Formula and Baby Food Reviews

Formula and baby food reviewsWhen it comes to formula and baby food, there are a lot of choices out there. You have some important decisions to make, because what you feed your baby will have a profound impact on his or her health and well-being. Thus, we’ve brought together all of the reviews you need in one place.
Why Buy Baby Food Online?
Infant Formula Reviews
Baby Cereal Reviews
Solid Baby Food Reviews

Why Buy Formula and Food Online?

Many parents buy their infant formula and/or baby food in a brick-and-mortar store and are quite happy with it. It can be convenient to pick up a few things while grocery shopping, you get them home right away, and you know exactly where everything came from. That said, there are some advantages to shopping for formula and baby food online:

  1. Lower prices. Often you can buy in bulk online and find competitive prices. You avoid sales tax in many situations, and often you can get free shipping. All that translates to saved money, which will make a difference in the long run.
  2. Better selection. One of the main reasons I shop online is to get a better selection. Sure, you’ll probably find Enfamil or Similac in the store, and they’ll have what seems like a good selection of baby foods, but that pales compared to what you can find online. This is especially true if you’re after organic baby foods.
  3. Fast shipping. You do have to plan in advance a bit when you buy baby food online, but the shipping can be very speedy. Especially if you’re on Amazon Prime as we are — often things we order in the afternoon still arrive the next day.
  4. Customer reviews. Ever been in the store, and thought about buying something you’ve never tried before? There’s no way to know if it’s a crappy product or not (certainly the packaging won’t admit as much). When you buy online, you have the power of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of customer reviews. There is no better tool to help make good buying decisions.

Infant Formula Reviews

Breast milk is the first choice for your infant’s growth and development, but if and when you choose formula, there are a lot of options out there. Here, we review some of the best options for premium, pre-mixed, gentle, and organic baby formulas.

Enfamil baby formula reviews Enfamil Premium Infant Formula

Enfamil’s premium formula with prebiotics provides everything that your baby needs for growth and development. It’s clinically proven to improve brain and eye development, and its “triple guard” supports the immune system too.

  • Provides complete nutrition at every feeding, including proven benefits for brain and eye development.
  • Natural dual-blend of prebiotics feeds the “good bacteria” in your baby’s digestive tract.
  • Includes DHA and ARA
  • This is a 23.4 ounce tub

This formula is for infants 0-12 months of age; Enfamil has other options for older babies.

Similac Premade infant formula Similac Advance Formula with Iron, Ready to Feed

You know those feedings when your baby is screaming and you just can’t get the bottle warmed or mixed fast enough? That’s when these pre-mixed formula bottles are lifesavers! Similac Advance with EarlyShield is similar to Enfamil’s TripleGuard, with a blend of prebiotics, nucleotides and antioxidants that are found naturally in breast milk.

  • Has DHA and ARA, to help support your baby’s brain and eye development
  • Nipple Ready and disposable.
  • Meets kosher guidelines

Perhaps most importantly, there’s no refrigeration required! Keep some in the diaper bag, in the car, in your carry-on luggage, etc. Make sure to pack clean nipples in a plastic bag. I can’t tell you how many times these have saved us by providing quick, ready-to-drink formula.

Gerber gentle baby formula Gerber Good Start Gentle Formula

Some babies have especially sensitive tummies. To reduce spit-ups and digestive discomfort, you can switch to a “gentle” formula like Gerber Good Start. This formula starts with 100% whey proteins that are already broken down, so it’s easier to digest, and then is tailored with all of the vitamins and  minerals that your baby needs.

  • Supports the immune system naturally with a blend of antioxident vitamins A, C, E, and zinc.
  • Gentle formula that’s easier to digest, so good for preemies and the reflux-prone.
  • Gets 4.6 out of 5 stars on

This formula is also eligible for Amazon Subscribe-N-Save, which lets you order it on a regular basis and save 5-15%. Also, keep an eye out for the Amazon coupon which turns up now and then on the product page.


Earth's best organic baby formula Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula

The leading maker of organic baby food offers this infant formula that’s specially blended without the use of growth hormones, steroids, antibiotics, pesticides or chemical fertilizers. It’s patterned after breast milk: high quality protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (DHA & ARA).

  • Has a whey/casein ratio that is almost identical to mother’s milk
  • Meets all FDA requirements for infant nutrition
  • Kosher certified and USDA organic
  • Uses organic lactose and organic glucose solids as a carbohydrate source

This formula gets very good reviews on Amazon (>250 of them give it 5/5 stars). It contains no artificial colors or flavors. This is about as natural as you can get outside of breast milk!

Baby Cereal Reviews

Next, let’s talk about cereal. This is generally the first non-liquid food that you’ll give your baby, at around the time that he or she can sit up with support. Your pediatrician may recommend single-grain rice cereal first. It’s smooth, hypo-allergenic, and inexpensive. Once your baby has mastered the single grains, however, you’ll probably want to branch out and let him experience new flavors, new tastes.

If you want to do that, especially if you want to find organic options, check out the Earth’s Best line of baby cereals. Here are two of our favorites.

Earth's Best organic Baby Rice Cereal Earth’s Best Organic Rice Cereal with Apples

This extremely popular mix combines the whole grain organic rice cereal with apples for a naturally sweet and tasty cereal. Your baby might prefer this over plain rice cereal, because the apples give a little flavor to it.Earth’s Best organic cereals are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or genetic engineering. There’s no definitive evidence that these things are harmful to humans, but the less man-made chemicals going into your baby, the better.

  • USDA certified organic
  • Made from whole grains
  • No added salt or sugar
  • Kosher certified
Earth's Best organic Baby Oatmeal Cereal Earth’s Best Organic Oatmeal Cereal with Bananas

Another popular mix combines the Earth’s Best organic oatmeal whole grain cereal with bananas for a tasty mix. The banana flavor doesn’t always mix well with other baby foods, but many infants seem to like it plain. Again, these organic cereals are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or genetic engineering.

  • USDA certified organic
  • Made from whole grains
  • No added salt or sugar
  • Kosher certified


Solid Baby Food Reviews

Last but not least, let’s review the options for solid baby food. There are a million of them. You can go to your grocery store aisle browse the Gerber or Beechnut offerings. As I mention in my guide Six Tips to Starting Solid Food, you can even buy natural applesauce and offer that to your baby.

You can even buy fruits, vegetables, and grains to make your own baby food. But if you’d like more options, to buy in bulk, or to offer organic baby foods, here are some great baby foods available from Amazon.

Earth's Best Baby Food Reviews Fruit Earth’s Best Organic 1st Fruit Starter Kit

This starter kit contains an assortment of three unadulterated fruits: bananas, apples, and pears. These single-ingredient, pureed foods are what you’ll introduce after your baby masters baby cereal. All of the ingredients are certified organic without use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

  • Pack of twelve 2.5-ounce jars (30 ounce total) in a sturdy cardboard box
  • Excellent source of vitamin C, as most fruits tend to be.
  • Packaged in a sturdy storage tray that clearly indicates each flavor


Earth's Best Baby Food Reviews Fruit Earth’s Best Organic 2nd Fruit Variety Pack

When your baby is ready for 2nd foods, this variety pack offers some tasty new options. It contains three jars each of four purees: pears, peaches oatmeal banana, apples & apricots, and peaches banana raspberry. Everything’s made from the freshest certified organic materials.

  • Four varieties to offer baby a wider range of tastes and textures.
  • Organic, pesticide-free sources
  • Great source of vitamin C
  • Available in Amazon frustration-free packaging. I love the cardboard box!


Earth's Best Baby Food Reviews Vegetables Earth’s Best 2nd Vegetable Variety Pack

This pack contains four vegetable varieties: carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and peas with brown rice. My guess is that your baby will love the carrots and sweet potatoes most of all, as these have a sweeter taste. Start with this pack to see what your baby will and won’t eat; after that, you can order any single flavor in packs of twelve.

  • 100% certified organic pesticide-free ingredients
  • Good source of vitamin C
  • Frustration-free packaging available
  • No sugar or salt added


Organic baby food pouches Ella’s Kitchen Organic Baby Food Pouches

If you’re on the go and need portable baby foods, or looking for some new flavors to try, look into the line of organic baby food pouches from Ella’s Kitchen. This pack contains twelve pouches of a single blend: sweet potatoes, pumpkin, apples, and blueberries. All very healthy foods, and gently pasteurized so no refrigeration required. You probably won’t find anything like this in your local grocery store.

  • 100% organic fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Shelf-stable (no refrigeration necessary)
  • Convenient pouch form that travels and dispenses easily
  • No additives, not even water, so nothing dilutes the fresh fruit and vegetable goodness of these blends.

Even though our little ones are a bit older, we still rely on these little fruit pouches. They’re perfect for taking in the car, to the zoo, or just to provide a healthy snack that the kids have fun eating.

Just don’t show them how to blow up the empty pouch and stomp on it!

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10 Healthy Homemade Baby Food Ideas

10 baby food ideasMaking your own baby food offers a number of advantages. It saves money and shopping time. Making baby food can be messy, but it’s lots of fun. Most importantly, homemade baby food can be super-healthy. There are so many fruits, vegetables, and grains that babies can have in their first year of life, many of which aren’t found in common store-bought baby food. Here,

Healthy Homemade Baby Foods

Here are my top ten favorite sources for homemade baby foods. All of these are healthy in terms of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. When possible, I have a link to the nutritional information page for these vegetables, grains, and fruits. Have a look, get yourself a blender/steamer (read our baby food grinder reviews), and start making your own baby food today!

Avocado Baby Food

1. Avocado

Did you know that avocados take a full 2 years to grow before they’re harvested? They’re worth the wait, though. A favorite food in the household, avocados make for a creamy, bright-colored baby food that’s sure to be a hit. It’s a natural source of folate, vitamin K, and other nutrients.

They also provide monounsaturated fats and, in my opinion, are quite yummy. Use ripe, unbruised avocados and serve fresh for the best results.

Winter Squash Baby Food

2. Squash

Once, when our daughter had started solid foods, I obtained a 20-pound winter squash at a farmer’s market. It made a huge quantity of delightfully bright orange baby food that she ate all winter long. Winter squash is a vitamin A superfood! It’s easy to grow and inexpensive with a mild, sweet taste similar to sweet potato.

Sweet Potatoes Baby Food

3. Sweet Potatoes

I knew that sweet potatoes, or yams, were a good choice for baby food because of the sweet taste, but I was surprised to learn how healthy they are. With the skin on, sweet potatoes provide 438% of daily vitamin A and 37% of vitamin C. They’re inexpensive, easy to cook and puree.

Babies love the bright color, smooth consistency, and of course the sweet taste of yams.

Pumpkin Homemade Baby Food

4. Pumpkin

The jack-o-lantern isn’t just for Halloween. Pumpkin makes a great baby food. Dark orange vegetables like carrots and pumpkins are loaded with Vitamin A & many other important nutrients. Canned pumpkin makes baby food making super-convenient, and will warm your baby up for future treats like pumpkin bread.

Sweet Peas Baby Food

5. Sweet Peas

Peas are a great example of baby food that’s SO much better when you make it at home. One cup of peas provides calcium, Vitamin A and C and Iron; it has more protein than a tablespoon of peanut butter (which you can’t give baby for a couple of years anyway).

Fresh peas are best, followed by frozen peas, but you can even used canned peas to make your own baby food. When they’re older, your babies will enjoy eating them as finger foods / throwing them down from the high chair.

Whole grain Oatmeal Baby Food

6. Whole-grain Oatmeal

If there’s one solid food that seems to help babies sleep better at night, it’s single-grain cereal. Most pediatricians recommend starting with rice because it’s the least allergenic, but oatmeal is usually #2. Whole-grain oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber and a great choice for thickening normally-runny homemade baby foods like sweet potatoes and carrots.

Plus, you can buy whole-grain oatmeal from Amazon on the cheap. Another reason to try it!

Barley Homemade Baby Food

7. Barley

I wanted to feature a second grain on this list, and I chose barley because it’s not what you think of first when it comes to baby food. You want a serious whole grain to thicken baby food? This one’s for you. It’s naturally rich in dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber which was shown in clinical trials helps fight diabetes.

Unlike some grains, barley has fiber throughout the kernel, so removing the husk doesn’t remove all of the nutritional value. Another great thing you can buy from Amazon.

Sweet Corn Baby Food

8. Sweet Corn

How could I forget America’s favorite crop? Sweet corn is another baby favorite in our house; I’m surprised it’s not used in more baby foods. One cup of corn contains 51% of your daily fiber and 37% of your daily vitamin C. It’s tasty on its own as well as blended with a stewed meat such as chicken.

Mango Baby Food

9. Mango

The mango is a great fruit for making homemade baby food because it’s not over-the-top sweet. Sure, it has sugar as all fruits do, but it’s naturally free of fat, sodium, and cholesterol. One cup of mango has 20 different vitamins and minerals, most notably vitamin C (100% DV) and vitamin A (35% DV).

It’s a “creamy” consistency so ideal for blending, and available year-round.

Plums Homemade Baby Food

10. Plums or Prunes

Last but not least, I put one of the healthiest but under-used fruits for making your own baby food at home: plums. You can get these fresh plums in the summer and fall, and dried plums (prunes) you can get year-round.

Prunes are especially nutrient-rich; one cup has 3 grams of fiber, 293 mg of potassium, and 16 mg of magnesium, all for less than 100 calories.

5 Reasons To Make Your Own Baby Food

Baby food maker reviews

Best baby food makers

With those ten yummy reasons above, you probably don’t need any more motivation to start making your own baby food. But if you need one last push, consider these things:

  1. It’s easy to do. No special cooking skills are required to make most baby foods. Some (like corn, peas, squash, and pumpkin) you just need to steam or boil. Then you puree in a blender. We’ve reviewed baby food makers that help you do both. 
  2. Save money. You’ll be surprised at how much food you get (especially from larger vegetables like squash and pumpkin), and it really saves money compared to buying baby food in the store.
  3. Go green. One thing I hate about buying baby food is the packaging — the jars or plastic tubs, cardboard boxes, etc, — and when you make your own food, you avoid all of that.
  4. Super health kick. When you choose what your baby eats, you not only know what it all is, but get to choose the healthiest of foods (like the ones above) and that’s a very good thing.
  5. Fun family activity. When you start making your own baby food, it becomes lots of fun. Something the whole family can enjoy. Try it and you’ll see.

5 Things To Do When Gas Keeps Your Baby Awake

Got-Gas2If your recently-fed baby is fussing, odds are that it’s due to gas. This is a major source of discomfort for babies, and for newborns in particular. There are two main reasons for it: (1) they eat only liquids, which often involves gulping down a lot of air, and (2) their digestive systems aren’t yet fully developed, which often seems to make digestion an uncomfortable process. If your baby has problems with gas, you’re not alone. It’s quite common and almost a guarantee with preemies. When gas prevents your baby from sleeping, here are five things you should try.

1. Burp Your Baby Early and Often
2. Elevate the Head of Baby’s Bed
3. Switch to Gentle Infant Formula
4. Try Gas Relief Drops
5. Give Your Baby Gripe Water

1. Burp Your Baby Early and Often

This is the single best piece of advice that I can offer. The gas has to come out from one end or the other, and a burp is a lot easier to get. I used to think that you simply fed a baby his entire bottle and then put him on your shoulder for some back-patting. This is not enough! You should pause every 1/4 bottle, at a minimum, to give your baby a chance to burp.

And once he’s done, you must absolutely get one. I know, it’s hard. Sometimes they don’t seem to have a burp in them. Try a change of position: sitting your baby up on a hard surface instead of putting on your shoulder, or vice versa. Try rubbing his back in an upward motion. If all else fails, hold your baby upright and walk up and down some stairs. Gently. You’d be surprised how often this seems to get a burp loose. For more, see How to Burp A Baby.

2. Elevate the Head of Baby’s Bed

You will want to check with your pediatrician first, but I find that this helps when babies get gas after you put them down. Most baby cribs have multiple height settings for the mattress; you’re probably using the highest one for a newborn, so lower one end a notch.

Or, you can put a couple of books under one side of the mattress. Don’t put anything in the bed to achieve this. Put the baby down with his head on the high end. Now gravity works in your favor, and bubbles can more easily come up and out.

3. Switch to a Gentler Formula

gentle baby formula for gasThe major formula brands have a gentle digestion canister of the powder that’s partially broken down to aid your baby’s digestion. Even generic brands tend to carry these. Be cautious, though, in switching your baby’s formula – he or she may not like it. It’s important to stick with one kind at a time, so don’t mix and match.

Once your baby is a bit older, you might wish to switch back to regular formula which tends to keep them content for a little bit longer (because it doesn’t digest as quickly).

4. Try Gas Relief Drops

baby gas relief dropsYou might have heard of Mylicon – that’s the brand name – but Little Tummys has gas relief drops for cheaper. The active ingredient is called simethicone, and it’s actually a mild, ingestible soap that breaks up bubbles in an infant’s belly.

The smell is noticeable, but my babies didn’t seem to mind it. You can get the generic kinds as well. Don’t give it to them straight; mix the required dose in a full bottle. If your baby doesn’t always finish a bottle, mix a half-bottle with the full dose first so that he takes it all.

5. Give Your Baby Gripe Water

I hesitate to recommend a specific product (much less a homeopathic one), but many parents of fussy babies swear by something called gripe water. With our twins, we were desperate enough to try it.

It worked very well for a month or two, seeming to help them rest more contentedly after eating. The downside is that this stuff is pretty expensive ($12-14 per small bottle in the store). You might try it, though, if none of the above steps work.

What To Read Next

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Baby sleep problems Periodic Table of Baby SLeep Train baby to sleep through the night Essential Baby Sleep Gear
Baby sleep problems takes you through the most common sleep issues and how to address them. The periodic table of baby sleep has all the essential elements for healthy baby sleep habits. Visit our sleep training section for strategies and tips for teaching your baby to sleep through the night. Check out our reviews of Essential baby gear for helping babies sleep at night.

The Best Baby Food Grinders

Baby Bullet GrinderThere are plenty of reasons to make your own baby food. It saves money. It lets you choose what your baby eats, and find new foods for him or her to enjoy. It’s also a very green, earth-friendly thing to do given the amount of plastic, glass, and metal that goes into packaging commercial baby foods.The baby food grinder, also called a baby food mill, is the central part of a baby food making operation.

You’ve probably heard of the Baby Bullet (at right; a grinder made famous on TV), but there are many to choose from. Which grinder is best? We looked through a dozen models, and chose the three that we like best. Here are their reviews.

Beaba Babycook
Baby Chef Ultimate
Kidco Food Mill

Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker

Beaba babycook baby food grinderThe Beaba Babycook baby food maker is an all-in-one, compact countertop appliance for making baby food. It combines a baby food grinder with a food steamer, bottle warmer, and defroster to let you prepare fresh, healthy food for your baby. This is the original baby food maker, and a winner of the 2008 JPMA Innovation Award. Beaba has a great demo and video on how the appliance works.


Beaba Babycook Grinder Reviews
Buy this Grinder Now
  • Steam cooks fresh fruits and vegetables in less than 15 minutes. Steaming preserves more vitamins and nutrients than other methods, and soften foods for blending into spoonable baby food.
  • Purees and blends food to desired consistently with a french-made grinder
  • Reheats previously frozen prepared foods
  • Warms bottles or baby food in a special compartment on the top.
  • Includes a 2½ – cup capacity unbreakable polysufone bowl, cooking basket, and spatula
  • BPA Free, Phthalate Free, Lead Free

Beaba Food Storage Containers

Beaba babycook grinder extra containersThe Beaba Baby food grinder comes with a mixing bowl and cooking basket. You’ll want to invest in some good storage containers as well, to save and freeze/refrigerate all of that delicious baby food! In most sessions, you’ll make a lot of food at once. The year after my daughter was born, we went to a a farmer’s market and got a HUGE winter squash (it was probably 2 feet long). Steaming and blending all of that squash was no easy task, but it made a lovely orange puree and our daughter just loved it. We didn’t feed it to her at every meal, obviously, but it lasted all winter long.

The BPA-free Beaba storage containers are ideal for storing, traveling with, and reheating your homemade baby food. There’s a lot to like about these containers:

  1. Hermetically sealing lids ensure an airtight closure to preserve all that fresh, healthy goodness.
  2. Safe to use in the freezer and microwave, wash in the dishwasher, and reheat food in the Babycook.
  3. Made in France (like the grinder) of BPA-free polypropylene
  4. Two each of 5-ounce and 10-ounce capacity containers with measuring lines on the side.

Beaba Squeeze Pouch

Babypote baby food pouchBeaba also makes a unique reusable squeeze poouch — the Beaba Babypote — to store, pack, and let your little ones eat your freshly made baby food. It’s dishwasher safe and BPA free, and completely reusable. I like this pouch because it:

  • Is made of phthalate-free soft silicone for easy squeezing
  • Has a snap-on lid to keep the tip sanitary, and a wide neck for easy cleaning
  • Is a soft, fun way for little ones to enjoy fruit compotes or other food
  • Lets them feed themselves, as easily as drinking a bottle!

Baby Chef Ultimate Baby Food Maker

Baby Chef GrinderThe most highly reviewed baby food grinder on Amazon is the Baby Chef Ultimate Baby Food Maker by Kidsline. This compact maker has a unique side-by-side design: generous steamer basket on the left that can also be used to warm or reheat food, and a grinder on the right that can chop, blend, or puree fresh fruits and vegetables for your little one.

I like the design of the 4-point grinder blade, whose raised angle points ensure a smooth and consistent result. It comes with a storage bowl and airtight lid for storage of food that you’ve made, or to take a meal on the go.


Beaba Babycook Grinder Reviews
Buy this Grinder Now
  • All-in-one Machine: It steams, chops, blends, purees, defrosts and warms
  • Also accommodates warming of baby bottles
  • Dishwasher-safe measuring cup, tongs, insulation spacer, and processor lid included
  • BPA-free materials can be washed with soap and water.
  • Recipe booklet with tips and recipes for soups, pancakes, and more

Kidco Babysteps Electric Food Mill

Kidco baby food grinderThe Kidco Babysteps food mill is your basic baby food grinder – a compact, handy appliance that blends fruits and vegetables into healthy baby food. It comes with a two-cup bowl and is completely dishwasher safe (except for the motor housing). The three pieces are easy to disassemble without complicated steps or referring to the instruction manual.

This is a no-frills electric grinder that’s inexpensive and has some of the best reviews on Amazon. It’s well-made and compact, two important features for the crowded, often accident-prone kitchens of new parents.


Kidco baby food mill
Buy this Grinder Now
  • Blends and purees fresh food into baby food
  • Dishwasher safe, easy to take apart and clean
  • Turbo button for pulsing rotations
  • Two-cup blending bowl with non-skid bottom.
  • Includes a blending attachment for more thorough mixing.

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6 tips for starting solid food Tripp Trapp Chair When to give baby cereal Formula and baby food reviews
6 tips for starting solid food has some advice for success when your little one is ready to bite! The Tripp Trapp chair is an amazing Swedish-made ergonomic chair for infants and children. Learn about when to give baby cereal and get some tips on using it to help with nighttime sleep. You can save a LOT by shopping around online: just read our formula & baby food reviews.

Baby Tripp Trapp Chair Review and Accessories

Baby in tripp trappThe Tripp Trapp Chair is one of the most unique baby products I’ve ever seen. Made by Norwegian company Stokke, it evolves from a secure high chair for infants to an ergonomic seat for adults. The seat and footrest that adjust to hold a child at least 6 months old, and a 5-point harness holds your little one securely in place.
Tripp Trapp High Chair
Baby Set Accessory
Tripp Trapp Cushion
Play Tray
5 Reasons to Buy the Tripp Trapp

Tripp Trapp High Chair

Although the Tripp Trapp will support a 300-pound adult, it’s most popular as a high chair for infants 6 months of age and older. It’s certified by the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association (JPMA), an organization dedicated to ensuring safety in baby products. There are lots of benefits to the Stokke as compared to other high chairs — solid wood construction, ergonomic design, great adjustability — that I’ll cover in detail.

Solid Wood Construction

You see a lot of baby products these days made from cheap, flimsy materials. They look good initially, but don’t hold up over time and just aren’t up to the abuse that a baby or toddler can hand out. Baby furniture often seems made of particle board these days. I hate that.

The Tripp Trapp chair has no such problems – it’s constructed of cultivated beechwood to be strong and durable. A five-point harness (rather than a lap belt) holds the child firmly in place — that’s the same kind of restraint you find in most infant car seats. The H-shaped base has a smaller footprint than most high chairs, but offers a secure and stable foundation.

Ergonomic Chair Design

The Tripp Trapp allows your child to sit in a natural position for maximum comfort. The adjustable footrest can be moved so that their little feet rest flat, as if on the floor. You can adjust both the height and the depth of the chair, so that your little one can sit comfortably and close to the table. This not only helps them reach things, but reduces the gap between child and table into which food, silverware, plates, and other items often fall. Ultimately, it makes for a cleaner floor and lets your child interact better with everyone at the table.

Tripp Trapp Baby Set

Stokke Baby Set

Adjustable From Baby to Toddler

Your child can start using the Tripp Trapp at around 6 months. You’ll want to wait until he or she can sit up with assistance. At that age, he or she might be more comfortable if you get the Tripp Trapp Baby Set pictured at left.

What’s nice about the Tripp Trapp’s ergonomic design is that it will help your baby develop the muscles and posture to sit up independently. And, by bringing your baby to the table with the rest of the family, he or she will be really encouraged to do so.

You can resize the chair as your little one grows from infant to toddler – the seat and footrest have six different adjustment settings.  When your child gets older, you can remove the harness and extended glider. It will even seat an adult up to 300 pounds!

Tripp Trapp Chairs

A Stylish and Convenient Chair

The Tripp Trapp is more than ergonomic and solidly built: it looks cool, too! And the floor footprint is smaller than most high chairs, which is a nice benefit if you’ve ever whacked your toe on the broad metal base of one. The fact that it can adjust to suit a toddler or older child is especially nice, because you won’t have to store it or sell it.

Because of the design and solid wood construction, this chair is easy to wipe clean. I can’t stress how important that is once your baby starts eating solid food at the table. The harness can be removed and is machine-washable, too. All in all, this is one of the best high chair options out there. Go pick one out! You’ve got 11 colors to choose from.

Tripp Trapp Cushion

Stokke Cushion

Tripp Trapp Cushion

As ergonomic and supportive as the Tripp Trapp may be, it’s still wood. Let’s be honest: your baby is used to soft Boppy cushions, strollers, crib mattresses, and the like. He or she might not tolerate a hard sitting surface for very long. For this reason, there’s a Stokke chair cushion, available in brown or pink, that fits the Tripp Trapp chair. The benefits:

  • Attaches easily to the Tripp Trapp, with or without the baby set.
  • Padded to make the chair more comfortable and extend sitting time
  • Helps keep your baby from sliding around on the smooth surface
  • 100% polyester filling and waxy coating that makes it water-resistant
  • Easy to clean and great to look at!
Tripp Trapp Tray

Tray by PlayTrayUSA

Tripp Trapp Tray

It’s wonderful to be able to pull your baby right up to the table in the Tripp Trapp. Even so, toddlers tend to be messy eaters. They also, as I’ve recently learned, enjoy pushing foods away if they’re full or don’t like them or are just feeling crabby. You can help contain some of the mest with a tray for the Tripp Trapp made by PlayTray USA. Here are a few reasons that this is the #3 bestselling high chair accessory on

  • It’s easy to mount on the Tripp Trapp: slips on the sides of the chair
  • Has a transparent, non-scratch surface. Perfect for eating, drawing, or playing
  • Features a ridged edge to keep spilled liquids from falling on the floor.
  • Safe and easy to clean.

Five Reasons to Buy A Tripp Trapp

In summary, this is one of the most flexible and ergonomic seating options for your little one. Here are five reasons you might like to buy one (or two, if you have twins).

  1. Solid, quality construction. The solid wood construction means it will last longer, clean more easily, and be more durable than other high chairs.
  2. Ergonomic support. It’s designed to support the feet and keep your baby’s spine straight. The more comfortable they are, the longer they’ll tolerate it.
  3. Safety certified. JPMA certifies this chair, and it has a 5-point harness to keep your little one secure.
  4. Sharp to look at. This will be a conversation-starter for anyone who comes to visit. It’s from Norway – how could it not be?
  5. Available in 11 colors. Cherry, walnut, dark blue, green, black, and a bunch more. You can find the one that perfectly matches your dining room.
Best of all, the Tripp Trapp is on sale at Amazon for around $200 with free returns.



Benefits of Breast Feeding

Benefits of breast feedingBreast feeding is one of the most important advantages you can give your baby from day one. Well, from day two or three, to be accurate (breast milk doesn’t usually come in right away).

All three of our children were breastfed for at least 6 months. I’m a huge proponent of breast feeding, and in this article, I’ll tell you why.

Benefits of Breast Feeding
Breast Feeding Tips
When and How to Stop Breast Feeding

Benefits of Breast Feeding

There are many, many reasons that you should breast feed your baby, but here are some of the most important benefits:

  • Breast milk is the best food for babies. Not only is it naturally made, but it’s completely digestible and contains every nutrient that your baby needs to be healthy.
  • Breast feeding promotes natural immunity. When you breast feed your baby, you provide him with macrophages and lymphocytes, two kinds of immune system cells that fight infections and produce antibodies.
  • Mother and baby bond while breast feeding. There is no denying that the act of breast feeding itself provides some special bonding time between mom and baby. You’ll become known as “she who provides food” and with babies, that’s the most important person in the world.
  • The convenience of breast feeding. Breast milk is always at the right temperature, usually available, and generally doesn’t require a bottle. You can breast feed a baby almost anywhere (though investing in a nursing cover is a good idea for when you’re out in public). There’s no prep time, which makes it especially convenient at night. You can let a newborn sleep in a mini crib or bassinet in your room to help with those overnight feedings.
  • Breast feeding saves money. Yes, you’ll eat more while breast feeding, but the cost of adult food is nothing next to the cost of infant formula. Even if you buy in bulk and avoid the fancy easy-digestion or all-organic formulas, that stuff, you’ll save $40-60 per month at a minimum by breast feeding.
  • Reduce the risk of breast cancer. Breast feeding has been associated with a slightly reduced risk of breast cancer, particularly when continued for 1-2 years after your baby is born.

Breast Feeding Tips

Medela Breast Pump

Medela Pump in Style

Breast feeding may come naturally to you, especially if you’ve done it before. Here are a few tips to help you find success:

  1. Be patient. Breast milk usually comes in 2-3 days after the baby has been born. Until then, you’ll get the nutrient-rich but volume poor colostrum, which doesn’t amount to much. Still, it’s important to keep trying several times a day – the contact and sucking from your baby will stimulate your body and speed things along.
  2. Invest in a good breast pump. A breast pump is helpful for getting started nursing, and for stockpiling milk when it comes in (you’ll probably be making more than your newborn can eat at first). You can get entry-level breast pumps for around $100. You can get the hand pumps for even cheaper, but those are a joke. You’ll want a quality double pump like the Medela Pump In Style, which we’ve used for all three kids. If it helps you with breast feeding, this thing will pay for itself.
  3. On a related note, stockpile breast milk whenever you can. In the first month or two, you’ll probably have a surplus of milk. You can pump it into Medela storage bottles and freeze it for any time that you’ll be away from your baby or he’s hungrier than usual.
  4. Make a schedule and stick to it. You can nurse the baby whenever, but sticking to a 3-hour or 4-hour schedule will help with milk production; it lets your baby drink all of the milk and tells your body to keep replenishing it. You can, and should, pump what your baby doesn’t drink. Keeping a regular schedule is also good for establishing baby sleep patterns, which will pay off huge when your baby starts sleeping longer.

When and How to Stop Breast Feeding

Experts will tell you to nurse your baby as long as you can, for 1-2 years if possible. Realistically, I think that nursing the first 12 months is a good goal. If you can do more than that, great! That’s more time to enjoy the benefits above. By 12 months, though, a few factors will probably make you ready to stop breast feeding:

  • Can’t keep up. Your baby’s appetite will grow as he does. Eventually, he or she will need more than you can produce between feedings, and this may cause some frustration.
  • Baby is teething. Your baby will start getting teeth sometime between the age of 6-9 months. This adds a real “ouch” factor to breast feeding, especially when they have teeth on the top and bottom. For more on this, see what to do when your baby is teething.
  • Baby fights nursing. This has happened to us – the boys just suddenly wouldn’t nurse even when they were hungry. It might have to do with hormonal changes in the body, but when your baby just refuses to drink, the nursing period may be over.

When you decide to stop nursing, there’s no special trick. You stop cold-turkey and expect a day or two of discomfort. And then it’s over, and things should return to normal for you.

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Baby Sleep Sacks and Sleeping Bags Choosing Night Light for Baby Best baby pacifiers Get baby to sleep through the night
Learn about the benefits and bestsellers of baby sleep sacks and sleeping bags. Projection Night Lights keep your baby entertained while in the crib and help soothe him back to sleep. Best Baby Pacifiers has our recommendations for newborns, older babies, and teething infants. Visit our sleep training section for strategies and tips for teaching your baby to sleep through the night.

Six Tips for Starting Baby on Solid Food

starting baby on solid foodAt some point around the age of six months, usually at around the time that your baby can sit while supported by you or a pillow, your pediatrician will tell you to start offering some solid food. This will be an entertaining and fabulously messy experience for you and your baby.

Done right, however, you’ll find that solid foods keep babies happy for longer, especially at night. Indeed, once your baby starts taking solid food you should notice them sleeping for longer.

Starting babies on solid food, however, can be difficult. At first they simply have no idea what you’re doing to them. It may take weeks of practice until your baby has the hang of it.

Six Tips for Solid Food

Here are six tips to get you started.

  1   Master the baby cereal first. Baby cereal is a perfect consistency for starting your baby on solid food. It sticks nicely to the spoon and generally doesn’t stain. Most baby foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are drippy and often do stain. Go with cereal until your baby makes some progress.
  2   Prepare in advance for huge messes. You know the adorable lightweight bibs that you got at your baby shower? The ones with cute little animals or that say “Mommy’s little muffin”? Put those away; they’re useless today. You need a wide, thick, solid bib that you can securely attach around your baby’s neck. Waterproof terrycloth bibs are good for this. Have napkins or paper towels on standby, too. Lots of them.
  3   One food at a time. Our pediatrician recommended that we start with one food for three days before moving on to the next. This helps you determine if your baby has a reaction to anything. You’ll probably start with vegetable baby food (carrots, sweet potatoes, or peas) or fruits. Some your baby will like, others perhaps not. Don’t be afraid to try a wide variety of foods, even if they don’t seem appetizing to you.
  4   Thicken with cereal. Certain kinds of baby foods are very runny: carrots, sweet potatoes, and applesauce, for example. You can thicken these by adding a half teaspoon or so of single-grain rice cereal or organic oatmeal cereal. Doing so will make it stick better to the spoon, and seems to make the food last for longer.
  5   Try the Boon Spoon. This is a plastic spoon that you fill with baby food for a single serving. By squeezing it, you can refill the spoon with food after each bite. It’s a cleaner and handy way to feed your baby; with twins, I’ve even used two at once. Another nice feature is that you can put a cap on the spoon tip, converting a filled spoon into a portable baby food container. They come in 8 different colors and are currently 20% off at Amazon.
  6   Make your own baby food. There are many varieties of baby food, most of which are made from standard table foods that are pureed and sometimes watered down. You might even notice that many “fruit” baby foods described as pears, berries, or other things are made almost entirely of applesauce. Thus, if you’d like to save some money or are running low on baby food, try blending up your own from fruits or vegetables, or pick up a few jars of applesauce.

See our article on the best baby food grinders for making your own baby food.

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When Do You Give Baby Cereal?

when to give baby cerealMany parents are eager to begin feeding their babies cereal. Often, they try to give it before the baby is ready, with disappointing results. In this article, we talk about when your baby is ready to try cereal, how to introduce it, and which baby cereals are best.

When To Give A Baby Cereal
Single-grain cereal
Mixed-grain cereal
How to Introduce Cereal to Your Baby
The Best Baby Cereals
Best Single-grain Cereal
Best Organic Cereal
Best Cereal-Fruit Mixes

When To Give A Baby Cereal

At the newborn stage, babies can’t eat cereal or other solid foods because they’re unable to move food to the back of the mouth to swallow (that’s why they need a nipple and not a straw). As he or she grows, your baby will develop the physical capacity to begin eating cereal from a spoon. Your baby’s pediatrician should tell you when to start offering cereal, but here are the general signs that your baby is ready for it.

When To Give Single-Grain Cereal

Supported sitter ready for single-grain cerealYour baby may be ready for single-grain cereal when he or she:

  • Is 4-6 months old (adjusted age), meaning that your original due date was 4-6 months ago. Usually it’s closer to 6 months.
  • Can sit up with support from a high chair, pillow, Bumbo or Bebepod.
  • Holds his or her head up without help.
  • Shows interest in solid food, either by grabbing at your plate or opening his or her mouth when a spoon is offered.

Of course, you should also have the approval of your baby’s pediatrician.

When to Give Mixed-Grain Cereal

Sitter ready for mixed-grain cerealAfter a couple of months with single grain cereal, you can also give “mixed” or multi-grain cereal. Usually this is when your baby:

  • Is 6-8 months old and eats single-grain cereal daily.
  • Can sit independently without need of support.
  • Shows excitement when food is presented (that’s from Gerber).

The mixed-grain cereal tends to be a bit heavier. You don’t have to give it instead of single-grain cereal; you can offer both at different times. Mixed-grain cereal is great for thickening running baby foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and most fruits. Single-grain rice cereal is very fine-grained, which is ideal if you spike some cereal into the nighttime bottle.

How to Introduce Cereal to Your Baby

If you think your baby is ready and you have the green light from the pediatrician, here are some tips for introducing your baby to cereal, based on some research and my own experience. Your baby’s first cereal should be a single-grain cereal. Most parents start with single-grain rice cereal because it’s very fine-grained and seems less likely to cause gagging.

Give baby cereal in morning 1. Start giving cereal once a day in the morning.This is generally when your baby is both hungry and well-rested, both of which will help you succeed. Once he or she gets the hang of it, you may want to give your baby cereal in the evening to help him or her sleep longer at night.
Mix Baby Cereal with milk 2. Mix 1 teaspoon of cereal to 4-5 teaspoons of breast milk or formula.This gives the cereal a familiar taste that your baby is less likely to reject. The resulting mixture will be thin and runny (messy) so bring out the best bib you have, and think about putting your baby in a high chair or baby seat that has a plastic tray.
Baby cereal bottle ready 3. Have a bottle ready.All new experiences aside, your baby will probably grow tired or frustrated and just want a bottle. It’s better to try the cereal before the bottle, so that they’re hungrier and so that you have something to soothe him or her with afterward.
Baby Cereal Spoons 4. Use a small, soft-tipped spoon.You’ll understand why once you try it. Even the most dextrous of parents may struggle in hitting the moving target of a baby’s mouth. Also, you only want to offer a little bit at a time to reduce gagging. The Gerber soft-bite infant spoons are ideal for this.
Feeding Baby Cereal 5. Be patient and expect to fail.At first, your baby will probably have no idea what’s going on or how to handle the cereal. About 90% of the cereal will end up on the bib, the tray, the floor, and you. It will probably takes weeks of practice until your baby gets it, at which point only around 10% of the cereal will end up all over the place.

As you make progress in giving your baby cereal, you may branch out to try other kinds. I recommend single-grain oat cereal next; it has a very different texture and your baby may like the taste better than rice cereal.

Which Baby Cereals Are Best?

There are a lot of baby cereals out there. You can usually find a few options at your local grocery store. Don’t buy too much at once! Once you find a cereal that your baby likes, however, you might wish to buy in bulk since your baby will be eating it for 6 months or more, and baby cereal keeps very well.

For certain cereals, you can sign up on Amazon Subscribe N Save to have them delivered free on a regular basis. You get 15% off the Amazon price but there’s no commitment, so I really take advantage of this for diapers, cereal, and other baby staples.

Best Single-Grain Baby Cereal

Gerber best baby rice cereal Gerber Single-Grain Rice Cereal
Gerber makes a quality single-grain rice cereal for babies that should probably be the first one you try. You should be able to find this in your local grocery store. Buy a box and see if your baby likes it. If so, you can mix it with breast milk, formula, pureed baby food, or even water.Gerber rice cereal is gentle because it’s made with single, natural grains that are easy to digest and its smooth, fine texture is developmentally appropriate for your baby’s first solid food.The easily-digestible, fine-grain texture of rice cereal makes it ideal to add to the nighttime bottle as well, which often gets a baby to sleep longer. Yes, most pediatricians frown on this, and most parents do it anyway. Just make sure to try spoon-feeding in the daytime so that your baby learns to eat that way.
Gerber best baby oatmeal cereal Gerber Single-Grain Oatmeal Cereal
Gerber’s single grain oatmeal cereal is what I’d recommend you try next, either after success with the rice cereal (to introduce some variety) or if your baby rejects the rice cereal (to offer a different taste).The texture of oatmeal cereal is different and slightly coarser.All of my babies loved it, particularly when mixed with a vegetable or fruit. Their favorite cereal mix-ins were carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and apples. They also like it plain, either with water or formula.Make sure that you add enough liquid, though; this cereal will gag your baby if it’s too dry.I don’t recommend the oatmeal as a mix-in for the nightly bottle, because it seems to clog even level-3 nipples.You should be able to find Gerber Single Grain Oatmeal cereal in your supermarket or grocery store in the baby food section.

Best Organic Baby Cereal

Best Organic Rice Cereal HAPPYBELLIES Organic Brown Rice Cereal
The bestselling organic baby cereal on Amazon is from the HappyBellies line of HappyBaby. This whole-grain cereal has a lot to like:

  • Enriched with DHA for brain and eye development, plus iron, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for the baby’s growth
  • 100% natural ingredients, no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, no genetic modifications, and no preservatives
  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
  • Completely vegan and contains no dairy, soy, gluten, or wheat ingredients

Vitamins and minerals: ascorbic acid, calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, reduced iron, alpha tocopheryl acetate, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, niacinamide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, cyanocobalamin, zinc oxide
Probiotics: l. acidophilus, bifidislactis, l. bulgaricus, l. casei, streptococcus thermophilus, and l. rhamnosus.


Earth’s Best Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal
The best-reviewed organic oatmeal cereal on Amazon is made by Earth’s Best, which has a complete line of organic baby foods. Their organic oatmeal features:

  • Made from organic wheat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, and organic cinnamon
  • Certified organic and Kosher; non GMO; no trans fat; 20% RDA of iron, zinc, thiamin, and folic acid per serving
  • Made from ingredients grown on U.S. organic family-run farms

Organic Whole Oat Flour, Organic Rolled Oats, Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Alpha Amylase (Enzyme), Electrolytic Iron.


Best Baby Cereal Mixes

Earth's Best organic Baby Rice Cereal Earth’s Best Organic Rice Cereal with Apples
This extremely popular mix combines the whole grain organic rice cereal with apples for a naturally sweet and tasty cereal. Your baby might prefer this over plain rice cereal, because the apples give a little flavor to it.Earth’s Best organic cereals are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or genetic engineering. There’s no definitive evidence that these things are harmful to humans, but the less man-made chemicals going into your baby, the better.

  • USDA certified organic
  • Made from whole grains
  • No added salt or sugar
  • Kosher certified
Earth's Best organic Baby Oatmeal Cereal Earth’s Best Organic Oatmeal Cereal with Bananas
Another popular mix combines the Earth’s Best organic oatmeal whole grain cereal with bananas for a tasty mix. The banana flavor doesn’t always mix well with other baby foods, but many infants seem to like it plain.Again, these organic cereals are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or genetic engineering.

  • USDA certified organic
  • Made from whole grains
  • No added salt or sugar
  • Kosher certified

Baby Seats: Bumbo or Bebepod?

Bumbo or bebepod seatThere are times when you want to put your baby down, but don’t want him laying down. Maybe he’s fussy about being left on the floor, or maybe he just downed a 6-ounce bottle. Bouncers and play yards probably aren’t the best choice when your baby’s just eaten.

Baby seats like the Bebepod or Bumbo offer a nice alternative. These soft, molded plastic chairs are contoured to support your baby in a comfortable sitting position. They’re incredibly cute and wildly popular, and here’s why.

Features of Baby Seats

  • Ergonomic sitting support, to prevent spit-ups or let you interact with your baby. They’re great for feeding, too.
  • Light-weight and portable. Small enough to throw in the car as a backup high chair; you can usually strap them to a regular chair so your baby can join the table.
  • Keep your baby off of the floor, which is nice when you’re in public or visiting another home.
  • Non-toxic plastic construction makes them safe, durable, and easy to clean with warm soapy water. The broad base ensures that your baby can’t tip over.

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Bumbo Baby Seat

Bumbo Seat

Baby Seat Review:

The Bumbo baby seat is the “classic” model, the first of its kind. It’s basically a plastic seat with a round base, contoured to fit your baby, chubby legs and all. The key features

  • Comes in four colors: aqua, blue, pink, or green.
  • No straps or anything to fumble with; you just put it on a solid, flat surface.
  • Padded foam interior and a safe, hygienic, non-toxic plastic exterior.

If there’s a down side to the Bumbo, it’s the price: these tend to be on the higher end ($45-50) than some other baby seats. You might get lucky in your local children’s resale shop, you might not. The good news if you buy one second-hand is that the hard plastic is easily washed (with hot soapy water) and dried.

Dimensions: 18 x 4 x 4 inches; 3.8 pounds
Reviews: Bumbo baby seat reviews
Price on Amazon: [php]checkPrice(“B0092NNQ98”); [/php]

Prince Lionheart bebePOD Flex Plus Baby Seat

Prince Lionheart Bebepod Seat

Baby Seat Review:

The Prince Lionheart Bebepod may have surpassed the Bumbo in overall popularity. We ended up getting two of them, and were most impressed with the fitted tray/play toy that’s included.

  • Straps in the chair (to secure your baby) and on the bottom (so that you can strap it to a chair). We don’t often use these because we usually keep the seats on the floor, but I like having them.
  • Includes an attachable tray with placemat and spinny, rattling, chewable toy.
  • Snap-on, twist-off pommel for when tray is not in use.
  • Ergonomic design and wide leg openings

The tray can be used with play toy (shown), for eating (using the watermelon slice), or removed and replaced with the soft rubber cap. We’re quite happy with these; anything that holds up for two destructive boys should win an award for durability!

Dimensions: 18 x 4 x 4 inches; 3.8 pounds
Reviews: Bebepod baby seat reviews
Price on Amazon: [php]checkPrice(“B004NRNSXM”); [/php]

Summer Infant 3 Stage Super Seat

Summer Infant Seat
Summer Infant baby Seat

Baby Seat Review:

Currently the bestselling baby seat on Amazon, the Summer Infant 3-stage Super Seat has three different configurations to accommodate your growing baby:

  • Stage 1: An infant support seat with soft pad and 3-point harness
  • Stage 2: Activity seat with tray and toys./li>
  • Stage 3: A booster seat that straps to the chair

The Super Seat has a wide base for stability, and sturdy plastic construction so you can wipe it clean with soap and water. The soft foam insert for young infants (stage 1) is unique to this seat, and I really like it. The activity seat has both toys and two cupholders, which are handy for holding snacks or sippy cups when your child is big enough.

This seat has won lots of awards, including the 2008 National Parenting Publications award. I can see why!

Dimensions: 26 x 26 x 9.5 inches ; 5.5 pounds
Reviews: Summer Infant baby seat reviews
Price on Amazon: [php]checkPrice(“B001NJC5QY”); [/php]

Choosing the Best Baby Seat for You

Quite honestly, from talking to other parents and reading the reviews on Amazon, it’s clear that most people love their baby seat — be it Bumbo or Bebepod — and put it to excellent use. If you have a chunky baby, or want the tray to use it as a high chair, the Bebepod comes with these included. That’s part of the reason that we got two Bebepods (one red, one green) for our twins. Plan to spend about $40-50 either way. It’s an investment you’ll be glad that you made! Plus, they hold their value really well, so you can pass it along to another family or sell it.

Getting Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Get baby to sleep through nightGetting your baby to sleep through the night is a huge victory for parents. For most of us, it doesn’t come easy. It comes after weeks upon weeks of establishing sleep routines, figuring out your baby’s wants and needs, and trying lots of different strategies. You can and will get there. Here’s how to get started.
Table of Contents:

When do babies sleep through the night?
What does “through the night” mean?

Strategies to Get Through The Night
Setting a nightly routine
Feeding your baby at night
Dressing your baby for sleep
Setting the stage: Your baby’s room

Problems and Troubleshooting
Be prepared for any problem
When your baby wakes up at night
3 last tips for getting baby to sleep longer

When do babies sleep through the night?

It varies quite a bit between babies, but almost never before two months of age. Newborns have to eat every 4 hours or so, so even if they could go all night, they probably shouldn’t. Sorry, that’s part of having a baby! You’ll probably turn a corner at 3-4 months, when babies can sleep five hours or longer after a good feeding. See the baby sleep chart for more. Food is, in my opinion, the ultimate determinant of when babies start sleeping through the night. As soon as your baby can take, and hold, enough food to last for a long stretch, you can start working toward sleeping through the night.

What “through the night” means

You, as an adult, probably like to get 7-8 hours of good, uninterrupted sleep each night. When the baby comes, you’re lucky if you get 3 or 4 hours at a time. On the bright side, newborns sleep about 18 hours throughout the day, so when they sleep, you sleep to make up for those late nights. You should set milestones, based on your baby’s adjusted age, for the longest period of nighttime sleep:

Goals for baby to sleep through the night

By twelve months, your baby should be able to sleep 10-11 hours through the night without waking. Here’s what you’ll need to get there.

Setting A Nightly Routine

Choosing a nightly routine for your baby is critical to help him sleep through the night. The bath-bottle-bed routine is a classic example. Performing the same steps with your baby, in the same order, helps train them that it’s time for “the big sleep” at night. It also helps you remember to do everything that matters – change the diaper, put on the pajamas, swaddle, etc.

Solid foods mixed with cereal, as much as the baby will take.
Play Time
Bouncer, play yard, bumbo chair, and/or tummy time (not right after eating, though)
As often as possible. This really relaxes them.
As much as your baby will take, followed by a good burping.
Clean diaper, warm pajamas, full belly, swaddler, sound machine.
earths best baby vegetables Baby bath routine Dr. Brown's Bottles Arm's Reach Baby Bassinet

Even the best parents can forget a step; we’re all working on limited sleep, right? For a detailed guide on what your baby’s nightly routine should look like, see Establishing a Bedtime Routine.

Feeding Your Baby At Night

Baby formula at nightThe principal reason that babies wake up in the middle of the night is to eat. This is a powerful, biological urge that they can’t really control. For this reason, newborns less than 2 months of age typically can’t sleep more than 3-4 hours at a time. The hunger pangs are too strong. As your baby gets older, though, he’s able to take more food and (eventually) to take solids, which really seem to make a difference. Even before that time, there are steps you can take to help your baby sleep at night:

  • Save the formula for nighttime. If you supplement with infant formula, which is common, you may wish to do so in the evening or at night. I am not suggesting that you feed with formula instead of breast milk. We all know and appreciate the benefits of breast feeding. However: a lot of moms supplement breast milk with formula, either out of convenience or necessity. For these moms, I suggest favoring breast milk during the day (as it digests more quickly) and favoring formula at night. Or, offering a little bit of formula once the milk is exhausted at nighttime feedings. The goal is just to make sure that your baby has a full belly, which gives him or her a better chance at sleeping through the night.

    Baby vegetables for nighttime feeding

    Baby Vegetables

  • Solid food at dinner. As soon as your baby is allowed solid food, start offering it to him. You’ll probably be instructed to try single-grain cereal before baby food. It takes a while for babies to get the knack of it, but your efforts will pay off. Solid food makes a HUGE difference in keeping your baby satisfied. When your baby starts eating a container with a bit of cereal mixed in at dinner, you’ll see a big difference in nighttime sleep. See our article on 6 Tips for Starting Solid Food.
  • Thicken food with cereal. The single-grain cereal is a great thickener, and it helps your baby stay full for longer. You can mix it into runny baby foods, especially carrots, sweet potatoes, and most fruits, to make them more substantial. They also stick to the spoon better and make feeding less messy. Baby cereal is very nutritious, so don’t feel like you’re short-changing the baby’s diet.

About cereal in the bottle

As a rule, many pediatricians and nutritionists advise against adding cereal to bottles. They have convincing reasons for this. Realistically, this is a rule that is “broken” by many parents whose babies wake up hungry in the middle of the night. Whether or not you should try this is is up to you.

I am neither advocating it nor speaking out against it, but a little bit of cereal into the last bottle of the night can help a baby sleep longer. Not more than a teaspoon or two; it should still be liquid after you mix it. Be sure to use a level 2 or level 3 nipple and watch for clogs. This should not be the only way that your baby gets cereal. You still have to do the work of teaching him or her to eat with a spoon.

Whatever you use, make certain that you offer your baby all that he’ll take at the nighttime feeding. If he finishes a bottle and seems interested, offer another 2 ounces. Make sure to burp regularly, of course. The more you can get your baby to take, the longer he’ll be able to go without waking up.

For more help, see Nighttime Feeding and Sleep.

Dressing Your Baby to Sleep At Night

Ensuring that your baby is warm, safe, and secure will help him get a good night’s sleep. He or she may not tolerate a baby hat or mittens, but here are some other, more essential things.

  1. A fresh diaper. What A Newborn should wear to sleep through the nightEven if you changed it half an hour ago, put on a fresh one. Every bit of dryness counts. As soon as your baby’s big enough for a size 3-5 diaper, look into Huggies Overnites, which are extra absorbent and designed specifically to wick away moisture overnight. These things are lifesavers!
  2. Clean, soft pajamas. I prefer long-sleeve pajamas with footies. A little over-sized is okay, but never put a baby in pajamas that are too tight. Soft pajamas are not only more comfortable, but they’re a tactile clue that your baby will associate with sleeping at night. See our review of cute baby pajamas.
  3. Good swaddling. A well-executed swaddle will keep your baby warm and snug, but also acts as a safety measure because it prevents him from getting a limb caught in the crib. Such incidents aren’t usually life-threatening but they tend to evoke a screaming fit, so prevention is key. Learn how to swaddle a newborn and do it every night. If your baby kicks out of it, check out our review of sleep sacks and sleeping bags.

Setting the Stage: Your Baby’s Room

Periodic table of baby sleep through the night

Periodic Sleep Table

There are lots of things you can do in the baby’s room to make it a safe, comfortable environment that encourages long hours of sleep. You want to make your baby’s room and crib a place where he feels cozy and secure, a place where he knows it’s time to sleep.

This is why you shouldn’t play with your baby while he’s in his crib, no matter how cute he’s being. The crib is for sleep only. Here are some other tips that I’ve found useful in extending a baby’s ability to sleep through the night, most of which are also highlighted on the periodic table of baby sleep.

  • Consistent darkness. Unless you enjoy waking up at sunrise, invest in some good room-darkening shades for your baby’s window. Also, install a small lamp or baby night light, somewhere near the changer and away from the crib, to help you see while not over-stimulating the baby into wakefulness. See our review of baby night lights for some suggestions.
  • Quiet or white noise. When the baby goes to bed, try to keep the noise to a minimum. This probably isn’t possible if you have other children. We set up a small fan in the baby’s room by the door and turn it on when he goes to bed. This provides a nice, consistent white noise and has the added benefit of moving some air around in the room, keeping the temperature more consistent.
  • A wind-up or electric music box is an exception to the “quiet” rule: soft music can have a soothing effect at bedtime. You might try a soother or sound machine and see how it goes; some babies like them, some babies hate them. Make sure you have something that either winds up or has a shut-off timer, so you don’t have to go back in to turn it off. With luck, the music from it will be another cue that it’s time to go to bed and sleep through the night.
  • For safety reasons, your newborn’s bed should be clear of anything that could pose a hazard, including baby clothes, blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, and crib bumpers. Yes, crib bumpers. I know they’re cute, but they have been linked to infant injuries and deaths. I don’t know why they even make these any more.
  • If your baby has reflux or wakes up due to gas, you can try slightly elevating the head of your baby’s bed. Often this can be accomplished using the crib’s height settings, and lowering the “foot” of the bed one peg to create a slight incline. This puts gravity on your side and reduces spit-ups. You can also go the low-tech route and put a phone book under one side.

Baby sleeping at night

Be Prepared for Any Problem

Almost every problem that prevents your baby from sleeping through the night has a fix, and you should keep that solution close at hand. Before you put your baby to bed for the night, think about the common reasons babies wake up or won’t sleep and get everything prepared:

  • Have clean diapers out where you can reach them. Whether or not to change the diaper is a judgment call, since you risk waking the baby up even more, but if it’s soaked or dirty, you should do it. Have the new diapers unfolded with tabs at the ready.
  • Make sure the wipe warmer is stocked. I’m a big proponent of baby wipe warmers; not only do warm wipes help avoid stimulating the baby, they seem to reduce the number of times the baby pees on you.
  • Keep extra pacifiers in the bed and on tables in your room or the baby’s room. You can never have too many pacifiers, and they’re often hard to find at night. See our review of the best pacifiers.
  • Set out bottles with pre-measured formula, nipples, and a burp cloth. When they wake up hungry, babies want food NOW. Save time and minimize fumbling by having this stuff ready to go.
  • Make sure the rocking chair is clear so that you have a soft and safe place to take your baby for feeding or soothing.

With this arsenal to handle any problem, and the strategies outlined above, you’ll have your baby sleeping through the night better than ever before. Good luck!

When Your Baby Wakes Up At Night

Why baby won't sleep

Why Baby Won’t Sleep

No matter how perfect your preparation, there will still be the occasional wake-ups in the middle of the night. How to handle these is an area of contentious debate among sleep experts. In my own case, I don’t have the option of letting a baby fuss for long, because our twins share a room and are close to their 2-year-old sister.

Wake-ups are common, even among babies that routinely sleep through the night. You might not be doing anything wrong! To the left you’ll see a pie chart from my article on Why Baby Won’t Sleep depicting the most common reasons that babies have trouble sleeping. There are several possible causes, but when your baby wakes up, here are some response strategies that you should keep in mind:

  1. Respond quickly, but quietly. Don’t go barging in and throw on all the lights. Don’t say anything. The less you stimulate your baby, the better.
  2. Try soothing him in his bed first. Resist the urge to pick him up. At least half of the time, I can get a baby back to sleep by re-inserting the pacifier, tucking his blanket in, and shushing him with a soft voice. I’ve also had luck pushing down on the crib mattress (gently) near the baby to offer a little bit of vibration, almost like taking baby on a car ride.
  3. Find the problem, and fix it. If it’s clear that your baby is hungry, and you’re both up anyway, you might as well feed him. If he looks uncomfortable or squirmy, try burping him. If she looks frightened, hold her close and rock her.
  4. Leave the room as soon as the baby is settled. Don’t stick around to see if it worked, just leave the room and listen outside the door. That way, your baby won’t see you and think it’s time to be extra-cute and wake up.

For more help, see the in-depth article on How to Soothe Your Baby Back to Sleep.

Three Things to Try to Get Baby to Sleep Longer

If you’ve followed my advice so far, you’re a long way on the road to having your baby sleep through the night. There are three “sleep extending” strategies I haven’t touched on that might help your baby sleep longer and more consistently.

1. Bath before bed

Baby bath thermometer

Bath Thermometer

Babies seem to respond differently to baths – some love them, some hate them. I think that water temperature is key here. It should feel slightly warm to your touch, about 90 to 95 degrees. A baby bath thermometer helps. Splash some warm water on the seat or platform that holds your baby up right before he or she goes in – if these get wet and are exposed to air for a couple of minutes, they turn cold very quickly. Regardless of how much they enjoy the bath itself, 100% of my babies are more relaxed after a bath. They fall asleep easier and usually sleep for longer.

2. Early bed time

This is a strategy that you often hear about from sleep experts – the early bedtime. A lot of parents put their babies to bed for the night too late. It seems counter-intuitive, but often putting babies to bed earlier helps them sleep longer. For us, the right time was around 1-2 hours after dinner, around 8:00 or 8:30. Experiment with this and find the right time for your baby.

Aden + Anais Blankets

Aden + Anais Blankets

3. Hands free to soothe

This is for older babies, ones that are using their hands to grab and hold things. Try giving your baby a light-weight blanket, blankie, or extra-soft plush animal to hold at bedtime. Again, not for newborns. Technically, this is not in line with the current sleep safety guidelines so consider it carefully. If you decide to try it, experiment with a few different items. Our boys like the corner of a thin receiving blanket, specifically the legendary Aden+Anais blankets. The soft touch against their cheek soothes them to sleep, and often back to sleep if they wake up.

What To Read Next

Our complete guide to teaching healthy baby sleep habits is called Baby Sleep Training 101. If you like this article, you might want to subscribe by e-mail or RSS so that you’re notified when new content is posted.

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Baby sleep problems takes you through the most common sleep issues and how to address them. Our video monitor reviews compare the latest cutting-edge wireless color video baby monitors. Visit our sleep training section for strategies and tips for teaching your baby to sleep through the night. Check out our reviews of Essential baby gear for helping babies sleep at night.