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Chores to do With Toddlers and How to Keep Your Sanity

Chores to do With Toddlers and How to Keep Your Sanity

Your toddler is growing up, so now is the perfect time to introduce him or her to a few chores around the house. Here are some ideas for letting them help you, plus tips to keep your sanity.

Chores to do With Toddlers and How to Keep Your Sanity

Useful Tips for Letting Little Ones Help Around the House:

At this age, little ones want to do whatever you are doing. The goal is to let your little one help without losing your sanity and at the same time, actually get something done. It gets a little easier as they get older, but for an 18-month-old, keep it simple. It’s more about distraction than efficiency.

Learning tower is really useful step stool when your toddler wants to help around the kitchen. You can also DIY one with this Ana White tutorial. This makes it so much easier to get chores done without the safety concern of your child falling from a chair or stool.

Grocery store helper:

Inevitably, children end up running errands with you. Besides your goal of actually getting groceries, the second is keeping your child in the cart so you’re not chasing him or her around. A couple of quick tricks to keep them in the cart… give them “the list” and a highlighter and have them mark everything off as you put it in the cart. Stop in the produce aisle first and pick up some grapes or another favorite snack. Eating a couple as you move along can be a distraction to keep them busy. You can also use the “I’ll let you pick something out at the end if you stay in the cart” as a last resort.

Duster:

Buy your child his own little duster so he can dust at the same time you do and feel like he’s being helpful. While he’s “dusting”, you can actually get the dusting done! Another tip: you’ll find lots of kid-sized cleaning items at the dollar store.

Folding laundry:

Anyone who has folded laundry with an 18-month-old knows you end up folding the laundry multiple times. As they get a little bit older, let them help match socks or sort clothes (all of the shirts together, undies, etc), which is also a learning activity!

Vacuuming/mopping:

Most little ones love to help with vacuuming and mopping the floors. Try taking turns. You vacuum the room first and then tell your child it’s their turn. That way it actually gets done and they still feel like they’re helping. Same for mopping. Mops that have sprayers are huge hits with toddlers.

What great ideas have you found work for keeping your little one occupied around the house? Share your tips with other parents!  

….and is your toddler coming up on two? Here are some fun ways to celebrate a second birthday party for your active little person!

October Photography Contest

We love to show off the work of our amazingly talented photographers. Take a minute to enjoy the slideshow below. Check back each month to see more unique and beautiful photos. Congratulations to all winners and honorable mentions!

To get your own Bella Life or Bella Baby photos, contact us to see if we are in your area!

How to Handle Unplanned Pregnancies

How to Handle Unplanned Pregnancies

First of all, congrats! No matter what the circumstances are, a baby is still a miracle and a blessing. You probably feel a mixed range of emotions right now and that’s completely normal. These steps will hopefully relieve some stress and help you make the right decision.

Acknowledgement

First things first, you can’t go back in time and undo a pregnancy. So, instead of looking back, look forward. After you come to terms with your pregnancy, it’s time to weigh your options and consult others. While it’s a good idea to consult a close friend or family member, you absolutely shouldn’t feel like you need to make the news public. Your private matters can stay private, regardless of what you see friends oversharing on social media.

Confide in a Friend

An unplanned pregnancy isn’t something that you want to handle on your own. As with most things, sharing your situation with another is better than keeping it all in your head. You’ll obviously want to share the news with your spouse or significant other. However, an uninvolved party such as a close friend or family member can provide you with additional support and resources.

If you don’t feel comfortable confiding in a friend, a support group, therapist, or doctor can provide the same benefits. It’s always helpful to talk it out and get an outside perspective.

 How to Handle Unplanned Pregnancies

And, Remember That You’re Not Alone

About half of the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. It happens to the best of us, regardless of taking the right precautions. Recognizing this may give you some comfort.

Gather Information

If this is your first pregnancy, since it was unplanned, you probably don’t have a whole lot of information about the matter. Before making any decisions, do some research about pregnancy, newborns, and parenting. There are so many great resources out there.

Start on Google, but consider also consulting a first-hand source i.e. your mom. You might be surprised by how much insight she can offer. If you know a couple who went through an unplanned pregnancy, they will probably be a wealth of knowledge.  

Take time to learn about all your options. Adoption can be the right choice for many women. There’s no reason to make an uninformed decision out of fear. Experiencing that fear of uncertainty doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s a normal reaction that most women go through, even those who wanted to get pregnant.

Trust Your Instinct, Then Seek Support

Your gut instinct is there for a reason – it’s trying to tell you something! Others can provide guidance, but it’s ultimately you who has to make the final decision. If your spouse isn’t supportive of whatever that decision is, then find someone who is and keep them nearby during your pregnancy.

Our pregnancy resources are a great place to start your research. Remember that you’ll never be alone on this journey.

Pregnancy Eating Habits to Embrace & Avoid + Whole Foods Giveaway

Pregnancy Eating Habits to Embrace & Avoid + Whole Foods Giveaway

If this is your first time pregnant, you’re probably just starting to figure out your new eating habits and learning what your body does and doesn’t agree with. Most women’s diets change a lot during pregnancy. And, that’s nothing unexpected. Your hormones are changing, your belly is growing, and there’s a little one developing inside of you who has some nutritional needs as well.

Since everything that you eat, your growing baby eats too, you want to embrace a mostly healthy diet that’s packed with nutrients. Every woman’s needs are different, so the most important thing to do is listen to your own body.

Here are some common pregnancy eating habits to embrace and avoid. And, read till the end of this post to enter a fun contest!

Include These Superfoods in Your Diet

You want to make sure that your baby gets all of the vitamins and antioxidants he or she needs to properly develop.  

Here are some of the most highly recommended foods to eat during pregnancy:

  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Salmon
  • Oranges or other fruits that are high in Vitamin C
  • Lean beef and leafy greens for iron
  • Greek yogurt or milk for calcium

Check out our post on the Best Foods for New Moms and Newborns for more detailed information about the above list.

Avoid Dangerous Foods

Doctors usually tell you to avoid eating certain foods while you’re pregnant and there’s good reason for that. Here are some big ones to avoid.

Limit Seafood

Wild salmon is the best choice of seafood to eat while you’re pregnant. It’s high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. However, you should limit your seafood intake in general. The bottom line is that anything that comes from the ocean contains some amount of mercury. The FDA advises pregnant women to avoid the following types of seafood altogether since they contain the highest mercury levels: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Consider taking a high-quality fish oil supplement instead.

Avoid Unpasteurized Milk, Cheese, or Anything Else

While there are some benefits to drinking unpasteurized milk, you’ll definitely want to avoid it while pregnant. In rare cases, unpasteurized dairy products or juices can lead to bacterial infections.

Stay Away From Raw or Undercooked Meats

You probably already know the risk in consuming undercooked meats, so we won’t go into detail about that here. The potential risks are even greater to an unborn baby with a weak immune system.

Limit Caffeine

The American Pregnancy Association recommends sticking to less than 200mg of caffeine per day, which converts to 12 ounces. Caffeine increases both your blood pressure and heart rate, which is not ideal during pregnancy. A lot of docs will recommend that you switch from coffee to tea since it has less caffeine. If you absolutely can’t live without your coffee, limit consumption to just one cup per day.

Pregnancy Eating Habits to Embrace & Avoid + Whole Foods Giveaway

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Hydration is even more important during pregnancy, so drink up. You can try supplementing water with sparkling water, low-sugar juice, or caffeine-free tea if that will encourage you to drink more. But, make sure you drink plenty of plain old water too.

Indulge Cravings

Cravings happen during pregnancy due to increased hormones. All women have different cravings and that’s totally normal. Some women even have healthy cravings i.e. salad. If that’s the case for you, you’ll absolutely want to indulge that one. Your body might be trying to tell you that you’re deficient in some key nutrients.

But let’s be honest, most cravings are not healthy at all. As long as your diet is otherwise healthful, it’s ok to indulge your cravings. If you’re craving a donut, just go get one already (or better yet, send your significant other). If you avoid that craving, you’ll probably end up eating lots of other things in an attempt to satisfy it. It’s better to just eat what you really want and be done with it.

Now, Here’s a Contest!

Every pregnant woman has her own weird eating habits and cravings. What are yours? Fill out the Rafflecopter below and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When and How to Tell People You’re Expecting

When and How to Tell People You’re Expecting

Congrats on your new family member to come! You’re probably eager and/or nervous to tell everyone the exciting news. Read on for when and how to make the big announcement, and when you’re ready, check out these great birth announcement options.

Timing

When you choose to share the news is really a personal decision that only you can make. And, there’s really no right or wrong answer when it comes to timing. That being said, many women choose to keep their news private until the first trimester has passed. After 12 weeks, the risk of a miscarriage drops substantially. You might consider just telling family and close friends before then.

The Announcement

You by no means have to make a ‘big announcement’ on social media or otherwise. If you’re a more private person, then just tell close friends and family, and others if or when it comes up.

However, it is a good idea to tell coworkers so they aren’t left wondering why you’re running off to the bathroom every half hour. At worst, your boss could mistake your absences for poor performance. Don’t leave them to their own assumptions.

If you do want to share your news in a more public way, here are some fun and creative ideas:

Announce on social media and ask people for advice

Instead of just announcing your pregnancy, ask people to share their top tips. Start a ‘note’ on Facebook, so you have everything in a searchable format v.s. just asking for comments on a post. This is a great way to get friends and family more involved with your journey if you want them to be. New moms love to give advice to their expecting friends about pregnancy and parenting. It’s also a way to crowdsource useful information and resources with minimal effort. Have older relatives that aren’t on social media? Send them a letter with a pre-addressed return envelope and ask them to reply back with their favorite piece of advice for new moms.

Have photos taken

Schedule a pregnancy photo shoot with your spouse. You’re probably overdue for some cute photos together anyway. Then, share them on social media or go old-school and have prints made. You’ll be thankful later in life that you preserved the moment, especially if this is your first pregnancy. Giving relatives a framed photo is a great way to share your news in a more personal manner.

Do it with humor

The lightest way to share your big news is with humor. There are so many fun photo options out there. If you have other children or pets, you could include them in the photos. See 24 Ways to Announce Your Pregnancy on Facebook, Instagram, and More.

When and How to Tell People You’re Expecting

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Host a party or go out to dinner

Invite your loved ones over for an intimate gathering or throw a major celebration, if that’s your style. Or, just invite a few friends out for a meal. You know what to say when they ask why you’re not drinking! Put a photo from your pregnancy shoot or sonogram on display and it will do the talking for you.

Bake something

Let the cookies or cake break the ice for you. Bake something yourself or head to a grocery store or bakery and let them do the work. Bring a tray of cookies to the office as a way of sharing the news with coworkers. They’ll be excited for you and for the treats.

When and How to Tell People You’re Expecting

Image source

What are your thoughts on timing and methods of sharing the news? We would love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below to connect.