Category: Family Life

How to Find a Surrogate You Can Trust

find a surrogate

From Kim Kardashian to Tyra Banks, a whole host of celebrities have relied on surrogate mothers to help them realize their dreams of having another child.

The reasons why you may want to work with a surrogate are varied, and are often incredibly personal. Maybe you have a medical condition that makes it difficult to conceive, or maybe you’re concerned that your lifestyle would put a fetus at risk.

Whatever the reason, you know that, no matter what you do as a mother, someone out there is probably going to judge you for it.

When you’ve decided on birth through a surrogate, one of the first questions you’ll likely have is how to find a surrogate.

That’s what this blog post is all about.

Whether you’ve fully deciding on surrogacy or are still weighing your options about having a baby, keep on reading to learn more about the process.

Rely On Your Established Network

When you want to find a surrogate, your first instinct might be to rely on the people you already know.

Maybe you have a specific friend in mind, or maybe you even feel comfortable crowdsourcing your social network or simply asking around to help you connect with a surrogate.

While there are many advantages to working with someone you know well, be aware that going this route is certainly not without complications. You’ll need to establish clear boundaries and guidelines for working with your surrogate — otherwise, things can get messy very quickly.

Let’s take a look at the most important questions to ask and concerns to bring up when asking someone you know, or a friend of a friend, to be your surrogate.

“Tell Me About Your Past Pregnancies”

If this person is a friend, you might think that you know the whole story about their pregnancies — but chances are, there’s a lot you don’t know.

You need to be informed about everything from complications throughout the pregnancy to issues within the delivery room.

You’ll also want to ask your surrogate about smaller details, like the foods that they craved, what their diet is like, and if they plan to continue their normal routine and work throughout as much of the pregnancy as is possible.

In addition to helping you evaluate whether or not your friend is a reliable surrogate, you’ll also get a better feel for how to take care of her throughout the process — and if she’s still a good fit at all.

“What Do You Want Your Relationship With My Child To Look Like?”

This is a crucial one.

If it’s a friend, then it’s likely that she’ll be in your child’s life in one way or another. However, if the surrogate isn’t really in your social network, she may or may not want to have a presence in your child’s life.

Make your own expectations and boundaries clear, and ensure that your surrogate does the same. Get as detailed as social media, whether or not they can send/receive photos and letters, and more.

If possible, you may want her to sign documents stating that she’s been informed she won’t have a legal claim to your child.

“Would You Carry For Me Again?”

Once you find a surrogate you can trust, you may want to have them carry another child for you. Be aware that not all surrogates will be open to this.

If you think that there’s even a chance you’d like another child by the same surrogate, be sure to ask this question.

Work With A Surrogacy Agency

Perhaps you’d like to find a surrogate that’s completely outside of your social network.

Maybe you want a more thorough screening process, to offer payment for surrogacy, or just feel that your friends are far too crazy to carry your future child.

Luckily, there are tons of surrogacy agencies out there — the difficulty is finding the one that’s right for you and your family.

Agencies like ConceiveAbilities surrogate mothers are among the most reputable options out there, in part because of their serious screening process and the level of contact that the mother and surrogate have throughout the pregnancy.

Now, let’s take a look at how to ensure that the surrogacy agency you’re thinking of working with is a good fit for you — and safe for your baby.

“Do You Have A Surrogacy Attorney?”

Even if the agency doesn’t have an attorney on hand, they should have connections with the top surrogacy attorneys in your state.

This will help both you and your surrogate to remain on the same terms throughout the process, and ensure that you’re filing all the required paperwork.

It will also help you to sort through any fees that you’ll need to pay to the agency or to the surrogate herself.

“What’s Your Screening Process Like?”

Of course, this is the most important question when it comes to finding a surrogate through an agency.

In addition to asking questions about the history of the agency itself, you’ll also need to know how they find and screen potential surrogates.

Do they conduct background checks? What about health screenings — and medical support for the surrogate over the course of the pregnancy? Are surrogates psychologically evaluated?

Do they ask the surrogates why this lifestyle appeals to them?

The more information you’re able to find, the better you’ll feel.

You’re Ready To Find A Surrogate

We hope this post has helped you to understand the best ways to find a surrogate you can rely on to help bring a new bundle of joy into the world.

Whether you’re planning on working with a surrogacy agency, or if you want to ask a friend to do the job, having the information you need is essential for you both.

Looking for more mom-friendly advice?

Whether you’re a mother-to-be or already a mother of three, our website and blog has tons of posts about how to save money, live better, and indulge in some serious “me time” throughout the entire crazy journey that is motherhood.

Baby on a Budget: How to Prepare for a Baby Financially

how to prepare for a baby financially

Your family’s growing, and you couldn’t be happier. But having a child is a huge financial commitment, just as it is an emotional one. Knowing how to prepare for a baby financially before you enter parenthood is key to enjoying your new blessing without so much stressing.

Research shows that the average family in the United States will spend about $12,000 on baby-related expenses during their infant’s first year.

Translation: As much as we love babies, they certainly aren’t cheap. We’ve compiled a guide on how to prepare for a baby financially and manage your new family budget.

Let’s get started!

How to Prepare for a Baby Financially: Understand Health Insurance

One of the most important moves you can make to prepare financially for baby is to ensure that you have a good grasp of your medical insurance coverage and anticipate your costs accordingly.

After all, giving birth to a child is costly even if you’ve got insurance.

The earlier you forecast your anticipated costs, the more prepared you’ll be for the medical bills that will ensue.

Also, start looking ahead of time for a pediatrician who is within your medical insurance network. Your new baby will need to see this doctor within the first week after he or she is born.

And don’t just trust the clinic to tell you that it is within your network. Call the insurance company yourself to double-check. You don’t want to get hit with unexpected charges for going outside of your network.

Budget, Baby!

Surrogate mothers enjoy the benefit of being paid to get pregnant for other couples. For instance, they can earn $43,000 or more — easily an annually salary — based on their individual circumstances.

But if you’re having a baby for yourself, you may experience the opposite effect: You may lose your yearly salary if you decide to stay home.

This is why it’s so critical that you create a post-baby budget before the baby comes. This will give you an idea of how his or her arrival will impact your finances.

If you decide to stay home, can your household truly absorb the loss of your income? If not, would a day care service in your area be affordable, or could a relative watch your bundle of joy at no cost?

Figure out these answers right away by doing the math. Then, act like these charges are in effect today so you’ll have an easier transition to life with a baby tomorrow.


You may have spent the past few years trying to pay off debt. That’s great, but with baby on the way now, it’s time to step on the brakes.

In other words, stay on top of your minimum debt payments, but quit putting extra money toward your debt. Instead, put it in your savings account for emergencies that might crop up during your pregnancy or after the baby is born.

Then, once you’ve confirmed that both mom and baby are healthy, you can keep moving forward with your debt-payoff plan.

How I Can Help

I offer a wide range of tips and advice about how you can save money. Why pay more when you don’t have to?

Contact me to learn more about how I can help you to enjoy a fuller bank account and thus a fuller life long term.

How to Find Fearless Faith as a Mom

fearless faith

In a world that sometimes seems ridden with fear, chaos, and turmoil, it can be hard to stay positive and uplifted.

There’s no doubt that it’s hard (really hard) to be a mother, but it’s one of the most important, rewarding jobs a person can have.

Navigating your own faith can be challenging with all the hectic demands that come with parenting, but we are here to help you!

Let’s get into how to find and restore fearless faith as a mom.

Release the Perfectionism

Most mothers agree that they experience the internal and external pressure to somehow be superhuman.

With that said, the perfect mother does not exist. It never has and it never will. And, that’s okay!

Having fearless faith means accepting that things will not always go according to plan. You will not always have control of the outcome. You will face hardships and obstacles through the ebbs and flows of life.

If you stay too focused on perfectionism, you miss the tiny, imperfect miracles that happen on a regular basis. You miss the chance to stay connected with your faith and spirituality.

Practice staying patient and accepting- even when life doesn’t turn out the way you want it to. Practice finding a silver lining, even in the dark storms.

After all, fearless faith doesn’t just exist when everything is going well. It exists even when everything is falling apart. The happiest, calmest mothers know and live by that philosophy.

Stay Connected with Your Faith

It’s so easy to become disconnected with the principles and practices that keep you calm. But, this is a costly mistake.

Most of us feel stressed on a routine basis. It’s just become a normal part of life, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Did you know that 77% of Americans report experiencing physical symptoms (like headaches or stomach pains) as a result of stress? That’s almost 8 in 10 people, and it doesn’t have to be that way!

Not only is all this rushing and insane scheduling wreaking havoc on our mental health, it can also have detrimental consequences on our physical well-being.

Your spiritual health matters, and it matters just as much as eating well, exercising regularly, and practicing positive coping strategies to manage stress.

So, how can you stay connected with your faith?

If you’re an active member of a faith-based community, such as a church or temple, make it a priority to actually go! Just like you would with any other appointment, it shouldn’t just be open for negotiation or “as a last resort.”

You can also build upon your relationships with others who share the same fearless faith. Learn from mentors and take on their wisdom. Open up about your struggles and lean on others for support — that’s what friends are there for and that’s what makes the community of faith so special.

Seek Inspiration on a Routine Basis

It’s important for all of us to experience awe and inspiration. It helps us feel alive and it helps us feel spiritually connected.

When was the last time you felt inspired? If you can’t recall, we have a major problem. Inspiration colors our world.

Think about your children — chances are, they experience this awe and wonder every day. They do it without thinking. They experience it in the fantastic land of make-believe and childlike freedom and innocence.

Unfortunately, as busy adults with jam-packed schedules, we can lose sight of this in the midst of the daily grind. Fearless faith is all about feeling inspired, connected, and hopeful about the past, present, and future.

Make it a priority to set time for inspiration. Whether it’s picking up new Servant books or spending time in nature on a mindful hike, do what you can to stimulate your mind and body.

Inspiration can be found anywhere- if you look hard enough. It also doesn’t just have to be in a formal religious setting. Inspiration exists in the relationships we have with others, the moments we share with our children, and the sensations we experience every single day.

Love Without Limitations

As a mother, you already know that the unconditional love that you have for your children has no bounds. It’s one of the best parts of being a mother, and it’s what makes human connections so powerful and remarkable.

The more you can practice love, patience, and tolerance with the rest of the people in your life, the more fearless faith you will experience.

While it’s normal to feel angry or upset at certain people throughout life, holding onto deeply-set resentments often ends up hurting you more. When we have certain expectations of others, we can risk feeling disappointed when they do not meet them in the way we want.

Instead, practice accepting people as they are- flaws and all. Learn to fall in love with the quirks and nuances. It’s what makes us human, and it’s what ultimately makes us beautiful and unique.

Remember: just like you don’t need to be perfect, nobody else owes you perfection, either. The more you can embrace people for who they are, the happier you will feel.

Final Thoughts on Harnessing the Beauty of Fearless Faith

With faith, all things are possible. With faith, you will feel a sense of peace, calmness, and indescribable joy.

Just remember that faith does not happen “randomly.” You need to take the conscious actions and steps to pump faith into your life and family.

Interested in more helpful lifestyle tips about raising your family? Be sure to check out our blog today!

10 Inexpensive Ways to Help Kids Be Active

be activeHow much physical activity do your children get?

Nowadays, children are more interested in the screens on their iPads than the outdoors. This means that parents have to take a greater role to encourage children to be active.

But helping kids to be active doesn’t have to include expensive vacations abroad to do adventure activities. You don’t have to pay the costly membership fees of sports clubs to get your children fit and healthy.

Instead, there are many inexpensive ways of getting your kids to be active.

Physical activity is not only fun but it’s an important part of a healthy and happy life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children should have at least one hour of physical activity every day.

Keep reading for our 10 ways to get your kids to be active without breaking the bank.

1. Walking

What is more simple and pleasant than a walk?

Many people choose to drive when they could just walk. Getting your children to be active involves thinking differently.

Walk to Pukekohe High School. Walk to the local park. Walk to the cinema to see a movie.

You can also get chores done at the same time. Maybe you can suggest your children take the dog for a walk or deliver a letter to the postbox.

2. Hiking

Do you live in a location surrounded by hills or mountains and lakes or rivers?

If walking to places isn’t enough physical activity for your kids, you could get your kids to try hiking instead. This can be a great way to spend time together as a family. At the end of the hike, reward yourself and the kids with a picnic in the park.

3. Hide and Seek

Is there any children’s game as timeless as hide and seek. Every generation of children has enjoyed playing the classic game. Your kids won’t even think of the physical activity when they’re distracted by the seeking and hiding.

The best thing about hide and seek is that it involves being active and resting. With all this activity, rest is always good for kids.

4. Gardening

Anyone who has spent a couple of hours in the garden will know how hard work gardening is. Don’t slave away in the garden pulling up weeds while your kids stay inside playing on iPads.

Getting kids to help out is a great way to be active. Kids could also find that they enjoy planting beautiful and colorful flowers and digging up weeds to throw away.

5. Scavenger Hunt

Creating a scavenger hunt for kids is a great way to get them moving.

All you have to do is to think of some things to hide for the kids to find. It could be a lamppost, a gate or a park bench. Spread the hunt out around the neighborhood to get the kids walking even more.

6. Skipping and Jumping Rope

Remember the days when kids used to spend hours and hours on the streets with a jumping rope?

Buying a jump rope is only a few dollars. But it can bring endless fun and activity for kids. Another great thing about jump ropes is that they can be played alone and in groups.

7. Playing in the Yard with Sprinklers

Sunshine and warm weather always goes well with physical activity. There’s nothing more fun when you’re a kid than playing in the sprinklers in the yard on the summer day.

If it’s a hot day, get your kids to put on their bathing suits and turn on the sprinkler. Jumping and playing in the water will keep them healthy and happy. It also means that the grass gets a water too.

8. Riding a Bike

There a few joys like riding a bike. While learning to ride a bike as a kid can be difficult at first, once you get the hang of it, you never forget how to ride.

Encourage your kids to get out on their bikes. While racing around the park is a lot of fun, it’s important they always keep safety in mind too.

Make sure they know the rules of the road. Don’t forget to remind them to put on a helmet.

9. Washing the Family Car

Have you ever looked out the window of your house and seen the family car covered in leaves and dirt?

Cleaning the car is a chore that requires as much energy as it does soap and water. Ask your kids to give the car a wash. All that scrubbing and rinsing is a great way to be active.

They might ask you what’s in it for them. If exercise isn’t enough of an answer, promise a reward, such as a trip to the movies.

10. Playing Sports with Friends

You don’t have to join a club or a team to play sports. Your kids can start straight away with the rest of the kids in the neighborhood.

You can play baseball or basketball in teams. Or just play kickball or soccer in the park. Being outside with friends and playing sport is a great way for your kids to be active.

Getting Your Kids to Be Active

Physical activity is an important part of having a fun, healthy and happy childhood.

But with so many other distractions, your kids need you to encourage them to go outdoors and have fun. There are so many ways to be active that your kids have no excuses.

While exercise is always great, don’t forget to remind your kids to stay safe and drink plenty of water.

Check out our blog for more about happy and healthy lifestyles.

Tips to Make Flying With a Toddler a Breeze

flying with toddlerThere are ways to enjoy flying with a toddler other than taking separate planes. If you plan ahead and prepare for the trip you can both have a great adventure.

Keep reading for some awesome tips to make flying with a toddler a breeze

Make a List and Check It Twice

Let’s face it, it’s hard to remember your name somedays when you spend it with a toddler. Lists are your friend.

If you’re anything like me you’ll want to put it on your phone. This will avoid you losing the list. You can also add to it easily when you think of it because you always have your phone.

As you prepare for your trip start thinking of things you want to bring. The more you have listed, the less you’ll forget. This will help avoid meltdowns for your toddler and for you.

List toys, snacks, clothes, and supplies you will need for the trip. You’ll want to have lots for them to do and eat. Planning for delays will help them be less stressful if they do happen.

Invest Time Before Your Trip

You’ll thank yourself later if you put some time into preparing now. There are some easy and inexpensive things you can do. It’ll be worth it when you’re flying with a toddler to take some time to gather supplies. When it’s time to pack you’ll be ready.

Pick a corner of your home where your toddler doesn’t have access. As you put things in the pile they won’t disappear because your little one wanted to play with it before leaving.

Take a day and go to the grocery store to get snacks or supplies you’ll need for your trip.

Remember airport security rules for liquids. You don’t want to throw away snacks because they don’t comply with TSA rules. With your toddler watching in horror.

Hit a Dollar or Craft Store

You’re going to want some supplies for your toddler survivor kit. You’ll want one for their entertainment too. Pick up things you’ll want during the flight for your toddler.

Some things you might want:

  • wet wipes– you’re not going to be able to take a big container of them in your carry on. You’ll want to either buy a travel pack or get a small container. Ziplock bags or a small Tupperware container will hold a wet facecloth or baby wipes.
  • freezer bags– These can hold and organize a million things. You’d be wise to get some. You can prepare activity bags with all the supplies your child needs for it. They are good to carry snacks, wet clothes or diaper changing emergency packs.
  • lamination supplies– You can buy lamination pouches at the dollar store. They’ll come in handy to make things last for future flights too.
  • small tackle box or large pill box– this can be used to place snacks. It is great for giving them several choices without making a mess. You can place their favorite snacks like raisins and cheerios in each compartment.
  • stickers and books– Pick up some new books for them to look through on their own. Some books you can read to them while taking off and landing. Stickers are a great entertainment source. You can laminate some background for them to stick them to. This makes it easy for them to reuse them.
  • A few new toys– You don’t have to spend a fortune on new toys when flying with a toddler. You can grab a few new toys at the dollar store and make some activity kits to entertain them for hours.
  • earphones– get a couple cheap sets of earphones. You don’t want your only pair accidentally getting broken five minutes into your trip.

Divide and Conquer

It’s so much easier traveling when everything you need is separated into kits. You can conquer anything this trip throws at you if you are prepared.

Changing Kits– You don’t want to be rifling for supplies when your little one needs to get changed. Plan on at least one for every four hours of travel. Then include an extra one or two so you’re not caught off guard.

  • have a ziplock freezer bag for each kit
  • include an undergarment. Even if your toddler is out of diapers, accidents happen.
  • a sandwich bag with a wet cloth or baby wipes in it
  • You can place lotion on one of the wet wipes. This way you have it but don’t have to carry a large container which may not get through security.
  • most kits should have a complete change of clothes, just in case. You never know when your suitcase will take a different flight than you.

Activity KitsKeep them busy and you will both be happier. Bring some familiar activities and some new ones. You don’t want to be flying with a toddler who has nothing to do. Activity kits can be made from a number of supplies.

  • recycle a baby wipe container to hold small toys like dinosaurs or farm animals. This keeps them all in one place. Your little one can have fun playing with them and be entertained trying to get them through the hole on the top.
  • metal lunch box or pencil case and magnets. Keep magnet letters or shapes in it to play with on the lid of the container.
  • laminated background and stickers- you can laminate any page as a background. Add a bunch of stickers or crayons and you have a fun activity to create some quiet time. Keep the backgrounds, sticker pages, and crayons in a freezer bag so they are together.

Snack Kits– Having snacks ready to go, in an easy to use container is a must. You can avert a meltdown by distracting them with an array of their favorite snacks.

Pack Smart

I’ve been on a trip where my suitcase took a completely different vacation than I did. Make sure your carry on has everything you need if it happens to you.

An extra change of clothes and an extra pair of comfortable shoes should be in your carry on. While they’re beautiful, you want to pack your Rachel Simpson heels in your checked bags. You’ll want to stick to your best mom running shoes for your flight.

Move When You Can

Let your toddler explore and move when they can. Take advantage of time in the airport for them to get some of their energy out. This will be good for you too as it will help circulation. This is especially crucial if taking a long flight.

An airport is a magical place for toddlers. Enjoy it with them. Watch planes and people. Let them show you all the new things they see. Leave your activities and snacks for on the plane if you can. Have them close at hand but why use resources if there are other things to distract them.

While on a long flight, walk the aisle a few times. Your toddler will get some wiggles out. It will help pass the time.

Enjoy the Moment When Flying with a Toddler

You are not the first who is flying with a toddler. If they have a momentary meltdown don’t worry. All the moms around you are sending their empathy and strength.

Anyone who gets cranky when your toddler does will get over it.

Time goes slow while you are sitting around the airport. Time flies by in life with our kids. Enjoy each moment. Plan for fun and have it no matter what bumps there are while your flying with a toddler.

We have lots of great ideas for living frugally and DIY crafts. Check out this great DIY flip book for your next trip flying with a toddler.

What’s Right for You? The Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding

pros and cons of a destination weddingIf you’re recently engaged, you have a lot of big decisions to make.

You’ve already chosen the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with–but where will you begin your life together?

While many opt for a hometown ceremony, others dream of saying “I do” in an exotic locale. That’s probably why there are an average of 340,000 destination weddings each year.

Like everything else about getting married, there are many pros and cons of a destination wedding.

In this post, we’ll walk you through this important decision. That way, you’ll pick the perfect place to walk down the aisle.

Potential Pros

To start, here are some potentially great things about choosing a destination wedding.

1. Limited Guest List

If you have a large family or extensive hometown connections, you may feel pressured to invite everyone you know to your wedding.

That’s fine, as long as you always envisioned 400 people at your wedding reception.

Not exactly what you had in mind? Because of the travel involved, a destination wedding is typically much smaller than a hometown ceremony.

This enables you to reduce the guest list without hurting anyone’s feelings. You can be selective about who you invite, and those who don’t make the cut are likely to understand.

2. Cost Effective

You may think a destination wedding will cost a fortune, but that’s not always the case.

The average US wedding costs over $35,000. While there are many pros and cons of a destination wedding, a big pro is that it can actually save you a lot of money.

Typically, you’ll pay for your travel, resort stay, and a wedding package. In many countries, this costs only a fraction of what you’d spend at home.

Meanwhile, your guests will cover their own travel expenses. And with a smaller guest list, your reception can be classy and intimate without breaking the bank.

3. All-Inclusive Packages

Whether your dream involves Caribbean, European, or UAE weddings, there’s a resort with a package that’s perfect for you.

Destination weddings can turn out to be a lot less stressful than a ceremony at home. Many resorts offer all-inclusive wedding packages to streamline the entire process.

These packages include everything you need for your ceremony and reception. They can also be customized to suit your style and budget. In most cases, you make a few simple decisions while the resort handles the details.

With everything taken care of, all you have to do is show up and get married!

4. More Time with Loved Ones

Your wedding day (and the days leading up to it) are sure to be a blur. You’ll likely have friends and family flying in for the ceremony, but you may not have any free time to spend with them.

One way to solve this problem is by holding a destination wedding. Everyone can show up early and spend quality time together in a beautiful setting.

Resorts usually offer a host of activities you can enjoy with family and friends. Want to go scuba diving or deep sea fishing? Or would you rather lounge on the beach or relax at the spa?

Whatever you and your family love doing, you can enjoy those activities together before your big day.

Potential Cons

You’ve picked a date. You’ve found your dream wedding dress. But you’re still not sure where to say “I do.”

We’re not done discussing the pros and cons of a destination wedding just yet.

Here are a few reasons why a destination wedding may not be the ideal choice for you.

1. Some May Get Left Out

For some couples, a reduced guest list could be a blessing. Not only is it easier on the budget, but it’s also a way to avoid potential family drama.

For others, though, planning a small destination wedding may create more problems than it solves.

Is your aunt going to be devastated if she’s not invited? Are Grandma and Grandpa healthy enough to travel that far? Will a smaller guest list create family tension or hurt feelings?

When weighing the pros and cons of a destination wedding, this is a crucial factor to consider.

2. Legal Concerns

Every country has different legal requirements when it comes to marriage. Certain documents will be required that may be completely different than what’s required at home.

If you’re planning your wedding through a resort package, they should be able to advise you in this area. Even if they do, you should double check that you understand the country’s laws and bring everything you need with you.

If you’re making your own plans, it’s crucial to seek legal advice from a wedding planner in the destination’s locale. The last thing you want to find out down the road is that your wedding ceremony or paperwork wasn’t actually legal!

3. Financial Burden for Guests

Just because you can afford to fly to an exotic destination doesn’t mean your friends and family can.

Of course, everyone wants to support you on your big day. But the truth is that some people may not be able to afford to join you, no matter how badly they want to.

Before you book that resort package, consider the budgets of your family and friends. How much of a financial burden will it be for them to travel with you? How many of them might have to say because they can’t afford the trip?

4. Too Much Togetherness

If you have a close-knit family, you probably love the idea of spending extra time with them before the wedding.

At the same time, though, this could create a lot of extra stress.

Is your mother going to drive you crazy? Will everyone be poking their nose into your business or trying to change things at the last minute? Will you and your fiance have any private time to enjoy before the big day arrives?

This depends on the nature of your family and friends. Spending a week with them on an island could be amazing–or it could be a nightmare.

Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding: What Will You Decide?

There are a lot of factors to consider when planning your wedding. Every couple is going to have different circumstances and a different budget.

Whether you decide to host your wedding at home or in a faraway locale, your big day is sure to be everything you dream of.

Ready to save money on everyday expenses so you have more to spend on your honeymoon? Check out our latest frugal living posts for helpful hints.

The Truth About Babyproofing Your Home (And Other Safety Tips for New Moms)

the truth about babyproofing

Being a mom for the first time is a huge learning curve.

You may be worried about long-term things like a college fund and handling the crazy teenage years.

But, there are a few things you need to take care of right away, like baby proofing and potty training. Don’t start counting your grey hairs yet – these tasks are easier to do than you think.

Here’s the truth about babyproofing your home with ease, and for cheap!

1. Take a Look Around

First things first, ask yourself if you really need to go all-out on all the babyproofing.

You may not have enough room in your budget to get everything you want. You may not even have a valid need for everything you want.

The truth about babyproofing is that it’s not so much about making sure every inch of the house is perfectly safe.

It’s more about having a bit of common sense, a watchful eye, and peace of mind.

Yes, this means you can keep your coffee table and you don’t have to turn your beautiful home into baby land.

Start with the basics, then go from there.

2. Pay Close Attention to the Crib

One of the most important tools to ensure your baby is safe and comfortable is a crib.

The top things to keep in mind are the size of the railings and the quality of the materials used.

Railings have a specific set of dimensions meant to keep your baby from poking through the gaps.

But, there might still be some with drop sides or wide railings out there. If you’re using your sister’s baby’s old crib or buying one from a secondhand store, be sure it’s a safe choice.

Another thing to watch out for is the paint and wood used.

When your baby is transitioning from a few months old to a toddler, he or she will become increasingly curious. They will try to bite at the railings or edges, and you don’t want toxic materials ending up in their mouth!

Once you decide on a crib, try not to overdo it with the stuffed animals.

In fact, you should be as minimal as possible when setting up the mattress and blankets. This will prevent your baby from overheating or suffocation.

You may choose to set up the crib in your room or in a separate room.

Either way, get a baby radio to monitor the baby’s sleep.

This can help you track their breathing and some will even watch out for carbon monoxide. You can look into alarm system tips to learn more.

3. Watch Out for Wires and Outlets

Although babies spend a lot of their days sleeping in the crib or taking naps around other safe spaces in the house, they’ll be crawling around at some point.

Make sure your child doesn’t get into any trouble with electric devices.

A pack of outlet covers can go a long way.

It is such a simple, and fairly cheap, investment that can save you a lot of stress. Most parents even say covers are a no-brainer because most outlets are at a baby’s eye-level.

Additionally, try to tuck TV or computer wires behind their stands if you can.

This is the most efficient way to save on extra babyproofing items. Instead of buying more gates than necessary or special hooks, you may just need to move some furniture around!

Such thinking saves you money and stress while keeping your babyproof home looking fabulous.

4. Protect Entryways

Do you have a two-story home? Is your apartment set up with a pretty open floor plan?

If so, you’re going to need something more than couch cushions to keep your baby safe. But, you don’t have to gate up every room in the house.

One gate will do for the stairs. Take it with you to block the bottom when you’re downstairs, and then move it to the top when you go upstairs.

For open spaces, use your best judgment.

If you’re in the kitchen and your baby is within eyesight in the dining room, set up a barrier where they won’t go too far.

This doesn’t mean locking them in, though. It can be as simple as buying a play pin you can move around the home. This one tool is fun for the baby and makes safety much easier for you.

You can set it up nearby whether you’re cooking dinner or getting some work done in your home office.

5. Be Careful During Feeding Time

Many parents will focus on household hazards when they discuss the truth about babyproofing.

Yet, some people forget to educate you on good practices for your baby’s meals.

Avoid heating food up in the microwave.

Microwaves can cause hot spots on some parts of the dish that will burn the baby’s mouth. Instead, heat food up in a bowl of warm water – kind of like you would with a double boiler.

Test the heat of solids by tasting with a separate spoon (no double-dipping). For liquids like formula or breast milk, splash a few drops on your hand to get a feel for the temperature.

Always wash your hands when you’re doing any kind of cooking for your baby.

Their immune system is much weaker than yours, leaving them at a higher risk of germs which your body may not even notice.

This is also why most parents advise a slow transition into solid foods.

When you introduce things one at a time, you’re better prepared to catch allergic reactions. These include hives or a rash, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Sharing the Truth About Babyproofing

As much as you want to be a well-prepared momma, don’t forget to let dad in on the truth about babyproofing.

Communicate with your partner about all the efforts you’re doing to create a safe environment for your baby. Establish a set of rules and expectations for one another as you take on parenting together.

If your husband is particularly nervous about how he will do (or is doing so far) as a father, try making him a dad survival kit!

Click here to see how simple and fun kit-making can be.