Parenting

Helpful Tips for First Time Parents

Helpful Tips for First Time Parents
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Bringing a child into the world can come with a mixture of emotions, ranging from sheer joy to panic. The desire to take care of and look after your bundle of joy and keep them safe at all times can seem overwhelming, especially if you are doing it for the first time.

However, with a little guidance and knowledge, you can easily settle into the role of being a confident parent and navigate the challenges that this new chapter presents. In this article, we have outlined some helpful tips to keep your baby healthy, happy and safe once they arrive into the world.

Holding Your Newborn

If you have never held a baby before, the prospect might seem daunting. As their muscles have yet to develop, babies are fragile and require support to their neck and head when being picked up and held. Make sure to always support this area with your hands or arm. Always be gentle when handling your baby, and do not  be rough with or shake them, as this can cause internal bleeding or death.  

Soothing

Comforting a crying baby can be a challenge, especially when you don’t know what the reason is. In many cases, you can soothe your baby by trying the following comforting techniques:

  • Gently rock your baby from side to side while softly singing or shushing them
  • Play some calming music such as a lullaby or something rhythmic which mimics the sounds of the womb such as a washing machine or clothes dryer. A white-noise machine that emits such sounds can also be played at a low volume until your child settles
  • Being held will also soothe your child and help them feel emotionally bonded to you. Cuddling and holding them close to you while you do your activities can help to calm your child. Comfortable baby carriers can make this much easier for you and your child
  • Your baby loves to hear your voice, so singing to them or gently cooing can help them to settle. Try reading a story to your child while gently rocking them and helping them to fall asleep
  • Distraction can often be a good ploy to soothe a baby. A cuddly toy or baby rattle can capture their attention and help them to quieten down

Diaper Changing

Whether you choose disposable or cloth diapers, make sure you are stocked up on additional supplies such as fasteners, wet wipes and diaper rash cream.

A full or wet diaper can cause irritation or rashes to your baby’s skin if left unattended so it’s a good idea to do a diaper check every couple of hours. According to experts, a baby‘s diaper will need changing every two to three hours or up to 12 times a day.

When changing your baby’s diaper, place them on their back and watch them at all times to prevent them from rolling away. Open up the diaper and clean your baby using wet wipes or a washcloth. Remove the old diaper and apply diaper rash cream before fitting the new diaper. With a little practice, this will become second nature.

With these three tips, you can feel ready for your new role as first time parents.

Parenting

Three Ways To Help Your Child Deal With Autism

When parents learn that their child has autism spectrum disorder, it is normal to feel overwhelmed. However, what you do will be very important and can easily help or destroy the life of the child. As soon as you notice signs of autism, it is a very good idea to go to the doctor and get an official diagnosis. 

After the ASD diagnosis is official, it is time to practically learn absolutely everything you can about the disease. You then have to be involved in the treatment of the child. Three great ways to deal with Autism are:

Offer Safety And Structure

It is very important that you stay consistent. When a child suffers from ASD, it is very difficult to apply what is being learned. As an example, the child might end up using sign language in order to communicate when at school but they never do this when at home. It is always very important to create consistency though. What the therapist does is something you should continue doing when at home. 

Make sure that you stick to a strict schedule. This helps the child to evolve due to the existence of the routine. A schedule should include meals at the same time, just like bedtime, school, and therapy. When the schedule changes, the child should be prepared in advance, whenever possible. 

Do reward the good behavior of the child with positive reinforcement. And create a safety zone inside your home. This is where the child could feel secure, be safe, and relax. 

Connect In Nonverbal Ways

It is challenging in many cases to connect with the child who suffers from ASD. However, what many do not realize is that they can actually bond and communicate without touching or talking. The child does all they can to communicate. But, it is your responsibility for learning the language. Some things you should consider are:

  • Nonverbal cues – Children suffering from ASD often use nonverbal cues when they want to communicate. Just pay attention and you will notice them. 
  • Look for motivation – If a tantrum happens, try to see what motivation exists behind it. Be extremely careful with facial expressions, gestures, and sounds. 
  • Have fun – Much more than going to therapy needs to happen in the life of the child with ASD. 
  • Sensory sensitivities – ASD makes children sensitive to taste, smell, touch, sound, and light. As a parent, you want to figure out what sensitivities exist so they can be avoided. 

Build A Suitable Autism Treatment Plan

The good news is there are several treatment options available for ASD. But, in many cases, it is difficult to quickly figure out exactly what will work for a child. Also, things get quite complicated when conflicting recommendations come from doctors, teachers, and parents. 

The treatment of your child needs to be created based on the individual. Parents do know their children so you have to remember that it is up to you to make sure all those needs are actually met. Think about the following to help you:

  • The child’s weaknesses and strengths. 
  • Skills that may be lacking. 
  • Behaviors causing problems. 
  • How the child is learning.
  • Things the child enjoys. 

The best treatment plan for your child needs to build on individual interests, offer structure, a good schedule, be created around simple steps, involve parents, and offer regular behavior reinforcement. Obviously, working with a doctor will help create the best possible treatment plan for the child suffering from ASD. 

Final Thoughts

Children dealing with autism need to be helped by parents. This is the only way to create a good plan that would actually do wonders when it comes to the child succeeding in life. Get involved and listen to your doctors. 

Parenting

3 Tips for a New Baby

When you have recently welcomed a new baby into the family, you may feel a little lost. This could especially be the case if this is your first child. Once you have brought your baby home, you may wonder what you could do to make your life that little bit easier, as well as to positively impact your young child’s future. By considering the years ahead at the very beginning, you may be able to put some solid plans in place that could benefit your whole family

Setting up an Individual Savings Account, commonly known as an ISA, can be a good first step to make, especially if you do not currently have a pot of savings to hand. However, many people may be left wondering ‘what is an ISA’? This can allow you to put money away as and when you are able. One of the benefits of an ISA is that the amount contained can be free of any tax restrictions, which can be quite helpful, especially when you factor in the cost of raising a child. Alongside your own ISA, you may also want to consider setting one up on behalf of your baby. This way, you can start saving money for them too, which can then be accessed when they reach adulthood. The flexibility of deposits within an ISA can make them ideal for families on a low or varied income, due to there being no minimum payment required.

You can also save yourself money in other ways, even while factoring in the expenses that may be required with your infant. Your baby may grow quite quickly, meaning all the money that you spent on their first onesies could be wasted, especially if there are items that still have tags on, or only got a minimal number of uses. Going forward, you may want to consider seeing which items you could avoid buying brand new. Reusing items from your older children can also be a good idea. If you do opt to buy something new, you may also want to consider reusing it for any future children you may have, and even then, passing it down when your child reaches adulthood.

At times, you may feel utterly overwhelmed by the responsibilities of parenthood, especially when you are running on low sleep. Parenting stress can make even the most resilient of people feel low, or even question their ability to raise a child. It can be helpful, if available, to take any support offered to you. This could involve family assisting in those first few weeks while your body recovers, a good neighbour picking up groceries, or even members of your church bringing round a precooked meal for you. It can be these little bits of assistance that help you to get back on your feet.

A new baby can be both a blessing and a lot of work. By finding the ways to keep yourself afloat financially, and trying to improve your mental and physical health, you may be able to find this time more enjoyable.

Parenting

Should You Buy a House Now that You’ve Become Parents?

Should You Buy a House Now that You’ve Become Parents?
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Parenthood brings many changes and evokes feelings of providing a secure and stable home for your family. For many people, it means buying their first home. However, purchasing real estate is not always a straightforward decision. You must consider several factors such as affordability of down payment, monthly fees, and maintenance. Renting can be an option that you must explore as well. Whether you’re buying or renting a piece of property, here are considerations that you must study so that you can weigh your options smartly.

Real Estate as an Investment

There are several intangible benefits of home ownership, one of which is a sense of stability and pride. You’ll have more space for your growing family and the freedom to do what you want without requiring the permission of a landlord. In addition, on the financial side, you will be able to build equity, making ownership a good investment in the long run.  

Over time, prices of real estate have been rising and home prices nationwide grew by more than 17% in June this year compared to June 2020.  To make the right call, use an online rent vs buy calculator to compare the costs. Bear in mind that there will be recurring expenses such as mortgage payments, insurance, and utilities. Hence, if you are not going to stay put in your home for a long time, it does not make sense to buy property as the costs of ownership are greater than the perceived benefits.

Leasing Property

If buying real estate becomes unaffordable and impractical for your family, renting is a viable option. Moreover, there are no costly maintenance expenses because your space is smaller than a house. Major repairs are usually the responsibility of the owner so you don’t have this unexpected expense that can quickly derail your budget. There are no real estate taxes to think of either. If you’re renting an apartment in a community, you’ll have access to amenities whether it’s a gym room, swimming pool, or clubhouse. 

However, renting has several drawbacks. Your landlord can increase the rent at some point and there are no tax benefits to leasing real estate. If you want to make changes in the property, you must get the approval of the owner. In addition, you cannot build equity when you’re renting, making you feel like you’re wasting money.

The bottom line is being ready to rent or buy a house depends on several factors such as affordability and your plans to stay in one place.  Thus, it makes sense to scrutinize the costs of purchasing and renting to make the best decision for your family.