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April showers bring May…babies! With gender reveal parties increasing in popularity, why not plan a fun way to spill the news? Whether you’d like to host a fun affair for couples, families, and friends or are looking for a creative scene for a photo be sure to enjoy this joyful moment.  

Here’s some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing!

What was the most creative gender reveal you’ve seen? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Ways and Examples for Taking the BEST Baby Photos


bryanruppphotographyblog.com

Kids and babies are the best subjects in photography! Aside from being adorable, young subjects are natural with unbiased emotion helping the photographer take the most organic pictures possible. Some of us parents however, are more comfortable with our camera phone than a real camera and are better off drawing stick figures than snapping photos.

Whether school started or is just around the corner, parents will be lining up to take photos of their kids as they head off to their first day of school! All is well and not to fret! The below tips will help you capture their cuteness to take your best photos possible:

  1. Who: Think of Your Subject

    Your subject is most likely a baby or a toddler no taller than three feet. Get down to their level to best illustrate their perspective and of course get a close up of that chubby cheeked face. The closer you get, the sooner you may realize that your baby prefers
    their “good side” to be shot. Play around with different angles and have fun with your baby with different poses as they play with their toys and blankets.    


  2. What…exactly are you taking a picture of?

    Are you taking a picture of your kids face, their feet, their hands…what exactly are you taking a picture of?  A blogger on brighthub finds that “taking close up photos of your baby’s face will capture more detail and emotion and will have lovely results.” Think of the specificities of your photo and your subject and focus on capturing its delicate nature and character.

  3. When: Note the time of day and the use of light

    Easily call yourself a professional photographer by creating beautiful photos with the right timing. By timing we mean, you won’t get a good photo 10 minutes before your kid’s naptime. Use natural light in the morning when your toddler or baby is most awake to get the best response of smiles and even cries.


  4. Where…are you taking your photos?

    Speaking of lighting, be sure to consider when you are taking your photos. If you are taking your photos outside in the middle of the day, try to keep your kids in good light and present their best side—when they want to have photos of them taken.


  5. Why…are you taking photos of your adorable kids?

    Because they are so darn cute! 

Kids grow up fast so be sure to capture them at all stages!

What is one of your favorite photos of your children?

Please feel free to share your photography and tips in the comments below, pin your photos to Baby Trend, or share with us on our Facebook, and Twitter! And check out Babytrend.com to be inspired by some cute baby photos!

Sources:
brighthub.com

 

Picking Clothes for Baby-How to Suit your Girl or Boy

Our August series continues from naming your child to keeping them fresh and current with the latest styles.  Some kids are born with no care for fashion at all while others kick you in the belly while still in the womb for wearing mismatched clothes! Either way, it can be fun to dress up your baby, toddler, or older kids as they get ready to go back to school!

Budget Friendly Fashion

For those parents interested in fashion for their baby: you may have a lot of onesies stocked up alongside newborn clothing either as gifts from your family and friends or a really excited shopping spree.  However, as your baby grows out of the newborn clothing, the excess clothing will become useless! Try exchanging some of the newborn clothing for larger sizes. This not only prevents you from limiting your baby’s style to what you have but opens the doors for many more opportunities of fashion!    

Tips from Toddler Fashion

It may seem like your toddler doesn’t give a hoot about their style but it’s their personality that makes what’s on their skin a statement piece. Mismatched or well put-together, whatever your baby feels most comfortable will let their personality shine through and of course, play-around in, is the perfect ensemble.

Another thing with toddlers is that certain styles, never run out of style. Ever see a baby in a stroller wearing a “Beatles” shirt as a tribute to their favorite band? Sure they wear the shirt but they have no idea what the “Beatles” are! Your little toddler and kids are extensions of your style sometimes so keep it fun and make retro the new modern-chic.



Make Going Back to School Fun

Did you layout the clothes you were going to wear the night before your first day of school? With your backpack filled with fresh new notebooks and pencils, the start of the school year was just as fun an adventure as summer was all along.

To stay on top of trends, sites like sheknows.com and parents.com offer some great ideas of what’s new and “in” with direct links for where to buy fashionable clothes. 

 

In fact, according the parents.com, the four back to school fashion trends include:

1.      Bright and bold colors

  • Help brighten up the day and add liveliness to what can be a drab classroom atmosphere
  • Add color to an outfit directly through their clothes or maybe with a colorful lunchbox or pencil case!

2.      Rocker Chic!

  • Adding a different sense of style to your little rocker can make them feel like themselves and express their personality through what they wear

3.      Country Singer

  • The country life can be sweet and simple just like your school-ready kid. Western boots, and comfortable jeans paired with a plaid top can be comfortable and weather friendly!
  • Girls can rock plaid dresses or even floral skirts to express their sweetness through their fashion

4.      Animal Print

  • …is the new black! Animal inspired looks will add that little touch of wildness that every child has hidden deep inside of them. Animal print can also be a great way to add texture and color to an outfit.

Making the use of fashion into a bonding period with your kids will help you learn their personality and understand who they are. Fashion is not only fun to play with but it’s a great way to grow with your child!

What was your trademark fashion?

Please feel free to share your style in the comments below, pin to Baby Trend, or share images of your stylista kids with us on our Facebook, and Twitter! And check out Babytrend.com to be inspired by some awesome color palettes!

Sources:
parents.com
sheknows.com


Why do babies laugh at strange noises and things?

Why is it that babies laugh at the weirdest things? 

A mother blowing her nose sets a baby off on a laughing tirade with what at first seemed like a frightened face. Another baby above laughs hysterically when his Dad rips paper.  Where do babies get their sense of humor from, when do they start laughing, and why do they laugh at the darndest things?

The Science Behind A Laugh

Cynthia Dedrick, Ph.D, contributes to a question about baby laughs on Wiki Answers, “studies prove that babies are not born with a sense of humor, but mimic from their parents or those around them.  It’s advised to start teaching your child early to laugh and to slowly learn a good sense of humor.  Stats prove that families with a good sense of humor have a closer relationship with one another and often can resolve serious problems in the family far easier without arguing.”  

All great news! Laughing means a more peaceful family.  How to go about laughing with your baby then? Here are some games you can play with your baby when on the go that are sure to put a smile on their face. Is baby out with Daddy? Not to worry, there are games both Dad and your baby will love.

A simple game that nearly everyone has played with a baby, and even a dog is peek-a-boo.  Why do babies laugh so much when you hide your face behind your hand? You are doing it right in front of them but for some reason they can’t comprehend where you went. The scientific term for this phenomena, object permanence, means that objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight.  When you cover your face, you’re out of sight, and it’s as if you’ve disappeared!


Raspberries Are More Than Fruit

Many babies seem to love when their mom or dad blow raspberries.  That unseemly noise is enjoyed by babies, and even adults! This sound, and reacting to it is a great developmental milestone that occurs soon after your baby grasps some essential language skills. Believe it or not, blowing raspberries is more complex than it seems and it’s probably why babies laugh at it so much!   

What strange thing does your baby laugh at?

Please feel free to share here in the comments below, on our Facebook, and on our Twitter!

Sources:

Wiki Answers
YouTube

Shine.Yahoo.com

Fun, silly games to play with your baby to aid development

Go to your local coffee shop and you’ll see mothers and their toddlers both with iPads in their hands.  Toys and games went from tree houses and binkies to playing with virtual toys on an electronic tablet. Oh, how times have changed.

According to New York Road Runners (nyrrf.org), almost 25% of children do not participate in any free-time physical activity.  Although activity among children seems to have decreased, games have become more developmentally friendly and brain-cell engaging.

             

Parents can use their e-tablets or even just their hands to play games with their baby to aid their development.  Also, be sure to consult your pediatrician for best advice.  

Light the Torch

Let the games begin with something small and something fun.  At first, newborn babies don’t seem to want to do much of anything but eat and poop. Their brain cells are continuing to develop and their neurons are slowly but surely making connections.  Playing developmental games with your baby at any age can help prime those neural pathways. 

                     

                                                                    abcnews.go.com

Peek-A-Boo is a simple game that babies seem to love. When you hide behind your hands after they see your face, your baby literally thinks you’ve disappeared.  This is because babies are unable to psychologically grasp the concept of object permanence. Object permanence is the understanding that objects exist—can be seen and heard—even after they are long out of sight. From about birth to two years of age, babies do not understand this. Don’t let this stop you from playing with your baby, they love this game!

Lights, Camera, Interaction!

Go ahead and let your baby’s curiosity guide you.  Does she veer toward colorful objects? Shiny things? Take your baby’s cues and hold objects she might be interested in about a foot away from her face.  Let her observe and stare. You might find something new yourself!

Toys and random things lying around the house aren’t the only things that can help a baby’s development.  Look into your closet to help your baby develop her tactile senses.  Have her feel your clothes and even go outside to enjoy the sun by letting her observe at the park or even touch the grass. All while keeping a close watch on your baby, of course!

Mirror, Mirror

Just like their inability to grasp object permanence, babies are unable to understand that who they see in the mirror, is themselves! From birth to three months of age, play with your baby by placing them in a nursery center or bouncer that has toys hanging from the top.  Talk to your baby and tap on the mirror to get her to look over.  She’ll soon begin to realize that the person in the mirror is her!

These are just a few of the hundreds of baby games you can play with your little one.

Look to the sources below for more ideas!

What are your favorite games to play with your baby?

Please feel free to share here in the comments below, on our Facebook, and on our Twitter!

Sources:

Babycenter
ParentingWeekly    
               

                  The Science Behind the Development of Baby’s Personality

       

                                                         sheknows.com

Remember growing up with your sibling or a close family member and slowly learning that you both have absolutely opposite personalities; social groups come along and you find yourself shying away while your older brother is the star of the show?  Genetics doesn’t necessarily trump where you grew up, but your environment doesn’t defeat genetics either.  This gentle push and pull between nature and nurture has been a long standing debate in the developmental world and is studied to this day.

Twin studies, as first researched by Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, found similarities and dissimilarities that helped grasp a better idea of the differences between genetic and environmental factors. A study on genetics and the environment found that similar characteristics among identical twins reared apart might indicate that their genes played a major role in developing that trait. Different characteristics might indicate the opposite—that environmental influences assume a much stronger role.

Newborns

                                                                                babyqt.com

All in all, what does this have to do with your baby? Although your baby’s personality is formed by an unpredictable mixture outside of the womb, certain factors lead to its personality while still in the womb! An expert panelist on early year’s play and child development on BabyCentre UK, Dorothy Einon, stated that the way your newborn behaves may be influenced by lots of temporary factors.  Such factors include pregnancy hormones, your own health and diet, the length of your labor, the difficulty of birth, whether your baby was born early, and how quickly your baby’s brain matures. 

Hot Headed Baby

                                          
                                                    
batyaatthebabycoach.com

Einon also finds that a baby’s temperament can be based on what is going on inside or around him/her: how regularly baby sleeps and feeds, how vigorously he moves, how easily he’s soothed or distracted, and how readily he accepts new food or people.  Keeping your newborn close to you in a nursery center and entertained in bouncers as they get older might help them have a better temperament as they age.

      

All In The Timing

Now that you know that a baby’s personality starts to develop in the womb based on genetics, and the process of growth in utero, when exactly will you see these personality traits start to develop? Parenting magazine suggests that some traits are obvious almost from birth; others will become apparent by three or four months. And some may evolve in intensity. For instance, [your baby’s] low frustration level may improve as he/she gains confidence in their abilities, or their desire for activity may subside a bit as his/her attention span grows. Even the most challenging traits can become less problematic as a child learns to cope with life’s ups and downs and figures out what makes him/her happy — in conjunction with your support and guidance, of course.

It’s Universally Basic

A famous developmental psychologist, Erik Erikson, found through his studies that development is based on the epigenetic principle.  This principle states that development occurs in a series of stages for everyone and that these stages happen in a predetermined sequence.

In layman’s terms, personality is largely shaped by an infant’s experiences and temperament is a key determinant to the way parents react to the infant’s behavior.

A happy, healthy, bubbly, bouncy baby is the product of much tender love and care.  Instead of stressing about having a perfect environment, just be your happy self and your baby too will shine back with a smile. 

Aiding the Growth of a Premature Child

                                   

Life is organized into several steps of development.  Although gradual, experience has taught us human beings that life is more disorganized than not.  Even a doctors’ educated guess as to the due date of a baby can be at fault when baby comes sooner than expected.  Premature babies can grow up to be just a healthy as full-term babies but need a little more help playing catch up.

Basic Philosophy 

Erik Erikson, a popular child development researcher has done a plethora of research about developmental stages. He has two basic philosophies, one of which is:

The world gets bigger as we go along

To help babies continuously and happily grow in this big world, it’s in good nature for parents to have a basic understanding of what sets premature babies apart from their punctual peers.

Foundations

Some of the more foundational aspects include motor development, behavioral cues, and touch, including infant massage.

                      

According to babyfirst.com, a premature baby often has less muscle bulk and is usually “hypotonic”. This means her muscles are loose and floppy. It will often be hard for her to stay in a flexed position. Instead, she may end up with a more “frog-like” posture. Her trunk may look flat when she’s lying down, rather than rounded. With that in mind, careful attention should be paid to the development of the nervous system and such motor skills as smiling, sitting, walking, and positioning the muscles should be applauded.

The development of motor skills should not be a standalone achievement. Look for and aid speech and behavioral development consequently by creating an enriching environment.  Comfortable “toys” like a bounce chair or a high chair will aid with muscle development and brain development. 

      

Bounce chairs with amenities like hanging toys, mirrors, and even embedded speakers for music will grow your baby’s curiosity to aid them in our ever expanding world.

                

Also according to babyfirst.com, there are certain signs that your baby is ready to interact or may need a break. The following are cues as listed by babyfirst.com:

These may be signs your baby is ready to interact:

- Quiet, alert state. Eyes are opened and focused.
- Relaxed; not too stiff or limp.
- Arms and legs are tucked in. Hands are at mouth.
- Some smiling (by about six weeks corrected age), and eventually cooing.

These signs say “time out”; your baby needs a break:

- Looking away, glassy-eyed, stressed look
- Limp body
- Stiffening (pushing body out straight)
- Yawning, falling asleep
- Hiccups, spitting up


Lastly, as mentioned in a post about infant massage, the simple power of touch will not only be a great way to bond with your baby but will be a soothing experience where they are able to look around and make contact with other people and things around them.

The aforementioned is just a tip of the iceberg as to how your preemie may need extra information.  Be sure to contact your baby’s pediatrician for appropriate developmental needs and use informative tools for education. The following links provide some great information about preemies:

Kidshealth.org

Aafp.org

Babyfirst.com

Aboutourkids.org

Babycenter.org

Webmd.com

Make working out fun by playing with your baby

With the start of the New Year only slightly behind us, gym-goers and at home workout video junkies are going full speed, letting no excuse get in the way of their calorie burning and mind enriching exercises.  A few days or even weeks from now, resolutions become dreams and rest in between sets becomes rest indefinite.  The little culprit that is a most common excuse to stay away from cardio machines is usually, a baby.  

Even after baby arrives, parents should not feel tied down or separated from their workouts.  Can you relate to wondering who will look after baby? Or I have a hard time leaving my baby with a sitter.  These common concerns can be easily alleviated by not leaving your baby! How? Working out with baby is one of the best ways to bond and give your body the daily activity it needs.  

Covalent Baby Bonding

Just as covalent bonds share pairs of electrons between atoms, baby bonding is sharing enriching experiences between mother and their little one.  Exercising with your baby will not only strengthen the parent-child tie but it will start to shape a healthy lifestyle.  Consistent physical activity will help your child sleep easier and will reduce your stress.

A more obvious perk of working out with your baby is that it keeps you healthy and exercising can prevent diseases while strength training can even prevent osteoporosis.  According to Bone Builders, a group from the University of Arizona, the best exercises for building bone are weight- or load-bearing exercises such as weight-lifting, step aerobics, dancing, and other activities that require your muscles to work against gravity. Dance around your living room either with your baby in hand or in toe in their very own trend walker. 

Need weights? Believe it or not, your baby makes the perfect weight to work with.  Not only will you enjoy cuddle time with your baby, but placing your baby in a carrier around your body and doing simple stretches or just walking around the house are perfect and light load bearing exercises.   

Even if your baby isn’t directly engaging in exercises with you, being near baby can be just as effective.  Keep your baby safe in a durable play yard that is easy to fold up and travel with, so you can exercise with baby on the go!     

An Active Baby Einstein

Working out with baby is highly beneficial to parents, but babies are also getting a lot in return.  Exercising with baby helps them to move and learn coordination skills, not to mention, explore!  Enriching their minds through curiosity and being able to see the world around them is important to a baby’s development.  Is your baby not yet mobile?  A simple play pen or even nursery with see-thru or mesh sides can just as much aid their inquisitive minds.   

Continue their growth and your good health by creating a little circuit of workouts that are enjoyed by both you and your baby.  Five minutes of dancing followed by mellow stretches and sets of squats, dips, step-ups or lunges using your baby as a weight is the perfect way to start.  As your baby starts to get attuned to these minor physical exercises, do abdominal exercises on the floor while lifting baby above your head.  Add on any exercises you feel comfortable with, and a mini gym can be enjoyed by you and baby!

For a variety of playpens, play pads, and nursery centers visit www.babytrend.com, to find one that best suits your needs.

Greetings all BabyTrend fans! 

Today sets the first day of our trendZ Fastback Car Seat contest!

HOW TO ENTER

  • Post photos of your kiddo in their car seat.
  • Photos can be posted on Facebook.
  • There are three (3) categories: a) The Cutest, b) The Funniest, and c) The Messiest.
  • There will be one (1) winner per category.
  • Bonus points will be given to entrants who submit photos of their child in a BabyTrend car seat.
  • Entrants can submit photos starting today, Thursday, January 19th until midnight, February 2nd, 2012.
  • From February 3rd until February 17th, 2012, fans can vote for their favorite photos in the following categories: a) The Cutest, b) The Funniest, and c) The Messiest.
  • There will be five (5) finalists for each category. 
  • Fans will be able to vote through Facebook poll and our poll on the blog.
  • Winners will be announced on February 27, 2012.
  • Judges will consist of BabyTrend team members.

The prize is the newest BabyTrend car seat: trendZ Fastback Car Seat!!!

If you have any questions, please contact online@babytrend.com or refer to the CONTEST RULES page for details.

Let’s have some fun, mamas and papas and get post some cute photos of our kiddos!

Best wishes,

The Baby Trend Team

Turning Days Into Mini-Adventures

How to be a mommy-jogger and bond with your baby

Running is an inherent ability known to all man-kind.  As babies and toddlers we begin learning how to crawl and the moment we get onto our own two feet, is the moment a world of possibilities opens up.  A growing baby means a curious baby. Exploration becomes a necessity and one of the best ways to take advantage of your baby’s inquisitive mind is to take them outside.

Turning leisurely walks into pleasant jogs can be easily done with the right state of mind and most of all, the right equipment.  First, it is important to know that being a mom-jogger is more than just a way to get outside.  It’s the perfect time for you to bond with your little one and instill habits to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Necessary Tools

To start your healthy outdoor adventure, begin researching jogging strollers.  Jogging strollers are different from regular strollers because they have three wheels instead of four, making it easier to maneuver when running.  The Baby Trend Velocity Jogger is perfect for a new mommy-jogger.  With an embedded pedometer and speakers to play music, you will feel both entertained and educated with a simple understanding of how far you’ve gone and how far you will want to go to better set goals for yourself.  Your baby will not only be interested by the surroundings and the fun of a smooth ride along your park, neighborhood, or beach, but they will be protected as well with an adjustable canopy with a sun visor and covered sunroof ratchets to block sun and wind.

Make Tracks with Baby

To make this daily occurrence a different experience for both you and your baby, encourage them to point out what they see—objects, colors, animals, and anything else they discover.  Varying when you stop will also adjust them to changing times and areas so as to encourage exploration and an active imagination.  Although running can be a therapeutic form of “alone time” even when you are jogging with your baby, try to include your baby in your observations and encourage them to do the same with you.

Before going on a jog intermittently or before starting a jogging regimen with your baby, be sure to adhere to certain rules.  If your baby is less than six months of age, it is not suggested that your baby embark on an outdoor adventure with you unless your stroller has a car seat adapter.

Rules of Thumb

Contrary to popular belief, it is best to lock your front wheel to avoid excessive wobbling, which can lead to accidental turning and crashing.  Also, treat jogging with your baby just as you would any other regular outing with your little one; packing diapers, wipes, snacks, toys and books, and water will make for an enjoyable pit stop for both you and your baby.  For your runs, be sure to strap your child in with the full harness to protect your child from getting shaken or even falling.

Enjoy the Present

Turning exercise into a fun and adventurous time in your baby’s life will not only help to stimulate their senses and thinking skills but it will better influence them to engage in an active lifestyle as they grow.  The fresh air, the sounds, and the bonding time with your baby will also make jogging or a short run fun for both of you. 

For a variety of joggers, visit www.babytrend.com, to find one that best suits your needs.