Baby Proofing Mistakes to Avoid by Guest Contributer Andrea Gibbs

You have finally brought home your new bundle of joy and are excited to start your new adventure as a parent. You spend hours caring for your little one and see her go to sleep before you take off for the night. But just as you’re about to submit to sleep for the night, one final concern pops up: What do I need to babyproof my home? For months from now, she will be able to move freely; you need to make sure that you have made your home a safe place for her. In order to be ready for these inevitable changes, you try to go to the internet for tips and advice.


You find that the answers you’re looking for are so abundant, not really leaving you with any questions at all. But then, you soon realize that while many articles generally talk about babyproofing your home, few talk about specific mistakes in the process. As a result, you feel lost and confused about how to move forward in this daunting task. Fortunately, this article aims to help such parents by pointing out the common mistakes made in babyproofing and how you can avoid them.

  1. Setting Hot Drinks Down Within Reach Of Your Little One
    It is tempting to put down your hot drink anywhere so you can take a break from her for a minute. But this is a huge mistake to encourage, as the first thing babies do when they learn how to roll over is search for things within reach. Being curious by nature, your child will probably grab it and accidentally spill it on herself in the process. The accident may cause a serious burn or injury requiring a hospital visit. This is a very common problem, which can be solved by simply keeping your hot drinks away from your baby’s reach. You can do this by placing them in a separate area and stored away in a way that they cannot be reached. You can also cover your hot drinks to discourage the little ones from nosing around them.
  2. Leaving Some Batteries Around
    It is much handier to have backup batteries in your house, as you may need them for anything from your remote control to your smoke detectors. While batteries are important, you need to make sure you store them out of your child’s reach. Children are naturally drawn to things like shiny objects, and batteries are no exception. They may think they are fun toys and, in the process, swallow a few of them by accident. This can cause serious injury or even death if they ingest the whole pack.
    The best way to prevent injury by batteries is to store them safely away from all of your children’s toys and electronics. Instead, keep them out of sight, and put them in a locked container your child cannot access. You can also use a battery cover over the batteries inside so they cannot be touched until needed. Also, instead of tossing used batteries into your household trash can, where your little one might fish them out, it is much more ideal for throwing them out directly into the outside garbage container.
  3. Letting Your Little One Play With Toys For An Older Kid
    Toys are fun for your baby to play with, and when you bring more toys home to entertain your little one, it is hard to stop yourself from letting her play with the new toys. However, you must ensure she doesn’t play with items intended for older kids. This is a huge mistake that moms often make, as they feel it is not a big deal to give their babies toys intended for their older siblings.
    Try to also keep in mind that there are certain toys that can be harmful to a baby. So if you see any toy with small parts or sharp objects, you should make sure that your baby cannot play with it. After all, your little one is too young to handle them at this stage of development, and they could cause major damage if he were to swallow them. It is also advisable that you know the toys that are appropriate for your baby and toddlers and that you discuss the items with other elder family members before bringing them home.
  4. Letting Your Babies Play with Balloons
    Balloons are a popular toy that is often given as a gift to babies on birthdays or other special occasions. They can be fun, especially when you fill them with air and let your child pop them. However, balloons are among the most common causes of choking in babies and toddlers.
    When you give your baby a balloon for the first time, make sure you supervise her every second that she is playing with it. As soon as she puts it in her mouth, try to remove it from her with caution and care. If she accidentally pops it, make sure you keep the pieces safe by placing them in a separate bag. This way, your child won’t be able to get into the pieces and swallow them, which could cause serious problems. Also, this habit can be fixed with time by keeping your balloons out of reach of your baby until he is older enough to play with them by himself.
    Mistakes are an unavoidable part of human nature. Just like mistakes in any other area of life, you need to recognize them as opportunities to make significant improvements. As we have seen, there are several common mistakes that parents tend to make in their babyproofing process, and there are ways in which you can avoid these common pitfalls. In your quest for babyproofing your home, remember that while it can be challenging, there are simple things you can do to make the process much easier.

Author bio
Andrea Gibbs is the Content Manager at SpringHive Web Agency, where she helps create content for their clients’ blogs and websites. She is currently a blog contributor at Montessori Academy, a blog dedicated to helping parents with the ins and outs of parenting children within the Montessori tradition. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dog.

Outbound link:
Keyword: toys that are appropriate for your baby and toddlers
Location: under 3. Letting Your Little One Play With Toys For An Older Kid – second paragraph – fourth sentence
Link: https://montessori-academy.com/blog/8-awesome-open-ended-toys-that-provide-hours-of-creati ve-and-innovative-play-for-your-kids/
Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/full-length-of-boy-sitting-on-floor-315265/

Getting ‘Up to Date’

Well, this diary was predominantly written way before covid hit us. The children were still quite young. So where are we now in their development?

Amritsar and Tara were 9 years old back in March. They are both happy, beautiful girls. And yes, they do fight often… Tara is a bit of a Tomboy, but we can still get Amritsar into a dress on occasion!

Thor (now 7) is a little charmer, and a bit of a dude! They like that word – dude! Then we have Aaliyah, who loves pink, rainbows and unicorns! And she happily gets into a dress at any opportune moment. Then there’s finally Caleb, a good looking chap as it happens, a little too prone to tantrums for my liking however.

Caleb has a few learning and socialising difficulties. We are working out a plan for his future needs with his school at present. The others all seem to be excelling at school, especially sports! Aaliyah would like to return to gymnastics. She gave it up before covid hit, falling out with the coach, who seemingly made a rude comment about her hair of all things!

Amritsar loves netball, Tara football (obviously) and Caleb is undecided on his chosen sport! It’ll come, though they all ran well on their sports day at school last week. I’m not sure about Thor’s chosen sport! He did start football club, like Tara, but doesn’t really know what to do with the ball!

The children’s summer fete was held last weekend and today’s photo is of Thor with his snakey looking face paint! Fun was had by all.

I will remind you that I am known as Dadda in the family, and my partner John is Daddy. Daddy’s work keeps him busy, and home life seems to keep me busy enough! Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner is still a thing! We do eat rather well for sure.

We are at present looking to move house. The children are all growing so fast. Their two rooms on the top floor just don’t seem to be big enough. Amritsar definitely wants her own room, as does Aaliyah. Tara would definitely be happy to kip in with the boys. Though that’s not going to happen. She does get a bit boisterous at times! And definitely leads the two boys astray.

That’s it for now. Oh! I didn’t mention Aaliyah and Caleb’s age. They will be 7 next week on 5th July. Though their party will be held the following weekend. More on that for sure.

A Happy Medium!

Before we found our ‘Family Life’

I was going to name this post ‘Instagram vs Blogging’, but I have settled on ‘A Happy Medium’!

Yesterday, quite randomly, I decided to ‘Google’ myself and was surprised at a little memory that I found… once upon a time my name, ‘Andi Webb’ would have uncovered someone else with this very same name! One lady working for the US department of Education, or maybe an artist who produced a style of art that wasn’t really me!

But yesterday I ‘Googled’ my name and I, yes me, I came up! Well, a couple of the others alongside, but predominantly me. And that made me smile.

Several mentions down, way past my Instagram, my Worldpress, my book, or rather books on Amazon, there is a mention on IMDb, the movie information site, with my name, and that brought back a happy memory! A time when I designed clothes and costume, and worked on wardrobe for a couple of productions. I even made clothing for a few major celebs…

As you know, I tend to go visual nowadays, using Instagram as my main interaction within social media. But today I thought that I would reminisce about my experience yesterday here, on my blog, at Worldpress.

I smiled as my Instagram account Instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife came up first on the search, but then my blog, showing me, that it is relevant, somehow it means something! Then thirdly came my books, as mentioned, on the Amazon platform.

My audiobook of Eighteen Moons came next, then the IMDb mention…

I did enjoy designing clothes. I actually talk about this period of my life in my third book released by ‘My Life Publishing’ in January of this year. The title being ‘Many Moons Before’, the prequel to parenting. You know, I even made clothing for ‘Slash’ of Guns and Roses fame, back in ‘The Day’!

So back to the title of this post, a ‘Happy Medium’? I could not really have relayed what I am saying right now on Instagram! I forget this… I am a writer, a man with a diary… haha, predictive text has just shown me the word diarrhoea! You gotta smile…

I have made many friends on Instagram, several have purchased and reviewed my first book ‘Eighteen Moons’. And for that, I am grateful. But then again, I have made several friends over the years on Worldpress too. I hope you know who you are?

So, I have realised that I truly do want to write, and to do this with any effect, Twitter and Instagram are just not the right medium!

Lol and I can post photos on here too! that’s simply amazing. I’m sorry if they are mostly square…

So, ‘My Big Crazy Family Life’ continues, here at andiwebb.net / diaryofagaydad.net

Right, ‘A Happy Medium’ has indeed been struck! So, what about those photos I have been talking about!

Two Dads
And 5 beautiful children

Right Post Called Tail Towel

That was my reminder!

What on earth could it mean? I am now thinking?

I have failed to blog over this last month! A birthday befell me 4 weeks ago, then the tragic death of my older brother…

Though this post is not going to dwell on either of those things. I have just traveled the globe to be there for his goodbye service in Australia, (I live in the U.K.), and I have only just circumnavigated my way home, to John and the children. They all missed me, these last 8 days, as I indeed missed them.

You already know, I’m the guy who wrote, The Diary of a Gay Dad, don’t you?

Well, if not, here I am, Andi Webb. A two year diary blogger who took a break. One of those years ended up in paperback format, Thirteen Moons More, the successor to my first novel, Eighteen Moons. That was the story of how my partner John and I became parents! It only seemed fitting to write a second book on just how those two naive blokes, Andi and John panned out as parents.

Well, last year there was even a third book, Many Moons Before. It only took me 6 months to write, and then a couple of months in the editing. Thank you dear friend Bern for that. And that book was all about me, rather selfish huh? The prequel to parenting. I’ve sold around 25 copies! So, a big thank you to those who invested in reading my true life story. It’s a cracking story, a life well lived, or maybe not! You be the judge of that?

We can’t always be responsible for what befalls us, can we? It’s what we do to put things right that matters… or indeed embrace the good that touches our daily lives! Keep it close.

Okay, so what about this posts title, I hear you ask?

Haha… I had asked Alexa earlier, to remind me to ‘write post called tall tale’ or something suchlike!!! I forget now, tall tall, tail tall, or was it tail tail. I’m sure it really doesn’t matter as I have moved on already. And these last moments and thoughts don’t even seem to matter now as they may have a short while ago. Because I am my own life’s creator and commentator, aren’t I?

You know what I mean – right? I’m expecting a few comments today by the way! And I will answer all and any.

Why is it that popular bloggers or TikTok’ers ask you? ‘Just drop me the name of your town or city and I’ll give you a shoutout’!!! WTF!!! Am I that desperate to increase the volume of my comments on this blog and in particular, this specific post. It’s a seminal one, for me, that is!!! Maybe for you too… ummmh!!!

So, I ask myself, three real life novels into my career of writing… well, just what can I write about next?!?!? I have promised Dadda Gets Jammin’ and that title will surely come into being! It’s started of course, but as it’s relative to life being lived, I will be adding new chapters as and when! Julia Child took many years to compile her book after all.

The Diary of a Gay Dad (the teenage years) is of course, yet to happen. And the children are all for now, just happy children, going about their early school hood years! Completely bonkers at the weekends of course, but overall, just happy children…

I want, no, need a writing project outside of blogging, away from the 3 biographical stories.

On my journey home from Australia, which was over thirty hours from door to door by the way, I imagined that I had joined the ranks of fictional writers!!! Yes those who write and invest in their imaginations, and build worlds and situations. Possibly within unimaginable worlds from present, past or future…

Okay, my next novel is now my #wip (work in progress) and it’s title is going to be ‘Portal’. And this is the first time it has been spoken of, and it is truly now, down on paper, as to coin a phrase.

‘The full moon was cloistered by cloud’… (The first sentence!)

Well that’s it really! I have now officially joined the ranks of fictional writers out there! Hoorah! This is a good thing…

Also, if you are still reading these last paragraphs, please drop into comments any thoughts that you may have! this project is in need of your participation. I’m going to write this book having noted your feedback! Will this book be children’s fantasy fiction, something of the soul, science fiction, or completely something else?

I have reached this point now in this blog post and I am feeling completely jubilant! Firstly, to have recognised the processes and life situations that have led me here in my writing career, with 3 books written, and all available for you to read through Amazon (just search Andi Webb). That’s Andi with a ‘I’ by the way. And secondly, I now appreciate that the small seed sown here today in this new adventure, Portal, will now be given all of the nourishment it needs, in order to grow and flourish. A fourth novel – unconnected, wild and random…

I actively want you to help co-write this novel. To help within it’s conception, to guide what will be an amazing story. I want you to give a little piece of you. Or a bigger piece, that’s up to you.

I don’t think that there has ever been a writing project quite like this before?

I am, or rather, WE are about to build a whole new world together. And that makes me smile.

So how is your day going?

Do you see what I’ve done? I have invited you, the reader of this blog, to comment a third time!!! And I hope, for one reason or another you do!

Join me?

I just realised!

Being back to blogging, albeit not daily, I just realised that I had reacquainted myself to you lovely people! But I have done very little by way of actually filling this diary with the day to day happenings within my family space!

Well, Aaliyah has only just hugged Remus, our Dalmatian and told him that she loves him. She is now skipping around the living room with Tara.

We are planning on going out shortly! To a local retail park to buy some ‘stuff’ at Pound Land! More, Chinese made, plastic tat, that will inevitably find its way to the bin. Especially if Caleb gets his hands on it!

A couple of Christmases ago he ripped the heads off of all 5 animal ‘squishies’ they had been given, over a 24hr period! He is still so very bad when it comes to breaking things. He makes it his mission to fidget with something until it gives / breaks.

He is presently watching ‘Siren Head’ on YouTube, on the television, with Thor! I’m not really sure if it is age appropriate! We will wait and see on that score.

Daddy has just gathered wood and kindling for a log fire that we shall light on our return home.

Tara and Amritsar are presently hugging daddy, or have they actually taken over playing daddy’s iPad? Hmmmh…

Aaliyah now doing art in the kitchen, and I? Well, I am resting on the sofa after having just served up a lunch of Sausage, mash and peas! I think that we are ordering ‘Chinese’ tonight! We only order takeaways about once a month! Last time it was Indian. Tandoori King Prawns… heaven, though a little too red looking I remember! Why do they do that?

I might give you an update on Thursday as it is my Birthday! Hoorah. I am not making a birthday cake this year, rather a pile of chocolate brownies with embedded Oreo cookies and roasted hazelnuts! Damn those hazelnuts took ages to blanch, peel and roast! Note to oneself! Buy pre done in the future! Like dressing a crab! I have learned that life is too short!

Happy Valentine’s all for tomorrow! If you celebrate it, that is! I think we are doing cards and a nice dinner of Alaskan Spider Crab and homemade triple cooked Chips / Fries… bliss!

Earlier in the day Daddy and Dadda are watching Tara play football for the school team. They are in the county quarter finals you know! Last week they won in all 4 matches they played to qualify! Fingers crossed that they are triumphant.

A very jubilant Tara last week!

More from the ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’ soon…

The Children

Somebody once told me! ‘Show me the three year old and I’ll show you the adult!’ And I believe this saying to be 100% true. As all five of our children’s personalities were set in stone very early on…

Amritsar with Gracie

Amritsar is our oldest and undoubtedly our most academic thinker. As a toddler, she would be so focussed on play and tasks undertaken, like round peg in round hole, star peg in star hole etc! Such a meticulous thinker. She is definitely our best behaved child.

Tara and Koala Babies

As this picture may suggest, Tara is our most empathetic child. She is Amritsar’s twin. The younger twin, or rather lighter, as their births were down to a C-section.

She has always shown consideration and kindness to her other siblings. Especially Caleb, the youngest and the one needing the most support.

It is no surprise that people immediately take to Tara. Every child in her school boasts her friendship! Mind you, she still has a mischievous streak! Expertly pulling the strings of our younger three to do her bidding! The ‘Puppet Master’!

Thor at Daddy’s work desk

Thor, from the very beginning has been our screamiest child. But he also brings with him character and wit. In the last two years he has progressed much. Less screamy and more witty as a result.

He will make you smile with his mumblings and muses! He has a whole repertoire of behaviours that create smiles and drama.

Just this minute he has said ‘hello Dadda, I love you Dadda’! He really is a lovely boy! But his wrath… oh my goodness, his wrath!

Aaliyah and Gracie

The older of our younger set of twins is Aaliyah. Again, older due to her weight at birth due to a C-section. She absolutely loves dogs. And she has that special affinity with Gracie our Dalmatian. Her three most beloved soft toys are all dogs.

Aaliyah is head strong and assertive! Three years ago, on our Summer break in Provence, she took to swimming like a professional. She just ‘Got It’, like a fish to water.

She also shows much compassion to her younger twin Caleb. Though they are also just as happy fighting like cats and dogs!

Caleb up a tree

Caleb, our youngest. Already mentioned twice! Yes, the children are all protective when it comes to Caleb. Well, maybe not Thor as they are often fighting! But that’s a boy thing right? Caleb is a late developer! He is at present going through various tests in order for us to ascertain his level on ‘the scale’!

He is more screamy now. Especially if he does not get his own way. Academically he struggles a lot. He is finding writing most difficult, to the degree of still misspelling his own name!

But like crawling late, walking late and talking late – he has ultimately mastered these things!

So, I hope this update on the children finds you all well, and reacquaints you a little bit with ‘My Big Crazy Family Life’!

More diary entries to follow! I thank you for stopping by. Happy weekend all…

Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner

It has been a very long time since this blog has seen a post devoted to Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner!

And we have dined at home extremely well. Simple ingredients mostly, but maximum flavour for sure.

On Instagram there is even our own hashtag #daddyanddaddasdinner which will bring up the full feast of what is our lives in food.

I will attach the last 10 foodie pics from my iPhone library and give a few basic words explaining each.

Presentation is key when you see food, you really need to excite all of the senses, appearance, smell and taste are all as important!

Red Prawn with ratatouille, salmon and sautéed creamy potatoes
Crab Linguine made with the reserved liquor from our lunchtime Mussels and Frits
Chicken Tikka’s with homemade Masala Sauce and Naan Bread
Moroccan Chicken with Couscous
Bacon, Sausage and Mushroom Terrine
Salmon and Oyster mushrooms, served with black pudding, mashed potatoes in a Savoy cabbage leaf and a white wine sauce
Lamb filet, garlic green beans and homemade dauphinois potatoes
Homemade Donor Kebab
Sea bass, scallops, Green beans and Mash
A Jersey Royal Terrine with steak, salmon, field mushrooms and petite pois ala Francaise

I think that should do for now. The first dish was Friday nights dinner! Those red prawns were excellent. Tonight we are going with Singapore noodles with prawn and a mushroom fried rice with Chinese five spice chicken! Bon Appetite Everyone!

The Dogs Dinner

In a couple of my earlier diary entries, I’ve told you all about our 2 Dalmatian dogs, Remus and Gracie. They really are part of our family, our first born.

Quite ironically, the fact that Remus had fathered Gracie (with a little coercion), was one of the elements that led John and I to the decision ourselves, to become parents! If Remus could manage it, why on earth couldn’t we (with a little coercion)?

Well, It didn’t take me too long in my return to diary writing to plug my now, first book, Eighteen Moons. You know, I have written three books at this stage. This first story is the story of how two blokes (John and me) went about becoming a family of seven, nine if you include Remus and Gracie. Available through Amazon, simply by searching Andi Webb, that’s Andi with an ‘I’… it really is the most amazing story, filled with a whole myriad of emotions! But we persevered against huge odds, and here we are, several years on, living my big crazy family life!

So, Now is the time to reacquaint you with our two rapscallion hounds! Both a little crazy, and both act like they are still pups of 6 months old. Especially Remus, he has a very dear heart and is 100% devoted to me, and the family.

He has always been my constant, my shadow. Always there, always beside me, always needing to know that I am there for him. And Gracie applies the same tactic more or less! A dog really is for life, aren’t they?

Right, back to the dogs dinner!

I have previously explained that our dogs are on a 23 and a half hour day. Their dinnertime was 4pm around 3 years ago. But given that they would whine for an hour before they got their food, daily. After a few months their dinner would be brought forward by 30 minutes… a few months would pass, and again, given the sheer amount of whining, another jump forward of 30 minutes.

When I stopped my regular diary updates in October of 2020, Remus and Gracie’s dinner was at midday, no longer 4pm!

Well, in this more recent time, they did whine, whine, whine!

Now guess when their dinner is, these spotty dogs of mine?

A month just past, it had settled at nine…

Okay, no more rhyming, I promise!

Today the dogs dinner is in fact as soon as I get up, be that 7am or 7.30 – unbearable really as they whine at the bedroom door for the longest time!

At present, they are snuggled up beside me on the sofa. Tara watching the television, Thor, Amritsar and Aaliyah drawing at the kitchen table and Caleb, well, Caleb is running around like a headless chicken as he often does!

Just a small story today, to ease myself back into the rhythm of diary writing. Thank you for reading, and wishing you all a lovely evening.

I wonder what the weekend has in store!

The Wolf Moon 🌙 and a Return to My Diary

With Monday’s full moon in 2 days, the Wolf Moon, and the first full moon of 2022, I return to my ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’!!!

This will be the 16th full moon since I stopped my regular diary record in October of 2020.

With all of the children so established in their Monday to Friday schooling, I ask myself, will I have enough content for this diary blog? And the short answer is yes!

Our weekends are always so full of fun and the joys and the dramas of living a big crazy family life…

At this point, I should say sorry for not contributing more to my ‘high days and holidays’ promise to sharing something to this diary these last sixteen moons.

So with that said and done! Expect to see me in your feeds a little more often. And I will make you a deal! If spending this absent time from blogging in getting to grips with Instagram has taught me anything! I sincerely promise you – if you send a blog post of mine a like, I will courteously respond to your blog by reading your latest post and liking it in return. The same can be said about comments! If you comment on my post, I will respond by paying you with the very same attention and commenting back on your latest post.

It will be great to get reacquainted with you all. And hopefully our friendships will blossom once again…

My first entry on diaryofagaydad.net is a happy one as it is Daddy’s (John’s) birthday today. We have just enjoyed Birthday Cake in the kitchen and the children are all now settled and watching a movie. Sindy our nanny is still with us you will be happy to know. And she is very kindly coming in this evening to babysit, allowing Daddy and Dadda to venture out for a meal at one of our favourite local restaurants.

An update on that tomorrow perhaps. It’s lovely to be back guys.

So, now can I finally take this moment to say ‘Wishing you all a wonderful 2022’ and let us all continue to dare to dream…

Many Moons Before

It has been a while since I have put pen to paper at andiwebb.net! But this month is certainly one to celebrate! My third book release has just happened on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1739754638/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1643550765&sr=8-6

This memoir is the prequel to my previous 2 books. You may remember that the first book, Eighteen Moons, was the story of how John and I became ‘Gay Dads’, and the second book is a year taken from this actual diary, ‘Thirteen Moons More’.

Many Moons Before takes you on a journey through my adult life, lived in London Town, taking us up to the moment that ‘Eighteen Moons’ begins. At very least, check out the book blurb via the link.

If you are not in the U.K. just search ‘Many Moons Before’ in your countries Amazon browser. Or ‘Andi Webb’ of course, to bring up all three book titles. All are an amazing read I’ve been told! Just look at the reviews…

Some of you may remember that I had been considering a project to write a Jam Making, recipes and lifestyle book Dadda Gets Jammin’ and this will be undertaken in 2022. A recipe book quite unlike any other!

But for new, do check out ‘Many Moons Before’ you’ll be happy that you did. The Trilogy now complete…

And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram. Instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife

A Guest Feature from Amanda Henderson ‘Moving House with Young Children – A Parents Perspective’!

Photo via pexcels

Tips for Buying and Selling a Home as a New Parent

Buying and selling a home at the same time is stressful enough as it is. For new or expecting parents, the process can be completely overwhelming! There are just so many things to consider, decisions to make, and demanding tasks to check off your to-do list. Thankfully, we’ve assembled a few resources to help you navigate the buying and selling process while keeping your stress levels to a minimum. 

Get Help Finding Your Perfect Home

House hunting isn’t easy, especially when you have young kids to think about. Get help from a local professional to find a home that’s perfectly suited for your growing family.

● Keep an eye out for family-friendly neighborhoods where you can raise your kids. ● Look for home features that will accommodate your growing family, like a big kitchen, a safe backyard space, and access to fast and reliable internet service.● Consider hiring professional movers to make your relocation as quick and reasonably painless as possible.

Don’t Blow Your Budget

Sticking to a home buying budget is essential for ensuring your new home is affordable both now and in the long run. Review your mortgage options to get a better idea of your home affordability. ● Review your various options to determine the best mortgage rates today.● Start saving for your house deposit as soon as possible.● An online mortgage calculator can help you determine your monthly payments. ● Budget with your baby’s expenses in mind.● Know what to do if your mortgage application is declined.

Get the Most From Your Home Sale

From pricing your home correctly to cleaning and staging, a little upfront work will pay off big time when it’s time to sell.● Leverage effective pricing strategies to get maximum value for your home.● Have some strategies to get your home show-ready with young kids underfoot, like keeping a laundry basket ready for quick pick-ups and saving room for it in the trunk of your car when there’s a last-minute showing.● Enlist a few good negotiation strategies to get the most money for your home when you sell.● Take steps to reduce stress when selling your home;learn some breathing exercises for tough moments, engage in meditation or yoga, and apply some aromatherapy to your day.

Buying and selling a home with kids on the way is bound to be more than a little stressful. Try not to stress over the small details. Take everything one step at a time and you’ll be moving into your new home before you know it!

Amanda Henderson and Nursery Safely (Guest Post)

Once again, thank you Amanda for today’s guest post regarding safety in your nursery! A very informative read. And something that will assist all parents with small children…

Setting Up a Nursery: Budget-Friendly Tips

When you’re expecting a baby, it’s important to think of the best ways to save money. After all, having kids is expensive! You also want to ensure that everything you choose for your child is safe and will help him learn and grow while he stays healthy; however, merging all those things can sometimes be difficult. When designing a nursery for your baby, you want to choose items that will help carry your child through several stages. This way, you get more bang for your buck. 

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to save money while designing the nursery of your dreams. The key is to start looking for deals before you make any purchases. Many stores offer discounts and coupons that can help you save while getting everything you need for the baby. You can also set up a registry, which will keep you organized while getting you a discount on the items that are left on the list after a baby shower or other celebration.

Scout Out Deals

Start looking for the best deals on all the things you need for the nursery as early as possible. You can use savings and promo codes for various online retailers, and daily deals from Amazon and weekly ads for Target offer additional ways to save money. The key is to keep your eyes open for ways to keep your budget in check while getting all the things you need. It’s also important to pay attention to reviews; for example, if you decide you want to go for a space-saving mini-crib, you need to know which ones are perfect for your child and your nursery.

Also, make repairs to the room as needed, and don’t be afraid to call in professionals. For instance, if the window in your nursery could use some TLC before the baby arrives, budget around $290 and call in a window specialist to make sure the job is done correctly. Search for “window repair near me” online and use Angi to help you decide which pro to call.

Invest in Items That will Grow with Your Child

It’s a good idea to invest in things that your child can use for years to come; for instance, buy an infant seat that can be converted as your little one grows and, as Mother.ly notes, learning toys that have more than one use. There are many options on the market these days, from bathtime tools to bouncy seats, and each one has pros and cons. Do some research before making any decisions, and read reviews on sites like Amazon so you can see what other parents have to say — especially with regard to safety. When you’re ready to purchase something, use sites like Honey to help you keep those costs down.

Saving money on toys and essentials can allow you to invest more in nursery decor items like wallpaper. You can visit a website like Spoonflower and purchase made-to-order wallpaper in just about any design you wish. You can also look at ideas for wallpaper designs for the nursery if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options. While there are many “universal” designs that are suitable for all ages, you can pick removable wallpaper (either a smooth or woven fabric) in a design that represents a specific stage of your child’s life (e.g., newborn), then simply replace the wallpaper with a different design as your child grows.

Start a Baby Registry

Setting up a baby registry will help you get all the things you need for your child’s nursery without spending a ton of money. Make sure you add small and large items so that your friends and family will have a good variety to choose from as far as price range, and ask the store about discounts on things that are left on the registry afterward. You can even set up a baby registry through retailers such as Walmart to help everyone save a little money.

Make Sure Everything’s Safe

It’s important to not only find the right toys and equipment for your baby’s educational needs but Mayo Clinic suggests also finding the right items for his safety. Think about more than just the things you’ll use every day; consider window blinds, outlets, cords, and other hazards that can be easily taken care of. 

Baby-proofing the nursery is imperative and doesn’t have to cost a lot; look online for the best safety items for your needs and price-check at a couple of different stores.

Setting up the nursery of your dreams doesn’t have to break the bank. Start with a little planning, and look both online and in-store to find the right items for your needs. It may also be helpful to check on the items you want around the holidays, as many stores will have major discounts during that time. With some preparation and a little help from friends and family, you can build the nursery you’ve always wanted and have it all ready for your little bundle of joy.

Guest Post from Amanda Henderson

Yet again, Amanda has delivered a very informed article. On this occasion: Home safety for children!

Home Safety Tips for Kids of All Ages

From the moment you learn you’re expecting to the day you drop your teen off at college, your child’s safety is a top priority. However, while most parents know the home safety basics, they miss some important parts of keeping kids safe at home. Whether you’re anxiously awaiting your first child or already have a full house, Andi Webb presents home safety resources you need.

Home Safety for Babies and Toddlers

From basic babyproofing to bringing your little one out into the world, this is what you need to know for the infant and toddler years.

Babyproofing checklist: Before your baby comes home.

How to toddler-proof your home.

6 safety tips to not forget your child in the car.

Pedestrian safety, children ages one to four years.

Raising Safety-Conscious Elementary Schoolers

As kids grow more independent, parents’ safety concerns change. These resources will help you decide when and how to give your growing kids more independence.

Online safety advice for young children.

When can you leave your kids home alone? Here are the laws in every state.

When can my child switch from a booster seat to seat belts alone?

Teach your kids to walk, bike, and cross streets safely.

Keeping Your Teens Safe

When it comes to teens, you don’t have to worry about sharp edges and electrical outlets. However, there are still some safety concerns when it comes to parenting teens and tweens.

5 internet safety tips for teens and tweens.

Learn more about online safety by studying computer science online.

What parents should know about teens, drinking, and drugs.

Independent teens: 9 safety tips for going out alone.

You can’t follow your kids everywhere they go to protect them from danger. However, there is a lot you can do to raise safe and happy children. From instilling a sense of safety in toddlers to raising responsible teens and tweens, these resources are a must-have for kids of all ages. 

Image via Unsplash

Guest Post on Disability and Parenting by Lacie Martin

http://raisethemwell.org/

Home Modifications That Will Ensure Safety for Parents with Disabilities

Parenting is the toughest job anyone can undertake. It requires equal parts devotion, patience, and wisdom, qualities that members of the disabled community possess in abundance. The skills needed to make one’s way through a differently enabled world have direct application to raising children. Of course, being a parent presents many challenges. One of these is overcoming the limitations posed by physical disabilities.

Accessibility and Child Safety

Making your home as accessible, and as safe, as possible takes on added importance when children come into the picture. It’s important to consider all the possible risks to your child, both the obvious and the less apparent. The National Safety Council and the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend the following guidelines:● Keep small objects out of your child’s reach. Seemingly harmless items such as watch batteries, coins, and even cooking spices can become deadly in children’s hands. If you’re unable to reach high shelves, then consider installing locking cabinets or other safeguards.● Control access to areas of the home such as stairways, workshops, bathrooms, and kitchens by using safety gates or similar measures.● Install slip-resistant flooring such as cork, linoleum, or tile. Avoid stone, ceramic, or porcelain materials, which pose slip hazards. If new flooring is beyond your budget, then consider using rubber-backed anti-fatigue mats around sinks and cooking areas. Another option, suggested by DIY Network, is to apply anti-slip coatings to your existing floors.● Consider using offset hinges, also known as expandable hinges, for interior doorways. These can free up as much as two to three inches in a typical hallway, which is a boon for both rambunctious children and disabled adults.● Wheelchair-accessible cribs are available in a range of colors and styles. Whatever crib you use, never add blankets, toys, pillows, or other objects that can impair the child’s breathing.

Making Stairs Safer

Stair-related accidents cost up to $12 billion a year in medical bills and lost work time, according to the Los Angeles Times. Making stairways as safe as possible for children and adults is crucial for parenting preparation. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:● Adding ramps if feasible. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines specify a maximum of one inch of rise for each foot of ramp. ● Using rubber mats for each step to add extra slip resistance.● Using handrails. There are many options for making rails both attractive and easy to use.● Keeping stairs free of objects that can cause slipping or trip hazards.

Other Options to Consider

These ideas may require special equipment or the services of a remodeler. However, they’re worth considering as part of an overall home safety plan:● Using the ground floor as much as possible for sleeping, cooking, and other daily activities.● Installing closed-circuit television cameras to monitor activities inside and outside your home.● Replacing conventional bathtubs with walk-in models.

Financial or Other Assistance

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for financial aid for some of these modifications. This is especially true if you’re buying a home, as you may qualify as a first-time homebuyer.

Possible sources include:● Federal, state, or city grants.● Aid from private foundations.● Home improvement loans from commercial lenders.

When applying for these programs, focus on the practical rather than the aesthetic advantages of the renovations. Also, be aware that the grantor may have stringent requirements for the choice of contractor. Review any offer of aid thoroughly before accepting.

It takes a big person to take on the job of parenting. Your willingness to assume this role says far more about your character and abilities that any physical challenge ever could.

Guest Post on Parenting and Business by Laura Pearson

How to Launch a Thriving Business as a Stay at Home Parent. A guest Post by Laura Pearson.

Image from Pexels

Just a couple of decades ago, parents had to choose between work and staying home with their children. Today, stay-at-home parents have countless opportunities to earn income and pursue their professional passions. Launching a business has never been easier! 

If you’ve always wanted to become an entrepreneur, consider starting a business while you’re at home with the little ones. This quick guide will walk you through the steps involved in launching a home-based business and how to make it work as a busy stay-at-home parent. 

Choose a Fitting Business Idea

Your business idea can make or break your business. Before going into this major undertaking, make sure your business idea is right for you. The best business ideas are born from one’s own skills and experience, so start by looking inward and thinking about what you do best — as well as what you love! Passion is a key ingredient when it comes to business success, but that’s not all. It’s just as important to find a need for your product or service in the real world.

Stay at home parents are in a unique position to identify the key issues plaguing other parents, so consider building your business idea around challenges you experience in your own life. For example, running an at-home daycare could be a great way to help out other working parents in your community. Business Idea Insight recommends several other business ideas for stay at home parents, including dog walking, toddler education, and virtual parenting guidance. You could even launch a school meal prep subscription service. Your options are endless!

Establish Your Business

Once you’re set on a business idea, the real work starts. Your first task is to establish the legal framework for your business. Choose a business name, register your business with your state, and call your local permit department to find out which laws and regulations apply to your business. This is also a good time to find out if you will need to apply for a business license. Certain professionals, including mechanics, accountants, and cosmetologists, must be licensed to operate legally. 

As you get established, consider forming an LLC to protect yourself from personal liabilities and gain access to special tax advantages. As ZenBusiness explains, the process of forming an LLC differs from state to state, so make sure you read up on the requirements that apply to you before moving forward. 

Find Your Balance

Running a business and raising kids is a delicate juggling act, but it’s not impossible. Your success in this department will depend on your ability to manage your time effectively. Think about all of the things that are going to demand your time throughout the day, whether it’s preparing meals, cleaning the house, or dropping off and picking up kids. Establish a regular schedule that accounts for all of these time constraints and include certain hours of the day when you can direct 100% of your focus to your business. 

Know When to Hire Help

One of the most important skills you can have as a home-based entrepreneur is knowing when to hire help. There will come a time when the demands of your business exceed your availability. When you reach this point, trying to do everything yourself just isn’t realistic. 

Consider hiring freelancers to handle lower-level tasks so you can focus on other aspects of your business. Hiring professional contractors is also a great way to access expertise that you may lack, whether it’s web development, copywriting, or marketing. If you do decide to hire freelancers, make sure they sign an independent contractor agreement so you can avoid issues with employment laws. 

If you want to start a business, you might be wondering just how you’re going to juggle the demands of parenting and business ownership at the same time. Make sure you have all the tools you need to rise to the challenge! Choose a business idea that you’re passionate about, plan ahead, practice effective time management, and hire help when it’s needed. 

Are you looking for more relatable content about the joys and struggles of stay-at-home parenting? Look to Andi Webb for fun blog posts and advice from one parent to another.

Amanda Henderson (Guest Post)

getoutwiththekids.co.uk

How to Survive Winter in the Age of COVID-19:

A Parent’s Guide.

As a parent, winters were long, cold, and painful well before the pandemic hit — but there were still plenty of opportunities to take the kids to museums, indoor theme parks, and movie theaters. But now that winter is on the horizon and we’re in the midst of a pandemic, many parents are wondering how they’ll survive the cold weather months ahead while being cooped up at home with nowhere to take their children. Andi Webb from Diary of a Gay Dad shares some survival tips for parents in the sections below. 

Prepare Mentally

Winter is fast approaching, and it’s important to begin your coronavirus preparations now if you haven’t already done so. The earlier you can begin to prepare for the difficult months ahead, the more mental control you’ll have once you and your kids are officially cooped up indoors for the winter. Parade recommends thinking about what worked and didn’t work for your family when COVID-19 orders were first issued last winter — and then beginning your preparations from there. 

A few things to cover in your winter preparations include:● How you’ll structure each day, even on the weekends. ● The types of activities you’ll plan for your kids in the morning, while you’re working, and in the evening. ● The items you’ll need to stock up on now, like board games, coloring books, crayons, and finger paints. ● How you’ll take time for yourself and your partner, even when it seems impossible. 

Get Out Your Screens

Your family’s digital screen time should be moderated during quarantine, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let your little ones disconnect from the world for a while with online games and activities. From online multiplayer games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, to kid-friendly YouTube channels like Sesame Street and Ted-Ed, the digital world has been a godsend for parents and their children amidst COVID-19. 

To get the most out of your screens this winter, it’s important to eliminate any obstacles that may be present — such as old tablets or laptops and slow internet connections. If your kids will be learning or playing online while you’re trying to work, the last thing you’ll want is to hear your children complaining about a slow internet connection! However, the solution is as simple as upgrading your tech before winter officially arrives. 

If you live in the US, for instance, Verizon’s fiber-optic connections are worth looking into — especially if your kids will be playing online multiplayer games this winter. With a fiber optic internet connection, you’ll experience smoother gameplay, faster download speeds, and minimal lag and buffering. In the UK, however, gamers can enjoy fast speeds with the Full Fibre 100 from BT Broadband or Big Oomph Broadband from Virgin Media. 

Make the Most of Your Family Time

Until the world returns to normal and you’re back to meeting the demands of modern life, the best thing you can do is make the most of your family time at home. There are so many fun waysto enjoy your time together this winter, like playing indoor and outdoor games as a family, starting a new hobby, and making arts and crafts. 

If you’re looking to brave the cold this winter, some family-friendly outdoor activities include:● Skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowshoeing. ● Making a backyard snow maze for your kids to enjoy. ● Shoveling snow together for the neighbors.● Stargazing, camping, and winter hiking. ● Visiting a winter farmers market (depending on local COVID-19 restrictions).

While movie theaters, science museums, and other indoor attractions may be out of the question this winter, this doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun as a family as the pandemic continues on. With a bit of planning and strategizing, you’ll reduce some coronavirus-related stress and anxiety, maintain your sanity, and keep your family happy and engaged as the snow falls and temperatures continue to drop. 

Looking for more parenting advice and personal experiences from Andi Webb? Visit his blog, Diary of a Gay Dad, or send him a message at contact@andiwebb.net!

My Final Diary Entry, At Least For Now!

It is with some regret that on the 2nd anniversary of my diary blog diaryofagaydad.net, I have to explain, that after these past 24 months of sharing the ups and downs of parenthood, my musings on this forum have (for now) come to an end. I will of course leave the archive online and intact if you ever chose to relive the ups and the downs of 2 years of parenting five small children?

A message from a fellow blogger tonight that ‘I am bored’, has lead me to the conclusion that it is now time to step away!

No pictures, no finale, no fanfare, just goodbye for now my friends…

On other social media such as Facebook, I do not post often. But if you found any part of my blog something positive to muse over (btw predictive text just flashed up ‘pissup’ lol) just search ‘Andi Webb London’ and I will surely follow you back!

The other option is Instagram of course! http://www.instagram.com/mybigcrazyfamilylife

I am certainly considering ‘Diary of a a gay Dad, the teenage years’ though 4+ years away at this point! Another time altogether, maybe it will be a great time for us both to catchup once again.

Thank you for listening these last 2 years, thank you for being there and ultimately thank you for caring. I am very happy to know you.

And for those that I am not connected to on other social media platforms, good bye and take care.

Two Years on Worldpress

A moment ago I opened the Worldpress app and to my surprise I found a ‘Happy 2 Year Anniversary’ text!

Has it really been 2 whole years!

I started blogging back then in order to have a presence on social media. A diary blog seemed like a great idea to help promote my recently finished manuscript entitled ‘Eighteen Moons’. So my ‘diary of a gay dad’ began.

At first I was just blogging out there into the ether. I then shared to my Facebook page and attracted a few readers from there! Not many likes at all but I noted a readership after a few months of 39.

I joined Twitter so that I could share my blog to that platform and later on Instagram!

I thank Twitter for bringing many of my current readers. You know who you are! And I thank you for sticking with the ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’.

I have since stopped sharing to Facebook! And if any of my Facebook friends are still reading this, then I believe that you are indeed true friends.

As you know my mojo has waned in recent weeks. The blog didn’t really sell any books but a couple and I would like to thank the few of you who have enjoyed the story of ‘Eighteen Moons’.

Also did you know that there was a follow up book called ‘Thirteen Moons More’ a kind of ‘who we are now’ opposed to the ‘how we became’ of the original book. Both are available on the Amazon platform. The latter book is a kind of edit of the first 11 months of this diary! A time when thirteen moons passed!

But for now, two years on, the diary of a gay dad continues! So, Happy anniversary to me today! Two years hey! Who’d have thought it.

I thank you for your support.