4 Hacks for New Parents to Ease Adjustment into Parenthood

As a new parent, you suddenly become bombarded with a plethora of baby products and (often unsolicited) advice. But as a first-timer, it can be hard to distinguish the must-haves from the gimmicks. Likewise, the tips and tricks that worked for others may not be conducive to you and your new bundle of joy. With that in mind, here are four hacks to make the transition to parenting a little easier to manage.

1. Get More Done with Babywearing

Your new bundle of joy no doubt craved being in the womb, but life doesn’t just stop after you’ve given birth. Of course, there’s still cleaning and cooking to do, other kids to look after, and often work to catch up on. You may get a break for the first few weeks, but soon enough you’ll need to figure out a rhythm to get it all done with a new baby on board.

If you need a little assistance carrying your newborn, an age-old practice could provide immense, mutually-desired enjoyment. In fact, embracing babywearing can help you get more done, while also meeting your baby’s needs. Furthermore, studies have shown that moms who practice babywearing for three hours a day see their infant cry 43 percent less than babies who didn’t receive the same — or any — amount of nurturing.

One of the most comfortable carriers for little ones is the Solly Baby Wrap, an ultra-thin stretchy wrap designed for use throughout your child’s first year. Tula also makes a variety of carriers to make babywearing comfortable and seamless. And, most carriers can even be used for discreet and convenient hands-free nursing, too.

2. Minimize Startle Reflex with Swaddle Suits

Sure, we all know swaddling babies is a great way to soothe and prevent them from startling themselves awake. However, because babies tend to wiggle out of this cozy wrapping, swaddling is a battle many babies end up winning. To decrease the chances of your baby popping free, keep them securely swaddled — and ultimately asleep longer — by using swaddle suits instead of traditional swaddle blankets.

Love to Dream makes one of the most popular options, the Swaddle Up, which features an ultra soft, stretchy material and a two-way zipper to make nighttime diaper changes a breeze. With this genius design, babies can keep their hands near their face for comfort. Plus, the Swaddle Up is light enough to be worn over the top of the baby’s sleepwear.

3. Make the Most of Your Smartphone

There’s an app for nearly everything these days — and there are certainly no shortage of options aimed at parents. To ease the stress of tracking all of your baby’s newfound habits, you can leverage this type of technology with an app like Total Baby. For example, you can use this app to easily keep track of feedings, soiled diapers, sleep times and baths. Meantime, because your child will start to grow up before you know it, use an app like FirstYear or Baby’s Firsts to record all of your baby’s precious milestones, from their first smile to their first steps.

You can also keep your baby soothed by loading your smartphone with gentle melodies to the tune of popular hits with the online program, Rockabye Baby. Likewise, if your baby needs some white noise to fall asleep or calm down, your best bet is to download an app that provides some ambient white noise. Ultimately, whatever works best for your little one, be sure you can download musical tracks for offline play to avoid exceeding your data limit on your smartphone plan.

4. Manage Messes with a Change of Clothes in the Diaper Bag

You know to never leave home without a change of clothes for your baby, but what about for yourself? After all, when you’re constantly holding, rocking or changing your little one, it’s only a matter of time before you get covered in spit up, urine or a blown out diaper. Your best bet? Stash a spare shirt for yourself in your diaper bag, so you can quickly change when your precious bundle of joy doles out a wardrobe malfunction.

Buying for Baby’s First Year: Do’s and Don’ts for the First Year of Life

Having a baby can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. It’s estimated to take new mothers up to 4 whole months to get the hang of motherhood so, if you’re a first-time parent and are struggling to manage, it’s totally normal!

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Photo by Rattikankeawpun

In addition to love and care, babies also require a lot of material possessions too. With an average of $12,000 being spent during a baby’s first year of life, it’s essential you spend wisely and don’t waste your hard-earned money on pointless items. If you’re a new parent struggling to establish which purchases are necessary and which aren’t, here’s a few key tips to ensure you buy the most useful items for your baby.

 

Do’s

For first-time parents, having a baby is a completely new experience. It can be difficult to know exactly what you need and what you don’t, so here’s a few must-have items to make sure you have ready for when your little one arrives.

  • Diapers – A common essential, but many new parents underestimate the amount of diapers their baby will go through. It’s estimated a baby will go through 10-12 diapers a day during the first few weeks of life, so ensure you have enough stocked up.
  • Clothes – We all want our babies to look cute, but comfort is more important. Opt for comfortable, breathable fabrics and an array of different clothing sizes. Sizes will vary from brand to brand, so it’s a good idea to get a couple of different sizes to establish which fits best on your baby.
  • Car seat – An absolute essential as without one, you can’t safely drive your baby anywhere. Stay away from a second-hand seat and ensure to purchase the correct type for your baby’s age. Visit this site to discover a variety of spacious, family-friendly cars ideal for car seat fitting.

 

Don’ts

Whilst the baby market is saturated with new and upcoming products, not everything is wholly necessary or appropriate for a new-born baby. Here’s a few items you should avoid purchasing.

  • Blankets – A popular gift-choice, fluffy blankets can actually cause more harm than good. They put your baby at risk of overheating and can cause them to feel very claustrophobic. If you are going to get a blanket, opt for a thinner swaddling-type blanket instead.
  • Toys – Whilst a huge essential when your baby gets a little older, toys are often a waste of money for newborns. They’re far too young to properly engage with anything other than your voice and face, so save the toy buying until your baby is old enough to properly use them.
  • Shoes – If a baby can’t walk, why bother with shoes? A pair of cozy socks will be more than sufficient for a new-born.

Having a baby for the first time is a huge life milestone, and it’s important to spend wisely and be as prepared as possible. As long as you don’t waste your money on unnecessary items and only buy the vital essentials to begin with, you’re sure to have a happy baby as well as a happy bank balance!

Animals Toys Stock Photo

4 Great Baby Apps for New Parents

If you’re about to welcome your first child into the world, you’re probably overwhelmed with thoughts of feeding times and crib safety measures. Let these four apps take away some of the stress!

1. Total Baby

Cover artThis “baby logging” app will keep track of all the details that you’re too busy or too tired to write down. From bath times to changing schedules, all you have to do is input the data and let Total Baby work its recording, archiving and organizing magic. You can even monitor things like immunizations and growth charts when you utilize the app’s tracking utilities.

2. DecorPad

Image result for DecorPad appThough not technically a baby app, DecorPad can help you get your home in order before the newest member of your family arrives. Offering all kinds of pictures and galleries from top interior designers, you’ll be able to re-create or re-design your entire home from frontroom furnishings to nursery paint colors. Just make sure that you get it all done before you go into labor!

3. My Pregnancy & Baby Today

Cover artThis day-by-day app will help you track and record every moment of your pregnancy and first year as a parent. Not only will you enjoy things like countdowns, health tips, daily calendars, sonogram images and time-lapse videos of your belly, but you’ll also be able to connect with other moms-to-be who are expecting at the same time as you. Share your joys, triumphs and milestones with a community of like-minded people who will support your parental journey just as much as you support theirs.

4. Cloud Baby Monitor

Say goodbye to bulky baby monitors! Cloud Baby Monitor is a wireless, cloud-based app that can be integrated with all Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. It will keep you attuned to all of your baby’s sounds and movements with a wide variety of features such as motion alerts and noise level indicators. It even offers two-way microphones and remote night lights with adjustable controls if you want to soothe your baby from another room! Now that’s the kind of convenience that you need during a 2AM wake-up call.

These are just four apps that will help you prepare for your little bundle of joy. It will be a challenging period in your life, but with the help of useful and up-to-date technology, it doesn’t have to be a stressful one!

Barbie I Can Be to Li’l Girls – #YouCanBeAnything You Want To Be!

Have you heard of the new Barbie body types?  It has been all over my FB newsfeed the past week. Mattel has released new Barbie dolls that are curvy, petite, and tall.  These new dolls also come in various ethnicity. Well, well, well…Barbie just keeps on evolving!

Barbie evolves

A few years back, Barbie also released a new line of dolls to show that girls can be so much more than pretty little princesses.  All kids have very wild imaginations.  Many have very lofty dreams of becoming astronauts, superheroes, pilots, engineers, etc. However, for many girls, these dreams are dashed when they enter adulthood. Sadly, in our modern age, there are still those with stone-aged beliefs that some careers are not for women at all.

Well now, little girls have a new champion to inspire them to dream big and to believe that they can be anything they dream to be. ANYTHING!

Barbie you can dream it

The Barbie I Can Be dolls empowers children to discover and harness their limitless potentials.  I saw this video of little girls being given a chance to be what they want to be and it’s just too cute not to share. Watch this!

 

If You Can Dream It, You Can Be It

The Barbie I Can Be dolls encourage young girls to break free from conventional careers for women.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being a fashion designer, a tour guide, or a flight attendant.  I don’t even see anything wrong with little girls dreaming of becoming princesses or mermaids. But Barbie I Can Be helps them discover all their potentials and encourages them to be whatever they want to be – that includes having careers that used to be viewed as for men only.

With Barbie I Can Be dolls, little girls can be space explorers, pilots, secret agents, computer engineers, athletes, and so many others.  They do not have to conform to the typical careers for women and can be anything they absolutely want to be.

Barbie Careers

 

Jade Can Be a Dessert Chef

A couple of weeks ago, Richprime sent our little girl a wonderful surprise – a Barbie I Can Be Dessert Chef Playset!  My daughter isn’t too keen about dolls but this was an exception as she loves to bake too.  The first thing she said when she opened the brown bag was, “Ohhhh! How did they know I want to be a pastry chef?!”

What’s Inside?

The Barbie I Can Be Dessert Chef Playset comes with a Barbie doll with an apron and a chef’s hat, Blissa the cat with her own little chef’s hat, a stove top oven that “cooks” cake, baked and unbaked cakes, a cupcake that Barbie “bites” into, a fish cake for Blissa, a mixing bowl, a spatula, and a pink mitten.

Barbie playset

The oven tray flips when the door is closed.  Put the baked cake inside first and close the door. Open it again and place the pan with light brown “batter” inside. Close the door and …Voila! The perfectly “baked” cake is ready.

To make sure that her treats are delicious, Barbie takes a bite out of a cupcake.  Attach the cupcake Barbie’s hand, press the lever on her back and watch her take a bite of her delicious cuppycake. Of course, Blissa should also have a share of the treats with her very own fish cake.

My little Jade loves this playset because it allows her to pretend to be a chef.  She says it’s like magic and she wants to be a dessert chef too.

Barbie playset with friend

Jade Reviews I Can Be Dessert Chef

Want to know what else Jade has to say about her I Can Be A Dessert Chef Barbie?  Watch the video below. (forgive the very amateurish vid!!! I know grade schoolers who do better. tee-hee!)

I know our video’s so crude! That’s the fault of a non-techie mom who had just tried her hand at taking and editing videos on her smartphone. 😛 But, as Barbie says, we all can be anything we want to be so I believe that our next video will be so much better. 🙂

Well, back to Barbie I Can Be, unlike her other dolls, this one has not been stashed inside the toy cabinet.  She’s had it for a week already and still plays with it every day.  That’s already a record for her considering that her dolls usually go straight to the toy cabinet after just a day. 🙂

Now, she’s asking me to get her the I Can Be Professor and I Can Be Vet. Look’s like my daughter now has a liking for dolls. 😉

Barbie playset surprise

Barbie You Can Be Anything

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Barbie is exclusively distributed by Richprime Global Inc. Like Barbie Philippines on Facebook to get brand updates, promo, and schedules.

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Taking Legos to the Next Level at FIRST Robotics

Books, building blocks, musical toys, board games, and sports equipment – these are the only things my children are allowed to play with during weekdays.  Call me old-fashioned but I’d rather my kids play with the games I used to play than spend all their spare time with their faces plastered on digital screens. Among those I’ve mentioned, books and building blocks are their most favorite.  They can spend hours reading a book or building whatever their imagination wills them to.

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4-year-old Jakei fascinated with the pulley we built together. 🙂

This is also why I signed up for the FIRST Robotics event organized by the Mommy Bloggers of the Philippines last August (yes, this is a superduper late post! wondermama was not so wonder-y the past weeks).  What better way to spend the weekend than learning how to build robots!  So cool!

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Upon arriving, we were ushered to the waiting area for kids.  In here, kids can play with LEGOs while waiting for their classes to start.  There’s a separate waiting area for parents in the lobby but since we were there to learn more about FIRST Robotics, we were allowed to stay inside the rooms.

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Before the trial classes began, we were given a short presentation about what First Robotics has to offer. Read all about it at FIRST Robotics: Raising Visionaries and InnovatorsAfter the briefing, we were led to the different rooms.  Each age group has its own room where age-appropriate materials are provided. Those age 4 – 6 use LEGO Duplo to develop their fine motor skills. Age 7 – 8 kids learn how to use basic visual programming using LEGO WeDo. Those who are age 9 and older are taught how to create their own functional robots using LEGO MindStorm.

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Although they were only one year apart, my two kids belonged to different age brackets and had to stay in different rooms. I chose to stay with Jakei knowing that Jade would be able to manage on her own. So off Jade went to the World of Science and Technology room while Jakei and I went to the World of Adventures and Inventions.

Jakei’s FIRST Moving Lego Robot

Since Jakei has been very adept at building LEGO models on his own at home, I didn’t assist him that much during his class.  Their lesson started with a short story about two friends who were playing hockey and who needed another player for their team.  Building this players became the task of Jakei and the other kids. They had to build a hockey player that had a movable arm for hitting the puck into the goal.

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After successfully building their robots, the kids tested them out through a fun competitive game of hockey.

My Jakei had fun during the game and, thankfully, did not throw a fit when he lost. I think having been able to build a robot with moving parts made him a winner already.

Jade’s FIRST Shot at Programming

After Jakei’s game, I checked on Jade in the 7-8 class.  They were almost finished with their robots when I came.  I was amazed that the kids were able to build their robots with minimal supervision. They were using the LEGO WeDo software that provided step-by-step instructions.  What was even more amazing was that they were able to program their robots using basic visual programming.

Watching my daughter’s eyes sparkle with excitement when her crocodile moved and made a sound was such a sight to behold.

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Free Trial Classes at FIRST Robotics

Lego + Robots + Kids = FUN FUN FUN!  

We definitely loved our experience at FIRST Robotics!  What’s not to love with learning being so much fun?! If you have kids age 4 to 16, I encourage you to enrol them in one of the programs at FIRST Robotics. Call (02)696-3333 to schedule a free trial class or visit their website at http://www.firstrobotics.ph/ for more information.

In FIRST Robotics, children become leaders not followers, problem solvers not whiners, and builders not daydreamers. And what parent wouldn’t want their children to become those. 😉

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To know more about First Robotics, read FIRST Robotics: Raising Visionaries and Innovators.