Sunday, February 20, 2011

CuddleTug: A Solution for Your Fidgety Baby, Made by a Local Mom

Does your baby fidget while feeding? Or maybe he or she just loves to play when you want to snuggle. If so, you are not alone! Babies love to play when they are nursing or bottle feeding, and even when they are just being held. They may play with Mom’s hair, skin, clothes, jewelry…anything within reach (and sometimes even things out of reach!). Unfortunately, sometimes babies can get a little rough and can pinch and grab to the point of pain. My daugher was content to twirl my long hair while she was nursing, but my son was not so gentle! 
One local Huntersville mom has created a solution that will allow a baby to grab and play without subjecting Mom to pain. The CuddleTug is a stretchy ribbon necklace for Mom to wear. It is lined with bright-colored ribbon loops that capture the baby’s attention and give Mom’s hair and skin a break. Moms (and dads) can wear it while holding or feeding the baby to decrease the chances of skin-pinching, jewelry grabbing and hair pulling. It is fun for baby and helps Mom out, too. CuddleTugs are made locally by mom-inventor, Jennifer Stevens, who lives in the Huntersville area with her husband, Rob, and two boys. She works part time as a pediatric speech therapist, part time as a CuddleTug creator, and full time as a wife and mommy!

CuddleTug is perfect for newborn babies up to 12 months. Mom wears the CuddleTug, so it is visually stimulating for newborn babies up to 3-4 months of age. When babies start grabbing, the CuddleTug really becomes useful and entertaining. It can also be strapped to strollers, jumpers, exersaucers, and high chairs.

The inspirations behind CuddleTug are Jennifer’s two boys, now ages 3 and 1. When her first son was nursing, he would pinch her skin and tug on her necklace. She realized that he needed something of his own to tug and pull. She tried several different toys and blankets but nothing seemed to work. Then her second son was born, and he began doing the same things. Jennifer headed to the fabric store, tried all kinds of materials and ribbons, and finally came up with the first CuddleTug. It worked like a charm!

CuddleTug solves many common issues for both nursing and bottle feeding moms. It cuts down on how much the baby pulls long hair, pinches skin (ouch!), and grabs jewelry. It also helps babies pay attention to the "right" area when breastfeeding, especially when they are at the stage where their eyes are wandering and they are easily distracted. CuddleTug is soft, safe, fun, and economical. Additionally, it is great thing to wear while in a restaurant, church, temple, or public place to keep baby busy, because it won’t fall and get dirty.

CuddleTugs can be purchased online at  You can also find CuddleTug on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All-American Baby Featured!

I just wanted to share with you a post from the Buy American Challenge Blog featuring All-American Baby!  Hope you will check it out and consider taking the "Buy American" challenge yourself!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Flap Happy…Get Your Fun On!

Even here in the south we have had our share of cold weather and snow this season! It makes me long for spring already!  But in thinking about both spring and winter clothing, I want to share an American manufacturer called Flap Happy.  Flap Happy is well known for their popular summer floppy hats and flap hats (again, making me pine for the warm weather), but they have a winter collection as well, called Wee Winter Woolies!

 They have a cozy fleece Lindeburgh Cap that fits so perfectly with the recent cold weather, that I just have to share (don't worry, it comes in pink, too!).  These soft caps are perfect for babies and toddlers since they cover the neck and ears, and velcro under the chin, keeping little heads and ears snuggly warm. The hat stays on even the most active of little ones (we can vouch for that from personal experience).

But if you think Flap Happy is just about hats, think again! They have a great line of clothing that is bright, fun and practical…perfect for kids who love to play and moms who love cute clothes! Flap Happy’s little guy sets are the perfect blend of comfort and cute-ness. The girls’ clothes have bright funky prints in comfortable stretchy cotton.  We carry Flap Happy clothing in sizes 6 months to 4 years! 

And the best part…Flap Happy hats and clothing are proudly Made in the USA!

You can find Flap Happy hats and clothing at our retail store All-American Baby.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Say Goodbye to the Post-Holiday Blues

It is hard to believe how quickly the holidays come and go.  After months of preparations, including cooking, cleaning, shopping, decorating, and then sharing with family and loved ones, the end of the season still seems to come so quickly. After the last of the presents are unwrapped, the decorations are put away and things begin to return to normal there can be a sense of let-down and disappointment.

The feeling of post-holiday blues is not uncommon; the unrealistic expectations that many of us create with our holiday preparations can leave you feeling down when it is all over. There can also be worries about over-spending and mounting debt, saying good-bye to family, and having to go back to work and school after some time off. Recognizing that it is a normal feeling and that there are some simple things that you can do to overcome it is the first step to getting back to feeling like yourself.

Pamper Yourself

The past few months have busy with family and friends, and during the holidays you make it all about others and not about yourself. Now take some time for yourself; whether by getting out for lunch with friends, using the gift cards you received to go shopping, taking some time to read a new book or magazine, or just enjoying a nice long bubble bath with those new bath products you found in your stocking.

Get Active

Exercising can release endorphins that can help you to feel more positive and energetic. Go ahead and make those New Year’s Resolutions, and get started on them! Taking a brisk walk around the block, participating in a yoga class or trying out your new Wii games can help to clear your mind and shake off any negative feelings.

Get Busy

After all the running around leading up to the holidays, it can seem too quiet when everything gets back to normal. So get motivated to start something new! A new project or activity to focus your attention on will distract you from any feelings of let-down after the holidays. Volunteer for a new project at work, start organizing at home or just finally paint that bathroom. Take a class or a course for work or on a topic of interest to get your mind engaged.

Gather Memories

Another way to move on from the holidays while still remembering the fun times is to work on your picture albums or scrapbooks. Download those pictures from your camera and get to work organizing them and adding them to your scrapbook. A great way to quickly get your pictures organized and on display is with a photo memory book or a calendar, such as the ones available on Shutterfly. Looking back on the fun times will rejuvenate you and help you look forward.

Feeling a little blue and let-down after the holidays is completely normal, and there are many things you can do to help yourself out of the funk.   And don't forget that children can often feel the same way...why wouldn't they?  All the fun of the season is over and it is back to normal for them, too.  They also will feed off of your feelings, so that is even more reason to shake off those winter blues!  Have them participate in the same kinds of activities listed above to help them transition as well. If you are feeling more than just a little sad, or your feeling of sadness persists, you should seek professional help in case you are suffering from something more serious. But no matter what, it helps to recognize the feelings and take the time to work through them.

Here’s to a healthy, happy, and productive 2011!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Slowing Down to Enjoy the Season

I've been forced slow down the last few days.  Not for myself, but I've had two very sick children!  Baby boy has had a virus that had his fever spiking to 103 and Little Missy had the virus also, plus then she got pink eye just to make things more interesting!  Luckily everyone seems to be on the up-swing, but the one thing that this did was to make me slow down and pay attention to my family.  We've  been shut-ins for a few days, but we have made the most of it...staying in PJs until after lunch, finishing up on our decorating, reading Christmas stories, watching fun holiday movies, and just enjoying family time.  Yes, in the back of my mind I was counting down the shopping days and trying to figure out what is left to be done, but after a busy season with the business (yea!), it was nice to slow down.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Step 2: Made in the USA! Lifestyle Party Time Kitchen Review

LifeStyle™ PartyTime KitchenMy daughter has a Step 2 Lifestyle Kitchen that she received several years ago for Christmas, and it has remained one of her favorite toys…and one of ours as well!  The Step2® Company is headquartered in Streetsboro, Ohio, and is the largest American manufacturer of preschool and toddler toys and the world's largest rotational molder of plastics.  I wanted to point out that the majority of Step 2’s products are made in the USA, and many are available in your local box store and toy stores.  However, some of the accessories that Step 2 provides with their larger items, such as kitchens and tool benches, are imported, but they are very clear about that on their website and packaging.  For example, the Step 2 Kitchen my daughter has is made in the USA, but the kitchen accessories were not.  Even though they could technically label it “Made in the USA” according to the FTC, it is refreshing to know that Step 2 believes that they have a responsibility to clearly communicate where their products are made.   In addition to the Step 2 Kitchen we purchased, we also bought a matching table and chairs set, and a picnic table for outside.  We have been extremely pleased with the quality and durability of the products.  The have lasted well through my daughter’s use, and will continue to be a part of our family playtime as my son begins to enjoy them.  Step 2 products can be purchased on their website, or at local retailers such as Target and Toys R Us. 

Santa Bear Giveaway Winner!

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Thank you all for visiting our blog and entering our contest!  I hope you will come back again soon!