Monday, December 31, 2007

5 Baby Shower Food Ideas Anyone Can Make

Planning a baby shower? You have got all the details taken care
of by now, or have you?

What are you feeding your guests?

No doubt, you could cater the food and be done with it. That
would cost quite a bit of money on all the caterer's service.
That would eat into your baby shower budget. Why not use that
money on personal gifts for your guests instead. Besides, home
cooked food is better and cheaper than anything mass produced

You could always make it a pot luck. Each guest could bring his
or her culinary speciality. But some people might not like it,
or they may not have the time to spare.

Or you could go the extra mile and prepare the feast yourself.
It is cheaper than catering. You get to show off your culinary
skills (even if you think you don't have any) and present your
guests food you prepared yourself (which by the way, will be
scrumptious. Just see the recipes below).

Short of time? Prepare a quick and scrumptious meal at home
that should tickle their tastebuds and fill their stomachs, to
some extent, that is.

Here are 5 relatively easy items you could include in your
party spread.

1. Chicken Wings.

The trick is to marinade them overnight. Put the wings in a
large bowl and cover them with marinade. You could buy bottles
of marinade from the supermarket, or you could make your own
with a family recipe from grandma or mom. Either way, seal the
bowl and put it in the fridge overnight to let the marinade seep
in. Then bake or grill the wings. (about an hour or less)

One of my favorites is very oriental. For 1 kg wings, mix 4
tablepoons light soya sauce mixed with 1 tablepoon of sugar, 1
tablespoon oyster sauce and 1 small piece of crushed ginger in a
bowl. Then add the wings and leave to marinade.

2. Pizza Sandwich Fingers

This is my favorite buffet recipe for when I have to prepare a
feast for a large group of people in a hurry. These colorful
slices taste as good as they look. They make great buffet

Take a loaf of bread (or two or as many as you need to feed
your guests.)

Remove the edges.

Cut each slice of bread into 4 strips.

Put coarsely chopped, bite sized pieces of salami, green
capsicum, button mushrooms and tomatos on each strip. Then
sprinkle cheddar cheese and morazella cheese over the
ingredients. Grill in a toaster oven. The effect is a spread of
green (capsicum) / red (tomato) / yellow (cheese) open
sandwiches that add to the festive mood.

3. Tuna On A Ritz

Get a box of Ritz biscuits or salted crackers.

Mix a can of tuna with a can of cream of mushroom soup. Then
spoon half a teaspoon of this mixture onto each biscuit. (I
learnt this from my old friend Serene Woon.) Another great
instant buffet offering.

4. 1 large pot of beef stew and french loaves.

The bread and stew should fill their stomachs. You don't want
your guests to go home hungry, do you?

Stir fry in a tablespoon of olive oil, in a large pot, 1
chopped onion, 3 minced cloves of garlic, 1 kg beef cubes, 3
large ripe tomatos, 3 large potatos (diced) 3 large carrots
(diced), 2 stalks of celery and a box of button mushrooms.Throw
in a handful of oregano leaves, a sprinkle of crushed black
pepper and a pinch of salt. Then fill the pot with boiling
water. Let it simmer for 3 hours to draw out the flavour,
topping up with boiling water as necessary. Add sugar and salt
to taste. When you are satisfied with the result, serve with
warm bread.

An easier way to make the stew is to dump everything into a
crockpot (no oil needed) first thing in the morning, add boiling
water and let it simmer until the guests arrive.

(Personally, I would marinade the beef in 3 tablespoons of
light soya sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar and a little crushed black
pepper corns overnight before using the beef for the stew. Then
skip the salt and sugar.)

Warm the bread in the oven while the guests arrive. After take
the crockpot out to the buffet table, present the warmed bread
in a basket and serve your guests.

Let your guests dip the bread into little bowls of stew.

5. Salad

Wash and chop up 1 large head of lettuce, peeled japanese
cucumbers, 1 bunch of baby spinach, 3 large ripe tomatos, button
mushrooms, chick peas and your favourite veggies. Toss in salad
cream and serve chilled.

For a small party, you could use the recipes that come with gt
express mentioned in the resource below for quick and easy to
make dishes, Cut into smaller servings and serve as part of the
party buffet.

About The Author: For easy, delicious dishes, get gt express
from . Baby shower
gifts for guests at

Friday, December 28, 2007

Five Tips On How To Make Bath Time Fun And Safe For Your Baby

There are babies who love the feel of splashes of water, who
enjoy taking a bath and look forward to this activity everyday.
On the other hand, there are those who are terrified just at the
sight of the tub, who are scared to be dipped in the water.

Whichever your kid is, there are certain ways you can do to
ensure that bath time is safe for your kid and fun for both of

Tip Number 1: Talk with your kid gently while you bathe him.
More often than not, he will be interested in what you say even
though he does not yet completely understand you. Talking to him
will also give him an assurance that he's safe and there's
nothing to be scared of. Say things like, "I'm now washing your
hair with this sweet smelling shampoo!" or "Now it's time for a
rub-a-dub. Let's go soap this cute little body of yours!"

Tip Number 2: Sing to your kid or play nice and fun songs while
he takes a bath. Kids love music especially those upbeat ones.
Once he's learned to associate these fun songs and also your
singing which he loves no matter if it's out of tune or not with
taking a bath, he'll eventually love and enjoy these baths.

Tip Number 3: Give your kid bath toys to play with during his
tub time. A squeaky toy like a rubber duckie or a bath puppet
like Baby Einstein puppet would definitely keep your baby
entertained while you clean him from head to toe. This will show
him that baths are not scary but are also a fun time to play.

Tip Number 4: Use child-safe and durable bath tubs. And always
be careful in handling your kid during baths. Remember, babies
are slippery when wet. It's good if you have someone to assist
you during the bath and help you get hold of your baby
especially if he's the energetic kind who loves to kick around
and splash water on your face. It's also smart to place the tub
on top of a rubber mat to prevent the tub from slipping.

Tip Number 5: Bathe your kid in lukewarm but not hot water.
Adjust the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees
Fahrenheit or 48.9 degrees Celsius. Water that is too hot may
scald or burn your baby and water that is too cold might scare

It's important that you encourage your kid to love taking a
bath because this is a very important part of personal hygiene
and good grooming. Positive outlook on baths and good bathing
habits are contributory to good health.

Give him toys that will incite his creative imagination.
Building blocks are ideal toys for this age, not only because it
works to improve fine motor skills but also encourage your kid
to use his imagination to build. Stacking toys such as stackable
cups and pails are also exciting for your kid and will also be
good for the stimulation of his creativity.

About The Author: For more tips and information about Baby
Einstein Puppets , check out

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Baby Gift Baskets: Not Just For Baby Showers

When we think of a baby gift basket being presented, we think
of the baby shower. Certainly the baby shower is one of the
first gift-giving opportunities for the new parents, but baby
gift baskets can be given and are more than appropriate for the
many other gift giving occasions that are in store for the new
little one.

Just to make it comprehensive, let's start with the baby
shower. Most of the time, this is a first child for the couple
and they need practically everything. The expense of a new baby
after it arrives can be daunting, especially if the parents need
to add items such as baby formula, baby food and diapers to
their weekly shopping list. Along with all of the weekly
supplies, there are regular doctor visits that need to be
afforded and other incidentals that the baby will need. The baby
shower is a perfect opportunity to help lessen the burden
financially so the parents can concentrate on enjoying every
minute with their precious new bundle of joy.

Use the baby shower to give a baby gift basket of items that
they will definitely need. Sure, it may be more fun to buy that
6 foot tall giant stuffed panda bear, but what are they going to
use it for? More than likely, it will become a new sleeping
place for the family pet. The baby shower is an opportunity to
ease the overwhelming sense of responsibility and stress that
the parents may be beginning to feel as the day of their baby's
arrival looms closer and closer.

Gift baskets, such as traditional layettes or an assortment of
one-piece undershirts or even a crafty display of diapers will
be most appreciated. If you are especially talented, present the
new parents to be with an array of hand made baby items. Hand
sewn baby quilts, crocheted or knitted booties and receiving
blankets and little toys are not only practical, but because
they are hand made, they could become family heirlooms that get
passed down to grandchildren. If it is appropriate, this is also
a wonderful opportunity to give a hand made baptismal or
christening set of a gown, booties, cap and blanket.

Just because the baby shower has passed doesn't mean that the
opportunities for giving baby gift baskets has passed with it.
Once the baby arrives is a wonderful excuse to come bearing a
gift. Now that the baby's gender is known, if it wasn't before,
and he or she has a name and is becoming his or her own
personality makes putting together a gift even more fun. Now is
the time when you can personalize your gift giving and your gift
basket can reflect the new child that is actually here.

Now that the baby has arrived, there are still plenty of times
that a gift basket can say just the right thing. If the baby is
going to be christened, that could be a wonderful time for a
small gift basket of Bible story board books, religious jewelry
or keepsakes. You could also include a small photo album for the
parents to put all of the photographs from the day.

Still the opportunities to give baby gift baskets are upcoming.
Throughout the coming year, the baby will be experiencing all
kinds of firsts. Every holiday that arrives will be a magical
one for the new family. It is always joyful when you can share
in these marvelous times with them.

Imagine the possibilities of creating a gift basket for baby's
first Christmas. You could include items such as a tree ornament
that represents something that is special to the baby. Or a
small nativity set or a Santa's village that is made of larger
soft-sided components. If the baby's first Christmas is a few
months after their birth, this would then be a good time to
purchase warmer sleepers for them in their larger size. If the
baby is eating solid food now, a gift basket of baby foods,
cereals, snacks and formula would really help the parents out
especially at this Christmas time. This could also be the
perfect opportunity to begin the baby's movie collection by
starting with some of the Christmas classics like Rudolph, The
Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Another big holiday for the new baby is Easter time. What a
more perfect opportunity to give a gift basket than at Easter.
Depending on the child's age when he or she celebrates their
first Easter, you could give appropriate snacks, toys or stuffed
animals. This may also be a good time to buy a new spring outfit
for them or new shoes. Don't limit your imagination. Find a
beautiful Easter basket that the child could use every year and
fill it with everything you can imagine a child of that age

Two other holidays that you may not necessarily consider giving
a gift basket on are Halloween and Independence Day. These are
two holidays where you could really come up with a gift basket
that is very unique and special. Again, always shop for items
with the baby's current age in mind and have fun. For Halloween,
you could include a small costume or stuffed animal. And of
course, don't forget to add some "treats" that the baby could
enjoy. Pop them all in a plastic pumpkin bucket and you are all
set. Independence Day gift baskets for the baby could include
red, white and blue toys and stuffed animals and some safe
celebration toys that do not have any small parts on them like a
kazoo or small drum or trumpet. If the child is old enough, he
or she will love to add their own noise to the celebration.

And finally, we come to the day of celebration that is all
their own, their first birthday. By this time, many babies are
crawling and some are even walking. A gift basket at this time
could include a small scooter and walker combination that allows
the child to push the vehicle or ride it. Many of these are in
the shape of small cars, bikes, trains and trucks and have a
compartment on them that opens up. Fill this compartment with
other items that a one year old would love.

Little ones love to push items like small cars and many are
just beginning to experiment with crayons and scribbling. You
can find special markers and pad sets that only write if the
special marker is used on the special paper. The parents will
especially appreciate the thoughtfulness.

Another great gift is a child-safe soft padded plastic mini
photo book. These albums usually hold about eight photographs
and are equipped with a handle so the toddler can carry it
around. Inside it holds pictures of the people who are special
to baby, so he or she can open it up any time and see the faces
of those they love. This is a wonderful gift especially if the
baby has grandparents that live too far away to visit on a
regular basis.

As you can see, the life of a new baby is basically one
gift-giving experience after another. Use as many opportunities
as you can to give the little one a unique gift basket and fill
the child's first year with lots of mementos and small presents.
After all of this, if you weren't a member of the family
already, you will be now.

About The Author: Jacoba Fenny offers a complete line gift
baskets and baby gift baskets for every occasion at

Thursday, December 20, 2007

How To Buy A Baby Crib

Buying a baby crib is often the first big decision you will
make as a parent. Choosing a crib must be taken seriously.
Safety is the most important consideration. Cribs manufactured
in the United States have strict safety standards, which have
been in place since 1973. These standards are updated as needed.
Keep these things in mind when you buy a baby crib.

Design Safety is the number one concern with design. Be sure
that the slats of the crib are no further apart than 2+3/8
inches. The head and foot ends of the crib should not contain
cutouts. A baby can get caught in these cutouts and may be
unable to get free. The head and foot ends are best made of
either solid design or slats.

Most cribs have adjustable sides and mattress positions to make
it easier to pick up the baby. While these are helpful when the
child is tiny they can pose problems later on. The distance
between the top rail when it is raised and the mattress when it
is in its lowest position must be no more than 26 inches. Once
the child can pull himself up always put the mattress in the
lowest position possible.

The mattress must fit snugly into the crib frame for safety
reasons. A space as small as an inch can pose a possible safety
hazard for infants. Remove any plastic on the crib and mattress.
Check that the hardware is tight and that no sharp edges

Check the display model for sturdiness. If you will be
assembling the crib at home look at the display to ensure that
you know the proper way it should work. The crib should come
with the proper hardware and complete detailed assembly


Here are some additional features to consider when looking to
buy a baby crib.

Teething Rail – These are attachable plastic covers that can
attach to the top rails of the crib sides. Teething rails can
help prevent children from chewing on the wood keeping them safe
while protecting the crib.

Bumper Guards – Bumper guards are padded and fit snugly against
the sides of the crib. The purpose of the bumper guards are to
protect the baby from hitting into the sides of the wood or
metal crib as they roll. There is much discussion about the
safety of bumper guards. Be sure to choose bumper guards that
fit tightly with no loose material that could pose a choking or
suffocation hazard. Choose Velcro fasteners to avoid loose
hanging ties.

Rolling Casters – These are often quite useful particularly if
you need to move the crib around from time to time. Be sure that
the casters are attached securely and have a locking mechanism
so that they can be locked into position to prevent rolling when
the crib is stationary.

Additional Safety Information Always register your crib with
the manufacturer by filling out and sending in the product
warranty card. Keep the crib information including model number,
manufacturer and date and place of purchase in a file along with
the instruction manual. This will allow you to more easily check
for product recalls.

About The Author: Article written by Randi Reese, she offers a
wide selection of baby cribs at

Babysitter Safety

You and your spouse finally got theater tickets to see your
favorite show. For dinner beforehand, you made reservations at a
restaurant that is usually impossibly busy. You even purchased a
new outfit to wear for your big night out on the town. The only
thing left to do is find a suitable sitter. It seems like an
easy task, but it is by far the most important part of your
evening out. The results of choosing an inappropriate babysitter
can range from mildly annoying to unthinkably tragic.

Before You Hire Babysitter:

• Use a friend or family member if possible. Try to get
recommendations from friends who have kids. Always check the
references of a new babysitter.

• Do not hire a sitter under age 12. Also, keep in mind that
the younger the children or the greater the number of children,
the older your babysitter should be.

• Make sure your babysitter knows CPR and first aid. Recommend
that young sitters take the American Red Cross babysitter class.

• Meet the babysitter in advance. Let her spend time with you
and your children in advance to observe how she interacts with
your kids. In many cases, it's a good idea to hire a potential
candidate as a "mother's or father's helper" first. That way,
she can get used to watching the kids while you are still home.

Babysitter Safety – What They Need to Know

When you leave the house, babysitter safety should be your
primary concern. Arm your sitter with the information necessary
to ensure your children's wellbeing. Make sure your babysitter
knows the following things:

• Parents' full names and cell phone or pager numbers

• Children's full names and ages

• Address of the house including the nearest intersections – in
case it's necessary to give directions to emergency workers

• Phone number of the house

• Name and phone of family doctor

• Emergency numbers including the National Poison Control
Center hotline: 1-800-222-1222

• Location of first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and flashlights

• Contact information of neighbors or relatives

• Food and drug allergies

• Where you will be and when you will be home

Babysitter Safety – Common Sense

Babysitter safety also includes the precautions your sitter
should take to protect the children from outside dangers. In
addition to knowing medical information and contact information,
your babysitter should also:

• Keep all doors and windows locked
• Turn on outside lights when it gets dark
• Check on sleeping children about every 15 minutes
• Never leave the house with your children unless you gave
• Refuse to let anyone in the house unless she personally knows
the individual
• Call 911 if someone suspicious comes to the door, or if your
sitter suspects a prowler
• Never identify herself as the babysitter on the phone
• Make sure she has safe escort home at the end of the evening

Consider babysitter safety to be the key ingredient to a
relaxing night out with your spouse. After you pick a great
babysitter, listen to what your children say about the sitter
when you get home. Your kids will give you a good idea about the
level of their safety while you were gone.

About The Author: Ralph Winn with 35 years in the Security

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Infant Massage and Your Baby

There is a growing trend towards infant massage. Some mothers are learning these special techniques, or taking their children to baby classes where they can learn the proper movements.

There is actually proof that these rubdown techniques not only relax your baby, but more importantly, aid in their development into intelligent, happy children who are fully aware of the world around them.

The Benefits

Although it is a new trend, studies have been conducted by education experts to see how infant massage influences kids and mothers. There is a wide range of physical, mental, emotional and developmental benefits to the practice. These studies also show that these techniques help kids to interact with adults more easily.

Physically, these specific movements stimulate babies' nervous systems. In particular, it speeds up the process called myelination, which promotes communication between the brain and body. This is very important in early growth, because it means that they will be better able to develop control over their movements.

Another benefit is that it helps with circulation and respiration. When the blood flows through the body more easily, it helps to get rid of toxins, and regulate all the body's important functions. Better circulation also means better sleep.

Studies have shown that these techniques help babies' immune systems develop. There has been a link observed between this technique and the production of white blood cells that help to fend off diseases. Infant massage has been particularly helpful to babies that suffer from life-threatening hereditary diseases.

Baby massage also helps with digestion. A good, routine session will help a baby get rid of gas, reduce constipation and prevent colic.

Helping Your Baby Relax

Encouraging relaxation is one of the most important overall benefits of the practice. The kneading movements reduce muscle tension and anxiety. This contributes to better sleep, which is as important to a baby's health as a proper diet.

Infant massage not only relaxes kids, but aids in their development. In order to develop into healthy toddlers, babies need lots of stimulation. This can be stressful and difficult for them, but these proper stimulation techniques get them acclimated with regular daily doses.

This helps them get ready for the stimulation they will receive as they become more used to the world around them. It helps get them started reacting with their world, an important first step in the development of a young child.

When we start teaching our toddler important life skills, this experience with stimulation gives them a head start. Babies who have had a regular massage routine often show traits of intelligence and calmness in early life. Studies have shown that these children also show lower levels of hyperactivity when they are toddlers and young kids.

Finally, the practice helps the child bond with caring adults. As a parent, learning these techniques can be a great way to help your baby develop. You can also take your baby to classes, where a masseuse who has undergone training can show you how it is done. This is a wonderful way to get your child used to adults and the world around them.

Infant massage, either done at home with the right techniques, or in classes where they have specialized training, has wonderful benefits for a new child and parents.

A growing trend among parents wanting healthier babies is a technique called infant massage. It provides benefits to the child, including nervous system development and better digestion and sleeping habits. Mellow Mommy offers many ways for you to master these techniques.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nine Easy Ways to Find Cheap (and Free) Baby Stuff

Raising a baby can be expensive, but, with a little online
savvy and some help from your friends, you can save bundles
and even find some free baby stuff. Here's how to save
money on baby and find the best baby freebies on the web.

Baby Freebies Online

Just as having a baby can be an expensive proposition for
you, it can be a profitable one for retailers and
manufacturers. Many companies will give away things to
expectant and new moms in the hopes of earning your
business for a long time to come.

Here's how to get free products, samples and coupons from
the most trusted baby brands.

You can typically find free samples and discount coupons by
navigating your browser directly to a manufacturer's
website. To find these websites, do an online search for
your favorite brands of formula, diapers, and baby foods.

You can also often get free trial subscriptions to leading
parenting magazines. At the time of this writing, you can
get a free 6-month subscription to American Baby magazine
and a free 12-month subscription to Baby Talk magazine
directly at the publications' websites.

A word of caution about signing up for baby freebies,
newsletters, and sweepstakes. Make sure you read the fine
print, as well as a site's privacy policy before you enter
your name and email address on the company's registration
form. Each time you are signing up for something, you are
probably being put on a mailing list. You may want to have
a secondary email address that you use only on registration
pages and, if the page asks you if you would like
additional mailings from partners, opt out.

It's a good idea, too, to check the URL of the freebie's
registration page before you fill it out, to make sure you
are on the website of the manufacturer or publisher. Third
party sites, especially sites devoted to providing
freebies, may be in the business of collecting and selling
your personal information.

Savings on Diapers and Formula

These are two items you will probably spend the most money
on before your baby becomes a toddler. Breastfeeding is, of
course, the cheapest way around buying infant formula, but
it's just not an option for everyone. Here are the best
ways we have found to save.

Search Online.
See if you can find products cheaper online. Do a search on for bulk groceries or formula. This site, run
by Google, allows you to comparison shop across lots of
different sites with just one search. And check prices at
Amazon Grocery, too, which will ship these products to you,
just like any other Amazon purchase. Shipping is often free
for orders of $25 or more.

Join the Club.
Ask at the customer service desk of your local grocery
store to see if they have any kind of Baby Savings Club.
Some of the leading grocer chains offer additional savings
for these types of purchases.

Discount Baby Furniture and Gear

When it comes to baby furniture and baby gear, you can save
a lot simply by knowing where to look.

Let Your Friends Know What You Need.
The best way to get free baby stuff is to ask your friends
and family for anything they might be hanging onto that
they don't need anymore. Even your friends whose kids are a
bit older may still have some items in the attic.

Have a Baby Shower.
Baby showers are a great way to get exactly what you need
for the new baby. Even better, your guests can share more
ways on how you might be able to save money on baby items
in your particular area.

Join Moms Groups.
Join parenting groups both in your local area and online.
These are fantastic resources for free information and a
daily or weekly dose of sanity. Plus, once you get to know
other moms in your area, you can swap secondhand baby

Join a Freecycling Network.
Freecycling allows you to give away things you don't need
while taking things you do. Do a Google search to find a
Freecycle Network in your area, or visit and
browse the groups or enter your town into the search box.
Once you find a local freecycling group, you can usually
post your own needs and you find a lot of good things,
completely free.

Shop for used items.
Local consignment stores, thrift stores, and garage sales
are a great place to find gently used baby furniture or
gear. Check the newspaper for this weekend's garage sales
or monitor an online garage sale announcement service. Go
to Yahoo Groups and enter your city and "Garage Sale."

A note about buying baby items secondhand: If you buy used
toys or baby gear, make sure they still have safety labels
attached. Also, it's a good idea to always buy a new car
seat for your child. You don't want to take a risk by
getting a secondhand car seat that may have been in an

The most important thing for our family when our kids were
small was to consider carefully what it was we really
needed. When we were excited about having our first child,
we felt like we wanted one of everything. But we found that
some gear was not necessary at all, and some of it just got
in the way.

The simple approach is sometimes the best, so take a little
time with each buying decision. If there is a piece of
furniture or a baby item that you feel you really need, see
if you can get it gently used. It's better on the
pocketbook and the environment.

It's also tempting to invest in things the baby will need
when he or she has grown older. You can save money by
waiting until your baby actually needs a bigger, better
stroller, for example, to see both what you can afford and
what kind of features are truly the most important to you.
It helps me to look at it this way: When you save money by
not buying things you really don't need, you'll have more
money to put aside for your child's future.

With babies, as with life, the simple approach is often the
best. The simpler your life is, the more time you have to
enjoy your child.

Susie Cortright is the founder of
and Visit her site today to
find direct links to diaper and formula savings, coupon
codes for baby gear and more:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Baby Cribs In Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports Best Baby Products gives information about the
best baby cribs based on their tests and product reviews. A baby
crib is one of the most important items that new parents
purchase for their child. The baby spends most of its time in
the crib, particularly as a newborn.

Consumer reports on baby cribs advises that the safest cribs
are those which use the least loose fitting bedding such as
blankets and pillows. These items cause the most risk to babies
due to the possibility of suffocation and SIDS hazard.

According to consumer reports, the best cribs are those that
are most simple. The first decision is whether to get a crib
with a drop side. The drop side allows for easy access to the
baby but if installed incorrectly can pose a threat to the
infant. Some cribs have two drop sides. To check the structure
of the crib Consumer Reports suggests that you check the
in-store model of the crib before making any decisions. The crib
sides should lock into place and should not move down without
excessive pressure applied. You should not be able to move the
sides without at least ten pounds or more of pressure.

The best cribs, according to consumer reports on baby cribs,
are those that have the simplest lines. When purchasing a new
crib be sure that it made well and that all the slats are held
tightly in place. Avoid cribs that have cutouts on the head or
foot ends as these can catch tiny fingers and hands. Slats
should be no further than 2 3/8 inches apart. All cribs
manufactured after 1974 must adhere to these standards.

The crib mattress is important also. The mattress must fit
tightly into the crib. You should not be able to put two fingers
width between the mattress and the side of the crib. If you can,
the mattress is too small and can pose a hazard. The mattress
should not be covered in protective plastic as this can cause a
possible suffocation problem. Bedding should be kept tight on
the bed. Do not use a loose pillow with an infant. Pillows
should be decorative only and must be removed when the child is
in the crib.

Through the years new criteria continue to be added to the crib
safety standards. If you are planning on using a crib that was
made before 1986 be sure to check it for all possible problems.
Review the site to find out if the crib was recalled for safety.
Measure the slats and check all hardware for possible choking
hazards. Be sure that the mattress you get will fit into the
crib snugly. When in doubt it is best to purchase a new crib.

A new single-drop side crib is typically priced below $300,
making it an affordable purchase. Check safety and convenience
features. Cribs are now available that convert into toddler
beds, daybeds and even full size beds to grow with the child.
Check these as you would any crib to ensure that it is safe.

As children grow you need to ensure that they cannot climb or
fall out of the crib. Most cribs have adjustable mattress
positions which allow you to lower the bed as a child grows.
When the child stands the top of the crib side should not be
lower than his chest, with the side in the highest position.
Once the child reaches this size you need to move the child from
the crib to a toddler bed.

About The Author: Article written by Randi Reese, she offers a
wide selection of baby cribs at

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Liven Up Your Baby Shower With Decorations

Depending on your available budget and the time, you can go for simple or for extravagant baby shower decorations. You can decorate a baby shower in numerous ways - you can make use balloons, table settings, cakes as well as decorations on the walls and ceilings. Baby shower decorations are an integral part of any baby shower party.

You can create a baby shower centerpiece by for instance filling with stuffed toys, a small wagon or a basket. You decorate the room with dolls, teddy bears and toys by placing them on tables, chairs, etc. You can also put baby stuff and items like feeding bottles, rattles, teething rings and pacifiers among others in a small basket. You can also create a bouquet of balloons that you could use a centerpiece or you could attach them to the chairs or other furniture.

Most of the decorations of modern shower parties have changed with the times but then you can still be traditional by using the colors used in the baby's nursery. The nursery could be decorated with streamers, fresh flowers and balloons.

It is not at all necessary to make use of elaborate party decorations. Simple decorations like a few party toys or some flowers would be sufficient if that is what you want. If you want an elaborate celebration, there are many specialty stores for baby showers that offer a wide range of products like teddies, storks, etc. These decorations can be easily removed and can be taken home by the expecting couple as a remembrance or memorabilia for the special occasion. Some of these decorations could be reused for a children's party. Popular nowadays are diaper cakes. Play nursery songs or soft music during your party.

For the shower's color theme, it is suggested that you use the colors that you could find in the nursery. In this manner, you are given more flexibility for the decorations, napkins and tableware. It isn't at all necessary to purchase decorations that are expensive.

The location of your baby shower, whether it is in a cozy home or a restaurant is very important so that you will be able to determine the supplies and decorations to be used. Coordinate the shower's theme with all the supplies and decorations like centerpieces, invitations, cups, plates, napkins and favors.

For any party, imagination and creativity will play a big role for the success of it and the decorations need not be costly.

James Brown writes about

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Introducing Your Baby To Solid Foods

How Should I Start Feeding My Baby Solids?

When your baby is ready and the doctor has given you the OK
to try solid foods, pick a time of day when your baby is
not tired or cranky. You want your baby to be a little
hungry, but not all-out starving; you might want to let
your baby breastfeed a while, or provide part of the usual
bottle. Have your baby sit supported in your lap or in an
upright infant seat. Infants, who sit well, usually around
6 months, can be placed in a high chair with a safety
strap. Use a highchair as soon as your baby can sit easily
without support. To safely use a highchair:
--Select a chair with a broad, stable base that won't tip
--Use the safety straps every time you put your baby in the
--Keep other children from pulling, climbing or hanging on
to the highchair.
--Place the highchair a safe distance from the counter,
table or any other stationary object your baby could push
against forcefully enough to tip him or herself over. Give
your baby enough time to finish each meal.

Most babies are full after 20 minutes of mealtime,
including several minutes of exploring their food and
socializing with the person feeding them. When your baby
has had enough to eat, he or she will refuse the spoon with
mouth closed or face turned away. Follow his or her lead,
and never try to force in a few more bites.

Our medical advisors recommend that a baby's first food
should be root vegetables (yams, carrots) or fruit rather
than rice cereal. The first feeding may be nothing more
than a little food mixed in a whole lot of liquid.

Place the spoon near your baby's lips, and let the baby
smell and taste. Don't be surprised if this first spoonful
is rejected. Wait a minute and try again. Most food offered
to your baby at this age will end up on the baby's chin,
bib, or high-chair tray. Again, this is just an

Have the right equipment a small-sized plastic baby feeding
spoon does not transmit heat or cold while having a smooth


--Sit baby comfortably on your lap, baby hair chair or
infant seat.
--Tie a bib in place and hold baby's head gently but firmly
so that a sudden turn does not result in an eye or an ear
--Place the spoon in the baby's mouth on top of the tongue.
Remove it with an upwards motion so the food is pushed off
the top gum or lip.
--Offer no more than a few drops at a time at first. And if
it gets spitted back, gently retrieve it from the chin and
return it to the mouth.
--If your baby is unwilling to eat after a few attempts,
discard the food and begin again later with a new


--Never attempt to feed baby cereal from a bottle using a
teat with an enlarged hole. Cereals are intended as a
supplement to the normal intake of milk. Your baby does not
have to consume a great quantity of solid food yet. If your
baby will not take it from a spoon, simply try again later.
--Get frustrated with this process.

About the Author:

Mischelle (Schelly) Weedman-Davis left her 15-year
high-tech career to become a stay-at-home mom but later
became the founder of Sprouts Baby Food, Inc. She now uses
her talents to support her husband's law firm, the Davis
Law Group.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Cozy Your Baby In These 10 Soft Blanket Fabrics

A soft, warm blanket is a must for every infant. Always among
the most popular baby gifts, blankets give new mothers something
cuddly to wrap her baby in. Blankets are available in and
unending number of designs, colors, and styles, and can be had
with plush lining and trim. They are also available in many
types of fabrics, which is the subject of this article. Here's a
listing of the ten most popular baby blanket fabrics and what
you can expect to spend on them.


Cotton is the most well known fabric in existence today. It can
be washed by machine and is extremely versatile - it can be
woven, knitted, and dye any color you can imagine. Generally
priced in the $10-$40 range, it can become more expensive with
an elaborate design. The packaging may also influence the price.


A light- or medium-weight cloth, flannel can be made in several
ways, primarily a blend of wool and cotton or wool and a
synthetic fiber. These blankets are generally available in the
same price range as cotton, $10-$40.


Usually made from cotton, this fabric can be distinguished by
its manufacturing process. First the fibers are spun into a
tightly wound core, then piles (short lengths of fabric) are
wrapped around so its edges stand at right angles from the core.
This gives chenille its characteristic look and makes it feel so
soft. A blanket made from chenille is a little more costly than
one made from cotton or flannel, ranging from $25 to $60 in


I bet you think you know what this is made from, but you're
wrong. You're confusing this with the wool of sheep. As used in
a fleece baby blanket, the term describes a polyester fabric.
There's no wool in a fleece baby blanket! Prices can range from
$10 all the way to $70.


Once very expensive because it was made from silk, satin is
currently produced from nylon, rayon, acetate, and polyester.
This provides a much more affordable way to attain the glossy
finish the fabric is known for. Although still costing $50 or
more, satin baby blankets are much less expensive today than
they were when they were made from silk.


The original source for alpaca wool is the Peruvian alpaca, but
the term now refers to a more generic style of fabric. It can be
made from Icelandic sheep wool, high-quality English wool, or
mohair, and is available in a wide price range. Expect to pay a
minimum of $30 but the cost could go above $120.


Obtained from the cashmere goat, this wool is renowned for its
legendary softness. One of the more expensive fabrics to choose
for a baby blanket, expect to pay from $80 to more than $200 for
a cashmere blanket.


Merino is a less expensive alternative to cashmere. Originating
in Spain, it comes from a breed of white fine-wooled sheep that
produce an exceptional quality of fleece. It looks and feels
very similar to cashmere, but baby blankets made from merino
will cost significantly less - about $30 to $120.


Considered a luxury fabric because it requires multiple steps
to manufacture and more thread per square inch than other
fabrics, velvet can be made from many fibers, including cotton,
silk, and synthetics. Prices for velvet baby blankets range from
$40 to more than $150.

Charmeuse Silk

Charmeuse silk is the most expensive fabric used to make baby
blankets. Shiny and very smooth, a blanket made from the "silk
of the emperors" will make a great impression on the new parents
and show just how much they and the baby mean to you. With a
beautiful drape and an elegant luster, a blanket made from
charmeuse silk will cost about $300. Maybe not the most
practical fabric to catch baby's messes, but it'll definitely
feel nice.

About The Author: To save money on household items, Vince
suggests using a
Joann Coupon and a Sharper Image Coupon