Ways to Keep Baby Bottles and Accessories Clean

I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit of a germaphobe. This was especially true when I had my babies, and when I needed to learn how to sanitize their bottles and binkies. So today, I’m sharing some tips straight from the CDC on ways to keep baby bottles and accessories clean. Let’s dig in…

In the Dishwasher

Check the packaging of your baby’s bottles and pacifiers to see if they are dishwasher safe. Most items tend to be dishwasher safe only on the top rack, so be aware of that when you’re loading the dishwasher. The CDC recommends that you take all of the components apart and rinse them before loading them into the dishwasher. When you load them into the dishwasher, place smaller items into a basket like this so they don’t end up at the bottom of the dishwasher. And run the dishwasher using hot water and a heated drying cycle. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before unloading the items. If they’re not completely dry, lay them on a clean, dry towel to air dry.

By Hand

If you’re washing baby bottles by hand, make sure you wash your hands well before beginning. Separate the bottle parts and rinse them individually under running water. Don’t set them down in the sink. Fill a clean container (that you’re using only to clean the bottle parts and accessories) with hot water and soap, and place items directly in the container. Scrub items using a clean brush (that is also only used to clean your baby accessories). Squeeze water through nipple holes to ensure that the holes get clean. Rinse again under running water, and allow parts to air-dry. Then clean the container and the brush by washing them by hand or putting them into the dishwasher.

When in Doubt, Sanitize

Sanitizing feeding items once a day can ensure that items stay super clean. (This is only necessary if you haven’t washed the items in a dishwasher with hot water and the heated dry setting.) Sanitize items after they’ve been washed by one of the above methods, and check with the item’s manufacturer about which of the following methods you should use to further sanitize your accessories:

1. Boil
Place items into a pot and cover with water, and bring water to a boil. Boil for five minutes and remove items with clean tongs.

2. Steam 
Place disassembled items in the microwave or a plug-in steam system (like this) and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sanitizing, cooling and drying the items.

3. Bleach
Prepare a bleach solution of one teaspoon of unscented bleach per gallon or water in a clean wash basin. Submerge items completely, checking that the solution covers all parts and there are no air bubbles in the bottles or pacifiers. Squeeze solution through the nipple holes, and soak for at least two minutes. Remove with tongs or washed hands. Do not rinse the items; any remaining bleach will break down as it dries. Allow all items to dry completely before storing.

Store Safely

As mentioned above, let all of your bottle accessories, bottle brushes and washing containers air-dry completely before putting them away. With clean hands, put all components back together. Place all reassembled items in a protected, clean area like a closed kitchen cabinet used to store clean dishes or that has been specifically designated to hold all clean baby bottles and accessories.

 

 

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New Must-Have Wearable Tech for Babies

Over the past few years, the technological advancements in baby tech, especially wearable tech, have been incredible. Here are some new, must-have wearable tech items for babies.

Owlet Smart Sock 2

We’d be remiss if we didn’t share the Owlet Smart Sock 2. This device tracks your infant’s heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep and is designed to notify you if either falls out of range. Equipped with a sensor, three fabric socks (sizes 0-18 months), base station, and compatible app, the Owlet is a must-have item for the tech-savvy.

Pacif-i Smart Pacifier

The Pacif-i is not your mother’s pacifier. It utilizes low energy Bluetooth technology to constantly measure your baby’s temperature, providing accurate, time-stamped readings to your iOS or Android devices. And it comes in four different colors.

Project Nursery Parent + Baby SmartBand

This device is the first-of-its-kind, created specifically for parents and babies. The SmartBand allows you to log important information like breastfeeding/bottle feeding, pumping, child weight and naps. It can also track your hydration, weight, diet, exercise, and sleep, and act as an activity tracker for you and your baby.

Garmin babyCam

Why settle for your run-of-the-mill mirror, when technology can help you monitor your child in the car? If you’re already a Garmin product lover, this camera will sync up to your existing Garmin navigation device to provide a live feed of your reverse-facing baby. Plus, it provides a notification when you are exiting your vehicle to check for remaining passengers in your vehicle. Pretty cool, right?

VersaMe Starling

This wearable tech item processes your verbal engagements with your baby by telling you how many words your baby hears and speaks throughout the day. It clips onto your child’s shirt just below the neck and tracks environmental language patterns, words goals and the developmental progress of your child.

What are some of your favorite must-have wearable tech items for babies? 

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Dressing Baby for Fall

Usher in the fall season with a shopping trip to update your baby’s wardrobe with warmer clothing. There are SO many adorable options to dress baby for fall to keep them warm. Here are a few of our favorite fall trends and where to find them:

Sherpa Jackets

Give me all the Sherpa. Seriously, the Sherpa trend is the greatest trend to hit the fashion world in a long time, it’s like walking around in the coziest bed ever! From blankets to lined jackets, I’ll take it all. Keep baby especially warm and comfortable in a Sherpa jacket, like this unbearably cute Sherpa jacket from Carter’s. Watch out though, the soft material might just put your baby to sleep (maybe that’s not such a bad thing?)

Carter’s Sherpa Jacket

Rain boots

Okay, are these baby rain boots from Petit Bateau not the actual cutest things you’ve ever seen? These are the smallest little rain boots – I don’t even have a baby small enough to wear these anymore and I want them.  If your baby is born on a rainy fall day, put them on to wear home from the hospital!

Petit Bateau Rain Boots

Hats

Framing that chubby little baby face in a hat is not only practical to keep baby’s head warm in the fall, but you’re basically doing a public service for onlookers to give them a glimpse of sheer adorable-ness that is sure to brighten up anybody’s day. I love hats with chin straps to really accentuate those chunky cheeks and chins like this pom-pom hat from Gap, but if baby doesn’t like the straps you’ll get the same reaction and keep baby’s head ultra-warm in this fleece beanie from The North Face.

                               

 Gap Pom-Pom Hat      

North Face Fleece Beanie

Peacoats

I like that peacoats can be dressed up or down, designed extra-thick for really cold temperatures or thin for warmer fall days. Whatever weather situation in which you find yourself, there is a pea coat for your baby. I love this wool-blend peacoat from H&M. It would be cute on a boy or a girl, and the wool blend would offer the perfect amount of warmth with breathability.

H&M Wool-Blend Peacoat

Bodysuits

Fall means it’s time to bust-out the long-sleeved onesies and bodysuits, and Kohl’s has some super cute fall-florals to keep baby warm and stylish. And check out this buffalo plaid bodysuit at Kohl’s for your lil’ lumberjack? TO. DIE. FOR.

                                 

Kohl’s Fall-Floral Bodysuit 

 

 

 Kohl’s Buffalo Plaid Bodysuit

Plaid

Plaid continues to be a go-to pattern for the fall, and this plaid flannel shirt dress from Old Navy has me wanting to call and request it in my size, right? It’s warm, super cute, and paired with some pants or lined-leggings or even with a vest thrown over the top, your baby will be styling and warm in her on-trend plaid this fall.

 

Old Navy Plaid Flannel Shirt Dress

Suspenders

I can’t even with the baby suspenders, like this 3-piece suspenders set from Carter’s. Is there anything more ironically adorable than a baby in suspenders? They may laugh when they grow up to an age when suspenders are actually a practical fashion choice and see pictures of them wearing suspenders as a baby, but fashion doesn’t have to be practical, especially for babies (hello, animal ears on every hood/hat?)

Carter’s 3-Piece Suspenders

 

What are your go-to fall fashion choices for your baby?

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How to Dress Your Baby in Style on a Budget

Let’s be honest, dressing a baby can be really fun. You pretty much have the ultimate power to choose all the outfits and accessories without any opposition from your child, which you will miss when your three-year-old insists on only wearing clothing that has sparkles on it. Trust me.

That being said, sometimes it’s difficult to find stylish baby clothes that don’t break the bank. Here are some tips on how to dress your baby in style on a budget:

1. Visit consignment and thrift stores
I cannot tell you how many gems from brands like Janie and Jack, ZARA and Freshly Picked can be found if you’re willing to search through the quantities to find the steals. Stores like Kid to Kid are a great place to start looking, as are places like the Salvation Army or Deseret Industries.

2. Join Buy/Sell/Trade (BST) groups on Facebook
Searching Facebook for BST groups that focus on your favorite brands is another great way to save money. In a lot of instances, you’ll have the opportunity to buy things that are like-new for less than retail. Don’t be afraid to join local yard sale groups too… you never know when you’ll find something amazing.

3. Sign up for email lists 
Signing up for brand newsletters/email lists is a great way to stay in the know about sales, discounts and exclusive subscriber deals. Sometimes you’ll even get a discount for signing up. Whether it’s a smaller shop, or a larger retail brand, you’re sure to find some deals if you’re willing to subscribe.

4. Check your local grocery store(s)
I’ve found some of the cutest clothes for my kids at the cheapest prices at my local Smith’s Marketplace and Target stores. Both of these stores have coupons apps as well, so you can look for discounts that way, too. So when you’re out grocery shopping, swing on over to the kids clothing section to see if there are any deals happening.

5. Ask for gift cards
Stocking up on gift cards is another cost-effective way to dress your baby in style. If you have family or close friends ask you what you’d like for your baby, suggest gift cards to your favorite baby store. If you’re still expecting or awaiting placement, consider adding this request to your baby registry. That way, you’ll be able to use multiple gift cards together to create a stylish wardrobe for your baby, and you won’t have to worry about returning gifts that you get duplicates of.

6. Host a clothing exchange
If you have friends and/or family who also have children similar ages, consider hosting a clothing exchange. Because sometimes it’s just nice to wear clothes that are new (to you). You can make it more fun by including adult clothes too. That way, mama and baby can both look stylish on a budget.

7. Invest in a few fun basics that you can mix-and-match 
Investigate some higher-end baby basics brands (my favorite is June & January) and buy a few staple pieces that you can mix-and-match. You may be paying a bit more per piece, but you’ll yield more outfit options and combinations than with other pieces that don’t coordinate as well. Search for brands that offer a perks program and/or great sales to save even more.

What are some of your favorite ways to dress your baby in style on a budget?

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