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Top 10 Items New Parents Need

November 20, 2012 | Leave a comment

When you find out you are going to have a child, that you are to become a parent and be in charge of a new, little person, the next thought is often “How am I going to take care of him?” or “How do I even begin to know the best way to provide for her?” It can be overwhelming. How do you know which are the right things to buy ahead of time, or what are the best things to ensure you’re prepared and fully supplied? During pregnancy this can be so overwhelming. There are lots of places to go, books to read and stores to purchase what you might need. All these resources provide lists of what they think you must have but those lists are often full of unnecessary things that are included so someone can make money off of you, not because they’re what you honestly need as the basics to be ready for a new baby. Here is a starter list that has been compiled from practical moms, keeping in mind that the basics are all you need.

 

1      Baby clothing: You’ll need enough pieces to get you through about a week before laundry day becomes necessary, but be aware that many new babies go through more than one outfit each day. You need enough baby clothes on hand to provide two or three outfits each day. Baby clothes come in sizes preemie, newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months and 9-12 months. Because there’s not a reliable way to determine what size your baby will be when he or she is born, it’s best to stock up on a few outfits in each of the lower three sizes and then be ready to go shopping a few days after baby is born to purchase the rest of what you need in the size that’s right.

2      Diapers: Again, because you don’t know what size the baby is going to be, you’ll need to stock up on a few sizes ahead of time. You may also want to try a few different brands, because many parents find that one type or another suits their baby’s body better than another. This is simply a trial and error process you have to go through. If you can avoid opening the packages of diapers until you know the size is right, you may be able to return them after the fact if they turn out to be too small.

3      Car seat: Car seat and seat belt requirements for infants and children vary state by state, and it is important to verify the requirements where you live. A good online resource can be found at the Governor’s Highway Safety Association website, where seat belt and restraint laws are summarized by state. In a new policy published in the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics magazine, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced updated recommendations from their previous 2002 stance. They advise parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat. When you are looking at all the options available, it can be very overwhelming to know which one is the best, which one is safest, and which one is right for your baby, but keep in mind that all car seats must meet federal standards to be sold in the United States, so all of them meet the minimum safety requirements put forth by the government. There are additional safety features that some brands offer, and you need to decide which ones you might feel are best for your baby. However, no hospital can let you take your child home after being born without a car seat properly installed and ready for transporting your new bundle of joy, so be sure you take care of this purchase ahead of time.

4      Breastfeeding or bottle feeding pillow: No matter how you decide you’re going to feed your baby, having a u-shaped pillow to rest your arms and the baby on while you feed him or her is one of the most highly rated “must-haves” by moms polled in the past few years. Whether it’s a Boppy brand, a knock-off or something made at home by a friend or yourself, this type of pillow is considered indispensable. It makes the whole feeding experience so much easier and you’ll find you can’t live without one.

5      Baby blankets: Baby blankets will become a necessity as well. They can be used in a myriad of ways, from swaddling baby, covering them to keep the night air off their legs when they sleep, wiping up spit-up, covering their stroller or carseat when they’re taking a nap, and many other ways. You’ll find it’s good to have a stash in several places in the house so one is always within arm’s reach and they’ll be in constant use. Most moms like to have 8 - 10 baby blankets so they can rotate some in the wash but still have a good supply available for everyday use.

6      A crib or bassinet: Unless you plan on co-sleeping with your infant for years into their childhood, many parents eventually move to the traditional practice of their child having their own bed, and you’re going to need a crib. There are lots of options available, and again be reassured that to be sold in the United States, all cribs must meet basic federal safety standards. Assembling the crib is a rite of passage many expectant parents go through before the baby actually arrives, and it is best done before then when you don’t have the stress of a new baby (and possibly some sleep deprivation from a new baby who doesn’t have a good sleep cycle yet) making assembly more complicated. Some parents purchase a bassinet as well, and use it as a portable sleeping arrangement closer to the parent’s bed without actually being in it.

7      Stroller: Eventually you’ll be brave enough to leave the house with your newborn, and you’ll want a way to move them around without disturbing them from their nap in the infant car seat. Basic frame strollers have become very popular recently, and for good reason. They are very light, easy to get in and out of the car, and almost every brand of infant car seat has a basic frame stroller that is compatible with it. Many have a basket underneath to carry your baby bag and any other things you need while running errands or going somewhere. A larger, more substantial stroller may be useful as well if you like to go jogging or for long walks.

8      Baby monitor: Being able to check on your baby without actually standing over them to see if they’re breathing is a stage you will eventually get to, although it may not seem so when you first bring your baby home. When you get to this phase, having a good baby monitor system really helps. There are good video baby monitor systems available, but the basic setup that you need is a one-way baby radio system that allows you to hear when your baby wakes up and is ready for whatever is next after naptime. A system that has more than one channel is nice, so you can avoid crossing signals with your neighbors who might have cordless home phones or a baby monitor system of their own that could interfere with your own if you can’t adjust the radio channels.

9      Safety measures: These aren’t anything you need right away after you bring your baby home from the hospital, but they are something to consider and plan for, and the need for baby gates and baby locks comes sooner than you think. As soon as your baby starts crawling, they’re going to be getting into everything, so at a minimum, planning for the areas that could be major problems is critical. Stairs and cupboards under the sink that contain cleaning supplies are the bare minimum you should think preventatively about. There are lots of options available to make sure your baby doesn’t get into trouble in these areas, and so you should at least begin looking at them before baby arrives so you can make an informed decision when the time comes to baby proof your house.

10   Baby toys: Again, these aren’t something you’ll need right away, but sooner rather than later your baby is going to be interested in more than the things attached to the ends of his or her arms (those would be their hands, and it’s fascinating to watch baby figure that out!). There are lots of good toys out there that are interesting to baby and stimulating at the same time. This isn’t somewhere that you need to go overboard because just as quickly as they get interested in a new toy, they can move on to something else. Find a few good toys that other moms and dads around you have had success with, and then look for other toys similar to those as your baby’s brain and hence their interest in playing grows.

 

As you begin to get ready, keep in mind that there is no one way to be the best prepared parent. Enjoy the process and you’ll find it’s much easier. Parenting is a challenge. Listen to everyone’s suggestions (even those we’ve made here) and only adopt them as your own if they feel right for you. The best sort of parent is one who is comfortable with their decisions and one who is calm, collected and confident!

by Duane VelasquezPosted in Mothers

How Parenting Has Changed-Contest!

August 27, 2012 | Leave a comment

Congratulations to Kimberly Hall who won this Britax stroller! Please contact us with your information!

 

 

 

Have you ever listened to someone from another generation go on and on about the way times have changed when it comes to raising children? Let's face it, things are much different these days! Both parents are much more involved in their children's lives than they were forty or fifty years ago. With that said, I personally think parents nowadays have more stress than they did back when our parents raised us or our grandparents raised their children. Parents these days are expected to "balance it all." By that I mean balance the career, balance family and keep things flowing smoothly.

 

What the older generation doesn't understand is that times have changed drastically and here's why!

1. Car Safety

Ever wonder how our parents survived? They never had seat belts! Not only that, they didn't have car seats. Mother's were encouraged to travel in back seat holding their newborn babies when coming home from the hospital. Luckily, safety has come a long way since then! In fact keeping our children safe in the car and in the home is much more important than it use to be.

2. Outside Play

These days you can't keep your eyes off your child for two seconds. It seems every time you turn around, another child is missing. Gone are the days when parents would let their kids out in the morning to play with the neighborhood kids. Kids were expected to be home for dinner. Times have certainly changed!

3. Technology

There are certainly many more outside influences like the media and internet. Kids nowadays know a lot more than they should. While there is a lot of good that comes out of kids studying and learning from the internet, there can also be a lot of negativity that comes with the internet and media as well. Our ultimate goal as a parent is to keep children safe and healthy. I think limiting the use of t.v, internet and video games is extremely important. Encouraging better eating habits and exercise should be a top priority.

4. More Outside Influences

I personally think there are many more options for kids to get into trouble these days. There's certainly more drugs and alcohol than there was 50,60 or 70 years ago. There's more pressure to be a certain way or fit into a certain group etc. Bullying is a term used more and more these days than ever before too. This generation of kids have many more outside influences than ever before.

5. Parents are Expected to do it All

By this I mean both parents are expected to do it all. Back when it was custom for the husband to work and the wife to stay home, it's certainly very different now. Both parents are encouraged to work therefore, the child is forced to be put in daycare and basically raised by someone other than their parents. Many parents seem to just scrape by after the cost of daycare and mother's often work just to keep the health insurance for the family. Since the cost of raising a child is a lot higher these days, both parents may have to contribute.

How has parenting changed in your opinion? Do you think it's easier or harder to raise a child these days?

 

Jessica

 

Make a comment below and like us on Facebook to be entered to win a Britax B-Agile stroller! Contest ends 9/24/12.

Don't forget to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

by Jessica GPosted in Mothers

Traveling With Kids

September 04, 2012 | Leave a comment

 

 

Does the thought of traveling with your kids make you cringe? Maybe you're one of those rare parents that actually enjoys it! Either that or one of those rare parents that have extremely easy and well-behaved children that will go anywhere or sleep anywhere! I know that when my kids don't sleep in their own beds, we are usually in for a tough next day. My husband and I keep tossing the idea back and forth on when we should take the kids to Disney. I'm hoping that it's as stress free as possible with very few meltdowns! What I really want is my kids to enjoy it and hopefully remember it.

We have done the weekend getaways with the kids. While the idea sounds great, we might as well have stayed the month with the amount of clothes, toys and necessities we needed to bring! Better yet, we should have rented a U-haul! I have to wonder if going away for a weekend with kids is even worth it.

Have you ever taken your child on a flight? Chances you have thought about it and dreaded it. I have taken my two oldest children on a plane when they were young. My son was two and my daughter was 6 months old at the time. There were three adults and two children which made things a heck of a lot easier! With that said, it was still work! Did I mention we had a four-hour layover on the way home? Not the best situation but we made it! Which brings me to my next subject.

Just  recently on a flight, parents of 14 week-old twins handed out goody bags to everyone on the flight. Here's what the note read:

'We're twin baby boys on our first flight and we're only 14 weeks old!' the note read.'We'll try to be on our best behavior, but we'd like to apologize in advance just in case we lose our cool, get scared or our ears hurt. Our mom and dad (AKA our portable milk machine and our diaper changer) have ear plugs available if you need them,' the note added.

Mostly everyone on board thought it was such a nice gesture and appreciated the fact that the parents had gone to the trouble to do this. Some people thought it was a little much. I personally think it was a really nice gesture. Having been on a plane with my own kids, I get it. I remember rolling my eyes when I would get on a plane and see a baby. That was before I had my own children. Now when I get on and see a baby, I immediately think, "Oh gosh, those poor parents." Funny how you thoughts change after you have kids! My guess is that the majority of passengers on the flight had kids or grandchildren of their own and the ones who weren't as enthusiastic, didn't!

What do you think? Do you think the goody bags were a nice gesture or did you think it was over the top?

Wouldn't this stroller make life so much easier when you travel with your little one? We are giving it away! Just make a comment to the previous blog and like us on Facebook to win. Winner will be announced September 24, 2012.

Jessica

Don't forget to subscribe to this blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

by Jessica GPosted in Mothers, Welcome
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