5 Tips to Teaching Your Toddler to Swim

Watching your toddler learn some new skills can be a magical experience, and none is as rewarding as teaching them how to swim. The goal is to help them learn to swim early and avoid a fear of water. This is important not just for your kids’ safety, but also for their enjoyment.

This is one of the main reasons why swimming lessons have become more and more popular. But what if you can’t afford regular swimming lessons or just want to avoid this route? These 5 tips will help you make your home training a success:

  1. Make Water Activities Fun

The first step when teaching your toddler to swim is to help them love being in the water. This might be a bit harder if they already have a fear of the water, but you can still get the job done. Start off by letting your toddler have a lot of play time during their baths, This way, they can learn to relax and get more comfortable in their little “pool”.

  1. Get the Right Floats

There are very many floatation products currently available on the market. So, how do you pick the right one? The best swim floaties for toddlers are those that help your little one learn to relax and enjoy the water. They are designed to ensure your toddler learns early on how to be truly buoyant while swimming.

Also, look for floaties that will roll your toddler over. This safety feature ensures that your child will not be vulnerable to the face down dangers that plague so many floatation devices on the market.

When using floats, your first step will be to teach your toddler how to use them to keep their balance while in the water. As long as you give your child enough space to learn, this step will not take them too long to ace.

  1. Teach Them How to Hold Their Breath

When you get into the focused lessons, it is a good idea to start by teaching your toddler how to hold their breath. A fun way to do this is by blowing bubbles on the water surface. This will help your child get used to having at least part of their face in the water.

You could also simply blow in your child’s face. This easy approach takes advantage of their natural response in such a case – which is to hold their breath. It is also a great way to teach your toddler how to hold their breath without physically holding their nose, which is not recommended for younger kids.

  1. Set Aside Lesson Time for Swimming

Once your child has mastered the key basics, you have to focus on actually teaching them how to swim. To do this, set aside a dedicated time for the swimming lessons. Because children are natural imitators, it is also important to ensure that you are always present at these times. More importantly, make sure that your lessons are short and fun!

  1. Start with Baby Steps

To start your lessons, the only thing you really need is an appropriate pool. This means that it should fill up to your toddler’s upper chest or chin level, but not over their head.

In the beginning, your goal should be to help your toddler learn better swimming techniques. This means your focus will be on teaching them how to move their arms and kick their feet in the water.

You should also help your child out as much as possible. For example, start off by having them hold on to the wall as they swim to you. By doing this, you will give them the skills and confidence they need to be great swimmers in no time.  

CHUT UP Condiments are Healthier for you and they taste good too!

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Looking for condiments that taste good and are healthy? Have you heard of Chut Up Condiments?  Beet KetchupApple & Caramelized Onion Chutney and Peri Peri Hot Sauce. I had the opportunity to try them and they are quite tasty! I really like that they are healthier too! They are made with high-quality ingredients and my favorite is the Peri Peri Hot Sauce!

Which one do YOU want to try?

Check these out at https://www.chut-up.com/

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Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. 

Holiday Gift Suggestions Week #1! Check out all these amazing products!

It’s that time of the year and I am so excited to share that there will be a Holiday Gift Guide feature every week until December 22nd!

So, check out this week’s gift suggestions!

Looking for some fun gift ideas for family fun? ThinkFun has you covered!

Roller Coaster Challenge

Build An Amusement Park in Your Living Room!, $29.99
Roller Coaster Challenge is our first thrill ride building game. Benefits? Engineering challenges that help players understand physics and logic concepts – all while watching a coaster glide down the track, complete with dips, curves and loops! Roller Coaster Challenge just made Amazon’s Top 25 Holiday Toys list!  (Ages 6+) This one really is a lot of fun!

Rover Control

Strategic Thinking + Coding Education = Best Educational Gift Under $20, $14.99
//CODE: Rover Control – Prepared for a programming space mission? In this 40-challenge game two Rovers have been sent to explore Mars. The trouble is, the Rovers are programmed to travel on color and most of the pathways were left colorless in a dust storm. You’ll need to call on your critical thinking skills to correctly color the pathways so the Rovers stay on course. Challenges introduce “decision points,” “loops,” and “increment instructions” as you progress–all advanced computational skills that are delicately embedded into a fun play experience and will have you thinking like a true programmer. Just earned The Dice Tower Seal of Approval! (Ages 8+)

Color Cube Sudoku

Stimulating Play + 3D Logic Puzzle = Perfect for Kids and Adults Alike, $19.99
Color Cube Sudoku – is a brilliant re-imagining of the classic Sudoku puzzle using colors instead of numbers. Flip and arrange your nine color cubes until no colors repeat in any row or column. With over 2 trillion different ways to position the 3-D cubes, it’s more challenging than it may appear! Color Cube Sudoku is a Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner and earned finalist status in American Specialty Toy Retailer Association’s (ASTRA) Best Toys for Kids! (Ages 8+)

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With Utter Nonsense! The Hilarious Accent Game-Family Edition gather the family around the table and get ready to laugh. You don’t have to be good at accents and the combinations don’t need to make sense, that’s where the fun comes in! Players combine silly accents with even sillier phrases to create sayings and actions that are just plain ridiculous. Players are encouraged to improvise too. Chock full of family fun, you and your family will be rolling on the floor laughing in no time.

Age range: 8+

MSRP: $24.99

Available online: https://www.target.com/p/utter-nonsense-family-board-game/-/A-52137387

Looking for some fun and educational gift ideas?  Toysmith offers several educational STEM kits from its 4M line that encourage curious young minds and builds confidence through a wide range of products from robotics and fossil digging to crystal growing and beyond.

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T-Rex Dinosaur DNA ($16.99): Excavate and build your very own glow-in-the-dark T-Rex model and collect buried DNA. This innovative kit even brings dinosaurs to life through Augmented Reality using the free Dino Codes app (Google Play or iTunes)! Take photos and videos of yourself interacting with T-Rex and instantly share via email, text, or social media. (Ages 8+)

Crystal Growing Experiment Kit ($19.99): Perfect for young scientists, the Crystal Growing Experiment Kit offers hands-on experience that grow and challenge their imagination while introducing them to geology. (Ages 10+)

   Tin Can Robot ($16.99): Grab an empty soda can and learn the basics of electrical wiring, battery power, and most of all, using items from your recycling bin. Add your own creative touches to decorate the can for more personality. (Ages 8+)

Here are a few great gifts for Toddlers!

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With HABA’s Zookeeper Sorting Box, children have twice as much fun! Just like in a real zoo, within every enclosure there is a slide: If pushed down, only the half wood shapes fit through the opening. If pushed upward, the opening is large enough for the whole wood shape. This is fun because as children play, they can pretend to feed the animals while becoming more familiar with color and shape recognition. Includes 8 wooden shapes and 1 sorting box. 

Age range: 12 months+ MSRP: $34.99

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Learning Resources’ Snap-n-Learn™ Matching Dinos, kids snap together these cute dinos and spark an early love of learning about colors and shapes. These colorful dinosaurs mix and match together, so little learners have endless hours of fun while they build their fine motor skills. Entire set stores neatly away in the sturdy plastic bucket. Includes: 18 pieces (9 two-piece dinos).

Age range: 2+ years

MSRP: $19.99

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E-I-E-I-OH! Educational Insights’ Peekaboo Barn Game gets little ones working together in this farming fun game based on the preschooler app sensation, Peekaboo Barn™. This game promotes vocabulary development and storytelling, encourages interactive and social play, and introduces early game play to younger kids. Game comes with a 3-D Barn with two levels, 1 Silo spinner, 8 Animals, and a multilingual game guide (English, Spanish, French, and German)

 Age range: 2-4 years
 MSRP: $24.99
Available online. 
Looking for a creative gift idea for younger children?  Magic Sketch, a fun new way for your kids to draw, play, and learn! The flexible, LCD screen is transparent, allowing kids to trace with the provided stencils or from their own images!  Magic Sketch is from the makers of the hit product Boogie Board who are also the leaders in crystal display technology.
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Each Magic Sketch retails for $29.95 and includes:
  • Magic Sketch
  • Protector Guard
  • 1 Roller
  • 3 Stamps
  • 20 Learning Stencils
  • 20 Games Stencils
  • 20 Art Stencils

This one would make a great gift for ages 4-8.

How about sending someone a Popcorn Bucket or a stash of candy?

GourmetGiftBaskets.com is the site to check out this holiday season! 

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I like that they have a wide variety of different items that you can send to someone special!

I love this next one! Tweens, Teens and even adults will love Show My CoCo. Created by teenage entrepreneurial sisters, Show My CoCo is a new line of personalized and customizable phone cases designed to help girls and women of all ages express their personalities and bring out their fun and creative sides.

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After purchasing the clear sliding back phone case, users can choose from a wide array of different stainless-steel charms that include emotions, sayings, and other items that help users express themselves. Place those charms in the case, slide the back on and you are ready to show your CoCo!

This is really a cute idea! Check it out at https://showmycoco.com/

Reduce Stress and Give the Gift of Relaxation this Holiday Season with The AiroSpa Pillow!

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With the gift buying/giving season right around the corner, the annual struggle as to what to get that friend or significant other will confront many shoppers. This year, buyers can give the gift of relaxation and help those important to them relieve stress with the AiroSpa™ Pillow, www.airospapillow.com.

 The AiroSpa™ Pillow is one of the simplest and most affordable solutions to the stress challenge and a solution to the gift-giving conundrum.

 I had the opportunity to try it out and was impressed with how simple it is to use!

The AiroSpa™ Pillow is a unique, simple to use, affordable, multi-purpose stress reliever and aromatherapy pillow that can be enjoyed at home and while traveling anywhere. With its built-in and patented fan, airflow vents and face-down angled construction, the AiroSpa™ Pillow can be used as a home/office/travel massage experience enhancer with a partner or all on its own for a calming and relaxing experience.

 The AiroSpa™ Pillow comes complete with a simple to inflate, padded, face-down pillow, a patented insertable fan to provide air flow and to disperse the pure-essential oils that all comes neatly packaged.

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 The entire set retails for $29.95 plus shipping and handling and includes three pure essential oils (Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium). For a limited time this holiday season, the AiroSpa™ Pillow will come with three additional pure essential oils (Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-Ylang), normally a $30 value, at no extra charge.

 

The last item for this week is definitely going to be a big hit this holiday season! So, I’m ending this holiday guide with a bang! Check out the GOTRAX HOVERFLY!

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GOTRAX™ Launches New Line of Hoverboards and Electric Rideables!

GOTRAX™, a new Denver-based brand on a mission to boost imaginations and the possibilities for personal transportation into hyperdrive, announces today its line of hoverboard self-balancing scooters and electric rideables.

The GOTRAX™ GALAXY is beaming down its signature UL certified hoverboards, the HOVERFLY and HOVERFLY PLUS. These stellar self-balancing scooters allow Commanders to accelerate, stop and steer with a simple shift in body weight using advanced gyroscopic technology. Commanders can experience the zero-gravity feeling of hovering as they cosmic fun glide through the GALAXY.

Both the HOVERFLY and HOVERFLY PLUS are among the most powerful hoverboards in the cosmos, producing top-ranking extraterrestrial torque thanks to dual 350-watt electric motors (compared to typical competitors’ 250-300 watts) capable of propelling Commanders up to 7.4 miles-per-hour for 12 miles on a single charge.

I had the chance to try out the Hoverfly and it really is a lot of fun! I love that it includes a Training mode and I felt safe..which is pretty important to me! 

Available in five Cosmic Colors, both models feature lunar-bright LED lights, durable, high-quality aluminum construction with an external shield, aluminum wheels and rubber tires. Multiple modes including a Training Mode for quick and easy flight training make it easy to be a master faster. All GOTRAX™ products are fully UL 2272 tested and certified for electrical, battery and charging safety.

Look for GOTRAX™ products this holiday season! 

The GOTRAX™ HOVERFLY and HOVERFLY PLUS are available now at GOTRAX.COM and on Amazon.

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the items listed above to facilitate this Holiday post. Images were also provided. 

 

 

 

Tips For A Cozy Night In This Holiday Season!

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December means snowy nights, relaxing by the fire and adorning your home with festive holiday decorations. To create the perfect setting for a comfortable night in this holiday season, DIY Network host and Pine Mountain spokesperson Jason Cameron, has put together a go-to checklist for parents.

Some of Jason’s tips include:

  • Make a festive snack – Everyone loves making sugar cookies and gingerbread, but the best part is eating your creations! While snacking on cookies, wash it down with some hot chocolate or warm apple cider.

I know that baking Christmas cookies is always at the top of my list!

 We had a chance to receive one of these amazing logs and I loved the pine smell! I highly recommend!

  • Watch a holiday movie – From Frosty the Snowman to Elf, we all have a favorite holiday movie. These movies provide a sense of nostalgia for adults, and offer hours of entertainment for kids. What is your favorite holiday movie?

  • Decorate your home – Setting up holiday decorations in your home is a tradition that many families across the country have. Play some light music in the background and chat about your favorite holiday memories to make the activity more festive.

Self Disclosure: I received a free firelog to facilitate this post. The image was also provided and tips.

Family Packing Made Simple with Packing Cubes from EatSmart Products!

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EatSmart Products, a leading designer, and manufacturer of innovative travel and health care products has something really cool:  TravelWise 5 Piece Packing Cube System.

The TravelWise 5 piece packing cube set is a travel essential for kids that allows clothes to stay folded and neat when packed in their own “small drawers”. The cubes are fantastic for staying organized on both short and long travels and help avoid over packing. Constructed of lightweight, durable nylon, these multi-sized cubes allow you to compartmentalize similar items such as shirts, pants, swimsuits and toys to streamline packing. The open mesh top makes searching for misplaced items a thing of the past and their five color choices allows each family member to have their own individual set. My favorite is the purple!

Available in five colors – black, silver, red, teal and purple, each set includes (1) small, (2) medium and (2) large cubes to organize different sized items when traveling. *They also added new colors this past September. 

I really like these because they are compact, easy to use and I like the idea of each family member having their own set! These are perfect for travel too!

 Price | Where to buy: 
$24.95 | Amazon.com and EatSmart Products website

Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. 

The Fall 2017 Baby Round up is here! Suggestions for Mom and baby!

Looking for shoes for your little one? Pediped has you covered!

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Just look at these adorable styles! They are not only cute but they are also comfortable!

About pediped®
Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort, and distinctive styling have made the award-winning company the fastest growing children’s footwear brand in the United States. pediped® footwear has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development, and preeminent orthopedic medical professionals, Dr. Mininder S. Kocher and Dr. Thomas W. Vorderer, deem pediped® shoes an excellent choice for parents/caregivers who want their children’s feet to develop naturally and healthily. pediped® has received numerous industry awards and accolades including recognition from Earnshaw’s, the premier media resource serving the children’s market. In 2015 pediped® was recognized by the Footwear Industry Awards as the Children’s Footwear Brand of the Year and earned a 2016 Earnie Award from Earnshaw’s magazine as the Footwear Brand of the Year.

pediped® is sold in over 750 stores in the United States and 40 countries worldwide with an offering of more than 120 designs for boys and girls between its three lines, Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™ and Flex®. The award-winning footwear is available in EU sizes 17 to 38 (US newborn to 6 Youth). For more information, visit www.pediped.com.  LIKE on Facebook at /pedipedfootwear and follow on Twitter and Instagram @pedipedfootwear.

I love this next product because it really is quite unique!

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It’s a diaper wallet from b.box!

It has built-in wipes compartment and dual access to wipes. This one is great for outings and travel!

More About b.box

Australia based b.box was founded in 2007 by Dannielle Michaels and Monique Filer.  b.box products are fun and functional to make parent’s lives that little bit easier with a touch of cool thrown in.  The award-winning b.box collection of innovative designed everyday baby essentials includes the Travel Drying Rack, Sippy Cups, Diaper Wallet, Baby Bottle + Dispenser, Diaper Caddy, Travel Bib and Flexible Spoon,  Snack Pack, Mesh Feeder, Baby Spoon, Bowl + Straw, Toddler Cutlery Set and Divided Plates.  For more information visit www.bboxbaby.com.

Join them online:

Facebook/bboxforkids

Twitter/bboxforkids

Pinterest/bboxforkids

Instagram.com/bboxforkids

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Covered Goods nursing covers allow for mom and baby to nurse comfortably!

Founder Jamie Yetter, herself a mother of four, faced a common fear that many women have while nursing in public; the fear of being exposed!  This fear often kept her and other nursing mothers searching for a hidden place somewhere. Sometimes, it was impossible to nurse at all.  In researching available nursing cover options on the market, Yetter found none of these options offered the security of optimal privacy.  She designed a nursing cover that would not only offer all over coverage but would also allow for the cover to conveniently convert for use as a scarf, car seat cover and shopping cart cover.  Moms can truly nurse anytime, anywhere!  There is no more fear of being exposed with Covered Goods.

The high quality covers are made from an ultra-comfy breathable lightweight and stretchy fabric.  There are no straps, rings, or cords to mess with.  The covers take seconds to put on and take off, and alleviate any worry that baby will kick or pull mom’s cover off.  The flexible neck is also designed to be able to be worn down under one arm to give mom even more freedom when nursing.  An added benefit of the flexible neck allows mom to peek in on baby or to make sure her little one has latched properly.  Covered Goods nursing covers can be folded compactly for storage and they are ideal for traveling with baby.

Covered Goods covers are available online at www.coveredgoods.com and at specialty boutiques and stores across North America.  Recommended retail: $34.99.

About Covered Goods™

San Clemente, CA-based Covered Goods was founded in 2012 by mom Jamie Yetter.  The original multi-use nursing cover, Covered Goods covers provide true all over coverage and can also be used as a scarf, car seat cover and shopping cart cover.  Covered Goods covers are manufactured in the USA.  For more information visit www.coveredgoods.com.

 Follow Covered Goods:

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The Feed and Soothe gift set from MAM is a must-buy! It can also be found on Amazon.com.

About MAM – standard setting baby products 

MAM combines technological innovation, medical function and contemporary design to develop superior baby care products that support a baby’s development from day one. Since MAM developed its first pacifier in Vienna in 1976, it has evolved to become a global authority on baby care product design and quality. Today MAM products are used by families in over 60 countries and on six continents. To find out more and view MAM’s baby care range of award-winning pacifiers, bottles, cups, teethers, oral care items, coordinating accessories and gift sets visit www.mambaby.com.

Follow MAM:

Facebook: facebook.com/MAMbabyUSA

Twitter: @MAMBABY

Pinterest: Pinterest.com/MAMUSA

Instagram: mam_usa

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The ergoCocoon Swaddle Sleep Bag is perfect for baby this time of year! 

The ergoCocoon ‘no origami’ baby swaddle sleep bags are designed to be both easy to use and difficult to escape from. The simple zip up design will keep baby snug and securely swaddled without the need for complicated wrapping. Made from skin-friendly, breathable organic cotton for superior comfort, the ergoCocoon is acknowledged as ‘hip-healthy’ by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute for its ergonomically designed bell shaped bottom which provides extra leg room for healthy hips. For those bubs that like a little more freedom or are ready to transition out of a swaddle, the ergoCocoon has poppers in the armholes that can be used to convert from a swaddle to a sleeping bag. Tog rated for warmth, there is an ergoPouch swaddle to suit every season. For more information visit ergopouch.com.

Follow Ergopouch:FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube

ABOUT ERGOPOUCH:

Melbourne, Australia-based ergoPouch was founded in 2009 by Alina Sack.  As a mother, Sack drew on her own personal experiences of sleep deprivation to come up with innovative products designed to help babies and kids get a better night’s sleep.  The award-winning ergoPouch collection includes premium quality baby swaddles, sleeping bags and sleep suits available from birth to 6 years of age sizing.  All ergoPouch products are made with natural fibres including Organic Cotton, Bamboo and Merino.  ergoPouch products offer great functionality and versatility with swaddles that can easily transition to a sleeping bag, and sleep suits that convert from bags to suits with legs for easy use from bassinet to stroller.

For more information visit www.ergopouch.com.

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This bowl for baby from GoSili is a real must-buy!

The Silibowl is perfect for first time feeding and food storage.  The lid of the bowl can be used as a plate and also inserts into the bowl creating an airtight seal for storage.

 About GoSili®

Traverse City-based GoSili was founded in 2006 by Stacey Feeley and Giuliana Schwab.  Feeley and Schwab started in the juvenile products category with their award winning Silikids brand and with increasing demand from parents for similar products, they entered the housewares market in 2017.  GoSili creates products for families that are safe, modern and made entirely out of silicone.  The company combines need-based innovation with the technological advantages of silicone, offering an alternative to plastic tableware found in and out of the kitchen. The GoSili mission is to make the basics better by bringing an alternative to plastic, bridging the gap between great design and affordability while improving the way we live! A win-win for all!

Follow GoSili on:

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Sing to your baby in Spanish!: Cántale A Tu Bebé!

Picture Book with Downloadable Music; Vocals by Sonia De Los Santos and Jorge Anaya

Available from booksellers everywhere

GRAMMY® winning musicians and authors Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer want to dispel the notion that a parent has to have tubes like Adele or Bruno Mars to enjoy music with their infants. Their Sing To Your Baby project gives parents the confidence, songs and a toolkit to begin the happy adventure. In 2011, the duo published a picture book with songs called Sing To Your Baby, a project which garnered critical praise, awards, and a feature on National Public Radio. MetroKids called it “the best new baby gift since Dr. Spock.” Parents’ Choice gave it a Gold Award, recommending it as “warmhearted and beautifully crafted.”

 

Responding to requests from parents and educators, Cathy & Marcy’s Community Music will publish the Spanish edition of their popular book with music on September 15. The 11 lovingly translated songs on Cántale A Tu Bebé are sung by noted bilingual artists and native Spanish speakers Sonia De Los Santos and Jorge Anaya. Unlike a collection of lullabies or entertainment-oriented album, Cántale A Tu Bebé is designed for interaction and everyday use. The 32-page beautifully illustrated book includes a link to download all of the songs, providing a virtual coach for anyone – parents, caregivers and others – in a new baby’s circle of love.

More about Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

Multi-GRAMMY Award winners Cathy & Marcy have created live and recorded music for families for more than 35 years. Their tightly connected harmonies are backed by instrumental virtuosity on the acoustic & electric guitar, five-string banjo, mandolin, cello banjo, ukulele, percussion and many other instruments. They have been honored with hundreds of awards from The Parents Choice Foundation, American Library Association, John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Washington Area Music Association & National Association of Parenting Publications.

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A Trusted Diaper Rash Cream That You Can Trust!

Olen Cosmetics’ Baby Butz cream is a trusted brand, recommended by pediatricians and used in hospital neonatal units. Baby Butz cream is a barrier and a healing cream that prevents and relieves diaper rash in as little as 4 hours. It’s all-natural, free of perfume, alcohol or chemicals.

Majda Ficko, CEO and founder of Baby Butz cream developed the diaper rash cream for her severely disabled son because no other brands would work. To this day, she still uses her formula on her son and can finally scratch the worry of him developing diaper rash off the list.

For more information, visit http://olencosmetics.com/

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NATURAL PRODUCTS FOR BABY & MOM!

bloom BABY

Unscented Hypoallergenic Baby Wipes

  • Safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin, rash-prone and eczema
  • Hypoallergenic, plant-based formula for sensitive skin
  • Nourishes and protects with plant-derived vitamins A, B-Complex and D, Omega-3, and -6
  • 98% Natural Ingredients in 100% HydroPure water sourced from the Long Island glacial aquifer
  • Produced in an FDA facility free of nuts, gluten and wheat processing
  • Enriched with sensitive moisturizing lotion
  • Safe for rash- & eczema-prone skin
  • No: alcohol, chlorine, phthalates, formaldehyde carriers, parabens, phenols, quaternary ammonium compounds, SLS, lanolin, and most common allergens
  • Made in the U.S.A.

And they are NEVER tested on animals!

For more information, please visit: https://bloom-baby.com/

These essentials are a must!

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Baby Magic No-Rinse Wash (SRP: $5.49) – This product is the diaper bag essential that should be at the top of your list! The foaming application allows you to clean your baby without running a full bath and is great to use when you are away from home for a quick and easy beach or park clean-up.

For on-the-go diaper rash treatment use Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (SRP: $9.69 for 4oz. version) – starts healing on contact to keep your little one diaper rash-free! Available in Original or Maximum Strength, Boudreaux’s 2oz bottles are the perfect addition to any baby bag!

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Malarkey Kids’ Munch Mitt is the undroppable, unstoppable teething mitt. Made with food grade silicone, BPA and Phthalate free, the mitt is both convenient for parents and fun for babies.  Munch Mitt gives little ones the gift of self-managing teething relief and parents the gift of free hands! Comes with travel/wash bag and is great for travel in the car seat or stroller
Available Colors: Green, Purple Shimmer, Pink Shimmer and Aqua Blue

Age range: Recommended for ages 3-8 months. Can be used up to 12 months of age.

MSRP: $15.99

Find it here: http://www.munchmitt.com/shop

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Every nursery needs a calm, soothing environment for babies to settle and sleep. Nothing provides calm better than The Baby Shusher, an innovative baby sleep device that is one of the only products on the market that uses a recorded human voice to help soothe baby. This sleeping device for babies features rhythmic ‘shushes’ recorded which can play up to 30 minutes at a time. This helps to interrupt your baby’s crying session and engages their relaxation and calming reflex. This Baby Shusher is perfect for the nursery but also great for getting baby to calm and sleep in the car, crib, stroller or anywhere else while traveling. The adjustable volume on this Baby Shusher is also ideal for accommodating you and your baby’s personal needs during the night without keeping everyone awake. Strap Included, BPA Free, 2 AA batteries included. Only 3.2 ounces and dimensions are: 2.3 x 2.3 x 5 inches
Age range: Birth+
MSRP: $31.99
Available online: https://www.buybuybaby.com/store/s/baby-shusher?origSearchTerm=baby+shusher
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Marcus & Marcus Organic Teething Bib is made from 100% certified organic cotton and free from harmful chemicals. Each bib comes with a BPA free and phthalate free, food grade silicone chew. Teething bib promotes healthy tooth eruption while reducing pain, drooling and overall fussiness. 100% Certified Organic Cotton and free from harmful chemicals.I love the designs and that they are made from 100% certified organic cotton.  Available Characters/Colors: Lola the Giraffe, Pokey the Piglet, Marcus the Lion Cub, Ollie the Elephant, Willow the Whale

Age Range: Birth+
MSRP: $14.99
Available online: www.Amazon.com
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Looking for a great Car Seat for your little one? How about the diono radian rXT Convertible Car Seat?
This is one that many of the Celebrity Dads love!
The diono’s radian rXT car seat is designed with your child’s security and safety as top priorities. Premium materials and thoughtful safety features like a steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced side walls, energy absorbing EPS foam, and a five-point harness put your mind at ease as your little one stays safe and sound. The reinforced adjustable head support provides additional side impact protection. ($359.99, us.diono.com)

WHY DO DADS LOVE DIONO SEATS?

  • Made with full steel frame, aluminum reinforced sides and memory foam
  • You can fit THREE across!
  • Folds flat for travel
  • Comfortably seats rear-facing children from 5-45 lbs
  • Accommodates forward-facing children up to 80 lbs in a 5-point harness
  • Converts to booster mode for kids 50-120 lbs

We checked one of these car seats out and give it our top rating! We’ve heard that Celeb Dads like Justin Baldoni, Orlando Bloom, Ian Ziering, James Van der Beek (to name a few) love totting their tots safely around town in diono car seats too!

Looking to paint a nursery soon?

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Anne Geddes is the only paint for babies where every color has specific supportive effects. Research shows babies and children feel more comfortable in a beautifully colored room than a bare one, and the good mood induced by being in a pleasant setting makes them happier and healthier. A well-appointed room helps babies to cultivate a healthy and positive identity which naturally helps them learn and develop.

Key Features:

  • BABY SAFE FORMULATION:  Anne Geddes colors feature natural ingredients, toxic free and water based, which are safe for pregnant mothers, newborn babies and children.
  • WASHABLE WALLS: Anne Geddes paint is also durable so once dry, any accidents, stains or marks will wash off without damaging the surface.
  • COLORS THAT NURTURE: Baby’s first rooms can encourage development and the colors, shapes and forms that surround young babies can help create who they become as an adult. Anne Geddes paint is crafted to encourage exploration; help soothe and relax baby, to support and comfort, to stimulate imaginative thought and even encourage a sense of love and natural wonder.

You can find it at walmart.com.

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Celebrate Baby’s 1st Year with Personalized Winnie the Pooh Baby Record Book! I love this one and wish it had been available when my son was a baby!

Capture every precious moment of baby’s first year with Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: Baby’s First Record Book. Perfect for new parents, this keepsake is an incredibly special, yet easy way to preserve and share early memories.

Featuring soft, sketched illustrations of Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and more, this personalized book lets you and your child step inside the Hundred Acre Wood. Sweet quotes from Pooh are sprinkled throughout these adorable pages, while simple prompts invite parents to jot down their favorite memories from baby’s first day on earth to first steps.

You can purchase here!

 

Self Disclosure: I received free samples of the above items to facilitate this baby gift guide. No other compensation was received. Images and information were also provided.

 

Make Thanksgiving more Flavorful with Pereg Natural Foods

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This Thanksgiving, Pereg Natural Foods wants to help you “wow” your guests with some mouthwatering recipes served with delicious flare.

Try using any one of their many quinoa varieties – tri-color, white, and red, among others – in this harvest vegetable and quinoa recipe served in a whole pumpkin, for a starring role in your Thanksgiving meal.

All Pereg Quinoa is pre-washed, all natural and contains no MSG or preservatives. They are OU and CRC Kosher approved, as well as Gluten-Free and Non-GMO verified.

For your Gluten-free guests, try baking with any one of Pereg’ six varieties of Gluten-free flours to help you whip up breads, muffins, desserts and pie crusts.

Season your turkey and vegetables with Pereg’s vast array of exotic, fresh and all-natural spices, sourced from around the world. They offer more than 60 spices and spice blends, known to be the true secret among chefs for bringing out the full flavor in cooking. Try Pereg’s brand new Pumpkin Pie spice blend, great in sweet and savory dishes alike.

Are you ready to cook all-natural, delicious and “clean” this Thanksgiving…? Pereg wishes you and yours a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving, surrounded by friends, family and good food! Hearty Appetite!

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RECIPE: HARVEST VEGETABLES with QUINOA Served in a WHOLE PUMPKIN

INGREDIENTS:

1 Whole Sugar Pumpkin

4 whole carrots, peeled and quartered (large pieces halved)

1 1/2 cups (~115 g) quartered baby yellow potatoes

2 Tbsp (30 ml) maple syrup, divided

2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, divided

Healthy pinch each sea salt + black pepper

1 Tbsp (3 g) chopped fresh rosemary (or dried)

2 cups (176 g) halved Brussels sprouts

Pereg Natural Foods Pre-Rinsed QUINOA – 1 cup (184 g) white quinoa

1 3/4 cups (420 ml) water

Pinch sea salt

OPTIONAL SAUCE:

1/2 cup (120 g) tahini

1 lemon, juiced (~3 Tbsp or 45 ml)

2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) maple syrup

Garnish: Fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, etc.); Pomegranate arils

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the carrots and potatoes to the sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Toss to combine. Then bake for 12 minutes.

In the meantime, heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add Pereg quinoa to lightly sautée before adding water to evaporate leftover moisture and bring out a nutty flavor.

Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 18-22 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Then open lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Tilt the lid, remove from the heat, and set aside.

When the veggies are at the 12-minute mark, remove pan from the oven and add the Brussels sprouts. Top with remaining 1 Tbsp oil, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, and another pinch each salt and pepper. Loosely toss to combine.

Return pan to oven and roast for 10-12 minutes more or until Brussels sprouts are golden brown and the carrots and potatoes are fork tender. (This ensures that the potatoes and carrots are cooked through and the Brussels don’t get too soft.)

Lastly, prepare dressing by adding tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) warm water at a time and whisk until thick but pourable. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness or lemon juice for acidity.

COOK THE WHOLE PUMPKIN

Place the pumpkin in a glass baking dish, and transfer to the oven to roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin. The pumpkin is ready when the flesh is darker, and the skin can be easily pierced with a fork. Cut the pumpkin top off, and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes, until cool enough to handle.

To serve, mix the quinoa and vegetables into the whole pumpkin. Top with garnish of choice, such as pomegranate arils or fresh herbs. Place Pumpkin top back on the pumpkin and serve with sauce on the side.

RECIPE – PEREG NATURAL FOODS GLUTEN-FREE BUTTERNUT SQUASH PIE

INGREDIENTS:

2 – 20 oz. boxes of frozen squash

1 stick melted butter or margarine

1 cup sugar

4 beaten eggs

1/2 cup non-dairy creamer such as Coffee Rich

½ cup Pereg Gluten Free Almond Flour & ½ cup Pereg Gluten Free Coconut Flour

2 unbaked 9″ pie shells –

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the ingredients together using an electric mixer. Pour into pie shells (there will be enough to fill two pie shells); Sprinkle with Pereg Natural Foods cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Recipe: http://fountainavenuekitchen.com/almond-flour-pie-crust-gluten-free/

PEREG NATURAL FOODS – FALL SPICES

Allspice – Allspice is earthy and aromatic. Use it on vegetables including cabbage and turnips, beef and lamb, and in soups, breads and desserts.

Cinnamon – This sweet spice is delicious when cooking chicken and lamb, vegetables and fruits including squash, sweet potatoes, apples and pears, and in some bread recipes.

Cloves- Cloves are rich and earthy making them a great complement to lamb. They also taste great on apples, beets, squash and sweet potatoes, as well as in curries, soups and breads.

Nutmeg – This sweet spice pairs perfectly with lamb, and taste great on broccoli, cabbage, carrots and cauliflower, as well as rice, stuffing and sauces.

Mexican Crushed Chili – Spicy and smoky, this spice goes well on beans, chicken, beef and fish, as well as corn, tomato, cauliflower, green beans and squash. It also adds unique flavor to dry rubs, marinades and salad dressings.

Za’atar – Tangy and warm in flavor, this Middle Eastern spice enhances most meats including chicken, beef, lamb and fish, and enhances the flavor of eggplant, onions and carrots as well as dry rubs, soups and salads.

New! Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend – A delicious blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves, this aromatic blend can be used in desserts and savory dishes alike to enhance them with lots of flavor. No additives, preservatives or MSG.

For a complete list of Pereg spices go to www.pereg-gourmet.com

I actually received a sample and love the Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend! Planning to use it this Thanksgiving holiday!

Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. Recipes and images were also provided. 

Credit: PEREG NATURAL FOODS.

Pereg was established in 1906, and is based in Clifton, NJ. They first became known for their vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world.

Today Pereg produces an array of all-natural products that includes ancient grains and ancient grain blends, gluten free pasta, couscous, rice, gluten-free cereal and much more. Pereg Natural Foods products are available at select retailers throughout the US and Canada, and on their website, www.pereg-gourmet.com.

Pereg manufactures all its products from start to finish, controlling the quality from the sourcing until the product is packed and ready for the consumer. All Pereg products are kosher certified by both the Orthodox Union (OU) and CRC, are dairy and lactose-free as well as all natural, with no additives or preservatives. Many products are also certified gluten-free and non-GMO. Follow Pereg Natural Foods on Facebook.com/peregnatural, Twitter @pereggourmet and Instagram @peregnatural.

Brentwood Home celebrates the holidays with 15% off sitewide through November 29 Shop gifts for new parents, homeowners, fitness lovers, pets and more with code CUDDLEUP

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Brentwood Home, California-based designer of healthy, luxurious, affordable home essentials is offering 15 percent off its entire site November 21-29 using code CUDDLEUP.

Give the gift of better zzz’s with Brentwood Home’s top picks this holiday season, including:

Better for your baby mattresses, starting at $349  

Perfect for new or expecting parents, the Wildfern and Poppy 2-Stag Crib Mattresses are handcrafted with only the best materials, offer the right amount of support for infants and toddlers. Best of all, Brentwood Home crib mattresses are free of any chemical fire retardants, are PVC, lead and phthalate free. Learn more here and  here.

For furry friends – a new pet bed, $125-$185   

The Runyon Pet Bed is designed for orthopedic support, easy maintenance, and classic style; it checks all of the boxes for the perfect pet bed. Details here.

For the yogi – Crystal Cove Yoga Collection, $169   

The Crystal Cove Bundle that comes with Brentwood Home’s top-selling yoga bolster, meditation cushion and Pranayama pillow. Made with a beautiful combination of natural and non-toxic materials like buckwheat and GOTS certified organic cotton, each item includes box-stitched carry handles for easy transport from home to class, an adjustable fill for unique needs, plus a removable and washable outer cover. The Crystal Cove Collection is a must have to wind down after a long day or for a restorative pre-bedtime practice. For more info, click here.

The gift of a better night’s sleep, mattresses, from $795

Make your loved one’s dreams come true, literally, with the gift of a new mattress shipped directly to their door. The eco-friendly Cedar,  top-selling Oceano and premium but affordable Ojai are the highest quality mattresses available for purchase online.  All handcrafted in Los Angeles and come a zero-risk guarantee. Shop here.

For the in-laws, grandparents or new homeowners – Pillows, Quilts, and Sheets, from $79

Did you know pillows should be replaced as often as every six months? Brentwood Home’s Helena Latex pillow is filled with 100 percent latex ribbons and organic cotton fibers plus an organic cotton cover for sweet, eco-friendly dreams. Pair with Brentwood Home sheets or quilt for a luxuriously thoughtful gift.

Credit: Brentwood Home.

Stay tuned! I will be featuring Brentwood Home this holiday season!