Monday, March 28, 2011

Just the Same

From the April 2011 issue of the Ensign, the official magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Just the Same
By Diana Lynn Lacey

God sends rain
Straight from the sky
To nourish the young flower
and it grows.

God sends rain from the sky
To the mountaintops,
Then over hills and through valleys
Until it reaches the flower
and it grows, just the same.

God sends a child
Straight from His realm
Into a mother's arms
and love grows.

God sends a child
From heaven to another's arms,
Then over hills and through valleys
Until he reaches the arms of his mother
and love grows, just the same.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Zippers or Snaps?

When I was pregnant, some mothers told me that zipper pajamas are better than snaps because you don't have to button up the pajamas in the dark. I received both zipper and snap pajamas, and I diasgree with what they said. I prefer snaps because it makes it easier to change diapers and take my baby potty at night: I only need to unbutton the few near the diaper area, take out Baby's feet, and then do the vice versa when I'm done. With zipper pajamas, my baby's whole body is exposed to the cold, which is not a pleasant midnight surprise for a half-asleep baby. Which do you like better?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Converse with Your Baby or Toddler

This post is the article "Talking Points" from the spring/summer 2010 issue of New Parent.

photo by miamiamia

Reading to your child is stimulating and a ton of fun for both of you, but if your aim is to develop your tot's language skills, engaging her in conversation is six times more effective. A new study involving 275 families of children ages 0 to 4 showed that back-and-forth conversation was more strongly associated with speech improvements than reading or watching TV (which had no effect at all). Even if your child is in the "goo-goo ga-ga" stage, interactive chats are vital. "Mumbles and proto-syllables are attempts at speech and can be very communicative," says Frederick J. Zimmerman, PhD, associate professor at the UCLA School of Public Health and lead author of the Pediatrics study. "Every stage in this wonderful process [of learning to speak] is worth celebrating and encouraging."

Persuade your child to speak as much as possible. A good start is often "Tell me about . . . ." For example, if your child is creating an art project, say, "Tell me about your drawing" or "Tell me about the colors you like." And when asking questions, go beyond those that require a simple yes or no response.

--Nancy Gottesman

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good Baby, Bad Baby

You've all had someone say to you in public "What a good baby!" because your baby was quiet and smiling. Or you may have said it to someone else. When we think of a "good" baby we think of a baby that rarely cries, sleeps all night, naps during the day, eats peacefully, plays by himself or herself, is happy and smiling, follows your schedule, and doesn't want to be held all the time.

So is a baby who has few or none of the above qualities a "bad" baby? My baby fights sleep day and night, eats every two hours, loves to be held, fusses when he has a wet diaper, and decides how the day goes. But he is a very happy and silly baby. I would not call him "bad" at all. Nor even difficult (though he is sometimes). I would call him normal--and cute.

Babies cannot be put into categories of good and bad. All babies have the same basic needs; some just have higher needs than others. Babies also have different personalities and temperaments. Some babies, such as mine, are expressive and stubborn: they know what they need and will not cooperate until they get it. Others are quiet and submissive: they will stop crying if not answered. Still others are flexible and laid back, going with the flow.

We should embrace babies' uniqueness instead of trying to turn them into perfect cookie-cutter babies that don't exist. Once we do this, we become better parents. We understand that our baby is not controlling us and that cries are communicative, not manipulative. Our baby acts to have his or her physical and emotional needs met to survive and thrive. We easily brush off bad parenting advice because we know best what will help our baby. We stop comparing our baby to our friends' babies and enjoy our baby's development and milestones as they come. We simply enjoy our baby more.

It is still hard sometimes to get through the day with a fussy baby. Just remember that the qualities that test your limits now will mature into great traits for your baby if you parent him or her with love and respect. Our babies are future leaders, thinkers, creators, teachers, friends, and most important, parents. Nurture them now and they will beautifully blossom later.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


The winner of the Beebers Butts cloth diaper is comment #6 "I already follow BB on both her blog and Etsy shop because they are my favorite!!! I'd choose the mod swirls or some of the new prints coming out!" by Sara. Congratulations! I will contact you shortly.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Start Healthy Habits with Your Baby

This post is an excerpt from the article "First Foods" in the spring/summer 2010 issue of Baby & Toddler.

Here's good nutrition news: Infants are being breastfed longer, and fewer babies and toddlers are eating sweets than earlier in this decade. The bad news: Many toddlers aren't eating a single serving of vegetables or fruit on any given day and are consuming too much saturated fat. So says the 2008 Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study (FITS), a report on eating habits of 3,378 children age 0 to 4 years. More highlights of the report:

photo by Francois Carstens
>> Seventeen percent of 6- to 8-month-olds had a sugary drink or sweet on a given day versus 36 percent in 2002. Among 9- to 11-month-olds, it was 43 percent in 2008 and 59 percent in 2002.
>> Fourteen percent of 12- to 14-month-olds consume sugary drinks; 29 percent of 18- to 20-month-olds do.
>> Twenty-five percent of older infants and toddlers don't eat a single serving of fruit on a given day; 30 percent don't eat a serving of vegetables.
>> Twenty-three percent of 12- to 14-month-olds and 33 percent of 3- to 4-year-olds have diets that comprise less than the recommended 30 to 40 percent of calories from fat; 75 percent of preschoolers are getting to much saturated fat.

Experts conclude that more vigilance is needed during the transition from breast milk and baby foods to table foods. "This has to do with parents' eating habits," says pediatrician Alanna Kramer, MD, of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. "If mom and dad are eating well, kids will, too." The foods you serve your child now lay the foundation for his eating habits for the rest of his life. Here's how to start your baby's diet off right. . . .

Offer veggies before fruits. "If a baby is exposed to the sweetness of fruits first, she may not like vegetables the first time," says Hotle [a pediatric dietician at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville]. Good starter vegetables include green beans, sweet potatoes, and peas. Eight- to 9-month-olds can start eating pureed meats.

Mix solids with breast milk. A study in Pediatric Research found that breastfed infants showed increased acceptance of new foods when they were mixed with mom's milk. Combine it with veggies, fruits and meats as well as cereal.

Avoid sugary foods entirely. Infants less than 1 year old should not consume soda, juices or desserts. . . .

1-2 Years

. . . According to the FITS report, French fries are still the most popular "vegetable" in this age group, while as many as 30 percent of all toddlers don't eat any vegetables at all! . . . "It's a reflection of how the adults around them eat, " explains pediatric dietitian Ashley B. Hotle. To get your toddler (and you!) on the right diet track, heed these guidelines:

Dish up a fruit and a vegetable at every meal. You can go the stealth route by chopping spinach into pasta sauce and pureeing cooked broccoli, carrots or cauliflower into a dip served with crackers. But you don't have to! A study in the journal Food Quality and Preference found that you need to serve a spurned vegetable nine to eleven times before a child will accept it. Nine months after the study, the toddlers were still eating the initially disliked veggie. The lesson? Don't give up after just one or two attempts.

Serve healthy fats. The FITS found that 1- to 2-year-olds were not getting enough good fat in their diets. "Toddlers need fat for brain and eye development," says Hotle. "If the fat content of their diet is too low, it probably means they're getting too much energy from juice and processed carbs." Good fats at this age include oily fish, avocados, nut butters, meat and whole milk. Switch your child to 2 percent milk when he is 2 to 3 years old.

Involve kids in the process. "Toddlers will be more excited about eating food if they help you pick it out at the store or help you prepare it in the kitchen," says pediatrician Alanna Kramer.

Limit sweets. Treats should be just that--not a daily event! Do not serve dessert regularly, and keep juice intake to 4 ounces daily. "Water and milk are what their bodies need," stressed Kramer.

The prevalence of food allergies in children under 18 years old increased 18 percent from 1997 to 2007, according to a new study in Pediatrics. Wait until your child is at least 1 year old to introduce the most allergenic foods: milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, soy, and shellfish---unless there's a family history of food allergies, says Alanna Kramer, MD. In that case, wait until he's 2 or 3. . . . The good news: Most kids outgrow food allergies by the time they're 4 to 5 years old.

--Nancy Gottesman

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mushrooms & Spinach

Really easy, fast, and (mostly) healthy side dish:

  • 1 8-oz.package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 bag of spinach leaves
  • 1 tbs. butter (I use unsalted)
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
  1. Melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in garlic. 
  2. Saute mushrooms until nearly tender.
  3. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
I've made it with the whole bag of spinach too. It all depends on how much you want. You can also try olive oil instead of butter, which I haven't done. Let me know what tweaks you make to the recipe. I'm all about making a dish your own!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Beebers Butts Cloth Diaper Giveaway [CLOSED]

Beebers Butts is my absolute favorite Etsy shop! The shop specializes in cloth diapers and accessories and some nursing items. I found it when searching for cloth diaper pail liners. I didn't want anything cute and fancy or expensive to hold dirty diapers. Beebers Butts had the perfect thing: $8 diaper pail liners made to fit the diaper pail I had and in my favorite color--green. I also bought wet bags from her with really cute designs. Both the diaper pail liners and the wet bags are easy to clean and air dry quickly.

My love for the shop increased once I tried the seller's AIO (all-in-one) cloth diapers. I bought two Halloween ones on sale (free shipping! though that is usually not the case). They were smaller than I thought and cut like disposable diapers. I was worried about blowouts, a top reason why I prefer cloth diapers. However, even though my baby is now growing out of the size-small diapers, he has never had a blowout in them! The seller also sent me a medium pocket diaper in ooga-booga fabric, which my husband picked out.

My husband loves these diapers because they are fast and easy to put on, especially in public restrooms, and I love them because they are easier and lighter to pack than prefolds and covers.

*Cute patterns, with plenty of boy options, something I usually cannot find.
*Easy to clean: no stains! No other cloth diaper I own is stain free, not even the Bum Genius ones.
*Excellent prices.
*Great quality: they are carefully sewn, fit great, and are well padded.
*Super friendly and caring seller.

*Although the diapers are well padded, they require more inserts for nighttime use.

Beebers Butts will be giving away a cloth diaper in the size and fabric of your choice! (Size charts are under each diaper listing in her shop and fabric choices are on her blog.) This giveaway is perfect if you want to try cloth diapering without spending money.

Mandatory 1st Entry: Visit Beebers Butts's shop or blog and tell me which fabric you would choose.

2 entries: Follow my blog via GFC.

1 entry: Follow the Beebers Butts blog via GFC.

1 entry: Heart Beebers Butts on Etsy.

1 entry: Like Beebers Butts on Facebook.

1 entry: Like The Hand That Rocks the Cradle on Facebook.

1 entry: Post this giveaway on Facebook.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MST on Saturday, March 12. The winner will be announced Sunday, March 13. Please leave your email in one of your comments so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dr. Seuss Books Steal of a Deal

Get 5 Dr. Seuss books, a free tote bag, and free shipping for only $5.95, no tax! Plus today only, in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday, get a sixth book (And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street) for free! You can also choose to get two bonus books for an additional $4.99 (I didn't). There is no future purchase obligation. Click here to check it out.


The winner of the Shaklee Basic H2 cleaner is comment #11 "I follow Crafting with My cub blog via gfc" by Christina F. Congratulations! I will contact you shortly.
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