Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year Babies!

Yes. Happy Leap Year to everyone, and especially to those born on leap day and those delievering babies today.

Fun Fact: Julius Caesar had been elected Pontifex Maximus in 63 BC and one of his jobs was to settle the calendar. So in 46 BC Caesar established a 365-day year with a leap year every fourth year.

Fun Source: The Honor Society of Leap Year Babies
This site links to LEAPzine a magazine and all kinds of trivia.

Best of all... Free Stuff! If you (or your child) are a Leap Year baby you're entitled to:

A free large, one-topping "Perfect Pan'' pizza from Papa John's. You have to order it online:

A free lunch from Boston Market up to $10

A free McSkillet BurritoMcDonald's

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Make Kid's Art Come to Life

In kindergarten everyone drew something and had it made into a plate for Mother's Day. You can still do this at But if you are looking for something else creative to do with your child's drawing, check out Make-My-Own-Monster from FAO Schwarz.

"Make-My-Own-Monster Design Kit, that includes colored pencils, paper, and a detailed questionnaire. With this kit you create not only what the monster looks like, but you also create a story about the monster and describe his or her personality."

For those that don't want to shell out for this, you can also do this easily at home on sewing machine.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Don't Get Sunburnt Baby!

Off to the south for a healing mid-winter get-a-away? The healing powers of sunshine and warmth are fantastic, but they bring the challenge of skin protection along with them. Check out some of the following products to keep your babies and toddlers protected.

Hanna Anderson's floppy sunhat
is both adorable and practical.

Mamma's Milk Solar Veil, a single layer of this patented fabric provides maximum coolness for mom and baby while providing an extreme SPF 70+. It also dries fast so ago ahead and take a dip while you are wearing it.

Pop them in a tent on the beach
for both sun protection and less sand in that diaper!

All natural hypo-allergenic California Baby SPF 30
is always great to have in your diaper bag, whether you are at the beach or not.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Findings on Twin's DNA

New research expands on the idea that identical twins DNA is not the clone copy we once thought it was. In 2005 found that identical twins differ in how their genes express themselves, now scientists are reporting findings that suggest all identical twins differ genetically from their partners to some degree.

The study found that while twins have identical genomes (the entire hereditary key including both the genes and the non-coding sequences of the DNA) , they often differed in the number of copies of individual gene segments. One twin might be missing a segment, or possess more copies of that segment than the other twin. This would explain why one identical twin can suffer from a disorder while the other remains healthy.

Fun Fact: Identical twins don't have the same fingerprints because genes don't determine fingerprints. They come about by random stresses experienced in the womb- even a small different umbilical cord length can change your finger print.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Restoration Hardware Adds Baby Line

Restoration Hardware, self-defined as classic and authentic American, is adding a new line called Baby & Child. Their stuff is very JCrew-meets-furniture, and their new line is sure to be worth checking out. Their official announcement,

"Our new Baby & Child collection arrives this summer. The same quality craftsmanship and iconic aesthetic that makes us who we are. All in a smaller, sweeter package."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Isla Fisher's Baby Style

Isla Fisher is all over the place with her new movies, Definitely, Maybe and Confessions of a Shopaholic. When I saw this picture of her today with her little Olive, I had to find out where she got that adorable bunting.

After much searching I am pretty sure I found it at Bloomies from Ugg Australia- at $280 it's not cheap!

However, for a cute cheaper alternative, you can get this similar one for $57 Canadian

Baby Shower Cupcakes

Baby showers can have all kinds of themes, but they all certainly have food. And what better dessert that cupcakes? Check out some adorable baby shower cupcakes.

Newly Hatched/Baby Birds. Click here for recipe.

Baby Faces Cupcakes: Click here for recipe.

Lettered Cupcake: Click here for recipe.

Baby Footprint cupcake.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kids Exercise Equipment?

Telling kids to get outside and play or to turn off the TV/video games is one thing, but kids exercise equipment? Rather unnecessary. We don't need our toddlers thinking they have to 'work out', exercise should be fun- playing! They naturally run around like crazy anyway, what on Earth would be the purpose of a toddler treadmill? This obsession has gone a little too far, the manufacturer claims, "Children's exercise should be fun, exciting, and safe. This will inspire them to move and have an active lifestyle". I hardly think that buying them a mini Gazelle will inspire them to move. Let them do their thing, they will move- believe me! And a stationary bike? Get them a real bike. They don't want to sit in a basement and peddle away, they want to explore!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Did You Get Your DHA Today?

Everyone is told from very early on to get folic acid in their diet when preparing for baby and when pregnant. But the next big push? It's DHA, Docosahexaenoic Acid and the bottom line is that it will help with brain and eye development of your growing baby. It's hard to get it just by diet so consider taking Expecta, a DHA supplement designed for pregnant and nursing moms.

So where is the motivation for taking this omega-3 fatty acid?

A 2003 study published in the journal Pediatrics showed children whose mothers took a DHA supplement during pregnancy scored higher on intelligence tests at four years of age than children of mothers not taking DHA supplements.

Research has found low levels of DHA in mother's milk and in the red blood cells of women with postpartum depression. (Journal of Affective Disorders, 2002). Some scientists believe increasing levels of maternal DHA may reduce the risk of postpartum depression.

Dr. Sears states "DHA is the most important brain-building nutrient at all ages, especially during pregnancy and the pre-school years when the child's brain is growing the fastest."

For more information check out WebMd's article, Pregnancy & Baby's article or Wikipedia's article.

Friday, February 8, 2008

If They're Going to Bet Anyway...

Friends and family are convinced they know that the baby is a boy, coming early and going to weight 8 lbs? Or that is a girl, coming late and have blue eyes? Sign up for PregPool. Let your friends and family come vote and put a little cash down on their guess. You determine how much each guess will cost them and where it will go (to the mom, to charity, to the winner of the pool) etc.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Picky Eater Advice

I was watching Rachael Ray for the 1st time yesterday, and to my surprise she had some rather interesting advice for parents. Of course I can't exactly remember the meal she was preparing but it involved fish sticks and she claimed the kids would love it. What I do remember is what she said about picking eaters, have them help in the kitchen! Give them an age-appropriate task, whether it be helping stir, measure, add or say, grate cheese and let them feel as though they really helped. Ray says that this helps them take ownership in the meal and then are much more likely to try it (perhaps even eat it) if they've invested themselves in it.

She also had another interesting story later on in the show, paraphrasing here,

"I used to do 30 minute meals at a grocery store. Kids would walk by and say 'Wow. That smells good, can I try it' and the parents would look into the pot and say 'oh thats... you don't like that'. Kids are braver than you think!"

She was insisting that sometimes parents get in the habit of holding picky eaters back because they have been so picky in the past. Sure they hated seafood last week, but if it smells good to them this week, let them try it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

New Study Out on Phthalate Exposure

The February issue of Pediatrics contains a study that suggests baby lotion, baby powder, and baby shampoo may be exposing babies to potentially harmful chemicals called phthalates. Since U.S. manufacturers are not required to list phthalate contents on products' package label it is extremely difficult for parents to know what they are buying.

"At this time, we do not know what the potential long-term health effects might be, but there is a large body of animal studies to suggest developmental and reproductive toxicity (from phthalates) and a few human studies with changes in health outcomes as well," Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, one of the researchers, is quoted in Reuters Health.

Phthalates are controversial because high doses of many phthalates have shown adverse affects in rodent studies, such as damage to the liver, the kidneys, and the lungs. Recent study findings also include a joint Swedish-Danish research team found a very strong link between allergies in children and the phthalates in 2004.

The state of California is already taking steps against phthalate exposure. Any product made for young children that contains more than 0.01% of phthalates cannot be made, sold or distributed in California beginning in 2009.

Rest assured that there are companies out there trying to make the safest, most natural products they can for babies. Burt's Bees states on their website that their fragrances and products, "not have harmful ingredients, like phthalates". Check out some of Burt's Bee's Baby products here.