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Mark Your Calendar For Fulton Market Harvest Fest

Mark Your Calendar For Fulton Market Harvest Fest

Chef Stephanie Izard. 2016 Galdones Photography LLC

Fulton Market Harvest Fest is back for the second year from September 30 through October 1!

Curated by Chefs Stephanie Izard (Chicago Baby’s recent cover mom) and Paul Kahan, Fulton Market Harvest Fest brings the top culinary talent in Chicago together with notable chefs from around the country for three days of pop-up dinners, food and beverage classes, cooking demonstrations, and a neighborhood street fest. This year, the Harvest Fest is offering a special Kids Alley full of fun activities for the kids. A few highlights include kids yoga, music class with Old Town School of Folk Music, storytime and more!

The schedule of events for Kids Alley is as follows:

Saturday, September 30:

11am: Storytime

12pm: Music class with Mr. Nick Davio Old Town School of Folk Music

1pm: Kids yoga with BareFeet Power Yoga

2pm: Music class with Mr. Nick Davio Old Town School of Folk Music

3pm: Storytime

Saturday, October 1:

11am: Storytime

12pm: Music class with Little Miss Ann Old Town School of Folk Music

1pm: Kids yoga with BareFeet Power Yoga

2pm: Music class with Little Miss Ann Old Town School of Folk Music

3pm: Story time

Additional activities happening both days:

  • Decorate a pumpkin
  • DIY snack mix with Pilot LightFace painting
  • Balloon artist
  • Hula hoops
  • Chalk
  • Jump ropes
  • Coloring station

2016 Galdones Photography LLC

For mom and dad, there will be plenty of foodie fun on hand as well! Multiple restaurants will be offering tastes from their menus, including Girl & the Goat, Publican, Spiaggia, Swift & Sons, and Kuma’s Korner, among others. There will also be plenty of beverage options on site, including brews by Goose Island and Bell’s. There will also be a menu of culinary classes like oyster shucking at Cold Storage, cocktail making at The Betty, live fire bread baking at Publican Quality Bread, and coffee making with Dark Matter at Little Goat; as well as special events hosted throughout the weekend, including a kick-off party hosted by Stephanie Izard, Jonathon Sawyer, and Paul Kahan at the Goose Island Barrel Warehouse, a BellyQ brunch with Bill Kim, John Besh and Aarón Sánchez, and an Afterparty at the Izakaya with Mark Hellyar and Chris Cosentino, with guest bartenders from Spilt Milk.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit FultonMarketHarvestFest.com!

General admission tickets are $30 (and kids under age 10 are free) and include:

  • $20 in food/beverage tickets
  • A Fulton Market Harvest Fest branded beer mug
  • Access to KitchenAid demos and live music
  • Donation to Pilot Light.

VIP tickets (a limited number) are $200 and includes

  • $50 in food and drink tickets
  • Access to a VIP lounge with special offerings, such as access to a VIP beverage lounge and complimentary cocktail and craft beer samplings
  • Shaded Lounge Style seating with cell charging stations
  • Fulton Market Harvest Fest gift bag including Harvest Fest Beer Mug and more!
  • Private Bathroom Trailers
  • VIP festival Entrance

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Founded By A Chicago Mom, Monica + Andy Offers Truly Unique Baby Gear & Gifts

Founded By A Chicago Mom, Monica + Andy Offers Truly Unique Baby Gear & Gifts

A staple of the Chicago area baby gear and gifts landscape, Monica + Andy offers shoppers high-quality and totally adorable gifts, layette sets, blankets, and clothes. Founded by Chicago mom Monica Royer after the birth of her own child, the brand has grown from a popular digitally native retailer to also including brick-and-morter guideshops. To learn more about the brand, we caught up with their Director of Brand Strategy + Digital Content Jessie Mash!

For someone unfamiliar with Monica + Andy, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?

Monica + Andy is a digitally native children’s brand whose mission is to be an expectant mom’s first mom friend. Through our growing national community and our local guideshops we are working to make purchasing clothing for your growing babe easier. Starting with our one-on-one layette appointments for pregnant women, we continue to grow with your child through the age of 6. As a new mom myself I felt like and outsider so building a brand around making people feel in the know and welcome has been my mission.

Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?

It started when my daughter was born. She was tiny and her skin was so sensitive. Nothing seemed to fit her and everything she wore seemed to give her a rash. Right from the hospital I started shopping online and was surprised at what I couldn’t find. I also wish I had been more prepared and understood what she was going to need to wear. We have evolved those early learnings I had into a brand that caters to expectant parents and their needs. Whether it is the one-on-one layette appts (which also can be done remotely) or our experiential guideshop classes we try to provide everything you will need to know. We also now offer an edited assortment of clothing for children through age 6.

What sets Monica + Andy apart from others in the baby marketplace?

We feel there are some musts in the baby space. Super soft organic fabrics and high-quality materials that wash and wear well are key. Above all, kids should be able to move and grow in their clothing.We also feel that babies shouldn’t have to dress the same and we are hyper focused on our constantly rotating limited addition prints.  But, what truly sets us apart is our customer service, one-on-one experience, and community.

To learn more, visit monicaandandy.com!

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Why You Need To Prioritize Quality Postpartum Support

Why You Need To Prioritize Quality Postpartum Support

Every Wednesday between 12-12:15 pm I check in with the mothers who have come to take post-natal yoga. While many different women have cycled through in the past 15 years, many of the issues, concerns, and complaints remain the same. Feeling overwhelmed, completely depleted, disconnected from their core and pelvic floor, breastfeeding issues, and backaches grab the top spots in our discussion.

Many of these women express feelings of being cast aside after the birth of their baby. Prior to the arrival of their child, focus was on the mother’s well-being with frequent visits to her care provider. For most, the next visit with her care provider is the “six-week check up.” A lot can happen in those six weeks that the mother then has to navigate on her own.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) produced a review of maternal death in the US, Building U.S Capacity To Review and Prevent Maternal Death. In this document, the Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) carefully explains the six key decisions used to examine each maternal death. Based on this criteria the review has reported the highest incidence of pregnancy-related death happens within 42 days (six weeks) after giving birth, with non-Hispanic black women being the most vulnerable. The study states: “We have learned that between 20-50 percent of maternal deaths in the United States are preventable through the work of MMRCs.” Overall, the leading causes of pregnancy-related death accounting for 72.2 percent of all pregnancy-related deaths include:

  • Hemorrhage (12.7 percent)
  • Cardiovascular and coronary conditions (12.7 percent)
  • Cardiomyopathy (11.4 percent)
  • Infection (9.5 percent)
  • Embolism (9.5 percent)
  • Mental Health Conditions (8.9 percent)
  • Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia (7.6 percent)

Are women and partners equipped to recognize postpartum depression or unusual swelling or headaches that could be an indication of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia? Likely not.

Given the gap in time between women being discharged from the hospital and their next appointment with their doctor or midwife, many rely on their care provider at the time of birth and the discharge and postpartum nurses at the hospital for careful instruction and guidance as to what to expect in these first six weeks. However, a recent study, Nurses’ Knowledge and Teaching of Possible Postpartum Complications, published in the American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing disclosed some frightening facts about the support and guidance women receive before discharge from a hospital with only 67 percent of RNs spending less than 10 minutes focusing on potential warning signs. There was also a massive lack of knowledge from the nurses themselves about the leading three causes of maternal mortality.

Once the mother finally arrives at the anticipated six week appointment, it is often a quick check-in and then clearance is given to return to sex and pre-pregnancy activity. From the women I have spoken with, many did not receive any information or screening about Postpartum Depression at this meeting, a check for abdominal diastasis (separation of the rectus abdominal muscles) or discussion about the health of their pelvic floor other than a verbal prescription to start to do Kegels. An obstetrician I spoke with recently revealed that OBs do not get paid for these follow up visits and they are usually only scheduled to be six minutes long. This swift and superficial meeting can often leave women feeling unsure of what constitutes “normal” and what their new body should feel like and.  This insecurity can just adds to the stress of new motherhood.

Students often say “I cannot get rid of this belly” or “I feel a heaviness in my vagina” or sheepishly reveal incontinence issue.  These issues can affect one’s quality of life. With a desire to heal and change the situation, women may unknowingly start an exercise routine that can actually worsen some of the issues they may have developed.  Crunches for example, can exasperate abdominal diastasis and belly binding can cause pressure on the pelvic floor resulting in pelvic organ prolapse. Some women eventually take it upon themselves to find treatment, often an out of pocket expense, with a physical therapist who specialize in women’s health.

While the US leaves women at the helm of their own recovery while simultaneously embarking upon new motherhood, other countries have developed comprehensive postpartum care routines. In France, postpartum women are routinely prescribed “la re-education perineale,” 10-20 visits of physical therapy designed to retrain the pelvic floor muscles, to be followed by “abdominal re-education” after the pelvic floor sessions are completed, if necessary. In the Netherlands, women regardless of where they birthed, immediately receive a post-natal in-home care service called kraamzorg. The role the kraamvezorgster, post-natal care nurse, is similar to that of a postpartum doula, minus the preparation of meals and light housework. For up to eight days, new mothers have their kraamvezorgster available to help the mother with breastfeeding, teach the parents how to bath, swaddle and diaper the baby, help partners learn how to support the mother and also act as a buffer between new parents and visiting guests.

What can we do?  Force the hand of your care provider–come in with a list of questions for the care provider to address. Yes, this is going to require some gumption on the mothers part and let’s face it, as six weeks postpartum, the mother may not be at her most feisty. Here are some questions to start with:

  • Please examine my pelvic floor and let me know if there is any prolapse, if any tears have healed properly, if my pelvic floor seems supportive, is my bleeding normal?
  • Please examine my abdominal muscles and let me know if there is any abdominal diastsis.
  • Please talk to me and my partner about postpartum depression and red flags we should be concerned about.
  • Please discus birth control with me – lactation shouldn’t substitute birth control!
  • Please talk to me about proper nutrition while breastfeeding.
  • Please talk to me about what to expect for my first menstruation cycle.
  • Please check my breasts–is everything normal after all the change?
  • Please provide me with references for lactation support
  • For those who birthed via cesarean, please examine my incision to see how it is healing

In time I hope that the US can better support women and families. Many politicians boost about the importance of “family values,” unfortunately though, many women are not feeling valued and this lack of support is hurting families, babies, and children. Until we see change in our country, women will need to continue to support one another and ask loudly for help when needed.

Debra Flashenberg is the founder and Director of the Prenatal Yoga Center. She is a certified labor support doula, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, and certified prenatal yoga instructor. She is continuously in awe of the beauty and brilliance of birth and is the proud mother of her son, Shay and daughter, Sage. Visit prenatalyogacenter.com for more info!

Blogger Favorites From The 2017 Chicago Baby Show

Blogger Favorites From The 2017 Chicago Baby Show

CHBS_Picks_Blogger Favorite 2017

We are pleased to present our first-annual Blogger Favorites list from the 2017 Chicago Baby Show! This year, the Show was attended by over 35 bloggers from the pregnancy, baby, toddler, and family space. The bloggers in attendance (see list below) chose favorite products that they posted about on their websites and across their social media channels. The following five products are the items from the Show that received the most blogger votes!

The 2017 Chicago Baby Show took place on August 26-27, 2017, at Navy Pier, introducing thousands of new and expectant parents to a variety of products and services in the baby and maternity realms. The largest consumer event in the country for expectant and new parents, the annual Chicago Baby Show is a joint effort of Family Media and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), who are producing a series of Baby Shows in large metropolitan areas through out the country.

BLOGGER FAVORITES

bloom fresco chrome limited edition baby chair in rose gold

Bloom_Studio_03-060

This super-luxe limited edition baby chair is not only visually stunning (thanks to its very on-trend rose gold hue which, let’s be honest, would really punch up any parent’s Instagram page) but it also offers a number of convenient and innovative features. The fresco chrome has a 3-position recline system, an easy up/down height adjustment, a 5-point safety harness, and a removable sculpted booster seat for use with smaller infants. usa.bloombaby.com

Modern Eternity 3-in-1 Maternity Parka Coats

Modern Eternity Chevron Quilted Maternity Coat

Maternity clothing that is stylish and comfortable is, understandably, on every mom-to-be’s shopping list. However, the task of finding such clothing becomes harder in the colder months. Enter Modern Eternity. Their range of puffers and parkas are designed with trademarked 3-in-1 removable panel technology –Baby In (you can wear your baby and zip the coat around baby and carrier), Baby Out, and Baby Free–which makes the garment completely functional before, during, and after pregnancy. moderneternity.com

Mouse + Magpie Home Furnishings

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Mouse + Magpie offers parents a collection of unique and exclusive home furnishings and products that serve to decorate a baby or child’s space, but also stimulate a children’s surroundings. The company also partners with charitable organizations and campaigns and works with world-class artists to design their products. Some of their popular products for nurseries and children’s bedrooms include framed art prints, decorative pillows, blankets, lamps, clocks, and more. mouseandmagpie.com

Our 2017 Bloggers include: A Break 4 Mommy, BrownBeautyMom, Chitownconnections, The Fat Girl of Fashion, GIT MomGold Coast Girl, Grandbaby Cakes, Isn’t That CharmingKatie Cassman, Knocked Up FabulousThe Lavender Ladies, Life With Darcy & BrianLittle Lake County, The Little Style File, Love Zahra, Lows to Luxe, The Mommy Bunch, MomTrends, My Milwaukee Mommy, My Springfield Mommy, O the Places We Go, Operation40k, Parsimonious Pash, Queen of the Land of Twigs ‘n Berries, Qweenmommy, Rosie Discovers, Shop Girl Daily, Such a Time is This, Tanikia, Tiny Bits of Magic, Toddling Around Chicagoland, Travel With The Russells, and What the Girls Say

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Best In Show From The 2017 Chicago Baby Show

Best In Show From The 2017 Chicago Baby Show

CHBS_Picks_Best in Show

The 2017 Chicago Baby Show took place on August 26-27, 2017, at Navy Pier in Chicago, introducing thousands of new and expectant parents to a variety of products and services in the baby and maternity realms. This year’s Best In Show Awards named six winners and three honorable mentions, with the winners including outstanding products from a range of baby and maternity gear categories. Collectively, the winners and honorees are notable for their innovation, design, functionality, variety, and overall excellence.

The largest consumer event in the country for expectant and new parents, the Chicago Baby Show is the joint effort of Family Media and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), who are producing a series of Baby Shows in large metropolitan areas throughout the country.

The Best In Show Awards for the 2017 Chicago Baby Show were selected by a prestigious panel of judges with representatives from media, retail, and local parenting enrichment programs. The judges were: Julie Burt Nichols of Twiniversity, Nicole Feliciano of MomTrends, Debra Flashenberg of the Prenatal Yoga Center, Rachel Gorton of Motherly, Lindsey Monroe of The Birth Boutique, Monica Royer of Monica + Andy, Jill Simonian of The FAB Mom, Alina Slotnik of MamaTribe Chicago, Tina Stavrinou of Prenatal Fit, and Mia Weber of Chicago Baby and Family Media.

BEST IN SHOW:

BABZYZEN YOYO+ Stroller

BABYZEN yoyo-6-white-frame-taupe-flap-profile

The YOYO+ is a complete from-birth travel system. From birth, the YOYO+ can be used with the 0+ newborn nest, which works as a lie-flat, rear-facing stroller. But what makes this stroller truly unique is that folding, unfolding, and pushing work with just one hand, and the YOYO+ is almost featherweight at just 13-13.5 lbs, making it a must-have for families on the go. “I was impressed by how compact this stroller was. When folded, it is small enough to fit in an overhead bin on an airplane,” one judge says. “There are many phases of use for this stroller too: From birth, toddler, and having an older sibling along for the ride.” babyzen.com

bloom fresco chrome limited edition baby chair in rose gold

Bloom_Studio_03-060

This super-luxe limited edition baby chair is not only visually stunning (thanks to its very on-trend rose gold hue which, let’s be honest, would really punch up any parent’s Instagram page) but it also offers a number of convenient and innovative features. The fresco chrome has a 3-position recline system, an easy up/down height adjustment, a 5-point safety harness, and a removable sculpted booster seat for use with smaller infants. “It’s stunning in design–a piece of art,” one judge says. “There isn’t any other piece of baby/child equipment like it and I appreciate the gorgeous creativity that went into it!” usa.bloombaby.com

Glow Organics Bath Bombs

View More: http://brookenussbaum.pass.us/bump_1103

Glow Organics’ Bath Bombs are the first bath bombs on the market specially formulated for pregnancy. They come in three amazing scents–Energize (with organic lemon, orange, and white grapefruit essential oils), Relax (with organic lavender, bergamot, and frankincense essential oils), and Relieve (with organic vanilla and peppermint essential oils)–all of which make for ideal baby shower gifts. Plus, they’re all American-made, organic, vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free, with no parabens, synthetics, dyes, phthalates, sulfates, or artificial fragrances. “The bath bombs make great gifts and are one of the little treats expecting moms deserve,” one judge says. “The oils included will alleviate stretching, irritated skin, and also act as an oil treatment for your hair.” gloworganics.co

Happiest Baby SNOO Smart Sleeper

Master-Bedroom_Final (2)

Launched last fall from Dr. Harvey Karp’s Happiest Baby brand, the SNOO soothes infant crying and boosts sleep with the same rhythmic sensations that babies enjoyed in the womb. The SNOO responds to crying by choosing the appropriate level of shushing and rocking most likely to calm the baby’s upset, just like an experienced parent. In addition, SNOO’s patent-pending swaddle makes it the only bed ever made that keeps babies safely on their back all night long. When securely attached to the bed, the swaddle prevents accidental rolling. “Anything that can help a baby fall asleep without needing to be in mama’s arms is a dream,” one judge says. “I also like the attachable and fool-proof swaddle that is part of the actual bassinet.” happiestbaby.com

Love To Dream Swaddle UP 50/50

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The Swaddle UP 50/50 helps your baby to gradually adjust to sleeping un-swaddled. It allows parents to transition baby into sleeping with their arms released, one arm at a time. Plus, it converts to a snug sleep bag for longer-term use, features a two-way zipper for easy diaper changes, and offers a hip-healthy design that lets baby’s hips and legs to flex naturally. “Convertible sleep sac with zip off sleeves – so smart. Hands in or out depending on what your child prefers. Great new fabric designs. “The design of the Swaddle UP is ingenious! It allows babies to sleep in their natural position–with arms up–while still feeling swaddled, allowing for better sleep,” one judge says. “It’s just a brilliant product.” lovetodream.com

Veer All Terrain Cruiser

_____THIS IS THE NEW ONE Veer5[2]

The brand-new Veer Cruiser offers the space and durability of a wagon with the safety and convenience of a high-end stroller (its Infant Car Seat Adapter is compatible with the majority of leading infant car seats). The Cruiser can hold up to two passengers (it can hold an infant car seat or two toddlers facing each other, or any combination) up to 110 lbs of cargo. Families can make it their own by customizing with a Napper and Collapsible Sun Canopy that combine to make a JPMA-certified bassinette, a Drink and Snack Tray, a Foldable Storage Basket, and a travel bag to check the Cruiser during air travel. “I love the option to push the wagon, which makes it much easier on the parent when visiting larger venues like a zoo or theme park,” one judge says. “The toddler inserts solve the problem of propping up 6-18-month-olds. It’s a very innovative solution for travel with one or two kiddos!” goveer.com

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Fridababy Bitty Bundle of Joy – The Fuss-Buster Gift Set

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This new gift set combines Fridababy’s most popular and innovative products for new parenthood’s messier moments. In one handy pouch, you get NoseFrida the SnotSucker with 24 Hygiene Filters, a 10-pack of Windi the GassPasser tubes, NailFrida the SnipperClipper Set, and the Fridet MomWasher. It’s a great baby shower gift that new moms will actually get a ton of use out of. “I see many, many baby products that claim to change the game, but Fridababy is a brand that really delivers on that promise,” one judge says. “To have their best products all in one set is amazing and it will be my go-to baby shower gift going forward.” fridababy.com

Modern Eternity 3-in-1 Maternity Parka Coats

Modern Eternity Chevron Quilted Maternity Coat

Maternity clothing that is stylish and comfortable is, understandably, on every mom-to-be’s shopping list. However, the task of finding such clothing becomes harder in the colder months. Enter Modern Eternity. Their range of puffers and parkas are designed with trademarked 3-in-1 removable panel technology –Baby In (you can wear your baby and zip the coat around baby and carrier), Baby Out, and Baby Free–which makes the garment completely functional before, during, and after pregnancy. “Great maternity clothing for summer is relatively easy to find, but it’s rare to see a winter product for pregnancy (and beyond!) that is so well-designed,” one judge says. “These coats are totally fashion forward, practical, and perfect for cold Chicago winters.” moderneternity.com

Petunia Pickle Bottom Inter-Mix Backpack & 3-in-1 Grid Caddy and Pixels

birchblack_satchelbackpack_front

This new backpack from diaper bag mainstay Petunia Pickle Bottom is epitome of form meeting function. Inter-Mix is a system of bags (the backpack) and packing pods (the 3-in-1 Grid Caddy and Pixel pods, sold separately) to mix, match and make your own. By creating the space to seamless fit several separate pods, it lets moms pack everything they need for a day on the go without the worry of anything get mixed up. Plus, it features wipe-able glazed cotton canvas on the outside and is machine-washable. “Not only is this diaper bag super stylish, but the system of modular pods is really smart and practical,” one judge says. “It’s the kind of item that you can really see moms using well beyond the diaper years because it just makes so much sense from a design perspective.” petunia.com

For more about the collaboration between Family Media and the JPMA, and the upcoming LA Baby Show (November 4-5) visit chicagobabyshow.com/about!

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Strap In For Safety

Strap In For Safety

September is Baby Safety Month! To raise awareness about important baby safety topics, we turned to our friends at the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) for vital info on keeping baby safe using the safety straps that come with many piece of baby gear.

Keeping your baby safe and well is your number one goal as a parent so it goes without saying that you take every precaution when creating a safe environment.  But unfortunately, falls are still the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for all young children in the U.S. In fact, approximately 8,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries every day. With these staggering statistics, be confident that you are doing everything right when it comes to your baby’s safety.

What Can You Do?

Direct supervision is a sure-fire way to prevent injury – watch, listen and stay near your child.  Strap In For Safety! Child safety devices, like safety belts and straps, should always be used when available. Straps and safety belts on baby gear reduce the risk of infant fall injuries.

Whether it’s in the home or on the go, learn how to properly use straps on a variety of products and the importance of correctly using them EVERY time in order to keep baby safe.

On The Go

  • All strollers come fitted with standard safety harness straps.
  • Use straps at all times, even if it’s a short trip.
  • Harness straps stop the child from climbing out of the seat and falling, and protects the child should the stroller tip over.
  • Safety straps should be used regardless of the child’s age.
  • Many strollers feature a five-point harness system, which features straps that secure over each shoulder, at both sides of the waist, and in the middle of the legs.
  • It is important to always use all straps, not just lap straps or shoulder straps alone.

In The Car

  • A snug strap should not allow any slack.
  • It lies in a relatively straight line without sagging.
  • It does not press on the child’s flesh or push the child’s body into an unnatural position.
  • Chest clips should be positioned mid to upper chest area, near armpits. Shoulder straps fit snugly–can only fit 1 finger between harness and shoulder or use pinch test.
  • Lead by example. Make sure the whole family buckles up!

At Home

  • Babies should always be buckled into swings and bouncers.
  • Both use either a three- or five-point harness to keep baby as secure as possible.
  • For swings, use a five-point harness whenever possible to keep baby from climbing or rolling out of the seat.
  • Always buckle baby into the changing pad. If your changing tray is on top of a dresser, be sure they attach to each other securely.
  • When changing, keep one hand on the child at all times, even when using safety straps and keep supplies within arm’s reach.

Mealtime

  • Always use safety straps whenever your child sits in the high chair.
  • Make sure the straps are well secured so that your child sits snugly and is not wriggling around in the chair.
  • The crotch strap prevents your child from slipping down.
  • Never allow your child to stand in the high chair.

Visit babysafetymonth.org to learn more about creating the safest environment for your baby!

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Latham Thomas Wants You To Own Your Glow

Latham Thomas Wants You To Own Your Glow

Latham Thomas. Photo by Erica Berger Photography

 

Mama Glow founder Latham Thomas is a renowned doula, yogi, author, and wellness maven (and mama!) and her second book, Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within hits shelves on September 26! This must-read for NYC mothers is packed with lifestyle tips, calming rituals, and meditations, all with the aim of “illuminating your path to examining life’s challenges, helping you curate your path to greatness, while embracing your uniquely feminine attributes.” It’s all about guiding readers in practicing self-care in order to empower and discard self-destructive habits.

To learn more about this empowering read, we caught up with Thomas this summer to get the scoop.

What inspired you to write this book? Why the topic of “owning your glow”?

When I wrote this book—it took me years to write it, just because there’s so much to say and there was so much life experience that needed to happen to put into it—I wanted to write something that could feel like a companion for women, to feel like I was holding their hand as they made this life journey and life transition into claiming their power, the same way that I hold someone’s hand during a doula journey. Much I the way that I wrote Mama Glow, it’s like a friend talking to you but it’s also really firm and knowledgeable. The voice is very similar in how I speak to people, but the feeling of being held by someone as you take this journey to transform into your very best self was a through-line that I wanted to have, to help people feel very supported in this path to claim their power.

If you had to describe one goal with this book, what would that be?

My primary goal is for women to embrace self-care as a pathway to empowerment, to learn to love their bodies, and to really appreciate the magic and wisdom their body has to teach them, and to really explore the dimensions of their genius and get to the bottom of what they want to be doing in their lives—whether that’s professionally or creatively. Some of us want to give birth to babies, and some of us have dreams of career paths or different creative exploits that we want to explore—and some of us die with that inside of us because we don’t let that come out. I believe that we have this gift that’s a light inside of each of us—and it’s relentless and shining and it wants to connect. I think that Own You Glow is about owning that light and letting it lead you through the world. I want women to take with them that they are capable and they are powerful and they’re awesome—no matter what it is, they can get it done—but our culture sets up to think that we need to move through life in a certain way, and it’s mostly by pushing and hustling, but we really need to slow down and be intentional and nurturing of our ideas and all these potential things that are growing within us. I’d rather see that kind of energy embraced by women—“let’s nurture, let’s slow down, and let’s cultivate,” rather than “let’s hustle, let’s push, and let’s force.” But that’s kind of what we’re doing in New York City, we’re pushing.

It’s divided into sections called Evoke, Ignite, and Embody. Why did you structure the book that way?

I see it as the progression where you’re inviting an energy in and stirring it up, and that’s like evoking and awakening. Then igniting is once we realize that we have this energy within us, it’s about setting it ablaze. And embodying is about becoming. So it’s a progression of awareness to becoming awakened to becoming activated and then becoming a power source, where you are the starting point in the beginning of a movement. For us to claim that for ourselves, we first have to turn it on to begin with. I also wanted people to know there was a flow—we’re headed some place as we read it, so that’s also why I did it—so people wouldn’t skip ahead. I want readers to do the exercises and the meditations and the rituals and get all of the information. And once you get to the end, you can come back to the beginning and do it all over again. But I wanted people to go through stages and grow from it.

I loved the emphasis on rituals and ritual objects. What are some rituals that you have?

All of us have things we hold dear and creating spaces to explore personal growth—you have to create space for that—and for me, it’s about setting up little altars throughout the house to remind me of the support I have in the world, like people who are here with me or who have passed, as well as energy that I’d like to drum up. I feel powerful and there might be people in life whom I’ve known or whom I’ve never met [who contributed to that] and I want to evoke that energy in myself. I also use a lot of crystals or sage…fresh flower and things that remind me of nature and joy and love and safety and security. Things that remind me of a life of abundance? I’ll keep those things all around! I also find that part of my ritual includes things like essential oils and scents. I use things like that in practice, whether it’s meditation or birth. I also find that choosing a time of day to do something and doing it over and over is very helpful. For me, it’s a morning ritual and an evening routine that makes me settles down into the night. It can be meditation or deep breathing or a movement exercise; or it can be prayer or journaling or running a hot bath. Rituals extend into my self-care practice, which I call Glow Time… A big thing I talk about in this book is putting yourself fist. And people say “but that’s selfish”—and it is, but you can’t give to others if you don’t give to yourself.

Is there anything that moms specifically should know about the new book?

For moms, I have a great section about food—it helps you structure how you can create powerful meals really quickly. I also have some guidelines for how you can become better in the kitchen and take more responsibility in that area. In my work, I see so many women who are on the precipice of change…there are so many women who are right there and they’re becoming, and I watch them deliver their babies and then launch businesses. What I think is really beneficial to moms is the whole first section that talks about “what is it that you’re dreaming of? What do you want to achieve? What are things that are impediments to that?” It also goes into how you can own your glow. I think owning your glow is also owning your story and what your story is today.

To learn more, visit mamaglow.com!

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Care For Your Baby With Baby Buddy

Care For Your Baby With Baby Buddy

BabyBuddy_Brilliant_Baby_Toothbrush_UseBaby Buddy has a diverse line of products to keep your baby healthy and make your life as a parent easier. Especially outstanding and innovative amongst Baby Buddy’s products is their Brilliant! Toothbrush line with a 360° head.

Baby Buddy will be at the 2017 Chicago Baby Show, on August 26 and 27, at Navy Pier, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families comes to Chicagoland. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the Chicago Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and beyond!

Tickets to the Chicago Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

For someone unfamiliar with Baby Buddy, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?

Our desire is to impact the lives of people with innovative solutions for the glory of God. Baby Buddy features solutions for families that help make life more enjoyable. We offer a full range of personal care products for children–our solutions help them learn how to care for their teeth, keep their toys and pacifiers safe from germs, and products that make meals less messy!

Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?

For over 40 years, Compac Industries has manufactured and distributed innovative solutions. Compac Industries houses three brands with Baby Buddy being our personal care line for babies and children. As a family operated small business– we are thrilled that a majority of our products are made right here in the U.S.A., and shipped from Tucker, GA throughout the U.S. and internationally. Our three unique product lines are carried in a variety of stores and online due to our emphasis on quality and the demand of our customers wanting a variety of avenues to purchase our products. Being a certified minority supplier, we understand cultural diversity. We continually strive to understand our customers and provide products that they can depend on. We have met countless customers who testify of how our products have changed their lives – this is the reason we go to work every day.

What are the most popular and/or newest products from Baby Buddy?

The most popular and newest products from Baby Buddy are the Brilliant! Toothbrushes. Our innovations in the oral care market will blow you away! Now your child will love to brush. There is nothing like this out there. We offer toothbrushes with a 360 degree bristle head which allow for a gentle cleaning of the whole mouth. Dentists recommend brushing at a 45 degree angle for optimal cleaning – with the design of the Brilliant! Toothbrush your child will brush just right!

What sets Baby Buddy apart from others in the baby marketplace?

Baby Buddy is unique because of our dedication to making life easier for the families we serve. Our products, especially our oral care line transitions through every stage of a child’s life – from newborn babies throughout the busy childhood years. Parents have products that “grow with their child” according to their developmental stage and age. We want to be the answer on a family’s quest to find solutions for their everyday needs.

What can parents expect from Baby Buddy at the Chicago Baby Show?

Parents can expect to meet real people, offering real solutions. For those looking for ways to keep their child’s smile healthy, store toys, and keep your baby’s pacifier off the floor – we have got you covered. We will have our entire oral care line at the show, and some of our “best in class” products like secure-a-toy, the world’s strongest pacifier holder, and the amazing bib clips just to name a few. We are parents that face challenges just like you. Whether you are a new parent or a seasoned one – we understand. At every show, not only do we want to share our amazing products and have you try them out, but we want hear about your lives. Our favorite part about attending shows is meeting you. We are honored to have on staff Noelle Copeland, who is a dental professional, and mom of three. She will be able to answer your questions about your child’s dental care needs and how our products can help. Our V.P. of Sales, Jeff Whitmire, along with his wife, Mona, will also attend the show. They have 14 children and are able to share their wealth of knowledge with you and how Baby Buddy’s products will make your life easier. Come by and meet our team!

 

To learn more about Baby Buddy, check out babybuddy.com.

Get Around With Your Baby While Giving Back To The Planet With Joolz Strollers

Get Around With Your Baby While Giving Back To The Planet With Joolz Strollers

Joolz_Logo_POSDES_BJoolz is a Dutch company on a mission: making premium, ergonomically designed strollers and stroller accessories while giving back by helping the planet. For every stroller Joolz sells it plants a tree in the Joolz Birth Forest. A win for you and your baby and a win for the environment!

Joolz will be at the 2017 Chicago Baby Show, on August 26 and 27, at Navy Pier, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families comes to Chicagoland. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the Chicago Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and beyond!

Tickets to the Chicago Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

To learn more about Joolz, we spoke with Adriaan Gast, the company’s president.

For someone unfamiliar with Joolz, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?

We are Joolz, the premium, award-winning stroller Dutch stroller brand. We believe that good parenting is all about being happy!

That’s why we offer you the building blocks to spark your life with positivity. This filters through to our core products: Ergonomic strollers and accessories, as well as our mission, the Joolz Birth Forest, where we plant one tree for each Joolz we sell. Next to that, we created our packaging in such a way that a little brother or sister, or you as parent can create re-usable items from our cartons. Simply cut out our drawings on the box instead of throwing it all away.:Joolz. Positive Design. 

Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?

Joolz started back in 2006 in the Netherlands, home to many premium stroller companies, with the design of the first Joolz Day, which we have since upgraded several times, and now we have officially launched the Joolz Day2 everywhere in Europe. Globally the company has expanded since then to more than 30 countries located in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Since January 2017 we are also available in the US. Here we now offer the Joolz Geo2 which is proving to be the perfect stroller for the US consumer with an XXL grocery basket, easy 1 piece fold, and extremely maneuverable chassis that can be used as a Mono, Duo or Twin stroller together with seat or basinet. Perfect for every family adventure. In 2018, have a look out for Joolz as we will be introducing more to this market!

What are the most popular and/or newest products from Joolz?

Our most popular products in the US are the Joolz Geo2 together with its key and unique accessories such as our matching diaper bag, foot muff & Joolz comfort cover. Next to that, almost everyone that owns a Joolz Geo2 purchases both the Joolz cup holder and Joolz car seat adapters. We would like to highlight our 100% certified organic Essentials line that carries a blanket, nest and great sheets for your bassinet. People love these!

What sets Joolz apart in the stroller marketplace?

What really makes Joolz unique in its stroller design is the truly magnificent number of ergonomic features combined with a beautiful sleek, premium design. Our ethos of Positive Design is proven by our re-usable packaging, our Joolz Birth Forest and our sustainable office in Amsterdam.

What can parents expect from Joolz at the Chicago Baby Show? 

Expect an exciting range of stroller collections and accessories from Joolz at the JPMA show in Chicago. We love to show you what ergonomic benefits our strollers give you in everyday life and what Positive Design means. Meet our lovely staff and enter our raffle where you can win a complete Joolz Essentials package. See you in Chicago!

To learn more about Joolz, check out joolz.com.

Huggies Has Your Little One Covered

Huggies Has Your Little One Covered

HuggiesLogo_3Dgrad_redbkgdHuggies needs no introduction, but suffice it to say this brand is a mainstay in millions of busy parents’ and caregivers’ lives. Premier manufacturer of quality disposable diapering and cleansing products for babies and toddlers, Huggies has been a trusted household name for nearly 40 years.

Huggies will be at the 2017 Chicago Baby Show, on August 26 and 27, at Navy Pier, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families comes to Chicagoland. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the Chicago Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and beyond!

Tickets to the Chicago Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

To learn more about Huggies, we spoke with Josephine Severe, the company’s senior associate brand manager.

For someone unfamiliar with Huggies, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?

The first time you hug your baby, the rest of the world will slowly melt away and your life will be forever changed. At Huggies®, we understand there is nothing more powerful than that moment, and that’s why every Huggies diaper and wipe is inspired by a parent’s hug. For nearly 40 years, Huggies has been helping parents provide love, care and reassurance to help babies thrive. No Baby Unhugged is Huggies’ promise to ensure babies get the care they need to thrive – from innovative everyday products, growing hospital hugger programs and specially-designed products for the tiniest babies, to diapers and wipes donations. Huggies diapers and wipes are designed to embrace babies at every moment, whether that’s bringing them home from the hospital, playing in the water, or taking their first steps.

Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?

Initially founded as a paper company in 1872, Kimberly-Clark’s values and consumer-centric mindset have since led the company to create many new-to-the-world consumer products that today are essential for nearly a quarter of the world’s population every day. Our Huggies brand disposable diapers were introduced nearly 40 years ago with innovative elastic at the legs. Since then, we’ve continued to introduce new innovation to the category, such as our Leak Lock® System and SureFit* design to deliver gentle protection. Families trust the Huggies brand to protect their little ones, and that’s a big responsibility we take seriously.

What are the most popular and/or newest products from Huggies?

This past February, as part of the Huggies No Baby Unhugged program to ensure every baby gets the hugs they need to thrive, we introduced a new diaper for the smallest babies—Huggies Little Snugglers Nano Preemie Diapers. Every year, more than 90,000 babies are born too early to be hugged. These diapers are made explicitly for babies weighing less than two pounds (900 grams), and are specially-designed to protect the delicate skin of premature babies, while promoting healthy growth and development. Each Huggies Little Snugglers Nano Preemie Diaper goes through a rigorous inspection process, including a 40-point hand inspection, and are individually folded and hand-packed with care for these vulnerable babies.

We are constantly innovating all of our diaper brands to provide parents with the best products to help their babies thrive. Huggies Little Movers Diapers offer our best fit for moving babies; these diapers feature our Moving Baby System with a contoured shape and Double Grip Strips to hold the diaper in place during active play. And for our new parents, we will be showcasing our Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers at the baby show, which help keep newborns’ perfect skin clean and healthy.

What sets Huggies apart from other diaper companies in the marketplace?

No Baby Unhugged is Huggies’ promise to ensure babies get the care they need to thrive, which includes:

  •  NICU products designed for the unique needs of premature babies;
  • Hospital hugger programs that help volunteers provide hugs and support for NICU babies when mom and dad can’t be there;
  • Longstanding leadership fighting diaper need, including more than 200 million diapers and wipes donations to help all babies stay clean, dry and healthy; and
  • On-going clinical research and resources like Every Change Matters™: A Guide to Developmental Diapering Care, the first review to consider diapering within the context of developmental care—including skin care, physical development, sensory elements, and bonding.

Huggies is a growing brand in hospitals, and the brand partners with NICU nurses to develop diapers and wipes that meet the specific needs of pre-term infants.

What can parents expect from Huggies at the Chicago Baby Show?

The Huggies team is excited to be part of the Chicago Baby Show! We are bringing our full line of Huggies products, brand experts to share tips and help with all diapering questions, and free goodies and Huggies Rewards points!

 

To learn more about Huggies, check out huggies.com.