Helping parents make smart - and safe - buying decisions for newborns, toddlers and beyond.
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I caught my hubby looking for great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon. Which got me thinking, what do I want for Mothers day this year? I’ve actually been obsessed lately with one of those powerful...
I caught my hubby looking for great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon. Which got me thinking, what do I want for Mothers day this year?
I’ve actually been obsessed lately with one of those powerful blenders other moms have been raving about and have been hoping for a Vitamix Mothers Day sale. Why?
If I have another baby, one thing I’d do differently is make sure I know exactly what is in the baby food I give to him or her. I read this article recently at Parents.com and was shocked at what they found in jars of baby food. You just can’t trust what’s on that label anymore.
The only way for me to know exactly what ingredients are being fed to my baby is if I make it myself. But as we all know, caring for a baby and trying to prepare all their meals from scratch is a huge juggling act.
One of my friends swears by her Vitamix blender for making baby food. I really like Vitamix but buying one would be a huge indulgence since they’re so expensive.
She says making them with fruits and vegetables is a snap. You can whip up a days worth of baby food in one go, and save them for 2 to 3 days. So it’s not really that big of a time consumer.
Some kids love fruits and tolerate vegetables. While others won’t touch either one with a ten foot pole.
One method I’ve read about getting them to eat, or getting them to eat more, fruits and vegetables is by disguising it. There are great recipes for things like:
OK, I can’t make this Mothers Day gift all about my kids. What’s in it for me?
I’ve struggled to lose all that baby weight. And as the years have passed, it’s clinging to me tighter than bark on a tree.
I’ve been wishing for years of a simple way to replace lunch with something low calorie and filled with fruits and veggies. I enjoy it when I go to Jamba Juice and get one of their fresh smoothies for lunch. But that doesn’t happen often with our schedules and frankly, they’d be too expensive to buy one everday.
But if I could make a smoothie in the convenience of my own home … I think I could do this everyday. And I found some wonderful smoothie recipes I’d like to try.
One of the most popular wished for items by mom’s is a Vitamix blender. Most find it a huge expense that they just can’t justify buying for themselves.
But Mothers Day isn’t just any ordinary day. It’s the day we celebrate us Mom’s, it’s the day we should be pampered for all the sacrifices we make every single day!If you’ve ever wanted a Vitamix blender but thought they were too expensive….
Now is a great time to treat yourself as I’ve just read there IS a Vitamix Mothers Day sale going on right now! I plan to throw some big hints to my significant other. And if he doesn’t get the hint, I may have to buy one for myself <grin>.
Right now, they’re up to $100 off.
All the details can be found here at this great article on the Vitamix Mothers Day Sale for 2018.
For several years, as the novelty of internet-linked baby monitors caught on with the general public, a number of serious security issues came to light. This led to a spate of high-profile news...
For several years, as the novelty of internet-linked baby monitors caught on with the general public, a number of serious security issues came to light. This led to a spate of high-profile news stories detailing how easily hackable many baby monitors were.
Since 2015, security has gotten much stronger for web-enabled baby monitors, making it much more difficult for a hacker to gain access to the device from a remote location.
Some compromised monitors were even leading to other devices connected to home networks being at risk for intrusion.
In early 2016, the New York Department of Consumer Affairs issued a subpoena to 4 baby monitor manufacturers, seeking information pertaining to their security practices.
This, along with other news reports from the previous year, shined a light onto the lax security practices employed by both manufacturers and owners.
Perhaps the biggest security enhancement that some companies have made is to require monitor owners to reset the default password for the device’s stream.
Too often, those who owned baby monitors would just leave the username and password the same as when it came out of the box.
All a hacker would have to do in that case is enter the default credentials and they could access the system.
Even when the owner isn’t required to change the default password, many more are doing so now than they were before, thanks in part to the media attention on insecure baby monitors.
Since most hackers are looking for easy targets, when encountering a system without a default password they would just move on to a different one.
While manufacturers have been doing their part, owner action plays a crucial role in the security of a baby monitor connection.
It only takes a few minutes to essentially make your system unhackable by those trolling the internet for cameras to watch.
The sad reality is, anything that is hooked up to the internet can be hacked. A security company last year tried compared how easy it was to hack different models of baby monitors.
You can see some of the results in the news report below.
Kidsaversnetwork first highlighted how easy baby monitors could be hacked in early 2016.
Our article, which included steps parents could take to secure their monitors, was shared by First Coast News and many other news websites.
Keeping our kids safe is every parent’s main concern. Spring is now giving way to summer. There are lots of adventures to be had at parks, zoos, malls and amusement parks. And...
Keeping our kids safe is every parent’s main concern. Spring is now giving way to summer. There are lots of adventures to be had at parks, zoos, malls and amusement parks. And people. Lots of people.
Sadly, not all of them are good, and some of them have the worst intentions. Our kids need to be made aware of this, and we have an important role to play.
Around 100 children are abducted and murdered every year. 60% of these by somebody they already know. (More facts here).
So the odds are low, but even so – I want to make them as low as possible for my kids. Which parent wouldn’t?!
Sure, you’re thinking every kid knows “Stranger Danger”, and kids are smart these days. Well, watch this video and hold that thought….
It really is frightening stuff 🙁
To recap my earlier article, here are the 5 most common lures child abductors use (as documented in 12,900 attempted abduction reports since 2005).
Since I wrote the last article, I thought of a great way to help parents get the message across to our children.
Here are 6 cartoons that address the top 5 tricks child abductors use. I have also added a 6th one – “The Family Emergency”. It may not be one of the most common, but it was identified by the FBI as a risk.
Their advice was to teach our kids a code word. This makes sense to me so I thought I’d pass it on. Please do likewise with it and with all the cartoons on this page!
(Click to make the image full screen)
Yell, Run, Tell! This concept can apply to a number of “Stranger Danger” situations. Yell, Run, Tell!
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Adults don’t ask kids for help!
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Ask a child to draw a stranger. Chances are they will draw a monster. Teach they can look normal and kind. But appearances can be deceptive.
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When a stranger offers money, our children shouldn’t feel scared to say “No!”
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A pet is often used to lure kids in. Another tactic is to ask kids to look for lost dogs.
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Have a family code word.
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Last September, I wrote a guest post for my friends at homejobsbymom.com.
In the article, I shared 10 tips for parents to both prevent children from getting lost (and not just abducted) and to find them quickly.
So if you have time, check that one out, too!
Cloth diapers vs diapers. Many parents seem to initially consider the choice but invariably (and with a heavy heart) choose disposable diapers. We always hear how cloth diapers are better for the environment....
Cloth diapers vs diapers. Many parents seem to initially consider the choice but invariably (and with a heavy heart) choose disposable diapers. We always hear how cloth diapers are better for the environment. And that disposables are more convenient. But is that really the case?
To help you make the big decision, we’ve compared some key considerations you might not have thought of. We looked at the effect on health, comfort, convenience, absorbency and price.
What we found was quite surprising. There are some key differences between the two and even some similarities!
We have not found any significant differences between the two which can directly affect your baby’s overall health. That is, as long as you are changing soiled diapers when they need changing.
For either type, leaving on a soiled diaper for too long can result in diaper rash. And a soiled diaper is extremely uncomfortable for your baby.
A key point to note here is most disposable diapers contain a chemical which aids in the absorption of urine. Of course, the chemicals used in disposable diapers are tested to be non-irritable to babies and “certified safe”. If you read the mothering forums and product reviews – it doesn’t stop a few kids having adverse reactions to them.
Disposable Diapers are more breathable compared to cloth diapers. They can also be adjusted easier than cloth diapers, which need to be pinned or buttoned into place. An adjustable, disposable diaper may also be more comfortable for baby because of its adjustability and flexibility.
Also, disposable diapers usually have an elastic waistband and leg bands. These aid in mobility and comfort for baby, as well as stopping leaks. But there’s a trade-off.
Sometimes the bands can irritate a baby’s skin, especially in warm weather when your baby perspires.
Cloth diapers, on the other hand, are much softer for baby’s skin. They also don’t have the absorbency chemicals that disposable diapers have. Even though the chemicals are deemed safe for babies, some could have an allergic reaction to them.
Here’s a video outlining some of the chemicals inside (I would have liked to see some scientific references, though!).
To sum-up, cloth diapers are all natural, soft, comfortable and they don’t have elastic. That seems to give them the edge here.
If you are deciding between the two based on convenience, both have a lot to offer.
As for cloth diapers, forget about the pins! Did you know that you can now purchase them with snaps or velcro straps? Be warned – things get caught in the velcro, though! Of course, they come at a higher price which you’ll have to factor in. There are also clips for sale that replace pins.
What about washing, you might ask?
Cloth diapers need to be continually rinsed out and washed. Since you can throw away a disposable diaper and be done with it, there’s a lot less effort required.
Disposables are also easier to size as your baby grows compared to cloth diapers. When you’re shopping for a new pack of disposable diapers, simply choose your baby’s current size.
Once you buy a cloth diaper, you are stuck with that size until you purchase the next size up. A lot of them are also “One size only” and you have to adjust them to your baby.
Cloth diapers are not as absorbent as disposable diapers are. Therefore, you need to keep a constant eye on them. Once they are full, there is nothing to stop urine from leaking through them onto baby’s clothes, the bed, or the furniture.
Disposable diapers are made to be super absorbent, leak-proof, and even are waterproof, so they clearly win here. There’s also bio-degradable bamboo ones which are kinder for the environment.
As for pricing, both types of diapers are costly.
Plan on spending between $2,000 and $3,000 per year, per baby on disposable diapers. This number can increase if you continue to use disposable underpants such as Pull-Ups during potty training.
Cloth diapers and accessories range from $800 to $1,000 per year, per baby. That is if you wash them yourself!
If you use a cleaning service to wash your cloth diapers, expect to pay about $2,500 to $2,800 per year. However, remember that you might be able to reuse the cloth diapers with the next baby, which might save you money the next time around.
In the case of cloth vs. disposable in price, cloth only wins if you are self-washing.
For both types of diapers, the sooner you potty train your young one, the sooner you can stop spending money on diapers.
Both cloth diapers disposable diapers have pros and cons with some differences and similarities. It’s really going to come down to your personal preferences and most importantly of all – those of your baby!
You can always give cloth diapers a try and switch over to disposables if it doesn’t work out. If you decided to do this, there are a few online support groups like Diaperswappers.com and on Facebook, “Cloth Diaper Geek“.
Better yet, the “Great Cloth Diaper Change” is happening across American and Canada on April 22nd at 11am. You can go along and chat with many parents and quite literally see what it’s all about! Find your nearest location here.
If you’re searching for the best kindergarten nap mats, you’ve found the right page! Nap time is an important part of a toddler’s life as it gives our little ones the time they need...
Nap time is an important part of a toddler’s life as it gives our little ones the time they need to rest and recuperate. It is essential that the kinder mat you choose is comfortable and safe. A good nap mat should be easy to clean, store and carry as well.
We take a detailed look at the best nap mats for preschool in 2018.
Here are some key points to consider when purchasing a kindergarten nap mat.
Many kindergartens and daycares only permit 2 inch thick nap mats. You should check your local requirements before purchasing one.
Also, check the actual thickness of the mat. What I mean is, sometimes the mat is only 1.5″ thick and the covering makes up that extra half-an-inch.
If you read the consumer reviews of some nap mats, you’ll find a lot of complaints about the material. Sometimes the inner material is too “Scratchy” and not soft enough to make your child feel comfortable. Try to look for ones with breathable cotton inner-linings.
Another important consideration is the noise they make. Some nap mats are very noisy and that won’t help your child make friends in Kindergarten.
Most of the kinder mats we reviewed had removable pillows. This is a great idea, for a few reasons. You don’t need to spend extra on a pillow. It makes the mat easier to wash and the pillow won’t lose its shape in the wash, too.
We found some nap mats with some great, over-sized blankets. A blanket helps kids wrap themselves up on cold, winter days and drift off to sleep. It also helps keep everything together so you won’t lose the blanket. And lastly, the added bonus is you won’t have to pay extra for a blanket as well.
If you shop around, you can find a nap mat with a pillow and blanket. Just be sure to check how easy they are to wash!
With 20 or so kids in your child’s day-care class, that’s a lot of nap mats and bedding to store. It’s preferable to buy a kinder mat that your child can learn how to roll, fold and store. Look for kinder mats with durable, Velcro fasteners to make this easier for them.
It seems quite a few nap mats have been ruined by parents not being clear on the washing instructions. You’ll find many are fine to be machine-washed but they need to line-dried. Always check to see if the washing instructions are given and clearly stated.
The top-rated kindergarten nap mats usually have industry-leading safety certifications. There are different certificates but always check to see your toddler’s nap mat passes the fire standards (especially flammability) and chemical emissions.
I’ve looked extensively at all the kindermats available today and many aren’t 2 inches thick. A thinner nap mat might not be allowed in your child’s daycare. Plus it stands to reason that a thicker kindermat will be more comfortable for kids – and that should always be our main concern!
In light of this, I was pleased to find the Orzak Mountain Nap Mat. True, it is almost double the price than some of the kindergarten mats on this list. I’d also say that the colors and patterns available aren’t as endearing as the Disney mats, either. So why recommend it?! Is it worth the price?
As well as meeting the “2 inch thick mat” criteria, this kindermat has blown in polyester fill. This means it’s like the mat has air chambers and provides a super- comfortable sleep. It has a sewn-in blanket and pillow as you’d expect, too.
It’s also suitable for preschoolers up to 4′ tall! So you should get a lot of use out of it. As you can see from the photos, it rolls up into a backpack for our kid to carry.
A problem thicker mats do tend to have is losing their shape in the wash. Well, quite a few parents have commented that it doesn’t lose it’s cushioning and is “The Best Nap Mat” they’ve ever seen! (Often adding they wish it was available in adult size!)
Personally, I’d fire the person who designed the colors for Orzak Mountain. However, if you’re looking for a comfortable, thick nap mat that will last more than a few months the Orzak Mountain is one of the best kindergarten mats on the market.
The Olive Kids Nap Mat has a perfect mix of cuteness and comfort. If your toddler is like mine, they are crazy about planes, trains and automobiles. Well, this kindergarten nap mat has all of those and also nice vibrant colors for them to love.
For comfort, it has extra padding underneath the mat and pillow. And speaking of the pillow, it is removable so the whole thing can be machine-washed.
There’s also an extra-large blanket so your little one can wrap themselves up and get some good rest.
The Wildkin Aqua Mat has been described as “The Perfect Preschool Mat” by delighted parents.
This kindergarten nap mat has a good amount of padding on the bottom to help make sleeping on floors more comfortable. It also comes with a removable pillow and over-sized blanket for your child’s extra comfort.
It rolls up easily and secures together with Velcro for easy storage. The carry straps are a real godsend as you’ll always have your hands full when dropping children off.
A really nice feature of the Wildkins nap mats is there are 22 different designs to choose from! Dinosaurs, Superman, Batman, butterflies, princesses and fairies…perfect for all little boys and girls.
They also offer matching lunch boxes and backpacks which to help easily identify your child’s things.
My First Memory have produced a really comfortable kinder mat. It’s specifically designed for kindergarten / daycare and even comes with a blank name tag for you and your little one to personalize. The use of memory foam helps it rate high in the comfort stakes.
Another good feature is the removable cover than can be machine-washed. There are quite a few reports of “Pilling” – where all the padding gets bunched up in the wash. With this mat, you don’t need to wash the cushioning so it won’t happen.
The removable pillow also provides great head support to ensure your preschooler gets plenty of rest during nap-time.
The Angeles Nap Mat is recommended by a number of Kindergartens / Day Care centers across the country. It has also qualified for “Greenguard Gold” certification, which protects children from harmful products in classrooms and schools. So, it’s safe, but is it comfortable?
Well, the big selling feature of this kindergarten mat is the extra thickness and width. Most kinder mats are only around 1 inch thick. Over time, they will flatten out and provide less comfort for your little one. The Angeles is a 2 inch thick nap mat. This gives it more comfort and durability. Particularly if your kindergarten / day care center puts the mats on a wooden floor.
If you value safety and comfort over a cute Disney character, this is the one for you. Besides, you can always add stickers & transfers to the mat to brighten it up a bit.
If you’re buying for several kids, (or perhaps can club together with other parents) or for a kindergarten / daycare center you can make some great savings buying in bulk.
These kindermats from ECR4kids are available in singles or as packs of 5. They are very similar in size and design to the Angeles Mat we reviewed above.
The main difference is these mats have an attached name tag. You can also choose if you prefer a 3 fold or 4 fold design and 1 inch or 2 inches thick.
So, it happened again this week. My two children (aged 3 and 1) were actually “playing” together and not biting, clawing and generally being disagreeable. And then it happened. My daughter rocked...
So, it happened again this week. My two children (aged 3 and 1) were actually “playing” together and not biting, clawing and generally being disagreeable.
And then it happened. My daughter rocked her small play chair and bumped her head on the padded floor. The chair was around 12″ off the ground and she went backwards before my Olympic-dash from the other side of the room reached her.
The resulting fall caused a small bump on the top of her head and a massive amount of worry for me! (It’s safe to say that particular chair is now in the trash…)
After her tears had died down, I searched online for information around when to worry and take a toddler to the hospital.
If you scroll down, you’ll find the infographic that I’ve had put together.
Now, if your baby has bumped their head on your watch (and if you have kids I’m betting you have) the first thing you might think to do is to get some ice.
As much as toddlers love ice-cream, they seem to hate ice pressed against their skin! This causes more crying and increases the danger of my other child adding to the furore with tears of his own.
Anyway, I digress but I’m sure all the moms out there have similar soundtracks to accompany their thoughts of “Just what the hell should I do next?!”
My mind goes back to a couple of recent incidents. In an attempt to soothe my baby girl, I recently stood close to the French Doors and gave a running commentary of things outside.
I was standing close to the door, as she likes to play hide and seek with the curtain. BAM! Like a scene right out of a Zombie movie, she butted the door!
She also managed to bump her head a couple of weeks ago, too. She’s only been walking for the last 2 – 3 months and is literally finding her feet. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be there when she needs them sometimes!
She had a small fall and banged her head on the kitchen door 🙁
Unfortunately, toddlers also hit their heads on purpose from time to time! My son had a couple of incidents when he was throwing a temper tantrum marathon around 6 months ago.
He would collapse to the floor in a fit if rage, wailing and flailing about, shouting short sentences that began and ended with “NO!”. His head struck the floor several times during those fateful few months
Probably like you, I google to see if my kids are aberrations of nature. I found that 20 % of toddlers purposefully bang their heads, and boys are 2/3 times more likely than girls.
This is the big question, isn’t it? It’s hard to control the natural mothering instinct.
My initial reaction is to gather my little one up in my arms and run barefoot and shrieking to the ER. Thankfully, I have found this impulse lessons with experience. Especially after having a second baby.
That’s not to say I’ve become blase about my kids injuring themselves. Far from it. I’ve just learned to accept (through experienced marked by many tears – both theirs and mine!) that accidents happen.
You can baby proof as much as humanly possible, and they’ll still find some inventive way to hurt themselves. It’s what toddlers do. And when there’s two of them. Double Trouble!
On one visit to our pediatrician, our son had banged his head a day or so before. I mentioned it to the doctor, and he explained have common it was. He also gave me some things to watch out for.
To be honest, it’s a few things to remember. Compulsive googler that I am I found some further information but it wasn’t presented well. I don’t want to read an essay when I have crying children and trying to find something online quickly!
So what I did was get an infographic made of the things you need to look out for if your baby bumps their head. I hope you like it, and if you find it useful please share it with other parents!
Whilst I’m pleased with how the infographic turned out, it’s a bit brief! You may be wondering what “BehavorialChanges” could actually happen following a head injury.
Well, things to look out for are your child becoming irritable, anxious, more demanding and frustrated, changed sleeping patterns and mood swings.
I must admit, these do all sound like pretty standard toddler behavior, but I guess the message is to watch out for any changes!
Unfortunately, the above graphic does miss out a couple of very important points.
Firstly, the best way to prevent toddler head injuries is constant supervision. Considering it takes less than a second for a toddler to, well, “Toddle” it’s hard. But we do the best we can.
Something we can ensure is to never use a baby walker and tell others to do the same!
Why do I say this? Well, baby walkers are actually banned in Canada and they should be banned here, too.
Way back in 2001, The American Academy of Pediatrics warned that baby walkers caused tens of thousands of injuries every year – some fatal.
Head injuries were most common, with 10% of children admitted to the ER suffering a fractured skull.
Over in Europe, a 5-year study found that over 90% of injuries sustained were to the head. And 2/3 of these injuries resulted in brain damage, a fractured skull or concussion.
Frightening stuff, and it begs the question, “Why are they still legal in the US?”
If you’d like this kind of toy, I’d suggest Exersaucers as being a safer option.
Have you got any Baby Bump (of the less pleasant kind) stories to share? I’d love to here your tips, stories or comments!
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