Baby's First Swim Lesson: Everything You Need To Know
All parents want their children to grow up healthy and safe, and that starts with teaching them how to swim as soon as they are physically able. Even babies can learn how to swim and gain valuable water safety skills, but there are some essential tips you should know before taking your little one into the pool for the first time ever. Here is everything you need to know about a baby’s first swim lesson.
Planning For The Big Day
While a baby’s first swim lesson is a milestone in their life, it also requires parents to prepare both themselves and their child. If you’re planning to attend your child’s first swimming class, here are some things to know before you go. First, how old should my child be? A typical age for a child to begin taking swimming lessons is between six months and two years old. Most children will not be ready for classes until they can hold their head up on their own (if they haven't already), so plan accordingly!
If my child isn't potty-trained yet, do I need to bring them into a wet diaper? Yes! Children must wear diapers while learning how to swim because accidents happen - even if they're only in water up to their chest or stomach. The last thing you want is for your little one to get upset or scared during class because of an accident that could have been prevented with proper preparation. Also, keep in mind that many pools require diapers during classes for sanitary reasons.
For babies, most swim schools require parents to get in the pool with their little ones. Especially in group classes. Having a parent hold them in a large body of water is comforting to baby versus having a stranger do it, at least for the first few times.
Packing The Bag
If it's an outdoor pool be sure to bring sunscreen. Bring towels for you and baby, your flip-flops or water shoes, a hair tie to pull your hair up, and a change of clothes for the both of you. Pack snacks and baby formula if under the age of one. Working out in the water may bring on an appetite for your little one and they may be starving by the end of their lesson. This is one of the most important times to bring a pacifier. Since it will be your baby’s first time, they may need something soothing for them to feel some comfort.
Since regular diapers won't hold up in the water, be sure to bring baby in their swim diaper and pack a few extras. Swim diapers are made to withstand water while regular diapers will puff up (as they are meant to anytime they retain liquid) so they'll become heavy and weigh on your baby. You can buy disposable swim diapers or cloth swim diapers. Either one will work great for your baby. Be sure to pack all of your items in a durable backpack that's easy to clean and dry if it gets wet such as this awesome diaper bag.
Preparing Yourself And Your Child
While preparing your child for swimming lessons, it’s important to set them up for success. Make sure to schedule their lesson on a day that isn’t too hot or cold. The ideal temperature is between 75 and 80 degrees. You'll also want to schedule their lesson either before their nap or after. Scheduling around their nap time is a formula for disaster since they'll be cranky and tired. Make sure your baby doesn’t have a cold or respiratory infection before going into their first swim class. There are also things you can do to prepare yourself as well. For example, you can wear one of Lands' End modest swimsuits under your clothes so you don’t get embarrassed if you need to change in front of other parents and children. To be sure that you come well prepared, it's always a good idea to speak with the instructors and ask what to bring and how to best prepare.
By taking a swim class, parents will gain confidence in how to handle their baby around water. Baby's first swim lesson is also a great way to bond with your child.
Baby Product Brands
Top Baby Product Manufacturers Sold in the USA
When you introduce a baby into the world, a lot of responsibility falls onto your shoulders as the parents and guardians. Your decisions now have consequences that not only impact you, but also your precious little one.
The fact that there is an abundance of different manufacturers, retailers or online stores compounds the overwhelming feeling of too many options and uncertainties.
To help take the burden off parents, particularly new parents, we have put together a guide. With so many options available in the infant space, it’s important for parents to know what they should look for in any company they choose to do business with and trust with their little one.
In this article, we are going to identify the Top Baby Product Brands that are available in the United States. More importantly, we will explore the reasons why these companies have earned them a position in this list.
What Makes a Baby Product Brand Reputable?
When it comes to creating a reputable baby product brand, it isn't necessarily the most famous toy or product that wins you a position on the Top List of Baby Product Brands.
One of the main key components in determining a company's reputation is customer trust and loyalty. As you will see as you read through the top brands below, customer trust is a key ingredient in many of the company's success.
To earn trust usually means producing quality goods. Products that can be relied upon to deliver what they promise and will last the distance (not end up in landfill within a few months or a year). These kinds of products can be handed down from generation to generation - creating a lifelong relationship with the customers.
Another key component in companies with good brand reputation is safety and consistently creating products with one thing in mind - the welfare of your precious one. Therefore, we consider it important to look at how companies have reacted to product recalls and criticism of their products. A company's response will tell you a lot about their intentions and goodwill.
The Best Baby Product Brands
Let us now take an in - depth look at the most well-known baby product brandsin America. It is worth noting we have not focused this list on a specific product or accessory. In this list we are purely looking at the companies as a whole and explain the reasons why they deserve to be recognized for their efforts.
The beginning of what we now know to be one of the dominant companies in the baby space is not what you would expect. Graco Baby actually began as a metal products manufacturer in 1942. However, it took over a decade before Graco Baby made their first steps (pun intended) into the baby space. In 1953, an ingenious engineer by the name of Rex Thomas created their first baby product - the Swyngomatic.
It was this product that brought this humble metal products manufacturer into the lives of millions of parents.
There is a reason why Graco has lead the baby products industry - they pride themselves on quality and innovation. Their constant drive to advance their products with unique and different features truly makes them one of the best Baby Product Brands in the United States.
Some examples of their products include:
the Pack'n Play Playard
the concept of a transferable Baby Care Seat into a Stroller Frame
a Highchair that grows with your baby
the original 4 - in - 1 Car Seat that allows for the developmental stages of your baby
If you were to ask American parents to think of one company associated with diapers, it would be Pampers.
With a simple mission: "to serve families and their little ones", it isn't hard to see why Pampers have won the hearts of families all around America.
With their Bright Beginning programs in hospitals, Pampers goal is to support families with their newborns during the precious first few days of their lives.
Pampers is (and has been) the first choice of U.S hospitals for nearly 50 years. Like Graco, they pride themselves in their innovation of their products. Always striving to develop products that nurture and support babies.
Their community involvement is unrivalled, constantly working with hospitals, NICU nurses and continued nurse support through scholarships, free educational courses and resources.
You know you will be in safe hands when you are using Pampers products.
It would be hard not to find a Fisher-Price toy or accessory in a household with a baby or toddler. The name Fisher-Price has become synonymous with baby toys - so much in fact it is one of the first go to's for people looking for a baby gift.
Currently owned by Mattel, a company famous for making the infamous Barbie Doll, they are one of the world's biggest toy manufacturers. And it is for good reason - their toys capture the attention and imagination of our little ones all around the world. If you are not already in possession of a Fisher-Price toy, you will soon learn for yourself that their toys are carefully and thoughtfully designed. It is clear they have a baby's best intentions at the forefront of their minds.
Their claim to fame is that they design each of their toys for purposeful play. They goal is delivering an intrinsic value experience that inspires and entertains your child. And if you have ever seen a baby or toddler playing with a Fisher-Price toy, it is clear that they have achieved their goal.
Compared with the other baby product companies, Baby Einstein is a relative newcomer to the baby products space. However, the parent company that acquired Baby Einstein is a well known giant in the industry - The Walt Disney Company.
With its first beginnings in the mid 1990's (1996), the Baby Einstein company was founded by Julie Aigner-Clark.
We feel that Baby Einstein has earned its position among the top baby brands due to the wonderful entertainment and resources it provides to the young crowds. Renown around the world for the wonderful Baby Einstein video production, it has inspired many young minds in it's 25 year career.
When it comes to having a fun, colorful and art inspired time for your little one, you won't be left disappointed with Baby Einstein.
Gerber Products Company
A company most easily recognized in your local supermarket aisles, Gerber is most known for feeding and filling the tummies of our little ones.
Originally formed in 1927, Gerber has been around for almost a century now - which speaks for itself in terms of brand and reputation.
Gerber's products are carefully crafted with a baby's digestion in mind. Each stage of food development and is processed to enable a baby's sensitive and immature system to easily digest the food for maximum nutrition absorption.
With a strong reputation in quality and tasty products, it is easy to see why Gerber has been around for so long. They have detailed and research and high-level production processes to ensure only quality ingredients reach your baby's mouth. You can read about their practices here.
Our list wouldn't be complete without one of the most famous companies that have been supporting women since 1886.
One of the longest standing companies in this space, Johnson & Johnson's credo is about supporting and empowering women - and especially positive and relevant mission in today's society.
More importantly, they have been delivering quality products that has helped to care for and raise our little ones for over a century.
It would be hard to walk into a local store and not at least one baby care product that is associated with a Johnson & Johnson.
Final Takeaways from the Top Baby Product Manufacturers Sold in the USA
If you are a new parent feeling overwhelmed by the number of choices you have for caring for your baby, we completely empathize with your anxiety. It can be paralyzing trying to navigate your way through.
By researching and reading up on companies, you can soon form a well-informed opinion on which brands you can trust with your little one.
It is important to be aware that we don't want to sugarcoat everything and we recommend you do some thorough research into any product recalls made by the companies. As we mentioned before, reading the way companies have reacted to criticism or bad press about their companies reputation will speak volumes on whether you can entrust them with your baby.
Finger Toothbrush for Babies
Finger Toothbrush for Babies - A Run Down
Tooth brushing is one of the most important things that you can do to keep your teeth healthy. It’s also a great way to get kids involved in their own oral hygiene routine, which will help them develop good habits as they grow up. The best finger tooth brushes are designed specifically with babies in mind. They have soft bristles so there won't be any pain or discomfort when using it on baby's gums and mouth.
What is a Finger Toothbrush
A baby finger tooth brush is a must - have baby accessory for cleaning baby teeth.
It is a small, soft rubber brush with tiny bristles that you can use to clean your child’s teeth. It is called a "finger" tooth brush because you simply slip the rubber toothbrush over your index finger to maneuver around your baby's teeth and gums.
The baby finger toothbrush is used in the same way a regular toothbrush is, but it is smaller and easier to handle. It also comes in many colors, which makes brushing fun for kids.
A top tip from the Best Baby Care Tips team is to make sure you brush your baby's teeth long enough. You can make it a fun game by playing a short song or nursery rhyme that creates an atmosphere of fun and games.
Are Finger Toothbrushes Safe?
There are no known health risks associated with using a finger toothbrush for babies. The main concerns you would want to address would be that since this baby accessory is going into your baby's mouth, you want to ensure it is made from non-toxic materials (that are BPA-free).
It is also important to ensure that the finger toothbrush fits very snugly around your finger. This is to prevent any choking hazards or accidents from occurring while you are brushing and tending to your baby's dental hygiene.
You may start introducing your baby to tooth brushing once he/she has reached 6 months old. However, if you notice signs of teething such as drooling, chewing on his fingers, or fussiness during mealtime, then you might consider starting earlier than six months.
Most parents usually begin brushing their infant's teeth at about 3 months old. At first, most babies only need one session per day. As your baby grows older, you can gradually increase the number of times you brush him/her each week until eventually you reach twice daily sessions.
However, some experts say that even though more frequent brushing helps remove plaque buildup faster, less frequent brushing does not necessarily mean better results. We advise against skipping out on brushing altogether unless your doctor advises otherwise.
Buyers Guide - How to Choose a Good Baby Finger Brush
When it comes to choosing a toothbrush, you will find that there are many options available. With so many choices in front of you, it can be difficult to decide which toothbrush is best for your baby. It’s important to find a toothbrush that is safe and gentle on the gums.
Here are some key things to keep in mind when choosing your baby’s first toothbrush.
Given this baby accessory is going into your baby's mouth on a daily basis, it is important to ensure that the materials the finger brush is made out of is safe and non-toxic.
Most of the reputable companies will have to follow the safety guidelines for baby products, so the main thing is to do your research on the independent (lesser known) brands. Don't get us wrong, we love independent businesses - they innovate and are often more conscious of their impact on the body and the world. We are simply suggesting with any products you place inside your baby's mouth, try to stick to ones that are clearly marked as BPA-free and have little to no toxins .
Comfort and Size
You have to remember, your baby only has a small mouth. So having a sausage sized finger with weird bristles in their mouth is going to be a pleasant experience - at least for the first time.
So, when you are looking at purchasing a finger toothbrush for babies, go for one that is slimline, and doesn't have too many weird protrusions coming out from the device.
No additional Bells and Whistles
You will find opting for a finger toothbrush that is simple in nature and functionality is often the best choice. Something that has a clear purpose and gets the job done.
It may be tempting to go for ones that have additional features like flavoring or extra shapes and molds for comfort or gum massaging. However, in our experience, these often deter babies and cause more issues rather than help.
Final Verdict for the Best Finger Toothbrush for Babies
Brushing your baby's teeth doesn't have to be an ordeal, or chore for that matter. With the right equipment and a bit of knowledge of the techniques, you will soon be well on your way to establishing good dental hygiene practices for your little one.
If purchasing a finger toothbrush for your baby seems daunting, following our buyers guide for the features to look for will help you navigate the overwhelming number of baby accessories available on the market.
If you are looking for a quick and easy solution, check out our favorite finger toothbrushes for babies at the top of this article. You can be confident you will be purchasing the peer reviewed and recommended baby toothbrushes by other parents that have walked in your shoes.
Let us know which finger toothbrushes worked for you and your precious one in the comments below.
Babies Who Fight Sleep
Why Do Babies Fight Sleep? Tips on how to Stop Your Baby Fighting Sleep
It is well known that if your baby is a good sleeper, parenting can be a walk in the park. You are refreshed and alert. Baby is not tired and grumpy. Everything in the world is good.
BUT, if your baby isn't a good sleeper, parenting can be an uphill battle. Even the smallest tasks can be a challenge. Believe me, my two girls were not good sleepers and I have experienced many moments where I would ask myself "Who do I have babies who fight sleep?". Even the slightest noise would startle them awake. Then it would be an ordeal trying to get them back to sleep. It's almost as if they were angry at me for trying to get them back to sleep. Yet, ironically, it was the one thing we both wanted!
There are many reasons why babies appear to be fighting sleep. And I found with a bit of understanding and taking the time to look at it from a baby's perspective, there were a few things I can do to put the odds in my favor for getting the little ones to sleep without a big fight.
This article is intended to help parents understand why do babies fight sleep. It is from this understanding where you will be able to pick up some tips on setting yourself up for success in achieving a good night's rest for YOU AND YOUR BABY.
Babies Fighting Sleep - Why Does it Happen?
Before we get into the tips for getting your baby to sleep, we at the Best Baby Care Tips, find it helps to first gain an understanding of the causes and reasons for why your baby is fighting sleep. In this section we are going to check out the most common reasons for why babies fight sleep.
This is probably one of the main causes when it comes to babies fighting sleep.
Generally, over tiredness in babies occurs when they have been put down after their regular bedtime. When your baby is overtired you will often find they resort to tantrums quickly and settling them is a challenge. Even just putting them into their cot or crib will bring them to tears.
Overstimulation (aka undertired)
Another common cause for babies who fight sleep is because they can be overstimulated or not tired enough. This can be as a result of the activities that directly preceded the bedtime routine. Or even if you are putting them down too early.
Another possible reason for over stimulation is that your baby's room is too bright or interesting. I found that during daylight savings, when the evening light lasted longer, my little girl would struggle to fall asleep and become irritable. I was stuck asking myself "Why does my baby fight sleep?". After a bit of trial and error, I eventually discovered that the light seeping through the window blinds were stimulating her visual senses, allowing her to see more things in the room.
This is a common cause for a baby's inability to sleep. Or at least - it is a common conclusion many parents make when they are having trouble with their baby fighting sleep.
More often than not, the baby may be reacting to the parents own separation anxiety and feeding off the anxious environment you may be (unconsciously) creating.
I admit, I am guilty of this very issue. It was my own anxieties of separation from my little ones, that made it difficult for them to sleep. My constant need to check in on them more than likely disturbed their sleep and caused them to wake. In addition, my impulse that I had to be in the room to get them to sleep probably delayed their ability to self-soothe themselves, and again fight the sleep that they so desperately wanted.
Another issue I found that led to my girls fighting sleep as babies, was when they were uncomfortable. This could be as a result from being too hungry or on the other end of the spectrum, when they are too full.
I mention this as a cause for the benefit of parents who are still trying to find their feet in terms of a good routine for their little one. I found when my baby had a well functioning digestive system (such as regularly having soiled diapers), they were easier to get to sleep - and keep asleep.
Babies Who Fight Sleep Could be Developing
Once you take a (tired) step back and look at what your baby is trying to achieve in a short space of time, you can begin to appreciate that their bodies are going through immense change.
From developing muscles, growing bones and teeth - their bodies are constantly changing and adapting to their environment.
Therefore, once you start to understand and accept that your baby is always going to be changing (especially in the first few years), then you can begin to practice a bit more patience that they may be finding it a bit difficult to fall asleep this night (and sometimes the next few consecutive nights).
How to Get Your Baby to Stop Fighting Sleep - Parenting Tips
The first thing you need to know is that babies fight sleep because they are tired. They have been awake for a long time, so when their parents put them down in bed at night, they want to stay up! This can be very frustrating for the parent who wants his or her child to go to sleep on command. The good news is that there are ways to help your little one fall asleep faster and more easily than ever before.
One of the best tips for achieving consistent sleep patterns is establishing a routine for your little one. Routine allows your baby to feel comfortable with their surroundings and the events of the day. They become accustomed to the activities and the security of knowing what to expect next.
Forming a good bedtime routine is also a great way to signal to your little one that they should begin to wind down and prepare for sleep. This can be particularly effective for newborns when you include a warm bath close to their bedtime. The bath replicates the secure feeling that they experienced in the womb, and therefore gives them comfort and warmth.
This may sound strange, however here me out. If you haven't already connected the dots, this tip is closely related to the hungry or too full cause for a baby fighting sleep. There is a treasure trove of information in your baby's diaper. Knowing what comes out of your baby is the best indication of what is going on inside of them.
For example, if they have not had a soiled (pooey) diaper for a while, a reason for them fighting sleep could be because they are uncomfortable while lying down. On the other hand, if they are not having frequent wet nappies, they could be dehydrated. Believe me when I say, I learnt a lot from my baby's dirty diapers!
Understanding and Patience
Okay, you may be saying this is easier said than done, but I firmly believe when a parent comes to terms that they have a baby that is always changing and evolving, they have a mindset shift. A parenting epiphany of sorts.
As we mentioned earlier, your baby is doing a lot of growing. Understandably, this can cause discomfort and change. It will often disrupt a routine that you had going for a few weeks in a row. It will make your baby seem unreasonable. What they once enjoyed last week, will now irritate and upset them.
The sooner you can accept this fact and practice patience, the sooner you will gain an appreciation for what your baby is experiencing. Rather than viewing their 'fighting sleep' as an inconvenience, you can take a step back and try to look at it from a difference angle = one that is more productive in reaching a sleepy outcome.
Key Takeaways from Babies Who Fight Sleep
Sleep is important. Parents and babies that receive a restful night's sleep are much more calm and rational.
However, parenting isn't always that easy. There will be terrible nights. Sleepless nights. There are many causes for why your baby will fight sleep. In the moment, it may be hard to see what rational reason could cause this, however if you take some time to read up and research the possible causes identified in this article, you can begin to understand how to tackle the sleep issue.
Let us know what has worked for you for helping your baby stop fighting sleep in the comments below.
Best Baby Swing for Small Spaces
What are the benefits of Baby Swings
Regular readers of our website will know we are huge fans of any toys or products that offer any level of versatility. And the best baby swings do just that!
We have already touched on a few benefits a baby swing can bring to your household. A well-designed and compact designed baby swing will provide you and your baby with hours of entertainment. Not only does a baby swing provide support for your little one so that they can be positioned in an upright posture, it also allows you to engage with your little one in a completely new way.
In addition to allowing your baby see the world from a new perspective (can you imagine staring at the ceiling for 12 hours a day!), it also gives them an opportunity to build up their core muscles. By supporting your little one in an upright position, they will begin to exercise their neck and torso muscles. All the muscles necessary for helping them progress onto the next stage of development - gross motor skills.
Placing your baby into a baby swing can also give you some much needed 'me' time. Many baby swings offer safety features that give you the confidence that your baby is secure and safe for a period of time. Even the shortest timeframe can give you the opportunity to jump onto those dirty dishes that have been soaking or even just to catch up on the latest news on tv.
Are Baby Swings Safe to Use?
This is a question many parents ask themselves, and it is for good reason - it is important.
The short answer is yes, but with some precautions.
When it comes to your baby's safety, we believe every parent should be aware of the risks they are exposing their baby to. In relation to baby swings, they have many safety features built in to ensure your baby is safe and comfortable.
However, as is the case in a lot of instances, ultimate safety comes down to parents knowing how to use the accessories properly. Here are a few tips we think every parent considering a baby swing should know:
do not use the baby swing as a substitute for a bed. If your baby is starting to drift off in the baby swing, gently move them to their cot or crib. We understand this may wake them up again, however you need to appreciate the swing is an activity center for when your baby is awake - not a bed.
babies should be supervised in the baby swing at all times. We can already hear you saying "But hang on - didn't you just say I could get some 'ME' time with a baby swing?". Don't worry, you can still reclaim your precious time. What we mean by supervising is to keep your baby in the same room as you at all times. And the great thing about the Best Small Baby Swings for Small Spaces is that they are designed to be compact and lightweight for this very purpose.
Features to Consider for Best Compact Baby Swing
The best baby swing is a great way to keep your little one entertained and comfortable while you are at home or out socializing with your friends and their babies. There are many types of swings available, which makes it understandable that making a decision can be overwhelming for some parents.
To help, we have compiled a complete buyers guide that will step you through the different features that you should consider before committing to any one swing.
Okay, so we know we may sound like a broken record here, but safety is important. For the sake of those that have already read the preceding sections of this article we won't repeat why safety is important. Any readers that started with our Buyers Guide, we would encourage you to review the above sections on the "Are baby swings safe?".
In terms of what to look for, the best baby swings will have the following safety features:
Safety Harness Straps to secure your baby in the elevated swing. This feature is a must-have. Babies will be babies. They are ever curious and always looking to push the boundaries. They will want to see if they can climb out of the swing - and if you are not there to prevent them the straps will be your back up.
Adjustable features are also important to ensure your baby fits into the swing properly and comfortably. Not all babies are the same height, weight and build. Therefore, it is important to choose a baby swing that give you the ability to work around your baby's needs.
Reputable Company - this one isn't as obvious for some parents, especially since there are so many companies and products being made available each and every month. We prefer sourcing our toys and accessories from brands that have a good reputation. Do a bit of research and see if the company has made any recalls of their products. Check reviews from other parents and always ensure the company takes responsibility for their products - good or bad.
Baby swings are evolving quickly to include a raft of features that help to entertain and sooth your baby. Which features you prefer and choose will be largely dependent on your personal preference. In no particular order, here are some of the features we love to look for:
many baby swings include music and lullabies that help you entertain your baby while they are sitting in the swing. Not only is this great for keeping their attention, it also helps them explore their auditory sense.
baby swings that include toys and accessories built into the design are always welcome in our books. It means less loose toys around for you to clean up (and trip over), as well as extra interaction and stimulation for your little one.
swing movement is another feature that can often come in handy. Let's face it, no matter what the latest literature and best practice guides say, babies love movement. It almost puts them into a hypnotic like trance. This feature is useful for those moments when your baby can be unsettled or feeling especially fragile.
Baby swings are a fantastic addition to any home. They provide comfort, security and entertainment for your baby. There are many benefits that a baby swing can provide, such as stimulation for your little one, or even soothing them into a more manageable state.
We understand some parents may have concerns about the safety of their little one in a baby swing, which is why we encourage them to educate themselves about the proper use of baby swings in our safety features portion of the article.
By choosing one of our recommended small baby swings, you can be confident you won't be disappointed with the hours of entertainment and free time you will gain with your baby. Let us know which baby swing for small spaces helped you in your parenting journey.
Small Baby Walker
Buyers Guide to Finding the Best Small Baby Walkers
The best baby walker for your child is one that fits their needs and helps them develop safely. The right small baby walker can help you get through those first few months when it’s hard to keep up with a baby that just wants to keep moving.
But there are so many types available on the market today! Here we will go over some things to consider before buying a new baby walker.
Space Saving Features
One of the biggest concerns when you are looking for a small baby walker to use within a limited area are the space-saving features. We recommend looking for baby walkers that are foldable or can be disassembled easily to help with storage and transportation.
Foldable small baby walkers offer the convenience of allowing your baby to learn to walk and build the necessary muscles for their gross motor skills. But at the same time, when the walker is not in use, you have the ability to stow it away, out of the way, so you can free up some much-needed space.
Buying a small baby walker with space-saving features also offers the advantage of being able to travel with the accessory. This is great for keeping your little one entertained or even including the walker as a tag along to grandma and grandpa's house for an overnight stay.
At Best Baby Care Tips, we are huge advocates for any toys or accessories that are versatile and can be used for a range of purposes.
When it comes to baby walkers we love looking for walkers that can be adjusted as your baby grows and develops. Adjustable settings such as height make baby walkers ideal for allowing your baby to learn and grow at a pace they are comfortable with.
Some baby walkers can also change their design to match the speed at which your baby wants to move. at. This is especially important because changing the walker's design shifts the center of gravity and stability of the toy. Which develops different muscles and skills of your baby.
It also means the baby walker will be used many times over during the first year(s) of your baby's life.
Cleanable and Low Maintenance
As most parents will know (or will eventually learn), once a baby comes into your life, cleaning becomes a big part of your day. So anything that we can do to minimize or make the process of cleaning easier, we welcome with open arms. This principle applies to all the toys and accessories that inevitably build up.
The best small baby walkers are ones that are designed with the parents in mind. This includes making an accessory that is easily cleaned and maintained. We recommend looking for walkers that includes detachable parts and removeable outer materials that are machine washable.
It may not sound like a deal breaker, however when your precious little one inevitably
We think it goes without saying that in-built safety features in all accessories that are intended for baby use are a must. Not only does it show the companies have given their products a well thought out design, it also gives parents the peace of mind that their baby will be safe using the toys and accessories.
Here are the safety features we believe you should be looking for in your next baby walker:
Large Wheels - these are a must-have feature when it comes to the best small baby walkers. Not only does it provide the vehicle with stability, it also makes it a lot easier for the walker to navigate uneven surfaces and when your baby wants to move to carpeted areas.
Wide base structure - a walker with a wide base structure will be less likely to topple over than one with a narrow design. Please be aware we say 'less likely' because given the nature of a walker, it can still topple over. It is for this reason, we still recommend only using baby walkers under adult supervision.
Straps and Safety Harness - depending on the individual design of each baby walker, you can opt for versions that include straps and safety harnesses to ensure your baby is safely secured while using the baby walker. Safety straps are also particularly helpful to make sure curious little ones can't use the baby walker to climb onto things are reach to areas they should not be exploring.
Final Verdict on the Best Small Baby Walkers
Having a baby walker to learn and develop with is a wonderful opportunity for any baby. However, not everyone has the space nor the ability to house a bulky baby walker in their living areas. Particularly those that live in apartments or units.
Fortunately, baby companies have designed a range of small baby walkers just for this particular niche market. This means you don't have to deny your baby from any learning opportunities that they may have missed had they not grown up with a baby walker.
We have provided a list of our favorite small baby walkers that are perfect for small space living.
Let us know your favorite (or not so favorite) and experiences with baby walkers in the comments below.
Best Baby Loungers
Why You Need A Baby Lounger - Benefits of Baby Loungers
A baby lounger is a great way to keep your little one comfortable and happy. It can be used in the nursery, on the patio or even at home while you are watching TV. The best part about it is that they come with many different features so there’s something for everyone! Here are our favorite benefits and features of having a baby lounger in the house:
we have touched on this benefit in the paragraph before, but one of the primary benefits of a baby lounger is its portability. Because of the unique lightweight design, these clever baby accessories are easy to move. This means you can bring it anywhere in the house with you, and you can say goodbye to dragging the heavy cot/crib around the house. Having an easy to move baby lounger means you can get those odd jobs and chores done with the peace of mind that your baby is comfortable and safe.
Another benefit that comes with portability is the fact that baby loungers can be compacted or molded to fit into small spaces. This is great for storage purposes when you go travelling or on holidays. Simply pack your baby lounger into your suitcase or car and off you go.
One big benefit of acclimatizing your baby to a baby lounger is that you can bring this familiar space with you anywhere you go. Because your baby knows the feel, comfort and smell of their baby lounger, they instinctively know they are in a safe environment. This can be used to your advantage in situations, such as when the grandparents take the little one for a night. By affording your baby the safety and familiarity of the baby lounger, they will immediately feel calm and comfortable in new spaces, making it easier for them to transition.
For an in depth guide to everything you need to know about baby loungers (including all the benefits), check out our baby loungers guide.
Now let's get into the features that every parent should look at when considering buying the best baby loungers.
Buyers Guide to Best Baby Loungers
The best baby lounger is a must-have for every parent. It’s the perfect accessory that allows you to relax and enjoy your time with your little one. This is especially relevant while they are still in their infancy stage. The best part about having a baby lounge chair is that it allows parents to spend more quality time together as well as bond better with their babies. You will be able to do all of this without worrying about them getting hurt or falling off the couch.
Best Materials for Baby Loungers
Baby lounges are a great way to keep your baby safe and comfortable. They can be used in the nursery, playroom or even on the patio. The best ones will have soft cushions that provide comfort while also being easy to clean. The type of materials are also important for the safety of your baby. The best baby loungers will be made out of materials that are fire-retardent and breathable. We will go into more details about safety features in a section below.
Best Construction and Design for Baby Loungers
When it comes to baby lounger construction, you want to make sure you choose ones that have features features to ensure it works in the best possible way. Let's take a quick look at some of the features we search for in the best baby loungers.
We always look for a lounger that supports the baby with an incline. This would be similar to baby bounce chairs that allow the baby to sit facing forwards (rather than looking up at the ceiling). Not only does this allow you to see your baby and interact with them while they are sitting in the lounge, it also means they will be less likely to want to roll out of the baby lounge if (and when) they become bored.
We also look for baby loungers that utilize a secure strap that fastens around the baby. As you can appreciate, depending on the stage of their development, a baby can move around (a lot). It is for this reason we suggest finding a chair that allows you to securely fasten straps around the baby.
Last, but not least, we look for baby loungers that have removable covers. You could have the cleanest baby in the world, and you will still get stains and markings on your baby lounge. It's just a part of rearing a lovable little baby. You will soon appreciate having accessories, furniture and toys where you can remove the outer layers for cleaning purposes. Trust us - it is a complete game changer.
When it comes to your little one, nothing is more important than their safety. Fortunately many baby loungers have factored parent's concerns into their designs and have incorporated a host of safety features. We have already touched on a few safety features used in baby loungers, such as fire-retardent and breathable materials. Using fire-retardant materials in baby loungers has obvious benefits, as you never know what can spark an accidental fire. Making the material breathable ensures if your baby somehow smushes their face against a side cushion, it allows enough air to circulate through the material so your baby doesn't suffocate.
Other safety features that you should look for in the best baby loungers include lightweight designs, to allow for easy portability. You should also look at how they can be stowed away when not in use, or more importantly, when you want to bring it along on a holiday.
Having a baby lounge in your baby accessory's ensemble can be a life saver when it comes to those awkward moments you need a free set of hands. They have so many different uses, once you get one you'll wonder how you ever survived without one.
We love travelling with our baby loungers because they are so compact and lightweight. They also provide a familiar, comfortable space for the baby which helps them easily adjust to new environments and spaces.
Hopefully, you have been able to identify the best baby loungers from our list of recommendations. Please let us know which baby lounger you found to be the most useful in the comments below.
When Should I Start Brushing My Baby's Teeth
Baby's Teeth and Gums - Your Guide to a Health Oral Hygiene Routine for your Baby
There are many opinions on when you should begin introducing toothbrushes into your child’s oral care routine. Some experts recommend starting around the 6-month mark, others suggest waiting until they are eating solid foods. And still other dentists believe that it doesn't matter how early or late in life we introduce our children to dental hygiene practices; all babies need regular cleaning just like adults do!
In this article we are going to explore your options when it comes to your baby's dental hygiene. We will provide you with a tip sheet or guide to use as a quick reference guide for the do's and do not's of your baby's oral health care.
When Should You Start Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth? Everything You Need to Know
The first thing you need to know about when to start a child brushing your baby's teeth, is that there isn't one right time for this. The best way to approach it is with an open mind and some patience. Just because some moms have started brushing their baby's teeth in your social group, doesn't mean you should feel pressured to do the same.
Brushing your baby's teeth may seem like a simple task but actually starting children off on good oral hygiene habits can be quite difficult. In fact, many parents find themselves wondering how long they should wait before introducing their kids to toothpaste or even giving them their own toothbrush.
We explore this very question in the following sections.
When Should I Start Brushing My Baby's Teeth?
Okay - let's get right to it. When should you start brushing your baby's teeth.
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that parents begin tooth brushing their babies at 6 months old, and continue until they are 2 years old or older. The AAP also suggests using a soft-bristled brush with small rounded bristles for this purpose.
But what about when you're not sure if it's time yet? Or maybe you've already started but want more information on how often to do so?
A good rule of thumb is to monitor your baby's gums as they begin to teeth. You'll know this is happening when your little one can't stop putting things in their mouth to massage their itchy gums. They will also become quite irritable and can often be in tears for no apparent reason.
Once you see those cute little pearly whites coming through, you can begin the dental hygiene routine with your baby.
In our books, there is no time that is too early to begin brushing your baby's teeth, as you will understand in the next section.
When do you start brushing your baby's gums? And why should you?
Now that you have the tooth (or teeth) under control, let's now turn our attention to your baby's gums and the oral hygiene involved.
[insert quote] - you can begin brushing your baby's gums from as early as three months
In fact, the oral hygiene care for your baby's gums can begin BEFORE your baby's first tooth arrives. From the age of three months, you can begin the process of massaging and wiping clean your baby's gums with a soft damp face cloth. And depending on your schedule, this can be performed as often as twice a day - once in the morning and in the evening.
In addition, there are benefits to beginning this oral routine from an early age. When it comes to giving your bubs a toothbrush, the task of looking after their own teeth is no different from any other.
What is a good dental hygiene routine for babies?
Now that you are familiar with the general rules for brushing your little one's pearly whites, the next natural question is how often should you be cleaning their teeth and gums?
Fortunately we have put together a general dental routine for you to use. Of course, this routine is only a guideline, and you can feel free to modify it to suit your needs and time restrictions. After all, as our favorite motto goes at the Best Baby Care Tips team - every baby is different.
Here is our recommended dental hygiene habits from when your baby sprouts their first tooth:
using a soft toothbrush and some water to lubricate the bristles, brush your baby's tooth/teeth morning and night (preferably after a meal). No toothpaste is necessary, and we generally find the taste can be off-putting for the little one's pallet.
with a moist face cloth, wipe clean and massage your baby's gums. This can actually be a playful activity with your baby, as they will most likely respond by trying to bite your finger. If they are teething they will also appreciate the gum massage as it will soothe and relieve the itch.
when your baby develops two teeth you can introduce your little one to a flossing routine. Much like you do with your own teeth, use a very fine (unflavored) piece of floss to gently clean in between your baby's two teeth.
don't allow your baby to fall asleep with a bottle of milk (or any kind of drink) in their mouth. Allowing your baby to fall asleep with liquids that contain sugar will decay their newly sprouted teeth and lead to discoloration and rot.
when your baby is thirsty allow them to drink water rather than fruit juice and bicarbonate drinks. The sugars in sweetened drinks accelerates the decay of teeth and leaves them prone to cavities.
begin regular visits with a dentist that specializes in family health care and children's dental health from 6 months of age. Forming a good habit of visiting the dentist has many benefits. It allows your baby to become familiar with the dentist. It will also help to identify any issues early so you can make any necessary corrections.
What Is The Best Toothbrush For Babies?
The best toothbrushes for babies are soft, gentle and have a rounded tip that won't scratch their gums or tongue.
All electric toothbrushes should be avoided at all costs. Even though manufacturers are making eletric toothbrushes for babies and children, they should be avoided with caution. The vigorous brushing action can potentially hurt and damage your baby's gums and soft teeth.
Can babies use fluoride toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste has been shown to reduce cavities, a problem seen especially in children. However, infants at the age of 6 months or younger should not use fluoride toothpaste because they lack the swallowing reflex and have a different flavor profile than adults. Instead, it is recommended that they use non-fluoride toothpaste that contains 1% of the active ingredient sodium fluoride. Older babies who are able to swallow may still need supervision while brushing their teeth so they don’t swallow any toothpaste.
Key Takeaways from "When Should I Start Brushing my Baby's Teeth?"
Oral health starts in infancy - well before your baby's first tooth appears. Baby teeth are important because they are the first set of teeth your child will have, and these teeth support healthy development of permanent teeth.
The best time to start brushing your infant’s teeth is when the first tooth shows up. You’ll want to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and some water to begin.
To help you along your baby's oral health journey we have provided a visual guide as a useful reference for the first year of your baby's dental hygiene routine.
Let us know what problems you have encountered with your baby's teeth and we'll try to help you resolve the issues with the collective wisdom of our Best Baby Care community.
Gross Motor Activities for Infants
How to Improve and Develop Your Baby's Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills are a fundamental part of a baby's development. In fact, did you know a baby will begin learning gross motor skills, such as kicking, while they are still in the womb.
Gross motor skills are the foundational skills that a child requires to build more advanced and complicated skills later in their life. It is this reason that we encourage parents to educate themselves about gross motor skill activities for infants. By helping your baby's development you can ensure they will grow into a independent and rounded individual.
In this article we are going to cover a step-by-step Gross Motor Activity plan for the first year of your baby's life. We will also provide detailed instructions of how to encourage your baby to learn the activities.
However before we get into the activities, for those that are just beginning to learn about motor activities, let's take a quick recap of what exactly they are and the role they play.
What are Gross Motor Activities?
Gross Motor Activities is a term used to describe the physical activity that babies perform.
It includes things like crawling, walking and rolling around in their play area. As mentioned earlier, Gross Motor Activities can be performed by your child at any age, but it’s important to remember as your baby develops and gets older, they will use these skills to learn more complicated skills. Therefore, it is important to help your child master the fundamental skills before moving on to more advanced gross motor skills.
How Can I Help My Child Learn More About Their GMA’s?
We recommend starting off early, so your child has plenty of opportunities to learn new skills. You should also make sure you include some fun games during playtime too. These could involve throwing balls, climbing over obstacles or even playing hide-and-seek!
If you want to know what else you can do to help develop your baby’s gross motor skills then keep reading our guide below:
One of the first main gross motor skills your little one will learn is to roll. Babies can begin to roll anywhere between 3 months to 9 months. Helping your baby to learn to roll is a great way to kick off your baby's gross motor skills journey. It allows them to gain more mobility and independence.
One of the keys to helping your baby to roll is to engage them in the right activities like playing with toys on their side, lots of tummy time for muscle building, and also teaching them about shifting their weight to help them gain some momentum for a roll.
We actually have a comprehensive guide to lending your baby a helping hand to learn how to roll - we recommend checking it out.
The next step towards developing good gross motor abilities is to teach your little one how to crawl.
To start off, find an appropriate place where there isn't much clutter or other hazards. Make sure it's safe before letting your baby try out their arms and legs.
When teaching him/her to crawl, put your hands under their knees and gently position your baby into the crawling position. This allows them to build up their strength and confidence in the crawling position.
Once they have gained this new-found confidence, you will find it is only natural for them to start experimenting with the crawling position and move their legs back and forth. As soon as he/she starts moving independently, stop assisting them to go further. Instead, let them explore on their own.
Here is a great video by Nekole Amber showing the process of teaching your little one how to crawl:
Now that your baby is starting to gain more and more gross motor skills in their tool belt, it's time to introduce them to walking. Walking is one of those major milestones parents love to celebrate, and it is for this reason we recommend keeping your camera phone close by to capture the moment.
Walking can occur anytime after your baby has mastered the previous gross motor skill activities. However, generally speaking it can occur anytime between 8 – 20 months old.
To help and encourage your baby to walk try placing a small toy between two chairs. Your baby should naturally want to pull themselves up onto the chairs to "furniture surf" around the chairs. However, if they are more inclined to crawl, give them a hand in the right direction and help them up to the chair and support themselves by holding onto the chair.
It is at this point that you can begin to encourage your baby to take their first steps. Simply draw their attention to the toy and entice them to move toward the toy with movement in their feet. You can even try shaking the toy to gain their confidence in moving.
Another method for encouraging walking that worked for us is using play toys that your little one can shift along the floor. We didn't intend for it, however our second daughter learned how to walk by pushing a Fisher Price Stand Up Activity Center along the floor.
She just started shifting it to the places she wanted to go, and the fact that it didn't have wheels meant that it moved and supported her at just the right pace. As is the case for everything in parenting - each baby develops in their own unique and wonderful way.
The next obvious gross motor acitivity that an infant will learn is running. This being said, don't be discouraged or worried if your bubs doesn't pick this skill up until their second year.
There isn't much you need to do here, since it is only natural for them to want to go faster once they have mastered their walking motor skill.
The best thing to do is really help them walk properly, so when the time comes to run they have a good technique and can handle the new pace!
Just a heads up - there will be many falls, bumps and bruises! But that is the best way for your little one to learn.
Final Thoughts for Gross Motor Activities for Infants
You should keep in mind that babies are born with only 5 senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. That means you can’t expect your baby to learn anything new unless you provide exposure through these five senses. You have to be patient when introducing new skills to your baby so that she/he doesn’t become overwhelmed. If you follow the above tips, I am certain your child will grow into a healthy adult who has mastered many types of physical activity.