65 Reward Ideas for Kids (And brain-science explained)

Parenting isn’t all that hard.

(Sarcasm incoming!)

There’s really nothing to it except:

  • Keeping your child alive
  • Making sure they’re properly fed
  • Getting them enough sleep
  • Helping them do well in school
  • Teaching them to be good, moral people

You know. Just those couple of little things.

And when it comes to getting your child to do, or not do, the things you need them to on their way to becoming fully-functioning and healthy adults, you often need a two-pronged approach.

You can use rewards, and you can use punishments or consequences.

Read more65 Reward Ideas for Kids (And brain-science explained)

I tried Artkive to organize my toddler’s art (Honest Review)

Artkive box review

Any parent of a toddler who goes to school knows this problem well:

The absolutely endless influx of artwork that enters your house on a daily basis.

Yes, it’s cute! It’s adorable! It’s a piece of history!

It’s also incredibly annoying when the pile starts to take over entire rooms in your house.

I’ve written before about some different storage solutions for this particular problem, but there was one, in particular, I really wanted to try first hand:

The Artkive box — It’s a box you fill up with your kid’s art and send off in the mail. A few weeks later, you’ll get a professionally bound book filled with photos of the art. Much easier to store!

Read moreI tried Artkive to organize my toddler’s art (Honest Review)

35 Fun Activities to Do with Your Toddler At Home

Toddler activities for home

You’re not really a parent to a toddler until you’ve thought:

“What the heck am I supposed to do with my kid all day?”

The easiest ways to keep a toddler busy and wear them out usually involve going outside. Going to parks, riding bikes, playing in the yard, etc.

But what if you’re stuck inside with a toddler? What are the best toddler activities you can do at home?

Read more35 Fun Activities to Do with Your Toddler At Home

9+ Ways to Be a Better Dad According to Science

Dads matter.

You probably already knew that, and so did I.

But don’t take it from me. Because the science on the subject is clear as day.

Children with good, loving, actively involved fathers have better outcomes in life.

They:

  • Have healthier relationships
  • Make more money & have more career success
  • Have less psychological problems
  • And often have higher IQs than their peers

That’s not to denigrate single mothers! Or lesbian couples! And it doesn’t doom kids who grow up without a father for one reason or another.

But if you’re alive and well, you owe it to your kids to be the best possible father you can be.

The question is: How exactly can you be a better dad?

Read more9+ Ways to Be a Better Dad According to Science

The 46 Best Middle Names for Hazel

A brown haired girl

Baby Hazel is on the way…

Congratulations!

Not to put a fly in your ointment, but…

Have you decided on her middle name yet?

Picking a first name is hard, but it gets a lot of attention from new parents. The middle name is equally challenging but often gets pushed until the last minute.

So I’ve been creating my guides to picking a middle name, with lists of the best middle names for any first name.

Without any further ado, here are my favorite and the best middle names for a girl named Hazel.

Read moreThe 46 Best Middle Names for Hazel

The 9 Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Arlington, VA

North Barton Street in Arlington VA
Ron Cogswell/Flickr

Sometimes, okay maybe a lot of times, going out to eat with your kids can be anything but relaxing.

You just never know what to expect or how your kids will behave.

Choosing the right restaurant can mean all the difference between a pleasant eating out experience and an absolute disaster.

If you live in Arlington, Virginia, lucky for you, you have choices — there are a number of family-friendly restaurants in Arlington!

So what are the best kid-friendly restaurants in Arlington, VA?

Read moreThe 9 Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Arlington, VA

The 9 Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Marietta, GA

Marietta Square with shops and restaurants
HowardSF / Public domain

Do you tense up at the thought of going out to eat in public with your kids?

Don’t worry, every parent does at some point; you just never know how kids will react to the food or how they’ll behave.

That’s why choosing the right place to eat is so essential; where you go can make all the difference in your overall experience.

And if you live in Marietta, Georgia, consider yourself lucky — there are a bunch of great family-friendly restaurants in Marietta!

So what are the best kid-friendly restaurants in Marietta, GA?

Read moreThe 9 Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Marietta, GA

How to find a slug in your backyard with the kids

Slug on a rock

My 5-year-old daughter is on a serious nature kick.

We spend our days watching Nat Geo specials, finding funny animal videos on YouTube, and reading books about creatures from chickens and goats to lions and lizards.

Of course, nothing quite beats meeting different animals face to face in real life — so we like to go out looking for wildlife in our neighborhood whenever we can… even slimy slugs!

If you’re a parent to a budding nature explorer (or if you are one yourself), here’s my quick guide to how to find a slug in your backyard (or anywhere else).

Read moreHow to find a slug in your backyard with the kids

The 9 Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Athens, GA

Downtown Athens
alans1948/Flickr

Going out to eat with your kids can be a risky endeavor.

You’re never quite sure how they’ll react to the food (or worse, how they’ll behave).

That’s why it’s super important to pick the right kind of restaurant if you’re going to chance it.

And if you live in Athens, Georgia, you’re in luck — there are tons of great family friendly restaurants in Athens!

So what are the best kid friendly restaurants in Athens, GA?

Read moreThe 9 Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Athens, GA

Baby Wipes vs Wet Wipes: What’s the Difference?

different kinds of baby wipes and wet wipes
Photo by Your Best Digs

With a baby on the way, now is the time to stock up on wipes.

You’ll be amazed at the number of wipes you go through in a day, heck, even just an hour!

They can:

  • Clean dirty butts and private parts
  • Wipe away spills
  • Remove excess Aquaphor or diaper cream
  • And be used to clean up pretty much anything in your house!

There are so many different types of wipes out there though, that it’s understandable that it can get confusing. Do you need baby wipes? Wet wipes? What’s the difference?

In this article, I want to break down the differences between baby wipes vs. wet wipes and help you decide which one is right for you; and it might be both!

Read moreBaby Wipes vs Wet Wipes: What’s the Difference?

Pacifier vs Soothie: What Are the Differences, Pros & Cons?

Young baby with a soothie

Caring for a newborn baby seems simple at first — all they do, after all, is cry, sleep, eat, and poop.

But it’s the crying part that can sometimes be quite challenging to deal with!

Pacifiers and soothies are two of the most popular solutions for soothing a crying baby (when feeding or a diaper change isn’t cutting it), but… what’s the difference between the two, and which one is better?

In this article, I’ll break down the differences between a pacifier vs. a soothie and help you decide which one is right for you.

Read morePacifier vs Soothie: What Are the Differences, Pros & Cons?

Changing Table vs Dresser with Pad for Baby’s Room: Which One Is Better?

Baby laying on changing table

Babies pretty much do four things; they eat, sleep, cry, and they poop.

A newborn baby can easily go through 10 diapers a day, and having a comfortable place to change them is a godsend for your back. You don’t want to be stuck bending over half the way!

When it comes to changing your baby’s diapers, there are a few options that you can consider. Two of the most popular are a classic changing table or a regular dresser with a changing pad on top.

In this article, I want to break down the differences between changing tables vs. dressers with pads and help you decide which one is the more functional and convenient choice for you.

Read moreChanging Table vs Dresser with Pad for Baby’s Room: Which One Is Better?

Baby Bouncers vs Rockers: What Are the Differences, Pros, and Cons?

A mobile above a baby rocker or bouncer

It’s impossible to hold your baby every second of every day.

As much as you would love to carry your baby around with you and cuddle him every second, your back would probably not like it very much. Plus, you wouldn’t get anything done; it’s just not practical!

When it comes to safe, comfortable devices that you can sit your baby in temporarily (or for them to nap), bouncers and rockers are two of the most popular.

Both will keep baby cozy and gently rock or bounce him, which has a soothing effect.

In this article, I want to break down the differences between baby bouncers vs. rockers and help you decide which one is right for you; and it might be both! So…what is the difference between baby bouncers and rockers?

Read moreBaby Bouncers vs Rockers: What Are the Differences, Pros, and Cons?

Aquaphor vs Vaseline for Baby: What Are the Differences, Pros, and Cons?

Baby getting diaper cream applied by mother

A new baby comes with a lot of pee and poop, it’s just a fact of life.

That translates to a lot of diaper changes. It’s important to keep your baby’s diaper area from getting raw, hence the need for diaper creams. Plus, you don’t want your baby’s skin to dry out from things like bathing either, so keeping your baby’s skin moist and protected is critical.

But what kind of cream or ointment is best for my baby’s tush (and other body parts)?

There are so many different creams, ointments, and salves out there for baby bottoms, that it can be hard to decide which one is the best one for your baby.

Two of the most popular choices are Aquaphor and Vaseline; but what’s the difference?

In this article, I want to break down the differences between Aquaphor vs. Vaseline for baby and help you decide when and how to use each one.

Read moreAquaphor vs Vaseline for Baby: What Are the Differences, Pros, and Cons?