November 2006 archive

The Reindeer Dress by Sweet Potatoes – The Perfect Christmas Dress for a Baby, Infant, Toddler or Little Girl

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So sweet! She will be a sure a hit in this soft velvet reindeer dress by Sweet Potatoes. Adorned with a reindeer appliqué and a dangling gift, this dress is a unique style fit for a princess. The bottom of the dress is layered with super soft pink tulle, complimenting the pink accents on the reindeer. Add some matching tights, a pretty pink hair bow, and your little girl will be set for the season.
Want it wrapped? SophiasStyle.com offers gift wrapping, as well as a plethora of gifts, perfect for Christmas, Birthdays or any special occasion.
Find affordable boutique childrens clothes, kids clothes and baby clothes at SophiasStyle.com. Shop today!

Baby Shower Primer – Hosting Baby Showers for the Second Child

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Though one might argue that by the second or third child, parents already have all the supplies they need for a baby, this should not be a valid reason for skipping the second baby shower, because every baby deserves to have a celebration in order to greet his or her arrival with excitement. There are also always supplies that parents continue to need, including but not limited to diapers, baby wipes, new baby clothes (Especially if the baby is born in a different season, or a different gender than the first), fresh nursing supplies, formula, pacifiers and new items that wear easily, like socks, bibs, pajamas and wash cloths.
It is also perfectly acceptable to give parent-oriented gifts at a baby shower, as sometimes the parents need a treat too. Consider giving coupons and gift certificates for spa treatments, and services like baby sitting and household chore or yard work help, or gift certificates for pizza places and video stores.
When the shower is a second, it is also sometimes beneficial to include children in the festivities. It only takes a little bit of extra planning to ensure a fun time for both the children and the adults at the party. Make sure that adequate supervision is present at all times for the children. You can also prepare easy craft projects for them to make, especially cards and other gifts to welcome the new baby. Make sure that snack options are available for the little ones as well, they may not necessary be interested in eating what the adults have.
It has also become commonplace to involve fathers in the festivities, for both bridal and baby showers. Gifts for dads’ wishing well may include blank video tapes and film, a dad’s journal, photo albums, aspirin, books that are father-specific, etcetera. Including dad will make him feel more connected to the entire experience, and less left out. After all, dad’s deserve to celebrate too!

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How to Have a BIG Birthday Party for a Small Child

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How much is enough, when it comes to throwing a party for your child?

Though it is common practice to throw very large parties for very small children, we have always been conflicted about the idea. These enormous parties involve between fifteen and fifty kids in an attempt to not leave anyone out. Articles in parenting magazines often note that the number of guests at a party should be equal to, or at least around the number of the child’s age. This makes us wonder which way to go—Following the experts’ advice by inviting three children for our three-year old child’s party, or inviting the fifteen or twenty kids that are invited to a typical blow-out birthday party.
The next conflict? What type of party to host—Growing up, a nice birthday party was comprised of a small handful of friends, cake and ice cream, and silly party hats and games. I remember playing pin the tail on the donkey and musical chairs. Parties these days are a kid’s dream come true, with live entertainment and impressive events at fancy places. These parties involve a great deal of food, both for the kids and adults, and one heck of a grand finale in the form of an oversized birthday cake, perhaps large enough to feed an army.
What is the best kind of birthday party for a small child? What will make them happiest, a simple party with ice cream and cake, minimal decoration and a few good friends at home, or a large enough party to encompass everyone your child comes in contact with on a day to day basis?
The best option may simply be to compromise, to go big in some areas and to stay small in others. The guest list does not have to be huge, especially not with slumber parties, or a casual get together. But if you are planning a pizza party in the park, it may be exciting to invite enough friends to eat ten pizzas. For children who are too small to really understand the idea of a birthday party, try to keep the guest list small, and the party intimate. There is no real need to go all out when your child likely will not remember much of the party a few years later.
Shop SophiasStyle.com for girls birthday dresses, baby gifts, flower girl dresses, Christmas dresses and more!

How to Make Baby Food and Have a Happy, Healthy Baby

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It can be greatly beneficial to prepare your own baby food, as you will save a significant amount of money, in addition to always knowing exactly what is going into your baby’s body. The food’s you prepare at home generally have a lifespan of about a month if frozen after being made.

Materials:

Fruits and Vegetables

Storage Containers or Plastic Freezer Bags

Plastic Wrap

Blender or Food Processor

Steamer Basket or Stand Alone Steamer

Ice Cube Trays

Step by Step:

First, make sure to thoroughly wash any fruits or vegetables that were purchased from the store, to remove dirt and other nastiness from them beforehand.

Boil whichever fruit or vegetables you’ve chosen. If your baby has just started to eat solids, you will want the food to be as mushy as possible. You can cook the food until it is easily pierced but still solid if you have a baby who has been eating for a few months already.

Puree the food in either the food processor or the blender, until the food resembles the right consistency to match your child’s eating stage.

Strain the food in an attempt to remove stray peels. If you don’t want to do this, consider completely peeling the fruits and/or vegetables before cooking the food.

Spoon the food into ice cube trays, covering it with plastic wrap. When the cubes have frozen, they can be placed into zip lock bags or freezer containers. Be sure to identify the food type with a name and date.

Things to Consider:

When it comes to fruits and vegetables, fresh is always best but alternatively you can opt for frozen or canned instead. These are especially helpful when fresh fruits are out of season.

As your baby learns to eat solids, introduce one food at a time in order to identify possible allergies. Once you know which foods are tolerated well, you can start to blend two or three different flavors together.

Avoid additives like salt and sugar, as your baby does not need them. Some additives, like lemon juice, is known to cause an allergic reaction in very small babies.
For a detailed ‘How To make Baby Food’ Book, we recommend Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron.

For boutique baby clothes, adorable first birthday dresses and baby Christmas dresses, shop at SophiasStyle.com today!

How to Prepare for a Baby Baptism

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According to Roman Catholic beliefs, Baptism is the first sacrament of the Catholic Church. Infants are usually baptized with the idea that both their parents and god parents will teach them the religion. By being baptized, we are being given an open window in order to build a relationship with Jesus Christ. Here are some things to consider when preparing your child for his or her Baptism:
Your local Parish more than likely offers courses in order to prepare you for the Baptism. Some classes can be taken even before the baby is born, so look into them early.
Make sure that you thoroughly understand the concept of Baptism, and what to expect during the ceremony.
When choosing God parents, go with who you believe will do the best job teaching your child about Catholicism.
Plan a celebration party, and involve the community as much as possible. Invite everyone that you know.
When choosing a baptism garment, check with your family members first to ensure that there isn’t already a garment in the family meant to be passed along. Although you ultimately have the final decision on what your baby wears, family traditions should not be broken.
Tell all of your friends and family members about the baptism so that they will all send prayers for the baby.
Write your own Parents’ prayer for the Baptism, and pray often for your baby.
Save as many mementos as you can, including photographs, heirloom baptism gowns, and candle, so that you and your child can look back on them in future years.
Shop SophiasStyle.com today for Christening outfits and boutique baby clothes.

Unique Baby Shower Gifts – How to Bake a Diaper Cake

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Though you may not want to eat this cake, it will be well-appreciated by Mom-to-be. If you’re hunting for a creative baby shower centerpiece, consider a diaper cake. This cake will serve both as form and function as it will be a cute centerpiece, and a large supply of diapers as soon as the baby is born. Storks and bunnies do not have very useful purposes after the party, so if you are looking for a gift that lasts, create a useful cake that will be easy as peas for anyone to make, even the baking-challenged.

Here’s what you need:
48-50 medium sized disposable diapers. The cake can typically be finished with 48 diapers, but based on the size differences between brands, it is better to keep a few extras on hand just in case.
A large platter to serve as the diaper cake’s base. You can purchase 16” disposable cardboard platters at most party outlet stores.
At least seventy feet of narrow ribbon, something that is easy to tie. You will use this ribbon both to tie up each individual diaper, and also to tie each separate tier together.
At least 8 feet of 1” ribbon to finish each tier.
(1) Tall baby bottle.
Small candies or favors to fill the baby bottle.
Adhesive tape.
Assorted extras, “baby necessities” like pacifiers, combs, rattles, bibs, brushes and teething rings.

    Then step by step:
    Cut the narrow ribbon into lengths of one foot. Only cut forty-eight of these lengths, the rest of the ribbon is for a separate purpose.
    Roll each diaper up, either with all of the decorations facing out, or all of the decorations facing in. This can be done depending on your preference, it does not affect the cake in any way.
    Tie each diaper roll with a foot-long length of narrow ribbon.
    Begin with the top cake tier, filling the baby bottle with candy and favors.
    Stand five or six of the diapers around the bottle and tie them tightly together with another length of ribbon.
    Use approximately fifteen rolled diapers to create the second tier. Tie this tier together with another length of narrow ribbon.
    Use approximately 27 rolled diapers to create the third and largest tier. Tying this layer together will be easier if you stand it up around the inner circle and tie it that way.
    Next, place the largest tier on the platter and use several pieces of tape to tack the diapers to the platter. You don’t want the diapers to rip when the cake is disassembled, so be careful when applying the tape.
    Place the next tier on top of the base, attaching it to the lower tier with tape.
    Place the smallest tier on top next, attaching it in the same fashion.
    Tuck baby accessories into the ribbons on the cake, taking care that they fit snugly so that they will not fall off in transit.
    Finish the cake off with one-inch ribbon, wrapping each tier to bind in the accessories and provide a more finished look.
    Eat up! Rather, give it to the mom-to-be, and wish her well!
    For more unique baby gifts and girls clothing, visit SophiasStyle.com now!

    How to Choose a Flower Girl and her Flower Girl Dress

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    Typically a flower girl is a young child between the ages of four and eight, who is connected somehow to the bride and groom. She may be a niece, a family friend, cousin or even a daughter in some cases. Her job is to follow the bridesmaids down the aisle during a wedding, carrying a basket of flowers or flower petals, and to scatter them down the aisle as she walks.

    In many cases, it will be very easy to choose a flower girl for your wedding, but for others, it will be a case of choosing between several very different candidates. Remember, it is possible to have two or even three flower girls, which will both improve upon the girls’ confidence, and add significantly to the “cuteness factor” of the wedding. It is more important for you to choose the right aged girl, as girls who are too young tend to be afraid, and do not understand their duties, while girls who are too old may be better suited for a position as a junior bridesmaid, or a reader. Additionally, there’s no reason that you have to have a flower girl, so leave the position out all together if there are no suitable candidates.

    One of the best ways to prepare a new flower girl for her duties, is to give her a book that describes her role, in order to get her excited about it. Make sure that her parents are seated on the aisle, near the front, so that she can see them while walking down the aisle. It may also be wise to assign a bridesmaid “buddy” to her, to make sure she is comfortable, and has used the bathroom before the ceremony begins. You should not worry about the flower girl messing up too much, because the guests will find her antics cute, no matter what she does.

    Oftentimes, a flower girl is dressed to resemble a miniature version of the bride, or similarly, in a white dress with a sash made to match the dresses on the bridesmaids. This does not mean that you cannot pick any flower girl dress that suits you, and ties in with the theme of the wedding. Just be sure to consider the following points:

    • Make sure that the flower girl dress is comfortable and not too long. This will keep the flower girl from pulling at, or tripping over, her dress.
    • If the flower girl is not into dresses, a formal pantsuit can be used as long as it is as sophisticated as a flower girl’s dress normally would be.
    • Save by purchasing your flower girl dress online at SophiasStyle.com girls clothing store.
    • Try to choose something affordable, as the flower girl’s parents typically pay for the dress.
    • Be sure to check out SophiasStyle.com for adorable flower girl dresses at affordable prices!

    How to Wash Baby Clothes

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    Before the baby clothes are worn, make sure that they have been washed. Though most new parents are aware of the fact that baby clothes ought to be washed before they are worn by baby, many do not heed the warning as well as they should. It may be unlikely for your baby to be seriously harmed by new, unwashed clothes, but there is a risk of skin irritation and allergy which will make baby feel uncomfortable and can easily be avoided. Babies can be sensitive to sizing, a finish that is put on new clothes in an attempt to keep them looking nice while in the store. These same clothes may also have been exposed to dirt, dust, bugs or rodents through the shipping process, and there is no way to tell what could be making contact with baby’s skin.
    A special detergent is not required for baby clothes. Many companies have produced extra-gentle detergents that are targeted toward baby clothes, but those soaps are not necessary. If you are interested in eliminating any risk of skin allergies, you may want to use a dye-free, scent-free detergent, including Tide Free and All Free & Clear, but again, this is not a necessary step, especially if your baby does not appear to be bothered by clothes laundered in the detergent your family normally uses. For the sake of baby clothes, there is no real need to purchase a completely different soap.
    It is important to always keep up with laundry for baby clothes, as babies tend to go through several outfits in a single day. The first option keeping a handle on the baby clothes laundry is to make sure that the baby has enough clothes that he or she will be able to change outfits several times a day, while still having enough clothing for several more days. If you have a smaller budget and a schedule that allows for more laundry loads during the week, you may opt to buy fewer outfits and simply have them washed more often throughout the week.
    Many of the things that come in contact with baby’s clothing are difficult to remove, making it important to pre-treat stains if you’re interested in removing them completely. Simply taking a little bit of extra time to work on the stains before putting them in the wash may seriously improve your success rate, and keep baby’s clothes looking like new for considerably longer. For clothing that has been allowed to sit for a while, it is worth trying a paste-type pre-treatment, as these treatments can sit on the fabric for up to a week, and will usually get the more stubborn stains out. A spray-on stain treatment or laundry additive should work just fine for most other, newer stains.
    For stains that are not responding to the basic stain fighting treatments, a more aggressive approach is necessary. A paste made of Oxy-Clean and spray stain remover has been a popular concoction among many moms. The paste is added to the clothes, then the clothes are added to a mixture of boiling hot water and Oxy-Clean, along with Era detergent in order to pre-treat the stains, and Zout stain remover afterward.
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    How to Throw a First Birthday Party-Party Ideas and Birthday Dresses

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    Your baby’s first birthday is an unforgettable event that only happens once. There are a wide range of ideas on what a first birthday party should be, as a result. Some parents prefer family-only, quiet parties at home, with simple themes and only a handful of gifts. There are also parents who throw big carnival parties with clowns, popcorn machines and pony rides. There is no real need to be extreme in either direction. Go with what works for you and your family, instead of taking cues from neighbors, friends or columnists in baby magazines. Here are some things to consider while planning your own party:

    • Many parents begin planning for a first birthday party when their child is around six months of age. This is because your life is already likely very hectic, and it will take a while to squeeze in all of the extra party preparations. There is no harm in beginning to plan early, you can slowly stockpile decorations, research cake ideas and pour over craft books so that when the big day draws near, you are as prepared as humanly possible.
    • Consider inviting friends from your child’s playgroups, as well as friends of yours who have children around the same age, but if you are planning to have quite a few guests, do not require them to bring gifts.
    • Both babies and toddlers are fascinated by bubbles, so consider renting or buying a bubble-blowing machine. This will provide entertainment for hours, with no need for expensive clowns or ponies. There are many options for entertainment for little ones, without resorting to high-priced rented-by-the-hour affairs that may actually end up terrifying the little ones sooner than amusing them. While the children are little, stick to quiet entertainment, like a movie geared toward their age group, bubbles, or a romp in the backyard. It honestly does not take very much to entertain small children, so you can save your expenses for when they’re older and want boy bands to entertain their party guests.
    • Baking your own cake will save money, and further personalize the event for your little one.
    • Many people, like my mom, insist that baby girls should be dressed to resemble a princess on their first birthday. This is by far not your only option. You can dress your little girl up in a variety of ways; like a princess, in any pretty dress, or in one of many outfits designed especially for birthday babies. Shop SophiasStyle.com for the picture perfect first birthday dress or outfit!
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