I Had An Epidural, And Here’s What I Want You To Know About It

There is nothing on earth I am more afraid of than needles.

My fear is slightly on the irrational side, and it is deep-rooted: the four-year-old version of me kicked a doctor and had to be held down by several nurses to receive a routine vaccination.

I realize there are few people who like needles, but I would honestly rather break a bone than get a flu shot.

So when confronted with the choice of whether to get an epidural during my daughter’s delivery, all I could imagine was a horse tranquilizer needle being jammed into my spine (along with an array of horrific side effects that you could only see in an episode of “House”.)

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I had avoided doing much research on having an epidural for one reason, and one reason only: I’m a giant wuss. Just watching a video on how they perform an epidural still makes me want to crawl out of my skin.

Maybe your fear is not so much the about the needles: you may be worried that with medication, you won’t get the full birth experience.  You may not like the idea of anesthesia or the potential of side effects.

Don’t make the same mistake I did, and go into the delivery room completely unprepared.  If you are going to have an epidural, you should know as much as you can about the risks – and what you shouldn’t worry so much about.

The Basics:

The word “epidural” refers to three types of procedures used for pain relief during labor: the epidural block, spinal block, and combined spinal-epidural anesthesia (or CSE).  “Epidural” also describes the space around your spine where the medication is injected.

Epidurals are the most well known and widely used forms of pain relief:  according to the CDC, around 61% of American women choose to have an epidural during childbirth.  It is usually given when a woman is approximately 4-5 centimeters dilated.

The CSE, or “walking epidural”, is becoming increasingly popular. Since it uses the least amount of medication, it is safer and more efficient than an epidural or spinal alone. There are typically three types of local anesthetics used: bupivacaine, chloroprocaine, and lidocaine.  These are usually combined with an opioid or narcotic, so less of a dosage of anesthesia is needed.

Though epidurals are regularly used in C-sections as well as in repairing episiotomies, the epidural is a very common method of pain relief used during and after many other types of surgeries as well.

While it is the most common method of pain relief during childbirth, there are a few instances when an epidural cannot be given:

  • If you have blood issues: if you are on blood thinners, have low platelet counts, a blood infection, or issues with excessive bleeding.
  • If you are hemorrhaging or in shock, these medications cannot be given.
  • If you have an infection in or on your back.
  • If the last stage of labor is moving too fast, there is a slight chance that there won’t be enough time.

What Could Go Wrong?

As with any form of anesthesia, there are potential side effects and risks.  Since procedures vary between different hospitals, make sure to check with your doctor beforehand to find out what type of epidural and medication you’ll be given.

The most common side effect of an epidural is a sudden drop in your blood pressure. To make sure there is enough blood flow for your baby, your blood pressure will be monitored throughout and after having the epidural.  If a blood pressure drop does happen, it is treatable; a combination of IV fluids, medication, and oxygen may be used.

Other possible (but temporary) side effects include:

  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Shivering
  • Soreness at the injection site

In rare cases, you could get what is known as a “spinal headache”: a severe headache resulting from medicine leaking into your spinal fluid.  Even more rare possibilities include nerve damage, infection at the injection site, slowed breathing, seizures, or even death.

Don’t let any of these possibilities send you running away from relief, however: according to a U.K. study, you have about a 1 in 80,000 chance of suffering permanent damage from having an epidural.  Since you have more of a chance of winning big on a scratch-off ticket than something going wrong, don’t worry too much that a serious complication will occur.

Why I Changed My Mind:

I told myself I was going to “tough it out” and deliver my baby without any help from drugs – but that’s easy to say before you’re actually in labor.

What wasn’t easy was seeing how scared my husband was after seeing me in the worst pain I’ve ever felt for 9 hours.

While I still wasn’t really into the whole “shot in the back” thing, I decided it was going to make things better for everybody if I quit being so stubborn.  I can never thank my nurse enough for these words: “You don’t get a ribbon from the hospital if you deliver without an epidural.” After 9 hours of trying to avoid it, I made what was literally a painful decision – and found out it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it’d be.

  A few things I learned from my experience:

  • It’s a lot less invasive than I had believed. I had pictured a metal version of a chopstick jutting dangerously out of my back for hours on end. In reality, the pain medication came through a catheter: a tiny, flexible tube about the same size as a pencil lead.
  • The needle itself is only about 4 inches long and even thinner than the catheter. Parents.com compares the width to “a thick piece of hair.”
  • I thought the process was going to take at least an hour. In reality, the whole procedure only took about 5 minutes – and maybe ten more to start feeling some relief.
  • I thought I would be “all doped up”.  It turns out, you are completely awake and alert with an epidural – and it doesn’t leave you so numb you can’t push.  There is evidence that suggests having an epidural will prolong the pushing part of labor, but since I had no point of reference, I didn’t feel that it made anything more difficult.
  • I was worried the medicine would affect Maxine.  While some of the drug does reach the baby, it is only a very tiny amount.  Research is always ongoing, but to date, there have been no reported cases of babies being affected by the medication in an epidural.

The Process:

Here’s how the whole thing will go down: An IV should be administered 1-2 hours before active labor begins, and is always used during an epidural to deliver medication as needed.

  1. You will be asked to either sit up, or lie on your left side (I was sitting up, and remember being held tight by a lovely nurse that didn’t seem to mind me soaking her scrubs with my Fear Tears). If you’re sitting, try to do your best “Hunchback of Notre Dame” impression: pull your stomach inwards and hunch your spine out. If you’re lying down, you’ll be asked to pull your knees up to your abdomen and arch your back out.  This may feel pretty awkward and vulnerable – and that is totally normal.  Don’t worry – you won’t have to stay like that for very long.
  2. An anesthesiologist will find the best spot on your back to put the catheter, mark it, and clean the area.
  3. You will be given a small injection to numb the area (this was the worst part for me – but the tiny needle prick turned out to be a nice distraction from the unimaginable pain of labor).
  4. The catheter will be injected where the doctor has marked, and the needle used to inject it is carefully but quickly removed.
  5. The catheter is taped in place.  The doctor may give you a small “test dose” to ensure there will be no complications. The medication can be adjusted as your labor progresses, and turned down or even off once it’s really time to push.

Things Don’t Always Go As Planned.

Sometimes, you won’t be able to go with your original birth plan – and that’s okay!  I thought I would be way more disappointed in myself that I had “help” with delivering Maxine, but I don’t regret my choice at all.

My husband said my whole demeanor was like “night and day” before and after having the epidural; it made everything so much easier.  I was able to focus less on the pain and more on pushing.

I don’t feel at all like I “missed out” on any part of the birthing experience: since I avoided the worst parts of it (by not experiencing the worst of the pain), I got to experience the best parts of it.  My husband and I were even joking around by the time they were sewing me up.

Don’t worry about “not being tough enough,” either.  I found out through my experience that having an epidural is no reflection on your character (or your ability to withstand pain).  Nobody will judge you for choosing not to suffer.

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When is a recall not a recall? CPSC and Britax settle BOB baby stroller dispute with “robust information campaign”

When is really a recall not a recall? CPSC plus Britax settle BOB stroller argument with “ robust information campaign” (Boulder, CO) Nov 20, 2018 @ 3: 17 pm. When is a recall not a recall? CPSC and Britax settle BOB stroller dispute with “ robust details campaign” The CPSC and Britax/BOB have settled a dispute over quick release wheels on […] The particular post When is really a recall not a recall? CPSC plus Britax settle BOB stroller question with “ robust information campaign” appeared first upon Baby Bargains . …

(Boulder, CO) Nov 20, 2018 @ 3: 17 pm .   When is a recall not a recall? CPSC and Britax settle BOB stroller dispute with “robust information campaign”  The CPSC and Britax/BOB have resolved a dispute over quick discharge wheels on BOB strollers that this CPSC alleged were defective ( see our previous protection for details ). The BOB strollers were made in between 1997 and 2015.

In a press release today , the CPSC and Britax essentially agree to a non-recall. Sure, it looks like a recall plus quacks like a recall… but do not call it a recall.

“Britax will develop and launch an information campaign that will include an training video demonstrating how to safely and correctly operate the quick launch on the front wheel of the baby strollers. Eligible consumers in the United States will be provided incentives to promote the effectiveness of the information campaign, ” says the CPSC.

If you happen to have one of the NOT REALLY RECALLED strollers, you can watch a video Britax will put online in early 2019. Then you can receive “incentives” from Britax.

“The incentives incorporate a free modified thru-bolt or free modified quick release that can be attached to strollers manufactured between January one, 2009 and September 30, 2015, or a 20 percent discount on the purchase of a new BOB Gear stroller. All other consumers who own baby strollers manufactured before September 30, 2015, and who participate in the marketing campaign, will be offered a 20 % discount towards the purchase of a brand new BOB Gear stroller or, in the event that eligible, other incentives. ”

Naturally, the incentives are just available at Britax/BOB’s web site—so that will 20% discount may be on a stroller that might be found for less than on sites like Amazon.

This non-recall only narrowly passed the CPSC by a 3-2 vote. The commissioners who opposed the deal released a dissent that questions whether this particular “information campaign” will really reach consumers if it isn’t called a remember. They called the settlement “aggressively misleading. ”

Considering the 200 reports of the wheels detaching and the nearly 100 injuries to moms and dads and children, we find it out hard to believe that the seriousness from the issue didn’t lead to a formal recall. Kudos to Britax’s attorneys for negotiating a recall that dare not speak its title.

There are several unanswered query however. Why does the recalled (oops, not recalled) defective strollers only include those made prior to September 2015? Did Britax make a quiet repair to the quick release wheels there after point? And why do owners who bought a stroller made prior to 2009 not get the “remedies, ” only a 20% discount? The baby strollers were on the market with that same design from 1997 to 2009—albeit marketed by the original BOB company, not really Britax. (BOB was sold in order to Britax in 2011; Britax still marketplaces the strollers under the BOB name).

We stopped suggesting BOB strollers when this legal action was filed earlier this year. In our viewpoint, the non-recall Britax deftly negotiated with safety regulators may have passed muster with the CPSC, but we aren’t buying it. BabyBargains. com continues to not recommend GREG strollers on our website or in our book for the time being.

When is a recall not a recall? CPSC and Britax settle BOB stroller dispute along with “robust information campaign”

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Front side Carrier Product Review: Nuna Cudl

Web: nuna. eu. united states Price: $190 Weight Range: 7 lbs. to 40 lbs. Front Provider Product Review: The Nuna Cudl is the first carrier for the Nuna brand, which is better known for its car seats and strollers. The Nuna Cudl baby carrier is a straight forward front carrier with four bring options: front facing in with baby insert, front […] The post Front Carrier Product Evaluation: Nuna Cudl appeared first on Infant Bargains . …

Front Carrier Product Review Nuna Cudl Internet: nuna. eu. usa

Price:   $190

Weight Range: 7   lbs. to 40 lbs.

Front Carrier Product Review:   The Nuna Cudl is the 1st carrier for the Nuna brand, which is better known for its car seats plus strollers.

The Nuna Cudl baby carrier is a simple front carrier with four carry options: front facing in with infant insert, front facing in with out insert, front facing out and piggyback. Weight limits are 30 lbs. in the forward carry placement; 40 lbs. on the back.

The big headline here are the  magnetic buckles, which should make it theoretically easier to put on. There is also an ergonomic desk waist band for parent comfort and ease.

The  Cudl posseses an infant insert that allows you to start using the carrier at 7 pounds. up to 20 lbs. and folds up away when no longer needed. This is a nice feature–you don’t want to shed the insert if you decide to have one more baby. Additional features include a hood, breathable mesh fabric and two detachable organic teething bibs.

The Cudl is expected to operates a whopping $199. 95. Hope there is a gold plated wallet for that buy. That’s near the official price of the particular Baby Bjorn One —the major difference is the Cudl can work to 40 lbs. as a back carrier while the Bjorn One tops out at 33 lbs. Of course , the One is often reduced to as low as $150 online… Nuna products typically don’t see individuals kind of discounts since their submission is typically limited online (no Amazon . com, for example).

Aside from the magnetic closures, the Cudl doesn’t have any groundbreaking features (other carriers have integrated infant inserts like the Boba ). And at this price, it might be hard to justify the price premium over the Bjorn One. The product was nevertheless in prototype phase as we visited press, so no real world suggestions yet. Rating: B.

Here’s a overview of the Cudl:

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Front side Carrier Review: Baby Bjorn Small

Web: BabyBjorn. com Price: $80, $90 or $100, depending on the fabric. Weight: 7 to 24 lbs. Front Carrier Review: Baby Bjorn Mini. Extended infant wearing has transformed the baby company market, with more “ all-in-one” companies offering to let parents bring baby from birth to middle school. Ok, that’ s a good exaggeration—but what if you just want a child carrier […] The post Front Carrier Review: Baby Bjorn Mini appeared very first on Baby Deals . …

Front Carrier Review- Baby Bjorn Mini 3d jersey Web :   BabyBjorn. com

Price : $80 ,   $90 or  $100 , depending on the fabric.

Weight : seven to 24 lbs.

Front Carrier Review: Baby Bjorn Mini. Prolonged baby wearing has transformed the newborn carrier market, with more “all-in-one” companies offering to let parents bring baby from birth to middle school. Ok, that’s an exaggeration—but what if you just want a baby carrier to carry just… a baby?

Baby Bjorn decided to go old school using its newest carrier: The Baby Bjorn Small. This carrier  is just made for infants between 7 and 24 pounds. No infant insert or extravagant adjustments to fit 3 year old kiddos.

The Mini is available in “ 3D jersey ” (a thick quilted poly-cotton jersey), regular cotton woven fabric or their newest fabric: a softer breathable mesh . The price ranges from $80 to $100 so it’s quite a bit not more than a Bjorn One   (which runs $140 in order to $175). The Mini can carry your infant either facing in or dealing with out.

Front Carrier Review- Baby Bjorn Mini mesh

The mesh edition of the Baby Bjorn Mini. The 3D jersey is pictured above.

What does the Mini lack? It doesn’t have a waistline belt for back support. But that’s more relevant for companies designed to carry 25 lbs or more—which isn’t this carriers mojo. One the other hand, if you have back issues, that waist belt may be important even when carrying a lighter weight infant… and thus the Mini could be the wrong one for you.

The Mini also has fewer buckles and adjustments (a good thing).

So what do good of the Mini? We were surprised to see Baby Bjorn release a carrier to support only newborns and infants. Fashionable in the last few years has been to make companies that work with ever older children (some even up to four and five year olds! ).

But when we thought about it, we think the Mini is a good addition to the line. There are plenty of parents who want to carry their particular littlest babies to get the benefit of the skin-to-skin contact, but don’t wish to accomplish the extended toddler-wearing thing.. We get that. Our only extreme caution: if you have any back issues, deficiency of an additional support belt at the sides for parents can eliminate this carrier from your options. Rating: A-

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The Common (And Not-So-Common) Signs of Early Labor

The weeks before your baby is born can be some of the most exciting weeks of your life…

…But, they can also drag on for what seems like two and a half centuries.

Not only are you constantly second-guessing every little twinge, but you’re just plain tired of not knowing what’s happening. You’re probably asking yourself question after question. Is baby coming now? Why do I feel this way? Is something wrong?

Although each pregnancy is as unique as each mother, here are some clues to help you figure out what’s really going on in there and what you can expect.

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6 Common Signs of Early Labor

Following are six of the most common signs of early labor. Take note that the term “early labor” is debatable in some circles. Some view it as the latent phase of labor while others consider it the moments leading up to the latent phase. No matter which school of thought you belong, here are the leading six signs.

1. You Experience “Lightening”

Otherwise known as your baby “dropping” lower into your pelvis, lightening (not lightning) is a common sign that labor will soon begin. Though it’s not exactly a good indicator of how soon labor will begin. Though every pregnancy is different, this typically happens anywhere from two to four weeks before delivery. Especially for first-time moms.

Some women have described lightening as a sudden twinge of discomfort when baby is shifting to a more head-engaged position. Others recall a refreshing sense of relief for their lungs since baby’s new position gave them more room to breathe. Remember that baby moving lower into your pelvis usually means more pressure on your bladder, too, often resulting in frequent trips to the restroom.

2. Your Water Breaks

Although Hollywood generally depicts the birthing process entirely wrong, it did get one thing right – water breaking as a sign of labor. Except in the movies, babies arrive like 4.765 seconds after the epic “gush” happens. If only!

When your water breaks, it’s your amniotic sac rupturing and the amniotic fluid leaking out of your vagina. Depending on where the rupture happens, usually the bottom or side of the sac, you may experience this in a few ways.

Some women feel the Hollywood gush while others sit down to pee and just never feel like they stop. There are some women who only notice a small trickle with a slight gush when they move. One way to know what you’re leaking is simply to smell it. Both amniotic fluid and urine have very distinct smells.

3. Your Cervix Dilates

This is a symptom that most people are familiar with, as well. Some women are trained to check their own cervix, but you’re not typically expected to do this. Besides, during your weekly visits, your doctor will likely check your cervix anyway.

Your doctor is watching for your cervix to open (dilate) and thin out (efface). In vaginal births, it’s necessary for your cervix to dilate and efface completely. Often, women begin dilation and effacement several weeks before giving birth while others don’t show any progress until right before giving birth.

Each mom-to-be is different, but it’s always exciting when this sign does appear because you know you’re on the homestretch of pregnancy.

4. You Have Back Pain or Cramps

Although you may have experienced back pain for much of your pregnancy, your body could bump it up a notch for this event. Many women experience the kind of dull back pain that comes with menstrual cramps. In fact, this is actually pretty common.

Another symptom that often accompanies back pain is cramping. Again, these cramps will feel a lot like menstrual cramps. Really, they’re more annoying than anything. All this back pain and cramping are simply your body beginning to stretch and shift to prepare for birth.

For some, this back pain goes away. Others get to experience back labor, which is another ballgame altogether. Click here for details on what back labor feels like.

5. You Feel Progressing Contractions

Contrary to what many believe, contractions aren’t always in a huge hurry. More often than not, they work like a freight train. Contractions have a reputation for a slow start, but then end up steady and strong by the time you’re ready to give birth.

For first-time moms especially, contractions can be tricky. Braxton Hicks contractions have likely been annoying you for the latter part of your pregnancy. Plus, some women experience prodromal labor, which can make distinguishing real from false contractions very difficult.

The best way to tell the real ones from the false contractions is whether they progress or not. Keep in mind that Braxton Hicks contractions will ease up if you change positions and prodromal labor will just stop suddenly.

6. Your Vaginal Discharge Changes Color

Seeing blood in your undergarments usually freaks out expecting moms. But, there is one time that you’ll probably be glad to see it. Many women experience what’s known as “bloody show” shortly before labor begins. It’s a sign that your body is getting ready for labor.

Bloody show happens when the cervix dilates and softens. This change often bursts capillaries in the cervix resulting in vaginal discharge with blood in it. Often, it’s bright red, but can also be anywhere from light pink to dark brown.

Though not always, bloody show often happens after losing the mucus plug. The mucus plug is what protects your baby from the outside world. Some women even see their mucus plug when it’s released, which also tends to be blood-tinged.

6 Not-So-Common Signs of Early Labor

Following are six signs of early labor that some books tend to leave out or simply don’t greatly emphasize. You might not experience any of them, or you might experience all of them. More than anything, it’s comforting to know that there could be a reason behind what you’re feeling.

1. You Drop a Few Pounds

Directly before labor begins, you might see something that you haven’t seen in a while. You could very well see the scale stop moving or even show that you’ve lost weight. Though it’s normal to gain weight during pregnancy, it can still be tough to handle at times.

So, to see the scale decrease or level off can be a sign of relief. If you lose any, the pounds you lose in this stage will be water weight, and typically happen in the last few days before labor begins.

Some women who experience this sign have reported a weight loss of about a half a pound a day during the last few days of pregnancy. It’s usually between one to three pounds total. To gauge your weight accurately, remember that it’s important to weigh yourself at the same time each day.

2. You Are Overwhelmingly Fatigued

Feeling tired and feeling overwhelmingly fatigued are similar, but fatigue is more intense. Especially for expecting moms who can’t seem to sleep longer than a few hours, this early labor sign is going to be frustrating.

You may have trouble doing any kind of work requiring you to stand up like washing dishes or pushing your toddler on the swing. Granted throughout pregnancy, you were no stranger to the feeling of being tired. Carrying around another human life is a lot of work!

This fatigued feeling sort of hits you like a brick wall. Rather, it feels like a ton of bricks has been dumped on you. When you experience this kind of fatigue, then you might be closer to delivering than you think.

3. You Get the Urge to “Nest”

If you feel an unexpected burst of energy sandwiched by the fatigue mentioned above, it may be your body telling you to get ready for baby-having time. This sign of early labor usually has women deep cleaning, rearranging, decluttering, and organizing like crazy.

You might be so excited that you feel like doing something that you do everything. All the things, you want to check off all the things from your to-do list!

Perhaps this is just your body’s way of cutting you a break. After all, pregnancy has likely exhausted you, oncoming labor will exhaust you, and a newborn is pretty exhausting, too. It doesn’t exactly seem fair, but this one last burst is often viewed as a jumpstart on the whole labor process.

4. You Feel Restless, Moody, or Can’t Sleep

Pregnancy is well-known for providing us women with extreme mood swings. You may have noticed that during pregnancy you were more sensitive or emotional. It can be a lot to handle! Take heart that these mood swings are completely normal and you can blame hormones for that.

Mood swings are an early sign of labor, too. But these mood swings are more than just you having a bad day or weepy moment. They can seem completely out of character for you. You could feel emotional, withdrawn, moody, or even depressed and just want to be alone. More than anything you will feel restless and most women suffer from insomnia at this point, as well.

5. Your Joints Feel Incredibly Loose

The hormone relaxin has loosened up your ligaments and joints during your entire pregnancy. You may have noticed that you aren’t as graceful as you were pre-pregnancy. Of course, the big belly can be blamed for any clumsiness, as well.

In attempts to open up the pelvis, your body sends a final surge of joint-loosening juice throughout your body. Your joints will feel more relaxed and flexible. Some women claim that they feel like Rubber Man because of how loose their body is. Many women stop walking as their exercise regime simply because they’re body seems so loosey-goosey and off balance.

6. You Have Hot Flashes or Diarrhea

Hot flashes aren’t just for menopausal women, but you’ve probably already figured that one out. Pregnancy can produce hot flashes of its own! Plus, they are a sign of early labor, too. This can happen up to two weeks before labor begins and is often worse when you lie down.

Like mentioned before, everything in your body is relaxing and preparing for birth. Even muscles are loosening for birth. What this can also mean is that you may experience loose stools. For some reason, hot flashes and diarrhea often come in a pair. When you get one, you get the other, too.

Whether this is your body’s way to clear the pipes, your baby is putting pressure on your intestines, or your rectum is in relax mode, it can be annoying. Just remember that it’s totally normal, so stay hydrated and take it as a good sign!

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Infant Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Maintain your Baby Monitor Safe

Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Ideas to Keep Your Baby Monitor Safe Released: Dec 27, 2018 @ 1: 49 pm. Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Baby Monitor Safe. (Boulder, CO). Here are 5 simple tips to keeping your baby keep track of safe. The headlines are frightening: ‘I’m in your baby’s room’: A hacker took over a baby […] The write-up Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Baby Keep track of Safe appeared initial on Baby Deals . …

Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Infant Monitor Safe

Published: Dec 27, 2018 @ one: 49 pm .   Baby Keep track of Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Infant Monitor Safe. (Boulder, CO).   Here are five simple tips to keeping your baby monitor safe.

The headlines are frightening:

‘I’m in your baby’s room’: A hacker overtook a baby monitor and broadcast dangers, parents say!
S. Chemical. Mom Says Baby Monitor Was Hacked; Experts Say Many Gadgets Are Vulnerable
Terror within the nursery: Baby monitor hacked

Ok, deep breath! Let’s talk keeping your baby monitor safe. First, realize that every few months there is a  baby monitor freakout—this has been happening like clockwork considering that baby monitors first became some thing in the 1990’s.

Baby monitor hacking stories are tailor-made to go viral on social media and your local TV news. Here are the basic ingredients:

• Sweet baby.
• Terrified mom and dad who just want to warn others.
• Technology gone bad. ( See Gromit, Wallace and).

Therefore let’s talk about keeping your baby room safe. Here are our five tips to keep your baby monitor safe:

1 . Use a “closed system” baby video monitor.

The most r ecent hack discussed in the Wa Post   was a loading monitor—a monitor that streams audio and video online. While streaming monitors are amazing to monitor your nursery from anywhere you have a cell signal, a more protected option is the closed baby monitor.

A closed movie monitor like the one we recommend on our site (the Infant Optics DXR-8 ) does not stream anything online. We call it “closed” because the camera pairs using the receiver and that’s it. Which pairing is via a secure system called  Frequency Hopping Distribute Spectrum (FHSS). Without having getting all techie, FHSS helps it be more difficult for a hacker to find the signal.

Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Baby Monitor Safe

Note we stated “more difficult”—more difficult does not mean “impossible. ” But here’s the good part—closed system monitors have very limited variety. While the stated range may be 1000 feet, ask anyone who has a video child monitor if it really goes that far…   and there will be fun. That makes it harder for a hacker too. Hence, even if he had the tools to hack a closed system keep track of, the hacker would have to literally become standing next to your house or condo to hack it.  

2 . Don’t re-use old passwords.

If you get a streaming monitor like Nest, register the device with a strong password you’ve never used prior to . That is the lesson from the latest baby monitor crack story that involved a Home streaming cam.  

The parents in this case reused a password that was vulnerable after it was stolen from another site which was breached.

How do you know if a password you’ve used prior to might have been stolen? Pwned Passwords lets you search a password to see if it has been part of a past breach. The take-home message: even if you think your password is a clever combination of your high school english teacher’s last name, your best dog’s name and the date of the birthday, it could still be vulnerable in case you used it on a site that was breached.

Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Baby Monitor Safe have i been pwned?

3. Allow two-factor authentication.  

If you have a Nest cam, enable two-factor authentication by following these instructions.   This is an extra layer of security that is worth it, in our opinion. To be able to sign in to your account, a person has to have a particular code that is sent via text message to a phone you specify. So even if a hacker gets your own user name and password, they still can’t log into your account with out that code—and since you have your cell phone and they don’t, your baby monitor is secure.

Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Baby Monitor Safe 2 factor

4. Change the default password.  

There are many sketchy baby monitors sold online that have all kinds of security vulnerabilities. Some are as simple because default usernames and passwords that parents don’t take time to change (easy fix: just change it! ).

Other  vulnerabilities are more complex—without going full geek, let’s just say when these monitors are usually connected to your home WiFi network, they will accidently create backdoor access that not only allows hackers to control the infant monitor, but possibly other products also connected to your network.

In 2015, security firm Rapid 7 wrote an entire report on baby monitor security weaknesses . It is eye-opening. The lack of safeguards is apparent in many of the most recent hacks . The take-home message: stay with name brands like Nest that will take security seriously.

While you’re at it, take the appropriate steps to beef up your WiFi system. If you are using an old router, consider updating to a new  one that offers WPA2 level encryption .

If you have a job which might allow you to a target for hackers, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) at home. A VPN encrypts all your traffic, which makes hacking your baby monitor (or other device in your house) much more difficult.

5. Go traditional with an audio baby monitor.  

Perhaps the only way to make sure no one can peer into your house is to NOT have a camera in there in the first place. The old school audio baby monitor doesn’t stream pictures or audio of you or even your baby online. Instead, it merely transmits sound from the base unit to the monitor, like the closed monitor units we discussed above. We all recommend the greatest audio baby monitors here .

Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Baby Monitor Safe VTech Safe & Sound Digital Audio monitor

Got any ways to share with our readers on maintaining your baby monitor secure? Please post a comment below! Thanks in advance!

Image credits: CBS TELEVISION STUDIOS News, newyork. cbslocal. com, howtogeek. com.

Baby Monitor Hacked: 5 Tips to Keep Your Child Monitor Safe

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The very best Toddler Pajamas

The Best Toddler Pajamas 2019 Last updated: Mar twenty one, 2019 @ 3: 19 pm. The Best Toddler Pajamas 2019. The top pick for best toddler pajamas is Burt’s Bees Unisex Shorts (2-piece set). These PJs performed well in our testing, are made of natural cotton and are reasonably affordable at $16. 95 (some patterns/sizes are usually lower). Scroll down for […] The particular post The Best Young child Pajamas appeared very first on Baby Bargains . …

Last updated: Mar twenty one, 2019 @ 3: 19 evening .   The Best Toddler Pajamas 2019.   Our top pick for best young child pajamas is Burt’s Bees Unisex Pajamas (2-piece set). These PJs carried out well in our testing, are made of organic cotton and are reasonably affordable at $16. 95 (some patterns/sizes are usually lower).

Scroll straight down for our picks  for Best Budget Toddler Pajamas   and  Best Child Pajama Splurge . New to child pajama shopping? Read our 5 Things No One Lets you know About Buying Toddler Pajamas.

We researched fifteen different brands of cotton toddler two-piece pajamas to see which were softest, shrunk least and didn’t break the bank. Of those, we narrowed the list down to the top five choices, based on our readers feedback, online best-seller status and availability.   We purchased samples of each brand and then starting the testing: washing, measuring for shrinkage plus gauging softness.

After we tested the pajama examples (see below for details on how they had been tested), we crowned a winner:   Burt’s Bees Unisex Shorts   were softest and had no shrinkage after washing. The cost was surprisingly reasonable, roughly between ten and twenty bucks per set—it varies by size and pattern. Another plus: they are the just ones we tested that are made of organic cotton and they are GOTS authorized (See below for  GOTS details ).

What’s not to like? The company sews a tag onto the back outdoors neckline and pants—a few of the readers’ toddlers found this to be a tad itchy, especially near the sewing.

Burt's bees label toddler pajamas

But with that tiny caveat, we think Burt’s Bees toddler pajamas are the best.

The Best Young child Pajamas

Burt’s Bees toddler pajamas is usually our top pick: super gentle organic cotton, very little shrinkage and affordably priced.

Table of Contents

The very best Budget Toddler Pajamas

The crown for the best budget-friendly PJ’s goes to Simple Joys By Carter’s. The brand sells 6-piece sets of PJs: long sleeve/long leg; shortie and short sleeve/long leg. Caveat: some shirts have got appliques which may be itchy.

Also Great

Amazon’s personal brand is another good budget-friendly PJ pick—we liked the cute designs and overall quality. The downsides: some designs are screen printed so that they feel a bit rough on the outside of the garment. Another bummer: Amazon Essentials PJs shrunk the most (7%-9%), regarding double that of other brands. Around the plus side, the sizing is more generous (that is, larger) to start.  

The Best Toddler Pajama Splurge

Soft, soft, soft! Aden + Anais pajama sets aren’t cheap, but they were judged one of the most soft in our tests. And shrinking was at a minimum. Of course , A+A is famous for their  cute styles, carried over from their excellent swaddle blanket line to pajamas.

Also Great

Priced at a whopping $44 for a two piece set, Hanna Andersson young child pajamas are definitely expensive. But readers who are fans of this brand tell us the super soft organic cotton fabric is very durable. Mostly available at Hanna Andersson’s site and shops, check the online sale section permanently deal. A great gift idea.

We’ve been ranking and reviewing baby products since 1994. We test baby items here in our offices and we pay for all of test products ourselves. We all look to our reader feedback to give us a real world perspective and we also evaluate  consumer reviews submitted online.

Here’s one more key point: we do not take money from the brands all of us review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships. ” Baby Bargains is your self-employed and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!

Learn more regarding our work plus how to support our own site .

Best toddler pajamas round up

In order to pick our toddler pajama finalists, we scoured our extensive reader generated message boards as well as retailers’ website reviews. Once we had a list of 15 manufacturers (from pricey Hannah Andersson to dirt cheap Costco), we eliminated pajamas made of polyester fleece or cotton/poly blend fabrics—we prefer 100% cotton for air permeability.

Also eliminated were  onesie styles (which make diaper changing difficult) or loose installing designs. The latter is a safety issue—close-fitting cotton are safer.

We whittled the list down to a high five, then ordered a sample of each brand in a set in dimension 2T. A set means a long outter top and a full length pant, similar to a pair of long johns.

Once we received the shorts, we measured their underarm stitches and inseams to determined set up a baseline:

Burt's Bees inseam measurement toddler pajamas

Then we leaped them through the washing machine and clothes dryer, carefully following directions to wash them inside out and in cold water on delicate (Burt’s Bees was very: they listed a warm water wash). Here’s a label Aden + Anais.

Aden + Anais care label toddler pajamas

After cleaning, the pajamas were dried on low heat.

toddler pajamas dryer setting cropped

We then remeasured each item to verify any kind of shrinkage. We were surprised to find a couple that did not shrink much at all.

Here are Aden + Anais toddler pajamas. Out of the box (top picture), the sleeve steps 8. 95″. Below, after cleaning, the sleeve measures the same!

Aden + Anais toddler pajamas

Aden + Anais best toddler pajamas take 3

Finally, the office staff tested the inside, next-to-skin feel of each set of pajamas. If a sample had a stitched in label, we checked to find out if it seems irritating to the skin. We like the stamped labels due to the fact there’s no risk of irritation and you won’t have to remove the tag if it bothers baby.

We added up the scores in order to came to shrinkage, softness and affordability to come up with a winner.

FYI: While we tested long-sleeve shorts, the same brand also make short-sleeve versions (called shorties).  

one Are kids pajamas flame resistant? How do you tell?

When your child’s sleepwear be flame retardant? What the heck does “flame retardant” mean anyway?

Based on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), items made of flame retardant fabric will not burn under a “direct flame. ” Huh? Doesn’t “flame retardant” mean it won’t burn whatsoever? No—that’s a common myth among parents who think such clothes are a Superman-style second skin that will defend baby against any and all fire dangers.

Prior to 1996, the particular CPSC mandated that an item labeled as sleepwear be made of “flame retardant fabric. ” More often than not, that designed polyester because the alternative (untreated 100 % cotton fabric) DOES burn under immediate flame. So the de facto standard for children’s sleepwear for many years was polyester.

Then the govt changed its mind. The CPSC noticed that many parents were rebelling against the rules and putting their particular babies in all-cotton items with bedtime. After an investigation, the CPSC revised the rules to more closely fit reality.

Initial, pajamas for babies nine a few months and under were totally exempt from the flame-retardant rules. Why? Considering that these babies aren’t mobile, chances they’ll come in contact with a fire hazard that would catch their clothes on fire is definitely slim. What if the whole house catches fire? Well, the smoke is more dangerous than the flames—hence, a good smoke cigarettes detector in the nursery and every additional major room of your house is a much better investment than fire-retardant clothes.

What about sleepwear for old babies? Well, the government admitted that “close-fitting” all-cotton items don’t pose a risk either. Only flowing nightgowns or pajamas that are loose fitting must meet the flame resistant rules today.

Every single toddler pajama we purchased included a tag like this:

Best toddler pajamas safety warning label

2 . Not every toddler pajamas have stamped labels.

In the old days (okay, not really that old), clothing manufacturers used a fabric tag sewn in to the garment (usually at the neck) to provide parents sizing and care information. Unfortunately, these labels can feel uncomfortable on your kids’ skin. Regarding 10 years ago, manufacturers began using ink stamped label and get eliminate the sewn in fabric label.

ink stamped tag best toddler pajamas

Sorry to say, some manufacturers still have material tags–we recommend you avoid them. Another option is to remove them, but if you plan to resell or reuse them, you’ll be tossing out the particular sizing information too.

FYI, even if the fabric neck tag is missing, you may still find a material tag along the back or part seam of the pants.

3. Cotton shrinks. But shrinking varies by brand.

When we tested toddler pajamas, i was surprised to see that even when we followed the washing instructions scrupulously, shrinkage occurred whether the pajama brand name was super affordable or outrageously expensive. The shrinkage was as much as 9% in some cases.

Plus oddly the pants didn’t at all times shrink at the same rate as the tops.

In case you’re interested, the Amazon Essentials toddler shorts shrank the most in our survey: in between 7% and 9%. Burt’s Bees and Aden + Anais shrank the least.

Regardless, you will be better off buying the next size up to account for the shrinkage. Especially if you like to throw all the clothes within together and wash them on “normal” rather than delicate. As parents, we often forget to follow washing guidelines to a T—and then paid the price when a beloved pair of pajamas shunk too much in an initial washing.

4. Second hand pjs best idea, until to get to older sizes.

Children under three probably won’t wear out their pajamas the way kids four and up will certainly. So , you may be able to find some great buys at second hand stores. Bear in mind you don’t want to buy anything along with snags or strings. And dimensions will not always tell the truth since cotton shrinks. Hold them as much as your kiddo or if you really want a work out, try them upon him/her.

5. Should you be worried about cold feet, look for kids’ socks with grippy soles to put on around the house or even in bed.

Call them slipper socks or even gripper socks, but these guys work effectively. We’ve seen moccasin types and fleece lined options. Cottock is really a brand we’d recommend:

Slipper socks best toddler pajamas

Organic fabric certifications: it is more than just a label

GOTS (Global Natural Textile Standard)   certifies textiles as organic. To meet their qualifications, “Only textile items that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibers can become GOTS certified. All chemical inputs such as dyestuffs and auxiliaries used must meet certain environment and toxicological criteria. The choice of accessories is limited in accordance with ecological factors as well. A functional waste water treatment plant is mandatory for any wet-processing unit involved and all processors should comply with minimum social criteria. ” Basically, beyond using organic materials, companies must also be socially responsible to their workers and the community.

The Best Toddler Pajamas

Burt’s Bees toddler pajamas is our top pick: super soft organic cotton, very little shrinkage and affordably priced.

We obsess over baby gear… so you don’t have to.   Baby Bargains   has one mission: help you find the best gear for your baby with impartial reviews by experts with two decades of experience. At prices that will don’t break the bank. Check out our Registry Cheat Sheets for a quick overview of our best picks. Planning a new nursery? We now have picks for greatest crib, best crib mattress , best bassinet and more. Or start at our home page to see all our reviews!

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The very best Baby Sleep Soothers 2019

The Best Baby Rest Soothers 2019 Last updated: Jan 25, 2019 @ 2: 07 pm. The Best Baby Sleep Soothers 2019. Getting baby to sleep has been an age old dilemma. Whether or not you call them sound devices, white noise generators or sleep soothers, these devices offer the same nice nirvana: soothing a fussy child. After testing 17 different […] The particular post The Best Child Sleep Soothers 2019 appeared first on Baby Bargains . …

Last updated: Jan 25, 2019 @ two: 07 pm .   The Best Baby Sleep Soothers 2019.   Getting infant to sleep has been an age old dilemma. Whether you call all of them sound machines, white noise generators or sleep soothers, these devices offer the same sweet nirvana: soothing a fussy baby. After testing seventeen different baby sleep soothers, we picked  LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine   ( $46. 03 ) and  Large Red Rooster Baby White Sound Machine   ( $14. 99 ) as the best sleep soothers designed for baby.

Scroll down for our picks  for Best Travel Sleep Soother   and  Greatest Baby Soother Nightlight . New to sleep soother shopping? Read our own Things No One Tells You About Buying a Sleep Soother.

Types of Child Sleep Soothers

Just before we discuss our picks thorough, first let’s go over the basic choices for baby sleep soothers. There are two general types of baby sleep soothers: machines that play “white noise” (such as a fan sound) only and those with pre-recorded nature seems and/or lullabies. Additional features include night lights and smart phone control. All of us looked for the following features whenever we tested baby sleep soothers:

  • Noise hiding: If you’ve got older children or live in a noisy atmosphere and your baby wakes up because of it, you’ll want a white noise that effectively masks the environmental noise.
  • Timer: Since we’ll discuss below in our Things No One Tells You Regarding Buying a Sleep Soother , whitened noise machines should not be left upon in baby’s room the entire night. An hour is usually enough. Hence, all of us only tested machines that experienced timers.
  • Quantity control with a low setting: Because babies’ hearing is still developing, we recommend using the lowest volume setting possible. See our own Things No One Tells You below for further explanation.
  • Number of obtainable sounds: While many children will respond well to an easy white noise machine with the sound of a mechanical fan, some folks might want more options. For example , a calming lullaby or nature sound might be nice to introduce baby like a “time to get ready for bedtime” sound. And when babies grow into toddlers, having more options for a restless little one may be helpful.
  • Ease of use: All of us especially looked for soothers that have easy to set timers. Some have got smartphone apps to control the unit distantly, which seem like a great idea. But right after testing, we discovered the apps are more promise than actual help. Apps were often difficult to set up and often plagued by short Bluetooth variety and random disconnections.

Check out our top selections for white noise machines plus pre-recorded sound soothers:

The Best Baby Sleep Soother: White Sound

Right after testing 17 competitors, we picked the LectroFan as the best sound-only while noise machine. We cherished the easy to use controls (including a timer) as well as 10 different types of whitened noise. A bit pricey, but worth it.  

The Best Baby Sleep Soother: Character Sounds

If you also want nature noises and lullabies (in addition to whitened noise), our top pick is usually the  Big Red Rooster Infant White Noise Machine. We loved the six different sound choices plus a timer. Bonus: it can be used with batteries for travel (in situation you aren’t near a power outlet).

Best Sleep Soothers: Details

So what made the  LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Device and the Big Red Rooster Baby White Noise Machine   our own top choices?


This particular white noise machine offers ten fan noises and ten “ambient noise variations including white noise, pink noise and brown noise. ” In a nutshell, white noise may sound tinny to some folks—pink noise sounds more balanced to our screening ears. And brown noise takes that a step further, making associated with a low hum.

This can get rather techy, so if you want to dive a bit more into the science of sounds,   here’s a great movie explanation:

Back to the LectroFan. In our examining, we found the LetroFan really does an excellent job masking environmental sounds like crying toddlers (and their crying parents who’ve had a challenging day too), dogs barking or street noise. We like the large number of options, although once you find one that works, it’s unlikely you’ll change the setting much.

Other features include a 60 minute timer (it fades out rather than just stopping) and volume control (be certain to use the lowest setting possible–see our own 7 Things below). This machine is very simple to use, plus the noise is digitally produced so there are no repetitive looping of sounds. Other less expensive sound machines we tested got that looping/repeating issue, which we found annoying (and so have got online reviewers).

In terms of feedback from our readers, LectroFan gets great reviews overall, with a few complaints about a low-quality power cord. It some cases, it disconnected completely through the unit. Some readers replaced the cheaper cord and had no more issues.

Bottom line: although the LectroFan isn’t marketed directly to get parents with babies, it works being an excellent white noise machine.

Big Red Rooster (BRG)

Want more than just white noise? The particular Big Red Rooster (BRR) is a rest soother made especially for babies and toddlers.   It comes with fewer sounds than the LectroFan (six), but includes  heartbeat, lullaby, ocean, rock-a-bye and twinkle noises as well as traditional white sound.

The BRG also has a timer with three choices: 15 minute, 30 minute or one hour. While it comes with an AC adapter, you can also use it with 3 AA batteries—that’s a nice feature if you plan going (camping, hotel rooms with few shops, etc).

On the other hand, we all do have a particular baby soother machine pick to get travel that is smaller sized than the BRG.

In our testing, we found BRG quite simple to use with one caveat: pressing the buttons to change the volume or even choose a new sound causes an audio loud enough to wake a sleeping baby in some cases. Quieter-to-the-touch buttons would be a welcome improvement.

The Big Red Rooster (which is in fact white, not red) has had a couple of quality control issues that we find noted in online reviewers. Some folks said the AC adapter ceased working after a time (although, oddly, it still worked with batteries).

A few dissenters thought the particular lullabies sounded “tinny. ” We all didn’t find that in our testing—although on $20, we weren’t expecting Dolby theater sound quality.

Bottom line: the Big Red Rooster sleep soother is an excellent baby sleep soother.

Not Recommended: Hatch Baby Rest

Hatch Baby Rest Night Light

One of the top sellers in the baby sleep soother category is the  Hatch Baby Rest Night Light and Sound Machine . After tests it and gathering reader suggestions, we do not recommend it.

Hatch began as a little startup with an app-enabled baby size called the Baby Grow. When creator Amy Crady Weiss worried about her newborn daughter’s weight gain, she came up with the idea of a smart changing pad that includes a scale to track baby’s growth metrics in an app.

After success with the Baby Grow, Emerge launched the Baby Rest in 2017. The app-enabled Baby Rest guaranteed to combine several functions: sound device, night light and toddler time-to-rise trainer.

The application allows you to set the lighting (dimmer, brighter, different colors) and the sound type and volume. Finally, it will help you set up routines for older babies and toddlers for bath time, bed time and nap time.

All this sounds great, right? Plus it’s a best-seller. So why could it be Not Recommended? In a nutshell, data privacy.

When you download the app and open it for the first time, this is what the truth is:


That’s right, to be able to merely use the app to control the Hatch Baby Rest, you have to register for an account with your name, email address and a password.

And that’s not all!

One a person give Hatch your personal info, after this you come to this screen:

hatch Best Baby Sleep Soothers

Yes, you read that right—Hatch wants to know your baby’s title, birthdate and gender… to turn upon or off a nightlight! Hi there?

At one stage in 2018, Hatch also asked for you to turn on Location Services. That’s right—the app wanted to know your geo-location. This requirement was slipped after a 2018 revision of their terms of service.

So what’s going on here?

Hatch has had shifting explanations of all this intrusion in your and your baby’s privacy. Here is the September 2018 version, which basically says “trust us. ”

hatch3 Best Baby Sleep Soothers

In a nutshell, Emerge says it wants to “tailor programs… for your child’s age. We can also send you helpful sleep tips and articles to get your family on a healthful schedule. ” What if you do not want Hatch’s sleep tips? Simply no app for you!

Previously in 2018, Hatch  explained a single reason for the app data demands: many parents who purchase the Baby Rest also often buy their own Baby Grow scale and having baby’s birthdate and other information is required for the scale.

This particular doesn’t pass the smell test. According to Crunchbase , Hatch is a Silicon Valley dependent company with $7 million in venture capital backing. They couldn’t have coded the app to make this data ask optional? Right.

Meanwhile, there are now two applications: one for the scale and one for your soother sound machine/night light. So why continue to ask for baby’s birthdate and gender for what is essentially a night light with a speaker?

Hatch says it “guards it’s customers privacy, ” yet we’ve already seen this movie before. Hatch could easily be acquired by Google or Facebook and suddenly you and your baby’s data is in the hands of a business that may have a different perspective upon privacy.

We reached out to Hatch for a comment on this issue but didn’t hear back (as of this writing).

The take-home message: the Hatch audio machine works fine—but the personal privacy concerns make it a no go. Combine with that complaints from users that say the app doesn’t work that well together with the sound machine and we suggest skipping this one.

Table of Contents

The Best Sleep Soother For Travel

Best for occasional use, the particular Micro is tiny but manages to mask lots of noise. Perfect for Grandma’s house or hotels.

Best Travel Sleep Soother:   The  LectroFan Micro Wireless Sleep Audio Machine is certainly tiny. So tiny, we did not think it would work all that properly as a sleep aid. But right after testing it on various outings, were we wrong. While the audio isn’t going to fill a room, it’s enough to block most noises in hotel hallways or grandma’s house.

The particular Micro offers ten sounds: 5 fan sounds, four white sound sounds and one ocean sound. It comes with a built-in rechargeable battery (USB) so you don’t have to carry batteries with you and the volume can be adjusted in tiny increments for perfect coverage. A single bummer: it comes without a timer therefore you’ll have to turn it off your self or leave it on through the night (not our recommendation, see Thing No On Informs you below).

Best of all, the Micro weighs 5 ounces and is three inches tall and wide, making it easy to slip into your suitcase or bag. Like a side benefit, the Micro allows your to connect your smartphone through Bluetooth connectivity so you can play tunes through the speaker.

lectrofan micro

What’s not to like? The cord. (Why is it always the cord along with LectroFan? ).

Readers who’ve used the LectroFan Micro lamented that the cord broke or grew to become disconnected and wouldn’t charge. The particular cord is also pretty short plus irked most testers, but you can make use of a regular USB cord to cost it if you need more length.

Parents also mentioned the Micro has a short life if you are using it continuously. If you plan to take this on occasional trips to Disney World or grandma’s house, it’s a great option. But it doesn’t have the particular build quality to stand up for normal use day in and day out.

The Best Sleep Soother along with Nightlight

This Fisher Price model has a nightlight, timer and three audio options. Plus it comes with connects for your smartphone via Bluetooth for application control.

Best Sleep Soother with Nightlight: Details.   Fisher-Price’s  SmartConnect Deluxe Soother offers a night lighting with ceiling projection plus a sound generator with three sounds: character, music and pink noise (which is like white noise, but not because annoying).

We tested this model and thought it performed the best among the combo nightlight/sleep soother sound machines designed for nurseries—as long as you don’t mind the particular somewhat glitchy companion smartphone application.

The “SmartConnect” section of this sleep soother is it’s Bluetooth-enabled app. You can adjust both sounds and the lighting effects using a smartphone. The app also allows you to fixed a timer, choose from three light options (amber all-over light, much softer blue light and base lighting–see video below), adjust the volume and alter the type of sound.

So how does this work in the real world? When it works, the application is pretty cool.

But getting it to work consistently was irritating for us (as well as additional online reviewers we found). The particular app occasionally cut out or stopped, which required reloading. Yes, the soother itself has manual buttons and they’re backlit so you can see them in the dark, but what’s the purpose of having an app if it doesn’t function all the time?

On the in addition side, you don’t have to register or provide Fisher-Price any personal data to utilize the app (unlike some other rest soothers named Hatch).

Another disappointment for some people: the projected lights don’t move, they just glow steadily. We didn’t see this as a major drawback within our testing.

Bottom line: despite the glitchy app, we will recommend the Fisher-Price  SmartConnect Deluxe Soother .

We’ve been rating plus reviewing baby products since 1994. We test baby products within our offices and we pay for all test products ourselves. We look to our reader feedback to give us a real world perspective and we furthermore evaluate  consumer reviews posted online.

Here’s another key point: we don’t get money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships. ” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert infant gear reviews. We’ve been composing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!

Learn more about our work and how to support our site .

We evaluated sleep soother by in-house testing and by delivering products to parents to test. All of us check for ease of use, effectiveness and durability. All of us also gather significant reader opinions. The best sound machines meet our own minimum requirements for a timer, volume control, variety of sounds, and hiding ability.

Sleep Soothers have been questionable…

Parents are always on the quest to find a way to help baby get more sleep–mainly so they can get more rest too! Newborns typically sleep just a few hours at a time because they are growing so fast and need to eat regularly. But once your baby reaches the particular four-month mark, your baby can learn to soothe itself.

But it just ain’t so easy! Some children can Ferberize (the method of letting your child cry it out), yet this method has its detractors and it sometimes doesn’t work for every kid.

Others need to keep baby asleep once she’s nodded off but older siblings, canines and street noises conspire in order to wake them up.

Sleep soothers that play white noise, music or nature seems are solution that some moms and dads swear by. But they are somewhat controversial.

In 2014, the particular American Academy of Pediatrics released a study of 14 “infant sleep machines” or ISMs . The writers of the study tested their noise output at three different ranges from baby’s ears (no genuine babies were tested). They compared the level of noise to the amount of decibels that would cause noise-induced hearing reduction in adults. That number is 85 sound levels or more. (We don’t have a level that could cause hearing loss in children–no one wants to test for that and blow out a baby’s ears).

Bottom line: 13 of the fourteen ISMs were capable of delivering a lot more than 50 decibels of noise even if placed at the largest distance associated with 200 centimeters from a baby’s hearing. Since babies are more sensitive compared to adults, they postulate 50 decibels would be likely to cause some listening to damage. Three of the machines had been capable of more than 85 decibels of noise.

Now here’s the caveat:   It was a small study over  five years ago. They don’t inform you which manufacturers they tested. And finally, they admit there is no real world evidence that infants’ are suffering from damaged hearing because their parents used ISMs or white noise machines.

Here’s the AAP’s recommendations:

  1. DO NOT place the white noise machine near baby’s head. In fact , the farther away the better.
  2. DO NOT make use of the white noise machine at top volume, rather use the lowest quantity possible.
  3. DO NOT use it for hours. An hour or less is our own recommendation.

… but other studies show they work

Another small study (using only forty newborns aged two and 7 days old) tested actual white sound machines to see if they did assist infants fall asleep faster. They offered 20 babies white noise devices and compared them to a control group put to sleep with no audio machines. The result: 80% of the babies using the white noise machine fell asleep within five minutes. In the manage group (no noise machine), 25% fell asleep within five minutes.

So what’s a mother or father to do?

  1. There are many apps available today that will test the particular decibel metric of anything. Just download the app and keep it next to the machine. Your objective is to get the sound below fifty decibels at the edge of your baby’s baby crib.
  2. Only buy a device with a timer that you can set. Operate the machine less than an hour at night.
  3. Place the sound machine because far away from baby as you can. Fixed the volume as low as possible.
  4. If it’s not helpful, stop using it.

Check back around for future studies or information on sleep soothers is released.

The Best Baby Sleep Soother: White Noise

After testing 17 competitors, we picked the LectroFan as the best sound-only while noise machine. We loved the easy to use controls (including a timer) along with 10 different types of white noise. A bit pricey, but worth it.  

We obsess over child gear… so you don’t have to.   Baby Bargains   has one mission: help you find the best gear for your baby with impartial reviews by experts with two decades of experience. At prices that don’t break the bank. Check out our Registry Cheat Sheets for a quick overview of our best picks. Planning a new nursery? We now have picks for best crib, best crib mattress , best bassinet and more. Or start at our home page to find out all our reviews!

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Walmart debuts free baby boxes

Last updated: Feb 27, 2019 @ 10:17 am. Walmart debuts free baby boxes. Walmart has debuted free baby boxes with various goodies for pregnant moms, babies and toddlers. The box is free, but shipping is $5.

Walmart debuts free baby box

There are three different kinds of boxes: pregnancy, baby and toddler. If you sign up for the pregnancy box, you’ll get the baby and toddler boxes down the road when your baby hits that milestone (and pay $5 shipping per box). Hence, Walmart asks for your due date. According to the terms posted to the web site, you can cancel the subscription at any time from an online portal.

Walmart debuts free baby box how it works

There is also a free Walmart Baby Registry Welcome box, which appears to be sold out at the time of this writing.

Walmart doesn’t reveal what is in each box, instead saying you get samples of “useful products and helpful tips.” We assume there will also be coupons.

If you’ve subscribed to this box, let us know what you think. What products did you get? Was it worth the $5 shipping in your opinion?

FYI: Don’t confuse these boxes with those  Finnish-style baby boxes we have written about previously; those boxes are supposed to double as bassinets or cribs. The Walmart boxes are not designed for sleeping babies (thank goodness).

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Getting Raging Migraines During Your Pregnancy? Here’s What You Can Do

A whopping 25 percent of women experience migraines over the course of their life.

The good news is that many women deal with migraines less during pregnancy. In fact, up to 80 percent of moms-to-be report a decline in migraine attacks.

Migraines during pregnancy are still considered a normal symptom. Like any other symptom, your healthcare provider will monitor it closely.

Still, it’s beneficial to understand this type of a headache and what it means to your pregnancy.

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The Difference Between Headaches and Migraines

If you’re like most women, you’ve experienced several different kinds of headaches before.

All types of headaches produce an uncomfortable pressure or pain in your head.


Headaches are a widespread medical complaint for pregnant women. They can be caused by stress, dehydration, injury, co-occurring medical condition, medication, food, etc.

From a slight throbbing to what feels like a band around your head, these annoyances present themselves in many ways. And, they can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week.

A migraine is a type of headache. However, because of its intensity and additional symptoms, it’s a category of its own.


When compared to a tension headache, for example, pain from a migraine is often considered moderate to severe.

Additional symptoms often accompany migraines, such as:

  • Seeing spots or flashes
  • Temporary loss of vision
  • Pain behind one eye
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to sound, light, or both
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the temples

As you may have guessed, a migraine can be debilitating. Unlike a headache, a migraine can stop you in your tracks, disrupting your regular lifestyle.

With the mood swings, morning sickness, and the battle of extending your wardrobe, a lifestyle disruption is the last thing an expecting woman wants to deal with.

How Migraines May Impact Your Pregnancy

As mentioned before, 50-80 percent of women experience a decline in migraine attacks during pregnancy. That’s the good news!

The rotten news is that the first trimester may be the worst in terms of migraine attacks. Also, a migraine—during pregnancy or not—can often signify a more serious medical condition.

Unsurprisingly, your healthcare provider will keep a close watch on your migraine attacks. This is especially true if you experienced migraines before pregnancy and they’ve gotten worse since becoming pregnant.

Studies have shown that the risk of developing preeclampsia (and other vascular complications) increases when a pregnant woman experiences migraines. Particularly, when the mom-to-be already struggles with high blood pressure.

So, can migraines be prevented or managed during pregnancy?

Understand What Causes Migraines

To better manage migraine attacks during pregnancy, it’s vital to understand what causes them.

It’s possible that migraines are hereditary. Even so, both your environment and your genetics play a significant role.

Various elements can trigger a migraine, including:

  • Certain foods (dark chocolate, cheese, etc.)
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Too much or too little sleep
  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Changes in routine
  • The weather
  • Too much screen time
  • Food additives
  • Dehydration

Some women experience what’s known as an “aura.” An aura is basically a handful of hints warning you that a migraine is coming on. An aura can occur 10-30 minutes before a migraine attack hits.

Symptoms of an aura include:

  • A sudden inability to concentrate
  • Sensing tingling or numbness in either the face or hands
  • Seeing flashes of light or lines
  • Having an odd sense of smell or taste

Sometimes, your body warns you of an oncoming migraine days before it happens.

Many women experience symptoms such as:

  • Feelings of depression
  • Constipation
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Abnormal food cravings
  • Frequent yawning
  • Irritable feelings

Although many of these signs are subtle, they can give you a heads up. These clues give you the chance to take preventative measures.

Keep in mind that migraine triggers are the same for both pregnant and non-pregnant women. Essentially, knowing your own body is the best way to manage and prevent migraines.

Natural Ways to Avoid Migraines

When you become pregnant, you have to reevaluate your treatment method for migraines. Pregnant women can’t take the same medications as most other people. So, it’s a good idea to draw from your holistic well to manage migraine attacks.

In looking for natural ways to deal with migraines, consider these:

Know Your Triggers

Every person dealing with migraines has their own set of unique triggers. Some find that eating dark chocolate invites an attack. A change in the barometric pressure may impact others.

For you, it could be something different altogether. However, it’s worth taking the time to investigate.

Pay attention to those things that make you feel “off.” Even if they don’t cause a full-blown migraine, take note of them. Ultimately, these tiny observations may lead you to your big answer.

Furthermore, once you’ve identified your migraine trigger, avoid it. Granted, you can’t keep the barometric pressure balanced, for example.

However, you can install an app on your phone that will alert you of pressure changes. Also, you can stay indoors and practice relaxation techniques to ward off the pain.

There’s an answer to each trigger. Get to know yours.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Infinite is the number of jokes aimed at parents having sleepless nights. Yet, sleep basically empowers parents to be superhuman. In other words, sleep is super important to your overall health.

Sleep keeps your cognitive function optimal. And, it also keeps your physical body working at top-notch levels as well, which helps to avoid and manage migraines.

Let’s face it, pregnancy doesn’t bode well for comfortable rest. It can be hard to get the proper amount of sleep when you’re navigating a big baby belly.

So do the best you can. Try to regulate your circadian rhythm by establishing a bedtime routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Start prepping your body and mind for bed 30-60 minutes before you even lay down.

Stay Well Hydrated

As crucial as sufficient sleep, water is also essential to your health. In fact, dehydration is a leading cause of headaches. Migraines included.

When you go to the hospital for a migraine, the first treatment method is IV saline to combat dehydration. That’s how important it is to stay hydrated.

Remember, your body needs much more water now that you’re pregnant. While every person is different, the recommended amount of water is 8 cups. During pregnancy, that increases by 2-4 cups.

Getting enough sleep teamed with proper hydration are like the one-two punch against migraines.

Be Prepared with a Treatment Plan

During pregnancy, no longer can you simply pop a pill to avoid a migraine. Yet, this doesn’t mean that all medications are off-limits.

There are a handful of safe medications that your healthcare provider can recommend. These safe medications are unique to each pregnancy, so it’s vital to speak with your own provider about taking them.

When medications aren’t optional or preferred, try to practice relaxation techniques. Things like deep breathing, visualization, or yoga tend to work well for all headaches.

Plus, relaxation techniques enable you to get in tune with your body. So, you will recognize when something is off-kilter more quickly.

Enjoy the Experience!

Migraines may be a part of your pregnancy experience. But they certainly don’t have to ruin it for you.

By understanding migraines and their proven treatment methods, you can manage them better and fully enjoy your pregnancy experience.

Are You a New Parent or Parent-To-Be?

If you’re going to have a new baby coming into the house soon, I highly recommend getting a copy of my free eBook: “57 Ways To Save Money As New Parents“!

It’s full of great ways to save money and it’s totally free.

If you’re interested, you can get your copy below!

Need to save money on baby?

Get our free cheat sheet and learn over 50+ smart ways to save money as new parents. You’ll be glad you did!

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