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.
When your babe begins to sit up, it's time to start searching for the best floor seat to support your baby boy or girl. Mom and dad can take advantage of a few hands-free moments as their tiny tyke takes a seat in these cool activity chairs. We've rounded up several top-rated styles which provide a place to play and plenty of legroom for your little one to stay seated comfortably. If your infant is ready for a break from the playard, these fab floor seats are the perfect place for your baby to sit tight.
The diaper bag. It is a necessary part of parenthood, from baby's first few days in this world well into what may be their toddler years. It can seem daunting at first to try and determine what defines "must-have" versus "meh, maybe not" on-the-go gear. That's why we've rounded up our favorite diaper bag essentials, from a few ideas as to what to pack in a diaper bag for the hospital to what might even be a bit of a "bonus" for mom and dad. Speaking of, not much differs when it comes to diaper bag essentials for dad or mom, but guys on the go may appreciate a diaper bag backpack or duffle of their very own. You know, to avoid potential paisley prints or darling designs perhaps less desired by some dudes.
If your little one is finally outgrowing baby toothbrushes, you may want to consider finding an electric toothbrush for toddlers. Electric toothbrushes can make brushing more fun and more convenient for kids. Plus, they have powerful heads that clean faster and more efficiently than manual toothbrushes. We talked to New York City's Leading Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Lana Rozenberg, DDS, about the most important features to look for and rounded up the best, affordable products from brands like Oral-B, Colgate, Philips and more.
Shhh...baby is asleep! Sound and white noise machines are a must-have for little ones and light sleepers. They're an excellent tool to help develop sleeping routines and provide soothing sounds while blocking loud noises to quietly calm your child. Backed by pediatricians and certified sleep specialists, the benefit of introducing a sound machine early on to your infant is to create a, "womb-like white noise that actually activates a calming reflex in the baby, which helps promote sleep," says Dr. Harvey Karp, founder of Happiest Baby and creator of the SNOO Smart Sleeper. "It also reduces waking from outside distractions like noises and lights and internal disturbances like gas and mild hunger."
When shopping for the best machine, parents should be on the lookout for a unit that blocks disturbing sounds, especially during naptime. "Sound machines help drown out the noise we can't control, this is especially important during the daytime when most outside noises occur (i.e. cars driving by, dogs barking etc)," observes Certified Child Sleep Consultant Susete Pinto. However, doctors and sleep professionals caution against keeping a loud sound machine near your sleeping baby. Always maintain the noise levels at 50 A-weighted decibels while never keeping the device too close to the crib. "I generally recommend a noise level similar to what a hair dryer or vacuum might produce," say Dr. Karp.
Sweet as a lullaby and the best method for blocking out boisterous household and outdoor noises, our top picks of sound machines will work to calm even the most restless little sleepers. Get ready to make some noise! Wait, on second thought, let's sound off on comforting white noises to soothe your sweet babe.
Store shelves are packed with the latest and greatest baby brands, but you may be overlooking some amazing quality products from Parent's Choice. The Walmart-exclusive brand has been around for years providing adorable, durable and affordable products. You may only know them for diapers and wipes, but they have a variety of awesome products for babies and toddlers. Here are some of our favorites!
Skip the sweets and opt for a different kind of treat this Halloween. These 11 non-candy goodies will have all of your trick-or-treaters already excited for next year.
From pint-size furniture to decorations that double as playtime favorites, here are some of the best playroom ideas for toddlers
Step into spring by outfitting your tiny tot in one of these stylish, comfortable and durable spring jackets. From waterproof toddler jackets to trendy denim jackets for kids, here are some of our favorite spring jackets for toddlers from retailers you love like Carter's, Nordstrom, Gap and Old Navy.
This year marks the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Pig, which symbolizes luck and good fortune. Babies born under this serendipitous sign are characterized as having energetic and enthusiastic personalities, which is why we are super excited about our roundup of prosperous and precious pig-themed presents. From plush piglets, clothing, books and slippers we think these gift ideas will have your little ones going hog wild all year round.