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Archive for the ‘Babies’ Category

Baby Shower Favor Ideas

Remember going to birthday parties as a little kid? You always came home with a goodie bag. Sometimes it would contain candy or bubbles or a pinwheel. It was so fun to go to a party for someone else’s birthday and come up with a little present for yourself.

Bring a present – get a present. We still get to do that as grown-ups … only now we call them “favors.”

It’s a nice gesture to have something that your guests can take home with them after the festivities are finished. If your shower will be like most, you’ll probably play some silly games. No game would be complete without prizes or favors.

It’s a good idea to have a little something for everyone to take home. Here are a few ideas:

  • How about a little tin candle with a custom label that reads “Your friendship lights my day. Thanks for being part of my special day”?
  • Most everyone likes chocolate. Little boxes of chocolate that read, “You’re so sweet. Thanks for coming to my baby shower.” Or a little package of nuts wrapped in tulle, “You’re nuts. But that’s why we’re friends – thank you for coming to my shower.”
  • Lotion is always a good little favor for women. Be careful not to get something too fragrant – as some people are bothered by strong scents.
  • A small gift booklet with the inscription on the inside cover: “I appreciate your wisdom and support of my new baby.” Or “Thanks for all times I’ve cried on your shoulder, I appreciate you.” Or if you don’t feel very sentimental how about simply: “Thanks for coming to my baby shower. June 1, 200x”

The truth is that it doesn’t really matter what you offer as a favor. It’s a small token of your appreciation for the time your friends devoted to celebrate your baby.

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When decorating a new arrival’s nursery, you don’t have to stick to the usual teddy bears and pastels. There are so many more options available today. Research has shown that bright colors, especially black, red and white, are better for eye development in the early months. Big bold shapes are also good, as they help with focusing.

Here are a few creative art project ideas you can easily make for the baby’s nursery.

Fabric Letters
Get some red, black and white fabric and cut out shapes, numbers and letters – or the child’s name — and arrange them on the walls. Try to use fabric that doesn’t fray (ask the clerk at the fabric store for assistance in the choice). By soaking the pieces in liquid fabric starch (a spray starch works well), the pieces will stick to the wall after it dries, without damaging the surface. This is great to use in an apartment where you may not be able to use nails.

Handprints and Footprints
Decorate the room with the baby’s handprints and footprints. Make a stencil of the print, or if the baby cooperates, actually put the paint on baby’s hands and feet and press on the walls. Each month, you could make a new set of prints to add to the design, to watch your child’s growth. Write your baby’s age on each footprint, so you can see the change.

Family Photo Tree
Paint a simple tree on one wall. Collect nice pictures of the family: parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. Hang them on the tree. There are a lot of attractive and inexpensive picture frames that would work nicely. If you don’t want to purchase frames, you could even use different color photo mats, and use those to attach the pictures to the wall.

Wall Quilt Collage
Collect baby wallpaper samples to create a “wall quilt” collage. Lay the wallpaper pieces out, and try to use as much of a variety as possible to create a nice pattern. Options: If you’re in an apartment, the samples can be attached to poster board and then hung on the wall. Or, instead of using wallpaper samples, gather the cards from your baby shower and use those instead. “Frame” the art with ribbon to make it look like quilt binding.

With a little time and creativity, it doesn’t have to cost a small fortune to have a unique nursery.

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Baby Shower Theme Ideas

If you have a particular baby shower theme, it makes it very easy to decorate and to plan menu items. Well, sometimes it helps with the menu items.

Of course the reason for the shower is the baby, but you can also decide to have a particular theme. Below are just a few examples.

Fall Harvest Theme
You could decorate in orange, brown and gold colors. Serve pumpkin pie, cider, spiced chai tea and apples. Make some soups and warm dips; and burn cinnamon candles. Having a fall theme is just another added dimension to the shower. It in no way distracts from the main focus of celebrating baby.

Pool Party Theme
If it’s summertime, this can be the perfect themed. Suggest everyone bring their bathing suit and a towel. Host the shower outside. Serve lemonade and popsicles.

Spring Theme
A spring theme could include lots of flowers. Favors could be a little package of bulbs. Stress the new birth that comes with spring and tie it in with the new birth of the baby.

“Pamper-Me” Theme
Let everyone take their shoes off and dip their feet in the foot massager. Then rub peppermint lotion on your feet. This would be a fun get together – all the while making mom and baby the focus. It will be enjoyable and memorable for the shower guests too.

Cookie Exchange
Have all the guests bring 2 dozen cookies and swap them out. Chances are your guest of honor will have fun too. Of course a baby shower is all about mom, but sometimes there are only so many baby festivities to do in one afternoon.

Luau Theme
You can make this theme can be complete with grass skirts, leis and coconuts.

Make your shower FUN. It doesn’t have to be about tea and crumpets while sitting quietly in a chair. If your guest of honor was fun before she was pregnant, she’ll still be fun. (Give her one last hoorah before baby settles her down.)

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Wouldn’t be nice if all your friends and family were to RSVP to your baby shower right away because they simply could not wait to play THE GAMES? We all know that’s not going to happen.

Baby shower games – it’s a rite of passage. What’s a shower without silly games? Ok, admit it, while some may grumble and groan (generally silently while they outwardly smile and play nice) there is guaranteed to be much laughter and memories with baby shower games. Below are some suggestions:

Baby Food Tasting
Sit mom in a chair, blindfold her and be prepared for some funny faces. The hostess will spoon mom different kinds of food and she’ll have to guess what flavor it is. Or better yet, blindfold all the guests and have THEM try to guess the flavor. Have them remove their blindfolds (or if on the honor system, open their eyes) so that they can write down their guess – then begin with the next flavor.

Along the same lines is to put a dollop of baby food inside a disposable diaper. Eww, yes it is somewhat gross, that’s what makes it so fun. Everyone must sniff and try to determine what kind of baby food is in the diaper.

Toilet Paper Around Mommy’s Tummy
Pass a roll of toilet paper around to all the guests. Tell each one to take as many squares as they think will be necessary to fit around mom’s tummy. This also works with string but the toilet paper is funnier because if someone guesses too little, the paper squares break apart. Nothing like making mom feel HUGE.

Unscramble the Words
Write baby related words on pieces of paper – rattle, diaper, teething, colic, bath, ointment, bouncy seat, Pack n’ Play, etc. and then scramble up the letters. Give everyone a few minutes to decipher as many as they can.

Test Your Memory
Have a box or a tray with baby related items – wipes, diaper pin, diaper ointment, ear bulb, teething tablets, booties, washcloth, hair bow, etc. The smaller the items the better. Put the box or tray in front of everyone for two minutes then remove it. Have guests write down as many items as they can remember. Of course mom gets to keep the box of goodies when the game is finished.

***Don’t Forget***
You should have some little prizes for the winner(s) of each game. Candles, bath and body items, dish towels, or lip balm work nicely. Think of anything small that most women would like.

Don’t dread the games – have fun with them. Make sure to take lots of photos during the festivities.

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When new parents think of purchasing items for the nursery, the thought of buying baby furniture typically causes a new parent to panic. With all of the current expenses, visions of deeper credit card debt can make any new mom or dad break into a sweat.

However, there are ways to cut corners, and make furnishing the baby’s room less expensive. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking frugally before rushing out to purchase furniture for your baby’s room.

The crib
New parents may think they need both a bassinet and a crib. The frugal shopper will choose to skip the bassinet, which is typically viewed as a luxury. The crib is a necessity, but the bassinet is only used for a few months, and is then stored in the garage.

When shopping for a crib, keep your eyes open for a bargain on a convertible style crib, which can transform from a crib, to a toddler bed, and then a full size bed. If you can invest in a convertible crib, it would alleviate the cost of a bed in the future.

The Dresser
Baby’s dresser is an item that can often times be picked up at a yard sale. Thrifty shoppers know that purchasing a full-sized dresser is more economical than buying a small dresser. Remember that you will eventually have to turn the baby room into a child’s bedroom, and a smart investment now can grow with your child through the years. Don’t be afraid to buy an older dresser. An older dresser can be as good as new with just a coat of paint and some cute new hardware picked up at the local home improvement store.

Changing Table
The changing table is a luxury for the frugal shopper. Check places like the Salvation Army and Goodwill as well as yard sales. These tables are often discarded when the baby outgrows them. Another option for a frugal changing table is to convert a full-size dresser into a changing table. This is easily done by purchasing a thick changing pad (I got one that was curved like a half pipe to keep the baby from rolling) from a baby or discount store. No need to cover this with the expensive fitted covers – one of the many baby blankets that you’ll be receiving as a gift will also do the job! There are also inexpensive organizers that can hang down the side of the dresser. The changing table is an item some moms choose to do without, and, instead, set a blanket on the floor to change their babies on.

I am sure in a perfect world, we would all appreciate the luxury of going out and buying everything we need at a baby boutique. However, the reality is that baby does not need the most expensive furniture. Your baby needs only one thing, and that is you.

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Product Name: Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker
Submitted by: Kate Towers; Cambridgeshire
Rating: 9
Where to buy: Amazon.com

Description: This seat features a stand so you can have it as a normal seat that sits still or a rocker. Other features include a toy bar that goes across the front of the chair and it vibrates which keeps my little boy amused for hours.

Review: I purchased this online a month ago and I think its great and it has probably been our best purchase so far. My son has loved being in this and has spent more time asleep in this than in his cradle.
I love the fact that we will be able to still use it when he’s older too, so I think its great value for money. I also prefer to use this chair for when I am feeding him as he seems to feed better in this than with his high chair, I think he prefers being lower down. I would definitely recommend this rocker to friends. Great for when he sleeps, for rocking, feeding….everything.

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New mothers often feel inadequate as a parent. They question their instincts because it’s strange and new to have these feelings. An important thing to remember is that your instincts are real. Every woman has intuition. As a mother, your intuitive instincts will grow even more. Here are a few points to help you as you learn to listen to your instincts.

Trust Yourself
What is your inner voice telling you? Be still and quiet and you will hear it. Let’s suppose your baby is crying and running fever but has no other symptoms. Your instincts tell you that she has an ear infection, even though you haven’t noticed her pulling at her ears. Do you trust yourself enough to take your baby to the doctor, or wait?

Don’t Second-Guess Yourself
You know your strengths and weaknesses. Are you naturally jumpy, or nervous? Do you overreact to minor situations? Do you rely on other people’s instincts or advice instead of following after what your own intuition tells you? Never second-guess yourself. If you think your baby needs medical attention, even though a “veteran” parent says that you’re overreacting, what would you do?

Know that You are Capable
One of the greatest fears of a new mother is that you will fail your child. Be assured that you know what is best for your child. You are able to provide for his needs. You are the best person for the job!

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