Blog Posts by Parenting The Shine

  • "Baby cool" holiday style

    When it comes to dressing your baby for the holidays, it’s easy for parents to go overboard. But what about the cool factor?  Shine’s resident style guru Dena Giannini stopped by “The Shine” to highlight the most attention-grabbing accessories to up the coolness factor for your little one’s holiday style. From baby bow ties to holiday leg warmers, all of our recommendations scream “baby cool” and with all the holiday gatherings, who doesn’t want their baby to look super cool?

    Let’s start with accessories. Bibdanas by Kid Falco are all the rage. They’re just what their title suggests – a bib and bandana combined. They sit nicely around baby’s neck to catch any drool. And let’s face it, babies have a constant stream of drool so why not wrap a bibdana around their neck which not only prevents the clothes from ruining, but also makes a great baby fashion statement! A holiday scarf is another great accessory and we suggest a red velvet one from menswear turned

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  • Beyond the classics: The best holiday children's books

    We asked our Facebook fans what their favorite classic holiday book was, and over 2,000 of you responded to our poll. Overwhelmingly, the most beloved holiday book is the classic, The Night Before Christmas. Other top contenders were How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Polar Express. Most of these classics are also available as an E-book, in addition to print.

    But there are always new additions to the library of holiday classics.  Our Facebook fans recommend A Dog Named Christmas, a sweet story of a family who rescues a dog from a shelter and names him “Christmas”, and The Biggest Snowman Ever, a snowman building contest that brings friends together for the biggest snowman ever built.

    [Related: Best Toys For Every Age]

    Here are our top picks of our favorite holiday books beyond the classics, from The Shine producers. For girls we love Madeline’s Christmas. Children can celebrate Christmas Parisian style with the beloved character Madeline, Pepito

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  • Stocking stuffers that wow

    We all put a lot of thought into the BIG holiday gifts for the kids, but how do your stocking stuffers match up? Toy expert and President of, Laurie Schacht, stopped by “The Shine” to share some fantastic and affordable stocking stuffer ideas that your kids will love just as much as all those other gifts. Plus, she brought two great, traditional stocking stuffer ideas for mom and dad as well. How are your stocking stuffers fairing this season?

    For kids ages 3 and up:

    Slinky Musical Box Special Edition: the good old fashioned slinky never fails. It’s still a kid favorite after all these years. ($9.99)

    RoseArt Scraps: kids will love this reusable arts and crafts project. Your kids can create little creatures made from pom poms, buttons, hooks and more. All different types of creatures are available. Parents will love it because there’s no mess and no clean up, just fun. ($9.99)

    Power Rangers Deluxe Megazord-Samurai Gigazord: as Laurie says “it’s

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  • Emergency road trip checklist for parents

    Planning a road trip to visit family or friends this holiday season? Between hurricanes, snowstorms, and traffic, road travel these days can be unpredictable. While keeping your family protected at home is part of your daily routine, are you as prepared to keep your loved ones safe when on the road? Here’s THE checklist of the bare essentials. Some of these were in short supply after Hurricane Sandy so you’ll want to stock up well in advance. Keep in mind: this is not the checklist for extra goodies to entertain your kids on a long car ride. These are the bare bones, survival items in case of a roadside emergency and we’ve broken it down to three basic categories; first aid, road safety, and nourishment

    [Related: Holiday Travel For Families]


    Do you have a first aid kit in the car? Well you should. If there’s an injury while you’re on the road, you’ll need supplies to take care of it. We recommend a compact first aid kit like the “Triple A Road

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  • What to say "no" to with the kids this holiday season

    There’s definitely good reason why the holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year”, but do you ever feel like it’s also the time of year when your kids think they can get away with anything? Parenting guru and New York Times best selling author of “Swagger” Lisa Bloom says that maintaining rules and boundaries with your kids around the holidays is especially important for a number of reasons. Lisa advises parents on what to say “NO” to when it comes to the kids this holiday season. What are you saying “no” to?

    Without a doubt, Lisa’s biggest thing parents should give a big “NO” to is using technology during holiday family gatherings. Whether it’s their smartphone or the iPad, kids need to put it away! Technology should be off limits during family time. Quality family time isn’t quality at all if your kid is glued to his iPhone. And since grandma and grandpa may not be around for much longer, it’s important our kids focus on, well, what’s important, and not on Angry Birds.

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  • Is your holiday decor baby proof?

    Holiday décor can be a minefield when it comes to a baby’s safety.  There’s the obvious, like tinsel and tree ornaments, but there’s also other dangers you might have not even considered. TheBump’s Lori Richmond highlights the hidden décor dangers to watch out for, and even if you don’t have a little one, with all the extended family and friends visiting for the holidays, it’s important to baby proof your home.

    Here are the décor dangers to avoid, plus additional hazards not mentioned in today’s episode.

    Is your home baby proofed? Once you run through our list below, we can assure you you’ll have the tools you need to make sure your home is hazard free and ready for the holiday season!

    Purses and Shopping Bags

    Don’t forget that your visitors can bring hazards into your house. Visitor’s handbags and shopping bags are tempting for babies and haven’t been childproofed. Stow guest’s bags in a safe place (like in an extra bedroom and close the door shut) to keep your child

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  • The Shine's top picks for family gifts

    How’s your holiday shopping coming along? Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again. To help guide you in the right direction to choose the best gifts for your loved ones, we’ve rounded up our top picks for family gifts for this holiday season. From mom to your teenage son or daughter, we’ve got you covered. Laurie Schacht, toy expert and Chief Toy Officer of, came on “The Shine” to break it all down for us.

    The theme of this year’s must-have gifts is all about bringing the family together because we know the family that plays together, stays together. We have something on this list for everyone, but in some capacity, all of these selections make family time fun.

    The one gift making the biggest splash this season is the new Wii U System from Nintendo. The new Wii U console and the Wii U GamePad controller turns your living room into a playground, with so many different ways to play – you can play games, watch movies, video chat,

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  • Best toys for every age

    More on The Shine: Check out another episode of the best gifts for the entire family this holiday season.

    Wondering what toys to buy your kids this holiday season? Toy expert and president of , Laurie Schacht has rounded up the best toys for every age for 2012.   Laurie and her team have tested, reviewed, and played with hundreds of toys, gadgets, and games, and selected the best toys based on functionality, creativity, and educational merit.  Some of these toys may be hard to find as the holidays approach, so you may want to get started with your shopping!

    Here’s Laurie’s list of top toys for 2012.

    Cruise N Groove Ballapalooza  (Fisher Price) $69.99- ages  6-36 months

    Baby can drop colorful balls and watch them travel through chutes. Baby can sit, crawl up, or stand developing gross motor skills. Includes music and 6 dancing lights which stimulate a baby’s senses.

    Lil Princess 3 Story Enchanted Castle (Mega Bloks) $34.99 - ages 12 months +

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  • Things you should never say to your adult child

    Parents mean well. They really do.  But when you become an adult and they ask you things like, “Have you gained weight?” or make statements like, “You’re  better off without him!”  …That can be very annoying to an adult child. According to Linda Bernstein, adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, and contributor to Next, there are certain things parents should never say to their adult children, if they want to maintain a happy and positive relationship with them.

    Linda says she’s spent several years doing the research, discreetly.  Most of her data was collected by simply observing young adults on the phone, and learning what triggers an adult child to slam the phone down on their parents.  After careful observation, Linda’s come up with a list things you should avoid saying to an adult child.

    [Related: Empty Nest? How To Handle Your Kids Leaving Home]

    First on the list of things not to say (or

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  • How to get your kids to part with all that Halloween candy

    Are you freaking out about all the Halloween candy that your kids are going to eat? We have just the ticket for what to do with all that of those sweet treats. She’s called...The Switch Witch. Have you ever heard of her? Well, you’re not alone. When we hit the streets we learned that many moms had never heard of the switch witch.

    Here’s how it works…

    On Halloween night, explain to the kids that they get to pick their ten favorite pieces of candy to keep, but they have to leave the rest of the candy for the Switch Witch. While they’re asleep, the Switch Witch will come in the middle of the night and replace their bag of candy with a super cool toy. This is a great way for the kids to part with that bag of candy without you being the bad guy. If the idea of a witch sneaking around at night is too scary for your youngsters, call her “the candy fairy” instead.

    [Related: 6 Things Kids Can Do With Extra Halloween Candy]

    Remember, the toy doesn’t have to be

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