Pregnancy Week by Week

Get a window on what’s happening in your pregnancy, week by week. From week four to week 42, your baby is experiencing a miraculous transformation from a clump of cells to a fully formed (and totally cute) newborn. Just imagine, as early as five weeks, your baby is already starting to form major organs (heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys) and systems (digestive, circulatory, nervous). By eight weeks, your raspberry-sized womb-mate is moving her arms and legs. At the beginning of your second trimester (week 14), your wee one is sucking his thumb. By week 28, the first week of the third trimester, baby (now as big as an eggplant) is prepping for breathing, developing his eyesight and packing on pounds in anticipation of life outside the womb. Each week is a new miracle. Less miraculous is how a mom-to-be may feel. Pregnancy Week-by-Week charts your baby’s development but also lets mom know what she might be feeling during each week of her pregnancy. Pregnancy week by Week includes everything mom needs to know to feel a sense of control over her pregnancy. Each week offers a complete guide to what you might feel, your must-do’s, your nice-to do’s, and answers and advice on everything pregnancy-related. Plus each week’s guide offers tips on maintaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy from strategies on coping with pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness anyone?) to ideas for healthy eating, and pointers on talking to your OB. Let us guide you along your pregnancy, week by week.

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Q&A: Picking out a car seat?

What features should I look for when picking out a car seat?

Re: What features should I look for when picking out a car seat?

The Bump Expert

First, of course, is safety. After that, some other things to consider:

Simplicity
Make sure you find a seat that is easy to use. You should be absolutely positive that you can easily install the base (or the full seat, if you go the convertible route). An improperly installed seat is dangerous, so stay away from anything with overly-complicated instructions or that requires adjustments with each use. And remember, you might not be the only one doing installation. Get a seat that will be easy for others (like sitters or grandparents) to operate as well.

Comfort
You don’t want your little angel cruising around in an uncomfortable seat! Try to find a seat that gives baby plenty of support and padding for a comfy ride.

Restraints That Fit
The seat’s restraint system needs to keep baby firmly in place. Luckily, most of today’s new seats are sold with your safest option: a 5-point harness. These have straps that fully adjust to secure baby’s upper body and thighs, and are designed to distribute the force of a crash to baby’s strongest parts (the pelvis and shoulders).

Some convertible seats offer the option of a tray shield (or overhead shield), which can be easier to use but doesn’t fit baby as snugly. These have shoulder straps and a plastic bar across the lap, both held in place by a crotch strap. It is a common misconception that the plastic bar keeps baby more secure -- tests have actually shown that they may be more dangerous in the event of a crash, or may cause damage to a child’s head or neck. The one scenario where this sort of seat might be your best bet is if baby will be traveling with a caregiver who is unwilling or unable to properly tighten and untwist the belts of the 5-point harness.

Easy Cleaning
Believe it or not, not all car seats come with removable, machine washable covers. Get one that does. Trust us.

Safety Note
If you plan to buy or borrow a used seat, make sure it meets today’s safety standards, hasn’t been involved in any recalls or previous crashes, and comes with complete labels and instructions.

Erin Walters

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