Fashion Friday: Shoe Sneak Preview

Last week women’s, men’s and kids’ footwear designers descended upon New York City and opened their showrooms to buyers, editors and stylists to view the must-have trends for next spring and summer. It’s a chance for buyers to pick the styles they’ll stock on their store shelves next spring, for editors to start planning photo shoots around these looks and for the fashion-obsessed to be the first to wear the trend.

That’s why you’ll soon see stylist Rachel Zoe’s celebrity clientele walking the red carpet wearing mod black and while heels, why your favorite fashion magazine will be gushing over pastel oxfords and GQ will be encouraging style-conscious men to try leather shoes with woven details—or so I predict, as these three trends were everywhere.

On the children’s side, Spring ‘14 is shaping up to be a sweet and delightful season with vibrant colors, lots of embellishment and playful characters for girls. Check out these four not-to-be-missed trends for your tot. She’s sure to be the trendiest girl on the playground. By Angela Velasquez

Mini Mel Rubber Mary Janes- 1

Mini Mel Rubber Mary Janes

 

Animal Farm

It’s easy to be the cat’s meow in quirky, whiskered Mary Janes. Brazil-based Mini Mel, known for jelly shoe constructions for women and teens, is winning over kids‘ and mom’s hearts with a new range of animal-themed styles for spring. From kittens with heart-shaped noses to black and white cows, these fresh faces are a nice alternative to over-used character licenses and a new way to wear animal print.

Mini Mel Rubber Mary Janes-2

Mini Mel Rubber Mary Janes

Caption: Mini Mel rubber Mary Janes

Nina Kids play shoes

Nina Kids play shoes

 

Fashion Athletes

Olympians may sport their country’s colors with pride, but cool kids on the playground will run amuck with splashes of bubble gum pink on their footwear. Pink and purple are nothing new to girls’ fashion, but paired with vibrant teal and found on sporty while outsoles, the color blocking dazzles. Glossy patent materials and glitter as fine as sugar amp up the fashion factor, too. Also, be on the look out for yellow- and orange-hued styles, which are vying to be the next pink and purple duo.

Michael Kors pre-walkers

Michael Kors pre-walkers

Caption: Michael Kors pre-walkers, Nina Kids play shoes

Enzo studded sandals and sneakers

Enzo studded sandals and sneakers

Rock Star

Spikes and studs may have overstayed their welcome in womenswear, but the edgy elements add a bit of coolness and glam to girls’ sandals and sneakers. In Day-Glo shades of neon green and pink, studded footwear gives off a 80s-vibe that new moms may remember all too well. And on the bows of ballet flats, the classic and ultra-girly silhouette softens the rocker embellishments.

Nina Kids ballet flats

Nina Kids ballet flats

Captions: Nina Kids ballet flats, Enzo studded sandals and sneakers

Enzo sandals and sneakers

Enzo sandals and sneakers

Going Dotty

You wore them. You’re mother probably wore them and maybe even your uber-stylish grandma donned them. Polka dots continue to decorate girls’ fashion and this season, designers add a unique twist by using a smattering of shoelace eyelets to tell the story. Other polka dot styles blend the retro print with other modern day trends, including neon, glitter and denim.

Nina Sneakers

Nina Sneakers

Caption: Nina sneakers, Enzo sandals and sneakers

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About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties!  Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.

Fashion Friday: Summer Fashion Glossary

The sun is out, the temperatures are rising and those heavy cotton tees in your baby’s dresser drawers just aren’t going to cut it. Brush up on your fashion vocab with these three summer fashion must-haves that promise to keep your tot cool in more ways than one.

By Angela Velasquez

Gymboree Blazer

Gymboree Blazer

 

Seersucker noun

Definition of Seersucker:

Typically striped or checked, this light and airy cotton fabric is a go-to material for summer suits as it tends to stand away from the skin and allow air to pass through. Unlike its lightweight rival linen, seersucker’s wrinkled appearance also means it rarely needs to be pressed.

Origin of Seersucker

Seersucker first became popular during the British colonial period in hot regions like British India. It hit its stride in the 1920s in the United States

Florence Eiseman Suit

Florence Eiseman Suit

when scholarly undergraduates began wearing it as pants and jackets. Seersucker suits soon became a mainstay in Southern gentlemen’s wardrobes and even inspired the U.S. Senate to hold Seersucker Thursday, a nod to traditional Southern dressing. The tradition ended in 2012, but seersucker continues to hold court at summer weddings and a day at the races.

How to wear it?

Instead of a tux, why not have your little ring bearer walk the aisle in an adorable seersucker suit and boat shoes? For a more casual look, pair seersucker shorts with versatile polo shirts. And protect babies from the sun with lightweight seersucker bucket hats.

 

JoJo Maman Bebe Shirt

JoJo Maman Bebe Shirt

 

Breton stripes noun

Definition of Breton stripes:

Traditionally in the form of a three-quarter length sleeve shirt with navy and white horizontal stripes, Breton is now a term that loosely describe any simple, nautical two-tone stripes that calls for the high seas.

Origin of Breton stripes

For French sailors back in the 1950s Breton stripes was more functional than fashionable. It was law for French sailor to wear the striped shirts as part of the regulatory uniform because the pattern was easy to spot sailors who fell overboard. Most of th

BabyLegs Varsity White/Royal

BabyLegs Varsity White/Royal

e sailors were stationed in the Brittany region of France, which is why the striped tee was coined Breton. The original Breton stripe top had 21 stripes—one for each of Napoleon’s victories—but fashionistas would agree that it was another Parisian named Coco, who made the classic top a summer staple when she wore it basking in the sun along the French Rivera.

How to wear it?

Resist pairing your baby’s Breton stripes with a mini beret. Instead, look for iterations that have a preppy, colligate vibe and that will match their most comfy pairs of khaki shorts. T-shirts, boat neck tops and tunics carry stripes well. Or, mix Breton striped BabyLegs with a classic white one-piece snap suit.

 

 

CDW Kids Dress

CDW Kids Dress

Madras noun

Definition of Madras:

Primarily a pattern texture or plaid design, this lightweight summer cotton fabric is often cut into squares and sewn together to create a patchwork pattern. Unlike most fabric, the front and back are the exact same.

Origin of Madras

The fabric takes its name from the city Chennai, India, where it was first made, and was originally known as “Madrasi checks.” The cloth’s popularity grew when it was exported to Africa and the Middle East for headpieces. Soon, Europe caught onto lightweight, breathable benefits of the cloth and began importing madras for soldiers based in warm regions. In the 1960s, the checked material became a hit with trendsetters when it was made with vegetable dyes that caused the colors to take on a new look with each wash.

Ralph Lauren Skirt

Ralph Lauren Skirt

How to wear it?

The material is at home on a campground, but looks just as cool on the playground as button-up camp shirts and shorts. Easy, breezy shift dresses and skirts in madras offer a relaxed, but dressy option for family cookouts and block parties.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties!  Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.

Pearls of Wisdom: Parental Attachment

Bonding between a parent and a healthy baby begins right after birth, but there is a fine distinction between a strong, nourishing connection and unhealthy attachment. It’s a natural instinct for mom to seek ways of comforting her crying and fussy baby by cuddling, caressing, kissing and rocking. Both parents offer security and warmth to this new, but almost instant closeness; especially true with a mother-infant relationship. That bond will eventually have a profound impact on how this tiny human being functions in the world.

A baby communicates by cooing, smiling, gesturing, crying, and moving his body. When his needs are met by his mother and father, he feels safe, wanted and worthy. A stable parental-child relationship sets the foundation for the establishment of healthy circuitry in his brain which can impact his language skills as well as his emotional and social development as he matures.

Unfortunately, attachments between parents and infants are not all perfect. Some parents are apathetic to their baby’s needs to the point where neglect is a very real issue. Whether it’s because they’ve read that newborns must “cry it out,” or because other family members warn that holding a newborn too much is “spoiling” the baby, many new parents avoid consistent responses to a newborn’s cries.  But a lack of nurturing, even in an otherwise stable home environment, will have a negative impact on a baby’s healthy maturation. Even parents who respond inconsistently to baby’s cries reinforce this behavior, sending signals to the baby to scream harder and louder. Parents worry about over-coddling their little one and sometimes ignore their baby’s screaming, but in doing so, fail to understand that babies do not know how to manipulate or test them on purpose.

Many decades of pediatric research have shown that babies develop socially, mentally and emotionally in direct relation to the parents’ responsiveness and sensitivity. Oftentimes, parents who failed to provide a comforting and secure base are linked to insecurity and even aggression in young children. Studies suggest that these aggressive tendencies can affect their social interactions with family and friends as well as their academic performance later in life. Babies whose needs were ignored early on habitually experience delays in speech and emotional maturation.

A securely attached child seeks mom’s reassurance, receives it, and then calmly returns to their activities even in an unfamiliar setting or in the presence of strangers. Children who spend a good deal of time with non-maternal childcare showed little impact on parental attachment as long as the mother’s responsiveness and sensitivity are at a reasonably attentive level. Quality not quantity of time spent with your child is what matters most, which is notably helpful and positive for working moms.

Parenting is never a simple, made to order skill. To complicate things further, moms and dads are saturated with information about parenting fads, they often get pressure from grandparents, and receive a great amount of advice from “experts.” Parents must develop their own bonding and attachment with their child by relying more on their good judgment and intuition. Every family works it out uniquely and differently. The secret to healthy parenting is to give babies a secure foundation so they can venture out in the world, explore their environment, face obstacles and challenges, overcome these tests and then make gratifying developmental breakthroughs on their own.

 

All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 

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Dr. Pearl

 

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Fashion Friday: Mothers (and aunts) of Invention, Pt 2

From themed birthday parties to creative ways of sneaking veggies into kids’ meals, moms are full of bright ideas everyday. In fact the BabyLegs brand began with one mom who made legwarmers by snipping the feet off a pair of socks so her baby’s diaper rash could get some fresh air, and in doing so also discovered that the impromptu accessory made diaper changing and potty training a breeze.

Got a million dollar idea? Here we take a final look at moms and aunts who have made the hectic lives of parents a little easier with inventive baby products—a little inspiration to turn those million dollar ideas into a fruitful reality.  By Angela Velasquez

MagBaby__450

Magnificent Baby

A magnificent head of hair inspired Magnificent Baby. When Lauren Levy’s nephew Charlie was born with “neon orange” hair, her entire dark-haired family became enthralled with protecting it. “We were fascinated with the color and then one day his hair got caught on the Velcro of a bib,” she recalls. “Well, no one touches the hair!” That moment, along with challenges dressing a crying infant in snap one-pieces, got the aunt thinking: “There must be a better, more efficient way.”

Levy connected with her college friend Lawrence Scheer and together they developed a plan to create a line of infant apparel with easy-to-use, pain-free magnetic closures. Levy made a risky bet by leaving her career in investment banking and enrolling at F.I.T. to learn the ins and outs of fashion design, but with a sharp, detailed business plan in tow, Magnificent Baby was launched.

The company was stamped with moms’ seals of approval early on, helping secure Magnificent Baby’s fate as a go-to line for infant and toddlers. “Parents really love our products. We were asked for bigger sizes, then sleep sacks, then new fabrications… we have been able to expand the line into an entire range of accessories,” Levy says. Today, the company has a “board of moms” to sound off on what styles and designs they like before they ever reach stores

Magnificent Baby Girl Magnificent Baby Boy Magnificent Baby Hoodie

Captions: owl print gown, two-piece pant set, hoodie

 

SnapMe swimsuit 1

SnapMe Swimwear

Moms might scoff at the idea of a relaxing beach day, but Renee Marrin, beachgoer and mother of two girls, was determined to find a way to simplify the process of changing a sandy tot during a jaunt to the beach. “Going to the beach always seemed like more work than fun,” she adds. That moment of frustration led her to develop SnapMe Swimwear. The line features one-piece swimsuits made with durable UVP protective fabric and rows of snaps for easy diaper changes and bathroom breaks.

Marrin says she had the luck of having a lot of people helping her including folks with expertise in pattern making, manufacturing and behind-the-scenes experience at behemoths such as Kohl’s. “There’s certainly been a learning curve,” the former graphic designer adds. For example, early on she ran into sizing problems. “I had to urge customers to order a size up,” she reports. And the 2013 line was perfected during “endless rounds of changes.”

Color and prints are supped up, because from her own experience Marrin finds it is easier to “pick out your kid from a big group of kids when they have on something distinct.” Crowd sourcing has been a resourceful tool for the company’s development, too. She says, “I put my suits on Facebook and get immediate feedback from moms. I learn what they like, what they want. As a result, I’m in the process of adding rash guards to the line.”

SnapMe swimsuit 2      SnapMe swimsuit 3

Captions: polka dot swim suit, rash guard one-piece, striped bathing suit

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About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties!  Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.

Pearls of Wisdom: Emotional Bonding Part 2- The Toddler Years

shutterstock_113693497Social and Emotional Development in Toddler Years

I can’t count how many times a mother comes to the office in tears because she feels that she has run out of tricks in her bag to deal with her toddler. Feelings of frustration, bewilderment and guilt come hand in hand with surviving the toddler years.  One of the major dilemmas for parents is how to balance discipline with freedom, and create limits. Parents are left to follow their hearts, gut feelings and of course, their children’s cues to guide them.

Social and emotional development involves three major areas: the home, school/daycare, and the neighborhood. Of all of these, the home is the most influential in a child’s life: it is here that parents and children establish a secure foundation from which to venture forth confidently. The challenges that face a toddler include acceptance of limits while maintaining autonomy. Toddlers learn how to rein in aggressive impulses and interact with a growing circle of playmates and adults. Success in attaining this goal is based on prior emotional development, occasionally using images of trusted adults to give them security in times of adversity or stress.

Many parents find their toddler perplexing and difficult to understand and children of this age have rapid, frequent shifts between clinging dependence and defiant independence; between sophisticated-sounding language and infantile helplessness, and between pure joy and uncontrollable rage. These confusing behaviors can put a toll on the parents’ confidence and patience. Your pediatrician can offer you guidance emphasizing realistic expectations for behavioral and emotional development as well as acknowledging parents’ feelings of guilt, anger and confusion. A lot of moms and dads are hesitant to raise such concerns during their doctor’s visit because they feel embarrassed or assume that this is not an appropriate topic for discussion.

Toddlers, in general, need leadership. They need clear, realistic, firm but gentle guidance as well as praise and support when they are due. Sometimes, the best way to lead is simply to serves as a good example. Watching parents clean up spilled food or, even better, allowing him to help (when old enough) is an effective teaching tool. The old-fashioned message of “do as I say, not as I do,” is being rejected by many modern parents with whom I speak. Modeling the behavior that you hope to elicit from your child is the best way to teach the lesson. And remember that your commitment to establishing order, discipline, and responsibility should be modeled with or without your toddler’s participation. In other words, even before your toddler is old enough to clean up after herself, she will watch YOU creating an environment that is orderly and has limits. Eventually, she will want to mimic this herself.

shutterstock_10029688The first step in emotionally bonding with your toddler is to acknowledge, understand, respect, and meet their needs. Toddlers love to play and experiment and they need their parents’ votes of confidence. For instance, allowing a child to occasionally make a “mess” within acceptable boundaries during playtime allows him to feel worthy as well as trust your leadership and guidance. When limits are set, children respond, not out of fear or because they were  threatened with punishment, but because they want to reciprocate the care and love that’s been given.  Again, there must be a healthy balance between empowering your child by allowing him free expression, and saying” no” when the child wants something that may pose harm to himself and others, or is unhealthy or simply not feasible.  Your toddler can handle accepting the limits of reality as long as he knows that you understand his feelings and love him unconditionally.  Another pearl of wisdom I share with parents is that toddlers are not much different than we are in many respects; after all, what adult doesn’t like to have their feelings acknowledged and accepted, even if they are irrational?

It’s wise for parents to master the art of ”trusting and waiting.”  Try to trust your ability to teach and lead and wait for your children to model your behavior at their own pace. Children respond best to modeling and following leaders as opposed to control. Look at the long-term goal for your child’s sense of self over momentary convenience. Enjoying your toddler for who he is and not what you want him to be is key. Parents have to separate their own emotional needs from what their child feels and needs. Lastly, embrace your child’s uniqueness as well as your own.  Your toddler is his own person with his own motives and individual qualities. Every stage in a child’s life has its own purpose and we simply need to acknowledge and respect their needs fully during every stage, allowing them to mature and move on to the next phase.

*The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the writer.

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Dr. Pearl

 

Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.