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Arranging a play date between your baby and another baby is simply a less vulnerable way of inviting another parent to spend time with you. And as long as you’ll be feeding and wiping and changing and feeding and wiping and changing, why not have a little adult company while you’re at it? Maybe someone who wants to talk through the latest episode of Parenthood or discuss the logistics of taking a car seat on an airplane. Not all my friends are interested in that, you know.
It just so happens that my baby and I didn’t have a lot of common interests for the first several months, unless you count snuggling.
Yes, staring at each other passes the time and reading books happens every day, but those aren’t very novel. Searching for a few indoor activities that are just as fun for me and a wee one, I wanted to dig a little deeper and think of the activities that brought big smiles, if not fits of giggles, to both our faces.
Heading to the pediatrician? Whether it’s baby’s first check-up, or your toddler’s first “big kid” visit, allow me to impart some of my wisdom…
Personally, I’ve always felt that bringing a newborn to the pediatrician for the first time is both comforting and anxiety-provoking. And here’s why: it feels like I’m returning, for a few brief moments, to the experts who know way more than I do about everything when it comes to this baby stuff. I better not mess it up, I always think to myself. But now that I’ve been down this path three times before, I can assure you that the doctor is only a phone call away.
To be most prepared for your 10-minute session, here are some things I’ve learned: More
Baby’s first smile. Baby’s first crawl. Baby’s first birthday – complete with smash cakes. There are so many “first” moments we want to capture with our cameras, and since we all now carry them in our purses – or diaper bags – it’s never been easier.
Though you may be with your baby ’round the clock, the odds are that you (yes you, Mom) are always behind the camera, pointing it at your little sidekick; and never in front of it. But years from now, when you flip through that baby book, where will you be?
My one piece of advice: Do yourself a favor now, and turn the camera on yourself every now and again – so you can look back on early motherhood and know that you were actually there, too.
Here’s a list of photo ideas that celebrate Mama’s milestones as well as baby’s. (And don’t require a professional photography session.) More
Parents often joke that when you travel with children, it’s not a “vacation”, but rather a “trip”. Point taken. Vacation implies a break from our everyday responsibilities and with a baby or two in tow, there’s really no break from feeding, cleaning, and organizing gear. Blargh.
I loathe going to the grocery store when we are on vacation, but despite the domestic responsibilities that come along with a vacation house rental, the benefits of a house or condo over a hotel often win out. Here’s why so many grown-ups favor rental homes once kids are on the scene:
Carrying a baby around in the summer can be a sweaty proposition. (Just thinking about it makes me a little warm behind the knees.) From lightweight, breezy carriers to fun and sun-safe swimwear, here are a few must-haves to keep your baby comfy and cool all summer long.
Before you panic about being unprepared for Father’s Day this Sunday, I want to remind you that you probably already have everything you need to celebrate. (Yes, really.) Think about it: you could brew some coffee, change all of today’s diapers, and whip up a real present, all in a few minutes.
Here are some other last-minute ideas every baby-brained mama should take advantage of.
You could print these DIY labels and make even the simplest gift look lovely before he comes down for his morning coffee. Things you can buy in 30 minutes or less: Your husband’s favorite candy or snack food (already in your house or right at the corner store); new barbecue tools; or coffee beans. (See how I’m just grasping at whatever I know he’ll like?) Even if it’s nothing fancy, labels dress it up just enough to qualify as a gift. And when it’s hand-delivered by a super-cute kiddo? Well, that makes it even better.
By the time your baby sits up, you’re probably aware of the myriad enrichment classes available to you: Music Together, Gymboree, Baby Massage, Le Petite Baleen, and more. I am a fan of all of them and have not one bad word to say about them.
Okay, maybe one bad word: Expensive.
While I do encourage you to try out a bunch of classes, because you never know where you might meet your new best mommy friend, I want to also make sure you know about these amazing, local, tax-payer-funded goodies for families with young children. Put them on a bucket list of things to do before your little one’s first birthday. More
When I have a long stretch of unstructured time, I just about lose my mind. My first maternity leave was like that, but compounded with hormones, a little one, and a lot of self-doubt. To find my new normal, I made tiny goals to leave the house every day.
I like to have goals and a to-do list, even if it’s someone else’s list. Maternity leave–whether for six weeks or six years–is a tremendous bonding opportunity with a new baby (plus, it can be a fun time off from work, too!). My best tip for maximizing your own enjoyment with this beautiful gift of time is to set your to-do list aside and create a new set of goals.