Monthly Archives: December 2009

in-flight entertainment


There’s nothing more jarring on an airplane than a crying baby. I can remember during my former life, how many flights I took for business and pleasure that were made less pleasurable by an unhappy little traveler. While older kids can be occupied by a movie or handheld gaming device, little ones don’t yet possess the attention span we wish they could. That’s why the ingenuity behind the AirPlay may finally put this headache to rest once and for all. The same company that brought you the Snack & Play Travel Tray that we reviewed earlier this year is back at it–this time, with a solution to entertain the age 2 and younger crowd. This double-sided activity center slips over a standard airplane tray table to turn an eating surface into a self-contained play space for babies ages 6 months-24 years. If your child is not yet mobile (lucky you), this is a great way to keep her amused while on your lap. There are plenty of fun choices: a crinkly strip, an oversized button, buckle and zipper and even a mirror for the ever-popular game of peek-a-boo. What’s great is that your child can use AirPlay even if the tray table is locked and stowed away in its upright position. That’s right–a way to keep busy even during landing.

In a Nutshell: You may not be able to take that trip sans kids this year. But if you are traveling with your baby, this clever product may buy you a few moments of peace that you crave.

incognito nursing


Discreet breastfeeding may sound like an oxymoron, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have a new mom on your holiday gift list, treat her to a gift set from Bebe Au Lait, so she can nurse her baby in style. The company with the catchy moniker is known around the Hollywood mommy scene for its nursing covers in fashionable prints that keep exposed moms under wraps during feeding time. The neckline is flattering, not to mention forgiving, giving moms (and babies) plenty of breathing room. A prettily packaged gift set includes one nursing cover and three matching burp cloths–the perfect present for the newbie mom who’s a bit tenuous about breastfeeding in public.

In a Nutshell: Breastfeeding moms don’t have to bare all. Much like a good cup of joe, Bebe Au Lait’s nursing covers are a real treat–minus the caffeine.

Signs of Santa


As a parent, I find that one of the greatest joys of celebrating Christmas with young children is the magic of Santa. I have my own fond memories of leaving a stalk of celery for my favorite reindeer (Blitzen, of course) and ensuring that my father put out the fire in our fireplace before he went to sleep (he always did). Now as the mother of two young girls, the unmistakable look of utter delight and joy in their eyes on Christmas morning is something you can’t wrap up and put a bow on; it’s a gift I savor each year. But if you find that your own children are less convinced about the existence of the Man in the Red Suit, maybe you could use a little help. Santa-Clues delivers the proof that Jolly Old St. Nick did, indeed, pay a visit to your home. In a neat little house-shaped box are Santa’s glove, glasses, coat button, a piece of his red suit, coat button and even a toy list. Stencil designs let you make boot prints and even reindeer hoofs, complete with magic snow. While you may not decide to use all of these supplies–less can be more, depending on the child–you’ll certainly have enough in your arsenal to proclaim his arrival.

In a Nutshell: Skeptical about St. Nick? Yes, Peyton, there is a Santa Claus.

a place to rest that juicebox


My 5-year-old has been “trained” to know that once she’s finished sipping her drink, she needs to locate a proper resting place for it–or, as we grown-ups have come to know it as, a coaster. And as most of us know, it helps when products are kid-friendly and eye-catching, while conveniently disguised as a clever product that gets the job done. That’s why I really like the Coasters for Kids, a line of whimsically designed drink “resters” that look so cool, kids won’t even realize they’re practicing good manners while using them. Each coaster features a beverage of choice–milk, orange juice and more–and identifies said drink with a fun, boldfaced graphic. Using them can turn into a game–hey, isn’t everything you want your kid to do disguised as such? Pre-readers can match his drink to the correct photo, while older kids can show off their newly acquired reading skills. Or, kick it up and notch and make it silly (“What? You put your milk on the lemonade coaster? Does that mean a yellow cow made lemonade?) Yeah, I know; don’t quit my day job…

In a Nutshell: Get rid of those annoying drink circles on your coffee table, once and for all. Coasters for Kids make for great, unusual stocking stuffers.

A sucker for Santa


Yup, I mean what I say; the big guy in the red suit really does it for me. So when MAM came out with its line of Holiday Pacifiers, I couldn’t resist. If someone had shown me these five years ago, I would have scoffed at the very notion of a pacifier (not my kid!). And yet when my now-18 month old was a mere babe and we couldn’t quiet her constant crying jags, a “binky” (not my favorite word) was the only thing that seemed to calm her–and us. These seasonal suckers are quite festive-looking, available in snowman, doves, reindeer and Santa designs. MAM has a reputation for well-designed feeding supplies and these BPA-free pacifiers are no exception. They are orthodontic in shape and feature tiny air holes in the shield to prevent skin irritation. Chafed skin is the last thing you want for holiday photos.

In a Nutshell: Your little one will be all smiles when you give her one of these pacifiers, which make great stocking stuffers. Eat your heart out, Maggie Simpson.