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Top 10 Baby Must-Haves For First-Time Parents

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Top 10 Baby Must-Haves For First-Time Parents

Being first-time parents can be a nerve-wracking prospect for clueless couples who are caught unprepared with the ordeal of parenthood. If you’re one of them, knowing about these baby must-haves will make parenting easier for you.

Prepare your baby must-haves in advance to save yourself some headaches. Not knowing your baby’s sex is not a reason to stop you from shopping for baby must-haves before your child is born. Opt for neutral colors so you will prevent instances where you have to cloth your baby boy in girl clothes or vice versa, or be forced to shop again for appropriate things for your baby to use.

Make a list of things to buy that include the 10 baby must-haves (listed here in helpful categories) that first-time parents should prepare.

Here are a couple of items that will help in feeding/nursing.

1. Milk Bottles and Bottle Warmer

Although you would want to breastfeed your baby, you still need milk bottles to store breast milk when you go out. It would be awkward to whip out your breast to feed your baby or suffer milk leakage on your clothes. BPA free milk bottles are safe.

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Milk Bottles and Bottle Warmer

    A bottle warmer is also handy for warming up milk as microwave heating is not advisable to prevent the possibility of scalding baby’s mouth with very hot milk.

    2. Breast Pump and Accessories

    Electric Breast Pump 1

      Breast pumps can be a lifesaver when you encounter nursing problems. Some babies do not latch on the breast right away, so you need to pump the milk out into the bottle for the baby to feed on.

      Here are a couple of items that will help with bathing.

      3. Bath Tub with a Sling

      Bath Tub with a Sling

        Newborns are very fragile and have no neck control, so it is important that the bathtub is equipped with a sling. Sponge bathing your newborn using warm water and washcloths is recommended for the first month.

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        4. Cotton Hooded Towel Set and Cotton Washcloths

        Cotton Hooded Towel Setand Cotton Washcloths

          The washcloths will be used to sponge bathe your baby. Babies shiver easily so you have to wrap your’s in a hooded towel to transfer the baby from the bath into the room. Cotton is the recommended fabric because it is gentle on the baby’s sensitive skin.

          Here are a couple of items that will help with health and safety.

          5. Thermometer

          Thermometer

            This is a thing that you should not go without. Buy a set of thermometers to measure your baby’s body temperature like the one pictured above.

            6. Infant Nail Cutter

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            Dreambaby_Premium_Nail_Clippers_with_Magnifier_xl2

              Don’t attempt to use your own nail cutter for your baby. You don’t want to harm them in anyway. Pick one made especially for babies. If you have vision problems, you can choose a nail cutter with a magnifying glass to help you get a clearer visual of your baby’s nails.

              Here are a couple of items that will help with playtime.

              7. Baby Swing

              Baby Swing

                Babies can be fussy sometimes. Instead of calming your child down by carrying them in your arms, use a baby swing. A baby swing with music and motion can entertain the baby and lull him to sleep. It is also great for feeding when the swing motion is off.

                8. Baby Gym or Activity Mat
                Baby Gym or Activity Mat

                  Keep the baby entertained by buying a musical baby gym or activity mat. Toys with sounds and mirrors will keep the baby occupied so you can attend to some chores or just relax.

                  Here are a couple of items that will help with travelling.

                  9. Car Seat and Stroller System

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                  Car Seat and Stroller System1

                    Having a car seat for the baby will keep them safe and secure in the car while you drive to travel anywhere that you need to go. Whether you are shopping for things in the mall or just want to take the baby out for a walk in the park, a stroller system will make things a lot easier for you and more comfortable for your baby.

                    10. Baby Carrier or Sling

                    Baby Carrieror Sling

                      If your baby is old enough for a carrier or a sling, then ditch the stroller. It is safe, reliable, and will make navigating the crowd easier for you. Having a baby carrier is also handy when you go to establishments where elevators or escalators are not present.

                      In Conclusion

                      Buying baby essentials will put a hole in your pocket if you don’t know how to cut costs. Look for great things on sale or use coupons like eBay redemption codes to get savings on must-have baby stuff.

                      Featured photo credit: Baby Carrieror Sling via flickr.com

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                      Emma Watson

                      Emma is a professional blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on October 7, 2021

                      Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

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                      Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

                      In today’s chaotic world, having family time isn’t always easy. It can get pretty hard to coordinate schedules, especially if the family is large. Life demands that we work, attend school, nurture friendships, hobbies, etc. All of those things are extremely time-consuming and important—but so is spending time with your family.

                      Why is family time so important? Because we all need love and support, and a good, strong family can provide that regularly. For children, spending time with their family helps shape them into good, responsible adults, improve their mental health, and develop strong core values.

                      There are many positive effects of spending time with your family. My family and I, for instance (and this includes grandchildren as well), meet every Tuesday night for dinner and games. My older son and I take turns cooking. This gives all of us a chance to try some new recipes. After dinner, we play games. And without fail, they inspire competitiveness and laughter. As family night has evolved, the grandkids have invited their friends over as well, creating the need for more chairs but also expanding our circle of fun.

                      Aside from the obvious fun and games, there are other reasons why spending time with your family is paramount. In this article, I will provide you with multiple reasons why spending time with your family regularly is a win-win. And then, I will lay out some ways on how to do it.

                      Let’s get started, shall we?

                      Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important

                      Here are six reasons why it’s important to spend time with your family.

                      1. Provides the Opportunity to Bond

                      When you spend time together as a family—talking about your day, your highs, your lows—it fosters communication. As parents, it gives you the chance to listen to your children, to hear them out, to learn about what’s going on in their world. It also provides you with the opportunity to use life situations as teaching moments.

                      Before our Tuesday night dinner/game nights, my family used to see each other pretty regularly but not consistently, especially the grandkids. Our family night changed all that. Now, it’s guaranteed that the grandchildren, along with some of their friends, will be there. Not only do I get to find out what’s been happening in their lives, but they also get to know us better. It’s creating memories they can treasure forever, as well as modeling the Get-Together tradition for when they eventually have families of their own.

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                      “Spending time partaking in everyday family leisure activities has been associated with greater emotional bonding within families.”[1]

                      2. Teaches the Value of Family

                      Taking the time to be with your family lets your children know they are valued—that spending time together is a priority. I know that in today’s world, both parents are busy as both usually working. What better way to let your children know they are loved than by carving out time each week to spend with them?

                      According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., “words like honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage are core to centuries of religious, philosophical, and family beliefs. Use them and others to express and reinforce your family values. Teach children the behaviors that flow from these principles. Use quotes to ignite meaningful dinner conversations and encourage kids to talk about these values.”[2]

                      3. Enhances Mental Well-Being

                      Spending that quality time together gives your children a safe platform in which to express themselves, ask questions about things that are bothering them, or talk about their day and things they’ve learned. I know that my 9-year old granddaughter can’t wait until it’s her turn to talk about her day. She usually goes on and on and has to be stopped to give everyone else a chance to talk about their goings-on.

                      “Research shows the quality of family relationships is more important than their size or composition. Whoever the family is made up of, they can build strong, positive relationships that promote wellbeing and support children and young people’s mental health.”[3]

                      For children, having the opportunity to seek advice from parents they trust—as well as being able to have a sounding board and help with problem-solving—is priceless. In addition, being able to voice their opinions and be heard—and to feel like what they have to say matters—is an esteem-builder. All of these can have a very impactful positive effect on their well-being.

                      4. Helps the Child Feel Loved

                      How do you think a child feels knowing their parents want to spend time with them—talking, sharing experiences, playing games, listening to them? It will make them feel as though they are important, and a child that feels important is happier and more apt to thrive. Setting aside chores or work to spend time with your children demonstrates that they’re essential—that they matter. What a gift to give your child!

                      “If a child has your undivided attention, it signals that they are loved and important to you. This can be further nurtured by experiencing joyful activities together, as it demonstrates that you want to spend time with your children over and above all of the daily demands.”[4]

                      5. Creates a Safe Environment

                      If you regularly spend time with your children, you are also creating an atmosphere of trust. The more trust they have, the more likely they are to share with you what’s going on in their world. As they get older, you’re going to want to know. Negative influences can show up at any time, but if you’ve always been there for your child, they are more apt to come to you and ask for your advice.

                      Spending time together generates familiarity and feelings of being supported. When a child feels safe and comfortable, they’re more likely to open up. This is one way to get to know your child and know what’s on their minds. Are they okay? Do they need your guidance? If so, how?

                      6. Reduces Stress

                      This is significant. We all suffer from stress at one point or another in our lives. Spending time with family helps alleviate that stress. It’s an opportunity to talk things out, get feedback, and maybe brainstorm for a solution to the problem that is causing the stress.

                      According to Brandy Drzymkowski, “During the holidays, your closest five people probably shifts to family and friends. You may even get to see loved ones who live far away. Good news! This can actually help lower your stress levels. Studies show ‘face-to-face interaction…counteracts the body’s defensive ‘fight-or-flight’ response.’ In other words, quality time spent with loved ones is nature’s stress reliever.”[5]

                      So, now that you know some of the benefits, what are some ideas for making family time happen?

                      How to Make Family Time Happen

                      Here are four things you can do to make family time happen and spend more time with them.

                      1. Family Dinners

                      This, as I said above, is a wonderful way to spend time together. While you’re having dinner, you have the chance to discuss things that are going on in your lives—the ups, the downs, and everywhere in between. It’s like having a buffer against life’s challenges.

                      Aside from that, eating dinner together has many additional benefits. Studies have shown that for kids who eat regularly with their families, there is less risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression.[6]

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                      “Our belief in the ‘magic’ of family dinners is grounded in research on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family meals.” It further states, “We recommend combining food, fun and conversation at mealtimes because those three ingredients are the recipe for a warm, positive family dinner—the type of environment that makes these scientifically proven benefits possible.”[7]

                      According to Parenting NI, “children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to get involved in risky behavior. According to studies done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse via Arizona State University, teens who have infrequent family dinners are twice as likely to use tobacco, nearly twice as likely to use alcohol and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.”[8]

                      As you can see, there are multiple benefits to spending time with each other routinely. You can’t go wrong with this family activity.

                      2.  Regular Movie Nights

                      This is another fun event, although, from personal experience, I have to caution that choosing a movie that everyone wants to see is not easy. So, give yourselves plenty of time so you don’t spend two hours searching for a movie, and then end up watching no movie at all because the night is practically over. Try and choose a movie before the day, if possible.

                      Afterward, open it up for discussion. Ask questions pertinent to the movie. What do you think of ABC? Should they have done that? Would you have done something differently? There are so many questions you can ask to spark a conversation and keep the night going.

                      3. Game Night

                      This is another occasion for great fun. If you have a competitive spirit, it makes it even more fun. There are numerous games out there—Balderdash, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Charades, to name a few—that can create fun havoc. All I can say is, on game nights, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay if you lose the game. The fun is in being together, laughing, debating, and having a good time.

                      In addition, “Playing board games is great for children for many reasons besides the obvious; it’s fun to play games! Age appropriate games can help children to think strategically, solve problems creatively, work on pattern recognition and build simple math skills. They also help children develop social skills such as following rules, taking turns, and graceful winning or losing. Additionally, a family game night provides an opportunity for children to bond with siblings, parents and family members as well as peers. It can promote tradition building and establish a fun routine.”[9]

                      So, go find your family a game and start having fun!

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                      4. Sharing a Hobby

                      If you and one of your kids like to do the same things, do it more often. For example, my oldest son and his teenage son go on long bike rides together on the weekends. Not only do they get to exercise, but they also get to talk and look at beautiful sceneries. They’ve also incorporated cooking into their routine. They plan the meal, shop, and prepare—activities that bring them closer together.

                      Sharing a hobby is a great way to bring family members together. It bonds people in amazing ways. According to Alison Ratner Mayer, LICSW, “One of the easiest and most important ways to build a child’s self-esteem is to spend time with them doing something not only that they enjoy but something that you also enjoy. There is a special magic that happens between a parent and a child when they share a mutually beloved activity. It sends the message to the child that their parents are having fun, true, honest, real fun, with them.”[10]

                      Final Thoughts

                      Spending time with the family is an investment. It is an investment in the happiness, well-being, and security of that system. It can also serve as a way to break out of the daily rut and the constant worldly demands, while at the same time, building a strong family unit.

                      Even though it isn’t always easy to find the time, finding the time is key to staying close and to providing and receiving love and support. There is no greater gift than the gift of time. That’s what we all seem to be missing nowadays. So, in giving that gift consistently, everyone feels loved and appreciated.

                      The family that takes the time to interact regularly is typically happy. They know they are part of a tribe, and that’s essential in today’s chaotic world. To know that there are people whom you can count on—people who will have your back in times of need—is invaluable.

                      Now, go and plan something plan with your family, if you haven’t already.

                      Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Pittsburgh Parent: Spending Time Together—Benefits of Family Time
                      [2] Roots of Action: Integrity: How Families Teach and Live Their Values
                      [3] Beyond Blue: Healthy Families
                      [4] Esperance Anglican Community School: The importance of family time
                      [5] Brandy Drzymkowski: Spending Time With Loved Ones Reduces Stress
                      [6] Harvard Graduate School of Education: Harvard EdCast: The Benefit of Family Mealtime
                      [7] The Family Dinner Project: BENEFITS OF FAMILY DINNERS
                      [8] Parenting NI: The Importance of Spending Time Together
                      [9] WNY Children: Family Game Night- The Benefits of Game Play
                      [10] Child Therapy Boston: The Benefits of Sharing a Hobby With Your Child

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