Is Your Crib as Safe as You Think?

Is Your Crib as Safe as You Think?

Most of you feel like you’re never going to get your baby to sleep in a crib. Which is probably OK as most cribs are all that aren’t safe anyway. That’s right, I said it. And while the recent kickup about how co-sleeping is a SIDS risk is putting all the emphasis on the hazards of adult beds, there’s plenty of safety hazards in cribs too.

As part of my 4 year old’s birthday shenanigans we moved him from his crib into a big boy bed. So I took the opportunity to take a few pictures of his crib before we dismantled it for good (*sniff*). And I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to take pictures of what a safe crib environment looks like. And I had to make my own since it’s all but impossible to find pictures of one elsewhere.

The world is full of smart caring parents putting unsafe things in their baby’s cribs or putting them down to sleep on their tummies. Most of them don’t even realize it’s a problem as the world is also full of pictures modeling an unsafe sleep environments. A Pediatrics study looked at magazine photos of sleeping babies finding that only 36% of them modeled safe sleep environments consistent with the AAP.

In the AAP study, 64% of photos of babies in a crib showed them sleeping face down.

And Pinterest is like the rogues gallery of unsafe crib environments. Even the baby cakes on Pinterest model unsafe sleep for babies. Also? Edible cake babies are creepy.

As somebody who blogs about kids and sleep I try to make sure I only use photos that model safe sleep habits. Sadly this makes getting cool pictures almost impossible. Because almost everything you find on stock photography sites features cribs with potential SIDS hazards in them.

To demonstrate I’ve pulled some pictures from popular stock photography sites. No I didn’t dig into the bowels of search results to find these. These are all from page #1 people.
no pillows in the baby crib
bumpers and loose blankets are a SIDS hazard
baby sleeping prone models unsafe crib sleep
photos modeling unsafe crib sleep for babies

So it’s hard to know that there is a problem with your crib setup when the world is full of pictures modeling unsafe sleep. According to the AAP Safe Sleep position your crib should be safe, dark, and dull. That’s it.

  • No blankets or pillows.
  • No bumpers unless they’re the thin “breathable” kind.
  • Nothing within in reach – no electrical outlets, cords, window blinds, mobiles, etc.
  • Baby on back
  • No sleep positioners.

It looks like this (baby not pictured).
safe baby crib

To be clear what it looked like when my 3 year old was sleeping in it was more like this. Which is totally fine when they’re 3. Not so much when they’re babies.
3 year old child sleep environment

Look, I get that decorating baby rooms is really fun. And honestly it’s the last decorating you’ll get to do until they’re 10 because it’s almost impossible to fix up your house when there are small children living in it. But let’s keep the emphasis on decorating around the crib, instead of in the crib.

In closing I wanted to share a few personal pet peeves when it comes to cribs, sleep, and safety.

  • Stop with the bumpers. Just stop it. Stop buying them. Stop using them. And for the love of everything holy, stop pinning pictures of them on Pinterest.
  • I don’t care how great your baby sleeps on his tummy. Never put your baby down to sleep on his tummy. Don’t write me asking if it’s OK. Because it’s not. Don’t put your newborn to sleep on their tummy. (Once they flip over on their own you can leave them in whatever position they have moved themselves into.)
  • Not a safety issue but if it lights up or makes music you probably don’t want it in the crib.
  • Also not a safety issue but you don’t need that $100 crib quilt. Sure it looks cool when you fold it over the crib in the months before you give birth. But after baby shows up it’s unsafe to leave it there. And if your baby can’t use the fancy quilt you bought for them, what’s the point?

Anybody else have any pet peeves they want to share? Examples of safety hazards you were given as shower gifts? Observations on my appalling lack of photographic skills?

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Everything You Ever Hoped to Know About Swaddle Blankets

Everything You Ever Hoped to Know About Swaddle Blankets

Talking about swaddling blankets is a lot like talking about cutting toenails. Neither is very likely to get you invited to the next cocktail party. But you can’t blog about how critical swaddling is without also talking about swaddling blankets. What are other people using? Which ones work best? Or don’t work at all?

So, I implemented a highly scientific study of the swaddling blanket market. This looked something like asking peeps on Facebook and on the Troublesome Tots G+ Community. Over 200 people chimed in. I’m pretty sure it qualifies as the most robust analysis of the swaddle blanket industry ever. Which makes me the world’s leading swaddle blanket analyst. Which is so stunningly uncool that we’ll simply agree never speak of it again. Moving on.

It seems that the type of attractive and smarter than average people who read my blog are using these products:
swaddle blanket market

By a large margin, the two most popular swaddling blankets are the SwaddleMe and Halo Sleepsack (with velcro). Both of these have a sleeping bag pouch to keep legs warm and a velcro wrap to keep the arms down and minimize the startle reflex. Both provide idiot-proof velcro which is helpful for those of us who are baby-wrapping-challenged. This means they also both have the DISadvantage which is that some babies are strong enough to break free of the velcro.

Please note that while the sleeping bag idea is a great way to keep baby toes warm, there is no soothing benefit from having their legs IN the pouch. Swaddling is all about the arms and upper body. Occasionally somebody will tell me they’re weaning baby off the swaddle by starting with the legs. This is a lot like cutting down on your coffee consumption by not eating coffee ice cream.

Personally I like both the SwaddleMe and the Halo Sleepsack. They meet my key criteria in that they’re inexpensive (~$20 each), do the job, and are easy to use. That being said, the SwaddleMe is my FAVORITE choice for one simple reason. You can use it with baby’s legs IN or OUT of the pouch. Why would you care about this?

Because if your baby is sleeping in a Rock n Play, swing, car seat, etc. you’ll need access to your baby’s legs to safely strap him INTO those things. So the ability to leave the lower half of his body out of the swaddle will be key for you. As an added bonus the unused “leg pouch” will be between baby and the seat which gives you an extra layer of poop/leak protection. Surprisingly the SwaddleMe doesn’t include this in their marketing messages. Perhaps they should hire me for help with this.

For “break out of the velcro” babies the Miracle Blanket is a popular option. I’m also a big fan of these.

PROS: While no product is 100% break-out-proof, the Miracle Blanket comes darn close.

CONS: At $30 they’re almost 50% more expensive then their velcro brethren. Also the Miracle Blanket is more challenging to get on. Wrapping the baby up in what is effectively straight jacket is no small task. Failure to get it right will lead to more “baby popping out” problems.

swaddle pod swaddle blanketsThe Woombie and SwaddlePod are both stretchy sleeping bags that make your baby look like a cute little sweet pea. I’ll be honest – the only difference between the Woombie and the SwaddlePod that I can discern is that the Woombie costs 2X as much.

PROS: There is no “strap” to break free of so babies are going to stay IN the stretchy sack…

until they figure out how to work their hands up and out of the neck hole. Also they allow movement within the sack so the baby’s arms aren’t held down by the side which is generally the recommended position. Where most swaddle blankets listed here had a strong, consistent group of “fans”, feedback on the sleeping bag options (Woombie and SwaddlePod) was decidedly MIXED with 50% falling in the “love it!” camp and 50% suggesting that you should, “save your money for something more useful – which would be anything.”

Sidenote: be careful about Googling any phrase which includes the word “strap” in it. There are things you can never un-see. *shudder*

Only a few peeps are using these but those that are absolutely ADORE them. Aptly named, it’s a strap with velcro.

PROS: I like the concept. If you aren’t using the leg pouch in the SaddleMe or Sleepsack anyway, these might be a good option for you. They are small and come in fashionable colors. I mention this in case baby sleep fashion is a key concern for you. (Is it?)

CONS: They’re a bit expensive ($28) and they don’t sell them on Amazon (aka where I buy everything other than food).

Believe it or not some people use actual BLANKETS. If you’re looking for the best swaddle blanket you want an Aden + Anais muslin swaddling blanket (preferably the 47 X 47 inch jumbo size). A small but stalwart group of fans raved about these and I also can personally attest to their awesomeness. I wouldn’t normally go for a fancy swaddling blanket but these are well worth it. They’re giant and do a fantastic job of keeping baby from popping out. They’re durable, fold up small so that they can be easily carried in a diaper bag, and they look cool. Also they’re muslin which is amazing for it’s ability to keep baby warm in the winter and also cool in the summer.

Did I miss any swaddle blanket gems that I should know about? Good/bad swaddle blanket experiences you’ve had?

{Photo Credit: Aaronandstacia and Dizzylizzy}

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Eat Play Sleep Fail

Eat Play Sleep Fail

Eat Play Sleep is a popular baby management plan that shows up in a number of best-selling books (Baby Whisperer, BabyWise, etc.). I’ve steered clear of the Eat Play Sleep conundrum because I don’t like to poke at other baby sleep people. Mostly because I don’t want them to poke back at me. But today I’m going to put in MY big girl panties, because I think we need to talk about the E.A.S.Y. sleep plan. Because E.A.S.Y. is often not easy at all.

Eat Play sleep or E.A.S.Y. stands for Eat Activity Sleep Your time. In theory the Eat Play Sleep plan ensures your baby will take 2 hour naps so “Your Time” will enable you to prepare fancy Pinterest recipes or finally watch that Pilates video you bought but still haven’t taken the wrapper off yet (don’t lie to me, I know you have one).

Note: If Eat Play Sleep is working gangbusters for you – GREAT! I’m delighted to hear it. Stop reading here. Go read something fun instead. Like my favorite post ever (and sadly I didn’t even WRITE it). If however, you’re having a hard time of it, read on.

There are two key elements to the E.A.S.Y. or Eat Play Sleep method (these are effectively the same thing, so for simplicity I’m going to use E.A.S.Y.):

  • Nursing to sleep is taken off the table. Sure you still need to get your baby to fall asleep (using sushpat, pick up put down, etc.) But you are not going to have any nurse = sleep association problems because nursing to sleep is not allowed.
  • It solves(ish) the “what does my baby need?” conundrum because you are now following a scheduled plan. So there is a lot less noodling on things like, “Baby is crying. Is he hungry? Is he tired? Does he have gas? How should I handle this?” If he’s crying and it’s EAT time, you feed him. If he’s crying and it’s SLEEP time you put him to sleep.

eat play sleep and your babyBut between you and me I hate the whole EASY thing. I totally get the appeal. Lots of people really thrive on schedules and loathe the chaos that newborns bring to the picture. They want to be able to plan their day and have some degree of predictability. They also like to feel like they’re driving the bus vs. just desperately running on the baby hamster wheel. And at a certain point introducing a consistent rhythm is really helpful for everybody. Also new parents are often EXHAUSTED which means their brain is functioning on the same level as a squirrel. So trying to deduce hunger cues, sleepy cues, etc. is a struggle especially when more challenging babies don’t give good (or any) cues. And to be fair there are good elements to this approach, such as the emphasis on putting baby down awake and not keeping baby awake too long. But I see a lot of people getting stuck on the eat play sleep plan and the problem isn’t their implementation or their baby. It’s the plan.

Everybody has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.
-Mike Tyson

Hopefully the problems with the E.A.S.Y. sleep plan are jumping out at you at this point but if not I’ll clarify.

  • You’re going to put your baby to sleep SOMEHOW. Taking “nurse to sleep” off the table doesn’t guarantee that you’ll successfully get baby to sleep some other way. Nursing/feeding a newborn to sleep is so very popular because it’s so very EFFECTIVE. Removing that from your naptime arsenal can make the first few months with a newborn REALLY STRESSFUL.
  • Sometimes babies have needs that don’t line up elegantly with the plan! Growth spurts, illness, the fact that it’s a Tuesday – these things can all throw you OFF the plan. If you’re confident working within a plan and maintaining a level of flexibility that’s not a problem. But I see many parents who are rigidly adhering to the plan and/or feeling like a failure because they can’t.
  • Trying to schedule and space out your baby’s feedings during the day can have the unintended consequence of having them shift their feedings into the night. Sure some babies can tank up on a big feed and thus successfully nurse every 3-4 hours during the day. Some will just make up for the lost daytime meals by filling in with extra nighttime meals. Which is related to…
  • By definition, the Eat Play Sleep sleep plan means that when you put your baby down for a nap, they haven’t eaten in a while. If your E.A.S.Y. napping baby takes short naps all day long, hunger may very well be a culprit. Even if you don’t want to nurse your baby TO sleep you can still feed your baby NEAR sleep to avoid this problem. Unless you’re militantly following the E.A.S.Y. plan in which case I hope you enjoy those 25 minute naps.

Does Eat Play Sleep work for lots of babies? Sure it does. The truth is that most babies are pretty flexible and you could pick any best-selling baby sleep book (hopefully this one) and if you’re consistent, it’s going to work for you. But if you’ve got a challenging baby, if things are not going so smoothly, if you’re using Eat Play Sleep and you’re struggling with short naps, struggling to get baby to take a nap at all, or have a baby who eats CONSTANTLY all night, I would suggest that Eat Play Sleep may not be as E.A.S.Y. as you hoped. And I’m not alone in this, check out with Dr. Karp has to say about it.

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If you had luck (good or bad) with Eat Play Sleep please share your story! Also is anybody else impressed that I managed to work a Mike Tyson quote into a baby sleep blog? I feel like I just won some writing prompt competition with that one. Like instead of quoting Plato or Mr. Rogers I’m going to find the most child-inappropriate people and shoehorn their words of wisdom in to posts from now on. Hmmm…I may actually do that.

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Luke and Jude 1 month

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You know how sometimes time goes so slowly, but it goes by quickly as well? This is one of those times. It’s hard to believe a month has passed.

They are both still eating around 3 hours during day. They wake up for their feed about half the time (almost always on the 3 hour mark–it’s amazing!) and Sharon wakes them up for a feed the other half of the time. Sometimes they’ll wake up earlier than 3 hours, but so far it seems to be a sleep issue, not a hunger issues, and she is able to get them to go back to sleep with a little help. If they were hungry before 3 hours, she would feed them. She is following the PDF method and EWS routine and encourages full feeds. She mainly follows the baby whisperer’s methods right now, although she isn’t as worried about sleep props as the Hogg is. She does what she needs to do to ensure her babies get enough sleep and that she doesn’t get too overwhelmed.

At night, they usually go 3 hours at first then she wakes them for a feed. After that, they usually sleep 5 hours (followed by a feed) then 4 hours then it is time to get up for the day. I know, pretty awesome for a month old, especially twins. About every other night one of the twins will have sleep difficulty at night. Sharon generally holds them or puts them in a swing (if it’s Jude, Luke hates the swing right now) and they fall right back asleep. If they didn’t fall back asleep easily, she’d consider that they were hungry and feed them, and the other twin, sooner than usual.

Eating is going well. Sharon got mastitis which made life pretty horrible for a few days. She took antibiotics which cleared it up (yes, I asked her if it was ok to mention this–we’ve been discussing these posts and what to write, she’s just too busy to write them herself). She’s also had issues with blocked ducts. If you’ve had those, you know they are pretty painful. A heating pad has turned out to be the most helpful thing for her with these.

The twins have both gained weight well, even a little above average (which is pretty normal for the nephews/nieces in my family whether breast or bottle fed). My sister’s comment after we weighed them last was “who says you can’t breastfeed a baby on a schedule and have them thrive–and I’m feeding two!” Exactly.

Sometimes they will get fussy during their bedtime and late evening feed. Usually offering a pacifier for a minute will calm them down then they’ll eat.

Luke always takes longer to eat even though he is the lighter of the two twins. Shows you how different all babies are.

Jude is a better sleeper than Luke  He settles more easily and stays asleep longer without help. But his digestive tract is also a bit more sensitive so you can’t have it all 🙂  Luke gets overstimulated more easily and swaddling seems to especially help him settle down before sleep–the tighter the better. Sharon uses a halo swaddler right now. It’s been keeping them swaddled well most of the time and it’s pretty quick to put on–important when you’ve got two you’re trying to swaddle and get to sleep. She’s also a fan of the miracle blanket. They sleep in the newborn rock and play sleeper much of the time still. This bed is pretty common for single babies, but I’ve found it is really common (and a bit of a life saver) for multiples.

Sharon isn’t doing cluster feeding in the evening. Trying to fit that in with two babies while taking care of other children and dinner is too difficult. Neither baby has seemed to be hungry sooner (except for a few rare occasions) so she hasn’t worried about it. She is sort of doing the DF around 10:30, although it is more like a normal feed than a sleepy feed.

Waketime Length
They’re usually up as long as it takes Sharon to feed them, change their diapers and put them back to sleep. So like an hour. If one of them spits up all over his clothes (likely Jude!) or poops twice it takes longer. She’d like to consider waketimes more, but she can only move so quickly with two babies so she does the best she can.

Evening Fussies
Yes, they’ve got them, the evening fussies. Luke has especially gotten fussy the last couple weeks, although the fussiness level seems to vary from day to day. Sharon and her husband/friend/family member usually spend their evenings holding the babies from their bedtime (7:30 ish feed) to late evening (10:30 ish) feed. Sometimes they’ll surprise her and sleep well during this time, but she doesn’t count on it. If she’s holding them, they will sleep OK. They often fall asleep for a few minutes, start to get fussy, are calmed back to sleep and repeat.

After the late evening (10:30) ish feed, they seem to go to sleep half the time and half the time one of them will be fussy and need some help for some time before going to sleep for his longest stretch of sleep at night.

How is mom doing?
Sharon’s emotions have been doing pretty well. She’s had a couple days where she started to feel pretty overwhelmed but overall it’s been ok. She’s tired, but she doesn’t feel so tired that she’s unable to function half decently. She tries to take a short nap or two a day when she can which helps tremendously. She’s still pretty hesitant to leave the house by herself with all her kids. It’s hard to manage a toddler and baby twins at once at home, but away from home is another story. Life right now is one cycle after another. Feed baby, change diaper, put to sleep, repeat. She’s trying to enjoy her babies while they are little, but at the same time, she’s a little excited for when this phase is over with 🙂

On a side note, she’s found that the twins are much easier and less stressful for her than her first baby was. Not only was she a first time mom then (which is really stressful for many of us–myself included), but her oldest was a very difficult baby and always fought sleep. I’m mentioning this as a reminder that every baby is different and some are much harder to take care of than others, even if you are doing an amazing job (which, you likely are). Yes, your neighbor’s child may sleep like an angel and always be smiling, but that doesn’t mean your neighbor is doing anything better than you are with your sleep resisting, fussy newborn. Babies, parents, life situations etc are different, and that can make all the difference in the world.

You can check out Luke and Jude on Week 1 here.

7 Essential Infant Tips For New Parents

This guest article was written by Heather Irvine,Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, Postpartum Doula, Newborn Care Specialist, and Certified Lactation Counselor

There is nothing more magical and exhilarating than becoming a new parent. Those first few weeks are filled with wonder, amazement, and pure joy as you get to know your baby.

Through the years, I’ve given birth to five children of my own, and have spent numerous hours consulting with families just like yours. I’ve found that there are some simple steps you can take that will help you get into a nice groove during the first few months with your baby. These essential infant tips will also help reduce the stress and overwhelm of adjusting to life as a new parent.

Keep things low-key during the first few months

Your newborn baby needs an adjustment period once you bring him home, and so will you. Keeping things low-key in these early months will help tremendously.infant tips

Babies can be very sensitive to new changes, especially sights, sounds, smells, and new people. These new experiences can be overwhelming to your baby’s fragile nervous system, and he will need you to help protect him from overstimulation.

Try to limit visitors to once per day, and when you do have visitors, try to limit how many people handle your new baby. Too much passing around or running about town may cause a major meltdown for your baby and leave you exhausted. You may have lofty goals of getting out and showing him off, but you will find very quickly that staying close to home is probably a better bet.

Arrange for Help

Take up offers from any friends and family that are willing to lend a hand. Your only goal during these first few weeks should be to rest and bond with your baby. Ask others bring you meals, clean your house, or run errands for you.

If you can, consider calling in a part-time sitter or nanny after your partner returns to work so that you have some relief. Taking care of your baby 24/7 is a challenging job, and you will need time to relax and take a brief rest break from caring for your baby.
Plan this ahead of time if you are able, and ensure that you have support scheduled for at least the first 2 to 3 months. You can alternate between friends, family, neighbors and paid help to get you through this time. Trust me, you will be glad you did!

Be Prepared with some Essentials

There are many products I recommend new parents have on hand, but there are a few staples I have at the top of my list.

For parents: Stock your pantry and fridge with healthy and easy-to prepare snacks and meals. You won’t have the energy or time to do much cooking and having food that takes no prep or very little – will help you stay energized and less overwhelmed.
If you are a breastfeeding mom, make sure to have a good breastfeeding book on hand to reference and the number to a Lactation Consultant or Center. When problems arise, you will want quick solutions.

For your baby: Have a swing, swaddle blankets and white noise machine on hand. They are wonderful calming tools!

Establish good feeding patterns for your baby

You’d think that this would be a no-brainer, right? Believe it or not getting feeding off to a good and healthy start takes some work.

If you are bottle-feeding, make sure to watch your baby as he feeds, so that you can pick up on his cues and catch when he is done or needs to be burped. This can help feeding times go smoothly and avoid unnecessary feeding challenges.

If you are breastfeeding, follow your baby’s lead and feed him when he is hungry. Breastfed babies feed quite often in these early weeks, and you may feel like nursing is all you do all day. Rest assured that this is normal, and it does get easier as time goes by. If you struggle at any time with breastfeeding, be sure to contact a lactation specialist for help at the first sign of trouble. It’s the quickest and easiest way to get things back on track.

Learn which items can calm your baby

Parents have the greatest ability at finding creative ways to calm their babies (this includes you!). Try a variety of things and observe what works best for your baby. Don’t be afraid of relying on soothing tools (pacifiers, swings, holding, rocking, etc.) in these early months. Your baby will likely need help, and it is perfectly fine to use these items. Don’t worry, they will NOT cause any long term bad habits and can eventually be phased out once your baby is older.

Make a plan to get the sleep you need

These first few months are all about adjustment, and this includes sleep. There will be a period where sleep is different than what you are used to during these first few months. Make a plan to share the baby duties so that each parent can get a good 5-6 hour stretch of sleep EVERY night.

Consider split shifts, nights, or bring in help during the day so that BOTH parents can rest. Feel free to use the swing, bouncy seat, or rocker if it helps everyone get more sleep. Take nap breaks and sleep when your baby does in order to get those extra few hours of rest your body needs.

Slowly weave gentle routines into your day

It’s easy to find yourself still in your pajamas at 6:00 p.m. when you’re a new parent. After these first few weeks, start to weave some gentle routines into your day. As hard as it seems, try to get up and take a quick shower and get dressed, throw on some comfy yoga pants and soft t-shirt and save those pjs for evening time.

Take a walk every day and get some fresh air. Getting a good dose of sunshine will be good for you and your baby! Try singing the same song or reading the same book before you put your baby to bed. Doing these things can help bring more predictability to your day and make your baby feel calm and secure.

Heather IrvineHeather Irvine is a Certified GSC, Postpartum Doula, Newborn Care Specialist & Certified Lactation Counselor. As if those specialties weren’t enough, she also has 5 (yes, 5!!) children of her own!

What is YOUR essential tip for new parents? Was it covered here?

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photo credit: David Terrazas via photopin cc

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Bottle Snugglers Receives the Baby Planner Seal of Approval

Bottle Snugglers

Often times you hear a mom say “I wish I had one more hand so I could get things done.” As many of us know, taking care of our children and running a household on a day-to-day basis can be overwhelming at times. Is there such a thing that will help us tend to our kids while, at the same time, allowing us to be productive at home? Well, I am here to tell you about a product that can help!

Jennifer Marko, Founder of Bottle Snuggler, wants to help moms take a two second break from feeding one child so that they can either tend to another or simply take a quick mommy break. This doesn’t mean that a child should be left alone while using this product. Marko’s incredibly useful idea is an adorable bottle holder that doubles up as a stuffed animal for a child.  You have the choice of: Pinky Pig, Charming Teddy Bear, Cuddly Cow, or Precious Puppy. We received the ultra soft, well made, Precious Puppy for this review. I had mommy tester, Lovelyn (Jasmine’s mommy) from California, test out the product and here is what she had to say:

“Thanks for letting Jasmine try the Bottle Snuggler! I have 9 oz. Avent bottles which are wide and short, and I found it a little difficult to slide and adjust the Bottle Band around the bottle even when positioning the Bottle Band over the nipple end first.  Although she’s already knows how to hold a bottle, she still lets go of it sometimes and it would roll on the floor; the Bottle Snuggler kept the bottle in place even when she let go, which was great!  She also liked to chew on the dog’s ears!”

I contacted Jennifer after reading Lovelyn’s testimonial and told her about the bottle band issue, but Jennifer was way ahead of the game. Jennifer wrote back immediately to let me know that she appreciated the comment and that a change to the bottle band was already in the works. The Company is updating the design of the bottle band in their next production round so that they wrap around the bottle and Velcro, rather than being a full loop that goes over the bottle. This will definitely help people with wide or skinny bottles get an easy fit!

It’s important to remember that a product like this one is to help mom temporarily. A child should never be left unattended. It is extremely important that child be encouraged to hold their own bottle 98% of the time for developmental reasons.

Thanks so much to Jennifer for thinking of ways to help mommy out. As she knows firsthand, we try to be everywhere to do everything, but sometimes we just need a helping hand.  Thank goodness for the Bottle Snuggler! You can purchase the Bottle Snuggler for yourself or as a gift on their website, The product retails for $20.95, which is a very reasonable price for something so helpful, especially if you are a mom of multiples!




I have to admit my youngest has totally been my guinea pig these past few months. It’s hard not to elect him since many of the wonderful things that come across my desk, given the line of work I am in, are for his age group. I recently had the pleasure of having him try a new sleep aid, the Hands to Heart Sleep Swaddle, designed by a well known pediatric sleep consultant, Angelique Millette.

I know what you are thinking! With the many sleep options for babies these days, what is the difference with this one? Angelique used her 15+ years of experience to create what she tags as “The Natural Way for Babies to Sleep” swaddle. The swaddle consists of a swaddle wing and a side zippered sleep sack. It’s made of 100% non-dyed cotton, made in the USA, natural in color and the swaddle sack comes in two different sizes, small and medium. The access zipper on the sleep sack makes diaper changes possible and quick!

Our sample arrived in beautiful packaging along with a thank you note and instructions. The company also included a fact sheet titled Ten Important Sleep Facts for Babies 0 -12 months. They gave us the small to try out. Unfortunately, we used it for just a couple of weeks because my little guy out grew the sleep sack pretty fast. The small is good for infants 0 to 4 months of age and my little guy was 3 months at the time. The swaddle wing grows with your baby, but you know that it is not recommended if your baby is starting to turn over. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I also had to stop using the swaddle wing because my little guy started turning over before he was 4 months old….that is quite unusual.  The swaddle is wonderfully soft and easy to put on. As part of his bed time routine, I bathe him then nurse him and he usually falls right to sleep. I was able to put him in the sleep sack after his bath, nurse him and then lay him down on the swaddle wing and wrap him up. Can you believe he didn’t wake up? Like many other infants his age, he wakes up a few times at night, but I do have to admit that he did sleep a bit more. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long…..growth spurt and developmental changes got in the way! Hahahaha. You can read many rave reviews from other parents, watch video demonstrations, obtain sleep information and purchase your very own swaddle system by visiting their website,



Dr. Karp Part 2 Answers Two Key Swaddling Questions

Dr. Karp Part 2 Answers Two Key Swaddling Questions

I have actually made no secret of my unassailable love of swaddling. Swaddling babies could be the just thing I love more than Game of Thrones (Winter is coming, unless you live right here in VT where obviously winter is currently right here and evidently, never ever ending). Swaddling offers numerous advantages (not even consisting of how adorable little infant burritos are) that it’& rsquo; s among the couple of things that I recommend for ALL children. So please stop asking me the best ways to get your unswaddled newborn to sleep much better due to the fact that my response will always be to swaddle that child.

However obviously the moms and dads of these unswaddled babies put on’& rsquo; t’live under a rock. It & rsquo; s not that they put on & rsquo; t understand exactly what swaddling is’or haven & rsquo; t attempted it. They tried it and and have concerned the conclusion that, “& ldquo; Their child DESPISES THE SWADDLE.”

& rdquo; So this appeared like a perfect question to ask the Grand Poobah of infant swaddling, Dr. Karp. Do some infants just hate the swaddle? Or must ALL infants be swaddled?

The various other big swaddling issue that comes up regularly is, what do you do when your child absolutely ENJOYS the swaddle, however has found out how to flip over in it. You can never ever let a swaddled child rest on their stomach (seriously NEVER) so these safety-conscious parents ditch the swaddle only to wind up with an unswaddled non-sleeping child. Does Dr. Karp have any handy recommendations for the parents of flipping swaddle-loving children?

Also exactly what is the finest method to swaddle a child who is oversleeping a swing, rock n play, and so on that should be strapped in? I have long advised to merely leave the legs FROM the swaddle. Ends up there is a better means. Look into the brief video below and discover how!

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Happiest Baby Guide to Great SleepTrying to find more from Dr. Karp? If you’& rsquo; re struggling, it may be time to find a neighborhood certified Happiest Child teacher for some hands-on support. Or get his excellent book which will be readily available in paperback on March 19th. I understand, you’& rsquo; re most likely thinking you need an additional infant rest book like you require a great case of athlete’& rsquo; s foot. However honest, this one is worth a look.

Has Dr. Karp persuaded any of you moms and dads of swaddle-hating babies to offer it another go? Is anyone anxious about getting their swaddle-loving baby FROM the swaddle?

Dr. Karp Interview Part I Baby Swings and Safe Sleep

Dr. Karp Interview Part I Baby Swings and Safe Sleep

Dr. Karp Happiest Baby Guide to Great SleepMost of you understand who Dr. Karp is. If you put on’& rsquo; t? Well he & rsquo; s amazing. And frankly the reality that he’& rsquo; s outstanding most likely surpasses the fact that he’& rsquo; s a fellow with the American Academy of Pediatrics, is a USC teacher, and a best-selling author. Further, as you can see from the picture above we’& rsquo; re almost BFFs (there is a small chance that I’& rsquo; m overemphasizing that fact and this could simply be a picture taken after he spoke at a conference). Most of you know him from his terrific Happiest Infant DVD. I’& rsquo; m wishing to see to it you know him due to the fact that of the fantastic book The Happiest Child Guide to Great Sleep (offered in paperback on March 19th –– WOO HOO!).

Seriously peeps, this book is right up there with Ferber and Weissbluth in the “& ldquo; have to buy & rdquo; category

. Anyhoo for a broad range of reasons Dr. Karp is an all around cool man. He was catapulted into the classification of uber-cool when he accepted an interview by Skype where I might pepper with him with questions about swaddle-hating children, pacifier troubles, child swings, the eat-play-sleep approach, and a lot of various other things.

Nevertheless because obviously nobody will see a YouTube video longer than 3 minutes (this is internet law, right up there with thou shalt not look for infant assistance on Yahoo Responses) I’& rsquo; m breaking our interview into small pieces and will be posting them below in a series. There is a bunch of fantastic baby rest ideas right here and I urge you to subscribe to my newsletter (over there on the right) so you’& rsquo; ll understand when every little thing gets uploaded.

[KEEP IN MIND: This IS Dr. Karp although he appears like he’s talking to me through the witness protection program which has actually blurred his face to keep his identity a trick. Sadly it’s just an inadequate web connection. However you can hear what he’s stating which’s the fundamental part right? RIGHT ?!?]

If you aren’& rsquo; t familiar with Dr. Karp then begin right here with a brief intro on why I enjoy him so.

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I’& rsquo; ve been rather clear in my support for infant swings as an effective rest aid. Plainly not ALL infants require the swing but bunches of newborns succeed in them and a lot of older infants nap like champions in a good infant swing.

But invariably the question turns up –– is it safe? Plainly the AAP suggestion is that babies oversleep their baby cribs at all times. And definitely the objective is that at some point your baby will be happily oversleeping the baby crib too. And for this reason I always recommend you run the concept of your baby sleeping in the swing by your very own cherished pediatrician.

Dr. Karp has also long been a supporter of infant swings. He talks about the power of motion for infant soothing in his Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. However what about the wellness concern for rest? I asked Dr. Karp this question, examine out the video to see what he needed to state about it.

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I’& rsquo; ve got even more excellent stuff with Dr. Karp you succeeded’& rsquo; t desire to miss out on out on. Subscribe to my newsletter and I’& rsquo; ll let you understand when it’& rsquo; s offered. Next up the best ways to get out of reinserting the paci all night long!

Anyone relieved to have a pediatric celeb back up your choice to let infant nap in the swing? Delighted by the potential customer of video content (yay or nay on the video things)? This is all brand-new ground for me and I welcome your ideas!