What Not to Buy Now: A Used Stroller

by Sandra Gordon on August 5, 2015

DABYrMSaOOIBuying a stroller is no walk in the park. It’s among the biggest ticket items you’ll buy when you’re gearing up for your new baby. Prices can range from $19.98 for a bare-bones Cosco umbrella stroller to $1999 for the Bugaboo Cameleon3 Avenue stroller—limited edition – and more! And, like car seats, there’s a lot from which to choose.  That’s why it can be so tempting and exciting to short circuit the selection process and just buy a gently used stroller for $20 to $30 or so at a tag/garage sale, on Facebook, eBay and Craig’s List and other places where used baby stuff is sold. Done!

But here’s the (wheel) deal…

New federal (mandatory) stroller and carriage safety standards go into effect after September 10, 2015. Read on to find out why these safety updates should steer you in a new direction. [click to continue…]

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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A Smart Car Seat that Keeps Your Baby in Mind

by Sandra Gordon on July 27, 2015

DABXoKYx7Po1
Did you know heatstroke has already killed 10 children this year because they were left in vehicles?!

With heatstroke, body temperature rises to dangerously high levels because the body gets so hot, it can’t cool itself. Although dehydration contributes to heatstroke, “it’s mainly related to a hot environment,” says Joel Steinberg, M.D., professor emeritus of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center of Dallas.

On a hot day, “the ambient temperature of the car can get up to 140 degrees F. and toddlers and small children can die in as little as an hour,” Dr. Steinberg says. (Heatstroke is an emergency. Call 911 if you think your child may be suffering from it.)

Babies also overheat faster than adults because they’re less able to regulate their body temperature. Children can also die of hypothermia (when their body temp drops below 95 degrees F) if forgotten in their car seat in the colder months.

Finally…a car seat that chimes in!

To prevent car-seat-related heatstroke or hypothermia, it go31511754_Embrace_DLX_Advanced_SensorSafe_Largo_V5_largees without saying: Never leave your kids alone in the car, even for a few minutes just to run an errand.

To help you remember that your baby is back there when you’re a zoombie from baby sleep deprivation, distracted or just on autopilot, check out the Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Embrace infant car seat. Sold exclusively at Walmart.com, the Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Embrace seat is the first of its kind because it sounds off when:

–Your car is turned off and your baby’s car seat chest clip is still buckled.

–Your baby manages to unbuckle the chest clip when you’re driving.

In either case, a series of tones will play to remind you that hey–your baby is still on board or has unclipped. Ingenious!

How it works: The Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Embrace Infant Seat uses a wireless receiver that plugs into your car’s On Board Diagnostic (OBD) port and syncs with the seat’s chest clip, which has a transmitter. (It’s less complicated than it sounds.) The chest clip transmitter communicates with the wireless receiver in the OBD port through a low power signal.

The chest clip contains a battery that’s designed to last for the life of your car seat. But if it runs low, you’ll get a low battery alert, which sounds different than the other reminder tones you’ll hear. The power signal between the chest clip and the receiver is brief–less than one second in two hours of driving time, according to Evenflo.

The SensorSafe receiver works with 2008 or newer gas/diesel equipped vehicles purchased in the U.S. or Canada. If you’d like to use the SensorSafe chest chip with a Stop/Start vehicle or a Hybrid, contact Evenflo at 1-800-233-5921.

Fast Facts — The Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Embrace Infant Car seat is:

–Compatible with the Snap N Go stroller frame, which is a quick way to turn your baby’s car seat into a stroller. Using a Snap & Go as your baby’s first stroller buys you time to shop for the stroller your baby can use once he/she can sit up (at around 6 months). Or, if you prefer to buy everything at once, the SensorSafe Embrace is sold as a travel system, the Advanced SensorSafe Epic Travel System, only at Walmart.com ($239.99).
–Super light. Without the base, it weighs just 7.5 lbs–the lightest weight seat yet, even lighter than the Nuna Pipa (7.7 lbs)!
–Not a power drain. The wireless receiver in the OBM port uses a tiny amount of power. Don’t worry–it won’t drain your car battery.
–Reasonably priced. It retails for $149.88. If the Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Embrace infant car seat or the travel system is out of stock at walmart.com, don’t worry. The inventory replenishes quickly.

Is this the right car seat for you?

There are lots of car seats on the market so you have lots of options. But the Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Embrace Infant Car seat may be your top contender if:

–You’ll be switching off daycare/babysitter duty. Some days you’ll be dropping off, others your spouse/partner/boyfriend/girlfriend will.

–You’radv_prot_sensorsafe_chestclip2_largee a commuter and a major multitasker.

–You’re juggling a constantly-changing schedule.

–You’re sleep deprived (okay, that’s everybody).

Frankly, I think the SensorSafe concept is such a good idea that I predict more car seats will be offering this feature soon–if that’s possible (and I hope it is)!

On another note…Walmart is stepping up in the baby gear department

Baby product manufacturers often do exclusive deals with major retailers to create products specifially for them. When they do, they can tweak products and offer them at a specific price. In this case, Walmart has partnered with Evenflo. Walmart is also stepping up in the baby gear department in other ways. So if you just think of Walmart when it comes to less expensive diapers, formula wipes and baby food, think again.

In fact, Walmart now:

–Features new national baby brands, such as Baby Bjorn, Baby Home, Banana Fish, Baby Mod, Breathable Baby, Dapple, Britax, Plum, Ella’s, Halo Sleep sack, JJ Cole, Lolly & Me, Maxi-Cosi, Medela, Phil&teds, Pinwheel, Tommee Tippee, Urbini and Vulli. It also offers Pampers’ newest diaper, Premium Care, which is available in stores and online.

–Has a new improved baby registry with the Walmart mobile app. With this DIY registry, you can add products by selecting products on Walmart.com or by scanning the barcode on products in the store. Thrift tip: To avoid adding products to your registry blindly (and using your registry “dollars” not so wisely–even though someone else is paying the tab, visit a store or two and check out the products so you really know what you’re adding to your baby registry if/when you register online. It’s worth taking a weekend or two to do your research, no matter where you register.

Your Walmart registry will update automatically when your friends and family scan their receipts with the Walmart mobile app after checkout. So tell them to download the Walmart mobile app too.

Do you shop for baby stuff at Walmart? What’s your favorite baby product to buy there? Is the Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Embrace Infant Car seat on your shopping list?

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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Should cellphone radiation be on your radar?

by Sandra Gordon on July 17, 2015

DABW6UgztlY4When you’re expecting a baby, you try to avoid a lots of things, such as first and secondhand smoke, X-rays, caffeine and alcohol. Here’s a new contender for the no-no list: Radiation from electronic devices like your cellphone, your laptop and your iPad.

As you may know, cellphones and other electronic devices emit non-ionizing radiation through their antennas at low levels. (That’s how they communicate with the cell tower or your wireless router.) Unlike ionizing radiation (think X-rays), non-ionizing radiation is weak.  A quick bio lesson: It doesn’t have the power to break the DNA chain like ionizing radiation can. That’s a good thing. But that doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe.

Evidence is mounting that our bodies can absorb non-ionizing energy, and that it may affect human DNA over time. Consider: In 2011, the World Health Organization classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (a.k.a. non-ionizing radiation from electronic devices) as a possible carcinogen, putting it in the same category as DDT, diesel engine exhaust, jet fuel and lead. “It’s analogous to getting sun exposure over the years,” says Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, president and founder of the Environmental Health Trust and the Website saferphonezone.com.

Would pregnancy be a good time to put non-ionizing radiation on your radar? It might be. Read on…

[click to continue…]

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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Hot tips to keep your baby safe this summer

by Sandra Gordon on July 10, 2015

DABWUiVptd8It’s no surprise that accidents happen, even when we’re trying to be careful. But because we’re outside more and the days are longer, summer can be an especially dangerous time. According to SafeKids Worldwide, there’s an 89 percent increase in children drowning in the summer months, for example.

Fortunately, turning your baby’s summer into a safety zone is a matter of making a few precautionary tweaks. Here are some small risks you might be taking that can lead to big problems, and tips for avoiding them.

DABWUiRjGVQSlip-up: Leaving your child in the car. Each year, 38 children die from heat stroke after being left unattended in motor vehicles, according to Kidsandcars.org. The inside of a car can heat up quickly—to as high as 122 degrees F in less than 20 minutes on an especially hot day. According to International Parking Institute, five toddlers have already died of heat stroke in hot parked vehicles this summer in Idaho, Florida, Louisiana, and Arizona. Moreover, young children overheat faster than adults because they’re less able to regulate their body temperature.

Play it safe: Never leave your baby in the car, even with the windows “cracked,” or even just for a few minutes. And keep in mind that a change in routine or a bad night’s sleep can easily lead to the unthinkable—driving to work with your sleeping baby in the car and forgetting that it’s your day to drop her off at daycare. To help you remember that your baby is in the car, put a soft toy in the front seat. Or secure something you need, such as your diaper bag or backpack, in the backseat near your baby. Also, get in the habit of checking to make sure that everyone has exited the car when you get to your destination and lock car doors when you leave so a curious toddler can’t climb in your car when you’re not looking. Keep your car keys and remote control devices out of your child’s reach too.

Slip-up: Assuming someone else is watching the kids. “At pool parties, many parents assume somebody else is watching. Mom assumes Dad’s watching. Dad assumes Mom’s watching and it’s easy to get distracted,” says Phyllis F. Agran, M.D., M.P.H., professor emeritus of pediatrics at the UCI School of Medicine, in Irvine, California. Even a few unsupervised minutes in the water can be deadly for a young child.

Play it safe: Assign a supervisor. One of you needs to be officially on duty and concentrating on your child. At pool parties with present, designate a supervisor and make it clear by saying to your spouse, for example, “Okay, you’re on duty while I’m chatting with our friends.” The on-duty person shouldn’t read, text or use his smartphone. And don’t think it’s enough to make older kids, who are having fun too, keep an eye on the younger ones. Make that water watcher is your spouse or another adult.

Slip-up: Keeping the wading pool filled. “Young kids can drown in an inch of water or less,” says Drengenberg, so don’t think the water in your child’s baby pool is harmless.

Play it safe: “DumpDABWUiRjGVQ1 the wading pool when you’re done with it,” Drengenberg says. “And turn it upside down so it doesn’t catch rain water.” In fact, empty all outdoor containers of water after use, including five-gallon buckets and insulated coolers; they’re a formidable drowning hazard. In fact, according to SafeKids Worldwide, the majority of infant drowning deaths happen in bathtubs or large buckets. If you have a hot tub at home, be sure to install a lockable safety cover.

Slip-up: Leaving your medication on the hotel night stand. “When we’re traveling, it’s often much easier for toddlers to get into things that might be safely stored at home,” says Soloway. We stow medication and vitamins in suitcases, on night stands–places that are accessible to children, she says.

Play it safe: If you don’t have access to a locked cabinet, store your medication and vitamins out of your child’s reach just like you would at home. Lock all medication, including over-the-counter products, in your suitcase or a medication travel case that locks or store it on a high shelf. Do the same at Grandpa and Grandma’s house, too, and do a safety check. Make sure any medication or vitamins they take aren’t accessible to your child.

 

 

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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DABV1TfGBvcWhen you’ve got a new baby or a toddler, just going around the block and seeing the world with fresh eyes is an adventure. Still, parenting on the go, especially when you really want to get outta town, can be more than a tad stressful. It’s hot or raining. Your flight gets canceled. You lose your baby’s fave pacifier and the backup. You get stuck on the tarmac for hours. You’ve still got to change diapers. And so on.

Good news: No matter where you go, the right stuff can help. Here are cool products that can make summer travel with your baby easier. Plus, a note about rentals!

Don’t leave home without…

A travel crib:
A hotel crib or play yard can be a safe haven for your baby. In the U.S. hotels and motels must provide cribs for their guests that comply with the latest federal safety standards. Still, bringing your own travel play yard, such as the Lotus Everywhere Crib  can pack a lotta peace of mind because you know exactly what shape the play yard is in and who has used it last.
The Lotus crib:
–Is the only travel crib that’s Greenguard Gold certified. That means that it has been tested to meet strict emission levels of pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde and phthalates. In other words, it doesn’t give off harmful gasses that your baby can inhale.

–Is long–42 inches. Your baby won’t outgrow it quickly.

–Has meshy sides on all fours, for good airflow

–Has a zippered side panel so your baby can come and go at play time

–Qualifies as a carry-on, as per FAA regulations. Total weight = 13 pounds.

–Takes only 15 seconds to setup.

–Has straps so you can carry it as a backpack.

–Features a 1-year warranty.

[click to continue…]

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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The HappyFamily story & giveaway!

by Sandra Gordon on June 24, 2015

Made to MatterNormally, lunch is a peanut-butter-banana-spinach smoothie I whip up quickly so I can keep writing and eat at the same time. But last week, I took a welcome break from my home office routine to head to New York City for Target’s Made to Matter “Ladies Who Launch” meet and greet. It featured six of the top female founders of Target’s Made to Matter Collection–Target’s natural, organic and sustainable product collection comprised of 31 better-for-you brands.

Shazi Visram, the founder of HappyFamily, which makes HappyBaby, HappyTot, HappySqueeze and HappyChild products, was one of the female founders who shared the story behind her brand.
The gist of her story is impressive, to say the least!

HappyFamily: The birth of an empire

Visram, the daughter of entrepreneurial immigrant parents, moved from Canada to Birmingham, Alabama at age 3. Flash forward two decades. After earning an MBA from Columbia Business School, Visram had a strong desire to create a business from nothing based on a mission: “The business had to be meaningful, make a national impact and give back,” she says.IMG_8024

After talking with a new-mom friend whose pediatrician advised her to feed her baby organic food, the idea of premium organic baby food was born. At the time (2006), only 4 percent of baby food sold in the U.S. was organic.

Visram, who is also a mom, launched HappyBaby in 2006 with five retail stores in New York City that sold frozen organic baby food in ice cube trays. But it turns out that moms just didn’t buy baby food from the freezer section. Bummer!

Then, in 2009, squeeze pouches came on the scene. “It revolutionized organic baby food by making it easy to give to children,” Visram says. Today, food pouches are HUGE and so is organic baby food. In fact, 50 percent of the baby food sold at Target is organic. HappyBaby, now HappyFamily Brands, has gone gangbusters too, sporting $135 million in sales!

And talk about giving back! Through Happy to Help, HappyFamily partners with charitable organizations to help make a difference. HappyFamily is constantly innovating too, so be on the lookout for more great products, especially in the prenatal category. HappyFamily products are sold at Target (most HappyFamily products are available in Target stores only). You can also find HappyFamily’s complete product line on Amazon and other retailers.

HappyFamily Giveaway!

In honor of infant nutrition, I’m giving away one free four pack of banana, beet, squash & blueberry HappyTot Love My Veggies (MSRP $5.49) plus six individual HappyTot Love My Veggie pouches to one lucky parent. Individual pouch flavors include spinach, apple, sweet potato & kiwi; banana, beet, squash & blueberry; and carrot, banana, mango & sweet potato. Besides feeding them to your baby, they’re great in pancakes, smoothies and baked goodies too.
IMG_8034Check out this recipe for HappyTot Mega Pancakes.

Since I write a lot about how to make your life as a new parent easier, however, I’d like to know your baby food secrets: What do you do to make feeding your baby easier? What foods and products do you use to get the job done? Leave me a comment, and I’ll choose a winner at random to receive these awesome HappyTot products!

This contest is open to residents of the US only and closes at 5PM ET, July 4, 2015. If your name is chosen, I’ll notify you by email; if you fail to respond within 48 hours of being notified, you’ll make another entrant very happy because I’ll be forced to choose another name.

Thank you to Target for graciously and generously providing me with HappyFamily products to pass along to you!

 

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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Save big bucks on baby gear

by Sandra Gordon on June 22, 2015

From a car seat and crib to diapers and daycare, little ones come with big expenses. In fact, parents spend an average of $14,000 on their baby’s first year. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the baby superstore and fill up your cart with products you may not need or use. But these money-saving strategies can help you buy the best for your baby gear for less.

Centsible Advice

Think neutral. If you’re planning on having more children, register or buy gender-neutral-colored baby gear now so you’ll feel comfortable using that product again for your next baby. This year, purple is the new pink or blue. You also can’t go wrong with lime green, red, orange, yellow, silver, black, or green. Be sure to heed this advice when you’re shopping for big-ticket items, such as a car seat and stroller.

miosolo coloursTry reusable diapers. If you use disposable diapers—like the majority of parents do even though reusable diapers are becoming more mainstream–you can anticipate spending an average of $80 per month per child, for a total cost of around $2,400 from birth to potty training (at around age 2 1/2). But you can spend less than that by using cloth diapers, which will run you $500 or less for a complete stash that you can use for your next baby too. Today’s cloth diapers are almost as easy to use as disposables. They’re better for the environment too. Even just using cloth diapers some of the time, such as on the weekends, can help reduce your diaper overhead.

Get a free breast pump. If you plan to go back to work full-time after your baby is born and continue breastfeeding, a double electric breast pump can help you get the job done fast and efficiently and help maintain your milk supply. But the price tag—upwards of $240—can be a budget buster, especially when you’re busy stocking up on other big-ticket baby items, like a crib, car seat and stroller. Fortunately, there are smart ways to save on this mommy must-have.

As a result of the Affordable Care Act, as many as 80 percent of health insurance companies are now covering the cost of a double electric breast pump. Insurance companies don’t have to provide such a premium model for free, but they know it gives moms the best shot at breast feeding success, which ultimately helps reduce medical costs. Call your health insurance company to find out what type of pump you can get and thKolor-Family-PlusWhitee brand options. If the selection doesn’t include the brand/model you had in mind, such as a decked-out double-electric Medela, ask whether you have to get the “recommended” pump or if you can choose to purchase one that’s “out of network” and submit the receipt for reimbursement.

Buy products that multitask. It pays to buy gear that does more than one thing or that can be repurposed later. Opt for a diaper pail that can be converted to a trash can, a plastic “grass” baby bottle drying rack that can also dry your delicate wine glasses, a swaddling blanket that’s also a nursing cover and a play mat, and a play yard that functions as a mobile changing table and a travel crib. These days, you can even use your cell phone as a baby monitor. The list goes on.

Shop store brands. ‘Course breast is best. But if you need to use formula, store-brand formulas, such as Walmart’s Parent’s Choice or Target’s Up & Up are the way to go. (Confession: I’ve done some spokesperson and written work for Perrigo, the makers of store-brand infant formula. This after touring their manufacturing facility in Vermont and doing my research on this concept.) Here’s the thing that sold me: All storebrand infant formula must be nutritionally equivalent to name-brand formulas as per FDA regulations. Yet, store-brands cost up to 50 percent less, saving you up to $600 a year. Try store-brand disposable diapers and wipes too in the large size package you can find. The 121 count box of Walmart Parent’s Choice cost just 16 cents per diaper compared to 24 cents per diaper for a 117-count package of Huggies. Experiment until you find a storebrand diaper or wipe you like. For more information on saving money on diapers, check out my book, “Save Dollars on Diapers.”

Join your supermarket’s baby club. Many supermarkets offer a free baby club that ties the store’s rewards card to baby product purchases. Baby club card holders can typically receive discounts for points they earn by purchasing eligible products, which often include diapers and wipes as well as baby food, formula and baby lotion among others. Baby clubs are available at major supermarkets across the country. To maximize savings, use manufacturer’s coupons on baby products when possible while earning baby club rewards.

Ditch your virtual cart. When you’re shopping online for baby gear, especially at specialty retailers, fill your cart with what you need. Then leave your shopping cart for a day or so. Retailers can tell when your shopping cart is loaded but idle. Don’t be surprised if you get a coupon or promo code sent right to your e-mail that encourages you to click the “buy” button.

Get cash back with online shopping. Instead of heading directly to an ecommerce site, such as Diapers.com to do your online baby gear shopping, start at a rebate portal, such as Ebates.com. Rebates sites like Ebates.com enable you to get cash back on your baby product purchases. The practice, known as spend-to-earn shopping, is akin to entering through a rebate door before proceeding to the ecommerce site you’d normally go to anyway. Ebates.com features over 1,500 online stores, such as Diapers.com, which offers 2 percent cash back on purchases. Your rebate/savings can go right into your PayPal account or get sent to your home by check.

These are so many ways to save on baby gear, more which I’ll cover in subsequent posts. Meanwhile, what’s your fave?

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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Is your baby getting enough tummy time?

by Sandra Gordon on June 16, 2015

DABT-4X6uLAAs soon as your new baby gets home from the hospital or birthing center, it’s time to hit the gym–as in the activity gym–for some tummy time, a.k.a your baby’s version of push-ups.

The Back Story

After American Academy of Pediatrics started the “Back to Sleep” campaign in 1994, SIDS rates have declined by over 50 percent. The not-so-great news? Because babies spend so much time on their backs these days when they’re sleeping, they may not be spending enough time on their tummies when they’re awake. A tummy time deficit may affect your baby’s development. Here’s why:

When babies spend time on their tummies during play time, they use their shoulder muscles to push their head and shoulders off the floor. “Tummy time increases head and neck control and body strength and improves balance,” says pediatrician Brannon Perilloux, M.D.

Without adequate time on their tummies, however, babies may experience deficits, including weak neck and shoulder muscles, which can delay a baby’s ability to roll over, sit up without support, crawl and pull to standing.

Down the road…tummy-time-deprived toddlers can end up with wimpy neck, shoulder and jaw muscles that can impact their ability to hit other developmental milestones.

Consider: “Adequate neck control can impact a baby’s eating and speech development,” says Melanie Mintz, DPT, a board-certified pediatric physical therapist, because the same muscles that babies use to hold their head up also support their jaws.

Read on to learn why tummy time should be an important part of your parenting game plan… [click to continue…]

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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Car seats: The low down on the load leg

by Sandra Gordon on June 11, 2015

Buy buy baby infant car seats

Shopping for your baby’s first car seat can make your head feel like you’re inside a pinball machine. The types! The styles! The cool colors, such as “blackberry,” “night” and “sand”!  I touch on option overload in “Top Trends in Child Car Seats.” Check it out for an overview of what’s hot in car seats now.

Meanwhile, to help save your sanity in the car seat aisle, here’s a shopping strategy I suggest that can narrow the field considerably: Choosing an infant car seat with a load leg.

A load leg, a.k.a. a foot prop or stability leg, is a popular feature on European car seats and fortunately, it’s gaining ground in the U.S. too. If I were doing it all over again, I’d definitely checkout an infant car seat with a load leg. Read on to find out why… [click to continue…]

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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Let’s talk about preventing stillbirth

by Sandra Gordon on May 27, 2015

Boppy's Total Fit Pillow

Of the 4 million babies born each year in the U.S., almost 26,000 are lost due to stillbirth – babies who die in utero past the age of viability (after 24 weeks). In fact, stillbirth is 10 times more common than Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. At your prenatal appointments, however, don’t expect your obstetrician or midwife to mention it.

“Stillbirth is the elephant in the room,” says Ruth C. Fretts, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School and an ob/gyn at Harvard Vanguard Associates in Boston. “Everyone wants to prevent stillbirth, but no one wants to talk about it.” Why? “There hasn’t been enough data collected consistently about stillbirth,” Dr. Fretts says.

Fortunately, we should officially know more about stillbirth soon because nuMOM2b is going on right now. It’s a new study that’s collecting data from 10,000 women who are having their first baby. nuMOM2b will focus on problems during pregnancy, such as high blood pressure, babies born much too early and very small, and stillbirth. Meanwhile, “Don’t wait for the results of nuMOM2b,” Dr. Fretts says. We already know plenty about stillbirth to be proactive.

To-do Tactics

Here are three things you can do today to help ensure a safe birth:

Get a kick outta your baby! Beginning in week 28, start paying attention to your baby’s kicks. Does your baby kick more in the afternoon? When you’re hungry? Make a mental note. “A healthy baby is an active baby,” Dr. Fretts says. Also, use a Kicks Count chart to log the amount of time it takes to count 10 kicks. Repeat the same process at the same time daily and take your chart with you to your doctor visits. If you notice that your baby isn’t kicking as much as usual at a point in the day when he/she is usually active, “See if drinking a cold, sweet drink, such as orange juice, wakes your baby up,” says Linda Gaglioti, CNM, director of midwifery at the Brooklyn Birthing Center, the only free-standing birthing center in New York City. If that doesn’t get your baby moving, call your doctor.

Bug your doctor for tests. Once you have your doctor on the phone, ask about a non-stress test, biophysical profile, ultrasound and contraction stress test. Each of these four tests can help your doctor determine what’s going on in there. “Reduced fetal movement is a symptom that has to be evaluated, just like chest pain,” Dr. Fretts says. Be persistent in requesting these tests, as in “I’d like an ultrasound just to make sure everything is okay.”

Be a side snoozer. Pregnant women are notoriously sleep challenged but doing what you can to sleep like a baby can pay off.  Studies show that those who sleep six hours or more each night are less likely to have prolonged labor. Sleeping on your left side as much as possible during the last trimester can also reduce the risk of stillbirth. Boppy offers the Custom Fit Total Body Pillow to help you get comfy in that position.

Pregnant and Empowered!

For more information about preventing stillbirth, visit Pregnantandempowered. It’s a new campaign First Candle and The Boppy Company are launching with support from Babies R Us to get the word out. It’s aimed at educating parents to be about prenatal health and wellness to reduce the risks of stillbirth.

FYI: This post isn’t sponsored. It’s based on my notes from the media symposium I attended in New York City that launched the Pregnant and Empowered campaign. But it may contain affiliate links to products I think are a good idea for moms to be on a budget.

Sandra Gordon
baby gear author, speaker, blogger and curator at Babyproductsmom
I'm a mom of two daughters and the author of "Save Dollars on Diapers"; "Save a Bundle: 50+ Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear", and the 8th, 9th and 10th editions of "Consumer Reports Best Baby Products." Babyproductsmom.com may contain affiliate links to products I would buy for myself from Amazon, Diapers.com and others. Your click-throughs don't cost you anything though. Still, they make this site possible. Thank you for your support! Also, keep in mind that the information in this blog isn't a substitute for medical advice. Copyright Sandra Gordon Writing Resources LLC.

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