bedtimesoothers

Top 5 Bedtime Soothers

Getting little ones to bed often proves very challenging, particularly for new parents. But lack of sleep isn’t good for babies—or parents. Setting up a proper bedtime routine is essential for setting the stage for regular sleep for a child—and preserving the health and sanity of parents. Whether you are sleep training an infant or reinforcing healthy sleep habits for toddlers, consider adding a night sleep soother to create a consistent, calming environment for this daily snoozing ritual.

A few of our favorites are snazzy to look at and easy to take along if you’re traveling.

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Super Max the Turtle from Cloud b

1. Super Max the Turtle from Cloud bSuper Max the Turtle is an all-plastic starry night turtle that projects three color cycles onto the ceiling or wall. But just as wonderful as this product is the story behind it. It was inspired by a real little boy named Max, who struggled to rest during his lengthy hospital stays during his battle with brain cancer. His mom bought him the original Cloud b Starry Night Turtle, which helped soothe his bedtime fears. After hearing Max’s story, Cloud b teamed up with the MaxLove Project and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles to create Super Max the Turtle. It uses the same sleep-aid technology as the original, but its all-plastic structure makes it safe and easy to clean for hospitals, camp, or travel.

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Stay Asleep Buddies Hedgehog from Cloud b

2. Stay Asleep Buddies Hedgehog from Cloud bHow can you resist this sweet hedgehog? The Stay Asleep Buddies Hedgehog is an all-in-one soother, nightlight, and sleep trainer. It lulls kids to sleep with soft music and a warm light in its belly and also provides a gentle wake up with a brighter light and livelier music. If your child does stir at night, a motion sensor activates the sound to help him or her drift back to dreamland.

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Woodland Friends Twinkling Light Crib Rail Soother from Fisher-Price

3. Woodland Friends Twinkling Light Crib Rail Soother from Fisher-PriceHere’s an interactive toy that engages baby in the go-to-sleep process. The Woodland Friends Twinkling Light Crib Rail Soother is a fabric soother that attaches safely to the crib and is activated by a gentle tap by baby. A soft nightlight, twinkling lights, and music create a soothing environment for a sweet slumber.

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Lil Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo from VTech

4. Lil Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo from VTech: For a creative bedtime routine, the Lil Critters Soothing Starlight Hippo provides calming interactions that prep little ones for sleep and provide a charming component for a bedtime ritual. The hippo reads nursery rhymes, plays music, and projects a calming starry sky on the ceiling and walls for a soothing snooze.

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NUK natural sleep system from Nuk

5. NUK natural sleep system from NukNuk’s natural sleep system offers a sleek simple design that is great for use for all ages, adults included. This light-and-sounds system has a soft light that can be adjusted to your preferred level of brightness. The timer can be set to 15-, 30-, or 45-minute cycles to lull you to sleep and a soft glowing sun with classical music wakes you up in the morning.

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Top Minions Movie Toys

The adorable little yellow guys continue to take over the world—and the toybox. Just in time for the U.S. premiere on July 10, here are some of our top Minions Movie toys.

Minions Movie Tumblin’ Stuart from Thinkway Toys
Minions Movie Tumblin’ Stuart from Thinkway Toys

1. Minions Movie Tumblin’ Stuart from Thinkway Toys: I’ve fallen and I CAN get up. And fall down again. And get up again. And, well, you get the idea!

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Build-A-Bear Minions Kevin, Bob, and Stuart

2. Minions Kevin, Bob and Stuart from Build-A-Bear: Cuddle buddies for life! And kids can build them just the way they want!

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Minions castle Adventure Building Set

3. Minions Castle Adventure Building Set from Mega Bloks: Seizing the crown—a critical scene in the exciting epic!

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Minions Movie Minion Bob Talking Figure

4. Minions Movie Minion Bob Talking Figure from Thinkway Toys: Is this the first Minion selfie?

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(left to right) Minions Movie Sing ‘n Dance Bob and Rock ‘n Roll Stuart

5. Minions Movie Rock ‘n Roll Stuart and Minions Movie Sing ‘n Dance Bob from Thinkway Toys: Rockin’ and rollin’ and dancin’ and singin’

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Strollin’ in Style: Top 6 Stroller Recommendations

A stroller is quite possibly the most important piece of baby gear purchased by new parents. Given the importance and (let’s face it) visibility of the stroller, this is the baby gear people often splurge on. For urbanites, a stroller is a major mode of transportation and used for everything from running errands, long strolls in a park, and for getting from point A to Point B with baby in tow. Choosing a stroller can be daunting, and there is no shortage of features to consider when picking your baby’s sweet ride. We’ve rounded up five popular strollers with standout features to help you narrow down your options.

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Bugaboo Bee3 van Gogh/@thenewyorkmom

1. Bugaboo is a brand synonymous with stroller luxury, and the Bugaboo Bee3 van Gogh Special Edition is a lightweight stroller that handles the busy streets of NYC like a champ. The fold is quick and simple, making getting in and out of taxicabs or tackling subways stairs a cinch with baby on your hip. The sunshade is generous, while the seat grows with your child by simply extending the seat and seat back. The Van Gogh sunshade is made of a gorgeous silk-like fabric that’s still water repellent and protects your child from the sun. Parents have the option to switch out the sunshade for a myriad of choices. Why Van Gogh, you might ask? Bugaboo used the artist’s Almond Blossom painting and teamed up with the Van Gogh Museum to create this high-end special edition stroller.

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Orbit Baby G3/@thenewyorkmom

2. For ultimate luxury, the Orbit Baby G3 is an entire stroller system for your babe that goes from birth through the toddler years. The system starts with a super sturdy base and has various seats that attach to the frame, allowing you to customize it to your needs. You can also purchase a separate base for the car that allows the seats to be used there as well. The wide base has shock absorbing wheels, a generous storage basket, and even a “paparazzi shield.” The Orbit G3 base allows the seat to turn a full 360 degrees, so you can have your child forward, rear, or even side facing. With the car seat, that means you can load up baby in the car while facing them, harnessing them in, and then adjusting to a rear-facing seat, which saves a ton of backache. No literally, have you tried to take a baby in and out of a car…thanks Orbit! The Orbit G3 screams luxury so get ready to fork over the funds for it.

3. This is the little stroller that truly behaves like a big stroller. The Armadillo from Mamas and Papas is a stroller with a generous seat, full recline, and a cozy extra-large sunshade to keep baby nice and comfy. If you are short on space, this stroller has got your back with a super compact fold that takes the Armadillo from a full stroller, when extended, to taking up hardly any space at all.

Laurie and Maria highlighted three of our top picks on an earlier episode of the Play Date. Pictured left to right: Bob Revolution Flex Jogging Stroller, Mamas and Papas Armadillo, and Britax Affinity

4. The Britax Affinity is the brand’s luxury option, and it’s designed to stay with you from birth through the toddler years. It features forward or rear facing seats, full recline, adjustable footrest, generous canopy, roomy storage, and a few extra luxury details. Its super sleek design combines functionality and good looks. It’s also totally customizable, allowing you to pick out colors for the frame or the seat. The Affinity uses Britax’s Click and Go System so you can easily attach car seats, bassinets, or switch the seat from forward to rear facing in a snap.

5. Stay fit while cruising with baby in the Bob Revolution Flex Jogging Stroller. This is a three-wheel, lightweight jogging stroller that is easy to fold, compact and—best of all—can be used as an everyday stroller. It’s basically two strollers in one. The high impact wheels with pneumatic tires tackle the bumpy roads while keeping your child comfy inside. This stroller has a front wheel that locks in place or swivels, allowing you to take on curves or stay on a straight path while jogging.

6. For an all-in-one stroller that takes baby straight from birth through the toddler years, the Chicco Bravo Quick-Fold Trio System is our go-to on a budget. The Bravo includes the KeyFit 30 infant car seat and base, along with the stroller. All pieces click together so parents can move from car to stroller without waking up their sleeping babe. The Chicco Bravo has a one-step, one-hand fold and stands upright once folded. And with multiple color options, this stroller system will still have you looking chic without breaking the bank.

Need a little extra help? Click here for more tips to guide you through the stroller buying experience. 

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Top 5 Inside Out Movie Toys

TTPM received a sneak peek at the new Disney/Pixar movie Inside Out last week. We laughed. We cried. We wanted to come back to the office and play with our top five Inside Out movie toys!

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We sometimes agree with Sadness that Joy’s super-happy vibe is a little exhausting. (Inside Out Joy Talking Stuffed Doll from TOMY)

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There’s no reason to be so sad, Sadness! You had a much bigger role in the movie than we expected! (Inside Out Deluxe Talking Sadness Figure from The Disney Store)

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There are so many funny characters in this movie. Collect them all and relive your favorite movie moments. (Inside Out Deluxe Figurine Playset from The Disney Store)

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Riley may be too old to remember wagon rides with her imaginary friend Bing Bong, but J. Lo never forgets! “BING BONG! BING BONG!” (Inside Out Bing Bong Stuffed Animal from The Disney Store)

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Joy is saving your memory of seeing Inside Out in theaters so you can always remember what a great movie it is! (Inside Out Headquarters Playset from TOMY)

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Top Jurassic World Toys

Jurassic World is opening this week, and classic dino play is back in a big way as kids bring the creatures of Jurassic World home in a cast of great toys. Here are our favorites:

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1. Jurassic World Velociraptor from Hasbro: Who says dinosaurs are extinct? Not kids, once they get their hands on (or in) this great character!

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2. Jurassic World Indominus Rex Breakout from LEGO: A raptor rampage was never so much fun as kids create the central location for Jurassic mayhem!

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3. Jurassic World Indominus Rex from Hasbro: She’s the genetically modified bad girl of Jurassic World. Check out the roaring and light-up features!

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4. Jurassic World Hero Mashers Indominus Rex and Velociraptor Mash Pack from Hasbro: Make your own mash-up monsters—and if you think they’re going to run amuck, pull ‘em apart and start again!

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5. Jurassic World Velociraptor Claws from Hasbro: You’ve heard of cause and effect? Well, these claws create quite the Jurassic effect!

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6. Playskool Heroes Jurassic World Tyrannosaurus Rex from Hasbro: Dino-sized fun for little people! This is a wonderful interpretation of Jurassic World for preschool dino fans.

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7. Jurassic World Mercedes Benz RC from Jada Toys: How much horsepower does it take to outrun a dinosaur? This toy offers excellent R/C play at a great value.

JURASSIC WORLD WRECK N ROAR DINOSAUR Game

8. Jurassic World Wreck N Roar Dinosaur Game from Hasbro: Get ready for some head-to-head dino bashing excitement and turn your opponent into a Play-Doh snack. Chomp!

JurassicWorldVelociraptors copy Continue reading

babyessentials

Summer Essentials for Baby

Temperatures are rising and Summer is here! Summertime with baby is a time for endless exploring, beach days, little toes in the freshly mowed grass, and lots of outdoor fun. We have hand-picked some of our top summer essentials for baby so you can get outside and make the most of the season—just don’t forget your sunscreen!

  1. Sit-Me-Up Floor Seat from Fisher-Price allows you to take baby outside and play. The fabric seat hugs baby’s lower body while the high seat back provides essential upper back support. Detachable toys and a teether are also included for on-the-go fun.
  2. Nothing says summertime like a personal splash pool. The Frog Baby Shade Pool from International Playthings is a summertime must-have for baby. This pool comes with a shade to shield baby from the sun and a padded base to provide a soft seat for baby. This toy also doubles as a ball pit for indoor play.
  3. Summertime is meant for long lazy strolls with baby in tow and it’s a bonus when your stroller is a work of art. The Bugaboo Bee3 Van Gogh Special Edition is a gorgeous stroller with Van Gogh’s “Almond Blossom” printed across the canopy. The Bee3 is a compact stroller that is great for city life or wherever your summer travels take you. A generous sunshade and full recline allow baby to rest in a cool, shady retreat while on the move.
  4. For a cooler carrying option, the Ergobaby Performance Baby Carrier steps it up. This carrier has special moisture wicking mesh lining that keeps baby and parent cool. Padded straps and waist belt help evenly distribute baby’s weight, and its lightweight and compact design make it ideal for an active lifestyle.
  5. Summertime means bare feet, wet towels, and daily walks to the neighborhood pool. The Little Tikes Deluxe Ride and Relax Wagon with Umbrella from MGA Entertainment is perfect for loading up sunscreen, snacks, water bottles, towels, pool toys, and, of course, baby. The seats of the wagon have safety belts and an umbrella shades riders on their trip.
  6. Toddlers love to imitate adults, and they can pretend to mow the lawn along with the big people with the Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Mower from Fisher-Price. The toy features more than 30 learning songs and melodies that grow with your child, while also offering stability as baby learns to walk in their younger years.

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TTPM's Top Travel Toys

“Are we there yet?” Avoid hearing that question on your summer vacation by keeping some of TTPM’s top travel toys for kids handy. Whether you’ve got a long plane trip or a short car ride or just want something fun to do in the hotel room, these eight picks will keep boys and girls busy and entertained while on the go.

1) The Travel + Comfort Neck Pillow from Manhattan Toy will keep young kids comfy when they travel. This soft kid-sized neck pillow comes in whimsical fox or raccoon designs, and easily attaches to a suitcase or backpack so kids can carry around their own pillow just like mom and dad.

2) Little kids will also like having their own carry-on with Boris the Bus Trunki from Trunki. This ride-on toy/take-along travel case looks like a London double-decker bus with animal sticker passengers in the windows. The interior of the Trunki features elastic straps to hold items in place as well as a side pocket.

3) To encourage your preschooler’s artistic abilities on the go, the My First Crayola Washable Mix and Match Book lets kids create and color in mixed-up characters. It comes with three crayons and 30 coloring pages that can be wiped clean to extend the creative play.

4) For kids who love summer just as much as Olaf from Frozen, check out Blue Orange Games’ Spot It Olaf Numbers and Shapes. In this unique matching game, race to find the matching image between two cards. Images include numbers, shapes, and some of Olaf’s favorite summer things.

5) Patch Products has a whole line of Take N Play games packaged in metal tins with magnetic pieces that won’t get lost in the car. Take N Play Tic-Tac-Toe opens up to reveal two ways to play: classic Tic-Tac-Toe and a version where you roll the die to determine where you place your Xs and Os.

6) While Checkers is the main game in Alex Brands’ Magnetic-Go Checkers, you also get to play Tic-Tac-Toe. The fold-out cardboard game board is magnetized so that the magnetic pieces won’t budge if you hit a bump in the car.

7) Bring classic games on the go with Hasbro’s Simon Micro Series and Bop It! Micro Series. These electronic games pack all the gameplay of the original versions but in a smaller size to make it easy to throw them into a purse, backpack, or carry-on.

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Baby Shower Gift Guide

Don’t worry about trying to perfect that diaper cake for your gal pals’ upcoming baby shower. TTPM has put together a few of our favorite shower gifts that the new mom in your life is sure to love.

The Glow Cuddles Bear from Cloud B is a soft body bear with a gentle glowing belly that comes in handy during bedtime routines. This bear features real heartbeat sound effects and a timer that shuts off after baby starts to slumber.

Tommee Tippee takes the guesswork out of gifting with the Closer to Nature Pink Gift Set, which comes pre-wrapped and ready to gift. This eight-piece set includes all the essentials for the new mom-to-be: a hat, mitts and booties set, two Closer to Nature bottles, a soother, a bib, and a muslin fabric square. The gift set is also available in blue.

The Aden and Anais Puppy Musy Mate Lovey is a blanket and soft toy in one. It offers baby the comfort of a lightweight blanket with the friendly companionship of a stuffed toy.

The Parker Weekender Bag from jjCole functions like a diaper bag without looking like one. This stylish, top-zip diaper bag features tons of spacious compartments that make it easy to keep baby (and mom) essentials organized on the go. It’s perfect for weekend getaways or long plane rides and is available in multiple patterns and colors to fit your style.

Silver rattles are classic baby shower gifts, but most are meant to be oohed and ahhed over and not played with. The Fisher-Price Baby’s First Silver Rattles, on the other hand, are functional and fancy. The rattles have the look of classic silver, but they are made of plastic so baby can really play with them.

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Top 6 Earth-Friendly Toys & Gear for Baby

Earth Day is April 22 and to celebrate TTPM has picked six of the best eco-friendly toys and gear for your baby. From wooden toys to earth-friendly dolls and even eco-friendly teethers, these items are not only great for reducing your carbon footprint, but also totally on-trend.

1.) The Thermal Baby Bottle from Pacific Baby is a cool stainless steel baby bottle that converts from bottle to sippy cup to big kid water bottle by simply switching out the bottle attachments. This one bottle has the potential to stay with your child from the baby stage through their teens and beyond.

2.) While Grandma didn’t make the Organic Rainbow Bunny Rattle from Pebble, its sweet embroidered face and gentle built-in rattle give it that handmade feel. It’s knitted in white organic cotton with rainbow colors that use OEKO-TEX-certified dyes.The bunny’s long limbs and floppy ears make it perfect for babies to tote along wherever they go.

3.) To keep baby busy and learning, the Garden Activity Cube from EverEarth is up to the task. This wooden activity toy, which is painted with non-toxic, water-based paints, has gears, counting beads, and friendly wooden bugs that encourage early fine motor skills.

4.) The Shape Sorter from Green Toys is a large wobbly shaper sorter that is made from 100-percent recycled materials. Its large pieces make it easy for babies to manipulate, while its wobbly structure gives it a surprise factor that also reinforces cause and effect.

5.) Every baby needs a take-along pal and the Good Earth Girls Mermaid from Greenpoint Brands is a whimsical friend with embroidered detailing and bright red yarn hair. This soft mermaid doll is made with natural cotton fibers, low eco-impact dyes, and recycled fiber filling.

6.) A rattle is a classic baby toy, and EverEarth has a new Rattle Toy Flower Stack just in time for spring. This wooden rattle makes gentle rattle sounds, good for baby’s gentle ears, and because the rattle is made from FSC-certified natural beechwood, it’s also good for the environment.

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April Showers Bring Indoor Fun

Being stuck indoors on a rainy day doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Keep kids busy and entertained with TTPM’s picks for the 10 best rainy day toy and activity ideas for boys and girls:

  1. With the Fablossom Maker Kit from Anubias Enterprise, kids can make cute fabric flower accessories with no cutting, sewing, or gluing required. This no-mess kit uses a special board to help kids fold the fabric pieces and create wearable accessories.
  1. Crafty boys will like making their own wristbands out of colorful nylon cord with the D.I.Y. Cobra Bands kit from Alex. The chunky finished bands give kids a surfer/skater vibe and are easy for boys to make. The kit comes with enough materials to make five different bands.
  1. The It’s Alive! Slime Lab from SmartLab is so much fun, kids won’t even know they’re learning a little science while making gross slime. Make 10 different slime recipes and do 20 experiments, some of which involve the motorized Slime-O-Nator that makes slime grow, dance, and mutate.
  1. Hasbro’s DohVinci kits are a fun way for kids to express their creative ideas in all kinds of room décor. The sets come in different sizes and themes, from the larger Style & Store Vanity, which lets kids use the DohVinci compound to decorate a mirror vanity, to the smaller Door Hanger Kit that lets kids add their own individual touches to the cardboard door hanger.
  1. Make your own jewelry and accessories with the Connects Tall Pail from Fathom Company. Kids can get super creative with this big set that includes 950 plastic chain link pieces in a variety of colors that kids easily connect to make necklaces, belts, headbands, or whatever they want to create.
  1. There’s nothing better than playing a fun game on a rainy day, and young kids will enjoy playing Charades for Kids from Pressman Toy. This makes the classic game of Charades a little easier for ages 4 and up. It’s a great way for kids to think creatively, move around, and get silly.
  1. With more than 500 design combinations, Mattel’s AmiGami toys will definitely keep kids busy as they create new looks for their plastic AmiGami animals using interchangeable paper parts and reusable stickers. There are nine AmiGami animals to collect, including a monkey, a deer, a horse, and a dog.
  1. If you’ve got hungry kids, help them make their own candy bars with the Chocolate Bar Maker from Moose Toys. You provide your favorite chocolate and fillings, and the Chocolate Bar Maker kit gives you the tools to melt and mold custom-made, professional-looking chocolate bars.
  1. And to work off all that chocolate, get active indoors with the NBA Backyard Sports Mega Morph Super Hoop from Day 6 Sports Group. It comes with a small foam basketball and basketball hoop that attaches to most doors. There are two game modes, game announcer and sound effects, and the motorized rim changes sizes as you play.
  1. An electronic timer adds a level of competition and frenzy to finding matches in the card game Spot It Freeze from Blue Orange Games. The game has 55 cards, and there is always only one matching symbol between two cards. With three ways to play the game, you can play a different way each time.

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