by Sarah on 13. March 2013 in Our Favorites
We recently found Daily Mom… an online magazine for women. If you haven’t had the privilege of checking out this site…we highly recommend that you head on over!
In their own words, “We are a team of fun loving, web combing, baby wearing moms who saw a need for a website where we could share all the useful tips we come across daily…We are here to educate, laugh with you, and make your lives easier.”
Daily Mom offers resources in the following areas…and more! :
· Pregnancy and Pre-Pregnancy
· Great Product Finds
· Eco Friendly Suggestions
· Organizational Tips
· Deals and Cheap Finds
· Health and Well Being
Daily Mom has a fabulous newsletter that highlights all of the best posts from the week. You’ll quickly find that their resources are easy to navigate, fun to read, and are incredibly informative!
For a quick sampling of what they have to offer, check out some of our recent faves!
Check out their 50 Days of Giveaways… you have until March 31st to sign up. They’re giving away 50 prizes for 50 days…which means, there’s lots of chances to win!
by Sarah on 13. November 2012 in Good to Know
| Our Favorites
As you’ve probably noticed…we LOVE sharing great resources for parents and products for kids here on the blog! As parent’s ourselves, we are constantly looking for tips, information, and “stuff” to help us out as we do our best to raise our kids! Today, we are excited to share with you another wonderful resource out there… Super Healthy Kids.
With a consistently (and what feels eternal) picky eater living under my roof, I am forever looking for help on the matter (see my past post, “Feeding the Picky Toddler” here). Luckily, on my quest to conquer poor eating habits, I have found that I am not the only mother out there who struggles with getting their child to eat the right foods…or to eat ANYTHING for that matter! Thanks to Super Healthy Kids, I feel like my goal of improving and diversifying my son’s eating habits is attainable!
Super Healthy Kids was put together by two nutrition educators who want to make it easier to feed your kids better. They focus mainly on fruits and vegetables, and how to make them simple, fun, and delicious for your little eaters. They offer everything from menu plans and ideas, to recipes, gardening tips, and much more. They have a super helpful blog, and a wonderful weekly newsletter. Also offered by Super Healthy Kids are awesome products for feeding time, like their My Plate which helps to promote balanced meals.
If you are a parent, and are trying to promote healthy eating habits in your children, we highly recommend spending some time over at Super Healthy Kids (www.superhealthykids.com) .
A few of my favorite picky eater blog posts from Super Healthy Kids:
:: Picky Eaters: How to Diversify Their Diets
:: My Best Strategy for Turning a Picky Eater
:: Picky Eaters
And… another great blog post stumbled upon this week about kids and veggies… “The Kid Versus the Vegetables,” by Constance Marie over on People.com’s Celebrity Baby Blog.
Best of Luck!
by Sarah on 2. October 2012 in Parenting
| What's The Big Deal
September was National Baby Safety Month…and as the month came to a close, we had countless safety articles worth sharing from some of our favorite sites. So, in honor of keeping our kids safe, we’d like to let you in on these must-reads!
:: Second-Hand Baby Gear
This year’s main focus of National Baby Safety Month was on second-hand baby gear. Did you know that second-hand gear may pose serious safety risks for your child? Not knowing the history of a product’s use, new safety standards, and missing parts are just a few reasons why being selective when using second-hand baby gear is so important. Some items are best to borrow/buy, and others are recommended NOT to use second-hand when it comes to equipping baby.
For a list of these items, and more information on the topic, check out the SheKnows.com article, Take Another Look at Second Hand Baby Gear here.
Different homes require different levels of baby-proofing. However, the folks over at Parenting.com have compiled a great list of universal must-have baby proofing items. See their article, Baby Proofing Must Haves here.
:: Safety Checklist
Looking for a comprehensive safety checklist when kid-proofing your home? Check out Baby Center's all-inclusive list here.
:: Safety Plan
Family Corner has provided a wonderful 30-day plan for tightening up your safety belts in and around the house. Highlighting a wide range of safety issues, following this plan will result in a safer environment for your baby. Take a look at their 30-day Calendar of Tips here.
:: Unexpected Dangers
Dangers are hidden in numerous baby items that many of us consider harmless. We recommend looking at Stroller Traffic’s article, 10 Expected Dangers for Babies here.
:: Car Seat Safety
Wanting to better understand the reasoning behing car seat expirations? Read our previous blog post, What’s the Big Deal? Do Car Seats Really Expire? here.
by Sarah on 21. August 2012 in Good to Know
It only takes a quick second on the internet and you will find that there are endless theories and methods when it comes to potty training. Overwhelming and intimidating, taking the plunge to potty train your child can be rough on a parent and child! If there is anything we have learned about potty training, it’s that: every child is different & every parent is different. You may have to experiment to decide which method is right for you and your child, so we suggest being open to your plan changing…be willing to adjust to unpredictable behaviors…and try not to put too much unnecessary pressure on yourself and your child.
We have also found that a universal key to potty training that everyone can benefit from is to BE PREPARED. You never know when your toddler may be ready to jump on the potty training train, and a teaching opportunity may present itself when you least expect it. So, if you feel like potty training may be around the near corner…we recommend preparing a few staples to have on hand so that you’ll be ready to concentrate your efforts on your learning child instead of on making a mad dash to the nearest store.
Here are our Essentials Items for Potty Training:
Kind of a no brainer…but we recommend buying more than you think you’ll need. Stock up on lots of underwear that your child will find cool and exciting to wear.
:: Easy On/Off Pants
You’re going to want to make sure you have a hefty supply of elastic waist pants/shorts that your child can pull on and off quickly by themselves. Again, you may be surprised how many you blast through in those first hours of training- so equip yourself with more than you think you’ll need.
:: Clean Up Supplies
Add plastic gloves, bleach, paper towels, and flushable wipes to your next shopping list, and you’ll be sure to be thankful you have them around when the potty training begins. For those soiled pieces of clothing…hand wash in 1 TBSP of chlorine bleach per every gallon of hot water, and then throw in the your next load of laundry.
:: Potty Chair/Potty Seat
There are a lot of great options out there when it comes to finding a kid-size potty. You can find stand-alone potty chairs—easy to move around, less intimidating than the regular toilet, and just your child’s size. You can also find soft potty seats that fit right on you regular toilet—these take up less space than a freestanding chair, can be effective with children who want to imitate their parents/siblings, and require little/no cleanup. We suggest investing in a convertible potty that includes both so that you can follow your child’s lead as to what they learn best with. We recommend the Kiddyloo Toilet Seat and the Arm & Hammer 3-in-1 Potty Seat by Munchkin.
:: Training Underwear
It’s not a bad idea to have a few pairs of disposable underwear (like Pull Ups) on hand, even if initially you feel like you’d rather not use them. You never know when, at the last late-night minute, you may decide to use them for naps/bedtime in the beginning stages of training.
:: Teaching Materials
There is a plethora of teaching materials out there when it comes to teaching your child about using the potty. We recommend picking up a couple of books or movies for your child to learn from and relate to throughout the process. We recommend the Once Upon a Potty Books and DVD for Boy and Girl, as well as Elmo’s Potty Time DVD.
One of our favorite potty-themed books is Time to Pee by Mo Willems.
Also, you may want to take a minute to browse some of the great apps available to help you through potty training. The Pull Ups iGo Potty app can be set to remind your child to go to the potty at regular intervals, and also has games, songs, and sticker charts to help motivate your child.
:: Waterproof Protectors
In addition to extra bed sheets, we suggest having some waterproof mattress protectors on hand. Also, there are other great protective products to help you through the transition of becoming fully potty trained. The Summer Infant Piddle Pad is a great solution for protecting your child’s car seat when you’re on the go.
:: Step Stool
If you don’t already have one in the bathroom for your child, you’ll want to grab a step stool for them to use for reaching the potty, as well as for washing their hands. We love the Ikea Forsiktig Children’s Stool…it’s the perfect stool for the perfect (cheap) price!
Incentives and motivators are not a one-size-fits-all aspect of potty training. This is one aspect where knowing your own child will have to come into play. Choosing treats, toys, or incentive charts that cater to your child’s individual interests and learning styles can provide just the boost you might need to hit the ground running with your potty training goals. Generally speaking, however, we recommend having three different groups of prizes that can be rewarded when your child reaches small milestones, medium milestones, as well as large ones.
Take a deep breath, and have confidence in yourself as a parent during this time. Remember that accidents happen to every child, and that you are not alone in this potty training circus! Your child will get it…they all do at some point!
by Sarah on 4. January 2012 in Good to Know
We are now several days into 2012, and amidst closing the door on 2011 and starting new resolutions, transitions are already in full effect!
Around our house, the biggest transition in store for 2012 is getting ready for baby #2! Not only are we clearing space and shuffling furniture about, we also have the task of preparing a toddler to become a big brother! With this transition, which has admittedly caused a few teary days for this mama, comes a major graduation for big brother as he moves from crib to “big boy bed.” While this may seem like an exciting milestone… I find myself dragging my swollen feet to take the plunge! Not only are my sentimental tendencies kicking in full force, I can’t help but fear that his currently perfect sleeping habits aren’t compatible with a real bed.
I knew I surely wasn’t the only mom out there unsure about rocking the toddler boat with this transition, and thankfully I’ve found many great articles on the issue written for moms with my exact worries. With this being my first time at the bed transitioning rodeo, I looked to the experts to help me out on the issue.
Some Helpful Information:
:: There is no set time for when to make the switch from crib to bed. Every child is different, and unlike potty training or starting solids, moving to a big-kid bed doesn’t involve an obvious checklist of signs telling you they’re ready. Typically, toddlers make the switch sometime between 2 and 3 ½, either because a sibling is on the way, they are too big for their crib, or they are climbing out of their crib excessively.
:: Some children adjust readily to a toddler or regular bed. Others may struggle. Some toddlers just aren’t ready for the switch. Keep in mind that it takes a certain amount of cognitive development for a child to understand a bed has imaginary boundaries to stay within. If your child is never sleeping, and is getting out of bed constantly, it may not be their time for the switch.
:: Take the transition slowly. Start introducing your child to the concept of beds for several weeks before they ever try out their own bed. Get your toddler excited by letting them help you set up their bed and having others over to see it. Celebrate the novelty of a real bed!
:: Ease the transition by putting their bed in the same place their crib used to be. Wait to make an immediate switch to grown up sheets and blankets. Remember that there is nothing wrong with using their old crib blankets and trying to create a similar atmosphere to their crib.
:: Dismantle your child’s crib or store it in a room out of sight during the transition. Out of sight, out of mind can be a powerful help in this process. If your child knows that they can just go right back to their crib, their efforts to stay in a new bed may not be as successful.
:: Transitioning to a bed is just one of the many changes in a toddler’s life. Try not to pile too many changes on at once. If possible, wait to potty train until sleeping in a real bed has been mastered.
:: Maintain your child’s bedtime routine. If you haven’t already established one, getting into good bedtime habits is recommended before ever trying to make the switch. Following a predictable bedtime routine will help your toddler feel grounded, and will help them prepare for sleep instead of play once they have their newfound freedom outside of a crib.
:: If your child is making the jump to a bed because of the impending arrival of a new baby, try to make the switch 6-8 weeks before your due date. Give your toddler time to settle in to their new bed before baby takes over “his” crib. If you plan to have your newborn in a bassinet, this can buy you a couple of months before making the switch. A new baby is a sensitive time for the older child. Try to avoid making them feel displaced.
:: Safety is an important factor when making the switch to a bed. Many parents put their child’s mattress directly on the floor at first to ease any falls. Guard rails are also a good way to prevent your toddler from falling out of bed, and also create a similar feeling to a crib during this transition period.
:: Patience is an important virtue in teaching your child the ground rules of sleeping in a bed. Don’t give up right away if your child is having a hard time. Give it a few days. If your child is frequently getting out of bed, take their hand and walk them back to bed. Prepare yourself to repeat this process several times, and to be firm with your child about staying in bed.
:: Remember that your child’s move from crib to bed is a milestone in YOUR life, too. It is a sign of your baby growing up. Take time to prepare yourself for the switch. When you feel like your toddler is ready for the switch, pick a date and mark it on your calendar so that you have time to prepare emotionally as well as with all of the necessary tools to make it a successful transition!
Good luck to any parents out there that are with me in the midst of this transition!! The date has been set at our house… and our fingers are crossed!
PRIMO Adjustable Bed Guard Rail
Regalo Hide Away Bed Rail
Summer Infant Sure and Secure Double Bedrail
Munchkin Safety Toddler Bed Rail
Articles on Transitioning from Crib to Bed
Baby Center: How and When Should I Move My Toddler From a Crib to a Bed?
Parents.com: Transitioning Toddlers from Crib to Bed
One Tough Job: The Crib to Bed Transition
What to Expect: Making the Move to a Toddler Bed
Did you know that you can make the transition from crib to bed and still maintain your Oilo style?
See Oilo Twin/Queen Duvet Covers here.
by Sarah on 14. December 2011 in Our Favorites
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and here at Oilo, we think one of the very best gifts you can give your little ones, is the gift of reading! However, with so many books on the market…what to buy?
We have put together a combined list of our favorites, recommended reads from the American Library Association, and recent Best of 2011 winners to help guide your shopping!
Aside from loving these literary gems for their vibrant illustrations and charming stories…we also love how easy it is to shop for them all online! Yes, please!
Books for Baby
:: Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
:: Higher, Higher by Leslie Patricelli
:: Peek-a-Who by Nina Laden
:: Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz
:: The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra
Books for Toddler
:: Let’s Play by Leo Lionni
:: My Car by Byron Barton
:: Oops! by David Shannon
:: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle
:: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
Books for Preschoolers
:: I Stink! By Kate and Jim McMullan
:: Never Take a Shark to the Dentist (and Other Things Not to Do) by Judy Barrett
:: The Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
:: The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
:: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
For more book suggestions, take a look these previous Oilo posts:
The Power of Reading
Baby Shower Gifts We Love to Give and Get
by Sarah on 2. December 2011 in As Seen In
| Good to Know
With Thanksgiving in the recent past, and plenty of holidy parties around the corner… thoughts of good mannered toddlers have been frequent on my mind. What should I be expecting of my two –and-a-half-year- old as we sit down to eat at grandma’s house? How should I handle the situations when my toddler is less than warm when greeting family and friends?
I so love that Stroller Traffic was on the wavelength as me about this with their recent article, Rules of Civility…10 Things to Know about Toddler Manners. I love the simplicity of this article, and the reality of what we can legitimately expect from our toddler-aged crowd. You can read the article here.
I don’t know a parent who doesn’t strive for their children to be nice, polite, and well mannered. I suppose in my digestion of this article and in recent thinking- I’ve come to the conclusion that the cold hard fact is that children are learning these behaviors more from watching the example of their parents and less from an innate “nice” gene. Repetition and consistency of good behavior seem to be the ultimate keys here…a good reminder for us parents who expect so much of our little ones… and tend to forget our part!
Anyone know where I can find a refresher course on good manners?!
by Sarah on 21. November 2011 in Good to Know
It’s no surprise that Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season are the busiest long-distance travel times of the year. With a predicted 42.5 million Americans traveling 50 miles or more during the upcoming weekend alone, we are quite confident that a large number of these American will be traveling with young children. We’ve been there and done that, and know that it can be stressful!
Below you will find a compiled list of some of the tips we’ve picked up along that way that we hope can help you in your travels! It is our wish that this holiday season, you find much happiness and are able to enjoy a safe and stress-free traveling experience!
OILO’S TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH INFANTS AND TODDLERS
Tips for Air Travel:
:: Keep in mind that medically necessary liquids and gels- including medications, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding the 3.4 ounce liquid limit and are not required to be in a zip-top bag…just be prepared to declare them for inspection at the security checkpoint. (For more information on traveling with formula, breast milk, and juice- see the TSA site here.)
:: Arrive at the airport allowing plenty of extra time for unexpected delays. With heightened crowds, security procedures, and the unpredictability of your little one(s), lessen your stress by giving yourself ample time.
:: Most airlines let parents traveling with young children board early. If available, the very front seat can be a very convenient place to sit with children.
:: Use a backpack as your carry-on bag. Not only can it hold a lot of gear, it also has lots of compartments, and it’s easy to carry- leaving your hands free.
:: Gate Check a lightweight stroller so that it will be waiting for you as you exit the plane post-flight.
:: Changing cabin pressure during a flight causes temporary changes in middle ear pressure and can trigger ear pain in little ones. To equalize pressure and eliminate ear pain, encourage your child to suck on a bottle or pacifier during takeoff and landing.
:: Come equipped with flight-friendly toys (stickers, pipe cleaners, foam paint brushes, teething rings, finger puppets). Take toys out one-by-one so that you can get maximum use out of them before moving on to other toys.
Tips for Car Travel
:: If baby sleeps well in the car- consider planning your travel time to coincide with their nap/bedtime.
:: Pick out tunes that you and baby can enjoy.
:: Place a mirror on back of the seat that the child is facing.
:: Link a row of plastic baby chains from one side of the backseat to the other. Clip new soft, lightweight toys onto the chain.
:: Purchase window shades to provide a darker, more comfortable nap taking environment.
:: One of the luxuries of traveling by car is that you aren’t as restricted on space as on an airplane. Bring a large bin of toys to draw from throughout the trip.
:: Plan plenty of extra time for taking driving breaks to reduce fussiness, and for any unplanned surprises!
Tips for Car and Air Travel
:: Embrace zip-top bags! Bringing several (gallon size) bags can come in handy for a variety of reasons throughout your trip. You will be glad you have them if you find yourself with unfortunately soiled clothing or garbage that needs a place for storing. These bags also serve a valuable purpose when trying to keep a travel bag organized and a variety of items separated.
:: Bring a change of clean and dry clothes for your child, and for yourself, if you have the room.
:: Come equipped with essential medical items for your children that you may find yourself unexpectedly needing. (Pain Reliever/ Fever Reducer/ Diaper Rash Ointment)
:: Pack a small bag with 1-2 diapers, wipes, and rash cream to store in the seat pocket for easy/quick access.
:: Keep wet wipes accessible at all times to keep stickiness at bay.
:: Come prepared with plenty of snacks/drinks your child prefers, and store them in an easy to access place.
Happy Holidays & Happy Travel
by Sarah on 6. November 2011 in As Seen In
| Our Favorites
We were honored to have recently been the recipient of the Editor’s Choice Award in the bedding category for the 2011 SheKnows Parenting Awards! Thanks to all of our fans who took the time to vote!
To take a closer look at other products highlighted in the SheKnows Parenting 2011 Awards, visit www.sheknows.com/parenting/awards/parenting-awards-2011/.
As a parent, and parent-to-be, I had a lot of fun looking through the wonderful products, and am excited to check some out further. Here are a few other products that also received the Editor’s Choice Award for their given category that I’m anxious to try out!
Category: Nursery Accessories
Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail by Munchkin
“The Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail is designed specifically with parents in mind. Bags are easy to load for quick and easy diaper disposal. A full cartridge lasts more than 90 days and refills without needing a new deodorizer. Each disposable bag holds up to 25 diapers and is easy to snap, seal and toss away when full – a much-needed product for all new parents.”
Category: Morning Sickness Remedy
“Psi Bands (pronounced "sigh bands") are stylish, FDA-cleared acupressure wrist bands for the relief of nausea due to morning sickness (as well as motion sickness, chemotherapy and anesthesia). These bands are drug free, waterproof, reusable, adjustable and -- best of all -- affordable! Psi Bands are so good they have been featured in O Magazine! You can get them in many different colors and prints to fit your own style.”
Category: Activity Centers
Bright Starts Around We Go Activity Station
“Bright Starts Doodle Bugs Around We Go Activity Station is an award winning product that is designed to grow with your child through their toddler years. The seat rotates 360 degrees allowing your little one to walk all around the play table keeping them occupied for hours.”
Yellow Label Kids Rattles
“Yellow Label Kids specializes in making products that are organic and produced in compliance with the Fair Trade Conditions Act. Their rattles come in beautiful designs that are made with organic bamboo yarn; this means no more hard plastic rattles during playtime. Instead, you will be placing a softer item in your baby's hand that is still easy to clean. Choose from owls, birds, ice cream cones, donuts, vegetables and more to find your baby's favorite shaped rattles!”
Baby Blanket Music
“Baby Blanket Music is still providing soothing lullabies for your little one. This year two new albums have been released featuring Michael Jackson and Madonna who join the current artists lullabies by Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Joel, and John Mayer. Baby Blanket Music was founded by Josh Rutt who is based in NY. A teacher, performer and composer, Rutt takes great care in producing the music that helps your little ones to relax.”
by Sarah on 9. August 2011 in Our Favorites
| Our Ideas
Just the other day, some friends and I were having a conversation about what we are all currently reading. We went through the group, with a range of response. Several were currently engaged with “The Help,” another had just started to re-read “Pride and Prejudice,” while the rest were involved in a book club reading, “Room.”
The ladies turned to me for my current reading. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” I said.
Although the extent of my reading these days is laughable, the truth is—I cherish the time of day when the TV gets turned off, noisy toys are silenced, and I get to settle into a quiet space and open a book with my little boy.
I have a passion for reading with kids. Perhaps my love of this stems from the fact that formerly in life, I spent years as a full-time elementary school teacher. However, I believe that most likely… the importance of reading was instilled in me early in life by my mother and grandmothers. I was read to often as a child. I received books as gifts, regularly visited libraries and bookstores, and had daily storytime. Because of this, I now have a fondness for reading… which comes with a sweet sentiment of the times I spent listening to stories read to me by these wonderful women.
So, as a former teacher and product of being read to as a child… I'm going to suggest one thing that can potentially change your child’s life as a future reader. Read with your child every day… no matter how young. It has been proven time and time again that when kids are frequently read to from a young age, they will be more successful readers as adults. No matter the age or stage of your child…be it eating the pages, or starting to read the pages themselves, no time is a bad time to read to a child. Not only does it set a wonderful foundation for when they become readers themselves, it also serves as a precious time between a child and adult where they can engage, enjoy, and learn together.
Luckily, there are thousands of wonderful books out there, for kids of all ages! The children’s books genre is full of classics as well as more recent treasures that are new on the market.
Because I am currently in the middle of toddlerhood- the types of books that have the most staying power are those with clear, bright illustrations and interactive capabilities. Some of our current favorites are:
Dog by Matthew Van Fleet
Trucks (Bright Baby Series) by Roger Priddy
Goodnight, Baby: Tuck all the Babies into their Beds by Ikids
The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle (and ALL other Eric Carle books!)
And a few new ones we can’t wait to get our hands on…
Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig
One Pup’s Up by Marsha Wilson Chall
Yummy, Yucky by Leslie Patricelli
Hip Hop by Catherine Hnatov
Keep in mind…it’s also powerful when kids see their parents reading for enjoyment, so pick up a good book and take a couple of minutes for yourself!