Buying for Baby’s First Year: Do’s and Don’ts for the First Year of Life

Having a baby can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. It’s estimated to take new mothers up to 4 whole months to get the hang of motherhood so, if you’re a first-time parent and are struggling to manage, it’s totally normal!

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Photo by Rattikankeawpun

In addition to love and care, babies also require a lot of material possessions too. With an average of $12,000 being spent during a baby’s first year of life, it’s essential you spend wisely and don’t waste your hard-earned money on pointless items. If you’re a new parent struggling to establish which purchases are necessary and which aren’t, here’s a few key tips to ensure you buy the most useful items for your baby.

 

Do’s

For first-time parents, having a baby is a completely new experience. It can be difficult to know exactly what you need and what you don’t, so here’s a few must-have items to make sure you have ready for when your little one arrives.

  • Diapers – A common essential, but many new parents underestimate the amount of diapers their baby will go through. It’s estimated a baby will go through 10-12 diapers a day during the first few weeks of life, so ensure you have enough stocked up.
  • Clothes – We all want our babies to look cute, but comfort is more important. Opt for comfortable, breathable fabrics and an array of different clothing sizes. Sizes will vary from brand to brand, so it’s a good idea to get a couple of different sizes to establish which fits best on your baby.
  • Car seat – An absolute essential as without one, you can’t safely drive your baby anywhere. Stay away from a second-hand seat and ensure to purchase the correct type for your baby’s age. Visit this site to discover a variety of spacious, family-friendly cars ideal for car seat fitting.

 

Don’ts

Whilst the baby market is saturated with new and upcoming products, not everything is wholly necessary or appropriate for a new-born baby. Here’s a few items you should avoid purchasing.

  • Blankets – A popular gift-choice, fluffy blankets can actually cause more harm than good. They put your baby at risk of overheating and can cause them to feel very claustrophobic. If you are going to get a blanket, opt for a thinner swaddling-type blanket instead.
  • Toys – Whilst a huge essential when your baby gets a little older, toys are often a waste of money for newborns. They’re far too young to properly engage with anything other than your voice and face, so save the toy buying until your baby is old enough to properly use them.
  • Shoes – If a baby can’t walk, why bother with shoes? A pair of cozy socks will be more than sufficient for a new-born.

Having a baby for the first time is a huge life milestone, and it’s important to spend wisely and be as prepared as possible. As long as you don’t waste your money on unnecessary items and only buy the vital essentials to begin with, you’re sure to have a happy baby as well as a happy bank balance!

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4 Great Baby Apps for New Parents

If you’re about to welcome your first child into the world, you’re probably overwhelmed with thoughts of feeding times and crib safety measures. Let these four apps take away some of the stress!

1. Total Baby

Cover artThis “baby logging” app will keep track of all the details that you’re too busy or too tired to write down. From bath times to changing schedules, all you have to do is input the data and let Total Baby work its recording, archiving and organizing magic. You can even monitor things like immunizations and growth charts when you utilize the app’s tracking utilities.

2. DecorPad

Image result for DecorPad appThough not technically a baby app, DecorPad can help you get your home in order before the newest member of your family arrives. Offering all kinds of pictures and galleries from top interior designers, you’ll be able to re-create or re-design your entire home from frontroom furnishings to nursery paint colors. Just make sure that you get it all done before you go into labor!

3. My Pregnancy & Baby Today

Cover artThis day-by-day app will help you track and record every moment of your pregnancy and first year as a parent. Not only will you enjoy things like countdowns, health tips, daily calendars, sonogram images and time-lapse videos of your belly, but you’ll also be able to connect with other moms-to-be who are expecting at the same time as you. Share your joys, triumphs and milestones with a community of like-minded people who will support your parental journey just as much as you support theirs.

4. Cloud Baby Monitor

Say goodbye to bulky baby monitors! Cloud Baby Monitor is a wireless, cloud-based app that can be integrated with all Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. It will keep you attuned to all of your baby’s sounds and movements with a wide variety of features such as motion alerts and noise level indicators. It even offers two-way microphones and remote night lights with adjustable controls if you want to soothe your baby from another room! Now that’s the kind of convenience that you need during a 2AM wake-up call.

These are just four apps that will help you prepare for your little bundle of joy. It will be a challenging period in your life, but with the help of useful and up-to-date technology, it doesn’t have to be a stressful one!

Barbie I Can Be to Li’l Girls – #YouCanBeAnything You Want To Be!

Have you heard of the new Barbie body types?  It has been all over my FB newsfeed the past week. Mattel has released new Barbie dolls that are curvy, petite, and tall.  These new dolls also come in various ethnicity. Well, well, well…Barbie just keeps on evolving!

Barbie evolves

A few years back, Barbie also released a new line of dolls to show that girls can be so much more than pretty little princesses.  All kids have very wild imaginations.  Many have very lofty dreams of becoming astronauts, superheroes, pilots, engineers, etc. However, for many girls, these dreams are dashed when they enter adulthood. Sadly, in our modern age, there are still those with stone-aged beliefs that some careers are not for women at all.

Well now, little girls have a new champion to inspire them to dream big and to believe that they can be anything they dream to be. ANYTHING!

Barbie you can dream it

The Barbie I Can Be dolls empowers children to discover and harness their limitless potentials.  I saw this video of little girls being given a chance to be what they want to be and it’s just too cute not to share. Watch this!

 

If You Can Dream It, You Can Be It

The Barbie I Can Be dolls encourage young girls to break free from conventional careers for women.  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being a fashion designer, a tour guide, or a flight attendant.  I don’t even see anything wrong with little girls dreaming of becoming princesses or mermaids. But Barbie I Can Be helps them discover all their potentials and encourages them to be whatever they want to be – that includes having careers that used to be viewed as for men only.

With Barbie I Can Be dolls, little girls can be space explorers, pilots, secret agents, computer engineers, athletes, and so many others.  They do not have to conform to the typical careers for women and can be anything they absolutely want to be.

Barbie Careers

 

Jade Can Be a Dessert Chef

A couple of weeks ago, Richprime sent our little girl a wonderful surprise – a Barbie I Can Be Dessert Chef Playset!  My daughter isn’t too keen about dolls but this was an exception as she loves to bake too.  The first thing she said when she opened the brown bag was, “Ohhhh! How did they know I want to be a pastry chef?!”

What’s Inside?

The Barbie I Can Be Dessert Chef Playset comes with a Barbie doll with an apron and a chef’s hat, Blissa the cat with her own little chef’s hat, a stove top oven that “cooks” cake, baked and unbaked cakes, a cupcake that Barbie “bites” into, a fish cake for Blissa, a mixing bowl, a spatula, and a pink mitten.

Barbie playset

The oven tray flips when the door is closed.  Put the baked cake inside first and close the door. Open it again and place the pan with light brown “batter” inside. Close the door and …Voila! The perfectly “baked” cake is ready.

To make sure that her treats are delicious, Barbie takes a bite out of a cupcake.  Attach the cupcake Barbie’s hand, press the lever on her back and watch her take a bite of her delicious cuppycake. Of course, Blissa should also have a share of the treats with her very own fish cake.

My little Jade loves this playset because it allows her to pretend to be a chef.  She says it’s like magic and she wants to be a dessert chef too.

Barbie playset with friend

Jade Reviews I Can Be Dessert Chef

Want to know what else Jade has to say about her I Can Be A Dessert Chef Barbie?  Watch the video below. (forgive the very amateurish vid!!! I know grade schoolers who do better. tee-hee!)

I know our video’s so crude! That’s the fault of a non-techie mom who had just tried her hand at taking and editing videos on her smartphone. 😛 But, as Barbie says, we all can be anything we want to be so I believe that our next video will be so much better. 🙂

Well, back to Barbie I Can Be, unlike her other dolls, this one has not been stashed inside the toy cabinet.  She’s had it for a week already and still plays with it every day.  That’s already a record for her considering that her dolls usually go straight to the toy cabinet after just a day. 🙂

Now, she’s asking me to get her the I Can Be Professor and I Can Be Vet. Look’s like my daughter now has a liking for dolls. 😉

Barbie playset surprise

Barbie You Can Be Anything

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Barbie is exclusively distributed by Richprime Global Inc. Like Barbie Philippines on Facebook to get brand updates, promo, and schedules.

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Taking Legos to the Next Level at FIRST Robotics

Books, building blocks, musical toys, board games, and sports equipment – these are the only things my children are allowed to play with during weekdays.  Call me old-fashioned but I’d rather my kids play with the games I used to play than spend all their spare time with their faces plastered on digital screens. Among those I’ve mentioned, books and building blocks are their most favorite.  They can spend hours reading a book or building whatever their imagination wills them to.

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4-year-old Jakei fascinated with the pulley we built together. 🙂

This is also why I signed up for the FIRST Robotics event organized by the Mommy Bloggers of the Philippines last August (yes, this is a superduper late post! wondermama was not so wonder-y the past weeks).  What better way to spend the weekend than learning how to build robots!  So cool!

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Upon arriving, we were ushered to the waiting area for kids.  In here, kids can play with LEGOs while waiting for their classes to start.  There’s a separate waiting area for parents in the lobby but since we were there to learn more about FIRST Robotics, we were allowed to stay inside the rooms.

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Before the trial classes began, we were given a short presentation about what First Robotics has to offer. Read all about it at FIRST Robotics: Raising Visionaries and InnovatorsAfter the briefing, we were led to the different rooms.  Each age group has its own room where age-appropriate materials are provided. Those age 4 – 6 use LEGO Duplo to develop their fine motor skills. Age 7 – 8 kids learn how to use basic visual programming using LEGO WeDo. Those who are age 9 and older are taught how to create their own functional robots using LEGO MindStorm.

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Although they were only one year apart, my two kids belonged to different age brackets and had to stay in different rooms. I chose to stay with Jakei knowing that Jade would be able to manage on her own. So off Jade went to the World of Science and Technology room while Jakei and I went to the World of Adventures and Inventions.

Jakei’s FIRST Moving Lego Robot

Since Jakei has been very adept at building LEGO models on his own at home, I didn’t assist him that much during his class.  Their lesson started with a short story about two friends who were playing hockey and who needed another player for their team.  Building this players became the task of Jakei and the other kids. They had to build a hockey player that had a movable arm for hitting the puck into the goal.

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After successfully building their robots, the kids tested them out through a fun competitive game of hockey.

My Jakei had fun during the game and, thankfully, did not throw a fit when he lost. I think having been able to build a robot with moving parts made him a winner already.

Jade’s FIRST Shot at Programming

After Jakei’s game, I checked on Jade in the 7-8 class.  They were almost finished with their robots when I came.  I was amazed that the kids were able to build their robots with minimal supervision. They were using the LEGO WeDo software that provided step-by-step instructions.  What was even more amazing was that they were able to program their robots using basic visual programming.

Watching my daughter’s eyes sparkle with excitement when her crocodile moved and made a sound was such a sight to behold.

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Free Trial Classes at FIRST Robotics

Lego + Robots + Kids = FUN FUN FUN!  

We definitely loved our experience at FIRST Robotics!  What’s not to love with learning being so much fun?! If you have kids age 4 to 16, I encourage you to enrol them in one of the programs at FIRST Robotics. Call (02)696-3333 to schedule a free trial class or visit their website at http://www.firstrobotics.ph/ for more information.

In FIRST Robotics, children become leaders not followers, problem solvers not whiners, and builders not daydreamers. And what parent wouldn’t want their children to become those. 😉

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To know more about First Robotics, read FIRST Robotics: Raising Visionaries and Innovators.

 

Learning Fabumousely with Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks

Alright! I admit it. I’m guilty! – Guilty of raising would-be hoarders. At their young age of six and seven, my two kids are now budding book collectors (it’s in their blood, you know).  They’ve already started their collections of Roald Dahl, EB White, CS Lewis, and their favorite writer to-date, Geronimo Stilton.  Oh yes! I’ve got two mouse-ter-ful readers at home.

More Geronimo Stilton books from the Scholastic Sizzling Summer Sale!

More Geronimo Stilton books from the Scholastic Sizzling Summer Sale!

On our trip to the bookstore last July, my daughter Jade saw the Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks on display and asked if we could buy one (Of course, she would ask – what would you expect from a Stilton fan?!). However, we had already paid for the books she had chosen.  I promised her I’d get her one on our next trip to the bookstore.  By some piece of cheese luck, she got all six Pawbooks (and a whole set of Geronimo Stilton books!) during the Scholastic Trade Launch we attended last August.

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Mouseterful readers make fantabumouse spellers! We won the great word hunt coz of our great teamwork – I cut the letters, she pasted them. 🙂 Jade won one whole set of Geronimo Stilton books but swapped them (except for two books) with Kuya Jed who won a set of Thea Stilton books. Thank you, Kuya Jed!!!

Scholastic Trade Launch

Although the trade launch was held in far far away Powerbooks Greenbelt 4, my Jade and I endured more than an hour’s drive through metro traffic and bravely faced the monsoon rains just to see Geronimo and Thea.  We wouldn’t have missed the event for the world!

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We arrived at Powerbooks an hour early but boredom was not a problem.  We were surrounded by BOOKS!  And Jade could spend hours reading transported into her own world of imagination.

After buying a Rainbow Fairies book (also a Scholastic book!), Jade joined me in the event area and saw the Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks in my bag.  Oh yeah, I’m sure you know what happened next!

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While Jade was busy working on two of the GSA Pawbooks, I browsed the other books. I couldn’t help wishing we had such books when we were young.  My sisters and I would have greatly enjoyed working on them.  (I’ll let you in on a little secret – I answer some of the pages in the Pawbooks, too! tee-hee!)

Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks

With Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks, mouse-ter-ful readers can became fabu-mouse writers as well – just like Geronimo!

Geronimo Stilton Academy

The Vocabulary Pawbooks contain fun puzzles and activities that help readers understand word formation, build their vocabulary, and engage them in using new words they learn.

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The Comprehension Pawbooks help develop reading skills such as predicting outcomes, inferring, sequencing, recalling details, and drawing conclusions.  Fun activities in the Pawbooks engage children and motivate them to read. Structured activities develop their comprehension skills.

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This October, a new set of Grammar Pawbooks will be released. Now, that’s something to watch out for!

Fun, Entertaining, and Engaging.  This is what sets the Pawbooks apart from other workbooks.  Admit it, most English workbooks are booooring.  You just have pages and pages filled with words and nothing else.  Well, Pawbooks have the same quirky illustrations and witty humor as Geronimo and Thea Stilton books.  These make learning English a lot more fun.

Learning English will become as enjoyable as chewing off a large chunk of cheese!

When Jade first saw the Pawbooks, she just wanted to see what was inside. As she was browsing through the pages, she saw an excerpt from The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid – one of the books we brought with us for the book signing.  Her eyes lit up as she exclaimed “Ohhh! I know this. It’s from the Cheese Pyramid!” After this discovery, she asked for a pencil and started working on that Pawbook.

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Geronimo Stilton Academy Pawbooks are targeted for kids age 8 to 13 who want to develop their literacy skills.  Although my kids are just age 6 & 7, they still love working on the Pawbooks.  When I asked Jakei, my 6-year-old son, if the Pawbooks were easy to answer, he said they were not easy BUT he still likes answering the exercises.

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A few days after the launch, Jade had to stay at home for a few days due to colds and cough. The GSA Pawbooks kept her busy. She even worked on them while nebulizing. 😉

Geronimo Stilton Pawbooks are very affordable at only P299 each (that’s the price in NBS).  Really a small amount to pay for learning. Oh and if you want pawsome online games and activities, check out the Geronimo Stilton page in Scholastic.com where you – oh, okay, your kids – can create your their own Geronimo Stilton comic book.

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So, she received two sets of GSA Pawbooks, won a set of new Stilton books, and won GCs to Mind Museum. BUT, this has got to be the highlight of her day – MEETING THEA STILTON!!!

One final thing, Geronimo and Thea Stilton will be at the Manila International Book Fair on September 20. You can have your Stilton books stamped by the siblings on that day. Yey! 🙂

geronimo stilton at mibf

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For more information on the Geronimo Stilton Academy: Pawbooks, visit Scholastic’s website at www.scholastic.asia or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ScholasticAsia