way to do this is recording your temperature first thing in the morning, before you even get up for the day. It is important that you not eat or drink anything before taking your temperature. Track your temperature on a graph – fertilityfriend.com is a great resource which offers free charting. This website also allows you to keep track of other symptoms, sexual intercourse, and changes in cervical mucus consistency.
charting_ovulationWhat does cervical mucus (CM) have to do with charting? The consistency of cervical mucus usually becomes stringy and similar in texture to egg whites near ovulation. This can be an indication of fertility.


What are the benefits of charting? Aside from purchasing a thermometer (which is fairly inexpensive), charting is completely free. It usually requires approximately 60 seconds of your time each day to obtain your temperature, which means, it doesn’t require a significant amount of time. Inconsistencies in your cycle, as indicated by your chart patterns, are usually a good indication to your health care provider that blood tests should be ordered to determine any potential hormone imbalances.


 Click Here For All You Need To Start Charting Ovulation

charting ovulation

A Look at Postpartum Care

Despite having read all the books, listened to the myriad of anecdotes from other mom friends, researched heavily online about what to expect during childbirth, I was unprepared. I was innocent and naïve to believe that birth would resemble something straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster. It’s hard to quantify the magnitude of birth with that immense amount of nervous anticipation and anxiousness. We know it hurts, but what about all the stuff afterward? Nobody warned me of the postpartum care details, the overwhelming surge of hormones and emotions, the struggle with breastfeeding, and the never ending uncertainty that you may be doing your baby some type of parenting injustice. So, here’s a simple breakdown of what you might expect in the first few days following your labor and delivery, from a mom who’s experienced both vaginal and cesarean births.


1. There will be a lot of bleeding; regardless of how your baby enters this world, be prepared for Aunt Flo to retaliate for 10 months of no period. Don’t be overwhelmed by the numerous overnight pads, geriatric diapers, and (CLICK->)
disposable post-partum underwear that will become necessities.


2. It takes a few weeks, possibly longer, for your uterus to shrink back down. Do not be surprised if you are still in maternity clothes for several weeks following your birth. Be sure to pack plenty of stretchy, comfortable maternity options in your hospital bag.


3. Vaginal delivery mamas, these are a few items you might consider investing in for perineum care: sitz bath, doughnut pillow, (CLICK->) feminine ice packs
, and witch hazel wipes (commonly used for hemorrhoids, but incredibly soothing)
. Use a squirt bottle with warm water while you are using the restroom – this can help alleviate any burning and stinging. The first postpartum bowl movement is the hardest, but once you’ve gotten over that hurdle, you can conquer the world!


postpartum care4. C-section mamas, these are a few suggestions for your post-surgical care: invest in some loose cotton dresses that do not restrict the incision site (pants are likely to rest near or along your wound and may be uncomfortable). You will still bleed vaginally, so consider extremely high wasted briefs that rest well above your belly region (which will be somewhat tender and sore in the days following your operation). Stay on top of your pain medication. Your newborn will obviously fill you with a sense of jubilation, so discomfort can catch up quick and hit hard. Listen to your doctors and abstain from physical exertion. You just had major abdominal surgery!


5. Breastfeeding can be a struggle. Do not hesitate to seek the professional guidance of a lactation consultant if you are having trouble. They can provide very helpful advice and suggestions on latching and various holds for the most comfortable and efficient feed possible. It is painful. There, I said it. Breastfeeding hurts for a few weeks until your breasts become used to the sensations. I always tell my mom friends just give it two weeks. If you can make it two weeks, it becomes incredibly less uncomfortable and much easier. Your milk supply may not become well established for up to a week following delivery. Do not despair. Your baby doesn’t need a lot of milk in the first few days anyways because their stomachs are no larger than the size of a marble. If you feel that your milk is not coming in quick enough, try using a breast pump between sessions to increase stimulation. (CLICK->) Gel breast pads are incredibly soothing.


Most moms are up and running in just a couple of weeks following labor and delivery. Some might be briskly on their feet in just a day or two (I know, I want to punch them too), and for others, complications may cause weeks of recovery. Regardless of how quickly you recover, do not be afraid to ask for assistance and physical help from your loved ones. The weeks following your delivery are imperative for bonding, so delegate your chores and housework to the ones who’ve offered to help. Take advantage of every opportunity to snuggle with your precious infant. Before you know it, you’ll be planning their first birthday party


(Click Pictures)

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Stocking Your Medicine Cabinet for a New Arrival

There are a myriad of different ways to address the idea of medicinal remedies in babies. Some parents prefer to go the holistic route by sticking to homeopathic regimens, chemical free supplements, and organic essential oils. Some parents are not intimidated by the pharmaceutical market, and any approved over the counter product is fair game. Regardless of where you fall in that scale, it is a wise practice to stock your medicine cabinet with useful products before your baby gets here. This will avoid any late night, emergent trips to the pharmacy while someone inevitably listens to the baby screaming upon the desperate arrival of relief.


I personally consider my parenting habits to fall somewhere right around ‘average’ when it comes to medication administration, and although every parent and every child will eventually develop personal preferences to certain products, here are a few of my tried and true recommendations as well as helpful reminders for giving babies certain medicines.


Teething Tablets – the companies of Orajel and Hyland’s both manufacture a homeopathic, dissolvable tablet that helps to relieve teething pain as well as general fussiness. I recommend these products to any mom-to-be that I encounter. Not a fan of even the homeopathic stuff? Check out amber teething necklaces. I have tons of mom friends who swear by those.


Gas drops – infant gas drops typically feature the active ingredient of simethicone. Although there are many different brands to choose from, I consider gas drops to be an infant staple because their tiny bodies are often unable to facilitate the removal of bubbles.


Gripe water – While I prefer the Mommy’s Bliss brand of this product, there are others available that provide similar results. The primary, active ingredients in this product that help to relieve upset stomach, teething pain, hiccups, colic, and general fussiness are sodium bicarbonate, glycerin, and ginger. This particular product is a completely natural herbal blend. NOTE: Some brands require refrigeration after opening, so be sure to read your label!


new baby checklist

Colic Calm – my sister-in-law recommended this product for us when my son was exceptionally fussy and none of our normal tactics were providing any relief. Although labeled as a traditional gripe water, Colic Calm contains homeopathic ingredients rather than traditional sodium bicarb. This particular product is actually black in color, so don’t let that scare you. It is quite possibly one of the most amazing products that I have come across since I was promoted to the title of ‘Mom.’


Helpful tips about some other items


Tylenol is the only fever reducer that is recommended for babies under 6 months of age.


Ibuprofen based fever reducers can be given starting at 6 months. Medical professionals suggest avoiding ibuprofen if your child has an upset stomach.


Although adults often incorporate honey into natural remedies for cough and cold, babies under the age of one should NOT have honey.


Although this is just an opinionated sampling of my favorite products, I always enjoy sharing my experiences so other parents may benefit too. What is your favorite remedy for babies?


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Baby Medicine Cabinet



Breast pumps are extremely convenient devices for any mother who plans on giving their child breast milk. Some moms use pumps sparingly, while others exclusively pump to provide the most natural form of nutrition for their baby. There are a few different styles of pumps available, each with their own set of pros and cons. Depending on the frequency of your need to pump, one style may be more appropriate for you than another.


Upon emptying the contents of your newly purchased breast pump box, the various pieces and parts may be a little overwhelming. Generally speaking, a breast pump includes a flange, which is the plastic cone-shaped piece that rests directly against the breast. The flange has a round opening where the nipple should be located and slightly tilted tunnel that allows the milk to flow into a collection bottle. The key to any suction activated pump is a flexible membrane that seals out air during the suction process, yet still allows the passage of liquid between the suctioning pumps. The shape of the membrane varies between pump brands, but essentially, they all serve the same purpose.


Manual pump
manual pumps operate by a physical squeezing or mashing on a lever device that produces the intermittent suction. These pumps require no batteries or electricity, and they are generally smaller making them easier to transport in a crowded diaper bag. Manual pumps are ideal for relieving a little pressure when a mom feels engorged, and come in handy when a breastfeeding mom is in a tight pinch without access to an electric pump. They are also great for stimulating letdown if a baby has trouble latching, and hospitals often recommend manual pumps to assist new mothers when their milk supply has not been fully established. Some manual pumps have a dual action lever which allows for short, quick suction bursts, or longer pulls. These variations allow the mother to imitate the sucking habits of a newborn. Manual pumps are great to have as a backup or for any mother who does not pump on a regular basis. Manual pumps are designed to extract milk from one breast at a time. They are extremely affordable, but not necessarily as efficient for high volume collection or frequent use.


breast pump

Single electric pump
an electric pump differs from a manual in that it relies on electricity or battery power to create a pumping rhythm. Instead of a physically squeezed lever, the flange and collection bottle are hooked to a plastic tube that plugs directly into the pump device. Electric pumps typically have settings that allow a breast feeding mom to adjust the level of suction, length of the individual pumps, and time interval between pumps. Like a manual pump, a single electric pump is designed to pump only one breast at a time; however these devices are much more efficient and quicker than the manual version.


Double electric pump
these machines are essentially identical to a single electric pump, except there are two tubes and two flanges with collecting bottles. This allows a pumping mother to extract milk from both breasts at once. This is exceptionally convenient and efficient because when a mother’s milk lets down it comes out of both breasts at the same time. Although each mother responds differently, this is certainly the most time efficient form of pumping. Double electric pumps are great for working mothers who have limited opportunities to pump throughout the day as well as busy moms who have a hectic household. A hands-free pumping bra is another convenient accessory to accompany a double electric breast pump. These articles of clothing conveniently support the weight of the flanges and bottles and secure the flanges against the breast through small slits in the cups. They are ideal for a multitasking mom who still needs to accomplish work while pumping. Although double electric pumps are certainly more expensive than the other two options, the investment is well worth it for frequent pumpers.


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Baby Must Haves

Most parents have discerned that they will certainly need staples like a car seat, stroller, and basic furniture, but what about all the rest? It just isn’t practical, or affordable, to purchase an arsenal of gear that may not be so useful after all. Here are some of the must have baby gear items that parents should strongly consider adding to their shopping cart or registry.


Boppy – not only are these crescent shaped pillows great for breastfeeding moms, but they make a great support pillow for grandparents who like long term snuggling. They are also wonderful for tummy time. When your child starts learning to sit up on their own, this pillow is a great accessory for wrapping around their waist to help keep them stable


Wrap or chest carrier a baby wrap, sling, or chest carrier are ideal for parents who have a clingy baby, but still need to get some things accomplished around the house. They are especially functional when you’re out grocery shopping and still need room in your cart for necessities. I highly recommend baby wearing because it is a great way for your child to feel secure, and offers additional bonding, even when you are cleaning!


baby gear
White noise machine – if you have a busy household, a white noise machine is a great accessory to any nursery. It helps to drown out the noises from around the house, and many machines have programmed settings that actually sound similar to a womb setting. White noise is comforting and encourages babies to fall asleep without the surrounding noisy distractions. The Sleep Sheep and Sooth and Glow seahorse by Fisher Price are personal favorites.


Wubbanub – if your child uses a pacifier, you may consider a wubbanub or other paci positioner. These tiny bean bags, shaped like various animals, attach to the pacifier and keep them in place, especially when your child is sleeping.


Floor seat – I highly recommend investing in at least one type of floor seat – bouncy, positioner, rocker etc. – because they are convenient and functional. We got exceptionally great use out of ours whenever we needed to take a shower. Floor seats are compact enough to fit in any room, but keep your non-mobile baby safe while you are cooking or bathing.


Although there are a myriad of children’s products available these days, these are just a few of my personal favorite must haves.


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baby gear

Efficient Feeding: Tips for Infant Nutrition


Newborn nutrition is one of the most stressful aspects of being a new parent. Moms and dads are constantly worrying if their baby is getting enough to eat, and whenever there is a problem like formula sensitivity or frequent spitting up, it can be even more taxing. Especially for expecting parents, here are a few feeding tips that will hopefully help ease your mind about your baby’s nourishment.


1. Although scientists have determined that breast milk is the most natural form of infant nutrition, technological advancements have allowed us to recreate formula that sufficiently meets their needs. As long as you are feeding your baby when he or she is hungry, the argument of breast milk verses formula should be a non-issue. As a parent, it is your choice to decide which method is most beneficial for your whole family.


2. Many babies are born with a weak esophageal sphincter, which can result in acid reflux, or recurrent projectile vomiting after a feeding and/or excessive pain. The majority of these babies will grow out of this as they become stronger and that sphincter becomes more efficient at preventing reflux of the stomach contents, however, if your baby is not gaining weight, your doctor might suggest thickening their milk with rice cereal. Frequent burping and elevation for at least 30 minutes following feeding are also ways to help reduce the effects of acid reflux.


3. Sometimes babies will experience sensitivity to certain types of formula. The typical presentation of a formula allergy might appear as a rash, hives, vomiting, or eczema. Be patient when switching to a new type because many parents have to try several different brands before they find the one that works best for them.


Infant Nutrition

4. Formula can cause excessive constipation due to the addition of iron. If your baby is formula fed and you suspect they are having a hard time pooping, consider the following:

– Massage

– Warm bath

– Bicycle movement of the legs

Some parents have found success with products like karo syrup or prune juice, but always check with your child’s pediatrician before incorporating something other than milk into their diet. Pediatric probiotics are another over the counter option for regulating digestive health.
Breast milk has natural laxative properties, however, some breast fed babies do not have bowel movement very often, and this is completely normal. In fact, some breast fed babies can go up to a week or more without a bowel movement.


Most importantly, never hesitate to share your nutritional concerns with your pediatrician.


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Infant Nutrition

The Ins and Outs of Cloth Diapering: Q&A

Cloth diapering used to be the only way to go You know, back when your parents were babies, their moms and dads didn’t have disposables. Cloth diapers used to be pretty basic and somewhat generic, but in the last several years especially, this pioneer diapering option has expanded to include various styles of inserts and shells.


Q: Why do moms choose to cloth diaper?
A: Cloth diapering is believed to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. It is also useful for babies who have extremely sensitive skin. Cotton liners and shells breathe more than disposables, and they do not contain synthetic chemicals or harsh skin irritants, like some disposables. Cloth diapers do not fill up trash cans or sit stagnant in a landfill. Depending on your habits, cloth diapering can also save money.


Q: What are the cloth diapering options these days?
A: Cloth + shell – some moms choose to purchase an array of shells and line these shells with a cotton insert. Shells are typically composed of fleece, wool or polyurethane laminate, and the inserts are traditionally cotton material of various shapes. Inserts are available as a pre-fold (thicker center section, thinner adjacent sides), flat (uniform thickness), or contoured/shaped (similar to the shape of a disposable). One benefit to a diaper change with inserts and shells is the fact that parents usually only have to replace the insert, and the shell can be used throughout the day. Shells are fastened over the insert with adjustable snaps, Velcro, or built-in elastic.


A pocket diaper combines the idea of a shell and an insert, however the insert itself fits into a pocket on the inside of the shell. If you think about it in terms of changing, the insert absorbs the liquid, while the solid waste is collected by the pocket. Because the pocket of the shell becomes soiled, this cloth diapering option is for one time use. A benefit to this choice is the fact that parents can adjust the number of inserts fitted into the pocket for modification of the absorbency.


Take the concept of a shell and an insert. Now, attach them all together (either by seaming or snaps) so there is no need for constructing, manipulating, stuffing, layering etc. All-in-one cloth diapers are meant to be convenient and quick. Especially for individuals who are unfamiliar with the techniques of preparing a cloth diaper, these are a go-to for the most simplistic and straight-forward approach.


cloth diapers

This approach is not far off from the cloth diaper + shell option described above. The difference with this approach is rather than using a cloth diaper (which is essentially a square piece of cotton fabric that requires manipulation and folding) hybrids and AI2’s incorporate a pre-fabricated insert that is a conglomerate of different materials. A hybrid incorporates an insert that is either washable/reusable or disposable. In this case, the insert can be thrown away or washed, while the shell (as long as it remains clean) may be used throughout the day as well.


So although the terminology may seem a bit overwhelming, the concept of cloth diapering is essentially the same. The difference lies in the individual components and the way each of them are prepared for use.


Q: What is involved in the cleaning process?
A: Most moms who have this whole cloth diapering down pat have developed a weekly schedule. Diaper laundry should always be washed separately from other clothes, and air drying helps to maintain the integrity of your supplies; although, some brands do allow heat drying.


Choose a detergent with minimal residue, or one that is specifically designed for washing cloth diapers. Do not use fabric softeners.


Remove as much solid waste as possible. Diaper sprayers that hook onto the toilet are extremely convenient. Some moms choose to pre-soak all diapers – that is completely a preferential choice – but a prewash, cold water cycle is a good alternative. Use a hot water cycle with detergent for the deep cleaning process. Sunning diapers not only helps to remove stains, but it is a great way to kill bacteria.


Cleaning cloth diapers is really not all that intimidating once you establish a routine, but if you are a busy mom that doesn’t have time for this regimen there are several commercial diaper services that do the cleaning for you.


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cloth diapers

Keeping Your Baby Safe

Apart from reading all the baby books that can be possibly read before the bundle of joy enters your life, parents also spend a lot of time trying to build that perfect nursery, racing to put all the elements together in time.


There are quite a few tips that all parents need to keep in mind to make sure the nursery is set up in just the right way and is safe for the new baby.


In an old house, it might be necessary to check is the paint is lead based and if yes, it needs to be repainted with a safe version that will not harm the baby. A Wall-to-wall carpet is certainly much needed to prevent serious injuries, which can be caused by contact with the floor directly.


Experts also advise to look carefully for any furniture that pose the risk of falling over. To prevent such an event, it is best to get any smaller pieces fitted to the wall. Also, the drawers must be kept locked and keys away from reach of the baby to prevent any untoward incident.


In addition, it is best to not have any curtains with cords hanging down, which can tempt children to reach out and grab them. The windows should not be so low that the child can reach over and should have a secure lock on the upper side.


The changing table should have all the items you will need within easy reach in such a manner that you do not have to leave the baby on it to get the things needed. Make sure it is well stocked and of course, away from the reach of the baby.


Newborn Care - Keeping Your Baby Safe
Once the basic room has been prepared, the issue of finding the right crib comes up. The most important thing to remember is to have a crib large enough to prevent a baby from climbing out. The paint on the crib should not be peeling off and the distance between bars should not be more than 6-7 cm.


The ideal temperature at which a baby feels most comfortable is between 16 to 20 degrees. A parent must invest in a room thermometer to be able to figure out the right temperature. The crib should be kept away from the radiator as a safety measure.


Avoid putting too many things in the crib as they increase the risk of suffocation. Plus, the bedding used should fit the crib snugly so that the baby does not get entangled. Also, keep the baby’s head out of the blanked while sleeping. This will ensure a comfortable sleeping temperature and prevent heat build-up.


Install a baby monitor at a place where the child cannot reach and yet it can capture his or her movements perfectly. The importance of these tips in building a nursery cannot be overestimated, as these will make life easier for both parents and the baby, especially first time parents who are still trying to figure out their life around the new arrival.


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Newborn Care - Keeping Your Baby Safe

Infant Sleep Routines

New parents lose a lot of sleep, some more so than others, but if you have children, less sleep just seems to come with the territory. Getting your baby on a good routine can be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible. There are a plethora of detailed books and instructional novels out there advertising various methods and routines that do have great reputations, but they don’t work for everyone. Many moms and dads will just have to truck through the sleep battles until they find the right methods that work for them. Many will be pleased to know that suspended sleep patterns often follow major milestones, so, exhausted parent, take comfort in the fact that there is light at the end of the tunnel.


Newborns – Typically, newborns will sleep 3-4 hour stretches, maybe more, maybe less. If you find that your baby has their days and nights switched up, you may consider turning on a lamp in their room at night and break up their napping habits during the day. Unfortunately, most newborns do not start responding to a regular routine until they are about 2-4 months old. A white noise machine is a wonderful addition to your nursery that produces calming sounds similar to the womb environment.


Sleep regressions – major developmental milestones are often paired with sleep regressions. Why so? As babies acquire new skills their neurological activity explodes. It’s incredibly difficult for babies to settle down when their brains are running on overdrive. Parents might expect to see a sleep regression around the time they start rolling over, sitting up, standing, and walking. Avoid over stimulating activities throughout the day to help attenuate this abundance of neuronal firing.


Infant Sleep
Teething – when new teeth start to surface in your baby’s mouth, there is redness, inflammation, and fairly intense pain associated with it. Teething can also trigger some severe ear pains. Although there are relatively few remedies that efficiently cure this pain, there are plenty of options for reducing this discomfort. Teething tablets, pain medications, teething gels, toys intended for chewing, and rubbing with a cloth or toothbrush are all common regimens for battling teething discomfort.


Sickness – Similar to adults, various ailments can result in your child vetoing sleep. Consider using a humidifier in your child’s room or essential oils that have a reputation for calming. Lavender, mandarin, and jasmine are all popular choices.


Infant sleep guideThis is a great guide for explaining the amount of sleep that babies need as they grow. If you feel that your child is not acquiring a healthy sleep routine, speak with your pediatrician. They can offer a myriad of helpful advice for developing nighttime consistency.


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Infant Sleep Routines


Assembling the baby crib is the quintessential chore for any expecting parent as they prepare to welcome home a new member of the family. Choosing the perfect crib however, may be a bit overwhelming considering the array of sizes, shapes, and colors that are currently available. Especially if parents are considering purchasing a used crib, it is imperative to research any potential recalls of that particular brand. Also, avoid cribs with discontinued features like a drop side because they have been deemed incredibly unsafe.


Most traditional cribs are composed of wood, however some manufacturers have started to incorporate modern materials like plastic and even metal. Sturdiness and safety are the most important characteristics of any baby crib, and these materials tend to be the most reputable.


Although the majority of people prefer a rectangular shaped crib, these furniture pieces can come in practically any shape. Round or circular cribs have recently become very popular amongst the celebrity crowd, and oval or oblong cribs give just enough flair so they stand out from the ordinary.


Intricacies of crib design can certainly vary. Some people prefer the sleek and modern simplicity of strait, narrow slats with plain railing, while others are looking for the ornate flair of carvings and shaped rails, similar to a sleigh bed. Cribs come in a myriad of different colors to fit any nursery theme or personal style.



For parents with limited space, many crib manufacturers offer a mini crib which is essentially just a smaller version of their full sized piece. These beds are ideal for babies who are sharing a room with their parents, another sibling, or simply have a smaller nursery.


My personal favorite crib option on the market are the ones that convert and grow into a toddler bed, followed by a twin sized bed. They are the most versatile option and certainly the most bang for your buck in terms of functionality. Parents simply rearrange the structural pieces as their child transitions up into the dreaded ‘big kid bed.’ In light of thsi bittersweet graduation, it helps to ease the sting a little knowing you don’t have to purchase an entirely new piece of furniture.


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Choosing A Crib

The Ins and Outs of Baby Monitors

If you haven’t recently taken a look at the technological advances that baby monitors have made in the last 2 decades, you really should. These amazing devices are extremely convenient and newer elements provide a profound level of safety and peace of mind that were not necessarily available before the new millennium. Essentially there are three different types of baby monitors to choose from: traditional, sound only, video monitors, and movement detectors. Each of these options comes with very different features.


Sound Only – Analog sound monitors use radio frequencies to transmit signals from the monitor to a portable receiver. Before buyers choose a specific type or brand, they should definitely consider the range of transmission. On average, these devices have a range of transmission between 500-1000 feet. Some sound only monitors also feature a light display or vibration alert to inform parents when sound is coming from the baby’s room. Some of the more advanced sound only choices allow parents to talk back to the monitor for two-way transmission capabilities. Sound only monitors are clearly the most affordable option, but do not offer many advanced features.


Movement – many brands offer a movement sensing mat that is placed underneath the mattress in the baby’s crib. These devices are extremely sensitive and can even detect a baby’s breathing habits. Some movement monitors feature a temperature sensor. Whenever the monitor stops acquiring movement, it will sound an alert on the receiver. For parents who are exceptionally concerned about Sudden Infant Death syndrome, this device allows moms and dads to sleep peacefully, knowing their monitor is keeping track of their child’s health.


Video – video monitors transmit both sound and image so parents can doubly observe the state of their child. These high tech devices usually come with an LED camera that is capable of capturing video in both light and dark conditions. Some video monitoring systems allow for multiple cameras so that an entire surveillance system can be installed throughout the house. Receivers come in several different sizes ranging from a mini television with a five inch screen and equal depth to handheld devices that look similar to a smart phone. The most advanced video systems include Wi-Fi capabilities so that users can access the video through an app on their mobile device, anywhere!


Depending on the size of your home and the level of surveillance that you wish to have over your children, there are a myriad of different monitors to fit your needs.


Click Here For Best Prices On Top Baby Monitors


Car Seat Guidelines

Car seat guidelines for car seat safety is one of the most important topics that new parents or soon-to-be moms and dads should thoroughly research. After all, as technological advances continue to produce automobiles that are more powerful and compact, the seats with which we secure our most precious cargo should not only meet safety standards, but their installation is equally imperative. The following are some tips and tricks for ensuring the utmost safety of your child’s car seat.


1. Never buy or use a car seat that has been involved in an accident. Car seats are specifically designed to absorb the energy associated with a crash, and this excessive tension from a wreck can permanently damage the structure and integrity of the seat.


2. Always check the expiration date of your car seat. The extreme conditions within a car’s interior can have a lasting impact on the materials that are used to construct your child’s seat. Over time, these materials begin to degrade and become less reliable.


3. Always follow the recommended guidelines for rear and forward facing. A significant amount of research has shown that rear facing is the safest for young children, so even if your child meets the age and weight requirements to forward face, that doesn’t mean it is the safest option.


4. Keep your infant in a carrier car seat as long as they fit within the recommended guidelines.


5. When installing your car seat or base, the device should not move more than one inch to the left or right. If you are unsure about the efficiency of your installation abilities, visit a fire department or other certified car seat fit expert for assistance.


Car Seat Guidelines

6. Before spending a significant amount of money on an expensive seat, make sure it will properly fit into your vehicle. Several newer convertible car seats are incredibly tall and may pose an issue (especially rear facing) in a compact car or extended truck cab.


7. Consider whether you will be frequently transferring your seats back and forth from various vehicles. If so, be sure to choose an option that is not difficult for you to move.


8. To avoid the hassle of frequent transfers, you might consider investing in car seats for each of your family’s vehicles. After all, most kids use a convertible seat for at least 2 years, sometimes more. Depending on your situation, investing in a second seat for an additional car may be very cost efficient.


9. Do your research. Check the reviews for the seats that you like most and consider what other experienced parents have to say about that particular brand or model.


10. Stand your ground. Establish safe rules about car seat safety and instruct all caregivers on how to properly install and fasten the buckles. Car seats have changed a lot in the past couple of decades, and our knowledge about safety has improved significantly.


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Car Seat Guidelines

Tips For Choosing A Stroller

Preparing for a baby can be overwhelming. There are a myriad of products that one should acquire, clothes to fold and sort, furniture to assemble, and bottles to sanitize. Choosing the right stroller may seem a bit daunting when glancing down the endless aisle with a myriad of different styles, but rest assured, there is the perfect stroller out there for you. You just have to decide which features are the most appropriate for your lifestyle.


Having a stroller is extremely convenient, but if it is too large to maneuver through tight spaces, it becomes more of a hassle. If you are a frequent shopper, be sure to limit your stroller choices to those that are of reasonable size. If you drive a smaller vehicle with limited storage space, consider a smaller stroller that still allows ample room for groceries too!


Do you enjoy running, hiking, or venturing off the beaten path? If so, consider purchasing a stroller with larger wheels and tires that are more capable of handling uneven surfaces and rocky landscape. Also, look for a functional and large sized sunshade to effectively block harmful UV rays from your little one and a harness with chest straps to ensure your child is secure. These types of strollers are specifically designed for an active lifestyle.


World Traveler
A stroller used primarily for traveling is far more efficient if it contains ample cup holders and storage space for bags and necessities. A lap bar with compartments is great for entertaining and feeding on the go. If you travel by plane, keep in mind that checked luggage is tossed around and must be sturdy enough to withstand this treatment. Invest in a solid stroller composed of heavy-duty materials for long hauls and lots of mileage.


Tips for choosing a stroller

Light as a feather pros and cons
Fold-and-go strollers are certainly light and easy to transport, however they lack storage space for bags and drinks, and many are not suitable for small infants. With lightweight materials, they are certainly easy to lift, but do not always have a reputation for long term strength. These strollers are typically more efficient for a toddler who doesn’t come with a lot of baggage and only needs to ride intermittently. On the plus side, fold-and-go strollers are extremely affordable and readily available at most large scale retailers.


Although I tend to shy away from expensive items in general, many people do rave about the functionality and range of accessories that come with designer strollers. These contraptions are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they are compatible with various seat apparatuses, and the seats themselves can be positioned in a myriad of different ways. Traditionally, parents purchase a bassinette accessory for the infant stages, and exchange with a traditional seat as their child develops upper body strength and head control. These high end strollers have a great reputation for durability, and they are great for the various transitions from newborn to toddler.


All inclusive combination: from newborn to toddler
When it comes to strollers, my personal favorite styles are the ones that grow with a child, yet are still affordable. It is incredibly efficient to purchase one stroller that is functional for kids of all ages, from infants on up to older toddlers. These are the strollers that are compatible with an infant carrier car seat that slides or snaps right into the stroller itself. This feature is incredibly helpful when transitioning a sleeping infant from the car to the stroller. They also typically include many of the functional features that make it versatile for a variety of different situations. They are not designed for just one specific purpose, other than efficiently providing a comfortable space for your child and a reasonable amount of storage for your belongings when you need it.


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Tips For Choosing A Stroller

Diaper Bag Guide

Diaper bags quickly become a new mother’s purse. They are a catch all for the various necessities that a baby may need for a quick outing or a day on the town as well as the adult basics like a wallet and car keys. Diaper bags come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles, and much like a wardrobe or car, each person will probably pursue a certain type to meet his or her lifestyle and preferences.


Is that a diaper bag or a suitcase? There is no shame in over packing, especially when faced with unforeseen circumstances or a spontaneous change of plans. Specifically with an unpredictable newborn, there is a great peace of mind associated with being prepared for any situation that a parent may encounter. This is precisely where a diaper bag of large proportions is a necessity. For a general trip out of the house, infants need, at the very least, diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and the accessories needed for nutrition, be it a bottle or breast. I personally like to have medical necessities like diaper rash cream, teething tablets, and Tylenol available, as well as an entertaining toy. Burp cloths, pacifiers, and a nursing cover are also staples in my diaper bag. Now that I have two children under the age of 3, my arsenal of supplies has expanded to include crayons, snacks, a small first aid kit, emergency baby food pouches, and hand sanitizing wipes. I carry a spare outfit for each child and the bossy toddler demands a matching hair bow. Needless to say, I carry a diaper bag that resembles a suitcase.


Pockets, pockets, and more pockets
If you pack like I do, pockets help to keep a large bag organized. It’s also helpful when directing a friend or family member to your diaper bag to locate a requested item. In a pinch (aka your baby is screaming and needs something NOW), pockets reduce frustrations and allow moms and dads to find the necessary item in a quick manor.


Diaper bags get used a lot, and they are exposed to a lot of dirt and germs. Floorboards, driveways, restaurant booths, public restrooms, grocery carts, you name it. I am highly fond of diaper bags that are constructed with washable materials. Cloth diapering comes with a greater probability of exposing your bag to the germs and bacteria of dirty diapers. If not washable, it’s always convenient to be able to wipe them down with a disinfectant every now and again.


Again, diaper bags get used a lot, therefore they should be able to withstand a lot of tugging, pulling, tossing, and handling. Invest in a sturdy diaper bag with solid, enforced seaming if you plan on using the same one for an extended period of time.


Diaper bag

Can I get a zipper please?
Although this is simply a personal preference, I like having the option to zip up my diaper bag. Particularly when it is crammed full and brimming over with baby gear, a zipper ensures that everything is secure inside the bag, and not falling out all over the place.


a diaper bag is indeed a direct extension of style. When it’s taking the place of a prized handbag or purse, many parents choose a diaper bag because of a designer print or aesthetically pleasing shape. Many diaper bag manufacturers are well known for their exclusive textiles and distinguishing appearance. This is certainly an attractive selling point for many buyers.


Functionality and simplicity
if pattern and color are frivolous to you, consider a simple bag with more focus on functionality. My husband prefers a neutral tone so he doesn’t receive side eye glances from the random passersby because he’s sporting his wife’s boldly colored bag. My brother often carries a backpack because it doesn’t necessarily scream ‘baby.’


Each person has a unique preference on the bag features that are most appropriate for them. Regardless, there are many different diaper bags available on the market, and many generic bags that still serve the same purpose without the glorified title.


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Diaper bag

What’s That Rash? 3 Common Skin Issues in Babies and Children

Babies have incredibly sensitive skin, so parents will likely witness one rash or another on their infant in the first few months of life. Some rashes can be indicative of a severe problem, however, other rashes may just be a minor inconvenience. Here are a few tips and tricks for recognizing 3 of the most common baby skin rashes, and the most popular ways to treat them.

Heat rash – heat rash normally appears as large red blotches with tiny, prickly bumps evenly spaced throughout. It results from clogged pores and sweat ducts that have not completely developed to properly allow moisture to escape from the inner layers of the skin. Heat rash is most common in clothed areas, but can happen anywhere on the body. Heat rash typically clears away on its own, but parents should take notice and avoid situations that may cause their baby to become over heated. Try a luke-warm bath, a cool, slightly damp cloth, or a fan. Heat rash is less likely to appear when the skin is kept as cool and dry as possible.

Diaper rash – traditional diaper rash is quite possibly the most frequent skin condition that babies experience. This happens because the skin the genital areas is kept moist from diapers. The combination of moisture, bacteria, and irritating diapers can result in a raised, red rash that may appear raw. There are is a plethora of over the counter remedies for treating diaper rash, but parents may also consider soaking their baby in a warm bath with baking soda (2 teaspoons per gallon of water). Using baby powder between diaper changes is a great way to keep the skin dry. There are also many organic, all natural remedies that are commonly used as a holistic alternative. Coconut oil contains many antibiotic and antifungal properties, so it is commonly used in place of chemically laden diaper rash creams.

Baby Rashes
Yeast – yeast is a common skin condition in babies since their genital areas are constantly covered, and often very moist. Yeast typically appears as small, bright red dots spaced closely together. These places may be slightly raised, but not always. When a yeast infection becomes severe, the tiny dots may meld together to create what appears to be a single area of redness. Yeast may appear similar to a general diaper rash, but spreads much faster and does not respond to typical diaper rash treatment. If you are not sure, contact your pediatrician. They may suggest a prescription strength anti-fungal or an over the counter product. Similar to the diaper rash treatment, coconut oil is a great, natural alternative for mild yeast infection treatment.

Anytime you are unsure about your child’s rash or skin condition, contact your pediatrician for the most appropriate and medically sound advice. There are many other common, mild skin conditions, like eczema, that are frequent in babies and young children, but there are also serious ailments that present specific skin rashes that can be much more intense. These severe incidences certainly require immediate medical attention.

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Baby Rashes

Pack-N-Play – Quite Possibly the Most Useful Piece of Baby Gear on the Market

From an experienced mom of two little ones, our pack-n-play has been the most useful and versatile investment of all our baby items. Not only has it served as a primary bed for both of our children when they first came home from the hospital, but it’s been a changing table, a travel bed, a makeshift co-sleeper, and a play pen.


New pack-n-plays typically feature a sling accessory that suspends and raises the mattress for convenience and comfort. Some slings include suspended storage compartments that hang underneath the pack-n-play mattress. These cubicles are ideal for storing clothes, diapers, or blankets. This sling component has a weight limit, and especially once a child starts pulling up, it should be retired. Much like a crib’s capability to vertically raise and lower the mattress, this feature allows parents the ease of softly place their sleeping baby on a closer destination.


Another pack-n-play addition that is becoming a common sought after feature is the snap-on changing table and diaper organizer. Especially if parents are primarily storing their pack-n-play in a room away from the nursery, this secondary changing table provides the convenience of a quick diaper change without having to leave the room or climb stairs.


Some pack-n-plays feature a zipper opening near the bottom of the piece. This zipper allows for quick access to the storage cubes if the sling is being used, and it allows for mobile babies to crawl in and out easily. The only downside to this feature is the fact that older toddlers can easily figure out how to operate the zipper. In addition, they may have the strength to actually break and kick open the zipper closure should they become frustrated with their confinement.


Pack-n-plays are easy to assemble and break down, and the mattress dually serves as a carrying case with the help of some Velcro straps. When they are packed up, this piece of baby gear consolidates into a fraction of the size, making it ideal for traveling. A pack-n-play also serves as a great play pen for parents of a mobile baby, in need of corralling them long enough to take a shower. If you’re really efficient with your resources, parents may even consider using their pack-n-play as a toy box. Investing in a versatile pack-n-play with the additional accessories is certainly well worth it.


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Why Should I Vaccinate My Child

Let me preface this article by saying that I am a scientist. I love what I do, and I love the fact that we have the knowledge and technology to discover new and exciting options for healthcare through scientific research. I am not paid by any drug manufacturer, and I have developed my personal beliefs on vaccinations after a significant amount of very deliberate medical and scientific research.


I think that vaccinations are a very vital part of wellness, and here’s why.


Multiple diseases and ailments that were once detrimental have been completely eradicated by vaccines. Vaccines help families avoid the astronomical medical costs that are incurred by many preventable sicknesses. Vaccines save lives.


Individuals who are healthy candidates for the receipt of a vaccination help to keep other, immune compromised individuals around them from coming into contact with certain illnesses. For example, young babies and members of the elderly generation often rely on the protection of vaccinated people when vaccinations are not a safe option for themselves.


Vaccinations allow our immune systems to develop the antibodies that are necessary for fighting a plethora of illnesses. In addition to preventing disease, they help to reduce the severity of symptoms from others.


The majority of controversy surrounding the safety of vaccines stems from a falsely claimed statement that certain ingredients found within the serum may cause autism. Unfortunately, the media frenzy surrounding this claim was enough to instill a fear and hesitation in the minds of many worried parents. Countless research studies have been performed to conclude that vaccines do not cause autism.


Like any major medical decision, vaccinations do come with an incredibly small risk for complication or adverse reaction. However, it is generally accepted that the risk of an unfavorable vaccination reaction is much less than the risk for an unvaccinated child to developing a life threatening disease.


Why Should I Vaccinate My Child
There is a risk associated with either choice to vaccinate or not, but for me personally, I’d rather choose the option that is statistically least risky – this is why we vaccinate!


There is also a significant amount of discussion concerning the use of preservatives in vaccinations. According to the FDA, more than 90% of the recommended vaccinations for children under the age of 6 do not contain the ‘he who shall not be named’ preservative, Thimerosal. (http://www.fda.gov/biologicsbloodvaccines/safetyavailability/vaccinesafety/ucm096228)


A decade ago, parents could choose not to vaccinate their child and efficiently rely on the idea of herd immunity (ie: everyone else is vaccinated, so my kid is safe). However, with more and more families choosing to skip these vaccines, the idea of herd immunity is no longer valid.


My challenge to parents who are hesitant about vaccines is to conduct their own (reputable) research on the specific reasons why you are particularly wary about these medications. Vaccines have evolved tremendously in the past 15 years, and many of these improvements just might help put your mind at ease or possibly prove a prior stereotype to be invalid.


There are also alternative vaccination schedules that help to space out the dosing which are a great option for families who don’t like the idea of several vaccines being administered at once.


It is unfortunate that the media has given vaccinations such a questionable reputation, but the truth of the matter is that vaccinations are incredibly useful and efficient at eliminating and preventing disease. Regardless if you stand for or against vaccinations, please conduct your research, and make your decision based on the *accredited* information that you believe to be the most valid.


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Why Should I Vaccinate My Child

Daycare Interview Questions

Sending your child to a daycare facility is an incredibly difficult decision, but oftentimes necessary for parents to work and provide. If you are searching for a new childcare provider, here are some questions to help you navigate the ins and outs of a daycare facility and what they have to offer.


1. How are children separated by age?  This question is incredibly important if you have a newborn or infant. Many facilities have to pair babies with toddlers, especially first thing in the morning, until all the teachers arrive. If you are concerned about the safety of a running 2-year-old with a fragile bundle that is only a few months old, ask the provider what safety practices they use to make sure the toddlers do not pose a risk to the infants.


2. Do you provide snacks/meals? Depending on whether the childcare provider includes food in the cost of tuition is huge! For example, if your child is an incredibly picky eater or has a particular food allergy, you could be paying for a service that you don’t use. For families on a budget or time crunch, food provided by the daycare usually saves an incredible amount of time and money!


3. What kind of safety/privacy measures do you take? Any accredited childcare provider should have a very strict policy in place for who is allowed to come into the building and who can pick up your child. Also, does the facility provide in-room cameras for parents to check in on their baby throughout the day? What kind of background screening is performed for childcare workers? What are your policies concerning food allergies or medication?  All of these questions regarding the safety of your child are helpful in deciding whether that childcare provider is going to exceed your expectations!


daycare interview questions
4. Do the toddlers and older kids follow any sort of educational curriculum? Although many accredited daycare programs that offer a stringent education curriculum may be slightly more expensive than a traditional facility, they are a fantastic preparation for kindergarten. If an academic atmosphere is something you prefer for your child, this question is a necessity!


5. Do the hours of operation fit my work schedule? Are there any limitations on drop off and pick up times? What happens if we are late picking up our child? Do you offer any part-time or flexible scheduling? Do we have to pay for any vacation weeks that we do not need childcare? Which holidays do you observe? Where do you post information regarding cancellation/closings for inclement weather?


Depending on your family dynamic or individual situation, there are many other questions that are good to ask when touring a daycare facility, but this is simply a start. When it comes to the safety and wellbeing of your child, you can never ask too many questions!


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daycare interview questions

Tips and Tricks for Summer Vacation

If your child hasn’t already celebrated their final day of the school year, it’s probably right around the corner. Maybe your little one goes to year-round daycare, or perhaps you are a stay at home parent 365 days of the ear. Regardless, we are entering the glorious season of Summer. Grilling out, warmer weather, vacations, ice cream, you name it. 
Here are some tips and tricks for families to make the most of their summer vacations, even if they aren’t really on a vacation at all.


1. Use sunscreen – the risk of skin damage that results from unprotected play in the harmful UV rays of the sun is no secret. Even if it’s cloudy, you and your children are still at risk for sunburn. Always apply sunscreen if you plan on playing outdoors for more than 15 minutes.


2. Check the temperature of any playground equipment before letting your kiddos run loose. Certain materials have an uncanny ability to absorb and hold onto heat, and in some cases, this can lead to severe skin burns.


3. Stock the medicine cabinet with plenty of aloe, anti-histamine cream (for contact with poison ivy/oak or bites/stings), first aid remedies, and Band-Aids. The summer months are the most prevalent for child injuries.


4. Instead of spending an incredible amount of money on a family vacation, consider having a staycation where you take daytrips to visit various local attractions.


Tips and tricks For Summer Vacation
5. Make a summer bucket list with your family. Ideas for your list can include fun activities like camping out, catching fireflies, going fishing, visit a waterpark. You might also consider making a new chore list for the summer so your kids can earn these incentives through working hard.


6. Encourage your children to think of others – how can they make a difference this season? Are there elderly neighbors that could use an extra hand with house chores or yard work? Although the summer is a great season for family fun, it is also one of the most difficult seasons for individuals who are physically limited.


7. Leave a frozen bottle of water in your mailbox for the letter carrier.


8. Regardless of how old your children are, reiterate your family’s safety precautions and Summer rules. Water safety, property boundaries, dos and don’ts, etc.


9. Have fun!


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Tips and tricks For Summer Vacation

The Supermom Saga: Unrealistic Expectations and Making Priorities

Society has convinced many parents that they must wear a plethora of different hats, they must excel in all these demanding roles, and they must complete their responsibilities with a smile on their face. Taxi driver, personal chef, dedicated assistant, house cleaner, tutor, and the list goes on.


The to-do list is never ending, there isn’t enough time in the day, and frazzled moms everywhere are just drowning in the chaotic sea of unmet expectations – it’s exhausting. And it’s completely unfair. Listen up busy parents! You are not alone.


If there were some foolproof method to mastering this challenging role, that brilliant person who shared all their secrets would be rich and famous. If it were possible to flawlessly parent, make homemade meals, have a 6-pack of abdominal muscles, and a spotless house (at the same time), surely someone would be so kind as to share how they manage it all? Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a superlative method to parenting that is clearly established in black and white? Let me let you in on a little secret. It doesn’t exist.


I’ve never met a parent who has successfully mastered every area of interest within his or her life. The most complicated part of being a parent is quite possibly finding a way to strategically plan, budget, and organize the endless chaos. Making priorities is essential to functioning – especially if you want to maintain at least a little bit of your sanity. And the most important part is learning to accept the fact that getting everything done is completely unrealistic 99.999% of the time.


supermomPart of your job as a parent is to determine which priorities are necessary and which ones can afford to take the back burner.


Sometimes the laundry has to wait. If not the laundry, perhaps you hold off on that workout to make time for cleaning the dishes? Better yet, when it’s time to mop the floors, I would venture to guess it’s a night for ordering pizza. And that is perfectly ok.


Most importantly, don’t let yourself get so wrapped up in all your chores, errands, meetings, and burdens that you forget to soak in the beauty of your blessings.


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Potty Train Like a Pro

Potty training is a very demanding process. It can be stressful and overwhelming, for both you and your toddler, but if you approach the transition with the right mindset, and at the right time, you are more likely to achieve success.


First and foremost, potty training should only be attempted when your child is showing signs of readiness. Experts agree that pushing toilet training before your child is emotionally and developmentally capable could result in an undesirable backfire. It is also important to remember that potty training should be a positive experience, so curb unrealistic expectations before undertaking this daunting task.


Your child might be ready for potty training if he or she is showing regular interest in sitting on the potty. They must be able to express to you the need to go through verbal or other behavioral communication. It also helps if they can follow multi-step commands. This developmental capacity suggests that they are mentally able to comprehend this whole process.


Some parents prefer to follow a 3-day potty training method wherein diapers are completely eliminated from daytime use. Although there are short books written completely on this subject, the general gist of this theory is that kids drink a lot of liquids, have full access to a potty at all times, and do not wear a diaper at all. Parents are expected to observe their children for the full three days and often suggest that they stop and take a potty break at given intervals. Successful trips to the potty are heavily rewarded with positive praise and tokens or candy. The 3-day method is a great way for parents to immediately rid themselves of daytime diapers.


potty training
Other parents might consider potty training a slow progression to consistency. In this case, parents likely let their child self-discover the toilet more at their own pace. Introducing the idea of sitting on the toilet once per day until they become more accustomed to it, then slowly increasing the suggestive requests for using the potty. Although positive reinforcement and rewards are also beneficial, this approach does not put a specific time limit on the use of diapers or training pants. It really allows the child to be in control of how quickly he or she becomes completely toilet trained. It also eliminates any pressure to fully transition before he or she is ready.


Regardless of which approach you take to potty training, remember that toddlers are likely to have potty blunders. This is completely normal. Punishing your child for accidents could result in a permanent negative association with using the potty. Keep a cool head, even when you are frustrated, and be consistent with your habits of reward.


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potty training

Teaching Responsibility: Age Appropriate Chore List for Children

Chores are necessary to keep your household running cleanly and smoothly. Assigning chores to your children can help to teach them responsibility, as well as help you out around the house. What age can you start asking your children for help? Generally speaking, when your child is able to follow instructions, with little assistance, they are ready to start learning chores. In most children, this is around two-years-old.


Between the ages of two and four, under supervision, you can start having your child pick up his or her toys, and put them away. They can take their dirty clothes to the laundry hamper, and help make the bed. Also, they can wipe up their own spills, and help to feed the pets.


Between the ages of five and seven, with minimal direction, you can have your child clear the table after a meal. You can also have them help you carry in, and put away, groceries. At this point, they can start folding laundry, and putting away their own clothes. You can start having them dust with a clean sock. This age group can also start helping you prepare simple meals.


Between the ages of eight and twelve, you can have your child start washing the dirty laundry. You can have them take out the trash, and mop the floor. This age group should be able to vacuum, and rake leaves. They can prepare an easy meal by themselves, and wash dishes. You can also have your child clean the bathroom(s), with guidance. Eight to twelve-year-olds should be able to help wash the family car, and weed the garden.


Child Chore
Between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, no supervision should be needed when they complete their chores. At this age, children can do all aspects of cleaning the house (vacuuming, dusting, mopping, etc.), and laundry (washing, drying, folding, etc.). You can start having your child in this age group help you with more complex yard tasks, like weed eating and mowing. You can have them make the grocery list and occasionally cook meals. Also, you can start having your child deep clean the kitchen appliances (cleaning out the refrigerator, etc.).


Remember that every child is different, and you know what chores your child is ready for, better than anyone else. Some parents set up a reward system to encourage their child to do chores, but no matter what you do, remember to praise your child for doing the work. Also, try not to be a perfectionist, the important part is teaching responsibility, while freeing up some quality family time, not working around the house.


Click Here For Tools To Help You With Your Chore List

Child Chore list

Signs Your Child May Have ADHD

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects as many as 10% of children. ADHD is a complex neurological disorder that affects the development of the control centers of the brain. While many children experience hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity from time to time. Those with ADHD experience these symptoms more frequently, and more severely, than their peers.


Hyperactivity can be characterized as your child’s inability to sit still, even for short periods of time. He or she can be described as “driven by a motor,” or always “on the go.” In addition, they will have a difficult time doing quiet activities and assignments, often restless and fidgeting in their seats. Hyperactivity does not always involve constant movement; it can also cause your child to talk nonstop.


Inattention is when your child appears to be very easily distracted, and has difficulty focusing on any particular task. Children with inattention will often skip details, misplace items, and have trouble with organization. These children often flit from one activity to another, even after just starting a task. They have trouble following directions, and completing homework assignments. In addition, these children have difficulty processing information in the same way as their peers, and have trouble listening, even when spoken to directly. These children will move slower, due to distractions, and daydream often.


adhd symptom
Impulsivity can be described as being very impatient. Children that exhibit impulsivity will have a difficult time controlling their emotions, and waiting their turn. These impulsive children will interrupt conversations, and announce whatever comes into their head. They will also act without regard to the consequences of their actions. For example, a child will jump off the bed when the idea comes to them, even if they have gotten hurt performing this action several times before.


There is no cure for ADHD, but it can be managed through behavior modification and medication, in most cases. There is hope, approximately 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD outgrow it, or learn to cope with it, by the time they are adults. The best way to treat ADHD is to catch it early with a proper diagnosis. Now, doctors are able to diagnose ADHD accurately in children as young as 4 years old. So, speak to your pediatrician if you suspect your child may be exhibiting ADHD symptoms.


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adhd symptom

Toy Room Organization Ideas

As children age, it seems like their mountains of toys simply multiply. It also doesn’t help that the size of children’s toys get smaller and smaller, making incredibly painful landmines when left scattered across the floor.

Over the course of holidays, birthdays, and various friends passing on their outgrown stash, our kids have acquired quite the arsenal of toys, games, and books, and it is an ongoing battle to keep the rooms of our home functional and organized. Consider the following not-so-conventional items to help keep your little one’s gadgets and figurines appropriately housed. Not to mention, additional storage will help to reduce clutter around your home.

• Cubby shelves with baskets or bins are a great way to neatly store and disguise toys.
• Spray painted gutters fastened into the wall can serve as exceptional book shelves.
• Recycled wooden pallets or spice racks can also be used as makeshift shelves for your library.
• Under the bed storage bins are perfect for toys – simply toss all the stuff in and roll it away when not in use.
• Tiered, hanging produce baskets (typically used for fruits and veggies) are a great way to keep toys up off the floor.
• Painted flower planters secured on the wall are also a great storage option.
• Miniature hammocks (hung in the corner) are perfect for stuffed animal storage.
• Consider using plastic fishing tackle boxes to keep smaller trinkets like beads, Legos, matchbox cars etc organized.
• In the bathtub, use a tension rod and baskets to keep all the tub toys corralled somewhere other than right under your feet.
• Hang a shoe organizer on the back of their door to hold smaller toys like Barbies and cars.


Coming from a mom who has painstakingly stepped on and crushed her fair share of haphazardly placed toys, there are never too many ways to keep your child’s arsenal of playthings neat and organized.

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Having Fun on a Budget: Family Fun Activities That Won’t Break the Bankbudget_family_fun

If you are a family that is on a limited budget, but still like to have fun, there are plenty of activities that are not only engaging and educational, but incredibly affordable. Taking the time to conduct research in your area is all it takes to fill your calendar with economical and entertaining fun.


1. Check the calendar at your local library for their kid-friendly activities like story time or music class. Most of these events are free to the public.


2. If you have a local Children’s Museum, science center, or other educational institutions in your area, many of these venues offer free or discounted admission at some point during in the month.


3. Contact your local chain hardware store (Lowes, Home Depot etc.) and ask about their free kid clinics, which usually involve a craft, building, or planting activity. Large craft stores like Michaels and JoAnns sometimes have similar kid craft activities.


4. Contact the fire department or police department and inquire about a day trip. This is a fun (not to mention, free) opportunity for your kids to learn about public safety.


5. If there are any local farms in your area, ask the owners if they have the time to show you around. If not, take a trip to the farmers market. Kids can learn about healthy eating, sustainability, and ask the growers any questions about their work.


6. Make a list of all the local parks and playgrounds in your area. Instead of going to the closest park, add some variety to your day trips by rotating around these venues.


7. Check to see if there are any street festivals or outdoor events occurring in your area. If admission is not free, it’s usually not expensive.


A quick internet search will probably turn up several family friendly activities that are also budget friendly, but hopefully this list is a good starting point for filling up your calendar with fun and affordable stuff!


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Testy Toddler?

Tips for Breaking Through Emotional and Communication Barriers


If you are currently parenting a toddler, or you have already progressed through this milestone, chances are, you can attest to the fact that toddlers are special creatures with a mind of their own. Their willful independence, stubborn autonomy, and roller coaster emotions are incredibly complex and trying. There are nights I go to sleep with the phrases “No, Mommy!” and “Why? Why? Why?….Why?” resonating in my brain. Sound familiar?


It is such a joy to watch my two-year-old discover, grow, problem solve, and explore the great big world around her, but her too-big-for-her-britches attitude can sometimes push buttons I never even knew existed. If you find yourself amidst a power struggle between you and your two-foot-tall tot, consider the following three suggestions for improving communication and clarity in your relationship.


1. Be consistent. Deviations in the way that you parent are incredibly confusing for your toddler. Make your rules and be sure to enforce them the same way, every time. Be sure to encourage other caregivers (babysitters, grandparents, etc) to do the same. It is not only unrealistic, but unfair to expect your toddler to respond accordingly when sometimes he/she can get away with a behavior, while other times they are reprimanded. Be consistent.


Testy Toddler

2. Get on their level. When correcting or discussing an issue with your toddler, bend down to their level. Studies suggest that children respond to constructive parenting when they are not as intimidated. Making an effort to get on their level helps to foster trust and understanding, and rather than responding out of fear, your toddler will be more likely to comprehend the purpose and reason of your instruction.


3. Chill out. When your patience is already spread thin, sometimes counting to five or taking some long, deep breaths is just enough to hinder your initial anger or frustration of a behavioral issue. Practice self-control over your own temper, especially if you expect your toddler to do the same.


Parenting a toddler is hard work. It is both physically and emotionally draining, and when life is chaotic and overwhelming, the challenge of shaping your headstrong little one is both overwhelming and frustrating. However, this is also a milestone developmentally pivotal because your child is learning to be obedient and respectful.


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Testy Toddler

Caring For Your Child’s Hair

Who knew that this would be a challenge? Unfortunately, taking care of your child’s hair is not the same as taking care of your own hair. Children produce less oil from their scalp than adults, and thus require less washing. In addition, most adult shampoos contain ammonium, which produces the lathering effect, and will irritate your child’s skin. Here are some general guidelines to follow when caring for your child’s hair.


Short hair requires the least intensive care.These little ones only need to have their hair shampooed every other day, unless they get exceptionally dirty. A mild children’s shampoo, or regular baby shampoo, will do the trick. If you are concerned that your child’s hair feels dry, you can use a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner combo, or go an extra day between shampoos.


Long straight hair should be shampooed every other day. Using a 2-in-1 will help to decrease the amounchildren’s hairt of tangles. Make sure to comb your child’s hair while it is wet, this helps the tangles slide out. You can use a detangler to ease the process. For dry hair, you can wash your child’s hair every two days, and use a small amount of conditioner on non-shampoo days. Just remember, over conditioning your child’s hair can make it look oily.


childrens hair
Curly hair is the most difficult to manage. Curly hair is inherently dry, and only needs to be shampooed two to three times a week. Use a shampoo designed specifically for curly hair, to prevent frizziness. Use conditioner after shampooing, and during every bath, to return moisture to the hair. You should leave the conditioner in your child’s hair for a few minutes, before rinsing it out. Squeeze your child’s hair out, and comb out tangles with your fingers or a wide toothed comb. Feel free to use the detangler liberally on the wet hair. If you are still experiencing frizziness, you can try deep conditioning your child’s hair once a week.


Sleep can do horrendous things to long hair. Try plaiting your child’s hair in a loose braid, comfortable for sleep. This will help tame the hair while they sleep, and prevent morning battles over a tangled mess. Also, certain fabrics can make things worse; you can try using smooth fabrics, like satin or high thread count cotton. These will not absorb as much moisture, and leave your child’s hair smoother.


Every child is different, find the hair care routine that works best for you and your child, and stick with it.


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