Magical Magic Beans

Have you discovered Magic Beans yet? They’re like the Costco of baby stores featuring everything you could possibly need for pregnancy, newborns, and toddlers. They feature…

Magical-Magic-Beans-shopwholeheart

Toys!

You can shop by age, category, interests, brand, or just browse them all!

  • Infant Toys
  • Toddler Toys
  • Bath Toys
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Building Blocks & Construction Toys
  • Planes, Trains & Automobiles
  • Dolls & Action Figures
  • Dress Up & Pretend Play
  • Stuffed Animals & Puppets
  • Games & Puzzles
  • Science Kits & Educational Toys
  • Sci-Fi & Magic
  • Musical Toys & Instruments
  • Books
  • Sports & Outdoor Activities
  • Organic & Wooden Toys

Strollers!

They’ve got all the top brands of single strollers, double strollers, and stroller accessories! I love the Orbit Baby G3 system, the Stokke Xplory system, and of course the Bugaboo Donkey (a celeb favorite!)

Caseats!

Magic Beans has a HUGE selection of carseats for your newborn, infant, or toddler and they have a HUGE selection of booster seats and accessories. My favorite is the Nuna Pipa that has a bar that locks behind the seat for maximum safety!

Cribs & Nursery Furniture!

You can choose from almost 40 different cribs and bassinets including the Stokke Sleepi that grows with your baby fro a bassinet to a crib to a toddler bed! They also have chic, modern options like the Monti design Ninna Nanna, featured below. With over 80 mattresses to choose from though, I’d go with organic versions only!

Stokke Sleepi

Diaper Stuff

Magic Beans has Honest Co. organic diapers, Grovia cloth diapers, wet bags, diaper pails and even potty training seats like the one from Baby Bjorn.

Baby Gear

Their baby gear category features over 40 baby carriers like the new Boba featuring Jamie Grayson, TheBabyGuyNYC and more than 20 bouncers and rockers like the Nuna Leaf or the 4Moms Mamaroo! (both have been rumored to keep baby snoozing safely for hours on end!) I love the modern Bloom Coco Lounger, too!

Bloom Coco Longer…how chic is this?!

Clothing

Magic Beans has clothing selections from Kickee Pants, Kushie, and Magnificent Baby, ranging from onesies, to footies, to sleeping gowns.

Gift Baskets

The Magic Beans “WOW” baskets come in 9 different themes that you get to custom build, but they do the prettifying for you. They’ve got Mini Maco, Sugar&Spice, Little Mozart, Play’s the Thing, Nighty Nite, Hungry Baby, For a Change, Squeaky Clean, and Wicked Awesome (for Boston fans).

Play Things gift basket $60

So, click on one of the images above to shop that category at Magic Beans or click the Magic Beans logo below and create a gift registry or baby shower registry or just shop!

Kids “Losing it” Over Nothing? Infuriating!

A blog post circled around social media last week about “Kids Losing it Over Nothing” and I found this post INFURIATING! 

Kids-Losing-it-Over-Nothing

I understand that moms like to share photos of their kids having tantrums because they like to know they’re not the only ones experiencing these; however, toddlers do NOT throw tantrums over “nothing”, nor is it ever a “phase”. Toddlers, like adults, have needs that need to be met, but they lack the ability to verbalize their needs and a tantrum often results, but it’s our job to try to identify the feeling behind their tantrum and show them empathy and understanding.

I’ve borrowed a few of the photos featured in the blog and I’ve idetified the feeling behind the child’s actions and added how a parent could respond in this instance.

1.

kids-losing-it-baconToddlers are concrete thinkers. What we say is taken very literally and they lack the ability to think into the future. Everything is right now, in this moment, and it’s finite. When this child was told, “No more bacon” she heard “You will never get any more bacon for the rest of your life”. How devestated would you be if you thought you could never have any more of something you loved?

The parent should have offered a choice from the beginning, “Today, you may have one piece or two pieces. Which do you choose?” This way, when the child says “Two”, mom is okay with that decision and so is the child. The child made the choice.

2. kids-losing-it-chairThis child clearly has a plan. He’d like to move the chair, but there’s something in his way. He can’t tell the dog to move, the dog isn’t moving when he pushes him, and he’s frustrated that he lacks the strength and words to complete the task. He feels helpless and helpless is a scary feeling to experience.

The parent should respond with empathy, “Oh, this must be so frustrating for you. I’ll be your words and tell the dog to move. It feels good to accomplish something ou’ve been working hard at.” (did you hear the self-esteem builder at the end?)

3.

kids-losing-it-hulkToddler’s imaginations are very real. What they see in the mind can actually happen to them and it’s very disappointing when it doesn’t actually happen. This little boy wants to be big and strong, like most little boys. He feels inferior and he can’t do anything about it. Have you ever felt small? Insignificant? Weak?

The parent should recognize what’s fueling him here, “You wish you were big and strong like the Hulk. I sometimes wish I were different than myself. I wonder if you could show me how strong YOU are?”

4.

kids-losing-it-ironmanThis is terrifying! Why is he out of the TV? How is he here next to me? Ironman doesn’t look like this? Ironman is big, strong, he wears armor, and he’s magical! This kid is genuinely frightened, confused, disappointed.

The parent should not have even pointed out that this was “Ironman” and slash the poor kid’s dreams. They could say, “This man is from TV and movies. Would you like to meet a man that pretends to be a superhero just like you like to pretend?”

5. kids-losing-it-justin-bieberThis little girls is unlikely crying because of Justin Bierber’s music as this picture portrays. She’s probably scared of the crowds, the noise, the unpredictability, and the commotion. It’s also highly likely that it’s passed her bedtime.

This is a hard play to call. Clearly the parents were protecting her ears using the headphones, but often kids just aren’t ready for the environment of a concert. It’s too overwhelming for some kids.

6. kids-losing-it-leghole

There are a few tings in this photo that could be going on. First off, look at the size of her leg and look at his. It’s possible this hurts! Second, why should he have to share? He probably had a good year to a year and a half where he got the seat all to himself and in his mind, “This is MY seat!”

Again, a choice should have been offered. “Would you like to share the seat with your sister or ride alone in the cart?” Or, “Would you like to share the seat or walk beside me?” Kids, like adults, like to feel they have some control over the environment.

7. kids-losing-it-time-outToddlers need a break from life, too, from time to time. Don’t you, as an adult, ever feel like you just need a little alone time? This child is showing a very mature ability to identify his need for solidarity and space and he recognizes that he needs some time away to collect himself.

The parent should have commended his decision to find space, “You must be tired today. I’ve noticed you need space. I’ll be in the other room when you feel ready”.

I think toddlers are THE most misunderstood age group. I’m tired of hearing these years described as “terrible twos”, “treacherous threes” or “frantic fours”. If you’ve had 3 years of a tantrum “phase” with your child, I’m sorry to say it is not the child’s fault. Perhaps they’ve had needs that have gone unmet physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s tough being so aware of yourself and your surroundings, but having no control over them and not being able to communicate your needs and wants.

How do you handle your toddler’s upsets?

Cloth Diapers Rock!

Cloth diapers are NOT what they used to be…now, they ROCK and are actually EASIER yes, easier, than “sposies” (aka disposables)!

Let me start by saying that I hate (no, DESPISE) when people use this phrase with me, “Just wait until you have kids”,

Here’s why this phrase sucks:

1. I’ve cared for hundreds, maybe even thousands, of newborns & infants over the last 10 years…I know what I like and I know what’s best for babies better than a “real mom”

2. My career is knowing the best baby products & gear on the market. I don’t follow trends, nor do I make a decision based on what the media recommends. I’m educated about baby products, gear, and services

3. This is implying that at 31, with two child-development degrees (including a MASTERS) I can’t make an informed decision on something like a diaper? C’mon!

Nappy-Costs-Chart

Now that I’m done venting let’s talk about ‘sposies…

What are the pros of ‘sposies?

  • Less laundry
  • Uh, uh, hmmm….

What are the cons of ‘sposies?

  • Costs $3,000-4,000 per baby from birth-3y
  • Strain on the environment (no diaper has EVER decomposed)
  • Toxins in disposables have been linked to infertility, respiratory issues, endocrine disorders, skin irritations & infections, cancer, neurotoxic shock (and they stink)
  • More explosions, leaks, and accidents reported by ‘sposie moms
  • Must buy a new size every few months (cha-ching)

What are the cons of cloth diapers?rumparooz-os-Quinn

  • Upfront expenses range from $500-800
  • Laundry

What are the pros of cloth diapers?

  • No strain on the environment (they can be resold & reused) and some are even biodegradable!
  • Save $2000-3,000 per baby (I want 2 or 3 kids so that’s $6000 savings! That’s their first car, lol)
  • Less to NO leaks and explosions because they’re sized to fit
  • Toxin free so they’re 100% safer for baby!
  • OS fits NB-4years old

Types of Cloth Diapers:

There are a LOT of different types, but it’s easy to choose based on your lifestyle

  1. Flats and Prefolds
  • Inexpensive
  • Require pins or snappis
  • Require a cover
  1. Fitted
  • Require a cover
  • Designed to fit baby’s body

    rumparooz-os-d2

    Kangacare Rumparooz OS Pocket Diaper

  • Inexpensive
  • Absorbent, but not waterproof

3. Pocket Diapers

  • No cover required
  • Stuff the diaper w an absorbent liner
  • Launder both the liner and the diaper
  1. All-in-One (AIO) or All-in-Twos (AI2)
  • Fits exactly like a disposable, launder the whole thing
  • Great resell value
  • AI2 are just like the AIO, but they have an absorbent liner that snaps inside
  • With an AI2 if there’s been no spillage, unsnap the liner and add in a new one
  • Easy to adjust, fit size NB-4yrs old easily with no gaps

My personal favorite? Rumparooz OS Pocket Diapers!

Cloth Diaper Rookie Needs:

  • 18-24 cloth diapers
  • 2-4 wet bags (Itzy Ritzy, Planetwise, Rumparooz)
  • An Uber, diaper pail, OR trash can with liner
  • Organic detergent like Honest Co. Fuzzibunz, Rockin Green

ShopWholeHeart.com offers a starter kit:

  • Includes 24 OS pocket diapers by Rumparooz
  • 2 pail liners ($40 value)
  • Wysi Wipes (bonus gift)
  • $549.95 ($170 savings)

 

What’s your favorite color or print?

Cool Down Corner

Parents ask me all the time my thoughts about “time out” and my answer varies depending on the parent’s answer to the following questions:

Cool DownCorner

1) How old is the child?

I do not believe in using “time out” before the age of 3, preferably not until at least 4 nd even then I’m not a huge fan. If you must use it though due to the environment, high number of kids, or lack of a better option, limit it to under 5 minutes or follow the rule of thumb, 1 minute per each year of age. A three year old should not be in time out for longer than 3 minutes.

2) Why are you putting them in “time out”?

This answer usually helps us find an alternative consequence. For example, if the parent says the child needs to be in time out because they can’t share their toys then we might try an “I allow statement” started with a trigger world like, “Uh oh”. It sounds like this, “Uh, oh! I’ve noticed you’re having trouble sharing. I allow kids who share to play games”. When the child doesn’t share, use the trigger phrase, “Uh, oh” again and remove the item or game. When you’re issuing natural consequences like this there’s no need to threaten or get angry. This can be done with a sift, calm voice and a smile.

If you’d like to put them in time out because they’re throwing a tantrum, then we try a “Cool Down Corner” instead (see below)

3) What’s your goal?

Often the parents will say, “I need them to know their behavior is not appropriate!” Well, if that’s the case, then you need to use your words and say, “Your behavior is not appropriate.” Some parents argue their child is too young to know the word “inappropriate”, but if that’s the case, aren’t they also too young to understand the correlation between sitting in a corner alone and their previous actions?

What are the chances he’s deep in self-reflection and asking himself thought provoking questions about his behavior?

If a parent-child relationship is intact and the word “inappropriate” is used with an unhappy face on the adult, the child will understand the meaning of the word. Inappropriate means mom is not happy. It’s that simple!

Cool Down Corner:

I think toddlers and young kids are often misunderstood. They don’t throw tantrums because they’re going through a “phase”. Nor do they throw tantrums because they’re mean or bad. They often throw tantrums because they lack the vocabulary and skills to communicate needs and feelings, they’re frustrated, their routine has been interrupted, or they’re physical or emotional needs are not being met. In this case, I challenge you to ask yourself these questions before moving to the Cool Down Corner:

“Are they hungry, tired, thirsty, or sick?”Whining-Child3

“Do they need me words and skills to help them communicate their needs right now and be their voice?”

“Are they frustrated and perhaps need me to model a few ways to solve the problem?”

“Has their routine or schedule been interupted by external influences recently?”

If the answers to these questions don’t bring you to an alternate resolution, then it’s time for the Cool Down Corner. This corner is NOT intended as “punishment” or embarassment. This is a sanctuary for the child to cool off, gather composure, and regroup. You or a caregiver may offer to join them in their corner, but you MUST respect their decision if they tell you no.

Ideas for a Cool Down Corner:

  • Teepee, fort, extra closet, under a desk, or the corner of a playroom
  • Include comfort items like stuffed animals, lovies, blankets, and pillows
  • Choose books with serene pictures, calming images, or I Spy
  • Include sensory items like bubbles, pompom balls, yarn, cotton, gel packs, tension balls
  • Fill colored balloons with sand or cornstarch and draw emotions on the front
  • Put feeling cards in a tub and let kids identify their feelings based on the photos
  • Add items that can be “destroyed” like egg cartons, bubble wrap, styrofoam, foil
  • Add low level lighting with lamps or a lava lamp

When you think the child needs a break, let them know it’s time to go to the Cool Down Corner and they may return when they’re sweet.

Ex: “You seem (fill in the blank by labeling the emotion). I bet some time in your cool down corner will help. I love you. See you when you’re sweet”.

Avoid:

  • High stimulation activities in the corner
  • Using this place as punishment
  • Ordering them or demanding them there
  • Wrestling them into the corner

We want to keep the cool down corner a positive experience. Adults often need a break and some alone time to cool off and regroup. Kids are no different!

What’s your philosophy on time out?

 

Can’t Wait to Meet You

This is an oldie, but goodie from the archives; a letter to my unborn child I wrote as my infertility journey began to get more intense. I hope those struggling to get pregnant will find comfort in this. 

I Can't Wait to Meet You. Love, Mom

To my unborn, not yet conceived, but unconditionally loved child,

I have been waiting to meet you for as long as I can remember, but having to wait for you has taught me patience, selflessness, and faith. I have to be patient and realize you’ll be mine when the world is ready for your life to begin and not a moment before. I have learned selflessness, because it’s my own selfish desire to demand you now, but I have to trust His timing. I’ve had my faith tested time and time again, but I have to have faith that eventually we’ll meet.

Chelsea Vail, That Girl

I imagine meeting you and feeling as though I’ve always known you. I wil not be afraid as many mothers have warned me I would. I will not be stressed about caring for you because I’ve prepared myself for you for so long, and I will not be unsure about your needs because we were designed to meet each other’s needs right from the start.

My hope for you is PASSION! I will model for you a lust for life, an adventure seeking spirit, and a curiosity about things unknown. I will not tell you what to expect, but will stand by and provoke your curiosity so that you may discover for yourself. I will not answer your questions, but encourage you to share your thoughts and draw your own conclusions. I will provide you with opportunities to learn, observe, and discover.

My hope for you is LOVE! I will model unconditional love in my love for you and for your father, but I will also allow you to get your heartbroken so that you may learn that real love doesn’t hurt. I will put my relationship with your father above all else so that you will feel secure that your parents love you together as one body. I will let you see the trials, tribulations, and obstacles overcome in my relationships with my sisters and family so that you will learn how to express feelings and work through things with loved ones. I will share with you why I chose your father above anyone else in hopes you will become the man he is or marry a man as strong as he is. You will love, be loved, and know love.

Chelsea and Cloudy Vail

My hope for you is LAUGHTER! I will model for you how to find the humor in things that are tough, how to laugh at yourself when you make human mistakes, and how to laugh with your whole heart.

My hope for you is HAPPINESS! I will not become a mother who sacrifices everything inChelsea Vail with Neice my life for you, because I do not want you to be someone who sacrifices your life for anyone else. I don’t want you to learn that you’re my only source of happiness because that would be a lie, but it would also be unfair pressure on you to make me happy. That’s not your job. I’ll love you enough to take time for myself and find my own happiness in the things I love and enjoy so that you will learn the value of self care. I will teach you that happiness is a choice and a constant battle to maintain.

My hope for you is HEALTH! I will commit myself to creating a healthy environment and providing you with foods meant for nourishment, not self-indulgence. I will say “no” to you when you ask for things that are not healthy because I want you to learn that I love you enough to protect your health even if it makes me sad to tell you “no”.

 

My hope for you is STRUGGLE! I hope that you struggle so that you will learn success and I will provide opportunities for you to fail so that you will build the desire to succeed. I will not solve your problems for you, but I will be a consultant to help you think through a course of action. If I interfere, I’m preventing valuable learning opportunities. You won’t like it at the time, but you’ll thank me later.

My hope for you is LEADERSHIP! I will build your confidence by recognizing your accomplishments, encouraging your decision making abilities, and surrounding you with supportive family and friends. I will model leadership and independent thinking so that you will be a leader, not a follower.

My hope for you is PRIDE in yourself! I will not tell you you’ve done a good job when you haven’t. I will not praise you for work done half heartedly and I will not tell you you’re amazing when you haven’t put in effort. I will praise EFFORT, not product. I will not give you stickers or treats when you are successful, but I will hug you and smile and listen lovingly as you tell me how good it felt to be successful. I want you to be motivated by your desire to be great, not MY desire for you to be great.

 

My hope for you is ME! I hope I can be the mother I encourage other mothers to be. I Chelsea Vail, newborn care experthope I can raise you the way I was raised. I hope I’ll be strong enough to follow through on my commitments to you and I hope I’m strong enough to stand back when I know I need to let you learn for yourself. I hope you and I will meet soon. I love you. Love, Mom.

This letter was originally written Sept. 7, 2013. Today is Oct. 27, 2014 and I’m still agressively trying to meet you. Soon, my baby, soon. 

 

Newborn Care with Austin’s Maternity Concierge

The moment a couple find out they’re pregnant, what do they do? They call family, schedule all of their prenatal appointments, host a few parties, and maybe they’ll sign up for a birthing class or lamaze class. Then, six months down the road or so they begin their baby registry and start getting ALL of those things they “need” to welcome their new baby home.

What’s missing?

Newborn Care class Austin

Surprisingly, most couples neglect to take a newborn care class to learn how to properly care for their new baby. They get the baby home and think, “now what?” They rummage desperately through the ginormous packet of info from the hospital desperately seeking help. They 911 their pediatrician every hour that first week. Or, they just wing it and hope for the best. You might think, “People have been taking care of baies for centuries with no classes”, and you’d be right. However, they also had villages of support from their elders and community. We don’t have that. No longer do we assist each other in caring for our young and, believe it or not, caring for a newborn correctly is not instinctive.

One of my dad friends told me he read everything there was on pregnancy and childbirth before his wife delivered, but she had a c-section so guess who cared for the baby the first few days? Dad! I laughed when he told me his conversation with the nurses, “I need you to pretend like I’m a total idiot and know nothing. Tell me everything you know”. The thing is, babies are easy to take care of…once you KNOW what you’re doing.

baby in sink

Hey mom, you sure you got this?

My experience with babies ranges from a BS in Early Child Development and 6 years as a Certified Child Life Specialist in various children’s hospitals (including internships, practicums, and cross coverage of NICUs). My master’s degree is in Counseling and Play Therapy, but I believe that thos first months of a person’s life are crucial to their overall well-being and sense of self.

In my Newborn Care Class at Austin Born, parents will learn:

  • Birth (options, advocacy, creating planS, procedures, and protocol)Chelsea Vail, newborn care expert
  • Feeding: bottles, cleaning, routine, making baby food and introducing solids
  • Breastfeeding and nutrition
  • Baby gear & registry: what you DO need and what you DON’T need
  • Wellness: bathing, nail care, cradle cap, dental/oral care, umbilical cord & circumcisions
  • SIDS risks, carseat safety, infant CPR basics (this is NOT a certification)
  • Caring for mom (self and spouse)
  • Routines, play, development, milestones
  • Placenta encapsulation
  • Babywearing benefits & options
  • Vaccines (schedules and options)
  • Sleep: healthy habits, safe practices, establishing routine
  • Tips for calming fussy babies
  • Infant massage & bonding

This is THE only infant care class you’ll ever need to take! You and your spouse will leave feeling like newborn care masters! Plus, you’ll leave with an information packet, diagrams, charts, checklists, and important phone numbers and email addresses for local resources.

REGISTER NOW

Saturday, November 14th at Austin Born

from 1:00-3:00 pm

5210 Ave F. Austin, Texas