7 Survival Tips for the First-Time Dad

Bellyitch Rewind

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This Father’s Day is a great time to salute the first time dads! Congratulate them for for making it to the daddy club.

If you’re a dad reading this, you may be exhausted, overwhelmed and still anxious. There will be a ups and downs but mainly ups. If you’re nervous, don’t worry too much. There is only so many ways you can mess up raising a baby.  To help you feel a little better, here are some great tips for new dads from Julia Wang, head of digital content at TheBump.com.

Tips for new dads:

  1. You’ll sometimes think you made a huge mistake — It’s normal every now and then to secretly wonder why you ever had a kid in the first place. Forgive yourself these occasional moments of self-doubt and, from time to time, let yourself mourn your pre-parenthood life. These moments will be short-lived.
  2. Buy a rechargeable, cordless hand vacuum — Much of your time will be spent getting things off the floor. At first, it will be all manner of bodily fluids, but soon enough, you’re going to be dealing with everything from Cheerios to banana slices. Later, the list will grow to include things like glitter, dirt, forgotten bacon and pretty much anything that can be shredded by small hands. And the clunky upright is too annoying to drag out four times a day.
  3. It’s perfectly acceptable to make an entire dinner in the microwave. That’s it.
  4. Act like a grown-up — One of the most heartbreaking sights is that of a parent and their young child in a shouting match trying to see who can out-tantrum the other. Children are an endless source of joy, but only when they’re not being an endless source of frustration. Breathe deeply and never let yourself escalate to the level of irrational fury that your little one occasionally inhabits. A two-year-old has the right to act like a child; you do not.
  5. Hand-me-downs are more than okay — Not only are secondhand baby things easier on the wallet and the environment, it’s a lot less agonizing when you find yourself on the fourth outfit of a craptastic kind of day (which, trust me, you will).
  6. Make time for the other relationships in your life — Not only is it important for your child to know there’s more to the world than you catering to their every need, but you’re also teaching them a very important lesson about what it means to have a full, loving life. Seeing you in the role of good friend or devoted spouse is a way for your kids to learn what it means to actually be a good friend or devoted spouse.
  7. You’re not the “backup parent.” You’re a father — You’re a full, equal partner in turning a small, fragile sack of fluid and bones into a loving, decent, healthy citizen of the Universe. Never let the fact that other people aren’t sure what to do with a man between conception and Little League fool you into thinking that you’re anything less than critical to every step of the process. Be informed, aggressively involved and as in love as you’re capable of letting yourself be.

Break a leg, new dads and congrats again!

12 Easy Ways To Encourage Your Child to Eat Healthy

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Being a mom can be difficult, especially at mealtimes.

Children can be very fussy when it comes to trying new foods, especially those of a healthy, nutritional value. If it’s green, it must be mean! However, there are ways we can still encourage our children to eat healthily, and here some ideas in how to do it.


1. Give informed advice

If it isn’t made from chocolate, your children may turn their noses up at what you put in front of them. However, a little education goes a long way. Explain to your child in fun and creative ways why choosing foods of nutritional value are better than eating junk food. Let them know what foods will make them better at sports. Tell them how a healthy breakfast is ideal for boosting their brain cells. We often tell our children to do something without explanation, so start as early as you can with good parental advice.

2. Place healthy food in reach

Whenever you bake cookies, you can guarantee your child will not be too far away, eager for a tasty snack. Instead, have healthy foods placed around the house, such as a fruit bowl on the table, so when they are hungry, they will be tempted by the more healthy choice on offer.

3. Grow your food

Most children hate vegetables. However, if they have been given the opportunity to grow their own, they might take ownership of the food and begin to eat it.

4. Don’t be bossy

The more you order your child to eat that plate of broccoli, the less likely they are going to do it. Instead, consider the foods your child enjoys and add to them to make a healthier option. For example, have a chocolate dip with the strawberries, or have a look at Healthy But Smart’s list of food processors, for those delicious fruit smoothies.

5. Prepare a buffet

Children enjoy choice, so have a range of foods on offer. From pasta shapes to cheese rolls, choose food that looks and tastes good, with that all important nutritional value.

6. Take it slow

Don’t introduce too many new foods quickly. Perhaps try something different each week. If they don’t eat it, tell them that sometimes taste buds take a while to get used to something. That gives you the opportunity to return to that food down the line, giving your child a fun reason to see if they like it better.

7. A spoonful of sugar

We all know too much sugar can be bad for us. However, to misquote Mary Poppins, a spoonful of sugar can help the broccoli go down. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on the food your child finds disagreeable, and it may be easier for them to eat.

8. Make eating fun

Be creative with your children’s foods. Give the peas silly names, and make fun patterns on the plate. Use cookie cutters to make funny food shapes. Make a pizza together, letting your child design the food on the base, such as a smiley face or a rocket ship. The more fun they have in cooking with you, the more likely they are to eat what they have created.

9. Allow for treats

Don’t be so health conscious that your child never gets to eat what their friends are. The occasional ice cream, chocolate, and popcorn are fine. Everything needs to be done in moderation, but a world without candy floss is a very boring one.

10. Be a good role model

Practice what you preach. Don’t give your child a plate of broccoli while you tuck into a burger. Your child looks at you for a good example, so be mindful of your own eating habits.

11. Let your kids plan dinner

As dodgy as this sounds, giving your children control over planning one mealtime a week may provide surprising results. Ask them to think about a healthy menu and put options in front of them. As you go shopping, as stressful as it can be, let them pick the foods they want for their chosen mealtime. If all goes wrong and they insist on french fries with chocolate, go for it, with the rule that they must eat your food choices on the other days of the week

12. Talk to your doctor

If you have concerns about your child’s eating habits, or you are considering putting them on a diet, talk to a doctor first. Whether you think your child is too fat or thin, it is always better to seek expert advice.

Good luck parents!




 



 

4 Ways Moms Can Get ‘Self Care’ and ‘Me Time’

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It is a fact and even studies support the fact that raising a child or children can be  an extremely stressful and busy time. Of course, it is well worth it. Parents are proud of their children.  But given all the strain and pressure of managing a household and childrearing, it is important that moms (and dads) take time for self-care.

Self-care can be defined as care provided “for you, by you.” It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture you.


Women and moms, especially, do not take time off to engage in fun activities or things they love. Many of us remember a time when we used to read for leisure. Sadly, a lot of us cannot remember the last time we picked up a good book and dug into it uninterrupted.

Here is a roundup of things you can do just for fun to let off some steam or just let go.

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Engage in A Hobby – Either get back into something you might have enjoyed before kids or pick up a new one like embroidery, gardening, or painting. You need something that you can dip in and out of, and something that will help you unwind after a stressful day. You do not need to be amazing at it, but just find the thing you enjoy and use it to give yourself a bit of ME time.

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Start a Blog – These days blogging has become a profession for some, but it is still a great way to journal your life, your family’s life or talk about some topic that is dear to you. If you are at home, you can easily start up your own blog. You can download an app to your phone so you can update quickly and easily so it doesn’t have to take up too much of your time! You can talk about anything- your baby and children tips, easy to make dinners on a budget, home and interior advice, or even just your amusing musings on the life of a mother. It is a great way to keep the old grey matter working, and also to share your experiences with the world.

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Play Online Games – You’ve probably gotten invitations to play one of the many online games that are part of your favorite social networking sites. Believe it or not, they are not a waste of time but also a wonderful opportunity to sharpen your memory or strategy skills. These days you can also download an app to to your phone and play a great range of popular casino games whenever you want and wherever you are! All Jackpots Casino online offers a super range of all the popular casino games and it also offers great prizes and payouts as well! Who knows, you could strike it lucky. Imagine being able to win some money while just kicking back just be careful you don’t make it a habit.

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Pick Up a New Exercise Trend – Work out trends like pilates, yogilates, kickboxing, cross-fit come and go but some look like fun and once you become addicted or join a fun class where you know all the other members, you’re more likely to go often. Soon, meeting up at your fave class becomes something you look forward to while getting into shape. And if you are on maternity leave, you can also start. You may be tired and exercise might feel like the last thing that you want to do, but as soon as the endorphins kick in, you will think differently!

Being short on time doesn’t mean you don’t have time to look after yourself. The key is to find an exercise that you can do at home and even with a kid in tow!

Live Laugh Love This Mother’s Day with These 19 Fun Mom Memes

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Happy Mother’s Day to all of our friends and family in the Blogosphere in the United States who are celebrating moms, moms-to-be, grandmothers, adoptive moms, and all those aunts, Godparents, cousins, friends and others who step up to make sure a child is raised with love and care.
We’re hoping your Mother’s Day is going smoothly so here are some funny comic, images, memes and other humorous mom-related finds to smile today.
Enjoy!
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New App is ‘Tinder’ For Sperm and Egg Donors

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A new app called Just-a-Baby is launching in the US promising to match sperm donors, egg donors and even surrogates, Tinder-style.

The app is created by two Australian men who beta-tested it in their home country and plan to launch it in the UK as well as America this year.


One of the co-founders said the app is for same-sex couples needing to find a surrogate, a couple struggling with infertility needing an egg or sperm donor; and single people who want a baby and are tired of waiting for a suitable mate or to be married.

“I was in my 30s and was looking at my situation and at those around me, it was just evident that there were increasing pressures against the traditional models of raising a child and on traditional families,” co-creator Paul Ryan (no, not that one) told the Daily Telegraph. “There’s a lot more acceptance now around same-sex relationships, empowerment of women, people putting off having kids until later.

“But it’s not widely spoken about and there still is this incredible amount of pressure and lack of options for people in their 30s to 40s to start families.”

And just like with Tinder, you swipe left or swipe right.

 

But as Lawyer Jennifer Hetherington explained to AksMen.com,  finding genetic material via an app comes with a whole host of risks. At the very least, you’re going to want legal counsel involved from the start.

“The co-parenting option also raises a red flag. That implies you’re raising the child together.”

“If you’re meeting via an app with the express interests of having a child together without knowing the person’s background, all sorts of things can go wrong.”

These Tips Will Help You Bolster Your Family’s Finances

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Your family’s finances are always going to be important. Of course, money can’t buy happiness for your family. But it can certainly make you a lot more comfortable and provide your family with the lifestyle that you want for it. There are lots of threats out there that could have a disastrous impact on the overall health of your finances. You need to be alert to these threats and plan out how to stay as financially stable as possible.

It’s perfectly possible to keep your business in good financial shape if you work hard and take the right steps. But getting on the right tracks can be hard if you’ve never paid too much close attention to your money and financial management in the past. You should let the detailed and helpful information below help you out and get you on the right tracks. Start reading all about these issues now.


If You Take Risks, Make Sure They’re Calculated

There is nothing necessarily wrong with taking risks when you are managing your family’s finances. But there is certainly something wrong with taking risks that are not calculated. When you fail to take calculated risks, you will put yourself and your family at danger. For example, choosing to invest is not a bad thing. But if you are taking big risks without really knowing what you’re doing, you will make mistakes that lead to disaster. So, next time you take a risk with your finances, make sure that it’s calculated in advance. The alternative is not worth thinking about.

Know Your Limits and Stay Within Them

Every family has a certain set of limits that it needs to be aware of. You can’t afford to live a life of luxury if your income doesn’t match up to that. One rule you should always live by is the rule which says you should never finances your lifestyle with borrowing. Yes, you can sometimes finance one-off payments or purchases through borrowing. But financing your general lifestyle in that way is simply unsustainable. It’s not something that you can afford to do at all if you’re going to live in a way that is financially stable and secure. It’s important to be aware of that.

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Take Every Opportunity to Earn a Little More

Your main income doesn’t necessarily have to be your only form of income. There is nothing stopping you from going out of your way to earn a little bit more. For example, you could choose to do some extra hours at work. You could choose to do some babysitting or dog walking in the local community. All of these things help you to make money. Or maybe you have a hobby or artistic interest that you can use to sell some things to people. Do whatever you can to expand and increase your overall income. It could make your family life that little bit more comfortable.

Save for Your Children’s Future Education

There are some things in life that parents are expected to help out their kids with. These days, education is very expensive. And if your child wants to go to college in the future, they will either by lumbered with vast amounts of debt or you will have to help them out a little. It’s up to you which route you take, but it makes more sense for you to start saving for your children’s future education right now. If you start while they’re young, it will be easier to raise a decent amount by the time they do go to college.

Learn to Plan Better

Planning is perhaps the most important thing of all when it comes to managing your family’s finances. Many people would say saving is most important, but that’s where I disagree. Planning always has to come before saving. And if you don’t plan things out in the right way, you won’t be able to save and spend in the right way either. So, never underestimate the importance of planning out your financial situation in the right way. If you don’t want to do this alone, it will be perfectly possible for you to find a financial planner to help you.

Give Some Thought to Cybersecurity

There are so many threats out there on the internet, and some of them can have a big impact on your financial situation. If you fail to counter the cybersecurity threats that are lurking out there and waiting for you to slip up, you will be caught out sooner or later, and that’s not what you want to happen. You can use Bitdefender online coupons to get a more affordable deal on a good antivirus software. It’s important to put these basic protections in place. Educate yourself as well; it could be the thing that helps you to avoid cyber threats and scams.

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Put the Right Insurance Policies in Place

Insurance is really important. If something happens to your house, your car or one of the family’s main earner, you need to be able to cope and keep your finances balanced. By having the right insurance policies in place, you can make sure that’s the case. You should have home and contents cover, life insurance and car insurance. All of these things can help protect you in the event of a major disaster. And it will mean that the consequences of those disasters won’t have to be paid for by money out of your own pocket.

Keep One Eye on the Future

The future might seem like something that’s way off in the distances, but it’s coming our way fast. When it comes to managing your money and balancing your accounts, you need to always have one eye on the future. For example, do you have a plan for how you’re going to get by financially when you enter retirement? Do you have investments that are earning you extra money? There are many future financial concerns that you need to be thinking about and making plans and arrangements for. It’s something you’ll be happy you did later on in life.

 These are the 8 Essential Items You Need for Your Newborn Baby

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To a lot of brand new mothers-to-be, having a new baby is a scary.

Often, friends and family tell you that you’ll be overwhelmed (which you will be!), and try to give you advice on what items you should have ready for when your new one comes into your life.


You’ll get advice about a lot of items people think you should have but in reality, there are really just 8 vital items every new mom should have for their newborn baby. Although all a baby needs is love and warmth, here are some items which will make your life much easier!

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1.Crib and mattress: You will surely want a place for your newborn to sleep in. Whether you’re planning on cuddling them next to you for the first few weeks, or want to have your baby sleeping in a crib, you just need to remember that they spend around 16 hours per day snoozing. It is therefore imperative to check that their crib or mattress meets safety standards. You can choose between the variety of Moses baskets, bassinets, pack-and-play, or co-sleepers.

2. Dresser: This item is guaranteed to make your life easier. Featuring generous space for storing clothes, diapers or blankets, a dresser will save a lot of space, and make it comfortable for you to find items at the click of a finger.

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3. Car Seat: In many countries (including the United States), it’s illegal to have a baby in the car without a car seat. Needless to say those car seats provide added comfort and most importantly, safety, but no need to guilt-trip yourself into buying anything expensive. Just choose something which meets current safety standards, and you’re good to go!

4. Stroller: There is a variety of strollers available in today’s marketplace. Nonetheless, you will always hear moms talking about needing to have enough undercarriage space (designed for storing diapers, milk bottles or chocolate snacks- those ones are just to keep you going!)

5. Bouncer or Swing: Many moms like having one or the other. Whether you just need 5 minutes to lay flat on the floor and think of the sleep you’re losing, doing laundry or just making dinner, it’s nice to see your little one bounce around.

6. Burp cloths: This may be a touchy subject for a new-mom: your newborn is going to spit-up or vomit in the future. Quite a lot as well. You will want to be prepared, so always have a clean supply of 15-20 burp cloths.

7. Diapers and wipes: The trick with diapers is, when you think you’ve got enough, get more! There is no possible way you can estimate how many diapers you’ll need to change, so better be well prepared and have a little arsenal of diapers just ready for the battlefield!

8. Baby Monitor: As a first-time parent, you may find great comfort in having a baby monitor which will allow you to get some sleep without having to check on your beautiful new one every 5 minutes. Products nowadays have evolved, ranging from simple monitors with integrated sound systems, to high-tech ones with motion-detectors.

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Other items Worth Mentioning

Hands-free baby carrier: This item might be a bit strange, as I’m still unsure if the baby likes the closeness of hearing their parent’s heartbeat, or parents just love snuggling up with their little ones. Regardless, whether you’re on your way to the grocery story, taking your dog out for a walk, or just need to snuggle, you can rely on this product.

Breast pump: Establishing a milk supply can sometimes be difficult. In this case, buying a breast pump may come in handy. However, if you’re unsure which one you should choose, why not rent a hospital-grade one? The benefits include the fact that it’s returnable, efficient and clean.

Diaper bag: The best diaper bag has a few characteristics which you won’t want to overlook. Waterproof/microfiber materials mean that you’ll be protected from different environmental factors, and that the items inside your bag will remain intact, as desired.

Items Not Worth Your Money:

Baby clothes: Chances are everyone knows you’re having a baby. The easiest thing for friends and family to get you is cute little-people-sized clothes. So don’t waste your money on them, you’ll have plenty of other expenses.

Toys: For the first months of their life, your newborn won’t be able to separate a car from a giraffe. In addition, your family will make sure your baby will always have a stuffed little friend next to them, so don’t worry about that.

To sum up, there are many items available in today’s market, making it very difficult for a first-time parent to know what to choose, and where from. These items can be separated into three categories: 1. Must haves, 2. Optional items, 3. Not needed items. However, as mentioned in the beginning of this article, knowledge will come with time, and all a baby really needs is the comfort of your presence, and the love you can offer.

The Things You Have to Consider When Picking a Child Safety Seat

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Congratulations!

A baby is on the way! Paramount on the list of concerns for a new parent is safety, and safety concerns will start sooner than you might initially think: on the car ride home from the hospital as your new baby takes his/her first ride in a car seat.

Choosing a car seat can be a daunting task; have you seen the size of the car seat section at your local baby supply store? It is huge, with multitudes of seats to choose from, ranging anywhere from $40 to several hundred.


So how do you choose the right one?

Budget: Because car seats can range from well under a hundred dollars to several hundred, many people automatically assume more expensive must mean a better seat. But this is not actually true. One seat that is frequently recommended by Child Passenger Safety Technicians as easy to use and install runs right around $40.

All seats must pass the same basic set of testing standards and ultimately the best seat is the one that is installed and used properly, so take an honest look at your budget and then find a seat within that budget that fits your child’s needs (see below) and your vehicle well, have a CPST teach you how to install it and always use it properly. Visit www.car-seat.org to find a CPST near you.

Age/Size of Child: Even the best car seat is useless if it is the wrong seat for the age and size of your child. Many seats are labeled in ways that are misleading to parents. For example, many booster seats say on the package 30lbs-100lbs. We all have seen one year olds who are pushing 30 lbs. That does not in any way mean that a one year old is ready for a booster seat—many children are not ready for boosters until age seven or eight because size alone is not the determining factor. So do some research and figure out what seat (infant, convertible, forward facing, harnessed booster or unharnessed booster) is best for your child based on both their age AND their size.

As of 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children under age two stay in a weight appropriate rear-facing car seat or to the maximum weight and height limitations for their car seat for maximum safety and head/neck protection.

For some children, this may mean rear-facing until age three or four. A good place to start is the NHTSA website. In addition, since many harnessed car seats (often called a harnessed booster) now offer weight limits up to 80-85 lbs, it is wise to consider extended harnessing for your child for ultimate protection. There is a reason that even race car drivers use this kind of harness—it helps keep the passenger in the safest position and protects them better.

Don’t be in a rush to move “up” to the next style of seat. Each step “up” is actually a step “down” for safety.

How to Transition Your Kid to a Toddler Bed

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Co-sleeping was a lifesaver when your child was a baby, but now that he’s an energetic toddler, taking up half of the bed and thrashing around all night, the time has come for him to move into his own room. To make this transition as smooth as possible for your family, here are a few upgrades you should make to his room before his first night sleeping solo.

Install a Security Camera

When your little one moves into their own room, it’s only natural to worry about how they are getting on by themselves in there all alone. By installing a security camera, you can get a real-time view of what’s going on in there whenever you want. If you hear a noise in the middle of the night, you can easily peer in your child’s room through the security camera’s companion smartphone app, instead of having to get up out of bed and chance waking up your little one.


While some rely on a baby monitor for the same purpose, a security camera is a more effective long-term solution as your toddler moves into his or her own room. Lorex security cameras are designed to have a longer lifespan than baby monitors and they use state-of-the-art technology, which allows them to provide a clearer picture, even in low-light situations.

Add Blackout Shades

Anyone who has ever tried to put a toddler to bed during the summer, when it’s still broad daylight at bedtime, knows that the darker you can make the room at bedtime, the better. This is especially important as you transition your child into his or her own room, as most toddlers will use any excuse (“but it’s still sunny outside”) to fight sleep and avoid bedtime.

For a high-tech solution, try Serena remote controlled shades. They can tie into the rest of your connected smart home gadgets, so you can activate them with the touch of a button from your smartphone or tablet.

Put the Lights on a Dimmer Switch

Help ease your child’s energy level down at bedtime as your create a new nighttime routine in their own room by gently dimming the lights in the hour leading up to lights out. Exposure to bright lights before bed can deceive your little one’s internal clock, making it tough for him or her to fall asleep.

Add a dimmer switch for the overhead lighting in your child’s room, easing the lights down further as bedtime approaches, switching to a small reading light as you read the final bedtime story together. Using a reading light is ideal, as it offers minimal light and can be easily switched off without getting out of bed as you snuggle your toddler to sleep.

Match White Noise

Consider any white noise that you child may be used to hearing while sleeping and mimic that in his new room. For instance, if you sleep with a ceiling fan on or a sound machine, do what you can to recreate the white noise in your child’s room. Whether that means installing a ceiling fan, adding a small fan on a nightstand or getting a sound machine, these relatively quick fixes can make a huge difference in easing your toddler’s transition.

15 Ways You Can Build a Calming Nursery for Your Baby

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When you learn of a brand new bundle of joy’s impending arrival, one of your first thoughts may be of the nursery you’d like to create for him. After you’ve adjusted to the idea of bringing a new life into the family, you’ll be faced with a staggering array of decisions that make life in the months before your baby’s arrival quite hectic. Creating a calm, soothing oasis from the frenetic pace of the world can help you and your baby find some serenity. These tips can help you create the peaceful space you’ve envisioned and to perfect it before your baby arrives.

1. Color is Everything – The color of the walls and accents in any room set the mood. If you’re shooting for a more tranquil, serene space, it’s best to choose colors that promote those feelings. Bold and energetic colors like bright orange or red may not be conducive to rest, while pale blues and greens can have the desired calming effect.


2. Skip the Frilly Bedding – A crib that looks like a magazine layout may create a sense of pride for you, but it can be dangerous for your baby. Making sure that he gets a good night’s sleep without increasing SIDS risks is a parent’s job, so make sure your nursery planning takes American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines into consideration.

3. Don’t Forget the Window Treatments – Blackout shades can help you keep the sun out of Baby’s eyes while he naps during the day, creating a soothing space. You will want to make sure that you choose window treatments that don’t pose a strangulation risk, as babies can become entangled with cords that are within their reach.

4. Include a Comfy, Adult-Sized Chair – The nursery may be your baby’s room, but you’ll be spending many sleepless nights there as well. A comfortable chair that accommodates a sleepy adult will be a blessing for you, boosting the overall feeling of calm in the room.

5. Make the Most of Nursery Closet Space – Clutter doesn’t promote calmness, so devote some energy to effective closet use. Babies may be tiny people, but their stuff can take up an astounding amount of space!

6. Keep Storage Solutions Simple – The cute tub you’ve found for storing diaper wipes may be a thematic match with the room, but you won’t be soothed for long when you realize it’s too complex to open while holding down a dirty, squirming baby.

7. Choose Functional, Multi-Purpose Furniture – Rather than buying a changing table that serves no other purpose, consider a nice dresser with a safety rail installed and a soft changing mat placed over the top. When your child is out of diapers, it’ll still be a functional piece of furniture.

8. Be Budget-Conscious – The most beautiful, perfectly designed nursery will create nothing but stress if you dramatically exceed your budget in terms of planning. To make sure that Baby’s space isn’t a source of grief for you, keep an eye on your spending.

9. Look Up! – A newborn may not notice, but an older baby spends a significant amount of time on his back, looking at the ceiling. When you paint and decorate the nursery, keep in mind that a stained ceiling in need of painting can cheapen the rest of the room.

10. Choose Safe Paints – Finding the perfect shade of paint is a key aspect of creating a soothing and tranquil nursery, but it’s important to make sure that your wall colors are of the low-VOC variety. Volatile organic compounds can cause respiratory irritation and other health problems, which isn’t an environment you’ll want to bring a baby into.

11. Incorporate Heirloom Pieces – The crib you used as a baby, a rocking chair that came from your partner’s nursery or other heirloom pieces can be perfect ways of adding personal, comforting touches to a nursery. Just be sure that they meet current safety guidelines.

12. Think Outside the Big Box Retailer – There’s nothing wrong with opting for mass-produced accessories, but artsy parents may find that they’re more satisfied with the efforts of independent artists and creators.

13. Look for Pieces That Grow With Your Child – Having a few pieces of furniture that your child can use as he ages will create a sense of routine and comfort for your child, along with a feeling of consistency.

14. Consider Tradition Over Trends – What’s trendy today may be old news tomorrow. Furthermore, fad decorating is known more for being cutting-edge than aesthetically pleasing. A traditional, comforting nursery may be more soothing than a haute baby space.

15. Integrate a White Noise Device – Infants fall into a deep sleep when they hear the sound of the washing machine or the gentle lull of the road beneath the tires for a reason. Replicating these sounds with a white noise device can help your child feel more comfortable and calm in his nursery.