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  • Sandy King
  • January 17, 2017 02:09:42 PM
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Helping parents make smart - and safe - buying decisions for newborns, toddlers and beyond.

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    Which Baby Monitor Is Safe From Hacking?

    In the last few weeks, the New York Department of Current Affairs issued a “Consumer Alert” regarding hacked wi-fi baby monitors. It contained the rather shocking news: “..if they (video monitors) aren’t secure,...

    In the last few weeks, the New York Department of Current Affairs issued a “Consumer Alert” regarding hacked wi-fi baby monitors. It contained the rather shocking news:

    ..if they (video monitors) aren’t secure, they can provide easy access for predators to watch and even speak to our children

    which baby monitor

    Baby cameras Like These Can Be Hacked

    After learning about this, I decided to conduct some research. I wanted to know specifically which ones aren’t safe and get a few answers. Which baby monitor is safe from hacking? What can we as parents do to prevent these sick people from spying on our babies?

    Included in this article:

    Why the Problem Exists
    Baby Monitors to Avoid Purchasing
    Hack Poof Baby Monitors
    How to Secure your WIFI Monitor

    First, let’s look at why the problem exists.

    Hidden Accounts

    There are hidden accounts inside many baby monitors that can be exploited by hackers to spy on our kids. These accounts are intended for administration or support. They are hard coded and not readily accessible by the consumer. However, they can be accessed by hackers quite easily. They give the intruder back door access to the camera!

    Default Passwords & No Encryption

    Some baby monitors also use Internet portals that easily allow you in if you guess the devices serial number. They also connect to portals with default passwords and lack secure encryption when transmitting to the internet. This basically makes it very easy for the lowlifes to find a way in.

    What is being Done?


    Well, this issue has steadily been getting more publicity since 2014. Extensive studies and research has now been performed.  Some companies are using the research to make their products more secure. Parents are also given more advice on how to make their monitor more secure.

    Baby Monitors to Avoid Purchasing

    Listed here are baby monitors to avoid due to poor security.

    • iBaby M6
    • iBaby M3S
    • Philips In.Sight B120/37 All Models
    • Summer Baby Zoom Wifi Monitor and Internet Viewing System
    • Lens Peak-A-View
    • Gynoii
    • TrendNet Wifi Baby Cam TV-IP743SIC

    All of these Baby Monitors were found in this case study to have one or more security vulnerabilities.

    Issues include: predictable information leaks, backdoor credential leaks, authentication bypass abilities, direct browsing capabilities, and privilege escalation problems.

    TrendNet has had problems all along with its internet-connected cameras being hacked. The company is supposedly working on a comprehensive information security program to fix this issue.

    iBaby says they have begun encrypting the data sent from customer’s Baby Monitors and that customers can update their iBaby app for the changes to take effect.

    Philips says that they are aware of the security risks and that they are developing and implementing software updates to help fix the affected products.

    Which Baby Monitor is “Hack Proof”?

    Just about anything connected to the internet can be hacked. The following are some types and models that make things a whole lot harder.

    Levana Video Monitors

    Well, there’s at least one baby monitor manufacturer which can give parents peace of mind! Levana baby monitors are all equipped with long ClearVu Digital Signal, which was developed exclusively by Levana. It’s a digital signal so is more secure than baby monitors which use analog. Levana state:  “No one can access it but the owner”.

    Depending on the model, the signal has a range from 500 to 750 feet.

    Nest Cam Security Camera

    The Nest Cam (formerly  “Dropcam Nest”) is a home video monitoring system that can be used as a secure baby monitor.

    Nest uses Wifi, and Smart Technology so you can view any room in your home from your Wifi portable devices in HD quality.

    Dropcam was recently acquired by google. So they know a heck of a lot about online security. Researchers tried their best to hack into the live online feed, and failed. They were able to take control of the files but they need to be able to physically touch the camera to do this. And even then, there’s still no 2-way communication with your baby.

    On the whole, this is as “hack-proof” as wifi video cameras can get. The drawback with this system is the feed is streamed via their website. You need to pay a subscription starting at $10 a month to access it. So, it seems increased security comes at a price 🙁

    Another drawback is some users experience lag with the system. This is not ideal with a baby camera. To get round this, parents are using Nest Cam in tandem with an inexpensive audio camera, but this doesn’t sound optimal to me.

    Digital Baby Monitors

    Digital Baby Monitors are not as high tech as Wifi Monitors.  You cannot view the feed online with a smartphone, tablet, or computer like with WiFi. Therein lies the problem. The more “accessible” the feed is, the more chances someone has of finding a way in. So if you can live without this feature, a digital baby monitor offers a more secure solution.


    These kinds of monitors have varying signal ranges, depending on the price range of the system. They are reasonably inexpensive too.

    Put simply – you can’t hack closed-circuit cameras.

    A top-rated digital baby camera is the Infant Optics DXR8 and a low-tech (but secure!) closed-circuit camera is the Babys R U Focus.

    How to Secure your Wifi Baby Monitor

    Even if your Wifi baby monitor is not included on the hackable list, this does not mean that your monitor is safe.

    Here is some advice from experts which can make your monitors more secure!

    • Buy your monitor directly from the company that makes them. Avoid buying used / pre-owned.
    • As soon as you get your product, and before setting it up, register it. By doing this, you will receive software updates that are specifically being designed for security concerns.
    • Change the default password for the monitor. Make sure the password is unique, long, and strong. Default passwords are easy to guess by hackers!
    • Put password protection on your home router. Do not use common passwords or passwords that include your town, city, or your name.
    • Firewall your privacy! If you do not know how to do this, hire a professional to install a Firewall between your internet connection and all of your devices! This will keep intruders out!
    • Secure your Wifi! Make sure your home Wifi is secured and locked down properly with WPA2 + encryption and SSID masking to make it tough to hack!
    • Turn-off your Baby Monitor when not in use. Leaving on devices all the time makes it easier for intruders to hack the systems.

    Check your Router for Intrusion

    One more step that you can take to inspect for Internet intrusion is to check your Wifi router. Several programs are available for this purpose.

    One tool to use for this purpose is Router Checker from F-Secure. This is a web-based tool used to determine whether the DNS that you are connected to the internet through via the router is running as it should be.

    Using Router Checker can tell you if requests being sent to your router are coming from your devices or are if they are coming and going via third party devices!



    The Best Ring Sling Baby Carriers of 2019

    Ring sling baby carriers have increased in popularity in the past few years. They look great and give you a variety of carry options. Research has shows that ring slings reduce crying, especially in newborns....

    baby ring sling carrierRing sling baby carriers have increased in popularity in the past few years. They look great and give you a variety of carry options.

    Research has shows that ring slings reduce crying, especially in newborns. They also make great covers for when you’re breastfeeding in public, too.

    On this page, we take a look at the best ring slings for newborns, and for toddlers too!

    The Best Ring Slings of 2018

    ProductImageMaterialPriceReview
    Mamaway Baby Ring Sling 100% Pima Cotton$$$$Read our review!
    Beco Ring Sling 100% Cotton$$$Read our review!
    Maya Wrap 100% Cotton$$$$Read our review!
    Haul'A Baby 4-in-1 - Baby Wrap95% cotton / 5% spandex $$Read our review!
    Innoo Tech Baby Sling 95% cotton / 5% spandex $$Read our review!

    The Difference Between A Baby Carrier And Ring Sling

    If you’ve been looking at baby carriers or slings for a while, you’ll have noticed that there are two distinct types. “Baby rings”, which are often seen as the natural baby carrier, and modern “baby carriers”.

    Modern baby carriers, tend to support your child in a sitting position, cradled with his front facing your body. This offers similar benefits to the baby ring, however, it’s easy to make mistakes with how you support your child in a baby carrier.

    Ring slings, on the other hand, offer a simple and easy way to secure babies in their natural “C” shape. They’re also great value, too.

    Comfort Counts!

    When choosing a baby ring sling, the most important thing to look for is comfort. Different body shapes will respond to ring slings in different ways. When wearing the sling, you shouldn’t notice any pain, discomfort or strain in your neck, shoulders or back.

    As for your little one, he should be held snugly in his natural position. You can tell when this is true because your baby will look like the shape of the letter C, similar to the way adults love to sleep in an S shape.


    Baby Ring Sling Reviews

    We reviewed 5 of the best baby slings of 2019. We selected the 5 based on comfort, material and how easy it was to wrap your baby. Here are our reviews:

    Mamaway Ring Sling Baby Carrier Review

    The Mamaway baby carrier is perfect for parents who are looking to purchase a newborn sling, whilst not breaking the bank.

    There are a wide range of colors, something that’s obviously important if you’re going to be wearing your baby out and about. And they are all made from stretchy and comfortable 100% prima cotton.

    Mamaway’s material makes it strong enough to support your child until toddler age. Obviously, you may stop carrying your child well before they begin to walk. Still, it’s nice to have the option, especially as toddlers get tired quickly.

    The only drawback with the Mamaway baby sling is the price. However, for the quality and ease of use, it could be the perfect one for you.

    My husband actually loves our Mamaway ring sling, as you can see on our page “Baby Carriers For Dad“!


    Beco Baby Carrier Review

    Another good option for those looking to try a baby sling, the Beco Baby Carrier is great value for money and offers good support for your baby. It’s well proportioned, with a tail that’s not too long for most parents.

    Unfortunately, the Beco Baby Carrier doesn’t come in a range of colors. However, it does come in a muted gray which should be easy to wear with most looks.

    During our test, we found the Beco to be an easy wear. Our child feel asleep readily whilst inside, making trips to the shops very easy indeed!

    The one issue we did have with this model was the weight of the fabric used. Although we’ve no doubt it’s very strong, we did feel it was slightly too much for carrying a baby.

    During summer months you might find tie material slightly too thick, although you might love this one if you live in a cooler climate!


    The Maya Wrap – Bright Stripes Review

    This is a great ring sling and looks very stylish when worn. The Maya Wrap is made from 100% cotton and feels lovely and soft against your skin. It comes in a range of sizes starting with small and then working up to medium and large.

    One very nice touch we found with the Maya Wrap was the instructional video bundled in with the pack. It’s a great bonus for parents who could do with a primer before carrying their child for the first time.

    We found the length of the tail perfect. As the Maya Wrap comes in a range of sizes, you’ll be able to choose the tail length to suit your needs. This is great if you like to include a little extra length for nursing privacy.

    A great thing about this model is the variety of colors (16!) available. You’ll be able to find one that’s perfect for shopping, family outings and leisure time too.


    Haul’A Baby 4 In 1 Baby Wrap

    The Haul’A Baby is a strong and well-made baby wrap that comes in at a very reasonable price.

    This ring sling is made from quite a stretchy cotton / spandex style fabric. It actually works very well in daily use, with the fabric having just a little give, really helping an infant to snuggle down and get some sleep. It also features quite a nice amount of tail length, allowing privacy if you decide to breastfeed whilst out and about.

    The Haul’A Baby Wrap also comes with a handy carry bag, keeping it nice and clean when traveling plus it also comes with two different rings, each offering slightly different carry position.

    We found this sling very good value for money and although it might not be the most stylish sling on the block, it’s certainly one that should be in your luggage when you travel!


    Inoo Tech Baby Sling Review

    O.k, this one is not a “Ring Sling” per se, but as it’s similar to the “Haul A Baby” we decided to include it as well.

    Personally, we find the spandex material is particularly great for a Mom with a newborn. It’s long at 4.5 meters and stretchy so it fits all sizes and can adjust with your body after giving birth.

    As long as you wrap the baby with good head and neck support (and there is a user manual included) this sling can be used with a newborn. It’s also very easy to completely tuck-in their little arms and legs. We love being able to do this, especially when you have a winter baby.

    Like many of the ring slings we featured, the Innoo Tech is machine washable.

    There are a few things that we didn’t like about this ring sling. It’s only a front carry, which is fine for infants. When they get a bit older you won’t be able to hip or back carry.

    And lastly, like so many baby products these days – it’s made in China, which may be off-putting for some.

    Sometimes, Amazon has the Inoo Tech Sling available at a really great price.


    What’s The Best Nursery Glider for 2019?

    As parents ourselves, we understand that the first few months are one big blur of late nights, early mornings and lack of sleep! Getting your child down to sleep becomes one of the most...

    best nursery glider
    As parents ourselves, we understand that the first few months are one big blur of late nights, early mornings and lack of sleep! Getting your child down to sleep becomes one of the most important parts of the day. This makes a nursery glider a real godsend!

    Of course, gliders / rockers have been lovingly used by parents for generations. Gliders provide a relaxing and calming motion that soothes your baby to sleep. They’re also great for nursing your baby, too.

    As with all baby products, gliders can be very expensive which makes choosing the best one really important. To help, we try to find the best nursery glider of 2019.

    Best Nursery Gliders of 2018

    ProductImageDimensionsMaximum LoadPriceReview
    Davinci Piper Swivel Reclining Glider30.7"L x 33.5"W x 38.5"HNot Stated$$$$$Read our review!
    Baby Relax Mikayla Swivel Gliding Recliner41.75" x 30" x 37"225lbs$$$$$Read our review!
    Naomi Multi-Position Sleigh Glider & Ottoman Set40" H x 30" W x 24.5"
    Not Stated$$$$Read our review!
    Stork Craft Hoop Glider & Ottoman Set24.8 x 25.8 x 39.5"
    43 lbs
    250lb$$$Read our review!
    Beige Bowback Glider Rocker Chair with Ottoman 24.75 x 25.75 x 39.5"250lb$$$Read our review!
    SoBuy Comfortable Relax Rocking Chair22 x 31.5 x 35.4"
    Weight = 22lbs
    264.5lbs$$Read our review!

    Nursery Glider Reviews

    We tested six of the best nursery gliders on the market today and here are the results:


    DaVinci Piper Reclining Glider

    Our New Favorite!

    We got used to our glider in the nursery so much, we decided to go shopping to put a few in our living room. We like to watch movies with Netflix, HBO, Hulu, and found our couch to be so uncomfortable.

    We really like the idea of a reclining chair like a La-Z-Boy, but the styling was so dated to us. Thru all of our research, it led us to re-think this glider review, and it brought us to our new favorite chair.

    The DaVinci Piper Reclining Glider is a great glider for the nursery. It looks modern, is solid, without being overly heavy. And when it’s no longer needed, it can find a second home in the living room.

    Some of the requirements we had:

    1. Swivel: This is so we can have a living room conversation with family and friends. And when we want to look at the TV, we can easily swivel the chair.
    2. Glider: There’s nothing more soothing that being able to rock back-and-forth. Let’s be honest, it’s nice to rock your baby with a glider chair, but we parents enjoy it just as much for ourselves!
    3. Recline: Not a necessity for a nursery, unless your a dad that likes to let a baby sleep on your chest. But in a living room, kicking back with a recline and footrest (like you pay for in a premium movie theater), is downright awesome. We have our TV mounted above the fireplace, so it’s a bit high. With the recline, it’s easy to watch it now.
    4. Fabric: We love leather seats in our cars, but in our homes, found it to be cold in the winter and stick-to-legs in the summers. So fabric seating was a must, for comfort.

    The DaVinci Piper met all of the requirements above!

    Pros
    Fabric came in beautiful grey and cream.

    While the pictures show the round base, in real-world use, you barely see it

    Swivel action is solid and smooth

    Recline action is easy with the hidden lever. It’s easy to get it to a perfect recline position. And if you want nearly flat, it can go that far too.

    Glider action is smooth, smooth, smooth. Effortless to rock.

    Fits great for any height. We tested it with someone 5′ 0″ and 6′ 2″. All found it very comfortable.

         
    Cons
    Its heavy enough that most people will need 2 to carry it into the house

    To return it to a non-reclined position, it takes some leg muscles (or technique) to get the footrest to “catch”. Once you figure it out though, its easy.

    Kids will be able to swivel and recline by themselves. But their legs will most likely be too short to glide. They also most likely won’t have the leg length to put it back to a non-recline position

    We highly recommend the DaVinci Piper Glider for nursery and living room!

    Check Amazon


    Dorel Living Baby Relax Mikayla Review

    This chair split opinion amongst our testers! Some liked the design, finding it comfortable and easy to use. Others hated the look and compared it to furniture found in seniors homes and care facilities.

    Yes, the Dorel was the most “discussed” design of all our tested chairs!

    On the subject of features, it has a few that set it apart from other nursery gliders. It has an adjustable footrest (not a stand) and is also the only swivel glider chair on our list. The mocha-colored fabric and cushions are extremely well made, too.

    The gliding movement was smooth and gentle. It also reclined fully and one of our fathers fell asleep in this chair!

    Overall, we found the Dorel extremely well made, easily rivaling the Stork Bowback for its quality of construction.

    The cushions and adjustable foot support provided hours of comfort. The swivel feature is great as you can give your baby a different view of the nursery.

    We feel this would be the best nursery glider for plus size mothers due to its great construction and cushioning.

    Our main concern was the negative reaction some parents had to the design. However, searching on google tells me gray recliners are in demand – so what do I know?!

    The Dorel Relax is also the most expensive chair on the list so not great for those on a budget. However, if you’re looking for a well-made swivel glider this is the one for you.


    Naomi Home Sleigh Glider And Ottoman Review

    Another more traditional design comes courtesy of Naomi Home.  For our tastes, it’s a more pleasing set of furniture to look at than the Stork unit.

    Once again, it features a solid hardwood construction with generously padding cushions and a fully adjustable footrest. The gliding movement was extremely smooth, beating the Stork hands down.

    The back is extra tall so you won’t be hunched over when you breastfeed. There’s also a lever to lock-in one of the three positions to help you and your baby feel more comfortable.

    However, we found that after a short period of usage the chair did begin to squeak slightly. We solved this by spraying a lubrication oil on the glider mechanism. Thankfully, this cured the issue but we have read other reviews that also mention a squeaking noise.

    Something to take into considering when using this chair for the first few weeks.

    Lubrication issues notwithstanding, we like the Naomi Home Sleigh very much. Comfort is easily up there with the other gliders tested and the construction has a quality feel to it.  If it wasn’t for the squeaking this could be the best nursery glider out there.

    We found the Naomi Glider easy to assemble and reasonably priced considering the quality of materials featured. It was a joy to sit in for hours at a time and our child easily drifted off to sleep whilst using it.


    Stork Craft Hoop Glider And Ottoman Set Review

    A more traditional glider set, the Stork Glider features a wooden frame, generously padded cushions and adjustable footrest. The cushions are not machine washable, however, they are stain treated so you’ll be able to spot stains away easily.

    This nursery glider set has also been accredited by the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association,  meaning it’s been tested to ensure its safe for both your and your child.

    During our tests, we found the Stork to be a nicely made (although very traditional) piece of furniture that should last the test of time. It proved to be quite comfortable for hours of sitting.  The rocking motion was also smooth and gentle.

    Overall, we were quite impressed with the Stork Craft Hoop Glider given the price. We would recommend it to parents who are looking for the best glider for the money. You can find today’s price here, and see if you agree!


    Beige Bowback Glider Rocker Chair Review

    Another Stork product, and following in the same footsteps as the Craft and Hook glider reviewed earlier. With this model, the quality is slightly better and we feel this chair can really rock!

    The design is somewhat traditional and may not be suitable with more modern nurseries. However, it’s a quality item made from solid wood, good fabrics and has a smooth rocking mechanism.

    We found the Bowback Glider to be a very nice piece of furniture to use every day. It was comfortable to sit in for moderate lengths of time.

    The adjustable foot stand was really appreciated by our tester parents. It made things much easier while breastfeeding and cradling babies. Assembly is nice and easily, guided by quite a decent set of instructions and quality assembly tools.

    The only issue we had was the price, however, you’ll be hard pressed to find a glider with a  higher quality of finish!

    If you’re looking for a high-quality nursery recliner with an ottoman, be sure to check out the Beige Bowback from Stork Craft.


    SoBuy Comfortable Relax Rocking Chair Review

    The SoBuy glider has a very modern, northern European look and is made from a very strong frame. The cover is manufactured from laminated fabric, providing a fully washable chair that’s comfortable to sit in for lengthy periods.

    It also features an adjustable footrest, side pockets, and special mats to stop the chair damaging wooden flooring. Very convenient if your home is not carpeted.

    We found the SoBuy chair extremely comfortable, easy to use and keep clean. It’s a stylish design and would fit into a modern nursery quite easily without standing out. It’s easy to move and carry, so switching rooms with your rocking chair should be a breeze.

    We worried about the design of the chair at first, wondering how such thin pieces of wood could possibly survive the weight of mother and child. Needless to say, we were proved wrong! Northern European furniture design is widely regarded as the best in the world and that’s very true of the SoBuy glider.

    And the best thing about the SoBuy – the price!


     


    What is the best laundry detergent for babies in 2019?

    It sounds like a silly question, “Can I use any detergent on my babies clothes?”, yet it’s a completely natural and valid one as most baby detergents feature a range of chemicals and soaps. We...

    Best Laundry Detergent For Babies
    It sounds like a silly question, “Can I use any detergent on my babies clothes?”, yet it’s a completely natural and valid one as most baby detergents feature a range of chemicals and soaps.

    We all want to ensure our child is never exposed to anything that could be harmful. Finding a gentle detergent for babies is essential as a baby’s skin is very delicate and prone to rashes.

    Yet you’ll also really need a baby detergent that gets rid of stains. Nothing increases your laundry basket like a small bundle of joy arriving in your home!

    With this in mind, we’ve created a shortlist to help you find the best laundry detergent for babies.

    The Best Baby Detergent Tips

    • Always choose a non-biological detergent if you can, they’re typically much gentler on your babies skin.
    • Liquid is often better, as it doesn’t leave any residue behind that may irritate your babies skin.
    • Don’t assume paying more is better! Some manufacturers package normal detergents as “baby safe” yet do nothing about the ingredients, whilst raising the price point.
    • Try a number of detergents, what is soft and kind to one child may cause a skin rash on another.
    • Don’t put up with stains! The best baby detergent should be gentle, yet deal with accidents, food, and anything else your baby might throw at it.

    Here are our top picks for the best laundry detergent for babies.


    Baby Laundry Detergent Reviews

    Dreft Baby Detergent Review

    Dreft laundry detergent has been around for many years, providing mothers with a safe, strong detergent that takes care of all baby stains.

    It leaves a wonderful “baby fresh” scent after wash and really does appear to make baby clothes wonderful and soft.

    Dreft is 2x concentrated, so please don’t use too much in each wash. Follow the instructions on the package and you make it last longer.

    During use, we found Dreft performed admirably. It removed all our child stains and as we mentioned before, the scent left on your clothes is lovely!

    Our main complaint? The price. Dreft is very expensive compared to the competition and whilst it is very, very good – the price will likely put some parents off.


    Organic Rain Review

    A relatively new entry to the baby detergent market, Organic Rain does exactly what you might expect from the title! It’s a completely natural and detergent-free product that claims to be pediatrician approved.

    The plant-based “chemicals” within Organic Rain offer a true hypoallergenic wash and could be a great purchase if your child suffers from skin complaints.

    During our test, we found Organic Rain to be pretty tough on stains and whilst there’s no fragrance left over during the wash, we suspect that’s half the point of how Organic Rain cleanses your laundry.

    This is one of the best laundry detergents for babies with sensitive skin. It’s also a good if you worry about the environment effects of using detergent or you simply don’t want to expose your child to any type of laundry powder.

    You can often save money by purchasing on-line.


    GreenShield Organic Review

    Another organic baby laundry detergent, yet this time with a twist. Some of you might recognize the name GreenShield from anti-toxin standards for other baby equipment, such as crib mattresses.

    This time around, GreenShield have had their product certified by USDA, ensuring there are no harsh chemicals or products inside.

    GreenShield are also quite proud of their environmental credentials. This product is not tested on animals and as it’s made from organic material, it shouldn’t cause any damage to waterways after use.

    During our test, we found relatively good results when cleaning stains. It has to be noted we did have to wash an item of bedding twice to remove everything. Even so, it did a decent job and as an alternative to Organic Rain detergent. You can compare the price, here.


    Clean Day Baby Blossom Review

    Clean Day Baby Blossom is a hypoallergenic, lightly scented laundry detergent. It promises to remove stains without causing your babies skin any irritation.

    It’s also very good value, being almost half the price of its competitors! Definitely the best baby detergent for the money.

    We found Baby Blossom Detergent to leave our baby clothes wonderfully clean and lightly scented, quite a nice change after using Organic detergents that leave very little scent behind. We found stains being removed within one wash whilst the dosing amount should mean each bottle lasts for quite a number of washes.

    One of the positive things we noticed, (And something backed up in other reviews too) is that this product appears to be truly hypoallergenic.  It is gentle on sensitive skin, without losing its scent of stain removal qualities.

    For anyone that’s suffered from sensitive skin for years, you’ll understand how impressive that is!


    Ivory Snow Gentle Care Review

    Quite an expensive brand, yet one that has quite a following amounts those who suffer from allergies and sensitive skin. It’s another true hypoallergenic laundry detergent. The advertising promises it won’t cause any irritation, on both babies or adults.

    We found Ivory Snow to remove all stains thrown at it, whilst for some parents, this detergent might evoke some memories, as it’s been used by parents for generations!

    We found the laundry smell left afterwards is nice, clean yet not overpowering of too flowery. (As can often happen with many detergents) It also left our baby laundry lovely and soft, almost as if we had used a fabric conditioner too.

    We’d have to say this is probably the best baby detergent for sensitive skin.

    The only negative we have for Ivory Snow, is it’s the most expensive on the list per wash. We also don’t like the fact it’s tough to obtain this one in-store. It’s really tough to find Ivory Snow in your local supermarket.

    However, it is easily available online via Amazon though.



    How To Choose The Best Crib Mattress for 2019

    A good crib mattress is just as important as a good crib for your new arrival. Unfortunately, the ones that come free with cribs often leave a lot to be desired. We take a...

    A good crib mattress is just as important as a good crib for your new arrival. Unfortunately, the ones that come free with cribs often leave a lot to be desired.

    best crib mattressWe take a look at what it takes to be the best crib mattress. You can also find reviews for 5 great mattresses that are safe, comfortable and great value for money in 2019.[/toc]

    How To Choose The Best Crib Mattress

    There are few times when you physically leave your newborn out of sight. For this reason alone, choosing a crib mattress that’s safe, comfortable and healthy is quite possibly the most important thing you’ll do as a new parent.

    There are many different types available on the market. From foam interiors, fully sprung mattresses and an increasing trend for organic mattresses.


    Crib Mattress Dimensions

    If you’re buying a crib mattress, you need to make sure it’s the right size! To do this, you need to know the size of your crib.

    Standard Sizes

    Fortunately, most baby cribs are “Standard Size”, and this is 51 5/8″ by 27 1/4″ by 6″ (max). The federal government regulates mattress sizes for a full-size crib. Usually, I’m against government control, but it’s reassuring as the standards are there for our little one’s safety.

    Convertible Cribs

    The good news is that most convertible cribs (“4 in 1” / “7 in 1” etc, etc) also use the standard size – 51 5/8″ by 27 1/4″ by 6″.

    The bad news is that many convertibles don’t come with an included mattress. Some do and you should watch out for the “Dual Core” mattresses as they’ll last longer (see below).

    Mini Cribs

    Mini cribs are a popular choice with many parents to save space (and they’re cheaper!). Usually, they are 38″ long by 24″ wide.

    There are exceptions and it’s always worth reading the reviews around the mattress before buying a mini crib. You might find that the free mattress is not that good and then be stuck trying to find a substitute.


    Hypoallergenic & Dual Cores

    Hypoallergenic mattresses have become increasingly popular. Parents love how they help prevent allergies and are safer for  baby’s developing immune system .

    If you’re thinking towards keeping your mattress for the longer term, the new “Dual Core” designs are great. These kinds have one firmer side for an infant and another slightly softer side for a toddler.

    They are designed to meet the needs of a growing child, and are perfect for cribs that convert into toddler beds. It’s also nice to know if you’re paying out several hundred dollars that you can use it well into the future.

    Built to Last

    All of the mattresses we reviewed also displayed amazing quality construction. This is really vital if you’re considering handing down a crib to your second or third child.

    As with many important purchases, all mattresses have a trade-off in terms of price, quality, materials or features. However, the market is quite large.  There’s more than enough choice to discover the best crib mattress that fits your particular wants and needs.

    We also tried to select products that can also be used in convertible cribs / toddler beds for even more use.

    Crib Safety Standards

    We specifically mention when a mattress has gained certification under both the CentiPUR or Greenguard standards. As parents ourselves, we understand how important keeping your child safe from harmful gases and toxic materials is. We all want to find the safest crib mattress possible for our new arrival.


    Crib Matress Reviews

    We have selected 5 of the best crib mattresses for review in 2019.

    Moonlight Slumber Little Dreamer Mattress Review

    This crib mattress is quite a modern addition to the baby crib niche. Moonlight Slumber are a relatively new company, having started back in 2004, yet they have created quite the following among parents by offering really top quality products.

    The Little Dreamer comes in slightly cheaper than their other ranges, yet still offers the same levels of safety, comfort, and durability that parents have come to expect. Perhaps one of the best things about it is it’s designed and made right here in the U.S.A!

    It is certified by CentiPUR-US, meaning it’s been manufactured without any harmful chemicals, toxic flame retardants or other nasties that can commonly be found in modern day furniture.

    You need to be aware it’s “Hard Foam”, but don’t let that put you off as it’s medical grade foam. It’s also “Dual Core” meaning the extra firm side is for infants and the firm side is for toddlers.

    The Little Dreamer is also side-stitched which is a neat little feature. This means if you drop or spill anything on the waterproof cover there’s no annoying little gaps or crevices like on mattresses with “standard stitching”.

    Who’s this for? Parents who are on a budget but feel reassured with a crib mattress made in the U.S.A.

    Newton Crib Mattress Review

    If you’re on the hunt for a baby crib mattress that’s good quality, safe and is also 100% hypoallergenic, then the Newton Crib Mattress is for you.

    This product has been designed using 100% recycled and fully breathable materials, keeping your baby comfortable and regulating temperature during the night. It’s so good in-fact that they recommend parents don’t use an additional top sheet. Newton Rest believes this will dampen the breathable characteristics of the mattress.Instead, they have made the cover sheet washable.

    Sounds odd, but it must work, because hundreds of parents report their children sleeping through the night on this mattress. The first thing many report doing (and to be honest I’d be the same) is to smother themselves with the mattress and discover you can breathe right through it! (The same concept used in high-end baby pillows).

    So, if you’re looking for a mattress that’s breathable, made from recycled materials or that doesn’t feature any foam, latex or chemical glue, then the Newton crib mattress is for you.

    Who’s This For? Parents looking for a 100 % breathable, hypoallergenic mattress.

    Safety 1st Transitions Baby & Toddler Mattress Review

    If you’re feeling the pinch, (And we have a toddler and a newborn so I sympathize!) then the Safety 1st Transitions mattress is a great choice.

    Costing several times less than the “Little Dreamer” or “Newton” mattresses, it still  offers great levels of support for your child. It’s another one that is “Dual Core”, so it’s extra-firm for a newborn and still able to be used during the toddler years.

    The Safety 1st Transitions is lightweight, well-cushioned and has been awarded the Greenguard Gold Certification. This means it’s been tested and the materials used shown to be safe for your child.

    Another great point about the Safety 1st product is the cover is non-absorbent. This is perfect in case you spill any milk or your toddler has a “little accident”!

    Who’s This For? Parents who might not have $100 – $200 for a crib mattress but still looking for a high-standard.

    Sealy Soybean Foam Core Mattress Review

    Here’s a crib mattress that has quite a unique feature. As the name implies “Sealy Soybean” uses a cushion made from soy bean oils that have been harvested by American farmers.

    Sealy says this produces a natural, comfortable product that will not sag. They have been in  the mattress business for over 160 years.  So although it sounds a novel approach, it’s backed by many generations of experience.

    Another great feature of the Sealy Soybean is the cover and binding are both waterproof. I especially like how you can wipe it down with just a babywipe (is there anything they can’t do?!).

    Once again, the Sealy is certified as Gold by Greenguard, ensuring the construction is safe for your child to use. It’s also been the proud winner of the “Best for Baby choice” at the 2013 and 2014 Woman’s Choice Award.

    If it’s good enough for thousands of mothers to vote for it, then we believe it’s a great choice for your and your newborn.

    Who’s This For? Green consumers will love Sealy’s environmentally-friendly mattress and your baby should too!

    Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Mattress Review

    We wanted to include this one in our round-up because for the price, we couldn’t find anything that offers a true hypoallergenic core to keep your baby safe!

    Not only that, but we found the core to be very supportive. Not surprising, considering that it’s been made of foams that have been thermo-bonded for strength.

    We’ve seen hundreds of parent reports, all saying their Heavenly dreams mattress has stood the test of time, being handed down to more than one child in the family. For the price, we believe this is pretty amazing.

    The only concerns we have with this product is it’s not as “Green” as others on the list. It doesn’t tick all the natural, recycled boxes that for some parents might be high on their list of priorities.

    However, if you’re on a budget and need a hypoallergenic mattress right now, this is one of the leading ones on the market.

    Who’s This For? Parents on a tight budget and need a well-made mattress that will go the distance.


    What is a Flat Head Baby Helmet?

      Flat head baby syndrome (or more technically known as “Positional Plagiocephaly”) is a condition that affects a surprising number of babies. You might have heard a flat head baby helmet can correct the condition...

     

    Flat head baby syndrome (or more technically known as “Positional Plagiocephaly”) is a condition that affects a surprising number of babies. You might have heard a flat head baby helmet can correct the condition – and it costs several thousands of dollars!

    flat head baby helmet
    In this article, we’ll try and shed some light on what it is and is it really something to worry about (like us parents don’t have enough!).

    Flat Head Baby Syndrome

    Babies are born with soft heads which allow for brain growth during the first year of life. As a result of having a soft head, it can be easily molded.

    Positional Plagiocephaly is a condition that causes a baby to have a flat spot on his head. It is usually caused by the baby sleeping in the same position all the time, but can have other causes such as the way the baby was positioned in the mother’s womb.

    Flat head controversy

    Some experts believe that forcing infants to sleep on their back (like the Government’s “Back to Sleep Campaign”) has helped cause the issue. Other believe it’s a temporary issue and a baby’s head remolds and corrects itself after the first year.

    However, sometimes the condition seems severe, and your pediatric neurologist might recommend a Flat Head Baby Helmet.

    What is a flat head baby Helmet?

    A flat head baby helmet is used to reshape the baby’s head. The helmet is usually made out of plastic and can look a lot like a bicycle helmet.

    Depending on the severity of the flat head, your baby might need to wear it anywhere from a month to up to 6 months, round-the-clock.

    How much does the helmet cost?

    The  cost can be anywhere from $2300 to $4000.

    Is it covered by medical insurance?

    Insurance companies do not have the best track record when it comes to positional plagiocephaly . This is because some insurance companies do not recognize it as a medical condition yet, and not much research has been done.

    It is better to ask your insurance company about coverage beforehand. Your insurance company might only cover some of the costs, or none at all.  If you find that your insurance will not cover the cost of the helmet, ask your Orthotist if paying in full, in advance, will result in a discount as opposed to making long term payments.

    Does it need to be specially fitted?

    Yes, your Orthotist will carefully measure the shape of your child’s head and construct a plastic helmet. This is why the costs for these helmets are so high. The helmet will be custom fitted for your baby.

    What issues will the helmet correct?

    First, it will act as a cushion to prevent undue pressure on one side of the head and allow for better pressure distribution along the bones of the skull.
    Secondly, it will be fitted in such a way as to permit the expansion of the bones of the skull back into the flat area.

    How is it made?

    First, your child’s head will be measured with a cloth measuring tape. Then a plaster of Paris casting of your child’s head will be made. This should take about twenty minutes during the visit.

    The construction of the Helmet will take about two weeks. When construction is finished, you and your baby can return for a fitting. If the fitting is correct, you will be able to begin using the helmet. Proper instructions for use will be given to you by your Orthotist at this time.

    Will the helmet harm my baby?

    No, the use of the Helmet is not harmful to your baby as long as you follow the instructions given by your Doctor. You also need to keep it clean. Cleaning instructions and necessary care for the Helmet will also be provided to you by your Doctor.

    Wearing the Helmet will cause perspiration, so it is important to keep your child’s head and hair clean too. Washing the head and hair area, and helmet, with a mild soap, will help reduce the growth of any harmful bacteria.

    Inspect the baby’s skin often to check for redness or rashes. If you notice this, seek the advice of your Doctor.

    When should we use a Flat Head Helmet?

    Your baby’s brain grows the most during the first year of life. For the helmet to be effective, it should be used before the first year.

    Ideally, the best time for use is between six to seven months, but this is dependent on your baby. Usually, the Helmet will only be worn until twelve months of age. Your Doctor will decide if it must be worn longer.

    The following page is useful as it provides advice on performing an “At Home Assessment“.

    Are there any alternatives?

    As outlined above, you can take a “Wait and See” approach as baby flat head can correct itself over time. More tummy-time and making sure your baby isn’t always resting on the same spot is definitely an option.

    There was an article in The NY Times that highlighted a “rigorous study” which concluded the helmets had “virtually no treatment effect“.

    Some parents have reported great success with flat head baby pillows, though currently there’s no also scientific backing to their effectiveness.


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