Monthly Archives: January 2010

the sooner, the better

When you’re trying to get pregnant, waiting for a positive result can feel like an eternity. Now, with First Response Early Result Pregnancy Test, it doesn’t have to be painfully slow. This patent-pending at-home pregnancy test, which hit store shelves this week, can detect whether or not you’re pregnant up to six days before your missed period — that’s one day earlier than any of the other tests currently on the market. The test works by detecting a pregnancy hormone at lower levels than usually necessary. Like usual, simply hold the strip in your urine stream, wait three minutes and you’ll see two pink lines for pregnant and one line if you’re not.

In a Nutshell : This test will buy you an extra day of less fretting and more time to celebrate. Now you’ll have more time to start shopping for those little booties.

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stroller recall

Just as we report on cool, new baby and kids’ products, it’s also our job to let you know about recalls, especially if they’re about an item we originally reviewed. Last June, we raved about the Cybex line of umbrella strollers. In accordance with the CPSC, the company’s U.S. distributor has issued a recall of its Cybex Ruby, Onyx and Topaz models. The strollers’ hinge mechanism may pose a threat to a child if he places his fingertip inside the hinge. If you’ve purchased one of these Cybex strollers, you can contact Regal Lager for a free hinge cover retrofit kit.

In a Nutshell: Purchased a Cybex stroller? Call (800) 593-5522 or click on the link above to visit the Regal Lager Web site. Better to be safe than sorry.

some-bunny needs to brush her teeth

When my older daughter’s first teeth came in, I was a bit perplexed by how to clean them properly. Using my bare finger? Yuck! That strange-looking rubber thimble with bristles that came in her grooming kit? No, thanks…MAM has come out with an adorable first teeth cleaner that will make the experience pleasant for the both of you. The Oral Care Rabbit is a bunny-shaped soft cloth that gets the job done–and distracts your baby enough to get it done quickly and effectively. Just slip your index finger inside one of the bunny’s ears and brush away. You can either wet it as you would a washcloth, or keep it dry. And if your little bunny happens to be teething, you can try massaging her sore gums for some much-needed relief. Carrots are optional.

In a Nutshell: A product to promote oral hygiene for your little one? We’re all ears…

oh, the places they’ll go

History can turn off some kids faster than you can say, “Time to pick up your room.” Chalk it up to living in a fast-paced world where instant gratification is the norm…kids just don’t get that jazzed about stuff that’s happened long ago, let alone 5 minutes from now. PBS Kids must have had this in mind when it recently launched its new Web series, Wilson & Ditch: Digging America. It’s an activities-packed online destination that aims to make American history, geography and culture a little more…well, lively. The series stars two fun-loving gophers who road-trip across country and learn quite a bit along the way. My 5-year-old and I checked it out and, considering our limited real-world traveling experience, had quite an adventure. Games like Road Quest take license plat spotting to a new virtual level, while Picture Yourself let us drop our own digital photos into various backdrops. (Now, Peyton can feel like she’s been to the desert, minus the dry heat!) There are also downloadable activities, podcasts and travel journals that will undoubtedly inspire wanderlust.

In a Nutshell: History, boring? We’d never utter those two words in the same sentence. Plus, we have a new list of places we’d like to visit that don’t require a passport.

snug as a…baby?

Cold winter days like these are a foregone conclusion for many of us. If you think it’s tough to put your feet on the ground after a warm night snuggled in your bed, imagine being a newborn unearthed from her snug cocoon. (Moms who have to wake sleeping babies in order to pick up their older child from preschool, take note). The Snug & Tug makes the get-up-and-go a little more…well, bearable for little ones. This swaddling blanket’s new design lets you slip the straps and buckles of a car seat through the blanket’s opening (see above) without disturbing your sleeping child. It works in strollers, too, so if you’re an on-the-go mom, you’ll truly appreciate this blanket’s resourcefulness.

In a Nutshell: Your mom always said, “Never wake a sleeping baby.” Now you really don’t have to. Those winter days are a little less awful now. Now what can we do about our own cold tootsies?…

virtual love

Less than one month to Valentine’s Day and counting…if you’re looking for a different kind of way to let your special someone know how much you care (think: long-neglected spouse who’s done his fair share of nighttime feedings), check out the latest trend in greeting cards. Hallmark’s Webcam Greetings take an ordinary paper card and turn it into a three-dimensional experience that makes characters and images practically come to life. After receiving your specially marked card, you follow the directions off the designated Web site and then hold it up to the site’s webcam. It doesn’t matter which way you turn the card; the animation will track and follow your movement. It’s like watching a mini movie and believe me, you’ll be a captive audience. There are currently 10 Valentine’s Day webcam cards available, and additional cards for other occasions will be rolled out later this year.

In a Nutshell: When candy and flowers just won’t do, here’s a gift that’s more than memorable. Get your (virtual) groove on by telling your sweetie you love them in cyberspace–and beyond.

foot candy

Even the greatest pair of kids’ shoes is meaningless without comfortable socks or hosiery; you can’t go very far without them! I like to think of pediped’s new Tights and Socks as the perfect accompaniment to its fashionable, yet functional footwear, which we reviewed last year. They are well-made, eye-catching (shown here in bubble gum pink)and meant to take your child through any number of paces. If I look at my 5-year-old’s typical day, that means moving from the bus stop, to the classroom, onto the playground and eventually back outside into the yard (weather-permitting, of course). I like that when we wait for the bus on our blustery, waterfront street, her toes haven’t turned into icicles before boarding. pediped’s tights are made from pima cotton, which keeps her warm, but not feeling overheated. A touch of Lycra in them gives her the freedom of movement–and with all that aforementioned activity, it’s a must for any busy gal!

In a Nutshell: Don’t skimp on socks; protect your kids’ feet with quality socks and tights that will keep them light on their feet. While you’re at it, check out the organic line of socks and tights, too.

get organized!

Today, I hit the jackpot: I found the one thousandth crushed Cheerio in the bottom of my purse. (Frankly, after 5+ years of motherhood, I’m surprised there weren’t more!) If your bag has become a bottomless pit and plays home to one too many broken crayons, used tissues and lollipop wrappers, you know that trying to locate your car keys can sometimes become a game of hide-and-seek. The Ultimate Purse Organizer seeks to put an end to that type of frantic searching once and for all. Now before you say it’s not for me, consider this: this organizer is interchangeable and can be used to fit any medium- to large-sized handbag or tote. The six pockets provide ample room for your cellphone, keys, Chapstick and oh yes, a stash of lollipops. When you’re ready to change bags, simply remove it and pop it inside your new bag of choice. No need to weed through everything, and your necessities remain contained in the proper place.

In a Nutshell: This purse organizer will be the envy of your most anally retentive mommy friends. And now you’ll finally be able to get your hands on those gift cards before they expire.

mommy’s little helper

In keeping with one of my New Year’s resolutions–keep it simple–I happily opened my new Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker, excited at the prospect of what awesome culinary wonders it could produce. After several days of frigid temps here in the northeast, some comfort food was in order and with Sunday dinner looming in the not-so-distant future, I thought why not give it a whirl? I first looked about this new product at a mommy bloggers brunch I recently attended, and couldn’t help but notice how many moms were poring over the Cuisinart table with more enthusiasm than a sale at Bloomingdale’s. Naturally, I was curious, too. While I consider myself a relatively able cook, my dishes are hardly works of art, often sticking to a basic repertoire of meatloaf, roast chicken and spaghetti and meatballs. How nice it might be to give a new recipe a try in a sleek gadget designed for one-pot family meals? Well, the Cuisinart Multi-Cooker did not disappoint. Simply add your ingredients, set a desired time and you’re good to go. What’s really cool is the Fuzzy Logic technology–no, I’m not talking about how to reason with your kids when you’re sleep-deprived. It’s a special technology that detects fluctuations in cooking and automatically adjusts your settings, so dinner doesn’t go up in smoke and tastes great. If you’re a working mom, you’re sure to love the Keep Warm feature that lets your food stay just hot enough for you to walk in the door and get the table set. As for my family, our dinner of chicken cacciatore was a hit; the chicken was tender and the veggies, robust. And hey, if the kids eat it, isn’t that the best measure of success?

In a Nutshell: Set it and forget it? The Multi-Cooker is sure to dish up some crowd pleasing meals, all the while keeping meal prep simple. Clean-up is a snap, too.