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Happy Halloween from Steal Network

Happy Halloween from the Steal Network crew! We’re partying it up like the living dead here today.

Check out all our fun on our album here. Have a safe Halloween!

Teething Tips | Mom Tip Monday

Is your little tyke looking more and more like a jack-o-lantern these days? If they haven’t turned into a pumpkin for their Halloween costume, baby must be breaking teeth. For today’s Mom Tip Monday, Doña from Aubergine, shares her tips on how to soothe a teething baby.

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Dona's daughter, Stella, with a teething toy

How to Soothe a Teething Tot

Most babies get their first teeth between four and seven months, though some may start much earlier and others much later. Teeth actually start developing in the womb and the teething process – and discomfort – can last many weeks before any teeth are visible. Having an array of soothing techniques at the ready will help you get through this long and sometimes difficult period.

Teeth usually appear first in the center front of the bottom gum. Early signs of imminent teeth are a large increase in drool, baby chewing hard on her fingers or toys (or you!), and otherwise unexplained fussiness. Look for white lumps on the front of the gum line or areas that look red or swollen. My daughter had six teeth by her 8-month birthday so I got a crash course in helping her deal. Here are some of the things that worked for us.

Cold Relief
Giving your baby something cold to put in her mouth is the quickest way to offer relief. I store a handful of gel-filled teethers in the freezer so I always have a cold one, but for a more home-grown solution is to keep a clean wet washcloth chilled in the refrigerator in a baggie. If your tot is eating solids, a cold slice of nectarine or apple may be just the thing. If you aren’t sure your baby can handle a big piece of fruit, put it in a mesh teething feeder so she can mash and suck on it.

Gnaw On This
Pressure on the gum where the teeth are emerging can be very soothing. With a clean finger, massage the gum gently while you cuddle your little one. If you have a wiggle worm like I do, you may need to give them a toy to chew that has the same effect. Look for rattles and clutching toys with firm but giving surfaces that fit in baby’s mouth. Wooden toys seem to be particularly soothing for many babies. Teething ring necklaces made of wood and silicone allow you to have a soothing teether always at hand and look pretty nice on you, too. Be aware that when the tooth is very close to the surface the gum will be very tender and pressure there can be painful.

The Shirt Off My Back
When my daughter has a tooth close to eruption she will start chewing on her sleeve, my sleeve, or any other fabric she can get in her mouth. Tags are also really popular during this phase. Keep a few fabric toys on hand, especially ones with ears or feet or tag flaps that baby can get in his mouth and chew. These are great when the gums seem to be especially tender to the touch and hard toys are painful.

Over the Counter
If teething discomfort is making your little one especially cranky or is interrupting her sleep, there are teething support products that may help. Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Gel and reformulated Teething Tabs offer gentle soothing and really helped my daughter get comfortable to sleep. Other products like Gumomile Oil and Orajel numb the surface of the gum for temporary relief.

Let Me Hold You
Offer your teething baby extra comfort and cuddling. If you are breastfeeding, offer extra nursing time – the hormones released in your baby’s body while nursing help her to relax. Even just some extra cuddle time, a warm bath together, or time in your lap while you read some stories will offer some distraction and relaxation.

Most of all, be patient – the teeth will come through and your baby’s discomfort will pass. Remember that he is fussing because he is uncomfortable and doesn’t know how to comfort himself. If you are feeling frustrated and exhausted, find a way to take a break away from the baby so you can relax yourself! You baby will sense your frustration and stress and that will only compound the issue. And then, once those teeth come through, make sure to snap some pictures of that cute little toothy grin!

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Thank you for the teething tips Doña!

Have a mom tip? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to enter a submission.

What parenting questions would you like answered from our BabySteals community of experts? Click here to ask a question.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.

The DivaCup Surprise Steal!

It’s that time of the month…for a Surprise Steal!

What is The DivaCup? Let the Steal Network staff explain it to you.

 

Make your “shark week” a little more bearable. Hurry, while they last!

The DivaCup Surprise Steal!
{click here} 

Keep Baby Healthy During Cold and Flu Season | Mom Tip Monday

This time of year, you can practically see sickness spreading from person to person. When you have a new little baby, it enough to make any mom a little extra nervous and protective. For today’s Mom Tip Monday, Emily from Family and Life in Las Vegas, shares her tips on keeping your baby or toddler healthy during cold and flu season.

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Any parent will tell you, to see your child sick or in pain is probably one of the worse feelings a parent can have.  You would do anything to trade places with them and pretty much do anything to make them feel better.

I can’t tell you how many times in my son’s short life I have wished to put him into a bubble, if for no other reason than to prevent my toddler from licking playground equipment; aka cue the cold in t-minus 14 days. Since bubble boy isn’t really a viable option, as parents we have to make sure we do what we can to prevent our children and other family members in our homes from getting sick during cold and flu season.

Check out my top 5 tips to staying healthy this cold and flu season.

Practice good hand-washing. This is the #1 way to keep healthy and prevent the spread of germs this cold and flu season.  I try to make a point to wash hands every time we come into the house, as well as before we eat, after using the restroom, and after play time with other kids.  Sometimes a sink is not always available, so I always carry hand sanitizer and keep some in the car too.

Teach your child  to cough and sneeze properly. Encourage your child to cough and sneeze into the inside of his our her elbow instead of their hands.  This can help stop the spread of germs in the moments you don’t get to wash hands or dump sanitizer all over them. Plus, teaching your child to do it, allows us the opportunity to re-train ourselves!

Clean and sanitize. Toys, counters, door handles (car door handles too), bathrooms, tissue boxes, kitchen drawer and counter pulls, and places your family eats on a daily basis during the cold and flu season.

Get your flu shot. The flu can be very scary when you have asthma, so we don’t take chances, the whole family gets flu shots in my home. My son got his first dose at 6 months old. In fact, this weekend we went to a Halloween Health Fair and we both got our flu shots!
*The flu shot is available starting in October/November for all children ages 6 months and older.  The CDC recommends pregnant women and children ages 6 months – 18 years, and caregivers get one yearly. (Wikipedia)

Increasing foods rich in vitamin C. Diet is a great way to protect your body from illness.  When my son was 9 months he got really ill for the first time.  It was then I began to incorporate more foods rich in Vitamin C.

  • Red peppers
  • Green peppers
  • Papayas
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Citrus
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mangos
  • Cauliflower

And yes, my 28 month old son actually does eat Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower willingly!  I believe my son eats them because my family eats them.  Not saying that will work with everything, but it sure seems to help! Of course he will also suck on limes, which I certainly don’t do!
In addition when someone in the house is sick, or there is a cold outbreak in our playgroup we also turn to kids Emergen-C.

Each family is different, so choose what works for you. Even with following all these steps completely, sometimes the sickies are just going to nail your home whether you are ready or not.  So just in case, be ready!  Make sure you are properly stocked up on medicines, tissues, pedialyte, soup, and anything else your family may need in case the flu hits your home.

Sending healthy vibes your way!

Emily (faliLV) Knight is a Fitfluential ambassador and the author of Family and Life in Las Vegas, a Las Vegas based blog where she writes “in true Vegas fashion” about a little bit of everything.  Weekly features include, a top ten Tuesday post, a toddler talk meme, and living local Las Vegas..  You will also find posts on fitness, life during deployment, and fun reviews & giveaways.  Emily is a huge fan of giving back to her community and is currently chairing a campaign called Spread The Warmth, a charity fundraiser/giveaway event running October 30th to November 12th with over $2500 in prizes.  All donations will go to raise awareness for Embrace Infant Warmers.

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Thank you for the tips Emily! We are definitely wishing you all (including your babies) a very healthy season.

Have a mom tip? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to enter a submission.

What parenting questions would you like answered from our BabySteals community of experts? Click here to ask a question.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.

Go GAGA Giveaway!

Moms shoulder a lot. You’re constantly juggling a car seat, an overstuffed diaper bag, baby and whatever else life throws into your arms. By the end of the day, your shoulders ache.

Problem solved with Go GAGA! The magic is in the strap – it evenly distributes the weight of everything you’re lugging around. This bag is practical, comfortable, roomy, and even your husband will love it. Perfect for a Christmas gift or a baby shower gift as a diaper bag, but it also makes a great gym bag, laptop bag, picnic bag, travel bag — any kind of bag! You know it will get good use even after baby is out of diapers. What more can you ask for?

We are giving away a Go GAGA Olive Green Slide Tote!

To enter, watch the above video and answer the following questions in this form.

 

Contest ends Monday, October 24, 2011 at 11:59pm MDT. Winner announced upon notification and will be chosen with random.org. The contact information you provide will not be shared and will only be used to notify winners. Click here to read our full privacy notice. Winnings are not for resale. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Participation open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years or older. One entry per person.

Surprise Steal for KidSteals 2nd Birthday!

It’s KidSteals’ second birthday today, and what kind of sister site would we be if we didn’t go all out to celebrate? Rest assured we’ve prepared a spicy treat for the big occasion.

Get ready to speed click before they’re gone — you guessed it, Ju-Ju-Be Surprise Steal!

 


Ju-Ju-Be Be Spicy, Be Prepared, and Be All Surprise Steal
{click here} 

How to Know You’re Ready for a Baby | Mom Tip Monday

How do you know you are ready for another baby? Some moms just know it’s time, but for others writing up a “baby bucket list,” or “to do before baby” list, will help them know when they are prepared for a baby. Whether you already have a bundle of joy (0r a few) or are thinking of taking the plunge into motherhood, setting goals you want to accomplish will make you feel secure in your decision to start trying to conceive. For today’s Mom Tip Monday, Jenn from Baby Making Machine, shares her tips on making a baby bucket list.

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 Once you start seriously dating someone the questions from friends and loved ones never stop.

 

When are you getting engaged?

When is the wedding?

When are you having kids?

When are you having another?

Another?

Another?

 

People are obsessed with other people’s lives. Or maybe it’s just that we’re all so excited for one another to experience the next exciting step in life.

 

It took years of marriage for me to finally decide I was ready to become a mother. Then once I figured that out, at least anther year worth of convincing my husband he was ready too. Finally, after nearly six year of marriage, we welcomed our little girl into our lives. What a blessing!

 

But now that we have her, I know one reason why people sometimes refer to child rearing as “dominoing.”—Once you have one, it’s a domino effect, and whether you mean to or not, you’re already thinking about when or if you’re going to have another.

 

Before getting pregnant with my daughter, I found myself constantly wondering when I’d become a mom. When was it really going to happen? I’d say the last year and a half of my pre-mom state was spent daydreaming about life’s next adventure. While this was fun, my overzealous look to the future made me overlook some of the present. I’ve decided I don’t want to do that again.

 

Oh how I didn’t realize how much my life would change after having a child. I had a baby bucket list of things I wanted to achieve before becoming a mom: Get a master’s degree, travel the world. Umm… Didn’t happen. Some things did, but my baby fever overtook me before I could cross my most ambitious goals off.

 

This time I’ve made a list: “To do Before #2” and it’s much more realistic. Things like: “visit the zoo” and “take a dance class with my husband” top the list. Things are more family-focused and dare I say it?— Realistic.

 

My little girl will only be so little for so long. I know my second child isn’t coming right this very second, so I’m not going to focus on that right now. Instead, I’m going to relish in the present, and make the best of what we’ve got going right now.

 

So, here’s my growing list of things to do. If I complete it all, great. If not, well, I’m sure it’ll be even more fun to do with another munchkin tagging along.

 

To do together as mother/daughter, or family:
1. Go on a bike ride.
2. Take swimming lessons.
3. Take a dance class with hubby.
4. Feed ducks.
5. Visit a pumpkin patch.
6. Take a trip to the zoo. (We have a Groupon we need to use by October!)
7. Get a mother/daughter pedicure.
8. Go kayaking as a family (with Snoop too).
9. Go to the circus.
10. Go to a concert.
11. Shop at the farmers market.
12. Take a stroller strides class.
13. Visit our state capitol.
14. Visit our local black history museum.
15. Complete a sewing class.

 

Other to do:
1. Establish a regular date night with the hubs for at least once a month.
2. Teach my daughter how to fold her arms when we pray.
3. Make my will (I know, it’s horrible I haven’t done this yet).
4. Open Lil’ J’s savings/bond/college account.
5. Open our 401K.
6. Be cooking dinner (non-frozen meals) at least 3 nights a week. <— This may never happen.
7. Take a creative writing course.

Anything else I should add? What have you enjoyed doing with your families?

 

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Thank you for the tips Jenn! Stay tuned for another great mom tip next week!

Have a mom tip? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to enter a submission.

What parenting questions would you like answered from our BabySteals community of experts? Click here to ask a question.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.

Empowering Your Labor | Mom Tip Monday

Every birth story is different. Expecting mothers choose their own paths to make their birthing experience what they hope it will be. Fellow BabySteals fan and doula, Beth MacKenzie, shares her tips on empowering yourself no matter what type of labor you choose.

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Tonight, I sat with eight couples and discussed childbirth preparation plans. The couples in my HypnoBirthing® class are all preparing for their upcoming birthsand we discussed all of the options that they have ahead of them — decisions to be made about where to birth, care providers, cord pulsation, skin to skin contact, breastfeeding and placenta encapsulation. The expectant parents all had so many questions and I guided them towards research so that they can decide what feels right for them and their babies.

As a mama of five, I have amazing and unexpected birth stories of my own — experiences that made me pursue becoming a doula, aware that so many couples don’t always approach birth as prepared as they may think they are, as my husband and I weren’t the first time.

After the birth of my third daughter, I quickly realized that I was unlikely to have the birth experience I wanted with the care provider I had previously used, and vowed with my next child it would be different. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with baby number four, I phoned around and booked an appointment with a midwife, and my husband and I started to plan and prepare for a homebirth.

My midwives were amazing — respectful and kind, never rushing me through appointments and we discussed potential procedures and tests in great detail, and they were supportive of the decisions I made. In the end though, at 39 weeks the midwives were unable to support a homebirth because of complications that came up in the last few weeks of my pregnancy and our homebirth plans moved to a hospital birth, still to be attended by my midwives.
After a rough start, my labour quickly became complicated, and my care transferred to an OB. Thankfully, the OB on call respected my desire for a vaginal birth and worked with me. In the end, my intervention free home birth ended up as an induced, vacuum-assisted hospital birth, almost the opposite of what I set out to have. Nine months of careful planning quickly pushed aside, all of which I didn’t give a second thought to as I reached down to receive my baby, bring her to my chest and breastfed her, amazed and in awe of her.

Surprisingly, I regard this as my best birth experience, because although very little went according to plan. I had carefully chosen my care providers, my midwives were patient, supportive and respectful, and I understood every intervention that took place, and why it happened and consented to it.

This is something I try to convey to the parents in my class. I explain that they will always remember how they felt birthing their babies. They will remember if they felt ignored, they will remember feeling pushed or lied to. They will be disappointed to find out that they have had additional options to available to them, but never knew that they had more choices.

My best advice as a doula, childbirth educator, and fellow mama is your birth experiences and memories belong to you, and your babies and you need to make the decisions that are best for you. You need to be comfortable with your care providers, and where you are birthing. You need to know you made informed decisions that are right for you and your circumstances. Be sure to ask questions until you understand what will/may happen and why. Speak up if you’re uncomfortable with any procedure. Seek out support and trust yourself to make important decisions. Be patient. Labour is not a race. Your body may need time, listen to your body and trust that it knows how to labour and birth. You will likely be rewarded with the birth you planned and prepared for, and if not and you need to make new plans and decisions you will take comfort knowing that you had a voice in the experience, and know that the birth wasn’t something that happened to you, but rather, as you carry the memory around throughout your life, you’ll carry it as an inspiring memory.

Beth MacKenzie, CD(DONA), HBCE @HypnoBirthBethM

 

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Thank you Beth! Stay tuned for another great mom tip next week!

Have a mom tip? We’d love to hear from you! Click here to enter a submission.

What parenting questions would you like answered from our BabySteals community of experts? Click here to ask a question.

 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.

Dapper Snappers Surprise Steal!

It’s raining here in Salt Lake City, so we thought it was the perfect time for a little pick me up — literally! Keep your pants on. Back by popular demand, Dapper Snappers! No more droopy drawers — find the perfect fit  for your tot in a snap! Watch and see how they work.

Hurry, while they last — Dapper Snappers Surprise Steal!

 Dapper Snappers Surprise Steal

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RoSK Fluffy Woobee Plush Giveaway Winner!

With fall in full force and winter on the way, Rain or Shine Kids is here to prepare and protect your little ones, rain or shine. The softest all-weather gear you’ll find, your baby will be cozy and warm wrapped in velvety microfiber Fluffy Woobee Plush.

The lucky winner of the mint/chocolate Fluffy Woobee Plush is…

Melissa Hodge!

Winner chosen with random.org. Winnings are not for resale. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.