Archive for the ‘ GoodyBlog ’ Category

Marching for Premature Babies

Friday, April 18th, 2014

“Your friends, your moms, your sisters, your cousins – they don’t get it,” said Briana Tortoso. “Unless they’ve been there, they don’t get it.”

More than 450,000 babies are born prematurely each year, and Tortoso, pictured at right with supermodel Niki Taylor, son JohnCarlo, and husband Matthew, is the mother of two of them. She gave birth twelve weeks early to twins JohnCarlo and Andrew almost two years ago, but sadly, Andrew passed away just days after birth.

Tortoso is now a proponent of the immense help of the resources provided to her by the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, during her time of need.

Last year, the March of Dimes nationwide annual fundraiser walk, March for Babies, raised over $100 million to fund research and advocacy projects for safer births.

March for Babies participants walk three miles with thousands of people all devoted to one goal. Interested in getting involved? Head to the March of Dimes website to join a preexisting team, or to start one of your own. There are 700 locations and walks to choose from nationwide, so finding one locally is as easy as typing in your zip code.

Once you’ve chosen a walk, click “register,” and complete a profile that includes standard participation details, plus your fundraising goal. Then, rally your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to sponsor your walk. All donations will help to improve the lives of premature babies and their families.

Premature birth qualifies as a national health crisis, affecting one out of every eight babies born in the United States. Be a part of eliminating that statistic, one step at a time.

Visit Shop Parents for prenatal health products.

Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies
Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies
Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies

 

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Looking for Baby’s Future Pediatrician? Dr. Todd Rosengart of Vitals.com can help!

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Just because Baby’s in the womb doesn’t mean you should hold off on your pediatrician search! The process may seem daunting, but these tips from Chief Medical Officer Dr. Todd Rosengart of Vitals—a website that offers patient reviews and background information about all types of docs—will ease the burden.

Top 5 Tips For Finding a Pediatrician You Love

1. Location

You’re gong to be doing a lot of traveling back and forth to your pediatrician’s office, particularly during the first few months. Choose somewhere that’s easy to get to and has enough parking. A long drive and lack of empty parking spaces can be a headache, especially when you’re dealing with car seats and strollers.

2. Reputation

One of the best ways to find a good pediatrician is to ask friends and family members who are like-minded and have a similar philosophy on health care and raising kids. If they recommend a pediatrician, there’s a good chance you will like him or her, too. Follow up with your own research at sites like Vitals.com and take into account what other people say about the doctor.

3. Philosophy

Make sure your pediatrician’s parenting philosophy aligns with yours. There’s no one right way to raise a baby, but it can be uncomfortable if your child’s doctor doesn’t agree with how you want to feed or educate your child. The best way to get to know a doctor: Schedule a prenatal visit before your child’s born. That way you can ask questions about his values and opinions and make sure they align with yours before you entrust him with your child’s care.

4. Availability

Your baby will need the most medical care when he’s little, but there are times it’s going to be inconvenient. You’ll want to be able to get your child in for an appointment should he need a last-minute visit–or at least be able to reach your doctor. See how your pediatrician handles a request for a pre-natal visit; that will be a good indicator of his or her availability. If he won’t take 15 minutes out of his day to talk to expecting parents, there’s a good chance he won’t take time out of his day for more pressing concerns.

5. Good Listener

When looking for a pediatrician, you want a doctor who takes the time to listen and not rush you through appointments or meetings. Of course, this goes for any doctor, but especially new parents who can’t explain symptoms themselves. You need a doctor who’s going to treat your child–and you–as important.

Not sure how you’ll be able to tell if Baby’s fever is serious? Watch below to find out which symptoms warrant a visit to the doc.

When is a Fever Serious?
When is a Fever Serious?
When is a Fever Serious?

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Is Disneynature’s Bears Too Wild For Your Kids?

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Disneynature BEARSBy Chelsea P. Gladden, BreezyMama.com

Lately, it seems as though it’s getting harder to find a kid’s movie that isn’t too scary for my 5-year-old, yet can still keep her entertained. Frankly, I thought I’d be safe with another gem from the Disneynature series, and in general, this movie worked well for my daughter. However, Bears, like many quality wildlife shows, features the raw, often scary story of survival, which required this mama bear to be on high alert for scenes that might be too much for her litte cub.

Following a mother brown bear and her two newborn cubs for a year, Bears gives a glimpse into their lives: from waking up after hibernation in need of finding food, to avoiding avalanches, threatening rivals and other predators, such as a pesky wolf.

From the beginning, we learn that many cubs don’t survive their first year and immediately the tension is palpable. Fears that an overly hungry rival bear may try to eat them (and actually does go after them!) combined with the over-eager wolf ready to pounce the second the mom turns her back, lead to some anxiety-filled moments that had us on the edge of our seats.

To top it off, the mama bear’s conscious effort to search for food in less threatening environs nearly has her starving to death and you can actually start to see just how emaciated the nursing mother becomes.

Set in Alaska, the documentary is just as captivating a story as any animated cartoon; my daughter and I couldn’t help but root for our heroes every step of the way. Narrated by John C. Reilly, the script offers up humor and playful moments as well. Overall, it wasn’t too scary for my daughter, but the tense moments had her squirming.

At one point, the boy cub gets stuck in water as high tide comes in and my daughter reached for my hand as we hoped he wouldn’t drown. Another particular scene that my little cub found frightening was, “When the [male rival] bears fight.” Other than those moments, she seemed to handle the “scary” scenes well.

Since I saw Disneynature’s Chimpanzee (where the mother dies), I was concerned about whether the cubs would make it and they definitely tease throughout that they likely won’t! SPOILER ALERT: They do survive their first year and their mother fuels up on enough milk to feed them during hibernation to keep them alive for the next spring.

Taking a cue from my daughter’s reactions, however, Bears would be a little too intense for my 3-year-old twins, but any child over age 4 should be fine. Also, the pacing is on the slow side and toward the end, I was concerned it wasn’t going to hold my daughter’s attention for much longer as she started to get antsy in her seat. If your child has a short attention span for movies and television, this movie might not be a choice for her.

That being said, my daughter declared a few times afterward, “It was awesome!” She also added in the car ride home, “Mama, animals are great movie stars!”

Entertaining and informative, Bears demonstrates no matter what your species, a mother’s love for her family is a powerful thing — right down to the occasional bear hug.

Disneynature’s Bears opens in theaters everywhere 4/18/14

Grade on a scale of kid’s films: B

Rated G, Minor conflict among animals; Tense moments; 77 minutes

Watch a sneak peek here:

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Image: Courtesy of Disney

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Enter for a Chance to Win a $400 Organic Crib Mattress from Naturalmat

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Your baby will, ideally, spend a lot of time in the crib. That’s one of the reasons I’m always preaching to pregnant women to consider spending extra money on an organic or Greenguard-certified crib mattress. You want something non-toxic, that’s safe for baby to breath next to for hours at a time. I know the mattress isn’t as fun to buy as the sheets or the crib itself, but I’d argue it’s the more important purchase.

Probably the most hyper-natural mattress manufacturer I’ve ever encountered is Naturalmat. Watch this video of them making mattresses over in the UK, by hand! Surrounded by cute lambs! You can’t make this stuff up. They are organic down to the ingredients they use to make their mattresses hypoallergenic and fire-retardant

Naturalmat is offering ONE lucky GoodyBlog reader the chance to win its Coco Mat organic crib mattress, which is $400 at retailers such as Amazon.com. The inside is made from coconut husks and lambswool…such a nice change from the days when we all thought we had to sleep on plastic-encased metal springs.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day April 23. Be sure to check back on April 24 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!

And since this giveaway closes on my birthday, here’s the horoscope for Taurus Moms like me. Mommy-style horoscopes for all the signs are on our site!

Horoscope for a Taurus Mom
Horoscope for a Taurus Mom
Horoscope for a Taurus Mom

Click here for official rules.

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Earth Day: 3 Eco-Friendly Celebrity Moms

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Hollywood is going green!

On April 22, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day. From Gisele Bündchen to Jessica Alba, let’s take a look at three green celebrity moms who inspire others to protect Mother Nature.

Jessica Alba

Actress Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren are parents to two daughters: Honor, 5½ and Haven, 2½. 

Shortly after her second daughter arrived, the Fantastic Four star partnered with Christopher Gavigan, dad-of-two and founder of Healthy Child Healthy World, to create The Honest Company, an online source to purchase eco-friendly baby/kid products.

The Sin City actress opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about how she encourages her girls to minimize their carbon footprint.

“First and foremost, we try to model and practice eco-friendly habits for the girls,” she shared. “Otherwise, we talk to them about being mindful and explain that things can be turned into something else one day. This can be as simple as teaching them about recyclables and showing how to sort bottles and cans from trash.”

She added: “We also do a lot of DIY crafts like using cardboard boxes to make airplanes and dollhouses—our creative playtime together similarly shows the girls about repurposing old items.”

The mom-of-two is all about living eco-friendly on a daily basis.

“Involving children in gardening and cooking is another great way to inspire eco-friendly living,” she said. “Caring for the plants in our herb wall garden helps Honor understand the steps to growing food (including patience!), how it ultimately lands on her plate, and about being a good steward of the planet.”

“Honor is also a great sous chef when we’re in the kitchen, so being a part of the dinner process encourages her to eat the foods she grows and develops her taste for fresh ingredients,” she continued. “Hopefully, this lays the foundation for children to prioritize their health and that of the planet.”

Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone is one outspoken green mama!

The actress caused quite a stir with a video that went viral. The Clueless star was seen feeding her then 11-month-old son Bear Blu mouth-to-mouth on her eco-friendly blog The Kind Life.

She wrote: “I just had a delicious breakfast of miso soup, collards and radish steamed and drizzled with flax oil, cast iron mochi with nori wrapped outside, and some grated daikon. Yum! I fed Bear the mochi and a tiny bit of veggies from the soup…from my mouth to his. It’s his favorite…and mine.”

Alicia and her husband Christopher Jarecki live in a Los Angeles home with solar panels and an organic vegetable garden. The actress is an advocate for animal rights and environmental issues and became a vegan in 1998. She shares her eco-friendly tips on her official website.

“The Kind Life is an interactive extension of my book, “The Kind Diet”, which is about living your healthiest and happiest life to the fullest, while taking care of mama Earth at the same time!,” Alicia writes on her blog. “The site is whatever you make of it; whether it’s joining the many others who are on this same journey or simply visiting to gather information and other tips. Whatever you need, you will find it here. I will be sharing all kinds of tasty morsels with you; from fashion and beauty tips, to simple ways that we can help the planet! By the time you’re done with your visit, your mouth will be watering and you will surely want to crash here forever. So come on in, kick off your shoes and check out all sorts of recipes, my favorite foods, nutritional information from doctors that are in the book, the very best restaurants, amazing travel discoveries, party planning tips, ways to make sure your house is as healthy and green as possible, great pet care tips, and so much more.”

Alicia is also vocal about elimination communication, the eco-friendly potty training technique coined by Ingrid Bauer, author of Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene.

“When Bear Blu was 5-months-old,” the proud mama tweeted, “[S]aturday bear blu went poo and pee on toilet 4x throughout the day…we were so proud! “Check out book Diaper Free..soo fun!” The actress added, “yesterday bear did 2 poops in toilet….so sweet! i’m saving so many diapers…even cloth ones….yahoooo! and it’s so fun!”

Gisele Bündchen

Supermodel mom Gisele Bündchen has long been an advocate of going green. The Brazilian beauty says that her children – Benjamin, 4, Vivian, 1, and 6-year-old stepson Jack – have made the importance of the message really hit home.

“I had my first munchkin, Jack (husband Tom Brady’s son with Bridget Moynahan), before I gave birth to Benjamin,” Gisele said. “After spending so much time with Jack I saw how he wanted to play with the stuff I was using instead of the toys we bought him. In terms of clothes, I bought Jack so many clothes and am now using them for Benjamin. Look, when I was growing up my sisters and I wore hand-me-downs and am now doing the same thing. This all goes back to my motto: Reduce, recycle and reuse. The more we buy the more we encourage the manufacturers to produce more stuff.”

Also a fan of elimination communication, Gisele said Benjamin was potty trained at 6 months old! How did she do it?

The model mom said that her son was on a schedule including breastfeeding in the morning and afternoon, promptly followed by a bowel movement, making it easy for her to put him on the toilet and eliminate the use of a diaper. Of the process she said,

“Give it about five minutes, and bang,” admitting with a laugh that she realizes the process is actually, “more complicated.”

Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrities are pregnant, or find eco-friendly toys at Shop Parents.

Eco-Friendly Bottles
Eco-Friendly Bottles
Eco-Friendly Bottles

More celebrity & parenting news:

Raphael Sbarge: I Started Green Wish In Response To Becoming A Father

Beverley Mitchell Shares Details of Posh Nursery

Jen Kessy: “I Am Beyond Excited To Be Pregnant”

CelebrityBabyScoop.com is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on CelebrityBabyScoop.com. 

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American Baby’s Babymoon Special: Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach in Clearwater Beach, FL

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert

This is the seventh in a weekly series of special travel deals. For the first few months we’ll focus exclusively on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them.

THE DESTINATIONHyatt Regency Clearwater Beach, Clearwater Beach, Florida

Between the Intercoastal Waterway and Gulf of Mexico, this pink-hued resort with spa, rooftop pool, and three restaurants stands tall on a spacious beach — an idyllic locale for spectacular sunsets. Looking for a fun day trip? St. Pete’s Beach is a little over 30 minutes south and features a sweet zoo where you can feed rhinos and giraffes. Plus the entire area is famous for fresh seafood, cool museums and miles of sandy shoreline.

BOOK IT! From $259; you can check your travel dates online at ClearwaterBeach.Hyatt.com

HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! With the BABY14 package, enjoy a welcome amenity of sparkling cider and chocolates; full daily breakfast for two; guaranteed late checkout at 1 p.m.; and valet parking (resort fee included). Other restrictions, as well as specific book-by-and-stay-by dates, may apply; call 800-233-1234 for full details.

Before you leave, check out these tips on traveling while preggers!

Traveling Pregnant
Traveling Pregnant
Traveling Pregnant

 

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win a $370 Movie and iPad Mini Prize Package from Universal Studios

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Once my sister and I got older, it became a lot harder for my parents to entertain us on family trips. The one thing that did hold our attention in the car was watching movies. It was as big a deal to figure out what DVDs we were taking as it was to pack clothing. Here are two new releases you’ll want for this year’s summer travels:

* Fans of funny animal flicks will love the animated action-adventure The Nut Job, released on DVD today. It follows the thieving squirrel Surly as he attempts to pull off the greatest nut heist of his life.

* Seeing a new spin on a classic can also be rewarding, like with The Little Rascals Save The Day. Key members of the gang, including sweethearts Alfalfa and Darla, return to help Grandma’s bakery stay afloat. After some botched fundraising attempts, they set their heart on winning the local talent show to raise money, proving they’re all still the same bunch of good-hearted, silly kids today’s parents may remember watching from their own childhood.

To celebrate the release of both movies, Universal Studios is giving away the DVD/Blu-ray Combo Packs of both plus an iPad mini so your kids can take their entertainment on the go. FOUR lucky GoodyBlog readers will have the chance to win this prize package, which retails at $370!

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day April 21. Be sure to check back on April 22 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see the four winners. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!

For a fun outdoors activity, follow these steps to build a terrarium with your child!

Simple Terrarium
Simple Terrarium
Simple Terrarium

Click here for official rules.

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Josh Duhamel: “Nothing really meaningful happens without the help of many.”

Monday, April 14th, 2014

This past weekend, Parents joined Josh Duhamel as he closed out National Volunteer Week (April 6-12) and kicked off the Advil Relief in Action volunteer campaign. As part of the annual New York Cares Day Spring, Josh helped clean up Franz Sigel Park in the Bronx. The actor, husband of Fergie, and dad of 7-month-old Axl took a break from the dirty work to chat with us about volunteerism and fatherhood.

P: You’ve mentioned that your mom made volunteering a part of your life. 

JD: Yeah, and my dad really. For my mom it was more about organized volunteering. Getting out and doing things in the community. But my dad is a really selfless dude, too. He’s always helping somebody do something.

 P: What kind of volunteering did they have you doing when you were young?

JD: Everything from parking cars at events for the football team to the local downtown cleanup. It was always kind of a drag for me when I was a kid. I always felt good afterwards, but it wasn’t until recently when I started organizing things [that I became passionate]. I was having a bit of a problem with just putting on a suit and going to charity events and calling it charity. Even though they are raising money for a worthy cause, I didn’t feel like I was really doing anything. I started organizing youth runs throughout Los Angeles where I go recruit people in schools to come out, raise money for Haiti or Japan and then again we did it in Minot where I’m from. Ever since then I’ve just sort of been an advocate of volunteering. I just read something yesterday where it’s the lowest it’s been since 2002, volunteerism, which is a little bit disconcerting.

I really believe that nothing really meaningful happens without the help of many. So we’re here with Advil and the Relief in Action campaign trying to get people to go pledge to volunteer in their communities and share their stories and re-inspire people to get out and volunteer.

P: Obviously Axl’s a bit young, but how do you hope to encourage this spirit of volunteerism as he gets older?

JD: The best way to do that is by showing them by example. Definitely gonna take him [to volunteer], also to keep everything in perspective. There are consequences to not going to school, doing drugs, things like that. Take him to soup kitchens and places like that, not only so that he’s helping, but so that he can see “better keep myself in line.”

P: What other values aside from volunteerism, generosity, do you hope to impart to him?

JD: Hard work is one. Valuing money—things just aren’t handed to you. It’s going to be hard because people want to give [us] stuff and I don’t want him to think that that’s normal. Mom and dad had to work hard for what they got. It’s a tough thing to do in our position, in that town, but we were both raised with very modest houses.

P: When was the first moment that you felt that “I’m a dad” feeling?

JD: Immediately when he was born. There’s this excitement-slash-terror that comes with a newborn baby like “Oh my God I love him! Oh my God I gotta take care of him for the rest of my life!” But it came pretty naturally. I’ve been wanting this for a long time. All my friends have kids. There haven’t been any major shockers, but, you know, I still look at him sometimes and go “Omg, I can’t believe that’s my kid. That’s my kid. We made him.”  He’s got a very sweet nature about him, which we love.

P: I know you grew up with three sisters. How do you think will it be to having a little man around the house?

JD: Honestly, I was expecting a girl because I have three sisters, [my wife] has a sister, our dog is a girl. Everything around me is female, so when they said ‘boy’ it took me a minute to actually register. He’ll need me as a male energy in the house.

P: Father’s Day is a little ways off but at Parents we’re already working on our June issue. This will be your first Father’s Day as a dad. Any special plans?

JD: In June he’ll be close to 10 months. Maybe we’ll go to the zoo so he can see all the animals. I do look forward to that.

P: He’s still a baby, but what do you enjoy doing with him on a regular Sunday afternoon?

JD: Right now he’s learning how to roll. He rolls all over the place, that’s how he gets around. But he has this car that was given to him by one of our friends, it’s a little Ferrari—it’s the only Ferrari that he’ll ever own as far as I can control him—but he gets in that thing and he’s all over the place. He becomes very independent and it’s very funny to see him explore in this little car. He loves to go in the pool; he loves to sort of kick his feet and play in the water. I’m gonna teach him how to swim as early as possible because that’s one of my biggest nightmares.

P: Sounds like safety is constantly on your mind.

JD: Unfortunately you have these crazy scenarios that run through your head that I think are there to make sure that you’re keeping him as safe as possible. I see things vividly and I’m like “No no no no no, that’s never gonna happen. We need to put a fence around the pool immediately,” or “We need to put a door here because this is not safe.” You know that he’s gonna get hurt, but it’s just a matter of how hurt.

P: Some actors decorate their kids rooms with paraphernalia from movies or projects that they’ve done. Anything like that in Axl’s room? Maybe some Transformers goodies?

JD: No, he’s got nothing but Safe Haven posters all over his room. [Laughs] Ah no. We’re just about to move into our house. We didn’t make his room too babyish, so it’ll be a room that he’ll grow into. Behind our house is this beautiful little ravine, this valley with all these birds and geckos and there’s a fox down there. We painted a mural of all those animals that are down below. One of the things that I look forward to is taking him down to explore. That’s the kind of stuff I did growing up. It’s all about imagination and nature.

Help get your child’s creative juices flowing with these fun activities.

Nursery Ideas: Design a Bird-Themed Nursery
Nursery Ideas: Design a Bird-Themed Nursery
Nursery Ideas: Design a Bird-Themed Nursery

Photograph: Getty Images for Advil / Duhamel is encouraging everyone to join him in taking the #ReliefinAction Pledge on the Advil® Facebook page and commit to volunteering this year.

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