Take The Stress Out Of A Family Day Out

It goes without saying you will often want to treat your family to a day out. Going out together in this way is always going to be a great way to spend time together, and it is a good bonding session for most families. But that isn’t to say that it is always only enjoyable. Far from it – there are in fact always going to be a huge range of problems and potential upsets when you take your family on a day out, no matter where or what for. But the good news is that you can always find ways to make it a lot less stressful, and in the process you can learn to enjoy it all the more as well. In this post, we are going to take a look at a few of the things you can do to make any family outing much less stressful.

 

Plan In Advance

The more that you know about what you are going to do on your day out, the better. Having some kind of a plan in place is often a great way of ensuring that you keep the stress down to a minimum. This is because most of the stress you will experience on such days will be related to not knowing what to do, or not being prepared as to what you are going to do together as a family. If you are keen to enjoy the day as much as you can, then planning it out in plenty of detail is bound to make a huge difference.

Of course, it is up to you just how much you plan it out, and it’s perfectly possible that you will want to retain some sense of spontaneity in the day as well. However much you feel you might want to plan it, make sure you stick to that. As long as you do that, you will enjoy it much more, and that is the whole point here. Try to bear in mind everything that you might want to fit into the day, and don’t leave out anything major – especially if it is anything that your children have been begging for for a long time. The better you plan your day, the more you will enjoy it, so this is definitely in your best interest.

Pack Well

You might find that you need to take quite a few belongings with you when you go on your day out. The truth is that you want to be as perfectly prepared as possible, so that you don’t have to worry on the day itself. The better you pack your bags therefore, the more likely you will be able to enjoy the day as much as you can. Of course the trick here is in knowing what you will actually need, and much of that understanding will come from planning the day, as we have already discussed. But you will also want to make sure that you pack a little extra than what you need. You will probably already be aware that as a parent you always need to pack more than seems necessary. This is especially true on a day out when you will not be home again for quite a few hours. Ultimately, you want the day to go as smoothly as possible, and that means packing everything that might be handy.

But Not Too Much

Of course, the other side of that same issue is packing far too much, another common problem which many families will find happening quite often. This is too easily done, especially as you always want your children to be able to enjoy the day as best as they can. But there is a danger in packing too much, which is that it might end up causing more stress than necessary and in the process making the day far less enjoyable. It is therefore a good idea not to overpack, and to find ways to carry what you do take around much more easily. If you are taking a trip to the city, you can probably make use temporarily of a storage service, and that could make a huge difference to how easily the day goes. But no matter where you are, you should find a way to carry what you have in comfort. You will be surprised at what a difference this makes to the stress levels of the day.

Remember Breaks

Even though the whole day will hopefully be enjoyable, you will probably find that it feels necessary at some point to take a break. Not only will you need to feed your children, you will also find that having a break from whatever you are doing will ensure that you as parents can enjoy the day much more as well. We all know just how stressful such days can become, and the simple act of taking a short break can really make a world of difference. Even if you don’t feel that you are going to have time, you should find a way to make the time, as you will be glad that you did after the event. Breaks are also a chance to discuss with your children options about the remainder of the day, and make sure that they are enjoying what you are doing and that they are happy. Don’t skip out on this – you will find it to be an essential part of the whole.

Know The Limit

It doesn’t matter what you are doing or even how close you are as a family – there will always be a point when it is time to call it quits. There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s actually just part of the whole process. But you should pay attention to the prevailing mood throughout the day, and make sure you know exactly when it is time to call it a day. Having the ability to know this can really make a world of difference, and it’s something that can take a lot of practice.

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The Best Household Tech Devices For New Parents

Technology is advancing all the time and it is often providing us with new devices that can simplify our daily tasks. Together with Babythingz, retailers of cosytoes (carefully designed cocoons for your little ones), I have shortlisted the latest nifty gadgets which can provide a helping hand to new parents. If you’re stuck for a Christmas gift for a new parent, these may be the perfect purchases for you:

Parent and baby smartband

We are all familiar with the smartbands that have been created to monitor health and fitness – nearly every household has one. The parent and baby smartband goes one step further and has been specially designed for new parents. It can be used during pregnancy to track foetal movements, exercise progress and doctors’ appointments and the parent’s fitness is tracked through steps, calories burned, distance travelled and hydration levels.

It can even be used after birth. The technology can be used to track feedings, pump sessions, vitamin intake, diaper changes and many other reminders to help you day-to-day. There is even a corresponding app so that you can link the data from the band to your phone.

These products have received positive reviews. Many new parents have claimed that it has helped them through both pregnancy and with monitoring their new-born.

Portable white noise machine

As research revealed that the noises that a baby hears in the womb can be replicated after birth, white noise machines have been developed. They have been found to help your baby get to sleep as they find the noise soothing.

Technological advancements have led to the release of the portable white noise machine. This gadget is discreet meaning that only your baby can hear the soothing sounds and it will not disturb others – handy in my household so as not to wake Jack. The gadgets can play a variety of tracks such as heartbeat, ocean waves and raindrops.

They have been developed to turn off after a certain amount of time too. So, if your baby does drift off, the sounds won’t be playing all night long thankfully.

Pacifier thermometer

As new parents will know too well, trying to take a baby’s temperature can be difficult as they wiggle and squirm out of your grasp. At the same time, it is important to monitor your baby’s temperature as it can be an indicator of a cold or perhaps they’re too hot under the blankets.

The recent invention of the pacifier thermometer has addressed this issue. In the shape of a pacifier or ‘dummy’, this thermometer will fit nicely into your little one’s mouth and they won’t even know what you’re up to. A perfect alternative to the traditional thermometers which can cause your baby to become a little agitated. Olivia often wriggles so this would be perfect for her.

Video monitors

Baby monitors have always been an essential purchase for new parents. It allows them to sleep that little bit easier, knowing that if their baby stirs they will hear it through the monitor.

Through the rise of tablets and smartphones, the new monitor includes video feature. This allows you to see the baby from a different room. It also works across the internet too so you can watch your baby from work whilst the other half is babysitting.

Self-warming bottles

Many parents are reluctant to go out when they know that it will be feeding time. Often at a restaurant, it can be a worry that there won’t be a facility to warm your baby’s milk or what if they overheat it? Mimicking the design of self-warming hand warmers, self-warming bottles have been designed. 

There’s no need for a microwave or kettle when you have one of these handy gadgets. With one press of the button, the system heats itself up and warms the milk to the natural temperature of breast milk.

You can use it as many times as you like too, simply recharge it in the microwave or pan and it is ready to be used again.

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You Are Growing Up Too Quickly, My Son

Many people recently have said how quickly Jack is growing up, how much bigger he looks since they last saw him – and I am inclined to agree.

Maybe it is since I have had Olivia that I have noticed how much more mature he seems and how much he is becoming his own person, maybe it was slightly before then but the fact remains that he has certainly developed into his own unique personality, his own unique style. From speaking with his teachers at this recent Parent’s Evening, I was informed that he had definitely become more confident – although still much more confident with his peers than teachers and other adults.

This is clear to see in the way he acts at home – the things he does, the way he speaks, how he dresses. He is reluctant to allow us to pick out clothes for him – unless he is being very lazy, of course – and he likes to sort out what he is wearing in the morning. The only clothes he allows me to sort for him are his school uniform and his football clothes for his after school football club.

He knows what he wants to put together and how he wants them to go and has started showing an interest in buying clothes when out in town. He often likes to visit Pep & Co and Primark in town and has recently started wanting to visit River Island for their boy’s range as they have such ‘cool’ clothes. He has told me that he is hoping for some clothes from there for his birthday and/or Christmas – I think I’ve got a little trendsetter on my hands. He has also been passed down some great quality Next, M&S and GAP stuff from one of our friends – some still with the tags on – he went through and picked out the things he liked most.

He simply is growing up too fast and it is so important to treasure these days. He is more confident, he is reading slightly above the level expected of his age and he is right on the level for Maths too. He is a very intelligent little boy and he is growing up into a wonderful young man – I just wish these days would slow down.

I’m treasuring these days as they come but it sure does make me sad how quickly they pass us by – if only I had Bernard’s Watch, then I could stop time for as long as I wanted!

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Tommee Tippee Sangenic Tec Advanced Nappy Disposal System | Review

Tommee Tippee Sangenic Tec

We were sent the Tommee Tippee Sangenic Tec for review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Everyone knows that babies produce an awful lot of dirty nappies. Now with Olivia weaning and teething, I seem to be changing more nappies than usual and even worse, they’re more horrible than usual too.

Luckily our local council provide us with big sacks for us to put dirty nappies in that they then collect but there is still the matter of where to put them once changed. You don’t want them hanging around, you don’t want to put them in the main rubbish bin as you have a dedicated collection but you also don’t want to be running out of the front door to drop a nappy bag in the big sack in the bin cupboard every time you change a nappy. So what do you do?

Tommee Tippee Sangenic Tec

We were asked if we would like to review a Tommee Tippee Sangenic Tec Advanced Nappy Disposal System and I jumped at the chance, thinking this would be the perfect way to store some dirty nappies and take them out to the bin cupboard in bulk.

Desribed as the only bin that twists and wraps to block odours, this system came with a softly scented citrus refill too. There is a plunger in the lid and an antibacterial multilayer film which 99% of germs that kill odours.

Tommee Tippee Sangenic Tec

We were sent a white bin and it was pretty simple to set up. You just need to pull the included film out of the refill, gather film together and push through, remove the lid, tie a knot in the film, use the hook to secure the knot and replace the lid.

We’ve been using the bin all the time over the past few weeks, what with the multiple nappy changes we have been doing. The system is fairly easy to use – you just open the lid, push nappy until gripped, twist the turntable 360 degrees clockwise until the nappy is sealed and that’s it. You then just need to plunge the lid into the twisted film and you will have fresh film ready for your next nappy.

Tommee Tippee Sangenic TecThe design of the system is quite plain but that is what I like about it – it fits into any colour scheme in any room. It is a decent size, fitting quite a few nappies before needing emptying but it isn’t imposing – its not too big, not too small. Odour wise, I haven’t noticed any of the smells from Olivia’s more pungent nappies making their way out of the bin so I’d definitely say it ticks all the boxes on the odour eating front.

Tommee Tippee Sangenic TecThis has definitely been a handy item for me to have in the house – saves me having to run to the bin cupboard every time I change Olivia and is easy to transport between upstairs and downstairs so I can use it whenever I like, wherever I like.

You can find out more about the disposal system here or you can buy your own on Amazon here for just £19.99 right now {affiliate link}.

Do you use a nappy disposal system at all? If not, how do you dispose of your nappies?

Having Children Will Always Alter Your Relationship With Your Partner, But Is It For Better or Worse?

Having a child changes your life in so many ways. Most people will already have fallen in love with their little one while they’re still in the womb. As soon as they make their way into the big, wide world, they become your priority. Nothing else comes close to the level of importance that this tiny being holds over your heart. So, it’s not all too surprising that having kids will alter your relationship with your partner in many ways too! Now, people will often ask new parents, if their relationship with their significant other is any the better or worse for having a child. There’s no easy answer to this, of course, as different people will react to the new addition to their life in different ways. As a new parent, you can never know what to expect. However, here are a few ways that your relationship with your partner may differ once you start hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet on your floor.

Tired Tension

Having a child is exhausting. This is undeniable. Babies have no sense of time and have much shorter sleep patterns than adults. Though they sleep for (on average) 13 hours a day, this isn’t solid sleep. Your baby will often nap and awake once every few hours. So you should be prepared for restless nights with regular calls for feeding, attention and love. This is all part and parcel of being a new parent, however, it often unsurprisingly results in tensions, as you and your partner will be tired and thus have shorter tempers with one another. The odd snap here and there is completely normal. The key to overcoming this is to acknowledge that you are both tired and you have to give one another as much help and support as possible. Don’t allow night feeding to fall entirely on the shoulder of one parent or another. Even if you are breast feeding, milk can be expressed, ready for feeds at inconvenient times.

Absence Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder

Sometimes, you will realise that your partner isn’t the parent that you imagined them to be. This is always a disappointing realisation, and sometimes it may be something that they overcome. Perhaps they are just struggling to adjust themselves to their new responsibilities or are overwhelmed and dealing with their stress in unproductive ways. However, if issues continue for a lengthy period of time and your partner doesn’t react positively to suggestions of support and help, it may be better for you to continue your parenting journey as the child’s primary carer. You can find help through Austin Kemp Family Law Divorce Solicitors.

Time Alone

It is important that you and your partner still have a little time alone, undisturbed in one another’s company. While this may not be achievable while your newborn is still young, as time goes on, you shouldn’t feel any guilt about leaving them with a trusted relative, friend or professional carer for a night. This will give you and your partner time to bond and reconnect with one another without distraction. You both deserve to kick back and relax at some point, so ensure you get the rest that you need. Use this opportunity for a comfortable night in with a takeaway and film, a meal out or perhaps even a couple’s massage at the spa.

It is important to remember that all sorts of life events can have a profound effect on your relationship, so it’s important that you don’t stress too much about how your new addition will change things between you and your loved one. With compromise, effort and caring, the experience of parenthood will more often than not bring you together and strengthen your bond.

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