Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.

X

Navigate / search

Eco-Friendly Ways to Recycle Baby Gear

As a new or expectant parent, it may be hard to imagine that one day you’ll have to pack away the baby gear.  Inevitably that bittersweet day will come when that teeny onesie is a thing of the past, and gasp!, perhaps a bike is in the near future for one of your tykes.  So what to do with all the stuff?  Consider these three eco-friendly ways to eliminate waste:

  BabyEarth.  An eco-friendly baby retailer, we want to help you help the world!  If you’re unfamiliar, allow us to introduce you to the BabyEarthRENEW program.  It’s a hassle-free way of recycling those tricky baby items you have no idea what to do with.  Keep items such as strollers and car seats out of the landfill so you can feel good about playing a role in saving the environment!

  Loved Twice.  This non-profit organization works to spread the love and clothe newborn babies in need.  Keep a onesie (or seven) as a keepsake and pass on the rest!

  The Freecycle Network.  Spread among 85 countries, this non-profit works to keep items out of landfills by allowing people to donate items for reuse.  Separated by region, it’s a convenient way to go green.

There are many more recycling programs available.  Do your part to help others in need as well as the earth!

 

Britax Car Seat Recall: A Choking Hazard

According to the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration, Britax, one of the most respected brands for car seats today, has issued a recall of over 55,000 convertible car seats.  Particular models were manufactured with a softer chest pad for added comfort, yet this allowed children to bite and chew through the material.  According to Britax, three children were reported to have gagged on the product, though no serious injury was reported.

The models affected are the Boulevard 70G3, the Advocate 70 G3, and the Pavilion 70G3 manufactured from June 2012 through August 2012.

Here is a list of the model numbers as reported by the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration:  “E9LJ91A, E9LJ91M, E9LJ91S, E9LJ92E, E9LJ93P, E9LJ93S, E9LK91A, E9LK31A, E9LK31Q, E9LK32D, E9LK32Z, E9LK33Q, E9LL11A, E9LL11Q, E9LL12D, E9LL12Z, E9LG81A, E9LG83N, E9LG83P, E9LG83X, E9LG83Y, E9LL21A, E9LL23P, E9LL23Y”

As a solution, Britax will provide customers with replacement HUGS pads that have a firmer material.  In the meantime, owners should immediately remove their present HUGS pad and continue using the seat until they have received a replacement.

To watch a video on how to remove and replace the HUGS chest pad, visit www.BritaxUSA.com/support/safety-notices and choose the product in the menu to the right.

For more information, contact the Britax Customer Service Department at 1-888-427-4289 with any questions or requests (in case you did not previously register your car seat).

 

Eco-Friendly DIY Recipes

It’s no secret, BabyEarth promotes eco-friendly options because we believe that natural products are what’s best for baby, the environment, and you.  Just as important as it is to care for baby with all-natural ingredients, it’s important to treat yourselves to eco-friendly care as well!

We saw this list compiled by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and simply had to share.  If you are looking to revamp your beauty regimen with easy, eco-friendly DIY options, check out their list of all-natural recipes.  Chocolate face mask, anyone?

Driving Safety Tips to Keep Kids Safe

I may be one of the few but I can honestly say I enjoy my daily commute.  Granted, I am not exempt from the traffic and the rage that occasionally comes with it-okay, you got me!  That always comes with it-but, I do enjoy hopping on the highway and cruising to my destination.  I almost find it to be calming, always plotting my next move, constantly surveying the scene, and deciphering how I can safely weave through traffic.  With kids however, that sense of calm flies out the window, usually replaced with lone Cheerios, sticky door handles, shrill screaming, and kids songs on repeat.  But gosh, are they cute!

Keeping kids safe while driving is a parent’s number one concern for obvious reasons.  What used to be a peaceful drive can be stressful as not only are the surrounding cars unpredictable, but so are the mood swings of the little guy(s) in the backseat.  To keep your precious cargo safe while driving, here are a few safety tips:

  It goes without saying, everyone should buckle up, and I mean everyone.  Kids are impressionable, at a surprisingly young age they absorb more than we might like, even about that conversation regarding a certain toupee your uncle secretly wears.  Set a good example and be safe in the process!

  Put the phone down. That text or conversation can wait, especially when you have your own personal conversationalist(s) chatting it up in the backseat.  If you absolutely must, use a Bluetooth.

  Be aware of your surroundings, and not just in the backseat.  Note speed limit changes, that pesky car who seemingly loves driving in your blind spot, construction zones, pedestrians, etc.

  Drive defensively and keep at a safe distance.  Consistent with the previous tip, always be on the defense and plan for an escape route.  By traveling 3 seconds behind the car in front of you – thanks Drivers Ed. – you’ll be at a safer distance to avoid an accident.

  Be organized.  Sure, lots of toys and activities are great for road trips with the kids, but physics tells us those things are going to go flying if not secured during an accident.  Protect your children as well as yourself and consider a cargo net when toys are not in use.

  Mediate later.  You know what I’m talking about.  There’s the temper tantrum, the crying, the screaming, or the ever favorite occasional airborne object.  If you can, confront the issue when not operating a vehicle.  If your kids are old enough to understand, explain to them prior to departure that you need to be safe on the road.  In order to do that, they need to help you keep everyone safe by practicing good behavior.  Turn it into a game if you want!  Just remember to take a breath and keep calm; it’s much harder to concentrate on the road when flustered!

Let’s just be thankful for child-lock windows…

What driving safety tips work for you?  Any interesting/funny stories to rehash?  Share it here!

Gift Idea for Bath-Time

If you’re looking for gift ideas for a baby girl, this is it.  I’ve seen lots of bath-time accessories and tubs for itty bitty babies, but this one is by far the cutest.  The Blooming Baby Infant Insert is not only absolutely adorable, but it’s the softest way to protect baby’s bottom from the cold and uncomfortable kitchen sink.  The plush material makes for a cozy bath and can even graduate to the bathtub when baby gets too big.  Maybe the best part?  It doubles as the perfect background for a beautiful photo shoot-or even as a bubble bath head pillow for mom! ;)  Is it weird I want a giant one for myself?

 

Tackling Your Baby’s First Cold

Cold season is back in full-swing and with the bitter cold looming in our near future, you may find your baby will have to brave his/her first cold this winter.  Unfortunately, your pediatrician cannot prescribe anything to make that cold go away any more quickly. That runny nose simply has to run its course. It’s heartbreaking to hear their sweet little bodies struggling so here are a few of strategies you can use to make your little one more comfortable:

Humidifier – If your baby is congested, a humidifier in the nursery can help break up that congestion and help your little one breathe more easily. Choose a cool-mist humidifier, as these humidifiers are less likely to collect mold than warm humidifiers. Try a Drop Shape or Adorable Animal humidifier by Crane.  Turn it on before your baby’s bedtime to get the room comfortable for your little one. Keep it near the baby’s crib but not within his or her reach. Clean the humidifier and filter every morning. If you don’t want to invest in a humidifier, turn on a hot shower, and let the steam fill the bathroom. Let your baby breathe in the moist air.

Nasal Relief – Other tricks for dealing with your baby’s congestion include saline nasal drops and a bulb syringe. The saline drops can help break up any mucous that is causing congestion. Since your baby has most likely not yet perfected the art of blowing his or her nose, the bulb syringe helps you suck out the mucous, making breathing easier for your little one. He or she might not like the process, but the results will be worth it. Finally, you can find saline tissues, which can clear out your baby’s nose with one quick wipe.

Breastfeeding – If you breastfeed, you are helping your baby fight off the cold. Breast milk contains important antibodies to help eliminate colds. Even more, breast milk changes its makeup depending on what your baby needs, so it will include extra antibodies when your baby has a cold. Your baby might have a harder time breastfeeding if he or she is congested because he or she might be breathing more through the mouth. So, breastfeeding might be a bit more challenging, but continue to do it to help rid your baby of the cold.

Cold medicine and babies don’t mix, so you have to rely on at-home treatments to help your baby recover. If your little one comes down with a cold this winter, combine these suggested treatments with some cuddle time to help your baby get through his/her first cold.

Encouraging a Picky Eater

It can take a lot of work to deal with a picky eater.  When I was young, I wanted three things for lunch and three things only: grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and a peanut butter sandwich-hold the jelly-with the crusts cut off.  Picky eater doesn’t even begin to describe it and yet, that palette was broken eventually thanks to my diligent parents.

Constantly encouraging one’s children to try new foods can be taxing.  However, it really is in a child’s best interest to help them overcome their fears of tomatoes or worse yet, the dreaded green vegetable.  Being overly picky can cause nutritional deficiencies, and it paves the way for their diet later on in life.

Here are a few ways parents can help turn their picky eaters into foodies:

  Just one bite.  Many parents find some amount of success with the “just one bite” strategy.  Though there may be an initial battle, it is beneficial to require your child to try different foods, if only for a taste.  After having tried it, the child is free to eat something else so there is less resentment of the new food.  Although he/she may still put up a fuss, it will not be as bad as it would be if required to eat all of it.  Plus, sometimes the child is pleasantly surprised and finds that he actually enjoys the new food.

  Cutting foods into creative shapes.  Presentation may not be everything, but it certainly is runner-up in the way a child reacts to food.  Sometimes, a child won’t eat a peanut butter sandwich that is square-shaped but will eat one that’s shaped like a dinosaur (honestly, who wouldn’t?).  Feel free to get creative and use shapes that you think your child will like.

  Hiding foods.  Have you ever caught your picky little one hiding food that he/she doesn’t like?  Now’s the time for you to get your revenge!  Well, kind of… Instead of their method of “hiding food” on the floor for the dog to clean up or in their toy with that neat little compartment, you can hide foods by blending them up into sauces or smoothies.  For example, a carrot can go into a fruit smoothie, and zucchinis can be cooked into sauces.  It’s the perfect way to serve them up important nutrients without even knowing it.

  Prepare a wide variety of foods.  One of the best things that you can do to encourage your child to try new foods is to offer an array of new items.  If you have a set menu of the things you do and do not prepare, don’t be surprised if your child develops a similarly rigid list of the foods they will and will not eat.  Making a wide variety of dishes exposes your child to different flavors, and it gets them in the habit of trying new things.

  Try it again.  Learning to like a new food frequently takes a little work, and it often takes a number of different experiences with a given food before a child decides that he likes it.  Plus, children’s tastes mature with age.  So, just because your child didn’t like the casserole the last time you tried it, doesn’t mean you have to give it up.  Wait a little while, and then try it again.  Chances are good that your child will eventually come around.

  If all else fails, show them a clip from Popeye-isn’t that how we all learned to like spinach?

Got something even better up your sleeve?  If you have any tips on how to break down a picky eater, share below!

 

Need a Laugh? Check Out These Pregancy Photos!

Okay, so these may not be most helpful if you’re looking for ideas for your pregnancy photoshoot, but these photos are sure worth a look.

Brace yourselves for all the glorious-ness that awaits you here.

 

Flying with Baby: A Go-To Guide for a Smooth Flight

Sigh.  We have all been there at one point.  Before we even board the plane, we scan through the audience, hoping that we don’t wind up sitting next to that precious little baby turned mad inside a confined airplane, unless of course, we are the one holding that precious little baby…  Traveling with infants is a stressful situation, and with the holidays approaching, a flight may be inevitable.  So, how can you make it more bearable?

Here is some advice for a smooth flight when flying with baby:

  1. Try to nab a flight that fits in line with your daily routine.  If you can get a flight that aligns closely with your baby’s nap-time, book it!
  2. Conversely, break routine, just ever so slightly.
    1. Allow less time for naps prior to the flight.  If they have to nap before, make it a short one so that they will be sleepy on the plane.
    2. Feed your baby less prior to flight time.  Not only will this keep your little one busy for awhile (hopefully resulting in a peaceful slumber), but swallowing during a flight (especially during take-off and landing) really helps keep popped ears at bay.  Consider packing a Boon Snack Ball which doubles as a toy and container or the fun and healthy fresh food feeder named The Nibbler.   Even when it’s not feeding time, something for them to suck on so that they do swallow throughout the flight will help those precious little ears tremendously.
  3. Choose your seat.  If you call the airline ahead of time, you may be able to request a seat with a bassinet.  It will make traveling with your little one much easier.  Also, grabbing an aisle seat might be best as you may want to get up often and walk with baby.  On the other hand, grabbing a window seat might be the better option if you plan to breast feed and would like some privacy.  *Check with your airline prior to the flight as policy regarding breast feeding on the plane differs by airline.  If you get a written form of approval before the flight, bring it with you in case a flight attendant/passenger raises concern.  Another basic rule-of-thumb, wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to breastfeed discreetly and bring along a blanket/breastfeeding cover.
  4. Toys galore.  Bring new toys and fun activities for them to play with on the plane.  The more sensory options to keep them occupied, the better.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you are flying alone.  Most flight attendants will be more than happy to help minimize the burden by grabbing some water for formula, setting up the changing table in the restroom, holding your baby while you use the restroom, etc.
  6. Worried about their safety?  Check out the Baby B’Air Flight Vest.
  7. If your budget allows for it, paying for an extra seat might be exactly what the doctor ordered.  Most airlines require that you to pay for a seat if your child is two or older, but having space for baby to kick around and play with toys might be the best splurge you ever indulged in.  Can’t afford the luxury?  If you are traveling with your spouse/partner/a friend, make sure you’re sitting next to them so that you have a little extra room to move around.
  8. Don’t forget about Big Bro and/or Big Sis.  If baby is just a portion of your family, it can be overwhelming and downright near impossible to maintain control of your kiddos.  Make sure to bring lots of quiet activities for them to work on, plenty of snacks for them to munch on, and maybe a pillow for them to kick instead of the seat in front of them. ;) Divide and conquer if traveling with your spouse so you can keep an eye on the crew.  And don’t underestimate the power of praise and a wings badge!
  9. And lastly, take a deep breath and forget the stress.  Babies get fussy and cry.  It’s a simple fact of life.  In fact, more than most of your fellow passengers are sympathizing with you.   Stay calm and don’t worry about a couple icy glares shot your way; you’ve got enough to deal with as it is.

Bon Voyage!

Did you find these tips helpful?  What worked for you to have a smooth flight?  Spill your secrets here!

 

 

Got Breastmilk?

Well folks, a Guinness World Record was set in March that deserves some recognition.  And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with longest fingernails or most shirts worn at a single time (anyone else automatically think of Joey Tribbiani from Friends?).  No, this record has everything to do with breastmilk.  According to CBS Dallas/Fort Worth, Alicia Richman of North Texas donated upwards of 86 GALLONS of it, securing her spot as a Guinness World Record holder for “Most Breastmilk Donated”.  I’m no statistics buff, but one could assume that amount could easily overflow a spacious bathtub.  Wowza.  I get this phrase is overused but it’s a necessary evil sometimes – You go girl!  That donation will improve the lives of so many infants.  Her main reason behind the overflowing donation?  To spread awareness of the benefits of donating to your local breastmilk bank.  What an inspiration!  You can check out the full story here.

Breastmilk is such a precious resource for many preemies and ill infants.  For more information on how to donate, check out the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.