Sweet Dreams! Crib Sheets with Soft Fabric & Cute Prints

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Dress up your nursery with crib sheets that offer a soft place to sleep and a fabulous place for Instagram photos. Read on for organic options, silk sheets that are gentle on hair, and whimsical prints you’ll love.

Natti Natti

The company name Natti Natti means nighty-night in Swedish, and your babe will sleep well on these 100% organic cotton jersey crib sheets. They're lightweight and breathable, and they come in solids (pink, green) and modern prints. We love this beachy palm leaf print.

Coco Beans

Say goodbye to tangled hair! These 100% silk sheets from Coco Beans are more gentle on textured and curly hair, preventing dry, frizzy locks and bald spots that can develop on cotton sheets. Silk is naturally hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin; plus, it's breathable, moisture-wicking and helps regulate temperature.

goumi

You will love the Many Moons print from goumi ($40) all the way to the moon and back. These soft crib sheets are made from a blend of 70% viscose from bamboo and 30% organic cotton for a breathable fabric that is naturally antimicrobial and environmentally sustainable.

Solly Baby

You love the brand's lightweight and soft, silky baby wraps, and the Solly Baby crib sheets are just as cozy and comfortable. Sized to fit a standard crib mattress, these luxurious sheets are fitted and come in florals, stripes, dots and solid colors.

 

Luvsy

If you're guilty of starring at that sweet face while she sleeps and taking dozens of photos of babe in dreamland (been there, done that), it's time to fancy up those snaps with Luvsy's festive crib sheets. Each "scene" transfers baby to a new place—the beach, park, outer space and even surfing big waves. Start your fun photography journey from day one at luvsy.com.

 

Copper Pearl

Your baby will feel, and look, downright dreamy on Copper Pearl premium fitted crib sheets. The sheets are made from a lightweight and breathable knit fabric and are designed to snugly and safely fit all standard baby mattresses, with high-quality elastic to keep it in place. Patterns include this sweet peach print, as well as flowers, stripes, checks, hearts and animals.

Target's Cloud Island

Affordable and adorable, the Pink Floral fitted crib sheet from Cloud Island ($9.99) is as pretty as a painting for your little one’s nursery. It plays nicely with any pastel- or sherbet-hued decor and can lean traditional or modern all depending upon your style. Made with smooth 100% cotton, this fitted sheet is free from harmful levels of chemical substances.

Iviebaby

Going for a gender-neutral nursery? Check out Iviebaby on Etsy for pages upon pages of options to choose from. Another great gift idea for a mama-to-be with a distinct sense of style.

Not every nursery has to shout “baby!” For a more cultured look, turn to Lewis, where you’ll find 100% organic cotton goods with patterns that are more Brooklyn-hip than juvenile. 

Pajama Time! Soft & Cozy Winter PJs for Your Baby

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When it’s cold outside, you’ll keep baby nice and warm with these soft, comfortable winter pajamas. Bamboo or cotton, cool prints or solids? Whatever your preference, you’ll find your favorite winter pajamas for your sleeping beauty.

Bonsie

Skin-to-skin contact with your baby is key to bonding with your baby, and Bonsie's innovative footies, rompers and baby bags make that special time easier thanks to their clever construction. The top part of the outfit features two layered flaps that fasten together with a hook and loop. Unfasten them to expose baby's chest and belly during nursing, snuggling and chilly days. You'll definitely want these for your newborn.

Available at bonsie.com.

Smaller Things

Made with 100% organic cotton and flat seams, these jammies are the cream of the crop. Comfy ribbed cuffs keep them in place, while the two-way zipper makes for the easiest diaper changes. Did we mention the unique artists prints? You can currently shop styles for Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Texas.

Available at smallerthings.com, $36+

MORI

MORI makes some of the softest kid pajamas we've tried. These Baby Bear Pajamas are made from a bamboo and organic cotton blend with a little stretch for a cozy and comfortable fit for your little cub. There are poppers on the crotch and back for easy on/off and diaper changes.

Available at babymori.com, $39.50.

Kyte Baby

The soft bamboo rayon fabric is the secret sauce of these zippered footie pajamas. The fabric stretches and breathes, helping babies sleep soundly. These zippered footies are available in sizes from preemie to 24 months and 24 gorgeous colors (pastels, jewel tones, neutrals and more), you're guaranteed to find one you and your baby will love. 

Available at kytebaby.com, $33.

Gracyn Sky

Dressed-up owls adorn this adorable zip onesie, which comes with convertible footies and mittens you can fold up or down. Double zippers make sleepy diaper changes easier, and the temperature-regulating fabric (viscose from bamboo with 5% spandex) is soft, durable and eco-friendly. Created by parents for their baby girl (mom is the co-founder of skincare line GLAMGLOW) with designs by pop artist Donald Robertson, Gracyn Sky jammies are bright, bold and luxurious to wear.

Available at gracynsky.com, $45.

Clover Baby & Kids

For this capsule pajama collection, Clover Baby & Kids partnered with three independent female artists of color to create four designs that celebrate inclusivity. The four bold patterns (named pride, love, unity and peace), were created by Brooklyn-based artist Lo Harris, Meera Lee Patel of Nashville, and LA's Blair Paysinger. Each pattern comes in two-piece sets and zip footies.

Available at cloverbabyandkids.com, $34.

Günamüna

The Convertible Pajama is a game-changer in the diaper-changing world. The bottom of these footie pajamas has an inseam zipper (no snaps!) to make swapping a diaper easier, while keeping baby mostly covered and cozy. To keep kids comfortable, the soft bamboo-rayon fabric regulates body temperature, wicks moisture and is hypoallergenic for sensitive baby skin. This super cute sleeper comes in three neutral colors and patterns, and in sizes to fit newborns up to 24 months.

Available at gunamuna.com, $30.

Zutano

Just in time for the chilly winter months, Zutano recently released a line of organic cotton pajamas (Big Bear theme pictured above; check out the entire collection). Choose from oh-so-soft and stretchy two pieces and one-piece zippered sleepers. All picks are eco-friendly, GOTS certified 100% organic cotton without any lead, phthalates or flame retardant chemicals.

Available at zutano.com starting at $32.

Westyn Baby

Baby and children’s sleepwear brand Westyn Baby uses super-soft fabrics in creamy pastel colors. What could be more soothing and gentle on baby’s delicate skin? The PJ materials are lightweight and breathable so your little one doesn’t overheat, and there are no irritating tags to deal with. These long-sleeve sets come in seven beautiful shades.

Available at westynbaby.com.

Lark Adventurewear

In addition to eco-friendly activewear for babies and toddlers, Lark Adventurewear also has baby sleepwear like the Ultimate Zip Footie for sleeping and lounging around the house. The company uses moisture-wicking technology to keep sweaty babies comfy and cool no matter what. The footie provides full coverage and is designed with grippy feet for when your little one starts walking.

Available at larkadventurewear.com.

Clover Baby & Kids

The best part of waking up early (gee thanks, baby) is this Bacon and Eggs Footie. The onesie comes in two colors (petal and haze) and is made with a long-lasting viscose-spandex blend that allows for lots of tossing and turning in the crib, and then playing around the breakfast table the next morning.

Available at cloverbabyandkids.com, $34.

Hanna Andersson

Any parent worth their salt knows why Hanna Andersson PJs are so popular: They’re comfortable, have bold prints, and they last forever! The Baby Zip Sleeper in Organic Cotton comes in a number of prints: flowers, dinosaurs, hearts, animals, fruits, trucks and more. And it maintains its softness and bright colors after washing. 

Available at hannaandersson.com.

Burt’s Bees

Another modern classic—at a great price, Burt’s Bees organic cotton zipped pajamas have a roomy fit and non-slip grips on the bottom of the feeties so baby doesn't slip. Expect a smart design with a protective snap-tab zipper cover and interior zipper guard. Fits babies up to 9 months and comes in pink, light green, heather gray and navy blue.

Available at burtsbeesbaby.com, $13.95.

Baby Deedee

Quilted sleepers can be hard to come by, but Baby Deedee has them in a bevy of colors with warm footies and zippers, including one in between the legs for easier diaper changes. Soft cotton fabric means these are a safe, flame-retardant-free alternative to fleece PJs, and non-skid soles keep your cruiser safe during any pre- or post-sleep exploring.

Available at babydeedee.com, $30.50.

Primary

Primary is your best bet for best-in-class basics. These organic ring-spun cotton pajamas come in a rainbow of beautiful colors—and in matching adult sizes! The fit on babies is snug for safety, and sizes 9 months and up come with non-skid soles. They come in cute stripes and seasonal colors, as well as in a romper style (no feet).

Available at primary.com.

Whitney C. Harris

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10 Splurge-Worthy Keepsake Gifts for Baby

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Looking to pick out the perfect baby gift? There’s no shortage of adorable items to choose from. But if you’re angling for something upscale that really makes an impact at that baby shower, first birthday or holiday, here are great choices for gifts that mom and baby will cherish.

Savor Baby Edition Keepsake Box
What parent doesn’t want a better way to keep track of baby’s sweetest memories? Savor’s Baby Edition Keepsake Box is an organizing system that keeps everything protected and easily accessible with the help of nine drawers, eight vertical files for cherished paper artifacts like sonograms, letters, and birth announcements, and 50+ illustrated labels. Parents can keep track of the first four years of their child’s life, from the hospital blanket to baby’s first tooth to that first haircut, along with other treasured items.

Available at savor.us, $79.95.

Watercolor Birth Announcement Pillow 
An artsy family would appreciate the gift of this watercolor-on-canvas-inspired cushion celebrating the details of baby’s arrival. Handmade in New York City by artist Lori Blum, the comfy-as-can-be pillow comes in pink, blue, mint and gray, and is the perfect addition to storytime in the nursery.

Available at uncommongoods.com, $100.

Tiffany & Co. Bubble Blower
You can practically hear children’s laughter on a summer day upon unboxing this darling silver bubble wand. A wonderful baby shower gift, the design has a signature Tiffany blue accent and can be engraved for personalization.

Available at tiffany.com, $250.

Butterscotch Blankees Metallic Classic Monogram Stroller Blanket
For a gift that baby will use day after day, this super-soft and cozy blanket comes in nearly 30 different colors to match all tastes. Take it from the nursery to the stroller to the car and beyond for constant comfort on all those baby-led adventures. Personalize it with a monogram and send it soon after baby’s arrival.

Available at butterscotchblankees.com, $75.

Vera Wang Wedgwood Love Always Baby Bank
Baby’s first bank should be precious and timeless. And it need not be a piggy! This elephant treasury by acclaimed designer Vera Wang fits the bill with its simple yet sculptural silhouette and a heart detail in the tail. Like all of her creations, the Love Always Baby Bank is a classic for contemporary tastes.

Available at wedgwood.com, $75.

Artifact Uprising Baby Book | The Story of You
From picking baby’s name to favorite books and songs, this baby book prompts parents to write down every important detail. With 100 pages to fill and nearly 50 spots for family photos, it’s a highly interactive photo journal that aptly documents a child’s life to be thumbed through and pored over for years to come. And it fits many family structures, including single parents, adopted children, and same-sex parents.

Available at artifactuprising.com, from $120.

Michael Aram Bunny Cup with Spoon Set
Handcrafted by American artist Michael Aram, this cup and spoon set calls upon the wonder and innocence of childhood with subtle whimsy and elegance. Made of stainless steel and silver-plated metal, this sweet set will stand the test of time, and, like children themselves, no two are exactly alike because they’re made by hand.

Available at michaelaram.com, $95.

Beadifulbaby Engravable Silver Baby Bangle Bracelet
A gift of jewelry will always be remembered, especially a child’s first bracelet as permanent record of that unimaginably tiny wrist. This lovely, high-polished sterling silver rhodium bracelet is made in the USA and can be personalized with a little one’s initials or full name. While this piece of jewelry cannot grow with baby, it makes for a darling gift that can be passed down to future generations.

Available at beadifulbaby.com, $110.

Write to Me | Baby – First Year of You Journal
Inspire any new parent to notice the little things with the gift of this beautiful First Year of You journal. There’s plenty of room for taking note of moments both big and small, with cues to include milestones like first steps, first Christmas and first haircut. The natural linen, gender-neutral design with gold embossing is fitting for just about any family and it’s all made with forest-free paper.

Available at writetomeshop.com, $59.95.

Reed & Barton Jungle Parade Silverplate Photo Frame
A classic silver frame gets a colorful upgrade with Reed & Barton’s Jungle Parade. This adorable 4×6 picture holder would look positively sweet in any boy or girl’s nursery, and it can be used to display a family photo from your latest adventures. To up the gift factor, personalize it for an extra $9.95.

Available at reedandbarton.com, $45.

Whitney C. Harris

featured image: jesse ramirez via Unsplash

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The Most Popular Halloween Costumes for Kids in 2021

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Halloween is almost here, and a new costume always brings excitement for the spooky season! Unless you’re feeling crafty (see our DIY Halloween costumes here), you’ll need the internet to help you find that perfect costume your kid wants. From a fabulous Cruella Deville costume to the perfect Loki helmet and everything in between, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most exciting costumes for Halloween 2021 that are sure to make your kid scream!

Cruella Deville Costume

Your kid will love this exciting Cruella Deville costume which is definitely worthy of one of the best villain origin stories of all time. It comes with a half black, half white wig and a mask.

Find it on Amazon, $46. 

 

"Ted Lasso"

With a few things from Primary, your kids can dress up as the characters on the hit show: Ted, Rebecca and Dani Rojas. For Ted you'll need clothes like this puffer jacket and this crewneck sweater. This dress is perfect for Rebecca, and with some tape and creativity, this shirt can be made into Dani's team jersey. 

"The Descendants" Mal Halloween Costume

Since The Royal Wedding hit Disney+ this summer, The Descendants are back and more wickedly popular than ever. Your fan will love this jumpsuit costume and cute vest, but take note, the wig is sold separately.

Find it on Amazon, $19-50.

Baby Junior Giraffe Halloween Costume

Seeing your baby dressed in this adorable giraffe costume will be the highlight of Halloween. This costume includes a jumpsuit, hood and booties.

Find it only online at Target, $30.

My Hero Academia

If your tween is into anime, they'll go wild for this My Hero Academia costume. It comes with a tie, skirt, blouse and skirt. 

Sizes: 

Order it at Amazon, $33. 

Luca Sea Monster Costume

Your kid will swim right into this costume. They won't get cold wearing this jumpsuit costume on Halloween, and it has a zipper for an easy on and off. It comes with a separate pullover mask.

Get it on Amazon, $32-36.

Witch

A witch will always be a popular costume for Halloween, and we love that this version is more sweet than scary. You'll get the hat, but the broom and shoes are sold separately. 

Buy it online only at Spirit Halloween, $60. 

Dinosaur

Kids have long been fascinated by dinosaurs, so it's no surprise that dino costumes are continuously a popular choice, especially for young kids. This adorable T-Rex suit is perfect for a toddler.

Sizes: 2T-4T

Buy it Spirit Halloween, $30.

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian is still super popular with kids of all abilities. Suit up as Mando and have a younger sibling dress up like The Child, and you've got a match made in Halloween heaven. 

Sizes: S, M, L

Get it over at Spirit Halloween, $37.

Be sure to check out this adaptive version from Disney for $50! 

Hermione Granger

Harry's smart and spunky BFF is a huge hit with girls who are reading the Harry Potter series. This robe is affordable, has the Gryffindor crest on the front and is offered in three sizes. You'll need to buy the accessories to complete the look, like this tie and this wand

Sizes: S, M, L

Order it at Amazon,  $38.

Avengers Assemble Loki Costume

Loki is as mischievous as ever, thanks to the new series on Disney+. We love this costume because it comes complete with a Loki helmet and it's easy to wear for Halloween night. 

Get it at Amazon, $34.

Paw Patrol Chase Light Up Costume

If your kid loved the Paw Patrol movie, they will love this costume. It will be a great costume for them to dress up with friends! Comes with a functional backpack.

Get it on Amazon, $46 & up.

Peanuts Woodstock Baby Costume

Your little one will be warm and snug on a cool Halloween night in this cozy costume. This costume comes with attached mitts, booties, and a tail.

Find it online only at Target, $30. 

"Raya and the Last Dragon" Costume

This gorgeous costume is a splurge, but totally worth it when they spend hours playing in it. You get everything you see here!

Buy it at Shop Disney, $70.

Vampire Costume

What would Halloween be without a vampire costume? This one comes with a vest, cape and shirt.

Sizes: S, M, L

Buy it at Spirit Halloween, $37. 

Black Widow

Black Widow is other the hit superhero right now! This jumpsuit comes with metallic cuffs and a light-up belt. 

Sizes: S, M, L

Available at Spirit Halloween, $35.

—Gabby Cullen with Taylor Clifton

Editor’s Note: All items were available for purchase upon publication.

All images courtesy of retailers.

Featured Image: iStock 

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Books are a powerful way to connect with your child and to promote important values like kindness and acceptance. Fill your child’s library with books that encourage diversity and inclusion in all forms. Your baby’s first literary lesson can be that differences are what make us special.

Happy and You Know It! by Vanja Kragulj
Learn this kid-favorite song with a book full of smiling children of different races. This Indestructibles book is designed for littles; it's washable and won't rip or tear.

Available at workman.com, $5.95.

Completely Me by Justine Green, Ed.D.
A young girl learns she's different only when other people point it out. She stands up for herself and teaches the people around her (and readers!) about self-acceptance and embracing our differences.

Available at barnesandnoble.com, $12.99.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard
Through this picture book ode to fry bread, readers learn through their senses; how it looks, smells and sounds while cooking. There's also a recipe to make your own fry bread.

Available at amazon.com, $14.52.

The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez
Teach kids about Black history and culture from A to Z. P is for Power; H is for Zora Neale Hurston. Written in rhyming text, the book includes information about the important folks, places and events mentioned.

Available at workman.com, $14.95.

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi
Learn how to cultivate a more equitable world by following the nine steps in this book, which is filled with thoughtful rhymes and beautiful, bold illustrations. 

Available at amazon.com, $8.99.

Baby Young, Gifted and Black by Jamia Wilson
This lyrical board book introduces babies to Black leaders and changemakers from the past and present. A mirror in the back lets kids see themselves alongside these heroes.

Available at amazon.com, $9.99.

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, illustrated by Marla Frazee
This simply written and sweetly illustrated board book shows babies of all origins being cared for in all sorts of ways. Small babies, tall babies, summer and fall babies. One thing they all have in common is that they’re all kissed and fed and rocked to sleep by people who love them.

Available at amazon.com, $6.95.

We Are Family by Patricia Hegarty, illustrated by Ryan Wheatcroft
No matter how your family came to be or what it looks like, your commitment to stick together is what really matters. That’s the focus of this inclusive book for children that showcases fams of different sizes, races, abilities and more.

Available at amazon.com, $11.83.

Baby Talk by Stella Blackstone
A great book for older siblings to read to younger ones, Baby Talk is all about the simple but powerful ways in which we interact with babies. Told with accompanying high-contrast, black and white photos, it's also perfect for developing baby's eyesight.

Available at amazon.com, $6.99.

Carry Me (Babies Everywhere) by Star Bright Books
It’s rhyme time for babies and tots in this simple story showing young children carried by bicep, blanket, basket, backpack, and more. Beginner book lovers will be fascinated with this collection of photographs depicting young children being carried by doting caregivers.

Available at amazon.com, $6.99.

Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children
Colorful photos abound in this board book featuring babes from 17 different countries throughout the world. Sneak a peek at the lives, cultures and traditions of families with wee ones far and wide.

Available at amazon.com, $6.95.

Nursery Rhymes and Rhythms by Ijeoma Ntukogu
"Black Boy Joy" and "Black Girl Magic" are two of the stories in this inspiring collection of new tales and classic nursery rhymes retold with a modern twist. These uplifting tales celebrate empathy and connection while featuring, and affirming, black and brown children.

Available at amazon.com, $9.99.

Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora
Introduce your babe to the sounds of different languages with a glimpse at a diverse neighborhood full of people speaking Spanish, French, Japanese and more. The kid-friendly collage pictures also make for an exciting glimpse of some diverse cultures.

Available at amazon.com, $7.19.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
Watch as a diverse mix of children wearing everything from pigtails and patkas to glasses and hijabs and yarmulkes make their way through school. The illustrations full of young families of all kinds are what make this picture book a feast for little eyes.

Available at amazon.com, $14.06.

Pink and Blue by Ritu Vaishnav, illustrated by Vishnu M Nair
Some people will insist that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. But many of us know that simply isn’t true. Pink and Blue goes well beyond color to break down gender stereotypes and start an early and often dialogue about how boys and girls should question such traditional, nonsensical ideas.

Available at amazon.com, $6.03.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
It’s not easy being the new kid in school, especially when your teachers and classmates can’t pronounce your name. Unhei is suddenly self-conscious of her Korean name and decides to choose a new one. Until her new friends convince her to keep it!

Available at amazon.com, $7.99.

Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long
From George Washington to Georgia O’Keeffe, and from Jackie Robinson to Maya Lin, this piece of U.S. history in a picture book sheds light on the diverse faces, qualities and achievements of thirteen Americans. Perusing its pages is like looking at our country’s own yearbook.

Available at amazon.com, $6.81.

When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb, illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard
Charley feels different from other children. Sometimes he likes to play with his friends, but other times he prefers to draw by himself. Then he meets Emma, who is also different. She has no hands and uses a wheelchair. Their meeting and interactions can inspire parents to talk to their little ones about disability and kindness and inclusion starting at an early age.

Available at amazon.com, $12.37.

Whitney C. Harris

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You can install countless babyproofing gadgets and locks on every door, drawer, nook and cranny in your home (or hire a babyproofing service to do it for you), or you can save a bundle with a few clever DIY tricks that make your home safer for your child. Babyproof your cabinets, babyproof your fireplace, create an awesome DIY child-proof door knob, and more with these cheap and easy babyproofing hacks.

When to Start Babyproofing

As your little one gets close to crawling, it's time to babyproof their environment. To start, get on the floor and look at the surroundings from a baby's perspective. See what's tempting to grab and pull, what's at eye level, and what could injure them. Then, put away fragile items, move cords, secure furniture that could fall over, and put padding on sharp edges.

Every few months, and when your child reaches a new milestone (like walking), evaluate your home for additional babyproofing needs. As they grow taller, the danger zones will increase. Try these budget-friendly safety tricks you can easily do yourself:

1. Secure stairways: The railings on staircases or landings on upper floors may look narrow, but they're big enough for kids' limbs (or heads!) to get stuck. Secure clear plastic or fabric to the railings to deter kids from playing with them.

2. Hide cleaning products: Plastic bins with lids and latches that baby can't open are a safer place for cleaning products than under your kitchen sink. If you can store them on a high shelf or out of sight in a cabinet as well, that's even better.

3. Corral cords: Cut a slit down an empty paper towel roll or piece of pipe insulation and thread multiple wires through it to keep them from becoming tangled in your tot's curious hands. You can also use zip ties to pull together cords and then tuck them far away from baby's reach.

4. Cover outlets: Put adhesive bandages or duct tape over electrical outlets if you don't have plastic covers (this trick also works great at hotels and other people's houses!). Avoid cartoon varieties of bandages that will attract little ones' attention.

5. Block off the fireplace: Babyproof a fireplace without sacrificing aesthetics too much by covering the opening with a piece of magnetic chalkboard (we love the one above from Sassy Wife/Classy Life). The chalkboard blocks off the fireplace and give little ones a surface on which to draw with chalk and play with magnets (choose large magnets that don't pose a choking hazard).

6. Place dishtowels out of reach: Nix the dishtowel hanging off your oven door handle. Kids can pull down on it and open a hot oven or bonk themselves with the heavy door. Move towels to a higher shelf or windowsill, or put them on command hooks out of baby's reach.

7. Use a toilet paper tube tester: There's no need to purchase a choke tester. Anything that can fit into an empty toilet paper tube is small enough for your baby to choke on. Keep all those wee things in tall cabinets.

8. Create a TP protector: Babies love to unroll toilet paper as much as pets do. Keep your TP intact and out of baby's hands and mouth with a two-liter soda bottle! Cut off the top and bottom of the bottle and cut a slit down the remaining center piece. Use tape to cover sharp, raw edges and slide the container over your toilet roll to cover it. See the tutorial at My Frugal Baby Tips.

9. Protect with pool noodles: These summertime staples can be used for everything from door stoppers to crib-rail covers that prevent tots from rolling out of bed. They're also good for wrapping around sharp edges, like around the fireplace, to minimize bumps and scrapes.

10. Pad corners with tennis balls: Tennis balls can soften sharp corners where a pool noodle doesn't fit. Cut a few small slices into the ball's core so you can wedge it over items like table corners. It may not look pretty, but this hack is pretty temporary. Before you know it, your toddler will be steady enough that you no longer feel the need to protect every corner in your home.

11. Shorten pull cords: Use clothespins or twist ties to shorten and hold up pull cords on curtains and blinds to remove this strangulation risk from your home. Command hooks are also handy for keeping cords out of reach.

12. Sock it to knobs: To keep little hands from turning door knobs, cover them with a spare sock and wrap a hair tie or rubber band around the base to hold the sock in place. An adult can still squeeze and turn the handle, but a child won't be able to.

13. Band together on horizontal cabinets: Attach hair ties or rubber bands to keep paired cabinet doors closed. Just loop the tie around the handles and your baby will only be able to open the doors slightly.

14. Get a handle on vertical drawers: Slide a yardstick or tension rod (or another long, thin object) through the handles of horizontally stacked drawers, rather than spending time and money on individual locks.

 

Whitney C. Harris

featured photo: iStock

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Once you start offering your baby water at the 6-month mark, you can use a sippy cup, 360 cup or straw cup instead of a bottle. While sippy spouts (especially soft ones) are often easier for transitioning away from a bottle, many doctors also recommend straw cups as they help with speech and oral development. You’ll probably end up trying a few to find a favorite, but with our help, maybe you’ll nail it on the first try.

Nuby 360 Edge 2 Stage Drinking Rim Cup

Kid can drink from any part of this 360-edge drinking cup, topped in soft silicone. New drinkers grip the two handles and guide the cup to their mouths. Detach the handles when your child has the hang of grasping the tumbler instead. With only two parts and a transparent cup and rim, it's easy to clean. Pop on the hygienic cover to keep it clean when not in use.

Available at amazon.com, $6.99.

Tommee Tippee Insulated Sippee Toddler Cup

These 9-ounce insulated tumblers keep drinks cool and limit messes thanks to a spill-proof valve. The soft spout is easy for toddlers to drink from and gentle on teething gums. They're dishwasher-safe and free of BPA, BPS and phthalates. And the bright colors guarantee they won't get lost in the bottom of your diaper bag.

Available at amazon.com, $14.21.

ezpz Mini Cup & Straw Training System

So many smart features turn this cup into a training system, helping your child learn to use a straw and drink from an open cup. The kid-size cup is made from no-slip silicone and angled on the inside for a more even flow of liquid. It has a weighted base with bumps to keep the cup from falling over. The straw also features small bumps to decrease tongue suckling and promote rounding the lips, and the curve in the straw promotes lip and jaw closure. Flip the straw upside down for more advanced sipping, and then move on to the open cup.

Available at ezpzfun.com, $14.99.

Dr. Brown's Stage 1 Soft-Spout Transition Cup

This compact cup is perfect for baby’s first attempts at sipping like a big kid. They’ll love the soft spout that reminds them of a bottle's nipple and handles they can easily grip. You'll love that leaking is minimal and it comes with a flip top to keep it clean when you toss it in the diaper bag or stroller.

Available at drbrownsbaby.com, $5.99.

Joovy Dood Training Cup & Insulator

If you prefer a hard spout style, this 7-ounce cup is a good choice. The mouthpiece is specifically designed to help protect gums and the palate while babies are teething. It's insulated so it keeps beverages colder longer. And you can even freeze liquids in the cup, which is perfect for extended trips.

Available at joovy.com, $14.99.

Miniware 1-2-3 Sip!

Little ones can drink three different ways with the adaptable 1-2-3 Sip! from Miniware. Start your baby out with the silicone straw insert, then level up to the non-drip spouted lid (just the right size for tots), and, finally, graduate to the open cup. The easy-on-the-eyes cup is made out of plant-based bamboo fiber and vegetable starch material and has major minimalist appeal.

Available at miniware.com, $18.

Pura Kiki Straw Bottle with Sleeve

Once your baby has some practice drinking from a smaller cup, we love this stainless steel option that’s completely free of plastic. The 11-ounce bottle keeps beverages cool, and an outer sleeve (available in 6 colors) means little hands won't freeze while holding it. Another awesome feature: Many standard nipples and sippy spouts also fit on the cup, so you can ease the transition and offer milk as well.

Available at purastainless.com, $19.99.

Dr. Brown’s Baby’s 1st Straw Cup

Once your baby has mastered a soft-spout, it’s on to straw cups! The flexible, weighted straw on this 9-ounce cup means that babes can sip from any angle. The attached lid is super convenient when you’re on-the-go, and the cup even comes with its own brush to keep things clean.

Available at drbrownsbaby.com, $6.99.

Lollacup Sippy Cup

The Lollacup can make the learning-to-drink process easier thanks to a weighted straw that helps draw water, or even a smoothie, up and into the tube no matter which way the cup is tilted. The materials are all BPA-free, BPS-free, and phthalate-free for super-safe sipping. And the cup "chick" wins major points for being so adorable and coming in seven cool colors.

Available at lollaland.com, $16.

Green Sprouts Glass Sip & Straw Cup

Here's another plastic-free cup with tons of drinking options. It's made out of glass and has an outer plastic shield with handles and a non-slip, shock-absorbing base to prevent breakage. The cup comes with a silicone straw, but you can purchase additional tops with soft and hard spouts for versatile sipping.

Available at greensproutsbaby, $19.99.

Oxo Soft Spout Sippy Cup Set with Training Lid

This clever set helps babies transition from the bottle and then to drinking from a cup without a top. First, introduce the sippy with the hard top and handles. Later, ditch the handles and switch the lid to one that functions pretty much like a regular cup. A special insert with perforated edges will control the flow of water, to everyone's relief! Once your child has the hang of that, remove the insert and your big kid can drink from a grown-up cup.

Available at oxo.com, $10.99.

Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup

Here's a great option for learning to drink from a spout- and straw-free cup. This trainer cup allows kids to tip and drink from any side (as they would from a regular cup), and it magically seals when they stop drinking. Another plus: You don't have to clean small straws and valve parts. What’s more, Munchkin has made a new line of “Wild Love” cups featuring threatened species like the polar bar and African elephant to support animal welfare efforts.

Available at munchkin.com, $7.

Thinkbaby Thinkster of Steel

As the first company to offer a BPA-free baby bottle, Thinkbaby knows how important safe sipping is for families with young children. The offerings now include the ultra-safe Thinkster of Steel, which can transform a stainless cup from a baby bottle to a sippy to a straw cup with the simple twist of a cap. We love the straw option with a cross-cut design that means no messy spills. And, even better, a portion of the purchase price can go toward a charity such as Save the Whales.

Available at gothinkbaby.com, $13.99.

Tommee Tippee Easiflow 360

Fill your child’s Easiflow 360 with something to sip on, and you’ll be thrilled to see them drinking out of a “big kid” cup. The spout-free design is great for learning how to drink out of a cup and is good for oral development. The single-piece valve is simple to clean and the cup comes in 7-ounce (with handles) and 8-ounce (without handles) options and in single cups or packs of two.

Available at tommeetippee.us, $12.99.

Tommee Tippee No-Knock Cup

Ready to quit cleaning up spilled milk? Thought so! Here’s a cup that simply won’t dump over, even when toys and elbows knock into it left and right. The base sticks to any smooth surface, but the cup easily lifts when pulled upward for drinking.

Available at tommeetippee.us, $12.99.

—Whitney C. Harris & Julie Seguss

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17 Amazing Reasons to Plan a Long Weekend in Anaheim, CA

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You want pool time; they want roller coasters. What’s a family to-do? Perfectly nestled between the hustle and bustle cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Anaheim offers a warm, laidback California attitude with tons of exciting activities for families to dive into together. Read on to see 17 reasons why it’s the perfect family getaway.

Photo: Visit Anaheim

 

It’s every family’s dream to make an escape to Disneyland in sun-drenched southern CA, and the land of magic is ready to welcome back families who have missed Mickey and Minnie over the past year! The park reopens on April 30, and you can find reopening details here.

Beyond the magic of Disney, there are tons of other incredible reasons ​to visit Anaheim​. Let your children’s imagination soar during a Flightdeck Flight Simulation. Choose from a fighter jet or commercial airliner, then take over the controls for a one-of-a-kind aviation adventure.

Photo: Visit Anaheim

For even more adventure, check out over 40 attractions and award-winning rollercoasters at Knott’s Berry Farm. If you’re visiting on a sunny day, be sure to add Orange County’s largest water park Knott’s Soak City to the itinerary!

Ready to get back to live music? Catch a live show at City National Grove of Anaheim. Not your thing? Sports fans can catch a baseball game and see championship team the Angels!

Photo: Visit Anaheim

Feeling hungry? Anaheim’s many family-friendly restaurants range from American to Asian, from Mexican to Italian. Grab a plate of pasta at Naples Ristorante e Bar in the Downtown Disney®District, cast iron mac & cheese at Tru Grits, made-from-scratch favorites with a side of music at House of Blues® at Anaheim GardenWalk or a sweet treat at Joe’s Italian Ice. Or just wander around the Anaheim Packing District and its many unique culinary offerings.

Photo: Visit Anaheim

Families in the mood for shopping will find plenty to browse at places like the Center Street Promenade, Anaheim GardenWalk, The Outlets at Orange and the Downtown Disney District. Whether you’re window shopping, engaging in some retail therapy, or simply buying gifts, there’s something for everyone.

Need more convincing to plan a weekend trip to Anaheim? Find a place to stay is so simple. Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Playground has been one of Anaheim’s most popular hotels for over 50 years and has a water park area featuring  a 30-foot pirate ship with 200-gallon drench bucket, water cannons, slides a toddler pool and more. For thrill seekers who want to be first in line, the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance is just a five-minute walk from the Disneyland theme park entrances!

Get everything you need to plan an unforgettable trip to Anaheim at VisitAnaheim.org!

Ready to Roll? Take the New Nuna TRIV Stroller For a Spin

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When it comes to investing in a stroller, most parents want the field of options narrowed down considerably to save precious time and sanity. There are hundreds to choose from after all! If you’re looking for one single stroller to take your kiddo from birth to kindergarten (and probably beyond) it’s a smart move to check out Nuna’s ​new TRIV stroller.

Lightweight and flexible, with the ability to stand on its own, the TRIV is built to last with features and functionality unrivaled in the insanely crowded baby gear world. Plus, it looks good enough to practically walk a runway.

 

Revolutionary features

3-position recline

UPF 50+ canopy

Quick-release, 5-point no-rethread harness

Leatherette accented pushbar and armbar

Height adjustable pushbar

Adjustable calf support

Spring suspension technology

All-terrain rubber tires

Sleek and stylish functionality

Ultra-compact

Easy, one-handed fold

Seat faces both forwards and backwards and folds flat both ways

Functional from birth to 50 pounds

Travel system ready with included ring adapter

Car seat ring adapter conveniently folds with the frame

Best of all, the Nuna TRIV is highly versatile with a seat that can face forwards or backwards, easy conversion from a 5-point to a 3-point harness, and a one-handed fold when you’re switching from walking to driving, or ready to wrap it up for the day. Pair it with a Nuna PIPA infant car seat to make it a fully functioning travel system thanks to the ring adaptor included. The fully featured compact stroller weighs a very liftable 19.4 pounds (without insert, armbar, or canopy). So toss it in your trunk and never miss a beat.

 

Strolling around town with the TRIV means supreme comfort and safety for you and your baby, no matter the circumstances. Brave all types of weather with a Merino wool insert for winter and a mesh seat for summer. The agile rain cover is ideal for gray and damp days, while the UPF 50+ canopy fully extends with an eyeshade and window when the sun is strong.

Adjust the pushbar to your perfect height, then cruise in confidence with spring suspension technology to keep the ride going smoothly. A smart storage pocket and oversized basket provide plenty of places to stash bottles, diapers, wipes, snacks, and everything else you’ll need along the way.

Nuna has been at the forefront of modern baby gear since 2007. As a global brand with Dutch origins, Nuna is keenly focused on both manufacturing and design, ensuring that all materials and processes are safe, superior, and truly mindful. Chances are, you’re probably familiar with Nuna’s contemporary collection of car seats, strollers, kiddie cots, chairs, and carriers. But if you haven’t become educated on Nuna gear, we highly recommend perusing the video gallery to see and learn more.

Shop the stylish and reliable TRIV stroller at ​https://www.nunababy.com/triv-usa

–Whitney C. Harris

Base-ically, the One Thing You’ll Need to Take Baby Home

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You’ve picked out the crib and the perfect little onesie, but before you bring home Baby there’s an important piece of baby gear not to leave off your list.

Say hello to the new RELX base for PIPA series car seats. It’ll help your family go the distance when it comes to trips of all types. And it’ll mean one less thing to figure out as you navigate parenthood.

There are tons of reasons to check out this new base from Nuna, but here are some of our favorites:

Brilliant features

Bubble-free install clearly indicates the base is installed correctly

Anti-rebound panel

Locking 3-piece steel stability leg

Low profile base for easier loading of your PIPA series car seat

Superior functionality 

5-second install with True lock™ technology

Stability leg is adjustable to fit most vehicles and even middle seats

4 position on-the-go recline with clear recline angle indicators

Smooth platform preserves vehicle seats

Whether you commute as a family on a daily basis, or save car trips for weekends and beyond, the RELX base will ensure you can do everything safely and easily. In just two quick steps, your baby’s seat can go from stroller to car and ready to roll. Choose from an adjustable rigid latch or your car’s seat belt to install the RELX base.  Parents can rest assured that everything is safe and sound thanks to colored indicators (green means go!) and a locking stability leg (it minimizes forward rotation during impact).

It’s a brilliant buy for families with multiple cars and for families in search of safe and simple car seat solutions. The multi-position RELX base combines unparalleled style and innovation. It accommodates various car seat angles and is compatible with all PIPA series car seats. To accompany the first-of-its-kind RELX base, Nuna expanded its car seat family with two new expertly engineered, premium infant car seats—PIPA™ rx and PIPA™ lite r. We all need that kind of flexibility in our lives with little kids!

Nuna has been at the forefront of modern baby gear since 2007. As a global brand with Dutch origins, Nuna is keenly focused on both manufacturing and design, ensuring that all materials and processes are safe, superior, and truly mindful. Chances are, you’re probably familiar with Nuna’s contemporary collection of car seats, strollers, kiddie cots, chairs, and carriers. But if you haven’t become educated on Nuna gear, we highly recommend perusing the video gallery to see and learn more.

Shop the stylish and reliable RELX car seat base at https://www.nunababy.com/usa/car-seats

–Whitney C. Harris