Welcoming a new baby can bring out various emotions in the family. Preparing a toddler for a new arrival in the family can be both a wonderful and a stressful time. There are many ways to help your toddler prepare and feel a smooth transition into the idea of having a new baby around the house and many can start during the pregnancy.
Some toddlers may become jealous of a new baby brother or sister. One way to avoid jealousy is to involve the toddler in shopping for the baby. A toddler can also help to prepare the nursery area. You may choose to let the toddler pick out fabric to prepare the new baby's wrap or nursery bedding. You could also consider allowing the toddler to pick a special stuffed animal or other decorative item to be on display in the baby's room.
Teaching Involvement Through Experience
Another way to prepare and involve a toddler is to teach him or her about babies while the baby is still in the womb. Allowing the toddler to feel the baby move can be helpful in this area as can reading him or her books about babies. Taking the toddler to a daycare, a friend or a relative's house or other location where they can see a baby up close may allow the toddler to prepare for and understand what exactly a baby is. Allowing the child to attend prenatal appointments and see the baby through ultrasound/sonogram as well as hear the heartbeat can also give the toddler a sense of the baby's existence.
Help Ease Resentment
Anger or resentment is another issue toddlers can experience when there is a new baby introduced to the family. One way to help avoid this is to start any changes related to the toddler in regards to the baby before the toddler even knows about the baby coming. For instance, switching the toddler to a bigger bed in order to reserve and prepare the crib for the baby can cause resentment toward the baby in some children. A possible way to avoid this could be to make the new bed transition before making the announcement of the baby and making the bed transition more of an accomplishment of the toddler rather than an adjustment made to prepare for the new baby.
Another situation that could cause resentment is the fact that some toddlers may think the new baby will take all of the attention and love from the parents. If a toddler is used to being the center of attention, the announcement of a new baby may worry him or her and cause thoughts that he or she will be pushed aside to make room for the new baby. Explaining that families have enough love for everyone may help ease the child's mind in this situation.
There are various ways to help a toddler prepare and get used to the idea of having a new baby brother or sister in the house. Each family and situation will be unique. Therefore, catering your welcoming methods to your toddler's individual needs may be the best way of all to prepare him or her for the changes that lie ahead.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
If you have a baby on the way, you likely already know just how expensive some of those essentials can be. But did you know you can get most or all of them for free? Dealing with a huge financial setback, due to a high risk pregnancy has taught me how to prepare for the baby with very little to spend. Here’s how myself and my partner got most of our baby’s items for free.
Listia is a free auction-style site that doesn’t actually require real money. You use credits to bid on items that people list. When you sign up for free using my Listia link, you get 1000 bonus credits for free to start with. We actually won a ton of baby items for free using Listia. In fact, a large portion of what we got for the baby came from here. To earn more credits after you run out, you can do a variety of things, such as doing simple tasks, taking surveys, or listing your own items for auction. Items can be new or used and you choose what you bid on. You can also buy credits. But I would only recommend doing so for items that are worth it and would cost less that way than it would to buy them the usual way.
Just to give an idea, some of the things we won for free include a Tommee Tippee electric bottle & food warmer, hand knitted baby socks and gloves, newborn onesies and pajamas, crocheted booties, lots of various infant clothing, a sock monkey, baby books, parenting books, breastmilk storage/feeding bottles, brand name baby bottles, baby prewalker shoes, cloth diapers, breastfeeding cover, car seat strap covers, baby car magnet, car seat/carrier toy bar, and more.
Just a small dose of the many free baby items we've won on Listia
(more ways to get free baby stuff under the gallery)
Contact Product Companies
Sometimes people don’t think of this one. But did you know that if you simply ask companies for a sample, many will give you one? I’ve found it even more successful if you have a baby on the way. Companies like to get new parents to try out their items because if they like them, that’s repeat business. Simply contact them on social media or via their website, explaining that you’re a new parent (if you’re a writer or blogger and/or have a large social following, that helps even more) and would like to try out their product.
Some will say no, but many will say yes and get you something in the mail. We’ve gotten response from cloth diapering companies, baby bottle companies, leg warmer companies, car seat cover companies, and many more. Some might ask for a simple review on Amazon or your blog. Some might ask you to post a picture via social media. Some may not ask for anything at all. Just remember, if you do a review, it’s the law to disclose that you got the item for free.
Government & Other Assistance Programs
If you qualify for WIC, medicaid, or other government assistance, ask about the free car seat program. Many states will provide one to each baby born to a qualifying family. Some will distribute the car seat at the hospital when the baby is born. Others have specific distribution locations. Be sure to get all the details before your little one arrives. There are also often local food banks and other charitable organizations that give out free baby items, such as car seats, clothing, strollers, nursery furniture, and more. Some divisions of Catholic Charities have been known to help in some of these areas.
Craigslist Free Section
Did you know that the for sale section in Craigslist also has a free section? People often post completely free items there. We check all the time to see if there’s anything available that we need. One really awesome item we got on there is a normally pricey 3-in-1 swing, infant seat, and rocker. We got it completely free. All we had to do is drive to the person’s house and pick it up off their porch. Yup, that’s it. We sanitized and cleaned it, then replaced the batteries, and it works just like new.
(more ways to get free baby stuff under the image)
Free Baby Sample Sites, Promo Codes, and Clubs
Don’t forget to join clubs for all of the companies you may use if they have them. Enfamil, Similac, and Pampers are three of the more popular ones. Also, there are many sites that offer free baby items if you pay shipping.
If you enter promo code “babyleggings6” at the following sites, you’ll get the items for free. You just pay S&H.
Free Car Seat Canopy ($50 value)
Free Udder Covers Nursing Cover ($35 Value)
Free Nursing Pillow ($40 Value)
Free Seven brand baby carrier/sling ($40 Value)
10 pairs of free Breast Pads ($35 Value)
2 Belly Button Maternity Bands OR 1 Belly Button Body for free ($40 Value)
5 Baby Board Books ($40 Value)
You can also do a search for “free baby samples” to find a bunch of sites. Just be careful when you enter your information that these are legitimate sites. There are many scams out there that are only trying to harvest your info.
(more ways to get free baby stuff under the image)
Amazon Baby Registry
This one is kind of a given. Most people with a baby on the way have a registry. Amazon is the easiest way to make one, as the Amazon Baby Registry is designed so that you can add items from any online page, not just Amazon. It’s also completely FREE and they give you a welcome box of FREE surprises for the baby and parent/s. This alone is worth using the registry. Our welcome box had things like baby wipes, an Avent bottle, breast pads, bath items, pacifiers, and more.
Your friends and family likely want to help anyhow. If you’re having a hard time, this is a simple way to let them know what’s needed. We actually created ours as a way for us to organize and we greatly underestimated the generosity that would ensue because of it.
We never expected anyone to help, but the generosity of family and friends has been overwhelming (in a good way). I wouldn’t consider this “free”in the usual sense, as most people create these for the same organizational purpose we did. However, because others may be purchasing some of the items, it should be on this list.
Quick tip for the registry: When you purchase items elsewhere, add them to the registry and then mark them as purchased. That way, you and other people always know what you need and what you don’t. This makes it so much easier to plan for the baby.
Make and Use This Simple, Affordable Craft to Track Your Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a significant time in a woman's life. It is one filled with many day-by-day emotions, both physical and mental growths, and events that a mother will want to remember for a lifetime. Well, OK, a woman may not want to remember heartburn or morning sickness, but most pregnancy memories are worth commemorating, and what better way than with a pregnancy day-by-day calendar? They are simple to use, cost-effective, and easy to customize.
Materials For a Pregnancy Day by Day Calendar
Most of the materials required for making your pregnancy day-by-day calendar may already be lurking around your house. What isn't around the house can be found at most supercenters or craft stores, such as Hobby Lobby or Wal-Mart.
You will need:
Making a Pregnancy Day by Day Calendar
First, take 12 sheets of cardstock in one solid color that will be the main part of your calendar. Draw a light pencil line where the middle is on each sheet of cardstock. Leave the top part of your calendar sheets plain. Draw a calendar grid on the bottom half of each sheet with a permanent marker. If you are not so good at drawing or just don't feel like drawing, you can also print 12 copies of a blank calendar grid from CalendarPrintables.com and glue it to the bottom. There is an option of a blank calendar labeled month by month or the completely blank template.
Once the glue or marker has dried on all of the sheets, fold the top half of each sheet down evenly and put a crease in it. Punch 4 holes along the crease. Stack those 12 sheets of cardstock together neatly so that the holes line up. Take a piece of yarn and thread the ends through the back of the first two holes and then tie that yarn into a tight double knot at the backside of the cardstock sheets. Now, tie the loose ends into a double-knotted bow. Do the same thing on the other side with the remaining two holes. This holds the calendar together. Now all that's left is to add memories.
Suggested Entries For a Pregnancy Day by Day Calendar
There are many things that could be kept track of using a pregnancy day-by-day calendar. During a pregnancy there are many milestones, emotions, and daily events going on. It is, after all, nearly an entire year of life.
Adding Memories to the Top Half of the Pregnancy Day by Day Calendar
The reason the top part of the pregnancy day by calendar is left blank above is to add bits of memory to it as the days go by. Some things to add to the top include pictures of the pregnant belly, ultrasound photos, handwritten notes to the unborn baby, and any other physical memory and decorations or trinkets that can be glued on.
Adding Memories to the Bottom Half of the Pregnancy Day by Day Calendar
The bottom half of the calendar is where the daily notes will be written. Things to write about include baby's development, mother's growth and health, countdown to due date (when it's close), pregnancy symptoms, emotions, and baby purchases. Obviously, this is not an all-inclusive list. There a great number of things that come up during pregnancy. Keeping track with this simple, but effective pregnancy day-by-day calendar will pay off later when you revisit it for memories.
Pregnancy can be a joyous time, but many pregnant women feel a variety of emotions, some not so joyous in nature. Pregnancy mood swings have long been a topic of discussion. However, many women are still surprised at the overwhelming emotions and mood changes they experience while pregnant. Below you will see some common emotional changes that affect pregnancy, as well as methods used to deal with those changes where necessary. Also included are some stress relieving techniques to be used whenever necessary.
Crying is very common in pregnant women. Hormones are at high levels, so normal thoughts of sadness can be multiplied easily. Some women find themselves crying over commercials, shows, movies, and life events, either out of happiness or sadness.
The simplest way to avoid this is to try and avoid sad movies or those with exceedingly happy endings. However, crying is actually good for you sometimes, so I wouldn't recommend avoiding these completely. If you are crying because of life events, where possible try to stay away from people or places that are upsetting you and/or talk to those people to see what they can do to help.
Unless the crying is caused by a form of depression or mood disorder, this is quite normal and nothing to worry about.
Angering Too Easily
While pregnancy can give you that glow, the hormonal increase can also cause some women to snap at a moment's notice. Depending on the individual, actions or events that cause these outbursts can be either mild, such as forgetting she wanted 3 ice cubes rather than 2, or as complex as forgetting it's her birthday.
Even women who are usually calm can experience these emotional outbursts.
If these outbursts seem too extreme, always contact your doctor to be sure you do not need to seek help from a therapist or medication. With this hormonal response, sometimes simple stress relief techniques can be very effective.
Being Extremely Happy or Excited
Joy and happiness can sometimes be greatly multiplied during pregnancy. Excitement can seem to be overly expressed at even the smallest of things. You might experience tears (and even jumps) for joy. This is perhaps the greatest of all emotional experiences during pregnancy. Treatment is likely not needed or recommended for this one. The only prescription you'll generally need here is that is of enjoying those joyous times.
Stress Relief Techniques
Simply taking a deep breath and holding it in for a few seconds before exhaling can help. Some may need to do this more than once for a full effect. However, don't do this too much, as you don't want to make yourself dizzy. If this technique is failing, simply try another.
Prenatal yoga is also an excellent way to relax.
Soaking in a warm bath can soothe the muscles as well as the nerves. Just don't make it too hot. Steam is not good for pregnant women.
Ask your partner for a relaxing massage. If your partner is not available, you might want to spring for a professional prenatal massage.
Talk to your doctors to determine if your symptoms and feelings need treatment by medication or therapy or not. Some extreme emotions may be an indicator of more dangerous issues, such as prenatal depression. Be sure all doctors know you are pregnant and are in communication with your prenatal care provider, in case any medicine needs to be prescribed. If medicine is necessary, talk to your medical professionals in detail to be sure you are getting medication that has the least effect on the baby as possible.
Women's health is important during pregnancy. Be sure to follow your doctor's advice. It is important to remember that not everyone will have the same experiences. With my experience, these hormone induced moods can happen during all trimesters of pregnancy. However, each person and each pregnancy can vary.
As you get closer to that big day, the day of your precious baby's birth, a variety of things will be going on inside your head, as well as your home. You probably will find yourself on a countdown of sorts. Anxiousness and excitement are just a couple of the emotions you might be feeling. Likely, with the help of your newfound "nesting" instinct, your home will be undergoing changes, preparing for the arrival of the new baby.
Seeing your precious little one through ultrasound or sonogram and hearing his or her tiny persistent heartbeat during the final stages of pregnancy may have you steadily finding yourself on a countdown. How many days until it is time for baby's arrival? You have been carrying and nurturing this sweet bundle and you are anxious to not only see the fruits of your labor but to meet this little person you have somehow come to love without yet seeing in the outside world.
It can be beneficial to feel excited or anxious, but it can also cause stress. One way to avoid this type of situational stress is to pour that anxiousness and excitement into planning for the baby's arrival. This is where the excitement and anxiousness actually will come in handy. There is plenty to do and plan for. Keep busy at it and before you know it, your pregnancy will be over and you will have given birth, in what can seem like a blink of an eye. Creating lists for each task can help make this aspect easier. Writing is also a great stress reliever, so the lists could have more than one benefit.
One thing you may be planning on your countdown is the type and style of furniture you would like in your baby's nursery. There could also be wall decorating or painting, the choosing of the nursery bedding, packing the hospital diaper bag for mom and for after the birth of the baby and many more tasks. A baby needs various supplies, some small and some large. It may take some time to come up with everything you feel is necessary, which is perfect for keeping your mind busy and focused, rather than stressed about the countdown to the big day.
Another great thing to do while on your birth countdown is to talk to family and friends who have experience with pregnancy and birth. Asking them what they did in their final days could yield some great tips and possibly uncover some ideas on preparing for the baby that you may not have thought about previously. Spending time laughing with friends and family can also be beneficial in preparing for the new baby. Not only can it be a stress reliever, but once baby comes, you may not be as available for this special time. For this reason, getting plenty of rest during the birth countdown is also a good idea.
*I originally published a version of this content via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
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