Posted 09-13-2015 at 06:41 PM by admin
I remember preparing for my oldest when he started to become mobile. We started baby-proofing as soon as he began rolling over. I was so nervous, so I got an early start. And I am glad I did. It seemed like time flew during those first 9 months of his life.
These are just a few of the safety precautions I took early on.
Plug covers – use outlet covers or safety plugs
Keep electric cords out of reach. Behind furniture or use a safety cover for cords.
Keep hot liquids (like your coffee cup) up high and on a steady table that can’t be knocked over by baby.
Put safety locks on low cabinets.
Use door stops or door holders to protect babies’ little fingers.
Never leave crawling baby unattended.
Put soft covers on tables with sharp corners or edges.
Gate fireplaces and keep fireplace tools out of reach.
Use gates to keep baby away from stairs.
Consider a toilet child proof lock and a refrigerator child proof lock.
Gate any areas that you don’t want baby in.
Keep bathroom doors closed.
I found a FULL childproofing checklist that you can print out HERE. You can also check with your pediatrician for more great safety tips for all of your baby’s stages.
Posted 09-9-2015 at 02:25 PM by Agla
One of the best kept secrets on Diaper Swappers is our regularly running Everything Swap.
– An ESWAP is a great way to move along items that you no longer use while getting some of the things that you actually need for your household.
Here is just a sampling of some of the things that I have received by participating in our ESWAP:
Custom made superhero capes.
Two brand new sun hats.
New Tea Cup with Infuser with loose tea leaves
Star Wars Action Figures
Organic Boys European Sweater
In an eswap you post the items that you have available and then shop from the items offered up for trade from other members.
There is a period of time where you are allowed to make choices and ask questions about the items available. During this time you can also post items that you are currently in search of.
Once the shopping period is over you submit your top three picks to the swap coordinator. It doesn’t mean you will get all of your top picks but the coordinator will try and match as many as people as possible.
To see more detailed guidelines (don’t be daunted the process is much easier than it looks!) please see this post about eswap rules and guidelines.
The DS members that participate in the eswap are a very friendly bunch that are very open to helping new participants.
Posted 09-8-2015 at 02:08 PM by Agla
If I didn’t know that Fall was upon us by looking out the window or the calendar I would know by the constant advertisements for everything pumpkin and apple flavored advertised in print and media. Instead of fighting the pumpkin and apple trend embrace it!
Here are some fun things you can do, make or taste to make the most of this time of year.
– Bake a pie. It really is much easier than you think and there are videos and recipes easily accessible online. Little hands can mix ingredients and help with the dough. Not sure if you know how to crimp pie dough? Fold over the sides and call it a tartlette instead.
– Add Pumpkin or Apple to Anything. Muffins, pancakes, waffles, soups there are so many recipes that can be enhanced by adding some apple or pumpkin.
– Go to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Don’t have one in your area? A corn maze or hay maze will do in a pinch.
– Have an apple tasting. There are many varieties of apples. Buy several and have a tasting. Which do you prefer? What words would they use to describe them?
– Wear some Fall colors. Put away the neon green and bring out the orange!
– With your kids, do some apple or pumpkin themed crafts.
– Check out books about pumpkins and apples for your kids from the library.
I would love to hear what type of activities DS members do during this time of year.
Posted 09-7-2015 at 02:05 PM by Agla
For some of us this is the time where we have to open our closets and figure out what needs to be put away, given away and put out. This can be a daunting project and there are many ways that this task can be approached. I am going to share some of the ways I have learned to get this task done through the years.
Keep, Store, Give Away
Anyone that has watched a home organization show is familiar with the sorting technique in which you quickly assess your items and sort them into three categories: Keep, Store and Give Away. If you are looking at an item for more than 30 seconds still debating if you can get use out of it then the item should probably be in the Give Away pile. For parents that are thrifty another category for sorting can be made titled “Sell/Trade.”
When the Weather Is Temperamental
Some of us have the joy of living in areas where the weather can change from one second to the next. I’ve learned the hard way that putting all the summer things away as soon as the weather cools can be a mistake. For example, yesterday it was 90 degrees here. Today, one of my kids left the house wearing shorts, a long sleeve T-shirt, and a fleece, because it was much cooler. To keep your organization time and frustration level to a minimum I suggest doing your closet change over in stages.
First, clear out the items that are overtly summer related. Things like your 4th of July T-shirts can be cleared out. Most tank tops can be cleared out with the exception of those that you can layer as the weather cools. Clear out items that are stained or damaged as well.
At this point I would make sure that long pants and sweatshirts are also accessible so that they are available for cooler mornings and evenings.
Keep shorts out as they can still get some wear as the seasons change but gather them in one location so that they can easily be gathered and stored when the weather gets too cool.
Hand Me Downs
Here is where things can get a bit complicated. For some reason kids grow like weeds in the summer. As you go through the closet make sure that the items still fit and assess what is about to be grown out of. If your same gender children are close in age and born in similar seasons then it does make sense to keep clothing to hand down. Just keep in mind that trends do change, the build of children vary and so do their tastes. You usually won’t lose if you hold on to classic pieces. I have one gender neutral nautical themed sweater that has been passed down for fourteen years. I prefer sorting hand me downs by size and season and using storage containers I keep in the basement. I know others that keep separate sections of closets. The storage method will vary based on your space and the amount you need to store.
Is There Too Much?
One of the things that can make a closet change overwhelming is when there are too many items to deal with. Realistically, the clothing needs of a school aged child are not huge. If you are swimming in clothes and are constantly frustrated by your efforts to organize it all then it might mean that it is time to purge and free yourself of items that are creating more work for you.
Posted 09-5-2015 at 02:04 PM by admin
What is teething?
If you’re a new parent, you may not know what teething is. Teething is when babies teeth begin to emerge through the gums. This usually starts between four and seven months. But, all babies are different, so this could be much earlier or later for your child.
Some of the symptoms we tend to see during teething is increased drooling, mild fever, irritability, lack of appetite, and increased gnawing/chewing on items.
Cold items to chew on:
- Wet the end of a washcloth and place in the freezer. Let baby chew on the cold washcloth. I’ve used this method many times.
- A frozen (large) carrot has worked for my kiddos too!
- Cold teething rings. Check the baby section of your local stores for teething rings that can be put in the fridge or freezer.
Natural teething tablets:
- Hyland’s makes all natural teething tablets that have been very helpful (and I love that they are natural!)
Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces
I found these all-natural Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces when doing some online research HERE. I found this: Succinic acid is a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, and a central nervous system calmer. It is so effective on babies and small children because it simultaneously eases their pain while also having a strong soothing effect on their nervous system – all with zero side effects.
Every child will react differently to teething pain. Some babies show no signs of discomfort at all. Consult your doctor for more great ideas.
Do you have any other recommendations?
Posted 08-28-2015 at 10:49 PM by admin
Are school mornings chaotic in your house? Whether you have one child or nine children, there are lots of ways to cut down on the chaos and the morning stress. Of course, this will vary depending on your child’s personality as well. I have 4 kids. The boys are morning people, the girls are night owls and not so happy in the morning. I’ve learned that keeping them separate in the mornings keeps the peace. Below are more tips I’ve learned over the years that have saved the stress, rush, and tears in the mornings. (MY tears AND the kids tears)
*Pack backpacks in the evening. Make sure to double check that all papers are signed and homework is done before zipping it up!
*Pack lunches in the evening. We pack lunches together in the evening and place them in the fridge ready to grab in the morning.
*Lay out clothes the night before. Have a checklist: shirt, pants, socks, underwear, shoes. Do you see a pattern here? Get as much done the night before as possible!
*Place breakfast dishes, cups, and silverware on the table and ready for morning. We like to stick with easy breakfast foods. Cereal, yogurt, and pancakes or waffles that we have cooked and frozen. Just pop in the microwave in the morning!
*Have girls with long hair? We brush hair in the evening and braid. This avoids tangled messes in the morning.
*In our house, I get up 15 minutes before the kids and have a cup of coffee. I heat up breakfast so it’s ready when I get them out of bed.
Do you have tips to share?
Posted 08-25-2015 at 02:40 PM by admin
I have been a mom for almost 15 years. As I sit and reflect over the years, I have noticed some major changes in myself. I’m not talking about physical changes here. There are plenty of those. That could be an entire post on it’s own. Another day, maybe. Today, I’m referring to my personality, the way I carry myself, and the way I view the world.
Goodbye Shy: If you knew me in my school years, you would probably describe me as quiet and shy. Maybe you wouldn’t even remember me at all. I was the one that hoped she’d never be called on. Hoping to be overlooked. Secretly praying that I would not have to get up and speak. That changed the moment I held my son. I came out of my shell. Not for me, but for him. I was sure that my voice was heard, my concerns were voiced to doctors, nurses, etc. It started in that hospital room right after his birth. And I haven’t stopped yet.
I’m a fighter: In my pre-baby days I was a lover not a fighter. I always tried to make peace. I didn’t want to cause waves. Now, I’m a fighter. When it comes to my kids I speak up and fight for them. Of course I’m not talking physical fighting. I’m talking stand up for my kids and FIGHT for their future.
Role Model: My husband and I changed the moment we brought our oldest home. What once was a weekend out on the town is now a weekend at home with the kids. 16 years ago I would have thought being at home all weekend and going to bed by 10pm was so uncool. Now, I look forward to early bedtime and cozy weekends with the family.
My hobbies have changed: So this may not be because of kids….it may just be part of getting older. My hobbies have changed. I enjoy gardening with my daughters and watching football with my sons (and I actually understand what’s going on during the game!)
Date night: These are few and far between. However, we enjoy date night much more now than we did before kids. We know how important quality alone time is now. I sometimes think we took each others time for granted before kids. Not anymore. Each and every minute during date nights is spent in the moment making memories.
I really could go on and on. I will say that all the changes I have seen have been positive. I love my family and strive to be the best mom and wife I possibly can.
What changes have you seen in yourself?
Posted 08-13-2015 at 12:38 AM by admin
FIVE MINUTES FOR MOM
A parents’ job is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! It can be hard to take time out for us. However, to be the best parent we can be, we all need a little “me time”. This can be very hard to find. But it doesn’t have to be. Below you will find some tips on making the most out of naptime. I know we have responsibilities like cleaning and laundry and making appointment phone calls. However, taking just one naptime a week to relax is very important. The chores will be there tomorrow! This goes for MOM, DAD, or ANY caregiver!
Take a warm bath – Get out the candles and a good book or some light music. Soak away that stress!
Invest in a hammock or lounge chair – head out to the back yard to relax in a hammock or a comfortable patio lounge chair. Soak up some sun (don’t forget the sunblock), read, or do absolutely nothing!
Garden – Some people enjoy gardening. It can be relaxing for some. If this is your thing, have at it.
Workout – A 30 minute (or longer) workout can relieve stress and make your body and mind feel great. Pop in a video or hop on a stationary bike and go! Release some endorphins and get the blood flowing.
Pull out the crayons – Coloring in a coloring book can be very calming. I’ve caught myself coloring long after the kids are done coloring. Try it; you may love it.
Sip some coffee (or other favorite drink), put on comfortable clothing, and lie on the couch. Read, watch your favorite show, put on some headphones, or call a friend. It’s YOU time, do what YOU love.
You CAN relax or have a good time without leaving home. Do you have any other suggestions?
Posted 08-12-2015 at 12:38 AM by admin
Packing Your Hospital Bag
Whether it’s your first or your fifth delivery, having a list for your hospital bag is a must! You don’t want to forget anything, especially if you live a distance from the hospital. Remember to pack for the baby too!
Comfortable non-skid socks – You may be walking the halls before and after labor. Non-skid slippers work too! Note: they will get dirty.
Comfortable pillow – If you have a pillow that you love, bring it along. The hospital does have pillows, but they are not equal to your favorite pillow. I always brought along my body pillow as it made it so much more comfortable to sleep before and after labor. *Note: It will get dirty
Sugar-free mints – My mouth always became dry and not so pleasant while at the hospital. Obviously you will bring your toothbrush and toothpaste, but this will help between brushings. Also, sugar makes you thirsty, so stick with sugar-free.
Chapstick – especially if you’re water intake is restricted, which happens often, your mouth and lips will be very dry. Chapstick will help avoid cracked lips.
Maternity/ Nursing Bra and breast pads
Maternity underwear + your own sanitary pads – the hospital WILL provide both. But the underwear they provide takes some getting used to, you may be more comfortable with your own. Be sure that they can be ruined, because they will!
Insurance information and all hospital forms. Many hospitals have you pre-register, so don’t forget any of those important forms. Identification as well.
Phone charger, camera charger. I think we all remember our phones and cameras, but tend to forget chargers, and of course the memory card for the camera is important as well!
Pony tail holders – if you have long hair, don’t forget your pony tail holders.
Robe – If you don’t want to show the world your backside while walking the halls, you may want to consider bringing a comfortable robe to wear during walks.
After labor clothes/night gown – Keep in mind these items may get ruined, so don’t pack your favorite! The night gown will be needed especially if you have visitors and don’t want to wear the thin, open in the back, gown that hospitals provide. And, of course, you will want comfortable wearing clothing for the drive home.
Posted 08-7-2015 at 06:19 PM by admin
Tips On Choosing A Day Care For Your Child
Choosing a day care for your children can be hard. This is a very important choice for you and your child, so don’t take it lightly. Be prepared. Have a list of questions. Open communication is the key!
Schedule a visit – This may be obvious. But, be sure to schedule a visit to the center during the day when there are kids there. This way you can see exactly what goes on and you can see if the kids are happy and engaged. Keep your eyes, ears, and even nose open – see how the caregivers interact with the kids, listen to how they speak to the children. Do you smell multiple dirty diapers or other bad smells? Sanitation is important!
Adult to child ratio – Ask about the adult to child ratio. This varies on the age of the children. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers all require different supervision.
Qualifications/Accreditation – Ask for qualifications, accreditation, inspection reports, etc. Were they ever given warnings? Don’t be shy. You have every right to these answers.
Turnover rate – What is their turnover rate. Kids get attached to their caregivers. You don’t want your child upset if employees are constantly coming and going. Will you be told when new employees are hired?
Daily Schedule – Ask about the daily schedule. Are the kids given plenty of play time, outside sunshine, and exercise? What about naptime and snack time?
Education and skills – Is there an educational plan in place? What about learning their ABC’s? Are their skills like tying shoes or buttoning their shirt, that are taught/encouraged?
Potty training – Is potty training encouraged?
Emergency Procedure – Get a copy of their emergency procedures and medical plans. If your child gets hurt or sick, what steps are taken?
These are just a few of the top questions to ask. You know your child best, so you may have specific questions to ask. I highly encourage you to speak up and inquire. Don’t be shy!