Child Safety in Your Home: What Might You Be Missing?

Making your home safe for children requires you to be proactive. If you don’t take steps to child proof every room your child may enter, a tragic accident may occur one day. You must spot problems before they become accidents. To help, below are a few things you may be overlooking in your home in regards to child safety.
Secure Poisonous Chemicals

Many household cleaners may seem innocuous, but they can be deadly to a child who doesn’t know any better and drinks the nasty stuff. This is why you need to take precautions. If you keep cleaners and other chemical based solutions under your sink, latch the cabinet door shut with a lock and put the key away where it can’t be found. Storing such items in a high above shelf is another good idea.

Use Baby Gates

If you have a baby, toddler or young child, baby gates are a necessity. This is especially the case around stairs. A slip and fall for a young child could be fatal. There may also be rooms you want to keep the child out of for safety reasons like the kitchen. Thankfully, baby gates can be purchased for protection. Rather than buying in-store, search for the best options suitable for your home online from sites like Overstock.com. You can also find online coupons from places like this page that you can use to purchase at a discount.

Use Outlet Covers

Another thing a child may unwittingly do is try to play with an electrical outlet. Sticking something inside an outlet can certainly lead to electrocution. However, the solution is simple. Just plug plastic outlet covers into all your outlets. A baby or toddler won’t be able to remove the cover. Only plug in appliances when you are using them. Otherwise, use a cover. A young child is certainly smart enough to know how to pull out a cord.

Don’t Use the Front Burners

Another common accident happens when a child knocks over a hot pan or bubbling pot on a stove top. Thankfully, the solution to this possible hazard is simple enough. Just use the back burners to cook your food. It will also help to make sure your child is kept at a safe distance from the stove when it’s in use regardless.

Use Edge Bumpers

Unfortunately, sometimes children run head first into sharp corners on tables, furniture and more. This can cause serious injury and even blindness. One way to guard against this possibility is to purchase edge bumpers and place them on all edges on furniture, fireplaces and anything else with a sharp corner.
Child proofing your home takes some work and strategic thinking. However, it is always worth it to prevent a possible injury to your child.

 

~Rachelle Wilber ~

Baby Savings: Six Must-Haves for a Frugal Mom-to-Be

New parents often mistakenly believe having a baby is going to cost a small fortune. While it is never exactly cheap, you don’t have to go broke before your new baby arrives if you stick to the necessities, and avoid buying excess items. For any new frugal family, use these buying tricks for your new baby.

Baby Savings Six Must-Haves for a Frugal a Mom-to-Be 1Co-Sleeper, Not a Crib
Thousands of parents shell out a huge amount of money for a fancy crib and later find their baby rarely uses it. Instead of buying an $800 laundry basket, buy a co-sleeper. These attach to your bed so your baby can sleep close to you, and once they outgrow the co-sleeper portion, it converts into a pack-and-play, an essential when your baby becomes mobile, and you need to corral them safely.

Baby Savings Six Must-Haves for a Frugal a Mom-to-Be 2A Baby Carrier
Babies need to be held. It doesn’t mean they’re spoiled, it’s a basic human need especially in those early stages. Eventually, your arms and back are going to get extremely tired toting a chubby baby around, and a baby carrier will be a huge lifesaver. Skip the cheap carriers you find at most big box stores, and opt for something that supports your baby knee to knee. You can find high-quality buckle carriers, woven wraps, and slings that will keep your baby and your back happy and comfortable.

Baby Savings Six Must-Haves for a Frugal a Mom-to-BeA Bath Sling
Washing a slippery little baby in the bathtub can be tricky. A bath sling sits in the tub or sink and supports your baby so you can use both hands to wash them. These are extremely useful until your baby becomes mobile, and are adjustable to fit your baby as they learn to sit up unsupported.

Baby Savings Six Must-Haves for a Frugal a Mom-to-Be 4Bumbo
These little rubber chairs help your baby sit up before they’re fully able to on their own, and they’re a great way to keep them contained while you’re cooking, cleaning, or folding laundry. They suit babies from about 12 weeks until they start crawling.

Baby Savings Six Must-Haves for a Frugal a Mom-to-Be 5Cloth Diapers
Besides formula, diapers are one of the biggest costs incurred when you have a baby. Cloth diapers will end up saving you hundreds of dollars and will even help the environment. Thanks to new diaper advancements, you don’t have to use pre-folds and diaper pins. Many cloth diapers are exactly like disposable ones except you can wash and reuse them again and again, and you can even find them at big-box stores like Target and Babies R Us. Use an online coupon like the ones at discountrue.com for even more savings.

Onesies and Baby Leg Warmers
It’s tempting to buy a ton of cute clothes, but you’ll find when you’re exhausted or your baby is fussy, the last thing you’ll want to do is fight to put an entire outfit on them. Onesies and leg warmers make diaper changes fast and easy, and many new moms agree they wish they had stuck with these simple outfits during the first years.

Kids really don’t get expensive until they’re older. Babies only require warmth, food, and a safe car seat to thrive and be happy. Before you empty your savings account on baby items, talk with experienced moms to avoid wasting money on products you’ll never use.

 

 

~ Brooke Chaplan ~

Baby Brushing: Good Teeth Tips Your Toddler Should Learn

Let’s face it. Toddlers can be fickle creatures, and some more so than others. When it comes time to teach them how to brush their teeth, many parents feel like a battle with Goliath would be easier than getting their little one to open wide and keep those new teeth nice and clean.
The important thing to note is that dental hygiene is an important part of your child’s development that should begin early on, from the time their first tooth comes in. The two rows of baby teeth that develop in toddlerhood are place holders for adult teeth. According to a Health Centered Dentistry in Anchorage AK, without proper hygiene and dental upkeep, decay and poor formation can lead to difficulty chewing properly and speech problems. This is why implementing a routine and encouraging tooth care should be done as soon as your child can begin to understand.
Wiping gums after meals and before and after bedtime are precursors to the real deal. Once it comes time to begin teaching your toddler how to brush their teeth, there are a few tips you can try out to make the process fun for them, and easy for you.

Let Them Pick Their Own Toothbrush
New routines like teeth brushing can be off-putting to toddlers because it’s such a foreign concept. You can make them feel like they’re in on the whole thing from the start by letting them pick out their own toothbrush or toothpaste. There are plenty to choose from nowadays that sport the latest and greatest TV and movie characters, so your little one is bound to find the right brush for them.
As a parent, though, make sure that the brush has soft bristles and isn’t too big for them. Allow them to choose from the children’s section of toothbrushes and toothpaste specifically and ask your dentist if you’re not sure which would be a good fit for them.

Be an Example
Stress the importance of brushing teeth after meals, before and after bedtime, and before you leave the house. Children look up to their parents, so hearing you say things like, “Oh! Wait! I can’t leave until I brush my teeth!” will make them want to follow suit. If they’re adamant that tooth brushing is the bane of their existence, they may not show much interest at first, but keep encouraging them and you should begin to see results.

Take Turns
When you introduce brushing, show your toddler how it’s done first and then let them try on you. Reverse the roles and demonstrate on them as well. You can allow them to practice on their dolls or favorite stuffed animals to keep the idea minty fresh in their minds.

A Family Affair
Have both parents and any siblings make a big deal about brushing their teeth. Your toddler will want to join in on the fun, and you can begin to teach them the importance of brushing gently and thoroughly. Be sure you show them how much toothpaste is just the right size for their tiny teeth, even though you should never allow them to use any of it alone, or leave them unattended while brushing. Keep everything stored out of reach when it isn’t time to brush.

Lastly, have patience. Speak with your child’s doctor if there are any major challenges getting them to brush, but don’t be too hard on them. Patient persistence is key, and encouragement will always be more effective than scare tactics. Over time, you can instill good hygienic habits that your toddler will grow up with, and will keep their smiles happy and healthy.

 

Six Often Forgotten Tips for Baby-Proofing Your Home

Take a look around your home. Virtually everything you see lying around will either become your child’s chew toy, or a potential hazard if you are expecting. While infants who have not developed an ability to crawl or toddle are not capable of getting into much unless it is placed at arm’s length, babies develop faster than you might first expect. You may not be worried about baby-proofing when you are in the daze of exhaustion after your newborn comes home, but fast-forward to 6 months down the line, and your little one will be all over the place and into everything.
Many parents baby-proof as they go, but will overlook some very hazardous areas in the home that need prompt attention. Here are six forgotten places to childproof before your toddler begins to explore.

Windows 
Unless you live in a cave or an underground bomb shelter, you more than likely have a few windows. These can be dangerous elements when you have curious little ones running around who want to watch the world outside their home. When little toddlers find their way to the window and see something that sparks their interest, it might mean a fall. In fact, more than 5000 kids fall from windows every year.
Your baby-proofing technique will depend upon the window type. You can use window guards, window stops, charley bars, and wedges to prevent the window from opening. It is also important to remove furniture that can be used as a ladder so your toddler cannot plan for a quick escape.

Bathroom for Bath Time
Babies outgrow their portable and folding infant baths very quickly. When promoted to the big bathtub, there many hazards to avoid. You might know to put away the soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and razors, but that is not all. Be sure to invest in a non-slip mat and don’t overlook the importance of a spout cover. Children love water and they are drawn to the spout where it comes out. One slip could mean they injure their head on the spout.

Access to the Toilet
Another water source that poses a hazard and is overlooked by many is the toilet. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the toilet is not only infested with bacteria, but can be an overlooked drowning hazard. One way to cut off access is to close the door to the bathroom at all times, lock it with a hook-and-eye lock.
You will also need to secure the lid so your toddler cannot open it when they figure out it can be lifted. Find a type of lid lock that is easy to install and is compatible with your toilet style.


Dishwasher

Kids pay attention to your every move. If it is your routine to unload the washer as they eat in their highchair, they may be intrigued once they get down. If they open the dishwasher right after is ends, there is a chance of steam burns. They will also have access to sharp knives and glass that can break and cause deep cuts if they get into a dishwasher. Be sure to point all sharp utensils down, put away the detergent in a locked cabinet, and never leave the dishwasher door unlocked.

Backyard 
You never want to give your child free access to your driveway or the backyard where there is a whole new set of hazards. Just 30 seconds of putting away clothes can result in disaster if your child finds out how to open the door and run into the street. Over time, toddlers figure out how to open locked doors. When this happens, you can buy handle locks, knob locks, lock and pinch guards, and more. Another option is to always arm your home with a security alarm so it sounds whenever the door is opened. NorthStar alarm reviews say this system can also be controlled remotely so you can make sure doors are locked wherever you are.

Create a Closet
If you have guests who frequently come to visit, they could be carrying hazards with them. You know to lock up medicines and sharp items, but all of this could be easily accessed in a purse within reach. Be sure you have a place to put coats and bags so purses don’t become dangers.

No home will ever be 100% safe. You need to supervise your children, but you also need to prevent potential accidents with the right safeguards. Be sure you look at the obvious hazards and the not-so obvious ones so your child is as safe as can be in your home.

 

~ Brooke Chaplan ~

How to Come to Terms with Your Postpartum Depression

Mental Health is often overlooked, Brooke has a great blog post on postpartum depression that you definitely need to read.

 

 

The act of giving birth drains you physically, not to mention the whole process playing havoc with your emotions. Changes in hormones greatly impact your emotional state and your ability to deal with the new responsibilities in your life.

Although few women pass through the birth of a child without some form of emotional stress, certain signs point to a more serious condition called postpartum depression. Unlike the regular baby blues during the first two weeks after birth, postpartum depression lasts longer, and yields much more dangerous results.

Signs of Postpartum Depression

Women who experience persistent anxiety or guilt, accompanied by feelings of worthlessness and recurring thoughts of self-harm likely have postpartum depression, and require professional help. If you think you are feeling out of the ordinary sadness, anxiety, and stress talk to your doctor to see if you can get an official diagnosis.

Seeking Help

Even you can tell when something may be wrong. If you think you may have postpartum depression, do all you can to get help. Countless women have struggled with this condition, and it’s no shame to admit you can’t deal with it on your own.

Once you obtain the help of a professional, they can make an accurate diagnosis, leading to the appropriate medication and or therapy. Find a counselor who has been qualified with a USC master of science in applied psychology or equivalent. In addition to these treatments, here are some ways to deal with and cope with postpartum depression:

Care for Yourself

Although many affected women feel guilty and overwhelmed, it’s important to practice self-care.

This includes getting enough sleep, which may sound impossible with a newborn. Recruit the help of a family member at least every two days to ensure you get enough sleep. Instead of trying to do household chores during the baby’s naps, take the time to nap as well.

Eat a balanced diet. To stay healthy and promote proper healing, eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol and caffeine. When you put goodness in, you’ll get good out. Exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing, but the endorphins it produces will make it worth it.

Cry

The body normalizes its hormones in part through releasing tears. Crying provides a natural way for your body to secrete hormones that may be overly high now that you’ve had your baby.

Accept Help

Many sources of help lay in wait to give you the boost you need. Whether this comes in the form of a spouse, close friend, or sibling, accept help. Now is not the time to say you’re fine and don’t need any help.

If you let others lend their time, you’ll feel loved and more able to cope with what’s happening. Confide in your spouse to help them understand how you feel. Joining a local mothers’ group wouldn’t go amiss, as it helps you feel less alone in your struggles as well. The important thing is to get a good gage on how you’re feeling and find people you can trust to tell your fears and anxiety to. With time, you can begin healing and find more of the positives that come with having a baby.

 

 

~ Brooke Chaplan ~