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 ~

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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!

6 Specialty Field Experts Every Family Should Have on their Contact List When Needed

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Another great guest blog from our friend Rachelle Wilber!

 

Life happens, and you want your family to be prepared. When unexpected problems arise, it is nice to know exactly who to call to help you. It’s important to build good relationships with people who will assist you with short term notice. But exactly what kind of experts do you need? Here is a list of six experts to get on your contact list before you need them.
Lawyer
You just never know when you might need legal representation from an attorney, like St. Louis criminal defense lawyer Richard Lzano. Lawyers can handle everything from creating a will to defending you if wrongly accused of a crime and just about anything in between. Go ahead and get a good lawyer on your contact list. Let them assist you with creating legal documents for your family and create a good rapport with them when you really need help.
Financial Planner
When you have an income, you may need help managing it. A financial planner will help you make the most of your money by helping you save for large expenditures, your children’s education, and even retirement. As your income grows, a financial planner will help you get the most out of your investments. They might even be willing to help you out come tax season. You might think that you could do all this yourself, but the US News advises a financial planner because they can see your situation in an objective and unemotional way, which will help them advise you accurately.
Party Planner
You may not be in the habit of throwing lavish gatherings, but most people will put together the occasional bridal shower or graduation party. Having a party planner on your contacts list will help you make sure these events go off without a hitch. You don’t have to spend a fortune hiring a party planner if you have one that you use every time. They’re likely to offer discounts.
Computer Expert
Just about everyone owns a computer these days, but not everyone knows how to run every program they need to or how to fix the system if it malfunctions. Keep a computer expert on your speed dial for when you have a presentation due, and your printer just won’t communicate with your printer.
Babysitter
If you have kids, then there will be times that you need a little help. You might not think a qualified babysitter is important, but it does happen that you will need care unexpectedly when your usual caregivers – mom, neighbor, etc. – just aren’t available. When this happens, you need someone you can trust to call and know your kids are in good hands. Same concept applies for animal care.
Handy Man
If you own your own home, then a reliable handy man (or woman) is a must have. Windows will break, appliances can stop working, and drains do clog. Your family needs someone they can call to take care of problems like this. You will be less worried about who is in your home if it is the same person every time. A good handy man, much like a maintenance person at an apartment complex, will be knowledgeable about large appliance repair, electrical wiring, plumbing, and some carpentry.

 

– Rachelle Wilber

Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber

Tips for Giving Kids Responsibilities Around the Home

give kids responsibilitiesFamilies are a unit and they function the best when everyone is working toward the same goal. Even though your children require you to care for them, that doesn’t mean they are entirely helpless (although some kids end up that way). Use these tips to give your kids some responsibilities around the home.

1. Give them reasonable tasks.

If you ask your six-year-old to organize the garage, of course she is going to resist. She can’t move many of your items, let alone manage a project that size. You have to give them tasks that are within their abilities to complete, even if those tasks are just pieces of a whole. For example, your child may not be strong enough to push a vacuum cleaner, but she can run the extender along the edges and underneath furniture.

2. Let them make decisions.

Any time you can give your child an opportunity to make decisions, you will cement them in the process. This gives them a sense of ownership over the task or chore. For example, ask your child if she would like to put away toys or dust the shelves. By simply making the decision she’ll feel empowered to complete the task.

3. Patiently answer questions.

It might seem, at first, that your child is asking questions or faking confusion to get out of the chore. Often this isn’t the case. You’ll need to give very specific instructions to your child for even the most basic tasks. Remember, she hasn’t swept a floor before, so you’ll have to walk her through holding the broom, brushing the floor and scooping up the debris.

4. Involve them, even if it’s not practical.

In order to instill a habit, you have to start young. Have your children help you around the house, even if their “help” makes the job take longer. Don’t be tempted to blur through the house getting things in order. Tote your kids along with you and teach them the steps. Think of it like an investment: the more time you spend now teaching them, the less you’ll spend later.

5. Write everything down.

If you’ve gotten to the point with your children that you’re designating responsibilities, it’s time for a chore chart. A chore chart can be anything – a calendar, a list, a wheel, or something clever you invent yourself. Use anything you can to write everyone’s responsibility down. This gives them accountability. They can’t say they forgot or didn’t know if the chart clearly defines their chores.

organic baby toddler clothingWritten by Holly MacLean from Wee Urban

As a new mom, Holly was driven to start Wee Urban™ to offer the modern family a unique and fresh collection of eco-friendly baby gear and accessories that goes beyond the conventional and explores the exceptional! Tired of traditional pinks and blues and cute motifs, we offer sophisticated designs, “conscious” organic alternatives, practical functionality and superior quality. Using our custom certified organic cotton blends, low-impact dyes, and other trendsetting fabrics, we hope to inspire families to be make better choices and of course- do it all in urban style!

Beyond our organic cotton and azo-free dyes, Wee Urban uses 100% post-consumer packaging and tags for our Wee Dreams™ Sleep Bags. Our distinctive screen-printing is done with 100% eco-inks and are all phthalate free.

We also recycle our remnants and donate as much as possible to local elementary schools to help with arts and crafts programs.

For more information, visit wwww.weeurban.com

Interested in writing a guest blog for Wee Urban? Send your topic idea to tasha@socialmedia22.com

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Wee Urban makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

Natural Ways to Get Your Home Smelling Clean

make your home smell cleanA funky smelling house is the worst. Back during our college years, cleaning wasn’t even on my chore list, but these days I can’t sit comfortably if there’s an odor about my home. Sometimes after years in one place, it’s easy to miss subtle smells. Here’s how you can get your home smelling fresh and clean.

1. Address the issue.

The first step you need to take in freshening up your home is to clean it up. In today’s world, everyone is running around all day long and most people don’t have the time to keep their house super clean and tidy. We take out the trash and wash the dishes, but when was the last time you scrubbed the grout between your tiles, or washed the drawers in your refrigerator.

Take a weekend to straighten up the house, clean all of your sheets, blankets and towels. Vacuum all of the rugs. Mop the hardwood floors and do your laundry with a safe, hardworking laundry detergent. If there’s something in particular that’s creating an odor, take steps to remove it. You can’t freshen up your home if all of your essentials are dirty! Starting here is a great way to begin the process. Plus, clean sheets are always a plus!

2. Open the windows.

Every once in a while, it’s important to air out your home. Open all your windows, especially those opposite one another. Position a fan to create a breeze if necessary. Leave them open for a few hours. You’d be surprised on how refreshing it is to have fresh air flowing through your home.

3. Bake something!

One thing that I love about my home is how warm and inviting it feels. In my opinion, that lived-in feeling is what makes a home special. Baking something yummy will create a delicious smell in your home and make it feel homier. The next time you have company over, put a backed good in the oven about a half-hour before they arrive. Nothing will feel more inviting to a guest than freshly baked cookies!

4. Clear the air.

Once you are finished cleaning up your home, it’s time to clean the air. This means eliminating the most offensive odors in your home.  If you smoke, or allow people to smoke in your house, you should ban it effective immediately. Cigarette smoke sticks to the walls, furniture and carpets, so eliminating it now will majorly freshen up your home.  Pets can also leave a long-lasting odor on everything. Also, avoid using aerosol products and check to make sure bathroom vents are going outside and not into an interior wall space.

5. Arrange fresh flowers throughout your house.

Since it is summer, you shouldn’t have a hard time picking up some fresh flowers for the kitchen table every week. You can even add them throughout any of the common areas of your house, like the kitchen, living room, or hallways. Fresh flowers smell great and make for beautiful décor. Your guests will love them, and your kids will love the fresh smell!

eco-friendly green laundry detergentGuest Blog by Kim Webb, CEO and Founder of Rockin’ Green Soap

Finally it’s cool to be GREEN! Rockin’ Green is made for families that care about taking care of themselves and the Earth. As a mom Kim was fed up with the empty promises of “green” cleaning products that were not delivering what they promised… So she invented Rockin’ Green! We can all do our part for the environment while doing something good for ourselves. All of our organic cleaning products are biodegradable, and gluten and vegan friendly. They don’t contain phosphates, SLS, Parabens, or optical brighteners. All of our packaging is made from recycled materials.

Visit www.rockingreensoap.com for more information.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Wee Urban? Send your topic idea to tasha@socialmedia22.com

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Wee Urban makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.