February 2016 archive
We read a lot about preparing for your first child. What equipment will be needed, how to baby-proof the home, how to plan etc. In some respects you might be feeling like a bit of a pro by the time your second child is due. However, there is much less written about preparing for a second child, though this also requires a lot of thinking and planning. Many mums worry about how to prepare their toddler for a new sibling. How will he or she cope with a younger brother or sister? How will you manage to get them both up and dressed each morning? What about meal times?
A Change in Focus
The last time around you were starting from scratch. You didn’t know what baby products to buy, how to prepare your home, how to decorate the nursery or what to expect. This time will be different. You have the knowledge and experience from the last couple of years. You can now change your focus and work out how to incorporate a new little person into the family unit. And if you need a bit of a refresher of preparing for a newborn this article will jog your memory.
Preparing your Toddler
There is no need to tell your toddler straight away. For a toddler, nine months might as well be nine years. Tell them nearer the time when the event will be more immediate. Involve them as much as possible. Ask for their help and involve them in sorting out the nursery or toys.
Enjoy this Time Together
Soon your threesome (or twosome) will be coming to an end. You will have a wonderful addition to the family but the dynamic will change. Make the most of this time together. Celebrate the days when it is just the two or three of you. Plan some special activities you can do as a family.
Prepare in Advance as Much as Possible
This is easier said than done. Try and prepare in advance as much as possible. If you have time, cook and freeze some meals to keep you going for the first few weeks. Accept help. This can be difficult for some people but if there are family and friends around you who are willing and able to help, let them. Listen to these mums talk about their feelings when preparing themselves for their second child.
Bringing the Baby Home
Think carefully about the birth itself and how to handle this with your toddler. When they come to visit you in hospital, remember that they will have missed you. It may be a day or more since they saw you. Make a fuss of them and tell them how much you have missed them.
Try to arrange to take the new baby home together so that you all arrive at the same time.
Include them as much as possible. Allow them to sit with you during feeding. Make sure it is clear to your toddler that there are times just for you and him / her. During these times say openly to the baby that you’re helping your toddler right now.
Above all enjoy these times together. They go so quickly. Cherish the time you have with your toddler and then celebrate the new member of the family when he or she arrives. It can be a challenging time and there will be stresses and strains. But it will also be a beautiful and joyous time. Remember to celebrate that.
More people than ever in the UK now work for themselves so the idea of running your own business from home is something anyone can consider as an achievable target. Starting a new business from the ground up does have many different challenges, including of course what kind of work you can earn enough money from in order to succeed.
Types of home businesses
There are now more ways of working from home that at any time in the past, and much of this is down to advances in communications technology. High-speed domestic broadband means anyone can be connected to the world to as big a degree as they want to be. You can run an international business without leaving your front door.
Online trading sites means that many UK entrepreneurs buy and sell goods online, dealing with suppliers and customers on an internationally basis. If you have knowledge of a particular thing that is in demand you can use your skill to ‘buy low, sell high’. Likewise, many people with creative writing or artistic skills can work as freelancers creating content for publishers, while others can use clerical and administrative experience to be a contractor working on out-sourced projects for an extremely wide range of companies.
While running a small home office needn’t impact much on the rest of the family, especially if you have a room set aside as a dedicated office space, any business that means dealing with stock or product deliveries can be tricky.
Obviously most families won’t want the whole house to become a stockroom. A garage can be used for storage, but increasingly many people whose self-employment involves buying and selling use secure rental storage facilities, as they are flexible in terms of how much space you need and are competitive cost-wise too.
Obviously, anyone making the move to starting their own business needs to take a long hard look at the financial implications. Funding might be needed in the early stages, invoicing, waiting for payments might cause cash flow problems, and dealing with the bookkeeping and HMRC requirements can take up valuable time.
Fortunately, there are some great accountants for contractors that do all the heavy lifting for you and can look after all the financial aspects of running a business from home that might seem too daunting for some who want to take the plunge.
Of course, once you have everything in place the hard work really begins. Running you own business isn’t something that suits everyone, but if you have self-motivation and the ability to deal with the inevitable setbacks, you’ll be sure to be able to make a good go of things.
Knowing that there are plenty of ways you can share the burdens and use outside companies to help you navigate tricky areas such as finances that you might not have had to deal with before can be a very positive thing to bear in mind.
It’s really important, when designing any room to be child friendly, that you ensure that the room is both practical and safe. Here are a few ideas that will help you with creating the perfect family space.
Ensuring your little ones can confidently reach the toilet, sink or even bath unaided is important, especially when they have the tendency to want to do things alone and will do whatever it takes to do so no matter how unsafe or risky. There’s a simple solution, invest in a step stool, there are many on the market that serve different functional purposes, from fold away ones to ones that slide neatly under a ledge or onto a shelf. Just make sure that it’s accessible for your child at all times, so there’s never any risk of them not being able to reach it.
The key for a functional child-friendly bathroom is accessibility. You need to have confidence that your child can use the bathroom, with guidance, at ease. Sliding doors are the perfect item to have installed in the bathroom, they don’t only take up less space in both the bathroom and hall, but by using sliding doors, there is less chance of trapped fingers as you can install self-closing hinges that enable the door to close slowly and not slam shut when pushed. Another thing to consider is how accessible the cabinets are, it’s okay to have things in the shaving cabinet, but why not provide a smaller cabinet dedicated to the child’s own items such as toothbrush, bath toys, towels and so on. This way they can have more responsibility and sense of independence by getting themselves ready using their own things without having to climb up to your cupboards to reach what they need. You can also install self-closing hinges on your cabinet doors too, again this will just erase the risk or trapping fingers in the door.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to heat in the bathroom. The main risk is the hot water, many boilers these days can reach up to boiling, or at least very hot, in a matter of seconds. The solution to this problem is simply installing a temperature controller. These devices can be installed either on the tap itself or on the boiler, and as the name explains, the device controls how hot the water temperature can go. The towel rail can also be an issue, as children are great when it comes to swinging and climbing, when they see a long towel dangling from the wall you can imagine the first thing on their mind. If you are thinking of installing a heated towel rail, position it out of the child’s reach, this way the towel can dangle down for them to reach, yet they can’t quite get their hands on the rail itself, so there’s no risk of it coming away from the wall.
Make sure that it’s easy for your little one to copy your daily routine, when it comes to being in the bathroom you’ll notice they just want to do what you’re doing. Whether your brushing your hair, cleaning your teeth, washing your face or even applying moisturiser you’ll notice that if your little one has the option to join in, they’ll love it. Plus, this is a great way to encourage independence and get them used to day to day routines. Add a mirror above the sink that your little one will be able to use when they stand on their stepping stool, they’ll be able to use the mirror to brush their teeth and so on and it will also help boost confidence skills as they’re able to do little things on their own, making them feel grown up. Place a small (ish) basket in the corner of the room for laundry, don’t purchase one that is too tall as if your child can’t reach they will probably attempt to climb in and that would probably end in tears. Having a smaller basket will allow your little one to put their clothing in the wash bin and learn to be organized and tidy from a younger age.
Every home should be equipped with a radiator if you and your family wish to keep warm during the harsh winter months. Even if you live in a cold area, a fireplace might not suffice in keeping your home warm. This is the very reason why heating radiators were invented in the first place! If you live in a relatively small house, consider yourself lucky as most radiators work best in smaller spaces. The bigger the house, the more challenging it is to create a centralised heating system.
There are various factors that contribute to an effective heating system such as an energy efficient boiler and a range of control valves such as thermostatic radiator valves, but at its core, a radiator is one of the most important components in a heating system. With proper placement, even the simplest radiator is capable of producing heat evenly. You just have to know the ideal locations in your house for its installation which comes back to logical reasoning.
Vertical radiators are not new in the market as they have been around for quite some time. These types of radiators come in various sizes and output capacities. Modernised ones also come with fancy designs but is not that necessary if you’re on a budget. Depending on how cold your area is, you might need more than one small radiator fitted but this is not always necessary. Don’t forget to visit stores such as the Radiator Factory to find out more about different radiators which come in a range of artistically beautiful or conventional designs.
Proper placement is essential here as for the best result, you should always install the radiator in the coldest room of your home. Try to avoid installing the radiator where sources of cold air might interfere with the heat output. For example, always avoid installing a radiator opposite a window, especially if cold air is coming in directly towards the radiator. Try to place the radiator away from the window such as below the window. This way, as cold air comes in, it is quickly eliminated from the hot air generated below the window. The Radiator Factory supplies a range of vertical radiators and even cast iron radiators to fit any home.
Advantage in small spaces
One of the greatest advantage of vertical radiators is its versatility in small spaces. As we mentioned earlier, you would be lucky if your housing is relatively small as you can save a lot of expenses with only a few radiators. Even if you were to rely on a single radiator, this should not be a problem. Small spaces have a tendency to confine heat effectively as opposed to larger spaces. If you don’t have any windows in any small room of your house, then a small BTU radiator is all you really need which saves you quite a hefty expense. Even if you did have a window, there should not be a problem as vertical radiators come in different sizes. Even some small vertical radiators come with a higher BTU output but that really depends on what you need.
Let’s say that you wanted to install a small radiator in a small room. You shouldn’t just buy any radiator, but you should purchase the ideal one. How to find an ideal one is relatively easy. First, you will need to calculate the space of the room by multiplying the width, length, height (in feet) of the room. When you have done this, multiply the number by four. That number is quantitates to the amount of BTU output your radiator needs. In this case, the smaller the figure, the more affordable it is (and especially if you stick to traditional designed radiators).
Vertical radiators are an excellent choice for any small family household. They can practically be installed in any location and most of them are budget friendly. There are various materials and styles available, but for small spaces we recommend that you keep the design simple and aim for efficiency. Don’t forget to calculate the BTU requirements of your room to prevent you from purchasing a radiator which lacks heating power or one that provides you with more thermal capacity than you really need.