Dressing up your children in adorable outfits is one of the joys of parenthood. Shopping for their clothes and finding cute things to put them in really makes your heart swell.
However, with babies and children’s skin being so delicate you have to be so careful. Not only with what you wash their possessions in, but the actual fabrics that you buy too.
Here are some of the things to bear in mind when you’re choosing clothes for your little one.
Clothes for children should be soft and smooth so that they don’t irritate their sensitive skin. Cotton is a good choice and fits the bill. However, it’s worth going for organic cotton on the pieces that are going to be directly touching their skin such as undergarments and nightwear. This is because cotton is a crop, however, because it’s not used as food it’s not subject to the same strict guidelines when it comes to chemicals and pesticides. These pesticides can remain on the cotton, and in the fabric, it makes even after washing. Because babies skin is so delicate and porous, this is far more of a problem for them than it is for adults. Pesticides have been linked to all kinds of problems, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Lots of baby and children's clothes lines use organic cotton, it’s a little more expensive but worth the investment. If you go with a designer such as Stone Island girls and boys clothes you get peace of mind that the best materials are being used. You want your children's clothes to be breathable to prevent overheating, for this reason, it’s best to avoid man-made fabrics. Polyester, acrylic, and nylon, for example, will all pose a problem. While you’re unlikely to even come across baby clothes in these fabrics in a lot of countries- be wary when ordering things like fancy dress costumes from overseas. Or if you’re sourcing fabrics to make clothes yourself be sure to avoid these.
Buttons, Bows and Other Accessories
Anything that is sewed onto children’s clothes could potentially be a choking hazard. The same applies to things like cords and ties or anything else. It’s more of an issue in babies, but even children can put things like loose buttons or zip pulls in their mouth and potentially choke. Your best bet is to choose designs that are printed or embroidered rather than have extra things sewn on. Again be very wary of buying baby clothes from eBay or anywhere else that ships items from other countries. They might not have the same safety standards meaning pieces can potentially be risky.
Children's clothes should have stretch to allow freedom of movement. When they want to play and move around, they don’t want to have to feel restricted or uncomfortable. It also means getting them dressed is easier as you do not have to tug clothes over their head. In the case of baby clothes, opt for items which have poppers at the shoulders which can make it easy to get clothes on and off. Poppers are easy to fasten, and unlike buttons can’t pull off and become a choking hazard. Look into the practicalities of getting outfits on and off when you buy clothes since you’ll be dressing and re-dressing your baby multiple times a day some days.
When you welcome a newborn into the family, the first few weeks can fly be in a blur. When you’re sleep deprived, and you’re getting used to the miracle that is your new addition, it can be hard to find time to take stock of what’s happened, and how your life is about to change forever.
You never hear a new mom or grandma remarking how slowly time is passing. Time flies when you’ve got a tiny person around, so it’s important to try and remember as much of the early days as possible.
Before you know it, that beautiful bundle you hold in your arms for hours on end is desperately trying to wriggle away and play. If you’re a new parent or grandparent, here are some wonderful ways to commemorate those special first few weeks.
A baby book
A baby book is a fantastic way of charting your baby’s growth and development and celebrating mini milestones. There are usually pages you can fill in with information about what your baby looks like, how much they weigh and what they like to do, as well as space for photographs and messages from visitors.
You can keep a baby book, and when you’ve got inquisitive, energetic toddlers running around, have a browse and wonder where on earth the time went.
A photo shoot
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of having a newborn at home. Suddenly, there’s a beautiful baby around, and you can’t stop staring at them and watching their expressions and movements. Even when you haven’t slept for days, there’s something magical about holding your baby in your arms and sharing those unique moments together.
Babies change every day when they’re tiny, and they grow and develop so fast. One way of commemorating their first few days is organizing a shoot with a photographer. Natural, understated shots are a beautiful way of celebrating your new arrival, and you can frame the images to hang on the walls and order prints to give out to friends and family.
If you do want to arrange a shoot, search for a photographer with expertise in family portraits and child photography, and have a look through online portfolios.
Image from https://pixabay.com/en/photos/baby/
A video diary
Every mom says the first couple of weeks fly by in an instant. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, which will take you from the heights of ecstasy to feeling like you can’t plod on a moment more without closing your eyes and catching some Zs.
When your child is older, you may well forget those days, and a video diary is a great way of ensuring those memories last. You don’t set up CCTV or film all day.
But a 5-minute snippet each day will capture moments that you’ll cherish forever.
There’s no experience in the world that you can compare to becoming a parent for the first time and bringing your baby home. When you’re adjusting to life with a new baby, time seems to fly by and the days run into each other. It can be hard to remember what life was like back then when your baby has grown up. If you have a newborn, these ideas will hopefully help you to celebrate and commemorate those special times.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means that, at no additional cost to you, if you buy through me I get some coffee money ...though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
It's so easy to feel overwhelmed by the ongoing home tasks that need to be done to bring calm and organisation from the chaos of family life.
Organising a home routine that runs smoothly is not easy. It's not as if you can just do a task once and then forget about it. As someone once said, "The problem with life is that it's so daily!"
And when you add kids into the equation, the items on the family to-do list are not just additional but rather, multiplied. So what can you do?
Don't despair. You're not alone. Everyone struggles; but you don't need to sink beneath the relentless onslaught of home and family demands and tasks that need to be done.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas A. Edison
These five simple secrets will quickly help you bring organisation and calm back into your home.
Stressed out mothers, and many others, want to know the secrets of being an organized mum. They may wonder if being organized as a mother with children at home is even possible. Rest assured, mums - it is possible to have an organized home and a life which runs smoothly – at least some of the time.
Secret Number 1
‘A place for everything and everything in its place.’
Determine the best place to store things and ensure they are put back when not in use. Doing this will help you know where to find something the next time you need it.
Purchase multiples of some items which are used in different rooms. For instance, if you use scissors in the kitchen and in the craft room, it would be a good idea to have two pairs of scissors. Teach your children early on where things should be kept and expect that they will put them there.
I find that any horizontal surface, but the kitchen bench tops especially, attract letters, assorted notes, books, magazines, pens and more. It's really hard to keep these areas clear. You might find it helpful to keep an attractive basket or container just inside the front door and encourage your family to drop those items in it until they can be sorted or retrieved later.
Hallway and entry tables with drawers or space for baskets are another option for containing and storing those many items that arrive home with your family and are often allowed to drop in the living room or kitchen counter.
Secret Number 2
Create routines to help your day run smoothly.
A smooth-running morning begins by having a great routine and doing as much as you can the night before.
Go through your children’s school bags to find out what needs to be signed, or write important dates on the calendar. Make lunches the night before and keep them in the refrigerator. Have your children bathe and choose their clothes. Place everything that needs to leave the house by the door so nothing is forgotten.
Make routines for other parts of the day as well. The more you can get your family used to doing without thinking about it, the better organized you can be. Download some free home cleaning routine checklists -daily and weekly tasks- to keep on top of everything and prevent to-do tasks from building up.
You don't want to use your weekends for catching up on cleaning or organising, either. You need some rest and relaxation on the weekend plus fun family time.
Need extra help? You might like to download a free workbook from the Creative Homekeeper to help you organise and prioritise your home life.
Secret Number 3
The more ‘stuff’ you have, the more disorganized you can appear even if you really aren’t.
Children outgrow clothing and shoes so quickly. Unless you have children who will grow into clothes, get rid of what is outgrown. However, don’t throw everything away. You can sell clothing, toys and shoes at consignment stores, on the internet, at yard sales or you can donate them to charitable organizations.
Teach your kids to clean out their things, too. Establishing a weekly routine of sorting and cleaning out their school backpacks is a great way to start, (and prevents the buildup of stale food and rotting fruit in their bags..aghhh.)?
Go through your own things as well. If you’re not using it and haven’t in quite a while, someone else might be able to use it.
Secret Number 4
Ask for help if you need it.
There’s a saying that ‘No man is an island; entire of himself.’
This means you can’t do everything and you shouldn’t be expected to. Delegate tasks you don’t have the time to do or simply don’t want to do yourself.
Enlist your partner’s help in doing tasks they’re better at doing.
Teach your children at an early age to help around the house. Give them chores to do and expect that they will get done. There are many chore charts available that can help organise and provide incentive for tasks and chores. It's a valuable life skill for them, too.
If everyone in the family pitches in (even young children can do something), you won’t wear yourself out by having to do everything by yourself.
Secret Number 5
Plan your meals ahead of time.
Doing this one thing can save you money, time and headaches.
By planning your meals for a week at a time you can make one shopping trip to get everything. You can also save money by matching what you need with discounts and coupons. You’ll also save yourself headaches by not having to run to the store in the middle of the week to pick up something you don’t have.
Don't forget, you can find family meal plans already organised for you atgrandmasplace. You can download the meal plans, with links to the recipes, filled with meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus dessert and snack ideas for an entire week.
The above are five priceless secrets of an organized mother.
They are a great starting point for escaping those ongoing feelings of discouragement and overwhelming tiredness. They provide the first steps towards finding balance at home and fulfillment in life. But don't stop there. You'll find other helpful articles here- simple tips for making school lunches, feeding fussy kids, developing healthy habits and more.
You may learn other secrets and tips from other mothers, too, who you think are organized and have everything together. In due course, you may also discover that others increasingly see you as an organised mum, someone with helpful ideas and skills to learn from and emulate. ?
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend or link to. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I ofttimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.
Plus, when you order though my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
When you look back on your childhood, your birthdays are sure to be some of your fondest memories. As a kid, there’s nothing better than your own special day: presents, friends, games and plenty of sweet treats! When you become a parent or grandparent, you get to enjoy the magic of birthdays all over again with the little ones in your life, and naturally, you’ll want to make these days as special as possible for them. So if you’re looking to throw an incredible birthday party, here are some ideas to consider!
Invite Their Friends
Having lots of friends to play with and enjoy the day with them will make the day extra memorable. As well as the children in your family, you could send invites to the children in their class at school or preschool. If it’s the first birthday party you’ve thrown, you might want to consider limiting the number of children to make it a little less stressful. So this is something to work out in the planning stages.
Set a Theme
Themed parties are so much fun. It could be based on the child’s favourite book, superhero, tv show or something else. From there your little guests have the option of dressing up, and you can match the decor and even the food to the theme! There are lots of ideas online for different themes if you’re stuck for ideas, or you could have a chat with the child ahead of time and discuss the things they’re currently loving.
Hire Some Inflatables
There are few things that are more fun to a child than giant inflatables! There are companies online that make hiring a jumping castle easy, you can also get interactive inflatable games, slides and inflatable carnival games! It’s certainly a way to make the party memorable- there will be no hint of boredom with something like this to occupy them.
Hire an Entertainer
Depending on the age of the child it could be a character meet (perfect for tying in with the theme of the party!) a magician, balloon modeling or just someone offering face painting throughout the day. Have a think about what the children would most enjoy based on their age and interests.
Play Party Games
Pass the parcel, musical chairs and pin the tail on the donkey are all favourites we remember from our own childhood. You could dedicate an hour of the party to fun party games, where exciting prizes can be won.
Think About Food
It’s no secret that kids are fussy eaters, so catering for a child’s birthday party can be stressful. Buffet style lunches are an easy option, as you can put out lots of different things and they can choose what they want. Go with firm favourites- sandwiches, chips, sausage rolls, mini pizzas and cupcakes. You could even consider hiring an ice cream machine or a chocolate fountain! You may also want to consider some healthier options too, pots of hummus with cut up veggies and fruit skewers work well. Pinterest has tons of great ideas on how you can display different food items so you can make the buffet table look really impressive.
There are some friends that, no matter how much you claim to know them, cannot be bought presents for. Either they’ve got it all already, they’re too picky with what they receive, they’re not fussed about gifts or you can’t narrow down their likes into something that can be materialised. It’s a hard to get used to, but have you ever wondered if you’ve covered all bases?
Everybody has a favourite food. If they can’t decide on what their favourite food is, at least they have a cuisine that they lean towards or a restaurant that they go to more than others. You could try and put together a hamper of every food that you know that they like, or all of the ingredients for their favourite meal.
If this can’t be done, buy them a voucher to their favourite restaurant - but be sure to include enough for two people. Y’know, just in case they want to take you.
Likewise with the food, we all know what our poison is. It doesn’t have to be alcoholic - which is the go-to choice for most adult drink gifts - but if it is, then treat them to something a bit more unusual by picking from a selection of fancy bottles and spirits from Vom Fass. The great thing about this is that you can personalise the bottles with a handwritten message of your choice; any in-jokes, greetings or sayings that you have between you can be plastered on for the world to see. If not, ‘Happy Birthday’ will do just fine.
Sometimes a homemade gift can do just as well as a bought one. If you put the time and effort into something that you know that they’ll love, then that’s more than money will be able to buy you. There are some things that you may not be able to make, however - customized bobbleheads are one of these things, and make an alternative gift to one that you can just walk into a store and pick up. Make a bobblehead of them, their partner, their dog or even yourself if you’re that way inclined. They’re so retro yet modern that they’re bound to be a winner.
This can be tricky territory to enter, especially if you’re not sure of the sizing of the person you’re buying for and don’t want to offend. However, oversized clothing is in fashion right now (and looks set to stay for the foreseeable), so you won’t be able to go wrong with an unsized cape or cardigan. Scarves, neckties, jewellery and hair accessories all count towards something that they may love to receive, just make sure that you’ve got their style preferences down to a tee. For example, if you know that your friend wears a lot of gold jewellery but you have bought them silver, this could end up being a gift that stays in a bottom drawer for eternity. Take note of what you think they like and run with it - it’s probably the best you’ll be able to do!
Having kids is fantastic, these little people are what complete our families and bring us so much joy.
But let’s face it, kids can be annoying! We might love them with all our hearts, but kids and parenthood have a way of testing our patience at times.
Here are just a few of the annoying things we all have to deal with as parents.
Kids and head lice go hand in hand. When they’re around other children all day at preschool, school and play areas- if one person in the class has them it’s not long until everyone does.
It can be incredibly frustrating, especially when they then get brought home, and everyone in the household gets them too. This is something that every parent will experience at some point or another.
Rather than spending hours battling screaming kids with a nit comb, you could go to a head lice treatment center like liceclinicsoc.com. No messing around with over the counter products that don’t work, and you have peace of mind that they’re completely eradicated.
Adding a couple of drops of tea tree oil to your regular shampoo can help to deter lice, so it’s worth a try if your kids are constantly coming home with them.
We all know kids need great nutrition to help them grow and thrive. So when they’re refusing to eat any of the good stuff, it can put you in a tricky situation as a parent.
Becoming frustrated or upset around mealtimes is only likely to make the situation worse too.
If your child is refusing fresh fruit, you could try blending it up into a smoothie with some juice or almond milk. Sites like sheknows.com have recipe ideas for kids to try, they’re something that even picky kids are happy to drink.
If vegetables are the issue, finely chop them using your food processor and mix them with ground meat. This can be used in bases for things like lasagne, chili, bolognese and other dishes without anyone knowing they’re even there. Once everything is cooked up it all blends together and seems like part of the meat.
Try not to lose your cool and maintain a relaxed attitude around food as well. Let kids see you enjoying a wide range of healthy dishes, and soon they should start mirroring your behavior.
One of the brilliant yet equally annoying things about having kids is the constant questions. It’s fascinating to see how inquisitive they are, how they take an interest in everything and have an unquenchable thirst to learn more.
But it can often lead to questions that you simply cannot answer. Thankfully these days with the internet at our fingertips we can find the answers to all of life’s little burning questions. And even if you’re faced with the type of question where you don’t know how to explain it (where do babies come from is always a difficult one!)
Check out parenting forums like netmums.com, and articles online for advice. We might not be the fountain of all knowledge, and that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with seeking advice from other parents or experts!
The thing about parenting is that it’s the hardest job you’ll ever do, and yet it comes with no training or handbook. There are times when even the most prepared, organized and patient parents ask themselves ‘am I doing this right?’
Parent guilt is something we all face. Telling your child no and seeing them upset for example is hard, but you know it’s best for them in the long run. Encouraging them to do things that scare or worry them such as take up a new hobby or mix with other kids, because you know it will benefit them.
Getting things wrong (as we all do) can make you feel like you’re failing. Chances are you experience parent guilt every day, don’t beat yourself up. You have to make hard choices and do things your children don’t necessarily enjoy at times to benefit their lives.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.