How Much Should A 5 Month Old German Shepherd Eat How to Prepare for a Kid to Visit (Short Term) When You Don’t Have Kids

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How to Prepare for a Kid to Visit (Short Term) When You Don’t Have Kids

There was a point in time (100 years ago? OK, really only eight) when I thought to myself “why can’t she just get her kid to behave and stop breaking my stuff?” I thought of it for a very good friend. Someone I knew years before they had kids. I really questioned her parenting techniques (in my mind, of course). Since having children, I realize that sometimes there is not much you can do about your children’s behavior, and most of the time they are not bad, but rather they are hungry, tired, or have a lot of energy and need an outlet. This article is dedicated to friends without kids, grandparents who haven’t had kids in a while, new aunts and uncles, and anyone else expecting a short visit from a little one. It’s designed to help you “proof” your home for that little visitor and his wet little hands who want to touch all your glass miniatures and pull Fluffy’s tail.

Infant (newborn-1 year old)

Crawling babies are easy enough to baby-proof. Make sure you vacuum the room you’re going to be entertaining in to make sure all small debris and debris are removed from the floor to limit the amount of flu the child can put in their mouth. I also like to have a clean blanket handy to lay on the floor so it will be a little warmer, and if the pattern on said blanket is bright or interesting, it can distract baby for a while. A diaper change is bound to happen during the visit, so planning for it will prevent you from being there later. Simply laying a towel with an absorbent pad on top (think puppy pads) on your spare bed is perfect. Some other items that are good to have with you might be a couple of baby wipes (the cheap soft ones) or baby wipes to wipe faces, noses and hands. For infants close to a year, rice puffs (or nuts) and applesauce are good healthy snacks.

I also keep my dogs out of the way. Whether in the yard, garage or basement. My dogs LOVE babies. There’s nothing like a 110-pound German Shepherd laying on the blanket next to baby and licking baby’s hair back with dog spit. While this sight warms my heart, it has made some of my girlfriends generally nauseous (I love my dogs). I know my dogs would never intentionally harm a child, but none of my friends (only S) feel the way I do about dogs. Even your most dog-loving friends may have a different perspective when a fragile infant enters their lives. The best way to avoid any embarrassment is to simply keep the dogs out of the mix at this stage. Plus, if the door does happen to slam, you know baby won’t get trampled in the chaos that’s sure to follow.

Toddler (1-2 years old)

This stage in the child’s life is a little more difficult to prepare for. Make sure the wires are out of sight, electrical outlets are either out of reach or have plug covers (they’re really cheap, don’t risk it). Remove all fragile things from the bottom shelves, this includes magazines and photo albums that you don’t want to tear. The nice thing about this age is that you can usually place things over 3 feet (on a table or counter) to keep them out of the way. Toddlers use objects to stabilize themselves, so make sure the furniture where they will be playing is sturdy (balanced) and that there are no objects that could topple over with a slight sway (think tall lamps, crystal vases). My all-time worst example is a TV disc. We had one sitting between the couch and recliner to hold remotes and drinks. My daughter (8 months old at the time) pulled herself up using the tray. Seven years later she still has an L-shaped scar on her forehead from the disc pulling on her.

You should definitely make sure the toddler doesn’t run around unsupervised, so be prepared to be on the go! Children begin to climb at this stage and, if left to their own devices, have an uncanny knack for getting into the strangest mishaps. Until they get used to your home, you can expect a few bumps and bruises no matter how careful you are (you should have seen poor Mr. C when S first brought him to our house). A cold pack for the child, antiseptic spray and some fun bandages will probably come in handy if you have them.

Now remember these are fixes for when you have a youngster for a few hours. If you are going to be giving birth often, then you may want to make a room that is safe for toddlers. If you and your friend have coffee every Thursday, then you might want to waterproof the family room and keep it so you’re not moving things around every Thursday morning, only to put them back Thursday afternoon. If the kitchen is a better area, you can put some rubber bands or cabinet locks around your lower cabinet handles and then put a baby gate to ensure baby doesn’t wander off. I also find it helpful to keep a few age appropriate toys hanging around my house. These games then become something special to play during visits.

Also, never underestimate the power of a good snack. Choose something they can feed themselves. I like Puffs because they are safe for young eaters and store nicely, but other good choices are squeezable fruit packs, Cheerios, string cheese, and grapes or strawberries. Always remember to ask a parent first special offer any kind of food to a child (no, it can’t hurt them if they don’t take it, but it can cause rage if they thought they would and then didn’t). If the visit includes a meal, most kids this age can eat the same meal as you (ask about allergies the day before) just cut into small pieces and make sure it’s chilled. Having a baby dish just for them would be a welcome surprise.

Walkers (2-4 years old)

This age gets a little more difficult. Once children walk, the world becomes their oyster. Everything needs to be explored, which means that while you don’t have to be so careful with falling furniture, you do have to keep an eye on it at all times. I have learned that if they are quiet it means they are interested in something. I once stopped from work to log on to the computer for 10 minutes. I had my daughter (then 2) with me. It was right outside my office. I could see her if I leaned my chair back. I thought it was fine since there were six other people in the office with me. I finished what I came in to do in the expected time frame, thinking to myself how good she was only to discover that she had discovered a marker and drawn all over the wall. Thank goodness it only added a trip to the store to find a Magic Eraser (love the product) to my day not a gallon of paint! One of the challenges I’m facing right now is my older children’s toys. Whenever my girlfriends come over, I constantly pick them up because almost all of them seem to have tiny parts that are a choking hazard for children under 3. Barbie shoes and Legos are my enemies. I deal with this situation by having the older kids move any of their toys around the family or dining room and put them in their rooms. I informed my friend that the family room and dining room are secure and use a baby gate. Temporaries that apply tension to the wall are relatively inexpensive and you can use them for pets and children.

Older children (4 years and older)

This stage must be stupid, right? They are not going to drown, fall or get poisoned. It usually is, but I just want to add a few facts to help you out. First, I often forget that my kids can read now. I always seem to remember this as I’m perusing Facebook and one of my friends has posted something that is PG, and then my 8 year old wants me to define what that word means or my 6 year old wants to do this dog pulled such a photo. At which point I remind them not to read over my shoulder and I usually add “I can’t make you pay attention when I want to, but as soon as I want 5 minutes alone I become interesting?” This is true of all media I learn. Not only the computer, but also the TV and books. My kids can all work on the remote and I had to remember not to put my romance novels away. While you probably aren’t in danger of collapsing from hunger with kids this age, healthy snacks are always great to have on hand. Most importantly, remember that whatever you have they will want (actually this starts around two), so the more you can avoid eating or drinking anything you don’t want (or can’t) share in front of them, the better.

A small investment of time before the little visitor arrives can make your visit much less stressful and you might (but not guarantee) be able to have a full conversation with your friend. Above all, remember to enjoy the time with your friend even if it requires a little more effort.

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