Every fourth Thursday of November, families generally gather round to catch up, eat ungodly amounts of food, watch football, and most importantly give thanks.
From everyone here at BabyEarth, we are thankful for you and your little ones. Thank you for having the cutest kids around, for giving us the opportunity to serve you, for being avid readers (here’s hoping!), and for your loyal support of what we do and who we are. We appreciate your business, and wish you a relaxing and very Happy Thanksgiving!
Life seems to fly by more quickly than ever now that we are parents. It’s hard to believe that our daughter is more than six months old when my pregnancy doesn’t even seem that long ago. For the longest time, our little one was exclusively breastfed. Breastfeeding is highly touted as essential to a developing immune system for infants. But, before you know it, it is time to introduce solids—baby cereal, fruits, and veggies. Are you ready for the adventure?
Introducing solids for your infant requires more than just a jar of baby food and a spoon, in case you were wondering. I highly recommend some helpful supplies –a wet baby washcloth, a paper towel, and of course, somewhere to sit your baby, be it a highchair or a Bumbo or other baby seat with a tray table. If you think you can hold your baby and feed him with a spoon without getting baby food all over him, yourself, and the room you are either very crazy or very talented!
Above all, you must decide if you plan to feed your baby jarred baby food from the store or if you will be making your own baby food at home. You should consult your pediatrician for the latter, as I’ve found some foods, like carrots, are better left to the manufacturers due to the nitrate content. BabyEarth carries lots of healthy baby food options that you can’t always find in stores. If you are feeling ambitious, you can look into various products to help you make your own baby food, such as choppers, grinders, and steamers. I am personally sitting on the fence about whether I will make my own baby food or feed our daughter the healthiest of what I can find in the stores. I feel like our parents fed us some jar baby food and we all turned out fine, but there is still something nagging at the back of my brain telling me it may be a good experience to make what I can make. There’s the issue of time, but if you plan ahead and freeze items, it can be a healthy and cheaper option than store-bought food. Ah, what a dilemma…
On my friend’s recommendation, I tried feeding avocado to our daughter this week in the recommended three-day cycle. If I caught her in a good mood, she liked it well enough, and I’ve heard it is great brain food, so I was glad to give it a shot. To my surprise, it was also very easy to cut open, carve out, mash up, and serve, one tiny spoonful at a time. No cooking or steaming necessary, so I definitely recommend trying this for yourself if you want to try serving fresh produce to your little one over jar food. Other yummy and simple foods to start with are bananas and sweet potato (cook potato first, then mash-cool completely!).
Once you have your supplies and your baby food in hand, the rest gets easier with time. It’s adorable to see your little one’s reaction tasting each new food for the first time, from the rice cereal to the veggies and fruits. Don’t forget to consult your pediatrician for personalized instructions for your little one’s feeding plan once you are ready to introduce solids into his or her diet!
What was the first solid food you ever fed your little one? Did they love it or hate it?
November 21, 2012. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Hunter Douglass, has issued a recall of nearly 4,400 window coverings.
The cellular and pleated window coverings, offered in a variety of colors, pose as a strangulation hazard. Some of the cords inside the breakaway cord stop (the plastic device used to combine two cords into one to adjust the blind) were tied in a single knot which could cause the cord to function incorrectly. Though no injuries have been reported, this can lead to strangulation if young children live or visit in the home. For more information on the affected window coverings and how to check whether or not your breakaway cord stops are affected, visit the CSPC.
November 21, 2012. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Jo-Ann Fabric, has issued a recall of about 1,800 Foam Pumpkin Turkey Craft Kit’s.
The craft kits were sold at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores from August 2012-October 2012. The magnets that hold the pumpkin pieces together can become loose and pose as a serious threat if ingested by a young child. Though no injuries have been reported, the craft kit should be immediately returned to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for a full refund.
For more information, visit the CSPC. You can also contact Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores toll free at (888) 739-4120, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, or online at http://www.joann.com/ – go to the Product Recall link near the bottom right of the page.
It seems Sesame Street can’t stay out of the news lately, from attacks on Big Bird to the ultimate demise of Elmo as we know it. The mood at Sesame Workshop, the educational non-profit organization behind Sesame Street, is at an all-time low as the behind-the-scenes face of Elmo steps down after 28 years of loyal service to the fuzzy red, ticklish puppet that we all know and love. Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo, has resigned from his post after two recent allegations that he had sexual relationships with underage boys.
Undoubtedly a loss for Sesame Street, the gossip mill circles in anticipation over whether or not the allegations carry any weight. After the anonymous 24 year old male who issued the first allegation retracted his statement last week, it’s hard to tell. However, after Cecil Singleton stepped forward yesterday alleging Kevin Clash had taken advantage of him as well, Clash ultimately stepped down from his position to deal “with the[se] personal matters privately.” Clash did not want to tarnish the reputation Sesame Street has built as a popular educational platform for children, stating “Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work Sesame Street is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer.”
Sesame Workshop issued a statement stating that “Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us wants, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from Sesame Street. This is a sad day for Sesame Street.”
Though I can’t say Elmo was my absolute favorite- I have an allegiance to the Cookie Monster as we both have quite the sweet tooth-it saddens me to see Kevin Clash go on some level. Don’t get me wrong, if the claims are true, it sickens me and I hope that these men find justice and peace. With that said however, there are too many rumors flying around at the moment for me to decide how I feel just yet. I am not one to quickly judge, so I’ll leave that up to you.
How do you feel about the allegations made about Kevin Clash? Is there any truth behind the claims? If the claims are false, how can someone live with themselves to slander the very character, both literally and figuratively, they grew up on?
Thanksgiving is essentially a day away. Soon enough the house will be filled with the warmth and intoxicating aromas that only a Thanksgiving meal and an overworked oven can produce. The slow-roasted turkey, buttery oven-baked rolls, and bubbling pineapple-cranberry sauce (trust me, pineapple is key) will soon be accompanied by the faint sound of football in the background – and I can’t wait!
If you’re a new parent, it will also include the babbling and giggling of a precious little one experiencing his/her very first Thanksgiving. To commemorate this joyous occasion, it seems only right to create a Thanksgiving craft that you can hold onto forever (and annoy your “little one” with when they aren’t so little anymore for Thanksgiving’s to come).
With just a few simple materials, you can create a beautiful Thanksgiving keepsake. In between the mad dash to prep for Thanksgiving, run out to your local craft store and pick up the following:
Paper plate and/or plastic cups for the paint/paintbrushes
Oh, and make sure your baby’s teeny little feet are clean and dry before you start.
Once all materials are in your possession, get to work! Feel free to use our picture as a guide but don’t be shy to get creative!
Prep the plate by cleaning it with alcohol. Dry completely.
Paint the turkey feathers on the plate however you’d like, big, small, a lot, a little, multi-colored, one color, okay…you get the point. Allow the wings to dry a bit before the next step.
Then paint baby’s foot with paint and lightly place in between the wings. Make sure you have a pretty thick coat of paint (but not too much!) on baby’s foot so that it will show up nicely on the ceramic. I highly suggest using the newspaper/spare paper to do a few practice rounds before you make your one and only stamp on the plate.
Allow the footprint to dry as you wash away the paint on baby’s foot.
Then, paint on the face with a paintbrush.
To finish it off, simply grab a permanent marker and write whatever you would like to commemorate their first Thanksgiving! Our sample reads: “Thanksgiving 2012, [insert name here]“, but again, feel free to add your own personal touch. You can write why you are thankful for them, something funny/memorable they did on their first Thanksgiving, or they can even add their own paint stokes/scribbles depending on their age!
*This can be done and displayed by Thanksgiving, but to permanently set the plate AND make it dishwasher safe (bonus!), you’ll need to do a few more steps…
Allow the plate to dry fully for four days. It does take awhile to dry completely, but it can still be displayed on Thanksgiving. (This can also be a great craft for all the kids on Thanksgiving Day if you are looking for craft ideas). Just make sure to keep it away from curious little fingers.
Without preheating the oven, “bake” the plate for 30 minutes at 325°F. Let cool with the oven door open.
*This craft was recently created by our awesome in-store participants. If you are unfamiliar, BabyEarth love’s to hold events at our Round Rock location just outside of Austin, Texas. We offer an array of workshops, classes, playtime, and crafts for parent and baby. If you are in the area, please check out our Events page for more information.
November 20, 2012. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Boden, has issued a recall of nearly 1,1300 children’s pajamas due to risk of burn injuries.
The pajamas, sold at BodenUSA.com for children 1.5-14 years old, fail to meet the Federal Flammability Standards for Children’s Sleepwear. The recalled pajamas were sold from July 2012 to September 2012, Though no injuries have been reported, consumers should immediately take the pajamas from children and stop use. The pajamas are sold in a 2-pack containing two pants and long-sleeved tops in the following color schemes:
Motorcycle print in black, white, and blue
Rocket and stars print in blue, white, and pink
Cars print in blue, light blue, and green
The brand name printed on the tag should read “Mini Boden.” For a full refund, exchange, or store credit, contact Boden toll-free at (866) 206-9508, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST daily, or visit their website at www.bodenusa.com and click on the ‘Product Recall’ tab located near the bottom.
November 20, 2012. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Elephantito, has issued a recall of nearly 180 girl’s pajamas due to risk of burn injuries.
The pajamas, sold at specialty stores and boutiques nationwide as well as online from August 2008 to September 2011, fail to meet the Federal Flammability Standards for Children’s Sleepwear. Though no injuries have been reported, consumers should immediately take the pajamas from children and stop use. The recalled pajamas with style number JP 12 FL (on garment tag) is a 2-piece cotton set with a pink flower and green leaf print.
The girl’s pajamas should be immediately returned to Elephantito, or the store of purchase, for a refund, exchange, or store credit.
For more information, visit the CSPC. You can also contact Elephantito toll-free at (888) 776-9541, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday-Friday, visit their website www.elephantito.com, or email the company at [email protected]
When a baby is first born, the hospital nurses do all that they can to get you off on the right foot. They help change the diapers, they take the baby to the nursery for a few hours so you can sleep—heck, someone from the hospital even brings you hot meals and cold drinks three times a day while you sit in bed waiting. Then, before you know it, it’s time to go home and do it all on your own. Oh shoot, now what?! That’s when reality truly sets in.
In the very beginning, babies have a few primal needs you can usually rule out whenever they cry. Check to see if they have a wet or dirty diaper, if they are hungry, or if they’ve got a bubble trapped that you can free by burping them. Sometimes a newborn baby cries when he/she wants to be held or if he/she’s a bit too cold. Other times, some unlucky parents may find out it’s colic.
If your newborn baby cries, it can be due to any number of things, but most are very normal. Consider these tips for dealing with a newborn:
First and foremost, if you suspect illness, always check for a fever.
Track baby’s feedings in the beginning so you can anticipate when he will be hungry.
Burp baby for a good 10 minutes after each feeding to get rid of the gas bubbles.
Walk baby around the house and through the neighborhood to show her new things.
Spend lots of time snuggling, talking, and singing with your new baby. It builds an intimate bond and even helps with breastmilk production.
Every once in a while when nothing else works, you may have to walk away for just a few minutes to regain your sanity. (It seems to happen to every parent at least once.)
If you suspect you might have a bit of postpartum depression coming on, set up an appointment to discuss your concerns with your doctor. It is very common, with an increased risk due to a lack of sleep.
Speak with your pediatrician about anything else that concerns you.
Most new parents will find that newborns sleep throughout the majority of the day, just not all at once. It is very common to wake up every two to three hours in the middle of the night with your newborn. One final piece of advice I can share is to nap when your newborn naps, at least until you feel 100% again. You may even find that you can fall asleep within seconds of your head hitting the pillow, like mine does now.
Just about any new parent will tell you that the first couple of months are the toughest after your baby is born. Of course, they aren’t accounting for future stunts-gone-wrong (broken bones), teenage drama (backtalk), and dating (don’t tell dad). Good luck with that! All kidding aside, though it might be a trying couple of months, remind yourself of how special this time is. Inspect their little toes and memorize the feel of their baby-soft skin because soon enough, you’ll wonder how the time passed so quickly!
Breastfeeding is a special journey that nurtures the bond between baby and mom, so much so that mom’s body becomes completely in sync with her little one’s feeding needs. In fact, the cry of her baby-heck-any baby, can bring on an embarrassing moment in public… So, what happens if your workplace is less than accommodating?
According to Yahoo! Shine, a California mom, and now former teacher, is suing her previous school district after being told she could not pump breast milk during working hours. Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle, an employee of the Child Development Center within the Carmel Unified School District, returned from her maternity leave in September of 2011. She had requested to pump breast milk during the work day which is in accordance with California law. However, Boyle was allegedly told by her supervisor to train her “breasts not to make milk between the hours of 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.” What? I hate to bring up politics, but that comment is oddly reminiscent to a certain representative’s remark during an interview on KTVI-TV in which it was said the female body had certain ways to “shut the whole thing down.”
In short, Boyle was uncomfortable with stretching out feeding times and had made a request to Human Resources to accommodate her breastfeeding needs. Though HR replied that they would, no changes were made. Boyle found herself sneaking off into the attached bathroom of the classroom to pump while also watching the kids through the crack in the door. The stress-induced environment had weakened her breastmilk production, and she eventually stopped trying. By February however, she was asked to resign after her first-ever negative evaluation. As a result, Boyle filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission and was given the green light to file a lawsuit. Prior to doing so she tried to reason with the district once more to which they responded that they would strongly deny her claims as they were more than accomodating.
It seems that this issue comes up time and time again in the workplace as well as the general public. What’s your opinion of this story? Have you ever dealt with a similar issue? What’s the best course of action?