1. Bank Account-Friendly Baby Furniture

    Outfitting your home and life to accommodate a baby is no easy task. You can break the bank getting your house, car, and everything else ready for your new arrival. Luckily, we have everything you need to ensure baby is comfortable at home or anywhere you go. Here are some of our favorite items at the best prices online. Have fun accessorizing for baby!

    This table and chairs set by Teamson is just too cute to pass up. Hand-painting and fine craftsmanship bring the dinosaurs to life. 

    This Dream on Me playpen can be set up in minutes. It’s portable, so anywhere baby goes becomes a play area.

    This adorable booster from Summer Infant grows with baby. It also folds up, making storage a snap.

    Keep baby close wherever you go with this Luvable Friends baby carrier. The soft and padded design keeps both you and baby comfy. 

     

  2. Throw an Affordable Summertime Birthday Party!

    Summer birthdays are a blessing and a curse for kids. It’s ideal to have a bright, warm day on your birthday, but on the other hand, it can be much harder to organize a party with friends when you don’t see everyone at school every day. Sometimes it takes a little extra effort on your part to make your child’s summer birthday special. If you’re trying to help organize a great summer birthday for your child, check out these party ideas. 

    Homemade Waterpark: Going to a waterpark is fun, but it’s not ideal for a birthday party. Not only are waterparks expensive, their size makes it difficult to keep track of a group of unruly kids. Fortunately, you can bring the waterpark to your backyard or local park. Get some water balloons for throwing, soap up a tarp for a homemade slip and slide, and make some homemade bubble blowing solution. Sprinklers are great for running through, or poke holes in an old garden hose for the same effect.    

    Painting Party: If your little one is a creative type, a painting party will bring lots of smiles. All you need to do is put out some paints, markers, paper, and other art supplies. Create funny masks and frames for adorable photo opportunities. Buy or build one big canvas that all the kids can collaborate on. Best of all, the pictures, drawings, and paintings your party guests create become memorable party favors!  

    Backyard Camping: If you have a spacious backyard, you can pitch a tent and build a campfire there. A rented campsite might run you $20 a night, but that’s pretty reasonable for a big group. Pitch a couple of tents or, if the weather permits, sleep under the stars. Make a fire, break out all the fixings for s’mores, and enjoy some quality time around the campfire. Don’t forget to brush up on your campfire stories!

    Trivia Bowl: Summer is traditionally when kids let their minds atrophy, so whip them back into shape with a trivia bowl! You can find age-appropriate questions online. Make sure to include a mix of knowledge categories to appeal to everyone. For a real multimedia experience, try incorporating video and audio clips. Split your partygoers into teams and test their mental mettle. Winners get to be first in line for the sundae bar – after the birthday boy or girl, that is!

     

  3. Summery Girls Activewear

    Summer heat isn’t going to keep your active gal from doing her thing. Make sure she has the attire she needs to beat the heat and keep moving. These pieces are designed to maximize movement, prevent overheating, and wash easily – plus they’re full of sporty style. Stock up on activewear sets before summer’s heat sets in. Here are some of our favorites:

    This shorts set embodies the active comfort and sporty style on which Puma built their reputation. It’s perfect for dance, soccer, and other activities.

    This stretchy Diva 2-piece is a steal at under $10. The leopard print will make her feel fierce!

    If she’s a Hello Kitty fan, this 2-piece is sure to be her new favorite. A bonus, it seamlessly mixes-and-matches with other HK attire she already owns. 

    An off-the-shoulder neckline lends this Beverly Hills Polo Club set a unique look. The bright polka dots are perfect for showing off.

     

  4. Sandals of Summer

    Now that summer is here, your little guy needs a sturdy pair of sandals. This light, versatile piece of footwear is a must for camp, the beach, and so many other summer activities. No matter what you have planned for him this summer, we have a pair of sandals that’s just right. Check out some of our favorites!

    This pair from Josmo keeps it basic with natural looking faux leather and a timeless strappy design.

    This sporty pair of sandals from Skechers will add a lot to his look. The light-up paneling makes them perfect for playing on summer nights.

    Timberland lends their signature ruggedness to these amphibious sandals. If he’s in for an active summer by the water, this is the pair for him!

    The closed-toe design of this pair from Lil Fellas offers superior protection while still providing the breathability of a sandal.  

     

  5. Boys Raincoats for Summer

    Just because summer’s hot doesn’t mean there’s no rain. Your little guy needs something that can keep him dry without trapping in the muggy heat. What should you look for in a warm weather raincoat? Something water-resistant, light, and easy to store – perfect for taking along in a beach bag or backpack. Luckily all these coats and jackets fit the bill – plus they’re all under $20! 

    You can’t go wrong with a trusted name like London Fog. This raincoat comes loaded with features, and sports handsome camo paneling.

    This raincoat is perfect for hiking or summer camp. The reusable package compresses the jacket, making it small enough to fit almost anywhere.

    The no-nonsense design makes this Carter’s selection a timeless choice. It looks great over casual or dressy attire.

    This Wippette raincoat is fun and adorable. If your little guy likes pirates, he’s going to love this!  

     

  6. A Parent’s Guide to Doctors & Pediatricians

    Showing up with your 15-year-old to a pediatrician’s office can be an awkward experience. A waiting room full of toddler’s toys and Sesame Street posters won’t exactly make your teen feel like they have come to the right place. As a result, many parents wonder when it’s time for their child to stop seeing the pediatrician and start seeing a doctor that handles adult patients.

    Ultimately the choice is up to you and your kids, but many parents make the change from pediatrician to adult physician at age around 13. Around that age, an adolescent begins to have questions about sexual health, hormones, and other issues they may not want to discuss with the doctor they have been seeing since early childhood. Even if you don’t switch doctors, you should make sure to give your child some alone time with their doctor at around this age so they can ask certain questions they may not feel comfortable asking around you.

    There are some benefits with sticking with a pediatrician through age 18. If your child has a chronic condition your pediatrician has been working on, it may take time an effort to catch up a new doctor. If your child and doctor have good rapport, you may not need to switch.

    For an in-between fix, check out whether there’s an adolescent medicine specialist in your area: Google “adolescent doctor” or “young adult doctor” plus your city or town. These doctors are great for high school age kids, and can provide a stopgap between a pediatrician and an adult doctor.

    A lot of kids make the switch to a new doctor at age 18 when they go to college. Having a doctor near where they go to school has a lot of practical advantages, and age 18 is a good time for soon-to-be-adults to start making their own medical choices.  

    There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making the switch from pediatrician to young adult doctor or adult doctor. What is convenient for your family and who your child feels most comfortable with should influence the choice the most. Make sure to keep your child involved in the discussion – after all, they’re the patient! 

     

  7. Boys Swimsuits for Under $15

    Whether he’ll be hitting the beach, the pool, or the lake at summer camp, he’ll need a good pair of swim trunks. Check out some of our favorites. They may be highly varied, but they all have one thing in common: they’re under $15!

    Now he can take his love of superheroes with him to the beach with these Justice League trunks. Evildoers don’t stand a chance!

    These Carter’s Watch the Wear boardshorts are equally at home swimming the sea or strolling the boardwalk. They’re stylish enough to be part of his summer wardrobe for non-aquatic fun!

    Quad Seven sticks to the basics in the best possible way with these trunks. $5.99? Wow. 

    Who knew sharks could be so cute? This adorable pair of iXtreme boardshorts offers UV protection – a useful feature for those extra sunny days. 

     

  8. Child Identity Theft

    Just when you thought the world of cybercrime couldn’t get any scarier, this alarming trend rears its head. Children are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals. What is behind this trend, and how do you protect your children from becoming the victims of identity theft?

    In many ways, kids are the perfect target for identity thieves. Their social security numbers and credit files are completely pristine, and these blank slates are exactly what cyber criminals need to take out fraudulent loans and credit cards. These scams can go undetected for a long while because it doesn’t occur to parents to check their kids’ credit ratings.

    There are certain red flags of which you should be aware. If you suddenly get an influx of credit card or loan offers addressed to your child, there is likely a problem. Collections calls, IRS notices, and bills addressed to your little one are all signs that someone is maliciously using your child’s social security number.

    If you suspect something is amiss, you’ll need to check your child’s credit score. This is a bit more involved than checking your personal credit score, as you’ll need to provide your child’s information plus information proving that you are the child’s guardian. Use a variety of companies (many are free) to run several credit checks; different companies draw on different databases, so using just one won’t necessarily unearth fraud.

    A blank credit file means there is no credit activity related to your child’s SSN – if you come across that, consider yourself in the clear. If there is illegal activity, you can freeze your child’s credit, which will prevent any further damage. Make sure to also file a police report and gather as much documentation as you can. This will make it easier to restore your child’s credit, and may help catch the cybercriminal. Some states even allow you to create a credit report for your child and freeze it as a preventative measure.

    When it comes to preventing identity theft, you need to be as careful with your children’s information as you are with your own. Protect their SSNs and personal data, especially online, and if you think something might be amiss, don’t hesitate to take the steps outlined here. 

     

  9. What to Wear for Graduation

    Graduation season is here, and all the ceremonies and celebrations are an opportunity for kids of all ages to look their best. Whether your child is attending a graduation ceremony for a big brother or sister, or graduating themselves, now is the time to give some consideration to what they’ll wear.

    Before you jump into shopping, look through the information provided by your son or daughter’s school. Is there a graduation dress code? What is the policy on jewelry? Makeup? What do you think people in the audience will wear? Also take note of where the graduation takes place. Is the ceremony outdoors? How hot will it be? Chance of rain?

    Once you know a bit more about the ceremony you can start shopping. Suits for boys and party dresses for girls is standard graduation wear. If wearing a robe, kids only have to look dressy from the shins down: boys can wear their dress shoes and slacks with a T so they stay cool and comfortable during the ceremony; girls can wear dressy shoes with leggings or tights. After the ceremony ends and you snap some pics of the graduates in their robes, they can change into their full outfits.

    Make sure your graduate or attendee wears comfortable shoes (especially for girls who sometimes choose fashion over function). They’ll be wearing these shoes through the graduation ceremony, the celebratory meal afterwards, and graduation parties. You want them to be comfortable!

    What about choosing the actual dress or suit? If you’re picking out a first suit for your little guy, try to go for something versatile – could he wear it to a fancy dinner? A family wedding? Will your 8th grade girl’s graduation dress work as a prom dress in a few years? You know best about your child’s future plans, so choose dresswear that might work well for upcoming events.

    Once you and your child choose an appropriate graduation outfit, you can sit back and enjoy the event. Snap lots of pictures and take a moment to pat your child and yourself on the back for all your hard work. And don’t forget to thank their teachers, too. Happy graduation! 

     

  10. Dresses with a Little Extra Something

    When the sun is out, no one wants to spend too much time indoors mixing and matching outfits and accessories. Pre-accessorized dresses offer a cute and convenient way to craft a complete look. Plus, it’s like getting a free gift!

    Check out some of our favorite accessory-loaded dresses:

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    The skinny belt included with this Dream Star dress further cinches the already slimming shape. The belt is also removable, so she can add it to other outfits. 

    This unique dress from Chillipop has a modern attitude and a sense of humor. The stripes and bright colors are eye-catching, while the mustache necklace is just plain fun!

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    The light and airy chiffon of this One Step Up dress gets anchored by the more rugged denim vest. The vest can add a bit of edge to any summer ensemble.

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    The shrug lends extra elegance to this floral dress from My Michelle. It’s also perfect for those cooler summer nights.