What’s in a name?

It’s one of the first decisions you are faced with when you find out you are pregnant, and then you spend months agonizing over it – what are we going to name the baby? Finding out the baby’s gender does help – at least in narrowing down the boy/girl options, but from there you are faced with so many other questions: Do we want a gender specific name? Do we want to honor a traditional family name? Do we want to spell the name this way or that way?

Many choose to keep the name, or at least the short-list, under wraps. However, there is now a new and very fun way to get some help in this arena, should you be stuck or even want to have a little fun with it – Belly Ballot. Belly Ballot is a social baby naming tool that works in 3 easy steps:

1) Pick your 5 favorite names,
2) Invite friends and family to vote (there are some really great prizes to be won also!)
3) Announce your final choice on Facebook and Twitter.

Include your loved ones in this special occasion!

Bebe au Lait Celebrates Breastfeeding Awareness Month

 

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                     Welcome to Bebe au Lait’s

       Breastfeeding Awareness Month Giveaway

In recognition of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we are giving away one nursing cover every weekday (Monday thru Friday) in the month of August.  To enter our BAL/BAM Giveaway, all you have to do is head over to our Facebook Page (click here for a shortcut) and let us know your favorite Bebe au Lait or Hooter Hiders print!

Winners will be randomly selected and announced for each drawing!

For more information about World Breastfeeding Week (August 1st – 7th, 2013), please visit the official website: http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/

 

5 Tips for Mealtime with a Toddler

I feel like I’m constantly reading “tips” articles or whole books, dedicated to helping me to navigate the hectic, tiring, hilarious and fulfilling job of parenting a toddler. One of the areas that I’ve needed a lot of coaching, is mealtime.

My daughter Harper is a bit of a comedian. When we’re running low on time, it always seems like that’s when she decides that she’s going to do nothing but joke around at the table. At first, I found it difficult to keep her focused, but I’ve developed some skills in the toddler mealtime department- so below are my top 5 tips for feeding a toddler.

1) Offer Choices. I had heard this one before- mainly just in reference to vegetables (and it amazingly, DOES really work for vegetables! See the original article I read on babble here). But when I say offer choices, I mean from meal planning “Harper, do you want waffles with blueberries today or bananas and cheerios?” “Do you want chicken and broccoli or soup (anything even remotely liquid-y is “soup” at this point) to sitting at the table deciding what to eat first (or even which piece of chicken to eat).

I’ve noticed that by actively engaging with her, and making the meal about her choices, she’s more likely to eat than goof around. Of course, not every meal plan is based on Harper’s decisions (I’m not a short-order cook!) and that’s ok- even when the choices are small (like which fork to use today), it works!

Mealtime tips for toddler2) Allow them to experiment. Yes, as adults, we KNOW that broccoli dipped in ketchup MUST taste awful. But for a toddler who’s just learning about food, this combination seems perfectly reasonable, and potentially delicious. I had read somewhere that allowing your kids to be adventurous with their food early makes them more open to trying new things later- so when my daughter decided to dip her broccoli into her ketchup, I decided to let her go for it. To my surprise, she kept doing it… and finished her broccoli. So my new motto is, as long as its not dangerous- go ahead and try it!

3) Hold the milk. My daughter is obsessed with milk. I’m pretty sure she would drink a gallon a day if I let her, so its become increasingly important to only serve water with dinner. If I give her milk, she WILL drink it all before touching her food and she WILL request more because she’s used to having a beverage with her meal. Offering water allows her to focus on the food while still having something to wash down her ketchup-covered broccoli with.

4) Make Healthy Foods fun. We’ve embraced the smoothie bandwagon at our house. We’ve worked everything from kale to soy milk, to blueberries to spinach into our smoothies, and refer to them as ‘milkshakes’. Harper loves them.

Are we lying to her? No. There’s milk in there (soy milk). So they’re sort of “milkshakes”. But the point is, she’s enjoying a treat and we know that she’s getting the vitamins she needs. Its a win-win.

Along the same lines, but another great discovery: it really does help to refer to broccoli as “trees” and play a game where your kiddo pretends to be a dinosaur eating the “trees”. Whoever came up with that is brilliant!

5) The classics are still good. Does every meal time need to be well thought-out and restaurant-quality? No. Don’t put pressure on yourself to win Top Chef at every meal. Sometimes, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich really is the perfect lunch. And sometimes, grilled cheese and chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered. In my opinion, these old standards are necessities in the mealtime rotation- both for my sanity, as well as in the name of being a kid!

Got anything to add? What makes mealtimes work in your house? Do you have any great toddler-friendly recipes to share?

Toddler Time – They Grow So Fast!

My daughter is in the middle of a growth spurt.

It’s really funny how I can spot these from a mile away. First comes the eating. Then comes the snoozing. Then come the crankies. This latest growth spurt began when my picky eater (as of late) began requesting snack after snack after snack: “Mommy, I mowgurt?” “Mommy, I quacker?”, “Mommy, I Fwies?” (veggie fries). Meals were gobbled up, cup after cup of milk and water requested. Snack after snack granted.  After a couple days it became clear that we were in the middle of a growth spurt.

Traditionally, after a week of calorie-loading, my little girl has then gone on a sleeping spree. Early bedtimes, late wake-ups, longer-than-usual naps. This is actually the really great part of the growth spurt, because once I see that it’s coming, I get my “to-do” list ready and prepare to be amazingly productive.

But then come the crankies. Growing is hard work (hey, they don’t call them “growing pains for nothing), so I can completely understand this phase of the growth spurt, and my only contribution as a mom is to be ready with snuggles when she wants them, give her space when she doesn’t, and watch her for the times when I need to break out the baby Tylenol (the growth spurts that involve cutting teeth are often the ones that require those “big guns”).

Once the crankies are complete, little lady is noticeably bigger. And of course, then follows the painful part for mom: Packing up all those clothes that no longer fit!