21 May 2018

Signs You're Ready To Become A First Time Parent

You might know that you want kids one day, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to become a parent. Being a parent, especially a first time parent, will be one of the most transformational experiences of your entire life. Having a small human, a small piece of yourself to look after is an eye opening experience and will teach you a lot. Here are the signs to look out for that will give you an indication of whether you’re ready for this experience or not:

You’re Willing To Make Sacrifices
There’s no denying that having a baby comes with making sacrifices. You’ll be sacrificing your sleep - be prepared to feel exhausted for the next 18 years. You’ll also need to sacrifice money and a few of the luxuries you have enjoyed thus far if you don’t have an unlimited budget. Babies are expensive, and get even more expensive as they grow up!

You’re Doing It For The Right Reasons
There are right reasons to have a baby, and questionable reasons to have a baby. A baby doesn’t keep a relationship or a marriage together. Don’t bring a baby into the mix if you and your partner aren't happy. Things will become even more challenging. You know deep in your heart whether you’re doing this for the right reasons or not.


You Have The Capacity To Love
A child needs unlimited amounts of love, so you need to make sure you have the capacity to accept their love and offer all you have to them. Kids that don’t feel loved grow up to have issues, to say the least. Loving yourself is an extremely important factor too. Your child will learn how to love from you, and you can bet they’ll learn to feel the same way about themselves as you do about yourself. Perhaps you know you have the capacity to love, but you want to give that love to a child that is already here and hasn’t experienced much of it. You can visit FundYourAdoption.org for details and get an idea of whether doing this is a good fit for you. Sometimes, giving a child like this a better life is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

You Know How To Take Care Of Yourself 
You need to be able to take good care of yourself before you become a parent. You’ll have yourself and another little person to take care of when you have a baby, and it’ll go on day after day after day. You won’t get a break!

You And Your Partner Have Discussed it At Length
You need to make sure your partner is on the same page as you. You might be ready, but if they’re not, you can expect problems. Don’t just expect them to come around once you’re pregnant!

You Get Broody And Envious When Other Friends Have Babies
It’s normal to feel broody sometimes, but if you find yourself feeling like this more often than not, you might just be ready for your own.

16 May 2018

How To Stay Healthy During Your Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, you always want to make sure that you’re as healthy as possible. Not only do you want to be able to feel your best, but you also want to ensure that your baby is healthy too. It can feel like a lot of pressure, but you’ll be glad to know that staying healthy doesn’t actually have to be hard. So let’s take a look at some of the things that can help you here.

1. Stay Active

First of all, you really do have to make sure that you’re staying active. You may be tired and you may be achy (especially in the third trimester), but don’t let that stop you. If you are going to be able to keep your body healthy, staying active is important. Unless your doctor has advised you otherwise.

2. Stay Stress Free

Stress is a huge harm to your health. And this is something that you definitely want to avoid when you’re pregnant to stay healthy. So now you have the perfect excuse to rest more, pamper yourself in the evenings, and avoid difficult situations. All in the name of your pregnancy!

3. Focus On Vitamins

And finally, you know that you need to be eating well to nourish your body and fuel your baby’s growth during pregnancy, but you also need to focus on the right vitamin intake. Just take a look at the infographic below to see what this should be. When you can nail your nutrition and vitamins here, you’ll definitely stay healthy.


Infographic Design By Prenatals.com

13 May 2018

Transitions You Will Have to Guide Your Baby Through


Any parent will be able to tell you that babies grow quickly. Many will joke that all you have to do is blink and suddenly they’re grown adults, moving out, getting married, and having little ones of their own. While this is a slight exaggeration, it can often feel like changes are taking place at a rapid pace and it’s difficult to keep up. However, there are ways to make things a little more manageable. Everything becomes a whole lot more simple if you are prepared for the upcoming changes that your baby is going to go through. This allows you to tackle situations as they arise rather than slipping into panic and the situation passing before you have the chance to get to grips with it. So, to help you along the way, here are a few key stages and transitions that your little one will go through and how to help them through each.

Swaddling

Swaddling is an ancient practice that still proves extremely popular today. It involves snugly wrapping your baby in a thin blanket. This is said to help your baby to feel safe and secure, as they can’t move around excessively or roll over easily. It can help to soothe your baby and even reduce excessive crying (which will doubtless appeal to new parents who are desperate for a decent night’s sleep). However, a stage will come when your baby will need to start transitioning from swaddling. You will be able to tell that your kid is ready to give up swaddling by observing their behavior. If they seem desperate to escape their swaddle, fidgeting, and wiggling, it may be time to ditch the swaddling. But you should do this in stages rather than completely removing the swaddle from their routine all at once. Try leaving one arm out, then the other and slowly doing away with it.

Weaning

Weaning may prove to be a little harder than transitioning from swaddling. It’s the process in which a baby is weaned off milk and onto solid foods. Weaning generally starts when your baby reaches six months of age, and at this time it’s a good idea to introduce your baby to subtle new tastes and textures. Soft baby porridges are a good place to start. You can then start introducing foods that are specially formulated for babies, such as jarred baby food. These are easy for your little one to consume, but it helps to get them used to stronger flavors, such as apple, strawberry, carrot, and other vegetables. If you’re ever concerned about weaning, contact your doctor or your health visitor. They will be able to give you more in-depth information that is specifically tailored to your baby.

While helping your baby to transition from one habit into another may feel a little daunting or intimidating, they are essential processes that you will have to focus on at some point or another. These are just two examples. There are plenty of other transitions that you’ll face down the line!

08 May 2018

4 Ways to Support New Moms

Motherhood is truly a journey and it hits a woman as soon as the baby arrives. If you have a close friend who is making the transition into motherhood, consider these four ways you can support her and help her feel loved at the start of her new journey.

4 Ways to Support New Moms

1. Cook a few meals.
The baby is finally here, but the mother still needs to eat. Find out what some of her favorite foods are. Cook those dishes and bring them over to her home. If she loves food from a specific restaurant, order it and have it delivered to her home. She'll love the chance to enjoy a good meal without standing in the kitchen to make it.

2. Offer to babysit.
Pregnancy can really change a woman's body. Furthermore, labor and delivery can really be an intense experience. A new mother deserves a massage. To be kind and considerate, purchase a gift card to a local spa. Send the mother to get a nice massage and stay with her baby while she enjoys the massage. Babysit so that she can get a few hours to herself. Even if that means that you babysit while she goes in the other room and takes a nap, give her the opportunity to get some rest while you take care of the baby.

3. Send a few gifts.
Send a few gifts to let her know that you're thinking of her. Sometimes, when a new mother is in the trenches of the first few months, they can tend to feel like they're alone. Even if they're not alone, they're not getting a lot of sleep and might feel a bit delusional. Order nut gift baskets so she can get some protein on the go. Send a stunning bouquet of roses to brighten her home and her day. If you know a few of her favorite places to shop, send gift cards from those stores, so she can enjoy some shopping time.

4. Give her some space.
Now, it's important to remember that a new mother is dealing with a lot of stress. It's a new season of her life. She has a newborn that requires a lot of care. She's also not getting much rest. Be understanding and respectful of her time. More than likely, she's not going to want to hang out late at night. She's probably not going to want to go shopping with the baby. When you're constantly inviting her out or calling her, it can get potentially annoying. Consider having a conversation with her before the baby comes. Let her know that you're there for her if she needs you. At the same time, you're also going to give her time and space to bond with her baby. Let her be the one to say that she wants you to come around a lot. Otherwise, be considerate of her need for space.

07 May 2018

Is It Okay To Be A Helicopter Mom?

You’ve all heard of lionesses and their instincts to protect their cubs. They swat their babies if they’re out of line. They make their kill and feed their cubs first. They’d die to stop them from being hurt by another animal in the world. It’s possible that many women don’t understand this instinct until they have children of their own. The thing is, there is a marked difference from being an overprotective, helicopter parent than there is for just being mindful of your children around you. There are a lot of parents in the world today that are far more protective of their children than ever before. You only have to ask a group of mothers whether they would allow their children to play out in the street at age five – like you did – and you’ll get a resounding NOPE.


The world is a scary place now because of the information that we get in an instant. Social media is to thank for the ease of access to information, but thirty years ago it wasn’t so easy. Children played in the streets and went out with their friends from sun up until sun down. They went over to neighbor's homes to play and enjoy sleepovers with friends and this isn’t the world that we live in right now. We are too informed about the dangers in the world and information is scary, which makes almost every mother a helicopter without even meaning to be. The problem is that there are parents that can hover too much. Teachers in schools set homework for the children to do, and the parents end up doing it for them so that their work can be the best. Children don’t get the chance to spread their wings and go for that sleepover, because parents haven’t seen the background check of the neighbors. No matter what children are doing, parents are always ready to catch them.

Here is the thing: children are GOING to fall down. Children are GOING to fail at their homework sometimes. Children are GOING to fall out with their friends. Parents can only do so much to protect them while still trying to prepare them for the big bad world out there. There is not one parent out there that doesn’t mean well; all parents mean well when it comes to their children. We don’t want them to be hurt by anyone or anything. It’s why we invest in the correct car seats, such as the ones mentioned on The Burp Cloth, and we argue with others who aren’t using those car seats. It’s why we invest our time in learning the rules of a safe crib before our babies are born, so that we don’t put them at risk of anything. It’s also why we carry first aid kits in our handbags, so that plasters are at the ready even in the park. Parents should always get involved in their children’s lives as a positive beacon among all the confusion of growing up. They should help their children to understand what is safe around them, instead of hovering over them and snatching anything remotely unsafe away. It means hanging back at the park, so that if they struggle on the climbing frames, they get the chance to learn how to get through it rather than be rescued.


Being a helicopter parent can be damaging. There is a fine line between saving your children from falling down and carrying them on and off the playpark equipment. Hovering around and waiting for your children to fail is going to give them a complex that they shouldn’t have to try, because mom and dad will be there to pick up the pieces. There are so many different reasons that parents are compelled to be overprotective when it comes to their children. Sometimes it’s down to their own anxieties that their children aren’t going to be happy all the time – but what child is happy every day? So, what are the most common reasons that parents are overprotective of their children?

Control. When you’ve spent the first year of your child’s life keeping them fed, warm, clean and happy, it can be hard to let them take those first steps without the million pillows on the floor to catch them when they fall. Parents can’t control terrorists. We can’t control the killers or the pedophiles that we read in the newspaper on an almost daily basis. We can’t control the bullies at school when we are at work. However, we can control where are children play and with whom they play.

Speed. Most parents take over whatever their children are doing because it’s easier than waiting for their child to do something at a snail’s pace. Shoelaces, clothes, eating food; it’s always easier to take over and do it for them. It’s nice, but it’s the best way to hinder your children from learning how to do something themselves.

Failure. Parents may seem like superheroes to their children, but they’re the ones that fear failure the most. We don’t want our children to feel inadequate or wrong for even a moment. The thing is, failures build character. They help our children to learn the right way to do things and they ensure that we are doing everything we can to help them learn. Even if we do have to bite our hands off to stop interfering.

Acceptance. There are a group of helicopter parents out there that want to live vicariously through their kids. They get invested in school projects and they won’t allow their children to get involved, as they want to be accepted by the school community. It’s hard for some parents to realize that they have had their time, and this is their child’s time to be in the spotlight.

Parenthood is hard. You are constantly bombarded by safety regulations and rules and then told to step back and stop being protective. The real difficulty is to find the balance between protectiveness and hovering; once you find it, live it. Your children will thank you for it.