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.

Strategies To Teach Your Child Responsibility

As a parent, we are always working at teaching our children how to be the best versions of themselves. From being thoughtful, listening when people talk, being respectful, and of course learning responsibility. Being responsible is learning to take care of their belongings, get their homework done and on time, learning to take care of themselves and others, and much more. Below are some strategies to teach your child responsibility.

When your child learns about responsibility you also want them to have a positive attitude as they complete the task at hand. You don’t want them to do the task because they have to, you want them to be proud they are doing it and to the best of their ability. Raising helpful, strong, responsible kids is our goals as parents. These tips below can help you nurture and teach your child to be responsible.

5 Tips for Teaching Your Child Responsibility

Strategies To Teach Your Child Responsibility

Be A Role Model

First and foremost you want to act the way you want your child to act. Parents have so many responsibilities that we can demonstrate each day how to handle them. Be on time, finish tasks doing the best you can do, and if you promise or agree to help out with something, follow through.

Start Teaching At A Young Age

If your child is still young, that is the best time to teach. Teach them to pick up their toys, put the dishes up when they are finished eating, and the list goes on. As they get older, they will be engrained with those simple responsibilities you had them do when they are young. Let them help make a sandwich at lunch, and help fold laundry. It may take longer and not be done perfectly, but allowing your child to help when they ask to, will slowly teach them simple responsibilities for later in life.

Expectations

This is something we need to work on as parents. We have to expect that if your 3-year old helps fold laundry or makes their bed it won’t be perfect. But you still allow them to help, because that is how they will learn. You have to look at your child’s age and then base what they can do and to what standard.

Demonstrate Tasks

Demonstrate how to do small tasks so your child can begin to learn. If your child has a laundry basket in their room, teach them that is where they toss dirty clothes. Or that if they want a snack, create a bin that has approved snacks that they can grab and eat by themselves if you say they can. A simple task like that will teach them how to be responsible for themselves, respect rules of the household, and grow.

Praise

Kids love to help out, and in that make sure to offer positive praise when they do. Tell them you are proud of them, thank them for helping take the trash out or dust. Children will learn that when they help it makes mom and dad proud and they will work hard to keep doing this for you.

Routine

Kids need and love structure and routines. You can slowly begin to tell your son to pick up their room each night or put the laundry in the basket. It will then become a routine. Just like with older kids, that when they get home they have to sit down and work on homework, instead of waiting till later at night. Over time it will become a routine to them, instead of winging it when they want.

 

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.

Parents, Children, And Bullying

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Bullying is endemic in modern society. Nowadays, kids don’t even have to meet someone face to face to be a bully or get bullied. Stats show that more than 75% of children have and still experience abuse from their peers. As a parent, it is your job to step in and make sure your son or daughter is not a victim. But, what can you do to keep them safe? Below is a selection of tips which experts believe to be the best steps. Hopefully, they will come in handy for you and your children.

Understand The Causes

First and foremost, it is not your fault or the fault of your son and daughter. However, it is worth pointing out that some factors tend to get a reaction. Clothing is a prime example. Students who don’t have to wear a uniform get to put on casual clothes. Although they are comfy, the apparel they wear is a sign of their social status. Nickis baby Versace and Young Versace range is obviously upper/middle class, whereas t-shirts with holes are low class. No one can help their situation, but parents can try and make their child less of a target. It doesn’t have to be top of the range stuff because as long as it’s clean and hole-free, it’s okay.

See The Signs

Children are not open books and they won’t tell their parents if they are suffering. As a mom or dad, it’s your job to spot the warning signs and act. To do that, you need to delve deeper and read between the lines. Are they not as happy or positive as usual? Do they lack confidence because of their looks or appearance? Does the idea of leaving the house fill them with dread? All of these are signs of anxiety brought about by bullies. It’s not easy yet sitting down and talking is the only way to get a straight answer.

Reduce Online Time

Some parents hate the idea of telling their kids they can’t play video games and enjoy life. However, the internet is a dangerous place where the majority of modern bullying takes place. From Twitter to Facebook, bullies will post and tweet nasty things spread across the cyber highway. Pretending it doesn’t take place isn’t a long-term answer but it does help to take a break. The less time they spend online, the less impact cyberbullying should have.

Talk Adult To Adult

The odds of two children sitting down and working through their differences are long. Typically, it’s the parents who get together and come to a suitable solution. No one likes to have the conversation, but it’s essential to prevent further damage. Bullies, like the majority of kids they fear their parents. As long as they are decent people, they will stop it at once. Of course, it’s never wise to go in all guns blazing because people go on the defensive. Instead, point out what’s wrong and come up with solutions together.

Hopefully, your children will never have to experience bullying. If they do, the tips above should help.

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!

 

3 Bulk Purchases Necessary For Any Family Holiday

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When you travel as a family, there’s always a lot of luggage involved. There are so many supplies for you and the kids, it can feel like you have to start your packing at least a month before your departure date. As a result, the idea of bulk numbers of items probably isn’t welcome.

Nevertheless, there are a few items it’s worth having a plentiful supply of. Make room for multiples of these three key holiday items in your suitcase, and your next family holiday will be the better for it.

  1. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must for any holiday; in fact, it’s pretty much a must all year round. While you can buy sunscreen abroad, it might not be of the quality that you would usually expect.

It therefore makes sense, if you find a brand that you’re happy with, to stock up on it before you go. One bottle per person per week of the holiday should be sufficient, but it makes sense to add a couple of spares in just in case. It’s also best to buy sunscreen that has to be applied by hand rather than sprayed; studies are showing that spray sunscreen might not provide a thick enough layer to actually provide any protection.

  1. Swimming Caps

When you’re on holiday, regular dips in and out of the pool are essential — for the whole family. The pool is a source of fun for kids, as well as being the perfect way to cool down for everyone.

However, constantly being exposed to endless amounts of chlorine can be cause difficulties, especially for the sensitive skin on children’s scalps. A swimming cap is therefore a necessity, but there’s a problem: kids can lose things. Most parents will be familiar with their children using an item once, putting it down, and then forgetting where they put it.

A good stock of swimming caps brought prior to your flight is therefore essential. Though you can buy while you’re away, the quality might be questionable. This is definitely not something you want to risk, so to guarantee you’re buying good products, buy before you leave. If you struggle to find suppliers with enough stock for the whole family, there’s plenty of tips on that right here, so you can be sure there’s always enough to go around. It pays to be prepared!

  1. Band-Aids

A lot of the activities that kids tend to want to do on holiday require a high amount of physical activity. Whether it’s bouncing on the trampolines in your resort or going banana-boating out at sea, the potential for nicks and scrapes is obvious. So you can patch them up in double-quick time, take along a wide selection of Band-Aids and sticking plasters. With any wounds immediately taken care of, they can get back to doing what they should be doing — having fun!

Bulk buying for a holiday may sound like an odd concept, but as the above show, sometimes there really is strength in numbers.

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