4 Compelling Reasons Why Dads Need to Be More Involved in Parenting

dad parenting tips Mothers are widely acknowledged as genetically wired to be more involved in parenting than her children’s father. After all, she is the one carrying the child in her womb for nine months, and the one who endures the most physical pain when she finally sends them out into the world. While her nurturing input is highly crucial, she should also share the privilege (and pains) of parenthood to the person who is half responsible for it.

If it’s not yet obvious enough for children who grow up in single parent households, at least it needs to be spelled out for the society to realize that fathers need to be more involved and play broader roles in raising their kids. Countless studies have been put forth to look into the delicate issue of parenting, but few are specifically designed to measure how much of an impact a father leaves in his children’s lives, and by extension, in the lives of those who are around his children. The few father-oriented research that have returned results have found several compelling reasons why dad needs to be regularly present at the dinner table and in his children’s lives, whether he lives with them or not.

Fathers provide parenting distinct from mothers

First in the list of why fathers should be more present in the parenting picture is nothing more as simple as his voice. A father’s way of communicating to his child provides a different relational experience to infants who can detect that change in as early as eight weeks after birth. That change in interaction creates a different neural pathway from the brain patterns that light up when interacting with mom. We know from various brain studies that the more neural pathways are created, the more an adult becomes creative and resourceful in solving complex problems.

Fathers provide a sense of risk-taking

Often, when fathers throw their children in the air or wrestle with them as a form of play, it is the mothers who would caution him and say ‘not so high’ or ‘not so rough.’ When the children are old enough to walk or ride a bicycle, it’s often the dads who would encourage the kids to be faster or go farther. While that encouragement on its own could breed a risk-taking child who may not put serious consideration into the consequences of his or her actions, dads’ pushing the envelope can be balanced by moms’ protective mantle and admonitions to be more careful. A healthy combination of both can build confidence in a child in pushing his or her own abilities in a more calculated way.

Fathers provide an example of how daughters should be treated

As daughters grow up being familiar with how facial stubble feels and how it is to be hugged by strong arms, so do they form a concept of how their future mates might treat them. A loving father can do more than that however; he would eventually become the yardstick for all males that his daughter would come in contact with, and his daughter would be more discerning of the kinds of men she should protect herself against.

Fathers provide a role model on how gentlemen should behave

A father’s involvement in parenting not only creates confident and well-adjusted children who are less likely to get in trouble as they grow, his involvement also lays the groundwork for how adult men should behave in a way that benefits his wife, family and society. The lack of this role modeling is apparent in so many ways that often the factor of fatherhood is overlooked when, according to studies, it is one factor that could create a positive domino effect to his children, his family and his society.

Beautiful Gifts for a New Baby

new baby gifts The arrival of a new baby is a wonderful time to celebrate with friends and family. If you know someone who is welcoming a new baby, skip past the diapers and stuffed bears and choose a gift that honors how special the occasion is. Choose a gift that will last for many years and turn into a family keepsake.

Here are a few top beautiful gifts to choose for a new baby:

Infant Cup

This isn’t a cup that’s meant for drinking. It’s a beautiful pewter keepsake that commemorates baby’s birth date. The cup has a lovely polished finish, and it comes with a matching spoon with a curved handle. Engraving on the front of the cup marks baby’s name and birth date. Other engraved accents make the cup and spoon look beautiful, and the set makes for a wonderful gift.

Birthday Candle Holders

Baby’s first birthday is a special time. Give these pewter candle stick holders shaped like bunnies or bears to provide a lovely accent at the birthday party. The candle holders can be used year after year at each of the child’s birthday parties. Because they are pewter, they can fit in with any theme or decor. They can even become treasured family heirlooms that are used generation after generation.

Baby’s First Christmas Ornament

No matter what time of year a baby is born, baby’s first Christmas ornament is always a special one. The pewter Christmas ornament can be engraved with the baby’s name or date of birth. It also features fine materials that will last through the years, turning the ornament into a treasured keepsake.

The next time you need to buy a new baby gift, consider buying a pewter gift that will last through the years. Those stuffed toys may become moldy or torn, but a piece of pewter will be just as beautiful as the day it was purchased decades from now.

Top Gifts for New Parents

gifts for new parents Whether a couple is welcoming their first baby or their fifth, they are going to need a lot of things to care for their new little one. Sending a gift is a nice way to congratulate the new parents while also helping them get the essential items they need for their new baby.

Here are a few top gifts to consider sending to any new parents or expecting parents you know:

Diapers

Babies need a lot of diapers. A lot. The average newborn goes through eight to 12 diapers a day. That adds up quickly day in and day out. You can help out new parents by giving them a box of diapers. Of course, a box of diapers doesn’t seem very exciting. If you want to dress it up a bit, you can give them a diaper cake instead, which will include many diapers as well as other essentials like blankets and booties.

Bath Time Items

Babies need special soap and shampoo. You can give new parents a nice gift of several bath time items. Create or purchase a small gift basket that includes shampoo, body wash, lotion and powder. If you want to make it more special, you can add a manicure kit or a comb. You can also include a few fun bath toys for when the baby is a little older.

Blankets

Baby blankets can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be used to swaddle babies to settle them down, to cover babies during a nap, or to keep babies warm when there is a breeze outside. Choose several blankets to create a nice bundle. You can add bibs, cloth diapers, wash cloths and other linens to the set if you want to make it a nicer gift.

You can include any of these items in a lovely gift basket to give new parents more of what they need. Add a toy or another nice item to finish it off.

Some Memorable Baby Quotes and Sayings

cute baby gifts Mark Twain

A baby is an inestimable blessing and bother.

Tina Brown

Having a baby is like falling in love again, both with your husband and your child.

Barretto

Babies are bits of stardust, blown from the hand of God.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.

Louisa May Alcott

Father asked us, “What was God’s noblest work?” Anna said, “Men”, but I said “Babies”. Men are often bad, but babies never are.

Henry David Thoreau

Every child begins the world again.

Charles Dickens

Every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last.

Kate Douglas Wiggin

Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever-fresh and radiant possibility.

Milton Berle

If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?

Robert Orben

I always wondered why babies spend so much time sucking their thumbs. Then I tasted baby food.

Ronald Knox

A baby is a loud noise at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

Jayne Mansfield

Carrying a baby is the most rewarding experience a woman can enjoy.

Natalie Wood

The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he is a baby.

T. S. Eliot

If you desire to drain to the dregs the fullest cup of scorn and hatred that a fellow human being can pour out for you, let a young mother hear you call dear baby “it”.

William Blake

I have no name: I am but two days old. What shall I call thee? I happy am, Joy is my name. Sweet joy befall thee!

Mark Twain

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

baby shower gifts The birth of a baby is the most joyful occasion in any family. The joy of this precious occasion is celebrated by conducting baby shower functions. This is the time when the new parents or the soon-to-be parents will be showered with gifts and best wishes by relatives and friends. The most valued occasion of the family can be made more joyous by the careful selection of baby shower gift.

Some parents offer baby gift registries to the guests so that they can choose from the sections which are hand-picked by the new parents. Some other parents will allot each guest a certain “time” of day in the baby’s life. For instance, if you are assigned with bath time you are supposed to bring useful bath items and accessories. The objective behind this is to avoid the new mom from getting the duplicates of different things. If you are left with the choice to decide the baby shower gift for yourself choose something that is unique, nice and practical at the same time. The article explores some useful baby shower gift ideas.

Some popular and useful baby shower gift ideas

Diapers and Diaper Cakes – Diapers form an ever popular and useful baby shower gift item. If you want to be more creative, gift diaper cakes to the moms to be. By diaper cake we don’t mean the usual delicious, eatable cake, but the one that is made of useable diapers and other necessary baby items such as shampoo, nail cutters, toys etc. You can adorn the cake with all kinds of other baby utilities and goodies.

Baby bed accessories – You can make a cute baby bed accessory set consisting of a cute pillow, robust baby blanket, soft bed sheet and little soft toys. You can even choose to buy organic bed accessories to show your thoughtfulness and care for the baby. You can buy toxin-free organic cotton clothing, bedding, or even BPA free baby bottles as excellent baby shower gifts.

The Mommy-To-Be Bag – A cute Tote-Bag will make an excellent baby shower gift. Don’t forget to fill the bag with all the baby essentials. If you are ready to shed substantial amount of money in buying these bags, there are a variety of designer diaper bags available, for instance, Angelina Jolie Diaper Bag, the Heidi Klum Diaper Bag, and the Jessica Alba Diaper Bag etc.

Music, videos and books - Presenting a collection of your own favorite books for babies is a thoughtful baby shower gift. Empirical evidences suggest that reading out aloud to babies is an effective way to boost their mental and cognitive development. You can gift picture books with bright colors and bold pictures. Personalized children’s CDs and videos are other bunch of great baby shower gift ideas.

Baby Wipes for Booty Duty

baby wipesYou have probably heard the old adage that cleanliness is next to godliness.  That is particularly the case when it comes to babies.  They are more susceptible to the elements around them than adults.  Keeping baby’s body and environment clean is essential to his health.  Because babies rely on their caretakers to keep their diapers clean and dry, caretakers have the responsibility to check them often and to do a good job cleaning them, so taking booty duty seriously is imperative.

Thankfully, in 1990 large companies started mass producing the savior to messes – the disposable baby wipe.  Handy for cleaning up sticky hands, spilled milk and most importantly dirty diapers, baby wipes are a household fixture for anyone with children, and often for many without them.  Wipes just make diaper changing more convenient and clean up as simple as tossing the wipe in the trash or folding it in the dirty diaper.

Every parent – new or veteran – should stock up on wipes and, if it suits their fancy, a wipe warmer for middle of the night diaper changes to prevent the cold wipe from startling your sleepy baby.

Clean Up That Room! No, Seriously.

nursery tips Whether you have one little one, three or Duggars (19 and counting), it seems to be quite a challenge to get and keep kids’ rooms (never mind the house!) organized and clean. 

As our kids get old enough to help around the house (some willingly, some not so much), one of the chores we always insist they do is clean up their rooms. Granted, not many are willing to keep their rooms clean; they only clean it up after we parents get fed up with seeing more toys than carpet on the floor! 

However, there are ways to help making cleaning the room something fun and something that kids might be more willing to do on their own, and that is by finding some great organizational tools from idealbaby.com.  Each of the items for organizing at idealbaby.com are designed with sturdy materials and are thoughtfully crafted to meet the varying needs of your child’s room. You can label the organizers and set up a game with your kids so they learn to clean up after themselves after each play session.

Organizing is necessary, even if it’s not always fun. But you can make it fun and efficient by checking out the catalog of organizing items at idealbaby.com and teach your kids the joy of a happy Mommy and Daddy with a clean, organized house!

Baby-Proof Your Home

baby safety It’s just impossible to tell your toddler not to touch anything or put anything in their mouths as this is the stage in their development when they investigate the world around them as part of their learning process.  It’s also impossible not to drop the ball when you have ran around all day in the office and then run after the kids when you get home: something’s got to give, and at some point during dinner time (when accidents are most common), the child is going to bump his head, break something and cut his finger, or your nightmare come true, choke on her toys.

While you can do your best to be super parents and provide the close supervision that curious toddlers require, make it easier for you and safer for your young one if you start with a childproof house. Of course, you can’t baby proof a house 100%, but the following tips offer a solid start.

Electrical Outlets

If you can’t hide outlets behind heavy furniture, close them off with safety plugs or safety covers to prevent kids from sticking their fingers or pins into them. Repair exposed outlets and cover them as well.

Bathrooms

Turn down the water temperature to at most 110°F. And never leave the baby in the bathtub for even a minute; they can easily drown in an inch of water. Put nonskid strips on the floors to keep the child – and even adults – from slipping. Also cover the faucet head, keep shower cords out of reach, and install toilet lid locks. Prevent your child from running into sliding-glass doors by decorating them with decals.

Nursery

Lower the crib mattress when the child starts crawling, and remove things inside the crib like bumper pads and toys that he or she can use to climb out. Lock all the drawers as children may use the open ones to climb unto the top of the cabinet. Also fasten cabinets and other light furniture onto the wall to keep them from toppling over the child. Banish rickety furniture and lock them away in the garage. Install windows guards, cordless window treatments, and safety glass so they won’t shatter when a child falls into them.

Stairways

Never install a gate at the top of the stairs as the child can climb over it and fall from a much higher height. Install gates at the bottom of the stairway instead to prevent them from crawling up. Keep the stairway clear from toys and other items at all times to prevent anyone, especially adults carrying children, from slipping.

Cabinets and Doors

Install doorknob covers and locks especially on easy to reach doors and drawers regardless of their content. Children are likely to put anything they can find in these places inside their mouths or experiment with them that can lead to other accidents like cuts and burns.

Kitchen

Never let a child play at your feet while you are cutting or cooking. Something scalding may spill out of the stove and unto the child at your feet. Use the back burners when cooking, and turn the handles of pots and pans away from the child’s grasp after their use. Always keep anything sizzling or boiling or simmering well-attended so you prevent children from grabbing them. Keep all small kitchen appliances and all sharp objects on the top drawers. Lock all the cabinets especially those that contain harmful cleaners. Take the stove knobs out after cooking as children may play with these and start fire. Lock garbage cans as these may contain sharp objects or bacterial hazards.

Living Room

Empty drinks and ashtrays after a party at home as these can be toxic to children when ingested. Keep all cords out of their reach and cushion sharp edges and corners of tables with padded guards. Place all curios on the top of the bookshelf to eliminate choking hazards. Suspend all plants from the ceiling using hangers to prevent children from pulling at the leaves and toppling the plants on top of them.

Pets and Pet Supplies

Move all food dishes unto the top shelf. Find a place for cat litter away from the usual environment of your child as the litter contains parasites that could lead to toxoplasmosis which damages the brain, eyes and other organs. Given the seriousness of contamination, always handle poop, and cat litter especially, with gloved hands. Move the baby out of the pet’s area when the pet is feeding to prevent the child from mimicking the pet and joining them for dinner.

The Big 4 Baby Gear Essentials

baby gear Having a baby is admittedly exciting, and part of the excitement is the shopping of essential baby gear that goes with welcoming into the world your bundle of joy. With a slew of brands to consider, you can easily get overwhelmed with the long list of gear and other products that you need to get ready by the time the baby comes home from the hospital, to say nothing of the dizzying features that these products offer every new parent. So before you pile on the nursery with things that the baby may end up not needing, keep in mind that you only need a few essentials to start with. Let the following be your basic guideline in shopping for them right.

Car Seat

The baby’s first ride should not only be memorable (at least for the parents) but most importantly, safe. In this regard, the car seat is an indispensable baby gear that should be chosen with extra care. Do not get lost with all the choices available to you: when it comes to infant car seats, you need them rear-facing. Whether you settle for the detachable or convertible type (changeable to forward facing as the baby grows older) is optional. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to keep the baby in rear-facing seats until they are two years old, or whenever they outgrow the seats.

Crib and Crib Mattress

Buy new to be sure cribs are up to the latest safety standards, or if receiving a pre-loved version, make sure it meets the safety criteria of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. (This is where you can also check for recalled baby products.) Ensure that the cribs have no loose, missing or broken parts, and that all moving parts run on track smoothly. The space between slats should be no more than 2 3/8 of an inch (do the soda can test; it should not fit). The top of the corner post should be no higher than 1/16 of an inch so no clothing gets snagged.

Firm and snug should be your guideline in buying the crib mattress. The space between the crib frame and the mattress should be no greater than two fingers’ width (if it is, buy a bigger one) and use a fitted bottom sheet. Reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) by keeping the crib free of smothering hazards. As adorable as they may be, stuffed toys should be banished from the crib, along with pillows, blankets, bumper pads and sleep positioners.

Stroller/Bassinet

As with the other baby gear essentials, there’s really so much to choose from in this category but you only need to look for a few qualities: sturdy bottom with a wide base, legs with locks, smooth surfaces, and snug-fitting mattress for bassinet. As for strollers, reclining seats, cup holders, trays, under baskets are some of the features you should look for, while you may also want to consider seats that double as carriers to make transfer to a car seat easier, and lightweight brands for easier handling. (Keep in mind that when using lightweight strollers, or any stroller or bassinet for that matter, you should never hang anything on the handles as this may tip the stroller backwards.)

High Chair

As early as six months, babies are able to sit up and eat solid food. This is an exciting time for parents as their children can now join the family at the table, and a highchair allows this happy arrangement. Go for ones that have a wide base and easy-to-use straps. Use these straps to restrain a wriggly baby and do not rely on the tray to keep the young one in his or her place. The straps also ensure that the baby is always seated in the high chair and not given a chance to stand up and tip over.

Top Baby Items You Should Never Buy Used

new babyWhen you welcome a new baby, it can be one of the most exciting times in your life – as well as one of the most expensive. You suddenly need to buy all kinds of new gear, from cribs to bouncy seats to strollers to car seats. That’s not to mention all the clothes, diapers, bottles, and other accessories you’ll need.

One way to save money is to buy some of those items used or to accept hand-me-downs from friends and relatives. However, there are a few baby items that you should never buy used.

Cribs

There are many guidelines for what makes a crib safe, such as the size of the slats, what materials it is made of, and the type of hardware and accessories that are on it. These guidelines are constantly being updated. When you buy a crib used, the chances are very high that it no longer meets safety standards. For example, many older cribs have drop sides, which are no outlawed. Make the investment in a new crib and ensure your baby’s safety.

Mattresses

You never know what could be lurking in an older crib mattress. Urine and vomit are highly likely on a mattress that slept a baby or toddler, but you may not be able to see the stains. Mattresses can also harbor bacteria and pests, such as bed bugs. Cleaning them may not get rid of all these issues. Stick to new mattresses to know what you’re really getting.

Car Seats

Just like cribs, the safety standards for car seats are always changing. Unlike cribs, they also have an expiration date. If you buy a used car seat, you may not know how old it really is. You also won’t know for sure if the car seat has been in an accident, which can weaken its effectiveness and put your baby at risk if you are in an accident yourself. Always buy your car seats new.