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Being a parent is all about adapting to changes and transitions. Milestones, as they are often referred to, are significant changes in your baby’s cognitive, developmental, and motor skills. From sleeping through the night to sitting up, milestones are exciting transitions for both a baby and parents. A significant milestone for exclusively breastfed babies is the transition into bottle feeding. There are many reasons why a baby who is exclusively breastfeeding may need to transition into bottle feeding. Paced bottle feeding is a technique that makes this change easier for both baby and mom.
Paced bottle feeding is a method used to help transition babies from breastfeeding to eating through a bottle. This technique mimics the flow of milk, similar to breastfeeding and can help ensure a smooth transition. As breastfeeding mamas know, the flow of milk through a breast is very different from that of a bottle. There are many bottles available to help transition your baby comfortably. However, using the paced bottle feeding technique can help your baby adjust to this new way of feeding.
This method allows your baby to drink until they are full, very similar to breastfeeding. By using this method, your baby may not finish the entire bottle right away. However, as you and your baby establish a consistent feeding routine, you will know how to adjust the amount of milk you are serving correctly.
The first step to beginning paced bottle feeding your baby is to find the right bottle. There are many different brands that market a “natural” feel or nipple to babies transition from breast to bottle. Truth be told, since every baby is different, finding the right bottle might be through trial and error. There are so many bottles available, and it may be overwhelming trying to find the right one. As with every new process and milestone, patience is a necessity. For my baby and myself, the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottle worked best for us. Not only did it have a nipple that resembled and felt like my own, but there’s also an anti-colic valve. It was also super easy to clean, which is a huge plus!
After choosing your bottle, it’s time to begin! Paying attention to your baby’s hunger cues is very important when paced bottle feeding. Your baby will show signs of hunger by smacking their lips, turning their head towards your chests (also known as rooting), or by straight up crying! Paced bottle feeding is centered around feeding your baby when they are hungry, rather than on a timed schedule.
When the baby is ready to eat, hold them in an upright position, at a slight incline, and offer the bottle to your baby. This can help prevent colic. You can try to lightly touch the bottle on the baby’s lips. Your baby may refuse but usually, if they are hungry, they will open their mouth and “latch” onto the bottle.
Once the baby is latched on, here’s where the paced bottle feeding method comes into play. By keeping the bottle in a horizontal position, the baby controls the flow of milk. Try alternating the flow, by not letting the milk reach the nipple, similar to the flow of breastmilk. Try to mimic a breastfeeding session as much as possible, switching baby to a different side and letting them stop for a break. Not only does this help the transition from breast to bottle, but the paced bottle feeding technique will help your baby recognize when they are full, which they will show signs of by maybe opening a closed fist, falling asleep, or giving up the bottle altogether.
Similar to breastfeeding, don’t expect your baby to gulp down a bottle in one sitting. Patience is vital when with this method, as not only is it a new process, but the goal is to mimic breastfeeding as much as possible, especially if you’re transitioning from exclusively breastfeeding to bottle feeding. It can be frustrating when your baby doesn’t take to the bottle right away. You may need to consider trying a different bottle or waiting for the baby to give those cues that they’re really hungry. If you ever have questions or concerns that your baby isn’t eating properly or enough, we recommend consulting your pediatrician or a lactation consultant.
There are many reasons why a mom should consider using the paced bottle feeding method to transition her baby to use bottles. For a mama that has to go back to work after being on maternity leave and has been exclusively breastfeeding, she may consider pumping breast milk to give her baby while she is away and transitioning to a bottle is necessary when the baby is left in someone else’s care.
Paced bottle feeding is also great for formula-fed babies. Since it’s more of a “baby-led” technique, this method helps avoid over or underfeeding baby. Both formula and breastmilk are extremely valuable. Not only do you want to make sure that the baby is getting enough nutrients so that they can thrive and grow, but paced bottle feeding also helps make sure that you’re not wasting any precious milk by over-serving the baby. You may have some instances where you’re over or under serving milk at first, but one of the many benefits of paced bottle feeding is that you establish a feeding routine that’s custom to your baby and eventually can figure out how much they need before they get full.
Paced bottle feeding can also help you understand your milk supply if you are breastfeeding. If you’re overfeeding your baby, it can be difficult trying to pump to make up for the extra milk. However, by allowing your baby to lead the process, you can have a better understanding of how much milk they need. This will help you pump the right amount since you produce breastmilk on a supply and demand basis.
Did you know that using the paced bottle feeding technique can also help prevent colic? Yup, you read that right! By using proper positioning, your baby will swallow less air while eating. Therefore creating less gas and discomfort for your baby, (and more sleep for mama!).
As we all know, breastfeeding is an intimate and unique experience between a mother and her baby. Dads, grandparents, and other caregivers may want to bond similarly with baby, and paced bottle feeding is a great way to do so. Since paced bottle feeding mimics breastfeeding, other caregivers can use this feeding time as their way to create a bond with the baby.
The paced bottle is a process that transitions your baby to achieving one of many future milestones. Understanding your baby’s cues and patience is a skill worth learning, the results and benefits are totally worth it. Paced bottle feeding helps establish healthy eating habits for the future and can also help others bond with baby similarly (but not exactly) to the way mom and baby bond while breastfeeding. Good luck and enjoy this and all the other milestones you will share with your baby!
Have some questions about feeding? Feel free to list them in the comments! Also, check out our Rookie Moms Facebook Group, it’s a great group of moms where you can share your experiences, ask for advice and even help out another mom!
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You warm up a four-ounce bottle of breastmilk, but your baby only drinks two ounces. Can you reheat the leftover breastmilk or does it have to be tossed? Breastmilk is liquid gold, and we totally understand how upsetting it can be to dump it down the drain!
Reusing and reheating breastmilk is generally not advised. However, there are a few studies showing that it may be safe to an extent, and a few authorities have said it is okay. Let’s break down the risks and safety measures concerning reheating breastmilk.
1. Bacteria in Breastmilk
When you pump, a small amount of bacteria ends up in your milk inside the bottle. Usually, these bacteria are so few, and due to proper storage in the fridge or freezer, they do not have the opportunity to grow.
Additionally, fresh milk can fight bacteria and remain relatively anti-infective. The longer you store the milk, the less bacteria-fighting power it has.
When you give your baby a bottle, bacteria from your baby’s mouth is now present. As soon as your baby begins sucking, the bottle is contaminated.
If these bacteria multiply, they can harm your baby. This is especially true if your baby is premature, suffering from a pre-existing medical condition, or has a weakened immune system. Warm milk is a breeding ground for bacteria.
2. Proper Preparation
The safety of reheating and reusing the breastmilk is dependent on how you prepare and store it.
You can prepare a bottle with fresh milk, meaning it has been at room temperature for less than four hours. Another option is using milk that has been in the fridge or frozen.
Babies do not require warm milk, yet most babies prefer it. You can give your baby fresh milk at room temperature and similarly, you can use milk directly from the fridge. If your baby prefers a warm bottle, check out these warmers that are quick and safe!
- Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer- The Kiinde Kozii’s design has your baby’s health in mind. It warms bottles up just a little slower, but only because overheating can destroy nutrients in breastmilk that you really want your baby to get.
- Munchkins Fast Bottle Warmer- Only one thing needs to be said for the Munchkin Warmer; it heats up a bottle in under 90 seconds. That means minimum time to listen to the hungry cry!
Most moms warm their refrigerated or frozen milk. Only use this milk if it meets proper storage guidelines and is not expired. This means it has been in the refrigerator for fewer than five days and in the freezer for fewer than six months.
To warm the milk, you can either run it under warm to hot water or let it sit in a bowl of warm to hot water. The water should not bring the milk to a boil as this will damage the nutrients and healthy bacteria. For the same reason, you should not heat milk in the microwave or oven.
Once the milk is warm, swirl it to mix in any fat and then test a drop on your rest for temperature. As long as the temperature feels fine, the milk is now ready for your baby.
3. What To Do with Leftover Breastmilk
You fed your baby but you still have some milk leftover and you hate to just throw it away. Is it safe to reheat or reuse later? This is where things get tricky.
Recommendations against Reheating Breastmilk
Most pediatricians and organizations advise against reheating or reusing breastmilk. Once the milk has been warmed and given to a baby, the risk for bacterial contamination is high. The CDC advises, “if your baby did not finish the bottle, the leftover breast milk can still be used within 2 hours after the baby is finished feeding. After 2 hours, leftover breast milk should be discarded”.
Similarly, Today’s Parent states, “It’s not safe to reheat a bottle of breastmilk”. The thought behind these statements is reheating and reusing the milk it is not worth the risk to your baby’s health. You should dispose of all remaining milk within a two-hour period.
Other authorities further specify the situations in which you should not reheat milk. If your baby is sick, their immune system is suppressed. They are more susceptible to bad bacteria from milk with any contaminants. If the milk has been previously frozen you should not reheat it (or refreeze it). This is because the freezing process weakens the milk’s bacteria-fighting properties, resulting in an increased bad bacteria count.
Finally, if milk is clearly showing signs of spoilage, you should not reheat it or reuse it. Overall, this approach errs on the side of caution. If your baby has not finished the bottle, it is best to dump the remaining milk along with the contaminating bacteria down the drain.
Recommendations for Reheating Breastmilk
The lack of a sufficient amount of data regarding the reheating and reusing of breastmilk leads others to believe that it may be safe to offer previously warmed milk. It is important to note that these statements are in support of reusing milk but largely ignore or advise against reheating milk.
This is in part because of the time frame in which the previously fed milk should be used. Throw the bottle away if it has been out for 2 hours.
At room temperature, the bottle should not cool significantly within the two-hour window. Therefore, you should not need to reheat the milk. But is it still safe to use?
Expert Opinions About Reheating Breastmilk
Jan Barger, R.N., M.A., IBCLC states “it would seem to me that expressed breast milk, fed to the baby, partially consumed, and then refrigerated, could be used for one more feeding no more than four hours later. That’s probably fairly conservative,” concluding that bacterial contamination will cause the milk to spoil, but there is no way of knowing how long this will take.
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine notes, “Once a baby begins drinking expressed human milk, some bacterial contamination occurs in the milk from the baby’s mouth. The duration of time the milk can be kept at room temperature once the baby has partially fed from the cup or bottle would theoretically depend on the initial bacterial load in the milk, how long the milk has been thawed, and the ambient temperature. There have been no studies done to provide recommendations in this regard. Based on related evidence thus far, it seems reasonable to discard the remaining milk within 1–2 hours after the baby is finished feeding”.
The common thread here is that too few studies have been done to conclude officially whether reheating and reusing previously used milk is safe or not. It would appear that as long as the milk was not frozen, your baby is healthy, and you use it within a one to two-hour period, the milk should be safe.
What Should You Do About Reheating Breastmilk?
In the end, what you do with your leftover breastmilk is up to you. There are advocates of, and studies upholding both opinions. If you are worried for any reason that your breastmilk may be harmful to your baby, it is best to toss it.
Is there anything more stressful than naming your child? Okay, well there might be a few things you can think of but in the heat of the moment, it can be extremely difficult! Suddenly the nurse is handing you a piece of paper asking you to fill out the name and if you haven’t decided yet, it can be really stressful. We’re here to help you avoid that with this list of 150 adorable one syllable boy names!
One syllable names have long been popular for baby boys, sometimes they just flow better with your last name and sometimes they are just too cute. You will find plenty of classics on this list along with some newer, trendier names. Once you have found the perfect first name, you will probably be on the prowl for a middle name. Don’t fret we have a list for that too, check it out here!
150 Adorable One Syllable Boy Names
My Personal Favorites
I love, love, love shorter names and these are some of my absolute favorites. I appreciate the fact that these one-syllable boy names cannot really be shortened to a nickname. That way my son will just be called the name we give him!
Classic One Syllable Names
As mentioned previously, many classic boy names are just one syllable. I think classic names are on the comeback. However, I have included a mix of more and less popular depending on what you are looking for.
Unique One Syllable Names for Boys
Calling all millennials! These unique one-syllable boy names are perfect for fitting in with the current trends. The Social Security Administration has listed the most popular names of the last year here if you are looking for some inspiration.
Have more name suggestions? Leave them in the comments! Also, check out our Rookie Moms Facebook Group, it’s a great group of moms where you can share your experiences, ask for advice and even help out another mom!
Before you hit the trails with your tot, you’re going to need one of the best baby carriers for hiking of some sort. As much as you think you can carry your child on your shoulders for the entirety of the hike, save yourself the pain suffering, and get yourself a hiking carrier that fits your needs.
If you think your love for hiking and exploring the outdoors is a distant memory now that you have a little one, that’s not the case at all! In fact, fostering a love and appreciation for the outdoors is a great way to raise your children! There are few things that make me happier than hiking with my little ones. Fun au naturál rather than manufactured fun encourages creativity and imagination (you’d be amazed how many things a stick can be) and with no technological distractions (phones, tablets, tv), you can create stronger bonds with your little ones all while getting exercise and fresh air.
Picking the right hiking carrier is important but might be hard to navigate. They vary in price, weight, support, storage, and of course, the bells and whistles they offer—so let us help you. Below are six of the best hiking carriers on the market right now for varying needs.
When Do You Need a Hiking Carrier
It’s never too early to start hiking with your little one. In fact, fresh air is great for baby and especially a postpartum mama. You can get away with a sling or wrap for the first few months of your baby’s life since they’re so small and you don’t need the kind of back support that hiking carriers provide. Your baby will need the head and neck support that they don’t though.
Once your baby gains some pounds and some head control, you are going to want something more supportive and comfortable. There are soft carriers and structured carriers. A soft carrier (I recommend the absolute best one below), gives your baby’s head and neck support, so you can start using those around 4 months, but to use a structured carrier, you will have to wait until your child is at least 6 months old or can easily hold his or her head up.
I should also mention that some of these carriers are pricey, but the good thing is that they last until your child hits about 40 pounds (about three or four). They are all incredibly durable so you can use them for a few years for multiple children, which makes for a long life for these packs. If you use them enough, you will definitely get your money’s worth.
Features To Look For in the Best Hiking Carrier
Hiking carriers come with a variety of features to pick and choose from. so decide what are important to you. Features that hiking carriers can have are:
- Integrated sunshade – one of the more important features I would say. Keep your baby out of the sun and in the sunburn free zone
- Storage– definitely important to consider if you plan on hiking alone. You’ll need plenty of room for water, snacks, diapers, and extra layers.
- Weight – every pound counts when you’re hiking up and down hills while carrying a child and gear on your back.
- Child headrest – If your little one can sleep on the go, the headrests on some of these packs are key.
- Ventilation – Keeping cool, especially in warm summer months makes hiking more enjoyable
Best Baby Carriers for Hiking
Deuter has won awards for their stellar hiking carriers, and for good reason. I’ve tried other Kid Comfort versions, but they really got it right with this one. The comfort level is on point, it’s extremely supportive, and the ventilation is unparalleled; making it perfect for hot summer hikes. Deuter also knows that the most important part about hiking with a child is keeping them happy, which is why I assume they made a well-padded soft headrest for when it’s nap time on the go.
If I could tweak it: I would make the pockets around the waistband slightly bigger so I could more easily fit my phone and kid snacks. I also wish there was an easy way to stow away the sunshade as it is not integrated into the pack.
Weight of pack: 7.1 pounds
Weight/age range for the child: Max weight the carrier can hold is 48lbs with the child and gear. Deuter makes no specifications on the age or weight of the child.
Storage space: 3.7 gallons
Sunshade: Included but not integrated
Ventilation: 5/5 stars
Price: 200-$290, purchase here!
Ooh she’s pretty. This hiking carrier not only looks the part, but it plays the part. It’s well padded for optimal comfort, easily adjustable to fit the shortest to the tallest parent, and my personal favorite: the storage. It has huge pockets on the hip belt to keep your phone, keys, a selfie stick, heck, even a snack. On the back, it has a backpack with two pockets with mesh inserts to organize everything you need on your hike. Beyond that, there is a large pocket underneath the child seat that’s made of a material that wipes clean because, hey, messes happen. Its sunshade is also beautifully integrated into the pack.
If I could tweak it: This one was so close to checking all the boxes, but I wish it had dual access where a child could get in from the top or the side. With this pack, your child can only get in from the top. For small infants and toddlers, this is fine, but once they get bigger and heavier, it’s a little more difficult to get them in and out.
Weight of pack: 7lbs 4oz
Weight/age range for child: 16-40lbs (approximately 6 to 36 months)
Storage space: 6.9 gallons
Ventilation: 4/5 stars
Price: $300, current pricing here!
Chicco exchanges all the bells and whistles that a hiking carrier can feature for a low-cost option for parents. Being half the price of other hiking carriers on the market (and in this post), it’s a good option for parents who want a structured carrier without the hefty price tag. The comfort and support does not match that of the more expensive hiking carriers, so this is better for parents who take short hikes here and there. And bonus! It does come with a small sun shade which does end up coming in handy.
If I could tweak it: I really wish there was some sort of storage. There’s not even a pocket on this to hold a phone or a water bottle.
Weight of pack: 6.5 lbs
Weight/age range for child: 17-40lbs (approximately 6 to 36 months)
Storage space: 0
Sunshade: integrated but small
Ventilation: 3/5 stars
Price: ~$130, purchase yours here!
Comfort on fleek (translation: wow this pack is comfortable). This carrier does three things exceptionally well: support, storage, and adjustments for any sized adult. The support is equal to that of the Deuter and Kelty packs. They’re all incredible on that front. For storage, the Thule has about the same amount of storage as the Kelty pack, but a cool feature is that you can zip off the pack on the back so your hiking buddy can bear the weight burden. Lastly, in terms of adjustments, it does so like a breeze so you can easily switch from a short person to the tallest.
Thule really nailed it with this pack and made the hefty price tag well worth it.
If I could tweak it: This pack is nearly perfect except the support stand that pops out to load and unload your child isn’t very sturdy.
Weight of pack: 7.9 lbs
Weight/age range for the child: 16 lbs weight minimum and able to sit upright without assistance. The maximum carrying capacity for the pack is 48lbs with child and gear.
Storage space: `~7lbs including detachable backpack
Ventilation: 5/5 stars
Price: ~$350, check it out here!
My biggest complaint about this baby carrier for hiking is that it did not exist a few years ago when my son was an infant. We lived in New York City, and when I would go on walks with him using a different carrier, I would say, “I wish there was a pocket on this to fit a small wallet, my phone, a diaper or 2, and a water bottle”. Now, thanks to an innovative mama duo, what I always dreamed of now exists.
And they made it better than I could imagine.
This soft carrier wouldn’t just be used for hiking, but everyday use as well. What’s great about using it for hiking is that it does offer a good amount of support, it doesn’t weigh much at all, and for a short hike or one you’re going on with a pal that can carry a pack, you have all the storage space you need. If you’re looking for a soft carrier instead of a structured carrier, or one that you can travel with that doesn’t take up much room at all, this one’s yours.
Additionally, you will definitely get your money’s worth as it’s an everyday carrier for the smallest infant to a 44lb kid!
If I could tweak it: I wouldn’t. They nailed it.
Weight of pack: 1.9 lbs
Weight/age range for the child: 3 months old to 3 years old
Storage space: Not specified, but about a gallon, I would say. There is this youtube video that shows how much it can fit.
Headrest: No, but your child can sleep comfortably resting against your body
Ventilation: 3.5/5 stars
Price: ~$130, buy yours here!
This is not your average hiking carrier. I wanted to include this as an option because it has many benefits and it’s great for older toddlers and kids. In terms of weight, it only weighs 2 pounds and is extremely compact, so bringing it along on an adventure or stroll for a “just in case” moment isn’t difficult. Additionally, kids really enjoy riding it because it’s fun, and their vantage point is not what they usually experience as they’re higher up than in any other carrier. This is great for older children who no longer fit in any other hiking carrier, but don’t quite have the stamina to hike a trail start to finish.
This is a barebone, incredibly lightweight carrier that barely takes up any space. It is really great for traveling and can be used off the trails when you’re exploring a new city or taking a stroll in the park.
If I could tweak it: With the harness, your child is secure on your back, so you don’t have to worry about them falling off completely. However, I wish it had foot straps that kept your child’s feet secure.
Weight of pack: 2 lbs
Weight/age range for the child: 2-4 years old (up to 50lbs)
Storage space: None
Headrest: No – the child would not be able to sleep with this carrier
Ventilation: 5/5 stars
Price: ~$75, purchase here!
New Addition! Baebi Carrier
One of our other Rookie Moms loves this carrier so much, that we just had to add it on to the list! They are a nature-loving crew that loves hiking, camping, and exploring. Unfortunately, the great outdoors can be a hard place to manage when you have 4 under 8 trying to run off of every mountain they see. Making sure their 7 month-old is securely tucked into a carrier allows the extra hands to help their other children explore safely. The BAEBI Carrier was the most secure, comfortable, and structured carrier this mama had ever used. Both her and her little guy love the thick padding. They also really appreciated the easy but secure snap system, which allows you to get your baby in and out easily. It has become their go-to carrier for all things outdoors!
Weight of pack: 2.2 lbs
Weight/age range for the child: Newborn to 6+ Months
Storage space: Tons of convenient pockets & they are zippered.
Ventilation: 5/5 stars
Price: $160, buy yours here!
About the Author
Find Some Of Our Other Carrier Reviews Here:
7 of the Best Baby Carriers That Will Save Your Back (And Arms And Legs)
Why the Ergo Omni 360 Deserves a Place On Every Mom’s Registry List
How to Put Newborn Twins in a Moby Wrap
Picking out a name for your new baby girl is no walk in the park! Knowing this is something that will stick with your child their whole life puts tons of pressure on you to pick something timeless, but still unique. My advice is to not let this pressure get to you, the right name will come to you and it will be the perfect fit for your daughter. Plus, we are here to help! We have pulled together a list of 150 one syllable girl names.
You may be wondering, why one-syllable names? I personally love that many of them have a soft and sweet sound to them. Another thing I love about a short first name is that it gives you many options when it comes to the middle name. You can find our list of middle names for girls here! Many people believe that shorter first names emanate strength, as they seem decisive. They also have less of a chance of being shortened into a nickname, which many parents appreciate.
150 Short and Sweet One Syllable Girl Names
My Personal Favorites
It just would not be right to create a list of names without including some of my personal favorites! I love names like Jo, Beth, and Mae that can be paired with so many others to make a two-part name. You will also see that many of the names listed under my favorites are unisex, just a personal preference!
Timeless One Syllable Names
I adore these classic one syllable baby girl names! Plus, you just cannot go wrong with picking a name you know to be timeless. Many of these names have faded in popularity over time, but I think they might just be on the comeback!
One of a Kind One Syllable Girl Names
Some of these names you may have heard, but hopefully, some of the others will be new additions that you haven’t yet thought of! They take inspiration from all sorts of things, from nature to fruits and even other cultures. Many of the most popular names in recent years have been two syllable names, so choosing one of these shorter names provides uniqueness in that aspect as well.
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Traveling with a toddler can definitely be challenging! This is especially true when it comes to bedtime and figuring out where your toddler will sleep. Hotel beds can be high & dangerous, but the floor or a roll-away bed can be just as tricky. Whether you’re visiting some of the best places to travel with kids or staying with family, here are the 8 best toddler travel beds! They will give your child a comfortable, fun, and safe place to sleep when traveling. The beds on this list are easy to set up, break down, and carry along with you making them must-haves no matter what your destination is.
Best Air Mattresses for Traveling Toddlers
Air mattresses are a great option when traveling. While you could go with a simple twin-sized air mattress, I would recommend getting an air mattress made specifically for toddlers. This is mainly because these will have built-in inflatable rails or bumpers. This will ease your worry about keeping your toddler from falling out of bed during the night.
Toddler air mattresses are basic and easy to use, so they won’t add any stress onto long travel days! If you’re familiar with inflating and decompressing an air mattress, these work just the same. Some even have technology that makes it easier to deflate and compress them. This way they easily fit back into a carrying case.
The Shrunks Toddler Air Mattress
This toddler air mattress is the gold standard. It is one of the best inflatable toddler travel beds. It is a standard air mattress with the addition of simple, low bumpers on the sides for added safety. The design makes it easy to get in and out or to check on your child throughout the night. The middle portion has a space around the edges for tucking a sheet, making it easy to get ready for bed and pack up.
The Hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Bed
The Hiccapop Inflatable Toddler Bed comes in 2 pieces giving it higher bumpers for extra security. The middle portion of the bed comes out completely to make it easy to add sheets and can be used separately as your child gets older and doesn’t need the bumpers at night. This mattress inflates and deflates quickly so you don’t have a lot of setup before bed.
The Best Fold Out Cots & Pop Up Beds For Toddlers
Some of the best options for toddler travel beds are cots and pop up beds. These are easily foldable and collapsible bed options. You can set them up quickly and can be used as benches or extra seats at a campsite or in the backyard. These are a good option for those that are looking for a bed specifically for camping or if you want something that’s easy to store, easy to set up, and doesn’t take up a ton of space. Using these in a hotel or at a friend’s house allows you to fold it back up during the day to save space in your room while making it easy to set up for bedtime.
Privacy Pop Bed Tent
How cute is this tent bed? It will truly give your toddler their own space. Both sides can be left open or closed (with plenty of ventilation), which comes in handy if you’re in a space where others may be staying up later than your little one. Keep in mind, the mattress and the bed frame are not included, this is just the tent piece. However, I appreciate this because it gives you the freedom to set it up any way you would like. You may want to look into one of the air mattresses above to place inside, or you can simply make it cozy with blankets.
Kidco PeadPod Plus Portable Travel Bed
This may be my favorite toddler travel bed on this whole list! It is so easy to pack up and take on the go with you. It is super lightweight and the mesh will protect your toddler from insects as well as allow for great airflow. Another great feature of this pop tent is that it offers UV protection meaning you can also use it for protection on sunny days. This travel bed does come with a sleeping pad that can easily be removed for cleaning.
Regalo My Cot Portable Toddler Bed
The Regalo My Cot Portable Toddler Bed has a very simple design that easily folds out. This is one of the best toddler travel bed options because it gets your child off the ground but is still low to the ground. You can put a fitted sheet on this bed as well. It can also be used as a fun place for your child to sit and hang out for movie nights or sleepovers. This cot is well worth the investment because it has multiple purposes, such as for camping, or even in a playroom, as opposed to a toddler air mattress that may have more limited usage.
Joovy Foocot Child Cot
Another fold out cot option is the Joovy Foocot Child Cot. I love the fun colors this one comes in! It is very easy to set up and provides plenty of room for your little one to spread out. It also comes in its own travel bag complete with a strap. The bed itself has two storage pockets for keeping an alarm clock or comfort items during the day. This is a great toddler bed to add to any hotel room, cruise ship cabin, or guest room.
Inflatable Bed Bumpers
Another option to create a safe toddler travel bed is to use inflatable bed bumpers.
OlarHike Bed Rail Bumpers
These two inflatable bumpers are waterproof and have straps to tuck under the mattress to keep them right where you want them. These bumpers work with a wide variety of beds. They are designed to make it easy to place them anywhere in the bed. You can create a smaller sleep space, or use them to simply separate the bed. Everything in this set packs up easily and you can store it all in a suitcase. You can inflate these bumpers with your mouth, so you won’t have to carry separate tools or pumps.
Oh Baby! Inflatable Bed Bumper with Air Pump
These follow the same concept as the bumpers above, but I love that they come with an air pump and little bag. These bumpers are so easy to travel with, you probably won’t even notice the addition in your bag. These do not have straps to attach them to the bed, so you will have to make sure they are firmly in place by covering them with the sheet and firmly tucking it under the bed.
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I want to start things off by saying breastfeeding is a different journey for every mother. There is no comparing one situation to the next! It is my hope that all mamas get the chance to have a long and happy breastfeeding journey, even if it is hard at first. One tricky situation that you might find yourself in is tandem breastfeeding. We are here to tell you all you need to know about it and hopefully make it seem a bit less daunting.
What is Tandem Breastfeeding?
Tandem breastfeeding is when you nurse two of your babies at the same time. It is common among moms of multiples, but may also be used by moms who have children close in age. When nursing twins tandem breastfeeding often means one baby on each breast. If you are tandem nursing two different aged children you may use tandem nursing in a couple of different ways.
Nursing is often the predominant nutrient source for your infant during their first year of life. This is why if you have another baby, you may still want to nurse your older child. Keep in mind, you may want to nurse your younger baby first. This will ensure that they receive an adequate amount of milk. However, if you are producing too much milk, tandem nursing may actually benefit you. You can tandem breastfeed your toddler to reduce engorgement when your baby is done nursing or in between sessions.
Another reason to tandem breastfeed is if you have a fast letdown. Some infants can struggle with a fast-letdown and have difficulty latching. A toddler may be better able to handle the letdown until it subsides at which point the infant may then be nursed.
Will I Like Tandem Nursing?
Whether or not you will like tandem nursing is largely dependent on your lifestyle and personality. Tandem nursing can be difficult, especially at first. You are learning to adjust to a new baby and will still be required to meet the nursing demands of your toddler. If you are nursing twins, you will have to manage the schedule and demands of two infants. Tandem nursing can be overwhelming in either scenario, but worth the struggle in the end!
Tandem nursing certainly has benefits. After a period of time, you will probably get your children on a regulated schedule and nursing will not be exceedingly time-consuming. Of course, there are innumerable health and emotional benefits associated with breastfeeding. There are also positive aspects when nursing an infant and toddler. You will be able to connect with both your children and your toddler and infant will be able to bond through nursing as well. In addition, continuing breastfeeding your toddler will help to sustain some semblance of your routine pre-baby, comforting your older child.
Many women find that nursing a toddler can be used to soothe them during difficult situations and provides them with an opportunity to sit, rest, and reconnect with both their children. There are pros and cons to tandem nursing, ultimately you will have to decide for yourself if you like it.
Some Things to Consider When Tandem Breastfeeding
Tandem nursing can have a variety of benefits beyond engorgement and letdown control. Tandem nursing can help bond your older child and the new baby. During a time when your toddler may be suffering from feelings of jealousy and detachment, nursing can be a beneficial way to soothe these anxieties.
In addition, studies have shown that children still receive health and nutrient benefits from breastfeeding beyond the first year. Nursing your toddler will continue to provide them with health and emotional support.
Providing Sufficient Nutrients to Your Newborn
When tandem breastfeeding, you may be concerned about providing a sufficient amount of milk to your newborn. It is important that your baby receives an adequate amount of breastmilk to sustain nutrition and weight gain. One of the ways in which this can be remedied is by always nursing your infant first, this will ensure that they are able to nurse for as long as they want and obtain as much milk as they want.
You may also want to nurse one child from each breast. This will ensure that your baby is receiving hindmilk and foremilk. However, if your newborn is able to empty one complete breast you should then put them onto the other breast to continue nursing.
Milk Production Concerns
Another consideration is milk production and if you will have enough milk to nurse two children. In most cases, the demand from both children will stimulate production. Nursing is regulated by supply and demand. When you are nursing more than one child, your body should respond to the increased demands.
Mama’s Well Being
The final consideration is the wellbeing of the mom. Nursing can lead to cracked and dry nipples, but as you have been continually nursing a toddler your breasts should be conditioned. You will likely not have to worry about nipple pain or soreness. Nursing also demands a great deal of the mother’s body. Be sure to get plenty of healthy calories and plenty of sleep.
Does My Newborn Always Need to Nurse First?
During the first few days to weeks your newborn should nurse first. Nursing your infant first will help to set your supply levels and ensure that your infant receives adequate nutrition. After birth you will be producing colostrum, a vital nutrient source for your newborn, so be sure to give them first dibs.
After a short period, you can nurse both children at the same time, one on each breast. You may also want to continue nursing the toddler after your infant, or maintain different nursing schedules in which they nurse at separate times.
What To Do if a “Weaned” Child Asks to Breastfeed Again?
Nursing a newborn can reignite a desire for nursing in a weaned child. Whether or not you choose to begin tandem breastfeeding with your weaned child again is at your discretion. It is also okay to comfort your toddler in other ways instead of nursing again. If you do so, be kind but firm and be sure to devote periods of time and attention solely to your toddler while your partner cares for the baby.
Alternatively, you can begin nursing your toddler again. It may be easier to nurse both children at the same time so that you are not burdened with an additional nursing session or sessions.
What Positions Are Best for Tandem Breastfeeding?
You can tandem nurse using the same positions that you find comfortable for breastfeeding a single child. Some positions you may want to try when nursing two children include:
- A football hold, in which each child’s body is directed under your arm and behind your body.
- A cradle hold, in which the baby is positioned across the toddler’s lap.
- A combination hold, in which one child is in a football hold and the other is in a cradle hold.
- The toddler leaning on you or kneeling while the infant is cradled. It is likely that your toddler is now adept at nursing in a variety of positions and will be able to acclimate themselves to the position of the newborn.
Tandem nursing can be a great experience and bond both you and your children in ways you never thought possible. If you are considering tandem nursing it may be beneficial to speak with friends who have tandem nursed or seek out those with the first-hand experience to determine if you may be suited to tandem nursing. Check out the Rookie Moms Facebook Group, where you will find a tribe of moms to ask for advice!
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When babies reach the teething stage, anything they can get their hands on becomes a teether. While babies are inquisitive and watching them learn can be cute, it’s important to have some teethers around that are designed to help with this stage of their life. There are so many teethers on the market, it can be confusing navigating which is best and for which situations. Here are the best teethers, separated into categories that showcase their main features, design, and how they can be useful while being enjoyed by your baby.
Best Teether Checklist
Not all teethers are created equal and while most have the same function, there are a few things that set some apart from the rest. These are the must-have qualities to look for when shopping:
- Durable: you definitely want something that’s going to withstand being chewed, as well as being dropped, carried around, and washed.
- Functional: you want your teether to be easy to use, both for the baby and the parent. It should have clear teether benefits, but also be easy for your baby to hold onto, to fit into their mouths, and interesting enough to keep your baby from grabbing another toy.
- Easy to clean: this toy is going in the baby’s mouth, so you’ll want to make sure it can be washed or sanitized, depending on your preference. Some toys are hand-wash only while others may be dishwasher safe.
- Safe: the baby is going to be using this teether frequently, so you’ll want to make sure the components of the toys are safe for baby. Many use kitchen grade silicone so it’s safe for the baby’s mouth and others use sterile water, cotton, and baby-friendly components.
The Best Cooling Teethers
A cooling toy is probably what first comes to mind when picking out a way to soothe your teething baby. These are traditionally rings or toys that you place in the freezer. This provides a cooling and numbing effect when the baby uses them. These are a great option because they are designed to withstand the chewing, gumming, and biting of a growing baby.
Green Sprouts has a line of great cooling teethers, all with the same basic design. Each teether has a ring shape and texture to soothe teething. Inside is sterile water and the exterior is made of thick plastic, ensuring that it is safe and soothing. The most popular option is the classic teether ring. This teether has a large ring shape with bead-like bumps to create the ring. Each bump has a different texture and pattern for a massaging effect.
Dr. Brown’s Coolees is another great cooling teether. This teether has the shape of a watermelon wedge and is a solid teether. The entire piece is cooling and doesn’t have any liquid inside. This is appealing to parents who may worry about the teether getting a puncture or leaking. The size of this teether is most appropriate for children who are beginning teething and are cutting their first few teeth. As your baby grows older and bigger this toy may be a little small or soft for chewing with teeth.
Another traditional teether is the ring teether. Usually made of some kind of plastic with texture, these simple yet effective teether toys are great for on the go. Ring teethers are easy for a baby to hold on to and most come in bright colors making them easy to locate in a diaper bag.
This Teether Ring Four Pack by Bonbino comes in a range of colors, from brights to blue neutrals. They have a solid design with four different textures around the ring. The solid structure, as opposed to liquid filled, make them easy to wash and durable through the teething stage.
This fish-shaped teether by Nuby is multifunctioning. It can also be used as a pacifier because there’s a ring to hold on to and chew but there’s a main V-shaped piece that is textured and has bristles to help cool and massage sore gums. This is a unique teether because the bristles also work like a toothbrush, cleaning gums while the baby chews.
The Best Teether Mitts
A more modern take on the teether is the teething mitt or mitten. This is a cloth mitten with a textured, silicone edge that baby wears and chews. These are a great way to help younger babies who are just starting to chew as the mitten is more difficult to drop or lose. Each mitten has a different design, from the fabric pattern to the mitten layout. Many have a paw shape or a classic mitten shape as well as fun patterns that fit any style or personality.
The BabyBliss Teething Mittens come in a two-pack in two different colors, each with the same basic shape. The edge of the mitten has three bumps, much like a paw, and a base with a patterned fabric. The mitten has a velcro tab at the bottom to keep it secure on your baby’s hand. These mittens come in two sizes, small and large, for babies 2 to 8 months and 8 to 12 months.
Munch Mitt has some of the cutest and modern designs to help your baby’s teether mitt work as an accessory. This one has a cactus pattern with a bright green silicone end. The standard mitten design provides two bumps for teething and some texture for massaging sensitive gums.
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Pregnancy is a beautiful miracle but sometimes it’s just downright confusing, too. Whether you have been down this road before or you are newly trying to get pregnant, it is important to understand what a chemical pregnancy is. Those words sound scary, I know, and to be honest they kind of are. First off, you should understand that early miscarriages are actually fairly common and so many women go through them and later have healthy babies.
What is a Chemical Pregnancy?
A chemical pregnancy or biochemical pregnancy is a miscarriage that happens very early on, before the 5th week of gestation. It is so early on, in fact, that ultrasounds still cannot detect the pregnancy. However, a pregnancy test may have detected it as levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) initially are elevated. Many women do not even know they are pregnant when they experience a miscarriage this early. But regardless of this, if you do know and experience the loss it can be extremely devastating. So take heart mama, even though chemical pregnancies are quite common, they also can be very hard on you emotionally.
The Facts & Stats
- Chemical pregnancies account for 50 to 75 percent of all miscarriages (Healthline)
- Just because you had a false positive pregnancy test does not mean you had a chemical pregnancy, as these can happen for many reasons
- Chemical pregnancies typically happen because of chromosome abnormalities (ACOG)
- When IVF is unsuccessful, it often results in a chemical pregnancy
- Working, exercising, having sex, or having taken birth control does not cause pregnancy loss (ACOG)
- Advanced maternal age, a thyroid condition, or clotting disorder may put you at higher risk for early miscarriage
Causes of a Chemical Pregnancy
There is no exact cause, and as we said before chemical pregnancies are quite common so you shouldn’t blame yourself or your partner. Listed below are some possible factors for why an early miscarriage may have occurred.
- Chromosomal Abnormalities- This is the most common cause of early miscarriage. Most women go on to carry a healthy baby after this.
- Hormone Levels- Some hormones need to be present at high levels to support the development of a fetus.
- Improper Implantation- If there are abnormalities in the uterus, the embryo may not implant properly. Fibroids are a common cause of this and can be removed.
- Low Weight- Women who are below weight according to their BMI may be at higher risk for miscarriage.
What To Do if You Think You are Experiencing a Chemical Pregnancy
Some women have no symptoms at all, but for others, a chemical pregnancy may feel like menstruation and involve vaginal bleeding.
- Getting Your Period After a Positive Pregnancy Test
- Light Spotting (this does not always mean you have had a chemical pregnancy, so stay calm it may be implantation bleeding)
- Menstrual Like Cramps
See Your Doctor
If you’ve had a positive pregnancy test, you should see your doctor. They will be able to either confirm your pregnancy or inform you of why you got a false positive test result. You should immediately see your doctor if you believe you have had a chemical pregnancy, even if you hadn’t taken the test yet.
Keep in mind, typically no physical treatment is necessary since it is so early on. After a pregnancy loss, the only treatment you might need is tissue removal. In the case of an early pregnancy loss, this is unlikely. However, your doctor will still need to make sure all tissue has passed. Your OB/GYN can also be helpful in finding a mental health professional if you or your partner would like someone to talk to.
Keeping Hope After a Chemical Pregnancy
Chemical pregnancies are common and are not an indication that you cannot get pregnant. Many women go on to have happy, healthy pregnancies. Doctors will often look at this as a positive, as it is proof that you can get pregnant. In fact, you can get pregnant as soon as two weeks after your chemical pregnancy. Knowing all this doesn’t always necessarily make you feel better though, so talk openly about your feelings and remind yourself it gets better. What is meant to be, will be!
As devastating as it is to go through multiple early miscarriages, it is no cause for alarm. If you have had three in a row, your doctor may send you to a fertility specialist to rule out any medical problems. This specialist will be able to advise you but often times they do not find any medical problems, and you will be able to move forward and get pregnant.
If you have any questions at all please leave them in the comments or check out the Rookie Moms Facebook Group, where you will find a tribe of moms to ask for advice!
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If you are in your third trimester of pregnancy, you can probably use a laugh or two, and so we bring you these incredible memes. Of course, you have our permission to be moody and to crave whatever you want for the next three months. You are almost there, but if you are anything like me it probably still seems so far away. I won’t deny that I am a pretty impatient person! Well, here is all the third-trimester impatience and exhaustion in meme form.
The 20 Best Third Trimester Memes
1. When your spouse suggests a baby name.
2. Getting unwarranted parenting advice.
3. Cravings, cravings, and more cravings.
4. Your last day of work.
5. How you feel all day, every day.
6. When your partner breathes next to you.
7. When your due date is quickly approaching.
8. When you explain your trendy baby name choice to your grandma.
9. How you feel when people tell you that you are glowing.
10. When people ask you how far along you are.
11. Feeling swollen all over.
12. Looking for your belly button.
13. When you get to let the belly out.
14. How you feel when nesting.
15. Mood swings… all day long.
16. When anyone says the word induce.
17. When men try to give you any kind of advice about your pregnancy.
18. Every time you try to get things done and you immediately have to pee.
19. Mucus plug.
20. When it is finally, finally time!
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