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Decorate Your Child’s Room or Nursery with 54kibo’s Contemporary African Designs

 

New parents are always looking for ways to teach their children a new thing or two. These days there are sites online that sell home decor pieces made by artisans and designers from different countries around the globe. Shopping on these sites is an opportunity to bring a well-made product into the home that also has a great design story behind it. 54kibo is one of these sites; it includes handmade items from over 30 designers who have their roots in Africa or its diaspora including wall art, pillows, towels, blankets, ceramics, jewelry, and kids items, too.

54kibo’s mission is to share stories about African heritage, spark conversations about our past, and hopefully ignite new conversations about family history, too. It is exciting to decorate a child’s room with decor pieces that are beautiful, interactive, and create a greater sense of meaning and tradition.

Founder Nana Quagraine began offering functional art and home decor when 54kibo launched in 2018, but the mother of two quickly expanded into a children’s line after a limited edition blanket became one of their best sellers.

Organic Baby Swaddles and Kids blankets

54kibo created an exclusive line of baby swaddles and toddler blankets in collaboration with Njoki Gitahi, a Brooklyn-based designer from Kenya. Inspired by the traditional symbols of West Africa, 54kibo’s baby swaddles are made from breathable organic cotton providing a plush experience for the newborn. Swaddle patterns originate from African Adinkra symbology. Two symbols – Nkyimu (n-chi-moo), standing for high quality and excellence, and Kyemfere (che-mm-fe-re), representing experience – are joined to create designs rich in cultural significance.

The blanket design provides visual stimulation for baby’s eyes. Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that newborns prefer high-contrast, black and white images rather than colored or pastel visuals. These soft organic cotton swaddles are the only baby wraps on the market inspired by contemporary African design and tradition.

Minimalist Nursery Mobiles 

Another designer of children’s home decor produces hanging nursery mobiles that are as much room centerpieces as they are entertainment for the baby. Handmade in Tanzania, these unique pieces incorporate a beading technique used by the Maasai African women for centuries.

Non Toxic Dolls and Toys by Little Pine Tree

It’s love at first sight with this collection of hand-crocheted dolls and toys made in South Africa by the design team Little Pine Tree. Crafted with love, these unique toys are excellent examples of contemporary toy design using time-honored techniques. 100% cotton, no harmful chemicals, and crocheted eyes, these soft toys are suitable for babies and young children. Shop an assortment of dolls and toys, including the Inyosi Bee Doll, Dube Zebra, and newly released Ndlovu Elephant in pink and blue.

To learn more, visit www.54kibo.com. You can also find the brand on social media. Their links are found on the bottom of their website.

Tuck-In Your Child with One-of-a-Kind “Goodnight Babies” Video App

 

Our lives can be so hectic when raising babies and little children.  From the morning routine of getting the kids up and out the door, working or running errands, to getting the kids to sleep on time and then doing it all over again.  With so many time constraints to your daily schedule, you are not able to see your family and friends as often as you wish. A mom who felt this way was talking about how her 2-year-old son rarely sees his aunts or grandparents.  The mom lives only a few miles away from her relatives, but finding the time to see them was getting harder and harder.  The mom wanted to Facetime with the family to bond with her baby but certain family members had Android phones which does not have the Facetime feature. At other times a connection would fail or people were just unavailable.   For her, the baby having interaction with family members was important.  The mother wanted her child to feel connected to family members.

After searching around, she found an app that can help her.  The app is called GOODNIGHT BABIES.

GOODNIGHT BABIES is a 5-star mobile app ideal for newborns and children up to four years of age. GoodNight Babies has a simple interface that is available on both the iPhones and Android mobile phones.  The app allows you to invite guests from your phone to video record and send a special GoodNight message to your child. You then select the order of the greetings, pick a GoodNight melody, and choose the design border. The GoodNight Babies app will do the rest.  The app will automatically compile all of the messages into a video storybook personalized for your little one. Once completed, the video storybook begins to play.  Your child can cherish the video storybook night after night.    

The app was not created by a big company with motive. It was created by a family and was built of sincerity. Their desire to have family members and friends’ bond with their child thru sight and sound at any time evolved into the need to create GoodNight Babies.

The GoodNight Babies app has been receiving honorable praises from Users.  One comment from a user caught my eye and thought it was so profound.

“Love love love it!! Science has proven that the last person you have contact with before sleep will be the person you dream about . so it’s comforting for a child to see familiar faces before bed . Perfection!”

The app is user friendly.  Everything about the process and features are so simple. It was built for everyone.

This brief video gives you a little insight to the app.  It’s really magical.

 

HOW IT WORKS

A parent downloads the GoodNight Babies app.

The parent fills in a simple profile, personalizing the experience for the child and the app then creates the DASHBOARD.

From the DASHBOARD, you can send INVITATIONS to all your Family and Friends that you have in your contacts.

The invitations are sent via Text Message directly from your phone to your guest.

The invitation process is actually original and innovative.  They designed the invitation to go directly from your mobile device to the person you are inviting as a text message.  Your “GUEST” receives a link from you the HOST and then clicks the link to open the invite.  Once opened, the GUEST is able to record their message. When satisfied with their message, the message is then sent back to the HOST.  The Guest doesn’t have to downloaded the app or sign up for anything. The process is streamlined and private.  Very user friendly. The whole invitation process can literally can take seconds.

Incredibly, the GOODNIGHT BABIES app allows the HOST to cross platforms to invite.  A person with an iPhone cannot Facetime a person with an Android phone or vice versa.  But the creators of the GOODNIGHT BABIES app eliminated this problem.  The app allows the USER to cross platforms.  Meaning, an iPhone user can Invite an Android user or vice versa, eliminating a problem that has plagued mobile phone users for a very long time. Finally, we are not bound to restrictions that have caused different mobile phones users to miss precious moments.

Plus, you can invite anyone from your contacts. As long as you can text someone, no matter where in the world they are, a HOST can invite them to partake to a GoodNight greeting.

After all the GoodNight messages are received by you the HOST, you then arrange the order you would like the GoodNight messages to appear, choose a boarder, pick your GoodNight music and you are all set. The GOODNIGHT BABIES APP then automatically combines all the precious video GoodNight messages with storybook animation and all the other elements, creating a magical GoodNight video story book that you and your child can cherish night after night.

Once complete, The GoodNight Babies app transforms into a Video GoodNight Book.

With the information provided on the Profile, the experience is personalized for your child.

The child’s name appears on the cover of the book, instantly making the child feel special.

As the page turns, your child is greeted by the Family member or Friend you allotted in the first position. On the right side of the page, the video is played.  The video is surrounded by the boarder you picked earlier.  On the left side of the page, the name of the person who is saying the GoodNight message is automatically populated.

The creators really spent time making the experience special.  The details on the story pages are beautiful. The design on a whole resembles on old time fable book. They really captured the essence of the storybook. The pages turn automatically, which is very nice because you don’t have to interrupt the experience by pressing a “turn the page” button.

The book continues to turn and play automatically, until the last person has said their GoodNight wish. As the book closes, the photo used in the PROFILE PICTURE is automatically populated on the back cover of the book for the child to see.

Overall, this app is innovative and thoughtful.  It has created a beautiful, one of a kind, bedtime experience for the child. There isn’t anything on the market like this.    The Creators of the GOODNIGHT BABIES developed an experience like a movie.  The app truly brings people together.

Its free and private. GoodNight Babies is designed to protect your child’s privacy. Only the parent can invite people to send GoodNight messages, and only the parent can decide which messages to include in the personalized storybook.

The GoodNight Babies App. Created by a family for families.

Created by parents, the Goodnight Babies app is a labor of love,” said the creator. “

“We hope by sharing the GoodNight Babies app with the world, your child can also delight in the magic of the GoodNight Babies app.  The joy our child expresses while watching goodnight messages from our family and friends is priceless.”

For more information about the app, including demo videos, visit goodnightbabies.com

Also on Facebook at   https://www.facebook.com/GoodNightBabiesLLC/

Contact us at info@goodnightbabies.com

Goodnight Babies, LLC

Founded in 2014, Goodnight Babies, LLC is a family-owned media company focused on the development of family-friendly mobile applications.  For more information, please visit goodnightbabies.com

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Throw a Gender Reveal Party

 

Even the inventor of so-called gender reveals thinks it’s time to move past them. Read more about the problematic nature of throwing gender reveal parties here.

If you spend any time at all on social media, odds are that you’ve heard of gender reveal parties.

From boxes of balloons to gunfire, the trend has been blowing up social media feeds since 2008. That year, one mother cut into a duck-shaped cake to let her family and friends know the gender of her bun-in-the-oven. She posted pictures online, and the rest is history.

But just as quickly as gender reveal parties came into popularity, they’ve been thrown into controversy. In fact, even the mother credited with starting the trend has said that she wishes she had never done so.

Keep reading to learn why you should think twice before hosting your own gender reveal party.

They Can be Very Dangerous

Perhaps the best reason to skip a gender reveal is just how dangerous they have become.

Just this past October, one gender reveal turned deadly. A family in Iowa was using explosives to project pink or blue smoke to announce the gender of their little one. But in the process, they accidentally built a pipe bomb.

When the bomb went off, the shrapnel hit a 56-year-old guest, who was also a mother and grandmother. She died at the scene.

In another reveal in Arizona, a soon-to-be father shot at an exploding target. Instead of getting guests excited about a little girl or boy, the man ended up starting a deadly wildfire that burned more than 45,000 acres.

They Put Financial Strain on Your Guests

Even if it isn’t dangerous, your gender reveal party could be putting an undue financial strain on your guests.

If you are having a baby shower, your friends and loved ones will likely be ready and willing to shower your little one with gifts. Often, loved ones and close friends will also bring a small gift when they meet the baby for the first time. This might be in the hospital or at home.

If you’re also hosting a gender reveal party, you’ll be asking your guests to bring yet another gift. Guests who are low on cash may end up feeling guilty if they don’t bring a gift, which may cause them to spend money they simply don’t have.

Alternatives to a Gender Reveal Party

While gender reveals are an annoying and even dangerous trend, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get excited about letting friends and family know what you’re expecting. But instead of a party, why not opt for a different creative idea?

Host a fun photoshoot revealing the gender, and then send out the images as postcards to family, or even as a social media post. Buy and wrap onesies for the appropriate gender, and videotape the grandparents of the little one opening them. 

How you choose to make your reveal also depends on when you find out the gender. How early can you tell the gender of a baby? Depending on the method used, as early as 8 weeks.

If you do so late in your pregnancy, you could also reveal the gender with your choice of decorations at your baby shower for a fun little touch.

Skip the Gender Reveal

Besides being dangerous and financially stressful for guests, many people also worry that gender reveal parties put too much emphasis on outdated gender roles. Whether you agree or not, this is one trend that’s best left in the past.

For more advice on navigating your pregnancy and parenthood, check out our blog.

How to Take Care of Your Body Before You Try For a Baby

 

Are you ready to try for a baby? Whether you’re going to start trying by yourself, or you are with your partner, there are some things that you should prep beforehand. Pregnancy is a life changing event that takes a lot out of you. But, what should you do beforehand? It’s simple: focus on self-care.

It’s worth it to take all the time you need in order to prepare for pregnancy with these essential tips. This is by no means a catch all list, and maybe you already have some rituals and things prepared. But, if you need a few pointers, prepare for a baby with these 5 suggestions.

1. Getting Your Vitals Checked

The most important part of preparing for pregnancy is making sure that you are bodily sound. You don’t want to go into pregnancy sick or weak. That will make things extremely difficult for you. Doing blood tests also clues you in on potential genetic conditions that could be passed on to your child.

Of course, just because you have a genetic condition doesn’t mean that it will be transferred to your child. It’s just important to know beforehand. Plus, if you didn’t know what you had, you can start to manage the condition yourself.

2. Making Sure Your Teeth Are Up to Snuff

Teeth are extremely important when it comes to pregnancy.

Why? Isn’t dental health totally separate?

Well, research shows that poor oral health can negatively affect your entire body and lead to pregnancy/birth complications.

Schedule a checkup with a local dentistry, just to make sure you’re all set. You can even call in advance and explain your situation, and meet with a doctor that can perform a pre-pregnancy checkup. Dentists from Valley Ridge Dental Centre are happy to offer personalized appointments.

3. Does Any of Your Medicine Interfere?

What medication are you taking? Obviously birth control will interfere with your pregnancy. But even if you quit birth control, it’ll be more difficult for you to get pregnant. You need to take some time off the birth control before you start trying for a baby.

With other medicine, it’s best to go to your doctor to ask whether or not your medication will slow your attempt at getting pregnant. Sometimes the doctor can switch you to a different medication that will help. Other times, they can help you wean off the medicine to a lower dose.

4. Plan Your Exercise Routine

Exercise is essential for having a happy and healthy pregnancy. But, your current routine won’t cut it while you’re pregnant. You want to do more gentle exercises so that you don’t strain your body too much. While you are carrying a child, you should be focusing on exercises that stretch your hips and shoulders (since those areas tend to hold tension).

Doing something small everyday is key. Some examples of exercise that you can do while pregnant include:

  • Yoga
  • Light swimming
  • Walks
  • Stretching

Stay away from weights, as this could cause a lot of unnecessary strain.

5. Do Something For Your Mental Health

Your mental health could make or break your pregnancy. If you are depressed, anxious, or dealing with body dysphoria, that will be tripled while you are carrying a child. Try to find a therapist that works directly with those seeking to become pregnant. They’ll understand your struggle better than anyone else.

Also, try to stay away from medications that could complicate your pregnancy. Overall, just find someone you trust and listen well.

And Now, Happy Trying

With these tips in mind, you’ll strengthen your chances of expecting, and have a much healthier mind and body by the time you deliver.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Family

 

There are a few rules about first dates. One is to never talk politics. Even though you both may have similar views, it’s generally a good idea to stray away from the politics. The second is to never ask too personal of questions. Staying light-hearted and surface level is usually the better way.

As time passes on, you’ll start becoming more and more comfortable around each other and those barriers will fall down. Politics may become a common topic and those personal questions aren’t so personal anymore. You might start talking about the future. What is your vision? What is their vision? Where do you want to live? Do you want kids?

For some, it’s an easy ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Some couples wait while others want to have kids as soon as possible.

Even if you’re gung-ho about having kids, there are plenty of questions you want to ask both of you together before trying to start a family.

Is it the right time? 

When you decide to start trying for a baby, you’ll have to ask yourself if it’s the right time. Many factors can play into how you go about responding to the question.

Are both of you mentally ready as you can be? Are there any impending life changes outside the baby? Are you moving, is one of you finishing school, are you changing jobs? Are you both physically ready for a baby?

No one is ever 100% ready with having a baby. In fact, many fathers state they don’t feel like it’s real until they’re holding their baby in their owns. Even though you can see it coming from nine months away, it’s still not something you can 100% accept until you have the baby there.

Looking at your life from far away will help you decide if you believe it’s the right time to start a family or not.

Is there anything you want to do?

It’s no secret that babies aren’t exactly self-dependent. They’ll rely on you for everything and suddenly, a lot of your time is going to be taken up. It’s going to be harder to go on an impromptu trip with your college friends, buy tickets for the big game or even go out regularly on a Friday night.

So, you have to ask yourself if you have any other big life goals before a baby comes. Are there any trips you want to take with your partner? Anything you want to do specifically?

Once kids are in the picture, your goals are going to be pushed further and further back. Don’t live your life with resent because you didn’t get to accomplish X goal.

Are you financially ready?

Look, it’s always uncomfortable to talk about money but asking yourself this question is incredibly important before adding onto your family.

Having a child is not cheap. There are plenty of costs from medical bills to baby items to diapers and 100 other things you didn’t even know existed.

Mom may have to stop working for a long period of time and may not receive salary during that time. Can both of you survive on just one salary? Will there need to be any sacrifices over that time?

When it comes to savings, are you going to start saving for college or start an investment fund for your child? If you’re not even sure where to start or what to do, sit down with a financial adviser and ask away.

What does raising the child look like for you?

Even if you both grew up in similar demographic areas, you likely had very different upbringings. One of you could have had the mom be the bad cop and dad the good cop or vice versa.

Talk about the parent roles you see both of you taking. Talk about thinks like punishment, chores, expectations, hopes and dreams. While this discussion can continue on during the early months of your new child’s life, it’s still great to go ahead and start early.

Honestly, there are countless questions to ask here, but talk openly and freely about how you see your parental duties going and playing out.

7 Things An Expectant Mother Can Do To Keep Healthy During Pregnancy

 

So you have just found out that you are pregnant, congratulations! You may have tons of questions as of what to do next. Before you worry about pink, blue, yellow or light green paint; you’ll definitely want to prepare your health and lifestyle to help you have the healthiest pregnancy you can possibly have.

To begin with, ask your doctor about your diet and if you need any added vitamins or supplements during your pregnancy. There are many prenatal vitamins available for pregnant women, so definitely look for the best prenatal vitamins for you.

#1 – Eat right and stay hydrated

Being pregnant, you may find yourself thinking that you now can freely eat everything you’ve been denying yourself, but your baby needs you to eat a fairly healthy diet. Eating fruits and vegetables, along with calcium-rich foods and whole grains, is beneficial to not only you but your unborn baby.

  • Stay well hydrated. A pregnant woman needs more water than a non-pregnant woman. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water, teas, milk or fresh fruit juice daily.
  • And don’t forget to cut back on your caffeine intact. Caffeine includes coffee, chocolate, tea, colas and energy drinks. Try to drink decaffeinated versions of tea and coffee instead.

#2 – Take vitamins and supplements

Folic acid can help reduce the risks of defects like spina bifida. It may also help to improve men’s sperm count and can aid in women having a better chance of conceiving.

Foods that have folic acid

  • Spinach
  • Oranges
  • Broccoli
  • Kidney Beans

Calcium helps an unborn baby to develop strong bones and teeth. Calcium can also help with growing a healthy heart, muscles, and nerves.

Foods that have calcium

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Spinach, Collard Greens and Kale
  • Seeds
  • Cheese
  • Sardines and Canned Salmon

Vitamin D is needed for the development of the baby’s skeletal and bone health. Vitamin D is good for both the mother and the baby.

Foods that have vitamin D

  • Salmon
  • Herring and Sardines
  • Canned Tuna
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp

Omega 3 is important for pregnancy because it aids the brain, eyes and central nervous system. It also aids the visual and cognitive development of the baby.

Foods that have Omega 3

  • Different types of fish
  • Oysters
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Walnuts

#3 – Proper prenatal care

When you find out that you are pregnant, you are going to need to start seeing a doctor or healthcare professional that specializes in pregnancy. A healthcare professional can help to monitor your baby’s progress and also monitor you during the pregnancy. They can also let you know if you are ingesting too much sodium or if your baby is underweight or growing too much at different points during the pregnancy.

One extra tip is don’t smoke or drink while pregnant. While some women may look at this as a no-brainer, other women may brush it off because their own mother may have done it while pregnant with them. There are huge risks to continuing to do both while pregnant.

#4- Be aware of food hygiene

 

You don’t want to become a germaphobe while pregnant but it is important to thoroughly wash kitchen utensils, cutting boards and your hands especially after handling raw meat. Raw foods should be stored separately to other foods in your fridge.

There are some foods it’s not safe to eat while you are pregnant because they may have bacteria or parasites that may harm your baby. Listeria is an especially nasty bacteria that you will want to avoid for your baby’s and your safety.

The following foods may have listeria and should be avoided when pregnant:

  • Different Pate’s
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Under-cooked ready-made meals
  • Soft, mold-ripened cheeses, such as Camembert or Brie
  • Blue-veined cheeses, such as Gorgonzola or Roquefort

#5 – Don’t forget to exercise

Exercise is good for your health even when you are pregnant. As long as your doctor has said it’s okay, you should be doing some sort of physical exercise daily while pregnant. Exercising may also help relieve backaches and it can help to relax the body for sleep, as long as you aren’t exercising too close to bedtime.

Exercise while pregnant can help you to deal with the strain on your joints while pregnant. Exercise can also help to safeguard against different pregnancy complications. It can help you to have a better labor and birth. If you are working out during your pregnancy, your body will be in better shape which will help after the baby is born. Exercise is also known to boost your mood.

Exercises that are good while pregnancy include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Pregnancy centered workouts
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

If you are part of a sport, please talk to your doctor about continuing any activities within your team or league.

#6 – Get plenty of sleep and reduce stress

Getting at least 8 hours of sleep is beneficial for your overall health even if you aren’t pregnant. When you are pregnant, sleep is even more important. In the first couple of months, you will feel tired more often because of the pregnancy hormones. If you don’t have a good mattress, you may not be able to get or stay comfortable while sleeping. Sleeping on your side throughout your pregnancy is best so that there aren’t any risks to the baby.

#7 – Don’t forget your Kegels

Kegels can be a benefit to women of any stage of life. Doing Kegels helps to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles which will help to lower your risk of developing urinary incontinence, which is the condition where you can leak urine when you laugh, sneeze or work out.

The pelvic floor has a bunch of muscles that support your bladder, uterus, and bowels and the pelvic floor muscles can weaken because of the pregnancy pressure and the hormones. Doing daily kegel exercises can help the muscles in that area to strengthen and this can help you develop the muscles so you can control them during labor and delivery.

Check out the following article for more tips on staying healthy and safe while pregnant.