Simple Ways to Save Money with a Baby on the Way

Posted by Susan Brown on May 15, 2019 0 Comments

Simple Ways to Save Money with a Baby on the Way

 

Parents, especially first-time parents, tend to overspend on baby and pregnancy prep. All the excitement and emotions surrounding pregnancy encourage us to splurge on our future little ones. While there are plenty of things you will need to buy before the baby comes, it’s easy to find affordable options and budget alternatives. After all, providing loving care to your new child is possible on any budget! Here are some tips for acquiring affordable baby gear and sticking to your pregnancy prep budget.

 

Save on Maternity Wear

 

Why spend a fortune on clothes you’re only going to wear for a few months? Save money on your maternity wear by seeking out pieces of clothing that double as postnatal wear. Some great examples include overalls, flowy maxi dresses, elastic-waisted skirts, wrap tops, and exercise clothing. Wardrobe basics such as high-waisted leggings will go with any outfit and conform to your changing body. Check out sites like Kindred Bravely to find versatile maternity leggings that will keep you comfortable during pregnancy and beyond.

 

Buy Second-Hand

 

A lot of baby gear is easy to find second-hand. Save money on everything from clothing to toys by shopping for gently-used items at thrift stores and consignment shops. You can even find used bouncy seats, baby swings, and high chairs—just make sure to do your research and check for recalls before buying.

 

That said, there are a couple of things that you should never buy second-hand, especially cribs and car seats. Modern cribs must adhere to strict safety regulations that older cribs may not meet. For example, cribs with drop-down sides have been banned due to serious safety issues. Similarly, older car seats may fail to meet safety standards. Car seats also wear out over time, putting children in danger—this is why car seats have expiration dates!

 

Stick to the Essentials

 

As you’re shopping for baby gear, you’ll come across many items you will never need. Some of these may be obvious, like baby knee pads. Aside from the more ridiculous baby inventions, parents can steer clear of common unnecessary items, like fancy changing tables, baby-wipe warmers, bottle warmers, specialized diaper bags, and diaper pails. Use a cheap dresser as a changing table, warm your bottles in a cup of hot water, and use a cheap garbage bin as a diaper pail. These affordable alternatives will allow you to spend your money on quality essential items instead.

 

Register for Gifts You Need

 

A gift registry is a great way to let your friends and family give you the items you really need. The Bump recommends asking for practical items like bibs, burp cloths, bottles, a baby first-aid kit, and baby toiletries. Avoid putting items on your registry that you wouldn’t buy for yourself. If you receive any gifts you don’t need, return these to the store so you can get something else. In exchange for a couple of unnecessary items, you may be able to get something more expensive, like a baby monitor or a quality stroller.

 

Join or Organize a Swap Party

 

Babies grow out of clothing, toys, and other gear pretty quickly, but constantly buying new items seems wasteful. A swap party is a wonderful way to acquire new (to you) items like children’s clothes and toys. During a swap party, parents bring agreed-upon items they no longer need and trade amongst each other. Check out Facebook to see if you can find a local swap group to join. If not, consider organizing your own swap party.

 

Prepping for your pregnancy on a budget will get you in the habit of making smart financial decisions for your family. As your child grows older, you’ll be able to use the money-saving tips you learned during your pregnancy to avoid financial stress and keep your family secure. Plus, you’ll be prepared to save even more when the next child comes along!

 

 

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Toxic Items for Your Skin

Posted by Susan Brown on April 15, 2019 0 Comments

Toxic Items for Your Skin

 

When you’re pregnant, the products you use on your skin are more important than ever. Everything you’re consuming, your baby is consuming. When you eat a nutritious diet, your developing infant also benefits from those vitamins and minerals, and when you apply skin products or use household cleansers, both you and your baby are absorbing them. If you use products that contain toxic chemicals, you risk injury to both yourself and your little one. When you use safe products, you protect your child from potential harm. As a mom who wants to give your growing offspring the best start possible, it’s vital to research the ingredients in the personal care products and household chemicals you use.

 

Consider how many products touch your skin each day — makeup, lotion, soap, polish. Then, think about this: Several of the most ordinary, commonplace household products include harmful substances. Believe it or not, everything from laundry detergent to cleaning solutions to sunscreen can contain toxins.

 

When you reach for that antibacterial hand soap, for example, you may think you’re killing germs but you’re also exposing your body to triclosan. This substance often causes skin irritation and, even more worrisome, could potentially cause you to develop antibiotic resistance. 

 

So, whether you just found out you’re pregnant or are several months along, it’s never too late to think about the everyday products and chemicals you’re using. To get more information about common dangers, take a look at the attached resource. In it, you’ll find seven surprising items that can contain toxins — and learn why you should consider dropping them from your daily routine.

 

7 Surprising Items That Are Toxic To Your Skin from the Lapiel Laser Center

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Helping Your Child Make Healthy Choices

Posted by Susan Brown on March 12, 2019 0 Comments

Helping Your Child Make Healthy Choices

There are a lot of negative influences on young people today when it comes to maintaining healthy habits. It’s hard to commit to a healthy diet when there’s so much junk food on the market, and so much money spent promoting it. But the stakes are high: unhealthy eating habits when you’re young can lead to obesity and other health problems later in life. Exercise and choosing a diet that includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains and protein are building blocks for a lifetime of good health. If your child is in high school, reinforcing the good habits you worked to instill when your child was young is as important now as it was then.

Good Habits

As a parent, you’re in an excellent position to set a good example for your child by developing some good habits that everyone can follow; for example, keep healthy snacks and toss out the old ones. Also, serve well-rounded meals at dinnertime to encourage your son to eat well when he goes away to college. Eliminate or reduce the amount of caffeine in the house and limit your caffeine consumption. Make sure your son sees you getting some exercise, in whatever form you choose. A best-case scenario would be one in which your child chooses to reduce the amount of time he spends playing video games, instead taking the time to get some exercise. Exercise and healthy eating can reduce the temptation of drugs and alcohol. This is another area in which you want your child to make good choices.

One habit that everyone probably needs to improve is getting regular dental check-ups. Considering that poor oral hygiene can often lead to problems such as depression, making sure your teeth stay healthy should remain toward the top of your list. If your child is afraid of the dentist, find one who specializes in nervous children to help decrease that anxiety.

A Healthy Example

Continue setting a good example as your child gets older. The temptations that were there when he was younger are still there. Find ways to exercise together. Purchase some free weights and work out with your son. Try challenging each other to do a certain number of reps each day, and try to exceed that number. Buy a good kitchen scale so you can properly portion your meals to avoid overeating. Avoid using alcohol or smoking in front of your child. In fact, this might be the right time to try and kick the smoking habit. If your child sees you following a healthy daily regimen, he’s that much more likely to follow suit.

 

Temptations

Teenagers and young adults are bombarded with temptations every day, through the media and at school. Drugs and alcohol are facts of life that can’t be ignored, so take the time to talk to your child about the dangers of addictive substances. Make sure he knows the dangers of smoking and what the long-term risks are. Double down and make sure you lock away grown-up items like medications and alcohol so that temptation is never an option.

Instilling good health habits in your child doesn’t stop once he hits high school or begins growing facial hair. Young people are highly impressionable and, as a parent, it’s important to keep reinforcing those good habits you’ve been teaching him since he was old enough to walk. Keep the lines of communication open with your child during the teenage years, but avoid confrontational situations whenever possible. Emphasize the positive as much as possible and continue to encourage him in good times and bad. Finally, trust your child to make good decisions and don’t be unnecessarily strict. Showing trust maintains the strong bond you and your child have established.

 

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Keeping You and Your Child Safe: Medication And Your Pregnancy

Posted by Susan Brown on March 04, 2019 0 Comments

 

Keeping You and Your Child Safe: Medication And Your Pregnancy

 

Around 90% of pregnant women make use of at least one form of medicine during the course of their pregnancy according to the findings of the CDC. As the health of the mother and the child hangs in the balance when it comes to side effects of medicine, it’s important to know what to avoid before and after the pregnancy. So exactly what sort of medication should be given a wide berth? 

 

 

During Pregnancy

 

 

Drugs and substances deemed too dangerous for pregnant women are called teratogenic. Whatever medication you take, whether safe or teratogenic, will affect the life growing inside you. In some cases, the effect of medicine like Isotretinoin (used to fight acne) can be damaging. Known effects are birth defects, low birth weight, and even increase the likelihood of premature birth as established by J. Parboosingh. If you take substances like opioids, there is a huge chance that your child will be at risk for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

 

 

The pregnant body often has a compromised immune system. The health of the child needs to be considered before you take any medicine. This is particularly true when it comes to taking antibiotics. There are certain kinds that are thought to be dangerous for pregnant women like Bactrim, Macrobid, and Doxycycline. There are other substances that can put your health risk so you need to be suitably informed.

 

 

After Birth

 

 

Once the child is born, this does not mean that you will be completely free to take medication and substances without due consideration. Take for example regular medication for colds. Breastfed babies get roughly 10% of the dose of cold medication that their mother takes as found by Dr. Elisa Ross of Cleveland Clinic. Substances like Domperidone (used to fight nausea) can put infants at risk for cardiac arrhythmias. Medicine like Metamizole or Dipyrone (a painkiller) can increase risk of pharmacological effects in children. It is generally for the best to avoid taking any antipsychotics while breastfeeding. If you take medication to treat schizophrenia, the child may be at risk for speech delays.

 

 

Things To Remember

 

 

Before taking any sort of medication, it is always good to consult your OB-GYN and your child’s pediatrician to be guided accordingly. The effect of medication can depend entirely on factors like your health and your child’s age, weight, and medical history. If you have any preexisting medical conditions, you aren’t doing anyone any favors by staying away from your medicine. It is fully possible to take necessary medication and reap the benefits. For example, the likes of mild painkillers, antihistamine, antacids, and certain antimicrobial medication can help. They can boost your health so you can better care for yourself and your child.

 

 

At the end of the day, the act of assumption will do the most damage to your health. Your pregnancy and subsequent birth are both exciting times and you need to be in your peak physical health. Medication isn’t the enemy and being fully aware of the things you need to avoid can give you and your child a better chance of staying healthy.

 

 

 

 

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Child Safety On the Road

Posted by Susan Brown on March 27, 2018 0 Comments

As a parent, your main priority is your children’s safety. You spend a lot of time thinking of ways to care for them and to keep them safe, but there will be times when you have to let them be a little bit independent and start learning about the world. During these times, all you can do is to give them advice and teach them lessons on what to do or say.

One of the most dangerous places for children is the road. Depending on where you live, roads can be filled with hundreds or even thousands of cars that can go zooming past. Your children may be in danger if you do not teach them ways to be safe whenever they are near roads or streets, so it’s best to give them the following guidelines:

1. Use sidewalks. – Sidewalks are your kid’s best friend when they are walking. Sidewalks are usually separated from the vehicular section of the road by a curb to prevent vehicles from going into the pedestrian section. If there is no sidewalk, tell your children to walk facing oncoming traffic so they can see the vehicles that are going in their direction.

2. Use pedestrian crosswalks. – Pedestrian crosswalks ensure that you’re crossing the street in the safest section possible. Tell your children that they still need to look left and right before crossing even if they use the crosswalk whenever they are crossing the street. Teach your children to make eye contact with the driver of an oncoming vehicle to make sure that the driver is aware that someone is passing.

3. Do not run. – Teach your kids not to run or dart out in the middle of the street. Even if it’s just in front of your residence where there may be speed bumps to slow vehicles down, some drivers still speed through them or go over the set speed limit, so it’s best to teach your children never to run whenever they are by the street.

4. Avoid walking at night. – Try to get your kids at home before sundown. If it is not possible, tell your kids that they have to be more aware of their surroundings, especially oncoming vehicles. Have them wear bright colored clothes and reflective gear to ensure that drivers can see them.

5. Play in safe spaces. – Your children would want to play outside of the house with their friends, and that is okay, it is part of them socializing and being children. Just make sure to tell them never to play in driveways, the street or road, parking lots, or yards by the street with no fence.

6. Always be alert. – Keep distractions to a minimum. Tell your kids to put down their cell phones when crossing the street. If they are listening to music while walking, they should keep the volume down so that they can hear oncoming vehicles, or just listen to music after they’ve reached their destination. If they need to use their cell phone, they should stop walking and find a safe place where they can use the device.

Use these tips while traveling as well. You will never stop worrying about your children no matter what they are doing, that is what parenting is all about. However, you can teach them ways on how to avoid getting into danger and make sure that they create a habit out these lessons to keep them safe from road accidents.

Source: Hogan Injury

 

 

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