Posts from the ‘Tips & Advice’ Category

Keep the Yucky Away: 5 Tips to Avoid the Flu This Season

Flu season is starting, and that means lots of germs floating around. Babies are particularly susceptible to the flu while their immune systems are developing.

Although every child will be exposed to some germs and sickness, there’s a lot you can do to minimize it. We gathered a few top tips from pediatricians to help you avoid as many of those nasty flu germs as possible. 

Kids often seem like germ magnets, but these tips will help you fight as many sick germs as possible!

Tummy Time: When Laying Around is Actually Working!

Although crawling seems simple to us now, it’s a complex process that babies have to learn as a first step to walking. Experts say your little one’s style can be all his or her own — what matters is that he or she learns movement. And that movement starts with tummy time.

By playing on their bellies, babies develop core muscle strength that helps them learn to crawl. When you’re playing with your little one, you can place a toy slightly out of reach so he or she can experiment with moving toward the toy.

Supervised tummy time makes for happier babies and teaches them valuable skills at the same time!

Organizing the Nursery the DIY Way!

We’ve all drooled over the fancy custom furniture and organizers designed to keep the nursery neat, haven’t we? But there are so many ways to make your own cute nursery organizers! Here are a few to try.

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Create drawer dividers with small baskets. Baby clothes are tiny! You can make them easier to find by dividing up your drawers with baskets to separate items.

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Use a shoe organizer to store small items on the back of a door. Shoe organizers are perfect for accessories. And they come in fun colors that you can match to the nursery!

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Make storage bins from diaper boxes. You don’t have to buy expensive bins for storage! You can make your own from empty diaper boxes.

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Get great use of your wall space with adorable bucket-shelves. These precious little shelves are created from plastic buckets, and they’re so easy to make!

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Design a pretty clothes-hanger. Baby clothes are so cute, why not show them off?! By hanging a branch from the ceiling with colorful ribbon, you can increase your storage stylishly! Find a tutorial here.

You can craft your way to a sweet and organized nursery without breaking the bank! What DIY solutions have you created?

Photo credits (from top): Apartment Therapy, IKEA, Amazon, Positively Splendid, Ohoh Blog, The Sweetest Digs

Recycled Memories: How to Make a Keepsake Quilt from Loved T-shirts

Quilts are cozy, and when they’re hung on a wall they make a wonderful keepsake that can be passed down through the family. And what better materials to construct a keepsake quilt from than well-loved clothing?

You can make a full-sized quilt from your own old clothing, or you can make a baby-sized quilt from items your little one has outgrown! If quilting seems intimidating, don’t be afraid. We found a fantastic, easy tutorial online from Missouri Star Quilt Company that teaches how to make a quilt from t-shirts. The tutorial uses full-sized t-shirts, but you can adapt it to make a smaller quilt by using your little one’s t-shirts.

Let us know if you try it! 

photo credit: clumsy kristel via photopin cc

Make Mealtime More Enjoyable! How to Cutesy-up Bibs and Burp Cloths

Plain bibs can be kind of blah. When you’re ready for something a little more exciting, you can make DIY fun and fancy bibs and burp cloths! Here are a few tutorials we found online that show step-by-step how to create some cute ones. (These would also make great shower gifts!) Gerber

Fabric-covered Bib: This fabric-covered bib by Lady by the Bay is so customizable, and it doesn’t require complicated patterns! 

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Artsy Bib: Crayola has a fantastic idea for creating a work of art on a bib

Appliqué Bib: This appliqué bib by StuffStephDoes is adorable, and you could appliqué any number of designs—monogram baby’s initial, illustrate his or her favorite animal, or do an abstract design.  

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Fabric Scrap Burp Cloth: Decorate burp cloths with fabric scraps you’ve got squirreled away!This tutorial by Thriving Home shows you how. As this tutorial demonstrates, Gerber cloth diapers make a great canvas to work your magic on!

Bibs and burp cloths don’t have to be boring! Have you customized a bib or burp cloth? We’d love to hear your ideas!

photo credits (from top): Gerber Childrenswear, Lady by the Bay, Thriving Home

Tips and Tricks to Help Your Baby or Toddler Sleep

We recommend dressing baby in something soft and breathable like our sleepwear, but sometimes you need a few more tricks to get baby sleeping soundly. We’re happy to welcome our guest blogger Amy from Mom Spark to our site today to share tips and tricks to help baby sleep.

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Sleep is a tricky thing when you’re a mother. Whether you’ve got a newborn at home, or a just-learning-to-crawl tot, or a child on the verge of another big milestone, this whole sleep thing doesn’t always come easily — or as often as we’d hope. If you’re having troubles getting your sweetheart to sleep at night (or nap time), the effects of mama-grogginess will start to wear thin — especially if, when they finally get to sleep, you find yourself having a hard time finding those moments of shuteye!

While I won’t profess to be the world’s foremost baby sleep expert, I do know a few tips and tricks that might just help you AND your little ones to get a great night’s sleep!

Here are a few ideas you can try TONIGHT!

Routine

We all have different and busy schedules to cope with each evening, and with a baby you’ve got a whole new element to manage. If you’re finding that baby isn’t settling down before bed, begin the bedtime routine with plenty of time for pre-sleep relaxation. Shortly after dinner time, dedicate these moments to dimming the lights, treating your little one to a warm bath and a baby massage, then play soothing music to get everyone feeling nice and calm. These simple actions help baby to recognize that sleep time is coming — try this every night for a week and you’ll see a difference, I’m sure of it!

White Noise

If you’re finding that every tiny sound wakes your baby (like the sound of you breathing!) you’ll love how easily they’ll rest with a fan, a white noise machine, or a sleep app on your phone works to keep them snoozing beyond the dog bark, doorbells, and ill-timed solicitors!

Swaddling/Tucking In a Newborn

Newborns love to be swaddled, as they can feel nice and secure, just like they were in your belly. Make sure your newborn is safe and comfortable, then wrap them tightly like a burrito! This also helps with the newborn startle reflex, which causes their limbs to fly in every direction at once, often waking themselves up. When swaddled, newborns stay secure, safe, and asleep.

I hope these ideas bring a few more hours of shuteye to your life, moms!

What’s your advice for helping little ones to fall asleep?

Trading in the Diapers for ‘Big Kid’ Pants!

Changing diapers is no fun. Every mom and dad looks forward to the day when the little one can use the potty and the mess can be sent away with a flush!

BabyCenter has a wonderful article on Potty Training 101. The doctor who authored the article shares that every child develops at a different rate, so you don’t want to rush it. When you start seeing the signs that your child is ready, you can start making your potty training plan.

As we all know, the hardest part is being patient! Just like anyone learning something new, little ones will have accidents. Taking it slow, freely sharing praise for success, and storing up a rich supply of patience will help.

Share your own strategies you’ve used potty training your own little ones! What works for you?

Growing Like a Weed: When Baby’s Arms and Legs are Popping Out of Sleeves and Pants!

Does your little one seem to be growing overnight? Legs and arms get longer, and suddenly it’s not as easy to carry baby around in the sling! Growth spurts aren’t limited to older kids — babies get them too, as early as 10 days old.

Here are a few signs your little one may be experiencing a growth spurt:

  • Hungrier than usual
  • Fussier than usual
  • Sleepier than usual

Growth spurts are normal, so don’t get too excited if your little one is looking like an NBA player. Just be sure to stay stocked up on next-size outfits for those mornings when you wake up and the clothes baby was wearing yesterday no longer fit!

What about your little one? Have you been through growth spurts with your baby? What was your experience?

Time for Lullabies! Sleeping Soundly on Summer Nights

Temperatures are heating up outside, and we’re cranking up the air conditioning! If you live where it’s not quite so warm, you may be able to skip the AC, and allow the naturally-cooler evening air to keep your family comfortable. (Lucky you!)

Are you in the sunny South? How do you keep your little one cozy on nights with the AC on? If you’re up North or out West where the nights are cooler, share your favorite nighttime outfit for keeping your baby comfy without the AC!

photo credit: Etolane via photopin cc

Help Your Child Move to a Big-Kid Bed

Whether your child has started climbing out of the crib on his or her own, or whether there’s another baby on the way who will need the crib, the day will come when your not-so-little-anymore little one will need a big-kid bed. Here are some ideas to help the transition:

  • Watch for clues. There’s no hard-and-fast time when a child needs a big kid bed, but you’ll probably start to get clues from your little one that he or she is ready. Your toddler may start trying to climb out, or you may hear him or her hitting the rails because your little one simply doesn’t have enough room. When you start seeing those signs, it’s time to start the switch.
  • Prepare your child ahead of time. Give your little one a chance to adjust to the idea. Start out a few weeks ahead of the change by saying, “Wow! Look how big you are! You’re going to need a big bed like mommy and daddy have soon!” Give your child time to get excited about the bed instead of making an instant change.
  • Let him or her help pick out items for new bed. Take your little one shopping with you to pick out new sheets and blankets for his or her bed. When the first night in the new bed comes, you can more easily get him or her excited about the cool, new bed, instead of having him or her focus on the crib.
  • Make the switch when no other major life changes are going on. Don’t make the big change the day he or she starts preschool or the day the new baby comes home. Anticipate changes ahead of time, and make the bed change several months in advance.
  • Put the crib out of sight. Either totally dismantle it or, if you’re going to use it for the next baby, put it in a different room if possible. If your child can’t see it, that will help him or her not to focus on it.
  • Stick to normal bedtime routine. Do your normal bath time, book time, bed time routine to help your child retain a feeling of normalcy. Make sure to do all bathroom trips and drink trips before he or she goes to bed.

What ideas have worked for all our seasoned parent readers? Please share!

 

photo credit: Josh Liba via photopin cc