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New Ways to Protect Your Baby from Public Surface Germs

New Ways to Protect Your Baby from Public Surface Germs

 

Let’s talk about germs.

As a parent, your busy baby puts you in some unique situations. From eating off the floor, to sucking on shopping cart handles, to putting ALL the things in their mouths... they keep you on your toes and more cautious about germs.

Preventing the spread of germs is a big part of the daily routine that keeps your baby safe and healthy. 

While parents aren’t new to germs, the recent spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), has increased the level of germ awareness across the globe. 

According to the CDC, the virus typically spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets that are transmitted from coughing, sneezing, or talking. Due to its composition, the virus can live on various surfaces for several days. Although more research is being done to find out how the virus spreads, health experts have found that coming into contact with contaminated surface areas can lead to contracting the illness.    

As a result, health experts recommend cleaning surface areas as often and thoroughly as possible. But this can be challenging to do, especially when you have a busy baby to keep up with.

While it’s important to clean the surfaces in your home and in public, adding the Busy Baby Mat to your daily routine puts an extra barrier between your baby and any lingering germs.

 

For extra precaution, always disinfect surface areas before putting the mat down for your baby to enjoy. This can help prevent surface germs from sticking to the bottom of your mat. 

The CDC recently shared that using soap and water is the first step to disinfecting soft surfaces against the coronavirus. So, if you're using the mat at home, you can’t go wrong with using good old-fashioned soap and water to clean surfaces beforehand. 

However, if you’re planning to take your baby for a trip outdoors, you may want to bring along a surface cleaner with a little more kick. There are several products you can try to get the job done. In fact, the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list of over 300 disinfecting products you can use in your home. Many of these products can also be used on public surface areas, while you're on the go. 

When choosing a cleaner, you’ll want to check the label to make sure it can take care of bacteria and viruses that live on soft surfaces. Health experts also suggest using environmentally friendly cleaners that don’t have lots of harsh chemicals.

Once you’ve got your ideal cleaning product, you can use it to wipe down tables, highchairs, travel systems, or any other smooth surface before placing your mat down. We also recommend cleaning surfaces in these specific ways to ensure your baby’s safety:

Skip the baby wipes. 

Although tempting, baby wipes aren’t strong enough to destroy deadly surface germs. However, you can still use them for your baby or to wipe down washable marker residue off your mat. They also work great to improve suction. Simply wipe down the suction cups and the surface before you put down the mat.

Swipe right (or left).

If you’re using alcohol or ammonia-based wipes, the CDC recommends you practice the wipe-discard-wipe method. Contrary to popular belief, wiping a surface in circular motions moves germs around, rather than removing them completely. You can remove more surface germs by wiping in one direction, tossing the wipe, and wiping the surface once more. 

If you’re short on wipes, just remember...a contaminated wipe shouldn’t be passed over an area that has just been wiped. Instead, try folding the contaminated wipe after each swipe. This offers a new surface for each swipe. 

Spray and slay.

If you’re using a disinfectant spray, the CDC recommends the spray-wipe-spray method. Letting the disinfectant sit for a few moments gives it time to destroy existing germs. Wipe the germs away and spray the surface area once more to kill off any remaining germs. 

Air-dry, then give it a try.

After wiping or spraying away any germs, always wait another few seconds for the surface area to dry. The suctions on the back of your mat work best on dry surfaces. Once dry, place your mat down and let your busy baby have at it!  

Clean it again—yes, again.

When you're all done, don’t forget to clean the mat once more—especially if you’re using it in a public space. Use your disinfectant to quickly wipe it off from front to back. Then roll it up and put it in its sleeve.

If you’re using it home, you can stick to using soap and water or toss it in your dishwasher. 

For added germ protection, you can also place your mat in a large zip lock bag if you plan to store it in a bag in between uses. However, zip lock bags aren’t necessary to maintain cleanliness. The mat’s sleeve is the perfect barrier against germs all on its own. 

Speaking of the sleeve...don’t forget to wash that too! You can hand wash it or machine wash it every few uses.

Now...if you’re not doing this already, these added steps may seem a little overwhelming. 

And you're 100% right. 

Being more conscious of germs and taking the extra steps to clean everything your baby encounters takes work.

But we know you’re willing to go the extra mile to keep your baby germ free. And we’re certain that, after putting these steps into practice, the added precautions will start to become a normal part of keeping your baby happy and healthy. 

Other than cleaning surface germs...what are some other ways you and your busy baby are staying safe at home during COVID-19? 

Tag us on Instagram @busybabymat and share your story with us. We can’t wait to hear it! 

Five Tips to Keep Your Baby Busy During the Coronoavirus (While Working from Home)

Five Tips to Keep Your Baby Busy During the Coronoavirus (While Working from Home)

Being a work from home (WFH) parent sounds pretty enticing for those who have yet to try it.

But working from home with little ones presents its own set of unique challenges.

Due to the current global crisis of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many parents are now forced to work from home and are learning the high and lows of #wfhlife.

 

Whether you’re a stay at home mom (SAHM)—who is always working from home—or new to this work environment...it’s tougher to get things done when your whole family is home. 


With schools, daycares, and non-essential businesses closed, our conventional ways of living are gone. And many parents are left no choice but to become professional jugglers—working from home while caring for their kids.

So, if this whole work from home gig seems all too challenging...that’s because IT IS. And we think you should cut yourself some slack if you don’t get everything right.

There’s no perfect way to parent during a pandemic. 

Even though you're working from home, life looks very different for everyone right now. 

You’ve got... 

a. the normal pressures of being a parent
b. the pressure to be a professional
c. the pressure to add some type of normalcy to your family’s lives 
d. ...and then there’s the pressure to find toilet paper! 

There’s way more than usual on your plate. So, don’t be hard on yourself. 
Instead, embrace the learning curve that working from home is. And do your best to navigate working from home life while social distancing is in place. 

So how exactly do you do this?? 

1. Rewrite your WFH lifestyle
 
First things first, you’ve got to remember that you aren’t simply “working from home”. 
 
You are “working from home during a pandemic”. There is a big difference. 
 
If you’re feeling the pressure to still be the perfect employee or prove that you can be just as productive working from home, you might want to ease up. 
 
Many employers understand the major impact COVID-19 has had on parents. If you need to implement more work-life balance to your schedule, make sure to discuss this with your employer. You may find that they have already limited their expectations of you, considering the state of emergency we’re all in.
 
Once you’ve gotten past the employee guilt, practice setting realistic expectations for the week and leave time for plans to shift. If everything doesn’t go as planned, be open to spontaneity. 
 
Your little ones will enjoy it!
 
If some parts of your day just aren’t working out or cause too much stress, tweak plans as you go. Remove the routines that don’t work and implement simpler ones. Whatever you do, try to be flexible & keep it simple.

2. Consistency is key-ish

While we think color-coded Quarantine Schedules are simply adorable, they also come with a lot of pressure.

During this time of uncertainty, rigid schedules may not be the best way to go. However, both you and your child will benefit more from some type of consistency. 

Health experts suggest that children feel more safe and secure when they know what to expect. So, incorporating some level of predictability into your family’s schedule is important.

Instead of creating a lengthy schedule, work in time blocks of 30-45 minutes. When creating time blocks, keep your child’s age and developmental stage in mind. Depending on their age, you may need to consider shorter time blocks that suit their attention spans.

We think our Busy Baby Mat is one great item to have on hand, especially when you're looking to keep your little one content for different lengths of time. It’s perfect for babies starting around 4 months and will help to develop their fine motor skills while you work.


3. Manage Time with Your Busy Baby

If you have more than one kid at home and you feel overwhelmed, we don’t blame you. 
 
Being home with your baby is one thing, but when all your kids are home, it can be a lot harder to keep your baby content.
 
When and if you can, try optimizing your baby’s downtime. Work while they play, eat, and of course sleep. Using the Busy Baby Mat during playtime and mealtime keeps them entertained for longer periods. Which allows you more time to answer emails! 
 
And because we know all busy babies get needy sometimes, try placing the mat on your work desk while your baby sits in your lap. It’s honestly one of the best ways to multitask while working from home. 
 
When you’re not working at your desk, you can also use the mat in other areas of your home. Stick it to the side of the fridge or dishwasher to keep your baby occupied while you whip up dinner in the kitchen. You can also attach it to any glass door or window for ample playtime.
 
If you’ve got a busy toddler on your hands, don’t forget to add the mat to your toddler’s next session of arts and crafts! Use the mat with washable markers and let your little one create a masterpiece while you work.
 


Aside from those extracurricular activities, the Busy Baby Mat is ideal during any mealtime. And to be honest... mealtime is pretty much all the time when you’re stuck at staying at home.
 
These are just some of the ways you can keep your baby occupied and get a little work done, without increasing screen time. Although easier said than done, experts suggest continuing to be mindful of how much screen time your child has. Instead, parents are encouraged to use this time to get creative and introduce more screen-free activities to young children.
 
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about getting too creative. Our Busy Baby Mat offers screen-free activities nearly anywhere in your entire home. All you need is a flat surface!
 
4. Don’t forget about YOU

Many people underestimate the mental toll working from home with little ones can have. Mentally, you are always “on”. With very little downtime or space to take a break from your actual job or your job as a parent. Now that you’re at home more, try adding simple self-care activities into your days.

One great form of self-care is to meal prep. Even if you’re only meal prepping for breakfast or lunch, planning meals will help you avoid dropping everything to make a meal for yourself or your baby.

You can also meal prep dinner to save yourself a few nights of cooking. By taking off the stress of cooking dinner after work, you can focus on spending time with your family instead. 

Other than planning ahead for mealtime, give yourself permission to actually “sleep when the baby sleeps” on occasion. This advance is given to new moms all the time but we’re not sure how many moms actually do this. 

And we get it...it’s much easier to get things done when they’re sleeping. But sometimes taking care of yourself is more productive than checking off the next task on your to-do list. If you can’t settle down for a nap with your baby, try enjoying some downtime while relaxing with them as they play or eat. 

Also...if you don’t plan on sleeping when your baby sleeps, plan some self-care into their nap time instead. Get refreshed with a simple home facial or manicure. This might also be the perfect time to fix that messy mom bun into a neater mom bun.


5. Create Some Space

With “stay-at-home” orders in place, creating personal space in your home is probably unrealistic. So, we’re not suggesting that you separate yourself from your kids (even though we wouldn’t judge you if you did).

However, many people new to working at home underestimate how important having your own workspace is. If you have the room and tools to do so, create a special workspace for yourself.

Add trinkets and photos that keep you inspired on the challenging days. 
Whatever you do, just remember to take care of yourself.  

Working from home with kids can naturally cause increased stress levels. And that stress will trickle into the relationships you have with your family. But, by implementing a little self-care each day, you help to create more balance for yourself and prevent the high levels of stress #wfhlife can cause. 

So, throw the idea of being the perfect work from home parent out the door. And, instead...


Take care of yourself and your family.
Be open to change.
Do the best you can.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Remember that you are resilient.

And most importantly, remember the learning curve applies to your children as well. Even if they can’t quite put it into words, the changes brought on by COVID-19 have an impact on their little lives too. 


So be kind to yourself and your kiddos. You’re all in this together.

Be a Hero to Every New Parent You Know

Be a Hero to Every New Parent You Know

There’s nothing worse than wanting to get someone a gift but having no clue what they want or need.

 What’s even harder is getting a gift for new parents who may not know what they need themselves.

 According to a recent Babylist survey, most new parents create their baby registry during the second trimester. But only 11% actually feel prepared and confident in the products they choose.

 But, if we know anything for sure, it’s that there’s no better gift for a new parent than a thoughtful and convenient one.

 And while we love the idea of toys or clothes as great gift options, they may eventually end up in a pile of other toys and clothes their kiddos already have. More often than not, this adds to their parent’s growing list of things to clean or put away.

 So, what do new parents really need?

 

They need something that makes their lives easier.

 Something simple —not too fancy— especially nothing with an instruction manual.

 At the same time, they need something safe and durable.

 And if you’re struggling to find the perfect gift, we’ve got good news and bad news for you.

 The bad news is that you’re not alone. In fact, hundreds of people have no idea what to get new parents. And many new parents end up with a mountain of bibs, pacifiers, and a year's supply of size 6-9-month onesies they can’t use.

 

But the good news is that your gift doesn’t have to end up in the pile of things everyone else got.

 

Even more good news is that the Busy Baby Mat is a gift most new parents don’t even know they need. We’ve kept our design simple and versatile, so parents can use it nearly anywhere without having to put a lot of thought into keeping their little one entertained.

 

More importantly, the Busy Baby Mat is proven safe for new parents to use. The silicone placemat and tethers are made from 100% food-grade, FDA approved silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC, and Phthalate free.

 

And we promise that purchasing a safe product not only makes you look good, but it will also make you feel good.

 

While we know this is the perfect product for new moms and dads, it’s up to you to make sure you grab one for the right occasion.

 

 Ways to Save the Day

 Baby Showers – we’re going to be honest. Most new parents won’t know they need the Busy Baby Mat —until they’re partaking in the infamous toddler toss at dinner time. On the other hand, we’re sure veteran parents will know right away how convenient this placement mat will be for them. They’ll feel more confident throughout different developmental stages, instead of dreading the busyness ahead. And aside from keeping their baby occupied, our mat is backed by rigorous safety testing. This makes it perfect for teething babies who put everything in their mouths the first 6 to18 months of life.

 Birthdays – our Busy Baby Mat is perfect for ages 6 to 18 months because these are the key developmental months. This gift is ideal for first birthdays because research shows that babies begin feeding themselves at 12 months. That means parents get the most use out of using the placement mat at dinner time.

 

But maybe you know parents who aren’t so “new” and their babies have been around for a little while? Don’t worry…you’ve still got a chance to give one of the best gifts they’ll get.  Our mat is used by kiddos from birth to age three, so we’re certain parents of toddlers will appreciate it too.

 Even when you get past the ‘drop and throw’ stage, the mat remains a convenient, clean place to put your little one’s food and can keep them busy with washable markers while you finish your own meal.

 

Holidays – this is the perfect time to grab a thoughtful gift for parents struggling with the toddler toss. It lets them know you’re really thinking of ways to make their life easier as a parent; something they’ll really appreciate.

 Any Day Really… - There’s never a wrong time to get the Busy Baby Mat for a new parent. From using the mat on infant carrier handles during infancy to using it as a safe surface for food and fun during playtime, the possibilities are nearly endless.

As you can see, we’re all about ease and convenience. So, we’re going to throw this out there…

 Leave the gift wrapping to a minimum.

 Now’s the chance to save yourself some time! Roll the mat up with some tissue paper, place it in a decorative wine bag, and TADA! You not only give your new parents a great gift for their baby but also a nice gift bag to reuse.

With countless gifting options at your fingertips, it’s important to give a gift that’s affordable, durable, safe, and beneficial to new parents. We think it’s clear, the Busy Baby Mat encompasses all these things and more.

 

But you don’t have to take our word for it. Test it out for yourself.

Grab one of our placement mats for your next gift and don’t be surprised if you become a hero to the new parents you know!

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