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The Merry Mother, Nov. '07 - A new contest, fun infant activities, recipes and so much more.
December 10, 2007

In This Issue:

  • The new website design is revealed!
  • Activities you can do for every stage of baby-hood
  • A simple Christmas Cookie Recipe everyone will love
  • Recall of Bumbo Baby Seats and Wal-Mart storage rack (after an infant death)
  • Baby Christmas Shopping Guide 2007

An Essential Reminder

Please open the newsletter up all the way (instead of using the Preview Mode) and let all the images shine through. The whole newsletter will be so much more enjoyable that way. (If you use Gmail, click on the green box at the top to see the graphics.

The Eternal Password

As a reminder, the password to get your Merry Mother goodies is: GimeGoodies

Use this to enter the Mystery Mom Contest and win $25 or to visit any Recall Reports to check on new baby product recalls.

The big news around The Essential Infant Resource for Moms is the revealing of the new site design. I won't embarrass myself by confessing how many pots of coffee I went through putting it together, but I will confess that I am pleased with the overall look. If you haven't stopped by recently, check out this new design.

What You May Have Missed

Up and Coming Pages

  • Newborn Constipation (how to tell and what to do)
  • Newborn Checklist - Good Buys vs. Bad Buys
  • Your Baby's Social and Emotional Development
  • Cloth Diapering

Quote of the Month

When the first baby laughed for the first time,
the laugh broke into a thousand pieces
and they all went skipping about,
and that was the beginning of fairies.
And now when every new baby is born
its first laugh becomes a fairy.

~ James Barrie, Peter Pan

Get a fresh perspective...visit these other inspirational quotes.

Baby Food Recipe of the Month

Oatmeal and Apples

Add 1 shredded apple (peeled) and a pinch of ground flaxseed to cooked oatmeal. Add a tsp of maple syrup and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. This recipe is for babies who are 8-12 months old. A fiber-full breakfast with extra Omega-3 essential fatty acids (from the flaxseed).

This recipe, and other favorites, is found in the book Super Baby Food, which is available for purchase here at The Essential Infant Book Emporium, an Amazon.com bookstore.

Christmas Cookie Recipe

This delicious cookie has been passed down for generations in my family. A traditional Scandinavian treat, it looks unassuming - no frosting, just a white bread ribbon. But it is the most-requested Christmas cookie recipe on my shelf.

Kringla

    1 1/2 C. sugar
    1 egg beaten
    16 oz. sour cream
    4 C. flour
    2 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Cream sugar, egg and sour cream. Add rest of ingredients and mix. Roll into snakes and twist into a ribbon or a pretzel-shape. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Doing activities with your baby will encourage bonding and stimulate development. Do the age-appropriate activity on a regular basis throughout the month. Doing it once or twice will be fun, but not stimulating enough for consistent growth.

0-3 Month Activity

Moving an Object

Hold a rattle in front of baby's eyes. Move it from left to right. Does baby follow it with his eyes? If not, be patient, and keep practicing. This coordination of left-to-right eye movement is a prerequisite for reading. Touch and move the various sides of his body - right leg, then left, etc. Touch his palms together.

What this teaches:

  • Early awareness of moving objects
  • Visual stimulation
  • Awareness of touch

3-6 Month Activity

Touch and Feel

At this stage baby is beginning to explore her world through touch. Help her along by providing a basket of things for her to exmine. Good choices are: a leafy celery stick, shiny purple eggplant, fuzzy peach, slick onion, and spongy orange. Her toothy gums will do little damage to any food she grabs.

What this teaches:

  • Textures and shapes
  • Good practice for grabbing items

6-9 Month Activity

Teaching Body Parts

Sing the following song to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" while touching (and tickling) each body part.

This is what I call my head,
Call my head, call my head,
This is what I call my head,
Listen, look and see.

What this teaches:

  • Music and rhythms
  • The various parts of the body

9-12 Month Activity

Shake, Listen, and Find

Using a round container (coffee can, formula can, or oatmeal box), place a small toy inside and close the lid. Shake the container to make a sound and ask what is inside, stressing "inside". Open it and let him peek inside. Take the object out and let baby feel and look at it. Name the object and help baby put it back inside. Replace the lid and shake. Again, ask what is inside, allow him to peek, remove the lid and touch the object. Repeat this as long as he stays interested.

What this teaches:

  • Listening
  • Understanding "inside"
  • Hand-eye coordination

Activity Books

Some of these activities were taken from Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready a collection of weekly activities you can do with your baby until age 5. You can purchase this great resource at the Book Emporium here.

The World of Recalls

Here are the major recalls in November you should be aware of:

  1. Wendy Bellissimo Bassett Baby Cribs sold at Babies R Us (see this report)

  2. Bumbo Baby Sitter (see this report)

  3. Popular Wal-Mart Wooden Storage Rack after one infant death (see this report)

  4. Recalled Toys (see this report)

Cleanliness is Next To Godliness

Keep a container of antibacterial-wash sitting on the changing table (preferably with a pump). This lets you wash before and after the change without having to leave your baby on the changing table or juggling holding her while you wash your hands in the sink. The more you wash your hands, the healthier your baby will stay. Get more diaper changing tips here.

Baby Christmas Shopping Guide 2007

The season is upon us. Your baby's first Christmas is here. The new toy innovations today are astounding. There are so many choices to make, even for the youngest of tots. Here are the top picks for 2007.

The Gift of Time

All of these products will be fun and educational for baby. But they pale in comparison to the gift your baby really wants for Christmas: You. Choose some good baby boardbooks to give for Christmas. A simple book, read by you, can be just as stimulating as any of the more expensive gifts below. A favorite book in our house is I Love You Stinky Face.

Kickin' Bobbin' Gym

The Kickin Bobbin™ Gym looks so interesting, I want to play with it. It's adaptable and will convert easily from a kick-and-play gym to a sit-at activity center. Lots of lively music (that you can turn off), action and lights to keep baby entertained. A great purchase for baby to use while in her crib for a Quiet Time.

Amazing Animals Sing and Go Choo-Choo

Fisher-Price Amazing Animals Sing & Go Choo-Choo is what we're getting Elena for Christmas (don't tell!). It can be stationary or movable, depending on the age of your baby. Babies as young as 9 months and toddlers as old as 2 enjoy this train. Each animal has movable joints, textured feet, and teethable ears. It lights up and plays catchy tunes.

Bounce and Spin Zebra

Fisher Price Baby Gymtastics Bounce and Spin Zebra is another ingenious toy I wish we had when I was little. It bounces and spins (hence the name), lights up and plays fun music. The wide base makes it extra stable. A wonderful Christmas present that's easy to put together (you only need a screwdriver).


Preserving Christmas Memories

We just purchased the HP Photosmart Digital Camera. We chose the HP Photosmart camera for a variety of reasons. It's reasonably priced at $150. It's an 8 mega-pixel camera (higher mega pixel, the better the photos). And finally, it has a larger shooting screen in the back.

A Final Word...

Contact Me

Does this issue look funny on your email browser? Do you have an idea, tip, or suggestion others might find useful? Submit your comments, tips, and other thoughts here.

Know someone with a baby?

Forward this newsletter on to your friends! If they win the Mystery Mom Contest, perhaps they'll spend the $25 on a thank-you gift.

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So Long, Farewell...

Thanks for reading The Merry Mother. Check in at The Essential Infant Resource for Moms for more interesting articles, touching photographs and amusings stories.

Look for the next issue to settle into your Inbox on January 14th, 2008. Don't forget to forward this on to your friends! God bless you richly with His Spirit this Christmas.

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