Hey everyone! I’m Cathy, a Millennial mom, who loves finding hacks and smarter ways for a better home and blog! From parenting to budgeting to blogging to organizing and more, Smart Mom Ideas is for moms who want a smarter way of life!
A great song that will have everyone clapping their hands.
6. The Cha Cha Slide
While you might know exactly how to do the cha cha slide, you might have to teach your little ones this fun dance that they are sure to love. It also helps to teach them their right and left, learning while getting down and funky!
7. Happy from Despicable Me 2
Pharrell Williams - Happy (Official Video) - YouTube
There is no denying it, this song from Despicable Me 2 makes everyone happy!
Ready to sign up with the best baby registry there is out there, mama? Look no further! Sign up for your Amazon baby registry today!
Creating a baby registry is a simple, fun, and easy way for your family and friends to send you the gifts you want and need for your baby.
Your little one is going to need so many different things for his or her arrival that it can be hard to pick just one store to register with.
Thankfully, Amazon’s baby registry makes an expecting mother’s life SO much easier. I mean, I guess it’s a no-brainer for those of us who are obsessive Amazon shoppers.
But, if you’re not familiar with Amazon or its baby registry, let me first share some benefits to setting up your baby registry with Amazon:
Large selection – Find exactly what you need in their selection of millions of products
Mobile Friendly – Manage your baby registry from any portable device
Generous return policy – You have 90 days from receipt of shipment to return most of your items
Discount – Get a one-time 10% discount on select remaining items in your registry
Special discounts to Prime members – If you’re already a Prime member, you’ll enjoy rotating limited time offers
FREE welcome box to qualifying registrants – For parents and baby- $35 value.
Gift splitting – This allows your friends and family to collectively chip in to buy you those higher priced items you need.
Shop on other websites! – The Amazon Assistant allows you to shop on other websites and add those items to your baby registry.
Enjoy a wide range of prices – Find the prices that work for you!
As you can see, Amazon makes it all so easy, mama! The convenience and selections you have are incredible!
Amazon is also unmatched when it comes it providing outstanding shipping speeds and customer service.
Create Your Amazon Baby Registry
Go to Amazon’s Baby Registry homepage and click “Get Started”
Complete the form that asks for the following information:
Expected due date
Address where you would like your gift shipped to
Then click the button that says “Create My Baby Registry. Once that step is done, your registry is now set up! Now all you need to do is shop on Amazon as normal.
To add items to your registry, click on the item you would like from the main search page. Look to right of the item displayed. Underneath the pricing and shipping information, you’ll see the “Add to Cart” button. The third button down from there, you’ll find the “Add to Baby Registry” button. Click that button.
After you click, a page will come up confirming you’ve successfully added that item. The page will also display information about items you’ve already added to your registry. You’ll also notice Amazon’s suggestions about similar items you may like.
What Should I Add to My Baby Registry?
I thought I had done some pretty intense planning for my delivery. But after my twins arrived, I realized there were more than a few things I wished my hubby and I had gotten ahead of time.
Although I did go on to by them after the delivery, I only wished I had known sooner how much certain items would save my life!
Use this handy checklist to help make sure you don’t forget any important items for you or baby.
Diapers always seem to be at the top of the list, huh! It’s because babies go through so many of them.
Whether you’re going to use cloth or disposable, get ready because this recurring baby expense will last at least the first couple of years.
For that reason I’d recommend you start doing some research early to see what brand is the cheapest.
The cost is usually less steep if you buy them in bulk.
Blankets are good for tummy time, when you’re holding your baby, or to cover baby in the car seat. Just remember it is NOT recommended to cover your infant with a blanket when you lay him or her down to sleep.
It’s a safety hazard and can lead to suffocation.
Infant Car Seat
Make sure your baby’s car seat is rear-facing and properly installed. It can definitely be confusing so if you need a hand, check to see if there are any places in your local community that teach parents how to install their baby’s car seat properly (free of charge!)
This is also a great place to store your maxi pads or other healing essentials for you when on the go, mama!
Your newborn won’t need this yet, but down the line FOR-SURE! Rather than try prevent every food mess, you’ll eventually have to put them in their high chair and let them learn to feed themselves.
Newborns grow really fast. And thus, they won’t be in the same size for very long. But they also spit up alot and are prone to give you your fair share of blow out diaper surprises.
Here are some of the clothes to stock up on for your baby:
Onesies (long and short sleeve)
Sleepers (baby pajamas)
Keeping baby’s head warm is extremely important. But, like socks, it’s hard not to lose them. Keep one in your diaper bag, a couple at home, and have a couple back-up caps.
Almost every family I know has a crisis revolving around socks. And gee, was it ever in our home too?!
Mesh bags help to keep the socks in one place before and after washing and drying them. The bags can be washed in the washer to keep your little one’s socks together. In my opinion, this is a must!
Unless you want to change your shirt and baby’s entire outfit three or more times per day, you need to keep quite a few of these around where you can reach for them quickly.
Cute Hair Bands and Accessories
If you’re having a boy, you can skip the pretty hair bows.
But if you’re expecting a girl, you can buy a selection of colors that will look adorable with many different outfits. If you plan on having newborn photos taken, choosing the outfit and accessories ahead of time is a smart move.
Baby Bath Supplies
Here is the most basic baby bathing items you’ll need:
Baby body wash
Baby hair brush and comb
There will never be a shortage of times when your receiving blankets will come in handy. They’re a great protective layer against germs when you’re changing baby in public, for burping, or just for keeping your outfit clean when you’re feeding baby.
Stroller or Baby Carrier
A stroller or baby carrier will help you a lot after baby is here. Strollers are a convenient way to transport baby, the diaper bag, and anything else you may have.
Keep in mind that some mothers like the thought babywearing. But I’ve found it’s not for every mother as the extra weight on your body may only add stress and discomfort rather than relieve it.
Bassinet or Crib
If your baby will be sleeping in a crib, make sure you have a fitted mattress cover and no blankets to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Contrary to what many believe, babies are more safe to sleep without anything in their crib at all. Experts recommend avoiding crib bumpers, blankets, toys, and all other objects that may lead to suffocation.
Rocking or Arm Chair
By no means is this an essential item. But it does provide comfort while your nurse your baby, reduces back pain, and creates a special bond between you and baby while they’re on your lap.
Like most mothers, I found out quickly that motherhood is a lot less stressful when you have some sort of system and basic organization.
A diaper caddy will keep diapers and all other little things in one place so you don’t have to spend time looking all over for them.
Since your baby’s skin is so sensitive, you’ll want to use something other than what you use to wash your own clothes.
Baby detergent is dermatologist tested and is free of dyes and other chemicals that can easily irritate your baby’s skin.
Baby Hygiene Kit
All of your baby’s little items must have a place to ‘live’. I can’t count how many times I went in to find something for the twins and it was nowhere to be found. I was even more frustrated having to buy the same thing a second (or third!) time.
A simple toiletry bag is a great place to store things like your baby’s diaper cream, nail clippers, body lotion, etc.
Baby First Aid Kit
Similar to the hygiene kit, you’ll need a separate place to keep only first aid items such as:
When your baby gets older, a baby walker or bouncer will keep your baby entertained and allow them to get the stimulation and exercise they need.
It will also give you a chance to get a few extra things done while they’re contained and content.
Funny thing is that while some babies cling to a pacifier, others just don’t want it at all! Every baby is different. I’d suggest only buying one at first to see if your baby takes well to it.
Breastfeeding made easier! Boppy pillows help support baby to feed at your breast while you’re in a comfortable position. This will help prevent back pain from slouching or leaning forward. Especially as your baby grows!
For New Mom
Try to avoid bras with underwire as this may cause more discomfort. Also, your body changes a lot during the postpartum period. I wouldn’t buy to many bras (maybe only a couple).
You can always shop after you have your baby to make sure you’re buying the right sizes.
I added this to the list as something to buy if you need it. There really is no way to tell before you have your baby.
Dry, cracked, or bleeding breasts are a nightmare…but not every mother experiences these symptoms. Do your best to prevent this by making sure you baby has a good latch every time you breastfeed.
With vaginal births, it takes a number of days for the bleeding to stop. With each passing day, your bleeding will start to look more like that of a period until it stops all together.
Don’t stock up on too many pads, as you can always get more later as needed.
Comfortable Big Underwear
I wouldn’t stock up too many of these underwear at all. They give you extras at the hospital if you ask.
You shouldn’t really need them after about a week. They just come in handy so you don’t get blood stains on your nice underwear. They also give you room to breathe in your lady parts so you don’t irritate your stitches (if you have them).
You may or may not end up needing these long term, mama. About the third day after having baby, your breasts may become engorged and may start to leak even when you’re not pumping or breastfeeding. Nursing pads stop the milk from leaking all over your shirt.
Breastfeeding is more relaxing when you don’t have to lift up your entire shirt. Even at home! Have at least a few different sexy maternity breastfeeding tops that make you feel gorgeous.
Drinking enough water is an absolute must. Especially to keep up a healthy milk supply. A special water bottle will motivate you to stay hydrated throughout your breastfeeding journey.
The inability to poop is a miserable experience. Not to mention, if you had your vaginal area stitched up. Keep stool softener on hand because the last thing you want is to be constipated.
Witch Hazel Pads/ Tucks
Line your maxi pads with a couple witch hazel pads to relieve itching, swelling, bleeding, and minor pain. These are over the counter and can be used to speed up your recovery from a vaginal birth.
Simplifying meals will allow you more time to rest and bond more with your baby.
That may look like premade frozen dinners or homemade meals you prepare in advance to store in your freezer. Investing in an Instant Pot is worth every penny because it doesn’t require you to do a lot of standing in the kitchen.
You’ll also be able to multitask while you cook and not have to worry about burning your food.
Instead of seeing this as an added expense, try to see it as a component of your recovery process.
You don’t want to be pressed to do things that aren’t absolutely necessary. Using disposable dishware at least for one meal a day can give you a little extra breathing room to complete another task besides doing the dishes.
After you’ve delivered your baby, you may still experience minor aches and pains such as cramping or soreness. Keep your pain reliever near during your recovery. Check with your doctor in regards to consuming the proper doses of the right medication.
After giving birth vaginally, you won’t be able to use soap or wipe down there for a few weeks. Your lady parts will be tender and extremely sensitive.
Use the bottle before, during, and after you pee. It will help keep you clean down there by cleansing the blood away so you don’t get an infection.
Convenient Little Things
Keeping up your own hygiene and feeling good is important too, mama! Here are a few things you might want to keep close by when at home with baby:
A Lovely Mommy Box
This is something I suggest you put together yourself as opposed to buying a premade one. This is because no one really knows you like you do.
I encourage every expecting mother to create one of these. The box can be big or small. Add in things here and there that will help you get through your recovery with joy and ease.
Round the clock feedings, diaper changes, lack of sleep, and the overall adjustment can take such a toll that it can be hard to catch any moments to yourself doing something that makes you feel great.
Here are some ideas of things you might add to your box:
Sketchbook (for when baby sleeps)
Books you want to read
A journal and flair pens
A food gift card for the rainy days
Pen, paper, envelopes, and stamps to write your family and friends letters
You can keep this box alongside your bed or in a place in your home where you spend the most amount of time.
Then you can easily reach and grab for the little things that can make your tough days more joyful. Trust me, you’ll be glad you created your box ahead of time!
Create Your Amazon Baby Registry Today
There ya go! A step-by-step guide to setting up your Amazon baby gift registry as well a list of items to add.
Amazon’s baby registry makes it easy and convenient even for last minutes shoppers to chip in before your little one’s arrival.
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Enjoy this time, mama!
Relax while making those last minute preparations and arranging your gifts in your home.
Over to you now. What baby (and mama!) must-haves did I miss that mommies should add to their Amazon baby registry?
Find how family goals should be part of your family life!
Let’s talk a minute about family goals.
Now, I’m sure you are aware of the importance of goal setting for yourself.
It might be losing weight, getting up earlier, having a side hustle to save more money, the list goes on.
You shouldn’t have to wait until the new year to set goals.
In fact, you can start today!
Family goals are a bit different from personal goals and they tend a take a little more work.
What Are Family Goals?
Family goals are goals that you set together as a family and then work on together as a family.
Their purpose is to bring you closer as a family, spend more time together, grow, and learn together.
If you have younger children, it might be left up to just mom and dad to make the goals.
If you have older children, you can get them involved in the process of setting goals. It can start with a simple brainstorming session and a pad of paper.
While the process of setting family goals might seem a bit overwhelming if you already have a to-do list that is a mile long, set aside the time to work on it.
Either have a casual chat over dinner or a formal family meeting to discuss goals.
Talk About Goals With Your Children
First, have talk with your kids about what goals are, how to set them, why they are important to your family, and how everyone will benefit from them.
Now this will vary depending on the age of your kids and their understanding of the whole process.
Kids have a tendency to emulate what their parents are doing. If they see them setting and working on certain goals, they are more likely to have good goals setting skills as adults. It’s a win win!
While goals can certainly be fun things like going to the zoo, they should also have a purpose. Are you trying to teach your kids certain qualities, values, and characteristics.
These help to plan your goals and shape your experiences. Even at a young age you can start to instill the benefits of goal setting.
For example, toddlers can have a goal of feeding the dog everyday, or picking up their toys. You can even combine personal and family goals. For example, if one parent is looking to lose weight, it could be a goal for the whole family to eat healthier.
The goals you are setting should be S.M.A.R.T. goals.
This means that they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
So don’t write something down like “eat better,” this is NOT a S.M.A.R.T goal. A S.M.A.R.T. goal would be, make a vegetarian meal every Monday that is less than 500 calories per serving.
Do you see the difference?
Put Your Goals on Display
After you have had your family meeting and you have all the goals written out that you would like to work on as a family over the next year, display them!
Make sure they are where everyone can see them and look at them on a regular basis. If you can, make a vision board for your goals or use a magnetic board.
This can be a really fun family project.
Find some images online or in magazines that portray your goals, grab some glue, and maybe a bit of glitter, and put together a vision board for your goals for the year.
You should also be defining your why for your goals.
What is the reasoning for putting time and effort into these goals? If you have enough room, put that on your vision board also.
Setting Family Goals
There are thousands of different goals that you can set together as a family, but there are a couple of different categories to focus on to get a really well rounded experience. Some of the goals you set might be smaller goals or bigger goals.
You are not going to be able to save everything needed for college tuition in one year, but it is good to start as soon as you can.
While the goal setting process is very personal and will vary drastically from family to family general categories include:
There are so many different goals that you can set within these categories.
So let’s take a look at each one of these categories individually and dive into some goal setting ideas.
Just be aware, some of these categories might overlap, but that is a good thing! It’s great to find one thing that focuses on two or more goal growth areas.
Spiritual can mean many different things to many different people.
Perhaps this refers to your faith and your relationship with God.
Perhaps this means meditation and a spiritual journey. Whatever spiritual goals, it should be personal and help you to grow as a family and as individuals. Here is a list of various spiritual family goals that you might want to consider working on:
Attend church more (define what more means to you)
Learn to meditate and meditate together
Do Bible study/scripture
Keep individual gratitude journals
Pray together more
Devote some time to service to God (this can also double for a community goal)
This is a rather wide category that can include anything related to growing your brains.
If you homeschool you might have more goals that a family that does not.
Even with traditional public or private schools, you can set various educational and intellectual goals as a personal growth type goal. Let’s take a look at some educational related family goals.
Learn a new language
Read more books
Learn calligraphy or hand lettering
Learn a new type of art
Write more (short stories, poetry, creative writing, etc)
Stay updated on current events and discuss them together
Go to a museum
Play chess or other strategy games together (doubles as an entertainment goal)
Use IQ or learning apps over mindless games
Learn a new skill by taking an online course together
Visit your local library
Attend a TEDx Talk
Start a family book club
Social and community goals can be a lot of fun and help you to connect with other families in the community that might share in common goals and values.
You never know, you might find some great new friends by getting out and working on goals within the community.
Do a technology detox (pick a certain amount of time to go without technology)
Attend community events (festivals, rallies, markets, etc)
Join a community choir/theatre
Volunteer at a local shelter
Work with a local charity to collect donations or help run an event
Donate old books and toys to a non-profit in the community
Join a local organization (such as a rotary club)
Visit a retirement community
Being healthy and fit is so much easier when everyone is on board.
Organize your pantry/fridge/freezer with healthier choices
Join a family gym
Do a color run
Try a new sport together
Make a healthy new recipe from scratch
Finances are so important and the whole family should be involved.
Whether your kids get an allowance or not, whether they are even really old enough to understand what bills are, or they are about to go out on their own, the whole family should be educated and involved with the family finances.
Here are some financial goals that you can work on as a family:
Build up an emergency fund
Start college fund(s)
Do a saving challenge
Create a budget
Pay off debts
Start a retirement savings for your kid (or yourself if you don’t already have one!)
Teach your kids how to invest
Attend a money management class
While this might seem like more of an individual goal, the parent’s business and or career affects the entire family.
Perhaps it is dad’s goal to get a promotion but that would involve moving. Or mom would like to expand her business but that would mean travel away from home without the kids.
Even with individual business and career goals parent’s must take into consideration how it will affect their children. Or perhaps it is time for the children to enter the workforce or they have been thinking about starting their own business.
This is a very highly individualized goal category but it is beneficial to get the family involved.
This is the fun goal where you can get really creative.
This is the goal category where you put all the fun things you want to do together, so go ahead, get crazy, but just remember, they should be S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Attend a local play or theatre production
Attend a cultural festival or event
Go on a vacation
Take an RV trip
Visit a zoo
Have an outdoor movie night or drive in theatre
Have a picnic in a local park
Paint a family mural in your home (or on a large board)
Try a new craft together
Fly kites together
Go to the beach and build an epic sand castle
Cook your entire dinner over an open fire
Go to a theme park
Do a silly family photoshoot
Take a ride in a hot air balloon
Create a family scrapbook each year of all your adventures
As I said before, each family is different and your family goals will be different than mine.
The main point in making family goals is to create goals that will help you grow together as a family as well as individuals. Your goals should be S.M.A.R.T. and have a purpose. While going on vacation is great and all, what is the purpose of the vacation.
Are you going to visit other family?
Taking a trip to somewhere you have never been to learn about a new culture?
Or are you just going on vacation to spend more time with one another? Whatever your reasoning for your goals, be sure to discuss them with your family and get everyone’s input on the goals that you are developing.
Over to you –
Have you created family goals? What are your favorite goals for the family? Share in the comments!
Learn how easily it is to teach your baby to self-soothe
How can such an adorable little bundle of joy cause such stress and havoc on your sleep life?
I’m sure as a parent this has happened to you at least once: you are chatting with a group of other parents and someone has to brag about how their little one is sleeping peacefully through the night.
Meanwhile your infant is torturing you with sleep deprivation.
Teaching your baby to self-soothe can not only help THEM get more sleep during the night (resulting is a less cranky baby during the day) but can also help YOU to get more sleep and save your sanity at the same time.
But first, what exactly is self-soothing?
Simply put, self-soothing is when your child is able to stop crying and put themselves to sleep without having to be comforted by a caregiver. The unfortunate part is it can involve a lot of crying, at least at first.
But rest assured, this does not make you a bad parent and it will not last forever.
As a first time parent, teaching your baby to self-soothe can be difficult on both of you at first.
It can some with some major mommy guilt. In this post I’ll cover some tactics to use while teaching your baby to self-soothe and how you can avoid feeling like a terrible parent.
I’ll also share with you how my twins self-soothed themselves to sleep.
The Benefits of Self-Soothing
Self-soothing is a skill that your baby can learn that they will carry with them into early childhood and even into adulthood.
You probably already realize the benefits of your baby being able to self-soothe, the most obvious on is that everyone is going to get more sleep. But what are some of the benefits beyond that?
Beyond just getting more sleep, teaching your baby to self-soothe can also help out any other caregivers in your baby’s life.
You can not be with them 24-hours a day to pick them up and cuddle them whenever they are upset. And that’s ok!
You don’t want to have to worry about trying to have a date night while your little one is doing nothing by screaming while at the babysitter’s.
When your infant can effectively learn to self-soothe, they then grow into toddlers that can effectively self-soothe, then growing children that can self-soothe.
This means that even though they might throw a temper tantrum, they will then be able to self-soothe and calm down quicker than children who does not have this skill.
Self-soothing is a skill that goes well beyond childhood and is beneficial into adulthood.
So when your little one is sitting there screaming, just remember that it will not last forever and you are benefiting them in the long term as well.
When babies learn to self-soothe it can help them to return to a deeper sleep if they are already in a light-sleeping state.
When your baby is getting more and deeper sleep for longer periods of time they will ultimately be more rested, leading to a happier baby then they are awake.
This is also a great tactic to get your baby to learn to sleep through the night (which is really the ultimate goal here right?!)
Once your baby has learned to self-soothe they will be able to manage their emotions better when they are playing or learning how to share as well.
They will also be able to remain happier longer without having to be constantly entertained and will be able to play by themselves for longer periods of time.
Environmental factors can be a big player in how well your baby is able to self-soothe.
It can be very difficult to self-soothe when there is a very noisy or harsh environment, which can lead to overstimulation. When it comes to bed time, make sure you have a good, calming routine in place.
Something that involves low light, soft noises, and of course, a few snuggles.
Having a white noise machine can work wonders in providing that gentle background noise and to drown out any other noises in the house that might disturb baby.
This makes them feel like they are being snuggled without actually having to be held.
This is actually one of the tactics that I used with my twins. I would swaddle them, turn on the white noise machine, and made a “mom shirt lovey” and placed it in their crib without a pacifier.
If you are looking for some amazing smart technology to help get your baby to self-soothe, there are many smart bassinets that can help to calm your baby.
If your goal is to self-soothe to help get baby to sleep through the night, work on transitioning them to being in their crib on their own, if they are not already.
Start by letting them fall asleep in your arms if that is what they normally do, such as when breastfeeding.
Then transition to them laying next to you, in a bassinet, and finally in their crib. It is ok to let baby have some toys in the crib to play with to help them self-soothe.
Just be sure that they don’t present any choking hazards or can cause overstimulation with lots of lights and sounds.
Your Role as a Parent/Caregiver
One of the biggest things with self-soothing is that you, the parent or caregiver, have to remove yourself from the situation. This means don’t hold your baby until they fall asleep and also try to avoid giving them a bottle or cup until they fall asleep.
Although it can be difficult when your little one is crying, it is important to be consistent with your actions.
DO NOT pick them up every time they become upset or seem distressed.
You should be able to recognize your baby’s various cries.
There is generally a big difference between a cry that is just seeking attention and a cry that means they are hurt or in danger. Crying is your baby’s only way of communicating, so they tend to do it a lot, even when they don’t actually need anything other than your attention.
If your baby is showing signs that they just want attention, try talking to them and let them know what you are doing rather than just holding them.
“It’s ok honey, mommy needs to finish making dinner then we can play.”
Talking to your baby reassures them that you are near, even if they can’t see you, and comforts them, even without picking them up.
You also need to be able to listen to your baby when they are giving you cues that they are upset or tired. You can also start off with letting them self-soothe for shorter periods of time and gradually extend the time periods.
This will help them to develop that self-soothing behavior and they will gradually need you to help them calm down less and less.
It is up to your child to ultimately determine when they are at the right age to self-soothe. If you have tried and have been unsuccessful, all is not lost.
Try again in a month or so. You need to be consistent and let your baby know that you are still there for them.
Try to keep baby occupied with toys and other things that don’t require you to be right there with them.
My Process of Teaching My Twins to Self-Soothe
As I mentioned I would use white noise, swaddling and my mom shirt lovey to help my twins associate those items with sleep cues.
I didn’t attempt to self-soothe until my twins were much older – 6-9 months.
At this time I would use a bottle for my son and breastfed my daughter to help them get sleepy and placed them in their crib together.
Then I would place my hand on them and stay there until they slept.
This didn’t always work (many times I did go back to picking them up and trying again), but over time I was able to give the their bottle/milk much earlier than bedtime and do a night routine like bath, story and goodnight kisses and snuggles.
Each baby is different and they have different needs. Because I had twins and they slept in the same crib, I feel they also used each other to self-soothe.
How to Tell if Your Baby is Trying to Self-Soothe
There are many things that an infant can do to try and soothe themselves. Keep an eye out for some of these clues and encourage your baby to use these strategies when they become upset.
Sucking on a pacifier, fingers, thumb, or their fist
Rubbing their eyes (someone’s tired!)
Snuggling with their favorite toy or blanky
Rubbing something soft in between their fingers
Rubbing their hair or head
Rocking themselves from side to side
Making humming or cooing sounds
If you see that your baby is becoming upset, try to encourage them to use these tactics rather than just picking them up and snuggling them right away. I know it can be difficult, but they will learn in time.
But when should you start teaching your baby to self-soothe?
There is no exact pre-determined age, each child is different and has different needs. Experts suggest the earliest you should start is around 4 months of age.
Although if you do not work with your child on self-soothing tactics within the first year, the toddler years and beyond might get a little rough. Six to nine months seems to be the sweet spot for many (it was for me!).
Teaching your baby to self-soothe takes time, so don’t rush it. Be patient with yourself and with your little one.
Have some family fun with these awesome family games for all ages!
Family games nights are such a great thing to implement no matter the age of your children.
With the large increase in time that kids spend on electronics, implementing a family game night in your home provides many benefits.
It creates a bonding experience for families that kids will remember for years to come. It also promotes emotional and mental development in children, which then carries over into school and social settings.
Playing board games is also a great way for you as a parent to assess how well your child is developing certain skills.
Can they think strategically about their moves, or are they good sports if they lose?
Of course board games and other types of games are made to be fun, but why not take the opportunity to teach your child things like good sportsmanship, following the rules, and winning and losing gracefully all while having fun!
While there are many, many great board games out there for families to play, there are also many great games that you can make up with things right in your home.
From minute to win it games to relays, races, and STEM themed games, it’s time to get creative and pull those dusty games out of your closet or make up some new ones!
Family Board Games
Family board games are a really fun way to whip up a family game night and start getting into the routine of spending time with one another without screens.
1. Eric Carle Matching Game
If you are looking for games for your three-year-old, this fun and colorful Eric Carle matching game is sure to keep your toddler’s attention, at least for a little bit.
Your toddler is sure to recognize the adorable characters from the Eric Carle book series with the hungry caterpillar, the grouchy ladybug, and brown bear.
2. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game
Board games for 3 year olds should be fun and educational. The sneaky, snacky squirrel hit that right on the head…or nut in this case!
Help the little forest creatures get food for winter by using the squirrel squeezer to pick up acorns.
Designed to help young children learn colors and work on fine motor skills, this silly game is sure to become your toddler’s favorite in no time.
A great game for ages 3 and up to help work on fine and gross motor skills alike. Collect colorful cupcakes as you ask out activities, sing songs, and identify animals.
5. Matching Letters Game
If you are looking for board games for 4 year olds, this game is the perfect mix of fun and education!
This matching game helps to develop strategic thinking skills, memory, spelling, and word recognition.
You’ll feel like a great parent because they are learning and they will be having so much fun they won’t even realize it’s educational.
6. Watch Ya’ Mouth
A hilarious game to play with kids over 8 years old that will have you rolling on the floor laughing. Those playing should be old enough to read and be ok with potentially drooling on themselves with a silly mouthpiece in trying to talk. Silly phrases like “warm beef meatballs,” will have you rolling on the floor laughing.
Minute to Win it Games
Minute to win it games are such a great way to start up a fun family game night.
These games are a favorite for many because they are easy to do, you can make them up with just about anything from around the house, and generally pee your pants hilarious!
There are three different ways to do minute to win it games, individual versus clock, head to head competition, or splitting up a group and having one person from each group go head to head.
The only time you really need to score a minute to win it game is when you are playing with groups.
You can use just about anything in your house to play minute to win it games, various balls, plastic cups and flatware, buckets, cookies, balloons, blindfold, streamers, empty 2-liter bottle, and of course a timer.
This is a really funny one and will have everyone laughing and cookies all over.
This is a fun one to play head to head against someone else. Place a cookie on the contestant’s forehead, they have to get it into their mouth without touching it. First to eat their forehead cookie wins!
8. Defying Gravity
This is a fun and easy one for the little ones. Blow up three balloons for each player, they have to keep all their balloons up in the air for one minute!
9. Bottle to Bottle
Tie or tape two bottle together side by side.
This works well with 2-liter bottles or can be done with any larger type plastic bottle with a small opening. In one of the bottles, place something small (cereal, jelly beans, dried beans, stick pretzels).
The player has to get all of the contents from one bottle into the other bottle. It’s much more difficult than it sounds…
Games for Teaching Teamwork
Teamwork is such an important skill to learn while you are young.
The skill of teamwork carries over into school and job settings. Teamwork can help teach kids how to negotiate, be respectful, flexibility, and how to be leaders. Here are some fun games that promote teamwork.
10. The Blindfold Game
This is a game that you can get really creative with.
Often times you blindfold someone and their teammate gives them directions on where to walk and what to do. This often leads to hilarious results and potential bumps and bruises if their teammate doesn’t give very good directions.
You can also play the blindfold game and do something like make a sandwich or put together a simple puzzle. The goal here is to have one person blindfolded and another person giving them instructions of some sort to complete a task.
11. Cup Stacking Challenge
You are going to need at least three people for this game, but the more the better. In the cup stacking challenge you tie strings to a rubber band and give the end of the string to each person.
They then have to use the rubber band that is tied to the strings to stack cups into a pyramid. They have to pull their strings at the same time to stretch the rubber band enough to place it over the cup and pick it up.
It might sounds simple but it can be rather difficult.
12. Build a Bridge
This is a great game for kids that love to build things.
Divide your family into two groups. Without looking at what the other group is doing, you each need to build half of a bridge. When you are done, come together and figure out how you can connect it. This works with regular Legos, larger blocks, craft sticks and glue, newspaper, all sorts of different materials.
STEM Themed Games
I am a huge advocate of doing games with kids that also teach them things and get their little minds working overtime.
STEM themed games are great because they combine the fun of games while teaching science, technology, engineering, and math skills. While you can get pretty creative with STEM themed games for older children, even the little ones can participate.
13. Spaghetti Structures
Grab a bag or two or of marshmallows and some spaghetti and start building. This is a very popular project that schools do when working on STEM initiatives, so why not make a game out of it? You can break your family up into teams or do it individually and see who can build the tallest tower. Just make sure everyone has an even amount of spaghetti (toothpicks work also) and marshmallows. Of course the funnest part is eating the marshmallows afterwards.
14. The Static Can Balloon Race
This static can balloon race is a really neat one that focuses on using static electricity to move an aluminum can. Simply make two lines (using a string or piece of tape) as a start and finish line. Then give each player a balloon and an aluminum can.
They can only move the can using static electricity from the balloon. They can “charge” the balloon up with static from their shirt or hair and use it to pull the can towards the finish line.
15. Build a Rube Goldberg Machine
Think of a simple task that you do around your house daily.
It could be something like turning on a light or starting the wash machine.
Now work together to build an over complicated machine to achieve that task. Here is a video how a Rube Goldberg machine can be used to turn on a light. You don’t have to get super fancy, just find things around your house that can be used. This is a great “game” to promote critical thinking and engineering skills.
There you have it! What sort of games do you love to play for your family game nights?
Check out these cute and funny father’s day gifts for first time dads!
With Father’s Day right around the corner, it’s time to start looking for those great first-time dad gifts that he will actually use.
While he would surely appreciate a “world’s greatest dad” coffee mug, those can be a bit overdone.
While sentimental gifts are wonderful, you are sure to want to get that new dad in your life something he is going to use and cherish for many years to come and will bring a smile to his face every time he looks at it.
Best Gifts for New Dads
There are so many books for new dads out there, from fun and funny books to read to his little on to milestone and scrapbook type books that he is sure to love working on with this little guy or girl.
And of course, let’s not forget the dad manuals, what would fatherhood be without some dad to dad advice on how to change diapers and be the best dad and husband he can be?
The New Dad’s Survival Guide: Man-to-Man Advice for First-Time Fathers
Have you ever heard a guy say, “these kids don’t come with a manual you know!” Well, good news, now they do! A hilarious, military-style guide to help new dads demystify fatherhood. Covering everything from C-sections to starting to save for college, this guide is sure to help any novice dad get a grip on what is to come when the baby arrives and what is to come after.
When We Became Three: A Memory Book for the Modern Family
Give dad this adorable memory book to help fill out with mom about the chronicles of before baby arrived and all the joy (and chaos) that ensued afterward. With fun and informational sections for both mommy and daddy to fill out, he is sure to not feel left out of the memory book process.
The New Dad’s Playbook: Gearing Up for the Biggest Game of Your Life
Perhaps the dad in your life is more of a football fan. Help him to get prepared for baby using a language he is sure to understand. Not only does this book over all the ins and outs of being a new dad, like how to hold his precious little bundle of joy and change diapers, but also how to be the best husband and partner before, during, and after baby’s arrival.
My Daddy Loves Me!
Reading to your little one is such a fundamental part of learning and it is never too early to start!
This fun little book not only promotes reading but also lets dad be silly with actions like tickles and kisses. Help dad make reading before bed a tradition with this fun and easy to follow board book.
Dad Jokes: Terribly Good Dad Jokes
It takes years to build up a good repertoire of bad dad jokes, so you might as well give him a head start. While baby is sure not to understand these silly jokes, they will surely come in handy when they are teens for fun and embarrassing moments.
What dad doesn’t love a personalized gift just for them or one that showcases their little one?
Bring some happy tears to dad’s eyes with these thoughtful and personalized gifts for new dads that he is sure to love and cherish for many years to come!
Handprint and Footprint Photo Frame
It’s easy to forget how little and precious your baby is. Make sure dad can hold onto those little hand and footprints forever with this personalized photo frame big enough to hold two pictures.
So make sure you add the special picture of dad and baby to it also!
Make sure dad always has his little one with him with this sturdy personalized wallet. With printing on both sides, you can put baby’s face on one side and a sweet personalized message on the other, like “my dad, my hero.”
Engraved Wooden Watch
This handcrafted beautiful wood watch is perfect for the dad who likes to look good and be on time. Have your personal message to dad custom engraved so he will always have it with him while he is on the go.
Whether dad is a geek or outdoorsman, there are sure to be some funny t-shirts that he will proudly wear to show off what a great dad he is (and his witty sense of humor of course)!
Copy and Paste Matching T-Shirt and Onesie Set
Perfect for the computer nerd dad, this matching set proudly displays that baby is just like daddy!
While this might need some explanation to the non-computer geeks out there, it will certainly bring a smile to the face of any nerdy daddy!
Promoted to Daddy T-Shirt
The perfect t-shirt to give dad on his very first Father’s Day or at the hospital after his baby has arrived. He is sure to wear this proudly when out and about while showing off his newest addition.
You Can Do This Onesie
The perfect little onesie to put in part of a first-time dad gift basket (this would go great with one of those dad manuals!)
For the baby of the first time dad who might feel like they are clueless when it comes to taking care of and dressing baby.
This funny onesie gives directions on which of baby’s extremities goes in which hole, you know, in case daddy is too sleep deprived to figure it out on his own.
Diaper Duty Apron
Every daddy has to do it once in a while, the dreaded poopy diaper change.
This apron really does its duty (pun intended)! This soil-resistant apron is also equipped with a pair of man-sized latex gloves, clear safety goggles, a medical grade facemask, and a diaper.
Now he has no more excuses for not helping out mom and changing that stinky bottom.
Awesome Dads Have Tattoos and Beards
The perfect shirt for the first time hipster dad or any bearded and tattooed daddy! While he might look a little rough around the edges, this new dad is really just a soft, squishy teddy bear when it comes to his little one.
For His Man Cave/Garage
Every dad should have a place to go to get away from his kids (and wife) for a bit and just be a man. While he is sure to love spending time with his kids, having time for himself helps to make him a better father and husband.
Let him know that it’s ok to escape to his man cave or garage once and awhile with these man cave/garage gifts for new dads that he is sure to appreciate.
Just because there is a little one in the family now doesn’t mean dad can’t enjoy some fishing still. This fishing hook is a wonderful gift for a first-time dad of a little girl, who is sure to always be the first man to have her heart!
Great Job Dad, I Turned Out Awesome Insulated Tumbler
Having a baby is scary, let dad know that he did a great job and his little one turned out great, with this insulated tumbler.
Sure to keep any drink cold even after letting it sit forever while changing diapers, making dinner, and putting the little one to bed.
The tumbler is also shatter-proof, so he won’t have to worry about it breaking when his feisty little one knocks it out of his hand.
The Dad Multitool
As a new dad, he is sure to run into many situations where he will need to fix something. Make sure he is prepared to fix just about anything mama or baby would need with this “World’s Best Dad” multitool.
Finding the perfect gift for a first-time dad can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Any of these gifts are sure to equip dad with a little extra knowledge and fun to handle his first year (and far beyond) as a new daddy.
Gifts for New Dads
There ya go!
Share in the comments your favorite gift to give to your hubby when he become a new dad!
Learn what to pack in your diaper bag for the first time mom
The diaper bag…it will most likely be your purse for the foreseeable future.
It will hold everything from diapers to your tampons and clothes that have been spit up on. But what do you really need in this wonderous bag of treasures?
As a new mom, just about everything can be overwhelming.
Having a fully stocked diaper bag should help to eliminate some stress and make sure you are fully prepared in the event of a diaper blowout, a boo boo, or aunt flo unexpectedly showing up.
Here is a full list of what to pack in a diaper bag with some suggestions for some stylish and highly functional diaper bags.
The Best Diaper Bags
Just like with every other baby product, there are about a thousand different diaper bags to choose from.
You might not think that choosing a diaper bag is a big deal, but it is! You have to make sure that you have enough room to hold all of yours and baby’s things, enough pockets to store small essentials, that things won’t spill out if it tips over, and of course that it is stylish!
Do you go with a backpack style, over the shoulder, gender neutral, or unicorn pink?
Although style is important, functionality is key. Let’s take a look at some of the hottest diaper bags on the market that are not only super functional but are super stylish!
If you are looking for a super durable and stylish backpack style diaper bag that even your hubby will be proud to carry around the HaloVa diaper bag is a top choice!
It is water resistant and easy to clean oxford fabric, so you won’t want have to worry about spilling milk or baby food on it (trust me, I know how that goes!) It also comes in 16 different colors, from standard black to ice cream cones!
There is one large main compartment that can easily store diapers and wipes with insulated and wet clothes pockets for storing milk bottles and any soiled clothes.
It will not only hold everything but frees up your hands with a hand dandy wipe dispenser on the side. This lovely twill design is also water resistant and is built to last. With 14 different pockets, you will have no shortage of storage space! Although it can be a bit bulky, you will certainly have room for everything!
This lovely twill designed, backpack style diaper bag comes with durable zippers, reinforced straps, and a waterproof exterior. Once your baby has outgrown it, you can even use it as an everyday or travel bag. It even comes with additional straps to attach it to your stroller.
With a total of 13 pockets, 9 on the inside and 4 on the outside, including two specifically for bottles with insulation and a felt-lined pocket to keep valuables (like your phone) in.
It is a three in one diaper bag that goes from a messenger bag, to a tote, to a backpack with a simple switch of the straps. It has straps to easily attach to your stroller and rubber feet to help keep the bag upright and the bottom clean.
While there are many thing you could pack in your diaper bag for baby, there are obviously some essentials. Things like diapers and wipes are pretty obvious, but there are many things that you might not think of until a situation arises, like a diaper blowout. Here is a list of things to include in your diaper bag and to restock when you have used them all up:
A plastic bag(s) for dirty diapers
An extra outfit with socks
Extra pair of shoes or booties
A burp cloth
A bib (or two)
Non-perishable snacks and a sippy cup (or extra bottle)
Extra empty bottles with milk or formula
Seasonal items such as sunscreen, jacket, hat, and extra mittens
Things you should always keep in the bag:
A blanket or nursing cover
Pacifier (or 12)
Some hand sanitizer or sanitizer wipes
Some board books and smaller toys
First Aid Items to keep in your bag:
Diaper rash cream
A bulb syringe
Tylenol or Ibuprofen
Any medications for gas, teething relief, and saline solution
Many moms treat their diaper bags like their purse, I mean you might as well seeing you are going to be taking it everywhere with you anyways! Plus, it can be a pain in the butt to have to carry around two different bags all the time or switch items from one bag to another. So what are some of the things that you should keep in your stylish new diaper bag for you?
Extra phone charger
An extra shirt (cuz your little one is bound to spit up on you right before something important)
Deodorant (in case you forgot to put some on this morning)
Basic makeup essentials
For Nursing and Pumping Mamas
Of course if you are nursing and pumping there is about another hundred more things to carry in your bag. You might as well just invest in a suitcase at this point. But in all honesty, as mothers we need to be prepared for just about everything.
Weather you are a working mother or you get to stay home with your little one, nursing and pumping does take a lot of work. If you are planning on leaving the house for any period of time you need to make sure you have anything you could need in case of a pumping or nursing emergency.
A nursing cover
Milk storage bags
Extra batteries (if you have a battery pack for your pump)
One of the biggest things to make sure you keep in your diaper bag when you have a baby that is formula fed it more formula!
But who wants to lug around a giant can of formula all day?
Instead, try these portioned sized formula dispensers. These easy stack and go containers fit perfectly into a pocket for a bottle. There is even a pour spout that makes it simple to prepare a bottle one handed.
Also pack an extra water bottle or two with high-quality filtered water for easy bottle making.
At some point you are bound to forget something in your diaper bag, this list should hopefully leave you feeling prepared and confident that you can handle any situation with your fully stocked (and stylish) diaper bag!
Amazon for example is one of them. This ecommerce platform has had amazing success and continues to have sustainable growth each year.
And in that, Amazon has created a huge variety of work opportunities within the job market.
I’m here to share eight Amazon stay at home jobs you can do to earn an income from your cozy home office.
Amazon Stay At Home Jobs
1. AWS Partner Trainer
Do you have sales experience and can effectively communicate to an audience at different stages in their buying journey? This may be the job for you! Amazon is looking for individuals with hands-on AWS or cloud experience.
AWS (Amazon Web Services) is platform in the cloud that is used by hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world.
You must have excellent communication skills as you’ll be teaching AWS partners on how to use the platform, all while establishing outstanding customer relationships.
Are you knowledgeable about the cloud and working for national public safety organizations? Do you have in-depth knowledge about applications, operating systems, virtualizations, and cloud-native architectures?
You will be designing and building cloud computing systems for some of the most important national security and public safety organizations.
This role is best fit for a highly technical and analytical person with experience in architecture, systems, software, and network engineering.
You should have strong interpersonal and problem solving skills as well as experience managing a technical team. You should also have experience with cloud migration and be able to build and improve systems and processes.
Amazon is looking for a AWS (Amazon Web Services) expert to help build their AWS Application Migration Competency Center. You will help organizations understand the AWS migration, how to operate it, as well as how to improve their cloud application portfolio with AMS.
Are you passionate about education and have a background in technology and business development? Mama, this may just be the job for you!
You need to have a BA/BS degree and experience managing a pipeline in a CRM.
Here are just a few of the duties you’ll be performing in this role:
Ensure customer satisfaction as well as a comprehensive account plan
Improve market awareness
Maintain a strong pipeline
Create and explain value propositions around Amazon’s AWS services
You definitely need to be someone that can work productively with no supervision as this is a role where you’ll be expected to meet the objectives and tasks that you’re given on the appointed deadlines.
You’ll be expected to take control, produce exceptional results, and work productively without supervision.
With all its competitors, Amazon is on their A-game when it comes to providing excellent customer service and customer user experiences.
They’re looking to hire individuals for their customer service associate positions that will provide their valued customers with the speedy, friendly, and efficient care they deserve.
You’ll help customers expedite their orders and problem-solve post sale orders.
You’ll be speaking directly with Amazon’s customers so it’s extremely important that you are patient, friendly, and are absolutely dedicated to making sure every single customer has a positive customer experience.
Amazon is looking to hire people with the following qualities:
Ability to multitask and work in fast paced environment
Ability to discern customer’s needs and problems and offer sympathy
Ability to maintain composure and professionalism in difficult situations
Amazon is looking for a senior program manager who will lead all of their fleet communications of the Amazon Branded Vehicles Program.
You will deliver and build out all fleet-related communications. You must have a passion for developing and implementing processes. You must also be analytical, resourceful, customer-focused, team-oriented and possess the ability to meet tight and demanding deadlines.
Amazon’s Global Specialty Fulfillment is looking for a qualified designer to work closely with stakeholders, business teams, and other internal and external partners to design, create, implement, and execute various new projects throughout their lifecycle.
You must have a BA or a BS in construction management, project management, architecture, engineering, or an equivalent from an accredited university. You must have excellent communication skills, and be able to multitask and work simultaneously on different teams and projects.
While this is a work from home position, you must be willing and able to travel at least 30% of the time.
Some of the duties for this role include:
Coordinate with contractors, operations, and maintenance teams to ensure technical and operational expertise
Negotiate scope, price, and terms and conditions for all design works
Lead and review design consultants with regard to costs, schedule, and quality
And those are just 8 of hundreds of Amazon’s work from home job listings. To find more that match your skill-set, head over to their career page and take a look to find positions that are a great match for you.
I bet you’ll find something that fits your background, interests, and schedule.
Increase Your Chances of Being Hired
How will you land the job you want when there are so many other people applying?
Learn how to tailor your resume in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd. A lot of applicants make the mistake of sending the exact same copy of their resume to about 30 or more so employers and then are surprised to hear crickets.
I used to think that was okay too. I mean, nobody let me in on the little secret that can literally make or break the decision of the hiring manager.
It’s not enough to qualify for the job. Your resume has to come to life on paper.
I don’t want you to waste your valuable time like I did. My advice? Take time to customize your resume for each different position you’re applying to.
I know it takes a bit more time than sending out the same one for each position. But it’s SO worth it! And hey, that’s what makes you stand out!
Find the Perfect Amazon Stay at Home Job for You!
As you can see, there’s a ton of opportunity out there, mama! There are an abundance of Amazon work from home jobs that are a perfect fit for you. I encourage you to apply!
Put yourself out there. Don’t assume you won’t be the one who gets hired. If you want to work from home for Amazon, go for it!
Over to you now. Found any Amazon work from home jobs that weren’t listed? Share with us in the comments below!