Best Developmental Toys For Babies

Best Developmental Toys for Babies - SmartMom

Providing an environment of safe, educational exploration for our babies is one of the big important tasks we all focus on as we become parents. Naturally, we all know that kids love toys – but the options are completely overwhelming! And to be honest, not all toys are created equal in terms of developmental appropriateness and educational value. Many of the toys stocked on retailers shelves appear over-packed with “learning opportunities” – think flashing lights, loud songs – but aren’t actually providing what children need in their natural developmental phases.

Babies don’t need many toys, especially in their first year of life. They learn so much through exploring their environment when literally anything can be a toy! Breaking down a baby’s first year into their developmental leaps, here are some suggestions for the best developmental toys for babies in each phase. Continue reading

How To Make Homemade Baby Wipes

How to Make Homemade Baby Wipes - SmartMom

As you’ve been changing diaper after diaper (after diaper!), you may have realized that you burn through a LOT of wipes during the diapering years. If you average 2 disposable wipes per diaper change, and change baby 8 times a day, you spend at least $175 on wipes each year! That doesn’t even take into account the extras used! Or cleaning more than one child. After switching to homemade baby wipes, I have experienced the benefits of saving money, avoiding possible questionable ingredients (some babies have extra sensitive skin) and decreasing our environmental impact. I love all those benefits! Continue reading

How To Get A Free Breast Pump With Insurance

Free Breast Pump with Insurance - SmartMom

Breast pumps are a necessity to almost all new mothers but the high quality (and most effective) pumps are quite expensive! Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most insurance companies are now required to provide breast pumps to pregnant and nursing moms. That is wonderful news! Now, how do you go about getting your free breast pump with insurance? How do you know what kind of pump your insurance will cover? There are programs that even do the hard work for you so getting your pump can be as easy as one phone call! Continue reading

Why Establishing a Routine for Baby Will Save Your Sanity

Routine for Baby - SmartMom

In the world of baby care, your days can feel quite repetitive. Creating a predictable routine for baby may not seem necessary, especially to an infant. You could get by with following your baby’s cues and making intuitive guesses at their needs as you go about your day together. But babies, toddlers and children all thrive on predictable routines so it is something to consider! Adding a rhythm to your day is calming and helps your baby in regulating their needs. Establishing a routine that works for your baby means they will be more content – and that might just save your sanity! Continue reading

Choosing Baby Room Paint Colors to Help Your Baby Sleep

The baby room paint colors in this nursery are soft and emit a calm, relaxing atmosphere.

When pregnancy nesting mode kicks in, I know I can’t help but drool over all the beautiful nursery inspiration there is to find. I’m sure you’re the same way! There are so many bright, colorful, patterned and trendy ideas out there. We might love how it looks – but which design ideas are best for a baby? Does it make a difference to your newborn if you paint the walls red, striped, or plain white? Your choice of baby room paint colors has a strong affect the atmosphere of the room. That’s right; you have the power to create a calm atmosphere that can help your baby focus, relax, and sleep all while having a creative adventure choosing baby room paint colors!

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5 Sanity-Saving Signs of a Colicky Baby

As a mother cradles her crying baby, she needs to know the signs of a colicky baby.

If you are suspicious that your baby might have colic, you’re likely exhausted right now. You’re at the end of your rope, feeling helpless and out of ideas. One of the worst feelings as a parent comes when you have a sick or upset child and you can’t do anything to fix it!

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A Complete Guide to Babies and Gas

A mother burps her baby in order to avoid the painful combination of babies and gas.

All babies have gas, just like all kids and all adults have gas! Babies and gas typically go together like a healthy diet and regular digestion. You don’t necessarily have a medical problem on your hands just because you sense that your baby is gassy. When your baby is releasing gas, feel free to take a sigh of relief because this generally means your baby’s little body is working. Yet, the discomfort that babies can feel does make it seem like an urgent problem to solve. There are plenty of things you can do to help reduce the amount of gas pains your baby experiences and ease the symptoms of the inevitable gas that will happen.

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What You Need to Know About Phantom Pregnancy Kicks

A woman carrying her toddler wondering why she is experiencing phantom pregnancy kicks.

If you’ve been stopped in your tracks by what feels like little fetal kicks or movements even though you are one hundred percent positive that you are not pregnant, you’re not alone! Breathe a sigh of relief that you aren’t crazy while we dig into what these phantom pregnancy kicks are and why they happen.

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How to Wash Baby Clothes the Right Way

wash baby clothes

When you’re expecting a new baby, it is instinctive to try to perfectly prepare your home environment for the precious little life that will soon be living there along with you. Decorating the nursery, stocking up on essentials, installing the carseat, and of course…collecting tiny clothes and stacking them neatly in the dresser. Many new moms wonder if there is a right way to wash baby clothes or if you can just wash them as you would wash the rest of your laundry. Do you need to buy the special “baby detergent”? Do you need to wash clothing that is brand new or used? And how do you wash the baby clothes once they’re being used and introduced to a variety of baby related stains!? Not to worry, you don’t need to jump through hoops for these special little outfits. There are a few things to consider that might be different from your regular laundry but it is easy and will become your new normal in no time.

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7 Ways to Support New Moms

7 Ways to Support New Moms - SmartMom

When your friends start having babies, you might need to think of ways to support new moms. Having a newborn is a blissful blur of new moments. But it can also be exhausting as the parents adjust to this new life rhythm. Most new moms feel sleep deprived from night feedings and are still recovering from labor (or surgery!) making it hard to do anything beyond taking care of their newborn. Sometimes, it may not be comfortable for a new mom to ask for help or even accept it. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t need it or wouldn’t appreciate it! Beyond baby onesies, there is so much you can offer her that is both meaningful and needed during this transitional time.

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