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About the author  ⁄ Nicole Yontz

A SoCal girl transplanted to the Arizona desert, Nicole Yontz is the go-to girl for all things gear. She shares her home with her handsome husband, their two daughters (Audrey & Abbey), two dogs, one fish, and countless dust bunnies. When she’s not busy testing out the latest and greatest in gear on her darling little guinea pigs, you will often find her getting a pedicure as she does every single week. Because there’s no law that says you can’t.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had this day: You tossed and turned all night and hardly slept a wink. The whole next day was filled with yawns, caffeine, impatience with your spouse and no energy for the kids. You threw together an unhealthy dinner for the family because by the end of the day there just wasn’t anything left. Then you ended the day counting the minutes until you could climb back into your uncomfortable bed just to try again and hope for better results.

Overall, your lack of quality, restful sleep affected every single person in your family. We’ve all been there, and I’m on a mission to find a solution for all of us exhausted moms. I’ve been there – I am there – and I think I’ve finally found the cure. Bring me your tired, your weary, and I will take you to the Sleep Number® Store.

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The importance of restful sleep

Times and mindsets are changing and studies reflect that. Did you know that now they say that solid, restful sleep is just as, if not more, important to your overall health than daily exercise? Respected publications like Time and Shape Magazine even say that sleep is the most important factor in health and weight loss. According to Shape Magazine, “Not sleeping enough—less than seven hours of sleep per night—can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.”

In the study, dieters were put on different sleep schedules. When their bodies received adequate rest, half of the weight they lost was from fat. However, when they cut back on sleep, the amount of fat loss was cut in half — even though they were on the same diet. What’s more, they felt significantly hungrier, were less satisfied after meals, and lacked the energy to exercise. Overall, those on a sleep-deprived diet experienced a 55 percent reduction in fat loss compared to their well-rested counterparts.

In addition, lack of sleep contributes to food cravings and sabotages your gym time because who wants to go to the gym when you’re already exhausted? So, it seems a good (or bad) night’s sleep affects every part of your life. From the quality of your marriage and relationships to your ability to be a patient and involved parent to even the actual physical makeup of your body, it all rests on the condition of your sleep. (Pun totally intended.)

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My Sleep Number bed

Choosing a bed to fit both my husband and me was going to be a task. My husband is a hot sleeper, likes a super firm bed with a totally flat pillow and sleeps on his back due to severe shoulder issues from breaking his collarbone.

I, however, like a soft cozy bed with a big fluffy pillow, because I’m a side sleeper. We tried the overstuffed comfy ones. I liked it but he didn’t. We tried the memory foam. He liked it, but I felt like we were sleeping on a glorified brick. He also says I snore (lying is not nice), and I know for a fact that he snores. Many mornings have been ruined by bleary-eyed “discussions” complete with finger pointing, overly dramatic reenactments and threats of future use of recording devices.

I had heard a lot about Sleep Number and the fact that you could customize your individual side of the bed to fit your comfort level, which was exactly what we needed. Walking into our local Sleep Number store I was expecting the usual “parking lot” of mattresses and to just go bouncing from one to the next, but our time there was much different. The entire Sleep Number in-store process was more like sleep education than it was a buying experience. We were taught about body mechanics and the overall importance of a good restful sleep.

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The excitement of finding your sleep number

However, the most eye-opening part of the whole day was actually finding our Sleep Number® settings. To do this, they have you lie on their bed with embedded technology that can see on a screen exactly where your pressure points are. There is an entire process of going through the numbers to find your ideal softness, finding something that works for you—your very own Sleep Number setting.

But if you’re nervous about getting it wrong, don’t be. The beauty of a Sleep Number mattress is that you’re never married to your number. You can change it whenever you like for better, more restful sleep.

Moms, remember when you were 9 months pregnant and couldn’t find a comfy spot? Imagine how nice it would have been to be able to soften up your bed in seconds to accommodate the growing belly. Tweak your back at the gym? Time to go a little firmer for more support. With an adjustable Sleep Number bed you will always find your ideal comfort level, and with their 25 year warranty, that’s a good thing because it looks like you will have it for a very long time.

In case you were wondering, my Sleep Number setting is a 35, and I even found the most amazing fluffy pillow ever. And for my husband – 35 as well and he picked out the very same fluffy pillow! It’s like I don’t even know who I married!

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The Sleep Number Difference

Sleep Number beds do more than just offer maximum comfiness, they solve many other sleep-inhibiting issues too. Remember when I said my husband lies and says I snore? Sleep Number has got it handled with Partner Snore™ technology. At the touch of one button on your side of the bed, your spouse’s side will raise just slightly to reduce snoring. Are you a warm sleeper like my little furnace of a husband? Certain models have temperature balancing sleep surface which absorbs excess heat and then releases it back to you as the night gets colder.

Sleep Number also offers one-of-a-kind SleepIQ® technology which is sensors in the bed that track your sleep, movements, and heart rate and sends the information to an app that rates how well you slept. This allows you to make adjustments the next night, ensuring you the absolute best sleep you’ve ever had! It even connects to your favorite health tracker! All this in a mattress that has been rated the highest in customer satisfaction for 2 years in a row by J.D. Power and will last you twice as long as an innerspring for about the same price.

Our new Sleep Number i8 bed gets here tomorrow afternoon, and I seriously cannot wait. Stay tuned to Savvy Sassy Moms for an upcoming review of my new bed with all the ins, outs, and my honest opinion. In the meantime, if you are even considering buying a new mattress, do yourself a favor and visit a local Sleep Number store first, you will be so happy you did.

This post is sponsored by Sleep Number, however, all opinions are my own.

Have questions about Sleep Number beds that you want answered? Leave your question below in the comments and I will do my best to answer them in my next post for you.

 

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Spring and summer breaks are right around the corner. Whether you’re local to the Phoenix area, or just coming to visit, don’t miss this brand new attraction. At the beginning of March, we were invited to check out the all-new Dolphinaris Arizona. Dolphins in Arizona? Yes, ma’am, and my 7-year-old considers it a life changing experience. Find out why Dolphinaris Arizona is the place for families this summer.

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The facility

Dolphinaris Arizona is a federally licensed facility (like all zoos and aquariums) smack dab in the middle of the desert. But if you’re concerned for their well-being in such a difficult climate, don’t be. Dolphinaris Arizona is first and foremost about the care and treatment of the 8 dolphins in their care. Personally, I was so impressed with the facility, from the temperature controlled pools to this amazing retractable glass wall that goes around the entire inner pool to protect the dolphins from dust storms or rough Arizona weather. I could tell so much attention went into the planning of the facility.

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Education

Before going near the water, the Dolphinaris Arizona team sits everyone down for a quick Q&A and ocean conservation education. Dolphinaris strives for a great experience in the water, but I was so happy to see they were also educating people on how to make the world’s oceans cleaner for these amazing animals. Did you know the #1 pollutant in the ocean is pesticides? I didn’t until they told me. After making all these new friends, I have personally made it a point to buy more organic. My already eco-conscience daughter now mentions the dolphins every time she recycles. She always reminds us — and anyone in ear shot — to do the same.

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The experience

Dolphins are some of the smartest animals in the world. Because of that, the Dolphinaris Arizona staff treats them with immense love and respect, which I got to witness first hand. This facility houses 8 dolphins — 4 boys and 4 girls from 2 facilities in Hawaii and California. However, at any given time only 3 are interacting with the people. The other 5 play and hang out. The facility uses only positive reinforcement during training. So if they don’t want to do anything, they don’t have to, which we saw first hand.

At one point during our session, I happened to look across the pool to the back pool where the “off duty” dolphins were playing basketball! I wasn’t the only one who saw this. It didn’t take long for Chloe (our dolphin friend) to take notice and join them. We all hung out and waited for her to decide to come back, which she did 5 minutes later. This highlighted that the dolphins are free to do as they want, which makes for healthy dolphins and happy interactions.

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Interaction

The actual time you spend interacting with the dolphins will depend on the experience you purchase. However, I found them all to be worth the price of admission. Whether it be from dry land or a full-on in the deep end of the pool interaction — or even be a trainer for a day — you’ll find an experience to suit your sense of adventure and your comfort level. You can make online reservations (discounts for online reservations!) or feel free to just walk in. Keep in mind the last experience of the day happens at 2:45.

You can even make an entire day of your time at Dolphinaris Arizona. Depending on the package you buy, you will have access to the “human pool” — a beautiful people-only pool situated right next to the dolphin pool. Lounge, have a snack or get cocktails from the adjacent bar! The staff told me the dolphins like to come visit the glass partition between the human and dolphin pools. Dolphins sometimes play ball with the swimmers!

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Upcoming events

We enjoyed visiting Dolphinaris Arizona so much my 7-year-old has talked about going back non-stop. Thankfully, this summer Dolphinaris Arizona launches the Dolphin Explorer Summer Day Camp. At camp, kids will get to interact with the dolphins and learn about ocean conservation on a deeper level. At Dolphin Explorer Camp your child will spend the day with a dolphin trainer where they will interact with the dolphins in the water and from land while learning about dolphin intelligence, behavior, how to care for the dolphins, ocean conservation and more! Camp sessions are Monday through Friday starting June 5th through August 25th, for grades 5th through 12th. For more details and reservations for what has to be the world’s best day camp, contact Dolphinaris Arizona.

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With an ever-growing list of features, finding the best baby monitor for your family can be as confusing as picking out a new car. A second ago I made a quick list of features, just off the top of my head. I came up with no less than 27 different options available on video and audio monitors in the market today, and that was without even looking!

So, how do you decide which is the best one for you? I aways tell people to start with their lifestyle and needs and go from there. There’s no point wasting your money on a super portable monitor if you’re only going to use it at home. Don’t buy something so packed with high tech features if you’re not the techy type. There are so many monitors on the market today, you will be sure to find the right one for you — if you know what you’re looking for, so lets get started.

best baby monitor for tech lovers

For the techy

This year video baby monitors took a huge leap in terms on the high tech options that are available. Hands down, the brand new Nanit takes the lead in the tech department. First off, this monitor boasts top rated security, because it doesn’t use your IP address to stream. The Nanit uses an encrypted video stream from their servers to your authenticated devices and a unique directional antenna that keeps wifi signals away from the baby.

Features include full HD picture quality with zoom and night vision, a white noise machine (or 6 soothing song options), a motion sensor that will ping your smartphone for movement or noise and room temperature and humidity tracking. It even measures your babies overall sleep patterns — think sleep tracker for babies!

Secondly, I would recommend the Motorola Smart Nursery 7 which offers these kinds of features but also comes with the sleek handheld parental unit with large screen.

best travel baby monitor
For the traveler

Baby monitor designers have gotten smart in recent years and, thankfully, made video monitors more portable. When looking for a monitor that travels well, look for monitors with long-range capabilities that run on rechargeable long-life batteries. A great option for traveling is the Infant Optics DXR-5. This cute little monitor has amazing ratings across the internet, and I can see why. Small and sturdy, with a long range of about 800 feet, this monitor still manages to sell at one of the lowest price points for a video monitor.

My second favorite, and I’m only putting this one second because of price point, is the Zooby Car & Home Baby Monitor by Infantech. This system comes complete with plugin adapters for car viewing (priceless on long drives) and for home. But, seriously, how cute are these?! Even better, you can add more than one Zooby to your system for split screen viewing.

best home baby monitor
For home sweet home

I feel like when most people in the know think of video baby monitors they think of Summer Infant, for good reason. Summer Infant baby monitors have kept a cornerstone on the video monitor market because of their reliability, ease of use and durability. You can always rely on their outstanding customer service.

For a great monitor with tons of features, check out the Summer Infant Wide View 2.0. Up to 4 cameras can simultaneously stream on their 5″ flat screen, color LCD video display with black and white night vision. Other features include 2-way communication, zoom and an extra wide lens so you can see more of baby’s room at once.

I’d also recommend the Kodak Baby Monitoring System for parents looking for a stationary monitoring system. The Kodak Baby Monitoring System bursts with top-of-the-line features, including infrared night vision, a two-way talk system, the ability to add additional cameras, an extended range parent unit and 100 percent digital privacy. In addition, the picture quality on this monitor tops other monitors I’ve seen. However, there is no dedicated parent unit for viewing. An app on your phone controls the camera (iOS and Android). Make sure you check out our full review of this camera for more information.

best audio baby monitor
For audio only

If you’re looking for an audio only monitor, don’t worry about missing out on the fun options available in video monitors. The VTech Safe & Sound DM271-102 DECT 6.0 Digital Audio Baby Monitor offers two-way communication, glow on ceiling night light, a max range of 1,000 feet, vibrating sound alert, and an open/closed sensor you can attach to any door or cabinet that will alert you when it is moved — great for the escape artist you need to track from across your property!

For the minimalist mom, my favorite pick is the wearable Summer Infant Babble Band Wearable Baby Monitor. I wear a smartwatch and live by the silent pings I get during the day, so the Babble Band lets me keep track of nursery sounds without having to carry around a parent unit or disturbing those around me. We found this especially useful for whoever ended up on night parenting duty, allowing the other parent to sleep peacefully.

What features do you look for in a monitor?
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New year, new gear. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be more excited. From strollers to breast pumps and everything in between, 2017 looks as though it will be bringing us some of the best products we’ve ever seen in the baby gear market. While there are some secrets to be had when it comes to upcoming products, I was able to get my little hands on information regarding some exciting new releases to be hitting store shelves in the upcoming year. Get ready to bookmark this page, take notes and start your wish lists because you’re going to love this!

What’s new in high chairs

New Highchairs for 2017

Two big players in the baby world are stepping out this year with their very first high chairs and both will be a welcome addition to the market. First off, we have the Tuo Convertible High Chair by Skip Hop, a gorgeous convertible high chair that will grow with your child from 6 months all the way up to 60 pounds. (Currently available)

Cybex Baby, whom we already know for their stunning luxury strollers and car seats, is throwing their hat into the high chair ring with their whimsical collaboration with Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. This fun collaboration will include a modern style high chair in addition to a baby rocker. Be on the lookout for these to come sometime in the spring. 

Baby bottles to add to your registry in 2017

Coming Soon: Baby Brezza Baby Bottles

Baby Brezza, who brought you the awesome products like the Formula Pro and my personal favorite, the Bottle Washer, is launching their first line of baby bottles. These bottles will stand out from their crowd because of their unique two-piece design and wide mouth which means less to clean and easier to hold and fill. (Available February 2017)

LUX is a newer company looking to turn the bottle business on its head with an all now concept in baby bottles: silicone. These soft bottles have a special dual anti-colic venting system and a wide nipple base along with the soft body, all to mimic mom’s beast which makes this ideal for those who want to prevent nipple confusion for babies who transition back and forth between nursing and bottles.

Hey, stroller mamas

 

New strollers for 2017

It’s no secret that strollers are my absolute favorite, which is why I was so excited to see all the new models about to hit the road near you. Rumors are swirling about Diono — a name familiar for their outstanding car seats — releasing a stroller and infant car seat combo soon and from what I’ve seen you will not be disappointed. And seems as though GB Child heard your concerns and will be putting out an all new version of their hit Pockit stroller called the Pockit+, which will have a much-needed recline and the ability to snap on car seat adapters transforming it into the world’s smallest travel system. OXO, a brand known for smart, modern feeding accessories, is dipping their toes into the stroller game with the brand new Cubby stroller.

A new year, a new diaper bag

New Diaper Bags Coming Out in 2017

If diaper bags are more your cup of tea, well then hang on to your tea cup ladies because two major companies will be releasing their very first diaper bags. Itzy Ritzy is releasing their first line of diaper bags in late spring bold patterns and smart designs, which is what you would expect from a company we already rely on for great accessories. Next, we have Ergo – yes, the same company who makes your favorite baby carrier. They debuted their line of diaper bags in 2017, which includes a backpack, shoulder bag and a tote. All adorable and all available now.

New Diaper Bags for 2017

Petunia Pickle Bottom is upping the diaper bag game, once again, with the introduction of Intermix, which allows you to create your perfect diaper bag in terms of the bag, print, and now, packing pods. The Intermix bag is backpack style and comes in two patterns, one of which is machine washable and the other is easy to clean and wipeable. Inside you will find the 3-in-1 Grid Caddy that can be removed and clipped on to your stroller and can even be used as nursery storage. From there you have a choice of three different pods (one insulated) for whatever the day calls for. In addition, Petunia Pickle Bottom will be adding a few gorgeous new patterns to their signature bag line including a blue quilted pattern that you will need now.

Bassinets are in for 2017

Baby Products that are IN for 2017

From the doctor behind the Happiest Baby on the Block series comes the Snoo, the most advanced baby bassinet ever. The Snoo will gently rock your baby to sleep, has a white noise machine and even an integrated swaddle to keep your baby safe and cozy. The Snoo will even assist with transiting to the crib with its own gradual weaning feature. While it’s definitely on the pricier side, when you see the full list of features you will surely know why. In the Snoo, newborns are safer and most see better sleeping habits in 1-2 days! (Available now)

2017 breastpumps go high tech

2017 Breast pumps for nursing moms

Medela has added a new pump to their already impressive line of breast pumps with the new Medela Sonata. The Sonata is Medela’s app-enabled (Android and iOS) smart breast pump that will help track pumping and feeding to keep you on target with your breastfeeding goals. Bonus, it’s also the quietest personal-use breast pump ever!

The smartest breast pumps we've ever seen!

And the award for “Why didn’t anyone do this sooner” goes to the Willow, the world’s first cordless, tubeless breast pump! The Willow is a completely wearable breast pump that fits in your bra and efficiently collects breast milk while you go about your day. Now you can pump quietly and conveniently wherever you are with the Willow.

A little something for babies and kids

What's new for babies in 2017

Chewbeads has been a staple in the teething arena and now they are taking silicon to the max. This year Chewbeads will be coming out with a line of silicon MLB licensed bibs for the sports fan, Chewbead necklaces in colors to match your favorite college, a stroller toy, silicon diaper and pacifier pouches and even a line of silicon plates, bowls, and flatware.

Dock-a-Tot hit the market running last year with the genius little bed that can go anywhere. Well, this year they have improved the design with an adorable play bar to keep baby entertained anywhere. We got to see it in person at the 2016 ABC Kids Expo and can’t wait for it to arrive in stores later this year.

What's new for babies, kids and nurseries in 2017

Love your Amazon Echo? Then you’re going to love the Mattel Aristotle by Nabi, the Echo for kids. Starting when you kids are babies, the Aristotle will act as a monitor (comes with the camera), a nightlight and a white noise or music machine. As you child grows it will play games, teach language, colors, and numbers and even help with homework. And because it’s on the Echo network it will have all the same virtual assistant capabilities as the Echo. (Available Summer 2017)

2017 Baby and Kid Gear Your Need in Your Life

Five minutes after my kids get home from school I look around and there are shoes, jackets, and backpacks strewn everywhere. If only there was somewhere I can store all of this stuff! Well, now there is. Little Partners has come out with the My First Cubby, a kid-size cubby system made of the same beautiful wood as their popular Learning Tower. Ample hooks for jackets and backpack, two large cubbies down below for shoes and two smaller cubbies up top for miscellaneous items and a sturdy bench to sit on, all in a compact, high-end functional and stylish design that matches my decor. (Available now)

We didn’t forget about moms

What every mom needs in 2017

This March, Belabumbum expands its ready to wear offerings with a capsule collection featuring everyday basics for snuggling up or strolling around town. Offering five coordinating pieces in black, black stripe and cayenne, the New Mama Essentials collection includes the nursing-friendly Layered Cami, the Nursing V-Neck Top with snap down nursing access, a Relaxed Pant in cotton/modal/spandex, a Nursing V-Neck Dress and a versatile Nursing Poncho.

Project Nursery SmartBand for Moms

The activity tracker to end all other activity trackers just hit stores this month and we can’t wait to try it. From the lovely people at Project Nursery comes the Parent and Baby SmartBand, the last activity tracker you will ever need. This thing will not only track your sleep and movement like a typical fit band, but it will also track fetal movement, breast and bottle feeding, pumping, naps, weight, diaper changes, medication and more. What more could you need? (Available now)  

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CVS Pharmacy— the place your family already goes for all things health and wellness — has a new way to personalize your shopping experience, save you money, and simplify your life. If you’re not already a CVS ExtraCare Rewards member, now is the time to sign up. CVS Pharmacy has launched digital receipts and you’re going to love the perks!

With all the hustle and bustle that goes along with the holidays, I still had to find time to pick up a prescription and buy some insoles for the fancy shoes I’ll be wearing to a holiday party so off to CVS Pharmacy I went, giving me the opportunity to try out the all new digital receipts. I’ve been a CVS ExtraCare Rewards member for years so all I had to do was opt-in to the digital receipts service at the register when I checked out, and that was it. By the time I got to my car my purchase receipt was in my email for easy reference.

Shopping at CVS is easy with their new digital receipts and app

Getting started

If you’re not already a CVS ExtraCare Rewards member, it’s the perfect time to join. Along with the new digital receipts, ExtraCare Rewards members will receive 2% back on every purchase, along with exclusive benefits sent straight to your inbox, including personalized savings offers, available ExtraBucks Rewards and more. See something you like? Just click “Send to card” next to the email offer and it will automatically go to your ExtraCare card. No more purse full of crumpled paper coupons, or worse yet, getting there and realizing you left the coupon all together. Everything will be in one place all the time and at your fingertips.

Try new CVS Digital Receipts

Add the CVS Pharmacy app

If you’re the app-savvy type, CVS Pharmacy has you covered there, too, with the coolest, most feature-packed and user friendly app I’ve seen (iOS and Android). Save money with exclusive app-only offers. Shop without leaving your car with the option to pick up curbside, or have your items shipped or even delivered. If you’re like me, you will forget your wallet at home but never your phone and with the CVS Pharmacy app, you can set up CVS Pay, which connects your app to your bank card solving that problem once and for all. Save time by finding the closest Minute Clinic with the shortest wait times and easily scan to refill prescriptions. My personal favorite is the ability to order photos — and even Facebook photos — printed straight from my phone! And who doesn’t have a ton of adorable photos sitting on their phone just waiting to be printed?Shopping a CVS with New Digital Receipts

Committed to you

CVS Pharmacy, as always, is committed to their customers and addressing their needs. They heard each and every one of you loud and clear and have come up with this genius way to offer a streamlined, convenient and personalized shopping experience for everyone. CVS is not only committed to you, they are also committed to the Earth with their new digital receipt service.

The amount of paper that’s been saved since the launch of digital receipts at CVS could stretch from Bangor, Maine, to San Diego, CA — that’s 3,200 miles! Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy on the CVS Says Receipt You Later Campaign. All opinions expressed are my own and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.

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Kids Travel Gear to Make Holiday Travel Easy

Over hills of snow, off to Grandma’s house we go… but not before you pack these 10 kid travel gear essentials that will delight and, best of all, make your holiday travels a bit more cheery and bright. Make sure you check out the entire list and more in our 2016 Holiday Guide!

Kid Travel Must Haves

Bumkins Nixi Snack Bags

If you already love Bumkins bibs, then you’re really going to love the Bumkins bags. Made from the same waterproof and wipeable fabric, these eco-friendly (and dishwasher safe!) bags come in all sizes and can handle everything you can throw at them, from crackers to crayons. Their newest collection, the Nixi Bags and Organizers, includes designs by Coveted Things.

Holiday Travel Must-Haves

Babymoov Traveller Diaper Bag

The Babymoov Traveller Diaper Bag will fit everything you need, and then some. With included changing mat, insulated bottle bag, pacifier pod and integrated stroller clips, this deceptively huge bag will be all you need from hospital to airplane and beyond.

The Brushies

The Brushies

It’s never too early to start good habits, especially when habits can be as cute as Momo, Chomps, Pinky and Willa, the world’s first finger-puppet toothbrushes. The Brushies are made of 100% food-grade silicone, these finger puppets will keep little teeth clean, gingerbread cookie after gingerbread cookie. When it comes to holiday travel, throw a set in your carry-on for a quick brush on the go.

Kid Travel Gear for Holiday Travel and Beyond

Splash About Swimsuits

Just because it’s winter where you are doesn’t mean it’s winter where you’re going. Be water-safe where ever you go this holiday season with the Splash About FloatSuit. With 16 adjustable floats integrated into the swimsuit, your little swimmer will be safe and sound no matter where your holiday travels take you.

Family Travel Maps

76th and Newbury Travel Maps

Family travels can be more than just a trip to Grandma’s house — it can be an entire learning experience, as well, and the beautiful maps from 76th and Newbury will put the world at their fingertips. From push pin travel maps to maps that can be customized to highlight your vacation photos, these beautiful maps will be the perfect start to your next family adventure.

Check out the entire Kid Travel Gear list in our 2016 Holiday Guide.

Portions of the 2016 Holiday Guide are sponsored and contain affiliate links. Thank you for shopping with the brands who support Savvy Sassy Moms. 

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You’ve heard the term before and you’ve seen them from some of your favorite diaper bag brands, but what exactly is a diaper clutch?

Somewhere between diaper bag and a single diaper shoved into the side pocket of your purse while a wipes case lays somewhere under your passenger seat is the brilliant invention of the diaper clutch. In short, a diaper clutch is a mini diaper bag — just big enough for a couple diapers, a wipes case and some diaper cream, but still small enough to throw in your bag, strap to your stroller or keep in the car. In other words, the happiest of happy mediums for moms that you probably aren’t even using.

Ever since my youngest got big enough for me to not tote around half the nursery every time I left the house, I have been all diaper clutch, all the time. But don’t think about a diaper clutch being just for toddlers — consider one when dropping the baby off at the nursery in church or the gym childcare, or even for a quick trip to the grocery. Essentially, any time you’re not going to be gone long enough to need everything, but should take a diaper just in case.

Recently, designer diaper bag companies have been jumping on the diaper clutch wagon, releasing awesome new styles that look as cute as your favorite cross-body purse. (Psst, don’t tell but I used mine in lieu of a purse when I went to a concert recently and there wasn’t a baby in sight!) I picked out a few of my favorites that will have you ditching the diaper bag in no time.

Petunia Pickle Bottle Crossover Diaper Clutch
Petunia Pickle Bottom

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Crossover Clutch is exactly what you would expect from this beloved brand: high-quality fabrics in a gorgeous modern design. The biggest of the diaper clutches on this list at 9-inches by 13-inches by 1.5-inches, the Crossover Clutch, by far, offers the most in the way of diaper bag substitute. The outside of the bag is glazed-coated canvas and comes in three patterns (and a bonus metallic pattern for the holidays, pictured above), but the inside is where the magic happens. Zip open the main space of the bag and you will find a removable water-resistant, washable changing pad, a large pocket to hold your PPB monogrammed wipes and a smaller pocket for miscellaneous items. Along the top is a long zipper opening to a large compartment big enough for a snack bag, change of clothes and whatever else you might need. All of this is accented with beautiful finishes like genuine leather zipper pulls and a nylon shoulder (22-inch drop) and wrist strap. (Petunia Pickle Bottom Crossover Clutch, $79)

 What is a Diaper Clutch... and why do you need one?
TWELVElittle

TWELVElittle’s answer to the diaper clutch is an adorable and extremely useful design that even my toddler loves to tote around. The TWELVElittle Diaper Clutch measures at 9.75-inches by 6.25-inches by 3-inches, making it be perfect size to throw on and forget about. (Spoiler Alert: This is the diaper clutch I took to a concert as a purse!) This bag has everything you need including a wipeable nylon changing pad, a detachable mesh accessory zip pouch that snaps in and a secure place to keep your wipes case. My favorite part of this bag is the zip pocket on the back that is big enough to fit a snack bag, my ridiculously large phone and some keys. Top it off with your choice of three beautiful patterns, leather details and an adjustable long strap for cross-body wear, and you will be good to go — with or without baby! (TWELVElittle Diaper Clutch, $75)

Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station
Skip Hop

The Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station is a genius utility diaper clutch at a minimal price point. Small enough (8.75-inches by 11.5-inches by 1-inch) to fit in your purse, this diaper clutch still has everything you would need when you’re on the go. The Pronto comes with a mesh pocket big enough for four diapers and accessories, a translucent wipes case, a zip pocket for mom’s keys and phone and a large, wipeable changing pad that even has its own pillow to keep Baby comfy. (Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station, $30)

Ju-Ju-Be Be Quick Diaper Clutch

Ju-Ju-Be

The Ju-Ju-Be Be Quick is the minimalist’s dream come true because, literally, it’s just a bag that is perfectly sized for a couple diapers and a wipes case. Done. No frills, no fuss — just a great to-go bag with all the amazing qualities you expect from Ju-Ju-Be, including 26 Teflon fabric protected available patterns, metal hardware detailing and one internal zippered pocket for any extras. (JuJuBe Be Quick, $22)

Do you use a diaper clutch?
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Britax, a name synonymous with safety and quality, has given their best selling B-Ready Stroller a few key updates for 2017 and they’re going to knock your socks off. Between the seamless convertibility from single to double, the quick fold feature, and the insanely huge storage, the 2017 Britax B-Ready will be the last and only stroller your growing family will ever need.

What's New About the 2017 Britax B-Ready Stroller

Key features

The 2017 Britax B-Ready stroller can be used as a single or double stroller with 12 different seating configurations. Have an older sibling who still likes to hitch a ride? Snap on a Britax Stroller Board and now all three of your children will be riding in style. The large foam-filled tires and suspension will offer your little one the smoothest ride on any terrain. I tested it out on grass, park sand and even the desert landscaping in my front yard and the B-Ready Stroller handled all with ease and stability.

This full-sized luxury stroller measures 44-inches from front to back when unfolded (just about 5-inches longer than its closest competitor) and 25-inches wide at its widest point. Overall, this is pretty standard for a stroller of this size, but I found that due to its incredible maneuverability, it was perfectly able to squeeze into tight spaces with very few issues. If you’re worried about height, don’t be — this stroller is ideal for taller parents with a fully-adjustable handle grip for making the transition between different height parents simple. I am 5-feet 4-inches tall, making the standard height for the B-Ready a bit too high for me, so I keep it lowered. Parents who are on the taller side will love that even the standard height is on the taller side.

2017 Britax B-Ready Stroller: What's New

As a single stroller

As a single stroller, the 2017 Britax B-Ready offers the signature Britax Click and Go System, which means it will accommodate any Britax car seat or bassinet without the need for adapters. It is also fully-compatible with any other major infant car seat brand with the use of the Britax Infant Car Seat Adapter (sold separately). The interior reversible seat has a width of 12-inches and depth of 9-inches — your child will probably reach the weight limit before they ever grow out of it. My personal favorite feature about the B-Ready is the completely flat recline (4-position options available) that adjusts with the flip of a tab at the top of the seat. No more digging around the back of the seat for buttons or pulling flaps, tabs, or straps. It is, hands down, the easiest recline adjustment I’ve seen so far.

Meet the 2017 Britax B-Ready Stroller

As a double

Probably the most impressive part of this stroller is its ability to go from a single to a double without adding bulk (with both seats, the stroller still folds down to an impressive 19 inches) or losing maneuverability. With 12 seating options, you can configure and reconfigure to fit your changing needs. The rear seat portion can accommodate a forward-facing seat and the infant car seat without getting the way, all with the bonus of the rear seat also having four different recline options, including completely flat! My one issue with double strollers has always been the loss of storage access with the added seat, so I was very happy to see that Britax addressed this with a zipper to remove the front mesh portion of the storage basket, giving full access with an opening large enough to slip a full-size diaper bag through with no problem.

britax-b-ready
Breaking down the features

Over all, I would have to say my favorite features include the absolutely massive canopy that has a large mesh window and flap (with genius little magnets that hold it open or closed), allowing for plenty of air flow (and peek-a-boo) — a necessary feature if you live in warmer climates, like myself. The second feature I love is the ridiculous amount of undercarriage storage accessible from the front or the back. I was able to do an entire grocery trip using just the stroller, which was magical as I had a grumpy, sleepy toddler with me. Other key features to look forward to with the 2017 Britax B-Ready are the always appreciated flip-flop-friendly one-step linked parking brake system, the large array of accessories including the snack tray, stroller board, bassinet, and five color options.

Now, for the parts you should also keep in mind. It’s a little heavy at 28 pounds with a single seat attached, slightly heavier than your average travel system. On the plus side, it feels very sturdy and well made so it’s a trade-off, depending on what’s most important to you. It’s also on the longer side when folded at 42-inches (as far as I can tell the longest when folded in it’s class). I have a crossover SUV (Jeep Latitude) and it just barely fits in with some wiggling. You might want to do some trunk measurements before you bring it home. Lastly, my giant pet peeve with stroller companies… no cup holders. (They are available for purchase separately, but still.)

If you’re still wondering if the 2017 Britax B-Ready is for you then hang on to your hats moms because I saved the best for last, the price. This fully equipped, luxury stroller travel system is at the lowest end of the single-to-double stroller price range, starting at just $500 with a single seat.

Win a 2017 Britax B-Ready Stroller

We’re giving away a 2017 Britax B-Ready Stroller to one lucky reader! You must be at least 18-years-old and a US resident to enter and win. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. All entries will be verified. Winner will be contacted via email provided to Rafflecopter and must respond within 24 hours.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Fall is upon us and with it comes Halloween, my favorite holiday of the year. I may or may not have been stashing away sibling costume ideas way before our second child was a twinkle in my husband’s eye. Never one to keep things to myself, I’m sharing with you my adorable ideas for Halloween costumes for siblings — twos, threes and beyond!

For twins and pairs

Sibling Halloween Costume Ideas

I have two little girls at home,  which means unicorns and rainbows are all the rage around here. This adorable costume duo is from Pottery Barn Kids, a name known for high-quality and gorgeous everything and their Halloween costumes are no exception. This adorable Baby Unicorn Costume ($69) comes in sizes from 0-8, and the complimentary Rainbow Costume ($39) is available in sizes 2T-8.

The Best Dinosaur Halloween Costumes

If I saw these two come up my driveway I would definitely break out the king size candy bars I keep hidden behind the door. Pottery Barn Kids does this comfy and cozy T-Rex Costume ($79) in sizes 0-8, with the Baby Dinosaur Egg Costume ($49) exclusively for the littlest trick-or-treaters in sizes 6-24 months. Dinosaur lovers, don’t feel like you’re limited to our short-armed friend, T-Rex. Pottery Barn Kids has you covered when it comes to dinosaur costumes — don’t miss the cute Triceratops Costume ($79) and Pterodactyl Costume ($79), if those are your kid’s favorites.

Triplets, trios and beyond

Triplet Halloween Costumes

Step right up to see the greatest (and cutest) show on earth! This sideshow circus trio can be found at Chasing Fireflies, the destination for elaborate, detailed and gorgeous costumes and dress-up clothes. Chasing Fireflies sizes range from 0-24 months up to adult, and even carry a line of family and pet costumes so everyone can get in on the theme, even Patches. Come one, come all! Circus Ringleader Costume ($84), Circus Strongman Costume ($64), Lion Cub Costume for Baby ($69)

Finding Nemo Costumes for Kids

Set your sights on the ocean blue with our swimmingly adorable friends in their Clown Fish Costume ($69), Pelican Costume ($55), and a not-so-scary Baby Shark Costume ($39) all from Pottery Barn Kids. Have more littles to add to the mix? Check out the adorable Puffer Fish Costume ($55) and Angler Fish Costume ($55) for what would be the sweetest set of aquarium friends in the world. Mom and Dad can get in on the fun as fishermen or beach babes and your family will win first place in any costume contest!

Do your kids like to match their costumes or are they more individuals?

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The Baby Cubby Logo

Building a registry can be exhausting. And, if you’re a first-time mom, it can be downright overwhelming. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a seasoned mom at this point, or because of my complete and utter obsession with all things baby, but I am often called upon by family and friends for help with this monumental task. At the very least, I often get texts saying “Where should I start and where can I find adorable and unique items for Baby?” Usually, that answer has to come in two separate spaces… until now. Introducing a new store that has become a one-stop-shop for adorable, unique, registry must-haves: The Baby Cubby.

The Baby Cubby is a fairly new online retailer for all things baby — from strollers to mobiles to bath toys, The Baby Cubby has you covered. I recently got a chance to online shop my little heart out and I was not disappointed. Their selection was large and varied from big names like Tea Collection and 4moms to smaller names like Oemi and Tubby Todd, with free shipping over $49.

However, after learning about their brick and mortar store in Utah’s Provo-Orem area, I might just have to make my first trip out to Utah and skip shipping all together! In-store purchases are offered perks like drive-up ordering, 10-minute massages with minimum purchase, a play area for kids, and they even offer iPads you can use to research prices for price matching (they even price-match with Amazon!), ensuring you’re getting the lowest price possible. Why am I not on a plane yet??

What also sets The Baby Cubby apart is that they strive to be more than just another baby gear store. They work hard to not only bring parents the best gear available today (and, with the research to hunt it down behind each item!), but they’re also passionate about engaging their customers into a community they can trust and rely on… for baby gear and beyond.

Nursery must-haves

Nursery Must-Haves to Register For

Every nursery sees tons of poop — it’s a fact of life — so why not have a stylish and functional diaper pail? My choice for must have diaper pail (and I’ve had a few) is the Ubbi. Easy to load, easy to clean, easy to lock, but the best part is that your favorite 10-gallon trash bags will work perfectly with this diaper pail — no need to buy specific refill bags. (Money saver!) The Baby Cubby carries the powder-coated steel Ubbi diaper pail in three of the most popular colors, perfect to accent any nursery. (Ubbi Diaper Pail, $80)

Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Genuiness Self-Control

A nursery is more than just a place for Bay to sleep and be changed. It can also be beautiful and unique, just like you and your baby. Adding a special few touches here and there can make all the difference. Wall decals are an inexpensive and easy way to add art to the room without the cost of framing. The Baby Cubby has so many different wall decals, it’s difficult to choose just one… or since they are only $20 a pop, go for more than one! Each wall decal is printed on fabric and comes with a bio about the individual artist. I picked this one not only because it matched my nursery, but it’s also one of my favorite verses. So sweet. (Fabric Wall Decal, $20)

Mom must-haves

PPB 1

Just because your diaper bag is filled with crumbs and Butt Paste doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful on the outside! My pick for the registry must-have for moms is this beautiful mini tote by Petunia Pickle Bottom, a name that is well-known in the baby world for having high-quality, gorgeous bags with pockets galore and a wipes case. Although this bag does come in a larger version, the mini size just feels right — big enough to carry the essentials without being obnoxious. And the pattern. OMG the pattern. It’s beautiful for year-round carrying. In fact, I carry this bag even when I’m not with the kids and have had more than a few young and obviously non-child-having ladies just fawn over my bag — you should see their faces when I tell them it’s a diaper bag. The Petunia Pickle Bottom Mini Tote comes in several patterns to suit your fancy, or go for the full-size tote, The Baby Cubby has them both. (Petunia Pickle Bottom Mini Tote, $120)

Baby must-haves

KP 2

If there’s one thing a baby needs its cozy, comfy pajamas and I have yet to find anything cozier or comfier than Kickee Pants. Lucky for us, The Baby Cubby carries a huge amount of Kickee Pants footies and blankets. Kickee Pants are made from 95 percent viscose bamboo and five percent spandex, making them stretchy and oh so soft. My favorite thing about Kickee Pants, aside from the fact that have no shame in saying I want to wear them myself, is the sweet little patterns and details like tush flaps, ruffles, and attached mittens. (Kickee Pants Footies, $32)

SH 2

The one thing to remember when doing your registry is to not only register for things you need now, but for items you will need in the future, as well. Yes, while your infant might not do much besides sleep and be cute when she’s born, one day, she will be splashing and playing with the best of them, and that’s when bath accessories like the Skip Hop Bath Spout Cover and the Skip Hop Light Up Surfers Bath Toy will come in handy. The bath spout cover keeps little heads safe when they inevitably knock into the spout, while still giving access to the shower diverter. The Light Up Surfers magically light up in the warm water keeping Baby entertained all bath long. (Skip Hop Bath Spout Cover, $13, Skip Hop Light Up Surfers Bath Toy, $10)

All this and so much more can be found on The Baby Cubby online store, or if you’re lucky enough to be in the Utah area, you will find The Baby Cubby store in Lindon. (Please let me know how that massage is!) Also, be sure so swing by their blog for some really amazing resource guides like how to pick a jogging stroller, diaper bag or breast pump. Make sure you follow The Baby Cubby on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, too!

 What do you think is a home run registry must have?
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