Archive for the ‘ Your Child ’ Category

15 Things That Surprised Me About Parenthood

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Each month in Parents, we print the 27 truest words about parenting from our favorite bloggers. Our December issue features a quote from Kelcey Kintner at Mama Bird Diaries. Read her full blog post below. 

girl sticking her tongue out1. That children will have a preference between veggie sticks with holes at the end and no holes at the end.  Whichever they like, I didn’t buy.

2. Wondering why someone just created the word’s fastest hot tub (like you can actually drive it) but no one has created a machine for children that applies sunscreen and removes lice at the same time.

3. That I will be forced to hold my pee for 3 hours (despite taking others to the bathroom) because it seems too overwhelming and exhausting to figure out how to put my baby down and pee too.

4. That I will deeply long for naps.

5. That I will be asked a lot of questions about how things are built. I finally had to explain to my kid that I am not an engineer. He now has a lot of questions about engineers.

6. That my child will ask if I am still pregnant. I’m not.

7. That my child will ask me why I am wearing pajamas at the grocery store. I will explain they are formal yoga pants. I will swear my kid just said, “If that’s what you want to tell yourself” under her breath but I can’t confirm this.

8. That my baby can cry all night long and in the morning I will rush him to the pediatrician’s office and the doctor will confirm that it is absolutely nothing. Probably a gas bubble. Maybe teething.

9. That I will pay for entire season of soccer and my daughter will not place one cleat on the field.

10. That I will pay for entire session of swimming and another daughter will not place one foot in the pool.

11. That siblings can argue about absolutely anything. Like who gets to go first, even though they can’t remember first for what.

12. That I will be willing to pay almost any amount of money for direct flights to avoid a layover with 5 children.

13. That Junie B. Jones would get herself into so much dang trouble.

14. That I will yell at my children to stop yelling.

15. That people will keep telling me that I will blink and my kids will be grown. I know this is true but I also have not yet developed my Stop Time Super Powers so I don’t know what they want me do about it.

Take our quiz to find out your parenting style.

Mom Confessions: Parenting Rules I Thought I'd Keep
Mom Confessions: Parenting Rules I Thought I'd Keep
Mom Confessions: Parenting Rules I Thought I'd Keep

Image via Shutterstock

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Shakira on Motherhood: “I’m Nailing at Least Part of the Job.”

Monday, October 27th, 2014

* Interview by Patty Adams Martinez

Today Shakira, superstar singer and mom to 21-month-old Milan (and with a baby on the way!), announced her partnership with Fisher-Price, driving the design of a new line of baby gear and toys sold on Amazon.com. Look for our exclusive interview with her in the December issue of Parents magazine, and in the meantime, here’s a bit of what she shared with us!

Q: You wanted to join forces with Fisher-Price after Milan loved the Kick & Play Piano Gym. Why do you think Milan was so captivated by it? How much of an influence was Milan in the new toys you are helping to launch?
I think the toy stimulated him on various levels—his kicking led to a concrete response from the toy, which really allowed him to understand cause and effect and how he himself could participate, while the toys overhead provided visual stimulation. Watching him play and learn was a huge eye-opener and of course, had a great influence when we were designing the new toys.

Q: Music is obviously a huge part of your life. What are Milan’s favorite songs?
I’ve played him a bit of everything, from nursery rhymes to Green Day to Frank Sinatra. If he’s anything like his mother, he will have very eclectic tastes in music.

Q: Which is Milan picking up faster: Spanish or English?
I think I would have to say, if pressed to choose, that Spanish is his first language since I am the person he most spends time with and it’s my first language. He has an equal understanding of English, Spanish, and Catalan [which Milan’s dad, Gerard Piqué, speaks]. It’s quite astounding, really. But his first words, “mama” and “papa,” could work in any of the languages, so I’m really curious to see how his language skills develop in all three as he begins to form sentences and more complex thoughts.

Q: What do you consider your biggest mommy win?
I’d say the fact that Milan trusts me more than anyone is a win. I always explain everything to him, give him reasons for everything we do or don’t do, and always tell him the truth. I can see how it makes him feel safe with me, which makes me feel that I’m nailing at least part of the job.

Q: And your biggest mommy fail?
Getting my son to eat! He no longer eats pumpkin and certain fruits he used to love as a baby, and I don’t understand why!

Q: You’ve long been a proponent of early childhood education. Why is it so important to you, and how has it become even more important to you now that you have Milan?
It’s so important to me because of its importance in changing a person’s course in life really cannot be understated. Lots of people are born into less than ideal situations on a socioeconomic level. But those who have access to education gain the tools that help them to overcome their circumstances and become the chief of their own destiny. The return on investment for early education is limitless, because children’s potential is limitless. And after becoming a mother, I now realize how important it is to instill that knowledge not only in the children themselves but in their parents, because even before our kids enter school, we are their primary educators, and the more we stimulate them and interact with them, the more prepared they will be when they go off to school, and the more likely their chance of success later on in life.

Here, teachers explain to Parents why music is so important to kids.

The Importance of Music
The Importance of Music
The Importance of Music

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Real Glam Moms: “I Do Better and Am More Motivated When I Look My Best.”

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!

For tips on beautifying on the fly, watch our video!

New-Mom Makeovers: How To Look Pulled-Together Fast
New-Mom Makeovers: How To Look Pulled-Together Fast
New-Mom Makeovers: How To Look Pulled-Together Fast

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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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What Life Is Really Like With a Toddler

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Each month in Parents, we print the 27 truest words about parenting from our favorite bloggers. Our November issue features a quote from Erin Huizen at Life in the Hood. Read her full blog post below. 

toddler playingLife as the mom of a toddler is exactly how I imagined it’d be: the convergence of one little boy stuffed entirely with wiggle worms and an easily out-smarted mom who doesn’t know the first thing about raising toddlers, these two forces swirling together, creating one big crazy $hit storm tornado.

(P.S. Raising a toddler also means I don’t have much time to blog, and therefore I’ll be using a lot of sweeping generalization to get my point across for the next few years.)

Actually, toddlerhood isn’t that bad, but the adjustment period is quite a shock.

At first it feels a tad bit like you are in prison, except I have heard that prisoners are allowed to take coffee breaks wherein some one-foot-tall inmate isn’t using a foreign, mono-syllabic language to demand access to the touching of her mug.

Anyway, somewhat rapidly, the world I once knew vanished. The world in which I could cuss, talk to another adult without stopping to answer un-English questions and comments mostly dealing with dogs and motorcycles, eat chocolate and cookies all day with zero accountability, and walk through a neighborhood anonymously without having to talk to every dog-owner and interesting-looking person with a light saber my son decides to engage.

That world is gone, replaced by one in which every thing I do, every plan I make begs the question, will this cause a tantrum? And if so, how large?

Maybe it’s this line of thinking that has caused me to go a little PTSD, minus the P.

While anxiously awaiting the discount grocery store to open its doors last Sunday morning, I decided we could try the coffee shop with the small kid’s play area. Though last time we graced this establishment, my toddler breezed past the toys straight to the trash cans, and after picking up all the diseases he could from their flapping lids, made his way behind the counter to help make sandwiches and serve soup.

This time he found a truck and a couple of baby-boomers rocking to music that wasn’t playing. He dug it and nodded his little head to the non-existent music as well. Just to make sure things didn’t get awkward, I bobbed my head too.

The woman told my son the music in her head was always better than the music they played there anyways.

He nodded some more, adding a fist pump.

“And if you keep your head banging like this,” she swirled her neck around and did a soft-core head-bang, “then no bad thoughts can get stuck in there.”

I liked that idea.

When my son is around and I need to think, I’ll sing a lot of made-up songs, some words, some simple melody, mostly humming. Lately I’ve been catching myself doing this without him around, mostly in public bathroom stalls, along with the head bang.

I’ve also noticed that many standards I am certain I once held dear, I cannot, for the life of me, muster up one fart about now.

Standards such as: not showing my bra-strap; being on time; mopping > once a year; masking my feelings for the sake of others; avoiding going out in public with avocado stains caked into my pants or poop crusted in my watchband; wearing shirts inside out, backwards, both, or the same shirt and pants for days on end if the avocado and other food-crust gods are blessing me as such; listening; using plates; refraining from acquiring most of my calories from what I can pick from the car seats, etc.

Knowing I’ve gone a little looney, I still try to preserve somewhat of my “self”, since it’s been beaten into my selectively porous mother-skull that I must be sure to take care of myself in order to take care of my child.

But sometimes it feels like I’m trying to preserve myself to the point of being a tree in the petrified forest, and I get the urge to just let go.

I still work-out, have my bud in child care two hours a day so I can do my thing, attend a writing group, read, etc. Despite all this, I still sense my identity as it once was is in a serious state of flux, it’s slipping away, and when I come out the other end, I’m not going to be the same.

The world will have become my padded room, the bathroom stall my stage, the unwary dog-owner my confidant. I will have happily gone insane. I will be a mom.

Take our quiz to find out your parenting style and shop kids’ games.

You Know You Have A Toddler When...
You Know You Have A Toddler When...
You Know You Have A Toddler When...

Image via Shutterstock

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How to Feel Good About Your School Shoes Shopping

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Donate old shoes for back-to-school shoppingFor those little feet that always seem to be growing, it can feel like you’re constantly buying new shoes. But rather than throwing out his old shoes the next time you need a new pair, you can now do some good (and save some green) in the process.

Through Sept. 30, as part of the “Big Hearts, Little Shoes” campaign, Stride Rite is teaming up with the international charity, Soles4Souls to donate as many shoes as they can collect to children in need both here in the U.S. and abroad.

For every pair donated in-store throughout September customers will get 20 percent off a same-day purchase of new shoes. And as a bonus with that purchase, families will also receive a certificate for a free class at The Little Gym. (You can also donate online and still receive the 20 percent off.)

Hundreds of millions of children live in extreme poverty throughout the world, and these kids might not have access to adequate footwear, which leaves them more susceptible to disease and often, unable to attend school. Soles4Souls has provided shoes to kids in nearly every state in the U.S. at homeless shelters and disaster areas, among others areas, as well as to dozens of other countries around the world.

Back to School: British Rock
Back to School: British Rock
Back to School: British Rock

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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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