Babysitters In a Pinch

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The Babysitter Witching Hour

Posted by Jaidene Anderlini on Jan 24, 2020 3:04:47 PM

   

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Topics: Awareness, Teaching, recruiting babysitters, independent children, babysitter expectations, High School Students, Responsible High School Students

Inexpensive Child Proofing in 7 thorough steps

Posted by Erin Raub on Jan 17, 2020 5:28:56 AM

Poke into any parenting group, and you quickly learn that there are two main approaches to babyproofing your house: You can make yourself a little crazy (and go broke; did you know baby-proofing can cost $2400?!) by considering every eventuality, and then purchasing a product to prevent against it; or, you can take a more relaxed tactic, outfit your home with basic baby-proofing supplies, and then let your child’s behavior dictate what else you’ll need.

I (and my wallet) am in the second camp. There are so many baby proofing products on the market but, now that I’ve done this dance for a while, I know – baby proofing is all about your specific kid: What do they get into? What rooms do they frequent? What dangers exist in your home?

Here’s my low-stress approach (wine optional) to baby-proofing the house:

  1. Consider the Big Picture: Your Child + Your House
  2. Install Outlet Covers
  3. Breathe
  4. Start in the Kitchen
  5. Move on to the Living Room
  6. Baby-Proof the Bathroom
  7. Finish Up in Baby’s Room
  1. Consider the Big Picture: Your Child + Your House

Get down on the floor, and take a look at your home from a child’s eyes: What serious dangers are within easy reach? What hazards and challenges does your home present?

Relocate valuables and sand down sharp edges (or add corner guards). Store cleaning products, paint, hazardous substances, and other dangers out of the way, behind lock and key. Install high door locks. Place walk-through baby gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. For general safety, set your hot water heater below 120ºF.  Make sure you have fire extinguishers on each floor, and sufficient smoke and carbon monoxide detectors placed throughout your home. Secure heavy, climbable furniture (e.g. clothes dressers, entertainment centers) to the walls with furniture straps.

  1. Install Outlet Covers

Not going to lie: As soon as my kiddo could scoot, I went a little overboard with the plug covers. The good news is, outlet protectors are one of the cheapest and most useful baby proofing supplies you’ll buy, hands down. Babies are curious and they investigate everything, so think of outlet covers as inexpensive peace of mind. You can pick up a 36-pack of outlet plugs for just a few dollars, or get fancy with self-closing outlet covers.

  1. Breathe

The fun (not) starts here. Baby-proofing your house can be a stressful process: your mind is running through all the potential what-ifs and your parent-bear instinct is kicking in, all while your credit card is getting dinged. And dinged, and dinged.

Do yourself a favor, and take a deep breath. A little deeper. There, that’s it. Baby Proofing can be simple. You can take the relaxed approach. Your little one is going to be just fine. Now, let’s go.

  1. Start in the Kitchen

Confession: My oldest is 5, and the kitchen still gives me anxiety. Knives, and ovens, and open flames – yikes! The dangers are there, you’re usually distracted, and an accident can happen in an instant. So, let’s start with baby proofing the kitchen.

There are few oft-recommended gadgets I won’t recommend, at least not to start. Let’s take safety latches, for example: They can be a pain to open, they don’t always work, and they’re not really necessary, if you rearrange your bottom cabinets to hold baby-safe pots and pans. Lock up vitamins and meds, and place choking hazards, magnets, and cleaning products far out of reach.

So, what do you want? Some way to close your kid out of the kitchen, that’s what! A wide, extra-wide, or even super crazy-wide baby gate should do the trick. Then, grab a good cabinet lock (for your cleaning products, even if they’re up high). Leave the rest – the knob covers, the appliance locks, the burner guards – until your baby is walking and reaching. (I never needed them.)

  1. Move on to the Living Room

Your kiddo is going to spend a lot of time in the living room/family room/den, so this is one place you want to make very safe for baby.

Wobbly toddlers and new runners trip, slip and fall often, so start by slapping on a bunch of those corner guards we talked about earlier. Store knickknacks out of reach. Secure your fireplace with a hearth guard. Tape back any hanging blind pulls (they’re a strangulation hazard), or install cord winders, or indulge in that much-desired upgrade to cordless blinds. Baby-proof the TV, and don’t forget those with anti-tip straps. Make sure your outlet covers are in place, and tape extension cords down with electrical tape.

  1. Baby-Proof the Bathroom

Surprisingly, the bathroom requires just a bit of baby-proofing. Place medicines, soaps, electrical gadgets, and other potential dangers (e.g. your razor) out of reach. If you’ve set your hot water heater to under 120ºF, you won’t need any of those fancy water thermometers or other doodads.

What I do recommend is an easy-open cabinet lock (like strap locks or sliding D-locks), so you can keep at least one cabinet completely off-limits to baby. If your baby is fascinated by water, you might want to consider a toilet lock. Finally, a no-slip bath mat is a lifesaver (literally), when your kiddo is old enough to sit up (or – shudder – stand) by himself at bath time.

  1. Finish Up in Baby’s Room

Your little one will spend a lot of time in their room, so make sure their nursery is safe: Be sure your crib meets current safety standards. Throw away crib bumpers, and take blankets, stuffed animals, and other suffocation hazards out of the crib. Add outlet covers EVERYWHERE. Secure heavy furniture to the walls with straps.

A few other considerations: Our most-loved bedroom baby-proofing supplies boiled down to a single item that we purchased over, and over, and over again: finger pinch guards for the door. They are incredible, especially if you have breezes blowing through your home. (Hinge guards are also available.) In that same vein, you may also want to swap out your toy chest’s standard hinge for a soft-close safety hinge.

That’s it – the extent of my first-round baby-proofing for any house. Remember, as your kiddo grows and explores, you’ll learn more about what he does (and doesn’t) need, as far as additional child safety and proofing goes. (Great ideas here. Also here.) In the meantime, enjoy the milestones!

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Topics: parenting, success, family, education, organizing kids, safety, Awareness, independent children, independent play, Fathers, Dads, technology for parents, new parents, Child proofing, babysitters in a pinch

how to handle internet safety for children with autism

Posted by Johnathan Blakely on Dec 20, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Internet safety is an important lesson to teach any child – and even adults. But when you’ve got a special needs child or a child that learns differently than others, it becomes especially important to talk to them about this and make sure they – and you, as well – are equipped for the unique challenges internet activity poses for neuroatypical individuals.

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Topics: internet education, autism, safety, Community, independent play, apps for parents, technology for parents, the next best thing

7 Horrible Mistakes You're making with babysitters

Posted by Jaidene Anderlini on Oct 25, 2019 6:15:00 AM

Unfortunately babysitters are a necessary evil if you want to keep your sanity as a parent and keep your relationships alive and well with your partner and your friends. Parenting is one of the most difficult things you'll ever do but it can be the most rewarding also. No matter how much we love our children they are exhausting, so much energy in such tiny little bodies! So much patience required to teach, communicate, entertain, listen, enjoy, love, create.....no wonder you just want them to be on their tablets so you can have a conversation with your partner. So when you do need a babysitter, and you will, make sure you don't make these common mistakes:

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Topics: babysitters In Denver CO, take a break from the kids, Date Night, Parents night out, new parents, babysitter expectations

5 Next Best Things in Parenting

Posted by Jaidene Anderlini on Oct 18, 2019 5:15:00 AM

Look, I'm not an expert and I'm not going to present myself as such. Parents are bombarded every day with "expert" opinion on how to raise their children but can I tell you, in my humble opinion, only you, the parent, is the expert. You know yourself, your children, and family dynamic better than anyone. You know what you want for your children and the kind of parent you want to be. Trial and error, yes error, is what will guide your success and create a parent that your children will love and respect as they get older. I know it is difficult to hear that your children are basically a social experiment but it is true. People, and of course children, are unpredictable and how actions and words are perceived by each individual is unpredictable. For example, I was talking to my niece who happens to be visually impaired the other day and she related a story to me about when she was in high school she got a good score on a science exam and the teacher said to the whole class afterwards: "You should  be ashamed of yourselves with your scores. (My nieces name is being changed for privacy) Clara outscored all of you and she is virtually blind." Now this was supposed to be a compliment to Clara but she teared up when she told me because she took it to mean that if a blind girl can do well then you sighted people should have done better. Like because she's blind she should have been too stupid to get high marks on a test. Now that isn't at all what the teacher meant but that is how she took it. image courtesy of Nicole Schwartz book with the same name

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Topics: thoughtful, Awareness, Community, appreciation, Style, independent children, memories, new parents, yesmom, the next best thing

5 Halloween Facts or fictions

Posted by Jaidene Anderlini on Oct 4, 2019 4:59:00 AM

We have all heard different Halloween urban legends from tainted candy to the sacrifice of black cats.

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Topics: Holidays, parenting, fun facts, Trick-or-treat, Halloween safety, Halloween, safety, Awareness, Community, Teaching, responsibilities, memories, new parents

Top 5 Apps All First-Time Parents Should Have

Posted by Josh Moore on Sep 27, 2019 5:11:00 AM

 

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Topics: apps for parents, technology for parents, how to get help for new parents, new parents

Not Your ordinary Date Night: 7 extraordinary date ideas

Posted by Jaidene Anderlini on Sep 20, 2019 5:52:00 AM

Date night shmate night everyone says you need a date night. Do you really? I mean being married and parents can be pretty boring, and then you know you need to make some time to get away from the kids to reconnect but if you go to one more movie and dinner or WORSE a fundraiser for the school your kids go to you'll slit your wrists! You'd rather not have a date night at all; thank you very much. It's more of a bother then it is a pleasure. Am I right? Just one more thing you have to plan; UGH!

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Topics: babysitting, childcare, budget, Babysitting service for visiting families, Hotel babysitters, Babysitters in my area, parenting, adulthood, family, fun, Halloween, Community, babysitters In Denver CO, memories, take a break from the kids, Experience the extraordinary PNO, Date Night, PNO, Parents night out

10 Undeniable Reasons People Hate Babysitters

Posted by Jaidene Anderlini on Sep 13, 2019 6:12:00 AM

Hate is a very strong word but there is definitely a strong dislike parents have about babysitters' behaviors. It is hard enough to leave your children with a babysitter especially one you don't know but, unfortunately, leaving your kids with a babysitter is a necessary "evil" from time to time. 

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Topics: babysitting, childcare, Babysitting agencies, Babysitters in my area, chores, parenting, success, family, education, organizing kids, discipline, teenagers, safety, Community, Teaching, responsibilities, babysitters In Denver CO

Ask Me Anything: 5 Answers to your Questions about babysitters

Posted by Jaidene Anderlini on Sep 6, 2019 5:08:00 AM

Every parent wonders about babysitters, and what they do with their children while they're gone. Parents also need to know what makes a good babysitter for their children. The thing parents think is the most important part about a good babysitter is if the kids like them. HINT: all children will love a babysitter that will let them do whatever they want even though you don't allow certain behaviors or activities and you've directed the babysitter. Keep that in mind and know why your kids love a babysitter; are they a babysitter that lets the kids do whatever they want including watching too much TV?  

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Topics: babysitting, childcare, Babysitting service for visiting families, Hotel babysitters, Babysitting agencies, Babysitters in my area, parenting, raising successful adults, adulthood, family, organizing kids, discipline, safety, Awareness, Community, Style, responsibilities