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How to Clean Your Newborn

Bellyitch Rewind

Everybody knows that babies get dirty, however, only parents know the true extent of just how dirty that can get. New parents are in for a wild ride of drool, tears and the occasional diaper explosion.

It can get messy and stressful, but those tender moments when your baby looks up at you and smiles make it all worth it. Baby’s bath time is important, yet for the first few months, you aren’t going to need to bathe them every day (until they start getting dirty, it’s recommended that you bathe them only two or three times a week).

However, hygiene is still an important part of their daily routine that you are going to want to instill in them. So, how do you keep your newborn clean between baths?

Regular Diaper Changes

Newborns under a month old should have their diapers changed right around ten times a day – definitely not less than six. They will typically have around three or four bowel movements a day. As they get older this number will change, below is a table detailing estimates of how many times a day you should change your baby and how many diapers a month that equates to:

Age Diaper Changes Per Day # Diapers Per Month

0-1 Month 10-12 320

1-5 Months 8-10 240

5-9 Months 8 240

9-12 Months 8 240

Remember, the above numbers are just an estimate – some babies will require more, some will require less. Diapers also need to be changed as soon as it is noticed that they are soiled. Urine and bacteria can lead to painful rashes that take time to treat.

Trim Their Nails

One of the most dreaded parts of taking care of your newborn is when it comes time to trim their little nails. Just like the rest of them, their nails have been growing since before they were born – so they may need a trim during the first week (and every two or three days of the first three weeks, until the nails harden and stop growing so quickly).

While one of your older relatives might suggest nibbling on them, you may peel them too far back which is, obviously, immensely painful. When clipping, hold your baby’s finger tight and press the the fingertip pad down and away from the nail – and of course, always using special baby clippers or scissors. Snip while following the gentle curve of their fingernail.

Wipe Them Down

No matter whether you’re at home or at the grocery store, you should always be sure to keep some baby wipes handy. You never know when they’re going to spit-up or have some other kind of fluid disaster – so be prepared for everything! It’s also a good idea to keep clean swaddling cloths on you at all times, too. Just like the top sheet on your bed keeps your blankets from becoming dirty, these handy baby sheets can be quickly swapped out for a clean one upon soiling.

When it comes down to it, you want to keep your baby as clean as possible to give them the best possible hygiene for a healthy and happy life!

7 Things First-Time Dads-To-Be Must Know Before Baby Arrives

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

We are one week away from Father’s Day and if you’re a brand new first time dad, we’ve got some Bellyitch Rewind tips to help you feel better about the inevitable mistakes you will make, the uncertainty and unsurety that will be part of your firSt foray into fatherhood:

  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.

You got this, pops! GO BRAVE!!

Amazing Dad Quick Reflexes Videos

Father’s Day is around the corner and now is a great time to reflect on how great dads are wonderful beings to their children. What better example of this is when a father saves a child’s life…literally!

Just in time for Dad’s day, let’s take a look at some fun video compilations of dads using their quick reflexes to rescue a baby or a kid in just the knick of time!

Super dad Brian Kucharik caught the ball with one hand whilst cradling his daughter Emily. Like, Whoa!

It was part of a series of amazing dad ballpark catches:

In 2014, on Father’s Day, a dad was probably coming back from a diaper change and arrived back at the stands just in time to catch Troy Tulowitzki‘s home run ball also with one-hand while holding his young daughter with the other hand. Dude casually walked back to his seat as the San Francisco Giants play the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.

Back in 2013, another dad caught a fly ball during a Diamondbacks v. San Francisco Giants game.

And let’s not leave the Minor League out of this.  In August 2015, dad Kyle Wren caught a foul ball while holding his baby as Colorado Springs took on Round Rock.

Dads catches, while good intentioned, aren’t always good for the game they’re watching.

Like the dad last June 2015 who reached in to catch a ball during a Chicago Cubs v. L.A. Dodgers game. The refs had to call the hit back. Doh!

Finally, honorable mention to the dad who saved his son from getting a hit in the face by a flying baseball bat during a March 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates v the Atlanta Braves game.

How to Talk To Your Child About Aftermath of George Floyd’s Death

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

As a parent (future, impending, new or veteran), we are challenged to cope with these unsettling times, and to help children who are experiencing and witnessing the mayhem related to the pandemic, and now social unrest.

It’s not just us.

The world is challenged by COVID-19 and more recently, the growing protests following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia . Now more than ever, we all need to become committed to personal introspection and to gather our thoughts so we can later help our kids make sense of it all.

Parents no longer have the luxury to just ignore it because the world, companies, influencers, brands, schools, political figures and seemingly everyone is saying something…finally!

A lot of parents, especially non-black parents, may struggle how to broach to topic because they themselves do not know how to process it,  know what to say, know how to say it and may experience anxiety, fear and uncertainty on how their message will be received.

I write to share my thoughts in hopes they may serve as a guide.

Ultimately, on the protests, fires and violence, you can try to shelter children but understand that if they are online, or have eyes or ears, they will hear and see what’s going on and may ask questions.

Using simple, age-appropriate wordsm explain that people are upset with a bad incident and are protesting to let the people in charge know they are not happy because this bad incident has happened before and they do not want it to happen again.

Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels

Race may be a complicated topic but if you feel your child can understand, you can go ahead and let them know that while everyone should be treated equally without regards to what they look like on the outside and what skin they have, that is not always the case. And people are upset and demanding that things change so everyone can feel safe, especially our black friends, neighbors and family.

You can let them know that it is a complicated and complex problem that adults, and in particular those in charge of certain institutions, have to deal with and hopefully, we will make progress.

They should not be burdened that they bear any personal role, though you can tell them that they should always treat everyone with kindness but let them know that the problem is bigger than just one-on-one individual actions of kindness. Bigger systems need to work in order to make the type of changes people are looking for.

If you feel you need to address the fires, violence and looting, you can let them know that there are bad people who are not protestors who have sadly gone to where the protestors are and that they causing more ruckus and mayhem.

It is upsetting to you and the protestors because they think their voice may get drowned out by these other guys.

The government is stepping in to try to weed out the bad apples mixed in with peaceful protestors, but some people think it may be too much force and getting even more upset.

Again, let them know that these are adult matters and we adults are in charge of working all of this out.

You can give them a sense of understanding that what is happening is not anything they can control but that you have hope things will work out eventually and in the end, if not soon, in the future.

For older teens, if you are comfortable discussing, you can let them know that the uprisings in protests around the United States and solidarity marches and demonstrations around the world call our attention to the cause: the systematic and institutional abuse of power and authority that has resulted in repeated instances of police-involved killings of unarmed black men, women and children in America, many times when the victims are innocent of any wrongdoing.

There is a lot of scholarship and articles summarizing the problem you can find online. Here is one that I recommend:

They should know that a lot of people are taking to the streets also because they are tired of being stuck at home because of Stay-home orders and calls for social distancing.

They have decided to join those people who are frustrated with being restrained from critizing authories and once again calling for reform to ensure all citizens are treated with human dignity and respect during police encounters.

It’s a mixed bag of a lot of different people with different agendas and looks like a mess.

Nonetheless, let them know the focus must remain on the cause of the uprising and not the tragedy and property losses that are the effect.

Ideally, all lives should matter when it comes to the exercise of caution by police to limit civilian death outcomes. Sadly, history has shown that is not the case as one racial class of people is persistently killed at an alarming disporptionate rate compared to their population in America and with impunity.

There are several initiatives and ways to get involved, demand action of elected officials, or donate to the cause of those doing the hard work to improve this situation for the betterment of all, and in particular black citizens in this nation.

I hope this helps.

Stay healthy and Safe out there!

How to Throw A Drive By Party

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The pandemic has completely changed the way we enjoy traditional celebrations because of the need to social distance and because party supplies are harder to come by these days.

Families are now hosting zoom birthday parties and drive by wedding receptions. People are leaving caks on doorsteps, packags are wiped down and kids are enjoying online magic shows.

And as this is graduation season, a bunch of Class of 2020 graduates have found themselves having to celebrate their commencement in virtual ceremonies and drive by parades. I just attended one that my town threw for all the seniors today.

If you have an event coming up that will  be curtailed by Stay Home Orders and Social Distancing laws that have not been lifted yet, here is a step by step guide on how to throw a  drive by party:

Step1: SPREAD THE WORD

What’s a parade without people watching from the sidewalk?! Ahead of the event, mail free printable invitations to friends, family and neighbors, or even leave DIY invitations along with a little party favor on their porches. Want to go the tech savvy route? Create a Facebook event or post the parade details on a neighborhood app or website.

Step 2: PLAN YOUR DECORATIONS

Before you start decorating your car, choose a theme. What’s the occasion? What colors would you like to use? What are the guest of honor’s favorite things and favorite colors? Spending a little time pre-planning your car decorations will go a long way toward having a successful car parade celebration.

SHOP IT

Birthdays come around just once a year, so make the day special! Use a car decorating kit to decorate your vehicle, or create your own unique look especially for the birthday person! Ask parade guests to hold balloons or even wear party hats as you drive by in your decorated car with the special birthday person. Custom photo cutouts, standups and yard signs are especially fun to see along the parade route! The guest of honor can also wear a special hat or fun shades and accessories as they wave to well-wishers.

From Pre-K and Kindergarten to high school and beyond, kids have worked hard to achieve this graduation milestone and should be celebrated. Honor them in a big way with a car parade! If you’re driving the graduate around, deck your car with all kinds of grad goodies including graduation year decorations, banners, signs and balloons. (A car decorating kit makes it super easy!)

People watching the parade can participate by holding signs (or displaying them in the yard), hanging banners, waving custom photo cutouts of the grad or cheering with pom-poms or clapper hands.

SHOP IT

 

Step 3: PLAN SPECTATOR FUN

Just because it’s a socially distanced celebration doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Make the most of the parade with party favors and fun extras like noisemakers and confetti poppersparty hatspinwheels and more.

The parade host can provide them ahead of time with a door drop or the parade guests can provide their own as a special surprise for the parade honoree.

Now get out there and celebrate!

Excerpted from OrientalTrading

This post contains affiliate links and if you purchase any item from a link in this article, this blog will earn a  small percentage commission on each item

Trend: Family Porch Portraits Are Sweeping Across America

What started as a way to capture and commemorate these uncertain times with home-bound families for the sake of creating memories, “Porch Project” photoshoots are trending all across the country and abroad in the Uk.

Photographers and community groups work with residents to arrange family photoshoots that take place on the front porches of homes.

The picture-taker uses his or her professional quality lens and stays a substantial social distance away, wears gloves and conducts the entire shoot in a safe manner. They usually capture people in front of their homes so you don’t have to have a porch either.

Many of the photographers donate all or a portion of the proceeds from booked appointments to charities that help COVID-19 victims or front line workers.

Not everyone is crazy about what seems to be a sensible and fun way to celebrate families and give back. One anoymous writer penned a warning on a popular professional photographer’s website, calling the practice an irresponsible trend and work around.

The Photography Association of Canada went as far as request that photographers stop conducting doorstep photo sessions based on fear they caused spread of COVID.

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Free and Fee Summer Coding Camps

My eldest kid is heading to college soon to study Cybersecurity, Secured Computing and Information technology.

My husband and I have actively enrolled the younger two in those quick free tech in-store camps hosted by Black Girls Code, Apple, Microft and Verizon Innovating Learning Lab and were looking into investing in full robust camps this year because our daughter, in particular is great at coding and the middle kid is all about digital art.

Enter COVID-16. Plans changed.

But a friend tweeted me, asking me to give her referrals to any good tech summer camps I knew of and that request gave me an excuse to see what’s the landscape looking like this year in light of global shut downs and other restrictions.

Here is what I discovered:

FREE CAMPS

Here are camps that are offered at no cost to students. These usually fill up fast so it’s a good idea to sign up early before it’s too late.

Apple Camp

Every Summer, Apple offers short free 90 minute courses for kids ages 8 to 12 so they can explore music, coding, moviemaking, or art & design.  They re located inside local Apple stores and Apple usually announces the dates early summer to late Spring.  You can sign up here to be notified if they will be having a traditional in-store one this year or will be moving to a virtual set up!

Black Girls Code

The award-winning initiative to encourage black girls to learn to code and enter the tech field is offering a series of online web courses in gaming design. My daughter has already taken one and loved it. She is signed up for the next one in May. Sign up for scholarship for its Online Summer Camp here.

Code Wizard HQ

This coding academy for children and young adults recentlyh curated a list of 46 FREE coding classes, websites and apps for parents looking for educational outlets for their children this Summer. Check out the post HERE! 

Flatiron School

This nation wide college for continuing education offers a series of online courses including free courses in Introduction to Java Script, Hacking 101, Data Science Boot Camp and more. See what is available here!

Harvard Online Tech Courses

Harvard University offers a series of self-paced online courses free that run 12-14 weeks each.  Among the offerings are Introduction to Game Development and  Mobile App Development, Programming with Javascript and Python and Introduction to Computer Science. If you want a fancy certificate you or your child can hang in an office or wall in the home, they charge about $99 for that.

The in store 90 minute camp that the Microsoft store offers has not been updated and there are only references to its 2019 Summer program. I’ll tweet at them and see if I can get a response and will update this post with what I discover.

MIT Online Entrepreneur Course

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a free class 6 week course on how to become an entrepreneur not necessarily for kids but can be taken by teens. If you want to get a certification, it costs $69 and is a great thing to hang in an office or add to a resume.

FEE CLASSES

Code Wizards HW

Code Wizerds HQ has an online virtual  for third to 12th grade students. The camp meets multiple times online for 6 weeks and cost just $149 which is a steal compared to these other courses.

iD Virtual Tech Camps

Roblox, Scratch, Minecraft, video game coding or Adobe, Java, Python languages are among the courses taught in this very popular and well received national camp. Classes are one to two weeks long with live instuctors and cost around $399 each. Age groups 7-9, 10-12,  13-18 or general 7-19. It is now signing up students for virtual camps!

National Computer Camp

Founded in 1977, National Computer Camp has four locations: New York, Atlanta, Connecticut and Ohio and has moved online and offers (2D and 3D game design, web design, Android app programming, video production, software apps), as well as offering A+ hardware, software and network+ certification, plus PSAT and SAT Math preparation classes, with a lower price tag to boot.

The price is $599 per week with a $100 price drop if you sign up for one of its scholarships it is handing out. During free timee During free time campers are free to explore the NCC software (over 100 gigs), play in tournaments, continue to code, and make new friends.

Texas Robo Camp

The University of Texas has a special online edition of the Texas RoboCamp for 2020 for high school students. The cost is $750.

CAMPS IN LIMBO

These are traditional nationally-recoginized camps that operate nationwide but have not decided yet how to proceed in light of the pandemic:

Emagination Computer Camps

Since 1982, Emagination Computer Camps have offered day and overnight programs for “Kilobytes” ages 8 to 10, “Megabytes” ages 11 to 13, as well as a program for teens in the 8th grade and up. With five locations on college campuses near Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, the camp offers a wide range of diverse tech programs for every skill level. However, the camps may switch to online, digital only this Summer, depending on state rules and regulations. Stay tuned.

digital media academy

Digital Media Academy

Before COVID, Digital Media Academy operated camps out of top colleges and universities in the U.S. (Harvard, Stanford, Univesity of Washington, GWU, University of Texas, NYU, UC Davis, Chicago) and University of Toronto in Canada, offering day and overnight programs for children ages 6 to 18. According to DMA, kids are taught by “award-winning filmmakers and artists, master teachers and certified Apple, Adobe and AutoDesk professionals.” All of the camps are “project based meaning your son or daughter completes a real-world project under the guidance of one of our professionals.” What’s more, there are two sets of staff, one for technical instruction and another set for more traditional camp activities and the overnight program.

However, it too is taking a wait and see approach and will offer refunds to parents who have pre-paid while still offering up access to suite of digital and online labs, per its COVID-response web page. 

Young Future Writers Need To Read and Study These Books to Hone Their Skills

Do you have a child in your life who has already expressed interest in writing?

Short stories, scripts, YouTube or TikTok skits, books, plays?

A great way to stimulate their brains is to have then read great books to study the writing style of authors and from reading their body of work.

By reading various prose by authors that target their age group, your future writer may come to understand how each writer holds the reader’s attention.

It should help a budding author create his or her own voice.

If you like this list, put together by Epic!, you can get a book subscription for $7.99 per month from epic! and get access to 1,000s of books each month to read and return at your reader’s leisure. It’s a cost saving alternative to buying all of these books outright.

But if you would like to build a dictionary, you can click below to purchase them as a gift or check out at your local library for FREE when they open back up or use online versions!!

1. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York Jonathan York leads a boring life. But when fate leaves him stranded in a sinister land, he finds himself seeking an adventure of his own. ($9.29)

2. Casebusters: The House Has Eyes The new kid in school has a poltergeist problem, and only the Casebusters can help. ($3.75 Kindle)

3. Otto Carrotto Everyone is crazy about something. For Otto, it’s carrots. He can’t get enough. Raw carrots, cooked carrots, carrot soup and carrot pizza. ($6.00)

4. Creepy But Cool: Bats Kids love Bats! Bats have always been mysterious and they have always scared people.

5.  No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) Learn all about fire safety with the help of a girl and her dragon friend. ($7.95)

6. The Book of Dragons 20 delightful tales from Germany, China, France, Wales, England, Japan, and other lands tell of dragons fierce, friendly, and loving. ($4.75)

7. Explore And Draw: Wizards, Witches, & Dragons Learn basic art techniques and interesting facts while drawing wizards, witches, and dragons. ($5.75)

8. I Love You Just Enough While pulling weeds and planting seeds with her dad on Hazel Ridge Farm’s prairie, Heather discovers a wood duckling alone in the grass. ($12.75)

9.  A Horse to Love Erin is thrilled when her parents agree to buy her a horse–but owning a horse is nothing like she imagined… ($11.26 Kindle)

10.  Dear Dad, Love Laurie After her parents’ divorce, Laurie’s mom forces her to write to her father. With every one, Laurie finds herself growing up a little bit more. ($7.39 Kindle)

11.  Jasper John Dooley Not in Love Isabel loves Jasper, and it’s making life complicated. ($7.95)

12. We Love Horses Horses have been adored for centuries, and this volume of poetry brings the graceful steed to the page. ($7.18)

13. Can I Bring My Pterodactyl to School, Ms. Johnson? A boy asks his teacher if he can bring his pterodactyl to school, imagining all the ways it could help him and his class. ($7.95)

14.  First Day Jitters Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn’t want to start over at a new school. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. ($4.99)

15.  The Big Test As her students grow increasingly anxious about the Big Test, Mrs. Hartwell must teach the most valuable test-taking skill of all. ($6.95)

Bedtime Story: ‘So Much’ by Trisha Cooke {Video}

Today, I’m reading one of my favorite bedtime story books I used to read to my children when they were little: “So Much” by Trish Cooke. You may recognize the illustrations because they were done by Helen Oxenbury who is world famous for her board books for babies like “Tickle, Tickle“, “Clap Hands” and “All Fall Down“.

It was published in 2008, but  I enjoyed this book so much that I purchased several copies for my family and friends and shipped them out to them so they could read it to their kids!

If you enjoy this story, you can purchase a copy from Amazon so you can read it to your own kids. It only costs a little over $5!

Tips for Organizing Your Own Summer Camp This Year

Photo by Elly Fairytale from Pexels

 

This year, there is uncertainty as to whether Summer Camps will be held.

This means parents may be up to the task and duty of keeping their children entertained, inspired, motivated and educated all Summer long.

To ease the challenge, it is a good idea to establish a strict schedule that includes work time, play time, and other activities in between. Without a routine, your work or project obligations can suffer and you risk having your kids play video games and watch TV all day.

Here are some suggestions of activities I came up with:

  • Use the morning to institute some reading or math drills time.
  • If you live near a library, use its facilities and take advantage of their summer reading challenges.
  • Go to the craft or dollar store and pick up supplies and incorporate an hour on some days for crafts.
  • Use card or board games for non-electronics hours.
  • If restrictions are lifted, do outdoor activities close to home like make visits to the local park. My middle kid, who is a nature and animal lover, enjoys heading down to our town creek and exploring the dragonflies and frogs. My eldestused to like to ride his bike around the block and my youngest used to enjoy playing make-believe with her My Little Pony toys in the front yard.
  • Tack on active play time as well. Take a trip to a local tennis or basketball court. Toss the softball in the backyard. We go on a half mile loop in our town and stop periodically to do jumping jacks, burpees, situps and pushups in the evening. It’s a great way to stave off the summer excess weight gain as well.
  • Plan trips to the beach at least once during the summer, if they are open and you can safely socially distance from other beach goers.
  • Try one of these 60 ideas I came up with from a previous posts of stuff to do with the kids at or near home during the quarantine.

With these being unprecedented times, parents will have to get creative this year and try to make it work! Good luck!