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Category : Baby

A few weekends back I had the absolute pleasure of co-hosting a backyard tie-dye baby shower for a lovely, creative, and low-key mama-to-be. Our guest of honor was clear from the start that while she loved the idea of celebrating her babe, she did not want the usual play-games-sit-around-opening-gifts format of a classic baby shower. Thus, our “baby chill” was born and an interactive activity like tie-dye immediately came to mind. It turned out to be the ideal way to bring together a group that didn’t know each other very well, while giving the tie-dye loving future mama and papa some awesome little keepsakes.

Decor

We were lucky enough to get a perfectly mild, sunny day. We could be outside in the backyard, which is key when using permanent dyes, so definitely consider weather! Instead of running wild with the tie-dye theme in every aspect of decor, we kept things fun but minimal while playing up the greenery of the yard. Let’s face it, nobody is over letter balloons, so this was a perfect excuse to set the festive tone with a great big “hey baby” as soon as everyone walked in. We continued the “hey baby” slogan throughout on both the invitations and the cake, which happened to be the famous Triple Berry Cake from Sweet Lady Jane in LA — yum!)

tie dye baby shower letter balloons

We had a large hedge wall to work with, so we saw this as our blank canvas of onesies. Not only did this make the theme/activity immediately obvious to the guests, but it also provided an adorable photo backdrop and a general happy baby feel. We created three simple laundry lines by tying twine to the tree trunks in the hedge and simply hanging the plain white onesies with clothes pegs. We bought the packs of onesies in 3 different sizes (3 months, 6 months and 12 months) to ensure the little one would have a year’s worth of tie-dye outfit options.

tie dye baby shower blank onesies

Food

Our lunch option mimicked the simple but interactive vibe of the tie-dye activity. We bought a platter of delicious sandwiches and then created a DIY greek salad bar (inspired by a certain someone’s cravings) so each guest could have a deliciously customized meal. This last-minute purchase took our salads to the next level. The rose was flowing for the non-pregnant guests, and we also made a a delicious, non-alcoholic fizzy mango lemonade.

baby-shower-table

baby shower sweet lady jane triple berry cake

Activity

After fueling up, the creative juices started flowing and everyone jumped into the tie-dye full force. We purchased enough onesies for everyone to make one (with a few extras in case of mistakes). These tie-dye kits were a lifesaver. They provided everything we needed in one box: dye, rubber bands, gloves, and plastic table cloths. The box claims to be good for six people, so we bought two as our group was twelve people. However, since we were using such a small amount of dye for onesies, we had more than enough with one box.

We also bought extra gloves (so several people could work at once), and a secondary plastic table cloth for an extra layer of protection. We also found zippered sandwich baggies were excellent for storing the dyed onesies in a mess-free way. The dye needed to sink in for 6-8 hours after application.

tie dye baby shower

In this case, we sent the mama-to-be home with the dyed onesies in the plastic zipper baggies, and she later washed and dried them at home. You could also wash, dry, and present them to her at a later date if she is not as intrepid! Overall, this was an excellent, quick, easy, fun, and personalized way to celebrate a new baby’s arrival.

tie dye baby shower

tie dye baby shower

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All your baby needs for a good night’s sleep is a great swaddle, they say. Just learn these simple swaddling skills, they say. Or better yet, purchase a super simple velcro sack that does all the hard work for you, they say. This is a surefire way to give your baby the comfort they need to sleep soundly, they say. In my prenatal life, swaddling sounded like the key to getting back to blissful full night sleeps of the pre-baby variety. Since this was my number one concern during pregnancy, I was uber-focused on this whole swaddling phenomenon.

The nurses in the hospital swaddled the crap out of my fresh new babe with a firm but gentle hand. I watched diligently and vowed I would learn the trade before I was discharged. I held the key to infant sleep! However, I didn’t know I was bringing home a newborn baby Houdini-Stegosaurus hybrid. She exerted her dinosaur grunts, practiced her slight of hand, and wriggled her way out of every swaddle iteration. If her tiny shimmy-shake didn’t do the trick, the prehistoric sound of her efforts would wake us both.

The trial and error of swaddling

The solution seemed simple, yes? Why would I continue to torture the little nugget with swaddles when she so clearly wanted to roam free? I thought this, too. Oh, naiveté! In one epic waking night, I quickly learned the only thing worse than swaddling was unswaddling. Most newborns (mine in particular) experience a few months of spastic movements. Without the knowledge that they control their hands, they tend to hit, swat and scratch their own faces, which angers them to no end. As soon as those little limbs got going, there was no sleeping sounding for my babe.

I bet you’re wondering how I have even had my hands free long enough to ramble so epically on the topic of swaddling. Without further ado, here is my (exhaustive) roundup of pretty much every swaddle product on the market. Little Miss Stegosaurus herself tried, tested, and conquered all swaddles on my list. Perhaps this will save you some time, effort, and cash from ordering every option available on Amazon Prime at 3 a.m.

Summer Infant SwaddleMe

Summer Infant Swaddle Me (newborn, arms in)

This Summer Infant SwaddleMe Original swaddle worked like a charm for the first week of her life. We burrito-ed our precious little bundle in her apple print swaddle and constantly passed her around to relatives. It worked like a charm! Everyone neglected to tell us newborn babies sleep pretty constantly for the first week, regardless of what you do. They don’t have the energy to stay awake for much longer than their 8-12 feedings in a 24-hour period. Maybe our swaddle success coincided with a particularly sleepy stage. However, we were happy with it, but she outgrew this one in length fairly quickly — by about week 3. That said, this variety of swaddle comes in a few sizes. It grows along with your baby if it’s doing the trick for you.

HALO SleepSack

HALO SleepSack (arms out)

I decided after many attempts that what my little one might need is the freedom of her arms. I thought a swaddle that provided the snug comfort around the body with cutouts for her arms would be the perfect solution. After a major failure involving lots of wake-ups, we kept the HALO SleepSack around for when she was a little older and could control her arms better. After we were able to sleep train around 5 months, this did provide the close security of a swaddle with the added movement of her arms since she was an active roller.

Woombie swaddle

Woombie

Everyone in my mommy and me class swore by the Woombie as the key to a full night’s sleep. My babe slept soundly in the Woombie for her naps during the day. But when it came to night sleep, she was so frustrated with the inability to gain any additional space inside that her dino grunts quickly turn to sobs. I thought one night of waking every hour might be a coincidence, maybe a growth spurt. However, we tried this one a few times at night and many times during the day and for some reason she’d take it by day but not by night. I love the design and simplicity of this swaddle though. I kept using this one for the sheer ease of it.

Love to Dream Swaddle UP

Love to Dream Swaddle UP

A perfect hybrid of the Woombie (just as easy to use with it’s zipper closure) and the HALO SleepSack (the arms out version), the Swaddle UP won in the long term. Simple, lightweight, easy on and off, room to move arms around without breaking free, and the option to zip off the arm holes when the time came, this little baby stood the test of time.

Aden + Anais muslin swaddle blankets

Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets

Oddly enough, the good old fashioned origami swaddle skills routinely delivered the longest night sleeps of all these fancy new products. My little one generally tended to wriggle mostly free of it by morning. When I peeked my head over her bassinet, she looked decked out for a toga party. However, the Aden + Anais swaddles provided the snug fit she needed while sleeping, with wiggle room to move those little arms when she needs them. True all-nighters still weren’t happening, but we slept a good 5 or 6 hours with this method.

As with anything involving a newborn baby, swaddling works differently for all families. Each individual child reacts differently to different swaddles. Wouldn’t it be nice if they had a uniform operating system?

Have you had any swaddle success with these or other products?
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Let’s face it, whether it’s your first rodeo or baby #5, the early days with a new baby are magical — but also exhausting. Every new mom and birth circumstance is different, so be sure to use judgment, especially with gift delivery, but we’ve pulled together some ideas that are sure to brighten her day.

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Make a meal

One of the easiest ways to make a new mom’s day: bring a complete meal that can easily be warmed up. Bring your meal in a disposable serving dish, so the new mom doesn’t need to worry about dishes. With the family’s permission, you may also want to set up a Meal Train to schedule deliveries with other friends. We loved it when someone set up this lifesaver for us with our third son.

Gift of groceries

Stop by your local health food store and pick up some basic groceries and easy no-prep snacks. Things like trail-mix, cut veggies & hummus or fruit salad are great choices.  Also if you know the mom is nursing perhaps consider snacks that have oatmeal like these energy balls.

gifts for new moms

A house cleaning service

Deep cleaning the house always seems to fall by the wayside with a new baby in the house. What a treat to have someone come in and help get it done. A home cleaning is a great gift whether you are near or far. Look for a highly rated, reliable company and get the family a certificate to set up the cleaning when it works for them.

Pampering products for mom

With a new baby in the house, even thinking about self-care seems hard. Consider making the new mom a care package of items to help make her feel good or encourage her to take a small break. Aromatherapy hot packs like these Grampa’s Garden warmers are great to have on hand. A great natural hand lotion or salve combats the extra hand washing you do with a new baby. I love this Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve or this Hand Cream from Five Island Body Co. It may seem silly, but these portable massage tools can also be a good addition, I remember many nights falling asleep in the rocking chair with a crooked neck. Top the goodie basket off with some fun magazines and dark chocolate for the complete package.

 gifts for new moms
Trip to nearby spa with babysitting included

Every new mom deserves some pampering. Find a spa that’s close to home so she feels comfortable sneaking out, even for a short window. Give her a little encouragement and let her know you’ll gladly be the babysitter when she’s ready.

Coffee

Most new moms are fueled by coffee, so you can’t go wrong with this one. Pick up a really cute travel mug and give her a little gift card to Starbucks or her favorite neighborhood coffee shop. Look for one with a drive-thru!

Something sentimental

While the birth of a child introduces you to a whole new level of tired, above all else it such a blessing and shows you a whole new kind of love. A gift that helps mom celebrate this amazing experience and new little being may bring a few tears but will also likely be one of her favorites.  We love a necklace like this from Tiny Tags or a newborn or family photography session with a local photographer.

gifts for new moms

Hulu+ Membership

If she doesn’t already have a streaming service, she’ll love having access to entertainment on any device and at any odd hour she finds herself awake. The beauty of Hulu+ is that she can watch most of her current favorites without having to worry about setting a DVR and can go to bed when baby does.

Gift of Prime

If she doesn’t already have Amazon Prime, I’d highly recommend gifting it to her. You can gift 3 or 12 month subscriptions, and I promise you it will be a huge hit. What’s better than having access just about everything you need for baby and quick shipping? Not having to drag baby out of the house is huge!  If they already have a membership, perhaps consider an Amazon or Diapers.com gift card.

What was the best thing you received as a new mom? Or what is your go-to gift?

This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

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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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There is nothing cuter than a naked baby with all of their rolls! The amount of pictures I have of my kids when they were babies lying on the floor in a diaper, or trying food for the first time in a diaper, is out of control! What can I say? I have a need to document it all! I remember when The Honest Company launched. It was like a dream come true! We quickly became obsessed.

Honest Company Spring Diapers 2017

The new spring line of diapers has me all giddy and for good reason! The new patterns are to die for, and with the weather warming up, there is nothing I love more than an Honest Company diaper under a pretty spring dress! 

Both of my kids have extra sensitive skin. Most of the time, I’m not even sure what brought on a rash or a reaction, so when it comes to diapers, I need to know their bums are in good hands! After all, they are in them all day long! The ultra-soft plant based inner and outer layer is so soft and gentle. The Honest Company diapers are made without chlorine processing, latex, lotions, fragrances, phthalates, optical brighteners, organotins (MBT, DBT, TBT), or most common allergens and since my mom has a latex allergy, these diapers give us both piece of mind. Can you imagine a grandmother that can’t help you change a diaper?! 

Honest Diapers Spring Collection 2017

Hip Hip Hooray! Today, The Honest Company has launched their 5 new prints for spring, each one cuter than the next! You can purchase diapers from the new collection for $13.95 a pack, and their wipes are incredible too. This launch along with the weather we have been having, has us feeling like spring will be here any day now! 

If you are looking for the best deal, go for their bundles and get everything you need! Use code SAVE35 to get 35% off bundles!

 

Which pattern is your favorite?
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This post is sponsored. All opinions are my own.

You may already know and love OXO Tot brand products from their sippy cups to the Sprout highchair, but they’ve recently entered the stroller game, and let me tell you, they’re coming in hot!

OXO Cubby+ Stroller Review (+ Giveaway!)

My 18-month-old and I recently had the pleasure of cruising in the OXO Tot Cubby+ Stroller and I don’t know who was more excited – her, for the novel pleasure of stuffing Cheddar Bunnies into a fresh, clean canvas, or me, for the absolute delight in finding a dreamy hybrid of my current two-stroller fleet.

At present, I own both a hefty luxury stroller for every day and a super lightweight umbrella stroller for day trips and travel. Straight out of the gate, I find the OXO Tot Cubby+ to provide the best of both rides. It’s solid on its wheels without feeling bulky, it has a simple, streamlined profile with tons of tucked-away little features and it looks like a million bucks with only a $399 price tag. I’m smitten.

The easiest open/close function in the game

Let’s be real, every stroller claims to have the easiest open-and-close feature: “In just seven easy steps, using both arms and both legs and making sure you have a spotter for your toddler so you can give it all the focus you can muster on four hours’ sleep, this stroller closes in a SNAP!” Ha! Yeah right!

I am here to tell you that the OXO Tot Cubby+ has no doubt the simplest, smoothest, sweat-free open/close I have ever seen in the wild. It is an honest to goodness one-handed maneuver. To open, you push a release lock with your thumb and pull up the handle (bonus points for the fact that you can’t possibly do it backwards so you don’t need to worry about opening the stroller into yourself and sporting shin bruises for the rest of your life). To close, pull the small (but totally visible and accessible) release tab and handle in the base of the stroller seat and the whole thing just collapses in a graceful, non-finger-amputating way. So simple!

OXO Tot Cubby+ Stroller Review

The cherry on top? Once it’s folded, it stands up straight. On. Its. Own. No need to lean it up against a wall or worry it’s going to roll into traffic while you wrestle anyone into her car seat. Even if you forget to push the brake (guilty!), it will still stay put. OXO, you have answered my prayers.

OXO Tot Cubby+ Stroller

Hallelujah for extra pockets

And speaking of prayers, next up on my dream stroller wish list would absolutely be some extra pockets to stash keys, phone, wipes, and a snack – the small items you want to take along on a trip to the park without lugging the whole darn Mary Poppins diaper bag.

The OXO Tot Cubby+ is for sure the first stroller I’ve seen that has not one, not two, but three (!) additional built-in pockets located in the canopy and seat back. I like to keep short outings as minimal as possible so this is perhaps my favorite feature of them all. They even went the extra mile of lining the canopy pocket in a bright color so you don’t have to fumble blindly for your black phone in a black pocket. Now that’s attention to detail, people!

Let’s talk about storage

Storage is super important for me too. Even if I’ve managed to ditch the diaper bag, a girl’s gotta have her sand toys for the park and some space to peel off those outer layers when the sandbox action heats up! And then there’s the “let’s stop for milk” plan when you inevitably remember five or six other items you need and there’s a box of cookies you totally don’t need but your toddler already ripped the box top off so now you have to buy it anyway and hide it from her and then end up eating them yourself instead of dinner after she goes to bed.

But I digress. The OXO Tot Cubby+ storage basket situation is pretty perfect. It’s not incredibly deep, so those with diaper bags resembling a small duffel might have trouble stuffing everything under there, but there is ample room for the aforementioned sand toys and grocery pit stop. An additional cool function, which I’ve never actually seen before, is a fold-out component to the basket, which adds a little extra room and easier access under the seat. When folded in, it provides extra security for loose items in the basket when walking over bumpy terrain.

OXO Tot Cubby+ Stroller Basket

Seat recline

In terms of the seat function, the recline mechanism in the OXO Tot Cubby+ is a strap as opposed to the common click-lock position, which I see as both a positive and a negative – the positive being that you can recline to any position (you aren’t limited to a few standard positions), but I did find it a bit tricky to slide the strap while my toddler was seated in the stroller.

Reclining back fully wasn’t such an issue, but tightening it back up to a seated position was not easy without cooperation from her, and we all know the (very true) stereotype about toddlers and cooperation! This was the only function where the hefty luxury brand has this stroller beat, as I did have to crouch down and put a little effort in. Not a deal-breaker whatsoever, but worth a mention as I found this to be a function more similar to a travel/umbrella-stroller design.

Other notable details

Didn’t I mention that this stroller was packed with delightful little features? The foot brake definitely gets honorable mention for being both easily-accessible and sandal-friendly. The open/close functions click audibly so you know if it’s open or locked properly (love that!).

The chest straps and buckles are super simple and straightforward to adjust, as is the cinch harness feature – one strap between the legs that you can pull to tighten the chest harness evenly. It’s a common feature for car seats, but I’ve never actually seen it done on a stroller. So smart and simple!

The stroller’s canopy comes with both an extension for really sunny days and a peek-a-boo window to check on your kiddo. The chest straps and buckles are super simple and straightforward to adjust, as is the single-pull tightening feature – no need for an engineering degree here!

New Strollers for 2017

Overall, I would absolutely recommend the OXO Tot Cubby+ Stroller for anyone searching for either the luxury look at an affordable price (yes!) or a size/function hybrid between a hefty everyday stroller and lightweight travel stroller (yes!). This beauty pulls double duty at an incredible price and the good people at OXO have obviously thought through and delivered on numerous details any parent would appreciate.

Win an OXO Tot Cubby+ Stroller on Savvy Sassy Moms

Win your own OXO Tot Cubby+ Stroller

One reader will win an OXO Tot Cubby+ Stroller of their own! Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. You must be at least 18-years-old to enter and win. The winning entry will be verified and contacted via email. Winner has 48 hours to respond. Please allow 6-8 weeks for prize delivery. US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What features are highest on your dream stroller wish list?

OXO is dedicated to providing innovative consumer products that make everyday living easier. At OXO Tot, everything we make – from our Sprout™ Chair to our Sippy Cups, is tested (and retested) – in real homes with real parents and children – including our own! Our thoughtful, “question everything” process and relentless attention to detail uncover the best solutions to help parents guide, nurture and care for their little ones. Learn more at www.oxo.com/tot.

This post is sponsored by OXO Tot in partnership with BabyCenter.

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The car seat industry constantly expands and improves, which is fantastic for parents but makes car seat shopping feel a bit daunting. Over five years ago, when we were getting ready to buy our first convertible car seat, I did a ton of research and asked my mom friends a lot of questions. We ultimately went with the Diono Radian RXT, and I’m glad we did. We continue to choose this seat for our little ones for five main reasons.

Best convertible car seats for three across
1. Smart and sleek design

Diono designed the Radian RXT well from the inside out. It’s an attractive seat made with premium plush interlock knit fabric and comes in great color options. One of my favorite features of this seat is its low-sitting profile, which makes it super easy to load kiddos in and out. It offers expandable sides and a long seat bottom to allow proper leg support. Installation is a breeze because of the unique SuperLATCH system.

Which car seat is best for having three kids across?
2. Allows three seats in a row

The narrow profile of this seat allows you to sit three seats across in the back seat of most vehicles. Many people will appreciate that they don’t need to upgrade their vehicle to fit a third seat, which is huge, or it gives you a lot more storage space. I currently have two Diono Radian RXT seats and one Diono Cambria High Back Booster in my van’s second row. My three boys prefer this set up, and it gives me lots of room for the dog, stroller and hockey bags in the trunk, which is priceless.

How to fit three car seats across the back seat

3. Longevity

The RXT has one of the longest lifespans I’ve seen in a car seat. As long as you are accident free, the seat is good for 10 years. It can accommodate kiddos from 5 pounds up to 80 pounds with the harness, and up to 120 pounds as a booster. We’ve had Radian RXT seats for years with our older boys, and they are still going strong. At ages 4 and 6, they both fit comfortably in the seat.

Three kids, three car seats: How to make it work in your car
4. Extended rear facing

Rear facing is recommended for children at least through age two, but the longer the better in my opinion. This seat comfortably accommodates little ones rear facing from 5 pounds to 45 pounds for maximum safety. Diono Radian RXT seats comes with premium plush head and body support cushions for newborns and infants.How long can your child stay rear facing?

5. Top notch safety features

The Radian RXT and other seats from Diono receive top-notch safety ratings and rave reviews. With a full steel frame and aluminum-reinforced sides, energy-absorbing EPS foam and side impact protection and a Safe Stop® energy-absorbing harness, this seat is hard to beat.

Certainly every seat has its pros and cons, but this seat gets high marks in my book. However, steel isn’t light. I take comfort in the sturdy design, but please note this is a heavy seat. When rear facing in the second row, the Radian generally works best in the middle because of the tall design. With my van’s current configuration, my youngest sits rear facing behind the driver’s seat and my tall husband has a hard time driving comfortably. We will likely be moving his seat to the middle.

I highly recommend bringing every car seat to a local CPS Tech to check the installation and fit.  Diono also offers some great installation videos to get you started, and you can check them out here. The Diono Radian RXT retails for $360, which is on par with top convertible car seats, but the lifespan of this seat — from birth to booster — really sets it apart.

Have you tried the Diono Radian RXT?  What are your favorite features?

This post was contributed by Rebecca Spear as part of Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts. You can find more from Rebecca on her blog, Mainely Mama.

Diono kindly provided me with a car seat for the purposes of review, but all as always all opinions are my own.

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Baby's First Christmas Gift Ideas

There really isn’t anything better than Baby’s first Christmas. Shopping for babies is pretty fun in the first place, but then you add the extra element of it being her first holiday season and the excitement to shop is multiplied!

Whether you’re looking for some gift ideas to send to grandparents and loved ones or if you have a little one of your own who you’re shopping for, these Baby’s first Christmas gift ideas are the perfect place to get started. 

Holiday 2016 Guide

To see all of the ideas and where to buy, visit our 2016 Holiday Guide. You can click through, just like a magazine, and shop straight from the images inside.

Portions of our 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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It feels like just yesterday that I was having my first child. I listened to everything everyone told me — within reason — when I was a first time mom and one of the tips I remember most was to switch my baby’s position in the bassinet after each feed. And, I took this advice very seriously.

Preventing Flat Head

I would put Jonah to sleep with his head on one side of the bassinet and then, after the first feed, I put his head at the other side of the bassinet, and all night long I would continue switching! I also always made sure to take him out of the car seat whenever he was awake so that he wasn’t in the same position for too long. I knew that all of this was important to prevent plagiocephaly, also know as flat head syndrome, and it appeared that what I was doing was working. I never had concerns about the shape of his head. 

When Addison came along, I figured if I did the same things all would be good! Well, as is true for everything else in parenting, doing the same thing I did for my first child and for my second child didn’t work as I thought it would! I flipped Addison in the middle of the night and I took her out of the car seat when she was awake, just like with Jonah. But, life with two was different and I didn’t have as much time to think about every move I made as I did with my first baby.

By the time Addison was a month-and-a-half old, I started to notice that the back of her head wasn’t looking as round as it should. I became a bit concerned about it, so I reached out for help. I spoke to Dr. Marla Shapiro who explained what plagiocephaly was. Simply put, this is when “the skull can be somewhat uneven or asymmetrical, often based on positioning.” She told me that it was important to make sure my baby’s head did not stay in the same position all of the time as a newborns bones are quite soft and thin. As I asked more questions, I was happy to learn that there would be no effect on the development of the brain and that as she gained improved head control, between the ages of 4 and 6 months, that the shape of her skull would begin to improve. 

How to Prevent Flat Head Syndrome in Babies

In the meantime, I knew I had to be proactive before it got worse. I began doing a bit of research and I found the Babymoov Lovenest. The Lovenest is an ergonomical headrest for a well-rounded head. Just like a little pillow, the Lovenest is soft and padded, making it comfortable to place behind Baby’s head. Its unique design guarantees an even distribution of pressure across Baby’s skull, thereby preventing the risk of flat head. While it is not recommend to place in your baby’s crib, I placed the Lovenest behind her head when she was in the car seat, in the stroller, on the playmate and really anywhere else she was stationary. Without the Lovenest, all of the weight rested on the back of her head, changing the shape of her head. 

From that point on, I used the Lovenest until Addison was old enough to hold up her own head and I no longer had to worry about the pressure weighing on the back of her head. Until that time came, knowing that I was doing everything I could by using the Lovenest and keeping her off the back of head as often as possible, gave me the peace of mind that I was doing everything right. My advice to any new mom would be to use the Lovenest, right from birth! 

The Babymoov Lovenest is available on Amazon.

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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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