Thursday, March 13th, 2014
Cold and flu season is almost behind us. Though your days of runny noses and coughs may soon be over, another illness is proving to be a more serious hazard for young ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns America is experiencing one of the largest outbreaks of reported pertussis cases in 50 years. That’s an even bigger deal for infants who are much more susceptible to the disease; they can’t get vaccinated until 2 months of age.
As mom to 4-year-old Charlotte and 17-month old Rocky, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, 36, was blown away when she learned how easily the disease can spread. Because newborns can’t get vaccinated right away, it’s still a must for adults who plan to be around an infant; the vaccine you got as a child has likely worn off. Parents caught up with the Sounds of Pertussis campaign ambassador to get her take on the disease as well as her tips for raising a healthy and active family.
P: What makes you so passionate about this health issue?
S: Once you become a parent, your main job is to protect your children in any way possible. When I first had Charlotte, whooping cough was something most of my friends thought had been eradicated. People aren’t aware that 80 percent of the time when you link back to how an infant gets the disease, it comes from a family member or direct caregiver. That’s the scariest thought. Our job is to protect them, and if it’s something as simple as getting a vaccination, that’s something everyone needs to know.
P: What can moms say to convince family and friends to get vaccinated?
S: It’s about making the information understandable. The way I liken it is if someone has a cold usually they will try to stay away from your baby so he doesn’t get sick. So why would you potentially expose a child to something that’s even more fatal, like pertussis? When you put it in those simple terms, how can anyone who loves a child say no? When the information is coming from someone you trust, it’s a very easy decision.
P: It can be stressful when your kids don’t feel well. How do you handle Charlotte or Rocky getting sick?
S: There’s no question that the very first time your child gets that stuffy nose and cold, it completely freaks you out. You have so much guilt because you can’t explain it to them. I think sometimes first-time parents have this thing of, “I don’t want to bother the doctor and be that annoying parent.” But if you have a question, you need to ask it. As you have more children and become an experienced parent, you sort of get to the point with the colds where you’re like, “If it’s not severe, you’re going to school.”
P: You’re a very active person. How do you encourage your kids to keep fit as well?
S: The beauty of children is that everything is interesting to them. The more you involve them in whatever activity it is you’re doing, they just love to be part of your life. I let my daughter go walking with me and our dog Bella outside. And there’s still so many fun activities you can do for children exercise-wise in inclement weather. My daughter practices Yoga and Jiu-Jitsu. It’s about taking the time to listen to your child and find what interests her. Whatever those things are that appeal to children and get their minds flowing, that can help keep them healthy and active.
P: How do you motivate Charlotte and Rocky to eat healthy?
S: Including children in the actual preparation of food is a big thing. We started Charlotte in cooking classes at about 3, and seeing what goes into it gave her a new appreciation for vegetables. Whether you’re growing produce in your backyard or taking a trip to your local farmer’s market, seeing those different aspects can get children excited to eat better. And anything you can do to give a young child ownership and help him feel independent, that’s what you ultimately want. Even if it’s as simple as letting Rocky sprinkle cheese on eggs or a pizza. You just see his face light up.
P: What else can moms do to teach their children the importance of good health?
S: It ultimately comes down to explaining at a young age what healthy living means, teaching a child what germs are and how easily they are transmitted or how to wash his hands correctly. Those very simple things can really stop the spread, not just for your own family but for your friends and everyone else your child comes into contact with.
Whether you’ve had the vaccine or not, visit the campaign’s Breathing Room Facebook app to help spread the word about pertussis. There, you can create a virtual room for your Baby and invite family and friends to join you in the fight for protection. Every little step counts!
In the meantime, watch this short video to learn what whooping cough sounds like.
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Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
By high school I became a real choir nerd. I had always been in music class, but after competing in a singing competition my junior year, it became a serious outlet. I was a bit on the shy side growing up, so singing in front of a crowd helped me break out of my shell in ways I never thought possible.
Once my parents realized my interest, they got me my very own karaoke machine to practice on. I’m telling you, I used that thing religiously every day, not just for voice lessons but also for my own amusement. Despite the fact that writing will always be my first love, there are still days I miss practicing those tunes.
Not to get too carried away with the power of a karaoke machine for a kid, but mine really did help me find more confidence in myself. That’s why I got super excited when I learned about the Singing Machine Home, the first Bluetooth speaker to turn into a karaoke machine. All you have to do is plug this baby into your TV and connect using Wi-Fi to access a platform of 8,000 plus HD karaoke videos. It also lets you create playlists, choose avatars for singers and share clips on social media.
This week, ONE lucky winner will have the chance to nab the Singing Machine Home for their family; that’s a $300 value! To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day March 10. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on March 11 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
Before you know it, you’ll have your own little star on your hands! Now, you can get your kid’s vocal chops going by having them sing along to this beloved tune.
Congrats to our winner Nina Lisk!
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Friday, February 28th, 2014
It’s been 24 years since Dr. Seuss‘ last book was published, but the beloved author’s imaginative worlds continue to stick in the minds of readers, from nostalgic parents to a new generation of kids growing up with his stories. This coming Sunday, March 2, will mark his 110th birthday. To celebrate, we scouted some decor that can Seussify your child’s room or nursery.
One of my favorite things about The Lorax is that it’s not just a feel-good book; it also has a really important environmental message. This LumiSource Medusa floor lamp ($127) sold at Wayfair reminds me a lot of the sprouting fuzzy heads of the tale’s Trufulla trees, which the main character learns to appreciate after tearing most of them down and seeing the destruction first-hand.
Fish also prove to be recurring characters in Dr. Suess’ books, including One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and even The Cat in the Hat. This Fishbowl Pendulum Clock ($44) from Uncommon Goods speaks to the type of fun animals you’ll find mixed throughout his stories.
Speaking of The Cat in the Hat, there’s no better way to show your Dr. Suess fandom than by designing around a color scheme of red, white and black. We love this striped pillow ($29) from Zazzle because it mimics the cat’s famous headwear, and the touch of black alludes to the feline himself.
Dr. Suess’ last published book Oh the Places You’ll Go became a popular tale for its focus on exploring the world and encouraging kids’ self-discovery. The character travels from place to place via air balloon, so a mobile ($50) from MoMA with tiny versions of the flying machine will spark your tot’s sense of adventure, too.
Through his writing, the author made a real effort to encourage kids’ creativity and individuality, so there’s no better way to celebrate Sunday than by putting your imagination to the test. Happy Birthday Dr. Suess!
Shop for The Lorax kid-room decor in our own Parents Shop!
Or if One Fish Two Fish decor is more your speed, there’s lots of cuteness and colorfulness around that!
Finally, see what we’ve got in The Cat in the Hat decor.
And make a fun cardboard fish toy with your kid this weekend!
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Thursday, February 27th, 2014
It may still be snowing outside, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about dressy Springtime clothes for Baby. Here at the magazine, we’ve already been scouring the best outfits, soon to appear in an upcoming slideshow on the site. Look out for it in March!
One company that caught our eye is Kapital K. For one, we love that it’s a clothing line that caters specifically to boys. From plaid polos to cargo shorts, the collection has an urban downtown vibe, so your little boy can be comfy and hip at the same time. Even better, the clothes are super affordable, with prices from $18 to $42. One of our absolute favorite pieces is the bow tie romper at right; it’s playful but still gets across that dressed-up feeling. Check out the retailers that offer Kapital K in your area and online!
With the crazy weather, making sure Baby stays protected and warm is another big priority. The Shell from Imagine Baby is a footmuff that fits most infant car seats, while The Shade is a canopy that helps block out wind. Both have UPF 50+ sun protection, are machine washable, and can be used year round, making these a must-have for travel come rain, shine, or snow.
This week, Kapital K and Imagine Baby are joining together to offer ONE lucky winner a $100 Kapital K clothing credit as well as The Shade and Shell, with a combined retail value of $170 for everything.
To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day March 5. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on March 6 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
While you wait, learn when it’s time to switch from your infant car seat to a convertible one!
Congrats to our winner Jes Stefanson!
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Getting dressed in the winter always proves to be a bit of a hassle. And bundling layer upon layer to brave the cold is especially hard on kids who can’t stop longing for the easy days of summer. Fortunately, despite the dreary weather outside, many clothing brands are now debuting spring lines to lift young spirits.
One line to check out for cute summer clothes is Naartjie Kids. Founded in 1989 in Cape Town, South Africa, the collection made its debut in the U.S. in 2001. Since that time, it’s been adding a whole lot of color and personality to kids’ wardrobes stateside. The bright dots and flower patch on this hoodie dress definitely remind us of carefree sunny days, and this robot tee makes a fun character shirt for boys.
Help your little one gear up for summer by entering our latest giveaway with Naartjie Kids. They’re offering ONE lucky winner a $100 gift card to spend on the site. To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day February 24. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on February 25 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
Looking for a DIY clothing project? Next snow day, pass the time by making this surf-print tee.
Congrats to our winner Vicki Walton!
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Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Learning to ride a bike can be a mixture of emotion for kids. On one hand, it’s super exciting to see yourself breeze by Mom and Dad for the first time. But it can also be a little scary not knowing if you’re ready to go it alone.
That’s why a starter bike is so important for helping little ones learn balance and coordination. Practicing with the latest ride-on from Hape will get your child off to a good start. Designed with two wheels in front and one in back, the Tricycle Walker is meant to encourage muscle memory before the two-wheeler stage. Plus, it’s safe to start using at 18 months, so youngsters can start building those crucial skills early.
For this week’s giveaway, ONE lucky winner will have the chance to ride away with Hape’s Tricycle Walker, a $100 value! To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day February 17. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on February 18 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
Have a bike at home? This dragging noisemaker craft will be a fun addition to the set of wheels you already own.
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Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
As a child, I was fascinated with the idea of cooking. Putting together my own little meals using play food gave me a sense of what it was like making things for myself. It was totally fun to imagine my own dishes!
With Step2′s Heart of the Home Kitchen, today’s tykes ages 2 and up can still get that feeling of being their own chef. We love all the elements that encourage real-life interaction, like the bubbling stove top and the wipe-off board to make grocery lists. The set as a whole is an impressive 41 pieces, so there’s a lot to keep your little one busy!
For our latest giveaway, we are offering ONE lucky winner the chance to nab a Heart of the Home Kitchen for themselves (it’s worth $170!). To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day February 10. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on February 11 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
In the meantime, head into your REAL kitchen and try tossing up this Valentine’s Day recipe for strawberry milk with your sweetie!
Congrats to our winner Jaclyn Reynolds!
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Monday, February 3rd, 2014
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a sweets addict. Just the mere mention of a cupcake or brownie nearby, and I go running. So when I heard that Crest was developing toothpaste meant to taste like my favorite treats, I was sold.
Say hello to Crest Be, a new line that features all the cleansing benefits of toothpaste paired with three new flavors, including Vanilla Mint Spark, Lime Spearmint Zest, and my personal favorite, Mint Chocolate Trek. In-house expert flavorists at Proctor & Gamble spent more than a year developing the line. Crest Be will finally hit shelves at drugstores and mass retailers nationwide starting this week, and each tube is $5. Check out the cool packaging!
Big bonus for me: Crest partnered with the founders of Georgetown Cupcake, sisters Katherine and Sophie, to celebrate the launch. Fans of TLC’s DC Cupcakes may remember seeing the pair tackle some crazy cupcake orders on the show.
The sisters loved the new toothpastes from Crest Be so much, they got inspired to create an exclusive new cupcake: mint chocolate basil. To make it yourself, the recipe will be available soon on Crest Be’s website. Don’t want to wait? Check out the recipe Crest shared with us.
With a passion for experimenting with flavor, it was easy for the sisters to get behind Crest’s new venture. “It’s like brushing your teeth with frosting,” Katherine says. Adds Sophie, “The nice smell makes you want to wake up and brush your teeth in the morning.”
For parents who have trouble getting their kids to brush, now’s your time to rejoice. With the addition of Crest Be to your medicine cabinet, we have a feeling your mornings will get a little easier, too.
Just getting started brushing your little one’s teeth? Watch our video on brushing baby teeth!
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