There's something very traditional about a rocking toy in a lil one's nursery. Even if they're not big enough to ride it, the toy makes a perfect accent piece until it is put to use. For years wooden versions have added just a touch more charm to a traditional baby's room, but today they are anything but stodgy. We've rounded up five wooden rockers to suit any nursery style from classic to ultra-modern!
Clockwise from top left: Radio Flyer's Classic Wood Rocking Horse ($100), Cabinfield's Classic Rocking Airplane ($340), Italtrike's ABC Chocolate Rocking Horse ($78), Plan Toy's Arabian Rocking Horse ($63), J.I.P.'s Wooden Rocking Scooter Chair ($100).
Who is this product designed for? Though it says it is designed for newborns through 6 month olds, it seems more appropriate for infants of at least 4 months who can hold their heads steadily on their own.
Is it practical? The Astro Magic Bouncer isn't a necessity, but it is fun!. Larger than the standard bouncy seat, it is not as portable as its competitors which can easily be moved from room-to-room.
What sets it apart? The extra-large plush seat is like a luxurious easy chair for infants! Its positioning also places tots higher than other seats, allowing curious babies to see the world around them. Best of all, it connects to your iPod, allowing mama to choose the music her lil one listens to, while giving the wee ones the ability to make the music play by kicking their feet on an interactive kick pad. The seat's Toy Bar features a light show that mesmerized our lil tester.
What could be better? The size/portability could be better. It takes up a lot of room, does not fold for travel, and isn't very portable. The seat's height is not adjustable, making it hard to use with newborns. And while it is built with bells and whistles, it is rather pricey for a toy that will only last until a tot can sit up on his own (around six months).
Did it make baby happy? Yes, very happy! Our 5-month-old tester spent a good 30 minutes in the seat and was never bored. In fact, we felt the need to remove him before he did!
Would I buy it? Probably not. It isn't practical, it takes up a lot of room, and it is expensive. However, I wouldn't return it if someone gifted one to me! The Astro Magic Bouncer has awesome features that will entertain a baby, but the chair isn't a necessary addition to the nursery.
Choose a favorite children's book – be it a classic or simply one of your tot's favorite tomes – and writing a heartfelt inscription in the cover. The thoughtful gift can easily become a family heirloom and may pave the way for future birthday gifts that complete the collection of books by the same author.
Once baby arrives, the gifts start pouring in. In the early days, the UPS man practically needs a dolly to cart the packages to your door. You open the goodies, coo over all of the adorable outfits, put the cards in a pile on the table and say you will write the thank-you notes once the lil one goes down for a nap. One nap turns into two and three and before you know it, days have passed and the pile of cards has grown even larger.
Friends and family of new parents are usually very forgiving, understanding that between middle of the night feedings, non-stop diaper changes and constant laundry, there is little time to sit down and formally write a note or return a call. Emily Post says that notes should be written as soon as possible, and even if they seem late, they should still be sent because, "A late note is always better than no note at all."
How long did you take to send out the bulk of your baby's thank-you notes?
No need to put a caption on these photos. The cost and ease of use of digital cameras allow new parents to photograph every first their child experiences. Gone are the days where moms would dress baby up and run to the local mall to have monthly photo sessions to capture their lil one's growth over the course of their first year. Now, mama can prop baby up on the couch and shoot endlessly, ultimately picking the single best shot to share with family and friends.
With Squigglybee's Today I Am onesies ($15), bibs ($10) and t-shirts ($13), there is no need to think about what baby will wear for her photo shoot, and no need to caption the photos for future reference. The spot-on pieces feature monthly and annual milestones making them great gifts for baby showers and hospital visits. Once a year's worth of photos has been taken, first-year photo frames can showcase just how much baby has grown. Check out some of our favorite frames below.
I love the element of surprise! That's probably why I didn't find out the sex of my children while pregnant or set up a baby registry. When invited to a shower, I like to give an unexpected gift and leave the swing, bouncer and crib sheet offerings to other guests. Here are a few of my favorite recent finds.
Source: Flickr User clevercupcakes
When it comes to the birth of a family's second, third or fourth child, many homes are already well stocked with baby gadgets and gear. Consider presenting the infant with a baby gift made especially for them. Handmade items from knitted outfits to crocheted shawls are often cherished and become heirlooms.
For ladies that lack the talent to stitch their way through an entire blanket, there's a shortcut. Sublime Stitching's Baby Bib Embroidery Kit ($20) comes with two blank bibs, iron-on transfers, embroidery floss, needle, and a full-color, illustrated instructional booklet. The patterns range from dress up clothing and fairies to rock bands and dancing vegetables, which can each be used several times over.