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Tips&Tricks

If Your Baby Is Having Trouble Sleeping, This Is What You Need to Know

 
Every mother, whether she just had her first baby or is already a seasoned „professional“, is familiar with the importance of sleep.

There‘s no doubt that you have been doing a lot of reading and research in preparation for your baby‘s arrival and it might seem like you know everything there is to know about their sleep requirements and useful tips to help them have a proper rest.

But the truth is that most of us still get flustered once the theory has to be put into practice.

Tired mother photo

It‘s not a failure on your part – this is a natural response of your understandably tired body and mind.

You may have hardly slept a wink during the night and you find yourself cradling a baby who is crying for a reason that you just cannot understand. This is the exact moment when all of the knowledge that you have accumulated flies out of the window.

Take it easy

Take a deep breath and try your best not to panic.

In the tips below, we have condensed the most important pieces of information and the most reliable techniques of soothing your newborn back to sleep.

The sleep-wake cycle

First of all, you have to remember that the circadian rhythm (the sleep-wake cycle) of a baby differs from that of an adult.

There are significant differences even between newborns, one-year-olds and toddlers.

happy baby smiling while sleeping

An infant‘s sleep cycles, for example, are extremely short and the period between light and deep sleep usually lasts no more than an hour. Even during this period, sounds, movement, hunger and other minor disturbances can wake the newborn up, as he is still very sensitive to stimulation.

Once the baby reaches the mark of the third month and up until s/he is one year old, their requirements shift to a much longer period – it is absolutely normal if the baby is sleeping around 12 hours a night, in addition to frequent naps. Toddlers aged from one to three years old become even more sleepy and need up to 14 hours of shut-eye.

Sleep regressions

These patterns represent an accepted norm – however, it does not mean that your baby will not need your help to maintain her/his sleeping schedule.

Most babies encounter at least a couple of sleep regressions along the way. The term is used to describe periods when a baby who used to sleep quite well suddenly refuses to stay asleep during the night or the daytime.

These periods usually coincide with major developmental milestones, such as becoming more mobile or experiencing a natural increase in separation anxiety. It is a normal process and definitely not something that you should be worried about.

Below are a few actionable tips to deal with the problem:

Make sure that the setting is not the problem – crib, placement and crib mattress

The process of choosing the right crib and, more importantly, the best baby crib mattress can be confusing and frustrating, especially if you have a restless small sleeper on your hands.

Before you try your luck with some baby-soothing techniques, make sure the problem is not deeper – like the very choice of the crib mattress.

All the comfy swaddling in the world will not help if the sleep-setting is not right from the get-go.

A good, stable crib

In order to ensure that the crib is the right fit for your baby, give it a good shake before purchasing it – the crib has to be as stable as possible.

If it wobbles too much, look for a sturdier one. Avoid cribs with drop sides and bumpers – they might look good on paper, but features like this actually pose a serious hazard to newborn babies.

Where the crib goes

Finding the right spot for the bed is also essential. Make sure to place it further away from windows, blinds and curtains, and avoid direct sunlight.

Choosing the best baby crib mattress

As far as baby mattresses are concerned, one of the most important features to look for is firmness.

check the baby mattress

What might feel comfy under your hand is probably not firm enough for your little one – go for a thick foam, tightly ractheted innerspring mattress or some of the modern mattresses that use unique polymer materials – you can read more about chosing right on TheSleepStudies.com.

The mattress should also fit snugly into the crib. As long as there is some space left between your chosen mattress and the frame of the crib, the bed is considered unsafe and poses a serious risk of entrapment or suffocation.

Some cribs allow the parents to adjust the height of the mattress support – as long as the support itself is sturdy, baby cribs like this are a good choice. However, you should make sure to lower the mattress as soon as your baby begins sitting up.

The power of a dreamfeed

A dreamfeed is the name given to the trick of feeding the baby right before s/he goes to sleep. For newborns especially, it works like a charm and prevents them from waking up too often during the night.

You can confidently use the method during the first few months of the baby‘s life.

Turn up the white noise

As all newborns are extremely sensitive, particularly when it comes to various sounds, drowning those disturbances out is an important technique to master. A repetitive white noise is sure to calm your baby down.

Try placing a fan in the newborn‘s room during the night – but make sure to keep it at a distance so that the air does not blow directly at her/him!

Keep them swaddled

The practice of swaddling has been in use for centuries – and for a good reason!

Up to the age of around five months, newborns experience a startle reflex, which means that they often feel like they are falling. The sensation naturally results in jerking movements and they might wake the baby up.

Using a swaddle prevents that from happening and helps the newborn sleep longer.

Develop a pre-sleep routine

All humans are creatures of habit, but nowhere is that as true as in the case of babies.

A structured and predictable schedule is an essential part of their early growth and this is why having a set pre-sleep routine is so important. Before laying your baby to rest for the night, make sure to repeat the same actions, so that s/he knows that it is time to sleep.

Run a warm bath, read a bedtime story, sing a soothing lullaby, place her/him in a swaddle and take the time to cuddle. A lot of mothers also swear by the trick of saying their sleepy words.

The latter have to be short and consistent – something along the lines of ‘I love you. Sweet dreams!‘ is more than enough. They work as an additional cue which lets your baby know that s/he can drift off to sleep.

Keep calm and plan

Bringing a baby into the world is one of the most exciting experiences that anybody can have, and it is a shame that it is too often overshadowed by sleep deprivation and general exhaustion of all the members of the immediate family.

The key to overcoming it is patience and a solid plan – hopefully, the few tips above will help you craft one.

Tips&Tricks

Helpful Tips for Feeding Your Family On Vacation

 

Traveling with your family is so rewarding, but it can also cause a bit of stress. After finding transportation, beds and activities for everyone, you still have to decide how you’ll feed them, too.

But dining with your family — or preparing food for them — doesn’t have to be a cause of pre-travel jitters. Instead, the following XX tips can help you plan menus that make everyone happy.

Helpful Tips for Feeding Your Family On Vacation

1. Budget Your Meals Beforehand

It’s so easy to overspend on food, especially on vacation. You might have a plan to stick to mains only, or to have your kids order exclusively from the children’s menu, but eyes bigger than stomachs have you buying extra, over-budget food.

In order to avoid this stressor, lay out your budget before you go on vacation. Start by choosing a location known to be affordable for families, such as San Diego, Niagara Falls or the Outer Banks in North Carolina. From there, break down how much you’d like to spend on accommodation, activities and food. Whatever that number is, stick to it.

2. Research Restaurants Beforehand, Too

We’re lucky enough to live in an age where everything is online. You can find ratings of every restaurant in the area to which you and your family will travel. Before you even set foot in your destination city, you can have an idea of how much a dinner will cost and where you can get budget-friendly meals just by visiting sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp.

On top of that, a bit of pre-trip restaurant research can help you find eateries that every member of your family will enjoy. Peruse menus to make sure they fit your budget and suit picky eaters so all of your mealtimes will be a breeze.

3. Pack a Cooler

You probably know this one already, but it’s worth mentioning again: packing a cooler will help you keep everyone hydrated and sated on long car trips, days at the beach and on camping excursions, too.

Start by making sure what you use to fill the cooler is healthy and filling: snacks like yogurt, hummus, snap peas, graham crackers and dried fruits fit the bill, although you should adjust the menu to suit your family’s particular tastes. Drinks and heartier sandwiches will be key on longer hauls; they’ll also save you time and money since you won’t have to stop at a restaurant.

4. Try the Unbeaten Path

The most touristy areas in any family vacation destination will be, well, flooded with tourists. This means you’ll likely overspend on meals and wait ages for a table. As a parent, you already know how poorly this will be received by your kids.

One of the best tips for finding places to eat on vacation is to go off the beaten path. Again, resources like Trip Advisor can inform you of the hidden gems of where you’re traveling. From there, narrow it down to cuisines your family enjoys and budget-friendly options and voila: you’re having a memorable meal that many other tourists won’t experience.

5. Put Your Chef Hat On

You probably don’t envision yourself in the kitchen while on vacation, but sometimes preparing meals at home is the best option for families who travel. If you’ve rented a room or property with an equipped kitchen, then you can easily feed your small army. Dishes like chili, tacos, baked potatoes and pesto-laden pasta casseroles are proven to be easy-to-make, hearty vacation crowd pleasers.

If you don’t want to make every meal at home, compromise by serving breakfast and lunch before going out to eat, or marking a few special occasions when you’ll eat out. Eating at home will make your life a bit easier, though, and make it easier to please everyone in your party.

6. Bring All the Tools You Need

Whether you’ll make entire meals or just a few baby milk bottles at your vacation home, are sure you don’t leave any equipment behind. That way, you won’t be stuck without a fully functioning kitchen and forced to go out to eat without taking all of the above steps to find the perfect places for your family to eat. Most vacation homes come with stocked kitchens, but if you need something that’s a bit quirky, call the landlord ahead of time to see if it’s in the kitchen.

7. Have Some Fun

Finally, as we mentioned before, be sure to treat yourself to at least a few good meals out while you’re on vacation. Grab an ice cream cone for the beach or a few extra bags of marshmallows for campfire s’mores. Vacation isn’t an excuse to completely blow your finances, but you should certainly let your hair down and have fun: your family will follow suit, and, once that happens, we guarantee everyone will have a great time — and enjoy the food, too.

 

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

Tips&Tricks

Parenting Apps: How Your Mobile Can Help You Parent!

 
The wide range of apps currently in the market covers pretty much everything, but for the parents out there your life is about to get a lot easier! With everything from monitoring your baby to money management, all of the most recent mobile app development will have you feeling more prepared than ever.

Parenting Apps: How Your Mobile Can Help You Parent!

Parenting Apps

Baby Monitors

There are now a vast range of baby monitor apps available out there. In shops, the cost of your average baby monitor has skyrocketed with newer technology, and so for those on a lower budget they sometimes just aren’t affordable. With the apps, you can leave your phone, iPad or tablet upstairs and link it to your phone downstairs quickly and easily. This is a much cheaper alternative to a must-have item.

Story Apps

Access a wide choice of bedtime stories on these apps, which lets infants be interactive with stories to create an ambient atmosphere ideal for bedtime. Make sure to turn the brightness down and also to put on night mode, as this will prevent the bright light and blue toned light from keeping your child awake and will assist in a smooth bed time routine!

Recipe Books

If you’re ever stuck for something to cook for dinner, or new ideas for lunches and breakfasts, download a recipe app. There are so many that tailor for all different styles of food and many will also give advice based on dietary requirements. Select the ingredients you have or the meal you’re craving and you’ll have a delicious meal in no time.

Photo Collections

With certain apps, you can easily track your child’s progress and big achievements with pictures. Upload pictures regularly and link with family members or friends so you can share the precious memories of your little one’s childhood and look back.

Make Friends!

New apps mean that mums can help you connect with other mums, organise to meet people and find common interests. This is an amazing option for those who have just moved into a new area, want to contact mums whilst travelling or even just meet new friends at home.

Location, Location, Location

There are many apps dedicated to helping mums find facilities they need near them! Whether you’re looking for the nearest playgrounds, baby changing facilities, places to eat or shops, there are apps to help you find whatever you need, wherever you need. Your can also use apps to keep tabs on your teens!

If there’s anything else you’re looking for, it’s likely you’ll find it in your phone’s app store. Be sure to give some of these a try and see the difference it can make in helping you manage the day to day life of a busy parent!

Tips&Tricks

The Pros and Cons of Pets for Children

There are a number of studies that prove having a pet is beneficial to a child’s emotional, social, physical and cognitive development. One such study that took place in the UK revealed how children who had a dog exercised dog exercised on average 11 minutes more every day than those who didn’t have one. Another study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics proved that young children who had contact with cats and dogs suffered less from respiratory and ear infections than those who lived without pets.

The Pros and Cons of Pets for Children

The Pros and Cons of Pets for Children

The responsibilities

As research appears to indicate, having a pet is beneficial to child development in many ways, which is why it’s important that we take
care of our pets as best as we can. This means ensuring that they are fully covered by an appropriate pet health insurance plan. It also means that we must be fully committed to the responsibilities of having a pet before we make the decision to have one. Even though our children will benefit from having a pet in the house, they might not be able to take full responsibility for its care. Ultimately we need to be ready to take care of our pets in the long-term. We must accept beforehand that the commitment won’t be minimal.

The main benefits

On the upside, running around and interacting with a pet can help children to develop strong motor skills. It can promote physical activity and keep them active. There’s also plenty of evidence to suggest that pets help children to socialize. Interestingly, when Dr. Lisa Wood conducted a study for the University of Western Australia, her findings revealed that cats and dogs are not the only pets that can help children become more sociable. Rabbits and snakes are just two of the household pets that also made the list.
The real beauty of a pet in terms of child development lies in the emotional support that it affords. Animals provide unconditional love and they never judge. They teach children to empathize with others and they provide safe environments in which to make mistakes and express true character without running the risk of not being accepted by others.
An interesting article published by ‘The Week’ also delves into the importance of pets for cognitive development. Children who read aloud to their pets are more likely to develop higher reading skills, according to the results gathered by a study that evaluated a group of second-grade children.

Possible cons to deal with

Even though dogs tend to be a real favorite with children, there’s always the risk of dog bites when small children are involved. There
are a number of breeds that are knowingly gentle with children – including golden retrievers, labradors and beagles – but the possible
risk never goes away and so children with pets must be carefully monitored.

Some parents may find that the death of a pet is an excellent learning curve for children to experience, while others may be concerned about the possible heartbreak that could come from losing a pet at a young age. While children under the age of two might only respond to the pet’s death if he or she senses the stress and sadness in other family members, children between the ages of 5 to 9 already begin to understand death as a permanent state of affairs. As such, the experience could be more traumatic for them.

Choosing the right pet

Choosing the right pet for your child is also very important. Cats and dogs are the most obvious choices, but turtles, birds, gerbils and fish are also great options to consider. While fish don’t offer the cuddly attention that dogs and cats provide, they are really easy for children to take care of and they require very little maintenance.
Birds, on the other hand, are very high maintenance. Their cages need to be cleaned regularly and if your child refuses to take on this responsibility in the long-term, it will become another weekly task to add to your already long list of household chores. The great thing about birds, however, is that they fly. This can be highly entertaining for young children and can get them interested in biology and animal development.

All in all, there are many benefits experienced by children who grow up with pets by their side; benefits that probably outweigh the causesfor concern. The only real question you have to ask yourself is whether you are also willing to make a long-term commitment. Remember… a pet is for life.

Tips&Tricks

Helping Your Family To Stretch Your Budget: Tips for Success

 

It is easy to be tempted by the finer things in life. However, your family does not need “stuff” to be happy. It is important for everyone, however, that you do not live under a cloud of financial debt. If you want to improve your family’s financial situation, the following tips are important to keep in mind to strech budget.

How to stretch your budget

 

How to stretch your budget

  1. Be Prudent When Shopping

Not everyone has the time or energy that it takes to properly utilize coupons. The good news is that you can still save money, even if you do not clip coupons.

First, make it a priority to pick up all of your grocery items for the week in a single trip. If you have to head back to pick up something you forgot, you may buy other products that you don’t need. In addition, you are using up gas.

If you can, try to shop alone. You will be able to pay better attention to what you are doing and how much you are spending. In addition, you won’t be tempted to pick up something extra that the children are begging for.

  1. Write Out Meals Ahead Of Time

If you aren’t prepared for dinner, you are much more likely to head out to pick up fast food for the family. It is less expensive to eat at home, even if you choose the cheapest restaurant around when you go out. In addition, you can feel good about what you are serving your family, all while keeping to your monthly budget.

Planning out your meals will take a few extra minutes of your time. But, doing so will help you all week long, as you will know what your family is eating each day of the week. This allows you to get started with meal preparation quickly and easily. And, if you are having trouble planning on your own, check out meal planners online, most of which are available at no cost to you.

  1. Vacation In Your Own State

There are a lot of glamorous trips that families can go on, but they come with a steep price tag. Rather than traveling out of state, investigate vacation options close to home. You don’t have to stay in a hotel in order to have fun! Clear everyone’s schedule for a few days, and visit local museums, parks and more. You can always save up and go on a vacation in a year. Remember that these moments are about spending time as a family and having fun together. That means that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars. Here are some good tips from Time.

  1. Reuse Rather Than Buying More

Families often purchase disposable products because they are easy to use and don’t cost a lot of money. However, when you add up the cost over time, they can become quite expensive. For example, things like paper plates and sandwich bags are not that expensive initially, but when you look at how much you purchase over the course of a year, you may be shocked at the amount you are spending.

Think about investing in reusable sandwich bags and other similar items. Resist the urge to grab a disposable product and instead investigate if you can get a reusable item instead.

  1. Purchase Used Items

If you have only ever purchased new products, you may initially balk at getting something second-hand. However, there are a lot of great deals to be found, if you are patient and look for the best you can find.

For example, books can be quite expensive but they are a great learning tool for children. You can pick up a number of great stories at the used book shops in your area. Toys are another place where you can save, particularly if you are in the market for a large item, like a bike or a ride-on toy. Sometimes you can find these “big ticket” items in excellent condition, as the previous owners barely used them, so it makes sense to pick them up used.

Tips&Tricks

Ideas on choosing Professional Research Paper Writing Service

At times, students require assistance when it comes to researching and writing their papers.  Finding the right service though can prove to be difficult for a wide array of reasons including:

  • Budgetary Restraints
  • Quality of Content
  • Delivery time

To find the best professional research and writing services online, not everybody has the insight on how to judge which ones are legitimate and which ones are not.  Thus, in the following segment, we’ll be covering the basics of how to identify the best professional research and writing services online to facilitate your process in deciding which service provider you’ll be working with it.  

Professional Research and Writing Services

What to Look for When You’re Looking

First, let’s go over the red flags when it comes to writing and research services which will assist you in weeding out non-viable candidates on your search for a service provider.  Here’s a short list of some of the most common red flags you should look for it.  

  • Lack of Contact Information – If it is difficult for you to get in touch with the service provider, the odds are that they are not to be trusted.  Regardless of whether AdvancedWriters.com looks legitimate, if there are no visible contact details including, email, phone and chat options…it’s probably a scam site.  
  • Negative Reviews – This one is obvious.  To find the reviews you’ll have to do a Google search using the URL of the website and adding the word “reviews.”  To be even more diligent, you can also find (URL + Scam, Rip Off, Consumer Reports, etc. ) It will tell Google to look for negative reviews.  If you find AdvancedWriters.com with minimal or no negative reviews, this is a good sign.  
  • Return Policies – Next, you want to look at the return policies and guarantees AdvancedWriters.com has to offer.  Most legitimate research and writing sites will have some return policy or quality insurance for their clients.  It is because they want to help you.  If a site is lacking these elements, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a scam site. However, it should raise a flag and if this couple with any of the other points mentioned here you should probably avoid purchasing from them.  
  • Lack of Quality Samples – Always checks samples before making a purchase.  If at all possible, from the same writer who will be working on your project.  It will give you insight on the quality the site is providing.  If the quality doesn’t muster up to your expectations, then just do not purchase from the location expecting something better.  

The Benefits of Professional Research Paper Services

Why do people purchase essays or research papers? There are many reasons why a student or an academic might opt in for one of these professional writing services.  

One of the primary reasons why people purchase these services is due to a limitation in time.  Life can get busy.  In this case, the academic opts in to trade cash for the time by having another professional assist him or her with their work.  For many, the research is the most important factor and the fact that a professional writer will organize the ideas on your behalf.  It means you cut down on time and obtain the benefit of a “structure of ideas” which will make the task at hand infinitely easier.  

Secondly, people opt in for these kinds of services due to the difficulty of the subject matter.  Sometimes you hit a wall, and it’s difficult to ‘see things from another perspective.’  Having fresh eyes (the professional writer) take a swing at your project might be the very thing you need to get the ideas flowing once more.  

Finally, many academics aren’t focusing on one particular subject.  When you get to ‘finals,’ you might be overloaded with work, meaning that you’d have to outsource some of the work to hit all your marks.  In this case, having a custom research paper writing service working on your behalf will allow you to hit many birds with one stone (so to speak).  

Is it Ethical?

There are no rules against utilizing third party services to finish your work.  The only real ‘sin’ within the world of academia is plagiarism.  Using online resources like quality writing services is just good time management.  

If you still have an issue with the moral nature of writing services, you could always use them merely for the research aspect and then re-write the document in your style.  It completely removes the moral boundaries from utilizing these services.  

After all, most researchers rely on others to help them conduct their research.  There are very few people who undergo these tasks all by they are lonesome.  Thus, you don’t have to worry about the moral nature of online research paper writing services.  

Hopefully, this helped you in knowing how to identify legitimate sources and the value of using these kinds of services.