Monthly Archives: November 2014

How to Celebrate Baby’s First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about family and being thankful for what you have. If this year is a special one and you have a new family member joining your family dinner, you might want to think how to make this celebration unique for everyone. Getting ready for the baby’s first Thanksgiving is fun and easy. Here are some simple ideas you can try:

  • Get a special outfit for the baby. You may simply add some accessories such as a headband or a pair of shoes or go all the way and pick a turkey costume for your baby. Whatever you choose, keep the outfit in earthy, fall tones: orange, maroon, khaki.
  • Include special food on the baby menu. If your baby is old enough to eat some solid food, you can choose some flavors that are often associated with Thanksgiving: sweet potato, pumpkin, squash, turkey or apple. If your baby is still on a milk diet only, you can add some festivity by getting him a Thanksgiving inspired bib.
  • Have your baby help you make some holiday crafts. You can make simple holiday cards with your baby’s handprint. Choose the color (or colors) you want and make an impression of your baby’s hand. Later, make the thumb print into a turkey head and the rest of the fingers into its tail by adding some more strokes to the card.
  • Take holiday décor to the table. You don’t have to slave in the kitchen all day to make the table look good. Ask your guests to bring a dish to the table but do make some effort in decorating the table. A simple choice is adding some orange colored candles and miniature pumpkins, but you can also add some orange dishes or an orange colored table runner.
  • To keep memories alive, do not forget to make a family photo. To make it even more special, come up with a dress code for all family members. You can change the theme every year and make it into a new family tradition.

Our iBaby Monitor M6 Rocks iPhone Life Magazine

From sharing insights on our latest monitor’s night vision abilities to its video recording and video sharing options, iPhone Life Magazine recommends the device for ‘beautiful bundle of baby, or a pack of Labradoodle puppies’.
In a nutshell, iPhone Life Magazine says our newest iBaby Monitor M6 rocks. To learn more how it can rock your parenting experience and change your life, read here:
http://www.iphonelife.com/blog/28823/review-ibaby-monitor-m6

How to Use Your Video Baby Monitor When the Baby Grows Up?

Woman sitting by the window thinking
Many people are still not sure whether or not they need to buy a baby monitor when a baby comes on board, mainly because they don’t see how it can be used after the baby grows up.

After all, the generations before us have done the whole parenting thing without any baby monitors whatsoever. However, the technology has progressed and nowadays video baby monitors – such as iBaby Monitor M6T – can do so much more: play lullabies, turn and tilt to give you the best view, show baby videos to your relatives overseas… it is really surprising they do not cook yet! Indeed, video baby monitors make your life as a parent so much easier, but also they often come with a hefty price tag. This leaves many parents wondering what to do with the monitor when it is no longer needed for the baby. Well, we got you covered on this one – check out these three ideas to prevent your monitor from getting exiled to a shelf in the garage.

  • Home monitor

Suppose you are finally taking that Hawaii trip you were putting off for ages. You are excited to go the beach, spend quality time as a family and explore the Big Island. However, if you are person who gets worried about whether or not you left the iron on when leaving the house, you could get a bit uneasy going farther away than usual. In this case, you could use your baby monitor as a home monitor just to check that everything is okay at home.

  • Pet camera

Dogs are people, too. And so are cats. Ever wondered what your furry friends might be doing while you are gone to work? While you probably should not expect to see Mr. Chips playing chess against himself (but who knows? some dogs are really smart), you might see something interesting. Just be ready to press the ‘record’ button – with pets, you are always just one click away from becoming the next YouTube sensation.

  • Toy

Kids have great imagination. You buy them an expensive toy and then see them play for hours with a stick they found on the playground. You can give a name to the baby camera, use a sharpie to draw a funny face on it and – boom! – your child has a new best friend. Older children could enjoy having a video baby monitor while playing fort or any other game where they need to chat with someone else to pass some very secret information.

If none of these ideas seem exciting to you, you can always go the good old route of giving the nanny cam away to your friends, family members or just donating it to an organization of your choice.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How to Run a Turkey Trot Race with a Baby

There are different reasons that get us excited for Thanksgiving. For some people, it is going back home to see family and catch up on the news. For others, it is those extra days off when you can relax and have some time for your hobbies. Some people are all about the food… well, a lot of food.

But many people these days are also excited about running in turkey trot runs – a race that allows you to burn off the calories before the big feast later that day. What is fun about those races is that in most places they allow parents run with strollers making it a true family experience. If this is your very first stroller race experience, you may find our tips helpful in preparing for the big day.

First and foremost, think about the safety of the baby. To go jogging with a baby, you should use jog strollers that are designed to endure runs and have better stability than regular strollers. It is recommended that your baby is at least eight months old to have him participate in a turkey trot run. Younger children have weaker necks and running longer distances puts them at risk.

If your stroller has a safety strap, always wear it over your hand to prevent the stroller getting away from you. If you are a novice to stroller jogging, you may find that is it more difficult because you have to use your arms to push the stroller, which will slow you down. To help yourself run faster, you may want to alternate your arms and push the stroller with one arm only while using the other one to swing. Always make sure your child is fully strapped in the stroller before you start.

Finally, pack all the necessities in the stroller basket but don’t overpack – after all that will be an extra weight for you. Put an extra layer of clothing on the baby for the run – don’t forget a cool turkey hat – and… ready, set, go!

 

How to Choose an Age Appropriate Book for Your Child

In the modern age of technology, many people underestimate the value of reading a good book to their children. Reading books is not only a way for children to improve their imagination, learn new words and develop cognition. It is also a way for parents or caregivers to bond with the child by spending the time together and ‘living through’ the story. Reading a book as a part of bedtime routine helps a child relax and sleep better.
Choosing a good book is not a difficult task. You can find a lot of help by asking a librarian at your local library, asking fellow mothers or just remembering what books were your favorites when you were a child. As your children grow older, you can ask them what they would like to read about and go from there. Here are some simple rules for picking an age appropriate book for your child:
Infants (up to 12 months):

  • Books made of cardboard or plastic – durable ones that will withstand wear and tear
  • Books with objects familiar to your child – toys, pets, animals, babies, people
  • Books with bright colored pictures
  • Books your child can explore – touchable with different textures, books making sound, etc.
  • Books with simple rhymes

Toddlers (up to age 2):

  • Sturdy books with large pictures and few words on a page
  • Books telling simple stories about people or animals
  • Books that show characters in action (walking, sleeping, eating)
  • Books with rhymes that children can memorize

Preschooolers: (up to age 5):

  • There should be a picture on at least every other page to help keep your child’s interest
  • Stories should involve your child’s knowledge (such as numbers, colors or shapes)
  • Stories can be more adventurous and involve children, pets or imaginary creatures

Young readers:

  • Books with large font that your child can read on his own
  • At least small pictures that can be black-and-white
  • Books about the topics or with characters that your children like
  • Books that make your child ask questions and think

Remember, you do not have to be only reading books to your child before he is going to sleep. It can be done at any other part of the day – think a lazy morning in bed or afternoon snacking on the balcony. If you do not have time to physically sit down with your child and read, you can record your own reading and then replay it to your child whenever you want. It is easy to do through your smartphone or a baby monitor. Alternatively, you can choose an audiobook if your child is older – younger children will prefer their mother’s voice over professional readers.

Help Your Child Overcome the Fear of the Dark

Since the fall has started and the daylight saving time has ended, we all notice how dark early mornings and evenings now are. A lot of children are afraid of the dark, and this time of the year may exacerbate their fears. What gives this fear that usually starts at the age of two or three? The reason is in the developing child’s brain that is becoming more imaginative but still unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy. The fear of the dark usually disappears by the age of seven, but before this happens, there are things you can do to help your child cope.

Even though the monsters that your child is afraid of are not real, the fear is. The most important thing to do is to let your child know that you acknowledge his fear and that having the fear is normal. You can explain that when you were a child, you were afraid of the dark too. Do not say things like, ‘That’s silly’ or ‘A big girl like you shouldn’t be afraid of monsters’. That could prevent your child from sharing his fears with you and feel ashamed of what is natural for their age. Do not have a pretend talk with the ‘monsters’ telling them to leave either, as this will feed the child’s imagination and confirm his belief in the reality of the creatures.

Most fears come out from something scary a child had seen on TV or heard from books. If you read bedtime stories, make sure they are calm and happy in nature. You can also share some memories from your childhood or talk about the passed day when your child is going to bed. You can offer to lie down with him for a little bit, but do not make it into a habit to have your child fall asleep in your presence. For the same reason, do not invite your child to sleep with you when he is going through this stage. You can offer to come back and check on him in some time or have a night-light on if that would make him feel safer.

The most important message you want to give to your child is that he is safe in the house with you, and that any fears he might have will be gone in some time as he grows older.

Setting a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby

 

Setting a predictable sleeping routine for your baby is beneficial for both parents and children. Parents find it easier to plan and manage their day, while babies learn to relax and fall asleep faster even in unfamiliar environments. While you can start figuring out what works the best for your baby as soon as you bring him home, bedtime rituals usually start working when the baby is at least 6 weeks old. By that time children start sleeping a bit less during the day and sleep longer during the night. In fact, some babies can go throughout the night without waking up when they reach three months of age.

Some tricks can help you in teaching your baby to recognize the bedtime rituals. There are things that you can use that the baby will associate with sleeping as well as there are things that you can do to relax your baby and prepare him to sleep.

The following are the things that the baby can learn to link with sleep:

  • Pacifier: there are conflicting opinions on the use of a pacifier at night, however, it seems the pacifier provides more advantages than disadvantages. As the baby is sucking on the binky, he learns to self-soothe and unwinds for the sleep.
  • Favorite object: you can use an object to develop an association with going to bed and sleeping. For example, you can give your baby the same soft toy when he goes to sleep. Do not allow your baby to play with it during the day to establish an association.
  • Sleeping clothes: a part of the sleeping routine can be changing your baby into a familiar sleeping ensemble, such as a onsie or pajamas.

Besides providing your baby with familiar object for the bedtime, you can also do the same activities with your baby:

  • Bath: in most cases, babies love bathing. Being in warm water and in the company of their parent gives baby a very comforting feeling. In fact, so much so that some babies could even fall asleep while being bathed! While babies do not need to be washed every day, you should still wash their faces, hands, feet and private parts before calling it a day.
  • Massage: an equally relaxing experience for your baby is getting a massage. There are a lot of online video tutorials that you can watch – baby massage is easy to learn and beneficial for a baby. You can choose to use lavender or chamomile oil to help your baby get sleepy.
  • Lullabies: you can sing a lullaby for your baby to help him fall asleep. Some mothers prefer to sing several songs, changing them daily and then finish with the same ‘goodbye’ song. If you are not confident about your singing skills, you can download some songs to your phone or baby monitor that are sung professionally – however, there is nothing better than your voice for your baby. You can also choose to play calming music instead of singing a lullaby.
  • Reading: many parents believe that they should start reading bedtime stories to their children when they are older but you do not need to wait until a certain age to start reading. The baby will listen to your voice, which has a calming effect, and hear new words, which helps with language and cognitive development. It is up to you what to choose for reading – you can pick some short stories or reread your favorite childhood book.

Whatever routine you choose to establish with your child, a couple more tips will help you on the way. First, always do the bedtime rituals in the bedroom so that the baby learns the place where he sleeps. And second, if your baby sleeps in his own bed, move him there while he is half-awake so that he feels safe there and is less susceptible to separation anxiety.

How to Go Grocery Shopping with Your Baby

As a new parent, you may have a lot of questions on how to go grocery shopping with your baby. How do I get the shopping cart? Should I carry the baby around while shopping? Should I carry the diaper bag as well? We have prepared a simple guide to answer the most common questions and make the first grocery shopping experience an easy one.

  • Prepare ahead. With the baby in tow, you probably cannot afford the luxury of browsing while going shopping. Prepare a list of things to buy – to make it easier and save time, you can organize it by the aisles you will be walking by. Make sure your baby is fed and changed before you hit the road. When you arrive to the store, try to park your car as close to the store as possible.
  • Baby and the cart. Contrary to what many people think, it is not safe to put the car seat with the baby on the top of the shopping cart. The car seat can easily topple over leading to fatal consequences. To manage the baby and your groceries, you have a couple of options. First, you can put your baby into a sling and get a shopping cart – this will free both of your hands. Second, you can switch the car seat into a stroller and take a shopping basket. Finally, if you are just running in to get one item from the store, you can just carry your baby in his car seat.
  • Know when to go. Choose the time to go shopping wisely. Stores are usually least crowded on weekday mornings, and if you get up early, this is your perfect time. You can also choose the time when the baby usually naps. When you are done shopping, ask a store associate to help you to the car and you can consider your mission accomplished!

Tips for Taking the Cutest Baby Photos

Everybody knows that baby and pet photos are the types of photos that one never tires of looking at. If you are a new parent, you are lucky to have a little model all to yourself to make some amazing pictures. If you are looking to get even more impressive with your techniques, here are five simple tips to help you step up your photographer game.

  • Make your baby the focus of your photo. To achieve this, choose a neutral color palette as a background for your baby. Beige, white, grey and pastel colors work the best. If you would like to use a patterned background, do not use any other accessories to keep your child in the limelight. When bringing accessories into the photo, limit yourself to only one per picture. Some common accessories include hats, headbands, shawls or toys.
  • Take a lot of sleeping baby photos in the first weeks. Newborns sleep 16 hours per day on average and this is the perfect opportunity to take some of the cutest photos. Newborns are also very flexible and you can play with various sleeping positions in your hunt for the perfect picture. If you would like to catch your baby smiling in the sleep, there is no need these days to sit by their crib waiting for the moment. You can simply keep an eye on your little one through a baby monitor that has a function of taking photos and videos.
  • Learn that macro function. Most people are surprised to realize how small babies are when they are born. Macro function lets you capture really small details – think tiny feet, hands, ears and eyes. To make the size of the baby standout even more, have something in the photo serve as a scale. For instance, you can make a great shot with your baby’s hands in yours hands or a toy next to the baby.
  • Include other family members. As your baby gets a bit older and is more awake during the day, your can start making great family photos. Lay your baby down with his siblings or your pet. Have someone take photos of you and your partner interacting with the baby. There is nothing better than natural, non-stages pictures so have your photographer shadow your family for a couple of hours.
  • Print the photos in black and white. In the digital age people sadly stopped printing the photos. If you choose to print them in black and white and in a size larger than the usual 4×6 size, they will make a timeless decoration for any room. Black and white photos are also more resistant to fading unlike color prints.

As a parent you will know the best when it is a good time to take photos of your baby. When the baby is awake, make sure he is well fed and changed to make sure you have one happy model for the photo shoot. Your child will thank you one day for making all these memories for him.