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Ashling Drew

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Introducing Baby to Your Pets

It is almost time for your new baby to arrive!  You have the nursery set up, the closet and dresser full of tiny clothes, and the changing table is stocked with diapers and wipes.  You also have an adorable and curious pet!  When you are already a pet parent, having a baby will not only be a big change for you as a couple, but will also be a big change for your pet.  Introducing your baby to your pets is a big deal! Here are a few tips and tricks to preparing your pet for the exciting day you bring your newborn home. Animals have a much more keen sense of smell than humans.  Let your pet sniff your baby bump and teach them to be gentle and calm while saying your baby’s name or the word “baby”.  Just as you train a dog to sit, lay down,…

Why It’s Important to Be Kind to Yourself as a Parent

As parents, we often get so completely wrapped up in our children that we forget to be kind to ourselves. And sure, that’s completely understandable – but it leaves us feeling tired, overspent, and often inadequate.  Let’s explore why it’s so important to be kind to yourself as a parent and how to practice that kindness every day.  Improve Your Mental and Physical Health  Being kind to ourselves has been shown to improve both our physical and our mental health. At times of heightened stress, self-love is crucial. It’s what empowers us to cope better with the situation at hand.  On the other hand, when we think self-deprecating thoughts, we become the one thing standing between ourselves and contentment. Feel More Energized  Being overly critical of your actions, thoughts, or emotions drains your energy. As a parent, you will already have less energy available as usual. If you…

Fantastic Babymoon Ideas

Won’t it be absolutely fantastic to go on a real adventure for your Baby Moon? (You know, like a honeymoon, only this is a getaway for couples who are now expecting their first child together.)  I mean, you have just discovered how often your body is going to change during this entire pregnancy, right? Plus, who knows how long it will be before you are comfortable leaving your baby for a couple’s getaway.  For your convenience, we have put together some ideas to help you get started with your planning, as well as a few essential things to consider while making preparations for your Babymoon. When planning your Babymoon, a few things can impact your travel choices and what activities you will prepare.  Keep in mind that along with the excitement of pregnancy often comes morning sickness!  Usually, morning sickness will decrease or even disappear sometime around the third…

The Top 10 Biggest Benefits of Staying in Shape

It is no secret that staying in shape is important in everyday life, and you can improve your physical being in a number of different ways. Reducing fats and sugars from your diet and choosing to eat healthily is one way. But some people also like to exercise frequently by going to the gym, taking up interesting sports and even practising yoga and meditation. Finding different ways to get in shape is easy, but sticking to them is the hard part. Why exactly is maintaining your physical form such a big deal? Decreased Risk of Chronic Disease By exercising frequently and making good choices to keep your body healthy you are actually reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases in the future.  Eating foods high in salts, saturated fats, and sugar can lead to numerous different diseases and conditions, from diabetes and gum disease to potential…

Baby-Led Weaning

Your precious baby is growing before your eyes, and you know the time is nearing to introduce them to something other than breastmilk or formula.  While this is a significant milestone for every baby, it can be stressful for the parents!  What foods to start with, how to introduce them, and when exactly to start are essential things to consider.  You may have been hearing about this not-so-new trend called “Baby-Led Weaning” and are wondering what exactly it is.  When you hear this phrase and hear that it often starts around six months old, you may be wondering why wean your sweet baby so early?  Baby-led weaning isn’t referring to weaning your infant off breastmilk or formula.  It simply refers to beginning to introduce solids on your infant’s readiness schedule instead of baby cereal or jarred baby food.   How To Know If Your Baby Is Ready One of the…

Learn About Postpartum Psychiatric Disorders and Treatment

A new parent’s first year is quite a ride. There are new experiences, new people, and new responsibilities. For many new moms, the experience is compounded by a number of new and unexpected symptoms, including new and frequent mood swings, irritability, and low energy. However, when do you know it’s normal, and it’s not a postpartum disorder? There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding postpartum psychiatric disorders. Many women have a difficult time accepting that they need to seek help with their symptoms. Others are frightened by the idea of medication, thinking they will turn into a zombie, lose their identity and ability to get things done. Others still think that once they have a baby, they will never be able to have a meaningful relationship again. Postpartum psychosis is the medical term for a condition that can affect some mothers after childbirth. It is a serious mental health issue…

8 Cute Nursery Design Themes

From the sea to the jungle, there are endless ideas out there for choosing a theme for and designing your new baby’s nursery.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed and even go into massive debt!  To keep you from drowning in the sea of cuteness overload and madness of ALL. The. Things, here is a list of 8 themes that are sure to create a serene, relaxing environment for your little one’s first room! Cartoon Characters Yup, you read that right!  We all know that the classic woodland themes of Winnie-the-Pooh and Peter Rabbit have been popular for many years. Oh, but how times DO change! Disney magic has brought us the oceanic themes of Finding Nemo and Moana, breaking the trends we grew up knowing. We also can’t leave out the ever growing list of Disney princesses and Minnie Mouse!  The classics are still there for us with…

8 Water Play Activities for Babies and Toddlers

There’s something oddly calming about a simple act of splashing water everywhere, isn’t it? For kids, water play activities present the perfect opportunity to actively explore with all their senses, enhance fine and gross motor skills, and have fun while doing so.  Babies can start playing with water right out of the womb. As they grow older and consequently, develop better hand-eye coordination, you can introduce them to a whole new bunch of engaging water play activities involving STEM toys, water guns, sprinklers, sponges, etc.  If you are looking for water play ideas that are a perfect combination of learning and entertainment, you have landed on just the right page. Here are 8 wicked good water play activities kids won’t be able to stop playing –  Water Relay Race How about kicking off the list with something the whole family can enjoy? Relay races are fun and…

COVID-Related Stress and Isolation in Children

Before you had your child, you may have felt like you knew what was coming. Late-night feedings, diaper changes, and making your way through those challenging teen years are all par for the course when it comes to parenting. While you might have felt ready to handle anything parenting could throw your way, you may not have anticipated being tasked with guiding children through a global pandemic. Parenting right now is more challenging than ever before. Currently, children are facing a huge amount of stress, and an increasing number of them require help for mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Seeing your child struggle emotionally is painful, but you can take some steps to help them learn how to deal with the changes COVID-19 has brought and is bringing into their life. How is COVID-19 impacting children’s lives? Before the pandemic, you aimed to do…

6 Ways to Maintain Freedom as a New Mom

Although tiny humans are quite demanding, having a newborn doesn’t mean that you are locked down until they walk and talk! With a few lifestyle changes, you can get that breather you need to keep you from drowning your sorrows in chocolate covered everything! Don’t base what freedom is for you by the trends and fads of today’s motherhood world, either! You’ll end up thinking that your baby is a ball and chain and not a bundle of joy. Here are a few things to think about when working to regain or maintain your freedom: Let people help you! In these challenging times, this can be tough; however, if you HAVE help, USE IT! Those who are offering don’t see you as the burden that they think you are to them. Whether it’s uninterrupted shower time, a nap, or unaccompanied trip to the grocery store, take what they…