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

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    The Best Bottle Warmer Reviews for 2019

    A good bottle warmer is a safe, convenient way of heating your baby’s milk to just the way they like it. On this page, you’ll find the best bottle warmer reviews for 2019. We also highlight the features you should really look out for. Do I really Need a Milk Warmer? Do you really need … The Best Bottle Warmer Reviews for 2019 Read More...

    A good bottle warmer is a safe, convenient way of heating your baby’s milk to just the way they like it. On this page, you’ll find the best bottle warmer reviews for 2019. We also highlight the features you should really look out for.

    Do I really Need a Milk Warmer?

    Do you really need a milk warmer? After all, our parents and grandparents’ generation got by warming bottles in a jug of hot water. For babies who aren’t fussy, formula mixed with room-temperature water or even cold milk could well be o.k.

    So why do so many parents buy or add these products to their baby registry? Well, they’re quick, convenient and safe. Bottle warmers also heat the milk more consistently without guesswork. Too much heat can remove a lot of the beneficial nutrients from breast milk.

    If your baby is crying for their feed in the middle of the night, a bottle warmer is usually much, much faster and more convenient. That is when they really start earning their keep.

    What is the Best Bottle Warmer?

    Prices accurate as of:

    There’s a lot of different brands and models vying for the title of “The Best Bottle Warmer”. If you read many reviews, you’ll see no  particular one is the best.

    A lot depends on the type of bottle your baby is happy with, your budget and circumstances. However, these are some of the features I’d expect top rated bottle warmers to have:

    Fast – The fastest bottle warmers take around 3 minutes for a 4oz bottle
    Consistent – It’s important the milk is warmed consistently
    Safe – Warmers shouldn’t leak, break down or catch fire!
    Easy-to-Clean – Many models can get moldy if they’re not easy to clean
    Easy-to-operate – Think one eye open, one-handed at 3 am!
    Water Reservoir – No need to make precise measurements every single bottle
    Automatic Shut-off – Some designs will keep heating until they run out of water
    Timer – You shouldn’t have to stand over the unit for the entire cycle
    Audible Alarm – A baby takes a lot of attention & you may be in another room
    Night Vision – A big, LCD screen helps see the status easily at night when half-asleep
    Universal – A universal bottle warmer which heats different brands & sizes is a winner!


    Baby Bottle Warmer Reviews

    Using the above guidelines, we reviewed 5 of the best bottle warmers on the market in 2019. Take a look and hopefully you’ll grab a bargain!

    Born Free Tru Temp Bottle Warming System Review

    The Born Free Tru Temp belongs in the “Premium Range” of milk warmers. But just what exactly are we getting for the extra money?

    Well, the feature I like best is the attached cooler. This allows two bottles of milk to be kept chilled for up to 8 hours. So you won’t need to go down to the fridge in the middle of the night.

    One of the biggest complaints around bottle warmers is parents having to precisely measure water out in the middle of the night! The Born Free warmer has a water reservoir which only needs to be filled once or twice a day. So no more bleary-eyed trial-and-error!

    Another great feature of this warmer is it’s easy to use different sizes of bottles with it. Many other models tell you to consult the instructions to figure out the warming time. With the Born Free, the settings are printed on the back of the unit and then you just dial it in. This saves a lot of time and hassle.

    It is odd that a bottle warmer for this price doesn’t have an audible alarm. However, there is a countdown timer and flashing light to let you know when it’s ready.

    Pros:

    • Easy to fill – No more “trial and error”, just fill up the reservoir daily
    • Easy-to-use – Easy to operate & various bottle times on the back of the machine
    • Insulated Cooler – Has a cooler that keeps 2 bottles chilled for up to 8 hours
    • Auto Shut-Down – Safe, automatic shut-down for just the right temperature
    • Very Fast – A 5oz bottle takes around 3 minutes & a 9oz one  4 – 6 minutes
    • Versatile – Holds all sizes of bottles & warms baby food jars
    • Adjustable Heat – Adjustable setting for refrigerated or room temperature milk
    • Countdown Timer – Lets you know how much time you have to do other things

    Cons :

    • No Audible Alarm
      There’s a green light when the cycle is finished, but no audible alarm like on some other brands.
    • The Price
      Around twice as much as others on our list.

    Dr Brown’s Bottle Warmer Review

    Dr Brown’s bottles are beloved by many. This model has a strong claim to being the best bottle warmer of 2019. It has a few unique features that other warmers don’t have.

    The pick-of-the bunch is the water reservoir. This allows for several bottles to be warmed before you need to add water again. This is a real time saver and every second counts with a crying baby. The memory-function also is a great time saver. It remembers your last settings so you don’t have to. Perfect at 3am!

    Dr Brown’s warmer is quick, takes all bottles and is very easy to use. The countdown timer is a good addition. The blue LCD light can be seen from a distance so you don’t need to stand over it.

    Lastly, it’s perfect for twins. The warmer doesn’t need to cool down for a few minutes after each cycle. This means you can do a couple of bottles consecutively and save a lot of time.

    So, if you’re in the market for an inexpensive double bottle warmer, check out the price for Dr Brown’s.

    Pros:

    • Any Bottle – Can heat any brand, shape or size 
    • Fast – Takes around 5 minutes for a large bottle
    • User Friendly – Works just like a microwave. Insert a bottle & press a button
    • Night Vision – The Blue LCD screen can be easily seen in the dark
    • Countdown Timer– Know exactly how long your baby has to wait for a feed
    • Water Reservoir – You don’t need to keep adding water to this warmer
    • Remembers Settings – The built-in memory remembers the last settings for consistent bottles
    • Perfect for Twins – Warms bottles consecutively & doesn’t need to cool down

    Cons:

    • The Price – “Mid-Range” and twice as much as top-rated warmers
    • Water Reservoir Difficult to Clean

    Many parents have noted the water reservoir is difficult to clean. Mold could build up after time, but the reservoir is not in contact with the milk at all.

    A helpful tip is to fill the reservoir with vinegar and hot water. Let it soak for a while then shake, drain the water and rinse. If there’s some residue left, you can add salt or rice to the reservoir and shake. This will help work as an abrasive. It should remove any determined residue left after the vinegar.

    Maxx Elite Bottle Warmer & Sterilizer Review

    Looking for something that can be useful for more than a few months? This Maxx Elite bottle warmer could well be what you’re looking for. It’s a “3 in 1”, so you get a bottle warmer, sterilizer and a baby food heater in one appliance.

    The digital programmable features really set this model apart. There are standard pre-set temperatures which you can adjust manually to get the ideal temperature.

    The programmable feature lets you set a timer for 30 minutes to 3 hours in the future. You can also program it to sterilize a bottle. This means  it’s ready to use after you wake up or come home. This is a great feature once your baby settles into a schedule.

    Probably the best feature is that the Maxx Elite can maintain a constant temperature. If you heat a bottle and get sidetracked, it will be kept warm until the water runs out. Then it will automatically shut down.

    You can check the latest price of the Maxx Elite here.

    Pros:

    • 3-in-1 – Warms Bottles, heats baby food, sterilizes bottles, nipples and pacifiers
    • Easy-to-Use – Three push-button operation keeps things nice & simple
    • Keeps Milk Warm – Constant heat keeps the milk warm
    • Preset Temps – 4 preset temperatures for milk, food, quick heat and sterilizing
    • Adjustable Temperature – Adjust the preset temperature to how your baby likes it
    • Preset Timer – Preset timer for warming and sterilizing bottles in advance
    • Auto Shut-Off – Shuts off if the water gets too hot or there is no water.

    Cons:

    • Poor instructions
      The instructions that come with this model are said to be difficult to understand

    Philips AVENT Fast Bottle Warmer Review

    AVENT is a well-loved brand among parents, and their products are considered safe and reliable. Their “Fast Bottle Warmer” doesn’t seem to suffer from the design flaws (i.e breaking down, leaks, catching fire!) reported with lesser models.

    Parents love how this warmer is compatible with all AVENT bottles, toddler cups and most food jars. In fact, most sized bottles will be fine, from slim Dr. Brown’s bottles to the wider Tomee Tipee ones.

    Where this AVENT model really shines is defrosting frozen breast milk quickly and consistently. It’s special defrost function ensures that there are no hot spots like with a microwave. If you’ve tried to feed uneven milk to a reluctant baby before, you’ll really appreciate this! It’s also very user-friendly, just switch the warmer on, add water and turn the dial and that’s it.

    I was quite surprised to see that this bottle warmer does not have an automatic shut-down or timer. This means it will continue to cycle until the water reservoir runs out. Having something like a stopwatch or an egg-timer on hand to keep track of the time is a good idea.

    Pros:

    • Fast – Just 3 minutes to warm a 4oz bottle
    • Consistent- Heats evenly with no hot spots like a microwave
    • Easy-to-use – Just turn on, add water and turn the dial
    • Space-Saving – Takes up very little space on a counter
    • Defrosts Breast Milk – Quickly and evenly defrosts frozen bags of breast milk
    • Any Bottle O.K! – Fits all bottles, even the wider Tommee Tippee ones
    • Warms Baby Foods – Easy to warm solids and make them more appealing
    • Trusted Brand – AVENT is one the most trusted brands in the industry

    Cons:

    • No Automatic Shut-Down
      No automatic shut-down and no audio alarm to tell you it’s finished. It continues to warm the milk until the water runs out.
    • No Timer
      There’s no helpful LCD screen telling you where you are in the cycle or how long is left. No pre-set functions, either.

    The First Years Bottle Warmer Review

    The first Years bottle warmer is one of the best-selling warmers on the market today. A lot of this is due to the fact it can warm any brand or size of bottle fast. It has a heating time of under 5 minutes for standard-size bottles. That’s a full 3 minutes faster than other warmers out there!

    Parents also love that it has an auto shut-off. You don’t need to constantly stand over the warmer and wait. When it’s ready, a light comes on which you can see from across a room. Its small size means it saves space and you can travel with it. The perfect design for taking to visit friends, relatives or on vacation.

    For its low price, this makes a great travel bottle warmer.

    Pros:

    • Easy – Just put the water in and turn it on!
    • Auto-Shut off – A light turns on to help you know it’s ready
    • Universal – Universal bottler warmer – and brand or size is o.k!
    • Heats Baby Food –Heats baby food jars so you’ll get more use out of it
    • Space Saving – Compact so won’t take up too much counter space
    • Portable – Small size makes it perfect to travel with.
    • Quick – Heats up bottles 3 minutes faster than many others.
    • Inexpensive – Around ½ the price of other warmers.

    Cons:

    • Short Power Cable – It needs to be kept close to the wall
    • Hard to Measure Water

    You need to know there’s no water reservoir. This means you’ll need to use the included measuring chart for different sized bottles. It takes a bit of trial and error to measure the right amount of water.

    For the budget price, I think this is an acceptable trade-off.


    Toddler Sleep Regression And 10 Tips To Survive It!

    Getting our baby to sleep through the night is important for their health and our own sanity. You forget just how nice it is to sleep more than 4 hours a night and then teething comes along! Once you get past this stage they become a toddler. Their sleeping schedule changes and they begin to … Toddler Sleep Regression And 10 Tips To Survive It! Read More...

    sleeping toddler

    Getting our baby to sleep through the night is important for their health and our own sanity. You forget just how nice it is to sleep more than 4 hours a night and then teething comes along!

    Once you get past this stage they become a toddler. Their sleeping schedule changes and they begin to nap less. Many toddlers will go through an 18 month sleep regression. Of all the small stages your growing child will go through, many parents say this one is the worst!

    However, there are ways to face it ─ and survive! On this page, we’ll discuss toddler sleep regression and give you 10 great tips to cope with it.

    What Is Toddler Sleep Regression?

    “Sleep Regression” simple means your toddler will no longer keep to their established sleeping pattern.

    Your toddler could go from sleeping just fine to reverting back to a newborn (hence the term “regression”!).

    18 month sleep regression

    Some signs of sleep regression include:

    • Shorter nap times
    • Increased bedtime drama
    • Night waking
    • Extremely early wake-up times
    • Extra clinginess, especially at bedtime
    • Increased crying and fussiness
    • A change in appetite

    18 Month Sleep Regression

    Many parents notice that they’ve toddler’s sleep patterns deteriorate between 18 months and 2 years old. The online parenting groups are full mothers reporting 18 month sleep regression, so take solace in the fact that it’s common and you are not alone!

    Why Is It Happening?

    Some experts believe toddler sleep regression is due to learning independence and defiance. Along with becoming more independent, your toddler is learning to say “No” to mommy and daddy. Unfortunately, this rebellion often carries over to sleep time.

    This time of learning and independence is not all bad. Your toddler is becoming more aware of the world.  Speech improves rapidly and they can do simple tasks like eating with a spoon and putting shoes on. It’s actually quite an exciting time in your child’s development!

    As all mothers know, a toddler without any sleep is prone to tantrums and being generally irritable. When you don’t have sleep as well, it’s sometimes hard to cope with!


    10 Tips To Survive Toddler Sleep Regression

    1. A Sticker Book or Chart!

    Most toddlers love stickers so you might be able to use them as a reward program. Tell yours that they get one sticker for their sticker book each time that they take their nap or go to bed on time.

    2. Create Bedtime Routines and Stick to Them!

    Make sure your routine is consistent and has a definite end point such as singing the same song each night. Make sure that your routine is strong as well as consistent!

    By completing the same routine each night- the same way each night- with the same end point, it will create a strong signal that when the routine ends, it is now time for sleep.

    3. Find a Comfort Object

    toddler stuffed toy

    Find a cozy and soft item such as a blanket or stuffed animal that will accompany your child to bed each night.

    If your child has a comforting item that is soft and cuddly, it might minimize how often she yells out for you during the night or how early she wakes in the morning.

    4. Flexible Sleep Schedule

    Don’t depend on certain times for naps or bedtime. If your toddler misses his nap, try to offer another one an hour or two later. If he skips his nap, try for an earlier bedtime.

    5. Have an Evening Snack Time

    Offer a high-protein evening snack each night. It can be a part of your routine. An evening snack can help to ward off hunger during the night.

    6. Use A Nightlight

    Putting a nightlight into your toddler’s room can ward off any nighttime fears. A soft light can offer reassurance while your child sleeps and when he wakes. Some of the latest ones are voice activated and this could also hel reassure your child.

    7. Explain in Simple Terms Why!

    Your toddler might not be able to hold a real conversation just quite yet.They still might appreciate you explaining why she needs to take her naps and go to bed on time.

    Keep the explanations simple such as, it is important for you to grow while you sleep (or, think of something that your toddler will appreciate and easily accept). Avoid over explaining and the dreaded Why question from your toddler.

    You don’t want to make this an never ending circle of questions and answers which would defeat the point!

    8. Don’t Undo Old Habits!

    toddler sleep problems

    You might think that some habits are for babies, but don’t stop them just yet! If your toddler finds cuddling like a baby comforting, and it helps him to fall asleep, keep doing it before bedtime.

    Just be sure to place him in his bed and tuck him in before he actually falls asleep to help promote that he is growing up and needs to sleep in his own bed. In other words, try to keep comforting habits while reinforcing new bedtime routines.

    9. Create Firm Boundaries & Reinforce Them

    Just because your toddler is giving you trouble at bedtime, don’t let the boundaries change. Stay firm! An example would be that you do not want them to sleep in your bed every night but to learn to sleep in their own bed.

    During this regression phase, if you back down and let your toddler sleep in your bed, they might just get used to it (or, realize that he can get his way easily), and it can become an every night issue. Make your boundaries, and consistently keep them!

    Remember, you created your boundaries for a good reason!

    10. Be Prepared To Start Over!

    Try to stay on track as much as possible with sleep patterns, but do realize that some things can throw off your toddler real good.

    Things such as a bad cold can contribute to sleep changes and afterward, you might have to start again with the proper nap and bed times. Also, give the sleep regression several weeks to sort itself out, then try to get back to the norm.


    Even if you follow every one of these tips, the most crucial of all survival skills will be your patience! Remember that your toddler’s sleep regression phase in normal, and that it is only a phase. As with all phases, this one too will pass!

    Looking for other ways to improve your toddler’s sleep? Be sure to check out our pages on Toddler Travel Beds and Nap Mats!


    Looking For Great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon?

    I caught my hubby looking for great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon. Which got me thinking, what do I want for Mothers day this year? I’ve actually been obsessed lately with one of those powerful blenders other moms have been raving about and have been hoping for a Vitamix Mothers Day sale. Why? What’s In That … Looking For Great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon? Read More...

    mothers-day-gifts-on-amazon

    I caught my hubby looking for great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon. Which got me thinking, what do I want for Mothers day this year?

    I’ve actually been obsessed lately with one of those powerful blenders other moms have been raving about and have been hoping for a Vitamix Mothers Day sale. Why?

    What’s In That Jar Of Baby Food?

    jars of baby foodIf I have another baby, one thing I’d do differently is make sure I know exactly what is in the baby food I give to him or her. I read this article recently at Parents.com and was shocked at what they found in jars of baby food. You just can’t trust what’s on that label anymore.

    The only way for me to know exactly what ingredients are being fed to my baby is if I make it myself. But as we all know, caring for a baby and trying to prepare all their meals from scratch is a huge juggling act.

    Making Your Own Baby Food

    One of my friends swears by her Vitamix blender for making baby food. I really like Vitamix but buying one would be a huge indulgence since they’re so expensive.

    She says making them with fruits and vegetables is a snap. You can whip up a days worth of baby food in one go, and save them for 2 to 3 days. So it’s not really that big of a time consumer.

    Getting Older Kids To Eat Their Vegetables And Fruits

    kid-wont-eat-vegetablesSome kids love fruits and tolerate vegetables. While others won’t touch either one with a ten foot pole.

    One method I’ve read about getting them to eat, or getting them to eat more, fruits and vegetables is by disguising it. There are great recipes for things like:

    • Banana Ice Cream using a Vitamix blender
    • Delicious and sweet fruit smoothies

    Losing That Baby Weight

    lose-that-baby-weightOK, I can’t make this Mothers Day gift all about my kids. What’s in it for me?

    I’ve struggled to lose all that baby weight. And as the years have passed, it’s clinging to me tighter than bark on a tree.

    I’ve been wishing for years of a simple way to replace lunch with something low calorie and filled with fruits and veggies. I enjoy it when I go to Jamba Juice and get one of their fresh smoothies for lunch. But that doesn’t happen often with our schedules and frankly, they’d be too expensive to buy one everday.

    But if I could make a smoothie in the convenience of my own home … I think I could do this everyday. And I found some wonderful smoothie recipes I’d like to try.


    Get A Vitamix Blender For Mothers Day

    One of the most popular wished for items by mom’s is a Vitamix blender. Most find it a huge expense that they just can’t justify buying for themselves.

    But Mothers Day isn’t just any ordinary day. It’s the day we celebrate us Mom’s, it’s the day we should be pampered for all the sacrifices we make every single day!

    If you’ve ever wanted a Vitamix blender but thought they were too expensive….

    Now is a great time to treat yourself as I’ve just read there IS a Vitamix Mothers Day sale going on right now! I plan to throw some big hints to my significant other. And if he doesn’t get the hint, I may have to buy one for myself <grin>.

     Right now, they’re up to $100 off. 
    All the details can be found here at this great article on the Vitamix Mothers Day Sale for 2018.



    6 Tips To Prevent Air Pollution From Causing Childhood Asthma

    According to the EPA, 1-in-10 American kids have childhood asthma, and the 7 million total is growing yearly.  The statistics also show that 57% of these children suffer from an asthma attack each year.  These attacks can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Children who have asthma are sensitive to certain things in the air which can trigger an attack. Most … 6 Tips To Prevent Air Pollution From Causing Childhood Asthma Read More...

    Asthma Symptoms

    According to the EPA, 1-in-10 American kids have childhood asthma, and the 7 million total is growing yearly. 
    The statistics also show that 57% of these children suffer from an asthma attack each year.  These attacks can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

    Children who have asthma are sensitive to certain things in the air which can trigger an attack. Most people are aware that an asthma attack can be caused by an allergic reaction from breathing in pollen, dust, or cigarette smoke.

    However, many don’t realize that air pollution also plays an important role in the risk of asthma in children.

    Ozone and Air Particle Pollution

    Ozone pollution is often referred to as smog. Smog is formed from the pollutants released into the air by sources such as automobile exhaust, factories, and power plants. Smog can sometimes be seen as a smoky fog or haze and is most prevalent in major cities with large amounts of traffic, as traffic is the most prominent source of the pollutants that cause smog.

    Air particle pollution is made up of tiny particles of pollutants that are released into the air. Some common examples of particles that make their way into the air are dust, dirt, soot, and smoke.
    Breathing in these particles can be harmful for your lungs and some smaller particles can even work their way into your blood stream.

    Air particle pollution can occur indoors and outdoors, though the pollution levels are usually much lower indoors.

    Always Check Air Quality Before Moving!

    Ozone and air particle pollution is especially dangerous to children with asthma, as breathing in these pollutants can trigger an attack.

    For this reason, it is important that in addition to checking out things such as the school system and crime rate, you also consider the level of air quality when deciding to move to a new area.

    You can check the American Lung Association’s list of most polluted cities in 2017 to see how yours measures up.


    6 Tips to Protect Your Child From Air Pollutants

    There are many things you can do to protect your family from unhealthy air and to help prevent asthma in your child.

    Following these tips can help protect your children from the dangers of pollution in the air.

    1. Stay up-to-date on the pollution levels in your area.

    There are several ways to check the pollution levels in your area on a daily or weekly basis.

    You can check your local radio, news station, and newspaper or you can visit airnow.gov.

    Knowing when air pollution is high in your area can help you take control of how much time your children spend breathing it in.

    2. Don’t play outside on days of heavy pollution.

    Keep play indoors on days when pollution is high in order to protect your children’s lungs from harmful pollutants.

    A game of indoor hide and seek can be fun and allow your child to get exercise while breathing more healthy air.

    3. Avoid spending time outdoors near high traffic areas.

    Walking to the store instead of taking the bus can seem like a healthy decision for you and your child, but if the route will take you through high traffic areas then you are probably better off riding there.

    This is because exercise causes you to breathe in more air, and if that air is full of pollutants from automobile exhaust it can do more harm than good.

    4. Get involved with your child’s school.

    Consider encouraging your child’s school to help reduce air pollution by monitoring the amount of time their school buses are left to idle and by educating students on the benefits of green alternatives for energy.

    5. Reduce how often you drive.

    If your route will take you away from high traffic areas, consider having your family walk or bike to your destination instead of driving.

    Also, consider using more transit transportation systems such as buses or subways to avoid adding another car emitting exhaust to the road.

    6. Don’t smoke indoors.

    Secondhand smoke is harmful for everyone, but even more so for children. Secondhand smoke is an air pollutant that can linger in the air indoors and is a common cause of more frequent and severe asthma attacks in children.

    Even if a cigarette is smoked indoors when a child is not around, the harmful particles will remain in the air where they can breathe them in later.


    Ozone and air particle pollution pose a major health risk to children.

    One of the best things we can do is to become active in supporting causes that are actively working at the state and national levels to clean up the environment.

    In doing so, we can help keep it clean and healthy for many generations to come.


    Choosing The Best Under Highchair Mat

    Choosing an under highchair mat (a.k.a “Baby Splat Mat”!) is a fairly easily thing. You just need to take into account a few important points: Your flooring type, wooden floors require less rigidity from a mat than a carpeted home. Non-absorbance, ensuring that your mat can be wiped clean easily. Fold away design, useful if … Choosing The Best Under Highchair Mat Read More...

    Choosing an under highchair mat (a.k.a “Baby Splat Mat”!) is a fairly easily thing. You just need to take into account a few important points:

    • Your flooring type, wooden floors require less rigidity from a mat than a carpeted home.
    • Non-absorbance, ensuring that your mat can be wiped clean easily.
    • Fold away design, useful if you travel frequently or will use it in different locations.

    It’s also important your mat shouldn’t trip you or your toddler up during use. Many come in circular designs, which is what we would recommend every time from a safety point of view.

    Whatever you’re looking for in a high chair mat,  we’ve listed the top choices for parents everywhere, making sure you know what the plus and minus points are for each one.

    Prince Lionheart Multi-Purpose Catchall Review

    This high chair mat ticks all the boxes for use. It’s round in design, easily cleanable and folds away for parents to transport.

    It’s 47.5 centimeters in diameter, making it suitable for most high chair models, (Measure your high chair base to make sure) plus it’s suitable for both carpet and wooden floors too.

    During our use, we were impressed how well it took to both wooden and carpet floor, yet we were disappointed with the vinyl covering, which may not stand up well to daily use. However, we’ve yet to discover any online reviews that mention the quality of the fabric used, so our fears could be completely unfounded.

    We had no problems with the easily wipeable design. It was easy to clean food off after each mealtime, a damp cloth is all it took.

    Overall we thought this under highchair mat was perfectly acceptable given the price.

    KidKusion High Chair Splat Mat Review

    The KidKusion mat is a lovely design, featuring a rather nice giraffe picture on the front. It measures 36 by 48 and the cover is waterproof and wipe clean, as you would expect.

    This splash mat is also foldable, making it easy to store and carry with you on the road.

    When testing this mat, we found the base not quite as straight as you would expect. It did have one or two slight ripples in the PVC fabric, although these didn’t cause any issues.

    The PVC fabric was easily cleanable with a soapy cloth, whilst the price is truly amazing, something all parents should appreciate. We felt the KidKusion base was nice and thick (Possibly why it had ripples) which should prove quite strong and sturdy during daily use.

    We love the KidKusion design and think it makes a lovely addition to any modern playroom or home. It’s good quality and well priced for the way it looks.

    Bumkins Disney Baby Splat Mat Review

    The Bumkins high chair mat features a striking Disney-inspired design, coupled with strong polyester construction, a first for our reviews.

    Being of lightweight polyester manufacture, it’s easily foldable and doesn’t suffer from any of the ripple issues we had with the KidKusion model. It’s also wipeable and can be sponged down with ease.

    One issue we thought we would have, was usage on a carpet. We wondered if polyester would prove a good mat base for softer flooring, yet our worries were misplaced. The little Bumkin matt proved a good base regardless of the under-flooring.

    Overall, we think that it makes a good baby travel mat and the price is absolutely amazing.

    Magic Mat –  All Purpose Playmat

    Not just for under a high chair mat, the Magic Mat is strong, sturdy and also suitable for use as general purpose play area.

    Whilst it’s made of PVC we checked to ensure it’s free of BPA and other nasties. The surface is easily cleanable, requiring a little washing up liquid to remove tough pieces of dirt.

    We did find the PVC fabric used was a little bit tougher to clean than most. Perhaps it’s because of the “grain” of the fabric, we’re unsure but it was noticeable.

    As a play mat, it has a nice foam interior which provides a safe and supportive surface for high chairs. We found it easily usable on both wooden or carpet floors, while it proves a comfortable base for child play.

    This product is double the price of some of the strictly “Baby Splat Mats”. This could be a sticking point for most parents (no pun intended!). However, you’d have to factor in that you’d actually use this one more. This was also the only one on our list that had a small amount of padding, too.

    You can click here to check out today’s price.

    Sugar Booger “Numbers” Mat

    With a name guaranteed to make many young children giggle, the Sugar Booger is  obviously designed to make children smile everyday. It features cartoon sheep with numbers on their bodies, which looks really cute and should fit into a play room nicely.

    The fabric used is laminated canvas, which is fully machine washable and easy to sponge or wipe clean. It’s also touted as the perfect picnic canvas, a function we can see being performed admirably due to the easy folding and stow-ability.

    As a mat for under a high chair, it’s strong and should be fine for carpet or hard floor use. It really provide a nice surface for playing on.

    When testing this mat, we found the Sugar Booger easy to use, stow away and it generally brightened up our play room. It’s easy to wash and even if it does become soiled, we machine washed it easily.

    One top tip, although this product can be machine washed –  please don’t be tempted to tumble dry it! We’ve heard reviews where the mat shrunk considerably after tumbling drying. Leaving it out to dry for an hour before use is your best bet.

    You can find the Super Booger for sale on Amazon.


    8 Steps to Finding the Perfect Nanny!

    Parents live a busy lifestyle these days, and it can be hard to take time out to find a suitable nanny. Don’t make the mistake of rushing through the process, however. Choosing the wrong nanny will only result in a headache for you and your children! Take a look at these 8 steps which will … 8 Steps to Finding the Perfect Nanny! Read More...

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    Parents live a busy lifestyle these days, and it can be hard to take time out to find a suitable nanny. Don’t make the mistake of rushing through the process, however.

    Choosing the wrong nanny will only result in a headache for you and your children!

    Take a look at these 8 steps which will help you find the best candidate ─ and, save you some valuable time!

    1. Know your expectations for your new nanny

    Outline the role of your new nanny. What are you looking for specifically? Make a list, and be upfront with your new prospects so that there is no confusion later on.

    • Do you want a full-time nanny? Or, only part time?
    • What days of the week will you need your nanny to work? What times?
    • Will the days always be the same or will you require flexibility?
    • What about activities? Is your nanny expected to take the children to the park, or just stay in the home?
    • Do you expect your nanny to cook meals for the children?
    • Do you want a nanny with special training such first-aid or CPR?
    • What salary do you want to pay? What about benefits?

    2. Start looking for your new nanny

    After you have established your expectations, it is now time to start your search for the perfect candidate! But, how do you go about that daunting task? Here’s how:

    Nanny Source has an application for employment that you can use and other beneficial services such as certification and background checks for nannies.

    3. Interview & screen your candidates!

    nanny interview

    The interview process can be stressful for you and for your prospects! Here are some steps to take to make the process more efficient.

    1. Make a list of the questions that you want to ask.
    2. Take notes! Write down the answers so that you can review later.
    3. Ask lots of questions!

    Some examples include:

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    -Tell me about your prior work with kids

    -Why did you choose to become a nanny?
    -What are examples of your preferred activities to do with children?
    -How do you handle tantrums?
    -What kind of discipline practices do you employ?
    -Can you give an example of how you handled an accident with a child in the past?
    -How did you resolve any issues that might have arisen with your recent employer?
    -Do you mind cooking? (If you expect your nanny to cook meals.)

    Make sure there is adequate time for the nanny to ask you questions as well!

    4. Follow through with references

    Do not just accept the nanny’s word or the care agency’s list to be entirely accurate! Take the time to do your own reference check to be certain everything checks out.

    Here’s how:

    • During the interview, ask about references
    • Get names and current phone numbers.
    • Make a note of questions that you want to ask previous employers.
    • Call all of them
    • During the call, ask relevant questions about the nanny’s performance and personality.
    • Ask questions about the past employer’s children, such as age and did they like the nanny.
    • Ask why the nanny left and if they would rehire her. If not, you might not want to either

    5. Do a thorough nanny background check

    A thorough background check will include several areas such as education, certifications, criminal, child abuse or neglect and driving.

    Make sure that the candidate is aware of the checks and signs a document saying it is okay for you to check. Write up a simple document stating exactly what you plan on checking.

    There are a couple of services that you can go through for your checks. They are Nanny Source and Sterling Talent Solutions. The fees will vary depending on what you want to check.

    6. Choose and have the finalists meet your children!

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    Don’t skip this step! It is important that your finalists come to meet your children. During the meeting, take careful note of the following:

    • How your infant and children interact with the nanny?
    • Does the nanny seem to feel and act comfortable?
    • Does the nanny look like she’s acting natural? Or, does her behavior seem forced?
    • Does the nanny engage in conversation with the children based on what they are doing or saying?
    • Ask your kids after the meeting to see how they feel about the nanny. ─ That is if they can talk!

    7. Schedule a paid trail

    As a precaution, before offering a stable position, plan a trial run for several days.

    Make sure to communicate this clearly with the nanny so that you are both on the same page. This is good for everyone involved, including the nanny. It could turn out that the nanny is not okay with your expectations or children. (It happens!)

    Again, ask your children how their time with the nanny went. Trust and have confidence in your instincts. Pay attention! If you don’t think it’s a good match, keep on looking!

    8. Make the final offer!

    After you have thoroughly completed all the prior steps, it is now time to make the final offer!

    • Be clear about what the payment is and what the benefits are, if any.
    • Go over the days and hours.
    • Go over cooking and activities.
    • You might want to prepare a short contract so you both understand what is expected going forward.

    In conclusion, we hope that these tips help you on your quest to find the perfect nanny! Good luck with your search!


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