Baby Talk Moms is more than just a mom's group — it's a community. We are a social/support group for new mothers, in the same stage of life, who are looking to build a close network of friends with which to share the exciting adventures of being a new mom! Our groups meet regularly and in person. Together, we share a blog at www.babytalkmoms.com where we highlight our experiences and get advice from other like-minded new moms.
Don’t you love books? Don’t you love them even more when they’re FREE??? Yeah … me too!
For a limited time (April 17-19, 2013) you can download my first children’s ebook—Tia & Toby: Opposites, but Best of Friends—at no cost!
Tia the dog and Toby the turtle are best friends, but they are also completely opposite! Inspired by a true story, this adorable picture book spotlights the differences between an energetic dog and a laid-back turtle who love each other, no matter what their differences.
As a first-time children's book author, I’m providing you this book at no cost, and in exchange I hope that you can take a minute to write a review of the book! Your feedback is important to me, but please be constructive! The book is appropriate for baby-3 (although my four-year-old daughter loves to read it too).
Happy reading! And don’t forget to tell your friends!
Look at these cute hippos! Don't you want one?
Well ... you're in luck! It's T-SHIRT TIME and you can win one of your very own.
To enter to win, please do one of the following (you could do all four to increase your chances):
You have until Thursday, November 15th to enter. The winner will be announced Friday morning. Good luck!!
You’ve heard the stories…”working mom gives up career to raise her children” or “CEO mom-to-be won’t last at the job.” It’s been going in for a while, and it’s a story that I follow very closely—why? Because I’m a working mom—I’ve been a working mom since day one. But these newly revamped “women-can’t-have-everything” headlines have really gotten me thinking—can woman have the family and the career? After giving it a lot of thought I think the more appropriate question is:DO women want the family AND career?
I’m relatively young (as far as careers go), but have been in senior-level positions for about seven years. I recently started a new job, which requires me to work longer hours and travel slightly more than my previous job. I like working and being challenged in new ways, but I’ve started noticing subtle changes in my life; laundry keeps piling up (even more so than before), my two-year-old son runs to daddy when WE pick him up from preschool, and my daughter has been asking if I will have time to put her to bed. I’d be lying to you if I told you that these things don’t bother me. Recently, I’ve been having “the career” talk with my mommy friends—several of which opted to put their careers on hold while their children are still very young. Most of them plan to go back to work once their children reach school-age—seems reasonable, right? But what about the PTA meetings? Soccer practice? Homework? Sick days? Then I got to thinking … will there ever be a good time? More and more, I’m starting to think that I DON’T want it all—at least not now. Not while my children need me most. I will continue to work, but I won’t compromise my home life for my work life.
What do you think? When is a good time to be a career woman when you have a young family?
Want to connect with new moms like you? Exchange ideas with like-minded moms at www.babytalkmoms.com.
As parents, our main goal is to keep our children safe at all times: we purchase expensive car seats to keep them safe in the car, we baby proof the house to keep them out of danger, we even go the extra mile and purchase items that make us feel more at ease — like a baby mirror for the car. My first child, Elena, had colic, so car rides were especially difficult. I constantly worried about her when she cried in the car and I couldn’t see her little face, so I purchased a baby mirror. She still cried, but at least I was able to see she was okay; I felt so much better.
A few weeks later, I went to get her car seat checked for proper installation at a local fire station. There they told me that baby mirrors for the car weren’t safe and that I should take it out immediately. I never want to put my children in danger, so I did what they recommended. Later, the fire fighter explained that the mirrors could become projectiles during a car accident and can injure the baby or other passengers. She also mentioned that it is also a distraction for the driver. I was a bit confused — if these items are so dangerous, then why are they still available at the store?
I did some research and according to the Maryland’s Family Health Administration, these “comfort devices” are NOT safety tested with car seats to meet federal motor vehicle standards, and they may actually prevent the car seat from functioning properly. They also noted that these items — car seat toys, mirrors, harness strap covers, fleece inserts and extra padding — are usually prohibited by the car seat manufacturer! I have Britax car seats, so I checked their website and found that it was true! Britax does not allow non-regulated products to be used with their car seats because they can cause the car seat to fail safety standards and may not allow it to perform as intended in a crash.
Bottom line, when going out to the store to purchase these “comfort items” it may be worth checking out any potential hazards associated with them. What do you think about all of this? Do you think these types of safety warnings are a bit over the top?
WRITTEN BY SANDRA from www.babytalkmoms.com
When I was pregnant with my first, I was conflicted on whether or not I should share baby names with friends and family. Once we found out the sex of the baby, we were constantly harassed about the name, even by complete strangers! At first, it was easy to brush people off since we hadn't chosen a name. I wasn't lying when I responded, "we don't know yet." But as soon as we chose the name, that all changed. Did I want to lie and say that I didn't know (I'm a horrible liar), or just confess?
When we finally found a name for my daughter, it was the perfect day ... I was 30 weeks pregnant, and wanting desperately to get out of the house, my husband and I decided to take a trip to Monticello. On the way there, I took out the book of baby names (there were 100,000+ names in that book--whoever thought that was a good idea was sorely mistaken!!) and started reading off the names. When we finally got to the E's, I read the name: Elena. It was as if the skies parted and a light shone down from the heavens--we both fell in love with the name immediately! After hearing Elena, we stopped reading the rest of baby names--we were absolutely certain that this was her name. Being that it felt so perfect, I didn't want anyone to ruin it. I decided to test the waters a little and when some family members asked the name, I spat off several names which were once in the running. The reactions I got were horrendous! "Have you ever considered naming her XYZ instead?" and "I don't think those names go well with her last name," or worse, a long-winded, "Okaaaaaay..."
I was right in not wanting to share my daughter's name. I didn't want to hear anything negative about it--I felt protective of it and of her. My motherly instincts took over and I refused to share her name with anyone! When she was born, she even looked like an Elena. Although we often heard negative comments about the name after the fact (one person dwelled on its pronunciation for months!), even the naysayers now look at her and tell me that it is a beautiful name ... and it suits her well. Keeping Elena's name a secret may seem extreme; I know many others who announce the name as soon as they find out the sex of the baby. These two extremes have been dubbed "keepers" and "broadcasters," respectively. Which one are you, and why?
If you'd like to connect with other new moms, please join us at www.babytalkmoms.com!
Bath toys are a ton fun for kids and a HUGE headache for moms! I'm sure you've seen it – the disgusting mold that begins to accumulate almost immediately after use. I never even knew that the mold issue existed, that is, until Elena's adorable rubber duckie started spitting black! Not pretty.
There are several ways to try to minimize the mold (squeeze out all excess water after each use, store them in an elevated place where they can fully dry, keep them away from the shower when not in use, etc.), but mold always seems to find its way into these little creatures! Then, you have to spend hours cleaning them; dunking them in diluted beach solution (which I'm not fully comfortable with), and then squeezing them till you can't squeeze no more! Who has that kind of time? I got into the habit of trashing the hard-to-clean bath toys – not the best solution, I know! But really, I needed a simple fix!
I've read articles that suggest hot gluing the hole so that moisture (hence mold) cannot get in, but what's the point of that? The kids love squirting the bath toys! And besides, it would no longer be a bath toy, just a toy. Right? Also, wouldn't the hot glue compromise the rubber in some way? I haven't tried it, but it doesn't seem very practical.
I began searching around for alternative (or more innovative) bath toys and found some with larger holes. The holes aren't large enough to clean inside them, but it does allow me to squeeze out excess water much quicker and easier than a normal bath toy. I was a step closer to solving my bath toy conundrum, but not quite.
In my hunt for the perfect bath toy I found the Stay-Clean Silly Squirts by Sassy.
They are great! They look and feel like normal bath toys, but they open! You "unscrew" them to clean inside! You can even place them on the top rack of the dishwasher! Plus, the kids like to mix and match, making bath time even more enjoyable! Ahhh! Sigh of relief! Now I can focus on tackling something else from my huge to-do list!
One last note: I still haven't completely given up hope on some of the kids' favorite bath toys. Have you found any better or easier ways to clean them?
If you would like to connect with other new moms, please visit the Baby Talk Moms website at www.babytalkmoms.com!
written by Nikki
My 3 & 1/2 year old's temperament ranges from being the sweetest, most gentle little girl in the world to the absolute, most defiant creature I've ever met! And these sudden changes in her emotions happen quite a few times a day. In summary, she is your very typical 3 & 1/2 year old, and we are always looking for ways to work on her behavior and listening skills. Well, I've found a great tool -- at least for the next six weeks -- ELF ON THE SHELF!!
If you've never heard of Elf on the Shelf, today is your lucky day! The Elf on the Shelf is a little magical elf that comes from a far-away land (like Target, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble). He comes in a package that includes a book describing his story and his magical powers (~ $30.00). If you find the elf to be a little on the creepy side, you can also buy an Elf on the Shelf doll (~ $13.00), which is a little cuter. When you first open it up, you are told to register your Elf Adoption on the Elf on the Shelf website to find out your elf's name. You then read the accompanying book to your child.
The book explains that the elf is one of Santa's many personal helpers, sent to children's homes to assist Santa by reporting back on their behavior. Every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the elf observes your child to make sure he has a very accurate report of your child's activities for Santa -- good or bad. Every night, after the family is sound asleep, the elf is magically transported back to the North Pole to deliver his report to Mr. Claus, but he always makes sure to be back in the house before the family wakes up. He is found in a different place each morning, so your child will have to spend some time each morning discovering where he landed! One of the rules of the elf is that touching him may cause him to lose his magical powers, so no one is supposed to touch him. But they can talk to them all they want to share what they want for Christmas and make sure that Santa gets the message!!
For those of you who don't celebrate Christmas, or don't encourage your child to believe in Santa, you can purchase the elf but not the story book, so you can make up your own story of the elf's magical powers! Maybe the elf is a magical Hannukah elf, or New Year elf, or anything else you'd like him to be.
Hopefully, since the elf is always watching, your child will be on their best behavior!! Plus, what a fun way to start a new family tradition to get the everyone excited for the holidays. I can't wait for Avery to pass on our new tradition and teach her little brother about Elf on the Shelf next year, when he is old enough to participate.
Written by Sandra
The chilly air is a painful reminder of what’s to come — winter! It’s still a few months away, but we have to start thinking ahead. We’re planners — we have to be, we’re mothers! My colleague and I have recently been chatting a lot about baby products; he and his wife are expecting a baby girl any day now. I have to resist the urge to give him all kinds of advice, but sometimes I just can’t help myself! It’s like word vomit, I just can’t stop it! Poor guy. He humors me and often tells me that my advice is very valuable. He even writes some of my advice on a notepad so he can make sure to correctly relay the message to his wife (I’m sure she’s completely sick of me by now). Today, he was telling me about their weekend shopping for his little girl. He said that they purchased tons of clothes for her and that they wouldn’t need clothes for a while. I wanted (so desperately) to tell him that all of the clothes they bought would probably last one day due to spit ups, pee and poop accidents — but I didn’t. I resisted. He then said that they were still searching for the right jacket for her, one that would work well during the fall, but still heavy enough to use during the bitterly cold winter months. When the safety of a child comes to question; that’s where I draw the line.
I know from having two children and countless hours of research that jackets on infants are not a particularly good idea — the extra cushion can compromise the baby’s car seat safety. Winter coats and snowsuits don’t allow the straps to fit the infant properly, which increase the risk of ejection if you were to get into a car accident. In trying to find alternatives to winter jackets or other products that also create a gap between the child and the car seat, I found the JJ Cole Car Seat Cover. Think of the car seat cover as a “shower cap” for the infant carrier — it goes over the car seat instead of under. The cover allows you to dress the baby in lighter clothes under the car seat cover, but they are still comfortable and snug as a bug in the soft fleece. I often only put Julian in a t-shirt and light sweater, even when it was snowing outside, and that always seemed to be more than enough. The car seat covers are also very convenient when going to the store.
For whatever reason, stores love to crank up the heat during the winter, so when you’re all snuggled up in your winter best and walk into what instantly feels like sauna, you immediately start to sweat. (Why they don’t just lower the temperature a bit so we can all wear our coats indoors is beyond me.) Well, when your sleeping baby is in the infant car seat and you walk into these steaming hot shopping centers, you have to wake her to take off her jacket — not so with the car seat cover. The car seat cover comes right off when you don’t need it, without disturbing the baby. I can’t say enough good things about it. So, when you’re out and about planning for winter, don’t forget … there are alternatives to heavy winter jackets.
If you have any other experiences with similar products, please share your advice in the comments section below and help our newest moms through their first winter!
To lean more about Baby Talk Moms, please visit our website at www.babytalkmoms.com!
Written by Sandra
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 3 births in the United States are delivered by cesarean (C-section). The reason why C-sections are on the rise (they've increased over 50 percent since 1996) is unknown, but what I do know is that with more women undergoing major abdominal surgery, it really helps if we share even the most intimate detail about recovery with each other!
For my first delivery, I had a scheduled induction and after laboring for 10 hours, complications led to me having an emergency C-section. Luckily, my doctors were great! After surgery, I received a pamphlet of pertinent medical instructions for recovery (of which my nurse explained to me in great detail), but it was the little things that the doctors and nurses didn't share that I also wish I would have known! Several of my Baby Talk Mom friends and I talk about recovery after a C-section; we laugh about all the silly things that we did to make recovery more bearable, but the funny thing is that we all had a very similar experience. So why don't we know about these little helpful tips beforehand? Are these topics taboo? Taboo or not, here are some tips that I learned from my recovery:
How about you? Do you have any advice for new moms who are about to have a C-section? Please post, as your advice is invaluable to all of us! For more information about Baby Talk Moms, please visit our website at www.babytalkmoms.com.
We are so excited to launch the Baby Talk Moms blog on Fredericksburg Parents!
Baby Talk Moms is a community of new moms located in and around the DC metro area who meet regularly for playdates, mom's night out, book clubs and other social events. Our blog highlights a variety of parenting topics that we discuss at gatherings or on the Baby Talk Moms private message boards, such as different ideas for playdates, product reviews, and relevant news. We also write personal accounts of our experiences as new mothers.
Nikki, my amazing friend who helps me write posts and organize Baby Talk Moms groups, is the proud mommy of a spunky 3-year-old little girl, Avery, and a smiley 1-year-old little boy named Benjamin. I'm Sandra – I started Baby Talk Moms in 2008 so that I could interact with new moms who understood what I was going through. I'm the doting mother of 3-year-old princess, Elena, and sweet little 1-year-old baby boy, Julian. Both Nikki and I intend for this blog to be a place where we can all support each other through the ups and downs of mommy-hood.
We hope you enjoy reading about the many parenting-related topics that will be discussed here! In our first post, I'll walk you through the simple steps of hosting the "perfect" playdate!
When I first started Baby Talk Moms – I was nervous. Actually, to say I was nervous is an understatement – I was terrified! It's not easy to put yourself out there. So when it came time to hosting my first playdate (a potluck at my house), I wanted everything to be perfect; I bought food and drinks, I even bought back-up snacks in case people didn't bring enough. I thought of everything! Now, I consider myself a seasoned playdate hostess and I've learned so much along the way. The thing is ... you don't have to put so much effort into making a playdate successful. It doesn't have to be PERFECT! It just has to be fun! I learned that the hard way. So you won't have to go through what I went through, here are a few tips for hosting playdates:
Bottom line is ... don't be too concerned with creating perfection, just be yourself and have fun!
For more information about Baby Talk Moms, please visit our website at www.babytalkmoms.com.