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Parenting with a Disability

Parenting with a Disability - Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Parenting with a Disability - Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Welcoming a child into your life is certainly something to celebrate. However, it is also a time full of nerves and anxiety, especially if you live with a disability. Here’s some advice to help prepare your home and yourself for the lifestyle changes that come with being a new parent.

Becoming a parent means that life is about to get somewhat chaotic, so take some time before the baby arrives to prepare as much as you can. Decide where the baby is going to sleep and make the proper accommodations by selecting an easy to use crib. Also think about whether you plan to feed them formula or will need a breast pump. You should stock up on changing supplies and frozen meals so you don’t have to make as many trips out. Clean the house, make sure you have a baby monitor, and get a stroller or baby carrier to help make your life easier.

You’ll want to childproof your home as well. Put non slip mats in the tub, lock the toilet seat, get a cover for the spout, and a bathtub ring to help support their body in the water. Secure doors to appliances, cabinets and drawers with child safety locks and use swimming noodles to soften the edges of doors to rooms so they don’t scrape themselves. Additionally, be sure to cover outlets, hide any cords, and gate off stairs, fireplaces or railings.

In order to transport your child, you’ll need to pick out a booster or car seat that fits you and your baby’s needs. The many styles available can be overwhelming, but chances are if it is being sold in the U.S. it meets federal regulations and will provide adequate protection no matter the cost. To ensure that you buy the right one for your family, do plenty of research so you feel confident about your decision and can have peace of mind while driving. It should be rear facing and in the middle back seat of your vehicle. As you use it, be careful to check the expiration date so you know when it is no longer suitable for your child’s age.

Raising children points out that while, “The type of support you need obviously depends on your disability, there are many technologies and assistive devices that can help with daily family life.” Consult with your doctor and other healthcare professionals in order to come up with practical solutions to the inevitable and various challenges that will come your way as a parent. Consider joining a support group so you can express your fears and any questions you may have before the baby comes. Find a local class where you can practice how to swaddle and soothe your child. Think carefully about if and who you want to stay in your home to provide additional support during the first few weeks. Even though the thought of having house guests may seem daunting, you will be thankful for the extra help and ability to get some sleep. Feel free to employ their aid with feedings, baths and getting the baby dressed among other things.

Stow away a few luxury items for yourself like a candle, bath bomb or chocolates. These will come in handy when you’re feeling extra stressed and need a moment to yourself to rejuvenate. Lastly, remember to enjoy this time period and use it as an opportunity to bond with your newborn.

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25 Mess-Free Winter Activities for Kids

Winter can be long and cold, especially when you have kids and live up north like we do. They can’t play outside all the time so we need some good winter activities for kids.

I use some motivators to get my kids outside, like my delicious Healthy Hot Cocoa recipe, but many days it’s just too cold to stay outside for longer than 20 minutes.

That’s why I decided to come up with a list of mess-free winter activities for kids. Because don’t they make enough of a mess without helping them create one, you know? So let’s do ourselves a favor and keep it mess-free. Or at least less-messy!

Are cold winter days keeping the kids inside? You need this handy list of Mess-Free Winter Activities for Kids. With 25 fun ideas to choose from, we’ve purposefully picked less-messy projects so you don’t have to add to the mess the kids have probably already made!Bring the outdoors in with colorful snowflakes made out of popsicle sticks.

Practice writing their names with marshmallows.

Build a snowman without the snow.

Have just as much fun making these snowmen bathtub stickers, as playing with them during bathtime.

Who knew a hole punch and paper could create beautiful snowflakes?

These reindeer magnets are perfect for keeping the winter magic alive.

Keep those Happy Feet going with this cute penguin craft.

Grab some crayons, glue and cotton balls for this cute Winter hat activity.

The kids won’t be too sad creating these melting snowmen.

Enjoy some nature indoors by creating this pine cone wall hanging.

Keep the kids occupied with fun Winter scene playdough activity mats.

Need a simple activity to keep the kids busy on a cold winter day? These free printable winter playdough mats are the perfect solution! Just print, laminate, and the kids’ll stay busy for hours building playdough snowmen, snowballs, and more. It’s the perfect indoor winter activity for children!

 

Switch out the crafts for this Pin the Nose on the Snowman activity.

Your kindergartner will enjoy learning with these Winter themed pattern mats.

Make numbers fun with Missing Number Cards.

Take this mess free painting idea and make winter themed bookmarks instead.

These cute stained glass mittens, are so colorful.

Are cold winter days keeping the kids inside? You need this handy list of Mess-Free Winter Activities for Kids. With 25 fun ideas to choose from, we’ve purposefully picked less-messy projects so you don’t have to add to the mess the kids have probably already made!

How about a mini obstacle course, where the kiddos avoid the pine trees. (Pictured above from Life Over Cs)

This no mess Winter themed sensory bag is perfect for little hands.

For more sensory fun, make these indoor snow sensory bags.

Create an arctic scene with this sensory play activity.

It’s okay to get out the paint, it can be mess free too using bells and a baking pan.

Enjoy more mess-free painting fun creating penguin ink blots.

Build a snowman out of coffee filters.

Grab a little construction paper and pom poms for these cute hot cocoa mugs.

Don’t toss those toilet paper rolls, save them for this mess free snowman craft.

 

Those are just a few awesome mess-free activities for kids to get you started! Have fun!
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Comfy Kidz is gearing up for 2018

Following a extremely successful 2017 – the ladies at 2017 have mixed the batter and are cooking up some great ideas coming up this year.

Be sure to follow us here on Facebook and on Twitter!

Are you ready for the #comfykidz @2018revolution ?

 

Keep an eye on this space for coming updates in the next few weeks.

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Rainbow Coloured Rice

Rainbow Coloured Rice

Rainbow Coloured Rice:

Rainbow Coloured Rice is great for sensory play, and we just couldn’t wait to share the recipe with you!

Coloured rice is so simple to make, so little one’s will not only enjoy playing with the brightly coloured rice, but can join in the fun of making it too.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Vinegar
  • 1 Cup of rice
  • Food colouring (add a few drops until it reaches your desired colour)
  • Ziploc bags or a plastic bag tied up

Instructions:

  • Pour the cup of rice into the ziploc/plastic bag;
  • Add the vinegar and food colouring and then seal the bag;
  • Shake it up for a few minutes to get the colour evenly spread out;
  • Empty the packet of rice and colouring mix, onto a baking sheet and allow to dry.

…and that’s it! Now get ready to have some fun.

Put the rice on a tray, in a large flat bowl, or on a lap desk, and give your child spoons, different types of cups, jugs and bowls to play with, sit back and relax, while they keep themselves entertained for hours.

Images courtesy of Monique Kaye via Facebook

Cleaning up is quick and easy, and if you keep the rainbow rice stored in an airtight container, it can last an entire year!

Do you have any colourful or creative play ideas? Please share them with us in the comments below.

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Developing Creativity in Preschool

Developing Creativity in Preschool
Developing Creativity in Preschoolers
Photo Credit: MissMessie

Developing Creativity in Preschool:

Developing Creativity in Preschool enables young kids to better analyse and problem solve. Art supplies can help develop hand-eye coordination and the type of fine motor skills they’ll draw upon later for writing.

When your pre-schooler is messing about with paint or glitter, they’re likely to be more focused on the sensations and effect than the finished product. This is an important part of their creative development.

Here are three simple ways to help develop creativity in preschool, from setting up puzzle-solving activities like a scavenger hunt to how to communicate about their art.

Create a creative space

It’s important to find a space where kids can be creative and make a mess without you worrying about the clean-up afterwards. Cover the kitchen or lounge table with old magazines or newspapers. Then, once the messy work is done, you can roll them up and the space is as good as new!

Think about saving torn or old clothes to use as overalls too. That way, there’s no stress that kids will pick up on when they’re experimenting with colours or textures.

If you’re too short on time for clear-up, try another sensory experience, like playing with shaving foam or a sink full of bubbles.

Be supportive

This can be counter-intuitive, but drawing alongside your kids can actually frustrate them about their own progress. This is because children try to represent what they see before them, as they don’t yet have your experience or fine motor skills! Express your support by asking questions about their process. Ask your child questions like “Why did you choose those colours?” or “What were you thinking about when you made this line?”

Be supportive, even if you’re not sure what the finished piece actually is. Kids are happy with learning and exploring ideas in their own time, and art can be a way of working through their experiences. That tree might be oversized, for example, because it represents something really important to them.

Furthermore, being supportive about their creativity provides a relaxed atmosphere where little imaginations can run free. This can be important in raising kids’ self-esteem!

Get experimental

Sometimes, injecting a new idea or material is all it takes to get kids’ creativity flowing. Here are three simple ideas to try:

  1. Go on a walk and collect objects, then take them home for kids to draw, touch, paint or model. Make it clear that they don’t have to represent the objects literally, but can use them as a source of inspiration.
  2. Set up a scavenger hunt. This could be at a local park or just around the house. Creative challenges such as riddles will get their brains going and may even stimulate kids to create their own scavenger hunt.
  3. Create a food art collage. Present kids with different kinds of pasta, lentils, and any other suitable dried food you have to hand. They can then decide for themselves which to incorporate into a collage and stick down on thin card or stiff paper.

Hopefully these ideas will get you started. Your pre-schoolers may also have some great ideas that you can try out, so get stuck in and get creative!

 

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Hospital Bag Checklist

Hospital Bag Checklist

Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom and baby:

So your due date is just a few days away and you’re still not sure what to pack in your hospital bag? This Hospital Bag Checklist will help ensure that you have everything packed and ready, for when your little one decides to show his/her face for the first time.

Some hospitals provide baby with all the required toiletries, but the same cannot be said for all hospitals.

The goodies listed here are for ALL mommies and include everything that you might need in your hospital/baby bag, from toiletries to your newborns FIRST EVER outfit.

It is recommended to have your hospital bag packed, when you are around 34 weeks pregnant, just in case baby decides to arrive early 😉

For baby:

  • Cotton wool
  • Surgical spirits
  • Soap\body wash
  • Wet wipes
  • Nappies
  • Bum cream
  • Earbuds
  • Glycerine
  • Baby powder
  • Vaseline
  • Colic drops
  • Gripe Water
  • Baby bottle, formula, sterilizer and bottle brush (for non breastfeeding moms and just in case breastfeeding doesn’t work out, which is relatively common)
  • Pacifier/Dummy
  • Face cloth
  • Bath towel
  • Receiving blanket
  • Wrap blanket
  • Romper
  • Vest
  • Socks
  • Beanie & mittens

For mommy:

  • Pj’s
  • Gown
  • Slippers
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth brush
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair brush
  • Hair bands
  • Towel
  • Disposable underwear
  • Sanitary towels
  • Phone and charger (for the flood of calls and messages that you might receive and let’s not forget photos!)
  • 2 point plug (for your phone charger)
  • In the case of a C-SECTION you may want to take linen savers for yourself.

Congratulations MOMMY! Your hospital bag is packed and you are now ready for the upcoming birth of your precious child.

What is/were your absolute, hospital bag must-have(s)?

Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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Quick ‘n Easy Lunchbox Snacks

Quick 'n Easy Lunchbox Snacks

Quick ‘n Easy Lunchbox Snacks for the whole family

Run out of ideas for you or your child’s lunchbox? Here are some delicious lunchtime (mini) meals and snack ideas, which are great for kids and adults alike, PLUS!  these Quick ‘n Easy Lunchbox Snacks are super quick and easy to prepare too.

Listed below are a few quick, easy and yummy lunchbox snack ideas (some healthier options than others, although we did attempt to keep a good balance).

 

Ham rolls or sliced viennas – Although not the most healthy option, this is a quick and easy snack that most kids love.

Muffins – A great source of fiber and yummy too. Choose bran or carrot muffins for a healthier option.

Scrambled egg croissant – Although more of a breakfast for most, scrambled egg on a fresh croissant is perfect for lunch too (it’s so delish that I would even eat it for dinner). Add sliced tomato and lettuce for a well balanced lunch. Eggs provide protein and tomatoes are filled with healthy nutrients.

Fresh fruit – Chop up some mango, apple, watermelon, sweet melon, kiwi or any other fruit that you and your child love, for a quick, easy and healthy snack. Combine a variety of your child’s favourite fruits, to create a colourful and tasty fruit salad.

Dried fruit – Not a favourite amongst all children but for those that don’t mind, dried fruit contains a rich source of minerals and protein and is also high in fiber. Dried fruit is more concentrated in sugar and calories than fresh fruit, so you may want to control portion sizes. Also be careful when buying sugar coated dried fruit.

Baked potato smiley’s – Bake in the oven and serve with your child’s favourite dip/sauce. Potatoes are a very good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C as well as other healthy nutrients.

Yoghurt – Add a small bottle of drinking yoghurt to your childs lunchbox for a tasty snack, which is satisfying enough to keep those hunger pangs away. Provides calcium and protein, is good for the colon, easy to digest and boosts immunity.

Chicken stuffed baked potato – Left overs from the last night? Remove the inside of half a (baked or boiled) potato with a tablespoon and fill with cubed or shredded chicken and cream cheese, for a delicious lunch time meal! Be sure to wrap it securely with foil or cling wrap so that the food doesn’t spill out into your child’s lunchbox.

Cheese – Cream crackers topped with cheese are just as yummy as bite sized blocks of cheese on its own. Cheese is a great source of calcium and promotes strong bones and teeth.

Biltong – Biltong is a great source of protein and low in carbohydrates. Not only is biltong oh so tasty and loved by most, but also makes for a healthy lunchbox snack. You could also cut up some droëwors into bite sized bits and enjoy 🙂

Raw vegetables – Carrot sticks (or baby carrots), cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes are perfect lunchbox fillers. Vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, providing great health benefits.

Avo with tuna filling – (This one is definitely my favourite). Cut an avocado pear in half, remove the pip and fill with canned tuna (tuna in salt water is a healthier option). Add a dollop of mayo for extra flavour. Tuna is full of omega-3 fatty acids and avocado provides calcium, vitamin C and K, folic acid, dietary fibers and other nutrients.

 

What are your favourite (quick ‘n easy) lunchbox snacks and meals?

 

See also: Unique Baby Shower Gift Ideas

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7 Cost Effective ‘Stay at Home’ Outdoor Activities

7 cost effective stay home Outdoor activities

7 Cost Effective Stay Home Outdoor Activities:

With this list of of 7 Cost Effective Stay Home Outdoor Activities, you can be sure that after all the Christmas and New Years festivities and back-to-school expenses, your empty wallet (and child) will thank you 😉

The sun is still shining, summer is not over yet and kids are still kids – their little bodies and minds still need stimulation.

So we’ve put together a fun list of Stay at Home Outdoor activities to keep your little ones occupied, in the comforts of your own home. This is sure to be fun for the whole family!

<strong>CONTINUE READING…</strong>

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Unique baby shower gift ideas

Unique baby shower gift ideas
Photo credit: Poplap Photography
Photo credit: Poplap Photography

40 Unique Baby Shower Gift Ideas:

Not too long ago I was invited to a very special lady’s baby shower, which had me rather excited. I just couldn’t wait to head out to the shops to buy a gift.

To my disarray,  I found myself completely lost before I had even started!

I had no idea what to buy for this special mom-to-be and her little bundle of joy. What I did know, was that I wanted something special, something unique, something personal, something that could be cherished for years to come and of course something fab for the special mom-to-be

Although I found some great stuff (some a bit overpriced, a few things right here at Comfy Kidz, some really great and a few not so appealing), none of them really fulfilled my expectations and still, not quite what I was looking for.

Along my search for a unique baby shower gift (and halfway through this blog post) I had a light-bulb moment… Mommy mall SA!

For those of you who don’t know, Mommy Mall is a virtual shopping mall filled with mom owned businesses. It’s a place where “mompreneurs” come together to network, collaborate and empower other mom’s into turning their small business into a success story. Mommy Mall is a community of mothers trying to do the very best for their families, or as the founder of Mommy Mall – Naomi Butow – would say: “helping to put a child through school”.

One rule of Mommy Mall, is that recommendations for products or services may only be directed toward other members (Mommy Maller’s) within the group. This is one of the rules that really stand out and has become somewhat of  a motto for me. So whenever I am in need of anything (and I mean anything) the first place I turn to is Mommy Mall! I’m not saying that this is the only place that I do my shopping, but its certainly the first place I will start!

With the help of all of the wonderful moms at Mommy Mall Cape Town I managed to compile a list of  40 awesome products and services to help YOU on your search for the perfect gift… AND I get to stick to my new motto (bonus)!

So here it goes – and in no particular order:

Products:

 

bubbling bundles

Milestone cards – find it here: Bubbling Bundles

tutu

New born TuTu – find it here: Tu-Tu’s For Little Angels

baby shower cake

Baby shower cake – find it here: Koek-A-Raasie

owl

Owl scatter cushion – find it here: Mamma Owl

Wooden Name Puzzle
Wooden Name Puzzle – available right here at Comfy Kidz

cloth nappy

Cloth nappies – find it here:  Luli&Co

baby grow

Baby romper/baby grow – find it here: Electro-netics Digital Art & Print

wall art

Wall art – find it here: The Sticker Studio

Snuggle Buddy Plush Ellie

Plush Elephant Pillow – available right here at Comfy Kidz

jewellery

Personalised jewellery (great for mom, dad and baby alike) – find it here:  Memory Jewellery

 

Memory cast kit – find it here: Tummies Maternity wear

 

Pod baby carrier – find it here: Pod Baby Carriers

 

Feeding Pillow – find it here: Tamsyn Fowler interiors

car seat cover

Car seat cover – find it here: BabaM

Assorted Farm Animals Night Lights

Personalised Night Light – available right here at Comfy Kidz

Pickalilly Products (149) 

Feeding cover – find it here: Pickalily

 

Ready-to-go hospital bag bundle filled with all the essentials – find it here: Baby Bot

 

Unique toy – find it here: Helderberg Toys

massage_bar 

Revitalising body products for mom-to-be – find it here: Shabby Rose

 

Story book – find it here: Acorn Kidz

Pram & Stroller Liner  

Pram/stroller liner – find it here: Crazy 4 Baby

Blue chevron with orange sheep padded 

Baby carrier blankie with handles – find it here: Lalaba

crocheted mobile

Crocheted baby mobile – find it here: Crochet with Love

nursery decor

Nursery decor – find it here: Simply Jane

Pram Storage Caddy

Pram Storage Caddy – available right here at Comfy Kidz

 

Medical aid kit – find it here: Kids Medi Kit

wooden teether

Handmade wooden toy or teether – find it here: Small School Love

Blue Bunny Gift Box 

Baby gift box – find it here: Oh Divine!

Gift hamper

Gift hamper for mom and baby – find it here: Gifts from the Valley

wooden bib teether

Wooden teether and bib set – find it here: Die Kinderen

Bandana-Bib-Cover_1024x1024

Bandana bib – find it here: Baba M

letter lights

Decorative letter lights –  find it here: Imaginate Decor

taglet blankie

Taglet blankie – find it here: Hawa

Pram Pegs - Pram Clips

Pram Pegs – available right here at Comfy Kidz

barefoot sandals

Barefoot sandals – made to order – find it here: By Me

 

Services/vouchers:

Voucher for a Newborn photo shoot with Poplap Photography

annique spa

Mani or pedi from the comforts of home from Aneeqah Mobile Beauty Therapy

henna tattoo

Henna tattoo (which we think is awesome for a pregnancy shoot) by Henna Tattoo

A memorable and professionally coordinated baby shower by Lucky Baby

pamper party

Pamper party at home with The Mobile Pamper Party

 

And there you have it… 40 unique baby shower gift ideas for mom-to-be and her precious little bundle of joy on the way… HAPPY SHOPPING!

Please feel free to share some of your own unique ideas with us.

Did you know? Baby showers are in fact centuries old and were celebrated amongst the ancient Egyptians as well as the Greeks. Traditionally, baby showers were given only for the family’s first child, and only women were invited. Modern day baby showers only started after WWII during the baby boom era – baby shower attendants would provide the mother-to-be with material goods which helped to lessen the financial burden of infant care.. It seems not too much has changed since then.

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Potty training tips

Potty, Training

Potty training tips for you and your child

Potty training tips for you and your child – potty training is a huge milestone for both child and parents, and getting it right takes patience and perseverance.

Most parents ask the same question: “when is the right time to start potty-training?” Although many kids begin potty training from between the ages of two and three years old, all children are different. The emotional readiness of your child, will determine whether or not he/she is ready to begin potty training. Boys also tend to start potty training later than girls.

If your child’s nappy stays dry for more than two hours in a day, can sit on or rise from a potty chair or communicates with you in some way that he/she needs to go, then he/she may be ready. Also pay attention to your child’s interest in using the toilet or potty. How well they can understand and follow basic directions is an important factor to consider before starting to potty train.

Try to ensure that your child becomes aware of the potty and its purpose, before you start teaching him/her to potty train. Filling the potty with the contents of a dirty nappy will teach them that poop belongs in the toilet. Allowing your child to see a family member using the toilet whilst explaining its purpose could help them to understand better – kids learn best by following their parents actions.

Now that you have made the decision to start potty training your child, here are some tips to help you along the way:

  • Have a potty (or urinal for a boy) readily available for your child. Encourage him/her to sit on the potty – with or without a nappy.
  • Consistency is key! Make sure that you let your child’s school know that your he/she is potty training so that they can continue the training at school.
  • Even if your child just sits there, praise him/her for trying.
  • Any sign of your child needing the toilet, requires a quick response. When you notice him/her squatting or squirming, stop what you are doing and respond.
  • Teach girls to wipe carefully from front to back to avoid the spread of germs.
  • Allow your child to flush, this makes it fun for them and teaches them good hygiene habits. Don’t forget to make sure they wash their little hands afterwards too.
  • Be positive even if a trip to the toilet isn’t successful.
  • Once your child has used the toilet a few times successfully, it’s time for training nappies (pull-ups) or underwear. Dress your child in clothing that is easy to lift up or pull down (avoid belts or dungarees).
  • Use disposable training nappies during the night and consider using a mattress cover in case of accidents during sleep time.
  • Night time potty training takes longer, so don’t rush your child into mastering it as quick as with day time potty training.
  • If your child is not getting the hang of potty training within a few weeks, don’t pressure them. Rather take a week or two break and then try again.
  • Last but not least, accidents are bound to happen – don’t get upset when your child has an “oopsie”.

Good luck with the potty training process and congratulations to you and your little one, for reaching an exciting new milestone.

What worked for you when potty training? Leave us your comments and help other moms to reach this exciting milestone!

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How Comfy Kidz Began

Bean Bag shoeHow Comfy Kidz began

There is a ‘young’ aunty who sells bean bag shoes.

She had so many nieces and nephews, she didn’t know what to do.

Christmas shopping became scary, and for the many birthdays too.

Aunty Kat grew tired and weary, of waiting in long queues,

And seeing the same things in every store,

The same brands, same linen, toys and décor.

Her patience grew thin and finding time was an issue.

So she started an online business, selling bean bag shoes.

And bean bag sharks! I kid you not!

Plus soccer balls and armchairs, and that’s just the start!

She realised, hang on! This isn’t enough!

Mommies and monkeys need plenty more stuff.

Like duvets and cushions and other stuff too,

Now her product range is growing, and will continue to.

So do visit again soon, to see what more new

And don’t forget to share Comfy Kidz shop with all your crew 🙂

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