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Blogging to baby? New technology is replacing the baby book.

>> Tuesday, January 29, 2013

As the younger, more tech-savvy population grows and has children, it seems that less and less of the more formal traditions regarding children are holding steady.  Sure, there are some people who still send out birth announcements or family pictures via snail mail, but you are much more likely to see parents sharing pictures through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to their family members and friends.

Just like the newspaper is slowly fading into the internet news phenomenon, it seems that the traditional act of keeping a baby book is slipping aside to email and blogging.

Parents these days are setting up email accounts for their children- where they write notes and messages, send pictures and scanned drawings/art their child has created.  Instead of keeping all of this information in a book, many parents are now opting to send it to an email account they've created for their child to later view.

Other parents have begun "Letters to ____" blogs.  If you do a web search for "Letters to" and then add in a name, you find blogs dedicated only to parents documenting and chronicling their children's lives from a young age on the internet.  Sort of their own virtual baby book, to replace the print book our parents may have used.

Initially, the thought can be somewhat nerve-wracking.  What happens if that email server goes under, and you have to transport all that data from one account to another?  What if you don't want your child's information on a public blog?  Can you make a private account?  How do you share information with your family and close friends while not with the general public?  However, you could lose a baby book in a natural disaster, and as for safety, as a parent, you use your best judgement and do what you are comfortable with, just like you would in any other situation.

Thankfully, the new wave of using technology to highlight your baby's first steps does seem to make it a bit easier on a tech-savvy parent these days.  A quick post to a blog and your video is saved in one place, sorted by month and date, and accessible by your child when they reach the proper age.  Instead of hand writing a story out seated in your office in front of your baby book, you can upload a video or picture with the quick tap of a finger on your mobile device.  It can make the process much quicker, which can help you to document more!

What are some ways you've used technology to chronicle your children's lives?


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Baby Monitors- How to make a choice

>> Wednesday, January 23, 2013

As a new parent, there are plenty of options for just about every baby device you can think of or imagine.  It is so overwhelming to look at all your options and know which one is right for you and your family.  For many people, the decision is as simple as going to your local baby store, and standing in the aisle staring at monitors until you become overwhelmed and just pick one.  However, there may be a better way to choose.

For starters, talk to your mommy friends.  Many already-been-there mothers know a thing or two about what did or did not work for them, and why.  Word of mouth suggestions on a product can be some of the best.

Check out reviews on websites like Amazon or specific store websites.  Sure, there are always going to be positive and negative responses for each product, but if the majority are negative or you see a pattern as to why, you may just have your answer to move on to another product.

Learn the market before you buy.  There are plenty of different options you may not even have known about.  Did you want a simple, audio monitor?  Or were you looking for something that you can watch a video stream from your smart phone?  Did you want to know when the baby stops moving or breathing?  Did you want to be able to watch from outside of your home and have more remote access?  Because all of those options are currently available, in a reasonable price range.

Look outside of just the baby monitor market.  Several electronic stores sell monitoring devices that actually provide more information for often a smaller price tag than traditional baby monitors.  You may also be able to buy traditional baby monitors at these stores for a lower cost.  It's always better to know your range of choices!

How did you choose your baby monitor?


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Keeping up with photographing your child

>> Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When you have one or more small children at home, it is fairly easy to get caught up in the day to day grind and fail to take pictures of your children.  Some parents are great at keeping up with photographing their children, but for others it is a struggle to remember.  If you have difficulty remembering to grab your camera and click away, here are some helpful tips:

- Use your mobile phone.  A picture is a picture, even if it's grainy.  Having some pictures that may not be the optimum quality are better than having none.

- Set aside a specific day per week where you plan on taking pictures.  This can be during an outing or just a plain Wednesday at your home.  If you make it part of your routine, you'll do a better job at keeping up.

- Keep your camera in an accessible place.  If your camera is on a different floor or up in a closet somewhere, you probably won't use it as much.  Keeping your camera in a safe place in the main area of your home where your child plays ups the possibility of you grabbing it for a cute shot!

- If all else fails, go with the pros.  Purchasing a photography session or package from a professional photographer keeps track of your child's development and is a scheduled appointment that you'll take more time to go to.  Whether you sign up for a plan where you have pictures taken every few months, or even once a year, it is still landing the responsibility on someone else, you just have to show up!

How do you do with taking your child's pictures?  Are day to day pictures and video something you remember to do?  


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Surviving a winter pregnancy

>> Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Many women who've been pregnant say that a summer while largely pregnant is troublesome and difficult at times.  However, winter pregnancies aren't always a piece of cake either.  You have, depending on your location, snow, ice, sleet, and a whole different set of problems.

Not only is winter a bit more dangerous than the summer for pregnant mamas-to-be, it can be much more inconvenient in many ways.

Here are some tips to help you through a winter pregnancy:

- Wear reasonable shoes.  No one wants to walk around in a pair of sneakers their entire pregnancy, because it's just not really all that fashionable.  However, you can be more reasonable in your shoe choices. When your balance and proportion is already off AND you're dealing with slippery, icy ground, there's no reason to ask for a fall by wearing too high of a pair of heels.  Opting for flats or at least purchase non-slip pads that adhere to the bottom of your shoes to stay on your feet.

- Invest in winter extras while pregnant.  Stock up on salt for your home, buy the more expensive de-icing windshield wiper fluid, and don't be hesitant to spend a little bit of time sitting in your car waiting for it to defrost before you go out and manually scrape.  For a few extra dollars, you can make the season a bit easier on yourself.  While this isn't something you may normally do, it is highly beneficial when you are close to your due date.

- Plan on having back up.  If you're planning on having your baby in the hospital, make sure you have a few back up options.  In case of a large storm, if possible, enlist the help of a friend with a large truck or all terrain vehicle.  The last thing you want to do is get stranded somewhere on the way to the hospital.  If you have an older child at home, be sure to call your babysitter or family member as soon as you think your laboring begins.  Even if you have a false alarm or two, it is better to be prepared then to find yourself in a situation where you are braving the elements with your older child or children because their care couldn't get to you in time.

- Stock your freezer.  Whether you can't get out before or after the baby is born due to inclement weather, keeping some freezer meals on hand is really helpful in feeding your family and yourself.  If you feel particularly inclined, there are plenty of recipes on Pinterest and around the internet for freezer meals.  If you just need to grab something quick to have as a back up, your local grocery store will likely have family size freezer meals available for purchase.

What are some ways you get through a winter pregnancy or delivery?


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