PLAYguide: Baby

10 Baby Show Venues In Orlando

We asked the creators of The Prego Expo to tell us
their favorite local places and spaces to hold a baby shower.

Words by Juliana Geisler and Samantha Geisler

MOOR restaurant Gaylord Palms Resort Orlando

1. MOOR
Gaylord Palms Resort
6000 West Osceola Parkway, Kissimmee | 407-586-1101

For an ocean-themed baby shower, sail away to MOOR at Gaylord Palms Resort. The restaurant’s centerpiece is a dining space on a full-size replica of a 60-foot sailboat floating in an indoor lagoon.


Photography by Greg

2. Gallery J
920 Belle Avenue, Ste. 1300, Winter Springs | 407-947-5718

Soak up the cool vibes of an awesome art studio while your guests rave about the atmosphere. This venue is definitely for the cool, hip mom.


Photo: Steven Miller

3. East End Market
3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando | 321-236-3316

East End Market is a hidden gem in Audubon Park. This location can be described as rustic, cozy and welcoming. The portable furniture allows you to create your own space in this great venue.


4. The Woodhouse Day Spa
8060 Via Dellagio Way, #102, Orlando | 407-965-3131

The Woodhouse is the perfect space for parties and events. One of their specialties is a Mellow Mama Massage. What better way to prepare for baby than a day of relaxation?


Photo and party planner: Weddings Unique

5. The Ritz-Carlton
4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando | 407-206-2400

Enjoy an afternoon of high tea at the Lobby Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton. This venue is set in a casual, elegant atmosphere but can surely make anyone attending feel like royalty.


6. Infusion Tea
1600 Edgewater Drive, Orlando | 407-999-5255

Their tea party-themed showers are sure to rekindle the girl inside! Showers will be decorated elegantly with white linen, flowers, teapots and tiered trays of scrumptious finger sandwiches, scones and cookies!


7. Ravello Restaurant
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
10100 Dream Tree Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista | 407-313-7777

Ravello offers a demonstration kitchen that seats up to 25 guests. Enjoy a custom brunch or dinner. Or, mix it up with a cooking class or a cake decorating demonstration where the gender of the baby is revealed in the frosting color.


8. The ACRE Orlando
4421 Edgewater Drive, Orlando | 407-704-5161

The Acre can provide a whimsical, rustic and magical location for your baby shower. There are multiple locations to choose from within the Acre. They offer a variety of services from music to catering and even help with setting up
and breaking down.


9. Sugar Factory
8371 International Drive, Ste. 70, Orlando | 407-270-7082

For the sweetest baby shower in town, the Sugar Factory will satisfy those pregnancy cravings. Sugar Factory is happy to personalize and create just the right atmosphere for your shower with pre-set menus, private dining, goodie bags, seating arrangements, custom cakes and much more!


10. Sugar Divas Cakery
25 W. Crystal Lake Street, Orlando | 407-745-5594

Enjoy a private cupcake decorating class by Sugar Divas Cakery. They can theme a cake or cupcake decorating class just for you!


ABOUT THE PREGO EXPO: Samantha Geisler (left) and Juliana Geisler (right) are two Orlando moms (sisters-in-law, hence the same last name) who have created and The Prego Expo. The purpose of this event is to connect pre- and post-natal moms with vendors, products and services so they are prepared for their new stage in life. Check out The Prego Expo event dates in Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Colorado and St. Louis. www.ThePregoExpo.com
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Newborn-Friendly Dates

4 Date Night Ideas That Don’t Require a Sitter

Words by Stephanie Patterson

As a new parent, date night may be the last thing on your priority list. Yet, a regular night out is an important part of a happy and healthy relationship, and there’s no need to forgo it once your baby has arrived. Choose from these creative newborn-friendly ideas, and celebrate your family date night success. No babysitter required!

1. Audubon Park Dessert Hop
Audubon Park combines casual dining establishments with walkability, offering perfect conditions for a date with baby in tow. Keep things light and fun with a dessert hop around the district, starting at East End Market (eastendmkt.com) for a cookie at Gideon’s Bakehouse. Continue your sweet-toothed adventure with an ice cream right at Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream and a cupcake from Blue Bird Bake Shop (audubonparkgardens.com).

2. Winter Park Alfresco Dining
Take advantage of Orlando’s pleasant year-round temperatures and dine alfresco on Park Avenue (experienceparkavenue.com/dining). Taste the best of Italy at Prato, or indulge in weekend brunch at The Parkview. After your meal, take a leisurely walk through Central Park or wander the brick-lined streets.

Admission for kids under age 4 is always free at Harry P. Leu Gardens.

3. A Day at the Gardens
If your baby is happiest when in motion, pack the stroller and spend a few hours in the great outdoors. Harry P. Leu Gardens (leugardens.org) boasts wide, paved trails and a tranquil garden environment year-round. Admission for children under age 4 is always free. More free fun for the family can be found at Mead Botanical Garden (meadgarden.org) in Winter Park, which features a scenic boardwalk and picnic pavilions.

4. Romantic Night In
For date night fun without leaving home, order food from UberEATS (ubereats.com/Orlando) or Postmates (postmates.com/Orlando), put on your [comfy!] date night best and light a few candles. Then, treat yourselves to a DIY spa day with backrubs and homemade mimosas or dust off your favorite board games for a little friendly competition.


STEPHANIE PATTERSON is a contributor to Orlando Date Night Guide, the area’s most comprehensive resource for local date night ideas. A local photographer, travel blogger and food tour guide, she shares her creativity on traveltasteclick.com.

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Orlando’s Best Places to PLAY with Baby


B.Y.O.Baby: You might think this play business is just for the older kids. Not so. Orlando has a plenty of great places geared for baby play.


FREE PLAY
Love playgrounds but worry the older kids will trample your baby? There are plenty of fun indoor playgrounds geared toward babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Let them explore with safe and clean toys that promote learning through play. These places also have scheduled activities and special events for guided and engaging programs.

GET SMART
Yes, you can sign up your baby for engaging classes. From music to language, these places offer fun and educational opportunities to bond with your child.
  • Kindermusik with Grow & Sing Studios:
    Parent/baby music and art classes and workshops at several locations in Central Florida
    growandsing.com
  • All Kids Spanish:
    Parent/baby Spanish language and culture class in Winter Park
    allkidspanish.com
  • Shayna’s Village:
    Parent/baby enrichment classes at the Jewish Community Center in Maitland
    orlandojcc.org/preschool/shaynas-village

 


GET FIT
Movement and play is important for baby’s brain to grow and develop. Plus, it’s a fun way for parents to socialize, exercise and pick up some new parenting tricks!
  • Smart Start at A Kids Gym
    parent/child movement and brain development classes in Oviedo starting at 4 months old, akidsgym.com
  • My Gym
    Fitness classes for kids starting at 6 weeks old; locations in Lake Mary, Maitland, Waterford, Orlando and Winter Garden.
    mygym.com
  • Gymboree Play & Music
    Play, music and art classes that are just right for your child’s development.
    gymboreeclasses.com
  • Mama & Baby Yoga
    Mothers bring their (not yet crawling) babies to this fun class, offered at Full Circle Yoga in Winter Park and Harmony Yoga Studio in Maitland
  • Baby Boot Camp
    A stroller workout program designed to balance the fitness needs of moms while caring for their children.
    babybootcamp.com

 


STORYTIME
Here are our favorite storytime spots.
  • Orange County Public Libraries, check the website for locations and times of all the free programs that focus on early learning for your baby: Storybook Fun, Bubble Playtime and more, ocls.info/earlylearning
  • Orlando Science Center, daily storytime at 11:30 a.m. in Harriett’s KidsTown Theater inside the new KidsTown exhibit (infant to age 7), osc.org
  • Leu Gardens Storytime, free indoor event on the first Monday of each month. 10-10:15 a.m. is Infant Time (up to 18 months); 10:20-10:35 a.m. is Toddler Time (18 months to age 2); 10:40 -11 a.m. is Preschool Time (ages 3 to 5), leugardens.org
  • Pottery Barn Kids Storytime, enjoy a book reading and activity every Tuesday at 11 a.m., Mall at Millenia
  • Storytime at the Zoo, enjoy animal stories and special visits at the Rainforest Pavilion on select Wednesdays from 10-10:30 a.m. Zoo admission is not required to attend this free program, centralfloridazoo.org
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Baby Playgroup at O2BKids


Whether your baby is just a few weeks or a few years old,
O2BKids has fun parent/child playgroups for your crew!

At the Oviedo Mall (and soon to open in Altamonte Springs)

  • Morning Magic Show (Walking to 5 Years Old)
    Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    This is an interactive and engaging program for parents and children. The morning starts with an energetic show complete with characters, movement and music. The show lasts for about 15 minutes and is then followed by three 30-minute classes where walking children (grouped by age) participate in classes of their choice such as: gymnastics, creative art and music, movement and story time.
  • Brighter Babies Playgroup (4-6 Weeks Old to Walking)
    This program is specifically for our teenie ones and their caregivers. After the Morning Magic Show, you and your little one will participate in fine and gross motor activities using blocks, instruments, bubbles, water, scarves and more! There is also music and tummy time.

O2BKids offers a monthly membership. Not ready to become a member yet? No problem, you can pay to play for the day which includes the Morning Magic Show and Brighter Babies Playgroup. 

 

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Florida Hospital’s Top 10 Baby Names of 2016

Bringing a new bundle of joy into the world? The Baby Place at Winter Park Memorial Hospital sent us their top 10 baby names of 2016 to help give you ideas of what you’ll call your little prince or princess.

Girl Names:

  1. Kayla
  2. Annabelle
  3. Elizabeth
  4. Carolyn
  5. Grace
  6. Stephanie
  7. Sarah
  8. Abbigail
  9. Lexy
  10. Jazlynn

Boy Names:

  1. Alvin
  2. Carter
  3. Elijah
  4. William
  5. James
  6. Gordon
  7. Josiah
  8. Henry
  9. Ryan
  10. Grayson

 

Which names are your favorites? Did you get any ideas? Share & tell us on Facebook or Twitter!


See more awesome baby ideas and new-parent tips in this year’s
March/April issue of PLAYGRUOND Magazine.


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Raising a Water-Confident Kid

One year baby girl at his first swimming lesson wiht mother

Originally published in the Summer 2010 issue of Playground Magazine.

Written by Joanna Nesbit

When my daughter, Leah, was 6, I signed her up for a month’s worth of swim lessons, every day for half an hour, because, well, it worked for another mom’s kids. This mom had told me her kids’ skills didn’t progress until the third week, and a four-week block was the only way to go. Leah had taken lessons in previous summers but with little obvious success, and I feel for the mom’s advice.

What I didn’t account for was my daughter’s persistent (read: stubborn) temperament or her willingness to wage silent battle by simply not getting into the pool. Oh, some days she did, when the planets were aligned, but other mornings she sat on a deck chair and watched her toddler brother dabble with the perky swim teachers. Even when she did get in the pool, Leah steadfastly refused to dunk. Indeed, she didn’t dunk until a year later while in a hotel pool during a summer vacation. They key? Her own idea.

Swim lessons often feel nonnegotiable to parents because we care about our children’s safety, and, well, because we live in what seems to be the swimming pool capital of the world. Then there’s that pesky idea that because all of our friends’ kids love swimming, ours should, too. But not all kids take to water like dolphins.

Little girl practicing her swimming

#1 RELAX
Then keep in mind the following tips for developing water confidence in youngsters, even the most reluctant, and chances are you’ll avoid poolside battles.

#2 KEEP IT FUN
Young children progress quicker when parents interact with them in the pool, so make water play a family experience. A warm pool, 85 degrees or more, is especially important for reluctant swimmers and will help kids relax.

 

#3 GO TO THE POOL OFTEN
Taking your kids early and often to the pool is the single biggest factor for helping them love water. Regular visits make water normal. Sign up for parent/baby classes or plan to take your toddler to your local pool to play

#4 CONFRONT YOUR OWN FEAR
If you’re afraid of the water, you may convey to your kids that water is something to be afraid of, even if you try to hide your fear. Consider taking lessons yourself so you can comfortably join your children in the pool (you’re never too old to learn to swim).

#5 DON’T PRESSURE KIDS
Dont pressure or trick your kids into skills they’re not ready for. Praise their baby steps and trust they will progress when the time is right. If your child is fearful or timid, try a swimsuit with a built-in floatation device for extra fun and buoyancy. She’ll move beyond it when she’s ready.

Child swimming lesson - girl learning to dive underwater in the pool. Healthy active family lifestyle, physical exercise and water sports activity with parents on summer holiday with kid in aquatic center.

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Gender Reveal Ideas

Gender reveals were unheard of ten years ago, but today, they’re everywhere! Many couples are choosing to host gender reveal parties, while others are opting for a gender reveal photo shoot. Photo announcements on Facebook or Instagram are also popular ways to announce your baby’s gender. Pinterest is overflowing with great gender reveal ideas, but we have selected some of our favorites to share with you!


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Use Confetti
Confetti is included at many celebrations, so we think it’s a great way to celebrate your new little one. The balloon pop has become a very popular gender reveal recently. If you want to get all of your guests in on the action, fill lots of balloons with confetti and hang them from the ceiling. Instruct your guests to simultaneously pop their balloons! An alternative to the confetti filled balloon is the pull string piñata or box, also filled with pink or blue confetti.


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Get Messy
These are especially fun if you don’t already know your baby’s gender. Give your guests silly string (or if you’re feeling really adventurous!) squirt guns filled with paint. Stand with your honey, close your eyes, count to three, and prepare for the deluge. When you open your eyes, you’ll know whether it’s a boy or a girl.


 

Embellish Your Ultrasound Picture
We love this sweet, but simple idea- embellish your ultrasound picture with boy or girl accessories.


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Share a Sweet Treat
Like I mentioned earlier, the cake seems to have started the gender reveal phenomenon! But what about gender reveal cupcakes, cake pops, cookies, or Oreos? Have your guests bite into their treat all together- everyone will love joining in the reveal!


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Include Older Siblings
What’s cuter than mom and dad revealing their baby’s gender? Siblings doing it! We love these cute photo ideas to get older siblings involved and excited for their new baby!


Cheryl Seidel is a sought after etiquette expert and regular contributor for The Huffington Post and author of the popular Ask Cheryl blog. She helps advise readers with handy tips on how much to spend, when gift giving is appropriate and other would-have-loved-to-know-that-when moments in gift giving, She is also the creator and founder of www.RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more.  Seidel  has 22 years of business experience, with concentrations in new product development and consumer advertising and promotion.

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Most Popular Baby Names In Orlando 2014

 

Baby Name

Here are the most popular baby names recorded in 2014 by the Dr. P. Phillips Baby Place at Winter Park Memorial Hospital:

Boy Names

  1. Ayden
  2. Jaykob
  3. Tristan
  4. Mason
  5. Benjamin
  6. Jonathan
  7. Joseph
  8. Isaac
  9. Jayden
  10. Lucas

Girl Names

  1. Kinley
  2. Emma
  3. Madison
  4. Aarya
  5. Emily
  6. Grace
  7. Adelynn
  8. Eleanor
  9. Jayla
  10. Chloe

Is your baby’s name on the list?

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The Prego Expo

Imagine sitting in a room with your two best friends, who are filling you in on exactly what you need for your new baby. After all, when it comes to pregnancy and your baby, there is so much information out there that it becomes overwhelming. Enter The Prego Expo, Central Florida’s premier expo for new mommies.

The Prego Expo is the brainchild of sisters-in-law Juliana Geisler, mom to Olivia (5) and Norah (3), and Samantha Geisler, mom to Mackenzie (1). “We get together every Monday night at our mother-in-law’s house for spaghetti dinner,” says Juliana, who is married to Scott. “One Monday, Sam and I were brainstorming about what we could do to make money to take the burden off of our husbands. We wanted a job that stay-at-home moms could do,” she said. “Sam [married to Robert] had this idea for an expo for pregnant women. We googled it and couldn’t find anything about one ever being held in Central Florida.”

From there, the idea blossomed. They pitched their idea to Karen Lee, who is well-known for her Central Florida bridal expos. “She thought it was a great idea. A bridal time frame is the same as pregnancy. You have only nine months to plan for this huge life-changing event. In that time, you need a pediatrician and a lactation consultant. You want to know which stroller to buy and whether or not you’ll need that expensive changing table. Karen served as our mentor,” says Sam. From there, Sam contacted her cousin, who is a graphic designer, who designed their logo and marketing materials.

The goal of the expo is to have “the most knowledgeable vendors, specialists, services and products in one area,” says Juliana. “We want pregnant women to come in and learn something new or feel more settled in their planning. For example, maybe you had never heard of the idea of placenta encapsulation before. We are all about finding the unique businesses in Central Florida that cater to pregnant women and new mothers,” she says. It’s one-stop shopping for everything you need to know about pregnancy, childbirth and a newborn.

In addition to vendors, there will be seminars on everything from breastfeeding and formula feeding to what you need to know about buying a home, and family counselor sessions on preparing your family for a new baby. There also will be a Babies & Bumps fashion show of baby clothing featuring the new Kardashian line from Babies R Us. “We’ll have tons of giveaways, including a Britax car seat and tickets to the theme parks,” says Sam. Plus, they’ll be giving away 100 swag bags full of mommy and baby products and samples. Says Juliana, “We want to make this fun and convenient for soon-to-be and new mommies. We’ll have a stroller valet, a breastfeeding station and diaper-changing stations. It’s going to be so exciting.”

The Prego Expo
This is a annual event in Orlando, Tampa, Denver and St. Louis. Visit their website for event details and to register.

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I’m So Pregnant

A hysterical preggo parody of Izzy Azalea’s “Fancy” by What’s Up Moms.

Screen Shot 2014-07-03 at 10.45.56 AM

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Save The Planet: One Stroller at a Time

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Available in vibrant hues like Cayenne Red, Aquamarine, and Green Papyrus, Bumbleride’s 2014 all-terrain, jogging, travel and urban strollers feature a dual-faceted eco-construction: the exterior fabric is made with 50% recycled PET from plastic bottles, and the interior fabric consists of 50% renewable bamboo charcoal.

 

“Bumbleride proves that parents don’t need to make sacrifices in personal style, comfort or philosophy when shopping for strollers,” says Marketing Coordinator Ryan Willson. “We work tirelessly and exercise the utmost discernment in selecting fabrics and materials that satisfy modern parents’ concerns—for the planet, for their babies, and for themselves.”

 

 
RECYCLED: 14 Plastic Bottles = 1 Stroller
Bumbleride’s exterior fabric is made in part from recycled PET (or polyethylene terephthalate), a polyester commonly used in plastic packaging such as water bottles. Willson explains that instead of using polyesters made from newly constructed synthetic fibers, Bumbleride’s exterior fabric puts existing synthetic resources to use, therefore conserving material and reducing plastic waste. Their unique PET/polyester blend employs the sterilized plastic from 14 water bottles to produce the stroller fabric in one Bumbleride Indie stroller, for example.

 

SUSTAINABLE: Chemical-Free Bamboo
For the interior stroller fabric, Bumbleride uses a soft material that is comfortable and healthy for kids while environmentally clean and responsible, Willson explains. The distinctive bamboo charcoal blend harnesses the innate properties of bamboo grass (a renewable resource that naturally grows fast without the need for fertilizers, nutrients or pesticides) to provide soft, durable, moisture-wicking, temperature-regulating and antibacterial qualities to the seat and interior of the stroller. Unlike the typical chemically-manufactured bamboo fabric, Bumbleride’s eco-fabric blend is made with raw grass fibers that are broken down into tiny nano-particles and then infused into polyester fabric.

 

Bumbleride strollers are available locally at MacroBaby, located outside the Florida Mall.
1361 Florida Mall Ave, Orlando, FL 32809; 877-240-5379
* Receive $5 off your purchase of $100 or more with the MacroBaby ad on page 41 of the Winter 2013 issue of PLAYGROUND Magazine.

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Breast Milk Depot

BreastMilkDepot

Florida Hospital officially opened the first Milk depot in Central Florida today.

In an effort to help women and babies in Central Florida, Florida Hospital officially opened the first Milk Depot in Central Florida. The Florida Hospital Milk Depot will serve as a convenient drop off location to moms who are looking to donate breast milk to help other babies, especially at-risk preemies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), receive crucial nutrition. The opening of the Milk Depot is part of Florida Hospital’s continued commitment to providing women and babies with the most comprehensive medical resources available.

“In the United States, there is a critical shortage of donor human milk,” said Kari Vargas, assistant vice president at Florida Hospital Orlando. “Donating breast milk is truly a labor of love, and the opening of the Milk Depot will hopefully remove some of the barriers from the donation process and make it more convenient for moms to donate this precious gift.”

Local moms throughout Central Florida have already been rallying around this cause.

“My daughter was born two and a half months early so I know how scary it can be to have a premature infant,” said Bethany Bergen, mom to daughter Piper, now 8 months old. “I knew I wanted to breastfeed and it was easy for me. I cannot imagine the stress that moms who are unable to breastfeed go through. I was able to donate my extra breast milk, and it was so rewarding to know there was something I could do to help other babies in need.”

The Academy of Pediatrics recommends pasteurized donor human milk to premature infants when a mother’s own milk is not available. Research shows that human milk is especially important for preterm and sick babies who are at a much greater risk of infections. Human milk helps babies build strong immune systems and is easier on the digestive system than formula. In 2012, Florida Hospital required the use of nearly 10,000 ounces of donor milk.
“In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Florida Hospital, we instituted a protocol several years ago to give breast milk to babies who were born at 29 weeks or less or weighing less than 1500 grams. As a result, we have seen a tremendous reduction in the number of infections and life-threatening diseases,” said Dr. Raj Wadhawan, medical director of the NICU at Florida Hospital for Children. “Donor human milk is a great option for moms who are unable to breastfeed since it provides critical nutrition for the baby and can truly be a lifesaving part of their treatment.”

All mothers who donate at the Milk Depot will be pre-screened and tested through an intensive process to ensure that they are healthy and their own child’s wellbeing is not being compromised. Since there are only 11 Milk Banks in the United States and none in Florida, Florida Hospital is affiliated with the Mother’s Milk Bank in Denver. Once a mom brings her donation to the Milk Depot, Florida Hospital will store the milk in a deep freeze and then package and ship the donation to Denver for processing. The donor milk is pasteurized and tested prior to bottling to ensure that it is safe for the baby and is also nutritionally sound. The Milk Bank then distributes the donor human milk based on need to the most at risk infants.

The opening of the Milk Depot is just one way Florida Hospital is continuing to provide comprehensive resources and medical care to women and babies. The Milk Depot will be located in the Lactation Center across the street from Florida Hospital Orlando. Florida Hospital Orlando is currently building a new 12-story Women’s Hospital that will provide comprehensive care for women of all ages. The hospital is expected to open in 2015.

To find out more information on becoming a donor, please call 407-303-2599.

Freezer_sm

FirstDonation

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Symptom Checker App

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 4.36.46 PM

Be the First to Have the Florida Hospital for Children iPhone App!

Health problems and parenting issues can arise at any time. What should you do if your child develops a fever, cough, rash or sore throat? From bee stings to potty training, Docs2Go from Florida Hospital for Children is designed to address these and other challenging issues, even at crucial times when your doctor’s office may be closed.

Consult the Pediatric Symptom Checker when you’re on the go, to learn more about illness and injury, and turn to the First Aid Helper to help make quick, smart decisions about your child’s care. Along with a wealth of parenting advice and medication guides, the answers are all there, at the touch of a button.

Health problems and parenting issues can arise at any time. What should you do if your child develops a fever, cough, rash or sore throat? Docs2Go iPhone app from Florida Hospital for Children is designed to address these and other challenging issues.

Download Now: http://www.floridahospitalforchildren.com/symptom-checker-app

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Developmental PLAY Dates

DSC_2814

New moms: Break out of the house, and take baby to these fun and educational places.

Written by Tracey C. Velt

Going stir crazy inside with your baby … all … day … long? Get out! I know, I know, leaving the house with baby in tow can seem like more trouble than it’s worth. After all, you’re timing your departure with feeding times and your little one’s nap schedule (not to mention packing that darn diaper bag). But, did you know that you can boost your baby’s development by engaging his or her senses in outside classes? We’ve got some winning ways you can help your bundle of joy reach milestones by engaging the senses of touch, sight and hearing.

Cognitive and Motor Development
Rock Out at a Music Class 

Are you a rocker, or a classical music buff? No matter, all types of music are known to have an instant effect on our moods, and that goes for our babies too! Musical activities stimulate every area of the brain, and during a baby’s first year, that brain will grow more than it will any other year. “During this growth, activities using music — listening, vocalizing, rocking, dancing and rhythm play — are essential to cognitive, motor, physical and language development,” says Holly Lesnick, owner/director of Kindermusik and Grow and Sing Studios. “Music speaks to everyone and naturally connects humans together. Watching peers dance and sing will benefit your baby’s social-emotional development,” she says. You are your baby’s first important teacher; go ahead, sing, bounce, dance, and have fun!
Shake your baby’s booty:
• Attend Kindermusik class with Grow and Sing Studios.
• Take the kiddos to a Mr. Richard concert.
• Beat it with 3rd Wheel’s baby drum circles at Amaya Papaya.

Fine Motor Skills
Infant Massage Therapy Classes 

Who doesn’t love to tickle a newborn’s little toes? Structured infant massage can help improve your baby’s fine motor skills and development skills, and regulate behavior. Say what? Yes, it’s true, according to Douglene Jackson, a registered and licensed senior occupational therapist with Nemours Children’s Hospital. “Firm, deep-pressure massage can help soothe your child. It’s also key for physical bonding and attachment,” she says. “The more massage sessions, the better the physical connection you have with your baby.”
Massage your way to happiness:
• Check out Helen Moses’ Infant Massage Class recommended by Orlando Health. Helen Moses says it could even help your baby sleep better through the night. 407-822-0171

Memory and Vocab Development
Veg Out at Story Time 

Eloise, Corduroy, Franklin — relive your childhood by catching up with your fave book characters. According to Tracy Zampaglione of the Orange County Library System, reading to your baby introduces him or her to learning concepts that eventually will make your baby a better student once he or she reaches kindergarten. “Reading to babies engages them in listening and builds their memory and vocabulary skills,” she says. And, according to KidsHealth by Nemours, “By the time babies reach their first birthday they’ll have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The more stories you read aloud, the more words your child will be exposed to and the better he or she will be able to talk.”
Be well-read:
In addition to story time at your local library, check out these free
community reading events for you and the babe:
• Monthly Leu Gardens story time events
• Story time every Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Pottery Barn Kids at The Mall at Millenia
Animal stories at Central Florida Zoo

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Le Bibble

The Le Bibble bottle bib ($10 each) is the chic way to wipe away chin dribbles and prevent messes from leaky bottles (www.lebibble.com).

UNI-BOTTLES

UNI-BIBBLES

Le Bibble

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For the App-Obsessed (New) Parent

These apps can help you organize and track everything from contractions to baby’s first tooth.

Normal Child, Contraction Master, Eat Sleep appIf you’re like me, you will love to document every aspect of your kids’ lives. I’m constantly in Evernote (free; iPhone, iPad, Web, Android) journaling about my son’s sports and my daughter’s funny quips. And in the olden days when I was pregnant (seven years ago), I would’ve been all over an app that allows me to snap a photo of my child and document how much she weighs and how many inches she is. Instead, I have a bunch of slips of paper in a memory box. So, consider yourself lucky.

Normal Child
If you can get over the odd name of this app (who names an app Normal Child?), you’ll be tickled pink with all it does. Keep a detailed record of your child from birth to adulthood (if you so choose, although children get a little ornery by the teenage years). Assign an image to each record; then record your child’s weight, height, head circumference, photos, sizes, diseases, vaccines, allergies and milestones development. We love the image slideshow that shows you exactly how big your child has gotten through the months and years. Plus, it’s easy to record multiple children and email those updates to interested parties (read: grandparents).
Cost: $2
iPhone and iPad
Others to try: Baby Connect ($5: iPhone, iPad, Android, Web) and Baby Log ($5: iPhone, iPad, Black Berry, Android.)

Contraction Master
If you’re a first-time mom, the stress of timing contractions and knowing when to go to the hospital can be brutal. This app allows you to accurately time labor contractions and record your opinion of the strength of the contractions. Plus, it gives you notice that your contractions are close enough and strong enough that you should get to the hospital—pronto! The app even gives you a bar graph so you know your contraction history and can track trends
Cost: $2
iPhone, Android
Others to try: Contraction Monitor (free; iPhone, iPad) and Labor and Contraction Monitor ($2; iPhone, iPad)

Eat Sleep
Does it feel like your newborn is constantly attached to your breast? Are you worried your baby isn’t getting enough? Whether bottle or breast, feeding baby is never without worry. Some days I felt like my baby never stopped eating; other days she didn’t seem interested in food.
This app allows you to record your baby’s eating, sleeping and diaper habits. Plus, its super easy one-finger tap allows you to multitask without having to type in any information. As a work-from-home mom, tracking my baby’s sleep habits helped me plan my schedule. The best part? It keeps a history, so you can view trends week to week or month to month.
Cost: Free
iPhone, iPad
Others to try: Baby Feeding Log (free; iPhone, iPad) andiBaby FeedTimer ($3; iPhone, iPad)

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On the Fly Bottle Warmers

OnTheFly.quarter

What’s black and white and warm all over? It’s a trés chic, super-functional bottle warmer that makes on-the-go feedings WAY easier. This all-natural, recyclable and totally adorable “bottle sock” warms your baby’s bottle to the perfect temperature for up to eight hours. This hot new must-have is the creation of a local mom. Consider it the perfect gift for your “bestie’s” baby shower.

877-641-2442 | www.ontheflybottle.com

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The Mommy Measure

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This oh-so-cute milestone ribbon and journal creates a unique timeline of your pregnancy experiences as a keepsake in your child’s baby book. Local, hip parents came up with the fabulous idea while pregnant with their second child (they sure wish they had had it for their first). Now you can keep track of the first time you heard that pitter-patter of the heartbeat and other milestones right on the ribbon. www.mommymeasure.com

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Eco-Diaper Service

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Save the planet one diaper at a time. Orlando’s first environmentally friendly cloth diaper service has arrived with a bang. Always wanted to use cloth diapers, but not so keen of the idea of all that extra, stinky laundry? Now all the work is taken care of by these two Orlando ladies (think of them as the diaper fairies). They drop off your clean baby diapers in a bag and pick up the dirties you leave on your front door step. Presto! You have clean diapers. Don’t worry; your diapers are washed separately and you always receive the same diapers – no sharing. Best of all, no more filling up those landfills with disposable diapers.

407-678-0865 | www.ecodiaperservice.com

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