There is no one who knows sleep deprivation like a new parent. Back in the day, when my girls were infants, I was lucky if I could manage 3-4 hours a night in those first few months. (And anyone who told me to “nap when they nap” never offered to do come do my laundry or wash my dishes either.) What I also heard a lot about was the key to getting your baby to sleep better and longer, and that was swaddling. I admit to trying to following the steps that the hospital nurse had demonstrated, but by the time when we were settled in at home, it turned out I was all thumbs and I gave up shortly thereafter. Lucky for us, our new dad tester, Chris Hart, the proud father of a month-old baby girl, was game to try out a new swaddling blanket that came our way. Unfazed by turning his daughter into a willing test subject, Chris unrolled the Bamboo Miracle Blanket and got right down to business. He praises the Miracle Blanket for being “super soft” and for having “great instructions”–a big plus if you consider yourself challenged in the baby gear assembly department. After Chris practiced with the Miracle Blanket a few times, Chris got the hang of it and describes the product as being “very easy to use.” Because this bamboo blanket is made from a breathable fabric knit, it’s ideal for warm climates (like Chris’ family who lives in Southern California), as well as cooler areas. Because his baby was just three weeks old when first swaddled in the Miracle Blanket, her little legs and feet kept popping out of the openings, but Chris thinks that may become a non-issue as she grows. “If your baby is very fussy or needs to swaddled well, the Miracle Blanket will be the go-to swaddle, hands down,” he reports. Hopefully, that translates into more shuteye…for everyone.
In a Nutshell: Sweet dreams are made of this. A swaddling blanket that makes Baby snug and secure.
(Note: The photo featured below was supplied by Miracle Blanket and is not of our tester’s baby. But from what we know, she is just as cute.)
Anyone with a new baby knows all too well how many diaper changes they go through in one day. And when you’re in a frazzled, sleep-deprived state of mind, trying to close up a squirming baby’s pajamas at 3 a.m. can be a little daunting. Ollie and Bess two snap crawlers aims to simplify the diaper changing experience. These sleepers are designed with just two snaps–strategically placed in the back–so your little one is ready to go…hopefully, back to sleep. Your first thought might be like ours: only two snaps must mean gaping holes. And yet, that’s not the case; these crawlers provide ample coverage without a tight-fitting feel. Made from 100-percent pima cotton, these one-piece outfits are soft and snuggly, and come in a variety of whimsical prints, like alligators and crabs. So, while you may be in Diaperville for a while, at least you can make those changes…well, a snap.
In a Nutshell: Make like a quick change artist and stock up on these two snap crawlers for easy diaper changes.
No matter how many times we clean it, our family room still ends up looking like a storm blew through it. “What’s the point in cleaning up if it just gets messy again?,” purports my precocious 9-year-old. Despite her “logic,” I’d still like our home to resemble a somewhat civilized place. If you subscribe to the philosophy of ‘a place for everything, and everything in its place,’ but are looking for something a little more stylish than those acrylic bins from the dollar store, we’ve found just the source for you. Pehr Designs offers Petit Pehr upscale nursery and play room furnishings that fit into your home decor seamlessly and without pretense. The storage bins are roomy enough to stash a menagerie of stuffed animals, and light enough for a preschooler to carry and transport her plush pals into her bedroom (why should moms have to do all the work, anyway?). Fun throw pillows, like the Gotta Roll Fox Pillow, feature whimsical prints, while beautiful blankets and nursery pillows boast decorative accents that will render your own bedding dull in comparison. The Petit Pehr collection also includes swaddle blankets, crib sheets and other accessories to make your nursery or play room look like it belongs on the cover of a magazine. (Maybe now that you’ve got the kids cleaning up after themselves, you’ll actually be able to sit down and read one!)
In a Nutshell: Nursery and play room furnishings that turn chaos into order, one stuffed animal at a time.
The woman who runs a local cafe gave birth to her second son this past spring. Not one to let motherhood slow her down, she had soon returned to work and, much to my surprise, with her newborn in tow. Straight from the kitchen with a smile on her face, she emerged with her baby boy swaddled in a sling as she set food down in front of waiting diners. As I waited for my order, we chatted about how difficult it is, going from one to two, and I left impressed by how well she seemed to be managing. I also couldn’t help but notice the latest baby gear trend–the baby wrap–being put to good use. It’s a great way to keep a newborn close to Mom while keeping her hands free. One of the newer models on the block, Solly Baby, has a fashion-forward line of baby wraps that work wonders for busy mothers. We love the new Indian Summer design in the fall line, a timely name for a bold style. Beautifully draped across a mom’s chest, this product is made from a breathable micro-bamboo viscose that’s as functional as it is fashionable. Perfect for the mom who’s got her hands full…without making her feel like she needs an extra set of hands.
In a Nutshell: A stylish baby accessory for moms on the move that lets them do whatever they need to do–with baby (safely) along for the ride.
So, how many British baby boutiques do you think are furiously readying their shops in honor of the Royal Baby? You never know who might decide to walk into your store and purchase that special something for the most-watched baby in the world. It doesn’t matter that we have yet to catch a glimpse of that precious baby boy, but when the hospital doors finally open and the royal couple proudly emerges with their child, all eyes will be on that very bundle. And if Kate is like any other new mum, she’ll want to have her newborn dressed comfortably and not take any chances in him catching a chill in that rainy London weather. In fact, we think she’d rather prefer the Barefoot Dreams Little Royals Receiving Blanket for her precious cargo. Made with a fashionable knit microfiber, it’s the perfect blanket to keep Baby snug without any worries of overheating (you know how quickly the weather can change). The ample 35 x 35 sizing provides ample coverage whether they’re out for a stroll in the Kensington Palace Gardens or he’s down for a nap. Of course, the baby blue crown motif is a fitting tribute to the Royal Baby, but this blanket works for plain folk babes, too.
In a Nutshell: A baby blanket so soft, it’s fit for a king…or prince.
Next week, my older daughter will turn 9. When she was born, I was only able to hold her for a brief moment before she was whisked down the hall to the nursery (apparently, her temperature was down and she needed to warm up). Somehow, I felt like I was cheated out of those tender first bonding moments between mother and child. Because I have a few mom friends with newborns who also have older kids, I’ve been hearing about their guilt over not spending time with their own babies. “How can I enjoy my little one when I am busy reading stories/checking homework/making dinner?” For moms like these comes a new baby product unlike any other we’ve seen: the NuRoo Pocket. Upon first glance, it looks like an ordinary wrap-style shirt with a baby discreetly tucked inside. But it’s more than that. Unlike traditional slings and front baby carriers, the NuRoo Pocket isn’t an accessory item. Instead, you wear this product, keeping your baby as close to your skin as possible. And for the harried new mom who’s craving that together time, this product can turn that wishful thinking into real life. We took a closer look at the NuRoo Pocket and watched a straightforward demo that takes the guesswork out of how to get started. (What sleep-deprived parent won’t appreciate that?) Your baby will be able to nestle inside an inner no-slip pocket that is secured once you fasten the pocket closed; there are no ties or straps to contend with (a big plus). The support belt that goes around your lower abdomen provides extra security, not to mention peace of mind. And once you’re ready to take your baby out, there’s no need to remove the NuRoo Pocket — just gently reach in and lift out your baby, supporting her head, of course. Of course, we expect you’ll miss that closeness before long…
In a Nutshell: Make like a mamma kangaroo and keep your baby right where she belongs with this practical pouch.
Just before the holidays, I managed to catch up with an old friend. After updating each other on our families’ lives, she told me about her toddler son who wasn’t speaking and talking like other kids similar in age. After having him evaluated, she learned that he was speech delayed and began taking the proper steps to get him the extra help he needed. Oddly enough, we had just learned of a new speech/language service specifically designed to help parents like my friend work with their child and boost their verbal development. The beauty of Language Launchers‘ subscription-based service for ages 0-2 is that it gets mailed directly to your home, and you can use it at your own pace with your child. We got our hands on The Babble Box, a shipment of the first three months of the Babbling with Babies series. As is true with each month’s delivery, the box was well-stocked with a variety of toys and learning aids that help develop a child’s growing speech. Whether they are centered on early conversation, reading or music, each carefully chosen item has an intended purpose. And don’t feel you’ve been left alone in the dark; each mailing contains plenty of helpful tips and suggestions for cultivating your baby’s love of language. Each month’s mailing is an incentive to maintain that momentum and encourage more together time. What a wonderful way to start the new year.
In a Nutshell: Let the learning begin! For the parent looking for ways to nurture their child, but not sure how to begin, Language Launchers does the homework for you.
When I was pregnant with each of my daughters, I didn’t want to find out their genders in advance. It didn’t matter to me whether or not I could paint my nursery in pink or blue (for the record, we chose yellow) or whether I could buy adorable, frilly dresses (for the record, neither are girly girls…at least so far). I figured that this would be one (or two) of life’s surprises that would be pleasant, and I would rather sit back and wait rather than plan their lives away. It’s probably why I’m always amazed that the first question out of someone’s mouth when they hear of a pregnancy is, “Does she know what she’s having?” For those of us who relish a little mystery in our family’s future generation comes a line of baby clothing that suits us to a T. Twotara gender-neutral reversible clothing is not only practical, but stylish. Made from 100-percent knit cotton, this layette collection is as in favor of girls as it is little boys. From booties to rompers,each garment features a pink-hued design on one side, with a corresponding blue pattern on the other. Not only is Twotara ideal for gift-givers determined to select “just the right present,” but its flexible styling even cuts Mother Nature some slack (yup, there are those cases when the sonogram was wrong!). Cost-conscious moms planning on expanding their families will appreciate that this line’s longevity and versatility. And as anyone who has a kid can tell you, any baby item that does double duty goes a long way.
In a Nutshell: Reversible, gender-neutral baby clothing? Kind on your wallet, beautiful on your baby (boy or girl).
Today, on our weekly supermarket jaunt, my 3-year-old and I were treated to a display of hearts-shaped place mats, cupid cookie cutters and all things red and pink. That can only mean that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. If you happen to be the proud parent of a new bundle of joy, or have a best bud who’s expecting, it’s time to introduce that little babe to the good life with an infant seat she’ll simply love. Bloom’s limited edition coco rosso rocker may be designed for a baby, but it definitely has grown-up appeal. We love that it looks as comfortable as it feels, thanks to a specially designed Plexistyle soft seat. The 5-point harness ensures that your little one stays put, even as she rocks herself to sleep. The coco rosso doesn’t sport any fancy bells and whistles, lights or sounds. If you’re looking for one baby product that fits in with the rest of your contemporary home decor, the coco rosso is it.
In a Nutshell: A sweetheart of a baby gift, the sleek lines of this stylish infant seat make it baby gear you’ll be proud to showcase.
When my now-preschooler was an infant, her pacifier was her best friend…and mine. It seemed like the only way to stop her frequent crying jags was with a translucent green pacifier that quickly soothed her spirit and helped dry her tears (even if it was only for a short time), as she suckled away, Maggie Simpson-style. Sometimes, my husband and I would hold our breaths when it inadvertently popped out of her mouth, and the sleeping babe failed to notice its absence, her little lips moving back and forth, no different than before. As she matured, but had not yet grown out of the pacifier stage, we feared those moments when she would realize exactly what had happened and cry her head off. Lucky for us, she kicked this habit long before it became a problem. But those babies who are still attached to their all-day suckers, it helps to have a friend in the right place. Paci Buddy, a pacifier holder/stuffed buddy, is one first friend you and your little one will come to appreciate. This snuggly pal named MochiKo (whose endearing name means “rice cake nose” in a Japanese-Korean translation) holds a pacifier atop its head via a simple loop. Made from eco-friendly bamboo, it’s a safe way to keep your baby’s pacy contained. And when your little one has bid adieu to her pacifier, it also doubles as a snuggle buddy. We love the hidden strap that lets you secure MochiKo to your car seat or stroller, so you can take it with you, wherever you roam.
In a Nutshell: You learn quickly just how important a pacifier can be to your baby. With Paci Buddy, you don’t have to learn that lesson the hard way. Approved by smiling babies everywhere…