Friday, 31 July 2015

Mommy Musing: The 6 Stages of the First Bad Night


I am very, very lucky that my daughter has been more or less sleeping through the night since she was 6.5 months old. We didn't have to do anything special, like cry it out or set up some iron clad bedtime routine, she just started falling asleep at roughly 9:30 pm and waking up at roughly 7:15 am. As a bonus, this correlated with when we officially weaned from breastfeeding, so I rarely had to prepare a bottle in the night. It was a wonderful two months...too wonderful. 

This past week, in some cruel turn of events, has been terrible and I really wasn't prepared for the first bad night after a long chain of good ones. When you're pregnant you slowly transition into bad sleep - a few aches here, a couple of night pees there - until you find yourself in the final month and sleep is but a distant memory. So, you're prepared (work with me here) for the first few months of sleeplessness. It's your new normal. Until - and this is a glorious until - your baby makes it through an entire night without waking. You don't sleep those full 6 or 7 hours because you're certain she's stopped breathing or has fallen into an 8 year coma, so you wake every 30 minutes to listen intently to the monitor, or check in on his rising and falling chest. Eventually, though, you get used to multiple hours of consecutive sleep. You learn to love night time again! You wake refreshed! Until - and this is a really crappy until - BAM! 

A sleep regression.

It could be a cold, or teething, or something else entirely. The only thing you know for certain is that it sucks. It feels harder somehow. You feel tricked. So, for all you sleep deprived mamas out there, I'm going to go over the 6 stages of that first bad night.


Stage 1 - Denial

As little cries and whimpers begin to emanate from the monitor, you roll over and tell yourself its nothing. She'll settle herself back down. We're beyond this. Even as a loud cry or two erupt, you think to yourself: "This is just a test. Sleep screaming is totally a thing."

Stage 2 - Depression

As the crying amps up, you accept that this is happening and it really sucks. You enter your baby's room with a very heavy heart because you know that if he's crying in the night he's scared or in pain and you are ready to do whatever you can to make it better. (Hopefully, in as little time as possible.) You make sure to give your warm, comfy bed one last mournful look over your shoulder, though. It may be a while before you are reunited.

Stage 3 - Bargaining with your baby

When rocking, patting, shushing, cuddling, diaper changing and all those caring gestures don't work, you start to get creative. I try not to offer a bottle in the night for fear of starting a new habit. If she has gone 2 months without eating in the night, she should be able to go forever  - but I will make a 4 oz snack if she'll promise me to go back to sleep. In a delirious state, you start to make promises about the next day, knowing full well that baby neither understands nor cares about what you're saying. It's probably for the best that she doesn't calm down at that point because there's no way you could get to the water park, the library, the mall, and the toy store in one day like you've offered. 

Stage 4 - Bargaining with a higher being

Babies are not great negotiators, so you need to take it to someone with more power. Oh, great spirits of the wee hours! Grant us the peace we so desperately seek! You continue to write cheques you cannot cash for the next hour.

Stage 5 - Rationalizing

This is when things get dire. Your baby is awake. Wide awake. You must get through this by any means necessary. So, you bring out toys - at 3 am - just to get a break. You turn on the TV to keep yourself awake. You drive around the block 18 times, putting the neighbourhood watch on high alert.  It's just one night! Whatever it takes, you do it, because desperate times call for desperate measures. Don't worry mama - you're doing a good job.

Stage 6 - Relief

This is a very tentative feeling of relief. Baby has fallen back asleep, but you still need to get him back into his crib without disturbing him. If you succeed - really, truly succeed - you slowly slip back under the covers and hope against hope that you'll get another hour or two of sleep before it all starts again.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Baby's Own Health - Exploring the Park


My son's day care provider is roughly a 45 minute walk from my house. It's not horrible, but it's not ideal to have to spend the better part of an hour walking before 8am. At least, that's what I thought at first. With the heat of the summer in full effect, parents can’t wait to shake off the layers and start up the barbeque! Kids get excited about outdoor play, and you might hear your older children start to ask for their bikes from the garage. Babies can’t ask you, but they need it, too, and as the day goes on, it sometimes gets too hot!

While it might seem designed for your school aged kids, the perfect destination for any sunny day walk is the park; a wonder-filled space for everyone to enjoy. It great for an early morning stroll to start your day with energy. It's a shade spot to picnic, and to reapply your sunscreen. It's lovely in the evening to hit the swings. So how do you interact with your little one if they are not yet mobile to do it themselves? Here are some tips!

*I throw a shopping cart cover in my stroller before we head to the park to use in the swings. It adds a bit of padding and protects baby's bum in case it rained earlier in the day.
The walk to and around the park alone is a great way to build vocabulary. Talk about the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings. Point out the colours and the animals you see. We like to mention the sounds the birds make and talk about their coloured feathers. Lay out a blanket under a tree to stare at the leaves, or the shapes in the clouds. Consider bringing a bag to collect fossils, shells, or other souvenirs to talk about later.

Take time to experience the difference in textures, something than babies and toddlers love. Spiky grass, rough stones, smooth sand, and refreshing, cool water are just some of the new experiences your little one will enjoy. Encourage your child to describe it to you, or laugh about how different things can be. 

No matter how your family enjoys the park; singing songs in the splash pad, walking the dog, or just relaxing and talking to your neighbours, find a time in the day to get the fresh air with your little one a couple days a week. It really shakes of the stale feeling of hiding from the heat, when you can do it in a safe way.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Special Report: Children's Sizes

Image borrowed from http://backtoherroots.com/

Stats Canada says that the average newborn baby weighs somewhere between 2500g (5lbs 8oz) and 4499g (9lbs 15oz). That’s a huge difference, and that’s only the average! There are so many factors that determine whether your little one will be tiny or on the bigger side, and not all of them have to do with the size of your partner and you. Maybe your baby was early, or late. Maybe that’s just the way genetics sorted itself out! We haven’t even taken in to consideration how babies are differently shaped! Some are long and lean, while others are more solidly built. Some have big feet, which complicates footsie pajamas. Some have long torsos, which means onesies are out grown long before they are too small in the shoulders. 



Stores don’t make it easier either. They all measure differently, with baby sizes coming in vague month ranges or other seemingly arbitrary numbers. How do you know what size your baby even needs? If your baby is born at 6 lbs, you might go through premie, newborn and 0-3 clothes in a matter of weeks! Talk about expensive… Good news! We have done the research for you! We have made some helpful charts, and will offer some hints as to the specifics of some common baby brands.


The hardest time to buy baby clothes is that very first month. Even if you knew the gender, the size of your baby is still largely a mystery. Plus they grow so fast! Since newborns are pretty immobile, buy larger than you think you need and stick to the basics. Basic white onsies and pajamas are the name in the game. They will outgrow that 3 piece set in 2 weeks flat (if they ever fit in to it in the first place), and you know they’ll spit up right before grandma’s house anyways. 


Once you’ve sorted out the early sizing, be sure to have at least a few outfits on hand for the next size up right away. My son went from 6 month, which he was in for almost 4 months to 9 month sizing overnight. He literally ripped a hole in the foot of his pajamas. Then, he was in 12 month sizes within the month. We probably could have skipped 9 months entirely and just rolled up his pants, but since he was so comfortable in 6 months for a while, it was hard to tell! 

6 months is also the time when size gaps begin to broaden (or become completely random) at some stores. Old Navy, for example, classes some items 6-12 months, and they don’t all fit the same. I have a romper that my 14 month old seemed to skip over entirely, but he has a pair of 6-12 month shorts that still fit him quite well, despite his current sizing being largely 18-24 month! And don’t get me started on shoes… Did you know that shoes seem to be sized 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 18-24 months, then sizes 4-13? How does that make any sense?


Even if you think you know the right size, parents take note:
  • We've noticed that Carter's clothes (especially pajamas) fit slender, and the pants fit long. 
  • Joe Fresh seems to be a bit wider than most, which is most noticeable in the onesies.
  • Walmart clothing (for infants anyways) seems to shrink up and bunch in the wash. Items with zippers get that buckled effect.
  • Gymboree items wash great and the quality is fantastic, but watch for a sale. The prices might not be worth the amount of time your child is in a given size!
Here's a handy buyer's guide we've created to pick out some of the differences.



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Play Time - Fun with Colours


Play is an important part of childhood. Every kid should get the chance to have free, unstructured play with no expectations every day. However, play is also an amazing learning tool. When something is fun, and stress free, it is easily absorbed and remembered. You can use play to teach the basics to your toddler and pre-schooler, without it feeling like a lesson plan. Here are two ideas you can use to teach, or practice, colours using play.

Colour Sort Challenge


You'll Need: 

Coloured Construction paper (Choose whichever colours your child is currently working on learning. Stick to the 3 primary colours or expand to pinks, purples, and teals for an advanced preschooler.)

* Toys...or household objects. (Whatever you have in the house. Stuffed animals, cars, blocks, spatulas, flip flops - be creative! Just make sure items are one solid colour or have an obvious dominant colour.)

* A wide open space. (If you want to make this into a quieter activity, you can choose smaller objects, like Lego pieces or Fruit Loops and set it up at the kitchen table.)


Lay out the construction paper with space between and pile all of the toys in the middle, or to the side. Together with your child, place each toy on the piece of construction paper that is the same colour. Then let her continue doing it alone. Once your child has got the hang of it, you can mix it up. Give your child one minute to match as many toys to the colour as possible. Then, he can try to beat that number. At a play date (or for siblings) it can be a friendly competition. Or, don't collect the items in advance and send children on treasure hunts through the house to find one small or medium sized object of each colour. First one to find one of each wins and gets to choose the day's snack!


Colouring with Paper

You'll Need:



 Coloured Construction paper (In all the colours of the rainbow. You can get inexpensive construction paper pads at the dollar store.)

*  White paper. (Any quality or size.)

*  Crayons (Or pencil crayons or markers. Anything to draw the outlines of the shapes.)

*  Two sided tape. (Or paste for a more advanced preschooler.)

Start by drawing a hollow rainbow on the white sheet of paper. Make sure that the sections are wide enough to paste lots of pieces of paper. Have you child rip up construction paper of every colour into little pieces. (Trust me, toddlers really, really like ripping paper, so save this job, or a portion of this job, for them.) Now it's time to colour in the rainbow. Put a small piece of double sided tape on each piece of coloured paper, and demonstrate to your child how to place the paper within the lines of the coordinated colour. After you've done a bunch together, let your child continue on their own. If your child likes this activity, you can recreate it using other images. Try a stop sign (with red, green, and yellow) that you can then use to place cars. Or, how about tracing fall leaves and filling them in with the beautiful seasonal colours.

Note: Play is an amazing way to reinforce the knowledge that children are gaining just by experiencing the world in the pre-school years. Use these activities as an opportunity to have fun, and build on the different literacies that will help them, but don't pressure your child. As soon as it stops being fun, move on to another activity. Your child's ability to absorb information is limited under duress and you don't want to make them feel stressed at such a young age. They'll pick it up with time.

Monday, 20 July 2015

What's In Your Diaper Bag? Monaliza and Julianna

"Parenthood is a life fulfilling journey that teaches parents about selfless acts of loving, caring & giving. It's an amazing process of becoming a better person as you nurture a child from birth and every milestone."

Before my own son was a glimmer in my eye, I had the joy of watching my dear former co-worker experience her pregnancy. You rarely see a woman glow and enjoy every moment the way this lovely lady did. From cravings to swollen ankles, nothing seemed to faze her, and she stroked her baby bump in joyful anticipation, rolling with the punches, and the baby brain! Now a mother of two, the pride is doubled in her beautiful family. I couldn't wait to ask her...
 
What's In Your Diaper Bag?

Name: Monaliza

Baby's Name (and age): Dylan (4) & Julianna (6 months)

 
The Most Important Thing: Extra clothes



Basic Save: Home made baby food 

For the mom on the go who wants the cost savings of home made, along with the convenience of the now popular baby pouch, consider a product like these. So cute, compact, and reusable! Make any number of delicious combinations, catered to your babies taste and health needs, and pack them with you like a pro!


Essential Splurge: Diaper cream

Best Preparedness Advice: Compartmentalize using plastic bags or small bags, and always bring extra empty plastic bag for soiled clothes or soiled diaper. Put the diaper, wipes & diaper cream in one smaller bag so it's easy grab in case space is limited or for a quick change.

Final Words of Wisdom: Pack your diaper bag or double check your packed diaper bag, a day before your appointment. If you have more than one vehicle, it's handy to have two diaper bags always ready and good to go.  

"Enjoy each moment of motherhood because time flies very fast. Motherhood is not an easy task but follow your heart when it comes to your child and it will not lead you astray."


Content: my wallet, Bebe au lait nursing cover, Pouch with wipes, diaper pad, 2 diapers, folded small Ziploc, disposable nursing pads, Weleda baby diaper rash cream, 1 pajama, 1 onesie,* empty folded small ziploc for emergency soiled diaper and/or outfit

Friday, 17 July 2015

Mommy Money Matters: Mom Fashion




As a teenager, I loved clothes. It was an expression of my individuality… and my financial savvy. I would go to outlet malls and buy dozens of the latest t-shirts, jeans, and accessories at a fraction of the price of the mall. I could probably go a month and a half without doing laundry. I sometimes did. Fast forward to life as an adult and $3 t-shirts do not a wardrobe make. I had to spend a little more on things like business apparel and flexible pieces that could go from day to night. I had more trousers and cardigans than anything else, and I prided myself in looking sharp and presentable when I went to work. 

Once you’re pregnant, you really start to realize how little clothes you can live on. Most of your everyday wardrobe doesn't fit, but you don’t want to drop a fortune on clothes you’ll really only wear for 6-12 months (at a time). You’ll need a little extra room around the 4th month, and you won’t be back to your previous weight and shape – possibly ever! Since your budget is getting smaller, and no woman loves the fitting room, here are some tips for shopping for your pregnancy, maternity leave, and back to work wardrobes! 

Pregnancy:

  • Budget for at least $100-$200 unless you shop very smart, or are able to borrow some pieces from someone recently pregnant (which would be fantastic). You are buying practically a new wardrobe!
  • Make a list of what you need for casual (jeans, t-shirts), work (black pants, blouses), and any events you have to attend (one dress or skirt isn't a bad idea), and ensure you can mix and match.
  • Consider shopping at second-hand, consignment, or through mom-swaps for some pieces. They will be in great shape from limited use!
  • Only buy pieces that make you feel comfortable, and preferably pretty! You’ll end up wearing some things a lot.
  • Keep season in mind - you may need to bite the bullet and buy a maternity jacket if you're pregnant in the winter. Heavy sweaters don't always do the job.
Maternity Leave:
  • Budget around $50 just to bridge the gap as your figure and responsibilities change.
  • Your body has changed and will change a great deal, don’t invest a lot of money or in a large number of items (as eager as you may be for something new)!
  • Consider shopping at outlet malls or big box stores just for a few casual pieces that will see a lot of laundry.
  • Only buy pieces that will make the work of motherhood easier for you. For me, that was a few cheap t-shirts and some hooded sweaters. You might need yoga pants, nursing tops, or light, flowing dresses.


Back to work:

  • Budget around $100 to buy some items to make you feel good about what you’re wearing.
  • You may not be 100% happy with how you look right now, but be honest and try on all of your clothes. This is a good time to get rid of pieces that are worn out, that you don’t like, or that are out of fashion.
  • Put away clothes that are in great shape if they don’t quite fit (if you can’t bring yourself to donate them), and store away your maternity wear.
  • Only buy pieces that will add to your current wardrobe and will continue to flatter as your shape changes (ie, belted dresses, flowing tops, and well-fitting pants).
You may have heard jokes about “mom-jeans” or feel down about some extra weight you may be carrying. You made a person! That’s not like vacation weight from hitting the buffet! I earned every ounce and stretch mark! The way I see it, clothing is not really optional either. You have to dress to leave the house, and you might as well look good! Dress for the shape you have, and own it.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Play Time: Learning and Wonder

Everything seems to be amazing to my son right now. He’s a very curious explorer and examines every toy, rock, and person that comes in to view with puzzlement and joy. It’s like he’s always unlocking new information, and it’s so much fun! Lately I've been trying to encourage this wonder with fun outdoor activities. It’s interactive and cheap (if not entirely free)! Here are some fun summer ideas you can try with your intrepid little one!

Bubbles - Blowing, popping, chasing, and counting!


If your kid hasn't yet seen bubbles, get your camera ready! Whether they are thrilled and excited, or maybe a little scared at first, the picture opportunity is guaranteed to be priceless. My son loves them, and tries so hard to chase and catch them! You can always make your own with some dish soap, water, and a straw for blowing if the pre-mixed stuff is out of season. Right now, they seem to be available for around $1 everywhere. Try your local Walmart or dollar store for something as simple as a tube, or as elaborate as sets multiple shape producing handles. Keep them in your diaper bag for impromptu picnic fun or as a distraction waiting in line for the swings!

Sand - Sifting, sorting, packing, and piling!

Whether you're at the beach, or in your own backyard, sand is seemingly unlimited plaything! It has a lot of features of water, but might make the bath shy baby a little more comfortable. The different textures of wet and dry make for a variety of learning opportunities. Try hiding objects, then sifting or digging them out. Mound castles and play with toys in a different environment. If you have limited access to sand, or are concerned about safety (those pesky cats), why not try an indoor bin of a grainy material like cornmeal or barley! Pour it back in a bag for later, or put the lid back if you have a dedicated bin!
 
Rocks - Collecting, examining, stacking, and banging! 


Rocks have an appeal for kids of all kinds of temperaments. If your child is a more calm and quiet type, collecting a group on a nice walk and talking about sizes and colours can be fun. Look for fossils and make towers as high as you can until they fall down! If sitting still is the last thing on your baby’s agenda, make it fast and funny. Race to get as many as you can, pile small pebbles in a bucket to shake, and parade around your findings! If you find some interesting shapes, older kids might like to clean and paint their rocks as a decoration for their room, or a present for grandma! 

Water – Splashing, sliding, pouring, and dancing!



Many cities now have wonderful splash pad additions to some local parks. They look like mini-water parks, and offer so many interactive water features for those hot summer days. They can make new friends while running around and cooling off. The best part? These locations are usually free! If your town doesn't have one, or they happen to be closed, make a fun water park of your own! There are water tables at the perfect height for toddlers, often which come with fun toys. You can purchase small pools for kids that can even fit on an apartment balcony. Rainy day? Who says you can’t have a bath just for fun? Throw in some toys, plastic storage containers, or whatever you have handy. Make bubble beards and tell stories about the depths of the bathtub sea!

One of the very best parts of being a mom is the chance to use your imagination in ways you haven’t done since your own childhood. Take your usual environment and put an interesting twist on it using only your surroundings. Find a big stick and be pirates, be dinosaurs, be fairy princesses! You will create a fun filled day for your little one and fantastic memories for both of you! Look through your child’s eyes and make the ordinary extraordinary!

Monday, 13 July 2015

What's In Your Diaper Bag? Nicole and Becca

"Someone told me during pregnancy that I did not need to worry so much about reading baby books as the baby will tell me what she needs. I didn't understand it before but it makes perfect sense now. Hopefully other new parents can feel confident that their baby will signal (in their own way) whether they are tired or hungry or want a change in surrounding, etc. One only needs to spend time paying close attention to his or her baby...this precious time together is the best part of the job!"

I met today's mommy at my very first library story time. I was immediately impressed with the research and thought she puts in the important decisions, and the intuition she uses for the every day care of her baby. It may have taken a journey of twists and turns to reach parenthood, it only made her all the more prepared and loving! Nicole is super informed when it comes to safety, and her vigilance shows in Becca's calm and happy nature. This mommy-baby duo is always up for a trip to the park or a nice lunch, so the diaper bag must be stocked well. Let's take a peek into this cool city mom's diaper bag.

What's In Your Diaper Bag?

Name: Nicole

Baby's Name (and age): Becca (8 months)

The Most Important Thing: Two backup onesies

Basic Save: Diaper disposal bags. A mom gave me the tip to get dog poop bags from the dollar store, way cheaper than baby labelled bags.



Essential Splurge: Diaper bag backpack. This was my third diaper bag (the other two were gifts, standard style). The backpack style frees up my hands as it feels as if I would be better as an octopus with all the things to carry at times. Although any backpack would do, the baby specialty ones have the insulated bottle holder and multiple pockets that seem indispensable.

Great tip! Make sure you look for a back pack style diaper bag with good structure, comfortable padded shoulder straps, and ample pockets. 



Best Preparedness Advice: I like to pack my bottles pre-filled with sterilized water so the process is quicker to minimize meltdowns (baby and mine). I also pack one extra bottle beyond what I need, to be prepared for extended outings. In terms of day-to-day management as a mom, I prefer to keep her day routine flexible so outings do not need to revolve strictly around her schedule.

Final Words of Wisdom: Flexibility seems to be key in parenthood with rigour where it matters the most. E.g. From early on, I had the baby used to room temperature milk to make future outings easier. Also, I ensured lights and reasonable noise during naps which differed from the darkness and quietness of night.


Contents: Wipes, disposable change pad, reusable change pad, disposal bags, wash cloth (for drying bums to avoid diaper rash), bottle (with sterilized water), powder formula, two bibs, receiving blanket, change of clothes, toy/pacifier wipes. Missing, but usually present: A favourite toy!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Best of Brands - Sleep Sacks

I need a blanket to sleep. Even on the hottest summer night, I sweat it out because I can't sleep without a covering on/around my face. So, naturally, I feel bad for my baby that she isn't able to use a blanket at night and during unsupervised nap times because blankets are awesome. Still, with summer air conditioning and winter freezes, she does need something to keep her at a comfortable temperature while sleeping. Enter - the wearable blanket. Exactly as it sounds, it is a blanket that can be safely fastened onto a baby in order to provide warmth without over heating or risk of suffocation. 

When you're shopping for a sleep sack, look for the 3 Fs: fabric, fit, and fasteners.

Fabric

Just like blankets, sleep sacks come in different materials. The best sleep sacks are year-round models made of breathable cotton or cotton/polyester blends. You can always adjust the temperature of the room, and the layers underneath of the sack to make your baby comfortable. It's a bonus to only have to buy one per size. There are lighter summer options, but they won't keep your baby warm enough during cooler months or if you have the a/c on high. And, a wearable blanket made out of thick duvet material, or something like micro fleece, has the threat of overheating your baby and overheating is a SIDS concern. Remember - unlike you, your baby can't throw off the covers if she gets too hot, or get up and grab another layer if she gets too cold, so she has to be in something that will keep her comfortable all night.

Fit

Sleep sacks come in different sizes and shapes, but fit is very important for comfort and safety. Babies under a certain weight and size are not ready for sleep sacks and should just be swaddled in a light swaddle cloth. Once your baby meets the weight minimum for a wearable blanket (usually 10 pounds), look for one that is long enough to allow for movement but not so long that it might bunch up around baby's nose or mouth. The other important aspect of fit is the arm and neck holes. If these are too big, there is a risk of baby sliding inside of the sleep sack which would be a suffocation risk. Too tight is obviously also a problem. A sleep sack should fit comfortably around the neck and arms, with room for air flow but not enough room for slippage. Choose a sleeveless sack for better temperature control, you can always put another light layer underneath for added warmth. Some options even offer adjustable arm holes to control fit as baby grows.

Fasteners

There are a few options for closures when it comes to sleep sacks - snaps, velcro, zippers etc. - and some have more than one. There are no wrong choices but there are things to keep in mind. Look for a zipper that zips up instead of down so that it doesn't irritate baby's chin and night time diaper changes are easier. Make sure that any fasteners are good quality, and are secure. The placement of the fasteners are also something to consider, right down the centre will work differently in your night time routine than those along the side. Swaddle sleep sacks will have additional fasteners for securing babies arms, but older babies don't always need/want that.

So, let the battle begin! Here is how some of the brands we've tried stack up:


IKEA - Torva One Piece Sleeper ($15.00)


My biggest problem with this sleep sack was the small neck hole. I was constantly worried that my baby was feeling strangled. There was hardly any room between the fabric and her neck and she always brought her hands to tug at it. I suppose it was a guarantee that she wouldn't slide into the sack and suffocate, but I put it away after a few nights. The small openings also made it really difficult to put on at night, and the snug fit limited what she could wear underneath it. The price is right, but not worth the worry.


Fabric - 4/5
Fit - 2/5
Fasteners - 3/5


HALO - SleepSack Fleece ($30.00)


My baby never liked being swaddled. Even in the hospital, she would wiggle and struggle to release her hands from the blankets. So, the option for swaddling in this sleep sack was unnecessary for my family. Still, that wasn't the only thing I didn't care for. The material is so warm and not very breathable. I had a winter baby, but I still avoid fleece whenever possible, opting instead for layering. My baby often got the dreaded sweaty back of the neck in this sack, and never seemed comfortable. It is a generous size, but the centered zipper makes it difficult to place baby inside.

Fabric - 2/5
Fit - 4/5
Fasteners - 2/5


WEE URBAN - Wee Dreams Premium Brand Sleep Bag ($50.00 + shipping and taxes)


In my personal opinion, there is no competition for this sleep sack. We were given a 0-6 month one as a gift, and when our daughter was getting close to growing out of it, we naturally decided to buy another one - but it turns out its not a cheap garment. We looked everywhere for one of a similar style / material / size / quality and came up with nothing. In the end, we bit the bullet and bought the 6-18 month version despite the price. Part of why it is so expensive is because it is actually made in Canada, so if buying local is something that is important to you, take note. The reasons I love this sleep sack are many. It's made of a breathable cotton/bamboo blend that feels exactly like your favourite sweatshirt. Very comfortable and it moves with baby's body as she rolls from her left side to her right. It's also perfectly roomy without being dangerous. I love the closures on this model - the zippers around the edge allow for easy night time diaper changes with minimal disturbance to a baby in a sleep state, and the snaps around the top allow for a bigger (while still safe) neck opening. The ultimate reason: since this sleep sack lays flat and snaps at the shoulders, I've been able to successfully put my baby into it while she's already asleep without waking her. Trust me - this is a real bonus!

Fabric - 5/5
Fit - 4/5 (I'm not really sure that it's going to fit an 18 month old as well as it currently fits my 7 month old)
Fasteners - 5/5