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As a New Yorker, my mission was to find the warmest yet coolest snowsuit for my 4-month-old son. My mother told me how cozy Cal would be bundled up in the car when the temperature was below freezing. This seemed logical, until a girlfriend shared how car seat baby safety regulations have changed. My mother hasn’t taken care of a baby in nearly 35 years. And while she did one helluva job raising me, according to recent studies on baby safety, she could have easily (and innocently) killed me.

Now that Grandma is caring for my son while I work, I am working to empower myself in order to advise her in caring for Cal, as opposed to the other way around. And let’s just say, when it comes to baby safety regulations, times, they have-a changed!

Sleep Safety

It seems that every few years the recommended sleeping position for a baby changes. Today, babies sleep on their backs. Additional SIDS prevention guidelines include:

• Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats, swings, etc. are not recommended for routine sleep

• Baby should sleep in the same room as parents, but not co-sleep

• Keep soft objects (pillows, blankets, bumper pads, toys) or loose bedding out of the crib

• Do not use wedges or positioners

• Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime

• Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating

• Do not use devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS

Get additional information here.



In May 2013 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously to approve mandatory safety standards to improve the safety of infant swings in newer products. Products manufactured in prior years may not possess these safety standards.


The number of recent recalls involving the breakage of clamps has raised serious safety concerns among experts. Additional concerns arise with potential physical developmental effects that can possibly lead to delayed motor skills.

Mobile Walkers

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the U.S. government place a ban on the manufacture and sale of baby walkers with wheels, deeming them unsafe. Additionally, according to the AAP, walkers can delay motor and mental development.


The stationary “walker” tends to hold baby’s hips in an extended position and prevents the visual of seeing feet, which is needed when learning how to move.

Tummy Time

As a new parent the first item to learn is “back to sleep, tummy to play”. Tummy time helps strengthen muscles, improve motor skills, as well as helps prevent the development of flat head.


A few recommendations in managing teething pain include:

• Massaging with a (clean) finger or simply let baby gnaw

• A cold washcloth, spoon or teething ring. Refrigerate only, freezing may cause harm

• A frozen bagel, banana, or carrot (for babies who are eating solids)

And the don’ts:

• Liquid-filled plastic teething rings. Aside from the potential phthalates/BPA presence, there is possible bacterium and concerns about ring leakage

Numbing gels are no longer approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in babies as the ingredient lidocaine may be harmful


Reports advocate for not bathing baby every day, especially a newborn, as daily bathing can dry baby’s delicate skin.


Rear Facing Car Seats

The AAP advises parents keep children in rear facing car seats until the age of 2 as research has shown that children under age 2 are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear facing.

Winter Coats

Experts warn that the usage of “fluff” in order to keep baby warm in a car seat is not safe due to compression making the straps too loose for baby’s body to be held safely in the event of a crash.

Car Seat Toys

Giving baby something to play with while in the car has the potential of becoming a dangerous projectile in a crash so it is recommended to avoid placing toys, mirrors, etc. in or around a car seat.


The AAP advises that if baby is old enough to eat cereal (around 4-6 months) then they are old enough to eat from a spoon as incidents of gagging or inhaling the mixture are increased if baby is not developmentally ready. Exposure to solid foods before baby is ready may put them at risk for developing food allergies, and some believe it increases the chances of “overfeeding”.

I am by no means a medical professional. I believe we, as parents, have a responsibility to be informed on all subject matters relating to our children; however, we hold the rights to make what we feel are best decisions. For me, making those decisions are based on understanding the risks, weighing the benefits, and doing a thorough check in with that motherly instinct that resides within. Be empowered!

Who said motherhood doesn't come with a manual?

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.

Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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