Parenting

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

Should You Buy a House Now that You’ve Become Parents?
Photo by Alena Darmel from Pexels

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.

Parenting

Essential And Practical Tips For Eco-Friendly Parenting

Essential And Practical Tips For Eco-Friendly Parenting
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels

There’s nothing that a parent wants more than to secure a good, healthy future for their child. No wonder that eco-friendly parenting is becoming an increasingly important issue for parents worldwide. According to the EPA, the average American produces about 4.4 pounds of waste every day. Many parents want to educate their children about the importance of caring for the environment, while also reducing the negative impact their little ones have on it. While it might seem like a challenging task, there are several ways to make parenting a little better for the environment. Here are some practical yet eco-friendly tips for parents. 

Buy second hand

One thing that surprises most new parents is how fast their babies grow. It might mean that baby clothes bought just a month earlier might not fit anymore. This fact can naturally contribute to waste, but it doesn’t have to. A simple solution is to buy second-hand clothes. Since such items are often used for only a few months, finding good quality, used child clothing in great condition should be on every parents’ to-do list. Parents can also promote this eco-friendly way of living by reselling or giving away their baby’s used clothing items.

Reusable diapers

It might seem that nothing creates more waste than, well, actual waste. Still, even this issue can be approached in an eco-friendly manner. Reusable diapers are becoming more and more common with parents worldwide. Since babies can produce even up to six used nappies daily, switching to reusable nappies can massively reduce the waste impact of the little ones. According to Statista, as much as 21% of American parents have now converted back to using reusable diapers, truly doing something meaningful for the environment.

Consider breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the healthiest and most environmentally-friendly way to feed your baby. There are no unnecessary chemicals involved, no packaging or cooking. While it may seem obvious, breastfeeding is a major way of reducing the food and plastic waste while caring for infants. There also are green options out there for the mums who can’t breastfeed. Cooking your own baby food can reduce the amount of packaging landing in the landfill. You may also swap plastic feeding bottles for their more eco-friendly glass counterparts. Every little thing counts!

Walk and exercise with your child

While walking with children might not seem like an obvious way to save the environment, it actually has a big impact, both now and in the future. Walking with children lets them develop an appreciation for the outdoors at a young age. This can also make them more likely to walk or cycle in the future than using other, environment-damaging means of transportation. Additionally, the keen curiosity of little ones can be directed towards the environment, teaching them from the earliest age to enjoy and to care about the world around them.

The key to eco-friendly parenting is leading by example. Children are like sponges, they absorb the knowledge from their parents like water. When they see how important sustainability is to their parents, they are more likely to follow.

Healthy Living, Parenting

How To Inspire Your Children To Live A Healthier Life

We all want our children to live a healthier life and the truth is that a large part of this is how we, as parents, encourage healthy habits. Obviously, everything starts with your example. If you do live a healthy lifestyle, there is a pretty good possibility your child will pick up some things. But you cannot blindly rely on that. You need to have a more proactive approach. Just talking about healthy living and not doing anything about it will not help much. 

Helping With The Basics Of Healthy Living

In the US, children weigh more than in the past. This is because they eat food that has too much sugar and fat. And they are less physically active than children in the past. The big problem is that children struggling with weight issues do tend to develop more health problems in the future than those who do not. This does include things like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease. 

Here are some tips on how you could help your child:

  • Be attentive with what food you buy. It is useful to serve various healthy foods and you limit junk food. Make sure you have fresh vegetables and foods available since they are great meal sides and healthy snacks. 
  • Be careful when buying low-fat foods since they might contain some unhealthy ingredients, like too much added sugar. 
  • Use adequate portion sizes. 
  • Monitor the child’s activities to implement proper behaviors through rules like just two hours in front of a computer screen when too young. Promoting physical activity is just much better. 
  • Make sure the child drinks plenty of water. Always avoid sweetened drinks and opt for milk instead of regular-calorie drinks. 
  • Eat your snacks and meals as a family. Do this at a table to further encourage conversations. 
  • Teach the child the importance of health check-ups and health habits. 
  • Make sure the child rests as much as they need. 

Helping Children With Alcohol, Tobacco, And Drug Problems

It is possible that your child will be curious about some drugs when young. There are actually more children than you might think that try alcohol, tobacco, and even some drugs before reaching high school. Using such substances is less likely though if you do talk about them as a caring parent. 

Help your child with these tips:

  • Make it very clear that it is not allowed or okay to drink alcohol, use drugs, or use any tobacco-related product. 
  • Explain exactly why such substances are bad for them and encourage children to keep asking questions. 
  • Discuss peer pressure so it will not affect your child and make them start using drugs, smoking, or drinking alcohol. 
  • Set the best example, which does mean it is better to quit smoking or drinking if you want your child to avoid them in the future. 
  • Be aware of who the friends of your child are, and who their parents are. Try to build trust with all of these to better be aware of what happens when the child is with them. 

Final Thoughts

Children always look up to parents. This is why it is so important for you to be the best example possible. The truth is that being healthy needs to be fun. If it is not fun for your child and they do not have choices, it will be quite difficult to create those healthy habits that will do so much good in the future. Reward good behavior and remain supportive and positive to actually help the child to develop the necessary confidence for healthy habits.

Parenting

5 Tips To Child Proof Your Living Room

Babies are certainly delightful but they can create havoc in the house as soon as they start walking or crawling. In all our houses, the living room is the one where the family will usually spend most of their time. If you are someone who likes to chill in front of the television with an eye on your child, you are not alone. It is imperative that any room the child spends most time in will be the room you will have to make the safest. It is important for most parents to babyproof their living room either by modifying the current layout or redecorating it. 

It is not necessary to redecorate the entire room, you can place a coffee table or a rug and get babyproofing in the mix. If you want to give the living room a new look while keeping the safety of your child in mind, here are a few tips to help you child proof your living room

  1.  Make the room softer

Babies fall often and the falls are not avoidable, but where and how the baby falls is on you. It is important to identify areas in the living room that can be softened up. Start with a soft rug as it will cushion the fall against the hard floor and also double as a play mat. Try to choose a dark color that will hide the sticky prints and the use of a rug pad can prevent the rug from sliding. Metal coffee tables are dangerous for toddlers but if you have one at home, you can place it in a different room for the time being. If you want to redecorate the room, you can add an ottoman as it is an ideal babyproof center table anyone can ask for.

2.  Buy furniture anchors

If you are looking for new furnishing, you can consider investing in furniture anchors. Your little one will always be pushing and pulling the objects and you do not want them to fall on your child. Furniture anchors can save lives. They consist of a strap and two anchor points. It keeps the furniture intact and can be installed on any furniture that can fall on your child.

3.  Go on the knees

The best way to identify unsafe spots in your home is to get down on the knees and into the perspective of the child. What might seem like a safe place to you could become a death trap for the baby. You must get down on the knees and examine the furniture from the perspective of your child. Try to look at hard pointed edges and covers that can harm your little one in case of a fall. Identify the pieces that could catch the clothes of your child. You also need to take a look at the footholds of the furniture. If you have to, crawl around the entire room and identify the hazardous areas. Being a parent isn’t as easy as it may look. 

4.  Ease and convenience

When you are a parent, you will always have to look for ways to remove the dirt and spots from the furniture. Eventually, you will not be surprised at finding such spots. If you are investing in new furniture, you need to be mindful and avoid choosing materials like suede or linen as it will cause a lot of grief and trouble. Functional is always better than fancy. Even if it looks good, but is not helping babyproof the living area, give it a miss. 

5.  Remove the trinkets

Many families like a minimalist interior design but there are also many who have many decorations in every corner of their home. You should reconsider your thoughts about trinkets and decorations when there is a baby in the house. Any decoration will draw the attention of your child and you do not want your child scaling furniture only to reach the flower vase on the table. Additionally, decorations are not designed for play and could be extremely harmful. They are small in size and could be a choking hazard for the little one. It could also hurt your child if they fall on a decoration. Hence, it is best to remove all the decorations and put them away until your child is older. 

Coffee tables, side tables as well as some couches have sharp corners and they are not an issue on their own but when a baby is trying to walk, they can add to the danger. The best way to stop an injury and fall is to soften the edges and corners with padding. It will not only protect the corners but also works on the edges. If you do not want your baby to reach the decoration, put it away.