Eco Toy Packaging

As a parent of two small children, I find myself pontificating about things I never have before. Where my life formerly centered around friends, Friday nights and shopping, I now think more about the environment, my children’s health and how to get milk gob off of my clothes.


mother shopping

This leads into my pet peeve of the decade topic…consumer goods packaging, specifically, the packaging that accompanies children’s toys and crafts. I recently bought my daughter a doll that came with so much more than just a toy brush and hair clips. I realized this was truly a gift of copious amounts of cardboard, plastic clips, metal ties and glossy (toxic?) paint. After extricating the doll from the cardboard sheath and plastic clips and all the while wondering if an engineering degree and blow torch would have sped the process up, I realized I had more packaging than toy! I have to ask myself what I am sure thousands of parents around the world have thought at one time or another. “Is this good for the environment?”, “Is it setting a good example for my children?”, “Doesn’t the packaging add unnecessary costs to a simple toy?”.

So now I have to ask myself why manufacturers do this when it is so obviously wrong on many levels. My personal conclusion was disturbing and embarrassing. The companies that make and market these toys do this because of me! Lavishly packaged toys sell more units because I buy them. I didn’t buy the plain cotton doll; I bought this plastic and glitzy cardboard encased monstrosity. Take your children to the toy store and they automatically gravitate towards the shiniest, brightest and exciting looking toys on the shelf. Unwrap it at home however and it just becomes another plaything with all the rest.

Some recommendations to help you around this issue are:

1) Buy the toys you like but write a letter (email) to the manufacturer and ask them to change their packaging.

2) Boycott toys with excessive packaging and let your friends know too.

3) Buy eco friendly toys. There are many great brands out there….

Trick or Treat with America’s ToothFairy!

Welcome the folks from America’s ToothFairy as this week’s guest bloggers

At this time of year when the Halloween candy buckets are about to overflow we need to pay extra attention to those teeth! Make this year memorable and sweet without all the sugar with these fun tips for a healthy Halloween!

  • Give ’em a treat without the sweet! Hand out sugar-free candy, toothbrushes or fun little toys to trick or treaters!
  • Make sure your child has a healthy meal before Halloween festivities to avoid snacking and a sugar overload!
  • If you are hosting a party, use healthy foods to make fun treats that the kids can enjoy. With a little fruit, some paper plates and toothpicks, children can create their own Monster Face. Melonballs or grapes make great monster’s eyeballs, simply spear the melonballs with the toothpicks and poke through the paper plate. For the monster’s nose, spear strawberries or orange slices, and for the monster’s smile, a banana will do just fine!
  • For a healthy smile year round, remember to brush, and floss your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist once every six months! For children ages 6 and up, use a fluoride rinse.

originalDid you know that there are MILLIONS of at-risk kids that can’t sleep at night, eat properly or even concentrate in school because of painful tooth decay? Without the financial resources for dental care or even a toothbrush or toothpaste, these kids find themselves caught in a downward spiral of pain and humiliation, from getting bullied in school to enduring an agonizing toothache on a daily basis.

Trick or Treat with America’s ToothFairy this year and help raise awareness and support for kids whose families can’t afford good dental care. For example just $10 gives a child toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, rinse and oral health education – all the tools they need for a healthy smile. Your donation will go directly to helping children in need, and by making a donation you will be eligible smilemakersjackolanternto enter to win a Halloween Jack-O-Lantern bucket from SmileMakers filled with 144 toys and prizes! Great for trick or treaters or for Halloween parties!

Kids can get involved too and receive fun stickers and a certificate recognizing them as an ‘Official ToothFairy Helper’ by the ToothFairy herself! Click here to download your great Halloween games, a song, and a calendar filled with super spooky fun activities for the entire month!

Giveaway!

pro health toothbrushThe Oral-B Pro-Health for Me rechargeable toothbrush is the perfect electric toothbrush to gently power all that Halloween gunk away. This electric toothbrush has a waterproof handle with fun designs and is compatible with multiple toothbrush heads. The brush head provides a gentle brushing experience. It also features a brushing timer that ensures their brushing style goes the extra mile for the dentist-recommended 2 minutes.

The Oral-B Pro-Health For Me Vitality Toothbrush and Oral-B Pro Health For Me Sensitive Clean Brush Heads are available at your local Walmart, but we have a set to give away to one lucky reader.

To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us your idea for a healthier Halloween treat.

headsAfter you’ve completed this mandatory comment entry you can do the following for bonus entries:

Please be sure to leave a separate comment below for each of your bonus entries.

    • Giveaway is open to the USA only
    • Winner will be drawn at random
    • Giveaway closes October 25th, 2013

A Fast Cure for Diaper Rash

Welcome back Dr. Kim Newell as this week’s guest blogger

Red, inflamed, irritated skin in the diaper area: oh no!

Diaper rash is a common problem for infants and toddlers, and can be very worrying and frustrating to parents. And when the wee one is screaming in pain with every diaper change, parents are desperate for a cure–and fast. After a quick lesson on the cause of diaper rash, treating and preventing this frustrating condition is no sweat!

Most diaper rash starts as an irritant dermatitis: the skin that is exposed to urine and stool gets irritated and raw. (”Dermatitis” means inflammation of the skin.)

k9289237The first step to treatment and prevention of diaper rash, then, is to use an ointment that acts as a barrier between the irritated skin and the baby’s urine and stool. Most diaper ointments contain one of two main ingredients: zinc oxide (thick and opaque white) or petroleum jelly. To this a host of vitamins and other ingredients are added: fancier ingredients and packaging = more expensive products. But in the end, a simple paste with either zinc oxide or petroleum jelly generally works well. Since diaper cream is meant to be a barrier, a generous application is usually more effective than a thin coat. More is, in this case, better.

Most minor diaper rashes respond well to treatment with a barrier ointment. And gentle skin care can help. Frequent diaper changes keep the irritants off the skin. Bathing your baby frequently in gentle warm water baths (even 2-3 times a day for the worst diaper rashes) also helps to reduce the inflammation. Keeping the diaper off and airing the skin out several times a day can be helpful too, though you have to watch for unwanted sprinkles and explosions with this approach!

What if the rash is not resolving in spite of gobs of diaper cream and good skin care? A simple irritant diaper rash can be exacerbated by several interlopers.

Yeast like Candida albicans (which lives on our skin and is usually harmless) gravitates to the warm, moist diaper area. Overgrowth of yeast can worsen diaper rash and prevent healing. A yeasty diaper dermatitis is often very beefy red and may have small red bumps or pimples at the edges of the central red area. Applying an over-the counter antifungal medicine like clotrimazole or miconazole two or three times a day can clear this condition rapidly. These ointments are available in the pharmacy for treatment of women’s vaginal yeast infections or for athlete’s foot.

Sometimes the bacteria that normally live on our skin can complicate the rash, causing small pustules (red bumps with a white or yellow head of pus in the center) or blisters. In this case you may need to add an antibacterial ointment. Start with an over-the-counter double or triple antibiotic and talk to your pediatrician if the rash is spreading or not resolving.

You may also add to the mix some hydrocortisone (0.5% or 1%) which can decrease the inflammation associated with severe diaper rash.

With vigilant care and a few tricks up your sleeve, you are now prepared to attack one of the scourges of infant life.

Tips for Parents:

  • As soon as your baby’s bottom begins to get even a little red, start using a barrier ointment: this can prevent worsening of the rash.
  • You cannot “overdose” your baby on diaper ointment. Go ahead, slather on a thick coat!
  • When babies get sick or have diarrhea, the stool becomes more acidic and can rapidly create diaper rash: it’s like a chemical burn. Frequent diaper changes and lots of diaper cream during these times can prevent a bad rash.
  • Warm water baths do wonders for inflamed skin, especially diaper rash.
  • In the case of severe or persistent rashes, you can make a paste by mixing an over-the counter antifungal medicine like clotrimazole or miconazole with an antibiotic ointment and hydrocortisone: apply the magic mix several times daily and watch the rash disappear.
  • See your pediatrician or healthcare provider if the rash has significant blistering, skin peeling, or pus bumps (pustules); if it persists despite home therapy; if the rash spreads rapidly; or if your baby develops a fever or appears ill.

Dr KimDr. Kim Newell, MD is a young, hip, approachable pediatrician whose aim is to help parents build healthy families by arming them with knowledge and tools, as well as a bit of lightness and laughter. 

Follow @DrKimMD on Twitter.

 

Introducing Anxiety BC for New and Expectant Moms

slide-anjali“Anjali is a 28-year-old married woman in her second trimester of pregnancy. She has no other children, but a year ago experienced a miscarriage early on in the pregnancy. Anjali was devastated by this loss, believing that she would be unable to conceive again. Gradually she was able to pull herself out of this difficult time with support from her husband and friends. However, feelings that she somehow could have prevented the miscarriage and that she should have done things differently continued to plague her for a long time. A year later, Anjali and her husband were overjoyed that she was pregnant again. Anjali felt really anxious…”

slide-susan“Susan is a 36-year-old mother in her third trimester of pregnancy. She also has a five-year-old son, Jacob. Though she expected to return to work after having her first baby, Jacob had many early challenges with feeding and sleeping, and a lot of separation anxiety. As a result, Susan was uncomfortable leaving him with anyone, and spent almost all of her time with her son. After her maternity leave finished she decided to resign and has not returned to work. The first two years of Jacob’s life were very difficult for Susan and her partner, and she experienced postpartum depression…”

Expectant and new mothers often have many questions and worries about motherhood. As a mom, we’re sure you’ve asked yourself:

  • Will my baby have birth defects?
  • Will I have a miscarriage?
  • How will I cope with the pain of labour?
  • What if I can’t have the birth that I want?
  •  Will I be a good parent?
  • Will the baby change my relationship with my partner?

logoAnxietyBC’s new website hopes to address these questions and fears, and provide expectant and new mothers with important, timely and relevant self-help tools to help decrease their stress and anxiety. Our aim is to help women learn how to effectively manage anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

New Mom Accessories

Welcome back Adrienne Hedger as this week’s guest blogger with another of her fantastic funny cartoons from Nick Mom

realistic-accessories-for-new-mom-article

Illustration by Adrienne Hedger/Getty Images. Reprinted with permission from NickMom.com

Adrienne Hedger

headshotAdrienne Hedger is a mom to two young girls and the author and illustrator of the hilarious parenting books The World According to ToddlersMomnesia and If These Boobs Could Talk. She also designs greeting cards and blogs for NickMom. Check out her  stories and cartoons on her website, www.adriennehedger.com.

Getting Your Kiddo’s Bedtime On Track Before School

Welcome back Certified Sleep Sense™ Consultant Jill Parker as this week’s guest blogger

back to school sleep tipsOur family has had a wonderful summer…enjoyed fabulous weather and great quality time together and with friends. I look forward to the remaining days and plan to make the most of them! BUT I am also very aware that the First Day of School is only 12 sleeps away which means it is time Mommy and Daddy start to take back a bit more of our evening. It sounds selfish, I know but I also know that we will be doing our little dudes a big favour by getting their bedtime back on track now rather than waiting for a night or two before the BIG DAY.

I want my little guys to be well-rested so that they can begin the school year ready to learn, remember and handle all the extra emotions that come with seeing friends again, anticipating the who the new teacher is going to be and then adjusting to new routines, responsibilities and expectations. I know that to be at their absolute best at 6 and 8 years of age, they are each going to need between 10-12 hours of sleep per night! (NOTE: Adolescents will need up to 9 hours of sleep each night to be at their best!).

So, to get our little ones back on track and read for school, here is what our family will do:

1. While our little monkeys have heard it time and again, we will remind them about why getting enough sleep is so important.  When older children start to understand the importance of sleep, setting an earlier bedtime and establishing healthy sleep habits becomes a whole lot easier! Have fun with your kids using the link below to teach them about the importance of sleep!

http://www.sleepforkids.org

2. Next, we will evaluate how far off our summer bedtime is from our school-year bedtime and we will then start to move it back toward the desired bedtime by 15 minutes, every three nights.  Of course, if your summer bedtime is off by more than one hour, you will want to increase your increment slightly so that your family is rested in time for the First Day of School.

3. Then, we will begin to re-establish our treasured bedtime routine. It seems to be the first part of our sleep habits to go as we stretch each summer day out for as long as possible but this one will be easy to get back on track because the whole family loves it! During the school year, the half-hour before bed is time we all look forward to! The routine helps the boys wind down from the day’s activities, encourages great discussions as we share the details of our days and usually ends with a story but is ALWAYS topped off with quiet cuddles!

images4.  An important part of getting our healthy sleep habits back on track, is to ensure that all electronics will be turned off at least one hour before bed. The light from electronic devices can signal our bodies to stay awake, making it harder for us to fall asleep quickly and easily.  NOTE: For adolescents, who have a harder time falling asleep because of the changes in the chemicals in their bodies, it is even more important the gadgets are turned off long before they crawl into bed!

With all those steps in place, our family will be well-rested and happier when the school year begins and as we settle into our new Fall routine.  I hope the same for your family as well!

P.S.  Do you wonder if your child is getting the sleep she needs to be the best she can be?  If you are having to drag your kiddo out of bed each morning, the answer is likely ‘No”!  Chances are that she is going to bed too late so start helping her establish an earlier bedtime.  When she climbs out of bed happily each morning and ready to take on the world, you’ll know she is getting enough sleep!!

Sweet Dreams! 

DSC_0149Jill Parker is a Certified Sleep Sense™ Consultant. At Little Dreamers Consulting in Vancouver B.C. she is dedicated to helping parents learn the skills to teach their children to become independent, healthy sleepers. Jill is a mother of two young boys and has always felt passionate about making sleep a priority in her family’s life. She strongly believes that healthy sleep habits mean happy, healthy and active children.

Introducing Yum-A-Roo’s Toddler Snacks

Our friends at NurturMe, producers of certified-organic, dried fruit and veggie meals, would like to introduce you to  their new line of bite-sized organic dried fruit and veggie snacks for toddlers – Yum-A-Roo’s.

yumaroos

Big nutrition designed for little hands, NurturMe’s new Yum-A-Roo’s organic dry toddler snacks are made from bite-sized pieces of fruits and veggies that easily dissolve in the mouth. Tasty and good for little ones ages 1 year and older, Yum-a-Roo’s are extra nutritious since they contain veggies, in addition to fruit, and are dried – a NurturMe process that preserves the nutrients, freshness and flavor. Your little ones will love the taste, and you’ll love that there’s 1.5 servings of fruits and/or veggies in every pouch. Yum-A-Roo’s are available in four flavours: Tropical Twist (Banana, Mango and Pineapple), Caribbean Crop (Pea, Banana and Pineapple), Happy Harvest (Peas, Sweet Corn and Apple) and Bountiful Bites (Banana, Apple and Broccoli).

NurturMe Yum-A-Roo’s snack line is certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO and kosher and contains no added sugar, salt or preservatives.  Yum-A-Roo’s come in small, re-sealable pouches that are perfect for lunchboxes, picnics and road trips.

To celebrate the launch of Yum-A-Roo’s, NurturMe has created a free fun, educational App where the loveable “Roo” teaches your tots about their favorite fruits and veggies. And if you take a photo of your little one enjoying Yum-A-Roo’s out and about this summer and submit it to NurturMe’s facebook contest by July 31st you’ll be entered to win an iPad mini.

Giveaway!!! Here’s your chance to try out some new Yum-A-Roo’s. You’ll win a pack of each of the Yum-A-Roo’s flavor combos for your toddler to try, plus a cute-as-can-be T-shirt in this special gift set.

20130701_YumarooGiftPack_HR_CMYK (1)

To enter, simply pop to the NurturMe website and tell us in a comment below one of the outlets where you’ll find NurturMe products stocked.

Once you’ve completed this mandatory first entry you can do the following for bonus entries:

Please be sure to leave a separate comment below for each of your bonus entries.

    • Giveaway is open to US residents only
    • Winner will be drawn at random
    • Giveaway closes Aug 16th, 2013

C_L_Standing_NMNurturMe is based in Austin, Texas and was co-founded by Mompreneur Caroline Freedman who was in search of the perfect baby food for her new baby, and Lauren McCullough, a culinary expert. NurtureMe was awarded the 2011 MACT (Mom Approved and Child Tested) Excellence Award.

“like” NurturMe on facebook and follow @NurturMe on Twitter for news of special promotions, new product introductions and more.

Boosting Your Child’s Communication Skills

Welcome speech and language therapist Fiona Barry as this week’s guest blogger

As a Speech and Language Therapist, I’m often asked for tips for helping children’s speech, language and communication skills. So here they are, my five Top Tips:

1. Tune In
You need to tune into your child’s level of communication, even from birth, so that you can act as a responsive conversation partner. Follow your child lead’s in play and conversations and you’ll get so much more from your interaction with them.

brillbab_large2. Speak Up
It’s time to add some language in. Talk about the here and now with young children, if you See It – Say It! Find as many times in the day when you can chat as possible. Talk about what you can see out of the car window, chat about the washing as you hang it up or comment on what your child’s doing as they play. Make time for talk.

3. Love Books, Love Learning
Nurture a love of reading in your child and you’ll set them up for being capable talkers, readers and writers as they grow up. To be able to read and write a child needs to be able to use and understand spoken language first. They also need to find reading and writing fun and exciting. You can make books the champion in the house instead of the TV or games console. Make book reading part of your family life.

4. Songs For Today, Words For Life
Singing songs and nursery rhymes with your child, even from before birth, provides them with a great springboard into some of the underlying skills needed for learning to talk, read and write. Songs provide the perfect structure for learning language because they’re predictable and repetitive.  They help you to bond with your child and are excellent for soothing cross, upset or bored little ones. A song a day keeps the tears away.

5. Listening Comes First
Communication is not just about talking. For a conversation to flow we need to listen to what the other person is saying. Children need to develop good attention and listening skills not only to learn new words and sentences but also to become good at conversations. Children learn by example so when we listen to children they learn how to be good listeners themselves.

I have developed and presented a series of videos which share a range of ‘parent-child interaction strategies’ (ways of talking with your child) that speech and language therapists use. These are essential for all children, with or without difficulties. You can download my free App on iTunes or visit my website Talking Tips for Kids.

The videos are packed full of useful tips to boost any child’s communication skills and are designed to be put into practice as part of families’ everyday routines at home.

Small changes in how you communicate can make big changes in how your child communicates!

Words are free – but they’re also priceless.

Fiona Barry

pro-users_largeMum of two Fiona Barry has been a Speech and Language Therapist since 2004. She received a BA Honours in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Kent, Canterbury and a Masters of Science degree in Speech and Language Sciences from University College London. She works for the NHS with children who have speech, language and communication needs.

Fiona and Patrick, founders of Talking Tips for Kids, are offering our readers the chance to win the Ages & Stages video plus a video of your choice from their range of Premium Videos.

To enter, please leave a comment below telling us the name of the Talking Tips for Kids video that most interests you.

Once you have completed this mandatory entry you may do the following for bonus entries:

Please be sure to leave a separate comment below for each of your bonus entries.

  • Giveaway is open to ALL
  • Winner will be drawn at random
  • Giveaway closes July 26th, 2013

A Different Kind of Natural Birth

Welcome mom of three and writer, Lindsey Harding, as this week’s guest blogger

I had my first daughter just over five years ago, in April 2008. I was 36 weeks along. That morning, I had an ultrasound appointment with my OB at 11:00 a.m. My belly had been measuring small, and my doctor wanted to know why. I had my gym bag in the car, so I could stop for a light work-out on my way home.

But six weeks would pass before I was back on an elliptical. And I didn’t go home for four days.

At the appointment, my husband and I talked with our doctor before going in for the ultrasound. We discussed the final month and what to expect as we approached 40 weeks. The gist of our conversation was this: We’ll plan for a vaginal delivery once I go into labor. Classic. Sure. Sounded good to me. Even nine months in, I hadn’t really thought a whole lot about labor and birth. We had scheduled an expectant parent class for the following weekend. I figured that would help prepare us for what was to come. As though we could be prepared.

The ultrasound was the game-changer. After a brief scan, my OB informed us, “It looks like you’ll be meeting your little one today. And because the baby is breech, we’ll have to perform a c-section.” My placenta was starting to calcify. As my doctor explained, it was aging prematurely. Essentially, that meant the baby would do better on the outside. And that meant she had to come out. Quickly.

A blur of activity commenced. While I registered and prepared for surgery, my husband ran home to pack a hospital bag for us. I called my twin sister and my parents to tell them our news. “Surprise,” I said. “It’s baby day!” Of course, I was nervous. Everything was happening so fast. But more than that, I was excited, hopeful, and curious. My mom had had three c-sections, and we had talked about them during my pregnancy. Now I would be having one, too. In just a little while, I would enter the operating room to meet the wee squalling thing I had been dreaming about and waiting for for months. Years, really. My whole life.

In the two hour span between my appointment that morning and Riley’s birth, and in the five years since, I never thought about how I could have avoided a c-section, nor did it occur to me that I missed the natural birth experience. All that mattered – both then and now – was my baby girl. That she was here, finally. That she was healthy, thank god. That she was mine to cherish, care for, and love. That’s it.

The loose and vague birth plan – wait and see – changed quickly to an urgent and specific one: c-section today. And that change was accompanied by a host of changes. The crib needed to be put together before we were discharged. My dad surprised us with a visit. I wouldn’t be returning to teach that semester. We had to unenroll from the expectant parent class. Diapers were added to our shopping list. On and on.

So we rolled with it. We had to. And I think that was the most valuable lesson I took away from my first daughter’s birth: be ready for plans to change, and to change quickly.

Welcome Riley

Welcome Riley

Right after Riley was delivered, I got to see her and hold her. But it was brief. She had some trouble breathing and needed oxygen. So, we snapped a single picture and off she went. After that, I didn’t see her until 7:00 that night when I was feeling up to a wheelchair ride to the special care nursery. There, I held her and tried to nurse her until I needed to lie back down and she, too, was ready for a nap.

Looking back now, I realize I didn’t spend a lot of time with Riley on her first day of life, but that didn’t prevent me from nursing her for seven months, and that hasn’t stopped us from forming the bond we have today. We seem to keep getting closer each day. Now, when we have “sleepovers” she lets me share her pillow and asks me to hold her. And so I do. We fall asleep that way, our hair tangling together, our faces centimeters apart.

Three years ago, I had a son, Adrian. Eighteen months ago, I had another baby girl, Sidney. Both were born via repeat c-section, planned for from the outset but also early due to low amniotic fluid levels and aging placentas. I nursed Adrian for eight months and Sidney for twelve. I feel every bit as connected to them as I do to Riley. We snuggle and cuddle. Adrian hugs my leg and tells me, “I missed you, Mommy” when he wakes up in the morning. Sidney runs over to me with her arms raised high. “Hold me, hold me, hold me,” she says.

C-section number 2: Adrian

C-section number 2: Adrian

Each c-section recovery was different. The first one was wrapped up in the transition to parenthood, and since I’ve never been so tired in my whole life, I don’t remember much of it. I know it hurt to laugh at first. When Riley shot poop across the (carpeted) nursery floor, I remember holding my stomach and begging my husband to stop laughing, so I, too, could stop.

The second one was a breeze. I knew what to expect, and the hospital gave me a binder (a thick fabric wrap for my belly) this time. I took my pain medication regularly and lifted nothing heavier than my baby boy once we left the hospital – a day early. I started a summer of master’s degree courses two weeks later, and I ran my first mile when Adrian was seven weeks old.

A familiar routine: Sidney

A familiar routine: Sidney

By the third c-section, the whole process from surgery through recovery was a very familiar routine. That meant I could focus even more on what was new: Sidney. While we were in the hospital, she spent most of the time in our room, but she went back to the nursery while I rested between feedings at night and took walks on the floor once I was allowed up and out of bed. I had learned that walking coupled with pain medication right from the beginning seemed to ensure a smoother recovery. Not pain-free, but manageable. It still hurt to get up and back into bed, but movement early and often helped get my body back in gear.

Now, I sometimes wonder what a contraction feels like. I wonder what it would be like to push and whether it’s anything like a Hollywood labor scene. But that’s only because those are different experiences, ones I didn’t have.

Instead I know what it’s like to feel pressure on my abdomen and then hear a new voice rise above the sounds of moving bodies and beeping machines. I know what it’s like to see my bundled baby for the first time, brought to me in my husband’s arms, around the drapes. I know what it’s like to lie and wait and look forward to seeing my baby again, and again, and again, as doctors stitch my incision closed. I think that quiet time to reflect alone in the midst of status changes – to mother, to mother of two, and to mother of three – was pretty special, too. For in those forty-five minutes, even when I had to fight nausea, the miracle I was part of began to sink in. For me, that time yielded a sense of calm and peace that became, in time, the patience and confidence I have come to have as a mother.

For with motherhood, I have found that responsibilities are thrust upon you even before you have the qualifications and experience. You enter into new, strange, beautiful, and sometimes painful and difficult experiences and do the best you can. You learn from these experiences and, along the way, the wonders of motherhood reveal themselves. And for me, that all started when I first learned I was having a c-section.

Lindsey Harding

QHfJoM65YqePFLEkm6haYWZqDx_DrCKQJqbNLFYoZ8w=w305-h228-p-noLindsey Harding is a mother of three small children and a Ph.D. student at The University of Georgia. Her personal and academic interests include motherhood, writing, and digital media.  Her stories have appeared online in The Boiler, Xenith, and Wilderness House Literary Review. She has blogged about motherhood since 2008, most recently at www.themilktree.wordpress.com. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her family.

Little Me baby apparel giveaway

No guest blog this week, but what better way to end a week than with a giveaway?! Little Me is a leading apparel brand for infants and toddlers.

baby wear giveawayAt Little Me®, we create unique clothing that celebrates those fleeting years when newborns transform into young toddlers. At the heart of Little Me is this time of exploring and delight—the magical years of discovery. Our products let little ones be little—whether they’re napping, throwing cereal on the floor or crawling through deliciously muddy grass.

We are constantly developing innovative apparel, accessories and products that nurture these years. We never use tweed, leather or any other “grown-up” material. We use fabrics like soft cotton, terrycloth and velour. We believe babies should always be comfortable, snuggly and safe, free to do what they do best: play, sleep and thrive. Everything we design allows babies to discover the world at their own pace. They’ll have plenty of time to dress like adults. After all, even the tiniest newborn will grow up soon. Let them—and yourself—enjoy the wonder while it lasts.

Today we’re featuring these two cute-as-can-be outfits from the Little Me range and giving one away – your choice of boy or girl. For the ladies we have the Mosaic tunic with capri set and for the guys we’ve chosen the Crab shortall set.

To enter, simply pop to the Little Me site, browse the outfits and paste a link to your favorite in a comment below.

baby clothes giveawayOnce you have completed this mandatory entry you may do the following for bonus entries:

Please be sure to leave a separate comment below for each of your bonus entries.

  • Giveaway is open to USA only
  • Winner will recieve an outfit in size 6months and may choose either the Mosaic tunic with capri set or the Crab shortall set
  • Winner will be drawn at random
  • Giveaway closes July 5th, 2013