The Importance of Decoupled Objects in OOP

In OOP (object oriented programming) it’s important to remember why you are building an application with objects instead of mere functions (procedural programming). Sometimes programmers will treat objects more like functions which completely defeats the purpose of objects in the first place! The purpose of this post is to explore the real benefit of OOP and how to structure your models appropriately.

What is a decoupled object?

Contrary to the novice OOP programmer’s belief, an object is much more than a collection of data members and related methods. It’s important to remember that an object embodies data and methods that pertain only to itself. The term “decoupling” is used to identify the separation of software blocks that shouldn’t depend on each other.

Why is it important to decouple objects?

Let’s say that we have a Car Class with the methods driveForward(), stop(), turn(), honkHorn(), and changeLanes(). This object has a poor design because one of the methods, changeLanes(), might depend on a Street class. What if you were trying to reuse this class for a car that only drives off-road? In this case, the changeLanes() method is completely meaningless to your object instantiation. Furthermore, if the turn() method were to reference the changeLanes() method, the entire object would start to seem too specific to instantiate and work with an off-road car. In addition, if a change is made to the Street class, it’s very likely that the Car class will also have to be modified. Since Car has a method that depends on another object, this object is said to be “coupled” (which is what we are trying to avoid).

How to decouple objects

To create what I call “purified objects”, we need to completely decouple them in such a way that all of their fields and methods are specific to what the object can do in any circumstance. To decouple the Car class, you would want to move the changeLanes() method to another object that interacts with Car, like CityDriving. This new object acts as a mediator because it uses the Car class for special circumstances without tainting its pure definition.

When designing your object models, ask yourself “are these objects purified? Are they decoupled?” If you religiously ask yourself this question when creating new objects, not only will you end up creating much cleaner code, you’ll also spend less time re-factoring. Good luck!



Five Tips for Increasing Penis Sensitivity Without Drugs

Loss of penis sensation is a common problem, even in younger men. Manufacturers of impotence drugs and penile enhancements often use this to their advantage to market pharmaceuticals that are generally ineffective and may cause harmful side effects. What many men do not realize is that penis sensitivity can be treated without resorting to drugs and gimmicks by following a few simple tips. In addition, regular use of a formula containing penis-specific vitamins and minerals can help to maintain normal sensitivity of the penis and may even assist in restoring lost penile sensitivity. The following suggestions are often all that is needed to rejuvenate the penis skin and boost the enjoyment of sex.

Relax and enjoy the moment

Although the erogenous skin of the penis obviously plays a big role in sexual stimulation, research has shown that sexual desire and satisfaction is primarily a mental process. Men who are able to relax and enjoy the process of sex, rather than focusing on the end result, tend to have deeper and more satisfying orgasms.

Try something new

Men who find themselves in a rut, masturbating in the same manner every time or going for a jackrabbit effect during intercourse, are prone to loss of penis sensation. This problem may occur when the penis skin is desensitized by the constant friction, similar to the callouses that develop on the hands over time as a result of physical labor.

Mixing it up – using feathers or other toys, or just the tips of the fingers – to stimulate the skin on other parts of the body can create a new range of sensations that lead to arousal, giving the penis skin a break and allowing men to enjoy greater sensitivity and pleasure during sex.

Avoid tobacco use and limit the intake of alcohol

Chemical substances such as tobacco and alcohol can wreak havoc on the circulatory and nervous system. Regular smoking, in particular, can lead to desensitization of the penis and limit the ability to enjoy sex. Since smoking is bad for the health on many levels, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by quitting. In addition, limiting alcohol consumption to no more than a few drinks each week can improve the body’s ability to heal and to rejuvenate damaged skin and nerve cells that may cause loss of penis sensitivity.

Wear soft, loose-fitting clothing

Wearing restrictive clothing can interfere with circulation, limiting the amount of blood flow to the penis and inhibiting penis sensation. In addition, rough fabrics that constantly rub against the penis skin can cause penile desensitization over time. Wearing looser, breathable clothing (all-natural fabrics are best) can improve blood flow to the area and prevent chafing and long-term damage to the skin.

Use a daily vitamin formula

Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids are just as important to penis health as they are to the rest of the body. Here are just some of the nutrients that play an essential role in penis sensitivity and overall penis health:

– Vitamin A promotes youthful, supple penis skin that is receptive to tactile stimulation;

– Vitamin C supports the circulatory system and maintains the skin’s natural elasticity, as well as helping the body to fight off the effects of chemical damage from tobacco, alcohol and other harmful substances;

– Vitamin E creates a natural moisture barrier, preventing drying and dehydration of the penis skin that can cause the buildup of toughened skin cells that often results in loss of penis sensation.

– Natural oils such as shea butter moisturize the skin, leaving it smooth and responsive without irritation.

Choosing a penis sensitivity treatment

While numerous skin crèmes are available that contain some combination of the above ingredients, not all of these are appropriate for application to the penis. Many skin moisturizers contain fragrances and other chemicals that can actually cause irritation, which is a factor in penile sensation loss. In order to receive the maximum benefits of these and other essential vitamins and minerals, use of a penis health formula (most health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) that is applied directly to the target area is advised.



How Much to Pay for SEO Services?

The question comes up often. Many people have been burned by SEO Services, but many have also been rewarded by SEO Services. Like any business transaction or purchase you should only spend your money when you feel comfortable. Your comfort zone should pull from various dependencies, such as how well do you know this business, how long have you been doing business with this person or entity, what is your first impression, how do you personally feel about this person or entity ability to provide this service, and how well have you done your homework.

The truth about SEO services is that it is normally not hard work, but that doesn’t mean its easy. It still takes time, dedication, effort, strategy, technique, method, skill, and experience to perform quality SEO services. Anyone can use SEO services because it is within your reach to learn, but not everyone can apply sensible strategy to make SEO work. That is why SEO engineers are needed to accomplish the almost impossible, but the question is how do you know you are making the right choice and not overpaying for SEO services?

I can honestly say for the most part SEO service providers are on the up and up who want nothing more than to do professional business and provide quality SEO services. Identifying every shady SEO service may not be possible, but I have some recommended advice which should help anyone get a fair and quality rate for SEO services.

– Set yourself a “realistic” marketing budget and goal

– Shop around

– Don’t buy until you feel comfortable

– Remember “cheap does not always mean better”

– Ask for references / referrals / portfolio

– Verify references / referrals / portfolio

– Ask for statistical growth and progress reports

Set Yourself a Realistic Marketing Budget and Goal

This simply mean do not kid yourself and think you can pay $200 and overnight you will make thousands. Instead, create a budget depending on your marketing needs, competitive industry, projected outcome, and length of time. If you are looking for your website to rank in the Top 10 search engine result page for a particular keyword or keywords then expect to pay in the thousands, often times tens of thousands, for quality, professional, and reliable SEO services, almost always depending on the competitiveness of the keyword. If you want to rank in the top 10 for the keyword “Google”, this in most cases impossible, but I am sure there are some SEO companies who will accept the challenge, but will charge in the thousands if not millions to attempt this insane marketing goal.

Shop Around

Find the most appealing SEO services and compare those to other competitive SEO services. Don’t settle for “cheap” or “inexpensive”, but settle for “effective” and “strategy”. Anyone can do SEO work, but not everyone can improve results using SEO services. This is because, SEO is about technique and strategy. It’s not about just throwing thousands a links around the web and sitting back waiting for the explosion. Its actually a lot more complicated than that, as it is about having strategy, technique, and competitive edge. You must find SEO services which live by this principle and can offer you the strategic road map you need for success.

Don’t Buy Until You Feel Comfortable

You should always feel comfortable with entrusting your money into an SEO service provider paws. If you have special needs such as you want to sign a contract, you want a specific pay schedule, or you have any questions, make sure you get answers and are comfortable with the projected outcome then move forward. I personally suggest getting a contract which outlines the projected outcome and any other bullet points, then also exploring the consequences or possibilities if the projected outcome is not met.

Remember “Cheap Does Not Always Mean Better”

This is a buyer beware notice. When someone offers $20 SEO services or even $200 SEO services, I would say “buyer beware”. There may be a handful of highly skilled SEO providers who can offer you SEO services at a discount or for extremely low rates, but most of the time these providers either do not know their service worth or know exactly what they are doing, but may have had a lucky streak. You will have to pay top dollar or aggressively, yet still affordable for quality, strategic, and experienced SEO services. SEO engineers is what I like to call them. These are SEO’s who understand the SEO concept, who pioneer SEO methods, and who don’t always follow the trend, but know the trends.

Most of the SEO engineers are not going to be cheap, but well worth every dollar spent. If you take into consideration other marketing and advertising platforms, such as television broadcast advertising, print advertising, large tradeshow/fair booth advertising, etc. internet marketing and search engine optimization cost peanuts compared to these other advertising methods and have a farther audience reach. SEO services can easily cost between $5,000-$25,000, it can even be much more than this, depending on your needs, but this is far more inexpensive and cheaper than other advertising platforms. So, next time you think that SEO service cost too much, think about the other methods of advertising and their rates, along with return on investment (ROI). SEO services come out on top every time when compared against these other advertising platforms.

Ask for References / Referrals / Portfolio

Any SEO service provider should be able to point you to their qualifying work. SEO service providers should be able to present you with affectionate websites which they have performed SEO work on. This can even be the SEO service provider personal website, they should be able to point you to their rankings in the search engine as well as some result driven SEO work within the site or across the web.

Verify References / Referrals / Portfolio

Verifying information is not always easy or accomplishable. You should attempt to reach out and verify what you can. If a shady SEO business was going to scam, then I am sure this is where they would start, with testimonials. I suggest verifying what you can, but don’t get overwhelmed with referrals because it may be the shady SEO business giving self praise. I actually have some good verification tips, but that’s another article all within itself.

Ask for Statistical Growth & Progress Reports

The SEO service campaign should include periodic progress/performance reports so you can track your website progress. Tracking your website progress is important in many ways. First, it tells if the SEO engineer is doing their job. Second, it tells you if the SEO methods, strategy, and technique is working or not. Third, it tells you how well the search engines are reciprocating your SEO efforts. And lastly, it tells you how much progress is being made and at what rate. All of this advanced reporting information and trend tracking can give you an overview of your website potential while giving you the opportunity to design or redesign your landing pages to increase your return on investment (ROI).

Okay, to wrap it up, just be sure you stay out of shabby internet neighborhoods and when making any online transaction, do your homework first. Also, remember “cheap does not equal better”. Think about it, would you rather pay in the thousands to one SEO company for quality SEO work, which will produce results and increase your website overall performance or would you rather pay cheap $200 to many different SEO’s who don’t ever really give you the results you deserve. If an SEO engineer can increase your website sales and exposure by 80% without your site ever reaching the top 10 search results then you still got a good deal. This is the effect of skilled and experienced SEO services. The only difference between your website and the websites in the top 10, is those websites have SEO engineers working for them who understand SEO.



The Future of Home Based Businesses

Its true, right now we’re going through an extraordinary period in world history. The world has changed and will continue to do so, even more quickly.

The future is going to be about taking responsibility for your own financial and economic well being, and the days of relying on an employer or the government for your financial future are a thing of the past. We see it in the newspapers every day now, company after company laying off staff in order to survive, if not closing down altogether because they are no longer economically viable.

We’ve even seen developed western countries like Iceland go bust, which previously would have been absolutely unthinkable, and many of the others may not be far behind, think USA, UK or even Ireland.

Things got bent out of shape, particularly borrowing so that things that just didn’t make sense were the norm and boatloads of money was spent on things that produced no return.

The future is going to be different, and this is good and its going to begin when people accept and embrace that they are responsible for exactly how things are for them right now, down to how much money they have in their pocket, and the clothes they have on their back.

It starts with recognizing that you’re responsible for how you feel, how you look and how you act toward yourself and those around you, and when when you start to appreciate this, man will your life change for the better.

Who would you rather be, the guy who loves roses, or the man who whines about the thorns? You see your life will be determined by the things you focus on, and winners are always able to see the opportunities, because that’s what they’ve trained themselves to look for.

Speaking of opportunities, its when things seem their most chaotic that the biggest opportunities exist. Think America during the late 19th Century when there really was a Wild, Wild West, yet despite this or perhaps because of it John D. Rockefeller became the wealthiest man in the world. Rockefeller seen the opportunity of taming the chaotic oil market in America and the rest is history.

We are going through a similar period now, and the biggest difference is going to be how quickly and easily we can make huge volumes of money now. We have access to extraordinary efficiencies that people like Rockefeller only dreamed of, particularly in terms of communication.

The internet has opened up the world in a way that before was never conceived possible. Today you can buy a house or a car on eBay in pretty much any country in the world with the click of a button, and alternately what this means is that you sell whatever you want to whomever you want, or whoever wants to buy from you also at the click of a button.

Home based online businesses have brought an entirely new dimension to the concept of making money while you sleep, where your bank is physically receiving payments from your customers without any need for your presence whatsoever.

Home based online businesses will impact your future, and only you can decide whether you’re buying from one, or selling as one.



Brand Identity Prism by Kapferer

Brand Identity Prism is often used by marketers to gauge the identity for any brand. But before the application of any model, few obvious questions which come to our mind are:-

What is it?

When should it be used?

How to use it?

Now suppose if a product or a brand (taking the liberty of equating product with brand ) was a person, how would he look like? What traits would he have? Would he be warm, cold, aggressive, approachable or smart?

Brand identity prism helps us provide answers to these questions.

OK so the next logical question is when to use it?

I would say practically everywhere. Understanding of the identity would help design your web presence better, would decide the positioning and have an effect on all marketing collaterals.

The best way to understand the model is to call up a meeting of all department heads and ask questions, lot of questions.

The model has 6 dimensions on which a brand is to be evaluated.

Physical Facet talks about what the product is, what does it do, how does it add value to customers, how does it fill up the gap in the market.

Brand personality is measured using those traits/features of consumer personality that are directly related to brands. Proper care should be taken not to confuse it with consumer’s reflection. Brand personality is closely linked with self image and image of the consumer. Questions to be asked are:



1) What are the features of consumer personality?

2) What are the features of brand if it was a person? This depends on the functional aspect of the product and the gap it would fill.

Brand Culture: As the name signifies, it talks about the culture of the brand. The values and the principles will follow from the culture and it is these values which will bind the customers. Remember HSBC’s “The World’s local bank”.

Questions which need to be asked:-



1) Is the brand’s culture global?

2) What are the values for which the brand stands for?

3) How would customers take the values of such a brand?

Brand Relationships: No prizes for guessing what would this be about! Yes, after all every brand has to maintain healthy relationships with customers. All marketing collaterals are intended to do just that. Therefore to gauge the identity, this had to feature.



1) How would Sales describe the relationship attributes for their customer management process?

2) How would Customer support describe their approach to increasing customer satisfaction?

3) How does the brand want to be seen by customers in marketing communication?

Customer Reflection: Every product is designed to satisfy some need of the intended customer base. A consumer has to be reflected in a way, which would show how he or she could image himself consuming a particular good. For example, in India anyone consuming Pepsi Cola would imagine himself to be young and Thums up (another cola drink from Coke stable) to be adventurous. For this aspect, questions are to be put to customer experience team about What would the users imagine while using the product?

Customer Self Image: Consumers get attracted to those brands in which they see their own traits, for example, a man who is muscular and strong would smoke Marlboro. This goes hand in hand with brand personality.

Physical Facet, Brand Relationship and Customer reflection are externalization factors whereas the rest represents internalization. I know it is a bit tedious but am sure if applied correctly it can reap huge benefits for corporate.



Free HTML Email Newsletter Templates

So when you are searching for free HTML email newsletter templates for your ezine, you may have noticed you come across various tips and resources online. The only challenge is, some of these resources are not helpful at all, and some others are like a goldmine.

So how can you sort out through so many websites and resources, and find out the best quality HTML newsletter designs – for free?

The good news is, this helpful guide is going to help you discover top 3 easy techniques to choose the best design for your newsletter – in little or no time. Depending on the topic your newsletter is about, how familiar you are with HTML and online publishing, and a few other factors, you can easily choose the method that suits your interests the best.

Idea #1: Download Ready Free Newsletter Layouts Online

When you do a simple search online in Google, you will find many websites that provide you with ready-made printable or downloadable email newsletter templates that you can download and start using instantly.

The great part is, most of these resources are free. So you can save a lot of time and money by simply using the designs they have available for you.

But in many cases, you can notice those designs are too simple, outdated, or commonly used by hundreds of other newsletter publishers. So then you can use this next idea to get a more unique and professional design…

Idea #2: Convert Your Own Template from an Interesting Website Design

Now this is a little secret that you see no one telling you these days. Did you know that you can simply create an easy newsletter templates… from any website design that interests you?

That’s right. Next time you come across a website that you like the design, you can simply save it as an HTML file, and then use it as the basic template for your email newsletter.

It is that easy. And if you’d like to follow the copyright rules religiously and protect yourself, you can simply do a little bit editing on the website layout and add your own header, footer, logo, and a few other simple changes to make it look unique.

Idea #3: Hire a Professional to Design Your Own Template

If your brand is highly important to you, it is always a good possible idea to hire a professional designer to create your own unique newsletter layout.

Although this will cost you a few hundred dollars at least, but if having a perfectly unique design is very important to you and you don’t have any HTML skills to work on a previous available template, this might be the way to go.

One final note is, HTML newsletters are a bit tricky to publish, so that your content and design will look exactly how you intend – on your subscribers’ various computer systems, email clients, and web browsers.

So if you would like to make things simpler and save yourself the hassle, you can always choose one of the other popular easy newsletter formats – like PDF or plain text. This will save you a lot of time in the long term.



Importance Of Website Maintenance You Ought To Know

Do you have a business website? Is it living up to expectations? Is it giving you the expected results? When was the last time you updated it? Never – seriously? Well! Website maintenance is web industry’s hot potato, but it is very important. The reason you are not getting expected traffic from your website is that you build it and forget it. If you are doing this mistake, then all your work till now has gone to waste. For sure, you don’t want to start the whole work all over again – do you? Give some real-time to your website and wait for the patrons to break the door. If you still have any second thought about website maintenance, so, go on. All the points mentioned below will clear out all the queries you have.

Why Is It Important To Maintain The Website?

  • Help To Catch The New Customers: If you maintain your website and keep it up to date, so, it will helps to bring in more and more customer to your website. Why so surprised? You cannot deny the fact that if your website is up-to-date, design is on the mark, content is creative, so, it will definitely give anyone a reason to give a look.
  • Boost Your Search Engine Ranking: Google will boost up your website ranking if it has all the bells and whistles that satisfy the user demand. And Google will update its algorithm constantly; therefore, it is important to update your website, if you don’t want to lose your identity in the crowd.
  • Build Your Corporate Image: No doubt, your website works as a mirror that reflects your objective to customers and gives them a reason to get connected with you. And if you update your website over the time, so, it will surely take care of your corporate image even in the cut-throat competition.
  • Fix Bugs And Double Your Security Level: Website maintenance is also important to keep it up-to-date with the latest technology. With every new update, the level of security goes high, which easily win the trust of the customers. Besides, it also helps you to fix any bug on your website.

In a nutshell, website maintenance is important as it improves its overall performance and plays a vital role in winning the belief of the patrons. It’s a gold mine and you should never let it go. You can even hire a professional team or company to help you in designing and maintaining your website at the most affordable price.



Apartment Sofas – Comfortable Living

If you are planning to move in another place or you just moved in, it is vital for you to choose the right furniture that fits your home. There are times when people don’t carry along their appliances and old belongings because they are too bulky for their new found apartment. In this case, you need apartment sofas that are easy to carry and come with stylish features and designs. Buying apartment sofas are not hard; you just got to have a particular idea on what type, design, and size you want for a sofa. There are ways to look for one, here are some helpful tips you can use:

1. Since there are different types of sofas, you need to determine the functions of a sofa in your new home. If you want a sofa that will be functional, you need a sleeper sofa so you will not buy for a separate sofa and bed anymore. This will enable you to save a lot of money in the long run too. Before buying one, you need to measure the size of the space where you want to place your sofa so that you can refer to the size taken when you shop for one.

2. You also need to look for apartment a sofa that matches the color and theme of your house. It will be odd looking if you buy one that looks awkward on the color and design of your apartment unless you want to be unique and you can carry it too. What you can do is to put some pillows on it that comes in variety of colors.

3. You should be aware of materials used in some sofas; there are cheap materials that can cause allergy to kids if you have kids with you. You should only buy from shops and brands that are reliable.

4. Before buying one, you should try the sofa first, if you feel comfortable, you should scrutinize first before buying one.

5. You also need to check the fabric if it is itchy or not. There are also sofas that have damages so you should also check because you might buy a damaged one without being aware.

Living in an apartment is not an excuse for you not to take care of your home. There are lots of people these days who are actually renting an apartment because they find it more economical than buying a new home. Although it is hard to live in a house that you don’t really own, the fun of living away from your family needs to be enjoyed too at times. You need to be very responsible and one way to do that is to choose your furniture and appliances. The demands for apartment sofas are higher these days because of so many people that are leasing. Transforming your unit to a nice home can be very relaxing and harmonious too. You should work on some things that will make you satisfied and happy even if you are living alone.



Facial Tattoo Meanings

Tattoos have always had symbolic meaning both to the the wearer and to the society they live in. As tattooing has exploded in popularity much of the original tattoo symbolism has fallen by the way side.While many tattoo designs have completely lost there original meanings, facial tattooing has remained taboo. This has allowed its symbolism to remain mostly intact.

The tattooed tear drop under the eye dates back to at least the 1960’s and it symbolism varies depending on the placement on the face and if the tear drop is filled in or empty. An empty tear drop most often symbolizes that the wearer has lost a loved one and they are permanently crying, but the empty tear drop can also symbolize a longing for revenge. If this revenge is carried out in the form of murder the tear drop tattoo is then filled in.

Also placed under the eye but with a less cryptic meaning is a dollar sign. The dollar sign symbolizes that money is all the wearer can see. The symbol began popping up around the early 1990’s and is most often seen on southern gang members, though the tattoo has crossed over and several entertainers now wear it.

A little known use for a cross tattoo design is to place it directly between the eyebrows on the bridge of the nose. This symbol,which started in New Orleans, symbolizes the wearer has committed at least five murders. Only worn by seasoned killers this tattoo design has not made the cross over into mainstream tattooing.



Getting Ready For Baby – A Newborn Checklist

Having everything you need for baby ready to go before you bring your newborn home is a wise thing for a new parent to do. But what to get for a newborn baby?

Keep in mind that you never really need as much as you think you will. Be realistic. Do you really need a bottle warmer? If you’re a parent who can afford it and you want it even if you don’t need it, then go for it. Just know that in a few months you’re probably going to be reselling it because you’ve realized that some things are more trouble than they’re worth.

I advise having the nursery set up, with supplies in place, clothes washed and ready to go, three to four weeks before your due date. That way, even if your baby comes early, you’ll be prepared. It’s so much easier to come home from the hospital when you know you’ve got everything you need on hand.

Below is a list of the essential must haves for your baby’s comfort and safety.

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

• Bassinet, Co-Sleeper/Crib or a Pack and Play for your bedroom.

For the first 12 weeks, you’ll be feeding your baby every 2 to 4 hours so having him in your room will help keep you from having to shuffle back and forth to the nursery. It ‘s also nice for keeping your baby cuddled up and close by. Your newborn has just come from a compact space, so they like to feel snug. I recommend using the bassinet instead of the crib until your baby can turn over or there is no longer room for him to stretch. You’ll only need it in the early months, but you’ll be really happy to have it!

• Crib and Mattress

When your baby outgrows the bassinet it’s time for a crib. Be sure to buy one that meets current safety standards and make sure that the mattress fits snugly against the sides so that baby can’t wiggle or get wedged under.

• Baby sling

Every mom I know SWEARS by a sling or some type of carrier. It allows you to be mobile and still keep your baby physically connected to you. Be sure it provides proper neck and head support, and is made of a washable fabric. It should feel comfortable on you and permit you to carry your baby facing in or out. In the beginning, you’ll want to have her facing in. As she gets older, she’ll want to face out so she can see the world.

• Changing mat

This is a plastic pad that you put down in order to change your baby. You can put a towel on top or use a cover so your baby won’t feel the cold plastic. If you have the budget, you an also purchase a changing table, although it’s really not a necessity. The amount of time you will use it is very short.

• Infant Carrier/Car Seat/Stroller

I’m a big fan of the ‘system’. It’s a carrier that connects to the car and stroller attachments. They make it so much easier for you and the baby to go from home to car and to stroller. Be sure to get your car seat inspected or installed at the hospital where you will be delivering. You will not be able to leave the hospital with your newborn without a proper car seat so have this installed 1-week before your due date if you can.

• High Chair

You won’t need a high chair until your baby is at least 5-6 months old so you might want to hold off on this purchase for awhile.

• Baby Bumbo Sitter

Once your baby is about 3 months old and has some neck control, this is great! They can sit it in it for everything.

• Baby Bath Tub

It’s important to start off with a small bath tub because in a small space with just a little bit of water, you gain confidence in how to hold and handle your baby. I love those that have the sling because until about 3 or 4 months old they don’t have any neck control. The sling helps you keep them in place.

• Bouncy/vibrating seat and/or swing

Having somewhere safe to put your infant while you cook or get dressed is vital and babies love the motion they provide.

OTHER EQUIPMENT TO CONSIDER

• Large comfortable rocking chair

• Sound Machine – These are great for helping to soothe your baby. They play sounds from the mothers womb, water sounds, sounds from nature etc. They even come inside of soft stuffed animals.

• Baby Monitoring System – There are many options out there now including video monitoring systems so you can see the baby in his or her crib. Dual monitors or multiple monitors are a must if you have multiple levels in your home or your master bedroom is on a different level altogether. There are also remote pager systems so you can clip it on and listen as you go room to room.

• Breast Pump & Accessories

• Nursing Pillows – I like the Boppy. It can be used by the baby too, so it serves multiple purposes. The Brest Friend, however provides good support and leverage and has a strap you can tie around you if you need to be mobile. It also has a pouch that zips to put things in.

• CD Player with Head Phones and Audio Books – For you when you’re up in the night with the baby

• Baby Car Mirror – Since kids are rear-facing until they are about a year old and/or 20+ lbs., I love this. It allows you to see your baby through your rearview mirror. Some of them will even entertain your baby with lights and songs.

• Activity Mat or Baby Gym/ crib mobile – If you get a mobile for the crib or pack n play, make sure it’s colorful and musical. The same goes for activity mats. Be sure the toys include mirrors and sounds.

ESSENTIAL LINENS

I highly recommend all cotton. It’s soft and can be washed in hot water to sterilize. Everything should be washed with a mild detergent, like Dreft, before coming in contact with your baby. During the first six months, wash babies clothes separately from the other laundry. The baby’s bedding should keep your newborn comfortable and safe. Use only quality, breathable materials and avoid fluffy things until your baby is able to move items like blankets from his/her face.

• 3 stretch cotton-fitted sheets for the bassinet, and later for the crib

• 4 cotton blankets that can be used for swaddling

• 3 warmer blankets

• 2 mattress pads

• Lots of burp cloths (cloth diapers) that can be used for wiping up spit up and all kinds of messes

• 2 Hooded towels and washcloths

ESSENTIAL CLOTHING

When it comes to babies clothing, it’s all about layers. One key thing to know is that babies can’t regulate their temperature very well until they’re about six moths old. It’s very easy for them to get overheated or too cold. It’s up to you to keep the temperature right through layering of clothes and the use of blankets.

Think about the practicality and ease of dressing. Make sure the crotch opens easily for diaper changing. Soft and easy to change outfits are recommended since you will probably be changing your baby several times a day.

• 4-6 sleepers

• 5-7 one piece garments

• 3-4 gowns/kimonos

• 5-7 comfortable day outfits

• 8-10 undershirts

• 3-4 bibs

• 4-5 pairs of socks or booties

• 3 cotton caps/hats

• 2 sweaters if it’s winter

• 1 snowsuit or fleece if it’s winter

Optional – A sleep sack. These are making their way over from Europe — they’re a brilliant way to keep baby warm at night without blankets, which baby can kick off. It’s like a sleeping bag, but it has open arms for ventilation and a zippered bottom so diaper changes are still easy.

ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES

• Diapers – Your baby will go through roughly five thousand diapers before he’s potty trained! And in the early days you may be changing your baby up to 12 times a day. Whether you plan to use disposables, recycled, cloth or a diaper service, be sure to have plenty on hand.

• Diaper wipes – I like the unscented ones for the first several months

• Diaper Bag – Get a nice durable bag with large pockets and make sure that it always has:

• 4-5 Diapers

• Diaper wipes

• Cloth diaper/ burp cloths for cleaning up spit up and spills

• Diaper sacks for dirty diapers

• Diaper rash cream

• Antibacterial gel to clean your hands

• Changing pad

• One change of clothing from head to toe

• Spare pacifier

• 1 Bib

• A couple of soft toys and rattles

• 1 bottle of water that can be used for making a bottle

• 1 -2 bottles

• Formula

ESSENTIALS FOR BREAST FEEDING

• 2-4 nursing bras

• One box of disposable breast pads

• Nipple cream

• Either an electric breast pump or a hand pump

• Breast milk storage containers

• A kit or bag to put your milk bottles in and ice packs

• At least 2 bottles

• A Good Support Book – I like ‘The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding’ by The La Leche League

ESSENTIALS FOR BOTTLE FEEDING AND PUMPING

• 6-8 slow flow or bent-neck bottles with soft nipples

• Bottle Brush & Optional Sanitizing System- It’s important to thoroughly wash bottles after every use and then sanitize bottles at least every 2-3 months. You’ll also want to sterilize your breast pump parts if you are pumping.

OTHER ESSENTIALS

• Baby thermometer

• Baby soaps and lotions

• Tearless shampoo

• Bath toys

• Baby oil

• Diaper rash Ointment

• Vaseline

• Sterile cotton balls

• Baby nail scissors/clippers

• Baby brush/comb

• Rubbing alcohol

• Q-tips

• 3-4 pacifiers

• Nose Suction Bulb syringe – usually supplied by the hospital so be sure to take it

• Hypoallergenic (dye-free) laundry detergent which is mild.

• Night lite

• Several Good Parenting Books – I like ‘Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer’ By Tami Hoag and ‘The Happiest Baby On The Block’ by Harvey Karp

Being prepared for your newborn will help eliminate as much as possible those worries you may have about being a parent so you can enjoy the process. It’s so much easier to feel confident about coming home from the hospital when you know you’ve got everything you need on hand. Enjoy your new little baby!