Category: Baby Stuff

Link Round-up: Animal Spools, A Coffee Cozy, Vanilla Blackberry Muffins, Casserole, and More

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has animal spools, a coffee cozy you can make, vanilla bean blackberry muffins, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make vanilla bean blackberry muffins.

Handmade Charlotte showed us how to make your own mix-and-match animal spools for the kids to play with.

Sadie Seasongoods showed us how to make a coffee cozy.

link ru loaded potato casserole
Meatloaf and Melodrama shared a recipe for a loaded baked potato casserole.

Sumptuous Spoonfuls showed us how to make a pumpkin spice chai latte.

MBA SAHM taught us how to make edible finger paint.

Homemade Interest shared a Dutch baby recipe, which is an alternative to pancakes.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Meatloaf and Melodrama

Are Royal Babies Spaced too Close Together?

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 by No Comments

Now that the Royal family has confirmed that Kate Middleton is pregnant for the second time, amid the buzz about a second royal heir being on the way is talk about whether or not 13 months is two short a time between pregnancies.

That is the amount of space between my own children, and while it wasn’t what I had “planned” I rolled with it. But 13 months is shorter than the 18 months recommended by Mayo Clinic and other organizations including the March of Dimes.

However, there is also research that suggests too much time between babies is not good either.

One of the cited possible risks based on the limited research is that the baby is at risk of a lower birth weight and small gestational size.

In my case that didn’t happen. My son actually weighed over two pounds more than my daughter and was an inch and a half longer. I’m not saying that is proof that the research is wrong, just that for me it was absolutely not the case.

Other possible risks include the potential for the placenta to partially or completely detach from the inner wall of the uterus before the baby is delivered, or that the placenta may attach to the lower part of the uterine wall and cover the cervix partially or all together in women who had a Caesarian section with their first child.

Aside from these risks there may be an increased risk of autism in the second child and some experts point to how an unplanned pregnancy and closely spaced pregnancies can put women at a socio-economic disadvantage.

I can say this is not the case for William and Kate. First of all, they probably planned this pregnancy…that is my guess not a substantiated fact.

Secondly, finances are not a factor for them, and even the stress of having kids close together will be much different with the help of a nanny, the Royal Chef, and all the other support most people don’t have.

While pregnancy and breast feeding take a toll on the mom’s body and diminish the supply of nutrients available, women in good health, who take their prenatal vitamins and have access to good prenatal care should be okay with the 13-month spacing according to some experts.

So are the Royal babies spaced to close together? Not really.

Photo credits: wikipedia

First Baby Spa a Hit in Houston

Posted on Sep 11, 2014 by No Comments

There’s a new spa located in the heart of Houston’s Memorial Villages. It’s called Float Baby and it is exclusively for babies.

While Float Baby is the first baby spa in the U.S., it turns out baby spas aren’t actually new. For instance, there’s Baby Spa in Kensington, London, that also offers “hydo therapy” and baby massages.

Float Baby opened in Houston last February, and it services infants from age 2 weeks to 8 months. The hallmark spa treatment is the floating pool which is kept at a comfortable 95-98 degrees.

Babies are dressed in waterproof diapers and a small flotation device is placed around the their necks before they are placed into the pool where they are free to move their arms and legs while they gently drift.

According to Kristi Ison, the owner of the spa, this treatment improves physical and cognitive development “by as much as 50% ahead of non-water peers.” Plus the treatment is said to strengthen muscle and bone structure.

When the babies are taken out of the pool, they get a neonatal massage performed by their parents while they are coached by Ison who is a certified instructor in infant massage. A visit costs $65 and takes about an hour.

This leads to a couple of questions like what happens if the squirming baby slips from its flotation device? Turns out that the inflatable tubes are sized by the staff every visit.

My other concern relates to a bunch of babies in the same pool, even with waterproof diapers. How clean is that pool? Turns out the water is purified and the pool itself is washed out daily.

While there is no research to support the claims made by the spa’s owner, parents using the spa have said their babies are sleeping better and are generally happier. Ison plans to expand her current facilities and hopes to open more franchises.

While I like the concept, I’m not sure about dishing out $65 for a baby spa treatment. What do you think?

Photo credits: HLN

Second Royal Baby on the Way

Posted on Sep 10, 2014 by No Comments

It’s official! Prince George is expecting a baby brother or sister.

The announcement made on Twitter says that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge “are very pleased to announce” they are expecting their second child. Both Prince William and Kate are now 32 and their first child turned one in July.

A statement from Buckingham Palace says “The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news.” And guess what! Royal watchers are just as thrilled and so are the capitalists who profit from such news.

For instance, the online betting site Paddy Power is already featuring novelty bets on the gender, hair color, and name of the new baby.

Royal Tweet
At this time, no due date has been announced, but along with the information that has been released the palace said the pregnancy is still within the first trimester. Poor Kate is experiencing acute morning sickness again and has had to cancel some scheduled engagements.

So far, this time fighting the inconvenient side-effect of extreme nausea hasn’t sent her to the hospital. Instead the palace’s statement said, “The Duchess of Cambridge is being treated by doctors at Kensington Palace,” which is where the couple lives.

Prime Minister David Cameron also shared his congratulations on Twitter, saying, “I’m delighted by the happy news that they’re expecting another baby.”

Along with the happy news comes speculation on what maternity fashion she’ll don this time around.

Will she wear some of her maternity clothes from her first pregnancy? Possibly, but we have to remember that Prince George was born in the summer, while this baby will be due in the spring. Different seasons call for different maternity clothes in my book, unless you’re into a one-size fits the whole pregnancy approach, which I can tell you the fashion conscious Kate will not be.

Photo credits: The Telegraph, Twitter

Swing Technology to Rock Your Baby’s World

Posted on Sep 8, 2014 by No Comments

Technology surrounds us and as parents we have to figure out when it’s a good thing for our kids and when it isn’t.

Consumers pretty much let Fisher Price know their baby seat with a built-in iPad holder was not a good thing. Monitors are a good thing but even there you have to watch which one’s you choose. You don’t want someone to hack into your Wi-fi to see into your child’s bedroom.

Then there are those scannable PJs that read bedtime stories to our kids, not a favorite concept in my opinion. However, I do like the technology incorporated in the 4moms Rockaroo swing.

The Rockaroo swing offers cushy comfort for your baby that’s safe for an infant. It reminds me of those little bouncy chairs but on steroids. It gently suspends the baby above the floor and sways them back and forth. And while all movements are gentle, it does offer five-speed control.

Plus it has a speaker and an MP3 player plug-in! Sounds more like we’re talking about a car, but it really is a quality swing that provides motion from below with a pivot at the base rather than suspending the swing from above. It reminds me more of the motion of a rocking chair than a swing and makes a perfect choice for busy mom’s with a baby that’s fussing.

Another plus with the 4moms Rockaroo swing is that it is quiet! And the sensors respond to the motion of the seat and the baby giving it a less mechanical feel. In fact, because each movement is a little different it actually delivers an almost human quality to the rocking movement.

On the practical side of things, the swing features a machine washable seat fabric and removable toy balls. This high-tech swing starts at $160 and newborn inserts are available for $30.00.

Photo credits: Amazon

Baby Sends Thumbs Up from the Womb

Posted on Sep 3, 2014 by No Comments

Ultrasounds offer a unique glimpse and a first baby pic before our children are born.

Seeing your baby for the first time is more special than words can tell, and for one couple, when they got a thumbs up from their baby, they thought it was really exceptional.

According to the baby’s father, Brandon Hopkins, his wife is actually expecting twins and is due in January. At this time they don’t know the sex of the babies. Even so, the twins or at least one of the twins is already famous for the thumbs up photo.

The proud dad-to-be posted the pic on his Facebook page, and then his brother posted the same sonogram pic to Reddit where the responses exploded. Some have even nicknamed the baby the “Fonzie fetus” after the iconic cool guy from Happy Days.

After the surprising response, the uncle of the babies called his brother to let him know, “Your babies are famous.” They even made the news on WCVB Channel 5 Boston.

It is really a cool shot. I mean I got excited to see thumb sucking! A thumbs up is like a positive message sent ahead. However, I can’t help but think about after the kids are born.

This is a story that will become part of their family lore passed from one generation to the next, but will the kids wonder which of them gave the thumbs up? You know what I’m talking about. The sibling rivalry thing boasting about who does something better. Which one will be able to say, “I was famous before we were born”?

Luckily because they don’t even know the sex of the babies at this time I don’t think that will happen. Instead, this now famous picture and bit of celebrity as a viral sensation will be something the entire family can cherish as a whole unit. It is special.

Photo credits: reddit

What Is Average Birth Weight these Days?

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 by No Comments

Three of my friends and I were sharing our birthing stories a couple of evenings ago after one of the women told of how their daughter was under 5 pounds when she came home. Yes, she was a preemie. Her now teenage daughter walked over to us to remind her mother that she’s not so little any more.

The conversation went on to tell birth weights of our various children, and all of us thought our eight-pound-something kids were plenty big. The daughter asked what average was and it raised the question in all our minds. We all thought the seven pound range was average territory, but with so many extremely big babies being born these days is there a new normal?

According to Kids Health, “Most full-term babies (born between 37 and 40 weeks) weigh somewhere between 5 pounds 8 ounces (2,500 grams) and 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams).” So that means the average is about the same as what we thought weighing about 7.5 pounds.

So what’s making so many babies tip the scales at weights like 14, 15, and even 16 pounds? One of the things that plays a role is diet and weight before you get pregnant and while you’re pregnant. That means those of us who are overweight to start can expect to have a heavier baby. Does that mean the baby is born “overweight?”

At the other end of the spectrum, if we don’t take in enough nutrients, then our baby might be smaller. Other factors that can influence birth weight are lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking and health issued like diabetes.

Things we have no control over include genetics and our own birth weight and the sex of the baby (boys tend to weight more than girls). Firstborns usually weigh less than their siblings, too. All of this makes me wonder if the rise in obesity and overweight is being passed on to the next generation! All the more reason why we should try to get ourselves in shape before we get pregnant!

Photo credits: Coolins335


Christina Aguilera Welcomes Daughter Summer Rain

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 by 1 Comment

Christina Aguilera and her fiancé Matt Rutler welcomed their first child together on Aug. 16. According to an article in Us Weekly, the baby was delivered via Caesarian section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and, the 33 year old star announced via Twitter that the baby’s name is Summer Rain.

As with any baby name, people will be divided as to whether or not they like the name choice. I think this particular name is pretty. It doesn’t sound gimmicky, silly, or like a forced effort to be different. Instead it has a casual elegance to it.

Summer can be a girl or boy name and it means “summer season.” It actually was somewhat popular back in the late 90s. According to the Government Social Security Administration it ranked 188 in popularity last year which means it is still pretty popular.

Summer Rain is Aguilera’s second child and the first for her fiancé, who she met on the set of her 2010 film Burlesque where he worked as a set production assistant. She and ex-husband Jordan Bratman share custody of her six-year-old son, Max, who she also had by an elective scheduled C-section.

At the time she had told People magazine, “I didn’t want any surprises. Honestly, I didn’t want any [vaginal] tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency C-section [anyway]. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early.”

According to one article I read, one third of celeb babies are born by C-section. That’s one decision I don’t think I’d make, but there are pros and cons for both sides of that issue. I’m happy all is well with the baby and mom, and wish the entire family all the best.

Photo credits: Splash News

Baby Milestones to Expect from 10-12 Months

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 by No Comments

For me the 9 months of pregnancy seemed much longer than the first 9 months of my children’s lives. They arrive these little helpless babies and within the first 9 months they’re not only sitting up and crawling, some even start to walk like my daughter.

And while all that is exciting, the milestones you can expect from 10-12 months reflect a time of rapid development when your child finds all kinds of new skills including verbal communication. With all the new skills they learn, it’s like they transform from baby to toddler during this brief time.

Milestones from 10 – 12 Months

While each baby is unique and will learn at their own pace, the milestones you can expect to see in most cases from 10 to 12 months include:

  • Better hand-eye coordination: By 10 to 12 months most babies master the pincer grasp using the thumb and forefinger and can feed themselves finger foods and stack items like blocks, or place nesting toys inside each other.
  • Growing language skills: The growing language skills of a 10 to 12 month old don’t always involve the baby talking. These skills also involve understanding verbal requests and familiar words for people and events. In other words, they understand what you are talking about. In fact, this is the time they learn meaning of the word “no.” They also learn gestures like shaking the head or pointing to an object that is out of reach to communicate what they are thinking. Some babies have a limited vocabulary by this age.
  • Improved motor skills: By 10 months most babies are already getting around by creeping, crawling, or pulling themselves up to furniture. Between 10 and 12 months those who aren’t already pulling up to furniture will learn this skill and how to scoot along the furniture while holding on for support. By 12 months your baby is likely to take their first independent steps.
  • New reasoning skills: Improved reasoning skills cover a vast number of behaviors. It’s during this time babies start to cry less when mom leaves the room because they realize she still exists even when she is out of sight. They will often imitate facial expressions, push buttons on the remote, or pretend to be talking on the phone just to name a few. Some babies can even recognize objects. For example, if you say “Get your teddybear,” they may pick it up and hug it.

Every baby develops at their own pace. My daughter walked at 9 months and my son walked at 13 months, yet he could climb like crazy by 9 months. If you have questions about your child’s skills, talk with your pediatrician.

Photo credits: