This issue is dedicated to Mei-Lai Araminta Hippisley-Coxe and her daughters Araminta and Arabella. Mei Lai is the most inspiring person I have ever known and I am so grateful to call her my friend. Leni Calas Editor - Offspriing Magazine
In Memory of Araminta Hippisley-Coxe July 10th 2009 - July 11th 2010 In Celebration of her sister Arabella 7 weeks old. Cover Photograph by Alana Range of Radish Lab
INFO PUBLISHER THE MAMAS NETWORK EDITOR LENI CALAS email@example.com
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COPY editor ELLEN NIZ CREATIVE DIRECTOR RODNEY STERBENZ contributors Shawn Estrada Andrea Georgoulis Sarah Longwell-Stevens Alexis Spadaro Alana Range of Radish Lab Rebecca Raymond Nicole Weigl DIRECTOR OF SALES RANDI MADRID administrator maria adcock
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TABLE OF CONTENTS HANDMADE HOMEGROWN- 7 SOME OF OUR FAVORITE HANDMADE BABY ITEMS
IT’S ABOUT TO GET REAL - 8 TEETHING TIPS, TRICKS, AND ACCESSORIES
IT’S ABOUT TO GET HUNGRY - 12 SEASONAL SOLIDS FOR YOUR BABY
IT’S ABOUT TO GET DIRTY - 16 3 WAYS TO CLOTH DIAPER YOUR BABY
CLEAN & CALM - 20 DIAGRAM OF AN INFANT BATH
IT’S ABOUT TO GET STYLISH - 22 THE COOLEST ITEMS & GEAR TO ROCK THIS SEASON.
IT’S ABOUT TO GIVE YOU A BREAK - 24 HERBAL SLEEP REMEDIES FOR BABY
BABY SIGN - 26 HOW AND WHY TO START SIGNING WITH YOUR BABY
YOU MADE IT - 29 PLANNING YOUR BABY’S FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY
Who’s Your Mama?
What is a Mamas Expo anyway?
From Top Left: Fox Plush Toy @ KateDurkin.etsy.com, Crystal Rose Mobile @ ByAllySen.etsy.com, Navy Forest Bib @ YorikoNewYork.etsy.com, Water Tower Baby Quilt @ MemoryThreadsNYC.etsy.com, Custom Wooden Peg Family @ GooseGrease.etsy.com, Baby Bandana Bib @ HideAndSeekBrooklyn.etsy.com, Personalized Baby Spoons @ CorinnaMaggyDesigns.etsy.com, Baby Spray, Oil & Wash Set @ BrooklynLimeGreen.etsy.com, Personalized Woodcut Poster @ PaperTuli.etsy.com, Organic Baby Tees @ SpoonChogre.etsy.com, Woodland Pixie Hoody @ VanRey. etsy.com, Mustaches Diaper Clutch Changing Pad @ Brookidlyn.etsy.com
IT’S ABOUT TO GET REAL THE REAL DEAL ON TEETHING
BY QUIANA MCCARTHY & ALEXIS SPADARO
Teething. Simply hearing the word can bring a chill to a parent’s spine. At best, it’s a drool-a-thon ending with your baby’s shirt completely drenched down the front. At worst, you have a sleepless, cranky, crying biter on your hands. In addition, the symptoms related to cutting teeth can begin as early as three months of age while, the first teeth could take as long as a year to emerge. So how can this experience be made a bit more bearable for both parent and child? The advice of “"helpful” relatives and the Internet can be interesting, but definitely questionable, so we enlisted the help of one of our favorite sources for some eco-friendly suggestions.
THE MOTHER OF ALL is back
Alexis Spadaro, founder and creative director of the Lexypexy brand of baby teethers and toys developed her line of teethers with the health
SUNDAY MAY 4TH 2014
and happiness of babies in mind. “"Now more than ever we are all concerned about the composition of baby merchandise, the inevitable choice for me was organic materials.” Her eco-chic teethers are all handcrafted out of hardwood sustainable maple and engraved to resemble handbags, motorcars, yachts, and sunglasses. Ms. Spadaro is quick to point out that Lexypexy teethers are non-splintering, naturally anti-bacterial, non-toxic, and never painted – which makes them an ideal alternative to plastic which can often contain phthalates and
BPA’s. What sets them apart from other wooden options are the unique designs that make these teethers a fashionable alternative to everyday baby accessories.
Alexis’ Natural Teething Tips Try wetting a clean organic baby washcloth with filtered water; tie it in a knot and put it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. The coarseness of the fabric in combination with the cold should help ease those baby teeth growing pains. If you and baby happen to be out and about, a 100% organic stuffed animal is okay for chewing and should do the trick until you get home. When seemingly everything fails to satisfy your little one and you’re left with only the desperate wails of an infant crying, a good old clean finger may do the trick. Simply rub your finger gently over baby’s gums, which will help to ease the pain. If you want to bring a little ‘New York’ to your little New Yorker, try adding in a piece of a frozen bagel to the teether rotation. After all, who doesn’t love a bagel? Lastly, Lexypexy teethers, of course. The Gavin or The Ava are a practical and stylish solution that can be chewed on now, played with later and saved for a lifetime. Put this fashionable little knick-knack in the freezer for 10 minutes for a cool bonus.
Find Lexy Pexy brand teethers at LexypexyEcoChic.etsy.com OFFSPRiiNG.COM
BABY TEETh TOOLKIT GOOD READS
Pony Brushes His Teeth By Michael Dahl – A funny board book with a step-by-step story about a pony brushing his teeth. It will familiarize even the youngest ones with dental hygiene.
Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush – A super safe first toothbrush made of 100% medical grade silicone, great before or after teeth.
Jack N’ Jill Bio Toothbrush – Ergonomic handle, rounded bristles and the first children’s toothbrush that is made of nonGMO cornstarch, which makes it biodegradable and recyclable.
My Dentist’s Choice Tooth Tissues – Disposable textured dental wipes specially designed to help remove plaque from baby and toddler teeth and gums.
Jack N’ Jill Natural Calendula Toothpaste – Certified organic toothpaste that is safe if swallowed, available in fruity flavors like banana, black currant, blueberry, raspberry and strawberry.
TOOTH TIMELINE Say Ahh! By Sabine Kraushaar & Sonja Fiedler – The general rule of thumb is to take baby to the dentist around the time of their first birthday, so this fantastic board book will prepare and reassure your child before their first dental experience.
AS THEY GROW
www.2min2x.org - Available in English or Spanish, this website hosts genius cartoon videos that kids can watch while brushing their teeth 2 minutes per time, 2 times per day, website also includes hygiene guidelines, dental information by child’s age and an abundant resources link page.
IT’S about to get hungry By Andrea Georgoulis
STARTING SEASONAL SOLIDS
Pediatricians and most childrearing literature agree that after the age of six months our children should be eating what we eat. But the real question is: are you eating what your child eats?
Dr. Deepak Chopra teaches us that our bodies are the physical representation of every decision we’ve made in our lives to date. "”Your body is the story of your life.” Well, I’d like to take that one step further: our children’s bodies and wellness are the physical representations of our decisions as well. I often hear parents saying that they make separate meals for their babies and toddlers because their own diet is, well, less than ideal. I’m about to tell you something you already know: your children will only want what YOU have. We lead by example whether we like it or not. Your child will embody your attitude toward food, your eating habits, and your limited palette unless you take this opportunity to change. Let your desire to properly nourish your child be the motivation you need to make your own wellness a priority.
How to Start: Begin by slowly incorporating more seasonal foods into your diet and you will find yourself naturally craving these foods. Listen to your body and give it what it needs! Your child’s wellness will reflect your own. Challenge yourself to spend one entire day giving your child a portion of everything you eat. If you already consume a well-balanced diet of whole foods, then it will be quite easy and enjoyable. If your diet needs some work, this exercise will prove more of a challenge. By the end of the day you’ll notice that you made better choices because you were sharing with your child.
. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrea Georgoulis is a New York City-based Holistic Health Coach, certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her comprehensive approach to health encourages seasonal eating along with a multitude of strategies for improving your overall wellness. You can learn more about Andrea, her philosophy, and even schedule an appointment for a personalized counseling session at www.facebook.com/KAIAWellnessinfo
WHAT TO EAT SPRING:
As we move into spring, the wet season, we need to turn our
The increased level of activity during this season requires the
focus to lighter, dry foods that will help limit excess mucus and
most easily accessible form of nutritional energy: carbohydrates.
help prevent severe allergies.
Foods to increase:
*Foods to reduce:
Cool or tepid water for hydration
Fruit like berries, apples, melons, grapes, pears
Full-fat dairy products
Vegetables like broccoli, celery, leafy greens, seaweed
Oily foods, especially fried foods
Whole grains like barley, quinoa, and brown rice
High sodium foods, like salty soups & stews Foods to decrease: Foods to increase:
Spicy, warming foods like tomatoes, eggplant, chilis
Warm, dry, and light foods
Grilled animal products or heavy proteins
Coffee (for parents)
Leafy greens 12
Fall is a transitional season in nature as well as our bodies. What that
Heavy, grounding, oily foods are necessary during the cold winter to
means is that on the warmer days of early fall it is more appropriate
help keep skin and organs hydrated and our bodies insulated from the
to eat from the summer list. On cooler, dryer days of late fall it is more
appropriate to eat from the winter list. The closer we get to winter, the
Foods to increase:
dryer and colder it will become.
Heavy, oily, hot foods like stews, soups
Foods to increase:
Nuts and seeds
Root vegetables like squash, beets, sweet potatoes
SautĂŠed vegetables, especially root vegetables
Foods to decrease: Light, cold, dry foods Salads Smoothies Cold or iced beverages
baby BRUNCH Think that starting solids and eating seasonally with baby can only be done at
DELISH delivery GET
PA C KAG E D
FO O D
THAT YOU CAN TAKE ON THE GO.
home? Think again.
Sumptuous squash & yam at Alobar in LIC Queens
Enter Alobar, a New American, farm to table restaurant, with creativity and hospitality on the mind. Owner, Jeff Blath, was talking to a customer about the influx of families with children and the lack of accommodating dining establishments in Long Island City when he had a genius idea. He collaborated with his chef to add freshly made baby food to their brunch menu. Alobar already focuses on spectacular seasonal eating for adults, so making baby food based on the current menu was a logical next step. Some of the delicious flavors baby may expect Chef Greg Profeta to prepare are spring peas, bananas, carrots and cauliflower. Adults shouldn’t feel left out of the palette pleasing party, brunch also features maple bacon popcorn, wild mushroom toast and a plate called Pig & Grits (braised pulled pork with poached eggs). Add a welcoming atmosphere, highchairs and coloring pages with crayons to the mix and you have extremely appreciative family patrons. “I want customers to feel like Alobar is their home away from home,” said Blath. And what a lovely home it is, leather banquets, reclaimed wood, local ingredients, a currated whiskey selection for the parents and perfect purees for the little ones. The only down side may be that you don’t want to go back to your actual home. Alobar
is located at
46-42 Vernon Boulevard
between 46th Road and 47th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens.
Brunch is available Saturday and
Sunday starting at 11:30am. Alobarnyc.com
Brooklyn, Manhattan & Queens
Organic Direct Organicdirect.com
Brooklyn & Manhattan
Farm To Baby NYC farmtobabynyc.com Junior’s Fresh juniorsfresh.com
Komi Organics komiorganics.com Petit Organics petitorganics.com
Money Can't BuyHappiness
but it can buy an ad in
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IT’S ABOUT TO GET dirty THREE WAYS TO CLOTH DIAPER BY QUIANA MCCARTHY
Pregnant with my first child, I was feeling quite confident after selecting “the "perfect” stroller and high chair for my registry. Navigating the vast world of baby gear is not easy, considering the almost infinite number of products and reviews. So when I began researching cloth diapers, I was surprised to find I had jumped into another vortex of information. The largest obstacle in cloth diapering was not what I imagined, laundry, difficulty, and the mess, but simply figuring out which cloth diapering method was right for me. There are countless brands and types of cloth diapers, along with a set of vocabulary and acronyms to interpret, which made this choice seem daunting, but also a tiny bit fun. Here are some basics to get you started. 1. ALL IN ONEs (AIOs)
The AIO is just that, the only one thing you need to use this type of
Very similar to AIOs but the inner absorbent layers are not sewn
cloth diaper. All absorbent layers are sewn into the diaper. Basically,
to the diaper. The inner absorbent layers are called inserts, which
this type of cloth diaper most resembles the disposable version in shape
are inserted into the diaper via a pocket. The number and type
and function. There are multiple layers of absorbent material attached
of inserts can be customized to what is needed for the particular
to a waterproof material (called PUL) that lines the outer layer of the
child or whether the diaper is being worn during the day versus
Easy to use and have the shortest learning curve
Dry faster than AIOs
Only need to purchase one product
Inserts can be put into the dryer
Caretakers are typically most receptive to this type
Level of absorbency can be customized greatly
2. POCKET DIAPERS
Relatively more expensive than other cloth products
Both cover and inserts need to be washed after one use
Takes longer to dry due to multiple inner layers
Not ideal to put pocket diapers with PUL in the dryer
May need to wash more frequently
Need to purchase both covers and inserts
3. ONE INNER LAYER + ONE OUTER LAYER = TWO PART CLOTH DIAPER The components of the two part systems are an inner absorbent layer and outer waterproof layer. Two of the most popular cloth inner layers are prefolds and fitteds. Prefolds look like a flat piece of cloth that you fold into a diaper shape and then secure with a snappie. Fitteds are already sewn into the shape of a diaper and they may or may not have snaps to hold them in place. The most frequently used outer layers are woolies or PUL covers. Woolies can be shaped as covers or pants and are made of wool, while PUL covers are made of synthetic waterproof materials. Either inner layer can be used with either type of cover.
INNER LAYER OPTIONS
Prefolds Inexpensive and can be dried quickly in the dryer. Require folding to be put on baby. Donâ€™t have any hardware that can break.
More expensive and take longer to dry. Easier to use, no folding learning curve. Have hardware that can be broken.
outer LAYER OPTIONS
PUL covers can be used with disposable inserts PUL covers can be washed in the washing machine (Some) PUL covers have snaps that allow for use from 10-35 lbs PUL covers are more trimmer and less expensive than wool but synthetic
WOOL Wool can be washed much less frequently but must be hand washed Wool is more expensive but you need fewer covers (Some) Wool covers can function as clothing and donâ€™t need anything over them Wool is natural, antibacterial and breathable
To ensure the learning process wouldn’t throw me off course, I looked to the experts at Caribou Baby and took a class called Cloth Diapering
Made Simple. The class provided more clarity in 45 minutes than I could
How does a typical cloth diaper delivery service
have gleaned in hours and hours on the Internet. We have provideded
you with a basic framework but you’ll have to go to Caribou Baby
Just leave your soiled diapers outside your door and receive
yourself for the quick and not so dirty answers to wearing, washing and
your clean diapers on the same day, at least that is what the
what to do with the poop.
diaper services boast. The first week of your new diaper
CARIBOU BABY 272 DRIGGS AVE. BROOKLYN NY 11222
service you will receive clean fresh fabric diapers in your
and will rotate these sets every week. They are washed,
diaper bag. The second week you will receive a second set
dried and packed separately from other diapers. Your bags are tagged with your name and your diapers are only for your baby.
Local Diaper Delivery Services Diaperkind.com delivers diapers, but is also a one-stop-shop for cloth diapering, with everything from diaper sprayers to coconut oil diaper cream and all you will need in between. Serving all areas of Brooklyn and Manhattan, and select areas of Queens and the Bronx.
NaturesPremiere.com has a plentiful selection of cloth diapers and accessories on their site, but even more helpful are the comprehensive online cloth diaper tips and at home washing instructions, plus a compostable diaper service if you “want to help keep diapers out of landfills but can’t get in the swing of cloth.” Serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx and select areas of Long Island.
is not immediately nec-
waist-high table is
essary for newborns
initially a lot more com-
but when you are
fortable and stable than
ready to use soap, look
leaning over the baby
A great bathtub is
for a product witout
tub in your bathtub.
essential. The ultra high
Soap/Shampoo – this
Q-tips – to clean just
comes with a color
the outside part of a
coded digital tempera-
in a separate vessle
Comb – make sure to
instead of baby’s bath
comb the baby’s hair
water that might con-
even if she has very
tain urine. Always clean
little. Stimulating the
from the face to the
scalp will decrease the
tech 4Moms Infant Tub
ture gauge for easy & accurate control.
temperature is ideal at 90 degrees or less work well for infants.
likelihood of cradle cap.
Diagram of a baby bath
Essential Oils – lav-
ender essential oil is
known to have a calm-
nearby to wrap them
ing effect/ Add one
up as soon as the bath
drop to baby’s bath
is over .
water if desired.
An infant tub on a safe,
Have baby’s bath towel
Have a couple on hand,
Diaper & Clothes
use one to clean baby
ing baby immediately
and lay another one,
after bath will keep
that has been dipped
their body tempera-
in warm water, on
ture at an optimal level.
baby’s body to keep him warm.
Diapering and cloth-
&Calm You can learn a lot about your baby through touch. Learning
to communicate with your baby takes time but you
can understand a significant amount through baby’s first
Massage helps promote sleep, something everyone wishes their baby would do more of, and more easily. Infants receive the same
language: body language. You can comfort your baby by appying gentle preassure to certain areas of his foot.
benefits adults get from massage—relaxation, release of tension, and stimulation of blood flow. The organized and comprehensive touch of massage aids in the release of mental tension and physically relaxes the muscles. Yet, most importantly, it helps babies to regulate their behavioral states, so they can learn to more easily calm themselves when overwhelmed or upset.
Sinuses Head & Teeth
Upper Abdomen Lower Abdomen
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Longwell-Stevens is a post partum doula and early childhood partenting coatch. She offers private individual and small group infant massage lessons throughout Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. Visit her website at www.smallthingsnyc.com to learn more about this and other services.
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Chiaroscuro Child: Macarons Hat Henni @ sweetwilliamltd.com, Nununu Sprinkle Playsuit @smoochiebabynyc.com, Graco SnugRide 35 in Rockweave @ buybuybaby.com, Lesportsac Ryan Baby Bag @ lesportsac.com, Bloom Plexistyle Baby Lounger @ lollibeans.com, Love Struck Bin @ landofnod.com, Plush Penguin @ landofnod.com, Nursery Works Vetro Crib in Shadow @ nurseryworks.net, 4moms Origami Stroller @ giggle.com
ITâ€™S ABOUT TO GET STYLISH Chiaroscuro Child
FASHIONABLE FINDS FOR BABY
IT’S ABOUT TO Give you a break 5 ways to improve your Baby’s sleep: naturally Chances are if your kids aren’t sleep-
bed. You can either use tea that is
won’t be waking up having to go to
ing, you aren’t either. So how can you
intended for drinking or find bath tea
get them to sleep better? Try these
that is specifically indicated for the
safe, natural, and effective therapies.
bath. Try a sleep tea blend, or any of
5. Homeopathy: Homeopathy is
the herbs mentioned above. Also try
an incredibly safe and gentle form
1. Herbal sleep pillows: This is one
adding Epsom salts, which contain
of medicine and can be very effec-
of my favorite sleep aids for chil-
magnesium, a very relaxing mineral.
tive for children and babies when
dren because you don’t have to
prescribed accurately. Based on a
coax them into taking anything. You
3. Lighting: Lighting is key! Blue light
patient’s specific symptom, a homeo-
simple place a sachet full of calming
inhibits melatonin (the sleep hormone)
path will match the most appropriate
and sedating herbs in or around their
from being produced. If your kid has
medicine to each patient. Because
bed. Try a blend of the following
a night-light make sure it is orange
each child’s reason for not being
herbs: lemon balm, catnip, chamomile
or red because they have less of an
able to sleep is different (afraid of
flowers, hops, lavender flowers and
effect on melatonin. Also, it’s best not
the dark, scary dreams, restlessness
valerian. The pillow should be quite
to have any streetlights shining in the
at night etc.) and homeopathy is an
aromatic, once it starts losing its smell
window or lights from electronics in
individualized form of medicine, a
it’s time to change out the herbs. You
the room. Consider using black tape
general homeopathic recommenda-
can pick these up at your local herb
over the bright lights on electronics
tion for every kid isn’t helpful and
shop. Check out The Herb Shoppe
or removing them completely.
they should be seen by a provider
in Brooklyn for good quality herbs.
trained in homeopathy, such as a 4. Chamomile tea: Chamomile is an
2. Bath tea: We often think of tea as
incredibly gentle, calming herb so
a drink but it’s also great to bathe in!
it can be used safely in children. It’s
The combination of warm water and
also tasty so they will actually drink
the medicinal effects of calming and
it. Consider sweetening it with honey
sedating herbs in a bath is a great
if they don’t like it plain. It’s best 1-1.5
way to calm your kid down before
hours before bed so your little one
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nicole Weigl is a naturopathic doctor with a passion for helping her clients achieve optimal health and wellbeing. Using natural therapies and holistic nutrition she helps both adults and children with a multitude of different conditions. To find out more about Nicole visit her website at www.naturalhealthnyc.com
Naturopathic Doctor, for best results.
Photo by Stacey Haynes of Beatrice Grimshane OFFSPRiiNG.COM
The Benefits of Baby Sign Language By Rebecca Raymond
desire is then quickly met, long before a temper tantrum occurs. Signing with your child at an early age builds babies’ self-esteem. When infants can express their needs and know that their needs will be met quickly it makes feel safer in their environment. In addition, this early form of communication makes them more willing to experiment with verbal language when they are eventually physically capable of speaking.
You see parents signing "more” and "finished”
Signing with your baby will help them speak
with their kids in restaurants. You see them
sooner. Yes, that’s right: babies who are taught
signing "stop” and "play” at the park. Is teach-
ASL actually speak sooner, more articulately,
ing your baby American Sign Language (ASL)
and with larger vocabularies than those who
just a fad or are there legitimate benefits?
were not taught to sign. There is zero evi-
Twenty-five years of careful studies in clinical
dence to back up the misconception that
and university settings have proven, without
signing delays speech, studies have actually
contention, that teaching hearing babies sign
found the opposite to be true. Furthermore, it
language is significantly beneficial. Here are
is easier to talk than sign so as your child’s ver-
some of the greatest perks:
bal language grows, his signing will drop off.
Signing with your child increases child-parent
Signing with your child enables you to better
bonding. Parents who sign with their children
decode their initial verbal language. Sign lan-
share more eye contact with their babies. They
guage becomes a sort of Rosetta Stone. When
also spend more time reading books to their
I couldn’t understand the difference between
children because they sign the pictures and
my daughter saying "doggie” and "daddy,”
words in the stories.
sign language built a bridge. In another exam-
Signing with your child reduces frustration
ple, when my daughter was about 18 months
and temper tantrums. Signing babies have
old, she was always saying "nee.” If she hadn’t
gestures for "milk,” "diaper change,” and even
also been signing "bunny,” I would never have
their favorite lovey, therefore they can easily
known that she was asking for her favorite
communicate their needs to their parents. That
Signing with your child will help them excel in school. Marilyn
How to Start Teaching Your Baby
Daniels, an associate Professor of Speech Communication
at Pennsylvania State University, who has spent a decade researching the affects of teaching children sign language, found
Start with just 2-5 signs. This is not for
in seven separate studies of preschoolers and kindergarteners,
the baby’s benefit; it is for yours. Babies will absorb sign lan-
that children who were taught ASL had higher reading levels
guage as easily as they absorb spoken language.
than their non-signing counterparts.
Be consistent. Your baby will sign back sooner
Signing with your child increases their IQ. For over twenty
if you always sign "milk” when you give your baby milk. It is
years, Linda P. Acredolo from the University of California, Davis,
less effective if you sign a dozen different things occasionally
Susan W. Goodwyn from California State University, Stanislaus,
throughout your day. This is another reason why I recommend
and their associates have been studying the benefits of sign lan-
starting with 2-5 signs. When you start with just a few, it will be
guage. In a paper presented at the International Conference on
easier to focus on repetition.
Infant Studies in 2000, they proved that increased IQ can be seen through the age of 8 – the oldest age that they had tested
Don’t give up. I have never seen a child unable to
their subjects – and that the increase is between 8 and 13 points.
learn sign language when they have parents that consistently
At first parents find it unnatural to sign while they are talking.
and persistently sign with the baby. The first sign is an amazing
They forget to sign; they forget what the signs are. It is less
gift, it is worth all the work and the wait.
overwhelming to start with just a couple signs. Once you’ve mastered those first few signs, you can add more as it feels comfortable to you. Your baby will keep up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rebecca Raymond is a certified My Smart Hands baby sign language instructor who loves sharing what has been one of her most rewarding motherhood experiences: teaching her babies to sign. My Smart Hands is an 8-week mommy-and-me course where parents learn over 100 signs through games, songs, and stories. To find out more, visit www.MySmartHandsNYC.com
Shawn Estrada of Paper Heart Pixie Photography www.facebook.com/paperheartpixiephotography
YOU MADE IT.
Celebrating your babyâ€™s first birthday in style.
You kept your beautiful baby fed, clothed and clean for 365 days straight! Every parent knows that this is no small feat, and you deserve to celebrate. So how do you plan a first birthday party to please toddling tots and discerning dads and moms alike? Our fool-proof strategy combines simple, colorful decorations, thoughtful food options and unexpected extras to make it a distinct and fun event for all. DECOR Opt for a festive color palette as opposed to a strict character theme to allow for more flexibility and elegance. Working with colors, as opposed to a ladybug or train, theme doesnâ€™t limit your choices when you begin to select coordinating plates, desserts or even party favors. Tissue paper pom poms are a particularly simple and chic option for decor. The color combinations are endless and if you want to go the DIY route, it can be a cost effective solution as well. Plus, if your hands full with your soon to be one year old, there are multiple sellers on Etsy that offer customizable pom pom decor packages.
CAKE Your child and/or your young guests have only been eating solids for about six months, so they might not be ready to consume a traditional sugar-filled dessert. Quinoa mini muffins with yogurt-based frosting are a fantastic alternative to traditional cake. These child-size treats contain ingredients suitable for new digestive systems and still allow for a smeared cake face photo. There are plenty of simple recipes on Pinterest if you don’t have a health food bakery in your area. Decorate your cake plates with colorful baby snack food, such as whole-wheat puffs or yogurt discs.
PARTY HATS Update the traditional pointy paper hats with a more unique creation. Make lace crowns for your little princes and princesses with lace and fabric stiffener. There are a plethora of DIY instructions for this particular craft on Pinterest. From experience, I can confirm that they are as easy to make, as they are beautiful. Add alligator hair clips to keep them in place for picture perfect photo ops.
ACTIVITIES Babies are not known for following directions in general; so organized games at a first birthday are not typically an option. Two great ways to entertain the tots (besides free play) are a photo booth and story time. Whimsical scenes, like a hot air balloon or space rocket ride, are easy to assemble and enjoy. Make the photos into keepsakes by personalizing with the birthday baby’s name and the date. Parents can intermittently photograph their children during the party with their smart phones or cameras.
GIFTS & FAVORS You’ve probably been reading to your baby since he/she was in utero, continue the good habit and make books a part of the celebration. If guests want to bring gifts, ask them to bring a book. It is an affordable present for parents that may be attending multiple first birthdays throughout the year and a lovely way to expand your child’s growing library. Read your little one’s favorite book during story time and purchase a copy for each guest as a party favor.
CHEERS You’ve made it through year one so you deserve a little gift, too. Champagne splits make a fun decor accent and the small serving size doesn’t make it a distraction. There are multiple brands that sell split size bottles so you can match the label to your decor. Add color coordinated straws and you won’t have to worry about bringing out a lot of fragile glassware.
HELPING HANDS Being a hostess and a parent is going to be a challenge for the best of us. If possible, ask a friend or family member that doesn’t have children to come to the party to help you manage the children when you or another parent wants to take a break or if you just need a couple minutes to have your cake and eat it too.
HEALTHY CAKE FOR
Kate Church of the Brooklyn Baby Kitchen catered mini quinoa muffins with almond butter frosting, which she delivered right to my door on the day of the party. Kate has been thinking about expanding her business to include catering events with healthy cakes, cupcakes and other nutritious treats, and we were happy to be her first baby birthday client! As she discussed her philosophy she said, “"These choices about what a baby eats aren’t just for the present, but are also an incentive for developing a healthy palette in the future.”
Sample some of Brooklyn Baby Kitchen’s treats such as quinoa banana oat muffins, orange chamomile muffins, apricot almond chia chews and “mothers mischief brownies, at Tea Bar in Williamsburg. Tea Bar 506 Driggs Ave, BK, NY 11211
For additional information visit BrooklynBabyKitchen.com or contact Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be lucky enough to be the next catered event on her list.
What to Expect at a Mamas Expo
Prenatal & Infant Learning Area
Expecting and first time parents hunger for information as they embark on their identity as new parents. This year, the Mamas Expo will present a new parents lounge and ded-
h egreat mthings, am a sex o.co Liketmany the Mamas Expop started small, asm icated learning space where parents will be exposed to birthing and simply an idea that all parents deserve a community celebration about
healthcare options, childcare providers, breastfeeding support, financial
who they are and what they like. New York is a big city filled with so many
and legal advisors, as well as prenatal and post-natal resources.
resources for parents but in such a big place, how do new parents get the chance to make choices that are best for their family? This was the very concept that the Mamas Expo was created upon.
Infant feeding, baby food, toddler snacks, and easy meal options are always on the minds of many parents. Local and national brands will
Part baby expo, part county fair, and part something entirely different,
be on hand to give out samples and nutritional tips throughout the day.
this one day event is open to all parents, expectant mothers, caregivers, and children who come to the expo looking for everything from new local classes and schools, to innovative products and retail stores,.
Who doesn’t love a little shopping? The Mamas Expo brings great local
These parents receive an exclusive peek at all of the new resources avail-
and national brands to the NYSCI for a one day shop till you drop event.
able to make sure they are in-the-know. The Mamas Expo is now in its
Parents and children will find everything from strollers, baby gear, and
fouth year and is one of the largest and most diverse events of its kind.
bath products, to toys and handmade clothing.
Attended by thousands of local families from the Tri-State area, visitors come together for one day to watch live performers, meet makers and authors, and be introduced to new brands at the New York Hall of
The Mamas Expo is always plentiful with free samples for parents to try,
Science in Queens, NY.
take home, and hopefully buy again.
Parents rarely have the time to constantly stay updated about the new
resources that are available to them, even if those things may make their
The Mamas main stage is filled with awesome entertainers that span a
lives easier. So, on May 4th 2014, the Mamas Expo will return once again
wide audience range. Families can enjoy a break from the event while
to entertain children, educate parents, and continue to celebrate how
they sit down and watch a great show.
great city parenting can be.
“The primary mission of the Mamas Expo is to empower parents to make informed decisions for their children by giving them easy access to some of
the best local resources currently available to them. 32
Randi Madrid Co-Founder of the Mamas Expo
Music Together: Mini Concert The beloved leaders of these local music classes will light up our main stage singing their greatest hits.
Central Park Zoo Presents The WildlifeTheatre:Amazing Adaptations: A Dinosaur Adventure! With dinosaur puppets and engaging songs, this performance teaches kids of all
Talks & Demonstrations
ages about the survival strategies of animals
Music Together: Happy, Healthy and Sleeping Babies with Music. Music Together’s Wendy DeAngelis will talk about how parents can use music to help their newborns, sleep soundly, eat well and be happy. Product Demonstrations by 4 Moms A leader in the coolest, high tech baby gear, $Moms will demo some of their best products. The Basice of Baby Sign with Nuts for Signs This is a glimpse into the fun and value of communicating with your babies through sign language. Baby Wearing Basics by Beco A demonstration and chat about the benefits of baby wearing. Introduction to Family Financial Management with Prudential Management. A brief on managing financials for your family’s future. Baby Massage Presentation by Weleda The natural skincare company gives tips and techniques on baby massage. doing.
Quite possibly the coolest stroller we have ever seen, the Origami by 4Moms boasts features such as an LCD Dashboard, reclining seats, automatic opening and closing, four cup holder, a ton of storage, one-push break, a built-in generator and…wait for it…a phone charger!
throughout our earth’s history.
Meet Shaun Gallagher, author of Experimenting With Babies: 50 Amazing Science Projects You Can Perform on Your Kid Meet the author and learn how to recreate landmark scientific studies on cognitive, motor, social and behavioral develop-
Mad Science Performances Mad Science shows kids a scientific fun time in these interactive family friendly performances.
ment—using your own bundle of joy as the research subjects. In Experimenting With Babies, parents will discover how to: Test reflexes, see how speech and gestures are coordinated, assess babies’ progress with motor skills, work on language skills- and measure emotional, social, and cognitive development.
May 4th 2014 from 10 am – 4 pm May 3rd 2015 More dates to be announced. Where: New York Hall of Science - 47-01 111th Street, Corona, NY 11368 More venues to be announced. Ticket Price: Free with NYSCI Admission or Membership.
More Information: TheMamasExpo.com