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Childproofing Your Home 4

Childproofing Your Home12 Safety DevicesĀ For Childproofing Your Home About 2-1/2 million children are injured or killed by hazards in the home each year. The good news is that many of these incidents can be prevented - by using simple child safety devices on the market today. Any safety device you buy should be sturdy enough to prevent injury to your child, yet easy for you to use. It's important to follow installation instructions carefully. In addition, if you have older children in the house, be sure they re-secure safety devices. Remember, too, that no device is completely childproof; determined youngsters have been known to disable them. Here are some child safety devices that can help prevent many injuries to young children. SAFETY LATCHES and LOCKS Safety latches and locks on cabinets and drawers can help prevent children from gaining access to medicines and household cleaners, as well as knives and other sharp objects. Look for safety latches and locks that adults can easily install and use, but are sturdy enough to withstand pulls and tugs from children. Safety latches are not a guarantee of protection, but they can make it more difficult for children to reach dangerous substances. Even products with child-resistant packaging should he locked away, out of reach; this packaging is not childproof. SAFETY GATES Safety gates can help keep children away from stairs or rooms that have hazards in them. Look for safety gates that children cannot dislodge easily, but that adults can open and close without difficulty. For the top of stairs, gates that screw to the wall are more secure than pressure gates." New safety gates that meet safety standards display a certification seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). If you have an older safety gate, he sure it doesn't have "V'' shapes that are large enough for a child's head and neck to fit into. DOOR KNOB COVERS and DOOR LOCKS Door knob covers and door locks can help keep children away from places with hazards, including swimming pools. Be sure the door knob cover is sturdy enough not to break, but allows a door to be opened quickly by an adult in case of emergency. By restricting access to potentially hazardous rooms in the home, door knob covers could help prevent many kinds of injuries. To prevent access to swimming pools, door locks should be placed high out of reach of young children. Locks should be used in addition to fences and door alarms. Sliding glass doors, with locks that must be re-secured after each use, are often not an effective barrier to pools. ANTI-SCALD DEVICES Anti-scald devices for regulating water temperature can help prevent burns. Consider using anti-scald devices for faucets and showerheads. A plumber may need to install these. In addition, if you live in your own home, set water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help prevent burns from hot water. SMOKE DETECTORS Smoke detectors are essential safety devices for protection against fire deaths and injuries. Check smoke detectors once a month to make sure they're working. If detectors are battery-operated, change batteries at least once a year or consider using 10-year batteries. WINDOW GUARDS and SAFETY NETTING Window guards for balconies and decks can help prevent serious falls. Check these safety devices frequently to make sure they are secure and properly installed and maintained. There should be no more than four inches between the bars of the window guard. If you have window guards, be sure at least one window in each room can be easily used for escape in a fire. Window screens are not effective for preventing children from falling out of windows. CORNER and EDGE BUMPERS Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture and fireplace hearths to help prevent injuries from falls or to soften falls against sharp or rough edges. Be sure to look for bumpers that stay securely on furniture or hearth edges. OUTLET COVERS and OUTLET PLATES Outlet covers can help protect children from electrical shock and possible electrocution. Be sure the outlet protectors cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke on them. CARBON MONOXIDE (C0) DETECTOR Co detectors can help prevent CO poisoning. Consumers should install CO detectors near sleeping areas in their homes. Households that should use CO detectors include those with gas or oil heat or with attached garages. WINDOW BLIND CORD SAFETY TASSELS Mini Blind safety covers on miniblinds and tension devices on vertical blinds and drapery cords can help prevent deaths and injuries from strangulation in the loops of cords. For older miniblinds, cut the card loop, remove the buckle, and put safety tassels on each cord. Be sure that older vertical blinds and drapery cords have tension or tie-down devices to hold the cords tight. When buying new miniblinds, verticals, and draperies, ask for safety features to prevent child strangulation. DOOR STOPS and DOOR HOLDERS Door stops on doors and door hinges can help prevent small fingers and hands from being pinched or crushed in doors and door hinges. Be sure any safety device for doors is easy to use and is not likely to break into small parts, which could be a choking hazard for young children. CORDLESS PHONES The First Years Child Safety Kit Cordless phones help you watch your child continuously, without leaving the vicinity to answer a phone call. Cordless phones are especially helpful when children are in or near water, whether it's the bathtub, the swimming pool, or the beach. by Tan Jian Yong About the Author: Get the Full eBooks at http://www.pickaebook.com/babyfirstyear Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/bmoyles/364088478/

Breastfeeding Facts 4

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="390"]Breasteeding facts Breasteeding facts[/caption] Are you one of the increasing numbers of women experiencing unbearable nipple pain because of breastfeeding? Did you know that 83% of new mothers experience varying degrees of nipple pain and trauma as well as other lactation problems? Don't worry, you are not alone. These problems are thought to be due to the teaching of incorrect breastfeeding methods without being aware of breastfeeding facts. Basically, current teaching involves the mother or others thrusting the baby onto her breast and this is completely unnatural, resulting in the baby being rammed to the breast by the base of the head, neck or shoulder, preventing the baby from vacuuming correctly and causing the nipple to be crushed between baby's tongue and the hard palate. This is not your fault. It seems that for all its good intentions, our modern approach has overcomplicated the breastfeeding process and unnecessarily interfered with what should be for most mothers and babies a relatively simple and completely instinctual process. To 'unlearn' this unnatural method, especially with the first and early breastfeeds after birthing, it is suggested that mothers need to first understand a few key points about their newborn. Remember, healthy babies are not as helpless as you may think - they are programmed to survive. They are already skilled at drinking the surrounding water before birth. Within minutes of birth the healthy newborn instinctively seeks, attaches and vacuums to the mother's nipple and breast in a natural, harmonious way which allows it to leisurely draw colostrum - the first, super-concentrated form of milk that mothers produce. The act of breastfeeding, when done correctly, is also critical in stimulating maternal hormones and milk volume over those vital first 72 hours. It never ceases to amaze me as I watch a newborn's survival instincts in action - minutes after birth, if gently placed skin-to-skin with the mother, facing the breast, the baby's 'rooting reflex' will kick in. This is where they use their senses - smell, taste, sight and touch - in order to locate the nipple. The baby will eventually draw the breast and nipple comfortably into their mouth, perfectly and gently molding the nipple and breast tissue inside the oral cavity. When a mother is focused on her baby, the "love" hormones present just after birth are primed, and without interruption the mother gently guides her baby so that nose, cheeks and chin touch her breast symmetrically. Once the baby is swallowing symmetry can be fine tuned by slight, gentle movements, improving extension of the tongue, preventing gums pinching and painful ridging of the nipple. Given that it sounds so simple, you might wonder why you weren't told this beforehand. This has to do with our modern tendency to overcomplicate many natural life events. Western expertise assumes that newborns do not know how to feed, whereas in fact they have a pre-programmed instinct for it. Your baby already understands what it has to do to feed and the mother's role is simply to gently guide the baby into the right comfortable position for easy access. Natural breastfeeding allows evolved behaviors to have their play. The baby draws intermittently, swallowing in harmony with the pulsating ejections, taking in breast milk until they reach satisfaction. The baby will then generally stay nurtured in its mother's arms for a while until the important emotional and psychological part of the feed is completed. The baby always knows how long to feed for satisfaction and emotion. Therefore, timing feeds interrupts this cycle. As a guide it is suggested that the young baby takes approximately one hour, including a rest in between each breast for digestion and a nappy/diaper change. The very first feed may take up to three hours changing from breast to breast until satisfaction with small amounts of colostrum is achieved. A baby will feed from the first breast until relaxed and sleepy, and then continues nurturing until slipping off. Afterwards the baby rests and digests, lying stretched out, slightly inclined, in order to help with self burping and the transfer of pre-digested milk into the intestine. When ready for the second breast, the baby communicates with its arms and legs, and rooting begins again until the baby increasingly vocalizes. The feed continues from the second breast until the baby is relaxed and comes off again. It's wise to hold the baby upright for a while until the stomach has time to settle. By this stage pre-digested milk from the first breast has transferred to the intestine, allowing milk from the second breast to refill the stomach. Time and patience minimize gastro-intestinal problems like reflux and colic, which encourages relaxed and healthy sleeping. Healthy mothers and infants should be able to breastfeed in an essentially painless and low fuss way. Nipple damage, she says, should not be the norm, but a rarity. So relax all you frustrated mothers - there is an alternative to the pain and anguish of incorrect breastfeeding methods. by Robyn Thompson About the Author: For more information on Robyn's incredible breastfeeding breakthroughs, and a host of breastfeeding tips, visit http://www.benefitofbreastfeeding.com/a1.html . For a limited time Robyn is offering a free ebook, '20 tips to pain-free breastfeeding'. You can also find out more about her instructional breastfeeding video. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/timasters/930698880/

Saving Money on Raising Kids 1

Having children doesn't have to be as expensive as it seems. The expression, "Hindsight is 20/20" definitely applies to having children. We have learned a lot since having our first child (of three) and these tips come from practical experience as parents, NOT from the overpriced expectations placed upon us by manufacturers. Had I known THEN, what I know NOW, we would have saved a considerable sum of money beginning with our first, NOT our third! Saving Money on Raising Kids Tips -Babies grow fast in their first year. They also don't wear anything out. If you've been blessed with an abundance of new baby clothes from a baby shower, be practical. Keep a reasonable amount of newborn sizes and exchange newborn sizes for bigger sizes, all the way up to one year. - Do not take all the tags off your newborn clothes until you actually use them. I had an abundance of newborn sizes for our first (I did NOT exchange sizes and washed everything before he was born) but when he popped out a staggering 22 1/2" long and 9lbs 7oz, the newborn outfits BARELY fit! We had to buy bigger sizes. What a waste. -Never refuse bags of hand-me-downs or pass-along clothes. Stains happen. Babies just do that. An outfit that is slightly stained is perfect for wear at home and most times when you're out and about, the baby is tucked into a carrier or stroller or something, and no one is going to see the little stain. Not to mention that no one is looking for stains, they're looking at the gorgeous little angel you've got instead! The pass-along clothes apply to older kids as well. We camp. The kids wear these pass-along clothes when we camp. I don't worry if an already worn-a-bit shirt gets hit with mud, fish-guts or snagged and ripped on a tree. The clothing didn't cost me anything and the boys get to be boys without worrying about clothes. -Do not hesitate to shop for kids clothes at tag sales and thrift stores. I have found brand new jeans (tags from store still on) at the Salvation Army for only 3.99/pair versus the $15.99 on the tag! If you find a great outfit in bigger sizes than you currently need, store them in a bin. You'll go "shopping" for those bigger sizes eventually, trust me, they grow FAST. -Let's talk diapers. Cloth is a cheaper way to go if you wash your own. I admit we did NOT do cloth. So, that said, expensive disposables are just that-expensive! After having babies that could blow out the best of the disposables, we started trying the less expensive brands and found that they worked just as well, at a fraction of the cost! When it came to disposables, I got whatever was cheapest, be it with a coupon and sale or sale alone. I DID find a brand of generics I didn't like and avoided, but for the most part, they did the job. -Baby wipes. Here is a medical fact for you. Human urine is sterile. It does not contain bacteria (unless there is an infection-different story). You wipe the urine off the baby because uric acid crystals will form and irritate the skin. That said, you don't have to reach for an expensive baby wipe with each wet diaper. I used a baby type face cloth that I rinsed off between diaper changes (each day was a fresh towel). For diapers that are a little more "messy" shall we say, you can use the wash clothes but you'll need to wash them in hot water with bleach to kill bacteria (which works well if you've gone with cloth diapers). We preferred to use homemade baby wipes, which were much cheaper and just as effective. If memory serves, a container of generic wipes was about $1.99. I figured the cost of my homemade version to be about .50 maybe .75 but not more than that. Here is a recipe for homemade wipes. This is a GREAT way to use up all those bottles of baby supplies you'll get at a shower, by the way! -Good quality paper towels. We bought the select-a-size brand at the warehouse store to save cutting the paper towel roll in half and it kept the cost down. Fold halved towel in half again. Place into plastic container (recycled wipes containers do work well). -mix 2 cups of water with 2 TBS of baby lotion (or creamy style baby oil) and 1 TBS of baby wash. Microwave or heat well for two minutes, pour over wipes. Elimination Communication is an excellent alternative to cloth or disposable diapers and it is essentially free. Most attachment parenting practices are very economical which makes sense because all of the products manufacturer's "invent" to make our lives easier actually separate us from our babies. If you are an attachment parenting purist, you will have no need for bottles, pacifiers, strollers or cribs. -Babies do NOT need special laundry detergent unless they develop skin sensitivities. This is another one of those things new parents think is a must (well the ads would make you THINK you needed this!) I even confirmed this with our pediatrician. If they DO develop sensitivities, switching to one of the "free" type detergents might be all you need. -Children do NOT need lots of expensive toys. Seriously, think of that commercial with the expensive toy and the toddler with the box that the expensive toy came in. That kid plays with the BOX, not the toy! A recent trip to the toy store made us laugh. They had this electronic drum for babies/toddlers for 12.99. We remembered how our oldest found sheer joy and pleasure sitting on our kitchen floor with my pots, pans and bowls and a wooden spoon banging away. Oh, and the pots and pans didn't need batteries either. Basically, think twice and three times before buying costly toys. A little imagination (or a book) goes a long way in turning basic household things into fun toys. -Baby food. Make your own. Eliminate salt and extra spices and just cook longer and then run through a chopping machine (I LOVE my mini chopper- $10 and it was used for more than just baby food). Baby food freezes in ice cube trays quite nicely. Don't be fooled by "baby" juice. 100% fruit juice is just that, 100% fruit juice. Buy the big bottle of apple juice on sale for .99 and water it down (most pediatricians recommend a limited amount of fruit juice anyway and watering it down stretches it further). -Daycare. I have been on both sides of the fence. I've been a working mom AND a stay at home mom. Again, hindsight being 20/20, I'd encourage you to really consider avoiding this expense. We thought that we couldn't do without my almost full-time paycheck but in the end, we figured out that daycare cost us a lot of money and that I could work a very part-time schedule and NET the same money. Truly, try and figure out how to avoid daycare if possible. -Needs versus Wants. This is especially true if money is tight. Don't hesitate to think twice before you buy something for kids. Manufacturers would have you think you NEED it all, but the reality is, your mother and your grandmother did without a lot of this stuff so chances are you can, too. Author: Tammy Paquin About the author: Tammy Paquin is a work from home mom of 3 boys. She publishs Frugal-Families, a site devoted to frugality, budgeting, families and helping everyone stretch their hard-earned dollars. For other great articles on saving money on baby food, baby clothing and raising kids in general visit, Frugal Families.com Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/s2photo/131071837/

A Guide to Baby Carriers and Slings 1

Baby Carriers & SlingsAuthor: Anne Dhir So you have decided to buy a baby carrier or slingĀ to carry your baby? Welcome to the wonderful world of baby wearing. The next question is what type of sling will you choose? What are the differences? This article will guide you through the vast array of baby carriers and slings that are now on the market.
  • Wraparound Sling
  • Ring Sling
  • Pouch Sling
  • Soft Carrier and Backpack
Wraparound Sling This is probably the most versatile of all the slings .Wraparound slings are sometimes called "a simple piece of cloth" as they are constructed from a long piece of fabric that is tied around your body ensuring that your baby is held securely in place. The wrap can be used to carry the baby in many different positions and offers a versatile travel system. A baby or toddler can be carried on the parent's front, back or hip or with shorter wraps they can be carried on one shoulder if desired. Most carries involve the sling being worn over both shoulders and often around the wearers waist in order to offer maximum support to the baby. Wrap baby slings are made from either a stretchy fabric or woven cloth. The length of the fabric varies but is usually between 6-20 feet long. The stretchy wraps are usually made from materials such as jersey or micro fleece and allow the baby to be lifted in and out of the sling as desired. This type of wrap is particular popular for young babies but they may not be as comfortable for the parent as the youngster gets heavier. Woven wrap baby slings are often available in a wide range of colors and designs. Cotton is the most common type of woven wrap available but hemp, silk, linen and wool are also used. Most weaves used provide some stretch allowing the fabric to conform to the baby and wearer's body. Woven wraps tend to give more support to heavier babies and toddlers. As the fabric is wrapped around your waist and shoulders, the baby's weight is well distributed which ensures that they are a comfortable choice for the wearer. They are particular suited if you suffer from back pain. It may take time to learn how to tie the sling correctly but the effort will be worthwhile. Excess fabric may be used for more discreet breastfeeding while the wrap may also double up as a blanket or changing mat while out and about. Ring Sling This baby sling consists of a piece of fabric threaded through two rings, forming a loop. The cloth wraps around the wearer's body, from shoulder to the opposite hip and back up to the shoulder. The end of the fabric is then threaded through the rings to create a buckle effect. The baby can then be placed into the pocket of fabric in either a sitting or lying position. The sling can be taken off and put back into place without rethreading. The baby's weight creates tension on the fabric causing the friction between the fabric surfaces and the rings to lock the carrier in place. This type of sling is easily adjustable to suit different wearer's size and different wearing positions. Ring slings are available with padded shoulders, some models also have padded edges. Some rings slings also have a curved seat sewn into the fabric. A variety of fabrics is used in ring sling designs including cotton, hemp, rayon and silk brocade. Most commonly used are homespun fabrics and lightweight twills. It is important to ensure that the rings are sturdy and have been stitched repeatedly to the fabric. Ring slings can be used from birth and are also suitable for toddlers. They are an excellent sling for breastfeeding as they are adjustable allowing them to be lengthened to allow easy access to the nursing mother's breast. They can also be quickly adjusted once feeding is done. Pouch Sling Pouch slings are probably some of the easiest slings to use. They are formed by a wide piece of cloth sewn into a tubular shape. Simple pouches do not tend to have rings, adjustable pouches may adjust using a variety of methods including zips, buckles and press-studs. Most pouches have a curve sewn into the fabric that will hold the baby more securely in place. The sling is slipped over the wearer's head and worn sash-style across the body. Most baby wearers find that they adapt to using the pouch sling very quickly. Pouch slings can be used from baby to toddler and are an excellent choice for situations in which the baby is frequently removed from the pouch and being placed back into it. The asymmetrical weight distribution can make carrying heavier children more challenging. Pouch slings offer excellent value for money and are relatively easy to make. Soft Carrier and Backpack Many different types of sling fall into the soft structured carriers and backpack category. Although there are many different types of designs most are structured and often have shoulder straps and waist straps. Some of these carriers are suitable from birth and there are models that are ideal for carrying older children. If you're not sure, double check with the vendor. Some carriers are closed with buckles. Chinese inspired mei-tai are tied at the waist and under the baby's bottom. They are usually quick to put on and can be a good option for heavy toddlers. Now that you understand the different types of baby carriers and slings that are available on the market it is time to consider which option will best suit you and your family. Things to take into consideration will include how you wish to wear the sling, whether you intend to keep the baby in the sling or keep removing from the sling, if you require a sling to provide discreet breastfeeding and also how willing you are to practice using your sling until you get it right. Armed with this information it just remains to wish you and your child many hours of very happy baby wearing! About the author: Anne Dhir is the owner of http://www.calinbleu.com, a company specializing in comfortable baby carriers and http://www.slingmeet.co.uk, a forum where parents can meet up with other sling parents locally. Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/zen/31039045/

How Organic Is Your Baby? 1

How Organic is Your BabyHow Organic is Your Baby? What does it mean to have an organic baby? There was a report done by The Environmental Working Group that showed results including findings of a significant amount of toxic chemicals are found in the blood of newborns. The American Red Cross ran a series of blood tests on 10 umbilical-cord samples and their findings included 287 contaminants in the blood samples. Of the 287 found in the blood, 180 of the contaminants cause cancer in humans and animals, 217 of them cause damage to the brain and nervous system. 208 of the toxic chemicals caused abnormalities and birth defects on animals tested. Included in the contaminants were mercury, fire retardants, pesticides, plastic and other noted toxic contaminants. Now there is a whole market of organic baby products that you can buy to help eliminate the toxic chemicals that bombard our babies. The National Organic Standards Board or NOSB was established to assist the National Organic Program (NOP) with creating and maintaining guidelines for substances in organic production. In 1990 the US congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act, which made its stipulation that the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) establish uniform standards for Organic Agricultural Products. Today you can buy both edible and non-edible organic baby products. You can find organic baby food, organic baby textiles in which products are made from, pesticide free wood based organic baby furniture products, organic baby clothing, organic baby body care products and even a whole organic baby shower waiting to happen. Organic standards included that the NOP enforces are; no organic food products may contain in production or handling: genetic engineering, ionizing radiation and sewage sludge. Crops meet organic standard if they were grown with out the use of most conventional pesticides, petroleum based fertilizers and sewage sludge based fertilizers. Livestock must be raised according to organic standards. This means that livestock are fed organic feed, raised with access to outdoors, and raised free of antibiotics and growth hormones. Also in accordance with the NOP, organic farmers adhere to practices that minimize soil erosion and practice renewal resources and exercise maximum water conservation. Organic farmers rely on rotating crops and livestock grazing as opposed to using harmful chemically synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Organic farmers do not use harmful chemical pesticides that contaminate the groundwater and use natural fertilizer alternative like animal and plant waste to avoid polluting waterways. Many pregnant women who sharecrop have medical problems themselves as do their babies because of exposure to non-organic toxic substances. Today you can walk into any well-stocked grocery store and find a supply or organic baby food as well as your local health food store. The label will say organic to ensure that you are getting organic baby food or organic baby products. Online I found organic baby crib sets including the mattress made by a family based company called Shepard's Dream. All the wool and cotton used in their products is organically grown. Arlington Furniture Factory makes FSS certified wooden products. FSS certified means that the wood they use is not wood byproduct it is real wood and it comes from renewable forests. Their finishes are natural and non-toxic. There are also lines of pesticide and chemical free organic baby clothes you can get for your baby. Organic baby soaps and products can be found in your local health food stores as well. For those who are expecting their own organic baby or grandchild there is a fun site where you can get all your organic baby shower products at http://www.organicbabyshower.com/. One other great site for all Organic non-edible baby needs including rattles and teethers is http://www.organicgiftshop.com/. http://debraslist.com/ has a listing of many organic baby sites to choose from including the one's I have mentioned above. Today's health and environmentally conscious parent has a lot of choices when it comes to keeping their organic baby healthy and safe. Author: Regina Schwartz About the author: Here is an excellent site written by Regina Schwartz on Infant CPR and other Life saving Tips. This site has a lot of relevant information for new parents. Check it out at: infant cpr information Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/clappstar/2605714815/