Category: Family Life

Dealing with Terrible Twos: How Terrible Can It Be?

Ah, the ear-piercing scream that comes out of a toddler after you tell them that they can’t sleep in the dryer! Music to my ears? Not so much.

The terrible twos.

When your sweet baby turns into a raging little monster, the terrible twos have arrived.

Dealing with terrible twos doesn’t have to be a family strain, get into the mind of your toddler and prepare for “fun” ahead!

Signs of the Terrible Twos

So when do terrible twos start? Besides being two-years-old, there are some signs you can watch out for to see if your little one is arriving at the terrible twos. 

Defiance

When they start to get an opinion of their own and resisting yours, that is a sure sign that they are well on their way to being a terrible two. 

Moodiness

Here is the thing, your child will be moody at several points in their young life, but two-year-olds have the attitude of a teenager with the self-control of a toddler. 

Why is Dealing With Terrible Twos So Bad?

Your toddler is going through a lot right now! At two years old, toddlers have the ability to voice opinions and act on them without any consciousness. 

They’re newly able to walk, talk, have emotions and opinions. All without really any ability to control these things. It’s a lot, and we would be freaking out too!

What to Do?

When you find yourself at wit’s end with your toddler, it can be hard to think of what to when you’re in the moment.

Here are some techniques you can use with your toddler when they are having a case of the terrible twos.

Redirect Attention

Do not reward bad behavior with what they want (toys, dessert, etc.) and extra attention. Instead, redirect the attention of your toddler to something else. Play a song, read a book, give them a task to distract them from the naughty thing they were doing. 

Focus their attention on something positive.

Avoid Open-Ended Questions

When you ask a toddler something, give them options or make it a yes or no answer. Avoid asking open-ended questions.

If you’ve got an opinionated little terrible two, it is a good idea to give them a couple of options to choose from. For example, “do you want to play with the doll or the truck?” This will let them feel empowered, while still giving you control.

Bonus — your toddler won’t get frustrated trying to think of something to play with. 

Be Patient

The obvious one. Be patient with your little one. 

They are learning and growing at such a quick rate. It must be so frustrating to want to be able to do so much without knowing how. Put yourself in their shoes and you’ll watch your patience grow.

Give Them Space to Grow, but Stand By

A two-year-old definitely needs supervision, but give them the chance to learn and make mistakes. Having a sense of independence while knowing mom or dad will still be there for them may help reduce outcries. 

You’ve Got This!

So when do the terrible twos end? Technically when they turn three.

But, you think terrible twos are bad? Wait until they are a three-nager! 

Want to read more posts about dealing with terrible twos? Check out our blog!

7 Things You Might Not Have Thought About Before Installing a Nanny Cam

As a parent, you want to make sure your babies are protected, especially when you’re not around. Thankfully, you live in the modern-day, where that kind of surveillance is 100 percent possible!

Cool little gadgets like a nanny cam can create accountability for those in charge of watching your pride and joy.

However, they don’t come without their drawbacks as well… drawbacks that people don’t often consider before spending hundreds of dollars to buy and install them.

Take the time to consider the pros and cons carefully before deciding on the best way to monitor your kid’s nanny.

Here are several things that may not have occurred to you about the nanny cam you’re thinking of buying.

1. Their Only Legal Use Is in Public Areas

As a parent, you have a legal right to monitor and record the happenings in your home in an effort to watch your children. 

However, there are only certain areas of the house that you’re allowed to do so.

Whether you realized it or not, there are areas of your house considered public areas and private areas. You could probably guess which rooms fall into which category.

The cameras can be hidden or be out in plain sight (whatever your preference), but they can’t be legally placed in the bathroom or a temporary room the nanny might be staying in. Doing so would compromise the nanny’s rights to privacy.

Just make sure that your nanny cam is in a legal area of your house and it’ll be good to go!

2. They Can Lead to a Misunderstanding

Often times, nanny cams will only give you half of the story.

You may see your baby crying and alone in the room your cam is in but not see the nanny hustling in another room to find her pacifier. That can lead to a huge misunderstanding from you as the concerned parent.

In short, a nanny cam may stress you out in a situation that the nanny has completely under control.

If you’re looking to avoid those types of situations, but are still heavily interested in monitoring their safety, home security systems might be a better option.

3. Set the Expectation with Your Nanny

The last thing you want is to hire a nanny that’s uncomfortable with being monitored via a nanny cam or home system.

During the nanny hiring process, make them all aware of the nanny cam you have and ask if they’re comfortable with it.

Be sure to explain your reasoning, the peace-of-mind that it gives you and why you’d feel more comfortable with one. If they agree with your reasoning, then all parties involved are fully aware of the situation.

4. Nanny Cams Can Be Hacked

Unfortunately, there are people out there in the world that hack into home cameras in an attempt to spy on others.

Fortunately, they only pry on those that are unaware of the hacking that can take place.

Just make sure the cam you purchase is protected and loaded with security features and you’ll be good to go.

Carefully consider the track record of the nanny cam you’re purchasing. Research some online reviews and make the right decision for your family based on what you find.

5. You Might Be Interested in It for the Wrong Reasons

First and foremost, a nanny cam shouldn’t be used to catch the immoral acts of a nanny, it should be used to stop them from happening at all.

In order to do that, your nanny has to know it’s there. Let them know that it’s in the house and how many that you have.

If you only have one, let them know where the camera is and inform them the baby isn’t to leave that room while you’re away from the house.

That may seem a bit harsh, but you’re the parent. You’re the one paying for them to watch your child. Setting these guidelines in place will protect your kid(s) from any harm while they’re out of your reach.

6. It Can Create Tension Between Nanny and Parent

Depending on the person, some people can be a bit too much of a helicopter parent.

Pairing that with a nanny cam can lead to some confrontations between the parent and the nanny. Even though you have the nanny cam in place, don’t use it as an opportunity to scrutinize your nanny’s methods.

If the nanny has been understanding and trusting as to why you wanted the camera in place, then you need to be just as trusting with their methods of caring for your child.

7. They Can Speak for Your Children When Your Children Can’t

One of the main concerns you may have as a parent is that your child is too young to speak up for itself and tell you if anything was wrong.

The nanny cam can be the voice for your child and fill you in on anything that’s crossing the line.

Now you’ll have a clear understanding of what goes on in your home even when you’re away. 

Not only will you be able to see any wrongdoing, but you can also put an end to it once and for all.

Consider All Your Options with a Nanny Cam

Whether you ultimately decide to go with a nanny cam is entirely up to you. Only you know your situation.

If you feel that you can trust your nanny, but just want a bit more surveillance, then a nanny cam can be a great option for you.

If you want more informative info like this, check out the rest of our blog. 

6 Ways to Find Out the Pregnancy Gender at 8 Weeks

Congratulations! You’re about to have a baby!

Although it can seem extremely scary, you’re in good company. In fact, 130 million babies are born each year, meaning you’ve got at least 130 million other parents anxiously awaiting their new little bundle.

There are so many things to think about when you’re pregnant that you might feel overwhelmed. Some parents don’t feel they can begin really shopping and decorating until they find out during the pregnancy the gender of their baby.

While some parents-to-be opt not to find out their new baby’s gender, others can’t wait to know. But most have to wait until 16 to 20 weeks in the pregnancy so that the ultrasound tech can see the fetus’ genitals.

But what happens if you want to know earlier than that? Are there any reliable ways to find out the baby’s gender as early as 8 weeks in?

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to find out your child’s gender as soon as humanly possible.

When During the Pregnancy the Gender Develops

Before we go over some of the ways you can tell a baby’s gender before 16 to 20-week scan, let’s discuss when the baby actually develops a gender.

You may or may not be aware that until several weeks into the pregnancy, all babies look the same no matter their gender. However, the child’s gender is set in stone from the moment of conception. The mother’s egg carries an X chromosome. The father’s sperm carries either an X or Y chromosome, which means the baby’s sex is the man’s “responsibility.”

If the egg meets a sperm carrying an X chromosome, the baby is a female. If the egg meets a sperm with a Y chromosome, the baby is male. But until the 7th week of pregnancy, your baby’s genitals do not exist, and instead, there is what is called a “genital ridge.” From week 7 to week 12, the baby begins to develop the genitals of their assigned sex.

Boys, for instance, do not develop a penis until week 9.

So, now that we know the inner workings of when the gender begins to “show,” are there ways to tell the baby’s gender before the scan? Yes.

We’ll move on to discuss some accurate ways and a few folklore methods.

Scientifically Accurate Ways to Determine the Baby’s Gender at 8 Weeks

During your pregnancy, you’ll probably hear a lot of wives’ tales and folklore about whether you’re carrying a boy or a girl. These likely stem from the fact that most parents weren’t able to find out the gender of their baby, unless the child was being tested for genetic abnormalities, until the last few decades.

But, thankfully, times have changed, and there are ways you can have your future baby’s gender accurately predicted at just 8 weeks.

Here are some of them:

1. Blood Test

An early gender blood test isn’t routine, but parents can turn to private companies to learn to the sex of their babies very early on in the pregnancy.

This test looks at the fetal cellular material that gets released in the mother’s bloodstream and is an accurate way to determine your child’s sex at this stage.

2. Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis is a way for doctors to determine if your child has fetal infections or any type of chromosomal abnormality. It can also predict the gender of the baby much earlier than scans, as it can help determine if the child has an abnormality related to their gender.

This procedure is done by inserting a needle into the sac through the mother’s abdomen and taking a sample of amniotic fluid for analysis.

While gender can be determined this way, most doctors would not agree to perform one for gender detection alone. For those who have to have this test to ensure the health of their baby, it’s simply a perk.

3. Chorionic Villus Sampling

Chorionic villus sampling, or CVS, is another way to accurately determine your child’s gender. But, like amniocentesis, it is only done if the doctor believes your child is at risk of a genetic or chromosomal abnormality.

This procedure involves taking a sample of the placenta tissue. Doctors can perform it through the vagina, or through the abdomen, the way amniocentesis is performed.

This test can take place as early as 8 weeks into the pregnancy.

Non-Scientific Ways to Guess Your Child’s Gender

While the three options listed above are the only way to tell if you’re having a boy or girl prior to your 16 to 20-week scan, wives’ tales and folklore abound to help parents-to-be guess their child’s gender. These are by no means scientifically accurate, but some people find them fun.

1. Your Stress Level Before Pregnancy

While science has seen a higher rate of stress correlated with conceiving a girl, it isn’t a fool-proof method. But some folks equate being stressed at the time of conception with having a girl.

2. Having a Craving for Salt

An old wives’ tale states that if you crave salt, you’re more likely to have a boy. However, most pregnant women have cravings, but it mostly relates to the baby’s nutrition requirements.

3. How You’re Carrying

It’s a popular theory that if you’re carrying your baby high, you’ll give birth to a girl, whereas if you carrying your baby low, you’ll give birth to a boy. In reality, the shape of your stomach isn’t really determined by the sex, but many hold fast to this belief.

Determining Your Child’s Sex

Most parents don’t mind what sex they will be having, as long as the baby is healthy. But with modern technology, you determine earlier in the pregnancy the gender of your child.

Check out the rest of our website for more content for parents, and parents-to-be, looking to save a little bit of cash!

5 Exciting Couple Goals You and Your Partner Should Have

We all see pictures on social media of perfect couples going on extravagant vacations, getting dogs, and cooking together. Their relationships often look so perfect, we may get a little jealous.

We may begin to wonder about the goals we’ve set for our own relationships.

Real relationship goals should be achievable and help enhance your relationship. If you and your partner have been together for a while, you have likely set some couple goals: things you want to see and do or milestones you want to achieve.

If you’re at a loss and can’t think of any realistic couple goals you’ve set for your relationship, we’ve detailed a few inexpensive ones to give you ideas!

1. Wear Matching Outfits

Matching outfits with your partner is a great way to show solidarity with them. Having a photoshoot to show them off is a really cute relationship goal that will strengthen your bond every time you look at them. It’s also a great way to prove how committed you are to your partner!

Why stop with just the shirt and pants? Couple’s underwear is a more intimate way to show your partner you care. If you’re going to do it, go all out!

2. Get a Pet Together

There’s no better way to enhance your relationship than adopting a cat or dog! A lively pet will brighten up your life and give you and your partner something to bond over.

This responsibility will give both you and your partner the opportunity to show one another that you’re dependable. If you plan on having children, a pet is a good way to practice your teamwork!

3. Cook With Each Other

From romantic candlelit dinners to a lazy Sunday morning stack of pancakes, cooking with your significant other gives you the opportunity to spend time together. 

Cooking FOR your partner is just as important! It allows you to surprise and impress them while making them feel loved and appreciated. Having a date night at home is also a great way to save yourself some money!

4. Go on Adventures

An exciting relationship goal, planning road trips and fun vacations in far off lands will allow you and your partner to learn things about one another that you may never discover while staying at home. You’ll get to see how your partner behaves as a travel companion and how they handle the stress of traveling.

5. Prioritize Your Relationship

The most important relationship goal for couples is respecting your partner enough to put your relationship first. 

Your relationship needs to come before everything else, as long as it’s within reason. If you want to build something that will last, you have to work on it every day. Ensure your relationship is built on mutual trust, understanding, and excellent communication.

Couple Goals for You and Your Partner

Adding a few of these couple goals to your list of things to do will enhance your relationship by bringing you and your partner together. Get ready for a fun relationship full of excitement and experiences worth sharing on social media!

Be sure to check back regularly for more relationship and financially friendly advice!

Preparing for Your Baby’s First Dental Visit: Everything You Should Know

Are you interested in scheduling your baby’s first dental visit?

Scheduling a dentist appointment for your baby can seem daunting, but it’s necessary. Your child’s first dental visit will be important to their health because it will outline any problems if they might have.

When you schedule an appointment for your baby, you’ll need to know of several things to help prepare both you and your child. The dentist will be able to provide you with general advice, but there are a few things you can do to ensure the appointment goes smoothly.

Read on to learn more about everything you can do to prepare for the dental visit.

Prepare Your Baby

When preparing for your baby’s first dentist appointment, you’ll want to do several things to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Preparing your baby for the appointment is best done by scheduling an early appointment.

When the appointment is early, your baby will be wide awake and alert. This will prevent them from dozing off as they’re being examined. If your baby already has several teeth, be sure to clean them before going in.

Prepare the Dentist

When you visit an infant dentist, you’ll want to inform them of your baby’s health history. While your baby most likely hasn’t had many medical visits, any information will be helpful to the dentist.

If there’s a problem with your baby, knowing their medical history would help a dentist conclude what’s wrong. They’ll then be able to give you the appropriate advice.

What to Expect

Your child’s first dental visit will be longer than the future ones because your baby’s entire mouth will be looked at. The dentist will typically look at the jaw, gums, and any teeth to ensure that they’re growing properly.

X-rays aren’t common in a baby’s first dentist appointment because baby teeth regularly fall out. However, an x-ray might be done if your child has a facial deformity to see if there’s a problem with the bone structure.

Your Baby’s Dental Health

Pediatric dentistry is important for your baby’s health because it ensures that their teeth are properly developing. With improper hygiene, things like cavities and mouth diseases can arise.

Visiting a dentist for toddler dental health will put your child on the right path to having excellent dental hygiene. The dentist will recommend you several ways to brush your baby’s teeth, what kind of foods to avoid, and how to teach them to brush their teeth when they’re older.

Schedule Your Baby’s First Dental Visit Today

When do babies go to the dentist? It’s recommended that babies have their first dental visit the moment one of their teeth appear. If your baby already has a tooth, you need to take them to a dentist soon to make sure that they’re healthy.

After scheduling the appointment, start preparing your baby by cleaning whatever teeth they have. You’ll also want to gather any documents relating to their health history. 

Browse our blog if you’d like to read a variety of health articles that will help you and your baby.

Baby Wraps or Slings: How to Choose a Baby Carrier

Babywearing offers many benefits, including a calmer baby and increased bonding with you. It keeps your hands free so you can get more done while keeping your little one close.

Choosing between all of the baby wraps, slings, and carriers can feel overwhelming. They’re a big investment, and it’s difficult to know what to look for if you’ve never purchased one before.

Picking a baby carrier is a matter of personal preference, but there are certain things to consider. Keep these things in mind when choosing a carrier for your infant.

Basics of Baby Wraps and Slings

Baby wraps are large pieces of fabric that you wrap around your body. You can tie them in different ways depending on the style. They hold your baby close and often work well for different sizes of people.

A ring sling, such as a Rebozo, is a different type of wrap with two rings along the fabric that rest on your shoulder. The fabric piece goes through the rings to hold it at the correct size. Ring slings are often easier to wear and adjust since you don’t have to tie anything. 

Structured baby carriers have soft fabric components, but they feature straps, padding, and a seat area for the baby. They typically have shoulder straps and a waistband for support and can hold older and larger babies well.

Comfort for Mom and Baby

The type of carrier that’s most comfortable often comes down to personal preference. Structured carriers distribute your little one’s weight across both shoulders and provide support at the waist. Wraps offer versatile tying methods and are easy to adjust to get a perfect fit. 

Young babies often like the coziness of wraps and ring slings. They can snuggle in and rest close to your body. Some babies may prefer the higher seat with a little more mobility from structured wraps.

Test out different types of carriers with your baby to see what you both prefer. Check with local babywearing groups to see if they have meetings where you can try different types of carriers before you buy one. Another option is testing out carriers your friends own. 

Ease of Use

Baby wraps can take some time to learn how to tie. Ring slings offer an easy option that’s similar to a wrap without needing to master the tying methods.

Structured wraps often have clips that are easy to close, but it may be more difficult to adjust the length of the straps. Wraps and slings are easy to adjust by simply tying them at the appropriate length. That makes them easier to share with your spouse without have to adjust the straps every time you swap babywearing duties.

Cleaning and Care

Research the care and cleaning of baby carrier options. Your little one may spit up or have a diaper blowout while in the wrap. Babies can also get sweaty, especially being so close to your body.

A machine-washable carrier lets you wash away those messes easily. Check the tag to look for special care instructions that might make the cleaning process more difficult.

Carrier Style

Your baby’s comfort and safety is the most important aspect, but baby carriers can also double as a fun accessory. Look for slings and carriers in fun patterns to match your personality.

Bright colors also add a fun touch to your look. Or opt for a neutral-colored wrap that goes well with all of your outfits.

Choose Your Baby Carrier

Baby wraps offer a hands-free way to carry your baby and help you bond. Comparing the styles and features lets you pick a carrier that you and your baby love. Check out more Family Life articles for more parenting tips.

The Untold Secret to Raising a Smart Child

Have you ever seen a smart child that seemed to be knowledgeable beyond their years? You look at their parents and marvel.

How did they make their kids so smart? Or were their kids always this smart?

If you want to learn how to raise an intelligent child, all you have to do is look at the clues other parents have left behind. Success leaves clues in all areas of life and that includes raising smart kids.

Continue reading this article and learn how to make your child smarter.

Games Are Golden

Kids want to play games. They are constantly asking for your phone or tablet so they can win at Angry Birds or some other game.

While these games might not be educational, they can help your child with their motor skills and problem-solving skills. You can also find educational games kids can play that will help them learn in ways they enjoy.

When kids learn through playing games, they are highly engaged and willing. One of the reasons some kids don’t learn well at school is because they are resisting education. Games are a great way to get kids on board so their minds are more receptive to learning.

Monitor How You’re Responding to Your Child

Notice the way you, your partner and anyone around your child respond to them when they make a request. The way you respond to your child has a lot to do with the way they look at life.

As parents, we want to protect our children. Since we want to protect our children, sometimes we put our beliefs over on them and it isn’t always helpful for them. If we are passing on unfounded fears, we could cause our children to be too cautious which will discourage them from learning and experiencing new things.

Instead of trying to answer everything that your child asks you, encourage them to discover and learn. Ask them open-ended questions and help them come to their own conclusions.

Make as Few Rules as Possible

While rules can be helpful and keep a house running smoothly, having unnecessary rules can decrease a child’s creativity. Keeping your children safe is important but there are some rules that children can do without and still be safe.

Allow your child to learn their way in the world as much as possible and you’ll see how brave and creative they become.

Boredom Isn’t Bad

Do you remember how painful it was to be bored when you were a kid? Being bored as a kid was the number one more horrible thing to experience for most children. Since you hated being bored, you likely don’t want your child to go through it either.

What you should know is that boredom isn’t bad. Boredom helps your child think up new things to do. Boredom gives your brain space and allows a child to stop going in the same routine they normally would go in.

Model Smart Behavior

Our kids take after us. If you don’t read, it’s unlikely your kids are going to read. If you don’t further your education, it’s unlikely your kids are going to be interested in education.

Whatever you want your kids to do, you should make sure your kids know you’re doing it as well. Even if you’ve done it in the past, children need to see you doing it now.

You might be surprised at how children will start showing interest in things when you start doing them. Children want to be with their parents and get curious about what they are doing. Give it a try and see how it works for your family.

Failure is Your Friend

You might notice many adults that are terrified of failing. Failure is the villain of most adult nightmares and daytime terrors.

What if I bomb this presentation? What if that girl doesn’t like me when I ask her out?

Fear of failure cripples far too many people. Instead of viewing failure as a friend, many people view failure as a foe. If you see failure as a foe, your child is likely to see it that way as well.

Children that are afraid to fail can’t learn as easily because they are afraid to get things wrong. If we as parents try to protect our children from feelings of failure and sadness, it will just make things worse and keep them from taking risks when they get older.

Give Reading and Music the Green Light

Reading opens a whole new world to your children. When children read, they are able to learn things they might not have otherwise discovered. You never know when they might find a topic that excites them and makes them want to learn and develop in that area.

Many children figure out things they would like to study in college or hobbies they would like to develop as adults through reading books. Now it is easier than ever to get your hands on a good book since you have access to ebooks, audiobooks, and more.

Check out My Smart Child

Now that you know more about how to raise a smart child, why stop learning there? We have other articles that can help you as you’re learning how to give your child the best future possible.

Browse our site, find your favorite section, drop a bookmark and come back soon for more great reads.