Tag: parenting

3 Valentine’s Day At-Home Party Ideas for Kids

For some, Valentine’s Day was strictly an adult holiday. The parents went out for dinner, leaving the kids at home with a babysitter. Maybe you had a card exchange at school, but not much beyond that.

For others, Valentine’s Day was another special occasion that now floods the holiday with special memories. 

Life is too short; why not do both?

Have your romantic evening, but throw a party for the kids, too. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a memorable occasion.

1. Decorate Cookies

I know, I know—not particularly original, but kids love decorating heart cookies. And eating them. And (sigh) making huge messes.

If the thought of baking makes you shudder, and no judgment here, you can drop a load of cash at Etsy or online bakeries for the real deal, but remember we said you didn’t have to spend a fortune, right?

Many local grocery stores have undecorated heart cookies, but if not you can always go with Pillsbury and their cut-out and ready-to-bake cookies at Target and other locations. A wonderful option to simplify.

If you want to make your own, you’ll save money and they’ll probably taste better. Growing up, you probably had the big soft cookies made with butter or margarine or the crisp cookies made with Crisco. If you want the best of both, make crisp cookies with butter frosting so you get the taste of butter. 

Yes, you can get fancier with fondant or royal icing, but these are kids. The cookies are not going to be that pretty, anyway. You might as well have an icing that actually tastes good.

If you do decide to make your own, make the cookies ahead of time and stick them in the freezer baked and ready to go. If you try to do everything on the same day, you will be too tired to enjoy an evening out with your partner.

Make the frosting ahead of time too. Pick the food colorings you want and have it ready to go in pastry bags or plastic baggies with tiny holes cut in the corner. Trust me, you don’t want the kids’ help when it involves food coloring.

Cover your children in aprons or garbage bags with holes cut out for their arms and heads.

Then take a lot of pictures as they decorate! These are precious memories in the making. 

2. Disney-fy Your Valentines’ Day Party

Of course, Disney has a recipe for Heart-Shaped Pizza with Mickey Mouse Pepperoni. And why not?

Have the kids help with the assembly part and make this festive meal while you watch your favorite Disney flic—or one that you think is particularly appropriate for Valentine’s Day. Lady and the Tramp? Tangled? Frozen 2? What is your go-to romance when it comes to Disney? 

OR pick one that emphasizes love, friendship, and family—like Lilo and Stitch.

Play a Disney-centric game like charades based on Disney movies, name that Disney tune, or set up a Zoom meeting with family/friends and play Disney Scavenger Hunt! You can use this online resource or make your own list of items based on the age of the children playing.

Finally, an inexpensive gift to give your children that they’ll go crazy for are these Mickey Mouse ears at Presley Couture. They’ve got every style you can possibly imagine, with a nod to your child’s favorite characters. 

We mean it. OODLES of ears that are well-made and exceptionally priced. If you end up going to the Magic Kingdom, you can take them with you and already be all Mickey-ed out before you get into the park.

3. Ding-Dong Without Ditching

Have the children make each other cards, leave them on the porch for their siblings, ring the bell, and run away.  A time-honored tradition. Even you can participate with a cute card and stickers or candy for your kids. 

Then, box up some of those cookie masterpieces you made and choose a deserving neighbor. In the end, giving makes the best memories.

No matter what you choose to do, you can start new Valentine’s Day traditions with your children to help them practice showing their love to others.

5 Rules for Helping Your Child Deal With Divorce

Every year, thousands of marriages end in divorce, and while the experience is painful for partners, the emotional pain can also be incredibly damaging to those who don’t have a say in this life-changing decision – the children.

It is the role of the parents, both of them, to try to minimize the damage that’s often a part of the process, and help their children cope with divorce more effectively. Below, a couple of steps you can take to help your children through this difficult period in life.

Let your child know they’re loved

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From anxiety and depression to frustration and anger, there are a lot of negative feelings that surround the process of separation and divorce. Different kids will interpret them in different ways depending on their age and personality. Some may learn how to cope better with stress and become more tolerant individuals later on. Others, however, may start to blame themselves for their parents’ divorce, which can be detrimental to their self-esteem.

Regardless of your child’s initial reaction to the news, you need to make it clear to them that your decision to go separate ways does not change the way you feel about them. Let them know they’re loved, and provide reassurance if the other parent doesn’t show the same level of commitment.

Keep the lines of communication open

As a parent, you want to keep the lines of communication open during this difficult period and encourage your kids to talk. Let your children know that they can rely on you whenever they feel like talking to you, feel sad or confused, or simply need to ask you something.

They will be disappointed, angry, and sad, and they will probably wish for their parents to reunite. Your job is to allow your children to express their feelings, whatever they may be. Giving them the option to voice their emotions will help ease their frustration and help them feel empowered. Whatever you do, don’t downplay their emotions – it shows that they shouldn’t feel the way they do. Instead, let them know that their feelings matter. It’ll help teach your children to confront any negative feelings they have instead of avoiding them, which will only help them later in life.

Seek help to deal with your own painful feelings more easily

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Separation and divorce are just as stressful for the parents, and things such as custody, property, and financial problems only make the already overwhelming process even more challenging and painful. Finding effective ways to cope with divorce stress is essential during these difficult times, and keeping yourself healthy, both physically and emotionally, is important now more than ever.

If you know someone who went through this, consider talking to them. It can help you adjust to the situation and provide you with some valuable insights. You can also look for support groups, seek help from friends and family, and visit a therapist or a counselor. By dealing with your own painful feelings in a healthy way, you’ll set an example for your kids, and they’ll follow suit and adjust to this big change in the same way.

Make the transition as peaceful as possible

Despite the efforts to maintain their marriage, more couples are choosing to go their separate ways, and the divorce rates around the world are increasing. While the number of divorces involving children has dropped significantly over the years in places such as Australia (from 67.6% in 1975 to 47.1% in 2017), there are still thousands of marriages that end each year.

When ending a marriage seems like the only option, finding a trustworthy legal professional such as a reputable family lawyer in Brisbane can aid couples in navigating divorce-related matters and help them achieve a fair outcome. With a reliable professional by your side, you can deal with challenges more calmly and effectively while also being able to focus on the bigger picture and look to the future, thus making the transition as peaceful as possible.

Do your best to maintain your daily routines

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Divorce is a life-changing event and it can really make the children feel like their life has turned around 180 degrees. This is why remaining consistent with routines is so essential during this difficult period.

Having a routine to follow provides a sense of security, familiarity, and comfort – things that children desperately need when dealing with such a major life change. Therefore, do your best to maintain your daily routines – stick to your schedules, minimize abrupt changes, and keep things predictable. Doing so will reduce the risk of negative behavioral changes and help your kids overcome this particularly sensitive period.

Wrapping up

Getting divorced is a decision that inevitably creates a lot of stress and tension, especially when it comes to ending a marriage with children. It is during these times that children need their parents’ love, support, and understanding the most. If you follow these five rules, you can help your kids adjust to the new situation, overcome negative emotions, and look forward to the future after the divorce.

 

About the Author

Claire Adams is a personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. She enjoys life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible and loves to share her insights into parenting, education, and entrepreneurship. She is a regular author for Ripped.me and you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Pro-Development Play That Every Child Should Experience

While play for play’s sake is undoubtedly important, we also want to make sure that our children are getting the kind of development that helps foster them and makes them more likely to grow up happy, competent, and successful. As such, you might be wondering which toys are most likely to help them as they grow up. The answer isn’t as simple as picking out one single best toy, however. Here, we’re going to look at a range of options, each of which might be able to help your child develop in the direction that you’re aiming.

Link – Pixabay License

 

Teething and grasping toys

If your child is teething, then offering them some ways to help them soothe their pain is going to offer both you and them a little respite. However, rather than simply getting a teether alone, or something solely for teething like a pacifier, you can get something that engages their teeth and their hands at the same time. Teething and grasping toys have been becoming a lot more popular over the past few years. So long as they’re lightweight enough, they’re highly versatile and can help children develop some fine motor skills. Many of them are also multicolored, meaning that they can also help with colour recognition. That way, you can offer your baby some peace for their sore mouth while also getting their brain working.

Books that sing or speak to them

While reading to your own child and singing to them is vitally important when they’re young infants, you should also consider giving them toys that make noises and speak to them. Things like interactive books with nursery rhymes or recordings of lullabies can help get them used to communication at a very young age. The more you engage a child’s social side at their youngest, the better they will be able to grow their communication skills over time, as well. Interactive story and singing books combine this need by giving them things to reach for and touch, which helps develop motor skills such as their spatial awareness.

Play water mats

Water is a very entertaining plaything for young children, indeed. For one, sensory play is greatly important to their development, as we’re going to take a closer look at later. However, for young children, one of the big benefits of an age-appropriate water mat is that it encourages the extremely important activity of tummy time. Tummy time helps physically develop your child so that they can start to sit up, walk, and crawl. Furthermore, tummy time improves their ability to move around using their own arms, motor development skills that will continue to be more crucial as they get older. A good water mat combines tummy time with sensory play while offering your child a safe environment to play with water.

Pic – Pixabay License

Kinetic sand

One of the most important parts of development at an early age is getting a good idea of your own senses. The better we develop these senses as youngsters, the more benefits it can have for us in later life. How we interact with different materials and objects with different properties as children helps us get a better idea of how different forces work on those objects. For instance, playing with kinetic sand can help us build nerve connections in the brain when we are younger and can encourage scientific thinking and problem-solving. One of the best ways to understand how the world works is to get hands-on with it, after all.

Board games

While it’s important to choose the age-appropriate examples for your children, and some children might not be old enough to have the attention span to sit down for them, board games are generally great for childhood development. They are one of the kids toys that helps teach them about structure and rules in the greatest depth. This can be something as simple as snakes and ladders for children who are just getting into school, or chess as they’re getting into their adolescent years. More complicated board games then go on to help teach them about problem-solving and creative thinking, which can help them excel in the school and beyond. They’re also a great way to teach healthy competition in a stress-free environment so that they’re better able to deal with it elsewhere.

Creative play

Whether it’s things like markers, crayons, non-toxic paints or otherwise, let’s not underestimate just how important it is that you encourage your child to be creative. From as young as one year old, they are going to love getting hands-on and seeing all the things they can draw, paint, and even build. Creative play has a range of both intellectual and physical benefits. Learning to draw, for instance, helps to develop mathematic abilities in children at a very young age by helping them see, learn, and create shapes, as well as seeing how sizes and sorting works. The motor skills that get built up through drawing can be incredibly important for their ongoing physical development, as well. Creating with a range of materials is best.

Pic – Pixabay License

Playing pretend

It might seem like playing pretend is nothing more than just a fun pastime, but the truth is that it has a great impact on a child’s ability to use their imagination to come up with creative ideas. Furthermore, playing with dolls and teddies also helps them develop their social skills. By interacting in different scenarios and relationships, it gets them thinking about how people act with one another, allowing them to better intuit social situations as time goes on. This can then help them better co-operate and compromise with their friends as they get into school. They will better understand social cues, different tones, and even improve their language development by talking to their own toys.

Building blocks

From toddlers to teenagers, there are different kinds of building blocks that incentivize learning more effectively than the vast majority of toys out there. Early age building blocks improve motor skills such as hand-eye coordination, ensuring that children learn how to reach out, place, and balance blocks so that they do not tip over. This exercise also stimulates their creative learning, getting them to think about and imagine how block placement will affect the overall structure. Of course, as they get older and the blocks can get more complex and create increasingly diverse and complicated objects, they get to thinking about long-term planning and improve their overall creative thinking. Playing with building blocks alongside your child also helps teach them how to share and how to take turns in play.

Balls of all size

Physical development is just as important a part of play as the mental side is. The sooner that you get your child involved in physical activity, the better. This applies to more than just fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination, as well. Getting up, running around, jumping, and the like are all going to help them physically develop so that it becomes easier to incorporate fitness into their lives as they get older. There is all manner of toys that can help with this, such as ride-on toys, tunnels, slides, and the like. However, one that combines the physical activity with the fine motor skills, both of which your child needs, are balls. No matter the size, so long as they are age-appropriate, balls can be some of the most beneficial toys for your child to play with.

Pic – Pixabay License

Early age computers

There is a lot of debate that goes on about just how much contact we should be letting our children have with technology and at what age they should be having that contact. There’s a good reason for this debate as well, as there’s increasing concern that technological addiction and the sedentary lifestyle it can involve is bad for the health of your child in a wide variety of ways. However, there is no denying that technology will play an increasingly large role in daily life and the working world as time goes on. Early learning computers can help children start getting used to this technology so that they take to it much more easily as they get older.

Other children

It’s not all about the toys. It’s important that you find the opportunity to have your child play with others. Many of the skills mentioned above, such as the ability to communicate, to read social cues, and to share while playing, aren’t going to be fully developed unless they’re tested out there in the field. Solo play and playing with family is important, but playing with new friends and other children will help your child get used to other relationships, as well. It’s recommended that you get them playing with other children before they get to school so that they can integrate and socialize more easily.

Of course, play and toys aren’t the only ways to foster the development of your child. Providing a safe and positive home that engages and encourages them is just as essential, but the examples above can at least help.

Improving Your Parental Prowess: Incorporating Self-Improvement Into Your Life

There are things that we wish would make motherhood easier. Perhaps we need certain hacks to help us get by during a difficult week. But arguably, one of the best gifts we can receive as a parent is the one that we give ourselves. Self-improvement is one of those things that some view with a raised eyebrow. Some feel it doesn’t benefit them, whereas others wholeheartedly embrace it. But there is a case to be said for having aspects of self-improvement in your life as a parent. But how can you incorporate aspects of self-improvement into your life, and how can they benefit you?

Get Into the Habit of Reading

As simple as it sounds, learning about personal development can help you unlock so many different abilities as a parent. While reading too many self-help books can make us over critical and overthink everything there’s a lot to be said about reading the right materials about personal development. It can provide new insights so you can alter your behavior for everybody, not just yourself or your children. But it’s simple to get into the habit of reading on a regular basis. The best thing we can all do is take a little bit of time every day just to read something, no matter how brief it is. Take the opportunity to invest in a pair of glasses on a website like

https://www.eyeglasses.com, and even reading a page every night will point you in the right direction.

Find People You Can Relate To

When we try to improve ourselves, there will always be naysayers and they can be closer to home than you think. Learning to improve your life is about getting insights from others. But finding people you can relate to will help you to stay motivated so you can keep pursuing your goals. We encounter so many people in our lives that don’t have any respect for what we’re trying to do, and when they are relatives or people we encounter every day, it can prove difficult to keep our distance from them. This is why we need to surround ourselves with people who are on the same wavelength. There are benefits to be had for encountering people who don’t think the way you do, because this can encourage the debate and learning to look at things from other people’s perspectives, but when you find people that operate on the same wavelength you have a support network. As a parent, usually this is other parents, but sometimes all the parents want to do is talk about their own children. We have to understand that if we want to be a better parent, we need to view ourselves objectively. 

Practice Being Calm

Being a parent means that we are sometimes running around so much that we end up feeling out of control and stressed. If we ever want to learn the fine art of personal development, being calm should be one of the first things that we understand. When you understand your own attitudes towards stress, you may have a new-found perspective. You may find that you’ve been a stress head your entire life but people didn’t want to broach the subject with you. If you can practice being calm, it won’t relieve everything straight away, but this art of practicing it slowly seeps into every aspect of your life. But when we feel that we don’t have the time to do it, this is when we have to find quick and effective hacks. There is a handy list on https://greatist.com to get you relaxing quickly. Because when we are relaxed we are able to solve problems better and understand how to improve issues.

Never Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Self-improvement can be about the lessons we learn from others. While we can’t “carbon copy” the issues someone else has gone through and apply it to our lives directly, when we see other people overcome problems, such as in terms of postpartum depression or learning how to take control of their lives, this can inspire us to ask for help. Some people think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. But when we understand that help can come in many forms and we learn a lesson effectively, this will give us a foundation to build upon. Help can come in many ways, whether it’s a counselor or advice from a friend.

When we feel we can improve on things, it shows that we care. As a parent, we can learn so much about ourselves by looking in the mirror and figuring out what we can improve upon. Life is a constant lesson, especially as a parent.

7 Signs Your Child is Athletically Gifted

If all the news herald today about athletes enjoying multi-million-dollar yearly contracts has done anything, it’s made parents acutely aware of any athletic prowess of their children. Whether a son or daughter is in high school or diapers, parents’ schedules are full chock of practices and sports training classes.

Many parents ponder their children’s success when it comes to raising athletic children. Is it best to raise a child in one sport or multiple sports? At what age should we start them? How do we find an athletic program? What follows are seven signs you better start looking into athletic shoes.

Is Your Child a Leader?

If your child demonstrates the ability to lead early in their life, you probably have a future athlete on your hands. These characteristics will often show, but you must watch for them. If they struggle between which toys to play with, you could have a leader.

Image Credit: Pexels

Do You Live in a Warm Climate?

According to a recent story in the Journal of Sports Medicine, the high number of professional athletes who come from California, Florida, and Texas indicates the benefits of warm weather on potential athletic development. By contrast, children who live in colder climates are often unable to practice their sports, putting their development on hold.

Tall Parents

Most athletes, especially at the professional level, are well over six feet tall, whereas the average American male is five foot nine inches. Want to know your child’s potential height? Just add both parents’ heights, divide the result by two, and then add 2.5 inches for boys and subtract 2.5 inches for girls.

Eye/Hand Coordination

Coordination is an essential skill for an athlete. Unfortunately, children are born with no coordination. It’s not until they are about six months old that they begin to understand the correlation between seeing and touching. Their ability to watch an object as it moves and transfer an object from one hand to another is an early indicator of coordination.

Image Credit: Pexels

Fearlessness

There is a point at which fearlessness becomes stupidity, but it’s also true that athletes have a degree of fearlessness that others don’t. For example, that basketball player who attempts the difficult lay-up or the gymnast who isn’t afraid to try the seemingly impossible maneuver is a fearless athlete. Fearless children are often climbers, talkers, and much more that prove they aren’t afraid of failure.

Resilience

Does your child fall and never fail to get back up and try it again? Or, does your child try to reach something that’s too far away, only to try again? These things and more indicate early resilience in a child.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Quick Learner

Does your child pick things up quickly? Do they learn things fast? Being a quick learner is an excellent attribute for any athlete. Learning things like proper form is essential to athletic success, such as the basketball player who watches the form of a professional and attempts to copy it.

There are many more critical indicators of a child’s potential for success in athletics. These include their body type, competitive nature, and much more. In many cases, it’s difficult to determine which is a more important characteristic than another. And yes, there are those athletes who defy all the norms but become standouts against all expectations. It all comes down to the attitude of the child.

Combatting Postpartum Hair Loss

Self-care routine is a cherished novelty for all new moms. So, when you finally get to indulge in your hair-care routine and find clumps of hair tangled in large bunches in your hairbrush, it can be quite an alarming discovery.

We are here to assure you that the shedding of hair post newborn delivery is quite a normal process. Postpartum hair loss is a general occurrence for most women in the six months that follow giving birth.

Causes of Postpartum Hair Loss

During pregnancy, every woman experiences tremendously high levels of progesterone and estrogen. Due to this, the women experience continuous hair growth throughout their pregnancy and will surely notice lustrous and thicker strands. 

Once you are through with the delivery, your hormones then begin to level out in the following six months. Your hair remains in the resting stage for approximately the first three months and then begins to fall out. Soon after, you will notice the re-growth taking place, which is generally in the shape of baby bangs along your hairline.

How long does it take for Postpartum Hair Loss to Stop?

The alarming rate at which your hair falls in postpartum might be scary to say the least, but the good news is that it is usually only temporary. Many women experience postpartum hair loss for merely four months, while others may experience it for a bit longer.

Normally, your hair growth pattern should return to normal six months post your postpartum period. However, there is also a possibility that you may be one of those women who suffer postpartum hair loss for around a year after you childbirth.

In case of severe symptoms or excessive hair loss for more than a year, you must consult your doctor.

Tips to Combat Postpartum Hair Loss

You can effectively manage your postpartum hair loss in several ways. However, one thing you must take note of is that postpartum hair loss is a normal occurrence due to your changing hormones. Therefore, you cannot expect it to stop immediately. 

The following tips are going to help you minimize the impact of your postpartum hair loss and will be helpful in gradually promoting healthy re-growth of your hair.

 

1.Nutritional Supplements

 

It is natural for new moms to feel overly worried about their postpartum hair loss. If you are an anxious mommy too, perhaps you should consult your doctor regarding mineral supplements or vitamin intake. These are helpful agents of hair re-growth and stopping or minimizing hair fall.

The American Pregnancy Association approves of the following for postpartum hair loss

  • Vitamin E
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Biotin (B7) or Vitamin B complex.
2. Laser Hair Clips

 

 

Laser caps are one of the most advanced and effective treatments for hair re-growth. You may consider this as a convenient remedy to tackle your postpartum hair loss issues. Laser hair caps have several benefits, including:

  • It will revitalize your frail and damaged hair
  • It can also reverse the postpartum hair loss
  • You will experience thicker and healthier hair follicles
  • Laser caps treat balding and thinning hair
  • There are no side effects, and the device is FDA-cleared
  • It is an effective and safe hair loss treatment for women ages 18 and older

 

 

3. Healthy and Balanced Diet

There is no doubt about the fact that a balanced and healthy diet is optimal for every person’s wellbeing and good health. For postpartum mothers, in particular, one cannot overstate the importance of a healthy diet, since it plays an integral part in restoring and halting the postpartum hair fall from progressing. 

One major way of combating your hair fall is to maintain the required balance of nutrients and vitamins. You must include fresh fruits, whole grains, and vegetables as these are the biggest sources of nutrients. In addition, it is equally important to remember that a sufficient intake of water is also compulsory for thorough hydration. 

 

4. Hairstyle Change

 

We are all well aware of the postpartum mom hairstyle, aren’t we? Well, a shorter hairstyle is not only practical and easy to manage for new moms; it also effectively reduces the appearance of the postpartum process.

You may be very fond of your hair length but think of it from an alternative perspective. An adjustment in your styling will reduce the level of stress on your fragile hair and enable it to re-grow faster with less burden. 

You must also try not to brush your hair too vigorously when in postpartum. This could split or tear your delicate hair, nor should you force it into brutal styles like cornrow braids, ponytails, and weaves. 

You are bound to feel overwhelmed following the months after your childbirth, but you must not ignore the issue at any cost.

5. Improve Your Hair Care Routine

An alteration in your hair care routine may also prove beneficial in reducing your hair loss. You might try a shampoo for postpartum hair fall, one that contains silica and biotin along with a deeply moisturizing conditioner.

Conclusion

Postpartum hair loss is a very natural process that most women experience post-delivery. There are certain ways in which you can reduce the amount of hair fall. However, you must also remember that postpartum often corrects itself once your hormones start normalizing and return to the balanced level.

Tips To Help With A Newborn Baby

A newborn baby is something that can be quite challenging and likely be the most challenging thing you do in your life. As well as it being difficult, though, it presents a new chapter in your life where you are likely to have never experienced love quite like what you feel for your own child. During this time, it can be helpful to have some advice, so here are some tips to help with a newborn baby.

Image Source

Always Keep Your Hands Clean

Your baby is a lot different to a child and extremely different to an adult when it comes to their ability to fight out germs and illnesses. With a low immune system it means that they’re more susceptible to being ill, and therefore, it’s essential you’re always keeping your hands clean when handling a newborn. In the same respect, it’s essential you keep away anyone that might be ill because that can be easily passed on when it’s something like the common cold or flu. Family and friends will certainly understand, and most will also be aware that coming into contact with a newborn when you’re ill is always advised against anyway. As a parent, it’s good to make sure you keep your hands clean at all times whenever you’re handling your baby, whether it’s changing a nappy or feeding them.

Support The Baby’s Neck & Head

As a baby’s body is still growing, it’s important to support them in the right way in their early years. This means you want to provide them with as much support on the neck and head as you can. If you’ve ever held a baby before, you’ll always get told to support the head and neck. It’s important to do this because without that support, it could be harming the baby’s body in a number of ways. It can be nerve-racking as a new parent when holding your baby, but it’s definitely something you’ll become quickly used to when it comes to handling your own baby. It might seem terrifying at first, but you’ll learn how to hold it better when you’re with them 24/7!

Spend Plenty Of Time Bonding

These early times in a baby’s life are important because they’ve spent the better part of nine months or less in your body, and now they’re outside of it. Therefore, all their crying is likely due to being in this new environment where the temperature is different, and they’re not being fed as consistently as usual. Take this time to really bond with your child and get in all that skin to skin contact that they’ll be after.

You can take a look online to answer any questions that you might have on caring for your baby when they’re sick, like tips to help your congested baby breathe, and there’s also lots of information on best practices for bonding with your child.

Stock Up On Diapers & Essentials

With a newborn baby, it usually is the case that you’ll need to change their nappy on average ten times a day. And although that might seem impossible, it’s definitely accurate. Therefore, it’s a good idea to really stock up on diapers and essentials before you have your baby. Over that pregnancy period, try and get as many diapers as possible for those stages where they’ll go from newborn to toddler and until they learn to go pee themselves. Essentials like bibs are good to have because you’re going to likely go through a lot of them with all the mess they’ll make. Whether that’s through burping, feeding, or being sick. It’s better for it to go on a bib than on your clothes!

Always Place Babies On Their Back For Sleeping

One of the dangers that comes with babies is when they go to sleep. It’s essential that whenever you lay your baby down to sleep, you put them on their back. This is because it helps reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) that can occur in newborns. You also want to make sure that you avoid putting blankets on your baby until after a twelve month period. This is only because it’s more likely to cause suffocation if the blanket ends up on their face. This is the same for pillows so take caution.

 

Hopefully, these tips will help you with dealing with a newborn for the first time. Take your time, and don’t panic. It’s a new experience and one you’ll learn more about as you go.

 

*Disclosure: The link below is an affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

 

How to Give Your Cat a Bath In Five Easy Steps

“How to Give Your Cat a Bath In Five Easy Steps is a delightful and hilarious story that all cat lovers will get a giggle out of.” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Step one: fill the bath
Step two: put the cat in the bath
Step three: put shampoo on the cat
Step four: rinse the cat
Step five: dry the cat

Seems simple, right? One problem: the cat has no intention of doing ANY of these things! Watch as the steps keep changing, the cat keeps escaping, the girl keeps eating cookies and the mess keeps escalating. Soon it’s not just the cat who needs a bath — it’s the whole house!

#MelAndNikkiReview

How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps made us giggle out loud. We are cat lovers and we know how much they just “love” baths so we were intrigued on how this clever girl could accomplish such a task. After following all five steps and a few more added, it was quickly learned that the best way to give a cat a bath is to actually let them to do it themselves. 😉

This story is fun, creative and illustrations are delightful. There is great detail in the illustrations and make sure to follow the cat’s path to see where he could be hiding. That was Nikki’s favourite part of the story was to see where he could be hiding.

“Mr. Flea is so funny momma! He does not like baths!” – Nikki, Age 5

We also really like this book as it allows us to work on Nikki’s reading skills. There are a lot of familiar words used that Nikki was able to pick up on which made us love this book even more. We can’t wait until she reads this book all on her own to us. We will just keep practicing. 🙂

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 10 meows out of 5! It was a purrfect story for our reading lineup and it can be for you and your little one too. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here. This is a great time to brush on some reading while we spend quality family time together. 😉

About the Author

Nicola Winstanley has always believed in the power of stories to bring comfort. She is the author of  The Pirate’s Bed, A Bedtime Yarn and  Cinnamon Baby, which won an honor prize for the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and was shortlisted for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Nicola lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with her family, one dog and one cat.

About the Illustrator

John Martz is an illustrator, cartoonist and designer. He is the author and illustrator of Evie and the Truth About Witches, Burt’s Way Home and A Cat Named Time and Other Stories, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. John is the art director for Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, and he lives in Toronto with his wife and one dog. No cats.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt

“The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt has puff, puff, chug, chug into our hearts and just in time for Easter!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Easter’s here! The Little Engine is on the hunt for eggs, and the clown has written a serie of riddles for her to follow. Will the Little Engine crack the code? She’ll have to work together with her friends and, most importantly, believe in herself!

“Happy Easter,” toots the Little Engine.
“What a great day it is,” says the toy clown.
“Are you ready to have some fun?”
The toy clown has a surprise for his friends.
“It is time for an Easter egg hunt!” he says.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt is delightful and sure to please your young reader. This story is part of the Penguin Young Readers Level 2 which we loved as Nikki got to practice her reading skills with this story. The levels determines which reader it is best suited for and a description is provided at the back to help guide parents. This is the first time we have read a book from the Penguin Young Readers and we absolutely love it! Makes me want to check out many more.

With this particular story we got to follow the amazing and classic character, The Little Engine as she is on an egg hunt with her friends. We love the clues that are given as they search as it gives the reader a chance to guess themselves. I have to say that Nikki was much better with the riddles than I was (I am definitely a little rusty). The illustrations are vibrant and they provide great clues to help the young reader read. We know with much more practice, Nikki will be reading me this story before I go to bed. 😉

We give The Little Engine’s Easter Egg Hunt 5 eggs out of 5! It offers simple text, clever riddles, and adorable illustrations which is perfect for emerging readers. It also provides eggspiring ideas for your own Easter hunt at home. I think this year I will provide riddles for Nikki’s egg hunt so that she can practice reading and have fun at the same time. 🙂

If you would like to purchase a copy, click here as it is great for children ages five to eight.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.

The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny

“The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny is the perfect story to treat your little ones this Easter season!” – Momma Braga

Synopsis

Blue is a Tooth Fairy, and he’s ready for his next mission! All he has to do is collect a lost tooth, leave a coin in exchange, and return to the Tooth Fairy Command Center. Easy! But when he gets to the house, he realizes it may not be so simple. That’s because it’s the night before Easter! The Easter Bunny is there to do his job and he makes it clear that he works alone. Can Blue convince the rude rabbit to let him stay, or will he have to hop out in a hurry?

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Tooth Fairy VS The Easter Bunny takes us to an epic battle between Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. A fun, creative story with illustrations to match is what you can expect from this great children’s book. It even offers that dash of humor that will have you and your little ones giggling. The battle is fierce and you wonder who will come out the winner. At the end, everyone is the winner as new friendships are formed. What better way to truly win a battle, but to rise with friends by your side.

We definitely loved this story and as a parent I have to say that I love the detail that the tooth fairy has left a coin under the pillow. It sure is much more manageable then the twenty dollars that some tooth fairies have been leaving behind. 😉 Also loved the letter with photo that Blue and the Easter Bunny left behind for Veda and her brother – perfect detail to complete the story.

“I love how the Tooth Fairy saved Easter and it was a happy ending for everyone.” – Nikki, Age 5

Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview, we give it 10 Easter eggs out of 5! It brought creativity to the magical world of tooth fairies and bunnies that will have you reading it over and over again. It certainly got us “eggcited” for Easter as we celebrate as we social distance this year. But this book sure did bring us some great joy!

This book is perfect for Easter as it will offer the giggles you need after eating all those Easter treats! If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

Momma Braga

*This book was provided in exchange of an honest review. All opinions expressed are our own.