Tag Archives: a guide for first time parents

How to take care of a newborn with another baby at home

Believe it or not, there is a lot involved in caring for a new baby. I just recently had my second child, my first is almost 5, so this has been quite a transition for me. I didn’t realize how quickly I had forgotten how much there is to do with a newborn. The day I brought him home from the hospital, I got a quick reminder…and this time, it’s a little more intensive with another child at home.


It’s funny how when we’re expecting, we focus on all the little things. For instance, getting the nursery set up “just right” and picking out all of the baby’s first dresses, suits and other pieces of clothing seems to be extremely important when the baby is in the womb. And, let’s not forget those trips to the baby store where we pick out all of the things we can’t live without for the baby. The funny thing is that once the little one arrives, most of the things we planned on are not going to happen…and all of the items that we just had to have in order to be ready for the little one are not nearly as important as they once were. If you are expecting a little one or have just had a baby, then you may find the tips below helpful. I know I did…with both babies!

  • Sleep when the baby sleeps. It doesn’t matter how much (or little) sleep you are used to, once the baby gets here, you’re going to get less of it and you’ll be tired. During the time you are able to stay home with the baby, make sure you sleep when your little one does, if at all possible. This will make the late night feedings easier to handle. Just remember that if you don’t get enough sleep, it’s easier to get frustrated when the baby is up at 3 a.m. and doesn’t want to go to bed. It’s also easier to suffer from postpartum depression when you’re running on only a few hours of sleep every day. Sleep is important – so get it!
  • Don’t worry about spoiling your newborn. Some parents worry about spoiling their newborn by holding them too much or tending to them the minute they begin to cry. Don’t worry about this when you’ve got a “brand new” baby. The most important thing is that you are able to keep yourself sane and your baby taken care of. If this means that you have to spend 20 minutes rocking your baby after feeding to get him to sleep, that’s okay. You’ll have plenty of time to correct bad habits, and honestly, when a baby is this young – these “bad habits” really aren’t that bad, especially if they help you remain calm and collected.
  • Ask for help. Finally, taking care of a new baby is a tough task. Maybe you are a single parent or your spouse has a demanding job and isn’t home much. Or, maybe you’re just struggling with all of the new responsibilities and the crazy emotions that occur after having a baby. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, if you feel overwhelmed – don’t wait to ask for help. Most friends and family members want to help out, but don’t know how. Maybe all you need help with is preparing meals…ask your friends and family members if they would be willing to make a meal for you. Or, maybe you just need a couple hours of  to yourself. Ask a trusted friend or family member if they would be willing to watch the little one for a couple hours. The bottom line is that you understand that we all need help sometimes. With a new baby it’s important that you ask for help when you need it. Both your and the baby’s well-being depends on it.

Not-so-Common Summer Slim Down Tips

Summer is here and as a mom, I feel a little bit more pressure to get myself in better shape. It’s has a lot to do with the fact that school is out and we are going a lot more than normal. For instance, we have t-ball games, soccer games, practices, swimming lessons, vacation, trips to the zoo, and the list goes on and on. One would think with all this extra “running” that I would naturally lose a little extra weight and tone up, but not when the majority of the food available is hamburgers, hot dogs and nachos.

This definitely isn’t good considering summertime is also the most popular time for weddings. That means, I’ve got at least two or three formal dresses that I need to look good in. It isn’t like winter formal events where we can hide a few extra pounds with pretty bolero jackets or formal coats. Summer formal wear is designed to highlight our best features, but it can also highlight our worst if we aren’t careful!

I know I’m not the only one in this situation.  I also know that there have been countless articles written on how to lose weight. Therefore, this article is focusing on the little, not-so-common tips for slimming down. So, in addition to the normal dieting tricks, add a few of the tips below for the optimal summer slim down program.

  • Weigh on a daily basis. I know, most weight loss professionals advocate weighing only once a week due to weigh fluctuations. However, if you weigh every morning (when you weight the least) then you are able to keep better track of how your slim down techniques are working. Yes, weight fluctuates and it’s normal to go up a pound or two before dropping another pound at the end of the week. But, if you go up three or more pounds, then you know that you need to cut back a little more and the faster you catch the weight gain, the better off you will be.
  • Cut back on the television. Believe it or not, studies have actually proven that people lose more weight, on average, when they limit themselves to two hours of television or less per day. Probably, because if you aren’t sitting in front of the television, you are more likely doing something that requires physical activity. And, with spring here, why not spend the evenings outside playing with the kids or working in the yard?
  • Get more sleep. If you are one who gets less than 7 hours of sleep at night, then you need to get more sleep. Your body works better when it is fully rested and experts say this means getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night.
  • Keep a log of food and exercise. We have all heard about the “crazy” people who religiously track every crumb of food they put in their mouths and every little exercise they do throughout the day. I used to think those people were crazy too. However, over the last three years, I’ve gotten serious about losing weight and I decided to do it by watching my calorie intake and exercising. So, I started keeping a journal of the foods I ate and exercise I did every day…at least five or six days a week. I turned into one of those “crazy” people. But,  I found out that when I could see  what I did each day, that it motivated me to do better the next day. I feel like this has helped me lose weight and keep it off better than any other dieting trick I’ve tried before.
  • Stop working so much. Studies have also shown that people who tend to work a lot of overtime see the biggest increase in weight gain. Probably because they end up eating take out instead of a good, well-rounded homemade meal. Therefore, if you are working a lot of overtime hours, do what you can to get as close as you can to that 40 hour work week.

So, why is this article on the Kids Formal blog? It’s geared for mom’s and it’s over weight loss. Yes, but many of these principles can be taught to young girls (junior high and high school) who struggle with weight. Junior high and high school are rough years for pre-teens and teenage girls, especially when they are a little overweight. I know, because I was one of them. During the summer of my 8th grade year, my mom helped me learn how to eat healthier so I could be more confident in myself during my high school years. The tips above will not only help young women slim down for those important school dances, auditions, recitals and other formal events, but they will also help them learn the proper ways to manage weight (in combination with a healthy diet), which can last them a lifetime.