The Top 5 Most Common Questions About Your Baby Bouncer

Rainforest themed baby bouncer with happy baby enjoying the overhead play items.
Rainforest themed baby bouncer with happy baby enjoying the overhead play items.
The Fisher Price Rainforest Baby Bouncer has more than 150 five star reviews on Amazon (4.5 star average).

There are many accessories that parents need for their new baby, and for many a baby bouncer or rocker is at the top of the list. Many parents know that a bouncer can be a great item to have available, but there are a few common questions that arise:

Q: What ages are best for using a bouncer?

A baby can start using a bouncer when they are big enough to hold up their head, most companies recommend waiting until the child is 3 or 4 months old. The child can continue to use the bouncer until they grow out of it; typically that is when they start walking. Once the child is mobile, they will no longer want to stay in one place to play in the bouncer.

Q: Can a baby bouncer cause shaken baby syndrome?

Sometimes when a baby gets in their bouncer, they are so excited that they start jumping around very fast and hard. Parents worry about shaken baby syndrome, but there is nothing to be concerned about because they are not experiencing violent movement in their neck. Bouncers are safe to use, and your child will not suffer shaken baby syndrome by playing in a bouncer.

Q: Which brand of baby bouncer is best?

There are many great brands of baby bouncers, but one of the best is the Fisher Price baby bouncer. Online reviews are very positive for the Fisher Price brand, and many parents have said that they love the features that are included in their bouncers.

Baby Bouncer in earthy colours with overhead "toy bar"
The Fisher-Price Coco Sorbet Comfy Time Bouncer has a five star rating on Amazon.

Q: Can a bouncer move on its own to bounce the child?

Most baby bouncers include a vibration feature or a bouncer feature that allows the child to bounce without a parent moving the bouncer. Some of the bouncers have a spring type of reaction, so that even slight movements of the baby’s arms or legs will bounce the bouncer. Read the detailed description for the bouncer that you are going to buy to be sure that this feature is included.

Q: Should I buy a bouncer or a swing?

If you are trying to decide if a swing or a baby bouncer is better for your child, consider purchasing a combo. There are certain brands that offer detachable parts that can be purposed for both a swing and a floor standing bouncer, which allows multiple uses as your child gets bigger. Buy a combo unit to get the most bang for your buck…and its space saving too!

However, if this is not an option, my own experience is that a baby bouncer or rocker is more useful – for a longer period – than a swing. It also generally takes less space, and is more portable.

NB A baby bouncer is not a jolly jumper or other jumping unit, which is a jumping/bouncing unit that your baby stands/hangs in, usually in a stand-alone own frame or suspended in a door frame, and ‘jumps’ on the floor. These are generally not recommended by experts, for developmental reasons.

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?

Need/Want

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.

Budget

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 babyplanet.biz – 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.

The Benefits of Unisex Baby Bedding Sets

Sweet Jojo Designs 11-Piece Honey Bumble Bee Hive Yellow, Gray and White Unisex Baby Girl or Boy Crib Bedding Set Without Bumper
Sweet Jojo Designs 11-Piece Honey Bumble Bee Hive Yellow, Gray and White Unisex Baby Girl or Boy Crib Bedding Set Without Bumper
This sweet Jojo Designs 11-Piece Honey Bumble Bee Hive UnisexCrib Bedding Set has a 5 star review on Amazon

There is a wide variety of unisex baby bedding sets available on the market today from animal print baby bedding to the more classic or universal colors which of course aren’t gender specific. Parents opting for unisex baby bedding do not have to worry whether the baby is going to be a boy or a girl and as an added advantage this kind of bedding can be used for any other babies that might come along.

Sweet, Wish I May Quintessential Cotton quilted 10 Piece Crib Bedding SetGoing for unisex baby bedding will obviously save you some money in the long run if you have children of different genders, as long as you choose high quality and durable materials when shopping for unisex baby bedding sets.

Consider buying organic crib bedding manufactured from high quality cotton, linen or silk. Organic materials like organic cotton or even silk might cost a bit more but the fabric is highly anti-allergic thereby protecting your baby’s delicate and sensitive skin against rashes and allergies. Remember that a baby’s skin is a lot more susceptible to the chemicals used in the manufacturing process of the cheaper polyester/cotton variety for example.

Organic linen is another option, and provides good insulation in both winter and summer, but it has quite a different texture to cotton (see this article about a linen duvet cover for an explanation of the difference).

100% Organic Cotton 3 piece Baby Nursery Crib Bedding Set for boys and girls by Baby Owl
Full organic bedding sets are not so easy to come by. This 3 piece gender-neutral crib set is 100% organic cotton

Whether you are going for a unisex baby bedding set or not some experts are encouraging new parents to think out of the box and not go for the traditional colors and designs typically associated with the term “baby bedding”. Remember that the typical themes often become outdated once your children grow older which would mean investing in a new bedding set once again so keep this in mind when deciding on which bedding to purchase.

Of course, if you are buying crib (or cot) bedding, your child is going to outgrow it before too long anyway, so it’s more important to keep the general decor of the room neutral – you can change the bedding as your baby grows.

Merino Kids Organic Cotton Baby Sleep Bag For Toddlers 2-4 YearsYou can also limit your need for more than the basic crib or cradle bedding (ie a fitted sheet and mattress protector) by using baby sleeping bags or swaddling your newborn in something like the Cocooi Babywrap Newborn Baby Swaddle, which, being made from Merino wool, regulates your baby’s temperature.

So rather than going for the traditional baby girl or baby boy bedding set go and check out some gender neutral baby bedding sets and try to choose a theme, color or design which will last for many years to come and will not become outdated once your baby has grown a bit.

Hiccups In Newborns – A Normal Nuisance

Newborns get hiccups at regular intervals. In fact, they hiccup more often than any infant or adult. Getting excited may trigger hiccups in newborns. However, there are instances when they get hiccups right after every feed. Probably, what causes hiccups in newborns to occur very often is the relative immaturity of their internal organs, and doctors insist that frequent hiccups in newborns are just normal, so they need not any medical intervention. They may come back more often, but like hiccups in adults, hiccups in newborns resolve on their own after a few minutes.

In adults, when hiccups become persistent, doctor’s intervention is possibly necessary. It is because hiccups in such case might have possible association with serious illnesses, such as diabetes, pneumonia, multiple sclerosis, stroke, tumors, metabolic disorders, meningitis, to name a few. On the other hand, it is not unusual at all that a newborn hiccups persistently. Hence, there is no need to see a doctor so long as the hiccups do not interfere with the newborn’s sleep and feeding.

When it comes to hiccup treatments, adults have invented way too many methods for their own hiccups. One of the most popular is to drink plenty of water until the hiccup is gone. This method is, however, outright impossible to employ with hiccups in newborns because they are too young to force to do so. You can, however, offer them some breast milk or formula, which often does the trick. Many adults also think that breathing methods are effective hiccup treatments, such as breathing into a paper bag, alternating breathing pattern, or holding one’s breath for a few seconds. Again, these methods are impossible to employ plus too unsafe to newborns. Adults are likewise fond of consuming particular food in arresting hiccups, like eating sugar or a spoonful of honey, a banana, or peanut butter, or drinking vinegar, to name a few. While it may not be impossible to feed newborns or babies, they should not be given solid food at such young age.

Generally, the best solution to a hiccuping newborn is to offer some breast milk. Often, this will clear the hiccups immediately. A bottle will of course work too, but is not as convenient as a solution, if your baby is not otherwise due a feed. Otherwise, it’s simply a matter of waiting until they pass. Generally babies are not bothered by hiccups, though they can make sleep difficult, and in fact one of my children used to wake herself up by hiccuping, as she would get them virtually everytime we lay her down on her back.

Buying a Cheap Double Pram

side-by-side double stroller
side-by-side double stroller
The InStep Safari double jogger stroller has 39 five star reviews on Amazon.

A double pram is an essential item on your baby shopping list if you’re expecting twins or if you already have a baby or young toddler and you’re expecting a second child. However a pram is likely to be one of the more expensive items on your list, particularly a tandem or twin model, and thrifty parents will be looking for ways to keep the costs down. It may seem an impossible task to find a cheap double pram but if you’re not too specific about the model that you buy and you know where to look, it is possible to get significant savings.

One of the first steps to take in order to keep the costs of buying a pram down is to stay away from the designer makes. Double prams are available from many manufacturers but some of the trendier and popular brands will often have large price tags and are not always better than cheaper alternatives. Remember that a pram is a functional item and you shouldn’t just consider it as a fashion accessory, especially if you are looking to save a bit of cash.

It is worth reading a few reviews online to see which prams are really worth the money and which models you’re paying a premium for the design or the name. Often certain models of pram become popular because they are very user friendly so if you have your heart set on a particular model, don’t despair. Baby shops often offer large discounts on certain items, especially if the manufacturer releases a new model or color and you can often find double prams / pushchairs on sale.

Keep an eye out for baby clubs for new mothers and special offers that will give you coupons and money off codes for shopping online. If you’re spending a lot at one particular store the discounts can be quite significant.

5 Bedroom and Closet Organization Tips For Mom

1 white Sliding Wire Basket mounted on the wall
1 white Sliding Wire Basket mounted on the wall
Rubbermaid Configurations Sliding Wire Basket

We all know closets are the nemesis in any home. We try to keep them clean and tidy but after a while we get lazy and procrastination sets in. Well when it comes to our children the same issues apply but if you can get a method going early when they are first born then you have a real chance of keeping clutter at bay. Here are some closet organization ideas to help keep your child organized.

 

  1. Every six months or so, take everything out of your children’s closet and decide which items can stay and which should go. You can donate the outgrown items to other people who will still need the.. Chances are you have a family member or friend who could use the hand me downs, and if not, send them to a charity shop.
  2. Reserve the top shelf for your children’s out of season clothing items. Get plastic containers or storage cubes and label them by season. So when it’s spring, keep your winter clothes out of the closet and into the plastic container, and vice versa. That way there is still more closet space for your child to utilize.
  3. Have a hamper basket to place your child’s dirty laundry. So that early on, they can learn the value of closet organizing their clean clothes from their dirty ones.
  4. Hooks are especially important, so be sure there must be at least 3 or 4 of them in their room. It’s a great way to place their coats, hats and sports equipment. Just be sure it’s placed in a height where your child can reach it. This gets them involved in the care of their clothes in a way they can easily manage.
  5. For older children (say 3 and up), a wire closet storage system can be a good choice, allowing them to easily see what’s in each drawer.  This increases the chances of them putting their clothes away in the right drawer, and also makes it easy for you to see at a glance what they have clean. You can even reserve one drawer for clothes that are clean enough to be worn again, so they are not shut in a stuffy drawer getting smelly, but are also not lying around the room.

These childrens closet organization tips are an excellent way to get your baby’s and children’s rooms in order. If closet organization is not a part of your home cleaning regiment then you need to get started implementing them in all of your home closets.

Decorating a Nursery with an Art Poster for Every Character You Love

Two piece wall art, 5 giraffes
Cotton Tale Designs 2 Piece Play Date Wall Art

When you have a baby on the way, your attention will be focused on designing your baby’s nursery. There are mothers who would prefer to design their baby’s room with the traditional pink if it’s a girl and blue if it’s a boy. While others, prefer to have a room that is designed for both a girl and a boy. That is not a bad idea and it can help your growing baby adjust to the variety of colors displayed in the room as well as its contents. Perhaps you are on a budget, since you are saving for the medical expenses and baby needs once your baby is born, so choosing an affordable style for the room is a practical thing to do. You can have the walls painted in one pastel color and have an art poster for every cartoon character you would love to introduce to your baby.

The cartoon character portrayed in an art poster could be Garfield, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or even Pink Panther. Their 1 to 2 featured colors are great for a baby’s developing eyes and brain. Better yet you can use posters of unknown characters or orginal designs that have strong contrasts to help your baby’s developing eye sight. As they grow up they will be curious and fascinated wanting to watch, draw and hear stories about these characters.

Art 4 Kids "Silly Jungle Animals" Mounted Art Print
Art 4 Kids "Silly Jungle Animals" Mounted Art Print , 30"x17"

Choosing characters that they don’t have ready access to on television or through books is a good way to encourage your angel to be artistic and imaginative, creating stories of their own.It will also allow you to make up stories to entertain your little ones without the bias of ready made characters. Just make sure that these posters are hung by poster frames that will help preserve and maintain the condition of the posters from tearing, sagging and stains, dust and mold. The frames will also add style and depth into the nursery with your chosen frame designs.

Creating a nursery does not have to be expensive as an art poster as well as poster frames are very affordable. Remember, designing a nursery does not have to be expensive, but it should be beneficial.

Do Parents Need A Baby Changing Bag?

Many parents see baby changing bags as a necessity but others don’t use them at all. This begs the question – do parents actually need a baby changing bag? There are many good features designed into a purpose made baby changing bag that make life a lot easier. However, they may not be essential to what you need and you could find separate accessories elsewhere that can be used with any suitably sized bag.

You Need One

There are some funky baby changing bags available that suit many different tastes and styles. The key advantage of baby changing bags over just any bag is that they are designed to be useful for that very purpose. With separate compartments it is easy to sort clothing or accessories within the bag, making it easy to get to what you want. Many changing bags incorporate an insulated bottle pocket enabling you to keep bottles of milk or water warm for longer. Baby changing bags are frequently made from materials that are easy to clean or wipe. They will at some point have spills over them or in them and being able to wipe and clean is a definite plus. It’s all about accessibility and functionality with a baby changing bag.

You Don’t Need One

There are arguments and opinions against using changing bags supported by many parents. After all, it is just a bag for carrying stuff, right? In which case you could choose any nice bag that you like form a wider range available that will carry all that you need for your baby. As for insulated bottle pockets, what is to say that your bottle will actually fit? Or maybe you don’t even use a bottle. Or you may take more than one bottle and only have one pocket to use. You will probably find that most of the design features like changing mats and bottle warmers are available to buy separately. Again this gives you extra choices.

What Are The Alternatives?

The alternatives to baby changing bags are as diverse as you want them to be. Many parents go for a cheap, over-sized bag that everything fits into.  Just an average day pack will do. This saves money for other essential items that a baby or family needs. When a child gets older they could be allowed some independence by having their stuff in a toddler backpack. This will free you up to carry less and gives the child a sense of being all grown up. There are also purpose-made inserts you can buy. Simply put a reduced amount of baby items in one of these and it is still small enough to transfer from one bag to another. It also means you don’t have to take a whole bag to change your baby somewhere.

Whilst there are conflicting opinions as to whether baby changing bags are necessary it is really down to you as the user. If you think they are useful and make life easier then get one. It’s much like the arguements over needing a changing table (or not) or even a pram (or not). It may be a little pricier but you can benefit from it. If you want to save some money and don’t find the arrangement of a changing bag useful, use an alternative with added optional extras that you choose.

Modern Cloth Diapers Are a Good Choice for Most Occasions

Baby beehinds rainbow edged fitted hemp diaperCloth diapers (or nappies) have many benefits but the main on is the ability to be reused saving you a LOT of money as well as being great for the environment. They can also be better for you baby’s skin, just be sure to wash them with a non-toxic laundry detergent (without enzymes, so it won’t damage the cloth).

Many parents choose to use cloth diapers rather than disposable varieties as cloth diapers do not contain chemicals within them to mask odour and wick away moisture. These chemicals are thought by many to influence whether a baby has a simple rash or even more serious ailments later in life such as asthma and male infertility.

If you want to potty train your toddler early then it is best to use cloth diapers as they  allow the baby to feel the results of their ‘bodily functions’. Studies have been carried out at shows babies who used cloth diapers respond to potty training earlier than those using disposable.

Quality cotton or hemp diapers are a real money saver even though they can cost quite a lot to buy initially. Also taken into account that you have to wash them or pay someone to wash them, they still work out cheaper than buying disposable diapersYou can save anything from a couple of thousand to several thousand dollars over the lifetime of your cloth diapers, depending how many children use them. Once the diapers are no longer suitable they can be repurposed into bibs or other types of household rags.

A common thought by new parents is that they should use cloth diapers in the comfort of their own home but change disposable when they are out and about. This is usually down to convenience but it does not have to be the case. All you need to do is pack your diaper bags slightly differently and include some different items.

When using cloth diapers the main thing you need to remember in your diaper bag is a suitable waterproof bag or container to store your dirty diapers in. This will make sure that the rest of the contents of your diaper bag will not get soiled. Make sure you do not forget the things such as additional spare diapers, baby powder and safety pins. If you feel the need to carry extra items such as a baby’s bottle or your own wallet or purse you should have enough room in the diaper bag.

A newborn baby can dirty his or her diaper up to 70 times within their first week on earth. Choosing the best type of diaper for your child comes down to your own personal ethos on raising children, and your baby’s shape and size. Many opinions are given but there is no one size fits all answer so do your own research, try some different diapers on your child, and make your own choice.