curly haired baby playing with blocks in living room.

Understanding Your Baby’s Developmental Milestones: A Guide for Parents

curly haired baby playing with blocks in living room.

Welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyous experience. As parents, it’s natural to have a high interest in your little one’s growth and development. Understanding your baby’s developmental milestones can provide valuable insights into their progress and ensure they are reaching important milestones in a timely manner. Below we provide the significance of developmental milestones and provide practical tips to help you better understand and support your baby’s growth journey.

What are Developmental Milestones?

Developmental milestones are markers of physical, cognitive, language, and social-emotional development that most children achieve within a specific age range. They serve as guidelines to help track your baby’s progress and ensure they are growing and thriving. It’s important to remember that while milestones provide a general framework, each child develops at their own pace, so there is no need to panic if your baby doesn’t reach a milestone exactly on time.

Motor Skills Milestones:

Motor skills refer to your baby’s ability to control their muscles and perform physical actions. They can be divided into gross motor skills (larger movements involving the whole body) and fine motor skills (smaller, more precise movements). Examples of motor milestones include rolling over, sitting up, crawling, and walking. Encourage baby’s motor development by providing a safe environment. During sleeping periods, an infant needs a firm, flat, even surface to maximize his or her development. This is particularly important when the infant becomes more active in the crib. They need the firm surface to provide the resistance as they begin to push up, turn and eventually stand in the crib. A solid crib mattress base provides the resistance necessary for developing and strengthening muscles.

  • Around 3-4 months: Your baby may start to lift their head while lying on their tummy.
  • Around 6-7 months: They may learn to sit without support and start crawling.
  • Around 9-10 months: Your baby might pull themselves up to a standing position and cruise along furniture.
  • Around 12 months: They may take their first independent steps.

Cognitive Development Milestones:

Cognitive development relates to your baby’s ability to think, reason, and understand the world around them. Cognitive milestones include recognizing faces, exploring objects, problem-solving, and understanding cause and effect. Stimulate baby’s cognitive development by engaging in play activities that involve sensory exploration, peek-a-boo games, reading colorful books, and providing age-appropriate toys that encourage problem-solving skills.

  • Around 2-3 months: Babies begin to recognize faces and follow objects with their eyes.
  • Around 6-9 months: They might start to explore objects by shaking, banging, or dropping them.
  • Around 10-12 months: Your baby may imitate simple actions, understand simple instructions, and develop object permanence (the understanding that objects still exist even when out of sight).

Language and Communication Milestones:

Language and communication milestones encompass your baby’s ability to understand and use language. This includes making sounds, babbling, imitating sounds, saying words, and eventually forming sentences. Talk and sing to your baby frequently, respond to their coos and babbles, read books aloud, and create a language-rich environment to support their language development. Use gestures and simple words to label objects and actions to help them make connections between words and their meanings.

  • Around 2-4 months: Babies may start cooing and making vowel sounds.
  • Around 6-8 months: They might babble and imitate simple sounds.
  • Around 10-12 months: Your baby may say their first words, understand simple commands, and respond to their name.

Social and Emotional Development Milestones:

Social and emotional milestones focus on your baby’s ability to interact with others and regulate their emotions. They include smiling, showing attachment, expressing emotions, and engaging in social play. Provide your baby with a secure and loving environment, respond to their cues, and engage in face-to-face interactions. Encourage social interactions with family members, introduce them to new people and environments gradually, and offer age-appropriate toys for social play.

  • Around 2-3 months: Babies begin to smile and show social responsiveness.
  • Around 6-9 months: They may start to show attachment to familiar people and exhibit separation anxiety.
  • Around 10-12 months: Your baby might show more independence, play interactive games like peek-a-boo, and display a range of emotions.

Monitoring and Celebrating Milestones:

Keep in mind that every child develops at their own pace, and there is a wide range of “normal” when it comes to milestones. It’s essential to monitor your baby’s progress while also celebrating their unique journey. Stay observant, note their achievements, and consult with your pediatrician if you have concerns about their development. Remember, you are your baby’s best advocate, and trust your parental instincts.

Understanding your baby’s developmental milestones is an invaluable tool for tracking their growth and ensuring they are progressing as expected. By familiarizing yourself with these milestones and providing a nurturing environment, you can support your baby’s development and celebrate each step of their journey. 

Remember, every child is unique, and they will reach their milestones in their own time. Enjoy this precious time with your little one, embrace their individuality, and cherish the incredible moments of growth and discovery along the way.

baby with a pacifier laying down wearing a sleep sack

Sleep Sack Benefits for Baby

baby with a pacifier laying down wearing a sleep sack

Sleep sacks, also known as wearable blankets or baby sleeping bags, have become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to traditional blankets for babies. There are many benefits to using a sleep sack for your infant. Sleep sacks are safer than quilts or other coverings; they help your baby sleep better and are easy to use. Sleep sacks work by applying warmth and very gentle pressure over your infant’s body for better sleep.

A sleep sack may be the answer if you’re looking for a way to help your baby sleep better. To help you better understand if you should use a sleep sack, we summarized the key benefits of using a sleep sack for your infant, which may surprise you!

  1. Safety: Sleep sacks eliminate the need for loose blankets in the crib, which can be a suffocation hazard for infants. They also prevent the baby from getting tangled up in the blanket or pulling it over their face.
  2. Comfort: Sleep sacks are designed to keep babies warm and cozy, without the risk of overheating. They provide a comfortable sleeping environment and help to regulate the baby’s body temperature.
  3. Convenience: Sleep sacks are easy to use and require no folding or tucking. They are also adjustable, so they can accommodate a growing baby.
  4. Better sleep: Sleep sacks can help babies feel secure and comfortable, which can lead to longer and more restful sleep. They also prevent the baby from waking up due to discomfort caused by a shifting or kicked off blanket.
  5. Mobility: Sleep sacks allow babies to move their legs freely and kick, which is important for their development.

Overall, sleep sacks are a safe, convenient, and comfortable option for baby sleepwear that can help promote healthy sleep habits for infants. They can be used from birth until the child is able to climb out of their crib, which typically happens between 8 and 24 months. However, the exact age at which a baby can climb out of their crib can vary, so it’s important to monitor your child’s development and adjust accordingly.

Below are some general guidelines for using a sleep sack:

  • Newborns: Sleep sacks can be used from birth, as they provide a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for infants.
  • Infants: Sleep sacks can be used until the child is able to roll over, at which point they should no longer be swaddled. At this point, you can transition to a sleep sack that allows for more movement.
  • Toddlers: Sleep sacks can be used until the child is able to climb out of their crib. Once this happens, it’s time to switch to a regular blanket and ensure that the crib is free of any other items that could pose a safety hazard.

It’s important to note that every child is different, and you should adjust your use of a sleep sack based on your child’s development and individual needs. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper use of the sleep sack, and consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child’s sleep habits.


expectant mother celebrating with friends at baby shower

Should I Have a Baby Sprinkle or Baby Shower? 

expectant mother celebrating with friends at baby shower


Everyone has heard of a Baby Shower, but what about the latest trend called a Baby Sprinkle? Both of these events can be tons of fun and are a great way to celebrate the coming of a new baby. So how do you know when a sprinkle is better than a shower? They do have some differences, so it’s important to consider which party is right for the parents-to-be. In order to do that, you’ll have to learn a little bit more about a Baby Sprinkle versus a Baby Shower! 

What is a Baby Sprinkle?

A Baby Shower is a grand party with themed decorations and food, while Baby Sprinkles should require much less work. A Baby Sprinkle is a relaxed gathering of close friends and family to celebrate a new baby on the way. Essentially, Baby Sprinkles are a casual celebration that lasts between 1-2 hours. A Baby Shower has more guests and presents, and the time frame is usually between 2-3 hours. 

We like to think of a Baby Sprinkle as a low-key Baby Shower often held for couples expecting their second child and who already had a Baby Shower with their first child. However, Baby Sprinkles may also be thrown by first-time parents who would rather have a more laid-back gathering than a full blown Baby Shower. Baby Sprinkles are usually held at a local restaurant or at home, but this may vary depending on budget and guest list. 

Who Should I Invite to a Baby Sprinkle?

Many parents decide to include both close family and friends. However, some expectant parents may want to keep it intimate with just relatives. If you are inclined to also invite everyone you know from work, church, etc. then you should stick to a traditional Baby Shower event.

Ultimately, the party host has the final say on how many people are invited. Still, hosts should remember it can be overwhelming for guests to make a Baby Shower-like commitment for several hours.

What Happens at a Baby Sprinkle? 

There aren’t too many hard rules about what needs to happen at Baby Sprinkles, but most include a Baby Sprinkle cake, music and laughter. Whether you’re planning a Baby Sprinkle for yourself or parents-to-be in your life, be sure to keep it simple. The whole point of Baby Sprinkles is to celebrate without the overwhelming to-do list of a Baby Shower. Some fresh flowers, vases and candles go a long way towards the party ambience.

One thing you can be sure to see is gift opening. However, for Baby Sprinkles parents typically don’t use a registry as the event doesn’t usually call for expensive gifts. By the time a mom is expecting her second child, she likely has all of the “big” things she needs. Baby Sprinkles are an opportunity to upgrade existing baby things – especially if there was a large gap between the last child and new baby.

Some Baby Sprinkle gifts that expectant parents would be happy to receive include:

  • Diapers 
  • Money or Gift Cards
  • Diaper Cream and Wipes
  • Blankets
  • Onesies and Outfits
  • Bedding
  • Books
  • Toys

Although second time parents may choose not to purchase a new crib mattress, Colgate recommends you invest in a new quality mattress cover. Our Eco Cover-Organic Cotton Fitted Crib Mattress Cover is a high-quality fitted crib mattress cover made with certified organic cotton, is the perfect addition to any Colgate crib mattress.

Whether you’re the parents or simply the person organizing on parent’s behalf, it’s important to consider both options. If you like the idea of an extravagant or expensive event to celebrate the first pregnancy, it’s best to opt for a Baby Shower. If you’re drawn to an easy-to-plan, low-key event – or if you’re celebrating the coming of a second baby – then a Baby Sprinkle could be ideal!

3 Tips for Preparing for a Newborn

Whether you’re becoming a first-time parent, or expanding your family again, preparing for a newborn can be challenging. You may have to do several things around the house to prepare, like get the nursery ready or baby-proof your home. You may also have to look at your current financial habits to determine if there are areas you need to cut back. Whether it’s on regular spending or you’re considering saving money for a new home this financial check-in will be crucial in your preparation.

Consider creating a checklist that can help you make sure you’re on the right track for when the baby comes. The better prepared you are before the baby is born, the more you can relax and enjoy their company when they arrive. Take these tips into consideration while checking items off your list!

1 – Check-In on Your Finances

As you get more excited each day leading up to bringing your baby home, it’s important to make sure that you have all your bases covered financially. Are there areas where you can cut back on spending so you can save to buy new things for the baby? For example, you may consider cutting back on the following items:

  • Streaming Services: Do you pay for Netflix, Hulu, Paramount, etc.? If so, even just cutting back to one streaming platform can save you at least $20/per month.
  • What You Already Have: Instead of going on a coffee run every day, consider making coffee at home!
  • Eating Out: If you order in or go out to eat a couple of times a week, try meal planning to save money on going out.

Saving this extra money will allow you to put it towards the baby’s nursery, clothing, or even hospital expenses.

Plan for Change

Bringing a new baby into the family may mean you have to make a lot of big, life changes to accommodate the little one. For example, if expanding your family causes your current home to become too small, you may consider buying a new home. This process on its own can be costly, so where you can, you’ll want to avoid stressing about buying a new house in the midst of having a baby. Along with many other strategies, financial preparation can help with that.

You’ll need to take into account whether you will be living off of one salary after the baby is born. If that is the case, you’ll need to determine how much you can afford on a house based on your income. You don’t want to put yourself at risk for not being able to afford a new home, pay your bills, and provide for your family. So reassure yourself that you can afford a home that will fit your family’s needs.

2 – Think Ahead When Designing the Nursery

One of the most exciting things about having a baby is designing the nursery. The baby’s room is an area where you and your newborn spend a lot of time together. Creating a separate checklist for the nursery room may help you identify everything you will need or what you already have and may just need to pull out of storage. You’ll want to think about the setup of the room as well in regard to where you want the crib, changing table, and rocking chair to go. For example, you don’t want to place the crib near the door where your baby can easily hear noises throughout the house. You also don’t want to place the crib or changing table under a vent. If a crin is located under a vent, the heat and air conditioning could be blowing directly on the baby, causing them to potentially fuss or become too warm or cold.

If you’re reusing a crib from one of your other kids, it may be best to invest in a newer mattress, and if you are investing in a new mattress, shop with us at Colgate Mattress. Mattress safety is extremely important when it comes to your baby as it affects their quality of sleep. Purchasing a new mattress will also ensure that the mattress is sanitary and you can ensure that it is firm enough for the baby. Since babies should not be sleeping with extra pillows, blankets, or stuffed animals, the mattress should be comfortable for them to lie on without extra support. Babies can’t sleep with extra items in their crib because of the potential for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), so investing in a mattress that is breathable too is crucial. At Colgate Mattress, we can supply you with a variety of crib mattresses that will best fit your needs. Babies tend to roll on their faces while sleeping, so making sure they can breathe while snuggled in their crib is important.

3 – Baby-Proof Your Home

Creating a safe space for your baby is crucial not only for them but for your family as well. Babyproofing your home is an important step as it brings a level of comfort to your baby and family knowing that they won’t have to worry about anything tragic happening. If you’re moving into a new house for example, you may consider babyproofing the home before you move in. This may consist of adding locks on all doors, installing gates around the stairs and in certain areas of the home, or adding window stops to all windows in the house. Taking these steps before moving in will reduce the stress of having to babyproof your home after the baby arrives.

Along with babyproofing your home, there are also safety precautions you should take in addition to standard babyproofing. Make sure that you have smoke detectors in each level of your home and a carbon monoxide detector. Each home should have one, but purchasing extra batteries and detectors to have on hand will also be in your best interest in the event of a fire, leak, or other safety issues.

Preparing for a newborn is such a fun and exciting process, but it can often become overwhelming. Taking these steps and tips into consideration and crossing things off your list will help you to feel ready for when the big day is here. In the meantime, make sure you are enjoying each moment and taking it all in, as it will go by fast. Before you know it, you will be in the nursery room creating memories with your new family member!



Sleepwear for Newborns, Infants and Toddlers

Photo Credit: Sarah Rodenbush

Although it might not always seem like it, babies spend the first few years of life sleeping about 12 to 14 hours per day. That’s a lot of down time, and many new parents face the constant worry (no matter what the season) of whether their baby is warm/cold/dry enough while snoozing.

The American Association of Pediatricians recommends that babies/infants be dressed in only one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same temperature.


How Many Sleepwear Layers Do Babies Need?

In warm weather-say, over 75 degrees Fahrenheit- one layer should be enough (although it’s important to note that a diaper/underwear is not counted as a layer) for a comfortable night sleep. Anything less than 75 degrees might need an additional layer, but nothing especially heavy. There are several quality sleep sacks and baby pjs available to ward off cooler temperatures.


Sleepwear for Newborns

For younger babies, a receiving blanket can be used as a swaddle, over a onesie. The swaddle usually keeps baby’s arms snug against his/her body, a position that many infants find comforting. Pajamas or swaddle blankets with snaps or zippers are a must to make diaper changes easier in the middle of the night.

It is recommended that pacifiers (and/or anything that can come loose) are not attached to swaddle blankets or pajamas. You always want to make sure that no material can pull loose to gather around the face.


Sleepwear for Infants

For babies older than 6 months, swaddling isn’t as comforting and doesn’t really work anymore. As babies learn to roll and squirm, their sleepwear needs change. Wearable blankets, like the ones from our friends at Goumikids, are a great option for older babies, keeping them comfortable and allowing for their new-found mobility.

Loose blankets and toys are still discouraged in cribs for children. It is still too dangerous to have extra objects in the crib that might get in the way during the night.


Sleepwear for Toddlers

 By the time your baby is a toddler, you are dealing with opinions- namely, theirs. Having several safe options for them to choose from is a smart way to make sure everyone is happy. All children’s pajamas must comply with the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s ruling that the material be either snug-fitting or made with materials that pass specific flammability tests.

Two-piece pajama sets are a good bet here, as toddlers are starting to lean towards potty-training. Footed-pajamas are an easy, comfortable way to ensure your toddler stays warm when the covers get kicked off in the winter.


Can Babies and Toddlers Get Too Hot at Night?

The short answer is yes. Any time there are too many layers, babies and toddlers can get uncomfortably hot while sleeping. Generally, this is when you would fall back on the rule of not dressing babies in anything more than one layer beyond what an adult would need. Also, check to make sure the temperature in the nursery isn’t significantly different than in your bedroom. Adding a hat or head covering of any kind is not recommended.

If you are worried about your baby getting too hot while sleeping, going with a pajama material like bamboo-derived viscose, cotton or muslin are great, breathable choices. You can feel your baby’s neck or upper back to see if they feel overly hot or clammy to the touch. If they feel hot, that means a layer likely needs to be removed.


Parents Know Best

You know your baby best. If s/he is constantly waking up with damp hair or a hot neck, consider choosing a lighter set of pajamas, no matter what the season. Learning your baby’s signals is truly the best way to figure out what will keep him/her comfortable.

5 Tips For Keeping Your Baby Warm On Cold Nights

One of the most common challenges faced by all mothers is to keep their little ones warm and safe during the cold days and nights. According to Stanford Children’s Health, babies are not as adaptable as adults to temperature change and can lose heat rapidly, as much as four times more

Thermoregulation is a process that allows your baby to maintain ideal internal temperature. Premature and low-birthweight babies usually have little body fat and may be too immature to regulate their own temperature. Even full-term and healthy newborns may not be able to maintain their body temperature if the environment is too cold.

As the winter season approaches, temperature regulation becomes difficult, which makes babies more vulnerable to cough, cold and flu. When they are cold-stressed, they use energy and oxygen to generate warmth. By keeping babies at optimal temperatures, neither too hot or too cold, they can conserve energy and build up reserves. 

It’s very important to be knowledgeable about how you can help your baby maintain a consistent body temperature during the holidays and wintertime, especially at night. Use these tips to keep your baby cozy and safe.

  • Dress Baby for the Weather. In the winter, What to Expect recommends dressing your little one in layers that are easy to remove. Adding or eliminating layers is the best way to warm baby up or cool them down. Babies may need an extra layer or two when it’s cold outside; just make sure you’re quick to remove extra layers when you come back in so that baby doesn’t overheat.
  • Use a Firm Mattress. To keep your baby’s crib warm from underside, use a firm crib mattress covered with a high-quality, fitted and waterproof mattress cover. Soft mattresses can increase the chance of suffocation and put your little one at risk. Babies should always sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Use a Sleep Sack Instead of a Blanket. Soft bedding and loose blankets have been responsible for the suffocation of many babies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), using a sleep sack keeps the baby warm while sleeping without having the risk of loose blankets that might smother baby. Overheating has been implicated in SIDS, as well. A sleep sack keeps babies warm without overheating them.
  • Set the Room Temperature Right. To make sure your baby doesn’t feel too hot or too cold, What to Expect recommends keeping their room at a comfortable temperature between 68° and 72°F (20° to 22.2°C). Use a room thermometer to check whether or not your baby’s room stays at a safe, comfortable temperature. Ideally, the room temperature should feel cozy to a lightly clothed adult.
  • Preheat the Crib Before Putting Baby Down. If there is too much cold in your house, says to consider preheating the crib to create a warm sleeping space for your baby. To do this, place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the crib sheet for 30 minutes before you put your little one to sleep in the crib. Most importantly, remove it before laying your baby down to avoid any overheating or burns.


The Colgate Mattress zenBaby® Hybrid 2-in-1 is an infant-to-toddler transition crib mattress that features KulKote®, a groundbreaking water-based temperature-regulating technology that creates a tranquil and safe environment for baby. In keeping safety first, our crib mattresses are engineered to provide the ideal firmness to promote the most peaceful rest possible.

As parents, we will do anything to protect and bring comfort to our new bundle of joy. That’s why Colgate Mattress created DREAM SAFE. Through practical tips and expert advice, our goal is to educate and encourage caregivers to adopt lifesaving safe sleep practices. Together, we can ensure both you and baby enjoy sweet dreams.


Remember! The coldest time of day is usually overnight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., so plan accordingly.