Archive for December, 2007

books for baby

“There are so many books out there! How do I wade through the choices?” I was asked that all the time as an elementary school reading specialist… For babies, first check out your local library. Look for books that have big brightly colored illustrations with few words on a page. As babies get older and more interactive, they love lift-the-flap books. Books that rhyme are also wonderful so that little ones memorize them and quickly learn how books work. Don’t feel that your toddler isn’t really reading because he has the book memorized. He is learning so much from just holding the book in his hands, attaching text to illustrations, and turning the pages, so encourage repeated readings. Next, buy books at yard sales, consignment shops, and stores like TJ Maxx. Finally, if you’re fortunate enough to add books to your baby registry or have a wish list, apply the same principles as mentioned above. Below are just a few of my favorites.

Baby

  • I Love Colors by Margaret Miller
  • God Made You Nose to Toes by Leslie Parrott
  • Peas and Thank You by Mike Nawrocki
  • The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
  • I’m Thankful for Each Day by P.K. Hallinan
  • Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear by Eric Carle
  • Peek-a-Moo by Marie Torres Cimarusti & Stephanie Petersen
  • Where is Baby’s Belly Button? By Karen Katz
  • Bath Books by DK Publishing
  • The Eentsy-Weentsy Spider: Fingerplays and Action Rhymes by Joanna Cole*

    Toddler

    • Just in Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado
    • Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert
    • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
    • Mrs. Wishy-Washy by Joy Cowley
    • Where’s God When I’m Scared? By Cindy Kenney
    • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
    • Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
    • Alphabet Art: With A-Z Animal Art & Fingerplays by Judy Press*
    • Science Play: Beginning Discoveries for 2 to 6 year olds by Jill Frankel Hauser*
    • Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs by Alan Katz*
    • My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt*

      * these are activity books that help develop language, not read alouds

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      Wonderful Children’s Books!!

      Do you know about author and illustrator P.K. Hallinan? I LOVE his books!! Hallinan is an ordained minister whose stories not only teach life-long values, but Christian truths. I first stumbled upon his work at TJ Maxx where I picked up I’m Thankful Each Day for $2 less than the list price. The book teaches children to be thankful for the everyday, little things from the beautiful sunset to the ability to run and play. My son is too young to fully understand it at this point, but he loves the rhyme and illustrations. In addition to I’m Thankful Each Day, be sure to look for the rest of Hallinan’s books that start off “Let’s Be…” Check out your local TJ Maxx, visit your library, or purchase them at Amazon!

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      Places to consider registering

      Places to consider Registering

      Amazon

      • HUGE selection
      • great prices that often beat Target and Wal-Mart
      • orders over $25 get free shipping
      • an endless supply of books to choose from for both baby and parents
      • you can keep your registry until you delete it or turn it into a wish list for future birthday or Christmas lists

      Babies ‘R Us

      • large selection
      • store in Catonsville, MD for those of you who are local
      • often good sales

      Target

      • good selection
      • there seems to be a Target everywhere which is nice for those who don’t like to buy on-line
      • drawback – terrible customer service

      Great Beginnings

      • the U.S.’s largest baby furniture & children’s design store; over 80,000 square feet; located in Gaithersburg, MD, but also on-line store
      • very knowledgeable staff; numerous employees so you never have to search for help
      • most large ticket items out of boxes for you to try; great selection of gliders

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      Baby Registry

      When it was time for us to register for baby items, I scoured the Internet and baby magazines for a list to start with. Then I asked my good friend Amber to help me distinguish between “nice to have” and “must haves.” She was so helpful! Now people ask me the same question. So, here’s my list of must haves, with some extras that my husband and I think are awfully nice. After most items, I’ve included what we actually found as the best buy and ended up purchasing. I have provided links where appropriate. And of course, if it’s on here, we’re happy with it. If you’d rather do the research yourself, you can consult the book Baby Bargains as a resource on the best baby products in addition to Consumer Reports (CR reviews are embedded throughout the list.) Just beware that those resources don’t necessarily have natural parenting in mind. At any rate, here’s our list…

      Baby Registry

      Travel

      • Car Seat (infancy to about 6 mos.) – Graco Snugride
      • Stroller Frame (so you can keep your sleeping newborn in the car seat without taking him/her out) – Strollee Naked Stroller
      • Stroller – MacLaren Techno XT (good from birth on; fully reclines; expensive, but a great investment to last all kids)
      • Car Seat travel bag (if you plan on flying anywhere) – Eddie Bauer bag
      • Back seat mirror (so you can see your baby in your rear view mirror while he is rear facing)
      • Car window shades

      Beds & Linens

      • 3 Fitted crib sheets (knit instead of woven)
      • 2 water-proof mattress pads/covers
      • 3-4 waffle-weave receiving blankets (waffle-weave work the best for swaddling)

      Diapers

      • Diapers (newborn & size 1)
      • Wipes (several boxes and refills)
      • Changing table & pad
      • 3 Changing pad covers
      • 4-5 Waterproof changing mats
      • Diaper Champ, if using disposable diapers
      • Diaper bag

      Dressing

      • 5 sleeper bags (0-9 months)
      • 3 footed zip up sleepers for during the day
      • 5 newborn onesies (preferably that button up the front for when blow outs occur)
      • 2 baby caps
      • 3 pairs of socks
      • 3 daytime 2 piece outfits
      • cotton sweater

      Winter baby

      • Car seat bunting
      • Heavy stroller blanket
      • Warm knit hat

      Feeding

      • 3 nursing bras – Bravado lifestyle nursing bra (no underwire!! can cause clogged milk ducts)
      • 3 nursing bra tanks — JcPenney (I have tried 2 other brands. Penney’s are the most comfortable & easily accessible)
      • heavy washable breast pads
      • box breast pads (b/c sometimes you leak right through the washable ones) — Lansinoh
      • topical breast cream – Lansinoh
      • breast pump
      • 3, 4oz bottles
      • breastmilk storage bags
      • bottle brush
      • 12 burp cloths (cloth diapers)

      Bathing

      • 3-4 hooded towels (get heavy ones; Target multi-packs are too thin)
      • 5 baby washcloths
      • 2 body wash & shampoo – California Baby
      • baby nail clippers
      • baby nail file
      • diaper rash ointment – California Baby
      • infant bath tub
      • soft brush
      • dye/scent free laundry detergent

      Medicine

      • Nasal aspirator (if you give birth in hospital, though, they will give you one)
      • Digital thermometer
      • Gas drops

      Other Items that are REALLY nice to have

      • Baby monitor – Fisher-Price Private Connection Dual monitor
      • Baby carrier – Ergo (ergonomic design which supports a correct sitting position; beware of Baby Bjorn)
      • 2 Pack-n-Play fitted sheets
      • Swing – Fisher-Price Power Plus
      • Vibrating Bouncy seat (some babies prefer swing over seat or vice versa)
      • Tummy mat/gym
      • Bumbo & bumbo tray (for about 4+ months old)

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      Natural Baby Care Products

      Well, I did so much research on labor and delivery and the big issues after birth, that I didn’t really think too much about baby care products. We registered for Baby Magic since it seemed to be the gentlest of all commercial brands. We used it for months on our newborn, but when he accidentally ingested a tiny bit, his continued cries let me know it was more than just “it’s not fun to drink bath water.” I read the ingredients and then started doing some research. When I learned that “glycerin” can cause mild headache, vomitting, and diarrhea or worse, that “fragrance” is a catch all term that manufacturers can use without listing specific ingredients, which often includes suspected carcinogens, I decided it was time to look for something else to wash my son’s body. I found the following pdf very helpful in deciding what to use. In the end, we decided on California Baby. Come to find out, most Target stores sell it as well as Whole Foods Market and other natural and organic grocery stores. Amazon carries a starter tote with CB’s entire hair collection, bubble bath, diaper cream, and skin and sun care products for $23. The bottles are 2 oz. sizes, so they’ll suitable as a carry-on when you’re traveling. If you decide you like CB, the company also makes a large pump bottle (17.5 oz.), which is cheaper per ounce than their smaller bottles. Best wishes finding something fragrance free and safe for your baby!

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