Category: Baby Stuff

Largest Stroller Recall Ever Spans 14 Years

Posted on Nov 26, 2014 by No Comments

Graco has issued a voluntary recall of nearly 5 million strollers due to an exposed hinge that could snip off the tip of tiny fingers.

According to a news release from the company, this hinge poses “a laceration or amputation hazard.” At this time, Graco has received 11 reports of finger injuries with six of them being finger amputations.

Graco Strollers Recalled

The strollers affected by this latest Graco recall were sold between August 2000 and November 2014. The fact that almost 85 percent of the strollers being recalled were sold more than 7 years ago means strollers bought at garage sales or second-hand outlets have a good chance of falling into this category.

Model names  of strollers being recalled include: Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate. These stroller models are single-occupant strollers and are equipped with an external sliding fold-lock hinge on each side and a one-hand fold release mechanism on the handle.

More details including model names and numbers (located at the bottom of the stroller leg just above the rear wheels) can be found on their website.

While the majority of strollers being recalled are older models, Graco says they are “committed to the safety of our products and have included all strollers that used the same hinge design sold during the last 14 years.”

Graco Offering Free Fix

While the number of injuries is small, Graco hopes to alleviate consumer concerns by offering free hinge covers to those who have purchased any of the recalled strollers.

If you think your stroller may be one of the recalled models, you can order the repair kit by entering the model number on GracoBaby.com or by phone at (800)-345-4109 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Second Graco Recall This Year

Unfortunately for Graco, this is their second large recall this year. In the spring, they recalled 4.2 million car seats because the harness buckles could get stuck if gummed up by food and drinks.

In that case, they offered a replacement buckle for those affected car seats. And then in April, Evenflo also recalled 1.3 million child safety seat buckles for latch sticking problems.

For more information, call Graco at 800-345-4109 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Photo credits: Amazon

Earthy Bliss Baby Carriers Let You Keep Baby Close at All Times

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 by No Comments

In today’s on-the-go world, moms are busier today than ever before. Babywearing is ideal for keeping your little one close while leaving your hands free, but many baby carriers make wearing your baby difficult and uncomfortable.

Earthy Bliss baby carriers are designed to make babywearing an enjoyable experience for both mother and child. The carriers are one-size-fits-all, so both you and your husband or baby sitter can use the same carrier.

The carriers can also be adjusted to be used with children from birth to preschool. Carriers come in a wide range of styles and colorful fabric options so you can choose a carrier that you’ll be proud to use.

Since babywearing can be a bit confusing for a new mom, Earthy Bliss has a selection of instructional videos that explain how to use each baby carrier style as well as detailing the different methods of carrying newborns and older babies. If you’re not sure what style of baby carrier is best for you, watching the videos may help with your purchasing decision.

“I experienced firsthand how frustrating it can be to find comfortable, functional and fashionable baby carriers,” said founder Johna Bowden. “When I first became a mom, I searched high and low for the right one before I finally gave up and sewed it myself. The result was the first Earthy Bliss baby carrier prototype. Since that very first design, we’ve seen amazing response to our line of baby carriers. We started out hand sewing each individual order, but when the wait-list became overwhelming, we moved to mass manufacturing in Europe — and even now, we still can’t keep up with demand!”

Photo credit: Earthy Bliss

November Is Prematurity Awareness Month

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 by No Comments

I just learned November is Prematurity Awareness Month with November 17 being World Prematurity Awareness Day.

I’m not big on the idea of having months set aside for causes because there are so many worthy causes that usually what happens is that the message ends up being lost with so many vying for attention.

For instance, November is also “Adopt a Senior Pet Month,” “National Adoption Month,” “National Family Caregivers Month,” and that just a few from a long list of worthy causes that claim November as their month.

They are all important, but really prematurity is worth talking about whether it is November or not because it remains the number one cause of newborn mortality in the United States.

Since this month is suppose to be about awareness, it’s important to note that 1 in 8 babies in the U.S. are born too early. In some cases it’s not preventable, but moms can reduce their risk of preterm birth by making some changes to their behavior.

For instance, moms-to-be should stop smoking and avoid the use of alcohol or drugs.

While that might seem like a no-brainer, taking care of yourself in general can help make a difference. This includes getting regular prenatal care throughout your pregnancy, eating healthy, taking prenatal vitamins, and controlling diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

While these things all smack of common sense, in general staying healthy while pregnant can reduce the risk of a preterm birth. So that should be a mom-to-be’s goal

Prematurity Awareness Month is the brainchild of the March of Dimes. Their goal is to focus the nation’s attention on premature birth and to educate the public.

Be sure to visit their website to see how your state rates when it comes to premature births. They along with their partner organizations around the world are asking everyone to help spread the word on the serious problem of premature birth and what can be done to help prevent it.

Photo credits: wikimedia

Link Round-up: Nutella Hot Chocolate, Toys for Babies, a DIY Gift Idea, and More

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link roundup has cute toys for babies, Nutella hot chocolate, top baby names, a marbled clay ring dish, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for chocolate chip magic granola bars.

Kids’ Activities Blog showed us some games for babies.

Brit & Co. shared some of the top baby names.

link_ru_nutella_hot_chocolate
A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make Nutella hot chocolate.

Painted Home Designs shared a DIY kindling pack gift idea.

Crafts ‘n Coffee showed us how to make a drinking straw Christmas tree.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons shared a cute Thanksgiving snack made up of a pear and berries.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess

Measles Making a Comeback in the U.S.

Posted on Nov 17, 2014 by 1 Comment

When I was growing up, I remember missing my cousin’s wedding because I had the measles. I grew up thinking of it as a childhood disease everyone eventually caught, and in this day of vaccinations, most of us don’t know how serious it can really be. I remember having the rash and not feeling well, but for me the overpowering memory is that I had to miss the wedding.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. Back when I was a kid I didn’t realize it was a respiratory disease which spreads through coughing and sneezing. That’s because the thing that stood out to me was the rash.

The good news is that it is completely preventable with today’s vaccines. The bad news is that it’s making a comeback here in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), from January 1 to October 31 this year there have been 603 documented cases of measles which were spread out over 22 states. This is the highest number since 1994.

So what do you think is the cause behind this? Some want to point to the people who have decided not to vaccinate their children, but they’ve been around since 1994 so that is not likely the cause.

The real problem is that measles are still a real problem in many other countries. According to a recent paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, more than 20 million people still get measles each year, and of those 145,700 died in 2013. So Americans traveling should be sure to update their vaccinations.

Too bad we can’t do the same with the influx of undocumented people coming into the country. With them come measles and other painful and fatal diseases we’ve had under control for decades. With high vaccination rates and infection control procedures in place, this disease can be kept in check here in the U.S.

Symptoms of measles itself are inconvenient and uncomfortable and include fever, runny nose, red eyes, sore throat, and of course the rash. The real problem is that about three out of 10 people who get measles develop complications which can include pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea.

The worst side effect of measles can be encephalitis which can lead to deafness, cognitive delays, and lasting neurological problems. These complications are more common in adults than young kids, but why risk it if you can vaccinate against it?

Photo credits: wikipedia.org

Does Your Baby Need a NogginStik?

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 by No Comments

If you prefer to purchase educational toys for your child, the NogginStik is one of the newest products promising to turn playtime into a learning experience. The NogginStik is a rattle for children ages 0-12 months.

The head of the NogginStik lights up red, blue, and green to encourage your baby to practice visual tracking. This is a crucial milestone for babies and a necessary skill children need when they are learning how to read.

The base of the toy makes a soft rattle sound and the handle is easy for baby to hold as he works on mastering grasping and exploring his sense of touch.

The NogginStik is BPA, PVC, phthalate, lead, and latex free. Intertek, one of the world’s leading independent testing authorities, has evaluated the rattle to determine that it meets or exceeds all children’s safety regulations and standards.

The NogginStik has won several toy awards, including:

  • Parents’ Choice Approved Award – 2013
  • The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval – 2013
  • The National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Gold Winner – 2012
  • Creative Child Magazine Top Toy of The Year Award – 2012
  • Play On Words PAL Award – 2012
  • AblePlay Rated – 2012

The only objection I have to this idea is the price. The NogginStik sells for $22.99 online, with free shipping in the continental US. This seems awfully pricey for a baby’s rattle, even one with an added educational benefit.

When my son was born, we were constantly losing rattles because they’d get dropped behind furniture or tossed out of the diaper bag. Keeping track of an expensive rattle would have been more of an annoyance than anything else.

What do you think of this idea? Would you buy a NogginStik for your baby?

Photo credit: NogginStik

Avoiding Unnecessary Cesarean Births

Posted on Nov 4, 2014 by No Comments

In the United States, one in three babies are born via cesarean section. Although a surgical delivery is sometimes the best option, many of these cesarean births are done simply for the convenience of the mother and/or doctor.

If you’ve never had one, a c-section can seem like a great way to avoid the prolonged pain of a vaginal delivery. But, it’s important to remember that a c-section is considered major abdominal surgery.

Fit Pregnancy says unnecessary c-sections can lead to chronic pelvic pain, wound infections, anesthetic complications, urgent hysterectomy, blood clots, and cardiac arrest for mothers.

Babies born by c-section are more likely to suffer from respiratory distress syndrome or pulmonary hypertension and be less likely to breastfeed successfully. C-sections might even place babies at a higher risk of suffering from asthma, type-1 diabetes, or food allergies later in life.

Childbirth Connection, a program of the National Partnership for Women & Families, outlines five guidelines for determining when a c-section is necessary in its recently released publication, New Cesarean Prevention Recommendations from Obstetric Leaders: What Pregnant Women Need to Know.

  1. Labor induction before the 41st week of pregnancy should only be done for medical reasons.
  2. Cesarean birth is not appropriate for most babies that are estimated to be large near the end of pregnancy. Estimates are often wrong and many large babies can be born vaginally. However, it may be appropriate if the baby is estimated to be near 11 pounds or if the baby is expected to be near 10 pounds and the mother has gestational diabetes.
  3. Cesarean is not appropriate when latent labor has gone on for more than 20 hours in first-time mothers or more than 14 hours in experienced mothers.
  4. A Cesarean birth is not needed if latent labor is slow but progressing.
  5. There is no fixed upper time limit for the pushing phase of labor.

Photo credit: Stock.chng

Helping Your Pet Adjust to a New Baby

Posted on Nov 3, 2014 by 1 Comment

When you’re expecting, you’re eager to share the news of your new arrival with everyone you meet. But, you shouldn’t overlook the fact that a new baby in the house can be very confusing for your pet.

Experts say you should start working on preparing your pet for your baby’s arrival as soon as you know that you’re pregnant.

If your pet hasn’t already been spayed or neutered, keep in mind that spayed or neutered pets are calmer and less likely to bite.

If you have a dog, consider taking a training class before your baby arrives. Having your dog be able to respond to simple commands will prevent problems once baby arrives. If you have a cat, think about whether your cat is prone to nibbling, pouncing, or swatting at you and others. These behaviors need to be redirected to appropriate objects, such as a cat play gym.

Animals have keen senses, so you should start using baby lotion, baby powder, diaper wipes, and other scented baby care products a month or so before baby arrives to give your pet time to adjust to the changes. Many experts also recommend turning on your infant swing or having friends with newborns visit to give your pet a chance to get used to unfamiliar noises.

When you’re setting up baby’s nursery, applying double stick tape to the changing table and crib area can discourage your pet from jumping. If you want to keep the baby’s room off-limits entirely, start using a baby gate right away to give your pet time to get used to the change.

Once you bring your little one home from the hospital, keep a supply of special treats handy to reward your pet for behaving properly around the baby. If your pet develops positive associations with the baby, he will be much more cooperative in welcoming a new addition to your family.

You can find more tips on the Humane Society website.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Alyssa Milano Shares Intimate Breastfeeding Photo

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 by No Comments

Alyssa Milano is one of those celebrities who seems to hang on to her down-to-earth persona amid success. She shares little insights into her private life with her fans, without branding herself and everything she touches like a Kim K.

On Monday, October 27, she posted an intimate photo on Instagram of herself breastfeeding her two-month-old daughter, Elizabella.

These days you never know what to expect when it comes to the topic of breastfeeding. Who would have ever thought something so natural would be controversial, but people do tend to hold strong views about where and when it should be done.

But Milano posted the black-and-white breastfeeding snapshot anyway, and the response from fans as been overwhelmingly positive with almost 24,000 likes.

One fan, ainalani_aloha, said, “Love the breast is best picture, way to represent! Breast milk is the best first perfect food!” And another fan, apadilla2824, echoed similar thoughts with, “Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Nursing is a beautiful thing! 9 months in and love the bond. You are a great example for others out there.”

At 41, Milano has totally embraced motherhood and addresses issues related to being a mom on social media. She believes it’s a great way to raise support between moms rather than judgement.

Recently, she has tweeted about the difficulty of working out after you’ve given birth on Twitter saying, ““First time working out since having the baby (4 weeks ago). Dear lord. Everything hurts.” Hearing things like this from a celebrity reminds us that they are human just like us, and have to work to get back into shape, just like us.

Milano is totally committed to her role as mom and announced at the end of September that she will be leaving her starring role in the popular TV show, Mistresses, because the filming location has been changed from L.A. to Canada.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided that I can’t relocate,” she said. “I have two babies under 4. Being a mother and wife comes first and I just cannot uproot my children and separate the family by moving away.” – Alyssa Milano website

Photo credits: Instagram