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  • 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 Went Wrong With My Baby Nurse

    And 5 tips to choose the right baby nurse for your family.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    When I gave birth to my daughter three and a half years ago, my husband and I tackled the newborn months like any new parents would: with little sleep, a good amount of confusion, and a lot of love. Welcoming a baby into the world often requires major adjustments, and hiring a baby nurse is how many families cope with all the change. What exactly is a baby nurse?

    A baby nurse is essentially a nanny with specialized training and/or experience with newborns — not to be confused with a medical nurse. They are paid a hefty fee for around the clock care, especially through the night. I decided to hire a nurse for my second baby after realizing I wouldn’t have opportunities to sneak in extra sleep like I did with my first.

    As a stay-at-home mom, I was admittedly concerned about having an additional person living in my apartment and tending to my newborn. I was accustomed to calling the shots on day-to-day decisions when it pertained to my daughter. Despite my reservations however, I went forward with the interview process and hired a baby nurse...Read more

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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

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  • Keep Your Baby Entertained Indoors

    In case you don’t remember, the groundhog saw his shadow in early February, declaring six more weeks of winter. Whether or not you trust a small animal for your weather predictions, it’s good to be prepared for those cold, snowy days that February and March can bring. When the weather is at its worst, staying indoors with small children can drive you stir-crazy fast. Here are some ways to keep your little ones entertained all day long, and hopefully keep you sane in the process.

    Babies love ball. Crumple up old newspaper or wrapping paper into small, easy-to-handle balls and toss them around with your infant. A toddler will love trying to catch and throw the balls, too. Clean-up is easy: when you’re all done, bring out a paper bag and toss the “toys” into a recycle bin.

    Cook your way to playtime. Playdough is a perfect standby to give to your small kiddos, but if you want to extend the playtime, consider making the playdough yourself. There are countless recipes for playdough, cloud dough, and slime that are easy to make with simple ingredients that you probably have on hand already. A big bonus to making your own playdough is that you can make it 100% non-toxic.

    Have your kiddo create her own bling. Stringing together necklaces isn’t only fun (and time-consuming for the kids!), it’s a great fine motor activity for your child. It’s best suited for ages 18-24 months. Find string or yarn and large beads or thick pasta, and watch your child entertain himself.

    Clean-up time can be playtime, too. Maybe not when you legitimately have to get something clean, but your little one can at least pretend to help you when the stakes are low. Give him a water bottle to spray with and some rags and watch him get down to work (and play!).

    Boxes are a small child’s dream toy. Did you have a large package delivered recently? Bring the box into the living room, find a pair of scissors and some crayons, and create! Toddlers will be able to help color or design the box, and smaller babies will be interested in crawling and climbing through whatever you make. Some “Boxes for Beginners” ideas to start: a train, a ship, a playhouse, a dinosaur cave, a castle.

    Never underestimate the power of a dance party. On those days when you’re stuck inside and everything feels off, a dance party can seriously help you and your baby reset. Put on music you love, or check out more adult-friendly kid bands like The Not-Its and Recess Monkey for music that you won’t mind playing on repeat.

    Make your own music. If you’re feeling inspired, you can help your little one make her own instruments, like rain shakers out of rice and paper towel rolls. Or you can hand her a few wooden spoons and a set of bowls. She’ll love making “music,” and you can give yourself permission to put on your headphones during her “concert.”

    Let your baby play with his food. As moms, we’re often teaching our babies not to make a mess of dinner. But if your baby is wiggly and needs something different to do, set her in her high chair and give her small scoops of food for her to play with. A dollop of yogurt, some cooked (sauce-free) spaghetti, or tiny cut-up orange slices are all high-sensory foods that she can mess around with.

    Enjoy extended bathtime. Set your baby or toddler up in a warm, bubbly bath, whether it’s morning, afternoon, or evening. Let him play as long as he wants, and try giving him different toys to experiment with for water play.

    When’s the last time you made a pillow fort? It doesn’t need to be a high-tech fort, but making a small structure with a few pillows or cushions can be a lot of fun for a baby. Find a sheet to hang up and watch her crawl through and explore the new environment.

    Reading aloud is good for you and your baby. Cuddle up together with a stack of board books and read aloud together. Babies and toddlers love all kinds of books, and they don’t mind reading the same ones over and over, which means you don’t need a huge variety. Don’t be afraid to make silly voices and sounds, either.

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  • First Birthday Party Prep

    How to get the most out of your baby’s first birthday

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Our plan for Owen’s first birthday is to keep it small and intimate, at home. It’s not just that we are working with a smaller budget. We also recognize that the first birthday is, for the most part, more for the parents and the pictures than for our little guy. That said, no matter how intimate, if you want something memorable, a little preparation can go a long way. Here are 8 tips for planning your baby’s first birthday party and how to make the most of it.

    1. Keep the planning simple.

    Life is busy. So rather than stressing myself out about organizing the party, I want to do my best to keep things simple. Why? Because if I keep things simple and organized, I’ll be more likely to actually enjoy the party too! Our little pals and gals only turn one once, after all. Finding a venue that’s both affordable and comfortable for you and your guests is key. We plan on doing Owen’s party at home, but there are many other cheap or even free options, like parks or a friend’s backyard or house.

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  • Favorite Baby Names for 2017

    It’s a new year! Fashions change, pop culture trends emerge, and the latest favored baby names emerge on every expectant parents’ list. In 2016, classic names like Sophia, Emma, Olivia were all the rage for girls and parents loved names like Aiden, Lucas, and Jackson for boys. Which baby names will trend this year? And which are our favorites?

    GIRLS

    Aria: This name has a classic feel with a uniqueness that many traditional girls' names don’t possess. Bonus points for giving this name to a baby in a musical family.

    Mia: Rising on the top-names lists in 2016, Mia is a playful and feminine name for a 2017 arrival.

    Matilda: According to nameberry.com, Matilda was the 75th most popular name of 2016, but we think this vintage name will be trending soon, especially given its literary allusions.

    Luna: In Latin, Luna means “moon,” and its dreamy origin makes it a compelling name choice for 2017 babies.

    Grace: We love the strength and beauty of the name Grace, a classic virtue name. With the resurgence of old-fashioned names, Grace has enjoyed a rise in popularity in the past several years.

    Azalea: Flower names are always in style, and Azalea is a unique choice for those trying to stay away from the regular floral standbys.

    Embry: This is a lesser-known name of 2016, but we like to think its originality is its charm. Embry works well for parents who love Emily and Emma, but want to avoid the super-popular names.

    Jade: Strong and short, the name Jade is has a powerfully evocative quality to it. It’s no wonder: according to nameberry.com, the jade stone is said to spread wisdom, courage, and clarity.

    Zoe: This name has enjoyed an upsurge in recent years. Not only is Zoe a newly popular choice in the U.S., parents in Spain, New Zealand, and France are also fond of the name.  


    BOYS

    Declan: In 2015, Declan was hardly on the radar and has enjoyed increased popularity in 2016. Irish names have surged in approval for little lads, and we think it’s time for the name Declan to shine.

    William: A traditional name that withstands the latest fads, William is a top pick for princes and regular folk alike.

    Oliver: Much like the uber-popular female counterpart, Olivia, Oliver is a lively name with a vintage air to it. Nameberry.com notes that it was very well-used in medieval times, but fell out of favor after the rule of Oliver Cromwell.

    Noah: This is a popular name with biblical roots, and though it’s been trending for awhile, it has tremendous staying power.

    Hudson: Hudson is well known as a surname and as the NYC river, but it’s becoming increasingly well known as a first name, too.

    Vaughn: The meaning of the name is “small,” but we think this name makes a big statement.

    Bodhi: Bodhi comes from the Sanskrit word for “awakening” or “enlightenment” and is a meaningful choice for a 2017 baby.

    Knox: Perhaps most known from Fort Knox, Kentucky, the name has been used as a surname for centuries and has a rare ring to it.

    Wyatt: The meaning of this English-origin name is “brave in war,” and had become more well-known in the last several years.

    Lincoln: The name Lincoln has been slowly rising in popularity over the past several years and is most likely to stir up thoughts of former presidents.

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