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13 Baby Must Haves You Can’t Live Without

13 Baby Must Haves You Can’t Live Without

Do you think you have everything ready for the arrival of your baby? Some things essential items are obvious, like a car seat and a stroller. However, there are many other things that you may not have thought of but will help to make parenting much easier for both you and your baby.

Check out these 13 baby must haves to make sure you are ready for your newest family member.

1. Recovery Kit for After the Birth

Giving birth is tough on your body, but preparing an after birth recovery kit will make your life much easier – and more pleasant. Comfortable underwear and maxi pads will be essential for your journey home for the hospital. Other handy things include flushable wipes and stool softening pills.

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2. A Diaper Bag You Actually Like

A diaper bag is absolutely essential as you will regularly be taking it with you when you leave the house. As you will be using it so frequently, buy a stylish, all-purpose diaper bag that you don’t find uncomfortable to carry with you.

3. Baby Travel System

A travel system makes travelling much more pleasant for both you and your baby. If your baby falls asleep in the back seat, you may feel hesitant about waking them up to get them out, but with a travel system you can simply unstrap the seat and attach it to your walker.

4. A Good Swaddle Blanket

A swaddle blanket reminds your baby of being in the womb, helping them to fall asleep faster. This is great news for you and your baby – but make sure you invest in a good blanket that has Velcro attachments so you can easily swaddle your baby and keep them swaddled.

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5. A Travel Chair

Once you are used to parenthood, no doubt you and your partner will want to take your baby out and about. However, many restaurants are ill-equipped for mothers with newborns as they don’t have proper high chairs. Save yourself the stress by investing in a travel high-chair along with you.

6. Batteries

The amount of baby things that require batteries will truly baffle you – instead of making midnight trips to the shops, stock up on all the types of batteries you will need in advance.

7. Two Strollers

You may be wondering why any mother would need two strollers, but there is a pretty good reason. Some trips will not take as long as others, so it is useful to buy a sturdy stroller and a lightweight, easily collapsible one too.

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8. A Night Light

This night light isn’t for the baby – it’s for you. Are you used to walking around in the dark in your house while you are half asleep? Buying a night light will help you to avoid many stubbed toes and bruised shins.

9. Automatic Swing/Rocker

A swing or a rocker is a handy place to put your baby while you get errands done around the house – and one that automatically rocks is even better. Especially at 2 in the morning when you are too tired to rock your baby for another half an hour.

10. First Aid Kit

Pack your first-aid kit with baby essentials you may not already have, such as infant pain reliever,  thermometer, and saline nose drops.

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11. Baby Carrier

Taking your baby out with you is much easier if you have a baby carrier, but if the baby carrier is bulky and uncomfortable you may avoid using it. Try out a few different baby carriers until you find one that you find comfortable and easy to wear.

12. A Sturdy Breast Pump

It is worth doing your research into breast pumps; many women find certain brands to be unreliable and uncomfortable. Look for a breast pump that is durable and easy to carry around with you.

13. Back Ups of Everything

The speed you will use some of the things you have bought will amaze you. It is a good idea to bulk buy diapers, bottles, wipes and diaper cream to save you time in the future.

What did you think of this list? Share this list with other mothers to see what they think!

Featured photo credit: Little Sabela/Alba Soler via albumarium.com

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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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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