Tag Archives: baby

Baby Registry: 10 Items You Think You Need But Don’t

Creating my baby registry was one of the most overwhelming experiences in the whole baby process for me. There is so much to consider. You’re not just picking out the pretty china pattern or the cool coffee maker, like you did when you registered for your wedding. You have to think about what you might really need, safety ratings, brands, prices, the list goes on.

Armed with my Baby Bargains book and a spreadsheet I compiled after polling my mama friends, I thought I was prepared. Oh how wrong I was. Even after all the prep work I did, I still had to curate my registry online for several weeks after registering in the store. And still I registered for stuff we never ended up using.

From my experience, here are 10 things that you don’t need to add to your baby registry (save the money for diapers, you’ll definitely need those!):

1. Nasal Aspirator– Your hospital will give you one that, I promise you, works a thousand times better than the dinky ones that come in those kits.

Summer Infant Head Support

2. Car Seat Head Support– Most infant car seats come with plenty of padding. Once our daughter was in her car seat (a Graco SnugRide 35), there wasn’t enough room for the head support thing.

3. Baby Rearview Mirror– Since babies have to stay rear-facing now until the age of 2, the only thing you’re going to see in an extra rearview mirror is the back of the car seat. If you want a mirror, I’d recommend getting one that attaches to the seat in front of your baby so, when they’re a little bigger, they can see themselves and you can see them in the reflection from your car’s rearview mirror.

4. Baby Food Maker and Trays– If you have a food processor and some plain old ice cube trays, you can make your own baby food just fine. If you have the room in your kitchen to store another appliance, go for it, but it’s not a necessity.

Sperry Topsider Infant Girls

5. Newborn Shoes– For the most part, your baby is going to be in one-piece outfits with footies, so he won’t need shoes. This was a bummer for me because we had so many cute shoes (hello baby Sperry Topsiders!), but my daughter spent her first 12 weeks in a Pavlik Harness for hip dysplasia, which meant absolutely no shoes or pants! Even healthy babies, though, usually wear the one-piece footie things in the beginning.

6. A Swing, a Jumperoo, a Walker, a Bouncer, AND a Lounger– Chances are, your baby is going to have a preference for where she wants to hang out. Many babies never take to swings, and some are just as happy on the floor or propped up on a Boppy as they would be on a newborn lounger. Unless you have one heck of a storage area or a dedicated playroom, I’d pick just a couple of these to start with. For us, the bouncer was a Godsend when our daughter came down with croup (she had to sleep in it all night), and the Jumperoo provided her endless entertainment in our kitchen while we cooked.

7. Tons of Sippy Cups– It’s ok to add a couple, but don’t go overboard. If your baby is like mine, he might jump over sippy cups altogether and go straight to straw cups. Then you’ll be stuck with a boat load of sippy cups, like me, and still have to go buy the other kind.

Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station

8. Portable Baby Changing Station– Unless you plan on forgoing a diaper bag altogether, I would leave this off your registry. Most diaper bags come with ample pockets and storage areas as well as a waterproof changing pad.

9. Sleep Positioner– The FDA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have both released statements warning of the suffocation risks that sleep positioners pose. They aren’t necessary and they aren’t safe, so better to just avoid them altogether.

10. Wipe Warmer– Bottom line is that it’s just not necessary. Your baby wipes shouldn’t be that cold if your house is a normal temperature, and it’s not like you’re going to lug a wipe warmer around everywhere you go.

Mamas, anything else you would add to the list?


Ruffles, Ruffles Everywhere!

We just booked our vacation for this summer, so I’m in a beachy state of mind! I’ve noticed that baby bathing suits are already popping up everywhere (yes, even as the snow falls), and ruffles are a big trend this year. One of the best things about having a little girl is getting to dress her in stuff like this—so stinkin’ cute! Check out some of my favs:

Gap, $24.95

Carters, $16.80

Gymboree, $24.95

Gap, $24.95

Carters, $16.80

Janie & Jack, $42

Kate Mack, $52

Ralph Lauren, $39.50

Brighten Your Day with Old Navy’s Spring Line for Toddlers

It’s a soggy, dreary day here in the DC area, so how about some bright springtime duds to brighten the mood? I love Old Navy’s new spring line for toddlers, and I especially love that nearly everything is $20 or less. It may be close to freezing outside, but in my house, we’re in a breezy, 65° state of mind! Now, time to shop!

Toddler Boys' Cuffed Skinny Jeans, $19.94

Toddler Boys' Plaid Poplin Shirt, $14.94

Toddler Boys' Chevron-Stripe Windbreaker, $22

Toddler Girls' Scalloped-Trim Dolman Top, $16.94

Toddler Girls' Colored Skinny Jeans, $19.94

Toddler Girls' Babydoll Trench, $15

Baby Geek Chic

When I’m not blogging, I have a day job as a marketing writer/editor. I spend a good chunk of my life knee deep in proofreader’s marks, style guides and grammar humor (yes, there is such a thing- check out The Oatmeal, hilarious!) So imagine my excitement when I happened upon these adorable geeky chic baby things on www.cafepress.com! I might have to get one of these for my own little grammar girl!




























Vintage Nursery Rhyme Nursery

When I found out I was having a baby girl, I knew one thing for certain—I didn’t want insects in her nursery. So much of the crib bedding and decor for baby girls is butterflies and ladybugs, and I wanted something a little different and unique. I spent ages looking for just the right bedding to serve as the starting point for the rest of the design. The search might not have taken as long as it did, but I flat out refused to pay $500 for baby bedding. I finally decided on the “Over the Moon Toile” from Carousel Designs. Hands down, they had the cutest bedding for the best prices. The fabric set the tone for a vintage nursery rhyme-themed room that turned out even better than I could have imagined.














I accented the room with personal touches: my baby shoes hanging from a hook, a children’s literature book that has been passed down through 5 generations of daughters in my family, my silver initialed baby cup, a framed poem that my dad wrote for Olivia (just like my grandfather did for me) and plenty of pictures.

























The ruffled curtains came from Land of Nod, and the swivel recliner is from the Storytime Series by Best Chairs and is probably the most comfortable chair I have ever sat in. That’s a good thing because, between the heartburn at the end of my pregnancy and dealing with a newborn who was more comfortable sleeping at an angle, I spent more than a few nights sleeping in that chair.










The artwork on the wall are actually pages from a book of vintage National Book Week posters that my dad matted and framed for me. I found the sweet, glazed ceramic bookends at Storybookceramics.com. The lamp was a steal from HomeGoods (and had a great, vintage-looking quality to it), as was the piggy bank on which I painted my daughter’s name.


















Harajuku Mini for Target

Gwen Stefani debuted her Harajuku Mini for Target line on November 13, which includes dressy and casual looks for baby and toddler boys and girls and tween girls. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of the Harajuku style. But after seeing the collection in person the other day, I’m sold! There were so many cute things I wanted to buy for the little one, I didn’t know where to start! I’ve managed to (somehow) narrow down my favorite looks below. If you’re also on the Harajuku Mini bandwagon, get thee to your nearest Target STAT—this line is only available in stores!

Mini Biker Hoodie, $20.00

Two-Piece Lion Set, $20.00

Girls' Plaid Ruffle Dress, $24.00


Plaid Jumper and Leggings, $19.00

“The Sniffles Are Coming!” Cold and Flu Remedies

Ugh, it is officially cold and flu season in our house, as both my daughter and I are snuffly, sneezing, mouth-breathing messes. I swear we can’t even look in the direction of our pediatrician’s office without all getting sick- that waiting room is a petri dish! But as much as I hate having a cold, I hate my daughter having one even more because there isn’t a whole lot I can do to make it better. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold, and it just has to run its course (which can take anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks). Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warn against giving any over-the-counter cold or cough medicine to children under the age of 2- and there are even studies that suggest that OTC meds are ineffective for children under the age of 6. So what’s a parent to do?? Here are some good, old fashioned home remedies that are safe for tots and will help bring some relief to your snot-bubble-blowing little one (no one else? just my kid? well ok.):

1. Honey (for children 12 months and older ONLY) Honey helps to soothe sore throats and gets coughs under control. You can mix a teaspoonful in warm water with a bit of lemon, or try it in warm (but not hot) decaf chamomile tea if your baby is over 6 months old.

2. Chicken Noodle Soup I know, you thought this was just a old wives’ tale, right? Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center discovered that the nutrients in chicken noodle soup have anti-inflammatory properties that make it the perfect food to help fight upper respiratory congestion. Plus, it helps keep your little one hydrated, which leads me to. . .

3. Plenty of Fluids Not only do you need to keep your child hydrated, but extra fluids (whatever they may be- water, juice, Pedialyte, Gatorade, milk, etc.) can help to thin out and flush nasal mucus.

4. Humidifier Run a cool-mist vaporizer or a steamy shower to help break up congestion and ease a cough. Steer clear of warm-mist humidifiers- they pose a burn risk if your little one gets too close and knocks it over).

5. REST Children need lots of rest to help fight off infections. And unfortunately, sleep isn’t the easiest thing to come by when your baby is stuffy and hacking up a lung- for you or him. I know the AAP recommends no TV for children under the age of 2, but if there’s any time to whip out the Elmo videos, now would be the time. Do whatever it takes to help your baby get the rest he needs to heal.

6. Saline and Aspirator Ahhh my two best friends these days. Having cold liquid squirted up their noses and then having their snot noisily sucked out by a large, usually colorful, object doesn’t always go over well with little ones. But if you can manage it, using saline drops and an aspirator is the quickest way to clear out a stuffy nose. Just make sure you have tissue on hand. The aspirator the hospital gave us is still to this day the best one we’ve found.


Teething Pad

It started out as just a couple of little white flecks. We would pick them off of her cheeks and nose in the mornings, but we couldn’t figure out what was all over our daughter’s face and hands. And then it became all too clear- painfully clear if you happened to be her crib. Our daughter had already gotten her bottom two teeth, so we figured we had this teething thing under control. We were wrong. So wrong. Apparently, it’s the top teeth that cause the most damage- and her beautiful white crib rail was her first victim. It didn’t take long for the innocent white flecks to turn into deep, brown teeth notches all along the top rail of the crib. On the bright side, we’ll be able to use the little jar of touch-up paint the manufacturer sent with the furniture!

If only I had thought to make a teething pad before it was too late. Only, I had no clue what that even was until about 5 hours ago. (Insert best Homer Simpson “Doh!” here) So this is my PSA for the day: if your baby hasn’t gotten his top teeth yet, do yourself a favor and follow this tutorial to make your very own crib rail cover. Your little one’s crib will thank you.

Via diddledumpling.blogspot.com

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Big Baby Little Baby

My coworker, Dave, and a friend of his recently teamed up to start designing witty tees for tots and their parents. Dave’s daughter is only in the 7th percentile while his friend’s baby is off the charts, hence the name of their company: Big Baby Little Baby. They’re just starting out, but they already have some super cute t-shirts available online (and over 60 new designs in the queue- so plenty more to come!). You can check them out online at www.bigbabylittlebaby.com.

Iron-Deficiency and Anemia in Toddlers

Iron deficiency can make your little one irritable, pale, fatigued, dizzy and weak- and it is believed to affect neurodevelopment and behavioral development for years to come (i.e. difficulty concentrating in school, higher risk of ADHD, etc.). Although the prevalence of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia in children ages 1 to 3 has been on the decline since the 1970s, approximately 9.2% of all toddlers (ages 1-3) are iron deficient and 2.1% suffer from iron-deficiency anemia, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data collected between 1999 and 2002. The introduction of iron-fortified formula and infant foods, such as rice cereal, are attributed to the declining rates of iron deficiency over the years, as is the American Academy of Pediatrics’ stance on screening at one year.

If you think your child may be iron deficient, it is important to talk to your pediatrician right away to determine if you should be giving your little one iron supplements. However, all toddlers, even those with normal iron stores, can benefit from an iron-rich diet. Also, Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron, so try to offer fruits and vegetables with iron-rich foods for maximum impact. Here are some foods you can start offering to your little one to help prevent iron deficiency:


Cream of Wheat

Sweet Potatoes


White Beans


Blackstrap Molasses











Lima Beans

Iron-fortified Pasta