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Little Babe's Big Bad City Choice Awards

Hip and Savvy City Parents of the World Unite! 


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We also feature topics new urban parents care about.   From what to do about baby crawling on your doggie hair carpets to products that add a little style to your romper living room, we've got you covered below with Little Babe's Big City Features.  






Top 10 Baby Friendly Cities

According to Parent Magazine, the top city to have a baby based on health, safety, education, economy and rectreation is Arlington, Virginia.  Here is the list of Best Cities to Have a Baby in 2010:

Top City to Raise Baby Arlington, VA1) Arlington, Va

2) Austin, TX

3) Madison, WI

4) Ann Arbor, MI

5) Lexington, KY

6) Portland, OR

7) Spokane, WA

8) Scottsdale, AZ

9) Omaha, NE

10) Raleigh, NC

Hmmm...I guess NYC didn't make the cut this year?  Spokane, WA was at the top of the list for Education, Richmond was #1 for Health, Scottsdale was best for Safety and also came in at #3 for Recreation.  I think Portland should take a little hit for weather.  How much can you really do with baby in the rain?  Pacific North West parents need to be very creative with indoor activities through the bulk of the year.  And how about the worst for safety?  Orlando, FL - the home of Mickey Mouse had more than 3,000 violent crimes in 2008 which is very scary.  St. Louis, MO has a terrible crime rate (only Vegas ranked lower), and Detroit, MI which came in at one of the unhealthiest cities also has a bad crime rate. 


Stop Rubbing My Belly! - A Pregnant Mom's Dilemma

Buddha BellyWhen I was pregnant, I wish I had this t-shirt so that people would realize how irritating it is to constantly rub your bump, unprompted and without asking.  I don't know if it's a Buddha belly thing - do they want to rub it for luck or just because it looks like a fascinating bowling ball...why does being pregnant suddenly mean that your belly becomes public property? Don't people realize that under any other circumstances if you reached out and patted my belly I would deck you for insinuating I have eaten too many steak tacos?  Trust me, while pregnant I ate my share of grilled cheese sandwiches and a baby only weighs 7-8 pounds on average.  Stop touching soon-to-be-mommy bellies.  They don't like it! This cute maternity tee sold by online boutique Hip and Little gets the message across without being rude.  It retails for $32.00 and you can buy it here.  They also have a very cute assortment of hip baby onesies and bibs.  Check them out at www.hipandlittle.com


Helping Baby Talk Sooner

I just read a very interesting book called NurtureShock which debunks many of our society's common ideals and practices when it comes to children through illuminating scientific studies where the opposite effect desired is often achieved by well intending parents.  One of the fascinating chapters deals with how infants develop language and speech.  Researchers found that overuse of Baby Einstein videos may actually hinder the vocabulary of infants 8 - 16 months.  It does not have this effect on children 17 months and above.  This is because of the way babies first process language.  They often need an accompanying visual image of the words being spoken along with the audio.  So, your baby learns language watching your face as you enunciate sounds or speak the words.  In the videos, if a voiceover chatters while a truck is moving or duck is quacking, much of the words sound like gibberish to a baby within this delicate age. 

NurtureShock - Help Baby Talk SoonerAnother interesting study showed that babies learn best and communicate faster through interactive reinforcement with caretakers or parents.  For instance, for the best encouragement you should be reading and responding to your baby's cues - each time he or she vocalizes, you should respond with a touch, acknowledgement or even better a vocalization back at your little one.  This very quickly encourages your baby to continue to yammer at you.  If you really want to fast track learning, researchers have found that the motion of an object in combination with a vocalization allows the baby to absorb the information much quicker.  So, once you see baby's attention on her teddy bear, pick up the teddy, wave it in front of baby as you "sing-song" "Bear", or "Teddy Bear". 

Finally, one of the mistakes parents make and many baby books advise is for a parent to assume that a consonant sound baby is making actually refers to a certain object.  If baby says baaa, it does not always mean bottle.  It may very well be your baby's current understanding of her word for chair, or simply a sound she is making.  Books advise that we assume bottle, reinforce that back to baby - but if you have in fact criss-crossed your baby's signals, you will delay language development longer.  It is best instead to just be a pointing dictionary.  Everywhere your baby looks, tell her what the item is. 

I found this book to be a very pleasant surprise and a great read.  There was also an informative chapter on how telling kids they are smart and special may actually ruin them...this definitely goes against the current trend most professional parents follow - to praise and then praise some more.  NurtureShock is available online at Amazon for as low as $10.00.