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BPA Avoidance

UltimateMama was looking forward to hearing about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ruling on the safety of bisphenol A (which is a chemical found in many household products, including baby bottles).  However, it looks like the ruling on BPA will be delayed. 

UltimateMama continues her BPA avoidance stance.  If you are shopping for bottles or sippy cups, try Born free products!

UltimateMama knows that it is not easy to travel by air with young children.  Like adults, children do not like to be confined in uncomfortable seats for countless hours. The key is to minimize your children's shouting, seat kicking, and wiggling so that your family and nearby passengers have a smooth flight.

UltimateMama believes that preparation is the key to successful airline travel for families.  Go shopping a week before your trip and stock up on some fun new toys, books, or snacks for your trip.  Your children will be delighted when their new "presents" are unvealed.    

After many trips, UlitmateMama has found mess free ways to occupy her children and keep nearby passengers happy!  A few tips for you:

– Make sure you bring a variety of snacks for your youngsters (bite size fruit, crackers, etc. 

– Bring a few favorite books

– Pack a small coloring book and washable crayons (UltimateMama loves Crayola products such as the Color Wonder™ Coloring Pads with Color Wonder™ Markers

– Give your children a magnetic doodler or drawing screen with an easy sliding eraser

– Bring some fun stickers and a small reusable sticker book

New York Family magazine Nov 09 issue

Modern Art, Sea Lion-Style at the Bronx Zoo

knew the Bronx Zoo was home to aspiring Kandinskys and Pollocks?
Painting is the newest activity for cute, playful sea lions at the
zoo—watch sea lions Indy, Cleo or Kiani create masterpieces as they
demonstrate their painting skills to the public. Sea lion painting does
not have a set schedule; however, when it occurs it takes place during
regular feeding times at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily. The Bronx Zoo (Exit
6 off the Bronx River Parkway), 718-367-1010, —Kristen

New York Family magazine Dec 09 issue

November 18, 2009

New York Gets A Toy Museum

Filed under: Online Features
Tags: , , , ,
jsherwood @ 1:08 pm

By Kristen Duca
Teaching children about the history of the teddy bear, reconnecting
parents with the dolls they coveted all those years ago—it’s all in a
day’s work at The Toy Museum of New York.
Stepping into the cozy one-room exhibit hall inside St. Ann and the
Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights—the new home of the “traveling
museum”—is akin to entering a toy lover’s utopia. Rows of beautifully
curated antique dolls with delicate features line the shelves, along
with displays tracking the evolution of toys through the decades. 

Founded in 1999 as The Doll and Toy Museum of New York City by
Marlene Hochman—mother of three, toy enthusiast and author of several
books on dolls—the museum was recently renamed The Toy Museum of New
York. The non-profit educates visitors about art, history and cultural
studies through encounters with antique dolls, toys and collectibles.
The museum has over 5,000 objects in its collection, including trains,
dollhouses, toy soldiers, GI Joes, Barbie dolls and more. To date, the
museum’s touring exhibits have been on view at the New York Transit
Museum, the South Street Seaport Museum, the American Museum of
National History, various NYC libraries and in museums across the
country. Now that it occupies a space of its own, the museum plans to
offer after-school classes, field trips and birthday parties.

Hochman sees the museum as a “safe keeper of dolls and toys for
eternity”—her goal is to build “a world-class toy collection in the
city of New York.” “The city deserves it,” she says, “and the toy
industry is here.” Although the museum’s board of directors is looking
for a permanent home in Brooklyn and plans to build a museum branch in
Southampton, Hochman intends to keep the “traveling” aspect of the
museum alive through touring exhibits and educational initiatives. At
the end of the day, Hochman hopes that families will walk away from the
museum’s exhibits with a stronger appreciation of the role of toys and
dolls in history, culture and the arts. 

The Toy Museum of New York, 157 Montague Street, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, 718-243-0820,

UltimateMama feels that you and your partner (and any other adult involved in the potty training process such as a relative, teacher, or childcare provider) must decide together how to proceed with potty training your
child.  In addition, you should have on hand all the necessary potty training supplies which may include:

– potty training seats or seat covers

– a step stool

– potty chairs

– wipes

– several pairs of training pants and/or several pairs of underwear

– extra bed/crib sheets for accidents

– any necessary cleaning supplies

– potty training books for the child

– potty training dolls for the child

– potty training rewards (such as charts, stickers, or
targets for the toilet)

All adults involved in potty training your child should make
potty training a fun milestone as opposed to a stressful experience for your child.  Accidents
will happen and you want all adults involved to reassure your child that they are
acceptable.  You should use a
lot of positive reinforcement and encouragement throughout the potty training
process.  You should not punish your child for accidents.  Aim to keep the experience positive by introducing children’s
books about potty training to your child months before actual potty training begins. 

If you have a creative edge, it is a nice idea
to make a fun and colorful potty training milestone chart with your child.  Using colored cardboard or construction paper
you could create a grid chart to detail the child’s potty
training progress.  The child can stick
their favorite stickers onto the chart when they’ve exemplified success.  

Exhibit.  Below is an example of a basic
potty training chart.  Have your child place stickers each time they successfully go potty!

  Sun Mon Tue Wed Thur Fri Sat
1:00 AM              
2:00 AM              
3:00 AM              
4:00 AM              
5:00 AM              
6:00 AM              
7:00 AM              
8:00 AM              
9:00 AM              
10:00 AM              
11:00 AM              
12 NOON              
1:00 PM              
2:00 PM              
3:00 PM              
4:00 PM              
5:00 PM              
6:00 PM              
7:00 PM              
8:00 PM              
9:00 PM              
10:00 PM              
11:00 PM              
12 MIDNIGHT              

One working East Coast parent was thrilled to discover her
nanny’s interest and patience in potty training her young son.  One day after a discussion regarding potty
training with the mother, the nanny took the child to a children’s clothing
store and told him to select a packet of his own big boy underwear.  Then, the nanny hosted a “potty training
party” at their apartment.  She invited a
few other nanny’s and children from their playground and over snacks he proudly
showed everyone his big boy underwear. 
She was able to potty train him in no time by making the experience absolutely
positive and fun.

Papers, papers, papers everywhere!  UltimateMama does not want you to have a mountain of paperwork on your desk, coffee table, or counter-top.  UltimateMama knows that with children comes a lot of paperwork.  After a quick trip to your office supply store and a few hours of organizing you will be able to pull out any document at a moment's notice.

UltimateMama recommends the following basic supplies:

– Some 3 ring binders that are at least 2 inches in width (at least one binder per child; give each child a different color binder to make this project more exciting for you!)

– Some packages of dividers with clear tabs and labels that are easy to write on

– A durable hole punch that punches at least 3 holes

– A smudge-resistant black or blue pen (or a fun color!)

Separate all of your children's paperwork into piles (savings account statements, 529 college savings plans, health insurance, etc.) and hole punch every piece of paper.  Next, take your pen label your child's name on the outside of a 3 ring binder.  Create an index cover page that details the contents of the dividers with tabs.  Put all of your papers in the correct sections and give yourself a pat on the back because now you are an organized parent!

Sample divider tabs may include:

1. Birth certificate

2. Health insurance

3. Dental insurance

4. Savings account

5. Brokerage account

6. 529 college savings plan

7. Savings bonds

8. Childcare or daycare information

9. School information

10. Frequent flier information

11. Retail store receipts or rebates

12. Favorite recipes

UltimateMama wants to share a little travel tip with you – dress your kids alike (and even yourself and spouse if you wish)! Not only will you always remember what your children are wearing as they run all around the airport, train station, or rest stops but you will also easily spot them in large crowds. 

UltimateMama is a big fan of picking a color for your travel day as well as selecting a similar style outfit for each family member.  For instance, if you have daughters then you may want to pick the color "pink" for their shirts.  Taking it a step further you can dress your children in pink polo shirts and jeans.  You could even sport a similar outfit which will surely put a smile on your kids faces. 


UltimateMama believes that you should organize all of your child’s old, outgrown, or unused clothing.  Buy large, clear plastic storage bins, neatly fold all of the clothing that the child has outgrown, and place them in the containers by size.  Make sure that you put all coordinating pieces or
outfits together in case you need to
pull something out of the container. Use brightly colored markers and big white stickers to clearly label the
contents of each container.  The labels
should have information on the size and quantity of the clothing items.  A sample label is as follows:

Clothing:  Baby Girl

Sizes: 6-9 months

Season: Winter

– 5 white long-sleeve onesies

– 6 printed short-sleeve onesies

– 8 footed pajamas

– 2 pink coordinating jogging sets with pants/jackets

– 7 pairs of socks

– 2 winter hats

– 1 pair of mittens

– 1 winter jacket

– 1 snowsuit

UltimateMama wants you to keep your organizational
abilities sharp and work on this project on an ongoing basis
as your child outgrows their clothes! 

UltimateMama believes that whether a child is going on a stroller ride to the park or
a walk down the street they should be dressed appropriately and comfortably.

Warm weather attire and accessories may include: 

– sunscreen

– sunglasses

– sunhat

– rash guard shirt with SPF protection

– bathing suit and cover-up

– water shoes

– sunshade for the stroller

Cold weather attire and accessories may include: 

– hat that covers the child’s ears

– mittens or gloves

– jacket or coat

– boots

– warm pants or leggings

– snowsuit

– warm blanket for covering the child in the stroller

Wet/rainy weather attire and accessories may include:

– raincoat with hood

– waterproof boots

– child’s umbrella

– rain cover for the stroller

Regardless of the weather conditions, the caregiver should always bring a bottle or sippy cup filled with water
for the child in order to prevent dehydration.

UltimateMama will tell you that most mothers or fathers will admit to at least one time in
their child’s lives where they were away from home and did not have the proper
diapering supplies. 

One mother took her child to the zoo and discovered that she
forgot to bring an extra set of clothes. 
Unfortunately, the discovery took place after her child leaked through
her diaper near the zebras.  Luckily, it
was a rather warm day so she was able to put a fresh diaper on her child and
cover her bottom half with a blanket.
UltimateMama wants you to be prepared and avoid these messy situations. 

UltimateMama offers two tips:

1.  Stock:  Keep your diaper bag well
stocked with the necessities. 
2.  Replenish:  Replenish the supplies from your home stash or make a trip to the store for essentials.   

UltimateMama's diaper bag includes the following items.

– child’s emergency contact information sheet (any important personal or health information, phone numbers and addresses of doctors and dentists, etc.)

– diapers in a bag for protection (UltimateMama puts diapers in clear, reusable cosmetic bags to protect against wetness and dust)

– travel size wipes

– diaper cream or ointment

– hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes

– diaper disposal bags (you can purchase environmentally
friendly bags)

– small blanket

– changing pad

– small first aid kit (adhesive bandages as well as
antiseptic wash/ointment)

– small toys or books (teething rings, links, etc.)

– change of clothing (depending on the weather a onesie and
pajamas may do the trick)

– sunscreen

– sunglasses

– hat

– travel size tissues

– travel size petroleum jelly

– burp cloth

– bib

– food or snack in a secure bag or container (for long outings, again UltimateMama likes clear, reusable cosmetic bags)

– bottle or sippy cup and accompanying beverage (water,
milk, formula, juice) in a secure bag 

3-1-08 mag pic food Pic3