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Best Travel Cribs of 2017

Best Travel Cribs of 2017 0

 

Whether you’re jetting off to Europe for a summer vacay or hanging at grandma’s for the weekend, your little one will need a safe place to rest. The best travel cribs are super portable to make your job as the baby-gear sherpa a tad easier.

Do you need a travel crib?

Many hotels and even home rentals will supply a travel crib (essentially a playard with a thin sleeping pad). But if you’re staying with family, or just want a crib you feel good about, a travel crib can be great.

Besides being a place to rest, travel cribs are also a safe place for your kiddo to play (no sweating the electrical sockets!). You can even use a travel crib as a napping spot on days spent at the beach or park.

Travel cribs generally accommodate newborns to toddlers about three years old.

How we chose our best picks

We asked thousands of real families about the baby products they love the most. We took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best travel cribs.

             THE MAJOR MULTITASKER

                                Nuna Sena

WHY WE LOVE IT

This Dutch-designed travel crib is a cinch to fold and store - perfect for quick getaways (think: running late at checkout time). The SENA also has a bassinet attachment for smaller babies. It just brings the sleeping pad closer to the top of the travel crib rather than near the base.

KEEP IN MIND

This travel crib is heavy and not ideal if you plan on racking up frequent flyer miles.

WHAT PARENTS SAY

“The crib is easy to use. It has worked for us when we’ve needed it for travel and use at the grandparents’ house.” - Cristina

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Weight: 25 lbs.

Care: Spot clean with damp cloth

Measurements: 29.5” L x 41.3” W x 30.7” H

Recommended Use: Ages 0-3

                       EASY PEASY

                        

4moms breeze Playard    $299

WHY WE LOVE IT

It doesn’t get any easier than this: Push the center of this playard and it falls open and into place. Pull the center loop and it folds up. Basically, 4Moms Breeze just one-upped the SENA. It’s sturdy and roomy too, with a removable bassinet level for the sleeping pad to sit higher in the crib.

KEEP IN MIND

Like the SENA, the Breeze is heavier for a travel crib.

WHAT PARENTS SAY

“Compared to my friends who have other popular brands that include changing tables and a bunch of ‘extras’ the 4Moms Breeze only took seconds to set-up. So we were ready to go while they were still trying to figure theirs out.” - Mary Ashley

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Weight: 24 lbs.

Care: Spot clean with damp cloth

Measurements: 46” L x 32.5” W x 29” H

Recommended Use: Bassinet: For babies up to 18 pounds, or until the child can push up onto hands and knees. Playard: For children up to 30 lbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Adam Gift
8 Important Signs of a Great Daycare

8 Important Signs of a Great Daycare 0

You simply want the most affordable, highest quality daycare, that’s as close to your home or work as humanly possible.

It’s not too much to ask, is it? Until you start doing your research. The options can suddenly seem overwhelming (or severely lacking) and stress can start creeping in. Wait, how do I know this one is better than this one? Which reviews can I trust?

First, breathe. “The search for the right daycare is going to be stressful, but don’t get discouraged,” says Sydney Ziverts, Health & Nutrition Investigator at Consumersafety.org. “It’s important to start thinking about childcare well before the baby arrives. A general rule of thumb for parents going right back to work after the baby is born is to begin looking in the second trimester. If you live in a big city, the sooner the better.”

Having time on your side is one way to ensure that you’ll get the best daycare for you and your baby’s needs, but what else should you keep in mind? Here are eight things every great daycare has.

1. Stellar Reviews

Every great daycare will have a solid reputation, including positive reviews from previous or current parents.

This doesn’t necessarily mean just the ones you’ll read online (though, of course, check those too!). Ask the daycare to provide you with a few names and numbers of parents you can call for references, or tap your network of friends and family to see which local center’s their favorite.

As you’re sifting through reviews, take note of any patterns, good or bad. “No provider is perfect, but if the same type of complaints are lodged, something isn’t right,” says Traci Sanders, author of Right at Home: A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care.

When you do go online, don’t underestimate social media. “Many daycare providers have Facebook pages,” says Ziverts. “Read what they are posting, and pay attention to what parents are saying too. When parents are engaged, it’s a healthy sign of a trusted childcare business.”

2. A Caring, Stimulating Environment With Happy Kids

You’ll feel it right when you walk in the door.

In this situation, first impressions really are everything. Does it seem like a vibrant, clean, fun space for your child? “Take a look at the environment and be sure it’s home-like, welcoming, and reflective of diversity and the children in the classroom,” says Rachel Robertson Vice President for Education and Development at Bright Horizons. Note whether they have age-appropriate environments for each stage. For example, does the infant room have plenty of floor space for crawlers or babies that need tummy time? Or do the older kids have desks or tables for coloring or crafts?

Observe the children. Are they happy and engaged? Do they have access to diverse activities and projects? Do they seem responsive and comfortable with the caregivers? “Assess how children are encouraged to explore the environment. Can they make independent choices?” adds Robertson. “Also, look for evidence that children’s interests and ideas are respected and reflected. Do you see displays of what the children are doing and learning?”

You want to feel like the children and space are happily humming along. When you’re feeling really great about the environment, you can probably imagine your child there: standing by the play kitchen sink, gabbing away with another child, or crawling around on the foam mats searching for a book to read, or, you know, eat.

3. An Interesting and Varied Schedule or Curriculum

What constitutes “great” here will have more to do with what you want for your child’s ideal day.

Do you want them to have a loose, fluid schedule that is more child-led and changes often? Or would you prefer a more school-like educational environment with a rigid curriculum? Either way, an excellent daycare will meet your needs. And make sure television or videos play a minimal role (or none at all) unless they’re part of the curriculum and are age-appropriate.

“Excellent early care and education programs allow for children to be invested in the materials and their learning. Skilled teachers balance important learning outcomes with children’s natural interests,” says Robertson. “No matter what kind of program you select for your child, you and your child’s teachers can join in a partnership to enhance your child’s learning experience. By building strong home-school relationships from the start, parents and teachers can support children and prepare them for future success, both in and outside the classroom.”

4. Qualified Caregivers Who Really Care

Make sure they have the basic certifications.

How do you assess the adults in the room? First, make sure they have the basics in terms of certification and training. Most should have degrees related to early childhood development or in the process of obtaining one, with at least two years of college under their belt. They should also be trained in CPR and any other emergency procedures.

When it comes to the intangibles, you can learn a lot simply by observing. Listen to how the teachers or caregivers interact with the children and take note of their body language. “Look for teachers talking respectfully to children at children’s eye-level,” says Robertson. “Parents want to hear meaningful conversations and respectful tone of voice, even in infant and toddler rooms, rather than an authoritative tone, constant directions, or a lot of no’s.”

Beyond interacting with the children, how comfortable do you feel with the caregivers? Are they communicative, clear and seem eager to be a partner with you in caring for and educating your children? “Do not hesitate asking hard questions,” says Joshua Wagner, a personal injury lawyer and author of a forthcoming book about protecting your children. “You are interviewing them. It is normal. They like parents that are engaged in their child’s safety and wellbeing.”

5. Safety, Safety, Safety

This is a no-brainer

Great daycare centers go above and beyond to ensure children’s safety. This includes childproofing, food safety practices, a well-kept and maintained play space with sets of toys (making sure none of have been recalled) and constant supervision.

A well child-proofed space will have:

  • Covers on every outlet

  • Cribs out of reach of blinds or windows

  • Window blind pull strings are out of reach or fastened with anchors

  • Stairs blocked by stair

  • Changing tables and high chairs with straps

  • Clean toys in good condition (no broken toys)

  • No small objects around that children could choke on (especially important in centers that cover multiple age groups)

  • Potentially toxic substances (like medications and cleaning supplies) are secured

6. Low Child-to-Caregivers Ratio and Low Employee Turnover

Look for 1:4 caregiver to child ratio for infants

The more hands on deck, the better. So you want to see a high amount of caregivers per group of children. And ideally, you’d have the same caregivers day in and day out. “It’s best if children stay with the same caregiver for at least a year,” says Krystal Rogers-Nelson, a parenting and child safety expert for A Secure Life. Consistency for your child goes a long way to maintaining a happy well-being.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (or NAEYC as it’s more commonly known) has a useful chart that shows the recommended ratios for each age group and group size. For infants under 15 months old, with a group size of 8 or less, the ratio should be 1:4. For toddlers up to 2.5 years old with a group size of 10 or less, the recommended ratio is 1:4, and for preschool aged kids up to 4 years old with a group size of 10 or less, the recommended ratio is 1:6.

7. Established Policies and Consistent Rules

Written-down, well-established operating policies go a long way

When a business at its core is consistent and well-organized, you know this will probably reflect throughout every facet of their operation. Great daycares have written-down, well-established operating policies from small things like when they do circle time to more crucial rules like how to handle sick children or emergency situations. You don’t want a place that’s so inflexible you can’t do something like pack a special meal for your child, but you also don’t want one that’s so loose with their rules and policies that it can be confusing or feels unsafe.

8. Licensed (and Maybe Accredited)

Licensing is the legal state requirements and accreditation is a higher bar

Each state has basic legal requirements for operating a daycare, so being licensed is non-negotiable. But whether or not a great daycare center needs to also be accredited is completely up to you and may depend on availability in your area.

State licensing agencies validate that the center is safe and abides by all official regulations. Accreditation agencies are private and evaluate centers based on a wider range of criteria that can be very specific. For example, benefits are provided to all employees, vehicles do not idle in the parking lot, wheel toys that are used outside are not used inside, etc.

Three organizations run accreditation programs in the US:

If you want to find an accredited program, NAEYC has the largest list and is a good starting place. Keep in mind: Only about 7,000 centers (approximately less than 1% of the over 700,000 daycares that exist nationwide) are accredited by NAEYC.

Remember, accreditation is not an end-all-be-all for quality childcare. Very few childcare programs in California are accredited by any of these organizations, for instance. There can be plenty of other criteria (location, price, childcare philosophies) that may be more important to you.

Overall, the best daycares have the magical combination of everything we’ve discussed while also checking the boxes on your own personal checklist, especially making you feel secure and happy to leave your child there every day. “Their teachers and friends become their first away from home village family,” says Wagner. “I never really thought about that part until my first child started daycare.”

  • Adam Gift

How to Choose a Travel System 0

It means you can transfer baby from car to stroller without waking them up! (This is a big deal). Also it makes it possible to use a regular stroller with a newborn. Since newborns can’t hold up their head, they can’t sit up in a stroller seat. To stroll your newborn, you either need a stroller seat that reclines all the way flat (very rare) or you need a car seat or bassinet that clips into your stroller.

Are there any downsides to having a travel system? One big downside: putting a car seat on top of a regular seat means you’re hauling two seats everywhere you go, and that gets heavy. Strollers burdened with a car seat don’t glide and maneuver as easily, and your baby won’t be able to use the regular stroller seat until they’re six months old. The weight isn’t such a big deal if you have smooth neighborhood sidewalks, but on bumpy cobblestones it could become tiresome.

Alternatives to know about

Consider using a stroller frame or a multi-mode convertible stroller rather than a travel system if you don’t want the extra weight of the doubled seat. A stroller frame (AKA a snap ‘n go or stroller caddy) is just a wheeled frame you can rest your infant car seat in. It’s very inexpensive, but it stops being useful once your baby outgrows their infant car seat at about a year old. A multi-mode convertible stroller is a frame that can accept a car seat, a bassinet, or a regular stroller seat; super handy, but often pricey.

Another option of course is just to wear your baby in a carrier or wrap, and not use the stroller at all until your baby gets old enough to sit up. If you’re strong and don’t get back pain easily, that could be a great option!

So you want to get a travel system

Definitely want a travel system? There are two ways to get a travel system: buy a pair or select a stroller and car seat that connect with an adapter.

Option 1) Buy car seat & stroller as one purchase

Buying your infant car seat and your stroller together as one purchase typically saves you $60 - $100. The trick is to make sure you love both the stroller and the car seat. Our store carries several excellent parent-recommended travel systems for you to use as a starting point.

Depending on the size of your baby and how fast they grow, they’ll outgrow the infant car seat at around 10-14 months (and switch to a convertible car seat that stays installed in the car). The stroller, on the other hand, you’ll be using during their entire toddlerhood. So in terms of length of use, it’s more important to be satisfied with the stroller. In terms of safety, the car seat is the higher-stakes decision. All new car seats follow pretty stringent federal safety regulations.

Option 2) Purchase them separately & connect with adapter

Say you have a favorite stroller and a favorite car seat, and they’re made by different brands, and you just don’t want to compromise. Totally understandable! Often you can buy a car seat adapter that makes one brand compatible with the other brand (they can cost anywhere from $10-$80). The annoying and confusing part is checking to see if the adapter exists between the brands in question.

Which strollers accept the most different types of car seats?

For the stroller brands we carry in our Stroller Dept, here’s a quick run-down of how compatible they are with different car seats.

Keep in mind that the adapter you purchase has to connect your EXACT car seat with your EXACT stroller including model and year, otherwise it might not click in safely and correctly. To check exact compatibilities, check out the links below to read complete information on the manufacturer sites.

Stroller brands with a lot of flexibility

  • Baby Jogger: You can purchase adapters for 14 different kinds of car seat, including popular ones from Chicco, Graco, Britax and NUNA.

  • BOB: Adapters are available for 7 seats from the 4 most popular brands, including Graco, Chicco and Britax.

Stroller brands with some flexibility

  • Britax strollers: Besides working with all Britax car seats (no adapter necessary), there’s also one adapter you can buy which works with 3 outside brands including Chicco and Graco.

  • 4moms strollers: 4moms moxi has adapters for 3 outside brands; 4moms origami only has an adapter for a Graco seat.

  • Bugaboo strollers: adapters for 4 different brands, but it varies depending on which specific Bugaboo stroller you own.

Stroller brands that tend to prefer same-brand car seats

Chicco and Graco manufacture some of the most popular car seats around (and their car seats fit in a lot of other brand’s strollers). Considering they have so many car seat choices within their own brand, they didn’t bother going out of their way to make their strollers compatible with other brand’s car seats! Likewise, NUNA strollers need NUNA car seats (although the NUNA Pipa car seat does have adapters for four different stroller brands). Nuna Car Seats

What Makes a Good Stroller in a Travel System?

Try to pick a stroller that you’ll love in the long-term. You’ll be using it long after the infant car seat is unnecessary. A lot of lightweight strollers can’t support the weight of a car seat, so if you need something really lightweight, it may make sense to make that a separate purchase from your travel system. The perfect stroller depends on your situation and how you’ll be using it. (Read more in How to Choose a Stroller.) The gist of it is to pick a weight you can handle, a compactness you can store, and wheels and suspension that match your terrain.

What Makes a Good Car Seat in a Travel System?

Having a lightweight infant car seat can be really nice in a travel system, since you’ll be dealing with the weight of the stroller and the car seat combined. Ofthe five best infant car seats according to Babylist parents, the Graco Snugrideis the lightest weight at 7.5 lbs. Because of its popularity, a lot of strollers have adapters for it, so you won’t be limited to only Graco strollers if you select this car seat.

TraveI System Use Tips

  1. If you close both the stroller canopy and the car seat canopy, they meet in the middle and give your baby 100% coverage from the sun.

  2. Don’t leave your child in the car seat for more than two hours: it’s unhealthy. Break up longer drives and strolls with little rest breaks!

  3. Travel systems can be tough to push across gravel and uneven surfaces. Plan your route accordingly.

True, finding an adapter that connects your perfect stroller with your perfect car seat is sometimes difficult and/or expensive. BUT, being able to transfer your baby from one mode of transportation to another without waking them up? Priceless.

Unless your baby is a light sleeper. Then they’ll just wake up inside the infant car seat no matter what you do. 😂 Parenthood is an adventure! Good luck!

Introducing the beautiful Mon Bebe Recliners! 0

The Mon Bebe Recliners are incredibly beautiful and will complete the perfect nursery. The recliners have a contemporary touch that will add an extra special element of style to your nursery room.

The Gliders are really simple to adjust with the precision glide mechanism that allows you to choose from the most comfortable upright or relaxed reclined position attainable for you and your little one. Sit back and fall into relaxed bliss with the new Mon Bebe Recliners – order yours today!

  • Elvis Kraljev
Silver Cross Wave Stroller debut in the US!

Silver Cross Wave Stroller debut in the US! 0

Wave is a very special combination of luxury and innovation, designed to give your newborn the very best comfort and protection, yet future-proofed for a second baby – all in one package.

This is achieved with an innovative One Plus One® connection system that’s simple to use and offers 16 pushchair, carrycot and car seat configurations for one child or two, providing the ultimate in flexibility for growing families.

Use Wave as a single travel system with the carrycot, reversible pushchair seat or the Silver Cross Simplicity car seat. Then, if a second baby comes along, just add a second Wave carrycot, pushchair or Simplicity car seat to create a functional and versatile double.  

 

Wave is also perfect for twins – use it with two carrycots or two Simplicity car seats, then switch to the seat unit as they grow.

Every part of Wave has been designed to be beautiful yet practical, created with only the finest materials to ensure years of use for you and your baby or babies.

Wave will be available in a choice of four elegant colour combinations, with high-performance coordinating fabrics, trims and frame.

Phil Taylor, Silver Cross Design Director, says: “A new and exciting addition for Silver Cross, Wave is a beautiful single pram system and, with the patented Wave connection, transforms effortlessly into a double.

“Elegant and timeless, Wave includes attention to detail like no other and will ensure little ones are transported in style. Wave is a user-friendly and incredibly practical product, one we are certain will meet the desires of modern parents."

“Elegant and timeless, Wave includes attention to detail like no other and will ensure little ones are transported in style. Wave is a user-friendly and incredibly practical product, one we are certain will meet the desires of modern parents."

Features:
Sold fully accessorized complete with reversible seat, bassinet, separate tailored fabric sets and fully ventilated canopies for both the bassinet and stroller seat, mosquito nets, rain covers, tandem connectors, car seat adapters and a cup holder.
Accommodates up to two children with a combined weight of 100 lbs, one of the most robust double strollers on the market.
The reversible seat unit is roomy and supportive, with multiple recline positions and includes a separate tailored fabric set and ventilated canopy.
Available in four contemporary color combinations, including Sable, Granite, Midnight Blue and Claret, with coordinating fabrics, trim and frame.
Protective, thermal-molded lie-flat bassinet with a separate tailored fabric set and ventilated canopy, suitable from birth and for overnight sleeping. For optimum baby comfort, it has a soft liner made from natural bamboo fabrics with an adjustable ventilation system.          

Rugged, puncture-proof tires built to last.

Extra-large storage basket with protective waterproof base that holds up to 33 lbs.
Easy fold stroller frame with removable wheels for easy storage.
Fully adjustable handle with five settings to suit all heights.
Three-year free warranty.
Optional accessories include a color-coordinated tandem seat and bassinet, bassinet adapters and car seat adapters, plus a beautiful range of color-coordinated accessories to complement the stroller, including luxury changing bag, premium footmuff, pure wool blanket and seat liner.

New Uppa Baby 2017 Vista! - Full Spec Review 0


The Uppababy Strollers for 2017 is going to make quite a hit this year and it’s going to be a favorite nationwide.
The Cruz has gotten quite an upgrade for 2017 and we’re super excited to share all the details with you!
What’s new for the 2017 Uppa Baby Stroller?

Uppa Baby Strollers

  1. 4 new colors have been added to the Uppa Baby 2017 lineup: Austin Hunter Green, Gregory Blue Marl, Dennison Burgundy, and Loic White.
  2. New genuine leather handlebar/bumper bar covers on Austin, Hunter and Loic. Full grain cow hide.  The new covers are REACH certified and that means that no chemicals used in tanning process and they will get darker and softer over time.  The covers are hand stitched onto stroller. Already own a Cruz 2015/2016 but love the leather look? You can purchase the leather covers separately to add some pizzaz to your stroller:)
  3.  The all-new sunshade material is made from a new woven fabric that won’t wrinkle as much. Still the same SPF 50 protection.
  4. Sunshade now locks when you slide it up and down to keep it in place better
  5. The Cruz 2017 is now a bit lighter! More details on that as soon as we know more…
  6. The redesigned  wheels are now solid polyurethane rather than AirGo rubber. That makes them lighter weight and longer-lasting.
  7. The folding clasp that holds the stroller together is upgraded and replaceable.

The new Vista's and Cruz Strollers for 2017 is truly beautiful and we can’t wait for it to be released already!

The price will range from $499-549, depending on the color!

  • Cheryl Kudobuzz
  • Tags: Uppa Baby
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