Crib Notes: Cool Products for New Parents
Good news! New mothers have an excuse to nibble on a chocolate cookie. Two mom-physicians are the brains behind Mommy Doctors Bakery, which features Milkin' Cookies to help breastfeeding mommies increase their milk supply.
Drs. Lennox McNeary (a Charlotte native) and Cheri Wiggins developed Milkin' Cookies when they started talking about wanting to continue nursing while working full time. They began experimenting with recipes to find a lower-calorie, tasty and portable snack (without unwanted additives and preservatives) that would help increase milk supply.
The cookies are made with whole-wheat flour, flaxseed, wheat germ and oats. Each cookie has 190 calories and 3 grams of fiber. Purchase a two-week variety pack - seven Cranberry Almond Oatmeal cookies and seven Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies - for $20.99 at www.milkin-cookies.com.
Brush up on babyproofing
Child safety expert and author Alison Rhodes (aka The Safety Mom) shines the spotlight on modern safety solutions for parents in Honey, I Lost the Baby in the Produce Aisle (Course Technology PTR, April 2011, $16.99). The book offers fun and lighthearted information on everything from taking baby home to the first night out and everything in between. There's also a Diaper Bag Checklist and Nanny Questionnaire at the back of the book. Peppered throughout are "You Can't Make This Up!" real-life humorous testimonials from parents who have made mistakes and learned a few lessons along the way.
Find answers to first-year questions
Another handy reference for parents looking for answers on how to care for baby in the first year is The Better Way to Care for Your Baby (Fair Winds Press, $19.99, 2010). Nationally recognized expert Robin Elise Weiss, a childbirth and postpartum educator and author of nine books on pregnancy and childbirth, provides advice for your biggest concerns regarding your baby's growth and development, as well as solutions to everyday issues such as feeding, sleeping and playtime. Also included are Helpful Hints sections throughout the book that deal with everything from a postpartum plan to diaper dilemmas.
Sprout an eco-bum baby
Both "green" and economical, the Sprout Change reusable diaper system grows with baby from birth to potty training. Moms love the reversible shells, which come in 12 colorful combinations (with two shells in one): Chili Pepper, Cherry Berry, StringBean, BlueBerry, Coconut, Sweet Corn, Lemon Ice, SkyBerry, GooseBerry, Grapefruit, SweetPea and Smoothie.
Sprout Change combines a breathable, leak-proof shell with organic inserts that can be washed and reused. Best of all, the one-size, custom-fit shell has adjustable elastic around the legs and across the back, allowing baby a perfect fit. One diaper fits 5-40 pounds. Get more details and purchase a starter kit (four shells and 12 StayDry Super Saver inserts) for $116.85 at www.thewillowstore.com.
Shop for top brands online
Did you know the one baby gadget or toy thousands of moms don't regret buying is the Cloud B Sleep Sheep? And WallCandy Arts may be the best company for cute nursery wall decals? The editors of A-List Mom and StrollerTraffic announced the 2011 Cribsie Award winners in March, and the complete list of products, brands, services and websites for babies and tots is at www.cribsieawards.com. Be an in-the-know mom. Check out the choicest diaper bag to throw over your shoulder and the coolest stroller add-on for entertaining your baby.
Step out against harmful rays
Keep bugs and the sun off your little one with Protect-a Bub UV protective sunshades. These products, winners of the iParenting Media Award and approved by the Melanoma International Foundation, are made of polyester microfiber that doesn't retain heat. The shades fit all car seats, strollers (single and twin) and joggers. Visit http://protect-a-bubusa.com. Priced $25-$40,
Protect-a-Bub sunshades can be found at these online retailers: Amazon, Babies R Us, Joggermom, One Step Ahead and Target.
Click to connect
When a baby is born premature, the emotional and medical problems families face can be overwhelming. Preemies Today at www.preemiestoday.org offers an online resource directory, a parent-to-parent community forum, NICU care packages and education lectures. From birth throughout childhood, the nonprofit organization helps parents cope with the immediate and long-term emotional and medical needs that can come from a premature birth.
Mary Beth Hazelgrove, executive director of Preemies Today and the mother of a daughter born premature, was awarded the 2011 Public Citizen of the Year Award from the National Association of Social Workers, Virginia Chapter.
Lee McCracken is associate editor at Charlotte Parent magazine.