Posts Tagged ‘
American Baby ’
Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Your mind doesn’t work clearly when you’re pregnant. You come up with grand visions and crazy rules, like “my daughter will NEVER use a pacifier.” Then cut to two months after the birth and you’re frantically buying one of every pacifier the drugstore sells, hoping she’ll take one of them.
I actually decided, during my second pregnancy when I was sleepy, hormonal, and seriously morning-sick, that my son would come out into the world and wear nothing except Zutano clothing. I really thought I could somehow limit his wardrobe to this, my favorite brand. It was as if my brain refused to remember that some relatives would pass me bodysuits emblazoned with sports themes, or that friends would give me stuff with goofy slogans on it. Or that my mom, chief grandchild-clothier, has her own brand attachments. Most importantly, I had somehow shut down the part of my brain that remembered that a baby can vomit on every outfit in the diaper bag, and often you just have to stop into the nearest mass-market store and buy a huge pack of Onesies.
So lets just say that things didn’t go as planned. Joe rocked a lot of different looks. But I can promise you that when he was wearing clothes that I bought him myself, they were Zutano. Check him out below, determined to walk in his little Zutano footie! (Yes, he used his big sister’s potty as a walker.)
My kids have outgrown the brand now, but I still love to give Zutano stuff as gifts to friends who have babies. I love to visit their showroom here in New York City, where founder Michael hosts the press along with his now so-grown-up daughter. (Sigh…they grow so fast!) The company itself is up in Vermont, you can read their whole charming history here.
I could go on and on with my Zutano love letter (They let employees bring their kids to the office! They’re one of the few lines that offer extensive clothes for preemies!) but let me cut to the chase: They’re going to give a $250 giftcard so one of you loyal GoodyBlog readers can get a little closer to my “this baby will only wear Zutano” fantasy. You can use it to go hog-wild at Zutano.com, where the sizes go from preemie to 4T.
Here are some groundrules: You can only post once a day, through the end of Wednesday, June 20th. You can post anything you want, but maybe go ahead and say what you love and what frustrates you about baby clothes. (I love soft cotton clothes. And I hate when a decoration is all scratchy on the inside of the clothes.) You can read all of the official rules here. Goody luck!
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Thursday, June 7th, 2012
It’s June and my thoughts are turning to…road trips! My little Brooklynites don’t spend a lot of time in cars like all of their suburban friends. Summer—when we start to drive around on weekends and do some big drives across several states—is always when we reevaluate what they’re sitting in.
Here are the current guidelines. Your baby needs to be in a car seat from birth, and that car seat should stay rear-facing as long as possible, ideally up to the second birthday. At American Baby we generally recommend you begin with an infant car seat, because 1) It’s shaped for a tiny person’s body and 2) It’s so convenient, because you can easily take it in and out of the car. The base stays in the back of your car, but the seat itself snaps out and is easy to tote around.
Newborns can start right out in a convertible car seat, facing the rear. You save money going that route for sure. The new Evenflo Symphony DLX, for instance, is meant to hold a baby from 5 to 40 pounds rear-facing, and a child all the way up to 65 pounds forward-facing. Most of the time, though, we see families switching to these big convertible car seats when their baby has outgrown the infant seat. The convertible seat has to stay installed in the car; you don’t want to be taking it in and out all the time.
Most people, when they ask me about a car seat, want to know which is the safest one. But all the car seats on the market that have a JPMA certification stamp have to pass the same safety tests. Choosing a car seat, then, becomes about ease of use. I like the Symphony because of the infinite-adust harness straps; they’re so easy to move as your baby grows, or even as he comes in and out of bulky winter clothing. It’s easy to recline the seat, and to adjust the headrest as well. Finally, I give Evenflo kudos for having some of the most helpful car-seat installation videos. They don’t replace reading the manual, but watching a video certainly helps when you’re new to the car seat world!
To help kick off road-trip season, Evenflo will give one Symphony DLX away to someone who posts a comment here. It’s worth $229! Tell me where you’re driving your family to this summer. Here’s a picture of the payoff my kids get after I drive them for 8 hours: Sitting on Pap’s tractor in his backyard!
You have until the end of the day on Wednesday, June 13th to comment and can post up to once a day. Read all the official rules here. Goody luck!
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American Baby, car seat, convertible car seat, Evenflo, Giveaway, GoodyBlog, Symphony | Categories:
Babies, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear, Travel
Monday, February 27th, 2012
We know motherhood is a tough job, which is why we’re so grateful for products that make the lives of moms even a little easier.
Whether it’s a stroller that always folds on the first try or a diaper that never leaks, we want to give the products that save you precious time and energy some much-deserved recognition with an American Baby Bests Award!
You can nominate your favorite baby product from now until March 12. And don’t forget to come back in April to vote for your favorites!
Check out the winners of the 2011 American Baby Bests Awards.
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Friday, November 25th, 2011
I have a lot of experience with American Girl dolls. I have a 9-year-old daughter, work a few blocks from American Girl Place in New York City, and am, apparently, a sucker. It stared with a “Just Like Me Doll,” which Grace wanted for her 6th birthday. I loved the idea, until I realized she was asking for a $100 doll. And that any given outfit for the doll was going to cost $20 to $30, which is what I spend on an outfit for my actual daughter. But I consulted with a neighbor whose girl is the same age, and heard all the good reasons to drink the American Girl Kool-Aid: The dolls are well-made, the girls understand that they’re special, and maybe most importantly, once girls are older than 5, the number of toys they really want dwindles rapidly. It’s nice to have them still want a toy, you know?
So we got the doll, and Grace named her Hollyfield, which is one of Grace’s middle names. Hollyfield has held up well over the past few years. And still gets played with! This past weekend, Grace totally scored a wheelchair for Hollyfield from some friends, who were holding a yard sale of American Girl stuff. I found out about it because their mom posted a notice on Facebook. A friend commented something along the lines of, “It’s so sad when they outgrow their American Girls.” And the mom posted back, “Oh no, they’re selling old American Girl stuff so that they can buy new American Girl stuff.”
Hollyfield in her new wheelchair
The Christmas after we got Hollyfield, I was doing some television for American Baby magazine (no relation to American Girl dolls!), and had an excuse to call in and feature Kit and Ruth, who are friends in American Girl world. (All the dolls come with books, which help real girls learn stories about them, and a bit of history along the way.) Grace got Kit and Ruth from Santa, and that was thrilling. She took to Kit right away, and I’m going to go ahead and admit that I fell in love with Ruth. I joked that she was “mine” although she lives in Grace’s room. The following Christmas, Grace and I took Hollyfield and Ruth to American Girl Place for stylin’ hairdos, earrings, the works. And here’s my word of warning: That store is great fun, but a money pit. I paid as much for Ruth’s hair styling as I pay for my own blowouts. And the craziest thing is, the store is absolutely packed with parents pretending that spending that kind of money is normal. But. That’s what happens when you fall in love with a doll.
Here’s Ruthie—check out her leather jacket!
My favorite, Ruthie
There have been other trips to American Girl Place. We once went in for $14 doll glasses. Grace insisted Hollyfield needs them, I lied that the doctor checked her eyes and she was fine, Grace wouldn’t let up and saved money for the glasses, and we bought them. They lasted less than a year before they were stepped on and broken. We went to the cafe with her grandparents and had fun (note: They serve alcohol to the grown-ups), we went to the cafe with her friend Natalie and had a blast, and Grace went to a birthday party there too.
Now we’re heading into Christmas 2011, and Grace has announced she’s asking Santa for Cécile Rey, a new American Girl doll who lives in circa-1853 New Orleans with her friend Marie-Grace. I’ll admit, I still had the reaction I had years ago: Do I really have to pay $100 for a doll? But here’s the thing. Grace is 9. This may be the last sweet toy I get to buy for her. And at least she’s not asking for both dolls. I will take a deep breath and buy the doll and secretly kind of love it.
Oh, and I did ask someone at American Girl if there’s ever a way to get a discount. The answer was pretty much no. They have a “sale” section on AmericanGirl.com, but it’s small. If you “like” them on Facebook, you can find out about promotions such as free shipping. But! I went ahead and asked if they’d let us do a giveaway. They’ve agreed to give just one lucky reader a new Bitty Baby, plus the Snowflake dress to go with the doll.
Win a Bitty Baby!
Just leave a comment here on this post by the end of the day on Wednesday, November 30th, to be eligible. You can post once a day. For full rules, click here. Goody luck!
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Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
We all know that the incentive to enter the cover contest is to get your little beauty on the cover of American Baby, right? Actually…while that’s an amazing prize, I personally don’t think it’s the best part. Having worked at American Baby for the past 3+ years, I know a thing or two about the excitement that surrounds this annual event. So between you and me, here are the little-known prizes that I think make it so worth entering:
1. The anticipation. You know how, when you have a big event coming up—a wedding, a vacation, a family reunion—it puts a smile on your face just thinking about it? When you’re one of the five finalists, the day of the photo shoot is one of those literally-can’t-wait occasions—and it’s all the more exciting because it’s once in a lifetime.
2. It’s family bonding time. When I called April Schneider last year to tell her that her daughter, Sienna, was going to be on the cover, one of the things she said she loved most about the experience was having a few days as a family in New York City to attend the photo shoot: “My husband and I are working parents and we don’t take many vacations. It was a treat for us.”
3. The camaraderie. On the day of the shoot, five parent/child teams show up a little unsure of what to expect. It doesn’t surprise me that the parents bond with each other over the completely exciting and foreign experience they’re sharing. One of the finalists emailed me weeks after the shoot and mentioned that all the moms had kept in contact. My (admittedly) emotional self was touched to be a part of bringing this group of women together.
4. Your baby is on the cover of American Baby! Okay, so I can’t deny that this is a really cool part of the whole experience. But this very public announcement comes with an equally amazing intimate moment. When I asked last year’s winner what she was thinking when she found out her daughter was going to be on the cover, she said: “I envisioned pointing out the magazine to Sienna and asking her who it was on the cover. And I imagine her saying, ‘Senna’ (her pronunciation of her name) with a big smile on her face and it’ll melt my heart!” What a keepsake!
Want to get in on the excitement? Click here to enter.
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Monday, September 26th, 2011
Got a cute baby?
It’s time to break out the camera and submit a photo of your little one for the American Baby cover contest. Check out the cutie who won last year’s contest, to the right.
Five finalists will receive a check for $1,000 and a free trip to New York City for an exclusive photo shoot. Of the five, one will then have the chance to appear on the cover of the April 2012 issue. Your baby — and all her adorableness — could be seen by moms across the country.
Enter the contest via Facebook today!
The contest entry period ends at 8:59 PM C.T. on November 26, 2011.
Read the official contest rules here.
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
Deciding whether or not to breastfeed is a personal decision moms have been making for decades. But in recent years, the topic of breastfeeding has become a battleground. Proponents for both sides often attack one another so harshly that they forget that they’re all moms just trying to do what’s best for their babies.
Which is why we love Sherry Petersik’s blog post “14 Months Of Breastfeeding.” When Petersik’s daughter, Clara, stopped breastfeeding, the transition was much easier for baby than it was for mom. Petersik’s breastfeeding post is not about persuading other moms to breastfeed: “Whatever works for you & your ducklings = my mantra as a parent in general,” wrote Petersik. Her post is about the joy she got from sharing an intimate experience with her daughter and the sadness she feels now that young Clara’s needs have already changed. It’s a story that all moms can relate to, no matter what their opinion of breastfeeding.
Read all of Petersik’s post at young house love, where she and her husband, John, write about their DIY home-improvement efforts. They – and their beautiful nursery – were featured in the August 2011 issue of American Baby magazine.
Did you decide to breastfeed? If so, tell us how long you were able to and how you felt when it came to an end.
Read more about breastfeeding at Parents.com:
Photo courtesy of young house love.
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Monday, October 18th, 2010
Think your babe’s got star potential? Enter the little one in American Baby’s 2011 cover contest!
It’s easy to do — just upload photos of your three-month to two-year-old with our easy tool, and they ‘re in the running. Five finalists will get a trip to NYC and $1,000, and one winner will appear on the cover. Make sure to enter before December 18 to be eligible.
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