My daughter’s hair is a lot longer than mine. In fact, if it doesn’t get trimmed every couple of months, it will reach her ankles within the year. And she’s not even four yet. OK, maybe I’m exaggerrating.

The truth is I battled coarse, thick hair all my life. Some would say it’s a blessing to have such thick hair. I didn’t think so until much later in life when I finally discovered leave-in conditioners and softening treatments. So for most of my childhood, I walked around with a bird’s nest on my head.

Needless to say, when my daughter was born with a four-inch mohawk, I wasn’t surprised. When she turned a year old, she got her first haircut and battling her frizzies has been a full-time job of mine ever since.

After the early baby days, we got hooked on California Baby‘s Calming shampoo and conditioner. As soon as I saw the bottle at Whole Foods I was hooked because the little girl looked just like my daughter. I couldn’t believe it!

To this day, Maya thinks the photo on the bottle is a picture of herself. The resemblance is uncanny. Soon after, we also discovered the detangler, which put an end to hairbrush drama mutually endured daily.

Another favorite bed-head solution is Noodle & Boo‘s conditioning hair polish. This newcomer to the market is from a product line started by a mom whose sons suffered from extremely sensitive skin and were prone to eczema. I can relate, as we also had bouts of extremely dry skin with Maya and that’s what led me to California Baby in the first place.

I don’t know if it’s the sweet smelling spray or the gorgeous packaging but I think we may just have a new must-have in the house. Both product lines are available for sale online and worth every penny!

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When I first got the Brain Quest for threes and fours for my daughter, who at the time was a little over two, all I was hoping for was a quiet activity to take along to restaurants and such.

This two-deck question and answer activity toy prooved a lot more useful than that. I was not only amazed at how many of the questions Maya could actually answer, but also found satisfaction in teaching her new words and concepts.

Now almost four, she can zoom through the majority of the deck very quickly. We’re definitely graduating her to the next one and can’t help but gloat about this excellent toy. At $10.95 on Amazon, it is truly a bargain! Especially considering it has been one of her favorite restaurant and plane-ride activities for the past two years. That’s a lot of tantrums avoided at pennies a tantrum!

Make sure to research an age-appropriate version on the Brain Quest web site before you buy. You can also download coloring activities here.

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“Does everybody dream?” asks a little boy in a studio interview.  “We all dream, every night, even though you may not remember it. But, hey, I mean, like, dreams are very important,” answers another one.

My question is, “How does HBO know kids so well?!”

This charming DVD has been one my Maya’s favorites this past year so we decided to gift all her little friends for the holidays.

I had originally recorded the half hour special from HBO. Around the time we ran out of space on our DVR, I realized I could buy the DVD from Amazon.

In its core, the performances bring together childhood classics like Goodnight Moon and There’s a Nightmare in My Closet with Hollywood stars like Susan Sarandon and Billy Crystal. You’ll also hear Tony Bennett, Aaron Neville and Lauryn Hill singing.

What makes the DVD so special for everyone, parents and kids, are the studio interviews with children peppered throughout the program. These kids are so smart, so perceptive, so special — like most kids are! Their interpretations of life lessons are charming, laughter-inducing, truly magical. We never tire of watching this! It is the perfect end to many a busy day.

You can now buy it on Amazon for an unbeliavable $6.47. Money well spent!

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Some of my favorite products are discoveries originally made by other moms. When my friend Jo gave me a swab of the Healing Balm by Khushi Spa and later gifted me a tub, I was hooked. Calendula is nature’s answer to anything that needs healing, for mom or baby.

Khushi’s products are all made of pure, natural ingredients, specifically essential oils, and hand-blended in small batches. Everything from the calming sprays to the invigorating scrubs makes me feel like I have a team of experts bringing me the best of nature in just the products I need.

So go ahead and buy for baby and use it yourself. The Mommy and Baby Essentials Set comes in a cute red tote, in which my favorite healing balm is accomponied by Khushi’s lavender and peaceful sprays as well as the ever so popular skin elixir. Priced at $54 on Khushi Spa’s web site.

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BabyLegs are the invention of Nicole Donnelly, a stay-at-home mom turned entrepreneur, almost two years ago. These soft leggings come in a variety of colors and designs and fabrics. Being an ’80s child, I knew I had to get them for Maya as soon as I laid eyes on them but wasn’t sure if at three and a half, she’d wear them at all, even if just to amuse me.

It turns out these adorable leggings are not only very comfortable for babies, toddlers and preschoolers alike, but are also incredibly addictive! Whether accessorizing a dance outfit or getting toasty under a nightgown, she has not taken them off.

The latest on BabyLegs: they are now available in organic cotton and wool styles, both made in Vermont. Starting at $12 on the BabyLegs web site. 

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Once upon a time there was a little baby girl who loved listening to music while she fell asleep and could easily be wound down with a lavender bath before bedtime. Now it is “One more book and I PRooomise I’ll go to bed!” If it’s not begging, it is asking to eat some cereal because she’s hungry, a glass of water because she’s thirsty or a trip to the bathroom, just because.

For the first two years of Maya’s life, we swore by these two CDs. The first one, Golden Slumbers: A Father’s Lullaby is a compilation album of smooth jazz musicians performing known melodies like Beatles’ “Blackbird” and Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.”

The second CD, called Dream With me Tonight: Lullabies for All Ages is written and produced by songwriter Larry Sherwin and performed by Melodie Crittenden.

This album of original lullabies has won an insane number of awards and is almost guaranteed to put the most stubborn babies to sleep. Don’t miss the behind the song photos and descriptions available on the Dream With me Tonight web site.

Add to the alternating playlist the sweet smells of lavender, you’re good to go. Try the Calming Spritzer from California Baby.

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Other than the yellow paint we splurged on when we put together Maya’s nursery, we didn’t do much to the walls. I had felt spent trying to decide between the umpteen different cribs, bedding sets and the variety of baby paraphenilia that I forgot about the walls and never went back to complete the whole fairy look.

When she was a toddler, she picked up a box of decorative princess decals during our weekly shopping trip at the baby store and wouldn’t put it down. So we ended up putting the princesses up. Then I added a batch of fairy decals from The Company Store.

Vinyl decals or self-adhesive wall stickers are absolutely amazing! They won’t harm walls or paint and can be removed and restuck as many times as necessary. Maya has been playing with both sets for over a year now and they still look like new.

My favorite peel and play designs can now be found on the WallCandy Arts web site. With over fifteen very original and modern looks, including the Candy Factory design above, WallCandy Arts offers full sets designed to be rearranged as many times as necessary until you’re happy with your kid’s room.

To find a variety of peel, stick and reuse vinyl decals, including Candy Factory, make sure to check out www.modernnursery.com where you’ll find this 80-dot set called Dottilicious for only $49.