Layers of Protection

Life Saver Pool Fence has uses the phrase “layers of protection” to describe the best ways to prevent drownings. Since 1987, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance has recommended layers of protection around a personal pool.

The five important layers of protection:

  1. Parent supervision

Proactive parent supervision is the number one way to prevent drownings. Active supervision means sitting close to the pool with your full attention on the child/children. This means put the phone or book down and pay attention. We recommend designating at least one person as a Water Watcher, and change shifts every 15 minutes. However, most drownings occur when a child was thought to be in the house. A parent was responsible for supervising the child in 67% of fatal drowning cases. So, supervision can and does fail, and which is why additional layers of protection are needed.

  1. High locks on all doors and windows.

Locks out of the reach of children should be installed on every door and window that leads to the pool area. Some drownings happen because a parent didn’t know their child had figured out the door knob, so don’t rely on the door being shut. Any pet doors that grant access the pool should also be shut.

  1. Pool Safety Fence

Perhaps one of the most reassuring steps is installing a pool fence. Fences should be at least 4′ tall and have a self-closing, self-latching gate. Mesh pool safety fence, like Life Saver Pool Fence, has proven to be an effective layer of protection for over 45 years. With its transparent and aesthetically pleasing look, they are easy to remove when you want to.

  1. Alarms

You may not even hear a drowning; they tend to be silent. Alarms break that silence. There are many alarm options to choose from door/window alarms, alarms that sit in the pool, and our favorite, the Safety Turtle which is worn on the child.  If the child falls into the pool, an alarm inside that house goes off.

  1. Swimming Lessons

As soon as a parent and pediatricians feel comfortable, all children should receive swimming lessons. Some organizations even offer training for infants to roll over and float, and to swim to the edge of the pool in case they fall in. 

5.5 CPR

As a precautionary measure (if all of the other layers of protection fail) parents should be trained in CPR. This training can make the difference between life, permanent disability, and death.

Tough Conversations with Kids: Honesty is Key

Why is it important as a mom to be honest with your children, rather than to sugar coat or avoid hard topics?

Our kids are watching us all the time. If they see us avoiding hard topics, or backing away from the things that make us uncomfortable, we teach them to play it safe and stuff their feelings down. It’s our responsibility to teach our children the meaning of emotional honesty and how to work through our challenges with transparency and the willingness to learn from conflict. This is why it’s important to clarify our own values and hone our communication skills—especially when it comes to talking to our kids.

Admittedly, it’s tough to be the initiator of the hard conversations. It requires getting conscious and clear about your own intentions; it also requires figuring out whether or not your child can handle what you are offering them. I have discovered that I need to be very sensitive and respect their individuality and needs. We as moms can’t just push the conversation onto them. We must be creative about how we go about talking to them—because, let’s face it, just as we are usually trained to expect our kids’ respect, they are trained to internally roll their eyes at what we have to say! But in being honest, we give our kids permission to do the same. However, it’s important to go into these conversations without expectations or the desire for positive reinforcement and feedback. We are not here to get our needs met by our children. Regardless of how your kids react, just know that you are setting a foundation for honest discussion that will absolutely have positive long-term effects on them and your future relationship.

How do you think embracing these tough conversations can strengthen a mother’s relationship with her kids?

Embracing tough conversations shows your kids that you will be there for them, no matter what. When no topic is too taboo or off limits, your kids learn that they can trust you unconditionally. You build valuable channels of communication that matter, because they foster true connection and become the foundation for your relationship when things get tough.

So many young people fear disapproval, which can keep them from coming to their parents with challenges and important questions. But when we as moms willingly move toward the tough conversations, our children realize they can trust us. Just remember, communication is a two-way street. And when you show respect for your kids’ unique perspectives, you also end up learning from them. I promise that they will appreciate you for this.

For many parents, we’ve been ingrained with the notion that we have to fix or teach our children, and that they should automatically respect us because we’re the grown-ups. Obviously, this isn’t the best way to promote active and meaningful dialogue. And because hard conversations are already so sensitive, we need to go in with the desire not just to talk, but to listen. This starts with treating our kids as the unique, powerful human beings they are. We can do this by asking them what their needs are and creating the space for them to fully be themselves in the conversation. We can also do it by being discerning about what does and does not merit these kinds of discussions. Sometimes, it’s okay to let it go and trust that our kids will figure things out for themselves.

Should moms be worried about using the right words and saying the right thing or in these kinds of conversations is it better to be raw and vulnerable with your own children? Why?

Obviously, we need to make sure that we maintain appropriate boundaries with our kids, depending on their age and maturity level, and the topic of conversation. However, I always advocate being vulnerable and truthful. Believe me, it is possible to be mindful and respectful without censoring yourself. Tackling the hard conversations means you need to acknowledge your truth, your humanity, and the fact that life is messy—and “messing up” is just a part of all of that. When you are willing to be that real with your kids, and to embrace your own “flaws” without any shame, it shows them that they can trust you even more. So stop trying so hard to be a “good” parent and trying to get it right according to someone else’s standards—and trust yourself! You also don’t need to pretend that you have all the answers. For a parent, there is nothing more vulnerable than admitting that you don’t know, and this can be a powerful bonding moment! Just be honest about it, take this opportunity to be curious and nonjudgmental, and explore some possibilities with your kids.

By Kelly McNelis, founder of Women For One

Respecting Your Child’s Privacy While Protecting Them from Online Dangers

Trust is one of the most universal components of modern society. Trust can permit someone a driver’s license, trust can build a relationship, and trust can end a war. Where trust matters most to the everyday person however, is in their personal lives. The expectation in society is that as a kid grows from a child to an adolescent that the amount of trust within the relationship will grow with it. This begs the question though, how far should this trust stretch? In the age of technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult for parents to accept that they cannot control everything that their children do online. In an effort to take back that control, many say that monitoring kid’s phones is the best way to protect them. The underdeveloped state of a child’s brain, the potential for internet addiction, and the constant dangers of online and texting mistakes are reasons why some monitoring of a minor’s use of their phone is necessary.

On the most fundamental level, the brain of a child or teenage is still maturing. Their ability to think critically about a situation and make a good decision quickly is lacking and it can lead to devastating results. During these critical years of a young person’s life, their brain is creating more and more grey matter which is used to process information. Through experiences and learning, the grey matter will thicken and the child will learn to make logical decisions faster.

An example of this inadequate thinking ability could be seen in 2014 when a young girl was kidnapped on her way to school because of unsupervised usage of a messaging application on her phone. When twelve-year-old, “Jane Doe”, never made it to school one morning, her mother was quick to call for a search party. During the investigation, the detectives found that the child and her suspected abductor had been chatting for a while on the “Kik” application, a social media platform. Which, in a conversation with another person, Jane Doe says she couldn’t tell her mother about her scary conversations with her future abductor because “[She was] not supposed to have [Kik] so [she] would get in big trouble”. While in captivity, this girl reflected on how she had learned her lesson of using apps like that without her parents’ consent. Being so young, Ms. Doe did not think about the possible consequences in time to avoid this tragic event. Had her mother been active in monitoring her phone, Jane could have reduced the probability of harm from occurring.

Coinciding with the developing brain of a child is the higher risk for addiction. Not only has this been seen with drugs and dangerous substances, but also with technology and the internet. Children, teens especially, are at the greatest risk for addiction and research shows that the earlier a person begins to use an addictive substance, the more likely he or she is to develop serious problems. As much as a brain or apathy can be blamed for this problem, much of the problem can be attributed to the intent of app creators. From the design of the logo to the function of the app itself; creators of such apps intend it to be addictive. According to Tristan Harris, an Ex-Google Employee, smartphone applications are made to be similar to slot machines. “When we pull our phone out of our pocket, we’re playing a slot machine to see what notifications we got. When we pull to refresh our email, we’re playing a slot machine to see what new email we got. When we swipe down our finger to scroll the Instagram feed, we’re playing a slot machine to see what photo comes next”.

Allowing children to spend more than two hours every day in constant connection with the internet can lead to unfavorable psychological effects. Many studies have reported associations between Internet addiction and psychiatric symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-efficacy, etc. among adolescents. It is less likely that you will see children playing kickball in the front yard and more likely that they will be killing enemies in Call of Duty, a popular first person shooter game. Along with monitoring what they do on their cell phones or online and controlling the amount of time they are on them can increase their chances at a happier and healthier life.

The purpose of keeping an eye on a child’s online and personal interactions is to protect them and should be done with their complete knowledge. To make all rules and provisions clear, many families have turned to the idea of a technology contract. These lay out specific guidelines that often provide reasonable expectations for both the child and the parent. By placing limits and rules for both parties, it will make the younger party feel more responsible and in control, which often leads to better decision making. The monitoring of a child’s phone and online activity should be implemented but with reasonable limitations and respect for their privacy.

 

7 Simple Steps to Handle Any Parenting Situation

  1. Listen. Pause and listen to your child before springing into action or firing back a response. This means zipping your lip, biting your tongue, and accepting that a little parental silence can go a long way.
  2. Let your child know you “get it.” Validate your child by repeating back a bit of what he or she said, even if you disagree or know they’re completely off base! This will open your child’s ears so your great suggestions are actually heard.
  3. Be respectful. Talk to your child the same way you would to a friend or to someone else’s child. Use this rule of thumb: If, in the future, it wouldn’t be okay for your child’s significant other to say it, you shouldn’t say it either.
  4. Set limits and boundaries. Choose limits that you’re willing to keep based on the situation at hand, not what happened yesterday or last year. This teaches your child that limits and boundaries are flexible, necessary, and that he or she can handle them.
  5. Take responsibility. Own your successes and apologize for your mistakes. Give yourself a do-over if you need it. Know that genuinely apologizing to your child is one of the most powerful things you can do, and the best way to teach your child to be accountable.
  6. Have fun! When things get busy, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the routine and overlook the fact that your kids are fun. Don’t be afraid to stop the daily grind to laugh or get silly. Take time to notice the little things your child does or says that bring you joy.
  7. Practice self-care. Take great care of yourself so you can take great care of your kids. Know that even the best parenting plan or strategy won’t work well if you’re always exhausted or depleted. Make self-care a priority and do it unapologetically—your kids are counting on you!

By Stephanie O’Leary, Psy.D., Author of Parenting in the Real World

About the Author:

Stephanie O’Leary, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychologist specializing in Neuropsychology, mom of two, and author of Parenting in the Real World. She provides parents with a no-nonsense approach to navigating the daily grind while preparing their child for the challenges they’ll face in the real world. www.stephanieoleary.com  

 

Mommy Must-Haves: Baby Feeding Essentials for 2017

Boppy Nursing Pillow

EVERY nursing mama needs one of these. This snug pillow will completely enhance the breastfeeding experience for you and your bundle of joy. One of Boppy’s bestsellers, this iconic Boppy Nursing Pillow has helped millions of moms and infants create a positive breastfeeding/bottle feeding experience. This versatile pillow lifts baby to a more ergonomic position granting mom relief to arms and back. As baby grows the pillow can also transition to a propping, tummy time and sitting pillow. Choose from a colorful array of machine washable slipcovers to personalize your Boppy Pillow for full comfort and style.

Milkmaid Goods Nursing Poncho

Created by two moms on a mission to bring beauty to motherhood, Milkmaid Goods offers amazing Nursing Ponchos so moms can breastfeed in style and with confidence in public without the worry of being exposed. This unique and fashionable design cover both the front and back of the Poncho, creating a comfortable nursing environment for both you and your little one! In addition, the ponchos can double as a car seat cover, to create the perfect naptime setting for your baby whether you’re running errands or taking a peaceful stroll through the park. All of Milkmaid’s ponchos and covers are made of a stretchy, breathable, lightweight fabric for full comfort and protection. Try out the ‘Ruby Starlet’ Nursing Poncho for a fun new look for you and your baby to rock this upcoming spring season!

The Baby Booster

Getting the right nutrition while you are literally working to feed a baby 24/7 is hard! The Baby Booster is an amazing option for moms looking for that vital protein ( it is packed with 20 grams of non GMO protein and all of the essentials vitamins) needed for keeping up with babies needs. The Baby Booster is available in four delicious flavors: Kona Mocha, Tahitian Vanilla, Pina Colada, and Superfruit Punch. Each of these special shakes all contain DHA, which is a great way for your infant to receive extra nutrients! Unlike many other products for pregnant women and their baby, Baby Booster eliminates soy, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and gluten from their ingredients, ensuring you feel healthy, comfortable, excited and happy in every facet of your pregnancy and life! We love this product for late night nursing sessions to keep you going! 

Green Goo Nursing Cream

Nursing your baby doesn’t have to hurt. Bring the joy back of breastfeeding with Green Goo’s Nursing Cream. It’s crafted with a delicate formula of Calendula and Chamomile flowers and other skin-loving ingredients that are 100% organic. A Green Goo best seller, this natural salve is a top choice among nursing mamas looking for maximum skin protection, relief and is a reliable and safe choice for their baby. Simply apply the cream around the nipple area after a feeding session and enjoy the healing magic that is Green Goo Nursing Cream.

 Mommy’s Watches

If you’re a breastfeeding mom you’ve probably heard the phrase, “When in doubt, toss it out!” Now with Mommy’s Watches never throw away milk again. This mom invented gadget takes all the guesswork out of breastfeeding and helps save tons of money and time. Mommy’s Watches is a unique, innovative device that gives parents a quick and easy way to keep track of the time and temperature of breast milk bottles and bags. Mommy’s Watches gives moms peace of mind knowing their baby is getting safe meals each and every time. Mommy’s Watches is a timer which counts down faster at room temperature and slower at refrigerator temperatures while accounting for the safety guidelines. It self-adjusts the expiration time based on the temperature that is exposed to. This reusable product is perfect for any new mom, ensuring you’re not throwing out your baby’s milk too soon or feeding them spoiled milk!

Boppy Soothing Breast Balm

Make breastfeeding easier and more manageable with the Boppy Soothing Breast Balm. This nursing balm is designed to give soothing relief and protection for sore and dry nipples caused by improper latching during breastfeeding. Make nursing or pumping less painful with this non-greasy and soothing balm. Gently apply a small amount of Boppy’s Soothing Breast Balm to the nipple area after each feeding, or as needed, and quickly feel the relief. Store this hypoallergenic, paraben and phthalate free product at room temperature for its best results. No more uncomfortable pain after providing your baby all the nutrients they need from breastfeeding with this amazing breast balm from Boppy.

How and Why to Give Kids an Allowance

coins-in-handThe days of paper routes are over, yet the market is flooded with gadgets and games kids insist they must have in order to simply exist. It’s a tough parenting world today. We want to teach our kids responsibility, work ethic and long term gratification. These values can be modeled, and they can also be instilled in the younger child. Once your child is eight or nine years old, it’s time to start.

Ground Rules

One of the ways to instill these values is through having your child earn an allowance. It’s a wide range here, given the huge maturity differences between eight year olds and fifteen year olds. Some basic pointers on establishing the ground rules and expectations for an allowance follow.

  • Select what works for your family and good luck!
  • Work together with your child to establish the the rules and expectations.
  • Decide on what chores will need to be completed and what the payment will be.
  • Will this happen on a monthly basis or weekly?
  • Can the child accomplish part of the list and receive partial payment?

The more you engage your child in this process, the greater sense of ownership they’ll have. If they suggest they don’t want to work for an allowance, that’s fine too. Just let them know they won’t be receiving any discretionary spending money each week. That may eventually begin to burn!

Quality control

Will you ensure that the chores are completed to the best of our child’s ability in a timely manner or will you ask your child to check behind himself? Remember, this is a learning process and won’t necessarily go smoothly out of the gate. Work together to look at the final product. This will reinforce the value of responsibility and pride in one’s work. It’s a slow lesson to learn and trait to develop, but you will be giving them a gift that will last longer than any of the latest must have gadgets on the market.

Encourage your child to set short and long term goals with the allowance he receives. Setting aside a portion of the allowance each week might result in a trip to the Disney Store for a favorite toy or figurine. A short term reward might be a trip to the ice cream shop. Encourage, empower and reward your child throughout the process. Establishing the foundations for an allowance will help develop the values of responsibility, work ethic and long term gratification that are so critical in all aspects of life. Good luck!

Building Your Kid’s Confidence

SONY DSCRaising children is not easy, especially in today’s challenging environment. So many things can affect your kid’s self-image that regular trips to hair salons just aren’t going to cut it. You need to boost your kid’s sense of self now to help them become socially adjusted and successful adults in the future. Here are some ways for building your kid’s confidence.

 

Make them feel loved

Kids always need to feel loved at home. It is how they develop a sense of worth. As parents, we often forget to show them how much we love them because we are working so hard to give them everything they need. The things we give or the fantastic yearly vacations we bring them on are not important. It is the five minutes at breakfast we spend asking them about their plans for the day, and the minute we take to tuck them in and kiss them goodnight. What matters is an encouraging nod when they are not doing well, sympathy when they fail, and acknowledgement when they succeed.

Give them structure

Rules give your kid a sense of security. It may seem the height of cool to be a friend to your kid, but young children need you to be a parent more than they need a friend. Give them rules to live by, and this will give them the structure they need to build upon. Explain to them the consequences of their actions when they break the rules, and follow through no matter what. Giving in to what your kid wants will backfire on them and you in the end.

Encourage them in their inclinations

Don’t impose your own ambitions and expectations on your kids. Give them the freedom to develop their own interests and support them in whatever they choose to do as much as you can.

Kids are resilient, and they are full of possibilities. If you do your job as a parent in developing a confident kid, then you should have nothing to worry about for their future.

Promote Better Pool Safety With Swim Lessons

by Kaitlin Gardner from AnApplePerDay.com

lesson-of-swimmingI love raising my young boys, and watching them grow, but it’s kept me busy. High on my “to do” list has been water safety, to make sure they have fun but stay safe in the pool. One of the biggest safety measures for us has been swim lessons. Knowing how to swim is a skill they’ll use for a lifetime, so I want them to be well prepared.

The need for safety. The reality is that there are inherent risks around the water. Drowning has been reported as one of the highest causes of unintentional deaths among small children in the U.S. Another study has also shown that swim lessons can reduce the chances of a child drowning by as much as 88 percent. When I read those articles, it only strengthened my resolve to have my boys learn to swim, and be well prepared when it came to the pool. Here are some other articles with more great information:

Preparation starts early. It is suggested that a baby can be enrolled in Mommy and Me classes as early as 6 months of age. While these are not formal lessons, they will certainly give the child an orientation to the water, as well as being a lot of fun. I even used bath time to begin reinforcing the water as a fun place to be. I would trickle water over my child’s head, and we spent a lot of time laughing and smiling as they discovered the fun of splashing.

The beginning lessons. By around age 4, a child will be developed enough to have motor skills that will allow them to take lessons. My boys were so in love with the water that they were glad to take those lessons. They began to learn the movements that would combine into swim strokes, and to learn the basics of swim safety. They were really serious when the instructor explained why “no running at the pool” was important. I had to smile because I knew if I tried to tell them the same thing they wouldn’t listen that well. At the end of the pool season, parents can check out their kids to make sure they are “water smart,” meaning how well have they incorporated the safety principles they have learned, like being able to find the side of the pool if they fell into the water, and what to do if a friend was struggling in the water. My boys did great, and I was really pleased by how quickly they picked up a focus on safety.

Repetition helps. I plan to sign my boys up for intermediate and advanced lessons. I want them to really learn the strokes, and be well versed in the safety aspects of swimming. In school they don’t just show kids a concept once and move on, the classes work through a progression which allows kids to build proficiency. With something as important as swimming, I think the same principle should hold, so I will continue with lessons.

Use the time for bonding. I won’t have an unlimited number of opportunities to bond with my children, so I have taken advantage of lessons to spend time with the kids. I sit on the sidelines and watch their lessons, and then may have a couple of questions about what they learned after class, to reinforce what they’re being taught. But when I get to see the first time they jump off the diving board or a similar achievement, it is just wonderful to see how excited they get.

Watching my boys swimming confidently really pleases me – their swim lessons have prepared them well to enjoy all the fun they can have in the water.

KaitlinKaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.

 

US Swim School Association Helps Parents Detect If Their Kids Are Water Smart

Guidelines to evaluate if kids know the basic water safety skills after a summer in the pool

boy-in-swimming-poolDrowning is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. On average, 3,533 people die as a result of drowning each year, and most of those deaths are children under the age of four who drown in backyard swimming pools. The tragedy of these statistics is nearly all drowning deaths are preventable. Parents need to be aware of their children’s swimming capabilities as well as their knowledge of how to be safe around water.

To help parents determine if their children are knowledgeable of basic water safety skills, USSSA has created a basic safety guideline parents can use to evaluate their children at the end of the summer pool season. USSSA also reminds parents that enrolling their children in year-round swimming lessons is one of the first defenses in drowning prevention. Even if children can complete the following tasks, year-round lessons can help children maintain their swimming skills and build strength.

  • Flip and Float. Any time a child enters a body of water unexpectedly, he or she should know to first reach the surface then flip onto his or her back and float until help arrives.
  • Find the Side. If your child accidentally falls into a pool he or she should know how to swim to the side, and either pull them self out of the water or move along the wall to the stairs where they can safely exit.
  • Do a Clothes Test. Children might be successful swimmers in their goggles and swimsuit but if you have a backyard pool there could be a situation where your child falls into the pool fully clothed. To help your children know how to react and judge their skill level in a situation like this effectively, under your supervision, have them jump into the pool with clothes on and swim to the side.
  • Throw, Don’t Go. When asked what they would do if a friend or sibling is struggling in the water, children should know to not enter the water. Instead, they should look for a device that can reach into the water such as a pool noodle, a foam ring or even a large stick the struggling person can grab and hold onto while being pulled to safety.
  • Take a lap. If you have a backyard pool it is a good idea to test your child at the end of the summer to make sure your child can swim a full lap of the pool. This will inform you if your child can swim far enough to reach the side or a step to exit the pool no matter where he or she falls in.

For more information on USSSA, details on becoming a member of the nation’s leading swim school organization, or to find a USSSA affiliated swim school near you, visit: http://www.usswimschools.org

 

About US Swim School Association: US Swim School Association (USSSA) began in 1988 to fill a gap in the swim school industry. USSSA has become the largest and preeminent swim school association in the country with over 400 members providing swim and water safety instruction to over 500,000 students each year. Swim schools receive invaluable benefits as USSSA members, receiving the latest training in water safety, swim instruction methods and tools, invitations to annual conferences, and many other benefits that help establish and build each individual business. USSSA has partnered with Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation for its official water safety program. Through USSSA, parents and students are provided with a reliable and trustworthy resource when searching for a swim school and can rest assured they have chosen a top school when they choose a USSSA affiliated location. For more information, visit www.usswimschools.org.

 

Ultimate Baby Product Round Up

I am obsessed with the fabulous products we found for our latest round up! Check out these great items and think about adding them to your Christmas shopping list…

  Goumi Kids | Leah Verwey Photo  Goumi Kids Booties, Mittens and Hats

I love the feel of organic cotton. It is just so soft and snuggly and absolutely perfect for baby’s sensitive skin. Goumi Kids makes wonderfully practical booties, mitts and hats for newborns with this amazing organic cotton and special features that make these items actually stay on! The booties and mitts are both secured with Velcro that is comfortably placed. They really don’t fall off! The cute little hats have a tiny visor and they can tie on to keep them in place. You can purchase a set of the three for $40 (or purchase separates) at goumikids.com.

movementmonitorLevana Oma+ Movement Monitor

Let’s face it. All parents worry about their newborns and SIDS when they first bring them home from the hospital. We stare at our video monitors for a sign of movement, but that can be hard to detect on a monitor alone. Levana has come up with a fabulous product to ease the minds of parents with a movement monitor that is separate from your regular video monitor. The cordless and battery-powered movement monitor that can easily be used everywhere you and baby go. Oma+™ clips directly onto the diaper and senses baby’s tiniest movements at the belly button area. The sensor will gently vibrate to help encourage the return of regular movement after 15 seconds of complete stillness and will beep loudly to alert you if no movement is detected for more than 20 seconds. It is a discreet enough size with a flexible sensor that baby doesn’t even notice is on. This is a worry saver and only costs $99 at mylevana.com.

baby alertBaby Alert SoftClip Systems

During the summer months we hear so many sad stories of babies accidentally left in cars and dying from the heat. The fear shouldn’t end when temperatures turn, though. Babies can die from being left in the car at all times of the year. While most of us like to believe there is no way it could happen to us, making sure that we are never at fault can be 100% reassured by using Baby Alert’s SoftClip Systems. All you have to do is replace the chest clip/shoulder harness strap retainer device that came with your car seat with the SoftClip one and the put the Key Ring Alarm Unit on your key ring and you can be worry free. The ChildMinder system reminds drivers with an alarm 8 seconds after the parent or caregiver has moved more than 15 feet from the child in his/her safety seat. What a great thing to have year round for children up to age 6! The system retails for $80 but it is on sale right now for $63.95 at babyalert.info.

blowout blocker soaker stopperBaby Blowout Blocker/Soaker Stopper

Ingenious. These are a must have for any family with babies! So simple, but so brilliant, the Blowout Blocker and Soaker Stopper solve the problem of diapers that leak. The Blowout Blocker is an extension to a standard diaper, reaching up the back of the baby. It is intended to protect against soiling clothes, bedding, car seats, carpets, etc. from up-the-back diaper messes. It contains the mess for fast, easy and stress free clean-up! The Soaker Stopper is an extension of the diaper up the front, containing potty leaks, especially during night time sleep, The material they are made out of are very soft and pliable. My 20 month old actually likes to wear hers! She rubs the material and has never complained about the fit. They can be purchased as singles or packages from $12.95 at babyblowoutblocker.com.

guardian angel outletGuardian Angel Outlet

Safety is the biggest concern for parents. When it comes to outlets, the covers that most of us use don’t always work. Kids can figure out how to take them off and when adults take them off to use them we sometimes forget to put them back on. The Guardian Angel outlet solves any safety issues surrounding your outlets. The Guardian Angel technology is always on – using capacitive sensing to continuously monitor the electrical receptacle’s immediate surroundings for dangerous actions or situations – ensuring a child is safe. Electrodes in the outlet housing allow the circuit to see beyond its plastic walls and distinguish a dangerous object from an acceptable plug. The outlet uses proprietary technology that is aware when your little one’s hand gets too close. This solution works 100% of the time and installation is VERY easy. A 2 pack is available for $40 at guardianangelsafety.com

goosewaddleGooseWaddle blankets

Texture is my obsession and always has been. My girls seem to have the same tactile awareness of everything like me. They absolutely love to snuggle up in the softest fabrics they can find and are very turned off by anyting that is not comfy, cozy. The GooseWaddle blanket might be the softest material I have ever felt. They are made from fine micro-denier polyester, which gives them a lovably soft feel! Available in classic colors in full sized blanket or blankie at goosewaddle.com (Blanket: $65, Blankie: $35, Gift Sets: $90-$120).