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most expensive strollers

That 4Moms Origami Stroller is a Celebrity Fave

origami stroller

It’s been a long while since I last did my most expensive baby stroller post and since then the market has exploded with some amazing strollers.

One of the top strollers known and widely loved by tech aficionados is the  4moms Origami Stroller. It’s loved because it take the  stress out of traveling about with your kid. I mean it folds and unfolds automatically when you press a button and comes equipped with tech features like a built-in phone charger, thermometer, mileage counter, and LED headlights. If you had any doubt that this is the Rolex of strollers, the Origami Stroller even charges itself as you walk!

It’s on the pricey side but if you can afford it you’ll join the likes of a bunch of celebs who have been photographed out and about with their kids in them. about $850!

Kourtney Kardashian, Rachel Zoe, Tia Mowry, Kim Zolciak, Bethenny Frankel, Melanie Brown, Denise Richards, Kim Zolciak, Neil Patrick Harris and Mario Lopez all have been seen pushing their tots in it.

Check out ABC News review here:

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Want to scope out more parenting tech gadgets? Check out some of the other parenting tech essentials at the Beacon!

20 Solid Tips for Saving Money and Beating Long Lines at Disney World

disney

An online friend recently asked for tips on Disney vacations and instead of retyping my thoughts from past blog posts, I’m sharing them here for her and you! There are 20 tips here from my personal experience and from researching what others have shared.

On Saving Money

Nearly every kid dreams of going to one of the Disney theme parks during their childhood years, but parents are usually a little more hesitant to book the trip because of the hefty price tag that accompanies it. If you are thinking about taking a trip to a Disney park and are looking to save money, check out the following ways to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your trip. Keep in mind that Disney would like you to think that buying their packages is the best way to save money, but often you can save more by buying things separately.

  • Stay off the Disney campus. Surrounding hotels have lower pricing to entice travelers away from staying at Disney. Keep in mind that you will need to have a way to travel back and forth from Disney if you stay off campus.
  • Book your trip during the off season. Disney has many seasons ranging from “Value” to “Peak”. Unfortunately there isn’t a 3 month period that is considered to be the off season. Weekdays during the fall months are cheaper, and the period after Thanksgiving and before December 21st, when “Holiday Season” starts, is cheaper to book as well.
  • Book a hotel that includes breakfast. While breakfast is one of the least expensive meals to eat out, it can save you a surprising amount of money by eating at the hotel. Before heading back to your room, grab some extra fruit for a snack later in the day.
  • Bring along a soft sided cooler. You are allowed to bring in soft sided coolers to the park, and the ones that will fit in a backpack or are a backpack are ideal. This allows you to bring in both snacks and lunch. Plan to stop at a discount store or a grocery store to stock up on some food to take in for when family members start to get hungry.
  • Plan to eat your evening meal outside of the park. By dinner time you’ve spent the majority of the day at Disney and everyone is probably ready for a break. Take this opportunity to head back to your hotel and let everyone rest a bit and freshen up. Then, before going back to the park, stop and eat something.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle and flavored packets. There are water sources around the park that you can fill up a water bottle with, but it’s well water and doesn’t taste very good, so plan on bringing some flavored packets to sweeten up the water. Staying hydrated at the park is very important since you will be outside much of the time.
  • Check out local ticket hubs for discounted tickets. Disney wants you to think that you can’t buy tickets anywhere except through Disney and their affiliates, but this isn’t true. Keep your eyes open for ongoing deals. Sometimes you can make a donation to an Orlando hospital and the hospital will give you tickets to Disney for your family. Different programs like this pop up all year long so keep your eyes open for deals. Local ticket hubs can save you 5 to 10%, which may not seem like much, but once you do the math it starts to add up.
  • Join the Cirque club to receive 35% off of tickets. Joining the club is free and you must buy your tickets 30 days in advance to receive the discount. The discount is only offered for the Cirque de Soleil performances that are during the Tuesday through Saturday shows. Check the online club for applicable dates.
  • Go to Disney Quest for half price. If you’d like to check out Disney Quest (a virtual-reality theme park in downtown Disney) you can check for a manager’s special. Often if you go within 2 hours or less of closing you can save half off the ticket price. It would be something different to do and if you can go for half price it might be worth it. This discount isn’t always offered so check while you are there.
  • When renting a car don’t get stuck on size. If you plan on renting a car once you reach Disney make sure to check rental sites often, because specials do change. Rebooking your reservation could save you a bundle. Compact cars tend to rent out first so check the next size up; you can still end up saving because the rental companies may have a bunch of bigger cars they need to rent out and as such will give you a free upgrade.

On Beating Long lines

  • Go late in the evening.  The benefits of going after 5pm are numerous. First, the sun has set so it is cooler. Second, by then the crowds have thinned.  The last time I took my family to Disney World in Florida, we went to Space Mountain around 8pm and timed it the exact time the nightly Electric Parade was going on along Main Street. Most people skipped off to see that. Our wait was 15 minutes flat. We were in and out.
  • Use the “Fast Pass” option. Disney’s amusement parks actually have a system that lets you skip the line legally. It’s called Fast Pass. You go to your ride of choice and are given a pass with a specific later time stamped on it for you to return to the ride.  Go grab a bite, go on a ride with no line or explore other sites and return at the time on the pass. You get to go straight to a special no-wait line – your reward for patience and using the system. Essentially, you just have time and schedule your visit right to get the benefit of this option.
  • Go early in the morning. The other alternative to going late is going very early when the parks first open. There are usually very few families that can get their kids up and out that early so then again, you will be faced with shorter lines. Also, for beating the heat purposes, since the temperature is usually hottest mid day, you can beat the glaring sun by starting your day super early.
  • Go during off peak times. March thru May and Early June, and hurricane season in October  (for Disney World in Florida) are the times of the year when the crowds are less. Combine the other tricks with going during an off peak time of the year, and you’re almost guaranteeing a seamless ride process.
  • Go during the middle of the week. Many people who travel incorporate the weekend and choose Saturday or Sunday to fraternize the parks. That is when locals also are likely to also visit. If you are staying in the area for at least a week, go in the middle of the week to save lines and ensure fewer crowds.
  • Bonus from a commenter: Take advantage of the single rider option. You also get a chance to go through the line faster if you don’t mind riding in a car alone or with someone else you don’t know.

On Dealing with Small Kids

  • Pack small snacks: A lot of irritability from long strolls from attraction to attraction can be caused by slight hunger. Offer goldfish crackers, cereal, or another fave snack.
  • Opt for the umbrella stroller: A bulky stroller will be hard to maneuver in tight spaces. If you have one, bring a smaller umbrella stroller. Also, for rides when you have to park the stroller, it is easy to fold them up and put them aside than finding a space among a sea of strollers.
  • Take Plenty Breaks: Avoid the urge of wanting to get everything in. Keep your eye on the clock and the attraction map, but make sure you schedule in mini breaks too.
  • Put a cap or Hat and Sunscreen on baby. The sun can be unbearable and the heat would make a small child fussy. Make sure you keep them cool and hydrated and protect them from sunburn by applying plenty of sunscreen before and replenish the application mid-way through. Sweat lessens the effect of some sunscreen lotions.

I hope these tips are helpful! Good luck parents! Let me know if you use any of these tips and if they work out for you!

For the Anniversary of The Bellyitch 100, We’re Giving it Away FREE!

bellyitch ptomo

This blog launched in 2007 as an online journal to chronicle my third and last pregnancy with my daughter, Gabrielle (who we call GiGi).

Eventually, it grew in favor and popularity among moms-to-be and started to stand out on its own as a source for celebrity pregnancy news, information and images.

It also gained widespread acclaim for its annual listing and summary of the most expensive baby strollers, diaper bags and luxury cribs.

The Bellyitch Most Expensive.

The features brought readers from far and wide who were curious about the items wealthy and affluent families purchase for their babies and it became a go-t0 resource of the top and most posh baby items loved by the rich, powerful, famous and in between.

Every two years, I would pore through hundreds of paper and online brochures of top companies and hand-selected those that skimmed the cream of the top. I selected those items that I personally noticed were coveted and used by celebrities and Madison Ave or Beverly Hills wives and their nannies. Those that topped the price bracket in each genre usually also made the cut as did those that were manufactured using the best quality materials, well-constructed, durable, double stitched and clearly took quite some time to assemble.

Readers, fans and voyeurs of the fab life enjoyed the chance to gawk at the favorite items that their favorite celebrity loved the most, what they outfitted themselves in while pregnant, which strollers they pushed their posh tots in, how they outfitted their celebrity babies, which exquisite piece of crib furniture their newborns napped in and what “it” bag they flung over their shoulders while out and about with baby dodging the paparazzi.

In 2012, I noticed that a few websites also started to list the most expensive items in blog posts so I decided to finally stake a claim in the market by penning an eBook. It was published in 2013 as a giveaway to readers and then I sold it. But on the 3 year anniversary of the launch of the book, I am sharing it again for FREE!

You can get it HERE for FREE!

I have not since returned to the ‘most expensive’ baby items genre and have conceded it to others out there who do similar round ups. Therefore, this book will not include the more recent companies that have launched since 2013 like 4 Moms and others.

In the Bellyitch 100; we’ve arranged 20 of the top brands in each category: strollers, diaper bags, cribs, infant clothing and maternity clothes.

I hope you enjoy this labor of love and fabulousity that we’ve assembled just for your viewing pleasure and shopping too if you are so inclined and blessed to be in the position to purchase one of these top-of-the-line items.

Stay fab!

Before You Buy Your Next Stroller, Read These 5 Tips

The stroller is one of the first things that new parents consider when they find out they are expecting. The stroller may be an investment that lasts beyond just one baby. The universe of stroller options have opened up tremendously in recent years and it is not uncommon for one family to have 5 or more strollers for varying needs:  a carriage or buggy, a canopy stroller, a convertible stroller, an umbrella stroller, a stroller that is part of a travel system.

Picking the right one (or ones) can be dizzying.  Here are five great tips, we’ve brought back from a past post, for picking out the perfect stroller for your needs:

1. Determine your stroller needs. Consider where you live and how you will be using your stroller.  If you plan to exercise or jog with your baby, you may want to consider a jogging stroller.  Its big wheels will help smooth out the ride over any rough terrain.  Wait until your baby is a few months old before using a jogging stroller because they aren’t recommended for newborns.  Jogging strollers are large and don’t fold down compactly for fitting in the trunk, which is problematic for parents who opt to use a jogging stroller as their primary stroller. They also don’t steer well in tight spaces so they may be better suited as a specialized second stroller.  If you live in the city and you plan to mostly run errands with the stroller you will be looking for one that folds easily and doesn’t take up a lot of space in the car.  Modular or Multi-component systems (think Britax B-Ready or UppaBaby Vista) are the most expensive, but also the most versatile.

They can contain a bassinet, single seat, or second seat, and these options snap on to a base frame so that you can customize your stroller and add to it as your child and needs grow. They also accommodate most infant car seats. The Britax B-Ready also accommodates two seats. Twin or double strollers are a must if you have two young children.  Seats can be side-by-side, stadium style, or tandem. Travel systems are often bulky and heavy, but allow you to keep your baby in the car seat when strolling. When your baby outgrows the car seat, he can use the stroller seat.

2. Decide on a budget. Umbrella strollers range in price from $15.89 to $199.95 or more.  The cheapest umbrella stroller is very basic with a simple 3-point strap to hold the baby onto the fabric seat.  The top priced umbrella strollers boasts solid construction, are lightweight (14lbs.), have an infinite-position reclining seat, are easy to fold, have a one-step brake, carrying strap, and a parent cup holder.  Jogging strollers can range from low $100’s up to $500 or more.  Modular systems are purchased in pieces so prices will vary, but the frames typically cost around $400.  Regular single strollers range in price from the low $100’s to $400 or more depending on the features that you are looking for.  Twin strollers are priced in the mid $100’s and go up to $450 or more, again depending on what options the strollers have.

3. Create a checklist of features you want/need. Essential features for strollers include a five-point harness, a multi-position reclining seat, sun canopy, swivel wheels for mobility, easy folding system, stroller basket, easy to clean fabric, and a lightweight frame.  Additional luxury features include: adjustable handles, one-touch brakes, snack or play tray, parent cup holder, and an adjustable footrest to customize as the child grows.

4. Assess what size will work for you. Determine if you are looking for a stroller for one, two, or more children to help narrow your stroller search.  Strollers vary in weight from 6lbs to around 25lbs. or more.   Jogging strollers are large and bulky, but can also be very light.  Full-sized strollers fold down easily, offering many options for taking the baby along on errands.  If you live in the city and don’t have a lot of room to store the stroller you may want to look at models that fold down very compactly. Inglesina is a favorite of mine.

5. Check for consumer reviews on the model you’re looking at before you buy. Consumer reviews on strollers will be grouped by price, expert recommendations, and what the public thinks of the stroller.  Once you’ve narrowed down what you will be doing with the stroller, how many children the stroller needs to hold, what bells and whistles you need, and what price you’re willing to spend on it, it’s time to select your top choices of strollers.  Read how others rate the strollers that you are interested in to further narrow your search.

Final tip: If buying a used stroller make sure to check the recall list to make sure the stroller hasn’t been recalled.

Vintage: Peek inside A Celebrity Parent Swag bag

In addition to getting paid oodles of dough for doing the things they love (acting, singing, reality-showing), celebrities are always getting s.w.a.g which  stands for souveniers, wearables and gifts or as my celebrity friends tell me “stuff/s*&% we all get”. The “we” does not usually include the common man or woman.  In sum, various brands, designers and labels love to throw free products at celebrities because of the instant marketing and promotions they’d get if the celebrity is photographed wearing the product or pushing their child in it, (as in the case of strollers and buggies, for example)
Naturally, being fascinated with celebrities like most Americans and others are, folks covet what celebrities have and want to rush out and get the same thing. It’s a no brainer for a brand to get their stuff in one of these bags.
Often times, when celebrities agree to attend a charity event, or are selected to present at an awards show or perform, they get these enormous very valuable gift bags as a thank you.  Sometimes, companies actually have to bid or compete to get their products in the bag. Imagine, having to hire a publicist or agent to get your company’s product in a bag of items to be given away for free! Companies like Jewels and Pinstripes, for example, assemble bags for various events and then scan print and websites for “sightings” of the celebrities actually using the product they got in a bag. What comes next? The brand gets that photo out there and the rest is history, as they say.
Pregnant celebrities and parents also get parenting and children related swag at various gifting suites that are open during and pre major events like The Grammys, The Oscars, The Sundance Film festivals etc. During these events, select brands send representatives to showcase products (its almost convention style) and often times  they give away free samples! Sometimes they permit the celeb to rent the item or wear it for an event with the expectation of returning it.  That is usually the case for gowns and dresses for major events the celeb would likely wear only once anyway.  For smaller, less expensive items, celebrities are allowed to keep the items! Woweee!
If you are fortunate enough to be the baby of a celebrity, the perks start when you are born!
Check out a gift bag  (above) that  Girls in Tinsel Town  gave away to the babies of new celeb moms like Christina Applegate, Emily Procter and Samantha Harris.  
The bag contained: Gift certificate for custom Isabelle Grace Jewelry mommy necklace, Gift certificate for Kokopax classic carrier, Gift certificate for Kokopax Diaper Bag, The Patchwork Bear baby clothes bear box kit, Ladybugs and Lullabies boutique hair clips and gift certificate, Diapees and Wipees shoulder bag and signature bag, Gift certificate for personalized Label Out Loud™ Essentials Combo by Mabel’s Labels, Pirose luxury nursing scarf by Reno Rose, Blackout blind for prams and strollers by SnoozeshadeBeba Bean Knit Poncho, Robeez Ballerina Bear slip-ons, Gift certificate for personalized Name Your Tune cd, BooginheadSippiGrip and PaciGrip and an issue of Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine. (Retail Value: $900.00)

Hand-Me-Down Baby Gear Handling Guide

There’s no denying the fact that babies are expensive, and many families work hard to lessen the expense that comes with having a baby by searching for good deals on all of the items that are needed. When given the option of cutting costs by buying second-hand gear or taking hand me downs from friends and family members, most new and expecting parents leap at the opportunity. While some items are perfectly safe to be used after a previous owner unloads them, there are some that should not be used and guidelines for how others should be handled in order to ensure that they’re up to snuff and safe for your little one. Here are five of the rules that you should take into consideration before you stock up on second-hand baby paraphernalia.

  1. Check Recall Information – The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is the single most valuable resource for recalls and safety warnings that the modern parent has at their disposal. Their website is a wealth of information for both new and used baby items; parents should make a habit of checking it regularly or signing up for their free email list in order to stay abreast of any developments regarding future recalls.
  2. Be Sure That Older Furniture Meets Modern Safety Guidelines – If a hand me down crib was made after 2011 it’s almost certain to meet modern safety standards. Cribs before then should not be handed down because they almost certainly are out of compliance and do not include the most lastest minimum safety requirements. Measure the space between slats to ensure that they’re no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, and check to make sure that any paint on very old or antique cribs is not lead-based, that models of any age have not been recalled, and that your mattress fits snugly into the crib with no more than two-fingers width between the edge of the mattress and the sides of the crib. You’ll also want to be sure the headboard and foot board have no ornate cutouts that could post an entrapment risk. Changing tables should feature a railing or raised edge that’s at least six inches higher than the changing surface and safety straps or harnesses to keep wiggling babies in place; high chairs should be checked for stability and any broken or deteriorating pieces.
  3. Skip the Second-Hand Car Seat – One thing that should not be purchased second-hand, or accepted as a hand me down donation, is a car seat, due to the extreme concerns about their safety and functionality in the event of a car accident. Car seats should always be discarded and replaced after an accident, even if they seem to be intact under close scrutiny. Often, inner workings and safety measures can be compromised after an accident, rendering them practically useless in a second crash. Unless you know the history of a car seat intimately and are absolutely sure that it was never in so much as a fender bender, it’s best to opt for a new model to ensure your new baby’s safety.
  4. Give Items More Than a Once-Over – A quick glance is usually not sufficient to ensure that all parts of an item are in good working order and that nothing is missing, so take the time to carefully examine a second-hand item. Make sure that all screws and bolts are tight, that surfaces feel stable, and that nothing wobbles; toys should have all pieces intact and present no danger of breaking into smaller parts that could present a choking hazard, and strollers should have working breaks and be free of any rusting, sharp edges, or frayed seams.
  5. Clean, Clean, Clean – No matter where a second-hand item came from or how clean their houses are, it’s important that you clean them thoroughly to remove any mildew or mustiness due to the item languishing in a storage building, stains of indeterminate origin, bacteria, or foreign bodies. While you’re scrubbing look for corrosion from leaky batteries or expiration dates; some items are made from plastic that degrades over time and may no longer be suitable for use.

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