Get tips from the trenches with this information-packed blog from the authors of The Rookie Mom’s Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know, Heather Flett and Whitney Moss.

Trick or Treating with Your Little One


Halloween is probably the cutest holiday for babies and toddlers. Whether you go all out with a crazy costume or merely prop your little one next to a pumpkin for a picture, the season is all kinds of adorable.

Our tips for trick-or-treating now that you have a little one:

  1. Pick a costume that is fun for you and comfortable for baby. You’ll have years ahead of you to argue about the store-bought banana costume or if your kid can squeeze into Spider-Man costume for one more year. For a baby, choose something that will create minimal fuss and that makes you smile. (Here’s our monster guide to baby Halloween costumes.)
  2. Photograph your costumes early. Don’t wait until the day of Halloween to take your decked-out photos; do it early to capture the best lighting and dodge potentially cranky moods.
  3. Stroll a baby-friendly route. Our town has many daytime non-scary parades and events for little ones that are terrific for pushing a stroller. Show off your costumes at one of these family places and nod at other mamas doing the same.
  4. Remember bedtime. There is no need to push back bedtime for Halloween. In fact, if you play your cards right, baby will be tuckered out early and you can nibble on candy while Trick-or-Treaters come to your door.

Sweet-loving new parents are really in luck if you love candy. All you have to do is push your stroller around from house to house and you’ll score a bundle of late-night treats for weeks to come. We love costumes on wheels and costumes using baby carriers for Halloween made easy.

My first Halloween with a baby is burned in my memory banks as a learning experience. I had ordered a chili pepper bunting costume for my five month-old. The costume was tight, itchy, and uncomfortable for him and he screamed the entire time it took me to put him in it, photograph him, and then remove the offending piece of clothing. I’d share a picture, but I look like I’m torturing him. Soon after, we put him in his jammies and sleep sack with a simple wizard hat. Adorbs!

Holden’s second Halloween, he wore a costume made out of pajamas and was a much happier toddler. I still ate all the candy.

Image via Project Nursery.

5 Modern Ideas for a First Birthday Celebration

Cute birthday kid

I have always envied my friend Christine, who honored her child’s first birthday by throwing a dinner party after he was asleep in bed. In Christine’s case, her parents live on the other side of the country and wouldn’t have been able to travel to the first birthday due to age. I, on the other hand, have a horde of parents, stepparents, and siblings who saved the date to attend my baby’s first birthday party. (And I had to be prepared for that; we had more than 20 people at our house celebrating our son’s first year!)

Every situation is different and only you know will work best you. Before throwing a party, take into account whether you have a home or apartment, the size of your guest list, and the time of year in which your child’s birthday falls. With that in mind, it’s time to start prepping – for a modern party, of courser. Here are some ideas to inspire any modern party. More »

Stimulate Your Baby’s Senses with Water Play

Baby Water Play

Creative water play helps your baby develop new skills and explore the world. It’s a chance to hear the splashing, feel the wetness and see the waves of the water. Using water to play stimulates your baby’s cognitive and sensory skills. Each stage respond to differently to play. Here’s suggestions to help your baby acclimate to water fun! More »

Here’s How to Put More Miles on Your Stroller — And Get More Bang For Your Buck


When it comes to getting a decent ROI out of your pricey, high-end stroller, I’m guessing urban mamas probably tend to get theirs more quickly. Some of that I’m basing on personal experience: When my son was an infant, I had a daily ritual of walking from my apartment door to a city cafe and produce market nearly every day, and would often store all of my purchases in the stroller’s undercarriage.

But if you’re finding that your stroller is spending more time in your trunk or garage than out on the pavement, consider these ideas for putting your wheels to work:
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5 Classic Baby Toys You May Just Want To Keep Forever


Take it from me — the main room of a home with young children seldom looks like the stylish, minimalist, clutter-free spaces you see in the magazines. And the reason why is simple: we have kids’ toys pretty much everywhere. We even have toys dangling from other toysMore »

Build Your Brain While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding tricks to pass the time

There are some definite perks to breastfeeding that go way beyond the obvious nutritional and bonding benefits. But, let’s admit it, there are also some not-so-great parts about the whole thing. For starters, it can get a bit boring and sometimes, even isolating. I used to feel absolutely ‘banished’ when I would go into a quiet room with my beloved newborn for 45-effing-minutes per side during a party or event. I was so sad to miss out.

But this post is not about enjoying your lovebug for every second (which you still should do!). It’s more about the cool things you can do on your smartphone or tablet to pass the time and build your brain a little in the process. More »

How to Handle All That Unsolicted Parenting Advice You’re Getting


If you’ve ever let an insensitive comment about your pregnancy or your parenting style instantly throw you into a bad mood, you’re definitely not alone. During both of my pregnancies, I’d say that was probably a daily event. Yep; it seems that just about anyone who’s either visibly pregnant or toting a baby around is fair game for loads of unsolicited advice – from friends, relatives, and even total strangers. But no matter who’s doling it out or why, it’s always tough to acknowledge someone’s good intentions while mentally rejecting his or her suggestion in the back of your mind.

So how do you deal? For me, I always try to remember that however frustrating, most of this advice is well-intentioned. Caring people generally want to “regift” their own parenting stories into a nugget of advice as a solution to your current situation (fussy infant, pregnancy heartburn, dream feed… you name it.).

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5 Heart-Tugging Moments Your Pre-Mom Self Never Imagined


I’ve had a very busy month, speaking at a fundraiser, hosting a huge event for my children’s school, and attending a conference for parenting writers. I knew it would feel like this (crazy!), and in the many recent moments that I had to deny my daughter’s request for attention, I reminded myself that she is learning from me.

She sees I am needed in other arenas, that people are counting on me to make decisions, that she can either solve her own problems or practice patience. And she did.

When I looked up from the donor checks I was organizing yesterday, and saw Scarlett, 7, reading the instruction booklet that came with her craft kit, I felt proud. Having my baby, now in second grade, ask for help, then decide that she can find her own answers, is like seeing her begin to walk for the first time. She’s reached a new developmental stage, and it’s given me some perspective.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m making note of five moments that new moms can look forward to – beyond first steps. More »

​10 DIY Kids’ “Toys” You Can Make In a Pinch


As easily seduced as I am by a thoughtfully designed, aesthetically pleasing toy from a well-merchandised boutique, I am also thrilled when I find my kids playing with something totally random they’ve discovered in the house.

If you find yourself out and about with some cranky kids, or trapped inside on a rainy day when none of their “old” toys will entertain them, allow me to come to the rescue. Here are some easy, last-minute ways to keep little ones occupied in a pinch.
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Parenting Blogs You Should Be Reading Right Now

Parenting Blogs You Should Be Reading

I love parenting blogs, and the honest moms and dads who write them, for pulling me out of my own day-to-day experience and sharing their lives with me. In mere moments, I can go from worrying about breastfeeding to laughing about someone else’s exploding diaper fiasco; from cursing the latest nighttime stall tactics of my own kids to nodding in agreement or sniffing back tears at another parent’s experience.

Whatever did our mothers do before the miracles of the Internet?

You may find comfort in writers who are at your same stage of parenting, but whatever you do, I highly encourage you to at least invite these bloggers to your virtual dinner party. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. More »