Category Archives: Ponderings of a Parent

Baby proofing your house: Living room edition

Is your baby almost 6 months old, and will soon start crawling? If so, it’s time to create the most baby-friendly living room. Read on, as we shed light on some of the most important baby proofing tips for your living room

A clean house is an essential first step towards maintaining a safe house. In our previous blog “Baby proofing your house: Nursery Edition” we shared five insightful tips to help parents in creating a safe haven for their little ones. Before you know it, your little one will start crawling and following you everywhere you go! And, while you are not paying attention, they will lurk around and notice even the smallest things that no parent would otherwise think could cause any harm to their little munchkins. In this blog we will share stories of some parents who eventually learned from their mistake

baby biting plastic cup
  1. Get high and get low… literally
    Carolina from Southern California is a mother of four and a self-described “clean freak”. Since day one, Carolina instilled in her little ones to clean up after themselves, pick up their toys after playing, and to not leave a mess behind. She says, when you are cleaning, try to get a high-level view of what is in the living room and make sure that there are no potentially dangerous objects in the area. Finally, try to see the living room from your little one’s viewpoint. Small objects that would usually go unnoticed to most adults could be especially dangerous to your little ones.

  2. Bring out the interior designer in you
    Growing babies like to play with anything and everything around the house. Nancy from North Dakota, a mom of two, has travelled to over 45 countries and collected numerous priceless souvenirs and artifacts. The day she realized that, to her little one, everything in her house was a toy, she was determined to make her house the most child-friendly playground in the city. She started by covering all of the sharp corners and edges in her home with foam protectors. She invested in cord clips, and a cabinet with aftermarket door locks to showcase (and lock off) her prized possessions.storkcraft dressers 4 and 6 drawer dresser
    Storkcraft Alpine 6 drawer Dresser and Storkcraft Alpine 4 Drawer Dresser

  3. Buckle up and anchor down
    As your little “Neil Armstrong” explores the new planet around them, they will creep and crawl around every single corner of the house. As your little one learns how to stand up and walk, they will most likely try to support themselves by grabbing onto the objects around them. Buying furniture that complies with federal anti-tipping standards, and utilizing furniture anchors can help you to avoid numerous injuries for your little one. Anchoring big objects like your TV and TV stand, and even securing the fireplace are some basics examples of baby proofing your living room.
  4. Easy Walk-Thru Wooden Safety Gate

  5. Mark your territory
    Most seasoned parents know that, as soon as your little one starts crawling or walking, the word “privacy” does not really exist. Your little one will follow you around, no matter where you go! Maya, a stay-at-home mom from Ohio, says that she cannot even use the restroom without her 1-year old daughter following her there! At this stage, things can get especially dangerous around the kitchen, which has made cooking an impossible task for Maya. One essential to baby proofing your living room is clearly marking the “safe zones” for your little one. Using safety gates makes it easy to keep your little one safe, and keep them within their marked territories.

  6. Tips from our previous blog
    In our previous blog Baby proofing your house: Nursery Edition”we covered two essentials that you should follow when baby proofing your house in general. Windows, doors, and power outlets are in every corner of your home, and are essential for your maintaining your little one’s safety. Doors and windows are a major source of dust that inevitably enters your home, and covering power outlets is essential for your little one’s safety.

Baby proofing your house should be considered a non-negotiable top priority as soon as your baby can sit without support. Remember – to your little one, your home is one big playground! Although it is fun to watch your little one play, their safety will give you peace of mind. Stay tuned to our blog for the next edition of baby proofing your house.

Baby proofing your house: Nursery Edition

It’s time to put on your super-mom and super-dad capes: babyproofing your house should have should have been completed yesterday!

Have you ever wondered what your little ones are up to when you are not around? Have they already mastered the art of rolling over and holding up their head? Have you ever left them lying on their back and, within two seconds, they are already on their belly playing with their toys. We have gathered tips from expert parents to help you prepare for your children’s safety! To start, baby proofing your house begins in the nursery.

  1. Location of the crib in the nursery
    The most convenient location for your baby’s crib is right next to your nursery door. This will be especially useful when your baby calls for you in the middle of the night. One mistake to certainly avoid is keeping the crib next to the window: as much as we would like for our little one to get enough sunlight, the window can be hazardous to your little one. As children begin to sit or stand up, they often try to support themselves with objects in their surroundings. Because of this, window blinds can be especially hazardous at this stage. Windows also can be a haven for dust, insects, and hot or cold temperatures. For your child’s health and safety, it is important that the crib is located in the right spot.Espresso Crib and Dresser in the Nursery room

    Portofino Convertible Crib and Changer

  2. Using the right furniture in the nursery
    The toddler stage is one of the cutest and most fun stages in childhood, as your little one begins to speak, crawl, walk, etc. As a parent, you know that a simple “boo boo” hurts you more than it hurts them. Choosing the right furniture is crucial when baby proofing your nursery. Make smart decisions, and choose furniture that meets anti-tipping standards, has soft edges, and utilizes anti-tipping brackets for additional safety benefits to prevent any accidents.
    White crib and white dresser in a gender neutral nursery room

    Alpine 4 Drawer Dresser

  3. Don’t forget about outlets
    When we were kids, our parents told us not to play with fire. What did we do? Well, some of us learned it the hard way! Don’t allow your child to make the same mistake. Use safety outlet covers, or simply cover up the power outlets with tape, to prevent dangerous accidents.
    Baby playing with the outlet

    Image courtesy of Flickr.com and then modified

  4. Choose the right mattress
    There are so many mattresses available today that it is hard to know which one is best for your baby’s growth and development. Most doctors recommend that your baby’s crib mattress should be firm and breathable. Mattresses that are too soft or low in breathability can increase the risk of suffocation. When buying a mattress, it is highly recommended that you look for one that is high in breathability and is not too soft.
    Baby mattress

    Graco Premium Mattress

  5. What’s inside the crib
    The constant excitement and ever-present urge to clean and decorate while awaiting the arrival of your newborn! While we love the idea of using decorative pillows, blankets, soft toys, crib bumpers, and other cuddly things for our baby’s crib, these items can prove to be risky for your baby’s safety. Most of these items are low in breathability and present a choking hazard. Baby proofing your nursery should be the first step to baby proofing your house.
    Pink nursery room/blue nursery room

    Image courtesy of Flickr.com and then modified

If you are a new parent or a soon to be one, baby proofing your house should be your top priority. Remember – to your little one, your home is one big playground! Although it is fun to watch your little ones play, almost anything can present a hazard to them; it is imperative to prioritize safety. Simple precautions like using door stoppers, ensuring the windows are properly closed, and many of the tips above can prevent major accidents.

Stay tuned to our blog for more safety tips for your little one around the house.

6 fun activity ideas for kids with busy parents

Ever wonder what you would do if you had the same energy as your little one? Kids are a total powerhouse and can run around for hours without taking a break! For busy parents, it is especially hard to come up with fun activity ideas for kids that will not completely drain their energy. Here are 6 fun activities you can enjoy with your kids that can indeed be relaxing for you and also teach them some valuable life lessons. 

  1. Silly faces photo album
    This might sound silly to some parents as we always want to capture that perfect moment! What we often forget is that there is perfection in imperfection. Kids love to dress up and make silly faces (especially in those important family photos!), so why not let them create a photo album of their own? This will keep them occupied and could be a mini project that they execute from the beginning to the end.
    Silly Faces Fun activity ideas for kids with busy parents
  2. Playing hide and seek
    This is one of the most fun activity ideas for kids with busy parents. It’s a lot of fun, there are lots of giggles and smiles, but most importantly, it teaches your kids how to count. To make it more fun and learning oriented, instead of counting kids could also do ABC or recite nursery rhymes while you find your hiding spot.
    Hide and Seek Kids with busy parents storkcraft
  3. Let them do the shopping
    Coming up with fun activity ideas for kids should also involve learning. Money management is one of the most important skills that many people lack. Give your kids a small fixed expense budget which they can choose to either spend or save is a great way to start this learning process. When you let your kids do the shopping, it helps them learn how to prioritize what they really want versus what they really need.
  4. Make them your personal photographer
    We take so many pictures of our kids that we often forget to take pictures of ourselves. Kids love to act like adults, talk like adults, and get involved with everything that mom and dad do! Giving them the responsibility to take pictures when you go out for a stroll gives them a sense of accomplishment and most importantly it’s cute and fun for everyone!
  5. Outdoor inflatable pool party
    Is there a more relaxing sight than kids playing and splashing around in their inflatable pool while you relax and get a tan or sip on orange juice in your backyard? This is one of the most fun and relaxing activities to do with your kids in the summer. If it gets too hot, then you can crash their inflatable pool party and play with them! To make it more fun you add bath toys and inflatable toys to keep the kids occupied.
  6. Dance till your shoes fall off!
    Dancing is one of the most fun activities for kids as they can do a happy dance, I’m really bored dance, I just finished playing dance, or simply just dance because they can. Dancing is a skill, a workout, and it encourages group participation. Having a secret mom and son dance or daughter and daddy dance can especially build a bonding relationship and memories that they will cherish when they grow up.

When coming up with fun activity ideas for kids, keep in mind that there is beauty in simplicity. Kids are still exploring this big world and learning something new every day. Even something as simple as playing board games, card games, or even Jenga could turn into a fun family activity for kids. The key to a successful fun activity for kids is the one that involves bringing the family together.

5 Things to Look for When Buying a Baby Mattress

Baby Mattress Shopping Tips

The mattress is the foundation of the crib, the place where your little one will rest and grow. With your infant spending many hours on their mattress, it’s important to buy one that is certified to be safe. The tips below include which safety features to look for when buying a baby mattress, such as certification, and mattress size and firmness. Also included are additional features such as built-in ventilation and moisture resistance, which will help you get the most benefits from your crib mattress.

5 Important Features of Baby Mattresses

Safety Standards
Only purchase a crib and toddler mattress that is proven to meet safety standards. Crib mattresses for sale in the United States must be certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). In Canada, crib mattresses must meet federal government regulations. Crib mattresses free from lead and phthalates help make the nursery a safe and comforting space. Features like organic materials and anti-microbial properties provide additional peace of mind.

Firm Foam
Babies require firm mattresses that hold their shape and spring back quickly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission explains that soft sleeping surfaces create a suffocation hazard. The quick rule of thumb is that if the mattress is comfy for you, then it’s too soft for your developing infant.

Size
Check if the mattress will fit standard cribs, convertible cribs, and toddler beds. A proper fit is important to ensure your child does not get stuck in between the crib and mattress. In the United States, crib mattresses must be at least 27.3 by 51.6 inches, and maximum 6 inches thick. Too big a mattress will make it difficult to change sheets. Too tall means your child could climb out of their crib, and too small means the gap between the crib and mattress could be harmful. A good bet is to buy Crib and Mattress combos from retailers.

Ventilation
Small vents throughout the mattress allow for increased airflow, which prevents mold and mildew from trapped moisture. We know babies can get stinky, and vents stop odors from staying in the mattress. Finally, ventilation allows for temperature control, keeping the mattress comfortable for your little one throughout the seasons.

Water Resistant Cover
To help make midnights messes easier, look for a crib mattress with a water-resistant cover or lining. This extra feature allows the mattress to stay hygienic and comfortable for your little one and makes clean-up easy. With a water-resistant layer, soggy diapers, tears, or any other moisture would not be a problem for the mattress.

Shopping for a mattress is a crucial part of nursery planning. This item will directly affect your baby’s health and growth. Look for these 5 features when choosing a crib mattress for your baby, to ensure that is safe, easy to use, and provides the most important benefits for you and your child.

Top 5 Halloween Costumes for Your Little One

Halloween is just around the corner, so now it’s time to get creative with your little one’s costume! Whether it’s your child’s first-time trick-or-treating or if you’re just looking for the precious photo opportunity, we’ve got some ideas in store for you.

5) Pumpkin

Image Courtesy of Outfit Ideas HQ

Why not dress up your little pumpkin as a pumpkin? Cute, round and snuggly, the pumpkin makes an adorable costume that can be used throughout the fall season. Fit for both genders, reuse this costume at Thanksgiving and your baby will surely be the center of attention!

4) Elsa (Frozen)

Image Courtesy of iwantimage.com

Fit for a princess, your little girl will be thrilled to be Disney’s favorite snow queen! This costume works even better if your little one likes to sing!

3) Captain Underpants

The easy, affordable and low-maintenance costume option. All you need is underwear and a cape! This one works especially well if your little one has not grown in their hair yet!

2) Jail Break 

Image Courtesy of Costume Works

Prisoner on the loose! Has your little one just committed 9 months of hard time? If so, better lock up your little one in this adorable, striped onesie.

1) Condiments 

Image Courtesy of Pop Sugar

Adorable and extra delicious… Dress up your twins (or besties) as your favorite condiments! Ketchup and Mustard, or maybe Sriracha and Soy Sauce! All you need are bright onesies and label-making skills!