Pets Products

How To Introduce Your Pet To A New Baby

How To Introduce Your Pet To A New Baby
Photo by Daniel Sandoval on Unsplash

The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time. But if you’re a pet owner, chances are your beloved fur baby might find this new change in routine hard to adjust to!

When you bring a newborn baby home, your pet will likely find the new sights, sounds, and scents overwhelming. If your cat or dog has never known life with an infant then this new arrival can pose a threat. While some pets are able to adjust perfectly well, others may become fearful and even jealous – resulting in behavioral issues.

Planning ahead is one of the best ways to help your pet adjust to a new baby and the change in routine that comes along with it. 

Preparing your pet for baby’s arrival

In the months leading up to the baby’s arrival, you can begin making small changes to your pet’s routine that will prepare them for when the baby is home.

One of the most important ways to prepare is by rectifying any behavioral issues such as jumping or barking. Taking your pet to obedience school or training them to stop behaviors that could upset the baby will teach them the skills they’ll need to interact safely with the new family member. 

You can also begin to introduce your pet to the baby’s room and any items such as a stroller or cot to help them familiarise themselves with all items associated with a new baby. 

Allow your dog to smell products such as baby lotion and get used to the new scents that will become commonplace in a few month’s time. For cat owners, identifying areas that are “off-limits” such as the baby’s changing table will also help to deter them from jumping up on or using these areas when the baby is home.

Introducing a baby to pet

One of the best ways to introduce your pet to your newborn is by first bringing home baby blankets from the hospital prior to your arrival. That way, your dog or cat can get used to the scent of the baby in the home.

Once you do bring the baby home, it’s important to greet your pet straight away and make it known that you’ve missed them. This will help soothe any feelings of fear, isolation, or jealousy in your pet. 

Ensure that you have a helper with you to supervise your pet as you sit down with the baby. When your pet has calmed down, you can have your helper bring them to you and the baby. Allow your pet to inspect the baby through sniffing and soft nuzzling and be sure to reward positive behavior. 

Adjusting to your new routine 

This new household dynamic can take some getting used to, especially for your pet. It’s important to look out for any signs of distress that your pet may give off such as whimpering, excessive barking, or growling. 

If this occurs, it’s important to take the baby out of the room and away from the dog. Be careful not to punish the dog. If you do, your dog will associate the baby with negativity and won’t learn to positively adjust. It can take up to nine months for a pet to fully adjust to a new member of a household. In this time, be sure to exercise the following to maintain a peaceful routine:

  • Always supervise your pet around the baby/children. 
  • Ensure quality time with your pet.
  • Get your pet used to being around the baby. Encourage curious sniffing and gentle touch.
  • Reward positive interactions (nuzzling, licking, snuggling with you and baby, etc.) with a treat or cuddles. 
  • Help your pet associate the baby with positive experiences.
  • Consult your vet for pet care advice or tips if you notice signs of continued aggression toward the baby.

The key to a safe and happy way to introduce your pet to a new baby is lots of care and attention. Allow your pet to explore these new sights and smells at its own pace, and avoid any forced interactions between pet and baby. 

Rewarding your pet with praise and healthy homemade treats whenever it demonstrates good behaviors around the baby is the easiest way to maintain a positive relationship between both. Never leave your baby alone with your pet and always maintain supervision when both are in the same space. 

Remember, the movements and sounds of a newborn can be alarming to your pet which may cause them to act in a defensive or fearful way. With time, your pet will become used to this new addition to the family and, as the baby grows, will appreciate having a new playmate! 

Education

6 Ways To Save On Back To School Costs

6 Ways To Save On Back To School Costs
Image Credit: Unsplash

School fees, school uniforms, school bags, sporting gear, school books. stationery, laptops, lunches, and transport. These days, the cost of sending your kids back to school every year can really add up. But with a bit of planning and a little foresight, it is possible to make sure your kids have everything they need for the school year ahead and without breaking the bank in the process.

With that in mind, here are a few simple ideas to help you stay on top of the costs that are normally associated with sending your kids back to school. Here are 6 simple ways you can save on back to school costs.

1. Spread out the costs

One tip is to only buy their things as they need them. For example, only buy those uniform items that your child will need for the first term.

By putting off buying the warmer items they’ll need for the winter months until the season actually changes, you won’t be hit with a big upfront expense and will have time to save for what’s needed further down the track.

Similarly, don’t buy all of the stationery items on their lists at the same time. Find out from the school when they’ll need the various books and supplies and if some aren’t required until later in the year, wait until then to purchase them.

2. Buy second hand

There’s nothing wrong with buying second hand. Used items have often only been worn for one season or used for one term and the difference in price between new and used can be quite substantial. 

Most school uniform suppliers sell second-hand uniforms, as well as new and second-hand bookshops, often have second-hand curriculum-based school books and stationery at greatly reduced prices.

Second-hand laptops and tablets can also be purchased online for much less than new and some schools even have programs where you can purchase new computers through the school at discounted rates. You could also consider getting a low-interest personal loan and paying for your kids’ technology in easy installments.

3. Buy wisely

Rather than buying items when you need them, look out for sales and clearances throughout the year and try to buy the same items at discounted prices. Similarly, if you’re buying stationery supplies, big suppliers like Office Depot will often have rewards programs or coupons to take advantage of. 

And when you buy, look for value, Good quality school wear will last a lot longer than the cheap stuff, so look for sales where quality and value come together.   

4. Label everything

Over the course of the school year, the lost property office usually fills up with a wide range of items that kids have lost or misplaced. And if you struggled to be able to afford these items in the first place, you certainly can’t afford to be paying for them twice.

So label every single thing that belongs to your child, from their uniforms to their sporting gear and laptops. Using one of those permanent markers will help to ensure that if anything of theirs is lost, it will eventually find its way back to its owner.

5. Have a budget

The key to saving is to have a budget and stick to it. Work out at the beginning of the year what your kids are likely to need for school and then use the old envelope system to put a little money aside for each item every week.

Be sure to account for every likely expense and make sure you have a miscellaneous envelope to cover unexpected costs such as excursions or school camps. 

6. Ask for help

If you’re struggling to meet all your kids’ back to school expenses, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There’s lots of assistance available and it’s just a matter of knowing where to look:

  • Get help with transport costs: If your child catches the bus or the train to school every day, student concession cards are available in most states.
  • Get help from the government: Federal assistance is available through Services Australia for children’s education and health care. Each state government also offers financial assistance to help with education costs.
  • Get help from your school: if you’re struggling to meet school costs, talk to the principal, as most schools have financial assistance programs for families.

The cost of public primary school education has been estimated at around $23,000. A survey by the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG) also found that in urban areas you can expect to pay around $4,455 a year for public secondary education and up to $30,000 in a private school. That’s a lot of money for families to come up with, especially if there are several children to be educated.

It’s hard to do much about rising school fees, other than shopping around for the lowest. But it is possible to reduce the burden of back-to-school expenses and putting these 6 tips into practice will hopefully allow you to do just that.

Education, Toy Reviews

Montessori Toys That Will Grow With Your Child

Maria Montessori developed the Montessori educational philosophy in 1897. This philosophy emphasizes hands-on age-appropriate activities for your child to nurture their physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development.

And although this child-focused educational technique was meant for classroom settings,  it’s now possible to introduce it to your toddler or baby through play. And the best way to do this is by buying your little one a few Montessori-inspired toys.

Montessori Toys That Will Grow With Your Child
Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

What sets a Montessori toy apart from other toys?

You may be wondering what you need to look out for to know that a toy is Montessori friendly. Well, here are a few pointers that will help you know what to look out for when buying a Montessori toy.

  • Toys made from natural materials – Maria Montessori emphasized using natural classroom materials that a child can touch, explore, and connect with. Thus, toys made from natural materials such as ceramic, metal, cotton, wood, and wool are the best. These materials are also safe for your child, and their different textures help define your child’s senses.
  • Purpose-driven and realistic toys – The Montessori philosophy emphasizes the use of realistic toys that are purpose-driven. The toys should be a representation of something real. For instance, if you were to choose between a unicorn and a rhino figurine, you should go for the rhino figurine. Further, the toy should allow your child to engage in meaningful play.
  • Simple but engaging toys – Toys that are free of distractions are the best. Think toys with no bells, batteries, or whistles. The toy should be passive, encouraging your child to manipulate it to make a sound. They should also be simple but encourage your little one to explore and engage in self-directed creative play
  • Toys that hone a skill – Montessori toys should teach your little one a skill or build on one. This helps create a good foundation for advanced learning in your child’s later years. A good example is a shape puzzle that teaches your little one concentration or shape recognition.

Now that you know what to look for when buying Montessori toys let’s look at a few amazing Montessori-inspired toys you can get for your child.

Grabbing toy for babies who are starting to reach for things 

  1.  Manhattan toy Skwish natural rattle

This rattle and teether toy is perfect for your little one who is yearning for something to hold and touch. The toy is lightweight, making it ideal for tiny hands to grab, plus its unique shape makes it easy to reach. Besides, it produces a gentle rattling sound that allows your little one to explore sounds and understand cause and effect. 

The fact that it’s made from wood with a smooth and baby-safe water-based acrylic finish makes it safe for your little one who is teething. This is also a toy that won’t break when banged as it’s made from quality and durable wooden material.

Rattling roller for crawling babies

  1. PlanToys wooden rainbow baby roller with sound

Is your little one just starting to crawl? Then, it would be best if you got them a toy that encourages their gross motor skills. 

This wooden rainbow baby roller from PlanToys is perfect for tiny hands to pick up, plus it’s beautiful when it rolls, keeping your little one interested. 

Moreover, this toy has a rattling sound that ensures your baby doesn’t give up crawling even when the roller rolls away. The wood sound is soothing and not distractive. 

The rainbow colors further stimulate your baby’s sight, and since this product is made from quality chemical-free rubber wooden material, you can rest easy knowing it’s safe and it will serve many generations. 

A memory toy

  1. Montessori and Waldorf Inspired Sea Life Matching and Memory Game – 18 Piece Set

This matching sea life matching and memory game from Playskills Toys is perfect if you want to encourage your child to concentrate or focus on a task. 

This game also improves your child’s short-term memory and nurtures their creativity. Since this memory game is based on linking two related images, your child’s visual discrimination will also improve.

The 18 piece set of sea animal cards are made from non-toxic wood, so you don’t have to worry about your child getting sick after putting one or two cards in their mouth.

Letter writing toy

  1. Montessori Safari Animals 

These wooden safari animal figurines keep in line with the Montessori principle of giving your child lifelike playthings to spark their creativity and interest. 

With a realistic-looking lion or giraffe, you allow your child to experience what a real lion looks like before visiting the zoo. It also becomes easy to name all the animal body parts if you’re homeschooling. Besides, since your child is also supposed to match the figurines with similar-looking flashcards, they learn to concentrate, which improves their memory.

This sturdy set of safari animals and matching flashcards is made from natural wood with a non-toxic child-safe paint finish. It’s best suited for children who are age three and up.

Final thoughts

In closing, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the Montessori toys available in the market. But these five toys and games are some of our highly recommended Montessori-friendly ones.  Besides, they are suitable for different age groups, making them ideal if you have children of different ages in your home. Get your child one of these toys, and we can bet they will fall in love with it.

Infant Toddler Products

Baby Freebies for Expecting Moms and New Moms

After the initial surprise and excitement, becoming a mom can get expensive – fast! Your baby needs clothes, diapers, food, and formulas, and that list just keeps on growing. Money worries can steal away precious moments with your newborn, and it’s a time that only comes around once. 

The good news is, there are a tonne of great deals, coupons and freebies out there, and they can cancel out some of the financial hit of new motherhood – it’s just a case of knowing where to look. So, after you’ve read about some of the best baby freebies for expecting moms and new moms, check out this jam-packed list of free baby boxes for new and expecting moms!

Baby Freebies for Expecting Moms and New Moms

Amazon Welcome Box

Let’s start off with Amazon and its free Welcome Box for new moms, packed with goodies and valued at up to thirty-five dollars. What comes in the package depends on stock, but it’s sure to help you and your new baby. Contents could include baby bottles, wipes, diapers, shampoo, and even cozy blankets. To be eligible you must live on the United States mainland, have an active Prime account, create and complete a Baby Registry, and have made over $10 in purchases via that. If you meet those requirements, the Amazon Welcome Box offers fantastic value and is a must-have for any new and expecting moms out there.

Enfamil Family Beginnings Program

Providing your baby with the nutrients needed for early life is vital. With the Enfamil Family Beginnings Program, you can ensure your child gets a healthy start to life and score up to $400 worth of freebies to boot. That includes formula samples, special offers, and other great gifts. Also up for grabs is the chance to win one year’s free supply of formula and discount coupons on a range of Enfamil products you can use in stores or online. Members get special offers like discounts from partners, and when you spend money on Enfamil products, you qualify for further rewards. There’s no real downside here – it’s great for babies, and you save hundreds of dollars too! 

Huggies Rewards+

It’s just a reality of parenthood – newborns burn through diapers at an astonishing rate! One minute you have a full supply, and the next, you’re completely out – and that can take a toll on your wallet because diapers aren’t cheap. Here’s where Huggies Rewards+ comes to the rescue. If you download the Fetch app and sign up for the Huggies Rewards+ program, you’ll start earning points each time you buy Huggies products for your baby. Those points can be redeemed for countless rewards options, allowing you to stockpile on diapers and wipes and lighten the load on your bank account too!

Target Welcome Kit

Similar to Amazon, Target also offers a helpful, free welcome kit for new and expecting moms. The package comes with $120 worth of items, including baby bottles, pacifiers, diapers, wipes, infant shampoo and lotion, clothes, products, and more. The welcome package is not the only exciting freebie available from Target; there are also exclusive deals to be had, coupons, and additional samples. To get started, all you need to do is create a baby registry on Target’s website. 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Developing language and cognitive skills are a fundamental part of raising any newborn. Introducing them to books is a fun way to spend time with and entertain a baby and help them learn faster. The problem is, buying a tonne of books can burn a hole in your pocket quickly. That’s where Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library comes in. The program gifts one free book each month to your child, starting from birth, and lasting until they reach five years of age. The value here is fantastic, saving you hundreds of dollars during your child’s first few years of life. That’s a big win for you and an even greater one for your baby!

Similac Strong Moms Program

The Similac Strong Moms Program is maybe the holy grail of baby freebies. It offers everything you and your infant need, such as various coupons for baby formulas, and you even get free formula samples shipped to your home. There are educational tips about nutrition and other aspects of raising a baby, so it’s perfect for first-time parents. The total value here is up to $400. If you’re an expecting or new mom, it’s worth signing up for Similac’s Strong Moms Program as soon as you can.

Super Savings for Savvy Parents

As you can see, there are lots of different baby freebies available on the web. Once you start looking, it is easier to find ways to save money on diapers, formula, and even books. Every little bit helps when you become a new mom, and savings soon add up – plus, finding a great deal or a freebie is hugely satisfying!  To get you started, check out what’s on koopy.com, where you’ll discover even more ways to get your hands on complimentary and discount items. I’m sure your baby will appreciate your efforts too!