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BABY

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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

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INFO PUBLISHER THE MAMAS NETWORK EDITOR LENI CALAS info@offspriing.com

assistant editor quiana mccarthy quiana@offspriing.com

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

contact:

general & press INFO@OFFSPRiiNG.COM advertising inquiries SALES@OFFSPRiiNG.COM

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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

AND BABY

MASSAGE TIPS

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?

- 32

What is a Mamas Expo anyway?

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HANDMADE

HOMEGROWN

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

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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

EXPOS

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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

THEMAMASEXPO.COM

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

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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.

CLEANING ACCESSORIES

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.

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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:

SUMMER

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

Animal products

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

Sprouted legumes

Coffee (for parents)

Sprouted vegetables

Fermented foods

Leafy greens 12

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FALL

WINTER

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

conditions.

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:

Hot tea

Apples

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

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baby BRUNCH Think that starting solids and eating seasonally with baby can only be done at

DELISH delivery GET

FRESH

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

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Brooklyn, Manhattan & Queens

Organic Direct Organicdirect.com

Brooklyn & Manhattan

Farm To Baby NYC farmtobabynyc.com Junior’s Fresh juniorsfresh.com

Manhattan

Komi Organics komiorganics.com Petit Organics petitorganics.com


Money Can't BuyHappiness

but it can buy an ad in

Support your local indie p u b l i s h e r and advertise with us!

Contact us about our magical advertising

o p p o r t u n i t i e s . S e r i o u s ly,

we

use

glitter. sales@offspriing.com

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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

diaper.

overnight.

Pros:

Pros:

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

Cons:

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2. POCKET DIAPERS

Cons:

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

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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. Don’t have any hardware that can break.

Fitteds

More expensive and take longer to dry. Easier to use, no folding learning curve. Have hardware that can be broken.

outer LAYER OPTIONS

PUL

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 don’t need anything over them Wool is natural, antibacterial and breathable

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cloth classes

DIAPER delivery

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

work?

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

cariboubaby.com

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.

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Clean... Basics

Table

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

parabens.

Soap/Shampoo – this

Washcloths

Basics

Bath Tub

Q-tips – to clean just

comes with a color

the outside part of a

Pitcher

coded digital tempera-

newborn’s ear.

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

bottom.

tech 4Moms Infant Tub

ture gauge for easy & accurate control.

Water

temperature is ideal at 90 degrees or less work well for infants.

Pitcher

likelihood of cradle cap.

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Diagram of a baby bath

Moisten washcloths

Essential Oils – lav-

ender essential oil is

Towel

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.

Towel

An infant tub on a safe,

Have baby’s bath towel

Washcloths

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

Baby Massage

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.

Pelvic Area

Preassure points

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INDIGO INFANT

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OFFSPRiiNG.COM Neon Newbie: Phil&Teds Poppy High Chair in Lime @ philandteds.com, Noe & Zoe Newborn Hat in Orange Triangles @ sweetwilliamltd.com, Maxi Cosi Mico AP Infant Car Seat in Passionate Pink @ babyviva.com, 7 A.M. Enfant Barcelona Baby Bag in Neon Green @ 7amenfant.com, Kalon Caravan Crib in Blue @ fawnandforest.com, Noe & Zoe Baby Blanket in Yellow Stars @ sweetwilliamltd.com, Brother Vellies Neon Orange Toe Cap Shoes @ brothervellies.com

NEON NEWBIE

Indigo Infant: Mexican Snap Bandana Bib @ laylagrayce.com, Kathryn Davey Super Cat @ acorntoyshop.com, Winter Water Factory Romper in High Seas @ acorntoyshop.com, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP in Denim @ justkidsstore.com, REWEAR NYC Recycled Denim Baby Carrier @ bumpbrooklyn. com, Baby Gap Chambray Button One-Piece @ gap.com, Jenna Rose Handmade Ships Shoulder Bag @ jennarosehandmade.etsy.com, TOMS Chambray Bimini Tiny TOMS Classics @ toms.com, Maclaren Quest Special Stroller in Denim @ shopmaclarenbaby.com

Metallic Mini: Elodie Details Gold Pacifier @ elodiedetails.com , Areaware Harmony Ball Co. Barbell Gold Rattle @ estella-nyc.com, 4moms Mamaroo in Silver Classic @ diapers.com, Bloom Fresco High Chair in Solar Gold @ giggle.com , Silly Souls Golden Boot @ sillysouls.com, Lara Casey Darling Boy Print @ laracaseyshop.com, Baby Jogger City Select in Quartz @ babyearth.com, Storksak Tania Bee in Graphite @ duematernity.com

METALLIC MINI


Pastel Pipsqueak: Comotomo Natural Feel Bottles @ cariboubaby.com, Stokke Tripp Trapp in Aqua @ weebabe.com, Dwell Studio Meadow Play Blanket @ dwellstudio.com, Petitnest Peony Crib @ laylagrayce.com, Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Soft Pink Fabric Set @ nybabystore.com, SugarBooger Matryoshka Doll Silicone Teethers @ tiny-you.com, ERGO Baby Carrier in Sea Skipper @ heavenlyhold.com, Nuna Leaf Seat in Emerald @ mbeans.com

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

IT’S ABOUT TO GET STYLISH Chiaroscuro Child

FASHIONABLE FINDS FOR BABY

PASTEL PIPSQUEAK

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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

the bathroom.

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

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Naturopathic Doctor, for best results.

.


Photo by Stacey Haynes of Beatrice Grimshane OFFSPRiiNG.COM

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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.

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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

stuffed animal.


Signing with your child will help them excel in school. Marilyn

How to Start Teaching Your Baby

Daniels, an associate Professor of Speech Communication

Sign Language

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:

ABOUTTHEphotographer:

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

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YOU MADE IT.

Celebrating your baby’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 doesn’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.

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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.

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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

BABY

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 bkbabykitch@gmail.com and you could be lucky enough to be the next catered event on her list.

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Who’s

Your

Mama

?

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.

Healthy Living

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,.

Shopping

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

Swag

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

Live Performances

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

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Randi Madrid Co-Founder of the Mamas Expo


Performances

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.

The Basics:

When:

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

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