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From tummy time to books & toys to playdates, Huggies has the how-to’s, go-to’s and what to-do’s you’ll need to make playtime a good time.


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Boo-boo bag to the rescue

Whether you are going on a family vacation or just to the playground, it's a good idea to pack a first-aid kit. If you have little ones, you’re going to need it sooner or later.

The organizational experts over at momAgenda suggest you make your own medical supply kit in a plastic zip bag and just keep it in your car. That way it will always be there when you need it.

Here's what to include in the bag:

  • Band-aids
  • Pain relievers (Children's TYLENOL or MOTRIN and some Advil for Mom)
  • Children's Benadryl (in case of an allergic reaction)
  • Neosporin (or other anti-bacterial cream)
  • Aloe (in case of a sunburn)
  • Thermometer

With a bag full of these supplies, you should be covered in the event of a mishap. But as we moms know, sometimes it just takes a kiss or a hug from mom or dad.


What You Need To Know About Infant Car Seats

A car seat is the most important piece of baby gear—the hospital won’t let you drive your baby home without one. Before you get behind the wheel, read this.

  1. Pricier does not mean safer.

    All car seat manufacturers are required to meet the same strict safety standards, notes Alisa Baer, M.D., a New York City-based pediatrician and certified child passenger safety instructor. "When I first shopped for a seat, I realized the difference in price is often due to a designer name or fancier fabric," says Jill Hunt, a mom of three in Atlanta, Georgia. What’s most important: making sure a model fits your car. 
  2. Go for new over used.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) caution against buying a second-hand car seat if you don’t know the seat’s history(to make sure it hasn’t been in an accident); it’s older than six years; it has visible cracks; it’s missing parts or the instructions; or the seat was recalled (check or call the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236). Says Dr. Baer, who runs the website The Car Seat Lady, "When in doubt, it is best to buy a new car seat—it’s the only baby product parents purchase that has the potential to save a child's life." 
  3. Make sure properly installed.

    A certified child passenger safety technician can teach you how to install the seat correctly. To find one near you, visit or call 1-866-SEAT-CHECK. Breanna Gunn, a mom of one in Friendswood, Texas, got help from a trained technician at her local police station: "As a new mom, I was relieved to find someone who could make sure my car seat was installed the right way."
  4. Keep the straps snug.

    In the winter, bulky snowsuits or coats can prevent straps from fitting right. Dr. Baer recommends dressing the baby in three thin layers instead, such as a bodysuit, a footed sleeper, and a button-down cardigan, and then adding a blanket (over the straps, which should be snug against baby’s body).
  5. Keep baby rear-facing as long as possible.

    You might be eager to switch your convertible car seat to the forward-facing position, but the AAP recommends that children ride rear-facing as long as possible—until they reach the height and weight limits set by the car seat manufacturer. (At a minimum, babies should stay rear-facing until they turn 1 and weigh at least 20 lbs.) Says Dr. Baer, "Studies show that even 3- and 4-year-olds are five times safer riding rear-facing than forward." Drive safely!

Image: Getty


The Daddy Way

Up in the air?
Dad’s lifting baby up toward the ceiling again. Your heart grips, but the baby’s gurgling happily away. You know it’s safe, but you still want to jump in. You’re not alone.
For lots of new moms, the feelings of love and protectiveness that you have for your baby can be truly overwhelming. Sometimes, when you see dad playing with the baby in a different way than you would, it can be hard to know the line between being overprotective and being just protective enough.
Fun sure. But safety first.
You do want to make sure anyone handling a baby under 4 months always keeps baby’s neck and head supported: no tossing in the air, shaking the baby’s shoulders, or putting her in a jumping gym or backpack carrier just yet. But baby can benefit from being exposed to lots of different styles. Different voices helps her learn language. Being held and carried by others will give her new perspectives on the world (and give mom’s arms a little rest, too).

Carrying the baby in a cradle hold, having tummy time on Dad’s chest or holding her draped over a forearm in a “football hold” with her head and neck supported are all safe and wonderful experiences dads and babies can share. Giving Dad his full share of baby-handling experience can help to strengthen his bond with the baby while boosting his fatherly confidence, too.

Go dad, go.
Letting baby have lots of dad time will enrich your baby’s repertoire of experiences, and who knows, Dad may even discover new soothing techniques or baby games that all three of you can enjoy.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Best Baby Gear. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand



Your little crawler has suddenly taken a new interest in the cat – but your independent kitty would rather be left alone, thank you. Here are some suggestions for keeping the peace before something scratchy goes down.

Always supervise. Make it clear that playing with the cat’s tail or other parts is a no-no, and never leave your cat and your baby together unsupervised.

Protect food and litter. Keep your baby away from your cat’s water and food, and put the litter box somewhere the cat can reach but the baby can’t.

Make an escape hatch. Make sure your cat has places where it can escape. Try installing a baby gate to close off a private area, like a basement room, so your cat can retreat.

Rearrange furniture. Give your cat her own chair pushed against a wall so she can retreat from the baby either by perching on its back or by hiding underneath it.

Monitor vermin. Don’t forget to have your cat checked for worms and to give her regular, nontoxic flea and tick treatments. Wipe down eating surfaces if your cat walks across them, and remember to keep the litter box covered when not in use to prevent transmission of parasites from cat to child.

Treat bites and scratches. Cat scratches can be especially prone to infection because of the way a cat’s germy claws can hook into skin. Wash any bites or scratches with salt water, and report any scratches to your pediatrician that show signs of infection or don’t heal in a few days.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble


The Real Dirt On Baby Clean

When it comes to dropped pacifiers or food, forget the five-minute rule: Any transfer of germs, dirt or what-have-you happens on contact. But should you freak out if a pacifier or banana hits the floor? Depends on where it’s dropped.

The reality is that germs are everywhere. If someone with a cold sneezes or coughs, the germs can land on surfaces and be spread to baby’s nose, mouth or eyes by touch. The good news is you can protect your baby from infection by:

  • Washing your own hands often
  • Keeping shared toys and surfaces clean with a ten percent water-and-bleach solution or other disinfectant
  • Using sanitizing wipes or changing pads on public surfaces – for instance, on shopping-cart handles and public changing tables

If you’re at home, a quick rinse of the food or binky to wash off lint and germs is probably all you need to do. But if the pacifier falls on the floor of a rest-stop bathroom, you might want to take it out of circulation until you can fully sanitize it by boiling it for 15 minutes.

But don’t sweat the dog slobber: Your baby can’t catch any parasites from dog toys or a quick lick on the cheek or high chair tray. If you let your pooch clean your high chair or dishes after a meal, it doesn’t hurt to rinse the baby’s tray and dishes thoroughly in warm, soapy water or in the dishwasher, though.

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand



How to Child Proof Your Home Before and After Baby Arrives

By Bethany Kandel for

Most parents begin to worry about how to safeguard their little one from all the dangers in the outside world even before baby arrives on the scene. For peace of mind, you can begin by making your home baby-safe and secure during your pregnancy and beyond with some simple childproofing steps; many of which are common sense.

Experts advise you to get down on your hands and knees to see how things look from a baby's perspective. Where would you go? What can you reach? What would you touch?

Remember that childproofing is not a one-shot deal. As baby reaches different levels of mobility - crawling, toddling, walking -- you will have to ramp up your protective tactics. Some of these suggestions can wait until baby becomes mobile and can roll, crawl or move toward danger, but it's never too soon to begin thinking about the potential hazards and how they can be fixed. You can even put some safety items like cabinet and toilet seat locks on your gift registry for use when the time comes.

Here is a room-by-room checklist to get you started:



  • Cover electrical outlets.
  • Use gates to keep stairways, exercise equipment and other potential dangers off limits.
  • Install window guards or window stops
  • Make sure heavy bookshelves, dressers and even appliances like television sets and lamps are bolted down and cords are hidden. Put heavier items on lower shelves so furniture is not top-heavy.
  • Cover sharp edges and corners.
  • Put non-slip pads under all rugs.
  • Replace any looped cords on blinds or curtains.
  • Move plants out of reach and get rid of any that are poisonous if ingested.
  • Get out of the habit of leaving coins, keys, matches, mints, paper clips and other small items in bowls or on counters around the house. Even purses should be hung out of reach because they often contain medicine and other safety hazards.
  • Program numbers for your local Poison Control Center into your mobile phone -- and post next to landlines -- as well as those for the pediatrician, grandparents and other nearby neighbors in case of emergency.



  • Do not use hand-me-down cribs from before 2011, when federal safety requirements were tightened. Vintage cribs from your own childhood should never be used even for a visit to grandma's house.
  • Be sure to position the crib and changing table away from windows, lamps, hanging wall decorations, electrical or blind cords, shelves and climbable furniture.
  • Keep the crib clutter-free without pillows, heavy quilts, fluffy blankets, bulky bumpers or large stuffed animals that could be a suffocation hazard or a larger child could use to climb out.
  • Place diapers and all changing supplies within reach of the changing table so you never have to leave baby unattended to retrieve something.



  • Set hot-water heater below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Attach a toilet lock.
  • Store all toiletries and cleaning products on high shelves or in cabinets with baby locks. Remember, even perfume, nail polish remover, baby oil, mouthwash, rubbing alcohol and deodorizers can be hazardous.
  • Always unplug electrical appliances like curling irons after use and store them safely.



  • Put latches on dishwasher and all lower cabinets and drawers.
  • Affix a stove shield or stove-knob covers. Use back burners when possible, and always turn handles toward the back.
  • Keep pet food bowls and litter boxes out of reach.


Living/Dining Room

  • Store knick-knacks on high shelves.
  • Use a fireplace screen and store fire utensils and matches away from baby.


7 Tips for Baby Proofing Your Home for the Holidays

By Lauren Jimeson,

The holiday season is in full swing, and while I love this time of year, it also makes me extremely nervous for a number of reasons. This is our first year spending the holidays in a house rather than a small apartment. I've dreamt of the decorations that will fill the house and the tree that will glow in the corner of our living room. But while it's fun to dream, I know that I also need to face reality. Holiday decor and children can be an unsafe combination.

Now that Macks is into everything in our house, I can only imagine that it will get worse once we have more decor indoors. Keeping him safe is my top priority, so I went to the expert to see how I can keep our home safe this holiday season. Since having a home during the holidays is new to us, I asked Kimberlee Mitchell, Child Safety Expert & Founder of Boo Boo Busters, for her tips on how to baby proof our home for the holiday season. She gave me some great tips and I wanted to share them with you so that you, too, can have a safe home for the holidays.

1. Remember, They Have All Eyes on You - It's fun to get the kids involved in decorating, but we should be mindful of climbing up onto counters, chairs, ladders, out windows, and other things that are somewhat dangerous. Our children are quick studies of our actions, so we need to be sure that we are making safe choices. It's best to do to real dangerous work while the kids are sleeping. It'll be more magical for them to wake up to see it all transformed anyway! Do not leave the ladders, staple guns, or tools around and accessible.  If you stand on the kitchen table to hang decor, don't be surprised to soon see your toddler on the kitchen table as well.  If you hold nails or screws in your mouth while working, guess who will aim to do the same? It's always a good idea to be mindful of what we are doing around our children to make sure that it's safe for everyone in the family.

2. Use Just Wrapping Paper - When wrapping gifts, just use wrap. Stay away from decorating the gift wrap with bows and ribbon that could pose a strangulation hazard, any type of tape that they could ingest and choke upon. Don't decorate the gifts with ornaments; your child will have access to that and if they are glass, they could break and choke. It's just not safe. Perhaps wrap everything in paper, and then when it's time to hand out to family, have a bag of bows handy and slap a bow on it!

3. Think "Less is More" with Decor - When you have a baby crawling around and/or learning to walk, just as Macks is, less is more when it comes to decorations.  Mitchell found that when her kids were little, pulling out 1/3 of the decor was less pressure on her both for set-up and take down, plus it made navigating the baby away far easier. Pick your favorite decor and display it out of reach, but consider forgoing the small glass figurines that are breakable and a magnet for a baby. Clutter will lead to chaos. Less decor will translate to less stress and allow for you to relax and enjoy far more this holiday season.

4. Opt for a Mini Tree - There's no escaping it: Babies make a beeline for Christmas trees. To make for a stress-free holiday season and a "No No"-free environment, opt for a mini tree(s) this year and display it on a tabletop or counter. Get that gorgeous mini Douglas fir or flocked tree you've been wanting for years and then decorate it with your favorite ornaments. Or splurge and create a tree in the new color scheme you see in all the magazines - it's small, so it won't be that pricey! Keep the others packed away this year and enjoy the simplicity.

5. Consider Your Gates/Barriers - Work with the existing babyproofing you have already installed in your home during the holidays. If you have gates installed, display decor on the other side of the gate. You might have to reposition a few things this year, but it will allow you to decorate without worry.

6. Beware of Candles - Candles are often used to make the home smell wonderful; however when there are little ones around, it makes sense to skip them or only burn them when the baby is down.

7. Enjoy Your Peace of Mind - Childproofing our home will give us so much peace of mind throughout the holiday season and year 'round.  When our family or friends' kids come over, we can feel that confidence, as will our guests, and it makes relaxing so much easier. Sure, it might take some time to see exactly what you need and it could cost more than you intended initially; however, it pays precious dividends day after day, and year after year, as you are able to enjoy knowing you've covered your bases and have left no safety stone unturned!

After speaking with Kimberlee Mitchell, I now feel so much more prepared for the holidays. This is a special time of year for everyone in the family, especially Macks, because it's his first time celebrating the season. With these tips, I can enjoy the season knowing it will be a safe one.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!


6 Natural Ways to Bring Down Your Child's Fever

By Mary Fischer, CafeMom

There's really no worse feeling a mom can have than seeing our kids sick and miserable, especially when they're up in the middle of the night suffering from a fever.

And while there are certain things you can give to try and bring down their temperatures -- not all parents want to medicate their toddlers, especially without having them seen by a doctor first. On top of that, sometimes our poor little ones feel so icky, they refuse to take the meds in the first place.

But there are a few other methods of reducing a fever you can try that are completely natural and will hopefully help your child feel a bit more comfortable so he/she can get some rest.

  1. Dress him/her lightly -- Your child's body needs to cool down, so take off a layer or two to move the process along.
  2. Encourage liquids -- This can be tricky especially if they have an upset tummy, but even giving a teaspoon of water every few minutes will help.
  3. Lukewarm bath -- It's amazing how well this one works ... believe me, I've tried it. Put your toddler in a lukewarm bath for a few minutes. The thermometer reading should go down immediately afterward.
  4. Cold compresses -- Placing cool washcloths on the forehead, wrist, and groin, where blood vessels are close to the skin's surface, will help with cooling.
  5. Sponge bath -- If you don't want to put your child in the tub, try a lukewarm sponge bath instead to help lower the fever.
  6. Offer ice cubes -- If your toddler won't drink, try giving him an ice cube or ice chips to suck on. It will help get some fluids into him to prevent dehydration and will also help to cool him.


Do you have any other tricks for home remedies for fevers?


Top 5 Things That Change When Baby Starts to Move

By Chad Carter, Disney Baby

My baby's first steps are the entrance to a world of new beginnings. What used to be so "far" is suddenly just a few wobbly steps away. As a dad, before my eyes, I get to watch my little guy start exploring, cause joyful mischief, and find a world of excitement all on his own.

In recent weeks, our house has been filled with "moving" moments that make a father proud-as well as make any parent realize they needed to prepare! To help with that, here's a look at the top 5 things that change when baby starts to move.

5. Your Home - Cupboards, ovens, drawers, laundry... it's all fair game now. If they hadn't been exploring before, with their newfound freedom, those baby latches better be on tight. Folded clean clothes will become a pile on the floor, placemats in the bottom drawer will be strewn across the kitchen floor, and everything becomes a destination. A place to celebrate the journey.

4. Your Job Description - When those tiny toes start moving across the floor, I instantly turn into a cheerleader, motivator, and backseat driver. While we're still using a learning walker, I can't get enough watching him cruise the kitchen with me cheering him along! As I gently steer and direct from behind, he's ready to race into the outstretched arms of Mom, waiting for him. We try to keep him safe, while setting him free. Sounds of giggles and glee fill the house (and that's just from me).

3. Your Memory - As a new parent, these first 11 months have been a whirlwind of exhaustion, excitement, and memories. We've filled phones, memory cards, and our minds with beautiful visual images of all his firsts. And his first steps will be like starting anew - a transition, a change, an exit from baby into toddler. Any parent can tell you when their kid started walking, it's a memory-making moment that stays with you forever.

2. Your Baby - The feeling of freedom is something we as adults can often overlook. As babies take their first steps, it's a feeling they've never experienced. The look on their face, the excitement, and confidence they gain from those first steps forward may be forgotten by them, but will live on with you. Maybe even captured on camera? You'll never forget their look of experiencing freedom for the first time!

1. You - Keeping up with a baby is hard when they're crawling. Now that they're walking, you're on the go with them at all times. Holding their hands to keep those unsteady feet sturdy and strong as they go. From this point on, you'll be chasing, wrangling, and loving every, nearly every moment of it. They're growing up, wanting to tackle new challenges, and ready to let you lead them (from behind) into the next steps of life.

As a parent, there's nothing quite like the feeling of those first few steps. They're conversation starters, office bragging material, and sentimental feelings that tug on your heartstrings as your baby grows up. With camera or phone in hand, you follow them around, waiting to document these first steps into a new stage.

And if you're like me, conflicted feelings may just wash over you. I'm elated for those first few steps... only to realize as my mini-me is moving forward, I'm taken back to all those cuddly moments after his birth.


Stroller Safety: Tips for Parents

From Mayo Clinic

If you're like most parents, you'll want to get at least one stroller for your baby. With so many designs and types of strollers, however, how do you choose?

Understand how to pick the best stroller for your baby and important stroller safety tips.

What should I consider when looking for a stroller?

When looking at strollers for your baby, consider:

  • Your location. If you live in or near a city, you'll likely need to be able to maneuver your stroller along crowded sidewalks and down narrow store aisles. You might also need to be able to collapse your stroller in a pinch to get on a bus or down stairs to the subway. Suburban parents, on the other hand, might want to look for a stroller that's easy to fold and fits into the trunk of a vehicle.
  • Your family. If you have twins or an older child, you might consider getting a double stroller or a stroller with an attachment that allows your older child to stand or sit in the rear. If you're planning to use an attachment for your older child, be sure to read the manufacturer's weight guidelines.
  • Your lifestyle. Frequent travelers might want a collapsible umbrella stroller - either in addition to a sturdier stroller or as the primary stroller. An umbrella stroller can also be useful during errands. Plan to take your baby along on your runs? You might look for a jogging stroller, too.
  • Accessories. Do you want your baby's stroller to have certain features or accessories, such as a storage basket, rain cover, blanket, sun shade or cup holder? Often, accessories are sold separately. Some strollers aren't compatible with certain accessories.

What type of stroller is safe for a newborn?

If you plan to use a stroller while your baby is a newborn, you'll need to make sure that the stroller reclines - since newborns can't sit up or hold up their heads.

Some strollers fully recline or can be used with a bassinet attachment or an infant-only car seat. However, most umbrella strollers typically don't provide adequate head and back support for young babies.

Also, most jogging strollers aren't designed to recline. As a result, they aren't appropriate for babies until about age 6 months.

What are the benefits of a travel system?

If you have a car, you might look for a stroller that can hold your baby's car seat.

Some car seats and strollers come in matching sets, while others require separate attachments that allow the strollers to be used with certain car seats. Once you strap your baby into his or her car seat, these kinds of strollers will allow you to easily move your baby between the stroller and car.

These types of strollers can also be helpful in an airport, if you plan to take your baby's car seat on the plane.

If you use a travel system that allows you to move your baby's car seat from your vehicle to a stroller base, you might be tempted to let your baby finish car naps in his or her car seat. Keep in mind, though, a car seat is designed to protect your child during travel - not to serve as a replacement crib in your home. Although it's essential to buckle your child into a car seat during travel, don't let your child sleep or relax in the car seat for long periods of time out of the car.

Research suggests that sitting upright in a car seat might compress a newborn's chest and lead to lower levels of oxygen in a baby's blood. Even mild airway obstruction can impair a child's development.

Sitting in a car seat for lengthy periods can also contribute to the development of a flat spot on the back of your baby's head, as well as worsen any gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - a chronic digestive disease.

What if my baby has special needs?

If your baby was born prematurely or has health concerns, look for a stroller with storage that will help you carry any necessary equipment, such as a cardiac monitor or oxygen. Parents of babies who have similar health concerns might be a good source of advice.

What other stroller safety features should I look for?

When looking for a stroller you might consider checking for certain safety features, including:

  • Practical brakes. Look for a stroller that has brakes that are easy to operate. Some strollers have brakes that lock two wheels - a special safety feature. Make sure your baby can't reach the brake release lever.
  • A wide base. Strollers that have wide bases are less likely to tip over.
  • A single footrest. If you're looking for a side-by-side double stroller, choose one with a single footrest that extends across both sitting areas. Small feet can get trapped between separate footrests.

How can I keep my baby safe in his or her stroller?

You can take steps to prevent stroller accidents. For example:

  • Stay close. Don't leave your baby unattended in his or her stroller.
  • Be careful with toys. If you hang toys from a stroller bumper bar to entertain your baby, make sure that the toys are securely fastened.
  • Buckle up. Always buckle your baby's harness and seat belt when taking him or her for a stroller ride.
  • Use your brakes. Engage your stroller brakes whenever you stop the stroller.
  • Properly store belongings. Don't hang a bag from the stroller's handle bar, which can make a stroller tip over. If possible, place items in the stroller basket.
  • Take caution when folding. Keep your baby away from the stroller as you open and fold it, since small fingers can get caught in stroller hinges. Always make sure the stroller is locked open before you put your child in it.
  • Keep it out of the sun. During hot weather, don't let your baby's stroller sit in the sun for long periods of time. This can cause plastic and metal pieces to become hot enough to burn your baby. If you do leave the stroller in the sun, check the stroller's surface temperature before placing your baby in the stroller.
  • Check for recalls. Be sure to return the stroller warranty card so that you'll be notified in case of a recall. If you're considering a used stroller for your baby, make sure the stroller hasn't been recalled.

Whether you're using it on a daily basis, for occasional errands or weekly jogs, a stroller can be a parenting must have. By consistently following safety rules, you can help ensure an enjoyable ride.

1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved.
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