Merry Mother Logo

June 2008
Issue # 008

As we go through our daily tasks and routines, it's easy to forget about the other adult in your home - your husband. As we gear up for Father's Day this month (on the 15th), think ahead of how you can make the day special and memorable.

Tips to Make Father's Day all about Him

  • Prepare a brunch or special meal just for him. FamilyFun has some great ideas for easy recipes you and older children can make.
  • Take handprints of your baby to a print shop to provide a header on notepads for work.
  • Fill out a "family" picture frame with your favorite photos for him to proudly display at work.
  • Have pity and order him a MAN's diaper bag. You know, one that isn't pastel and covered with flowers. These bags are dripping with testosterone and masculine enough for the toughest man to tote.
  • A gift certificate at Home Depot or Barnes and Noble (and time alone to browse) is always appreciated.
  • Find a babysitter (Care.com is the best place to do this) and share a popcorn at Iron Man.
  • Finally, put the kids to bed early...yadda...yadda...yadda...smiley

The Newest Pages Added to the EiR

Here are some of the new articles published recently at The Essential Infant Resource for Moms that you may have missed. As always, sign up for the Infant Blog and be notified instantly of all new or altered pages!
infant swimwear 1

Get Ready for Summer

Shop and Share


New Coupon Codes for You

There have been some new stores and coupon codes added to the Member's site.
  • Designer (and celebrity baby) clothier Coco BonBons is offering 20% off orders with code BUYCOCO. You can view their summer 2008 line here.
  • The baby clothing boutique Dragonflies and Ladybugs is offering 15% off and free shipping (for order over $150) with coupon code SPRING15. Peek at their designer line here.
  • You can find natural and organic clothing, toys, cloth diapers, furniture, and more at the Stinkerbells online boutique. Get 5% off with coupon code GX0934T6 and free shipping on orders over $75. Click here to browse their store.
  • If you're searching for highly-qualified at home sitters or in-your-home nannies, Care is a great way to find them. View resumes, other parent reviews, certifications, and everything else you need to know to make a wise Sitter decision. Search their database for free here, then use coupon code CWINNER to get 10% off a subscription.
  • Baby Brown's offers some really unique and practical diaper bags for Daddy that he will be proud to carry. In honor of the upcoming Father's Day, they are offering $10 off. Click here to see this offer.

Carry-Over Coupons

Don't miss the coupons and deals that have been carried over from last month! Click here to view them all.

Your Opinion is Needed!

What do you think about this newsletter? Do you enjoy reading it? Are there parts you could do without? Share your valuable feedback.

feature

Although I had indicated in my previous newsletter that this month's feature article was going to be entitled: Educational Baby Games and Toys, Choose The Games that Make a Difference, I decided that in light of the beautiful weather and launching of beach and water time, this valuable space would be best used on a different topic.

So, without If you are still wanting to see that article, you can see it here.


june
{Photo by Booknero}

Protecting Your Baby's
Sensitive Skin from the Sun

The sun is both friend and foe in the summertime. Build a barrier of baby protection around your little one at all times as you enjoy the Great Outdoors.

Just because your baby is young, doesn't mean she is somehow immune to the effects of the sun.

In fact, clinicians recommend that babies under 6 months do not spend time under the sun at all. Their skin is too sensitive for the sun's powerful UVA and UVB rays.

However, sometimes that level of protection just isn't possible. There are sports games for the older kids, company picnics, family reunions...not to mention the inner-longing of getting out of the house on a beautiful day.

If you are venturing out, use these infant sun protection guidelines to keep him safe.

Of course, don't forget the rest of the outdoors! Learn how to protect your infant outside from insects, heatstroke and water accidents.

If you're planning on introducing your baby to the joys of water, see this summer's cutest swimsuits for infants and make already-sweet photos adorable.


July 1st's Feature Article:

Using Sign Language to Boost Your Baby's Development


baby food recipes

My husband and I like to take long walks through the cemetery with our kids. There isn't a park nearby, and the peace of the cemetery allows us to let Lauren walk freely without fearing reckless drivers.

There is a large pond there, where we like to feed the ducks and whack cat tails against tree trunks. (Which Elena finds absolutely hilarious, by the way.)

It gives us a great opportunity to teach Lauren (and someday Elena) about respecting the dead, and honoring our fallen heroes as we whisper in the Memorial Building.

Often times I will pack little picnics for us as we're walking, or we'll sit on the side of the Memorial house, and eat our supper feeling the wind and listening to the birds. They create precious, precious memories for me.

Here's a few of the recipes I chose for those "outings in the cemeteries" (of course, feel free to use them in the park!


Despite how much table food your baby seems to eat, always be prepared to offer pureed baby food (homemade or storebought) before cleaning him up. A baby with a full tummy sleeps longer!

As always, make sure you make the food as choke-proof as possible. Look over these choke-proof guidelines.


Preparing for the Picnic

If your baby is old enough for finger foods (probably 9-10 months), secure a small tupperware container with some finger foods in between his tummy and the stroller's bar (or use a stroller tray if you have one).

Besides the main food, I include apples (peeled and shredded for babies over 8 months) and a raw vegetable like carrots or broccoli to munch on. Obviously, raw vegetables aren't good for baby (choking hazard). So, I open a can of green beans and finely dice or mash them (for older than 7 months).

Be sure to include water bottles for the parents, a sippy cup of water for baby, and old bread for the ducks.

Pizza Pockets

  • 2 cans refrigerated biscuits
  • 3 Tbs Pizza Sauce
  • Pizza Toppings (cheese only for baby)

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Smash the bisulfate with your fingers or a floured rolling pin into circles. Top one half of the biscuits with sauce and any other ingredients you wish (including cheese). Place the remaining biscuits on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

If your baby is older than 10 months old, tear up the pizza into small pieces for him to grab. Older babies may even be allowed to take their own bites, without breaking it into pieces, but watch carefully for overstuffing.

Curried Chicken Salad

Another favorite picnic food is Curried Chicken Salad. Served with crackers, it's delicious and easy to make ahead. It has pineapple, grapes, currants and is absolutely heavenly. It is not baby-safe, due to larger chunks of fruits and chicken, but if you'd like this recipe, feel free to contact me and I will email it to you.

news
  • Charlotte Martin (singer/songwriter), a son, Ronen on May 4th.
  • Kellie Coffey (country singer), a daughter Maggie Rose on May 7th.
  • Kelly Rowan (The O.C.), a girl on April 28th.
  • Nancy Kerrigan (Olympic figure skater), a daughter Nicole on May 14th.
  • John Buck (KC Royals), twin sons, Cooper and Brody on May 15th.
  • Paul Brandt country singer, a son Joseph, May 15th.
  • Sean Patrick Thomas (Save the Last Dance), a daughter, Lola on May 16th.
  • Zac Hanson (singer in, Hanson), a son, Shepherd on May 27th.
  • Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda), a son on May 23rd.
  • Harold Perrineau Jr. (Lost), a daughter, Wynter, on May 30th.
  • Nick Punto (Minnesota Twins), a daughter, Nicole, on May 30th.
infant activities

0-3 Months:
It's a Bird, It's a Plane!

Not only is this activity stimulate your baby's brain, it is also a great trick to use when your baby is fussy, gassy or colicky.

Support your baby, tummy down, by holding her under her chest and belly with one or both arms. (Newborns will also need their heads supported.) Swing her gently from side to side while singing a rhythmic song. This activity encourages tactile stimulation, trust, and upper-body strength (for both of you!).

smile
{KellyandApril}

3-6 Months:
The Log Roll

As your baby begins to rock from side to side, this activity will help her in coordinating her body and learning to roll over by herself.

Place him on his stomach or back on top of a towel or blanket. Slowly and gently lift the blanket on one end, so he rolls to one side. Help him move his arm out of the way to roll completely over.

This activity introduces him to the concepts of balance and bilateral coordination as well as improving his body awareness and gross motor skills.

6-9 Months: Drum Corps

Place your baby in his high chair. Give him a wooden spoon and show him how to bang on the tray to make music. Offer him other "drumsticks" like a basting brush, measuring spoons, etc. Offer him different surfaces to pound on like tin foil, a plastic bowl, pie plate, etc.

This activity teaches cause and effect, improves his listening skills and encourages rhythm and coordination.

12-18 Months:
Home Sweet Home

Place a large blanket or tablecloth over a table. Fold part of the blanket up to form a "door". Settle yourself and your baby under the table and proceed to close the "door". For extra fun, bring a flashlight.

This activity encourages her cognitive/thinking skills, imagination and creativity, and builds up the concept of in and out.

9-12 Months:
The Tower Terror

blocks
{Photo by MilenaG}
Purchase some stacking blocks or use boxes to show him how to build a tower, letting him push it over repeatedly.

These Eric Carle stacking blocks at eBeanstalk are long-lasting (over 4 years at my house!). Use coupon code JUNE3 for 5% off! {expires 6/30/08}

This activity teaches cause and effect, increases his cognitive skills (build and push over), encourages fine motor skills (in stacking) and problem solving.


Eventually, he may begin to lose interest in playing these games. Don't force anything. If that seems to be the case, simply try out some of the infant activities in previous newsletters.

Most of these activities were adapted from Baby Play and Learn. You can view this activity book (and others) by clicking here.

heather's hints

The Restaurant Table Dilemma: Solved!

Everytime we go to a restaurant, I'm faced with the same dilemma. What do I put Elena's finger foods on?

I know they have giant pads you can lay down on the table, but I keep forgetting to purchase one, and probably won't have it on hand when we spontaneously decide to dine out.

Using a plate for Elena is pointless. She will pick it up and throw it (and the meal) on the floor.

I've even tried the 'ole napkin-plate trick. That was a joke. After the first wet sloppy grab, it was ripped. I swear, Elena even managed to eat some of it before I could take it away. (Yuck!)

Eventually, I dumbed it down and got basic. Now I simply carry a little waterless disinfectant in my purse (like Purel) and use it to wipe down the table. It dries within seconds, and will kill almost all (99.9%) of the germs it comes into contact with.

recalls

There have been several recalls since the last Merry Mother was published in May.

General Items Recalled in May

Toy Recalls in May

  • Little Rider Toys "Cowboy on a Horse"
  • Little Tykes Toy Cell Phones
  • Makit and Bakit Jewelery Sets and Suncatcher Sets
  • "Sky Champion" Wireless Indoor Helicopters from Walgreens (Fire Hazard!)

View the Toy Recall Report for pictures and details.

Previous Recalls

Merry Mother's are given exclusive access to view all previous reports on recalled items. You can see them here.

closing

I hope you've enjoyed reading June's issue of The Merry Mother.

The next issue will be published on July 1st. So watch your Inbox! smiley

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Thank You Readers!

Thank you so much for reading and subscribing to this newsletter. It is a labor of love. I'm happy to know others enjoy reading it as much as I do writing it.

My growing subscriber list shows that you have been sharing it with your friends, and for that, I am deeply grateful.

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P.S. Be sure to check back at The Essential Infant Resource for Moms, your friend-next-door for questions-answered, stories-told, and laughs-had.

Newsletter Archives

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All the photos on this page can be found at www.flickr.com and were used
according to licensing requirements.

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