Monday, June 1, 2009

We're Moving; Stay Tuned!

Smart Baby Kid and Ask Baby Kid are combining with their "mama" site this summer. While there will not be new posts on these sites, we promise to update you when we've finally moved. In the meantime, you can subscribe to Cool Baby Kid ( by RSS or email which is where we are moving to get updates on what's happening with the Baby Kid Blogs. And also watch out on the "mother site" for the biggest giveaway we've ever done coming up in the next few weeks. Big changes, big giveaways, and as always some of the best baby and kid picks, tips and giveaways on the web!

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May Giveaway Winners!

Contragutulations to the following giveaway winners for May. Please contact us at to claim your prize!

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Tumblon: Track Your Child's Development

Did you know that there's a web 2.0 service that lets you track your child's developmental milestones? Web 2.0 means the most relevant information for your child. With Tumblon, you can create on online page for each child in your family to track their development, share pictures, and view resources. Tumblon offers not only an online format to track your child's development, but also a wealth of other resources aimed specifically at your child's current developmental stage: children's literature from Honey for a Child's Heart book list, open-ended toys (batteries not needed), Ellyn Satter's developmental feeding guides, and creative play suggestions. After exploring Tumblon I was very impressed with the quality of the resources and the usefulness of having them tied to each developmental stage. 

One of the perks of Tumblon is a customized 
weekly email summarizing your child's most important milestones, recommended resources and recent activity on your secure family blog. (There are NO advertisements - just simple, reliable, interactive content!)

This two-minute video shows how it works.

Tumblon is a 
"freemium" service, so you can try out the free service, upgrade to the paid level (or back down to free) at any time - and enjoy a 30 day trial of the premium service for free!

Reviewed by Amy, The Thoughtful Parent

Smart Tip: Try out the premium service for the 30-day free trial!
Subscribe to Tumblon's podcast for parents, featuring interviews with people of interest (researchers, nutritionists, doctors, policy-makers, children's authors etc.) on topics of interest to parents of young children.
Subscribe to Gladys Hunt's blog on the creative use of literature in family life: 
Honey for a Child's Heart.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rock-A-Bye Baby

I was attending a university lecture this week directed toward junior-level students studying infants. I was the only mother in the room, but I think a several others were also a little surprised when the opening topic of the lecture was "How to Calm a Crying Baby." I chuckled as I recalled all the times my babies have fussed and I'd tried everything I could think of to calm them down. My babies love to be swaddled and to be rocked. Of course both of those were on the list along with diaper changes, feedings, singing, pacifiers, and changing positions of the baby.

I was beginning to wonder if this lecture would be worth my time when the instructor went off on a tangent about rocking. He shared some pretty interesting information that I thought I'd pass along. First, mothers rock their infants at the same rate at which they walk. Since rocking is a familiar motion to babies from their in utero experience, it only makes sense that they would be most calmed by being rocked at the same speed at which their mothers walk. What I find more fascinating is that mothers unknowingly rock their babies as fast (or as slowly) as they walk. And yet, that is precisely the most calming speed for their babies.

The second tangent about rocking showed how rocking is important and necessary for baby's development. The rocking motion helps a baby organize the vestibular system which controls equilibrium, or balance. As a baby is rocked, the fluids in the inner ear move around which triggers the vestibular system to action. While the baby is calmed and rocked to sleep, this system is hard at work practicing communicating to the brain all the information gathered about the baby's balance. I love this because all the times I've just sat and rocked my babies, ignoring chores, ringing phones, and errands, are completely justified because I was promoting my babies' development. The next time the current baby insists I drop everything and rock her, I will remind myself it's as important as reading to her to help her development.

From Amber, Because Babies Grow Up

Smart Tip: Combine reading and rocking to encourage your baby's development. As an added bonus you'll also strengthen your baby's attachment to you!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mee Wee: Hip-Hop Music for School-Age Children

Throughout the years, Hip-Hop music has targeted adolescents and adults. That means younger children aren't able to experience the energetic and lively beats due to the inappropriate lyrical content. Until now, that is. MeeWee is fun, exciting, and uplifting Hip-Hop music for elementary school age children. My children found these songs to be entertaining and upbeat and I was thrilled with the positive messages of the songs like "I Need and Hug" or "I Can Be Anything". Not only are the songs fun, but they are educational too! MeeWee was written by a teacher and many of the songs include lesson plans that will help spark creative thought and imagination in children. I recommend MeeWee to parents everywhere!

Reviewed by Melissa,
From Melissa's Desk

Smart Tip: You can purchase Mee Wee songs from iTunes...and remember iTunes participates with UPromise at a 2% return.

Smart Giveaway: Enter to win a free download of the Mee Wee album by listening to the #4 song in the jukebox on the homepage of their website. Leave a comment with the name of that song below.
Click here to find out how to increase each extra contest entries. Contest ends 5/27/09.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dudley's Solo by Tiffany Alexander: Book Review

Dudley's Solo by Tiffany Alexander, the first book in the "Children's Band" series, takes place at a neighborhood church where the children's band excitedly rehearses for their upcoming choir concert. Dudley, a hearing impaired young boy is part of the band. Dudley, encouraged by his friends and family, finds himself performing a solo by signing the words to "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."
There are so many aspects of this heartwarming, sweet story to love. I thought mothering infants was a bit challenging, but as my children grow, I realize that the true mothering challenge is teaching my children to be good people. For me, Dudley’s Solo served as a perfect springboard for discussion about acceptance, self-confidence, and thinking positively. Although I realize that it is an abstract concept for them at this point, I often find myself telling my three and four year old children to "think positive.” Thankfully, I now I have a concrete story to remind them of.

My children are at such impressionable ages, and extremely curious about their world and the people around them. I especially liked Dudley’s Solo as it gave us an example of a group of children who embrace each other's talents and abilities. We are pleased to add Dudley’s Solo to our children's literature collection. The way I see can you go wrong with a story that contains such an important message.

Reviewed by Jamie, Baby Kid Review Team

Smart Tip: Tiffany Alexander is currently working on her next book in the "Children's Band" series called Ebenezer Opens a Savings Account. For more information, visit

Smart Giveaway: Win a copy of Dudley's Solo by checking out the website and leaving your thought back here in a comment.
Click here to find out how to increase each extra contest entries. Contest ends 5/23/09.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Groovy Girls Mermaid Review and Giveaway

My daughter Taylor is at the age where she is really learning to entertain herself and use her imagination when she has to play alone. So she was very excited when she received Groovy Girls MacKenna Mermaid and Groovy Girls Chauncey Seahorse. Each of these are beautifully made and would be great for girls 3+.

Groovy Girls MacKenna Mermaid is made with fabrics that shimmer and shine. From the exquisite fabrics to the exceptional detail MacKenna Marmaid is very unique. She is hip, trendy and is an appropriate way for young girls to experience fun and fashion. MacKenna Mermaid has an easily removable tail that quickly turns her from mermaid to little girl.

Groovy Girls Chauncey Seahorse is the perfect compliment to MacKenna Mermaid. Whether MacKenna is a mermaid or a groovy girl she can ride and play with Chauncey. The hand straps and saddle make Chauncey the most stylish ride around.

I like watching Taylor use her imagination while playing with these two toys. She makes conversations between MacKenna and Chauncey which really are quite funny. I think it brings out a totally different side of her.

She stayed at her grandparents house this weekend and she was allowed to bring 4 toys with her. When I looked at which ones she selected, MacKenna and Chauncey were 2 of them. The bold colors and shimmery fabrics are a hit with Taylor.

Buy It: You can purchase Groovy Girls MacKenna Mermaid right now for only $20.00. You can also purchase Chauncey Seahorse for $22.00.

Smart Giveaway: One lucky reader will win a Groovy Girls MacKenna Mermaid. All you need to do to enter is go to Manhattan Toy and let me know in a comment which other toy you would love to have for one of your children. Click Here to find out how to increase your contest entries. Contest rules apply. Entry deadline is May 19, 2009 at 10:00 PM CST.

Subscribe to Cool Baby Kid by RSS or email for an extra entry and to receive updates on this contest including an announcement of the winner. Winner must contact us via email within one week in order to claim their prize.

Review and giveaway brought to you by Crystal, Simply Being Mommy.
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