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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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  • 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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  • The Top 5 Pregnancy and Parenting Apps

    Babies might not come with custom instruction manuals, but, given the abundance of apps designed for pregnancy and parenting, there are some top-notch digital tools to make your life with little ones go more smoothly. Whether you want to chart your fertility preconception, keep up to date on your baby's growth in utero, or even find a stellar caregiver once the baby has arrived, there's an app to support you.

    But which ones are worth your time?

    This list of the top 5 pregnancy-related and parenting apps will get you started with the best of the best. These will help you get the most important information you need when you need it most. Some of the apps even have staying power well beyond pregnancy.

    Ovia Fertility helps women conceive faster. If you're trying to conceive, Ovia Fertility is a must-have. This user-friendly app is nothing short of comprehensive when it comes to understanding your own cycle, tracking your data, analyzing patterns, and giving feedback on your most fertile times. Ovia Fertility is far more than a simple ovulation calendar. The app learns your unique cycle, even if you have irregular periods, and makes custom predictions based on the information you provide. You will receive health summaries and statistics based on your own data, as well as daily fertility scores and fertility windows. Ovia Fertility also provides expert articles and information on conception and fertility for your benefit.

    BabyCenter's My Pregnancy & Baby Today simplifies the day-to-day of pregnancy. Enter your baby’s due date and you’re ready to go with day-by-day pregnancy tips, weekly checklists and reminders, and fetal development images. This particular app is so valuable because it boasts a long list of truly helpful features: nutrition advice, fitness ideas, baby product reviews, and an extensive archive of articles on pregnancy-related topics, to name a handful. There’s also a strong community of other mothers and moms-to-be. You can join a birth month club, ask questions on topic forums, and connect over your pregnancy experiences. Then, once you deliver, it switches to daily parenting guidance to support you through baby's first year.

    Expectful helps you practice self care during your pregnancy. Expectful fills a much-needed niche in the pregnancy app market. While it’s vital to focus on the baby during this time, it’s just as important for you to take care of your emotional needs. Expectful offers trimester specific guided meditations, exercises for couples, and tips on breath and posture. And there’s science to back up the content: everything offered is designed by experts in prenatal care, meditation, psychology, and linguistics. The idea is simple: meditation during pregnancy and beyond decreases stress, enhances immunity, and has been shown to have a positive impact on the bonding between you and your baby. The app also cultivates community groups, so you can connect with like-minded moms.

    Eat Sleep is the simplest way to track your baby's eating, sleeping, and diapering habits. A user-friendly personal homepage shows a summary of your baby’s daily activities and you add all of the information you want to track. You can chart your baby’s feeding times, sleeping and waking patterns, diaper changes, and monitor daily, weekly, and monthly totals. The app also allows you to take notes, so that you can add crucial details. Eat Sleep switches easily between children, so it’s perfect for maintaining a miniature database on an entire crew of kids. The beauty of Eat Sleep is its simplicity: it isn’t bogged down with useless features, and it’s a breeze to use.

    Sitter takes the hassle out of finding a trusted caregiver. When your baby arrives, and you’re ready for date nights or me-time, you’ll want Sitter. This app is different from most of the babysitter tools available. With Sitter, you add babysitters into your contact list, send them a booking, and the sitters will respond with a “yes” or a “no.” They don’t need to have the app to interact with it: they will receive a text. You set your sitters’ rates in the app, and at the end of the job, you can use the app to pay the sitter, cash free (of course, you can pay in cash if you'd like). You can add the sitters you already know to a contact list, or if you’re just starting out looking for quality care, you can find sitters in your network of friends or search within y

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  • Getting Rid of the Mommy Thumb

    10 ways to treat the modern mother’s tech dilemma.

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Mamas: raise your hand if you routinely hold your newborn in one arm while refreshing your email with your other thumb or incessantly scrolling through WellRoundedNY’s Instagram feed. If you do, you may have experienced an occasional little twinge of pain at the base of your thumb.

    But that twinge could be much worse: you could develop the carpal tunnel of new moms: de Quervain’s syndrome, also referred to as “Mommy Thumb.” Defined as a painful condition affecting the tendons on the thumb side of your wrist, it will probably hurt when you turn your wrist, grasp anything or make a fist.

    It is said to be brought on by repetitive motions that are all part of motherhood: picking the baby up, holding them with your thumb stretched out, breastfeeding  and, sadly, performing all other tasks with your dominant hand when you’ve shifted holding the baby to the other side. This includes a new stressor of our modern day era: texting, emailing, scrolling on our smart phones. All initiated by the mighty thumb.

    To prevent the condition from getting worse for you, here are 5 suggestions of how to change your daily routine, as well as 5 exercises that you can do at home, to strengthen your hands.

    5 Ways to Change your Routine:

    1. If you own a smart phone with a thumb print unlock system, make sure to add a second or more prints to avoid using the same thumb over and over again.
    2. Whenever you are scrolling, refreshing and opening items on your smart phone, do it with your index finger. Put the phone down, unlock and use your index finger. It sounds like it’s not a big deal but it will save your thumb from agonizing pain.
    3. Avoid the ‘L’ position of your thumb and index finger. Instead try keep the thumb close to the palm of your hand when performing any repetitive activity like picking up the baby, to create more of a cupping movement
    4. Ice the base of your thumb regularly, as soon as symptoms occur.
    5. Use your non-dominant hand for activities that aren’t potentially dangerous, such as brushing your teeth, reaching for items like your coffee cup,  eating snacks that don’t require silverware and anytime you instinctively do a motion that is one-handed.

    5 Exercises to Strengthen the Base of your Palm and Wrists:

    1. Flexing the wrist with or without a weight. With your palm facing up, make a fist and flex your wrist towards you and down away from you. Once you feel comfortable doing this without a weight, you could add a can of beans/corn/chickpeas. Do 3 sets of 10, going through the motion slow and controlled.
    2. Tie a kitchen towel to a door handle or secure in a different place that won’t move. Wrap one end of the towel around your hand and standing sideways pull the towel towards you until it is taught. Hold here for 30 seconds with your elbow tucked to your side. Do 3 sets.
    3. Hold your hands out in front of you, like you would push into a wall. Slowly rotate your wrists clockwise and then counter clockwise. 2 sets of 10 in each direction.
    4. Press your palms into one another like you are praying and extend your elbows out to the side. Now rotate your palms out as if pointing at something and back to the starting position. 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
    5. After all these exercises and throughout the day, make sure to stretch your wrists. With the palm facing up, push your fingers down towards your wrist and until you feel a nice stretch in your forearm. Then reverse and keep your palm facing down while you push your fingers down and towards the wrist. You will feel a nice stretch on the outside of your forearm. Do 2 sets of 30 second holds in each direction.

    I hope that you will never have to experience de Quervain’s syndrome or Mommy Thumb. Make sure to adjust repetitive motion as soon as you feel the slightest pain because once it develops into full-fledged tendinitis it is among the most painful conditions that I have witnessed in new mothers.

    This article is by Roma van der Walt, 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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  • Tech Chat: Kindara Fertility App

    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Planning for baby made a bit simpler with the help of this one app.

    As any woman who is trying to conceive will tell you, when she decides that she’s ready to have a baby, she wants that baby now. After all, weren’t we always warned that we could get pregnant at the drop of a hat? But for many of us, things don’t always go as planned. A simple online cry for help brings up countless forums on prime positions, pregnancy tests and the dreaded two week wait, but very little of the info we all need to understand our bodies and fertility and do our best to get those families started.

    There are countless apps in the market to track your period and determine peak days of ovulation so when a few friends recommended that I download one, I headed to the web to learn more. After experimenting with Fertility Friend and Glow, I found the perfect match with the simple and user-friendly design of Kindara. Not only does Kindara educate you on FAM, the Fertility Awareness method, but it also serves as a useful journal of your body’s changes throughout each monthly cycle (this is super helpful if you require fertility treatments in the future–your doctor will want to know as much about your cycles as possible!).

    Once you understand the signs to look for (cervical fluid, cervical position and basal body temperature–I own this basal thermometer), you simply enter the data into your app and toggle to the chart to search for signs that your body is nearing ovulation. You might find that although you have a typical 28 day cycle, you aren’t ovulating until day 18 and have been timing things incorrectly all along. Or maybe your cycles are as inconsistent as can be and you want to visit your OB/GYN to find the right tips or supplements to help you regulate your ovulation.

    After using Kindara for nearly one year now, I’m a huge fan of the simple daily data entry, alarm reminder to check your basal temperature / cervical fluid and the option to connect with other users, whether to view their charts or share your own as a way to learn more about each cycle. You can also add other measurables to indicate days when you had a few too many drinks (this can affect the next day’s temperatures) or to keep track of a vitamin or supplement you’ve added to your routine. The notes function allows you to add more detailed info (cramping on the left side? feeling really moody?) so that all the specifics you might need to know are in one place. An added bonus is keeping track of when you are intimate with your partner. If I notice that it’s been a number of days, I’ll go out of my way to make time for my husband and I to be together, no matter how many emails are waiting to be answered (or what time of the month it is!).

    And according to FAM, keeping track of these changes in your body isn’t just helpful when you’re trying to conceive. It’s also a great tool for those looking for the opposite but not interested in condoms or the pill. While not 100% fool-proof, many women swear by timed intercourse as a natural form of birth control.

    Whatever your path to becoming a mom or holding off on babies for now, you’ll go into it with a new and empowering understanding of your body. We’re wishing you well!

    This article is by Liz Kerins Pacheco, 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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  • Top 10 Pregnancy Mobile Apps!

    When it comes to information, the experience of pregnancy, especially your first pregnancy, is like drinking water from a firehose. You’re seeking information, you’re filtering information and you’re deciding whose information is useful or not.

    Pregnancy apps are a blessing for the modern pregnant woman! But which pregnancy mobile apps are helpful and informative? Which pregnancy apps meet your needs and interests?

    We at Nine Naturals have some experience with pregnancy and some pretty serious experience with being tethered to our smartphones. So we decided to assemble a list of the best pregnancy apps for moms-on-the-go who want the best, most current information about their pregnancy at their fingertips.

    1. Baby Time. Wondering if you’re in labor? Created by doctors and nurses at Vanderbilt University, Baby Time tracks the intervals between your contractions, while also measuring their intensity. Doing this legwork for you makes preparing for delivery much easier. The app can make excellent predictions as to the stage of labor you are in at any  moment.
    2. 50,000 Baby Names. For every expecting couple, deciding on a name for baby is an exciting and sometime-fun / often-difficult item on the baby prep checklist. This app simplifies the name search with its extensive range of search options, including origin, meaning, and popularity ranking.
    3. I’m Expecting. This might be the most essential app to download once your pregnancy has been confirmed. It populates a helpful list of tasks for you that you’ll appreciate, from monitoring your symptoms to managing your birth announcements.
    4. Pilates for Pregnancy. Mindful of your need to keep fit when pregnant, but short on time for the gym? This app comes to the rescue, with several Pilates-based workouts adapted to each trimester of pregnancy.
    5. mPregnancy. A great app for your male partner in pregnancy! mPregnancy is the best mobile app for  dads-to-be in everything they need to know about the baby on the way, in more masculine terminology that they’ll appreciate.
    6. Prenatal Smart. What foods should you avoid when pregnant? Which dishes are safe for a developing baby? Questions like these are answered with ease by this nutritionally helpful app.
    7. My Pregnancy Today. Turn to this app for informative and detail updates on your baby’s development from day to day. It employs great graphics and videos to not only monitor baby and your pregnancy symptoms, but also to connect you with other expecting mothers due when you are.
    8. CineMama. This is a fabulous mobile app for moms interested in capturing cute pictures of their baby bump as it grows each day. The app tracks your bump and stores movies and pictures of your pregnant loveliness for each calendar day.
    9. What to Expect. From one of the most renowned pregnancy brands, the What to Expect app provides personalized daily updates on the development of your baby and recommendations on how to take care of yourself during pregnancy. This app was our founder’s top go-to apps during her pregnancy.
    10. iPregnancy. This is the ideal app for meticulous tracking about anything and everything related to being pregnant. A good catchall app that addresses the gamut of pregnancy topics, it can even create 2D and 3D images of your baby as she develops.

     

    Which is your favorite app? Did we forget to include your favorite one? Let us know in the comments!

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