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Baby Essentials

  • The Best High Chairs for Baby

    Babies spend a lot of time sitting, playing, and eating in their high chairs. You want to make sure you’re investing in a high chair that is comfortable and accessible for your baby, but also easy to clean and maintain. Above all else, of course, is the safety of the high chair for little ones.  

    Most babies won’t sit in a high chair until they’re at least six months old, when they start solid foods. But many parents choose to shop for high chairs long before the six month date, since having a newborn doesn’t go well with long shopping excursions. High chairs can be used for months or years, well until a baby has graduated into toddler-hood, so finding a quality high chair is investing in a piece of equipment you can use for a long time.

    Thinking about comfort, safety, and ease to maintain, we’ve tracked down some of the best baby high chairs out there.

    The Peg-Perego Siesta high chair keeps your baby mobile, while still contained. One neat feature of this high chair are the casters wheels (with locking functions for safety) that let you move the chair from room to room, so you and your baby aren’t bound to the dining room. The upholstery fabric is comfortable for your little one, but makes this chair slightly more difficult to clean if there’s a major mess explosion. Still, it’s made with quality materials and is built to last, with a price tag of $300.

    The Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair will seat your baby for years. This high chair hits a home run in nearly every department: its wooden style fits in beautifully at a more grown-up table, but its ergonomic design will keep your baby sitting comfortably. Infant seat, tray, and cushion are sold separately, but even with these additions, the price is reasonable at under $350.

    The Boon Flair Pedestal high chair is designed with parents in mind. We like the Flair high chair because of its well-thought out details: it has a smooth, seamless seat that means cleanup is quick and easy. It has a heavy pedestal base with adjustable levels that consumer reports have deemed “excellent.” And at $250, the price is right for a well-modeled high chair for everyday use.

    The Baby Bjorn high chair is minimalist in style, but not in function. While some high chairs take up enormous amounts of space, the compact Baby Bjorn doesn’t waste an inch of space. It’s easy to fold and makes a great travel high chair, but it also holds up in safety, comfort, and maintenance. The ergonomic design gives your baby support in the right places and safely keeps her in place with a lap belt with two buckles and a tray with safety post. The Baby Bjorn can be found for $300.

    The Micuna Ovo high chair blends style, safety, and function. “Elegant” isn’t usually a word you think of when you consider high chairs, but the Ovo is just that. You won’t mind keeping it at your dining room table, and the beauty of this chair is that it eventually transitions into a kid-sized chair when your baby grows bigger. It’s easy to clean and keep maintained, and has a five-point harness system for safety. Market price for the Ovo is $460.

    The Phil&Teds Lobster is the hook-on chair and travel seat you need. A portable baby seat can come in handy, whether you’re traveling far, or down the street to your favorite restaurant. This hook-on chair has an easy-to-remove fabric shell and dishwasher-safe tray, so cleaning up after a meal out is simple. The “lobster claw” clamps keep the seat safely secured to the table and a 4-point harness keeps your little one in place. The Lobster is listed at $89.99.

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  • What's the Best Breast Pump?

    Breast pumps fall in the category of those baby gear items that are totally mysterious until you use them. Then you fall completely in love and wonder how you ever thought you could live without them! If it’s your first time shopping for a breast pump, the variety of options can be overwhelming. Even if you’ve used a breast pump before, there are always new, state-of-the-art models making the pumping experience more manageable.

    When you’re looking at breast pumps, you need to evaluate them on several points. Cost, portability, size, frequency of use, and noisiness are all factors to consider when shopping, and will be varyingly important based on your own unique set of pumping circumstances.

    No matter what you’re looking for, there are a handful of forerunners in the breast pump market that deserve your attention.

    Medela Symphony is a heavy duty, no-messing-around workhorse of an electric pump. With its double-pump system and 2-phase expression pumping, it makes pumping go faster and more simply than many other electric pumps you’ll find.

    Medela’s Pump in Style Advanced is a darling of working mothers because of its portability, storage space, and design for multiple uses per day.

    Lansinoh Smartpump steps up your pumping game with technology. The pump connects, via bluetooth, to the Lansinoh app so you can track milk quantities, pumping sessions, and more.

    Ameda Purely Yours Ultra is lightweight, very user-friendly, and high-powered enough to get you efficiently through your pumping sessions.

    Spectra S2 PLUS is a powerhouse and has a variety of settings for you to choose from, making it simple to customize your pumping experience based on your needs of the moment.

    Avent Comfort Double makes pumping as comfortable as possible thanks to its design: there’s no need to lean forward or bend over the device to make the pump work effectively, like with some other pumps.

    Medela Harmony Manual Pump is the best manual pump we’ve found. Many women keep a spare manual in case of emergencies and if you’re out for a date night or afternoon with friends, and electric pumping isn’t realistic. The Harmony pump is small enough to fit in a large purse, easy to manage and maneuver while pumping, and simple to keep clean.

    When shopping for breast pumps, it’s important to understand your purchasing options. Talk to your OB and your hospital, since some hospitals have programs that give breast pumps to new mothers. Health insurance also may cover the purchase of your breast pump. If it gets too confusing, there are many organizations that help new mothers navigate the resources available to them. Yummy Mummy (based in New York City), La Leche League (international), KellyMom (online) and The United States Lactation Consultant Association are all great places to contact to be sure you get the best pumping care available to you.

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  • Baby Monitors for Every Parent Style

    Which of these 8 new baby monitors is right for you?

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Believe it or not, I put off purchasing a baby monitor for almost a year. I work from home  and we co-sleep,  so my daughter was always close by. That worked great…until it didn’t. I found myself constantly tiptoeing around the house, afraid to go in the room and accidentally wake her, but concerned that she would start crying and I wouldn’t hear her right away.

    Why did I wait so long and subject myself to all this craziness? Well, baby monitors can represent a hefty investment. I wanted to make sure whatever I spent money on would be a perfect fit for our family, and there were just so many options. It seemed like there was no way to really pick the “best” one. I thought each of them kind of did the same thing, but there turned out to be a huge range of features available at every price point.

    After extensive research on the hot new monitors on the market, here are 8 of our favorite baby monitors and what makes each of them different:

    The Work-Outside-The-Home Mama: Motorola MBP854 CONNECT
    Motorola provides all of the best features that modern-day monitors have to offer. With Wi-Fi streaming capabilities, you can view your baby from anywhere using your phone, tablet, computer or the included parent unit. Remote pan, tilt and zoom ensure that you always have the best view. $219, buy here

    Read more...

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  • The Best Strollers of 2017

    Shopping for a baby stroller is simple, right? You’d only answer “yes” to that question if you’ve never been stroller-shopping before. Browse online or at any baby store, and you’ll find endless options for every possible strolling wish, need, and desire. Which ones blow past the bluster and actually live up to their high praise or fancy-sounding name? Which stroller is the one that all your pregnant friends are snatching up? No need to steel yourself for hours of research—we’ve gone ahead and done that for you. Here’s what we found: the five best strollers you can buy in 2017, and who they’re most suited for.  

    Baby Jogger City Mini Single Stroller

    This award-winning stroller is lightweight, compact, and made of the highest-quality materials, which means it’s tough enough to withstand any manner of city terrain.

    Safety: The City Mini has a five-point safety harness and 50+ UV multi-position canopy.
    Style: This well-designed stroller blends seamlessly into upscale city sidewalks.
    Weight: 17.6 lbs
    Foldability: Easily foldable with an ultra-compact auto-lock fold for travel or storage.
    Flexibility for twins or additional siblings of different sizes: A glider board is available for separate purchase, and can be attached for older siblings to hop on and scoot along.
    Other: The City Mini has a multi-position recline, ranging from infant-friendly full recline to slight recline for naptime on-the-go. The City Mini can become part of a travel system using a car seat adapter or additional pram attachment.  
    Price: $259.99
    Bonus points: This one’s best for city-living.

      Bugaboo Donkey

      The Bugaboo Donkey is a high-functioning stroller that is made to grow and adapt to your family’s ever-changing needs.

      Safety: The Donkey has a foot-operated brake with heavy-duty air-filled tires and all-wheel suspension.
      Style: We all know that strollers for multiples can be bulky or unwieldy, but the Donkey uses space efficiently and has a smart look, no matter how many diaper bags you’re towing.
      Weight: 33.4 with 2 seats.
      Foldability: The stroller is foldable and has a carry handle.
      Flexibility for twins or additional siblings of different sizes: The Bugaboo Donkey transitions easily from mono (one baby), duo (a baby and an older toddler), to twin. You choose the set to purchase, and when you need to upgrade the space, it’s done in a matter of easy clicks.   
      Other: With the interchangeable seats, storage, and bassinets, there are actually a whopping 17 different configurations you can choose from, given your need of the moment. The seats are reclinable, reversible, and are carseat compatible.
      Price: $1399-$1979.
      Bonus points: This one’s best for for twins.

        Stokke Xplory

        The Stokke Xplory looks simple enough, but its design is intended for maximum interaction and connection between you and your little one as you stroll.

        Safety: The stroller includes a five point safety harness and adjustable footrests and handles for safe maneuvering.
        Style: The Stokke has a sleek design with a minimalist feel, though it doesn’t skimp on necessary accessories like a canopy, cup holder and underseat storage.
        Weight: 18 lbs.
        Foldability: This stroller folds well and the frame is made of lightweight aluminum, which makes it easy to tote around.
        Flexibility for twins or additional siblings of different sizes: The Stokke is for a single passenger.
        Other: This stroller is height adjustable, so the child seat can be raised to parent eye level, or lowered for rest time, or anything in between.
        Price: $1,225.00
        Bonus points: This one’s best for travel.

          Bumbleride Speed

          A durable jogging stroller, the Bumbleride Speed is made for heavy-duty use for on-the-go parents.

          Safety: A five-point harness, air-filled tires, foot brake, and all-wheel suspension make sure you’re in control of your little one’s safest ride.
          Style: Eco-fabrics and an aluminum frame show off the intention that was put into designing this stroller. No matter where you use it, the stroller has a nice look that meshes function with style.
          Weight: 24 lbs.
          Foldability: The stroller folds easily and stands up folded (one of those little-known stroller perks!) but the large wheels do add a small amount of bulk.
          Flexibility for twins or additional siblings of different sizes: The Bumbleride is for a single passenger.
          Other: This is your go-too jogging stroller and has several accessories that can be used for a day outside, like attachable parent pack and full rain cover.
          Price: $549.
          Bonus points: This one’s best for your outdoorsy lifestyle.

            UPPAbaby Vista Stroller

            This versatile stroller combines form and function into a multitasking piece of gear that you’ll keep for years, no matter how your family grows.

            Safety: The stroller has a five-point safety harness and shock-absorbing rear and front suspension for a smooth, safe ride.
            Style: The UPPAbaby has a classic design that won’t go out of style.
            Weight: 27.5 lbs.
            Foldability: A one-step fold easily collapses the stroller for transport or storage.
            Flexibility for twins or additional siblings of different sizes: The Vista is a multitasking godsend for mothers of multiple children. It easily expands to accommodate a baby and older sibling, with additional adapters. It also accommodates twins, allowing for two bassinets or car seats to attach to the frame. The Piggyback ride-along adapter even lets you transport up to three children at once.
            Other: The UPPAbaby Vista includes a bassinet that can be used from birth, along with the toddler seat and frame, so there’s no need to get a new stroller as your baby grows. It has an extra large storage basket along with removable, washable fabric that’s easy to clean.
            Price: $839.99 - $879.99
            Bonus points: This one’s your “forever” stroller.

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            • Cool Baby Gear Coming in 2017

              Check out our sneak preview from the ABC Kids Expo.

              Article courtesy of Well Rounded NY

              We love a tried and true product that we can turn to baby after baby, and sometimes, after baby again. But with every season comes new innovation in safety, design and ease, and new baby products we just NEED to add to our registry.

              Below are a few of the coolest products we saw at the ABC Kids Expo that will hit shelves in the coming months, and possibly, your nursery too.

              CloudTot
              The makers of the innovative DockATot are upping the ante with their new tech-enabled CloutTot. To the naked eye, the CloudTot looks like the same cozy baby docking station you’ve come to love for co-sleeping, rest-time, tummy time and more, the new version includes a baby awakening system, which alerts parents when no motion has been detected for 12 seconds, and a patent-pending capability to detect moisture within the bedding area, alerting parents when baby is wet...

              Keep reading for more cool baby gear

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            • 5 Instagram-Worthy Wooden Baby Toys

              Beautiful toys that won’t make your home look like a toy store.

              Article courtesy of Well Rounded NY

              With limited space and a limited budget, we are always on the hunt for toys that Owen will love, but that won’t make our apartment look like a disorganized toy store. Today I’m rounding up 5 of our favorites that accomplish just that. All of the toys you see here are safe, well-designed and, in my opinion, add beauty to our space rather than take away from it. I love that Owen’s toys are out in our home, and it makes it that much better that they aren’t an eyesore.

              Here are 5 baby toys that won’t make your apartment look like a toy store:

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