Babies: How to Get Your Children Excited About the New Arrival

Written by Barbara Freedman-De Vito

Continued from page 1

As part of that preparation process, from time to time plan special activities with your kids that relate to babies. For example, they might draw pictures of babies or collect baby photos from magazines and create a collage. Sit down and go through photo albums of your kids' baby pictures and reminisce with them about their own arrivals intorepparttar world. Re-tell any family anecdotes surrounding their births. Teach your children lullabies that they can sing torepparttar 142784 baby, plus finger games and "peek-a-boo" games to entertain their new brother or sister.

Arts and crafts projects can furnish a special parent-child discussion and sharing time and may sometimes revolve around preparations forrepparttar 142785 new baby. Kids can make pictures to hang inrepparttar 142786 baby's room, or create a baby-safe mobile to hang overrepparttar 142787 baby's crib, or draw scenes in which they imagine their lives withrepparttar 142788 new baby - rockingrepparttar 142789 baby in their arms, and so forth.

Letrepparttar 142790 kids be involved in every facet ofrepparttar 142791 preparations that you yourself are making forrepparttar 142792 baby's arrival. Your kids can help you repaintrepparttar 142793 nursery or paint a mural onrepparttar 142794 nursery wall, and help you pick out baby furniture, bedding and nursery decorations. They can choose baby clothes that appeal to them. All of these things can later giverepparttar 142795 children pride and a sense of importance and inclusion inrepparttar 142796 baby's life. When grandma says "What a cute bibrepparttar 142797 baby's wearing," your preschooler can say "I picked it !"

In addition, make your children key members ofrepparttar 142798 family committee that chooses a name forrepparttar 142799 new baby. Keeprepparttar 142800 kids involved and actively participating and then, asrepparttar 142801 birth becomes imminent, dad andrepparttar 142802 kids may even conspire to prepare some extra, special, secret surprises for mom andrepparttar 142803 baby, like buying or creating a special keepsake item or putting together a "welcome home" party.

In short, it's always worthrepparttar 142804 effort to do as much as you can to get your kids involved in and excited aboutrepparttar 142805 arrival of a new baby. Include them in every step ofrepparttar 142806 process. The more they feel that it is THEIR baby, too,repparttar 142807 more positive their attitudes will be towardsrepparttar 142808 baby. In this way, you can try to minimizerepparttar 142809 natural insecurities and feelings of jealousy that go withrepparttar 142810 territory.

The suggestions mentioned in this article can help layrepparttar 142811 groundwork for good sibling relationships but, of course, you can't rest on your laurels oncerepparttar 142812 baby is born. Afterrepparttar 142813 baby arrives, try to do everything you can to set aside some special time each day that's just for you and each of your other children. Offer them special little treats or outings or surprises, and encourage grandma and grandpa to dorepparttar 142814 same. To reduce jealousy, give your kids pride inrepparttar 142815 things that they CAN do thatrepparttar 142816 baby can't do, like dressing themselves or enjoying a movie or reciting their ABCs. Continue alongrepparttar 142817 path that you started on months earlier - reassure your kids that each of them is just as important asrepparttar 142818 baby is, so that they won't feel that they must compete for your love and attention.

Good luck and oh, byrepparttar 142819 way, congratulations !

Visit Barbara Freedman-DeVito's website at for baby clothes, children's clothing and gift items decorated with her colorful and amusing artwork for kids. Barbara is a professional storyteller, teacher and artist.

How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be?

Written by Terry J. Rigg

Continued from page 1

All you would have to do is save your grocery receipts for about 30 to 60 days and add them up. This should give you a good idea of how much you spend on a monthly basis for food.

When you have this information it's time to start looking for ways to cut that figure down as low as you can and still provide good nutritious meals for your family.

If I started telling justrepparttar ways I know of how to save on groceries, this article would turn into a book. There are endless ways to cut back on your food spending. The best way to start learning is to searchrepparttar 142729 web. Here are a couple of web sites you can start with:

The Frugal Shopper

Money Saving Grocery Tips

Grocery Saving Tips

With all of that said,repparttar 142730 bottom line is that you need to spend what ever it takes on groceries to survive. In too many cases people will pay their bills out of their grocery budget. This won't work. Water, Food and shelter arerepparttar 142731 basics. Put them first no matter what your bills are or how many times they call to harass you.

I know you are still looking for a dollar amount for your family. If you pin me down I would have to say about 15% to 20% of your income could be spent on food. For a family making $3000 a month that would mean you would set aside about $450 to $600 for food. This is great unless you have teenagers that go throughrepparttar 142732 kitchen like vacuum cleaners.

Terry Rigg is the author of Living Within Your Means - The Easy Way and editor of the Budget Stretcher web site. Join the thousands of subscribers to The FREE Budget Stretcher Newsletter and get great articles, tips, downloads and a lot of Budget Help by visiting his home page at

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