Disaster and Emergency Prep for Families

disaster prep kits for familiesFew places in this world are safe from the kind of disasters that Mother Nature likes to throw at us. There are hurricanes and tropical storms. There are earthquakes. There are tornadoes and flash floods. Before kids, safety in these kind of emergencies was mostly common sense. You go to the most sheltered place and ride it out. No big deal.

When you have kids, the whole disaster paradigm changes. Your previous emergency kit (which was probably a bottle of water, a flashlight, and two twinkies) isn’t going to cut it any longer. Here are some of the things that you (adults) will tolerate, that your little ones probably won’t take well:

  • Waking up in the middle of the night, which is when most natural disasters seem to strike
  • Spending a lot of time in the dark, and the quiet.
  • Staying entertained without TV, movies, or internet
  • Living on bottled water and canned food.

Let’s be honest: the safest room in your house — low to the ground, away from windows — is probably some kind of storage area. Maybe it’s a basement or finished lower level or extra bedroom. It’s probably not the play room, heck, it’s probably not even babyproofed! It’s time to talk about a basic disaster and emergency prep kit for families.

Home Emergency Kit

Last year, after several close calls with tornadoes and other weather events, we finally buckled down and assembled a serious emergency kit. It’s in a 10-gallon clear rubber tote, and we keep it in our bomb shelter. That way it’s easy to find, and we can also find what we need in it without too much trouble. So what things do you need in a disaster?

For the Adults

Preparing for an emergency is not really rocket science. Just picture yourself living in a small, dark, cramped space, and make sure you pack the following:

  • Water. We stocked bottled water, which seems more portable and easier to dole out as needed. It’s also useful for pouring, in the event that you’re mixing baby formula or cereal in the dark.
  • Food. Non-perishable food items keep best, obviously. We’ve stocked things like granola bars, sealed snack-sized bags of chips/crackers, etc. For a longer haul, we also packed some canned goods, a stainless-steel container, and utensils.
  • Light and warmth. A butane lighter (or waterproof matches), candles, and an emergency blanket all take up a tiny amount of space, but provide a lot of comfort when the power goes out.
  • Tools. What if something breaks, or the door gets jammed? A couple of screwdrivers, pliers, a saw (a wire saw is especially compact) and a utility knife are good additions to the kit.

For the Kids

Rule of thumb: take the amount of stuff you have for yourself, double or triple it, and that’s the amount you’ll need for your kids. This applies anywhere, even in the emergency kit. For those little ones, be sure to pack:

  • Formula or cereal, if they’re still eating it. In airtight containers, with smaller containers or bowls (and spoons) for mixing. Yes, you’re essentially writing this stuff off because it’ll expire eventually, but if you end up taking shelter, you’ll be glad for it!
  • Pacifiers or soothers, to help keep the baby calm even if there’s noise or commotion
  • A little blanket and stuffed animal, because most basements/storage rooms have nothing but hard surfaces
  • Heavy socks. Your baby probably sleeps without socks, and he or she might need something protective when crawling/toddling around. Shoes they’ll outgrow too quickly, but heavy socks last longer and provide those tootsies some warmth, too.
  • A few small but entertaining toys. Imagine keeping your kids occupied with no electricity, cell service, or anything. That’s a tall order, isn’t it? Stashing a few toys now will save you from having to let them play with, say, the screwdriver instead. Because that’s just not going to end well.

Communication: Crank Weather Radio


Midland emergency Radio

If you’ve dragged the kids down into the basement or bomb shelter, you can assume things are pretty bad out there. You’ll probably want to know what’s going on, but what if the power’s out? A weather radio is a good choice here: it picks up the NOAA live weather broadcasts, which run on a loop and are updated constantly.

Battery-operated is OK, but I like the weather radios that can be powered by manual crank as well, like the Midland Emergency Crank Radio. It has AM/FM bands, weather bands, and a built-in flashlight. They can be powered with the A/C adapter (included) or by manual dynamo crank.

The First-Aid Kit

Homemade first aid kit

First Aid Kit (credit: Sarah with an H)

Your emergency kit should have medical supplies, too. You can buy first aid kits anywhere, but I don’t like those ready-made jobs and here’s why: they sell it as a 120-piece kit or 240-piece kit, but 100 of those “pieces” are tiny band-aids. That’s ridiculous. Sure, we use band-aids quite a bit, but they’re also not going to treat more than a boo-boo. Get a nice airtight/waterproof case or tackle box, and stock it with:

  • Hand sanitizer, for whoever is going to play doctor when someone gets hurt.
  • First aid spray (i.e. Bactrim) or hydrogen peroxide spray, for sanitizing things.
  • Ace bandages, tape, and a good pair of scissors
  • Diaper rash cream, antibiotic ointment, and burn cream
  • Teething gel, if your little one hasn’t gotten the two year molars yet
  • Band-aids in various sizes
  • Cottonballs and Q-tips for cleaning/applying creams

Don’t forget aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, or whatever you take for pain. Because if you’re really going to spend hours in an enclosed space with your kids, you’ll probably need it.


27 Fun Facts About Babies

Fun Facts about babies

Credit: Flickr user festivefrog

Babies are some of the most wonderful things in the world, aren’t they? At first they seem so helpless, so incapable of taking care of themselves. What many parents may not realize is that it’s all an act. Babies know exactly what they’re doing. Here are some lesser-known facts about babies for you to enjoy.

Babies Have Strange Abilities

In addition to their well-known talents — putting things in their mouths, causing diaper blowouts, and generally being cute — babies also have some strange abilities that go away as they get older.

1. A baby can breathe and swallow at the same time.

Notice how they can chug a bottle, seemingly without stopping? They can breathe and swallow simultaneously until about seven months old. This unique ability can be defeated by a stuffy nose, which is why babies just hate getting sick.

2. Most newborns cry without tears until they are three to six weeks old. 

When they do learn to turn on the waterworks, their tears contain stress hormones. So the act of crying actually helps calm babies down. That’s the science, at least. Sometimes it sure doesn’t seem that way.

3. Babies are born with natural swimming abilities.

They can hold their breath, too. I have the feeling that this is related to spending so much time in the womb. The down side is that this ability quickly disappears.

4. Most newborns will lose all the hair they are born with in 3-4 months.

All right, so hair loss isn’t really an uncommon talent (especially among older men), and babies generally don’t have much hair to begin with, but I still found this interesting. And I know of at least two babies where the hair fell out and came back a different color.

Babies At Birth

The very fact that a baby has arrived is a miracle of biology, and that’s just the beginning. Here are some lesser-known things that are true about your baby on day 1.

5. A baby’s brain contains about 100 billion neurons.

Now you can understand why they pick up on everything. These neurons are pretty much what babies will have to work with throughout life. They will grow and change (and some may die) but new neurons generally won’t be made.

6. Approximately 80% of babies are born with a birthmark.

According to WebMD, There are two main categories of birth marks: red birth marks, which take their color from blood vessels and may even appear shortly after birth, and pigmented birth marks, which are always present at birth.

7. A newborn’s kneecap is made entirely of cartilage.

It won’t even show up on an X-ray for a few years. The cartilage is softer and facilitates growth. After three or so years, bone begins to replace cartilage, and by young adulthood, most of the cartilage is gone.

8. A baby’s heart beats 180 times per minute at birth.

This drops to 115 beats per minute at 1 year old. Within a few hours, it drops to 140. By adulthood, the typical resting heart rate is 70-80 beats per minute.

A Baby’s Senses

The senses are how babies learn about the world, but some are more keen than others in the first year of life. Here are just a few examples.

9. Babies are born nearsighted.

At birth, their vision is roughly 20/400. They can focus best on things about ten inches from their noses. Just the right distance: their little hands, and their mother’s face while being held. They’ll reach 20/20 vision by about six months of age.

10. Babies are born with sophisticated hearing. 

They can work out where a sound is coming from just 10 minutes after being born. They can also recognize their mother’s voice, often on the day they’re born. In contrast, it takes about two weeks for the baby to recognize daddy’s voice.

11. A baby’s sense of touch develops from head to toe.

This is also one of the most advanced senses at birth. The mouth is the first region to become sensitive, which is why young babies put everything in their mouths.

12. A baby’s strongest sense is smell.

Babies can recognize their mothers by scent alone. Wonder what happens to this super-sense when they have a poopy diaper.

13. Babies like high-pitched singing.

Research has shown that babies prefer women’s voices to men, and high-pitched singing to low-pitched singing. You’ll also notice that you (and most people, by the way) tend to use higher tones when talking to a baby. That’s no accident: it’s an adaptation to the fact that you get a better response from a baby if you use a higher-pitched voice.

Some Facts About Parents

Let’s not forget those two amazing people who brought baby into this world: mom and dad. You’ll remember them as the dazed, sleep-deprived, yet mostly ebullient folks who probably haven’t showered or shaved recently.

14. New parents in the U.S. typically spend $7,000 in a baby’s first year

This doesn’t count medical costs, of course. But the formula, diapers, day care, and other costs begin to pile up rather quickly.

15. A new baby takes one night of sleep per week from its parents. 

A new baby usually deprives each of its parents around 350-400 hours of sleep in the first year. That works out to around one nights sleep lost per week, per parent. You can begin to imagine why we devoted an entire web site to baby sleep training.

16. The average woman changes a diaper in 2 minutes and 5 seconds. 

At that pace, the average mother spends 120 hours per year changing diapers. Interestingly, the average man does it in 1 minute and 36 seconds. So men will usually change a baby faster. But the real question is this: do they change it better?

Facts About Preemies

I heard this year from the president of the March of Dimes that pre-term birth has surpassed birth defects as the most common cause of infant mortality and morbidity in the western world. It’s a serious problem, and one the March of Dimes hopes to confront head on. That said, even preemies have some interesting facts to offer.

17. One in eight babies is born prematurely in the United States.

That’s about half a million babies each year! Low birth weight rate has increased 9% since 2000 and 24% since the mid 1980s.

18. Premature babies don’t sweat.

Infants born more than 2 weeks premature don’t sweat at all, even when too warm. In older infants, sweat developers first on the forehead, then on the chest, and later on the arms and legs.

19. Many famous writers, artists, scientists, and world leaders were preemies.

Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Mark Twain, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, Napoleon Bonaparte and Winston Churchill are a few examples.

Your Growing Baby

I know that you’ve heard, over and over, that babies grow up fast. Let’s actually put some hard numbers behind that bit of village wisdom.

20. A baby will eat an estimated 15 pounds of cereal per year.

This obviously doesn’t start until your baby is old enough to eat cereal, which is typically around 6 months of age. Once they figure it out, babies seem to love cereal. But then again, who doesn’t?

21. A newborn baby will triple its weight by twelve months.

Between birth and the end of its second year, an infant will have quadrupled in size. If they carried on that rate, babies would weigh over a thousand pounds by age five!

22. By twelve months, a baby’s foot size equals half of their adult foot size.

Since babies that age usually have feet shaped like blocks of cheese, I believe this refers to length, not width of the foot.

23. A baby’s head is proportionally huge, being 1/4 of the total body length

Compare that to the head:body length ratio for adults, which is roughly 1:8.

How Babies Have Grown-Ups Beat

In addition to default adorability, babies have some advantages over us grown-ups — in addition to the fact that we pay the bills, feed them, change diapers, etc. Here are a few examples.

24. A baby has 300 separate bones at birth, but adults have only 206.

That’s almost 50% more! Several bones will fuse together as the baby grows. For example, the skull at birth comprises several bones that actually overlap one another during birth to help the noggin squeeze out. Amusingly, the researchers who discovered an essential protein for the fusing of skull bones named it noggin.

25. The brain of a newborn accounts for 10% of body weight. In adults, that’s just 2%. 

It’s useful to keep this little statistic in mind when you’re amazed at how quickly your baby learns. If you’re worried that you’ll forget these numbers, just ask your child to remember them for you.

26. A baby has around 10,000 taste buds, far more than adults

They show up for the third trimester, not just on the tongue but also on the sides, back, and roof of the mouth. That’s allegedly why trying diverse foods during the third trimester is important for mom. Eventually these extra taste buds disappear.

27. Babies laugh on average 300 times a day, adults only 60.

All right, so that number only applies once babies learn to laugh. Still, it’s a reminder that babies probably enjoy life and take things much less seriously than we do. Probably because they don’t know about nuclear missiles or income tax. Still, when it comes to laughing, it’s advantage baby.


How to Give the Best Baby Bath Ever

best baby bath how toGiving your baby a bath is one of those things that seems like it should be so simple. A little water, a little soap, a soft washcloth, and you’re done, right? Unfortunately, lots of things can go wrong. Giving the perfect baby bath is important, because it will make your little one look forward to baths instead of dreading them. Babies all react differently to water; you want this to be as comfortable and fun of an experience as possible. Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way about giving the perfect baby bath.

Bath Safety Tips

First, a few things that you probably know already about baby bath safety:

  • Never, ever leave your baby alone in or near the bathtub while there’s any water in it. Babies can drown so quickly, and so easily. Promise yourself that you won’t leave to answer the phone or the door, to do a load of laundry, or anything. Besides, you should enjoy your baby’s bath time, too.
  • baby bath spout cover

    Whale Spout Cover

    Probably the biggest threat to your baby’s head is the big metal water spout featured in most bathtubs. It’s right at the level where your baby will crack his or her head (or get poked in the eye). Get a playful spout cover — like the ever-popular whale — and then the spout becomes a toy instead of a hazard.

  • Watch for slips and falls. Wet, hard surfaces in the bathroom can cause either you or your baby (or both) to slip. The bathtub and floor are the most common slip areas.

Setting Up the Baby Bath

It’s always better to get the bath set up ahead of time, so that you’re not juggling a crying (and possibly naked) baby while trying to get everything ready. We usually divide and conquer: one of us goes up to get the bath ready, while the other starts herding the kids upstairs.

The Baby Bathtub

Baby collapsible bath tub

Collapsible Baby Bathtub

Until your baby reaches the toddler years, you’ll probably want a little baby bathtub that you can set on the table or inside the larger bathtub. I’ll give you a few reasons why:

  • Baby bathtubs are softer than the hard ceramic/porcelain tubs, so they’re safer against bumps and bruises.
  • They take much less water to fill, so it’s a faster and easier process.
  • Only the baby fits in the tub, so his or her parents/siblings/pets won’t get it dirty

Of course, you do have to store the baby bathtub, which is why I like the Naked Baby Collapsible Tub from Boon.

Get Yourself Comfortable

Baby bath elbow rest

Bathtub Elbow Rest

One of our biggest complaints about giving the baby a bath is that it’s physically demanding: you have to kneel on a hard surface, bend over the tub edge, lift a wet squirming baby… it’s a lot of work. Therefore you’re better off making the bath as comfortable for you as it is for the baby.

I highly recommend getting a thick floor mat or the whale bath kneeler shown in the header image to save your knees. Equally useful is a bathtub elbow rest that cushions your arm while you bathe and lift the baby.

Find the Right Water Temperature for Baby

Baby bath thermometer

Baby Bath Thermometer

Getting the water temperature right is probably the trickiest thing for me personally. Maybe our faucet just doesn’t have the finesse of control necessary to hit that perfect temperature, which is generally between 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit.

A good baby bath thermometer like the Aquatopia audible thermometer is a must for each and every bath; sure, it will tell you if the water’s too cold, but more importantly it will tell you if the water is too hot for a baby. The wrong temp either way is going to make the bath uncomfortable. Keep in mind also that bath water will cool over time, especially if you spend a lot of time playing.

Giving Baby the Bath

Penguin soap dispenser

Penguin Soap Dispenser

Now that the bath is ready, the water’s just right, and you’re as comfortable as possible, it’s baby time! Here are some tips for getting the most out of the experience:

  • Ease your baby in, feet or bottom first. Let them play a bit before getting them wet. Usually you want to save the hair and face washing for the very end, as most babies won’t enjoy this.
  • Soaking the bottom is one of the most important parts of the bath. At least five minutes in the warm, soapy water will help with diaper rashes and other discomfort.
  • Use a soft washcloth and make sure you get all of the nooks and crannies, especially under the chin and around the neck, as well as the diaper area (under and around everything). Ask your spouse for guidance if the anatomy of what needs to be cleaned is, you know, not as familiar.
duck baby wash mitt

Duck Wash Mitt

The washing part can be a lot of fun for you and your baby, especially if you have a cute wash mitt like the ducky one at left. You get to tickle and wash your baby at the same time. Remember, you want this to come off as a fun and special activity, not a chore.

Bath toy organizer

Bath Toy Organizer Set

Don’t forget to have some fun bath toys to pass the time as well. We like the soft, squeezy ones that are shaped like different animals (each of which can have a different voice and personality, if you’re into that sort of thing). Remember to squeeze all of the water out and hang them up to dry when you’re finished. Munchkin’s bath toy organizer set is a good choice for this, because it includes a drying net that hangs in the corner.

When the Bath is Over

hooded baby bath towel

Lion Hooded Towel

It’s tempting to make the bath go too long, especially when you and your baby are having a lot of fun. But once the baby is clean and the water starts to cool, it’s time to wrap up. If your baby protests, it’s a good thing – it means you’ve made the bath an enjoyable activity, and it will be welcomed in the future.

There may be some crying, especially when you pluck your little one out of the warm water. The most important thing to do is have a soft, fluffy towel waiting. We love the hooded animal towels because they keep the head warm. After that, the most important thing is to have warm milk waiting at the diaper changer. This comforts and distracts the little one while you get him or her dried off, diapered, and dressed.

Within a couple of minutes, your baby will be comfortably snuggled in bed. Probably fast asleep. Remember to hang the toys, wash cloths, and towels up to dry afterward.

Why not take a bath yourself? You deserve it!


Babyproofing Your Home: 18 Tips

babyproofing your home tipsBabyproofing your home is a rite of passage for new parents, the beginning of a transformation that will ultimately bring an end to your stylish, grown-up decor. Unless you live in a studio apartment, this isn’t a one-hour, single-day job either. It’s a constant process similar to keeping velociraptors as pets: your baby keeps finding new areas to exploit, and you locking them down.

Drawer and Cabinet Latches

Most new parents tackle this first, because drawers and cabinets are both accessible to babies and filled with all kinds of things they’re not supposed to have. Get them locked down with latches and magnetic locks.

babyprooing cabinet latches babyproofing magnetic latches babyproofing side-by-side latches
Long Cabinet Latches
Be sure to get “long reach” cabinet latches like these; they work on drawers, too.
Magnetic Cabinet Latches
Magnetic cabinet latches are essentially tamper-proof; you use a “key” to open locked cabinets
Side-by-side Latches
When you have double-door cabinets, these side-by-side latches work very well.

Door Locks and Baby Gates

Once your baby figures out how to move, he or she will immediately head for the stairs, the bathroom, and other hazardous, hard-to-babyproof areas. Contain their movements with door locks and baby gates.

baby proofing kit Lever handle door lock Baby proof gate
46-piece Babyproofing Kit
Your basic get-started-babyproofing kit with latches, door knob covers, and electrical outlet covers.
Lever Handle Door Lock
Lever-style doors are the easiest for a toddler to master, and they need a special kind of door knob lock.
Walk-through Baby Gate
Forget those cheap plastic gates… for staircases and key doorways, invest in a metal walk-through baby gate like the Regalo.

Babyproofing the Kitchen Stove

The kitchen is a critical area for babyproofing because it’s filled with sharp or dirty or boiling-hot things that a baby shouldn’t touch. Of course, it’s also where you tend to be, and that draws the baby in like nothing else. Now that you have the cabinets and drawers latched, it’s time to tackle the next big hazard: the stove.

Baby stove guard Clear stove knob covers Black stove knob covers
Prince Lionheart Stove Guard
Prevents your toddler from reaching up to be burned on a hot cooktop or pull down pots/utensils from the stove.
Clear Stove Knob Covers
Especially important if you have a stove with knobs on the side rather than the top. Toddlers will turn them!
Black Stove Knob Covers
Parents with modern-style kitchens might prefer these black stove knob covers instead.

Preventing Baby Injuries

Babies are generally unaware of their own mortality, and they also tend to be a little bit clumsy. We ended up at the emergency room after our oldest son fell and hit his forehead on the corner of our kitchen wall. As soon as your baby is mobile, take these steps to minimize the chance of injuries.

Baby edge corner cushion kit Baby fireplace guard Furniture and appliance bracket
Edge and Corner Kit
Tables, bookshelves, and other furniture with sharp edges below 3 feet tall should be padded at the baby’s crawling stage.
Baby Fireplace Guard
A must-have for homes with hearths or fireplaces. These edge and corner pads prevent baby injuries from those hard, sharp edges.
Furniture/Appliance Bracket
Make sure heavy furniture and appliances won’t tip over. Especially critical when your baby starts pulling up on things.

Babyproofing Electronics and Appliances

Some of the most expensive and hazardous things in your home are probably plugged in. Babies don’t understand electricity or the cost of an LED TV, so it’s best to take precautions.

Baby proof power strip Flat Screen TV Brace Appliance Latches
Power Strip Safety Cover
Power strips are a necessity in our electronic world. Keep little fingers away from plugs and cords with this power strip cover.
Flat Screen TV Brace
This brace attaches secures your flatscreen TV to a wall or entertainment center, preventing any tip-overs by little hands.
Appliance Securing Latches
Secure your refrigerator, dishwasher, entertainment center, or other open-and-close items with latches like these.

Keeping Baby Safe Outside the Home

At some point you’ll have to let your baby outside the sheltered security of your home. Stores, restaurants, and even your front yard have hazards to watch out for. Here are some good safety tips.

Baby high chair cart cover Kid safe driveway guard Kids playing sign
High Chair / Shopping Cart Cover
People are always asking where we got these… they protect your child from germs and hard edges on shopping carts or high chairs.
Kidsafe Driveway Guard
All right, so it’s more for toddlers and their ride-on toys, but I think this “driveway gate” is an excellent idea.
Children at Play Sign
This bright orange sign will advise drivers to slow down and pay attention. Also provides some toy storage inside it!

Your Baby’s First Halloween Fun

Baby's first halloween fun

Image Credit: surlygirl on Flickr

Halloween manages to be our favorite holiday every year. There are just so many things to love about it: the change of seasons, the costumes, the parties, and of course the free candy. Maybe it’s the simple fact that there’s no gift-giving or mandatory family get-togethers. No matter the reason, your baby’s first Halloween will be a milestone event.

First, you should be aware that this Halloween celebration will be unlike the others you’ve known. As a kid, you probably remember trick-or-treating with friends and stuffing pillow sacks full of candy. As a young adult, it was more about Halloween parties: drinks, socializing, and wearing costumes that were clever or funny or just scandalous. Maybe scaring the bejesus out of some neighborhood kids by jumping out of bushes.

Your baby’s first Halloween will be fun, but it won’t be the same as before. Trick-or-treating is out… let’s be honest, it’s just you carrying your baby up to someone’s door and asking for candy. Parties going to be different: you won’t get as wild, and probably shouldn’t dress as slutty, as you have before (now that you’re all grown up and a parent and everything). But here are some great ways to enjoy it.

Halloween Photo Shoots

baby halloween photo

Credit: nerdcoregirl on Flickr

We’ve already written about traditional baby photo shoot ideas, so the Halloween version is the first thing that comes to mind. Fall offers many colorful backdrops for photos:

  • Pumpkin patches
  • Piles of leaves in the backyard
  • Tractors and farm fields

Be sure to bundle your little one up to stay warm in those crisp fall breezes. Take lots of photos, post online to make others jealous. Now you’re getting into the spirit of Halloween!

Baby Pumpkins for Halloween

baby halloween pumpkin

Credit: surlygirl on Flickr

There is one requirement for your first Halloween as a new parent, one simple rule that must forever be followed because it’s just so previous. You need to, at some point, dress your baby up as a pumpkin.

This is easy to do, all you really need is a pumpkin hat and an orange onesie. There are little pumpkin costumes for newborns, too. It’s super-cute because babies are kind of pumpkin-shaped anyway, and as a bonus, these tend to be low-maintenance and warm costumes.

Alternatively, you could go with the equally amusing but slightly messier option of putting your baby in a large carved pumpkin. Not for more than a few minutes, of course. They usually hate it.

Baby Halloween Costume Ideas

Last, but certainly not least, are the baby Halloween costumes. This might be the most fun you’ve had in a long, long time. So many cute ideas! If you play your cards right, you can showcase your little one in two or three different costumes this year: one for visiting family or neighbors, one for the Halloween party, one for the trunk-or-treat… you get the idea. I picked out some of my favorite cute, warm, snuggly baby costumes from Walmart:

Baby Oatmeal Bear Halloween Costume Baby Little Lamb Halloween Costume Baby Cow Halloween Costume Baby Cookie Monster Halloween Costume
Oatmeal Bear Pink Lamb Baby Cow Cookie Monster

Pick Your Baby Costumes Now

One bit of advice: don’t wait until mid-October to start looking for a baby costume, because virtually every store within 100 miles of you will be ransacked. You’ll be sifting through trampled piles of mismatched costume pieces, plastic swords, and broken magic wands.

Finally, here’s your bonus idea: find a group costume idea that you and your baby can share. Once we went as Prince Charming, Cinderella, and the “Pumpkin” carriage. For this year we’re looking at video game characters, cowboys, pirates… anything that five people can do. Halloween only comes once a year, so we’re going all out!

Halloween Baby Foods

winter squash baby foodUnfortunately, your baby’s probably too little to enjoy the sweet side of Halloween. But if your little one is on solid food, you can both enjoy the fall season by making your own baby food. All you need is a baby food grinder and some storage tubs/bowls/tupperware. Take a trip to the fruit stand or farmer’s market, and load up on the harvest: yams, acorn squash, butternut squash, carrots, and other fresh vegetables make easy, inexpensive, and nutritious baby foods. You can make a huge batch of it and freeze the containers, enough to last you through the winter. You know, like a squirrel.

Making your own baby food is a topic we’ll have to cover in another article, but it’s certainly one way you should try to make your baby’s first Halloween fun!