Does your child get invited to a lot of birthday parties? Do you panic at the thought of buying a gift for a child you don’t know very well?
To eliminate last minute trips to the store, I always try to have a few multipurpose gifts for kids on hand.
Here are my favorite options:
Photo credit: Amazon
Buzzy is the brainchild of Dr. Amy Baxter, who wanted to create a simple solution to help kids overcome needle phobia.
Buzzy uses cold and vibration to block the unpleasant associations with needle sticks, along with optional cards featuring puzzles that help distract children from the procedure. This approach can be useful for a child who needs to get required immunizations or incorporated as part of a treatment plan for a serious ongoing condition like juvenile arthritis or diabetes.
Buzzy and the accompanying distraction cards have been proven to decrease the perception of pain associated with phlebotomy by as much as 88%. However, Buzzy is not recommended for those under four years of age. Young children have thinner skin and may not be able to tolerate Buzzy’s ice pack as well. They can use Buzzy without the ice pack, but this diminishes the product’s effectiveness somewhat.
Even though Buzzy was created to help children overcome their fear of needles, it’s worth pointing out that the product can be helpful for adults, too. Statistics indicate 23% of adults fear needles enough to avoid making trips to the doctor, so Buzzy is certainly worth a try if you fall into this group.
Buzzy is also said to help relieve itching from allergies and eczema, because itching and pain from needle sticks are affected by the same nerves in the body. Buzzy can even be used when you’re removing splinters or cleaning out cuts and scrapes. This makes Buzzy a helpful addition to any home first aid kit.
Photo credit: Buzzy
Practicing random acts of kindness is a great way to feel good about yourself while helping others. If you need a little help coming up with random acts of kindness that are easy to do, check out the Kindness Generator from Two Little Fleas.
This online tool generates suggestions such as:
The Kindness Generator was partially inspired by the hit 2000 movie Pay It Forward, in which Haley Joel Osment’s character creates a massive network of people doing good deeds for each other.
“The response was really above any expectations we ever had,” page founder Robbie Matthews said. “To think we had over 20,000 people like the page in over a week was overwhelming. The general public really embraced the idea of doing good deeds and encouraging others to do likewise. One of our favorites was a woman who left a shopping voucher under the lid of a baby milk formula box, so when the person that buys the formula gets home they find the voucher–a brilliant surprise.”
The Kindness Generator can be used as part of the new viral game called #RAKNominate in which you nominate a friend to perform a random act of kindness via social media. Past participants have given out money in Hong Kong, donated their hair to make wigs for sick children, and purchased dinner for hardworking strangers. Check out the RAK Nominations Facebook page for details.
Photo credit: RAK Nominations
Anyone who is concerned about the toxins in our environment has heard that chemicals from plastics can leach into our food and cause harmful side effects.
There are compelling reasons to avoid plastic food storage containers regardless of your age, but plastics can be especially harmful for babies. Because of their small size and fragile immune systems, babies are much more sensitive to environmental pollutants than their older siblings or parents would be.
If you’re looking for a safer alternative to plastic bottles, check out 5 Phases glass hybrid baby bottles. They have a removable glass insert with a protective protective BPA free plastic sleeve to prevent shattering.
The bottles are microwaveable and dishwasher safe. They also feature easy to read oz/ml measurement lines to help formula feeding moms quickly prepare baby’s bottle.
You can buy 5 Phases bottles in both 4-ounce and 8-ounce sizes. When your baby no longer needs them for formula, they can be used to store homemade baby food or saved for future siblings.
In recognition of high product quality, 5 Phases has received multiple awards. The company is a Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Recipient, a Mealtime Cribsie New Arrival Award Winner, and a JPMA Innovation Product Award Winner.
To learn more about the 5 Phases bottles or to purchase bottles for your baby, visit the company website. All purchases from the 5 Phases website have a 30-day money back guarantee and are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of 90 days from purchase. Shipping is free on orders of $70 or more.
Photo credit: 5 Phases
TwoSees is one of those fabulously simple ideas that makes you wonder why someone didn’t think of it any sooner. These unique baby onesies have a small back opening that lets you peek in baby’s diaper to see if it’s dirty without the hassle of removing all of his clothing.
Dottie, the inventor of TwoSees, came up with the design for her product after caring for her one year old granddaughter. The hassle of removing all of baby’s clothes to check for the possibility of a dirty diaper led her to wonder if there was an easier way to make sure your baby’s bottom stayed clean.
TwoSees are made from 100% cotton, so they will shrink in the dryer. After they’ve been washed and dried, the 6-12 month size will fit a baby up to 20 pounds. The 12-18 month size should fit a baby weighing up to 26 pounds.
Visit the TwoSees website to learn more about the product or to purchase onesies. The gift pack featured in this post includes three onesies for just $29.97.
The only thing I don’t like about TwoSees is that the color selection is limited. Currently, the company only offers plain white onesies or white onesies with a blue parakeet design. Whenever I buy white clothing, it ends up looking drab and dingy after just a few washes.
My son has worn lots of navy blue and gray since the day he was born, just because my to-do list is long enough without spending hours on stain removal. If TwoSees is able to expand their color selection, I can see this being a must-have product for new moms everywhere!
Photo credit: TwoSees
If you’re looking for some new jewelry to perk up your wardrobe, but are worried about your baby trying to chew on your favorite necklace, check out Chewbeads. This company specializes in creating colorful and stylish baby-safe jewelry.
Chewbeads necklaces are made with 100% silicone beads and designed to provide a safe sensory tool for your baby to focus on while nursing. The material is free of lead, metals, BPA, phthalates, and cadmium. It’s similar to what is used to make pacifiers and nipples, so it can be cleaned with soap and water or thrown in the dishwasher.
The clasp of the necklace is not chewable, however. Letting your baby chewing on the clasp may cause the necklace to break.
Chewbeads necklaces come in several different styles. There are also bracelets that you can buy to use as a reminder of which side you last nursed your baby on. The multicolored stacks of bangle bracelets are my personal favorite.
Chewbeads products can be purchased from their online store or in select specialty boutiques. If you’re ordering online for a baby shower gift, gift wrapping and a personalized gift card can be added upon your request.
I love the look of these necklaces, but I didn’t wear much in the way of jewelry when my son was at the chewing stage. Most days, I considered it a success if I changed out of my pajamas!
Does your baby like to chew on your necklaces? If so, what do you think of Chewbeads?
Photo credit: Chewbeads
Who doesn’t love getting surprises in the mail? If you love the idea of subscription boxes, but want products that you’ll actually be able to use, check out these five unique subscription box plans.
Photo credit: Bulu Box
Like many moms, I took a million pictures of my son during his first year of life. Little ones grow so fast and I wanted to make sure I had every moment captured. Sadly, my photography skills aren’t the best. I have lots of sweet sentimental shots, but many are blurry, out of focused, and/or poorly composed.
If you want to learn how to take pictures of your child like a pro, check out Clickin Moms. Clickin Moms has more than 16,000 members sharing information, posting examples of their work, and learning from other women who love photography.
Several of the members have started their own photography businesses, so the site would be a wonderful resource if you’re thinking about earning extra money taking pictures for others.
I’ve picked up quite a few tips just from reading the Clickin Moms blog, but there’s a large selection of classes available, too. Many of the classes start at just $30, so they’re affordable even if you’re on a really tight budget.
The classes I looked at used an e-learning format consisting of video recordings and PDF handouts. You can work through them at your own pace, which is definitely helpful if you’re trying to improve your photography skills while balancing parenting duties.
Clickin Moms also has a section with lots of cute gift ideas for aspiring photographers, such as the camera charms featured in the picture accompanying this post.
Do you enjoy photography? If so, what do you think of the Clickin Moms website?
Photo credit: Clickin Moms
Little girls love princesses because it’s fun to dress up in pretty dresses and sparkly jewelry. Luckily, The Super Duper Princess Heroes: How It All Started lets you indulge your daughter’s princess obsession without supporting the message that princesses are inherently helpless and boy crazy.
This clever children’s book by Sanjay Nambiar tells the story of Kinney, Oceana, and Sammie. The girls are playing in the forest one day when they stumble upon a mysterious bag with magical tiaras inside of it. When they put on the tiaras, they get superpowers.
Kinney gets the power of speed, Sammie gets the power of strength, and Oceana gets the power of flight. But, the girls only get to keep their superpowers, magical tiaras, and pretty princess dresses if they use their magic to help others.
The first person the girls help is Prince Felipe, who is trapped under a heavy tree branch. Felipe is a little reluctant to accept help from the girls, but they assure him that princesses can, in fact, help princes and that they plan to save the world before they worry about picking a husband.
I think this inspiring story and cheerful illustrations are just what any sassy little girl needs. I don’t have a daughter of my own, but The Super Duper Princess Heroes is going to be my new go-to gift for the young girls in my life. I would love to see this become a bestselling series of books!
To learn more, check out The Super Duper Princess Heroes website.
Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher.
Photo credit: The Super Duper Princess Heroes