5 Tips for Saving Money on Infant Care Near Me

finding infant care near me

As a parent, finding affordable and reliable infant care near you is crucial. Infant care can be one of the biggest expenses for new parents with the median year cost of center-based infant care in the US being $27,220 in 2022 according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Fortunately, there are ways to save money without sacrificing quality. Here are five tips for saving money on infant care near you:

Tip 1: Consider in-home infant care

One way to save money is to consider in-home care instead of a day care, where a caregiver comes to your home to care for your child. In-home infant care may be more economical than daycare center infant care, especially if you have more than one child who requires care. You’ll only be paying for one caregiver’s time rather than multiple daycare center staff.

Another advantage of in-home care is that it can be more personalized to your child’s needs. Your caregiver can tailor their care to your child’s specific routines and preferences, which can help your child feel more comfortable and secure. Additionally, in-home care can help reduce your child’s exposure to illnesses and infections that can spread more easily in group care settings.

With resources like UrbanSitter, you can find experienced and reliable in-home infant care providers in your area. Plus, you can easily book and pay for care right through the app.

Tried, true and trusted infant care

Find affordable care for newborns and infants with UrbanSitter.

Tip 2: Research and compare infant day care providers

Another way to save money is to research and compare infant care providers in your area. Start by asking friends and family for recommendations. Then, research providers online and compare their costs and services.

Be sure to look for providers that are licensed and accredited by reputable organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). Licensing requirements vary by state, but generally, licensed providers meet certain standards for health and safety, while accredited providers have voluntarily undergone a rigorous review process to ensure they meet high standards for quality care. Finally, consider the location of the provider. Finding one that is close to your home or work can help you save money on gas and transportation costs.

Tip 3: Utilize tax credits, state child care assistance and flexible spending accounts

Many working parents are eligible for tax credits and flexible spending accounts for child care expenses. Additionally, certain states offer voucher programs and other child care assistance. These resources can help you save money on infant care near you.

In 2023, the Child and Dependent Care Credit allows parents to claim up to $3,000 in child care expenses for one child or up to $6,000 for two or more children. The amount of the credit varies based on your income level and the number of children in your household. For more information about this credit, visit the IRS website. Select states also offer an additional dependent care tax credit to help parents with the cost of child care. 

Another way to save money on infant care is through Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA). A DCFSA allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible child care expenses, including infant care. In 2023, the maximum annual contribution limit is $5,000 per household or $2,500 if married, filing separately. Talk to your employer’s human resources department to find out if your company offers a DCFSA. You should always consult with a tax professional to ensure that you are taking advantage of all available tax benefits and following IRS guidelines.

infant day care provider

Tip 4: Negotiate prices

Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices with infant care providers. Many providers are willing to work with parents to find a price that works for both parties. When negotiating prices, keep in mind that the cost of infant care can vary widely depending on your location and the specific provider you’re working with.

To negotiate effectively, start by researching the going rates for infant care in your area. This will give you an idea of what to expect and can help you make a reasonable offer. Additionally, consider offering to pay for a longer period of time upfront, such as six months or a year, in exchange for a discounted rate. You could also ask if they offer any discounts for referrals or for siblings enrolled in their program. Just remember, while it’s important to save money on infant care near you, it’s equally important to choose a provider that offers high-quality care for your child.

Tip 5: Create a budget

Creating a budget for infant care expenses is an essential step in saving money on child care. To get started, calculate your total monthly expenses. This includes any costs associated with in-home care or daycare center fees, as well as any additional expenses such as transportation, meals, and supplies.

Once you have a clear picture of your expenses, look for ways to cut costs. For example, you may be able to save money by packing your child’s lunch instead of buying it from the provider or by finding a more affordable provider in your area. 

To make creating a budget easier, you can use a budget template specifically designed for a family. This resource from Nerd Wallet is a free budget worksheet for parents that helps you estimate all of your expenses, so you know exactly how much you can afford to spend on infant care.

In conclusion, finding affordable infant care near you can be challenging. However, by considering in-home care, researching and comparing providers, utilizing tax credits and flexible spending accounts, negotiating prices, and creating a budget, you can save money on infant care near me. Don’t forget to check out UrbanSitter for trusted in-home providers in your area.

Infant care that fits your budget

Find affordable care for newborns and infants with UrbanSitter.

Summer Essentials for Babies

Is your baby as ready for summer as you are? Before you take the newest member of your family outside for some summertime fun, make sure you are prepared to keep your child protected from the sun and heat. Experts recommend that you keep babies under 6 months old away from sun exposure. For older babies, here are summer baby must haves to pack in your tote for a day out.

Summer Essentials for Babies

  • Lightweight clothing: You want to keep your baby cool, so you might think less is more when it comes to clothing. Not so true. Choose light-colored, lightweight fabrics to protect their skin, including arms and legs, and keep them cool, too. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you may want to invest in clothes with built-in sun-protection.
  • Summer Hat with Coverage: Don’t leave home without a dependable hat (or even two!). Babies in hats are always adorable, but choose a hat for function, not just fashion. Summer hats are essential and those with big brims or flaps that cover ears and the back of the neck are especially good. Verywell has compiled a list of the best summer hats for babies.
  • Sunglasses: If you can get your baby to keep sunglasses on, choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays (check the label). Baby Bandz sunglasses have a velcro fastener for easy on and off. If you can’t keep glasses on your little one, a visor or hat with a large brim should help shield his eyes.
  • Swim Diapers: If you’ll be hitting the pool, you’ll need swim diapers. Save money and the planet by choosing reusable swim diapers. Reusable swim diapers made from a stretchy swimsuit fabric are easy to change. Some even come with matching rash guards.
  • Sun shade with UV Protection: Don’t rely solely on your stroller’s canopy to shade your baby. He’ll, undoubtedly, end up with burnt toes! Amp up the protection by attaching a pop-up stroller shade with built-in UV protection to shelter your baby’s entire body.sun shade
  • Sunscreen: You can decide between a physical sunscreen (often called sunblock, which does not get absorbed into the skin) and a chemical sunscreen. There’s a debate brewing about whether chemical sunscreens are absorbed and potentially dangerous to babies. While these is no proof that the chemicals are toxic, you can play it safe by choosing sunscreens that are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which sit on top of the skin, forming a physical barrier against the sun. Sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide start protecting as soon as you put them on, while the chemical-based products need to be applied 15-30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Lucie’s List provides a list of the best sunscreens for babies. Whichever you are using, be sure to reapply often. BabyCenter has a nice overview article on how to choose sunscreen for your baby.
  • Swim Float: To give your arms a rest in the swimming pool, consider a swim float that the baby can safely sit in and enjoy the water. Plus it provides extra sun coverage!
  • Hydration: Be especially mindful of keeping babies hydrated when it’s warm outside. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t advise giving water to babies younger than 6 months. If your child hasn’t yet reached the 6-month mark, nurse or bottle-feed more often when they are likely to be thirsty. For older babies, be sure to offer water in a bottle or sippy cup throughout the day.
  • Lightweight blanket: A lightweight blanket is indispensable. Use it as an extra sun shade, a cover when the A/C’s a bit too chilly, a changing pad, a nursing shield and for an impromptu picnic.

Find your summer babysitter with UrbanSitter. Search for CPR-trained babysitters.

What to Know About Drool Rash

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All babies drool, but saliva on skin can cause a drooling rash near the mouth. From symptoms to treatment, here’s what to know about drool rash.

What is Drool Rash?

Drool rash, also known as drooling rash or newborn rash, is a type of contact dermatitis caused by excessive drool settling on the skin and irritating babies’ sensitive skin.

Babies develop their salivary glands around 2 to 3 months, which is when drool rash can begin, and they typically stop drooling when they’re around 15 to 18 months old. However, drool rash is most common when babies are teething. Babies drool the most while teething because they have new teeth cutting through their gums.

Additionally, pacifiers and teething rings can increase the risk of drool rash since they cause contact between saliva and the skin.

RelatedTips for Helping Your Teething Tot

What Does It Look Like?

Drool rash often looks like a bumpy red rash, often around babies’ mouths, chins, and necks. This image via Medical News Today shows what drool rash around the mouth may look like. If the rash appears more severe, including oozing or blistering, you should contact your child’s doctor for treatment.

drool rash example

How Do You Treat Drool Rash?

Drooling is a natural part of growing up, so how can you prevent your baby from developing a drooling rash or help an existing rash clear up? The easiest way to treat it is to prevent further contact between saliva and the skin as much as possible. Putting your baby in an absorbent bib and changing it when needed, as well as wiping excess saliva from their mouths, is the most effective way to reduce saliva’s contact with the skin.

To help the rash heal faster, you can gently clean the irritated area with warm water and a washcloth twice a day, making sure to pat the skin gently rather than rubbing the rash. After cleaning, you can apply a barrier cream or ointment such as petroleum jelly to help the rash heal faster. Avoid applying lotions or products with fragrance, and ask your child’s doctor if you aren’t sure whether a product is safe for your baby’s sensitive skin.

Is Drool Rash Contagious?

It isn’t contagious, and it also isn’t connected with any underlying medical conditions.

Does It Hurt?

It may be uncomfortable and itchy for your baby, but it isn’t a serious medical issue.

Should I Contact a Doctor About Drool Rash?

While drool rash on its own is harmless, you should contact a medical professional if your baby shows more severe symptoms like these:

  • The rash lasts for more than a few days and isn’t responding to treatment.
  • The rash is cracking, oozing or blistering, which could indicate the rash is infected.
  • Your baby seems very uncomfortable with the rash.
  • Your baby has a fever.

A doctor will be able to prescribe a treatment like an over-the-counter cream that should clear up your baby’s drooling rash in no time.

In Short, What Should I Know About Drool Rash?

Drool rash is a bumpy red rash around babies’ mouths caused by saliva touching and irritating their skin, often when they’re teething. There are three easy ways to treat it. First, you can prevent saliva from touching the skin with an absorbent bib. Second, you can gently clean the area with warm water and a washcloth. Third, you can apply a barrier cream like petroleum jelly to the rash. It isn’t contagious or overly painful, but if your baby has more severe symptoms, you should contact their doctor for treatment.

Related: Tips for Helping Your Teething Tot

How We Wrote This Article

We wrote this article using trusted medical sources, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and Mount Sinai. The advice in this article should not replace expert medical consultation, and you should contact medical professionals for official diagnoses and treatments.

Sources we cited:
American Academy of Pediatrics, Drooling and Your Baby
Mount Sinai, Special Topic: Teething
Scripps Health, Baby’s Drool Rash: How To Treat and Prevent It

Have Baby, Will Travel

Traveling with a baby

Whether you’re taking a road trip or facing a long flight together, the thought of traveling with an infant can be daunting, especially for first-timers. But, the trip doesn’t have to be a hairy one.

In fact, infants often make for much better travel companions than their squirmy, mobile, older siblings! Consider these tips from the experts for smooth, stress-free travel with your baby this summer.

Tips for Traveling with Infants

  1. Travel Light. We think babies require a lot of stuff, but whittle down your daily baby care items to the bare essentials, and you’ll be surprised at how little a baby really needs. Unless you’re headed to a remote location, you can lighten the load significantly by renting the big, must-have items and have them waiting for you when you arrive. Rental companies such as Babyquip, Rents 4 Baby and Travelingbaby.com will deliver to your destination, so no need to lug a crib or pack-n-play, jogging stroller, high chair, bicycle baby carrier, swing or baby gates. Verywell has a list of the best baby rental equipment.
    • They’ll also deliver car seats. Another option is to reserve one through your rental car carrier. Just be sure to request one in advance, making sure it’s the appropriate size, since supplies seem to be limited.
    • Another helpful hint for keeping the packing to a minimum –  purchase diapers, formula and extra baby wipes when you arrive, rather than carrying a large supply with you.
  2. Think ahead and be prepared. Ever try to carry a baby through a busy airport, thinking it was easier to check the stroller at baggage claim? Ever try to hold an infant while using a public restroom? Not fun. Make it easier on yourself by becoming one with your stroller while traveling. Not only will it save you from having to carry your precious cargo, it will also provide a place to change a diaper or let a tired little one get some rest. Along with the stroller, be sure you have an especially well-packed diaper bag, carry-on or tote. A diaper bag packed for an infant should include:
    • at least two changes of simple, low-fuss clothes and socks (blow-outs happen when you least expect them!)
    • diapers and plenty of baby wipes
    • a bottle and formula if you are bottle-feeding, a pacifier (especially helpful to combat air-pressure changes while flying)
    • hand sanitizer
    • light blanket to warm a chilly baby, serve as a nursing shield or provide a place to lie your baby down for a stretch.
    • any necessary medications, sunscreen, and diaper rash cream.
  3. Consider applying for TSA PreCheck
    • To make traveling through the airport even easier, you might want to apply for TSA PreCheck.  Children under 12 can go through TSA PreCheck with an adult who has it. With TSA Pre, your family won’t need to remove shoes, belts, toiletries, personal electronics such as an iPad or laptop or jackets, plus the line moves much more quickly. Keep in mind there is a cost to applying, however many credit cards will reimburse you.
  4. Keep to a schedule. Most parents agree with the experts who tell us that babies who stick to a schedule or routine are often the most content.
    • While it’s not always possible to follow the exact routine you have at home, you can typically feed, change and put your baby to sleep with some consistency. You and your baby will have a happier trip if she’s not skipping naps or missing bottles or snacks.
  5. Incorporate time for yourself and time with your spouse or partner. No matter how well you plan and prepare, travel with a baby can be stressful and tiring. Give yourself a break by making time to take care of yourself and your adult relationships. Let Dad do solo duty for a bit while you splurge on a spa treatment, take a nap or simply lounge by the pool with a good book.
    • You can both get a break and a chance to see the sights by taking advantage of a local babysitter. Hotels can often recommend local babysitters, though it’s typically less expensive and more convenient to find and book a trustworthy babysitter on UrbanSitter. You’ll have greater peace of mind leaving your child in a new sitter’s care after reading her profile and other parents’ reviews on the site.

Before long, your tiny travel companion will become an energetic toddler in tow! Check out these tips for happy traveling with tots and little kids.

Looking for a babysitter or nanny while on vacation? Join UrbanSitter to find sitters at your vacation destination. 

News You Can Use: Singing to Soothe a Crying Baby

Crying baby

By Dawn Van Osdell

Every parent has tip-toed away from a nearly sleeping baby after using all the tricks in our arsenal to sooth him. Turns out, these shenanigans might not be necessary.  A new study from the University of Montreal found that the best way to console a crying baby is to sing him a nursery rhyme. Babies in the study, which was recently published in Infancy, remained calm twice as long when they listened to a song—even one they didn’t know—as they did when they listened to parental speech.

We’ve known for years—generations, even—that music has a calming effect on humans, but until now it wasn’t known whether infants had the mental ability to be enraptured by it as well. “Many studies have looked at how singing and speech affect infants’ attention, but we wanted to know how they affect a baby’s emotional self-control,” says Isabelle Peretz, professor at the University of Montreal’s Center for Research on Brain, Music and Language. “Emotional self-control is obviously not developed in infants, and we believe singing helps babies and children develop this capacity.”

Her research studied 30 infants aged 6 to 9 months. In order to eliminate the possibility of influence by other factors—sensitivity to a mother’s voice, facial expressions, and connection between performer and baby, for instance—all speech and music were uttered in Turkish, a language that was unfamiliar to the babies; and parents were present, but out of sight. The music used was recorded rather than live, so no points were awarded for an especially talented singer or for social interaction between the singer and child.

When listening to the nursery rhymes, which tend to have a specific range of tones and rhythms, babies remained calm an average of nine minutes. They were calm for roughly half as long when speech—using baby-talk or not—was attempted as a means to sooth them.

“Our findings leave little doubt about the efficacy of singing nursery rhymes for maintaining infants’ composure for extended periods,” Peretz said. “Even in the relatively sterile environment of the testing room—blank walls, dim illumination, no toys, and no human visual or tactile stimulation—the sound of a woman singing prolonged infants’ positive or neutral states and inhibited distress.”

The findings are important because mothers, and Western mothers especially, speak much more often than they sing to their children. Switching to song as a comforting response could mean the difference between a crying baby and a content one.  No worries if you don’t know the words or can’t carry a tune—infants haven’t yet developed the capacity to judge you!

Photograph by Angelica Lasala via Compfight

Keeping the Nursery Cool in Summer

photo via creative commons


Even new parents quickly realize that an uncomfortable baby is an unhappy baby. When homes start to heat up in summer, letting young children run around in nothing more than a diaper can keep them comfortable during the day. But nighttime and nap-time coolness requires making a few adjustments to the nursery, to ensure that baby sleeps well.

For starters, block direct sunlight from streaming into the room. This is particularly important if the nursery is on the west side of your home, or otherwise receives direct sunlight for the majority of the day. Hang black out curtains, which will reduce heat transfer from windows.

Another way to reduce the amount of heat coming through is to install specialty sunscreens on the exterior of the nursery windows. This type of screen can block up to 95 percent of sunlight, and can be easily removed and stored when winter comes.

Maximizing airflow is also a must. And while cribs filled with teddy bears, blankets, and crib bumpers might look cute and cozy, all that extra fluff blocks airflow (it can also be a suffocation risk). Instead, choose a crib guard that leaves space for air to move freely into the crib through the rails. And swap out blankets for a lightweight swaddler or sleep sack. Put everything else away.

Also remember that during the summer months, ceiling fans should be set to rotate counter-clockwise. This pushes air straight down to cool the room, rather than pulling it up, to warm it. The hotter it gets, the higher the speed of your fan should be.

Clogged and dirty air ducts can reduce the flow of A/C into the nursery, especially if the room is far from the central unit. Hire a pro at an HVAC company, who can measure airflow coming from vents in the nursery and help determine if a duct cleaning is needed, or if the A/C unit needs servicing.

For more nursery tips, visit Go Mama Go.

The Best Mommy and Me Workouts

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Have baby, need a workout? We hear ya! It’s hard for anyone to squeeze regular exercise into a busy life, but moms of infants fight an especially tough uphill battle to make it happen. New moms are fighting fatigue and struggling to fit their own needs around their baby’s complete dependence.

Fortunately, their cries were heard, as witnessed by the plethora of Mommy & Me workout classes that have sprouted up around the country to enable Moms to workout without worrying about childcare. There’s truly something for everyone – from yoga, pilates, barre, stroller workouts, dance, cardio and strength training, and intense boot camps to kick your butt.

Here are our favorite postpartum workouts that allow you to work up a sweat with a built-in support network of other moms and your baby at your side.

image via Ed Yourdon, flickr
image via Ed Yourdon, flickr


These popular programs have a strong presence from coast to coast. Check their websites to find a location near you. We can almost guarantee that you’ll find more than one option that is close by and just right for your needs and your schedule.

Here’s where to go for an awesome outdoor workout with your baby. The founders of the original Stroller Strides have expanded to now offer Fit4Baby (a prenatal fitness class), Body Back (a workout for any stage of motherhood) and Stroller Barre. They also host an impressive mom community with playgroups and moms nights out.

Baby Boot Camp
There are more than 50 Baby Boot Camp programs throughout the Bay Area alone, and hundreds more across the country. The most popular stroller fitness class they offer, STROLLFIT, is a 60-minute class for moms of all fitness levels with one or two stroller-aged children. The ab routine at the end of each class makes it a total body workout.

Moms In Training
A program of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Moms In Training is a flexible, nine-week workout program that meets Saturday mornings. Get together with other moms and their babies to not only get in shape, but also raise funds for cancer treatments.


San Francisco is likely the yoga capital of the country and has no shortage of prenatal, postnatal and Mommy & Me yoga classes from one end of the city to the other. Golden Gate Mothers Group offers a fantastic list of yoga options for Moms. Bookmark it! The city also has some of the most active chapters of the national workouts we mentioned above. For Mommy & Me exercise options outside of the city, read on.

Pomegranate – San Anselmo
A wonderful center with prenatal and postnatal yoga and pilates, as well as new mom groups and workshops. You can do the classes with your baby and they also sometimes offer childcare so you can enjoy a bit of solo time.

Lautmann’s Gym – Mill Valley
Check out their new class for moms and their babies where you wear your baby in a carrier and the workout is designed (and approved by an RN) to use your baby’s weight as resistance.

Mommy & Me Pilates – Pilates Pro Works – Oakland
Popular pilates and barre studio offers a Mommy & Me Pilates class designed for new moms and their babies age 6 weeks to crawlers.

Yogalayam – Berkeley
Awesome Mommy & Me Yoga classes at this Prana Yoga studio.

Yogini & Bambini Yoga at Nandhi Yoga – San Mateo
Designed for moms who want practice yoga with their little ones by their sides. Open to all levels with babies who are pre-crawling to 24 months.

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Mommy and Me Fitness – throughout Manhattan
A wildly popular personal trainer leads moms in sessions that vary from jogging, doing squats and lunges, jumping rope, using resistance bands and working with the environment around you to get a great workout with great company or on your own if you prefer a private session.

Strollercize – Central Park
Use your stroller as a fitness apparatus to strengthen, slim and balance, and when your hands are not on the stroller, use the program’s RollerSize to tone thighs, target tummies and improve posture.

BoSoul – Manhattan
New Yorkers use this cool, innovative service to find other moms with similar interests, form or join a class group and hire a top-notch instructor who is available when they are.

Baby Om Yoga – Manhatttan and Brooklyn
A 75-minute class providing a full yoga experience for both caregiver and baby.


Zooga Yoga – Culver City
Zooga offers a full range of classes suitable for yogis of all ages, from babies to toddlers to teens & families; and for adults and mommies in all stages of pregnancy.


Hip Circle Studio – Evanston
This studio exceeds the typical offerings with popular classes such as a dynamic cardio class, dance, yoga and even belly dancing for moms and their babies or young children.

Bubbles Academy – Chicago
A bootcamp style workout that uses a combination of running, weight training, ballet and barre to kick you into (or back into!) shape. Studio offers free sibling care so you can enjoy some one-on-one time with your child.

Active Moms Club – Chicago
Mommy & Me Postnatal Recovery class is targeted to new Moms who are 6 weeks to 6 months postpartum and ready to lose their baby belly. The workout aims to tighten your abs, pelvic floor muscles and lower and upper back—all with your little one by your side. Toddler care for older siblings is available at a minimal cost.


Lil Omm Yoga – Tenleytown
Community yoga center focused on yoga for all levels, specializing in prenatal, Mommy and Me yoga and yoga fitness classes and yoga for children. Their popular Mommy and Me YogaFit workout blends cardio, yoga, strength, and resistance training using free weights, bands, and blocks for a more intense workout.

Past Tense Yoga – Mt. Pleasant
Studio offers pre and postnatal yoga classes, kids yoga, Music Together classes and PJ parties.  They also offer a fun Movers and Me class, though it’s more of a workout for your crawling to age 2 child than it is for you

Thanks to these fun, innovative and effective workouts, you can exercise around your baby’s feeding and nap schedule and enjoy the company of other moms who feel your pain in more ways than one.

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6 Quick Nursery Tips for Your New Arrival

Contribution by Andrea Davis, Home Advisor

The arrival of a newborn is an exciting time and a nursery provides a tranquil, comfortable space for your newborn. Preparing the space before the baby’s arrival minimizes the stress associated with the first few weeks at home. Consider these six tips for getting the nursery in order before the big day to cut down on stress.


Select a Design

The décor of the nursery is the first thing to consider: colors, decorations and materials based on the baby’s gender. Select the fabrics first and paint to ensure the walls match the curtains and bedding. The design should also include items that stimulate your baby’s development like animals and mobiles. Because your baby will spend a lot of time on his or her back, consider adding a mural or stimulating design to the ceiling to stimulate the mind.

Childproof the Nursery

When purchasing or borrowing a crib, ensure that the slats are no more than 2 3/38 inches apart and you can consult consumer protection regarding recalls or warnings. Purchase a baby monitor with more than one receiver so you can move around the house while your baby is in the nursery. Crawl around the floor to ensure that the room is baby proof and add childproofing locks to cabinets for when he or she starts to crawl around the nurse. Also add soft padding to corners of cabinets, tables and other parts of the nursery so he or she doesn’t bump their head when they’re crawling about.

Decorate ASAP

While there is no set time to prepare the nursery, it is easier to paint and decorate the room when it is empty. You should schedule a time to decorate the room several weeks before the due date once you know the gender of the baby. This also provides time for any paint fumes and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to dissipate. It’s best to use low-odor, VOC-free paint and materials whenever possible to prevent exposing your baby to such fumes. This target date helps determine the time by which items need to be acquired as well, like posters, stuff animals, furniture and so forth.

Make a Checklist

After choosing the type of nursery you want and when it needs to be finished, make a checklist to help keep you organized.

  • List the essential items you will need immediately after bringing the baby home.
  • Ask family and friends for advice on the items that they found most useful as well as what to borrow or buy. This will help you to avoid wasting money on unnecessary items.
  • Determine if you will use a bassinet, cradle or crib and a changing table or dresser.
  • Develop a timeline for accomplishing each task, such as painting the room and installing furniture.

The checklist will help you create a budget for larger items.

Optimize Space

If your nursery is too small to fit everything, you will require creative storage and furniture arrangement solutions. Traditional baby furniture like a changing table, dresser and crib take up a large amount of floor space which may leave less room for play. So maximize the space for movement as well as furniture that serves multiple functions like a crib with drawers underneath and a low dresser than can be used as a dressing table. Because children’s clothes are smaller, you could add another crossbar in the lower half of a closet, for example.

Create a Sanitation Station

Creating a sanitation station will help keep the nursery germ-free with a diaper disposal system and clothing hamper. In addition to diapers, baby wipes and creams, the changing station should also have paper towels and a disinfectant cleaner for cleaning spills. By keeping everything nearby for easy access and removal, you will be able to cut down on germs and time when changing the baby’s diaper and smelling dirty diapers.

Andrea Davis is the editor for HomeAdvisor, which helps homeowners find home improvement professionals in their area at no charge to ensure the best service in the shortest amount of time. 

Photos courtesy of DesignMine.

Thoughtful Gifts for New Moms

Nothing says you care quite as much as bringing delicious food to someone in need. Whether it’s a new mom, a mom-to-be on bed rest, a sick friend or even a new neighbor, anyone going through a transitional or stressful time will appreciate not having to prepare a meal for her family.


However, as much as we all like to lend a helping hand by bringing a meal or a special treat to eat, it can be tough for busy parents to make it happen. Here are 8 unique ideas for bringing nourishing food to a family in need, none of which require much, if any, time in the kitchen.

Sandwich tray. A deli tray with assorted cold cuts, cheeses, breads and toppings, such as sliced tomatoes, lettuce leaves and a jar of pickles is fail-safe. The nice thing about a deli tray is that it provides a simple, light, serve-yourself meal, and will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. It’s nice to know there’s something in the refrigerator to quickly throw together a meal for your family or company dropping in any time of day.

Breakfast spread. Pick up fresh bagels, a loaf of cinnamon bread, an artisanal or homemade jam, juice and seasonal fruit. It’s extra nice if you turn the fruit into a fruit salad or simply slice it, so there’s nothing to prep. Throw in a gallon of milk and you might just save her a trip to the store this week.

Lunchbox duty. A mom of school-age kids would flip for someone to make a week’s worth of lunches for her kids to take to school. Check out our Awesome Lunchbox Ideas Pinterest board for unique ideas that kids will love.

Basket of fresh produce. A mom receiving meals from friends is likely up to her eyeballs in lasagnas and other heavy dishes. It’s likely she’ll appreciate a bounty of fresh produce to feed her family. Make a stop at your local farmer’s market and load up a pretty basket with yummy, seasonal finds that can be eaten with little or no prep.

A meal fit for a king. A holiday-worthy ham (ready to eat) and delivered with a bag of crusty rolls and some mayo and mustard for serving.

Donuts for dad. The spouse of a woman on bed rest or recovering from a recent birth, is working double duty. Show him you care by dropping off donuts, muffins, or fresh pastries, along with a to-go container of coffee and juice for him and his colleagues.

Homemade cookie dough. Ingenious idea – make a batch of your favorite cookie dough, drop scoops of it on a cookie sheet and freeze. The lucky recipient can bake them for a nice treat for her kids with minimal effort.

Fresh salads. When we think of bringing someone a meal, we think of a casserole, hearty stew and baked dish. How about fresh salads? Simple Bites provides lots of great recipes for fresh salads in a jar. The salads can be dressed, shaken and eaten at any time, which makes them perfect for a quick lunch or side at dinner.

No matter what you bring your friend in need, she’ll appreciate that you took the time to think of her and made an effort to lighten her load. Perhaps a break from the kids would make for a nice treat, too. Pick up an UrbanSitter gift card to go along with your bounty of good food!

Tips for Helping Kids Adjust to Daylight Savings


For most of the country, it’s time to turn the clocks ahead one hour this weekend, as we officially move to Daylight Savings Time, Sunday, March 9. Interestingly, newborns don’t seem to be affected by time changes. However, the hour change tends to take a toll on children. According to child healthcare experts, it can take kids a few days to adjust to a new sleep schedule, leaving parents with tired, cranky kids on their hands. Fortunately, there are simple tips you can follow to help your kids adjust to the change as quickly and easily as possible, so you can both get the sleep you need.

julia-Exhausted sleeping toddler

Tips for Helping Kids Adjust to Daylight Savings

  • Don’t wait until Sunday to deal with the change and its consequences. Be prepared and have a plan for how you’ll help your kids adapt to the extra hour.
  • Consider starting on Thursday. Drop their bedtime back 15 minutes each day so that by Sunday night, they are ready to go to bed when the clock says their usual bedtime, even if their body clock think it’s an hour early.
  • If you don’t start Thursday, push bedtime back an hour Friday so kids have an extra weekend night to adjust to the change.
  • Don’t try to give kids extra help getting to sleep. Keep to the usual routine, no matter the time. They may not fall asleep right away, but getting them in bed will encourage their minds and bodies to relax a little earlier.
  • It’s often hard to convince kids that it’s bedtime when it’s still light outside. Try making bedrooms darker with blackout shades or blinds, or skip the nightlight.
  • Don’t overstimulate kids in an attempt to tire them out for an earlier bedtime. Overtired kids often have meltdowns and trouble falling asleep, rather than falling asleep easier.
  • Wake them up at their normal times. Don’t let them sleep later to make up for lost sleep.
  • Same goes for naps. Stick with the usual nap times, and wake them from their nap time at a normal time.
  • Falling asleep an hour earlier often means waking an hour earlier. Discourage kids from waking too early by letting them know what you feel is an acceptable time to start the day. Suggest they read in bed or play quietly until it’s time to get out of bed.
  • Consider putting a digital clock in your kid’s room and letting them know when it’s ok to leave their bed in the morning. Kid sleep training clocks are especially helpful this time of year.

The best way to help kids get the sleep they need is to be regimented about bedtime and bedtime routines. Kids always benefit when they know what to expect, and can easily grasp the idea that having a bath, brushing teeth and hearing a bedtime story signals the end of the day, regardless of the time or caregiver. If you haven’t already established a bedtime routine, now is the time to do it. Both you and your kids will get the rest you need to start enjoying the longer days!

What are your tips on getting kids to adjust to Daylight Savings? Share with us in the comments!