February 28, 2007
February 28, 2007
I sometimes wish Peter and I had started this blog before giving birth. It's opened my eyes to so much, and all my research has helped me form a lot of opinions and discover products I wish I had known about before. One specific area that I wish I had known more about before giving birth is play gyms. Andy went through a phase where he absolutely loved laying down and looking at whatever was hanging above him. I had a hand me down gymini that worked ok, but I think if I have another child, I'll buy a few more so I can have one in every room the baby uses. Something like the Cosina Play Gym by Selecta would have been wonderful. It's easy to move, so you can take it with you to whatever room you want your baby in. And I love the wooden toys (although sometimes I wonder if all toys made in Germany are wooden). I think this would be a great gift for anyone about to have a baby.
February 27, 2007
We just found out that Threadless is starting to sell onesies! They only have one out right now for the design Only in Dreams, but we are so excited that this is taking place. Now they just need to add t-shirts for toddlers! Also new is a t-shirts for children, We're On the Same Level.
February 27, 2007
Here's a unique product that we are having a hard time getting our head around. Huge in Europe, the Tummy Tub Baby Bucket Bath is supposed to remind your newborn of the womb. The baby stays in a fetal position, stays warmer as the water level is higher than a bath, and the site claims it can even help settle babies down and help them sleep. I've never tried it, but I really can't imagine putting a newborn in this. Maybe a 3 month old child, but a baby that can't even keep it's head up? Just the thought makes me nervous.
At Tummy Tub Baby Bucket Bath
February 26, 2007
I've just discovered two adorable onesies over at Babesta, and instead of deciding which ones to tell you about, I thought I'd write about both! First up is the Paci with bones Onesie and Lap T. It's available on either a tee or a onesie, and I just love the design, crossing a skull and crossbones picture with a pacifier!
Then there's the Adorable Idol Tee. Available in both pink and blue, you can show the world that your little one is your idol. For those of us obsessed with American Idol (*cough*), this is the perfect onesie!
February 23, 2007
If you can look at this super cool swing and think something other than "where am I going to put this," then you are a better person than I. I see this, and not only do I want it, but I wonder if it'll support me too! It's just that cool! This swing, made by Haba, would be a great addition to any play room, or deck. Just don't keep it out in the rain, snow, or extremely cold temperatures. Also, you might want to get advice from your local handyman or hardware store, to make sure your ceiling joists can handle this kind of load. Don't put this up unless you know what you're doing!
I just don't think I've ever seen something as cute as these Angora Booties over at Craftsbury Kids. Made from 100% angora and alpaca in Bolivia, they have a velvet bound elastic to ensure they'll stay one. I only wish they were offered in different sizes, not just 3-6 month. Andy's way too big for them!
February 22, 2007
Pirates are huge right now, and your child may be loving them just as much as the rest of our culture. If that's the case, consider the Magificent Pirate Ship at Oompa Toys. This wooden toy has a six person crew, cannons, pirate map, lantern, anchor, rope ladders, and more to play with. It's for children three years and up because of choking hazards. If he's an adventurous one, he may get a kick out of it.
February 21, 2007
We received the DVD, Families of Australia, in the mail the other day. The DVD is part of a larger series called Families of the World. Families of Australia tells the story of two children and their families.
Phoebe lives on a farm in Attunga with her family. The DVD follows her on a typical day where she gathers fresh eggs for breakfast, rounds up sheep, and enjoys Sports Day at school.
Josh lives in Sydney, Australia's largest city. We see him take care of his pet chickens and rabbits, make scrambled eggs, and follow him to school and on a visit to his grandparents.
This DVD was nice and short, about 30 minutes in length, but definitely way outside the range of what you would consider "baby material". This would be much more appropriate for a 6-9 year old child. They could compare and contrast their lives with those of children living in far off countries. In fact, this DVD really reminds me of some of the educational videos that I saw back in my primary school days.
If you'd like to purchase Families of Australia, you may do so through the Families of the World website.
When Andy was first born, he could sleep through almost anything. Then summer came and we installed an air conditioner into his room to keep him cool at night. It was an old one, and very loud. But once October came, we obviously had to take it out as it was now freezing in his bedroom at night. I didn't know what to do about the sound, or lack thereof in his room. Our upstairs neighbors would bang around a lot, and Andy would be woken up from many of his naps as well as at night. One thing we did is put a fan in his room. But what has really worked best for us is the Sound Sleeper (also available at Baby Wise). Originally we kept it in his crib, now it's on the bureau by his bed, and it's allowed him to get much more sleep because he's no longer woken up all the time. And that's lead to a happier baby and happier parents.
Continue reading: "Review: Sound Sleeper"
February 20, 2007
Dr. Manny Alvarez, who regularly appears on Fox News to dispense medical advice, has written another book called The Checklist. The folks at AskDrManny.com were kind enough to send us a review copy a while ago. And while its taken me a little while to read it, I definitely think its a worthwhile book.
The Checklist is a very high level overview of your health. Dr. Manny goes through each decade of your live, from conception into your golden years and highlights the things you should be doing, and the things you should keep an eye out for to maintain a healthy and sound lifestyle.
Most of the parents who read this blog are probably familiar with how to keep a young child healthy. However, with all the stresses that parenthood can bring, it is all too easy to neglect your own well-being. Furthermore, as your child ages into pre-teen and teenaged years, it remains as vitally important to teach them health habits. This book is fantastic at pointing out things that are easy to remember and easy to teach.
For example, in the "Life Is Beautiful" years (ages 10 to 19), the Checklist covers seasonal allergies, the causes and symptoms of chronic childhood asthma, the causes of the great teenage scourge: acne, and more. In the "Welcome to the Real Word" years (ages 20 to 29), the Checklist looks at smoking, birth-control, and gastrointestinal disorders. Each decade is followed by a handy list of important tests and exams that should be covered. It almost seems too simple: follow the checklist and you'll be on the road to a healthier life.
While I might not find that The Checklist is an indispensable reference, it definitely has been able to teach me a few things about what life will hold for me in the coming years and decades. I feel better equipped now to handle the challenges of my own healthcare.
The Checklist is available in hardcover at Amazon.com, and bookstores near you.
We are happy to have Little Me as an advertiser right now. This company, which has been around for almost a century now, sells a ton of super cool baby items, all in soft and comfortable fabrics for the baby. Some of my favorites items include the Shark Hood Coverup Towel, the Layered Engineer Shirt, and the Ruffled and Smocked Diaper Set. One of the best features of Little Me's online store is that they have a shop by size option. I've been frustrated many times online when I find something I love for Andy only to discover it's not available in his size, so this cuts down on that annoyance considerably.
February 19, 2007
Parents are definitely an inventive bunch. Trapped between the cost of raising a child, and the lack of products to do exactly what you want, parents are forced to make do or "hack" a solution together. Well, the website Parent Hacks is all about these innovative solutions that parents come up with to everyday problems. For example, instead of sending your younger children outside in the freezing cold to play in the snow, bring the snow into the house! The bathtub specifically. They can play to their hearts content, and when playtime is over, there's no mess to clean up. Or perhaps your stuck at a dingy gas station bathroom, and with no paper towels or toilet paper in sight? Cover that toilet seat with disposable plastic garbage bags, for a quick and easy cleanup. There are lots of parenting gems like this posted nearly every day. If you're a parent, and you don't read Parent Hacks yet, get over there right away!
This is one of those toys that I know I would have loved as a child. I could never get enough of things that spin, so the Butterfly Spinner would have been right up my alley. When you press down on the handle, the butterflies and ladybugs inside move all around and look like they're flying. It's a good toy to help with cause and effect as well as coordination, but I really just like it because it's fun.
February 16, 2007
We are trying to feed Andy as much finger food as we can, not only so he can learn how to pick up food on his own, but also so we can stop buying so much jarred food. Unfortunately though, he loves to pick up his plates and bowls. We put all the food on the tray of his high chair, but that means I have to try to clean it in our small kitchen sink after every meal, which is a huge pain. So I love the idea of this next product, the Stay Put Suction Bowls. There are three different sizes of bowl, each with a snapping lid. The bottom of each has a suction base to keep it attached to the high chair tray or to your table. They are also dishwasher safe as well.
I love this wooden activity arch made by Kaloo. It's for newborns, so obviously Andy is way beyond this, but the idea is pretty simple. Instead of putting the baby in a play gym (aka a gymini), put this activity arch over your infant. Then she can reach for the brightly colored toys and develop important hand-eye coordination nice and early. The arch comes with 4 toys that attach with velcro, and I'm sure you can get lots more. We had toys that would fit on here that we used to put on Andy's car seat handle.
February 15, 2007
There's a new code out for The Children's Place. Get 15% off your order with the code "S2A27" when used at check out. This is good online only and until March 11. Make sure to stock up on all your spring essentials for your little ones before then!
If you want to get the mack daddy of diaper pails, consider the Diaper Pail by Vipp. It is made of stainless steel so it's easy to clean, and it's much better looking that your typical pail. You can use any bag in it, and it comes in five different colors as well. Doctors and dentists use Vipp waste bins because they are airtight, compact, and sanitary, which are all adjective that describe my perfect diaper pail. But for something this nice, you have to pay for it. At $239, it's probably not something you'll get from your Aunt Marta at your baby shower.
February 14, 2007
Threadless has two new tee designs out for kids, and both super cool. First is Books Are Good For You, which has a picture of a child eating a book while wishing he was eating pie. Then there's T-Shirt Plague, with a magnifying glass that shows the germs in the shirt.
I am a huge fan of custom made items. Like 1154 Lill which I wrote about last week. So I am very interested in Hand Picked Pumpkin. They make high quality infant apparel, but you get to play a big part in the design. First, you choose what type of item you want to buy. Then you choose the main color of the garmet, the colors for any trims and snaps, then you can purchase what you designed! If you like the look of the clothes but aren't very creative, you can also purchase ready made clothing as well. You can also feel good about your purchase. Each item is made from domestically produced cotton, is individually hand sewn in Chicago, and 5% of the yearly gross sales are donated to national charities that focus on helping children. We love companies that sell good products while also being responsible.
It seems like its so far away, but I think potty training will be here at Super Cool Baby before we know it. It's important to us that we have a potty for Anderson that we won't mind seeing all over our house. The BabyBjorn potty may be just what we're looking for. This potty has a nice ergonomic design, with a high back and a splash guard to make sure everything stays in the right place. And a rubberized bottom makes sure that it doesn't go wandering off at the worst possible time. And the inner bowl is easily removed for emptying and cleaning. And most importantly, other parents seem to love this potty. You can't go wrong when so many other people are passionate about products like this. So, when its time, the BabyBjorn potty is sure to be gracing the floors of our bathroom, and I hope it does the same for you.
February 13, 2007
I recently wrote about a crocodile clacking push toy, and now I've found an alligator one that I really like. The Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy by Melissa and Doug is made of sturdy wood and has three alligators whose mouths open and shut when the toy is pushed. There are also wooden insects flying above the alligators and cute fish paintings. It has great reviews, but it sounds like it's not the best on carpet, so reconsider if you have a fully carpeted house! If you like this toy, you may also like the Drumming Bear Push Toy, also by Melissa & Doug.
If you're looking for new nursery furniture, be sure to check out the Lullabo series by Celery Furniture. Celery Furniture makes all their furniture for no-tools assembly. They use eco-conscious materials like rapidly renewable bamboo plywood, non-formaldehyde medium density fiber-board, and low volatile organic compound varnishes. But, most importantly, they design their furniture with style. The Lullabo crib has fixed side-rails and minimal moving parts for exceptional durability. Additionally, you can also get a matching changing table to go with your crib. A great feature of the furniture is you can get one end painted with chalkboard paint, for an instant addition to your play area. You can even use it to keep track of feedings, and diaper changes for your newborn. If you like the Lullabo series, be sure to check out the other items offered by Celery Furniture.
February 12, 2007
The folks at Dolca USA were kind enough to send us a few items to review. We received a bib, as well as a size 2 t-shirt. All the items at Dolca are the creation of the well-known Spanish artist Dulce Quesada Magro.
We used the bib right away. It's made of a rubberized fabric, so it's water proof. It fit very nicely around Andy's neck, which has been a problem for some of his older bibs lately. And its large size provided lots of coverage for falling food. The design features two giraffe's with flying hearts between them. It seems to be a pretty common design in the Dolca line, and I have to say it's very nice.
The t-shirt we received is a little big for Andy, since Dolca doesn't make clothes for infants. However, I think he'll be wearing this shirt before we know it. Its a great design for little boys. The torso features "alligator" scales, while the arms depict the head and tail of the alligator. This shirt is sure to capture the whimsy of many a little toddler. It's made from high quality 100% cotton, and is machine washable.
I think the designs from Dolca are fantastic. And their high quality clothing would be an excellent addition to any wardrobe. If you're looking for a unique gift for a new baby, be sure to check them out. Dolca clothing is available from Dolca USA, and Tot Shop is having a sale on select items.
When I found out I was pregnant, I posted it on my blog that morning, picture of the pregnancy test included, for all the world to see. Looking back, I'm very lucky I didn't miscarry and have to deal with telling everyone about that, but I just couldn't control my excitement. If you feel the same way, a more tasteful way to let everyone know is through these cute cards by 16 Sparrows. They say "I'm knocked up" with a cute picture of a stork with a baby on it. There are also ones that read "You're knocked up" which might be a fun way to tell your spouse the good news. I think the handwritten note is something we need to bring back to our society, so I hope you consider these as a fun way to spread the word!
February 9, 2007
I have a thing for purses and bags. I realized this at a young age and have tried not to go overboard buying them. Instead, I do my best to be really picky and only buy bags that I truly love and will use until they fall apart. One of the best ways to find a bag you love is to design it yourself, and that is exactly what you can do at 1154 Lill. Started eight years ago, 1154 Lill "is the original custom handbag boutique that gives you the creativity to design your own handbag!" Diana is the style I chose as it is the standard diaper bag at the store. There are other bags that are big enough, but this one has plenty of pockets, is water proof inside, and I felt it would fit my lifestyle the best. I designed my bag at the boutique in Boston, but there are also stores in Chicago and Kansas City. If you don't live near one of those locations, you could hold a hand bag party in a number of locations so you can make your bag. You can custom make your own bag online and buy a changing pad to go with it as well. If you are unable to design your own diaper bag or don't feel creative enough to do so, you can still buy one already made from their website.
Personally, I love my bag. It fits my personality perfectly, and it's not too girly so my husband feels comfortable using it as well. My fabrics are no longer available because each one is around for a limited time only to ensure your bag is truly unique. But every time I've gone to design a bag, I've always found more than enough great fabrics to choose from, and the employees are a huge help in finding fabrics that match each other well. If you ever have a chance to design your own diaper bag, or a purse in general, at 1154 Lill, I highly recommend that you do!
I've said before that I really like our diaper bag. It's one that Laura designed herself, and my only complaint is that its kind of small. This diaper bag from JJ Cole would definitely alleviate that problem. It has a roomy interior with organizer pockets, a separate bottle pocket, a place to put your mobile phone, even a place to put your iPod with a hole for your headphones. This diaper bag is great for taking on long walks, as it quickly and easily attaches to your stroller. It comes with an included changing pad that has a pockets to hold wipes, diapers, and other items. And best of all, it doesn't look too girly. So, Dads, next time your partner is shopping for a diaper bag, make sure to get one that you like as well. You will be carrying it around too!
February 8, 2007
We're finding that music is very important in your child's early education. Here is a perfect toy to help them explore their musical creativity. The Schoenhut piano is chromatically tuned and works by striking precision ground steel music rods (as opposed to taught wires in a conventional piano). A color-coded strip fits behind the keys to guide fingers from chord to chord, teaching children proper "finger stretch" from the beginning. This strip even works on full sized pianos, so the transition for your musical prodigy will be easy. The piano is about 12 inches high, and 12 inches wide. Plus, if you use the coupon code "supercoolbaby" at checkout, you'll get 15% off your purchase at Green Little Beans!
So many mobiles are too cutsy and boring I think. Many babies love them I guess, but mine, while interested when I play the music so it spins, could have gotten by without it quite easily. I wonder if the mobile is as much for the parents as it is for the babies. Maybe that's why I love this next one, the Birds of a Feather Mobile. It is laser cut from walnut veneer wood and has a natural oil finish. The mobile pieces also pop out of a square sheet which then can be used for stenciling or other art projects. I think this mobile could be used for a long time after the baby is through with it as well. It almost looks like an art piece to me!
February 7, 2007
A lot of parents swear by humidifiers. We haven't had a need for one yet, but we saw a really cute one on Really Natural, the Hello Kitty Ultrasonic Humidifier. It is a cool mist humidifier, is whisper quiet, and has an easy to remove water tank. Your child isn't into Hello Kitty? There's also the Thomas the Train Humidifier as well cow, penguin, and pig shaped ones.
Potty training is hard enough, but could you imagine trying it while you're on the road? Or say you take a trip to Grandma's house? With the Potette, fear no more. These convenient and compact potties provide a sanitary potty for use anywhere. They use ultra absorbent liners that make disposal a breeze. When your done, you can fold up the legs, so its small enough to fit in a (good sized) diaper bag. The potty comes with 3 liners, which you can buy separately.
February 6, 2007
Although we haven't yet had a chance to tell you all about the cute clothes at Miele Fresca, we are sad to announce that they are closing their doors. They have a bunch of adorable onesies and baby tees, and now they are all marked down! I highly suggest you check them out before it's too late and they are all sold!
If you are really into the holidays like I am, you may want to buy a few toys and clothes to celebrate Valentine's Day. We've already shown you the Conversational Heart Onesies, so how about some clutch toys to celebrate this lovely holiday? We really like the Little Heart Clutching Toy and the Bella Clutching Toy, both by Haba. Each toy has wooden hearts attached to a ring, and it would be great toys for babies six months and older. Like the toys but not a big fan of Valentine's Day? Consider the Bonita Clutching Toy instead. It has flowers instead of hearts, so it'd be a good one for spring.
Dads are always overlooked when it comes to maternity wear. As a new father myself, I find this totally unfair. While we were at the hospital, I wore my one paternity shirt with pride. It was obvious it was unusual because I received so many comments from the nurses. 2 chix is trying to change that with their line of Daddy Tees. Many of these shirts are somewhat irreverent, like Bullseye. Wear one of these with your pregnant partner around, and you'll be sure to receive a little attention yourself.
February 5, 2007
There are new children's tees over at Threadless. I really like Biblical Disaster and Star Men in Moon's Milk. Sizes start a little high at 4T, but they are so cute, I've considered buying them for Andy now. After all, they are all limited editions!
Remember those cute bottles we found at Urban Baby Runway? Well the company has been nice enough to offer you all 10% off your order for the entire month of February. Just use the code "UBRSUPER" at check out for this deal to apply.
The Panton Junior chair is a favorite of children everywhere. Made of polypropylene with a matte surface, kids love its bright cheery colors and its smooth curves. And while its super fun to sit on this chair, its even more fun to play with it! The Panton Junior chair is a small version of the regular Panton chair, so with a little planning, the whole family can be sitting in these comfy chairs. The Panton Junior comes in seven different colors, as seen above.
One thing I don't own that I wish I did is a cute wipes case. I think they are such a fun way to accessorize diapering. You could find one that matches each diaper bag you own (as I know some of you own many such bags), or you can use them to spice up a simple diaper bag. The wipes cases at Made By Angie definitely are one option if you are into these types of things. There are a ton of different styles to choose from so you're bound to find something that fits your personality as well as your child's. My favorites include Retro Daisy, Blueberries, Space Patrol, and Emma, but really they all are pretty neat.
February 2, 2007
This seat seems very similar to the Bumbo Baby Sitter that we wrote about a while ago. The BebePOD uses the baby's own weight to help sure a safe, secure, and comfortable seating position. The pommel, besides making it seem like your baby is riding in a saddle, is uniquely designed to keep your baby in place. While it looks hard, its actually made out of a soft foam, much like the Bumbo seat. So don't worry about it being too uncomfortable for your little one. The BebePOD is great whenever you need a hands-free and safe place to put your child, and is especially useful at restaurants before your child is big enough for a real highchair!
One thing I really love is activity mats. When I have my next child, I'm going to get a couple more of them for different rooms in my house. Andy really liked his for a long time, and now we have him in a more 3D one that he sits in and still uses. I recently discovered the Shangri-la Activity Mat and Portico, and I knew I had to share it with our lovely readers! This mat has black and white graphics on one side and can be flipped over to a more colorful and softer side. There's also a pressure activated sound pod, a hidden mirror, a hide-n-seek plush toy, a peek-a-boo plush toy, and a gel toy with floating bubbles and fish. Eight removable toys come with the mat in total, and the portico legs can be folded down easily for storage. I wish ours would do that. We're moving soon, and I'm having a hard time getting those big bars into a box!
February 1, 2007
We all know by now that a good diaper pail is essential for your nursery. You need one that will keep that awful smell in but still be easy to use. We have the Diaper Champ, and it's worked well for us. However, I just discovered the Touch Free Diaper Pail from Graco. It has a motion activated lid that opens when your hand approaches so you don't have to touch it. However, you can also open the lid yourself if you would rather do that. It has a carbon filter that absorbs the odor which should be changed every 30 days, and it uses standard trash bags. I do wonder how well the motion activation lid works, I know in public bathrooms everything that is detected by motion doesn't work too well. But it's a great idea for people who want one less thing to touch when they're doing diaper duty.
I had a toy like this Caterpillar Tracks growing up, but instead of caterpillar segments, it had letters and numbers. It was also made of plastic, instead of high quality wood like this. This is for your older toddlers, whose little fingers will delight in moving the caterpillars around. As with all HABA toys, the toy is painted with multiple coats of water-based non-toxic lacquers which will ensure the toys vibrant colors for many years to come.