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 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

Elks & Angels Snuggle Pod Footmuff Review

Elks & Angels, an unusual company name with a unique and clever product.

I recently found out about the Snuggle Pod Footmuff when a friend from my parent walking group arrived one very brisk morning with this very cozy looking insert in her stroller. Her little guy looked so warm and content, and the material felt so soft, I couldn’t help but ask her about it. She told me she had only recently received it as a gift and that it was a godsend. Not only was it very practical as a product for its warmth with its sheepskin covering, it was so beautiful looking and fit her stroller perfectly.

Well, after testing out the Snuggle Pod for myself for the past month, I can tell you I was pleasantly surprised by how versatile such a warm looking product was, no matter the weather (hot or cool).

The Snuggle Pod Footmuff attaches to your stroller, and provides a cozy cocoon around your baby in winter, and acts as a cooling stroller liner in summer. Made with 100% Australian sheepskin, the footmuff shields your baby from both cold and warm weather.

Living in a climate with very cold winters and warm summers, I found the Snuggle Pod Footmuff’s regulation of body temperature to be a wonderful feature. The balance of warmth without overheating and a cooling effect in the summer months were a godsend.

Elks & Angels are a fairly new company started in 2010. Their sheepskin products are both luxurious and sensible. Sheep live in warmer and colder climates quite comfortably. For a baby, the Snuggle Pod keeps in a baby’s own body heat without overheating, while insulating them from outside heat or cold, creating a dry and warm environment.

The Snuggle Pod Footmuff is currently available in one color option “buttermilk with black nylon”, and comes in one size of 3ft X 2ft. At $259, it is definitely not a budget purchase. It is a luxurious item through, and through.

I found that the Snuggle Pod Footmuff easily attached to my stroller even with my 5-pt harness. I was also thrilled with the option of using it as a play mat when detached. I was able to do that several times when out and about visiting friends or at the park. It was a great feature.

Pros:

  • Made with 100% Australian sheepskin
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Fits from newborns to 3 years of age
  • Machine and hand washable
  • Product arrives in environmentally friendly packaging
  • Adheres to the standards of ASTM 
(American Society for Testing & Materials)
  • Suitable for all seasons
  • Luxurious feel and quality

Cons:

  • Price is not for the faint of wallet
  • Only a single design option

It may be at a higher price point, but it is definitely a quality product that will survive getting passed down to your other children or family members.

Overall, the Elks & Angels Snuggle Pod Footmuff is a wonderful product. It acts very much like a giant Ugg for your baby. It is perfect for any temperature. I didn’t find my little one in any discomfort on warmer or cooler days. I love the craftsmanship of the Snuggle Pod and its impeccable quality. Knowing it is a natural product and I don’t need be concerned about the fabric, put my mind further at ease.

I loved it, and so did Little One.

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 Nasal Aspirators

If your baby has a stuffed-up nose, it is probably not only making her uncomfortable but also makes it harder for her to breathe, eat and sleep.

When leaving the hospital, you probably received a rubber bulb syringe in your newborn kit. This syringes work relatively well, but there are a number of other newer products that may be more effective at removing mucus from stuffy noses. You may want to shop around and find the best nasal aspirator for your baby before settling on one.

Clearing Baby’s Nose with Saline

Before using the booger sucker (as it is affectionately known by many parents), you will want to use some saline to clean your baby’s little nose. Saline can help moisten and loosen up the mucus before you suction it out.

You can find different saline sprays online, including ones with soothing aloe. You can also make your own by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. If you make your own saline, make a fresh batch every day and store it in a covered jar.

When using the saline, make sure your child is laying down with her chin tilted up slightly. Squirt the saline spray once or twice into each nostril (or place one or two drops with an eyedropper), and try to keep your baby still for about ten seconds.

Using a Nasal Bulb Syringe

The saline itself is often enough to ease your baby’s congestion, but if it isn’t enough it is time to use the nasal aspirator.

Before and after using the nasal aspirator, you should always clean it. Squeeze the bulb with the tip in soapy, warm water and suck some water into the bulb. Now shake the soapy water inside the bulb and squeeze it out. Repeat several times with clear warm water. Once done, leave the syringe tip side down to dry.

Once the nasal syringe is clean and dry, squeeze the air out of it to create a vacuum. Gently insert the rubber tip into your baby’s nostril, then slowly release the pressure from the bulb, sucking the mucus out of the nose. Remove the syringe and squeeze the bulb forcefully into a tissue to release the mucus from within.

If your baby is still congested, wait at least 5-10 minutes before applying saline and suction again.

DO NOT suction your baby’s nose more than two or three times a day, as it may irritate its lining.

DO NOT use saline sprays or drops for more than four days in a row, as they can dry out the delicate insides of the nose.

Nasal Aspirators 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

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.