Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Home Caregiver for a Senior Loved One

In reality, most of the senior population always goes through different caregivers whether they like it or not. This is another one of the many sad realities in life. Whether you like it or not, you are not getting any younger and so does both of your parents. At some point in your life, you have to plan and make decisions with your sibling(s) about how your elderly parents must be cared for. This is usually the part where the discussion of hiring a home caregiver for your senior loved one comes into the picture.

Any regular person will not want to think about this possibility and making such decisions. However, this is where the big problem lies in today’s society. No one talks about it. A lot of people avoid discussing these things and will only do so when it is already too late. In the end, later will no longer be an option, and difficult decisions must be made in a haste. The last thing you want to think about is to have some tension in the family once an older family member is sick. Good thing that there is now an increasing number of families that opt for end-of-life planning and discussions. However, until this day, there are still not a lot of people who talk about how they want the care of their senior loved one to happen.

Nevertheless, once you and your family start planning and discussing about the senior care you should be giving to your elderly loved one, here are a few simple steps that you can take to choose the right home caregiver for them.

1. List down the specific needs for care of your senior loved one. Each person is unique along with their needs. As a family, you should figure out what the meaning of home senior care is. This will serve as your criteria to hiring the right home caregiver.

2. Ask for input from friends, co-workers, and close neighbors. What you are going through may already be something that other people you know has gone through. Do not hesitate to seek out some suggestions and reviews from them. For instance, if you have teachers in the family, let them get some recommendations from their school nurse.

3. Reach out for some advice from the community. You can reach out for some help from your community halls, churches, and senior centers. They may have a few contacts in mind to give you.

4. Do an all-inclusive interview process. If your senior loved one is still capable of making decisions, you should include them in the caregiver interview process that you will be doing. Have a list of questions prepared beforehand. If possible, you should get the presence of as many family members as you can. This ensures that everyone is kept in the loop. This also ensures that any question that you have missed out will be brought up by another person in the family. Furthermore, having more than one family member around during the interview process will ensure proper verification of the information being provided by the caregiver in question.

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Simple Steps to Making Your Own Baby Food

To contribute to the proper growth and development of the bodies and brains of your baby, you have to ensure to give them the nutrients and kind of food that they need. These nutritional foods are also necessary for the enhancement of their immune system. The moment your baby reaches the six months of age, you are often recommended by your pediatrician to start to feed them with solid foods. Solid foods for babies mean soft foods and not the hard ones. It has been common practice for parents to be getting their babies baby foods from their local stores. If you are guilty of this, do you know what ingredients they put in these food pots and how much preservatives are included in them? You don’t, right? For the safety and well-being of your baby, it is always recommended for parents to be the ones to prepare their own food.

Making your own baby food is not that challenging. It is quite simple, actually. And the best part is that you can prepare a variety of foods when you do it on your own. You just have to prepare the right ingredients, a small pot, and a blender. And then you can proceed. When making baby food on your own, you have to keep it as natural as you can. This means that their food should only include vegetables and fruits. Avoid adding any sugar, salt, and other additives.

Fruit-based baby food can be made one kind of fruit or a number of them. As a sweet treat, you may mash some strawberries or a banana. For an interesting flavor, you can mix these two together. You can also do the same with apples. Just be sure to peel them first, cut them into slices, and then cook them until they become soft. Proceed to either blend it or mash it using a fork.

You can also go with different vegetable choices if you are making baby food that is vegetable based. You can cook carrots, sweet potato, butternut, or potato. You may blend potato with any of the other vegetables mentioned using your blender. As an alternative, you can also blend each of these vegetables on its own and serve them.

Adding chicken in these meals can also be a good idea. You can use chicken breasts by cooking them first before blending them together. You can add a bit of milk or water while blending so you can make the consistency much smoother and easier for your baby to digest.

While you can use just about any blender to prepare your own baby food, it is highly recommended to go with a blender that comes with a high-speed feature. This ensures that all the vegetables and fruits that you will be blending in would result to a softer and smoother consistency. This then makes it easier for your little one to consume the food you have prepared for them. By preparing baby food on your own, you will have the complete knowledge about what you are feeding your child. And this is a natural and wholesome meal for them. When you have prepared too much baby food, you can always store them in ice cube trays or small food pots and have them frozen to be fed the next day.

A Guide to Weaning Your Toddlers from Breastfeeding

The benefits of breastfeeding your children are undeniable. Aside from enhancing their overall health and boosting their immune system, the bond between the mother and the child is made much stronger. Though some mothers only stop breastfeeding their children once their children decide to do so, there are some who need to put an end to it for a lot of reasons. There are certain factors where some women may have to put breastfeeding to a stop when their toddler already reaches the age of two. If you are one of the latter breastfeeding mothers, here is a guide to effectively weaning your toddlers from your breast milk.

• Be consistent
If you have decided to put an end to your nursing sessions, you should begin dropping them during the daytime. However, you have to be consistent with each session. This ensures that complications such as breast engorgement and clogged milk ducts which are both painful can be avoided. This also helps your toddler to better transition from your breast milk to other food sources.

• Do it slowly but surely
It is recommended to not abruptly stop breastfeeding your child. You should, however, do it in a slow but sure manner to ensure that your body will be able to adjust to the milk production process. Abrupt weaning usually leads to major complications like mastitis where your clogged milk ducts are infected. Again, you have to stay committed with the weaning process once you have started it.

• Wear non-access clothes
Generally, toddlers will reach out for your breasts if they feel like feeding from or tasting it. This may be embarrassing on your part if they do this in public. To stop the embarrassment and successfully wean your toddler, you should go with non-access clothes. When you wear clothes that give your toddler easy access to your breast, the process of weaning your toddler might take a long time to finish. Thus, you have to begin wearing non-access clothes to make this happen.

• Involve your partner
It is time that you include your partner in the weaning process. They are especially helpful when you want your toddler to sleep better at night. Generally, toddlers are used to being nursed before sleeping. You may substitute breastfeeding them at night by offering them some warm tea and then have daddy take your toddler to sleep. Though your toddler may protest for a few days, they will get used to it eventually.

For majority of moms, weaning a toddler from breastfeeding can be a headache. This can be said when your toddler is used to drinking your breast milk for more than 600 days of their life. For smoother weaning of your toddler from your breast milk, make sure to remain consistent at the beginning of the process. Also, do it gradually and involve your partner. And lastly, be sure to start wearing non-access clothes that will not let them easily access your breasts. Aside from these tips, you also have to be patient with the process and remain loving and caring to your little one and not lose sight of their needs.

Making Your Breastfeeding Journey Worthwhile After the First 6 Months

Breastfeeding is a fulfilling experience among majority of mothers. However, it is not always a walk in the park. Usually, the first few days and weeks are always difficult. But after a few months’ time, it may seem that you have mastered the pattern of feeding your newborn. Before the age of six months, you are now more confident with how you breastfeed your baby with them being arm sized. However, as the days go by, you now notice changes in them. The chair you use to feed them has become a bit constricting, for starters. Second, feedings are becoming shorter. And last, after every feed, it seems that your baby no longer gives you that morphine-high smile.

If all these things sound familiar, you are now in the post-newborn phase of breastfeeding. And you will come to experience a lot of things changing at a much faster rate. But no worries! You can still make your breastfeeding journey worthwhile even 6 months after your baby was born. Here are some tips to get through breastfeeding your tiny one after the first 6 months.

1. Keep all colorful and shiny objects away from your little one.
These include head scarfs, jewelry, and other pieces of clothing that they could easily pull, bite, and swallow. There is something remarkable about babies after 6 months of age. They come to realize their ability to not only touch things but also destroy them, most especially those that are attached to other people. Just think about what could happen to your baby if they are able to pull out your tongue ring or your nose ring! As a breastfeeding mother, be sure to wear plain and safe baby-friendly clothing while breastfeeding.

2. Take note of the biting face.
Once your babies grow their teeth, they will most likely test them out on anything and everything. And this does not exempt your nipples. But don’t fret! These bites usually take place only after they have given you warning sign. Usually, before they clamp down on your nipples, they will be making a cheeky-teeth clenching face. You should have an idea reaction when this happens to you. Your first reaction to getting your nipple bitten the first time is telling of what your following teeth nipple interaction will be. If you react too big, your baby may assume that you are playing with them and doing it for attention. On the other hand, if you react too small, your baby will not fully grasp your reaction and will bite you down the second time. You may use a plastic shield to guard your nipples. However, you can always let them be and accept this phase as a crucial part to motherhood.

3. Breastfeed your baby in an open area giving them plenty of leg room.
You can always guarantee that your baby will be constantly moving while feeding when breastfeeding them after 6 months. Not only that, they will be in a lot of frenzy to such as much milk from you while climbing over you. They may even feed upside down or stand on their heads while feeding. Here’s a good advice from breastfeeding pros: lie down, get your nipples out, hold your arm wide open, and let them do their thing. It is best to just give into their feeding frenzy. This will last between 10 and 20 minutes, at most.

Choosing the Right Medical Assistance for Your Elderly Loved Ones

Extended families are still very much common in this modern day and age. If you have elderly parents or grandparents in the family who are living with you, you have to know how to take good care of them. One of the best and the most effective ways to do so is to enhance your knowledge about their needs and how you can meet each and every one of them. Usually, the elderly will be needing all the help and medical assistance that they can get. Now, you cannot always provide them all the medical help that they need. This is particularly true if you are still working your way up the career ladder and attending to the immediate needs of your nuclear family. And so, your sole focus to tend to them properly is to find the right medical service provider to assist them.

Today, there is an increasing need for medical service providers among the elderly, most especially that the elderly population has also gone up. With these many medical service providers, you might be having a hard time choosing the most fitting one for your loved one. You have to be particular in choosing one and make sure that they have attained adequate training and experience in provide medical services to the elderly.

In finding the right medical assistance for your elderly family member, you have to focus on the qualities of the medical service provider based on the needs of your loved one. If they require proper home care, the person for the job must be one with enough skills and experience in catering to such needs. You can start using the internet to make online searches of medical service providers in your area. Be sure to look into the reviews being posted by people who have tried their services. You can also get recommendations from close relatives, friends, and colleagues who have tried hiring such services. You can check out various resources online coming from health care professionals providing recommendations of facilities that cater to the needs of the elderly population.

One of the most common options for elderly care include assisted living facilities. Agencies that offer these services have a team of specialists catering to their elderly clients. You can list down your possible options of these facilities. Once you have them, weigh their pros and cons accordingly. After that, you now have narrowed down your list. Set an appointment with them so that you can talk to them and discussed about the needs of your elderly family member and what this facility will have to offer them and you. Feel free to ask any questions you have in mind to them. Most elderly individuals require customized care. That is why you really have to talk and see the facility and staff in person that will be taking care of your elderly loved one. If you feel comfortable around them and find them confident and professional in the services that they can provide your elderly loved one, then that is a good sign. When you feel uncomfortable around them, you better look for another one. If elderly care involves letting your loved one check into their facility, you have to assess the facility and ensure that it is clean and safe and has a friendly atmosphere in terms of its staff.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Your Blended Family Work

Moving in together with your partner is no doubt one of the most important and exciting chapters of your lives. However, if you have respective children from previous marriages, the process can be challenging. Moving in together is not as simple as it seems with blended families. You do not immediately become a happy family without issues along the way. But don’t panic! Below are some ways in which you can make your blended family work and be all happy under one roof.

1. Communication is vital
Despite the fact that the relationship that you have with your new partner is amazing, there are still a lot of things that you have to consider before moving in with them. Even if your children and/or theirs are getting along just fine with each other and with you both, you still have to communicate with each and one. While spending regular time with each other, make sure to still make some time to communicate with each other in terms of rules or any issues that could arise.

2. Consistency matters
Like any other family, the philosophies on raising children between both parents should be kept consistent. These include giving the children the best life possible such as communication, discipline, family time, traditions, chores, and more. Before both families must live under one roof, family meetings must always take place. Both your children and your stepchildren should have the same rules and consequences, number of chores, and other aspects of family life. The moment you move in together, it may take some time to get everything running smoothly.

3. Keep track of everyone
Take the time to talk with each of your children individually. When a child is mum about something, it does not necessarily mean that they have now come to accept their new life. A healthy and loving family relationship can only be established when there are daily conversations being done. This leads you back to the importance of communication, yet now, you are doing it on a more personal level. Let every child feel your love. Be in tune with their emotions and actions. Knowing how each child feels ensures avoidance of negative feelings. This also allows you to establish a stronger family bond.

4. Spend quality fun time together
One of the things that you have to remember about blending families together is that your relationship is no longer just between you and your new partner. You now have the lives of both your children in your hands. Have fun with each other to make way for new memories and traditions. When an entire family spends quality time together, bonds are strengthened. This does not mean though that you have to always eat out together or take family vacations. You can make quality family time work even with doing simple activities together like having a movie night, being together in one room playing games, eating together, or as simple as laughing and talking with each other.

5. Accept mistakes
As mentioned, blending families during the first few weeks or so is not easy. Some children may be distant and may be having difficulties coping even after you have communicated with them already. Nevertheless, you can ensure to build a healthy and happy family with adequate communication, preparation, and a lot of love. For sure, you can get through any obstacle as long as you have each other.

Establishing a Bond with Your Step Family

One of the most difficult and stressful times in one’s life is going through a divorce. This can be very much devastating on the part of the spouse more so on the part of their children if they will be going through with the process. If you are thinking of marrying again, you have to think about your family, your soon-to-be spouse, as well as their family if they have any. Remarrying is no longer just about the happiness of couples who are in love. It now involves the union of two different families, which implies your own children as well as those of your future spouse. This is another challenging period of your life, most especially in the first few weeks or even months. Keep in mind that your family will be going through another set of stressful and serious changes in their lives. To keep them less stressed out, you may remarry a person that can help put back your family together as well as that of his or her. In this way, you will be able to attain some balance in your life as well as that of your children.

There are some things that you have to remember if you are planning to remarry. Before remarrying, for instance, you have to sit down with your future spouse and your children, first, separately. Discuss with your partner what future challenges you will be facing together after you remarry. Plan with your partner. Take, for example, the changes you want to make to your family environment and house. At the same time, you also have to discuss with your children the chances of them to be adjusting and accepting having a new parent in their life. Before you even finalize your marriage, it is important for your children to meet your future spouse. By doing so, your children will know their new parent better and will not have a hard time understanding them better. You should be able to take your future spouse along with your children together to dine, have a family picnic, or watch a football match. This allows for a more relaxed environment that would encourage better communication with each other. Generally, children will not immediately bond with and love your future spouse in just one day. You should give them enough time and space to get to know their new parent better. Never force them to love someone they do not yet know on their own. By doing these things, you can thus rest assured that both your children and new spouse will be able to build a lasting relationship that is not devoid of love and affection.

When you have fun-loving children, you can arrange for some outdoor activities for them along with your future spouse. With the help of your new family, you can prepare your favorite foods for dinner or plan your weekend getaways together. Though it will take some time for your children and your parent to settle in, taking a few steps now will lead to your step-family being a great one. Resistance is always expected during this transition with either family. However, by giving respect, love, and patience to each and one, there is no doubt that the affection and attitude of the children will be changed in time.

Your Many Options of Child Care

Until this day, there are some parents who are unaware of their many options of child care. This is especially true for first-time parents as well as those who have no idea what kind of child care they should be giving their children. What follows are your many options of child care if you need some extra help tending to your little ones.

1. In-home or nanny day care
This child care option is given by nannies and au pairs. If you go with this option, you have to only hire a nanny who comes from a reputable agency. Before hiring one, make sure to check if the nanny has received good reviews from their previous clients.
• Pros
– Your child is given undivided attention.
– The nanny can also deal with your household chores.
– You directly employ the nanny, and they follow whatever instructions you give them.
– No need to take and travel with your child daily to the day care center.
– Your child can stay home in a familiar environment decreasing their exposure to illness.
– Professional nannies are well-trained and highly-skilled in taking care of children.
• Cons
– Maybe more expensive than other child care options.
– You may arrange for backup in case the nanny of your child is not available.
– As the employer, you are expected to pay for the taxes and benefits of your nanny.
– Your child with have low chances of interacting with other children.

2. Community-based or private day care
If you are after highly-qualified personnel, then this is the best child care option for you. These centers are regulated by appropriate agencies and possess the necessary licensing to operate. The number of children, the maintenance of the facility, quality care, food, and learning systems are all strictly regulated.
• Pros
– Cheaper compared to in-home day care but additional facilities may require additional payments and fees that are altogether more expensive.
– Your child can interact more with other children.
– Follows a pre-arranged program of activities for the children.
– In case a care provider is not available, the facility will arrange for a substitute.
– Staff is focused on providing utmost care to the children.
• Cons
– Individual care is seldom given.
– Your child may have to travel to the center daily.
– He or she must adjust to the new environment in the first few days.
– Some centers may not accept children with special needs and temperaments.
– Your child has more chances of illness exposure from other children.

3. Family day care
For this child care option, your child will be cared for at home. It is highly advised to find a qualified caregiver to be looking after the overall well-being and safety of your child.
• Pros
– This option is the cheapest among the other child care options.
– Your child still interacts with other children but fewer.
– The caregiver is experienced.
– A home setting allows for your child to receive quality care.
• Cons
– Some caregivers may fall short in terms of qualifications.
– You maybe the one to arrange for a backup if the caregiver of your child is not available.

Having all of these child care options in mind and their respective pros and cons, there is no doubt that you will not be having that much of a difficult time deciding which option you should go for.

The Value of High Chairs and Choosing One

Once your baby is ready to be part of the table with you and your entire family, you should get them a reliable high chair. A high chair is perfect for easy feeding of your baby. It is also an ideal place for them to socialize with the rest of the family at a level that is most fitting to them. Today, you see a lot of high chairs for sale that come in many sizes and styles. It is important to take your time in choosing one in order for you to get the most suitable choice for your baby.

Why should you buy a high chair?
If you are still not convinced to get a high chair for your child, below are some benefits that you can get when you get it as an addition to your household.
• A high chair is an ideal and secure place to feed your baby.
• It is a reliable place for the baby that offers enough space for them to do other activities that interest them.
• It is an ideal place to keep tabs on them while attending to other matters. (This is especially true if they are now at a stage in their life where they are just everywhere.)
• It makes it easier for you to clean up any mess that is expected among babies who are still learning how to manipulate and consume solid foods.
• Putting your baby on it while eating keeps them in an upright position that is ideal in reducing their chances of choking.

Tips in choosing the right high chair for your child
Now that you have realized the importance of getting your child a high chair and are ready to buy them one, you have to know that you will be choosing from a number of them in the market. To make things easier for you, here are some factors worthy of consideration in choosing the right one.

• Safety features
In getting a high chair for your child, their safety should always be of utmost priority. You seldom expect babies to be sitting down calmly on their high chairs if they are no fans in the activities that follow after eating there. Thus, in choosing one, be sure to go with safety features like a safety belt that will keep your baby in place even if they squirm a lot or want to get off their high chair. Its base should be stable enough so the chair will not trip when you baby sits on it.

• Comfort levels
Babies are fussy beings, most especially when they do not find comfort in what they are doing. For instance, if you let them sit down on an uncomfortable chair for longer periods, they will resist sitting down on it again. So, go with high chairs that come with either cushioned inserts or soft padded covers. Ensure that they are washable so you will not be having a hard time getting the mess off of them. The design should be comfortable enough, specifically the working surface and sitting area in terms of size.

• Ease of cleaning
Messes are always expected on a high chair since it is where your child will primarily eat. Go with high chairs that come with removable covers. In this way, you will not be having a hard time cleaning them up with the spit-ups and spills from your child.

Practical Tips in Finding a Good Child Care Facility

In finding a good child care facility, you should not just consider the major issues surrounding your decision. You have to also pay attention to the more basic ones that will still have some major impact on your child and their growth and development. Here are some of them.

1. Is the staff caring and loving?
In terms of the major aspects of the child care facility, for sure, you have already looked into the professional qualification of each of their staff in terms of their training and education. Nonetheless, in taking care of many infants, you have to go beyond just looking at their qualifications.

When it comes to small kids, you have to provide them a caring and loving environment. In this way, they will be able to learn better and grow into more responsible and confident adults. The caregiver should provide warmth and be involved in the activities of the children. It is necessary for the caregiver to build a close interpersonal relationship with the children. That is why the recommended educator to child ratio is 1:4 for child care facilities catering to children form birth to 2 years of age.

The motivation of the facility is worth questioning if the staff is not interested and may seem aloof in making close interactions with the children. Obviously, you should never entrust your children to people who have little interest with their welfare.

2. How long with the staff or caregiver stay with your child?
A good child care facility is more than just having a complete set of learning and play equipment. Though the facility may be in operation for quite some time, the staff who will be interacting with your child is still what matters the most.

A sense of stability is necessary for children to feel loved and secured. Both feelings of stability and security are influenced by the people surrounding or interacting with them. When the child will go through different caregivers that they have grown attached to, they may develop feelings of abandonment.

Children are quick to develop close bonds with people they interact with on a daily basis. Furthermore, they feel more confident around people and environments they are familiar with. Constantly changing environments and people may lead them to feel insecure and have a hard time establishing close relationships with other people.

This basically means that you need to get some assurance from the caregiver directly working with your child that they will be around for longer, maybe a year or more. Moreover, you have to choose a child care facility where your child can be in for longer and need not be transferred across facilities.

3. Ask about details that may not seem relevant but still matter to you
Each person is unique in terms of their personal values and perceptions. Even if a caregiver is well-trained in taking care of small children, they may not hold values the same as yours.

In line with this, you should not hesitate to inquire about particular issues that concern you even if most people are not worried about them. As a parent, you should raise your concerns no matter what be it how much television you allow your child to watch or your preference on snack options.