Monthly Archives: October 2009

speaking of safety…


It’s the one of the main baby products category that often gets a bad rap for design; how does one craft a toilet seat lock that’s sexy, after all? Fortunately, some new companies are coming to the drawing board with safety items that are not only durable, but that are aesthetically pleasing. A safety gate that caught our eye is the KiddyGuard Avant from Lascal. This is one gate that you won’t mind installing. Touting a very discreet look, it resembles a large projection screen that stretches across doorways or at the top of the stairs, and “disappears” (or retracts) when not in use. Now you see it, now you don’t! There’s a time-delayed release button, so you can adjust the amount of time needed to close the gate. What’s extra nice is just how quiet it is when closing; you won’t have to worry about “announcing” your exit to a toddler with separation anxiety (know anyone like that?)
In a Nutshell: You don’t need to compromise your sense of style when it comes to safety; this gate looks as good as it works. The product is just coming to market, so look for it at a store near you this winter.

babyproofing that’s stylish?



Yes, you read that right. Safeguarding your little one against possible dangers in the home needn’t be boring. A cool new company named Rhoost has taken childproofing and given it an edge with corner protectors and cabinet covers that are functional and fashionable. How fitting is it that one of their products is named Edge Om (left)? Unlike those utilitarian-looking covers you have on the four corners of your coffee table (yup, you know the ones), the Edge Om (left) has a special strap and locking fastening system, so you don’t have to worry about scuffing your furniture. And what’s great is that it comes in–gasp!–actual colors that blend in with your home decor (say sayonara to boring see-through plastic and hello to black, plum, brown and green). If your little one is already trying to break into your off-limits cabinets, then also check out the Sling Hub. It fits across cabinet door knobs with an adjustable hook-and-lock that will puzzle even the most persistent tot. The latticework-style design may just throw off your toddler and force her to move on to something else. Like turning over your wastepaper basket…

In a Nutshell: It’s not part of a yoga chant, but the Edge Om and Sling Hub will make the chore of babyproofing so relaxing, you may feel as though you’ve just done a Downward Dog.

go green!


Staunch supporters of the green movement–I mean, all you moms who search high and low for products that better the environment–can get started as soon as your newborn comes home from the hospital. With the greenEARTH line, your little one can experience her first slumber on organic bedding, fitted on an organic mattress, resting in an organic wood cradle. The company originally known for its high quality nursery decor and artistic furnishings leaves no stone unturned in making greenEARTH healthy for tender newborn skin. The cradles are made from hardwoods that are harvested naturally (read: no chemicals or pesticides) and are finished with non-toxic water-based products. The bedding and mattress are both made from organic cotton and don’t contain any PVCs, vinyl or other harmful substances. And if you thought it couldn’t get any safer than that, the bedding comes in a recyclable tote and the hang tag is actually a seed card that can be planted to grow flowers.

In a Nutshell: Outfitted in organic bedding that’s safe for the environment and your baby. Now that makes for sound sleeping.

baby goes to the spa


You might not think your little one could possibly be experiencing any stress in her young life. (After all, she has someone to cater to her every move, lots of love and attention from your family…what’s not to like?) But if you were also blessed with a bundle of colicky nerves, there’s one routine that can either cause you further anxiety or you can make it your saving grace. I’m talking about bathtime. Sure, it can be a big sudsy funfest for older kids, but some infants seem to find it exciting as a day at the dentist. When my younger daughter was born, my older girl couldn’t wait until she could be alongside her in the tub. We were both unpleasantly surprised to discover just how much she hated it! Maybe if we had a Spa Baby tub, it could have been all bubbles and bliss. This product joins the rising number of European-inspired upright tubs for babies. You may recall the washPOD that we reported on this past spring. Spa Baby follows a similar concept, offering a clear-walled round-shaped tub (as opposed to the standard longer walls design). It also sports more of a bowl shape as compared to the cylindrical look of the washPOD. The idea of being able to bath baby while she’s in a fetal position is meant to resemble the womb and be calming to your little one. (Maybe she won’t fuss as much because she also has less space to move around!). One caveat moms should note: This tub is designed for infants up to 10 months, although I suspect that age could go even younger and is up to the mom’s discretion and baby’s comfort level.

In a Nutshell: This is one trend that appears to be catching on with moms looking for a way to bond and that is bound to be big at baby showers.

things that won’t go bump in the night


There was nothing more nerve-wracking for me than when my daughter realized she could stand up in her crib–and get even more height by using her crib bumpers. But because she is especially active and loves to tumble around in there, I was leery of ditching the padding completely. Wonder Bumpers caught my attention for helping solve this very problem. Instead of a standard horizontal design, these bumpers individually wrap each crib rail from top to bottom, minimizing the ability for savvy, daring tots who are trying to jump ship. And I don’t have to worry about her trying to undo any ties or Velcro tabs because each bumper zippers closed. And lucky for me, she isn’t quite that smart…at least not yet.

In a Nutshell: If you’ve been fretting whether or not it’s time to remove your child’s bumper for safety reasons, now you have one less thing to worry about. Wonder Bumpers will work in your crib for as long as your child sleeps in one.

breaking out of the snacks rut


How is it that we are only one month into the new school year and we’ve already hit a wall when it comes to packing healthy snacks? We try to be creative in this house, when we have a few minutes to spare, and have put together trail mixes of apricots and walnuts. (And of course, cheddar crackers in the likeness of SpongeBob are often a hit.) But when I start to hear the words, “Goldfish, again?” from my 5-year-old, even I cringe. That’s why I was more than willing to taste-test the new line of Organic Fruit Snacks from Tasty Brand. I was immediately lured by the Organic Fruit Gummies, having been a Gummi Bears fanatic as a kid myself. But better than the candy I enjoyed during my childhood, these snacks are fruit-shaped and made with fruit juice. If the words “no high-fructose corn syrup” put a smile on your face, then you’ll be even more pleased that your child is indulging in a good-for-you treat. I think the icing on the cake, though, was when I found out how Tasty Brand Gummies’ sugar content (10 grams) compared to some other favorite foods like Motts Applesauce (25 grams) and Sun-Maid Raisins (30 grams). I think I’ll have to buy my own stash now, too.

In a Nutshell: Stuck in a snacks rut? Vary the Ritz routine with a little taste of fruity snacks that are organic and all-right.

safe drinking


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, BPA is one of those buzzwords most parents are familiar with these days. (And if you’re admittedly not on the ball, it stands for bisphenol-A, a harmful plastic substance frequently used in baby bottles and sippy cups.) Acronyms aside, all you really need to know is that it’s best to avoid kids’ products that aren’t touting themselves as BPA-free. Considering the dizzying array of choices on store shelves, I know I feel more comfortable turning to a brand whose name I’ve known since I was a child myself. Thermos has come out with a line of drinking cups with a name that you’ll love to say almost as much as you’ll love the products themselves. The Thermos Foogo Phases drinkware collection comes in stainless steel (great for keeping drinks like milk cold for up to 10 hours) and see-through cups (dubbed Tritan). Whether your toddler is just getting a handle on drinking from a cup or has graduated onto larger sizes to quench her thirst, you’ll appreciate the sporty, yet sturdy design of these cups. And since all the lids are interchangeable, you won’t have to spend time fitting the right top on the right cup when unloading the dishwasher.

In a Nutshell: When I think of Thermos, I remember sipping chicken soup from a mug in my lunchbox. Extending this feeling of comfort to your own child is something any mom can appreciate.

the view from up here


Baby chairs are typically low to the ground, keeping little one’s vision at eye level with, well…the floor. The Fresco Fiamma chair from Bloom offers a refreshing perspective that puts your baby right up where the action is. In a show-stopping red contemporary design that’s practically museum-quality, this limited edition seat is the latest version of the company’s Fresco Loft, an adjustable seat that is perched high off the ground and can be reclined to fit a newborn and then adjusted for a school age child. Because of its wide range of height adjustments, the Fresco Fiamma can work at a counter top, dinner table…wherever you are dining–even al fresco, as the name suggests. Plus this seat can swivel at 360 degrees–pretty cool for a fussy baby. The $600 tag may leave you a bit dizzy yourself, but sometimes that’s the price you have pay for high-end style.

In a Nutshell: If you are a mom who relishes the latest in fashion-forward baby gear, then take a seat; this chair is a conversation piece that will have all your mommy friends talking.