For many families, the holiday season means heading out of town for long distance trips to visit relatives. And for breastfeeding mothers, this means packing the best portable, travel-friendly breast pump to take out on the road. When it comes to the most practical pump picks, it's best to keep things light and easy.
"As a mom and a lactation professional, I'm looking for convenience but also efficiency when it comes to choosing a breast pump, especially if needing to travel and pump," says International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Motif Medical lactation director Ashley Georgakopoulos. "The pump should be lightweight, and the engine designed to keep up with the volume of pumping."
To ease your mind (and the weight of your pump bag), we've rounded up the best breast pumps to have handy while on the go. Don't leave home without one of these top-rated picks!
Hooray for snow days! That brisk chill in the air signals that it's time to bundle up the kids in warm winter gear and get outdoors for some cool family fun and winter activities. Way better than riding in a one-horse open sleigh, soaring downhill on the slickest sledding equipment is guaranteed to be a blast! Easy to pack for a trip to the park, our top picks of sleds, saucers, tubes, and toboggans are great for gliding through the season. Be sure to have helmets handy to keep the little ones safe, and enjoy the ride!
If your kids immediately go to glowing electronics to keep themselves entertained, it's time to get them thinking outside the box. And brain teasers are the perfect place to start. From games to activity books to classic puzzles like Rubik's Cube, brain teasers will get your little ones using their noodle and developing cognitive-strategy and decision-making skills while having fun. The brain teasers below, available at popular retailers including Target and Amazon, are perfect for everyone from toddler to pre-teen, and are a great way to unplug and connect with each other. In a world consumed by iPads and TV, even one hour away from the screen is a step in the right direction.
We all know how hard it is to resist those snapping up those super cute stuffed animals, especially since they make such great cuddle buddies! However, when your kid's stuffed animal kingdom starts to get a little too wild, it may be time to find a special place for all of those plush pals. The first step in tackling the lion's share of stuffed animals is to weed through the ones that are now extinct recommends Tracy McCubbin, founder dClutterfly and author of Making Space, Clutter Free: The Last Book on Decluttering You'll Ever Need.
"The perfect plan for keeping stuffed animals organized is to purge them! It sounds like a daunting task, but you'd be surprised how many your child will let go of if you take the time to ask, 'how long has it been since you've played with this one?'" notes McCubbin.
"When it comes to corralling the stuffed animals your kid truly wants to keep, I'm a huge fan of baskets. Baskets are lightweight and easy to move around, making cleanup time much more manageable. Just be sure not to get baskets that are bigger than your child!" she says. Once you've decided which animals to donate and which ones to declutter, it's time to get them organized. We've rounded up several creative storage solutions to give your kiddo's sweet stuffies a special home.
Pass the time on those long summer days—and keep your kiddos learning during their time off from school—by cracking open a great book. From hilarious stories to heartfelt coming-of-age tales, these are some of the best children's books out there right now for elementary and middle school kids.
Think picking the perfect LEGO collection for your creative kid is simply a snap? With so many collectible sets available in stores, it can be challenging to select the right one. We've rounded up the best new 2019 kits launching just in time for the February release of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. From colorful Duplo sets for baby to cool construction kits and LEGO Technic sets for bigger builders, check out these entertaining LEGO sets guaranteed to engage active imaginations of boys and girls of all ages with hours of constructive play — even Mom and Dad can get into the action!
Scratch "cuddly pets" off your Christmas toy list and snag one of these hilariously ferocious monsters instead. Grumblies are the fuming counterparts to Skyrocket Toys' sweet Pomsies. Each character has its own personality and design, plus over 40 fierce sounds and reactions. Tremor, Hydro, Bolt and Scorch will be your kid's best friend — until the fiery creature reaches full-on meltdown mode, of course. A Grumblies' short-fuse is something every parent and child knows a little bit about. These hot-headed and mischievous electronic plush toys are a major toy trend for kids this Christmas, so you might not want to wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Buy one (or the whole group!) and get early savings from Amazon and Walmart now.
Check those dusty shoes and sneakers at the door! To keep the kiddos from shuffling around the house in socks, we've rounded up the cutest, coziest slipper styles that boys and girls of all ages will want to slip into every day after school and on the weekends. From adorable animal designs to sleek styles made to warm big and tiny tootsies, these awesome kid's slippers are made to feel like walking on air in cool trends that even the fanciest feet can't help but warm up to. We're sure that these fab slippers are a shoo-in for your kid's casual footwear faves!
Now is the time to start bundling up, and as the temperatures begin to dip, these super cute styles are perfect for layering and keeping your little guy looking sharp while staying warm and cozy. Check out our roundup of awesome knits designed to look great while withstanding winter's bitter chill.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Childhood Sleep Guidelines, infants should sleep between 12 to 16 hours, while growing toddlers should grab between 11 to 14 hours of shut-eye. That's why picking the perfect crib mattress is key for a good night (and naptime) slumber for your little lamb.
While there are several factors to consider when choosing a crib mattress and setting up a safe sleep environment for your child. Parents should select "a firm mattress that is made for the crib, meaning perfect in size with a tight-fitting sheet," suggests S. Daniel Ganjian, MD, a pediatrician at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. "There should be no space between the mattress and the sides of the crib."
And other than a fitted sheet, there shouldn't be anything in the baby's bed, particularly during the first year. "The most common mistake that parents make is putting something in the crib besides a tightly swaddled baby," says Gina Posner, MD, a pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA. "There should be no stuffed animals, no crib bumpers and no sleep positioners. Just make sure it is a new crib that is up to current standards."
Dr. Ganjian also advises against using an old crib and mattress. "Hand me downs used to be great, but now you really have to watch out for them, since many have been recalled or are dangerous because there is some subtle defect that you might not be aware of."
In celebration of Sleep Awareness Week, we've rounded up our top picks of comfy, crib mattresses with quality features to ensure that tired newborns and tots transitioning to a toddler bed sleep like babies so Mom and Dad can rest a whole lot easier.