abbyandtiggy

Hands-free Baby Entertainment for Busy Days

Babies need near-constant supervision to ensure they don’t get hurt. However, that doesn’t mean they need constant attention. If you never put your baby down or spend all your time entertaining them personally, you won’t ever get anything else done. Sometimes, you need to leave them to their own devices so they can explore the world and you can tidy up, get some work done, cook dinner, or have a shower. If you need to entertain or soothe your baby for a while, but you want both hands free, you can use a range of techniques to keep them busy.

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Toys and Entertainment on the Floor

Put your baby down on the floor is one of the easiest things you can do, especially if they haven’t started moving yet. If they haven’t learned to roll over yet, they will mostly stay put, apart from a bit of wriggling. A baby activity mat is ideal, giving your baby somewhere comfortable to lie and lots of fun things to look at and touch. Even if your baby has started moving, they can still have lots of fun sitting on the floor or traveling around, as long as you’re watching them. The right toys can keep them entertained while you’re busy with other things, and you can keep them in the same room as you so that you can check on them.

Soothing Your Baby Hands-free

Sometimes you baby needs soothing or entertaining, but you have things to do. Maybe it’s time for a nap, but the baby is taking a long time to fall asleep. One of the options you might choose is to use a rocker, bouncer or infant seat. These seats will rock or bounce your baby (or can just hold them), so they can have fun or feel soothed without you having to hold them. If you want something that combines these options, check out the review of the mamaRoo at http://theburpcloth.com/mamaroo-reviews. The product has a range of settings, including one that simulates going on a car ride, which is ideal for babies who sleep best in the car. You can even connect it to a Bluetooth device so that you can control it from anywhere.

Wear Your Baby

Some babies just don’t want to be put down. It’s hard to deny your baby when they want some comfort, and sometimes you need to walk around the house and don’t want to leave them alone. If you want to have both hands free and carry your baby at the same time, baby wearing is the best option. A carrier, sling or wrap allows you to have your baby with you, while you get on with other things. There are different types that offer various benefits, and some might feel more comfortable than others. Before buying one, see if you can try some out to find which one’s right for you.

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Kitchen Fun While You’re Cooking

If you’re making a meal while you’re entertaining the baby, there are lots of things slightly older babies, in particular, can have fun with. If they are already eating solid foods or you’re in the process of weaning them, they can sit in their high chair and explore some different foods. Baby-led weaning encourages babies to pick up food for themselves and experiment with textures and tastes. If it’s not time to eat, pots and pans are fun to bang on with spoons or other utensils. A few toys on the tray is a good idea too, especially if you don’t want the noise of your baby getting musical.

Get a Walker

If your baby is starting to travel around, a walker is a great way for him or her to move safely. They can get around without bumping into anything (or, at least, with a barrier to protect them) and they won’t fall over. You could set your baby up in their walker while you’re busy doing something in one room or let them follow you around if you’re going from room to room. Instead of a walker, you might also consider a doorway bouncer, which can be a lot of fun if you stay in the room with your baby. They can use these from around four months, when they can hold their head up on their own.

Set Up a Playpen

If you want to put your baby down on the floor but you don’t want them to get far, a playpen could be a good idea. It keeps your baby within a defined area that you can make sure is safe, so that they can have fun and you don’t have to worry too much about them suddenly climbing something or finding an object to put in their mouth. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can leave them entirely alone. If you’re worried about confining your infant too much, you can use baby gates instead, which you can put in doorways and at the top and bottom of staircases.

Screen Time

Time in front of a screen might be a controversial way to entertain your baby, but many parents agree that it’s one of the best ways to capture their attention. Moving shapes and sounds from a TV can be endlessly fascinating. If you’re worried about too much passive television time, you might also consider an infant tablet, which gives them an interactive toy to play with instead. You don’t have to ban screens completely. Instead, you can limit the amount of time you put your baby in front of one. For some advice on baby screen time check out https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/.

Get Baby to Join In

Your toddler can even help you do things if you want to keep them entertained. If you have chores around the house to do, you can get little ones to join in. Give them a cloth to dust a table or ask them to help you pick things up. It doesn’t matter if they do a good job. Just let them copy you and feel like they’re helping.

There’s no need to sit and entertain your baby all day. With the right techniques, you can still get on with other things around the house.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Alex Splashing

Rainy Nights In With Your Kids

Lovely weather we’re having, right? Considering we’re still in the throes of winter, there’s going to be a lot of adverse weather on your doorstep. This means it’s not exactly going to be a desirable activity to go outside! There’s a lot of frost on the roads, no leaves in the trees, and the sun is behind the clouds about 80% of the time. No one really wants to have to leave the house when there’s no light to bask in, but responsibilities always take precedence.

So when it comes to the evening time, make sure you’re having a good time indoors. It’s never been a better time to try having fun as a family on the inside than when you don’t have an alternative. You’ve got the house into a much better, family-friendly state, and now it’s time to put your surroundings to good use. So if you’re experiencing a bit of downpour every now and then, here’s some ideas for you to dabble in to keep the boredom away and the crankiness on the downlow.

Alex Splashing

Get the Chores Done

When there’s no alternatives to having to stay in, it’s a lot easier to get the kids interested in cleaning up. Unless you have little superstars under your roof, you’re probably always having to remind your children to take their plates away to the sink when they’re finished and to tidy up their toys when they’ve finished playing. But when the rain is pelting against the windows? This is a good time for a lesson in responsibility!

Or you could channel your inner Mary Poppins. You can even turn it into a game if you’re really struggling to get the cloths dirty and the floor clean. Set up a puzzle when it comes to needing to sweep the kitchen, and have your young ones attempt to get all the dirt into a square you’ve marked out with tape. When there’s a fun challenge to it, kids are more likely to want to do it.

Go On a Treasure Hunt

A treasure hunt is something every kid loves to go on, and even as adults we can get just as competitive about it. So remember that just because you’re not outside doesn’t mean you can’t set up a scavenger hunt! A household treasure hunt is going to be a lot easier to start than anything you could do outside, and thus there’s a lot of freedom in the rules and clues you can leave lying around.

You can easily find clues online if you’re not the greatest bard in the world, and then set up a time limit to really increase the sense of urgency for your kids. Or you could go one better and group up into teams to try and snatch the clues out of the other team’s hands! It can be a great competitive sport, and take up the entire evening.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to get some work done, make the clues a bit harder than you think they should be. You’ll have plenty of quiet time to get on with something then! Your kids won’t mind, and they’ll see the funny side of it when they’re older anyway.

Watch Something Funny

Funny things are always going to be on the top spot when it comes to occupying your mind. When there’s no chance to head outside, there’s a huge chance people are going to be bored inside. And there’s no better way to cure boredom than having some deep belly laughs; we all like to from time to time, and your kids are no different.

The TV is right there for you to use when you need it most, so take it up on its offer. Or you could turn to the internet if there’s nothing but procedural shows gracing the air at that time of night. Turn on some anime if you still have a good satellite or internet connection, and get involved in an entire animated world like you’ve never seen before.

Build a Fort

Forts are something everyone loves to craft at some point, so this is another activity you could combine with watching something funny. And there’s no better place to shelter from the outside world than inside a pillow fort, all snug and cozy. Remember, it’s also a great way to indulge your own inner child and that engineering degree you always had in the back of your mind by taking the couch cushions onto the floor and stacking them up with some blankets.

If the dank and dreary weather is meant to hold out for longer than a day or so, considering adding some lights to your fort and turning it into a real playhouse for you and the kids. There’s so much fun to be had when you’re just rolling around on the floor with some fluffy material on top of you, having a good time altogether!

Try Baking Something

Baking is always a fun activity to indulge in, because you get to eat something at the end of it! Even throughout, you can lick out the bowl and clean off the spoon, and kids are always willing to help with that. So whether you’re a cake genius or a cookie maestro, get baking to keep your kids happy when they’re trapped indoors.

Throw some non traditional ingredients into the bowl, such as some skittles or some chocolate pieces into a bit of cornbread. Just because you wouldn’t usually do it doesn’t mean you can’t make something delicious out of it! Experimenting is what led to great discoveries of cake and cookies in the first place.

Rainy nights in never have to be boring, and we don’t have to be stuck in front of the news for what feels like the rest of eternity. Let your creativity know no bounds and keep imagination at the forefront of what you do. There’s no better way to get kids engaged than to let them lead activities themselves!

This post as a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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playroom

Five Home Improvements for a Better Family Life

If you haven’t been able to save up enough to get a full makeover of your family home, you are not alone. We all need to prioritize expenses and home renovation projects, but it can be challenging. You need to focus on the improvements that make the greatest difference in your and your family’s life. Below you will find a few home renovation projects that will improve your family’s comfort, finances, and security.

1. Playrooms

playroom

Busy parents working full time to make ends meet can benefit from a bit of free time when they can cook a family dinner, or just watch a movie together. If you create a playroom for the kids, they will be out of the way when you are trying to organize your finances and file your invoices, and you will know that they are safe. Building a playroom in the garden, or converting your conservatory is a much better option than allowing your children to play on the street all night.

2. Home Security

It is also important that you invest in home security, so you can take a long weekend away, without having to worry about your house being burgled. Some DIY house alarm systems are as effective as those that are installed by professionals, and can be tailored to your needs. If you are any good at wiring and drilling, you can set one up in just a few hours. Security is one of the most important aspects of family life, so you should invest in it.

3. Smart Thermostat

If you worry about your kids not turning off the lights or heating, you might want to get a smart thermostat. It is a great investment, but doesn’t come cheap. If you need to take out credit, you can check how to get a quick personal loan online and fund your smart thermostat. Your savings over the years will cover your investment, and you will no longer have to worry about heating an empty home.

4. Kitchen Area

Cooking with kids is a cheap and joyful weekend activity. You can improve your kitchen in a way that it is easy to walk around the island, and everything is easily accessible. This will improve your weekends, and help you teach the kids some important life skills. Get a Bluetooth speaker, and stream some fun music while you teach them how to cook Spaghetti Bolognese.

5. Garden Landscaping

garden

Image via Wikipedia

If your kids love the great outdoors, you can make your garden more child-friendly. Create some benches where they can have a doll tea party or play with their toy cars. Build a garden hut that protects them from the rain, and a small playground to keep them busy during the summer vacations. Kids love tree houses, but if you don’t have any, you can get a cheap log cabin and turn it into a play den where they can escape to whenever they have friends around.

Whenever you need to prioritize home improvement projects, think about your values and preferences, and investments that will make your family life better.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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St. Louis Sports Trivia Game

stlouistriviaHey all you St. Louisan holiday and birthday shoppers! I grabbed this great game called You Gotta Know St. Louis Sports Trivia Game. It is perfect for any St. Louis sports fan, or any sports fan in general. It is a great gift that this St. Louis Dad recommends picking up this holiday season.

There are so many great questions to keep everyone entertained for hours. The game is pretty simple, it’s trivia! There are 125 cards with 500 questions. You ask questions and other people answer them. Keep track of the points and whoever gets to 21 or whatever number first wins.

You can pick this game up from Amazon for pretty cheap. It’s a nice bargain for some great trivia questions specific to St. Louis.

So much history has happened here in St. Louis and wrapping it up in a game like this is a fantastic way to preserve that history. Over 500 questions that are about hockey, football, baseball, and more! You Gotta Know St. Louis is a perfect gift to add to your cart this year.

You Gotta Know St. Louis is the addictive sports trivia game made just for the St. Louis sports fan. With 500 questions, there’s something for everyone from the casual fan to the obsessed sports geek. Baseball. Hockey. Football. Basketball. Players. Coaches. Trades. Draft picks. Numbers and records. Buildings, ballparks, and arenas. It’s all here. Each card has a point value (based on difficulty) for easy “race to 21″ game play… or just ask the questions to your buddies while you’re drinking beer.

If you are looking for something for that sports fan, or you’re curious to know what unofficial mascot appears on the 2011 Cardinals World Series rings prompted by its dash across home plate during the NLDS? Or what St. Louis native claimed the undisputed heavyweight championship with a split-decision win over Muhammed Ali in 1978? This game is for you.

My wife, she doesn’t know much about St. Louis sports trivia, but my buddies do. So this game will be great to play when we get together. Maybe my wife will learn a few facts as well. Who knows, I’m just excited to play!

This blog post was sponsored by You Gotta Know St. Louis Sports Trivia Game. St. Louis Dad was compensated for the content in this post.

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