Archive for Sleeping

Handmade, Green and Affordable

It’s April!  It’s Earth Day!  And everyone’s going ga-ga for green.  So you’ve got a new baby on the way or one who is very lightly sleeping while you’re typing with one hand and trying to snap your nursing bra shut with the other…and you want to slather her in green.  But the prices of some of those absolutely exquisite green items at those absolutely delicious green boutiques are sometimes enough to make you green around the gills. BPA-Free bottles, organic mushed apples, dye-free wipes, bamboo hooded towels…your friends and family were generous when the baby was born, but this stuff starts to add up.

So does living green have to be crazy expensive?  No!  And here’s proof!  I went scouring the internet (okay I browsed Etsy) for great green independent craftspeople who are making amazing Earth-friendly products using amazing Earth-friendly processes every day!  Here are just a few of their lovely items.  And bear in  mind, Etsy items are often one of a kind so if a product link doesn’t work, check out the Etsy seller’s store which I’ll also link to in each listing!

Peanut Tree Organic Cotton Bottle Covers

Using glass bottles?  Afraid of what will happen when you drop them on the ceramic tile floor during your 2 am feeding haze?  Organic Cotton Bottle Covers from Peanut Tree Designs are maybe not a must-have, but they are a really nice little bit of luxury and security for you and your baby.  Starting at $9 for a pair, they are also great for catching wayward drips and keeping baby’s sweet organic cotton onesie clean and dry for another hour anyway. Pair a set of these with some glass bottles for a really thoughtful baby shower gift.

Organic Cotton Burp Cloths from SewnNatural

SewnNatural is another Canadian-based Etsy shop full of gorgeous hand-crafted, green, and upcycled things for baby.  At $15 for two, these Organic Cotton Burp Cloths are a really nice price for a gorgeous item.  If you check out this Etsy shop, be sure to look at her organic fall-winter sleepsacks. For $39 they are on par with some and cheaper than many online boutiques.

Organic Cotton Rattle by LocoMOmomma

“Handmade. Eco Friendly. Baby Safe.” That’s LocoMOmomma’s motto.  For seven dollars you can buy this gorgeous Organic Cotton Rattle, crocheted with 100% organic cotton yarn and stuffed with natural wool. Pair it with the matching baby toy ball for a lovely shower gift that will run you only $12.75.  That’s the kind of green Mama loves.

Organic Bamboo Onesies from BambooCouture

Organic baby clothing costs a fortune in the stores.  Bamboo Couture, an L.A. based Etsy seller, offers Organic Bamboo Onesies for nine bucks and Organic Bamboo Sleepers/Playsuits for sixteen bucks. Beat that big box store.

TickiTackiToys Wooden Stacker

TickiTackiToys wooden toddler and baby toys are all handmade in Quakertown, PA by a couple.  He does the woodworking.  She cooks up the dyes in her own kitchen, and does the sanding, staining, and finishing.  The dyes are all natural, and made of beets, blueberries, concord grapes, and molasses.  Each piece is finished with beeswax and flaxseed oil. You may very well lose weight if you gnaw on your baby’s toys. Which you can do with no fear.  The glues are all non-toxic. These rattles, teethers and stackers are gorgeous and unique works of art. And for $26, this All Natural Wooden Stacker will not break the bank.

Organic Bamboo Fleece Baby Blanket from OrganicByNature

This gorgeous Organic Bamboo Fleece Baby Blanket from OrganicByNature’s Etsy shop will run you $35 plus shipping. Seem like a lot? Search “organic bamboo fleece baby blanket” on Google and come back to me.  Yeah, it’s a lovely deal on a lovely blanket which would make an even lovelier baby gift. This Canadian based company is family owned and operated and offers reasonable shipping to the U.S. Check out all of OrganicByNature’s beautiful organic blankets including gorgeous cotton and merino wool items. Luxury you can live with.

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First Some Gross Stuff. Then A Giveaway to Make You Breathe Easier.

What's In A 30 Year Old Pillow?

So who are you really sleeping with?  You  may think you’re only sleeping with your partner and your pets…maybe a child thrown into the mix every now and again.  Oh yeah and that box of Girl Scout cookies you have been nursing for the last week while you watch late night TV.

But if you are also sleeping with your beloved pillow…the one you’ve had since you got married, let me clue you in on what and who else you’re sleeping with.  In a small sample taken from a typical five year old pillow, analysts found: 180,000 skin cells, 1,200 pollen spores and 700 fungus spores.   Gross.  But oh yeah, there’s grosser on the way.

If you’re sleeping with the beloved pillow you’ve had since high school…in a very small sample from a 30 year old pillow, analysts find 170,000 skin cells, 9,800 pollen spores, and 8,200 fungal mold spores.  Per sample!  And wanna know why the skin cell count actually goes down? Trust me, you don’t,  But I’m gonna tell you anyway.  Because the dust mites eat them.

Oh yeah, you’re sleeping with them too.

But, let’s talk about ME.  I recently went to meet Dr. Clifford Bassett, an allergy specialist here in New York, and the lovely people behind Aller-Ease products, and I (gulp) gave them one of my pillows.  That had been on my bed until that very day.  In the small sample they took from it, they found: 130,000 skin cells, cladosporium (a fungus that causes, among other things, tomato leaf mold) pithomyces (a mold often involved with eczema in sheep!) as well as what appears to be an herbal tea mix of pollens: birch, elm, grass, pine and sycamore!  Then, under the mold category, there also is simply “other brown.”  I can only assume that this is the dust mite poop which apparently can double the weight of your mattress in ten years!  Let me say, I have had horrid tomato disease on my tomatoes the last few summers, and I have also recently developed equally horrid eczema on my hands.  Is my pillow to blame for this?  If so, it should be severely punished.  Which I guess it was when it was eviscerated and studied in a lab.  So there.

So this is allergy season.  Ahhh April and May…the lovely months when it’s finally warm enough to throw open the windows, go jog in the park, and smell the flowers…only to wake up the next morning with itchy red eyes and a nasty runny nose.  And don’t you dare mow the lawn without a level three containment suit and a mask.  Allergies are weird.  According to Dr. Bassett,  most people become less allergic as they go through life.  But it’s not uncommon for allergies to recur in adulthood, or even worsen, and no one really knows why.  What they do know is that our homes are full of nasty little particles that can trigger these allergies.  So the more we can do to contain and eliminate them all year round, the better off we will be.

So what about our kids?  Two interesting things.  First of all, there seems to be a genetic component to all of this.  If you have asthma, hay fever or eczema and/or your husband does, your children are at higher risk of developing allergies.  Also, Dr. Bassett also filled me in on a pretty interesting phenomenon called “The Allergy March.”  I do not pretend to be an expert on this, and if you suspect your child is developing allergies, you should definitley talk to your doctor.  But there seems to be a phenomenon in which the evidence of eczema in infancy can trend toward rhinitis (ie runny noses) and then to asthma in children.  And I have learned that eczema, like runny noses, can be triggered by allergens.  My baby has been diagnosed with mild eczema.  My husband had childhood asthma. I have recently developed the nastiest hand mange eczema (more on that in a later post)…

Okay, dust mites, you have my attention.

Now just to confuse us more, there’s also evidence that the presence of some allergens in the home via dog and cat dander, can help prevent allergies.  So that’s just another wrench to throw into this whole debate.  But it’s complicated and there’s still a lot to learn, that’s for sure.

But I think we can agree that pillows and mattresses filled with dust mite poop and funguses that induce sheep eczema are a bad idea.  So Aller-Ease has created a line of really nice products from pillow and mattress covers, to pillows themselves, designed to keep the nice fluffy comfy stuff in your pillows and the nasty cooties out.  I have tried them.  They are excellent.  The cool thing that Aller-Ease has done is to make the covers primarily out of cotton!  These covers are not plastic.  They are not vinyly and wrinkly and crackly.  They are cool, soft and quiet and honestly, I have completely forgotten that I put them on our pillows.  Which I pretty much think is the deal. They’re like the non-flashy silent superheroes whom no one notices when they are doing their jobs exterminating monsters.

Aller-Ease Cotton Pillow Protector

If you’re looking for waterproof mattress and pillow covers, they have them too.  They are not cotton (cuz let’s face it, cotton is never going to be waterproof no matter how tightly you weave it), but they are a microfiber made from polyester and they are still soft and quiet. I’m definitely getting the waterproof mattress cover for  my baby when she moves into a big girl bed.

So we can re-cover our pillows and mattresses to prevent us from inhaling these nasty things all night, but what else can we do to prevent allergies? Here are a few other suggestions:

  • Don’t line dry your laundry in the Spring.  (I know it totally stinks because that smell is so awesome, but if you’re really allergic, you’re just coating your sheets in pollen.  Try a drying rack in the laundry room instead.)
  • Wash your kids’ stuffed animals or  (and I so love this) put your kids stuffed toys into those giant ziploc bags and stick them in the freezer for 3 – 5 hours.  Bye bye dust mites.
  • Make sure your vaccuum has a HEPA filter.
  • No smoking in the house!  (duh)
  • Avoid strong odors and fumes in your home.
  • Ged rid of roaches – a lot of people are allergic to roach poop too.
  • Pull up that wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Wash your curtains (I know my grandmother did this regularly and I so never do).

That’s a start, anyway.  And to get you on the road to an allergen-free good night’s sleep, the people at Aller-Ease have given me two Aller-Ease Cotton Zippered Pillow protectors that I’m giving away to you!

Also, cuz I know you have more than two pillows in your home, the Aller-Ease website is now up and the first 50 people who visit that site each day from March 30th – April 5th will win a free pillow cover. Click HERE for more info and to win!

To Enter the Aller-Ease Giveaway:

  • Just leave a comment on this post.  Yup, that’s it.  Entering is that easy!

***Want extra chances to win? Do anything listed below and leave me additional comments for each one letting me know what you did! Make sure you include your email address with your entry. Maximum of three entries per person.

  • Follow me on twitter (click the birdy button on the left to do so easily)
  • Blog this giveaway (send me the url so I can enjoy your post!)
  • Twitter this giveaway (I’ve even made it easy for you, just cut and paste): @BabiesGottaHavT is giving away 2 Aller-Ease Allergy Preventing Pillow Covers!
  • Subscribe to my blog using the button on the left
  • Email a friend about the giveaway and cc me in the message at (I promise I will not spam you or your friends – cross my heart)

Giveaway only open to those with U.S. addresses. Giveaway begins on Tuesday March 31st and ends on Tuesday April 14th  at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On Wednesday April 15th will select a winner, and I’ll give someone some nice news on tax day. After my baby called Larry the Cable guy the last time she did a drawing, we have decided to take a little vacation from her choosing the winner. is in no way as cute and unpredictable as my baby, but it is much more efficient and does not use any pieces of paper, even recycled ones. I am sure you will understand. Thanks for entering!

UPDATE: And the winner, as selected by, is:


Congratulations Playground for Parents!  Hope you rest easier from now on!

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Babies Bottom Line Review & Giveaway – The Nap Pack!

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Is daycare naptime on your horizon? Preschool?  Dare I say it (gulp) Kindergarten?  If you want your kiddo to feel as snuggy and safe duirng nap time at school as he does at home, consider the Nap Pack nap mat by Crafty Baby.  This 48″ fleece sleep sack  comes with a built in pillow and easily roles up and velcros closed for storage and toting.  It’s machine washable and dryer safe.  And it’s super soft and cozy.  I should know. I tried it.  Watch the video to see me and my baby (that’s right I’m tryin’ out the Nap Pack too) snuggle up in the Nap Pack.

This video post also features the super-sweet bib that Jill from Crafty Baby sent us.  Check out the adorable selection of fabrics she uses!  I love the 2-D Zoo fabric my little bean’s bib came in.  Crafty Baby is a mom-owned and mom-run company and all her products are lovingly made in the U.S.A. Hooray!

And thanks to Jill, one lucky Babies Gotta Have It reader will win her choice of either a Nap Pack  nap mat or a Bib! Want to know how to enter the giveaway? Read on…

To Enter The Crafty Baby Giveaway:

  • Take a swing by Crafty Baby and check out Jill’s selection of Nap Packs and Bibs.  Then, leave a comment on the post letting me know if you’d like to win a Nap Pack or a Bib and what fabric you’d choose if you won.  Entering is that easy!

***Want an extra chance to win? Blog or twitter about this giveaway, leave me an additional comment letting me know you did (please include the url), and I’ll put your name in the hat twice! Not a blogger? Subscribe to my blog using the button to the left, leave me an additional comment, and you’re entered twice. Or, email a friend about the giveaway, cc me in the message at (I promise I will not spam you or your friends – cross my heart) and you’ll have two entries. Make sure you include your email address with your entry. Maximum of two entries per person.***

Giveaway only open to those with U.S. addresses. Giveaway begins on Monday March 9th and ends on Tuesday March 17th  at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On Wednesday March 18th, my baby girl will draw the winning name, and I’ll email you and announce it immediately. It’s not a terribly scientific drawing, but I assure you it could not be more random. Thanks for entering!

UPDATE: And the winner is…

Thanks to which is much quicker than my baby girl but far less entertaining as far as I’m concerned…the winner is: “ 34″ And just think, didn’t have to cry or call Larry the Cable Guy once to pick that number.

Congratulations Andreah!  Check out Andreah’s blog: Moody Mama Says!

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Babies Bottom Line Review – Laugh and Learn DVD Set – Giveaway!

Laugh and Learn DVD Set

I didn’t take a childbirth class.  Is this horrible of me to confess?  I didn’t.  Nor did I take any kind of formal breastfeeding or baby care class.  Now in my defense, childbirth classes in New York start at $400.  I am not exaggerating.  Even the ones given by the hospital.  This seemed like a lot of money to me. And honestly I was a little bit squeamish about them.  I really didn’t want to see videos of people pushing out babies.  I didn’t even want to see myself pushing out a baby.  Not only did I decline the mirror when I gave birth, and forbid any video cameras from being in a thirty foot radius, my glasses were halfway across the room on a shelf.  I can’t see my own belly button without my glasses on.  To prepare, I took prenatal yoga and read books.  My birth really went okay.  But a wee bit more knowledge would not have been a bad idea.

I recently had a chance to watch the Laugh and Learn About Childbirth DVD.  Now, I’m guessing that when I say “childbirth” the first word that comes to your mind is probably not “laughter.” I had a smooth birth, but I can’t say that there was much guffawing going on in that labor and delivery room.  I have considered sending the anesthesiologist who administered my epidural flowers every year on my baby’s birthday, but she was no Seinfeld.  But watching this DVD I found myself actually wishing I was pregnant again.  Even when Sheri Bayles, the genuinely funny and very personable Lamaze Educator and OB/Gyn nurse who conducts the video classes, talked about the difficult parts of childbirth, I got a little yen.  I had a pretty uncomfortable and yarfy pregnancy.  So this is saying something.

The “Laugh and Learn About Childbirth” DVD is divided into 6 classes and runs four hours and fifteen minutes.  It is comprehensive.  The video quality and editing are excellent, and the information is thorough, accessible, and practical.  Sheri discusses mucous plugs and pre-labor symptoms, for example, in the kind of detail that only an experienced OB/Gyn nurse (and Mom of twins) can offer.  She demystifies a LOT.  Several expectant couples participate in the series, and you really do feel like you’re right there with them.   I also really appreciated how Sheri included the husbands and partners in the discussion.  While she used diagrams and charts as visual aids, no videos of live births were included. And I was grateful.

Laugh and Learn also offers “Laugh and Learn About Breastfeeding” and “Laugh and Learn About Newborn and Baby Care.” Both also feature Sheri Bayles and are structured as classes with couples participating.  I don’t think the video qualtiy and editing are quite as good in these two, but they do offer lots of wonderful information.  The Breastfeeding DVD covers positions, burping, breastfeeding twins, schedules, obstacles, diet, pumping and bras, pads and nightgowns.  This offers a good overview of breastfeeding, but does not discuss latching on or the nuts and bolts of pumping in the same detail as other issues.  You will need to look elsewhere for that.  The Newborn Care DVD includes bathing, diaper change, dressing, swaddling and supplies in nice detail.  It is extremely useful to see the bathing, diapering and dressing done on video–these things are just much more difficult to understand from reading about them.

This 3 DVD Set runs $79.95.  If you just want to buy the Childbirth DVD, it will cost you $39.95.  Did I mention that childbirth classes in New York start at $400.  This is a seriously good buy.  And I can honestly say I wish I had seen them before my baby was born.

The really good news in all of this…the wonderful folks at Laugh and Learn have offered a 3 DVD set to one lucky Babies Gotta Have It reader!  Want to enter? Read on!

To Enter the “Laugh and Learn 3 DVD Set” Giveaway:

  • Head over to the Laugh and Learn Website, take a look around, and tell me one other product from the store you’d be interested in owning. It’s that easy!

***Want an extra chance to win? Blog or twitter about this giveaway, leave me an additional comment letting me know you did (please include the url), and I’ll put your name in the hat twice! Not a blogger? Subscribe to my blog using the button to the right, leave me an additional comment, and you’re entered twice. Or, email a friend about the giveaway, cc me in the message at (I promise I will not spam you or your friends – cross my heart) and you’ll have two entries. Make sure you include your email address with your entry.***

Giveaway open to those with U.S. addresses. Giveaway begins on Wendesday January 21st and ends on Thursday January 29th  at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On Friday January 30th, my baby girl will draw the winning name and I’ll email you immediately. It’s not a terribly scientific drawing, but I assure you it could not be more random. Thanks for entering!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

We are so excited that this giveaway is being done as a part of the Bloggy Giveaways Winter Carnival! Beat the winter blues! Win free stuff! Read great blogs! Woo Hoo!

And the winner is…
#31 Karrie Lorene Wilson!  Thank you so much to everyone who entered!  I hope to return to my video drawings soon!  Have been away due to a death in the family but I’m back now and the baby is ready to pick some winners!

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Baby Gift! The Spunky Sprout Giveaway!

Its A Boy Its A Girl Blankets

What better time than the holidays to celebrate the new baby in your life!  Whether it’s a grandbaby or nephew, godchild or “adopted” niece, this gorgeous blanket from the hip, fun website for kids, Spunky Sprout, would be the perfect gift.  It’s a girl!  It’s a boy!  It’s a baby!  And that would be reason enough to celebrate…even if it wasn’t late December!

A few weeks ago I talked about how super soft blankets are a Baby Must-Have.  I love these “It’s a Girl” and “It’s a Boy” blankets from Austrian designer David Fusseneger.   The colors and patterns are scrumptious. The vintage inspired design is so whimsical.  You’ll love wrapping your baby up in it after bath or first thing in the morning. The blankets are 28″ by 36″, crazy soft, and perfect for play or crib.

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Spunky Sprout, one lucky Babies Gotta Have It reader will win your choice of an “It’s a Boy” or an “It’s a Girl” Blanket.  This would make such a wonderful holiday present or gift for that New Year’s Baby!  You know those hip and funky friends for whom Carter’s or Toys R Us just won’t do?  Check out Spunky Sprout!  Started by two sisters in Florida, Spunky Sprout offers trendy and modern gifts for babies and kids up to 6 years old.  From environmentally friendly baby bottles to independent music, furniture made from sustainable materials to dresses, lighting and mobiles, Spunky Sprout has it all!

Only one reader will win the giveaway…but just in time for your holiday shopping, Spunky Sprout is offering a 10% discount to all Babies Gotta Have It readers!  From now until December 24th use the coupon code: haveit10 when you check out to get your discount!

To Enter the Spunky Sprout Giveaway:

  • Just take a swing by the Spunky Sprout Website, come back and leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite item is aside from this beautiful blanket. It’s that easy!

***Want an extra chance to win? Blog or twitter about this giveaway, leave me an additional comment letting me know you did (please include the url), and I’ll put your name in the hat twice! Not a blogger? Subscribe to my blog using the button to the right, leave me an additional comment, and you’re entered twice. Or, email a friend about the giveaway, cc me in the message at (I promise I will not spam you or your friends – cross my heart) and you’ll have two entries. Make sure you include your email address with your entry.***

Giveaway open to those with U.S. addresses. Giveaway begins on Sunday December 14th and ends on Sunday December 21st at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time. On Monday December 22nd, my baby girl will draw the winning name and I’ll email you immediately. It’s not a terribly scientific drawing, but I assure you it could not be more random. Thanks for entering!

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Keeping Baby Snuggy at Night – The Sleep Sack

The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines suggest that the only thing you should keep in the crib at night with your baby, is a fitted sheet…and your baby!  So to keep baby warm and snuggy at night, a sleep sack is necessity.  Even for older babies, the sleep sack is a definite must have item! Have you ever watched your toddler do contortions in her sleep? Hard to keep a blanket snugly and safely fitted around a wiggly snoozing eighteen month old! I wish I had found the Halo swaddling sleepsack last year! But my little gal seems to really like the cotton and fleece Halo SleepSacks she’s sporting now. Check out their organic options as well.

I also happened upon the Zutano Snuggle Sack when I was browsing at FAO Schwartz a few weeks ago. It’s pretty sweet too.

And although the Agoo Sleep Sacks I mention on the video are no longer availabe, Aden + Anais has a lovely collection of Sleeping Bags and Cozy Sleeping Bags which are made of light and breathable muslin.  For those of you in colder climates, consider the Canadian-made Sleep Huggers baby sleeping bags!  Also check out the adorable British Grobag Baby Sleep Bags also available on Amazon!  Love them!

For your rolly-polly preschooler, consider the Halo Big Kids Sleep Sack, comfy wearable blanket that goes up to a size 4/5T!

Update 10/20/2011 – Be sure to check out the great selection of kids and baby sleep bags at with many wonderful options in all-natural, allergy-safe, soft and cuddly Merino wool from Merino Kids!

Baby Shower or Baby Gift Idea: Pair a sleep sack with a lovey and “Goodnight Moon” (or a copy of “The Happiest Baby on the Block”) for a unique sleepy-time gift.


Related Link: Dress your baby in these beautiful and delicate designer styles from Tea Collection.

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Baby’s Gotta Snuggle – Soft Baby Blankets

  • Cuz baby’s gotta snuggle–I love scrumptiously soft baby blankets!  Put one on your baby shower registry.  You won’t be sorry.
  • Check out the Cuddle-up Baby Blanket by Ambajam (note that the design is a sweet turtle and not a dinosaur as I said in the video!) and the wonderful variety of throws offered by Berkshire Blankets (I believe ours is the Serasoft, though it could also be the Microplush)
  • I know there are lots more wonderfully soft baby blankets out there…got a favorite?  Or do you make one yourself?  Leave me a comment with a link!

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Where Does the Stork Get All Those Receiving Blankets?

  • Receiving blankets! You need a lot of them!  Like eight.  Or ten…or twelve.
  • I was handed down some lovely Egyptian cotton organic receiving blankets from Under the Nile. They are so soft and sweet.
  • This Ebay Store has the gorgeous Waverly Baby Petite Rose receiving blankets my mom got me, in stock now…act soon or they’ll be gone! I’m guessing maybe they were discontinued, but Ebay is always a place to look for that sort of thing. In general I really do like light flannel receiving blankets.
  • But you absolutely MUST check out e Swaddle, an amazing online shop full of adorable, hip and funky receiving blankets that have swaddling instructions built right in! The same delightful friend who handed down the Under the Nile blanket, also passed along one of these SwaddleDesigns Ultimate Receiving Blankets from their Pastel with Chocolate Brown collection and we loved it. There are so many gorgeous patterns in this shop! I’m telling you…their things are so cute they make me want to have another baby just so I can shop for it.  Put together one of their swaddling/receiving blankets with matching burp cloths and a lovey (see my posts on burp cloths and lovies) and you’ll have a gift that any new mom will absolutely love.

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Skip the Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers – Get Sweet Sheets!

  • It’s so hard to pass on those beautiful elaborate, or just plain pretty crib sets. But the American Academy of Pediatrics says, sadly, that’s just what you should do.
  • My favorite sheets are actually pretty simple which is just fine since we’ve got kinda a lot going on in baby girl’s bedroom. Especially since she started trashing her room with regularity (see post on open shelving).  DwellStudio has a lot of really fun, funky, modern patterns.  Wanna go simple and organic?  Try this lovely sheet from Pure Beginnings. Nothing you love at Pottery Barn Kids? Consider a custom order from Javis Davis for an amazing selection of gorgeous fabrics.

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Because We All Need Something to Snuggle at Night – The Lovey

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