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New Shopping area on The Parenting Tips Blender


DaVinci-Emily-3-Drawer-Changer-Dresser-Ebony-0-0One of our NEW shopping sections (one of many to come) is now online!  We’ll be extending the Parenting Tips Blender in the months to come to include more shopping options, parenting information, family travel tips and ideas and much more.

Our latest addition is our “Shopping for your Baby Nursery” section. This new section includes the following categories:

If you’re looking for our popular top 10 lists, you’ll find those here. But we encourage you to check out our newest shopping sections above. They’ll have the latest and greatest in each of the categories. You’re sure to find the perfect nursery furniture for you new baby nursery.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more new shopping options including baby gear such as strollers and car seats, health and safety products and a wide variety of gifts for new parents, grandparents, keepsakes and more!

Review and Giveaway Sites / Blogs for Family, Parents and Baby


Giveaway sitesEveryone loves free stuff… especially new or experienced parents trying to save some money. Thankfully giveaway sites and giveaway blogs are abundant across the internet. If you spend a little time searching, you can enter one giveaway site after another and have a good chance of winning some great stuff if you stick with it.

There are many different types of giveaway sites. Some concentrate only on giveaways, while many other review products and then giveaway the product they review. This is a win-win-win situation since the company putting up the product gets a review along with potential customers… the site or blog reviewing the product gets free stuff for themselves and their visitors… and you and I end up getting free stuff.

There are blogs and giveaway sites which cover baby items, toddler items, family stuff, electronics, and everything in-between. If you’re looking for a particular type of product, search for that term and put giveaway, contest or sweepstakes after the item you’re looking for. For example, if your looking for a diaper bag. Search Google using the term “diaper bag giveaway” or “diaper bag contest”. By narrowing down your searches you’ll usually find what you’re looking for. Or if you just want to check out all the giveaway sites do a more general search such as “giveaway site for baby” or “giveaway and reviews for parents”. You’ll be amazed at what you can find with a little looking.

Below are a few of my favorite giveaway sites for baby, toddler or family related items. Some of these giveaways sites can be found on our Fresh Giveaway page.

Do you have a favorite giveaway site or blog? Let us know and we’ll add it.

 

Top Rated / Best Jogging Strollers Currently Available


As all new and expecting parents come to find, there are baby strollers in multiple styles and colors.  Each style of baby stroller has a unique use. Lightweight umbrella strollers for quick trips, standard lightweight strollers for everyday use, travel systems which serve as a stroller and car seat carrier and then there’s my favorite, the jogging stroller.

Out of all the baby strollers that I used with my two daughters, the best stroller and my fave was always a jogging stroller. At one point I had two jogging strollers… a single and a double.

Why was a jogging stroller my favorite? Several reasons. The larger wheels are both comfortable for the child and they go over all types of terrain. There’s room to carry a bag underneath (most models) and they can be used in just about every situation. I would use mine all day long, for just about everything I did with my girls. From trips to the zoo, to exercising. Best of all, the jogging stroller was always the easiest for me to push around because of the larger air-filled tires and because most joggers are taller than normal strollers. Since I’m 6’3″, I always got annoyed with pushing around smaller umbrella strollers that I had to bend down to reach.

If you’re considering a  jogging stroller, here are the top 5 best sellers currently on the market.

1. Jeep Overland Limited Jogging Stroller with Front Fixed Wheel, Fierce – this Jeep Overland Limited jogging stroller is currently the most popular jogging stroller available. It has a front fixed wheel, air filled tires, and adjustable handle, the iBaby sound system for mom, dad and baby, speed distance odometer, large storage basket, cup holders, five point safety harness, multi position seat and folds easily.

2. BOB Revolution SE Duallie Double Jogging Stroller, Navy – Ideal for parents and caregivers of multiple children, the BOB Revolution SE Duallie Stroller offers a pivoting front wheel and a lightweight frame that’s designed for two. The easy-to-fold frame and suspension system provide convenience and comfort that both you and your children will appreciate. And the stroller is packed with extra features like reclining seats and adjustable, multi-position canopies.

3. InStep Safari Swivel Wheel Double Jogger – Take a jog or a stroll with baby in the InStep Safari Double Jogging Stroller. Made for the active parent, this swivel wheel jogger provides features that keep the little one comfortable such as pneumatic, high performance tires that ensure a smooth ride, a dual trigger folding mechanism and built-in carrying handles for uncompromising safety when folding and transporting the stroller. Parent and pivoting child trays with two cup holders each add convenience and all three wheels come with a quick-release feature that make removal a snap (literally). The canopy is retractable and has five positions to ensure protection against UV rays. This jogger seats two children up to 50 pounds each.

4. Schwinn Turismo Swivel Single Jogger Stroller – The wide tread tires of the Schwinn Turismo Swivel Single Jogger are great for handling even the roughest terrains. The 12-Inch front swivel wheel locks forward for added control and stability, while the 16-Inch rear wheels glide with ease for effortless pushing. This single stroller features a lightweight aluminum frame.

5. BOB Revolution SE Single Jogging Stroller, Black – Designed with a pivoting front wheel and a lightweight frame, the BOB Revolution SE Stroller offers a smooth ride and is ideal for everyday activities and not-so-everyday adventures. The easy-to-fold frame and suspension system provide convenience and comfort that both you and your baby will appreciate. And the stroller is packed with extra features like a reclining seat and a adjustable, multi-position canopy.


Things for New or Expecting Parents to Consider when Buying a New Home


Buying a new home is exciting. Especially for new or expecting parents. Many new or expecting parents base a potential home purchase on things like the number of rooms, bathrooms and area/neighborhood. While these are important things, many parents with older children have a much different view on what’s important.

My daughters are now 8 and 10 yrs old. While I love our home, there are many things about it that would have made me think twice about buying it, if I knew then what I know now. What kids do when they’re 8 and 10 is very different from what they did at 3 and 5 yrs old. For any new or expecting parent that’s about to start looking to buy a new home, I’ll include my suggestions and opinions below. Some of these may seem silly for new parents, but trust me, they matter. I’ll also include some general tips and suggestions that deal with safety in and around a new potential home purchase.

This list is not intended to be a comprehensive checklist. I invite other parents with older children to add to it… what tips and suggestions can you add to this list? Share your opinion and help other new or expecting parents.

  • Try to avoid having a door to the backyard in the main living area. It may seem like a good idea, but as your children grow, that door will get used more than a door at a shopping mall. Open, close, open, close.. and on and on. Most of the time getting slammed since kids can’t shut a door quietly. If this door is in your main family room or living area, forget trying to relax during the day.
  • If possible, have a home with two living areas or a separate game-room/TV room. I know in many areas of the country having extra space like this is not possible because of the cost of homes. However, if it is possible in your situation, try having this extra space for you and your spouse to relax. Your kids will take over one area, leaving you with another room to relax in. Try to get a home where this extra space is separated by a wall or two, so your kids loudness and playing doesn’t make it’s way into the separate area.
  • If you’re considering a two story home, try to get all the bedrooms on one level. This is really a matter of personal preference, but one that I feel is important. It keeps your kids at a safe distance and lets you react faster if they need you. For example, if they have a bad dream. It’s nice to not have to walk up or down the stairs to comfort them. On the flip side though, you’ll probably want some space between the rooms when your children are older. My preference is all the bedrooms on the same level, but the master being separated from the children’s room by a quest room that isn’t occupied very often.
  • If possible, purchase a home with a long driveway. A driveway is a much safer place to play than the street.
  • Avoid home on busy streets, corner lots and back streets. Kids don’t think about safety when they play. They don’t think about cars coming down the street. Avoid busy main streets and you’ll remove a potential danger. Corner lots pose a danger from dangerous, drunk or bad drivers missing the corner. Back streets can sometimes back up to forest or vacant land. Don’t give your kids the chance to wonder off or play with the snake or animal coming from the vacant lot.
  • Think twice about a home with a pool. Pools are wonderful to have, but for the parents with a baby or young child they can be deadly. Consider a neighborhood that has a community pool and not a pool in the backyard. It gives you control on when they go swimming and as a bonus you and your kids will benefit socially by meeting other neighbors. If do you buy a home with a pool, make sure all the latest up to date safety equipment is in place in and around the pool (fence, gates, locks, alarms, etc.).
  • Peek over the fence at who your neighbors may be. How do they keep their yard, pool, etc. Do they have dogs. Do the dogs look aggressive or dangerous. Is their pool properly protected with fencing and locked gates?
  • Does the home you’re looking at have safe playground equipment? Is the equipment anchored correctly with the proper cushioning around the swings, etc? If you don’t think it safe or needs attention, try to get this worked in so the current owner fixes it on their dime.
  • Do the windows of the home have good locks or guards? If they don’t, try to get the current owner to fix this.
  • Does the home have stairs? Stairs are like a magnet for babies and young children. If the home you’re looking at has stairs, look closely to make sure the proper safety gates can be installed after you buy the home.
  • Do all the electrical outlets near the sinks and wet areas have ground fault circuit interrupter’s (GFCI’s) in place?
  • Does every room have a smoke detector? Are carbon monoxide detectors in place? Try to get the current owner to cover this if you sign a contract to purchase the home.

When you’re looking around at homes for your family, try to think back when you were young. What kind of trouble did you get into to around the home. Think like a kid when you’re looking around and you may find some hidden dangers or problems in the home you’re considering buying. You probably won’t catch everything, but with some thought you’ll greatly increase the likelihood that the home you purchase will be an enjoyable and safe place for you, your spouse and children.

Do you have any tips for new parents? Share them below in a comment.

Baby Names & Meanings – Popular, Cute, or Uncommon Baby Names. What’s your choice for a baby name?


Baby names and their meanings are one of the most difficult decisions a new parent has to make. Do you choose a popular baby name, a cute baby name, an uncommon baby name, cool, unique or common name?

For most parents their are ideas floating around in their head long before a baby is even on the way. We’ve all had names we’ve come to love and hate as we grow up. Maybe it’s an old boyfriend or girlfriends name that you don’t like. It could be the name of a movie star you love. We’ll have these names in mind when the time comes to discuss baby names with our spouse. Will they match up with what your spouse likes and dislikes? The odds are against it. When it’s your time to start thinking about naming your baby, keep an open mind.

The decision can’t come lightly. Think seriously if you’re thinking about a baby name that is very unusual. Considering a baby name that has to do with some popular fad going on right now? Think again. You’ll probably not like it 5 years… or worse, your child will hate it when they grow up and end up having to change it. Choose wisely.

My wife and I personally went with a first name for both our girls that is more common. Then both of their middle names are somewhat on the unusual or uncommon side. We did it this way intentionally. Obviously we like all the names we chose. The benefit of this method is your child will have a choice when they grow up if they want to go by the common or unusual name. For example, our oldest daughter is more conservation in her personality. She’ll probably end up using her first name. Our other daughter though is a little wild. She’ll probably end up going by her middle name. It’s there choice… that’s the benefit of giving them both a common and uncommon name.

What was your choice for a baby name? Did you go crazy or did you stick with something common and popular? Still in the process of picking out a name? Share your comments below in the comment area.

Below are some of my favorite sites for baby names and baby name meanings. They’re in no particular order, but these baby name sites will give you some great suggestions if your starting the baby naming process for your boy or girl. Do you have a favorite baby name site? Share it below in a comment.

  • Baby Hold – Unique baby names and meaning, girl baby names, boy baby names, unique, celebrity and popular baby names and their meanings
  • Popular baby names – the Social Security Administrations list of the most popular baby names
  • Moms who Think – Boy and girl names, most popular names and tips on naming your baby
  • Baby Zone – baby names, their meanings and origins
  • the Bump – browse baby girl or baby boy names by origin, view celebrity baby names or the most popular names