7 Useful and Practical Baby Products Worth Investing

Let’s face it, it can be quite overwhelming browsing the baby aisles looking for the perfect baby must-haves. With so many new toys, gear and accessories it’s tempting to just bring home the same tried-and-true products everyone else has or that worked with older siblings. Today, I’m narrowing it down whether you are a new or seasoned parent, grabbing a gift for a baby shower or simply just want to know what the hottest products for babies are at the moment.

7-Useful-and-Practical-Baby-Accessories

Here are my top seven most practical and useful baby items that are worth investing in:

  1. Montessori-Inspired Wooden ToysMontessori-Inspired-Wooden-Toys.

There are so many reasons why I absolutely love wooden toys. Wooden toys have been around for decades, if not centuries and other than their (now trendy and simplistic) look, they also offer plenty of benefits:

  • Helps to Build Fine Motor Skills
  • Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Promotes Problem Solving & Reasoning Skills
  • Less Distracting & Noisy
  • Encourages Use of Imagination
  • Very Durable & Easy to Clean

A few personal favorites of mine are wooden rattles, shapes and blocks, wooden cars, peg dolls and pretend food. Although these Montessori-inspired toys may cost a bit more, they come with incredible value.

  1. Beanko Baby Portable Diaper Changing Station Beanko-Diaper-Changing-Table

As a seasoned mom of four, I cannot count the number of times I have had to change my babies diaper in the car. Whether you’re on a road trip, at the park, or an outdoor event, this portable diaper changing station is hands down the most convenient accessory you can have. Not only does it fold up nicely for storage, but it also comes complete with a soft wedge to place underneath so your baby doesn’t roll. Here are a few of my favorite features:

  • Organization: Comes complete with storage pockets for baby essentials like diapers, wipes, toys and even a built-in tablet holder.
  • Sanitary: Public restrooms can be gross and often inconvenient. This is a great way to keep your baby comfy and clean with an easy-to-clean surface.
  • Convenience: If you’ve ever been in a situation where your baby has a messy situation but the kids are all asleep in the car, this is your go-to! No more waking up the kids and hauling them all inside just to change a diaper.
  • Versatility: The changing pad can detach for use on its own as a portable play mat, or you can use the storage side to attach over the back of the seat for organization when your baby is out of diapers.
  1. Dock-a-Tot Dock-a-Tot.j

The Dock-a-Tot is simply a docking station for your little one. It provides a safe and cozy space for your baby to rest, lounge and play. It’s perfect for traveling, co-sleeping, tummy time and is machine washable! The Dock-a-Tot is recommended for babies 0-8 months, but is also available in a larger size that fits toddlers.

  1. Play Gym by LoveeveryPlaygym-Lovery-Baby

If you’re anything like me, then you love anything that’s versatile and that will last for years to come. The play gym by Loveevery is one of those investments that you’ll instantly see the long-term benefits. This play gym features:

  • Stage Based Brain Development: It is designed to promote visual, cognitive and motor development from newborn through toddler years.
  • Safe & Sustainable: Comes complete with organic accessories and water-based non-toxic finishes.
  • Developmental Play: The areas on the play mat can be revealed or concealed to prevent over stimulation and promote learning through various senses like seeing, touching, mouthing and hearing.
  • Removable Accessories: Most of the pieces can be detached for continued play.
  • Convertible: Not only is this a great tummy time mat and play gym, but it also converts to a play fort using the play space cover that’s included.
  1. BabyHood Premium Baby Cots  Kaylula-sova-classic-Baby-Cot.

Purchasing your baby’s crib is probably the biggest investment of them all. This is going to be a place where your little one sleeps from birth through toddler years (or even beyond) so it’s very important to find one that you love and that will grow with your child for years and years. This BabyHood Riya Cot has a modern, stylish design and includes all of the conversion accessories that can convert into a crib, toddler bed, day bed and sofa bed. My favorite feature other than the beautiful Scandinavian design is that it has a smooth, single-hand drop-side railing so no more heavy bending!

  1. Puj Bath Tub  Puj-Bath-Tub-that-is-adjustable

One thing that I have learned from experience is that bathing your little one in the sink is the ultimate way to go. This Puj bathtub is soft, comfortable, mold and mildew resistant, fits most sinks, is great for travel and very easy to clean. With a separate mini-bathtub, you have to purchase a separate piece that helps prop the baby up, wait forever for the water to fill, wait forever for the water to drain and then clean it thoroughly after every use. It’s quite exhausting which is why I love the Puj bath! Quick, easy, convenient and hangs flat for easy storage. Plus, when your baby outgrows the sink, he/she will be big enough to sit and bathe in the regular tub.

  1. Stroller/Car Seat Travel System Evenflo-Travel-System

A car seat is an absolute must-have, while a stroller is optional (although I highly recommend having one). This Evenflo Travel System is your all-in-one! It comes complete with an infant car seat that attaches easily to the stroller itself, a stay-in-car base and a full-size luxury stroller. The stroller itself features six modes of use, a large canopy, extra large storage basket, removable child tray, soft sturdy tires and is lightweight and easy to store. Truly the best of both worlds with this travel system. Try a stroller bundle bag to keep baby warm, you can make them yourself.

There are numerous innovative baby products on the market, but these are just a few of my personal favorites that I truly believe are worth investing in. I wanted to share products that will bring both you and your baby joy in your day-to-day activities as well as products that will grow with your baby. Did I miss one of your must-have products? Feel free to share your favorite baby accessories that spark joy for you and your little one down below!


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Maintenance Tips To Help You Prepare for a Home Birth

If you are pregnant or an expecting mother, you might be considering having a home birth. It’s important to know how to prepare for labor whether you plan on having your baby in the hospital or at home. We will focus on things to think about if your birth plan includes your child being born at home on the big day.

1. Take classes or read books on home births.

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As soon as you realize you want to have a home birth versus a hospital birth, it would help if you started reading up on the process. From hiring a midwife to preparing your home with necessary supplies, you will want to be well versed in what you can expect before, during, and after childbirth. Many hospitals offer free birthing classes such as prenatal massage and Lamaze to help with pain during labor and delivery.

Of course, you can’t know exactly what will happen on your due date, but if you anticipate anything that might occur, you will be better prepared at the moment.

2. Maintain and repair faulty appliances around your home.

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If you plan on having a home birth, you will want to make sure all necessary appliances in your home are up and running in good condition. You might be surprised how a properly running furnace, dishwasher, washer, air conditioner, and dryer will come in handy on the big day.

If you suspect something is wrong with a major appliance, such as your HVAC system or furnace, you should get it checked out as soon as possible. For example, if you have smells continuously coming from the vents in your home, you should contact an HVAC technician to come to check it out in advance of your due date.

3. Connect with a reliable midwife.

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Having a midwife and/or doula to attend and assist in your home birth is one of the most important steps of the preparation process. A midwife will help you prepare for childbirth, provide prenatal care, provide technical expertise during labor and delivery, as well as provide postpartum care and support.

If you haven’t chosen a midwife for your home birth, be sure to check online and see who is available locally. Having a midwife close to your home is important so they won’t have to travel far when you go into labor. They should also have some backup plan if things don’t go as smoothly as you anticipate during labor and delivery.

4. Finish any incomplete home renovations.

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If you have any home renovation projects that aren’t completed, this is the perfect time to get them done. Not only will you feel more organized while preparing for your home birth, but you will have fewer things to worry about when the time comes.

It’s a good idea to try to get home renovations completed as early in the pregnancy as possible because many projects can be risky in the second and third trimester. Renovations such as painting, laying hardwood floors, and moving large appliances are risky in the later stages of pregnancy.

5. Make a postpartum care plan.

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Most expecting mothers focus on prenatal care and childbirth when they are preparing for the big day. There is something many people call the fourth trimester of pregnancy, which is the postpartum period. You will want to prepare for things like breastfeeding, caring for a newborn, sleeping situations, and their first trip to a doctor’s office for a newborn checkup.

Many mothers describe the fourth trimester as trying, exhausting, and a big learning experience for both baby and mom. Everyone parents newborns in different ways, so try to find out what makes you comfortable while caring for your baby.

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What to Look for When Buying Convertible #CarSeats for Your Child

Nothing in this world is more important than the safety of your child. This is why you must purchase a convertible seat to guarantee safety while on transit. A convertible seat is heavier and larger when compared to customary infant-only vehicle seats. They are also designed to meet the needs of your child from birth until when they weigh about 40 to 80 pounds and have a height of 50 inches. Here are trusted guidelines to help you pick the best car seat for your child.

What to Look for When Buying Convertible Car Seats for Your Child
Image: Parents.com

Materials

You should consider the materials used to manufacture the vehicle seats. This is important because the materials used will make a huge difference in case of any crisis situation. You must ensure that the aluminum, steel or metal frame is solid enough. In addition, you should go for models made of shock absorbing foam to guarantee adequate protection. These two features will enhance the safety of your convertible car seat.

5-point harness

Always opt for a convertible car seat model with a 5-point harness system. This includes two shoulder straps, two waist straps and one strap between the legs. All of these straps have a single meeting point in the middle to ensure maximum comfort and safety while on transit. This harness system will limit head movement and prevent the child from sliding off.

Highly adjustable

As your child grows, the car seat straps will require adjusting to ensure that your baby is secured in position. Most convertible seats can be easily adjusted from the front without the need for uninstalling them from the car. To guarantee convenience, parents should avoid convertible seats that must be removed from the vehicle or taken apart for them to accommodate your growing baby. With an adjustable car seat, you will be able to ensure a high level of comfort for your child through all the initial development changes and you will not have to purchase a car seat every year.

Removable seat covers

Babies will always find ways of being messy even if they do not drink or eat in the vehicle. Newborns tend to spit up and diaper accidents car occur anytime while on a ride and mess up the car seat. Whether you have a newborn or toddler, you may end up with dirty looking car seats, especially after a long drive. This is why you need to choose a convertible car seat that has washable covers. This is the best way of keeping your car seat looking new and ensuring it lasts for many years.

Ease of installation

With regards to installation, different convertible car seat models will have varying setup challenges. Some tend to be quite easy to set up, while others are more complicated. You should always choose one that is user-friendly. This is a crucial factor to consider, especially if you plan on taking the seat in and out of the vehicle often or have difficulties decoding the user’s manual.

Comfort

Every parent wishes to make their child as comfortable as possible. Therefore, while shopping for a convertible seat, look for one that has adequate padding around the head and in the seat.  Additional padding around the chest straps will also help to ensure comfort when riding and reduce the probability of the straps rubbing the child wrongly and causing discomfort. With seats that are not heavily padded, parents may end up using blankets and towels to provide extra comfort for their kids.

Versatility

Generally, a convertible car seat will fit in almost all types of vehicles. The versatility of a car seat is important, especially if you will be using different vehicles when travelling with your child. This is because you will be assured that the car seat will easily fit in any type of vehicle.  You do not want a safety seat that will limit you when it comes to vehicle models.

Impact protection

Keeping your child safe in the event of an accident is one of the major functions of car seats. The most vulnerable part of a child’s body is the neck region. This is why the model that you purchase should offer adequate neck support for your baby. This way, you will always have peace of mind when taking your baby for a ride because their safety is guaranteed.

When choosing a convertible car seat, parents should take time to evaluate the different types and brands available in the market today. This will help them narrow down the options and settle for one that suits their needs. When selecting a convertible car seat, the first priority should always be safety. A newly bought car seat must meet the minimum safety standards to ensure protection. With a keen eye for detail, you will be able to choose the best convertible seats on the market today.

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Mom and Toddlers Get Ready For Day Nursery

 How to Prepare Your Toddler (and Yourself) for Day Nursery

Making the decision to use the services of a child care or a day nursery can be frightening. The prospect of leaving your child for the first time and how your toddler will react to the experience are important things to consider before you can make the decision correctly. There is also the task of finding a good day nursery and preparing your child for the change.Mom and Toddlers Get Ready For Day Nursery    Royalty Free Photo

Worry not, because we are here to help you and your toddler ease into the new experience. It is a big change to make, but it’s a step in the right direction. To prepare yourself and your toddler better for day nursery, here are several things you need to know.

The Right Day Nursery

Choosing the right day nursery is half the battle. When you know that your child is in good hands, you’ll feel so much better about leaving the child for the day. After all, your toddler will be having a lot of positive experiences and be involved in fun and exciting things all day.

There are several things you want to take into account when choosing a day nursery. You definitely need to visit the facility, especially during the day when other children are present. You should be able to observe how the caregivers handle children, the kind of activities they do all day, and other details about the day nursery program.

You also want to review the day nursery’s policies. Ask for all policies you need to know – mainly regarding your child’s safety, discipline, feeding, and the content your toddler will have access to – so that you know exactly what to expect from the program. Don’t hesitate to ask questions whenever necessary too.

There are some great day nursery programs to choose from, especially today with the growing demand. Little Hands Little Feet, for example, caters to parents in Belfast and offers children the best programs for their growth. You can find out more here and get a good idea of what to expect from a top-notch day nursery.

Ease into It

It is also great to get your child involved in the process of surveying the day nursery. At the very least, you want to bring the toddler on a trial run before the actual program starts. Talk about the fun things your child will be able to do, the many friends they’ll be able to make, and other great things about going to the day nursery.

You want to ease your child into the program. You can share stories about the activities to expect and even try some of the activities at home to help your toddler be more familiar with those activities. Build the excitement and you may not have to worry about the first day of day nursery at all; your toddler will be much more excited than you are.

It’s a Group Effort

You shouldn’t expect the first day of the program to be completely problem-free; some adjustments will be needed, even when the toddler is already very excited about meeting new friends and playing together. That first day will also be difficult for you, since it is a big change for the both of you.

Make time and make sure you can stay with your child on that first day. You want to stay close, but you don’t want to interfere too much with the day nursery’s programs or regular schedules. Check if you can stay with your child too; some child care programs recommend parents to stay with their children to help with the transition.

There are two other things you need to focus on to help make the transition easier to handle. The first one is saying goodbye at the nursery. It is always a big challenge, but it is a challenge that you can solve by keeping a positive vibe and helping your child feel excited about day nursery. The second thing to focus on is comfort. Making your child feel comfortable helps a lot, so listen to specific requests and pay attention to the signs.

These are simple tips you can apply right away, but they are tips that will help prepare your toddler – and, more importantly, you – for day nursery. Find a good program for your children and get the kids excited.

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