Building Your Brood: How To Prepare For Your Second Child

Adjusting to parenthood can be a tough task, but the challenge becomes even more difficult when you introduce a new addition to the mix. Going from one child to two brings a series of changes, and it’s important for you as a parent to adapt to having two kids as well as being there to help your first-born get used to life as a big brother or sister. If you have a child and you’re thinking about adding to your brood, or you’re already expecting, hopefully, you’ll find this guide useful.

Adjusting to parenthood can be a tough task, but the challenge becomes even more difficult when you introduce a new addition to the mix. Going from one child to two brings a series of changes

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Choosing the right time

If you have one child and you’d love to have more children in the future, it can be tricky to find the perfect time to expand your family. Do you want a small gap between the kids or can you not even contemplate trying to survive those sleepless nights again now that you have a toddler settled into a routine? There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing the right time to start trying for another baby, but there may be factors you’d like to consider. If you were unable to conceive naturally the first time around, you might have difficulties this time too, and it may take a long time to get pregnant. Even if you didn’t have any issues the first time, there’s nothing to say that everything will be straightforward this time. We tend to take our ability to conceive for granted and assume that it will just happen. The reality is that every couple is different. If you’ve had tests like semen analysis and fertility treatment in the past, it’s wise to set up a meeting with your doctor and discuss the options if you decide that you’d like to try for another baby. If you’ve not had treatment before, but you’ve been trying for a while without any success, it’s worth seeking expert advice. In your head, you may have it all planned out, but unfortunately, things don’t always pan out how you’d like them to.

If you’re celebrating happy news and you’re expecting again, one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is telling the people you love.

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Telling your child

If you’re celebrating happy news and you’re expecting again, one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy is telling the people you love. If you have a child already, you may be approaching revealing this news with a mixture of emotions. Of course, it’s an exciting time, but you may also be apprehensive or anxious about the reaction. If your child is still very young, they may struggle to understand, but an older child could display a range of emotions. They may be thrilled that they’re going to be a big brother or sister, but they might also be worried about what this will mean in terms of having to share their parents. If you are looking forward to telling your child, it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve had scans and made sure that everything is fine and the baby is healthy and developing well. It may also be a good idea to take your child along to any scans you have later in the pregnancy so that they feel like they are part of the journey.

You may think that life is hectic enough with one child, but wait until another little person joins the fold. Life with one child is very different to life with two, so it’s best to be prepared for long days and nights and to try and get ready as best you can.

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Prepping for life as a father of two

You may think that life is hectic enough with one child, but wait until another little person joins the fold. Life with one child is very different to life with two, so it’s best to be prepared for long days and nights and to try and get ready as best you can. Tick off practical jobs like getting the nursery sorted and arranging childcare at short notice if your partner goes into labor. Have your parents or best friends on standby so that they can take care of your child while you’re in hospital. Pack a bag, make sure you’ve got all the essentials you need and think about changes you need to make to cope better once your new baby arrives. Do you need more space at home? Is your car too small for two kids and all the stuff they have? Do you need to speak to your boss about flexible working options? Whatever tasks you have on your list, try and tick them off before you approach those final few weeks to make sure you’re ready and alleviate any additional stress.

When you’ve had your parents all to yourself for your whole life, it must be very strange to suddenly see a new baby stealing the limelight. When you bring your new baby home, go out of your way to make a fuss of your older child and let them get involved with helping out.

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Helping your child adjust to life as the big sibling

When you’ve had your parents all to yourself for your whole life, it must be very strange to suddenly see a new baby stealing the limelight. When you bring your new baby home, go out of your way to make a fuss of your older child and let them get involved with helping out. Encourage them to hold the baby while you supervise and try and build that bond from the early days. As a father, you’ll probably find that you have to take on a more influential role if your partner is feeding and tending to the baby. Be there for your first-born, spend time together, have fun and make sure they know that they’re as valuable now as they were before that little bundle of joy arrived. Ask friends and family members to make a fuss of both children when they come and visit for the first time and make the older child feel special. You could buy a small gift from the baby such as a teddy bear, a toy car or even a personalized big brother or big sister t-shirt they can show off with pride.

Are you thinking of adding to your family or are you counting down the days until baby number two arrives? Adjusting to being a parent of two children can be tough, but it can also be an incredibly exciting and rewarding challenge

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Are you thinking of adding to your family or are you counting down the days until baby number two arrives? Adjusting to being a parent of two children can be tough, but it can also be an incredibly exciting and rewarding challenge. It’s wise to plan ahead and focus on how you’re going to adapt to life with a new child, as well as how your first-born is going to cope with a new brother or sister. Think carefully about when you want to try and add to the family, prepare for the new arrival as best you can by ticking off practical jobs and getting your home ready and make sure your older child is involved in the journey with you.

Days Out That Really Are Fun For ALL The Family!

It can often feel as though whenever you come across something that is designed to be fun “for all the family” that it’s actually just designed to keep the kids entertained and will almost certainly result in parents sitting around ready to fall asleep at any moment. This applies to films, games, toys, activities, and just about anything else. Of course, there’s not always something wrong with that. After all, kids need things that are just for them as much as anyone else, and most parents understand pretty clearly just how important it is to allow kids to have their time. But sometimes you just want to do something that you can all enjoy, even if it’s just for a little while. After all, if it’s something that you can enjoy too then you’re going to be able to get stuck in and engage with your child much more effectively. Not only that but it will make the whole experience a lot less stressful for you and make you far more likely to want to take your kids out for those kinds of activities again. With that in mind, here are a few days out and activities that really are fun for ALL the family.

The aquarium

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It doesn’t matter who you are or how many times you’ve been around the block; there is just something magical about an aquarium. It can often feel as though you’ve stepped into a whole other world which, to a certain extent, you have. There are things to see that you’d otherwise never experience in person and new things to learn around every corner. Aquariums are often designed with entire families in mind, so it’s not just about the kids. Besides, there isn’t anyone on the face of the earth who could watch a shark swim right past them and not feel a sense of awe and wonder at it. There are usually aquariums in just about every city but finding ones that are really worth visiting can be tough. Check out this page with the results for “SeaQuest aquariums near me“. That way you’ll be able to find the best possible aquatic day out for you and your family.

Go-karts

There’s just something primal about wanting to go fast. Kids know the feeling well, and anyone who’s ever had the temptation to open up the engine of their car and really build up some speed knows it too. Which is why go-karting is such a fantastic activity because it gives the whole family a chance to indulge in that kind of activity without having to worry about getting yourself into any kind of dangerous situation. Sure, you’re probably going to have a bit more control over things that the kids but there are often different tracks for every level, and even if they don’t break any kind of speed records, they’re going to end up having an absolute whale of a time because it’s impossible not to feel like you’re picking up incredible amounts of speed when you’re behind the wheel of a go-kart.

The pool

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If you’re not interested in spending a lot of money on some kind of complicated activity then why not just take the kids for a trip to the local pool. The wonderful thing about any day out with kids is that they have the amazing ability to turn anything into a game. All they need is a large body of water and a few floats, and they’ll almost certainly be able to come up with a whole bunch of hilarious games for you all to play. Not only that but a lot of pools have things like floats, inflatables, and other fun things to play with. That’s not even mentioning those pools with waterslides that you can all race down at high speed before crashing into the water with as big a splash as possible!

A day at the beach

Then again, why spend any money when one of the most enjoyable places in the world is totally free and just waiting for you to come and find it. The beach is one of those things that you almost can’t believe is totally natural since it seems perfectly designed to be fun for the entire family. The kids can build sandcastles, fish in rock pools, or splash about in the waves, while grown-ups can do everything from relaxing in the sun with a good book to heading out into the deep water on a board ready to catch some serious surf. The fact that you and your family can have this much fun without having to spend any money is honestly amazing, and it’s the kind of opportunity that you should take as often as possible.

A family movie night

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Of course, if you want to have fun with your family, that doesn’t mean that you need to get out and do something dramatic out in the world. Sometimes you just need to bring the fun to you. Why not get everyone cuddled up on the couch, get a big bowl of popcorn ready, and have yourself a movie marathon? You can each choose a movie so that you can all be sure that you’ll be watching at least one thing that you actually enjoy. It’s a simple way to spend your time, but if the weather’s horrible and you don’t have that much money to spend, it’s often the perfect family activity.

Sure, not every activity needs to be perfect for the whole family, but it’s always much nicer if everyone can enjoy themselves as much as possible rather than having to worry about getting bored and frustrated when your kids really want to you get involved with what they’re doing. Of course, these are far from the only options available to you. There are plenty of things that you and your family can do for fun; it’s just a matter of figuring out what you all enjoy and embracing that. If you find something that you all love then you could end up discovering a whole new family tradition that will stick with you for years to come.

 

4 Household Items That Can Be Fixed Surprisingly Quickly

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We live in a disposable society. The relatively cheap cost of technologies that would have shocked and wowed just a few decades have rendered many of the products we use on a regular basis so readily replaceable that we assume it’s quicker and easier to replace them than to repair them. The trouble with this mode of thought however, is that not only is throwing items that can easily be repaired away is not only inherently wasteful, it can be horrendous for the environment. Since our mindset veers so readily to replacement rather than repair, we’re often unaware at just how easily a whole range of household items from trouser zippers to USB cables can be fixed in a matter of minutes.

Why not set a positive example for your kids and choose to get handy the next time one of these commonly used  items breaks?

Clothes and zippers

The rise in affordable, good quality sewing machines has rendered many a savvy parent a dab hand at fixing the odd popped seam or torn knee. However, if you don’t have one, that doesn’t mean that clothing repairs can’t be made quickly and easily. Torn jeans, for example, can be fixed in moments with small patches of denim and an iron-on hemming web like Wonder Web. Simply turn the jeans inside out, place the patch on the affected area and secure into place with the hemming web. It’s a long lasting fix that takes less than five minutes.

Oh and those troublesome busted zips that we’ve all encountered at least a few times? They can be repaired in just a  few minutes too with just a set of needle nosed pliers. Use the pliers to gently lever the zipper open at the bottom (on the side that has come away from the track), feed the loose track back into the gap in the slider that you have created then close back around the track with the pliers when it’s secure.

Headphones

Your walk to work wouldn’t the same without music, podcasts or audiobooks to keep you company would it? The trouble is that your phone or mp3 player inevitably goes into your pocket, placing a lot of undue stress on the connecting wire. Inevitably this leads to loss of sound or stuttering sound in one or both ears. Fortunately with a soldering iron, some wire strippers and a little patience this is easy enough to fix in less than 10 minutes.

Scratched furniture

Pet owners know the frustration of seeing their beloved wooden furniture engraved with scratches made by unknowing claws. Fortunately for you (and your oblivious pet), these scratches can be visibly reduced by rubbing them with walnuts. Seriously. Walnuts! Take a shelled walnut and rub the ‘meat’ of the nut into the scratches. Not only will your scratches be filled up, but the oils in the nut will lend the surface a natural shine, making the scratches disappear as if by magic.

Charger cables

USB and charger cables can usually be fixed without even needing to solder them. All you need is a pair of sharp scissors and a four Scotchlok cable connectors. Strip off the damaged section of wire and cut the remaining cable in half. Strip away about an inch and a half of the plastic jacket, exposing the 4 USB wires hiding under the shielding (black, white, green and red). Cut the shielding away and slip the wires into the Scotchloks on either side. Your cable is now completely repaired!

The Greatest Gadgets For Parents With Babies

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Nobody ever said being a parent was easy, but why did they have to put the most difficult part right at the start of a journey? Having a baby is a baptism of fire for a parent, especially when dealing with their first. It’s a steep learning curve filled with sleepless nights and desperately trying to negotiate with a tiny person who seems to want…. Something, but you’ve absolutely no idea what! Watching a baby grow and develop (which they do, really fast) is a wonderful, edifying and life affirming experience… but it’s also a lot of hard work. Fortunately, living in the modern world affords parents a plethora of helpful and surprisingly affordable gadgets that not only make parenting a little easier but provide much-needed peace of mind. We’ve assembled a few of the best right here…

Diaper Pails

Never put disposable diapers in the trash. Ever. They’re not like regular garbage and should not be treated as such. Very few garbage cans can mitigate the inevitable odor that accumulates in a household where diapers are changed on a regular basis. A diaper pail is a relatively low-tech piece of kit, but one that makes a big difference. Click here for more information on what to look for in a diaper pail guide. You’d be amazed how much rosier your worldview gets when the smell of baby poop no longer permeates your home.

The Pacifier Thermometer

Newborns are extremely prone to infection. Checking your baby’s temperature is one of the surest ways to give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that your baby is healthy. The trouble is that getting a thermometer into the mouth of a screaming wriggling baby can be a long and exhausting process. That’s why some bright spark thought of putting one right there in a pacifier!

The MamRoo Car Swing

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, chances are there are some long journeys to catch up with friends and relatives for the holiday season scheduled in your calendar. This can be tortuous when you have an upset baby in the back. Of course, it’s imperative that your baby be kept safe in a car seat but this car swing by 4Moms will bounce and swing your baby just like you do, lulling them gently to sleep with these familiar motions while you concentrate on driving.

Video baby monitors

New parents, particularly first time parents, live in a near-constant state of paranoia. Aside from the ever-present “am I doing this right?” mentality that plagues those early years, there’s the very real worry that nags away whenever your baby is out of your sight. Audio baby monitors have given parents peace of mind on this front for decades, but living in the digital age has made it so much easier for parents to keep an eye on their beloved child at all times wherever they are. The current generation of video baby monitors allow parents to see how their baby is in real time using an app on their smart phone.

Gadgets like these are great for giving parents peace of mind and lightening the load so that they can take some much needed time for themselves.

Dealing With Death: What To Do When A Family Member Passes Away

 

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Death is one of the only constants in life, this is both sad and true. We don’t like thinking about it, we don’t like talking about it, and this inevitably leads to us struggling to cope with it. When a family member dies, it will be heartbreaking for everyone. But, it’s even worse when you’re totally unprepared for everything that follows. You heap additional stress and worry on your family, making the whole situation a hundred times harder for everyone.

So, while you might not like to talk about it, understanding what to do when a family member passes away will be helpful. Here are some things you need to think about and might not be aware of:

Organize The Funeral

Organizing a funeral is a lot harder than most people think. It’s also incredibly expensive, and you can go here to see the average funeral costs today. You have to do everything from choosing the location to designing the headstone. It’s easily the worst part of dealing with death as you don’t want to go through all of this. But, if you can prepare in advance it will help you. As weird as it may sound, having a few places in mind for the ceremony and wake, along with a headstone company, will help you when the time eventually comes around.

Write An Obituary

It’s customary to write an obituary for a loved one when they pass away. This is basically a short paragraph that explains the person died and informs others when the funeral is. Obituaries are often posted in local newspapers to get the word out about the funeral service and so other people can pay their respects. But, they can also appear online, and you can click here for more info on how to do that. Either way, you need to write one if you want people to attend the funeral. People will often send sympathy flowers to your family upon reading it too, it’s just the easiest way of getting an announcement out there.

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Support Your Children

It’s so important that you provide as much support as possible to your children during this time. They can be incredibly upset and have trouble dealing with their emotions. This is where great parents come into their own as you’re able to provide the emotional support they need to get through this. There are a few things I mentioned in this article here that can be applied to this situation. Primarily, showing love and affection as well as offering advice. Don’t neglect your children’s feelings, regardless of how old they might be. Even kids in their teenage years struggle with death, make sure you’re there to lend a helping hand.

If you learn how to deal with death, it will be less traumatic for your family. No doubt the situation will still be heartbreaking, but you should be in more control. Believe me, I don’t enjoy thinking about this topic either. However, there’s no point avoiding it as we will all go through this experience at some point.

When You’re Feeling Stretched Thin it is Time to Take a Moment for Yourself

Appointments, practice, carpooling, shopping, reminding, cooking, cleaning, consoling – a mother’s work is never done. Sure, it’s rewarding to finally hear a “Thanks, Mom!” or see your little ones grow into full-fledged individuals ready to slowly take responsibility for their daily lives.

Take a Moment for Yourself

A REAL Break 

But in the meantime, start thinking about your birthday, or Mother’s Day. Just a few times a year when you can guiltlessly ask for a little time off from the family grind. Such occasions are the perfect time to treat yourself to a short vacation.

But we’re not talking about an evening off to see a movie with your friends. Rather, this would be the perfect time to catch up with old college friends, or other moms who could really use some respite, and whisk yourselves away to a new destination where you can unwind.

Here are four U.S. cities you should consider, and why they’re great mom getaways. 

  1. Portland

Nature, art, wine, hotels – Portland is a real up-and-comer in terms of where to go next. If cityscapes aren’t your bag, you and your friends can take a daylong wine tour through the Willamette Valley. You’ll be picked up in the city and given a scenic sipping tour with exceptional views of the Cascade mountains.

There are also a number of boutique hotels who are known for rare pleasures like tea services, as well as rooftop bars, theaters, and more. 

  1. Dallas

Got a little money to burn? Here’s a secret: Dallas, Texas is a shopaholics’ mecca. Book your suite at a Marriott and Uber down to the flagship Neiman Marcus on main Street. The historic building offers personal stylists, trunk shows, an espresso bar, and salon services.

From there, you can visit Highland Park Village, Dallas’ premier shopping plaza with stores like Chanel, Etro, Diane von Furstenberg, Hermes, and Dior. 

  1. New Orleans

If you and your girls really want to cut loose, you might be considering NYC. However, it can be a little tough to nail down what you’re going to get into without serious planning or prior experience. Instead, book a trip to New Orleans and get settled on Bourbon Street. Live music, dancing, drinks, tons of great food – you’ll be talking about it for years to come. 

  1. Charleston

The best word to describe Charleston, South Carolina would be “charming”. You and your best friends can stay at Zero George, a historic, luxurious boutique hotel notorious for its exceptional cuisine – there’s even a cooking school!

Stunning outdoor piazzas, a lush courtyard, beautiful suites, and unparalleled concierge service that will ensure your entire trip is a hit with the whole crew.

Sounds so good that you won’t want to leave, right? Well, one of the most unexpected benefits of taking this time for yourself is that when you return, you’ll feel like a whole new person. Distressed, recollected, and renewed, you’ll get back to life the way it once was – except better!

Tech Hobbies To Encourage In Your Kids

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Technology gets a lot of stick when it comes to its relationship with your kids. OK, so sure, there are some bad points to consider, but if you are a Luddite in these modern times, I’m afraid to say there’s no doubt your children are missing out. Technology gives them a whole bunch of fantastic opportunities, which you or I may not have had when we were kids. Let’s take a closer look at the sort of thing you can encourage – all thanks to the wonders of modern tech.

Coding

First and foremost, if your kids get enthused by coding, who knows where it might take them? The world is literally their oyster if you can get them excited to learn the fundamentals of coding and create incredible apps, systems, games or websites, and the earlier they start, the better. There’s a massive push toward getting kids into technology, and in particular, lots of options that will show them the ropes. Pick up a Raspberry Pi, and get them into services like Tynker or Kodable.

Music

It wasn’t too long ago that kids had a choice between a traditional instrument or nothing when it came to learning music. But these days, it’s another story entirely. Every iPad comes equipped with the brilliant Garage Band, where your kids can create tunes of any kind. There are smartphone apps, too, like Crayola DJ and Sesame Street Make Music. And once they have made their first album, you can even use a professional audio CD service, order in bulk, and send everyone in the family a copy – or two. There’s never been a better time for kids to get involved in music, and who knows – perhaps your little one will end up being the next Mozart?

Gaming

Too much gaming can be damaging for little ones, of course. But there are benefits to gaming, as well. Not only will children start developing skills like coordination and reflexes, but gaming is problem-solving in its most basic form. And if they are good at what they do, they could even compete – some of the pro-gamers around these days earn an astonishing amount of money.

TV

OK, so no more than two hours of TV on any given day – that’s a given. But when your kids are sat in front of the box, what are they actually watching? Shows like Bill Nye, the Science Guy are well worth watching, and you have the likes of Horrible Histories for those that prefer culture over physics. Common Sense Media have a formidable list of TV shows that will ensure your child is actually learning something, rather than just be a passive participant of the technology they use.

Art

Finally, let’s move back to your smartphone or tablet. If your child has a passion for drawing or painting – and which children don’t! – there are plenty of options when it comes to tech. Color & Draw For Kids, Morton Subotnick’s Pitch Painter, and Doodlecast for Kids are all excellent outlets for budding Monets.

Any more tech hobby ideas for kids? Let everyone know about them in the comments!

 

The Truth About Having A Second Child

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When you have a baby for the first time, there’s no doubt it’s a life-changing experience – but you haven’t seen anything yet! Your second child is a vastly different experience, in more ways than one, and there are some surprising truths that no one else seems to tell you. So, if you are expecting your second child, or planning on making one, read on! Here are some interesting things that many of us moms-of-multiples often find out – after the event.

The pregnancy

Remember the constant worry, concern, and plan-making that occurred during your first pregnancy? The chances are, you left no stone unturned in your quest to enjoy the perfect pregnancy, whether it was taking part in yoga classes or massaging your tummy with all kinds of strange-smelling oils. But for the second child, it’s going to be a different story. It’s not that you don’t want to do the same things while carrying your next baby – it’s merely because you don’t have time. Child number one will be on your case 24/7, and the chances are that you won’t even have time to notice you are expecting until well into your third trimester.

The Truth About Having A Second Child

The Extras

Think you have a house covered in children’s gear right now? Wait until you double that amount. There will be a few things you need to replace or buy new, for a start. Baby seats for the car, are a good example, as are double strollers. Unless your eldest is already walking, you could do worse than click here to get in-depth information on double umbrella strollers or head to your local baby store for some demonstrations. There will be mountains of clothes to deal with, too, as well as toys, games, and the gazillion baby accessories we all get given as gifts. If you want to know how much/how little storage your home really has, get ready to find out.

The real mom

You are a mom as soon as you give birth to your first child, of course. But you’ll really know what it means to be a parent when you have your second. There will be no catching up on sleep when your baby has their daytime naps – Baby Number One will need entertaining. There will, in the future, be a time when you feel like less of a mom and more of a boxing referee. And all those offers of babysitting services to give you an evening break will dry up as soon as your friends realize they have two munchkins to deal with now. And packing up to go anywhere – even to the local grocery store – is going to require more planning and equipment than you need for a week’s hiking in the Rockies. In short, if you had a smooth experience bringing up your first, your second could well end up causing you a world of pain!

I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m putting you off! Having multiple children is a beautiful experience and totally worth it – but it can often take a lot of work to pull off!