Where to find Unique Baby Gifts…

Strange Birdy

I have fallen in love with another blog for babies and kids… Strange Birdy

I hope you like it.

A funny coincidence is that the blogger is from Stockbridge MA. I used to spend many summers there with my own grandmother. Those were simple times but so meaningful!

Strange Birdy

What are some of your favorite blogs?

How to Keep Baby’s Nursery Safe and Fashionable!

 Beautiful Baby

Baby nursery collections are abundant!

This makes decorating decisions difficult to say the least. Recently, I have been having fun looking for nursery items. Along the way I have come across some excellent companies one of which I would especially like to share with all of you.

Oliver B has a wonderful selection for baby cribs which are not only high on my fashion list but also adherent to nursery bedding safety recommendations.

Look at Oliver B’s philosophy on being innovative with their slat bumpers for baby’s crib. Crib safety is nothing to take lightly and these bumpers are safe and smart…don’t you think?


In addition, I love that this company is devoted to reducing SIDS with their products. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is still taking the lives of innocent babies and there are ways to stop this from happening.


As a result of several studies conducted by well-known researchers, it has been shown that the standard crib bumper potentially traps carbon dioxide in an infant’s crib, thereby increasing the risk that an infant will die of SIDS. This can occur even when an infant’s air passageways are not covered or even close to the bumper. Unfortunately, this deadly scenario has not received the publicity that it deserves. As a result, mothers around the world are utilizing bumpers in their infants’ cribs under the misguided belief that they are protecting their infants. Rather, they are putting their infants in an extremely dangerous situation by failing to substantially reduce the risk that their infants will become a statistic of SIDS.   View the full article.


What companies and stores have you found for fun, safe Nursery Fashions?

Related Posts:

SIDS…Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

When Should Your Baby Learn to Walk?

Baby Walking

Did you encourage your baby to walk by holding his/her hands and letting him practice stepping …I know I did this. However, I did not make a game of it nor did I do it over and over as a practice or encouragement to walk.

As I recall, we just let our little one learn to crawl, pull up on things to a standing position and then to fall on his bottom and try it all over again and again by himself.

I do believe babies are self-learners and will learn to crawl, stand and walk when they are “ready”…all in good time.

I also believe that most parents who practice walking with their little ones do so, not because they want to hurry their baby along…they do it, just to give their baby a chance to step and step and see what it is like to get somewhere in an upright position…also they are merely having fun with their child.

  • When you baby is beginning to pull up and stand…he just might need some help getting back down again…if he seems to want help, show him how to bed his knees and sit down again…rather than letting him fall.
  • An easier way than holding on to your baby’s arms to help him walk is to encourage him by holding out your hands so that he is encouraged to walk towards you. Some baby’s like push and pull toys when first starting to walk.
  • Baby walkers are not encouraged by the American Academy of Pediatrics…they can actually prevent your child’s muscle from developing properly because they make it so easy for baby to scoot around.
  • Barefeet are also a good way to encourage baby balance and coordination.
  • You will need to childproof baby’s environment when he is learning to walk so that he does not fall on hard surfaces or reach harmful items.



baby and grandpa

Although, I love RIE principles and enjoy Janet Lansbury’s perspective, I think there is basically only one reason not to walk babies and that is the one that appears below.

However, if you choose to help your baby to practice stepping…don’t berate yourself nor carry around guilt for doing so. Simply work on your patience and enjoy your little one…and one day ah ha….he will be walking and you will be chasing after him or you will be holding hands taking a walk together like the grandpa here.


1.  Body wisdom

“Only a baby knows just the way his joints should align,” notes Carol Pinto, a longtime RIE Associate, Feldenkrais practitioner and friend. In other words, when it comes to motor development, babies are self-learners — they really do know best. By holding a baby’s hands to mobilize him, position and reposition his body, we hinder his natural ability to find balance, sense spatial relations, and judge what he can and cannot do.  Better to trust our babies to walk when they are ready, and by doing so encourage mental and physical awareness.

Related links:

Developmental milestone: Walking | BabyCenter.


How to Prepare Infant Formula, Kids Television, What Stroller Should You Buy?


creative kids

Let it be known that I love Children’s Television Network and some of the other shows that are currently entertaining our children and grandchildren. I have always been a fan of Sesame Street and now I have become a fan of shows like YoGabbaGabba and Doc McStuffins.

If it has been awhile since you have checked out what kids are watching link below to be enlightened.

Before you make a baby stroller purchase ….you need to meet Jamie Grayson AKA “TheBabyGuyNYC”. He will give you all the honest scoop about strollers and other baby gear. In a word…he is WONDERFUL!


Meet Jamie Grayson, the latest addition to AllParenting’s team of talented writers. Jamie is our baby gear expert and will be here every Thursday to fill you in on the latest and greatest in the world of baby gear. Buckle up and come along for the ride while Jamie assumes the role of both interviewer and interviewee in this hilarious get-to-know-him introduction.


I like this link to the Mayo Clinic’s website which answers many parenting questions. If you are formula feeding…this is a must read.

New parents and grandparents need good information and the MayoClinic offers up some excellent resources. I think that there is nothing better that connecting to a reputable site.

What is an IEP?

toddler in red shoes

This is a post from “News Moms Need” related to delays and disabilities and how to help your child. It is published through the March of Dimes.

I find “News Moms Need” a wonderful resource for moms and parents in general…I hope that you do too and pass it on to your friends.



What is an IEP?


An IEP is short for “Individualized Education Program.” It is both a process and a written educational plan for a child with a disability. It is a document that lists all of the educational services that your child will receive, if he qualifies. In a prior post I told you all about the IFSP (for babies and toddlers). Well, the IEP is a similar document but it is for children ages 3 – 21.

The IEP is supposed to be just what it says – INDIVIDUALIZED, which means that it is specific for your child’s needs. It is not one size fits all. It is also supposed to be EDUCATIONAL, which means it should look at three main areas of your child’s life:  the general education curriculum, extracurricular activities and nonacademic activities. Lastly, it is a PROGRAM or PLAN, where all of the services your child will receive are laid out and detailed in writing.

In a sense, the IEP is like a roadmap. It shows you where you are now, where you plan to go, and the roads that you will take to get there. It sounds simple, but it is actually more challenging to write and put together than you might think. This post is just a quick overview to help you understand the basics.

Who gets an IEP?

In prior posts, I explained how to have your child (from birth to age 3 or ages 3 – 21) evaluated for free if you suspect that he has a developmental delay or problem. Once the team (evaluators, school officials and parents) has met and discussed the results of the testing, you will learn if your child is considered eligible for services (if he fits one or more of the categories of disability.) If your child is eligible, the team will develop an educational program (the IEP), that will be specific for your child’s needs.

What’s in an IEP?

The IEP may include special education, related services and/or supplementary aids and services. The IEP is first based on your child’s “present levels” which is a snapshot of your child’s current level of academic and functional performance. In other words…what he is able to do now as compared to his non-disabled peers. Then, based on his present levels and his delay or disability, the IEP sets measurable annual goals. The goals should specify:

• Who will provide the service (eg. the regular ed teacher, special ed teacher, reading specialist, physical therapist, etc.).

• What kind of service will be provided, such as curriculum modifications or adaptations, the types of related services or aids- (eg. specialized reading curriculum, speech therapy etc.).

• Where the service will be implemented (eg. the regular ed classroom, playground, counselor’s office, etc.).

• When parents will receive reports on how well your child is doing. By law, you need to receive progress reports at least as often as children without disabilities. Often a school system will send home the IEP progress reports when Report Cards are sent home for all children.

• When the goal will be achieved (eg. by the end of the marking period or by the end of the year).

• How the goal will be measured and how you will know the goal has been achieved (eg. a benchmark, such as a test score that shows if the goal has been reached).

An IEP is a living document that can be changed or updated by the IEP team, of which parents are members! It must be reviewed by the IEP team at least once a year, but it can be reviewed and updated more often if necessary.

Where can you get more help with IEPs?

A great place to go to understand your options, how to prepare for IEP meetings, and to understand the process of creating a great IEP is on NICHCY’s website. In particular, they provide guidance on how an IEP team can write effective goals. NICHCY also refers parents to Wrightslaw – one of my favorite resources for parents. They go into even greater detail which will help you with every aspect of the process.

Why should you learn about IEPs?

The more you know about the law and the special education process, the better you can help your child. Knowledge is powerful!  If your child has a delay or disability, be sure to check out NICHCY’s and Wrightslaw’s information (above). It will help you understand the process to become a more effective advocate for your child and to feel more in control of your journey.


Have questions?  Send them to AskUs@marchofdimes.com.


Note: This post is part of the new weekly series Delays and disabilities – how to get help for your child. It was started on January 16, 2013 and appears every Wednesday. Feel free to go back to look at prior posts as the series builds on itself. As always, we welcome your comments and input.

Tags: child, delays, developmental delays, disabilities, early intervention, Help for your child, IEP, IFSP, related services, school, special education, supplementary aids and services

This entry was posted o

via News Moms Need » Blog Archive » What is an IEP?.

How to teach Kids Empathy…

Small World

“It’s a Small World After All”

The world seems to be getting smaller every day…so how do we teach our children about diversity and empathy.

As a social worker and therapist it is inherent that I have the ability to be sensitive to the feelings and life events of others. A good therapist also has to be culturally competent and understand the dimensions that culture adds to a person’s life

At a very early age, I remember my grandmother making me sensitive to the feelings of others.

She grew up in NYC and was very sensitive to the many cultures that lived around her.   She herself was Irish, and lived in a diverse area of Brooklyn where in the early 1900’s. At that time her neighbors were mostly, Irish, Italian and Jewish immigrants.

Uniqueness of every person and family and cultural differences were all things to celebrate. One of the ways my grandmother did this, was to enjoy the diverse foods in her neighborhood.

As a child, I did not realize that I was learning to understand others and appreciate differences rather than be afraid of them…if someone did not speak English it was not really a problem…there was always some way to communicate. Different was simply different!

So how is it these days, that we as parents and grandparents teach our kids and grandkids to be tolerant of the vast diverse population that we find ourselves living amongst?

The article below suggests some ways that we can teach young children empathy which will help them to become good listeners and problem solvers in the future.

Please, also take a look at www.startempathy.org

Start Empathy, an initiative of Ashoka, is a community of individuals and institutions dedicated to building a future in which every child masters empathy.


Some easy things you can do to promote an understanding of diversity and empathy:

  • Be a role model to your children
  • Cook with your children and make recipes from other cultures
  • Listen to music from other countries
  • Go to museums, movies and restaurants that celebrate other cultures



I can’t force my daughter to not whine or have tantrums over what we, in our mature adult POV, believe is just plain silly, but we can teach her empathy, which is simply the ability to be aware and sensitive to the feelings of others.


Start Empathy, a collaboration of social entrepreneurs, educators and parents – has realized that by teaching our children empathy  we are giving them a “crucial skill for leading a successful and happy life.” Empathy provides a strong foundation for listening, communications, collaboration and problem-solving – critical skills in a rapidly changing and diverse world

Weekend Reading…

Robin in Snow

Robin in Snow


I love reading to my granddaughter…so this list was of great interest to me. See what you think.

What are your favorite books to read to the children in your life?


The simple act of reading with our children can inspire a love of books that will last a lifetime, but do you know which children’s classics you should have on your bookshelf? We’ve rounded up 15 of the most well-known, timeless tales that every child deserves to know.

Pregnant women read and get so much information…but are public health messages making moms to be feel that they can avoid most defects. As a nurse, I know what defects are preventable by taking care of yourself but I also know that some defects are not preventable no matter how well you take care of yourself.

What do you think of these messages that are directed toward pregnant women?


Public health messages that suggest mothers can prevent most defects by taking care of themselves during pregnancy abound.

In an article focused on the many sources of misinformation available to women attempting to research the safety of particular medications and the contradictory advice women receive from doctors, Dr. Mitchell’s words are directed at institutions and professionals who have failed to give pregnant women the information they need.



I have to mention this news item related to “diet”. It is not something new but it is verified now by a study that was presented this week. For those of you who are interested in the Mediterranean diet this is very good news and may be an excellent reason to look into eating more olive oil, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables as well as fish and enjoying several glasses of wine each week!

One group assigned to a Mediterranean diet was given extra-virgin olive oil each week and was instructed to use at least 4 four tablespoons a day. The other group got a combination of walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts and was instructed to eat about an ounce of the mix each day. An ounce of walnuts, for example, is about a quarter cup — a generous handful. The mainstays of the diet consisted of at least three servings a day of fruits and at least two servings of vegetables. Participants were to eat fish at least three times a week and legumes, which include beans, peas and lentils, at least three times a week. They were to eat white meat instead of red, and, for those accustomed to drinking, to have at least seven glasses of wine a week with meals.

They were encouraged to avoid commercially made cookies, cakes and pastries and to limit their consumption of dairy products and processed meats.

On a lighter note…yesterday March 1st…which is considered the first day of Spring in meteorology, I saw a robin in my front yard trying to hide from the falling snow.

So Spring is on its way!