Archive of ‘Babies’ category
Newborn Baby, and The Sleepy Mommy
Many new parents today have asked themselves at some point, why didn’t anyone tell me about the challenges of being a new parent? Don’t get me wrong, being a new parent is one of the greatest gifts that anyone can receive. Your life is filled with joyous moments from the very moment that you lay your eyes on your newborn, however, without the proper support system in place, you may not be able to enjoy each of those loving moments as much as you’d like.
The number one thing that I wish someone had warned me about, and not just with a casual comment, but really sitting me down to advise me, and help me create a plan to combat sleep deprivation. In the first few months if there is not a real plan of support in place, every new parent will experience some form or another of sleep deprivation. While our work culture and society is evolving allowing fathers too to take paternal leave, the tradition has been and in many cases still is for the mother to take maternity leave after giving birth up to several weeks/months thereafter, if you are working for a company that values work/life balance and has sensible benefits plans for employees. In this scenario, the new father will often times need to return back to work shortly after the arrival of new baby. With that being said, dad will need a full nights rest to be effective the next day for work, resulting in realistically only being able to help with feedings during the night on weekends. Where does that leave the average new mother? She is forced to awaken every couple of hours each night to feed, burp, change, and lull her newborn back to sleep, all the while, breaking her sleep, resulting in being forced to operate on significantly less sleep hours as prior to giving birth.
There are those new parents whom are lucky enough to have grandma, or a sister, sister in law, cousin who lives nearby, or able to fly in during the first couple of weeks after giving birth, but let’s face it, as much as grandma loves being around her new grandchild and helping her daughter/son in getting acclimated with being new parents, she too has a life back at home, husband, may work herself, etc. preventing her from being able to stay but a short stint.
Metro Parent Relief’s Newborn Night Nannies can help pick up where grandma had to leave off, or can be your support right from the start. Our night nannies are usually mothers or grandmothers themselves, providing that personal experience, in combination with professional private nanny experience spanning over years of extensive newborn care making their capabilities in being the next best thing to mom, endless. Metro Parent Relief night nannies have helped over 300 Washington DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland area families over the past years, and consider their services to not be just a job, but a passion. Our clients have raved on our website in testimonials, on our face book page, on yelp and elsewhere about how thankful they are in having the newborn support in place from Metro Parent Relief once their newborn arrived. Not only does a full night of sleep either all seven nights, or even just a night or two during the week help to promote faster recuperation for new moms, but it allows both the new mother and father to truly tap into, and enjoy the loving moments of being new parents without feeling sleep deprived or stressed.
If you, or anyone that you know is expecting a newborn in the area, and does not have a plan of action in place, refer them to call us at 202-520-5322 to learn how we can help!
POST PARTUM DEPRESSION– Can Effect New Moms Up to 1 Year After Giving Birth!
What is post partum depression, or PPD exactly? Did you know that 1 in 8 women experience post partum depression after giving birth, whether it’s after the first, second, third, or even fourth child, it can happen to anyone. There is some talk amongst the medical community about post partum depression, or what is also known as the “baby blues”. However, the medical community, new parents support groups, family members, friends, co-workers, a community as a whole has in my opinion not given this condition enough attention, and addressed it with all pregnant women, so that they will know there is a chance of occurrence, and if so they should be educated, able to identify the signs, and have the ability to give positive advise for a new mom who may be experiencing ppd.
Experts agree that there are no specific reasons, but rather a combination of new things occurring after giving birth that can cause ppd. The most common reasons include a combination of psychological, biochemical, hormonal, environmental, and genetic factors that can bring the onset of ppd. There are many imbalances that can bring this on, and having the ability to identify the symptoms and openly discuss with supporters around you is detrimental to overcoming the depression. Surrounding yourself with supportive people, and absorbing the tremendous amount of information out there to educate yourself, and those around you is the most important thing to do when all or some of the following symptoms arise, again up to one year after giving birth.
- Irritability or hypersensitivity
- Difficulty concentrating
- Anxiety and worry
- Crying or tearfulness
- Negative feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, or guilt
- Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy
- Difficulty sleeping (especially returning to sleep)
- Fatigue or exhaustion
- Changes in appetite or eating habits
- Headaches, stomachaches, muscle or backaches
Examining the above symptoms, and comparing what you, or your loved ones may be experiencing is important. Many times women who have PPD don’t see the signs themselves, and need those whom surround them on a regular basis who may have witnessed these emotions, such as a spouse, family member or friend, to bring it to their attention.
PPD is no longer a taboo of such, where women should feel afraid, or embarrassed to discuss. There are a tremendous amount of resources and support groups that can help you identify, and treat the condition. The positive in this is that PPD is a short term, temporary condition. Most women will experience the onset of it from as early as two weeks to up to one year of giving birth.
Below are several resources available in the Washington, DC area, which can be of assistance in finding the right treatment and/or programs for you.
There are many others, so please research and explore the options, most importantly, take advantage of these programs. Such symptoms if left untreated, could lead to more severe problems.
Please note that we acknowledge that we are not providing medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice, merely providing resources for the public’s use.
I received a call from a potential client family this week inquiring about Metro Parent Relief’s services
and how we can help. The mother of two young children explained that she is seeking nanny services
as her husband is on a 6 month tour with our military and she can not afford to miss work for
daycare and school closings, unexpected illnesses, and could also use some help with
busy evening and weekends. With no family in the area, it get’s tough to manage it all by yourself.
After we hung up, our conversation awakened and encouraged me to think of strategic ways in which
we could go above and beyond to help families such as hers.
This Veteran’s Day, we want to THANK our troops that serve, both men and women of our military carry
a tremendous burden to serve our country and help keep our families safe, all the while leaving their
own families behind. I started to think that we could give back by giving to a fund which could help
to off set the costs of back up childcare, overnight newborn nanny services, and more to our families
that are separated during these precious times with young children.
If you, or anyone that you know wants to donate to our Military Family Support Fund, please contact us.
There is no amount too small. As a collaborate group we can alleviate and off set the financial burden
to families that call in with such situations and give them the peace of mind that they too deserve.
You can reach us at 202-520-5322 to donate. Happy 2015 Veteran’s Day!
As I constantly get new parent calls with concerns with their babies sleep habits, I decided to do a little research to find out if there is anything new out there that is recommended. Unfortunately, my findings were conclusive that while scientist, pediatricians, and the like are always looking for sleep solutions and more importantly, the “one sleep solution” that will work for every child, the answer is there is none. Consistency is key, as I tell all of our Metro Parent Relief parents. Consistency in which ever method you choose to be the best for your family is the number one common denominator in any technique actually working. While many of us are so exhausted by the time we realize that there actually is a problem with our child’s sleep habits the next factor becomes our own ability to think clearly and make good decisions. Both of which are highly unlikely at 2 am when you have to rise and shine at 5 am to prepare for your busy work day. Many in our time are what I like to call Super Moms. We have all aspects of our home, work, and life completely covered and are reluctant to reach out for help. We often have family that can help initially and sometimes do not, but feel for some strange reason that we can cover everything by ourselves. We become sleep deprived, moody, use poor judgement, and believe it or not our weight is affected. Research shows that parents that are sleep deprived gain unwanted weight, and have other health related issues over time.
With this being said, I’d like to highlight valuable information from a recent article on Baby Center. It highlights what we all have heard many times the most common sleep training methods, but again, insists that they key to being successful is consistency. Should you feel overwhelmed, unable to enforce any of the following methods, and need professional help in incorporating, there are agencies such as Metro Parent Relief that have skilled, experienced, qualified night nannies that have utilized sleep training techniques, many of which are below and have been extremely successful within a short amount of time. Many believe that our night nannies are just natural, “baby whisperers”, others feel that just having baby see, smell, and feel a different touch not belonging to mom and/or dad can help with the sleep training process and introducing healthy sleep habits. However, if you are up to the challenge yourself, try a few of the suggested methods below. We encourage that you do additional research to fully understand the steps prior to beginning the training, and keep a log of each night in which you implement the training, times, babies reactions, changes in habits, what worked, and what did not. Analyze the log each day to become familiar with the steps and procedures that are being most effective.
Please share with others within the Metro Parent Relief community your successes, suggestions, and ideas. We’d love to know how these suggested solutions have worked for you and your family with sleep training your baby. However, remember that should you wish to enlist additional help, Metro Parent Relief experts are just a call away.
Five sleep solutions that work (From Baby Center 2014)
The review put these five sleep-training techniques to the test:
The full “cry it out” method. You let your baby cry herself to sleep without comforting her (also known as the extinction method).
The modified “cry it out” method. You let your baby cry but reassure her at regular intervals (also known as graduated extinction).
Soothing bedtime routines. You establish routines that help your baby wind down, then turn out the lights and don’t respond to any crying.
Parent education. Before your baby arrives or right after, you learn about infant sleep and how to help your baby establish healthy sleep habits, such as putting her to bed sleepy but awake.
Scheduled awakenings. This rarely used tactic involves waking your baby before she would normally get up on her own. The awakenings get fewer and further between as you progress, until finally they’re phased out altogether.
Source: Baby Center, by Julia Bourland, http://www.babycenter.com/0_big-story-new-sleep-training-guidance-for-tired-parents_1524201.bc
I found this on Pinterest from CreativeWithKids.com and it was too good not to share.
Tell to your child:
1. I love you.
2. love you no matter what.
3. I love you even when you are angry at me.
4. I love you even when I am angry with you.
5. I love you when you are far way. My love for you can reach you wherever you are.
6. If I could pick any 4 year old (5 year old, 6 year old…) in the whole wide world, I’d pick you.
7. I love you to the moon and then around the stars and back again.
8. Thank you.
9. I enjoyed playing with you today.
10. My favorite part of the day was when I was with you and we were _______.
11. The story of their birth or adoption.
12. About how you cuddled them when they were a baby.
13. The story of how you chose their name.
14. A story about yourself when you were their age.
15. A story about how their grandparents met.
16. What your favorite color is.
17. That sometimes you struggle too.
18. That when you’re holding hands and you give three squeezes, it’s a secret code that means, “I love you”.
19. What the plan is.
20. What you’re doing right now.
21. Freeze Tag
23. Crazy 8s
24. Gin Rummy
26. Go Fish
27. I Spy- especially when you’re tired of driving and feel snappish
29. To catch their kiss and put it on your cheek.
30. That their tickle tank is empty and you have to fill it.
31. That their high five is so powerful it nearly knocks you over.
32. That you are super ticklish.
33. That you are explorers in the amazing new world of your backyard.
34. That it’s party day! Decorate for no reason!
35. To get enough sleep.
36. To drink enough water.
37. To eat decent food.
38. Wearing earrings, or whatever makes you feel pretty.
39. Calling a friend the next time you feel like you are about to lose it with the kids.
40. Giving a gentle touch to show approval, rather than saying something.
41. Dancing in the kitchen.
42. To get your kids to bop to the music with you in the car.
43. Showing your kids that you can do a somersault or handstand or a cartwheel.
44. Keeping that sigh to yourself. Just jump in and help clean up cheerfully.
45. Using a kind voice, even if you have to fake it.
46. A book of silly poems.
47. A book and then act it out. (Like “I’m going on a Bear Hunt”)
48. Your favorite childhood book to them.
49. When the afternoon is starting to go astray.
50. Outside under a tree.
51. In the library kids corner.
52. The comic book they love that you’re not so hot on.
53. About age appropriate behavior so you can keep your expectations realistic.
54. To your child in the car.
55. To that Lego description, and think how important it is to your child.
56. For that question that indicates your child really needs your input.
57. One second longer than you think you have patience for.
58. For the feelings behind your child’s words.
59. Why do you think that happens?
60. What do you think would happen if______?
61. How shall we find out?
62. What are you thinking about?
63. What was your favorite part of the day?
64. What do you think this tastes like?
65. Your child how to do something instead of banning them from it.
66. How to whistle with a blade of grass.
67. How to shuffle cards- make a bridge if you can!
68. How to cut food.
69. How to fold laundry.
70. How to look up information when you don’t know the answer.
71. Affection to your spouse.
72. That taking care of yourself is important.
73. To watch construction sites.
74. To look at the birds.
75. To allow your child to help you dump ingredients in the bowl.
76. To walk places together.
77. To dig in the dirt together.
78. To do a task at your child’s pace.
79. To just sit with you child while they play.
80. That your child is capable.
81. That you are the right parent for your child.
82. That you are enough.
83. That you can do what is right for your family.
Delight your child:
84. Clean your child’s room as a surprise.
85. Put chocolate chips in the pancakes.
86. Put a love note in their lunch.
87. Make their snack into a smile face shape.
88. Make sounds effects while you help them do something.
89. Sit on the floor with them to play.
90. Of the guilt.
91. Of how you thought it was going to be.
92. Of your need to be right.
93. A look with Kind Eyes to your child.
94. A smile when your child walks into the room.
95. A kind touch back when your child touches you.
96. The chance to connect before you correct so that your child can actually hear your words.
97. Your child a chance to work out their frustrations before helping them.
98. A bath when the day feels long.
99. A hug.
100. You get to choose the next one! What is your favorite way to be kind to your child?
5 Steps to Planning a Toddler Halloween Party
When my toddler came to me and asked for a Halloween party, I must admit I was a bit shocked. Over the years I have had my share of hosting Halloween parties, but if memory serves me correctly, that began with my teen around 1st or 2nd grade, not as a toddler.
So I quickly put myself into party planning mode, and began with a list of To Do’s. I wanted to share my list with others that may have signed up to host the party for the little ones for the first time. I am hoping that with the steps to take, list of items needed, along with a few healthy, yet simple fun finger foods, you can pull it off as a successful event for your neighborhood.
Step 1– List of Invitees be sure to think of a couple of parents that would be willing to stay around to help make the party a hit. If your child is anything like my child, she doesn’t always get along with all of the children in her playgroup, so you need to give careful thought into the children that she actually can get along with and have a good time, without unnecessary disagreements, and fits. I have expanded my resource list given the compatibility feature to her playgroup, the neighborhood, friends at the gym, church group friends, and family. Out of all of the group, I was able to come up with twelve girls and boys that I trust she will have a great time with, and parents that I will be able to count on to help things go smoothly. Have fun with it, and fun with sending out the invites.
Step 2– Fun Finger Foods– At every party, particularly a toddler party what’s on the menu is a major priority. Think of fun, creative, healthy treats to serve the children during the party, and decide what times the treats will be brought out. Take into account that some children may have food allergies, so be sure to contact via phone or email the parents of each child attending to inquire about any allergies. I think it is also very important to ask the parents to bring a snack of choice for the children, something that their child enjoys, in keeping the Halloween idea in mind. Here are a few healthy ideas http://spoonful.com/halloween/best-halloween-recipes-gallery. Try delegating a role for each parent to assist with; your job becomes a little easier. Of course I would not expect to have all twelve families bring a snack; however, I would divide the attendee list, and ask some to be in charge of games, supplies, party gift bags, invitations, etc.
Step 3– Costumes, Games & Stories– Start the party by introducing each child by name, and what they have come up with for their costume. Children love to have recognition of their costume that they’ve chosen, even if it’s the 10th idea since the beginning of fall. In addition, there are so many Halloween games that toddlers will enjoy. Think of both indoor and outdoor games that will keep the crowd engaged. Here is a quick link with wonderful game ideas for this age group. http://familycrafts.about.com/od/halloweengames/ss/Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Cat-Printable-Halloween-Party-Game.htm & http://spoonful.com/halloween/halloween-games Pick a few and have fun with it. It is also a great tradition to have the children circle around an adult after the games are over, dimming the lights, and telling spooky, yet fun stories. Ask the parents attending of any particular Halloween books that their child might enjoy, and introduce the book as such. For example, this book is one of Todd’s favorite Halloween stories. This will help to ease any anxiety or jitters amongst the group, knowing that one of them really enjoys this book.
Step 4– Music- Choosing the right music is important too. Toddlers enjoy happy music, and surprisingly can learn the words to riddles and songs easily. Here is a quick link to most popular Halloween tunes for toddlers http://www.live365.com/stations/kiddfellas. Again, we want to keep in the “spooky, gobbling, ghostly” tradition, but in a fun way.
Step 5– Have Fun! Mom and Dad enjoy the time with your child as well. My group enjoys letting the little ones have a great time with the party starting just a couple of hours prior to Trick or Treating, and going as a group. There are also some really creative Halloween spirits that parents can enjoy as well, here is a quick link for ideas http://www.hgtv.com/entertaining/13-to-die-for-halloween-cocktails/pictures/index.html.
Metro Parent Relief wishes you and your family have a Happy and Safe Halloween!
Balancing work and motherhood, does anyone really think they do it well? Is it even possible to truly balance it all? Children’s musician Laurie Berkner recently wrote a song about what it means to her. As I read the lyrics, I found myself laughing out loud and nodding in agreement with so much of it. I appreciate her putting this out there for other parents like me to relate to.
I love how Laurie is so honest in her admission that she doubts herself and feels a lot of guilt. It’s refreshing when someone openly talks about these things since it seems like a lot of moms feel that they need to appear outwardly like they have it all together. This perpetuates the idea that we can and should be all things to all people, all of the time. It would be nice if we could let go of some of the self-doubt. Are we as moms just programmed to feel guilty and to constantly second-guess ourselves?
I share in her appreciation of those sweet moments where I’m snuggling my child on the couch and soaking her in but then my mind inevitably wanders to back to my ever-present list of things to do. I can relate to the feelings of never being able to get anywhere on time (literally never), always rushing around and just when I feel like I’ve got things under control, everything changes. Laurie does an amazing job of succinctly summing it all up.
As soon as we become parents, the clichés start to all make sense; time flies, children grow up way too fast. Most moms I know admit that their lives are a frenzy and they feel stressed a lot of the time but they also say that they wouldn’t change it for anything. So we take comfort in knowing that we’re all struggling with similar issues and feelings and it’s nice to know that we’re not alone. I may always be late, always feel rushed, and am always up past 11, trying to get “just one more thing” done but I know I’m not the only one.
Balancing Work and Motherhood
The journalist asks me, “How do you do it?”
My answer is “Not very well.”
Each day is different
And when I think I’ve found a rhythm
All the plans I’ve devised
And so carefully scheduled
Get all shot to hell.
So I’ll take a taxi,
‘Cause I might get there faster
But the subway would cost me much less. . .
Ugh, the trains are delayed!
Now what if there’s traffic?
Either way, half my days
Are spent out of breath
Running from one thing
Late to another
Looked away for two minutes, and now there’s a line!
Forgot to bring lunch again
(Mine, not hers)
Slow down, slow down
I’ll get there
Just not on time.
Talking with Brian
And planning for sitters
Who’s home today,
You or me?
That feeling of panic
That hits when I think,
“I forgot to make sure she was free.”
All my years of therapy
And yet I still cling
To the guilt I feel when I’m not there.
It’s such a cliché but I find myself thinking,
“I wish I’d been born as a pair.”
In some ways it’s easier now than it was
Lucy’s used to me coming and going.
She’s older, has friends, even tells me
“Get out Mom!” but each time it’s hard for me
That I’ll miss some of what she was feeling that day
And I’ll miss hanging out with her too.
Time moves so fast (oy, another cliché!)
And there’s only so much I can do.
I run my own business.
I’m both artist and boss,
But pretend I’m a mom who stays home.
Then I’m gone on the weekends
Or when we’re together
Spend less time with her than my phone.
So I accept from a colleague
A derisive laugh when I say,
“Sorry, I can’t make it then.”
Because I’m picking her up,
There’s a potluck, class play
Or perhaps there’s just no school… again.
And I get to spend time with her
We read on the couch
Her body all snuggled with mine.
I breathe her in deeply
So I won’t forget
Just how good that feels
(Then I notice that I have a pile of new messages and texts and I haven’t made dinner or taken
the dog out. When did it get to be 6:30 p.m.? When did she turn 8 years old?)
So I stay up too late
Doing work, sending email
I’m addicted to “just one more thing…”
I haven’t yet found
A different way, a better way
Or just a way
To fit everything in
I spent all that time getting ready for birth
And I think of my good friend, who said,
“Remember Laurie, this is just the curtain rising,
The real show is what lies ahead.”
Ok, so there’s no rehearsal for life
(But I’d hoped as a parent things that I’ve learned would help)
And they certainly sometimes do.
Yet often I catch myself being the child,
‘Cause I still want to be mothered too.
-Lyrics by Laurie Berkner
Check out the FREE MOBILE APP at http://laurieberkner.com/
source: Working Mother Magazine http://www.workingmother.com/best-companies/2014-best-companies-multicultural-women
Check out additional support systems like a nanny or sitter, Metro Parent Relief offers assistance to parents whenever you need us!
5 Top Reasons to Hire a Nanny or Babysitter
Like most mother’s we are desperately in need of additional assistance when it comes to the daily care of our newborns, infants, toddlers, and older children. Whether you are a working mom, or a stay at home mom, the demands are non-.stop, and we are the core of our households. Our children, along with spouses depend on us as mother’s to ensure that meals are prepared, or at least picked up, laundry is done, the babies and children have different needs throughout the day, and sometimes things can become overwhelming and crazy.
With that said, there is help out there. The obstacle is in trusting an otherwise stranger to enter your home and get to know your family. That in and of itself can be a challenge for most mothers. First time moms are especially in need of additional help but often either embarrassed, or to proud to ask. Other reasons such as not knowing where to start can complicate the situation.
Below are 5 Good Reasons to Hire a Nanny/Babysitter. I am hoping that in focusing on the benefits and the positive aspects of hiring a nanny or babysitter, mothers who are in need of an extra set of hands for overnight newborn help, sleep training, temporary nannies for the summer, full time permanent nannies, a babysitter for a date night once a month with hubby or even just to have someone help on the weekend for a few hours while you get out. The list below can go a long way in helping a mom be mentally, emotionally, and physically in better health.
1- Sleep Deprivation is real. This is the number one common complaint of new mothers. New mothers are suffering from lack of appropriate sleep which can lead to altered moods, anxiety disorders, indecisiveness, unable to think clearly, unhealthy eating, weight gain, and stress. Sleep is detrimental to our well being, so if you do not get adequate sleep, you are risking your overall health. Consider hiring a night nanny to care for your newborn while you get uninterrupted sleep and recuperate at a faster rate. Once the baby is ready to sleep through the night, many night nannies can offer successful sleep training for the baby as well!
2- Sibling Introduction can be easy the first few days, but can quickly turn into a very sensitive situation with the older sibling(s). Once they notice the attention the new baby demands, jealousy can start to occur. If you have a toddler, you know that they are very sensitive to their surroundings, and are in their most important developmental years. Having enough quality time for the older child(ren) when a new baby is introduced is critical. Hire a nanny or babysitter to come in to your home a couple to few days per week for a while gives you that opportunity to spend quality time with the older child, have a mommy and me day, while the nanny/sitter can care for your newborn.
3- Jack of All Trades is what we as busy moms feel that we are often times. We are required to work inside, and/or outside of the home at times, while our older children are gaining their own identity and social lives. There are many things that happen during working hours, and/or right after work such as sports, activities, ballet, dance, tutoring, and more that we want our children to be a part of regardless of our overworked society. In efforts to not feel stretched too thin, sometimes hiring a part time nanny, or summer nanny, can be the answer you need. This will allow you to accomplish many things, and not leave yourself feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. While our lives are increasingly busy, having another set of hands to help juggle day to day life is becoming more and more popular.
4- Staying Connected with your spouse can also be challenging when running a family. Dad is stretched as well with working long hours, having projects and travel demands. Often times at the end of the day, we end up falling asleep with an open book on our chests and the television watching us. Keeping the fire burning and spicing up our love life becomes even more difficult to accomplish. Prioritizing and scheduling, yes, scheduling date nights, even if just once a week, will help you and dad stay connected. Getting away from your every day environment, having uninterrupted time to be alone is worth every penny of hiring a babysitter to work with your family on a regular basis.
5- Give Yourself, Me Time is one of the most important reasons to hire a nanny or babysitter. We as women naturally put ourselves last on the priority list because we have so many depending on us. Scheduling a weekend morning or early afternoon once in a while to go to the beauty salon, or have your nails done, get a massage, go to the gym, take a yoga class, or even just grocery shopping alone can be a wonderful way to focus on you and your inner self. There is an old saying “happy wife, happy life”. I couldn’t agree more!
If you or someone you know can benefit from having a nanny or babysitter to assist, please feel free to contact us at Metro Parent Relief! We are always here to help!
We all know that one-on-one time with your partner is important to keeping your relationship happy and healthy, but it can be tough to come up with new, creative ideas for dates. Here are some simple, low-key date ideas that are certain to keep the spark alive.
1. Too exhausted by 9pm to think about going out for the evening? How about a brunch or lunch date? You’ll save money too; lunch menus prices are usually lower than dinner. Try Indigo Landing in Alexandria where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Potomac and DC skyline while you sip a Bellini made with house made strawberry puree.
2. Errands. We realize this doesn’t sound like the most romantic date, but once you have children you can really appreciate how lovely it is to get errands done by yourself. You and your partner can talk and spend time together while you check things off of your to-do list.
3. Perils of the Lost Jungle Mini Golf at Woody’s in Herndon. This place gets rave reviews for its adventure-themed course and was rated one of the top 5 mini golf courses in the country by Newsweek Magazine.
4. Bowling. Enjoy some friendly (and flirty) competition in an old school date night kind of way.
5. Take a walk in a park. Bring a blanket and a cooler and relax outdoors; you may even fall asleep. New parents, doesn’t that sound amazing?
6. Couples massage. Not too expensive, very intimate, loving, and shows appreciation. Not to mention a true stress and tension reliever. Red Door Spas throughout the area, and also Massage Envy are all offering Father’s Day specials!
Why not let Metro Parent Relief send a nanny or sitter so you may enjoy some well-deserved couple time?
Keeping a photographic record of your baby’s growth is invaluable, but can easily fall by the wayside in the early months. A lot of us take weekly or monthly photos of our pregnant bellies so that we can document the growth of our ever-expanding midsections and developing babies. Once baby is born, creativity often takes a backseat to diapers, burp cloths and 2am feedings. Here are some fun tips and ideas for documenting your baby’s growth that, with a little bit of planning, are fairly simple to do.
1. We love the idea of photographing your child in the exact same setting each month. By keeping the background constant in these photos, you can really see your child’s transformation from a baby into a toddler. Choose a setting that’s easy to recreate each month, the same chair or on the same rug. Then, pick an outfit that you can buy in multiple sizes, like a plain-colored onesie or t-shirt. Including a stuffed animal is a great way to add scale to the photo and it’s also something fun for your baby to hold while you take pictures.
2. Another unique idea we adore is using a Stendig wall calendar as a background for your photos. This 36×48 calendar is a stark, neutral background that dates your pictures while allowing your little one to shine.
3. Write your baby’s age on a small chalkboard or whiteboard and include it in your photos.
4. Use balloons to show your baby’s age. Adding a balloon each month makes for more and more adorable photos as the year goes on.
5. Spell out your child’s age with alphabet blocks (you can include his name and milestones too) on a white blanket or sheet. Lie or sit your baby next to them and take pictures quickly before she starts to play with your backdrop.
6. Monthly onesie stickers are really simple and easy to use and are a perfect way to document your baby’s first 12 months. There are so many designs and colors to choose from, simply stick these on a onesie and snap away.
For the best results, commit to a schedule (be realistic) and stick to it! Be consistent. Take many more photos than you think you’ll need. Enjoy the process, and have fun!
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