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Bringing up Baby: Costs & Habit Insights of the American Mom from zulily.com

 

Baby

In celebration of moms this Mother’s Day, online retailer zulily.com is honoring new moms nationwide by taking a closer look at something they all can relate to –budgeting for all things baby!

Read on here for some of the survey insights they found regarding spending and saving habits when preparing for baby:

  • With annual childcare costs hovering around $6,000, it’s crucial to choose (and pay!) the right person to watch your kids. In our survey Julia Roberts was voted the top celeb moms would let babysit, but Kim Kardashian didn’t make the cut and was only selected by 3% of respondents.
  • Raising kids can get pretty pricey, so it’s no surprise a third of mothers surveyed said they’d compete in a monthly random dance battle (32%) in exchange for free baby gear, attire, etc.
  • Almost half of mothers surveyed (45%) said the most missed pre-mom indulgence is actually having a day off.
  • 33% of moms agreed that the most common squabble couples have regarding new parenting is about money.

With all the above stats, it’s no wonder moms everywhere are always on the lookout for smarter ways to spend on baby, and online retailer zulily is dedicated to helping their plight by serving up fresh, unexpected items for baby and the whole family, in fact, just in the last year customers have saved millions of dollars on baby gear items. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Savings on baby blankets: over $2.4M
  • Total savings on key items needed to set up a nursery: over $2.6M
  • Savings on all baby feeding supplies: over $4.5M

Be sure to check back on zulily.com or on their app every morning to discover new finds, especially on Mother’s Day (May 8th) for their Moms First event, to shop everything a new mama wouldn’t want to be without.

mothers_day_infographic - FINAL

 

*The study was conducted online using a Google Consumer Survey, which uses inferred demographic and location information to employ stratified sampling method by distributing the surveys based on the targeted audience to its publisher network and/or android smartphone users. The study consisted of 1000 respondents between April 4th and April 7th among women aged 25-54. The margin of error is +/-5 percentage points.

**Sales Data Methodology: The methodology used to report on the 2015-16 maternity and infant purchasing trends was created by reviewing more than 262,000 products, from April 2015 – April 2016. zulily has approximately 5 million active customers, as of Q4 2015.

 

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Take your baby monitor to the next level with snu:mee

 

Baby

It always amazes me how much technology has changed our every day lives, including our youngest family members – babies.

My husband and I often check out car seats, strollers, cribs and even baby toys and remark on how different they are since our kids were babies. Everything is so high tech. Car seats resemble rocket seats nowadays. Even baby toys have come a long way from the Fisher Price Little People and Glow Worm my kids enjoyed when they were babies/toddlers.

Baby monitors have also come a long way. Back when my kids were little they looked like little walkie talkie devices. One end went in the babies room and the parents held on to the other end. You could hear your baby – that’s it. These days they have monitors with video, monitors that you can view your baby from an app on your phone and other amazing things.

One baby monitor I was recently introduced to is a baby monitor – and more. It’s actually a device that can grow with your child when the monitor is no longer needed.

snumee

The monitor is called snu:mee (lower case letters) by the brand Baby Stars rock2sleep. The snu:mee is a baby monitor, music box and MP3 player all in one. It can also be used as a wireless speaker to stream music too, making it a device even parents can use.

It’s very small in size which makes it very portable too. You can easily take this with you on the go, vacation or to visit the grandparents.

It have been shown that music is beneficial for babies and toddlers. With snu:mee you not only get to listen to your baby from the other room, but you can also play soothing music through the snu:mee device.

The first thing you need to do is is download the FREE app from Baby Stars – rock2sleep from your smartphone or pad. The app is needed to control most of the functions of the snu:mee (some functions can be controlled from the device it’s self).

The snu:mee comes with 12 pre-loaded songs for your child. There are six additional songs available through the app.

snu:mee next to a regular T.V. remote for size comparison.

snu:mee next to a regular T.V. remote for size comparison.

Once you have downloaded the app and set up the device you are ready to enjoy the benefits of snu:mee.

Through the app you can control what music is played on the device.

snu:mee allows you to speak to your child (through the app), so that there is no need to go into their room (unless you have to). You can speak through the app and sooth your child with calming words.

You can also stream or download YOUR music on the snu:mee. This is a feature that I really like because it can be used as a portable speaker. It has Wi-Fi connectivity and 4GB of internal memory allowing you to store music, nature sounds and audiobooks on snu:mee which can be enjoy by both parents and children alike.

There are also tunes you can download from the brand’s website. They offer you some sample tunes to check out. I like their version of  David Guetta’s song Titanium and Wake Me Up by Aicii.

The volume is set at a safe decibel for babies, so you don’t need to worry about it being too loud for their sensitive ears.

Here is some additional information about this ingenious baby monitor.

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snu:mee can also be a cuddly friend for your toddler. There are 10 different adorable plush “sleeves” to go over the snu:mee device.

The sleeve does not interfere with the sound quality or the control buttons. In fact, the sound quality on the snu:mee is clear and free from static.

snumee and sleeve

The sleeve has a tie on it which allows you to hang it from the baby’s crib or another piece of furniture.

The currently available sleeves include an owl, star, elephant, moon, lamp, monkey, frog, cow, boy and girl (these are not their actual product names – just a description of what they look like).

Star Sleeve

Sleeves

I think snu:mee would make for a wonderful baby shower gift or a gift for new parents. If you have a baby/grandbaby at home this would be a welcome addition, especially because it’s so much more than a regular baby monitor.

If you would like to learn more, or to place an order, visit Baby Stars – rock2sleep website. You can also check out the brand on Facebook.

What do you think if snu:mee? Is there a feature that really sticks out to you? Would you give this as a gift or would love to have one for your baby/grandbaby? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

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Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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How can pregnancy affect your vision?

 

Pregnancy

Vision Direct, Europe’s largest online retailer of contact lenses, has produced a handy infographic to show the effects of pregnancy on some women’s eyesight.

After talking to over 250 women on Mumsnet about their vision during pregnancy, the company found that many had experienced dry eyes more often, while some had even had to change their prescription.

An interesting infographic from Vision Direct UK reveals how pregnancy affects your vision.
 

Pregnancy and Vision Infographic

So what can cause these changes in vision? More often than not it just takes a slight hormonal shift to have a big impact on your eyes, something that’s quite common in pregnancy. This is because your hormones can affect the amount of fluid your eyes can hold. Extra fluid changes the thickness of the cornea, which in turn makes the world appear blurred or distorted.

According to Vision Direct’s Head Optician, Brendan O’Brien, it is common for women to experience a slight change in prescription. However, most women should expect their vision to return to normal after delivery. If you encounter any vision problems during pregnancy, always speak to your physician. They will be able to tell you if your symptoms are normal or if they are an indicator of a more serious condition.

You can learn more about Vision Direct here.

Pregnant

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How safe is your child/grandchild’s car seat? Important information you need to know

 

Driving the car

My “baby” getting ready to drive off in my car.

 

My teenage son recently started to drive. I can’t believe my “baby” can drive a car. It seems like only yesterday I was strapping him into a car seat to bring him home from the hospital. Sigh… time flies too quickly.

Even though both of my kids are teenagers, I still worry about how safe they are in the car. They know to wear their seat belts, but as a mom, I worry that it’s not enough. I wish I could strap them in car seats again to keep them protected.

Car seats have come a long way since my kids were little. They appear to be a lot more safer and better at protecting children in the event of a car accident. I’m in awe of how well today’s car seats are made.

With this being the winter season where roads can become dangerous quickly due to snow and ice, it’s more important than ever to make sure your child/grandchild is properly protected.

Babies “R” Us recently partnered with the brand Evenflo to bring to consumers the first car seat tested to withstand rollovers.

Here are some frightening statistics all parents, grandparents and childcare givers should be aware of. 

Rollovers have a higher fatality rate than other kinds of crashes. 

Of the nearly 9.1 million passenger car, SUV, pickup and van crashes in 2010, only 2.1% involved a rollover. 

Rollovers accounted for nearly 35% of all fatalities from passenger vehicle crashes in 2010.

These statistics are from Vehicle Crash Statistics at Safecar.gov.

I never knew that about rollovers. That is pretty scary!

Mother Putting Baby Into Car Seat

Both Evenflo and Babies “R” Us are advocates for child safety. That is why they came together to create an innovative car seat which was designed to protect a child in the event of a rollover. It’s called the SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat, and it’s now available at Babies“R”Us stores nationwide and online at com.

The SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat is unlike other car seats on the market.

  • Designed and tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately twice the federal crash test standard, the SafeMax™ All-in-One is the first car seat that has been dynamically rollover tested.
  • Evenflo is once again leading the industry with the development of a dynamic ROLLOVER TEST.
  • The SafeMax™ All-in-One Car Seat is appropriate for infants and children from 5 to 120 lbs or up to 57 inches in height, in three positions – rear facing, forward facing and booster seating.

In addition to rollover testing, the SafeMax™ All-in-One Car Seat features an integrated steel frame to provide strength in absorbing crash forces and harness webbing to help limit head excursion and prevent ejection, as well as the following securities:

  • SafeZone Headrest: A combination of premium materials designed to absorb and dissipate crash forces, providing advanced protection where your child needs it most. 
  • ParentLink® PREMIER Service: Provides owners access to expert advice, including live video installation service with a certified car seat technician. [FYI – this is VERY cool! You can video chat with a safety expert to ensure your car seat is PROPERLY INSTALLED in your vehicle, and ask questions about the proper fit for your child!]
  • e3 Side Impact Protection: Significantly reduces side impact crash forces up to 50% through an expanded zone of protection and three layers of superior protection.
  • OUTLAST® Performance Fabric: Exclusive to Babies“R”Us, this fabric balances a child’s body temperature for a safer, more peaceful ride.

Evenflo SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat - Side

This is like the “Cadillac” of car seats, that is for sure. If my kids were younger I would certainly look into this car seat for the both of them.

Proper Installation is a MUST. I have seen friend’s who have their children’s car seats installed incorrectly. When it comes to a child safety I will comment on it. I would never want a friend’s child to be in danger.

It’s important – for your child’s safety – that the car seat be installed the correct way. You cannot cut corners or “guess.” That is why I like that the SafeMax™ All-in-One Car Seat gives you access to safety experts. I wish more car seat companies would do something like that.

When in doubt you should take your child’s car seat to a safety inspection center near you. To find a location visit  http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm to find a car seat inspection station near you.

The SafeMax™ All-in-One Car Seat is available at Babies “R” Us.

Speaking of Babies “R” Us, they are hosting the “Great Trade-In” event at both Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us stores nationwide. This safety event helps consumers to rid their homes of potentially unsafe, old and secondhand baby gear and furniture, which is not up to the latest safety standards and exchange them for savings on new items.

The event will take place starting Monday, February 1st and continue through Monday, February 29th.

Rewards“R”Us loyalty members can take advantage of early access beginning Friday, January 29 through Sunday, January 31 by showing their Rewards“R”Us loyalty card during checkout. You can sign up to be a rewards member FREE at any Babies “R” Us or Toys “R” Us store.

Crib

Our daughter in her crib that we later used for our son. The crib is almost 19 years old and we still have it in the basement. Time to get rid of it.

Acceptable items include:

  • Any used cribs
  • car seats
  • bassinets
  • strollers
  • high chairs
  • infant swings
  • bouncers
  • travel systems
  • walkers
  • entertainers
  • play yards
  • toddler/twin beds

I think this is a wonderful service for the community.I applaud the Babies “R” Us and Toys “R” Us brand for doing this.

When you bring in one of the above mentioned items to trade in, these are your savings opportunities.

  • 25% savings with trade-in of a used gear or furniture item
  • 30% discount when using an “R”Us Credit Card

No trade-in? No problem! 15% off with an in-store and online coupon available on Babiesrus.com/GreatTradeIn starting February 1, 2016.

Best of all there are no  limits to the number of items a customer can trade in.

The brands participating in this national safety event include Baby Trend®, Britax®, Chicco®, Evenflo®, Graco®, Safety 1st®, Sorelle and more.

After you have taken advantage of the Great Trade-In Event I hope you will share your experience (and maybe even photos) on social media using the hastag #BRUGreatTradeIn. Also, feel free to share information about the event on social media (Facebook, Twitter Instagram…) as well as with family, friends neighbors and co-workers.

If you would like more information about this event, please visit Babiesrus.com/GreatTradeIn.

To find a Babies “R” Us location near you visit BabiesRUs.com.

To find a Toys “R” Us location near you visit ToysRUs.com.

Both brands can also be found on social media.

What do you think about the SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat?

If your child/grandchild’s car seat properly installed? Are you 100% sure it is?

Are you going to participate in the Great Trade-In Event? Why or why not?

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Kimberly

*I have partnered with Babies “R” Us to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Holiday Gift Ideas from HABA

 

Christmas

I miss my kids being little. It’s not only because I can’t help but look forward with dread towards the day “spread their wings” and “fly the coop.” I want to keep them young forever.

During the holiday season I can’t help but think about Christmases past when they were all excited about Santa Claus coming and waking up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning to open presents.

Shopping for my kids was more fun when they were little too. There are so many cool toys available that I know they would love to have. Shopping for teens is not nearly as fun. It seems like my daughter’s holiday wish list suddenly went from dolls and Barbies to Michael Kors handbags and an iPhone 6S. Sigh… My son is no better. He went from wanting every car and truck imaginable to nothing. That’s right – nothing. He doesn’t have a wish list. He told us to buy him some clothes – that’s it. How boring is that?

Thankfully I work with kids and we have friends with young children too, so I am still able to buy gifts for little ones.

I have a fun time shopping for toys. I often feel like a big kid too wishing I could play with the toys.

Are you familiar with the brand HABA? HABA sells brand name toys and products for children of all ages – from newborns to 8+ years old.

HABA carries award winning toys, educational toys and games as well as top baby shower gifts.

HABA carries their own brand of toys as well as Götz, Lilliputiens, Spielstabil, Moover and Lassig. I’m assuming these brands are from Europe.

HABA sent me a few products that they carry on their site to review.

I chose two products from HABA and two from Lassig.

From HABA I chose toys that I could donate to the children that I work with. I know they love puzzles and games, as well as things they can do with others, or play with on their own.

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Animal Upon Animal 

This is a cute game that can be enjoyed alone or as a group. It’s designed for multiple players, but I have seen children play with this on it’s own. It’s recommended for 2-4 players.

Animal Upon Animal comes with adorable, colorful wooden animals.

According to the brand;

Crocodiles, frilled lizards, sheep, toucans and monkeys, hedgehogs and snakes… you’ll never find such a motley mix of animals in any other game, and it’s celebrating its 10th anniversary: Animal Upon Animal from HABA! The entertaining stacking game was first released in 2005 and has since sold over 600,000 copies! One of HABA’s most popular games, this game is a winner of the Major Fun! Award and recipient of the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval. Players race each other to be the first to place all of their wooden animals upon the animal pile before any of the other players. A roll of the die tells the players how many animals can be placed or whether they can add to the alligator base. This game fosters hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

It’s fun to try and stack the animals on top of one another without them toppling over. For the most part they stay but sometimes they might slide and all the animals come falling down. Sometimes they fall down if they are accidentally bumped. I think that is where the eye/hand coordination comes in – you have to stack the animal on top without bumping the structure, plus you have to put it on just right or it can all come falling down.

The pieces could double as play toys too.

AA

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Angles to Angles Arranging Game

I chose this game because it looked like something that would work both as a toy/game that can be played individually or with another person.

Angles to Angels comes with an assortment of colorful blocks in a “wave” shape.

Arrange and build with patterns galore. The angle blocks can be arranged horizontally or vertically, sorted by colors or all mixed up, stacked or placed! Many different creative options stimulate your child’s imagination. Thanks to the unique design and different colors the 32 blocks can be made into fascinating patterns can be created over & over again. Made in Germany of solid beech wood.

ATA

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I have watched the kids I work with play with this toy and they come up with some pretty elaborate designs.

The blocks can be placed side by side, end to end and on top of each other. The possibilities are endless.

This is a great toy for “quiet time” play. I play with these blocks too sometimes. I find it relaxing – similar to coloring in a coloring book. You can just let your mind be as creative as you want. There are no “rules” to follow.

I have another HABA product that was not sent to me to review. I purchased it on my own. It’s one of their dolls. I purchased Baby Lucas to use with a miniature Red Rider wagon that I have.

My wagon and "Hobbes" on the right.

My wagon and “Hobbes” on the right.

I LOVE the comic Calvin & Hobbes. I have a miniature red wagon and a Tiger that looks a lot like Hobbes. I wanted to find a little blonde hair doll to dress up like Calvin. I even purchased black shorts and a red shirt for it. Sadly the clothes I bought were too big for the HABA doll (Baby Lucas). I ended up donating the doll to my former place of employment.

HABBA's "Baby Lucas" doll

HABBA’s “Baby Lucas” doll

All of their dolls are absolutely adorable. If we had a larger home I would collect them because they make me smile every time I look at them.

Are these not the cutest dolls?

2142-haba-doll-graham-b 2618_1 3295 3943 300128

 

Let’s not forget the other awesome toys and games available on the HABA website. Many of these toys are also found at retailers across the country. Visit the HABA website to find a location near you.

They also have some wonderful play food should your child happen to have a toy kitchen.

When it comes to the holiday season we cannot forget the littlest members of our family. HABA has plenty of delightful gift ideas for babies too.

Two of my suggestions (which would make a wonderful gift when combined together) are the Lela Plush Deer and Lela Bibs.

I was sent both to review.

Bibs

The bibs are darling. My apologies for the photos not coming out too clearly.

The Lassig Lela Small Bib Value Set comes with three adorable and soft baby bibs. They are available in blue or pink. Each bib features Lela, a sweet little baby deer, in different positions.

Bib Set

These bibs are made with a polyester/cotton blend with a special waterproof layer. They also have a convenient hook and loop fastener on the side making it easy to put on and take off.

These bibs are recommended for babies ages newborn to six months.

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Lassig also has a Lela plush deer – available in two different sizes. I was sent the 6″ Lela Plush Toy. She is the perfect addition to the bib set. Also available is a larger (10″) Lela Plush Deer, Lela swaddles and burp blankets, dish set, board book and a few more items.

The Lela Plush Deer is darling! So soft and cute. He/She would make a wonderful new friend for a baby. This is the type of toy that a child would cherish for a long time. Due to her tiny size it makes her portable so that she can be toted around where ever your child (or grandchild) goes.

Lela products make perfect baby shower and newborn gifts too.

Lela Plush Deer

As luck would have it our neighbor recently gave birth to a little girl, so we gifted the Lela products to her.

If you would like to learn more about HABA and Lassig toys and games (or the other brands mentioned earlier in the post) visit HABAUSA.com. You can find them across social media as well. The links are found at the bottom of their website.

Are you a fan of the HABA, Lassig or other brands mentioned here? What do you think about their toys and games?

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Kimberly

*I received free product samples (except the Lucas doll – I purchased him on my own a long time ago) in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Extraordinary Baby Gifts from IncrediBundles.com ($50 Gift Code Giveaway)

 

Incredibundles

IncrediBundles.com, the home of extraordinary baby gifts, features a line of foolproof baby gifts that allow gift-givers to give the nursery essentials every new parent wants and needs.  They take the best award-winning products for babies and bundle them together in their trademark reusable storage containers so that you can give a gift that is innovative, practical and chic.

Do you want to give the new little family countless hours of reading together?   Give a themed IncrediBundles.com Book Bundle or A Year of Books.  All of the premium board books they feature in their bundles are selected for their ability to engage little ones during babyhood and beyond.

Would you like to stock their nursery with toys that will give them the opportunity to learn, play and explore?  Give one of IncrediBundles award-winning Learn and Grow Bundles or A Year of Toys.  These toy bundles are brimming with the safest, highest quality toys for babies.

Perhaps you would like to give the new parents A Year of Diapers? It’s easy with an IncrediBundles.com Diaper Bundle!  This bestselling gift is the easy way to gift diapers so that mom and dad can choose the brand and size they want, when they want.  IncrediBundles.com will send a beautiful announcement package to your recipient featuring a cuddly bear and a certificate for a 3, 6, 9 or 12-month Diaper Subscription.  Then, each month, mom and dad can select the brand and size of diapers they would like delivered straight to their door. I think this is a wonderful, practical and much needed gift.

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IncrediBundles.com also features Sleep Bundles filled with the best products to help babies sleep soundly and safely, as well as Bath Bundles, Organic Bundles and so much more.

Customers can even create their own bundles by using their Create A Bundle tool and selecting items individually across all the categories of their site and adding one of our Reusable Storage Containers to tie it all together into a stylish gift bundle as unique as your recipient.

IncrediBundles.com enables you to give the gift that parents will use over and over and over again!

Here are some suggestions worth checking out.

A Year of Diapers

A Year of Books

A Year of Toys

If you would like to learn more about IncrediBundles visit IncrediBundles.com. You can also check out the brand on social media. The links are found at the bottom of their website.

IncrediBundles would love to give a lucky reader a $50 gift code to their website. Thank you IncrediBundles.

The contest and Rafflecopter widget is hosted by IncrediBundles and they will be selecting and notifying the winner.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received a gift card to the website in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. This post was written by IncrediBundles to tell you more about their interesting gift ideas.  

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