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  • Pets and children can become stressed during moving. If moving locally, you may want to leave these special family members with a friend during moving day.
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    August 12, 2014
    Why Your Baby Needs Tummy Time

    My nephew Jayden is an explorer: he loves rolling over, looking around, playing with toys, and crawling (well, more like scooting, to be honest) around on his tummy. This was not always the case though! Initially, he HATED being put on his belly. I guess it’s understandable; all he could see was the blanket underneath him, and he was still developing the muscles needed to lift his head up and balance on his arms and legs. Once he got more practice, he got the hang of it though! While it can be uncomfortable for babies, tummy time is essential for muscle development. As always, make sure tummy time is spent while the baby is AWAKE—when sleeping, infants should always be placed on their back. Read this article by Tonya at Therapy Fun Zone for an explanation, as well as tips to make it easier:

    When a baby is born, they have been all curled and flexed up in the womb for months. When they come out, their muscles are still in fetal flexion and it takes time for them to stretch out those muscles. Tummy time does not have to be forced, and it does not have to be painful (for anyone) but it does have to be done (and is likely being done without your knowledge). When you lay or sit on the couch with your baby on your chest, that is tummy time. When you hold your baby in the football hold (which many babies prefer), that is tummy time.

    Photo Credit: mazaletel


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    August 4, 2014
    Switching to Baby Food

    My nephew Jayden is almost six months old! Wow, does time fly. Seriously, it seems like he was just born yesterday. But now he’s almost sitting up on his own, laughing, smiling at faces he recognizes, and rolling over and trying to crawl. Another major change? Simple formula just isn’t cutting it anymore. About a month and a half ago, we started introducing cereal into his formula to help fill him up and give him more nutrients. Even more recently, we’ve been experimenting with baby foods and other soft “people” foods like mashed potatoes. He LOVES peas, sweet potatoes, and pears, but isn’t so crazy about squash and applesauce. But, just like with all baby milestones, it’s not going to happen at the same time for everyone: every child different skills at different paces- you just have to be able to tell if they’re ready. For more info on when to switch to baby food, check out this article at WebMD:

    Most pediatricians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend introducing solid foods to babies at between 4 and 6 months of age. That’s when they start to lose the “tongue-thrust reflex” or extrusion reflex, which is important for sucking the breast or bottle but interferes with feeding.

    If your baby is around this age, can sit up well with support, and shows interest in the foods he sees you eating, it’s probably a good time to make your first forays into feeding baby solid food.

    Photo Credit: Jencu 


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    July 10, 2014
    Common Potty Training Mistakes

    All parents can’t wait until their babies are potty trained, but the training process itself can be a nightmare. Kids usually are pretty reluctant to learn- after all, pooping whenever you want and having someone else wipe it up for you is a pretty sweet deal. The idea is not that hard: you sit them on the toilet and teach them that’s the time to go. In reality though, it can be so, so difficult. To avoid a large chunk of tantrums and mess, check out this post by Anne at Zephyr Hill blog for common potty training mistakes:

    -Don’t be unrealistic- make no assumptions, try not to establish timelines.

    -Don’t pin all your hopes on friend’s and family’s advice- every child is different.

    -Don’t buy too much stuff- until you know what works for you

    -Don’t lose patience and don’t take it personally!

    Photo Credit: makelessnoise 


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    May 19, 2014
    Cloth Diaper Mistakes

    Cloth diapers are great- you save the planet and your wallet at the same time. They’re much more biodegradable, you generate less waste, and they cost less in the long run. The only downside is washing them (yuck). But, since cloth diapers are used less, people who start out with them often have some misconceptions about how to care for them. Since you’re re-using it, you need to be a little more careful in how you treat them. Check out this post by Calley Pate at The Eco Chic for things you should NEVER do to a cloth diaper:

    -NEVER Boil microfiber, snaps, PUL, or elastic.  Exposing your diaper covers, shells, and pockets to this high of heat can permanently damage them. 

    -NEVER Put your diapers in the microwave. There are safer ways to disinfect them.

    -NEVER use undiluted bleach on them- it deteriorates the fabric

    -NEVER put a cloth diaper in the dishwasher- For starters, I’m not putting diapers (clean or dirty) where I wash the dishes I eat off of.  Secondly, manufacturers would NEVER recommend this on their products.  Finally, it’s actually very dangerous and could cause a fire to start in your home.

    Photo Credit: Lou Haach


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    February 25, 2014
    Baby Sleep Ideas

    I recently became an auntie! On February 17th, my sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I’m not going to spend this post gushing about how cute and perfect and well behaved he is, but I will say he’s a really good sleeper! Newborns spend most of their time (not pooping or eating) asleep. But sometimes, even if they have a full belly and clean diaper, it can be hard to get them to sleep! This post by The Savvy Bump is full of excellent ideas on how to get the little ones to rest:

    -Baby sleep is extremely complicated. All babies are different, and the sooner you accept this, the better off you’ll be. There is no magic solution. Some babies are great sleepers, some are not. Just knowing that makes things easier!

    -Read the books, but don’t take them too seriously. I learned something from each book but I also found myself getting extremely stressed out after reading them

    -Take care of your own sleep. Sleep deprivation is rough and it is easy to give all your attention and energy to making sure your baby is sleeping. However, it is important that you remember yourself! By taking care of yourself, you are NOT abandoning him 

    Photo by Me! (My gorgeous nephew!)


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    February 5, 2014
    Parenting Classes are ALWAYS a Good Idea

    There is this sort of stigma attached to parenting classes. Everyone assumes that the only people in these classes are either clueless, or they are being made to by CPS or something. Maybe they’re all “teen moms” that people love to shame. Either way, it is simply not the case. Parenting classes benefit everyone- from first time parents to seasoned veterans, and I think everyone should embrace them. You will always learn something new! Plus, if someone is offering you the chance to become a better parent, why wouldn’t you take it? Remove the stigma. Check out this post by the Baby Calm Blog:

    By attending these classes are we somehow saying “I’m not a good parent – I need help?” I’d argue quite the opposite, it is a parent that deeply cares for their child who seeks ways to better their interaction with them.

    Parenting classes aim to:

    Help parents to form realistic expectations of a toddler’s behaviour.

    Help parents to form empathy with a toddler’s feelings.

    Helping parents to find gentle tools to prevent & shorten toddler tantrums, aid sleep & eating

    Photo Credit: USAG- Humphreys 


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    January 20, 2014
    Delivering Baby (Home) After Delivery

    So, you just had a baby. You can’t stay in the hospital forever, but how do you get ready to bring your new bundle of joy home? Adding a new member to your family requires some adjusting, especially for first time parents. But, by planning a little in advance (before the hospital trip), you can make it a little easier on you and your new baby. These tips by Jennifer Fountain at Growing Up Triplets will help:

    -Prepare to be tired: Think through how you can minimize this so you can actually function! Let go of what you absolutely do not need to do during the first weeks and months of bringing babies home from the hospital.

    -Hire Household Help If it’s at all in the budget, hire a house cleaner. Having someone mop the floors and scrub the toilets is, for a period of time, a way to gain valuable minutes and hours with your babies or even sleeping! Consider asking family and friends for help to save money.

    Photo Credit: Seattle Eye


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    December 19, 2013
    The Santa Talk

    This post is for parents only! As your child starts to get older, some questions will probably start to come up about the existence of certain holiday spirit. Now, there are many different ways to handle this talk. Obviously, they can’t go on believing in Santa forever, but how old is too old? When is the right time? Well, that depends on your child. There are also a ton of ways to handle the conversation. Zina at Let’s Lasso the Moon has a terrific guide on when- and how- to approach the Santa Talk:

    If you’re dealing with a really young child, the best approach is to turn the question back on them, and simply ask,What do YOU think?” You can tell how much a little one wants to talk about the topic by how easily you can redirect their attention.

    If that’s not going to cut it, try saying something along the lines of:

    Oh, honey. I’m so PROUD of you. You figured it out — the magic of Christmas. I knew you could do it. This is so exciting! Now YOU get to be part of creating all the secret magic for your little brother.”

    The tone of this happy and honest response will likely take your child by surprise.” It quickly flips their disappointment with you or the situation as a whole on its head and channels the funny feeling in their stomach into a moment of recognition for the celebrated milestone that just occurred. 

    Photo Credit: Recon Cycles 


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    November 11, 2013
    Books for Toddlers: Emotional Events

    As hard as we try to shield our kids from the bad things in life, sometimes they’re going to have to face emotional situations that no kid should have to deal with. Some events can potentially be traumatic for the young-uns if not handled correctly: like divorce, moving, death of a pet, or loss of a close loved one. But how do you even begin to bring up these kinds of subjects with a 4-year-old? One way that helps both the parents and kids discuss these events is by reading relevant books together. This slideshow by Andrea Stanley at Parents.com has a good list of books for different circumstances. I won’t copy the whole thing here, but if you are struggling with a particular difficult issue and aren’t sure how to talk about it with your kids, it’s definitely worth checking out.

    Photo Credit: Hamish Darby 


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    October 17, 2013
    How to Help a Crying Baby Calm Down

    As a new parent (or even a first time sitter), a crying baby can be one of the most stressful things you will have to deal with. Is he tired? Cranky? Hungry? Does he need to burp? Did he wet his diaper? Oh man, he isn’t sick, is he? Continued crying after trying nearly everything can be extremely exasperating, and even frightening if you have no idea why. Luckily, the amazing folks at Birth.com have some solutions:

    Soothe and understand I read somewhere that when your baby cries, you shouldn’t tell her to stop crying, or shush her too loudly. Try to imagine if you were really upset and someone told you to be quiet, or to stop crying. When my daughter cries I make soothing noises and tell her I know that it’s hard being tired/sick/little/frustrated. 

    Keep it up If you are trying something to soothe your baby and it doesn’t work straight away don’t assume you need to change what you are doing. Sometimes it is just a matter of repeating what you are doing for a little bit longer. 

    Music can be magical When my little man was in utero I played music to him almost every day, from the day he was born he loves his music

    And relax… Make sure you’re relaxed. A stressed muma will not calm a crying baby. 

    Photo Credit: Tostado Photo 


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