The Essential Baby Travel Survival Guide

One of the best personality traits that a mother can have is responsibility.  It’s important that you’re capable of knowing when your baby is ready to take vital next steps in their development, and how to deal with them.  One of those next steps is taking your baby travelling, thereby removing it from its comfort zone – the world they’ve known since they were born. If you’re unsure of how to progress with this challenging step, we’ve put together our essential baby travel survival guide to help you.

Travelling with your little one requires you to have a few pieces of general baby equipment. If you’re visiting somewhere in a car, you’ll need a car seat.
Travelling with your little one requires you to have a few pieces of general baby equipment. If you’re visiting somewhere in a car, you’ll need a car seat.

When Are They Ready?

Your baby is able to travel as soon as they’re born.   Of course, you’ll probably want to spend your first few weeks at home, allowing them to get to a fundamental grasp of what are its primary surroundings.  However, after that, you can take your baby travelling without worrying.

If you don’t feel very confident, start small.  A trip to the local shop or park will allow you to test your baby out in the world without being too far away from home.  Doing this during school term time would also be sensible, as the streets will be less congested.

The Necessary Equipment

Travelling with your little one requires you to have a few pieces of general baby equipment.  If you’re visiting somewhere in a car, you’ll need a car seat like the ones available from Britax UK so that you don’t break the law and your baby remains safe while you travel.

Similarly, you’ll need to pack nappies, the appropriate amount of food, bubs wipes, and toys to keep them occupied.  Although they’re the basics, you may need to consider some of the following if you’re going on a longer trip to exotic climates:

  • Sun cream
  • Hat
  • Sleeping mat
  • Clothes
  • Portable sterilising kit

Make an itinerant of things you’ll need in advance. That way you won’t overlook something which could cause you to panic when you’re out.

Keeping Your Baby Occupied

This is where the toys you packed come in handy.  Your baby will cry if they’re unhappy, so if you want them to stay satisfied, packing cuddly teddy bears and a musical toy will help to do the trick. If you’re driving for long stretches, you should also pull over frequently to give your baby the love and attention they deserve. Not doing this could be detrimental to their social development – a baby needs their mother.

So there you have it, our essential baby travel survival guide.  If you’ve been worrying about this difficult first step, now you don’t have to.

Five Benefits of Having an Open Kitchen

In recent years, many of us have undergone the change from closed kitchen to open. We’ve torn down the walls and exposed what were once the closed off areas of our homes. For some people, this has worked wonders. But others are still hesitant about the case for open kitchens. Here are five benefits to having an open kitchen to get you thinking.

open kitchen
Sometimes when you’re cooking a meal you’re also keeping your eye on the kids. With an open kitchen, this is much easier.

It’s Social:

Having an open kitchen allows direct access to the dining room. In most cases, you can see the dining table from the kitchen bench. This means that when friends and family come for dinner, you can continue to entertain them if you’re still whipping up a meal. With a closed kitchen this wouldn’t be possible. Guests would have to sit by themselves while you continued to cook in the kitchen by yourself. An open kitchen is definitely the more sociable option.

It’s Easier With Kids:

Sometimes when you’re cooking a meal you’re also keeping your eye on the kids. With an open kitchen, this is much easier. They can be sitting in the lounge room or at the dining table – depending on the layout of your house – and you can still watch them. With a closed kitchen, however, they would need to be in the kitchen with you. And let’s face it, that would make the cooking process a whole lot less productive.

It Feels Nicer:

Nobody likes been stuck in a tight, claustrophobic kitchen. In general, open spaces feel so much nicer. Especially when cooking. It’s important that the atmosphere feels relaxed. There’s nothing worse than that feeling of stress while you’re trying to cook for family or friends: the benches are cluttered, and there’s not enough space. Whether an open kitchen provides more space or not, it will feel as though it does.

It Adds Character:

An open kitchen can be more than just a place for cooking. If you’re one of those snazzy kitchen types, it can work as an element of design, adding character to your house. A kitchen doesn’t have to be completely practical – it can be stylistic as well. Think about the statement that you want your kitchen to say about you. Through an open layout, it is there for all to see. See Coral Homes.

It’s Welcoming:

Having an open kitchen will undoubtedly help guests feel more welcome in your home. The openness of the space allows everybody to feel involved, and nobody is shut away or excluded. By having an open kitchen, guests can mingle in the area, having a glass of wine or helping with the cooking, without the walls to bar the kitchen from view. All in all, it feels friendlier and more welcoming.

Before deciding on your kitchen, make sure to think about the kind of personality you have and how that will affect the type of kitchen that is best for you. Think about social gatherings, cooking habits and whether or not you have or are planning on having kids. For more information on home design, or to join the open kitchen discussion, visit Coral Homes on True Local.

Image Credit:
Vichaya – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

3 Ways to Keep the Kids Entertained Over the Holidays

The holidays are here. A couple of decades ago (or just the one) you would have been the first one out the gate, laughing all the way to the bus as it pulled out and left the school hall behind. Freedom; sweet, seductive freedom and it was yours, even for a few weeks. The days flew by in a haze of long days down the beach, at the movies, shopping centres, friends places and family based trips to the middle of nowhere – it was wonderful to be beholden to no one, with no responsibility and plenty of sugar to get you through the insanity of your parents…But now, you’re the parent and you understand the same mythical detachment of mind your Mum and Dad glanced at each with, when you demanded another day out. Yep, the holidays are here and now it’s down to you to decide how your kids will enjoy their time off, without losing your last nerve in the process.

theme park
Test your kid’s courage against thrill rides
you know they’re afraid of deep down…

Theme Parks

Have your little ones been streaming videos from themeparks.com.au on Youtube again? Pulling your leg or whatever extremity available to attain permission to climb to dizzying heights before plummeting to earth, pulling “heaps of G’s” and generally trying not to launch a lunch of Dagwood dogs, chips and ice-cream. Doesn’t that sound fun? Now, don’t fret, if your little one is around the late primary years, why not invite a couple of other parents too and make a day of it, catching up on the in’s and out’s of everyone’s lives while the kids chill out, spin in circles, and test their courage against thrill rides you KNOW they’re afraid of deep down? Pack plenty of sunscreen, take food made at home and enjoy a spell at Movieworld, Dreamworld or Wet ‘n’ Wild.

Volunteer

Giving back to the community is one of the most under-rated yet highly fulfilling activities an adult or child can do during their spare time. Contact a local animal shelter and see if you can organise a few hours a week for the kids to learn lesson or two in accountability, animal care and kindness, bathing puppies and kittens in need, feeding their hungry bellies and generally having an adorable time understanding the responsibilities of pet ownership. You never know, this may stave off those lingering requests of, Mummmmm, can we have a dog? Or at least guarantee they know what is involved in looking after our much loved pets.

Stage Plays

If your child is a bit of a leader or a creative soul at the core, perhaps a stage-show will sate their curious spells and direct their energies into something a little bit different and highly enjoyable. Let them take charge, whether they would like to focus on designing costumes or organising little actors to fill their imagined roles, it’s about putting them in the drivers’ seat and letting them deal with consequences or complaints that may arise from their decision, incorporating play with another essential life lesson.

What did you do last holidays? Do you have any tips to share with your fellow readers? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by Jessica Hannah

Handling Defiance and Aggression in Children

It is not uncommon for children to go through a stage wherein they become defiant and aggressive. This is part of growing up and asserting their individuality. It is, however, important for parents to handle defiance and aggression in children properly. Mistakes at this point in your children’s lives will affect the way they view such behavior in adulthood. They should understand early on how this kind of behavior should be controlled and channeled to more productive feelings and emotions.

handling defiance and aggression
It is important for parents to handle defiance
and aggression in children properly.

Defiance and aggression in children can manifest in various ways. It could be as simple as grabbing toys or refusing to take a bath. When left unaddressed, this kind of behavior can turn into more serious displays of ill temper and being resentful, spiteful, vindictive, and destructive. Parents of these children might react by going head-on with their children or by thinking that they are bad parents. Hope is not lost especially when you catch this behavior early on. Parents have to understand where the behavior is coming from and why their children are behaving in such a manner.

Jumping right at your child’s face and berating him for his actions does not cut it. What you might not realize is that you are behaving in the same aggressive behavior that you want him to stop. If you do not want to tolerate defiance and aggression in children, you have to set a good example by not behaving the same way in front of your children. You have to be calm as you address the situation. Instead of screaming at your child, tell him that his behavior is unacceptable in a calm but firm manner. Remove your child from the situation and then have a talk with him when he is calmer. Explain why such behavior is not tolerated and present alternative ways to deal with the situation. Help him understand and manage his emotions so he can respond to them in more positive ways. If you feel that you are not seeing any progress, feel free to consult a child therapist or a psychologist for professional help. There are behavioral therapies that can be done to treat serious defiance and aggression in children.

Image Credit:
David Castillo Dominici – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Developing the Right Study Habits in Children

All parents want their children to study hard. This is actually one of the things that make studying difficult for some children. A better phrasing would be to study well. This is a more positive perspective. At a young age, you have to instill the love for learning and the continuous yearning for knowledge in your children. You cannot achieve this by forcing a pencil in his tiny hands and making him write his name over and over for a stretch of time. You have to make studying and learning fun for your kids. It’s not supposed to be a burdensome task.

right study habits
At a young age, you have to instill the love for learning and
the continuous yearning for knowledge in your children.

To develop the right study habits in children, you have to start with a few key ideas:

1. You need to have the right tools in the right place. Put his books, crayons, and activity sheets in a designated space. Invest in a study table for your child. You can start with the miniature colored tables and stools for your toddlers. As he grows, you might have to buy new furniture. If you have a home office, you can even have space for him so that you can “work” together.

2. You need to make studying a constant part of his routine. Consistency and regularity is an important part of developing study habits for children. Just like playtime and TV time, you have to set aside a regular study time every day. When you do this, he gets used to having a chunk of time sitting on his study table. As he starts schooling, he simply has to follow the same routine and review his lessons. You don’t even have to remind him anymore about what he’s supposed to do.

3. You need to make sure that he is having fun. Study time becomes such a chore when your child is not enjoying himself, when he feels stressed out, or when he feels pressured. Resist the urge to nag him about what he needs to do. Even more importantly, do not punish him for not getting perfect marks in his quizzes and schoolwork. Ask him about what interesting new things he learned at school. Be observant and you’ll pick cues on what he enjoys the most and what he needs help with. The best study habits for children are developed by making use of these observations rather than forcing your child to bury his nose into his textbooks.

Image Credit:
PhotoStock – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net