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  • Sandy King
  • January 17, 2017 09:09:42 AM

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Helping parents make smart - and safe - buying decisions for newborns, toddlers and beyond.

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    How To Find Housing for Single Mothers

    Being a single mother can be hard, especially when it comes to finding affordable housing for you and your children. Help is out there; however, you need to know where to look and how to apply. Housing assistance from the government is available in most states, as well as help from private organizations. Here are … How To Find Housing for Single Mothers Read More...

    Being a single mother can be hard, especially when it comes to finding affordable housing for you and your children. Help is out there; however, you need to know where to look and how to apply.

    Housing assistance from the government is available in most states, as well as help from private organizations.

    Here are some ways you can find housing as a single mother.

    1. Emergency Housing
    emergency housing

    Emergency housing is for those who find themselves with no place to live. This is temporary housing, but it is worth to take note of in case of an emergency situation.

    Emergencies can include such incidents as a fire or a case of domestic violence. Emergency housing includes shelters, group homes, boarding homes and sometimes, hotel rooms.

    Where do I look?

    If you need emergency housing, social services along with private, non-profit organizations such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill, can help. Doing a quick Google search of “I need emergency housing” will bring up results for safe places closest to your current location.

    2. Affordable Housing

    Affordable housing is housing with low monthly payments, being rent or mortgage. This type of housing is granted with Section 8 vouchers or can be found in neighborhood, low-income apartment units.

    How do I apply?

    The first step to applying is finding the right organization for you. Here are several to start off with.

    • The Family Unification Assistance Program

    This program assists with housing vouchers for low-income families and single mothers. The amount you will have to pay will be based on your income. You can find more information here.

    • House-Sharing

    The CoAbod program helps single mothers to find suitable housing and help with child care. It entails sharing a home with another mother and splitting all the expenses.

    For more information, look at their website.

    • Social Serve

    This service is a non-profit organization which aids single mothers in finding affordable housing. Their website is updated daily and lists accommodation opportunities in every state.

    • Habitat Humanity

    This worldwide organization builds and repairing houses for individuals in need. To apply for this benefit, go to their website

    3.  Low-Income Housing

    This kind of housing is only for people who have a low income. There is usually a maximum amount of money that you can earn to qualify for these programs.

    How do I apply?

    Several organizations provide low-income housing:

    • Public Housing

    Each state has HUD, or a PHA (the Public Housing Administration). With this program, low-income housing is available in a wide range of areas for low-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly.

    Income allowance is determined according to each state and goes by your gross, annual income. To apply, go to their website:

    • (Section 8) House Voucher Program

    This program offers low-income individuals and families a safe and sanitary place to live at a reduced price based on their earnings. The home that a person desires to live in has to be included in the program. It must also meet the Section 8 guidelines.

    To qualify, you must meet the annual income restrictions. You can learn more and apply here.

    • The Vision-House

    This non-profit organization provides in-between accommodations to single mothers and their dependents who don’t have anywhere else to live.

    It is a 2-year program. Vision-House requires single mothers’ income to be thirty percent below the overall income of the community in which they want to live. They must be considered homeless at the time of enrollment. To learn more, go to their website

    • The Nurturing Network

    This 501(c)(3) non-profit, charity organization helps women who are challenged with an unexpected pregnancy. They provide provisions during the pregnancy, and well after the child is born.

    Services can include medical services, counseling, housing, legal assistance and help with locating employment. To learn more, visit their website

    • Low-Income House Coalition

    A national agency that seeks to expand housing accessibility for people across the U.S. To find out more and to let your voice be heard click here.

    • (LIHTC) Low-income House Tax Credit Assistance Program

    This agency gives property renters a tax credit if he or she offers affordable housing. With this program, the property owner reduces his tax liability. To learn more about qualifying as a property owner or as a low-income individual looking for housing, visit here.

    4. Rental Assistance:

    Rental assistance programs are intended to help people with their rent. They either give people an allowance to use towards their rent or give money directly to the landlord to assist with rent.

    home renting
    How do I apply?

    Several agencies help single mothers with rental assistance:

    • The Salvation Army

    The Salvation Army aids people in a lot of ways by using the money that they make in their stores. They help with housing for single mothers.  They also provide food, rehabilitation and disaster relief. To learn more and see if you qualify, visit their website.

    • The Catholic Charities

    The programs that this charity offers include providing info on food aid, support for finding affordable housing and reintegration to allow people to qualify for higher-paying jobs. You don’t have to be a Catholic to be eligible for their services. To learn more, visit here.

    • The YWCA

    The YWCA advocates for women’s rights. They believe in justice, peace, dignity, and freedom for all women.

    They offer programs and aid in housing, domestic violence cases, women’s health plans, job training, primary childcare programs, literacy programs, veteran’s programs and women’s scholarship awards. To learn more about how the YWCA can assist you, go to their website.

    We hope you found this listing of housing assistance for low-income mothers helpful. You might also like our page “Help & Assistance for Single Mothers

    Best Twin Bassinet So Everyone Gets Some Sleep

    Congrats, you’re having twins! Once that has sunk in, most parents think, “oh wow, WE’RE HAVING TWINS!!” Welcome to the special world of double.  You may be thinking, “do I need to buy 2 infant car seats”, followed by, “where do they sleep?” And that’s just the start of the buying spree you’re about to … Best Twin Bassinet So Everyone Gets Some Sleep Read More...

    Congrats, you’re having twins! Once that has sunk in, most parents think, “oh wow, WE’RE HAVING TWINS!!” Welcome to the special world of double. 

    You may be thinking, “do I need to buy 2 infant car seats”, followed by, “where do they sleep?” And that’s just the start of the buying spree you’re about to go on. 

    We understand, there’s little time to spend researching, hunting, comparing, and then buying all the furniture, gear, accessories you’ll need to survive. This is why we made this twin bassinet short list for you. 

    In one place, in 10 minutes, you can make a great decision and get the bassinet you need. Now you can move on to the 50 other things you need to get done today!

    Our Top Picks

    For those that just want to get straight to the point. Here are our winners. 

    Editors Choice
    HALO BassiNest Twin Sleeper
    HALO BassiNest Twin Sleeper
    Best Value
    Joovy Room2 Twin Nursery Center
    Joovy Room2 Twin Nursery Center
    Best Portable
    Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center
    Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center

    Is Bassinet Better Than Crib?

    For a single newborn baby, there is a choice of a crib vs bassinet. Both have their pros and cons. But for twins, I highly recommend spending the money to put your twins in a bassinet first, and later on a Crib for Twins. 

    Why? Bassinets are smaller. With twins, for safety sake, you may want both newborns close to your bed. A crib would just be too big for that. 

    The Best Bassinet For Twins

    The obvious answer is to just buy two bassinets. But for cost savings and convenience, I recommend a double bassinet. That is a single bassinet than can safely hold both newborns.

    It’s a great space saver and oftentimes reduces the cost in half. So for our review, we’re only listing true twin bassinet.

    HALO BassiNest Twin Sleeper Bassinet

    HALO BassiNest Twin Sleeper – Premiere Series

    The ultimate in twin bassinets! There is no better bassinet for twins you can buy. This is the best. Period. 

    It is pricey, but many parents swear that it’s well worth the investment.

    The Halo BassiNest is our Editors Choice award winner. It’s the most expensive twin bassinet on our list, but none of the others even come close to the features that this one offers. 

    First and foremost, it can be placed right next to the bed so mom has easy visibility and access to her babies without getting out of bed. Of course you don’t have to place it next to the bed, but that is an ideal place for most mothers. 

    It looks different from any other twin bassinet on the market. Unique features that make this an Editors Choice:

    • Height Adjustable: The bassinet can be adjusted to be level with most any bed 
    • Visibility: The mesh wall is see thru so you can see your babies while your head remains on the pillow
    • Swivels: 360 degree rotation allows you to get close to the baby quickly and easily
    • Access: It has a patented lowering bedside wall that allows you to get to reach babies easily
    • Soothing System: Includes a nightlight, two levels of vibration, three lullabies, three soothing sounds, and a back-to-bed reminder, with 30 minute auto shut off
    • Mattress: It’s included, so that’s part of the reason for a higher price
    • Storage: Storage pockets on the side so you can keep the essentials nearby and never have to get out of bed to soothe the little ones.

    Baby Trend Nursery Center Twin Bassinet Review

    Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center

    The Baby Trend Retreat is our Best Portable award winner. It’s similar in travel capabilities to the Graco Pack ‘n Play, but has more features. It does weight more but we would gladly take that for all the storage and other niceties.

    If you’re short on space with twins, the Baby Trend Nursery Center is ideal.

    Let’s be honest. If you’ve decided to take the twin bassinet option, the product that many parents of multiples prefer is the Graco Pack and Play (reviewed below).

    However, it would also be fair to say that this Baby Trend product has better features. Let’s start with the bassinets themselves.

    With the Baby Trend, you get two “Rock-a-bye” bassinets with handles. That allows you to lift them out of the play yard and take them with you around the house.

    In comparison, the Graco Bassinets are only removed when your twins outgrow them. As a result, the fabric is not as thick.

    Like the Graco, you can wheel the bassinets from room to room and there is a brake, too. Also similar to the Graco, you can fold up the play yard fairly easily and put it into the included travel bag.

    You also get a free changing table, an organizer for nappies and wipes and two sound machines.

    The sound machines are really the best part of the deal. I say this because they have a night light and a vibrational setting, too. The rocking action of the bassinets is perhaps not that impressive (though with newborn infants that’s probably a good thing!) but the vibrational setting is great for soothing and getting them off to sleep.

    You do need to know that there isn’t a mattress or bassinet sheet with the Nursery Center. There is a padded and firm mat instead.

    Spit Ups can be dealt with by wiping down the fabric, or hand-washing. Some parents do use a machine’s “Hand Wash” setting, but it isn’t officially recommended!

    The bassinets are also “officially” good for up to 4-months, or 15lbs (whatever comes first). A lot of parents will transition them directly into a crib after a couple of months, or use the play yard.

    The only downside to this product is really the price ! The Graco Pack and Play for twins are usually available for cheaper. If the added freebies and being able to carry the bassinets appeal to you, it’s probably worth the premium.


    • Bassinets are sturdy in the play yard
    • Bassinets can be taken out & put back in
    • Can wipe down & hand wash
    • Has wheels and a brake
    • One hand locking mechanism
    • Includes changing table, organizer & two sound machines


    • Usually more expensive than Graco’s twin play yard

    Joovy Room2 Twin Nursery Center Review

    Joovy Room2 Twin Nursery Center

    The Joovy Room2 Twin Nursery Center is our Best Value award winner. It is the cheapest option on our list, even when considering you’ll need to also buy the Joovy Room² Playard to make it a functional twin bassinet.

    One criticism of the “Pack ‘n Play” below, is that it’s not actually sturdy enough to hold two babies. Parents report that it bows in the middle after extended use. A well-made alternative is the Joovy Room2. With 10 square feet of room, it’ll hold two babies quite comfortably, and is quite a bit bigger than the Pack n Play.

    Another advantage to the Room2 is there is not a weight limit for using it. Joovy say you can keep on using it until your children are 35″ tall – just under 3 feet tall. So you’ll be able to use it for longer than the Pack ‘n Play as well.

    Safety is always a big issue with baby products and the Joovy Room2 is very sturdy (so pets won’t be able to knock it over) and there’s great visibility with no blind spots.

    I really like the fact Joovy have stood behind their product with a 2 – year warranty. I had a cheap playard that broke after only a few times of folding it up and it was out of warranty.

    A downside to this playard is you need to purchase a mattress. It does come with a fitted sheet but it is not as “Baby Ready” as the Pack ‘n Play.


    • Very Large – 10 square feet of room
    • Well Made – Heavy & sturdy
    • Great visibility
    • No Weight Limit – Use up to 35″ / just under 3′
    • 2 Year Warranty – Longer than the “Pack and Play”


    • Need to purchase extra mattress

    Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard Twin Bassinet Review

    Graco Pack 'n Play Playard with Bassinet for Twins

    The Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Bassinet for Twins is a popular twin bassinet. I think it’s a glorified playard with inserts to sleep two babies. It’s quite costly for what it is. We think there are better options above, but it is one of the few “bassinets” that can sleep twins. 

    The Graco Pack ‘n Play is America’s best-selling Playard, and their twin bassinet has been a bit hit with parents of multiples. Some parents might prefer bassinets before moving twins to their own cribs. The obvious advantage with the double bassinet is it saves a lot of space. This means you can have your little ones close to you in your bedroom. It also has wheels, so you can move it from room to room easily.

    An important point to note is you can not use the playard and the twin bassinet at the same time. You have to actually remove a few screws so you can’t have the best of both worlds. What this does mean is that once the twins become too big for their bassinets (3 – 6 months) you will still be able to use the playard. So you’ll still get some use out of it down the road.

    Another advantage of the Graco Twin Bassinet is its height. After carrying twins (and perhaps a c-section) the last thing you need is lifting not one but two babies from close to the floor. A lot of crib designs don’t take our poor backs into account!

    Overall, the feedback for Graco’s Twin Bassinet has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s generally regarded as “The Best Twin Bassinet On the Market”. It’s not without its critics, though.

    A few parents report that it sags in the middle, which is concerning. Others say it doesn’t! Other negative comments include the colors are drab and the crib sheet is hard to take off.

    For the price, I think the Graco Twin Bassinet is the best double bassinet for the money. The fact that it turns into a playpen means it will certainly get used one way or another.


    • Side-by-side sleeper
    • Converts to a playard
    • Small and space saving
    • Easy to lift twins in and out
    • Great Price


    • Can’t use playard at same time
    • Crib sheet hard to remove

    Previous Winners

    Arms Reach Ideal CoSleeper Review

    The Arms Reach Cosleeper is popular among parents of multiples. It’s large enough (providing you get the model pictured and not the “mini”) to place both babies inside.

    Another option some parents prefer is putting one either side of the bed. Of course, this will all depend on how much space you have, whether the little ones like it and how willing your partner is to move around during the night.

    This cosleeper is great if you like the idea of having your twins close enough so you can hear them breathe and move. This means you can feed them when you first notice the cues and there’s less chance of waking your partner.

    Another advantage with this kind of cosleeper is it can be moved from room to room. So you can take it into the living room for a nap whenever you want.

    Like many bassinets, the downside if the limited use you’ll get out of it. The weight limit is 30lbs – combined. This means that when your twins hit 15lbs it’ll be time to move them. This is usually around 4 – 6 months.

    On the plus side, the cosleeper can be used as a playard as well. There is a removable and washable liner which really helps keep it looking as good as new. This will help with the resell value of the cosleeper if you want to sell it afterward.

    Check the latest price here.


    • Can keep your baby just 12″ away
    • Removable & washable liner
    • Can move it between rooms
    • Converts into a Pack ‘n Play


    • Only up to 30 lbs (combined)

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Can the twins sleep in the bed with mom and/or dad in a bed-sharing arrangement?

      Of course they can, but it isn’t recommended. The main dangers are accidental smothering and suffocation.

    2. Is Co-Bedding OK with twins?

      Not considering the emotional attachment aspect of this question, the main reason to separate the twins while sleeping is they pose a smothering risk to one another. 
      Much like bed-sharing with parents, the same dangers emerge from each of the twins. 
      So you can do it, no one’s stopping you, but it’s not recommended.

    3. Can’t I Just Put Them In Two Bassinets?

      Sure, that is an option. It works best when each parent is responsible for one newborn, splitting the newborns apart by a bed width. Some experts say newborn twins should stay within arms reach of each other for emotional attachment reasons. 
      I’m no expert on this subject, but it makes sense to me. When in doubt, I’d just buy a twin bassinet and not worry about any lifelong mental issue’s I may have caused to save a buck. 

    4. Can’t I Just Put Them In A Crib For Twins?

      Yes, that is an option if you’re OK with having them further than arms reach from your bed. Most homes don’t have the space to put something as large as a crib for twins next to the bed. Then there’s also a lot of features you’ll miss out on that twin bassinets like the HALO BassiNest offer. 
      In my opinion, a twin bassinet is the ideal sleeping solution for twins compared to a mini crib for twins.

    5. How Long Can They Stay In A Twin Bassinet?

      You’ll have to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. But most allow 5-6 months in age or up to 20 – 25 lbs each. Please check the manufacturer’s recommendations to be certain. 

    Related Reading


    While there are other options for sleeping arrangements for your newborn twins, there’s nothing safer nor more emotionally supportive than a bassinet for twins. I highly recommend them. Our winners are repeated below.

    Editors Choice
    HALO BassiNest Twin Sleeper
    HALO BassiNest Twin Sleeper
    Best Value
    Joovy Room2 Twin Nursery Center
    Joovy Room2 Twin Nursery Center
    Best Portable
    Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center
    Baby Trend Retreat Twins Nursery Center

    Five of the Best Solid Wood Cribs

    Babies and parents love solid wood cribs. Not only do they look absolutely gorgeous, they’re also resilient and strong.  Unfortunately, they tend to be a bit on the pricey side. The good news is we can help you find the best wood crib for you and your budget! Benefits of a Solid Wood Crib A wooden … Five of the Best Solid Wood Cribs Read More...

    Babies and parents love solid wood cribs. Not only do they look absolutely gorgeous, they’re also resilient and strong.  Unfortunately, they tend to be a bit on the pricey side. The good news is we can help you find the best wood crib for you and your budget!

    Benefits of a Solid Wood Crib

    A wooden crib is easy to clean, eco-friendly and a worthy investment. They’re also very durable and sturdy. You can use them for more than one baby and they’ll still look great. With a wooden crib, you don’t need to worry about dangerous plastics and toxins, either.

    Whichever design you purchase, you’ll want to know it’s safe, durable and fits in perfectly with your nursery. We have reviewed five of the best wood cribs on the market to help you find one that ticks all the boxes.

    The Best Solid Wood Cribs

    Editors Choice

    Delta Emery Crib

    Delta Emery Crib
    Most Modern

    Babyletto Hudson Crib

    Babyletto Hudson Crib
    Best Value

    Dream On Me Synergy Crib

    Dream On Me Synergy Crib

    What Kind of Wood is Used for Cribs?

    Wood cribs are long lasting, durable, and very safe for babies. They’re a favorite of parent’s who value quality, longevity, and beauty. 

    The reason we wrote this article is to differentiate a wood crib from a solid wood crib. 

    • Wood Crib: a baby crib that is usually structurally made of some type of solid wood and composite wood. 
    • Solid Wood Crib: a baby crib that is usually made of only solid wood. Or one that uses composite wood sparingly in non-structural areas of the crib.

    Composite Wood

    Composite wood is made from fibers of tree’s that are bonded together with glue composed of formaldehyde or other volatile chemicals. While it’s a great eco-friendly choice as nearly 100% of a tree can be used for building purposes, only about 40% of a tree can be used for solid wood lumber.

    Composite wood typically seen in cribs:

    • OSB: Oriented Strand Board
    • MDF: Medium Density Fiberboard
    • Particleboard

    The challenge of using composite wood in cribs is the formaldehyde or volatile chemicals that can off gas and potentially harm your baby. For durability, they also may not be the best at strength in structural applications.

    Solid Wood

    Cribs can be found in popular wood such as oak, pine, chestnut, birch, walnut, cherry, maple and bamboo. But most of the solid wood cribs sold in volume are typically made of softer woods such as New Zealand Pine wood. 

    Hardwoods are the best and most sought after types of woods. But they are extremely expensive. Some of our favorite woods are solid oak wood, walnut, cherry and maple. There are definitely super awesome and cool cribs built with hardwoods but they will be very costly. 

    For most of our readers, we recommend finding a solid wood crib versus a wood/composite wood crib or a hardwood crib for budget reasons. You can still find a great looking and long lasting baby crib in solid wood.

    See below for our top 5 favorites.

    Best Solid Wood Crib

    We’ve looked at over a 100 of the best cribs available today and this is our short list of cribs to consider. This list is a huge timesaver for a busy parent with a baby and any of these cribs won’t break the budget.

    Delta Emery Crib

    Delta Children Emery Deluxe 6-in-1 Convertible Crib
    • Wood: New Zealand Pinewood
    • Safety: JPMA, CPSC and ASTM
    • Size: Full-Size
    • Weight Limit: 50 lbs

    The Delta Children Emery Crib is our Editor’s Choice award winner. If you like the styling, then look no further, and just buy this crib. Save yourself hours and hours of shopping and comparing. You’ve got a lot of other things to worry about with a new baby!

    Delta is one of the most popular and trustworthy brands when it comes to children sleep products. They claim that 1 out of every 2 children sleep in one of their products. Now that’s impressive!

    It’s no surprise the Delta Every Crib is our selection for Editor’s Choice! It balances price, value, quality, durability and style like no other baby crib on the market. Key features we really like are it’s 100% non-toxic, sourced from sustainable New Zealand pinewood, toddler bed conversion, adjustable mattress height, beautiful bell-shaped headboard with a touch of modern design, and available in 3 colors. 

    Solid Wood

    At the time of this writing, there is no evidence of composite wood anywhere on this crib. It appears to me that pinewood is used throughout the build wherever wood is used. Kudos for Delta for making that investment in this model.

    The only place where it isn’t solid wood is in the flat board that the mattress rests on. Solid wood really doesn’t make sense in a thin and wide dimension in this area so it makes sense why they did that.

    Toddler Bed Conversion

    The Emery converts from crib to toddler bed, daybed or full size bed with headboard. It’ll grow with your baby all the way up to pre-teen. 

    To convert from crib to toddler bed, I suggest you guy the optional Toddler Guardrail #0080. To convert to a daybed, the rail is included so that will work as shipped to you. To convert to a full size bed, you’ll need to buy a metal bed frame such as the one from Delta #0040


    Like nearly every crib in this price range, the mattress is not included in the price. Delta says it fits any standard sized crib mattress. I recommend the highly reviewed and best seller, Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Supreme Firm Mattress. Dimensions are 52.5″L x 27.5″W x 5.5″H with thickness: 5.5 inches. Fits perfectly in crib and baby sleeps well on it.


    One of the big reasons for the Editors Choice award is that this is one of the simplest cribs to assemble. Instructions are good and easy to read. Like any project, we suggest laying everything on the floor to visualize the assembly process. It’s easy to have a piece backwards or the wrong side facing you. Other than that, easy assembly is the #1 most talked about thing about this crib. Here’s a video how easy it is to assemble by yourself.

    Babyletto Hudson Crib

    Babyletto Hudson 3-in-1 Convertible Crib with Toddler Bed Conversion Kit
    • Wood: New Zealand Pinewood
    • Safety: JPMA, CPSC and ASTM, Green Gold Certified
    • Size: Full-Size
    • Weight Limit: 50 lbs

    The Babyletto Hudson is our Most Modern award winner. I love the beautiful lines with mid-century modern style. It’s also one of the few cribs that have all 4 government certifications, which is a really big deal. 

    If the Delta Children Emery was “ok” looking to you, but this Hudson makes you go “wow”, then stop right here and buy this crib. If I were shopping for a new crib, without a doubt, I would buy this one. 

    I’m a huge fan of anything modern, and the Babyletto is our favorite modern design crib. Unlike most things “modern” that cost double the price of an “ordinary style”, the Hudson is on par with other cribs in this price range. The angled legs give it a sort of mid-century modern style, which we love. 

    Other than the style, the key things I like about the Hudson are the 3-in-1 toddler bed conversion capabilities, solid wood construction from sustainable New Zealand pinewood, and passsed the rigorous Greenguard Gold Certification

    It also comes in 7 different colors making it easy to place in practically any room in the house. 

    Solid Wood Crib

    This is one of the few cribs in this price range that is 100% pinewood wherever wood is used. It’s very common for the board the mattress rests on to be a composite wood. But the Hudson doesn’t use a board, it’s a metal base for the mattress. No sign of medium density fiberboard that I could find. 

    Toddler Bed Conversion

    The Hudson transitions from crib to toddler bed and daybed, with an included toddler bed conversion kit.


    Babyletto Hudson does not come with a mattress, but it does fit any standard sized crib mattress. As with the Delta Emery Crib, I recommend the highly reviewed and best seller, Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Supreme Firm Mattress. Dimensions are 52.5″L x 27.5″W x 5.5″H with thickness: 5.5 inches. 


    While there are a few complaints about assembly, the majority of people thought the assembly was easy, even for a pregnant mom-to-be. There are quite a bit of screws and bolts, so keep them organized and go slow and methodical, and you won’t have any problems. 

    Here’s an assembly video to give you confidence in assembling it yourself.

    Dream on Me Synergy Crib

    Dream On Me Synergy 5-in-1 Convertible Crib
    • Wood: New Zealand Pinewood
    • Safety: JPMA, CPSC and ASTM
    • Size: Full-Size
    • Weight Limit: 50 lbs

    The Dream On Me Synergy crib is our Best Value Award Winner. The styling is utilitarian but classic as well. It’s the sort of crib that isn’t the focus of the nursery, but rather a complimentary piece to other design elements. 

    It has great looks and all the major safety certifications at a terrific price. If you’re on a budget and OK with the looks, you can’t go wrong with this crib.

    Coming in as our Best Value award winner, the Dream on Me Synergy Crib is one of the cheapest cribs you can buy, without sacrificing quality, durability or resorting to particleboard. 

    The style is utilitarian. That is to say, if you drew a crib on a sheet of paper, this is probably what you would draw. It’s a standard crib and classic in design. No real style features to set it apart. But it does look a bit modern. Overall, if the crib wasn’t your key furniture piece in your nursery, this would be a great crib to complement practically any other type of furniture you may have in there. 

    Solid Wood Crib

    The crib is made of out of reclaimed New Zealand pinewood. While it’s not the strongest woods out there and is a far cry from a hardwood like Oak, it is affordable and does the job well. No sign of medium density fiberboard that I could find. 

    Toddler Bed Conversion

    The Synergy crib comes in a 5-in-1 toddler bed conversion system. It can convert from a crib, to a toddler bed, to a daybed, to a full-size bed with footboard, and lastly a full-size bed without footboard. 


    While we really like the Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams Supreme Firm mattress, we highly recommend a crib manufacturer mattress if they make one for sale. They tend to fit better with less gaps. For this crib, I really like the Dream On Me, Orthopedic Firm Foam Standard Crib Mattress, 5E5WL.


    Assembly has also been reported to be extremely easy. Nothing much to report here other than expect it to be of same difficulty (which isn’t much) as the Babyletto and the Delta cribs.

    DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib Review

    DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 Convertible Crib in Rich Cherry, Greenguard Gold Certified
    • Wood: New Zealand Pinewood
    • Safety: JPMA, CPSC and ASTM, Green Gold Certified
    • Size: Full-Size
    • Weight Limit: 50 lbs

    The DaVinci Kalani crib was last years winner. It’s a super popular crib and would have easily taken our Editors Choice award this year had we not found the Delta Emery to be one step above. 

    While it didn’t win any awards this year, it still made our Top 5 list, which is a huge achievement in itself!

    There are only 2 cribs on our list that have all 4 safety certifications and this is one of them. 

    To me, it comes down to style. I’m not a fan of the sleigh style design, but I know PLENTY of people love this style. If you love the look, go for it, you will not be disappointed with this crib.

    The Davinci Kalani is a top-rated convertible crib with a lower profile. This makes it easy for you to reach your little one. This is especially helpful for new mothers who aren’t especially tall or are recovering from CS deliveries.

    This wood crib converts easily to a toddler bed, daybed and to a full-size bed. Another great feature is that it uses mattress springs instead of MDF (medium density fiberboard) panels or slats which can slip and slide around.

    When assembled it is very heavy and sturdy, though not heavy enough where you couldn’t move it in different areas of the room. It’s finished in a non-toxic, multi-step painting process. It’s nice to relax knowing the crib is a safe environment our little ones.

    Like many wooden cribs, the Davinci Kalani crib does scratch easily. You need to make sure you have proper protection before your baby begins teething. A teething pad on the top would do the trick. While this crib is beautifully crafted, it is a bit tricky to assemble.

    Overall, the Davinici Kalani is a great wooden crib that offers value for money. Click here to check out the latest price on Amazon


    • Lower profile for easy reach
    • Finished with a non-toxic multi-step painting process
    • Converts to a toddler bed, daybed and full-size bed
    • Comes with mattress springs instead of MDF (medium density fiberboard) panel or slats
    • Toddler rail included


    • Wood is easy to scratch
    • Hard to assemble

    Delta Children Canton 4 in 1 Convertible Crib Review

    Delta Children Canton 4-in-1 Convertible Crib
    • Wood: New Zealand Pinewood
    • Safety: JPMA, CPSC and ASTM
    • Size: Full-Size
    • Weight Limit: 50 lbs

    The Delta Canton crib is another super popular crib that is flying off the shelves. It’s style is very similar to the DaVinci Kalani crib above. They both have 4-in-1 toddler bed conversion, but this one does not have the Greenguard Gold Certification like the DaVinci Kalani. 

    Even though this is our last place winner, it did make the Top 5 out of hundreds of cribs we looked at. This is a notable achievement and is backed by thousands of happy customers. 

    If you like the style and the name brand strength that comes with Delta, we wholeheartedly stand behind our recommendation of this beautiful crib.

    The Delta Canton has a beautifully design and a gorgeous wood finish. It can support your little one through all stages of childhood.

    This convertible crib transforms from a crib to a toddler bed and then finally into a full-size bed. The bed also has a headboard and footboard so you’re sure to get a lot of use from the Delta Canton.

    The Delta Canto is made from solid pine. It not only looks sleek and classic, but it is also easy to clean. It is made entirely out of solid hardwood and not MDF (medium density fiberboard) or particle board. So, if it does get scratched up you can easily refinish the wood to make it look brand new again.

    One complaint of this wooden crib is it does show its hardware. It is visible on the front and on the sides of the crib.

    It is also a bit difficult to assemble as its parts are not properly labeled. There is a different between right and left sides so it is best to be careful when assembling.

    In conclusion, the Delta Canton is a luxurious looking wooden crib that will last for years.


    • Toddler bed conversion convertible
    • 4 adjustable mattress levels
    • Can convert to a full bed
    • Easy to clean
    • Solid pinewood


    • Pieces are not labeled which make it a bit difficult to assemble
    • Hardware is visible

    Previous Winners

    We’ve been reviewing cribs for years and this is a list of the notable past winners we keep around. There’s usually one thing or another that prevented us from including them in our Top 5 this year.

    Storkcraft Calabria Crib N Changer Review

    The Storkcraft Calabria is very well made, sturdy and is beautifully stained. It’s a convertible crib with a combination changing station that is attached right next to it. This helps save on space if the nursery room is limited.

    Not only does this model transition to a toddler bed and then to a full-size bed, the changing station converts too. It can also be converted to a nightstand or a dresser.

    You may find the changing pad that comes with the changing station is a bit too thin. It might be best to purchase something thicker to replace it.

    The changing station is on the smaller side too. It will last until your baby is an older toddler (but hopefully they’re out of nappies by then!).

    It has been reported that it is now shipping with some composite wood instead of solid wood. Medium density fiberboard may possibly be used as well. 


    • Comes with a Changing station combination
    • Changing station can become a nightstand or a dresser
    • Convertible
    • Very sturdy
    • Saves on space


    • Changing pad is a bit thin
    • Changing table is small for an older toddler

    Babyletto Modo 3 in One Crib Review

    The Babyletto Modo is perfect if you’re looking for a classic wooden crib design. It’s very sleek and does not take up that much space in the nursery. If you are looking for a space saving crib , this could be the one for you.

    This wooden crib is made out of New Zealand Pine. It’s a convertible, so it will be able to grow with your little one. It has 4 adjustable mattress levels and it comes with a toddler rail.

    All of the Babyletto Modo’s hardware is hidden away so you don’t have to worry about your child finding it.

    The biggest drawback of this crib is that it does scratch easily. While this may not be an issue when your baby is an infant, you do want to take proper precautions such as a teething pad to put on the top crib rail. The other complaint is that the toddler rail leaves a bit of a gap between the bases of the bed.

    The Babyletto Modo is available in five colors including “Expresso” and white.


    • Made with New Zealand Pine Wood
    • Converts to a day bed and a toddler bed
    • 4 adjustable mattress levels
    • Design is sleek and modern
    • All hardware is safely and cleanly hidden away


    • Does scratch easily
    • Gap between toddler rail and base of the bed

    Fisher-Price Newbury 4-in-1 Crib Review

    The Fisher-Price Newbury crib is handcrafted in beautiful New Zealand pine wood. It comes in three colors: white, gray and espresso.

    You can also have a personalized name plaque with your baby’s name on it that you can hold onto as a keepsake for the rest of their lives. This is a really nice touch. To be honest, you wouldn’t expect it for the low price this model is available for.

    This crib is very easy to assemble. All of the parts come labeled so that you always know whether or not you have the correct piece. The side rails are fixed and the design makes it very sturdy. It can convert from a crib to a toddler bed, daybed and then to a full-size bed.

    However, you do have to pay for the conversion kit separately. The good news is that it is widely available at any big box retailer.

    Another drawback is that while most cribs have a 4 position mattress platform, the Fisher-Price Georgetown only has a 3 position mattress platform.

    On the plus side, this is one of the cheapest wooden cribs on the market today, so deserves to be on our list.


    • 4-in-1 toddler bed conversion
    • Comes with personalized name plaque for baby
    • Easy assembly
    • Handcrafted in New Zealand Pine
    • Fixed side rails


    • Guardrail and Hollywood frame is sold separately
    • Only a 3 position mattress platform

    American Made Solid Wood Cribs?

    A question many of us parents ask is “Where are the American Made Wooden Cribs?”. Sadly, you’ll find that 99% of the cribs for sale in the USA are actually made in Asia. Some crib manufacturers like “Young American” tried to reverse the trend, but ultimately failed.

    You can find some wooden cribs that are still made in the USA on our page “ Solid Wood Cribs Made in the USA”.

    You should also take a look at the baby pillows that won’t give your child flat head.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How do you know if a crib is non-toxic?

      A non toxic crib is a misnomer. In my opinion, it’s impossible to manufacturer a non-toxic crib, but that doesn’t mean cribs are toxic and are going to harm your baby.
      Let me explain. Depending on your federal, state, or city regulations, staying within “safe” levels of lead, glues, chemicals, etc are about the best a manufacturer can use to say something is “non-toxic”. 
      I know we all want the safest crib for our babies, but take comfort that the safety standards in 2021 are way better than they were in the 1940’s, and there’s a whole lot of boomers living well into their 80’s, 90’s and 100’s with all those “unsafe” cribs by today’s standards. 
      So I wouldn’t put any trust into a manufacturer’s claims that a crib is non-toxic. I much prefer to look for Greenguard Certified cribs. At least some third party indepently tested for some level of toxicity and you can rest assured it’s not full of toxic chemicals.

    2. What does “CPSC and/or ASTM compliant” mean?

      CPSC and ASTM are commonly seen throughout crib product listings. Not all of them have it, but the most popular ones usually do. It’s complicated, lengthy, and sometimes a costly process to go thru. I take great confidence in a crib if a manufacturer went thru all that trouble to get these certifications.
      CPSC = U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
      ASTM = American Society for Testing and Materials
      The CPSC and ASTM focus on crib structural safety. Things such as width of bars on a crib so baby can’t get head stuck in it, parts that move that could trap or hurt a babies legs or arms, etc. It doesn’t have any emphasis on toxicity in things such as paint, glues, etc. 
      I greatly recommend that the only crib you buy is one that has both of these certifications. 

    3. Is a non-toxic crib completely free of lead?

      The biggest concern for lead in a wood crib is in the paint. Although lead paint has been banned since 1978 in the US, it doesn’t mean it’s 100% eliminated from our paint. As explained above, government regulations typically dictate what a manufacturer can use for words such as “lead free”. 
      Before 2008, the permissible lead concentrate rate was 0.06% (or 600 ppm). After 2008 and the passage of the The Federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), the permissible lead is  limited to 0.009 percent (90 ppm).
      My recommendation is to buy a new crib. If that isn’t possible, a used crib is OK as long as you can verify that it was manufactured in 2009 or later. 

    4. Why does a non-toxic crib smell?

      As mentioned above, non-toxic means the crib meets a certain acceptable standard to allow itself to be called “non-toxic”. But it doesn’t mean it’s 100% non-toxic. 
      The smell you get from a new crib is because of off-gassing of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). They can come from composite wood, glue, paint, lacquer, adhesives, or other parts of the crib. These VOC’s usually are caused by the use of formaldehyde (common in composite wood), acetone, benzene, and Phthalates, to mention the major ones. 

    5. What is Greenguard certification?

      Greenguard certification is one more certification a crib manufacturer can earn to help parents know that the crib they chose has low chemical emissions. 
      Not all cribs have it, but if you’re choosing between two cribs and only one has received Greenguard Gold certification, I’d wholeheartedly recommending buying that one.

    Related Articles

    You may find these other articles of interest:


    A solid wood crib is a wise investment that doesn’t require breaking the piggy bank. You can get all the benefits of durability, style, and safety without the need to go to a full hardwood crib. If you can afford a hardwood crib, awesome! We love them too. But for our budgets and for most of our readers, the best value out there is a solid wood crib. 

    Editors Choice

    Delta Emery Crib

    Delta Emery Crib
    Most Modern

    Babyletto Hudson Crib

    Babyletto Hudson Crib
    Best Value

    Dream On Me Synergy Crib

    Dream On Me Synergy Crib

    7 Tips For Weaning a Toddler

    For some mothers, weaning a toddler off breast milk is a long and difficult process. My own toddler was still breast feeding at 2 1/2, right up to the arrival of my second baby. This made weaning him even more of a priority. I found it was a difficult process and decided to share 7 great … 7 Tips For Weaning a Toddler Read More...

    wean a toddler

    For some mothers, weaning a toddler off breast milk is a long and difficult process. My own toddler was still breast feeding at 2 1/2, right up to the arrival of my second baby. This made weaning him even more of a priority.

    I found it was a difficult process and decided to share 7 great tips for other mothers in the same position.

    When To Start Weaning

    How long to breastfeed is a very personal choice. Though it is recommended that children be breastfed throughout their first year, many mothers continue supplementing with breast milk until their toddler is between the ages of two and four.

    There are some advantages to waiting until toddlerhood to wean a child from breastfeeding. Many parents find it easier at that age because toddlers outgrow the need for breastfeeding on their own.  It also gives them the chance to allow them to wean at their own pace.

    Tips for Weaning A Toddler

    1. Don’t Set a Time Limit

    Many parents begin the weaning process with a goal of needing to have their child fully weaned by a certain time – such as before a new baby arrives or before a long vacation.

    This puts an unfair amount of pressure on the child. This can make the weaning process much more stressful then it needs to be. Try to avoid beginning weaning with set expectations. Instead, approach the process understanding that it may take some time for your child to adjust.

    2. Reduce Feedings Gradually

    One of the easiest ways to gently wean a toddler is by reducing his feedings gradually. Instead of trying to force your toddler to wean cold turkey, reduce daily feedings one by one until your toddler stops feeding altogether.

    For example, if your toddler is feeding once in the morning and once at night then you might begin weaning by cutting out the morning feeding but still allowing him to feed at night.

    Then over time you can reduce the frequency of feedings. For example, from daily to every other day to every three days, etc. until he stops the night feeding altogether. Doing this gives him a chance to get used to going without feedings. It’s also less dramatic than just taking away all feedings in one fell swoop.

    3. Don’t Offer But Don’t Refuse

    Some parents find that the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” approach works well for weaning their toddler.

    With this approach, a mother simply stops offering feedings on a set schedule and instead only gives feedings when their child asks for one. This way feedings are reduced but the child avoids becoming anxious by knowing that a feeding is available when asked for.

    4. Change Things Up

    To help your child cope with the change in her feeding routine, try changing the parts of your daily routine that are affected by the change.

    For example, if your child is used to getting in bed with you in the mornings for a feeding, then begin getting out of bed before your child wakes in the mornings.  Getting in bed with you for a feeding will no longer be an option.

    Creating a new routine to replace the old one can go a long way to helping a weaning toddler adjust. As the saying goes “Don’t break habits – replace them with no ones!”.

    5. Enlist Your Partner’s Help

    One strategy that can help when weaning a toddler is to enlist your partner’a help. One way to do this is handing over routines – such as bedtime duties – that might have included a feeding.

    If your child is used to feeding at bedtime, then having your partner put him to bed can help reduce the instances of meltdowns or temper tantrums. Toddlers are smart and your child will soon know that your partner cannot give him what he wants.

    This can also provide a time for the non-feeding parent to create their own bonding routine with the weaning toddler and the chance for a bed-time story!

    6. Talk to Your Child About Weaning

    Toddlers understand more than we sometimes realize they do. Many times a simple conversation can go a long way to helping them understand why we are asking them to do something.

    Try having an open and honest talk with your child and explaining to him that he is old enough to stop feeding. Tell him he doesn’t need breast milk anymore because he eats big food now. You may find yourself surprised at how far this conversation can go in gaining your little one’s cooperation and easing any fears he may be experiencing about weaning.

    7. Don’t be Afraid to Start Saying “No”

    It’s important to a toddler’s development to be told no sometimes. Hearing no and having boundaries set is a crucial part of your toddler’s development. Whether it feels like it at the time or not just keep in mind that telling him “No” from time to time is good for him.

    If he is asking for a feeding and you are too exhausted or sore to give it to her then tell him “No” and explain why he cannot feed right now. If he starts to whine or cry try distracting him with a toy or coloring book, but hold firm in your refusal.

    How to Expertly Remove Stains from Baby Clothes

    You can try all you want to prevent it, but nothing can stop your baby from staining her clothes. Life happens, and right along with it come spills and leaks. But that doesn’t mean you are forced to dress your baby in stained garments or even throw those clothes away. A little knowledge about stains … How to Expertly Remove Stains from Baby Clothes Read More...

    You can try all you want to prevent it, but nothing can stop your baby from staining her clothes. Life happens, and right along with it come spills and leaks. But that doesn’t mean you are forced to dress your baby in stained garments or even throw those clothes away. A little knowledge about stains can help you do a spot-on job when you need a spot off.

    Different types of stains need different treatments. So keep these tips in mind and you’ll be expertly removing stains from baby clothes in no time!

    Remove Protein Stains with Enzyme Cleaners

    These kinds of stains are made by most foods, breastmilk, formula, and bodily fluids (like the all-too-unpleasant poop and spit-up). To get them out of your baby’s clothes, you just need to use a little science.

    An enzyme cleaner with protease or amylase will work wonders because enzymes dissolve proteins. Some detergents have enzyme cleaners in them, like Wisk or Era Plus. Just use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the stain away.

    Shout Stain Remover & Wipes

    If it persists, give it a dose of an all-purpose stain remover, like Shout and then wash on regular cycle with a normal load of laundry.

    Shout stain wipes are perfect for messy toddlers on the go. They won’t leave a residue behind like paper towels or tissues.

    You can instantly deal with stains when travelling and make stain removal a lot easier. This makes them well worth the space in my diaper bag. The other great thing about Shout Wipes is they can deal with oil stains on white wool. Hooray for science!

    Oil & Grease Stain Removal

    The only downside of your wee one eating and drinking his fruits and vegetables are the stains that will soon decorate his clothing. Don’t despair. Just make a vinegar solution using 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts water. Apply it with an eye dropper, if possible, or use a teaspoon and drip it directly onto the spot. Let it sit for 10 minutes before applying a combination solvent. Then it’s good to go in for a wash.

    You’ll wind up with stains like these thanks to baby oils and creams. A fresh oil stain can be battled with cornstarch or talcum powder. Sprinkle it on and let it absorb the oil. Scrape it off after about 20 minutes, and then apply a pre-treater before tossing it in with your family’s next load.

    Remove Old Stains with Oxiclean Baby Stain Remover

    You know these kinds of stains, don’t you? They pop up mysteriously after you’ve stored away clean baby clothes your child has outgrown, surprising you as you get them ready for your next baby, or to give to a friend or family member. How did they get there?

    Well, we could talk about that, or we could get busy getting those gross stains out!

    For this chore, you’ll need OxiClean. Put 2 scoops of it and a small amount of your usual laundry detergent in hot water and soak the stained items overnight. When you go to run the wash, add white vinegar to the fabric softener compartment.

    Removing Stains with White Vinegar

    Pouring white vinegar into one of those fabric softener balls can also help with stubborn stains. It’ll be released automatically during the rinse cycle, leaving you with one less thing to remember. That should take care of things, but in the event it doesn’t, treat any remaining spots with spot remover and rewash. If you can, hang it outside and let the sun’s powerful rays take care of the rest.

    What to do with Stained Onesies

    If the onesie is soiled all over and you see no point in even attempting to wash it, you may want to just toss it. However, if the mess isn’t too bad, here’s what you can do:

    1. Unroll the onesie where the stain is (if you followed the steps above), and wash as much of it off as you can with cold running water and ivory soap. Squeeze out the excess water.
    2. Lay the onesie down and apply some type of stain stick to the soiled area. If you just don’t have time to wash it or found it after the stained part has dried, try simply applying the stain stick and washing it—usually that does the trick for me without having to pre-wash.
    3. Personally, the stain stick brand “Spray N’ Wash” has worked very well for me. Because it’s not a gel-type, it’s also less messy. It has worked for my kids’ stains almost every time.

    To save yourself some money and trouble, buy solid white onesies. That way, if they become stained, you can always just bleach the heck out of them and they’ll be as good as new.

    Now that you’ve got a handle on handling stains, you can go enjoy some precious time with your special stain-maker…until laundry day rolls around again!

    Looking For Great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon?

    I caught my hubby looking for great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon. Which got me thinking, what do I want for Mothers day this year? I’ve actually been obsessed lately with one of those powerful blenders other moms have been raving about and have been hoping for a Vitamix Mothers Day sale. Why? What’s In That … Looking For Great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon? Read More...

    I caught my hubby looking for great Mothers Day Gifts on Amazon. Which got me thinking, what do I want for Mothers day this year?

    I’ve actually been obsessed lately with one of those powerful blenders other moms have been raving about and have been hoping for a Vitamix Mothers Day sale. Why?

    What’s In That Jar Of Baby Food?

    jars of baby food

    If I have another baby, one thing I’d do differently is make sure I know exactly what is in the baby food I give to him or her. I read this article recently at Parents.com and was shocked at what they found in jars of baby food. You just can’t trust what’s on that label anymore.

    The only way for me to know exactly what ingredients are being fed to my baby is if I make it myself. But as we all know, caring for a baby and trying to prepare all their meals from scratch is a huge juggling act.

    Making Your Own Baby Food

    One of my friends swears by her Vitamix blender for making baby food. I really like Vitamix but buying one would be a huge indulgence since they’re so expensive.

    She says making them with fruits and vegetables is a snap. You can whip up a days worth of baby food in one go, and save them for 2 to 3 days. So it’s not really that big of a time consumer.

    Getting Older Kids To Eat Their Vegetables And Fruits


    Some kids love fruits and tolerate vegetables. While others won’t touch either one with a ten foot pole.

    One method I’ve read about getting them to eat, or getting them to eat more, fruits and vegetables is by disguising it. There are great recipes for things like:

    • Banana Ice Cream using a Vitamix blender
    • Delicious and sweet fruit smoothies

    Losing That Baby Weight


    OK, I can’t make this Mothers Day gift all about my kids. What’s in it for me?

    I’ve struggled to lose all that baby weight. And as the years have passed, it’s clinging to me tighter than bark on a tree.

    I’ve been wishing for years of a simple way to replace lunch with something low calorie and filled with fruits and veggies. I enjoy it when I go to Jamba Juice and get one of their fresh smoothies for lunch. But that doesn’t happen often with our schedules and frankly, they’d be too expensive to buy one everday.

    But if I could make a smoothie in the convenience of my own home … I think I could do this everyday. And I found some wonderful smoothie recipes I’d like to try.

    Get A Vitamix Blender For Mothers Day

    One of the most popular wished for items by mom’s is a Vitamix blender. Most find it a huge expense that they just can’t justify buying for themselves.

    But Mothers Day isn’t just any ordinary day. It’s the day we celebrate us Mom’s, it’s the day we should be pampered for all the sacrifices we make every single day!

    If you’ve ever wanted a Vitamix blender but thought they were too expensive….

    Now is a great time to treat yourself as I’ve just read there IS a Vitamix Mothers Day sale going on right now! I plan to throw some big hints to my significant other. And if he doesn’t get the hint, I may have to buy one for myself <grin>.

    Right now, they’re up to $100 off.

    All the details can be found here at this great article on the Vitamix Mothers Day Sale.

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