Baby Outfits for Valentine’s Day

Baby Outfits for Valentine’s DayYou’re full of love for your baby and she’s full of love for you right back. Baby’s first Valentine’s Day is a fantastic opportunity for a display of pure love. We’re sharing ideas for adorable baby outfits for Valentine’s Day so you can dress your baby in head-to-toe love on this most special holiday.

All Girl

For your tiny princess baby outfits for Valentine’s Day must include lots of frill. Tutus are all the rage, or how about ruffly bloomers beneath a Valentine’s themed-dress. For accessories you can go with a blooming flower headband or hat, leg warmers or bows, bows and more bows. Every combination of pinks and reds is appropriate. (This is one holiday when you can’t overdo the accessories.)

All Boy

For the baby boys in the house, bow ties or t-shirts with sewn on ties are as cute as can be. Suspenders or a vest are an excellent touch too. Witty shirts that say “Romeo” or “Ladies Man” will surely bring smiles to everyone around. Try adding a trendy red skull cap for a finishing touch on your cuddly Valentine.

Can’t Buy Me Love

Another cute idea for baby outfits for Valentine’s Day is the cost of kisses. Ironic t-shirts with slogans like “kisses will cost you” or “kisses 25 cents” are sassy and sweet for the most kissable babies on the block.

Stop in the Name of Love

Your little lovie has surely stolen your heart and is bound to be a heart breaker so display it proudly on a onesie. “Guilty of Stealing Hearts” or “Little Heart Breaker” tops are fun and simple baby outfits for Valentine’s Day.

In Honor Of

Celebrate a special Valentine with a message of love. “Mommy’s my Valentine” or “I Love Daddy” are wonderful ways to show affection.

Costume Party

For those who want to go all out, there’s nothing more appropriate than a cupid costume complete with plush bow and arrows.

Sweet and Simple

You can always keep things easy by creating basic shirts or onesies that display a heart or the word “LOVE.” Or a “Baby’s First Valentine’s Day” t-shirt will help you celebrate and remember this first holiday of love.

We hope you have a wonderful first Valentine’s Day with your newest Valentine!

I Heart #LovingMoments

Valentine’s Day may be over but we’re still spreading love with the fantastic photos that were submitted during our I Heart #LovingMoments Valentine’s Day Photo Contest! By the looks of it everyone cherished their cherubs this Valentine’s Day. As they captured your hearts you captured them in adorable photos. Thanks to all the moms who shared their Valentine’s nurslings with us.

Congratulations to these five nurslings were selected as the winners of our I Heart #LovingMoments Valentine’s Day Photo Contest:

I heart #LovingMoments

Submitted by Staci Albright

I heart #LovingMoments

Submitted by Veronica Bohan

I heart #LovingMoments

Submitted by Zy Anna

I heart #LovingMoments

Submitted by Rebecca Ann Seybold

I heart #LovingMoments

Submitted by Jordan Kissinger

We were struck by cupid’s arrow for all of our entries. Here are the other precious entries:

Afsha Mia Mohsin Alyssa Shepherd Andrea Nelms Carrie Richmond Christine Isom Erin Wheeler Rachel Dawn Huber Tasha Miller Vanessa Styx

Ways Your Baby Shows Love

When Valentine’s Day rolls around, you may long for some extra affection from your loved ones. And when you have a new little loved one who you nurture day and night, you may wish for some extra love there too. While your baby may not be doling out the hugs and kisses or signing Valentine’s Day cards quite yet, rest assured she’s showing her love in many many ways. You may not even realize the ways your baby shows love but we’re enlightening you to the love today.

Ways Your Baby Shows LoveYour baby knows you – There’s nothing like you in all the world and your baby is keenly aware of it. In fact, your baby can sniff you out among other people even before her vision has fully developed. Your unique scent, along with the smell of your breast milk, makes you highly recognizable to your baby. That plus your soft touch and beautiful face are ways she knows you intimately. This personal connection is a bond of love.

Your baby mimics you – Have you ever noticed that your baby tries to replicate your facial expressions? It may come in the form of silly faces, smiles or moving her lips to try to repeat your sounds. Copying is the strongest form of flattery and in this case it’s because your baby loves you so.

Your baby misses you – It may break your heart that your baby cries when you leave but it’s only because she loves you and wants to be with you. Even when she cries upon your return it’s because she’s reminded that you were gone. So let her express her emotional connection and know that separation anxiety is a normal part of a loving relationship.

Your baby smiles at you – Those precious baby smiles are always something to celebrate. And when they turn to giggles and downright belly laughs, they are even more fun to receive. You make your baby so happy, she laughs out of love.

Your baby talks to you – Your babbling baby is actually trying to tell you something. In her own words she’s saying she loves you. She feels comfortable enough to chatter away and she does believe it makes sense. So accept her loving words and respond back to engage in a conversation.

Your baby reaches for you – When you’re wanted or needed your baby will let you know. At first it’s only with cries but as she matures your baby will reach for you to show her desire to be held or cuddled. She may even give you little kisses to be close and feel your touch.

Your baby seeks your attention – Whether it’s during nursing or when she’s at play, your baby wants to know you’re there and you’re watching her. She may signal for you through milky suckling or crawl away and return to ensure you haven’t gone far. It’s just her way of showing you’re her safety net.

Your baby stares at you – When your baby gazes at you intently, she’s learning your every feature, expression and movement. She loves everything about you and wants to know you intimately. Embrace your baby’s loving stares and reciprocate with meaningful eye contact.

Cherish these ways your baby shows love! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sources: Babycenter and Parenting

The Do’s and Don’ts of Valentine’s Day while Breastfeeding

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you’re a new mom, the holiday may take new meaning as your love has expanded to welcome a new family member. This Valentine’s Day may be different from previous celebrations because taking care of a new baby is a full time labor of love. We’re sharing the do’s and don’ts of Valentine’s Day while breastfeeding to help you and your little one enjoy the holiday.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Valentine’s Day while BreastfeedingDO celebrate all kinds of love.

Romantic love may have started your family and now unconditional love is what you have for your baby. Celebrate all of the loves in your growing family this Valentine’s Day because there is no greater gift than that.

DON’T forget to pamper yourself too.

The best moms know when it’s time to relax and rejuvenate. As a new mom, you’re on the clock 24/7. Give yourself a little break for pampering this Valentine’s Day. De-stressing with a beauty treatment or simply taking a luxurious bath may be all you need to feel refreshed again.

DO get frisky if your doctor has given you the green light.

If your OBGYN says you’re cleared for intercourse, go for it on this most romantic day of the year. Otherwise, show your hubs some affection with lots of snuggles and kissing.

DON’T forget you can get pregnant while breastfeeding.

Exclusive breastfeeding usually means you have a very low chance of getting pregnant for the first six months after giving birth. However, even if you are not having regular menstrual cycles yet you may ovulate. In fact, if your period hasn’t returned by six months, you have an increased chance of ovulating before your first period. If you’re not ready for another baby, play it safe.

DO spend time as a family on Valentine’s Day

Spending time together as a family is a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Do something the entire family can enjoy, such as visiting a park or museum, or having a family game afternoon.

DON’T neglect your hubby because you’re too tired.

Sleep is important but so is connecting with your partner. Carve out some romantic time to enjoy your husband once the baby is asleep. Keeping the spark alive in your marriage is important for couples with a new baby.

DO enjoy a sweet treat.

Valentine’s Day treats are abundant and when you’re breastfeeding you need some extra calories to make that amazing breast milk. So go ahead, indulge in a few desserts in the name of love.

DON’T overdo it on chocolate or alcohol.

Chocolate is decadent and delicious but it does have caffeine. Limit the amount you eat while you are breastfeeding if your baby is sensitive to caffeine. Also, avoid excessive drinking since some alcohol content does enter your breast milk. Some moms abstain from drinking alcohol altogether while nursing but the general agreed upon guideline is if you can safely drive a car, you can breastfeed. That’s probably no more than two drinks for most nursing moms.

DO have a very Happy Valentine’s Day while breastfeeding!

Breastfeeding = Love

The theme of February is love, but for us every month is about love because breastfeeding = love! You’re showing your baby love in all the ways you take care of her every need. Breastfeeding is one of the most powerful ways you can love your baby because it encompasses so much of what we want our children to understand about love. From health, nutrition and happiness, to comfort, affection and safety, breastfeeding provides all of these to your baby and more.

Breastfeeding is health: Your baby’s health is your top priority as she is growing and developing every day. Breast milk has seemingly countless health benefits ranging from lowered risk of diseases like cancer and diabetes, to a stronger immune system now and throughout your baby’s lifetime. Breastfeeding sets your baby up for the healthiest start in life and it continues for many years into the future.

Breastfeeding is nutrition: Breast milk is the very best nutrition on the planet for your baby. It contains hundreds of essential nutrients that will help your baby thrive. That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for 4-6 months and continuing to breastfeed until at least a year once solids are introduced. Breastfeeding kick-starts a healthy diet that you and your child can maintain throughout her life.

Breastfeeding = LoveBreastfeeding is happiness: Breastfeeding offers many emotional benefits for your baby. It promotes the perfect bond between mother and baby as you spend your days cuddling and nursing. You and your baby learn each other intimately and sync to each other’s rhythms through breastfeeding. You solidify the love of family, closeness, smiles and unconditional love when you breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is comfort: Breastfeeding feels so good to your baby, and hopefully to you as well. When babies are fussy, nursing is one of the best ways to pacify them. It’s not just about the milk, but about being close to mom and feeling the love flow between the two of you. Breastfed babies often sleep better too, because the comfort they receive during nursing soothes them to sleep.

Breastfeeding is affection: There are many ways to show love and affection but we can’t think of one that beats breastfeeding. It is the gift that keeps on giving for your baby’s entire lifetime. And it’s a pure act of love from a mother to a baby.

Breastfeeding is safety: When your baby is unsure of the world around her, she feels reassured by your loving touch. You are her first form of safety because she trusts that you will always be there for her. Breastfeeding is her way of feeling secure in this great big world.

We hope you have a magnificent Valentine’s Day as you remember all the ways breastfeeding = love!

10 Reasons why you Should Eat Chocolate this Valentine’s Day

Chocolate as a health food?  Who ever heard of such a thing?!?!  In reasonable doses some types of chocolate are actually good for you.  Today we’re sharing 10 reasons why you should eat chocolate this Valentine’s Day:

Reason #1:  Cacao, chocolate in its purest form, is considered a superfood.  It contains powerful disease-fighting antioxidants and natural chemicals that strengthen and improve the body.  Cacao can be used as a raw ingredient in smoothies, shakes and energy drinks as well as many other recipes to boost their nutrients and offer a healthy dose of this scrumptious superfood.

Reason #2:  Dark chocolate is the healthiest type of chocolate because it contains the most cacao and less sugar, butter and other unhealthy ingredients.  For this reason, dark chocolate may taste slightly bitterer than other less-healthy types of chocolate like milk chocolate and white chocolate.

truth about chocolate__1452885598_50.243.196.179Reason #3:  Dark chocolate is good for your heart.  Due to its high content of antioxidants, dark chocolate supports healthy blood and blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels, which keeps the cardiovascular system running smoothly.  Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate daily may reduce risk of heart disease by up to 33%.

Reason #4:  The supercharged antioxidants known as flavonoids found in cacao are anti-inflammatories.  Inflammation is believed to be the root cause of many life-threatening degenerative diseases as well as sources of internal pain.  Controlling inflammation is a key aspect of sustained health and longevity.

Reason #5:  Cacao may also reduce symptoms of diabetes.  Because it contains powerful nutrients, it can improve the body’s ability to tolerate sugar by reducing insulin resistance.  For millions of people who suffer from diabetes or are at risk of the disease, cacao can be a phenomenal all-natural health supplement.

Reason #6:  Chocolate releases feel-good chemical reactions in the body.  It just makes you happy!  Due to a variety of ingredients, chocolate contains and stimulates the neurotransmitter serotonin and the amino acid tryptophan, both of which contribute to feelings of joy and satisfaction.

Reason #7:  Dark chocolate has anti-aging properties to help you live longer and look better.  Researchers say regular consumption of dark chocolate can add two years to your life expectancy.  Additionally, antioxidants found in dark chocolate help keep skin cells vibrant for a more youthful appearance.

Reason #8:  Chocolate can put you in the mood for sex.  It contains phenylethylamine, a natural compound that triggers endorphins that stimulate desire and attraction.  This is one of the reasons why chocolate is associated with romance.

Reason #9:  Chocolate helps you relax, even the smell of it.  Getting a whiff of chocolate activates theta brain waves that calm your entire body.  Even if you never take a bit of a chocolate bar or sip of your hot cocoa, just by sniffing it you’re still reaping the benefits.

Reason #10:  Dark chocolate may support memory.  Overall, chocolate increases blood flow including to key areas of the brain.  Good blood circulation is vital to cognition, especially as we age.  Therefore, chocolate may help retain memory and prevent symptoms of dementia over time.

Warning:  Excessive consumption of chocolate is not good for your health as it adds calories and fat to your diet.  Also, because chocolate contains caffeine, be cautious of how much chocolate you eat while breastfeeding. 

We hope you enjoy a healthy dose of chocolate this Valentine’s Day!

6 Ways to Make Your Baby a Valentine

When you have a new baby, Valentine’s Day may feel a little different than years past.  You may not be headed out for a fancy, romantic dinner in your sexiest dress, but you can still have a fun Valentine’s Day by incorporating your baby.  Yes, your sweet, adorable, squishy, kissable baby can become a Valentine for you and your partner.  Here are 6 ways to make your baby a Valentine:

Dress your baby like a Valentine:  Your baby may be particular but she probably is not a diva about her wardrobe yet.  This opens the perfect opportunity for you to dress her as a Valentine.  There are many possibilities ranging from cupid costumes to hearts.  You can create a custom bodysuit with a special personal message to your love from you or your baby herself.  Newborn Baby Girl Wearing a "Love" HatOr you can use tootoos, bows, hats, headbands, ties, shirts with adorable sayings and bibs to dress your baby like a Valentine.  The sky’s the limit so have fun dressing up your cute baby Valentine.

Write a love note on your baby’s diaper:  You and your partner may be used to finding surprises in your baby’s diaper, but what about on it?  Write short love note on your baby’s diaper and then let your partner take care of the next diaper change.  He’ll be delighted to find a pleasant surprise along with any other gifts your baby may leave him.  This sweet way to deliver a message will surely have your hubby laughing and feeling quite loved by both of you.

Make a Valentine using your baby’s hand and footprints:  Artist or not, you can easily use your baby’s precious hands and feet to create a beautiful Valentine’s card or framed artwork for your love.  Dip your baby’s hands and/or feet into red paint and print them on paper, cardstock or canvas.  Get creative with your printing.  You can make a butterfly’s wings using hand and foot prints, a love tree or shape your baby’s fingers into a heart.  This keepsake Valentine will be treasured for years to come.

Do a Valentine’s photo shoot with your baby:  Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to take some professional or amateur baby photos.  Using fun props like hearts, a cupid’s bow, roses, balloons, teddy bears, baskets, banners and anything else you desire, you can create a fabulous backdrop for your baby photos.  If you are taking the photos yourself, solicit some help as setting up shots with an infant can be quite difficult, especially if you expect smiles.  Spend a few minutes surfing the internet for ideas that you can try to replicate.

Leave red kisses all over your baby’s body:  It’s not difficult to kiss your baby’s smooth, soft skin.  On Valentine’s Day, you can use your kisses to send a message to your love.  Apply bright red lipstick, preferably an all-natural hypo-allergenic brand.  Then kiss your baby leaving lip marks all over her sweet body.  You can leave her naked or dress her and let your husband discover all of the kisses you’ve left for him.  Be sure to take lots of photos and show your baby her kissy body in the mirror.  She won’t know it’s her but she will probably love seeing all the red lips on some other baby’s body.

Have your baby deliver personalized Valentines:  Giving a Valentine’s Day present is sweet, but having it delivered by your very own cupid is even better.  Strategically stage your baby with your gift – a bouquet of balloons, a box of chocolates, a jewelry box or whatever else you may have bought for your Valentine.  Get your husband’s attention and lure him to your baby to find the surprise you have waiting for him.  He’ll surely love the gift and the messenger even more.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day Celebrations for the Whole Family

Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day Celebrations for the Whole Family Looking for the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family? February was appropriately named National Heart Month by the American Heart Association in an effort to bring awareness to heart disease, so why not plan some heart healthy activities the whole family can share? Here are a couple of heart-friendly activities perfect for the weekend!

Try a new heart healthy recipe the whole family will enjoy
Why not try a new recipe that’s both delicious and heart healthy? Include lots of veggies and whole grains to get the most out of your meal. Choose lean meats, go light on the salt, and avoid saturated fats if possible. Try cooking together (if possible) or let your kids set the table and decorate with cut-out hearts or other sweet details. Bon appétit!

Get the whole family moving
Plan a hike, a picnic, or any other physical activity the entire family can share in. If you have a family dog, gather the family together for a trip to the park. The American Heart Association recommends exercising for at least 30 minutes five times a week, so make this Saturday your chance to get a workout in. Even if the weather is too cold for outside activity, you can always visit your local recreation center so you and the kids can play.

Spread the love
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just for couples—share a hug with each member of your family. By letting each family know how special they are to you individually you are strengthening each bond with a simple, loving gesture.

Breastfeeding for a happier heart
Did you know that breastfeeding reduces a woman’s risk of developing heart disease? Nursing is healthy for both you and your baby! During pregnancy, a woman’s risk for heart disease (as well as strokes and diabetes) goes up, but researchers have evidence that breastfeeding after delivery reduces those risks. Any breastfeeding reduces the chances of developing heart disease, but researchers agree that the longer you breastfeed, the less likely you are to develop heart disease.

We’re wishing you happy hearts for this Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Your Child’s Classroom Celebration

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Your Child’s Classroom CelebrationDo you have a child celebrating Valentine’s Day in the classroom this year? While there are certainly cartoon and movie-themed Valentine’s Day cards you could purchase for his or her classmates, there are at-home craft options that are fun for you and your child to make together. Without breaking the bank or requiring hours of your time, here are a few Valentine’s Day craft ideas that your child and his or her classmates will be sure to love.

The Write Idea

Sure, giving out candy is the most popular option for a Valentine’s Day gift exchange. Why not explore other small gift options that are practical and fun for schoolchildren? Buy a pack of Valentine’s pencils or pens and some craft paper. You and your child will have fun cutting out hearts together for decoration. Make two small slits (one at the top and one at the bottom) in each paper heart so you can slide a pencil or pen through. What a cute, functional Valentine!

Stuck on You

What does your child like most? Animals, bugs, or even race cars? Visit your local craft shop or dollar store and pick up a few packs of inexpensive stickers that express your child’s hobby. While you cut out the cards (heart shapes are easiest) have your child decorate with stickers and colored markers. Homemade gifts are often more special because they are from the heart and your child’s classmates are sure to adore their hand-crafted cards.

 A Sweet Treat

Bake a pan of Rice Krispy treats with added heart or Valentine’s themed sprinkles. Take a heart-shaped cookie cutter (inexpensive molds are found in craft or other retail stores) and carefully cut out as many heart treats are needed. Make sure that you cut the treats out before they harden completely to make it a little easier. Let your child write each classmate’s name on the outside of a plastic food bag and decorate with markers or stickers.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day, moms!