We swipe our phones from them with a “Not for babies!” We lock cleaning supply cabinets, store cameras far from their grasp and lunge when they reach for our razors in the tub. So, what cool grown-up stuff can babies play with? Here are 14 made-for-baby gadgets that look just like the real grown-up thing.
Midwest born and raised, preacher’s kid, escapee of fundamentalism but lover of God and good, Kelle Hampton is today a wife, mother to three and step-mother to two. Residing in Naples, Florida with a bit of her heart still in Michigan, she is a writer, photographer, speaker and celebrant of life’s large little things. Her heartfelt blog post relating to the birth of her daughter Nella and her surprise diagnosis of Down syndrome led to the writing of Bloom, a New York Times best-selling memoir.
Kelle has contributed to Parents, Parenting, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, Good Housekeeping and NPR’s All Things Considered. She shares photography and weekly journals about life and motherhood on her blog Enjoying the Small Things
An ocean of powerful lyrics and enchanting melodies for babies exists beyond the traditional “Rockabye Baby,” many hidden in love songs or perhaps buried in that old mixed tape from college days. Create a new playlist with these meaningful songs and favorite lyrics to memorize, sing in the car, dance to in the kitchen and sway your baby to sleep at night.
Motherhood requires constant attention and energy, and when we’re taking care of our families 24 hours a day, we can sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. As flight attendants remind us, we must have our own oxygen mask on to better assist those around us. It’s not only okay for moms to take special moments for themselves—it’s necessary. If you value yourself, you’ll value those around you more. So make time for Mama!
Wedged somewhere between Stellaluna and Guess How Much I Love You? in my daughter’s bookshelf is an old photo album that was given to me as a baby shower gift years ago. “My Family,” it reads in pink puffy letters across the front of it, and inside are photo slots designated for all the people in a baby’s life—my mommy, my daddy, my grandpas, my grandmas, my aunts, my uncles, my siblings. It didn’t take but a minute after beginning to stuff photos in the sleeves to be reminded that our family’s a little different.
Today, my children have five grandpas—and that’s not counting the few neighbors and friends we’ve adopted as honorary ones along the way. With divorce and remarriage on both sides of our family and one gay relationship, it makes for five official grandpas—three more than the allotted space in our photo book.
“So, what are you going to tell the kids about your unique family?” friends have asked.
And my answer: “That we’re so very lucky that everyone is loved and has someone to love.”
Raising babies in South Florida, we might not have a snowy backdrop for the holidays or a mountain view from our windows, but we do have miles of beautiful beaches. From scouring the sand for the best shells to catching that perfect pink sunset, we’re grateful for another year of memories made by the shore.
Follow our story below to look back on some of this year’s favorite beach memories.
Calling all stripe addicts! Stripes are timelessly chic and go with everything, so it’s no wonder the makers of baby goods have made this classic trend available for the little ones. From strollers to tiny tees, stripes have found their way into nurseries everywhere. Here’s a round-up of this year’s Best in Stripes baby products.
I went into parenting a special needs child with a cushion of mantras to help me through the first few years. Chanting inspiring quotes helps me believe inspiring quotes, so it wasn’t long after receiving my daughter’s Down syndrome diagnosis that I quickly adopted repeated self-talks including, “Don’t let the worries of tomorrow rob you of the joys of today” and “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I breathed the latter quote wholeheartedly in my first years of parenting a child with special needs, ignoring milestone charts in books and genuinely celebrating sitting, walking and talking victories of my friends’ kids, even though my same-age daughter was notably behind. And although my daughter didn’t walk until after her second birthday or graduate to a cup at a pediatrician-recommended age, she did pull out some unexpected feats along the way—like rolling over early—as if to tell us, “Don’t think you have me figured out. I’ll show you how it’s going to go.”
All those phrases we hear ourselves constantly saying to our babies and toddlers—things like Be careful, Mama’s right here or You’re okay—are often greater lessons we want them to remember for life. I continually find ways to express to my kids, even when they’re babies, the most important things I want them to know. It’s never too early to learn.
After starting a North Pole Party tradition for my daughters and their friends, our reindeer food bar quickly became one of our favorite holiday events. Little ones will love creating their own reindeer food concoctions from a variety of fun ingredients and will make wonderful memories in the process. Here’s everything you need to know to create your own.
As parents, it doesn’t take much to “wow” our children and create a memory that can last forever. The holidays are a wonderful time to instill family values, evoke childhood wonder and write cherished stories in your family books. Create some more magic this season by adding one of these fun family traditions to your holiday.