Not your mother’s baby toolbox

By Jane Muller

Figuring out how to buckle a baby into a car seat or overcoming the mechanics of unfolding a stroller are reminders that baby equipment continues to evolve.

Not only has baby paraphernalia changed since today’s moms were babies, some of the rules pertaining to baby care have also been revised. While each generation has experienced this evolution, what remains the same is that babies need lots of love and attention.

On the practical side, the feature in the Baby section this month looks at changes that the current generation of new moms are experiencing. Their moms will feel like my mom did when my babies entered our lives. Included with the feature is a photo of my mom with my older brother as a baby and another of me with my oldest boy who is now 25! Back in the 1950s there were no rear-facing car seats…there were no car seats.

Babies are definitely much safer these days. While technology like Blue Tooth baby monitors are wonderful assets, technology can distract parents from what babies need most. No device can replace one-on-one face time and interaction between a care-giver and a child, no matter the age.

There are lots of suggestions for no-tech fun this summer in the Junior section this month. Pam Molnar’s list of  “basics’’ is indeed basic but sometimes we need to be reminded to keep it simple. Card and dice games, crafts created with basics like felt and scrap paper, outdoor pursuits like badminton and making mud pies are on the list. Check out Cool Stuff for a couple of books – “Kid’s Awesome Activity Book” and “Mason Jar Science” –  that will keep kids amused with activities and experiments as well as one of the recommendations in On the Bookshelf, “Howl Like a Wolf” for kids with a wild side and like to learn by doing.

Active play is important to kids’ health any time of year and in the Tween feature this month we explore how exercise related to boxing is empowering kids while improving their fitness level. Lifelong engagement in physical activities is more likely when we discover something that we really enjoy. Kids will find what they love if given the chance to experience a variety of pursuits. Boxercise might be the one that ignites their desire to work their bodies.

Variety is something we see every month as the events are compiled for the calendar. We all have the same lament at City Parent. We wish we could enjoy them all. Make a short list and get the kids involved in choosing a manageable number of events to attend and attractions to check out as you enjoy the rest of the summer.

If you are new to parenting and have a baby to entertain this summer, your mom would likely agree that spending uninterrupted time together is really the best activity.