• The LA Baby Show
  • The LA Baby Show
  • The LA Baby Show
  • The LA Baby Show
  • The LA Baby Show
  • The LA Baby Show
  • The LA Baby Show
Thinkbaby’s Chemical-Free Products Are A Win-Win For You And Your Little One

Thinkbaby’s Chemical-Free Products Are A Win-Win For You And Your Little One

Sippy-and-Bento_Baby-300x300Thinkbaby is the first company to develop a 100% BPA free baby bottle and now offers other feeding products. One of Thinkbaby’s newer offerings is body care products as well as safe yoga mats. The health of you and your child is paramount at Thinkbaby.

Thinkbaby will be at the 2017 LA Baby Show, on November 4 and 5, at the Magic Box at the REEF, in DTLA, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families returns to Los Angeles. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the LA Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Los Angeles County, the surrounding counties, and beyond!

Tickets to the LA Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

FOR TICKET INFO & OTHER BABY NEWS:  To be alerted when tickets first go on sale, and to plug into other news, trends, and resources of interest to expectant and new families in LA, sign up for our free LA Baby Newsletter.

To learn more about Thinkbaby, we spoke with Kevin Brodwick, the company’s founder and CEO.

For someone unfamiliar with Thinkbaby, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings? 

Thinkbaby was created over 10 years ago to address the growing concern of harmful chemicals leaching from consumer products.  Through work with leading scientists, Thinkbaby launched the first 100% BPA free baby bottle line.  While the company focuses first on producing safe products, we also work to make everything as functional and sustainable as possible.  To this end, the bottle line was designed to convert into a sippy cup and then on to a straw bottle. This not only saved parents money, but decreases needless waste from disposal of baby bottles, sippy cups, and straw bottles.  The company went on to pioneer the most award-winning sun care line and the first to pass Whole Foods Premium Care requirements.  Outside of the company’s complete line-up of feeding products, Thinksport was created with the focus on making safer products from insulated BPA free sports bottles, safe yoga mats and a complete line of sun and body care products.

Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then? 

The Founder worked for a lab funded by the National Institutes of Health focused on endocrine disruptors leaching from consumer products.  After unsuccessfully getting major consumer product companies to move off of BPA, Kevin Brodwick went on to launch Thinkbaby to take the problem head on.  The company utilizes the Precautionary principle in everything that it builds. Just because an ingredient is free of one potentially harmful ingredient doesn’t mean that it goes into the products.  Everything is scrutinized for safety, performance, and function.  The company continually targets products on the market to bring about safer alternatives.  The company stays close to emerging science and has well over 150 products in their line up, making it the largest provider of safe products.

What are the most popular and/or newest products from Thinkbaby?

Thinkbaby has recently launched our new ThinkSaucer. The ThinkSaucer is a suction plate.  Outside of the materials being used in most suction plates of concern, we noticed that they had a rather short lifespan.  We designed our suction plate to have a removable plate.  So they not only work great for early feeders but can easily live on for use for all ages.  The two most popular products for Thinkbaby are our Sippy Cups and Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen.

What sets Thinkbaby apart in the baby marketplace? 

Our focus on bringing to market safer alternatives across a vast array of products is what sets us apart.  The company was specifically born to deal with harmful chemicals; it is what keeps us up at night.  And while a lot of companies have emerged now, we have been at the forefront of this mission from our outset.  We will continue to launch new products and through our non-profit social giving arm called Thinksocial, we will continue to give back to causes that are focused on making the world safer and healthier.

What can parents expect from Thinkbaby at the LA Baby Show?

While we have a large number of products, we will be showcasing a smaller set of our products from our sippy cups to our sunscreen.  We are bringing our BPA free insulated sports bottles as well!  Looking forward to sharing information on our products and to provide some really great show specials along the way!!

 

To learn more about Thinkbaby, check out gothinkbaby.com.

Keep Your Keepsakes Safe With Savor

Keep Your Keepsakes Safe With Savor

RESIZE-SAVOR_LIFESTYLE_001-300x200Instead of storing all those cute pictures of your little one on the family’s hard drive, or your baby’s first pair of adorable shoes in a box in the closet, why not keep it safe in something a little more special. Enter Savor. The mom-founded brand offers modern, keepsake storage solutions so you can preserve the family’s most memorable treasures in a stylish way. With an easy-to-use design that has a “bespoke” quality, these boxes will entice you to pick them up and savor the memories with the family.

Savor will be at the 2017 LA Baby Show, on November 4 and 5, at the Magic Box at the REEF, in DTLA, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families returns to Los Angeles. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the LA Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Los Angeles County, the surrounding counties, and beyond!

Tickets to the LA Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

FOR TICKET INFO & OTHER BABY NEWS:  To be alerted when tickets first go on sale, and to plug into other news, trends, and resources of interest to expectant and new families in LA, sign up for our free LA Baby Newsletter.

We spoke with co-founder and co-CEO of Savor, Jennifer McAllister-Nevins, to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the LA Baby Show.

For someone unfamiliar with Savor, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?

Savor gives important family memories the home they deserve with bespoke, thoughtfully designed, organizational products. Our first line, The Library, is a set of cloth-covered, acid-free boxes that house drawers, files, and illustrated labels to guide you on what to save and where to find it. The modern, stylish boxes resemble coffee table books so you keep them accessible for easy filing and engagement. It’s the difference between the photos that live in a huge mass on your hard drive and the photo book on your coffee table that gets picked up and perused every time someone comes over.

Tell us about Savor’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?

We are two moms, friends since our kids were in preschool, and we share a passion for design and efficiency. We were talking one day about how in this digital world those physical totems from childhood that we keep have a special meaning: The smell of that shirt my son insisted on wearing day after day after day, which I hated then, now brings me right back to that moment in his childhood that would otherwise be gone. We also talked about how there was no good system for organizing these things. I had a big plastic tub; Karla had an overstuffed notebook. But we were both worried that we were starting to lose things, or that the things we had weren’t being properly protected.

In that first conversation, we had the basic idea of a curated box with labels for organizing family treasures. We were very close to launching at one point, but then we had a focus group of women who told us they wanted a box that felt more special, more bespoke, so we went back to the drawing board. We spoke to archivists, organizers, designers, parents, grandparents, and others about what they would want in such a box. The Library is the result of this process.

Since we launched last year, we have grown our brand with a few accolades: Best in Show and Best Blogger Pick at the 2016 New York Baby Show and a Cribsie Academy Start Award for New Arrivals in 2016. We are now selling on the grommet.com, Paper Source, Uncommon Goods, and Amazon as well as many other retailers around the country and on our own site at Savor.us.

RESIZE SAVOR_STILL_LIFE_023What do consumers love about Savor and what should parents know about it?

The idea that something can be both beautiful and functional motivates our company, and it’s what has made people really respond to us. Consumers love the fact that their memories have the box they deserve. It’s a real presentation piece that they feel proud to pass down to the next generation. They are excited to have something pretty enough to keep out so they can look through it with their kids. They also love that we make it simple. No one wants to spend the one free hour you might have when you’re sleepless with a newborn with an arts-and-crafts project called a baby book. But everyone has special things from their children they want to save. Our labeling system makes is truly easy to store items in an instant. Instead of having all the class pictures and school reports sit on the counter and then thrown into a bin at the top of the closet, simply pull out the Library, peel off a label, drop the item in, and go.  Many people buy one for themselves, and then it becomes their go-to gift.

More than anything, people seem to comment on the thoughtfulness and attention to detail of our product. We spent over two years developing it, and that seems to have come through. They see it in the fact that you can instantly identify whose box is whose by adding pictures or the included acetate initials on the spine, the little envelopes with labels for the first tooth or first lock of hair, the satisfying magnetic closure, the stoppers that keep the drawers in place, the acid-free paper to protect your mementos, and the included birthday survey so people appreciate how much thought went into everything. It’s the details!

What sets Savor apart in the marketplace?

There really was no product on the market that helped parents curate these important physical mementos—that’s what makes people so excited about what we are doing! To the extent that there are memory boxes, ours is really the only one for items beyond the first year. We’ve also brought keepsake storage into the modern age, with custom-dyed book cloth in a modern color palette of ocean, slate, and plum. Nothing kitschy here!

What can parents expect from Savor at the LA Show?

We are continuing to introduce Savor to families and retailers alike. The Library, both the Baby Years (for ages 0-4) and School Years editions (for ages 4+) retail for $80 and $70 respectively.

Each edition includes:

  • Handcrafted, book cloth case;
  • 50+ illustrate, pre-categorized labels;
  • Nine individual drawers that can hold objects from blankie to baby shoes (School Years has an additional eight vertical files);
  • Eight vertical files that can hold important documents and photos;
  • Acid-free lining;
  • Acetate Initials for personalization;
  • Two envelopes for small keepsakes;
  • Birthday Survey to document yearly highlights.

In the future, consumers can expect to see us expand to other important life events from an adult work and whimsy to wedding, bar mitzvah, and family history. We hope our consumers will grow up with us!

To learn more about Savor, visit savor.us!

5 Essential Carpool Safety Tips

5 Essential Carpool Safety Tips

By Jennifer Beall Saxton

Carpooling is not only convenient, but it’s also a fun and efficient means of transportation (both during the school year and during the summer when kids are headed to day camps, warm weather activities, and play dates). Here are five tips to ensure all your precious passengers stay safe.

 1. Have a safety discussion with your carpool: You may do all the right things when it comes to kids and cars, but what about the other parents you are entrusting your children with? Do they always make sure safety seats are being used properly? Do they always keep kids ages 12 and under in the backseat? Do they always refrain from using their cell phone while driving? Have a frank discussion with each driver and make sure you are all on the same page when it comes to safety.

2. Remember basic car seat safety: In a nutshell, kids should remain in their five-point harness seats for as long as possible. Once they reach the maximum weight and/or height requirements for their five-point harness seat (check your car seat’s manual), they can move to a booster seat. According to the American Academy Of Pediatrics (AAP), young passengers should remain in a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits them correctly, usually at 4’9″ and somewhere between 8-12 years of age. The seat belt fits properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Kids ages 12 and under should always sit in the back seat.

The introduction of portable booster options has made carpooling easier than ever. The Bubble Bum and the Ride Safer Travel Vest are a couple great options that meet all federal vehicle safety standards and are a cinch to use. The Mifold is another new product that is a fraction of the size of traditional boosters and fits in the glove compartment of your car.

3. Create an emergency call list for each child: Create a simple list that contains emergency information for each child in the carpool. Some information to include: Parents’ contact information, an alternative contact number (such as grandma, grandpa or a nearby friend), the name, number and address of your pediatrician and child’s dentist, a copy of your medical insurance card and the child’s medical history (i.e: Allergies, special medications, etc.). Storing this information on each driver’s cell phone provides easy access.

4. Create an organized schedule: Ensure everyone knows when he or she is responsible for pick-up and drop-off by putting a schedule in writing. This will avoid confusion for all involved. Doodle and Google Docs are great options to do this online. Be sure to also share your schedule with your children so they know who will be picking them up.

5. Practice safe behavior while driving: Imagine the kind of driver you hope your child will be at age 16—and drive that way. Refrain from any distracting behaviors such as texting, blaring loud music, or talking on the telephone. Always buckle up and follow the rules of the road. Also, be sure to secure anything that could become a projectile in your car if you should be in an accident. If you have an SUV, use the trunk cover. If you have toys in the car to entertain baby, be sure they aren’t heavy and don’t have sharp edges to cause damage.

Jennifer Beall Saxton is the founder and CEO of Tot Squad, a trusted partner of retailers, stroller, and car seat brands that offers car seat installation, baby gear cleaning and stroller repair. Franchising opportunities and more information on tot squad is available at thetotsquad.com.

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Nursery Pick: Anne Geddes Paint

Nursery Pick: Anne Geddes Paint

Iconic baby photographer Anne Geddes has created her own line of nursery paint specifically designed to help nurture a baby’s development. Geddes partnered with Master Paintmakers to create 10 non-toxic and water-based shades of paint that are perfect for nurseries. The paint line features soft shades including “Darling,” ” Heaven,” “Cherish,” and “Sunbeam.”

Geddes is a world renowned photographer specializing in baby photography. Known for her adorable photos, she has dressed babies in props from flower pots and food costumes to blending in with the sea and nature. She recently published a new book called Small World in which she catches up with the babies she photographed years ago. Geddes has also photographed children to bring awareness to health and safely. In 2012, she partnered with the United Nation’s Foundation Every Woman Every Child initiative to bring awareness to women and children’s health and welfare.

Her new paint line features a baby safe formula. Not only are they toxic-free and water-based, but they are made from natural ingredients, making it safe for babies, children and pregnant mothers. In addition, the paints are durable and easy to clean. Once the paint is dry, stains and marks can be washed off without any damage.

Research shows colored rooms have a more comforting effect on babies and children compared to bare ones, and every color in her paint line has a different effect for babies. The colors are separated into four categories: calm, clever, creative and confident. Calm colors feature soft pastels while clever colors are bright and energetic. Inspired by her mantra “Protect. Nurture. Love,” the colors are specifically designed to encourage development and exploration and help soothe and relax babies. Each color is formulated to stimulate imaginative thoughts through a sense of love and natural wonder.

One percent of all sale proceeds from her paint line will be donated to charities. The shades of paints are available in U.S. gallon and quart sizes, and be purchased at Walmart.

To learn more, visit annegeddespaint.com & annegeddes.com!

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b.box Helps Parents With Fun And Functional Essentials

b.box Helps Parents With Fun And Functional Essentials

bowl-strawFINALHighRes-300x211Practicality is perhaps the mantra of parenthood and it’s something that b.box knows very well (they began with the innovative diaper wallet!). They offer practical yet child-centered daily essentials that help make mom and dad’s day a little easier … and a child’s day a little more fun.

b. box will be at the 2017 LA Baby Show, on November 4 and 5, at the Magic Box at the REEF, in DTLA, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families returns to Los Angeles. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the LA Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Los Angeles County, the surrounding counties, and beyond!

Tickets to the LA Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.

FOR TICKET INFO & OTHER BABY NEWS: To be alerted when tickets first go on sale, and to plug into other news, trends, and resources of interest to expectant and new families in LA, sign up for our free LA Baby Newsletter.

We spoke with a member of the b.box team, to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the LA Baby Show.

For someone unfamiliar with b.box, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?

At b.box we are passionate about creating fun and functional everyday baby essentials with a difference. Our goal is to make the lives of parents more convenient, in a cool and innovative way. Most of all, everything we do has to be practical and child-centric.

With the benefit of the founders being moms themselves, b.box designs products parents need, want to use and that fill a gap in the market. We offer a range of products aimed at tots aged 0-3-year, focused primarily on feeding and storage accessories, both in the home and on-the-go.

Our award-winning collection of innovatively designed everyday baby essentials includes:  the Sippy Cup, Diaper Wallet, Bottle + Dispenser, Diaper Caddy, Travel Bib + Flexible Spoon, Travel Drying Rack, Snack Pack, Mesh Feeder, Baby Spoon, Bowl + Straw, Toddler Cutlery Set and Divided Plates. Our minds are always whirring, so stay tuned for more exciting products launching in 2017.

Tell us about the company’s background. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?

It all started with a diaper wallet! In 2007, best friends Monique Filer and Dannielle Michaels teamed up to bring the baby-world their first invention, b.box’s diaper wallet. While on a flight to New Zealand, Dannielle found the task of changing her newborn’s diaper to be quite clumsy and awkward. Thus, the idea for a convenient, all-in-one essential baby box was born (In case you’re wondering, yes b.box is short for baby box)! The essential diaper wallet was launched and 7 years later we’ve grown to 18 products sold in 750 stores Australia-wide and in 22 countries.

What are the most popular and newest products from b.box?

Our newest items are our infant and toddler feeding products:

Bowl + Straw: It’s the bowl with more, featuring a removable clip and straw so kids can drink liquid such as soup or milk and then use a spoon to scoop the rest. It also comes with a bonus insert for snack time on the go. And if your child leaves some for later, just pop the lid on for easy storage. The handles are designed for little hands and the teardrop shape is ideal for drinking straight out of the bowl, making mealtime lots of fun. It is available in Ocean Breeze, Strawberry Shake, Passion Splash and Lemon Sherbet.

Toddler Cutlery: Designed in consultation with a leading pediatric occupational therapist, our unique fork has been designed to fit the size and shape of little mouths. The shovel-shaped design and angle enables it to double as an implement to help children push food against and onto their fork, as well as a spoon itself. Both are specially designed to fit little hands and give kids ultimate maneuverability and control. The angle between the head and handle has also been carefully designed to ensure correct hand-to-mouth positioning. And for added convenience, it comes with its own case for mealtime on the go. It is also available in Ocean Breeze, Strawberry Shake, Passion Splash and Lemon Sherbet.

Divided Plate: The perfect complement to the b.box cutlery and bowl, this divided plate is great for kids who tend to like to explore new tastes and textures separately. It has a great size surface area, non-slip base, and easy-grip rim.

Other popular items in the collection are the Sippy Cup, Travel Bib and Spoon, Diaper Wallet, and Diaper Caddy.

What sets b.box apart from other childcare product companies?

What sets us apart is the thought we give to design, functionality, and aesthetic. We feel proud to continue launching innovative products that allow parents to empower their children to be independent, all in a fun and functional design; it’s at the heart of everything we do!

Everything b.box does is not only fun and practical but designed for added value and long-term benefits. This includes the b.box diaper wallet, which can be used to hold not only diapers and wipes but also a change of clothes for baby, and the b.box diaper caddy which can be used as an art caddy for kids in addition to a diaper caddy.

What can parents expect from b.box at the LA Baby Show?

Parents will get to see a colorful display of the full range of b.box feeding and diapering items including, the company’s innovative new feeding items, their Bowl + Straw, Toddler Cutlery set and Divided Plates. Not to mention, getting a sneak-peek out at our newest feeding products and stroller accessories launching this year!

To learn more about b.box, check out bboxbaby.com.

The Ultimate Guide To Flying With Babies & Kids

The Ultimate Guide To Flying With Babies & Kids

What do a root canal and running a marathon have in common? Both are easier and a bit more pleasant than flying with kids! In all seriousness, air travel with kids isn’t for the faint of heart, but here are a few tips that just might help a little….or a lot!

Pack Only What You Have To: Sometimes it feels as though you need an entourage just to transport all your children’s gear: Car seat, stroller, portable crib, diaper bag, feeding supplies, etc. But when you travel, bring only what you absolutely need for the actual flight and purchase/rent/borrow everything else at your destination. Most hotels, even many economy-class hotels, provide cribs or high chairs free of charge. There are also services such as Baby’s Away or Babierge that actually deliver gear to your hotel or condo. They will bring car seats, cribs, high chairs, strollers, even toys, right to you—so you don’t have to lug gear through the airport. If you do need to bring your own gear, however, be prepared to check it.

Lastly, pack a spare change of clothes for your child and for yourself in your carry on, in case your child throws up, or has an accident or a diaper blow out.

It Is Possible To Stroll Right Up To The Gate: If you are like many moms, your child’s stroller is like a second home on wheels. Not only does it keep your kids contained, but it stores a ton of stuff. When traveling, bring a portable stroller (must be collapsible or foldable) to the airport that you can then take right up to the gate and check free of charge. Just keep in mind that you will need to go through security, so plan on being asked to take everything out of the stroller (including your child).

However, if you elect to not bring your stroller up to the gate, or use your car seat on-board, airlines will check each for free. Keep in mind that like any baggage, your gear may be damaged if not protected, so it’s a good idea to either use the original box your items came in or purchase a bag for them. Best of all, these bags are generally very roomy and provide a little additional packing space, free of charge!

[nyf_newsletter_signup type=’NYF_baby’ sign_up_text=’SIGN UP FOR’ site_title=’NEW YORK FAMILY BABY’]Starting your journey into parenthood? Get invaluable pre- and post-natal resources, tips, news, and giveaways delivered to your inbox every week.[/nyf_newsletter_signup]

Don’t Forget About The Security Checkpoint – Plan For It: This can be one of the toughest part of flying with kids, however with just a bit of planning, it can be pretty painless.

Tip: Try to avoid is having lots of small bags—just have one big bag to throw on the conveyor belt. Next, wear easy slip-off shoes and no metal jewelry or belts (one less thing to struggle with when you are also trying to keep an eye on your kids). Finally, be sure to check your diaper bag for liquids, gels, and creams, and put only the essentials (diaper cream, liquid meds, first aid supplies) in a quart-sized zip-lock bag. Note: Formula and breast milk are allowed, but you may need to go through an additional inspection process.

Bring Your Child’s Safety Seat On The Plane

You are not required to, but both the Federal Aviation Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend that you use an FAA-approved child restraint device for your child. This requires that you purchase a seat for your infant or toddler. Legally, you may carry a child up to 24 months old on your lap, usually free of charge, but this isn’t the safest option.

A couple of other things you want to keep in mind when it comes to car seats on planes.

  • Purchase a window seat. That is where the seat must go, so that it doesn’t block the exit in case of emergency. Car seats are not allowed in exit rows or aisles.
  • Make sure your car seat is FAA-approved. The label should read, “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” Flight attendants are instructed to look for the label, and you may run into problems if it’s missing.
  • Booster seats are not allowed for use on airplanes.
  • The FAA suggests that all infants under 20 lbs ride in a rear-facing seat; 20-40 lbs ride in a forward-facing seat and 40 lbs and up use the regular seat restraints. As always, consult the manufacturer’s user guide for instructions on securing the seat.

And as an added bonus, kids generally rest better and feel more comfortable in a seat that is familiar to them. That means an easier flight for you!

Jennifer Beall Saxton is the founder and CEO of Tot Squad, a trusted partner of retailers, stroller, and car seat brands that offers car seat installation, baby gear cleaning and stroller repair. Franchising opportunities and more information on Tot Squad is available at thetotsquad.com.

 

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Must Read: “Motherhood is a B#tch!” By Lyss Stern

Must Read: “Motherhood is a B#tch!” By Lyss Stern

Lyss Stern; photo by Heidi Green Photography

By Raina Seitel

In the world of “mompreneurs,” Lyss Stern, founder of Divamoms.com, is a force to be reckoned with. Thirteen years ago, after the birth of her first child and before mommy blogging became en vogue, fueled by her own self-doubt about being a new mom, Stern created a mom movement—uniting, empowering, and helping other mothers get their post-baby groove back.

Today, she continues to reign supreme, with an arsenal of a million moms across the country who hang on her every word, attend her sophisticated soirees with powerhouse brands, and do exactly as Stern says. You see, Stern, now a mother-of-three, commands the mothership at the epicenter of the multi-million dollar business devoted to all things mom. Her longevity in this now congested and competitive space is, in part, due to Stern’s commitment to talk the talk and willingness to air her own dirty laundry—or in this case, sexy Hanky Panky’s—for all to see. In her second book (her first is If You Give a Mom a Martini), Motherhood is a B#tch!: 10 Steps to Regaining Your Sanity, Sexiness, and Inner Diva, this savvy NYC mom and businesswoman takes us on her own personal journey to regaining confidence after kids, and explains how you can, too. I sat down with Stern, a dear friend of mine and the ultimate diva mom herself, for a chat about her new book, which just hit shelves in April.

Congratulations on the new book! What inspired you to write this?

I was at a breaking point after my third child. My first two children were already older when I got pregnant with my third, and my life felt like it was in a tailspin. I somehow lost myself: I was struggling to balance my family, career, health, and dealing with the loss of my father. My body started giving me signs that I needed to either slow down or make serious changes. I decided to go on a retreat up to the Berkshires by myself for a few days, and I had an epiphany up on the mountain. So much of everything was eating up inside of me, so in that moment I said, “I have to get my shit together,” and I just started crying. From there, I began this journey to follow through and make those necessary changes, and I wanted to help other mothers out there do the same. When moms read this book, they’re going to yell “Hell yeah,” because there is finally a book that doesn’t sugarcoat motherhood.

How is the book different from other motherhood books on the market?

This book is different because it actually gives you tips on how to reclaim your life back. I’m not telling you how to be the best mom in this book, or the best wife, or how to be the best of anything. To me, motherhood is messy, it’s real, and every day it’s something new. This book gives you 10 small, manageable steps to recharge and regain your life.

What are the steps?

Some of the steps start at the very beginning of the day. For example, every morning I actually set my alarm clock a few minutes earlier than the kids wake up, and I take time for myself to sit and breathe deeply. I also make sure I eat breakfast every day—the one meal I would constantly skip in the past. I started making a conscious effort to take care of myself by eating three meals a day, exercising regularly, and even dedicating time to my marriage. It’s about organizing your priorities and learning time management.

In the book’s introduction you say: “Be bold. Go forth and be a bitch.” What do you mean by that?

“Bitch” has two meanings here. First, it is an acronym we spell it out for you: “B” for the person you want to be, “I” for initiate, “T” for time out, “C” for care, and “H” is asking for help. When I say the word “bitch,” I’m saying put your foot down and don’t allow anybody to walk all over you. Be bold and learn to say “no.” You don’t have to be everywhere or say yes to everybody. Even in my own business, I found so many people would try to take advantage of me. But you know what? I’ve learned now to say no and stand up for myself. In reality, you can’t be everything to everyone. That’s what the focus of this book is really about: Giving people the tools to help them get themselves back, to navigate, and to distance themselves from people that take advantage.

The motherhood space has recently come under fire with critics suggesting that for-profit mom bloggers pretend to mother by posting staged pictures of their families to make a buck, instead of actually parenting. How would you respond to that?

I’ve always been true to who I am, my brand, and my mission. I never pretend to be something that I’m not. I don’t post pictures of myself all day looking beautiful or in front of the camera because that’s not who I am. Behind the scenes, most of the day, my hair’s up in a bun, and I’m in front of a computer. I think at the end of the day people want to see things that are real. Either you love me or you hate me, but I’m real, and I’m working really hard. I built a real business where companies hire us to throw events and launch their products. Companies come to us because they know my database has over a million moms in New York City and across the country, who trust us to only bring the best… As far as social media, I think everybody just needs to take a step back, and realize how valuable their time is with their children. To me, I want my children to be happy and healthy. Motherhood is not a competition or a rat race.

Over-posting with kids in my opinion screams: “Look at me! I’m a great mom!” The proof is in the pudding, in the kind and compassionate little people we are raising.

One thousand percent! It’s never been all about me. It’s funny because that’s why I started this thing called the “Diva Mom Mogul” breakfast every year, where moms come to me ask me how I started my own business. I can give them information, sure, but I like to share other moms’ stories and let moms learn from each other because we’re in this together. When I started my company nobody was there to help me. Everybody laughed at me, and I didn’t know what I was doing. With that being said, here I am today. I want to help other moms be successful and to thrive.

To learn more about Lyss Stern, visit Divamoms.com!

Raina Seitel is an Emmy-winning television journalist and mother. You can find Raina reporting daily on NBC’s “New York LIVE!” and other NBC platforms, and on the screens in the back of your taxis. For more, follow her on Instagram and Twitter @rainaseitel and to learn more, visit rainaseitel.com!

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Great App: Baby2Body

Great App: Baby2Body

New moms can download Baby2Body for a personalized guide for a healthy pregnancy and happy motherhood! Baby2Body, which is free to download on iTunes, makes it easier for expectant and new mothers to stay healthy, happy, and fit!

Don’t miss out on all the daily information this app offers—their team of beauty, nutrition, and fitness enthusiasts have all the scoop you need from pregnancy until your child is 3 years old. They also offer premium content for paying users and have a robust blog that’s always brimming with bump and baby news you can use.

To learn more, visit baby2body.com

Rhythm In Labor: Pain Vs. Suffering

Rhythm In Labor: Pain Vs. Suffering

By Debra Flashenberg

Rhythm. Take a moment to close your eyes and connect with your breath. After you push through your thoughts and surrender to the task of observing your breath, you may start to notice a natural rhythm occurring: the rise of your inhale, the peak of breath, and the exhalation completing the cycle. Then the pattern slowly starts over again.

This hypnotic pattern can be a powerful coping tool for a woman in labor. When a woman can find a rhythm, it helps her regulate her breathing, establish a ritual for the contractions, and slip into the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-relax stage. In this state, the woman’s adrenaline level is lowered, allowing for the labor hormone—oxytocin—to flow and help move her labor forward.

Sometimes the rhythm a woman embraces simply follows her breath, while other times she links her breath to movement or words. I once had a doula client spontaneously chant: “I’m okay. My baby’s okay,” as she swayed from side to side in her partner’s arms. She stayed with this coping method for well over an hour, rhythmically shifting her body, and helping her baby navigate its way through her pelvis.

Recognizing and supporting the rhythm a woman establishes is a huge responsibility of the birth-support team, aka “the birth posse.” Instead of asking a laboring woman how to rate her pain level, it’s more effective to observe her to see if she’s shifting from coping to suffering. There are often recognizable signs a woman has passed from managing her contractions to suffering (beyond screaming and writhing). When a laboring mom loses her rhythm, it’s a sign that she is suffering, and it’s time for the birth posse to step in and momentarily take charge.

During my labor with my second child, I have a very clear memory of starting to spiral into suffering. I was on my bed, leaning over the birth ball as the contractions came crashing down on me. I was no longer handling the contraction with my breath but instead started to get angry about the intensity of labor. Fortunately, my birth posse—my doula, midwife, and husband—recognized this unraveling and swiftly helped me into the shower. Even though I had insisted I didn’t want to move, it turned out to be the right call. While leaning against the wall, embracing the warm flow of water down my back, I quietly found peace in the seclusion of the shower and reestablished my breath and rhythm.

In my recent podcast, I spoke with Penny Simkin, a renowned childbirth authority and co-founder of DONA International (formerly Doulas of North America), about the importance helping the mother get back to her rhythm. “Fatigue and discouragement may get her out of her rhythm, and if we don’t get her back, she may end up with trauma. When a woman has been trying and trying and trying and she doesn’t get anywhere, she starts to fall into mental defeat, a symptom of suffering,” she explains.

The loss of the mother’s rhythm is a warning sign that the birth posse needs to step in and guide her back. The birth posse also needs to be prepared to help the mother on the other side of birth, especially if she feels traumatized, by allowing her the space and support to process her birth story, never denying her reality or invalidating her birth experience.

One way that women can help prepare for labor is to find a practice that emphasizes a relationship between breath, rhythm, and relaxation, such as meditation or prenatal yoga. With this foundation, a woman will have the tools to draw upon in order to cope with discomfort.

Happy birthing!

Debra Flashenberg is the founder and Director of the NYC-based Prenatal Yoga Center. She is a certified labor support doula, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, and certified prenatal yoga instructor. She is continuously in awe of the beauty and brilliance of birth and is the proud mother of her son, Shay and daughter, Sage. Visit prenatalyogacenter.com for more info!

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Catching Up With Mom-To-Be Whitney Port

Catching Up With Mom-To-Be Whitney Port

You likely first got to know Whitney Port as a cast-member on the reality show “The Hills” (where she worked alongside Lauren Conrad as an intern at Teen Vogue) and then later as the star of her own reality show “The City” (where she stepped into the fast-paced fashion world in NYC working for at Kelly Cutrone’s People’s Revolution and later for Diane von Fürstenberg). A lot of time has passed and Port is now well-known for her clothing brand Whitney Eve, as a lifestyle expert and blogger, and entrepreneur (right now she’s working as the creative director at innovative flower company Bloom2Bloom). She’s also preparing to add another exciting adventure: Motherhood!

Port is currently expecting her first child with her husband, TV producer Tim Rosenman, later this year. As she gears up for motherhood, Port, like many savvy mamas and mamas-to-be, is forever searching for ways to simplify and bring smarter, safer, and more efficient products into her home. We caught up with her recently (yes, she was every bit the glowing pregnant goddess that you’d expect) as she joined forces with Dawn dish soap to offer up some super-easy life hacks that are sure to make any busy parent’s life easier.

Read on for our Q&A with Port as she chats pregnancy, her latest projects, and the fun fact that her former “Hills” castmates are expecting as well! Plus, scroll all the way down for a great list of her favorite Dawn “alternative uses.”

You’re expecting your first child! Congratulations! What have been the biggest joys and challenges of pregnancy?

Obviously the excitement of bringing a human into the world that’s a mix of my husband and I is really, the most joyous and exciting time and moment. But there are hard parts, both physically and emotionally. You lose control your body and you get morning sickness and your hormones are all over the place, so you’re sensitive to things. It’s a mix of emotions, but definitely more exciting.

Are you all prepped for the baby’s nursery yet?

I’m not! We are moving, likely in the next month, so I haven’t gotten to that part yet, but it will be done by the time the baby comes.

Because of your background, lot of people associate you with fashion. Are there any maternity trends or brands you love?

My favorite online shop for maternity clothes has been ASOS. ASOS, obviously, has really cute regular stuff, but they also have a really extensive maternity section that is not expensive and is really comfortable. You can constantly be getting new things because it’s affordable.

What else is new with you? Tell us about Bloom2Bloom—the first-ever fashion-forward flower brand with a portion of each purchase going to the Wish Upon A Teen’s Design My Room program.

I’m working as creative director for Bloom2Bloom, which is an amazing give-back flower company. I’ve helped with the re-branding and I’ve designed bouquets. We’re not only just online delivery, but we are looking to be a flower brand where we’re in stores and you see our product and you know those are Bloom2Bloom flowers. But obviously, in doing our part, we’re giving back as well. So when you’re giving flowers to yourself or buying flowers for a succulent for someone or whatever, you’re not only bringing happiness to yourself or whomever you’re gifting to, but you’re also giving back.

Your former “Hills” castmates Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag are also both pregnant right now. I’m sure you’ve been asked this before: Is it too much to hope for a playdate reality show in the works with you and the other “Hills” girls?

Haha! People haven’t brought up the playdate part, but they do bring up that we’re all expecting around the same time.

Tell us about working with Dawn. From the perspective of an expectant mom, what makes Dawn a great product to have at home for more than just dishes?

For me, I’m all about making my life easier and bringing products into my home that make my life easier. Dawn is great with cutting grease and doing your dishes, but it also does so many other cool things. It cleans my jewelry—which I just did—it takes out stains on your clothes, and it can also clean your makeup brushes. There are so many other things that you can do with it.

Any advice for other moms and moms-to-be?

My best advice for moms is to try to eliminate clutter in their lives. Both emotionally and from a house-hold standpoint. Obviously, products like Dawn do those things—where it can do it can do so many things. As moms, we’re all about multi-tasking so we appreciate that.

Whitney Port’s Alternative Uses for Dawn:

When it comes to cleaning, most people don’t realize the multi-purpose magic that Dawn can perform. You know it as the dish soap that best cuts grease in the sink, but it’s also the ultimate secret weapon for cleaning greasy messes throughout your home – think makeup brushes, diamond jewelry, kitchen surfaces and laundry pre-treater!

Kitchen Surfaces: Grease doesn’t always play by the rules. So when it escapes your frying pan, use Dawn to remove it from most kitchen surfaces. Apply a squirt of Dawn to a sponge under warm running water. Scrub the greasy surface and dry the surface with a paper towel.

Laundry Pre-Treater: Stains happen to the best of us. But when Dawn happens to the best of stains – like tomato sauce, blueberries, and grease – you give your clothes a fighting chance. Apply Dawn directly to any cotton fabric, covering the entire stained area, and rub it in using your fingers. Then wash it normally in your washing machine.

Hand Tools: Tools are tough, but necessary for all those household DIY projects! But they need love now and again – tough love. Add a teaspoon of Dawn to a gallon of hot water. With a dishrag or sponge, scrub away the grease and oil. When clean, thoroughly rinse them under running water and dry them with a towel right away.

Beauty Supplies: The best and easiest way to clean your makeup brushes and sponges is with Dawn. Wet your dirty brush with lukewarm water and dip into some Dawn. Brush back and forth to absorb the soap and work up a lather. Gently run the brush under water and repeat until the water runs clean and suds are gone. Gently squeeze out excess water, reshape and lay flat to dry.

Jewelry: Maintain your jewelry’s sparkle all on your own by concocting a cleaning solution with Dawn! Make sure your jewelry is in good condition. Soak in a bowl of warm water mixed with a few drops of Dawn for 2 minutes. Use a new, baby-size, soft toothbrush to gently scrub, and then rinse in a new bowl of lukewarm water. Dry the jewelry immediately and carefully with a paper towel or jewelry cloth.

To learn more about Whitney Port, visit whitneyport.com; to learn more about Bloom2Bloom, visit bloom2bloom.com; and to learn more about Dawn, visit dawn-dish.com!

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