Category: Family Life

5 Smart Baby Toys That Will Turn Your Child Into a Genius

As a parent, you want what is best for your children. You want them to grow up and become better than you. To live a life that is good, healthy and happy.

This journey starts from infancy. By making the right choice when it comes to your baby’s toys and accessories you can help shape their future.

Yet, that can often be easier said than done. The market is flooded with toys, and prices that seem to grow every week. How do you know if you are making the right choice? How can you be sure you are not buying a toy that will stunt or not enable your baby’s development.

Well, keep reading, because in the coming paragraphs we are going to look at the best smart baby toys. We want to help you give your baby a brighter tomorrow, today.

1. Building Blocks are a Great Gift Idea

When it comes finding a great gift that will make your baby smarter, building blocks are a great choice.

Not only are they widely available, but they are a highly versatile toy that can be suitable for multiple age ranges. This is great for encouraging interplay between your children.

On top of that, their abundance makes them a great gift if you are living on a budget.

2. An Abacus Is One of the Best Smart Toys for Babies

Another classic baby toy that you can invest in is an abacus. Teach your children how to count and solve basic maths sums from an early age with this timeless teaching toy.

Buying wooden toys, or juguetes de madera is perfect because their hardwearing nature is ideal for intensive use. If there is one thing a smarter baby toy needs to be, it is durable.

3. Shape Sorting Toys Are a Smart Choice

Another wonderful toy option for promoting and nurturing a smarter baby are shape sorting toys.

There are hundreds upon hundreds of options for you to choose from, and while the basis of each is the same, the variation will keep your child engaged while developing an unshakable intelligence. Repetition is a fundamental part of learning in small children, and so by offering multiple shape sorting toys, you are stimulating development.

4. A Toy Kitchen or Grocery Store

When thinking about how to make your baby smart, there is a logic behind looking at toys that develop their IQ alone, but social skills and interaction is a crucial element behind intelligence.

Toys like a play kitchen or grocery store will stimulate both emotional and intellectual intelligence, as well or increasing your child’s skills at social interaction.

5. Crayons Stimulate Creativity and Coordination

A box of crayons is a wonderful gift for any child. Allowing them the emotional freedom to explore their own creativity from a young age is beneficial for their development.

Crayons allow your child to develop their coordination skills, as well as craft the ability to accurately express through a meidum other than speech. If you want to make your baby smarter, then nurturing their artistic side is a great way to go.

Buying Smart Baby Toys is Investing in Your Child’s Future

Any toy you buy your child should be well considered. Their development is so rapid at such a young age, making the right choice is imperative. It is also almost too easy at times, meaning you may find it hard to decide which smart baby toys would serve you best.

The trick is to trust your gut. You know your child; their likes and interests. Nurture them and provide them with a loving home to develop themselves and any choice you make will be the right one.

Check out some of our other posts for more advice on children and raising a family.

10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s to Look For in Aging Parents

early signs of alzheimersAs our parents age, we need to look after them the way they once looked after us. This includes recognizing signs of illnesses that aren’t especially easy to spot.

Some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, like mood swings and forgetfulness are pretty easy to write off as mom or dad having a bad day. But the truth is, these things should make you watch them a little closer; especially if the disease runs in your family.

Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, patients with it worsen over time. However, an early diagnosis and treatment can help keep them stable.

If you’ve noticed some odd behaviors, you might already be asking yourself if there truly is something going on with your parent. Maybe you’ve even noticed that the topic agitates or causes them to shut you out.

We laid out some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s you should be on the lookout for. Continue reading and we’ll also show you how to deal.

Talking to Your Parent

Conversations with your parents about their health as they age are some of the scariest conversations for adult children to start. We never want to make our parents feel like they’re incapable or watch them become defensive.

Because of all the sensitivity around these topics, it can feel nearly impossible to have these talks. But they are necessary to have. First of all, this conversation will lead to your parent receiving a real diagnosis and treatment.

It also gives you an opportunity to establish a plan. If your parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they will eventually lose their ability to take care of themselves.

Speaking with them early on allows them to share their wishes and concerns. Give them the opportunity to tell you where they’d like to live, how they want their finances handled, what to do with their prized possessions and many other things.

This open dialogue will make your parent feel safe which will become even more important down the road. Don’t wait until there’s a serious crisis or accident. Those circumstances will limit everyone’s choices and add to the stress.

10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

In progressive diseases like Alzheimer’s, a patient’s brain structure and brain chemistry become more severely damaged over time. This is the reason you see people with Alzheimer’s slowly lose who they once were.

It’s important to note that while the early signs listed in this article are the most common symptoms patients will display, not all cases are the same. Meaning those with Alzheimer’s can possibly skip some of these symptoms or display some others early on.

You should also be mindful that some of these symptoms can present themselves in the later stages of the disease.

1. They’re Having Trouble Completing Typical Tasks and Chores

People with Alzheimer’s often experience difficulty completing tasks they didn’t have a problem with before. If your parent is usually pretty tidy and you realize they’ve stopped keeping a clean house, for example, this can be a sign that something is wrong.

The same can be said for a parent who has forgotten some of the steps to a recipe they’d cooked you your entire life, or the rules to a game they already know how to play.

2. Forgetting the Day, Month, Time or Location They’re In

If your parent has gotten lost in a familiar place like their favorite grocery store or their neighborhood, they could have a serious problem. They might call you in a panic over being lost or not knowing what day it is.

In some cases, your parent can even think they’re in a completely different decade. Bringing up old events like your little league soccer game as if it was happening today is a definite red flag.

3. Decreased Judgment

None of us make the right decisions all the time. Lapses in judgment happen to the best of us.

But we’re talking about those times where your parent does something irresponsible that seems to be coming from left field.

For instance, your mother might wear a summer dress on a cold winter’s day. Or your dad can give more money than he can afford to a telemarketer.

4. Losing Things

Has your parent started storing things in strange places? Have you found shoes in the fridge or car keys in the fish tank?

A person with normal cognitive function will misplace things, but they can usually retrace their steps to find them. If your parent is exhibiting more extreme versions of this otherwise normal behavior, it may end up being Alzheimer’s disease.

Patient’s with Alzheimer’s tend to blame others for stealing items they misplaced too.

5. Drastic Moodswings

Drastic mood swings without logical reasoning is an early sign of dementia that shouldn’t be ignored. Your parent can be mellow one minute and cry hysterically the next if they have this disease.

This can also come into play if they’ve suddenly become suspicious or moody around something they enjoyed spending time with before. Sometimes these mood swings stem from the person feeling uncomfortable, maybe being too hot or cold.

Changes in mood also including being calmer or less emotional than they typically would be.

6. Avoiding Social Situations

So, your parent used to be a social butterfly who enjoyed family gatherings and coffee dates with friends, but they’ve recently become withdrawn. This can happen because they’ve become uncomfortable being around people because they are frightened by their own strange behavior.

While becoming withdrawn, you parent can sleep more often than usual, develop passive personality traits, or take several naps throughout the day.

7. Problems with Written and Verbal Communication

People with dementia will forget common words. They may even replace them with words that don’t fit into their sentences, making their speech difficult to understand.

Furthermore, they can have a hard time reading; especially out loud. With dementia, your parent can fall into the reading level of a child during their early years of elementary school.

8. Forgetfulness

Most people classify Alzheimer’s disease with constant forgetfulness. It’s one of the most common symptoms.

Whether your parent is forgetting new information or thing they’ve already known, you should take the action seriously. Absent-minded behavior will also include repeatedly asking the same question.

9. Changes in Vision

Although it isn’t the most popular symptom, it does occur in some patients. Alzheimer’s disease can cause problems with processing colors, space, and reading.

This can weaken their ability to drive safely. If your parent had a recent fender bender where they ran into a nonmoving object like a tree or sign that they say “came out of nowhere” you should have their cognitive skills evaluated.

10. Trouble Thinking Critically

Has your parent recently began struggling to pay their bills without changes in income or commitments? Are invoices piling up and they don’t understand why?

People with dementia have trouble solving problems such as these. Sometimes the problems become so overwhelming that they just put them off instead of facing them.

An expense tracker can help you help your parent stay on top of their finances.

Talking to Your Parent’s Doctor

In the beginning, most patients with Alzheimer’s are uncooperative and display great levels of anger and denial. But if you are truly concerned that your parent has the disease, you should do everything you can to make sure they are correctly diagnosed and helped. This involves talking with their doctor.

HIPAA is set in place to protect patient privacy and information. Because of this, your parent’s doctor isn’t allowed to share things with you pertaining to their health. However, you are still fully able to share your concerns, even if your parent is against it.

Using the information you’ve learned about the early signs of Alzheimer’s, write a letter to their physician. In the letter, you should include your observations with timeframes.

Perhaps your parent called you three times in a single day asking what time your child’s birthday party will be. Maybe you watched them pour salt instead of sugar into a batch of lemonade.

These events should be noted and shared with the doctor. And although the doctor won’t be allowed to tell you specifics about their appointments with your parent, your letter will make them alert.

Your parent might even be more accepting of the conversation about Alzheimer’s or screening for the disease coming from their doctor instead of their child. Think about it, that role reversal can’t be fun for them.

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Although there has yet to be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there is support available to those patients who are living with it. The treatments range from medication, memory care, and lifestyle changes that can include assisted living.

It’s important for the patient to have a loved one who understands all these options as their disease worsens. For example, a lot of people don’t know the difference between assisted living and memory care (compare here.)

Follow our blog for tips about budgeting, health, and family life that can still be implemented if your parent is showing early signs of Alzheimer’s.

Why Moms Shouldn’t Be Ashamed About Hiring Helpers Around The House

hiring helpers

Hey mom – you’re doing great. Read that sentence again and take a minute to breathe deep and let it sink in.

As modern moms, we hold ourselves to impossible standards. The exact wording differs for each of us, but the idea runs true.

We expect ourselves to do everything! Keep the house clean, raise the kids, home-school them or work full time. We set ourselves up for failure.

Take a break from that vicious cycle and learn why hiring helpers is the answer below.

Give Yourself A Break

When we do fail, are we kind to ourselves about it? Not usually. “You’re a bad mom because you let Aiden have two hours of screen time today instead of one!”

These are the things we think to ourselves, and for the record, screen time doesn’t make you a bad mom.

One of the steps to getting more done and being kinder to ourselves? Asking for help.

There is absolutely no way we can do it all. We are super humans for creating and nurturing lives, but we have the same amount of time in the day as anyone else.

Learn why hiring helpers is so essential (at any budget) and other ways to take the pressure off yourself below.

Sparkling Expectations

Some moms don’t care if their house is messy. Some moms do. Other moms care or don’t care and wish they cared more.

One thing is for sure: a clean house is a “sign” to ourselves and other parents that we have things together.

Let’s dissect that for a second. When you walk into a friend’s house and it’s messy, do you think

A) Wow this place is a rat’s nest and our kids shouldn’t play together anymore
B) Don’t give it a second thought
C) Feel relieved that their house looks like yours?

Barring that their house is a health and safety issue, we bet it’s B or C. Why hold yourself to standards that don’t apply to anyone else?

That’s like expecting your three-year-old to tie their shoes the way your six-year-old does. It’s backward.

Cleaning Helpers

Once you’ve taken the time to forgive yourself for not having a perfect home, ask yourself which rooms really matter.

If having a messy kitchen gives you a headache, prioritize that over a toy-free living room floor.

Set a rule for yourself when you’re in that space, something small and doable. For example, put something away from the dishwasher while you’re waiting for your coffee to warm up.

Little steps lead to less pressure and you’ll get it done, bit by bit. Hire someone like Green Maids to come every week or even every two.

Tell them the tasks you HATE doing, like mopping the floors. Give them an allotted space to put random things, so they can do the big cleaning.

Having someone clean your floors, sink, and microwave gives you less to do and looks miles cleaner.

If you can’t afford a maid service, think about starting a nanny share or asking letting your older kids help.

Maybe your six-year-old takes out the trash every week. When they do that, it’s also time for them to clean the microwave. Putting two tasks together will help them remember their chores and reduce nagging.

Hiring a Mother’s Helper

Let’s talk about the difference between a mother’s helper, a babysitter, and a nanny.

Without getting dictionary official, they go from least responsibility to most, in that order.

A mother’s helper comes and hangs out with the kids while mom is home, and is usually younger. They get paid less than a babysitter, which we’ll discuss later.

A babysitter comes around every so often or for date nights, but isn’t a regular part of the family routine.

A nanny is part of the family (and they want to feel like it!) They’re around more and spend significant time with your family and kids.

Why a Mother’s Helper?

If you have friends with older kids or there are older kids in the area, a mother’s helper is a thrifty option.

Usually, around 10-15, a mother’s helper can make money before anyone else will hire them. Not only does this mean you can pay them less, but they get experience for later.

One family in Florida paid their mother’s helper by buying her a Bratz doll once she’d worked a certain number of hours.

These young to pre-teen kids are easy to please.

Since they’re young, some people worry about their levels of responsibility. That comes down to the individual child and your level of comfort.

For the first few times they’re helping, hang out with them. You’ll get to know them and your child will see they’re a safe person.

Tell them what you are and aren’t comfortable with. If you have an infant, maybe this means not picking them up or not carrying them up and down the stairs.

Ask them what they’re comfortable with too. Most are willing to learn and have cared for younger siblings at home.

Payment

Talk to them about what they think is fair pay depending on what’s in your budget. Ask them how much they get for allowance every week or if they’re paid by the task.

Work out a system of how much you’ll pay them per hour. Ask them if they think its fair to pay them less at first and more as they learn and mature.

This not only saves you money but teaches them accountability and hard work. You can offer them bonuses for things you sometimes need help with – like walking the dog or watering plants.

Hiring Helpers Helps Everyone

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that not only do you need a break, but you deserve one.

It’s not healthy to hold yourself to impossibly high standards and this perfectionism can rub off on your kids!

Give yourself time to breathe, show your kids it’s okay to take time to self-care and help someone build their resume by hiring helpers.

Even if it means budgeting something else out. We have all sorts of tips for living frugally, so you can have money to take a break.

For example, get our guide to using an expense tracker here.

Top 10 Healthy and Cheap Snacks Your Kids Will Love

cheap snacksPreparing cheap, healthy snacks for your kids can be difficult. With 1 in 3 children obese or overweight, preparing a balanced diet for your kids is more important than ever.

But what ingredients do you use for a healthy snack?

Here are our top 10 healthy and cheap snacks your kids will love.

Sweet Potatoes

A great choice for fun snacks for kids is sweet potatoes. Not only are they packed with vitamins, but there are plenty of different ways to prepare them.

While it may be difficult to convince kids to stay away from traditional french fries, the nutrients sweet potatoes bring their diet are worth it. With so many different ways to prepare your sweet potatoes, you’re sure to find a recipe that your kids will love.

Sweet potatoes can work well with any diet. Whether it’s vegetarian or paleo, you can still enjoy sweet potatoes.

Whether they’re fried, baked, or pureed, there are plenty ways to enjoy sweet potatoes.

Smoothies

If you’re looking for a great snack for the summertime, look no further. Smoothies are an excellent choice that will keep your kids cool and healthy.

There are a lot of different ways to make a smoothie. Trying out these new recipes and combinations can be fun for kids.

With a little bit of low-fat yogurt, some orange juice, and a banana, you have a solid base for your smoothies.

From here, you can experiment with different fruits, vegetables, and even grains to create a delicious and nutritious treat for your kids.

Whole Grain Cereal

Another fun snack for you try is whole grain cereal. Whether you just want an easy breakfast meal or a fun mid-day snack, whole grain cereals can give your kids the energy they need to get through the day.

Whole grain cereals provide energy and nutrients to keep your kids’ brains and bodies healthy.

Start their day off right with a little bit of cereal, some low-fat milk, and some fruit. Or use some yogurt to make some flavorful snack bars.

With the right recipe, you can put together a healthy snack loaded with different vitamins and nutrients.

Hummus

If you’re looking for an alternative for dipping your snacks, hummus is the solution you’ve been waiting for.

The pureed chickpea mixture can add texture and flavor to your snacks. In addition to tasting great, hummus is also rich in many different vitamins. But how should you serve it?

There are many creative ways to incorporate hummus into your snacks. Not only does it work well as a dip for your chips, crackers, and vegetables but it can also be used on sandwiches. While hummus has a thicker, paste-like consistency, it’s not as messy as other dips.

Cheese

A popular protein-packed snack for your kids to try is cheese.

Kids love cheese in all shapes, sizes, and forms. With the right recipe, you can create the perfect snack.

Cheese can be one of the most healthy and fun choices for a snack. The key nutrients it provides gives kids energy and can help build stronger bones.

Using full fat or 2% cheese can help keep your kids full until dinner. But it’s important not to give them too much cheese, or they may get sick.

Whether they’re cut into fun shapes or simple cubes, cheese can be a fun snack that kids can enjoy with their hands.

Quesadillas

Snacks with lots of different options are always the most fun. Quesadillas can help keep your kids feeling full until dinner and make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need to get through the day.

There are so many different ways to prepare a quesadilla. It’s important to always have a recipe that’s balanced and healthy. But what ingredients should you use?

Quesadillas are healthy and fun snacks because of the different ways you can make them. Using a combination of meats, beans, and vegetables make these snacks filling and nutritious.

With a little bit of salsa, some cheese, and a helping of beans, your kids will have a filling, energizing snack.

Peanut Butter

Much like hummus, peanut butter is another great spread to add to your snacks. Whether it’s used as a dip or a spread, peanut butter is a great choice for giving your snacks some substance.

Peanut butter is a versatile treat. There are plenty of ways to use it, whether it’s with something sugary or salty.

Because peanut butter is such a beloved childhood snack, it’s important to try to change your recipes up to make things interesting. Instead of the average PB and J, try using waffles or rice cakes.

There a lot of different ways to prepare a peanut butter snack. Because of this, the snacking possibilities are virtually endless.

Snack Mix

Another nutty snack that’s great for your kids is snack mix. Snack mixes are a combination of nuts, fruits, and sweets that are both delicious and healthy.

There are many different ingredients you can use to prepare a snack mix. Typically, nuts are used as a base to provide protein.

Finding the right nuts to use for your snack mix can be tricky. Whether you want normal peanuts, tree nuts, or shelled nuts, it’s good to figure out what will pair well with your recipe. Click here for more nuts to choose from.

When paired with fruits and sweets, snack mixes can taste great and provide kids with lots of nutrition.

Eggs

Eggs are another flexible ingredient to use in your snacks. The protein-rich snack can be prepared many different ways and is great for any time of the day.

While it’s most popular for breakfast, eggs can be served at any time. Whether they’re fried or hard-boiled, eggs can give kids the perfect balance of flavor and nutrients.

Noodles

Noodles are a quick snack that can provide kids with some carbs. When paired with sauces with vegetables, noodles can be a well-rounded snack for your kids.

While too much pasta could be bad, they can be great in limited quantities. When combined with sauces and cheese, noodles can provide them with a perfect balance of nutrients and flavor.

Preparing Cheap Snacks

Snacks are important for keeping your kids happy. Because of this, these snacks also should be healthy.

Finding a balance between cheap and healthy snacks is always tricky. But the first step to preparing healthy snacks is picking the right ingredients. Check out our blog for more tips and tricks for cooking healthy snacks.

10 Strategies to Help a Child Coping with Divorce

child coping with divorce

Divorce isn’t easy on anyone, but this is especially true for children. Everyone in a family feels the stress of loss and anxiety when life as they know it changes. But in order for parents to be the most helpful for their kids, they need to work for it.

We carry around our own emotions, especially guilt felt towards our children.

But divorce is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens.

Children do better when they can have each parent alone in a healthy, happy environment. In order to start really helping your child, you need to be at peace with it yourself.

Here are a few ways you can help a child coping with divorce.

1. Be Straightforward and Keep It Simple

Both parents should discuss together how they are going to approach the situation, when possible. It’s a good idea to handle the discussion of divorce together.

When you come together to tell your children the decision you’ve made, you’re making it known that you’re still a team. Try to let them know that you will still work together on the important things. You’ll both show up to their school functions and that it won’t change how you feel about them.

Keep this talk age appropriate, and try not to let your emotions get in the way. If you think for whatever reason you and your spouse won’t be able to handle the conversation without an emotional outburst, handle it separately.

Answer their questions honestly and as a team, whenever possible.

2. Tell Them They’re Loved

It is so important that you spend as much time and effort as you can making sure your child knows that they have your love. A divorce can wreck a child’s self-confidence, and now more than ever they need to hear how both of their parents are there for them, no matter where they live.

It’s also a good idea to reinforce how much the other spouse loves them too. In order to heal appropriately, they’ll need to hear and believe that both of their parents love them and are there to support them. This might be difficult, especially if you’re dealing with a less-than-reliable spouse, but don’t let up.

3. Talk About Emotions

When you’re talking to your child, it’s important to tell them how natural their feelings are. Explain that it is normal to feel sad and angry and that you’re always going to be there to talk about it with them.

Encourage an open dialogue with you and show how you accept all of their feelings. Kids who spend a lot of time lost in their thoughts and feelings do this because they don’t want to upset their parents. You can counteract this by frequently checking in and asking how they feel.

Likewise, never make your child feel irrational for these thoughts or feelings. If your spouse is being unreliable, it’s important that they can express that frustration in a healthy, productive way. Failure to acknowledge these feelings can lead to acting out in the future.

4. Make Sure They Know It Isn’t Their Fault

Children are ecocentric. This means that they believe they are the source of what happens in the world. This is especially true in a divorce.

It’s common for a child to believe that their behavior or thoughts caused a bad event to happen. They need to know that this decision has nothing to do with them and that it was based entirely on your decision as adults.

5. Don’t Insult The Other Parent

Even when you’re angry, avoid talking badly about the other parent. It’s not a good idea to pass blame around in front of your children. This is hard, especially in cases of divorce due to adultery.

But children love and need both of their parents and this behavior can quickly lead them to feel as though they need to pick a side. This can shut down an open dialogue.

A child is a combination of both of their parents. When you disrespect the other side, children can often feel as though they are the ones being spoken down to. Make sure that they feel as though both of their parents are valuable.

Do not, under any circumstances, fight in front of your kids. When you need to have a heated conversation, it needs to take place on the phone when your children aren’t around. The most poorly adjusted kids of divorce are the ones who are still exposed to fighting between parents.

Often, one of the main reasons for separation is that parents can’t stop fighting and it’s bad for the children. Do not continue this behavior after a separation.

6. Lots of Advance Notice

One earth-shattering moment to a child is when one of their parents move out unexpectedly. Make sure you give your child advance notice before one of you moves away from the home.

A great way to start is by letting your children visit the new place their parent will be staying. If possible, show them where they will sleep and eat. Talk them through some of their routines and show them how things will work.

It’s also a great idea to let the children help furnish the apartment and choose some of their belongings to bring over. Make your child feel at home wherever they will be staying.

7. Therapy

It can be very beneficial to work with a parenting expert or a therapist with experience in dealing with divorce. A therapist can help guide you in dealing with anything out of the ordinary or especially difficult that arises.

Children can also benefit immensely from talking to a therapist on their own. When a third party is involved, they can feel free to express the feelings they have that they think are hurtful to their parents.

It’s common for separated partners to disagree about whether or not their child needs therapy. It’s also normal to blame each other for your child’s distress.

Even if you think your child is having more trouble with their other parent, try not to jump to conclusions. Kids express parts of themselves differently in each house.

If you notice that your child isn’t eating or sleeping normally, or that their sadness is persistent over a period of weeks, it’s a good idea to consider therapy.

Likewise, if they lash out a lot and it is interfering with their normal activities, talk to the other parent about coming to an agreement on therapy. If you’re not sure, it’s always important to be safe rather than sorry.

8. Accept Your Child’s Actions

Your child is going to need a lot of time, support, and open communication to heal from this wound. When a family is going through a divorce, it’s common for children to act out, withdraw, and regress.

Some children wet the bed and refuse to listen. This is all normal, common behavior. You need to be there to understand and support them during this tumultuous time in their lives.

Over time, this will go away. Your child will adapt to the changes in their lives. Consider planning some family events that they love and help them feel as though their life will go on.

9. Be Consistent

Consistency and routine go a long way toward providing a child with comfort and familiarity. Whenever you can, give your child a lot of advance notice about any changes and stick to a schedule.

Kids will benefit immensely from one on one time with each parent. No matter how hard it might be, try to be accommodating with your ex-partner as you decide on a regular, consistent visitation schedule.

As much as you can, work together to keep routines similar in both houses. This includes discipline, bedtimes, rules, and homework.

You can’t enforce rules in your ex-partner’s house but stick to them in yours. Don’t relax limits, but understand when children want to push boundaries.

10. Take Care of Yourself

During this time, get help dealing with your own feelings about the divorce. When you are able to adjust properly, your child will be able to eventually do so too.

You are a model for your children’s behavior. Be patient with yourself and in turn with your child. Healing from this emotional loss and pain will take time and comes in phases.

The sooner you are able to heal, the sooner they will too.

Helping a Child Coping With Divorce

There is no doubt that divorce is hard on everyone. But as long as you continue to make your children feel loved by both parents involved, they will grow. Work together with your spouse to create a stable, calm environment and over time they will find that everything has become a routine in this new family dynamic.

For more information on handling a child coping with divorce, and all other aspects of mom life, check out the blog! You’re not in this alone.

10 Affordable Baby Clothing Ideas You Need to Try

affordable baby clothing

Raising a baby is far from easy. It’s also far from cheap.

Even if you’re pinching pennies and not yet investing in college savings or life insurance for your little one, the first year of your baby’s life is likely to set you back $20,000 or more.

This makes finding ways to save some cash important for all parents, new and experienced alike.

One great way to do this is by learning how to shop for and choose affordable baby clothing. Keep reading to learn 10 great tips for saving on your little one’s clothes.

1. Keep It Neutral

Whether it’s your first child or your third, it can be tough to stop yourself from buying every cute, patterned onesie or colorful pair of leggings you pass in the store.

One brightly colored, trendy onesie might seem harmless enough. But if you’re also tempted to buy pants, socks, shoes, or other items to match, you’re looking at a hefty price tag for a single outfit.

Instead, stick to neutral colors and patterns for the majority of your little one’s clothing. That way, everything matches. Not only will this save money when buying clothes, but it’ll also make it easier to wash the clothes and save you time when it comes to dressing your baby!

2. Don’t Give in to Holiday Outfit Pressure

From Christmas to Easter to birthday parties, it can be tempting to dress up your baby for photos and family gatherings.

But those fancy outfits can also set you back anywhere from $20 to several hundred. And since your growing sprout won’t fit in them the following year, or even the next holiday to come around, you won’t get much use for your money.

Your friends and family are going to think that your little angel looks adorable, no matter what he or she is wearing. So pick something soft and comfortable for passing around your little one, and save your money for other fun holiday ideas!

3. Mix and Match Onesies and Pants

The best baby clothes are also the simplest. Long or short-sleeve onesies in soft fabrics and pants in the same keep your baby comfortable and won’t restrict their range of motion.

But while neutral colors will save you money, adding a little color isn’t a bad thing either. To stay within your budget and add something fun to your little one’s wardrobe, ditch the old rules about what matches and what doesn’t.

Mixing and matching colors and patterns of onesies and pants can be a fun, inexpensive way to brighten your little one’s look without breaking the bank.

4. Skip the Sweaters and Sweatshirts

When the temperature starts to drop, you likely bundle yourself up in sweaters, thermals, coats, and more. First-time parents, in particular, tend to do the same to their little ones.

But if your baby is too small to be walking around in the cold or playing in the snow, you likely won’t be keeping him or her outside for very long. So before you drop a ton of money on sweaters and sweatshirts you’ll take off of them once you get inside or coats that they’ll only wear for a few minutes a day, think again.

You can just as easily dress your little one in his or her normal clothes, and then bundle them in a few blankets to keep out the cold.

5. Buy Big

Babies grow as much as an inch to an inch-and-a-half every month. That cute outfit you bought one month is likely going to be way too small in just a month or two.

While there isn’t much you can do–after all, you want your little one to grow–you can save some cash by buying clothes a bit bigger than your baby’s current size.

6. Save on the Basics So You Can Splurge Elsewhere

If you still want to buy cute outfits and clothes for special events, there are plenty of other ways you can save.

One great way is by saving on the basics. Basics like onesies, sleepers, socks, and leggings don’t vary much among different baby clothing brands.

So skip the expensive options and opt for bulk packs, clearance finds, or bargain brands. That way you can splurge on the cute outfits instead!

One great area to splurge on are accessories like headwraps. These are cute accents for any outfit and can be adjusted so that your baby will get months of wear out of them. Learn more about headwraps here!

7. Don’t Buy Ahead

Maybe you want to snap up that cute winter coat before it sells out at the store, even though it’s still warm outside. Or you want to shop last season’s finds on clearance racks to save some cash.

But buying ahead for clothing for future seasons is a big mistake. If your little one grows faster than expected, you may find yourself with items that are far too small, and that you’ve had too long to return.

When you’re trying to stick to your baby budget, make sure that you’re buying clothing as they are needed, and not a moment sooner.

8. Consider Shopping Secondhand

If you’ve had more than one child, you know that hand-me-downs are a great way to save some money. So why not save some cash by shopping secondhand as well?

Shopping yard sales, secondhand stores, and online shops like eBay are great ways to score great deals on gently-worn baby clothes. After all, no little ones stay one size for long, so it’s likely you’ll find lots of great deals on items that weren’t worn more than a few times.

Just be sure to wash the items before dressing your baby in them.

9. Let Your Little One Go Barefoot

There are few things cuter than tiny baby shoes.

But not only can these be expensive, but your baby also doesn’t really need them. When babies are learning to walk, its best to let them do so inside, barefoot. Shoes can make them unsteady. Plus, like clothing, babies grow out of baby shoes very fast.

10. Choose Unisex Colors and Styles

Planning to have more children after this one? Save yourself some money in the future by choosing mostly unisex colors and styles.

This will make it easy to pass them down to your future babies.

Finding Affordable Baby Clothing

Now that you know a few tips for saving money, it’s time to start shopping for affordable baby clothing for your little one.

Wondering where to start shopping? Check out this list of the best baby clothing companies to help you get started.

3 Common Toddler Sleep Problems (And What To Do About Them)

toddler sleep problems

When is the last time you got a good night’s sleep? Last month, or even last year? There’s a decent chance you’re up late right now searching for answers to toddler sleep problems instead of getting some much needed rest.

If you’re trying to decide whether to laugh or cry at how right I am, then read on. I’m going to give you some tips for helping your toddler through three common sleep issues.

Waking Repeatedly at Night

It may surprise you to know that it’s perfectly normal for toddlers to wake up several times a night. Why does this happen?

One culprit could be the 18 month sleep regression. This is a time when toddlers are developing more skills, exploring more, and have more independence. An expanding world leads to lots of distractions, and even anxiety about sleep.

Establishing and keeping an ideal bedtime with a soothing routine is important to develop long-term sleep behaviors. Over-tiredness contributes to poor sleep.

After dinner, keep evenings quiet and low-energy. No TV, dim the lights and stick to activities like books and puzzles. Winding down in the hour before bed will send signals to little brains that it’s sleep time. It also may be appropriate to cut back the number of naps during the day or move naps to an earlier time.

Bedtime Fears

Does your toddler seem afraid of the dark? Play games during the daytime that involve darkness, like using a flashlight to hunt for toys. You can be with them at first, but encourage their solo play in the dark to build confidence.

A night-light can be a comfort, but make sure to keep it dim. Too much light can actually interrupt the body’s production of melatonin (our natural sleep hormone!)

If it’s nightmares that cause your toddler sleep problems, try to avoid triggers like media with scary themes or characters. Use comfort objects like a soft blanket or favorite stuffed animal to keep stress levels down.

During the day, talk about dreams and pretend. Illustrate with eyes closed, that thinking about an object doesn’t make it real. Draw pictures of their monsters and point out how silly they actually look.

Crying Themselves Sick

A consistent routine is the best advice for calming bedtime tantrums over time, but what if your child is crying to the point of vomiting?

First, reduce liquids at bedtime so there is less to vomit up. Then, put a sheet under the bed liner. When you do have to remove soiled bedding, the bed is already made.

Use a wet wipe to clean your toddler up and save the bath for the morning to create fewer disruptions. Have a sheet on the floor for easy clean-up of any spilled vomit as well. Avoid making the episode more of a production than necessary.

Soothe your child, but have them remain in their bed until they go back to sleep. Keep the clean-up short and sweet so you can focus on comforting them. Make sure you follow this procedure every time until the behavior passes.

Remember: Toddler Sleep Problems Aren’t Forever

Don’t forget to take a breath and relax. You’ll get there.

Bedtime is learned behavior, and the resistance to sleep will pass.

What has helped create successful bedtimes in your household? Let us know in the comments!