Thursday, August 28, 2008

Adorable Diaper Cakes

More great submissions to Martha Stewart's Baby Shower Idea page.

I love the block letter and the green rubber ducky on top here. Very chic and gender neutral without being too pastel.

Classic, simple diaper cake with great choice of ribbon.

Again, the block letter here is a great touch.

The ribbon could be done better, but I love that they included a book and other great items in this cake.

Baby Shower Food Ideas

Martha Stewart is running some sort of competition for baby shower ideas. Deadline for photo submissions is Jan 1, 2009. The pool of photos has some great ideas already. Here are some great food ones.

Cake Baby Blocks

Adorable jungle themed cookies:

Watermelon Fruit Basket- made to look like baby carriage!

Make your own favor- paper cones to be filled with mom-to-be's favorite candies. Very clever!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rickets Makes a Comeback

A NYTimes article out yesterday reports cases of rickets showing up in infants and toddlers recently. While rickets is a common childhood disease in many developing countries [1], in the US it is not often heard of.

Rickets is defined as a softening of the bones in adolescence. This can lead to fractures and deformities such as bow-legs and wrist widening. However it is easily preventable with proper nutrition- specifically vitamin D.

And here enters the recent problem- doctors are suggesting that infants aren't getting enough vitamin D, even with proper diet. Dr. Catherine M. Gordon, director of the bone health program at Children’s Hospital Boston, says

"I completely support breast-feeding, and I think breast milk is the perfect food, and the healthiest way to nourish an infant... However, we’re finding so many mothers are vitamin D deficient themselves that the milk is therefore deficient, so many babies can’t keep their levels up. They may start their lives vitamin D deficient, and then all they’re getting is vitamin D deficient breast milk."

Dr. Frank Greer, chairman of the committee on nutrition of the American Academy of Pediatrics, adds that, “Historically speaking, we probably got it from the sun, but now we’re afraid of the sun and we don’t go out as much.”

While rickets is still rare in the US, the number of cases has been cropping up in recent years. Talk to your pediatrician about possibly adding supplements over the wintertime when sun exposure is down and make sure when breast feeding that you are getting adequate amounts of vitamin D yourself.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ikea Finds!

IKEA- that wonderous place with reasonably priced cute furnishings for every room of the house. Here are some of their new stuff for kids rooms.

Hanging wall organizer for $9.99

Adorable black and white sheets to match any room $19.99

Cute rugs for $34.99

New Fabler series features all kinds of plush toys from 2.99-9.99

Monday, August 11, 2008

National S'more Day!

Yes, according to some (Holiday Insights,, wikipedia) August 11th is National S'more Day. The only real trivia associated with s'mores is that they were first mentioned in the Girl Scout Handbook in 1927, claimed to be inspired by Loretta Scott Crew's campfire treats. I suppose the rest is history, since these tasty treats are so unanimously popular.

Grab some graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey's bars and teach your kids some S'more trivia tonight.

(Tip for city folk- the microwave works just as well as a campfire. Place the chocolate on and nuke for 15 seconds, then add the marshmallow and go for a few seconds longer. Watch carefully! The once marshmallow swells to great size its done.)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Summer Mocktails

It's summer. It's hot. It's Friday and you would like drink. What's a pregnant girl to do? While you may have friends and family who tell you "It's perfectly ok to have just one", the verdict is still out. The Center for Disease Control still insists on the following:

* There is no known amount of alcohol that is safe to drink while pregnant. All drinks with alcohol can hurt an unborn baby. A 12-ounce can of beer has as much alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1-ounce shot of liquor.

* There is no safe time to drink during pregnancy. Alcohol can harm a baby at any time during pregnancy. It can cause problems in the early weeks of pregnancy, before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

* About 1 in 12 pregnant women in the United States reports alcohol use. And about 1 in 30 pregnant women in the United States reports binge drinking (having five or more drinks at one time).

*FASDs are 100% preventable. FASDs are 100% preventable. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are 100% preventable—if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant.

Meanwhile, there are a slew of those who argue that drinking during pregnancy is perfectly safe. Check out this article for several sources.

If you can't decide or choose to abstain there are several good recipes for some tasty mock-cocktails you can have instead.

Temperance Tantrum - 3 oz. cranberry juice, 2 oz. orange juice, squeeze of lemon, ginger ale. Blend the juices with ice until smooth, then top up with the ginger ale.

Acapulco Gold- 2 shots freshly pressed pineapple juice, 1 shot freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, 1 shot coconut milk, 1 shot fresh cream. Shake all of the ingredients together with ice and then strain into a cocktail glass to serve.

Tornado Twist- 12 fluid ounces cranberry-raspberry juice, 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage. In a pitcher, mix cranberry-raspberry juice with lemon-lime soda. Pour over ice and serve.

Raining Men- Put 1/2 glass of ice, 4 oz. orange juice, 4 strawberries, 1 banana into a blender.
Blend until smooth. Garnish with fresh fruit as appropriate.

Coconut Cooler- 4 parts coconut milk, 4 parts fresh lime juice, Sparkling water, Sprig of mint. Combine the coconut milk and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Pour over ice cubes into a Collins glass. Top up with sparkling water and stir gently, garnish wth the mint sprig.

More recipes here and here and finally here.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Great Kids Style Blogs

I love finding new blogs that show how parenting can be the opposite of what many 20-somethings fear. It's not the end of style, fun, or social lives. It doesn't make you boring. It can be fantastic and pretty darn cute at the same time. Here are some blogs that I have recently discovered that help me prove my point.

Apartment Therapy's ohdeedoh
Tagline: Home. Design. Children.
What to check out: Their nursery tours. Tons of real nurseries in a variety of spaces and styles.

Tagline: Blending kids + Design
What to check out: They've got tons of great kid friendly art work and crafts. Pictures are worth a million words here.

tutus and turtles
Tagline: A frilly-to-functional collection of all things baby and child
What to check out: This site is always giving great stuff away. I don't know how they do it!

Cookie Magazine's Nesting
Tagline: Exchange home design ideas with our editors and one another
What to check out: Everything. These guys are great.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sew Your Own Sling

So many sling companies now have fantastic patterns and fabrics out as oppose to the standard black or solids, but they aren't always cheap ($260 for a silk sling?) and often with patterns it is hard to find one that you know will fit your wardrobe and personality. Making a sling yourself seems easy enough, but how do you know your sling will be safe?

Enter Sling Rings! These nylon and aluminum rings have been put through a battery of tests to insure their stability (Impact Testing, Pull Testing, Soaked in bleach and then a full washer/dryer cycle, along with Heating and Freezing). They are sure to hold the load of your baby or toddler and last through years of wear.

Instructions on Basic Sling, Reversible Slings, Fleece Slings, and the fabulous No-Sew method.

example of a ring sling:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Post Baby Workout Extremes?

It's almost impossible to ignore the obsession with pregnant celebrities and celeb moms with young children- but has it pushed them too far? Not only are baby's first pictures being sold for millions but it certain that the paparazzi wants a picture of these ladies post-baby bods. It seems that the pressure to loose the baby weight instantly is sky-rocketing.

Jennifer Lopez, who just had twins, is apparently training for a triathlon.

Katie Holmes reportedly lost two dress sizes in less than two months by working with Sue Fleming, creator of the Buff Brides Fitness program. She then ran a marathon when baby Suri was just 18 months old.

Kate Hudson gained 60 pounds when she was pregnant with son Ryder, she was back to her normal size in under three months. With trainer Joe Horrigan she worked out two to three hours a day, six to seven days a week- while eating a mere 1,500 calorie daily diet.

Heidi Klum
was under contract to lose her post-pregnancy weight in just one month! Victoria Secret wanted her back on the runway or she would loose her $25 million deal. Talk about pressure! Klum turned to trainer David Kirsch, and 90 minutes of exercise every day while eating only "Lean, clean, and green. No dairy, lots of greens, grains, egg whites, and protein shakes,".

Congress Agree to Regulate Phthalates in Toys

House and Senate lawmakers agreed yesterday to permanently ban three types of phthalates from children's toys. They will also outlaw three other phthalates from products after studying their effects in children and pregnant women.

If passed, the ban would take effect in six months- that is unless President Bush vetos it. Many have said that the President opposes the ban, but it is still to early to know what he will decide. Many companies are opposing the ban, arguing that the research against phthalate exposure is not strong enough. The biggest opposition to the ban is Exxon Mobil. They manufacturers diisononyl phthalate which is the most commonly used phthalate in children's toys.

It certainly would not be the first ban of its kind however. The EU and more than a dozen other countries have banned phthalates from children's products as early as 1999. Even major US retailers Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, and Babies R Us that said will no longer carry products containing the phthalates as of Jan. 1, 2009.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Healthy Cool Treats

Sure Basket Robbins, Dairy Queen and Coldstone all sound fantastic, but realistically going out for ice cream as often as we'd like is practical- for the waistline or the wallet. Here are some great at home frozen treats that are almost guilt-free.

Diana's Bananas
- Chocolate covered frozen bananas you can pick up at the grocery store! So tasty, mostly fruit and only 6 grams of fat.

Island Way Sorbet- Cute and healthy! The natural half shells of Pineapples, Lemons, Coconuts, Apples and Oranges have been cored out and filled with great natural fruit flavored frozen Sorbet. Great for when you are having guests over too.

Napoli Boys Italian Ice- Perfect solution for people with food allergies. They don't contain artificial ingredients, glutens and other additives. They even have a chocolate flavor for you chocaholics, and you can indulge knowing that it is fat free, cholesterol free and dairy free.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bad News About Nuts During Pregnancy

A new study just published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine suggests that pregnant women who eat nuts or nut products like peanut butter daily during pregnancy increase their children's risk of developing asthma by more than 50 percent over women who rarely or never consume nut products during pregnancy.

Don't worry just yet. Research in the area of allergenic foods during pregnancy has been contradictory and inconclusive. The main thought behind it being that the allergens present in foods like nuts cross the placenta and cause fetuses that are exposed to become sensitized to certain allergens.

John E. Heffner, M.D., past president of the American Thoracic Society made a statement in response to the research, "These findings emphasize the critical important of additional investigations into the environmental exposures for both mother and child that underlie the pathogenesis of asthma... It is important, however, to emphasize that such associations do not confirm a causative linkage."

For more information:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Green Diaper Options

For those of you that are looking for better options in the diapering department, you will be happy to hear that more and more progress is being made.

In the disposable-but-still-less-impact department we have:

New 7th Generation Chlorine Free Newborn Diapers
Our redesigned diapers are now thinner (and just as absorbent), with stretchier leg gathers and closure tabs " and they're made in the U.S. That means less waste and less resource use " with the same great performance and chlorine free commitment. Check below for new sizes and package counts. The chlorine-free materials and absorbent polymers used in our diapers help keep your baby dry in between changes and through the night. In addition to being effective at keeping baby dry and reducing the risk of diaper rash, studies show that our absorbent polymer is non-toxic and non-irritating to baby's sensitive skin.

Classy Kid Keep Me Tidy Biodegradable Diaper Sacks
For disposing of your 7th generation diapers, try Classy Kid Diaper Sacks. Made of biodegradable plastic, they break down much faster than those grocery store bags or regular trash bags. They have fresh scent which helps control orders and cuts down on air-borne disease transmission.

For those of you that are interested in cloth diapers or already CD-ing, new options in removal of the tough stuff without resorting to a sprayer:

Kushies Flushable-Biodegradable Diaper Liners

Simply tear off one of these absorbent perforated sheets and place it flat in your baby's clean diaper. When the diaper is soiled, just toss the liner into the toilet. No dunking, no swishing - you may even be able to re-use the same diaper with a new liner. Cloth diapers will stay nice and white, and cleanups couldn't be easier.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Nursery or Kid's Room Decals

Decals are huge lately. You can get them in almost any design. While previously the ones I saw most often were real modern, you can now get some great kid's designs.

Go to town with these trucks:

Got a jungle theme going on? These might help!

Pick a simple silhouette in a variety of colors from dVider:

Cute and simple colorful caterpillar

Love Super Mario as a kid? Yours can too enjoy the original Mario Brothers:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Eating On the Go

Summer is a fantastic time for picnics and eating outdoors. With summer camps you may also have more lunches and snacks to be packing too. Here are some recent fun finds for food on the go:

Cereal-on-the-Go- How clever is this thing?! Freeze the bottom half of our Cereal-on-the-Go container before you leave home to keep milk cool. Cereal stays dry and fresh in the top compartment until it's time to eat.

Snack & Dip- These brightly colored containers are just too cute. It's an all-in-one container for storing carrots, celery, apples and other treats, along with your favorite dip. Microwave re-heatable and top rack dishwasher safe.

Beetle Spoon & Spork- whimsical and reusable spoons and sporks. The wings unfold to form a handle. Each comes in its own compact travel case

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Great Finds

The Container Store is a fabulous place if you happen to have one nearby (otherwise it is all online). They have organizational stuff for every corner of the house- including cute stuff for kids. Here are some cute/clever things I've seen recently:

A cuter way to hang up coats and backpacks:

Deep Game Savers™ Box-

A sturdy way to keep Monopoly and other games together- will fit the playing board and pieces without getting ripped, squished or damaged.

ELFA system well utilized in kids room's

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Restoration Hardware Baby is Here...

Restoration Hardware announced earlier this year that they'd be adding a baby line this summer, and it is now here. The verdict? I'm not as impressed as I could have been. Their cribs and furniture are basically the same as the Pottery Barn Kids selection but instead of ranging from $499- $999 they range from $799- $999.

Their color palette is rather narrow- if you look at their selection it appears that everything is pastel pink or pastel blue with brown or white accents. Bedding, window treatments, lamps- all the same few colors! Occasionally you see pastel green and khaki thrown into the mix, but overall not very creative. Dwell's baby bedding is much more colorful and interesting- even IKEA has interesting colorful bedding- and it's nowhere near as pricey.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hospitals Drop the Ball on Breastfeeding

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released it's findings yesterday in the first national report to include breastfeeding practices in hospitals. The results had some surprising statistics. The CDC found that one in four medical centers gave healthy newborns formula or supplements even when their mothers were willing and able to breast-feed.

They looked at 2,700 birth facilities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and rated them based on labor and delivery, breastfeeding assistance, mother-newborn contact, postpartum feeding, breastfeeding support after hospital discharge, nurse/birth attendant breastfeeding training and education, and structural and organizational quality.

Western and New England states performed the best. Vermont and New Hampshire tied for the highest scores, followed by Maine and Oregon. The lowest scores were seen in 7 southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

What to do if you are looking to breastfeed your infant:
- Ask beforehand if lactation consultants are available at the hospital you plan on delivering at
- Let your doctor and the nurses on call know that you want to breastfeed and ask that they not give your child any formula or supplements
- If lactation consultants aren't available at the hospital, try La Leche League staff or a doula
- Look for breastfeeding classes in the area to take before birth
- Remember that breastfeeding isn't easy off the bat and may take some time and practice. Be patient, stay motivated and get the help you need.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June: National Safety Month

It's National Safety Month this month, and the National Safety Council is focusing on four "most significant reasons for unintentional injuries and deaths in the American workplace, on the road and in the home and community".

This week the focus is on safe driving; here are some facts to remind you of the dangers of driving while distracted:

- Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event

- 81 percent of drivers admit to making calls from behind the wheel, making it the most common distraction

- Even when using a hand-held or hands-free device, the distraction caused by cell phone use is similar to that associated with driving while legally drunk - with a blood alcohol content of .08

Keep your kids safe by properly installing car seats and using seat belts and drive safe this summer!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What Happened to My Cartoons?

Sure somethings need updating, but I'm not sure about all the updates some older cartoons are getting. Check out the new Strawberry Shortcake:

She was so cute and innocent before! Apparently, she wasn't popular with today's young audience. Now prefers fresh fruit to gumdrops- ok that's an improvement. Now apparently she wears just a dab of lipstick- again, a reasonable improvement. Now she spends her time chatting on a cellphone instead of brushing her calico cat- what?! Why a cell phone? How old is Strawberry Shortcake? Not old enough to chatting away on a cell phone certainly. What's wrong with playing with cats? Kids grow up too fast these days anyways, no need to push them along by having their cartoons involved in seemingly grown-up activities.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Salmonella Tomato Warning

Careful all you pregnant moms when ordering your hamburger/veggieburgers. Salmonella is not something you want to get while pregnant.

From WebMD:
The CDC reports that at least 167 people in 17 states have been infected with Salmonella Saintpaul, the salmonella strain involved in the current outbreak.

Those 17 states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The FDA says it's fine to keep eating the following types of tomatoes from any source: cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and homegrown tomatoes.
Because of the salmonella outbreak, the FDA advises consumers not to eat raw red Roma, raw red plum, and raw red round tomatoes, or products containing those types of tomatoes.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kids Say The Funniest Things... is an entertaining blog that consists of submissions from people all over NYC. While most of the submissions are tidbits of conversations had between adults, occasionally you get some good pieces of conversation had between parents and children or children talking to each other. Here is a small sampling for your entertainment:

Adult friend: Your mommy just had a baby! How is Jack doing? Does he have a lot of bottles?
Little girl: No, just boobies.
--Economy Candy, Lower East Side

Little boy: That's not art!
Mom: Shhh... some people think so.
Little boy: Nope, not art.
--Whitney Museum, 5th floor

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!
Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!
--6 Train

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dry Drowning in the News

Many of you may have heard of the dry drowning case in South Carolina. A 10-year-old died more than an hour after he had gone swimming. So what do parents need to know when it comes to dry drowning?

What it is:
Dry drowning occurs after removal from water when there is a small amount of water still present in the lungs. This can cause result in laryngospasms reflex- a spasm of the vocal cords. Laryngospasms can then cause asphyxiation, leading to an inadequate supply of oxygen in the blood, cardiac arrest, and eventually death.

When it occurs:
Usually within an hour to 24 hours of swimming.

Are some children more likely to dry drown?
Yes. Dry drowning is more likely of child is not a good swimmer or a first-time swimmer and if the child has underlying lung problems like asthma.

What should parents look for?
After swimming, if the child has swallowed a lot of water or had an accident at the pool, keep an eye out for these signs:
- persistent coughing or pain in chest
- difficulty breathing
- extreme tiredness
- changes in behavior
If a child coughs for a minute, then calms down -- that is much different than if the child keeps coughing or complaining of pain.

What do I do if I suspect dry drowning?
Call your doctor or bring the child to an emergency room if there are any signs of dry drowning following a swimming incident. If it is caught early, dry drowning can be treated by inserting a breathing tube and having oxygen supplied under pressure to the lungs.

Water safety is a big topic in summer months. According to the CDC, 4,000 people drown each year and 1,400 of these are children. Always watch kids at all times when in the water and enjoy your time safely!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Facebook for Babies? is a new site that recently launched, while some describe it as a "social networking" site, I think it's more like an online baby book or Facebook. It was built with parents and security in mind and reassures users that all photos and information are protected and safe. Your child's page is invite-only accessable and parents can see who has been looking at their site any given week. You can decide how much or how little you want to post, and also who can see it.

So what's the main advantage? It's a single place to post pictures and videos, plus there are special features to keep track of growing kids. There are growth trackers, milestone lists, and children's favorites (ie. Suzie's currently in love with Elmo). No more sending out an email to 15 people with the latest pictures, post once and let them check at their leisure.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary TushBabuy is celebrating it's one year anniversary! To mark that special occasion, everyone who shops at TushBaby is entered into a weekly drawing. This week's prize is an Urban Smalls Onesie. So thanks for reading and good luck!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Recall: Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to consumers not to use or purchase Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream, marketed by MOM Enterprises, Inc. The problem is that while the label states that there is no need for mothers to remove the cream prior to nursing, the ingredients contained in the product may be harmful to infants.

Potentially harmful ingredients in Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream are chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol. Chlorphenesin relaxes skeletal muscle and can depress the central nervous system and cause respiratory depression (slow or shallow breathing) in infants. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants. Chlorphenesin can also harm the mother by causing dermatitis, a skin condition that can worsen the drying and cracking of nipple skin.

Mothers and caregivers should watch for a decrease in an infant's appetite. More serious signs would be difficulty in awakening the child, limpness of extremities or a decrease in an infant's strength of grip and a change in skin color. Please seek immediate medical attention if your child is showing these signs and symptoms.

The FDA asks consumers to report any adverse events related to this product or any FDA approved product to MedWatch, the agency's voluntary reporting program, by e-mail at, or by phone at 800-332-1088.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Genuis! Sun Sensor Stickers

Memorial Day weekend is here, and in my book it is the official start of the summer season. Pools open and people really start enjoying the outdoors. Today I discovered something that will definitely help with one of summer's pesky problems- the looming possibility of sunburns.

Check out Huggies Little Swimmers Suncare Sun Sensors!

Huggies Little Swimmers UV sensors are self-adhesive and water-resistant. Apply to your child's skin, hat or clothing. Sensor will first change to light orange with moderate exposure and the sun designs will slightly fade. When the sensors change to deep orange and when the sun designs disappear, it is time to reapply sunscreen, dispose of sensor and/or limit exposure.

It seems like a much better way of determining when to reapply sunscreen, and if anything, it can serve as a visual reminder to do so, whether you wait until the sticker changes completely or not.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cane Sugar for Infants?

Similac Organic formula has captured 36 percent of the organic formula market since being on the market since 2007, but did you know that doctors are not fans? It turns out that Similac's Organic formula is sweetened with cane sugar- a much sweeter sugar than used in most formulas.

Babies need sugar in order to digest the proteins that are present in soy and or cow's milk, so adding the sugar is not the issue. The type of sugar is for some people. Other organic formulas use organic lactose, which extracted from organic milk. The problems seen with cane sugar is that it tends can damage tooth enamel faster and may cause babies to resist foods that aren't as sweet in comparison and possibly also cause babies to gain too much weight in their first year.

The other possible negative consequence of cane sugar (sucrose) is that consuming sucrose generates future cravings for sucrose- while consuming sugar such as fructose or glucose, do not have the same long-term effect.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Craft Time!

Approaching summertime for some reason reminds me of arts and crafts. Maybe its all those camp activies, maybe its being outside more having flowers to press and warm weather to tie-dye outside. Whatever the reason, here are some great ideas for summer projects for you, not just the kids.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Plastics Guide Part II

Here is a great list of some everyday food storage containers and baby products to avoid.

#3 Gerber Clear and Soft Baby Bottle Nipples
#3 Evenflo Soft Bite Spoon
#3 Reynolds Wrap

#7 Avent Baby Bottles
#7 Avent Soft Spout Training Cups
#7 Evenflo Baby Bottles (clear, untinted)
#7 Gerber Baby Bottles (clear only)
#7 Gerber Looney Toons spill-proof cups
#7 Gerber Suzy’s Zoo spill-proof cups
#7 Playtex Cherub, Juice and Trainer Cups
#7 Playtex Baby Bottles
#7 Sassy MAM 3-Step Baby Bottles
#7 The First Years Baby Bottles
#7 The First Years Peek-a-Boo Cups
#7 Tuppercare Baby Bottles
#7 Rubbermaid Clear Classics container bases*
#7 Tupperware Rock N’ Serve containers
#7 Tupperware Meals-in-Minutes Microsteamer base

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Plastics Guide Part I

It seems like a vast majority of products made for infants and toddlers are made from plastic. How are parents to know which ones are safe and which ones should be avoided? We've been using Nalgenes for years only to recently find out that it may not be the smartest idea. Here's a good list to get you started:

#1 PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
Generally found in soft drink bottles, medicine containers. Bottom line: because this plastic which is not usually designed for re-use and very commonly recycled it is not ideal for extended use. Overuse will increase risk of leaching, and their design lends itself to harboring of bacterial growth. Recycle after its intended use.

#2 HDPE (high density polyethylene)
Used in toys and bottles for milk, water, detergent, shampoo, juice and thankfully safe for use and re-use.

#3 PPVC or UPVC (polyvinyl chloride –plasticized and un-plasticized)
Found in shampoo & detergent bottles, pipe & tubing, meat wrap, blood bags. Found in some clear food packaging, it is the second most commonly used plastic in the world. Unfortunately it often contains lead, and toxic plasticizers such as phthalates that can migrate into food, water, air and our mouths. Avoid when possible!

#4 LDPE (low density polyethylene)
This soft, flexible plastic is used in garbage bags, wrapping films, grocery bags and is safe for use. Of course, plastic bags pose a suffocation risk for small children, so while the material is chemically safe, the bags should not be left for small children to play with.

#5 PP (polypropylene)
Hard, but flexible. Used in ice-cream & yogurt containers, potato crisp bags, drinking straws, syrup bottles, diapers. Considered safe for use.

#6 PS or UPS (polystyrene and expanded polystyrene)
Rigid, brittle plastic often used in coffee cups, take-out food containers, meat trays, and plastic cutlery. Polystyrene may leach styrene, which is considered a possible human carcinogen, and may disrupt hormones or affect reproduction. Avoid when possible.

#7 Other (including polycarbonate, nylon and acrylic)
Many of these 'other' plastics are suspected of leaching chemicals disrupting hormone functions. Avoid if possible. 95% of all baby bottles are currently made of polycarbonate. Switch to polycarbonate-free baby bottles, like those manufactured from #5 PP, or consider using glass bottles or metal containers when old enough.

As a general tips for reducing toxic plastic exposure- store your food and water in glass or stainless steel if possible. When you do need wrap- choose non-PVC cling wrap (such as Glad and handiWrap).

For more information try, and

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Breastmilk good, Iron Supplements bad?

In headlines this week we learn something that many of us already knew- breastmilk boosts intelligence, and something that we have not known: iron Supplements might harm infants who already get enough.

The breastmilk study, while not the first of its kind, claims to be "the most blatant evidence to date that prolonged and exclusive breast-feeding makes children more intelligent,". The study came out of Canada's McGill Univeristy and is the largest study ever conducted on a random sample- looking at 14,000 children over six and a half years.

The studies author notes that they can't guaruntee its the breastmilk itself, as oppose to the physical nature of breastfeeding, "As for me, I prefer to think that the physical or emotional contact between the mother and the child is what counts, because it takes more time to nurse a baby than to offer him a bottle of milk".

Meanwhile, at the University of Michigan, researchers found that extra iron for infants who don't need it might delay development. This has a huge impact on those who use formula with extra iron added. The study looked at nearly 500 infants. Those that were adversely affected by the extra iron scored 11 points lower in IQ and 12 points lower in visual-motor integration, as well as lower on spatial memory and other visual-motor measures.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

BabyLegs for Earth Day

BabyLegs is donating 10% of their sales from April 1st- 22nd to The Nature Conservancy in support of the Costa Rican rain forest.

BabyLegs is a company dedicated to local and global aid, and recognizes Earth Day as an opportunity to give back to Mother Nature. We pride ourselves in our organic line as we strive to become a sustainable business. Visit for more information.

Another Voice for Postpartum Depression

In May’s Vogue, Gwyneth Paltrow speaks about having postpartum depression after the birth of her son Moses. I applaud her and Brook Shields, who also spoke and wrote about her postpartum depression experience. It is a very common ailment and something that is not to be ashamed of.

From Vogue:
“I didn’t know I had it until after it was over,” the actress, 35, says. “I just didn’t know what was wrong with me.” She suspects her depression stemmed from scaling back on her usual pre-baby treatments like acupuncture. “I felt really out of my body,” Paltrow says after giving birth. “I felt really disconnected. I felt really down … I felt pessimistic.”

For more information on PPD, check out BabyCenter's page, Health and Human Services' Women's Health page, and NIH's MedLinePlus page.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bad Message Overall...

My attention was recently drawn to a book titled My Beautiful Mommy. The synopsis:

"My Beautiful Mommy” is aimed at kids ages four to seven and features a plastic surgeon named Dr. Michael and a girl whose mother gets a tummy tuck, a nose job and breast implants. Before her surgery the mom explains that she is getting a smaller tummy: “You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn’t fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better.” Mom comes home looking like a slightly bruised Barbie doll with demure bandages on her nose and around her waist.

The book doesn’t explain exactly why the mother is redoing her nose post-pregnancy. Nonetheless, Mom reassures her little girl that the new nose won’t just look “different, my dear—prettier!”

Dr. Michael Salzhauer
, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Bal Harbour, Fla. says he got the idea for the book after seeing his patients bring their small children with them to appointments. "Parents generally tend to go into this denial thing. They just try to ignore the kids' questions completely." He is concerned that children "fill in the blanks in their imagination" and worry when they see "mommy with bandages".

So what is the message here?
1. don't worry kids Mom will be fine after her operation- ok, that's fair, but unfortunately you can not separate it from point number two.
2. Mom wasn't happy with her appearance and felt she needed to change it. Women need to look pretty.

I guess since we can't stop people from feeling they need to surgically enhance themselves, we can't condone a book that is just trying to ease the inevitable questions that follow...?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Reveiw: Mott's Tots

Mott's has introduced a new line of juice boxes and juices that are getting great reveiws. Instead of lugging around a sippy cup, juice and water and diluting the 100% juice yourself- Motts has done it for you. You and your doctor knows they don't need all that straight juice- this juice box has 40% less sugar than regular 100% juice boxes. No artifical additives to boot!

Mott's for Tots is a great-tasting juice drink that has 40% less sugar than regular apple juice and no artificial sweeteners. We've blended delicious juice with purified water and 100% vitamin C in a variety of flavors, conveniently packaged in single-serve juice boxes, nine to a pack. We've even added 64-oz multi-serve bottles to our product mix. Mott's for Tots contains 100% juice mixed with purified water, making it easier than ever to make a healthy choice for your kids – and it's pediatrician approved.

Monday, April 14, 2008

National Poetry Month

April has been National Poetry Month since 1996. The American Academy of Poets hopes to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry. So do something fun with the kiddies today and have them write a poem.

A very simple one to do is a Haiku, it does have to rhyme and it is rather short. They all follow a simple pattern- 3 lines, the first is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 and the last line is 5.

Or check out these books:

Sing A Song Of Popcorn- this book even I read as a child and is fantastic.

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children includes many great classics from, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein.

The Kingfisher Book of Children's Poetry a wide variety from ballads, limericks, riddles, and to the widely popular nonsense verse.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Got Milk Worries? Just Drink It

Wal-mart announced recently that it would be adding milk that comes exclusively from cows free of artificial growth hormones. This sparked a big debate.

The argument against:
- Some believe that it causes early sexual maturity in girls, though the scientific research here is not necessarily clear.

The argument to keep on trucking:
- Americans routinely don't get enough in their diet and drinking any brand is more important than drinking a specific kind
- Milk is still the top dietary source of calcium, which we all need all day. You can only adsorb 500 mcg at a time, so getting it all at once doesn't help as much as spreading it out through the day.
- All milk has vitamin D, which helps you absorb calcium and it is one of the few places you can easily find vitamin D.

What can you do?
- Drink skim! The hormones in milk reside mostly in the milk fat, drinking skim would greatly reduce the amount of exposure

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hush Little Baby, Get Your Rest!

A new study out finds a connection between quantity of infant sleep and likelihood of being obese at age three. While many studies have confirmed the link of lack of sleep and lbs gained in adults, this is the first study to link the two in infants.

The study came out today in The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Researchers report that infants who got less than 12 hours of sleep had a doubled increase of being obese at age three, and the effect was even stronger in infants who watched two or more hours of television daily. The researches took into account birth weight, the mother’s age and body mass, breast feeding duration and other variables.

So what can you do? Many experts agree on the following:
1. No TV in the bedroom
2. Establish a good nighttime routine (bottle, book, bed)
3. Have a consistent schedule and bedtime
4. White noise such as a fan, humidifier may help

Remember that babies sleep habits are determined more by individual temperment and you can' t always get them to sleep when and as long as you'd like. Technically 'sleeping through the night' is 5 hours of continuous sleep, so if they are getting naps, they can easily reach the 12 hour mark.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The first federal child protection legislation was passed 34 year ago in the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, and has been updated several times since, but children out there still need help and protection.

Four children die each day in the US from child abuse. If you worry about a child you know don't hesitate to call.

The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD®, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about Childhelp call 480-922-8212 or visit

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Keri Russell has got to be one of the cutest Hollywood moms. Here she walking from the farmer's market with her reusable bag and her son River in a sling.

Style note: favorite sling found here, favorite reusable bag found here.