View Bottle Snugglers' Awards The Baby Planners | a Baby Concierge & Consulting Service for Expectant Parents

Enter to Win Celebrity Bump Bag

Admit it – when you see one of the Jolie-Pitt kids wearing/playing with/carrying a new item, it’s tempting to search it out and buy it for your little ones.  Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Celebs do get the best of the newest products first because they are opinion leaders, influencers and great advertisers. A consumer may see that perfectly cute t-shirt at a boutique and pass it over, but decide to run back and grab it when they see Sarah Jessica Parker’s adorable son sporting it at the playground (or onthe pages of a weekly mag.)

Do you wish that you could have all of the ultra new, chic and cutting edge baby products that the stars get their hands on?  Today’s your lucky day! Bottle Snugglers are part of a fabulous gift bag called the Celebrity BUMP Bag by Jewels and Pinstripes. In an incredible giveaway partnership with Robeez shoes, you can now enter to win a Celebrity BUMP Bag of your very own.

Just click on the link to enter, and your baby will get the star treatments that he or she so richly deserves.

http://babystepz.robeez.com/sweepstakes/default.asp

Tips for Picky Eating Toddlers?

My three-year-old is the prime example of a picky eater.

We have to be picky on his behalf because of his food allergies (egg, peanuts, tree nuts), and he is picky on top of that. Add those two together and you get a very short list of accepted foods. While the foods he does eat are pretty healthy, it can be frustrating to see him eat the same things over and over. (And somewhat embarassing to send different combos of the same foods to school each day. )

We try to have him taste a new food or two each day, and that has been somewhat successful. Mostly, he will just touch his tongue on the food and then move back to his snack of choice. We consider these small victories.  We mainly worry about him getting enough protein, as he doesn’t like meat and is allergic to eggs and nuts.  Heaven knows that he eats enough dairy to TURN INTO a cow, so hopefully the milk, cream cheese and yogurt is sustaining him.

Do you have any tips for parents of picky eaters? I would love them! How do you get them to try new foods? Do you cook only one option for dinner and have a “take-it-or-leave-it” policy? Or do you make different foods for each picky eater’s meal? Just what every multi-tasking mom needs: one more task at dinner time!

More importantly, if you have recipe ideas for cream cheese, cheese or mashed potatoes that incorporate healthy options which a picky three-year-old will actually swallow, I will be forever grateful.  Protein sources appreciated!

End of Summer Skin (S)Care

Happy End of Summer to all my Multi-Tasking Moms!

Last chance to soak up some rays? I am not a big sun lover, but living in Florida, it’s hard to not be in the sun at some point each day. I like to exercise outside, plus I am driving a lot these days, so I get my fair share of sun exposure.

Though I do use sunblock every day on both myself and my son, I haven’t always been so smart. Like most of my peers, I did my share of tanning (both indoor and outdoor) as a teen, and I only learned of the importance of diligent sun protection in recent years.

Recently, I had a skin check (which derms recommend each year), and I had three “suspicious” moles removed. After sweating it out for nearly a week, I got the call that all is well. Whew! But during that time, I did a lot of thinking about how I would ramp up my efforts moving forward and how I wished that my mom had known to start protecting me as a child.  Here’s what I’m doing on normal mornings:

First, I use a broad spectrum sunblock from hairline to braline, including over my ears and even behind them.  One of my moles was actually behind my ear, and I realized that you actually do get a lot of exposure there when you’re a driver or a passenger in a car.  Then, I spray a high SPF sunblock to my arms and the backs of my hands (important for driving.) I re-apply to my hands every time I’m in the care with the handy travel-sized bottle that I keep there.  If I’m going to be outside in sandals, I also cover my feet well in SPF.  Note: I do use a self-tanner so I can have a little glow without the stress of sun damage!

Next, I apply sunscreen to my son’s face, ears, arms and hands. We call it his “dots”, and he helps rub them in. And he is so accustomed to it that he reminds me if we haven’t done his dots yet! That will serve him well later, I hope. At school, he has a spray sunblock, which his teach re-applies before afternoon play time. I am unapologetic for adding this to her task list, and you should feel the same. One blistering sun burn as an infant can increase the odds of developing melanoma later in life. Just do it!

What I have learned recently is that skin cancer is not always easy to spot, and certain types can look like an ordinary pimple or skin irritation. A site that I found helpful in my search was http://www.skincancer.org/.  It’s a scary site name, but there is a lot of info on all kinds of sun protection for adults and kids.

From now on, I am going to get a skin check each September. To my thinking, it’s just like getting a pap smear (sorry, guys!) You do it so you know that all is well, then you move on until the next year. If you find something, you nip it in the bud, and it doesn’t develop further.

Protect yourself and your kids! It’s one less thing to worry about later.

Food Allergies – How to live well with them

If you are one of the growing number of parents of kids with food allergies, welcome to the club (that no one wants to join).

My son is highly allergc to eggs, peanuts and tree nugs. We found out the hard way when he was only one year old: we gave him a small bite of egg white and called 9-1-1 shortly after.  Seriously.  Then we had to find a way to live and work around these seeming limitations.  He is now a healthy three-year-old, and we have not had to deal with a severe reaction since the first one. Just a few skin contact reactions, but no Epi-Pens have been used!

A few resources for my fellow worried parents are below. These are products/sites that I use personally and like very much. I will also post allergy-free recipes and food ideas at other times. I love to pass on helpful information when I have it!

Ener-G Egg Replacer – Mimics what eggs do in recipes, but it’s made of potato starch. We can’t tell the difference in any baked goods made with this in place of eggs, including cookies, pancakes and cakes. www.ener-g.com

Mabels Labels – Personalized labels that list your child’s allergies in a cute, kid-friendly design. They will stick on through wash and wear. www.mabelslabels.com

www.kidswithfoodalergies.com – A thorough website that gives recipes, news, and lifestyle tips on living with food allergies.

Today’s Favorite Recipe – Apple Slaw

Every once in a while, I come across a recipe that’s too good not to pass on.  This one has been a staple in my fridge ever since I discovered it a few weeks ago. It’s a little gem from the Weight Watchers recipe collection that I have changed just a little.

Not only is this a serving of fruit (mark one off the list for today!), it is easy, fast and works as a side item or snack. What more could you ask for? I hope you like this Apple Slaw as much as my family does!

Apple Slaw

Two medium-sized Apples, cut into matchsticks (I use Fuji); the same amount of Matchstick Carrots (I buy them already sliced, but you can do this yourself, too); 1 Tbsp Olive Oil; 1 tsp Sugar; Black Pepper to taste; and 1/4 cup Low Fat Feta Cheese.

Mix the oil, sugar, and pepper in a bowl. Put the apples, carrots, and cheese on top of the dressing, and toss to coat.  Stays good in the refrigerator for about three days – if it lasts that long!

(The original recipe includes some lemon juice to keep the apples from browning, but I don’t find it’s needed if using small quantities of apples, as above. Also, you may garnish with chives, if desired.)

We CAN all be right, right?

To my fellow moms, friends, sisters, daughters:  Please be nice to each other!

Why should we need someone to remind us to do that? Especially in our world of work, family, social, civic, and religious commitments which can seem endless, it is more important than ever to be supportive and tolerant of others’ decisions. We don’t have to always agree with the way that others choose to live, work and play, but as long as they are not harming others, we should be considerate of their right to do so – and think that maybe there’s a logical reason behind their actions.

I am always shocked when I see mothers criticizing other mothers because mom #2 made a choice that seemed wrong to mom #1. Whether we do or don’t get an epidural, whether or for how long we breast feed, whether we go right back to work or take off for a few years, or whether we need help at home or choose to do it all ourselves – these are personal decisions that we all get to make for ourselves. Being in this wonderful club of being a Mom should be a place of welcome and support, not judgment and criticism.

What if I went around making decisions for you? I decide that you will not work outside the home, that you will never use a baby sitter, and that you must eat broccoli with every meal. Those are all perfectly acceptable decisions. But why should I be the one to make them for you? Maybe you love your job, relish date nights, and hate broccoli.  Does that make you a terrible person or negligent parent? NO!!

Bottle Snugglers has so many satisfied (and relieved) customers, but every once in a while we get a comment about how using a feeding time helper is “negligent parenting” or “dangerous behavior” or that it “discourages bonding”. To those writers I ask, have you ever used a pacifier, Bumbo, bouncy seat, swing, baby sling, or baby sitter? And did you consider it lazy parenting, or did you just need a helping hand at some point during your multi-tasking day?

More importantly, did you ever think of how your negative commentary on moms who need a helping hand might make those moms feel? How can you judge someone whom you’ve never met? And what might that person judge you harshly for in another venue?

For the mom who has three kids under four years old – one who just skinned her knee, one who is dangerously close to the cat’s tail, and one in her lap taking a bottle, the ability to get one hand back to help her other children is greatly appreciated. And I dare say she is not neglecting anyone.  Neither is the mom of twins or triplets who, after the novelty wears off, is now home alone with more hungry babies than hands to feed them with. Please think about these situations before you throw out blanket judgments on another mom.

A Bottle Snuggler is a more secure version of propping a bottle under your chin, which we have all had to do at some point - it’s not a baby sitter and should never be used or viewed as such.

Rock on, Mommies!

Hybrid Moms Can Do It All – but not all at once

I recently learned a clever new term when Bottle Snugglers was listed on the website www.hybridmom.com.  And boy do I fit the description! I think all moms, whether we are mompreneurs or not, are hybrid these days, as we are bombarded with so many responsibilities and must-do’s from morning til night.

My day goes a little like this: get toddler, husband and myself dressed, packed, fed and ready for the day; drive to preschool (a 1.5 hour round trip), fulfill orders and make contacts for business accounts; finalize volunteer calendar for Junior League events; meet colleague for networking coffee; prepare for tomorrow’s Chamber function, plan tonight’s dinner recipes; figure out when in this day I will be able to work out; drive back to preschool (1.5 MORE hours in the car); check in on my out-of-state grandmother; cook and clean up dinner; toddler bath and bedtime; answer after-hours emails; plan for tomorrow- all while tethered to a Blackberry, just in case.  WHEW!  Sound familiar?

Here is my thought on being a Hybrid Mom: we can do it all, just not all at once.  And we shouldn’t expect perfection from ourselves or our mom friends. Support from friends, especially other moms, is crucial to remaining (semi) organized and (mostly) sane in today’s frantic paced world.

Make a check list and accept that it may not all get crossed off today.  Most importantly, it’s OK to be frustrated and tired. No need to pretend that all is perfect all the time.  I love my life, but I reserve the right to take a nap when I need one! Rock on, Hybrid Moms!

Introduction to the Bottle Snugglers Blog

Hi there, and welcome to the blog for Bottle Snugglers!  I’d like to introduce myself and my product and give you an idea of what to expect from the blog.

First, what are Bottle Snugglers? I’m glad you asked! Bottle Snugglers are lovable plush animals cleverly designed to hold baby’s bottle at the same angle as Mom’s hand. They give mom (or dad) that much-coveted free hand during feeding time to take care of other kids or themselves. You hold baby, Bottle Snugglers hold the bottle, and everyone wins!

These are meant as a helper to caregivers and to aid in our busy lives – they are NOT a babysitter or a device to encourage child neglect. If you’re a thinking person, you probably knew that already, I just wanted to clarify for those who disagree with helpful gadgets such as baby bottle holders.

Secondly, who am I? My name is Jennifer Marko, and I own Bottle Snugglers.  I’m a married mom of a 3-year-old  who is the source of many adventures in my life.  I spend my days running the business, driving to pre-school, volunteering in my community, networking and, in my copious free time (ha!), I like to read, cook and travel.

Finally, what will this blog add to the lives of its readers?  I want to be a source of information which Bottle Snugglers clients will want to know about.  Specifically, I will blog about: living with food allergies, child development (potty training, picky eaters, milestones), support for other moms and mompreneurs, recipes that I love, new products…anything that I find helpful and think you will, too.

So bookmark us, add us to your Favorites, follow us on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.  Or do them all. I look forward to connecting with you!

Bottle Snugglers

Bottle Snugglers Feeding Time Helpers are plush stuffed animals designed to hold baby’s bottle at the same angle as Mom’s hand. The wide animal base, which is available in puppy, teddy bear, cow or pig styles, sits on baby’s tummy as Mom holds her. Then, the bottle is inserted into a soft, velour-covered elastic band, and the band is attached to the base with hook and loop fasteners at a customized angle for any baby. Now, baby is happily having lunch, and Mom has one hand free to deal with whatever comes her way.

Where to Buy

You may order Bottle Snugglers from this website or support one of our fabulous retailers.

U.S.A.

Alabama

Britches and Bows
11041 Lexington Drive
Duncanville, AL 35456
(205) 752-2625
www.britchesandbows.net  

Southern Crossings
813 S. Railroad Ave
Opelika, AL 36801
(334) 741-0015

East Alabama Medical Center
Gift Shop

2000 Pepperell Parkway
Opelika, AL 36801
(334) 528-1248

Arizona

Urban Kidz
The Shops at Gainey Village
8787 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 220
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
(480) 483-6800
www.urbankidzwear.com

Essential Touch Spa
Scottsdale Healthcare
9003 E. Shea Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 323-3172

Arkansas

3 Monkeys
3301 Market Street, Suite #102
Rogers, AR 72758
(479) 271-0701
www.3monkeysboutique.com

 

California


 Kitson Kids – Two Locations
Downtown Disney
1565 South Disneyland Drive, Suite 101
Anaheim, CA
(714) 956-5436

116 N. Robertson Blvd, Suite C
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 657-0450
www.shopkitson.com
Coming In November

Agana Baby
7420 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #116
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 277-3262
www.aganababy.com

Twinkle Stars
2035 West Avenue K
Lancaster, CA 93536
(213) 820-0218
www.thetwinklestars.com

Jadabugs Baby Boutique
79-785 Hwy 111 Ste E 101
La Quinta, CA  92253
 
Baby Hugs
1109 Lincoln Ave.
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 271-2700
www.baby-hugs.com

Right Start (Multiple Locations)
2001 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 939-1147
www.rightstart.com

2212 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 829-5135
www.rightstart.com

 1567 Botelho Drive
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(925) 974-1590
www.rightstart.com

 13413 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 817-6550
www.rightstart.com

 3435 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 202-1901
www.rightstart.com

370 South Lake Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 585-8900
www.rightstart.com

Colorado

Right Start
3000 East Third Avenue, Unit 15
Denver Colorado 80206
(303) 320-8312
www.rightstart.com

Florida

The Gift Shop
The Avenues Mall
10300 Southside Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32256
(904) 519-1952

Petunia Patch
3723 Southside Blvd # 4
Jacksonville, FL 32216-4655
(904) 928-3333
www.petuniapatch.org

Cowford Traders
3563 Saint Johns Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32205
(904) 387-4557
www.cowfordtraders.com

Hometown Threads
8808 Beach Blvd (inside Wal-Mart)
Jacksonville, FL 32216
(904) 646-4004
www.hometownthreads.com

Spotted Stork
318 1st Avenue North
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
(904) 241-2227
http://www.spottedstork.com/

Macro Baby
1361 Florida Mall Ave
Orlando, FL 32809
(407) 574-8076
www.macrobaby.com

Monkey Barrel
95 Amelia Village Circle
Amelia Island, FL 32034
(904) 261-0777

Lynn’s Hallmark
Oaks Mall
6409 Newberry Road
Gainesville, FL 32605
(352) 331-7961

Sprout Kids Consignment
14286-17 Beach Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32250
(904) 701-8386

Georgia

Love Street Gift & Garden
1295 Concord Road
Smyrna, GA 30080
(770) 434-8578
www.lovestreetonline.com

Baby and Beyond
3885 Miller Road
Columbus, GA 31909
(706) 569-5773
www.babyandbeyond.us

Illinois

Kooky
47 W. 15th St, Unit B
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 343-4964

Right Start
 2121 North Clybourn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 296-4420
www.rightstart.com

Indiana

Once Upon a Child
1699 Morthland Drive
Valparaiso, IN 46385
(219) 531-9000
www.onceuponachildvalparaiso.com

Michigan

To Have and To Hold Bridal Boutique
516 E. Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49682
(231) 929-1004
www.tohaveandtoholdtc.com

Canterbury Cottage
557 Baldwin
Jenison, MI 49428
(616) 667-1705
www.canterburykids.net

Mississippi

Pretty Please
2015 Hwy 15 N #A
Laurel, MS 39440
(601) 399-1660

The Alee Cat
117 N. 15th Avenue
Laurel, MS 3440
(601) 426-0900
Coming in November

New Jersey

Juvenile Planet
233 2nd Street
Lakewood, NJ 08701
(732) 364-6200

New York

Country Mouse Boutique
391 Forest Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10301
(718) 273-1842
www.thecountrymouse.com

NY Baby Store
3000 3rd Ave
Bronx, NY 10455
(718) 585-2229
www.nybabystore.com

La Casa Del Bebe
25 West Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10468
(718) 561-9566

Cocoon
101 S 9th St.,
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 782-7225
www.momscocoon.com

H. A. White’s
1330 Kenmore Ave
Buffalo, NY 14216
(716) 875-3333

Texas

Duck Duck Goose
5860 N. Mesa, Suite 116
El Paso, TX 79912
(915) 833-6221
www.ddgoose.com

Kaleidescope
1701 Ridgewood Drive
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 772-7556

Sweet Peas and Snuggles
3245 Main Street
Frisco, TX 75034
www.sweetpeasandsnuggles.com

Right Start
2438 Rice Boulevard
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 807-7300
www.rightstart.com

Right Start
5550 West Lovers Lane, Suite 148B
Dallas, TX 75209
(214) 350-4070

Kid to Kid of Greenville
5029 Wesley Street
Greenville, TX 75402
(903) 454-1955
http://www.kidtokid.com/greenville 

Fly Babies (Airport Retail Stores)
Nashville International Airport
Denver International Airport
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
www.cbrairportretail.com

Online
www.aafes.com
A website for military families only.
www.binkcat.com
This clever site offers bottle and pacifier holders in animal styles.
www.baby-and-beyond.com  
Cute and user friendly gear. (U.S. orders only.)
www.happymamagifts.com  
Everything to make life a little easier for Mama.
www.parentfaves.com
A great collection of items to help in the parenting game.
www.babygiftidea.com
Personalized baby gifts and more.
www.busymomboutique.com
All Mom-invented products.
www.doubleblessings.com
Thoughtful gear for bringing home multiples.
www.newbabysupply.com
http://www.unbeatablesales.com/bots002.html 
A huge site with something for every member of the family. (888)657-8436
www.justmultiples.com
Moms of multiples will love this site that caters especially to them.
www.plushez.com
If you want plush, they’ve got you covered!
www.modernfurniturewarehouse.com
Everything to decorate your home, office or nursery.

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