(NewsUSA) - Helping your baby sleep through the night is one of the great milestones of parenthood. Establishing good sleep habits and patterns early can help babies learn how to sleep, which is a key component in a baby's happiness, and makes for less exhausted (sort of) parents.
Gerber Good Start Gentle's sleep consultant Christina Gantcher advises parents to focus on the Three E's: Eating, Environment, and Education.
* Eating: Poor feeding can impact your baby's ability to sleep well. If your baby doesn't seem to be eating at regular intervals or gaining weight at an appropriate pace, talk to your lactation consultant or pediatrician.
* Environment: You can facilitate better sleep for your new baby by creating a quiet, dark environment in a dedicated area. Remember, babies should always be put to sleep on their backs; supervised tummy time should occur during the day when baby is awake. Always put your baby on his or her back to sleep with no loose blankets, pillows or toys nearby. Try to follow a bedtime routine to help baby recognize cues to associate with going to sleep, such as a bath or book.
* Education: Learn about your baby and you'll soon recognize his or her cues about being ready to sleep, such as eye rubbing. Don't neglect naptime. Remember that infants are typically only awake for short periods, and daytime naps can aid nighttime sleep. When you feel your baby is ready, try placing him or her in the crib when they are drowsy but still awake, so they can start learning and remembering how and where they fell asleep.
Gantcher also advises parents to be as consistent as possible with a sleep routine, but be patient as you learn the habits of your individual child. Sleep helps give babies energy and puts them in the mood to learn and explore the world, and a rested baby often means a happier family, too.
As part of their desire to help support parents through their journey and provide them with the confidence they need to help their baby sleep through the night, Gerber Good Start Gentle has sponsored Christina Gantcher as their sleep consultant on Gerber's panel of experts. Gantcher will be available to provide free, personalized, one-on-one phone consultations five days per week.
To sign up for a consultation with Gerber Good Start Gentle's sleep consultant, please visit Gerber.com/experts or call the Gerber Parents Resource Center 24/7 at 1-800-284-9488 for help in scheduling an appointment.
(NewsUSA) - Owning a pet comes with a lot of benefits -- but caring for a pet can also have an unwelcome impact on your budget. According to the ASPCA, owning a dog or cat can cost up to $1,000 in the first year, and many people end up spending much more. The good news is, you can cut your pet care expenses without compromising your pet's health and wellbeing. Here are a few tips to save money on pet care:
1. Don't skip the vet.
If you're trying to save money, it can be tempting to cut back on veterinary visits. But, according to Julie Ciarmella of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, "an investment in preventive healthcare can reduce your long-term pet healthcare costs." Why? Because regular check-ups can prevent expensive complications down the road.
2. Get by with a little help from your friends.
Dog-walking, pet-sitting and kennel services can be one of the most expensive aspects of owning a pet. You can save money by taking the "you scratch my dog's back, I'll scratch your cat's chin" approach and tapping into a network of other pet owners in your area. Neighborhood dog parks are great places to meet like-minded pet lovers; or you could try good old fashioned advertising.
3. Choose high-quality pet products that give you more value for your money.
Reaching for the cheapest product can feel like a thrifty move, but you may be surprised by the impact "cheap" products can have on your budget. For example, cheaper clay cat litter needs to be changed more often -- so cat owners go through bag after bag. World's Best Cat Litter is an alternative that harnesses the concentrated power of corn for long-lasting performance. You'll use less litter, replace it less often, and save money in the long run.
In the end, remember that what your pet needs most is love. Keep things simple and invest in high-value products where it matters, and you'll be on your way to a pet-care budget that works for you.