Do Parents Need A Baby Changing Bag?

Many parents see baby changing bags as a necessity but others don’t use them at all. This begs the question – do parents actually need a baby changing bag? There are many good features designed into a purpose made baby changing bag that make life a lot easier. However, they may not be essential to what you need and you could find separate accessories elsewhere that can be used with any suitably sized bag.

You Need One

There are some funky baby changing bags available that suit many different tastes and styles. The key advantage of baby changing bags over just any bag is that they are designed to be useful for that very purpose. With separate compartments it is easy to sort clothing or accessories within the bag, making it easy to get to what you want. Many changing bags incorporate an insulated bottle pocket enabling you to keep bottles of milk or water warm for longer. Baby changing bags are frequently made from materials that are easy to clean or wipe. They will at some point have spills over them or in them and being able to wipe and clean is a definite plus. It’s all about accessibility and functionality with a baby changing bag.

You Don’t Need One

There are arguments and opinions against using changing bags supported by many parents. After all, it is just a bag for carrying stuff, right? In which case you could choose any nice bag that you like form a wider range available that will carry all that you need for your baby. As for insulated bottle pockets, what is to say that your bottle will actually fit? Or maybe you don’t even use a bottle. Or you may take more than one bottle and only have one pocket to use. You will probably find that most of the design features like changing mats and bottle warmers are available to buy separately. Again this gives you extra choices.

What Are The Alternatives?

The alternatives to baby changing bags are as diverse as you want them to be. Many parents go for a cheap, over-sized bag that everything fits into.  Just an average day pack will do. This saves money for other essential items that a baby or family needs. When a child gets older they could be allowed some independence by having their stuff in a toddler backpack. This will free you up to carry less and gives the child a sense of being all grown up. There are also purpose-made inserts you can buy. Simply put a reduced amount of baby items in one of these and it is still small enough to transfer from one bag to another. It also means you don’t have to take a whole bag to change your baby somewhere.

Whilst there are conflicting opinions as to whether baby changing bags are necessary it is really down to you as the user. If you think they are useful and make life easier then get one. It’s much like the arguements over needing a changing table (or not) or even a pram (or not). It may be a little pricier but you can benefit from it. If you want to save some money and don’t find the arrangement of a changing bag useful, use an alternative with added optional extras that you choose.

Modern Cloth Diapers Are a Good Choice for Most Occasions

Baby beehinds rainbow edged fitted hemp diaperCloth diapers (or nappies) have many benefits but the main on is the ability to be reused saving you a LOT of money as well as being great for the environment. They can also be better for you baby’s skin, just be sure to wash them with a non-toxic laundry detergent (without enzymes, so it won’t damage the cloth).

Many parents choose to use cloth diapers rather than disposable varieties as cloth diapers do not contain chemicals within them to mask odour and wick away moisture. These chemicals are thought by many to influence whether a baby has a simple rash or even more serious ailments later in life such as asthma and male infertility.

If you want to potty train your toddler early then it is best to use cloth diapers as they  allow the baby to feel the results of their ‘bodily functions’. Studies have been carried out at shows babies who used cloth diapers respond to potty training earlier than those using disposable.

Quality cotton or hemp diapers are a real money saver even though they can cost quite a lot to buy initially. Also taken into account that you have to wash them or pay someone to wash them, they still work out cheaper than buying disposable diapersYou can save anything from a couple of thousand to several thousand dollars over the lifetime of your cloth diapers, depending how many children use them. Once the diapers are no longer suitable they can be repurposed into bibs or other types of household rags.

A common thought by new parents is that they should use cloth diapers in the comfort of their own home but change disposable when they are out and about. This is usually down to convenience but it does not have to be the case. All you need to do is pack your diaper bags slightly differently and include some different items.

When using cloth diapers the main thing you need to remember in your diaper bag is a suitable waterproof bag or container to store your dirty diapers in. This will make sure that the rest of the contents of your diaper bag will not get soiled. Make sure you do not forget the things such as additional spare diapers, baby powder and safety pins. If you feel the need to carry extra items such as a baby’s bottle or your own wallet or purse you should have enough room in the diaper bag.

A newborn baby can dirty his or her diaper up to 70 times within their first week on earth. Choosing the best type of diaper for your child comes down to your own personal ethos on raising children, and your baby’s shape and size. Many opinions are given but there is no one size fits all answer so do your own research, try some different diapers on your child, and make your own choice.

Guest Post: Furniture and Toy storage solutions for kids

toys storage bins on 4 tilted shelves, in bright primary coloursMy nephew had turned two and his parents finally decided to give his room a make over. We looked through lots of life style magazines, home interior décor books and so on. It was overwhelming to see the range of furniture available for kids.

We decided to first pick a theme for his room. Considering that he is a huge fan of spider man, we decided to go with spider man as a theme for his room. We picked up a spider man bunker bed, a small study table, a wardrobe which again had spider man all over it.

We purchased the furniture from a store near by and began decorating his room. While decorating his room we realized that his toys didn’t have a place to be kept in.

We began looking for toy storage solutions. We decided to focus on storage solutions which would be easy to use for him. A couple of things had to be kept in mind before picking up a toy storage unit.

The toys should be placed in a manner that they are not cluttered so shelves or drawers would be a good option. It would be nice if the toys could be visible from outside so transparent drawers would definitely help. The shelves/drawers must be located such in easy reach for my nephew.

We also considered buying him a toy cart which could be used to stack all the toys and then placed at a corner in the room. This cart could also be used to take all the toys to a different location like the living room or the back yard if required.

Another cheap alternative and the best toy storage solutions we found were boxes of different sizes which could be placed below the bed or kept in the corner of the room.

Since we were watching our budget and had already crossed it over by a considerable margin we decided to pick up the boxes …And finally there was a new room which my nephew looked at and said ‘It’s perfect, I love it.’

Baby Cribs Should Be Chosen With Safety in Mind

Dream On Me 4 in 1 Aden Convertible Mini CribMost families are very excited when a new baby is on the way. Getting the nursery ready and buying all of the things that will keep baby safe and comfortable are part of making the house ready.

This has been discussed in other articles here, but it cannot be emphasised too much: when purchasing baby cribs and other baby furniture, it is important to think about safety first.

The crib is where newborn babies and infants spend most of their sleeping time. Cribs should be chosen for their safety features rather than just their beauty. Heirloom cribs might not meet current safety standards designed to keep babies safe.

Baby Cribs should be sturdy, with sides that will not fall down when an older infant or toddler begins to pull up. The mattress should fit snugly to the sides of the crib to prevent a baby from becoming entrapped between the sides of the crib and the mattress.

One of the most important safety characteristics of baby cribs is the distance between the slats. There should be no more than 2 3/8 inches between the slats. This keeps a baby’s head from becoming entrapped between the slats. Corner posts should be no more than 1/16 inch tall to prevent a baby’s clothing from getting hung on the posts. There should be decorative cutouts that would allow entrapment.

Due to the importance of having a safe crib, it is important to purchase baby cribs and other baby furniture from stores that sell the safest products. Well meaning friends and family might have used or hand-me-down heirloom baby cribs that they would like to share, but some of these might be unsafe. The same goes for used baby cribs purchased at yard sales or used furniture stores. When this type of crib is purchased, it should meet the highest safety standards.

It may cost a little more to buy a crib that meets today’s safety standards, but keeping baby in a safe environment is priceless!

Farm Themed Baby Bedding-A Fun and Fresh Choice For Your Child

Nursery set up with Farm Crib Set and farm animal stuffed toys
NoJo Farm Babies 5 Piece Crib Set

That positive pregnancy test can bring feelings of joy and elation. However, it can also bring feelings of uncertainly and lots of questions. Which car seat should you buy? Should you choose cloth diapers or disposables. What should you name the baby? What theme should you choose for decorating the nursery? While we can’t help with all your questions, we do have a great decorating idea for the nursery.

If you love the country, you may want to consider using farm baby bedding for your little one’s crib. From barns to tractors, everything you could expect to see on a farmstead has been made into blankets, pillows, and bumpers. In fact, according to Just Kids Furniture, a website dedicated to designing bedroom items for children, the farm theme is one of the top ten most popular nursery themes for boys. It’s no wonder since it is so versatile and can incorporate a variety of colors and patterns. The motif is broad enough that it can easily include bedding with animals, tractors, or even a tasteful check, stripe or plaid pattern.

Take a look at any of the online baby bedding retailers and you will find entire pages dedicated to farm themed nursery bedding. Baby bedding manufacturers offer many different styles for both boys and girls’ rooms with colors ranging from bright primary shades to neutral creams and tans.

Even handmade marketplace, Etsy, gets into the action. At the time of this writing, there were over a hundred listings for handmade farm themed nursery items. Many of those sellers accept custom orders for you to get your dream bedding at a reasonable price.

As you can tell, farm themed crib bedding sets and accessories for the nursery are readily available from a variety of sources. Whether you choose to purchase online or in person, you are sure to provide your baby with a classic look and stylish accessories for their first bed.

Picking Out a Baby Mobile

So which baby crib mobile is the best one and does it really matter which one you choose?

Most new parents are probably extremely excited to start decorating the nursery and planning the theme for the new baby’s room and there might not be a lot of consideration into the type of mobile you purchase.

It is common to simply choose something that will match the theme of the room but it doesn’t have to stop there.
Many baby mobiles come fully equipped with music as well as movement though there are quite a few that do not.

Both kinds can be of benefit, and non-motorised mobiles can often be spun or bounced while your baby is watching to engage her attention, which can be particularly beneficial when you are changing her diaper and want her to stay calm. Mobiles can be hung over baby cribs or change tables, or in a place that is visible from both.

If you want something that will soothe your little one then consider getting one that comes with music in addition to movement. The movement and the music both capture baby’s attention and engage her.

They both serve a purpose and the music just makes it easier to relax your baby when she starts to fuss. Many mobiles come with a wide selection of songs and sounds programmed into the mobile which is great for keeping your baby interested.

She might get tired of hearing the same song and it’s nice to offer her some variety in addition to new and different sounds. Many also come with sweet lullabies that can help put your baby to sleep and calm her especially when she doesn’t want to go to bed.

In addition, you can opt for a baby mobile that has different colors as well as characters attached. If you want even more options then look for those with soft, detachable animals that can later be used by your little one to play with and practice her dexterity.

This is especially helpful when she can no longer use the mobile. After they reach a certain age, it might be dangerous to keep a mobile hanging over the crib since many come with strings that may pose a hazard. If you have a mobile that hangs from the ceiling and is far out of your baby’s reach, then that is fine to leave in place.

For the first few months of your infant’s life do consider a mobile as they can help entertain her as well as sooth her.

Purchasing a New Crib

So you are wondering how you should go about purchasing a new crib. There are so many options out there, where is the best place to start? In the following article I will be giving you a few pointers to help you when trying to answer this question.

I for one am all for internet shopping. It just makes life so much easier and you can have all the best deals at just a few keystrokes distance. Some people don’t like shopping online because they are afraid that it might be unsafe and somebody could steal their information and, worst case scenario, steal their identity. My question to though is; isn’t it just as risky to give the waiter you credit card to pay? He’ll disappear for ten or fifteen minutes which is more than enough time to take a couple digital pictures of you card.

I am not saying this to make you stop paying by credit card when you go out to eat; I’m just trying to make a point. There are risks everywhere in life and I don’t think that we should let them dictate how to live or how to shop for that matter. I would take all necessary precautions of course and not give you credit card information to any iffy looking sites, but there are very trusted sites out there such as Amazon or Ebay. My point is I think the internet is a very viable option for shopping for new baby cribs.

You can also go the old fashioned way and go to the local baby store to buy a crib. This can rather limit your options to what they have in stock but you do have the advantage of seeing the crib ‘in the flesh’ which can give you a much better idea of whether or not you like it. You can also flood the salesperson with questions about the crib and get an instant response which is nice. You can also talk to them about crib safety, and you might spot your ideal baby blanket in the store too.

In conclusion I would say that shopping on the internet has a lot of advantages whereas shopping in a store kind of limits your options. I won’t tell you which is better as both have their times. I will say however that whether you are shopping in a store or on the internet be sure to do your research so that you can be assured that the crib that you choose is safe and secure for your baby.

Baby Crib Safety Tips

We have talked about different kinds of baby cribs, but what matters as well is crib safety which is usually taken for granted. In this article, we will talk about crib safety. For first-time parents, they are usually very particular with detail as well as new information about the welfare of their newborn. Being knowledgeable about safety is always the best for your baby.

Your old crib might still be okay but remember that if it is not new, there might be materials that are already lacking from that crib and so would be dangerous for your baby. That is why new purchase should always be considered. If you are going to purchase a second hand crib, make sure you are aware of the current safety standards in your country and that the crib meets them.

Decorative materials are not essential in buying your crib. Ribbons may look good along with the crib but your baby might pull it up and tangle it with himself so you better think twice.

Also take note of the slats in your crib. Slats that are too far apart are dangerous because a baby may get head, arms or legs trapped between them. In Australia, for instance, the standard is between 50mm and 95mm gaps. In the US it is no wider than 2 3/8 inches. Make sure your crib mattress fits closely into the crib, so your baby can not squeeze between the mattress and the side of the crib. Also, expecially with an older crib if it is painted you should check out that they used non-toxic paint. Remember that common respiratory infections are acquired through inhalation and most babies spends a lot of their time in their crib.

If you want to complete your crib then you need to purchase a mattress as well. For mattress reviews, you may visit: http://cribmattressratings.org. You can find there a lot of useful info about baby mattresses, including product reviews. You will also want to find the best baby bedding and your ideal baby blanket.

For further information about crib safety standards and relevant links see wikipedia.

Choosing Baby Cribs

Buying a baby crib is part of preparing for a new baby. Choosing the right cribs, bassinettes and moses baskets are important since the baby will spend quite a lot of time sleeping in them in the first few months. The practice of swaddling newborns means that most babies will be quite comfortable in a small crib or bassinette for the first three to six months of life, but after that a full size baby crib will be necessary.

As with all kids bedroom furniture, it is most important that the crib is safe and comfortable, but you may also want to choose one that fits the style of your nursery. There are many different types of baby cribs that you can select from:

The Standard Crib – This is the typical baby crib with just the frame, mattress and baby bedding.

The Canopy Crib – These come in rectangular or round shapes. They have a canopy to cover the baby when he/she is asleep. The baby bedding for a canopy crib include the canopy itself and can be pricey.

The Round Crib – These cribs come in a round shape. This makes them convenient since you can place them in a corner of the room and still have easy access to the baby, from either side.

The Convertible Crib – This is the most cost efficient crib today. It has the ability to convert into a toddler bed as the baby grows up, and some can also convert into a full sized bed that your child can use from teenage years into adulthood. This will save you the cost of buying a new bed once the baby outgrows the crib and becomes a toddler. It also means that you do not have to buy a bed as the child continues to grow. Of course they can be expensive; but then you will never have to pay for a new bed again.

The Portable Crib – These are the smallest types of baby cribs. If you have a small nursery then this may be your crib of choice. They are also low priced hence they will fit into any budget. Portable cribs, like the name suggests, are light in weight and fold up, and therefore ideal for travel. The downside is that you will have to find a new crib or bed in the short term because the baby will outgrow the portable crib more quickly than a full size crib.

Selecting baby cribs can be confusing. You want to give your baby the best that you can, and consider crib safety. You also have to consider your budget for the crib as you consider the budget for buying all the other items that a child will need when it comes into the world, from a baby blanket (or several) to baby sleepsuits and other clothes. You will also need to look at the size of the nursery. Once you know the size of the nursery and the budget that you can afford, then you will be prepared to go out a find a fantastic crib for your little bundle of joy.

Your Baby’s Sleep: from Birth to Six Months

Cover of The Baby Book, by William and Martha SearsThe difference between a well-rested child and a sleep-deprived one is quite significant.  Well-rested babies are more quiet, behaved and pleasant to be with.  Ironically, sleep-deprived ones turn more boisterous and hyperactive than usual – unlike adults who have low energy levels with little sleep.  This article will provide you with facts about your baby, and his sleeping patterns and needs from birth to six months.

In newborns, the internal clock that regulates sleep has yet to develop. They sleep between 16 to 20 hours a day, with no distinction between day and night.  It is up to the parents to teach them the difference: daytime is for playing and other activities while night time is for sleep and rest.  You can do this by exposing him to the noise of daily household activities during the day and keeping lighting and other stimulation to a minimum when it is time to settle down for the night.

For the first few weeks, newborns should be awakened for feedings every three to four hours; at least until an adequate weight gain is established.  After the initial period, babies learn to wake up whenever hungry and can be allowed to sleep through the night.  It must be made clear though, that for newborns, sleeping through the night generally means sleeping straight for about four to five hours at a stretch.  This basically depends on length of time that they can go without feedings, which isn’t long because of their small tummies.  The less frequently they wake up during the night, the more often they would feed during the day.

By three to six months, your baby will be sleeping for about five hours during daytime and ten hours at night, although this will still be punctuated by feedings every so often.  Do not rush to pick him up as soon as he makes a sound – try to let him put himself back to sleep.  Unless he is cold, or hungry or wet give him a minute or two to settle back down.  Sometimes during light sleep, babies make some noises that make it seem as if they are awake although they are not. If you do need to comfort him, make it clear that you are only helping him go back to sleep.  Do not play, or talk or turn on the lights.  You can try making soothing sounds, or patting him lightly on the back.

Start establishing a sleep routine at this time to foster good sleeping patterns.  A sleeping routine is a consistent series of activities that lead towards going to bed for sleep.  Some parents start off with a warm bath and a change into sleep clothes, then a feeding and a half-hour of quiet play (which can also be a good chance for bonding time with  daddy who has been stuck in the office for the whole day), wrapping in a favourite baby blanket, then lights out.

This article was witten by Joana Chrystal Ventura-Moises.  She is a work-at-home mom, a registered nurse and a resident expert on plumbing and shower screen installations.

Elizabeth Pantley has more child and baby sleep tips for you.