Category Archives: Parenting & Parenthood

Music for Babies: The Benefits of Introducing Your Baby to Music

Have you ever watched your baby groove to her favorite tune? Or cry tears of joy when she hears a familiar voice sing a beautiful song? If so, you may think that your little one was born with a natural talent for music. Well, you’re correct!

Unlike eyesight, babies have highly developed hearing abilities from day 1. That’s because they begin to hear and respond to different sounds before they’re born. As your baby hears different sounds, she forms neural connections in her brain to help her interpret what she’s hearing. Introducing her to music early on is very beneficial for early brain development.

Music Helps Brain Development

In a study by McMaster University, researchers discovered that musical training is beneficial to babies before they can walk or talk. In the study, infants and their parents participated in a weekly music instruction program for six months. The participants were selected to participate in either one of two classes. The first class involved learning nursery rhymes, music-making, and lullabies. The second class had parents and infants play at various toy stations as music from “Baby Einstein” played in the background.

The results of this study demonstrate that interactive musical lessons benefitted development. The babies who participated in the first class developed more sensitivity to musical keys and notes. They also showed early communication skills such as pointing at objects or waving goodbye. These babies also smiled more and showed less distress than their counterparts.

Music For The Soul

Music can lift your baby’s spirits in the same way that it lifts yours. Your baby’s favorite lullaby has the power to soothe her to sleep in the same way that relaxing music can melt your stress away. The way music affects your baby is no different than the way it affects you. Infants begin learning how to react to the things they hear even before their first day and continue learning as their hearing develops. Thus, babies are also emotionally prone to the effects of music as well.

Music for Babies

All music is baby music so go ahead and share your all time favorite songs with your little one. So the next time you or your baby feel a little blue, cheer yourselves up by dancing together to a catchy beat. You can also use music to teach her about the world around her. Your baby is actively learning about the world as she engages in all the sights and sounds.

Music introduces a larger range of sounds than background noise alone. By tapping on your baby’s foot to your favorite beat, you are also showing her how to interpret what she hears with what she feels. Babies are also much more sensitive to different tones and pitches than we are. By developing her natural ability to pick up the nuances of music, it will also help her develop her ability to listen for all the nuances of language as well.

Babies have a natural inclination for music as they have for language and sounds. By introducing music early on, their natural talent becomes stronger. Also, music is good for the soul. Just like playing and singing, it is a way for your and your baby to bond as you create memories with your favorite songs.

iBaby monitors and air purifiers have music and recording capabilities that let your baby listen to her favorite songs and lullabies.

Early Childhood Education: Looking for the Perfect Preschool

It’s never too early to start thinking about your baby’s education. Many programs have waitlists or other lengthy admission processes, so it’s best to start as soon as possible. Early childhood education programs are beneficial for learning and cognitive development of preschool students. It helps them build a foundation for success as they proceed to elementary school and beyond. In addition to gaining basic knowledge such as ABC’s and 123’s, preschools and childcare centers create an environment for socialization, exploration, respect, and problem-solving among other skills. However, not all preschool programs are the same nor do they cost the same. Consider these factors when choosing the perfect early childhood education program for you and your little one.

Before you begin…

Keep in mind that every preschool is different. The learning environment depends on location, resources, and educators. So before researching programs, think about the type of environment your child thrives in, whether it is noisy, quiet, free, or structured. Also, state-funded, private, and religious programs adhere to different learning and safety standards. To begin your search, make a list of what you’re looking for in a school. Include skills you want your child to develop, location, learning environment, and cost.

Researching schools

Now that you have a sense of the type of preschool you want for your child, you can begin your online research. Browse the program’s website to get a first impression and also search for any reviews parents may give the program. You can also find information such as the program’s philosophy, hours, and admission process. Knowing the program’s philosophy is particularly useful in determining the type of skills they teach their students. These values will also give you a sense of the skills they encourage their students to learn. For example, preschools that emphasize teamwork will also emphasize communication. Furthermore, preschools encouraging exploration also encourage problem-solving.

In addition to skills and values, you may also want to consider the type of care your child needs during the day such as snacks and potty training. Childcare centers typically admit children ages 3 to 4, while some have an infant and toddler program. The type of services the program offers depends on the age group. Again, it is important to remember that every early childhood education program is different.

Visiting the schools

Looking online can only give you a brief idea of what the preschool is all about. So the next step in finding the perfect preschool is visiting the school yourself. Many early childhood education programs offer tours that let parents experience the day-to-day of the program. For the first visit, come without your child. Then, bring your child for the follow-up visit to see how he/she interacts with the environment.

When you’re at the school, first think about whether the facility will spark your child’s interest. If your child likes to play dress-up, are there costumes to use? What sensory stations are available? Is there a sand pit? Is there play-doh? Also, what books are available for the children to read? Every facility is set up in a different way and offers different learning methods depending on the teacher and curriculum.

Another thing to observe is the staff-child interactions that take place. One important consideration is the staff-child ratio. Classrooms tend to have anywhere from a 1:2 ratio to a 1:4 depending on the age group and needs of the children. However, programs that have more than a 1:4 ratio may not give each child adequate attention.

During your visit, pay special attention to the happiness of the children and how the staff resolves conflicts. Are children fighting with each other or are they happily exploring together? How do the staff make a crying child smile again? What happens when children fight over a toy? Also, pay attention to the level of engagement and excitement in the room. The program’s values and philosophy determine how staff members interact with the children. You know best what methods work well with your child, whether it’s a more hands-on approach or individualistic.

The final decision

Finally, it’s time to make a decision. Before considering any other factor, consider the schools that excited your child the most. Interest plus engagement make the perfect combo for an amazing learning experience. Next, make a pros and cons list of each school based on what you want for your child. You can even put together a score sheet based on the most important factors such as location, cost, and curriculum. Be patient making the decision of where you want your child to attend. Preschool is a big time and cost investment but will all be worth it in the end.

Find your Baby’s Estimated Due Date and Prepare for What’s Ahead

Calculating your baby’s estimated due date is simple. Just use the start of your last menstrual cycle as your starting point, add 40 weeks to it, and there you have it!

Knowing your baby’s estimated due date can help you plan for your new little one. However, it is important to prepare yourself for the unexpected. It is very rare for a baby to be born on their exact due date.

The journey of parenthood typically begins the moment you find out about your pregnancy either from a doctor or two little lines on a pregnancy test. When this happens, a flurry of questions may come up such as the all time favorite, “When is the baby due,” or even “What do I do now?” Knowing your baby’s estimated due date will help you better prepare for the journey that awaits you.

Parents with multiple children can especially agree that you cannot be one hundred percent prepared for everything that can possibly happen. The important thing is to do what it takes to prepare yourself as much as possible so you’ll have a smooth sailing pregnancy.

Here are a few things to consider during your first month of pregnancy:

  • Double check that you are really pregnant by taking a second or even third pregnancy test
  • Ask your healthcare provider for information on how you can maintain top notch health for you and the development of your baby.
  • Start taking prenatal vitamins
  • Read books, books, and more books on pregnancy
  • Maintain healthy habits and nutrition
  • Take cute belly pictures
  • Quit smoking & drinking
  • Research morning sickness remedies such as ginger or acupressure bands
  • Find resources for potential baby names such as books and websites. Check this out for starters! 
  • Speak with your healthcare provider about any medications you may be taking
  • Drink lots of water! Incase you’re having trouble with this, here are other ways you can stay hydrated. 
  • Learn relaxation techniques to reduce stress

These are just a few items to help you better prepare during your first month of pregnancy. Also, building a strong support system of friends and family will make sure this life changing journey will be full of joy and excitement.

A Wi-Fi Baby Monitor Gift for Christmas

Holiday shopping is in full swing!  You’re busy picking out gifts for your friends, family, and even for yourself (the very best gifts, of course!). This is no easy task, so we’d like to help make this challenging process a bit easier. For those with young babies or a baby on the way, a shiny, new baby monitor is at the top of their wish list. Our Wi-Fi baby monitor sets itself apart from others on the market with its smart, innovative features. So if you’d like to be known as the best gift giver this holiday season, read on!

Why a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor?

With a Wi-Fi baby monitor, you can view your baby from anywhere, at anytime using your iPad, tablet, iPhone, or Android device. You no longer need to lug around a heavy monitor, or worry about walls or distance limiting function. Multiple users can access the feed at once, so all of your approved friends and family may view the video stream. When you leave for work or date night, our Wi-Fi baby monitor also acts as a nanny cam. Even though you may be away from your baby, you may check –in on him or her whenever.

The iBaby Monitor M6S

Our Wi-Fi baby monitor collection includes a variety of models to match each need and budget. The iBaby Monitor M6S is our latest model and newest addition to the iBaby Monitor family.
The iBaby Monitor M6S has 1080p resolution HD camera, two-way speakers, 360° pan, and 110° tilt. With the M6S, you may track the temperature, humidity, and air quality of your nursery. The monitor’s night vision feature provides a sharp image throughout all hours, day or night. Additionally, with the free companion iBaby Care App, you may easily adjust the camera view and set-up sound and motion alerts. The iBaby Monitor M6S even has a pre-loaded music library, where you may also add or record your own music. In addition, you can access songs from your iTunes account, or add your baby’s favorite lullabies.

Where to Get One?

You can shop our entire iBaby monitor collection on our SHOP page. Use code “Thanks16” to save an additional 15% off. Enjoy!

5 Favorite Fall Children’s Books

There is something very special about the fall season—pumpkin patches, golden leaves, delicious treats, Halloween and Thanksgiving festivities, and the list goes on and on! With so much to love about autumn, this season presents many opportunities for family bonding. Imagine curling up by the fireplace, with a hot cup of apple cider in hand, as you enjoy your favorite fall reads with the whole family. By reading fall themed books with your little ones, they can learn all about what all the amazing things this season has to offer. These fall reads will get your children excited about fall, and appreciating it more than ever before.

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

Celebrating 50 years, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is a classic children’s book, written by beloved author Charles Schultz. Schultz tells the story of Halloween night, where Charlie Brown and his gang enjoy all the fun this evening possesses. Amongst the festivities, Charlie’s friend Linus van Pelt waits alone in a pumpkin patch for “The Great Pumpkin.” Regardless of what his friends believe, Linus stands his ground. Linus firmly believes “The Great Pumpkin” will rise soon from the patch to give toys to all the children of the world. Does “The Great Pumpkin” finally arrive this year? You’ll have to read to find out!

“Mouse’s First Fall”

Perfect for children experiencing their first fall, “Mouse’s First Fall” tells the story of a little mouse’s fall adventure. Author Lauren Thompson brings to life all of the beautiful hues of fall—red, orange, yellow, brown. “Mouse’s First Fall” speaks to the child inside each of us. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to jump into a pile of colorful, crunchy leaves as well! This book teaches the littlest ones all about the wonders of fall, as their eyes are opened to this special time of the year.

“The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin”

Who doesn’t love The Berenstain Bears?! Our favorite family of bears is at it again in this fall themed book. Excitement mounts for the Bear Country Thanksgiving Festival, as the Berenstain family enters the popular pumpkin contest. With so much talk and pressure about winning the contest, the meaning of Thanksgiving gets lost in the competition. Thankfully, the Berenstain family recalls all they are thankful for, recapturing the true spirit of Thanksgiving.

“Duck & Goose, Find a Pumpkin”

With the incredible artwork in this book, your baby will certainly love Tad Hills’ “Duck & Goose, Find a Pumpkin.” Follow the journey of these adorable animals, as they seek out a large, orange pumpkin. Wandering all over the forest, to an apple tree, a leaf pile, and a log, this duck and goose refuse to give up. In addition to a great story, your child will adore the colorful images and precious animal art on each page.

“Corduroy’s Best Halloween”

Cuddly Corduroy cannot wait for Halloween, in this book from Don Freeman and Lisa McCue. This bear wants to host an unforgettable Halloween party for all of this friends. Of course, Corduroy wants to partake in all of the fun Halloween activities, like trick-or-treating! However, much like the rest of us, Corduroy cannot decide what to dress up as! Want to know what Corduroy is for Halloween? Guess you will have to grab a copy!

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iOS Application Update & Guide

iBaby Care App iOS users: for those of you who have been experiencing download or sound issues, please download our new app via http://apps.ibabylabs.com.

When prompted, tap “Install.” 

You may need to go to Settings > General > Device Management > choose iBaby Labs and tap “Trust.”

We apologize again for the inconvenience this might have caused you and your family!

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Pumpkin Decorating for the Whole Family

As we enter into the month of October, we can’t help but think about all of our favorite Halloween activities. Decorating your home with spooktacular designs is one way to get the Halloween fun started! If you want to set your home apart from others in your neighborhood, you will need creative Halloween décor, like a one-of-a-kind carved pumpkin! So gather the whole family together, and enjoy lots of laughs, as you each create your own special jack-o-lantern. To help provide a bit of inspiration, and get those creative juices flowing, here are some helpful pumpkin decorating tips!

The Right Tools

For any successful pumpkin design, you will need the right tools. First, start out with a selection of stencil designs and pencils to plan out your design. Many stencil designs can be accessed online for free or a minimal fee. You may also purchase stencil kits in stores, or create your own design from scratch! Many times, pumpkin carving kits come with stencils that the whole family can enjoy.
If you are carving pumpkins with little ones, you can purchase more “child-friendly” kits. These kits supply tools that appropriately fit small hands, providing the most control for carving. For young children too young to carve, consider alternatives like painting a pumpkin or decorating one with colorful craft supplies. Regardless of how your child chooses to decorate their jack-o-lantern, they should be supervised each step of the way.

Prepping Your Pumpkin

Choosing the right pumpkin is the foundation for the perfect jack-o-lantern. Select a pumpkin that is medium sized—not too small and not too large (much like Goldilocks’ conundrum!). If you choose a pumpkin that is too large, the prepping and design of the pumpkin will require a great deal of time and labor. A pumpkin that is too small will be difficult to carve your design into. In addition, avoid extremely round or oddly shaped pumpkins. Adhering a stencil or adding a detailed design to these pumpkins can feel quite impossible.
Once you’ve chosen a pumpkin, clean the pumpkin to rid the surface of any dirt or other residue. Next, cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin and lift off the top—save this part of the pumpkin for later! Your little ones will need assistance for this part. Using gloves, remove all the pumpkin seeds and strands. With the scoop tool, remove all of the remaining strands and seeds. Once your pumpkin is hallowed out, you will be ready to carve your pumpkin! If you choose to decorate your pumpkin with paint or other crafting supplies, there is no need to hallow out your pumpkin.

Decorating Success

Choosing what you carve into your pumpkin or how to decorate your pumpkin is the best part! Be creative and choose a design that matches your personal taste, or the décor of your home. If you are decorating pumpkins with the entire family, consider having a themed bunch of pumpkins. Alternatively, you could show your furry family pet extra love by featuring their adorable face on your pumpkin. With older children, a friendly family carving contest could make the time together even more memorable!
Once you have finished carving your pumpkins, place tealight candles inside of your pumpkin, and place the stem back on top. Voilà! Your pumpkin is ready to be set on your porch or doorstep for all your guests to admire!
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5 Tips for Baby’s First Pumpkin Patch

The leaves are changing colors, the smell of pumpkin spice lattes is in the air, and you can finally pull your favorite boots out from the back of your closet. Fall has arrived. For many families with new babies, this is the beginning of the first holiday season with your little one. This holiday season will be filled with many “firsts,” creating special memories, and starting family traditions. One favorite fall family tradition is an annual visit to the pumpkin patch. If this is your first visit to a fall pumpkin patch with your baby, these tips can come in handy to create a fun-filled family day.

1. Find the Right Fall Pumpkin Patch

With many pumpkin patches to choose from, it is important to find a pumpkin patch suitable for taking your baby to. Your baby’s age and temperament are vital factors in determining which pumpkin patch would be best for your family. Certain patches are more crowded or have an older crowd. Some pumpkin patches have activities more suitable for young children, such as face painting, hay rides or train rides, and corn mazes. These patches provide a fuller family experience, adding to the traditional hunt for the perfect pumpkin. Also, be sure to check out the events calendar for your local patches (either by calling or checking online), for special events taking place on specified days.

2. Bundle in Layers

Fall can have a mixture of warm and cold days, along with weather changes throughout the different times of a day. Dressing your baby in layers allows for a quick outfit adjustment when faced with temperature shifts. Since pumpkin patches generally consist of hay and dirt areas, walking babies should wear tennis shoes or boots for protection.

3. Indulge in Fall Treats

Tasty sweet treats await your family at the pumpkin patch. If you know when you will be visiting a patch, prepare to indulge with fall favorites. Many patches have delicious locally baked goods and treats that will be hard to resist. Take the opportunity to welcome the start of the holiday season with these scrumptious delights. For just today, resist the need to count the calories.

4. Create the Perfect Photo

A pumpkin patch is the perfect place to take a festive family photo to share with friends and family. Patches provide ideal backdrops with pumpkins, scarecrows and fields of lush green corn stalks. Try to choose a time when there is good natural light, avoiding overcast or very bright sunlight. Adding a cozy fall sweater or flannel shirt to your baby’s ensemble will help create a picture perfect moment for a family photograph. And both layers are easy to remove or put on! If your baby is under 12 months, dressing him or her up in a pumpkin costume would make for an unforgettable photo.

5. Don’t Rush the Moment

Pumpkin patches can be crowded places, especially as it approaches closer to Halloween. The bustle can sometimes take away from being in the moment and appreciating this special family time. Don’t let it. Even amidst the frenzy of activities, there is no need to rush through the day. Take your time and remember to cherish each minute of that day with your family. After all, you’re creating memories that your little one will not soon forget!

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Need Great Tips for your Baby’s First Week?

Your heart’s beating and you’re super excited: this is your baby’s first week at home. You’ve read all the books, prepped for everything, and probably even gone through some practice with some baby dolls. But now that you’re facing your future for the first time, things are a bit daunting. Maybe even scary.
How will you know what to do? What if you mess up? What if you forget?
Hey, relax. Deep breath. We’ve got your back with this brief guide, but also be sure to talk to friends, family, and your doctor to get their advice.

Bonding

Bonding with your baby
Because your baby can’t do much on their own, it’s extra crucial for you to spend as much time bonding as possible. There are a few ways to really get your bond with your newborn going.
Lots of skin to skin touching and cuddling – perhaps the best way to bond. Potentially most effective when combined with the times you breastfeed your newborn.
Lots of chatting, laughing, playing, and eye contact – over time, your baby will learn to follow your actions and start to mimic you.
Your voice and touch – in truth, your baby loves your voice, and both your voice and touch help keep them calm, now and in the future.

Communicating

Communicating with your baby
In truth, you and your newborn are learning how to communicate with each other each moment you spend bonding. But it’s important for Mom to do a bit more legwork when it comes to understanding “babyspeak”. Babies are super fussy, and will cry when irritated, hungry, sleepy, too cold, energetic, too warm, dirty. It’ll even seem like they cry for the sake of crying. Maddening. Luckily, determining what’s bugging your baby doesn’t take long.
However, what you have to pay attention to is how your baby is crying. That indicates what exactly is on their mind. Though this does take a bit of time, and you’ll have to pay close attention, but eventually you’ll know which exact pitch means someone needs a diaper change. Again.
Soothing
Soothing your baby through the power of swaddling
Newborns just out of the womb seem to constantly be in need of being soothed. And it’s understandable – they were having a grand ole’ party in your womb, when they were pulled kicking and screaming into this crazy, bright, blue world.
Your best bet to keep them calm (and quiet) is to hold them close. You want to mimic the feeling of them being back in the womb, as that’s incredibly comforting for babies that age. It’s also why swaddling is super effective. Most importantly, your touch and voice will be what calms your newborn down the most. It’s that feeling of home, and love, and Mom that sets the “Crying Time” switch to off.

Feeding

Feeding your baby
Newborns typically get hungry around every 2 to 3 hours, and because of their super tiny tummies, need only 1 to 3 ounces of milk each time. While breastmilk is definitely the most nutritious milk possible for your baby, we understand that providing breastmilk 24/7 could be a challenge. Some mothers have been able to mix up breastfeeding with bottle-feeding and found great results.
But we aren’t the experts for your baby and your biology, and actually, you should get the professional advice from your doctor, pediatrician, or even a lactation expert. It also would help to reach out to your own Mom to get advice, no matter how strange the phrase “Hey Mom, tell me about boobs,” might be.

Cleaning

Cleaning your baby
Luckily, newborns don’t really need to be cleaned daily. Usually, three times a week is more than enough to keep them from getting grimy (and stinky – yikes!) We get that bathing your baby can be daunting. They get super slippery when wet, and your first few times bathing could be a stressful event.
So our advice isn’t to put your baby in a washtub – though do have it close-by. Instead, lay your baby on a towel, and gently wash them with a damp sponge or washcloth. Be sure to avoid getting water on the umbilical cord, or (if they have it) their circumcision.
No matter what, always keep one hand on your baby, and all your bathing products within arm’s reach.
Sleeping
Babies and sleeping.
Oh, sleep. None of us are ever fully prepared for the kind of sleep deprivation that a baby brings. Which is really weird considering that babies pretty much sleep for 16 to 18 hours per day. I suppose the problem is that they wake up every few hours to get a milky snack.
In any case, it’s a whole new test of endurance that you never knew existed. Luckily, there’s a way to make the sleep dep easier to handle.
Our advice is to use a chart to track your baby’s sleep habits. Eventually, you’ll find your baby’s natural rhythm, and you’ll be able to synchronize your schedule to match. And really, you ought to nap with your baby as often as you can to keep your energy up. It’s probably the only way to keep your sanity intact, too.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Android Wi-Fi Baby Monitor That You Have To Try

Did you know that all iBaby monitors are Android compatible? Pick out the Android Wi-Fi baby monitor that suits your needs from the variety we offer.

Android W-Fi baby monitor from iBaby

If you are looking for an Android compatible video baby monitor, we have three reasons you should check out the ones from iBaby:

  • Experience you can trust

iBaby has been around for over 5 years and all of the monitors support both iOS and Android platforms. We currently offer 3 baby monitor apps: iBaby Care, iBaby View and iBaby Monitor BM, all optimized for the best user experience using an Android smartphone. With fast setup for all products, our video baby monitors are truly appreciated by all users.

  • Options, options

We currently offer four different Android Wi-Fi baby monitors on our website that can suit various needs, technical capabilities, and price points. All monitors combine unique design, a variety of smart and useful features, as well as ease of use. We are also going to add a brand new video baby monitor to the product line very soon.

  • Generous discount

Take advantage of the generous discount we’re offering now. Until May 22nd only, we have 15% off any Android Wi-Fi baby monitor with code GIFT4MOM. We also have free shipping for all orders over $100, and we pack a fun gift into every box that ships.