We're only just past the summer solstice, marking the middle of the year, but there's no better time to starting your Christmas shopping than right now! Retailers in the high street and online are suffering poor sales - we don't have money to spend and we're not buying. Shops are currently launching into their summer sales, many starting earlier than usual. Now is the perfect time to bag yourself some bargains rather than waiting for Christmas.
Particularly good value at the moment are children's audio and video offerings. Family DVD's and CD's are cheaper at the moment than they will be at Christmas. Amazon and Play are selling many Disney DVD's for between £5 and £8 at the moment. Come Christmas time, they will probably run the same Buy One Get One that they have for the past couple of years, but suddenly all their titles will be retailing at a much higher price - you'll feel like you're getting a bargain but in truth you'll probably end up paying more than you will for the same titles right now.
Many toy retailers are also offering discounted goods at the moment. Grab yourself some bargains, pick up stocking fillers and stock pile gifts for friends' birthday parties now! Every parent takes advantage of discounted toys to give at parties, shop efficiently and you can save yourself a small fortune!
Shhh, be quiet and listen for a moment - peaceful isn't it...or is it? What can you hear? Cars? Music? The refrigerator, washing machine or dishwasher? A ticking clock? A dog barking? Church bells? Even when you think the house is quiet and peaceful, there is plenty of noise going on. This is 'white noise', background noise that your brain discards by blocking it out.
Babies are strangely placated by white noise, and it's not just the occasional background noise, but foreground noise that sounds constantly. If your baby is crying at night, try turning the vacuum cleaner on just outside their bedroom. You might be amazed at how quickly it soothes them and they fall asleep!
Research suggests that the noise a vacuum cleaner makes is similar to constant noise your baby heard in the womb and that this noise takes them back to that time which was comforting and safe. White noise masks more interruptive noises that might also be keeping your baby awake. Many advocates suggest that white noise helps to ease colic in babies too.
Rather than keeping your vacuum cleaner running every time you want to soothe your baby to sleep, why not buy some white noise on CD or MP3 and play this to help your baby sleep? You'll find white noise CD's are available from Amazon and most other record stores.