Babies don’t need perfume

And those who buy it for them should be… covered in spit-up.

I read that not only is Dolce & Gabbana manufacturing a new perfume for babies (unisex so all babies can be covered in the chemicals!), but apparently lots of perfume manufacturers already make these perfumes as well. Along with a bunch of designers I’ve never heard, of, Johnson & Johnson are also apparently making baby perfume. (I’m guessing this is separate from their normal perfumes, which I used to wear as a teen.)

Do I even have to state how wrong this is? I am wondering if this is a by-product of all of this Honey Boo Boo nightmare stuff on TLC (why is it called that, again? I haven’t learned anything from the network in years—except maybe the fact that I want to bleach my eyes after accidently seeing it). Since when do babies need to smell like perfume—and since when did parents buy chemicals to pour on their babies?

I’m just sickened by this. Talk about not giving your kids a choice. It’s not bad enough that parents are piercing ears before a kid can utter goo-goo, ga-ga; now they’re spraying them down with perfume before they can even crawl away in haste.

Babies smell awesome the way they are. Just ask Claire from Modern Family.

The Bumbo

Quite the Invaluable Gift

The Bumbo is has become quite popular over the last several years, as it is invaluable.  It is extremely useful and can serve many purposes for the new baby.  Of course, you cannot use it until once the baby can keep its head up; however, it comes in handy until the baby figures out how to wedge their self out. 

I personally used the Bumbo a lot for feeding my babies rice cereal or baby food before they were big enough to sit upright in a high chair on their own. It can however also be used as a play seat. It comes with a tray, which easily attaches to the seat, so you can sit your baby inside with toys or teethers in order to keep them busy for a little while. 

This seat is also a great way to get the baby used to sitting upright and preparing their muscles for such a task.  Most people who use the Bumbo agree that it has helped their babies to master sitting on their own and come to enjoy being upright as young infants.

It comes in a variety of colors, such as pink, blue, yellow and green.  I always advise getting a gender neutral color unless the parents want blue or pink.  As I have stated in previous posts, the parents may want something they can use over and over no matter what the gender of their baby is.

Once the baby is mobile, they will probably figure out how to get out of the Bumbo on their own.  My daughter did this a 9 months and my son did at 5, but all babies are different.  Despite what the critics say, it is a reasonably priced gift and I am a firm believer that all new parents should have a Bumbo for their baby, so do them a favor and go and buy them one if they did not already get one. 


Fisher Price Rock and Play

Help the New Mommy Stay Sane

You are looking for a gift that the new parents did not get at their shower, but you are having a hard time finding something top notch and useful.  The Fisher Price Rock and Play is highly rated and recommended by moms everywhere.  I know that several of my friends claim that this sleeper has saved their sanity when they could not get their little ones to sleep at night or to stop fussing.

The Rock and Play is a portable sleeper made for newborns.  It is soft and cozy, just like mom's arms.  It is ideal for all babies, but if the baby in question has reflux, this is even more rewarding since it is recommended that babies with reflux sleep inclined.  The sleeper inclines and you can adjust it to suit the baby's needs, so you can make sure they are comfortable.  The sleeper is easily rocked by foot or hand so that mom can always stay nearby and make sure baby is safe, sound and content.

The Rock and Play is made of soft fabric for baby's delicate skin and comes with a little bunny toy with rattle beads for baby's amusement. It is convenient for allowing the baby to sleep in various rooms of the house throughout the day or for travel. 

A few friends of mine have sworn that the Rock and Play has solved all of their babies' sleep problems, allowing them and their babies to be better rested.  Whether you want to give the gift of better sleep or convenience, the Fisher Price Rock and Play is a must buy gift.  I am sure the new parents and new baby will appreciate it!

Visiting the New Baby

What is an Appropriate Gift?

It is always fun and exciting when a friend or family member has a new baby.  It is even more exciting to get to meet the sweet, little bundle of joy.  When you go to the home of the new parents, it is politically correct to bring a small gift with you.  Some people wonder, "what should I bring?", "what do they need?".  I am here to give you that answer, as well as other helpful suggestions. 

The number one item to bring along when meeting a baby for the first time is clothing.  Clothes are something that a baby cannot have too much of.  In the first year of their lives the grow rapidly, going through new sizes like crazy.  When you buy clothes, make sure you know how big the baby is.  Baby clothes go by weight and length, so you do not want to get a 9 pound baby newborn sized clothes because they will be too small since newborn only goes up to 8 1/2 pounds.  My son was an 8 pound baby and after I had him, someone bought me a newborn sized onesie; they obviously did not know much about sizing information, so I think it is important to get that message out there.  You can also get them clothes for the next season in a size or two larger than the size they are currently wearing.  You can figure out the size you need by estimating when the child will be able to fit in them clothes and add 2 pounds per month, since the average newborn grows at a rate of 2 pounds per month  For example, if it is January and the newborn is 7 1/2 pounds and in newborn sized clothes, you should by size 3-6 months for spring and summer time. 

Bibs and burp cloths are also a hot item.  Babies have several feedings a day and tend to get messy.  They drool, spit-up and even projectile pee and poop, so it is safe to say that your gift will get used if you go this way.  Many people tend to buy bibs and burp cloths in conjunction with clothes, as they are generally cheap.  There is no real rule of thumb to bibs and burp cloths.  Just use common sense and do not buy girl themed ones for a boy and vice versa. 

Other items that are helpful are bottles and pacifiers.  However, if you buy these items at least make sure they are using them first.  Not all parents use bottles and pacifiers.  Some moms exclusively breast feed for the first year of life while others breast feed and use bottles.  If the parents are using bottles, be sure to find out the kind they are using as once a baby is used to a specific type of bottle they will not take anything different.  The same rule of thumb applies to pacifiers.  Some parents do not like to use them, so be sure to check before you purchase them.

No matter what you buy, shopping for a new baby is a fun experience.  Just be sure when you get invited over to meet the new baby, you have something special for them.

The Travel System

The Ultimate New Baby Gift

Do you want to buy the special parents-to-be something they will use practically every day until their child is out of a stroller?  The Travel System is an excellent choice if you want to ensure that you are getting something that will be put to good use.  It comes with a stroller and an infant seat which snaps in and out of the stroller.  It makes traveling easy for mom, dad and baby. 

The set usually comes with a car seat base, which easily installs in the backseat of your car.  When you go out, you place your baby in the infant seat and snap the seat right into the base.  Its simple.  A perk of this is that when the baby is sleeping, as most do in the car, you can just leave them in the seat and not have to worry about disturbing them. This also works going in and out of the stroller. 

These days, since the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendations stating that children should face rear until they are 2 years of age, more and more infant seats are being made to suit babies up to 30 pounds.  Most baby companies make Travel Systems.  Some of the more popular ones are Eddie Bauer, Graco and Evenflo.  You can buy them at any store that offers baby products, such as Babies-r-Us, Target, Wal-Mart and Sears.  However, please note that the parents-to-be will most likely have which Travel System they want on their baby registry, so be sure to check that before you make any purchases.  Trust me, Travel Systems are not cheap, so you do not want to buy the wrong one. 

If you want to spoil the new parents-to-be and buy them a gift they will never forget, then by all means, treat them to the Travel System of their choice.  Happy Shopping!


So, You are Invited to a Baby Shower: To Stray or Not to Stray from the Registry?

What is the Proper Etiquette?

So, you have been invited to a baby shower, but do you always have to buy gifts off of the registry?  Of course not.  For example, if you see cute clothes or sheets that you think the mother-to-be would love, or you simply like them so much that you have to buy them, then of course you can buy them.  Some people; however, do not know what the proper etiquette is when it comes to certain items.  As a mother, I do think it is quite rude to stray from the registry when it comes to larger items.  If someone puts a particular travel system or a particular swing, etc., then that is the one you should purchase.  The new mom and dad-to-be most likely put hours into picking out exactly what they wanted for their new baby; therefore, you should respect their decisions. 

This may sound selfish to some, as I know people who say, "they ought to appreciate that everyone is buying them gifts".  Yes, parents-to-be understand this very well.  Nobody has to throw them a baby shower, and nobody has to buy them big, fancy, expensive presents.  However, the parents will probably use these gifts for their current baby and the ones after that.  One thing to note is that if the parents-to-be pick out almost ALL gender neutral items, then do not buy them anything specifically for a boy or a girl (unless its clothes, sheets or toys and they already know what they are having) since they obviously want everything gender neutral for a reason.  I did this with my registry.  I registered for gender neutral onesies, travel system, swing, playpen, etc.  Although I knew I was going to have a girl, I wanted gender neutral in case I had a boy later on.  Guess what?  Almost 3 years later, I had a boy; therefore, all of the stuff still came in handy.  I did not have to buy anything new except for clothes, sheets and nursery decor.

One exception to straying from the registry for larger items is if something is discontinued or no longer in stock.  Then, you have free range to pick something out on your own.  This happened to me.  I registered for a particular swing that was discontinued before my baby shower, so my aunt picked a different swing out for me.  She did a great job and I was grateful that she still got me a swing eventhough they did not have the one that I originally wanted.

The bottom line is:  You can get creative, just not with the larger, more important items.  Trust me, pregnant ladies are hormonal and you do not want to upset one and ruin her baby shower.  That is something she will NEVER forget.

Are Your Friends Confused About What to Name Their Child?

Surprise Them with One of These Books

A lot of the time, parents decide not to name the baby until after they have it. So why not contribute and help out a bit by getting them one of the best baby name books for their shower? Here are some of the top choices to consider:

The Baby Name Wizard

This book is unique in that it tracks how a name has ranked over the years and also shows the usual things expected – host of meanings, origin, etc. This book has a quick chart that gives a quick view of where the name has been.

Beyond Ava  & Aiden

This is one of those highly addictive books that you can’t help but read and have fun doing it. It’s a good source for anyone who is trying to choose a name for a baby without going through those long, drawn out lists of names, meanings, origins, and the lot of details. This book has lists and characteristics to help you pick out the name for your baby.

Puffy, Xena, Quentin, Uma

This book is pretty hip for baby names if you ask writer, Joal Ryan. This baby name book has names for the stars and also tips on giving a less than usual name to your child. This also tells you comically, how to deal with the birth certificate registrar who then stares at you as though you’re mad for choosing that name.

Baby Names Now

Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz are at it again making a baby book that goes beyond just typical naming. It has great stories and awesome lists that has humor and sarcasm embedded into it as well.

15,000 Baby Names

There are also those overly traditional and just want to stick to straightforward baby name books and this one is great for those types of people. This book is compiled with thousand of choices in an easy-to-read format.

Fisher Price Rainforest Swing

When you have a young baby, they often want to be held or rocked most of the time. This can be exhausting for new parents and is simply impractical.  Try going to the bathroom while holding an infant – it just doesn’t work out!  Thankfully, some savvy person invented baby swings, and Fisher Price has pretty much perfected it with this Rainforest swing. 

This is the only swing we own, and boy is it a lifesaver.  While most swings rock baby back and forth, which will work but is not how they move in the womb, this swing also turns so baby can be rocked side to side.  This is more like how they move in the womb when Mom walks, so it is more comforting for some babies.

The mobile moves too, so babies who are starting to take notice of the world can have hours of entertainment by watching the colorful critters move over their heads.

Perhaps the best feature of this swing is the fact that it will run on both batteries and an AC adapter.  No more wasted batteries when it sits in the same place, but you still have the option of portability because it also takes batteries.

My only complaint with this swing is that the volume is incredibly loud, even on the quiet setting.  This can be remedied by placing a cloth over the speaker, but is something that could have been done right when it was manufactured.

Though it is kind of pricey at $105, it is priceless when it rocks your baby to sleep after a long night, and the freedom it gives is well worth the expense.

Not Sure What to Buy? Give an Amazon eGift

"What you are actually sending is a gift card for an amount you specify, along with a personalized message. "

If you are shopping for someone who is hard to buy for, consider gifting them an Amazon eGift instead of buying a physical gift.  An Amazon eGift is simply a gift card attached to a particular item.  Your recipient does not have to buy the item you suggest, but can instead use the gift card for anything on

I stumbled across this during my research the other day, and I thought it was the perfect solution for that person who is hard to buy for.  You still get points for a thoughtful gift, but if your recipient doesn’t like it, there isn’t a hassle with returns or any of that – they simply choose something else.

The way it works is you pick out a product you think your recipient would like, such as a cute outfit for the baby or some other baby item, and then send it as an eGift.  What you are actually sending is a gift card for an amount you specify, along with a personalized message.  The item is simply a suggestion for your recipient but is not a required purchase item.

Amazon’s idea is genius and hopefully will catch on at other stores.  No more will you buy the wrong item, because you don’t actually purchase the item.  What you are really buying is the gift of thoughtfulness.  Your recipient won’t have the awkward choice of saying they don’t like an item or being stuck with it anyway – they just get what they want.

So next time you’re buying a gift, consider using an Amazon eGift to let them get exactly what they want.

There are Some Gifts that Just Shouldn't be Given at a Baby Shower

Check out these that made the Ridiculous Top Five


There are great toys to give an expecting mother or someone who just recently became a parent, however, there are also gifts that you just don’t really want to give, not because they aren’t practical, but because they are just ridiculous. No one wants a gift that they’ll open and exclaim, “Ah, you really shouldn’t have…”

Thudguard Infant Safety Hat

There’s always been that joke about putting your toddler in a helmet, but that’s exactly it, it should have stayed a joke. No one ever wants to put their child in harm’s way, of course, but the little bumps and bruises seem to just be a part of the trial and error of learning how to walk. It’s best to keep the helmet at bay until your child learns to ride a bike, trust me.

Time Out Pad

Of course, there will be times when you need to give your child a time out when their behavior is just unacceptable and you need to teach them a lesson, however, a time out pad might just be a little excessive. This special pad makes sounds and turns the entire thing into a game, when it isn’t supposed to be fun. Your child should not be asking for time outs, stick them in a chair instead.

Cardboard Album Customizable Cot

Here’s an invention, a cardboard box for your babies to sleep in that can be customized, for only $250.00. For, what? Let’s rethink this for a second, sleeping in a cardboard box usually qualifies as homeless and there are plenty from opening the presents other people got you if you really want to throw your child in this. Take a sharpie and write their name on the side.

Bebesounds Nasal Clear Battery Operated Nasal Aspirator

A battery operated nasal clearer? What does this even mean? Whoever marketed this really had the wrong idea of putting all of these words into the title of the product. Babies generally don’t even like aspirators, so throwing this one at them isn’t going to really make them laugh and giggle, more like they’ll be traumatized. Send it back.

Zaky Infant Pillow

We understand that all babies like having hands on them, cradling them when they sleep, that’s why they are little and have parents. It shouldn’t be necessary to get this infant pillow that mocks hands, but is just hands, disembodied cradling a child. How can you not get creeped out by this? If you enjoy it, you probably shouldn’t have had children, just saying.