City Premier Travel System by Baby Jogger Review

If you’re looking for a comprehensive stroller system, I have to tell you about the City Premier Travel System by Baby Jogger. We’ve owned this system for twelve months, and we’re still excited about it. It’s that good.

Just so you know, the City Premier Travel System is far more than a stroller. It’s a complete ensemble including car seat, stroller, deluxe pram, and a set of adapters. You can add accessories like a glider board for older children.

What’s a Travel System?

In a nutshell, this system is everything your baby will need for transportation from birth to two years old.

To start, the car seat. The Baby Jogger City Go is a great seat that will serve your little one from birth (we took our youngest from the hospital with when she was born) to well over a year old. It includes a base that stays in the car, along with adapters so it can fit onto the stroller. Being able to stroll your baby from home, place them in the car, and then take them out, all without waking her up is a huge boon.

The bassinet itself is a dream, and our little one spent much of her first few months in it. While traveling it served as her full-time bed, and while at home it was her favorite nap spot.

The stroller itself is also great. You can easily maneuver it with one hand, and even when riding over bumpy gravel driveways, it doesn’t jostle baby around. It’s got a great sunshade canopy. There’s also a huge, ultra-convenient storage basket that’s easily accessible from all sides (we have even used it for our carry-on luggage while traveling).

What I Love Most About the City Premier Travel System

  1. The adjustable handlebar is excellent for switching between my (short) self and my (tall) husband.
  2. The lock is easy to use and well-placed on the side of the stroller, making it one easy click to secure the stroller.
  3. For our family, the reversible riding option for the stroller chair is great. My mother-in-law prefers it one way, I prefer it another, and our little one gets to enjoy both directions. Everyone wins.
  4. The UV Canopy is great for coverage on sunny days.
  5. The magnetic peek-a-boo windows are perfect for me to check on my baby without disturbing her enjoyment.

Pros of City Premier Travel System

  • The large wheels are excellent for maneuvering up and down urban sidewalks and stairs. Although I have an elevator in my apartment building, there are three stairs before I get to the elevator. The smoothness of this stroller allows me to easily navigate these steps—even if the stroller storage area is filled with groceries.
  • The seats are spacious, snug and comfortable. Our little one was really comfortable in each seating option – the bassinet, stroller, and the car seat.
  • Lots of options that will serve you from birth to walking.
  • One hand folding. This is really nice compared to some other strollers in the market.
  • Reversible riding option, again, so handy for my mother-in-law’s preferences when she has our daughter.
  • Road steering/handling is smooth and sure.

Cons of City Premier Travel System

To be fair, there are both pros and cons to this travel system. While we definitely believe the pros outweighed the cons, here are some things that bothered us.

  • Not convenient when attaching the car seat. See below.
  • Canopy doesn’t stay in place. It keeps slowly folding, and we needed to push it back in place every couple of minutes.
  • All the attachments must fit the City Premier brand, and many of them are quite pricey. We bought the complete system, but for families who already have a car seat they like, this could pose a problem.

My biggest frustration with the City Premier stroller set is when I have to switch the bassinet/stroller seat to the car seat, which we do quite often. The car seat is a great fit once it is securely on the stroller, but it takes a few tries to get it on. There are no good indicators of where to fit the car seat onto the adapters, so each time feels like a guessing game.

All in all, the City Premier Travel System offered us exactly what we wanted for our daughter: a quality, convenient, comfortable ride that we could use for the long haul. We hope this review helps you as you’re deciding what to use for your little traveler.

The Complete Guide to Travel Cribs

“Just when we got her naps figured out, it’s vacation!”

“She’ll be fine. Won’t she?”

“I sure hope so. I don’t want her going back to getting up all hours.”

“If only we could bring her room with us.”

Have Baby; Will Travel

Introducing a monkey wrench like travel into your baby’s sleep cycle can threaten every bit of nap time progress you’ve made, especially for a child up to a year old. A road trip that once amounted to a spur-of-the-moment inspiration now takes weeks of planning so your diligent efforts to teach your baby to sleep aren’t wasted.

If you’ve spent serious time teaching your baby to sleep, you understand the importance of routine and consistency. While you’re on the road, your schedule won’t be consistent. That doesn’t mean your baby can’t enjoy familiar surroundings.

How? Enter travel cribs.

What Is a Travel Crib?

You’re probably familiar with portable playpens. They’ve been around since we were tiny. Like a padded cage, these moveable cribs are great for providing a safe play place when your little one becomes mobile.

The difference between these portable playpens and a travel crib is size. While most playpens are quite bulky, some travel cribs such as the Lotus travel crib by Guava Family are compact enough to pass as hand luggage on flights.

Travel cribs are the perfect solution for those of us who are on the road constantly, for grandparents, or for parents who lack the strength to wrangle an unwieldy pack-and-play through doorways – not an easy feat, especially if you’re short on sleep and iron.

Don’t Take It Too Literally

Travel cribs can even be an excellent choice when you are not traveling.

In our house, we use a Lotus travel crib as a second crib/playpen. Its lightweight and origami-like folding structure, allows us to move it from floor to floor almost daily. This has helped us recover a lot of previously lost space in our living room when our little one isn’t using it.

A travel crib can even make for an excellent permanent crib, as we explored in 5 Reasons To Use a Travel Crib At Home.

What Types of Travel Cribs Are Available?

Although there are many more, here are three top of the line travel cribs. Each of these demonstrates why so many on-the-go parents opt for their baby’s permanent bed to be a travel crib:

1. Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light

This convenient, attractive travel crib calls to mind the image of a stork delivering a feather-light sack holding a peacefully sleeping infant. The well-made sides are easy to remove for laundering or for transporting, and it’s a snap to reassemble it. If you can handle the hefty price tag, you’ll love handling this lightweight crib.

2. Lotus Travel Crib

This traveler’s dream crib offers a zip-open side letting your little one crawl in and out of it at will. It also includes a backpack carry bag allowing you to take it on planes as carry-on, making this the perfect travel crib for the jetsetter family.

3. Phil & Ted’s Portable Travel Crib

This super-convenient travel crib breaks down into a compact seven-pound package that’s simple to stow away in an airplane overhead compartment. Its attractive mesh sides give you and your baby full view of one another. It also includes a comfortable mattress that’s suitable inside or outdoors.

What Should I Look for in a Travel Crib?

According to your budget, here are some things you should look for when shopping for your travel crib:

  • Quality products. Since a travel crib will get handled heavily, you’ll want to purchase one that doesn’t skimp on the materials used.
  • Simplicity. Look for a travel crib that doesn’t frustrate you to put it together or take it down. Also look for a crib that’s easy to transport.
  • Age. Depending on the age and mobility of your baby, you might be better served by a portable, heavier crib that includes a bassinette attachment for a newborn or a toddler travel bed for your climbing anklebiter.
  • Breathability. Not all travel cribs allow for the same amount of airflow, so look for one that was designed with baby’s comfort in mind.
  • Safety. Consider these important crib safety facts always, whether at home or abroad.

All of the travel cribs listed above pass all of these tests with flying colors.

Whether you’re looking for a travel crib to stow in the trunk for a spur of the moment road trip or a permanent sleeping arrangement for your baby’s cramped quarters, we think travel cribs answer a host of needs for modern parents. Sleep well knowing your baby’s sleeping well!

Withings Home – An Innovative Baby Monitor Reviewed

Even as a security camera, Home by Withings is a pretty innovative device; however, when used as a baby monitor, it’s got some features that are downright ingenious.

Taking full advantage of the “there’s an app for that” age, Home completely eschews any sort of buttons or clunky remotes and receivers. Simply download the app to your Apple or Android device and never be without access or control. I love the way that the app control allows Home to have a very sleek design while boasting a whole suite of interesting features.

The Features

Wide Angle Lens

I hate it when I lay the baby down, angle the baby monitor so that I can see them clearly, then head for the living room, but by the time I get there, my ninja baby has already rolled to the side of the crib that I can’t see! Home boasts a 135-degree field of vision with no fisheye effect which makes it easy to get the whole crib in the shot.

Pan & Zoom

As we’ve all come to expect from images on our phones, the app will allow you to pan and zoom within the image. The cherry on top is that the camera will digitally enhance the image after you do, allowing you to see crisp details.

Night Light and Lullaby

The baby monitor contains a built-in LED night light in the base. What’s better it also has a number of lullabies that you can choose from that interact with the light to soothe your baby to sleep.

Two Way Speaker and Microphone

There’s nothing more frustrating than when I hear the baby start to cry, and I can tell that they’re starting to get worked up, but I can’t get to their room fast enough to quickly get them back to sleep. With the Home’s two-way speaker and microphone, I can immediately start talking to the baby to calm them down while I’m on my way to the nursery.

Air Quality Monitor

More than just your average security camera, Home can actually monitor the air quality for harmful substances and give you parts per million measurements of what’s in the air that your baby’s breathing.

Alerts

The baby monitor can also automatically send noise, motion, and air quality alerts to your phone. Through the app, you’re able to customize the sensitivity levels to meet your needs.

Our verdict:

Clearly, Home excels as a baby monitor, but it also has enough versatility to still be a useful security camera even after the nursery has become a bedroom or study.

What We Liked

  • Easy to setup
  • Easy to use
  • Goes beyond your basic needs
  • Alerts and air quality features give you total peace of mind

What We Didn’t Like

  • Records time lapsed photos, but not video
  • Wood grain design may not fit a room with modern decor, but is quaint enough to fit almost any nursery

Aden + Anais Classic Sleeping Bag Review

Being a parent of a newborn infant, you probably have some questions or concerns about how to keep your baby’s crib safe. If you read our guide to baby blankets you might have seen our suggestion to think outside the blanket – we were referring, of course, to baby sleeping bags.

With loose bedding being a potential hazardous trap for babies, you may worry about the risks that are involved with your child’s sleeping arrangements. But this leads to a conflicting dilemma because you also want to give your baby warmth and comfort during the night (and naptimes).

That is why baby sleeping bags are a great, safe solution; one which gives your child comfort and warmth, without putting them in harm’s way.

Product Features

The Classic Sleeping Bag from Aden + Anais works like a wearable cozy blanket that easily slips over baby’s pajamas or clothes. It was designed with your infant’s safety and comfort in mind, as your baby is wrapped in a soft sleeping bag that gives plenty of room for your squirming child’s legs to wiggle around, yet remaining impossible for their cute little feet to kick off.

The material is an incredibly breathable and lightweight cotton, helping regulate your infant’s temperature; giving the relief of being either warm or cool without the worry of overheating. And since it is crafted with 100% cotton muslin, it gets even softer with every wash.

What We Like

We like that the Aden + Anais Classic Sleeping Bag give’s your baby comfort and safety without having to worry about the dangers of overheating or becoming a hazard like traditional loose blankets. The feel of the fabric is pleasant to the touch since it is made with soft materials that are light and extremely breathable, just perfect for all types of weather. You won’t get bored of the same look either as there is a variety of cute designs to choose from; so you can pick the right selection that fits your tastes, and make your baby look adorable.

Finally, we found that the zipper positioned in the front made it conveniently easy to quickly change diapers during any part of the day or night.

Overall, we think this cozy sleeping bag is a must have item for anyone who has a newborn as it undoubtedly gives you a lot of value, the most important one being a good night’s worry free sleep for you and baby.

Pros

  • Made with 100% cotton muslin – a lightweight and breathable material.
  • Eliminates the threat of unsafe loose blankets in the crib.
  • Front zipper makes mid-night changes easy.
  • Only gets softer with every wash.

Cons

  • If you are swaddling your baby, the sleeping bag will only be useful for a relatively short few months (between when your baby no longer stays swaddled, and when they outgrow the sleeping bag). Still, how sorry we were once our little one outgrew her sleeping bag is a clean indication of how much we loved it.

Choosing the Right Baby Blanket

During the first few months of their life, your baby is going to be spending a lot of time sleeping. That’s why choosing the right baby blanket is so important – both for their comfort and security. Every family has different needs, but there are some common factors to keep in mind as you think about which blanket to buy.

Choose the Material Carefully

A baby blanket should be made out of materials that are gentle on sensitive skin and breathable to make sleep comfortable. How do you test to make sure that a blanket is breathable? It’s surprisingly simple and low-tech – just hold the blanket up next to a fan. If you can feel the breeze through the blanket, the material is breathable. A good breathable material? Cotton. Look for organic cotton and avoid synthetic materials if possible.

You also want to make sure that you are buying a blanket that is appropriate to the season. You’ll want to have a heavier blanket for winter and a lighter one for summer. When you do purchase a heavier blanket for winter, do not get a quilt or one that is soft and heavy. These can contribute to SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Keep in mind your local climate, too: you won’t need as many thick blankets if you live in a warm climate, but if you live in a colder clime, you’re going to want a thicker blanket to keep baby warm through the winter and beyond.

Safety Is a Must

Safety is absolutely essential when thinking about baby blankets. Avoid blankets that have loose tassels, fringes, or ribbons; babies can get tangled in them. This becomes slightly less of an issue as baby gets older.

We recently reviewed the Organic Dream Blanket, from Aden + Anais, and loved it (as did our little one). It is made of 4 layers of lightweight, breathable, organic cotton muslin, and is free of tassels or fringe. It is machine washable and prewashed, ready for snuggling.

Keep Size In Mind

Baby blanket size is important – you want one that is big enough to keep baby warm, but not so big that the size overwhelms them. Standard blanket size is 45″ by 45″ to 60″. A blanket this size has lots of versatility: it can be used as bedding, a floor mat, or even hung on the wall to decorate baby’s nursery.

Think Outside The Blanket

The best baby blankets are sometimes not blankets at all! A sleeping bag can be an excellent option both for very young babies (0-5 months) and infants who are a little older (5-12 months). A sleeping bag eliminates worries about loose blankets in the crib, which could choke a sleeping infant. It also ensures baby doesn’t throw off the blanket in the middle of the night – which often wakes them up crying.

The classic sleeping bag, from Aden + Anais, easily slips over baby’s pajamas and features a zipper front for those nighttime diaper changes. It’s machine washable for easy cleaning and ultra-breathable to prevent overheating. We found it to be a great option when we stopped swaddling our little one, and before she graduated to a large blanket.

Aden + Anais Organic Dream Blanket Review

If you are new to the world of parenting, you may not yet be aware of the baby blanket powerhouse that is Aden + Anais. If, however, your little one has used any of their products in the past… well then, you can guess how ridiculously soft the dream blanket will be.

The Organic Dream Blanket

You may be thinking the name is overstated, but this blanket is truly a dream. Aden + Anais specialize in muslin cotton fabrics, and this choice of premium organic materials truly makes a difference. Also, true to the brand is the unbelievable softness of their cloth. The Organic Dream Blanket takes four layers of fabric and combines them into a single plush blanket. The result is fabric that is cozy without being stifling and versatile without being cumbersome.

What We Think

Listen, we’ve tried out fair share of baby blankets, but this one is one of our all-time favorites. It genuinely is a dream. It’s soft to begin with, but the more you wash it, the softer it gets. The multiple layers of thin fabric make the Organic Dream ridiculously comfy, but without the sweat-inducing side effect of other blankets.

We also loved the great size of the blanket. It’s big enough to wrap around a toddler, but not so big that it’s awkward to pack up and bring on an outing. It may be a little over-large as a throw for a newborn, but as a swaddle on a chilly day it’s perfect.

As for their style, the blankets aren’t overloaded with the over stylized patterns found in many other blankets. They’re simple and classy while still maintaining that baby cuteness we are looking for.

Overall, the blanket is a slam dunk and our go-to blanket for everyday use.

Pros

  • Organic materials
  • Insanely soft and cozy
  • Breathable
  • Good size without being cumbersome

Cons

At What Age Can Children Use Tools?

Your son has been fascinated with your drill since the first time he watched you put a bookshelf together. Your daughter has been trying to swing a hammer since she was just two years old and you accidentally left it sitting after hanging a picture. Like many parents, you’ve probably found yourself wondering at what age your child can safely and appropriately use tools. While there will be some variation based on your child’s personality, motor skills capability, and responsibility, these basic guidelines will make it easier to determine whether or not your child is old enough to start helping with a few basic home repair tasks — or perhaps build a few things of their own.

Basic Tools

Basic tools like hammer and nails or a screwdriver are fairly easy for children to use from a young age. In fact, hammering is a common Montessori activity. While you might want to start the nail for a younger child — after all, you don’t want smashed fingers — your child can start learning how to use these basic tools from a very young age. In fact, these are excellent skills for your child to develop. You never know when they will need to repair something on their own, and offering them this vital skill early in life will make them much more comfortable with the building process as they get older. By age seven, your child should be able to swing a hammer with relative confidence.

More Complicated Tools

Using a hammer and nails is all well and good, but using a saw or a drill is a different matter. You want to keep your child safe. When you first break out a saw, make sure your child has the attention span necessary to keep their mind on-task — no looking away to deal with something else or sticking their fingers where they shouldn’t be. In general, a ten-year-old should be well-equipped for this level of responsibility.

A cordless drill is a more difficult tool. Built bigger, cordless drills are often difficult to control before your child’s hands are big enough to wrap around them. It’s important to make sure that the drill — and, indeed, all of your child’s tools — are the right size for their hands before they get started. Equally important, however, is giving your child the experience they need to successfully use a tool that’s part of so many different activities, from putting together a car for the pinewood derby to building a tree house. By the age of thirteen, your child should be responsible enough to handle a drill correctly.

When your kids begin to show an interest in building, take advantage of it! Offer them a toolbox of their own that has been filled with age-appropriate items that have been selected specifically for their size, age, and ability level. Teaching your child to use them properly is a vital skill that every parent should pass on.

At What Age Should A Child Use a Pillow

Preparing and decorating your child’s bedroom is a fun process that many new parents look forward to. While a big part of decorating is choosing colors for the crib, your baby’s bedding needs are a lot simpler than yours. In fact, your baby doesn’t even need a pillow in the earliest years of his or her life.

Do newborn babies need a pillow?

As a new parent, you are likely concerned about your baby’s comfort. However, any soft bedding material in the infant’s sleep area is a suffocation hazard. Newborns have very little head and neck control, and they will not be able to move their head to breathe if pillows or other soft bedding covers their noses and mouths.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to use a firm sleep surface, and to avoid pillows, crib bumpers, and blankets. The AAP also advises parents and caregivers that it is important to lay babies on their backs to sleep.

When can my child use a pillow?

If you are wondering at what age should a child use a pillow, the answer is at around 2 to 3 years old. When you transition your toddler to a normal bed, you can choose to introduce a toddler pillow, which is usually thin and firm. Even after the newborn stage your infant could turn face down into the pillow or less likely, put their head under it. So even though your child has slightly more mobility after passing the newborn stage, it is important to wait until they are 2-3 years old to introduce other bedding.


Will my baby be uncomfortable without a pillow?

In the first few years of your child’s life, you don’t need to be concerned that your baby is uncomfortable without a pillow. You may not like sleeping without your pillow, but they won’t feel uncomfortable without one until their shoulders are wider than their heads. In fact, a pillow still isn’t even necessary once they graduate from a crib to a bed, they just may prefer to make the sleeping arrangements in their new bed look similar to yours.

What bedding should I use until my toddler is old enough for a pillow?

When decorating your infant’s crib, all you really need is a fitted crib sheet on a firm mattress. The day will come soon enough when your child’s bed will be filled with blankets, pillows and stuffed animals. Until your child is ready for additional bedding, focus on creating a safe and clear environment for your baby to rest. Visit the crib and sleep safety guide for more info.

Our favorite pillows:

Top 5 Reasons to use a Travel Crib at Home

It was almost time. The nursery was all ready. The brand-spankin’ new clothes were hanging on their brand new hangers, and the crib was made just perfect.

When we brought our little bundle of joy home from the hospital, we wanted everything to be perfect.

We visited his cousin, born two weeks earlier. I was surprised, when I visited, to see that her bed was nothing but a Pack-and-Play travel crib. I said nothing, but my perfectionist mind was thinking, “No crib? Can my baby sleep safely in a travel crib at home?”

How much I had to learn.

Why a Travel Crib Is a Perfectly Acceptable Bed for Your Baby

1. It allows naptime to be consistent yet portable

In case you weren’t aware, one of the most crucial aspects of parenting is conquering naptime. Sleep is paramount, both for you and baby, and much of that depends on a good place to sleep.

Travel cribs like Pack-and-Plays are perfect for naps because they facilitate a long-term consistency that isn’t possible with traditional cribs. Using a travel cot or crib, you can move it out to the garden where you’re working, into the kitchen, or to the trunk for a trip to Grandma’s. Since the bed is familiar and cozy, your baby knows exactly what’s supposed to happen there. Naptime.

Now, whether or not your growing infant will be pleased with the idea is another conversation altogether.

2. It’s much more economical

A new Pack-and-Play can be a fraction of the cost of a new full-sized crib. Combine with that all extras like full-size crib mattresses, bedding, and bedskirt, and you’ll quickly see that a portable crib is much easier on the pocketbook.

3. It can be safer

Although cribs are getting safer and safer—or so they tell us—there’s always the possibility of a growing child getting stuck between the slats or learning to crawl over and escape. With mesh-sided travel cribs, that factor is eliminated, and a child would have to be pretty old—or talented—before he could vault over the side of a Pack-and-Play.

4. It’s versatile

A Pack-and-Play isn’t just for sleep time. It’s a great way to contain toddlers at play. It’s a perfect solution when guests bring over their roaming anklebiters who haven’t learned to keep their sticky fingers to themselves.

5. It’s easier to resell

When it’s time to move to a “big kid bed,” it’s usually easier to sell a well-cared for Pack-and-Play than a full size crib. Many places won’t even allow you to sell used cribs due to the potential liability involved in older models.

While first time parents like myself have the best of intentions, they don’t always have the most sense. I thought I was such a great parent for having a top-of-the-line nursery, when my sister-in-law had the right idea all along.

Fast-forward to today. My youngest child just woke up and smiled at me from the Pack-and-Play where he loves to sleep every day and every night. He is healthy, happy, and just as wonderful as my oldest child.

And his room isn’t nearly as crowded.

For more on making sure your baby sleeps safely, visit our guide to crib and sleep safety.

Travel Cribs We Love

Choosing a Co-Sleeper Bassinet

While some new parents are completely happy with their baby sleeping in a crib in their very own nursery from a very early age, there are some parents who can’t bear to think of their baby being away from them at night. For these parents, a co-sleeping bassinet is the perfect solution, allowing them to make sure their baby is right next to them, without the worry of harming the baby when asleep.

Different types of Co-sleeping

Your co-sleeping arrangements with your baby can be of different types, and you can choose the arrangement that suits your needs.

One, you can sleep with your baby in the same bed as you. This is most commonly known as bed-sharing, and not very healthy for the baby, because there is always a chance that you may roll over and squeeze your baby’s limbs in your sleep. Doctors don’t encourage bed-sharing since it increases the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Two, the baby can sleep in a separate crib, cradle or bassinet in the same room as the parents or the caregiver. This way, the parents are aware of their baby’s every movement, even when they are sleeping, and don’t have to go very far in case the baby wakes up or needs a feeding in the middle of the night. This is known as room-sharing, as the baby is sharing its parent’s bedroom instead of sleeping in the nursery.

Then there’s another kind of co-sleeping where both the baby and the parents have different sleeping provisions, but are still very close to each other at night so that they are aware of the other through touch, smell and sound. This is the perfect combination of co-sleeping that most parents approve of for their baby.

Choosing a Co Sleeper Bassinet

Different types of co-sleepers are available for you to choose from, depending on what kind of co-sleeping you want to establish with your baby. If you have decided to co-sleep with your baby, you would need something that allows you the freedom of being as close to your baby as you can without risking it.

A bassinet or a crib attached to the parents’ bed is thought to be the perfect way by most parents since they will be able to stay close to their child – close enough for the occasional touch or pat, or for ease of midnight breastfeeding – but not have to worry about inadvertently harming their child in their sleep while rolling over, or with the blanket.

Features

The co-sleeper that you decide on will have to last you at least a few months. Your baby will grow with it, and it should keep your baby safe, secure and comfortable. So, there are a lot of features you need to look for in deciding on the right co-sleeper for your baby.

Versatility

If you want to invest in two separate cribs or sleepers for your child, that is completely up to you. However, if you are buying only one, it is better if you invest in a co-sleeper crib that can be transformed into a permanent crib later. Some cribs have the provision of being turned into a co-sleeper crib by lowering the walls on one side, while the other three sides stay constant. The open side can be attached to the parents’ bed securely with no barrier between the baby and the parents, but without any risk of the baby getting hurt.

A versatile co-sleeper can be turned into a normal crib during the day or when the parents no longer feel the need to co-sleep. It will be a sound investment on your part if you buy a co-sleeper that can perform as both, so that you won’t have to struggle with two pieces of furniture in your home.

Safety

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every single crib, bassinet, cradle or co-sleeper needs to follow certain safety rules so that the chances of SIDS are lowered. Among the rules, one important is that the mattress of the co-sleeper needs to be thin and firm. Soft and cushy mattresses may seem comfortable, but they increase chances of suffocation. The co-sleeper you choose needs to have a mattress that is no more than an inch in thickness, and firm enough that the baby would not sink into it.

Visibility

Co-sleepers that have net or mesh walls are preferable because your baby will receive adequate airflow inside. With high walls of the co-sleeper and the baby lying at the bottom, it would be difficult for them to get enough air, unless the walls are mesh and see through. A transparent side also makes it easier for you to check on your baby in your sleep without having to stand up.

Easy to clean

There are bound to be accidents around or in the crib that you will never foresee – in forms of throw-ups, spit-ups or an overflowing diaper. It is very important that you choose a co-sleeper with removable sheets or mattress cover that you can wash.

Portability

If you are the type of family who loves to travel, you might want a co-sleeper that is portable. With portable bedding, you can take it with you when you travel, and use the co-sleeper anywhere you are.

Ability to Rock

Some co-sleepers come with the ability to rock them, which is especially helpful in case you have a fussy baby who wakes up several time during the night. With a rocking co-sleeper bassinet, you won’t have to wake up at night to rock your baby to sleep; you can do so while cozy in your bed.

 

Hopefully, this article will help you choose the right co-sleeper for you. Below are a few of our favorite co-sleepers.

Co Sleeper Bassinets We Love

Emergency Numbers

Print and fill out this list of useful phone numbers and put it on the fridge. Make sure your child and the babysitter knows where it is.

Click the list to see the full sized version and then right-click the image and choose “PRINT”.

Important Phone Numbers

Choosing the Perfect Glider or Rocking Chair

It is very easy to lose focus when you are trying to set up a nursery for your child before their arrival. New parents, especially first time parents, may start from the basics but very soon realize that they have filled up the nursery with everything they thought their child would like, rather than need. Nurseries may suddenly look filled with pink stuffed toys or blue balloons, the little cupboard already overflowing with adorable – albeit impractical – outfits, but they have forgotten to focus on the important pieces. For example, a baby glider or a rocking chair.

Yes, a practical and efficient rocking chair – or a baby glider – is one of the most important features of a well-planned nursery, as you will begin to understand within days of bringing your child home from the hospital.

So why do you need a rocking chair in the nursery? Rest assured, your newborn baby will be waking up every few hours during the night for the first couple of months. Even if you are blessed with the best-behaved child in the universe, you – or your partner – will be heading into the nursery at least a few times in the night to feed your baby, or to soothe it to sleep. After a long and exhausting day, a good, comfortable rocking chair or baby glider in the nursery would seem like the most brilliant idea in the world when you need to settle down with your baby.

Did that seem like a sensible reason to you? So, you need to think of investing in a good rocking chair before you blow your budget on matching curtains for the nursery!

Baby Gliders vs. Rocking Chairs

When it comes time to choose, you have two choices: a baby glider, or a rocking chair. Here’s the difference between the two; A baby glider is like an armchair that will make you and your baby feel like you are floating. It’s comfortable, soft and usually full of cushions. It also gives you the option of keeping your feet up in a matching stool in front of it. A traditional rocking chair, on the other hand, allows you to rock your baby up and down. Most babies find the rocking sensation soothing and sleep-inducing; despite being around for centuries, rocking chairs are still widely popular for new parents.

Features

You will be using this particular piece of furniture quite heavily and regularly for a long time, so there are some features that you should be mindful of, whether you are buying a glider or a rocker.

Durability

Whether you choose a rocking chair, or a glider, make sure it has a strong and well-built frame. As we mentioned before, you will be using this chair for years, even after your child has grown up. You need to make sure you are investing in a chair that lasts for years down the road. Most rockers and gliders have wooden frames underneath all the finery, and it is important that the wood that has been used is of good quality.

Armrests

Look for chairs with wide armrests. You will be carrying your baby on your arms when you sit down to breastfeed or put them to sleep, and therefore, you will need all the space you can get to rest your arms. The armrests should be spacious and soft, with enough room for your arm and the baby’s head to relax.

Removable Covers

Make sure that the chair has a removable or washable cover. Your baby is bound to have all sorts of adventures on this chair, and so it is bound to get dirty. From spit-ups, throw-ups, drool, accidents with the diaper, and more, this chair will see a lot. You might need to wash the seats and the cushions at least twice every month. Making sure the covers are removable or washable will be a great help.

Locking Mechanisms

It is better if your chair has a good locking mechanism, so that you can control whether or not it reclines, or how much it reclines. With baby gliders, a good lock ensures that you will be able to stand up with the baby in your arms without having to worry about losing balance.

Ottoman

Make sure you get a matching ottoman with your rocking chair or glider. An ottoman will do wonders for your aching feet when you spend long hours at night in the nursery feeding or soothing your child.

 

When it comes to gliders and rockers, there are a lot of details that you need to look through, rather than just brand or style. Hopefully, this article will prove to be helpful to you in setting up the nursery.

Chairs We Love

Baby Monitors Guide

Baby Monitors are an extra pair of ears or eyes when it comes to looking out for baby. Baby Monitors allow parents and caregivers to keep tabs on a sleeping baby while working around the house or even outdoors. Although a baby monitor allows parents and caregivers more freedom and flexibility, it is important to remember that it does not replace adult supervision.

Baby Monitors are actually a set of small radio transmitters: a base transmitter that is placed in the nursery near your baby and a receiver transmitter that is carried along with you. It is important for you to test and establish the operating range of the monitor by testing the unit in different room combinations, as obstructions caused by terrain and walls, and interference from other devices can cause static and unclear reception. If you’re living in a densely populated area or high-rise apartment building, you’ll want to look for models that offer more than one channel so that you can change channels when you get interference from a neighbor’s portable phone or remote-control toy. On the other hand, if you know you’ll want to be outside working in your garden or going longer distances with the receiver portion of your monitor, you’ll want to get a high-range baby monitor (i.e. 900 MHz). Baby monitors operate on batteries, electricity, or a combination of both, and many are rechargeable and do not need batteries.

Types of Monitors

  • Audio monitors transmit sound only. They may have multiple channels to minimize interference, a low-battery indicator, and volume control. Some baby monitors have a portable receiver that can be clipped on and taken wherever you go.
  • Video monitors allow you to actually see and hear your child on a TV screen. Some monitors utilize infrared technology that allows you to see the nursery, even in total darkness.
  • Sound-and-light audio monitors have a special LED display that allows you to view the sound level. In addition to standard features, most have an out-of-range signal light, too.
  • Intercom monitors allow you to communicate with others in the house with just the push of a button, as well as transmitting baby’s sounds. Some feature sound lights that let you “see” when baby stirs.

Safety Tips

  • Do not use a baby monitor to justify leaving your child alone while playing. Parental supervision is essential.
  • Do not place near water. As with any electrical gadget, baby monitors present shock hazards if misused.
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions on placement and usage of baby monitors.
  • Handle monitors with care. Do not carry the device by the antenna, as they are fragile.
  • Protect monitors from direct sunlight or heat sources.
  • Remember to place the monitor up high where other children cannot disturb it.

Monitors We Love

Child Proofing with Safety Gates

When your baby starts to crawl, explore, or use a walker, it’s time to install safety gates wherever potential hazards may be present around your home. At the top of stairs, at the bottom of stairs, and in between rooms, safety gates act as barricades that communicate which areas are off-limits for your little scooter. When purchasing safety gates for your home, there are several things to keep in mind: types of gates, features, and safety.

Types of Safety Gates

Pressure-Mounted Safety Gates – The two sliding panels of a pressure-mounted safety gate adjust to the dimensions of the doorway and a locking mechanism supplies the force to wedge the gate in place. These safety gates are typically used between rooms, but should not be used at the top or bottom of stairs.

Wall-Mounted Safety Gates – This type of safety gate is mounted with screws directly into the wall and therefore has the ability to withstand more than pressure-mounted styles. Some styles have a special swing-stop mechanism to prevent the gate from swinging out over the stairs. Wall-mounted safety gates can be used at the top and bottom of stairs and at window openings.

Yard Gates – Yard gates have expandable panels to form a fairly large area for your child to play in and are perfect for creating an exclusive area for your toddler outdoors. Typically, every other panel of a yard gate opens for easy access. We recommend the Superyard XT from North States Industries, it even comes with a handy portable carrying strap.

Features To Look For

  • One-hand release allows you to open and lock a gate with one hand. This is great for times when you are carrying a baby (and that is sure to be often).
  • Dual-direction swinging allows you to open the safety gate in either direction.
  • Expandable safety gates can fit doorways and openings of different sizes.
  • See-through safety gates allow you full vision of baby through widely spaced bars or mesh for better supervision.
  • Installation kits help in mounting safety gates on various surfaces.
  • Extension kits allow gates to expand to fit openings larger than standard-size doorways and windows.
  • Safety gates come in various materials that complement any d�cor–wooden, plastic, plastic-coated steel, and soft mesh.

Safety Tips

  • Do not install pressure-mounted safety gates at the top of stairways, as they cannot withstand as much pressure as wall-mounted safety gates.
  • Choose a safety gate with a straight top edge and rigid bars or a mesh screen, or an accordion-style gate with small (less than 1.5 inches) V-shaped and/or diamond-shaped openings.
  • Discontinue using safety gates when your child is 36 inches tall or is 2 years old. A safety gate should never be less than three quarters of your child’s height, since they can probably climb a safety gate that is not high enough.
  • When installing safety gates with expanding pressure bars, install the bar side away from baby, since pressure bars can be used by children as toeholds to climb over a gate.
  • Follow installation instructions and anchor the safety gate firmly in the doorway or stairway.
  • Always close the safety gate behind you when leaving the room and never leave your child unsupervised.
  • Do not use older models of safety gates that are not certified for safety. They are more prone to be hazardous.

Our Favorite Safety Gates

Crib and Mattress Guide

Choose the Perfect Crib For Your Baby

As the place where baby sleeps at night, naps during the day, and just plain hangs out on a regular basis during their first two or three years of life, a crib will most likely become the centerpiece of your baby’s nursery. Although they typically come in a standard rectangular shape, cribs are available in a number of different styles and can differ widely in price depending on the materials used in their construction.

Most baby cribs are made of wood, but the quality of wood can range from the softer, more porous woods like pine, to more durable hardwoods like oak, ash, maple, and other imported woods. Parents shopping for a new crib are also likely to encounter a huge selection of colors and finishes, from pure whites and natural wood colors to a whole range of deeper wood stains, including lighter maple and cherry stains to the much darker mahoganies. Regardless of the color you select, the finish should be nontoxic and should not be prone to chipping or peeling.

Some cribs can be purchased as part of a furniture suite, which can include matching chests, dressing tables, and armoires. While this may be an attractive option for parents who want to have a completely coordinated set of nursery furniture, these matching suites can be expensive. Some cribs are equipped with built-in storage drawers, a convenient feature that raises the overall price.

Unfortunately, the price you pay for a crib doesn’t always match up with the quality of what you get. So learn as much as you can about the different components and the required safety features, and then try to find the best possible crib that fits your budget.

In addition to three basic crib types, there are a number of different options and features to consider. Here is a breakdown of what to look for when you start shopping:

Crib Types:

  • Standard cribs: The most common style of crib, standard cribs usually have either one or two drop sides–a side of the crib that can be easily lowered and raised so that you can place baby inside without waking or disturbing her. Double drop sides offer more versatility for caretakers, while single drop sides tend to be more stable. Look for drop sides that work smoothly and quietly (and look out for potential “pinchers”).
  • Canopy cribs: A stylish alternative to a standard crib, canopy cribs come equipped with a large post at each corner, with a metal frame over the top to secure a fabric canopy. Canopies are often available in a variety of styles and colors that can be matched up with the rest of your nursery furniture and accessories.
  • Convertible cribs: Designed to convert from a standard crib to a toddler bed, love seat, or double bed, a convertible crib can be a good choice for parents who don’t plan on having another child. Along with saving you money over time, these adjustable cribs can also make the move from a crib to a bed a little less stressful for your child by making the transition in stages.

 

Key Features:

  • Mattress support: As your bouncing baby grows into a bouncing toddler and discovers the joys of jumping in his crib, it will be tested, repeatedly, for strength. Attaching to the mattress height clips located at each corner of the crib, the mattress support is a metal frame that is designed to withstand all the abuse your child may dish out.
  • Adjustable mattress height: Holding up the mattress support at each corner of the crib, multiple mattress height adjustments allow you to raise or lower the height of the mattress, a versatile feature that becomes increasingly important as your child grows larger and inevitably tries to climb out of the crib.
  • Release mechanism: The release mechanism is a very important component of a crib and performs a dual role: it allows parents to lower the drop sides of the crib for easy access, while preventing baby from lowering them accidentally. You’ll find this essential feature in one of three forms–metal rods, trigger releases, and knee releases. Regardless of the configuration, a release mechanism should always be childproof.
  • Teething rails: These aptly named strips of plastic fit over the top of the crib’s railings and prevent little ones from gnawing directly on the wood. Teething rails are usually installed by the manufacturer, but they can also be purchased separately in 12-inch sections and attached at home.
  • Rolling casters: Available in either plastic or metal, rolling casters should come with a locking mechanism. The ability to lock down the wheels will become more important as your baby approaches toddlerhood and begins to stand upright while holding onto things–including the side of the crib.

 

Crib Safety Guidelines:

The crib you select should always meet all current national safety standards. Many older cribs do not meet all current safety standards. You should not purchase an old crib at a garage sale or accept a hand-me-down as a gift. Parents should always read through and follow the manufacturer’s instructions pertaining to both assembly and daily usage before setting up and using a new crib. Here are some additional crib safety guidelines, as compiled by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA):

  • Infants should always sleep in a crib which meets current federal and ASTM standards. Never place infants to sleep on pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, waterbeds, beanbags, or any other surface not specifically designed for sleeping infants.
  • Remember to always keep the drop side up when baby is in the crib.
  • Take rattles, squeeze toys, teethers, plush toys, and other items out of baby’s crib when baby is sleeping or unattended. Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like stuffed toys, and other pillow-like products from the crib.
  • Never place your crib near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall-mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
  • Select bumper pads that fit around the entire crib and tie or snap securely into place.
  • Use bumper pads only until the child can pull up to a standing position. Then remove them so baby cannot use the pads to climb out of the crib.
  • Mobiles should also be removed when baby can stand up.
  • Make sure there are no missing, loose, broken, or improperly installed screws, brackets, or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
  • Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2.38 inches apart, and none should be loose or missing.
  • Never use a crib with corner posts over 0.06 inch above the end panels (unless they’re over 16 inches high, for a canopy). Babies can strangle if their clothes become caught on corner posts. These should be unscrewed or sawed off and the remaining end panels sanded smooth.
  • There should be no cutout areas on the headboard or footboard, so baby’s head can’t get trapped.
  • There should be no cracked or peeling paint.
  • There should be no splinters or rough edges.
  • Look for the JPMA Certification Seal.

Our Favorite Cribs


Mattresses:

When it comes to crib mattresses, you essentially get what you pay for. Manufactured in a standard 52-by-27-inch size, most are 6 inches thick and typically come with a white or off-white cover. But that’s where the similarities end. There are two types of mattresses on the market, foam and innerspring, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a look at the differences between the two:

 

Mattress Types:

  • Foam: Made of polyester or polyether material, foam mattresses typically weigh less and are less expensive than their innerspring counterparts. Their weight depends on the density of foam used in their construction: the denser the foam, the heavier the mattress. A denser foam mattress will provide a firmer surface for baby and will keep its shape longer, while a lighter mattress makes changing baby’s sheets every week a little easier on the back.
  • Innerspring: Like most adult mattresses, innerspring crib mattresses come with an innerspring unit containing rows of steel coils. These coils can vary in both number and in quality and directly affect the firmness and weight of the mattress. Innerspring mattresses also have an insulator layer that sits on top of the coils to prevent them from penetrating the top layers, a cushioning layer or layers of foam or natural cotton, and a mattress cover.

 

Buying Tips:

  • For both foam and innerspring mattresses, the quality of the material and the number of layers that are used in the padding, or ticking, will help determine how long the mattress will last. Some mattresses have double- or triple-laminated ticking, and many have a layer made of heavy-gauge nylon that is bonded to a layer of waterproof material. In addition to providing water resistance, a nylon layer will make the mattress more resistant to tearing.
  • Apply the two-finger sizing test: place the mattress in the crib and try to fit two fingers between the outer edge of the mattress and the rods or spindles that run along the sides of the crib. If you can fit two fingers into this space, the space is too big and the mattress is not the right size for the crib. Baby could potentially get trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • An overly soft mattress is a suffocation hazard, especially for infants and newborns, so choose the firmest mattress that you can afford to buy. When shopping for a foam mattress, it is a good idea to test the mattress for firmness by pressing your hand on it and seeing how quickly it regains its original shape.
  • Look for a crib mattress with vent holes, typically located on either side. By allowing musty odors to escape, these will help keep a mattress smelling fresh over years of use.

 

Mattress Accessories:

Along with the bedding you select, there are a number of accessories you can purchase to protect your crib mattress and make it more comfortable for the diminutive person who will be sleeping on it. Crib sheets, sheet savers, and waterproof mattress pads can extend the life of the mattress and are usually available in either a fitted form or with zippers. Always use a crib sheet that fits securely on the mattress and wraps around the mattress corners.

Our Favorite Mattresses

Crib and Sleep Safety Guide

As adults, we consider sleep such a natural part of everyday life that we often don’t give it much thought (except, perhaps, that we’d like more of it). However, because of the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), you should definitely give careful thought to how and where your baby sleeps. Though medical researchers have not found one specific cause of SIDS, they have determined several factors that most likely contribute to these tragic infant deaths. As a result, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have developed the following safe bedding practices for infants:

  • Place baby on his or her back on a firm, tight-fitting mattress in a crib that meets current safety standards.
  • Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys, and other soft products from the crib.
  • Consider using a sleeper or other sleep clothing as an alternative to blankets, with no other covering.
  • If using a blanket, place baby’s feet at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby’s chest.
  • Make sure your baby’s head remains uncovered during sleep.
  • Do not place baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow, or other soft surface to sleep.
  • Mobiles should be removed when babies can pull themselves up or are strong enough to grab dangling items.

In addition to the above guidelines, the Consumer Product Safety Commission also suggests that an infant’s crib should have:

  • A firm, tight-fitting mattress, so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the crib.
  • No missing, loose, broken, or improperly installed screws, brackets, or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
  • No more than 2.38 inches (about the width of a soda can) between crib slats, so a baby’s body cannot fit through the slats; no missing or cracked slats.
  • No corner posts over 0.06 inch high, so a baby’s clothing cannot catch.
  • No cutouts in the headboard or footboard, so a baby’s head cannot get trapped.

Baby Proofing Guide

General Safety

Thinking about baby safety doesn’t necessarily come naturally to parents and, in fact, might seem like yet another overwhelming and intimidating task related to bringing up baby. Fortunately, babyproofing is something parents can–and should–take care of before baby even arrives, when you do not yet have the day-to-day care of a new infant as your first priority. You might consider it as the warm-up before the big game–a time to get into the right mindset for parenting and get comfortable with your equipment and strategy. Like many things, you should rely on instinct, but here are some general guidelines to help you make your home a safer place for your bundle of joy.

The guidelines below contain very specific suggestions about how to babyproof your home. However, it’s also helpful to keep some basic things about baby development in mind as you consider ways to make baby’s surroundings safe:

  • A new infant, though not mobile, requires safe equipment (car seats, cribs, strollers,monitors).
  • Once a baby can push herself up on her hands or roll over (around 3 to 6 months), you will need to make sure there is nothing within her reach in or above the crib or on a playmat that may be hazardous.
  • When a baby learns to creep or crawl (around 7 to 9 months), the area in need of babyproofing expands exponentially. You may have to develop babyproof “zones” in highly frequented areas of the home–rooms that are safe for baby and are blocked off from the rest of the home by gates or other equipment. Staircases now become a hazard, and some experts suggest that the bathroom and kitchen should be completely off-limits to mobile children, due to the difficulties involved in making those areas safe for baby.
  • A walking child can get much farther than a crawling child and can do so much faster. At this stage of the game (around 10 to 14 months) you will need to be especially vigilant about watching your child and making sure off-limits areas are well guarded by gates or other barricades. An upright child can also reach much higher than a crawling toddler, so the area that must be babyproof expands vertically as well as horizontally.

Basic Household Safety

“Better safe than sorry” is the best approach to adopt when it comes to making your home a safer place for your baby. The best way to assess what could pose potential hazards for your child is to see your home from a child’s point of view, quite literally. Start by getting down on your hands and knees and explore your home from that vantage point. When you view things from this perspective, it will probably become quite obvious to you just how dangerous that coffee table corner is or how easy it would be for a baby or toddler to stick curious fingers into an electrical socket. Below is a checklist of things you should do in every room in your house.

  • Use socket guards for all unused electrical sockets.
  • Use safety locks on all windows.
  • Put coins, keys, matches, batteries, paper clips, ashtrays, purses, and other small items out of your child’s reach.
  • Place safety latches on all cupboards and closets.
  • Install smoke detectors in all sleeping areas.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Use corner cushions to protect your child from sharp corners.
  • Use cord shorteners to avoid exposure to window cords and wires in the house.
  • Secure gates at top and bottom of all stairways.
  • Eliminate baby’s access to the bathtubs, showers, toilets, swimming pools, and hot tubs.
  • Make sure cosmetics, perfume, aftershave, and other toiletries are out of reach.
  • Position pet food and the litter box out of baby’s way.
  • Post the number of your local poison control center next to telephones along with a list of other emergency numbers–such as the ER, pediatrician, grandparents and other close relatives, and neighbors. You can print our fridge sheet of useful numbers.
  • Stow cleaning products, paint, electrical tools, and exercise equipment out of baby’s reach.
  • Keep plastic wrap and plastic bags out of baby’s reach.

Living Room/Family Room/Nursery

  • Place knickknacks on a high shelf.
  • Use a fireplace screen that a baby cannot tip over, store fire utensils and matches out of baby’s reach, and cushion the corners of fireplace edges with padding or guards.
  • Use socket guards for all unused electrical sockets.
  • Cushion the edges of tables, desks, or other furniture with padding or guards.
  • Do not hang mobiles or other toys over the corner or sides of a playard once baby can push up on her hands, as this could present a strangulation hazard.
  • To prevent your toddler from hurting themselves climbing into or out of a playard, don’t leave them in a mesh playard with the drop side down, and keep the drop side of a playard up even when your child is not in it. Do not leave children unattended in a playpen.
  • Do not use use a playard with holes in the sides, as this could entrap a child’s limbs or head.
  • Avoid locking mechanisms on toy chests that could lead to pinched fingers or accidental closures.

Bathroom

Many experts suggest that babies and toddlers should not be allowed in the bathroom at all (except at bathtime or potty training sessions), as young children can drown in even the smallest amounts of water. However, because toddlers and crawlers are quite curious once they are up and moving on their own, experts suggest that you take the following safety precautions:

  • Keep the toilet lid down and secure it with a latch and do not allow children to play with the water in the bowl. An open toilet bowl presents a potential drowning hazard (not to mention a germ hazard).
  • Do not leave water in the bathtub when it is not in use. Children can drown in as little as 2 to 3 inches of water.
  • Do not leave a child unattended in the bathtub or rely on an older sibling to supervise.
  • Use nonskid mats in the bathtub to prevent slipping.
  • Check to see that the suction cups on a bath seat are securely attached to the bath seat and tub surface.
  • Never use the baby bath seat in a non-skid, slip-resistant bathtub because the suction cups may not adhere to the bathtub surface.
  • Do not rely on bath seats to keep baby safe in the bath.
  • Keep the medicine cabinet locked and keep all medications in childproof containers.
  • Move all soaps, shampoos, bath gels, razors, and other toiletries out of reach of children.
  • Before placing your baby in the bathtub, make sure you have everything you need to bathe your baby near you to prevent having to turn away from baby to fetch it later.
  • Test the temperature of the water before bathing your baby by using your wrist or elbow, and remember that babies may not be able to tolerate the same water temperature as an adult. The correct temperature should be between 96 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place soft or inflatable covers over tub faucets to prevent bumps and bruises.

Dining Room

  • Always use all restraining straps provided on a highchair–both the waist strap and the strap that goes between the legs. Injuries or even strangulation can occur from unrestrained children slipping down under the highchair tray.
  • Make sure that the locking device on a folding highchair is fully engaged.
  • Don’t allow your child to stand up in a highchair or an older child to hang onto a highchair while baby is in it.
  • Place the highchair far enough away from the table, counter, or wall to prevent the child using that surface to push off and tip the chair over.
  • When seating a child at a table, use place mats instead of tablecloths, in case they succeed in pulling the tabletop items off the table.
  • Add sharp knives to place settings only after adults are seated.
  • Use plastic plates and glasses for children.
  • Be sure that your china and silverware are stored away from your baby’s curious grasp.

Kitchen

The kitchen, like the bathroom, is full of potential hazards. It may be best to block access to the kitchen with a safety gate.

  • Never leave babies or toddlers alone in the kitchen.
  • Do not let your baby play on the floor by the stove while you are cooking.
  • Use the back stove burners when possible. When using the front burners, turn the pot handles toward the back of the stove so that children cannot grab them.
  • Install cabinet and drawer latches and locks to prevent your child from finding items that may present a choking hazard.
  • Keep all dishwashing liquids and cleaning agents in locked or latched cabinets.
  • Keep sharp and potentially dangerous items out of reach.

Safety Gates

When your baby starts to crawl, explore, or use a walker, it’s time to install gates wherever potential hazards may be present around your home. At the top of stairs, at the bottom of stairs, and in between rooms, safety gates act as barricades that communicate which areas are off-limits for your little scooter. When purchasing gates for your home, there are several things to keep in mind: types of gates, features, and safety. We recommend you check our complete guide to choosing safety gates for your home.

Baby-Proofing Products

Understanding Toy Safety

How can you be sure a toy is safe for your child?

Keep in mind that the government doesn’t test all toys. Most toys are packaged in ways that make it difficult for the purchaser to identify potential safety hazards in the store. And most consumers just do not know what to look out for when toy shopping.

The following tips for toys safety will help you shop wisely and safely for your child and teach you how to tell the difference between safe toys and dangerous toys.

Be vigilant shoppers. You should examine toys carefully for hidden dangers before making a purchase. Always buy toys from a vendor you know and trust.

If a toy looks unsafe, don’t buy it. If you see small parts or a small ball or a balloon and don’t see a choke hazard warning, call the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Keep small parts away from your toddlers, particularly if an older child has toys with small parts.

Toys with small parts, small balls and marbles are banned for sale if intended for children under 3. If intended for older children, these toys, and balloons, must include a choking hazard warning. The 1994 Child Safety Protection Act requires the following warning on toys intended for children 3-5 years old, containing small parts:

Warning! Choking Hazard! Small Parts, not for children under 3 years.

Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills, and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards to younger children.

Do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for children under age eight.

Discard of plastic wrappings on toys immediately, which can cause suffocation, before they become deadly playthings.

If you are unsure of the durability of a toy that may break into small parts, don’t buy it! Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly secured eyes, noses, and other potential small parts.

Look for labels that give age recommendations and use that information as a guide.

For all children under age eight, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.

Balloons were responsible for over 50 deaths since 1990. Always supervise children with balloons, inflated or not. Keep balloons away from children under 8. Buy mylar balloons instead of latex to avoid the choking hazard. And remember, if a balloon bursts while a child is blowing it up, it could be inhaled.

Children as old as 5 have choked to death on small balls and marbles as large as 1.75 inches. Small balls intended for children under 3 must be larger than 1.75 inches. Be careful of ball-like beads and other round objects.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and toys containing Phthalates have been linked with liver and kidney problems and are probable human carcinogens and have been banned by the European Union for use in teething toys intended for children under 3. Parents should not expose their children to toxic phthalate chemicals in any toy. Unfortunately, no U.S. law requires disclosure – and many toys made of PVC are labeled “non-toxic”. Any soft plastic toy may pose a hazard unless marked as PVC or phthalate-free. Call the manufacturer to find out if the toy contains phthalates or PVC.

The CPSC reports that there were more than 4,000 scooter-related injuries in August of 2000 alone and more than 9,400 emergency room treated injuries reported in the first nine months of 2000. Nearly 90 percent of the injuries are to children under 15 years old. To prevent injuries while using scooters and in-line skates always wear proper safety gear including a helmet that meets CPSC’s standard, and knee and elbow pads, and wrist pads. Scooters and skates should be used on smooth, paved surfaces without any traffic. Avoid streets, or surfaces with water, sand, gravel or dirt. Do not ride the scooter or use the skates at night.

Strings, cords, and necklaces can strangle infants. Infant toys that include cords can present a strangulation hazard if the cord is put around an infant’s neck. The American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) voluntary standard for pull toys states that in “pull toys intended for children under 36 months, cords and elastics greater than 12 inches long shall not be provided with beads or other attachments that could tangle to form a loop”. Parents should remove beads, knobs, or other attachments from their child’s pull toy cord if the cord is over 12 inches long.

Make sure to only buy crib toys from reputable sources. Examine crib toys for possible strangulation hazards, look at the labeling of the toy and at the length of any cords or strings. Crib gyms (toys that are stretched across the crib) should always be removed from the crib when babies can get up on hands and knees (or at the latest 7 months old). Crib toys should not have cords or strings longer than 6 inches.

Projectile Toys can cut skin, blind or deafen a child who is struck in the eye or ear. Projectile toys now come in many more forms than simple, old fashioned rubber dart guns – including foot-bellows-powered rocket launchers, mechanical windup or string powered hand launchers for flying dolls or more powerful dart guns or slingshot or crossbow-like toys.

We urge parents and toy-givers to be wary of all hard-tipped or powerful projectile toys, which can self-inflict injury on the child playing with the toy or hurt others. Keep projectile toys away from children under 3. Supervise older children and teach older children about the dangers of aiming projectiles at the face or of using substitute projectiles.

Watch out for children’s makeup kits that may contain toxics – such as toluene in nail polish. Toluene is flammable, can irritate the nose, throat eyes, can make consumers feel dizzy and repeated exposure can cause low blood cell counts and damage the liver and kidneys. Parents should read labels carefully and only purchase non-toxic nail makeup kits, craft kits and other products.

Infant bath seats are not recommended for use until 6 months of age, when most infants can sit securely. Once an infant can pull up (generally between 7 and 9 months of age) or attempt to stand while holding onto objects, infant bath seats should be discontinued, since the infant could climb from the seat. Families should not purchase bath seats found on retail shelves or at yard sales and should not use bath seats loaned by friends and family. Parents and caregivers should never leave a baby alone in the water and should always keep the child in arms’ reach.

Great Toys for Babies