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PeaPod Travel Bed Recall: An Entrapment and Suffocation Risk

November 16, 2012.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with KidCo Inc., has issued a recall of nearly 220,000 PeaPod and PeaPod Plus Travel Beds/Tents.

According to the CSPC, infants can become entrapped between the tent fabric and inflatable air mattress.  As of now, nine entrapments and one death (though cause was not determined) have been reported in relation to using the tent.  Consumers should immediately stop using the tents and contact KidCo Inc.

Below is the list of affected models with the corresponding tent color:

  • P100  -  Teal
  • P101  -  Read
  • P102  -  Lime
  • P103  -  Periwinkle
  • P104  -  Ocean
  • P201  -  Princess/Red
  • P202  -  Camouflage
  • P203  -  Quick Silver
  • P204  -  Sagebrush
  • P205  -  Cardinal
  • P900CS  -  Green

For more information regarding this recall, visit the CSPC.  To receive a free repair kit, Contact KidCo Inc. toll-free at (855) 847-8600 between 9:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s website at www.kidco.com, then click on Recall Info.

Gift Idea: Babyprint Ornament Kit

With Christmas decorations available in stores before trick-or-treaters even take to the streets on Halloween, by the beginning of October it is more than apparent that Christmas is just around the corner. Personally, I like to cherish each holiday, but as soon as Thanksgiving is over, you better believe I will be transforming my home into a Christmas wonderland, all the while singing (and dancing) to my favorite Christmas music.

By the way, I don’t care what anyone says; if you play music loud enough, I swear you sound exactly like the artist. I’m certainly no Mariah Carey, but if the volume is up, I totally am. And you can’t tell me otherwise!! Who’s with me?!

…Anyways, I love to be crafty so I have quite a few makeshift décor pieces that line my shelves, but sometimes, there just isn’t enough time in the day to whip up some crafts worth keeping around for years and years to come. With Pearhead’s handy Babyprint Ornament Kit, you can imprint your little one’s foot or hand-print into the ornament as well as your memory forever! Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we think this ornament kit is the perfect keepsake to remember just how teensy their little toesy’s were. What sets this kit apart from homemade recipes is that there is less hassle, so it truly makes for the perfect gift to new parents as well. The impressionable material is self-drying so in no time at all, the ornament is ready to be displayed. The best part? No mess! :)

When do you plan to start setting up decorations in your home? Is there such a thing as too soon?

Happy America Recycles Day!

November 15th is America Recycles Day! Do you recycle enough? Do your kids know about recycling? Take a moment to reflect and think about your recycling habits and how they can improve. Teach your children at a young age that it is important to recycle, so that they will know the value of it as they get older.

Sometimes it can be a hassle, but the effort it takes is well worth it in keeping reusable items out of landfills. According to America Recycles Day “Tip of the Day”, “you don’t need to rinse out your glass bottles and jars before recycling!” How cool is that?!  Though sign-up is more than likely too late this year, see what events are going on in your area today to spread awareness on the importance of recycling!  If nothing else, go through your soon-to-be-trashed items today and teach your children what items can and cannot be recycled.  You’ll help the environment and get to spend some quality time with your kids!

BabyEarth prides itself in carrying a number of eco-friendly products and items made from recycled elements.  Not to mention, we offer our own recycling program, BabyEarthRENEW, for those hard-to-recycle baby items.  To learn more, read Eco-Friendly Ways to Recycle Baby Gear. Go green and play a role in saving the environment by making the effort to recycle. Let’s do our part to make this world the best it can be!

Happy America Recycles Day!

Thanksgiving With the Kids

Thanksgiving is nearly a week away and if you haven’t stocked up already, it’s time to start the dreaded grocery shopping process.  If you’re attending the get-together, well, lucky you.  If you’re hosting, it’s important to start planning ahead so that your Thanksgiving party can go off without a hitch.  Begin planning your menu now so that you can casually shop for the items on your list.  Guilty of waiting until the last minute myself, I can tell you that the wild goose chase for that one item you need while weaving through the crowded aisles is never any fun.  In fact, I’d go with awful.  Plan ahead.  Your stress level will thank you.

Now, the next issue is, what to do with the kids?

In keeping with a Thanksgiving tradition, more than most of the men in your family are planning to set up camp on the couch.  Perhaps even two TV’s will make their way into the living room for maximum football enjoyment on this momentous occasion.  While I’m sure our forefathers would be proud, have them keep an eye on the little ones while you’re in the kitchen.  If it’s a bigger family party, older cousins are also great at managing the tykes while the meal preparation is in full swing.

If it’s a smaller Thanksgiving get-together, have the kids help you cook.  They can mash potatoes, arrange a veggie plate, and sprinkle on casserole toppings.  When it gets closer to mealtime, have them pass out place cards or slips of paper at each setting so that people can write down what they are thankful for.

Plan some fun activities to keep the kids entertained. There are lots of cool crafts ideas to choose from; but if crafts aren’t your thing, simply have them trace/paint their hand to create the classic turkey art or have them create streamers (just make sure a supervisor is present).  Cut out strips of colored construction paper ahead of time so that they can link them together with tape/a stapler.  For added fun, buy some feathers, glitter, pipe cleaners, and paint.  The activities can serve as décor once they are finished!

Lastly, if it isn’t in your plans already, a kids table is always a great idea.  To keep the kids from getting too restless, have activities set up to keep them seated throughout the meal (here’s hoping).  Instead of throwing on a tablecloth, line the table with a roll of paper and provide crayons in cups.  On second thought, you could place some Styrofoam in a terracotta pot and stick the crayons in there. Voila, a funky and useful centerpiece!

Do some prep-work ahead of time to really enjoy spending Thanksgiving with the kids.  Helpful hint: casseroles almost always taste better the second day so spread out your cooking/baking to help offset the time spent in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day!

 

November is Preemie Awareness Month

Boy or girl, every expectant parent’s greatest wish is to have a healthy baby.  Unfortunately, not all of us can be so lucky.  In fact, according to the March of Dimes, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely in the United States alone.

November kicks off Prematurity Awareness Month to shed light on the ongoing problem that affects 15 million babies worldwide.  Within the past 25 years, the number of preemies in the U.S. has risen to a staggering 36%.  Therefore, the March of Dimes foundation did something about it.  Established in 2003, the Prematurity Campaign works to raise awareness, help families with preemies, and conduct research to reduce the rate of premature births.

For more information on preemies and/or how to donate to the cause, visit the March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign.

 

Family Road Trip Tips: Keeping Kids Entertained

Ah…the holidays…a time to be thankful, to rest, to enjoy quality time with loved ones, and to be trapped in the car with family for potentially hours on end.  Did I say that? I meant, to sing and laugh in the car for hours on end-surely that’s what I meant.

For most of us, traveling is inevitable during the holiday season. If hitting the road is on the horizon for you and your family, here are a few road trip tips to keep your little ones happy and entertained:

  • Save yourself the frustration and check traffic and construction schedules before heading out the door.  There is a fairly small window of time before the kids start getting restless in the car; don’t spend it sitting in traffic!
  • Pack the car efficiently so that:
    • The cooler, snacks, and baby bag (if applicable) are easily accessible.  Hint: A spare set of clothes readily available for baby (or you) is never a bad idea.
    •  You can easily keep an eye on the little ones in the backseat.
    • The windows are visible.  Staring out the window can help anyone who suffers from motion sickness-big or small.  Have a plastic bag on hand in case your little one starts to feel sick (check for holes ahead of time!).
  • Pack snacks and drinks.  Pack bags of dry snack foods or bite-size pieces of fruit like grapes as a quick and healthy option.  Also, though you may want to minimize the consumption of liquid on the road, it’s always handy to have drinks at the ready.  You will have less fussy (and messy) traveling companions if you prepare ahead of time.
  • Bring along some toys and activities.  If you’re in need of some stimulating toys that are equipped for travel, check out these entertaining toys for baby or your tot!

Are we there yet?  No.

  • Bust out the games.  ISpy, Twenty Questions, the License Plate Game, or the Alphabet game are all classics that can keep the boredom at bay and offset any temper tantrum lurking in the distance.

…Are we there yet now?  No, one more tip.

  • Embrace technology.  To lessen the “are we there yet?” phrase that has plagued every road trip with anyone, ever, prepare for even more downtime.  If the classic games and sing-alongs were done and over with 50 miles ago, it’s time for a technological upgrade.  Download some apps before hitting the road.  From music, movies, games, and locator apps (A MUST if you ask me, you can locate the cheapest gas station nearby or find the nearest rest stop!), the smartphone/tablet can truly be a lifesaver.  Start perusing the app store and see what gold you can find before venturing out on the road, many of which you can download for free!

What family road trip tips do you have for keeping the kids entertained?

Flying instead? Check out our Go-To Guide for a Smooth Flight.

The Importance of Reading to Your Baby

Happy National Young Reader’s Day!

Thank goodness for Hallmark’s Ultimate Holiday Site for shedding light on this wonderful holiday!  November 9th marks a day of celebration for our future scholars and encourages the importance of reading at a young age.

Reading at any age is important and beneficial, but encouraging your children to read at a very young age is crucial to their growth.  In fact, it is never too early.  Reading to your baby improves their understanding of the world around them, increases their cognitive development, and builds their communication skills.  For more information on the benefits of reading to your baby, read “Reading Books to Babies” by KidsHealth or check out the dos and don’ts as outlined by Scholastic.

If you have older kids as well, encourage them to snuggle up on the couch and read with you today.  Happy Reading!

What’s your favorite book to read with the kids? Share your book suggestions below!

Fantastic Tips on How to Deal With the Aches and Pains of Pregnancy

From the initial waves of morning sickness to the aching feet that swell up to the feeling that you are never going to get a good night’s sleep ever again, pregnancy dishes up quite a medley of uncomfortable aches and ouch-evoking pains that have you wondering what you were thinking of when you said you wanted a baby.  While it is true that pregnancy is worth it and you will forget most of the soreness that your joints, muscles, and tender flesh have had to endure, the problem is that it hurts right now and you want relief.

You want to experience the kind of relief that your hubby can give you by saying, “Hand me the remote and I’ll find us something to watch on TV to distract you.”  Yeah, right!  Instead, you need to rely on yourself and your ability to keep moving.  Light exercise makes you feel better without putting any strain on the baby or you.  Get up out of that soft, cushy chair that seems to envelope your roundness and take a brief walk around the block, visit the local gymnasium and swim a lap or two around the pool.

If you keep up with your daily nutritional needs, including water, then your bodily functions remain consistent and regular, avoiding unnecessary constipation.  This alone can save you lots of pain and help to keep the weight off.

When your feet hurt, lift them up and give them a much-needed break.  It isn’t easy carrying all of that excess weight around, is it?  Next time you are out, stop and buy yourself some comfortable shoes to wear.

When your back feels sore, tell the hubby that he can have the remote back after he gives you a little back rub.  After all, he is partly responsible for that little gift of joy that you are carrying, isn’t he?

If it’s near impossible to get a restful night of sleep because of the pain, try the Leachco Snoogle.  Don’t be fooled by the name, rave reviews deem this to be the go-to pillow for a more comfortable slumber.

Most importantly, stay in touch with your friends.  After all, what can be more distracting than listening to the trials and tribulations that your best friend is enduring with her mischievous toddler?

Perhaps the greatest pain of all though, is the one in your bladder that has you scoping out the location of the restroom the minute you enter any store, restaurant, or movie theater.  As the baby continues to grow inside your belly, so does that seemingly ever-present urge to pee.  What can you do about it?  Well, you know the answer to that already – just go do it.  You’ll feel great for the next fifteen minutes or so!

What other methods have helped you deal with the aches and pains of pregnancy?  Tell us here!

Baby Gift Ideas Made Simple

Have a baby shower or birthday to buy for?  Partaking in some holiday shopping?  Maybe just looking for a little gift for that little cutie in your life?

With all of the options available, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect baby gift.  And let’s not lie to each other, shopping at the mall can be especially stressful during the holidays.  In my experience, it’s either I’m so successful shopping that I can actually hear my bank account crying, or I walk out with nothing other than frustration, and perhaps a gooey treat from the food court that I absolutely did not need.

Save yourself the time and stress (as well as calories, in my case), and check out our gifts page, which allows you to shop by gender, age, budget, and hottest gift ideas.

The best part?  You don’t even have to leave the house! :)

Terrible Two’s How To’s

I believe it was Jerry Seinfeld who once said, “A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.”  Wise words, Mr. Seinfeld, wise words.

Though nicknamed the terrible two’s, the toddler stage includes children from 1 to 3 years old. It’s a difficult phase, typically filled with temper tantrums and defiance.  Yes, trying times may be ahead, but here are 10 how to’s in dealing with the terrible two’s:

  1. Be consistent.  Arguably the most important rule of parenting, consistency is everything.  Whether you’re a single parent or working as a couple, you have to display consistency.  In the same sense, whether you have one or seven children (God bless you), you have to display consistency with each of them.  Though every situation is unique, there should be agreed upon consequences set in place for bad behavior, as well as rewards for good behavior.  Talk now to eliminate problems later!
  2. Enforce the rules.  In line with being consistent, when a rule is broken or your toddler is acting up, enforce the appropriate consequence.  Don’t overdo it, and don’t ignore it either because the time isn’t ideal.  Right then and there you need to explain to them why their behavior is unacceptable, what the consequence will be, and how they should act in the future.  Setting expectations is key.
  3. Isolate.  In regards to enforcing the rules, there will be times when you are out in public and it may not be the best time to approach the matter.  If you can, remove them from public, even a restroom stall will do.  It will eliminate distractions and allow you to talk to them one-on-one.
  4. Adore them.  Never ever underestimate the power of praise.  Everyone wants a gold sticker, everyone wants a thumbs up, and everyone wants to be loved.  When their behavior is what you wish it would be all the time, lay on the praise, and thick.
  5. Lead by example.  The adage “monkey see monkey do” is relevant for a reason.  Display the types of behavior you expect from your kids.
  6. Don’t give in.  Take a breath.  Think before speaking.  And most importantly, don’t admit defeat because you don’t want to deal with their tantrum at the moment.  Taking time to explain your expectations of them now will eliminate senselessly repeating yourself down the road.
  7. Stay calm.  For such a cute exterior, they can truly find ways to drive you nuts.  Don’t lose control of your emotions, even if you do feel like joining them in crying.  Take a step away and examine how they might be feeling.  Try not to take it personally and keep calm.  Guess who will remain hysterical if you join them?
  8. Get on their level.  It may seem small, but bending down to be on their level makes a huge difference.  It encourages eye contact and allows them to feel talked to versus talked down to.  How you approach them is a large factor in how they will react.
  9. Feed them well.   Diet affects our moods, as well as our well-being, so before handing them that cookie to keep them quiet while mommy’s/daddy’s talking , you may want to think twice.  Not only does their growth depend on a diet rich in nutrients, it also plays a role in their behavior.   You can’t blame them for that fiasco at the grocery store if they sucked down a sugar-filled drink right before heading in.  Having trouble getting them to eat healthy?  Check out our tips on how to deal with picky eaters.
  10. Stick to a routine.  There are not many people in this world who enjoy change.  It’s scary and particularly for a toddler, can be a  pretty sweet recipe for disaster in the temper tantrum department.  Create a routine and abide by it closely.  Children generally thrive on structure and will appreciate the rigidity.

Have a strategy that works/worked wonders?  Need advice?  Share your tips/questions below!