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Dressed to Deliver Giveaway!

Labor Day is on the brain, so we’re having a fabulous giveaway to help you look your best during yours. ;) Dressed to Deliver offers a line of birthing gowns that help moms feel a little more fabulous with stylish designs and bright prints. Their gowns aim to make you feel pretty, comfortable, and confident, which hopefully translates into a better birthing experience. Their philosophy is look good, feel good — and when better than one of the most important days of your life?

We’ll be helping three lucky moms-to-be look and feel their best with a beautiful birthing gown in the color and size of their choice!

To enter, visit Dressed to Deliver and tell us which color gown is your favorite by filling out {this form}. And be sure to stay tuned for more Labor Day celebrations coming your way. ;)

Contest ends Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 11:59pm MDT. One entry per person. Participation open to U.S. and Canadian residents 18 years or older. 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.

New Baby Thank You Ideas | Mom Tip Monday

The saying is, “it takes a village to raise a child.” ‘Tis the season of gratitude and what better time to say thank you to your “village” than Thanksgiving? Here are a few ideas for how to say thank you for the help you’ve received with baby.

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Your mom and mother-in-law, best friend, a neighbor down the street, your understanding boss – if you have a new little baby, chances are, there have been people around you there to help. When you’re a new mom, every bit of help counts, so taking a moment to say a formal thank you is a sweet way to give back to people who have been there for you.

I dug around for a little inspiration on Pinterest and found some great ideas for saying “thanks for helping with the baby.”

Free Printables — Baby Thank You Card

Write a heartfelt thank you to let her know just how much it means to have her help and support. Click here for the thank you card printable.

via kelsieandnate.blogspot.com

Thanks A Latte — Coffee Gift Card

You may have gotten little to no sleep in the last several months, so why not give the gift of alertness. Say “Thanks A Latte” with a Starbucks gift card or a card to your favorite coffee shop. Click here for instructions to make this cute card to go with it.

via eighteen25

Baby Food Jar Body Scrub

Don’t let those baby food jars go to waste! Give them new life whilst saying thank you by mixing up some body scrub so their skin can be almost as soft as your baby’s…almost.

via Maybe Matilda


Free Printables — “Thanks, You’re Sweet”

Whip up a batch of homemade sweets or buy some at store they will love — whatever your style. Click below for a link to the how to instructions.

via Living Locurto


Something Sweet

Everyone is sure to be mixing up some fancy sweets over the holiday season. Make some infused sugar to give their homemade treats some extra flavor. Another cute way to say “thanks, you’re sweet.”

via Sugar and Charm Blog

Say Merci

If wine is more your helper’s style, say merci with one of these bottles from Swanson Vineyards. Give it a little baby flair with a sock monkey wine bottle cover and a photo of you little monkey.

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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.

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.

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.

Fruit and Oat Bars | Mom Tip Monday

Autumn means apples are in season and for this Mom Tip Monday, Catherine from Weelicious shares a delicious, healthy recipe the whole family will love.

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Fall is in the air and that also means that apples are in season too. No matter what part of the country you live, a variety of apples are at your disposal. Just as I did as a kid, I take my kids apple picking at a local farm gathering pounds of sweet, crunchy gems. The only problem is that our eyes tend to be bigger then our tummies and we end up with more then we could possibly eat in a week. My remedy is cooking up tons of apple butter to make recipes like these Fruit and Oat Bars.

I have to say, this goes down as one of our family’s favorite recipes because it’s healthy and packed with fiber and other nutrients, as well as being sweet but not in a loaded with sugar and the junk you’ll find in a store-bought equivalent. I guarantee I will be coaxed by the family into making these at least once a week during apple season for school lunch boxes, afternoon snacks or even dessert (it could be a
long winter for mommy)!

Fruit & Oat Bars (Makes 18 Bars)

2 cups whole oats
1 cup flour
2 tbsp wheat germ
1/2 tsp baking soda
10 tbsp butter
1/3 nuts, chopped (I used almonds)
1/4 cup honey
2 cups apple butter or 1-10 to 12 oz. jar fruit preserves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place all the ingredients except the apple butter or preserves in a food processor.
3. Pulse until the ingredients are combined and oats and nuts are in small pieces.
4. Press all but 1 cup of the mixture into the bottom of a greased 11 x 7 inch pan.
5. Cover the oat mixture with apple butter or preserves.
6. Crumble the remaining 1 cup of oat mixture over the apple butter or preserves.
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
8. Cool, cut and serve.

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Thank you Catherine! These homemade granola bars look scrumptious even for mommy! 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.

Running Errands With Your Baby | Mom Tip Monday

With a new baby, suddenly you find simple things like running to the grocery store or the post office a near-daunting task. It’s no longer grab your purse and go. Car seat, diapers, blankie, toys, feedings, burp cloths — you’re juggling a thousand things before you even begin to tackle the stuff on your to do list. This week we welcome Michelle Murphy from No Ordinary Momma, working mom and BabySteals fan, who shares her tips on running errands with baby on-the-go.

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How many more errands ma?

I’m sure this is a familiar scene. You’ve got one baby, four errands and 1 ½ hours to make it happen. Just thinking about how you are going to tackle it is causing anxiety. How can you execute this in the easiest way possible? Here are some tips to make it happen:

Assess the baby.

Make sure the baby is fed, changed and dressed in the easiest outfit possible. The goal is to get through the entire trip without having to change your baby’s diaper. Worst case scenario, if you have to change the baby, this is not the time you want him dressed in that fancy outfit that Grandma bought for family portraits. You know, the one with suspenders, button down shirt, old-fashioned buckle and a sweater vest to top it off. Save that for another day.

Drop extra weight.

My diaper bag causes more pain in my back, shoulders and neck than any other activity. I’ve come to realize that I rarely need half the items in there. When I’m running errands I leave the diaper bag in the car and don’t carry it in with me. Odds are I won’t need anything since the baby is already fed and changed. If there’s an emergency and I need something, it’s very easy to go back out to the car and get whatever I need. Most errands don’t take much time, so take a the essentials in with you and the rest can probably wait until you are back in the car.

Wear your baby.

If you’ve got a baby carrier, now is the time to use it! Having your arms free to grab items at the grocery store, sign documents at the bank, and drop off items at the post office is wonderful. It’s the closest feeling you’ll get to what it was like before you had the baby. I wished I would have started using my carrier sooner. I had no idea how much easier daily life would be! This also solves the problem of wrestling your stroller in and out of the car. Enjoy the closeness while your babies are still little.

Invite a grandparent.

They always want to help, but sometimes it’s hard to think of useful ways to include them. Many errands are quick hops in and out of the car. It’s a lot of effort to get the baby in and out. Ask them to come along for the ride and hang back in the car with the baby. This gives you time to get things done and lets her help as well.

Map it out.

Babies tend to be awake at the beginning of a car ride and will poop-out towards the end. Think about your route before you begin. Do all of your “out of car” errands first. Then anything that can be done with the baby in the car save for the end when the baby is likely to be asleep. Examples of “in the car” errands are drive-thru ATMs and getting gas.

Swap babies.

This is the tip that makes errands a breeze. If you have a neighbor or friends with a baby try a weekly baby drop-off. I drop off my baby once a week and run my errands — you drop off your baby once a week and run your errands. Sure, it’s more work to watch an extra baby, but you’ll get your errands done and get a little breather once a week.

What are some things you do when running errands with your baby? What works best for you? I’d love to hear your tips!

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Thanks Michelle! These are wonderful tips for busy moms running errands with baby. 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.

Health Tips for Busy Moms | Mom Tip Monday

Clare from Peak 313

Being a mom means juggling a lot and when you’re short on time, health is the last thing you want to sacrifice. For this Mom Tip Monday, fellow BabySteals fan and certified fitness instructor, Clare from Peak 313, shares her tips on small things you can do to improve the health of your family in just a few minutes a week.

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Take 30 minutes! 30 minutes once or twice a week will help you make major strides in the health of your family.

  • Boil some eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are a great source of protein and when you are hungry and need something quick, it’s a perfect snack. Make them ahead of time, peel them and put them in their own small baggies so you can grab and go.
  • Prepare your fresh foods. If you’ve gone grocery shopping and have chosen fresh strawberries, peppers, grapes, broccoli or cucumbers for instance, then they need washed and cut up. Take some time to clean and cut. How many times has your fresh food gone bad because you’ve not had time to clean and cut them? Guilty!
  • Portion your fresh foods. If you pack your lunch, go ahead and divvy out your veggies into baggies. If you are a mom on the run, make many small bags with the fresh food in them. That way you can grab and go. Sometimes I’ll put a short clear glass of water in the fridge and stick slices of peppers or celery in them for a quick grab and go.
  • Portion your nuts or healthy snack mix. We all know that we can’t be eating handfuls of nuts, so take the time out and portion them out into baggies. Again. Grab and go.
  • Plan your workout ahead. Take a glance at your calendar. Have a Parent Teacher conference this week that coincides with your workout? Need to cut short your morning strength class because you have to take Johnny to the dentist? Be aware of the obstacles that will come into your schedule for the week, then find a way to re-work it. The re-work may not happen, but it’s worth a shot. Don’t just skip a workout because something comes up. Try to reschedule it or do a smaller version. Remember that objects in motion stay in motion!
  • Review your menu for the week. Take into consideration the calendar above. Make adjustments as needed so you aren’t spending unnecessary money and eating empty calories at fast-food joints.

 

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These are fantastic diet and exercise tips for moms and families, Clare! 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 KidSteals 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.

Traveling with Your Baby | Mom Tip Monday

Summer means family vacations and lots of moms get nervous about traveling with a baby. Today for Mom Tip Monday, Jamielyn, the blogger behind I {Heart} Nap Time, shares her tips on traveling with baby.

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Hi! I’m Jamielyn from I {Heart} Nap Time and I’m excited to be guest posting today. Today I’m going to share a few tips I’ve learned while traveling with little ones. I’ve had my fair share of trips with babies and there’s nothing worse than grumpy kids (or a grumpy mom for that matter) on a vacation. I’ve learned a few tricks that will keep the kids and mom happy!

1. Modifying your expectations
I’ve learned to modify my expectations. My grandma always says “The art of living is adjusting” and that is so true with little ones…especially while traveling.

2. Expect the unexpected
Make sure to write a packing list and check it twice. There’s nothing worse than forgetting something and having to make a late night run to the store. Also plan for all weather conditions. Sometimes those weather men can’t predict it all. ;)

3. Designate a meeting point
Just in case anyone gets separated from the group. It may also be a good idea to put a sticker on the the back of your kids shirt with your name and number.

4. Pack lots of healthy snacks
Pack a water bottles and juice boxes for the kids. Dum dums are a great treat for the road . They keep my son happy for about 20 minutes. And hey that’s 20 minutes!

5. Bring a cd with kids songs.
Enjoy singing along — they’ll probably get a kick out of that. ;)

6. Pack some new toys, books and coloring books for the road.

Consider wrapping several new toys (the dollar store has a great selection) to make them even more exciting.

7. Bring Ziploc bags.

They have been a lifesaver on our family vacations. Pack them in several different sizes. You can store things your kids find along the way including sea shells. Garbage bags are also nice to put all the dirty clothes in.

8. Beach trip? Bring some baby powder.

Rub it on those sandy legs, and it will wipe right off!

9. Pack the hand sanitizer.

It’s a great thing to keep on hand while traveling. Usually you’re eating on the go, so keep a small bottle and some wipes to keep those little hands clean!

Thanks for having me today! Good luck on your next trip. Don’t forget to have fun!

–Jamielyn from I {heart} Nap Time

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Thank you for your tips for traveling with kids. Stay tuned for another great mom tip next week! We’d love to hear your ideas so be sure to submit your entry.

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

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

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.

Introducing Mom Tip Monday

You are an expert. You’re a mom and you know your stuff. We know you already post your toughest parenting questions on our Facebook wall — now we are introducing Mom Tip Monday where each week we will give you the chance to share your expertise with all the other mommies in our community. Here’s your opportunity to really dole out your advice on tough problems you face as a mom like:

  • How can I get a good night’s sleep now that I’m in my third trimester?
  • What are the pro’s and con’s for using cloth diapers?
  • How do I deal with acid reflux?
  • What kinds of solid foods can I feed a 6-month-old?
  • How do I find time for myself?
  • When is this baby weight ever going to come off?
  • How do I get my toddler to give up the binky?


What parenting questions would you like answered indepth from our BabySteals community of experts?

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