Category: Baby Stuff

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

Superstitions About Babies

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 by 2 Comments

Back when my daughter was three months old, my husband and I made a visit to my great-grandparent’s farm to join in a brief vacation with extended family. Everyone was overjoyed to see my firstborn. It was an ideal way to show her off and catch up with everyone.

But there were little things I didn’t expect as a new mom, like superstitions my great-grandma believed.

For instance, according to her thinking, you didn’t cut your baby’s fingernails until after they were a year old. If I clipped them, my daughter would become a thief to Grandma’s way of thinking. Instead, I was supposed to bite her nails.

I admit I was a bit astounded that anyone could still think like that. She had others, like not showing your baby their reflection in the mirror or they’d grow up vain.

Believe it or not, people from different cultures still believe these kinds of things today. While my great-grandma had Irish roots, some cultures believe they need to protect babies from the evil eye.

This can be done by wearing a red or pink bracelet that can be worn around the wrist or neck, but you have to be careful that it isn’t a choking hazard. A red thread can work.

Another superstition I recently learned about has to do with someone complimenting your baby. The belief is that when someone says nice things about your child that they are actually jealous and sending bad thoughts your way. To thwart this just stick your thumb between your middle and fourth fingers and the power will be nullified.

Another way to chase away these bad vibes is to lick your baby’s face three times and then spit on the floor. Can you imagine doing that when someone tells you how cute your baby is? It sounds like something you might see on Saturday Night Live.

The evil eye superstition is also related to the belief that babies should not be taken out for the first 40 days.

There are many more superstitions regarding keeping babies safe and more, like washing their hair with wine if you want them to have curly hair. I’d love to hear what your family believed or believes.

Photo credits: Jess

Do Smart Toys Make Our Kids Smart?

Posted on Oct 27, 2014 by No Comments

Technology is providing us with more and more Smart gadgets. Our smart phones know who we called, how long we talked, keeps track of all the phone numbers we need to know, and let us stay connected to social media and the web.

But if you lose your phone, how smart are you then?

I ask this because as Smart technology enters the world of play for our kids, I wonder if the toy’s abilities curb the use of the child’s imagination.

For instance, the Smart Wheels Train Station Playset from VTech is a motorized train set that runs along tracks and plays what they call “imaginative phrases” or music at each of ten Smart Locations.

It is designed to teach time concepts, colors, and phrases in English and foreign languages. It does other things, too, but for a toy designed for 1-5 year olds I wonder about developing the use of imagination!

Imagination
The first three to five years are critical developmentally, and currently there are no studies to show that SmartToys (as well as other educational toys) give kids an intellectual edge.

However, researchers have discovered that babies who are deprived of certain stimuli during the early years of life never totally recover from that lack of stimulation. It leads me to wonder if we are creating a generation of passive observers who like to be entertained, rather that kids who figure out how things work and use their imagination to come up with new ideas.

A growing body of evidence shows several connections between cognitive competence and high-quality pretend play. According to one study, it may “facilitate a higher-level of cognition,” and that there are “clear links between pretend play and social and linguistic competence.”

I say let the toys leave the smarts to the kids. Let them play pretend and grow to be our next generation equipped to think for themselves and dream rather than passive observers waiting to be entertained or told what to do.

Photo credits: AmazonRenee

Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor Is Smart and User-friendly

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by No Comments

Baby monitors offer peace of mind and a measure of freedom to get other things done while baby sleeps.

Levana’s new Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor does more than just keep an eye on your baby. It has the ability to pan/tilt/zoom and record and is even equipped with the ability to play lullabies.

When you hear about all this baby monitor can do, you might think it would be complicated to use, but the 3.5 inch touch panel features intuitive graphic icons that make it a user-friendly monitor option.

With such technology, I can’t help but think of how my mom used to talk about having eyes in the back of her head. Now we can have eyes all over the house! The Keera Baby Monitor features a camera that operates smoothly and silently from anywhere in the house.

It lets you adjust the camera view horizontally (300 degrees) and vertically (110 degrees), plus you can zoom in to get a closer look if you want. It’s a great way to see what your child is doing whether they are asleep or playing. It also lets you record video and take pictures with a 2GB micro SD card if you want to capture something adorable or funny!

The Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor equips parents with super powers to see what’s going on anywhere in the house. It runs on a powerful battery designed to last up to 24 hours and the monitor and camera can be set to “sleep” when there is no noise in the nursery to extend battery life. When the baby wakes and makes any sound, the camera and monitor activate.

The Smart LED Indicator Ring changes with the sound of your baby’s voice so you can tell how loudly your baby is crying even if the monitor is on mute. Sensitivity controls can be adjusted to suit your needs.

This monitor also includes an interactive feature that let’s you talk to your baby through the two-way Talk to Baby intercom. Use it to sooth them and let them know you’re on your way.

Photo credits: Amazon

Timeless Baby Names

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 by 1 Comment

With my first child I decided to go with a name I thought was different…unique but pretty. I chose a name I’d never heard before that was easy to pronounce and meant flower.

By the time she was three the name had become so popular it seemed like one out of three little girls had the same unique name as my daughter.

With my son, I chose a more traditional name and while it was somewhat popular, it turned out to be less so than the new trendy name I had chosen for my daughter.

With that experience in mind, if you really want your child’s name to be special, you might just be safer going with a timeless baby name. What do I mean by that? It’s one of those names that’s been around but never grown old.

Like music, you can call these 10 baby boy names and 10 baby girl names classics. I’ve included their meanings to help you find that perfect name.

Classic Baby Boy Names

  1. Alexander – defender of the people
  2. Charles – free man
  3. George – farmer
  4. James – supplanter
  5. John – God is gracious
  6. Matthew – gift of God
  7. Max – greatest
  8. Ryan – descendant of the king
  9. Sam – shortened form of Samuel which means his name is God
  10. William – strong-willed warrior

Classic Baby Girl Names

  1. Anna – gracious, merciful
  2. Bridget – exalted, lofty
  3. Caroline – beautiful woman
  4. Emma – universal
  5. Helen – light
  6. Julia – youthful, downy
  7. Kate – pure
  8. Margaret – pearl
  9. Mary – of the sea, or bitter
  10. Sarah – princess

While some of these names seem old-fashioned, most of them sound relevant for today. In fact, I can’t help but think of the royal family with the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, and his new son Prince George, and even the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. I guess they are classics right down to their names.

Photo credits: sigckgc

Kids, Sugar, and Halloween

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 by 1 Comment

With Halloween around the corner, I think back to my favorite treats.

I was never a candy corn fan. It made it into my family’s “do not like” bowl. When we came home with our hoard of candy, we’d pick through it and fill up the bowl with the stuff we didn’t want.

That was our parent’s candy to eat, and they seemed to like it all.

Now I find that some of the candies I liked best then are on the Least Favorite Halloween Candy List now, like Sugar Daddys. Yes, they were sticky, but their sweeter-than-caramel goodness lasted. Good and Plenty is another candy for the reject pile according to the list, and one I still buy occasionally today.

The biggest surprise on the list for me was “any” hot cinnamon candy, since that was and is a favorite for me. In fact, I recently bought a package of Atomic Fireballs for in the car on vacation.

All in all, I liked all but two of the candies that made the reject list and all I can do is think of my parents with that “do not like bowl.” They liked everything we put in there, and now if you filled a do-not-like bowl with the candies on this list, I’d eat almost all of them.

Even though I still have a sweet tooth, these days I lean more toward things like homemade cookies. Back then, it was like I could just keep eating piece after piece of candy, if my parents let me.

Turns out there is a biological reason for that and the research shows that our tastes actually do change regarding sweets as we grow older.

Recent scientific findings show that kids who are still growing have a “heightened preference for sweet-tasting foods and beverages during childhood.”

That same study says, “The liking for sweet tastes during development may have ensured the acceptance of sweet-tasting foods, such as mother’s milk and fruits. Moreover, recent research suggests that liking for sweets may be further promoted by the pain-reducing properties of sugars.”

That pain-reducing property may be why I go to sugar when I’m feeling down, but that’s a story for another day.

It’s no secret that kids like candy, and that they can eat a lot of it if we let them. It’s up to us to make sure our younger kids don’t overdo it.

Around age 15 or 16, when growth has stopped, the study showed taste preferences similar to adults. As a mom, I’m not so sure those findings are quite accurate.

Photo credits: Thomas

Book of Pictures for Baby’s Birthday

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 by No Comments

With digital cameras, iPhones, and other devices at the ready, I think we have more baby pictures than ever. Yet where are they? By the time your child is three, can you put your finger on exactly where pictures are from year one?

One thing I’ve started to do for the babies in my life is to make up a photo book just for them. I like to choose an album that has the little window for a picture to be embedded in the front cover. This type of photo book is a year at a glance.

I started doing this when my girlfriend’s phone crashed and she lost all her son’s pictures from the first year. Fortunately, I had quite a collection and put them in chronological order. She loved it, and her little boy does, too.

Jeremiah Book

Another thing I’ve done is to make up “read to me” photo books. This takes more time, but the kids love it. I title them things like, “Jeremiah Is Two!” and start with some birthday pictures with captions, and add to it throughout the year.

It’s not as fancy as scrapbooking but it’s a great way to capture milestones and tell a short version of “this is my life” year two (or whatever time frame you want to cover).

Fun things like, “When Jeremiah was two he liked to eat pancakes with a fork” show him learning to use a fork and that he liked pancakes. Plus it’s a great opportunity to tell stories they’ll carry with them the rest of their lives.

For these, I print out pictures on a piece of paper using large colorful letters to tell the story. If you want to get fancy and use a computer program, that’s fine, but a marker works and gives it a fun, age-appropriate look.

I put the finished sheets in a binder with the pages in protective plastic so grubby little fingers can turn the pages without causing damage.

With all these pictures at our disposal, let’s use them! What do you do with your baby pictures?

Photo credits: Personal photos used with permission

Skinfix a Centuries Old Diaper Rash Cream

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 by No Comments

I’m a fan of natural products, and I just learned about a centuries old remedy for diaper rash. It’s called Skinfix Diaper Rash Cream. The recipe for this cream was originally blended by a man by the name of Thomas Dixon in Victorian England in 1850. He sold the formula in his store.

The family recipe for this cream was passed down through British Pharmacopoeia and is an all-natural blend of botanicals, vitamins and minerals designed to prevent and heal skin problems from head to toe.

In 2007, Thomas Dixon’s great-great-great granddaughter brought Skinfix into existence as a skincare brand that’s all natural, and fragrance- and paraben free. That means it can be used to help heal your baby’s diaper rash, but also eczema, chafing, and heat rash, too.

My kids didn’t get diaper rash often, but it seemed no matter how careful I was they did get diaper rash from time to time. In fact, it’s one of the ways I knew my son was teething. While it may be a “harmless” rash, it certainly can make our babies fussy! I wish I would have known about Skinfix when they were in diapers!

Skinfix has been pediatrician and dermatologist tested, and has been shown to relieve diaper rash in just one application according to 90 percent of the moms who have tried it. In the short time Skinfix has been an official brand, it has grown into a national business but it wasn’t until 2013 that they launched in the U.S.

This is one product that offers everything we could look for in the natural realm, without the work of making it ourselves! And since it’s worked for more than a century, I’d say it’s been well tested!

No matter how careful you are, your little one will probably get diaper rash at some point. Most babies do. So plan ahead.  Learn how to treat diaper rash, plus prevent flare-ups. Your baby’s little bottom will thank you!

Photo credits: Joanna Lane

Mom Hides Baby in Truck to Avoid Ticket

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 by 1 Comment

Police in Lauderdale Lakes, FL spotted a Dodge Stratus driving with a headlight out. They attempted to pull the car over, but the driver drove for almost another quarter of a mile before coming to a stop.

It turns out that the driver, 19-year-old Breona Synclair Watkins, used that time to have a 14-year-old male passenger in the car stash her 5-month-old baby boy in the truck because she didn’t have a car seat. She was trying to avoid being ticketed.

When the car came to a stop, the mom gave police a name and birthdate that did not check out. It was the name of the owner of the car who later said she hadn’t given permission for Watkins to use her car.

Watkins finally gave them her correct name and they found she didn’t have a license. They took her into custody and placed her in the backseat of the squad car. It was then that they heard crying and found the baby in the truck along with a tire iron, a used gas can, plastic bags, and other items.

What started as a routine stop for a burned out headlight turned into her arrest for charges including child abuse, resisting an officer, driving without a license, and failure to have a child restraint. I think if we asked her now, she’d prefer a ticket for not having the car seat.

Why on earth would any mom think of putting their baby in the truck? The fact that Watkins was already in the backseat of the squad car when the police heard the baby crying makes me wonder what she would have done if the baby didn’t cry. Would she have said nothing to keep herself out of more trouble? I can understand she was afraid, but the choices she made were not in the baby’s interest.

According to Watkin’s confession, the baby was originally being held on the lap of a 14-year-old minor when the police turned on their pursuit lights. She told the teenage boy to hide the baby in the trunk so she wouldn’t get a ticket for no car seat. That was all going on for the quarter mile the police followed them with lights flashing.

She bonded out on $7,000 and last I saw relatives are awaiting custody.

Photo credits: Hezakya Starr