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There are a lot of things that parents worry about--and much of it unfounded. But our fears about SIDS are real and they’re warranted--it’s the one monster that we can’t shake. Sudden infant death syndrome, the death of a baby under the age of 1 that cannot be explained even after thorough investigation, remains the leading cause of death among U.S. infants. There are an estimated 1,500 cases each year , and one in five of these deaths happens during child care.

So while you may have studied the ins and outs of safe sleep , does your child-care provider know exactly what’s safe when it comes to your baby’s slumber?

To mark SIDS Awareness Month , we asked First Candle CEO Christopher Blake to help us keep our babies safe when we are not around.

1. Know the basics of safe sleep. Though research indicates that brain abnormalities linked to breathing and sleep arousal may play a role in SIDS, we still don’t fully understand why some infants are more vulnerable than others. But there are steps that you and your caregiver can take to protect your baby during sleep. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics you should always put your baby down to sleep on his back. You can share a room with him, but you should never share a bed. Fitted sheet aside, the crib should be bare: no plush toys, no blankets, no bumpers; and the mattress should be firm and tightly fitted to the crib. Dress your baby as you would with an extra layer, and do not cover his head to avoid overheating. Keep his room well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature (from 68 to 72 degrees). And no smoking around him. For more guidelines and to test your knowledge on sleep safety, go here .

2. Make sure your caretaker knows the guidelines too. The Safe to Sleep campaign has been educating parents and caregivers on safe sleep practices for years, and, as a result, has helped lower SIDS rates by more than half since the 1990s. That being said, crib deaths happen at a much higher rate when a child goes from home to child care . Many of these deaths are linked to unaccustomed tummy sleeping (being placed on the tummy when it isn’t the usual sleeping position), which could indicate that not all caregivers (relatives, nannies or daycare teachers) know how to promote a safe sleep environment.

Whether you are in the process of choosing a new child-care arrangement or already have one, arm yourself with the right questions:

-What’s the teacher to children ratio? The smaller, the better.

-Do they place any items in the cribs? Unequivocally, the answer should be, “no.”

-What is their safe sleep policy? This will tell you whether they are up to date with AAP recommendations.

-And do they have CPR and first aid training?

3. Speak up. “A lot of the times, parents think doctors or daycare providers are the professionals; that whatever they say goes,” Blake says. But when it comes to your child, you are the expert! So talk about SIDS and what you’ve done to keep it at bay. Give them a guide to your bedtime routine (like this one ) and ask that they follow it. “Parents need to be the ones who are empowered and to impart their knowledge on caregivers and relatives,” Blake says. “They need to be informed, know what they want and demand it.” If you have concerns, talk about them and make surprise visits to check on your child. Ultimately, you need to trust your instinct: if you are unsure of the care your baby is receiving, find another provider whom will match your expectations.

4. Take the transition to day care as slowly as possible. According to First Candle , approximately 1/3 of SIDS-related deaths in childcare occur in the first week, and half of these occur on the first day. What’s even more striking is that “babies that are at low risk for SIDS go to a high risk category on day 1 in childcare,” Blake says. Many suspect that changes in baby’s caregiver, schedule and environment are at the root of the problem. Keeping it consistent from one caregiver to another and easing into a new child-care routine can help smooth the way for the transition. Here are a few tips:

    • Visit the daycare center or meet with the nanny a few times before the official start date;
    • Talk about day care at home, no matter how young your child is;
    • Get your baby used to caretakers outside the family and outside the home;
    • Give your caretaker the inside scoop on your baby’s likes and dislikes, and do so ahead of time;
    • Don’t just drop your baby off. Spend the first few days observing and see how he takes to the caretaker (and vice versa) prior to leaving them alone;
    • Communicate with your child-care provider, and keep doing so well beyond the transitional period. This will allow you to know how your child is coping and to ensure that safe practices are still in place.

5. Spread the word. Child-care licensing and training regulations vary from state to state . This means that depending on where you live, your child-care provider may not need to update his or her training to maintain licensure. If you think your caretaker isn’t familiar with safe sleep standards, sharing your knowledge may not quite cut it. So talk to other parents around you about organizing a training event and pass the baton to the professionals! Many organizations dedicated to eliminating SIDS and other sleep-related deaths offer in-person and online educational programs to child-care centers and providers.

Photography by Desiree Walters Photography.

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With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna

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2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

PIPA™ lite car seat
$349.95, Nuna

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3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

PIPA™ base
(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95

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4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna

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5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

SENA aire mini
$199.95, Nuna

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With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

This article was sponsored by Nuna. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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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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