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12.13.2001

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married with children
how to survive a visit from friends with babies 

by Samantha Renfrow 
1 2 3
continued from page 2

9. Play area | If you have hardwood floors make sure you have a rug, or put a blanket down in any room where you'll be spending a lot of time. Hardwood floors can be rough on baby knees and uncomfortable on the bottom. No need to baby proof your entire house, but you might consider putting away some of those extra fragile items and anything that can be swallowed. 

10. Pets | Slowly introduce Rex the dog or Fluffy the cat, or whatever pet for which you're currently playing mommy/daddy. And never leave your pets unattended. Most likely, if the baby has any known aversion, such as pet allergies, your friends would not be visiting. Just in case, be prepared to keep them in separate rooms if needed; the baby or your pet might be a little uneasy with each other. 

11. Feeding | While you and I might view mealtimes as a chance to relax, they can be rather stressful events for the parents. Our little visitor had just started teething and wasn't eating enough to satisfy his mom. Also, we lacked a high chair, which made it even harder for the baby to shift into eating mode. Our best solution was to go to a restaurant and feed him there. Most any restaurant will have a high chair and even if you're not hungry, it can be a nice break for the day. Have some coffee, tea or a light snack. 

A seven-month-old usually eats about every 3-4 hours. Younger ones will eat more frequently; as they get older they eat less often. Everything a baby eats is either in a jar or a bottle and will be carried with you throughout your day. 

12. Going out | Babies can go along on all the fun stuff; they'll sleep while you play. You may want to skip that Metallica concert, but a little music and a cocktail are fine. If you and your guests want to go out somewhere inappropriate for little ones, hire a babysitter, someone you know and trust. More importantly, make sure it's someone your friends trust. Remember, this can be a touchy issue, so don't force anything. It would be a good idea to discuss this ahead of time, especially if you're planning to go somewhere that requires you to buy tickets in advance.

Most of all have a great time. As for how to cope with toddlers and up, you'll have to wait until we have more visitors!

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Samantha Renfrow has a degree in Finance and spent most of her professional life working in corporate finance as an analyst. She lives in Florida with her husband Randy and dog Simba. 

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