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Top 10 Baby Must-Haves For First-Time Parents

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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                      Published on November 7, 2018

                      How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

                      How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

                      In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

                      The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

                      Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

                      How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

                      After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

                      Figure Out the Laws

                      Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

                      The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

                      Decide on an Approach

                      Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

                      Supplies/Resources

                      Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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                      A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

                      Find a Community

                      Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

                      Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

                      7 Different Homeschooling Methods

                      1. School-At-Home

                      Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

                      The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

                      • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
                      • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
                      • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

                      2. Classical

                      One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

                      Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

                      3. Unit Studies

                      Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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                      For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

                      • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
                      • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
                      • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

                      4. Charlotte Mason

                      This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

                      Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

                      5. Montessori

                      Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

                      With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

                      6. Unschooling

                      Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

                      For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

                      7. Eclectic/Relaxed

                      As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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                      Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

                      How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

                      One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

                      Email

                      Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

                      It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

                      Google Drive/Calendar

                      Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

                      With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

                      Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

                      Ebooks

                      Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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                      E-Courses

                      When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

                      From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

                      The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

                      Some recommendations:

                      Youtube

                      Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

                      Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

                      Some recommendations:

                      Final Thoughts

                      Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

                      Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

                      Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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