by Sarah on 29. May 2013 in Good to Know
The official start of summer may still be a few weeks away, but warmer temperatures are here…and with them bring outdoor activities and fun! We’re more than ready for the summertime festivities to begin, and the experts at Stroller Traffic have come to the rescue with their recently posted Summer Survival Guide. Head on over and take a look at their essential travel gear, creative outdoor activities, and a guide to hidden summertime toxins that could be endangering your little ones.
Also…feel free to visit our past posts about Infant Summer Safety and being Pregnant in the Sun. Here’s to the start of a wonderful and safe summer!
by Sarah on 14. May 2013 in Good to Know
Today, we’re looking at two extremely important aspects in parenting…
First things first, have you had the opportunity to check out the site FindaNanny.net? If you are a parent looking for a full-time, part-time, or occasional nanny/babysitter…this is your place! FindaNanny.net is a top resource for parents hiring a nanny… with tips for finding the right nanny, access to placement agencies, as well as a fabulous blog, and more! We know how important the search for the perfect nanny is, and we love this resource for helping parents to find the best possible fit for their family.
As we mentioned, FindaNanny.net also has a terrific blog that we’d love to share with you. Head over and read this recent post we loved, How to Tell if Your Child is Ready for His First Sleepover. This is an issue that comes up for every parent at some point as your children reach that milestone of wanting to spend the night away from home. This blog is a great resource…hope you enjoy!
by Sarah on 17. February 2013 in Good to Know
| What's The Big Deal
We are delighted to have Dr. Jane Scott stop by the blog today! Dr. Jane is a pediatrician, neonatologist, and mother of four. She has watched flat head syndrome grow exponentially in infants to recent epidemic numbers, and she has witnessed countless parents struggle to treat this. She has made it her life’s mission to educate new parents on the prevention of flat head and to offer a non-invasive, affordable solution to prevent and treat mild cases of early-diagnosed positional plagiocephaly and torticollis in infants. She is here to share her expertise with us on this topic and how it can be prevented!
These days, moms and babies are constantly on the go, running errands, going to play dates, childcare etc. For baby, this means spending a lot of time in car seats, strollers and bouncers. Add the time baby spends sleeping in their crib at night- on their backs of course- and it’s no wonder that nearly 1 in 2 babies will develop flat head syndrome by the time they are 5 months old.
Flat head syndrome is comprised of 2 conditions that often coincide or prompt the other. Plagiocephaly is the condition in which flat spots develop on an infant’s skull. Infants’ skull bones are soft and thus can be easily flattened during the formative time between birth and 6 months of age. Similarly, infants’ heads are large and heavy, while their necks are weak. Torticollis occurs when an infant’s neck muscles become tight on one side, causing a head tilt. Sometimes babies are born with these issues due to restricted positioning in utero or during the birthing process. However, flat head syndrome most commonly occurs because of the extended amount of time babies spend on their backs. In fact, there has been a 600% increase in flat head syndrome since 1992, the year the AAP introduced the “Back to Sleep” campaign to reduce the risk of SIDS.
The good news? Flat head syndrome is almost always preventable, especially when parents are educated about the issue and proactive in their prevention efforts. Due to the recent epidemic of flat head syndrome, the AAP now requests that medical providers counsel new parents on how to avoid flat head syndrome during their newborn’s checkups. To prevent the development of flat spots, parents should actively reposition their infant’s head throughout the day. The goal of repositioning is to encourage baby to place equal weight distribution on various areas of the head (to avoid the formation of a flat spot) as well as to stretch the neck muscles through rotation to both sides of their body.
Dr. Jane Scott
Board Certified Neonatologist,
Pediatrician, and Founder of Tortle Products, LLC
In addition to educating new parents on the prevention of plagiocephaly, Dr. Jane created Tortle, a non-invasive affordable solution that not only treats mild cases and early diagnosed positional plagiocephaly and torticollis in young infants, but can prevent it from ever occurring. The Tortle is a patented, FDA cleared device that Jane hopes will eradicate flat head syndrome while allowing moms to safely follow AAP’s important Back to Sleep protocol.
is an FDA cleared, simple, safe, and comfortable beanie designed to aid parents in positioning their infants. By switching the Tortle from side to side with each feeding, parents alleviate the flat spots and neck tightness that newborns often develop.
For more information about Tortle and Dr. Jane’s mission, watch this video, and visit the Tortle site here.
by Sarah on 22. January 2013 in As Seen In
| Good to Know
We all know that creating your baby registry can be time consuming and stressful. Until now!
Have you heard about Babylist? BabyList is an online baby registry that works like Pinterest. Now, expectant moms can add items from any store online to one baby registry. What a great idea, right?! Created by an expectant mama who knew exactly what she wanted on her own baby registry, Babylist was born as she found that there wasn’t an online registry that suited all her needs. If you are getting ready for baby, check out Babylist here. Their mission is to make baby registries more personal and less overwhelming. You’ll see quickly just how easy it is to register for anything you’d like from your favorite Oilo products to eco- friendly diaper services!
And… while you’re there, enjoy the other resources they provide. They have a wonderful baby registry checklist, as well as inspiration baby registries to help you get started!
You’ll see the following Oilo products made the list!
:: Sticks Play Blanket- Pewter
"Blankets are a must and this modern design by Oilo is both sophisticated and gender neutral."
See our entire collection of Play Blankets here.
:: Changing Pad Cover and Topper- Stone and Citron
"Extend the look of your crib set with this changing pad cover."
See our entire collection of Changing Pad Covers and Toppers here.
:: Crib Sheets- Stone
"Extend the look of your crib set with this changing pad cover."
See our entire collection of Crib Sheets here.
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 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 11. July 2012 in Good to Know
Summer is definitely here, and the heat has undoubtedly arrived! With a three-year-old on my hands, we spend a fair share of our time outside...particularly at the pool. Also in tow on our summertime outings is my infant, whose safety I have worried about when partaking in the fun. So…I looked to several resources for answers…and was surprised by some of the information that I found. I think now my infant can be safer in these conditions, and hopefully yours can, too!
Q: When are babies old enough to get in the pool?
There are a few reasons why it is recommended that young infants stay out of the pool. First, it is important to recognize that chlorine doesn’t kill all bacteria. Infants have a higher vulnerability to illness, and therefore have a higher chance of picking up a yucky bug from the swimming pool. Baby’s skin and eyes are also more sensitive to chlorine, so it’s a good idea to avoid heavily chlorinated pools. Also, an important factor to consider before letting baby take a dip is the temperature of the pool water. It is important that the pool water is warm enough because babies aren’t yet able to fully regulate their body temperature. A pool needs to be somewhere around 84-86 degrees (F) to be comfortable. Also, hot tubs and pools that are more than 100 degrees (F) are off limits to babies and children under five years old.
Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician and co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn has this to say on the matter, "There's no exact age when it becomes safe to take a baby into a swimming pool, and I wouldn't tell parents never to take a young baby swimming, as long as they take these factors into consideration. For a rough guideline, though, 6 months and up is a safer time than infancy to take a baby for a dip."
Q: Can my baby wear sunscreen?
The answer is no…and yes. Let’s explain…
There are baby sunscreens on the market, but it is advised that you do not use them on babies under six months of age. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently suggested that they are probably safe for children younger than six months on small areas, like the face and hands. It is best to choose a non-chemical sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that just sit on top of the skin rather than those that are absorbed. It is not certain that chemical sunscreens will harm babies, but there are still a lot of unknowns about them and their effect on infants- so it’s probably best to avoid them. You may want to check out Neutrogena’s Pure and Free Baby Sunblock Lotion …made to accommodate baby’s sensitive skin while blocking the sun.
Obviously, the best way to protect your baby’s sensitive skin is to keep them in the shade or indoors. However, if your baby is going to be in the sun, there are things other than sunscreen that you can do to keep them protected. Dressing your baby in things like long sleeved swim shirts and large brimmed hats is a good place to start.
Q: What things should I be doing to make sure my baby isn’t overheating?
Because of the inability to fully regulate body temperature, it is vital to take extra precautions to help baby beat the heat. Always remember to provide good ventilation. Babies don’t perspire effectively yet, so never have a baby in a hot room or hot car with poor circulation for very long.
It’s also important to keep your baby hydrated (see below), and if they looked flushed, have warm skin, breathe rapidly, or become restless…it’s time to hydrate and find a cooler place as these could be signs of dehydration.
In the heat, also take extra caution when putting babies in car seats and strollers. Always check them before putting your baby in to avoid burns from hot seat buckles and to prevent overheating.
Keep in mind that you should never let a baby sleep in a room that’s too hot. A fan or air conditioner should always be running with a baby in the house, but remember to never put a fan blowing directly on your baby. Another important fact to be aware of is that, although there are still so many unknowns about SIDS, it has been suggested that when babies are too hot in their sleep, the chance of SIDS is greater. If your baby is exposed to heat, giving them a sponge bath or bathing them in lukewarm water is a great way to help them cool down.
Q: How do I keep my baby properly hydrated?
Although babies don’t sweat much, they still loose fluids in hot weather. It is recommended that baby’s fluids are increased by 50% on hot days. With this said, it is important to know that infants should not drink water until they are at least six months old. Drinking straight water interferes with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients in breast milk/formula, and can also lead to a serious condition called Water Intoxication . Simply replace lost liquids with extra formula or nursing more frequently.
American Academy of Pediatrics
What to Expect
by Sarah on 15. May 2012 in Good to Know
| Our Favorites
Post pregnancy days can be filled with ups and downs, unpredictable behavior, and confusing emotions for a new mom. Two things I could be certain to count on during the early days of postpartum, were my Zella Live-In Leggings, and my Shimera PJ’s! Trust me when I say that stocking your arsenal with these items before baby comes will be one of the best things you can do for yourself.
:: Shimera Pajamas
After the arrival of baby, sleep becomes a precious commodity. Why not ensure the most comfortable sleep possible with the wonderful pajama options from Shimera? Plus- in the early days of motherhood, you never know just who might be seeing you in your jammies. Feel good about yourself any time of day in these awesome pieces.
The Shimera Everyday Pants are soft, fluid, and perfect for lounging without feeling sloppy. They are ultra-comfortable and non-constricting, making them perfect after delivery. One touch of these pants and you’ll quickly understand why they are a must-have! ($42 Nordstrom)
The Shimera Boxy Tee is the perfect complement to the Everyday Pants. It’s loose and light, with super-soft material… perfect for lounging or layering while still looking stylish! ($34 Nordstrom)
Lastly, every mommy-to-be needs a good bathrobe! Shimera’s Lightweight Knit Robe is made from the same high-quality fabric, is relaxed for a classic fit, and is just the right length! ($58 Nordstrom)
:: Zella Live-In Leggings
The Zella Live-In Leggings were my staple for the first 8 weeks after my baby was born! They are by far the most high-quality legging I have ever worn! Perfect for postpartum, they have a high waistband that holds you in comfortably. These leggings are reversible, don’t stretch out, and are flattering on all body types! These leggings are so versatile; you can literally wear them to work or to the gym! These just may be the best purchase you can make for yourself and your post-baby wardrobe! (Nordstrom $52)
by Sarah on 1. May 2012 in Good to Know
| Our Favorites
| Our Products
With the recent arrival of my second baby, I have been unexpectedly thrilled with several products that are new to me this time around. It always amazes me how fast things change and improve in the baby product world! If only I had known about these awesome products with my first baby!
Here are a few of these recent finds that I have loved during the first weeks of my little one’s life!
:: Boba Wrap
The Boba Wrap (previously called the Sleepy Wrap) is a sling wrap for carrying babies from birth to 18 months. With no buckles, straps, or snaps, this wrap is comfortable for both you and your baby. It is worn snug against your body, giving your baby the reminiscent feeling of the womb. My baby absolutely loves moving around with me… all nestled in just like old times! The sling supports baby’s head and neck with the custom fit, and also braces hips and legs in a natural way. For my newborn, the Boba Wrap is an instant comforter. For me, it is a perfect way to soothe and/or carry my baby- while still being able to get around and use both of my hands!
Check out the Boba Wrap here.
:: Mama Roo
The Mama Roo by 4 Moms is a wonderful alternative to a swing. This comfortable chair has five different motions: Car Ride, Kangaroo, Tree Swing, Rock-a-Bye, and Ocean Wave. The Mama Roo was designed to move less like a swing and more like you do… offering a wonderful device for soothing that gives your arms a break! It also comes with 5 natural sound settings and the capability of connecting an MP3 player with your own favorite baby tunes. You’ll be amazed at the movement of this device as baby nestles right in for a comfy and content ride.
Visit 4 Moms and take a closer look at the Mama Roo here.
:: Luvable Friends Newborn Socks
If you’ve ever had a newborn, you probably know that finding socks that stay on is no easy task! Not only do they constantly fall off of your baby’s tiny feet, finding them in plain, neutral colors is nearly impossible. While there are several options out there for darling patterned and colored infant socks, I have always struggled to find basic white ones that don’t clash with my newborn’s wardrobe. Thankfully, on baby number two, I found a solution to both problems with Luvable Friend’s Newborn Socks. You can buy these white socks in a pack of 4 (in a washable sack, no less) for an incredibly affordable price, and I promise you….THEY STAY ON!
You can see more Luvable Friends products here.
Purchase this 4-Pack of White Luvable Friends socks on Amazon here.
:: Oilo Car Seat Canopy
This may seem like a shameless plug for a company that I obviously endorse, but truly, the Oilo Car Seat Canopy is on my list of essential faves this time around. Not only do I constantly receive compliments for the design, it also covers and protects my baby from the elements, peering strangers, and unwanted disturbances! I have so loved the elastic that fits snuggly against the back of the car seat and keeps the canopy securely in place. I also love how the material is long enough to not only cover the car seat, but can also be draped over a large part of my car seat- compatible-stroller as well.
* Available in Cobblestone-Taupe (pictured) and Modern Berries- Spring Green.
To get your own Oilo car seat canopy, visit here.
by Sarah on 9. April 2012 in Good to Know
The period of time after baby arrives is not only an incredibly joyous one, but can also be confusing for a new mother. With fluctuations in hormones, sleep deprivation, body issues, and a myriad of new roles…mom can sometimes feel a little overwhelmed with meeting the needs of her family and herself.
Below you will find links to some wonderful articles from Pregnancy & Newborn that are worth reading if you are a mom trying to wade your way through the days after baby is born. Also- scroll a little further for a classic post over at Pregnant Chicken: Happily Giving Birth- 10 Things They Don’t Tell You!
:: Maintaining a Good Relationship with your Partner
Mother Lover: Keeping Your Relationship Strong by Sarah Granger
:: When Baby Has an Older Sibling
And Baby Makes Four by Sarah Granger
:: Navigating the First 7 Days with Baby
Beyond the Belly by Meredith Parker Toy
:: Dealing with Postpartum Hormones
Emotional Overload by Molly Jones
:: Easy Steps to Losing Baby Weight
5 Steps to Lose the Baby Weight by Lissa Harnish Poirot
:: Find Some Humor...
Happily Giving Birth-10 Things They Don’t Tell You: Pregnant Chicken