Saturday, January 26, 2008

Thanks for nothing, FTD!

My grandmother's birthday is tomorrow. She lives in another state, and I wanted to send her a gift. I already ordered some cute photo items for her with my daughter's pictures, as well as a bunch of prints. I also wanted to send her some flowers. She will be gone all day on her actual birthday, so I wanted them to arrive today. Otherwise, most sites could not deliver the flowers until Tuesday, and that just seemed too long after her birthday. I shopped around several different flower sites, but it was tough to find one that could deliver today since I was shopping somewhat last-minute. FTD had a nice, reasonably-priced bouquet, and for only a $15 surcharge they could deliver it on a Saturday. I placed the order, charged it to my credit card, and received a confirmation email. I thought it was good to go. Instead, at 9:30 this morning, while I was walking into Gymboree class, my cell phone rang. It was FTD letting me know that my order had not shipped! They did not offer any explanation, but did offer to have a florist-designed bouquet delivered by a local florist. I agreed, since most florist do a great job with these types of arrangements, and at least it would still arrive today. Approximately ten minutes later, my phone rang again. This time, it was FTD letting me know that there was not an FTD florist anywhere near my grandparents' house. This meant that NOTHING could arrive today, and the earliest I could expect any delivery was Tuesday.
Now I was upset and without options. Had FTD let me know this yesterday, I could have easily purchased something from a competitor. Instead, my only option was to wait until Tuesday for the flowers to arrive. I asked if FTD planned to offer me a discount or free service due to this tremendous inconvenience. The customer service rep replied that she could only offer me a 15% discount. "WHAT?!?!?", I responded, "Only a 15% compensation for ruining Grandma's birthday surprise? I don't think so." I calmly, but persistently, explained to the woman that this was unacceptable, and that FTD should be offering me a much better resolution to this problem. I asked to speak to a supervisor.
Fast forward ten minutes. FTD agreed to send a bouquet, on Tuesday, for free. They emailed me a new confirmation and assured me that I will not be charged. So, at least Grandma will be getting some flowers. Unfortunately, they will be arriving days after her birthday, and I will have to let her know they are coming and ruin the surprise so that she doesn't think the flowers were an afterthought. We'll see what they are like when they arrive.
I am now kicking myself for not using another site. I went with FTD because they seemed to be the only ones who could deliver on Saturday without a ridiculously high surcharge. However, in this situation I guess you get what you pay for.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rett Syndrome - as seen on American Idol

Last night came a much-anticipated event in my house: the season premiere of American Idol! While there were some great singers and some very funny auditions, the one that really stuck with me was the audition of the young single mother raising a daughter with Rett syndrome. Before her audition was shown, the American Idol folks included clips of her highly impaired daughter. The mother wept as she described her daughter's apparently normal development until the age of two, at which time she began to have difficulties.

This heart-wrenching story saddened parents everywhere. It may also have been a little frightening for some. After all- Rett syndrome isn't a "mainstream" illness like autism that is talked about often in the media. Many individuals had never heard of Rett syndrome before watching the Idol segment last night. So, what exactly is this mysterious disease?

First of all, Rett syndrome has nothing to do with Tourette syndrome. It is not an abbreviation or form of Tourette syndrome, so just put that thought out of your head. Rett syndrome is derived from spontaneous genetic mutations on a particular gene. This means that you can not control or predict whether or not your child will be affected.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has released a fact sheet containing great information on this topic. Here are some excerpts that may be of interest:

What is Rett syndrome?
Rett syndrome is a childhood neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by normal early development followed by loss of purposeful use of the hands, distinctive hand movements, slowed brain and head growth, gait abnormalities, seizures, and mental retardation. It affects females almost exclusively. The disorder was identified by Dr. Andreas Rett, an Austrian physician who first described it in a journal article in 1966. It was not until after a second article about the disorder was published in 1983 that the disorder was generally recognized.


The course of Rett syndrome, including the age of onset and the severity of symptoms, varies from child to child. Before the symptoms begin, however, the child appears to grow and develop normally. Then, gradually, mental and physical symptoms appear. Hypotonia (loss of muscle tone) is usually the first symptom. As the syndrome progresses, the child loses purposeful use of her hands and the ability to speak. Other early symptoms may include problems crawling or walking and diminished eye contact. The loss of functional use of the hands is followed by compulsive hand movements such as wringing and washing. The onset of this period of regression is sometimes sudden.

Another symptom, apraxia — the inability to perform motor functions — is perhaps the most severely disabling feature of Rett syndrome, interfering with every body movement, including eye gaze and speech. Individuals with Rett syndrome often exhibit autistic-like behaviors in the early stages. Other symptoms may include toe walking; sleep problems; wide-based gait; teeth grinding and difficulty chewing; slowed growth; seizures; cognitive disabilities; and breathing difficulties while awake such as hyperventilation, apnea (breath holding), and air swallowing.


Is Rett syndrome inherited?
Although Rett syndrome is a genetic disorder — resulting from a faulty gene or genes — less than 1 percent of recorded cases are inherited or passed from one generation to the next. Most cases are sporadic, which means the mutation occurs randomly, mostly during spermatogenesis, and is not inherited.


Who gets Rett syndrome?
Rett syndrome affects one in every 10,000 to 15,000 live female births. It occurs in all racial and ethnic groups worldwide. Prenatal testing is available for families with an affected daughter who has an identified MECP2 mutation. Since the disorder occurs spontaneously in most affected individuals, however, the risk of a family having a second child with the disorder is less than 1 percent.


Genetic testing is also available for sisters of girls with Rett syndrome and an identified MECP2 mutation to determine if they are asymptomatic carriers of the disorder, which is an extremely rare possibility.

Girls have two X chromosomes, but only one is active in any given cell. This means that in a child with Rett syndrome only about half the cells in the nervous system will use the defective gene. Some of the child's brain cells use the healthy gene and express normal amounts of the proteins.
The story is different for boys who have an MECP2 mutation known to cause Rett syndrome in girls. Because boys have only one X chromosome they lack a back-up copy that could compensate for the defective one, and they have no protection from the harmful effects of the disorder. Boys with such a defect die shortly after birth. Different types of mutations in the MECP2 gene can cause mental retardation in boys.


For more information on Rett Syndrome, you can view the full NINDS fact sheet at:
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/rett/detail_rett.htm

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Help Your Country and Your Child: Buy Stock in United States Companies

Given the state of the stock market, I thought it would be an appropriate time to emphasize the value of investing in stocks for you and your child's future. Many women are uninterested in stocks, or perhaps just don't know how to begin. Here is a brief overview of reasons to invest, how to get started, and where to turn for more information. I am a completely self-taught investor. I have never taken a business class or had any formal training, but I have read quite a bit and learned how to create my own fairly successful stock portfolio. It is much easier than it seems.

What is the stock market, and why do people buy stock?
When a company is seeking to grow or expand, if it meets certain criteria it has the option of selling shares, or small pieces, of the company. People who own shares of stock, called shareholders, will share in the profits as the company grows. Historically, stocks have generally earned much more money over time than typical savings accounts. The stock market is like a daily auction in which shares of companies are sold to the highest bidders.

Why should I invest in the stock market? Can't I lose money that way?
First of all, it is important to remember that investment in stock does not provide any guarantee of future earnings. The value of an individual stock can fluctuate widely, and on any given day the value may be significantly higher or lower than the price you originally paid per share. Thus, there is a level of risk involved. However, history tends to repeat itself, and historical data has shown consistently that long-term investing in stocks leads to higher returns over time than investments in bank savings accounts.

How can buying stock be patriotic?
Many United States companies are struggling right now. The economy is poor, and stock prices seem to keep dropping. Companies need money to grow, expand, and continue to employ their workers. Thus, in my opinion an investment in United States stock is an investment in the future of our country.

How can I buy stock?
Several companies have now made it easy to purchase stock online with low fees and no account minimums. This means that, in many cases, you can invest as little as $25 or $50 per month. Don't think $25 monthly will add up to much? If you invested $25 per month in the stock market for 10 years, assuming an average annual 9% interest rate, at the end of 10 years you would have roughly $4,100. Most of us can save $25 per month very easily by trimming excess spending. My first suggestion for an investment company would be Sharebuilder.com. However, they were recently acquired by ING Direct and it is unclear if their currently low fees will begin, or if their easy, user-friendly set-up will change. If it does, Ameritrade.com is a highly-rated competitor.

Where can I get more information?
This post was designed as a very general overview and guide. I hope to provide more information as time goes on. In the meantime, there are many great books that will help you to gain a better understanding of stocks and financial management in general.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Golden Globes were awarded today

Does anyone care? Without all of the fanfare and glitz, the awards don't seem to matter.

This strike just needs to end already. I miss my Saturday Night Live! Really, if they show the Peyton Manning episode one more time I am going to put a brick through my TV. Since becoming a parent, it is rare for me to be anywhere other than sitting in front of my TV at 11:30 on Saturdays, and SNL used to be one of the highlights of my weekend (pathetic, I know). I can't take the repeats anymore! TV Execs, are you listening? End this strike- I want my SNL!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Baby-Proof Your Vocabulary

My daughter was ten months old when she first decided to start mimicking sounds and repeating words. This was much sooner than I anticipated, but apparently it is fairly common for infants to start repeating at an early age. However, since we did not expect our daughter to begin talking for quite some time, we did not monitor our use of foul language in front of her.

One day, my husband and I were standing in the laundry room, with him holding the baby. I opened the washing machine and looked at the darks, whites, and delicates he had haphazardly thrown in together and started to complain about his method of doing laundry. He responded with a rather common, two-syllable, two-word expletive- which my daughter instantly repeated! We were so shocked that all we could do was laugh. After all, you don't expect a child to start swearing soon after they learn to crawl!

Thinking this was a one-time repetition of the phrase, we simply vowed to watch our language in front of the baby and start teaching her more appropriate words. Several nights after the initial incident, I was on the phone with my father and holding the baby in my arms. I told him the story of what she had said. As soon as I told him the story, she AGAIN said that phrase and started laughing like crazy! It was at that point that we realized that she wasn't just repeating...our daughter had already started to talk!

Thankfully, since those incidents my daughter's vocabulary has grown, and I don't mean just by four letter words. Someday I guess we will look back and laugh about our swearing baby, but at the time it was more shocking than funny. To those of you who have a young infant or are expecting a child: please, remember this story and vow to refrain from having potty mouth around your baby. Otherwise, like me, you will end up feeling like the trashiest mom on the planet.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Some Information About Parabens

One of my sister-in-laws is literally addicted to following the latest trends. When the Bugaboo stroller craze was at its peak, she had to run out and buy one. She brought her son to baby yoga from the time he was a few weeks old, intentionally gave him a name ranked in the Top 10 Most Popular Baby Names for that year, and faithfully taught him sign language. So it should have been no surprise to me that, in a recent visit to my home, my sister-in-law (we'll call her Trendy Mom) turned up her nose at our bath products and triumphantly announced "In my house, we've gone paraben-free!".

Amazed that my SIL suddenly seemed to understand chemistry (and three-syllable words), I started to investigate the topic on the internet. Sure enough, one of the newest crazes to hit Trendy Mom and her counterparts everywhere is the quest to avoid parabens at all costs. Now, you ask, what exactly is a paraben? Parabens are a family of chemical compounds that are widely used as preservatives in cosmetics, baby products, toiletries, and pharmaceuticals to inhibit the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. Parabens are identified on ingredient labels by several names, including methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and benzylparaben.They have been used for many years and were, until recent years, thought to be very safe for all human beings. Parabens are quickly metabolized by the body, meaning that the body is able to break them down and excrete them in a very short amount of time. In the past, it was widely accepted that, due to the brief amount of time spent in the body, parabens were safe for all products.

In recent years, studies have shown the potential for ill effects of parabens. Some breast cancer studies suggest that parabens may be somehow involved in the formation of tumors. Other studies show that parabens may mimic some effects of the estrogen hormone and have negative consequences on the male reproductive system. I won't get too technical on you, but if you have an interest in reading published research studies, you can view abstracts for free at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed and link to sites that will allow you to purchase full articles. (Some authors will also email you PDF copies of their work if you email them a request. Try emailing the contact person listed on the abstract.)

Now, back to Trendy Mom. She has given up traditional disposable diapers, lotions and baby washes in favor of all-natural, paraben-free organic products for her children. She and her husband have switched from paraben-containing deodorants to all natural versions. In her mind, she has fully jumped on the bandwagon and her family is officially "paraben-free". However, is this really the case?

On her recent visit, I stifled a laugh as I watched Trendy Mom slather her daughter's bottom in Desitin ointment during a diaper change. Apparently she never read the ingredient list on the label and realized that this wonderful, highly-effective product contains a type of paraben. Later, as Trendy Mom hugged and cuddled her infant, I wondered how much of her paraben-containing makeup was rubbing off on the baby's delicate skin.

Parabens are also used as preservatives in many foods, including baked goods, frozen dairy products, fruit juices, jellies and jams, candy, marinated fish products, mustard, mayonnaise, processed vegetables, spicy sauces, and soda pop. My husband and Trendy Mom's husband had gone to the grocery store to pick up items for dinner. Again, I marveled at Trendy Mom's sense of self-importance as she, her husband, and her children gobbled up that non-organic, potentially paraben-containing food without so much as a glance at the ingredient labels.

My message in relaying the story of Trendy Mom is this: get all the facts. We all raise our children differently, and I know that there are many more of you out there who share Trendy Mom's trend-following philosophy. The next time that you decide to modify your parenting philosophy in response to what other parents are doing, take the time to investigate and make an informed decision as to what is best for your family.

Now, to the larger issue of paraben safety. As I mentioned previously, we should all evaluate the facts and make informed decisions before making important lifestyle and parenting decisions. Going entirely paraben-free involves a much larger lifestyle change than simply changing brands of baby lotions and cosmetics. It involves a constant vigilance over your food intake, personal care products, and potential exposure in your environment. Parabens are everywhere.

Here is an excerpt from a 2006 announcement containing the FDA's official position on parabens:
A study published in 2004 (Darbre, in the Journal of Applied Toxicology) detected parabens in breast tumors. The study also discussed this information in the context of the weak estrogen-like properties of parabens and the influence of estrogen on breast cancer. However, the study left several questions unanswered. For example, the study did not show that parabens cause cancer, or that they are harmful in any way, and the study did not look at possible paraben levels in normal tissue.
FDA is aware that estrogenic activity in the body is associated with certain forms of breast cancer. Although parabens can act similarly to estrogen, they have been shown to have much less estrogenic activity than the body’s naturally occurring estrogen. For example, a 1998 study (Routledge et al., in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology) found that the most potent paraben tested in the study, butylparaben, showed from 10,000- to 100,000-fold less activity than naturally occurring estradiol (a form of estrogen). Further, parabens are used at very low levels in cosmetics. In a review of the estrogenic activity of parabens, (Golden et al., in Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 2005) the author concluded that based on maximum daily exposure estimates, it was implausible that parabens could increase the risk associated with exposure to estrogenic chemicals.
FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be concerned about the use of cosmetics containing parabens. However, the agency will continue to evaluate new data in this area. If FDA determines that a health hazard exists, the agency will advise the industry and the public, and will consider its legal options under the authority of the FD&C Act in protecting the health and welfare of consumers.


If you are truly committed to reducing your family's exposure to parabens, I hope that you have found this blog useful, and I encourage you to follow the latest research on the topic. For now, parabens will remain in my house in moderation until more research findings are published.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The future implications of overspending on your baby

When my daughter was a few months old, a friend introduced me to the joys of shopping with my baby at our local mall. This mall has the most beautiful family restroom I have ever seen....big comfy chairs and a TV to occupy older children, multiple changing stations with attached sinks and garbage bins, and private rooms for breastfeeding. To top it off, it is always extremely clean, and is attended to by cleaning staff almost constantly. Having previously been afraid to leave the house with my baby, I was excited to have a comfortable place to take her. During the day, the mall was never crowded, and I could leisurely stroll around, sip my coffee, and stop to reminisce with older folks about their children. My daughter loved looking around at all of the lights and different colors in store displays and, when she grew tired, would close her eyes and take a nap.

The unfortunate result of all of these trips to the mall was, as you would imagine, a growing number of unnecessary purchases. With your little angel looking up at you from her stroller, it is tough not to imagine the adorable sight of her in every cute little dress and outfit that Gymboree or The Children's Place are selling. (At least it was in my case!) All of this clothing truly was adorable, but her closet became so full that at most she wore every article of clothing only once or twice. That was certainly not the most economical use of my hard-earned money.

Let's take this one step further, and look at the future implications of my out-of-control spending. Assume that I unnecessarily spent approximately $50 per week on baby clothing. (I spent much more than this, but let's assume that most of the clothing was truly needed). This translates into roughly $200 per month on clothing that would be worn once, then put away, given to friends, or sold on consignment for pennies on the dollar. If I had kept that spending up for a year (assuming my husband wouldn't have cancelled my credit cards first), that amounts to $2400 in overindulgence.

Thankfully, this phase only lasted for about four months. The weather improved, and I began taking my baby for walks outside in the fresh air- which, incidentally, are free. However, in that 4 month period, I had spent approximately $800 on clothing that my daughter had barely used. Imagine if I had instead taken that $800 and invested it for her future. Even if I had placed it in a low-yield savings account, assuming a 3% interest rate, in 18 years it would have grown to $1,182. If I had invested that same $800 in the stock market through a 529 plan, assuming an average 9% rate of return, in 18 years it would have grown tax-free to $4,018. Had I stopped to think about this before, I would have gladly traded in some of those adorable dresses for over $4,000 toward my daughter's college expenses.

Is your spending out of control? Try using this free calculator to see the value of saving vs. spending.
http://moneycentral.msn.com/Investor/Calcs/N_savapp/Main.asp

Have you overspent on your child? Share your comments below.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Moms of toddlers and older kids- ever miss the old days?

Do you ever miss the days when your child was a precious newborn? Remember the little cord stump that you were afraid to even touch, paranoid that you would knock it off and scar your child for life? How about those tiny little newborn sized diapers that were actually, at one time, a little too big for your baby? Do you miss having a child that actually stays in one place and can not talk back? Ah, those were the days...

Do you ever miss long sleepless nights and nonstop feedings? Do you miss finding spit-up in your hair? Do you miss being strapped to your breast pump like Bessie the cow? Do you miss mustard-colored poop explosions all over your lap? Do you miss holding a colicky baby while he/she screamed for hours in your arms? It's funny how nature works. At the time, those all seem like the most difficult days of your life. In retrospect, they are truly some of the best. If you are an expectant mother reading this blog, I encourage you to revisit the 1st paragraph of this post. If all of those wonderful nostalgic moments did not outweigh the difficult ones, the human race would be long extinct.

Country Music = Baby Soother?

It was our first long car trip with the baby. We had about 10 hours ahead of us, and she was already screaming and fussing in the back seat. My neck and back were sore from bending and contorting to check on her in her rear-facing seat. Already, my husband was ready to turn the car around, head home, and forget about visiting relatives until our daughter turned 30.

We decided to stop at the next service area (gotta love the New Jersey Turnpike!) to see if the baby needed a change, a bottle, or just a breath of fresh air. In an effort to drown out the noise of my inconsolable baby and calm my racing heart, I turned on the car stereo and hit play on the first CD, which was Garth Brooks Double Live. Instantly, the distinct beginning of "Callin' Baton Rouge" blared over the stereo. As I reached for the fast forward button, I realized that the baby had stopped crying. Panicked that I somehow had caused a seizure with the obnoxious song (paranoid and irrational, I know) I unbuckled my seat belt and dove into the back seat to assess the medical emergency that I was sure the baby was having. To my surprise, she was just sleeping. Happily and contentedly sleeping. And breathing just fine (yes, I checked).

Unsure if this had been some fluke, we decided to try our little Garth Brooks baby soothing remedy later in the trip. Again, she was fussy and agitated even though her belly was full, she had already burped, and her diaper was dry. I started the Garth CD. This time I picked the song "Unanswered Prayers", thinking that it would be more soothing. She just screamed louder. I tried "The River", thinking it would be another less-obnoxious song. No luck. Back to the first song, "Callin' Baton Rouge"....she was almost immediately out like a light.

I don't know why this works, but certain country songs that are nothing like lullabies definitely soothe my child. After experimenting, we realized that other Garth Brooks including "Shameless" and "Friends in Low Places" had the same calming effect on our daughter. Any Rascal Flatts song also has the same effect- she does not discriminate. We now own multiple copies of every Rascal Flatts and Garth Brooks CD that has been released. They are in our cars and all over our house. It sounds a little crazy, but I don't know how we would have made it through the baby stage without that music. We did not believe in popping a pacifier or bottle in the baby's mouth every time she was difficult to console...without this strange little country music soothing remedy I don't know how we would have calmed her down in many situations. She and I both would probably have shed a lot more tears.

Just before typing this, I was trying to put my crabby daughter down for a nap. She was very overtired, and after an hour of dealing with her crying and tantruming, I was exhausted. Finally, she led my into my bedroom and to the CD player where a Rascal Flatts CD constantly resides. I put on the music, and she curled up on the bed and laid her head down. By the end of the first song, she was out like a light.

Monday, January 7, 2008

New Research Findings on Vaccine-Autism Link

Today, MSNBC reported that a recent research study concluded that the rise in autism cases in California over the past decade or so was independent of numbers of children given Thimerosol-containing vaccines. Researchers found that the number of children diagnosed with autism continued to climb even after Thimerosol was removed from most childhood vaccines. To read this article, visit http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22542677/

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Thank goodness for great Dads

My child is fortunate enough to have an amazing father. From the day she was born, when I was lying miserable in a hospital bed suffering the after-effects of preeclampsia, my husband jumped in with his own parenting "sixth sense". Family, friends, and even strangers often comment about how much of a doting and loving father he is. Our child has been sick all week, and I have been feeling pretty terrible myself the last few days. Today, he woke up early with her and fed her breakfast to let me sleep in. Then he took her for a nice long walk to allow me a little time to relax. When they did return, he bore the brunt of all of the various tantrums, messes, and poopisodes, and even handled bath time with minimal help from me.

Ladies, if your baby has a wonderful Daddy...please take a minute today to say "Thank you".

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Diaper Bags- I love the name!

Have you heard of the Nunzia Designs company? No, it is not my company and I do not know any of the owners, employees, etc. (I actually came across their products by accident while shopping for a tote bag. ) I have not yet purchased any of their products and can not speak as to their quality, so you may want to do your own research before purchasing. I just LOVE the fact that Nunzia is their name too!

My Biggest Waste of Money

Now that my child is out of the infant stage, I look back and think about all of the things I thought I absolutely HAD to buy when I was pregnant and preparing for her arrival. Like most other new parents-to-be, we obsessed over things like the crib, carseat, and changing table. For safety and quality reasons, putting so much time and effort into those items was well worth it. However, in retrospect I could have saved myself a lot of time and aggravation by avoiding some other products altogether.

One of the biggest wastes of money for me personally was on pacifiers. I read all of the SIDS articles and research updates and knew that I should put my newborn to bed with a pacifier to help to reduce the risk of SIDS. However, it never occured to me that I might not need pacifiers for the baby longer than the first few weeks. My daughter wanted nothing to do with her binky, even from the first night home. We never forced it on her, and she just never took a pacifier. It scared me in the beginning, thinking about the possible SIDS risk, but there was no way to get my strong-willed infant to suck on the pacifier for more than about a minute. So where does the waste of money come in? Being the obsessive mother-to-be that I was, I had registered for several kinds of pacifiers...all kinds of brands, shapes, and sizes so that my baby could have a variety of options. Being the spoiled mom-to-be that I was, I was given a huge baby shower in which I received almost every item on my registry. This meant that I was given no less than 20 pacifiers! By the time my baby was born, I did not have the time to return any of them, and I felt guilty about the idea of returning gifts. So I still have all of these pacifiers, waiting for a new baby to come along and use them.

Another big waste of money? Baby shoes. I don't know what possessed me to buy several pairs of adorable sneakers, Uggs, and dress shoes for my newborn! Sometimes she would start to cry as soon as I put them on. Other times, it was just plain annoying to have her shoes getting in the way while I tried to change a diaper. One or 2 pairs of little baby booties would have been fine, but I was out of control with all the shoes!

Stuffed animals were another big waste of money. When I was pregnant, it seemed I fell in love with each and every one that I saw...I probably bought her 10-15 of them. Well, people just love to buy babies stuffed animals. I don't understand it, but it's true. She received at least 20 at my baby shower, and another 8-10 after she was born. Even distant family acquaintances sent her stuffed animal gifts! Had I anticipated that she would receive this many, I probably would have saved the money that I spent on stuffed animals. The ones she received as gifts are beautiful, and just as soft and cuddly as the ones I purchased!

How do I find the best products for my baby?

There are many methods of searching for the best baby products. It really depends in a lot of ways on how you define "the best". Some people think the best products are the most expensive ones. Others think the best products are those which offer the best value. Others choose to rely on recommendations of friends, relatives, acquaintances, websites or books. The bottom line is that, ultimately, what one person considers to be "the best" product may be considered "the worst" by others.

This blog is designed to provide you with the most comprehensive information possible on various baby products and services. Some recommendations will be based on personal experience, and others on my own research or advice of friends and relatives. The price range of all products will vary greatly. I am lucky enough to afford to spoil my child, showering her with love, affection, and, of course, lots of stuff! Sometimes I find that pricey items are worth the cost. Other times, the least expensive option works just fine. I hope that you will find my recommendations and information useful and helpful to you, and I encourage you to thoroughly research every product before purchasing it.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Welcome!


Hello and welcome to the Spoiled Little Baby Blog, your new resource for information on baby products, clothing, and deals. Thanks for stopping by!