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Baby Must-Haves: List Of Items For The First Year

Baby Must-Haves: List Of Items For The First Year

Having a newborn can be exciting and scary at the same time. When I had my first child many years ago, it was pretty much trial by fire. My husband and I had to figure everything out along the way as we were, by and large, unprepared. Being prepared beforehand is very important and this checklist will help you with that. Here, we present a detailed baby items list of must-haves for the first year:

Feeding Essential Items

If you are breastfeeding:

Nursing bras – you probably need a bra that is one cup size larger
Breast pads (disposable) – helps with potentially embarrassing spills as well
Breast pump
Lotion for sore nipples
Milk storage containers
Nursing pillow – helps you support the baby’s weight while feeding
Bottle warmer – human milk proteins are delicate, so you want to be careful not to microwave, which may lead to overheating

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If you are formula feeding:

Bibs and burp cloths
Four-ounce and eight-ounce bottles with nipples (with brushes) – babies will typically go through ten four-ounce bottles per day
Baby formula – check the expiration date and lot number (in case of any recalls)
Thermal bottle carrier – for keeping milk warm when going out

Bedtime

Pajamas – when dressing your baby, get pajamas that are the easiest to put on or remove, without any snaps or decorative materials. Ribbons and ties may look nice, but they are choking hazards and should be avoided
Socks and booties – keep your baby warm, especially in the winter
Crib and crib mattress
Fitted cribsheets
Light blankets that fit in the crib – be careful about layering too many blankets on your baby. Your baby will not be able to kick off blankets if they get too warm!
Sleep sack
Air Purifier – it is important to keep the air in your baby’s living environment clean. Get the best air purifiers with high CADR (clean air delivery rate) ratings for common air contaminants such as dust, smoke and pollen
Light comforter – remember to keep this away from the baby’s head
Waterproof mattress covers

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Toiletries

Plastic infant tub – your baby will learn to love getting in here for the shower
Talcum powder – great in helping to absorb moisture
Baby shampoo
Baby lotion – keeps your baby’s skin supple
Aqueous cream – often aqueous cream is enough to get your baby clean; you don’t have to bathe them everyday
Barrier cream – protects your baby from rashes
Baby oil
Baby bath towels

Blankets

Large cotton blankets
Receiving blankets – can also be used as burp cloths

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Diapering

Diaper bag
Diaper pail
Changing pad
Barrier cream / Baby ointment – help prevent rashes
Disposable wipes – for cleaning your baby’s bottom
Water-proofs
Reusable diapers – these can be great spit clothes even if you do not use them for diapers

Other Nice-to-Have Items

Baby Seat for the Car – very important if you are taking your baby out anywhere
Baby Shoes – some find even the best baby shoes unnecessary, but this is more a matter of personal taste. For the most part your baby should not be walking outdoors anyway.
Baby monitor – these work wonders and allow you to monitor your baby even when you are doing other things. The best baby monitors save you time and energy while helping you keep an eye on your baby
Baby stroller – ideally one that can recline so your baby can sleep easily. Also look for one that can fold easily so storage is not an issue.
Nail clippers – some parents simply bite, but I wouldn’t advise that
Baby thermometer
Medicine spoon
Rocking chair – for feeding and swaddling
Baby carrier
Playpen
Pacifiers – at least two in case one gets lost or dirty
Petroleum jelly and sterile gauze – for care post-circumcision
Baby Sense – great book by an author from South Africa, another baby essential for understanding your baby better

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Raising your first baby does not have to be daunting. There are many resources available online to help, such as this baby items list.

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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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