Winter Baby Essentials (Closed)

From riding the subway to hanging in your living room, here's all your winter essentials for baby.

Winter Baby Essentials (Closed)

Winter is coming, and if there’s one advice we can give you, it’s this: start prepping for the season now! But...before you head to the store for your winter essentials, know that baby loses heat much faster than you do. And since you are the one doing all the walking while baby just lays there, dress him as you do, but with an extra layer – a AAP rule of thumb to ensure that your little stays cozy without overheating. To keep baby comfortable at home, remove extra layers and hats, and make sure that the room temperature remains at a comfortable 68 to 72 degrees. Now that you’ve got the winter basics down, it’s time to get into (winter) gear. And it should take just a little bit of fluff and a lot of layering to get baby through the wintry weather without a meltdown. There are so many options out there, so if you feel a little overwhelmed, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered! Whether you plan on being a happy indoors mama or venturing the great outdoors, we’ve sorted through some of the newest and greatest cold-weather staples to help you winterize baby’s wardrobe before this year’s first snow. (PS: Enter to win $900 in !) 1. All-Day Outing with the Stroller: Are you planning on strolling through the city for the better part of the season? Keep baby toasty by adding warm, puffy layers over his knitwear. Don’t forget to accessorize: mittens, booties and a hat will add a nice layer of warmth to protect baby from wind and freezing temps. Don’t let a bad case of the vanishing glove get in the way of your long and relaxing winter walks: hand warmers that attach to your stroller bar will keep your mitts (and wrists) cozy while making it easy to tend to your child’s needs. Clockwise from top left: 7A.M. Enfant, Polar WarMMuffs: $44; Mini Rodini, Puff Overall: $174; MimiTENS, mittens and booties: $23 and $29.95; Skip Hop, Stroll & Go Three Season Footmuff: $80; Egg by Susan Lazar, Cable Knit Layette: $70; Zutano, Cozie Shaggy Baby Hat: $24.50. 2. City Commute with a Baby Carrier: Even in the winter, a city commute can get sweaty – especially when you get on a crowded subway or carry baby around. So lose the snowsuit and up your layering game with thin, cozy clothes that you can peel off as needed. Opt for a carrier or stroller cover that you can snap on and off very easily. Here are our top picks: Clockwise from top left: Oeuf, Footie Jumper: $60; 7A.M. Enfant, Pookie Poncho Classic: $118; Misha & Puff, Pointy Peak Hat: $58; Zara, Organic Cotton Sweatshirt: $19.90; Misha & Puff, Safe Harbor Mittens: $38; Gap, Sherpa Footed Bear One-Piece: $39.95. 3. Car Ride with the Car Seat: If you're getting baby ready for a car ride, forget about all the winter fluff. Thickness doesn't always mean warmer, and it may actually get in the way of his safety. Choose a car seat cover that goes over baby's seatbelt and that doesn't add any fabric between his body and the car seat. For extra warmth, pile on several layers of clothes that are thin enough for the harness straps to remain snug to baby's actual body. Clockwise from top left: Zutano, Cozie Booties: $21; Polarn O. Pyret, Merino Wool Romper: $59; Burt's Bees Baby, Solid Footed Tights: $5.06; JJ Cole Collections, Car Seat Cover: $29.99; Old Navy, Bodysuit 3-Pack: $13. 4. At Home: Once at home, you can (and should) keep on layering. But why not do it in style? Tuck a long-sleeve bodysuit under a two-piece loungewear, and put socks and wool booties on your little's tootsies to keep them extra toasty. Time for bed? Swaddle him up in a blanket or (if he's not keen on sleeping burrito-style) slip him in a slightly quilted sleep sack. Remember: if baby is sweaty or if his chest feels hot to the touch, he may be overheating. So adjust the layers under his sleepwear accordingly. Clockwise from top left: Aden + Anais, Classic Swaddles 4-pack: $49.95; Goat-Milk Kidware, Long-Sleeve Bodysuit: $35; Oeuf, Sock Booties: $60; KidWild Collective, Organic Baby Sleeping Bag: $52; NUNUNU, Star Loungewear: $76; Etiquette Clothiers, Etiquette x Barneys Bundle: $44. Want to win $900 of this stuff in our Winter Baby Giveaway? Enter to win here! Winner: Nicole K


I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

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

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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