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Saying No to Gifts You Don’t Approve Of

So we’ve covered how to say no to your kids, but what about when your child is dying for a toy that you’d literally rather poke yourself in the eye with a pine needle than allow your child to have? It’s a tough situation, especially with the holidays in full swing, and gift givers everywhere are on the prowl for the latest and greatest in toys that you may very well not approve of.

Perhaps you’re an eco-concerned parent and every toy in the house better be BPA-free and lacking in phthalates. Or perhaps, the absurd beauty ideals subliminally attached to many dolls on the market today are not the values you want instilled on your sweet daughter, or son for that matter? Or perhaps you’re like me, and think Furby is the freakiest thing since Chucky and would honestly be uneasy housing one under your roof, let alone in the room of which your child sleeps!

So, how do you say no to your child when they want gifts you don’t approve of?

  Choose your battles. Is the Furby thing just you? Maybe your child truly will benefit by owning a Furby. The Gremlin-like creature’s behavior is shaped based on how your child treats it – maybe it will be a great learning tool and teach empathy. Maybe… But in all seriousness, what you may see as unethical or just plain weird is more than likely nothing that your child will ever see or absorb. Children are beautifully innocent; sometimes it’s best not to over think things.

  Ignore the wish-listed item. Sure, children go through great lengths to compose a wish-list fit for a king, but sometimes, everything on their list simply cannot be bought.  For a good five years of my youth, I always included a chimpanzee. I never got one. I got over it.

  Provide an alternative. If your child is dying for that Barbie with the skin tight outfit that you are just simply not comfortable with, opt for a different outfit. There are plenty of other options that may be more suited to your tastes. It’s all about compromise.

  Teach your child to appreciate the gifts they do receive. Discuss the importance of gratitude and how many people are less fortunate. As we all know, it’s tough for a child to put on a happy face if they are disappointed by what they received (e.g. clothes vs. video games), but it’s a life lesson that they’ll have to master eventually.

  Communicate. If you know of other friends and family members that will be shopping for your child this year, tell them what they should get him/her. It reduces the pressure on the shopper, and you’ll be sure you and your child are happy with the result.

Have you ever been in this situation before? What have you done to skirt the situation, or did you bite the bullet and give in?

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed towards an innocent stuffed animal in this post are solely my own and do not reflect BabyEarth’s core values or opinions.

2012 Holiday Baby Gift Guide

If you’re in need of some gift inspiration for the upcoming holidays, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite picks for the little munchkin in your life. From cute and cuddly to all-natural and organic, we’ve weeded through our product line to find the best for baby this holiday season. To view any product in further detail, simply click on the link or the picture.

Happy Shopping!

Jacque the Peacock by Lamaze 

The Play and Grow Peacock has multiple sounds, textures, and colors to keep baby amused for hours! ($10.95)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity Toy by Kids Preferred

Inspired by Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, this elaborately colored, textured, and sound-filled toy will endlessly entertain. ($14.95)

Organic Teething Blanket by Dandelion

This cuddly teether made of organic fabrics is perfect for teething and playing. ($14.99)

 Organic Hooded Kimono by Under the Nile

Made of 100% organic Egyptian cotton, this super-soft hooded terry kimono is the perfect outfit after bath-time or for spending the day at the pool. ($26)

Tranquil Turtle by Cloud B

With a beautiful underwater lighting effect, two soothing sounds, and an automatic shut-off, this Tranquil Turtle is the perfect, and cutest, sleep aid. (Originally: $41.95, Special: $37.95)

 Corn Teething Keys by Dandelion

With no BPA, no phthalates, no PVC, no lead, it’s never been easier to say yes to corn! ($7.99)

 

Deluxe WubbaNub by Mary Meyer

This cuddly animal and pacifier duo is a must. With countless options, this cutie is the perfect accessory for your cutie’s crib. ($14.95)

Sophie the Giraffe Natural Teether by Vulli

Stimulating baby’s all five senses, Sophie is a lovable all-natural teether and playmate. (Originally: $24.95, Special: $18.95)

Babyprints Holiday Ornament by Pearhead

This no-mess kit is the perfect gift to imprint baby’s prints into a beautiful ornament keepsake to hold onto forever. ($14.95)

 Skwish by Manhattan Toy

Baby’s visual and tactile curiosity will be engaged with this intricate design of exciting colors and textures. ($14.95)

 Funky Farm Activity Mat by Skip Hop

Five detachable hanging toys, engaging activities, and removable arch for more playmat fun make this activity mat one of our top picks. ($59.99)

 Ty Pluffies by Ty

Cute, cuddly, and soft – what’s not to love? ($6.50)

The Battle on Stretch Marks: Which Product is Best?

One of the scariest aspects of pregnancy for many women, particularly if it’s their first pregnancy, is both universally-known and universally-hated: stretch marks.

Plain and simple, stretch marks suck. The pesky marks are the stretching, tearing, and eventual scarring of the skin that unkindly display on the body.  Stretch marks do not solely plague pregnant women, as many of us (women and men) have sorely found out over the years, but women are much more prone to developing them as their tummies stretch for the little guy inside.

So what do we do? We bust out the creams, and slather on butters, oils, and lotions in desperation to keep those pesky marks at bay. Our pajama shirts soak in oily residue, but it’s worth it. At least that’s what we tell ourselves.

I’ve heard of many oils and butters that are supposed to work miracles, but let’s face facts here, our beautiful youthful bodies hang in the balance! There is no time to leave it up to chance!

So which product should women turn to?

The question is always up for debate; some women swear by certain products another woman wouldn’t dream of touching. Recently, Bio Oil has come up on my radar as being a great product to use. In fact, Squidoo recently reviewed the product to see how it matched up in fighting off stretch marks and scars. According to Squidoo, however, when it came down to it, the best brands were Mama Mio and Revitol.

We weren’t surprised as nearly the entire Mama Mio brand has received rave reviews on our BabyEarth site for being the go-to product in keeping skin beautiful and stretch-mark free. One of the top products to use is Mama Mio Goodbye Stretch Marks. The sooner you use it, the better. Though it is on the pricey side, when all is said and done, the price of a beautiful body to be proud of is priceless. Not to mention, all the guesswork spent on other creams and oils may wind up costing you more in the long run.

To learn more, visit Squidoo’s full article.

Which product do you swear by to avoid stretch marks?

Nursery Décor: Wall Decals

Designing a nursery is one of the most exciting steps to check off on the pregnancy to-do list. You get to channel your inner interior designer, the project can potentially take your mind off of the pregnancy pains (maybe, it’s all about positive thinking, right?), and it allows for you and the hubby to truly gear up for the bundle of joy headed your way very shortly. That said, where do you start? Generally, most couples wait to discover the gender before diving in (or choose a neutral color if it’s a surprise!), then it goes to choosing a color scheme, the crib bedding, the crib and so on.

My brothers and I had the most amazing rooms when we were little. As far as I can tell from pictures, we had THE coolest rooms. In short, my dad is an artistic mastermind, and he had hand-painted beautiful murals on the walls of our rooms. I’d like to pause right there and say my mom is equally crafty and wonderful, assisting me in slathering glitter all over my wall when I was a pre-teen. Oh yes, I had spectacular taste. But that is a totally different topic…

Anyways, the most memorable mural for me was in my brothers’ room. It was adorned with a rainbow of every relevant Disney character at the time. Literally. It was awesome. I remember that being an intricate part of the room. We would stare at it in awe and learn the characters and animals that way. Not only did the mural add to the décor, the inclusion of art and/or visual stimulus was extremely important to our cognitive growth. In short, designing a nursery can be fun, but don’t underestimate the power you hold in helping your baby learn and grow as well.

Granted, not everyone is so artistically-inclined, I get that, which is why wall decals are the next best option, if not the best option, in spicing up a nursery. Even if you are quite the artist, wall decals are great because they can be removed at any time! Not to mention, they are inexpensive so there is no need to commission an artist and break the bank.  Though especially ideal for apartment living, they are equally as wonderful for in-home use as well. When your little tyke gets older (faster than you’d might like), it will be time to graduate to a bigger bed with different bedding and inevitably, the decal may not fit with the overall theme any longer. That’s not a problem, as you can take it off without damaging the walls and having to repaint.  For those of you who are keeping the nursery gender-neutral, the wall decal can be the perfect addition to personalize the room even more once the baby arrives.

Whether you choose zoo animals, Thomas & Friends choo-choo trains, or a beautiful tree, wall decals are the perfect décor addition to any nursery. For a full listing of our wall decals, visit babyearth.com.

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?

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! :)

Hug A Bear Day

Need a hug?  You’re in luck!  Today, November 7th,  is “Hug A Bear Day“.  Now, I”m not suggesting you go out and hug an actual bear, but a stuffed bear or even a big bear hug will do!  Speaking of those stuffed bears your kids like to drag on the floor and dig their cute little faces into, did you know there are organic options available as well?  Consider that eco-friendly tip to be a virtual bear hug from us to you and yours.

Now grab the kids (and teddy bears) and start hugging!

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?

 

Gift Idea: Illuminating Nightlight

Confession:  If there is a store that sells lighting, I can almost guarantee you will find me wandering aimlessly around that area.  I don’t know what it is, there is something magical and literally warm about it that just pulls me in.  So obviously when I spotted this cute little fella in the warehouse I fell in love with it.  If you are looking for a special gift for an upcoming event, this interactive toy and nightlight fits the bill.    Cloud b has designed both a Twilight Turtle and a Twilight Ladybug sure to please any little cutie.  The illuminating lights along it’s body actually represent eight different constellations for a tranquil nighttime setting-the perfect adornment to any room!  A nightlight designed specifically to soothe babies to sleep that also serves as an interactive stuffed animal? Get. Out.

Going Gaga for GaGa Deals

Ever feel like after an exhausting but successful day of bargain hunting you deserve a trophy? No?  Just me? Well, regardless, we all love a good deal.  Granted, I’m no Extreme Couponer (or Extreme Cheapskates for that matter!  Oh, TLC, you’re too much…) but I do fancy myself to be quite the go-getter in my attempts of cutting costs.  With the financial woes facing parents today, finding the best bang for your buck is more important than ever.  That said, if you are unfamiliar with BabyEarth’s GaGa Deals, I have three words for you: you are welcome!  Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST we post an item to GaGa Deals every hour on the hour.  Now, here is where it gets interesting, you can visibly watch the price tick down penny by penny as the hour elapses.  It is the perfect way to get some fantastic deals on some great baby stuff,  but stock is limited so don’t miss out!

Check the site often; you never know what we’ll post next!  New addiction?  Perhaps.  Please don’t hate me! ;)