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10 Things You Should Never Force Your Child to Do…

I will admit, I haven't been parenting for very long, but I have learned some valuable lessons over the last 3 years. Before I had a child, I was convinced I would be a mother who ruled lovingly, but with an iron fist. What I say goes. To a certain extent, I do parent that way, but there are some things, I've learned, it's just not okay or healthy to force your child to do. Even if you think the result might be advantageous, take my advice: don't ever force your kid to do these things. 1. Lie. Because lying is wrong, obviously. But also because if your kid thinks you think it's okay to lie to other people, that will definitely backfire on you at some point. And yup, your kid will have had so much practice at lying, you won't even know he/she is lying to you. 2. Eat when they say they're not hungry. I know the doc says they need 3 square meals a day or 5 smaller meals plus some snacks, but really, every kid is different.  And our bodies are designed to alert us when we need something to eat or drink. Also, think about it: have you ever met a child who didn't make it loud and clear when he/she was hungry? Exactly. Don't force your kid to eat when he/she isn't hungry or the consequences could mean long-lasting food issues. 3. Be someone they're not. If your kid is shy, embrace his/her shyness. Don't force her to be this outgoing socialite if all she really wants to do is play with her one best friend. Same goes for the loud, rambunctious kid. Sure, he might be a lot to keep up with, but it's important that kids feel loved for who they are, not who their parents are forcing them to be. 4. Apologize when they have no idea what they did wrong. I see this all the time at the playground. "Go say sorry!" some parent will bark. The kid will oblige, but you can tell he has no idea why he's saying sorry. So before you order an apology, take a second to explain what your kid should be sorry for. 5. Say hello when stranger waves at them. Maybe it's related to my paranoia, but I've taught my daughter to ignore strangers on the street or on the bus and subway who wave at her. That whole "don't talk to strangers rule" definitely still applies in my household, so whether or not my daughter is with me, I don't want her letting her guard down to someone she doesn't know. 6. Sleep in their own bed before they're ready. Again, I have a personal bias here, but I genuinely believe kids will naturally decide when they're ready to make certain changes, and yes that includes sleeping in their own bed. I let my daughter decide when she was ready to give up her bottles, when she was ready to start using the potty, and I plan to do the same with letting her decide when she's ready for her own bed. 7. Have a playdate with a kid who is a bully. Even if you are BFF with said kid's mom. Don't subject your kid to having his toys stolen or her hair pulled just because you want to get in good with the problem child's mom. Invite her to lunch and leave your poor kid out of it. 8. Go on a diet. I know there are kids who need to lose weight, but I don't think you should ever put your kid on a diet. You control what your child eats, so you should make smarter buying decisions in the grocery store. If there aren't a cabinet-full of twinkies and ho-hos for your kid to eat, but the fridge is stocked with fruits and veggies, you'll never have to put your little one on a diet. 9. Do something they're just not good at. I'm not encouraging you to raise a quitter, but if your kid hates it and after months and months of practice and training he/she still isn't good at karate, why not give piano lessons a whirl? Nothing sucks more than being forced to do something you're not good at. Doing something you are good at, on the other hand, is an awesome experience for a child. 10. Spend the night somewhere they feel uncomfortable. I hated sleepovers when I was kid. I hated the idea of sleeping in a strange bed, having someone else make me breakfast, having to use someone else's shower. It just freaked me out, so I never went to slumber parties. If your kid feels the same, don't force the issue. I know it would be nice to have a night off, but just ask grandma to come stay the night while you and dad hit the town. Everyone wins. What about you? Is there anything you'd never force your child to do? Share in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

10 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Sending His/Her Kid to School…

Last week, my daughter stayed with my parents for a few days while I was on a business trip. When I picked her up on Wednesday evening, she had an awful cold that she didn't have when I dropped her off. The culprit? She spent a few days at a daycare near my parents' house and one of those germy kids got her. I thought there was an unspoken rule, but apparently it needs reinforcing because whatever my daughter had was bad enough to put her out of commission for 5 days and now I have the bug, too. So before you send your child to daycare, preschool or any school for that matter, here are some unofficial operating rules. 1. Don't send your kid to school sick! Because no matter how much you encourage your kid to wash his/her hands, he/she will still contaminate the whole class with those sick germs and that's just not fair. I'm a working mom just like you, but just because your kid is sick doesn't mean you should make everyone else's too. 2. Teach your kid it's not okay to hit/bite/kick/scratch. I know it will still happen occasionally, but I'm amazed by how bruised up the kids in my daughter's school get. I know 3-year-olds are remarkably touchy-feely, but this has got to stop. 3. Don't judge other moms for not wanting to have playdates with you. I see you guys every day of the week. Sometimes, I just need a break. 4. Don't throw lavish school birthday parties. It's not a competition. Really, no one wins if we all get into a war of whose goodie bags are better. So can we just agree to send in cupcakes and call it a day? 5. Don't send your kid to school in expensive clothes and then get pissed when my kid accidentally spills paint on them. It was an accident and whoever told you it was a good idea to spend $300 on a Gucci sweater for your toddler totally lied to you. 6. Teach your kid to enjoy naptime while he/she still has it. My daughter is actually the offender on this one. She likes to run around during naptime with a group of friends waking the sleeping kids up. Clearly, she's young and doesn't yet understand what a gift naptime really is. 7. Don't send your kid to school with nuts. Or anything else that could threaten another kid's life. Sure, pad thai makes for a cool, unique lunch none of the other kids will probably have, but those peanuts could be deadly to the kid in the class with a peanut allergy. 8. Don't let your kid bring any old thing for show and tell. Namely, your gun or your drug paraphernalia. I really cannot explain to my 3-year-old what a bong is. 9. Don't teach your kid it's funny/okay to curse. There's nothing funny about a classroom full of preschoolers screaming the f-word because one kid's parents failed to correct his bad behavior. 10. Don't be surprised when everyone in the school knows all your business. Not only do kids share what they had for dinner, but they'll also disclose what you and your partner were fighting about last night, what you watched on TV and who you don't like. They're like sponges except you don't even have to squeeze 'em to get the dirt out. Anything else? What else should parents know before they send their kids to school? Share your thoughts in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Single Parent…

Although I've admitted that there are some positives to being a single parent, it also comes with its obvious downsides. I feel like a lot of celebrity moms make it seem not-so-bad (I'm looking at you, Padma Lakshmi), but it definitely is not ideal. I feel like I've found my footing as a single mom, but that doesn't mean there aren't hiccups and growing pains. Here are just 10 of the things I never thought about--or thought through--when I decided to separate from my daughter's father: 1. Dating. Part of me genuinely believed I would never date again because I had a child. And what man wants a woman with a child? But there are guys out there who don't automatically rule out dating single moms--for real! The problem, of course, is coordinating these dates. Finding a babysitter, sometimes at the absolute last minute isn't always easy. Answering panicked phone calls from said babysitter during your date is even harder. 2. Relationships. The complexities of getting into a relationship with someone other than your child's father are the subject of a whole different blog post. Maybe even a book. But to sum things up, there is the question of when and how to explain the relationship to your kid; how much time your new boyfriend should spend around your child; balancing time with your boyfriend along with time with your child. It's a never-ending juggling act and it is not easy. 3. Your relationship with the other parent. My ex and I initially separated on good terms, but that all went out the window when I (a) started dating something else and (b) took him to court for child support. We rarely speak now and when we do, I keep it as short as possible so that it won't escalate. My daughter still obviously loves him very much, so having to lie to her about how "wonderful" he is is a real pain in my ... 4. Milestones. I was watching an episode of Glee and Idina Menzel's character nailed this one on the head. She was explaining how it's obviously hard to deal with a crying baby when there are dishes to wash, laundry to be done and no one to help. But it's even harder, however, when your child takes his/her first steps, or says his/her first words and there is no one there to look over and celebrate with. Word. 5. Stress. Feeling like your kid's entire success in life rests solely on your shoulders is a quite a bit of pressure. Is she smart enough, will he get into that school, why can't they stop sucking their thumbs? It helps to have someone who is equally invested in your kid talk you off the ledge when you feel like these little things signal total failure for your kid. 6. Alone time. Is basically non-existent. Fortunately, I really love spending time with my daughter and having her around me. But even so, there are times when I wish I just didn't have to clean to the soundtrack of Yo Gabba Gabba in the background. 7. Money. Even millionaires complain about how expensive raising a child is, so the money factor affects all parents. But if, as single parent, you're not receiving any financial help from the other parent, there's even more of a strain. 8. Resentment. Full disclosure: I totally resent my daughter's father for being able to hang out with his friends whenever, go on impromptu trips and buy whatever he wants because he isn't responsible for the day-to-day care of our daughter. I would love to just go on vacay without tons of planning beforehand. That being said, I wouldn't trade places with him in a heartbeat. He's missed so much of her growing up--I just couldn't live with myself if I wasn't there for those firsts. 9. Guilt. When I see seemingly happy families with two parents strolling down the street when it's just my daughter and me, I always feel self-conscious. My daughter deserves that, but I will never, under any circumstances, get back together with her dad. Because I'm so sure of that, I can't help but feel really guilty. 10. Anger. When I put my daughter on time out, she'll scream and cry at the top of her lungs, "I want my daddy." It is literally like a knife through my heart. "If she only knew," I think to myself. "At least I am here, trying to make you a better person. Where is he?" Any other single moms feel my pain? What about married moms? Does being married and raising kids come with its own challenges? Share your opinion in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter to get even more finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Hot Topic: Would You Let A Stranger Touch Your Daughter’s Hair?

On Saturday, while enjoying a Mother's Day pedicure with my mother and my daughter, it happened to me. I've read countless articles about other mom's experiences, but I'd yet to experience it myself. Being that I live in the New York City and it's so culturally diverse, I actually thought it wouldn't happen to me. But it did. As I was sitting waiting for my nails to dry, one of the nail technician's who didn't have a client came over and told me how cute my daughter was. I thanked her and then she asked, "Can I touch it?" Huh? I thought to myself. "Her hair," the woman said. "Can I touch her hair?" Before long, there was a small gathering of three woman running their fingers over my daughter's braided hair. Now part of me wants to see the good in this. I get that cornrows look "cool" if you're not accustomed to seeing them every day. I get the very rudimentary feeling of wanting to get a closer look at something that's unfamiliar. I know, well at least I hope, these women didn't intend to make me or my daughter feel ostracized. Problem is, while they were gawking over my daughter's hair, there was another part of me that wanted to say she isn't a freak. Her hair isn't some strange thing that should be behind glass for people to peer upon like an exhibit. It's hair for goodness sake! And I'd rather you not have your fingers in it! In retrospect, I probably should have said something, but I thought it would make an even bigger scene. And I didn't realize how much it bothered me until my daughter asked yesterday why they were touching her hair. I told her it was because they thought her braids were cool, but part of me was wondering the exact same thing. "Yeah, why were they touching your hair?" What's crazy is, I have a friend whose son has gorgeous red hair. And she gets the same thing! Complete strangers coming up to her asking if they can touch his hair. But I'm wondering, as moms should we embrace these opportunities and allow people to touch our children's hair so they realize it's really not that different? Or should we put our foot down say, "Heck no! No you may not touch my child. He/she isn't some circus act and I will not allow you to ogle." If you've ever been in this position, how did you handle it? If not, how would you handle it? Share in the comments. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me? The 10 Most Expensive Aspects of Raising a Child…

So far, that is. My daughter is only 3, and already I'm convinced I am going to go broke at any second. Granted, my circumstances are unique because I am a single mom doing it all alone, but even still. I'm sure if there was another salary, there would also be more things to pay for. Now don't get me wrong--I knew when I got pregnant that raising a child wasn't cheap. I knew there were diapers to buy and bellies to keep full, but I don't think it really registered. In fact, I know it didn't register. So for all you women considering having a baby or moms with newborn, here is some real talk for you. Kids are expensive! You think Linda Evangelista was crazy to ask for $46,000/month in child support. I say, she probably needs it. Lord knows, I do! So before you get all caught up in how cute babies are, consider these costs: 1. Childcare. This was, by far, the biggest shock for me. Obviously I knew I'd have to pay someone to watch my daughter while I worked, but never did I think the starting rate was $700/month. And that's cheap! That's bare-bones daycare. Add some enrichment programs or meals and you're up to $1000/month. Actually, I'd be happy paying $1000 a month for daycare at this point. Something is so wrong when daycare directors can look you in the eye and tell you their tuition is competitive at $1700/month... for 3 days a week. 2. School. And no, it doesn't get better for school age children. Private school--at least here in New York City--can easily set you back $3500 per month for a 4-year-old. The older they get, the more expensive it gets. But let's keep in mind, most schools will only keep your kid until 3 p.m. If you're working, you then have to pay someone else on top of that three grand to watch them until your day at the office is done. 3. Food. My daughter is pretty thin. She's three and a half feet tall and weighs about 35 lbs. But you know how much I spend a week on just snacks and juice boxes for her? $50 easily. That doesn't include breakfast, lunch or dinner. And don't even get me started on eating out. What ever happened to kids eating free? 4. Toys & Entertainment. In some ways, I am lucky that I live in a one bedroom apartment. Space constraints make it such that I cannot physically hold many toys in my apartment. But even with those space constraints, do you know the going rate for kids' toys? Sure the LeapPad is awesome, but it's also $100. And don't even get me started on these outrageous kids' toys. 5. Shoes. Even me, a self-professed shopaholic, has a hard time paying $30+ on a pair of shoes for a toddler. I've seen my daughter destroy--obliterate!--gorgeous designer shoes one too many times to make that mistake again. But the truth is, the cheap ones are usually not so great for their developing feet. So what's a mom to do--throw money in the trash or let their little feet suffer? 6. Gear. $2000 for a baby crib. $1000 for a stroller. $400 for a car seat. $100 for a baby carrier. And those are just the essentials your baby will need during the first year! 7. Summer camp. This will be my daughter's first year attending summer camp, but just like school the prices are enough to take your breath away. I shelled out $2500 for 8 weeks, which is actually a bargain compared to other day camps here in the city. And let's keep in mind these camps start 2 weeks after school ends and end 3 weeks before school starts. WTF? 8. Laundry. Between accidents, spills and what was supposed to be a fun afternoon at the playground, what used to be a $15/month endeavor is now at least $50/month. On laundry! Add that up and it's $600 just to keep my toddler's clothes clean. We're not even talking about replacing the clothes once she outgrows them... in 3 months! 9. Travel. My advice to you new moms? Fly as much as you can while your kid flies free. Because no matter how rich you are, you die a little inside every time you have to spend $300+ on a plane seat your kid will probably spend 10% of the flight in. 10. Therapy! Ha, just kidding. After all that, you think I could afford a therapist? That's what blogs are for! Moms, did I forget anything? What do you find is the most expensive part of raising your child? Share in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter to get even more finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post

10 Things Suburban Moms Probably Take for Granted…

Despite my complaints (wait for them, they're coming), I wouldn't trade living in the city for anything. I love that my daughter has such easy access to all the city has to offer and raising her in such a diverse environment is really important to me. That being said, raising a kid in a city seems much harder in a lot of ways than raising children in the suburbs. I'm sure being a suburban mom comes with its own challenges, but as a city mom I feel like suburban moms have it good. They have space, privacy and of course, there's all that money they're saving. The point of this post isn't to offend or insult suburban moms. Rather, think of it as my way of commiserating with other city moms. And in the process, maybe helping a few suburban moms who may be feeling down about their situation realize it isn't so bad. Here are 10 things that make being a city mom hard as hell... 1. Space. And I'm not just talking about apartment space, although that is a problem, too. Everything in the city seems more compact. It's a breeze to push your double stroller through grocery store doors in the 'burbs, but it's darn near impossible to get that rig inside the corner store. Trying to navigate once you're actually in the store... whole other issue. 2. Not having to carry your stroller up and down stairs. I will admit, this is how I lost all of my baby weight and some. But when I was carrying that 25 pound beast up subway stairs, I honestly thought there couldn't be anything worse. Even labor paled in comparison. 3. Not having to push your stroller through snow. Strollers, like cars, should come with 4 wheel drive. Just for city moms. Have you ever tried pushing an umbrella stroller over 3 inches of snow? Yes, it's probably the best arm workout ever, but it's also like a modern day variation of that whole pushing a rock up a hill torture. 4. Being able to run to a car with your kid when it's raining. But if instead you have to get yourself, your kid, his/her backpack and your own bag to a bus stop 3 blocks away, the rain is essentially your immortal enemy. I know they make children's umbrellas, but that requires actually getting your kid to carry his/her own umbrella. Not that easy when the wind keeps blowing it up, or the rain keeps blowing underneath it or your kid is just not in the mood that day. 5. The school situation. I know that some suburbs have bad public schools, but I feel like the situation is even more dire in cities. The classes are too big, the facilities are decrepit, the list goes on. That means private schools are really most parents' first choice, except that unlike public schools, private schools turn people away. The competition factor plus the tuition makes educating your child in the city pretty much a nightmare. 6. Inviting the grandparents to spend the week (ok, maybe just the weekend) with you. I'd love for my parents to come stay with me for a few days, but that would mean they'd have to sleep (a) on an inflatable mattress or (b) in the bed with my daughter and me. Not. Happening. 7. Being able to take your kid out to eat. Of course, there are plenty of wonderful restaurants in the city featuring a diverse array of food. Unfortunately, lots of those restaurants look down on diners under the age of 10. They don't have crayons, they don't serve milk and they don't respond well to having to clean up spilled beverages. In general, I feel like eating establishments in the 'burbs are way more kid-friendly. 8. The money situation. We all have bills, I know. But at least in the suburbs you're getting something other than location for $1600/month. 9. Privacy! Because we live in such close quarters in NYC, your neighbors basically know what you do every second you're in your apartment. They know when you're weaning your baby off the paci--they hear the screaming every night. They know what you ate for dinner--they smell it across the hall. They know when you go on vacation--they stop hearing your child scream in the hallway. In some ways it's a blessing, to have someone who knows your goings and comings, but it can also be a bit of a curse. 10. Letting your kid be a kid. Toddlers love running around and they deserve to work off some of that steam. In a house, a kid can run around and stomp to their heart's content, but if my little girl so much as steps too loudly my downstairs neighbors are on the phone with the landlord petitioning for me to get evicted. City moms, did I miss anything? Suburb moms, what sucks about raising kids in the 'burbs? Share in the comments. Sign up for our newsletter to get even more finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

5 Things Every Mother Should Tell Her Child Every Day

Whenever I learn that a celebrity has passed or there's some major national news event like a school shooting or bombing, my first thought it always of the victim's loved ones. What was the last thing they said to their loved one? They will forever be left with those words... hopefully they were able to tell them that they loved them one last time. I know it's morbid, but life is short and there's no time for holding in our feelings for those that are most important to us. What comes to mind for me is my love for my daughter... and these 5 things I try to tell her every day (partly for my own peace of mind!): 1. I love you. I know most of us already tell our kids this, but that doesn't mean we can't say it more. Or in new ways. And don't forget to load on the kisses before and after. 2. You are amazing. You'll probably have to tell your toddler what this means, but the key is to tell your little one everything that makes him/her special. Whether he's funny or smart or caring, make sure your kid knows he's extraordinary. 3. You make me so happy. Because us moms can get a little stressed out and tend to do our fair share of yelling, it's important to remind our kids that they really do make us happy. Even if you've got crayon to clean off the wall and piles of laundry to wash, put on a smile and tell your kids how happy you are to have them in your life. 4. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I actually stole this from a Ray LaMontagne song, but I play--and sing--it for my daughter regularly. It's a beautiful love song and the chorus perfectly describes how I feel about my daughter. 5. I'm so proud of you. Sure your toddler may not be bringing home straight As or scoring winning goals yet, but when she ties her own shoe laces or goes to the potty all by herself, praise her accomplishments. Nothing is better than a seal of approval from mommy. Anything else you'd add to the list? What should we be telling our kids every day? Share in the comments.  

12 Things You Should Do To Be A Better Mom

Admit it: resolutions are made to be broken. Every year we say this is the year I'm going to "live life to the fullest" or "lose all my baby weight" and you know what? It never happens. So stop wasting your resolutions on things that don't really matter and make this year the year things change. Don't resolve to get skinnier or exercise more--just decide this is the year I'm going to be an even better mom. Start with these 12... 1. Stop posting all your kid's pics on Facebook and instead make a real, tangible album with the photos. Yes, it requires actually going to a store and printing the pics, but imagine how much better it will be in 25 years to sit down with your kid and look through an actual photo album. Clicking through a slideshow just doesn't have the same effect and who knows where Facebook will be in 25 years anyway. 2. Tell your kid you love him/her 5 times more than you already do. If you only say it before bed, find 4 other times throughout the day to say it. If you're already saying it 5 times a day, keep up the good work--and start leaving your kid love notes in the lunch box or in the sock drawer reminding your little one how much you love him/her. And don't just tell--show your kids, too. 3. Reduce your kid's TV time by one hour each day. And use that hour to get down on the floor, sit at a table or go outside and spend real, genuine QT with your kid. I have nothing against Dora, but your kid shouldn't know more about Dora than he/she knows about you. 4. Splurge on yourself at least once each season. Because you deserve it. Period. 5. Take a trip... without your kids. For some, like me, this won't be easy. But even I'm coming to see it's necessary. Even if your trip is just a weekend getaway, use this time to relax, recharge and come back to your kids re-energized. Plus, being away will only help you appreciate just how much you love them. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. 6. Teach your kid one valuable lesson you didn't learn until you were an adult. For me, it's totally going to be money management and the importance of saving. Some other ideas include healthy eating habits, showing affection or a love for learning. Whatever you decide, commit to instilling this lesson in your child in small ways throughout the year. 7. Take a class with your kid. Because anyone can drop a kid off at ballet or karate and come back in an hour. Do better in 2012 by actually participating with your kid in a mommy and me yoga class or cooking class. Check out Plum District or Doodle Deals for deals on classes in your area. 8. Take baths with your kid... regularly. I get that this may not be cool for all moms, but I can't even tell you how my daughter lights up when I join her in the bath tub. Maybe it's because in the hustle and bustle of the day, bath time can seem like a bit of a chore. Either way, it's a nice change of pace for your kid to see that bath time isn't just another thing you want to check off your daily to-do list. And that you can have fun in the tub, too. 9. Volunteer together as a family. Because no matter how little you think you have, there are always people who have it worse. And it's never too early to teach your child to care about others. 10. Plan a family staycation. Family vacations are usually all go go go and you almost always come home feeling more exhausted than when you left. So instead, take one week off from work and spend those 7 days staying local with your kids. Heck, some days you don't even have to leave the house. It's just a much-needed opportunity to stop and remind yourselves what really matters--your family and that you're all together. 11. Stop watching TV shows that profit from women behaving badly. This includes, but is not limited to, Real Housewives, Bad Girls Club and any of the "Wives" shows. Keep in mind, these fighting, screaming, drink-throwing women are someone's daughter and in a few years, they could be your daughter. Stop these shows now. 12. Kiss like there is no tomorrow. Whenever my daughter is sick and I take her to the doctor, my pediatrician always jokes, "I guess someone hasn't been getting enough kisses." It's silly, but maybe there's something to it. So who cares if you're grossing strangers out or your kid keeps screaming, "I'm a big girl!" Smother those kiddies in kisses because tomorrow is not promised. Any thing else you've resolved to do this year? Share in the comments.

Mom-Tested: The One Product That Helped My Daughter’s Infant Eczema

My daughter was born at the end of July in New York City and when I tell you it was hot, it was H.O.T. Fast forward four months, and her skin totally dried out once the weather cooled. It turned out she had infant eczema and those dry itchy patches tormented her (and me!) for weeks. I tried lots of products to soothe her skin, but the one that finally gave her some relief was the AVEENO® Baby Eczema Therapy collection. I threw out all the baby washes and lotions we'd been given and just started using AVEENO® and within days I could see a difference. There were fewer dry patches and far less irritation. Five years later, my daughter doesn't suffer from eczema anymore, but I still use AVEENO® Baby Eczema Therapy products. They're gentle, soothing and the #1 brand I always recommend to new moms. But enough about me! October is National Eczema Awareness Month and because I’m sure many moms have little ones who suffer with it, we asked Dr. Kenneth R. Beer, MD PA, a board certified physician in both dermatology and dermatopathology, to share his best eczema advice. Here’s what he recommends: "Treating eczema for babies, children and adults is really a combination of preventive and therapeutic efforts." DO use hydrating cleansers and barrier creams with soothing ingredients, like colloidal oatmeal, daily to maintain the integrity of the skin's barrier – for example AVEENO® Eczema Therapy products for adults and AVEENO® Baby Eczema Therapy products for babies. DO look for products with ceramides—an essential lipid naturally found within the skin that plays a key role in enhancing and restoring the skin’s protective function. DO use fragrance free laundry detergent to wash clothing, sheets and towels and avoid dryer sheets. DON'T use body lotions with irritants which can aggravate skin and cause eczema to flare. DON'T use products with fragrances or harsh dyes. Click through the slideshow to shop my fave AVEENO® Baby Eczema Therapy products. [slideshow] To learn more about eczema, visit Nationaleczema.org. And for more information about AVEENO® Eczema Therapy products, visit Aveeno.com or Facebook.com/Aveeno. Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Check Out What Went Down At STRUT, The Fashionable Mom Show, This Weekend In N.Y.C.

Over the weekend, Vaseline partnered with Denise and Melissa of The Moms, for an amazingly fun event here in N.Y.C. They corralled some of the most fashionable moms, kids and moms-to-be to strut their stuff at a fashion show during New York City Fashion Week all to benefit causes like Feeding America and March of Dimes. We had the opportunity to stop by and get a behind-the-scenes look at how it all went down. There were loads of stylish moms and their cute kids getting ready backstage and using Vaseline's Spray & Go Moisturizer,  a convenient spray lotion that moisturizes deeply and absorbs quickly, so they could moisturize and get dressed fast to strut their looks down the runway. Our personal highlight? The adorable little kid DJing the whole thing! Of course, we're also suckers for a photobooth so we took the opportunity to test out Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer in front of the camera. It was a blast! Check out some highlights from the event in the slideshow below. [slideshow] Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Who Says You Can’t Get a Gorgeous, Safe Baby Crib For Less Than $200? We Found Four!

When you're expecting, the one thing you'll hear over and over again is how expensive babies are. So many moms-to-be are shocked to learn that they spend so much before their little one even arrives. But between a stroller, car seat and nursery furniture it all adds up. h Here's a little tip from us: more expensive doesn't always mean better, especially when it comes shopping for your baby. Case in point: the new Fisher-Price baby cribs. They have four designs that are all incredibly beautiful and safe, but also reasonably priced. We're talking $160 or less! Click through the slideshow below to see these inexpensive baby cribs for yourself. [slideshow] Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Designing a Stylish, Safe Nursery Has Never Been Easier Thanks To Fisher-Price

What's every mom-to-be's dream for her baby's nursery? That is safety, of course, but also that it's beautiful. After all, you'll be spending quite a bit of time in there for the next few years. Designing your baby's nursery is easily one of the most fun pregnancy projects and it just got a whole lot more exciting thanks to Fisher-Price's gorgeous nursery furniture collection. From cribs and dressers to changing and dressing tables, outfitting your little one's new room with well-designed, high-quality items--at a great price, might we add--has never been so easy. Haven't had a chance to check out Fisher-Price's new furniture collection? Click through the slideshow below to see--and shop!--5 of our favorite items. [slideshow] Start Shopping: walmart.com Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Congrats! Prince William & Kate Middleton Welcome a Baby Boy

It's official! After more than 12 hours of labor Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed a baby boy. The royal son was born at St. Mary's hosptal in London and weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces. This is the same hospital where both Prince William and Price Harry were born. The palace has yet to release details on the child's name, but we'll be sure to share as soon as we find out. Congrats to the new parents! Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Shop The DVF ♥ Gap Kids Little Explorers Collection Now

After months of anticipation, the new DVF ♥ Gap Kids collection is finally here! Featuring over 30 designs for infant girls, toddler girls and big girls, the DVF ♥ Gap Kids Little Explorers collection is even bigger--and dare we say, better!--than the collab last year. The line includes adorable leggings, dresses, rompers, shoes and more. Start Shopping: gap.com Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Score A Mother’s Day Gift For 25% Off At ICE.com

I always find it hard to answer the question, "What do moms really want for Mother's Day?" The PC answer is, "I just want my family to be happy and healthy," but the honest answer? Jewelry! So whether you're shopping for a mom--or a mom shopping for yourself on Mother's Day!--be sure to take advantage of our exclusive discount offer at ICE.com. Just shop through the link below and you'll save an extra 25% on your fine jewelry purchase. Not sure where to start? Check out our picks in the slideshow below: [slideshow] Start Shopping: ICE.com Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

First Look! The New DVF ♥ Gap Kids Collection Arrives On April 25

Look what I found over on gap.com--the first images of the new DVF ♥ Gap Kids collection! As we announced back in January, DVF teamed up with Gap Kids for another collaboration collection launching this spring. Unless you were living under a rock last year, you remember how wildly successful the first DVF children's collection was. And by the looks of these photos of the second collection, this one's gonna be even better! The new DVF ♥ Gap Kids collection arrives in stores around the country and online on April 25, so mark the date. There are styles for baby, toddler and big girls including dresses, rompers, tees and more. Of the upcoming collection, DVF had this to say: “It was a lot of fun to design a children’s collection and I am glad to repeat it this year. This time it is all about adventure, with the same attention to color and print. I think the result is playful and perfect for the little explorers of the world!” Take a peek at the cute looks below: Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Keep An Ear–And An Eye!–On Your New Baby With The Awesome Samsung WiFi Video Baby Monitor

The first few weeks--or months!--at home with a new baby are stressful enough. Between the crazy sleep schedule and feeding schedule, the last thing you need to worry about is whether or not your baby is okay when alone in the nursery. That's why a high quality baby monitor is so essential. Now we've tested loads of baby monitors and while there are some good ones, there are also some duds. We're talking static and lost connections within the same house. Fortunately, when we put the new Samsung WiFi Video Baby Monitor to the test, we were super impressed. First, there's the sleek design. For space-starved parents like us in NYC, we totally appreciate the compact design. Despite its size, though, this baby monitor is loaded with amazing features. Not only can you watch and listen to your baby's every move, but you can also record them and then share the videos with family and friends. The picture is shockingly clear and there's even a motion sensor that activates when your baby moves. Trust us, watching this thing will become your new fave hobby. Because this monitor has so many features, however, it is a little difficult to set up and start using. It took us a few reads of the manual to test everything adequately, but once we figured it out it was so worth it. Get Yours: target.com Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Finally, A Cool Way To Get All Those Pics Off Your Camera and Onto Your Walls. Introducing, Fracture

I don't know a mom out there--myself included--who doesn't have at least 50 photos of her kid(s) just sitting on a camera waiting to be uploaded, printed and/or shared with the world. We love playing photographer, but actually getting around to doing something with the pics? Who has the time? Well now, you do! We just discovered this new site, Fracture, which is guaranteed to help get all those photos off your camera and onto your walls. How? Fracture prints your favorite photos on a slim piece of glass turning ordinary pics of the kids into modern, eye-catching artwork. Best of all, prices start at just $12. Here's how it works: Upload a hi-res image on fractureme.com. Decide if you want a wall mounted print, or a print in a stand. Choose your Fracture (aka print) size. Check out and wait for your Fracture to arrive! Easy enough, right? Click through the slideshow to check out all the cool options Fracture offers: [slideshow] We're so obsessed with Fracture that we've got an exclusive coupon code for our readers. Just use code MOMFINDS13 at checkout until April 30 and you'll get 10% off a classic size or larger. Fracture also has a 30 Day Happiness Guarantee and Lifetime Guarantee on their products. Don't wait! We have a feeling after your first print you're gonna be hooked. Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

4 Spring Sales No Mom Should Miss…

Celebrate the start of a new season with these spectacular sales: - Take 30% off sale items at J. Crew with code SUNSHINE at checkout. - Save an extra 20% at Bloomingdale's with code FRIENDS. - Save up to 40% on UGG Australia, Juicy Couture and more at Nordstrom. - Save up to 50% on colorful kids' clothing at Tea Collection. Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

HURRY! One Day Left to Enter to Win the Ultimate Mega Bloks® Skylanders Giants™ Gift Set

Have a kid who's obsessed with Mega Bloks®? Then brace yourself for the giveaway you've been waiting for! We're giving away the ultimate  Mega Bloks® Skylanders Giants™ gift set which includes Mega Bloks® Skylanders Giants™ Zeppelin Air Ship Assault, Mega Bloks® Skylanders Giants™ Troll Mech Ambush, Mega Bloks® Skylanders Giants™ Crusher’s Pirate Quest and three Mega Bloks® Skylanders Giants™ Battle Portal Series 1. That's a $120 value! (more…)

What Better Way to Usher In Spring Than With Some Colorful New Clothes From Tea Collection?

It's no secret that we're huge fans of Tea Collection here at MOMfinds. From their gorgeous printed dresses for girls to their cute, practical designs for boys, Tea should be every mom's go-to when looking for beautiful, well-made children's clothes. (more…)

Jessica Simpson Reveals She’s Expecting a Baby Boy!

The secret's out! During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, Jessica Simpson let the sex of her unborn baby slip. "The crazy thing is I never knew a wiener could make me nauseous," she told Kimmel. "'Well I guess I just told the world that I'm having a boy!" (more…)

Kate Middleton Is Having a…

Spoiler alert ahead. If you don't want to know the gender of Kate Middleton's baby, don't read any further. (more…)

Kim Kardashian Is Having A…

Are you ready for this? Over the weekend, an insider revealed the gender of Kim Kardashian's baby to Us Weekly! (more…)

Congrats! Fergie Is Pregnant With Her First Child

And baby makes three! That's just what mom-to-be Fergie tweetd earlier today when she revealed that she and her husband, Josh Duhamel, were expecting their first child together. "Josh & Me & BABY makes three!" the singer tweeted. (more…)

Spotted! Mom-to-Be Kim Kardashian is Starting to Show

We've been resisting the urge to post constantly about baby Kimye, but it's about time we said something. She is starting to show, after all! (more…)

Take Your Child On a Journey Around The Universe–Without Ever Leaving Home–With Baldo’s Awesome Adventures

Every parent knows just how important reading with your child is. Not only does it lead to early language and reading skills, but it also fosters creativity and imagination. That being said, it's easy for kids to get stuck in a reading rut. How many times has your kid asked you to read the same book, over and over, night after night? Want to switch things up? Allow us to recommend one of our news faves, Baldo's Awesome Adventures. First things first, the hand-painted illustrations are incredible. Your child is bound to be just as enamored with them as by the exciting story line. Speaking of which, this entertaining read follows Baldo the balloon as he travels into outerspace, around the world and into the arms of a loving friend. It's a journey filled with excitement and adventure that will have your little one captivated until the very end. It's a perfect pick for little boys or girls and has a super sweet ending, which makes it great for before bed. Get your copy at amazon.com. Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Meet Gisele Bundchen’s Baby Girl, Vivian Brady!

It's been just over 2 months since supermodel Gisele Bundchen gave birth to her baby girl, Vivian Brady, and it seems the new mom is finally ready to show her daughter off. The proud mama posted this photo on Facebook earlier today along with the caption, "Love is everything!!! Happy friday, much love to all." Little Vivian is such a cutie! (more…)

Hooray! The Weekend Is Here–Along With These 5 Awesome Sales

Whether your expecting lots of snow or the weather is actually kinda nice where you are, it's Friday and nothing is more exciting than the weekend! And what better way to kick off the weekend than with some good, can't-miss online sales. They're the perfect opportunity to get a head start on spring or to stock up for next winter. Check out these 5 winter sales we're loving: Save up to 60% on Mini Boden, The North Face Kids and more at Nordstrom. Save 20% on all kids items at Piperlime with code KIDDIES at checkout. (Ends 2/8) Tons of cute kids' clothes are 50% off at Tea Collection. Looking for cute nursery decor? Check out the Petit Collage sale at The Mini Social. And just for you mom, don't miss this awesome Zulily sale on Ray-Ban sunglasses. Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Congrats! Javier Bardem & Penelope Cruz Are Expecting Baby #2

After much speculation, it's official: actress Penelope Cruz is pregnant! (more…)

Save the Date! Diane von Furstenberg’s Second GapKids Collection Arrives in April

I can barely contain my excitement while composing this post. Imagine my delight when going through my morning emails to find an official announcement that Diane von Furstenberg and Gap are teaming up for another collaboration collection! Now, I probably don't need to remind you just how amazing the first DVF ♥ GapKids collection was. The prints, the silhouettes, the prices--everything was incredible. The collection was a huge success so although we were surprised to hear DVF and GapKids teaming up again, it totally makes sense. Of the upcoming collection, Gap Global President said "Diane's iconic prints, signature silhouettes and optimistic color palettes really resonated with our customers around the world. After a successful first collaboration, we're thrilled to continue working with Diane and excited to see what she will bring forward in her second DVF for Gap collection." Diane von Furstenberg went on to add, "I really loved the challenge of translating my designs into the first DVF for Gap collection. It was so much fun to see little girls wearing the pieces, and I'm looking forward to collaborating with Gap on this second collection." The second DVF x GapKids collection is slated to arrive in April, but as soon as we get pics we'll be sharing them. Stay tuned! Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Finally! Adele’s Baby Name Revealed

It was so great seeing Adele at the Golden Globes earlier this month--obviously she looked amazing. But let's be real. What everyone really wanted to know was her baby name! (more…)

Hurry! Sale Items Are an Extra 25% Off at Tea Collection

Kid's winter clothes starting to look a little beat up? Yeah, mine too. Which is why I went a little crazy at the amazing Tea Collection sale! For one week only, use code WOW25 at checkout and you'll save an additional 25% on all sale items. The famous dresses, tees, pants and more are already up to 40% off so it doesn't take a math whiz to see what kind of savings you're getting. The sale ends 1/20/12, so hurry! Start Shopping: teacollection.com (more…)

Need Ideas For Spending More Time With Your Fam in 2013? Join Our Google + Hangout Today At 2 p.m. EST!

We're so excited to be joining our first ever Google + hangout today! We've actually teamed up with Kimberly Blaine of The Go-To Mom and Self magazine for this exciting hangout, which will give parents tips on how to make more time for family in 2013. During the hangout, we'll also be joined by Ashley Koff RD from ashleykoffapproved.com, Laura Vanderkam, author of All The Money In The World: What The Happiest People Know About Getting and Spending and MomsLA.com co-founder of Sarah Auerswald. With a rockstar panel like that, it's sure to be lots of fun and super informative, so you don't want to miss it! RSVP to the even by clicking here. See you at 2 pm EST! Sign up for our newsletter for even more great finds delivered right to your inbox. Click here to email Jeanine, the author of this post.

Congrats! Evan Rachel Wood Is Pregnant

Just two months after her wedding to actor Jamie Bell, actress Evan Rachel Wood is expecting! The mom-to-be revealed the news on Twitter saying, "Remember when i said, "No baby on the way here" Well, I didn't know there actually was!" (more…)

The Key to Potty Training Success? The iPotty!

  Not quite sure what you're looking at? Well, it's a potty--with an iPad dock. Yes, mamas, potties have officially gone 2.0. Meet the iPotty. It's a brand-new invention that not only allows your toddler to learn to use the bathroom, but to watch movies or play games while doing so. Awesome or alarming--we just can't tell. (more…)

Spotted! Sarah Jessica Parker’s Adorable Twins Rocking Mou Mini Eskimo Boots

They may only be toddlers, but Sarah Jessica Parker's twins Marion and Tabitha are quickly becoming little style mavens to watch. We've already covered their adorable Appaman peacoats and puffer jackets and now we're moving on to those adorable boots they're wearing in the pic above. (more…)

Could UGG Australia Have Hired a More Adorable Model? Check Out Jackson Theron Rocking The Cozy Boots

Look how big he's gotten! It's been a while since we last saw Charlize Theron and her baby boy, Jackson, and believe it or not he's gotten even more adorable. Just check out those cheeks. (more…)

Found! Suri Cruise’s Navy Blue Puffer Coat

If you live in the Northeast, you know how cold it's been these last few days. Sure, we've experienced colder, but that doesn't mean it's not frigid out there. So what do you put on your kid to keep him/her warm? Well, if you're Katie Holmes you turn to J. Crew Crewcuts and they're super lightweight, yet warm puffer coats. That's what Suri is wearing in the pic above and despite the grimace she appears to be perfectly warm in her topper. (more…)

Penelope Disick a Trendsetter Already? Check Her Out Rocking a Baby Turban

Look at those eyes! And she's definitely got the Kardashian eyelashes. Kourtney Kardashian and her baby girl, Penelope, were snapped recently and we can't get over those gorgeous eyes. Of course, her chunky cheeks are super adorable, as well. (more…)

Spotted! Jessica Simpson Debuts Her Baby Bump

Looks like mom-to-be Jessica Simpson is totally embracing her second pregnancy. Unlike her first--which she kept a secret until the end of her second trimester--Jessica Simpson is flaunting her baby bump this time around. (more…)

Congrats! Kim Kardashian Is Pregnant

Oh yes, you read that right. After eight months of dating, the Kim Kardashian is expecting her first child with Kanye West. Kim's rep confirmed the news yesterday after Kanye called Kim his "baby mama" to the crowd during a concert in Atlantic City, NJ. Shortly after, Kim's sisters and mom took to Twitter to confirm the news and offer their congratulations. (more…)

Who’s Ready for Round Two? Shop These Awesome After-Christmas Sales!

I know, I know. Just when you thought you'd get a break, nope! The retailers are back with more amazing sales to close out 2012 and you don't want to miss them. Here are a few of the best after-Christmas sales we've found. Found others? Share the love--in the comments. Save up to 50% on trendy maternity clothes at ASOS. Take 50% off tons of winter maternity clothes Destination Maternity. Take 30% off sale items at Gap with code GAPSALE. Save up to 50% on the most popular styles at Isabella Oliver. Save 25% on sale items at J. Crew with code TINSEL. Save 25% on sale items at Kate Spade with code 25SALE. Take 40% off tons of cute styles at Tea Collection. (more…)

Congrats! Claire Danes Welcomes a Baby Boy

Congrats to new mom Claire Danes and her husband, Hugh Dancy, who just received the best Christmas gift of all--a new baby! The Homeland actress gave birth to a son--named Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy--on Monday December 17, 2012. (more…)

Score the Exact Dress Modern Family’s Lily Wore to the 2012 Emmy’s–on eBay!

Remember back in September when we posted about that adorable purple dress Aubrey Anderson-Emmons--better known as Lily from Modern Family--wore to the Emmy's? Well Tea Collection teamed up with eBay and they're auctioning off Lily's exact dress for an amazing cause! The custom Tea Collection dress that Aubrey wore is now up for grabs on eBay along with seasons 1-3 of Modern Family on DVD, plus a photo signed by Aubrey and another photo signed by all the other cast members of Modern Family. That's a pretty amazing price for the winner, but even better, it's all for an amazing cause. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Global Fund for Children, an organization that Tea Collection has partnered with for over 8 years. The Global Fund for Children has invested $25 million to over 500 grassroots organizations in 78 countries, helping to transform the lives of more than 7 million of the world’s most vulnerable children. There's still 1 day of bidding left, so don't let this one get away! Place your big at eBay.com. (more…)

Today’s The Last Day To Win A Year Of Eight O’Clock Coffee

Who drinks more coffee than moms on the go? Nobody! And who does more shopping during the busy holiday season than moms? Nobody! So to help busy moms this holiday season, Eight O’Clock Coffee, America’s Original Gourmet Coffee, is sharing some easy-to-make, wonderful-to-receive holiday gifts to help moms everywhere as they make the final checks on their shopping lists. For a gift that's sure to please the coffee lover in your life, put together a delicious Gourmet Coffee Gift Basket. All you need is a basket, a few bags of great-tasting Eight O'Clock Coffee, and a fun mug or travel cup that reflects their taste. Add in some gourmet chocolates, cookies and flavored syrups, and you've got a charming homemade gift basket that will never be regifted! If you're looking to do something smaller, a nice bag of top-rated Eight O'Clock Coffee is a perfect stocking stuffer, and it doesn't even need a bow! When it comes to hostess gifts, think "BYOC" -- Bring Your Own Coffee. A bag of rich-tasting Eight O'Clock Coffee will stand out from the bottles of wine (and will be truly appreciated!).  (more…)

5 Amazing Sales You Shouldn’t Miss This Weekend

Just because it's Friday--enjoy! Take 20% off all ASOS orders with code USXMSSTANDARD at checkout. Take an extra 30% off sale items at Destination Maternity. Take an extra 30% off your order at Gap with code GAPGIFT at checkout. Take 30% off all J. Crew orders with code WISHLIST at checkout. Enjoy 20% off any holiday order at Tiny Prints with code 20dec at checkout. (more…)

Another Day, Another Adorable Pic Of Tabitha & Marion Broderick Rocking Appaman

I mean, if you had to picture Sarah Jessica Parker's daughter, they'd totally look like this. They may only be toddlers, but can't you already tell Tabitha and Marion Broderick are already following in their mom's fashionable footsteps. They're adorable! (more…)

Kid Asking For UGGs This Holiday? Give ‘Em a Pair That Gives Back

If there's one item that inevitably ends up on almost every kid's holiday wish list, it's a pair of UGGs. They're warm, cozy, easy to slip on--everything a kid could want. So while you're knocking out the last of your holiday gift shopping, we suggest you choose these adorable new limited-edition Art & Sole UGG boots. Not only are they super cute, but $10 will be donated to Boys & Girls Clubs affected by Superstorm Sandy for each pair purchased. Get your at uggaustralia.com. (more…)

Congrats! Jenna Bush Hager Is Pregnant

We're sending a huge congratulations out to former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager. The TODAY Show correspondent announced she is expecting her first child earlier today. (more…)