Wee Bits: Scary Breastpumps, a Fall Music Class Extravaganza, Peanut Allergy Help and Fruit Snack Shockers

Reads, news, happenings and other tidbits for Philly parents this week Read more

Neat NPR story about the benefits of home visits for new families. 

A mom created much-needed party supplies with some diversity, and the story about it here on Parents.com made me cry.

Okay, so did this one, via the Atlantic: “My Son Wears Dresses; Get Over It.”

Did you guys know that Mister John’s Music has a new venue in the Italian Market? It looks AMAZING. He’s hosting an open house tomorrow (Thursday, August 24) from 4 to 7 p.m. — and classes will start on August 28!  (PS: The space is available for parties, concerts and recitals, too!)  

Speaking of open houses (it’s that time of year): Settlement Music School is hosting a series of open houses in mid-September — and they’re focusing specifically on early childhood classes at all their locations in and around Philly. You can expect demo lessons, performances, meet-and-greets with teachers and more — and check out the specific dates/locations here!

Another local gem, Play Arts, is turning one — and they’re celebrating with a whole bunch of awesome fun stuff. Saturday September 9 is dollar-play day ($1 per kid; $0 per adult! — just remember to RSVP!). Sunday, September 10 is the big b-day party, with play, prizes, discounts and more, from 10 a.m. to noon. (Regular drop-in rates and playspace hours apply. Again RSVP!)  And that’s just the weekend … the preceding week is packed with special events and deals, too — you can check them all out here!

Curbed maps cool abandoned buildings in Philly, and it’s fascinating/depressing.

Eeeek, breastpumps through the ages. (Via HuffPo.)

Scary report, via Philly Mag. Just FYI for all us parents.

I realize this piece from Fast Company is about an ad for the Kind brand, but good Lord, look at all the sugar kids consume. (And … really? “Most parents” don’t realize that fruit snacks have added sugar? That seems fishy?)

A cure for peanut allergies? (Wouldn’t that be life-changing!?)

Wee Experts: Potty Training Through the Night

How to help that kid stay dry overnight without wrecking everyone’s sleep? We asked a pro. Read more

potty training and sleep

This post comes courtesy of Erica Desper* of Confident Parenting. 

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Is potty training threatening to disrupt your child’s sleep habits? Are they suddenly stalling at bedtime or waking too quickly? Here are my tips for maximizing sleep and maintaining your sanity while potty training.

Tip 1: Remember, Potty Training is a Major Developmental Milestone
As with any milestone, potty training is likely to cause temporary disruptions in sleep and eating habits as well as in your child’s overall mood and behavior. Try to keep in mind that potty training is a major developmental milestone and, while frustrating, disturbances or regressions in other areas are to be expected. And this, too, shall pass! Read more →

The Best Lunch Boxes, Water Bottles, Ice Packs and Other Lunchy Stuff Right Now

10 things we love and adore Read more

best lunch boxes and lunch containers for kids

Well, y’all, here we are again: Back-to-school time! (Well, very nearly.) While here at Wee HQ, we’re not quiiiiiite prepared for this yet, we have gone ahead and rounded up our very favorite lunch gear (bags and other accoutrements) for a new year. Have at.

Bento boxes
I can’t say enough about my love for LunchBots, a collection of stainless steel containers for soups, sandwiches, fruits, dips, yogurt and more. My personal favorites are the classic four-compartment Bento boxes, which force me to at least consider packing a balanced lunch, but we also use the snack containers a lot, because they’re perfect for cut fruit, crackers, and veggies and hummus. Everything is leak-proof, everything is dishwasher safe, everything is BPA-free and stainless steel, and it all fits nicely in a small lunchbox or bag. It’s not cheap, but we’ve had ours for years and they’re still going strong. If plastic is more your gig, New Zealand-based Sistema also makes awesome BPA- and phthalate-free bento containers with (helpful!) movable compartments and lids that clasp and never leak. They are also dishwasher safe. Read more →

Wee Bits: Protest Postcards, Fresh Popsicle Recipes, Amtrak’s Breast-Pumping Problem and the Magic of Dolly Parton

News, happenings, reads and other tidbits for Philly parents this week Read more

wee bits spring

Despite all evidence to the contrary coming at us from all sides this week (each minute more disheartening and/or enraging than the next), there’s much more goodness in the world than it feels often like — and it was nice to see a little here.

Speaking of fighting evil: Why not send a postcard? (Thanks, Ali’s Wagon!)

Mmm. Popsicles. What a great round-up of popsicles for every palate from Wee friend and dietitian Katie Cavuto.

YES. You go, Philly mamas. If y’all agree that Amtrak should provide a clean, private spot for the bazillion of breast-pumping moms who pay for their services on a daily basis, perhaps you’ll want to sign this petition! (Hey, one of these mamas has been featured as a Wee One-On-One!)

Helpful! Cute! Here’s the best backpacks from the (very stylish) folks at SmallFry.

You’d better believe I’m pre-ordering Dolly Parton’s new album for kids. 

Curbed has photos of the in-progress Rail Park from above. It looks … well, better than it ever has before.

New state law: Gotta have those vaccinations by the first day of school. Via Philly.com.

This MoviePass deal — $10 a month for unlimited trips to the theater — seems too good to be true. (And indeed, it may actually be in the end.) Via Parents.com.

Less sleep is evidently tied to diabetes risk in children. Via the NYT.

Also from the NYT: A nice list of books that might help contextualize and maybe even confront some of the violence our children saw in Charlottesville.

Whoa, this eclipse safety tutorial is intense.

Wee Ideas: The Double-Decker Bus Outing

It’s awesome. Read more

double-decker bus tour philadelphia

To be filed under “stuff to do at the end of the summer when you’ve already done everything else a gazillion times”:

So Luke, who just turned four, has long been obsessed with the double-decker buses that he sees chugging along the city streets. (Who can blame him? They’re huge! People wave to you! It’s like a bus and a convertible had a baby!) I’ve always thought he was a smidge young to appreciate a tour that would cost us somewhere in the range of $30 to $40, but the combination of being a million months pregnant (and tired, and not in the mood to walk, like, AT ALL) and semi-muggy weather and just sort of wanting to sit and let the wind blow through my hair myself made it suddenly seem like the best Friday outing ever. And you know what? It basically was. Read more →

The Best Secondhand Shopping

Your (updated!) guide to buying awesome stuff for your kid without spending a ton of cash Read more

secondhand shopping philadelphia

I think for many new parents, there’s an initial sense of delight at the idea of buying showroom-fresh gear and sparkling new clothes for that little peanut. It’s an understandable instinct, really — new, untouched baby gets new, untouched stuff. But in my experience? That thrill wears off very, very quickly (like, basically the time your kid blows out his first outfit, or barfs in that showroom-fresh swing), and it’s replaced by thrill of the hunt. Where can you get the cutest, most useful, high-quality stuff for the least amount of cash?

Here, some answers. Between a handful of amazing annual sales, a few helpful online resources and some excellent brick-and-mortar consignment shops in this city, there are dozens of places to find solid, squee-worthy secondhand goods for kids and babies in Philly. You’ll never want to pay retail at a big box store again. Read more →