Safety and Caregiving

Safety First! AAP’s New Sleeping Recommendations

It’s a fact: the more time passes, the more we learn and the safer we become as a society. This certainly holds true to all that we learn regarding infant and childhood safety. As they say, ‘My, have things have changed since I was a parent with infants!’ – and this couldn’t be more true than it is concerning sleeping recommendations. In many cases, what our children are told now is very different from how we put them down when they were babies. For instance, from birth, the ‘ABC’s’ are now drilled into new parents heads – Babies sleep best Alone, always on their Back, and in a Crib. On October 24, 2016 the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) updated these specifications to include that babies should also sleep in the same room as the parent/caregiver for at least the first 6 months of life (however, they recommend for the first year). But again, always Alone, on their Back and in a Crib (or bassinet, never a couch, seat, etc. or anything with a soft surface). This inclusion came from research indicating that a reduction in sleep related deaths resulted from infants sleeping in the same room.

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Image from pnmag.com. Click image for a link to great tips for preventing SIDS.

We often think that we know what’s best because we have ‘been there, done that’ but as we continue to learn more about infant sleep and behavior, it is important to keep an open dialog with our children about their practices and the most current recommendations. This couldn’t be more true than when grandchildren are sleeping over – consistency is key and keeping everyone safe by following the ABC’s of infant sleep can give us all peace of mind.

Click here for more information from the AAP and their latest recommendations. There are also other great resources for sleeping guidelines and the ABC rule, see those links below:

Cleveland Clinic ABC’s to Safe Sleep Infographic

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Infant Sleep Safety

And don’t forget we’ve mentioned some great crib and bassinet options in our previous post, here.

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At Home

Grandbaby’s First Visit- What to Have on Hand at Grandma’s House

Being a grandparent is an exciting and daunting task. As much as you want to spend all your time with your little munchkins, as a grandparent taking care of your beloved grandkids can be pretty hard. But luckily there is a range of products out there to make taking care of your grandchildren much easier. In this article, we will talk about different products that every grandparent should keep on hand to make the task easier.

So as a grandparent, your house may not be equipped with the proper set-up to take care of young children. But luckily, there are tons of portable nursery items available to keep at your house ready-at-the-go! The first thing to have on hand is a portable crib. Baby’s need their sleep and having a separate bed for them will make nap time much easier. Not to mention that a baby has to follow their normal routine, so keeping a baby crib is essential for their health and for their parent’s peace of mind. Whether you have the room for a full sized, collapsible crib or just a foldaway travel cot, there are plenty of options. Check out a few of our favorites below:

The bloom Alma Papa:

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The Alma Papa combines the look of a stationary crib with the portability of a collapsible crib. We love it’s full-sized features along with 2 mattress height positions and it’s easy-to-fold, storage features. Combined with brake-stop wheels, this crib is a no-brainer for the grandparent’s house.

Not into a full-sized crib? Check out the Nuna Sena, perfect for travel or to have on hand at the house for naps or overnight stays.

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This travel crib has a traditional foldaway look but the mechanism to foldaway is much easier to use. Just simply pull up at the tab under the folding mattress pad and the entire crib collapses for storage. The pad even wraps around the crib once folded to secure into place! The modern and rich color options will make this a hit.

 

Next, you’ll need to think about a changing station. This will ensure a clean and sterilized place to change your grandchildren’s diapers and keep the ick! off of your belongings. Many travel bassinets double as a foldaway bassinet and change table such as the Babyhome Bassinet.  It’s worth mentioning too that the Nuna Sena shown above also comes with an optional change station attachment. However if you are looking for a much simpler solution grab a Skip Hop Pronto Change Pad to keep on each floor of the home and pick up a nice basket to store the essentials: diapers, baby wipes and diaper cream. We like the Burt’s bee’s line found here but be sure to ask your children what they prefer using – brand choices are very serious these days!

While we are talking dirty diapers, don’t forget to store some clothing detergent specifically designed for sensitive infant skin. There are more choices these days than there used to be but we have found that traditional Dreft does the job and we also like the new brand, Babyganics.

 

It’s a good idea to also look into some non-toxic bottle wash and baby toy/highchair cleaner. There are a great many options these days to keep baby safe but his environment clean and germ free.

Of course there are many other items needed to make your time with baby easy and comfortable but it’s always a great idea to check with the kids and see what they might be bringing to leave with you. With so many options these days, they may have narrowed down their favorites and want to keep baby in something they know and use everyday. Enjoy your first visit with the grandbaby!

*the products mentioned above and their recommendations are of our own opinion. Please research all items before buying.
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Family Travel

Family Fun Fall Harvest Trips

We are on the East Coast and every year we are blessed with beautiful foliage and harvest festivals for weekends on end. Visiting orchards with the kids can be a great way to expose them to healthy choices and the origins of the food that ends up on their plate. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites across Virginia, starting with our family favorite, Carter Mountain.

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  1. Carter Mountain– Rooted in Charlottesville, VA history, Carter Mountain opened up it’s orchard to the public in the 70’s and has been family favorite every since. They’ve expanded over the years and now offer some of the best Apple Cider donuts you will ever taste. Driving up the mountain is just a glimpse into the beauty of the region but the view from the top cannot be beat. The kids will love the sites, smells and tastes of all this orchard has to offer.
  2. Stribling Orchard – In northern Virginia, west of D.C., Stribling Orchard offers over 30 acres of apple and peach trees in different varietals. Like many family orchards, Stribling’s is steeped in American History with many of its original structures still standing. A perfect opportunity for a history lesson with the kids while they race among the fruit trees.
  3. Morris Orchard– We would be remiss if we didn’t include our childhood favorite, Morris Orchard. Many first field trips were taken to learn how applesauce was made and to see where apples grew. Today, though the sale house is small, the orchard offers many kid-friendly sights including goats and bunnies at the entrance to the orchard. In the fall, the colors are beautiful and there are prime family portrait locations throughout the farm. If you get there earlier enough in the season, you might even still be able to pick a few of the last blackberries – sweet and tart off the vine!

 

What’s your go-to for fall family fun?

Craft Ideas, Uncategorized

Craft Night for Halloween Fun

Halloween is just around the corner and what’s more fun that decorating pumpkins to get ready for the big night?! If you have little grandchildren, the thought of bringing out sharp utensils and getting pumpkin seeds and guts all over your kitchen is probably making your a little weary. Who can blame you? Luckily there are many mess-free options these days. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite crafty pumpkin solutions that have the magic combination – quick and clean!

  1. Pumpkin Decorating Craft Kit

 

Tiny fingers will have no problem grasping these self-adhesive foam pieces. The grandkids will have 50 different kits to choose from, each with their own unique personality. Just grab some pumpkins from the grocery store and add any of these adorable faces for a fun-filled (and mess free) afternoon.

2. 3D Pumpkin Wreath Craft Kit

Speaking of easy to handle pieces, this foam kit lets you skip picking up pumpkins all together. It includes the decorative foam pieces and jute hangers and makes 12 wreaths. The best part of this little quick craft is that the decor is also perfect for your Thanksgiving gatherings…the perfect time for your angels to show off their handiwork.

3. No-Carve, Painted Pumpkins

Have older grandkids that are up for a bigger challenge? We’ve put together a whole Pinterest board full of no-carve, painted pumpkin ideas. The possibilities are endless.

All pumpkined out?  Maybe you want to craft on your own before the kids come over and surprise them with some dressed up candy? All you need is some black construction paper, a little glue, some scissors and Hershey’s Candy bars. Trace the shape of the rectangle of the candy bar and draw a head and wings on either side that are the same width as the bar. Add googly eyes with glue, fold the wings around the bar and you have a fun treat to share with the grandkids. About.com has a great tutorial and template to make these Candy Bat Bars.

There are so many fun activities for all ages, be sure to check out our Pinterest page for lots of new and fun ideas. One more helpful, no-mess tip that will allow you to create memories that will last from year to year: pick up some artificial pumpkins for craft night and decorate away!

*please note, Grandma.com makes no representation of these products. Please check all listings and labels for the most up-to-date information and best use for your family.