Precious Cargo: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Baby and Children Safe In The Car

Your child’s safety is your responsibility and likely your top priority. The following five tips will help you keep your child safe and out of harm’s way whenever they’re in your car, from the time they’re born through their toddler years.
Properly Install the Car Seat

Always make sure to use a federally-approved car safety seat. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure it’s installed properly, securely and safely before you take the baby home from the hospital. Your local fire station or other safety seat inspector can install the car seat for you or check that it’s been installed correctly. If you opt to install the seat yourself, make sure that you thoroughly read the instructions. According to Forbes, approximately 75% of car seats aren’t properly installed.

Car Seat Best Practices

According to WebMD.com, the car seat should face the rear of the car during the first two years of the child’s life. For infants, the front should be tilted to a 45-degree angle so that the baby’s head and neck is supported. If your baby tends to slip forward, you can put a rolled towel under the front of the baby carrier, as well as rolled towels on either side of the baby’s head for extra support. No matter how old your child is, the car seat should be in the center of the back seat, which is the safest location for it. Up to the age of 13, kids should always ride in the back seat. According to Forbes, car crashes are the leading cause of death for kids between the ages of three and 14 and car safety will help prevent unnecessary deaths. Austin, TX car accident lawyers from Harron Law suggest to always make sure everyone is properly secured and buckled in a vehicle while traveling to help prevent any injuries.

Add a Mirror

It can be nerve-wracking to drive with your baby in the back seat when the car seat is facing away from you. If they’re crying, you’ll wonder if they’re hurt. If they’re silent, you’ll wonder if they’re breathing fine. Put your mind at ease and keep an eye on your little one by placing a mirror in front of them. You’ll be able to see their reflection in your rear view mirror and you can glance at them whenever you want. Try to only look at them when you’re stopped, though, to prevent accidents.

Pay Close Attention

Never leave a baby or child unattended in a car, even if it’s for less than one minute. Children are highly susceptible to heat and cold, much more so than adults. Kids can quickly overheat in a locked car, even if you think you’re only leaving them there for a moment.

Teach Kids Good Habits

Teach your kids to stay away from cars when you’re not with them. This will prevent roll-away injuries and deaths, back-over injuries and deaths, and trunk entrapment. Additionally, make sure to always keep your car and trunk locked and to keep car keys out of reach of little ones. In additional to teaching kids the rules of car safety, make sure that they listen to you. If they are about to run behind a car that’s backing up, you need to know that they’ll immediately stop if you tell them to.

You can never be too careful when it comes to car safety and your child. Don’t try to graduate your child too quickly. Every time you move your child “up,” such as using a larger seat, the risk of injury increases. Kids should continue to use a car seat and follow car safety rules for as long as necessary in order to keep them safe.

 

~ Rachelle Wilber ~

 

Thank you Rachelle, another great and helpful post!

 

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Adorable Decorating Tips for the Perfect Nursery

One of the most exciting things about expecting a new baby is choosing the decorations for the nursery. Your baby’s room will be unique to them and be a place where they can grow and learn. There are many different decorating paths you can choose for the latest addition to the family, and these are a few suggestions to create the perfect baby nursery in your home.
Adorable Decorating Tips for the Perfect Nursery 1
Nautical Themes
If you are a boating family, or just enjoy the peaceful themes sailboats inspire as they glide along the water, a nautical-themed nursery can be an adorable choice for your baby. Choose a sailboat mobile to hang over the crib and paint the walls either a neutral sand color, or a pale blue to represent the sky. Add photos of sailboats and consider a room-darkening, hand-painted shade with either clouds or the sun sinking below a horizon on water. When the baby is sleeping during the day, the shade will keep most of the sunshine out and at night, when the baby is awake for feedings, the hand-painting will give the room an open, airy feel.

Adorable Decorating Tips for the Perfect Nursery 2
Animal Prints
Black and white patterns are always a classic, and perfect for any gender so consider animal prints such as zebra or leopard spots. Choose a neutral pallet for the wall paint to contrast with the starkness of animal patterns. Add a zebra rug and use soft, white pillows for seating along with throw pillows on the floor in various animal prints. A palm tree mural on the wall can be the perfect addition for an adorable animal theme.

Adorable Decorating Tips for the Perfect Nursery 3
Bold Colors
There is no reason you need to stick with typical soft pastels such as pale pink, light blue, or mint green. In fact, research shows that babies respond better to bright primary colors such as reds, yellows, and blues. Consider using bright cheerful colors on the walls with black and white accents in rugs, throw pillows, or blankets. If you prefer white walls, or live where you are unable to paint the walls bright colors, choose accent pieces in bright purple, green, red, blue and orange. This is a room that can change and grow with your baby as their interests develop.

Adorable Decorating Tips for the Perfect Nursery 4
Think Globally
If your family loves to travel, consider creating a nursery that reflects that love. With today’s online world, it is possible to purchase decorating supplies from around the world. Consider an Indian crib blanket, or Chinese tapestries for the wall. Add finishing touches like personal pieces you have picked up as you travelled the world. An Irish quilt adds a nice touch to a rocker, or you can place an English tea set on the dresser. Think about pinning up a world map to solidify your theme.

Adorable Decorating Tips for the Perfect Nursery  5
Dark Walls
If the baby’s nursery will get a lot of sunlight during the day, you may want to consider using dark wall paint or even chalkboard paint for the walls that will provide your child with a washable canvas when they get older. Use light colored furniture and accents to offset the dark walls. If you don’t want to paint the walls a dark color, consider adding room darkening shades or blinds from an energy efficient company like Sunburst Shutters so sunlight streaming through the windows doesn’t make for difficult nap times.

Adorable Decorating Tips for the Perfect Nursery 6
Vintage Nursery
One of the most unique ways to decorate your nursery is to scour antique, secondhand, and vintage stores for collectable items. You can often find vintage linens and baby clothing at secondhand stores at very low prices. Use your own baby clothing to hang on walls as artwork, and create window coverings or baby bedding with the linens to give the room an old world feel that is practical and inexpensive.

Adorable Decorating Tips for the Perfect Nursery 7
Outdoor Look
If you have an artistic side, consider painting the walls a dark, neutral shade, then add your own unique paintings to the walls, such as trees in a forest or other landscapes. Add a throw rug to match the art you paint, and accent with colors that work well with that décor, such as browns or greens for a woodsy-themed nursery.

These are just a few ideas that can help you create a whimsical, pleasant, and unique nursery for your new baby. The possibilities are endless for making a small sanctuary for your child once you bring them home from the hospital.


~ Brooke Chaplan ~

 

Thank you again to Brooke for this informative and helpful article!

Third Trimester: Tips to Handle the Home Stretch

The third trimester of pregnancy is a time of both exciting and nerve racking for mom. It can seem to drag on forever, but for some, the last months may seem to go by quickly. Here are some ways to handle this last portion of pregnancy with finesse.

Things to Do for Yourself
During the third trimester, the added weight of your growing baby causes more pressure on the spine, so it’s important to pay attention to your posture. Sit on a chair with a sturdy back, and sleep on your side at night, with a pillow between your legs for greater comfort.
It’s especially important to eat a healthy diet and drink lots of water during this time, which will help with constipation. Many women in their third trimester suffer from heartburn, so stay away from spicy foods. If you do get heartburn, try drinking some ginger tea to relieve it.
You will probably feel more tired at this stage, so take frequent naps when needed. Try to follow a mild exercise program each day, which will help with bodily functions and help you to get a better sleep at night. Frequent urination at night in the third trimester is normal. To keep it to a minimum, try not to drink fluids before you go to bed.
Above all, try to avoid getting stressed out. Although you may still have a regular job or other children to take care of, try to find some time each day to pray or meditate, which will help to alleviate stress.

Things to Do for Your Baby
Your baby can definitely respond to your voice and touches at this stage. Speak softly to your baby, and try massaging it several times during the day. Some expectant mothers find that babies in the womb enjoy certain types of music. Try playing some relaxing music, which will help to soothe both you and your baby.
By now you probably have a birthing program set up and ready to go. Try to spend some of your time in the third trimester learning as much as you can about breastfeeding and recommended ways to take care of new baby. The more you learn, the less concern you will have after baby is born, and the better you will be able to care for it.
The third trimester of pregnancy is a good time to begin searching for a good pediatrician for your baby. Your baby’s first visit to a pediatrician should be soon after he or she is born, so it’s definitely not too early to begin the search. Ask friends or family for references. Choose a doctor who is situated nearby, can accept your health insurance, and has working hours convenient for you.

Things to Do with Your Doctor
You will be having regular visits with your doctor of choice in your third trimester, probably as frequently as once a week. Let your doctor know if you notice anything unusual happening with baby, such as less frequent movement. Dr. Gilbert Webb also suggests you let your doctor know about any unusual changes in your own body, such as bleeding, pain during urination, nausea, or early contractions. Regular visits to your doctor will reassure you that your last trimester is proceeding as normally as possible.
If you have any special medical conditions that could interfere with birthing, your doctor may refer you to a high risk obstetrician or maternal-fetal specialist. It’s important to follow the instructions of these medical experts as closely as possible, to insure a safe delivery.

Third trimester can be a challenging time, but following these guidelines will help make it less of a challenge and more of a joy.

 

 

~ Brooke Chaplan ~

6 Unique Gift Ideas for the Next Baby Shower You Attend

Expectant moms and dads are often inundated with well-intentioned, yet redundant shower gifts. When you want to your gift to be truly appreciated, you can show your happiness for their new arrival and also show that you want to help them with their upcoming role as parents by showing up with one of these unique shower gifts in hand.
Trendy Baby Clothing

New parents always appreciate clothing for their little one. Rather than gift the standard colorful onesie or footed sleeper, you can give them a set of clothing that is trendy, stylish, and fun from places like Shop Sugar Babies. Clothing that is emblazoned with their favorite sports team logo or embroidered with cute designs will give the new parents something fun and beautiful to dress their baby in later.

(Wee Urban edit – Wee Urban has some amazing trendy clothes too) :)
Baby Bullet

Adults today are crazy about making their own smoothies. With the Baby Bullet, they can also make their baby a fresh smoothie that contains their little one’s favorite fruits and veggies. With more parents getting away from feeding their babies processed baby food, the Baby Bullet can be the ideal shower gift.

Baby Cry Analyzer

Even the most experienced of parents may have no idea why their baby is crying. They can know for sure when you give them an innovative Baby Cry Analyzer, as found from this Buzzfeed post. It shows them if their baby is hungry, sleepy, colicky, or experiencing other distresses.

Stroller Storage Organizer

Moms know what a hassle it can be to carry a purse while pushing a stroller. When you show up with a stroller storage organizer in hand, you relieve this mom’s future frustration at being unable to keep her purse up on her shoulder while pushing the stroller. The organizer fits over a stroller’s handles and has enough room for a phone, bill fold, and other essentials.

Battery Operated Nail Cutter

New moms and dads dread cutting their babies’ nails. You can make it easier for them by giving them a battery operated nail cutter. This cutter uses gentle motions to cut a baby’s nails and helps avoid painful cuts and tears.

Baby Barolo Cocoon

Babies love to be swaddled, but few parents actually master the blanket swaddling technique. You can help new moms and dads keep their little one swaddled by giving them a Baby Barolo cocoon. This blanket keeps Baby cocooned and happy.

Choosing unique and thoughtful shower gifts can be a challenge. You can help new parents out with these innovative and meaningful baby presents.

~~~ Rachelle Wilber ~~~

 

Another great guest article from our friend Rachelle!

Thank you!