When my sister had her first daughter nearly 16 years ago, she schlepped a quilted Winnie the Pooh bag to my parents’ house; I think even she’ll admit it was hardly a fashion statement. Today, there are so many versatile, stylish bags in which to tote baby belongings that I’m sure even my teenage niece would approve of them! One such line that recently caught my eye is ISOKI, which apparently comes from the African word meaning “beautiful gift.” Just take one look at these bags and you’ll agree that this name is an apt description. Looking more like weekender bags than ones holding diapers and wipes, you may easily mistake these for ones that belong at a Hamptons beach. What makes them stand out, though, are the extras: namely, a storage compartment underneath (great for when you’re fully packed and you realize you’ve forgotten to pack the diaper rash cream) and an insulated cooler (no need to throw in an extra bag for milk, juice or anything else that needs to keep cold…yes, even your iced coffee).
How many times have you heard the phrase, “Better to be safe than sorry?” The words never ring more than true than when you’re traveling and you’re at the mercy of others who are, shall we say, “interested” in your stuff. Grab Guard is one device worth having if you’re extra concerned about keeping your belongings secure. Think of it as a miniature padlock for your backpack, purse..even a diaper bag. Remember fumbling with your high school locker? This simple device makes up for all those frustrating moments. Simply select a two-digit combination, punch in the numbers, pull the lock and you have access to your all your personal items. Did we mention that this doesn’t look like your old school lock either? The Grab Guard comes in a variety of colors, including lime green which my daughter loves it. Hey, with the “G” right on the lock, let her think it stands for Gucci. Yes, safety can be fashionable, too.
In a Nutshell: You can never be too careful. You’ll thank yourself later for taking this extra step.
I love kid things that resemble adult products, but in miniature. Think bite-size chocolate bars, Dixie-cup sized Haagen Daaz…yes, I realize these are all tasty treats, but after all, it is getting close to dinnertime. But there is a logical train of thought here: after a good meal, we head upstairs for bath time where my almost-6-year-old daughter must share her turf with her little 2-year-old sister. Not always a fun fest. Maybe that’s why I get such a kick out of the hoppop Bato Baby Bath. It’s a hoot to see this pint-sized tub, the perfect mirror image of our bathroom fixture, fit directly inside it. The sides are high enough that the little one gets to hang on to her own bath toys without her older sister hogging them. Plus, I like that she can stretch out in plenty of space without having to push her limbs up against a shelf to hold soap, etc. (I never understood the need for those; they can never hold everything. And besides, I have the bathroom floor for that.) And because the Bato Bath holds up to 50 lbs., I can plan on hanging on to this durable bath for a while…That is, unless my finicky toddler eats more than a handful of pasta. But that’s a story for another day.
In a Nutshell: Bathtime just got a whole lot more cute. Your kid in this tub is a photo opp just waiting to happen…
Back in the day, when I worked full-time and commuted to Manhattan, I remember toting around more luggage than I cared to admit. Sure, I traveled for business every now and then, but we’re talking packed bags–as in multiple–for just one day. And since I was doing my best to save my pennies, one of those bags was a brown one–as in my sorry-looking lunch. How many times it collapsed or fell apart due to my clumsy packing style or because it couldn’t bear the weight of–gasp!–a cup of yogurt would be too many to mention. How I wish I’d gotten my hands on the Laptop Lunches Bento System, a grown-up version of the organized lunchbox. This insulated bag may look like it contains a portable computer, but take a closer look inside. It includes 5 generously sized containers that can accommodate everything from sandwiches to fruit to salad dressing. And if that doesn’t make you feel adult enough, there’s a set of stainless-steel silverware–great for going green–and a water bottle (who needs that can of diet soda, anyway?) Now, if your cup of yogurt leaks, no one will know but you.
In a Nutshell: This reusable lunch bag may not eliminate the need for toting another bag to the office, but at least it’s one that stands up to spills and other food disasters. It even works well when you’re eating lunch al fresco at the park (yes, you can walk away from your desk every now and then…)
Ah, how I fondly remember the picnics in the park my husband and I had B.K. (before kids). Our house was a short walk from a park that held summer concerts, and we’d pack a light dinner and head out without a care in the world. Fast forward to the present, and a dinner outdoors with two little kids is hardly romantic. Our plastic wine glasses have been replaced with juiceboxes, and the comfy blanket we shared barely has room for the four of us. Maybe that’s why today, I can appreciate the Picnic Set from French Bull that is practical for my family, but whose style appeals to my grown-up sensibility. There’s service for four, including flatware, plates and ample sized cups that are (thankfully) aren’t breakable. And if we forget to pack a blanket, we’ve got a microfleece one inside the handy tote. A cutting board and bottle opener let the “bigger kids” enjoy wine and cheese with their meal…this way, I get to ignore the “whining” of another kind.
Since any mom knows that baby products don’t come cheaply, it helps to take advantage of every coupon, giveaway and contest you can get your hands on. Three reputable baby brands, Baby Blanket Music, Kushies and Natural Mat, have teamed up to offer some lucky moms new products from their lines of kids’ CDs, crib linens and layette. To enter to win the Sweet Dreams Contest, just click on the hyperlink. Note that you must become a fan of Natural Mat on Facebook, and the contest ends on May 31.
In a Nutshell: Like the saying goes, “you gotta be in it to win it.” And who knows? This just may be your lucky day!
Sometimes, a diaper bag needs to double as an overnight tote. Imagine the scenario: Your hubby just got you tickets to the ballet for Mother’s Day and Grandma–bless her heart–has offered to take your little one for the night. Once you begin packing everything she’ll need, it’s not long before you realize you are quickly running out of room. Rather than pack a separate bag for all that extra stuff, opt for Kushies Boho Diaper Bag, which has more pockets than a pair of overalls! There’s no way you can misplace that beloved binky now. We appreciate the padded changing pad that tucks right inside without taking up too much space and the two bottle pockets on the side that are perfect for the last-minute mad dash out the door (“Oh, I know I’m forgetting something…)
In a Nutshell: Diaper bags that do double duty as an overnight bag? Amen to that. With this much room and a stylish print to boot, you’ll be able to hang on this long after your little one’s been potty-trained.
When your baby gets her hands on everything, including the poopy diaper that you happen to be getting her out of, the scene can quickly turn into one that’s not so pretty. The Changing Wrap keeps those wriggly arms and hands in place, enabling you to get your little one into a fresh diaper without worrying about her getting dirty in the process. It slips on and off easily and saves you the aggravation of having to hand your baby toy after toy to keep her occupied. While it may take a little getting use to, this product is especially helpful for extra squirmy babes at home and a must for those public restroom (yuck!) changes.
In a Nutshell: If the frustration of changing your exploratory baby is getting you down, don’t get dirty. This wrap may warrant an extra step in your diaper changing routine, but depending on your personal threshold, it may be just the mommy trick you’re looking for.