Best Baby Inc. https://bestbabyinc.com We Know What is Best for Baby! Sun, 04 Feb 2018 22:40:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 Best Bottle Sterilizer that Kills 99.9% of Household Germs https://bestbabyinc.com/best-bottle-sterilizer/ https://bestbabyinc.com/best-bottle-sterilizer/#respond Thu, 25 Jan 2018 17:36:37 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1970 A great bottle sterilizer can make all the difference in the world to the health of your baby. Peace of mind combined with ease of use makes for one awesome product that no mom should be without. Check out the best bottle sterilizer reviews on the market right here!

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As a parent, you'll find that you're constantly horrified at all the dirty things your toddler will pick up off the ground and try to put in his or her mouth. While this is inevitable, you can at least ensure that during the first years, all the bottles, pacifiers, teethers, and toys that go into his mouth are clean by washing and sanitizing them regularly. Washing bottles, cups, and accessories with hot soapy water (or dishwashing) is sufficient to disinfect, but sterilizing takes that extra step that some parents swear by. Some parents do it for the peace of mind, while others parents have to use it because their child is immune compromised. Either way, getting the best bottle sterilizer can make it super easy and is worth the extra time and money to make sure that your baby's bottles and their accessories are 99.9% bacteria free. 

In order to get safely sterilized bottles, there's two ways to go about it: you can use a sterilizer or boil them in hot water for five minutes. If you want to use a sterilizer, there are two types: microwave and those that you plug in. Both products use steam to effectively kill 99.9% of bacteria and household germs in minutes. We've done some research and picked the best sterilizers out there and reviewed them here below:

Bottle Sterilizer Reviews

QUEEN ROSE Full Pregnancy Body Pillow
  • Suitable for wide and narrow neck bottles
  • 3-in-1 adjustable modular design
  • Press start and leave it

The Avent by Philips operates at higher temperatures than the dishwasher and uses electricity to generate intense steam. It takes only six minutes and automatically shuts off, keeping the contents sterile for up to 24 hours if the lid remains unopened. Eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and household germs found on bottles, pumps, and accessories alike. The device is BPA free and is backed by the manufacturer with a 2 year warranty. It holds six classic Avent bottles, but takes up only minimal space in your kitchen. 

  • No dryer function
  • Each cycle must be followed by a 10 minutes cooling period
  • Takes up counter space
Baby Brezza Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer Machine
  • 4-1 with drying option
  • Automatically switches between sterilize, dry, and off
  • Press start and leave it

Quickly and easily sterilize and dry your bottles, bottle nipples, and accessories with the Baby Brezza, which uses natural steam and no chemicals. Not only does it automatically switch to drying mode, but it also automatically switches off when done. It can be used as a sterilizer only, dryer only, storage rack, or sterilizer and dryer. The LCD control panel is easy to navigate and the product is BPA free. It kills 99.9% of germs and keeps the contents sterile for up to 24 hours if the machine remains unopened. 

  • Only 1 year limited warranty
  • More expensive
  • Harder to organize loose accessories without a basket
Restorology Full 60-Inch Body Pregnancy Pillow
  • Dishwasher safe
  • More affordable
  • Can be stored away to save space

The Munchkin Sterilizer uses a more basic concept to sterilize bottles, nipples, pacifiers, etc., right in the microwave. It's latex free and BPA free, and is a safe, effective, and natural way to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria. Compact enough to fit all standard microwaves, this sterilizer holds both regular and standard bottles. The handles are heat-resistant and there's a locking tab to prevent accidental opening. Plus, the special open away latch prevents steam burns. The downside is that you can't just start it and walk away like the two products listed above.

  • No dryer option
  • Must be constantly attended to
  • Does not keep items sterile after use
Dr. Brown's Microwave Steam Sterilizer
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Made in USA
  • Can be stored away to save space

This BPA free, plastic sterilizer uses tap water and the microwave to sterilize your baby's feeding bottles and accessories. The sterilizing tray is custom molded to hold 4 Dr. Brown baby bottles but can hold bottles and accessories from different brands as well. Effectively killing all harmful household bacteria and germs, this sanitizer holds standard or wide neck bottles and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. It's proudly made in the USA.

  • Very limited space
  • More expensive for a microwave sterilizer
  • Does not keep items sterile after use

Let's Review

While a sterilizer is not a required baby gadget, there's no argument that it can definitely be beneficial. Consider how much time/effort (plug in = less effort) you want to put in versus how much counter space you have (plug in = takes up more space). Also keep in mind that electric sterilizers will have to be descaled regularly to stay on top of mineral build up. Using boiling water can be similarly effective, but takes  more time. No matter which bottle sterilizer you pick, your little one is sure to thank you for making sure that each pacifier, bottle nipple, and feeding bottle they put in their mouth is 99.9% germ free!

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Best Pregnancy Pillows (Guide & Reviews 2018) https://bestbabyinc.com/best-pregnancy-pillows/ https://bestbabyinc.com/best-pregnancy-pillows/#respond Mon, 22 Jan 2018 23:59:17 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1911 Staying healthy and keeping the baby healthy are the two most important things an expectant mom can do, and a crucial part of this is consistently getting a good night's sleep. But this is easier said than done when your little bump becomes a mountain, making everything from walking to sleeping (and everything in between) much more difficult. Finding that one comfortable spot on the bed or couch can be nearly impossible, especially in the third trimester. Plus, it always seems that right when you get comfortable, that spot is no longer that comfy anymore or it's time to get […]

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Staying healthy and keeping the baby healthy are the two most important things an expectant mom can do, and a crucial part of this is consistently getting a good night's sleep. But this is easier said than done when your little bump becomes a mountain, making everything from walking to sleeping (and everything in between) much more difficult. Finding that one comfortable spot on the bed or couch can be nearly impossible, especially in the third trimester. Plus, it always seems that right when you get comfortable, that spot is no longer that comfy anymore or it's time to get moving again. There's lots of products on the market that are built to help a pregnant woman catch some Z's, but the real key is finding a comfortable, supportive maternity pillow to support your growing tummy. 

What to Look For

  • Comfortable. Obviously you won't know about this factor until you actually try out your new pillow, but this is the key to finding a great pillow that will alleviate your discomfort while also being easy to sleep with and stay asleep. You should have little trouble sleeping and your body should relax comfortably and feel supported. Plus, you shouldn't have to wake up throughout the night, constantly adjusting the pillow.
  • Machine Washable Cover. The cover of any body support pillow should be removable and machine washable for easy cleaning and maintenance. 
  • Not too big and not too small. Take into account your sleeping arrangements. Do you have a California King? Do you like to cuddle your partner? Do you have a small area for sleeping? It's extremely important to take into account the allowable size. A larger U shaped pillow might be super comfortable, but say goodbye to any cuddling or extra room because it will take up a ton of bed space. A wedge pillow might be the size you're looking for, but does it fulfill your pregnancy pillow desires? All things to take into consideration.
  • Firmness. Take a look at the composition of each pillow. The wedge pillow below is made of memory foam, but do you like that kind of firm support? Lots of people love memory foam, but we know some who don't. For those who don't like memory foam, there's lots of other material types available. You want to feel cozy, but supported. 

But there's so many different shapes, sizes, and features, how do you know where to start? Well, that's where we come in. We have compiled a list of the top 4 pillows to use during pregnancy on the market based on reviews from moms just like you! Check out some of the best pregnancy pillows below:

Best Pregnancy Pillows

QUEEN ROSE Full Pregnancy Body Pillow
  • SUPER SOFT
  • 90 Day Guarantee
  • Full Body Support
  • plus-circle
    Multi Functional Use- Bed or Couch, Sitting or Laying down

The Queen Rose is definitely the biggest and fluffiest in the line up. That being said, this thing is designed for comfort. The high density, extra soft, hypoallergenic filling is a composite blend that has the cushion of cotton with the total body support of memory foam, and won't lose its shape overnight. That means you can get comfortable and stay that way all night long,

A few other things we really liked about this head to toe full body pillow is the machine washable body pillow cover, multiple colors to pick from, and the 90 Day Comfort Guarantee. If you are don't like this  U shaped pillow, you can contact the manufacturer and get a full refund! 

  • Extremely bulky
  • Takes up a lot of space in the bed
  • No Choice for Different Head Pillow
Boppy Pregnancy Support Pillow
  • Removable, Machine Washable Cover
  • Compact design
  • Pick and choose other pillow to perfect your sleeping arrangement

Boppy has been making prenatal pillows mom's love for a long time and we think they hit the nail on the head with this one. The versatile shape means that it can be used with your back and legs, baby bump and legs / knees, or head and neck. Leaving the rest of the pillows you use up to you. Have the perfect memory foam pillow that you don't want to give up but need the added belly support? Well, that is exactly what this pillow is for.

Soft, comfortable support wear you need it, plus the option to choose how you use it: that creates the ultimate combination for the perfect night sleep.

  • No Color Choices
  • Doesn't offer "full body" support
Restorology Full 60-Inch Body Pregnancy Pillow
  • Multi-Use- Sitting, Sleeping, or Lounging
  • 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Machine Washable Pillowcase

Restorology delivered a great all-in-one option with this full 60-inch maternity body pillow. The contoured shape means that you have all the support you need in one package - no multiple pillows here! Your head, back, neck, bump, and legs are all supported in optimal spine alignment to help you sleep through the night, every night. No more tossing and turning in the middle of the night trying to find a more comfortable sleeping position. You can even use the pillow while you're lounging or sitting for additional support. 

  • Takes up space in bed
  • Can't choose your own head pillow
  • White cover can get dirty quickly

Hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge for Maternity

hiccapop Pregnancy Pillow Wedge for Maternity
  • 2 Sided comfort
  • Ideal for Traveling
  • Washable Cover

The final and my personal favorite on our list is this wedge from Hiccapop. The wedge pillow shape is the perfect design for added support on your back, hips, or stomach, and leaves the rest up to you. That means that you can keep your favorite head pillow, and/or use a couple different pillows in combination to really dial in your perfect amount of support. 

Something else that we really like about this pregnancy pillow specifically is it has a double sided memory foam fill, soft and firm, to really get that perfect amount of support you need for a great night sleep!

  • Can be uncomfortable if you don't like memory foam
  • Requires more pillows

Conclusion

It's no secret that being pregnant is tough. Make your pregnancy easier by choosing a pregnancy pillow that fits your needs and desires, while helping provide some restful sleep and relief. Looking for something super compact? You should go with the Hiccapop Wedge. Looking for something with full body support? The Queen Rose is for you. Plus, there's lots of options in between so you can create the ideal sleeping environment for you and your growing little one (and your partner!). But don't let the options overwhelm you. There's may be a good amount of products on the market, but that just means that the best pregnancy pillow for you is out there!

For extra support and comfort for when you're not sitting or laying down, check our top picks for Best Maternity Belt. They're great for supporting your belly during exercise, or just around the house!

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Best Baby Laundry Detergent for Your Little One's Sensitive Skin https://bestbabyinc.com/best-baby-laundry-detergent/ https://bestbabyinc.com/best-baby-laundry-detergent/#respond Sat, 06 Jan 2018 23:51:37 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1918 When your little one is born, they aren't used to the harsh irritants that are commonly encountered in the adult world - their skin is sensitive and can easily negatively react to everyday household items such as your current laundry detergent. That's why it's important to use the best baby laundry detergent for your infant's sensitive skin and delicate immune system. There are lots of detergents on the market that are natural and safe, gentle and clean, and all the while still maintain their stain fighting capabilities. A commonly encountered question is "Does my baby need his/her own laundry detergent?" […]

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When your little one is born, they aren't used to the harsh irritants that are commonly encountered in the adult world - their skin is sensitive and can easily negatively react to everyday household items such as your current laundry detergent. That's why it's important to use the best baby laundry detergent for your infant's sensitive skin and delicate immune system. There are lots of detergents on the market that are natural and safe, gentle and clean, and all the while still maintain their stain fighting capabilities. A commonly encountered question is "Does my baby need his/her own laundry detergent?" If you said no - you're right. Your baby doesn't need their own detergent, but you should probably change the detergent that your entire family uses

Why You Need New "Family" Detergent and Not New "Baby" Detergent

You'll find that it's commonly recommended to use a chemical-free, non-toxic, fragrance-free, gentle detergent on your baby's clothes. This is especially true if a parent has a history of sensitive skin and/or common conditions such as eczema. But you don't need to wash "baby" clothes and "adult" clothes separately and here's why: your baby will eventually come into contact with almost all the fabrics in your home, including your sheets and blankets, but especially your clothes. Think about all the cuddling, the swaddling, and how often you will hold your little one against your clothes. This means that he/she will still be exposed to those toxic chemicals, even if you change their detergent. Instead, you should switch the entire family over to a skin friendly detergent that is safe but still effective on stains. 

Why You Should Change Detergents

  • Residue. Let's face it: nobody inspects their freshly washed clothes with a microscope to investigate residue. That being said, regular mainstream detergents leave residue on clothes, even if you can't see it. This residue can cause a variety of issues including endocrine disruption, eye and skin irritation, and allergic breakouts.
  • Harmful Chemicals. These harmful chemicals can be left on clothes in the residue and can easily be absorbed into your baby's skin. Some of the ingredients aren't even listed on the bottle due to trade secret, and a majority of the ingredients are sure to surprise you. There are many websites committed to this information such as EWG's guide for Healthy Household Products. 

How to Tell if Your Infant Reacts to Detergent

It is very common for infants to suffer from skin allergies, eczema, or just have sensitive skin in general. Their skin is thinner than an adult's and has not yet been exposed to common irritants that we may be accustomed to. A cool mist humidifier can help their skin from drying out, and a hypoallergenic detergent is ideal for keeping irritation under control. How do you tell if your infant is having a reaction to your laundry detergent?

  • Skin irritation. This type of reaction occurs immediately after being exposed and usually dissipates after the material is removed. It usually appears as a red, itchy rash but comes and goes with exposure to the irritant.
  • Allergic Contact Dermatitis. This type of reaction means that the body is having an immune response to an allergen. It can take up to a week for symptoms to appear as exposure to the irritant builds up over time against your little one's immune system. This also appears as a red, itchy rash but it's appearance is not immediate and fades slowly. 

Check under your baby's diaper, where clothing doesn't touch his/her skin. If there is also rash there, it is not being caused by detergent. Also, detergent triggered rashes are usually worse on the arms and legs where clothing rubs more on the skin and is tighter. 

What to Look For

Don't just look for "baby safe" detergents. You'll find that many of these are just mainstream products that have been relabeled and remarketed. Look for detergents with these qualities:

  • Free + Clear. This labeling usually means that the detergent is free of artificial dyes (a.k.a. "clear") and is also fragrance free (especially artificial scents). Both of these characteristics are not necessary for the cleaning of clothes and are extra qualities for product enhancement. These qualities are also usually associated with skin irritation so skip out on scented and colored detergents. 
  • No brighteners. As with fragrance and dye color, brighteners are aesthetic and aren't an essential part of the cleaning aspect of detergent. Brighteners are usually chemicals that are left behind in the fabric (residue) and absorb UV light from the sun to make the colors appear visually brighter. Minimize chemical exposure and skip this option. 
  • Liquid or Powder. In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement concerning safety issues associated with detergents packs (aka pods). These little packs pose a serious safety hazard for young children because of their size and color. Often mistaken as candy, the packs can be ingested and can cause poisoning and/or choking. Opt for powder or liquid detergent instead. If you insist on using pods, thoroughly educate yourself on how to keep this product from becoming hazardous. 
  • Plant Based. Natural products reduces the risk of synthetic product usage and therefore reduces the risk of skin irritation. While this is no guarantee of safety, the risk does decrease. 
  • Effective on Stains. A detergent can be gentle on your baby's skin all day, but if it doesn't fight stains, it's useless. You'll encounter more stains than you could dream of during your child's life, and your detergent should always be your right hand man for fighting those stubborn stains. 
  • Free of toxic chemicals. As much as this is common sense, you would be surprised at how many detergents contain chemicals that are known to be toxic. Many contain phenols (endocrine disruptor similar to BPA), synthetic detergents (often made from petroleum), optical brighteners (benzene), chemical fragrance (phthalates), and bleach. All of these (and more) are toxic not just to your baby, but to you as well. 

Overall, look for natural, free and clear detergents that are going to be gentle on your baby's sensitive skin. 

Where to Buy

While some of these products can be found in some major retailers such as Target and WalMart, the best place to find them is online, specifically Amazon. Instead of searching for a limited product choice in stores, Amazon will have pretty much every option on the market. See below for our choices for best baby laundry detergent.

Baby Laundry Detergent Reviews

Charlie's Soap - Fragrance Free Laundry Powder
$0.21
Per Load

"Charlie's is amazing for actually getting laundry clean."

While Charlie's Soap isn't specifically formulated for babies, it's highly recommended because it's hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and safer for the environment. It's extremely affordable and deep cleans your clothes for only pennies per load. It even removes residues from your previous detergent, works on all laundry (even high-tech fabrics and delicates), and rinses completely clean with no scent or residue. Zero brighteners, zero fragrances, zero dyes, zero fillers. With over 3,300 five star reviews on Amazon, this product is easily one of our top picks!

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    Powder Formula
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    Clean & Clear
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    Removes residue from previous detergent
Biokleen Laundry Liquid, Free & Clear
$0.14
Per Load

"I love this stuff. Knowing my kids are wearing clothes washed in a healthier cleaner is priceless. It does the job well."

Biokleen is proudly made in the USA and while it isn't specifically formulated for babies, it boasts some great characteristics that make it safe for your little one. It's fragrance-free for sensitivities and allergies, meaning there's no artificial fragrance and it doesn't leave a harsh scent. It leaves no residues and is free from artificial colors or preservatives, all the while still fighting those tough stains and odors with plant-based surfactants and extracts of grapefruit seed. Biokleen contains no phosphate, chlorine, ammonia, petroleum solvents, brighteners, SLES, or EDTA. Plus, Biokleen is made in a Natural Products Only Facility, meaning you don't have to worry about the product coming into contact with regulated/hazardous materials. 

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    3x concentrated
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    Green Manufacturing Reduces waste and greenhouse gas emissions
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    made in Natural Products Only Facility
Eco-Me Laundry Natural Detergent, Organic
$0.15
Per Load

"I love this laundry detergent! It gets ours, and our baby's, clothes clean and without any funky odors"

Eco-Me Laundry detergent seems to have it all! It is ideal for people and children with sensitive skin who don't want to sacrifice fresh smelling clothes since it is synthetic fragrance free. The all natural plant essential oils with antibacterial properties are gentle on skin but tough on dirt. Eco-Me is chemical free, meaning no phosphates, chlorine, formaldehyde, sulfates, dyes or parabens. Proudly made in the USA, this high efficiency laundry soap is made without animal testing. It comes in different all natural scents: fragrance free, lavender blossom, vanilla bean, and citrus berry.

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    natural scented options
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    made in USA
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    no animal testing
Mama Bear Gentle Care Baby Laundry Detergent
$0.21
Per Load

"I've been searching for a gentle and natural detergent to use on my family's laundry and I think I finally found it!"

Mama Bear is actually an Amazon brand and was created with sensitive skin in mind. Unlike the other brands above, this detergent is USDA certified 95% bio-based formula and is lightly scented with essential oils and botanical extracts. The 4x concentrated formula is tough on baby food stains but is soft on sensitive skin and fabrics. Free of phthalates, dyes and artificial scents, this formula is specially formulated for baby laundry and is never tested on animals.

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    USDA certified 95% biobased ingredients
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    scented with essential oils
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    never tested on animals
Method Naturally Derived 8x Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear
$0.22
Per Load

"All things Method are fantastic. Even with stain removal"

Method delivers their ultra-concentrated high efficiency laundry detergent in a tiny bottle that can do big things. It's a plant based formula that seeks out dirt and stains with just 1/4th the dose of the leading brand. It's handy pump means no pouring and easy one-handed use for those times when you arms are full. This detergent comes in free & clear (no dyes or perfumes), but also has fresh air and lavender + cedar options for those who want a scented detergent. Plus, the little bottle means easier handling and no more aching biceps. 

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    8x concentrated
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    no animal testing
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    75% of Amazon ratings are 5 star

Let's Review

While lots of moms agree that you should change your detergent when you have a little one in the house, few will agree on which brand you should use. There are several great options on the market for detergents that are safe and effective, as well as free of chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and nasty additives. You'll notice that we left out some major brands such as Deft, Babyganics, Tide Free + Gentle, and Seventh Generation. This is simply because we tried to keep the ingredients as simple and as natural as possible. Plus, great detergent for your household doesn't necessarily have to be a detergent that was made for infants.  Just look for those key characteristics when you're shopping, try out a few brands, and I'm confident you'll find the perfect one for you and your family. 

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Best Belly Band to Keep You in Your Favorite Pants Longer https://bestbabyinc.com/best-belly-band/ https://bestbabyinc.com/best-belly-band/#comments Wed, 03 Jan 2018 00:17:10 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1817 Every pregnant woman will reach a point when her jeans won't button and/or zip anymore; use a pregnancy belly band to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe and spend less money on maternity clothing! We've assembled a list of the best belly bands currently on the market.

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Every pregnant woman will reach a point somewhere in their second or third trimester when they can no longer fit into their favorite jeans. Try as you might, that top button just won't button, and depending how far along you are, maybe the zipper doesn't zip either! This is just part of the journey through motherhood. But now you're ready for a wardrobe saving product: the pregnancy belly band. Also commonly referred to as a maternity band, this garment can help you extend the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe by extending the waistband of your pants and jeans. 

A maternity belly band is a thin but sturdy layer of coverage that you wear around your midsection, specifically right around your waistband. This allows you to wear your pre-pregnancy pants unbuttoned and/or unzipped without them falling down. This garment is purely designed for proper coverage, and should not be confused with a pregnancy belly band; while they are similar, they are two different products. See our comparison post on Pregnancy Belly Band vs. Maternity Belt and our top picks for favorite Maternity Belt if you need a product that also offers belly support and pain relief as well as wardrobe assistance. 

Mom Pro Tips

  • Make sure you order the right size or the product is one size fits all. Most brands have their own sizing chart so pay attention for that. You should not be able to notice that you are wearing a maternity support band besides the gentle compression feeling. Otherwise, there should be no scratching, sliding off, or uncomfortable squeezing. The key is snug but never too tight.
  • You'll love your band so much, you will probably find yourself wearing it as much as possible. Make it easier on yourself by buying two products, that way you always have one to wear when the other is being washed. Also look for a machine washable garment so it's easier to keep clean.
  • Always consult with your doctor before wearing any compression garments. Women with abnormal blood pressure or compromised circulation may be advised against the use of a band. 
  • A belly band can provide minimal back support for your lower back, but if you are experiencing lower back pain, round ligament pain, sacroiliac joint pain, and/or more discomfort, considering purchasing a pregnancy support belt instead. These products are able to help support the weight of your growing belly and can also double as a pregnancy band. 
  • Make sure you are keeping your abdomen strong, especially exercising the transverse abdominis muscle. Overuse of a support garment can cause the muscles underneath to deactivate and make them weaker. This can cause more weakness in your hips, waist, abdominal muscles, and posture. 
  • A band can be used as a post partum support baby belly wrap for a healing postpartum belly. It will comfortably provide additional pelvic and abdominal support while your muscles heal and re-strengthen, as well as create a slimming and shaping effect for your post pregnancy belly. 

Best Belly Band Reviews

Ingrid & Isabel Women's Maternity Everyday Bellaband

The bellaband by Ingrid & Isabel is one of the top rated brands on Amazon and has been holding up pants since 2001. It comes in three colors: black, nude, and white, and is machine washable for easy cleaning. You can wear it folded over to hold up unbuttoned pre-pregnancy jeans, full panel to hold up maternity pants that are slipping or falling down, and after delivery for a smoothing belly cover to ease the transition back to your prenatal jeans. It comes it four sizes and features silicone strips to hold the band firmly in place. 

bentibo maternity belly band

Bentibo boasts that their band's composition, density, and shape creates the perfect combination for a great addition to your pregnancy wardrobe. Its seamless design and breathable, elastic material allows for comfortable, everyday wear. Their stay-put silicone strip provides extra hold and the nylon/spandex material is designed to fit during pregnancy and post pregnancy, recovering its shape after each wear and wash. Just like the Ingrid & Isabel, it can be worn folded down or pulled up and comes in three colors: gray, black, and white. 

belevation maternity belly band

Made in the USA, Belevation's belly band is made of seamless, breathable mesh that's perfect for extra pant support. It's a blend of nylon and spandex and can be machine washed and dried. The engineered support panel provides comfort and a gentle lift. It comes in four sizes, so use the Belevation size chart in order to determine the perfect size for you - note that lots of consumers report that this product runs larger than expected. Choose from 2 available colors: black or gray.

maeband waistband extender

If you're looking for something less bulky, the Maeband waistband extender could be the perfect product for you. Unlike the previous three products, this belly band does not wrap all the way around your belly, but instead simply bridges the gap on your unbuttoned pants. Pick from three colors: midnight black, pearl white, and royal blue. This product is hand-wash only, but it's so small that shouldn't be a deal breaker. The velcro closure strap can fasten to accommodate many different sizes. The downside is that this waistband extender does not offer any supportive qualities for your stomach and cannot act as a postnatal tummy wrap during recovery. 

In Review

If you're looking to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe or even your maternity clothes, a belly band would be the perfect product for you. There's so many moms out there that rave about the belly band and all that is has to offer. You should also check out our top picks for best maternity support belt if you're looking for additional support to help alleviate the stress on your body and relieve back pain as the baby grows and puts more strain on your back. 

"This was a game changer for pregnancy." -Janelle

"Really works to keep my pants up! Love this product. I even use it with stretchy pants that don't stay up because my pregnant belly is too big and the pants stay up great!" -Elizabeth

"So far this product has been amazing." -Lisa

"I have been dealing with sore belly for months now. Heard about belly bands but never tried them. Finally gave in. Best thing I ever did." -Toby's Mama

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Best Maternity Belt to Support Your Growing Tummy & Passenger https://bestbabyinc.com/best-maternity-belt/ https://bestbabyinc.com/best-maternity-belt/#comments Wed, 03 Jan 2018 00:16:49 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1836 As your tummy grows larger, most moms find their discomfort and lower back pain increasing as well. Using a maternity belt can help alleviate the stress on your body, therefore easing pain. We've assembled a list of the best maternity belts to support you and your belly.

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Imagine going running without a sports bra. Sounds miserable, right? The same principle applies as your tummy grows larger and larger during your second and third trimesters. The extra weight in your abdomen brings unwelcome discomfort, not only during exercise, but also during everyday activities. A maternity belt is meant to lift and support your tummy and the baby, taking some of the pressure off of your lower back and therefore decreasing your discomfort levels. 

Why You Need a Pregnancy Belt

Moms rave about how much the maternity belt saved them from a lot of discomfort and pain during their pregnancies. If you are experiencing round ligament pain, sciatic pain, pelvic pain, sacroiliac joint pain, or even general lower back pain, a belt will help alleviate the pressure and agony. Especially if you're on your feet a lot at work or at home, are expecting twins, and/or have gained more weight than expected, a belt can help ease some of the added stress your body experiences during pregnancy.  A maternity support belt can also be worn after birth for extra support while your postpartum belly heals. On top of all of that, a belt can double as a  maternity band if worn on the outside of you pants, therefore contributing greatly to your maternity clothing.

Belt vs Band

While these two products are similar, they are different products and have different design intentions. A belt, which is being reviewed in this article, is designed to lift and support the weight of your tummy in order to decrease discomfort. A band, on the other hand, is purely designed as an accessory to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe by allowing you to wear your jeans and pants unbuttoned and/or unzipped. A belt can double as a band, but a band cannot provide the extra support that a belt can. For more details on the difference, read our article on Pregnancy Belly Band vs. Maternity Belt. For our top picks for belly bands, see our mom's picks article on The Best Pregnancy Belly Band to Keep You in Your Pants Longer.

Best Maternity Belt Reviews

gabrialla maternity belt

This belt by GABRIALLA has been the recipient of "Top Choice" and "Family Choice" national awards for the past five years and has over 1,000 reviews on Amazon. It's designed and proudly made in the USA and comes in a variety of sizes, colors (e.g., beige, white, black), and strengths (light, medium, strong). This pregnancy support belt is completely adjustable and is meant to guide you through your second trimester all the way through postpartum recovery. This belt was created with the stress of running and exercising in mind, but is also great for extra support throughout the regular day. 

azmed maternity belt

This products is Amazon's Choice when it comes to maternity belts. The soft and breathable fabric helps cradle your little passenger and give extra back support for your spine. There are over 1,000 reviews on Amazon, 65% of which are 5 stars. It's one size fits all, but only comes in one color: beige. The band is slightly thicker in the front compared to the Garialla, which provides slightly more gentle compression in the abdominal area. 

neotech care brand maternity belt

This maternity belt by NEOtech Care Brand goes the extra mile in the support design of their product: it includes an abdominal lift attachment which gives lift without unnecessary pressure, holding the belly belt in place, and preventing the belt from rolling. It features a multi-layered laminate, breathable fabric with a cotton/nylon elastic lining. Plus, reinforced velcro makes adjusting a breeze. It comes in three sizes (small, medium, and large)  and NEOTech uses their own sizing chart so measure before you buy. There's also three colors available: beige, black, and white. 

CABEA belly band

This maternity support band is slightly different because it is actually a baby belly band but it offers more support than a traditional band. It can be worn from beginning to end, pregnancy to postpartum. The abdominal band is the base component of the system and is made of a soft, flexible neoprene (latex free) fabric which is extra durable. You can also purchase the add-on shoulder straps for increased back and abdominal support, especially during twin or multiple pregnancies. It's machine washable and comes in 5 different sizes that accomodate plus size women. The downside is that you will end up spending more money by buying both products separately. 

Let's Review

Pregnancy belts can be amazing accessories to pregnant women and women who are recovering post partum. A maternity belly support belt should fit comfortably and should be made of stretchy material. It can be used prenatal and as a  post pregnancy belly wrap, and can relieve back pain associated with altered posture, large stomach size, hip / joint pain, and more!

However, it's important to only wear for two to three hours at a time to prevent over dependency. You should strengthen the core muscles and this will help speed up recovery in the long run. Otherwise, a belt can be a lifesaver when it comes to relieving the pain and discomfort associated with carrying a little human.


"Love this band. Easily adjustable and you feel the support. I use it to run." -Sarah

"Amazing... don’t know what I’d do without this. Have had so much abdominal pain. This has been a lifesaver." -Amy

"I’m so glad I went ahead with this purchase." -Liz


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Pregnancy Belly Band vs. Maternity Belt https://bestbabyinc.com/pregnancy-belly-band-versus-maternity-belt/ https://bestbabyinc.com/pregnancy-belly-band-versus-maternity-belt/#comments Wed, 03 Jan 2018 00:11:39 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1777 A maternity belt and a pregnancy belly band can increase the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe as well as provide extra support for your growing belly. Learn about the difference between the two products and which one can help relieve your back and joint pain!

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Are you pregnant and finding that your pants don't button anymore, or even zip?! Instead of spending a fortune on maternity clothes, fit into your favorite jeans even longer with a pregnancy belly band and/or a maternity belt. A belt or band can completely transform your pregnancy and maternity look easily by allowing you to wear your pants unbuttoned and/or unzipped without them falling down. 

As your belly grows, so does your discomfort. In addition to extending the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe, you can get the added bonus of extra support for your growing belly, helping relieve that ever-present pain that most mothers have experienced. While bands and belts are similar products, they have  some major differences. Let's break down these differences so we can find the perfect product for you and your needs:

Band Vs. Belt

A maternity band, aka pregnancy belly band, is mainly designed for proper coverage and to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. Somewhere during your second or third trimester (it varies!), you will reach a point where your favorite jeans won't button anymore, soon followed by the inability to zip. Here comes a maternity band to the rescue! It allows you to wear your pants unbuttoned and/or unzipped  by providing a thin and sturdy layer of coverage that covers the closure area of the pants. Maternity bands do add some light support, but if you are experiencing back pain or sciatic issues, a maternity belt is a better option for you. 

A maternity belt can double as a belly band, but it also lifts and supports your tummy, taking pressure off of your back. They aren't as lightweight or streamlined, but they can offer some much needed relief if you are experiencing any of the following issues:

  • sciatic pain, pelvic pain, and/or round ligament pain,
  • pain related to being on your feet a lot,
  • gained more weight than expected,
  • pain during working out / exercise,
  • expecting twins,
  • and more!

A maternity support belt can double as a band if worn underneath your clothes, or they can be worn on top of your clothes. They can also be worn after birth for extra support while your muscles, ligaments, and joints heal. 

If you are just looking for something to extend the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe, we would recommend a band. However, the added support of a belt can be a lifesaver, especially during your third trimester. Something to keep in mind though: a pregnancy belt or band shouldn't be worn for more than 2-3 hours at a time. This gives your body time to strengthen itself, while also providing relief in physically demanding situations.

 

Pro Tip: Take care of the skin on your growing belly by applying a belly lotion to help prevent stretch marks. Our top pick is this one by Burt's Bees.

Ways a Belt Can Help You

Using a band or belt has many different benefits:

  1. Decrease Pain. A study published in Spine Journal reported that 71% of women reported lower back pain and 65% reported pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy. Pregnancy is definitely not for the weak of heart! The belly belt can help relieve some of the stress that the body is exposed to during pregnancy such as sacroiliac (SI) joint pain, round ligament pain, and sciatic pain. 
    • Sacroiliac (SI) joint pain occurs because of the release of relaxin, an appropriately named hormone that causes hip joints to become loose and less stable in preparation for birth. A belt can help stabilize the your hips and support the region.
    • Round ligament pain is caused by extra pressure and weight on the ligaments that support the growing uterus. While this pain is temporary, it can be unbearable and a belt can help relieve the pressure on the ligaments. 
    • Sciatica due to a herniated disk during pregnancy is uncommon, but sciatica-like symptoms are common and are normally associated with lower back pain.
  2. Provide external cues for posture. "Sway back" is an appearance during pregnancy that is due to the extra weight being carried in the front abdomen combined with stretching and weakening of the key core muscles that support the spine. A belt can help facilitate proper posture by supporting the lower back and torso. This encourages correct posture and helps prevent overextension of the lower back. 
  3. Can be worn post partum for added support. Following birth, it is common for moms to experience decreased core strength, especially if a Cesarean section is performed. A belt can provide additional support for the post natal belly and lower back, decreasing discomfort while the muscles and ligaments that were strained and stretched during pregnancy try to heal. It can act as an abdominal binder and waist shaper on the postpartum belly. Remember: a core support garment is a temporary postpartum fix and it does not heal the underlying condition. Overuse of the product can "turn off" the muscles underneath, causing increased weakness in the long term. If you are struggling with core muscle strength, we recommend talking to your doctor about other options such as physical therapy. 
  4. Provide gentle compression during activities. Imagine going for a run without a sports bra on. Sounds miserable, right? Well, the same principle applies. A gentle compression can cradle your belly during physical activity, therefore reducing discomfort with movements such as jogging and jumping. 
  5. Engage in daily activities (such as exercise) more comfortably. Exercise during and after pregnancy has many positive health benefits and this perk has been reported in a variety of journals and studies. Unfortunately, many pregnant women are unable to exercise due to pain and discomfort, but a belt can help relieve discomfort and allow more regular participation in physical activity. 

FAQ

 Do they help with pain?

Are they uncomfortable?

 Will it hurt my baby?

Do bands prevent stretch marks?

Can I wear it to bed?

Important Tips

  • Only wear the garment for 2-3 hours at a time (or less) to prevent over-dependency. As mentioned earlier, the added support can cause the muscles to "turn off" and this can result in prolonged muscle weakness. It's important to use a belt as an aid, and to simultaneously strengthen your core so that you may once again become independent from this type of device. 
  • Consult with your doctor before using any type of prenatal belly support garments or devices. While there are many benefits, it's important for you and your doctor to decide if it's right for you to use a belt or a band. For example, too much compression can impair circulation, and it can cause negative effects on blood pressure. It can also contribute to heartburn and indigestion. 
  • Belly bands and belts are a temporary fix and should not be used as a permanent fix. Is is important to address the underlying dysfuction. If you are struggling, consult with your doctor about the possibility of physical therapy to help with pain and discomfort during and after pregnancy. 

What to Look for in a Good Product

  • Easy to Clean. You'll love your belt and/or band so much, you'll end up wearing it every day for weeks on end. This means cleaning should be a breeze. The last thing you need is to handwash something every few days; look for a garment that is machine-washable. 
  • Expense. Buying a belt or band shouldn't cost an arm and a leg. They are usually very affordable.
  • Comfort. Your band/belly belt should be able to keep your pants up, but not be too tight. It should make you feel good and keep your pain level manageable. The wrap fabric should be seamless, breathable, stretchy elastic, supportive, and contribute significant abdominal support. 
  • Versatility. Some bands come in different colors. If you're going to wear your belt on top of your clothes and are still going to stay somewhat stylish, pick a color that matches most of your wardrobe. Also look for bands that are adjustable.
  • Closure Type. Some use velcro closures, which are easy to operate but can get snagged on certain clothing materials. Some are hook and eye closures, but these can be a joke when your pregnancy fingers look like sausages.  

Mom's Top Picks

We've tried to help you out by assembling a list of the top products for both belts and bands. See the following articles for reviews and guides: Top Maternity Belt to Support Your Growing Belly and Passenger and Best Pregnancy Belly Band to Keep You in Your Favorite Pants Longer.

Pro Tip: If you buy two, you'll always have one on hand, even when you're washing one of them. 

Finding the Right Size

Some garments are one size fits all, but some may have a recommended size based on weight or hip size. If your belt and/or band fits properly, you should not even be able to notice that you are wearing one besides the feeling of the compression. It shouldn't scratch, slide off or squeeze uncomfortably; the key is that it should be snug but never painfully tight.   

Let's Review

A maternity band is designed to allow you to wear your pants unbuttoned and/or unzipped, therefore extending the life of your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. While a band can provide some minimal support, that isn't its main function. On the other hand, a maternity belt can also function as a band, but is also designed to support the weight of your growing belly and passenger. But both garments have a solid list of other benefits such as, but not limited to: 

  • back support,
  • aid in relieving discomfort,
  • hold your pants up,
  • save money by not having to buy as much maternity clothing,
  • can be used after birth for added support.

Carrying a tiny human inside of your heavy belly can leave you struggling to do daily tasks without the help of a little extra support. Choosing a band or belt that's right for you can help you find comfort in a variety of situations you may encounter; this will help your body face the demanding changes its required to handle. Know an expectant mother? These makes great gifts and the recipient will be grateful for the maternity belly support!


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Stage 2 Baby Food and You https://bestbabyinc.com/stage-2-baby-food/ https://bestbabyinc.com/stage-2-baby-food/#respond Sun, 05 Nov 2017 21:24:05 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1602 Is your baby ready for stage 2 baby food? It's a unique exciting time full of new textures, colors, and tastes that is sure to excite your little one!

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If your baby has mastered basic purees and can swallow them with ease, it may be time to replace that mushy stuff and baby cereal with chunkier and thicker pieces of food. As compared to stage 1 baby foods, stage 2 baby food is more interesting and involves trying lots of new flavors, textures, and colors. There's an armful of new foods to introduce as well as endless combinations on this new expanded menu. Like many other aspects of parenting, this milestone is a process of gradually increasing the independence and self-mastery of your little one combined with a gradual stepping back of the parent. Your feeding relationship is about to grow beyond nursing and expand into a much more complex interaction. This phase of food is not a replacement for breastfeeding / formula milk, but it's definitely an interesting addition to it. Most babies are ready to start this solid food phase around 8 months old.

Signs Your Baby is Ready

Just like what you experienced with introducing stage 1 solids, your baby will start to show subtle signs that he/she is ready for the next phase of solid foods. Feeding time is about to get a lot more amusing and you'll know your baby is ready by keeping an eye out for the following signs:

  • When little or no food comes out of her mouth while she's eating. By now your little one should have lost any form of the tongue thrust reflex that was necessary for breastfeeding earlier on. This lets them move food more easily from the spoon to the back of the throat for swallowing. 
  • Wants more food at mealtimes. If you find your baby eating more and more often, or showing even more interest in the food that's being eaten around him, it's time to increase the complexity of the current menu.
  • She's developing more teeth. 
  • She can sit well in a high chair. When introducing stage 1, your baby should have been able to hold her head up with the support of the high chair, but now she should be able to sit comfortably in the high chair will little or no extra support needed. 

Characteristics of Stage 2 Foods

While these foods do share some qualities with stage 1 foods, there a few things that set them apart:

  • Thicker, chunkier, and more textured consistency.
  • Add meat and spices to the menu.
  • Low on the allergy scale but wheat and dairy products are often introduced.
  • Typically more fibrous, a little more acidic, and contain a high amount of protein.
  • Raw fruits can be introduced.
  • Single food introductions followed by more complex combinations.

When introducing solids foods in this phase, they should always be a pureee or chopped into smaller pieces or mashed to prevent choking. You can use a food processor, blender, or chop finely with a knife of your choice. They should be easily chewed between gums since babies won't have their molars until 14-18 months. During this stage, it's easy to make your own baby food. Just like when you make your own dinner, homemade baby food can be more affordable and you know exactly what's going into your little one's food.

Foods to Try

Keep in mind that while the menu has drastically expanded, breastmilk and/or formula should still be your infant's main source of vitamins and nutrients. These foods should be introduced on an allergy schedule, which means just 1 new food every 4 days. If your infant experiences vomiting, diarrhea, or rashes, consult with your pediatrician as these may be signs of allergies or sensitivities. 

  • Fruits: blueberries, cantaloupe, cranberries, fig, grapes, kiwi, papaya. Fruits can now be served raw, but should be grated or cut into smaller pieces. 
  • Vegetables: asparagus, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant. onion, peppers, potato, spinach, zuchinni. All vegetables should be cooked soft and possibly mashed.
  • Meat/Protein: beef, chicken, egg yolk,  fish, pork, beans/legumes, turkey. Meats are good sources of high-quality proteins, iron, and zinc, and provide greater nutritional value over cereals, veggies, or fruits. Make sure they are always chopped into very small pieces for easy swallowing.
  • Dairy: hard cheeses such as cheddar, jack, colby; cottage cheese; cream cheese; whole milk, unsweetened yogurt. 
  • Grains/Cereal: buckwheat, flax, pasta, quinoa. Pasta should be soft cooked, not al dente.
  • Spices.

Also serve the foods seen on the stage 1 baby foods list such as carrot, butternut squash, oatmeal, peas, peaches, and rice cereal.  Use all of these options to create combinations of fruit, veggies, meat, and dairy for a wide variety of flavors and textures. Usually by 9 months, your child's taste preferences are mostly set - one of the many reasons to include a large variety of foods during this phase. Avoid a picky in eater in the future by expanding the menu now. 

Foods to Avoid

Even though this phase is about expanding the menu, there are still certains foods that should be avoided. This especially includes any foods that have a potential to be a choking hazard such as hot dogs, nuts, chunks of meat, uncut grapes, popcorn, and raw veggies. You should also still try to avoid foods with added sugar, processed foods, and honey. Sugary drinks / juices add unneeded calories and can harm your baby's teeth, so those should not be introduced either. 

During this time, you should offer foods that are healthy and either homemade or made for babies of this age. Start early and form good habits by including vegetables in every meal (even snacks!), not forcing your baby to eat more when she's full, enjoying mealtime as a family, and sampling a wide variety of foods. 

Stage 2 and Breastfeeding

During the first year of life, your breast milk (and/or formula) will continue to provide the majority of the necessary nutrients your little one needs. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), even after she has started eating solid foods, you should continue nursing until at least 12 months. You can continue to breastfeed after 12 months if you and your baby desire to do so. These first foods should always complement milk/formula and should not replace it yet.

Unless you intend on weaning soon, be sure to continue to breastfeed whenever she desires - this will ensure a continuing milk supply.  It may become necessary to express milk manually on occasion to ease breast discomfort if her decreasing demand leaves you with an oversupply. The slow introduction of solid foods is mostly for your baby's benefit, but it also is for your benefit in the sense that it allows your body time to adjust slowly to the changing demand. Spreading out the process across the span of a couple of months allows plenty of time for a smooth and painless adjustment to the supply-and-demand relationship. 

Other Tips for Success

  • Spoon feeding. Most babies don't master the use of a spoon until 18-24 months, but now is the time to start the process of teaching your baby to feed herself. Start letting her hold the spoon and fiddle with it. Also put small, soft chunks of food on her tray, allowing her to pick them up and feed herself. 
  • Iron. Your baby's natural iron reserves start to run out during this time period. It's important to get enough iron so use iron fortified cereals and proteins, and possibly consult your pediatrician about a supplement if you feel like she's not getting enough. 

Conclusion

The amount of breast milk / formula will continue to decrease over the course of the next few months as the amount of solid intake increases for your baby. Take the time to enjoy this new feeding relationship - it is full of firsts, funny faces, and food covered babies. Before you know it, your little one will be ready for stage 3 baby foods! 

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Stage 1 Baby Foods - Everything You Need to Know https://bestbabyinc.com/stage-1-baby-foods/ https://bestbabyinc.com/stage-1-baby-foods/#respond Sun, 05 Nov 2017 00:07:18 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1567 Everything you need to know about stage 1 baby foods all in one place! Recipes, tips and tricks, and how to know when your baby is ready for stage one!

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Just when you feel like you've really mastered your baby's feeding routine, it seems like it's time to change it up! Starting somewhere between 4 to 6 months, your baby will be ready to start stage 1 baby foods and being the weaning process from formula / breast milk. That being said, it's important to keep in mind that formula and/or milk are still the most important nutrition for baby. This phase involves a lot of "first tastes" of foods that are pureed or mashed and watered down with either milk or water. We always start with simple, nutritious, single ingredient, wholesome foods that have no added salt or sugar; and don't be surprised if there's more food on your baby's face, hands, and bib than in his/her tummy.

Stage 1 Defined

Once you get the green light from your pediatrician, it's okay to start introducing solid foods to your infant. A stage one baby food refers to a baby food that is appropriate for infants who are being introduced to solid foods.  The following are qualities of a stage 1 baby food:

  • thin and runny consistency
  • finely pureed and/or mashed textures
  • lower on the allergy scale
  • watered down with breast milk / formula
  • easily digested
  • no added salt or sugar

Stage 1 normally includes "baby" cereal and finely pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables. As you move up in stages, the food becomes thicker and starts to include a wider variety of options. Your baby will also start gradually relying more and more on solid foods for nutrients and slowly drink less breast milk / formula as the process continues. 

Signs Your Baby is Ready

Prior to the age of 4 months, babies lack the ability to move food from the spoon to the back of their throat for swallowing. This tongue-thrust reflex is necessary for breastfeeding, but your baby will develop the oral coordination for chewing and swallowing usually before 6 months. If you feed your baby and they push the food back out of her mouth, this ability may not be developed enough yet. Know that this is normal; water down the food more, and if that doesn't work,  wait a couple more weeks before trying again. Here are some other signs that your baby may be ready to start tasting solid foods:

  • Does he open his mouth when food comes his way? This eagerness to feed can be your baby telling you that he's ready. Other social signs include showing interest in watching other people eat and acting hungry even after nursing. 
  • Can he hold his head up? Your baby should have the head control to hold up his head with just the support of a high chair, feeding seat, or infant seat
  • Can he move food from a spoon to his throat? As noted above, your baby must be able to successfully swallow the food (obviously..) in order for them to be ready for solids.
  • Does your infant weigh 13 lbs or more? If they have doubled their birth weight or weigh more than 13 pounds, your infant is more likely to be ready to start the solid foods process.

Foods to Try

  • barley
  • oatmeal
  • quinoa
  • rice

This list is more extensive than parents initially think it would be; but a baby's first food does not have to be the traditional infant rice cereal. The foods listed above all make great first foods for babies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), many pediatricians will recommend starting vegetables before fruits, but there is currently no evidence suggesting that introducing solids in any particular order has any advantages for your baby. There's a lot of big brands that sell stage 1 baby foods, but making your own homemade baby food recipes is easy in this stage. For example, pick up a ripe banana from the grocery store and mash into a fine puree with milk or water. 

Allergy Schedule

When introducing new foods to your infant, only introduce 1 new food every 4 days. Once you have introduced a food, mix different combinations of the veggies, fruits, and cereals listed above to create more interesting meals. Introduction foods individually helps easily detect and food sensitivities or allergies right from the get-go. Signs like vomiting, rash, and diarrhea may be signs of an allergic reactions and you should contact your pediatrician. 

If a direct relative has any severe food allergies, consult with a pediatrician. It's usually recommended to wait to introduce any foods that are possibly reactive until after 1 years of age. That being said, the AAP believes that waiting to introduce those foods beyond 4-6 months doesn't prevent a food allergy from forming. 

Tips for Success

  • Start out slowly. Prepare a tablespoon size portion of whichever food you have picked. 
  • Some parents find it beneficial to feed their baby using their (clean and washed) finger as a spoon. It's possible that "new" food and "new" spoon could confuse your infant and perhaps using your finger can simplify the change. 
  • Foods like bananas are good to eat raw, but most others ​you need to cook then pureed or mashed. Some parents like to use a food processor or blender.
  • If your baby cries or turns away when you try to feed her, do not force it. Go back to a formula/milk diet for a couple weeks before trying again. The process of starting solid foods is a gradual one, so be patient. 
  • For the first couple of feedings, start out with milk, followed by small half-spoonfuls of food, then finish with more milk. This smooths out the transition and will also prevent your infant from getting frustrated when she is overly hungry. 
  • Once your infant can sit up and use her hands to bring objects to her mouth, it's okay to start finger foods to help her learn how to feed herself. It is essential during this stage to take precautions against choking: all food should be soft, easy to swallow, and cut into very small pieces / cubes. Examples include: scrambled eggs, finely chopped chicken, small pieces of bananas, etc.
  • Do not be surprised if there's more food on your baby's face, bib, and hands than in her tummy. Learning how to swallow solids is difficult and your baby will get better with time. Increase the amount of food gradually, starting with just a spoonful or two to start out. 
  • Good habits start early. Try as much as possible to feed your baby at mealtime with the family. Research has shown that having dinner together as a family on a regular basis has positive effects on the development of children. Plus, practice resting between bites, eating from a spoon, and stopping when full. 

Conclusion

Within a few months of starting solid foods, your infant's diet should include a wide variety of foods such as breast milk and/or formula, vegetables, fruits, cereal, fish, and eggs. However, feedings are individual and should be adjusted to your child's needs and tastes. Your baby should still be getting most of her vitamins and nutrients from being breastfed and/or milk formula, so there is no pressure to start solid foods and be successful immediately. Make your own baby food for your little one using the foods listed above such as oatmeal, peas, and infant cereal. Babies are keen to learn and will catch on. Be patient and amazing things will happen!

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Night Weaning 101 | Research Based Tips for You and Your Baby https://bestbabyinc.com/the-facts-behind-night-weaning/ https://bestbabyinc.com/the-facts-behind-night-weaning/#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:37:08 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1512 Night weaning is a very important milestone in your baby's young life. Read more to learn about night weaning basics for a successful journey.

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Night weaning is a major milestone on the journey through infant-hood. And as it is with most milestones, babies reach them and excel at them at different times and rates. There are guidelines for the 'average' ages for when babies should slowly decrease the amount of feedings each night, but each baby is different and each method isn't for everybody. Always keep that in mind when researching time frames and different ways to go about things. You should do what is right for you and your baby and consult with your pediatrician along the way to make sure you're on a healthy path. 

Night weaning is not about restricting feedings; it's about transitioning so that feedings are more concentrated during the day. Making sure your baby is satisfied during the day is key. The idea is to gently help your baby adjust how much he's eating during the day so that he eats less at night. 

During the transition, use your baby's daytime actions as a measurement of progress. If you find she becomes more whiny, clingy, or distant during the day, take this as a clue to slow down your rate of night weaning or possibly try again in a few weeks. Some babies will wean themselves, some will need a little encouragement from their parents. Either way, your baby has to be ready to continue on to the next phase of food and sleep. The real goal is to make sure everyone is getting the sleep that they need while also respecting the needs of the youngest family member.

What's "Normal"

Keep in mind that frequent night waking is developmentally appropriate for young babies. It allows the baby to wake up when she is in a situation where she is having problems breathing and/or is not getting enough oxygen. Sleeping undisturbed at this age for prolonged periods of time is not healthy. A 'good sleeper' is a baby who wakes frequently but is able to get himself back to sleep. It is not a baby who sleeps through the night without waking. On the other hand, if your baby refuses to sleep, there are other methods to try such as establishing a strict bedtime routine. 

The time frame is different for each baby, but somewhere between 4 and 6 months is when most babies get enough calories during the day to sustain them for five or six hours at night. That being said, it's not odd for older babies to continue waking up to eat or for younger babies to sleep for much longer. On top of that, your baby has other important needs such as the reassurance of being held and fed in a parent's arm. Make sure you are still making plenty of time for reconnecting with your baby. She still needs a tremendous amount of comfort, closeness, and reassurance from you.

Babies should eventually quit nursing at night on their own and the amount of urging you intend to use is based on your own health. If you ou enjoy nursing at night, there's no reason to stop. However, it's hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you're chronically sleep deprived. So if you find yourself consistently feeling grumpy and exhausted, and if your baby is physically ready, maybe it's time to make the change. 

The Baby Sleep Site recommends the following general guidelines for the amount of night feedings that seem to work most babies:

  • Newborns to 3 months old: Feedings every 2-3 hours, on demand
  • 3-4 months: 2-3 feedings per night or every 3-6 hours, on demand
  • 5-6 months: 1-2 night feedings
  • 7-9 months: 1, maybe 2, night feedings
  • 10-12 months: Sometimes 1 night feeding
  • 12+ months: generally no night feedings.

Habit versus Hunger

When it comes to your baby waking up at night, there's a difference between waking up to nurse and waking up out of habit. Getting your baby on a feeding 'schedule' can mean that your baby will wake up around the same time for many nights to come. If it is habit, it can take more time to alter this schedule. That being said, it can be very difficult to differentiate between habit versus need so consult with your pediatrician before jumping to any conclusions.

The Two Sides

As with any argument, there are two sides on the topic of night weaning. Some experts say that a baby who eats several times throughout the night for 'unnecessary' feedings may be the recipient of more sleep issues. A wet diaper or an upset tummy could cause him to wake up again later and then want to feed more. This creates a vicious cycle.

On the other hand, some experts say that night feeding can strengthen the bond between parent and child and that night weaning shouldn't be rushed as long as long as the feedings aren't too disruptive to the family. 

If you believe that long-term lack of sleep due to nighttime feedings is one of the sacrifices you make when you become a mom, and that the only person who can cut off night feedings is your baby, that is perfectly fine. But this doesn't work for everyone out there. The decision to wean or not to wean is a personal choice and every mom is entitled to make the decision for herself. 

In the end though, you should do what's best for your baby and for you. Night weaning should never be rushed, and the amount of urging by the parent(s) should depend completely on their individual's situation. 

Night Weaning Basics

If you do decide to night wean, make sure your child is physically ready. Perhaps consult with your pediatrician to make sure the time is right. Plus, follow these top tips:

  1. Make sure your baby gets plenty to eat during the day. This is key. Making sure your infant is satisfied during the day will decrease the need for feedings at night. Some moms recommend increasing evening feedings so that your infant has a full tummy right before bedtime. 
  2. Gradually eliminate feedings one at a time. Start off by either decreasing the amount per feeding, or scooting two feedings closer and closer until they become one. Continue this process with time and don't move too quickly.
  3. Gently but firmly explain that it's time to sleep, not eat, and pat her tummy. Sooth her but don't feed her or pick her up. If your baby cries inconsolably for more than 2-3 nights in a row, return to your normal routine and try weaning again in a couple weeks. Your baby should cry only a little for a night or two before adapting to the new system. 
  4. Increase daytime contact. Unlimited nursing and cuddling during the day can offset the decrease in attention during the nighttime. It's important to still have that one-on-one closeness with your baby.
  5. Have your partner comfort your baby instead of you. Your presence and the smell of your breast milk can make your baby want to feed. Your partner can comfort baby in other ways such as lying next to her and holding her. If you're sleep sharing, move her bed to your partner's side. 
  6. Eliminate teething discomfort. If you suspect your infant may be teething at all, consult with your doctor for suggestions. Your baby may be nursing more often to try and alleviate gum pain.
  7. Avoid night weaning during times of transition or stressful events. See below for a list of examples. Both you and your baby need to be at your best when approaching this transition.
  8. Start the process slowly and gradually. As with any milestone in your infant's life, night weaning takes patience. Pay attention to your baby and her needs and re-evaluate in a couple weeks if she isn't ready quite yet. 
  9. If you are concerned about losing your supply, simply pump an extra time in the morning. 
  10. If it feels right for you and your baby, don't stop. Eventually your baby will quit on her own without the push of a parent. Soon enough your baby won't be nursing at all, so enjoy the experience while you can. 
  11. Solid food. If you recently introduced solid food, your baby could be waking more often due to problems digesting the food. This happens particularly in babies under 6 months. Consider decreasing solid foods in the evening or eliminating solid foods until his digestive system matures more. 

When to Not Wean

Most of the time, the decision to wean is based on both the needs of the infant and the mother, as well as any practical situations related to the family. However, in some situations, it may be best for those involved to delay weaning until the conditions are better. Examples include:

  • Illness. You may want to delay your first attempts at night weaning if you or your child are feeling a little under the weather. This especially includes if your child is teething, has a cold, or is just not in tip top shape overall. It's best to meet this milestone when both parties are at their best. 
  • Food allergies. If either parents has experienced food allergies, talk to your pediatrician about delaying weaning until after your child's first birthday.
  • Changes at home. "Changes" can mean a variety of things: a move to a new home, a pregnancy or a new baby (always breastfeed the newborn first), your return to work, a marital disruption, a new child care situation, and any other potentially stressful situations. These are not the best times to initiate another major change such as weaning. 

The exception to this is if the child initiates the weaning themselves instead of being led by the parents. You want weaning to be as unstressful as possible.

Signs Your Baby is Ready

With such a wide range of ages for night weaning, how will you know when your baby is ready for the transition? Look out for the following signs, which, when seen in multiples, are indications that your baby may be ready to start dropping night feedings:

  • Your baby is not eating as much at night or even treats nighttime feeds as play time. If your baby wakes up and you go to nurse her, but you find that she nurses only a little, then is wide awake and wanting to play, this may be due to habit instead of hunger. She is waking up based on a schedule and not a need for food, showing that these nighttime feedings might not be necessary anymore.
  • Your baby has successfully started solid foods. If your baby has started eating solid food, it's only a matter of time before he's ready to wean from nighttime feedings. He still may need a nighttime feeding or two, but this should be unnecessary after a couple months. This also means that you'll need to make sure you can maintain a good milk supply once you drop nighttime nursing. Consult with your pediatrician or a lactation consultant.
  • Age. If your baby is older than 4 months, it is normally safe to assume that your baby is developed enough to cut back (but not discontinue entirely) on feedings during the nighttime.

Scientific Studies

  • Essentially, there is no need to worry about establishing an long-term sleep issues when breastfeeding.

Remember the Goal

Night weaning is not a battle to be won - it's an effort to meet the needs of both parent and child. Night waking is temporary and young children will grow out of it eventually. But getting enough sleep can be essential for your day to day life and health. It is extremely important to respect the needs of your infant while also making sure you are taken care of as well. The goal is to maximize sleep for everyone. And if you've accomplished that, congrats! If it's not working, you can always change it up and do things differently. Remember that this is all temporary and sleep is just another thing that changes as your child grows. 

In Conclusion

Night weaning is a very open-ended milestone in the sense that it is accomplished during a wide range of ages and with a variety of different methods. The most important factor is making sure that both mom and baby are ready to move forward with this important milestone. Stay in tune with your baby's needs and things will work out. Approach the process gradually and gently, and if you are unsure of how to proceed, talk to your baby's pediatrician. They can help you sort through any issues and help you make the right decision. 

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Mom's Picks | Best High Chair 2018 https://bestbabyinc.com/best-high-chair/ https://bestbabyinc.com/best-high-chair/#respond Mon, 25 Sep 2017 13:46:22 +0000 https://bestbabyinc.com/?p=1029 Have a baby that's ready to take on solid food? You'll need a high chair and we've helped by assembling a list for the best high chair of 2017.

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When your baby is ready to join you at the kitchen table, it's time to get them their own special chair! This chair will have many purposes: a place to eat, an area to play, a pathway for exploring solid food, and a gateway to socializing with family and friends. When it comes to starting solid foods especially, it's important to have a spot for your little one to eat that is safe and easy to clean. High chairs now come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, which can make picking out a high chair a daunting task.

The perfect high chair should be easy for both parent and baby to use, as well as safe. It should be comfortable and ideally not a total eyesore. When introducing solid foods, be prepared to be blessed with a gigantic mess all over that area - meaning your ideal high chair definitely needs to be easy to clean too. A high chair also functions as a tool to keep your baby upright, which is important for eating solid food. 

Options

Nowadays it's all about the options! While this can make high chair shopping a scary thought, it also means that no matter what your preferences are, you're bound to find the perfect high chair for you and your baby. Think about your needs and start there. Where do you plan on eating your meals? In that space, how much room do you have to store a high chair and will it fit next to the table? Larger, standalone high chairs can sit anywhere, but also take up a lot of space. They usually have their own trays too, which can help with the clean up. There are more affordable, plastic options, but there are also high chairs that are loaded with all the bells and whistles! This includes, but isn't limited to: washable cushions, wheels, footrests, reclining seat (think bottle feedings), adjustable chair height, and so much more! 

If space is an issue, consider a folding chair that can be stored away while not in use. There's also convertible high chairs that transform as your child grows, allowing you to get more use out of the one product. Take into consideration safety first (as always) then decide what features are most important to you. That's a great start!

Side Note: Portable High Chairs

A popular option is a portable high chair, especially for families that travel or eat out a lot. It can attach to the edge of a table but it has its downsides. The American Academy of Pediatrics actually warns against the everyday use of chairs that clip onto the table's side. The table must be heavy and stable, and the seat must be locked into place properly. Even then, a baby can kick and push if they can reach part of the table with their feet. It is possible to use these chairs safely, and they can be a great option for use depending on the situation. However, we are not including them in our guide to the perfect high chair. 

When?

About when are you going to need a high chair? The answer is not until about six months. You'll start getting use out of it around the time your baby starts solid foods, but your little one must also be able to hold themselves fully upright. Depending on the convertibility of the chair, you can get 2-3+ years out of it. The more the chair transforms with your child, the longer you'll be able to use it. 

With so many options out there, it's important to pick what's right for you. That being said, here at the top things to consider:

  • Safety.  Safety first as always! A good high chair should have some type of safety belt that goes between their legs. Let's face it, kids are contortionists. If they want out of that chair, they will squirm until they get out. So strapping them in will  help prevent injuries. The high chair should also have a stable base to prevent tipping. 
  • Comfortable. Your child could be spending a lot of time in this chair. So just like any chair you would enjoy sitting in, it needs to be comfortable. Its design should also help support your child in their attempt at sitting upright. 
  • Easy to Clean. If the chair has its own tray, is it removable? If so, is it dishwasher safe? Crumbs and juices will find their way into every nook and cranny and the easier it is to clean, the happier mom will be. A plus is when the pads or pad covers are removable and machine washable. Ease of cleaning is the factor that made most people either love or hate their high chair so don't take this lightly! 
  • Space. Based on how much space you have, this could determine the size of the chair should be and if it can fold or not. 
  • Multi-Purpose. While convertible high chairs are for everyone, they can get you more bang for your buck. They grow as your child grows, which means you can use it for longer. 
  • Durability. This chair will be used for years to come (even longer if it's convertible) which means it needs to be durable enough to take on the everyday wear and tear of a messy baby/toddler.

Best High Chair 2017

With all of that to take into consideration, here's our pick for this year's top high chair!

Ingenuity Trio 3-in-1 Ridgedale High Chair

This high chair has the best all around options all in one chair! It's a convertible chair, meaning it can transform between a full-size high chair, booster seat, and toddler chair. The booster and toddler chair separate in a way that each can sit one child, perfect for siblings! It features a 5 point safety harness (3 point harness for the toddler chair) and a dishwasher-safe, removable tray that has 4 locking positions to give your baby growing room. The seat pad is removable and machine washable and the seat can be reclined into three different positions. To top it all off, it weighs only 21.4 pounds, which is less than the average stroller!

Pros

  • Less than $100
  • Locking wheels
  • Dishwasher safe and machine washable removable parts

Cons

  • Made of plastic
  • Limited color options
  • Max weight of 50 lbs
graco blossom 4-in-1 convertible high chair

As if a 3 in 1 wasn't enough, this high chair is a 4 in 1! It converts between a traditional baby high chair, infant feeding booster seat, toddler booster seat, and a youth high chair. It features six height positions and three recline levels so you're sure to find the right position for your child. There's a one-hand removable tray insert that is dishwasher safe, making it easy for clean up even when your hands are full. The seat pad is removable and machine-washable as well. You can simultaneously use the highchair and toddler booster or the infant feeding booster and youth chair to accommodate two children at once. This chair also features a convertible 3- and 5-point harness. 

Pros

  • 4 in 1 convertibility
  • Dishwasher safe and machine washable removable parts
  • Made of metal

Cons

  • You'll pay more for different colors
  • Weighs 32 lbs
  • Max weight of 60 lbs
Abiee Beyond Wooden High Chair with Tray

This high chair pairs functionality with long term use because it can be used as a traditional high chair, a toddlers chair with multiple height position options, or as a traditional dining chair for all ages. It's weight limit is 250 pounds and it weighs a mere 17 pounds! The tray cover is removable and dishwasher safe and the seat is stain resistant and waterproof, making cleanup a breeze. This product is BPA-free, latex free, lead free, and phthalate free. The seat comes in multiple color options: red, blue, green, black, cream. Plus, the seat comes in either mahogany or a lighter natural wood color. 

Pros

  • Convertible and built to last
  • Multiple color options
  • Max weight: 250 lbs

Cons

  • Over $150
  • Seat pad isn't machine washable
  • No wheels

Cosco Simple Fold High Chair - Folding & Affordable

cosco simple fold high chair

This chair is perfect for parents on a strict budget and/or parents who are limited on space. It folds and stands on its own, making it easy to hide away or take on the go. Plus, the product weighs only 13.9 pounds, making transportation that much easier. The three point safety harness keeps kids secure and the easy wipe seat makes all that baby goo easy to clean. This chair is a great affordable option that keeps the basics in mind. 

Pros

  • Foldable for easy storage
  • Lightweight for transportation
  • Extremely affordable

Cons

  • Made of cheap plastic
  • Max weight: 50 lbs
  • Seat pad is not removable or machine washable
fisher-price spacesaver high chair

This high chair is designed with small spaces in mind because it attaches to a regular dining chair. It has all the features of a full-size chair without being a space hog. It's 3-in-1 convertibility goes from a reclining newborn seat to a high chair to a toddler booster seat easily and comes with a 3 point and 5 point safety harness for added security. There's two height adjustments, three recline positions, and the product weighs only 1.1 pounds! The dishwasher safe tray has one-hand removal and the seat pad is machine washable. It's compact size is perfect for on-the-go families. 

Pros

  • Great for small spaces and on-the-go families 
  • Under $50
  • 3 fun color designs

Cons

  • Max weight: 50 lbs
  • Requires stable dining chair
  • Made of plastic

In Conclusion

With so many options on the market today, you are pretty much guaranteed to find the right chair for you and your baby. If you plan on keeping the chair for as long as possible, you'll definitely want a convertible high chair. With this, you'll want to look at durability as well so you can be sure it will stand up to the wear and tear over the years. If you're looking for something more affordable, there's definitely products out there. You'll be able to find a good value for all the bells and whistles you do or do not want. 

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