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When To Buy Baby’s Crib & How To Make Sure It’s Safe

 

Pregnancy can be a confusing time for a first-time mom and the checklist can seem never-ending. Not to mention that you seem to be getting advice from every direction. But, first and foremost, you need to create a safe sleep environment for your baby. 

Although you can use a crib right away with a newborn, some parents choose to use a bassinet initially and then transition their infant to a crib after a few months. However, even if you’re not planning on using a crib immediately, it’s recommended to do your crib research during the second trimester — from four months to six months of your pregnancy. During this window, you have plenty of time to shop and set up the crib well before your due date, while you aren’t sleep deprived with a newborn.  

How long is a crib used for?

Cribs are usually used for the first two to three years of life. Your baby’s going to spend a lot of time in their crib, so make sure you see it as an investment. This means purchasing one that is built to last, includes a warranty and meets industry health standards, like the cribs handcrafted by our friends at Milk Street baby furniture. You’ll know your little one is ready to move into a toddler bed when they are noticeably too big for the crib and can climb out with minimal effort.

What are the important crib safety considerations?

All baby cribs manufactured after 2011 are required to meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. One of these standards is that the date of manufacture must be printed somewhere on the crib, which makes it easy for parents to ensure it’s up to code. 

Here are a few more things new parents should look for in a safe crib:

Side bars: Crib slats or bars should be no wider than 2 3/8 inches apart. The Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests gauging if a soda can would fit through — if so, they’re dangerously far apart. Why? This spacing helps prevent baby from slipping out or getting stuck. Cribs with cutouts on the headboard and footboard should also be avoided for the same reason.

Skip the bumper: The American Academy of Pediatrics has noted the risks posed by bumpers, and there’s no evidence that they make the crib environment safer for baby. 

Sturdiness: Make sure the crib doesn’t wobble when you shake it. If it moves it might have been put together improperly. And if the crib is on wheels, make sure they lock in place.

Corner posts: The height of corner posts should not exceed 1/16 of an inch. Anything taller can catch your child’s clothing. Look for any screws or nails that stick out anywhere on the crib.

The importance of a firm crib mattress: The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Consumer Products Safety Commission and First Candle all recommend a firm, snug-fitting sleep surface that reaches every corner of the crib’s frame with no gaps. If more than two fingers fit between the crib and the side of the mattress, the mattress is too small. Mattresses should be dense and not sag under your baby’s weight. 

A good crib mattress is essential to keeping your baby protected and comfortable while sleeping. In fact, carefully selecting your crib mattress is one of the most important things you can do as a new parent. Wait to buy a mattress until after you’ve picked out and purchased a crib, because the proper fit is absolutely essential. 

Bare is best: There should be no toys, stuffed animals, pillows or blankets inside the crib with your baby. The only bedding they’ll need is a fitted sheet that is suitable for the mattress. If your little one seems cold, use a sleep sack to keep baby warm while sleeping without having the risk of loose blankets that might smother baby.

Cords and strings: Keep the crib away from windows, curtains, cords and anything else your little one can pull. Hanging baby mobiles are okay to use as long as they’re kept out of reach.

Deciding on the right crib is a huge decision that you’ll want to start thinking about by the mid-point of your pregnancy. Not only is it the foundation of the nursery, it also keeps your new addition safe as they slumber away.

 

Becoming a Parent During COVID-19

We are surrounded by images of blissful motherhood on social media, TV and in magazines. But many new mothers experience some distressing feelings after giving birth. That’s normal because the responsibilities of being a new parent are both tough … and exhausting. Fathers are also at risk of depression after the birth of a baby, and the risk goes up significantly when the mother experiences depression too. 

New parents need plenty of support during the best of times, but when faced with hospitals overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, new visitation rules for delivery rooms and the general uncertainty about how coronavirus affects our lives, the stakes can feel especially high.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your plans for support after childbirth from family and friends have probably been changed or may have even been cancelled. Losing your support system can make it harder to figure out a smooth transition to parenting. 

Fortunately, help is available – from family, peers and providers. However, support looks a little different now. Most providers are using telehealth visits for most of their visits, and support groups have moved online. 

Below are resources for providers, support groups and ways that we all can support parents and families during this uncertain time.

These groups and resources can offer the chance to communicate with people who get it. We hope these make the day-to-day challenges, fear and overwhelm a little easier to take.

gender reveal

10 Creative Ways to Do a Gender Reveal During COVID-19

From the moment you start sharing your pregnancy news, the first question you probably get from everyone is “Are you having a boy or a girl?” In recent years, a popular way for expecting parents to reveal the gender of their new addition has been by hosting a gender reveal party with family and friends.

However, with social distancing practices still in effect due to the coronavirus pandemic, parents-to-be are having to get creative with how they share the news. But luckily, you can still have an exciting gender reveal party with your closest friends and family by inviting them to join the reveal remotely, thanks to Facebook Live, IGTV, Zoom or Google Hangouts.

If you find yourself stuck on how to reveal your baby’s gender to friends and family, then keep reading for creative gender reveal ideas for all types.

Bath Bomb Reveal

Either make your own gender reveal bath bomb or buy one online. When the time comes, fill a plastic container or your tub with water, and drop the bath bomb in, letting it reveal if it’s a boy or a girl. Guests can watch live as the bath bomb fizzles!

Water Balloon Fight

Host a virtual gender reveal party where you and your partner have a water balloon fight while the rest of your family and friends get to watch! Lay 10 water balloons out in a row and let your guests vote on which one to throw next. Have one filled with either pink or blue colored water so that, when it breaks, the gender is revealed!

Sing It, Baby!

Make a specific playlist filled with songs with titles like “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” or “I’m Just A Girl”. Send it out to family and friends as a musical way to share the news.

Blowing Bubbles

Each expectant parent blows a bubble with either pink or blue bubblegum. Then, the parent with the incorrect gum color has their bubble popped during a virtual session!

Sibling Love

Make a custom shirt for your baby’s older sibling in either blue or pink and snap a family picture to post on social media. Cute messages like “I’m the Oldest!” are always a winner.

Booties Reveal

Another good way to tell your loved ones is to buy or make a set of crocheted booties in blue or pink. Then, ship them out and wait for the delighted phone calls!

Cake Pop Reveal

Make cake pops with white cake inside, colored blue or pink depending on your baby’s gender. Get your video camera going as you feed one another a cake pop and reveal the color inside to everyone watching! We also love the cakes that explode with a colorful candy treat. 

Gumball Guessing Game

Mail your tribe a bag of gumballs filled with an equal number of blue and pink gumballs. Add one extra gumball to the bag that’s either pink or blue, depending on your baby’s gender. Have everyone look at the bags and try to guess the gender before they dump them out and quickly count the gumballs during your virtual party for the big reveal.

Dress Up the Pup

If you’re already a parent to a fur baby, feature your pet in the big reveal video by dressing them up in a special t-shirt, collar or accessory and then calling them into the room with you while you’re streaming with family and friends!

Blacklight Reveal

Write the gender in blacklight markers on a white poster board. When everyone has joined your virtual gender reveal party, flip off the lights and turn on your blacklight flashlight for the grand reveal.