Archives for December 2015

New Mom New Year’s Resolutions

silhouette Woman jumping over 2016It’s that time of year when we’re all making personal pledges to do or not to do something that will ultimately make our lives and our selves more whole.  When you’re a new mom, your goals may shift as you’re adjusting to life with a baby.  Even if you’re getting the hang of motherhood, everyone has room for improvement.  Check out our new mom New Year’s Resolutions to see if any of these are making your list this year.

Set a good example for my children by exhibiting healthy lifestyle habits.  We want the best for our kids and it starts by being a role model of our expectations for them.  By eating healthy, being active, putting a premium on safety, spending time together and not partaking in unhealthy habits like excessive drinking and smoking, we can teach our children to lead a healthy lifestyle from a young age.  Studies indicate that establishing good habits at an early age is more likely to lead to long-term healthy choices into adulthood.  Start being a good example now so your children will grow up knowing the value of a healthy lifestyle.

Meet my breastfeeding goals.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for at least six months and continuing to breastfeed after introducing solids for at least one year, with recognized benefits beyond that point as well.  Hopefully you have set a breastfeeding goal for you and your baby.  Adding it to your new mom New Year’s Resolutions list is an excellent idea to help you stay on track and enjoy a sense of accomplishment when you reach your goal.  As countless studies show, breast milk is the absolute best nourishment for your baby and breastfeeding has tons of benefits for mothers too.

Ensure my actions are aligned with my biggest priorities.  In the hustle and bustle of a million obligations, issues and responsibilities, sometimes we get bogged down with things that aren’t truly important to us.  Take time to reflect on your priorities this New Year and determine how you can more closely align your actions to what you value most.  If that’s family, vow to put your family ahead of other responsibilities most of the time.  If your priority is having more self-discipline and self-control in tough situations, work on your stress management coping techniques.  This is a great time to take a step back and make sure we’re living according to our morals and that the most relevant parts of our lives are getting the most attention.

Lose the rest of my pregnancy weight.  Those last 10 to 15 pounds can be so hard to drop.  Exercise, eating a healthy diet and breastfeeding can all help.  This New Year, look for new ways to mix up your exercise routine so you don’t lose interest and you move your body in different ways.  Perhaps that means taking a dance class, trying a new sport or making good use of that baby jogger you got as a holiday gift. Same with your diet – expand your palette to try new, healthy foods that may help you lose those last few pounds.

Reconnect and spend time with my friends.  With a new baby, it is difficult to find time to spend with friends.  But it’s important for you to maintain a sense of self and hold on to friendships outside of motherhood.  If you have friends with children, try to get together as a family so you can foster friendships among your kids as well.  Otherwise, make a point to get together with friends several times a month, even if it means paying for childcare.  Swimming in motherhood can be suffocating when you don’t come up for air occasionally.  Don’t get sucked down and let your friendships suffer.  Make time for important relationships.

Complete home improvement projects.  Between feedings, laundry and play sessions, use some of your baby’s sleeping time to accomplish projects around the house.  That may be finishing up the nursery, hanging up new family pictures, cleaning out the garage, organizing the gift wrap closet, redecorating the basement or whatever else has been sitting on your list for ages.  Put all of your projects on your new mom New Year’s resolution list and slowly check them off.  You’ve got an entire year to do it!

Stop saying curse words around my baby.  While your baby has no clue what you’re saying now, she will eventually.  Before you know it she’ll be mimicking sounds you’re making and wouldn’t you regret it if one of them was a filthy word?  Resolve to clean up your language now before it becomes a true issue in the future.

Rekindle that spark with my husband.  Now that there’s a new little person to cuddle with in your family, your husband may be getting the short end of the stick.  But a healthy family starts with a strong bond between parents.  As you’re spending more nights staying home with your baby these days, make romantic gestures like a candlelit dinner in your dining room or a designated movie night.  Spend time snuggling and kissing to maintain the spark in your relationship that got you into parenthood in the first place.

We wish you a healthy and happy 2016!  Happy New Year!

 

 

Why Moms Need Mom Friends

mom friends__1450460430_50.248.249.179As your kids grow up, having friends will be an important part of their development and socialization.  It helps them learn essential social skills like sharing, compromise, social norms and to value differences in others.  Well, just like kids, moms need mom friends too.  It is a crucial part of our health and wellbeing and can really help us navigate the challenges of motherhood, marriage and beyond.  Today we’re exploring why moms need mom friends and how these relationships can make you a better mom.

Any mom who tells you she’s got it all figured out is probably not being honest.  No mom does and that’s why we need to rely on each other for advice, support and sometimes a good laugh.  In fact, this social interaction is an evolutionary part of how women are hard-wired to cope with stress.  With all the joys that motherhood offers, taking care of children often invokes stress, anxiety, frustration and worry.  A woman’s natural response is to reach out to her intimate network in these trying times.  Experts say that mothers of young children need to know they can rely on someone for support, which in turn makes them better mothers and improves the healthy development of their children.  Now that makes mom friendships pretty powerful!

The need for mom friends doesn’t replace partners or other family members’ role in the lives of our family, but mom friends offer a perspective that husbands and our own mothers often cannot.  Mom friends are usually in the trenches with you.  They understand that, while we wouldn’t give up the fleeting precious moments with our kids, they can also be utterly frustrating, exhausting and make us feel downright lousy sometimes.  This deeply contradicting set of emotions is completely understood by other mothers who are experiencing the same challenges.

Because mom friends are going through the trials and tribulations of motherhood along side you, they may have some really helpful advice too.  Even a mom with a child a few months older than yours can share experiences, mistakes, successes and solutions that may make your situation easier.  And if they can’t, they can commiserate with you at least.  Because sometimes there is no solution and we all have to remember that the phases of childhood come and go quicker than we could ever imagine.

Unlike your husband, your mom friends come from a female perspective, which alone gives them an advantage to understanding your frame of mind.  Women and men view things differently – it’s something that we cannot change.  But leaning on mom friends when your husband doesn’t “get it” can be a saving grace.  That’s not to say that you should be making crucial decisions for your child without consulting your husband, but seeking guidance from mom friends may offer reassurance in ways your man cannot.

Also, your mom friends stimulate your brain in ways that spending your days with babies, toddlers and kids does not.  Sometimes we all just need to talk about something besides Sesame Street, superheroes and dirty diapers.  Mom friends can take some of the loneliness out of motherhood.  Whether it’s through venting, gabbing, having a good laugh about your mom blunders or getting into a deep heart-to-heart conversation, the power of mom friends can lift you out of the kid bubble and remind you that you are more than just mom.

Motherhood is an incredible journey, but so is your life as a woman.  Once you become a mom, separating the two is impossible, but having mom friends can elevate both of these aspects of you.  We hope you value your mom friends for all these reasons and all the wonderful other ways they improve your life!

The Top-Rated Baby Lotions for Winter

The touch of your baby’s soft and innocent skin is one of the sensations new parents adore most.  But during these dry winter months, a new baby’s skin can suffer from lack of moisture and lose some of its supple smooth texture.  If your baby is experiencing dry skin this winter or you just want to use a protective barrier to prevent dryness, check out these top-rated baby lotions for winter:

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Nourishing Lotion:  With sunflower seed oil and shea butter, Burt’s Bees takes a page from nature to create this rich baby lotion.  It is hypoallergenic and nearly 100% natural for your baby’s pure skin.  It’s also relatively easy to find in the baby care aisle.

Mustela Hydra-Baby Body Lotion:  This amazing smell of this Hydra-Baby body lotion will have you buying more instantly.  Complimenting your baby’s naturally sweet smell and soft skin, Mustela mixes shea butter, jojoba and almond oils to make their luscious formula smell and feel so delicious for your baby.

Mother massage baby after bathEarth Mama Angel Baby Angel Baby Lotion:  Like an angel, your baby deserves the purest and Earth Mama Angel Baby makes just that.  Their lotion is 100% natural and made with organic ingredients.  It is a great choice for newborn or sensitive skin to gently nourish and hydrate the most delicate of babies.

Baby Pibu Baby Eczema Care Kit:  This one-two punch is designed to help treat babies with eczema.  The Hydrating Ointment should be used as a daily moisturizer for preventative care and the Rash Relief cream can be applied to affected areas.  The Rash Relief cream contains a bit of hydrocortisone so be sure to check with your pediatrician that this is something your baby is allowed to use.

BabyGanics Smooth Move Lotion:  This pediatrician and mom-trusted brand offers a 100% natural fragrance-free baby lotion for all baby skin types.  It contains aloe vera, shea butter, avocado oil, olive oil and Vitamin E to deeply and effectively moisturize your baby.  As the name suggests, it’s smooth in every sense of the word.

Aveeno Baby Daily Moisturizing Lotion:  This mainstream brand now offers its silky-rich lotion in a baby-safe formula.  Made with oatmeal, Aveeno Baby Daily Moisturizing Lotion is hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.  It is great for everyday use on all baby skin types.  It is also easy to find at grocery, baby care and superstores nationwide.

California Baby Everyday Lotion:  Another brand moms know and trust, California Baby specializes in a line of baby skin care products.  This everyday lotion is infused with calendula and other plant-based nutrients.  It also contains a range of antioxidants to protect baby’s skin.

Weleda Baby Body Lotion:  Also made with calendula along with sesame and almond oils, beeswax and cocoa butter, this baby lotion is good for a variety of skin types and especially sensitive skin.  Its thicker ingredients may help combat dry skin in the coldest and harshest winter weather conditions.

Noodle & Boo Super Soft Lotion:  These pet names make a great baby lotion with a babytastic fragrance to boot.  Chock full of antioxidants like Vitamin C and Vitamin E and essential oils including almond, this Super Soft Lotion really leaves your baby’s skin feeling super soft without the greasy residue.

We hope your baby’s skin stays sweet, supple, soft and hydrated this winter with these top-rated baby lotions.  Stay warm!

Last Minute Tips to Keep your Sanity during the Holidays

This time of year can be super stressful.  Whatever this year brings – whether it’s a house full of your extended relatives or taking a family trip – the holidays are known to drive people temporarily in sane.  Well, not really, but it may feel that way in the moment.  As you approach your big holiday, we’ve got some last minute tips to keep your sanity during the holidays.

Buy your holiday meal.  Everyone feels so obligated to cook a festive feast for the holidays.  But does your family really care if you cooked it or you bought it?  The truth is, if you’re not a super great cook, your guests may enjoy it more if you buy the meal, or at least the most complicated parts.  And they would probably enjoy YOU more if you aren’t cooped up in the kitchen all day.  Worried about what goes into a store-bought meal?  In these modern times of healthful eating, there are plenty of options for free-range birds, non-GMO sides and low-sugar desserts.  Chances are your family won’t know the difference.  So if the thought of spending all day in the kitchen is haunting you, act now and call around to see who has a holiday meal package available.

portrait of a beautiful young woman at Christmas covering her ears with handsWhen you feel your blood start to boil, take a walk.  As much as you try to loosen up and let things go, some family members or stressful situations may still get to you.  If you feel that moment of anger and frustration coming on, walk it off.  Excuse yourself, put the kids in a stroller and push them around the neighborhood for 20 minutes until you’ve calmed down.  The fresh air and invigorating elevation of your heart rate will release wonderful brain chemicals that will help you cope when you return.

Forgot to send a holiday card?  Send an email right now.  With all you had to do to prep for the holidays, perhaps you never got around to sending a holiday card.  It’s not too late!  In fact, people love getting holiday cards in any format at any time.  Get on your computer and send a holiday e-card to friends and family.  If you have time to make a photo collage, go for it.  Otherwise, any online card or simple email with a meaningful message to let others know you are thinking of them will warm the hearts of those you love.

Buy yourself a present.  You’ve shopped for everyone else but what about you?  Did you put something for yourself under the tree?  It may be a bit late to head to the mall for your own gift but you can order something for yourself online that you can look forward to receiving after the craziness of the holidays are over.  If you can’t think of an item you want, buy yourself a spa gift certificate for ultimate relaxation after surviving the holidays.

Avoid stressful moments.  If you have beef with a certain relative, don’t engage in controversial conversation over the holidays.  That doesn’t mean you have to ignore the person, but do come up with three or four light topics that you can talk about without getting into a shouting match.  If someone else says something less than pleasant to you, keep the peace by being the bigger person and not letting it agitate you too much.  Vent your frustrations to your nearest and dearest at a later time when it is more appropriate.

Make yourself laugh.  Even fake laughing can make you feel better; it’s a proven fact.  Try to find the humor in the chaos of the holidays.  Make a choice to turn around frustrating situations by simply laughing at them.  Don’t do it rudely or maliciously, but definitely do it.  Who cares if no one else understands why you are laughing?  It’s certainly better than exploding.  It may even be contagious and help turn your household into one full of laughter and cheer.

Eat healthily….but still indulge a little.  One thing that can increase stress is eating too much sugar, fat and salt in a short period.  If those components sound like your holiday table, think fast and add a few healthful dishes to your menu.  What you eat greatly affects your mood and energy levels so do your best to keep your eating clean and don’t overdo it.  However, it is the holidays so indulge a little here and there.  Look for smarter options like a sliver of pie covered with vanilla Greek yogurt instead of ice cream, a bowl of fruit or a dark chocolate treat.

We know you can keep your sanity during the holidays with these tips!  Have a happy and bright holiday!!

Find Bliss while Breastfeeding during the Holidays

Breastfeeding during the holidays may be the most challenging time of year.  You surely have extra responsibilities, whether it’s shopping for gifts, hosting festive gatherings or attending holiday festivities.  All of these things make your usual schedule a bit more difficult.  But when you are breastfeeding, feeding your baby consistently is important.  In addition to the scheduling conflicts, added food selections, being away from home more often and stress can take their toll on your once peaceful breastfeeding routine.  Today we’re helping you find bliss while breastfeeding during the holidays.

Breastfeeding Schedule

Holiday schedules can be relentless.  With all that you need to get done, look at breastfeeding as a welcome break from the commotion of the holidays.  If you bring baby along for your holiday shopping and party-planning, make it a priority to stop and nurse at your normal times.  Find a comfy spot in a department store lounge or recline your car seat and enjoy the peace and quite for a few minutes while you nourish your baby.  When you feel you need to leave your baby home to be more 1e69759d-8c48-40e0-8679-02ca22d7f990productive, leave a hearty breast milk bottle for your partner or caregiver to feed the baby.  Here’s the number one rule about your breastfeeding schedule:  do not skip feedings!  Beyond your baby being fussy and hungry, skipping feedings could cause a reduction in your milk supply, plug your ducts or lead to mastitis.  All of these problems would be much harder to overcome, especially during the holidays, than sitting down for 30 minutes to feed your baby at her usual times.

Breastfeeding Diet

It’s essential that nursing moms continue to eat plenty of food, and a healthy diet at that.  Don’t let the hectic holidays cause you to skip meals either and try to stay on track with healthy food selections.  It’s ok to indulge now and then; after all, you should get to enjoy the holidays too.  But avoid too much sugar and salt, stay away from alcohol and don’t eat more than the recommended amount of high mercury fish.  Additionally, keep in mind that some holiday spices are known to reduce milk supply when consumed in excess.  These include sage, thyme and mint.  Also, seasonal decongestants that are designed to help relieve clogged sinuses can cause low milk supply.  Take these sparingly and otherwise seek natural remedies to clear you cold.

Breastfeeding Wardrobe

While shopping, attending holiday events or hanging out with family, chances are you will need to breastfeed around others at some point this holiday season.  Wear comfortable, breastfeeding-friendly clothes that allow easy access for nursing wherever you are.  Nursing tank tops with layered sweaters are always a fabulous and discrete choice.  Of course, never leave home without your nursing bra.  The last thing you’ll want to do is fumble to pull off your clothes with a hungry baby and a room full of people around.  Select nursing bras that fit you properly and comfortably at every stage of your breastfeeding journey and pick styles that meet your individual needs.  We’re pleased to offer a variety of comfortable, chic and festive nursing bras for every mom’s every occasion this season.

Breastfeeding Criticisms

If you face criticism or unsolicited advice while breastfeeding during the holidays, you’re not alone.  When you are around extended family and friends who are not used to observing breastfeeding or who have their own opinions on caring for a baby, they may be more vocal about it than you wish.  First, don’t let anyone else’s criticisms deter you from doing what you know is best for your baby or stress you out.  Have a line or two on hand to combat their negative comments such as “breast milk is absolutely the best food for babies – I’d be happy to send you an article about it,” or “my baby and I are both enjoying so many benefits of breastfeeding, it’s actually quite amazing!”  If you and your baby will do better in a quiet space away from onlookers, excuse yourself and take refuge away from anyone’s sour attitude.  If your loved ones want to feed the baby a bottle and that is not part of your feeding routine, politely explain that you’re not introducing bottles yet and you’d welcome them to burp, change or rock the baby after you’re done feeding.

We hope you find bliss in breastfeeding during the holidays!  Have a happy, healthy, breastfeeding holiday!

5 Tips for Traveling with Baby

Mother Putting Baby Son Into Car Travel Seat

If you have a new baby, you may be headed off on your first family trip together over your winter vacation.  Exciting times, but also some that could cause new parents a lot of angst and anxiety.  Traveling with baby is absolutely doable – yes, even if yours is fussy and unpredictable.  You’ll want to be prepared and have a good attitude to ensure a pleasant journey for everyone.  We’re helping you do that by sharing 5 tips for traveling with baby:

Tip #1:  Think it Through

Sorry to break it to you – gone are the days where you can grab your coat and sunglasses and head off on a whimsical trip to wherever you want.  Or at least not for awhile while you’re traveling with baby.  Now you need to play the responsible parent and think through your trips, even daytrips or overnight outings.  That means selecting a spot that is kid-friendly, figuring out the most convenient method of traveling and ensuring you bring along everything you need.

As you are planning your trip, think through every stage including what it will be like on your flight or car trip, the baby gear you should have available at all times, where your baby will sleep and food for your baby if you’re not still exclusively breastfeeding.  And don’t forget to pack your own stuff too!  Work with your partner to mentally walk through every part of your vacation to be super prepared for a terrific trip.  Also, if you will experience a time change during your trip, prep your baby by altering her sleep times slightly before you leave to help her quickly adjust.

Tip #2:  Make Safety a Priority

You may have the baby-proofing down pat at your house, but traveling to a new place presents a new range of safety issues.  Bring along some supplies like outlet covers, cabinet locks and soft corners to ensure safety while traveling with baby.  Hotels may have some of these items available upon request and you can also ask grandparents to help you prepare for safety as well if you will be staying with them.  Don’t forget the big items either, like car seats and crib safety.

Tip #3:  Create a Home away from Home

The quicker you find a rhythm at your destination, the easier the trip will be for everyone.  Unpack immediately and designate a play space, changing station and “kitchenette” where you can store and clean feeding supplies.  Act like you own the place and make it yours even for the short time you will be there.  Admittedly, this is more difficult in a small hotel room than a friend or relative’s house.  But it can and should be done for everyone’s sake.  Get creative.  If a bathroom or closet are large enough to accommodate the crib, let baby sleep in that dark quiet space to allow more room in your living space.

Tip #4:  Take Breaks and Help Everyone Sleep Comfortably

If you are feeling stiff and bored on a long car or plane ride, your baby probably is too.  Get up and move around as much as your travel plans can accommodate.  While driving, take frequent breaks to get fresh air and feed your baby at her appropriate times.  On plane rides, walk around and let your baby see and experience all that an airplane has to offer.  Try to keep your baby on her regular sleep schedule.  This may require some fancy moves on your part to ensure she gets in her naps even while traveling.  Try wearing your baby, taking her on a car drive or even rocking her to sleep, even if you typically do not do that.  A rested and happy baby on vacation is worth breaking a few of your own rules.

Tip #5:  Breathe and be Flexible

Relax a bit – this is your vacation too, after all.  Between the stress of making sure you have covered everything your baby needs and anxiety over being in a new environment, do try to take some time to breathe and enjoy your trip.  This often requires being flexible and rolling with the punches.  Chances are not everything will go as planned and you may have different opinions and influences to contend with along the way.  If you have a positive, chill attitude about it, things will go much smoother for everyone, especially your baby.

Happy Holidays and Safe Travels!

 

The Best Charitable Organizations that Support Babies and Children, Part 2

The word DONATE written in vintage letterpress type

As the gift-giving season draws ever-closer, you may still be deciding what to get for a friend or family member.  Here’s an idea:  Celebrate them with a donation to charitable organizations that support babies and children.  In the spirit of giving, this is a touching and meaningful gift that anyone would feel honored to receive.

Earlier this week we talked about organizations that support the physical health and wellbeing of children.  Now we’re taking a look at charitable organizations that help children grow, develop and advance their opportunities in life.

Toys for Tots:  Toys for Tots is a well-known charity run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve that collects toys for underprivileged children.  Most people choose to support Toys for Tots by donating new, unwrapped toys at various donation sites in their cities.  But Toys for Tots also needs volunteers and financial donations to run their operation.  Each year, this organization facilitates the donation of millions of toys to millions of children during the holiday season.

KaBOOM:  Many of us take our local parks and playgrounds for granted.  But for people in underserved communities, the luxury of visiting a nice local playground is a novelty.  KaBOOM helps such communities by installing playgrounds, athletic fields and other activity-centric facilities.  They also help teach communities how to build and maintain their own playgrounds to encourage an active lifestyle for all kids.

Head Start:  This program is designed for families with children ages 0 to 5 years old to help them develop cognitive, social and emotional skills to prepare for a life of learning.  Head Start focuses on education through language, literacy, health, nutrition, emotional stability and fostering a love of learning through family advocacy.  With an individual approach based on a family’s needs and cultural background, the program aims to improve the family unit to ensure children are prepared for formal education starting at Kindergarten.

Hands holding a heart on white background

Boys & Girls Club of America:  This wonderful charitable program provides a safe, productive and inexpensive place for children to hang out when their parents are working or otherwise unable to take care of them.  Originally designed to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble, the Boys & Girls Club of America is a local community center, often located in schools, that offers educational, athletic, health and creative opportunities for kids every day, after school and on weekends.  Staff and volunteers work with kids to prevent drug & alcohol use, teen pregnancy and gang membership and encourage educational, career and leadership paths instead.

Children’s Defense Fund:  The Children’s Defense Fund advocates for impoverished children by providing health, education, social and enrichment programs.  Their mission is to help a growing population of children in poverty achieve preventative health care, education and moral guidance in order to have a healthy start in life.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America:  This mentoring program pairs 6 to 18 year olds with a “big brother” or “big sister” to offer guidance in every aspect of a child’s life.  Serving over a million youth in America, Big Brothers and Big Sisters requires operational donations and volunteers as mentors in order to continue to serve its constituency.  Research shows that mentored children are less likely to abuse drugs, perform better at school and have stronger familial relationships.

Thank you for your charitable spirit this season of giving.  Happy Holidays!

*Information sourced from More4Kids.

The Best Charitable Organizations that Support Babies and Children, Part 1

The word GIVE spelled out on clothespin clipped cards in front of glowing lights.

During this season of giving and caring, making charitable contributions of any kind is a wonderful gift.  Whether you’re donating in honor of someone in replacement of a tangible gift, or you’re giving simply to support a cause you feel is worthy, these contributions from the heart go a long way in helping babies and children around the globe.

With so many organizations to choose from, it’s hard to know where to put your money.  This week, we’re breaking down some of the best charitable organizations that support babies and children to help you decide where to send your donation this year.  Today we begin with organizations that support the physical health and wellbeing of children.

March of Dimes:  This organization works to prevent birth defects, premature births and infant fatality through pregnancy screenings, prenatal and infant surgeries and many other health screenings.  It got its current name from asking people to send dimes as donations.  March of Dimes is widely known for its annual fundraiser WalkAmerica where thousands of people walk together and raise billions of dollars for the cause.

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital:  St. Jude’s is a children’s hospital located in Memphis, TN.  But unlike other local children’s hospitals, this facility is world renowned for treating children with cancer, AIDs, sickle-cell anemia and other life-threatening diseases.  It is a research hospital where doctors work year-after-year to find innovative treatments and potentially groundbreaking cures for many childhood diseases.  St. Jude’s treats over 4,000 children every year at no cost to their families and, due to its research, has increased the childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 70% across the nation.

Ronald McDonald House:  While Ronald McDonald House is most well-known for it’s housing for families of children who need long-term hospitalization, it is actually much more than just that.  In addition to providing shelter and food for families to remain close to their sick children in nearby hospitals, this organization provides rooms in many pediatric hospitals for families to wait and play comfortably, brings mobile health services to underprivileged communities, funds other health services for children and provides college scholarships.

UNICEF:  The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, better known as UNICEF, is a global organization that promotes health and immunizations for children around the world.  The U.S. division of UNICEF focuses on nutrition, immunization, HIV/AIDS prevention, education and emergency relief.  UNICEF takes a community-based approach to help educate impoverished people on various aspects of health including sanitation, vaccinations and breastfeeding.

Partnership for a Drug-Free America:  As the name suggests, this organization helps educate the public on a national, state and community level about the dangers of drugs and alcohol for children.  Its two-fold advocacy includes prevention of the use of drugs and alcohol and treatment for kids who are or may become addicted.  This is a wonderful organization to support for anyone whose lives have been affected by drug and alcohol abuse.

Make-a-Wish Foundation:  This popular program fulfills wishes for children who are facing life-threatening illness.  Children can apply for a wish of their choice – big or small – and the Make-a-Wish Foundation aims to grant their deepest desires to bring joy and smiles back into their lives.  For children whose families spend everything on their healthcare needs, this is truly a dream come true.

Locks of Love:  For children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments and other medical conditions, getting a wig or hairpiece returns a sense of confidence and normalcy to their lives.  Locks of Love collects donated human hair and turns it into children’s wigs and hairpieces to provide to children with medical hair loss.

We admire your spirit of giving to these charitable organizations that support babies and children this holiday season.  Happy Holidays!

*Information sourced from More4Kids.

Awesome Diaper Bags for New Moms

Looking for a fabulous gift for the new mom or mom-to-be in your life?  A diaper bag is an essential for new moms and, just like her other handbags, she really can’t have too many.  This gift will not only make her life more convenient, she’ll also feel great about having a stylish diaper bag on her shoulder.  Today we’re helping prepare your holiday gift list by sharing awesome diaper bags for new moms.

 

Carters diaper bagCaters 5-in-1 Diaper Bag:  You’ve head of luggage sets, but what about a diaper bag set?  This versatile 5-piece ensemble offers a large bag with ample interior space and outer pockets for full day outings and a smaller bag for short trips.  Plus it comes with a matching bottle case, changing pad and dirty diaper case.  This bag retails for under $50 and is an impressive gift for any new mom or mom-to-be.

 

Ju-Ju-Be diaper bagJu-Ju-Be Diaper Bags:  This isn’t just one bag, but a collection of adorably stylish diaper bags that any mom would love to have.  Really, do these even look like diaper bags.  No, but they are.  And get this, they are machine washable and feature lots of pockets and compartments for all of a new moms necessary duds.  Cute – check!  Functional – check!  A great gift – check +!

 

diaper dudeMessenger Bag or Diaper Dude:  For the less girly set of new moms, why not get her a messenger style diaper bag?  Diaper Dude makes several versions of this over-the-shoulder diaper bag.  Ok, it’s designed for dads but moms who aren’t as frilly can enjoy the not-so-feminine style and dads won’t feel ridiculous holding this bag too.  It’s a win-win for the entire family!

 

urban mom diaper bagUrban Mom Diaper Bag:  For the casual, effortless mom, this canvas diaper bag may be just her speed.  Again, doesn’t look much like a diaper bag but has all the essential features inside.  We also love bags like this that offer two handle choices – a smaller hand strap and an over-the-shoulder strap.

 

oemi diaper bagOemi Diaper Bag:  For that uber chic mom who is into designer brands, the Oemi diaper bag is an amazing gift.  This large leather bag is spacious enough for everything a new mom needs for baby and herself.  Plus, this bag makes a great weekend or carry-on bag after she’s done using it as a diaper bag.  Moms will giggle with delight to receive this trendy new bag.

 

backpack diaper bagBackpack Diaper Bag:  Many moms find it easier to carry their diaper bag on their backs rather than their shoulders.  Backpack diaper bags are a great option, like this J.J. Cole bag with back and shoulder straps.  With baby in one arm, a backpack diaper bag can free up her other arm for whatever her little one needs.

 

 

When selecting an awesome diaper bag for new moms, keep in mind her personal style along with her favorite colors.  For the more flirty feminine type, buy a bold pattern or floral print.  For more subtle fashionistas, stick with classic solids with perhaps interesting piping or accent colors for a splash.  If you want to make this gift even better, stock the bag with some baby essentials you know a new mom will need.  She’ll love the bag and the helpful gesture even more.

Happy shopping!

Baby Holiday Gift Guide: Part 3 – Baby Feeding Gear

The holiday gift-giving season is upon us and we’re helping out all the new parents with our baby holiday gift guide.  Earlier this week we shared the latest high tech and on-the-go gear for your baby.  Today we’re talking all about food.

In infancy, feeding your baby is pretty simple as you nurture your little one through natural breast milk.  While breastfeeding doesn’t require any gear, in our modern parenting age, there are some nice-to-have breastfeeding items that you may want to put on your baby’s holiday wish list, especially if you or other caregivers will be providing bottles of breast milk.  And once your baby is 6 months of age, you can introduce solids and eventually cups and utensils that will help you nourish your baby into toddlerhood.

Here are some of the best items available to help feed your baby:

Kiinde Breast Milk KitBreast Milk Kit:  The ultimate way to help a breastfeeding mother is to make life simpler for her.  This Kiinde Breastfeeding Gift Set does just that with everything a new mom needs to store milk and eventually serve it to her baby.  Listen to all the innovative elements of this kit:  Reusable leak-proof storage twist pouches that fit right onto your pump, an organizer for your pouches to keep them in date-order, a breast milk and bottle warmer that warms your milk to just the right temperature and automatically shuts off, and an unprecedented pouch to bottle system that eliminates messy transferring back-and-forth.  This is a brilliant gift for babies of working moms who need to keep breastfeeding organized and efficient. yoomi warming bottle


Warming Bottle:
 You’ve heard of a bottle warmer but what about a warming bottle?  Several brands, including this one by yoomi, make a self-warming bottle.  This eliminates an extra gadget and allows you to give your baby a warm bottle of breast milk wherever you go.  Simply turn on the attached warmer for 60 seconds and wah-la, your baby’s bottle is warm and ready to enjoy.

 

Baby Cook Food MakerAll-in-One Food Maker:  If you plan to make your own baby food, an all-in-one food maker is a wonderful holiday present for your baby (and you).  These fool-proof devices steam, blend and warm your baby’s food in virtually one step.  Now you can easily nourish your baby with wholesome homemade food in less than 15 minutes.  Baby food makers are especially helpful at creating the perfect consistency for your baby’s stage in solids and for mixing multiple foods together when your baby is ready.  And get this: the components are dishwasher safe for super simple clean-up.  For an extra special gift, a double baby food maker does twice the work at one time. Flavor up your baby’s holiday with this awesome gadget.


Adjustable spoonAdjustable Spoon:
  You’ll soon realize when your baby is ready for solids, things get messy pretty fast.  Even with you feeding your baby, food seems to get everywhere.  Once your baby tries to feed herself, it just gets worse.  That’s where this adjustable spoon comes in very handy.  It remains at 90 degrees to help your baby successfully get food into her mouth rather than the 100 other places it could go.

 

silikids lids

Silicon Cup Lids:  Once you move from bottles to cups, your baby has a few new challenges in store.  Learning to suck from sippies or straws is a skill unto itself.  Luckily lots of cup options have non-spill features. For those that don’t – and even for you accident prone grownups – try silicon cup lids.  This set fits just about any cup in your house, making not spilling that much easier for everyone.  Protect your carpets, furniture and car with these clever and versatile lids.

 

puja hangable cupsHangable Cups:  Fostering independence is a major step for parents and kids alike.  One way to do this is to offer ways that children can help themselves.  This novelty hangable cup system gives children, starting from toddlerhood, the ability to self-serve their own
drinks.  Simply latch the cups to a cabinet or refrigerator door and allow your little ones to get their own beverages safely and efficiently.  While your baby may not need this right now, it certainly will help you when your older kids can be self-sufficient.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our baby holiday gift guide and gathered some great ideas for your baby’s holiday wish list.  We wish you a warm and bright holiday season with your growing family!  Happy Holidays!!