Photos: Adventures in baby-wearing!

This post is sponsored by Ergobaby

I guess you could say I was a reluctant baby-wearer.

I pictured myself as a strictly stroller mom, pushing my munchkin around the neighborhood as she drifted peacefully into dreamland.

It turns out – as it often does with babies – that the reality was a little different than what I’d envisioned. Oh, I pushed my munchkin around the neighborhood… but she screamed the entire time. Eventually I gave up, and the posh, pricey stroller I’d inherited from a friend was relegated to carrying our grocery bags. A glorified shopping cart.

After that, it didn’t take long for both of us to fall in love with baby-wearing. I bought a stretchy wrap first, then graduated to a ring sling and finally to an Ergo.

Before long I was wearing her everywhere, and even now, a couple of years later, I still remember the feeling of her snuggled against me, the sweet smell of her baby shampoo, holding her toes in my hand.

When I started out I had no intention of baby-wearing. Looking back, those are some of my favorite memories.

Some of our BabyCenter moms and dads shared photos of their own adventures in baby-wearing. From the sea to the mountains, the arcade to the brewery – take a look at these sweet shots.

Happy International Baby-Wearing Week to you and your little ones!

This post is sponsored by Ergobaby. During the month of October, share a selfie of you and your baby on your babywearing adventures and be entered for a chance to win an Ergobaby Newborn Prize pack! You can enter the #WhereIBabywear contest here.

ERGOBABY LOGO Stacked with TM2 502x650 Photos: Adventures in baby wearing!

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Every month Nicole Kidman hopes she is pregnant

Nicole Kidman has taken many paths to motherhood, but can’t help hoping she’ll once again experience pregnancy.

Opening up about her continued longing for a third child with husband Keith Urban, the actress shared during a recent radio interview, “I hope every month I am pregnant but I never am. I would be jumping for joy, but it won’t happen. I’m 47.”

The Australian beauty first became mom to two through adoption during her marriage to Tom Cruise, then in 2008 gave birth to daughter Sunday Rose Kidman Urban. Two years later their second daughter, Faith Margaret Kidman Urban, arrived via surrogate.

Nicole Kidman infertility Every month Nicole Kidman hopes she is pregnant

When the host of Australia’s KIIS 1065 shared news of a friend who was pregnant at 49, Nicole Kidman gave in and got excited.

“That’s incredible, what a fabulous thing,” she said. “My grandmother had her last baby at 49 so you never know!”

“I’m baby crazy. I love babies…kids, they are just extraordinary,” Nicole added before sharing her husband may not be quite as ready to have an infant again. “He might not be jumping for joy,” she admitted with a laugh.

Wouldn’t it be incredible if Nicole Kidman did somehow get pregnant again? It seems to me there are stories out there of crazy things happening as a woman nears menopause. Add to that a family history of later-in-life pregnancies and, well, as she said, “you never know!”

Photo: REX USA/Richard Young / Rex features/Rex

Nicole Kidman previously spoke very openly about her struggles to conceive. Check out what she had to say in our gallery of celebrity moms who’ve experience infertility and loss:

Read more: Every month Nicole Kidman hopes she is pregnant

Win! 11 adorable girls' headbands

My daughter, only 18 months old, is a serious budding fashionista. This fall I took her wardrobe to the next level by finding the season’s hottest clothing and accessories for little girls. I like to combine high end brands with low end brands, just like I do for myself. I also find that she looks more put together with a headband and a cool pair of shoes, so even if she’s in regular play clothes she looks cool. I’m taking advantage of the few months I have left before she inevitably insists on picking out her own outfits by dolling her up.

Here are my favorite headband brands for this fall:

Little Hip Squeaks, $11 ea

12 Win! 11 adorable girls headbands

I’ve been a fan of Little Hip Squeaks since the beginning. A set of their headbands is one of the first things I wanted for Ali when I knew we were having a girl. These are great for every day wear, and I love that they come pre-tied. The inventory changes constantly, so keep checking to see if the headband you want is in stock.

Baby Bling Bows, $4-17 ea

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I love that these headbands are one size fits all. These stay on Ali’s head nicely. They sell both casual and more embellished styles. Both are made from the same gorgeous lightweight material.

LilyBloom Creations, $4-12

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We’ve ordered several headbands from LilyBloom Creations. Karli, the owner, takes custom orders and has never disappointed. She also has lots of items available seasonally. I’ve only ordered fancier, more embellished styles from Karli, and they are always very well made. My favorite headbands are the holiday-themed ones and the sports ones.

Ruby Blue Inc., $12.95- $17.95

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These massive bow headbands are over the top, and they are awesome. Ali always gets about a million compliments when she wears one, and we love them so much I’ve purchased several for friends and family too. I bought them specifically for fancy events, but Ali wears them to play dates and parks too. They have two widths, pint and regular. You can see the difference in the slideshow below – the radiant orchid bow headband is pint sized and the gold one is the regular.

Here are all of my favorite picks this season:

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WIN!

One Babycenter blog winner will win a whole wardrobe of headbands. Included in the giveaway are 11 headbands from the shops above (total value around $100). To enter, leave a comment sharing which headband you love the most.

Legal: No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 US and DC, 18 or older. Sweepstakes ends at 12 noon on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. Employees of BabyCenter, Ruby Blue Inc., Baby Bling, LilyBloom Creations, Little Hip Squeaks, RhodeyGirl Tests and their families are not eligible. Void where prohibited. For the Official Rules, which govern, click here.

Disclosure: Prizes are courtesy of Ruby Blue Inc., Baby Bling, LilyBloom Creations, and Little Hip Squeaks. I received samples of some of these headbands for review, but I was already in love with these brands. All opinions are my own.

My daughter looks cute, but these kids are the true fashionistas. Check them out here:

 

Targetregistry 650x127 Win! 11 adorable girls headbands

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AAP says school should start later: So why doesn't it?

My 13-year-old is exhausted. If she is lucky she gets 7 1/2 hours of sleep at night.

It’s a medical fact that kids need more than that. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement this week calling on school districts to move start times to 8:30 a.m. or even later for middle and high schools, so that students can get at least 8 1/2 hours of sleep a night. They actually recommend 8 1/2 to 9 1/2  hours a night. More like 10 hours of you ask me.

Right now school starts at 7:45 am. We have a 15 minute commute to school. So in order to have wake up time and breakfast I get the girl up at 6:45. For 10 hours of sleep they would have had to hit the sack by 8:45.

I wish!

They don’t get home from their school sports til 5:30. Dinner is 6 to 6:30 then the inevitable 2 1/2 – 3 hours of homework.

So a 9 o’clock bed time would be the earliest. But guess what? According to the AAP, once kids hit the tween/teen years their body clocks shift by 2 hours. So their bodies don’t even want to go to bed until 10 or 11 o’clock. So by my calculations, they are expected to be at school 15 minutes before they should even be getting out of bed.

We are setting these kids up for exhaustion.

I know moving school times is not a new issue – people have been pushing for it for a long time and greater minds than mine have tried to solve the scheduling nightmare that actually doing it would cause. I’m just saying things have been shifted so many times to accommodate for overcrowding that we have lowered ourselves to a new level of acceptable for our kids quality of life, and I find that unacceptable.

My solution? I don’t know. Let me sleep on it.

 

Read more: AAP says school should start later: So why doesn't it?

8 things to love about babywearing

This post is part of a sponsorship with ErgoBaby

By: Danielle Hampton, Ergo Guest Blogger

We carry our babies for almost a year while pregnant.  And while in utero they’re warm and safe, our breaths and heartbeat their constant companions. But when baby is born, it’s a whole new world for them (and us too!).

Luckily, we can babywear, which brings our little ones right back to us.

Babywearing gives both of us that closeness again, while also providing baby with numerous benefits to development, both physically and emotionally.

We call the first few months after birth the “fourth trimester, and for good reason.  Our little ones need us more than ever as they make the transition into this new, big world. And as an added bonus, our partners or caregivers can babywear too, allowing them to bond with baby in a new way, building a stronger bond between your child and the people who love her.

And really, a carried baby is a happy baby…and doesn’t that make parents happy? The closeness stimulates a beneficial hormone production (Oxytocin), resulting in a more intimate parental bond.

Babywearing also adds a whole new level of convenience to your day — simply place your little one in the carrier and go!

At Ergobaby, we believe babywearing is one of the single best things you can do for your family- and the best part is that it can be done anywhere, at anytime. It’s amazing to know that we have the ability to positively impact so many areas in development through doing something that brings so much joy to everyone involved. Babywearing is a family affair, and having your partner wear your little one aids in developing a close relationship and deep bond between the two of them, as well.

ergo baby carrier 300x300 8 things to love about babywearing

Babywearing is a wonderful way to:

  1. Strengthen the bond between parent and baby, as you maintain a closeness throughout your day, especially during the “4th trimester.”
  2. Aid in baby’s development, both physically and emotionally. And did you know that a carried baby is generally calmer thanks to all of her primal/survival needs being met?
  3. Decrease risk of SIDS and flat-head syndrome, while promoting neural development, respiratory and gastrointestinal health, and aiding in balance.
  4. Allow breastfeeding to be done on the go, and discreetly too, if you want to be covered up. And as an added bonus, breast milk production is boosted with close contact with baby.
  5. Allow parents or caregivers to be “hands-free,” while baby is in the carrier, and promotes exploring, discovering and navigating safely and easily without having to maneuver a stroller.
  6. Promote early language development. Babies learn by watching faces, and babywearing puts your little one at conversational height – the best seat in the house.
  7. Allow parents to see more of the world through baby’s eyes.  And your babies get to discover their new world from the safety and comfort of your body.
  8. Foster a closeness through toddlerhood. Toddlers can be worn too, reminding them of their “home base,” and allowing that bond to continue as they grow.

Babywearing takes our babies back to their safe place, reminding them that we are home, their little bodies pressed up against ours, the beat of our heart right alongside theirs.  With babywearing, love carries on.

Ergo GuestBlogger Hampton Oct2014 200x300 8 things to love about babywearing Danielle Hampton is a writer and blogger enjoying small town life in the mountains of Northern Arizona with her husband Hank and their two boys, Henry and Charlie. She’s a former high school English teacher who now authors the blog Sometimes Sweet and does freelance writing, editing and social media consulting, contributing to a variety of sites.

Images via ErgoBaby

This post is part of a sponsorship with ErgoBaby

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