Keeping Your Toddler Safe At Night

Toddler bed with removable safety rail, and toddler climbing carefully around it.While the risk of SIDS is greatly reduced by the time an infant reaches the age of one, parents of toddlers should still be concerned about and take action to ensure their child’s safety. The three greatest steps a parent can take are to make the crib/bed safe, childproof the room for mobile toddlers, and monitor their toddler.

Make Their Crib/Bed Safe

You can breathe a sigh of relief when your child turns one that your fears of SIDS haven’t come true, but don’t get careless with your toddler’s nighttime safety. Suffocation is still a risk that you should take steps to minimize. Don’t let your toddler sleep with too many toys, especially plush toys or stuffed animals. Don’t put any toys with ropes or strings near the bed. While your child can now sleep with a blanket, continue to limit blankets, quilting, and other bedding to what is necessary. Try to wait until your child is at least 18 months old to introduce a pillow, and only do so when the pillow will help them be more comfortable and sleep better, which may not be until they are three years or more. All of these actions can protect from suffocation and give you peace of mind when your little one is sleeping.

One of the biggest questions parents of toddlers face is when to transfer their child to a “big boy” or “big girl” bed. For safety, wait as long as you can for this transition. Many parents make the switch when their son or daughter starts climbing out of his/her crib. While it’s easier to control what a toddler gets into from a crib, your child could get hurt by falling when climbing out of his/her crib, so the actions of escape artistry are good signs to make the switch. With a toddler bed, you will still need to be concerned about safety. Keep up your precautions against suffocation. Put toddler rails on the sides of the bed so your child doesn’t fall out. And be sure to childproof the room so your toddler can be safe at any hour.

Childproof Their Room

You may worry about your toddler getting into trouble while they’re alone in their room, and these fears can be well-founded. When your child can get out if his/her crib at will, things that posed no threat because they were far from the crib are suddenly hazards you need to deal with.

One of your top priorities needs to be the safety of the furniture in your child’s room. Every year many toddlers are injured from pulling furniture over on top of themselves, and too many of these preventable accidents are fatal. Check whether each piece of furniture can bear the full weight of your toddler if he/ she were to climb on it. Play it safe by anchoring furniture to the wall with specially-designed straps. And clear anything that would fall if pulled or shaken. Also consider covering the sides of sharp edges and corners on furniture that could cause serious damage if your child fell onto them.

Use a hand sander to smooth the corner edges of walls. Check for other sharp corners that need to be smoothed as it can prevent a serious bruise on their head if they directly hit the wall corner. If your hand sander is not working, you can find the right parts to repair it here.

Turn a keen eye to anything else in the room that could be a hazard. This includes electrical outlets. At minimum protect your child against electrical shock by using outlet plugs. These may not be enough, though, if your child can mimic you and knows how to take them out. Consider investing in special outlet covers for top safety. Also, you may want to cover up any exposed cords if your child is likely to pull them out. And finally, think of whether any toys are too dangerous to allow easy access to (again, ones with strings may be big concerns), and put these where your child can only play them with under supervision.

You may feel like your childproofing is a little excessive, but you can never be too safe when protecting your kids. It only takes one curious night for your child to get seriously injured, so prevent dangers before you are forced to respond to them.

Monitor Your Child

This one may go without saying, but many parents may need the reminder. You may have been okay letting your child play safely in their crib, but a child can get into a lot more trouble with a whole room to explore. You can use a video monitor to keep an eye on your son/daughter, and check on them frequently if you know they’re awake. Be ready to intervene as the need arises.

No parent can stop worrying completely about their toddler being safe at night. But following these tips will help you minimize threats and hazards and give you peace of mind that your child is safe in his or her room at any time of day or night.

Eliminate Bedtime Frustration with These Tips to Help Your Child Get to Sleep Faster

no cry sleep soluton by elizabeth pantley happy babies sleeping

(This is a guestpost from the author of

Gentle ways to stop bedtime battles and improve your child's sleep The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Gentle Ways to Stop Bedtime Battles and Improve Your Child's Sleep by Elizabeth Pantley, with a forward by Harvey Karp (Foreword) I know I am not the only one who has been played, almost on a nightly basis by my young children at bedtime. You just get them down, tucked nice and cozy in their bed and begin to meander back down the hall with an excitement similar to that of a child’s on Christmas Eve of what you are going to do with the next couple of hours that you have to yourself, and then……it starts:

“I forgot to get a drink, I need to go to the bathroom, I forgot to brush my teeth, I’m scared, I need to say my prayers, I had a bad dream…”  (even though they haven’t even been to sleep yet) and the list goes on and on. The excuses are pretty much the same ones that you used as a kid. So, there has to be an answer to this nighttime nonsense, right? Here are a few strategies that havebeen helpful to me:

  1. Consistent Bedtimes: Kids need to know what to expect. If their bedtime is constantly changing, it will be hard for them to take you seriously when you say it is bedtime. Sometimes events come up that may alter bedtime a little bit, but for the most part, once a time is established, it should be adhered to. Our kids are still in grade school, so we prefer to put them all to bed at the same established time of 8:30 pm., however, staggering bedtimes based on age is another option as well. Providing a little leeway on the weekends, I have found, gives them something to look forward to and even helps them accept the earlier weekday time.
  2. Routines Rule: Establishing a nighttime routine that the child can go through each night will ensure that everything on the checklist gets checked long before the covers are pulled up. It takes some dedication and a small time commitment, but it will go a long way to eliminate the repeated tuck in game. The things that I like to include in my kids bedtime routine are reading a book , getting a final drink, going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, saying prayers, and of course saying goodnight and easing any concerns about open closets or other things that are “scaring” them.
  3. Offer Incentives for Staying in Bed: One that my kids enjoy is being allowed to read in their bed for a few minutes before lights out, or listening to soft, quiet music to help them fall asleep. We also will give them rewards such as special nights of storytelling, or being able to have a slumber party in the living room, or a movie night, if they go to bed well during the week.

If you’re like me, seeing your kids sleeping peacefully is a beautiful sight. Never do they seem more sweet and innocent and wonderful, it’s just getting them there that can be challenging.

Once you find that perfect routine or incentive that will make it happen smooth and seamlessly, you will be able to slip in that extra activity that always seems to take a back seat, like exercise. You could then stop by my blog for some great information on top rated home gym pieces.

5 Great Toys For Infants

Baby sitting up playing with the laugh and learn kitchen, opening the oven

Baby laughing in car seat with the Sunny Stroll arch over the seat,with Transparent sun prism, propeller and other toys visibleThe first 12 months of your baby’s life is a great period of growth. During this time, you want to choose toys that help babies develop their five senses. Toys that stimulate sight, sound, touch, and hearing are great. Choose toys that are colorful or make fun noises. Choosing the right toys for babies can be difficult. Here are some wonderful toys in 2012 that are best suited for babies.

Sunny Stroll

Here’s a colorful activity arc that clamps to just about anything. You can attach it to a car seat, stroller, or even high chair, since you can easily resize the arc. The twist clamps are secure and we like how you can easily position it forward and backward.

The Sunny Stroll helps children explore their different senses. The colorful animals and toys keep babies entertained. Kids are going to love spinning the propeller and gazing through the transparent sun prism.

Designed for babies five months and up.

My Discovery House

Ding Dong. Come inside and play with this fun play house.

Leapfrog My Discovery HouseOlder babies and toddlers are going to love exploring this little house from LeapFrog. The house is set up like a real house and there are five areas to explorer including a kitchen and bathroom.

Kids can push the doorbell and turn off the lights. It introduces them to basic cause and effect. They will love opening, closing, pressing, and turning the various elements. There are plenty of songs, stories, and sounds to keep babies entertained.

My Discovery House is the perfect busy toy designed for babies six months and up.

Infant sitting up playing with the poppity pop musical dino, which is about half his sitting height.Poppity – Pop Musical Dino

This fun colorful dinosaur toy come from Fisher Price.

When you turn it on, it starts playing music but the fun begins when you place the six colorful inside the dinosaur’s stomach. It’s a fun popping toy. Some of the balls will roll out of the dinosaur’s mouth, but some of them will randomly fly in any direction. Kids will have to chase after them.

Kids will be attracted to the bright colorful balls and music. It’s a great way for getting infants up and active as they develop their fine motor skills and senses. The Poppity-Pop is designed for infants 6 months and up.

Laugh & Learn Learning Kitchen

Baby sitting up playing with the laugh and learn kitchen, opening the ovenLittle kids are going to love pretending with this fun play kitchen from Fisher-Price. With four different modes of play and 20 different songs, there are so many different activities that kids can do with this interactive toy.

On one side of the toy is a refrigerator. Turn the toy around and you’ve got a complete kitchen. Open up the refrigerator door and you got an even bigger play set. Kids are going to love flipping switches and stirring what’s cooking; sorting shapes and ‘posting’ food into the fridge . Don’t forget to check the oven!

It’s a great toy for introducing infants to numbers, letter, colors, and shapes. It’s even got a Spanish mode. Babies 6 months to 36 months can laugh and learn with this fun learning kitchen. Click on the image to visit Amazon and see a video of the toy in action!

Winfun Grow With Me Musical Walker

Musical walker toy that a baby can walk behind, with detachable phone and other activities to play on the frontGet your baby off the floor with the fun Musical Walker from Winfun. It’s great for helping your little one with their sense of balance. Kids are going to love playing with all the different colorful gadgets and toys on it. They can touch different areas to hear different sounds and music. It’s even got a phone and piano on it. We love how they are detachable.

Make learning to walk fun and exciting with this colorful walker designed for babies 6 – 36 months.

Mommy blogger, Melissa Rodriguez creates articles about infants, toddlers, and kids. Every year she creates a listing of the most popular playthings for kids. Click here to view her full list of all the best toys for 2012.

Marital Satisfaction Declines with Kids – But Don’t Worry: It’s Normal

Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up by Harriet Lerner PhDWhen your baby doesn’t sleep well, it can be extremely stressful for the whole household, particularly, of course, the parents. But in truth, many studies have now concluded that marital satisfaction goes down with the addition of kids to the equation, whether they sleep or not! In fact, one eight year long study found that 90% of couples experienced a decline in satisfaction.

That may seem like a depressing statistic, but if you have children, I hope you won’t take it that way.Co-author of that study, Brian Doss points out

The fact that we’ve been largely unsuccessful [in stopping declines in satisfaction] may suggest it’s a really difficult and tough experience and it’s not necessarily a deficit in these couples’ relationships or how they’re approaching it.

Harriet Lerner, clinical psychologist and author of a new book Marriage Rules, suggests waiting it out. “Relationships that appear to be falling apart … may look entirely different down the road,” she says.

One of Lerner’s rules is “Don’t obsess about getting it right”. This fits in well with new research out of Ohio State University by Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, which found that parents show poorer adjustment if they think society expects them to be perfect.

So don’t obsess about getting it all right, remember to nurture your relationship as well as your kids, and wait it out. Anecdotal evidence is that, although martial satisfaction may decline, most parents still feel their kids bring more over-all joy and satisfaction to their life, than they cause stress and dissatisfaction. When your baby is screaming at three in the morning though, it may seem like a fine line!


Note: If your baby doesn‘t sleep well, you might like to read our articles Your Baby’s Sleep: Swaddling Newborns, Eight Sleep Tips for Every Child, from Elizabeth Pantley, and Your Baby’s Sleep: from Birth to Six Months

Saving During Pregnancy to Make Parenting Easier – 10 Tips

Expecting a baby can be one of the most exciting, rewarding, overwhelming and expensive times in your life. Preparing for the arrival of your baby and taking proper care of yourself during pregnancy, involves some additional expenses that are unavoidable.

Once the baby finally puts in an appearance, ensuring that your child has the best possible start in life can have an enormous impact on your financial circumstances. So how can you reduce the cost of parenting and make the whole thing more enjoyable?


You will need to separate your needs from your wants when deciding what you will need for your new baby. Stick to the basics. Check out parenting websites for a list of what you really need.


Sit down and write out a budget that takes into account all the extra expenses that are pregnancy related. This is particularly important for two income families that are planning to live on one income for a period of time after the birth of the child. Once you have a budget laid out, start looking for areas where you can shave off some of the expenses.

Start saving now

If you are planning to go from two incomes to one, try living off one income during pregnancy and saving the other person’s income. This will not only help you build up your savings rapidly, it will help you determine how well you will be able to manage on one income.

Don’t buy new

Borrow or buy used maternity clothes rather than spending money on a new wardrobe. Most pregnant women wear their usual clothing for the first three months and only need maternity clothes for the last six months. You can find gently-used maternity wear at second hand stores, consignment shops and garage sales or get them on loan from friends or family.

Baby clothes

Don’t go overboard when buying baby clothes. Baby clothes are cute but they are ridiculously expensive. Babies really don’t need much and they grow out of their clothes very quickly. You can often get gently-used baby clothes for free from friends and family or buy them for a pittance at garage sales.

The nursery

When decorating a nursery for your baby, keep it simple. The emphasis should be on creating a safe, comfortable, relaxing environment. Many of the items you need for a nursery can be borrowed or purchased used. Paint the room in a versatile neutral colour so that you can easily redecorate it as your child grows, by changing a few accessories.

About The Author
This post was written by Alex from – the one stop shop for everything you need for a new baby all at unbeatable prices.

Unique Baby Shower Gift Ideas

So, you’ve been invited to a baby shower. But what do you get get the new mom? You could check the registry, or get the same old cute baby clothes. While appreciated, it’s not the most unique thing in the world. So, what do you do when you want something truly unique?

Diapers will always be needed, but here’s a twist on the old standard: a diaper cake. These look like cakes, but they’re made completely of diapers. To make one, you stand the diapers on their side and line them up in a circle. You start with a large circle on the bottom, and do subsequent layers with smaller circles. To provide structure at the center of the cake, you can use packages of wipes. Then, for a cake topper, use a small stuffed animal, rattle, or teething ring.

Another unique gift, that you don’t see very often, is a silver plated certificate tube. This can be engraved, and therefore personalized with the baby’s name and birth date. As a baby shower gift you’ll have to give an IOU the engraving, since you won’t know the name and birth date yet. However, the certificate tube is also a good baptism gift.

Don’t forget that not all gifts have to be for the baby directly. You can also get gifts for the parents. A gift certificate to a restaurant that delivers, an offer of babysitting, or a gift certificate for housecleaning would all make great baby shower gifts. Finally, if you know what kind of camera parents have, you can get them an extra memory card, or several rolls of film.

Baby showers are fun times, but sometimes it can be hard to decide exactly what to get. You can get something for the baby, or something that the parents can enjoy, and will help them with a baby. With a little bit of creativity, you can give a truly unique baby shower gift.

Helpful Hints for Expectant Mothers

Having a baby is one of the most wonderful times in a woman’s life.  It is a time that should be cherished, but it doesn’t come without its challenges.  Some women have trouble getting pregnant, while others encounter certain troubles during pregnancy such as heartburn and morning sickness. Here are some tips that should help you know what to expect.

Morning sickness is perhaps the most often mentioned side effect of pregnancy and it can be pretty unpleasant for some women.  Although it is called morning sickness it can occur any any time throughout the day.  It is most common during the first trimester and usually dissipates after that.  In general, you should treat morning sickness like any other nausea.  Snack on some saltines and take small sips or ginger candy.  Its also a good idea to keep a stash of peppermints or ginger candies in your purse whenever you go out.

Heartburn is another major side effect that happens during pregnancy.  This can happen later in the pregnancy as the uterus and grows and the extra weight begins to press against your stomach. This can cause stomach acids to travel up your esophagus and cause a burning sensation.  There are several home remedies for heartburn relief that you can try.  One method is to try to eat six smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals.  Mixing a half teaspoon of baking soda with a half glass of water and drinking it can also help.

For those women who are not pregnant yet but are trying, here are some tips on how to get pregnant fast.  The first thing is to be aware of is when you are ovulating.  The easiest way to know this is to get an over the counter ovulation prediction kit from your local drug store.  You can also sometimes predict this by measuring your basal body temperature, or your temperature when you first wake up in the morning, before you get out of bed.  Your basal body temperature should rise slightly at the onset of ovulation. There are also other ovulation symptoms to look out for.  Once you know when you are going to ovulate you should begin to have sex with your partner each day for about 5 days leading up to ovulation.  This will help ensure that there is enough sperm available so that one of them makes it to the egg.

Once you are pregnant and approaching birth, you might like to start thinking about what will come next. Baby sleeping bags are a great way to keep your baby warm and safe at night, but there is a whole lot more to baby sleep than that! Once you have got a handle on pregnancy and the wonders of birth, you might like to take a look at the work of Elizabeth Pantley, a wonderful baby sleep expert.

Whatever stage you are in, these tips should help you to know what to expect during your pregnancy and help you to deal with the challenges.  If you do experience any persistent problems it is always a good idea to consult your doctor.