The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

What parents want to know

With work, family and finances, modern parenting can sometimes feel like a juggling act. The Gerber Life parenting blog gives parents advice and tips to help you take on today-and plan for tomorrow. Our parenting blog offers articles on saving money, college planning, family insurance, parenting tips, living green, and health and safety. Although we may not be able to manage your retirement account, drive your all-star athlete to practice, or cook your family's favorite three-cheese lasagna, our parenting blog can provide you with ideas, advice and tips so that you can focus on what matters most: raising healthy, happy kids. We invite you to join the conversation and enjoy our parenting blog.

  1. New School Year Ideas: The ABCs of a Great School Year

    Starting the School Year Off RightStarting a new school year on a positive note and maintaining that positivity is important for every student—and every parent, too. After all, a positive experience at school can make all the difference in a child’s confidence and performance. Enjoying school and performing well in the classroom is a goal that mom, dad and child can aim for together.


    A. Before the school year begins

    The steps you take leading up to the new school year can set the precedence for the year ahead. The following new school year ideas have worked for many parents:

  2. Allowance Advice – The Ideal Time to Start Giving an Allowance is Right Before a New School Year

    Child Allowance TipsAlthough there aren’t always hard and fast allowance rules, the ideal time to start giving an allowance to your child is at the beginning of the school year. An allowance teaches discipline and responsibility, forcing kids to think about choices and consequences. It’s also a great tool for math, money management and saving for the future. When these skills are applied to children’s schoolwork, you may actually see improved grades, an increased desire to learn, and greater confidence.

    What is the best age for starting an allowance?
    You may have seen or heard a variety of answers to this question, including comments that most money experts agree that preschoolers are too young to have an allowance because they don’t fully understand the concept of money. Once kids are in school and begin learning about dollars and cents and buying and selling, they likely have a much better idea of what it means to spend money from their own stash versus having mom or dad pay. Because you know your child better than anyone else, however, you are best-qualified person to decide the age at which your son or daughter is ready to be paid.

  3. College Savings Plans More Necessary than Ever in 2011-2012

    The Importance of College Savings PlansNews flash: A college education is expensive. Have you heard that before? While this is probably old news, tuitions rose again during the last school year, 2010 to 2011. There seems to be no end in sight and, as a result, college savings plans have never been more critical.

    Highest Attendance Costs Continued to Increase
    Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, NY, continued to hold the top spot in annual tuition, fees, room, and board with a 2.9 percent increase to $57,384 per school year. Landmark College (Putney, Vt.), Columbia, Wesleyan, Johns Hopkins, and Georgetown followed with annual costs in excess of $53,500 to attend. In many cases, the most expensive universities had one-year cost increases of more than 4 percent.

  4. Common Cleaning Products Pose Serious Risks to Young Children

    Child Spraying Cleaning Product on the WindowMany of the most common household products contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to our children. In fact, according to a study published in Pediatrics magazine, over a period of 16 years (1990 to 2006) more than 250,000 children under the age of five were rushed to the emergency room for treatment after exposure to toxic products. The vast majority of those children were under the age of three.

    Dangerous household products can include:

    • Dishwasher detergents
    • Bleach
    • Toilet bowl cleaners
    • Drain cleaners
    • Laundry detergents
    • Floor and furniture polish
    • Paints
    • Pesticides

  5. Why Savings Rates Matter

    Family Comparing College Savings Plan RatesAs with all other savings accounts, the savings rates between college savings accounts can vary, but, with the ever-rising cost of college tuition, you’ll need to find a college savings account that yields significantly above the rate of inflation if you want your “today’s” dollars to grow enough to afford tomorrow’s education. Figuring out which accounts have the best savings rates obviously makes financial sense, but where do you start?