Gross Motor Skills for Infants

Developing Your Babies Gross Motor Skills - Definitive Guide

One of the pleasures of having a baby is watching them grow and develop into little people.  It has to be one of the happiest moments for parents when they see their little one roll over or take their first steps.   However, for your baby to reach these important milestones your baby will first need to develop motor skills.  Specifically, both gross and fine motor skills.  Fine and gross motor skills for infants lay the foundations and abilities for your baby to perform the larger movements like rolling and crawling.  In this article we are going to cover everything you need to know about your baby's motor skills.  We look at what they are and why they are so important to develop. We also walk you through the developmental journey your baby should undertake during their first year.  DISCLAIMER: at the Best Baby Care Tips team, we always like to highlight that these milestones are only guides and should not be treated as gospel.  What we mean by this is that we encourage our community not to fixate on your baby not hitting a particular milestone within a certain time frame.  All babies develop at different rates.  We like to encourage our community to stress less and enjoy the journey. 

What is a Gross Motor Skill?

Gross Motor Skills for Infants

Gross motor skills are the skills that babies use to move about and become mobile. Gross motor skills typically engage a large group of muscles in order to achieve the movement. This can include actions like crawling, rolling over and sitting up. The term ‘gross’ refers to how big these movements need to be before we consider it an independent task.

What is a Fine Motor Skill?

A fine motor skill is one where you have to control small muscle groups with precision. These types of tasks require more focus than gross motor skills as they involve smaller muscle groups which means there will be less room for error.

For babies, there are many fine motor skills they will need to master to use in combination with their gross motor skills. For example, fine skills like grasping onto an object requires the fine movements of their hand and fingers, combined with their eyes for precise hand-eye coordination.

Why is it important that my Baby Develop Motor Skills 

Gross Motor Skills for Infants

Motor skills are important for two main reasons. First, they help your baby explore and learn about the world around them. Second, they will help your baby develop the necessary skills required to be a self-sufficient toddler. Motor skills are skills that are used to control movement of body parts such as the hands, feet, hips, or mouth. By moving these body parts in different ways, your baby’s brain is being trained to be more coordinated and aware of their surroundings. As these motor skills develop, your baby will start playing with toys that require coordination and dexterity.

The development of motor skills can impact a child in many ways.  It is not only restricted to your baby's movements.  Improper development of motor skills can hinder social interactions with other babies, and it can leave your baby prone to accidents and injuries in their day-to-day learning and development. 

Some benefits of developing gross motor skills for infants are:

Gross Motor Skills for Infants Developmental Journey

The first year of a child's life is filled with many milestones.  It's a time of much learning and development, all for the purpose of preparing them for the adventures to come.

The first twelve months are critical for development, so to help you understand the skills they need to develop, we have listed below a loose guide for what to look out for.

Gross Motor Skills for Infants - (0 - 6 months)

It would be easy to think that a newborn wouldn't be developing much by way of motor skills due to their lack of movement.  However, just because they are not moving, doesn't mean they are not absorbing everything around them. Even the smallest of movements is your baby trying new things and gaining new skills. 

With that in mind, in no particular order here is a list of gross motor skills for infants aged under the age of 6 months:

Gross Motor Skills for Infants - (6 - 12 months)

After the first six months, the motor skills become much more noticeable and pronounced. Things also become much more interactive and, well, to be honest...a lot more fun! 

Here is a list of the skills you can expect to observe between the ages 6 - 12 months of your baby's development:

Things to Watch out for During Developmental Journey

Okay - before we get into this section we have to re-emphasize our point that every baby develops at their own pace.  So only take these warnings with a grain of salt - and as always, if you have any concerns about your baby's development please seek the advice from a medical professional in your local area. 

That being said, here are a few things to watch for during the first year of your baby's development that may raise from flags for you:

Like we said, if your little one is hitting their milestones at the right time, rather than panic, we suggest helping them along their journey of development.  Do constructive exercises with them and engage them - babies love engagement. 

Activities to Encourage your Baby's Motor Skill Development

We all want the best for our little ones, and we know that you will want to do everything in your power to help them develop.  So with that in mind we have developed a detailed article listing down gross motor activities for infants that will assist them to develop the necessary skills.  We encourage you to check it out.

Key Takeaways from Gross Motor Skills for Infants

Gross motor skills are in integral part of your baby's development.  

Understanding what to look for in your baby along their developmental journey will help you identify if and when you should assist them to learn new skills. 

In this article we have highlight the important of gross motor skills for infants, and when you can expect to observe them demonstrating these skills. 

Let us know how your baby's developmental journey is going in the comments section below. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep

What to do if Your Baby Rolls Over in Their Sleep - Don't Panic!

Rolling over is a major milestone in any baby’s development. It can be an exciting time for parents, however it can also raise some justified concerns. Rolling over means that the baby can now change positions during the night resulting in them sleeping on their side or tummy.

Rolling over while sleeping can be alarming for many parents.  Especially if it happens while your baby is sleeping on their tummy. This is because it can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

In this article we address the concerns many parents have with their baby rolling over in their sleep. We look at what it means now that your baby is now able to roll, and some actions you can take to discourage your little one from rolling over while they sleep. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep - Should I be Worried?

Baby Rolls Over While Sleeping

Rolling over is an important milestone for young babies.

It can be a curious stage of development for them.   It indicates that their bodies and muscles are developing. Rolling over is often a milestone that lets parents know that their little one is ready to start moving around and becoming mobile. This is a good thing. 

But what about when baby rolls over when they are sleeping? This can be a bit concerning during the initial stages when they may not have the necessary strength to push themselves back onto their sides or back onto their backs. 

However, during the later stages of development when they have learned how to roll back and forth and gained the core strength, letting your precious one sleep on their stomach becomes considerably less risky. 

In fact, some babies prefer to sleep on their stomachs.  They find it comforting and soothing, allowing them to get a better, more sound, sleep. 

What to Do if your Baby Rolls Over in their Sleep

Babies roll over in their sleep no matter how much you watch them. Don't worry, it's normal and nothing to be worried about.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if your baby starts rolling over:

What NOT to do when your baby begins to roll over in their sleep

Like we've said before...first thing NOT to do when you see your baby sleeping on their stomach is panic.  Check that they are breathing and then take one breath for yourself. When you panic, your body jumps into a fight or flight response and your thinking isn't as logical as normal.  Therefore, it is easy to jump to conclusions and accidentally wake your baby up from a restful sleep. 

You also need to fight your impulse to box your little onein with cushions surrounding them, so they cannot physically roll over.  This actually creates more of a hazard and is potentially harmful to your sleeping bubs. If a cushion accidentally falls on top of your baby's face, it could result in it smothering them resulting in suffocation.  Alternatively, if your baby is beginning to roll in their sleep, they may roll onto their side and push their face against a cushion - again resulting in suffocation. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep - How to Stop Them & Reduce the Risk

Earlier we touched on a few things you can do to stop your baby from rolling while asleep. Let's elaborate a bit more on the tips we mentioned earlier. 

Baby Rolling Over in Sleep

Key Takeaways from Baby Rolling Over In Sleep

We understand seeing your little bubs sleeping on their stomach can be an unnerving picture for any parent - however before you panic about your baby rolling over in sleep and decide to jump in and save them, there are some things you should consider. 

Depending on their age and stage of development, a baby sleeping on their stomach isn't necessarily as risky as it may seem. 

If your little one is strong enough to roll themselves back onto their side or back, it is quite possible that you should leave them be. 

However, if you are insistent on stopping them from sleeping on their tummies, there are a few things you can do. Things like swaddling, pacifying and helping them develop their bodies will lead to a safe sleeping environment for your baby. 

Let us know your opinion on babies that roll over in their sleep - what did you do?  Or maybe you did nothing. Leave us a comment below.  

Baby Not Rolling Over at 6 months

Why is My Baby Not Rolling Over at 6 months?

If you are a parent that is concerned about your baby not rolling over yet - you are not alone. 

It's a common misconception that babies are meant to develop skills and reach milestones by target ages. This often leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety in new parents.

If there is one thing you take away from this article make it this - these milestones are guides and only that.  All babies develop differently.  Just because your baby didn't hit a particular milestone doesn't mean there is something wrong with them.  

Now for the topic at hand -is your baby not rolling over at 6 months, baby not rolling over at 5 months, or even baby not rolling over at 7 months? Do not fret - we have got you covered in this article. 

We will explore the mechanics of rolling over and the role it plays in your babies development.  We will look at how to set your baby up for success for rolling over independently.  We look at how you can assist your baby to learn the motor skills and also strengthen the necessary muscles to achieve a roll over.

After reading this, your baby will soon be doing rolls all over your living room you will be wondering when they will stop - here's a hint...they don't 🙂 

When Should a Baby Roll Over?

baby not rolling over at 6 months

Rolling over is a developmental milestone that typically occurs between 4-6 months of age. We say typically only because we, at the Best Baby Care Tips Team, like to remind you it is only a guideline for developmental milestones. 

Some babies start rolling over before they reach 4 months.  And at the same time you can also have a 6 month old not rolling over. Every baby is different.

We often say, rather than looking at a particular age a baby should be rolling over, we like to recommend parents to watch for the signs and behavior from your baby. Watch for indications from your baby for when they are telling you they are ready to roll. We go into these signals in the next section.      

We also like to remind our community if you are at all worried about your baby or their development, we always recommend seeking the advice of your pediatrician.  They can also help you identify if there are any other factors at play surrounding your babies development. 

Recognize These Signals That Baby Is Ready to Start Rolling Over

Being able to recognize when your baby is telling you "I want to roll over" is the best way to know when your baby is ready for some help.

With the vast experience of this community we have been able to create a collection of tips and signals parents have learned from their little ones that indicate they are ready to roll.  In no particular order these signals are:

If you witness any of the above signals from your baby, it is safe to say you can begin to teach your baby rolling techniques.

What If Baby Hasn’t Rolled Over Yet?

baby not rolling over at 6 months

One of the main reasons a baby may not be rolling over is due to lack of head control and muscles. So one of the first things we recommend for concerned parents is to begin developing their baby's muscles and skills with targeted exercises.  

Another reason why a baby hasn't rolled over is that they may be focusing on developing other skills that interest them more.  Listen and observe your baby's behavior.  Are they trying to develop fine motor skills and dexterity with their fingers?  Are they exploring sounds and experimenting with their vocal chords?  You are probably sick of hearing it, however we believe it is an extremely important point - all babies develop at different paces.  Your baby might just want to talk first rather than roll! 

How to Teach Baby to Roll Over

If you are worried that your baby not rolling over at 6 months, or isn't even showing any signs of wanting to learn there are some things you can do to encourage the behavior. 

For some indepth tips to help get baby rolling check out our article TIPS TO HELP BABY ROLL OVER.  In this article we go into detail of the exact steps for coaxing baby to roll. Things like playing with them in engaging activities, using the right baby equipment (and in some cases NOT using particular pieces of baby equipment), and teaching them the actions of how to shift their weight. 

How to Keep Baby Safe When Rolling Over

Now that you are encouraging your baby to roll, it is a good idea to take some safety precautions around your baby. This is especially important in and around your baby's sleeping environment when they may be out of your supervision. Once your baby begins to understand how to roll they won't stop wanting to roll.  Therefore taking these safety measures are a must:

  1. remove any cushions or crib protectors when you place your baby down to sleep.  If they haven't yet mastered the roll over motion, they may trap themselves against a cushion and not have the strength to reposition themselves.  As you can appreciate this can pose as a breathing hazard.
  2. stop swaddling your little one.  Now they have the strength in their arms and legs, your baby will only find the swaddle restrictive and frustrating.  Again this poses a danger as they may wriggle one arm or leg free, but still have the rest of their limbs swaddled, leaving them vulnerable to get themselves into a dangerous position. 
  3. never leave your baby on a couch or high surface.  With baby rolling on the cards, you can now be certain about one thing - they will be moving constantly.  Having them on a high surface poses a falling risk.

Sometimes babies can begin to roll over in their sleep. This can be extremely alarming to parents who are conscious of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). If you fall into this category we have the perfect article for you to read - Baby Rolling Over in Sleep.

Baby Stopped Rolling Over at 6 Months

There are times when your little one may have started to roll, but then stops for no apparent reason.  In these circumstances we often find the best solution is to begin with the basics.  Again, it may be a phase where they are exploring and developing other skills. Try re-engaging them with creative play.  Keep up with the exercises to continue to strengthen the muscle groups that help them to roll over.  The more interactive you are with them, the more likely they are to engage and be determined to roll over.  

baby not rolling over at 6 months

If you are at all concerned about your babies development and growth, we recommend going to see your local pediatrician for an assessment.  

Final Thoughts on Baby Not Rolling Over

Lets face it - as much as it has been fun having a stationary baby to play with they are going to want to move.

Rolling over is one of the first signs of your baby becoming mobile. In fact, some parents stress over the fact that their baby is not rolling over at 5 months, 6 months or even 7 months.  We have said it before and we'll say it again - every baby develops differently. 

If you are concerned about your baby we encourage you to read through this article to understand the many reasons that your baby hasn't reached this milestone yet.  You can encourage your baby to roll over by using our TIPS to HELP BABY ROLL OVER.  

Is your baby rolling over?  Let us know your tips in the comments section below so we can share our experiences with the wider Best Baby Care Tips community. 

Help Baby Roll Over

Tips to Help Baby Roll Over - Teach Your Baby to Roll Over

Did you know that rolling over is one of the first milestones for a baby? 

If your baby still isn't rolling over, you're not alone. It may seem like all your friends babies are learning how to roll over while your little bubs is no where near rolling.  It's important to have patience and take solace that your baby is doing absolutely fine.  

Rolling over can be tricky, but there are some things you can do to help your baby learn how to roll. 

One of the most common reasons why a baby doesn’t know how to roll over is because they are too young. The muscles and spine aren’t strong enough yet to lift their arm or leg. So one of the first things you can do is to assist your baby to strengthen their core and muscles. I can hear you asking "How do you get a baby to exercise?" That's where these tips can help.  

This article is designed to provide tips to the parents who want to help baby roll over.  The parents who want to give their little one a helping hand to reach that first milestone - rolling over.  

So without further delay, let's learn how to help baby learn to roll over.

When do babies roll over?

For a baby to learn how to roll over independently represents an important developmental milestone. 

Rolling over is their first step towards mobility - which is fantastic for them (maybe not so fantastic for you depending on how you want to look at it 😛 ). Rolling over also helps with the development of a baby's muscle structure in the arms, legs, back and shoulders. 

Being mobile opens up an entire new world of exploration and experimentation with you and wonderful textures/toys. 

But when should a baby learn to roll over independently? 

Babies can begin to roll from their back to their belly from around 3-4 months old, and from their belly to their side around 4-6 months old. It is best to pay special attention when your baby is first learning to roll from back to belly.  This is because when they do actually learn to roll one way, it can take a while for them to learn how to roll back.  Unfortunately, they will often get stuck on their belly. Either way they will be sure to let you know they are stuck by giving q quick cry of frustration. 

How to Help Baby Roll Over

help baby roll over

Babies learn sophisticated motor movements by interacting with their environment. It is through different cues in your baby's environment that you can encourage your baby to develop the necessary muscles and skills for rolling over.  Helping your baby to roll over is a milestone of its own, and there are many ways to encourage your baby.  Here are my favorite top tips to help baby roll over. 

Tummy time is the first step

One of the first steps you can do to help your baby develop strength and muscles for a roll over is tummy time.  Allowing your baby to spend time on their tummies helps them to build neck, arm and back muscles.  All these muscle groups are necessary to help baby roll over.  

Top Tip for new parents - your baby may find tummy time awkward and uncomfortable at first.  They will cry or let out noises of frustration in the first few sessions of tummy time.  And you will instinctively want to put them onto their back again.  But this is absolutely normal.  Tummy time is new to them, and they won't have developed the necessary strength to get themselves into a comfortable position.  Keep the first few tummy times sweet and short, and then gradually lengthen them as your baby gets used to it more.  As their muscles continue to develop and grow, you will notice them pushing and holding themselves up.  It is at this point you know they are ready to use their new-found strength for their rolling movement.  

Engage and Play with them

help baby roll over

When your baby is getting some floor time get down there and play with them.  Lie to their side and call their name.  Brush their cheek with the back of your hand.  Do anything to get their attention and engage with them.  Not only will this build the parent - baby bond.  It will encourage them to explore a new range of motor skills.  Skills needed to help them achieve an independent roll over. 

By repeatedly using toys to pique your baby's interest and encourage them to reach sideways, builds their muscles and core.     

Use Visual and Auditory Motivators

Baby toys like the baby floor gyms are a perfect learning tool to help baby roll over exercises. Especially the toy mats that have toys hanging on the arch that covers your baby.  The toys on the sides of the arch encourage your baby to reach and move in the sideways motion (the beginning of the roll over motor skill).   

Take for example, the Fisher Price Deluxe play gym above.  You can see in they have cleverly designed the gym mat to have toys dangling on the sides.  These will catch baby's attention and as they reach for them, they will develop the necessary muscles to lift their bodies over.  Fisher Price have also included a mirror on the side to spark babys curiosity - a great motivator to roll themselves over. 

The toys also usually have rattles or scrunchy noises that help to catch your baby's attention.  These are great for encouraging the reaching action. 

Let Gravity Help

Other ways to help baby roll over is to let thing happen naturally - and by naturally I mean letting gravity do the work. 

A babies brain is a sponge - it is constantly absorbing information from all around it's immediate environment.  You can use this to your advantage by lending a helping hand when your baby is showing signs of wanting to roll over.  When you see baby reaching for things to the side, fight the temptation to roll them over yourself.  Rather, follow these few steps to let their brain connect the dots of how to roll over. Simply...

  1. Gently lift the leg opposite to the direction they are reaching,
  2. Bring the leg up over their body.
  3. Then release the leg and let gravity take over.

By allowing your baby to experience this motion (with a little of your help), their brains will begin to recognize the muscle movements required to roll over.  Hopefully they will also understand that they can use gravity to help achieve a roll forwards and backwards. 

Weight shifting is key! 

Let's take a closer look at the previous gravity tip of teaching baby to roll over.  

Lifting your baby's leg up and over the center of their body shifts their weight.  Teaching your baby the process of shifting their weight from their back to the side is an important step in how to help baby roll over from back to tummy. 

By affording your baby the experience of weight shifting, they will hopefully link the 

Lifting a baby's leg up and over their body, changes their weight distribution.  Then, by letting gravity complete the roll over your baby begins to understand the first steps of the rolling action.  

Limit Time in Baby Equipment

This may or may not come as good news to you, however leaving your baby in baby equipment designed to support them while they are newborns can actually work against you. For clarity, we are talking about baby equipment like rockers or baby bouncers.

Don't get me wrong, having your little one in them while they are newborn is absolutely fine - if not necessary.   However, if you continue to use them when your baby is beyond the newborn stage (such as older than 4 months), the supportive structure can actually discourage your baby from developing the necessary muscles for rolling over. 

Rather than using the restrictive baby equipment, try leaving your baby on a blanket or baby mat on the floor where they can begin to move more freely and build their motor skills.  

It's Bowling Ball Time

Encouraging your baby into the right position can help them naturally form the muscles and skills to roll over. 

I find using a baby carrier that encourages the straddled position helps the baby to assume a bowling ball position.  It is this bowling ball position that helps the baby to naturally begin to roll from side to side when placed on the floor.  Again, we are using the laws of gravity to assist in the rolling over motion.  A baby with their legs up above them (or even sucking on their toes) is more likely to roll to their side, than one that is used to lying flat with their legs spread apart like a starfish. 

You can also achieve the bowling ball position when you carry them around the house.  Instead of carrying them at your should like we naturally do, try cradling them in your arms down near your stomach with their legs up. Again, it's just about getting them used to a bowling ball position so they want to form the position themselves. 

What Baby Accessories to Look for to Help Baby Roll Over

I don't have to tell you there is an abundance of baby accessories out there.  Sorting through them to find the diamonds in the rough can be an ordeal. 

When you are looking for baby accessories to help with encouraging your baby to roll over, I always look for ones that are versatile.  This means I want an accessorie or toy that not only encourages my baby to roll from back to tummy, but they will also help baby roll over from tummy to back.  

We have already discussed one very helpful toy which is the baby floor gyms (refer to above tip Use Visual and Auditory Motivators.)

Another useful baby accessory I recommend using are tummy time water play mats.  These are fantastic toys that truly engages a baby. They usually have a rim around the water play mat that acts as a soft cushioning for your baby to rest on. I find these a great for helping your baby build neck muscles, as they are forced to assume an upright lying position.  It also forces them to reach around the water mat, building up their strength and muscles for the eventual roll from belly to back.   

Final Thoughts

So there you have it - my top 7 tips to help baby roll over. 

I sincerely hope this article has helped you understand that even though the rolling over milestone is an important one, just because your baby hasn't achieved it yet, doesn't mean they are behind.  Every baby develops at their own pace.  As long as you provide your baby with love, a little bit of encouragement and use the tips identified in this article, I am sure your baby will be rolling independently in no time. 

Then you have the next problem of you won't be able to stop them from moving!

Let us know your top tips for getting your baby to roll over in the comments section below.  

Disneyland: What to Know on Your First Visit Back

It’s the family vacation that you’ve been looking forward to for over a year – it’s time to go to Disneyland! From the classic rides to the smiling characters and of course those delicious churros, it’s no wonder you’re wanting some time in the happiest place on earth. However, things are looking a little different at Disneyland right now, and it’s important for you to take the time to know what you need to do to make your first visit back a success. Take a look at some of our tips!

Plan in Advance

While it’s always a good idea to plan in advance when taking a trip to Disneyland, it’s even more crucial now. Due to COVID-19, Disneyland has implemented a new reservation system for park visitors. In addition to purchasing your tickets into the parks, you will need to reserve a slot for each person in your party for the park you’ll be visiting. This is how Disney is regulating the amount of people in each park to keep it at a reduced capacity. Without the reservation, you won’t be able to get into the park, so don’t skip this step!

Know Current Covid Regulations

Disneyland- What to Know On Your First Visit Back

It’s also important that you understand what the Covid regulations are in California. Things are constantly changing, and keeping yourself up to date on what you need to do while there will save some hassle. Whether it’s keeping masks on hand for your family or knowing to maintain a distance of six feet from others, do some studying ahead of time so that you know what to expect.

Download the App

Disneyland has an app designed to make your day in the park that much more magical, and we highly recommend downloading it! You’ll be able to monitor your tickets, order food from various vendors around the park, access photos, and see what the wait times are at every attraction in the park. It will work wonders in helping you plan out your day, not to mention it will save you from having to walk as much!

Pack Wisely

Make sure you have absolutely everything you’ll need to make your time in the parks a success. Make a list and stick to it. Pack extras, especially if for your little ones. Just as important as packing your suitcases with care is making sure your diaper bag is properly prepped. Ensure that you have diapers, wipes, snacks, and extra outfits on hand. Throw in a portable charger and sunglasses for you, too!

Disneyland is the ultimate destination for making memories as a family. Make sure you're doing everything you can be prepared to make your trip there as seamless as possible. From making all of the proper reservations to packing all of the right supplies, it will all work together to make your family vacation unforgettable. Enjoy your time in the happiest place on earth!

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot - your complete guide

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot - Everything you Need to Know

Let's face it - co sleeping is a controversial topic.  

However, whether best practices like it or not, many mothers consider co sleeping  - each for their individual reasons. 

I'll admit - I co slept with my daughters when they were newborns.  I can already hear the judgmental clucks of other mothers out there - and I'll put my hand up to say what I did was not right or wrong. It just felt right to me and both have developed into beautiful young girls.  My reasons for co sleeping were out of affection and developing a closeness with my daughters that my gut told me was right at the time. 

Unfortunately, while one of my girlfriends was asking for advice on co sleeping (well after my girls were babies), I learned my practices are frowned upon. 

She asked if using the Dock a Tot would help co sleeping with her little one.  This question genuinely sparked my curiosity, so I decided to do my own research and write this article for other mothers who may be mulling over the exact same question - co sleeping with dock a tot - is it safe?

Dock a Tot - The Ins and Outs

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot

If you’re not familiar with dock-a-tot, it is a plushy fabric bed that wraps around your baby to help them sleep or relax.

How does the Dock a Tot Work?

The concept is (as the name suggests) that it acts like a docking station for your baby. 

Yes I agree - it is a bit crude to look at your newborn as if it were a laptop plugging into a docking station. However, the concept is very similar - just in a less mechanical way. Similar to how you lock a laptop into a docking station, Dock a Tot uses straps to secure your baby into the capsule to ensure no falling accidents occur from rolls or movements.  

Additionally, as a docking station securely fastens a laptop to its electrical connectors, the Dock a Tot also uses cushioning around your little one to ensure they are comfortable and less likely to move around roll onto their stomachs - a large concern when it comes to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).  Before you jump up and down about suffocation concerns with your baby mushing their face against the extra cushioning around their head, Dock a Tot have addressed this safety issue.  They have incorporated air permeable materials into their designs.  This means the materials they use throughout the Dock a Tot has the ability to vent air throughout the entire docking station.  A huge plus in safety features we definitely welcome.  So you can sit comfortably knowing your baby will be able to breathe freely. 

For a complete rundown we thought it would be beneficial to show how the Baby Cubby shows the science behind the Dock a Tot and how versatile it can be for using with your little bubs. 

What are the Benefits of a Dock a Tot

Is the Dock a Tot Safe?

Now for the BIG question that we are all here for - is the Dock a Tot safe?

We have already highlighted many of the safety features that Dock a Tot have built into the design of this baby docking station. For the benefit of those that have skipped through the article, these are:

  1. breathable materials used throughout (in case baby mushes their face against cushions)
  2. extra cushioning to prevent unwanted rolling and moving
  3. secure straps to hold baby safely in place

Other features we think are worth highlighting for the Dock a Tot are that there are no choking hazards included in the Dock a Tot package.  These include small toys or additional cot pieces that are intended for entertaining your little one. 

In addition, the materials used are flame-retardent and do not include any toxic substances that may be harmful to your baby. 

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot - Is it Safe or Not? 

What is co-sleeping?

Co Sleeping Dock a Tot

When it comes to baby sleeping arrangements, there are a lot of approaches. Some parents want their babies in the bedroom with them for night feeds, while others prefer to put their infants in a crib or bassinet in their own room. But what about co-sleeping? What exactly is co-sleeping? How does it work? And is it safe?

Co-sleeping is when the baby shares a bed with the parents. This has been practiced for centuries and can help with bonding and nighttime parenting. Co-sleepers believe that sharing a sleep surface with your baby helps to regulate breathing and body temperature. In addition, it also means that you're close by if your little one needs some assistance. 

If you want to ensure you are co-sleeping properly check out our co-sleeping tips article. In here we disclose the best practices for co-sleeping and the best tips for co-sleeping with your little bubs. 

Should you Co-sleep with a Dock a Tot?

This is one of the most common questions I receive at the Best Baby Care Tips - co sleeping dock a tot - is it safe?  Those that have the Dock a Tot naturally want to know if the Dock a Tot can be used for co-sleeping.  

Truth be told the Dock a Tot was originally intended for this very reason - co-sleeping with your baby.  However, with all the latest best-practices advice being released about co-sleeping, almost everything points to the fact that any type of co-sleeping is frowned upon. 

The Dock a Tot is a very useful tool for travelling with your baby.  However, for regular sleeping arrangements, I would recommend sticking with the standard cot or crib environments.  Even Dock a Tot advise not using the Dock a Tot within other bedtime situations - such as co sleeping.   

Final Thoughts on Co Sleeping Dock a Tot

The Dock a Tot is a wonderful and safe sleeping environment for your little one.  It provides comfort and security for your baby - everything a parent wants for their newborn. 

However, on the issue of co sleeping with the Dock a Tot - much of the best practices and literature does not recommend the practice.  Not because of the Dock a Tot specifically, more so the consensus that co sleeping is not a good idea. 

I think the Dock a Tot is a great option to have - just not for co sleeping arrangements. 

Let us know your thoughts on this much debated topic and share your points of view. 

Bedtime Story for Babies

Bedtime Story for Babies: Benefits of Nurturing your Baby

Bedtime Story for Babies

Reading bedtime stories to babies has long been a tradition in many parts of the world, for several good reasons.

First, it helps them fall asleep and sleep soundly. Second, most stories are about familiar characters and events, and they help to stimulate their intellectual and emotional development.

But why and how is reading a bedtime story to your little baby truly going to benefit them?  

In this article we answer all your frequently asked questions relating to bedtime stories for babies, including a list of our favorite stories.   

Benefits of Reading Bedtime Stories to Your Baby

Reading to my kids has always been one of my favorite past times. It wasn't because I thought it was going to benefit them. It was more for the time that we spent with each other.

It was only after my kids had grown up, I decided to look up the benefits of reading to babies and how important it is to do so.

So for those parents taking a proactive approach (unlike me) and looking for the reasons why it is so beneficial to read a bedtime story for babies every night, here are many compelling reasons to begin right away.

1. Promotes Creativity in Your Baby

Reading bedtime stories to children may be the best way to stimulate their imagination.  According to a new study at the University of New South Wales, Australia, researchers found that bedtime stories help develop creativity in children by encouraging them to exercise their minds. 

It makes complete sense, as they are being exposed to new ideas and concepts through story telling. A baby's mind is like a sponge and exposing it to new and wonderful pictures and words will only fuel their ability to connect and create new information. 

2. Exposure to Language

You may not think your baby has the ability to speak or develop at such a young age.  However, that doesn't mean you don't have to read to them.  Like we identified in the previous benefit, that tiny brain of theirs is taking in everything that is going on in their surrounding environment.  This includes the books and stories you tell them. 

They may not be able to respond to you in the way you expect, but rest assured they are listening and absorbing every word and picture. 

Exposing them to words and sentences in bedtime stories is a fantastic way to develop their language skills for when they are able to reciprocate their feelings back to you.  Continuing the routine of bedtime stories 

3. Stimulation 

When you think about it, the fact that babies can't walk or talk yet can still follow a story is amazing. And researchers have shown that babies can absorb stories, even if they can't speak, in the same way that they absorb music or sounds. 

This concept is similar to the previous benefits we described, however there is one important difference with stimulating your baby's mind with bedtime stories.  And this is due to timing.  By reading the bedtime stories to your baby just before they are put down for a sleep, it allows their brain to process all the new information while they sleep. 

4. Creates a strong bond (parent baby bonding)

Reading to your baby (at bed time or during the day) is a great way to build the bond between you and your baby. It is most definitely my favorite pastime when I think back to the moments I was raising my two girls. 

Having your little bubs sitting on your lap, close to your chest, surrounded by your arms are truly special bonding moments.  In these moments, your baby gets used to your scent, synchronizes with the tones and vibrations of your voice

Bedtime Story for Babies: Frequent Asked Questions and Answers

Bedtime Story for Babies

The Best Baby Care Tips Team gets a lot of questions coming in from our community, so we have decided to make it a feature to include frequently asked questions in our baby care articles. Here are the most popular FAQ's for bedtime story for babies

What is a Good Age to Begin Reading Bedtime Stories

This question is probably one of the most common questions we receive regarding bedtime story for babies. 

The short answer is there is no 'good age'.  Reading to your baby/child is always a good idea - even while they are in the womb.  As long as they are able to hear they can absorb and will benefit from your stories. 

What Type of Bedtime Stories are Suitable

The answer to this question generally depends on what stage your baby is at in their development. Those babies that are yet to develop their sight will rely on their audible senses for taking in the bedtime stories. 

Whereas, those that have the ability to see pictures and listen to your words, will enjoy picture story books. 

The next stage up is when your baby begins to develop their textile and motor functions.  You will recognize this stage when they are constantly grabbing at things or may be reaching for items around you while you are trying to read the bedtime story.  At this stage it is a good idea to read those interactive books that have elements on their pages for your baby to touch, feel, and scrunch.  

What is a Good Bedtime Story for my Baby?

Here is my list of favorite bedtime stories I used to read to my girls when they are babies:

In reality, any fun children book will suit a bedtime story.  It just needs to be engaging and stimulating for your baby for the reading time to be a quality moment for everyone to enjoy. 

How Many Minutes a Day Should you Read to Your Baby?

I understand why some parents may ask this question.  After all, in modern society we are taught time is of the essence and it is a limited resource.  For those parents that must have an answer, I would recommend aiming for the 30 minutes a day of reading to your little one. 

However, I would implore you to try shift your mindset from one that is constantly aiming for time targets and routine.  Rather than looking at simply reading 30 minutes a day when your baby may not be engaged, go for spending 'quality' reading time with your baby.  Even 5 minutes of high quality, engaged reading is better than 30 minutes of rushed disinterested story time.  

Final Thoughts On Bedtime Story for Babies

 Bedtime stories are one of my favorite past times with my children.  It was a time when I could bond and develop our relationship. 

There are so many benefits to be gained from consistently reading to your baby.  Mental stimulation, language development and creativity are only a few of the advantages that your little one will receive from the regular reading sessions. 

Let us know what books you love to read to your baby in the comments section below.  I'm sure there are some gems out there that the Best Baby Care Tips community have never heard of that would be lovely to explore.

Also make sure to share this article with other parents, so we can all develop loving relationships with our little bundles of joy.  

What Temp for Baby Bath Water

What is the Best Temperature for a Baby's Bath? 

We all know how important it is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our little ones.

However, when it comes to taking care of our newborns, we may not have all the answers.
One question that is making many new parents scratch their heads is -  What temp for baby bath water is optimal? How hot is too hot when it comes to water temp?

This article should help provide some clarity on what temp for baby bath water.

Baby Bath Water Recommendations - Temperature Guidelines

What Temp for Baby Bath Water

Bathing a baby can be a daunting task for first-time parents.  I remember my first time as if it were yesterday.  The anxiety, nervousness and uncertainty if I was doing the right thing (or not)! 

Where do I put my hands?  How do I hold my little girl while at the same time bathing her?  The questions were never-ending. 

One of the few things you can prepare for (to lessen the anxiety) is to set up the right way from the beginning.  This means answering the question "What temperature is the best for baby bath water?". 

The short answer is to aim for around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 38 degree Celsius). 

But there are other considerations that need to be accounted for when you are bathing you baby. Let's take a look at the tips I found the most useful from my experience. 

Other Tips for Bathing Baby

  1. Keep a heater in the room - the temperature of the water isn't the only important aspect of baby bath time.  You also need to consider the whole process of the bath time ritual.  This includes getting your body to and from the tub.  Newborn babies do not have a developed immune system like you and I.  So a quick 30 second trip from the change table to the bath (while naked mind you), can actually be more dangerous than you think.  This is especially so while their skin is still wet from the water. Within minutes, your baby could catch a cold.  To reduce the chances of this happening, I recommend keeping a heater in the room and preheating the entire room that you are giving your baby a wash. 
  2. Minimize any Drafts - when you go to bathe your bubs, keep the bath away from any windows that may cause a draft.  Even the slightest air movement can drastically cool your baby's wet skin, causing a rapid drop in core temperature.  And as we said before, this will leave them vulnerable to becoming sick and uncomfortable. We also recommend closing doors to retain the humid warm air for the duration of the bath and your little one is fully clothed and dry. 
  3. Build a routine for bath time - I have found building a little routine during bath time helped my little girl understand what was happening around her (and it also allowed her to build anticipation of what was about to happen). This means cleaning her body and face in the same sequence and allowing some water play at the end of the bath session.  I also sang the same songs to her in the same order to give her audio clues.  Soon enough, my clever little cookie looked forward to bath time because it was familiar and comforting to her.  

Looking to make Bath Time Easier?  Check out our Top Baby Bath Tips by the Best Baby Care Tips Team. We have the benefit of leveraging the wisdom and experience of our community for the best tested tips. 

Baby Bath Water Frequently Asked Questions

What Temp for Baby Bath Water

How Do You Know if the Baby Bath Water is Too Cold or Hot? 

One of the best ways to test if the water is too hot or cold is to dip your elbow into the water.  This is a good trick to use because you can actually use the elbow testing trick while carrying your little bubs.  

A great use case is, say you get your bath water ready to the right temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 38 °C). But as you go to undress your baby, you realize they have soiled their nappy.  Requiring a proper clean and wipe down.  Understandably, this can take a bit of time (especially for those explosive moments).  You then lift your baby to place them in the tub, but just as you are lowering them into the bath the thought occurs to you that it may have cooled down.  Simply dip your elbow in and use that as your judge. 

When is the Best Time to Bathe Your Baby? 

First up, let me say there is no 'right' or 'best' time to bathe a baby.  It really is what suits you and bubs best - usually when your partner is home to lend a helping hand if you need it. 

With that being said, I have always found bathing at night before they go to bed is a great time for bath time.  This was especially the case for my newborn bubs.  Making a routine of it (eat - play - bath time - story time - bed) made a nice night time routine.  Who knows, maybe it was because the warm bath reminded them of being in the womb?  Whatever the reason, I found it seemed to have a calming effect on my little girl, which was the perfect prelude to bedtime.  

Final Thoughts on What Temp for Baby Bath Water

Bath time doesn't have to be a traumatic experience for you or baby. 

With a bit of preparation and fore-thought to the process, it can actually be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.  

Having the right bath water temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.78 °C) will help to kick off the perfect bath time for bubs. 

Let us know your bath time stories in the comments section below.  We love to have a good laugh and reminisce about bathing our little bubs. 

We sincerely hope you have enjoyed out article What Temp for Baby Bath Water. If you found it useful or learned a thing or two we encourage you to use the share icons on this page with your friends and family, so we can continue to expand our growing Best Baby Care Tips community.

Parenting Advice for New Parents

Best Parenting Advice for New Parents: Survival Guide

Congratulations!  I'm going to assume if you have arrived at this article, you have just (or about to) received one of the best things to happen in life - a new baby!

You and your partner are embarking on a journey that will change you forever.  A path that has been walked by many parents before you - but one that will be unique to you. 

I get it - it can feel overwhelming.  It can be daunting even trying to get your head around what is going to happen in the next week.  

This article is here to provide parenting advice for new parents. It is about finding the right frame of mind.  Developing the best approach for you that will get you through the good times and the bad times.  

If I had this BEFORE embarking on my own journey, the hard times would have been a lot easier to navigate.  It is for this reason I want to share these nuggets of wisdom - from one parent to another, in the hope that it makes it easier for others that are in the shoes I once wore. 

Let's get into it!

Parenting Advice for New Parents: Advice I Wish I had Known

Parenting Advice for New Parents

Seek Out People

Find people in the same situation.  According to the cdc - in 2019 there were over 10,000 babies born every day in the United States.  A good proportion of those babies parents will be experiencing parenthood for the first time - very much like you.  Reach out form a support group.  

It doesn't even have to be a physical support group.  With advances in technology these days, you can reach out to other new parents online and receive virtual support. 

One of the hardest things to do (and biggest mistakes new parents make) is trying to take on this new-found responsibility on their own. 

There is Light at the End of the Tunnel

When you enter the world of parenting, there is one phrase that you will become very familiar with.  And that is "It's only a phase...".  

I have to tell you, this one piece of parenting advice for new parents has saved me many times over.  

Embracing this one quote can and will save your mental sanity countless times throughout your journey as a new parent.   

By adjusting your expectations and knowing that the hard times are only temporary helps move your mindset from one of "oh my gosh - this is so hard.   I can't do this!" to a more manageable mindset of "I just need to get through this and the hard times will pass". 

I know this parenting advice seems trivial - I mean how exactly can just one phrase change you? 

However, I and the team at Best Baby Care Tips, highly recommend trying this one thing for a week. 

Each time you feel too tired to deal with a crying baby, each time you just want to crawl back under the sheets of your bed, each time you wish that things would just stop...pause for a second, take a deep cleansing breath, and say to yourself "it's only a phase - the hard times will pass".  

You'll be amazed at how your mindset changes from one of "I can't..." to one that is appreciative of your new found love, and that these hard times are simply a part of your baby's development and growth. 

Best Advice for Parents - No Baby Is the Same

Parenting Advice for New Parents

This piece of advice is one that you will eventually realize along the parenting road, however I wish I had been told this right at the beginning. 

Realizing that each baby is different took a while for me to comprehend.  In the beginning it was hard not to compare to other mothers and their babies.  

I would often find myself asking:

I admit, when you are tired from the lack of sleep, and the unrelenting chores list that just doesn't seem to ever get done, it is hard to muster the willpower to prevent these types of thoughts from penetrating your mind. 

It is in these moments that I recommend reminding yourself that every baby is different.  It is what makes this wonderful world exciting and unpredictable.  Each baby will develop differently.  Remember, all these "milestones" are just a general guide.  It is not a hard and fast recipe of how to raise a child.  There is no one correct way to raise a child.  

The best thing is for you to find your own way.  A way that feels comfortable and right to you. This doesn't mean you cannot ask for help.  Simply listen to the advice and make your own decision, is it what is best for you and your baby. 

Things Never Go to Plan

I know I have a controlling personality.  That is to say, I don't try to control others.  I try to control the surrounding environment. I know now that this personality trait was one of my weaknesses as a parent.  I found that if I tried to control every outcome, I often felt disappointed and that I was failing. 

Learning from my experience, I taught myself to let go of the outcomes.  Accept that I could plan as much as I wanted, prepare everything, yet sometimes it just wasn't going to happen the way I wanted it to. 

The final piece of advice I want to share is to accept things as they come.  Your baby may take their nap, or they may not.  You can try to maintain a regimented feeding routine, but sometimes your baby won't be hungry.  You can systemize your sleep time routine, but sometimes your baby just won't go to sleep. 

It happens and the best way to approach these challenging moments, is to take it as it comes. 

Turn your frustrations around, and rather than get angry or anxious about things not going to plan, take the opportunity to engage with your baby.  Sing to them.  Play with them. Do something meaningful and you will find the parenting journey that much more satisfying.  

If you want to try to avoid some common mistakes first time parents make, check out our article Tips for First Time Parents - Mistakes to Avoid

Tips for First Time Parents

Questions for New Parents: Things to Consider Before the Baby Arrives

We thought it would be useful to list down a few questions that you (as new parents) may want to consider to prepare yourself for the arrival of your baby. 

Final Thoughts on Parenting Advice for New Parents

Bringing a baby into the world was the easy part. 

Now you have the new-found responsibility of caring and nurturing your baby.  For some, it can be an overwhelming experience.  

In this article, I have listed down the parenting advice that I wish I had when I first began my journey.  

In sharing this advice, my hope is that you can find your own way along the path and take time to enjoy those moments with your new bundle of joy. 

Please share your parenting advice for new parents in the comments section below, so we can all help each other along this challengin, yet rewarding experience.