Parenting

How To Prepare For A Baby – The Essential To-Do List

Preparing for a permanent resident in your life that you’ve never met can be tricky, but doing nothing to prepare is even trickier. While there is no way to ensure you won’t be popped with surprises during early motherhood, there are ways to set yourself up for greater success, satisfaction, and sanity before your wiggly little person makes their grand entrance.

To kick off your preparations, complete the following to-dos before The Day:

1. Create Your Baby Zones.

Babies have a sneaky way of taking over every square inch of your house if you don’t designate specific areas wholly devoted to your noisy cherub. For example, set up a changing zone in one room of your house (or two if your home is spread out) and an always stocked and organized diaper bag you can grab for on-the-go changes (like blowouts so messy it’s best to bring the supplies to baby.) In addition, consider setting up play zones, feeding zones, sleep zones, dressing zones, and any other zones you think your baby will need.

While tiny socks and colorful chunks of plastic will still find their way into non-baby zones, you’ll be better equipped to maintain a semblance of control over the state of your with-child home.

Read more at Nanit

Parenting

How To Introduce Your Pet To Your New Baby

When you’re a mama to fur babies, it can be tricky when an actual baby comes into the mix. Pets are often highly intuitive and can experience everything from jealousy to depression when a strange new creature enters their home – especially when this creature is garnering so much of your time and attention. These emotions can be so big that the initial introduction between pet and baby can be fraught with stress; but it doesn’t have to be. With enough planning, loving action, and clear boundaries the immersion of your baby’s presence into your pet’s life can be an exciting and heart-warming experience.

Smooth Out Unwanted Behavior.

If your pet has undesirable habits like jumping on people, destroying furniture, barking at everyone and everything, or forgetting where to use the potty, it’s ideal to support them in working their way out of those habits before your baby arrives. Animals are incredibly in tune with the vibes their owner is putting off, so if you’re stressed about the extra hassle they’re stirring up for you, it will likely be more difficult for them to make a connection with the baby.

Read more on Nanit

Parenting

Newborn Sleeping Too Much?

Newborns typically sleep an average of 16 to 20 hours a day, leaving many parents wondering “is my newborn sleeping too much?”

Because the new parent mind can quickly fall down the rabbit hole of paranoia, this question can quickly lead to a catalog of more nerve-wracking questions and concerns.

So, first and foremost, it’s crucial for new parents to understand that a baby who seems to have little interest in anything but catching zzzs is not just normal, but doing exactly what their body needs to healthily develop – as long as they’re still getting in eight to twelve feedings over every 24-hour period.

Although newborns sleep a lot, they generally sleep in short intervals because their stomachs are so small. Newborns wake up, on average, every three hours to eat – this number varies between breastfed and formula-fed babies, with some formula-fed babies being able to go slightly longer stretches between feedings. If your pediatrician reports that baby is gaining adequate amounts of weight, let the sleepy times roll.

Read more at Nanit

Parenting, Travel

Tips For Traveling With Baby

Hopping on a plane, saying yes to a road trip, or setting off on a cruise with a baby in tow can cause even the calmest of parents to spin out. But, a combination of preparation and flexibility can cause your trip to be filled with enjoyment and relaxation, instead of irritation and meltdowns.

To set yourself up for success when traveling with your baby, try out the following tips.

Book A Non-Stop Flight That Suits Baby’s Sleep Schedule.

When possible, select a non-stop flight that is in the air when baby usually sleeps. Few things are as stressful as having a fussy baby on a plane, so being en route when they usually nap, or are down for the night, will infuse ample relief during transit.

Read more on Nanit

Parenting

How to Prevent “Summer Brain”

Remember summer brain? That mental phenomenon where all the lessons learned during the school year slip away? And then bam. It’s back to school and our poor kids get a rude awakening as they try to get their brain back into gear after two to three months of lounging on the couch, bleaching their hair with sun and chlorine, and watching too much screen time after wearing their parents down.

So, what’s a parent to do? How do we create an epic summer for our kids while also stoking their brain with undercover learning? I asked my husband who is an educator in early elementary. His answer? Trick em’ into learning. That’s right, engage in some good natured trickery by mixing fun activities, laced with learning, into your child’s lazy summer days. But, because I can only come up with about three such activities on my own, I set out to find a resource – beyond my much beloved Pinterest – that would make things easy for me.

Enter, Education.com, a website I’m not being paid to promote – I just think it’s really helpful. While there’s an endless supply of learning resources on the site, all organized by age, my fave section is the activities. I checked off the preschool box and viola, I was met with enough activities to last all summer.

My son’s favorites have been making a city out of cereal boxes – an activity that can promote creativity and offers an opportunity to learn about recycling – and crafting “community helpers” out of paper bags, and other simple supplies, conveying the message that there are numerous types of people that keep the cogs of a community turning (this led to a one-hour convo about whose job it is to deal with all the poop, and if there is a poop fairy. Bless you sewage treatment plant operators.)

Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 12.50.47 PM
Image from “Make a Cereal Box House” on Education.com
Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 12.51.03 PM
Image from “Summer Community Helpers” on Education.com

So, make your kid’s summer brain a little less mushy, while also creating sweet opportunities for bonding, by checking out Education.com

I would love to hear how it works for you, and what resources you tried (or the resources you skipped because you, like me, can only handle activities that require six or less materials.)

Here’s to a super chill, yet mind-stimulating summer.

xo

Bailey

Parenting

Guest Post: How to Prevent Cyber Bullying

Over the past year I’ve had more and more clients report issues with their children experiencing cyber bullying, and have even had some of my younger clients relay their first hand experiences with it. So, I’m happy to publish this guest post from Anna Blake who recently released an educational children’s book on Internet safety. 


 

How to Prevent Cyber Bullying

By: Anna Blake

Cyber bullying is becoming an epidemic and it has a serious impact on the mental health of both children and adults. You or your child can fall victim to cyber bullies at any time, even if you did not in any way engage with the perpetrators or provoke the attack. It is important to know how to prevent cyber bullying before it gets out of hand.

Online Monitoring

You should actively monitor your children’s online activities, so you can identify possible cyber bullying situations. The internet provides a level of disconnect that emboldens cyber bullies to say and do things they wouldn’t do in the real world. Your child may not know how to handle these attacks, so it is up to you to step in and handle the situation for them.

Make sure to take screenshots and save any audio or video messages, if you can. If the cyber bullies are known to you or your child, take appropriate action to report their behavior. For younger kids, you can inform the school, as most districts have a proactive policy that aims to stamp out cyber bullying. Otherwise, you may need to contact the police and determine whether the issue is within the realm of their cyber bullying unit, or to ask for a referral to a local organization that can help.

Tell your child not to engage with the cyber bullies and block them once you have enough evidence of potentially unlawful activities. It is also essential you protect you or your child’s personal information, as cyber bullies will use it as a threat or means to intimidate. Ideally, you will have had a conversation with your child about not sharing personal information in group chats, forums, or social media platforms that they wouldn’t share in the real world.

Signs of Cyber Active Bullying

If you notice your child does not want to spend as much time online, it may indicate she is being cyber bullied. Handle the situation gently and discuss reasons why she does not want to go online. You cannot help your child resolve the issue if there is a barrier to communication. Cyber bullying can cause a child to feel embarrassed and weak, so an understanding and empathetic approach is ideal.

Look and listen for signs of cyber bullying when your child is online. Preferably, online devices should only be used when you are in the room and able to effectively monitor what is going on, without encroaching too much on your child’s internet time. If a child is making a conscious effort to hide the device screen, it should set off alarm bells that something is not right.

Children are not as equipped to handle conflict as adults are, so monitor your child’s emotions while online. If she seems angry or upset, there is a very good chance it is due to cyber bullying. Encouraging your child to discuss their problems at this stage may prove difficult. However, you need to establish what is going on in order to help.

When a child changes her name on social media or creates a completely different account for no apparent reason, she is likely being stalked and tormented by cyber bullies. If you ignore these signs, the issue will only escalate to the point where your child feels there is nowhere left to turn. She will become withdrawn and emotionally distressed in social situations. This is the time where you must let your child know you are a trusted ally who will stand by her side.

Due to the fact that cyber bullying has become such a serious problem, there is plenty of support available for parents and kids. If you are finding it difficult to help your child, don’t be afraid to reach out to schools, public authorities, and any local support groups that are involved in combating cyber bullying.

About Anna Blake

Anna is a stay at home mom, wife and owner of very demanding cat, from sunny Chatsworth, California. When she is not busy chasing her 2 year old around, you can find her trying out new salad recipes or re-watching favorite chick-flick movies.

Together with her hubby they educate kids and adults about internet safety through their website and recently created an educational children’s book Internet Kids – Road Trip.

Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy, Video

Tips for Bonding with Your Baby

A sample video from Udemy’s bestselling online childbirth preparation course, https://www.udemy.com/childbirth-preparation-a-complete-guide-for-pregnant-women/

Family Entertainment, Parenting

5 Unique Alternatives to Baby Books (That Won’t Make You Feel Like a Failure)

*Quoted as expert

As a kid, I would flip through my baby book, hoping my mom had filled in some of the blanks while I was sleeping or at school. But every time I took the book off its shelf, I saw the same barren pages between the faded pale yellow covers. Listed were the date and time of my birth, my birth weight, a lock of hair from my first haircut … and that was all. I promised myself that if I ever became a parent, I wouldn’t start a baby book if I couldn’t commit to the project. As an adult, I know that I’m amazing at starting projects. But finishing them? Not so much.

This is why I’ve never owned a baby book.

It turns out, I’m not alone. In the age of the smartphone, many parents are finding the traditional baby book just doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t mean those of us who are sans baby book aren’t capturing the important moments. There are plenty of ways to hold onto the milestones, the mispronunciations that are too cute to correct, and everything in between – while letting go of the pressure to fill in the blanks.

. . .

4 | Film them

There is nothing quite like a video to preserve a moment. At the end of each year, Bailey Gaddis, the Ojai, California mother and author of “Feng Shui Mommy,” creates a “Year in Review” video montage of all the short takes she’s recorded of her four-year-old son throughout the year. Not only does the video showcase milestones and random sweet and funny moments, Bailey loves that they double as holiday gifts for the grandparents. As an added bonus, videos won’t create clutter.

Read the full article on Parent.co

Parenting, Reviews and Giveaways

Ergobaby Omni 360 Review

My main issue with the classic Ergobaby carrier was that I could only (comfortably) have my son facing my chest. As he grew older, and had a desire to check out the happenings around him, he would get peeved when he was stuck looking at me (unless he was in the mood for some boob.) So, I’m happy to report that the Ergobaby Omni 360 carrier solves that problem and allows your babe to comfortably be carried in pretty much every position you can imagine: forward facing, outward facing, on the hip, and on the back.
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And, there are other perks attached to this updated Ergobaby:
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  • The structured bucket seat allows baby to sit in an ergonomically-friendly position, in all positions, minimizing “my crotch hurts” fussiness.
  • There’s also goodies for the adult. The crossbale shoulder straps and lumbar support allow you to go for hours with your child strapped to your body without feeling like your back is being slowly tortured. I would know – I went on a four mile hike with this carrier (and my child) and I could have gone further.
  • You no longer have to worry about losing that bulky newborn insert. You can now simply adjust the leg width and wa-lah (!), newborn ready.
  • It’s more comfortable for dads. My husband, who is a lot a bit larger than me, had problems adjusting our original carrier to suit his wider and taller frame. The Omni 360 carrier is so versatile and easy to adjust he gets a little twinkle in his eye when he gets a turn with it.
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While I was already a devotee of Ergobaby before this new beauty was released, the Omni 360 is such a champ I’m now that mom who accosts people at the park telling them how they MUST get an Ergobaby Omni 360 in their life.
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P.S. Dear Ergobaby, could you please figure out a way to add a cup holder and wine dispenser to your next model? Please and thank you.
Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy

3 Ways to Foster a Psychic Connection With Your Baby

Your baby can communicate from the womb if you just learn to listen. 

The Tibetans believe that pregnancy is the time when a woman has the strongest connection to “another realm” because her baby is living partially in her body, and partially in the spirit world. This spiritual gateway is also believed to release the full voice of the woman’s intuition, allowing her to send and receive messages to and from her baby.
 
For some, these messages come via clear voices heard in the mother’s mind, or said by another at the exact time the mother is asking a question of her unborn baby. But, for many pregnant women messages from their baby come through in more abstract, but just as powerful, channels.
 
Following are ways you can open up this magical communication channel with your baby, helping to ensure they’re able to be one of your guides throughout pregnancy and childbirth. 
 
1. Clearing the Clutter

When the energy around or within you is stagnant, the channel of communication between you and baby becomes blocked. To begin clearing these blocks, get rid of the clutter in the primary areas you spend time in, only keeping objects and pieces of furniture that you love or add usefulness to your life. 

After your outer clutter is cleared, ensure your inner environment is uncluttered by forgiving others for wrongs you feel they’ve committed, and forgiving yourself for missteps you believe you’ve made. Just let it all flow out – your communication channel with Baby will blossom in the clear space that is left.

2. Practicing Heart-Centered Meditation

Now that you have a clear channel for communication, begin to tap into it by minimizing distractions, closing your eyes, and placing your hands on your belly.

As you sit, notice warmth from your heart center beginning to radiate down towards your uterus, then notice a warmth spreading up from the center of your uterus.

Allow the warmth from your heart and uterus to connect and create a channel of love that is alive with love for your baby, and from your baby.

You don’t need to search for any profound messages in this space, just sit, and be, and feel warm with your baby. 

3. Doing Free Flow Journaling

You’re now tuned in to a feeling-connection with your baby, and are now ready to explore your thinking-connection.

To do this, set aside twenty to thirty minutes, preferably after you practice the heart-centered meditation, and begin writing. There is no prompt for this writing exercise, just write whatever comes to you, even if you just write, “I don’t know what to write” for the first few minutes.

Let words pour out of you without pausing to analyze spelling, sentence structure, or even the topic you’re writing on – just keep writing.

You’ll likely notice, if you commit to the full time, that interesting and meaningful messages will begin flowing from pen to paper, maybe even messages that don’t seem to be coming from your own mind . . .

4. Becoming Aware of the New Rhythm of Your Thoughts and Desires

The more you tap into your psychic connection with your unborn baby the more you’ll notice the rhythm of your thoughts and desires shifting.

You may start to think about relationships, work, or maybe food in new ways, and notice that you’re having desires for conversations, experiences, or other facets of life that you never had before.

What if these subtle shifts are your baby communicating with you? Maybe this is his way of encouraging you to live a life that will optimally set the two of you up for your new life together – may be.

5. Taking A Few Moments of Stillness Before Acting

Subtle communication, with your intuition or baby, is often missed when you hastily move through life.

To ensure you’re able to honor the messages from your baby, pause before you speak, make decisions, or transition into a new activity. This pause may just last a few moments but can create the space for you to live with greater intention and a heightened awareness of the needs of your baby.

An added benefit of developing this psychic connection with your baby, before they’re born, is that it will make their transition from womb to the outer world smoother for you both. You’ll have a preexisting mode of communication, which will enhance your baby’s ability to “tell you” what they need, and your ability to decipher and respond to those needs.

This enhanced communication will also make the many moments of challenge easier to navigate because you’ll be connected to the bigger picture – that the two of you are co-authoring an epic love story. 

P.S. Until 12.31.17 you can get 10% off my favorite baby carrier at ErgoBaby.com! Just use the super simple coupon code BBMkp9VIniU 😉 And, FREE shipping!

Parenting, Travel

The Mom Who Is Stepping Off a Building For Her Son

If you’re a mom, it might not surprise you that there are women out there literally stepping off a building to support their children.

Sheila Bierwert is one of these women. This year will be Sheila’s seventh time participating in the Over the Edge event at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort, which raises money for The Special Olympics Hawaii. The fundraiser consists of participants (who were able to raise $1,000 or more for The Special Olympics Hawaii) rappelling over the edge of the 40-story resort.

I asked Sheila what the most intimidating aspect of the rappelling was, and her answer was appropriate for so many risks in life: the hardest part is taking the first step. Luckily, the rooftop Over the Edge staff is well versed in how to supportively coax rappellers off the edge of a building.

Sheila is willing to take this first step over and over again to show support for her son Trevor, who has special needs, and the other Special Olympics athletes who she says face challenges on a daily basis.

Sheila Bierwert
Sheila with her family.

Her family has become so involved and inspired by this event (they’ve raised $40,000 so far!) that her daughter Emma will be taking that epic step with Sheila on October 28th.

And, while some thrive on the adrenaline something like rappelling shoots through the body, Sheila is not one of them- she says she doesn’t even enjoy going to amusement parks. But, love for a child will do that to you: it will pour a dissolvent over your fears.

If you’re interesting in supporting this fundraiser, click here!

 

Childbirth, Parenting, Pregnancy, Press

Inspired Conversations with Linda Joy

Curious about what’s it’s like to navigate the emotions of an unplanned pregnancy? Or, many of the other wonderful/crazy/confusing/transformative challenges of the journey into #motherhood? Tune into to my interview on the Inspired Conversations with Linda Joy radio show today at 2pm ET here, http://omtimes.com/iom/shows/inspired-conversations/ #pregnancy #childbirth#fengshuimommy

Inspired Conversations_Bailey Gaddis