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Thursday, April 26th, 2012
We see a lot of products dreamed up by frustrated parents, but one that I keep going back to is the Nap Nanny. A mom in Pennsylvania had a daughter who didn’t want to sleep anywhere but in her car seat or swing. It’s such a common story, but this was the first woman I ever met who got so fired up about it, she designed, and then manufactured, a new kind of baby product. (TRUST me, that is a huge investment of time, money, and sanity!) Her Nap Nanny doesn’t have to replace a bouncer seat and it’s not meant to go into a crib (ever! It must live on your floor). It’s a sleep spot for all those babies out there who can’t or won’t sleep flat on their back.
Of course, you don’t know if you have THAT kind of baby until you have one, right? But if you do, or if your baby suffers from reflux and you’re looking for a comfy spot to sit him in (especially after feedings), this could be a lifesaver for you. Check out all the testimonials at NapNanny.com.
And pssst, we keep one around here for photo shoots because let me tell you, it makes taking cute pictures of a young baby pretty easy! In fact, Sandra Bullock’s son Louis made his big photo debut in People magazine sitting in a Nap Nanny.
Want to try it out? The folks from Nap Nanny will give one of seat, valued at $129, to one person (chosen at random) who comments at this post. How about you tell us where your baby likes to sleep? And while we’ve got you…how about you vote for your favorite bouncer, swing, and crib over at our American Baby Bests polls? (No Nap Nanny on our polls this year, but maybe its time will come!) You can post here once a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. You can read the full rules here. Goody luck!
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Friday, April 6th, 2012
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
It’s a Hollywood’s baby boom!
From R&B royalty Jay-Z and Beyoncé‘s firstborn child Blue Ivy, and David and Victoria Beckham’s first daughter Harper Seven, to Pink and Carey Hart’s sweet girl Willow Sage, there have been some adorable new arrivals into Tinseltown!
Take a look through our list of 10 beautiful new babies in Hollywood.
Babies of 2012…
Blue Ivy Carter:
R&B royalty Jay-Z and Beyoncé welcomed one of the most highly-anticipated babies in Hollywood, daughter Blue Ivy, on January 7, 2012. The superstar couple released a touching statement to announce the birth of their first child’s birth. “Hello Hello Baby Blue!” they stated. “We are happy to announce the arrival of our beautiful daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, born on Saturday, January 7, 2012. Her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful, we are in heaven. She was delivered naturally at a healthy 7 lbs and it was the best experience of both of our lives. We are thankful to everyone for all your prayers, well wishes, love and support.”
Samuel Garner Affleck:
We can’t wait to see sweet baby Sam!
After having two daughters – Violet, 6, and Seraphina, 3 – high-profile couple Ben Affleck andJennifer Garner finally welcomed a boy! Their third child, son Samuel Garner, was born on February 27, 2012. “We are happy to announce on February 27, Jennifer gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Samuel Garner Affleck,” Ben wrote on his Facebook page.”
Babies of 2011…
Ever Imre Morissette-Treadway:
Canadian crooner Alanis Morissette and husband Mario “Souleye” welcomed their first child, son Ever, on Christmas Day, 2010. Although she seems a natural, the of You Oughta Knowsinger admits, “I remain baffled at how little I was prepared for what was to come.” “It was all I could do not to cry out for the kind of mothering that I was intending to offer my lil’ one,” Alanis reflected as a new mom. “Someone who could swoop in and just DO THIS FOR ME while they pet my trembling head, while I whimpered in the corner. I remember crying out on a walk up the street, startling a dog. This dog was not easily startled. But no, this motherhood business was my call to rise to. And mine alone,” the ‘Thank You’ singer writes. “And there was no doula alive that could have reached in and taught me what I have learned through experience. There was no midwife who could show me how to grow up, warp-speed from complicated contemplative maiden to accountable matriarch. These things required months of growth and calibrating! And here I naively thought that I would arrive as a MOM at the same time as my lil’ boy arrived as a SON. The latter waaay preceded the former.”
Faith Margaret Kidman Urban:
At the age of 40, Nicole Kidman gave birth to her first biological child, daughter Sunday Rose, in July 2008 with her country singing superstar hubby Keith Urban. The power couple didn’t stop there — on December 28, 2010 they welcomed another daughter, Faith Margaret, who was delivered via gestational carrier. “Having given birth and then being there to see my child born in that way, I felt so much love for our surrogate, gestational carrier,” Nicole said. She’s also opened up about her “roller-coaster ride with fertility.”
Flynn Christopher Blanchard Copeland Bloom:
On January 6, 2011, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr welcomed their first child, son Flynn. Baby Flynn has topped the charts as a favorite new tot in Tinseltown!
“He’s a great kid. I love it.” Orlando said of his sweet son. “He’s wonderful [and] laughs more than he cries – we’re very lucky.”
[Flynn is] “the best thing I’ve ever done!,” Miranda gushed. “Every day it just gets better,” she added.
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Alanis Morissette, baby, Ben Affleck, Beyonce, Blue Ivy Carter, Carey Hart, celebrities, celebrity baby scoop, celebs, david beckham, Jay-Z, jennifer garner, jessica alba, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, miranda kerr, Nick Cannon, Nicole Kidman, Orlando Bloom, Pink, rachel zoe, Samuel Garner Affleck, victoria beckham | Categories:
Thursday, March 15th, 2012
Baby Einstein's new Baby Neptune saucer
We used to call my daughter’s activity center “the office.” We’d put her in, and she’d sit with a determined expression and get busy with the toys, spinning herself slowly around to access all of them. Her seriousness about it was hysterical for the adults in the house. It also drove home to us the adage that “play is a child’s work.” Mastering toys is a baby’s job!
Does your baby have an activity center or jumper that he or she adores? If so, we want to hear about it for our American Baby Bests contest. We’re taking nominations for products that babies and parents love, and will turn those into polls that will go live in a few weeks. (Don’t worry, I’ll announce when they’re up!) In the meantime, you can vote for your favorite baby products here. You have to join our Parents.com community in order to post there, but the good news is, posting about your favorite products makes you eligible for a $250 prize! The rules for that contest are here.
Meanwhile, if you don’t yet have an activity center and need one…this could be your big break! We’re photographing this awesome Baby Neptune Activity Saucer, from Baby Einstein, for a summer issue. And we’ve got an extra one still in its box that we’re happy to ship out to a baby who seriously needs to play. Leave a comment below—you can leave a comment once a day—anytime between now and the end of the day Wednesday, March 21st. We’ll randomly pick a person to win this $90 supertoy. You can read the full rules here. Goody luck!
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How happy is this baby?!
activity center, baby, Baby Einstein, Baby neptune, GoodyBlog, Saucer, shopping, toys | Categories:
Babies, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun, Your Child
Friday, February 24th, 2012
One of Britax's new models
One of the best parts about being a magazine editor? You get invited to fun events. We go to breakfasts and lunches to view and hear about new products. We enjoy free food, advance information about stuff that will be coming to market, and, if we’re lucky, a goody bag to boot!
Britax is holding one such breakfast on Tuesday, March 13th, and their invite added a cool twist. It says I can invite one American Baby devotee to join me! But there are serious limitations. You have to live in the New York City area, because you have to get yourself to Manhattan for the event. (No travel reimbursement.) Also, I can’t guarantee you’ll get anything interesting to take home other than a full belly! But if you’d love to play editor for a morning, see the Britax line of strollers and meet the people who design them, leave a comment here. You’re welcome to bring your baby, too. Post a comment now through the end of the day on Monday, March 5th. After that I’ll randomly select someone to join me between 9am and 11am, Tuesday March 13th, on the East Side of Manhattan. (I’ll email the winner exact directions!) Goody luck!
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
I was one of those people who planned each of my baby’s birth announcements while I was still pregnant. Grace’s were from a Martha Stewart kit (oh, the things we do for the firstborn!), and Joe’s were from a stationary Web site. Planning in advance, when when I was in nesting mode, was actually a good move. I didn’t yet know
Birth announcements from MyPublisher.com
the birth date or the baby’s weight, but I knew which font I liked and what border pattern was cute. I planned each announcement, then filled in the details after the baby was born.
But here’s what I did wrong: In my postpartum mania (I’m surely not the only person who felt adrenaline-filled euphoria for a week after giving birth, before I crashed), I got those announcements out fast. Like, mailed out within two weeks of the birth. Very efficient.
Unfortunately…newborns are not the most adorable creatures. I had gorgeous babies, but when I look back at their birth announcements, I cringe a little. I don’t think Grace’s was even in focus! And they were each SO much sweeter-looking a month later. I’m not even going to post their birth announcements here. Though I will show you one-month old Joe, because I need to make up in bragging now what I missed when I created those too-early birth announcements.
Tiny baby Joe
Here’s what you can learn from my mistake. Have a plan for the birth announcements, but don’t worry about mailing them out for a good month. Chances are everyone you’re close to will have seen pictures on Facebook anyway. That means the birth announcement isn’t everyone’s first look at the baby, but it IS the picture that will get stuck up on their fridge. Make sure it’s cute! Beyoncé seems to already know this. She waited a month before posting Blue’s photo online!
To kickstart your birth-announcement plans (or to help you create first-birthday party invites, or thank-you cards, or whatever), MyPublisher.com is letting us give away two $50 gift-certificate codes. The site used to be primarily for building photo books, but they’ve recently expanded to include birth announcements, invitations…lots of good stuff. Just leave a comment here between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, February 29th. You’re welcome to post one comment a day. You can read the full rules here. Goody luck!
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baby, Beyonce, birth announcements, Blue, GoodyBlog, MyPublisher.com, Pregnancy, shopping | Categories:
Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Pregnancy, Shopping & Gear
Friday, February 3rd, 2012
Breastfeeding is something you both have to learn; Mom and Baby. It’s rarely simple for a first-timers. But once you both get it, you can go on autopilot. I try to encourage pregnant women to have all kinds of tools for those first few weeks: A lactation consultant on-call, a comfy nursing bra you can wear all day and night, and a designated spot to sit where you can keep water to drink and have something to relax your mind, whether it’s the TV or a magazine or your smartphone to scroll through Facebook. Also you need a nursing pillow, which saves you from hunching over in a back-aching position while your newborn nurses every two hours around the clock. A nursing pillow makes everything nice and comfy for your baby, too!
Our readers seem to agree; for years now, in our Bests for Baby contest, the Boppy pillow has gotten the most votes as a new-mom must-have. It’s what I used; in fact, I think I had one on each floor of the house! The C-shape fits plenty of bodies and makes for a baby-propping support later on, when you’re helping your child learn to sit up.
There are a few new pillows on the market now too. Simplisse launched the Gia, which is more of a raindrop or a comma shape. It holds your baby at a slight incline, which could help with reflux, and provides lots of extra cushioning for his or her head. The cotton cover is anti-bacterial and removable. Seems smart!
And finally, this week we met the Mombo, a new U-shaped nursing pillow from Bright Starts Comfort & Harmony line. It’s more fitted to your body, so it stays in place. One side is firm, if your baby likes the support; flip it over for a softer side, if your baby prefers to lay on that. It comes with an optional vibration unit, too, to give your baby a little massage!
I’d love to know what you used to make breastfeeding easier. And please, join our community and post on the Baby Bests discussion boards, here. Spout off on all your favorite products: what you buy for friends’ baby showers, what little thing under $10 turned out to be a lifesaver, all that good stuff.
Finally if you leave a comment here at this blog, you’re eligible to win the Gia (worth $40) one of two Mombos (also worth $40 each), a Boppy ($40) or a Travel Boppy ($45). You have between now and the end of the day on Thursday, February 9th, to enter. You can read the full rules here. Goody luck!
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baby, Baby Bests, Boppy, breastfeeding, Gia, GoodyBlog, health, Mombo, nursing, shopping | Categories:
Babies, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Pregnancy, Shopping & Gear, Your Child
Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Joe meets blueberries
It’s an incredible responsibility, giving a baby his first taste of solid food. I made a big deal out of giving my son Joe his first rice cereal—I had a whole little ceremony at my Dad’s house. So of course Joe spit it right back out like it was poison. You’d think I would have learned my lesson after my firstborn, Grace, rejected the steamed, pureed carrots her aunt lovingly made for her first serving of veggies. Here’s the good news: Both my kids have gone on to be champion eaters. They will try anything, and enjoy most foods, even at the tricky ages of 6 and 9. I’d pat myself on the back except I’m not sure that I had much to do with it, beyond making sure they tasted a lot of different flavors between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. A 1-year-old will put anything in his mouth, it doesn’t have to be bland or sweet. But I have friends who served up a wide variety of tastes and still ended up with a picky kid, so it’s not a foolproof way to get a little foodie, just a good practice to try.
Yesterday I read an entertaining entry in my coworker’ baby food blog. Heather Morgan Shott chronicles her adventures feeding her son, Mason, at High Chair Times. Over the holidays, Mason accidentally ate peanut butter for the first time, giving his mom a scare as she watched to make sure he didn’t have an allergic reaction. It’s one of those funny-because-nothing-happened stories, and was similar to a scene that played out with me and baby Grace. She was sitting on my lap in a Thai restaurant when I absentmindedly let her chew on a steamed vegetable that had been in peanut sauce. In my sleep-deprived stupor, I didn’t even think about it until the end of the meal, when all I could do is be thankful she’s not allergic.
This is all to say that I salute all of you who are feeding a baby, or about to start. You’ll hear advice from everyone, but there is no one guideline to follow on the baby-food journey. You can get a rough idea of how much food—and what type—babies eat, here. And are you into the idea of making purees yourself? Check out our new story on homemade fruit purees. Since so many moms are on the make-your-own kick, I’m going to give away one Baby Brezza One-Step Baby Food Maker, which retails for $100, and one Baby Bullet set, worth $90. They’ll be part of a baby food maker slideshow, which I promise to post shortly. You have through Wednesday, January 11th to post a comment and be entered to win one of the two baby food makers; read the full rules here. You can only post once a day. Goody luck!
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baby, baby food, feeding, Food and Drink, GoodyBlog, little kids, solids | Categories:
Babies, Food, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear, Your Child
Thursday, December 29th, 2011
I may be a little obsessed with places to sit a baby. Last week I sang the praises of the Baby Bjorn Babysitter; this week, I’m on to the Graco SweetPeace. Let me unleash my baby-gear geekdom for a minute! Graco invented the baby swing way-back-when; it was inspired by a mom who soothed her baby while sitting on a glider swing in her backyard. (You can read the story here, along with a fact I love: That the son of the swing inventor dreamed up the Pack ‘n Play!) Baby swings have been tweaked over the years and made better; now the popular Fisher-Price cradle swings win one of our readers’-choice awards, the American Baby Bests, every year.
So what is the SweetPeace? It’s a fairly advanced soothing device for that first difficult half-year. Unlike any regular baby swing, the seat is superadjustable: You can recline it, or move it to face a different direction. You can even take the seat off and put in a Graco car seat if your baby prefers to sit in that. It comes with plenty of sounds, even white noise, but if you or your baby doesn’t like them, you can plug in your MP3 player and play anything you want. Oh and you can plug in the whole SweetPeace; you don’t have to run it on batteries. And of course you can set different swinging speeds.
The SweetPeace didn’t exist when my babies were tiny, so I’m sort of jealous of parents who have it now. It’s a swing, but maybe better than a swing, because it more closely mimics a parent’s natural rocking motion. It’s almost a whole new category of baby gear. It costs about $180, but I’m able to give one away here, thanks to Graco! So post a comment; how about you tell us what helps to calm your baby, if you’re a new parent? And if you’re pregnant, tell me where you’re making your baby registry (because I’m currently working on the mother of all registry guides). One lucky poster will win the SweetPeace; the full rules are here. You have through Wednesday, January 4th to comment. Goody luck!
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