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General Care

Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms

Being a mom seems to be a tougher job today than ever before. Not only are moms expected to work to contribute to a family’s finances, taking care of the kids is still a full-time job. Talk about a second shift. Moms barely have time to rest, let alone any disposable time for hobbies. However, rather than fret over the lack of time, savvy moms make the most out of the time they have with the tips below.

Instill Smart Habits

Children might be precious angels, but that doesn’t mean assigning chores at a young age violates child labor laws. Put the kids to work in some light tasks to give them a strong work ethic from a young age. It does not have to be all heavy labor tasks like hanging dry wall in apartments for rent, but things like “family cooking time” can be a fun, and useful, way for mothers to bond with their children.

Just make sure that the kids help with the clean-up later. If they complain, remind them that those who help to make the mess need to help clean it up. Even though it might not be easy, teaching kids good habits at a young age might be the best way to keep your house clean, while teaching an important lesson at the same time.

Its Own Reward

Mothers do not get the pay they deserve for raising smart and healthy children. Rather than a financial reward, moms will have to settle for well-behaved and helpful kids, who don’t mind cleaning up around the house.


Keeping Your Pet Safe With Costumes

As a (pet) parent, the last thing you want to do is to jeopardize your pet’s safety when it comes time for Halloween or some other occasion. Indeed, there are some elements that can lead to an unsafe pet costume.

The number of Halloween outfits for pets is quite startling. With the number of choices of pet costumes, there are also a number of safety issues that are potentially presented, placing more importance on taking note of these elements. Don’t get too caught up in elaborate setups unless your pet can handle it.

One of the most important aspects of pet costumes is the neck area. Staying away from costumes that are tight in the neck area, such as a turtleneck sweater, is a must unless you are sure your pet is comfortable. Comfort around the neck area will ensure your pet’s safety and comfort.

As you are a (pet) parent, there is another aspect that your pet has in common with a child: small parts. Once you have purchased your pet a costume for Halloween, make sure to look over the costume for any small parts that may be bitten off of the fabric.

Complete a test run once you purchase your pet costume. Most retailers will accept returns if it is in its original condition, which will give you a chance to send it back if it does not fit correctly. Make special note of how the costume fits and any possible hindrances for your pet, such as fabric touching the floor or an uncomfortable hat, for instance.

A pet costume is a wonderful way for your pet to add some style to the occasion. If you have children your pet may be able to accompany you and the children as you get some treats, should you be dressing everyone up for Halloween.

The Different Flavors of Life Insurance

Life insurance has a lot of different kinds of incarnations, each one of which bears something different for you. Depending on what you and your family’s needs might be, you can get a wide variety of different types of life insurance policies listed out for you, and then compare insurance quotes for the lot of them. Certainly there is one that will fit your needs very well, no matter what they might be. Of course, you do need to be very choosy with the type of insurance that you buy, because you have a lot to think about before you ultimately make your decision. After all, your family is counting on you to make the best decision, in spite of the discomfort this undoubtedly causes you.

There are accidental death and dismemberment policies. These types of policies are good because they have far lower premiums, and they only pay out if you die from an accident, as opposed to a health problem or suicide. If you want a more complete form of insurance, you can go with either term life or whole life. A term life policy protects you for a specified amount of time, but will ultimately expire (pardon the terminology). A whole life policy, on the other hand, will last for your entire lifetime and builds up cash value.

Of course, the price that you pay for your life insurance is a very pliable thing. While you can control whether or not you use tobacco, you can not change your age or your other factors. However, you can change the amount of coverage you wish to have, so that your family is well prepared in the event of your passing. Naturally, you are going to want to compare insurance quotes, and figure out which one is the very best for you and your family’s needs. You might not want as much as you can get, but you definitely want enough.

Resolving Your Financial Woes

When couples experience financial problems, it has wide-ranging effects. The financial stress causes anxiety and sleeplessness. It increases alcohol consumption and smoking. Worst of all, people can start criticizing their spouses, which leads to deterioration in the relationship. Then, the couple has marital problems on top of financial ones.

There are several easy things you can do to do to reduce the strain on your family budget. They help you control spending so financial problems don’t get out of hand.

• Set aside a regular time with your spouse when you can calmly and unemotionally discuss your financial situation. Set up a plan for accomplishing your financial goals.

• Find simple ways to cut back on expenses. Consider taking your lunch to work instead of eating out. Reduce the number of times you eat out a week. Don’t buy snacks and drinks when you stop for gas. Don’t buy name brand clothing. Cancel your TV cable subscription.

• Gather information that can help reduce debt. Borrow a helpful book from the library or get financial pamphlets from companies such as GreatPlainsLending.

• Talk to your mortgage lender about refinancing your home. See if you can get a lower interest rate on your home loan.

• Consider downsizing both your home and your vehicles. Smaller homes and vehicles (and fewer vehicles) can reduce financial strain on your family budget.

• Reduce the number of credit cards that you use. Eliminate credit cards for department stores, sales catalogs, and sporting goods stores. Have just one or two major credit cards.

• Think about getting a payday loan through Great Plains Lending. A small temporary loan can help you with bills for unexpected emergencies such as your child breaking an arm at school or getting into a fender bender car accident.

• Talk to a financial advisor about filing for bankruptcy, what it means, and if it would be a good plan for you.

Bringing Home Baby

There is nothing like the joy of bringing home your baby from the hospital. When mother and child are released there is sure to be a great celebration but if you are not properly prepared that celebration could quickly turn into an extremely stressful event.

Even if you think you are prepared, odds are you are not. There will be a wide range of emotions that everyone in the family will experience. Older siblings may exhibit jealousy, grandparents may not know when to leave and husbands may feel left out. Handling these little complications can be furthur complicated by a crying infant and irregular sleep habits.

A little bit of planning before the big event can help to insure that the homecoming goes as smoothly as possible. Hopefully, there was a baby shower to help you stock up on all of the supplies you are going to need. Stockpile diapers and bottles and other essentials long before the birth so no one has to run out and get them the minute mom comes home. It is also a good idea to make arrangements ahead of time if someone will be staying with you to assist with the newborn. Communicate this information to everyone in the family so that there will not be any surprises.

If you have older children, make sure that they are prepared for what to expect when the baby comes home. Tell them how the new child will require a great deal of attention in the beginning and apologize in advance for not being able to spend as much time with them. It is also important to encourage the older sibling to help with the care for the newborn baby, this can help head off any feelings of jealousy. There are some great books that you can buy for older brothers and sisters to help prepare them for a new addition.

How to Prepare for Breast Feeding

After you have made the decision to breast feed your new baby, it is time to start preparing because the newborn is going to be hungry within minutes of coming into this world. There are things that new moms need to take care of in advance including preparing their bodies.

Doctors will monitor a mothers’ weight throughout her pregnancy not only as a way to check on the health of the child but to make sure that the mom is gaining enough weight to be prepared for breast feeding. The mom needs to gain an adequate amount of weight so that her breast milk has the proper nutrients for the infant.

It is also recommended by most doctors that moms who plan to breast feed see a lactation consultant, especially first time moms. These experts can recommend the best positions for breast feeding and will evaluate your nipples for potential problems. Once you make the decision to breast feed, it is important to stop the use of any soap or antibacterial cream on the nipples because that could dry them out.

New moms will have to purchase two or three nursing bras before the baby comes. It is recommended that you spend the money on top quality brassieres because comfort is critical at this time. Cotton will be the most comfortable. Stock up as well on breast feeding pads which will keep you dry, the disposable kind are the easiest to use.

You will also need to buy disposable bags for storing your breast milk and a pump for the times when you are not around to feed the child. If you store up milk, you can also avoid having to do all of the late night feedings and might actually be able to get a little bit of sleep. It is safe to keep fresh milk in the refrigerator for about three days and it will stay fresh frozen for up to three months.

Caring for Your Newborn Baby

A baby having milk from a bottle.
Image via Wikipedia

No matter how prepared you think that you are, caring for a newborn child is always a challenge. You will face sleep deprivation and other frustrations as you try to make sure that you are meeting your baby’s every need. Sometimes, no matter what you do, it will be difficult to stop their crying and you will feel very help less.

When you get the baby home, it is very important that you do not forget to take care of yourself. Eating right and squeezing in some sleep here and there are essential to help your body recover from childbirth and to be ready for breast feeding. Make sure you have some help during the first week that the baby is home because you are going to need it.

One of the biggest challenges you are going to face is trying to comfort your baby when they cry. The two most obvious solutions are changing a dirty diaper or feeding the infant. If those do not soothe them, try cuddling the child in your arms or gently rocking the baby back and forth. Newborns love to be held.

New moms who are breast feeding always wonder if the baby is getting enough food. For peace of mind and to make sure you are doing it properly, schedule ahead of time a visit from a lactation consultant who can come to your home and watch you nurse. In the first few weeks, expect your baby to feed every two to three hours.

It is not necessary to bath your baby in the first few weeks of life instead a sponge bath is recommended. A warm wash cloth with a mild soap is all that is needed. Try to avoid getting the umbilical cord area wet. Antibacterial wipes also do a fine job of cleansing the child.

Retirement Communities: Finding the Right One

Generally, when people are young they tend to look forward to aging. For instance, young people usually look forward to their 13th, 16th, 18th and 21st birthdays. However, the enthusiasm for aging usually diminishes once one turns 40. Why? Because, most adults are almost finished raising their children at this time and don’t feel like they have much time left… after all, they’ve already lived for half of their life-expectancy. This is why so many parents begin to think about their living alternatives as they age.

If you have aging parents who are beginning to think about their options for living accommodations when they are older, it’s probably time to mention retirement communities. Many senior citizens choose to move to a retirement community after they retire for several reasons. Some enjoy being around other adults that are the same age and who have similar interests. While others decide to make the move because they feel that they are safer than if they were living on their own. There are many reasons why seniors choose to move to a retirement community, but in most cases, this decision is one that the whole family needs to be involved in.

Your parents may need a little encouragement from you before they will begin to look at different retirement communities. To help them with this decision, you should go with them as they look at various properties. As you tour various communities with your parents, there are several important issues that you need to make sure your parents ask about. For example, your parents should consider the medical services provided by the community, the daily activities available, the price and all fees, and also how well the current residents like the community. Finding the right retirement community comes down to finding the one that meets your parents’ needs the best.

How to Bath Your Baby

It is very understandable to be nervous when it comes time to give your newborn baby their first bath. You do not know how they are going to react to the water and whether the temperature is too warm or too cold. If they start squirming will you be able to keep them safe and comfortable? Here are a few tips.

The most important tip is that for the first few weeks after bringing the baby home you should only be giving the newborn a sponge bath. A warm washcloth will do a more than adequate job of keeping the baby clean. You should continue the sponge baths at least until the baby’s umbilical cord falls off, after that you can move on to a full bath.

When the child is young it is easiest to give the baby a bath in a special plastic basin or the sink. It is not advisable to attempt to use the bath tub just yet. There is no telling how your child will react to the water, some love it and some will want out from the second they get in. Use warm water to fill the basin and use one hand to clean the baby while you keep the other hand behind the baby’s head.

Pick a warm room for the bath and never place the child in the water until the basin or sink has filled up, you do not want the baby sitting in the basin while the water is still running. It is also important to never leave the baby unattended while giving them a bath, not even for a second. Before you start the bath, make sure you have a towel close to dry the child off. Specially made towels with hoods are perfect for newborns to ward off the cold when you take them out of the water.

What Does Your Baby Want?

Crying baby (2)
Image via Wikipedia

It would be so simple if they could just talk. The most frustrating part of being a new parent is wondering what the infant wants when they cry. Crying is the only way babies have to communicate their needs and we must try and learn to understand their language.

Most parents have a checklist that they go through when a baby cries to try and meet their needs. Check the diaper and change it if is wet or dirty. Crying could signal that it is time for the infants next feeding or it may mean that the baby has gas and needs to be burped. Crying can also be an indication that the baby is tired and you need to find a dark, quiet place to take the baby to try and gently rock them to sleep.

Experts say that you will learn as a new parent to distinguish between different types of crying. The most urgent cry signals that the baby is in pain and this is often the most frustrating. Two of the most common sources of pain are diaper rash or teething and there are simple treatments which can provide immediate relief. Ask your pediatrician to recommend a cream for diaper rash to soothe the child. Also, pick up a teething ring that can be kept in the freezer for when a problem pops up.

If the crying becomes so intense that it upsets you, it may be time for a break. Do not hesitate to hand the baby off to your spouse or ask someone to come over and help out. Anyone who has been through it knows that it can be extremely frustrating. No matter how frustrated you become however, experts stress that you can not in any way take it out on the child. They also caution against shaking a baby because that can do permanent physical damage.