What To Keep In Mind When Shopping For Crib Sets

So you’re doing well, you’ve got piles of baby clothes, you picked out the right stroller, a baby safety monitor is on the way and your shiny brand new baby crib is set up.  You’ve got the handmade baby blanket from grandma, a nice crib set to complete the baby crib, and now you’re starting to look at toys.  Wait, you haven’t gotten a crib set?  You haven’t started looking?  You don’t even know what crib sets are?  Relax, there’s still plenty of time.

Crib sets essentially are baby bedding sets for the crib.  They are almost always color coordinated and pattern matched to provide a unique and unifying decorative style for the baby’s room or nursery.

Crib sets vary greatly in what they offer to the consumer as far as the number of pieces in the crib set go.  The basic crib set will include 4 pieces which are usually the bumper, a sheet, a skirt or dust ruffle, and the blanket.  Crib sets with a greater number of pieces may include a diaper stacker, a toy bag, window valances, decorative pillows and other things.

So what do you really need?  A four piece set will perform well for most families and provide pretty much everything they need.  All that’s really necessary is a sheet that fits your crib.  While that may seem too simple, really that’s all that is needed as most families will have blankets given to them from friends and other family members.

Why so few items?  Because some studies indicate that SIDS can be related to the amount of stuff inside a baby’s sleeping area.  The greater the number of pillows and comforters and blankets and bumpers and stuffed toys the greater the chances for SIDS.  While a bumper does seem like a good idea, it isn’t clearly needed.  A blanket sounds good, and may be comforting to some babies, but as long as the room is warm and the baby has on clothes, there may not be a need for it.

The Essential Baby Things staff knows that sometimes parents love to spend money on stuff they think they need.  Buying more stuff for your kid doesn’t make you a good parent, and buying less stuff for them doesn’t make you a bad parent.  A blanket and a sheet are kind of the minimum you need when it comes to nursery bedding.  Crib sets offer this, as well as either a few extra things that are nice to have, all the way up to lots of extra unnecessary stuff.  If you’re going to buy a crib set, buy a simple 4 piece crib set.  Crib sets with lots of extra stuff aren’t necessary.  If your heart’s set on it, then go right ahead.  But shopping for baby can be confusing enough without worrying about crib sets.  Get something simple and move on.

Baby Safety Monitors: What To Know Before You Buy

No parent likes to leave their child unattended.  But sitting by their bed to watch them while they sleep or while they play creates need and dependence and breeds fear.  Baby safety monitors allow the cautious parent the ability to keep one ear, or in some cases one eye, on their children when they are not in the same room.  This allows the parent to get some rest or take care of other things and also allows the child a little independence and a chance to grow.

Baby safety monitors are, at their most basic, a type of walkie talkie.  There is a monitoring unit that is set in the room with your baby and then the receiving unit that is kept with the parent as they move about the house.  These days most systems fall under the term wireless baby monitors as the receiving unit can pick up signals around the house.  However, be sure that is what you are getting.  Some older versions and stationary baby monitors essentially create a line between two wired base units.

When they are up and running, a baby safety monitor allows a parent to listen in on their child in another room.  As mentioned, most these days will offer varying degrees of wireless capability.  If video monitoring is desired, there are also video baby monitors available.  Although the technology now isn’t what you’ll see in the movies, it is improving.  Some sets offer a wide range of doo-dads and upgrades.  Some even offer a pad that goes on the bed that sends alarms or notices whenever your little one turns over.  However, most systems these days are looking at incorporating video in various ways.

What are some popular brands?  Well, as in most things, Fisher Price and Graco offer several baby safety monitors that are fully functioning, if a bit un-fancy, but reasonably priced and well regarded, as is most stuff by those two brands.  Philips Avent has another well regarded model.  The previously mentioned one with the sensor pad is the Angelcare  baby monitor which has gotten high marks be most reviewers, even though the movement sensor can be a little sensitive.  The Tomy baby monitor is another good and reasonably priced monitor, although it seems to be sold primarily in England and Europe.

If you’re in the market for a little peace of mind, a baby monitor can go a long way to providing that.  The first thing a family needs to decide is to buy a video baby monitor or simply a wireless baby monitor.  After that, the decision comes down to features, prices, reviews and exchange policies.  Whichever baby safety monitor is chosen, they will undoubtedly help put your mind at ease.

Avent Bottles: Another Tool In The Fight Against Colic

Going without sleep is par for the course with new parents.  While those who are on their first or second child may be used to it, if you ever do get used to it, or at least know a little about what to expect, new parents have no clue as to what is really going on.  And when their baby is crying at all hours of the night and then crying more after feeding, it is enough to drive a parent to the edge.  Luckily, for parents who suspect their crying child has trouble with colic, there are solutions.  One of the solutions is Dr. Brown baby bottles.  Another is from Avent.

Here’s thing – nobody really knows why colic happens in babies.  There are numerous theories as to the true cause and reason behind colic.  Unfortunately, no study has shown definitive proof as to why colic happens.  Plus, the fact that with most babies it seems to resolve itself by about six months of age means that it isn’t really that huge of a problem from a medical standpoint.

From a parent’s standpoint, however, it is pretty huge.  Where medicine has not come up with clear answers, the marketplace has.  While Dr. Brown baby bottles have come up with one solution for dealing with air intake during feeding, Avent has a different approach, one that is simpler in its completion.  The theory behind the Avent bottles is that with a larger, wider nipple, the baby is able to form a more complete seal between the nipple and their mouth.  Then, similar to the nipple collar on the Dr. Brown bottles, air is brought into the bottle, which allows the child to drink without swallowing large amounts of air.  The Avent nipple in many ways performs similar to the air-vent system on the Dr. Brown bottles without all the extra parts.

Now, while you may think this sounds great at first, realize that each baby is different.  Some babies will prefer one blanket over another, one pacifier over another, and so on for reasons that we may not understand.  The same is true for bottles.  Your baby may fall in love with the Avent nipples and that may be the end of it.  Or they may hate them and you’ll have to give the Dr. Brown bottles a shot.  Whatever the case, be flexible.

Avent sells a whole range of baby bottle products, including an Avent bottle warmer and Avent sterilizer.  While useful, the Essential Baby Things staff recommends testing the water before jumping in the pool – try out the bottles.  If they work, then great, go out and buy all the accessories you like.  But wait till you see if your baby likes one thing more than the other.  Because if they don’t automatically love them, you may need to move on to a different bottle and different system until you find something that does work.