Monday, December 29, 2014
Friday, December 26, 2014
Monday, December 22, 2014
Friday, December 19, 2014
When you’re out shopping, it’s important to keep in mind what vehicle you have. Different seats work for different kinds of cars, so don’t forget that! If you have a small car, you don’t want to get a bulky seat or it may not fit. You don’t want to choose a seat that works best with the LATCH system if you don’t have that in your car.
Just make sure the dimensions fit along with your car nicely so there’s nobody needing to ride in the car with their knees in their chest!
Know what kind of seat you need
Different children need different sized seats throughout their little car seat lifetime. While we all know what each one is, we may not know when they change or how long they stay in the current seat.
• Rear facing: As discussed previously, keeping a child in a rear facing seat is very important. You don’t want to turn them around too soon. They should always meat one of the three requirements before turning it around: age, height, and weight. Check the car seat for more specific instructions. Also keep in mind how big you think the child will be. If they’ll be small, get one with a lower start weight. But if they’ll be bigger, get one that has a higher end weight. Be sure that when you switch seats, your child is ready. If not, they could be killed on impact during an accident.
• Forward facing: There are many out there that switch it once a child is 12 months and 20 pounds, but it’s very outdated so be sure you follow the correct instructions. Don’t turn them around too early or there will be serious consequences. They stay in forward facing car seats until they outgrow it. If the middle of his ears is above the top of the seat or shoulders are above the top harness level, they’re ready to move on.
• Booster: A child will move to the booster and stay in it for quite some time. They’re ready to graduate to an adult seat belt once they've outgrown the booster. If they weigh over 40 pounds, they’re probably ready. This is around age 8, but could happen sooner or later depending on the child.
Check the comfort level
Before choosing a seat, test it out. Check how the handle feels and how heavy it is. You’ll be using this seat a lot and spending a great deal of time lugging it around. You want something light and comfortable for you. But you also want something that is comfy for the child, so don’t choose any fabrics that they won’t be able to breathe through.
Make sure it’s comfy for you both!
See if it works with your stroller
There’s lots of travel systems out there that work quite well together but not everyone will purchase a system. Sometimes it’s necessary to purchase them separately.
But if you already have the stroller, make sure your seat works well with it. It should be secure and your child should be at a reclined angle when locked onto the stroller. This will create good air flow for the child.
Research the history
This is very important to do! Not everyone will purchase it brand new so be sure you check this out. Make sure the seat was never in an accident, isn’t outdated or recalled, and is completely 100% safe.
Find out exactly how safe the seat is. Make sure to do your research before you decide to buy a particular seat. Be smart.
Make sure it’s easy to use
Sometimes, we’re in a hurry so it being difficult to use is going to be a huge problem. Mothers are busy and need something simple. So check it out and make sure installation is simple, it’s easy to lock into the base, the buckles, harnesses and snaps are all very easy to manage. But also make sure it’s not too simple to where your child can also manage using it.
Don’t get something that will cause a damper or you’ll end up spending more money on another seat. None of us want to do that.
What other tips do you have for choosing a car seat?
Monday, December 15, 2014
*This post is by Melanie. She's a stay at home mom to two and full time blogger at Growing to Four. If you like this post, be sure to check out her blog for lots more*
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
--Mix the flour and salt and then slowly pour in water until it forms a dough.
--Flatten it out on a cookie sheet so it's large enough for your child's hand to fit.
--Press their hand into the dough and slowly lift it out. I used a straw to make a hole at the top so we can hang it.
--After you do that, bake it at 150 degrees for 1 hour (my oven only goes down to 170 degrees so I used that).
--Remove from oven and let cool completely.
--You can then leave it how it is and hang it from the tree with a pretty ribbon, or you can paint it. I painted them so the handprints would show a little better. On the back I also painted 2014 so we'll always remember when we made then.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
When it comes to car seat safety, I feel as though many parents don’t take it as seriously as they should be. They just assume that having their child in a car seat guarantees they’ll be fine. Unfortunately, no. You need to make sure everything is done exactly right or you could end up losing your child if you were to get in a bad accident.
That’s something no parent wants to imagine, but it happens. So please, stay with me here. I have a list of common mistakes that none of us should be making. I hope that by providing them for you today, you can keep that sweet baby in your arms longer than many parents have been able to.
Neglecting to remove a child’s winter jacket
Seriously, this is one of the biggest one that exists. It is so very important that you take your child’s jacket off before buckling them in. I know it’s cold and inconvenient, but it isn’t worth risking that baby’s life. You can always purchase a very thick blanket to leave in the car and drape it over them once they’re buckled in. But please, don’t leave that jacket on when you buckle them in.
By having a jacket on while buckled into the seat, it creates space between the child and the straps. This is a huge safety hazard since it will case the child to lunge forward if you were to get into an accident. I think we all know that is not good, especially when you also factor in the speed you’ll be going when this happens.
We all want our children to come out of an accident with as little injury as possible. So please, do them a favor and take that coat off before you strap them in. Please.
Turning the child around too soon
This one is also very common. I’m unfortunately very guilty of doing it with my own child. The child grows, his legs get long, and so you turn the seat around. Stop right there! While it may look like it’s time, it may not be. Check the height and weight requirements, if they exceed them both, go right ahead and turn it around! But if they only meet one requirement and they’re under the age of two, it’s a no go.
A child needs to meet two of the three requirements: height, weight, and age.
The reason for this being that it takes at least 2 years for a child’s vertebrae to properly develop. But if they haven’t met the height and weight requirements, they may still need some time. If you turn them around and get into a car accident that can cause whiplash, it will kill the child on impact if they are facing forward.
So please, don’t turn them around too early!
Placing the car seat on top of a shopping cart
Okay, another one I was once guilty of. But it’s one I quickly stopped doing. While the bottom may lock onto the top of the shopping cart, it is not safe by any means. I mean, what if you turn around to grab something off a shelf and someone knocks your cart over? That is an impact that is not good for any child.
The car seat also makes the cart top heavy and so it’s much easier to knock over. When the child goes through this, they can suffer skull injuries or even worse. So keep them safe and put them in the cart itself, not on top.
Neglecting to get them checked by a professional
Before you even use the seat when the child is born, you should have it checked by someone who knows what they’re doing. Many hospitals and fire stations offer free checks during different days throughout the month. Check your local area and see when you can have yours checked.
Even if you’ve had children before or know how to install one, it’s best to have them checked by a professional. You may have done one small thing wrong and that one small thing could cost their little precious life.
Using a expired, recalled, or post-accident seat
This is never a good idea. Not ever. If it’s expired or re-called, it’s definitely not up to safety standard. If you keep using the same seat after you are in an accident, that’s absolutely dangerous. Using a seat in any of these conditions is incredibly dangerous. There’s a reason for expiration dates, recalls, and just using a car seat after an accident isn’t good at all!
Be smart and be safe! Get your child a quality seat.
Are you making these common mistakes?
What other ones do you think are being made?
About Amber Kristine
Amber Kristine is a mother of a 2 year old. She blogs at amberkristine.com covering topics about raising your kids, running your home, taking care of yourself, loving others, and helping others around you. She hopes to help others and inspire them.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Children will be traumatized by seeing a mother breastfeeding her baby.
This is one of the most popular arguments people use to discourage mothers from breastfeeding in the presence of children. It is also one of the most illogical arguments people can use to discourage mothers from breastfeeding in the presence of children. In order for a child to be traumatized by something they would have to have been taught that something about it was terribly wrong. Since children are still learning about the world and are still relatively innocent about most things it is highly doubtful that something as harmless as breastfeeding would traumatize them. I was in the room the night one of my siblings was born at home and because I didn't know very much about birth at that stage I had no reason to see it as anything other than a natural part of life. Had I been taught that it was supposed to be traumatic I may have had a different reaction. Since I hadn't been taught anything negative or scary about it it didn't faze me. Breastfeeding is no different. If it is introduced to a child as a normal part of life at a young age that's how they will view it and anytime they see it it will be as innocent to them as observing a puppy or a kitten drinking milk from their mothers. By contrast, if they are taught that it is dirty or wrong by the influential adult figures in their lives then they might be bothered by it, but it won't be the breastfeeding itself that is causing them to be traumatized, it will be how they are taught to view it.
Children don't need to see some woman's breast while she is nursing her baby.
Children are actually the perfect people to see a woman's breast while she is nursing her baby. Since children haven't been indoctrinated into society's sexual view of breasts, being exposed to them performing their primary function will allow them to see breasts for what they were designed to do before they learn anything else about them. Growing up with a breastfeeding mother meant that my siblings and myself were often in the presence of other breastfeeding mothers. My mother never demanded or insisted that those mothers hide what they were doing from us just as she didn't hide her breastfeeding from us when she did it. As a result it wasn't uncomfortable being in the presence of mothers breastfeeding even when they didn't do it discreetly throughout our childhood and even into adolescence.
Adults can be stuck in their ways about the way they view things and it's hard to change their opinions. Children on the other hand have the opportunity to start fresh and get it right so they need to be exposed to breastfeeding as often as possible. Maybe the over sexualized view of breasts can go away for future generations and it won't be so hard for mothers in the future to nurse their babies in public.
Breastfeeding is nudity and children shouldn't be exposed to nudity.
Because of the over sexualization of breasts in our society we typically think of them being exposed for any reason at all as inappropriate nudity. There are two things to consider when it comes to breastfeeding and nudity. First, non sexual nudity, which includes the act of exposing a breast to feed a baby, is not always inappropriate nudity. Nudity in and of itself is not always a bad thing. In the right context and situation it may actually be both healthy and necessary. Breasts were meant to feed babies so it would follow that it should be okay to expose a breast for that purpose. As mentioned above, we saw my mother and her friends nurse babies openly and at no time did we see it as inappropriate. Since we were permitted to see breasts while mothers were nursing their babies I never looked at breasts in the traditional way people view nudity. I never questioned whether it was wrong or not to see what we saw because it was a normal part of our everyday life. Had my mother and the other breastfeeding mothers I knew growing up hid what they were doing I would probably have the same mindset about breastfeeding that many in society do today.
Teaching children about breastfeeding means having to have the big talk with them about the birds and the bees.
I was about 9 years old when my parents called us into the dining room on a cold dreary day where we were stuck inside the house. They sat us down at the dining room table and began to nervously tell us the basics about the birds and the bees. They discussed the functions of the penis and the vagina in the process of reproduction. At no point during the discussion did I hear any reference made to breasts in relation to sex. I didn't learn that breasts could be sexual until I started going through puberty. It seems that many people think teaching a child about breastfeeding requires teaching them about sex. If you have to teach a child about sex to teach them about the primary function of breasts then you are pointing them in the wrong direction that most of society is currently traveling with the over sexualization of breasts. Teaching a child about breastfeeding requires the simplest of explanations. If you tell them a baby is eating the same as you would explaining a kitten or a puppy nursing that explanation will usually suffice. They may be curious about the actual process of how the baby is getting the milk, but even that doesn't require a complicated explanation. Teaching a child about breastfeeding can be as easy as we want it to be. If you are complicating it you are probably introducing too much unnecessary information that will only confuse them and begin the process of perpetuating the sexual stigma of breasts.
Children of all people need to be exposed to breastfeeding. Girls who see breastfeeding as they are growing up will become mothers who choose to breastfeed. Boys who see breastfeeding growing up will become supportive husbands and fathers to the breastfeeding women in their lives. Most importantly children will grow up understanding that breasts have a primary function that has nothing to do with sex. They will understand that breasts were designed primarily to feed babies and it won't be weird for future generations to see them performing that function at home or in public. It may be too late to change the minds of some adults and get them to accept and support breastfeeding and NIP, but if we can expose children to it as early and as often as possible we may be able to make things a little easier for breastfeeding mothers in the future.