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16 PARENTING HACKS FOR NEWBORNS EVERY NEW PARENT NEEDS IN THEIR LIFE

By Gen Cohen

 

 

Image Source: Flickr user Mariela M.

Having a newborn is a crazy ride, but it doesn't last for that long (just remind yourself of that when you're looking for the light at the end of the sleep-deprived tunnel). To make this fleeting time in your and your baby's lives a bit smoother — so that you can focus on the cuddles and kisses — we have 16 parenting hacks for newborns that will help you along your way through new-mama-hood like a pro.

Scroll through our baby tips for new parents below!

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7 Carriers to Make Bike Riding With Tiny Ones Fun For the Whole Family

By Gen Cohen

Before we dive into this awesome list of 7 bike trailers for kids, it's important to remember to protect those baby blues with our kids' rubber sunglasses. They're light, comfortable, and they keep your junior's eyes safe from harmful UV rays!

 

 

Going for a bike ride as a family is a fun and fit bonding activity, but if you have a tiny one who isn't quite riding a bike on their own yet or can't keep up the same pace as older children, it could be difficult to execute. Don't skip the ride or have anyone stay behind — with one of these accessories, you can bring the entire family to the bike trail with ease.

Read on for seven bike accessories that will change your family's bike rides this Spring and Summer.

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We Let Our Baby Cry It Out, and 10 Years Later, This Is What Happened

By Gen Cohen

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12 Things Invented by Women That Moms Swear By

By Gen Cohen

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Safe Baby Teething Remedies

By Gen Cohen

Check out this list of the best baby teething products to get through what can be a stressful phase for both parent and baby. And make sure you grab a pair of our teething safe baby rubber sunglasses, like these red kids' Wayfarer sunglasses, before you go. :)

Not sure how to ease your baby’s teething pain after the recall of Hyland’s Teething Tablets, and FDA warnings about benzocaine in Anbesol Baby and Baby Orajel? Try one of these safe ways to soothe teething (most are med-free!) Original article by Melanie Monroe Rosen via parenting.com.

Gum Massage

All you need is a clean finger for this old-fashioned teething remedy. Gentle counter-pressure from Mom or Dad applied to a baby’s sore gums can help ease the pain of teething.  

Cold Spoon

A spoon chilled in the fridge (not the freezer, or it can stick!) can offer much-needed relief. Just apply the rounded part of the spoon to baby’s gums. Best for before any teeth actually break through to avoid the risk of chipping a tooth.   

Cold Washcloth

Frozen or merely chilled, a cold wet washcloth (dipped in water, breast milk, or—as some mom’s swear by—chamomile tea) can be comforting for baby to gnaw on.

Chilled Foods

If your baby has already started solids, try offering him a cold food like applesauce or yogurt to help soothe gum pain and fill him up.

Breastfeeding

Every baby teethes in her own way. While sucking may aggravate teething pain for some babies (sometimes leading to a nursing strike), others may want to nurse more often for the sheer comfort of it. Is your baby using mama’s nipples as a teething toy? Teething does not need to mean the end of breastfeeding; if your baby seems tempted to bite during nursing, try rubbing a clean finger over her gums before beginning and ending the session once she seems full, but not yet bored.

Plush Teething Toy

A soft plush toy from an organic brand like Under the Nile is a safe option for baby to chew on when teething is a pain. We love their fruits and veggies line, like these striped bananas, as well as their plush ring toys and “blanket friend” toys because they’re both super soft and machine washable.

OTC Pain Reliever

Be sure to ask your pediatrician first (especially for early teethers, as doctor’s approval should be given for acetaminophen in babies less than 3 months of age and ibuprofen in babies less than 6 months of age), but some parents find that a dose of infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen can work wonders, especially during a tough middle-of-the-night screaming episodes. Make sure to read the product labeling fully, especially in light of changes to the formulation of OTC versions of acetaminophen for infants.

Teething Jewelry for Moms

Moms of teething babes know that their little ones will grab just about anything within reach and start chomping. Fortunately, specially designed teething jewelry like Teething Bling from Smart Mom Jewelry is made to be gummed by little mouths. Made from FDA-approved silicone that is free of phthalates, BPA, PVC, latex and lead, it’s non-toxic and dishwasher-safe—and made from the same material as many teething toys, but way prettier hanging around your neck or wrist. Available in a rainbow of colors.

Lapis Lazuli Donut Shaped Pendant from smartmomjewelry.com , $19.10

Baby Orajel Naturals

Free of benzocaine, alcohol and dyes, Baby Orajel Naturals is an alternative to the regular version of Baby Orajel, which does contains benzocaine, an ingredient the FDA has recently issued a warning about because of its association with a rare but serious condition called metheminoglobinemia. The active ingredient in Baby Orajel Naturals is eugenol, which is derived from the oil of the clove plant, which is known for its antiseptic, analgesic, antibacterial and local anesthetic properties. (You may have read suggestions for rubbing diluted clove oil on baby’s gums for teething; this takes the guesswork out of the potency for mamas in desperate need of a remedy while baby is shrieking in pain.) Available at major retailers and pharmacies.

Camilia

A widely available alternative to teething products containing benzocaine is Camilia, a homeopathic medicine from French company Boiron. Camilia containes homeopathic preparations of German chamomile (for relief of teething pain and irritability), Poke (to soothe painful gums) and Chinese rhubarb (for help with minor digestive disorders, like diarrhea, sometimes associated with teething). Comes in 5 or 20 dose single-use dose packages. Reminder: be sure to check with your pediatrician before administering any OTC teething remedy.

Wooden Teether

Babies like to gnaw on all kinds of things, especially things that really don’t belong in their mouths. Next time baby reaches for the remote as a snack, hand her a sweet wooden teether, like one from HABA, Camden Rose or this sweet owl teether from Etsy shop Little Alouette. They’re handmade in Ohio from locally sourced hardwoods and are available either unfinished or finished with certified organic flaxseed oil.

Rubber Teether

Sophie the Giraffe has been helping babies get through teething for more than 50 years. Made of 100% natural rubber (BPA- and phthalate-free) and food paint, this squeaky toy made in the French Alps will likely prove to be one of your babe’s faves. We’re also fans of this Hevea panda teether, made from 100% natural rubber latex (free of BPA, PVC, pthalates and artificial colors; $13.50).

Cold Fruit

Chilled fruit, like apple slices or banana, placed inside of a mesh feeder can provide relief (and a tasty snack) for a baby with sore gums.

Distraction

Sometimes a change of scenery or activity is all it takes to help distract baby from teething pain, at least temporarily. Try running a bath for baby—the warm water may help him to relax—or even just some giving some unexpected cuddle time.

Chilled Teether

Placing a solid or liquid-filled teether in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before offering it to baby can amp up its soothing powers. We like this sweet easy-to-grab BPA- and PVC-free apple-shaped teether from Green Sprouts.

Silicone Teether

Another popular option for teething tots is silicone teethers, like those from Born Free or this one from Lifefactory (shown). Dishwasher safe, this teether is BPA-, phthalate-, PVC- and latex-free. It can be stuck in the fridge or freezer, and best of all, worn by mama as a funky little bracelet, so relief is always close at hand. Available in a rainbow of bright colors.

Vibrating Teether

This teether from Sassy is not only multi-textured and water-filled (ideal for chilling in the fridge), but it vibrates when baby chomps on the water-filled section, which helps stimulate gums.

Hyland’s Teething Gel

Although Hyland’s teething tablets were recently recalled by the FDA, its teething gel is still on store shelves. Hyland’s Teething Gel is a homeopathic teething remedy that contains very small amounts of its active ingredients: Calcarea Phosphorica (a mineral that supports teething), Chamomilla (a botanical that relieves irritability), Coffea Cruda (a botanical that relieves the symptoms of wakefulness and diuresis) and Belladonna (a botanical that relieves gum inflammation and redness). Although the Belladonna plant can be toxic when ingested in large doses, homeopathic Belladonna is safe and non-toxic, due to the minuscule concentration in the gel. Available at major retailers, pharmacies and health food stores nationwide.

Sippy Cup

If baby is old enough (around 6 months), try offering a slow flow sippy cup of cool water to suck on for comfort.

And don't forget, our roshambo baby sunglasses are small parts certified teething safe material as well!

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18 Easy Christmas Crafts, Ornaments and Gifts

By Gen Cohen

This list is popping with inspiration, just like our fun kids' sunglasses are popping with color, and they fit perfectly under the tree, too! Check out our blue color changing sunglasses that will delight kids of all ages! Cute Christmas ornament crafts and gifts kids can make from our favorite craft blogs. 

Tags: Crafts, Christmas

By Lauren Passell

Soft Ball
Use up leftover fabric to make these unique ornaments from Everyday Beautiful. No two will be the same!

Photo Frenzy
If you want to take your snapshots to the next level, whip up these memory globes from Little Pink Monster, perfect for your mantle or as a gift for grandparents. Kids will love picking out photos and decorating their own.

Shoe In
Did you know you can make advent calendar out of a hanging shoe rack? Start collecting odds and ends to create this countdown-to-Christmas door decoration from Whimsy Love.

Can It
Tin cans are transformed into gorgeous, vintage-y looking ornaments in this easy project from Salsa Pie. Perfect to give to Grandma!

Pony Up
Here's a DIY craft for pony lovers! This felt pony farm from Smashed Peas and Carrots can be folded up so it's perfect for on-the-go. And her pony collection fits perfectly in the side pockets.

Have a Ball
For an easy project you can make from what you have in your recycling bin, try one of these pretty paper bulbs from How About Orange. Use wrapping paper or magazine pages to make the ornaments pop even more.

Jingle All The Way
These cute jingle bell hair clips from Little Pink Monster are fun to make and even more fun to wear. They're perfect for Christmas parties or to wear all season lon

Sweet!
Using real candies and yarn, you can brighten up the Christmas tree (or any nook in your house that needs some holiday cheer) with this sweet crocheted candy garland from Dollar Store Crafts.

Pin-Up
Old fashioned clothespins make great ornaments, and they only cost a few pennies each. These angel ornaments from Dollar Store Crafts can be decorated any way your kids can think up.

Stockings in a Flash
These stockings from Prudent Baby look like they're straight out of a catalog, but they can be whipped up in 15 minutes and require minimal sewing skills. 

Tag, You're It
These personalized photo gift tags from Fireflies and Jelly Beans are so cool they might get more attention than the gift. Use brown grocery bag for a vintage look.

Scrap That
Using fabrics scraps, you can make these pretty handmade notes from Smashed Peas and Carrots for a heartfelt way to say "Happy Holidays" or "Thank You".

Snow Daze
If subtle cheer is more your holiday style, try making these wooden snowflake ornamentsfrom The Crafty Crow. They're minimalist chic and easy to make.

Home Sweet Home
Here’s a sweet idea from Dollar Store Crafts: Pick up porcelain houses for a buck each at the craft store to make a pretty painted Christmas village. Kids will love adding their own touches, like feathers, glitter and fur.

Tech Cozy
Here's something kids can make for Dad that will bring back fond memories. This Etch-a-Sketch iPad cozy from Smashed Peas and Carrots is practical and will bring back memories of the days when he was writing Santa.

Tree Huggers
These ribbon trees from Fireflies and Jelly Beans are super easy to create, and make a big cheery focal point for your home. Make one or a whole forest, and don't forget the Christmas table centerpiece!

Take Note
These cute, colorful notebooks from the craft blog Whimsy Love, made from leftover paint chips, make great stocking stuffers.

Say Cheese!
We love to get Christmas cards in the mail, and these homemade photo ornaments from Fireflies and Jelly Beans are a great way to re-use them instead of throwing them away. Paste on a family pic to make it even more personal.

Gumdrop Snowflakes
Use your favorite gumdrop colors to make fun paterned snowflakes with toothpicks. 

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26 Easy, Wholesome Baby Food Recipes

By Gen Cohen

Check out this list from Parenting.com of 26 Wholesome Baby Food Recipes!

Easy, healthy snacks for babies and toddlers beyond Cheerios and bananas, from Boddler Bites: Food in a Flash.

Tags: Baby Food

From the editors of Parenting.com

A is for Avocado
Chop peeled avocado into bite-sized pieces. Puree crackers or chips in food processor. Pour over avocado pieces and gently toss.

Hoping to raise a natural baby? Read how!

B is for Beans
Puree (canned, rinsed) white beans with a little milk and stir into Alfredo sauce. Stir into prepared pasta.

C is for Cottage Cheese
Stir into scrambled eggs, prepared quinoa or pasta sauce.

D is for Desserts!
Like chocolate-covered banana treats—Drizzle organic, melted, semi-sweet chocolate chips over banana slices. 

E is for English Muffin
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Spread light canned tuna (drained & mixed with a little plain yogurt) on English muffin. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes. 

F is for Fish Sticks
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Slice ½-pound cod, halibut or salmon fillets into 1-inch "fish stick" strips. On small plate, spread out 1/3 cup whole wheat flour. In small bowl, mix 2 eggs and 2 Tbsp. milk together. Lightly coat fish sticks in flour, then dredge in egg mixture and cover with ground, organic potato chips. Bake on greased baking sheet for 6-7 minutes per side, until cooked through. 

G is for Grapefruit
Cut grapefruit in half (crosswise), remove seeds and use serrated knife to separate sections. Sprinkle each side with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. maple syrup. Broil on tray for 5 minutes. Scrape out grapefruit sections and serve warm. Top with vanilla yogurt if desired.  

H is for Hummus
Spread on crackers, toast or pita bread. 

I is for International Food!
Like French store bought crepes (in produce section) spread with any of the following and roll up: cream cheese, jam, diced fruit, yogurt, grated cheese, Nutella, nut butters, ricotta cheese, maple syrup or honey. Cut into pieces. 

J is for Jicama
Mix plain yogurt with mild salsa and use dip for jicama sticks. 

Preparation tip: Peel jicama with paring knife from top to bottom. Once peeled, rinse and pat dry; then cut through the middle. Lay flat and cut into strips. Steam until tender (to avoid potential choking hazard for young Boddlers). For older Boddlers, it’s delicious raw. Tastes like sweet carrots.

K is for Kale
Make kale chips! Wash and de-stem one bunch of kale. Pat dry. Toss in 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil, lightly coating both sides. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes on 300ºF. 

L is for Lemon Yogurt
Make lemon yogurt pancakes by preparing 1 cup whole grain pancake mix as directed. Stir in 1/2 cup lemon yogurt. Add a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries to batter, if desired. Cook as usual. 

M is for Milkshake
Make a berry milkshake by blending the following until smooth: 1 cup milk, 1 cup any flavor yogurt, 3/4 cup fresh/frozen berries and 1 tsp. honey. Add ground flaxseed or wheat germ if desired. 

N is for Nuts
Grind/chop and toss into cereal or yogurt. 

O is for Olives
Canned, jarred or fresh pitted olives. Rinse, drain and cut in quarters. 

P is for Pineapple
Mash diced pineapple pies with a little cream cheese. Spread on crackers.

Q is for Quinoa.
Make Quinoa Balls! Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 Tbsp. butter, ½ cup shredded cheese and pinch of salt. Let cool. Form into mini, bite-sized balls. 

R is for Ravioli
Cook (whole wheat, if possible) ravioli as directed. Stir in pasta sauce or jarred pesto. Cut into bite-sized pieces. 

S is for Sugar Snap Peas
In medium bowl, toss 2 cups sugar snap peas (fresh or frozen) with 2 tsp. olive oil and 2 pinches of sea salt. Spread in one layer on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425ºF for 6-8 minutes. 

T is for Tomato Soup
Cook ¼ cup dry lentils or open organic canned beans (rinse and drain). Puree ¼ cup lentils or beans with 1 tsp. olive oil until smooth. Stir into warmed, canned or boxed organic low sodium tomato soup. Top with grated cheese. 

U is for Under the Sea!
Let your baby try seafood, like canned salmon. Open a can of salmon and drain. Stir 2 Tbsp. salmon into prepared mac n' cheese, prepared pasta or a mashed and buttered sweet potato.

V is for Veggie Burger
Heat according to package, top with cheese and/or spread on some avocado. 

W is for Watermelon
Make watermelon soup by pureeing two cups watermelon, 1 cup strawberries and 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt. Serve chilled. 

X is for Xmas Dishes!
Buy boxed (ideally, organic) stuffing mix and prepare as directed on package. Stir in cooked, drained spinach or kale.  

Y is for Yams
Steam yams with peeled, diced apples, until tender. Mash with a little butter. 

Z is for Zucchini
Make your own zucchini fries. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice whole zucchini into "French fry" strips. Place strips on greased baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and pinches of salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool and serve. 

These yummy ideas were taken from Food in a Flash: Boddler Bites

As these homemade baby food ideas prove, snacks for Junior don't have to be a challenge, just like sun protection is easy as pie with Ro·Sham·Bo Baby sunglasses!

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11 Must-Have Products for Toddlers

By Gen Cohen

Your baby shower helped supply you with what you need for the first year of baby's life, but what about when you start the toddler years? Here are 11 must-have products to help you make it through with ease. Pssst! Be sure to read this list of 11 must-have toddler products all the way to the end!

Originally shared on parenting.com

Faucet Extender

Make handwashing even easier by attaching a faucet extender to the bathroom sink. The Aqueduck Single Handle Faucet Extender is a two-piece system that brings the water flow closer to the front of the sink and provides an extension to the faucet lever so kids can turn the water on and off easily after going potty. ($24.95)

 

Soft-Soled Shoes

Make sure those first steps are well supported. The soft soles of Robeez Shoes for toddlers promote balance by flexing and bending with each step. As a bonus, the elastic ankle feature ensures the tiny shoes stay in place, even on the most curious toddler. ($26)

 

Sippy Cups

Bye-bye bottles. Growing kids need to learn how to hold and drink from their own cups. Start with a Playtex Sipsters Stage 1 cup that features a soft silicone spout that makes it easy to transition from a nipple to a straw. The break-proof cup is molded to fit tiny toddler hands. ($7.99/2-count)

 

Training Pants

As soon as the potty becomes interesting, introduce your toddler to his or her first pair of washable big kid underwear. Gerber Training Pants feature covered elastic waistlines, making them easy for kids to pull up and down. Tucked inside are 100 percent cotton panels to absorb accidents. These training pants are available in sizes 18 months, 2T and 3T. ($15.99)

 

Bed Side Rail

After you've upgraded your crib escapee to a big kid bed, keep her safe with a protective side rail. The Babies R Us Extra Long Swing Down Bedrail features a 20-inch tall protective barrier that stretches 56-inches along the edge of the bed. When morning comes, simply fold down the rail until nap time. ($32.99)

 

Two-Piece Pajamas

Make evening and morning visits to the potty simpler with two-piece PJs that pull off and on easily. Carter's offers several adorable cotton top and polyester pants sets to keep kids warm and ready to use the potty at a moment's notice. ($15.99)

 

Potty Training Seat

Keep your little one safe and cozy during their time on the big potty. The Disappearing Potty Seat attaches to your existing toilet seat and tucks up into the lid via magnets when not in use. The slow-closing lid keeps little fingers from getting pinched. ($49.95–$59.95)

 

Two-Piece Swimsuits

Playing in the pool with a toddler can often mean frequent potty breaks. Keep trips to the bathroom quick and simple by slipping your little one into a two-piece swimsuit. The Cabana Life Swim Shorts and Rashguard Set also offers long sleeves for optimal sun protection. ($32.90)

 

Stepping Stool

Once your toddler discovers how to make those little legs move, he'll be everywhere! The Graco Molded Step Stool makes it easy for him to reach the big potty, wash his hands at the sink, help you at the kitchen counter, and get in and out of his big kid bed. This stool offers a no-slip grip for tiny toes to stay put and a non-skid bottom to keep the stool securely in place. ($14.19)

 

Bathtub Spout Cover

Rub a dub dub, if you don't want any bumps in the tub, cover the faucet. The Kel-Gar Tubbly Bubbly elephant- or hippo-shaped bathtub spout cover allows water to flow while protecting your toddler's fingers from hot metal faucet spouts or accidental bruises and bumps when playing near the fixture during bath time.($12.59)

 

Table Booster Seat

When your baby outgrows his high chair, move into an elevated booster seat. The Graco Blossom Booster Seat features safety straps to keep kids in place and a removable back insert to help safely position your child as he grows and fills the seat. This portable booster seat is perfect for use at home, in restaurants, or on visits to see friends and family. ($29.99)

 

...and bonus item, of course unbreakable toddler sunglasses from ro·sham·bo baby, like these teal kids' wayfarer sunglasses (pictured)!

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