Establishing a Sleeping Routine

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It’s not unusual for newborns to have strange sleeping habits, particularly for them to want to sleep during the day and stay awake at night. If you are a new parent, you’ve likely received advice from many parents on how to achieve a sleeping schedule. If your baby’s sleeping habits need some adjustment, here are some ways to get your baby on track.

  1. Don’t keep quiet during the day when he’s sleeping – When your baby sleeps during the day (and all babies will) leave the door to his room open, and go about your normal daily routine. Keep the television or stereo on. This will accomplish two things. First, he will learn to sleep even through the noise, which is important, since this child will be taking naps in your home for four or five years. Secondly, he will get the idea that the daytime is not the right time for long periods of sleep.
  2. Start slow. Your baby doesn’t need a bedtime routine right away. A newborn will sleep a lot when first brought home. They will not sleep for several hours in a row because of their eating needs. After a month or so, try starting a nightly routine. For example, bath time, massaging, feeding, and then singing a lullaby.
  3. If your baby sleeps more than three hours at a stretch, wake them. Babies should nap during the day, of course, but more than three hours is not a nap. Once your baby is awake, sing or talk to your baby to keep them awake. This is a great time to put him on a mat for some tummy time if it’s not feeding time. Now, of course, the second half of this problem is the staying awake at night. This is going to take some time, and babies usually make some significant adjustments within about three weeks, though you will be getting up for feedings at least once at night for a bit longer.
  4. Put him in bassinet or cradle for the first few weeks. A crib can seem huge to a newborn, so you might find that he sleeps much better in the coziness of a smaller space.
  5. Give him some soothing sounds. Not only will this act as a sort of “white noise” to block out other sounds, it will also be soothing to him. Soft, classical music works well, but so can the constant hum of a fan or the Baby Shusher.
  6. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature. If your baby too cold or too warm, just like the rest of us, they will not sleep as well.
  7. Establishing a routine. Your child will sleep better if they have an established sleeping routine for day and night. Put your baby down for naps at the same time each day, and put them down for bed at the same time each night. Create some bedtime habits that will signal to the baby that bedtime is near. A bath or a story can be a nice way to wind down and get ready for restful sleep.

Sleeping habits are a challenge for most new parents, primarily because you’re so tired yourself. One word of advice – don’t try to make baby sleep at night by not allowing him to nap during the day. It will backfire. Babies need lots of sleep, and naps are a critical part of this. Just don’t let your baby sleep for too long at a stretch during the day. Give it some time, and take some naps yourself, and before you know it, everyone will be sleeping soundly through the night.

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Preparing for Labor

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What To Pack

Whether you’re planning to have your baby at home, in a hospital or with a midwife, you’ll definitely want to pre-pack in preparation for labor. It’s best to get a few things ready at least two weeks before your due date.

You may get a list from your midwife or from the hospital. Here are a few things you could include:

  • Something loose and comfortable to wear during labor that doesn’t restrict you from moving around or make you too hot. You’ll probably need about three changes of clothes.
  • Comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you’re planning to breastfeed.
  • Sanitary pads.
  • A bag with a toothbrush, hairbrush, soap and other toiletries.
  • Books, magazines, and music to help pass time after birth.
  • Front-opening or loose-fitting nightgowns or tops if you’re going to breastfeed, and any other clothes you will feel comfortable in.
  • Loose, comfortable outfit to wear after you have given birth, and to come home in.
  • Clothes, a hat, and diapers for the baby.
  • Swaddles or blankets to wrap baby in.
  • Baby Shusher
  • Tushy Tote for diapers.

Transport

Decide how you will arrive at the hospital or midwifery unit. If you’re planning to go by car, make sure it’s running well and that there’s plenty of gas in the tank. Have a backup plan just in case your little one makes a surprise arrival.

Emergency and Important Numbers

Wherever you’re planning to give birth, keep a list of important numbers in your handbag or program them into your phone.

You need to include:

  • Your hospital or midwife’s phone number.
  • Your partner or birth partner’s phone number.
  • Your own hospital reference number.

Stocking Up

When you come home after labor, you won’t want to do much more than rest and care for your baby. Do as much shopping and planning in advance as you can. Stock up on basics, such as toilet paper, diapers, groceries, and needed household items. It’s also a great idea to pre-cook some meals in advance and freeze them.

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Water Safety Rules Parents Need to Know

 

Summer is officially here! It’s time for fun in the sun and plenty of pool days. It’s no secret that swimming at the pool poses a risk to your children — drowning. It is a fear every parent has, so we’re going to give you a list of water safety rules you should know as a parent to help keep your kids safe!

Rule #1

Always, always, always, watch your children at the pool. An accident could happen in the blink of an eye. So, put your phone away and be alert.

Rule #2

Take your child to swimming lessons. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children ages 4 and older take swimming lessons. You can even sign your child up for lessons younger than 4 years old if you wish to do so. This will teach your child to be comfortable in the water, how to float, how to control their breathing, and more. Even though your child has had successful swimming lessons, they should still be monitored in the water.

Rule #3

Learn CPR. A lifeguard may be on duty at the pool, but you may see your child or another in need of assistance before the lifeguard. In other cases, if your child is playing in the water at home or somewhere a lifeguard is not present, knowing CPR will save lives.

Rule #4

Teach your child the rules and how to behave at a pool or anywhere around water. Do not push people into the pool, no running, do not hold people underwater, wait for an adult to be present before swimming.

Rule #5

Toddlers and Infants in water should be no more than an arm’s length away so that you may provide touch supervision. This means that you are able to touch or hold the child if help is needed.

We hope these rules help you keep your kids and others safe when around water. Happy swimming!

 

Preventing Hot Car Related Deaths

You may be thinking, “I’ll never forget that I have my child with me in the car.” Most deaths related to hot cars are not intentional. Parents who have had these accidents happen to them probably said the same thing before. It is human nature to forget things from time to time. And, it is better to be safe than sorry. It only takes forgetting your child one time for a fatal accident to happen. Afterall, your child is irreplaceable. A few states have even made it illegal to leave children in the car unattended.

On average, 37 children die from a heat stroke from being trapped in hot vehicles a year according to kidsandcars.org. We’ve put together a list of ways you can prevent accidentally forgetting about your child in the backseat.

  1. Leave your left shoe in the backseat.
  2. Place your cell phone, purse, bag, etc. in the backseat.
  3. Put the diaper bag in the front seat after putting your baby in their car seat.
  4. Talk to your child while driving to your destination.
  5. The BackSeat App
  6. Kars4Kids Safety App
  7. Car seat alarms, reminder key fobs, etc.

All of these tips and ideas remind you to check your backseat before leaving your car.

More backseat reminder technologies can be found at fatherly.com.

Car Seat Safety Tips

Choosing the right type of car seat for your child is important. Picking the wrong type of car seat could be dangerous. There are many different types of car seats that change as your child grows.

Rear-facing Car Seats

Your child should be in a rear-facing car seat until they are 12 months old. After that, it would be a good idea to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. Generally 1-3 years old. Read the height and weight limit on your car seat to find this information.

Some car seats, called convertible or all-in-one, can be used through most if not all stages of your child’s development and growth.

Forward-facing Car Seats

Children 1-3 years old and 4-7 years old can use forward-facing car seats. Remember, keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. Check the height and weight limit of the car seat per the manufacturer’s instructions. The same goes for forward-facing car seats. Once your child has outgrown the height and weight limits of their forward-facing car seat, they can use a booster seat.

Booster Seat

Children ages 4-7 and 8-12 can use booster seats. Again, check the height and weight limit of the car seat per the manufacturer’s instructions. Their seatbelt should run across their thighs and not their stomach.

There is overlap in age ranges due to children being unique. One child may grow faster than another, etc. Remove any bulky clothing so that their car seat harness straps fit snugly. Make sure there are not any twists in the straps, and the clip is across their chest at armpit level.

More information and resources can be found at dmv.org and nhtsa.gov.

Family Roadtrip Essentials for Kids

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Going on a long road trip, or traveling with children overall can sometimes be difficult. They can become fussy and irritable. They’re not used to being confined to sitting in their car seats for long hours at a time. We have gathered a list of essentials you need to make your family road trips easier and keep your sanity!

Favorite Toy

Bringing their favorite toy on the trip is a no-brainer. Your kids can play with their favorite toy for a good chunk of time.

Baby Shusher

Packing your Baby Shusher is a great idea because it helps calm, soothe, and end their crying spell. The device is Doctor approved and tested too! It will help keep your baby calm if you need to find a place to pull over to check on your baby.

Portable DVD Player or Tablet

Purchasing a portable DVD player may be the best investment of your life. All jokes aside, your kids can watch their favorite movies (on repeat if necessary) and will be totally content doing so. This could buy you at least an hour or more into your trip, and by then, someone will likely need a potty break.

If your kids have their own tablets or can use yours, download fun children’s games for them to play. Or, download the endless amounts of kids movies for them to watch on Netflix.

Kids Music/Podcasts/Stories

Load up your phone with plenty of kids music, podcasts, or books to listen to! Music-hack: download their favorite cartoon/TV show theme song. This is sure to keep them happy! You can download children books via Audible or another service you may use already.

Activity Books

These are so much fun for kids! You can make your own (thank you Pinterest!) or buy them from places like Walmart, Target, Barnes and Noble, or even Amazon. Kids especially enjoy the no-mess painting books. Another idea, pack their favorite coloring books and a handful of crayons.

Diaper and Wipe Clutch

Using a diaper and wipe clutch can save you from having to lug the entire diaper bag into a changing room or station in a restroom. The Tushy Tote can hold diapers, wipes, and any cream or ointment you may need. Aside from diaper changes, the Tushy Tote can also hold small toys, books, crayons, and more!

Favorite Blanket and Pillow

Packing their favorite blanket and pillow is just like their favorite toy. Your kids will likely fall asleep if they have the blanket and pillow they’re used to sleeping with already. This will also help to make them more comfortable in the car ride.

Snacks and Drinks

Bring plenty of snacks and drinks! Buying these from a gas station or convenience store can get expensive. Packing some you may already have at home, or buying them in bulk at the store can save you time and money!

 

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Father’s Day DIY Gifts

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Put a sentimental and personal touch on Father’s Day gifts this year. Let your kids handmake their gifts for Dad! Arts and crafts are a wonderful way for your child to stretch their imagination and creativity. We’ve compiled a list of DIY gifts your kids can make and have fun while doing it!

Desk Decor

Buy a small, clay flower pot, and let your kids paint and decorate it. Help your children plant Dad an indoor plant for his desk, or make fake flowers out of paper with photos of your kids on them!

Paint a Picture

Pinterest has a ton of ideas if you need help thinking of an idea. Give your child a paintbrush, paint, paper, and let them paint freely. Or, have a more structured painting by using painters tape to write the word ‘Dad’. Once your child has painted their picture, peel the tape off, and voila, a gift for Dad!

Photoshoot

Take photos of your kids holding the letters ‘D-A-D’ or ‘We love you’. Print them out, frame it, and it’s a quick and easy gift.

Candy Jar

If you are pressed for time, fill a jar full of Dad’s favorite sweet treat and tie some ribbon around the lid.

Why We Love You

Let your kids made a card by using paper and crayons or paint. Have your children tell you reasons they love their Dad and write them down on the card, or if they can write on their own, ask them to write them on the card.

Cook a Meal or Bake a Sweet

Your kids can help you cook Dad’s favorite meal for dinner or his favorite dessert. They can help stir the pot or mix the cookie dough!

Plan a Scavenger Hunt

Your kids can make small gifts for Dad and help you hide them around the house. Write down a list of clues that Dad can follow to find each of his Father’s Day gifts.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash