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Baby Sleep Safety Myths

We’re busting 5 common myths around baby sleep safety.

Baby Sleep Safety Myths

There’s a lot about parenting that comes instinctually. And in most cases, we’re the first to tell you to ignore the “expert” advice of Aunt Betty and Cousin Amy and your mail carrier. After all, you know what’s best for your baby. But, when it comes to sleep safety, there’s no room for “winging it.” In fact, there’s just one way get baby to sleep: safely. That doesn’t mean there aren't tons of opinions out there, and some of them pretty bogus. We asked our favorite Certified Pediatric Sleep Specialist Carolina Romanyuk to help us clear through the baby sleep safety clutter.

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From organic mattresses to tummy time, here’s 5 common baby sleep safety myths, busted.

Myth 1: Baby will sleep better in my bed with me.
Fact: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highly emphasizes that bed sharing is a big no-no with newborns and infants, mainly because of the high SIDS risk possibility. Infants should sleep on surfaces designed for infants--a firm crib mattress and fitted sheet, with nothing else in the crib. Still thinking of bringing baby into your bed? Try a co-sleeper until you’re ready to move your little one into his own crib.

Myth 2: It's no big deal to sleep baby on his tummy, they've been sleeping that way for hundreds of years.
Fact: Back in the early 90’s the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development launched the “Back to Sleep” campaign that was heavily promoted by the AAP. The campaign focuses on educating parents that placing their child to sleep on their back is the safest way to sleep. Till this day it is enforced because it has significantly reduced the death rates among infants in SIDS-related cases. We’re all for tummy time, but only when baby is awake and being watched.

Myth 3: As long as I use an organic crib sheet, it doesn't matter if my crib mattress is organic.
Fact: Parents should now more than ever be looking into organic and healthier versions of everything, from the food we feed to our babies, to the clothes they wear, to the mattresses they sleep on--for approximately 16-18 hours a day! Having a healthy sleep environment is crucial for achieving sleep success, and one of the most important pieces in your baby’s life for their early years is the crib mattress. Find an organic crib mattress, like this one from Greenbuds, which uses only all natural and organic materials and is free from pesticides, chemicals or other harmful synthetic substances. Removable and washable covers are a great benefit, and eliminate the need for synthetic waterproof barriers.

Here’s some other guidelines for choosing a healthy mattress:
Firmness. Choose a firm surface. A soft sleeping surface can be a suffocation hazard and raise the risk of SIDS. Worried your toddler-to-be won't like that firm surface? Try a dual-sided mattress (Greenbuds uses coconut coir and a layer of natural latex for extreme firmness on the infant side) and turn it to the cushy side when your babe is a bit older.
Wool or cotton? Organic wool has inherent flame retardant properties, eliminating the need for any flame-retardant treatments, including the most common flame retardants found in standard mattresses, PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers). These flame retardants can release toxic gases and other substances that could harm babies. Cotton can be treated for fire safety too--Greenbuds, for example, treats its cotton covers with a form of boiron, which is a naturally derived mineral that acts as a fire retardant in a completely non-toxic format.
Size of the mattress. It should fit snug in the crib, with a 2-finger max between the crib rail and the mattress.
Mattress Pad. We don't blame you if you want to add a little protection for those midnight accidents. Choose an organic mattress pad that's fitted, with elastic edges so it's super-snug around the mattress. Greenbuds makes a mattress protector that is completely organic, which can be used with their own line or added to any type of crib mattress.

Myth 4 : SIDS doesn't happen anymore. And it especially doesn't happen to people like me.
Fact: SIDs is very real and isn't race-, economic- or gender-specific. While the cause theories on SIDS range from genetic/brainstem abnormalities or some other form of early developmental situation to environmental factors (ex: smoke, overheating,etc.), there are ways to reduce your baby’s risk. Create a safe sleep environment and urge your childcare provider to do the same, using these tips:
1. Make sure there’s no wires or baby monitor cords in the crib.
2. Choose a firm mattress that fits snugly in the crib so there is no movement.
3. Use only a fitted sheet.
4. There should be no loose blankets or toys in the crib.
5. Dress the baby as you would dress yourself with an extra layer. Remember, if you swaddle, that swaddle IS one extra layer. A good temperature is anywhere between 68 – 72 degrees, and consistency is key, especially when baby will be sleeping in a new environment (such as daycare). A wool mattress can also help to regulate body temperature which makes for a safer and more comfortable sleeping environment.
6. Baby should sleep in a smoke-free environment.

Myth 5: Baby can't move around anyway, so it's totally fine to use that really gorgeous bumper that came with my set.
FACT: Babies move all the time, even when they’re swaddled. You place them on an area of the crib and they end up on the other side. Babies are known to scoot, shimmy and, once they have access to their hands...oh boy, nothing is stopping them. While bumpers were originally created to keep the baby warm in the crib, they are now banned by the AAP. We know they are super pretty, but toss them away. They’re a hazard. Concerned baby’s cute little arms or legs will get stuck in the crib slats? Keep removing them from between the slats and eventually your child will stop, or invest in breathable bumpers made from a mesh material.

This post was brought to you by Greenbuds. Want to win your own Greenbuds organic mattress and mattress pad? Enter here! Plus, WRNY readers get a free organic sheet ($30 value) when purchasing a mattress! (Use code FREESHEET. Valid through June 9)

Photography by Desiree Walters Photography.
Baby is wearing June & January (formerly Little Hipsqueaks). Dreamcatcher (above crib) by Hiho Batik.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

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