• Toddler Tuesday: Cribs to Beds

    Sleep expert Carolina Romanyuk helps ease the nighttime transition from baby to big kid.

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    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    There comes a time in your baby’s sleep journey when you will say one of these things:

    • “My kid hates her crib. She is always trying to get out of it. I have tried everything and nothing works. She ends up sleeping in our bed, and then no one sleeps. “
    • “Woo hoo, you just turned 3. Let’s celebrate with you becoming a big kid with a big bed. I’m so excited!”
    • “Baby # 2 is on the way. Time for a big bed.”

    Translation: It may be time for you to transition your little one from a crib into a toddler bed.

    First, here are two extremely important factors that need to be considered before this switch-a-roo is to take place: maturity and safety.

    Maturity. Is your child actually mature enough for the transition? For the last couple of years, she’s been cozy in her safe crib and has a solid sleep foundation. A big bed can seem like a massive ocean. Some children that transition too early without having a solid sleep foundation can result in cuddling up in one corner for sometime because of the abundance of space. Otherwise, she may experience sleep disruptions and difficult bedtimes with tears and tantrums. For some, it can take several weeks into the transition to realize, “Well now, I’m actually supposed to sleep in this massive thing. They aren’t giving me my crib back. That sucks! Ok I’m gonna cry now because I hate this change. Was fun at first, but now it sucks!”

    Safety. A 20-month-old is just now learning to follow simple instructions while simultaneously testing out rules and limits. They know your exact buttons to push. They are curious about the world and are extremely eager to explore. Now you add to the mix complete nighttime freedom–uh oh! What stops a small child from getting out of bed and roaming around in the dark? At 2-years-old, they are explorers, adventures, detectives and scientists. They can roam around their room at night; pull out drawers; climb on the changing table; eat the diaper cream–just making sure you’re paying attention. It becomes a time of potentially hazardous curiosity.

    Even though I always recommend keeping a young toddler in her crib for as long as you can (preferably as close to 3-years-old as possible), she might have another agenda. You can try to stop her (turn the crib around or lower the mattress to make climbing out harder; remove large objects from the crib that could serve as a launch pad; or watching your monitor like a hawk to make sure you’re there with a firm “NO!” during any escape attempt). But when it’s actually time to make the switch, you need to know how to do it.

    So when’s the right time? When your child is able to communicate verbally that she wants a big bed and is ready, usually around 2.5 to 3 years of age. (Side Note: 2.5 to 3 years is highly recommended as the appropriate age for going from crib to bed. But no one knows your child better than you. So listen to her, and if she asks for it and is between 2 and 2.5 with a solid sleep foundation intact, then go with the signals…of course, keeping safety in mind.)

    As everything in parenthood-land, a plan of action is needed. Here are 4 simple steps on transitioning:

    1. Decide on the type of bed. You may want a toddler bed which is low to the ground and can fit the crib mattress inside; it’s good till about 4 -5 years old. Otherwise, go right to a twin bed, which is higher off the ground and a twin mattress is needed. This is good till high school. (Side note: involve your child in the process of choosing her own bed, from choosing the color to picking out her sheets and pillow.)

    2. Safety-fy the room. Make sure all drawers are secured and locked, including the changing table and closet. All electric sockets should be closed off. You may want to install bed rails to help if your child moves around a lot at night.

    3. Hold a Family Meeting. This is super crucial to continuing with your solid foundation by establishing sleep rules so she can understand what is expected from her, why she is being transitioned and hear about the new big bed rules.

    4. Have a Plan B. I always advise to have a Plan B when reality hits for your toddler after the transition. That moment when her toy falls to the ground, she gets out of bed to pick it up, and eureka! She realizes she can get out of bed by herself, and then the fun begins. A Plan B is needed if these setbacks occur, even way after the transition. Always stay consistent.

    The transition from crib to big bed is huge and should be done at the moment your child is mature enough. As long as you listen to your child, and take in consideration her maturity level and safety, you’ll be golden. Even if once in a big bed, she starts talking about her crib and missing it, listen and place her back into the crib. That’s not going backwards or a regression, it’s listening to your child.

    Here is to a healthy future and a good night’s sleep.

    This article is by Carolina Romanyuk, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

  • Things We've Read: Week of June 22nd, 2015

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    Creating a Better Formula (Slate): "Breast is best" but can formula be improved to be the best that it can be?

    "Pregnancy Wi-fi" Router Causes Controversy in China (BBC): Chinese tech firm, Qihoo 360, unveiled a new "pregnancy mode" setting on its wifi router, claiming this setting reduces radiation emitted by 70%.

    A Win for Birthing Centers Is A Win For Women And Men (NYPost): A bill before the New York state Senate could ease regulations on birthing centers.

    Placenta-on-a-Chip Lets Researchers Better Understand Pregnancy (Machine Design): This chip mimics the structure and function of the placenta.

    Child Care Costs Are on the Rise, and Zoe Saldana Wants Employers to Pay for Them (Yahoo): Why do male movie stars sometimes get fancy lavish perks but childcare is not included for female superstars?

    New Pill To Help Women Get Pregnant Soon to Be Available Over the Counter (GMA): PregPrep kits soon to be available at drugstores, including CVS.

  • Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in the Shower

    Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in the Shower: All-Natural Health & Beauty Products

    When it comes to product choices, sudsing up is serious business. Your skin is a wonderful and protective barrier for your body, keeping germs and other harmful substances out. Unfortunately, toxic chemicals hidden in soaps and shampoos can be easily absorbed by the skin and, from there, make their way into your bloodstream. Knowing which ingredients to avoid in the shower will help keep you healthy and clean, inside and out. Here are our top offenders:

    Avoid: Sulfates

    Why: Most commonly appearing as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate, these synthetic detergents show up in everything from foaming soaps and shampoos to toothpaste and make-up. Sulfates are skin membrane irritants; they dry out impair the natural protective qualities of skin and hair. They also commonly combine with other ingredients to produce carcinogenic and nervous-system-disrupting by-products. Luckily for us, though, these little nasties are totally unnecessary when it comes to getting clean.

    Avoid: Parabens

    Why: Used in everything from all shower products, cosmetics, shaving creams to deodorants, parabens are man-made preservatives used in products to prevent the growth of molds, bacteria and yeasts. They mimic estrogens in the body and have been linked with breast and skin cancers.

    Avoid: Phthalates

    Why: These chemicals are found in hundreds of products, including plastics, cosmetics and personal care products. They’ve been linked with cancer and reproductive problems, and may be especially dangerous to babies and young children, whose are more sensitive to chemicals.

    Avoid: Fragrance

    Why: On an ingredient list, “fragrance” most often means some combination of synthetic, carcinogenic, hormone-disrupting chemicals you definitely do not want in your system. Because they aren’t individually listed on labels, they fly under the radar, but are nonetheless present in almost all shampoos, deodorants, skin creams, and other personal care products.

    What’s a Mom to Do? We know you love your shower time. Lucky for you, all Nine Naturals’ products -- from luxurious shampoos to body butters to deodorants and more -- are 100% free of the above-listed toxins and pregnancy-safe!

  • Pregnancy Fashion: Green Week Edition

    5 sustainable fashion brands that are perfect for your growing bump.

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    Article & Photos courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    Conscious consumerism has become a fashion industry mainstay, and a practice that most of us don’t want to stop just because we have a new bump in the picture. Earth Week is an important time to pause, reflect and take note of our carbon footprint, and our socially responsible contributions in everyday environmental practices. Especially since as mamas and mamas-to-be, we want this world to last a long, long time for our babies.

    While not every brand is up to speed yet, many are leading the way with the rest hopefully to follow suit. By paying close attention to the companies we purchase from, we can all make a difference–and look great while doing so. Here are a few sustainable bump-friendly brands who are ahead of the curve in keeping the future bright for our little ones.

    REFORMATION1. REFORMATION.When it comes to sustainable fashion practices combined with current, hip and trend right apparel, there is no one that’s doing it better then Reformation. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the company was created in 2009 by Yael Aflalo whose intentions were to provide a “sustainable way to be fashionable.” Between sourcing sustainable and vintage fabrics, maintaining eco-friendly and sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, the heat-reflecting roof in the factory which uses renewable energy, to the recycled hangers in stores and 100% in all packaging, Reformation is leading the way in conscious consumerism. While Reformation is not a maternity brand, there are pieces I would scoop up in a heartbeat during my prenatal or postpartum days including the peony dress and the serengeti jumpsuit (sans belt).

    ALTERNATIVE APPAREL2. ALTERNATIVE APPAREL. Alternative Apparel produces the type of clothing you want to wear everyday, all day. It’s that comfortable. What makes the company even that much more attractive is their belief in social change and responsible business practices which always take the environmental impact into consideration. More than half of the Alternative Apparel’s collection is sourced using sustainable fabrics, the company uses non-toxic as well as natural dyes on their products (a mega bonus for new mamas and mamas-to-be) and they are using less water and no chemicals in their finishings. Since comfort is key during and after a pregnancy, Alternative Apparel is amazing for pre and post-natal days. My current faves from the brand include the linen asymmetrical midi dress and the racerback midi dress.

    LEMLEM3. LEMLEM. In 2007, supermodel/actress and World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Liya Kebede founded Lemlem, as a way to inspire economic independence through the preservation of the art of weaving in her native country of Ethiopia. Through this brand, women have opportunities for not only employment with fair trade wages, but are given the ability to sustain traditions in their local communities while simultaneously providing for their families. All of Lemlem’s products are handmade from natural cottons and the collection includes apparel for both women and children. I’ve been a longtime lover of the brand, and my current favorites include the lelaga patio dress, and the amash maxi poncho, both perfect with a baby bump for the summer days which lie ahead.

    AMOUR VERT4. AMOUR VERT. The literal translation of Amour Vert in French means “Green Love”, but the company believes it’s so much more including, “american manufacturing, non-toxic dyes, sustainable fibers, innovative fabrics, a zero waste design philosophy, and above all enduring style.” Additionally, the company pledges that with every purchase of an Amour Vert t-shirt, they will plant a tree in North America. By the end of 2015, the company will have planted 100,000 trees with their trusted partner, American Forests. The company is deeply committed to making sustainable fashion part of the industry standard and the styling is just as epic as the environmentally conscious practices they endure. I just newly discovered this brand, and have currently got my eyes on the pregnancy friendly zea maxi and franny dress.

    TRIBE ALIVE5. TRIBE ALIVE. Tribe Alive was built on the philosophy that fashion should be purposeful and serve a higher function. Carly Burson, the company’s founder believes in responsible consumerism, and socially responsible practices that work towards making this earth a better place. Through artisan partnerships in Honduras, Ethiopia, Guatemala and soon to be India, Tribe Alive “employs impoverished indigenous women at fair trade wages and gives them access to safe jobs, sustainable income and a chance to determine their own future.” All of the merchandise in their collection, which includes accessories, jewelry and home goods, is made by hand, with heart and determination. Tribe Alive stands on the platform that there is “nothing more stylish than giving back.” My favorites from the current Spring 2015 assortment are the frazada pillows and throws(think nursery!) and the freeze ikat weekender, which would be a fantastic all purpose bag to pack for the bambinos during a summer weekend trip!

    This article is by Jenny Greenstein, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

  • ROCK YOUR BEACH BUMP: MATERNITY SWIMWEAR FOR EVERY STYLE!

    One of the best things about being pregnant in the summer is getting to cool off while floating in a swimming pool or taking a refreshing dip in the ocean. Of course, one of the worst things is finding that perfect bathing suit - a task that only gets tricker with a growing baby bump! While some women love showing off their new curves, others aren't quite so comfortable with their new figure and want a fuller coverage bathing suit. Lucky for you, we've got 5 of the hottest maternity swimsuits for every style and shape so you can rock your beach bump.

    1) ASOS Maternity Wrap Front Swimsuit ($45): This perfect combination of sexy and coverage. The halter neckline and open back allows you to show off your curves, while the one piece shape still provides full coverage.

    Maternity Swimwear

    2) Pez D'or 'La Mer' Three-Piece Maternity Swimsuit Set ($140): Change up your look as fast as your mood with this three-piece swim set from Pez D'Or. The fold-over bikini bottoms pairs with both a bikini top and a smartly ruched tankini top that (bonus!) features adjustable, removable straps.

    Maternity Swimwear

    3) ASOS Maternity Exclusive Swimsuit With Bow ($45): You can't go wrong with a classic black bathing suit! The bow tie detail emphasizes your bust while the black hue creates a slimming silhouette.

    Maternity Swimwear

    4) Seraphine Royal Blue Band Maternity Bikini ($69): This flattering two-tone blue maternity bikini is a must have for flaunting your baby bump! The color block waistband can be worn folded up for a little extra coverage, or down for a chic low rise look. The halter neck style boosts your bust line while molded cups provide ultimate support.

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    5) Jessica Simpson Halter Maternity Tankini Swimsuit ($59): Have a little fun with the contrasting stripe patterned tankini! The patten creates the perfect illusion for emphasizing for your growing bump while providing full coverage and support.

    Maternity Swimwear

  • Things We've Read: Week of June 15th, 2015

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     Philly Startup Targets Women With A New Pregnancy Test (Philly): Look forward to more environmentally friendly and easily disposable, aka biodegradable pregnancy tests on the market soon!

     7 Things I Learned About Life and Motherhood When I Went Back to Work (HuffPost): " I don't think working will make me a better or worse mom. Parenting is a daily struggle, no matter what."

    Hands That Itch to Hold the Spoon (Slate): An exploration of the history behind public discomfort of breastfeeding and its impact on baby food.

    Palatetraining: Parents Aim to Buy the Best Food but Need to Make the Best Food (HuffPost): Train babies from the start to love nutritious healthy food...but remember, buying packaged organic purees is not the same as the real deal of fresh vegetables!

    New York is First State to Allow Pregnant Women to Sign Up for Obamacare Outside Enrollment Period (Daily News): Legislators voted Wednesday to count pregnancy as a "life event," which before then included having a baby and getting married.

    The Most Important Things My Father Taught Me: Tory Burch, Liya Kebede, Georgina Chapman, and More (Glamour): Life lessons from dear Dad. #HappyFathersDay!

  • Baby Safety: Generational Changes

    Combat Grandma’s “When I had a Baby….” with the latest guidelines in child safety.

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    Article & Photo courtesy of Well Rounded NY

    As a New Yorker, my mission was to find the warmest yet coolest snowsuit for my 4-month-old son. My mother told me how cozy Cal would be bundled up in the car when the temperature was below freezing. This seemed logical, until a girlfriend shared how car seat baby safety regulations have changed. My mother hasn’t taken care of a baby in nearly 35 years. And while she did one helluva job raising me, according to recent studies on baby safety, she could have easily (and innocently) killed me.

    Now that Grandma is caring for my son while I work, I am working to empower myself in order to advise her in caring for Cal, as opposed to the other way around. And let’s just say, when it comes to baby safety regulations, times, they have-a changed!

    Sleep Safety

    It seems that every few years the recommended sleeping position for a baby changes. Today, babies sleep on their backs. Additional SIDS prevention guidelines include:

    • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats, swings, etc. are not recommended for routine sleep
    • Baby should sleep in the same room as parents, but not co-sleep
    • Keep soft objects (pillows, blankets, bumper pads, toys) or loose bedding out of the crib
    • Do not use wedges or positioners
    • Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime
    • Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating
    • Do not use devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS

    Get additional information here.

    Playtime

    Swings
    In May 2013 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously to approve mandatory safety standards to improve the safety of infant swings in newer products. Products manufactured in prior years may not possess these safety standards.

    Jumpers
    The number of recent recalls involving the breakage of clamps has raised serious safety concerns among experts. Additional concerns arise with potential physical developmental effects that can possibly lead to delayed motor skills.

    Mobile Walkers
    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the U.S. government place a ban on the manufacture and sale of baby walkers with wheels, deeming them unsafe. Additionally, according to the AAP, walkers can delay motor and mental development.

    Babysaucer
    The stationary “walker” tends to hold baby’s hips in an extended position and prevents the visual of seeing feet, which is needed when learning how to move.

    Tummy Time
    As a new parent the first item to learn is “back to sleep, tummy to play”. Tummy time helps strengthen muscles, improve motor skills, as well as helps prevent the development of flat head.

    Teething
    A few recommendations in managing teething pain include:
    • Massaging with a (clean) finger or simply let baby gnaw
    • A cold washcloth, spoon or teething ring. Refrigerate only, freezing may cause harm
    • A frozen bagel, banana, or carrot (for babies who are eating solids)

    And the don’ts:
    • Liquid-filled plastic teething rings. Aside from the potential phthalates/BPA presence, there is possible bacterium and concerns about ring leakage
    Numbing gels are no longer approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in babies as the ingredient lidocaine may be harmful

    Hygiene
    Reports advocate for not bathing baby every day, especially a newborn, as daily bathing can dry baby’s delicate skin.

    Travel

    Rear Facing Car Seats
    The AAP advises parents keep children in rear facing car seats until the age of 2 as research has shown that children under age 2 are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear facing.

    Winter Coats
    Experts warn that the usage of “fluff” in order to keep baby warm in a car seat is not safe due to compression making the straps too loose for baby’s body to be held safely in the event of a crash.

    Car Seat Toys
    Giving baby something to play with while in the car has the potential of becoming a dangerous projectile in a crash so it is recommended to avoid placing toys, mirrors, etc. in or around a car seat.

    Eating

    The AAP advises that if baby is old enough to eat cereal (around 4-6 months) then they are old enough to eat from a spoon as incidents of gagging or inhaling the mixture are increased if baby is not developmentally ready. Exposure to solid foods before baby is ready may put them at risk for developing food allergies, and some believe it increases the chances of “overfeeding”.

    I am by no means a medical professional. I believe we, as parents, have a responsibility to be informed on all subject matters relating to our children; however, we hold the rights to make what we feel are best decisions. For me, making those decisions are based on understanding the risks, weighing the benefits, and doing a thorough check in with that motherly instinct that resides within. Be empowered!

    This article is by Jaime K. Teich Krinsky, courtesy of Well Rounded NY.  Conceived with love by former magazine editors Jessica Pallay and Kaity Velez, Well Rounded NY aims to be the singular pregnancy resource for city-savvy moms-to-be. Through reviews, profiles, expert Q&As, local guides and more, Well Rounded curates the New York City pregnancy and helps its readers come to terms – and term! – with pregnancy in the city.

  • Things We've Read: Week of June 8th, 2015

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    Parenting, Not for the Moment, But for the Long Haul (NYT): A look at parenting for the long term.

    New Study Rates Baby Toys and Play Spaces (FitPregnancy): The right toys for your baby.

    Richard Branson Just Made A Bold Statement About Paternity Leave (HuffPost): Virgin Management announced a new policy, giving some of their male employees the option to take up to a year of paid parental leave.

    Extra Love Doesn't Make Up For Negative Effects of Helicopter Parenting, Study Finds (HuffPost): Effective parenting requires a delicate balance.

    What's the German for Epidural? Giving Birth: An Expat Redefines 'Motherland' in Switzerland (WSJ): One mom's experience as an expectant mother abroad.

  • The Bump Loves Natural Sunscreen SPF 32!

    The Bump loves Nine Naturals Natural Sunscreen SPF 32! Featured in the "Safe Sunscreens for the Whole Family" article, Natural Sunscreen SPF 32 is made from non-nano zinc oxide and is safe for mom, baby & the whole family! Read the full article on The Bump!
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  • Speed Up Your Morning Beauty Routine

    Ways to speed up your beauty routine

    Before motherhood, we imagine your morning routine was a singular-sensational experience. And by that we mean all you had to do was worry about you. But now with the introduction of your little bundle of joy, your focus has rightfully shifted…. to a million different places. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave the house looking like you haven’t showered for days. Check out our tips for keeping your beauty routine short and sweet so you can get out the door remembering everything and making it look effortless.

    The Night Before

    1. Shower, Blow Dry, Moisturize: Using your favorite Nine Naturals Soothing Body Wash & Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner, shower, wash and blow-dry your hair the night before. It will take a huge chunk of time out of your morning ritual and if your not big on blow drying, you can let your hair air dry and worry about the final touches in the a.m.
    2. Choose Outfits for All: Lay out your clothes and your little one’s clothes. Standing in your closet looking into the hangers like a lost puppy won’t do anyone any good when it’s go-time.
    3. Pack Lunches: We cannot stress this enough, the more you can do in advance the better. Have your food and your baby’s bottles packed and ready in the fridge. You’ll save yourself about twenty minutes, not to mention the chaos of trying to figure out what to eat.
    4. Bagged ‘N Ready: Put together work, diaper and gym bags and place them by the door. And don’t forget an extra outfit, or two, for your bundle of joy. Now all there’s left to do is hit the road.
    5. Polish Nails: Manicures don’t last three days with all the hand-washing moms do. But a quick buffing and massage of some vitamin E oil keep hang nails at bay and nails looking clean. If you still have the energy, feel free to go for the gusto and add a layer of clear, or if you’re feeling really fearless, try this season’s hot color – Trust Fund Beauty’s Rich Bitch.

    The Morning Of

    1. Clarisonic Cleanse: The foundation for all-things-beauty starts with the skin. There are plenty of other paces to save on time, but don’t skimp on cleansing. The Clarisonic is automatically programmed to sonically cleanse your skin for a minute.
    2. Wash away! Mist Away: Select an all natural toner that you can mist. It’s super fast, refreshing and wakes you up in a spa-like way. And if you’re not a toner gal, grab a bottle of Evian spray mist. It’s an added layer of hydration any mom’s skin can use.
    3. Apply SPF or a tinted moisturizer: Always use sunscreen on your face (and all over!) to protect your skin. For a 2 for 1, use an all natural tinted sunscreen (you can even make your own easily!) to even skin tones quickly and effectively. No need for brushes, sponges or fancy makeup equipment. Your fingers will get the job done perfectly.
    4. Conceal those Sleepless Nights: Dot concealer under eyes and blend with fingers gently. By using your hands you keep your face looking light and natural while leaving time to spare. Tip: Dot you’re your eye lids as well and blend out with your fingers for a brighter and more natural alternative to eye shadow.
    5. Blush or Bronze: Give the apples of your cheeks a quick dusting of bronzer or blush. This will help keep everything on your face looking bright-eyed and cheery.
    6. Mascara: A quick layer of Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural mascara does wonders to open the eyes and define lashes.
    7. Lipstick: With a natural and lightly made-up face, you could stand to choose a brighter lipstick or gloss to pull the whole look together. And with this season’s bright pinks, oranges and reds there’s plenty to choose from. Remember to keeps those lips luscious and hydrated with Nine Naturals Simply Natural Lip Balm.

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