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5 Things Parents Can Do to Save Time

5 Things Parents Can Do to Save Time

Life as a parent often involves spreading yourself too thin. Between school, extracurriculars, doctor’s appointments, and homework, managing a household can pull you in a million different directions. Oftentimes, you’ll probably look at your weekly to-do list and worry that there isn’t enough time to get everything done. Admittedly, we could all benefit from an extra hour or two in a day to help manage all of our responsibilities. Fortunately, with time-saving hacks, you can find ways to better manage your daily schedule. Here are 5 things parents can do to create this extra time.

Make use of a delivery service

How many times have you found yourself out of essential supplies when you need them the most? Say you’re in the middle of cooking dinner when your youngest suddenly has a full diaper and you realize you’re fresh out. What do you do? One option would be to stop cooking dinner, load everyone into the car, and make a trip to the grocery store to replenish your stock. Or, you could make life easy and have those same diapers, and any other necessary items brought to you via a baby supplies delivery service, saving you from making that emergency trip to the store. Making use of a delivery service can be an easy way to reduce time running errands, save gas, and allow you to focus on other important tasks. 

Multitask when feasible

The ability to multitask, especially with babies and toddlers, can be a great way to save time. However, if you’re a parent of a particularly busy toddler, you understand the stress of taking your eyes off of them for even a second. An easy solution for this is to use a GoPod in moments of need. The GoPod Travel Activity Seat is a great tool to keep your child from getting into trouble while you finish up some laundry, cleaning, cooking, or other much-needed tasks. Best of all, it is easily transportable, so you can take it with you to any sports practices, games, picnics, or other social gatherings, which will make keeping an eye on your youngest a lot easier.

Create an effective meal plan

Once you start meal planning, you’ll quickly realize that it’s not only an amazing way to save time, but also money. Scheduling out your meals weekly can also help you avoid asking this dreaded last-minute question: “What do we want for dinner tonight?”. By planning out your meals at the beginning of every week, you can easily create a shopping list, so that you can limit the number of times you need to go to the store during the week. Additionally, by keeping track of your dinners on a calendar, you can add variation to your meals, helping to avoid monotony in your meal rotations. Lastly, by prepping certain meals ahead of time, such as pre-chopping veggies, you can shorten the day-of meal prep time as well. Read about some meal planning strategies to help you get started with your own schedule!

Plan ahead of time

Every Sunday you should sit down with your family and figure out what the week ahead will look like. Note any important deadlines and appointments, and make sure everyone understands where and when they need to be somewhere. If you like putting pen to paper, making use of a notepad or calendar can be an effective way to keep track of all of these dates. Otherwise, check out this list of helpful calendar apps, as a way to stay organized. If you have older kids with phones, using an app can be a great way to sync everybody’s calendars, so that you’re all on the same page. By carefully planning out your week, you’ll be better prepared for busier days and can better manage your daily tasks.

Prep the night before

At night, it can be easy to put off certain tasks until the morning. Especially if it’s been a long day, you’ll probably find yourself saying you’ll make the kids’ lunches in the morning instead of at night. Or, that you’ll worry about finishing the last load of laundry tomorrow. More times than not, you should encourage yourself to prepare as much as you can before you go to bed. This rule can and should be applied to everyone in the household, including yourself! Make school lunches, lay out outfits, pack up backpacks, and do anything else that might get lost in the hustle and bustle of the morning. Including your kids in this process (and other chores) is also a great way to teach responsibility, organization skills, and teamwork. Trust us, this will save you plenty of time and sanity each and every day.

When raising a family, time is precious. Use the above tips to help organize your days and control some of the madness that comes with being a parent and ultimately save time. Good luck!

Setting Your Baby Up for Long-Term Success

As parents, we all want to raise our children in a way that prepares them for what the world has in store for them. By doing this, it ensures that they get to live happy, fulfilled, and productive lives. However, it’s not easy bringing up a child and no school will teach you how to be a successful parent. A lot goes into raising a child, from developing their physical and cognitive skills to equipping them with the social and financial knowledge they need to succeed in life

It’s never too early to do what you can to set up your baby for future success. So in this post, we’ve listed the best ways to support your baby for long-term growth.

Introduce Financial Literacy ⁠

Despite being one of the most important lessons you should learn, not a lot of people grow up into adulthood with a complete understanding of how money works. While there’s no reason to start lecturing your baby about credit scores and emergency funds, there are some small steps you can take during their early years to provide a solid foundation for building financial literacy.

Once your kid begins to understand the concept of counting, you should try to introduce them to the basics of money management. This entails teaching them the significance of earning, saving, spending, and giving. At this stage in their lives, be sure to use visual aids and toys to make learning fun. If your kid’s a little older, you should change your approach to imparting financial knowledge by adapting it to their age. There are plenty of ways to teach kids and teens to save — from opening a savings account for them to putting money into their piggy bank, to letting them set their own money goals. This way, you can prepare them for the financial challenges that they’ll eventually face once they arrive at an age where they’re in charge of managing their own money.

Encourage Them to Be Social

In order to interact better with the world around them, your child should develop key social skills to help them find success later in life. Thankfully, you can help your child learn how to be social through putting the time in with them. Act as an example and show your kids how to share, cooperate, listen, and respect personal space. Another way to encourage your baby to be social is by arranging play dates with children of their own age. Social interaction with other children allows them to sharpen the social skills they’ve learned at home and learn the importance of building relationships.

Create a Safe Environment

Other than ensuring that your children are physically well, a safe environment also allows your child to explore their interests and surroundings without running into harm. Additionally, as parents feel secure with the physical wellbeing of their kids, they adopt a calm demeanor, which, in turn, helps children build confidence.

If your child is at that stage where they try to be more aware of their surroundings, you have to do everything that you can to guarantee their safety. Inside your home, you can install baby proofing products like safety gates and bed rails to help them move freely around without any trouble. If you want your kids to play outdoors, you can protect them from the elements by using camping gear like the TravelPod Plus® Travel Play Yard.

There’s no way to tell that your baby will find success in the future, but by giving them the best tools and teaching them invaluable life lessons, you can dramatically improve their odds. Your child’s success is highly dependent on what you impart on them, so be sure to take your time understanding their needs and use the tips we’ve listed above as a guide.

Article exclusively written for kidco.com

By Ashley Bradford

5 Things to Know Before Taking A Baby Camping For The First Time

Mother and 7-month old son together in the park on a spring morning.

Now that flying isn’t the means of travel many parents are willing to take and we are spending much more time outside, camping is the perfect solution to getting away without the stress of flying or staying at someone’s home or hotel. The Summer season makes us think about activities outside with camping topping the list.

For parents that are considering camping for the first time with their baby or young child there might be lots of questions. We are here to tell you that is completely normal. What do I need to keep my baby safe while camping? Where is my baby going to sleep? What do I need to pack? Might be some of your questions. The team at KidCo has selected some of our favorite gear, tips, and advice to help get you started with your family’s first camping trip!

Where Should My Baby Sleep?

One of the hardest parts about being a parent is making sure that everyone gets a quality night’s sleep. Being outside and having few lights can add to the difficulty. We recommend making a solid plan in advance. Even if your baby sleeps in a crib at home, we have found that our PeaPod Plus Travel Bed is the perfect choice when camping. Your baby will have their own space while being protected from the outside elements. During the day, baby can nap next to you while you relax or read a book. In the evening, you can easily bring it inside your tent for a secure space for baby to sleep. We also recommend having a night-light or flashlight handy just in case you need something during the night when it can be quite dark.

 Where Can My Baby Relax During the Day?

It’s a beautiful day and all you want to do is sit by the fire or fish by the lake. Here’s where you run into a couple problems – your baby doesn’t want to sit on your lap or in your arms, and you don’t want to put them on the ground because of the dirt and bugs. If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend having something like our GoPod® Travel Activity Seat to have your baby sit comfortably and stay entertained. KidCo’s activity seat offers the perfect eye level for your baby to see what’s around them, they won’t miss out on any of the fun! While you get to enjoy your surroundings, your baby will have a good time too.
 
 

 How Do I Keep My Baby Entertained?
While camping it is important to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature. With that in mind, there is no need for any distractions from screens or any other devices. Gazing up at the sky and just taking in the beautiful view is a great way to feel the joy that nature brings. This is why we love our The KidCo BouncePod while camping. Bouncer is the first lightweight portable travel bouncer that sets up in an instant to provide comfort and security for your baby. The cushioned headrest is adjustable, and the machine washable padded seat cover has a net backing that provides added comfort for your baby. It’s perfect for letting your baby look up at the birds or clouds while using their imagination!

 How Can You Maximize the Gear You Bring?

It is inevitable to feel like you need to bring your entire house when you go camping – especially with a baby. While camping, it is extremely important to only take what’s actually necessary for both you and your baby. To maximize space and keep it simple, we love our TravelPod Plus® Travel Play Yard because it doesn’t take up much room and it does exactly what you need it to do. The Travel Play Yard can be used not only during the day, but also at night. Camping gear is all about flexibility and functionality.

 How Can Your Baby Stay Protected From the Sun?

The sweltering summer sun can be a lot for every family member. We think it is especially important to keep your baby’s skin in mind. It is very necessary that your baby has a protective hat and a really good sunscreen on. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says that all kids should be wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Also, “The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity. Regardless of the SPF, though, it’s important to apply one ounce (two tablespoons) 30 minutes before going outside and reapply it every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.”

Tips You Actually Need

WFH Tips You Actually Need from Baby Proof Experts and KidCo

Has your living room become your conference room? Is the kitchen table now a workstation? So many of us have been forced to designate a corner of our den, living room, kitchen or bedroom to work.  If you have little ones, the area where we are now working has become an additional space where constant supervision is needed.

For parents of small children, it’s time to baby proof this newly created space. Baby proofing is a ritual we all have to go through when our little ones get mobile and working from home the past few weeks has put this on the top of many parents’ lists.  Don’t learn the hard way with staples in fingers, bruises on heads, or worse.

Below are suggestions from expert baby proofers at Child Safe Childproofing and KidCo, the brand known for its high quality line of baby gates, baby proofing and travel products.

Check Those Wires and Electronics

Putting electronics out of reach of children can reduce the risk of kids getting hurt or damaging expensive equipment.  When setting up electronics, ensure that all wires are no longer than six inches. Consider wrapping them with electrical tape or Velcro ties.  Use an outlet cover box to avoid exposed outlets should something come unplugged. Be sure to keep charging plugs out of reach.

You never know when little fingers will touch your keyboard or mouse. Very young children have become extremely adept at finding YouTube and watching their favorite videos.  Putting a password on to your computer is the easiest way to ensure your child does not “edit” any documents or visit any unsafe sites. You may want to put your tablet in child safe mode if you haven’t done that already.

Watch Out for Small Items

Keep all small items off your desk. Here’s a handy tip – anything that can fit in a toilet paper roll is a potential choking hazard.  KidCo’s small object tester is also an easy and effective way to protect children from choking hazards. Parents can place the item they are questioning if it poses a choking hazard to their child into the small parts tester. If the lid is able to fully close then it is considered a small part and could pose a choking hazard.

Ensure cabinet doors cannot open with easy to install locking mechanisms.

Secure TVs or Furniture to the Wall

Fall hazards are one of the most common, and most deadly, dangers for children inside the home.  Bookcases can be extremely dangerous if not secured to a wall. New or moved furniture (i.e. a television) should be anchored to avoid tipping with anti-tip furniture straps.

Even if your little one is just starting to move around, before you know it they will be trying to grab and climb.  Consider that in the near future that your child might try to scale a bookcase or table to reach an item that has been placed high up.  Also, newer flat screen monitors and televisions, are lighter weight and are easier to pull off and can still cause injury to a child.

Section Off Spaces

No one can possibly watch a child for every single moment of the day, but there are steps parents can take to make working from home spaces safer. Baby gates have come a long way in terms of style and ease of use. Be sure your stairs are gated top and bottom, and don’t use a pressure-style gate at the top. For the top of the stairs use a screw-into-the-wall version which is more secure.

Consider blocking entry to your work space with easy to install gates for your doorway. Or create a designated play area with moveable gates.  We’ve seen parents that have created a gated area around them in their living room so that kids can have their play space while the office area is protected.  (Buy, Buy, Baby or  Target)

Multitasking

Many working parents are now taking on tasks that had been done with an army of babysitters, day care centers, and cleaning crews.  Now so much of this has stopped, the ability to multitask has been put to new levels of efficiency and often frustration.  Some of the best tips that we’ve also found from parents is to try and stress less and set new expectations under these new conditions. Parents have found ways to cope with a variety of products and tips that range from baby carriers to activity seats. 

Keep little ones happy, safe, and occupied in an activity seat. The GoPod Plus Activity Seat​​​​​​​ is one of our favorite products that helps you with multitasking chores, exercise, or helping older children with schoolwork and their needs.  Travel products can be repurposed for keeping kids occupied and are often easy to open and close for storage. 

The KidCo TravelPod is a portable play yard that provides a safe and comfortable environment for children between the ages of birth and three years. It can be set-up easily in any room of your home which has been turned into a home office.

It’s a challenge to keep kids in check and work under control, but with a few easy steps and a bit of planning you can spend some memorable time with little ones that might have otherwise been spent commuting or working late.

SEPTEMBER IS BABY SAFETY MONTH!

GET ON TOP OF IT BEFORE THEY DO

Ah, that little bundle that was so tiny is now crawling just days away from walking.  Every time they pull themselves up to the table or couch and start walking you are waiting for that moment they let go and walk towards you with that big grin on that cute little face.  One of the biggest accomplishments during those first years is baby’s first steps.  That big milestone will forever be embedded in your memory.  And you will revisit that moment each and every time your child reaches another milestone.

So they will be walking soon, and have mastered the art of pulling; pretty clever, pretty smart and pretty dangerous if you have not prepared and childproofed your home.  By now you have secured the electrical outlets; that was done months ago.  The drawer and cabinet locks now seem like they existed forever.  And when is the last time you were able to go up or down the stairs without feeling like you were escaping a high security area with safety gates in place?  What about your televisions and furniture?  Are they secure?  Think about it; your baby has now mastered pulling and walking.  After walking comes running, and pulling is most likely followed by climbing.

Flat screen televisions are light weight compared to the older box models.  But they still pose a serious threat of injury to children.  Your little explorer is not equipped to think of the dangers if they decide to climb on the piece of furniture where your television is placed.  They may be reaching for what they see on the screen or accidently bump into it while playing and exploring.  That television can fall with the force of a thousand pounds causing serious head and internal injuries which can be fatal.  Dressers and large pieces of furniture, especially those with drawers on the bottom pose a serious risk as children can easily open the drawers to use as steps to reach items on top of the dresser or on higher shelves.  The open drawers and weight of a child stepping on them make the furniture unstable increasing the chance of it tipping over.   Toddlers and small children are no match for the weight and force of a large piece of furniture tipping over which can result in serious injuries that are sometimes fatal.  In the US alone, someone is injured every 15 minutes from a tipping piece of furniture.

Did you know that every 23 minutes a child is treated at an emergency room for injuries sustained from tipping televisions and furniture; some injuries are fatal bringing devastation to a family.  According to Health Canada, more than 70% of injuries caused by tipping televisions and furniture happened to children between 1 and 3 years of age. In the US, on average, a child dies every 2 weeks when a television or piece of furniture falls on them.

These are horrifying statistics and can be prevented with a little knowledge and taking a few moments to secure televisions and furniture.  There is never a substitute for supervising your children, but we both know how quick toddlers can get into mischief.

All televisions in your home should be secured.  The KidCo Anti-Tip TV Straps installs quickly.  Each package contains two straps and an assortment of screws to fit most televisions.  With one end of the strap secured to the television, the other can be mounted to the wall or secured to the back of the furniture piece that houses your television.  Available for approximately $13.99 CAD.  Inexpensive and simple to install.

When it comes to furniture, it is strongly recommended not only securing your child’s dresser and larger heavier pieces in your home, but dressers in all bedrooms.  Remember, your toddler has no boundaries when it comes to quickly exploring around the house; adventure is now their middle name.  The KidCo Anti-Tip Furniture Straps install quickly and include installation hardware.  There are two straps per package which is recommended for heavier pieces.  Available for approximately $7.99 CAD.  These products can truly be a life saver.

Any home where your child will be spending a lot of time should be evaluated and childproofed.  Learning to be a parent while being a parent is a monumental responsibility to say the least.  You love them, teach them right from wrong, and sit back and watch their little personalities develop bringing unending joy to your heart.   So take a few moments and ensure their safety.

For more information please visit:  www.anchorit.gov and www.healthcanada.gc.ca/cps


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