Archive for the ‘ Babies ’ Category

Real Glam Moms: Words About Waverly

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Ashley Brickner and her family

Here’s the newest installment of a brand new series from the Parents beauty department about mommy bloggers. Each installment will feature what beauty means to real moms no matter what their beauty routine is like—and how they take time to themselves after having children. 

For one Real Glam Mom, her blog is like an online scrapbook for her child. Ashley Brickner, created Words About Waverly for her 2-year-old daughter Waverly Maye to look back on one day “to see what her childhood was like and the fun things [they] did.” With a fashion marketing teacher as a mom, Waverly has had quite a chicly dressed childhood. I even envy some of her outfits! This week, we caught up with Ashley to learn more about how she keeps Waverly busy when she’s doing her makeup and her favorite hair products.

What is your beauty routine like? 

I do the Proactiv three-step routine each morning and evening—either as soon as I wake up or right before I go to sleep. I find that I see a change in my skin immediately if I miss a couple days or if I forget to take off my makeup.  Makeup is the quickest part of my routine. I take about 10 minutes in the morning and use mostly MAC products. My hair is long and thick, so it definitely takes the longest. I dry my hair at night and curl it in the mornings using a wand to create textured waves.

How has your beauty routines changed since you had Waverly? 

Definitely the time. I have way less time to focus on getting myself ready these days.  I find that breaking up my routine—drying my hair at night, curling it in the morning—helps to get it done. Also, I try to distract my daughter BEFORE I begin by pulling out her books or giving her an assortment of her “own” makeup, which is really just all my old packages that I have already used.

The importance of taking time to yourself is… HUGE.  This is my biggest challenge as a mom—especially a working mom. I have a complete type-A personality and have always found it hard to relax. Yet ultimately, I am a better mother when I take the time for myself as I am rejuvenated to really focus on my daughter when I am with her.

The best beauty advice I’ve ever received is… to take care of my skin—especially as I get older.  I have fair skin, and when in the sun, I always wear sunscreen and stay away from tanning beds. I also aim to follow my skin care routine each day. It can be a pain, but I know how important it is!

Do you have any beauty advice for moms? 

Don’t lose your sense of style or feeling good about yourself. I still take pride in my appearance—most days!—because I feel I do better and am more motivated when I look my best.

Has your daughter ever commented on your makeup or beauty routine? 

YES!  She becomes more interested in it all the time, which makes me very happy! She loves to brush her hair, watch me put on makeup, and imitate what I do. I love buying her accessories and her own “makeup” tools to play with.

WORDS ABOUT WAVERLY’S FIVE FAVES

1.   Proactive+: It has always worked for me since high school, and I see a difference in my skin when I don’t use it.

2.    MAC Prep + Prime: I use this before I put on my foundation, and it is SUCH a difference maker, makes my skin soft, and the foundation go on more smoothly.

3.    Target Makeup Remover Wipes: Great for getting off all your makeup and making your skin feel clean and refreshed.

4.   Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner: Cheap and effective! I have never found it worthwhile to spend a lot of money of shampoo and conditioner.

5.     Essie nail polish in Chinchilly: Essie is my favorite brand of nail polish. As a mom, I don’t have the time for manicures anymore, so this is the next best thing!

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Wear Your Baby Like a Pro

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Strapping your peanut to your chest can be a sanity saver when he wants to be held and you need to keep your hands free, but it’s not always easy to master safely using a carrier. Learn to be a wrap star with these steps.

Take it slow. Read the instructions carefully, and practice with a doll or a sack of flour first (seriously!). When you’re ready, wrap your baby or place her into the carrier over a soft surface such as a bed, says Linnea Catalan, executive director of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance.

 Keep Baby close. When he’s in an upright position, your little one’s head should be close enough to kiss and his back should be supported, so that his spine sits in its natural curve and his chin is off his chest. You should be able to fit at least one finger between his chin and his chest—any less and his airway could become blocked. In the cradle position in a sling, he should rest at chest level, with
his bottom in the deepest part of it. And know that babywearing shouldn’t hurt your back, shoulders, or neck—if it does, the carrier isn’t fitted properly.

Make sure his face is visible at all times. Suffocation can be a real risk, especially for infants younger than 4 months, preemies, and those with respiratory problems, says Nychelle Fleming, public affairs specialist for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Look down at your baby often, and be especially diligent about returning him to the proper position after nursing. You don’t want him to fall asleep after a feeding with his face pressed against your body or behind a piece of fabric. In fact, Catalan suggests that you skip nursing in the carrier until your sweetie is stronger.

Avoid overheating. “Think of the carrier as an extra layer of clothing,” says Catalan. Don’t wear Baby zipped up under your coat. That’s dangerous. A cover that’s made for the carrier is best.

This week is International Babywearing Week! Read about the benefits of babywearing and watch our video all about attachment parenting:

Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting
Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting
Parenting Style: Attachment Parenting

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win the New Halo Bassinest Plus a Gift Set!

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

The mission of safe sleep for babies is something that HALO takes very seriously. While they’ve always been a leader in safe baby nightwear, such as their SleepSack Swaddle and SleepSack wearable blanket, they’re now introducing their first piece of gear, the innovative HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper.

Use the bassinet to have your baby sleep by your side, but not in your bed (which poses a suffocation hazard; if you don’t believe them, read about safe sleep habits from First Candle). Unlike traditional bassinets, this one can slide right next to you in bed, plus one side lowers down, making it easy to lift your baby out for feedings. Also, the mesh sides provide both good air flow and a clear view of your sleeping infant, for peace of mind. It’s good from the moment you bring your newborn home until he or she is about 5 months old.

The Bassinest just launched for $230 at Giggle and Right Start. But HALO is also generously giving one away here! HALO will send ONE (1) lucky winner a HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper and a HALO gift set (including a SleepSack, Swaddle and a SleepSack wearable blanket); a retail value of approximately $294.00.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day October 8th. More Qs about our giveaway? Read our official rules. Be sure to check back on October 9th 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!

Congrats to our winner, Casey Hoffman! Please check your “other” message folder on Facebook in order to claim your prize.

Watch the video below for additional tips on dressing your baby for sleep.

 

Dress Baby for Sleep
Dress Baby for Sleep
Dress Baby for Sleep

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win a Pair of Robeez® Shoes

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

We agree that a baby’s bare feet are super cute, but keeping little piggies safe when toddling around outside is important, too! 

To get you ready for the fall season, Robeez® is giving away a pair of shoes to FIVE (5) lucky winners, each pair worth approximately $20. Each winner will get to choose the pair of Robeez shoes of his or her choice for their little one.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day September 10. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on September 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!

 

Congrats to our FIVE (5) winners: Melanie Fee, Anna Pry, Evan Rollins, Brandy Husted-Yaist and Nicole Marie. Please check you “other” message folder on Facebook to claim your prize!

Trying to pick your baby’s first pair of shoes? Watch the video for tips on choosing the perfect fit.

How to Buy Baby's First Shoes
How to Buy Baby's First Shoes
How to Buy Baby's First Shoes

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Celebrate International Picnic Day with These Festive Baby Outfits!

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

This Wednesday, June 18, is International Picnic Day! Be sure to pack up some snacks (watermelon, for one, is a must!) to enjoy outside on this summer day. Meanwhile, get in the mood with these picnic-inspired outfits. Click the images to shop!

Baby will be the most festive guest at the picnic table when she shows up in this adorable one-piece from Kickee Pants. 

Nothing says picnic like a good old-fashioned pair of Levi’s overalls. 

If it’s an overcast day, toss this Target raincoat in your tote bag just in case. The weather will certainly seem less dreary with these bright colors in the mix! 

Pair these Jojo Maman Bebe shorts with a solid-colored top for a casual, summery look.

Bugs are not welcome at this gathering…unless they’re gracing this gender-neutral one-piece by Burt’s Bees! 

Help kids get in the picnic spirit with this fun song!

Ladybugs' Picnic
Ladybugs' Picnic
Ladybugs' Picnic

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Enter for a Chance to Win a $595 All-Terrain Stroller from Quinny

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

For the new mom who loves adventures, it can be hard finding a simple way to transport an infant around, especially with trips to the beach and boardwalk this summer. That’s where a stroller like Quinny’s Buzz Xtra can be a big lifesaver.

Despite being on the expensive side, this premium stroller may just be worth it for the all-terrain tires, which will help you maneuver more rugged paths (think sandy shores and hiking trails!). Plus, it easily unfolds with a special hydraulic system, and the large canopy will provide some extra protection for your little one. Sweet!

This week, Quinny is giving ONE lucky GoodyBlog reader the chance to win a Buzz Xtra stroller in the style of their choice (pending availability). It’s one of our highest giveaways ever, with a value of nearly $600!

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day May 28. Be sure to check back on May 29 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, learn some tips for smart stroller safety!

Stroller Safety
Stroller Safety
Stroller Safety

Click here for official rules.
*NOTE: Because of the value, winner must complete an affidavit before receipt of prize.

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“Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue” Examines Parents’ Views on Gender

Monday, April 28th, 2014

 If you’re expecting a little one anytime soon, you may be longing for the day you’ll be able to answer that pressing question: “Is it a boy or a girl?” But how significant is your baby’s gender, anyway? According to Christia Spears Brown, PhD,  author of the newly-released Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue, whether you’re having a little Ethan or a little Emma shouldn’t influence much. And it’s not about being gender neutral, she says. “It’s making gender irrelevant to how I raise my child.” Read on to hear what Brown has to say about many of the gender-related issues she explores in her book.

Gender isn’t just relevant to parents of older kids. As you write, “One of the very first questions a parent-to-be is asked is ‘What are you having?’” What do you hope parents of babies will take away from your book?

“I think this book is best targeted to parents of babies. I want parents to recognize that gender, for the life of their child, won’t predict very much about what their child acts like or thinks like or is able to do. Parents have to think, ‘How can I foster the traits, skills and abilities of my child in which gender is just irrelevant?’

We want our kids to grow up to be nurturing and empathetic, for example. All toys teach kids something. What toys foster nurturing and empathy? Baby dolls, for example. All babies should have baby dolls and things that they can practice caretaking for. We know that boys and girls both like baby dolls until they’re about 2 years old. There’s not a gender difference in that.”

Can you explain the consequences of categorizing children by gender? 

Every time we say, ‘What a smart girl you are,’ ‘What a good boy’—that teaches kids from a very early age that gender is the most important thing about them. Kids think, ‘If this is so important, I better figure out what a good girl or a good boy is supposed to do,’ so then kids create the stereotypes for themselves. The other part is for parents to recognize that our language matters. The times that we label gender, the ways that we constantly color-code, all that does matter—even if we are trying our best to be really egalitarian and to foster gender fairness, those really subtle messages tell kids these are the things that you need to pay attention to. That starts right from the beginning. It’s impossible to avoid pink and blue worlds. But to reduce it as much as possible—and it’s not about being anti-pink, there’s this big anti-pink movement, it seems—it’s more teaching kids that you don’t need to be categorized by gender.”

 You note that your daughters’ relatives often gift stereotypical presents that they assume young girls would enjoy. How should parents address instances such as these in which others’ views on gender don’t align with their own?

“I think there’s ways to do it that are respectful. I very subtly correct the stereotypes that I hear them say. I do correct it with my kids in private, I’ll just typically say, ‘They kind of forget that boys and girls don’t really differ this way,’ or, I sometimes say, also for older folks, ‘Back when she was young, girls didn’t roughhouse as much as they do now, but now we know that girls roughhouse just as much as boys do.’ I do make sure that I don’t let that stuff go uncommented on, but I also want to be really respectful of the people in our lives. When it comes to the toys that well-meaning relatives give, if I find them really stereotypical, I donate them. I try to walk that fine line of being respectful and recognizing that people of a different time have different attitudes about gender than I do, and it’s not really my job to change them. I try to in subtle ways, but my job is to really just help my kids navigate the stereotypes they encounter. I want them to have a stereotype language, to be able to recognize stereotypes when they hear them. I can’t protect them from all the stereotypes they’re going to encounter, but I can give them tools to recognize them.”

Are your kids ever upset when they receive a toy that you’d prefer to give away?

“I explain why I don’t like it. You know, ‘These clothes really aren’t appropriate for a kid to play with. Let’s give this to someone else, because I just don’t think this is the best toy for us to have in our house.’ They seem to be ok with it. The reality is, kids have plenty of toys. They have plenty of other things; this one toy isn’t going to make or break the birthday or Christmas.”

How do you work to address stereotypes with your kids? 

“My 3-year-old had a big princess movement for awhile, which I’m not real fond of. I didn’t want to just ban princesses, because I felt like that wasn’t quite fair, so I was asking her, ‘Well, why do you like princesses so much?,’ and she said it’s because they wear sparkly, pretty outfits. I had to reflect on my own attitudes about it and I thought, well, really what I don’t like about princesses is that they’re passive and they wait for the boy to come and save them. I don’t mind the sparkly, pretty outfit. There’s nothing wrong with that. So I suggested, well, what if we don’t keep the princesses but get other dolls that are also sparkly and wearing nice outfits. Wonder Woman came to mind. She has a tiara, she has a very sparkly belt, very sparkly bracelets, but yet she has lots of powers, and she’s very strong, she comes and saves the day.” 

So what do you think of Frozen?

“I think the princesses are fine in it. What’s frustrating as the parent of a daughter is it’s really hard to find movies that feature girls in which finding love is not a primary theme. Typically the movies are either about finding love or about pushing against finding love. Brave was a movie, which, again, I liked, but it’s about how she doesn’t want to find a boyfriend. In Frozen, there’s that boyfriend, true love theme. It ends up where the true love is the sister, which is a great take-home message. I would love a movie where a girl goes on an adventure and there’s nothing love-related, because boys get those movies where boys just go do interesting things. My philosophy is talk to them about it. We went to see Frozen, and I talked to [my then 9-year-old] and I said, ‘I really wish there were movies about girls where it wasn’t always about boys and who they were in love with. I think you do lots of cool stuff, and I think a movie about girls doing lots of cool stuff would be great to go see.’ Research shows that the best way to help kids battle stereotypes is to recognize them. Knowledge is power, when you recognize them, you can fight them, which I find is much better than just trying to censor and edit out the world.”

How can parents impart these beliefs on their children without going to the extreme of raising a child as a gender neutral being?

“From the moment they’re born, focus on their individual strengths. Keep your focus on ‘what’s my individual kid like’—it’s not about making a political point, it’s not about trying to make them gender neutral—it’s what are my individual child’s strengths, and how can I foster those without consideration of gender. Within that, you’ll have natural variation. Some girls are going to be more feminine and caretaking and passive and verbal, whereas some girls aren’t. Within each of your kids, there’s going to be natural variation, so if you happen to have a very passive, somewhat sensitive girl, that’s just who she is, and that should be fostered and valued. But recognize that not all girls are going to be that way. Some girls are much more rough-and-tumble and don’t like to sit still. There’s nothing inherently wrong with feminine toys or male toys. It’s figuring out which is the best for my kid and what are they interested in. That’s tricky for parents of babies, because babies come out not being able to tell you what they’re interested in. For babies, try to provide both. Have trucks and cars and blocks and dolls and stuffed animals so that kids can naturally gravitate toward whatever they’re specifically interested in.”

You write that “mothers talk more, interact more, and are more sensitive to the smiles of girl babies than boy babies. Baby boys are handled more roughly than baby girls” and these biases carry over as kids get older in terms of how parents respond to their children’s emotions. How can parents work not fall into these traps?  

“Again, it’s that idea of knowledge is power. There are very few actual differences between boys and girls from birth. There are no differences in how they express emotion. There are no differences in their temperament beyond some kind of impulse control. There are very few differences in terms of activity level. There are no differences in terms of how much they like to look at people and how social they are. Part of it is knowing what the facts are and then being able to check your own preconceived notions. No parent tries to raise a stereotypical child. The goal for parents is really just check their own preconceived ideas. When you think, ‘Oh, I’m having a boy,’ what do you think that means? Well the reality is, it shouldn’t really mean anything. It should be irrelevant, because knowing that they’re a boy shouldn’t predict anything about their behavior or interests or preferences. But if you assume that that’s going to predict what your child will be like, then clearly you have some assumptions. Research shows us that those aren’t accurate assumptions, because there aren’t reliable differences between boys and girls. You’ve got to own what your own assumptions are and do your best to keep them in check. That’s tough for all of us; I have to do the same thing. When we live in this culture, we’ve all been influenced by stereotypes, and we all endorse them, at least implicitly. The only way we know from research to reduce our own stereotypes is to be aware of them.”

How do genetics determine your baby’s gender? Watch below to learn about this amazing process.

What career is your child destined for? Find out.

Boy or Girl: How Genetics Determine Your Baby's Gender
Boy or Girl: How Genetics Determine Your Baby's Gender
Boy or Girl: How Genetics Determine Your Baby's Gender

 

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Give Back to Moms in Need with Boppy, and Enter for a Chance to Win a Trip

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Mother’s Day—it’s the one day a year that’s truly all about you and your little ones. Maybe you’re looking forward to a leisurely breakfast in bed or a cute card “signed” by Baby. But before you unwind and enjoy a well-deserved day of relaxation come May 11, consider giving back to mothers in less fortunate circumstances, too. 

Boppy will celebrate the mama-centric holiday as well as its own 25th anniversary by donating 5 percent of all May profits from their feeding pillow to moms in need. Boppy is working alongside Nurse Family Partnership, who matches financially needy new moms—often teenagers—with public health nurses who assist them before Baby arrives and for the two years following the birth. This service has been intact for over three decades and has helped foster healthier pregnancies and safer home environments, and it has also positively impacted children’s education and their mothers’ employment status.

Taking part in this initiative means you’ll have a new Boppy for yourself or to gift to an expectant friend or relative. The Boppy pillow comes in lots of colors and patterns and helps keep Baby comfy while you nurse or bottlefeed. As your wee one grows, the pillow can help support her as she learns to sit. 

Prefer to donate a concrete dollar amount? Give online here through Boppy’s partnership with Captivate.org (http://captivate.org/contests/nfp-explore-keystone) or use the link on Boppy’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TheBoppyCompany/app_1393201434248014) from now through May 11. Upon donating $10 or more, you’ll be entered to win a vacation to Keystone, Colorado for two. Pledge larger sums and you’ll be rewarded with a variety of Boppy products, detailed here: http://captivate.org/contests/nfp-explore-keystone/ Even if your own little one has outgrown such items, this is an excellent opportunity to stock up on baby shower gifts for pals who will soon be engaging in their own Mother’s Day celebrations!

Are you a pumping mom? Here are some tips on storing your breastmilk safely.

Store Breast Milk Safely
Store Breast Milk Safely
Store Breast Milk Safely

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