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Friday, October 18th, 2013
Cribs, rompers, and blankies, oh my! When it comes to furnishing the perfect room for Baby, sometimes there’s just too much décor. Take it from the lifestyle department at American Baby; we conceive a new nursery theme each month for our “Nesting” page.
So how do we manage to scout a set of items that mesh? You’d be surprised where we find inspiration.
1. It’s not about matching.
Yes, ideally you want your nursery to flow well. But that doesn’t mean it has to match to the point where all creativity is drained. The best ideas come when you make unexpected choices, like using a spotted orange crib sheet to mimic bedrock pebbles for a dinosaur theme. Definitely beats the traditional creature-filled bedding.
2. It can start with one product.
Despite how put together our layouts seem, it doesn’t take long to develop a theme. It can be sparked by anything really at a moment’s notice. When we came across this brigade of dolls, they inspired a Japanese-centered nursery that would go on to include florals and the cutest wrap dress for November–subscribers look out for your issue soon!
3. Practicality outweighs design.
Don’t just choose décor because it looks nice. Think about longevity and the drain on your wallet, too. A $300 diaper pail may match your coveted color scheme, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth it in the long run. Be sure to research multiple sources and consider timeless pieces that will last beyond your child’s early years, like cool mirrors or sophisticated lamp bases.
Before you know it, you’ll want to sleep in Baby’s room instead of your own!
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Babies, baby, baby's nursery, baby's room, decor, home decor, home design, interior design, nursery, nursery decor | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear, Your Child, Your Life
Friday, October 4th, 2013
Each year we ask you what baby gear you love best. This year some 58,000 of you voted, and your favorite products have received the coveted American Baby Bests Award. There are 18 products on this year’s list, from the small (Sophie the Giraffe is your favorite little lifesaver) to the large (Graco’s travel system covers both your stroller and car-seat needs).
Fisher-Price often has a couple of winners, and this year was no exception. Both their bouncer seat (see it on the Today Show along with other winners!) and their Jumperoo won. You need safe, entertaining places to sit your baby for a minute; these two products are the key to making a meal, taking a shower, and getting dressed in the first six months.
I used to call our Jumperoo “the office” as in, “He’s going into the office now,” because our son looked so busy while he was in there! Did it take up a fair amount of our living room? Yes. Did we care? No, because I am not sure how we would have, for instance, gotten our older child dressed without it. And he loved being in there!
In fact, that’s the difference I see in our reader comments between the bouncer and the Jumperoo. The bouncer is for an infant, and so it’s all about how much it saves the mom’s day. But the Jumperoo is more about the baby; most readers write about the smiles they see when their baby is in the playspot.
If you’re in the market for a Jumperoo, Fisher-Price has paired with Babies R Us to offer 20 percent off the Go Wild Jumperoo from today until Thursday, October 24th, in honor of our American Baby Bests Awards. It’s $104 instead of $130 for the next few weeks; take that $26 savings while you can! Have a Goody weekend…
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Babies R Us, baby, Baby Booty, baby gear, discount, Fisher Price Go Wild Jumperoo, Fisher-Price, jumperoo, special offer | Categories:
Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Must Read, Shopping & Gear
Friday, October 4th, 2013
Interview by Ilyssa Panitz
Hilaria Baldwin would have to agree with the old saying that good things happen in threes. She just released her new Fit Mommy-to-Be prenatal DVD; her husband, Emmy-winner Alec Baldwin, is set to become the host for a new talk show on MSNBC; and — last but not least in the trio of bliss — the couple’s baby girl, Carmen Gabriela, made her big New York debut on August 23. Parents.com caught up with the new working mom a second time to find out what motherhood is like in the fast lane. (Read a previous interview with Hilaria about pregnancy and fitness secrets.) Follow her on Twitter @hilariabaldwin.
If you had to sum up the birth of your child in one word, which one would you pick?
WOW. There isn’t one word that is strong enough to describe the feeling. Birth was absolutely incredible. My husband said it was a miracle, and I agree that it was pretty miraculous. I didn’t realize I could love something so deeply.
Some new moms write down when they feed the baby and change her, and how long she sleeps, so they can learn their child’s pattern. Have you done the same? What is Carmen’s schedule?
I was writing everything down at the beginning, especially before she gained back her birth weight. Now I am at the point where Carmen and I are in sync with each other, so I no longer have to write everything down. Carmen wakes up around 11 P.M. and then again around 2 A.M. and 5:30 A.M.
I read that baby Carmen has her days and nights confused. How are you coping with the situation?
We had some nights that were rough. She is up every two to three hours because she needs to eat, but she also likes to hang out and spend time with us.
What has been the biggest adjustment you had to make?
I am definitely sleeping differently, but I think my last trimester prepared me for the lack of sleep, because I was waking up all the time needing the bathroom! (Laughs) Aside from the sleep issue, I’ve also had to adjust to having another person in the house. My little person has needs, and because we love her so much, we want to cater to her every single need and make her as happy as possible. Another thing I have adjusted: priorities. I used to run to this meeting and that meeting, and now my life revolves around home, where we build everything around Carmen’s schedule.
What books or websites have you found useful?
When I was pregnant I read, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. If I have any other questions, I go right to the Internet or I ask my baby nurse or my mom.
What books do you like to read to Carmen?
Are You My Mother?, by P.D. Eastman. I even read it to her in Spanish because I want her to speak Spanish. When I read this book, Carmen just coos, shifts her head from side to side, and smiles.
Your husband has been down the baby road before, so has he given you any advice?
It was so long ago — it’s really apples and oranges. He feels that this is a brand-new experience. But you can tell he has done this before. He’s so at ease when he holds the baby. I honestly feel like we are both new parents who are taking this journey together.
Photo credit: Acacia/Arthur Cohen
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Alec Baldwin, baby, birth, celebrities, celebrity interview, celebrity parent, celebrity parents, childbirth, hilaria baldwin, motherhood | Categories:
Babies, celebrities, Entertainment, GoodyBlog
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
You probably know that infants should snooze about 14 to 15 hours total (nighttime rest plus naps) every 24 hours. So why does it feel like your sweetie is always awake? Or the minute her sleepy head hits the crib, she pops her eyes wide open? Because making sure your infant gets good zzz’s takes a lot of hard work, time and practice!
We’d love for you to share your thoughts and opinions with us about all things sleep-related for babies from birth to age one.
Please take a moment to complete our short survey. You can also enter to win a Babies “R” Us gift card. And who couldn’t use a little cash for baby gear?! But hurry! This survey and sweepstakes ends October 4.
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Friday, September 20th, 2013
When your baby starts eating table food, watching her try new new things can be super fun (and messy!). She’ll spit out her pureed brussel sprouts, demand more carrots, and toss her peas on the floor just to watch you clean them up. Her little fingers will struggle to manage her toy-sized utensils and it’s so cute to watch, you’ll want to squish her cheeks (just make sure she’s wearing a bib).
This week, to help you and baby prepare for your culinary adventures, we’re giving one lucky winner a delicious Vera Bradley Tutti Frutti Bib Set, and a Baby Dish set that has everything she needs for mealtime: a plate, bowl and cup, each featuring adorable best friends, Bunny and Bear! Crafted in durable melamine, all three pieces are dishwasher-safe and BPA-free.
And because Mama will deserve a treat after the endeavor, we’re also giving away a Vera Bradley Make a Change Baby Bag in Heather. The stylish baby bag has an exterior zip-down pocket that reveals a roll-out detachable changing pad and two elastic slip pockets. Slightly longer straps make it perfect for the mom with places to tote her little one.
Here are the official rules. Goody luck!
Congratulations to our winner, Twila Witmer!
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Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
If you’re a shutterbug and you have a child who’s heading (back) to school, consider picking up a School Days Kit from Hallmark’s Pics ‘n’ Props line. Also featured in the Goodybag section of our September 2013 issue, the kit comes with fun, chalkboard-themed photo props (a chalkboard and inserts for preschool through 12th grade) that your child can hold up for the camera each year on the first day of school. A photo album is also included, along with journal cards for your child to write down his first-day thoughts.
After taking first day photos, don’t forget to post them to Instagram and include #parentsbts. We’re regramming select photos on the Parents Instagram page.
Don’t have a child in school? There are also kits for pregnant moms (Baby on the Way, to keep track of week-by-week growing bellies, and Boy Watch Me Grow! and Girl Watch Me Grow!, to keep track of growing babies). Or celebrate first birthdays (with gender-specific color banners) and upcoming holidays.
The creative kits are great for moms who are short on time or who lack DIY know-how — so start snapping away!
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baby, back to school, back to school 2013, birthday, first birthday, hallmark, milestones, Pregnancy, school | Categories:
GoodyBlog, school, Time for Fun
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
Both in the U.S. and the U.K., Annabel Karmel is the number-one name for moms who want to make their own baby food. The mother of three has written more than a dozen books about feeding babies and toddlers; her iPhone app is also a hit. Now she’s offering advice and delicious recipes for pregnant moms with her new book Eating for Two.
What inspired you to dive into nutrition, meal planning, and baby food?
About three months after my first child was born, I felt very uneasy—she didn’t look right to me. We took her to the hospital and were there for five days and nights. They believed something was wrong with her brain. On the last night, she died. I can’t even explain what that feels like. She was my first child.
I knew that having another child was the only thing that could bring me back to life, and so my son Nicholas is the reason I wrote my first book. I was quite adamant that he should eat well. I tried books on baby purees and they were all very bland. I tried commercial products and he wouldn’t eat them. I only got him to eat well with my own with herbs, garlic, and fresh food.
I was giving my recipes to all the mums around and they told me I should write a book.
So you did!
I spoke with many, many allergy specialists, nutritionists, and research bodies. It took me two and half years before my first book came out in 1991, The Healthy Baby Meal Planner. I thought that would be the only book I wrote, but so far I’ve written about one book each year on a range of topics: weekly meal planning, feeding fussy eaters, creating family meals, transitioning from puree to solid food, and cooking with your child.
What are good first foods?
I don’t believe in baby cereal. I like vegetables and fruit, preferably sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash. Simply steam it to preserve the nutrients, or bake it, which will caramelize it. Then mix it with your baby’s usual milk. Apple and pear are also great choices because they are slightly sweet, similar to breast milk. Then start branching out and introduce mashed papaya, peaches, banana, and avocado.
When making purees, stick to a single ingredient and keep it as close to liquid as possible. Babies are used to breast milk, and you need to mimic that consistency to start. Then work up to mixing a fruit and a vegetable together and creating thicker purees. Try introducing your little one to broccoli and spinach by mixing them with root vegetables.
What if my child is picky and won’t eat a lumpy sweet potato puree?
Stick with it! In the first year, you must introduce to as many foods as possible. Withholding certain foods has nothing to do with developing an allergy or not, but rather it can make children quite fussy. It’s really about trying to train kids to like good food. It’s hard to transition from commercial, processed food to homemade family food. Start them on fresh family food and you shouldn’t have much of a problem.
What are the best first finger foods?
Steamed veggies and soft fruits like peaches, broccoli, pears. I also love serving fingers of toast with real cheese, mini meatballs, and sautéed grated onion and apple.
How can moms be sure their babies and toddlers are getting the nutrition they need?
Follow my books and meal planner—it takes all the worry out of it. Once you’re past the simple foods, bring in eggs, fish, chicken, and other meat. I like putting things like dried apricot into beef casserole or fresh fruit into a savory puree to get babies to like it.
Other key points to remember: variety and food groups. Serve fish or meat twice each week or add cheese to a veggie puree. Do not stick to smooth purees for too long. To avoid this, blend half and chop the other half or keep it lumpier.
Don’t be discouraged or frustrated when you’re baby becomes independent, experiments with food, and then makes a mess. Mums need to accept that and take a deep breath.
Sometimes introducing the same food over and over doesn’t work for me. So I make something else. Is this the right thing to do?
It’s actually important for the child to feel hungry. Otherwise he will carry on and on and get fussy with food whenever he doesn’t feel like eating something. Give him no attention for not eating. It’s a hard thing to do, but focus on the good and not the bad. We’re all guilty of going to the cupboard and trying to appease our children, afraid they will be hungry. But when they’re hungry, that’s the time they will eat something different. Otherwise their diet won’t be varied and that’s the worst thing.
What is the best way to store baby food?
I loved cooking for my children on the weekend and freezing purees in ice cube trays. You’re better off making it in bulk.
Can parents just blend up what they’re eating for dinner?
Yes! But be mindful that no salt or strong seasonings are added.
Do you have a favorite go-to recipe when you’re in a pinch?
My mini-meatballs. I bake them in the oven and then freeze the extra. I also love chicken balls and salmon balls—all are made with breadcrumbs, tomato, and spring onion.
Any tips for mom’s diet?
While pregnant, try not to gain too much weight. You don’t need any extra calories, not until the last three months anyway, because your body is great at using all of the calories and nutrients you already provide. Eating many small meals is best, and good snacks are sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
After your child is born, you must continue to eat well, especially when breast-feeding. You don’t think about storing up food in the freezer but it is such a help to plan ahead for when you’re back from the hospital. If you eat well and rest, you will feel so much better. And it will be nutritious for baby.
Interview has been condensed and edited.
All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.
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Annabel Karmel, author, baby, cookbook, Eating For Two, feeding, Food, fresh, health, interview, meal planning, Nutrition, The Healthy Baby Meal Planner, toddler | Categories:
Friday, June 28th, 2013
“Where do babies come from?” is a question that most parents may not feel equipped to answer on the spot. Thankfully, “What Makes a Baby” by Cory Silverberg recently came across my desk, and the picture book immediately grabbed my attention (and the attention of several colleagues) with its bright colors.
The book starts with the basics of conception by introducing an egg and a sperm and explaining how both are needed to create a baby. In a smart move, the story avoids elaborating on the physical ways babies are made (i.e. through sex, IVF, and surrogates) and focuses instead on the behind-the-scenes biological process. Short and breezy sentences explain the fertilization of the egg and sperm (“When an egg and a sperm meet, they swirl together in a special kind of dance. As they dance, they talk to each other.”), the baby’s gestation period in the uterus, and the baby’s eventual birth. While it may feel odd to read and say words like egg, sperm, uterus, and vagina out loud to your kids, the book presents these natural terms in a matter-of-fact way to temper any squeamishness and embarrassment.
Silverberg, a sex educator, started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book and to cover the cost of illustrations and the printing. Good thing he surpassed his goal since the drawings by Fiona Smyth really give the book an extra special zing. Even though there are drawings of a uterus and two birth scenes (vaginal and C-section) that may also seem jarring at first, the round cartoon shapes and the neon colors give the book a fun, happy, and modern feel. The book is appropriate for ages 4-8, and you can find it on Amazon.com and BN.com.
Now parents can have easy-going, straightforward, and (hopefully) painless discussions with kids about the miracle of birth!
More Related Features on Parents.com
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Babies, baby, birth, conception, Fertility, giving birth, sperm, what makes a baby | Categories:
Babies, Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Pregnancy, Your Child