Baby Safety

  • 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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            • 6 Best Baby Bathtubs

              Find the Best Baby Bathtub for Your Lifestyle.

              Article courtesy of Well Rounded NY

              That very first baby bath is such a sweet milestone. And in everyone’s baby pictures, it’s like the cutest moment ever. In real life, though, it’s kind of terrifying: there’s crying and flailing and slipping and more crying…from baby and mom. It doesn’t help that there’s so many different choices in the baby bathtub aisle, each with a different size, shape and function. WTF!? Isn’t a bath a bath? Not when you’re only 7 lbs. Below, our breakdown of baby bathtubs, so you can find the best one to suit your lifestyle.

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            • Germs and Your Newborn

              Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

              Bringing a baby into the petri dish that is NYC can be pretty scary. Even as adults, we try not to touch the subway poles, and we’re always tempted to put on a hospital mask when passing through Times Square. It’s no wonder that when many New Yorkers get pregnant, they hightail it for the suburbs, stat.

              Totally unnecessary, says Dr. Deena Blanchard MD, a pediatrician at Premier Pediatrics. “There is no evidence to suggest that living in NYC increases your infant’s risk of illness,” she reassures us, adding that a little old-fashioned hand-washing, and avoiding crowded or enclosed spaces early on is your best defense. But before you hit the subway with your fresh-out-of-the-oven newborn, you may want to brush up on a few germy guidelines for city-living.

              Here, Dr. Blanchard calms our concerns about bringing baby up in the big — and germy — city.

              Why is it important to be careful about exposing my newborn to germs?
              Until two months of age, your baby will not have received the vaccines that protect against certain bacteria that can produce serious illness in infants. Fever (defined as a rectal temperature 100.4 degrees (F) or above) in infants less than two months of age is taken very seriously. If your child were to have a fever, it would require a complete medical work-up and possibly hospitalization, so we recommend a little extra caution when dealing with young infants.

              So does that mean I’m stuck in my apartment for the first two months?
              Absolutely not! You can definitely leave your house with your new baby. You can take walks outside or go to a park. In nice weather, you can even sit outside at a café or restaurant. I would recommend avoiding any crowded or enclosed spaces until after the two-month vaccines. This includes movies, malls, subways, airplanes and other similar places.

              Everyone I’ve ever met wants to come meet the baby. How do I keep my baby safe from all those dirty hands?
              It is best for people to wash their hands before holding your baby. If a friend or family member is sick, I would recommend they refrain from being around the baby until they are feeling well. The most common way to catch an infectious disease is by touch. The hands pick up germs and then transport them to the eyes or mouth. By keeping your own — and your child’s hands — clean, you greatly reduce the chances that he will get sick. Although soap and water is always preferred, alcohol-based hand sanitizers work well, too.

              I feel like I am getting a cold, is it safe for me to breastfeed?
              Absolutely. When you are sick, your body makes antibodies that are then passed to the baby through the breast milk. Practice good hand-washing and continue to feed your baby while you are feeling sick. This allows your baby to get the antibodies you are making and actually helps protect him from getting sick as well.

              Do I need to sterilize my baby’s pacifiers and bottles?
              No. As long as you don’t use well water, a good thorough cleaning with soap and hot water is all you need to do to protect your baby.

              I’ve got a busy little toddler. What do I do about my older child touching the baby?
              It is important for your older child to bond with your new baby. That being said, many toddlers and school-aged children are often sick with viral illnesses, so use your judgment when it comes to close contact. If you child is sick with a febrile illness, please don’t allow her to come in close contact with your infant until she is feeling better. Otherwise, when your child is well, encourage him to talk with the baby and entertain the infant. You can also suggest kissing the baby’s feet and avoid the face and the hands.

              A Final Note:
              Even when we do our best to avoid illness, sometimes children get sick. Remember germs are a part of our world and can’t be completely avoided at all times. If your infant does get a fever, it is usually NOT you fault and does not mean you did something wrong or failed as a parent. Take the proper precautions as outlined above, and if you have concerns about your infant’s health, contact your pediatrician right away.

              This article is by Jessica Pallay, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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              • How to Baby-Proof Your Life — Brought to You By Ovia

                Ovuline is helping millions of women and families take control of their healthcare. Our mobile apps and health programs offer personalized support for each user’s unique journey from fertility to pregnancy and parenting.

                When Baby starts crawling or walking, anything in your house is fair game. They love exploring, touching, and tasting everything your home has to offer. Everyday items you never gave a second thought to become hazards. Here’s a guide to keeping your home safe from the moment your little one comes home from the hospital:

                Start with the basics. Double check that your home has all the basics that keep everyone in the home safe: A functioning fire extinguisher, smoke alarms, and carbon-monoxide detectors in case of emergency. Then create safe spaces by gating off stairs, ensuring all electrical outlets are covered, and keeping any toxic substances up high and out of reach.

                Reorganize your kitchen. Cooking can be distracting, so making sure that there aren’t hazards within Baby’s reach while your back is turned is so important. Safe items like plastic containers, paper towels, and sponges can live on lower shelves, while anything sharp or suffocation (think sharp utensils, plastic bags) need to be placed out of arm’s reach. Appliances that aren’t in use should be kept unplugged, with their cords kept on the counter. Consider plastic latches for cabinets or covers for stove knobs so she doesn’t play with fire!

                Secure your furniture. While baby’s playing around the house, keep in mind all the surfaces she could accidentally bump! Any table or chair with a sharp corner should be covered with a cushioned guard. Shelves, frames, and TVs should be mounted so as not to fall. Any electrical cords or pulls for your window blinds should be out of reach as well.

                Prep the bathroom. This is a place where baby should be watched at all times. A vital safety mantra to remember is simply to never take your eyes off of her while you’re both in here. Water, slippery surfaces—it all requires your attention.  Consider latches for your medicine cabinet as well as a toilet seat lock.

                Double check everything in the nursery. Keep in mind that while toys may be cute and snuggly, they do pose a hazard to those under 6 months old. Ensure that there aren’t stuffed animals left in the crib and that sheets are fit as tight as possible to keep from suffocating your little one. A mobile hanging over the crib is fine as long as no small parts are able to fall into the sleeping area. And as for the crib itself, although vintage cribs may fit into your nursery’s aesthetic, some may not meet new safety guidelines! Double check to ensure there are no dangerous openings or faulty side drops.

                Don’t forget the little things. So many things float around our homes that we don’t give a second thought to: paperclips, bobby pins, thumbtacks… and once baby comes they all need their place! Being cognizant of this and using care to make sure these items aren’t loose will eliminate the dangers of baby getting her hands (and mouth) on them. 

                Take a little time during your pregnancy to look around your house in the mindset of a crawling or walking toddler. Every item is a new discovery that needs to be investigated! You should create a forgiving environment for all your little one’s epic journeys around the house. 

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                • Baby Sleep Safety Myths

                  We’re busting 5 common myths around baby sleep safety.

                  Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

                  There’s a lot about parenting that comes instinctually. And in most cases, we’re the first to tell you to ignore the “expert” advice of Aunt Betty and Cousin Amy and your mail carrier. After all, you know what’s best for your baby. But, when it comes to sleep safety, there’s no room for “winging it.” In fact, there’s just one way get baby to sleep: safely. That doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of opinions out there, and some of them pretty bogus. We asked our favorite Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist Carolina Romanyuk to help us clear through the baby sleep safety clutter.

                  From organic mattresses to tummy time, here’s 5 common baby sleep safety myths, busted.

                  Baby in Crib

                  Myth 1: Baby will sleep better in my bed with me.
                  Fact: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highly emphasizes that bed sharing is a big no-no with newborns and infants, mainly because of the high SIDS risk possibility. Infants should sleep on surfaces designed for infants–a firm crib mattress and fitted sheet, with nothing else in the crib. Still thinking of bringing baby into your bed? Try a co-sleeper until you’re ready to move your little one into his own crib.

                  Myth 2: It’s no big deal to sleep baby on his tummy, they’ve been sleeping that way for hundreds of years.
                  Fact: Back in the early 90’s the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development launched the “Back to Sleep” campaign that was heavily promoted by the AAP. The campaign focuses on educating parents that placing their child to sleep on their back is the safest way to sleep. Till this day it is enforced because it has significantly reduced the death rates among infants in SIDS-related cases. We’re all for tummy time, but only when baby is awake and being watched.

                  Organic crib mattress

                  Myth 3: As long as I use an organic crib sheet, it doesn’t matter if my crib mattress is organic.
                  Fact: Parents should now more than ever be looking into organic and healthier versions of everything, from the food we feed to our babies, to the clothes they wear, to the mattresses they sleep on–for approximately 16-18 hours a day! Having a healthy sleep environment is crucial for achieving sleep success, and one of the most important pieces in your baby’s life for their early years is the crib mattress. Find an organic crib mattress, like this one from Greenbuds, which uses only all natural and organic materials and is free from pesticides, chemicals or other harmful synthetic substances. Removable and washable covers are a great benefit, and eliminate the need for synthetic waterproof barriers.

                  Here’s some other guidelines for choosing a healthy mattress:
                  Firmness. Choose a firm surface. A soft sleeping surface can be a suffocation hazard and raise the risk of SIDS. Worried your toddler-to-be won’t like that firm surface? Try a dual-sided mattress (Greenbuds uses coconut coir and a layer of natural latex for extreme firmness on the infant side) and turn it to the cushy side when your babe is a bit older.
                  Wool or cotton? Organic wool has inherent flame retardant properties, eliminating the need for any flame-retardant treatments, including the most common flame retardants found in standard mattresses, PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers). These flame retardants can release toxic gases and other substances that could harm babies. Cotton can be treated for fire safety too–Greenbuds, for example, treats its cotton covers with a form of boiron, which is a naturally derived mineral that acts as a fire retardant in a completely non-toxic format.
                  Size of the mattress. It should fit snug in the crib, with a 2-finger max between the crib rail and the mattress.
                  Mattress Pad. We don’t blame you if you want to add a little protection for those midnight accidents. Choose an organic mattress pad that’s fitted, with elastic edges so it’s super-snug around the mattress. Greenbuds makes a mattress protector that is completely organic, which can be used with their own line or added to any type of crib mattress.

                  Baby Sleeping Toddler Playing

                  Myth 4 : SIDS doesn’t happen anymore. And it especially doesn’t happen to people like me.
                  Fact: SIDs is very real and isn’t race-, economic- or gender-specific. While the cause theories on SIDS range from genetic/brainstem abnormalities or some other form of early developmental situation to environmental factors (ex: smoke, overheating,etc.), there are ways to reduce your baby’s risk. Create a safe sleep environment and urge your childcare provider to do the same, using these tips:
                  1. Make sure there’s no wires or baby monitor cords in the crib.
                  2. Choose a firm mattress that fits snugly in the crib so there is no movement.
                  3. Use only a fitted sheet.
                  4. There should be no loose blankets or toys in the crib.
                  5. Dress the baby as you would dress yourself with an extra layer. Remember, if you swaddle, that swaddle IS one extra layer. A good temperature is anywhere between 68 – 72 degrees, and consistency is key, especially when baby will be sleeping in a new environment (such as daycare). A wool mattress can also help to regulate body temperature which makes for a safer and more comfortable sleeping environment.
                  6. Baby should sleep in a smoke-free environment.

                  Myth 5: Baby can’t move around anyway, so it’s totally fine to use that really gorgeous bumper that came with my set.
                  FACT: Babies move all the time, even when they’re swaddled. You place them on an area of the crib and they end up on the other side. Babies are known to scoot, shimmy and, once they have access to their hands…oh boy, nothing is stopping them. While bumpers were originally created to keep the baby warm in the crib, they are now banned by the AAP. We know they are super pretty, but toss them away. They’re a hazard. Concerned baby’s cute little arms or legs will get stuck in the crib slats? Keep removing them from between the slats and eventually your child will stop, or invest in breathable bumpers made from a mesh material.

                  Little Hipsqueaks

                  This article is by Jessica Pallay, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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                • Toddler Tuesday: Cribs to Beds

                  Sleep expert Carolina Romanyuk helps ease the nighttime transition from baby to big kid.

                  Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

                  There comes a time in your baby’s sleep journey when you will say one of these things:

                  • “My kid hates her crib. She is always trying to get out of it. I have tried everything and nothing works. She ends up sleeping in our bed, and then no one sleeps. “
                  • “Woo hoo, you just turned 3. Let’s celebrate with you becoming a big kid with a big bed. I’m so excited!”
                  • “Baby # 2 is on the way. Time for a big bed.”

                  Translation: It may be time for you to transition your little one from a crib into a toddler bed.

                  First, here are two extremely important factors that need to be considered before this switch-a-roo is to take place: maturity and safety.

                  Maturity. Is your child actually mature enough for the transition? For the last couple of years, she’s been cozy in her safe crib and has a solid sleep foundation. A big bed can seem like a massive ocean. Some children that transition too early without having a solid sleep foundation can result in cuddling up in one corner for sometime because of the abundance of space. Otherwise, she may experience sleep disruptions and difficult bedtimes with tears and tantrums. For some, it can take several weeks into the transition to realize, “Well now, I’m actually supposed to sleep in this massive thing. They aren’t giving me my crib back. That sucks! Ok I’m gonna cry now because I hate this change. Was fun at first, but now it sucks!”

                  Safety. A 20-month-old is just now learning to follow simple instructions while simultaneously testing out rules and limits. They know your exact buttons to push. They are curious about the world and are extremely eager to explore. Now you add to the mix complete nighttime freedom–uh oh! What stops a small child from getting out of bed and roaming around in the dark? At 2-years-old, they are explorers, adventures, detectives and scientists. They can roam around their room at night; pull out drawers; climb on the changing table; eat the diaper cream–just making sure you’re paying attention. It becomes a time of potentially hazardous curiosity.

                  Even though I always recommend keeping a young toddler in her crib for as long as you can (preferably as close to 3-years-old as possible), she might have another agenda. You can try to stop her (turn the crib around or lower the mattress to make climbing out harder; remove large objects from the crib that could serve as a launch pad; or watching your monitor like a hawk to make sure you’re there with a firm “NO!” during any escape attempt). But when it’s actually time to make the switch, you need to know how to do it.

                  So when’s the right time? When your child is able to communicate verbally that she wants a big bed and is ready, usually around 2.5 to 3 years of age. (Side Note: 2.5 to 3 years is highly recommended as the appropriate age for going from crib to bed. But no one knows your child better than you. So listen to her, and if she asks for it and is between 2 and 2.5 with a solid sleep foundation intact, then go with the signals…of course, keeping safety in mind.)

                  As everything in parenthood-land, a plan of action is needed. Here are 4 simple steps on transitioning:

                  1. Decide on the type of bed. You may want a toddler bed which is low to the ground and can fit the crib mattress inside; it’s good till about 4 -5 years old. Otherwise, go right to a twin bed, which is higher off the ground and a twin mattress is needed. This is good till high school. (Side note: involve your child in the process of choosing her own bed, from choosing the color to picking out her sheets and pillow.)

                  2. Safety-fy the room. Make sure all drawers are secured and locked, including the changing table and closet. All electric sockets should be closed off. You may want to install bed rails to help if your child moves around a lot at night.

                  3. Hold a Family Meeting. This is super crucial to continuing with your solid foundation by establishing sleep rules so she can understand what is expected from her, why she is being transitioned and hear about the new big bed rules.

                  4. Have a Plan B. I always advise to have a Plan B when reality hits for your toddler after the transition. That moment when her toy falls to the ground, she gets out of bed to pick it up, and eureka! She realizes she can get out of bed by herself, and then the fun begins. A Plan B is needed if these setbacks occur, even way after the transition. Always stay consistent.

                  The transition from crib to big bed is huge and should be done at the moment your child is mature enough. As long as you listen to your child, and take in consideration her maturity level and safety, you’ll be golden. Even if once in a big bed, she starts talking about her crib and missing it, listen and place her back into the crib. That’s not going backwards or a regression, it’s listening to your child.

                  Here is to a healthy future and a good night’s sleep.

                  This article is by Carolina Romanyuk, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

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