Talking to your baby in utero…not necessarily a novel concept these days, but how about exposing your growing baby to the sounds of his future parents, grandparents and family as much as you like? Now that’s something to cause us to prick up our ears and take notice! Earlier this year, we checked out bellybuds wearable speakers that you affix to your tummy, enabling your little one to listen to music from your iPod. Sound Beginnings kicks it up with a notch with an expandable nylon/lycra band with hidden speakers that plug into a MP3 player. If you want to record big sister-to-be saying how excited she is meet her new sibling, you can play her sweet nothings to your heat’s content. Have a penchant for punk music? Let your bambino get her first taste of Bad Religion using this cool device. Whatever you choose, whenever you like, you can give your baby the gift of sound and stimulation long before she’s born. Sounds Beginnings makes for a talked-about baby shower gift.
When my daughter returns to school next week, I’ll be cringing in anticipation over the sign of the first virus she picks up. Yes, it’s inevitable as turkey on Thanksgiving…but I don’t relish the thought of her losing her lunch all over the floor, if you know what I mean. My sister, who happens to be an internist, has drilled the B.R.A.T. method for curing an upset stomach–Bananas, Applesauce, Rice and Toast repertoire we’ve come to know and love. But when you have extra picky eaters like we do at my house, it helps to have another more palatable solution on hand. Organic B.R.A.T. drinks are a convenient way to ease upset tummies back into the land of the living. These feel better drinks come in yummy flavors like cinnamon toast and chocolate honey (and of course, original and vanilla for the more cautious consumers), and have more appeal than a dry piece of white bread or mashed up fruit. We like that you can simply pour a glass or add it to cereal or oatmeal for a more substantial energy booster. Pretty good stuff for when it feels like you’re picking yourself up off the floor.
In a Nutshell: No need to break out the rice cooker or chop up a old banana into itty bitty pieces (how fun!). These drinkable stomach soothers will help kids and grown-ups get their tummies back on track.
While I’ll admit I’ve grown tired of getting my girls ready for a day at the beach–bathing suits, suntan lotion, hats and water shoes…check!–I know that my least favorite season of all will be here before we know it. The struggle of trying to pull winter boots on little feet that won’t seem to bend is infuriating, to say the least! And even after all that hard labor, snow and slush still manage to creep inside, prompting cries of “I wanna go inside!” almost instantaneously. (I try to follow my mom’s old rule of having to stay outside for at least the same amount of time it spent getting bundled up…) I guess that’s why it takes a Canadian mother to design a pair of kids boots meant to withstand the toughest elements. Booties are your answer to winter weather footwear for babies and toddlers. First off, there’s no more tug of war with these boots, which go on easily and have plenty of room for growing tootsies. What we like are the adjustable toggles–two sets at the calves and ankles–to ensure a snug fit. And that means more time outdoors and less time moaning over wet feet.
Summer may be winding down, but it’s not truly over ’til the fat lady sings…or is it when the baby cries? Yes, we know that some days, it feels like your little one’s tears will never dry up, the sun will never shine again and you’ll never have another adult conversation ! Well, maybe it’s not all that bad. But for days like these, wouldn’t it be nice to receive a treat (even if it is for your kid)? Four ultra hip baby products companies, Mutsy, Kushies, kokopax and pediped are teaming up to bring you the Hot Summer Fun for Baby Giveaway with prizes valued at $1,000. You can enter to win stroller gear, toys, a baby carrier and even new shoes for your little one (and you know how fast they outgrow those!). Just click on the link highlighted in this post or on the graphic below where you’ll be asked to join Mutsy’s Facebook page. And then cross your fingers…
All aboard the Dinosaur Train! If your kid is a fan of this PBS Kids’ animated TV show starring a posse of prehistoric creatures, then you’ll want to check out Learning Curve’s cool line of Dinosaur Train interactive figures, train sets and plush pals. Preschoolers really dig this show, and we can see why. They can relate to Buddy, a Tyrannosaurus Rex just about their age who rides along with a family of dinosaurs on a colorful train that takes them to magical places. If you’ve got a resident dino expert in your house, this is one show that will truly capture his attention and encourage his imagination. And this new toy line zeroes in on the show’s excitement. We love the talking Dinosaur Train InterAction Figures, which can recognize one another and respond to other figures in the line. Now we’re talking–literally!
How often do you tell your child “Dinner in 5 minutes”…only to have to call her again to the table repeatedly? Or that he’ll have 10 more minutes to finish his Leapster game–and not when he “gets to the next level. Find yourself threatening no dessert? TimeBuddy strives to lessen the frequency of such battles by putting the power of time management in your kid’s hands. Best suited for ages 3-7, this colorful, customizable clock comes with stickers that correspond to various routines and activities: meals, homework and oh yes, bedtime. When you program the clock, it lets kids know when the jig is up and that it’s now time to brush their teeth, put their game away, etc. You can even record your own voice, which may be helpful for parents who travel or work late hours. What I like is that not only doesn’t TimeBuddy ‘t require kids to tell time, but that by getting them to select the stickers and affix them to the clock, they become more involved and less likely to argue over something they’ve taken a part in (ever hear how if you get your kids in the kitchen, they are more likely to eat what they make? Same concept.) With back-to-school right around the corner, fewer arguments mean happier households.
In a Nutshell: “Train” your kids while they’re still young to respect time and maybe, someday, they’ll respect you. Just don’t count on this to help you with the teenage years…I hear that’s a completely different ballgame.
If you or someone you know has had a baby in the last decade, you probably owned a Gymini. Name ring a bell, but you can’t quite picture the product? It was a colorful playmat with an arch of toys that kept your not-yet-mobile little one occupied in one spot. I remember when my daughter couldn’t yet “roll over” (why did it sound like she was a dog?)…the Gymini was her favorite place to lay around and coo and bat at her little toys. But once she was able to sit up, the days of the playmat were over. Lucky for today’s kids (and moms), they don’t have to outgrow the Gymini concept so quickly. Tiny Love’s Gymini Bouncer replicates that same playtime experience for older babies with a comfortable seat and activity arch. What’s different about this bouncer is that the toys slide up and down (instead of side to side), so your little one can truly flex his muscles. We like that the arches are positioned on the sides of the bouncer seat, so we can lift her out–and gaze into those baby blues–without any obstruction.