Dog Days of Summer
This Month's Notes
Question of the Month: How Can I Eat Nutritious Foods That I'm Averse To While Pregnant?
Stuff We Love: Neatnik Saucer
Article Headline
Are Babies Bad For Relationships?
Try It! Dhal
Travel Light - Even With Baby
Article Headline
Question Of The Month:

Q: How can I eat foods, such as protein and vegetables, which I know contain important nutrients, but that I just cannot stomach while being pregnant?

--Jennifer, 8 weeks pregnant
A: "Does the smell of chicken turn your stomach? Does the sight and taste of vegetables send you running in the opposite direction?

These are typical food aversions that many women face during pregnancy. It is important for you to listen to what your body wants while you are pregnant. Do not try and force yourself to eat something that you have an aversion to! Instead, try to look for alternatives.

There are many ways to handle your aversions without compromising your nutritional needs and the health of your baby.

During your pregnancy, it is essential that you get enough protein. The amino acids that make up protein are the building blocks of your body and of your baby's body. If you are having trouble tolerating chicken, beef, fish, or eggs, try other great sources of protein such as beans, lentils, soy (e.g., tofu, tempeh, and edamame), nuts and nut butters, and low-fat dairy (e.g., cottage cheese, sliced cheese, Greek yogurt, and milk).

If it is just the sight of animal protein that disgusts you, consider hiding the protein in one of your favorite dishes. For example, use ground turkey breast to make a whole wheat turkey lasagna. Similar to protein, vegetables provide essential nutrients, such as vitamin C, folic acid, and beta-carotene, which are crucial to your baby's growth and development.

If you are ready to completely "toss" your salad and any other vegetable that appears on your plate, consider choosing non-traditional forms of vegetables, such as vegetable soups, veggie burgers, or vegetable juice. You can also hide vegetables in some of your favorite dishes. For example, add vegetables to soups, pizza, or pasta and rice dishes. Try to eat your vegetables when you are feeling your best. You will be more likely to tolerate them. If you feel nauseous, aim for raw instead of cooked vegetables. Vegetables have a strong odor when they are heated, which may make nausea worse.

One of the most important things to remember about eating during pregnancy is to try to eat regular well-balanced meals and snacks but do not beat yourself up if you cannot tolerate certain protein-rich foods and vegetables (note: a prenatal vitamin helps guarantee that your body gets all the nutrients you need). The stress of beating yourself up will do more harm than good."

--Daria Ventura,
Mother of Cameron, 19 months
Registered Dietitian,
Certified Dietitian Nutritionist

Keri Glassman,
A Nutritious Life
(w) 212.414.4077 ext. 6316

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Big City Moms NYC Nursery School Seminar

Come hear leading experts discuss everything you need to know about the process. If you are planning to send your children to Nursery School in NYC you will not want to miss this incredible seminar.

Wendy Levey, Director, The Epiphany Community Nursery School
Stephanie Katzman, Director, The Rhinelander School
Roxana Reid - Smart City Kids
Date: Thursday, August 13th
Time: 6-8pm
Location: Kidville - 163 East 84th Street
Cost:$30 per person, $40 at the door
Free for Big City Moms Mommy Pass holders!

Join Big City Moms and Smart City Kids for a seminar on Public or Private School Education

This seminar is a must for parents who want to learn about the different types of schools in NYC
Date: Wednesday, August 19th
Time: 6-8pm
Location: Kidville - 163 East 84th Street
Cost:$30 per person, $40 at the door
Free for Big City Moms Mommy Pass holders!

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Birthday Parties, Playgroups and Special Events
Contact Andy Baum 
Story Time By Design

Storytime By Design,  a unique story hour designed for children 6 months to 5 years old

Want to have a private story hour in the park this summer? Get a group of your best friends together and call StoryTime By Design (917-533-4201).  We will meet you in the park with all our props and entertain moms and tots with the power of prose. 

Email or Call 917-533-4201 for more information

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Every Day's A Party At Moey's Music Party!

Birthdays, Christmas, and Chanukah come only once a year,
but every day's a party in this outrageously fun, interactive music class with beloved award-winning Off-Broadway songwriter, Moey!
Each class introduces children to songs, dances, letters, instruments and props based on a weekly party theme.
Plus a weekly puppet show,bubble bonanza, & take home party favor.
Moey's Music Party Classes for infants - 4 year olds
(the perfect class for siblings!)

CLASSES MEET 9:30 & 10:30 am (new times)
Big Daddy's Diner UES
(E 83rd St & 2nd Ave) Wednesdays & Thursdays

and starting September 15 Tuesdays at Big Daddy's Diner UWS (W 93rd and Broadway)

For information call 917-680-6739 or email
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Next Month's Notes:
Stuff We Love:  Rona Jewelry

Do You Have Post-Partum Depression?

Separation Anxiety: How To Handle

How To Fix Common Sleep Problems

And More!
August 2009

We hope you and your little ones are surviving the dog days of summer.

As always, we love to hear from you with suggestions for future articles, comments on past issues or anything else you'd like to share. Please email us here or at
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Stuff We Love:
Neatnik Saucer
Neatnik saucer
What: The Neatnik Saucer

Why We Love It: Perfect for dining out, this portable chair liner/circular tray combo gives toddlers a clean dining area and parents don't have to worry about food, toys or pacis falling on the floor.

Where to Get It:
Sold exclusively online at

Special offer for Crib Notes readers: Use code CRIBD when you check out and get a Neatnik Napsack for free! Just put a Neatnik Saucer and a Neatnik Napsack in your cart and checkout with promotional code CRIBD and get the Neatnik Napsack for free!

What's The Deal With Early Wake-Ups?
By Deborah Pedrick, Sleep Expert logo
Why do some kids get up super early? If your child has always been an early riser but overall sleeps well and is well rested then I'm sorry to say you just have one of those children.  As a parent you can try to establish a "reasonable" wake time as a rule of the house and if that child tends to wake before that time they learn to stay quiet so others can still sleep. 

On the other hand if this is a sudden change or gradually the wake time has become earlier, you should be able to find the culprit.  In the world of sleep science the phrase that always stands true is "sleep begets sleep".  So, when we start losing sleep from one end, eventually the other end starts to go as well.  If your child is waking earlier for the day, you will need to investigate. 

Ask yourself these questions: 
1.  Is my child well rested during the day? If your child is still taking naps, have they become shorter and less restorative?  If the naps are not restorative and not keeping your child rested until bedtime then that would be a cause for the earlier wake time.
2.  Is my child going to bed too late?  Has the bedtime been creeping later and later? sometimes a difference of a 1/2 an hour later can affect the wake time.  Does this mean that your child will get up even earlier?  No, it may not be logical, it's biological. 

Understand that if you can answer yes to any of those questions, then chances are one is either starting to affect the other or has already snowballed into the other.  It's a balance that we keep.  If day sleep is not restorative then we have to make up for it at bedtime.  Keeping the balance means better overall sleep and none of those sudden or creeping early wake ups.  

--Deborah Pedrick, Founder, and mother of Soren ,age 12

Familysleep is a consulting service and informational web site with a roster of experts (all moms) who consult with parents,  face to face, over the phone and even via email.  Familysleep's philosophy reflects that of renowned sleep expert, Dr. Marc Weissbluth ,who was Pedrick's son's pediatrician over a decade ago, and is focused on helping parents become familiar with their child's healthy sleep rhythm and incorporating it as best they can into their schedule.  For more info: call 203-559-4674, or visit
Are Babies Bad For Relationships?
By Laurie Puhn
Relationship Communications Expert

Baby in the middle
You would think that a baby brings a couple closer together, think again.
A shocking new study reveals that 90 percent of couples say their relationships are worse after their first baby.
The researchers followed more than 200 couples for eight years after their wedding and found that the birth of the first baby was followed by more problems in communication, including increased criticism, withdrawal and self-reported lack of communication.
In addition, couples suffered from decreases in confidence that the marriage would last and declines in overall satisfaction with the marriage, said Brian Doss, assistant psychology professor at Texan A&M University and one of the authors of the study.

Romantic Couples Suffer Most
When I interviewed Dr. Doss and I asked him which types of couples suffered the most, I held out hope that couples who had a good relationship before the birth were less likely to suffer afterward. Not so. The study found that spouses who were the most romantic before the birth of their child found the transition to parenthood the most difficult. "Couples who were really enjoying a lot of the quality time they were spending before birth had a lot more to lose," Doss said.

Couples with Girls Do Worse
Couples who have girls had a greater deterioration in their relationship. Doss said that other studies attribute this to fathers being generally less involved in the care of a daughter as opposed to a son. Since division of labor is often one of the biggest obstacles couples face after a baby arrives, a father's reduced involvement in the care of a girl just exacerbates the issue.
Doss points out that household chore conflicts also tend to get worse post-pregnancy. "During the pregnancy, men are suddenly more involved in household duties because the woman can't physically do all that she did before. That honeymoon period ends after the birth."

Is There Any Hope?

Yes! There are certain factors that make a couple more likely to survive the new baby period.  Read the full article here to find out whether your relationship is likely to fare better or worse than most.

Excerpted from Laurie's blog

--Laurie is a relationship communications expert, family lawyer/mediator, best-selling author of "Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life" and is the mother of  1 year old Blake.  She writes the blog, which is sponsored by ViaCord.
Try It!
Dhal, a Lentil-Based Dish for Finicky Toddlers
by Justine Elliott, mom, foodie and amateur toddler chef

picture of boy
As the mother of 16 month old Freddie, I truly enjoy making all of my son's food. It allows me to control the amounts of salt and fat as well as being able to adjust the consistency and texture to his liking. I would love him to grow up with the same passion for food and eating that I have. I moved here from the UK three years ago where I was an MD so I take a particular interest in healthy eating and diet.

I do appreciate that not everyone has the time or necessary know-how. I don't make fresh food daily, I am an aficionado of the freezer and that makes it much quicker on a daily basis to provide my son's meals.  

Dhal is a type of lentil 'curry' but curry doesn't always mean spicy and although it sounds unlikely, children seem to love the flavor. Lentils are a great source of protein and if you feel inclined you can always disguise some small chopped veggies in there as well.  My version is simple, really nutritious and can be easily frozen.  Once mashed it can be served as a stage two food or as they get older and like to feed themselves, it can be made firm enough not to fly off the spoon.

Freddie absolutely adores Dhal. Some of my Indian friends recommended it. I was skeptical but eager to broaden his horizons and taste buds in an attempt to make him less picky later. He has been eating dhal since he was about 9 months (as a stage two food) and loves it. It is a great vegetarian alternative because lentils are rich in protein.

I hope you enjoy making the below recipe for dhal and that your kids will enjoy eating it!

6 cups boiling water
1 vegetable stock cube
2 cups of lentils (any variety)
1 cinnamon stick
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 teaspoons of curry powder
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of turmeric
Rinse lentils under a running tap to remove any grit. 
Dissolve stock cube in boiling water, add lentils and bring to the boil. Add whole cinnamon stick and simmer until the lentils are tender. (Varies according to the type of lentil.  Use packet instructions as a guide).
Meanwhile, fry onion, garlic and all other spices over a medium heat and cook until onions are tender and translucent. Add this onion mixture to the cooked lentils and stock.  Stir through and continue to cook for a few extra minutes.
Remove cinnamon stick and mash lentils together with the stock.
Can be also frozen in portions for future meals.
Travel Light - Even With Baby
Baby LuggageBy Dayna Brandoff
Professional Organizer
When there's a baby to consider, the preparation for a family vacation can be so daunting that it's hard to look forward to a week of family togetherness.  You could fill a skycap's cart with bags packed just for your little one - forget packing for your own needs!

Here are some tips to help you travel light.  By following these helpful hints, you'll be able to focus on the pleasures that your destination offers once you arrive, rather than the stress of just getting there. 

Don't schlep it, ship it!
In a time when airlines are sticking to strict weight limits and charging passengers for extra checked luggage, it's important to keep baggage to a minimum.  Think about bulky or heavy items that you could ship to your destination ahead of time (be sure to call your hotel or your host to let them know to expect the packages). is a great resource to purchase a week's supply of diapers and formula at a discount - but before you box up your spare Pack'n'Play, call the hotel to ask if they have cribs available.

Consistency is key
By now, you and your baby have developed certain routines  - bath and bedtime rituals, naptime schedules, songs you sing every night.  Whatever your routine, try your best to stick to them, even on vacation.  Purchase small toiletry bottles and travel with baby's favorite bath products and lotions.  Bring along the CD that never fails to soothe.  Most importantly - never forget the security object.
A busy baby is a happy baby
You don't need to take along every toy your baby has ever had an interest in, but it's a good idea to travel with a few items to keep baby occupied.  Think about things that can fit easily into your carry-on:  board books and bubbles are great options.  Don't forget that almost anything can entertain your child - got a near-empty Altoids tin in your purse?  Throw in some pennies, close it securely with a rubber band and voila!  A brand new rattle!
Make time for Mommy (and Daddy too!)
Vacation is a wonderful time to spend with your family - but if you spend all of your time as a caretaker, the relaxation aspect is lost.  Try to plan some time for yourself - whether it's an hour at the spa or an evening with your spouse.  Visiting a relative?  Perhaps they can watch the baby one evening.  Traveling to a hotel?  Most concierges can put you in touch with a reputable babysitting service - calling ahead will give you the chance to check the service's references and credentials.

Safe travels!

Dayna Brandoff is the founder of Chaos Theory Inc.,
a professional organizing service.

To contact Dayna, call (917) 576-1267
or visit her Web site at

You can also follow her on Twitter:

Spotlight on Mompreneur:

Candice Perlin
Illustrator of Children's ArtFun Munchkin

In our occasional series, Crib Notes highlights women who,inspired by motherhood, went on to launch their own business. Candice Perlin is the founder of Fun Munchkin

(, a collection of whimsical artwork for children available in a variety of formats including ready-to-hang, placemats and greeting cards.

Crib Notes: How did you come up with the idea for Fun Munchkin?

Candice Perlin: I have always had a passion for illustrating children's art. I am a teacher, and earned my master's degree in Early Childhood Education. Though I love teaching, I was fortunate enough to become a stay-at-home Mommy after I had my son, Benjamin. During the day, I enjoyed spending all my time with my son. But during Benny's naps, and when he decided to sleep at night, I began to concentrate my love of illustrating into creating an art portfolio. As my portfolio progressed, I realized how much fun I was having and how serious I felt about pursuing my passion. That's when I decided to go for it! 

CN: When did you realize your idea might be a viable business?

CP: I got a lot of positive feedback from family, friends, and children's store owners. I also saw how well children connected to my art. My son and his friends love to look at my pictures and point to the different animal characters.  I had my work displayed in my favorite local cafe, Cafe Haba, for a few months as I was starting out, and the employees there told me that the children who came in were excited by my work and would take pictures of it on their parents' cell phones. This positive feedback made me realize that my art was commercially viable.

CN: What advice would you give to other aspiring mompreneurs?

CP: If you are passionate about creating a business, go for it!..but go at your own pace. Being a Mommy is so much work, so if you are just starting out with an idea for a business, take time to plan it out, and don't overwhelm yourself from the get-go. Take it one step at a time and organize your thoughts. Make sure that your idea is viable before investing too much of yourself into it. For myself, it was about learning to balance my time. Once Benjamin began to have a consistent sleeping routine, I knew that those hours when he slept was my time to devote to my artwork. Once you do get started, always believe in your work and be persistent!  
Thanks for reading! See you next month!

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