2007 NAPPA Honors Winners

Nappa Award Winners Return to NAPPA Home Page | 2007 NAPPA Parenting Resources

The National Parenting Publications Awards for Parenting Resources showcase the best in books, CDs, baby gear and innovative products that help make parenting easier and more fun. 
By Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D.

2007 NAPPA Parenting Resources Honors Winners
The National Parenting Publications Awards Help Make Parenting Easier


 Parents-to-Be | Infants & Toddlers | Preschoolers | School Age | Teens & Tweens | All Families


Resource Key
Book, newsletter or pamphlet
Web site


 For Parents-to-Be

Moments and Milestones Pregnancy Journal: A Week-by-Week Companion, by Jennifer Leigh Youngs and Bettie B. Youngs; AMACOM Books, 2007; $19.95

Savor your pregnancy and become more conscious of your physical and emotional changes as each new week of your pregnancy unfolds. This week-by-week guide to your baby's development and your own changes provides space to record feelings, cravings, first movements, labor preparation and delivery - as well as track check-ups and sonograms. It can bring you closer to your unborn baby and provide a sweet memory book to share as your child grows.

Nurturing Baby and Me During Pregnancy, by Arlene Matthews and Susan Fekety, CNM; Developing Hearts Systems, 2006; $19.95

This book and music CD combo is a wake-up call to a culture that typically celebrates birth but not pregnancy! This nine-month, week-by-week program helps moms-to-be connect with their bodies and with their growing babies. For just 15 minutes or less each day, an expectant mom can relax to calming music or listen to the voice of a pregnancy coach guiding her through body awareness, musings about baby's development, affirmations and other exercises that create a "good womb" environment and nurture a loving bond between mom and baby.

For Infants & Toddlers

The Baby Trekker, Pettersen Infant Products; $100

This soft, breathable cotton infant carrier can adjust to five different positions and hold infants from 8 to 40 pounds: front pack (facing forward or inward), nursing position, or backpack (facing forward or backward). Its patented design distributes the baby's weight evenly using a padded waist belt and shoulder straps that are padded down the back and crossed for comfort and safety. The padded edges of the carrier make a soft cushion for the baby's head, neck, arms and legs. A front pocket holds keys, wallets, diapers or receiving blankets. A swatch of matching material fastens to the front of the carrier to protect it from drool, spit-up, etc.

Brooks Pond Carrier Cover, Brooks Pond; $65

Whether you're transporting baby in a soft infant carrier, stroller or car seat, this heavyweight fleece cover keeps your little one cozier than any blanket. It fastens easily with straps, is roomy and can be adjusted to size based on your use. Designed for infants from newborn to 12-month-old, its integrated collar and hood keep out the cold, while its adjustable length grows with your child. Side slits allow a parent to keep her hands warm when worn as a carrier, and an inside zip pocket holds wallet and keys. Because it's multifunctional, adjustable and washable, most of our parent testers thought it was worth the price. It's also available in other fabrics and weights, including faux fur!

Deluxe Hole-Free Gate Mounting Kit, Safety Innovations; $17.95

This product is great for installing a hardware-mounted gate to either a round or square post on a staircase without marring the post with drilling. The kit contains all the clamps, mounting wood, wood spacers, and hardware needed to adapt to a range of molding styles and depths. It's relatively easy to install, and extremely sturdy and secure. For stairway installation, you'll need one kit for each side of your gate.

Drink Bottle Tether, Mossworld Enterprises/Made for Mom; $5.99

For those who have dreamed of mile-long bungee cords to retract the stuff our kids drop or lose, this durable nylon tether helps keep bottles and sippy cups within reach of car seats, strollers, supermarket carriages, etc. What an idea! At the end of the tether is a full elastic cup/bottle holder that's stretchy enough to fit around containers of all shapes and sizes. Cool colors, too.

Hirkani's Daughters: Women Who Scale Modern Mountains to Combine Breastfeeding and Working, edited by Jennifer Hicks; La Leche League International, 2006; $14.95

This much-needed book on a confusing topic gathers the experiences of mothers from around the world, highlighting what worked and what didn't as they strived to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. (The title was inspired by a milkmaid in India who overcame great obstacles to breastfeed her baby in the 1600s.) It contains reports of what companies are doing, creative ideas for moms to try, suggestions to make to employers, and an impressive index of resources. A nursing mom needs to be supported and informed about how to maintain her milk supply in a work situation and this easy-to-read, inspirational, practical and warm approach helps her decide what she wants to do. This is a powerful book with implications for many mothers, babies, families and nations.

Jeep 2-in-1 Baby Carrier, Kolcraft; $39.99

Leave the stroller at home and take this front infant carrier instead. It lets the baby (8 to 26 pounds) face his or her parent or out toward the world. The Secure-Fit™ indicator turns red to confirm that the latch is locked while worn. Extra-wide padded shoulder straps with sports mesh help distribute the baby's weight evenly and provide a comfortable fit for the parent. Easy-in and easy-out buckles and self-adjusting straps make it a breeze to put on by yourself. Seat and leg openings adjust for growing babies and a "climate control" zippered pocket in the center of the carrier rolls up to expose air-circulating mesh. Comes with a convenient travel bag for storage or transport.

Miracle Blanket, AMB Enterprises; $29.95

Give the gift of sleep - to babies as well as their parents! When it comes to swaddling infants, the design of the Miracle Blanket has it covered. Its most innovative feature is its shape: a triangle of breathable 100-percent cotton knit (cut on the bias to provide maximum stretch), with a "pocket" for inserting baby's legs, two fabric flaps stitched near the center to keep baby's arms snugly against his sides, and one extra-long tapered side that wraps around the baby twice. Swaddling with the Miracle Blanket provides gentle, even, lateral pressure around baby's abdomen that seems to soothe fussiness. Sized to accommodate growing infants and recommended for newborns to about 4 months of age.

Pampers® BabyDry™ with Caterpillar Flex™, Procter & Gamble/Pampers; $13 suggested retail for about 40 Stage 3 diapers

For the times when a disposable is the diaper of choice, the Caterpillar Flex comes through at a good price. Its contoured shape and waist expand and contract with baby's stomach between feedings and the fast-absorbing core is almost half the bulk as before. Our parent testers noted that the diaper is well-designed for active babies, fitting snugly without causing skin irritation. The tabs adhere more easily because they're cushiony and have "give," and the secure fit of the back is "poop-proof."

Searching for Mary Poppins: Women Write About the Intense Relationship Between Mothers and Nannies, edited by Susan Davis and Gina Hyams; Hudson Street Press, 2006; $24.95

The first thing you will probably notice if you read this collection of essays is the honesty - sometimes brutal honesty - of the writing. That makes sense, because the mother-nanny relationship is inevitably filled with strong feelings, and you don't have to scratch the surface too deeply to have those feelings come tumbling out. Every story is unique, and yet, as the reference in the title to Mary Poppins suggests, all of these stories are somehow familiar, even if you have never been a nanny, hired a nanny or been raised by a nanny.

Swim-Sters Swim Diapers, Sterling Brands; $10

This reusable swim diaper is a powerful bacteria blocker made of advanced fabrics with elasticized leg and waist bands. It's designed to be worn under a bathing suit and fits children 1 to 4 years-old at less cost than disposable swim diapers. Swim-Sters do not absorb pool water and, therefore, keep the water clean and spare children the weight of a soggy diaper. Matching bathing suits, sunhats and other accessories are also available. Swim-Sters also come in larger sizes for children or adults with special needs.

Toolbox For New Dads, Mr. Dad, 2006; $19.95

Armin Brott writes extensively about dads and for dads in his numerous books, articles and syndicated columns. Now he has a DVD especially for brand-new dads, designed to teach basics, offer reassurance and, most important, inspire fathers as they take on this new and exciting challenge. Aware that most men feel quite unprepared for fatherhood after all those years of training to be a "man," Brott offers support and tips for comforting a crying baby (or an over-tired mom) or changing a diaper.

For Preschoolers

The Learning Tower, Little Partners Inc.; $169.95

Part step stool and part funhouse, this sturdy birch platform adjusts to allow kids ages 2 to 6 to stand at a counter or table and be protected on all four sides so they don't fall. Enabling parents to keep a child safely nearby kids while working in the kitchen, it provides endless opportunities for teachable moments. The tower's safe and playful design encourages kids to climb into it by themselves. It doesn't tip over and can even inspire imaginative play as a fort or puppet theater.

Snack & Play Travel Tray, Star Kids Products; $19.99

Hit the road and keep children happily (and neatly) snacking or playing on this portable, 18-inch-by-14-inch lap tray. It's reinforced with soft foam and covered with easy-to-clean nylon. It can be buckled easily around a child, car seat or stroller. Safety-tested for car use, it folds on impact to avoid causing injury. It has a soft, 2-inch border around the edge to keep food and toys from falling off and two side pockets that hold kids' stuff within easy reach. When not in use, it folds for storage in its own zippered case.

For School-Age Kids

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv; Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2006; $13.95

If you are lucky, you don't need this book at all, but most of us do need help reintroducing our children - and ourselves - to the natural world. Louv makes a convincing argument about the essential role of nature in child development - and why we can't be content with just pictures or videos about the outdoors.

For Tweens & Teens

The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids, by Madeline Levine, Ph.D.; HarperCollins, 2006; $24.95

As a psychologist in an affluent area of California, the author has seen firsthand the alarming psychological toll of kids being raised with too much stuff and too little impulse-control, sense of self or accountability. Though this book focuses on well-off children, most of her points are applicable to families in which the parents feel overwhelmed or are self-absorbed, and the children feel disconnected and out of control. Fortunately, The Price of Privilege isn't just an alarm bell; it also offers realistic and workable solutions.

Road Skillz, Road Skillz, 2006; $19.95

It may seem strange to have race car drivers talking about driving safely, but this DVD is an effective supplement to Driver's Ed classes because it's cool enough to get kids' attention and jam-packed with real-life information that is usable every day to prevent accidents. Available in English and Spanish.

You Come Too: A Step Towards Inclusion for Teachers and Parents, by Greg Marshall and Jeremy Bryan, with CD by the Figureheads; Kiddo Publishing, 2006; $24

Let's face it, most children's music that attempts to "teach a lesson" fails miserably - both as music and as education. But You Come Too is different. The music and lyrics work as entertainment and as significant lessons about inclusion, self-esteem and creativity. The accompanying book provides lyrics, ideas for activities and information on using the power of contemporary music to change lives.

For All Families

Amy Knapp's Family Organizing Handbook: 314 Mom-Tested Super Tips, Tricks and Secrets to Take Care of Everything with Time Left for What Really Matters, by Amy Knapp; Sourcebooks, 2006; $13.95

This handy guide by the author of several popular family organizing tools compiles hundreds of ideas for helping readers bring order to their family lives and free up more time for family togetherness. Readers will find ways to make their own organizational style work for them, learn how to use a family calendar and pick up dozens of tips for getting (and keeping) each room in the house organized. There's also a section devoted to tips and ideas from moms around the country.

Asperger's Answer Book: The Top 300 Questions Parents Ask, by Susan Ashley, Ph.D.; Sourcebooks, 2006; $14.95

This is a great place to start for parents who have been told that their child is on the autism spectrum. It covers virtually every topic imaginable and takes a positive approach toward unlocking the doors to children's potential and to the contributions that people with Asperger's syndrome make. Chapters include the ABCs of the disorder, how to get your child evaluated, other disorders that coexist with Asperger's, the importance of social skills, language and motor skills development, self-esteem, success in school and growing up with Asperger's. The bibliography contains resources for each chapter that list a plethora of books, Web sites, schools and more. This is one book that should be in the personal library of any family with a child on the spectrum.

Grandloving: Making Memories with Your Grandchildren - A World Away … or Next Door, 4th ed., by Sue Johnson and Julie Carlson; Heartstrings Press, 2006; $18.95

If grandparents had grandbaby showers, this would certainly be a popular gift. It's packed with activities, tips, projects that can be done side-by-side or long distance, a great list of resources and a deep belief in the power and magic of the grandparent-grandchild relationship., Massachusetts Children's Trust Fund; free

The people at the Massachusetts Children's Trust Fund have put together a wonderful package of parenting information, tips, resources and support. It lets every parent - no matter where they are from - know that it is normal to feel overwhelmed, and that help is available. They also make things simple without making us parents feel stupid. For example, some of their slogans are: "Being a parent is one tough job," "Nonstop is every kid's middle name" and "Babies cry and scream - you need a plan to keep your cool." The bilingual site, accessible in both English and Spanish, contains a wealth of information from the basics to more specialized areas.

Note: While all of these NAPPA-winning products have been judged, to the best of our ability, to be safe and well-constructed, we do not warrant their safety or appropriateness for your child and we are not liable for any injuries that may result from their use.